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For. Mercy on us ! I was afraid of this.
Ben. And there's a handsome young woman, she, as they say brother Val. went mad for, she's mad too, I think.
For. O my poor niece! my poor niecel is she gone too? Well, I shall run mad next.
Mrs. For. Well, but how mad? how d’ye mean?
Ben. Nay, I'll give you leave to guess—I'll undertake to make a voyage to Antigua.—No, I mayn't say so, neither—but I'll sail as far as Leghorn, and back again, before you shall guess at the matter, and do nothing else. Mess, you may take in all the points of the compass, and not hit the right.
Mrs. For. Your experiment will take up a little too much time.
Ben. Why then I'll tell you ; there's a new wedding upon the stocks, and they two are going to be married to rights.
young woman. I can't hit her name.
Scand. Angelica ?
Ben. Look you, friend; it is nothing to me, whether you believe it or no. What I say is true, d'ye see; they are married, or just going to be married, I know not which.
For. Well, but they are not mad, that is, not lu. natic ?
Ben. I don't know what you may call madness but she's mad for a husband, and he's horn-mad, I think, or they'd never make a match together. Here they come. Enter Sir SAMPSON, ANGELICA, and BUCKRAM.
Sir S. Where is this old soothsayer? this uncle of mine elect-Ahal old Foresight! uncle Foresight! wish me joy, uncle Foresight, double joy, both as uncle and astrologer: here's a conjunction that was not foretold in all your Ephemeres! The brightest star in the blue firmament–is shot from above, in a jelly of love, and so forth ; and I'm lord of the ascendant. Odd, you're an old fellow, Foresight, uncle I mean; a very old fellow, uncle Foresight; and yet you shall live to dance at my wedding; faith and troth you shall. Odd, we'll have the music of the spheres for thee, old Lilly, that we will; and thou shalt lead up a dance in via lactea.
For. I'm thunder-struck! You are not married to
Sir S. Not absolutely married, uncle; but very near it; within a kiss of the matter, as you see.
[Kisses Angelica. Ang. 'Tis very true indeed, uncle; I hope you'll be my father, and give me.
Sir S. That he shall, or I'll burn his globes.Body o'me, he shall be thy father: I'll make him
thy father, and thou shalt make me a father, and I'll make thee a mother ; and we'll beget sons and daughters enough to put the weekly bills out of countenance.
Scand. Death and hell! Where's Valentine? [Exit. Mrs. For. This is so surprising
Sir S. How! What does my aunt say ? surprising, aunt? not at all, for a young couple to make a match in winter! Not at all-It's a plot to undermine cold weather, and destroy that usurper of a bed called a warming-pan.
Mrs. For. I'm glad to hear you have so much fire in you, Sir Sampson.
Ben. Mess, I fear his fire's little better than tinder; mayhap it will only serve to light a match for somebody else. The young woman's a handsome young woman, I can't deny it: but father, if I might be your pilot in this case, you should not marry her. It is just the same thing as if so be you should sail as far as the Streights without provision.
Sir S. Who gave you authority to speak, sirrah? To your element, fish ; be mute, fish, and to sea. Rule your helm, sirrah; don't direct me.
Ben. Well, well, take you care of your own helm; or you mayn't keep your new vessel steady.
Sir S. Why, you impudent tarpawlin! sirrah, do you bring your forecastle jests upon your father? But I shall be even with you; I won't give you a groat. Mr. Buckram, is the conveyance so worded, that nothing can possibly descend to this scoundrel ?
I would not so much as have him have the prospect of an estate, though there were no way to come to it, but by the north-east passage.
Buck. Sir, it is drawn according to your directions; there is not the least cranny of the law unstopt.
Ben. Lawyer, I believe there's many a cranny and leak unstopt in your conscience! If so be that one had a pump to your bosom, I believe we should discover a foul hold. They say a witch will sail in a sieve-but I believe the devil would not venture aboard your conscience. And that's for you.
Sir S. Hold your tongue, sirral.-How now? who's here?
Enter Tattle, and Mrs. FRAIL.
Tatt. O the two most unfortunate poor creatures in the world we are !
For. Bless us! how so?
Mrs. F. Ah, Mr. Tattle and I, poor Mr. Tattle and I are~ I can't speak it out.
Tatt. Nor I -But poor Mrs. Frail and I are
Tatt. Suddenly before we knew where we were -that villain Jeremy, by the help of disguises, trick'd us into one another.
For. Why, you told me just now, you went hence in haste to be married !
Ang. But, I believe Mr. Tattle meant the favour to me, I thank him.
Tatt. I did, as I hope to be saved, madam; my intentions were good. -But this is the most cruel thing, to marry one does not know how, nor why, nor wherefore. The devil take me, if ever I was so much concerned at any thing in my life.
Ang. 'Tis very unhappy, if you don't care for one another.
Tatt. The least in the world that is, for my part, I speak for myself. Gad, I never had the least thought of serious kindness—I never liked any body less in my life. Poor woman ! Gad, I'm sorry for her too; for I have no reason to hate her neither ; but I believe I shall lead her a damned sort of a life.
Mrs. For. He's better than no husband at all. though he's a coxcomb.
[To Frail. Mrs. F. (To her.] Ay, ay, it's well it's no worse. Nay, for my part, I always despised Mr. Tatile of all things; nothing but his being my husband could have made me like him less.
Tatt. Look you there, I thought as much! Pox on't, I wish we could keep it secret; why I don't believe any of this company would speak of it.
Ben. If you suspect me, friend, I'll go out of the
Mrs. F. But, my dear, that's impossible ; the parson and that rogue Jeremy will publish it.
Tatt. Ay, my dear, so they will, as you say.