페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

FALSE COLOUR S.

А ст І.

SCENE. A Hall-(a ringing at the door.)

Enter Tony, with a tankard in his hand.

WHY

Tony.
HY, Jonathan Geoffrey-are none of you up

yet? Will nobody go to the door |--Was there ever such a lazy pack of drunken scoundrels (he drinks bell rings again )-aye, now this is what one gets by being industrious and rising early-instead of a cool comfortable tankard, I must be pacing to the door here before eight in the morning-( bell rings again). Ecod I have a great mind to go to bed again. No, as I am here, for once I'll do a good-natured act-and-(opens the door.)

Enter Subtle. Eh, Master Subtle, is it you so early? Where is my lord ?

Subtle. On the road, my boy; but he sent me forward with a letter for her ladyship. Is she up yet? B

Tony. Tony. Up? Lord help younot a foul stirring in the house! To tell you the truth, we had a grand rehearsal of one of our Comedies last night, and, somehow, that always makes the family pure sleepy in the morning.

Subtle. What? my lady dashes as usual-eh !

Tony. Dashes-why, we have a private Theatre you know. Ecod, I am a gentleman performer,-hi, hi,-and there's Miss Constance acts as well as thof she was paid for it--then we have our dilatory concerts.

Subtle. But what does Sir Paul say? Where are his fears and caution ? Why he never dared fhew his nose at night; and the bare idea of a hot room used to throw him into a cold sweat.

Tony. Aye, aye, he is at his old pranks ftill - Noftrums to give appetite in a morning, and noftrums to help digestion in the afternoon. Why, all the servants are but just out of their spring physic--to cool the blood, as he says. Then we are regularly dosed with drugs once a month to prevent fevers. Here, pull away my boy(gives the tankard )--and tell us, is my lord as great a phyzzionomite as he used to be-eh!

Subtle. As great? Why man, he has had the whole household shaved bald as coots, to sew the shape of their foreheads, and wears his wig full two inches in arrear to display his own. You see I am obliged to wear my ears al fresco. Such a fet as we have at home--not a vulgar face among us. The quarter-fesfions indeed makes fad havoc-carried off a brace of heroes last week that were perfect.

Tony. Eh! how? perfect.

Subtle. Aye, nose and chin ; but I told my lord at the time, their necks had a very suspicious turn; and indeed they were a little confused in their ideas of property.

Tony. But you don't drink-may be, you like wine better. I can smug you a play-house bottle from our property man.

[Bell rings.

Subtle

[ocr errors]

Subtle. Eh! no-there is the bell - have a care when his lordship comes, or egad he may detect you.

Tony. Eh! what! oh dear- you don't say lomhow?

Subtle. By your face, to be fure. Why man, the features are his alphabet, and he reads characters at light. Now and then indeed he meets with a crabbed sort of print. You now for instance-that nose of your's is so plaguily ill-fpelt that he'll hardly be able to determine, whether of the two you are most given to--women or wine-though on a nearer inspection the wine seems to have got into your nose, and the women into your headbut come along

Tony. Ah, Master Subtle, you are a wag ; not that I like drinking for drinking fake, only a bottle is company, and one hates to be alone. As for the vomen, why somehow they do get into a body's head.

Subtle. Never mind, Tony, keep your own counsel ; yours seems to be made of such good impenetrable stuff, that whatever may be in, I don't see any thing come out of it. (Bell rings again. )

[Exeunt in a hurry.

SCENE-The Garden. Enter Harriet, followed by Montague. Montague. Nay, but my dear Harriet, give me up the promise of marriage. Why keep a musty parchment, every word of which is obsolete.

Harriet. But it's validity is not obsolete. I know 'twas given three years since to Harriet, the daughter of an opulent merchant, which Harriet now finds herself, by his death and insolvency, a poor dependant on the bounty of her aunt Lady Panick-but for all that, the promise is valid.

Mont. True woman-she has me-and no power on carth could make her quit her hold-/afide ) --'[death have I not laid Sir Harry Cecil, a young Baronet, and 5000l. a year, at your feet. Har. Not altogether that. B: 2

Mont.

Mont. I tell you—it is but playing on his ridiculous caprice, and you are sure of him. Is it not the very end of his plot? Has he not changed characters with me for this sole purpose ? To find a girl that would love him for himself forsooth-without the aid of title, fortune, or any such gross attraction the conceited mongrel;—and while every one else in the family is a stranger to the truth, have I not revealed it to you--shewn you how to lay the net?

Har. Fair and softly, my good sir; there is a delicate sensibility about his mind, of which you have no conception I must have time-yielding too soon, instead of winning, would disgust him.

Mont. Pfhaw-let it seem from excess of affection, then 'twill the more flatter his vanity, and judgment is too prudent to shew its face against such an antagonist; besides, not a moment 's to be loft- he begins to see his folly, and a premature discovery of his real character would strip me of my title, disclose the difinterestedness of your attachment, and ruin both our prospects—fo, prythee, my good Harriet, away with delicacy-you have never yet troubled her much, and she is a coy prude, that does not take kindly to new acquaintance. What have you done for me with Constance ?

Har. All that inuendoes can effect has been triedyour name emblazoned with every virtue-and one thing is certain.

Mont. What, my sweet girl, what?

Har. Why, young Visage turns out a confirmed libertine.

Mont. I knew it, but what of that? Spare my impatience.

Har. She is certainly averse to the match.

Mont. This is news indeed -I am transported, thou dear delicious girl why I could almost kneel and worShip thee. (Going to kneel.) Har. Confusion-here is fir Harry.

Mont.

Mont. The devil he is.

Har. Stay, stay--don't move. Enter Sir Harry Cecil, who Aops at the back of the Stage on

seeing them.

[ocr errors]

Mont. (In a low voice.) Curses on my heroics.

Har. (Pretending not to see Sir Harry.) Believe me, Sir, I am far from insensible to your merit; but no consideration shall tempt my hand, where I cannot give my heart. That-(feeing Sir Harry) - Captain Montague, here. I am really so confused

[Exit. Mont. (Pretending not to see Sir Harry) – That in the whole female world

my

cursed star should point to a woman, who is as blind to the gifts of fortune as the goddess in giving them! Eh! are you there? (seeing Sir Harry),--you heard her then? Did you think, Cecil, there existed on the face of the earth a woman who would refuse an estate of 5oool. a year, with no other incumbrance than a young baronet of twenty-five.

Sir Harry. Had you no quarrel?
Mont. Oh dear no.

She offered me her friendship. No woman ever refuses a man without offering him her friendfhip. It's the rule of the fex.

Sir Harry. What was her reason ?

Mont. No. I will not betray her. Could she have one? She did indeed confefs.

Sir Harry. Prithee let us change the subject. No more of Harriet.

Mont. What should we talk about, but these rural divinities; and I am sure she is a thousand times a finer girl than her friend Constance.

Sir Harry. Constance-an angel-I met her within this half hour. She had been relieving the family of a poor peasant-her eye yet wet. Oh, Montague, the tear of sensibility on the cheek of a beautiful woman, like the dew-drop of heaven on its favourite rose, sheds new sweetness where all was sweet before,

Mont.

« 이전계속 »