LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

My Friends and Acquaintance
R & T Sheridan VIII
Thomas Sheridan jun., excerpts from The Stolling Company: A Farce (1802)

Vol I Contents
Charles Lamb I
Charles Lamb II
Charles Lamb III
Charles Lamb IV
Charles Lamb V
Charles Lamb VI
Charles Lamb VII
Charles Lamb VIII
Charles Lamb IX
Charles Lamb X
Thomas Campbell I
Thomas Campbell II
Thomas Campbell III
Thomas Campbell IV
Thomas Campbell V
Thomas Campbell VI
Thomas Campbell VII
Lady Blessington I
Lady Blessington II
Lady Blessington III
Lady Blessington IV
Lady Blessington V
R. Plumer Ward I
R. Plumer Ward II
R. Plumer Ward III
R. Plumer Ward IV
R. Plumer Ward V
R. Plumer Ward VI
Appendix vol I
Vol II Contents
R. Plumer Ward VII
R. Plumer Ward VIII
R. Plumer Ward IX
R. Plumer Ward X
R. Plumer Ward XI
R. Plumer Ward XII
R. Plumer Ward XIII
R. Plumer Ward XIV
R. Plumer Ward XV
R. Plumer Ward XVI
R. Plumer Ward XVII
R. Plumer Ward XVIII
R. Plumer Ward XIX
R. Plumer Ward XX
R. Plumer Ward XXI
R. Plumer Ward XXII
R. Plumer Ward XXIII
Horace & James Smith I
Horace & James Smith II
William Hazlitt I
William Hazlitt II
William Hazlitt III
William Hazlitt IV
William Hazlitt V
William Hazlitt VI
William Hazlitt VII
William Hazlitt VIII
Appendix vol II
Vol III Contents
William Hazlitt IX
William Hazlitt X
William Hazlitt XI
William Hazlitt XII
William Hazlitt XIII
William Hazlitt XIV
William Hazlitt XV
William Hazlitt XVI
William Hazlitt XVII
William Hazlitt XVIII
William Hazlitt XIX
William Hazlitt XX
William Hazlitt XXI
William Hazlitt XXII
William Hazlitt XXIII
William Hazlitt XXIV
William Hazlitt XXV
William Hazlitt XXVI
Laman Blanchard I
Laman Blanchard II
Laman Blanchard III
Laman Blanchard IV
Laman Blanchard V
Laman Blanchard VI
Laman Blanchard VII
Laman Blanchard VIII
R & T Sheridan I
R & T Sheridan II
R & T Sheridan III
R & T Sheridan IV
R & T Sheridan V
R & T Sheridan VI
R & T Sheridan VII
R & T Sheridan VIII
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“ACT I.—Scene I.
The high road. Town seen at a small distance. Seat by the road-side. Time, early morning.
Enter Speilenbad, with his fiddle, o.p.

Speil.—Bless my soul—bless my soul; I was so warm as de toast. I have walk so fast; de sun is in my face; de wind is in my back; de pain is in my side; de breath is out of my body; and de dirt what I have swallow enough to make my grave. But I was not care. I am before dat cart, what come after with all the gompany. Dey wash not let me ride because I am de fiddler; dey are so proud! Jacko, my boy! (calls.) But I will play no more for them. I shall begin on my own bottom (sits down). Jacko! (calls.) Where is dat small rascal? I will practise my concerto, what I make so hard for myself. I shall play de—(loud crash heard). Tunder and lightning! what is that noise what I hear?


Jack (calls behind the scenes, then enters, o.p.)—Oh Lord! master! master!

Speil.—What ish de matter?

Jack.—The matter? Why, as I hope to be saved, the caravan’s upset, with all the company!

Speil.—Blesh my soul! Is dere any one what wash hurt?


Speil.—It ish very goot, then. Pride wash have de fall. I was not thought worthy to tumble out of the cart.

Jack.—No; Mr. Tag told you they were a “select company,” and you couldn’t be accommodated.

Speil.—I have nothing to do with the Tag, or the Rag, or the Bobtail, what is in the cart. I have nothing to do with the *silly-gompany what is in the ditch. I have done with them. Give me my rosin. I shall practise my concerto what I make so hard for myself, before I go into the town.

Jack.—Your rosin is packed up with your other shirt in the caravan.

Speil.—For why is my property left in de

* The way in which a German would pronounce “select” (orig.)

cart? I will not be oblige to them for no thing. I will carry all my properties on my own backs, rather dan dey shall help me.

Jack (half aside).—Why, so you do pretty near, I believe.

Speil.—What ish dat you say? Don’t-a make your laugh at me, sirrah. For why have I make you my pupil—my scholar—out of de son of a taylure, heh?

Jack.—Why, to stitch and darn, and clean your shoes; for that’s all the instructions you ever give me.

Speil.—Heh! what you say? For what have I taken you wid myself into de orchestra, heh?

Jack.—Why, to dust the books and snuff the candles; for that’s all I do there.

Speil.—Hold your tongue. Snuff de candles very good for you; you must learn de music by degrees. Oh! here comes Mr. Carlton, de manager, and his wife. I shall speak my mind into his face.

Enter Carlton and Wife, O.P.

Carl.—Why, how now, Speilenbad? Why do neither you nor your lad assist us in this accident?


Speil.—For what shall I assist de cart, when de last wash not assist me? I shall ask you one question. Am I not de master of my instrument?

Carl.—I believe no one will dispute your title to it.

Speil.—Very well, den, for what shall I not ride in de cart? Have I not compose de concerto what is so hard for myself?

Carl.—In a style quite of your own, I think.

Speil.—Very well, den, for what shall I not ride in de cart? Was I not play de song, de aggompaniment, de overture, de hornpipe,—was I not play every one what was out of all de tune?

Carl.—Invariably, I believe.

Speil.—Very well, den, for what shall I not ride in de cart?

Carl.—I can assure you, I thought it was your own choice.

Speil.—I was choose no such a thing. Mr. Tag was tell me you are a silly-gompany. Now the silly-gompany is in de ditch, de silly-gompany may get out. I have noting to do wid dem.


Carl.—Well, well, depend upon it, in future, you shall always have a place reserved.

Speil.—And so shall my scholar. Dere is no one in de orchestra but what deserve to ride in de cart.

Mrs. Carl.—Come, come, Speilenbad; this must have been some trick of that coxcomb Tag’s. He calls himself a “gentleman,” you know, and therefore thinks he is privileged to be impertinent. In the meantime, there is your little favourite, Bella, with no one to assist or protect her.

Speil.—Well, I shall go for her. I love dat Bella very much. She is so very pretty—she never sing out of tune—she always listen to my concerto what I play. Come along, Jacko, I shall go to take care for her.

[Exit o.p.

Carl.—Well, Kate, what think you of this attempt upon your uncle’s heart? Shall we be successful?

Mrs. Carl.—If he will but permit us to perform, I own I shall feel sanguine. He always loved me, and I think could I take him by surprise he would receive me; but he is the acting magistrate in this town, you
know, and should he set his face against us, I see no chance of our scheme being put in practice.

Carl.—Why should you think it probable he would refuse us?

Mrs. Carl.—First, because I know he thinks there can be nothing tolerable since the days of Garrick; secondly, my having eloped with a strolling player, as he supposes, though he does not know you personally, will not render him the more favourable to your profession; and, lastly, that rascal lawyer, Endless, passed us on the road, and I am much mistaken if his intent is not to do us some mischief here.

Carl.—Surely he will not dare to be such a villain, when he knows I am acquainted with his designs on you.

Mrs. Carl.—Never trust him. I have exposed and laughed at him; and depend upon it there is nothing so revengeful as disappointed vanity.

Carl.—I wish he was condemned to copy all his own rascally proceedings in shorthand, if it were only to keep him out of mischief for a year or two. By the bye—
let me see!—the letter he sent to you—his name is to it, is it not?

Mrs. Carl.—Yes; and a curious composition it is (gives letter).

Carl.—A thought has struck me, and this letter may be of service. This delay was unlucky, or I might have been beforehand with him with your uncle. These attorneys are always so cursed active when they’re not employed. Oh, here comes some of our friends. What a figure Tag is!

Enter Speilenbad and Tag.

Speil.—Dere!—dere is one of the silly-gompany for you! Dere is de gentleman what I was not fit to ride wid. The ladies are coming.

Carl.—Well, Tag, we’ve had a pretty complete overture, I think.

Tag.—“Oh, what a falling off was there!” Clean into the ditch, sure enough!

Speil.—Yes; dere dey was lay, one up upon de other one, like so many pork in a straw-yard. It was a very silly tumble.”

The remainder of this droll and pleasant
scene cannot be given, nearly all its parts being in two or three different versions.

Scene II.—The House of Mr. Talbot, the County Magistrate.
Enter Endless and Jacob.

Endless.—Tell your master Lawyer Endless wishes to speak a word with him. [Exit Jacob.] I wonder how I shall be received. I don’t think I have made my appearance in this house since that damned affair with Grist the miller’s wife.* Well! better luck another time! Nemo omnibus horis sapit—nobody’s safe in all their amours. I remember thinking, when I was obliged to make my dear Mrs. Endless an honest woman, that I should grow a little more staid. But I don’t know how it is; ever since I’ve seen this Mrs. Carlton, I’ve felt as brisk as a clerk at quarter sessions. Oh, quam dulce est amare! My Dorothea could no more compare with her, than an action at

* This, I have no doubt, is an allusion to a temporary secession of Suett from the Drury Lane House; and, if so, the piece was probably written expressly to reintroduce him in a second chapter of his favourite character of Endless in “No Song No Supper.”

common law to a suit in Chancery, or the steward of a sessions to a judge on the bench. But alas! she slights my tender tale—hard-hearted as a turnkey. Yet I won’t throw up the cause, I’m determined. If I can but hamper her husband, I may, perhaps, get a verdict in my favour, though I pay my own costs—and that’s pretty well for a sham action.

Enter Jacob.

Jacob.—You mun walk this way, if you please.

Endless.—Oh! very well. Has your master dined?


Endless.—Glad o’ that—p’rhaps ask me—I’m as empty as the Fleet after a bill of insolvency. [Exit Endless.

Enter Carlton.

Carlton.—Can I speak with your master, pray?

Jacob.—Noa; he can’t hear two on ye; he’s a talking wi’ Lawyer Endless.

Carlton.—Curse that fellow; he’s like a pig in a lane; there’s no getting before him. Do you know his business, pray?


Jacob.—Yes, he’s a ’torney, and as big a rogue as any i’ the county.

Carlton.—I believe it from the bottom of my soul. Were you servant here when your master’s niece ran away?

Jacob.—Yes; sister helped her to ’lope with an actor-man. Howsomever, she said he were very much of a gentleman.

Carlton.—That “gentleman” was myself.

Jacob.—Were it, indeed! I should niver have found ye out. Well, and how is young madam?

Carlton.—Why, very well; and you may do her a material piece of service.

Jacob.—May I? Then I’m sure I will, for sister’s sake; but how?

Carlton.—Why, by getting me taken up, and brought before your master.

Jacob.—Ecod, and so I should; though I didn’t think you’d a been honest enough to have owned it.

Carlton.—But could you contrive this, should it be necessary?

Jacob.—Yes, sure. Why, Lord love ye, constable will take anybody up for the vally of a pint o’ beer; and I b’lieve ye actor folk
do come under the statty. I’ll fetch him directly.

Carlton.—Stop—stop; not so fast. Let me see this constable presently; in the meantime there’s something to drink with him, and be silent.

Jacob.—I will. (Aside.) He has a sort o’ quality look, sure enough. [Exit p.s.