Look round, and answer what thy life can be
To tell upon the balance of such scales.
I too would live — I have a love for life-
But rather than to live to charge my soul
With one hour's lengthening out of woes like these,
I'd leap this parapet with as free a bound
As e'er was school-boy's o'er a garden wall.

Bosch. I'd like to see thee do it.

Art. I know thou wouldst.
But for the present be content to see
My less precipitate descent; for, lo !
There comes the herald o'er the hill !

(Erit, R.
Bosch. Beshrew thee!
Thou shalt not have the start of me in this.
(Calls.) Van Artevelde!
What ho! Beware! Beware, I say! (Follows hastily.)



YUSTIAN and DAGGERWOOD discovered ; FUSTIAN sitting in one chair, DAG

GERWOOD asleep in another. The clock strikes eleven. Fustian. Eight, nine, ten, eleven? Zounds ! eleven o'clock, and here I have been waiting ever since nine for an interview with the manager. (A servant crosses.) Hark ye, young man, is your master visible yet ?

Servant. Sir ?
Fus. I say, can I see your master ?
Serv. He has two gentlemen with him at present, sir,

Fus. Ay, the old answer! Who is this asleep here in the chair?

Sero. O, that, sir, is a gentleman who wants to come out.

Fus. Come out! then wake him, and open the door. Upon my word, the greatest difficulty in this house is to get in.

Serv. Ha, ha! I mean he wants to appear on the stage, sir : 't is Mr. Sylvester Daggerwood, of the Dunstable company.

Fus. O ho! a country candidate for a London truncheonsucking Prince of Denmark. He snores like a tinker : fatigued with his journey, I suppose.

Sero. No, sir. He has taken a nap in this room for these five mornings, but has not been able to obtain an audience here yet.

Fus. No, nor at Dunstable, neither, I take it.

you 'll let



: Sero. I am so loth to disturb him, poor gentleman, that I never wake him till a full half-hour after my master is gone out.

Fus. Upon my honor, that's very obliging! I must keep watch here, I find, like a lynx. Well, friend your master know Mr. Fustian is here, when the two gentlemen have left him at leisure. Sero. The moment they make their exit.

(Erit.) Fus. Make their exit! This fellow must have lived here some time, by his language, and I'll warrant him lies by rote, like a parrot. (Sits down and pulls out a manuscript.) If I could nail this manager for a minute, I'd read him such a tragedy!

Daggerwood. (Dreaming.) Nay, and thou 'lt mouth - I'll rant as well as thou.

Fus. Eh ! he's talking in his sleep! Acting Hamlet before twelve tallow candles in the country.

Dag. “ To be, or not to be" ... Fus. Yes, he's at it : let me see. (Turning over the leaves of his play.) I think there is no doubt of its running.

Dag. (Dreaming.) “That's the question ". ..“who would fardels bear" ..

Fus. Zounds! There's no bearing you ! - His grace's patronage will fill half the boxes, and I'll warrant we 'll stuff the critics in the pit. Dag. (Dreaming.) “To groan and sweat,

When he himself might his quietus make.” Fus. Quietus! I wish, with all my heart, I could make yours. – The Countess of Crambo insists on the best places for the first night of performance : she'll sit in the stage-box.

Dag. (Still dreaming.) “With a bare bodkin!”

Fus. O, the deuce, there's no enduring this! Sir, sir, do you intend to sleep any more ?

Dag. (Waking.) Eh! what? when ? Methought I heard a voice say, “Sleep no more !”

Fus. Faith, sir, you have heard something very like it; that voice was mine. (They rise.)

Dag. Sir, I am your servant to command, Sylvester Daggerwood, whose benefit is fixed for the eleventh of June, by particular desire of several persons of distinction. You'd make an excellent Macbeth, sir.

Fus. Sir!

Dag. Macbeth doth murder sleep, the innocent sleep, balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course nay, and sometimes

bad company

her first course, too — when a dinner is unavoidably deferred, by your humble servant, Sylvester Daggerwood.

Fus. I am very sorry, sir, you should ever have occasion to postpone so pleasant a performance.

Dag. Eating, sir, is a most popular entertainment, for man and horse, as I may say; but I am apt to appear nice, sir ; and, somehow or other, I never could manage to sit down to dinner in

Fus. Has your company been bad, then, of late, sir ?

Dag. Very bad, indeed, sir — the Dunstable company, where I have eight shillings a week, four bits of candle, one wife, three shirts, and nine children.

Fus. A very numerous family.

Dag. A crowded house, to be sure, sir, but not very profitable, Mrs. Daggerwood, a fine figure, but, unfortunately, stutters, so of no use in the theatrical line; children too young to make a debut, except my eldest, Master Apollo Daggerwood, a youth only eight years old, who has twice made his appearance in Tom Thumb, to an overflowing and brilliant barn — house, I mean with unbounded applause.

Fus. Have you been long on the stage, Mr. Daggerwood ?

Dag. Fifteen years since I first smelt the lamp, sir; my father was an eminent button-maker, at Birmingham, and meant me to marry Miss Molly Mop, daughter to the rich director of coal works at Wolverhampton ; but I had a soul above buttons, and abhorred the idea of a mercenary marriage. I panted for a liberal profession, so ran away from my father, and engaged with a traveling company of comedians. In my travels † had soon the happiness of forming a romantic attachment with the present Mrs. Daggerwood, wife to Sylvester Daggerwood, your humble servant to command, whose benefit is fixed for the eleventh of June, by desire of several persons of distinction; so you see, sir, I have a taste.

Fus. Have you ? Then sit down and I'll read you my tragedy. I’m determined some one shall hear it before I go out of this house. (Sits down.)

Dag. A tragedy! Sir I'll be ready for you in a moment ; let me prepare for woe. (Takes out a very ragged pocket-handkerchief.) - This handkerchief did an Egyptian to my mother give.”

Fus. Faith, I should think so; and, to all appearance, one of the Norwood party.

Dag. Now, sir, for your title, and then for the dram'atis perso'næ. (Sits.)

Fus. The title, I think, will strike; the fashion of plays, you



know, is to do away with old prejudices, and to rescue certain characters from the illiberal odium with which custom has marked them. Thus we have a generous Israelite, an amiable cynic, and so on. Now, sir, I call my play “ The Humane Footpad.”

Dag. What?

Fus. There's a title for you! Is n't it happy? Eh ! how do you like my "Footpad "?

Dag. Humph! I think he'll strike -- but, then, he ought to be properly executed.

Fus. O, sir, let me alone for that. An exception to a general rule is the grand secret of dramatic composition. Mine is a freebooter of benevolence, and plunders with sentiment.

Dag. There may be something in that, and, for my part, I was always with Shakspeare — " Who steals my purse, steals trash.” I never had any weighty reasons for thinking otherwise. Now, sir, as we say, please to “ leave off your horrible faces, and begin.”

Fus. My horrible faces !
Dag. Come, we'll to 't like French falconers.
Fus. (Reading.) Scene first. . . . A dark wood, night.
Dag. A very awful beginning.
Fus. (Reading.) The moon behind a cloud.
Dag. That's new.

An audience never saw a moon behind a cloud before — but it will be very hard to paint.

Fus. Don't interrupt; where was I?— 0! behind a cloud.
Dag. “The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces —”
Fus. Hey, the deuce! What are you at ?

Dag. Beg pardon ; but that speech never comes into my head but it runs away with me. Proceed.

Fus. Enter. (Reading.)
Dag. “The solemn temples."
Fus. Nay, then, I've done.
Dag. So have I. I’m dumb.
Fus. Enter Egbert, musing. (Reading.)
Dag. 0. P.7*
Fus. Pshaw! what does that signify?
Dag. Not much. “the great globe itself.”
Fus. (Reading.) Egbert, musing. Clouded in night I come-

Dag. (Starting up.) “The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples," &c. &c. &c.

Fus. (Gets up.) He's mad! a bedlamite ! raves like a Lear, and foams out a folio of Shakspeare without drawing breath! I'm almost afraid to stop in the room with him.

• Stage initials for Opposite Prompter.

Enter SERVANT. 0! I'm glad you 're come, friend! Now I shall be delivered ; your master would be glad to see me, I warrant.

Servant. My master is just gone out, sir.
Fus. Gone out!

Dag. “O, day and night, but this is wondrous strange." * Fus. What! without seeing me, who have been waiting for him these three hours ?

Dag. Three hours ! - pooh! I've slept here these five momings, in this old arm-chair.

Fus. Pretty treatment ! Pretty treatment, truly! to be kept here half the morning, kicking my heels in a manager's anteroom, shut up with a mad Dunstable actor.

Dag. Mad! Zounds, sir ! I'd have you to know that “when the wind is northerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.”

Fus. Tell your master, friend, tell your master, - but no matter; he don't catch me here again, that's all. I'll go home, turn my play into a pageant, put a triumphal procession at the end on 't, and bring it out at one of the winter theaters. (Exit.)

Dag. Young man, you know me. I shall come to my old chair again to-morrow, — but must go to Dunstable the day after, for a week, to finish my engagement. Wish for an interview inclination to tread the London boards, and so on. You remember my name - Mr. Sylvester Daggerwood, whose benefit is fixed for the eleventh of June, by particular desire of several persons of distinction.

Serv. I shall be sure to tell him, sir.

Dag. “I find thee apt ;
And duller wouldst thou be than the fat weed
That rots itself at ease on Le'the's wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this.” Open the street door.
Go on! I'll follow thee.



Enter DOUBLEDOT and SIMON, L. Doubledot. Plagne take Mr. Paul Pry! He is one of those idle, meddling fellows, who, having no employment themselves, are perpetually interfering in other people's affairs.

Simon. Ay, and he's inquisitive into all matters, great and small.

Doub. Inquisitive! Why, he makes no scruple of questioning you respecting your most private concerns. Then he will weary you to death with a long story about a cramp in his leg, or the

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