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and that of one and the other, and every thing in the world; and, says I, if your grace
Tatt. O Lord, what have I said: -My unlucky tongue!
Val. Ha, ha, ha!
Scand. Why, Tattle, thou hast more impudence than one can in reason expect : I shall have an esteem for thee-well, and ha, ha, ha! well, go on, and what did you say to her grace ?
Val. I confess this is something extraordinary.
Tatt. Not a word, as I hope to be saved ; an arrant lapsus linguæ !--Come, let us talk of something else.
Val. Well, but how did you acquit yourself?
Tatt. Pooh, pooh, nothing at all, I only rallied with you.-A woman of ordinary rank was a little jealous of me, and I told her something or other faith, I know not what,-Come, let's talk of something else.
[Hums a song Scand. Hang him, let him alone; he has a mind we should inquire.
Tatt. Valentine, I supped last night with your mistress, and her uncle old Foresight: I think your father lies at Foresight's.
Tatt. Upon my soul, Angelica's a fine woman.And so is Mrs. Foresight, and her sister Mrs. Frai).
Scand. Yes, Mrs. Frail is a very fine woman ; we all know her. Tatt. Oh, that is not fair.
Scand. To tell what? Why, what do you know of Mrs. Frail ?
Tatt. Who I? Upon honour I don't know whether she be a man or woman; but by the smoothness of her chin, and roundness of her hips.
Tatt. Why then, as I hope to be saved, I believe a woman only obliges a man to secresy, that shę may have the pleasure of telling herself.
Scand. No doubt on it. Well, but has she done you wrong, or no? You have had her ha?
Tatt. Though I have more honour than to tell first; I have more manners than to contradict what a lady has declared.
Scand. Well, you own it?
Tatt. I am strangely surprised ! Yes, yes, I cannot deny it, if she taxes me with it.
Scand. She'll be here by and by; she sees Valen: tine every morning.
Val. She does me the favour-I mean, of a visit sometimes. I did not think she had granted more to any body.
Scand. Nor I, faith. But Tattle does not use to
belie a lady; it is contrary to his character. How one may be deceived in a woman, Valentine !
Tatt. Nay, what do you mean, gentlemen ?
Val. What did I say? I hope you won't bring me to confess an answer, when you never asked me the question!
Tatt. But, gentlemen, this is the most inhuman proceeding.
Val. Nay, if you have known Scandal thus long, and cannot avoid such a palpable decoy as this was ; the ladies have a fine time, whose reputations are in your keeping
Enter Jeremy. Jer. Sir, Mrs. Frail lias sent to know if you are stirring.
Vał. Shew her up when she comes. [Exit Jer.
Val. If there were, you have more discretion than to give Scandal such an advantage; why, your running away
all that he can tell her. Tatt. Scandal, you will not be so ungenerous-0,1 shall lose my reputation of secrecy for ever.-I shall never be received but upon public days; and my visits will never be admitted beyond a drawing-room: I shall never see a bed-chamber again, never be locked in a closet, nor run behind a screen, or under a table; never be distinguished among the waiting women by the name of trusty Mr. Tattle more. You will not be so cruel ?
Val. Scandal, have pity on him ; he'll yield to any conditions.
Tatt. Any, any terms.
Scand. Come then, sacrifice half a dozen women of good reputation to me presently.- Come, where are you familiar?
And see that they are women of quality too, the first quality.
Tatt. 'Tis very hard.Won't a baronet's lady
Scand. No, nothing under a right honourable.
Tatt. Alas, that is the same thing. Pray spare me their titles; I'll describe their persons.
Scand. Well, begin then. But take notice, if you are so ill a painter, that I cannot know the person by your picture of her, you must be condemned, like other bad painters, to write the name at the bottom.
Tatt. Well, first then
Enter Mrs, FRAIL.
O unfortunate! she's come already. Will you have patience till another time ? — I'll double the number.
Scand. Well, on that condition-Take heed you. don't fail me.
Mrs. F. I shall get a fine reputation, by coming to see fellows in a morning! Scandal, you devil, are you here too? Oh, Mr. Tattle, every thing is safe with you, we know,
Scand, Tattle !
Tatt. Mum- -O madam, you do me too much honour.
Val. Well, lady Galloper, how does Angeliga?
Mrs. F. No, I'll allow a lover present with his mistress to be particular-but otherwise I think his passion ought to give place to his manners.
Val. But what if he has more passion than manners?
Mrs. F. Then let him marry, and reform.
Val. Marriage indeed may qualify the fury of his passion; but it very rarely mends a man's manners.
Mrs. F. You are the most mistaken in the world; there is no creature perfectly civil, but a husband : for in a little time he grow's only rude to his wife ; and that is the highest goud-breeding, for it begets his civility to other people. Well, I'll tell you news; but, I suppose, you heard your brother Benjamin is landed. And my brother Foresight's daughter is come out of the country-I assure you, there's a match talk'd of by the old people.- Well, if he be but as great a sea beast, as she is a land monster, we