SAMUEL STARCH, Esq...............A Dandy.
HEZEKIAH HULK....................A great Attorney of Size Lane.
MONSIEUR PEREMPTOIRE.............A French Tutor.
LITTLE TOMMY.....................His Pupil.
MONSIEUR POUDRE-MENEUR [no accs].Conductor of Diligence.
JEMMY............................An English Boots.
MISS EVELINA EVERGREEN...........An Old Maid.
The Scene consists of an Inn Yard, with the Diligence marked 34, over the front in large characters, MESSAGERIES ROYALE, and over a side door is seen PARLIEZ AU PORTIER. A quantity of boots in the corner, some clean, some dirty; a table of Posts is put up over the office window, and the following stages are enumerated.
CALAIS AU BRISON. BEAUFRE-AMIENS. BOULOGNE SUR MER. MONTRIEUL SUR MER. ABBEVILLE AU PARIS.
Underneath an English posting-bill, "Light coaches to Paris, morning
and evening, from the White Bear, Piccadilly." Mr. Mathews enters as
JEMMY English boots dressed in a long smock-frock, like an ostler, sits on a stool cleaning a boot.) Tarnation seize these boots, dirt gets in the wrinkles, and devil himself can't get it out; most of my countrymen come to the Wellington cut, but the French don't take to the Wellington cut, and I don't wonder at it; what a mort of English do come here, a parcel of flats, they gets no polish but what I gives 'em, they don't. When I lived at the Elephant, they used to call me boots, but here they call me Monsieur le Bot, my name's Jimmy - Jimmy Martin, that's my name. Let's see what passengers is booked, I am deputy book-keeper, and does all the work - (reads) - Mr. Hezekiah Hulk, attorney, to be taken up at the Royal Messagerie, and stop at the Hot-ell, to speak to a friend. Well, I wish him safe out of it - Mr. Starch, ah! he's what they call a dandy, and a rum customer he is too. There, that's the Dilly, and a pretty consarn it is, I wish Jemmy Bradshaw, as drives the Manchester, could see it, ha! ha! Miss Evelina Evergreen on the other side of the window). "Book-keeper, Mr. Book-keeper." "Marm." "I want to book a place in the Diligence for Calais." "Yes, marm." "How much is the fare?" "Fifty franks, forty down for half price." "Forty for half price?" "Yes, marm, forty is half fifty here, I makes criss-cross's, I understands." "When do you set off?" "Most directly, marm." "I want to go to the Palais Royal, I'll be back in time." "Where's the money? marm, marm, you hav'nt paid the money - tarnation, she's run away and han't paid the money - marm, tarnation, I'll run after her. (exit.)
MONSIEUR PEREMPTOIRE, (enters from the back) "Offisare, ha! ha!! I vant de name for to put in de diligence au Calais." (An ostler from behind.) "Halloo! here be I." "I de language speak well - vat a clock is you go by." "What time your diligence take fright?" "Take fright!" O, sacre, nasty stick in the mud, vat time he start?" "Two or three hours." "Ah! ah! I vant place." "What name?" Vat name, ah! ah! Monsieur Jean, Jacques, Clotilde, Antoine, Peremptoire." "It won't do, hav'nt room for half." "O, sacre, de got dam, Jean Bull, he always put my horse on de wrong saddle of de purpose. Dere is my card put down de name in de book. Now my little pupil master Tommy Tarragon - I will sheat his papa, I will play him de russe de guerre and snack de fifty franks; but how shall I take him? Ah! ah! in my fiddle case. (Opens the case and takes out the child.) Ah, Master Tommy." I'm so glad now, I'm almost smothered." "You must say your multiplication table, how mosh is eleven times six?" "Six times eleven." "Ah! and how mosh is eleven times six, how mosh it make?" "O, sacre, you don't know, say after me, seextee seex." "Seexty seex." "How dare you mock me sare, you puppy dog, for that I will put you in your fiddle-case again, you little saucy English beastial." "Oh, no, pray don't, I shall be smothered. oh! oh! (shuts down the case). Ah! ah! now I shall take my place. I'm premier, ah, ah, tol de dol. (Exit into the diligence.)
SAMUEL STARCH, Esq. (enters from the side) "I say, you infernal bore, where's my boot, eh? he says Peter has got one in the loft; don't suppose I'm going to climb up in the loft! the rascal; bring my boot, do you hear? Egad, here's boots enough for Falstaff's ragged regiment; pretty thing, I'm obliged to look for my boot myself, ah, there he is, looks like a gentleman amid a parcel of vulgars, (attempts to pick up his boot, but, from the stiffness of his dress, stays, &c is unable at first but afterwards succeeds) confound the stays, they're too tight by half - I have not been let out since I arrived - aye, I never will travel without a maid-servant again - aye, that's on, that's all right - now I'll take my place. - (Exit into the diligence.)
HEZEKIAH HULK, a great attorney of Size Lane (enters from side.) "Aye, that's the dilly, aye, a very different machine from the Dover mail, nasty, poking, little thing; there was Wright, and three of his waiters, obliged to push me in;" "Eh! in with the old gentleman;" " but they never thought how the old gentleman was to get out again. Forced to send for a coachmaker to take down one side of the coach, before I could get out, (smacking of the whip from behind the scenes; aye, what are they getting ready, aye, there's Mounseer Pigtail preparing to set off, I shall be too late. I must be home time enough for the Old Bailey - got a trial, King against Cut-purse, ah! we shall be hanged there - at least, we deserve it - glad when I got home, fell away to nothing - long for a good dinner to get myself fitted out again. Why, I shall never get in, egad, its as bad as the Dover mail. (Boots from behind.) "I'll help you in, now then, Sir, pull devil, pull baker, it's a lawyer. - Exit into the diligence, the voices of the other characters are heard as if in conversation.
(Enter MISS EVELINA EVERGREEN, from the back with a box under her arm, containing a dog, and a cage in her hand, with a parrot.) "There, polly, my dear, that's the coach to carry us to London, lay still, puggy, my darling. Where shall I hide my shawl? those custom-house-fellows commit great indecencies in searching after Valenciennes lace. (The voice of Tommy Tarragon attracts her notice, who is heard from the fiddle-case.) "O dear, I shall be smothered." "Dear me, what's that? I thought I heard a voice!" "Where are you?" "Here!" "Where?" "Down here." "Down here, (opens the case) God bless me, a child! what an interesting moment (smacking of the whip behind.) O, dear, I shall lose my place, what shall I do - what will be the consequence if I am caught in this situation with a child! The parish officers would demand security of me. I have it, you shall ride with puggy, my dear, will you? Puggy don't bite much." (Puts Tommy into the box with the dog, imitation of the yelping of the dog.) "Now, then, I'll take my place in the diligence, what an indescribably machine! - mount Etna upon wheels! - come polly." - (Takes her place in the diligence, the voices of the supposed passengers are heard inside, objecting to receive the parrot and dog, the dog barking, &c.
Enter MONSIEUR POUDRE MENEUR, (dressed as a French postilion, belonging to the Diligence) singing a French song, mounts the cabriolet, and drives off, exclaiming, Vite! Vite! Allons! Allons! La Diligence, Parte de Paris.
Sketches of Mr. Mathews's Celebrated Trip to Paris, Comprising a
Full Account Of His Admirable Lecture on Peculiarities, Characters and
Manners, With the Most Laughable of the Stories and Adventures, and Seven
Original Comic Songs, On the Subjects of Do As Other Folks Do, Paris Is
the Only Place, Delights of the Packet, Lumps and Bumps, Day at Meurice's,
Heads For a Quarto. And Now Farewell to Paris Revels. And an Analysis of
the Laughable Monopolylogue, La Diligence (London: J. Limbird, n.d),
pp. 22-4; bound in with Mr. Mathews At Home! An excellent Collection
of Recitations, Anecdotes, Songs, &c. &c. In the Popular Entertainments
of Air, Earth and Water - Country Cousins - Mail Coach Adventures! - Youthful
Days! - Trip to Paris! - Trip to America! - Invitations! - Memorandum Book!
and The Home Circuit... (London: J. Limbird, n.d.)
Compiled by Steven Connor.
as part of The
Dumbstruck Archive, a continuing, online supplement to Dumbstruck:
A Cultural History of Ventriloquism (Oxford: Oxford University Press,