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Mar. You seem a little disconcerted though, methinks. Sure nothing has happened ?
Hast. No, nothing. Never was in better spirits in all my life. And so you left it with the landlady, who, no doubt, very readily undertook the charge?
Mar. Rather too readily. For she not only kept the casket, but through her great precaution, was going to keep the messenger too.
Ha! ha! ha!
Hast. (Aside.) So now all hopes of fortune are at an end, and we must set off without it. [To Marlow.] Well, Charles, I'll leave you to your meditations on the pretty bar-maid, and-ha! ha! ha!—if you are as successful for yourself as you have been for meMar. What then ? Hast. Why, then, I wish you joy with all my heart.
(Exit, L. Enter HARDCASTLE, R. Hard. I no longer know my own house. It's turned all topsy-turvy. His servants have got drunk already. I'll bear it no longer ;—and yet, from my respect for his father, I'll be calm. [To Marlow.] Mr. Marlow, your servant. I'm your very humble servant. [Bowing low.
Mar. Sir, your humble servant. (Aside.] What's to be the wonder now.
Hard. I believe, sir, you must be sensible, sir, that no man alive ought to be more welcome than your father's son, sir; I hope you think so ?
Mar. I do from my soul, sir. I don't want much entreaty. I generally make my
father's son welcome whereever he goes.
Hard. I believe you do, from my soul, sir. But though I say nothing to your own conduct, that of your servants is insufferable. Their manner of drinking is setting a very bad example in this house, I assure you.
Mar. I protest, my very good sir, that's no fault of mine. If they don't drink as they ought, they are to blame. I ordered them not to spare the cellar. I did, I assure you. [To the Side-Scene.] Here, let one of my servants come up. [To Hardcastle. My positive directions were,
But I know how it will be well enough, she'd as soon part with the only sound tooth in her head.
Hast. But I dread the effects of her resentment, when she finds she has lost them.
Tony. Never you mind her resentment, leave me to manage that. I don't value her resentment the bounce of a cracker. Zounds! here they are. Morrice. Prance.
[Exit Hastings, L. Enter Mrs. HARDCASTLE and Miss Neville, R. Mrs. H. Indeed, Constance, you amaze me; such a girl as you want jewels! It will be time enough for jewels, my dear, these twenty years hence, when your beauty begins to want repairs.
Miss N. But what will repair beauty at forty, will certainly improve it at twenty, madam.
Mrs. H. Yours, my dear, can admit of nonc. That natural blush is beyond a thousand ornaments. Besides, child, jewels are quite out at present. Don't you see half the ladies of our acquaintance, my Lady-kill-day-light, and Mrs. Crump and the rest of them, carry their jewels to town, and bring nothing but paste and marcasites back ?
Miss N. But who knows, madam, but somebody that shall be nameless would like me best with all my little finery about me ?
Mrs. H. Consult your glass, my dear, and then see if, with such a pair of eyes, you want any better sparklers. What do you think, Tony, my dear, does your cousin Con want any jewels in your eyes, to set off her beauty ?
Tony. That's as hereafter may be.
Miss N. My dear aunt, if you knew how it would oblige me
Mrs. H. A parcel of old fashioned rose and table cut things. They would make you look like the court of King Solomon at a puppet-show. Besides, I believe I can't readily come at them. They may be missing for aught I know to the contrary.
Tony. [Aside to Mrs. Hardcastle. Then why don't you tell her so at once, as she's so longing for them? Tell her they're lost. It's the only way to quiet her. Say they are lost, and call me to bear witness.
Mrs. H. (Aside to Tony.) You know, my dear, I'm only keeping them for you. So, if I say they're gone, you'll bear me witness, will you? He ! he! he !
Tony. Never fear me. Ecod! I'll say I saw them taken out with my own eyes.
Miss N. I desire them but for a day, madam. Just to be permitted to show them as relics, and then they may be locked up again.
Mrs. H. To be plain with you, my dear Constance, if I could find them, you should have them. They're missing I assure you. Lost, for aught I know, But we must have patience wherever they are.
Miss N. I'll not believe it; this is but a shallow pretence to deny me. I know they're too valuable to be so slightly kept, and as you are to answer for the loss
Mrs. H. Don't be alarmed, Constance. If they be lost, I must restore an equivalent. But my son knows they're missing and not to be found.
Tony. That I can bear witness to. They are missing, and not to be found, I'll take my oath on't.
Mrs. H. You must learn resignation, my dear; for though we lose our fortune, yet we should not lose our patience. See me, how calm I am.
Miss N. Ay, people are generally calm at the misfortunes of others.
Mrs. H. Now, wonder a girl of your good sense should waste a thought upon such trumpery. We shall soon find them, and in the meantime you shall make use of my garnets till your jewels be found.
Miss N, I detest garnets. Mrs. H. The most becoming things in the world to set off a clear complexion. You have often seen how well they looked upon me.
You shall have them. [Exit, R. Miss N. I dislike them of all things. You shan't stir. - Was ever any thing so provoking, to mislay my own jewels, and force me to wear trumpery!
Tony. Don't be a fool. If she gives you the garnets, take what you can get. The jewels are your own already. I have stolen them out of her bureau, and she does not know it. Fly to your spark, he'll tell you more of the matter. Leave me to manage her.
Miss N. My dear cousin !
Tony. Vanish. She's here and has missed them already. Zounds! how she fidgets and spits about like a Catharine wheel.
(Exit Miss Neville, L. Enter Mrs. HARDCASTLE, R. Mrs. H. Confusion! thieves ! robbers! We are cheated, plundered, broke open, undone.
Tony. What's the matter, what's the matter, mamma? I hope nothing has happened to any of the good family?
Mrs. H. We are robbed. My bureau has been broke open, the jewels taken out, and I'm undone.
Tony. Oh! is that all? Ha! ha! ha! By the laws, I never saw it better acted in my life. Ecod, I thought you was ruined in earnest, ha! ha! ha! Mrs. H. Why, boy, I am ruined in earnest.
My bureau has been broke open, and all taken away.
Tony. Stick to that; ha! ha! ha! stick to that; I'll bear witness, you know; call me to bear witness.
Mrs. H. I tell you, Tony, by all that's precious, the jewels are gone, and I shall be ruined forever.
Tony. Sure I know they're gone, and I am to say so.
Mrs. H. My dearest Tony, but hear me. They're gone,
say. Tony. By the laws, mamma, you make me for to laugh, ha! ha! I know who took them well enough, ha! ha! ha!
Mrs. H. Was there ever such a blockhead, that can't tell the difference between jest and earnest. I'm not in jest, booby.
Tony. That's right, that's right: you must be in a bitter passion, and then nobody will suspect either of us. I'll bear witness that they are gone.
Mrs. H. Was there ever such a cross-grained brute, that won't hear me ? Can you bear witness that you're no better than a fool?
Was ever poor woman so beset with fools on the one hand, and thieves on the other!
Tony. I can bear witness to that.
Mrs. H. Bear witness again, you blockhead you, and I'll turn you out of the room directly. My poor niece, what will become of her? Do you laugh, you unfeeling brute, as if you enjoyed my distress ?
Tony. I can bear witness to that.
I tell you I'll teach you
Mrs. H. Do you insult me, monster ?
vex your mother, I will. Here, thieves, thieves, thieves, thieves !
[He runs off, she follows him, L. Enter Miss HardCASTLE and Maid, R. Miss H. What an unaccountable creature is that brother of mine, to send them to the house as an inn, ha! ha! I don't wonder at his impudence.
Maid. But what is more, madam, the young gentleman, as you passed by in your present dress, asked me if you were the bar-maid ? He mistook you for a bar-maid, madam.
Miss H. Did he? Then, as I live, I'm resolved to keep up the delusion. Tell me, Dolly, how do you like my present dress? Don't you think I look something like Cherry in the Beaux Stratagem ?
Maid. It's the dress, madam, that every lady wears in the country, but when she visits or receives company.
Miss H. And are you sure he does not remember my face or person?
Maid. Certain of it.
Miss H. I vow I thought so; for though we spoke for some time together, yet his fears were such that he never once looked up during the interview.
Maid. But what do you hope for from keeping him in his mistake ?
Miss H. In the first place, I shall be seen, and that is no small advantage to a girl who brings her face to market. Then I shall perhaps make an acquaintance, and that's no small victory gained over one, who never addresses any but the vilest of her sex. But my chief aim is to take my gentleman off his guard, and, like an invincible champion of romance, examine the giant's force before I offer tu combat.
Maid. But are you sure you can act your part, and disguise your voice so that he may mistake that, as he has already mistaken your person
? Miss H. Never fear me. I think I have got the true bar cant-Did
honor call ?--Attend the Lion, there - Pipes and tobacco for the Angel-The Lamb has been outrageous this half hour.
Maid. It will do, madam. But he's here. (Exit, R.