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Well. Nothing wants, then, (To the Audience. But your allowance-and, in that, our all Is comprehended; it being known, nor we, Nor he that wrote the comedy, can be free Without your manumission; which, if you Grant willingly, as a fair favour due

The poet's and our labours, as you may,
(For we despair not, gentlemen, of the play).
We jointly shall profess your grace hath might
To teach us action, and him how to write.

(Exeunt omnes.

THE

COMMITTEE.

BY

SIR R. HOWARD.

PROLOGUE.

To cheat the most judicious eyes, there be Those are words too a poet dares not say;
Ways in all trades, but this of poetry ;

Let it be good or bad, you're sure to pay. Your tradesman shews his ware by some false - Would 'twere a penn'worth ;- -but in this light,

you are To hide the faults and slightness from your sight; Abler to judge than he that made the ware; Nay, though 'tis full of bracks, he'll boldly swear However, his design was well enough ; 'Tis excellent, and so help off his ware; He try'd to shew some newer-fashion'd stuff: He'll rule your judgment by his confidence,

Not that the name Committee can be new; Which in a poet you'd call impudence;

That has been too well known to most of you: Nay, if the world afford the like again,

But you may smile, for you have past your doom ; He swears he'll give it you for nothing then. The poet dares not,-his is still to come.

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ACT I.

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sent in disorder, and so I was fain to shift in SCENE I.

this ;—but I warrant you, if his honour, Mr Day,

chairman of the honourable committee of sequesEnter Mrs Day, brushing her hoods and scarfs,

trations, should know that his wife rode in a Mrs ARBELLA, Mrs RUTH, Colonel BLUNT,

stage-coach, he would make the house too hot for and a Stage-couchman.

some. -Why, how is't with you, sir ? What, Mrs Day. Now, out upon't, how dusty 'tis ! weary of your journey? [To the Colonel. All things consider’d, 'tis better travelling in the Blunt. Her tongue will never tire. [Aside.) winter, especially for us of the better sort, that So many, mistress, riding in the coach, has a litride in coaches. And yet, to say truth, warm tle distemper'd me with heat. weather is both pleasant and comfortable: 'tis a Mrs Day. So many, sir! why there were but thousand pities that fair weather should do any six-What would you say if I should tell you hurt.-Well said, honest coachman, thou hast that I was one of eleven that travell’d at one done thy part! My son Abel paid for my place time in one coach? at Reading; did he not?

Blunt. O, the devil! I have given her a new Coach. Yes, an't please you.

theme.

[Aside. Mrs Day. Well, there's something extraordi- Mrs Day. Why, I'll tell you—Can you guess nary, to make thee drink.

how 'twas? Couch. By my whip, 'tis a groat of more than Blunt. Not I, truly. But 'tis no matter, I do ordinary thinness. — Plague on this new gentry; believe it. how liberal they are. (Aside.] Farewell, young Mrs Day. Look you, thus it was: there was, mistress; farewell, gentlemen. Pray, when you in the first place, myself, and my husband I should come by Reading, let Toby carry you. [Exit. have said first, but his honour would have par

Mrs Day. Why, how now, Mrs Arbella! What, don'd me if he had heard me; Mr Busie that I sad! Why, what's the matter?

told you of, and his wife; the mayor of Reading Arb. I am not very sad.

and his wife; and this Ruth that you see there, Mrs Day. Nay, by my honour, you need not, in one of our laps—but now, where do you think if you knew as much as I. Well I'll tell you the rest were? one thing; you are well enough; you need not Blunt. A top o' th' coach, sure. fear, whoever does; say I told you so—

-if
you

do Mrs Day. Nay, 1 durst swear you would never not hurt yourself; for as cunning as he is, and guess-why-would you think it; I had two let him be as cunning as he will, I can see, with growing in my belly, Mrs Busie one in hers, and half an eye, that my son Abel means to take care Mrs Mayoress of Reading a chopping boy, as it of you in your composition, and will needs have proved afterwards, in hers, as like the father as if you his guest. Ruth and you shall be bed- it had been spit out of his mouth; and if he had follows. I warrant, that same Abel many and come out of bis mouth, he had come out of as many a time will wish his sister's place; or else honest a man's mouth as any in forty miles of his father ne'er got him- -Though I say it, that the head of him: for, would you think it? at the should not say it, yet I do say it- -'tis a nota- very same time, when this same Ruth was sick, ble fellow

it being the first time the girl was ever coach'd, Arb. I am fallen into strange hands, if they the good man, Mr Mayor, I mean, that I spoke prove as busy as her tongue.

0 [Aside. of, held his hat for the girl to ease her stomach Mrs Day. And now you talk of this same in. Abel, I tell you but one thing :- - I wonder that neither he nor my husband's honour's chief

Enter ABEL and OBADIAH. clerk, Obadiah, is not here ready to attend me. -0, are you come ? Long look'd for comes at I dare warrant my son Abel has been here two last. What you have a slow, set pace, as well hours before us; 'tis the veriest Princox; he as your hasty scribble, sometimes. Did you not will ever be gallopping, and yet he is not full one- think it fit that I should have found attendance and-twenty, for all his appearances. He never ready for me when I alighted ? stole this trick of gallopping ; his father was just Ob. I ask your honour's pardon; for I do prosuch another before him, and would gallop with fess unto your ladyship, I had attended sooner, the best of 'em: he and Mrs Busie's husband but that his young honour, Mr Abel, demurr'd were counted the best horsemen in Reading- me by his delays. ay, and Berkshire to boot. I have rode formerly Mrs Day. Well, son Abel, you must be obey'd; behind vir Busic, but in truth I cannot now en- and I partly, if not quite, guess your business; dure to travel but in a coach ; my own is at pre- providing for the entertainment of one I have

sea.

a storm.

in my eye. Read her and take her.-Ah, is't Care. Thou speak’st as if thou had'st been at not so?

Abel, I have not been deficient in my care, Blunt. It's pretty well guess’d; I have been in forsooth.

Mrs Day. Will you never leave your forsooths? Care. What business brought thee? Art thou not ashamed to let the clerk carry him- Blunt. May be the same with yours; I am self better, and shew more breeding, than his come to compound with their honours. master's son ?

Care. That's my business too. Why, the Abel. If it please your honour, I have some committee sits suddenly. business for your more private ear.

Blunt. Yes, I know it; I heard so in the Mrs Day. Very well.

storm I told thee of. Ruth. What a lamentable condition has that, Care. What storm, man? gentleman been in! faith I pity him.

Blunt. Why, a tempest, as high as ever blew Arb. Are you so apt to pity men ?

from woman's breath. I have rode in a stageRuth. Yes, men that are humoursome, as I coach, wedged in with half a dozen ; one of them would children that are froward; I would not was a committee-man's wife; his name is Day; make them cry on purpose.

and she accordingly will be call'd your honour, Arb. Well, I like his humour; I dare swear and your ladyship; with a tongue that wags as he's plain and honest.

much faster than all other women's, as, in the Ruth. Plain enough, of all conscience; faith, several motions of a watch, the hand of the I'll speak to him.

minute moves faster than that of the hour. Arb. Nay, pr’ythee don't: he'll think thee There was her daughter, too; but a bastard, rude.

without question: for she had no resemblance to Ruth. Why then I'll think him an ass.—How the rest of the notch'd rascals, and very pretty, is't after your journey, sir ?

and had wit enough to jeer a man in prosperity Blunt. Why, I am worse after it.

to death. -There was another gentlewoman, Ruth. Do you love riding in a coach, sir ? and she was handsome; nay, very handsome;

Blunt. No, forsooth, nor talking after riding but I kept her from being as bad as the rest. in a coach.

Care. Prythee, how, man? Ruth. I should be loath to interrupt your me- Blunt. Why, she began with two or three ditations, sir : we may have the fruits hereafter. good words, and I desired her she would be quiet

Blunt. If you have, they shall break loose while she was well. spite of my teeth.—This spawn is as bad as the Care. Thou wert not so mad. great pike.

(Aside. Blunt. I had been mad if I had not-But Arb. Prythee peace ! Sir, we wish you all when we came to our journey's end, there met happiness.

us two such formal and stately rascals, that yet Blunt. And quiet, good sweet ladies—I like pretended religion and open rebellion ever painther well enough. -Now would not I have hered: they were the hopes and guide of the hosay any more, for fear she should jeer too, and nourable family, viz. the eldest son, and the spoil my good opinion. If 'twere possible, I chiefest clerk, rogues—and hereby hangs a tale. would think well of one woman.

- This gentlewoman, I told thee, I kept civil, by Mrs Day. Come, Mrs Arbella, 'tis as I told desiring her to say nothing, is a rich heiress of one you ; Abel has done it; say no more. Take her that died in the king's service, and left his estate by the hand, Abel; I profess, she may venture under sequestration. This young chicken las to take thee for better for worse. Come, mis- this kite snatch'd up, and designs her for this her tress, the honourable committee will sit sudden- eldest rascal. ly. Come, let's along. Farewell, sir.

Cure. What a dull fellow wert thou, not to (Exeunt all but BLUNT. make love, and rescue her! Blunt. How! the committee ready to sit ! Blunt. I'll woo no woman. Plague on their honours; for so my honour'd Care. Wouldst thou have them court thee? A lady, that was one of the eleven, was pleas'd to soldier, and not love a siege ! --How now, who call 'em. I had like to have come a day after art thou ? the fair. 'Tis pretty, that such as I have been

Enter TEAGUE. must compound for their having been rascals. Well, I must go look a lodging, and a solicitor : Teague. A poor Irishman, Heav'n save mę, I'll find the arrantest rogue I can, too : for, ac

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and save all your three faces ; give me a thirteen. cording to the old saying, set a thief to catch a Care. I see thou wouldst not lose any thing thief.

for want of asking.

Teague. I cann't afford it. Enter Colonel CARELESS and Lieutenant.

Care. Here, I am pretty near ; there's sixpence Care. Dear Blunt, well met; when came you, for thy confidence. man?

Teague. By my troth it is too little; give me Blunt. Dear Careless, I did not think to have another sixpence half-penny, and I'll drink your met thee so suddenly. Lieutenant, your servant.

healths. I am landed just now, man.

Care. How long hast thou been in England ?

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Teague. Ever since I came here, and longer | last night myself; and the lieutenant and I were too, faith.

just going to seek a solicitor. Care. What hast thou done since thou cam'st Blunt. One may serve us all; what say you, into England?

lieutenant; can you furnish us? Teague. Sery'd Heaven, and St Patrick, and Lieu. Yes, I think I can help you to plough my good sweet king, and my good sweet mas

with a heifer of their own. ter; yes, indeed.

Care. Now I think on't, Blunt, why didst thou Care. And what dost thou do now?

not begin with the committee-man's cow ? Teague. Cry for them every day, upon my soul. Blunt. Plague on her, she lowbell’d me so, Care. Why, where's thy master?

that I thought of nothing, but stood shrinking like Teague. He's dead, mastero, and left poor a dar'd lark. Teague. Upon my soul, he never served poor Lieu. But, hark you, gentlemen, there's an illTeague so before in all his life.

tasting dose to be swallow'd first; there's a cove

а Care. Who was thy master?

nant to be taken. Teague. E'en the good colonel Danger, Teague. Well, what is that covenant ? By my Care. He was my dear and noble friend. soul I will take it for my new master.

Teague. Yes, that he was, and poor Teague's Care. Thank thee, Teague.--A covenant, too.

say'st thou ? Care. What dost thou mean to do?

Teugue. Well, where is that covenant ? Teague. I will get a good master, if any good Care. We'll not swear, lieutenant. master will get me: I cannot tell what to do else, Lieu. You must have no land, then. by my soul; for I went to one Lilly's; he lives Blunt. Then, farewell acres, and may the dirt at that house, at the end of another house, bychoak 'em. the May-pole house, and tells every body, by one Care. "Tis but being reduced to Teague's equistar, and t’other star, what good look they shall page: 'twas a lucky thing to have a fellow that have; but he could not tell nothing for poor can teach one this cheap diet of snuff. Teague.

Teague. Oh, you shall have your bellyful of it. Care. Why, man?

Lieu. Come, gentlemen, we must lose no more Teague. Why, 'tis done by the stars and the time: I'll carry you to my poor house, where planters; and he told me there were no stars for you shall lodge: for, know, I am married to a Irishmen. I told him there was as many stars most illustrious person, that had a kindness for in Ireland as in England, and more too; and if a me. good master cannot get me, I will run into Ire- Care. Pr’ythee, how didst thou light upon this land, and see if the stars be not there still ; and good fortune? if they be, I will come back, and beat his pate, if Lieu. Why, you see there are stars in Enghe will not then tell me some good look, and some land, though rione in Ireland. Come, gentlestars.

men, time calls us ; you shall have my story hereCare. Poor fellow! I pity him : I fancy's he's after. simply honest.—Hast thou any trade?

(Exeunt BLUNT and Lieutenant. Teague. Bo, bub bub bo ! a trade, a trade ! an Care. Come, Teague: however, I have suit Irishman with a trade! an Irishman scorns a of clothes for thee; thou shalt lay by thy blanket trade; his blood is too thick for a trade. I will for some time. It may be, thee and I may be run for thee forty miles; but I scorn to have a reduced together to thy country fashion. trade.

Teague. Upon my soul, joy, I will carry thec Blunt. Alas, poor simple fellow!

to my little estate in Ireland. Care. I pity him ; nor can I endure to see any Care. Hast thou got an estate? man miserable that can weep for my prince and Teague. By my soul, and I have: but the land friend. Well, Teague, what sayest thou if I will is of such a nature, that if you had it for nothing, take thee?

you would scarce make your money of it. Teague. Why, I say you could not do a better Care. Why, there's the worst on't; the best thing.

will help itself..

(Exeunt. Care. Thy master was my dear friend; wert thou with him when he was kill'd?

Enter Mr DAY and Mrs Day. Teugue. Yes, upon my soul, that I was ; and I Mr Day. Welcome, sweet duck; I profess did howl over him, and I ask'd him why he died, thou hast brought home good company, indeed; but the devil burn the word he said to me; and money and money's worth: if we can but now i'faith I staid kissing his sweet face, 'till the rogues make sure of this heiress, Mrs Arbella, for our came upon me, and took all away from me, and

son Abel. left me nothing but this mantle : I have never Mrs Day. If we can! you are ever at your any victuals, neither, but a little snuff,

ifs ; you're afraid of your shadow; I can tell you Care. Come, thou shalt live with me; love me one if more, that is, if I did not bear you up, as thou didst thy master.

your heart would be down in your breeches at Teague. That I will, if you will be good to every turn. Well, if I were gone-there's anpoor Teague.

other if for you. Care. Now, to our business ; for I came but Mr Day. I profess thou sayest true; I should

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