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one of our authors-Bid them enter, and call over their names.
Ding. Walk in, Gentlemen.
Enter Pepper, Plaister, Rumour, Forge'em, Fibber, Comma, Caustic, O'Flam, and others.
Ding. Politicians, pro and con, Messieurs Pepper and Plaister.
Pep. Plais. Here.
Marg. Pepper and Plaister, as both the houses are up, I shall adjourn your Political Warfare 'till their meeting again.
Pep. Don't you think the public would bear one skirmish more before we close the campaign? I have a trimmer here in my hand.
Plais. To which I have as tart a retort.
Marg. No, no; enough for the present. It is, Plailter, the proper timeing the subject, that gives success to our labours. The conductor of a News-paper, like a good cook, should always ferve up things in their season: who eats oysters in June? Plays and Parliament Houses are winter provisions.
Pep. Then half the satire and salt will be loft: Besides, if the great man should happen to die, or go out.
Marg. Pfhaw! it will do as well for the great man that comes in. Political papers should bear vamping; like sermons, change but the application and text, and they will fuit all perfons and seasons.
Plais. True enough ; but mean time, what can we turn to? for we shall be quite out of work,
Marg. I warrant you, if you an't idle, there's business enough, the press teems with fresh publications-Histories, translations, voyages
Pep. That take up as much time to read as to make.
Marg. And what with letters froin Paris or Spaw, inundations, elopements, dismal effects of thunder and lightning, remarkable causes at country assizes, and with changing the ministry now and then, you will have employment enough for the Summer.
Plais. And so enter upon our old trade in the winter?
Marg. Aye, or for variety, as it must be tiresome to take always one side; you, Pepper, may go over to administration, and Plaister will join opposition. The novelty may perhaps give fresh spirits to both.
Pep. With all my heart. A bold writer has now no encouragement to sharpen his pen. I have known the day when there was no difficulty in getting a lodging in Newgate; but now, all I can say, won't procure me a warrant from a Westminiter Justice.
Marg. You say right, hard times, master Pepper, for persecution is the very life and soul of our trade; but don't despair, who knows how soon matters may mend? gentlemen, you may draw back. Read the next.
Ding. Criticks—Thomas Comma and Chriftopher Caustic.
Marg. Where are they?
Ding. As you could not find them in constant employment, they are engaged by the great, to do the articles in the Monthly Reviews,
Marg. Marg. I thought they were done by Doctor Doubtful, the Deitt.
Ding. Formerly, but now he deals in manuscript sermons, writes religious essays for one of the Journals.
Marg. Then he will soon sink. I foresaw what would come of his dramming. Go on.
Ding. Colloctors of paragraphs, Roger Rumour, and Phelim O'Flain..
R. llam. Here.
Ding. Fibber and Forge'em, composers and makers of ditto.
lib. Forg. Here.
Marg. Well, Rumour, what have you brought for the press ?
Rum. I have been able to bring you no Pofitives.
Marg. How! no Positives?
Rum. Not one. I have a Probability from the court end of the town; and two good Supposes out of the city.
Merg. Hand them here—[reads.] .“ It is “ probable, that if the King of Prussia should
join the Czarina, France will send a feet into « the Mediterranean, which, by giving um“ brage to the Maritime powers, will involve
Spain by its Family Compact. To which, if « Austria should refuse to accede, there may be
a powerful diversion in Poland, made conjunctly by Sweden and Denmark. And if “ Sardinia and Sicily abide by the treaties, the « German Princes can never be neuter; Italy 66 will become the seat of war, and all Europe “ foon set in a flame." —Vastly well, master Rumour, finely confused, and very alarming.
Dingey, give him a shilling for this. I hope no other has got it?
Rum. "Oh fie! did you ever know me guilty of such a
Marg. True, true, now let us see your Supposes-[Reads.] “ It is supposed if Alderman
Mango should surrender his gown, he will be “ succeeded by Mr. Deputy Drylips; and if “ my Lord Mayor should continue ill of the
gout, it is supposed the swan-hopping will “ cease for this season.”—That last suppose is fudged in, why, would you cram these upon me for a couple ?
Rum. As distinct as can be.
Merg. Fye, remember our bargain. You agreed to do the court of Aldermen always for six-pence.
Rum. What, if a Common Hall should be called ?
Marg. Oh! then you are to have threepence a motion, I know that, very well: I am sure no gentleman can accuse me of being sneaking. Dingey, give him six-pence for his Supposes. Well, Phelim O'Flan, any deaths in your district ?
O'Flam. The devil a one.
O'Flam. O yes, a parcel of nobodies, that died worth nothing at all. Fellows that can't pay for a funeral. Upon my conscience, I can't think what becomes of the folks; for my part, I believe all the people who live in town, fall down dead in the country, and then too, fince Doctor Dispatch is gone to the Bach, patients linger so long
O'Flam. To be sure they do. Why, I waited at the Jolly Topers, a matter of two days and a half, for the last breath of Lady Dy Dropsy, for fear some other collector should catch it.
Marg. A long time indeed.
O'Flam. Wasn't it? considering that she had two consultations besides, devilish tough. Mr. Margin I shall quit the mortality walk, so provide yourself as soon as you can.
Marg. I hope not.
O'Flam. Why, what will I do? I am sure the deaths won't keep me alive, you see I am already stripp'd to my froud ; since November, the suicide season, I have not got falt to my porridge.
Enter Sir Thomas Tradewell. Sir Thom. Is your name Matthew Margin?
Marg. It is, and what then?
Sir Thom. Then, pray what right had you to kill me in your last Saturday's paper?
Marg. Kill you!
Sir Thom. Ay, Sir, here the article is; furely the law has some punishment for such infolent rascals as you.
Marg. Punishment! and for what? but, after all, what injury have you sustain'd?
Sir Thom. Infinite. All my agents are come post out of the country, my houfe is crouded with cousins, to be present at the opening my will, and there has been (as it is known she has a very good jointure) no less than three propofals of marriage already made to my relict. 3