Script of The First Night of My Wedding by Walter Watts


The First Night of My Wedding

A Farce,


In One Act.


By W. Watts, Esq.

Author of “An Irish Engagement,”

“Which is the King?” &c.


First Produced at the

Theatre Royal Marylebone,

November 12th, 1848.

 transcribed from the handwritten manuscript

by Dr. Kelly S. Taylor



Mr. Jeremiah Figgins – a retired Tea Dealer

Giles – Landlord of the “Jolly Companions”

Cutthroat, Toasting-Fork, and Blowing-Brains – Smugglers

Nab’em, Gag’em, and Finishem – Officers


Mrs. Jeremiah Figgins –a fascinating bride

Becky – servant of the “Jolly Companions”



Scene – Near Dover

Time – 1797




Scene. -- Interior of the “Jolly Companions” – a roadside House – a window at back covered with a curtain – door on the right of window – on one side of cupboard the inside of which is visible to the audience, two large chests at back – on one of which is flourished pistols & hung against the wall – Table, chairs, & etc.

Storm without – Thunder and lightning.

Giles and Smugglers discovered drinking at Table


Come let us drink

Thought would but sadden us.

Why should we shrink

From aught that would gladden us?

For the juice of the grape brings us comfort, we know,

Yes, the brandy, good fellows, specific for woe.


  Giles: Bravo, bravo, my lads. Come push about the grog and let’s drink success to our night’s adventure – and a pretty night it is – Hail, rain, thunder, lightning – and blowing great guns!

  1st Smuggler: Arg-ay, Master Giles! Our tight little bark will have enough to do to keep of the rocks such a night as this.

  Giles: Never fear for her, my lads.  She’s safe and snug at anchor in the little bay in the rocks.  This is not the sort of night I should have chosen, but then you smugglers mustn’t be nice about trifles.

2nd Smuggler:  I say, jolly old Giles – how does this plundering the revenue lay upon your conscience, old boy?

  Giles: Plundering, as you it – I call it as fair and honest a livelihood as any going – and as for plundering – Why, all the world are plunderers more or less – We plunder the King. The King plunders the people – and the people plunder one another and so you see my conscience ain’t at all affected.

  1st Smuggler: Bravo, old Blowhard! Why, I’m blessed if you aught to have been a parliament men and then you’d have taken the duty off brandy the first thing –

  Giles:  But come my lads, drink away for we must soon think about moving. Nine o’clock is the time agreed upon. By what time all the kegs will be landed – so you’ll only have to get them up here. In the morning, we’ll ship them off to our old friend in town.  So come – fill bumpers and let’s have a parting glass and cup to our night’s adventure.



Come let us drink

Thought would but sadden us.

Why should we shrink

From ought that would gladden us?

For the juice of the grape brings us comfort, we know,

Yes, the brandy, good fellows, specific for woe.


[Violent knocking.]

  Mr. Figgins: [without]  Hollo!  Hollo! House, I say! Boots! Chambermaid! Assistance!  Hollo! I say, hollo!

  Giles: Who the devil’s this? Take a peep at the window and see if it’s those devil’s babes, the officers.

  1st Smuggler:  A man and a woman.  They appear, from the glimpse I can catch of them, to be travelers.

  Mr. Figgins: [without] I say, House! Landlord! Chambermaid! Hollo, within there! House! House!

  Giles: Let ‘em knock. Let ‘em knock! We’ve nothing tonight for anything but brandy.

  Mr. Figgins: [without] Landlord! House! House! Distressed travelers! Open the door! Upset on the road! Landlord! Hollo!

  Giles: What the devil are we to do? If they continue to kick up this row, they may raise an alarm and bring the blue jackets down upon us.  What had we best do?

  1st Smuggler:  Let ‘em in and keep ‘em quiet ‘til the morning.  That’s the safest plan and will prevent all accidents.

  Giles: Perhaps we can persuade them to leave quickly at once.

  1st Smuggler:  Let ‘em in.  Only let us make sure of the cargo – and then to old Nick with ‘em if you like.

  Giles:  Well, then – I’ll admit them.  So away with you all.  Muzzle until I see what sort of customers they are.

[Exeunt Smugglers.]

Mr. Figgins: [without] Landlord! House! Travelers! Open the door! Upset on the road!

Giles: I only wish you’d have remained there… Coming! Coming!

Enter Mr. and Mrs. Figgins.  Mr. Figgins carrying a portmanteau and a broken umbrella with a pocketbook and kerchief tied over his head.  Mrs. Figgins fantastically attired.

  Mr. Figgins:  Here we are at last, half dead with fright, half drowned with water!  Why the devil did you not admit us at once, Mr. Landlord? My dear Mrs. Figgins, concerned beyond expression for you! You’ll catch your death of cold… Now, landlord, come quick! Hustle! Hot supper-- Hot grog – and a nice comfortable bed – for you must know, this is our wedding day.

  Giles:  You can’t have either.

  Mr. Figgins: What do you mean?

  Giles: What I say!

  Mr. Figgins: And what do you say?!!

  Giles:  That you can’t have either a hot supper, hot grog, or a nice comfortable bed.

  Mr. Figgins:  My dear Mrs. Fig!

  Mrs. Figgins: My dear Mr. Fig!

  Mr. Figgins: Nonsense, landlord, nonsense. I say I must have a bed at least.

  Giles: But I say you can’t.

  Mr. Figgins:   But I say I must… Why, Zounds! This is our wedding night! Not have a bed…! Only consider… My dear Mrs. Fig.!

  Mrs. Figgins: My dear Mr. Fig!

  Giles:  I say what I said before – you can’t have anything here.  You had better go to the next inn.  We’re full.

  Mr. Figgins:  And we’re empty!  Now, my good, Mr. Landlord, only consider, now… Just steal a glance at what a fascinating woman there… Only just look at her. This morning she was a bride – and in all the joy of connubial bliss we were proceeding to open the honeymoon at Dover.  We were overtaken by the storm – upset – nearly killed by fright – nearly drowned with water! And now to finish it refused supper, grog and bed?  Mrs. Fig, Mrs. Fig…! What a complication of misfortunes!

  Mrs. Figgins: My dear Mr. Fig… Let us hope for the best!

  Mr. Figgins:  Hope? There is no hope.   Mr. Landlord, if you’re a married man, I know you’ll pity us.  Look at that adorable woman there, look on my bride – Do the best you can for us!... Now, Mr. Landlord, if you’ll only let us have supper and ale, I’ll pay you whatever you like.  Let me tell you, I’m that Jeremiah Figgins, late of the House of Figgins, Baggins, and Co. of Philpot Lane Wholesale Tea and Coffee Dealers, now independent gentleman of Sugarloaf Villa near Dover – Don’t care a fig for money when his dear wife’s comfort is connected, does he, my dear Mrs. Fig?

  Mrs. Figgins:  No, my dear Mr. Fig.

  Giles: I cannot accommodate you, so I think you had better go.

  Mr. Figgins:  And I think we had better stay.

  Giles:  Well, what do you mean to do?

  Mr. Figgins:  I mean, sir… There! [Brings chairs forward.] Set you there.  There, sir. I take my seat by the side of my fascinating bride – and damn me if I stir for anyone!

  Giles:  Then you’re determined to stop?

  Mr. Figgins:  I am!

  Giles:  Then stop – and take the consequences. [Aside.] Now, then, to set Becky to work and see what a little fright will do… [Exits.]

  Mr. Figgins:  My dear Mrs. Fig!

  Mrs. Figgins:  My dear Mr. Fig!

  Mr. Figgins: What did that man mean?

  Mrs. Figgins: I really don’t know.

  Mr. Figgins:  I don’t half like it.  ‘Pon my life and soul, I don’t.  That strange man… His strange looks, ways, and words… This lonely house… If we should be kidnapped…!

  Mrs. Figgins:  Mr. Fig, Mr. Fig! Don’t say so! Don’t, for gracious sake! I shall faint! I know I shall!

  Mr. Figgins:  No, don’t! Don’t, I beg of you, Mrs. Fig!  Mrs. Fig, my angel of a wife!  Here’s a pretty mess we’ve got into on the first night of our wedding… Chin up, my love!  Chin up! Be firm! Be a man! ...a woman, I should say… Here they come! Be firm. Remember, you are a Figgins!

[Enter Becky, crying.]

  Becky:’am..!  Th..Sir..! What did you come here for?

  Mr. Figgins:  Why, for shelter and protection.

  Becky: Then you’ve jumped out of the frying pan into the fire! Oh, dear! Oh, dear!

  Mr. Figgins:  Speak, I implore you. What do you mean?

  Becky:  I’m afraid to tell you.  I can’t!  It’s all over with you!

  Mr. Figgins:  Over with us? My heart’s in my mouth! Mrs. Fig, Mrs. Fig! What shall we do?

  Mrs. Figgins: I rely on you for protection.

  Mr. Figgins: With my umbrella, to the last!  Young woman, speak! Let us know the worst.

  Becky:  I’m afraid they’ll hear me – speak low.  You’ll both be…

  Mr. and Mrs. Figgins:  What?

  Becky:  Murdered!

  Mr. and Mrs. Figgins:  O-h!! [Embracing.]

  Becky:  Oh, dear! Oh, dear, I’m so sorry for you!

  Mr. Figgins:  That we should have been joined so soon to part…! Married in the morning and murdered in the evening…!  But stop… We may yet escape!  Young woman, the door..!

  Becky:  Is locked… and your retreat cut off!

  Mr. Figgins:  Cut off! And soon shall we be -- in the very blossom of our days!  Why did I ever leave Philpot Lane?  I might have lived to an old age and died in my bed!

  Mrs. Figgins:  Mr. Fig, Mr. Fig! Is there no hope?

  Mr. Figgins:  While there’s life, there is… Young woman, on you we throw ourselves for protection. Save us! Save us!

  Becky:  If I do, it will be at the risk of my own life.

  Mr. Figgins:  One had better be murdered than two.  I’ll insure your life.  There’s gold. There’s a premium for it.  Do but get us safe out of this and we’ll never forget you.

  Becky:  There is only one way – Get into that cupboard and remain perfectly still.  Leave the rest to me.

  Mr. Figgins:  In here? We obey you.  Come, my angel.  In we go!  Remember, we depend upon you for life, love, and liberty!

[They go into cupboard and are visible to the audience.]

  Becky: There they are, safely housed.  Now to make all fast. [Locks them in.]  I’ve turned this to a good account – It’s all in the way of smuggling – weak spirits instead of a full proof. So now for my master… [Exits.]

  Mr. Figgins: Mrs. Fig – Mrs. Fig!  Here’s a pretty kettle of fish…

  Mrs. Figgins:  Mr. Fig – Mr. Fig! Who would have thought of this disaster?

  Mr. Figgins:  Hark! I hear footsteps! They’re coming! Our last embrace!

[They embrace.]

Enter Giles and Smugglers

  Giles:  All right, so now, my lads, to business!

  Mr. Figgins:  To settle ours!

  1st Smuggler:  Arg-aye! We’re ready!

  Mr. Figgins:  But we’re not!

  Giles: [aside] You remember all your nicknames for fear of being heard by those? [Points to the cupboard.]

  1st Smuggler: Arg-aye. Never fear.

  Mr. Figgins:  Never fear? We can’t help it!

  Giles: [aloud] Now, then, look alive! Look to yours, Toasting-fork! Blowing-brains!

  Mr. Figgins:  Blowing brains out with a toasting fork?  Let me get away from the door! [They struggle in the cupboard to get away from the door.]

  Giles:  And you to your pistols, Cutthroat.

  Mr. Figgins:  Cut our throats with a pistol! Ooo-h!!

  Giles:  Are you ready, Knockemdown?

  Mr. Figgins:  Ready to knock us down, cut our throats, and blow our brains out!  It’s all up with us!

  Giles:  Then to work, my lads! To work!

[Exit Giles and Smugglers.]

  Mr. Figgins:  Here they come!  It’s your turn first, Mrs. Fig – Go forward!

  Mrs. Figgins:  No, you first!  I won’t be murdered first! I declare I won’t!

  Mr. Figgins:  I say you shall!  Mind, I am lord and master.  Blow her brains out first!

  Mrs. Figgins:  You monster!  But I won’t!  Cut his throat first! [Fight ensues between them – Noise heard without.] They’re coming!  They’re coming!  [They crouch down at the bottom of the cupboard.]

Enter Custom House Officers at door.

  Officer: Gently, gently, or they’ll hear us, Gag-em.

  Mr. Figgins:  Gag ’em? That’s to prevent us giving an alarm.

  Officer:  I have no doubt our information is correct… and they are concealed here.

  Mr. Figgins:  That young woman has spilt. She’s told our hiding place.  It’s all over with us!

  Officer:  We must take ‘em unawares…

  Mr. Figgins:  Must you? Oh! It’s all up!!

  Officer:  So, keep a sharp look out, Finishem.

  Mr. Figgins:  Take us unawares and finish us… Murder! Murder!

  Officer:  Someone comes! Seize them as they enter!

  Mr. Figgins:  That’s a reprieve for us!

Enter Becky with light.

  Officer:  Stand out, prisoner! [They seize her.]

  Mr. Figgins:  There’s another victim.  The more the merrier…

  Becky:  Mercy, gentlemen!  Pray, have mercy!

  Mr. Figgins:  Gentlemen? The villains! I wish I could see what’s going on…!

  Becky:  Oh, spare me! Spare me!

  Mr. Figgins: Don’t you wish you may get it!

  Officer:  Confess all then. Who is concealed in the house?

  Mr. Figgins:  It’s up with us!  She’s going to turn King’s evidence!  We’re done for! Where’s my umbrella? [Puts up umbrella.]

  Becky:  I will confess all! Everything!

  Mr. Figgins: You vixen!

  Officer:  Tell us then where is the captain of the brig that we have already captured – but we must have him!

  Mr. Figgins: The Captain? Who the devil’s he?

  Becky: He is there!  There in that cupboard!  His wife’s with him! Now, pray, let me go, good gentlemen!

  Mr. Figgins:  What’s this about?

  Officer: Release her. You may go.

  Becky:  Thank you, Sir! [Aside.] Now, then to alarm the smugglers! [Exit.]

  Officer: We have them now and must lose no time. [Knocks.] Come out, you villain. We have you now. Come out! Come out! [Mr. and Mrs. Figgins fight who shall be taken first.] You won’t come out? Quick, break open the door and drag them forth. [The door is burst open.  They get behind the umbrella.]

  Officer:  Quick! Bring them out! [They drag them out.]

  Mr. and Mrs. Figgins: Mercy! Mercy, good, Mr. Blow-my-brains!

  Officer: You can expect none.  You have too long eluded the penalty of your crimes.

  Mr. Figgins: Crimes? What crimes? We never injured anyone. Did we, Mrs. Fig?

  Mrs. Figgins: Never, my dear, Mr. Fig.

  Officer: ‘Tis of no use to pretend ignorance.  Your vessel has been captured and you will be brought to justice.

  Mr. Figgins:  I only wish I could obtain justice… What do you mean, Sir? My vessel?

  Officer:  Yes – your Mary Anne.

  Mr. Figgins:  My Mary Anne? My wife? Yes, I know. She’s captured, but I hope you won’t hurt her, sir.

  Mrs. Figgins: Pray, don’t, sir!

  Officer:  She is forfeited to the Customs.

  Mr. Figgins:  I’ll be damned if she is! What do I care about custom?  I’ll have you to know, sir, I’m a Briton, an Englishman, a Cockney, born within the sound of Bow Bells and I never heard of such a custom before in all my life!

  Officer:  ‘Tis useless trifling longer.  You are our prisoner.  Your men as well as your ship have been taken.

  Mr. Figgins:  My ship?  What do you mean? I never had a ship!

  Officer:  Do you deny being the captain of the smuggling brig, Mary Anne?

  Mr. Figgins:  That’s the only Mary Anne that I’m captain of. [Points to his wife.] Me, a smuggler! Do I look like a smuggler? My dear Mrs. Fig, do I?

  Mrs. Figgins:  Far from it, my dear Mr. Fig!!

  Mr. Figgins: Here’s a defamation of character! If there’s law in the land to be had, I’ll have it! A smuggler… I never…!

  Officer:  Appearances are certainly in your favor… However, it is my duty to detain you a prisoner until you can give as good account of yourselves…

  Mr. Figgins:  Me, a smuggler! My name, sir, is Jeremiah Figgins, late of the firm of Figgins, Baggins, and Co. of Philpot Lane, wholesale Tea and Coffee dealers.  Yesterday, I dissolved partnership with Baggins and Co. and this morning took a sleeping partner in the person of that angelic woman there, my wife and bride.

   Officer:  What proofs have we of the truth of this statement?

   Mr. Figgins: The best possible. Here in black and white –There, sir. Read that.  There’s the certificate of my marriage – Read that, sir – read that!

   Officer: By this, what you state appears correct.  We have been deceived in our information.  I am sorry we have caused you so much alarm.  Where is the young woman?

   2nd Officer:  She has left the house.

   Officer:  Gone no doubt to alarm the smugglers.  We must away and obtain a reinforcement.  So follow me.

   Mr. Figgins:  But, I say, Mr. Officer.  Please stop. Take us with you.  Don’t leave us to be murdered.  Consider my bride.

   Officer:   We have not a moment to spare.  ‘Til we return, you must shift for yourselves.  Forward!

 [Exit Officers]

   Mr. Figgins:  And a pretty shift we shall make of it… Mrs. Fig, Mrs. Fig!  The cakes of matrimony have already fallen upon us.  We are experiencing the bitters before we have partaken of the sweets!  What’s to be done?

   Mrs. Figgins: My dear Mr. Fig, for Heaven’s sake, let’s us be away from this house or I shall die with fright.

   Mr. Figgins:  We will, my love, we will.  Let’s us away at once.  I’ve got my umbrella and that’s something.  So come along… Hark!  What’s that?  I heard voices… There’s somebody coming…. It’s all up!  They’ll make short work of us -- Mrs. Fig, Mrs. Fig!

   Mrs. Figgins:  Let us conceal ourselves.

   Mr. Figgins:  But where?  The cupboard? That won’t do… Where the devil shall we go to? Oh, dear… oh, dear… [They run about in confusion.]  These chests… They’re ample!  Mrs. Fig, you get in here… There! Be quick! One last embrace.  Lay quiet for your life!  Now, for myself.  Ah, here are pistols loaded nearby all -- That’s lucky! With these and my umbrella, I’ll defend myself against a thousand.  [Gets into chest.] This is rather close quarters…. Hollo… What a smell of rats… I shall be smothered in flour… Mrs. Fig, are you pretty comfortable?

   Mrs. Figgins: [from chest] I shall be squeezed to death.

   Mr. Figgins:  You must expect to be squeezed on your wedding night.  Still for your life!  They’re here!

 Re-enter Giles, Becky, and Smugglers.

   Giles:  By Heavens, we must have been betrayed…Gone! They have escaped us – Left the coast clear.  What’s to be done?

   1st Smuggler:  I wouldn’t care if I could but have had revenge.

   Giles:  On whom?

   1st Smuggler:  Our betrayers.  What think you of those travelers of tonight? On my life, they had some hand in it…

   Mr. Figgins: [from the chest] It’s a lie!

   Giles:  They have escaped us…  Ah, here is their portmanteau… They may still be in the house!  Let’s search and if we find them, they shall dearly pay for their handiwork…!

    Mr. Figgins:  I’m dead and buried.

  1st Smuggler:  Stay.  Let’s see what we have in this concern.  I had them here; I’d serve them as I now serve this. [Rips it up.]

  Mr. Figgins:  I feel the cold steel in my stomach…

  1st Smuggler:  What have we here?  A nightcap? [Holds it up.]

  Mr. Figgins:  My wife’s wedding one!!

  2nd Smuggler:  Here’s another…

  Mr. Figgins:  My best and only silk one!

  1st Smuggler:  [Pulls out a variety of things] A parcel of rubbish… This affords no clue… Now, then to search!

  Giles:  About it, lads!

  Becky:  I’ve searched the kitchen.  They’re not there.

  1st Smuggler:  Here’s one at any rate! [Discerns Mrs. Figgins.] Come out with you, old girl!

  Mrs. Figgins:  Mercy! Help! Murder!  Mr. Fig, Mr. Fig!

  1st Smuggler:  You shall have something to Hollo for! I’ll give you a sickness!  Out with the other varment! We’ll serve these beggars out!

[Giles goes to open the other chest.  Mr. Figgins raises suddenly and knocks him down with his umbrella.  A general fight ensues.  Mr. Figgins puts up his umbrella before himself and wife and points pistol through a hole in it.]

  Mr. Figgins:  Now then, you ragamuffins!  Advance and I’ll blow all your brains out! [Aside]  I never fired a pistol in all my life!

  Giles:  Down with them, my lads!  What?  Frightened of an old man and woman?  Come on!

  1st Smuggler:  Ah! Scrag the pair of ‘em!

[They rush forward.  Mr. Figgins fires.  A fight.  Mr. and Mrs. Figgins are beaten down.  Officers rush in.]

  Mr. Figgins:  Hurrah!  Victory! Victory, Mrs. Fig!  Look up! We are preserved!

  Mrs. Figgins:  My dear Mr. Fig! What just…?  What happened?

  Officer:  Yield, in the King’s name!  I arrest you!  Resistance is useless! You are our prisoners!

  Giles:  It’s all up, so we may as well go quietly… A few minutes later and we’d have done for you!

  Mr. Figgins:  You’re very kind, but I’m quite satisfied.  Mr. Officer, on you we throw ourselves for protection.

  Officer:  Everything in my power to do for you shall be done.

  Mr. Figgins:  Conduct us to where we can refreshments and a night’s lodging.

  Officer:  A short distance from here is a house where you may obtain all your wishes.  We shall pass it on the road to the rail and shall be happy to conduct you there.

  Mr. Figgins:  Ten thousand thanks.  Let us away at once. And to finish the adventures of tonight, before we retire, I would say a word or two to my friends here.  When it is your fortune to lead, like me, a lovely woman to the altar of Hymen -- which, for your own sake, I trust will not be long about -- I seriously hope that on that eventful occasion, you will keep the time much happier than we have done on…

The First Night of Our Wedding.




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