« 이전계속 »
Mrs. S. Then you have an excellent opportu- Mrs. B. After all, what can it signify? nity to oblige him now.
Mrs. S. · My poor dear Carry, if you knew as I South. To oblige Benson! Does he want any do the dreadful consequences of even the slightest money?
flirtation on the part of a married womanMrs. S. Oh, no!
Mrs. B. You-you, dear steady old LucySouth. Well, what is it, then ?
what do you know about flirtation ? Mrs. S. You must leave the house. (SOUTH- Mrs. Š. Ahem! Now for it. [Aside.] Shall DOWN goes up towards c. D.] Where are you go- 'I confess to you, my dear, that I have been iming?
prudent enough to accept what I thought harmSouth To leave the house: didn't you tell less attentions from a gentleman-not Trotterme?
and even to write to him? Mrs. S. Stop! you must leave the house, and Mrs. B. You don't say so! then suddenly come in, as if you'd not been here Mrs. S. I said at first as you do, “What can before
it signify ?" “It's only to amuse myself.” “And South. Will that oblige Benson ?
then Trotter don't know what jealousy is." Mrs. S. Do wait until I've finished the sen- And so I fancied, till one day he found it out. tence. But do not come in till you hear me say, Mrs. B. Good gracious ! “Good gracious, here's Trotter !"
Mrs. S. And ever since, he's been a perfect South. Till I hear you say, “Good gracious, brute-a tiger ! here's Trotter" ? I don't understand.
Mrs. B. Mr. Southdown a tiger! Mrs. S. That's not of the least consequence. Mrs. S. Oh, in society he restrains himself; When you hear that, open the door, and shout but at home—you haven't an idea—it's fearful— out, " Where is she? I'm certain she's here !" not a moment's peace-suspicions—allusions South. Who's here?
quarrels—threats-violence ! Mrs. S. Me! And you must begin storming Mrs. B. Oh, Lucy, how dreadful ! at me in the most furious manner.
Mrs. S. Why, at the pic-nic yesterday, when South. Storming at you, Toody! what for? he was lying under the chestnuts, he wasn't asleep, Mrs. S. Because you're jealous of me.
my dear; oh, no, bless you, he had his eye on me South. Jealous! Stuff and nonsense! I'm not all the time. I'm almost afraid he saw me take jealous.
that letter out of your glove. And ever since, it's Mrs. S. No, but you must pretend to be. perfectly awful the way he has been in. This South. To oblige Benson ?
morning he said he was going to the farm at WilMrs. S. Exactly.
lesden; but it's quite possible it was only a trick South. But, Toody, I don't think I know how to throw me off my guard. I dare say he was to be jealous— I never was given to that sort of hiding in the mews round the corner to watch who thing
called, or to see if I went out, and to follow me. Mrs. S. Just imagine I had been flirting with (Noise of footsteps heard without, L. C.] Eh ! that somebody.
step! Oh! South. Bless you, I couldn't imagine such a Mrs. B. What's the matter? thing if I tried.
Mrs. S. Good gracious ! here's Trotter! Mrs. S. Well, but only suppose I had !
Mrs. B. (goes up to C. D., and looks off L.) South. Oh-well-if you had [Violently. Yes, he's in the ball ! Mrs. $. What would you say?
South. [without, L. C.] Don't tell me! Stuff! South. [mildly.) Oh, I should say, " Toody Humbug!
(Roaring. likes it; so it's all right.”
Mrs. S. For Heaven's sake, Carry, say you Mrs. S. Then you don't care for me, Trotter? have not left me an instant ! South. Not care for my Toody?
Mrs. B. Don't be frightened—I'll say anything. Mrs. S. If you do, pray do what I ask you ; South. [without.] Don't tell me !she is here besides, I've told you already it's to oblige
-I know she's here! South Benson! Well, Toody, I'll try.
Mrs. B. How dreadful! He's frantic! [Gets Mrs. S. That's a dear old boy. Now go out down to L. corner. at once, and come in just like a lunatic.
Enter SOUTHDOWN, L. C.
South. [comes down, R.) I must see her—I will South. Very well, Toody, I'll try; but how the see her-I insist on seeing her-I shall proceed to deuce can that oblige Benson !
violence if I don't see her-80Mrs. S. Now do go, Trotter, and don't ask Mrs. $. [c.] Oh, sir, not before Mrs. Benson. questions-you know I'm always right.
South. [aside, and stopping short in his vioSouth. Of course, Toody. [Aside.] I've not lence.) I mustn't, mustn't 17 the least notion what she means—but she's such a Mrs. S. [aside to him.] Of course you must. superior woman. [Erit SOUTHDOWN, C. D. L. South. So, Mrs. Trotter Southdown-so, mad
Mrs S. Yes, it's a capital plan; and if poor ameTrotter isn't too stupid
Mrs. B (L., soothingly.] But, Mr. South
downEnter MRS. BENSON, L. D. 3 E.
South. [crossing to c. very politely and quietly.] Mrs. B. (L.) Well, Lucy, have you succeed. How do you do, Mrs. Benson? ed ?
Mrs. s. [aside to him.] Be in a rage. Mrs. S. (R.) My dear Carry, Meredith refuses South. [..] I'm in a rage, ma'am-a towering to give back the letter.
rage-a tremendous rage! Mrs. B. Then let him keep it, poor fellow! Mrs. S. (R., aside to him.] Capital ! Mrs. S. Let him keep it ?
South. I say I'm in a tremendous rage; be
cause, of course—[aside]—what the deuce am I Ben. Oh! of course not; but Southdown found in a tremendous rage for?
it out, eh? Mrs. B. I assure you, Mrs. Southdown and I Mrs. B. Yes; and then it appears he must have been sitting quietly here by ourselves. (L. have seen Mr. Meredith give his wife a letter at
Mrs. S. Oh, he will not believe what you say! the pic-nic yesterday. [Aside to him.] Say you don't believe her.
Ben. Meredith! so it's he that's been playing South. No, madame, no; stuff and nonsense, the fool, is it? Now, why will Southdown allow madame! I don't believe you!
his wife to go to such parties? A young woman Mrs. S. [crying.] Oh, I'm an unhappy wo- like her! I can quite understand his agitation man! To expose me thús before my friend !-- now—quite. Poor Southdown! to exhibit your insane jealousy! Oh, you'll break Mrs. B. Ob! but after all, no reasonable man my heart !
would get into such a passion for such a trifle as South. (goes to her.) Eh! break your heart, that. I am sure you wouldn't—would you, dear? Toody? Come! (She pinches him.] Oh! (Re- Ben. Eh? hum! I don't know. One can't ansuming his violence.] I don't care, Mrs. Trotter swer for the consequences in such cases. As I Southdown-break away!
told the jury in Bloggs and Burster, only last week Mrs. B. (L.) This violence from you, Mr. South- “When the temple of domestic affections is down, whom I always thought the mildest of men— violated, what matters the size of the breach or South. Well, I am the mild
the plunder that rewards the sacrilegious intruder? Mrs. S. [aside to him.] Be a brute !
That holy seal of confidence which cements the South. Mild! I am mild, naturally—no, I am not marriage bond is broken—the shrine of the house—that is, I don't know what I am-on the contrary, hold god has been outraged ; and who can wonder because, of course—in short, there are circum- if the poor worshiper in that desecrated fane, forstances—[ Aside] What the deuce ought I to say? getting himself, should have thrashed the defend
Mrs. S. (seated on ottoman, C. Aside to him.] ant within an inch of his life !"
Mrs. B. Beautiful ! South. [L. C. Aside to her.] Eh, stride! Ben. But, of course, with a prudent, steady Yes, I can't stand quiet; my agitation forces me to little duck of a wife like you, Carry, (kissing her] stride about the room—in this style, madame. there's no fear of such indiscretion. No, no. [Walks about in long strides. Then aside to MRS. However, we must get this affair settled without S., stopping, L. C.] Will that do, Toody? going to law. You go to Mrs. Southdown, and
Mrs. s. (aside.) Capital ! Go on. Sir, you comfort her, and I'll reason with Southdown. are a brute ! a tyrant! [Aside to him.] Tear Mrs. B. Oh, do pacify him!
(Going up and crossing to L. H. South. [aside to her, L. c.] To oblige Benson ? Ben. I'll try. Looking out window, R. 3 E.] Mrs. S. [aside.] Of course!
There he is, walking up and down in front of the South. It's enough to make a man tear his house, mopping his forehead, and trying to curb hair out by the roots. (He seizes his hair and his indignation, poor fellow ! (Calls from window.] pretends to tear it.
Here, Southdown !—I say !--halloa! come up, Mrs. B. (L.) But, Mr. Southdown
there's a good fellow !-I want to speak to you. Mrs. S. (aside to him.) Capital ! Now throw Mrs. B. [up L.] Does he still look excited! the furniture about and go.
Ben. (R.) No-he appears mild—quite mild. South. [aside.) To oblige Benson? [Aloud.] The open air has a wonderfully soothing effect in But I will restrain myself no longer—there! these cases.
But go, Carry, and comfort Mrs. [Begins to fling
furniture about in pretended rage, Southdown. but putting it gently down again; flings a chair Mrs. B. I'll go at once. Now do impress upon against door R. 2 E., which hits BENSON, who him, my dear, that there's no harm in what she's enters at the moment.
done—that she wrote the letter without meaning Mrs. S. To use me thus,-before my friends, anything-just as anybody might-just as I too! Oh, this brutal treatment is not to be might. [Aside.) Oh, dear!—if he found out I borne ! (Exit MRS. SOUTHDOWN, L. D. 3 E. had !
[Exit MRS. BENSON, L. D. 3 E. SOUTHDOWN rushes up C. Ben. [R., rubbing his shins.] Confound it,
Enter SOUTHDOWN, L. C.
He looks round room, Trotter!" Trotter Southdown! I say, Trotter!
and comes down, L. H. South. Don't tell me,I want air, air-quan- South. (L.) Toody not here! tities of air! [Going c.] Well, this is the oddest Ben. (R.] Now, Trotter, you really must reway of obliging Benson! (Exit SOUTHDOWN, C. strain your feelings. Come! you're more reason
Ben. (crosses to L.] What on earth is the mean- able now, aren't you? ing of all this?
South.' EhAside.) What a bore Toody's not Mrs. B. (R.] Was ever anything like his vio- here to tell me if I ought to go on being crazy or not. lence! Good gracious! To think of Mr. South- Ben. Come, don't sulk, Trotter. Promise me down being jealous of his wife.
you'll be more master of yourself in future. Ben. I never should think of such a thing. South. I'll try. [A side.) I mustn't tell him it Mrs. B. He is, though.
was to oblige him. [Aloud.] I say, Benson, I Ben. But what's the reason ?
hope I didn't hurt you with that chair ? Mrs. B. It appears she has had the indiscre- Ben. Don't mention it. But I say, my dear feltion to write to a gentleman—a young gentleman. low, you really ought not to give way in this style.
Ben. Ah! that was imprudent-it would make Remember, if Mrs. Southdown has been a leetle a strong impression on a jury.
indiscreet, after all you are most to blame. Mrs. B. Of course there was nothing wrong- South. Eh ! what? [Aside.] Mrs. S. indiscreet! Lucy assures me there wasn't.
What does he mean? | Aloud.] Do you think so? Ben. Yes—what can you expect if you neglect Mer. [aside.] As I feared ; it's all over. a woman as you do, for that humbugging farm of South. [in chair, to BENSON.) Mind, swords yours; cultivating Swede turnips and mangel- or pistols, rifles or revolvers anything he likes, wurzel, instead of domestic affections? A woman it's all one to me. naturally feels piqued, and accepts attentions Ben. [to MEREDITH.] So, sir, you're here! from others.
Rash young man! your scandalous intrigues are South. Attentions! [Aside.] Toody accept at- discovered. The most dreadful consequences are tentions! What is he talking about?
to be apprehended unless you promise to leave Ben. And, though appearances are against London this very day. her, I'll undertake to satisfy any jury there was Mer. But, sirnothing in her conduct at the pic-nic yesterday, Ben. No explanations. Your conscience ought beyond a leetle indiscretion !
to tell you if they can improve matters. South. Her conduct at the pic-nic! Indiscretion! Mer. [aside.] Very well, sir, I promise to leave Ben. Even that letter she received
London. South. Letter !-Toody receive a letter?
Ben. There, thank goodness, that's settled. Ben. Oh, my wife has told me everything- South. ( jumping up.] Settled! You call that she's in your wife's secret.
settling I'll show you what settling is ! [Crosses South. My wife's secret !-then my wife's got to R. C.] Find a friend, sir. We shall be happy to a secret ?
see you with him at Wormwood Scrubbs, with any Ben. I can answer for it that Meredith meant weapons, provided they are deadly ones, to-morno harm, either, in writing to her.
row morning at six, or earlier, if you like. South [aside.] Meredith write to my wife ! Mer. A challenge! -indiscretion ! -receive attentions. Then it was South. I flatter myself it is; and none of your he-ah! a light breaks in on me. Their conversa- humbugging affairs, mere bouncers to frighten tion this morning when I came upon them una- the cock-pheasants, and to publish in the newswares—his agitation—her abstraction ! Oh, the papers. No, sir; a challenge, sir; to be followed duplicity of woman! It was to blind me-to hood- by blood, sir, real blood ! wink me--she persuaded me to get into a passion [Crosses to R., and leans on back of chair. and behave as I did-storming and striding, and Mer. (goes up, c.] Mr. Benson, your friend is dinging chairs about-she said it was to oblige you. too excited at present to make any arrangements; Ben. To oblige me!
but I shall be in my chambers all the afternoon, South. Yes. But now, will you oblige me? and any communication I may receive, I will refer Ben. In any way in my power, Trotter. to a friend, in the style understood among gentleSouth. Next time that fellow, Meredith, sets men.
[Exit MEREDITH, L. C. his foot in your house, you set your foot in his- Ben. (L.) But, Southdown, do reflect coolly. that is-kick him out, will you?
South. [R.] Reflect coolly? Now I ask you as Ben. Kick him out?
a friend, Benson, am I in a state to reflect coolly! South. Yes, unless I'm here, and then I'll save I'm wet through with emotion. Coolly, indeed ! you the trouble.
[Goes up, R. H. Enter MEREDITH, L. C. Mer. [at back, R. H.] I've brought the letter. Enter MRS. BENSON and MRS. SOUTHDOWN, I must give it back or she'll betray me. Ah,
L. D. 3 E. Benson and Southdown here!
Ben. (R., seeing Mrs. S.] Oh, by Jove! here's Ben. [to SOUTHDOWN.) Now just let me give his wife! you a piece of friendly advice.
Mrs. B. (L. C., aside to MRS. S.] Don't be South. Advice! I know what you are going alarmed; he's quite calm now, Benson told me so. to say—bring an action against him.
TO SOUTHDOWN.) Mr. Southdown, here's Lucy. Ben. An action ? Certainly, of course.
South. [R. C.) Eh, my wife! Take her away. Mer. An action! She's betrayed me, then. I won't see her. Put her somewhere !
[Retires up, listening. Mrs. S. [crossing to c. to him.] Trotter! South. Yes, and you shall lead for me; or, I South. Don't speak to me, Crocodile ! tell you what, better still, I'll challenge him, and Mrs. $. [aside.] Capital! Keep it up! you shall carry the challenge. The scoundrel ! South. Keep it up! I don't want you to tell
Ben. But duelling is illegal, my dear fellow. me to keep it up, I can tell you, Rattlesnake! Good gracious! suppose you shot him!
Ben. But, TrotterSouth. I dwell upon the idea with pleasure. South. You be banged !
Ben. But then you'd be guilty of murder, and Mrs. B. (crossing to SOUTHDOWN.) But, Mr. I should be an accessory before the fact.
SouthdownSouth. I'll have revenge in one or other ; by. South. You be-[MRS. BENSON goes up a little, the law or against it-an action or a duel-dam- C., and down again, L. H.] That is–-I beg ages or death!
your pardon; but I'm mad, Mrs. Benson-stark, Mer. I'd better get it over at once.
staring mad! So, Mrs. Southdown, you think tó [Coming forward, R. H. throw dust in my eyes, do you! I am a good, Ben. [C., holding SOUTHDOWN back.] Now, my stupid, easy-going man, am I? But you are dear Trotter, be calm.
mistaken, madame; you don't know the demon South. Calm! Tell the ocean to be calm be- that is generally chained up under this mild extetween Folkestone and Boulogne. There he is ! rior. He's loose now, Basilisk! Let me get at him!
Mrs. S. (C., aside.) Excellent! He's improved Ben. You're in my hands. Sit down. This is wonderfully in his acting. my affair. [Benson forces SOUTHDOWN up the South. I've found out the wretch, madame--the stage into chair, R. of fire-place.
destroyer of my peace of mind—the bomb-shel!
that has burst in my house, and blown my do- Mrs. B. (L.) I'm sure she repents bitterly of mestic felicity to immortal smash!
her imprudence. Mrs. S. [aside.) I declare, he's inimitable! South. Repents! Suppose I'd been of an apo[Aloud.] Oh, mercy, mercy!
plectic habit of body—the shock would have been South. I've challenged him, madame; and at fatal, ma'am. However, there's the duel to come. six o'clock to-morrow, at Wormwood Scrubbs- Mrs. B. Oh, you don't mean to say you'll fight?
Mrs. S. (aside.) Better and better! [Aloud.] South. Till one of us is brought home a manYou will murder him!
gled corse by the usual mode of conveyance-a South. I fatter myself I will, in the most cold- shutter. blooded manner.
Mrs B. Oh, sir, do not talk in this dreadful Mrs. S. [falling on her knees.] Oh, spare me, manner. [She puts her handkerchief to her eyes. sir-spare him!
South. You feel for me—I'm extremely obliged South. You hear the Cobra de Capella; she to you-oh, try to conceive what I suffer. Imasks me to spare him! Do you hear, Benson ? agine Benson in my predicament. He's a happy Oh, I shall go crazy!
man if ever there was one-fond of you-working Ben. But, Trotter!
away from morning till night for your sake. Well, South. Don't come near me. [Crosses to R.] now suppose a d-d good-natured friend was to I may bite-I can't answer for it I shall not bite! come to him and say, “Your pupil, Mr. Mere
Mrs. S. [aside.] How well he does it ! dith, is paying attentions to Mrs. Benson !"
South. Let me go! [Crosses to c.] I want air- Mrs. B. Oh, sir! I want room-don't attempt to hold me! (He South. “ Mrs. B. has written him a letter." walks about, overturning the furniture.] Let the Mrs. B. Mr. Southdown! hurricane rage on!
South. I say, only imagine such a thing-of Ben. (R.) Oh, this will never do! Trotter! Trot- course you wouldn't be guilty of anything of the ter Southdown! you're damaging the furniture ! kind; but suppose you had been, and Benson
South. (up stage, L. C.] It relieves my mind to were to be told of it suddenly-he's of a fuller smash things!
[Breaks chair. habit of body than I am—it would be fatal to him. Mrs. S. [nside.) He's overdoing it. [Aside to him.] Mrs. B. Oh, Mr. Southdown, how can you imTrotter, stop; that will do; you're going too far. agine such dreadful things ? Now just reflect
South. [down L. H.] Ah! going too far! On South. Reflect! Reflect, indeed! I'm past the the contrary, I've not gone far enough-there! stage of reflection, madame. (He goes to table R.,
[Breaks a vase on mantel-piece. and sits, taking up blotting-book. Mrs. B. (R. D.) Oh, sir !
Mrs. B. What are you going to do now? Ben. (R.) Carry's favorite vase !
South. To write to Mrs. Southdown's family to Mrs. S. (L. C., aside to SOUTHDOWN.] Remem- tell them what a wreck she's made of our once ber this isn't your house.
happy home. [Writes.] “My dear mother-inSouth. All the better! (He smashes another law—” (He smashes a pen and takes another, and vase.] There!
a fresh sheet of paper.] No, I'll spare her mamma. Ben. But, Mr. Southdown, this wanton de- "My dear father-in-law_” No, that is not heartstruction !
broken enough. [Throws pen away, and urites Mrs. B. It is too bad !
with a fresh one on a fresh piece of paper.] Mrs. S. [aside.) I must put a stop to this. Oh,“ Wretched parent—". Eh ! I've smashed all the mercy, mercy! I'm dying! [Sinks on ottoman, c. pens and used up all the paper. Oh! in Benson's
Mrs. B. [running to her, L. of ottoman.] She study I shall find the means of putting my emohas fainted! Oh, Lucy, Lucy! [SOUTHDOWN tions into black and white. [Exit SOUTHDOWN. throws himself, quite exhausted, into arm-chair, L. Mrs. B. All this misery has been caused by a
Ben. (R. of ottoman.] Here's a pretty state mere indiscretion--a letter! Good gracious! To you've thrown your wife into!
think I might have caused as much suffering to South. [in chair, L.) Here's a pretty state she's poor dear Benson ! Oh! it will be a lesson to me thrown me into !
for life. Mrs. B. Lucy! Oh! she's recovering!
Enter BENSON and Mrs. SOUTHDOWN, L. C. Mrs. S. Air, air !
Ben. Take my arm, Mrs. Southdown. [Going, Here he comes, and Lucy. leading MRS. SOUTHDOWN up c. To MRS. BEN- Mrs. S. (L.) Do not tell me, sir. It's always Son, who is following.] Stay with him, or he may the husband's fault. do himself a mischief.
Ben. [C] But allow me (MRS. SOUTHDOWN goes towards C., leaning on Mrs. S. After you're once married you think
BENSON's arm ; SOUTHDOWN sobbing in chair. you have a right to neglect us. Engrossed by
Mrs. B. [coming down L. of SOUTHDOWN, look- your pleasures-your clubs-your public dinners ing at him.) Poor man! what dreadful agony ! -your white bait parties—you don't think about
Mrs. S. (aside and looking back.] How won-'us moping at home--and, of coursederfully well he does it ! [Exit MRS. SOUTHDOWN, Ben. But, my dear Mrs. Southdown, that's supported by BENSON, L. C.
what I'm always preaching to Trotter. "Now, Mrs. B. (approaching SOUTHDOWN, L.) Come, look here, Southdown”—I've said to him a hunMr. Southdown, cheer up–Lucy may have been dred times——“ your head's always running on imprudent
turnips, and guano, and clod-crushers. You don't South. A woman I adored, madame! [Rises 'think how Mrs. S. is bored all the while mewed and comes forward, c.] A woman I thought more up by herself in Clarges street, while you are of than my great ruta-baga, mangold-wurzel, or drilling, and harrowing, and surface-soiling down my liquid manure tank-a woman I'd have given at Willesden. Why don't you do as I do?" up high farming for if she had asked me.
Mrs. S. As you do?
TO OBLIGE BENSON.
Ben. Yes, ask Carry if I'm not the most atten- Mrs. S. Here he comes! I must open bis tive husband in the Temple. Why, when we eyes-poor, dear old stupid ! were first married, there never was a night but I Enter SOUTHDOWN R. D. 2 E., with an open letter. took her to a party, or to a play, or the opera. It
South. I think this
do. [Reads.] bored me dreadfully, but I did it from a stern "Wretched old man!" It's perhaps not very sense of duty-didn't I, Carry ? Mrs. B. [R.) Yes, when we were first married., ner, but it paints the desolation of my mind, and
polite to address one's father-in-law in that manBen. And I should have gone on, only Carry got will lead him to anticipate the misery that's in store so economical—so afraid I was spending too much for him. “Wretched old man! Your wise, whom on her, that, egad, the only way I could manage, I have the misfortune to call my daughterwas to let Meredith take the boxes, and pretend
Mrs. S. (L.) Pooh! pooh! Trotter! [She takes they were given him. Mrs. B. Then it was you?
the letter and crumples it up.] If you must write
to papa, don't write nonsense. Ben. Of course it was. I knew how you adored
South. (R.) Eh! So, Mrs. Southdown
Mrs. s. (laughing.) There, there! and to Mrs. B. And you never told me. Ben. Why should It To poison your plea
think of your being in earnest all the while. Ha! ha! sure? I only mention it now, because Meredith's
South. So, madame, you're laughing! Oh!
this is too hardened ! going to leave town to-day.
Mrs. S. Don't you see? It's all a farce. Mrs. B. Oh! I hope we shall see him again before he goes, to thank him for the very hand- everybody killed in the last act !
South. A farce! say a tragedy, madame, with some way in which he has offered us his uncle's
Mrs. s. Stuff and nonsense-how stupid you cottage for the summer. Ben. Oh, never mind, considering I pay old Mr. Meredith's letter-it wasn't to me!
are! Don't you understand? This flirtationTrueblue fifty pounds for the three months.
South. Not to you, eh? not to you? Mrs. B. You pay fifty pounds! Then, it's not a politeness of his, but an attention of yours, dear? She was foolish enough to send that letter-the
Mrs. S. No, of course not, but to Mrs. Benson. Ben. Of course it is! Do you think I value fifty answer was for her, and I wanted you to act pounds, when it's to give pleasure to my Carry! Mrs. B. (aside.] And I thought him careless cretions for the future.
jealousy, only to frighten her out of such indis-neglectful!
South. So, to frighten her, eh! Ben. I merely mention these things to show
Mrs. S. Yes, by showing her to what lengths Mrs. Southdown what I have always preached to Trotter. But he never would listen to me.
an angry husband can go; even such a kind, soft
hearted, easy creature as you are. Mrs. B. Do you know [embracing BENSON, and getting to c.) you're a dear, darling, attentive leetle too strong, even for such a kind, soft
South. Oh, no! really I call this coming it a old hubby, and I love you very much. Ben. Of course you do. I know that. [Mrs. hearted, easy creature as I am! So, it's Mrs.
Benson, is it? B. appears affected.] Why, what's the matter ?
Mrs. S. Hush! or Benson will hear you. Mrs. B. Nothing, dear, only—when I thinkif you only knew
South. Mrs. Benson! oh, oh! this is too rich.
[Crosses to L. C. Mrs. S. [L., aside.] The little fool! Hush! Here, Benson, Benson ! But where is my husband ?
Enter BENSON and MRS. BENSON, L. D. 3 E. Mrs. B. He's gone to Mr. Benson's study to Ben. (L. C.) Well, you've made it up! write to your parents.
South. [R. c.] Made it up, indeed! Only Mrs. Š. To my parents! [Aside.) The dear imagine the cock-and-bull story this abandoned fellow! I never thought he was half so intelligent. female has invented to humbug me! Mrs. B. He's more furious than ever.
Mrs. S. (R.) Mr. Southdown, don't! Mrs. S. Oh, leave me to soothe him.
South. Don't! how dare you say “don't” to me! Ben. I'm afraid you will find it difficult. I Only imagine, Benson, she says the real culpritnever saw a man in such a state as he was when I Mrs S.Silence, Mr. Southdown, this instant ! mentioned the letter you had written to Meredith. South. Silence yourself, audacious woman! She Mrs. S. The letter I had written?
says the real culprit is Mrs. Benson. Ben. Yes. Carry let it out to me, and I let it Mrs. B. (L.) Oh, goodness gracious! out to him. That is, I mentioned it
South. That it's Mrs. Benson that Meredith Mrs. S. You mentioned my writing a letter to paid attentions to—that it was Mrs. Benson who Mr. Meredith ?
wrote him a letter, and that the letter he gave her Ben. Why, as he knew of it before. It was at the pic-nic yesterday was meant for Mrs. Benson. that first put him in such a frenzy-wasn't it? Mrs. B. [L.) Oh, Lucy, how could you ?
Mrs. S. Ah! I see it all now. (Aside.] He's not Mrs. S. (aside to Mrs. B., behind SOUTHDOWN making believe to be jealous ! 'He is jealous in and BENSON.] Hush ! sober earnest.
South. There, Benson! you thought “crocoBen. (going up.] I had better see him. dile” too strong an expression for such a woman
Mrs. $. No, no. I must explain matters alone. —what do you think now? You'll make the matter twenty times worse. Ben. (L. C., aside.] It's a desperate move of hers,
Ben. Well, perhaps you're right. You women but we must back her up—anything to save her have a way of managing things. Come, Carry, from his fury. [TO SOUTHDOWN.) Well, Trotter, let's leave the parties to settle the case out of what Mrs. Southdown has told you, is the truth. court. It often answers when we lawyers can't South. The truth! do anything.
[MRS. Benson and MRS. SOUTHDOWN look as[Exit MR. and Mrs. Benson, L. D. 3 E. tonished-BENSON makes signs to them.