« 이전계속 »
Capt. Oh, miss, don't be profane !
Emma. They say crying makes one ugly, and I weep all day loug.
Capt. Come, dear Emmy, you must confide all your little sorrows to your old friend.
Emma. Yes; but if they heard me--if Lady Creamly knew that I was here ? Capt. Look
and you'll never be cast down. Don't tremble ; am I not at your side £—your old friend; and besides, there's your brother Charles. Come now, tell me what's the matter, and what is going on in this house,
[They sit. Emma. There is nothing going on, and that makes it so miserable. Day follows day, and are all the same; no pleasure, no balls, no horticultural fêtes, no opera-always sermons and scoldings. I am moped to death.
Capt. Oh, I understand, Lady Creamly is á strict disciplinarian?
Emma. Oh, horribly severe.
Capt. But Mrs. Torrens, your sister-in-law, who is young, and appears mightily amiable?
Emma. Oh, I am sure, I do not say she would not be so, if my brother Charles were to act differently; but all he thinks of is to accompany Lady Creamly on her serious visits, or read some charitable circular to his wife.
Capt. Oh, oh! I see where the wind blows. Charles was never famous for strength of mind, or firmness of purpose, and he gives way rather than have domestic dissensions.
Emma. But the best of it is, whenever he is what they call backsliding, they send him out of town, and he seems delighted; and then I am left all alone.
Capt. But that won't last long-you are sure to marry.
Emma. No, that's the worst of it, they won't let me marry—that is to say, to the man of my choice-your old acquaintance, Frank Vincent-but they want to trump up a marriage with a nephew of Mr. Aminidab SleekCapt. What, a nephew of Mr. Aminadab Sleek?
[They rise. Emma. Whom I detest from the bottom of my heart. Capt. Sure your brother will never suffer that? Emma. Oh, my brother counts for nothing in this house. The fact is, they have forbidden Frank to come here, and I am sure he is dying, if not dead. [Sobbing.
Capt. Nonsense, darling, you are both of you too young for dying. Cheer
and let us see if we cannot restore your brother to common sense, and have you married to Frank Vincent, in spite of Lady Creamly, and that old pepper-and-salt dromedary, Sleek.
Enter CHARLES, gaily, down c. Charles. Thank the fates, it's over! I have been bored to death with their hypocrisy and cant. And now, oli fellow, what's to be done, and where are we to begin ?
Capt. Before we commence our campaigning frolic, I have something serious to say to you. My old young friend, Emma, has been letting a little daylight into the family secrets ; and I find that you are not actually the master of your own house—and that you are peaceably led by the nose by your mother-in-law, and that dromedary, old Sleek, without a snort or a kick.
Charles. It's all very well talking-anything for a quiet life. I did make a determined stand at first, but they attacked me in front and on both flanks, and I was glad ultimately to yield at discretion. The only consolation I have is, that I get away every now and then, and have a day's shooting.
Capt. That's all very well as far as yourself is concerned, but what becomes of our sweet friend, Emmy, here, who you
allow to be sacrificed to the canting son of a thief of that greedy old rhinoceros, Aminadab Sleek, because you haven't the decent courage to say no ?
Charles. Sacrificed! Why, it's an excellent match; and this is the first time I have heard that Emma dislikes him.
Emma. I hate and abominate him, and nothing but force shall ever make me consent to the match.
Capt. That's right, my little Cæsar, stick to your colors like a little hero, as you are. ( To Charles.] And over and above, there is a large lump of an attachment to another, and that other is none other than Frank Vincent -ah! now don't blush, Emma !-and a smart boy is that same Frank Vincent. Come, Charley, you must be a man, and stand
your sister's rights.
Charles. I have no objection, I am Emma's guardian, and if she says no, her inclination shall not be constrained. But I have had a hard card to play; and if you knew what an obdurate person Lady Creamly is, and what influence she has on my wife-why, the very sound of her voice frightens me! (A voice is heard without.] Damn it! here she is—stick by me, old fellow !
Emma. Oh, dear! I must not be caught here-I leave my cause in
[Runs off' L. (The voice of Mrs. Torrens heard without. Charles. No, heaven be praised ! it's my wife; and now, Maguire, I am a man again. Leave me with Eve, and I'll speak to her more roundly than I have ever done. She has an excellent heart, and is attached to me, as well as to Emma.
Capt. Stick to that, Charley, hoy! A man should be master of his own house, and a good wife have no other wish than his. Don't spare powder, and the victory's your own.
Charles. Yes, that's very true, but if my mother-inlaw
Capt. Don't be chicken-hearted; and in order to leave you a fair field, I'll retreat. [Enter Mrs. Torrens down R. C. To her.] At your feet, madam. (Bows, and exits c.
Charles. Aside.) He's right—very right! Why should I be affraid ? After all, 'tis but a woman, and that woman my wife. And if it be true that Emma detests old Sleek's nephew, why should she be forced to marry him !
Mrs. T. [Aside.] Since my mother assures me that the presence of Captain Maguire is dangerous to my husband, he certainly shall leave.
Charles. My dear Eve!
Charles. I am overjoyed to see you, for I wish to speak to you on a very important affair.
Mrs. T. That's just what I have to do with you ; and I fear what I have to say will annoy you a little.
Charles. That's just the case with what I have to say ; but when it concerns the happiness of
Mrs. T. You are perfectly right.
Mrs. T. (Aside.] I think I may safely speak.
[Places chair Charles. (Preparing to speak.] Eve, dear
Mrs. T. My dear Charles, you know how necessary is in married life for people to understand each other
Mrs. T. And many things that appear strange at firs are perfectly clear when you come to explain them
Charles. Just what I was but now remarking to Ca tain Maguire.
Mrs. T. Maguire, my love? Why, he can have n idea
Charles. Indeed he has; and it was even be wh suggested me to speak to you.
Mrs. T. That is very strange, for really we were at logs how to break the subject to him.
· Charles. Oh, as to that, he is perfectly well informed and I really do not think, after what has passed, that w can give Emma to Mr. Sleek's nephew. Do you, m love ?
Mrs. T. That's not our affair, Charles: mamma wi arrange all that with Mr. Sleek. But I do hope that yo will make Captain Maguire understand that
Charles. Oh, as to Maguire, he's the best fellow in th world, he will refuse me nothing.
Mrs. T. In that case our difficulties are all over. Yo have merely to tell him that instead of taking up h quarters here, he will go to Long's, where I have n doubt he will be quite at his ease. Charles. What ? turn Maguire out of doors !
An ol friend
[Rise Mrs. T. A libertine. Charles. A capital fellow.
Mrs. T. But my reputation, Mr. Torrens. Is it fit tha a character like Captain Maguire should live under th same roof with your wife ?
Charles. Oh, lord! oh, lord ! [Puts chairs back
Mrs. T. Fie, Charles; and besides, the thing is in possible. You are going out of town; it is settled
yo are to have several days' shooting.
Charles. (Eagerly.) Am I going out of town? An when has this been settled, my dear ?
Mrs. T. Why, my mother and Mr. Sleek have talked ne thing over, and they find that the easiest way of zranging the matter.
Charles. Oh, that's quite a different affair. Now I egin to understand you—if I am to go into the country
Mrs. T. Why, you seem quite excited! One would Imost say you were glad to leave us.
Charles. Oh, no, my love; I am only thinking how ad. airably my absence will get you out of this dilemma. Mrs. T. Then you will go to-day? Charles. To-day! Aside.] Capital! Mrs. T. Yes, let it be to-day. Charles. The sooner the better. Mrs. T. The better? Charles. Why, yes, dear, yes; mamma can say to Iaguire what I could not, and my absence would be an xcuse for everything.
Enter Lady CREAMLY and SLEEK, C. Mrs. T. I am glad you are come, dear mamma; you ave no idea how reasonable Charles is.
Sleek. Aside.] Reasonable with a T. Lady C. It is better late than never; and I cannot nderstand why Mr. Torrens should ever hesitate, even or a moment, to follow the counsel and advice of those ho have only in view his advancementSleek. In moral philosophy and utilitarianism. Charles. (Aside.] Another lecture ! (Aloud.] Why, Lady reamly, as you say, you and Eve mean nothing but my pod; and though it is a little hard that I should be e separated from an old friend, still, as you and utility esire it, I consent.
Lady C. You are wise, in this instance; for it is vident that a young man without the principles of tilitarianism-without morality
Sleek. Addicted to the gilded and evanescent follies of odern go-a-headismLady C. Could not remain under our roof without ving public scandalSleck. Public scandal! Mrs. T. Oh, mainma! Charles feels all that now nsibly.