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garden; and if we don't make haste, the chairmen will be abroad, and block up the chocolate-houses; and then our labour's lost.
Trapl. Odso, that's true. Mr. Valentine, I love mirth ; but business must be done; are you ready to
Jer. Sir, your father's steward says, he comes to make proposals concerning your debts.
Val. Bid him come in : Mr. Trapland, send away your officer; you shall have an answer presently.
Trapl. Mr. Snap, stay within call. [Exit Officer.
Enter Steward, who whispers VALENTINE. Scand. Here's a dog now, a traitor in his wine! Sirrah, refund the sack: Jeremy, fetch him some warm water ; or I'll rip up his stomach, and go the shortest way to his conscience.
Trapl. Mr. Scandal, you are uncivil. I did not va. lue your sack ; but
you cannot expect it again, when I have drunk it.
Scand. And how do you expect to have your money again, when a gentleman has spent it? Val. You need say no more.
I understand the conditions; they are very hard, but my necessity is very pressing : I agree to them. Take Mr. Trapland with you, and let him draw the writing.Mr. Trapland, you know this man; he shall satisfy you.
Trapl. Sincerely, I am loth to be thus pressing; but my necessity
Val. No apology, good Mr. Scrivener; you shall be paid.
Trap. I hope you forgive me; my business re. quires
Exeunt Trapland, Steward, and Jeremy. Scand. He begs pardon like a hangman at an execution.
Val. But I have got a reprieve.
Scand. I am surprised ; what, does your father relent?
Val. No; he has sent me the hardest conditions in the world. You have heard of a booby brother of mine, that was sent to sea three years ago ? This brother, my father hears, is landed; whereupon he very affectionately sends me word, “If I will make a deed “ of conveyance of my right to his estate after his “ death to my younger brother, he will immediately
furnish me with four thousand pounds to pay my “ debts, and make my fortune.” This was once proposed before, and I refused it; but the present impatience of my creditors for their money, and my own impatience of confinement, and absence from Angelica, force me to consent.
Scand. A very desperate demonstration of your love to Angelical and I think she has never given you any assurance of hers.
Val. You know her temper; she never gave me any great reason either for hope or despair.
Scand. Women of her airy temper, as they seldom think before they act, so they rarely give us any light
to guess at what they mean : but you have little reason to believe that a woman of this age, who has had an indifference for you in your prosperity, will fall in love with your ill-fortune. Besides, Angelica has a great fortune of her own; and great fortunes either expect another great fortune, or a fool,
fer. No, sir; but Mr. Tattle is come to wait upon you.
Dal. Well, I cannot help it-you must bring him up; he knows I don't go abroad. [Exit Jer.
Scand. Pox on him, I'll be gone.
Val. No, pr’ythee stay : Tattle and you should never be asunder; you are light and shadow, and shew one another. He is perfectly thy reverse both in humour and understanding; and, as you set up for defamation, he is a mender of reputations.
Scand. A mender of reputations ! ay, just as he is a keeper of secrets, another virtue that he sets up for in the same manner. For the rogue will speak aloud in the posture of a whisper; and deny a woman's name, while he gives you the marks of her person. “ He will forswear receiving a letter from “ her, and at the same time shew you her hand in “ the superscription: and yet perhaps he has coun“ terfeited her hand too, and sworn to a truth; but “ he hopes not to be believed; and refuses the repai
“ tation of a lady's favour, as a doctor says no to a “ bishoprick, only that it may be granted him.”-In short, he is a public professor of secrecy, and makes proclamation that he holds private intelligence.-He is here.
Enter TATTLE. Tatt. Valentine, good morrow: Scandal, I am yours that is, when you speak well of me.
Scand. That is, when I am yours? for while I am my own, or any body's else, that will never happen.
Tatt. How inhuman !
Val. Why, Tattle, you need not be much concerned at any thing that he says: for to conyerse with Scandal, is to play at Losing Loadum; you must lose a good name to him, before you can win it for yourself.
Tatt. But how barbarous that is, and how unfortunate for him, that the world shall think the better of any person for his calumniation! I thank Heaven, it has always been a part of my character to handle the reputations of others very tenderly indeed.
Scand. Ay, such rotten reputations as you have to deal with are to be handled tenderly indeed.
Tatt. Nay, why rotten? why should you say rotten, when you know not the persons of whom you speak ? How cruel that is!
Scand. Not know them? Why, thou never hadst to do with any one that did not stink to all the town.
Tatt. Ha, ha, ha! nay, now you make a jest of it indeed. For there is nothing more known, than that nobody knows any thing of that nature of me. As I hope to be saved, Valentine, I never exposed a woman, since I knew what woman was.
Val. And yet you have conversed with several ?
Tatt. To be free with you I have—I don't care if I own that nay, more (I'm going to say a bold word now), I never could meddle with a woman that had to do with any body else.
Scand. How !
Val. Nay, faith, I'm apt to believe him—except her husband, Tattle.
Tatt. Oh that
Scand. What think you of that noble commoner, Mrs. Drab?
Tatt. Pooh, I know Madam Drab has made her brags in three or four places, that I said this and that, and writ to her, and did I know not what--but, upon my reputation, she did me wrong--well, well, that was malice-but I know the bottom of it. She was bribed to that by one we all know--a man toomonly to bring me into disgrace with a certain woman of quality
Scand. Whom we all know.
Tatt. No matter for that-Yes, yes, every body knows--no doubt on't, every body knows my secrets !
-But I soon satisfied the lady of my innocence; for I told her-Madam, says I, there are some persons who make it their business to tell stories, and say this