페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

your husband.

a girl at a boarding-school-Frolicksome! as if Char. O madam! I am at my wit's end; not marriage was only a licence for two people to for the little fortune I may lose in disobeying my play the fool according to law. Methinks, ma- father, but it startles me to find what a dangerdain, you have a better example of happiness be- ous influence this fellow has over all his actions. fore your face. Here's one has ten times your Lady Lamb. Here's your brother. understanding, and she, you find, has made a different choice.

Enter Colonel LAMBERT.
Chur. Lord, sir, how you

talk!
you
don't con-

Col. Lamb. Madam, your most obedient.-Well, şider people's tempers. I don't say my lady is sister, is the secret out? Who is this pretty felnot in the right; but then, you know, papa, she's low my father has picked up for you? a prude, and I am a coquette; she becomes her Churi. Even our agreeable doctor. character very well, I don't deny it; and I hope Col. Lamb. You are not serious ? you see every thing I do is as consistent with

Lady Lamb. He's the very man, I can assure mine. Your wise people may talk what they you, sir. will, but 'tis constitution governs us all: and be Col. Lamb. Confusion ! what, would the corassured, you will no more be able to bring me to morant devour the whole family. Your ladyship endure a man of forty-nine, than you can per- knows he is secretly in love with you too. suace my lady to dance in church to the organ. Lady Lamb. Fy, fy, colonel.

Sir J. Lamb. Why, you wicked wretch, could Col. Lamb. I ask your pardon, madam, if I any thing persuade you to do that?

speak too freely; but I am sure, by what I have Chur. Lord, sir, I won't answer for what I

seen, your ladyship must suspect something of it. might do, if the whim was in my head; besides, Lady Lamb. I am sorry any body else has seen you know I always loved a little flirtation.

it; but I must own his behaviour to me of late, Sir J. Lamb. O horrible!-flirtation !- My both in private and before company, has been poor sister has ruined her : leaving her fortune something warmer than I thought became him. in her own hand has turned her brain. In short, Col. Lamb. How are these opposites to be reCharlotte, your sentiments of life are shameful, conciled? Can the rascal have the assurance to and I am resolved upon your instant reformation; think both points are to be carried ? therefore, as an earnest of your obedience, I shall Charl. Truly, one would not suspect the genfirst insist that you never see young Darnley tleman to be so termagant. more; for, in one word, the good and pious doc- Col. Lamb. Especially while he pretends to be tor Cantwell's the man that I have decreed for

so shocked at all indecent amours. In the coun

try he used to make the maids lock up the turChar. Ho, ho, ho!

key cocks every Saturday night, for fear they Sir J. Lumb. 'Tis very well; this laugh you should gallant the hens on a Sunday. think becomes you, but I shall spoil your mirth- Lady Lamb. Oh! ridiculous ! no more-give me a serious answer.

Col. Lamb. Upon my life, madam, my sister Char. I ask your pardon, sir : I should not told me so. have smiled indeed, could I have supposed it pos- Charl. I tell you so, you impudenta sible that you were serious.

Lady Lamb. Fy, Charlotte ; he only jests with Sir J. Lamb. You'll find me so.

yoll. Char. I'm sorry for it; but I have an objection Charl. How can you be such a monster to stay to the doctor, sir, that most fathers think a sub- playing the fool here, when you have more reastantial one.

son to be frighted out of your wits! You don't Sir J. Lamb. Name it.

know, perhaps, that my father declares he'll setChar. Why, sir, we know nothing of his for- tle a fortune upon this fellow too. tune ; he's not worth a groat.

Col. Lumb. What do you mean? Sir J. Lamb. That's more than you know, ma- Lady Lamb. "Tis too true; 'tis not three midam; I am able to give him a better estate than

nutes since he said so. I am afraid you'll deserve.

Col. Lamb. Nay, then, it is time indeed his Char. How! sir ! Sir J. Lamb. I have told you what's my will, niadam, 'tis only in your power.

eyes were opened; and give me leave to say, and shall leave you to think on't.

Lady Lamb. What is't
Enter SEYWARD.

Col. Lamb. Why, if this fellow, which I'm sure

of, is really in love with you, give him a fair opSeyw. Sir, if you are at leisure, the doctor de- portunity to declare himself, and leave me to sires to speak with you upon business of import- | make my advantage of it.

Lady Lamb. Ishould be loth to do a wrong thing. Sir J. Lamb. Where is he?

Charl. Dear madam, it is the only way in the Seyu. In his own chamber, sir.

world to expose him to my father. Sir J. Lumb. I will come to him immediately. Lady Lumb. I'll think of it. -Ezt SEYW.]-Daughter, I am called away, Col. Lamb. Pray do, madam; but in the mean and therefore have only time to tell you, as my time I must leave you-poor Darnley stays for last resolution, doctor Cantwell is your husband, me at the Smyrna, and will sit upon thorns till I or l'ın no more your father,

[Exit. 'bring him an account of his new rival.

you propose

ance.

WELL.

Charl. Well, well, get you gone then; here is more to say to you at prezent; Heaven mend you, my grandmother, and, after the affront you offer- that's all. ed this morning to the doctor, she will not be Lady Lamb. But pray, madam, stay and dine able to bear the sight of you. (Erit Col. with us.

Old Lady Lamb. No, daughter; I have said it, Enter Old Lady LAMBERT.

and you know I never tell a lie; but here's my son, Lady Lumb. This is kind, madam; I hope if you'll give me leave, I'll stay and speak to him. your ladyship's come to dine with us.

*Lady Lamb. Your ladyship's time's your own, Old Lady Lamb. Oh, don't be afraid ! only Charl. Ay, and here's that abominable doctor. in my way from Tottenham Court, I just called -This fellow puts me beyond my patience. to see whether any dreadful accident happened [Exeunt Lady LAMBERT and CHARLOTTE. to the family since I was here last. Lady Lumb. Accident, did your ladyship say?

Enter Sir JOHN LAMBERT and Doctor CANT. Old Lady Lamb. I shall be sorry, daughter, but not'surprised, when I hear it; for there are goings Sir J. Lamb. Oh, madam, madam! I'm glad on under this roof that will bring temporal pu- you're here to join me in solicitations to the nishments along with them.

doctor. Here is my mother, friend, my mother; Lady Lamb. Indeed, madam, you astonish me! a pious woman ; you will hear her; more worthy Old Lady Lamb. We'll drop the subject; and to advise you than I am. I beg leave to address myself to you, Miss Char. Dr Cunt. Alas! the dear good lady, I will kiss lotte : I see you have a bit of lace upon your her hand!—but what advice can she give me? neck; I desire to know what you wear it for, The riches of this world, sir, have no charms for

Charl. Wear it for, madam! it's the fashion. me; I am not dazzled with their false glare; and

Old Lady Lamb. In short, I have been at my was I, I repeat it, to accept of the trust you want linen-draper's to-day, and have brought you some to repose in me, Heaven knows, it would only thick muslin, which I desire you will make hand-be lest the means should fall into wicked hands, kerchiefs of--for I must tell you that slight co- who would not lay it out as I should do, for the vering is indecent, and gives much offence. glory of heaven, and the good of my neighbour. Lady Lamb. Indecent, did your ladyship say? Old Lady Lamb. What is the matter, son?

Old Lady Lamb. Yes, daughter-in-law. Doc- Dr Cant. Nothing, madam, nothing. But tor Cantwell complains to me that he cannot sit you were witness how the worthy colonel treated at table, the sight of her bare neck disturbs him me this morning-Not that I speak it on my own 50; and he's a good man, and knows what inde account-for to be reviled is my portion.

Sir J. Lamb. O the villain! the villain ! Charl. Yes, indeed; I believe he does, better · Dr Cant. Indeed, I did not think he had so than any one in this house. But you may tell the hard a nature. doctor from me, madam, that he is an impudent Old Lady Lumb. Ah! your charitable heart coxcomb, a puppy, and deserves to have his knows not the rancour that is in his.-His wickbones broke.

ed sister too has been here this moment abusing Old Lady Lamb. Fy, Charlotte, fy! Ile speaks this good man. but for your good, and this is the grateful return Dr Cunt. O sir, 'tis plain, 'tis plain ; you

whole family are in a combination against meCharl. Grateful return, madam!-how can you your son and daughter hate me; they think I be so partial to that hypocrite ? -The doctor is stand between them and your favour'; and inone of those who start at a feather.-Poor good deed it is not fit I should do so; for, fallen as man! yet he has his vices of the graver sort- they are, they are still your children, and I ain

Old Lady Lamb. Come, come; I wish you an alien, an intruder, who ought in conscience to would follow his precepts, whose practice is con- retire and heal those unhappy breaches. formable to what he teaches, Virtuous man! Old Lady Lumb. See, if the good man does -Above all sensual regards, he considers the not wipe his eyes ! world merely as a collection of dirt and pebble- Dr Cant. Oh, Heavens! the thought of their stones. How has he weaned me from temporal ingratitude wounds me to the quick-but I'll connections! My heart is now set upon nothing remove this eye-sore-here, Charles ! sublunary; and, I thank Heaven, I am so insen

Enter SEYWARD. sible to every thing in this vain world, that I could see you, my son, my daughters, my bro - Sir J. Lamb. For goodness sakethers, my grandchildren, all expire before me; Dr Gunt. Bring me that writing I gave you to and mind it no more than the going out of so lay up this morning. many snuffs of candle.

Sir J. Lamb. Make haste, good Charles ; it Charl. Upon my word, madam, it is a very shall be signed this moment. (Exit SEYWARD. humane disposition you have been able to arrive Dr Cant. Not for the world, Sir John-every at, and your family is much obliged to the doc- minute tends to corroborate my last intentions por for his instructions.

I must not, will not take it, with the currses of Old Lady Lamb. Well, child, I have nothing your children,

cency is.

you make.

me

Sir J. Lamb. But, consider, doctor-shall my -I'm a breaking my heart I think its a wicked son then be heir to my lands, before re- sin to keep a shop. pentance has entitled him to favour?

—No, let Old Lady Lamb. Why, if you think it a sin, him depend upon you, whom he has wronged; indeed-pray what's your business? perhaps, in time he may reflect upon his father's Maw. We deals in grocery, tea, small' beer, justice, and be reconciled to your rewarded vir- charcoal, butter, brick-dust, and the like. tues. If Heaven should at last reclaim him, in Old Lady Lamb. Well; you must consult with you, I know, he still would find a fond forgiving your friendly director here. father.

Muu. I wants to go a preaching. Dr Cant. The imagination of so blest an hour Old Lady Lamb. Do you? softens me to a tenderness I cannot support! Mau. I'm almost sure I have had a call.

Old Lady Lamb. Oh! the dear good man ! Old Lady Lamb. Ay!

Sir J. Lamb. With regard to my daughter, Maw. I have made several sermons already; I doctor, you know she is not wronged by it: be- does them extrumpery, because I cann't write ; cause, if she proves not obstinate, she may still and now the devils in our alley says, as how my be happy.

head's turned. Old Lady Lamb. Yes, but the perverse wretch Old Lady Lamb. Ay, devils indeed but slights the blessing you propose for her.; don't you inind them.

Dr Cant. We must allow, madam, female mo- Maw. No, don't-I rebukes them, and desty a time, which often takes the likeness of preaches to them whether they will or not. We distaste: the commands of your good son might lets our house in lodgings to single men; and too suddenly surprise her-Maids must be gently sometimes I gets them together, with one or two dealt with-and might I humbly advise

of the neighbours, and makes them all cry. Sir J. Lamb. Any thing you will; you shall Old Lady Lumb. Did you ever preach in pubgovern me and her.

lic? Dr Cant. Then, sir, abate of your authority, Maw. I got up on Kennington Common the and let the matter rest a while.

last review day, but the boys threw brick-bats at Sir J. Lamb. Suppose we were to get my wife me, and pinned crackers to my tail; and I have to speak to her ? women will often hear from been afraid to mount ever since. their own sex what, sometimes, even from the Old Lady Lamb. Do you hear this, doctor! man they like, will startle them.

throw brick-bats at him, and pin crackers to his Dr Cant. Then, with your permission, sir, I tail ! can these things be stood by ? will take an opportunity of talking to my lady. Muw. I told them so-says I, I does nothing

Sir J. Lamb. She's now in her dressing room; clandecently; I stand here contagious to his maI'll go and prepare her for it.

[Exit. jesty's guards, and I charges you apon your apDr Cant. You are too good to me, sir—too parels not to mislist me. bountiful.

Old Lady Lamb. And it had no effect ?

Maw. No more than if I spoke to so many
Enter SEYWARD.

postesses; but if he advises me to go a preachSeyw. Sir, Mr Maw-worm is without, and ing, and quit my shop, I'll make an excressance would be glad to be permitted to speak with you. farther into the country.

Old Lady Lamb. Oh, pray, doctor, admit him; Old Lady -Lamb. An excursion, you would say. I have not seen Mr Maw-worm this great while; Maw. I am but a sheep, but my bleatings shall he's a pious man, tho' in a humble estate ; de- be heard afar off, and that sheep shall become a sire the worthy creature to walk in.

shepherd : nay, if it be only, as it were, a shep

herd's dog, to bark the stray lambs into the fold. Enter MAW-WORM.

Old Lady Lamb. He wants method, doctor. How do you do, Mr Maw-worm?

Dr Cant. Yes, madam, but there is matter; Muw. Thank your ladyship’s axing-I'm but and I despise not the ignorant, deadly poorish, indeed; the world and I can't Maw. He's a saint-till I went after him, I agree-i have got the books, doctor-and Mrs was little better than the devil; my conscience Grunt bid me give her service to you, and thanks was tanned with sin like a piece of nicat's leather, you for the eighteen-pence,

and had no more feeling than the sole of my Dr Cant. Hush, friend Maw-worm ! not a shoe; always a roving after fantastical delights: word more; you know I hate to have my little | I used to go every Sunday evening to the 'Three charities blaz’d about :-a poor widow, madam, Hats at Islington; it's a public-house; mayhap to whom I sent my mite.

your ladyship may know it : I was a great

lover Old Lady Lamb. Give her this.

of skittles too, but now I can't bear them. (Offers a purse to MAW-WORM. Old Lady Lamb. What a blessed reformation! Dr Cant. I'll take care it shall be given up to Maw. I believe, doctor, you never know'd as her.

[Puts it up. how I was instigated one of the stewards of the Old Lady Lamb. But what is the matter with reforming society. I convicted a man of five you, Mr Maw-worm ?

oaths, as last Thursday was se’nnight, at the Muw. I don't know what's the matter with | Pewter Platter, in the Borough; and another of

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

three, while he was playingtrap-ball in St George's | me? The thought of speaking to her throws me Fields: I bought this waistcoat out of my share into a disorder. There's nobody within, I beof the money:

lieve-I'll knock again. Old Lady Lamb. But how do you mind your business?

Enter Betty. Maw. We have lost almost all our customers, Is your lady busy? because I keeps extorting them whenever they Betty. I believe she's only reading, sir.. come into the shop.

Scyw. Will you do me the favour to let her Old Ludy Lamb. And how do you live? know, if she's at leisure, I beg to speak with her

Maw. Better than ever we did ; while we were upon sonje carnest business ? worldly minded, my wife and I (for I am married to as likely a woman as you shall see in a thou

Enter CHARLOTTE. sand) could hardly make things do at all; but Charl. Who's that? since this good man has brought us into the road Betty. She's here.--Mr Seyward, madam, of the righteous, we have always plenty of every desires to speak with you. thing; and my wife goes as well dressed as a Charl. Oh, your servant, Mr Seyward...

Here, gentlewoman we have had a child too. take this odious Homer, and lay him up again ; Old Lady Lamb. Merciful!

he tires me.-[Erit BETTY.}How could the Maw. And between you and me, doctor, I be blind wretch make such an horrid fuss about a lieve Susy's breeding again.

fine woman, for so many volumes together, and Dr Gant. This it is, madam; I am constant- give us no account of her amours? You have ly told, though I can hardly believe it, a blessing read him, I suppose, in the Greek, Mr Seyward? follows wherever I come.

Seyw. Not lately, madam. Maw. And yet, if you would hear how the Charl. But do you so violently admire him neighbours reviles my wife, saying, as how she now? sets no store by me, because we have words now Seyw. The critics say he has his beauties, maand then; but, as I says, if such was the case, dam; but Ovid has been always my favourite. would ever she have cut me down that there time Charl. Ovid--Oh, he is ravishing ! as I was melancholy, and she found me hanging Seyw. So art thou, to madness! [ Aside. behind the door? I don't believe there's a wife Charl. Lord ! how could one do to learn in the parish would have done so by her hus- Greek?-Were you a great while about it? band.

Seyw. It has been half the business of my life, Dr Cant. I believe 'tis near dinner time, and madam. Sir John will require my attendance.

Charl. That's cruel now; then you think one Muw. Oh! I am troublesome-nay,

I

only could not be mistress of it in a month or two? come to you, doctor, with a message from Mrs Seyw. Not casily, madam. Grunt. I wish your ladyship heartily and hear- Charl. They tell me it has the softest tone for tily farewell; doctor, a good day to you. love of any language in the world—I fancy I

Old Laily Lamb. Mr Maw-worm, call on me could soon learn it. I know two words of it alsome time this afternoon; I want to have a lit- ready. tle private discourse with you; and, pray, my Seyw. Pray, madam, what are they? service to your spouse.

Charl, Stay~let me see-Oh-ay-Zoe kai Maw. I will, madam; you are a malefactor to psuche. all goodness ; I'll wait upon your ladyship; I Seyw. I hope you know the English of them, will, indeed: (Going, returns.] Oh, doctor, that's madam. true; Susy desired me to give her kind love and Charl. Oh lud ! I hope there is no harm in respects to you.

(Exit. it--I'm sure I heard the doctor say it to my ladyDr Cunt. Madam, if you please, I will lead pray, what is it? you into the parlour.

Seyw. You must first imagine, madam, a tenOld Lady Lamb. No, doctor, my coach waits der lover gazing on his mistress; and then, in at the door; I only called upon the business you deed, they have a softness in them; as thusknow of; and partly indeed to see how you did, Zoe kai psuche-my life! my soul! after the usage you had met with; but I have Charl. Oh the impudent young rogue ! how struck the wretch out of my will for it.

his eyes spoke too!- What the deuce can he

want with me? even Enter SEYWARD.

Seyw. I have startled her !-she muses! Dr Cant. Charles, you may lay those papers Charl. It always run in my head that this fel. by again, but in some place where you'll easily low had something in him above his condition; find them; for I believe we shall have occasion I'll know immediately. Well, but your busifor them some time this afternoon.

ness with me, Mr Seyward ? You have someSeyw. I'll take care, sir.

thing of love in your head, I'll lay my life on't. (Exeunt Dr Cant. and Old Lady LAMB. Seyw. I never yet durst own it, madam. -Occasion for them this afternoon ! - Then Charl. Why, what's the matter? there's no time to be lost; the coast is clear, and Seyw. My story is too melancholy to enterthis is her chamber - What's the matter with tain a mind so much at ease as yours.

[ocr errors]

Charl, Oh, I love melancholy stories of all Charl. But how has the wretch dared to treat things :-pray, how long have you lived with you? your uncle, Mr Seyward?

Seyw. In his ill and insolent humours, madan, Scyr. With Doctor Cantwell, I suppose you he has sometimes the presuinption to tell me mean, Tiadam?

that I am the object of his charity; and I own, Chari. Ay.

madam, that I am humbled in my opinion, by Seyr. He's no uncle of mine, madam. his having drawn me into a connivance at some Charl. You surprise me! not your uncle? actions, which I cannot look back on without

Scyw. No, madam ; but that's not the only horror! character the doctor assumes, to which he has Charl. Indeed you cannot tell how I pity you ; no right.

and depend upon it, if it be possible to serve you, Chart. Lord! I am concerned for you. by getting you out of the hands of this monster, Seyu. So you would, madam, if you knew all. I will.

Churl. I am already; but if there are any far- Seyw. Once more, madam, let me assure you, ther particulars of your story, pray let me hear that your generous inclination would be a conthem; and should any services be in my power, solation to me in the worst misfortunes; and, I am sure you may command them.

even in the last moment of painful death, would Seyw. You treat me with so kind, so gentle a give my heart a joy. hand, that I will unbosom myself to you.-My Charl. Lord! the poor unfortunate boy loves father, madam, was the younger branch of a gen- me too—what shall I do with him?-Pray, Mr teci family in the North'; his name, Trueman- Seyward, what paper's that you have in your but dying while I was yet in my infancy, I was hand ?-Is it relative to left wholly dependent on my mother; a woman Seyu. Another instance of the conscience, really pious and well-meaning, but — In short, and gratitude, which animates our worthy docmadam, Doctor Cantwell fatally got acquainted tor. with her, and, as he is now your father's bosom Charl. You frighten me ! pray what is the counsellor, soon became hers; for his hypocri- purport of it? Is it neither signed nor sealed ? sy had so great an effect on her weak spirit, that Seyw. No, madam ; therefore to prevent it, he entirely led and managed her at his pleasure. by this timely notice, was my business here with She died, madam, when I was but eight years you: your father gave it to the doctor first, to old; and then I was indeed left an orphan. shew his counsel ; who, having approved it, I

Charl. Poor creature !-Lord! I cannot bear it! understand this evening it will be executed.

Seyu. She left Doctor Cantwell her sole heir Charl. But what is it? and executor : but I must do her the justice to Seyw. It grants to Doctor Cantwell, in presay, I believe it was in the confirmation that he sent, four hundred pounds per annum, of which would take care of, and do justice to me; who, this very house is part ; and, at your father's young as I was, I yet remember to have heard death, invests him in the whole remainder of his her recommend to him on her death-bed : and, freehold cstate.-For you, indeed, there is a indeed, he has so far taken care of me, that he charge of four thousand pounds upon it, provisent me to a seminary abroad ; and for these ded you marry with the doctor's consent ; if three years last past has kept me with him. not, ’tis added to my lady's jointure-But

Charl. A seminary! Oh! Heavens! but why your brother, madam, is, without conditions, uthave you not strove to do yourself justice ? terly disinherited.

Scyw. Thrown so young into his power as I Charl. I am confounded !- What will become was-unknown and friendless, but through his of us! My father now, I find, was serious means, to whom could I apply for succour? Oh, this insinuating hypocrite!

Let me seeNay, madam, I will confess, that on my return ay-I will go this minute. Sir, dare you trust to England, I was at first tainted with his enthu- this in my hands for an hour only? siastic notions myself; and, for some time, as Seyw. Any thing to serve you

(Bell rings. much imposed upon by him as others; till, by Charl. Hark! they ring to dinner: pray, sir, degrees, as he found it necessary to make use step in : say I am obliged to dine abroad and of, or totally discard me (which last he did not whisper one of the footmen to get a chair immethink prudent to do, he was obliged to unveil diately; then do you take a proper occasion to himself to me in his proper colours—And I be slip out after me to Mr Double's chambers in lieve I can inform you of some parts of his pri- the Temple; there I shall have time to talk furvate character, that may be the means of detect-ther with you.

(Exeunt. ing one of the wickedest impostors that ever practised upon credulity.

[ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »