Scene I.—The Theatre, before the curtain.

Enter Puff, Sneer, and Dangle.

Puff. Well, we are ready; now then for the justices.

[Curtain rises.

“Justices, Constables, &c., discovered.”

Sneer. This, I suppose, is a sort of senate scene.

Puff. To be sure; there has not been one yet.

Dang. It is the under-plot, isn’t it?

Puff. Yes.—What, gentlemen, do you mean to go at once to the discovery scene?

Just. If you please, sir.

Puff. Oh, very well!—Hark’ee, I don’t choose to say anything more; but, i’faith they have mangled my play in a most shocking manner.

Dang. It’s a great pity!

Puff. Now, then, Mr. Justice, if you please.

Just.Are all the volunteers without?
Const.They are.
Some ten in fetters, and some twenty drunk.
Just,Attends the youth, whose most opprobrious fame
And clear convicted crimes have stamp’d him soldier?
Const.He waits your pleasure; eager to repay
The best reprieve that sends him to the fields
Of glory, there to raise his branded hand
In honour’s cause.
Just.’Tis well—’tis justice arms him!
Oh! may he now defend his country’s laws
With half the spirit he has broke them all!
If ’tis your worship’s pleasure, bid him enter.
Const.I fly, the herald of your will.


Puff. Quick, sir.

Sneer. But, Mr. Puff, I think not only the Justice, but the clown seems to talk in as high a style as the first hero among them.

Puff. Heaven forbid they should not in a free country!—Sir, I am not for making slavish distinctions, and giving all the fine language to the upper sort of people.

Dang. That’s very noble in you, indeed.

Enter Justice’s Lady.”

Puff. Now, pray mark this scene.

LadyForgive this interruption, good my love;
But as I just now pass’d a prisoner youth,
Whom rude hands hither lead, strange bodings seized
My fluttering heart, and to myself I said,
An’ if our Tom had lived, he’d surely been
This stripling’s height!
Just.Ha! sure some powerful sympathy directs
Us both—

Re-enter Constable with Son.

What is thy name?
SonMy name is Tom Jenkins—alias have I none—
Though orphan’d, and without a friend!
Just.              Thy parents?
SonMy father dwelt in Rochester—and was,
As I have heard—a fishmonger—no.”

Puff. What, sir, do you leave out the account of your birth, parentage, and education?

  By PanEris using Melati.

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