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I happen'd at Rascallo's door to knock,
When thus his purpose burst upon mine ear,
In dreadful speech-


(RASCALLO, who has been listening at a door in the centre,
rushes forward, and comes between them.)
Behold him, traitor, here!

(CONSCIENZO and GRISKINDA kneel. He points a dagger at the bosom of each. SCRUBINDA rushes in, and holds a rolling-pin over RASCALLO's head. TABLEAU.) SCRUB. Hold! monster, hold! RASC. Rascallo, undismay'd, Smiles at thy rolling-pin, frail kitchen-maid. Hence to thy scullery!


Here I'd stay, base bragger, Had'st thou ten hands, and in each hand a dagger. Get thee down stairs!



Then stay, poor blockhead,
Till from thy thick skull thy dull brains be knocked.
RASC. O, what a maid is this! As I'm alive,
Her soul's as large as any common five!
This is the maid whom Fate designs my wife :
I'll marry her; I will, upon my life!
Sweet guardian of the sable pots and pans,
I'll make thee mine-so let's proclaim the banns.
SCRUB. All impudence must sink before this man's!
What means thy bold presumption? monster, say!

RASC. First take that threatening rolling-pin away.
CONS. GRISK. Good sir, we can't stand kneeling here all day.
RASC. Still kneel, till I'm resolved for love or war.
GRIEK. Psha!







RASC. Rise, then; you're free.
SCRUB. (embracing RASc.)


Pooh, pooh!

No go!

Pah, pah!

Now talk of love.

To give't a zest, we'll season it with murther.
As for this outrage, friends, I beg your pardon.
CONS. I care not for thy humours a brass fardon :
But, mark me! when thou'rt next inclined for joking,
Be't not with daggers in one's bowels poking.

GRISK. Now say, Rascallo, whence this fearful rout?
RASC. I'll tell thee.-Sweet Scrubinda, just step out.
Anon we will confer about our marriage.

SCRUB. First, promise me thou'lt let me keep a carriage.
RASC. Now, by the sweetly-flowing silver Styx,
I'll let thee drive, my love, a coach-and-six ;
And, unless Fortune on my purpose frown,
I'll place upon thy head a glittering crown.
SCRUB. A crown!

And further,


A crown!

CONS. (aside to RASCALLO.) My friend, too rashly spoken.
RASC. (recovering himself.) I mean a-Brummagem five-shilling


Now leave us, love. (Aside.) A woman's like a parrot,—
Ne'er happy but when swinging in her chariot.

SCRUB. (aside.) To learn what's going on, I'll use this device:
I'll close the door, and listen at a crevice.


RASC. Now, Conscienzo, was this noble?-ch?-
Say, was this giving me, thy friend, fair play?
Was't right to trust my secret to thy wife,
Risking thine own and thy Rascallo's life?
To tell a woman about killing kings,

And filching crowns,-and them 'ere sort o' things?
CONS. Ha ha! ha! ha!

He he he! he! he he!
RASC. Flames, fire, and fury! do you laugh at me?
CONS. We laugh to find thee such a stupid elf.
Whate'er she knows, thou'st told her, sir, thyself.

RASC. And so I have.-May we depend upon her?
GRISK. Thou may'st.


But swear.

GRISK. (kneeling, and with great solemnity.) Upon my word and


RASC. Hear then my plan; 'tis ready cut and dried.

(To CONS.) Thou and myself, together, side by side,
Will to the palace, when the King's alone,
And ask him civilly to yield the throne.
If he refuse, as 'tis most like he will,
Then to our business-kill, kill, kill, kill, kill;
Disarm the guard, and, this great work being done,
Despatch the Privy Council one by one.

CONS. (pityingly.) And won't you not spare any?

(Shows a paper.)

No, not none.

Next storm the Mint, and, having seized the treasure,
Thou shalt proclaim me king.


I'll do't with pleasure. RASC. The fair Scrubinda, then, I'll make my queen,

(GRISKINDA starts.)

And deck her beauteous form-in sarsnet green,
Fringe, feathers, flounces, furbelows-so fine out,
That from other queens she'll take the shine out.

Thou, sweet Griskinda, shalt attend upon her (in a patronising tone),
The first and foremost of her dames of honour.
I'll keep my word: here 'mongst my mems I set it.

(Writes in a pocket-book.)

GRISK. (aside.) Now don't he wish her majesty (sneeringly) may get it?

RASC. Thee, Conscienzo, will I elevate,

And make thee all that's noble, grand, and great:

Still shalt thou find me to thy interest partial,

So be thou-in short, everything from Archbishop of Canterbury down to City Marshal.

CONS. (bowing.) My liege, my king- that is to be, I mean GRISK. (aside.) Nor sun nor moon shall e'er behold her queen. CONS. Some slight objections might I dare to start Against thy royal scheme?


CONS. Next, we 've no friends, no money—


With all my heart.


CONS. The royal presence how shall we approach?
RASC. Well urged - (meditating)-1 have't: we'll hire a hack-

If we were rich, the devil take high treason.
Come, follow me: hence with thy fearful fuss,
Fit only for a puling boy at nurse;

I tell thee I'll put money in thy purse.
Our states are bad they cannot well be worse;
And if we fail, the King can but-




Kill us.

CONS. Why did I league with him in this vile plot ?
Ambition, thou art like I know not what.
He that is lured by thy enticements fair

Is like the bark that floats- I know not where;

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And kick ambition all the way down stairs.

Avaunt, ye very various visions vain!


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And I am like those rash and daring men

Mad with wild schemes, who lived-I know not when.
But shall this be? No-no; I'll fall to pray'rs,

That's the reason:

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Conscienzo is himself again!

GRISK. (sneeringly.) 'Tis wisely done! when Fortune kneels be. fore thee,

All sparkling in a full-dress suit of glory,
To spurn
her favours; and the crown and rule
She tenders, to throw from thee like a fool.
CONS. To kill a king!
Thou mewling, puling elf!
I'll go and knock his pate about myself.

CONS. Hold! I'm resolved. The deed myself I'll do.

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Speak thy dark meaning.

'Tis as clear as mud.


Dost not perceive?- Rascallo mounts the throne,
And what he 'll do when there is not yet known.
Scrubinda, too - O torture! will be queen,
And what her acts may be is not yet seen.
These things premised, I must take leave to say,
We are as fit for king and queen as they.

CONS. What's to be done?
Betray them to the King.
They'll both be hang'd, or to be plain-they'll swing.
CONS. What follows then?


GRISK. Go kill the King, and the king killer too (significantly). CONS. I understand thee not, my sweet rose-bud.

[SCRUBINDA appears listening.

Then? Why, what ought to follow ? We'll kill the King, and win the crown dead-hollow.

CONS. O, my Griskinda! 'tis a question which is, Or thou, or I, most fit to wear the small-clothes. GRISK. Then, let us on.


But if we fail?


We fail. CONS. But should the King make head? GRISK.

Still scorn we to turn tail. [Exeunt GRISKINDA and CONSCIENZO. SCRUBINDA comes forward.

SCRUB. Now that's what I call neat: the genteel thing-
To up and tell our matters to the King!
And get me hang'd, and my Rascallo too!-
Bear up, my woman's heart! Now- what 's to do?
Ha! -with their own base measures I'll come o'er 'em :
A swift-wing'd cab shall bear me there before 'em.
Thus have I seen on Alps' recumbent heights,
When the dim turret of the sky alights -
(While flickering whirlwinds flutter on the shore,
Mocking each fragment's undulating roar) —
A storm-fed lion pulverise the light,
Till all is lost in rage and universal night.


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SCENE III. A Hall in the Palace.

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[Exit SCRUBINDA, with a rush.

Enter RUMFUSKIN, musing.

RUM. Why was I born a king, ah! tell me why
Was I foredoom'd to so much misery?
Why make a king of these here realms of me?
O luckless fate! O hapless destiny!


What is a king? - or what, indeed, is man?
Or what is life? O tell me
who can.
To be a king! what is it, say, but, oh!
To wear a crown, and reign
Thou happy shepherd, or thou thoughtless clown,
Give me thy peace, take thou my weary crown;
I'll give my palace for thy humble cot,-

supreme in woe.

Like other kings I say 't, but like them, too,—I'll not.


Air-Oh! the days are gone.'

Oh! were now a cobbler good,
Just let me see,

Between that life and mine, what would

The diff'rence be.
The cobbler 's fed
On coarse brown bread,
And labours like a Turk;
While I live on stews
And rich ragouts,
And do no work.

Sure a better thing
Is a well-fed king
Who does no work.

Your cobbler 's drunk one day in three-
And that's not right;
Whilst I most royally drunk may be
From morn till night.
Then if these the joys
A king employs
His royal hours to pass,
He that would not be
A king like me
Must be an ass-
He that would not be
A king like me
Must be an ass.

(A cry of Coachee, Coachee,' by several voices without.) RUM. What means that direful clatter ?-Ha! approach!


What art thou?

Driver of a hackney-coach.
RUM. What number driv'st thou ?

Sire, as I'm alive,

I drive no number-'tis a coach I drive.

The number of my coach is four-sixteen.

RUM. Equivocating slave! 'tis that I mean.
(Aside.) The very number!-then our dream is out.
(To FLOG.) 'Tis plot and treason that thou com'st about.

FLOG. It is, my liege. But how thou cam'st to know it-
RUM. Is not thy business.
Thou 'rt a rum-un-go it!
RUM. O, insolence! Now, guided by my rage,
I'd fain condemn the varlet to the cage;

Thence to the Poultry Counter; thence-But, hold;

He comes a tale of treason to unfold,

And anger must a while to interest bow.

(TO FLOG.) Now tell me all-cach when, each where, each how. FLOG. I will be candid, sire. I come to serve thee:

Thou 'rt in a pickle, but 'tis I'll preserve thee.

RUM. Let truth, not puns, o'er what thou say'st prevail. Proceed. Be that thy cue.

And this my tale.
E'en now, as I was waiting for a fare,
Just at the end of Lisle Street, Leicester Square
Rascallo call'd me. Big with rage and malice,
Frowning, he bade me drive him to the palace;
When, stepping in, this paper, thee to save meant,
Fell from his pocket smack upon the pavement.
I hid it in the boot; then set him down.
'Your fare?' said he; said I, ''Tis half-a-crown.'
To pay so much the spooney was not willing:
'Jarvey,' said he, 'I'll give thee but a shilling.'-
'You won't?' says I; says he, 'Most surely not.'
Thinks I, 'Then I'll expose your honour's plot.'

RUM. Right loyal Coachee! (Aside.) How shall I requite him?

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