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The Drunkard; or, the Fallen Saved
Adapted by W.H. Smith
New York: WM. Taylor and Co.1850

SCENE III.—Interior of Miss Spindle's dwelling house. Toilette table, looking glass, essence bottles.—All denotes vulgar wealth, devoid of elegance or taste.—MISS SPINDLE discovered at toilette table, R.


Miss S.

  The attractions of the fair sex are synonymous. True, old Bonus is the destroyer of female charms; but as my beautiful poet, Natty P. says, in his sublime epistle to Lucinda Octavia Pauline, "Age cannot wither me, nor custom stale my infinite vacuity." But time is money, then money is time, and we bring back, by the aid of money, the times of youth. I value my beauty at fifty dollars a year, as that is about the sum it costs me for keeping it in repair year by year. Well, say that my beauty is repaired in this way, year by year; well, what then! I have heard a gentleman say that a pair of boots when repaired and


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foxed, were better than they were when new. Why should it not be so with our charms? Certainly, they last longer in this way. We can have red cheeks at seventy, and, thanks to the dentist, good teeth at any time of life. Woman was made for love. They suppose that my heart is unsusceptible of the tender passion. But the heart can be regulated by money, too. I buy all the affecting novels, and all the terrible romances, and read them till my heart has become soft as maiden wax, to receive the impression of that cherished image I adore. Ah! as true as I live, there goes his foster brother, William, by the window. Hem, William! [Taps at window, C.William sings without, L.

"When I was a young and roving boy,
Where fancy led me I did wander,
Sweet Caroline was all my joy,
But I missed the goose and hit the gander."

Enter WILLIAM DOWTON, L.


William.

  Good day, Miss Spindle.


Miss S.

  You heard my rap, William?


William.

  As much as ever, Miss Spindle. Such fingers as yours don't make noise like the fist of a butcher.


Miss S.

  My hand is small, William, but I did not suppose that you had noticed it.


William.

  I only noticed it by the lightness of your tap. So, I supposed you must be very light fingered.


Miss S.

  Pray, sit down, William; take a chair, don't be bashful; you're too modest.


William.

  It's a failing I've got, Miss Spindle. I'm so modest I always go to bed without a candle. [Both sit, C.


Miss S.

  (R. C.) Shall I tell you what I have thought, William?


William.

  (L. C.) Why, that's just as you agree to with yourself. I don't care much about it, one way or t'other.


Miss S.

  You were singing as you came in, William. I suppose you know I sometimes invoke the help of Polyhymnia.


William.

  Why, I don't know as to the help of Polyhym-him-nina, but if you want good help, you can't do better than hire Polly Striker, old Farmer Jone's wife's daughter, by her first husband.


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Miss S.

  You don't understand the heathen mythology, William.


William.

  Why, I hear Parson Roundtext talk sometimes of the poor benighted heathens; but I am free to say, that I can't come anything in regard to their conchology, as you call it. Will you have some shell-barks, or chestnuts, Miss Spindle?


Miss S.

  No, William. But this is what I have thought. William there are two sorts of men.


William.

  Oh yes, Miss Spindle, long ones and short ones, like cigars. Sometimes the short ones are the best smoking, too.


Miss S.

  You mistake my meaning, William. Some are warm and susceptible of the charms of women.


William.

  Warm, oh, yes. Florida boys, and Carolina niggers, eh?


Miss S.

  While others are cold and apparently insensible to our beauties—


William.

  Oh, yes. Newfoundlanders, Canada fellows, and Blue noses.


Miss S.

  Now William, dear William, this is the confession I would confide in your generous secrecy. I have a trembling affection, and then, a warm, yet modest flame.


William.

  Trembling affection, warm flame, why, the old girl's got the fever and ague.


Miss S.

  And how to combat with this dear, yet relentless foe.


William.

  Put your feet into warm water, and wood ashes, take two quarts of boiling hot arb tea. Cover yourself with four thick blankets, and six Canada comforters, take a good perspicacity, and you'll be well in the morning.


Miss S.

  Sir!


William.

  That's old Ma'am Brown's recipe for fever and ague, and I never yet found it fail.


Miss S.

  Fever and ague! You mistake me, William, I have an ardent passion.


William.

  Don't be in a passion, Miss Spindle, it's bad for your complaint.


Miss S.

  You will not understand. I have a passion for one.


William.

  For one! Well, it's lucky it's only one.


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Miss S.

  Can you not fancy who that one is? He lives in your house.


William.

  Well, I'm darned, Miss Spindle, it's either me or Mr. Middleton.


Miss S.

  I never can bestow my hand without my heart, William—


William.

  Why, I think myself they ought to be included in the same bill of sale.


Miss S.

  Ah! William, have you ever read the "Children of the Abbey"?


William.

  No, Miss Spindle, but I've read the "Babes of the Wood."


Miss S.

  I have read all the Romantics of the day. I have just finished Mr. Cooper's Trapper.


William.

  Oh! I dare say she understands trap, but she don't come the trapper over my foster brother this year.


Miss S.

  He understands little of the refinements of the civilized circular. I must try something else. How do you like my green dress? How does it become me?


William.

  Beautiful! It matches very well indeed, marm.


Miss S.

  Matches with what, William?


William.

  With your eyes, ma'rm.


Miss S.

  It becomes my complexion, William.


William.

  It's a beautiful match—like a span of grey horses.


Miss S.

  Does your master fancy green, William?


William.

  Oh, yes, ma'rm. He loves it fine, I tell you.


Miss S.

  But in what respect? How did you find out?


William.

  In respect of drinking, ma'rm.


Miss S.

  Drinking!


William.

  Yes. He always tells the cook to make green tea.


Miss S.

  Well, William, how about the cottage? When are you going to turn out those Wilsons?


William.

  The girl will be out of that place soon, depend on that, mar'm.


Miss S.

  I'm glad to hear it. I never could endure those Wilsons, and it's a duty when one knows that respectable people like your master are injured, to speak out. I know they haven't paid their rent, and do you know that girl was


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seen getting into a chaise with a young man, when she ought to have been at work, and she did not return till nine o'clock at night, William, for I took the pains to put on my hood and cloak and look for myself—though it was raining awful.


William.

  That was the time you cotched the fever, the fever and the ague, ma'rm. Well, good-bye.


Miss S.

  Are you going, William?


William.

  Yes, ma'rm. I shall be wanted to hum. You take care of your precious health, ma'rm. Keep your feet warm, and your head cool; your mouth shut and your heart open, and you'll soon have good health, good conscience, and stand well on your pins, ma'rm. Good morning, ma'rm.

"To reap, to sow, to plough and mow,
And be a farmer's boy, and be a farmer's boy

[Exit William, L.


Miss S.

  The vulgar creature! But what could I expect? He ought to know that American ladies ought never to have any pins. But I am certain for all this, Edward, dear Edward, is dying for me—as the poet, Dr. Lardner, says: "He lets concealment, like a worm in the bud, feed on the damask curtains of—his—cheek"—damask bud. I'm quite sure it's something about bud. Yes, I am convinced, my charms as yet are undecayed, and even when old age comes on, the charm of refined education, will still remain—as the immortal Chelsea Beach Poet has it:

"You may break, you may ruin the vase, if you will,
The scent of roses will cling round it still."

[Exit, affectedly, R.