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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 I-What do the world say of
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 a dozen duns 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 by to-morrow, and nobody be surprised at the matter!--[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 cre: ditors.
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,
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 Twitnam.
Val. Pox on her! could she find no other time to
fling my sins in my face? Here I give her this, [gives money. ] and bid her trouble me no more; a thought" less, two-handed whore! She knows my condition “ well enough, and might have overlaid the child a “ fortnight ago, if she had any forecast in her.”
Scand. What, is it bouncing Margery, with my godson?
Jer. Yes, sir.
Scand. My blessing to the boy, with this token [gives money.] of my love." And, d’ye hear, bid “ Margery put more flocks in her bed, shift twice a 56 week, and not work so hard, that she may not “ smell so vigorously. I shall take the air shortly."
Val. “ Scandal, don't spoil my boy's milk."--Bid Trapland come in. If I can give that Cerberus a sop, I shall be at rest for one day.
[Jeremy goes out, and brings in Trapland. Val. O Mr. Trapland ! my old friend! welcome.-Jeremy, a chair quickly: a bottle of sack and a toast flyma chair first.
Trapl. A good morning to you, Mr. Valentine; and to you, Mr. Scandal.
Scand. The morning's a very good morning, if you don't spoil it. Val. Come, sit you
know his way. Trapl. [sits.] There is a debt, Mr. Valentine, of fifteen hundred pounds, of pretty long standing
Val. I cannot talk about business with a thirsty palate.--Sirrah! the sack!
Trapl. And I desire to know what course you have taken for the payment.
Val. Faith and troth, I am heartily glad to see you —my service to you ! fill, fill, to honest Mr. Trapland -fuller!
Trapl. Hold! sweetheart-this is not to our business. -My service to you, Mr. Scandal !--[drinks.]—I have forborn as long
Val. T'other glass, and then we'll talk-Fill, Jeremy.
Trapl. No more, in truth--I have forborn, I say,
Val. Sirrah! fill! when I bid you.—And how does your handsome daughter ?-Come, a good husband to her.
[drinks. Trapl. Thank you—I have been out of this moneyVal. Drink first. Scandal, why do you not drink?
[They drink. Trapl. And, in short, I can be put off no longer.
Val. I was much obliged to you for your supply: it did me signal service in my necessity. But you delight in doing good. Scandal, drink to me, my friend Trapland's health. An honester man lives not, nor one more ready to serve his friend in distress; though I say it to his face. Come, fill each man his glass.
Scand. What? I know Trapland has been a whoremaster, and loves a wench still. You never knew a whore-master that was not an honest fellow.
Trapl. Fie, Mr. Scandal, you never knew l
Scand. What don't I know? -I know the buxom black widow in the Poultry-Eight hundred pounds a year jointure, and twenty thousand pounds in money. Ahah / old Trap!
Val. Say you so, i' faith? Come, we'll remember the widow: I know whereabouts you are ; come, to the widow.
Trapl. No more, indeed.
Val. What! the widow's health? Give it him-off with it: [They drink. ]-A lovely girl, i' faith, black sparkling eyes, soft pouting ruby lips! Better sealing there, than a bond for a million, ha!
Trapl. No, no, there's no such thing; we'd better mind our business-You're a wag!
Val. No, faith, we'll mind the widow's business : fill again.-Pretty round heaving breasts, a Barbary shape, and a jut with her bum, would stir an anchorite; and the prettiest foot! Oh, if a man could but fasten his eyes to her feet as they steal in and out, and play at bo-peep under her petticoats_ha! Mr. Trapland!
Trapl. Verily, give me a glass-you're a wag-and here's to the widow.
[Drinks. Scand. He begins to chuckle-ply, him close, or he'll relapse into a dun.
Enter Officer. Ofi. By your leave, gentlemen.-Mr. Trapland, if we must do our office, tell us. We have half a dozen gentlemen to arrest in Pall-mall and Covent