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into your hands, by marrying her to young Straight-hair, your nephew.
Sleek. As a worm, I forgive you; as a man, I despise your hints and inuendoes.
Capt. Make up your pious mind that not a shilling of the young lady's property will pass your fingers. Her brother and guardian has already made choice of a husband-a decent young fellow, with a live heart in his bosom. And here comes Emma Torrens herself, who, if you should have any ugly doubts on the subject, will clear them up, I dare answer.
Enter EMMA in a ball-dress, L. Emma. Captain Maguire, is it not a love of a dress? Do I please you?
Sleek. Heaven preserve me! what do I see?
Mrs. D. You are charmingly dressed, and I suppose you are ready to accompany
Mr. Aminadab Sleek, who is waiting to escort you to his sister.
Emma. I fear, Mr. Sleek, you will have to make my excuse, as I am engaged to a ball this evening.
Sleek. A ball! an abomination! Lady Creamly will put a stop to these wicked mummeries!
Enter FRANK VINCENT, R. Frank. [Running in.] Captain Maguire, we are all ready. Gunter's people have come with a hamper of silver forks; there are mountains of cream, and whole lakes of wenham ice; and Jullien, and Kønig, and the band, are coming up stairs.
Sleek. What means this awful outbreak 1-the house will be defiled ! Capt. We are going to have a ball to-night.
[Sleek groans. Capt. You may stay and dance if you like. Mr. and Mrs. Torrens have resolved, as you will not let them go to the world, to make the world come to them.
Sleek. A ball here! oh! (Groans.] I will go for Lady Creamıly, and make you all repent this conduct.
Mrs. D. It will be time lost, Mr. Sleek; and I would recommend you to compound with your conscience, as
you have often done before, and as I have already advised, come over to our side.
Sleek. ( To Emma, bursting with rage.] As for you, Miss-Miss
Capt. Softly, Mr. Sleek, the British flag protects Miss Torrens.
Sleek. I see there is a conspiracy against us—I will speak to Mrs. Torrens.
Emma. No, Mr. Sleek; my sister is dressing for the ball, she must not be disturbed.
Sleek. (Returns much mortified and puts on his hat.] I will go for Lady Creamly! [His hat falls off, he picks it up and puts it on again.] Yes, for Lady Creamly(Going, his hat falls off again ; returns—to Captain.] I will make you responsible for everything!
(His hat falls off a third time; as he is going out he
picks it up, and exits foaming with rage. All
laugh. Capt. Huzza! the coast is clear-but, I fear, for a short time only, as that old sinner will be sure to bring back Lady Creamly—so let us each to our respective posts to get the ball in train before her ladyship arrives. (To Mrs. Delmaine.]. You and Emma will have the kindness to see the decorations are in order. You can accompany them, Frank, as their loyal esquire. The supper and wines I take under my especial charge. And, now, Eng. land expects
every manMrs. D. And womanCapt. And woman- will do his duty ! Eceunt Captain R.; Frederick, Emma, and Mrs. Delmaine, c.
Enter Charles, full dressed, L. Charles. No one in the way; I think I can get off to Lady Blank's without being perceived. That damned Maguire had nearly spoiled all my plans, but, fortunately, I escaped exactly in the nick of time.
Enter Mrs. TORRENS, elegantly attired, L. Good heavens! what do I see ? Mrs. Torrens in fulldress? Well, my dear, what extraordinary fancy has taken yon tonight?
Mrs. T. I may ask the same question, Mr. Torrens; for I see, by your costume, you are bent on conquest.
Charles. [Tenderly.] Éve, the only conquest I wish to make is here. Mrs. T. Ah, Charles !
mock me. Charles. [ Taking her hand.] No, my dear. In truth, I never saw you looking so handsome. These jewels, and this dress, become you most admirably.
Mrs. T. If you are pleased, I am happy. But now, dear Charles, let us have a few moments' explanation, for, perhaps, on the experiment of this night all our future happiness depends.
Charles. Dearest Eve, I am all attention.
Mrs. T. Charles, you have not been sincere with me. You found me a young creature accustomed only to obey the voice of my mother, and ignorant that I had other duties, but those she imposed on me, to fulfil. You should have told me the little world in which I lived, was not the world in which you, and other reasonable creatures in our sphere of life, existed. I now find that I have been wrong-very wrong indeed, and that if you have
gone a little on your side astray the fault is all my own.
Charles. Ah, Eve; you are too kind, too amiable; the fault is all mine. I should have known better what a treasure I possessed.
Mrs. T. I am now determined, dearest Charles, to give you no excuse for seeking amusement abroad, by giving it you at home.
We have, henceforth, but one mind, one heart; and in spite of all Mr. Sleek or Lady Creamly may say, we shall be as gay and happy-with prudence, and in season, of course-as other people of our rank and fortune.
Charles. You are an angel, Eve; and from this moment I swear eternal fidelity.
Enter CAPTAIN R.; Mrs. DELMAINE, EMMA, C. Welcome! a thousand times welcome! I am the happiest of men; and here is the most angelic creature in existence. Ask no explanations, but we are now the happiest couple in the world. Your hand, Maguire ; it is to your spirit and courage I owe this moment of liberty. And to you, dear Mrs. Delmaine, I offer a true friend, in lieu of a false lover.
Enter FRANK, C. Frank. “Sauve qui peut."
Lady Creamly and old Sleek !
Capt. Stand firm, Charley ! Mrs. D. Courage, dearest madam! Emma. Oh, we're lost! we're lost ! Enter LADY CREAMLY, followed by SLEEK.-She throws
herself in a posture of violent anger, Sleek stands behind her, hypocritically raising his hands. She does not perceive either of the three ladies, the three gentlemen standing before them. Lady C. [Violently.) What's this I see? What's this I hear ? Who has dared to turn this house into a house of sin and iniquity ?
Slcek. An abode of Agapemenons !
Lady C. (Haughtily.] I spoke not to you, sir ; where is my daughter ! Sleek. Where is her sole offspring? [The Captain who has been standing before Mrs.
Torrens, moves aside and discovers her.
Mrs. T. Why, dear mamma, it is only a ball.
Sleck. You can't dance without a license--call in the police, even Government cannot defer that tax on hops.
Lady C. [To Charles.] Explain this, Mr. Charles Tor
Capt. (Aside.] Stand firm, or you're lost !
(Charles hesitatingly steps aside and discovers Emma. Emma. (Advancing.] It is only a nice little ball, Lady Creamly.
Sleek. Child of polkamania! Cellarius infant !
Mrs. T. It's only a ball, mamma, I give in honor of my husband's birth-day.
Charles. Yes, dear mamma, a little dance in honor of my birth-day.
Frank. (Coming forward, discovers Mrs. Delmaine.] Merely a valse and a polka.
Sleek. And that widow of profane Ephesus.
Mrs. D. Yes, Mr. Aminadab Sleek, for once in my life I am tempted to join the solemn circle of a serious family, but only in the hope of bringing cheerfulness and geniality, where hitherto have been groans and sighs and straight-laced formality.
Charles. To speak plainly, Lady Creamly, this is my house, and for the future I am determined to be master in it. I will have no longer puritanical faces and starched behavior about me. l'll see happy countenances, smiles and cheerfulness.
Sleek. Then look at us.
Mrs. T. (Crosses to Lady Creamly.) Yes, mamma, we love you very dearly; but Charles and I are commencing a new system.
Lady C. What do I hear? Support me, Mr. Sleek. Sleck. Morally I would, but physically I can't.
Lady C. Must I renounce you for ever? Daughter, I command you to follow me!
Mrs. T. Dear mamma, one's first duty is to obey one's husband, and Charles has ordered me to stay.
Lady C. [To Emma.) As for Miss Insolence—come hither!
Emma. Pardon me, Lady Creamly, Charles is my guardian, and has ordered me to stay.
Lady C. [To. Mrs. Delmaine.) And you, madam, will inatantly leave my house.
Mrs. D. Pardon me, Lady Creamly, this gentleman, my intended husbaud, has ordered me to stay.
Capt. (R.) And the three pair of us will make a mighty pretty couple.
Lady C. Why, this is rebellion.
Charles. (The first bar of a polka is heard.] Ah! there's the polka-partners and places.
Lady C. Vice and vanity! Ungrateful children, I banish you forever! Come, Mr. Sleek.