1 A1r

The
Blockheads:


Or, the
Affrighted Officers.

A
Farce.

Boston:
Printed in Queen-Street.
1776M,DCC,LXXVI.

2 A1v

Dramatis Perſonæ.

Captain Baſhaw, Ad----l.

Puff, G-----l.

L--d Dapper, L--d P----y.

Shallow, G---t.

Dupe, Who you pleaſe.

Officers.

Meagre, G--y.

Surly, R-----s.

Brigadier Paunch, B----e.

Bonny, M----y.

Simple, E----n.

Refugees and Friends to Government.

Jemima, Wife to Simple.

Tabitha, Her Daughter.

Dorſa, Her Maid.

Soldiers,

Women, &c.

Scene, Boston.
3 A2r

The Blockheads.

Act 1. Scene 1.

A Room with the Officers, &c.

Puff.

Well, gentlemen, a pretty ſtate for Britiſh generals and Britiſh troops—the terror of the world become mere ſcare-crows to themſelves.—We came to America, fluſh’d with high expectations of conqueſt, and curbing theſe ſons of riot.—We tour’d away in the ſenate as if our ſucceſs was certain; as if we had only to curb a few licentious villains, or hang them as ſpectacles for their brethren—But how are we deceiv’d?—Inſtead of this agreeable employ, we are ſhamefully confin’d within the bounds of three miles, wrangling and ſtarving among ourſelves.

Shal.

Curs’d alternative, either to be murder’d without, or ſtarv’d within—Theſe yankey dogs treat us like a parcel of poltroons; they divert themſelves by firing at us, as at a flock of partridges.—A man can ſcarcely put his noſe over the intrenchments without loſing it;—another loſes his eyes, only looking thro’ the ambuſeirs.— They have a ſet of fellows call’d rifflers; they would ſhoot the very devil if he was to come within a league of them.

Capt. Baſh.

Gentleman, it will not do to ſet groaning here; let us determine upon ſome plan quickly to be done, otherwiſe I ſhall bid you farewell, and you may follow 4 A2v 4 follow after as well as you are able.—You find every night brings them nearer and nearer; they raiſe a hill and fortify it in 6 hours—I expect ſoon to ſee a fortification grow out of the channel, and our ſhips of war to be blown up by ſome damn’d machine—Such devils are capable of any thing; the power of miracles is put into their hands, and they improve the patent to admiration.—You muſt do ſomething to diſpoſſeſs them of thoſe fortifications, otherwiſe we ſhall not only be ſtarv’d, but abſolutely murder’d.

L—d Dap.

Starv’d or murder’d are triffles, compar’d to being taken priſoners, to be drag’d before their congreſſes, committees, &c.—A pack of mutton-headed fellows, with their ruſty muſquets, are more dread viſitors than a tribe of furies, juſt arriv’d from h—l; therefore let us do ſomething in earneſt, or perhaps we ſhall be too late for relief.

Puff.

The eminence on Dorcheſter-hill, which they began laſt night, they muſt at all hazards be diſpoſſeſs’d of; we muſt rally our weak numbers, and drive them if poſſible; but ſuch is our ſituation, our men are become meer ſkeletons; their preſent diet renders them more capable of terrifying their enemies, than fighting of them: —They will think the ghoſts of their forefathers are coming to battle againſt them.—Poor devils! I pity their miſerable ſtate, but ſo the fates have order’d it, we can only laugh or pity each other.

L—d Dap.

Curſs’d cruel fate! that we ſhould thus be pen’d up.—Churchill’s deſcription of Scotland is but a ſhadow to it;—if that great genius was now alive, we ſhould ſoon have a new edition with amendments.—He repreſents their flies and ſpiders, &c. as ſtarving, but here they are abſolutely ſtarv’d—poor innocent inſects, I forgive ye your former tormenting of my legs; ye ſuck’d ’till you could find no nouriſhment, and then fell at my feet and died—Thouſands have lain gaſping within the ſmall circle of my chair; their caſe was truly deplorable—I felt their ſtate by experience.—My caſe is ſomewhat parallel to the prodigal ſon.—I may well adopt his words, how many 5 A3r 5 many hired ſervants of my father’s, have bread enough and to ſpare, while I periſh with hunger.

Shal.

We ſhall all be obliged to follow his example; I never thought to make an improvement of a parable, but our caſe is now ſo truly deplorable that neceſſity prompts me to do it.—Hard cruſts and ruſty bones have never till now become my diet; they do not ſuit my digeſtion.— My teeth are worn to ſtumps, and my lips are ſwell’d like a blubber-mouth negro’s, by thumping hard bones againſt them; my jaw bone has been ſet a dozen times, diſlocated by chewing hard pork, as tough as an old ſwine’s aſs.

Puff.

Well gentlemen, we are all acquainted with each other’s circumſtances, but however, we cannot mend them my recounting them—Let us rally our men and drive thoſe rebels from their fortifications, or elſe we may ſoon expect to be introduc’d to their honor’s Adams and Hancock, with ſundry other gentleman of diſtinction— My L—d Dapper muſt have the command, and I doubt not we ſhall be able to diſpoſſeſs them.—Let us keep up our ſpirits, for we have nothing elſe to feed on, tho’ it is a poor diſh for a greedy appetite.

L—d Dap.

Some pretence muſt be made, as our honor is at ſtake.

Exeunt Omnes.

Scene II.

A room with refugees, and friends to government.

Sur.

Nothing can be more wretched than our ſtate,— vagabonds and outcaſts in the world!—here we are,— friends we have none,—we fled here for protection, but how we are diſappointed!—Thoſe on whom we depended, are as miſerable as ourſelves!—we have been cajol’d into all this by that curſs’d H――n,—he pleas’d us with penſions, poſts of honor, and profit, but the villain has fled, and left us to ſhirk for ourſelves—My dwellings I have forſaken, my family are left to feed on the charity of friends, if they can find any; while I, poor wretch, have thrown myſelf upon the mercy of thoſe who are unable to help me.—My money I have let out on government ſecurity—and poor ſecurity too, I am afraid;—from affluence 6 A3v 6 affluence and ſplendor, I am reduc’d to wretchedneſs and miſery, and ſkulk about the ſtreets like a dog that has loſt one ear.—Oh curſ’d ambition! much better had it been if I had ſtay’d among my countrymen, and partook quietly of the produce of my farm.—Why need I have medled in politicks, or burnt my fingers dabbling in this ſea of fire—My tenants and my oxen would have been much more agreeable companions than theſe herd of ſtalking poltroons, ſwaggering with their ſwords at their a— and afraid to draw them from the ſcabbard.

Simp.

We have reaſon to blame ourſelves—we have brought affairs to the preſent ſtate—we were fond of the titles of Col. Eſq. &c.—a gewgow of a commiſſion was ſufficient to render us enemies to our country—We contriv’d a thouſand tricks to make ourſelves obnoxious to our countrymen, that we might be noticed as friends to government;—we thought this would recommend us to ſome lucrative poſt:—We embrac’d the ſhadow of grandeur, but the ſubſtance has fled—A bow from a general or a fifer is all the ſatisfaction we have for our loyalty.— I am become almoſt aſham’d of my company; a pack of ſtrutting pedanticks, looking like elopers from the grave, grinning horribly their ghaſtly ſmiles; gallanting their droſly nymphs, hag’d with conſtant uſe.—Sometimes I am ready to heave myſelf upon the mercy of my injur’d country, but the awful ideas of committees courts of enquiry, &c. terrify me from this expedient:—Beſides, ſhall we ſtoop to ſubmiſſion to theſe miſcreants;—we, Col’s. Eſq’rs. Judges, &c. bow to the lordly ſway of theſe vile villains?—I will rather periſh than do it.

Sur.

Our pride is our only cordial—we have nothing elſe to feed on;—d-m’d poor nouriſhment!—we have been long fed on the ſumptuous diſh of expectation of relief, but alaſs! we had ſo keen an appetite for that, we quickly devour’d it,—the general has no further ſupply left him, and we are now left to famiſh till a freſh ſupply comes.—We have fled here as friends to government, but how are we treated?—We are deſpiſed, our wives ravag’d, and our daughters debauch’d;—honor or profit we have 7 A4r 7 have noneabuſe and ruin we have our ample ſhares of —Much happier had we been, if inſtead of bowing and cringing to the great, we had minded the concerns of our farms; and inſtead of calculating the revenue of the nation, we had conſidered the income of our own ſtocks.

Paun.

Alaſs! we have all been deceived;—we have been pleaſed with the expectation of large reinforcements; —that conqueſt was certain;—and that the rebels would be ſpeedily cruſhed—Fluſh’d with theſe ſanguine hopes, we have buoyed ourſelves amidſt theſe ſeas of tumult and outrage, but now we find ourſelves wofully deceived, without any remedy.—Victory ſeems to declare in favour of the country; ſhe has fled from theſe brave ſons of mars, and takes refuge within the cells and cottages of America.

Sur.

Well, gentlemen, you may all whine and cry, for my part I am determined to keep up my ſpirits, and hope for better times—why ſhould we be ſo diſcomforted, becauſe we have met with a little rugged treatment?— we muſt expect to encounter with many ſuch trifles, but ſhall they diſcourage us? can we expect to gain honor in a ſilver ſlipper? no, we muſt engage with H――l rather than give up our point.――Its true, friend Paunch cannot meet with his Dainty Soups, nor feaſt on his favourite Fiſh and Oil, but ſhall this render him peeviſh and fretful? I hope not—we are now to try our Loyalty, by the grand touchſtone of Affliction; let us act like men, and I doubt not we ſhall be well rewarded.—His Majesty will regard us as the faithful of the land, and will recompence our fidelity with ample tokens of his affection―― Your poor dejected Countenances are a diſgrace to the cauſe we are engag’d in; reconcile yourſelves to your preſent ſtate, and I doubt not a happy deliverance will ſpeedily arrive.

Meagre.

Deliverance is a poor worn out, unmeaning word—I am tir’d with the ſound—a word with ſo little meaning you cannot produce in a groce of dictionaries— Loyalty and Deliverance are pleaſing words when us’d with propriety, but they are now maim’d with often handling.

Sim.

Loyalty, d――m the word and its meaning――It is only a Court Watch Word, to entrap men, and then fleece them of their property

Act 8 A4v 8

Act II.

A Room. Tabitha and Dorsa.

Tab.

When did you receive this letter?

Dor.

His ſervant left it with me laſt night.

Tab.

He acquaints me that he intends to attend at the back gate this evening, and that he ſhall expect me there. I ſhall put great confidence in your friendſhip; if you deceive me I am undone.

Dor.

If I deceive you, may your ruin fall on me.

Tab.

L—d Dapper has addreſs’d me in very honorable terms; he propoſes to carry me to England, after the preſent campaign, but my father (an old prig) is greatly againſt it, and ſeems tired with the company of theſe red coats, (as he calls them)—but this perſon I am determined to have at all hazards.—Why ſhould I deny myſelf the pleaſures and honors of this life, to pleaſe an old fool that is juſt leaving of them.—The title of lady is very agreeable; it is what many would jump at;—ſuch matches do not offer every day, and I ſhall improve the time as dextrous as I can.

Dor.

Make hay while the ſun ſhines, is a very good maxim.—Indeed, madam, I approve your determination; I ſhould think you quite mad to determine otherways— who would not have a young ſpark if they could meet with one?—For my own part I would not lodge another night without one, if I could meet with a good offer.

Tab.

All our correſpondence muſt go thro’ your hands, you muſt be cautious, and watchful, for the leaſt miſhap will diſconcert the whole plan.

Dor.

I am us’d to theſe thricks of gallantry; I have introduc’d many a young ſweet-heart—you may ſafely truſt your ſecurity in my hands.—But one thing I wou’d mention (excuſe my boldneſs) this L――d Dapper labours under the diſgrace of Inability.

Tab.

Inability, what do you mean? I hope he is not wanting in any thing to render the marriage ſtate agreable. —If he is, I ſhall quickly throw him out of window, and appoint 9 B1r 9 appoint a better perſon in his room—its true, ſince you hint this, it makes me ſomewhat ſuſpicious, he looks like a baboon upon ſtilts, and I begin to be fearful of his abilities—however, he will ſerve for a cully to fleece for my indulgencies in dreſs and faſhion

Dor.

That he may do, but for any thing elſe (if reports are true) I had rather marry my old grandfather.

Exeunt.

Scene II.

Simple and his Wife.

Sim.

The worſt job that ever I did, to move to this accurſs’d place.—A friend to government! d—m connection!—my family ruin’d—myſelf a deſpis’d old fool.

Wife.

My dear, do not be ſo childiſh—I am ſure we are agreeably ſituated, excepting our ſcantineſs of proviſions; but great folks do not mind ſuch trifles—roaſt beef, &c. only becomes hard-ſkin’d plough joggerseating and drinking became us while we were rough farmers, but now I ſhould be aſhamed to be ſeen ſetting round a ſmoking table of proviſions, craming and ſtuffing like a yoke of oxen.—Theſe delicate gentlemen and ladies would deſpiſe us as yankees, to ſee us maunching bread and cheeſe, &c— they would have very naſty ideas about us, for what goes in muſt come out;—Oh it makes me ſick to think of it!

Sim.

You will be more ſick before it is over—I wiſh I had now a good belly-full of what you mention; I would willingly bear the ridicule, as to the manner of it’s coming out.—I believe the moſt delicate lady among them, would be glad of ſuch ſtable contents, and riſque the hazard of it’s appearing again to the world—however, my dear, I have no notion of being merry—I have more ſerious affairs to think of.――I muſt acquaint you, that I am abſolutely ruin’d—my whole fortune is fell either into the hands of the rebels without, or lent upon the ſecurity of chance, to thoſe within—my reſources are entirely exhauſted—I have pleas’d myſelf with ſome appointment in office, but I find that will fail—we have ſo B many 10 B1v 10 many needy fellows among us, that one muſt make intereſt to be even groom to the light horſe.—What to do I know not.

Wife.

Now forſooth you are going upon your old whining ſcheme—becauſe you ſee I am acquainted with the gentry, you begin on theſe canting topics—you are afraid I ſhall aſk you for a ſilk gown, or a new cap; that I ſhall want to ſee the plays, &c. and that you muſt have to bring forth ſome of thoſe ruſty joannes, which you have pilfer’d from your neighbours, when you was a juſtice. —You may depend upon it, I ſhall begin to want theſe things, and ſhall expect no heſitation or denial.—Do not think I am to lead my life as a mope, as when we were ruſty farmers—we are now gentle-folks, and ſhall expect to do like gentle-folks.—Our daughter Tabitha, ſhe muſt alſo be introduc’d into the faſhionable company, not always be a drudge about houſe—ſhe has now no filthy butter to chirn; ſhe is no longer a dairy-maid, but a lady, and a Government Lady too, and as ſuch ſhe ſhall be ſupported—Who knows but ſome rich gentleman may fancy her, and carry her to London, and perhaps take us with her—then for it, we ſhall ſee life, and perhaps then you may get a little beef, or ſomething elſe to fatten your paunch.――In ſhort, you look ſo much like a ſkeleton, I am afraid to go to bed to you—almoſt begin to wiſh for another huſband—Come, my dear, rouſe yourſelf, don’t think about your fat farm, let it go, it is all dirty ſtuff, only fit for yankees.

Sim.

Poor fooliſh woman! how you feaſt on pride! is it poſſible you are in earneſt?—Can ſo much folly dwell in women?—I always thought women to be but one degree above a ſhe aſs, but you ſeem many degrees below—you may pretend to vaunt in all theſe prudiſh airs, but depend on it, you ſhall get no ſupport from me. —As to your daughter, ſhe may expect to incur my diſpleaſure, if ſhe goes romping among theſe ladies of quality.—As to rich upſtarts, I had rather marry her to a good monkey, than to any figure of a man in the garriſon —What ſignifies putting a young girl to bed with a poor famiſh’d image!

Wife. 11 B2r 11

Wife.

You old fool, do you think I am to be frightned out of my deſigns?—No, I will learn you to treat your wife with a little more good manners—I wiſh you would become a little more poliſh’d, and go into the company of gentlemen and ladies—You would there hear nothing of ſhe aſſes, and ſuch filthy farm terms.—My dear, and my honey, are the terms there made uſe of—thouſand pretty things which I never before heard of, are whiſper’d round—they can talk to one another with their eyes, and you can almoſt gueſs what they mean—none of your coarſe language defiles their converſation—nothing but pure refinement.—I would not for the world go back to my former habitation, to hear the grunting of hogs— I ſhould dye with the ſpleen. As to your not ſupplying me, I am in no way concern’d about it; if you wont another will, and you may expect a pair of horns grow out of your head as large as your old bulls.

Sim.

Do, and welcome, but ſtand clear if you come within reach of them.

Exeunt.

Scene III.

A Garden.――Enter L――d Dapper and Tabitha.

L――d Dap.

Well, my dear, we have met, agreeable to appointment—I hope your old dad of a father has become more reconcil’d—the old prig is as obſtinate as a mule; neither offers of profit or friendſhip have any avail with him—however, let us not diſappoint ourſelves of the pleaſure of matrimony, for to gratify the whim of a grey-headed old fool. All things are ready; fly from this place of confinement, and let us celebrate our long expected nuptials.

Tab.

My papa, Sir, remains as determined as ever— he ſeems tir’d with being confin’d within the garriſon—he had rather be among his farm neighbours, which makes him ſo fretful with all of your party—I do not think it poſſible ever to get his conſent, but ſuch a trifle ſhall never baulk my inclination—I ſhall throw off all reſerve, and 12 B2v 12 and put myſelf intirely under your protection—ſhall quit the family, and depend upon your honor.

L――d Dap.

Poor girl, you will find but little of that. Aſide. —Come let us haſten as faſt as poſſible, as delays of this kind may prove fatal.

As they are going off, her father appears.

Sim.

Villain, what buſineſs have you with my daughter?

L――d Dapper draws his ſword, and Simple runs away.

Scene IV.

Here is exhibited a proſpect of the light horſe, being ſo weak, are ſupported by ropes to keep them on their legs; the groom buſy in giving them gliſters—alſo, a review of their troops—the whole looking like French cooks, in a hot day’s entertainment; each company favor’d with a cloſe ſtool pan.

Officers.

Gentlemen ſoldiers, we are now agoing to fight againſt theſe rebel dogs; be not diſcouraged, but let us play the man.

Soldiers.

We had much rather fight for a good pudding.

Act III.

Scene I.

Enter Officers, &c.

Puff.

Heaven and earth are againſt us, the party are entirely defeated from heaven, the wind has been ſo boiſterous as to drive them back. You ſee, gentlemen, our ſituation, our enemies are gaining upon us hourly, one night more perhaps will make us their priſoners—for heaven’s ſake let us determine upon ſomething ſpeedily, whether to quit the town, or try once more to rout theſe rebels.

Shal.

Why will you deſire us to go to battle?—are you for ſeeing another Bunker-Hill frolic?—thoſe devils would glory to have us come out to them, it would be ſport to the dogs, to ſee us breaking our ſhins, tumbling over 13 B3r 13 over each other.――I eſteem my life beyond my honor, and am not for throwing it away for the diverſion of a parcel of yankees――If we cannot hold the garriſon by keeping in, for God’s ſake, let’s beat a retreat; but the Lord knows where; however, I had rather heave myſelf upon the mercy of the ſea, than be taken their priſoner. —Who but a mad man would truſt himſelf out of theſe entrenchments? it is certain death.—I am for fighting, where there is ſome proſpect of coming off clear; but here venture yourſelf out, and I would not inſure you for 100 per cent.—d――n the devils, they excel their very father Belzebub for fighting—I had rather engage with a ſquadron juſt arrived from the lower-regions, than with thoſe curſt fellows on yonder hill.

L――d Dapper.

You are quite right—ſuch herds of men are enough to ſcare Hannibal, and all the heroes that ever lived,—look! what millions there are!—the inhabitants of the four quarters of the globe (excepting ourſelves) are now on thoſe hills!—for heaven’s ſake, let us improve the time, and retreat as faſt as poſſible—I ſhall expect all the fiſhes of the ſea to turn men, and become our enemies, let us improve our paſſport while the inhabitants of the ſea are at peace.

Dupe.

Now B――e, here is more matter for humor, you may now give us a ſecond edition of your farce.—This is beyond all expectation!— a fine ſtory to tell my L――d N――h! but he is at helm, he may riſk his own head if he will, I am determined not to hazard mine for his whims— he may go fight them one after another, if he pleaſes, he ſhall not catch me to run his tom-fool errands—the miniſtry and the parliament may come over, and hold their courts in Boſton, and may ſend forth, and execute their acts if they think fit, they ſhall not find me fool enough to run my head againſt a cannon ball, to execute their d――m ſilly acts.—I never would have come on this expedition, if I had had the leaſt intimation of the bravery of this people.—I thought a bright ſword, and a ſmart cock’d hat, would effectually have terrified theſe fellows into ſubmiſſion, but I find the contrary, and have no inclination to try their ſkill at man killing.

Shal. 14 B3v 14

Shal.

If I had a ſcolding wife, perhaps I would venture myſelf within a hundred yards of thoſe hills; but while I have not, you ſhall find me far enough from them; and I don’t care how much farther.—Our miniſtry think ſoldiers were made to be fir’d at as ſport, but I hope on this occaſion they will find themſelves deceived,—for my part, I am determined to ſecure a place of ſafety;—if any have a mind to go out, let them, they have my good wiſhes for their return; but if they regard their lives, I adviſe all, and every one to keep within the entrenchments—I would rather ſh――t my breeches than go without theſe forts to eaſe myſelf.

Puff.

D――m them, I know the fellows by experience, —I remember Bunker-Hill—I ſhall never forget them, for their civility to me—their cock’d eye taking ſight, makes my very blood run cold—how I came off alive is a miracle; whiz, whiz, whiz, good Lord, how it makes me ſhudder to think of it!—no, no, my lads, you ſhan’t catch me among you, while I am out of your reach, I will keep out—In ſhort, gentlemen, it will not do to be looking at them; they ſeem preparing to come nearer us, let us give out the alarm for a retreat immediately; we muſt determine where to go, after we are without the reach of theſe diſagreeable viſitors.

All.

As ſpeedy as poſſible.

Scene II.

A Room with Refugees and Friends to Government.

Sur.

A retreat, is it poſſible!—ſhall the Britiſh troops ever ſuffer ſuch diſgrace, as to flee from a parcel of yankees?—we have been fed up with high notions of the power and reſolution of theſe troops—but I find, when the matter becomes ſerious, they are as terrify’d as old women— the General has made a ſham attempt to diſpoſſeſs them of their fortifications, but has withdrawn them with the pretence of the wind being twotoo boiſterous—what a pretty hobble are we in, to be drove away from our only place of 15 B4r 15 of ſecurity—but I find our ſtrong holds are become meer ſhadows of ſafety.—A very agreeable employ, for gentlemen to be running after a pack of cowards, and what is more miſerable to depend on them for protection.—If I could once get clear of my preſent ſtate, you ſhould never find me again to depend on a broken reed.

Bon.

It ſignifies nothing to fret, and find fault among ourſelves, but let us be for ſecuring a retreat as faſt as poſſible—let us be packing up our alls, and making our beſt way off.—I have ruin’d my fortune, tagging after theſe poltroons—I will now trouble them with my company—if they cannot protect me, they ſhall maintain me; while they have any thing to eat themſelves, I am determined to partake.—Poor encouragement for friends to government; if they don’t find better reception than we have met with, they will have but few volunteers.

Sim.

As to depending on their generoſity for maintenance, I have no notion of. I have a more effectual way to ſupport myſelf—I ſhall look out for ſnacks among the booty, left in the town, by their runaway owners—I ſhall improve the opportunity while pilfering is in the faſhion; the General has ſet us a very pretty example.

Mea.

Is this the ſad alternative, either to heave ourſelves upon the mercy of our countrymen, or run away with a parcel of cowards?—but however, as matters are ſo circumſtanced, we muſt make the beſt of it.—I have a conſiderable quantity of the province money, which will ſerve to procure me a ſcanty maintenance in our retreat —ſad ſtate! half famiſh’d on land, and pent within the garriſon for 10 months, am now oblig’d to put to ſea, to vomet up what little guts I have remaining! cruſtcurſt cruel fate! are our high expectations come to this?—reinforcements, and the Lord knows what, all become meer bug-bears? farewel Boſton, the once happy ſeat of my reſidence— farewel friends, and countrymen, I leave ye all, to go I know not where.

Brig. Paunch.

Gentlemen, we have juſt received orders from the General to prepare ſpeedily for a retreat, the garriſon is all in alarm, every one is driving helter ſkelter 16 B4v 16 ſkelter—you muſt be careful how you walk the ſtreets, otherways you will break your ſhins or perhaps your necks, in the general confuſion—if I was not ſo intimately convinc’d, the ſight would be the moſt diverting that ever I beheld—but our circumſtances will not admit of ſpeculation, let us be gone, for the rebels are juſt upon us.

Exeunt.

Scene III.

A Room with Simple and Wife.

Sim.

Well, my dear, what think now of your agreeable ſituation; your filthy farm, and coarſe roaſt beef, &c. naſty ſtuff!—what is the matter with your refined company that they fly away ſo abruptly, methinks they might have been polite enough to have given us ſome little notice of their retreat; not run away like a parcel of mice, when the cat comes among them.—I have for a long while been fearful of this, but found my miſtake too late—I have outſtay’d my day of grace, and find I muſt follow theſe ranters a wild gooſe chaſe over land and ſea—I am tir’d of the chace! my family is ruin’d, and my daughter I am afraid, is debauch’d by a painted monkey, who I ſaw with her at the gate—the villain drew his ſword upon me, but like a true Britiſh general, I thought fit to run away.

Wife.

I wonder, my dear, you ſhould complain at going abroad—I am fond of ſeeing the world—what ſignifies always to be pen’t up within the ſmoke of our own chimnies?—why ſhould we not travel like other gentlefolks, to learn the manners and cuſtoms of other nations? muſt we always remain as ignorant as our brown bread neighbours, and know nothing more of the world than what is tranſacted within our own pariſh?—for my part I am determined to extend my knowledge, and follow the fleet from one end of the world to the other, rather than remain as ignorant as our parſon’s wife.—The rumour is, that we are going to Halifax; a rich, flouriſhinging 17 C1r 17 ing populous city, where nature wantons in all her luxury; here we may enjoy and divert ourſelves, without being teazed with the conſtant alarms of the deviliſh yankees— curſe them, I wiſh they were all under your cyder preſs, and I had the ſcrewing of it.—Rouſe up you old Lazarus, and betake yourſelf, with your wife and family, aboard the ſhips; don’t you hear the drums beat the alarm?

Sim.

Worſe and worſe! greater fool than ever; it ſeems to grow upon you—I preſume you have made geography your ſtudy, you are ſo well acquainted with the clime and ſoil of Halifax:—rich and luxurious to admiration!— experience is the beſt ſchool maſter—you are for ſeeing the world, and here perhaps you may be ſatiſfy’d by ſeeing the a――s of it.—I find you are a freſh water ſailor, and will make but a miſerable figure aboard the ſhip., along ſide of your polite company.—I ſhall pity your modeſty, when what is in will come out, and perhaps at both ends.—Pray, my dear, was you ever ſea ſick?—I preſume not—oh! I ſhudder at the thought!

Wife.

Don’t tantalize me no longer—I will not bear any more of your freedom—pray what do you mean by coming out at both ends?—I like no ſuch coarſe phrazes: if I had fifty ends, my modeſty ſhould forbid any thing from coming out of either—I know how to behave myſelf, and keep all ends ſafe.—Let us be going quickly.

Sim.

Gang along, with the devil to you.—Curſe my fate, to be yok’d to an old fool of a wife, and ſcampering after a herd of runaway cowards.

A Barrack――with Soldiers and Women.

Sol.

Ha, ha, ha,—yankee doodle forever—I wiſh Lord North was here, to ſee his brave troops in their preſent plight, running away with their breeches down—who can help laughing at what a tom fool’s errand we have been ſent upon—we were ſent here to ranſack the country, and hang up a parcel of leading fellows for the crows to pick, and awe all others into peace and ſubmiſſionC on 18 C1v 18 on—inſtead of this, in our firſt attempt we were drove thro’ the country, like a pack of jack aſſes, nor ſtop’d running ’till we had got within Boſton, where we had been fortify’d for ſix months—here we were confin’d, reduc’d to ſkeletons, our bones ſtanding ſentry thro’ our ſkins—we ventur’d out once more to diſpoſſeſs them of Bunker-hill, we gain’d the ground, but if we are to purchaſe the whole land of America at ſo dear a rate, the Lord have mercy upon us.—We have receiv’d reinforcements, but they only ſerv’d to fill up the vacancies made at Bunkerhill frolic—large force of artillery, light horſe, and the devil knows what, have come to our aſſiſtance, but what has been our luck? loſs of men, of honor, of fleſh, and to crown the whole, are now running away, as faſt as we can ſcamper.

Sol.

A pretty ſtory this is in the Britiſh annals—an everlaſting diſgrace will attend the tranſactions in America.— Our beſt generals, with a force of artillery, ſufficient one would think, to ſtorm the regions of Belzebub—the moſt experienced troops his Majeſty has; a capital navy; yet, with all this force, our generals dare not peep over the entrenchments—are confin’d within three miles of garriſon, writing and acting comedies—diſmantling meeting houſes to exerciſe their horſes, to prevent their having the ſcurvy—our troops hag’d and famiſh’d, for want of refreſhments—our navy lying at anchor, while the privateers are depriving us of our ſupplies.—Misterious! unexampled! incomprehensible!—Diſgrace too great for the ſpirit of Britons!—Not an action have we done, that has been any way to our honor or profit—it is true, we have ſet a few towns on fire, but like champions, took care to go where there was not even a piſtol for defence.

Sol.

Nothing can be more diverting, than to ſee the town in its preſent ſituation—all is uproar and confuſioncarts, trucks, wheel barrows, hand barrows, coaches, chaiſe, are driving as if the very devil was after them. Our generals look as wild as ſtags, when purſu’d by the hounds; they are ſtartled at every noiſe; they think the rebels are 19 C2r 19 are juſt upon them.—Orders are given for blocking up the ſtreets, that the rebels may break their ſhins, if they purſue us—we have alſo a parcel of ſtuff’d images, looking like devils behind the pope, to be fix’d up as ſenteries; a fit emblem of ourſelves—Burgoyne could not have contriv’d a prettier ſatyr—our ambuſeirs are fill’d with wooden guns; d――m ſuch wooden-headed commanders—to crown the whole, they ſhould have had an effigy with a barber’s block-head, as engineer.—Oh Briton! your diſgrace makes my very blood dance the hornpipe.—The poor yankee refugees, run backwards and forwards, like a parcel of cats let out of a bag—I would give half my pay, that ſome droll blade was here to deſcribe the ludicrous ſcenery.

Sol.

The beauty of the whole is aboard the ſhips—the yankee refugees with their wives, cut a moſt ridiculous figure—vomiting, crying, cooking, eating, all in a heap.—I was ready to burſt my ſides in laughing, to ſee the ladies ſcampering into the veſſels, tumbling one over another, ſhowing their legs, &c.—One fellow in his hurry, pitch’d over board, and was kind enough to remain there—the whole ſcene was ſufficient to raiſe the riſibles of the crying philoſopher—in ſhort, words cannot deſcribe it; they ſtow like a litter of pigs, or like a young brood of ſpaniels; they even ſpew in one another’s mouths.

Women.

Good enough for them, they have brought it upon themſelves; they had better have minded their farms, not have run here to be a ridicule to both parties.—If I had a good farm, I would ſee government to the devil, before they ſhould catch me here, to be froz’d, famiſh’d, ridicul’d—curſe them and their ſpiritleſs protectors, and let’s conclude with huzzas for America.

Finis.