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RUMFUSKIN, KING OF THE NORTH POLE;

OR, TREASON REWARDED.

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 lon, or, in short, any tragedy intended to draw tears more copiously than Rumfuskin.

man.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. RUMFUSKIN, King of the North Pole. | JEM FLOGGEM, a loyal Hackney CoachSENTENTIOSUS, Lord High Chancellor. CONSCIENZO, a Conscientious Rascal. GRISKINDA, Wife of Conscienzo. RASCALLO, a Rascally Rascal.

SCRUBINDA, her confidential Maid of

all Work.

SCENE I.-A chamber in RASCALLO's house.

Enter RASCALLO, musing. Rasc. Up!-rise, Ambition ! 'Tis a glorious thing! I've got mine own consent, and will be king. But how to be so ? By rebellion, plot, Treason, sedition, and I know not what ;By dragging proud Rumfuskin from the throne ?Methinks 'twere best to let the job alone. Temptation, hence !-But, then,—to wear a crown, And ride in coach-and-six about the town; To do whate'er I please, and be as greatNay, greater than a minister of state ; To see e'en generals tremble when I nod :-I Will be a king, upon my soul and bod-y! But how goes time? (Looks at his watch.) So, so; near ten o'clock.

[A loud knock at the door. Down, busy devil !--for I hear a knock.

Enter CONSCIENZO.
Cons. My friend, Rascallo !-How now ?—What's the matter ?
Rasc. The matter ? (Confusedly.)

CONS. Ay ;-thou 'rt pale-confused-teeth chatter-
Thou shakest-one knee against the other knocks—
Rasc. (aside.) I must dissemble.

(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 !
CONS.

Since stocks thou 'st none ? Rasc. (recovering himself, and affecting a laugh.)

He! he! But say, what brings thee here? VOL. VII.

24

CONS.

No motive sinister. Rasc. My Conscienzo (mysteriously), wouldst thou-be-prime

minister ?
Coxs. What means Rascallo ?
Rasc.

That if I were king,
I'd make thee one.
Cons.

That 's quite another thing.
Rasc. Now, might I trust thee-But I know thy conscience
Is of the ticklish order.
Cons.

Pooh, pooh! nonsense !
Thou mean'st no harm.
Rasc.

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.

Coxs (nside.) I doubt some evil di alings.
Rasc. (with tender concern.) Is not my Conscienzo in distress?
Cons. (with manly resignation.) I'm not worth ninepence.
Rasc.

Thou shalt have redress. Thou hast a wife (insidiously)

Cons. She's starving (with emotion.)

Rasc. (with emphatic earnest ress.) And thy child Is starving too.

Cons. (in agony.) Oh! do not drive me wild.

Rasc. Will Conscienzo be so base a sinner
To let those tender sufferers want a dinner?
Shall they, and we, submit to fast and pray,
While proud Rumfuskin eats five meals a-day?
Shall we thus tamely, empty-stomach'd stand,
While he eats all the fat of all the land ?
Perish the thought!
Cons.

I'm thine. What must I do?
Rasc. Canst kill a king-a minister or two?
Cons. Ha! that's high treason.

Any fool knows that.
Cons. And we shall swing for ’t.
Rasc.

Not so certain that,
If skilfully we execute our plot.
Cons. (after some reflection.) I'll not make one--indeed I'd rather

not.
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.
For thee, beloved Griskinda, I turn traitor!

Rasc. Look down, ye gods ! in me behold a greater !
(To Cons.) But, oh! remember, he that kingdoms rifles
Must make his mind up not to stick at trifles.
Cons. Fear not. When once this happy dagger knows

(draws a dagger) The way to kill, 'twill spare nor friends nor foes.

Rasc. Think, when we strike, ’tis for our bread-and-butter.
But, on thy life, be dumb.
Cons.

No word I 'll utter.
Griskinda!

Rasc.

Rasc. For our rights!
Cons.

For love!
Rasc.

For bread-and-butter!

[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;
Preach to the sea, and whistle to the wind,
Snuff out the sun, and bid the moon stand still,
Swallow whole worlds—but let me weep my fill.

SCRUB. Oh, pardon, gentle lady, I but try
To soothe thy woes with sweet philosophy.

Grisk. Peace, peace ! unless thy moralizing will
Discharge the butcher's or the baker's bill.
Will it, Scrubinda, pay one paltry debt,
Or tick or trust for five poor farthings get;
Or purchase half a yard of calico
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 ftummery.
SCRUP.

Thou’rt wrong
To chide me.

Grisk. Am I? Then I'll sing a song.

SONG--GRISKINDA.

Air—" While gazing on the moon's light.

If passing by a cook's shop,

A dainty cutlet meet your eye,
Well pleased, you make a full stop,
And wish the dainty bit to buy.

If cash ring,

They'll soon bring
The cutlet sweet, and thank you too;

If empty

Your purse be,
The morsel will not smoke for you.
Then me no more of wisdom tell-

This simple masim none can doubt :
With money many a fool lives well,

But the wisest cannot live without.

Our friends could all be found soon,

When we were rich and lived at ease ;-
They'd come by scores i' the forenoon
To take a crust of bread and cheese.

But, now, we

Are poor, see
They quito forget we're in the nation ;

Nor would they

A groat pay
To save us all from transportation.

Then me no more, &c. .

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