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Mrs Clog. Good lack-a-day, that women born
of sober parents should be prone to follow ill exEnter Mrs AMLET and Mrs CLOGGIT, meeting. amples ! But now we talk of quality-when did Mrs Am. Good morrow, neighbour, good mor
you hear of your son Richard, Mrs Amlet? My row, neighbour Cloggit. How does all at your laced coat, with three fine ladies, his footman at
daughter Flipp says she met him t'other day in a house this morning?
Mrs Clog. Thank you kindly, Mrs Amlet, thank his heels, and as gay as a bridegroom. you kindly; how do you do, I pray?
Mrs Åm. Is it possible ? Ah, the rogue! Well, Mrs Am. At the old rate, neighbour, poor and neighbour, all's well that ends well; but Dick honest: These are hard times, good lack.
will be hanged. Mrs Clog. If they are hard with you, what are
Mrs Clog. That were pity. they with us? You have a good trade going; all
Mrs Am. Pity indeed; for he's a hopeful young the great folks in town help you off with your where he has it, Heaven knows ; but they say he
man to look on ; but he leads a life-Wellmerchandise. Mrs Am. Yes, they do help us off with 'em in
pays his club with the best of 'em. I have seen deed; they buy all.
him but once these three months, neighbour, and Mrs Clog. And pay
'then the varlet wanted money; but I bid him Mrs Am. For some.
march, and march he did to some purpose; for in Mrs Clog. Well, 'tis a thousand pities, Mrs
less than an hour, back comes my gentleman into Amlet, they are not as ready at one as they are
the house, walks to and fro in the room, with his at t'other; for, not to wrong 'em, they give very
wig over his shoulder, his hat on one side, whistgood rates.
ling a minuet, and tossing a purse of gold from Mrs Am. O, for that let us do 'em justice, neigh- one hand to t’other, with no other respect (Heabour; they never make two words about the
ven bless us !) than if it had been an orange. Sir. price; all they haggle about is the day of payment.
rah, says I, where have you got that? He answers Mrs Clog. There's all the dispute, as you say.
me never a word, but seis his arms a kimbo, cocks Mrs Am. But that's a wicked one. For my
his saucy hat in my face, turns about upon his part, neighbour, I'm just tired off my legs with ungracious heel, as much as to say, kiss and trotting after 'em; besides, it eats out all our pro- I've never set eye on him since. fit. Would you believe it, Mrs Cloggit, I have Mrs Clog. Look you there now; to see what worn out four pair of pattens, with following my
the youth of this age are come to. old lady Youthful, for one set of false teeth, and
Mrs Am. See what they will come to, neighbut three pots of paint.
bour. Heaven shield, I say, but Dick's upon the Mrs Clog. Look you there now.
gallop. Well, I must bid you good morrow : I'm Mrs Am. If they would but once let me get going where I doubt I shall ineet but a sorry welenough by 'em to keep a coach to carry ine a dunning after 'em, there would be some conscience Mrs Clog. To get in some old debt, I'll warrant in it. Mrs Clog. Ay, that were something. But now
Mrs Am. Neither better nor worse. you talk of conscience, Mrs Amlet-how do you Mrs Clog. From a lady of quality? speed amongst your city customers ?
Mrs Am. No, she's but a scrivener's wife; but Mrs Am. My city customers ! Now, by my she lives as well, and pays as ill as the stateliest truth, neighbour, between the city and the court countess of 'em all. [Excunt several ways. (with reverence be it spoken) there's not a
Enter BRASS, solus. to choose. My ladies in the city, in times past, were as full of gold as they were of religion, and Brass. Well, surely through the world's wide as punctual in their payments as they were in extent there never appeared so impudent a feltheir prayers; but since they have set their minds low as my schoolfellow Dick ; pass himself upon upon quality, adieu one, adieu t'other; their mo- the town for a gentleman, drop into all the best ney and their consciences are gone, Heaven knows company with an casy air, as if his natural elewhere. There's not a goldsmith's wife to be ment were in the sphere of quality; when the found in town, but is as hard-hearted as an ancient rogue had a kettle-drum to his father, who was judge, and as poor as a towering duchess. hanged for robbing a church, and has a pedlar to
Mrs Clog: But what the murrain have they to his mother, who carries her shop under her arm. do with quality? why don't their husbands make But here he comes. 'em mind their shops? Mrs Am. Their husbands! their husbands,
Enter Dick. sayest thou, woman? Alack, alack, they mind Dick. Well, Brass, what news? Hast thou given their husbands, neighbour, no more than they do my letter to Flippanta? a sermon.
Brass. I'm but just come; I ha’n't knocked at
the door yet. But I have a damned piece of news right on't: I must fix my affairs quickly, or Mafor you.
dam Fortune will be playing some of her bitchDick. As how?
tricks with me; therefore I'll tell thee what we'll Brass. We must quit this country.
do : we'll pursue this old rogue's daughter heartiDick. We'll be hanged first.
ly; we'll cheat his family to purpose, and they Brass. So you will, if you stay.
shall atone for the rest of mankind. Dick. Why, what's the matter?
Brass. Have at her then, and I'll about your Brass. There's a storm a-coming.
business presently. Dick. From whence?
Dick. One kiss-and success attend thee. Brass. From the worst point in the compass,
[Exit Dick, --the law.
Brass. A great rogue-Well, I say nothing ; Dick. The law! Why, what have I to do with but when I have got the thing into a good posthe law ?
ture, he shall sign and seal, or I'll have him tumBrass. Nothing; and therefore it has some- bled out of the house like a cheese. Now for thing to do with you.
(He knocks. Dick. Explain. Brass. You know you cheated a young fellow
Enter FLIPPANTA. at piquet, t'other day, of the money he had to Flip. Who's that ? Brass ! raise his company;
Brass. Flippanta! Dick. Well, what then?
Flip. What want you, rogue's-face? Brass. Why, he's sorry he lost it.
Brass. Is your mistress dressed ? Dick. Who doubts that?
Flip. What, already? Is the fellow drunk ? Brass. Ay, but that is not all; he's such a fool Brass. Why, with respect to her looking-glass, to think of complaining on't.
it's almost two. Dick. Then I must be so wise to stop his mouth. Flip. What then, fool ? Brass. How?
Brass. Why, then it's time for the mistress of Dick. Give him a little back ; if that won't do, the house to come down, and look after her fastrangle him.
mily. Brass. You are very quick in your methods. Flip. Prythee don't be an owl. Those that go Dick. Men must be so that will dispatch busi- to bed at night may rise in the morning; we that
go to bed in the morning rise in the afternoon. Brass. Hark you, colonel ; your father died in's Brass. When does she make her visits then ? bed?
Flip. By candle light : it helps off a muddy Dick. He might have done, if he had not been complexion : we women hate inquisitive sunshine. a fool.
But do you know that my lady is going to turn Brass. Why, he robbed a church.
good housewife? Dick. Ay, but he forgot to make sure of the Brass. What, is she going to die? sexton.
Flip. Die ! Brass. Are not you a great rogue ?
Brass. Why, that's the only way to save money Dick. Or I should wear worse clothes. for her family. Brass. Hark you; I would advise you to change Flip. No, but she has thought of a project to life.
save chair hire. Dick. And turn ballad-singer?
Brass. As how? Brass. Not so neither.
Flip. Why, all the company she used to keep Dick. What then?
abroad, she now intends shall meet at her own Brass
. Why, if you can get this young wench, house. Your master has advised her to set up a reform, and live honest.
basset-table. Dick. That's the way to be starved.
Brass. Nay, if he advised her to it, it's right; Bruss. No, she has money enough to buy you but has she acquainted her husband with it yet? a good place, and pay me into the bargain, for Flip. What to do? When the company meet, helping her to so good a match. You have but he'll see them. this throw left to save you; for you are not igno- Brass. Nay, that's true; as you say, he'll know rant, youngster, that your morals begin to be it soon enough. pretty well
known about town : have a care your Flip. Well, I must be gone: have you any noble birth and your honourable relations are not business with my lady? discovered too; there needs but that to have you Brass. Yes; as ambassador from Araminta, I tossed in a blanket, for the entertainment of the have a letter for her. first company of ladies you intrude into ; and then, Flip. Give it me. like a dutiful son, you may daggle about with Brass. Hold and as first minister of state your mother, and sell paint: she's old and weak, to the colonel, I have an affair to communicate to and wants somebody to carry her goods after her. thee. How like a dog will you look, with a pair of plod Flip. What is't? Quick. shoes, your bair cropped up to your ears, and a Brass. Why--he's in love. band-box under your arm !
Flip. With what? Dick. Why, faith, Brass, I think thou art in the Brass. A woman--and her money together.
Flip. Who is she?
Flip. In love! Brass. Corinna.
Clar. With Araminta. Flip. What would he be at?
Flip. Impossible! Brass. At her-if she's at leisure.
Clar. This letter from her is to give me an acFlip. Which way?
count of it. Brass. Honourably-He has ordered me to de- Flip. Methinks you are not very much alarmed. mand her of thee in marriage.
Clar. No; thou knowest I'm not much tortured Flip. Of me?
with jealousy. Brass. Why, when a man of quality has a mind Flip. Nay, you are much in the right orit, to a city-fortune, wouldst have him apply to her madam; for jealousy's a city passion ; 'tis a thing father and mother?
unknown amongst people of quality.. Flip. No.
Clar. Fie! a woinan must indeed be of a meBrass. No, so I think; men of our end of the chanic mould, who is either troubled or pleased town are better bred than to use ceremony. With with any thing her husband can do to her. a long periwig we strike the lady; with a you- Pr’ythee mention him no more ; 'tis the dullest know-what we soften the maid; and when the theme. parson has done his job, we open the affair to the Flip. 'Tis splenetic indeed. But when once family. Will you slip this letter into her prayer- you open your basset-table, I hope that will put book, my little queen? It's a very passionate one him out of your heal. -It's sealed with a heart and a dagger; you may Clar. Alas, Flippanta, I begin to grow weary see by that what he intends to do with himself. even of the thoughts of that too.
Flip. Are there any verses in it? If not, I Flip. How so? won't touch it.
Clur. Why, Í have thought on't a day and Brass. Not one word in prose; it's dated in a night already, and four-and-twenty hours, thou rhyme.
[She takes it. knowest, is enough to make one weary of any Flip. Well-but have you brought nothing else? thing.
Brass. Gad forgive me; I'm the forgetfullest Flip. Now, by my conscience, you have more dog—I have a letter for you too_here—'tis in woman in you than all your sex together: You a purse; but it's in prose; you won't touch it. never know what you would have.
Flip. Yes, hang it, it is not good to be too Cur. Tbou mistakest the thing quite. I aldainty.
ways know what I lack, but I am never pleased Brass
. How useful a virtue is humility! Well, with what I have. The want of a thing is perchild, we shall have an answer to-morrow, sha'n't plexing enough, but the possession of it is into
lerable. Flip. I cann't promise you that, for our young Flip. Well, I don't know what you are made of
, gentlewoman is not so often in my way as she but other women would think themselves bless'd would be. Her father (who is a citizen from the in your case: handsome, witty, loved by every foot to the forehead of him) lets her seldom con- body, and of so happy
a composure, to care a verse with her mother-in-law and me, for fear fig for
nobody. You have no one passion but she should learn the airs of a woman of quality. that of your pleasures, and you have in me a ser. But I'll take the first occasion. See, there's my vant devoted to all your desires, let them be as lady; go in and deliver your letter to her. (Excuni. extravagant as they will : yet all this is nothing :
you can still be out of humour. SCENE II.-A Parlour.
Clar. Alas, I have but too much cause.
Flip. Why, what have you to complain of? Enter CLARISSA, followed by FLIPPANTA and Clar. Alas, I have more subjects for spleen BRASS.
than one: Is it not a most horrible thing that I Clar. No messages this morning from any body, should be but a scrivener's wife? Flippanta? Lard, how dull that is ! O, there's don't flatter me; don't you think Nature designBrass : I did not see thee, Brass. What news ed me for something plus elevé ? dost thou bring ?
Flip. Nay, that's certain ; but, on the other Brass. Only a letter from Araminta, madam. side, methinks you ought to be in some measure
Clar. Give it me-open it for me, Flippanta ; I content, since you live like a woman of quality, am so lazy to-day.
(Sitting down. tho' you are none. Brass. (To Flip.] Be sure now you deliver my Clo O fie! the very quintessence of it is master's as carefully as I do this.
wanting. Flip. Don't trouble thyself ; I'm no novice. Flip. What's that?
Clar. (To BRASS.] 'Tis well; there needs no Clar. Why, I dare abuse no body : I'm afraid answer, since she'll be here so soon.
to affront people, though I don't like their faces; Brass. Your ladyship has no farther commands or to ruin their reputations, though they pique then?
me to it, by taking ever so much pains to preClur. Not at this time, honest Brass. Flip- serve 'em : 1 dare not raise a lie of a man
(Exit Brass. though he neglects to make love to me; nor reFlip. Madam.
port a woman to be a fool, tho'she's handsomer Clar. My husband's in love,
than I am. In short, I dare not so much as bid
my footman kick the people out of doors, though Clar. Why dost thou stare, and look so unthey come to ask me for what I owe them. gainly? Don't I speak to be understood ? Flip. All this is very hard indeed.
Flip. Yes, I understand you well enough; but Clar. Ah, Flippanta, the perquisites of quality Mrs Amlet are of an unspeakable value.
Clar. But Mrs Amlet must lend me some Flip. They are of some use, I must confess; money: where shall I have any to pay her else? but we must not expect to have every thing. You Flip. That's true; I never thought of that, have wit and beauty, and a fool to your husband : truly. But here she is. come, come, madam, that's a good portion for one. Clar. Alas, what signifies beauty and wit,
Enter Mrs Amlet. when one dares neither jilt the men, nor abuse Clar. How d'you do? How d'you do, Mrs the women? 'Tis a sad thing, Flippanta, when Amlet? I ha'n't seen you these thousand years, wit's confined; 'tis worse than the rising of the and yet I believe I'm down in your books. lights: I have been sometimes almost choaked Mrs Am. O, madam, I don't come for that, with scandal, and durst not cough it up, for want alack. of being a countess.
Flip. Good morrow, Mrs Amlet. Flip. Poor lady!
Mrs Am. Good morrow, Mrs Flippanta. Clar. O ! liberty is a fine thing, Flippanta ; it's Clar. How much am I indebted to you, Mrs a great help in conversation to have leave to say Amlet? what one will. I have seen a woman of quality, Mrs Am. Nay, if your ladyship desires to see who has not had one grain of wit, entertain a your bill, I believe I'may have it about me.whole company the most agreeably in the world, There, madam, if it be not too much fatigue to only with her malice. But 'tis in vain to repine : you to look it over. I can't mend my condition till my husband dies; Clar. Let me see it, for I hate to be in debt, so I'll say no more on't, but think of making the where I am obliged to pay. (Aside.] (Reads.) most of the state I am in.
“Imprimis, For bolstering out the Countess of Flip. That's your best way, madam; and in Crump's left hip’-0 fie! this does not belong order to it, pray consider how you'll get some to me. ready money to set your basset-table going; for Mrs Am. I beg your ladyship’s pardon: I misthat's necessary.
took indeed : 'tis a countess's bill I have writ Clar. Thou say'st true; but what trick I shall out to little purpose. I furnished her two years play my husband to get some, I don't know; ago with three pair of hips, and am not paid for for my pretence of losing my diamond necklace them yet: but some are better customers than has put the man into such a passion, I'm afraid some. There's your ladyship’s bill, madam. he won't hear reason.
Clar. “ For the idea of a new-invented comFlip. No matter; he begins to think 'tis lost mode”. -Ay, this may be mine, but 'tis of a prein earnest ; so I fancy you may venture to sell it, posterous length. Do you think I can waste and raise money that way.
time to read every article, Mrs Amlet? I'd as Clar. That cann't be, for he has left odious lief read a sermon. no es with all the goldsmiths in town.
Mrs Am. Alack-a-day, there's no need of faFlip. Well, we must pawn it then,
tiguing yourself at that rate ; cast an eye only, Clar. I'm quite tired with dealing with those if your honour pleases, upon the sum total. pawn-brokers.
Clar. Total, fifty-six pounds-and odd things. Flip. I'm afraid you'll continue the trade a Flip. But six-and-fifty pounds! great while, for all that.
(Aside. Mrs Am. Nay, another body would have made
it twice as much ; but there's a blessing goes Enter JESSAMIN.
along with a moderate profit. Jes. Madam, there's the woman below that Clar. Flippanta, go to my cashier ; let him give sells paint and patches, iron boddice, false teeth, you six-and-fifty pounds. Make haste. Don't and all sorts of things to the ladies ; I cann't you hear me ? Six-and-fifty pounds. Is it so difthink of her name.
ficult to be comprehended? Flip. 'Tis Mrs Amlet; she wants money. Flip. No, madam ; I, I comprehend six-and
Clar. Well, I ha'n't enough for myself; it's an fifty pounds, butunreasonable thing she should think I have any Clar. But go and fetch it then. for her.
Flip. What she means I don't know ; (Aside ;} Flip. She's a troublesome jade.
b t I shall, I suppose, before I bring her the Clar. So are all people that come a dunning. money.
(Exit FLIP. Flip. What will you do with her?
Clar. (Setting her hair in a pocket glass.] The Clar. I have just now thought on't
. She's trade you follow gives you a great deal of trouble, very rich, that woman is, Flippanta; I'll borrow Mrs Amlet ? some money of her.
Mrs Am. Alack-a-day, a world of pain, maFlip. Borrow! Sure you jest, madam. dam, and yet there's small profit, as your honour
Clar. No, I'm in earnest ; I give thee commis. sees by your bill. sion to do it for me.
Clar. Poor woman! Sometimes you have great losses, Mrs Amlet?
Mrs Am. I have two thousand pounds owing sirrah, I hear of your tricks: You disown me for me, of which I shall never get ten shillings. your mother, and say I am but your nurse. Is
Clar. Poor woman! You have a great charge not this true ? of children, Mrs Amlet?
Dick. No, I love you, I respect you, (Taking Mrs Am. Only one wicked rogue, madam, her hand,] I am all duty. But if you discover who I think will break my heart.
me here, you ruin the fairest prospect that man Clar. Poor woman!
ever had. Mrs Am. He'll be bang'd, madam-that will Mrs Am. What prospect? ha? Come, this is be the end of him. Where he gets it, Heaven a lie now. knows ; but he's always shaking his heels with Dick. No, my honoured parent, what I say is the ladies, and his elbows with the lords. He's true: I'm about a great fortune. I'll bring you as fine as a prince, and as gim as the best of home a daughter-in-law in a coach and six horses, them ; but the ungracious rogue tells all he if you'll but be quiet : I can't tell you more now. comes near that his mother is dead, and I am Mrs Am. Is it possible ? but his nurse.
Dick. 'Tis true, by Jupiter. Clar. Poor woman !
Mrs Am. My dear ladMrs Am. Alas, madam, he's like the rest of Dick. For Heaven's sakethe world; every body's for appearing to be more Mrs Am. But tell me, Dickthan they are, and that ruins all.
Dick. I'll follow you home in a moment, and Clar. Well, Mrs Amlet, you'll excuse me: I tell you all. have a little business: Flippanta will bring you Mrs Am. What a shape is there! your money presently. Adieu, Mrs Amlet. Dick. Pray, mother, go.
[Exit CLARISSA. Mrs Am. I must receive some money here Mrs Am. I return your honour many thanks. first, which shall go for thy wedding-dinner. (Sola.] Ab, there's my good lady, not so much Dick. Here's somebody coming. S'death! as read her bill: if the rest were like her, I she'll betray me. (He makes signs to his mother. should soon have money enough to go as fine as Dick himself.
Dick Good morrow, dear Flippanta : How do Enter Dick.
all the ladies within ? Dick. Sure Flippanta must have given my let- Flip. At your service, colonel ; as far at least ter by this time. Aside.) I long to know how it as my interest goes. has been received.
Nirs Am. Colonel !- -Law you now, how Mrs Am. Misericorde ! what do I see! Dick's respected!
(Aside. Dick. Fiends and hags-the witch my mother ! Dick. Waiting for thee, Flippanta, I was maMrs Am. Nay, 'tis he! Ah, my poor Dick, king acquaintance with this old gentlewoman what art thou doing here?
here. Dick. What a misfortune!
(Aside. Jirs Am. The pretty lad, he's as impudent as Mrs Am. Good Lard ! bow bravely decked a page.
[Aside. thou art. But it's all one; I am thy mother still; Dick. Who is this good woman, Flippanta? and though thou art a wicked child, Nature will Flip. A gin of all trades; an old daggling cheat, speak : I love thee still. Ah, Dick, my poor Dick ! that hobbles about from house to house, to bubble
(Embracing him. the ladies of their money. I have a small busiDick. Blood and thunder! will you ruin me? ness of yours in my pocket, colonel.
[Breaking from her. Dick. An answer to my letter? Mrs Am. Ah, the blasphemous rogue, how he Flip. So quick indeed! No, it's your letter swears!
itself. Dick. You destroy all my hopes.
Dick. Hast thou not given it then yet? Mrs Am. Will your mother's kiss destroy you, Flip. I ha’n't had an opportunity; but it won't varlet ? Thou art an ungracious bird: kneel down be long first. Won't you go in and see my lady? and ask my blessing, sirrah.
Dick. Yes, I'll go make her a short visit. Dick. Death and furies !
But, dear Flippanta, don't forget: my life and Mrs Am. Ah, he's a proper young man; see fortune are in your hands. what a shape he has. Ah, poor child !
Flip. Ne'er fear ; I'll take care of 'em. (Running to embrace him, he still avoiding her. Mrs Am. How he traps 'em! let Dick alone. Dick. Oons ! keep off: the woman's mad. If
Aside. any body comes, my fortune's lost.
Dick. Your servant, good madam. Mrs Am. What fortune, ha? Speak, graceless.
[To his Mother. Exit Dick. Ah, Dick, thou'lt be hanged, Dick !
Mrs Am. Your honour's most devoted.-A Dick. Good, dear mother, now, don't call me pretty, civil, well-bred gentleman this, Mrs FlipDick here.
panta. Pray, whom may he be? Mrs Am. Not call thee Dick! Is it not thy Flip. A man of great note-Colonel Shapely. name? What shall I call thee? Mr Amlet ? ha? Mrs Am. Is it possible? I have heard much Art not thou a presumptuous rascal ? Hark you, of him indeed, but never saw him before: One