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EPILOGUE-BY MR. COLMAN.
Spoken by Lady Teazle.
I, who was late so volatile and gay,
Must I, then, watch the early crowing cock,
And you, ye knockers, that with brazen throat,
I away :
THERE is, perhaps, no comedy of the class in any language superior to the 'School for Scandal.' The liveliness of the dialogue, the constant, and sometimes powerful satire of the sentiments, and the variety of characters which it exhibits, give it a claim to attention, not only as an acting drama, but as one of the best commentaries on many of the passing scenes of life which can be read. Its faults are, a superabundance of wit, which sometimes renders the dialogue unnatural, and a too favourable view of one folly to correct another.
SCENE 1.—The Road near the Camp.
Enter Old Man. Come along, neighbours, come along, we shall be too late for the suttlers' market.
Enter 2d MAN. Put on, put on, neighbours. Here, Robin, where are you, boy?
ROBIN, behind. I'm coming, feather, as soon as I can get the colt up, for the plaguy beast is down again, and mother and chickens are all in the slough.
0. Man. Why, is the colt down again? You graceless dog, help your mother up-Oh, neighbour Farrow has helped her up, I see.
Enter OLD WOMAN. 0. Woman. Husband, as sure as you are alive, that rogue of a boy drove the colt in the dirt for the purpose, and down we came with such a wang
0. Man. What a mercy it is the chickens escaped ! -Come, put on, neighbours,
Enter Robin and Colt. Robin. Why, feather, how could I help it ?—The colt has not had an eye in his head these eight years.
0. Woman. O, here comes our kinswoman, and her daughter
Enter Miss. Bless me, child! you are in such a heat you'll quite spoil your complexion.
Miss. Lord, neighbours, you hurry one so.-
2d Woman. Put on, put on; make haste , we shall be too late0 dear, here comes Nell; and she'll scold us all, for cheating the soldiers.
3d Woman. Damn that wench, she won't cheat herself, nor let other honest people do it, if she can help it; and she says she likes a soldier so well she would sell them goods for nothing.
2d Man. Come, neighbours, now we shall see what bargains your daughter will make at the Camp.
2d Woman. Aye, aye, soldiers are testy customers --They won't buy of the ugly ones- -0, here Nell
Enter NELL. Nell. Why, how now, what you are consulting how you shall cheat the poor soldiers; for shame! for shame! how can you use the poor fellows so? a parcel of unfeeling wretches ! Poor fellows, that risk their lives to defend your property, and yet you make it your study to defraud them.
0. Woman. It's very hard, Nell, you won't let us have a little picking among’em. What is it to you what
Nell. Yes, it is to me; I never will bear to see a sok
dier cheated, with my eyes open. I love a soldier, and will always stand by them.
Miss. Mind your own business, Nell.
Nell. What's that you say, Miss Minx ? Here's a wench dressed out: the poor soldiers are forced to pay for all this finery, you impudent slut you!
2d Man. Why, Nell, if you go on at this rate we'll tell his worship, Mr Gage, of you: he's an exciseman, and a great friend to us poor folks.
Neli. What's that you say, master Grinder? Come forward, you sneaking sniveiling sot you, I think your tricks are pretty well known. Wasn't you caught soaking eggs in lime and water to make them pass for new ones: and did not you sit in the stocks for robbing the 'squire's rookery to make your pigeon pies.
2d Womon. Well, well, we'll tell Mr. Gage, and then what will he say to you?
Nell. Tell Mr. Gage, will you ? he's a pretty protector indeed; he's a disgrace to his Majesty's inkhornwhile he seizes with one hand, he smuggles with the other.--Why, no longer ago than last summer, he was a broken attorney at Rochester, and came down here, and bought this place with his vote, and now he is both a smuggler and contractor. O my conscience, if I had the management of affairs, I would severely punish all such fellows, who would be so base as to cheat a poor soldier.
2d Wčomun. If his worship was here, you dare not say so. Here he comes, here he comes. Now you'll change your nole.
Nell. Will I? you shall see if I do. No, no; I'll tell him my mind; that's always my way.
Enter GAGE. All. Ah! Mr. Gage. Gage. Hey day! what's the matter? What the plague, is there a civil war broke out among you ?
1st Woman. Why, Mr. Gage, Nell here has been scolding us for cheating the soldiers.
2d Woman. Yes, and says you encourage us in it.