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Jer. 'Tis an act of charity, sir, to save a fine woman with thirty thousand pounds from throwing her
Tatt. So 'tis, faith! I might have saved several others in my time; but egad I could never find in my heart to marry any body before.
Jer. Well, sir, I'll go and tell her my master's coming; and meet you in half a quarter of an hour, with your disguise, at your own lodgings. You must talk a little madly ;-she won't distinguish the tone of your voice.
Tatt. No, no, let nie alone for a counterfeit. I'll be ready for you.
Enter Miss PRUE.
Miss P. O, Mr. Tattle, are you here? I'm glad I have found you. I have been looking up and down for you
like any thing, till I'm as tired as any thing in the world.
Tatt. O pox! how shall I get rid of this foolish girl ?
[Aside. Miss P. O, I have pure news, I can tell you pure news-I must not marry the seaman now-My father says so. Why won't you be my husband? You say you love me and you won't be my husband. And I know you may be my husband now, if
you please. Tatt. O fie, miss! who told you so, child ? Miss P. Why, my father-I told him that you loved
Tatt. O fie, miss! why did you do sol and who told you so, child?
Miss P. Who? Why you did ; did not you?
Tatt. O pox, that was yesterday, miss; that was a great while ago, child. I have been asleep since slept a whole night, and did not so much as dream of the matter.
Miss P. Pshaw! O but I dreamt that it was so though. Tatt. Ay, but your father will tell
that dreams come by contraries, child. O fie! what, we must not love one another now. Pshaw, that would be a foolish thing indeed! Fie, fie! you're a woman now, and must think of a new man every morning, and forget him every night. No, no, to marry is to be a child again, and play with the same rattle always: O fie, marrying is a paw thing!
Miss P. Well, but don't you love me as well as you did last night then?
Tatt. No, no, child, you would not have me.
Tatt. Pshaw, but I tell you, you would not. You forget you are a woman, and don't know your own mind.
Miss P. But here's my father, and he knows my mind.
Enter FORESIGHT. For. O, Mr. Tattle, your servant, you are a close man; but methinks your love to my daughter was a
secret I might have been trusted with !--or had you a mind to try if I could discover it by my art ?--Hum, ha! I think there is something in your physiognomy, that has a resemblance of her; and the girl is like me.
Tatt. And so you would infer, that you and I are alike-What does the old prig mean? I'll banter him, and laugh at him, and leave him. [Aside. ]—I fancy you have a wrong notion of faces.
For. How? what? a wrong notion! how so?
Tatt. In the way of art, I have some taking features, not obvious to vulgar eyes, that are indication of a sudden turn of good fortune, in the lottery of wives; and promise a great beauty and great fortune reserved alone for me, by a private intrigue of destiny, kept secret from the piercing eye of perspicuity, from all astrologers, and the stars themselves.
For. How? I will make it appear, that what you say is impossible.
Tatt. Sir, I beg your pardon, I am in haste-
pray take me along with you, sir. Tatt. No, sir; it is to be done privately--I never make confidents.
For. Well; but my consent, I mean You won't marry my daughter without my consent ?
Tatt. Whio, I sir? I am an absolute stranger you and your daughter, sir.
For. Hey-day! What time of the moon is this? Tutt. Very true, sir; and desire to continue so. I
have no more love for your daughter, than I have likeness of you: and I have a secret in my heart, which you would be glad to know, and shan't know : and yet you shall know it too, and be sorry for it afterwards. I'd have you know, sir, that I am as knowing as the stars, and as secret as the night. And I'm going to be married just now, yet did not know of it half an hour ago; and the lady stays for me, and does not know of it yet. There's a mystery for you. I
love to untie difficulties. Or if you can't solve this; stay here a quarter of an hour, and I'll come and explain it to you.
[Exit. Miss P. O father, why will you let him go? Won't you make him to be
husband? For. Mercy on us, what do these lunacies portend? Alas! he's mad, child, stark wild.
Miss P. What, and must not I have e'er a husband then? What, must I go to bed to nurse again, and be a child as long as she's an old woman?
Indeed, but I won't. For, now my mind is set upon a man, I will have a man some way or other.
“Oh, me“ thinks I'm sick when I think of a man; and if I “ can't have one, I would go to sleep all my life; for “ when I'm awake, it makes me wish and long, and “ I don't know, for what-and I'd rather be always “ asleep, than sick with thinking." For. O fearful! I think the girl's influenced too.
-Hussy, you shall have a rod. Miss P. A fiddle of a rod! I'll have a husband; and if you won't get me one, I'll get one for myself.
I'll marry our Robin the butler; he says he loves me : and he's a handsome man, and shall be my hus. band : I warrant he'll be my husband, and thank me too; for he told me so.
Enter SCANDAL, Mrs. FORESIGHT, and Nurse.
For. Did he so ? I'll dispatch him for it presently ! Rogue ! Oh, Nurse, come hither.
Nurse. What is your worship’s pleasure ?
For. Here take your young mistress, and lock her up presently, till farther orders from me. word, hussy-Do what I bid you. No reply: away. And bid Robin make ready to give an account of his plate and linen, dy'e hear? Be gone, when I bid you.
[Exeunt Nurse and Miss Prue. Mrs. For. What's the matter, husband?
For. 'Tis not convenient to tell you now -Mr. Scandal, Heaven keep us all in our senses ! I fear there is a contagious frenzy abroad. How does Va. lentine ?
Scand. O, I hope he will do well again. I have a message from him to your niece Angelica.
For. I think she has not returned since she went abroad with Sir Sampson. Nurse, why are you net gone ? [Enter Ben.] Here's Mr. Benjamin ; he can tell us if his father be come home.
Ben. Who? Father ? Ay, he's come home with a vengeance.
Mrs. For. Why, what's the matter ?