صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

pany hut Angelica, that I may discover my design to her.

[Whispers. Scand. I will.--I have discovered something of Tattle, that is of a piece with Mrs. Frail. He courts Angelica ; if we could contrive to couple them together- -Hark'ee

[Whispers. Mrs. For. He won't know you, cousin; he knows nobody.

For. But he knows more than any body.-Oh, niece, he knows things past and to come, and all the profound secrets of time.

Tatt. Look you, Mr. Foresight; it is not my way to make many words of matters, and so I shan't say much. But in short, d'ye see, I will hold you a hundred pounds now,

that I know more secrets than he. For. How? I cannot read that knowledge in your face, Mr. Tattle. Pray what do you know;

Tatt. Why, d'ye think I'll tell you, sir ?-Read it in my face! No, sir, it is written in my heart; and safer there, sir, than letters written in juice of lemon, for no fire can fetch it out. I'm no blab, sir.

Val. Acquaint Jeremy with it; he may easily bring it about. They are welcome, and I'll tell them so myself. [To Scandal.] What, do you look strange upon me?—Then I must be plain. [Coming up to them.} I am Honesty and hate an old acquaintance with a new face.

[Scandal goes aside with Jeremy. Tatt. Do you know me, Valentine? Val. You? Who are you? I hope not. Tatt. I am Jack Tattle, your friend.

Val. My friend! what to do? I'm no married man, and thou canst not lie with my wife. I am very poor, and thou canst not borrow money of me. Then what employment have I for a friend?

Tatt. Ha! a good open speaker, and not to be trusted with a secret.

Ang. Do you know me, Valentine ?
Val. Oh, very well.
Ang. Who am I?

Val. You're a woman-one to whom Heaven gave beauty, when it grafted roses on a briar. You are the reflection of heaven in a pond; and he that leaps at you is sunk. You are all white, a sheet of lovely spotless paper, when you were first born; but you are to be scrawled and blotted by every goose's quill. I know you; for I loved a woman, and loved her so long, that I found out a strange thing; I found out what a woman was good for.

Tatt. Ay, pr’ythee, what's that?
Val. Why, to keep a secret.
Tatt. O Lord !

Val. O, exceeding good to keep a secret: for though she should tell, yet she is not believed.

Tatt. Hal good again, faith.

Val. I would have music.-Sing me the song that + I like.

"SONG. I tell thee, Charmion, could I time retrieve, And could again begin to love and live, ci To you I should my earliest offering give ;

heart to you,

« I know my eyes

would lend

my
" And I should all my vows and ouths renew;
" But, to be plain, I never would be true.

For, by our weak and weary truth, I find,
Love hates to centre in a point assign'd;
But runs with joy the circle of the mind:

Then never let us chain what should be free,
But for relief of either sex, agree:
Since women love to change, and so do we.

« No more ; for I'm melancholy." [Walks musing

Jer. [Jeremy and Scandal whisper.] I'll do't, sir.

Scand. Mr. Foresight, we had best leave him. He may grow outrageous, and do mischief.

For. I will be directed by you.

Jer. [To Mrs. Frail.] You'll meet, madam.-I'll take care every thing shall be ready,

Mrs. F. Thou shalt do what thou wilt; in short, I will deny thee nothing.

Tatt. Madam, shall I wait upon you ? [To Angelica.

Ang. No, I'll stay with him.-Mr. Scandal will protect me.

Aunt, Mr. Tattle desires you would give him leave to wait upon you.

Tatt. Pox on't, there's no coming off, now she has said that-Madam, will you dome the honour ?

Mrs. For. Mr. Tattle might have used less ceremony !

[Exeunt Mrs. Frail, Mr. and Mrs. Foresighit and

Tattle.] Scand. Jeremy, follow Tattle. [Exit Jeremy.

Ang. Mr. Scandal, I only stay till my maid comes, and because I have a mind to be rid of Mr. Tattle.

Scand. Madam, I am very glad that I overheard a better reason which you gave to Mr. Tattle; for his impertinence forced you to acknowledge a kindness for Valentine, which you denied to all his sufferings and my solicitations. So I'll leave him to make use of the discovery; and your ladyship to the free confession of your inclinations.

Ang. Oh Heavens! you won't leave me alone with a madman?

Scand. No, madam ; I only leave a madman to his remedy.

[Exit. Val. Madam, you need not be very much afraid for I fancy I begin to come to myself.

Ang. Ay, but if I don't fit you, I'll be hang’d. [Aside.

Val. You see what disguises love makes us put on. Gods have been in counterfeited shapes for the same reason; and the divine part of me, my mind, has worn this masque of madness, and this motley livery, only as the slave of love, and menial creature of your beauty.

Ang. Mercy on me, how he talks! Poor Valentine!

Val. Nay, faith, now let us understand one another, hypocrisy apart. The comedy draws towards an end; and let us think of leaving acting, and be ourselves; and, since you have loved me, you must own, I have at length deserved you should confess it.

Ang. [Sighs.] I would I had loved you !—for, Heaven knows, I pity you; and, could I have foreseen the bad effects, I would have striven but that's too late!

Val. What bad effećts? what's too late ?-My seeming madness has deceived my father, and procured me time to think of means to reconcile me to him, and preserve the right of my inheritance to his estate; which otherwise, by articles, I must this morning have resigned. And this I had informed you of today, but you were gone before I knew you had been here.

Ang. How! I thought your love of me had caused this transport in your soul; which, it seems you only counterfeited for mercenary ends and sordid interest.

Val. Nay, now you do me wrong; for, if any interest was considered, it was yours; since I thought I wanted more than love to make me worthy of you.

Ang. Then you thought me mercenary-But how am I deluded, by this interval of sense, to reason with a madman ?

Val. Oh,'tis barbarous to misunderstand me longer.

Enter Jeremy. Ang. Oh, here's a reasonable creature-sure he will not have the impudence to persevere l-Come, Jeremy, acknowledge your trick, and confess your master's madness counterfeit.

Jer. Counterfeit, madam ! I'll maintain him to be as absolutely and substantially mad, as any freeholder in Bedlam. Nay, he's as mad as any projector, fanatic, chemist, lover, or poet, in Europe.

« السابقةمتابعة »