페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

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. Ha! ha! ha! They're safe, however. Mar. As a guinea in a miser's purse.

Hast. (Aside.) So now all hopes of fortune are at an end, and we must set off without it. [To Alarlow. 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 me

Mar. 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,

man.

that as I did not drink myself, they should make

up

for my deficiencies below.

Hard. Then they had your orders for what they do ? I'm satisfied! Mar. They had, I assure you.

You shall hear from one of themselves.

Enter Servant, drunk, L. You, Jeremy, come forward, sirrah! what were my orders ? Were you not told to drink freely, and call for what you thought fit, for the good of the house ?

Hard. (Aside.] I begin to lose my patience.

Jer. Please your honor, liberty and Fleet Street for ever! Though I am but a servant, I'm as good as another

I'll drink for no man before supper, sir, dam’me ! Good liquor will sit upon a good supper, but a good supper will not sit upon-hiccup-upon my conscience, sir.

(Exit, l. Mar. You see, my old friend, the fellow is as drunk as he possibly can be ; I don't know what you'd have more, unless you'd have the poor devil soused in a beerbarrel.

Hard. Zounds! He'll drive me distracted if I contain myself any longer. Mr. Marlow, sir, I have submitted to your insolence for more than four hours, and I see no like. lihood of its coming to an end. I'm now resolved to be master here, sir, and I desire that

you
and

your drunken pack may leave my house directly.

Mar. Leave your house ?-Sure you jest, my good friend! What, when I'm doing what I can to please you?

Hard. I tell you, sir, you don't please me; so I desire you'll leave my house.

Mar. Sure you cannot be serious? At this time of night, and such a night! You only mean to banter me.

Hard. I tell you, sir, I'm serious; and now that my passions are roused, I say this house is mine, sir; this house is mine, and I command you to leave it directly.

Mar. I shan't stir a step, I assure you. [In a serious tone.] This your house, fellow ! it's my house. This is my house. Mine while I choose to stay. What right have you to bid me leave this house, sir? I never met with such impudence, curse me, never in my whole life before.

Hard. Nor I, confound me if ever I did. To come to my house, to call for what he likes, to turn me out of my own chair, to insult the family, to order his servants to get drunk, and then to tell me, this house is mine, sir. By all that's impudent, it makes me laugh. Ha! ha! ha! Pray, sir, (Bantering.) as you take the house, what think you of taking the rest of the furniture ? There's a pair of silver candlesticks, and there are a set of prints, too. What think you of The Rake's Progress for your own apartment ? Mar. Bring me your bill, I say; and I'll leave you

and your infernal house directly.

Hard. Then there's a mahogany table, that you may see your own face in,

Mar. My bill, I say.

Hurd. I had forgot the great chair, for your own particular slumbers, after a hearty meal.

Mar. Zounds! bring me my bill, I say, and let's hear no more on't.

Hard. Young man, young man, from your father's letter to me, I was taught to expect a well-bred modest man, as a visitor here, but now I find him no better than a coxcomb and a bully; but he will be down here presently, and shall hear more of it.

[Exil, R. Mar. How's this! Sure I've not mistaken the house! Everything looks like an inn. The servants cry“ Coming." The attendance is awkward ; the bar-maid, too, to attend us.

But she's here, and will further inform me.

Enter Miss HARDCASTLE, L.
Whither so fast, child ?: A word with you.

Miss H. Let it be short, then. I'm in a hurry.
Mar. Pray, child, answer me one question.

What are you, and what may your business in this house be ?!

Miss H. A relation of the family, sir.
Mar. What! a poor relation?

Miss H. Yes, sir. A poor relation appointed to keep the keys, and to see that the guests want nothing in my power to give them.

Mar. That is, you act as the bar-maid of this inn }

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 bas 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, I 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

R.

Mrs. H. Do you insult me, monster ? to vex your mother, I will. Here, thieves, thieves, thieves, thieves ! [He runs off, she follows him, L.

Enter Miss HardCASTLE and Maid, 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 your 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. (E.cit, R.

« 이전계속 »