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but does voluntarily dismiss his master from any future authority over him
Val. No, sirrah; you shall live with me still.
Jer. Sir, it's impossible-I may die with you, starve with you, or be damned with your works: but to live, even three days, the life of a play, I no more expect it, than to be canonized for a muse after my decease.
Val. You are witty, you rogue, I shall want your help--I'll have you learn to make couplets, to tag the ends of acts. D’ye hear? get the maids to crambo in an evening, and learn the knack of rhiming; you may arrive at the height of a song sent by an unknown hand, or a chocolate-house lampoon.
Jer. But, sir, is this the way to recover your father's favour? Why Sir Sampson will be irreconcileable. If your younger brother should come from sea, he'd never look upon you again. You're undone, sir; you're ruined ; you won't have a friend left in the world, if you turn poet. Ah, pox confound that Will's coffee-house, it has ruined more young men than the Royal Oak lottery !-Nothing thrives that belongs to it. The man of the house would have been an alderman by this time with half the trade, if he had set up in the city.--For my part, I never sit at the door, that I don't get double the stomach that I do at a horse-race. The air upon Banstead Downs is nothing to it for a whetter; yet I never see it, but the spirit of famine appears to mesometimes like a decayed porter, worn out with pimp
ing, and carrying billet-doux and songs; not like
“ Val. Very well, sir; can you proceed?
meagre terrified countenance, that looks as if he “ had written for himself, or were resolved to turn “ author, and bring the rest of his brethren into the
same condition. And lastly, in the form of a as worn-out punk, with verses in her hand, which “ her vanity had preferred to settlements, without a “ whole tatter to her tail, but as ragged as one of “ the muses; or as if she was carrying her linen to “ the paper-mill, to be converted into folio books of “ warning to all young maids, not to prefer poetry “ to good sense; or lying in the arms of a needy wit, “ before the embraces of a wealthy fool."
Val. The rogue has (with all the wit he could muster up) been declaiming against wit.
Scand. Ay? Why then I'm afraid Jeremy has wit: for wherever it is, it's always contriving its own ruin. Jer. Why so I have been telling my master, sir.
Mr. Scandal, for Heaven's sake, sir, try if dissuade him from turning poet.
Scand. Poet! He shall turn soldier first, and ra. ther depend upon the outside of his head, than the lining! Why, what the devill has not your poverty made you enemies enough? must you needs shew 'your wit to get more?
Jer. Ay, more indeed : for who cares for any body that has more wit than himself?
Scand. Jeremy speaks like an oracle. Don't you see how worthless great men and dull rich rogues avoid a witty man of small fortune? Why, he looks like a writ of inquiry into their titles and estates; and seems commissioned by Heaven to seize the better half.
Val. Therefore I would rail in my writings, and be revenged.
Scand. Rail! at whom ? the whole world ? Impotent and vain! Who would die a martyr to sense, in a country where the religion is folly? You may
stand at bay for a while; but, when the full cry is against you, you sha'nt have fair play for your life. If you can't be fairly run down by the hounds, you will be treacherously shot by the huntsmen.—No, turn pimp, flatterer, quack, lawyer, “ parson, be chaplain to an • atheist, or stailion to an old woman,” any thing but puet. A modern poet is worse, more servile, timorous, and fawning, than any I have named: withyou
could retrieve the ancient honours of the name, recal the stage of Athens, and be allowed the force of open honest satire.
Val. You are as inveterate against our poets, as if your character had been lately exposed upon the stage.--Nay, I am not violently bent upon the trade. -[One knocks.] Jeremy, see whose there. (Jer. goes to the door. ]—But tell me what you would have me do ?-What do the world say of me, and my forced confinement ?
Scand. The world behaves itself, as it uses to do on such occasions. Some pity you, and condemn your father: others excuse him, and blame you. Only the ladies are merciful, and wish you well : since love and pleasurable expence have been your greatest faults.
JEREMY returns. Val. How now?
Jer. Nothing new, sir. I have dispatched some half dozen duws with as much dexterity as an hun. gry judge does causes at dinner-time.
Val. What answer have you given them ?
Jer. No, faith, sir: I have put them off so long with patience and forbearance, and other fair words, that I was forced to tell them in plain downright English
Val. And how the devil do you mean to keep your word?
Jer. Keep it? Not at all : it has been so very much
stretched, that I reckon it will break of course by to-morrow, and nobody be surprised at the matterl-[knocking. )–Again ! Sir, if you don't like my negociation, will
you be pleased to answer these your. self?
Val. See who they are. [Exit Jeremy.] By this, Scandal, you may see what it is to be great. Secre. taries of state, presidents of the council, and generals of an army, lead just such a life as I do; have just such crowds of visitants in a morning, all soliciting of past promises; which are but a civiler sort of duns, that lay claim to voluntary debts.
Scand. And you, like a truly great man, having engaged their attendance, and promised more than ever you intended to perform, are more perplexed to find evasions, than you would be to invent the honest means of keeping your word, and gratifying your creditors.
Val. Scandal, learn to spare your friends, and do not provoke your enemies. This liberty of your tongue will one day bring confinement on your body,
Enter JEREMY. Jer. O, sir, there's Trapland the scrivener, with two suspicious fellows like lawful pads, that would knock a man down with pocket tipstaves !- And there's your father's steward; and the nurse, with one of your children, from Twit'nam.
Val. Pox on her! could she find no other time to