« السابقةمتابعة »
While each with tender passion burns,
Security in mutual trust.
Young men and old, peruse the burd, .
A female trusted to your care,
SCENE I.-A Parlour in AILWOULD's House, Wag. He does not come or send, child. with a Table and Chairs.
Pru. NoWhat do you do here, theu, and
be hanged to you!
Pru. Very pretty jesting, truly! I was afraid Way. Well, but Mrs. Prudence, don't be in a that some of the family would take notice of my passion!
talking to you in the hall. But, in truth, here is Pru. Mr. Wag, I will be in a passion ; and its no place of safety in the house ; for now fre enough to put any one in a passion to have to do brought you up here, I'm afraid every moments with such indiscreet people as your master. I of my master's surprising us. believe he's out of his senses, for my part. I Wag. Does the old gentleman always keep
Wag. He's in love, Mrs. Prudence, and that's the house, then? half way.
Pru. Keep the house !—he generally keeps his Pru. So often as he has been forbid either to chamber, and very often his bed. You mus come or send after my mistress, to persist, in know he's one of those folks, that are always sick spite of all our cautions and interdictions I continually complaining, ever taking physic, and, ing.
in reality, never ailing any thing. I'in his nurse, 1 people so, you have made me break my head with a playue to bim! and he worries me out of against the window-shutter. my life.
| Ail. You baggage, you 'tis above an Wag. Would I were sick upon the same con- hour. ditions!
Pru. (Crying.] Dear me, how it smarts ! Pru. Come, come, no fooliny. You said you dil. Above an hour that I have been wanting had a letter from your master to my young lady; somebody. give it me, and I'll deliver it to her.
Pru. Oh, oh! Way. There it is, my dear.
Ail. Hold your tongue, hussy, till I scold Pru. But am I not a very naughty wench, to you! be accessary, in this manner, to a clandestine Pru. Very pretty, in troth, after the blow I correspondence ?
have got! Wug. The billet is perfectly innocent, I can Ail. You have left me to bawl and call, till I assure you; and such as your lady will read with am hoarse again. pleasure.
Pru. And you have made me get a great Pru. Well, now, go away.
bump on my forehead; so put one against the Wag. I won't, without you give me a kiss. other, and we're quit. Pru. Poh, you're a fool.
Ail. How, Mrs. Impudence ?
Pru. If you scold, i'll cry.
Pru. [Crying.] Oh, oh, oh!
zen, audacious, provoking, abominable, insolent Wag. Say you so, my girl-Thus, then, I ap-1-Shan't I be allowed to have the pleasure of proach those charming lips.
finding fault with you? Drawing near her with ridiculous ceremo- Pru. You inay have that pleasure if you will; ny. A bell rings violently.
and it's as fair that I should have the pleasure Pru. Confusion! away, away, away !-be- of crying, if I like it. gone, as quick as you can, or we are both Ail. Well, well, I have done. Take away ruined !
these things, and get me my medicine. Its Wag. Ay! how! what the devil's the mat-three hours and two minutes since I took itter?
and don't you know the prescription says every Pru. My master's bell, my master's bell! He three hours! I fell the bad effect of my omission rings again! Down the back stairs and let your already. self out at the street door. I can't stay to talk Pru. Lord, sir, why will you drench yourself to you any longer now-Adieu ! [Erit. with such nasty slops? One would think the phy
Wag. As he is going off.) Hey, what a ring-sicians and apothecaries could fiud sufficient stuff ing's here! one would think the house was on for your craving bowels; but you must go to the fire.
[Erit. quacks, too : and this Doctor Last with his uni
versal, balsamic, restorative cordial, that turns Allwou'd comes through the back-scene in a
in a water into asses milk. night-gown and flannel-cap, his crutch in one
Ail. That's a good girl! go on ! hand, and a small bell in the other
Pru. Methinks, if one was to take physic, one Ail. O lord, O lord, here's usage for a poor, would rather choose to go to a regular physician helpless, sick man! There's nobody in the house! | than to a quack. sure, there can be nobody; they've all deserted Ail. And why so, my dainty, adviser ? ine, and left me alone to expire without assist- Pru. For the same reason, that, if I wanted a ance. I made shift to inuster up sufficient pair of shoes, I would rather go to an established strength to crawl thus far; and now, I can die shoc-maker, than lay out my money at a Yorkbere. (Drops into the arm chair with a piteous shire warehouse. groan; then, after a short pause, starting and Ail. If I hear any more of your impudence, itariny.) Mercy on me, what's the matter with I'll break your head to some purpose ; it sban't ne? I am suddenly seized with a shivering fit! be a bump in the forehead will serve you. And now I burn like a red-hot coal of fire !- Pra. Eh, you old fanciful, foolish And now again-shiver, shiver, shiver! as if my
[Aside. lood was turned into snow-water! Prudence, Ail. Go, and call my daughter Nancy to me; Nancy, Mrs. Ailwou'd, love, wife! They're all I have something to say to her. leaf! and my bell is not loud enough neither! Pru. She's here, sir. Prudence, I say !
Ail. Come here, Nancy; I want to speak
| Nan. What's your pleasure, sir? Pru. [Pretending to have hurt her head. Ail. Stay; before I say or do any thing forhe deuce take your impatience! you hurry ther, I'll go into the next room, and take my
medicine I should be a great fool to forget
Enter Allwoc'D. that. Pru. Ay, sir, so you would,
| Ail. Nancy, child, I have a piece of news to Ail. I should, indeed, for it does me a prodi- tell you, that, perhaps, you little expect. Here's gious deal of good; though I must take a little a match proposed to me for you. You smile a cooling physic, too, in order to correct the ihat; Ah, nature, nature ! By what I percene, juices.
[Erit. then, I need not ask you if you are willing? Nan. Prudence.
Nun. Iain ready to submit to your commands Pru. Madam?
in every thing, sir. Dear Prue, this is beyond Nan. Look on me a little.'
my hopes. Pru. Well, I do look on you.
Pru. Mr. Hargrave has kept his word, ma Nan. Prudence !
dam. Pru. Well, what would you have with Pru- Ail. What are you whispering about? depce?
Nan. Nothing, sir. Nan. Can't you guess?
Ail. Well, child, at any rate, I am glad to find Pru. Some discourse, I suppose, about our you in so complving a disposition ; for to ki new acquaintance, Mr, Hargrave; for you have you the truth, I was resolved on the thing before done nothing but lalk of him for this week past. I mentioned it to you, and had even given
Nan. And can you blame me for the good word to put it as expeditiously as possible to opinion I have of bim?
execution, Pru. Who says I do?
Pru. I am sure you are very much in the Nun. Or would you have me insensible to the right of it, sır; 'uis the wisest thing you ever ad tender protestations which he makes me? in your life. Pru. Heaven forbid !
Ail. I have not seen the gentleman yet, het! Nan. Prythee, tell me now, Prudence, don't am told he will be every way to the satisfacto fou really thiok there was something of destiny of us both. in the odd adventure, that brought us acquaint Nan. That, sir, I am certain of, for I have ed?
seen him already. Pru. Certainly.
Ail. Have you? Nan. Was there not something uncommonly Nan. Since your consent, sir, encourages se brave and gentleman-like in that action of rescu-to discover my inclinations, you must know, that ing me, without knowing any thing of me? good fortune has lately brought us acquainted;
Pru. Very genteel and gentleman-like, in- and that the proposal, which has been made to deed!
you, is tbe effect of that esteem, which, at the Nan. And was it possible for any one to first interview, we conceived for one another. make a more generous use of it?
Ail. That's more than I knew, but no matter; Pru. Impossible.
the smoother things go on, the better I am pleaNan. Then, Prue, he has a most charming sed-He is but a little man I am told. person. Don't you think so?
Nan. He's well made, sir. Pru. Who can think otherwise?
Ail. Agreeable in his person ? Nan. Something very noble in his air?
Nan. Very agreeable. Pru. Very noble !
Ail. In his address? Nan. Then, he talks like an angel.
Nan. Perfectly elegant. Pru. Ay, and writes like an angel, too, I dare Ail. Really that's much-Very much, upon goy swcar, madam, as this letter will show,
word, that a man of low birth, and bred up to a Nan. From Mr. Hargrave! You wicked girl, mean profession-for, though the doctor tras why would you keep it from me so long? now fitteen thousand pounds in the fonds, and
[Snatches it from her, and reads it to gets eight or nine hundred a-year, he ones ad herself.
to his medicinal secrets. Pru. Well, madam, what does the gentleman Nan Sir!
Ail. At least so Mr. Trash the book-seller, Nan. Every thing, dear Prue; every thing in that vends his medicines, tells me; through the world, that I could wish or desire. He says whose mediation, indeed, this proposal is bade. he can't live happy without me; and that he Nan. Mr. Trash! Has Mr. Hargrave any thing will, by the means of a common friend, immedi- to do, thenately make a formal proposal for me to my fa- Ail. Hargrave! Who the devil's be! I am ther.
talking of the person you are to marry, Dr. Last, Pru. But do you think, madam, that your fa- whose cordial bas done me so much service. It ther will listen?
seems he is a widower, and has a mind to get a Nan. He can have no objection, Prudence. second wife, that may do him some credit; such
Pru. No, madam ; but your mother-in-law as his worldly circumstances intille him to. may, who governs him, and I am sure bears you Nan. Well, but my dear sirno good will. The best joke is, she thinks she Ail. Yes, child, I know it's very well. The has wheedled me into her interests
Doctor is to be brought here to-day to be intrNan. Ilush, bere's my father!
| duced to me, and I am really couce rued that I
appointed Dr. Coffin, Dr. Skeleton, and Dr. Bul- ' Pru. I believe no father but yourself ever ruddery, to hold a consultation upon my case thought of such a thing. this morning; for, I have found so much benefit Ail. Help me to catch her, daughter, or I'll from Dr. Last's medicine, that I think he will never give you my blessing. be the properest person to find out what's the Pru. Never mind him, madam. matter with me.
Ail. An audacious, impudent, insolent* Nan. Well, but, sir, give me leave to tell you, Pru. Ay, ay, you may abuse me, if you please, that Dr. Last was very far from my thoughts, but I won't give my consent to the match for all when we began this conversation. In short, that. papa, all this while you have been talking of one Ail. Cockatrice, jade, slut![Chasing her round person, and I of another.
the stage.] Oh, oh, I can support it no longer; she Pru. Poh, poh, madam, make yourself easy ; | has killed, she has murdered me, my master can have no such ridiculous design as
[Falls into his chair. he has been mentioning to you-Marry a young Pru. Your humble servant, sweet sir-Come lady of family and fortune to a scoundrel away, madam. (Ereunt Pru. and Nax. quack!
Ail. Love ! wife ! Mrs. Ailwou'd ! Ail. And what business have you to be meddling, impudence!
Enter Mrs. Allwou'd. Pru. No business at all, sir; but, if you are Mrs. Ail. How now ! really serious in your design about this inarriage, Ail. Oh, lamb, lamb ! come hither, if you love give me leave to ask you, what can have put it me! into your bead ? "
Mrs. Ail. What's the matter with my poor dil. You have nothing to do with that dear! have told the girl the party I propose for her is Ail. Help me sweetest ! rich; but if you must know what most inclined, Mrs. Ail. I will help thee; what's the matand, indeed, determined me, as it were, to ac- ter? cept of Dr. Last for a son-in-law, is the number Ail. Lamb ! of invaluable sccrets he possesses; aud this allia Mrs. Ail. Well, my heart! ance will intitle me to take his medicines gratis, I Ail. They have been teazing and fretting me as my various infirmities may require---a thing here out of the sinall portion of life and spirit I that we ought all to consider, my last year's apo- have left. thecary's bill amounting to two hundred and Mrs. Ail. No, sweet, I hope not! Who has bineteen pounds four shillings and eleven-pence. angered thee?
Pru. A very pretty reason for marrying your Ail. That jade, Prudence. She is grown more daughter to a quack, indeed! But, after all, sir, saucy and impudent than ever ! tell me, upon your honour, now, does any thing Mrs. Ail. Don't put yourself in a passion with ail you?
ber, my soul! Ail. Eh ! how ! any thing ail me?
Ail. I don't believe I shall ever recorer it. Pru. Ay, sir, are you sick in earnest ? and, if Mrs. Ail. Yes, yes, compose yuarselt. So, what's the matter with you?
Ail. She has been contradicting meAil. It's my misfortune not to know-Would! Mrs. Ai'. Don't inind her. to leaven I did !---But to cut short all these im- Ail. And has had the impudence to tell me pertinences, look you, daughter, I lay my com- I'nı not sick ; when you know, my lamb, how it mands upon you to prepare yourself to receive is with me. the busband I propose for you,
Mrs. Ail. I know, my heart, very well, you Pru And I, madam, on my part, conomanii are feeble and weak-Heaven help thee! you to have nothing to do with him. (Going off: Ail. That jade will bring me to my grave. • Ail. Why, you impudent slut, shall a chaoiber- She is the cause of half the phlegm I breed; and maid take the liberty
I have desired, a hundred and a hundred times, Pru. She shan't marry the quack.
that you would turn her off. Ail. Shan't she? we'll see that, if I get near Mrs. Ail. My child, there are no servants enough to lay my cane across your shoulders. but have their faults; and we must endure their
[Rising in a fury. bad qualities, that we may have the use of their Nan. Dear sir
good ones. However, I will give Mrs. Prudence : Pru. Oh, don't hinder him, madam; give a lecture for her impertinence, I assure you him leave to come; he's welcome to do his Who's there? Prudence, I say ! worst.
Enter PRUDENCE. Ail. If I lay hold of you
(Following her. Pru. Did you call me, madam ? Pru. I say I won't let you do a foolish thing,
Very demurely. if I can help it. Getling behind a chair | Mrs. Come bither, mistress-11h is the
Ail, Come hither, come bither. [Still follow- meaning, that you fret and thwart your m ister, ing her.] Nancy, stop ber there ; don't let her and put bim into passions ? pass.
Pru. Wbo, I, madam! Bless my soul, I don't