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RUMFUSKIN, KING OF THE NORTH POLE;
A TRAGEDY FOR THE FIRST OF APRIL.
BY JOHN POOLE, ESQ., AUTHOR OF PAUL PRY,' ETC.
April 1, 1841. A Tragedy written for private performance in the Christmas holidays may not inappropriately be published on the day sacred to Foolery. RUMFUSKIN was composed-yes, composed is the word-so long ago as the year 1813, when, according to Cocker, the author was about seven-and-twenty years younger than now. To this circumstance, perhaps, it is indebted for many of its most exquisite beauties; for works of this kind are best perpetrated when the imagination is luxuriantly wild, and the judgment contemptuously immature. It has been acted (and, may we add in the modesty of a parenthesis, with great success) on a public stage, but may not be again without the author's permission: this to whomsoever it may concern. But we strongly recommend it to the notice of families who sometimes convert the back drawing-room into a theatre; for they may rely upon it that things of this kind afford even better fun for such occasions than Othello, or Isabella, or Ion, or, in short, any tragedy intended to draw tears more copiously than Rumfuskin.
RUMFUSKIN, King of the North Pole.
| JEM FLOGGEM, a loyal Hackney Coach
GRISKINDA, Wife of Conscienzo. SCRUBINDA, her confidential Maid of all Work.
SCENE I-A chamber in RASCALLO's house.
RASC. Up!-rise, Ambition! 'Tis a glorious thing!
To see e'en generals tremble when I nod :-I
Down, busy devil!-for I hear a knock.
CONS. My friend, Rascallo !-How now ?-What's the matter?
CONS. Ay;-thou 'rt pale-confused-teeth chatter-
(With affected carelessness.) What's the price of stocks? CONS. The price of stocks!-psha!—what are stocks to thee,— RASC. (aside, musing.) A coach-and-six !
Since stocks thou 'st none ?
No motive sinister.
RASC. My Conscienzo (mysteriously), wouldst thou-be-primeminister?
CONS. What means Rascallo?
I'd make thee one.
That's quite another thing.
RASC. Now, might I trust thee-But I know thy conscience Is of the ticklish order.
Pooh, pooh! nonsense!
Thou mean'st no harm.
That's neither here nor there.
CONS. Thou know'st my nature: what I dare-I dare. RASC. I'll trust thee. (Aside.) But I'll play upon his feelings, To make him sure.
That if I were king,
Coxs (aside.) I doubt some evil dealings.
RASC. (with tender concern.) Is not my Conscienzo in distress?
Thou hast a wife (insidiously)—
CONS. She's starving (with emotion.)
CONS. (in agony.) Oh! do not drive me wild.
Any fool knows that.
Not so certain that,
If skilfully we execute our plot.
CONS. (after some reflection.) I'll not make one-indeed I'd rather
RASC. Think on thy wife, my Conscienzo; think
That she hath neither money, meat, nor drink.
CONS. That thought has roused me from my waking slumber.
I could kill kings and ministers out of number.
RASC. Look down, ye gods! in me behold a greater!
CONS. Fear not. When once this happy dagger knows (draws a dagger)
The way to kill, 'twill spare nor friends nor foes.
No word I'll utter.
RASC. CONS. RASC.
For our rights!
[Exeunt, brandishing their daggers.
SCENE II-A chamber in CONSCIENZO's house.
Enter GRISKINDA, followed by SCRUBINDA.
GRISK. Prate not of patience to my troubled mind;
GRISK. Peace, peace! unless thy moralizing will
To make new breeches for my baby?—No.
SCRUB. Madam, when money's gone, and all is spent, Then, madam, learning is most excellent.
GRISK. No more! Tis flim-flam flummery.
To chide me.
GRISK. Am I? Then I'll sing a song.