Act I.

Scene.—A Town in England.

Scene I.—Lieutenant O’Connor’s Lodgings.

Enter Serjeant Trounce, Corporal Flint, and four Soldiers.

1 Sol. I say you are wrong; we should all speak together, each for himself, and all at once, that we may be heard the better.

2 Sol. Right, Jack, we’ll argue in platoons.

3 Sol. Ay, ay, let him have our grievances in a volley, and if we be to have a spokesman, there’s the corporal is the lieutenant’s countryman, and knows his humour.

Flint. Let me alone for that. I served three years, within a bit, under his honour, in the Royal Inniskillions, and I never will see a sweeter tempered gentleman, nor one more free with his purse. I put a great shammock in his hat this morning, and I’ll be bound for him he’ll wear it, was it as big as Steven’s Green.

4 Sol. I say again then you talk like youngsters, like militia striplings: there’s a discipline, look’ee in all things, whereof the serjeant must be our guide; he’s a gentleman of words; he understands your foreign lingo, your figures, and such like auxiliaries in scoring. Confess now for a reckoning, whether in chalk or writing, ben’t he your only man?

Flint. Why the serjeant is a scholar to be sure, and has the gift of reading.

Trounce. Good soldiers, and fellow-gentlemen, if you make me your spokesman, you will show the more judgment; and let me alone for the argument. I’ll be as loud as a drum, and point blank from the purpose.

All. Agreed, agreed.

Flint. Oh, fait! here comes the lieutenant.—Now, Serjeant.

Trounce. So then, to order.—Put on your mutiny looks; every man grumble a little to himself, and some of you hum the Deserter’s March.

Enter Lieutenant O’Connor.

O’Con. Well, honest lads, what is it you have to complain of?

Sol. Ahem! hem!

Trounce. So please your honour, the very grievance of the matter is this:—ever since your honour differed with Justice Credulous, our inn-keepers use us most scurvily. By my halbert, their treatment is such, that if your spirit was willing to put up with it, flesh and blood could by no means agree; so we humbly petition that your honour would make an end of the matter as once, by running away with the justice’s daughter, or else get us fresh quarters,—hem! hem!

O’Con. Indeed! Pray which of the houses use you ill?

1 Sol. There’s the Red Lion an’t half the civility of the old Red Lion.

2 Sol. There’s the White Horse, if he wasn’t case-hardened, ought to be ashamed to show his face.

O’Con. Very well; the Horse and the Lion shall answer for it at the quarter sessions.

Trounce. The two Magpies are civil enough; but the Angel uses us like devils, and the Rising Sun refuses us light to go to bed by.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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