페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

ACT TWO

SCENE I.—LOVELESS's Lodgings

Enter LOVELESS and AMANDA

Love. How do you like these lodgings, my dear ? For my part, I am so pleased with them, I shall hardly remove whilst we stay here, if you are satisfied.

Aman. I am satisfied with every thing that pleases you, else I had not come to Scarborough at all.

Love. Oh, a little of the noise and folly of this place will sweeten the pleasures of our retreat ; we shall find the charms of our retirement doubled when we return to it.

Aman. That pleasing prospect will be my chiefest entertainment, whilst, much against my will, I engage on those empty pleasures which ’tis so much the fashion to be fond of.

Love. I own most of them are, indeed, but empty; yet there are delights of which a private life is destitute, which may divert an honest man, and be a harmless entertainment to a virtuous woman good music is one : and truly (with some small allowance) the plays, I think, may be esteemed another.

Aman. Plays, I must confess, have some small charms. What do you think of that you saw last night ?

Love. To say truth, I did not mind it much-my attention was for some time taken off to admire the workmanship of nature, in the face of a young lady who sat some distance from me, she was so exquisitely handsome.

Aman. So exquisitely handsome !
Love. Why do you repeat my words, my dear ?

Aman. Because you seemed to speak them with such pleasure, I thought I might oblige you with their echo.

Love. Then you are alarmed, Amanda ?

Aman. It is my duty to be so when you are in danger.

Love. You are too quick in apprehending for me. I viewed her with a world of admiration, but not one glance of love.

Aman. Take heed of trusting to such nice distinctions. But were your eyes the only things that were inquisitive ? Had I been in your place, my tongue, I fancy, had been curious too. I should have asked her where she livedyet still without design—who was she, pray ?

Love. Indeed I cannot tell.
Aman. You will not tell.
Love. Upon my honour, then, I did not ask.
Aman. Nor do you know what company was with her ?
Love. I do not. But why are you so earnest ?
Aman. I thought I had cause.

Love. But you thought wrong, Amanda ; for turn the case, and let it be your story : should you come home and tell me you had seen a handsome man, should I grow jealous because you had eyes ?

Aman. But should I tell you he was exquisitely so, and that I had gazed on him with admiration, should you not think 'twere possible I might go one step further, and inquire his name?

Love. (Aside.] She has reason on her side ; I have talked too much; but I must turn off another way.-[Aloud.] Will you then make no difference, Amanda, between the language of our sex and yours ? There is a modesty restrains your tongues, which makes you speak by halves when you commend; but roving flattery gives a loose to ours, which makes us still speak double what we think.

Enter SERVANT

Serv. Madam, there is a lady at the door in a chair desires to know whether your ladyship sees company ; her name is Berinthia.

Aman. Oh dear! 'tis a relation I have not seen these five years ; pray her to walk in.—[Exit SERVANT.] Here's another beauty for you ; she was, when I saw her last, reckoned extremely handsome.

Love. Don't be jealous now; for I shall gaze upon her too.

Enter BERINTHIA

Ha ! by heavens, the very woman!

[Aside Ber. [Salutes AMANDA.] Dear Amanda, I did not expect to meet you in Scarborough.

Aman. Sweet cousin, I'm overjoyed to see you.—Mr. Loveless, here's a relation and a friend of mine, I desire you 'll be better acquainted with.

Love. [Salutes BERINTHIA.) If my wife never desires a harder thing, madam, her request will be easily granted.

Re-enter SERVANT

Serv. Sir, my lord Foppington presents his humble service to you, and desires to know how you do. He's at the next door; and, if it be not inconvenient to you, he Öll come and wait upon you.

Love. Give my compliments to his lordship, and I shall be glad to see him.—[Exit SERVANT.] If you are not acquainted with his lordship, madam, you will be entertained with his character.

Aman. Now it moves my pity more than my mirth to see a man whom nature has made no fool be so very industrious to pass for an ass.

Love. No, there you are wrong, Amanda ; you should never bestow your pity upon those who take pains for your contempt: pity those whom nature abuses, never those who abuse nature.

Enter LORD FOPPINGTON

Lord Fop. Dear Loveless, I am your most humble servant.

Love. My lord, I'm yours.
Lord Fop. Madam, your ladyship's very obedient slave.
Love. My lord, this lady is a relation of my wife's.

Lord Fop. [Salutes BERINTHIA.] The beautifulest race of people upon earth, rat me ! Dear Loveless, I am overjoyed that you think of continuing here : I am, stap my vitals 1—[To AMANDA.] For Gad's sake, madam, how has your ladyship been able to subsist thus long, under the fatigue of a country life?

Aman. My life has been very far from that, my lord ; it has been a very quiet one.

Lord Fop. Why, that's the fatigue I speak of, madam ; for 'tis impossible to be quiet without thinking: now thinking is to me the greatest fatigue in the world.

Aman. Does not your lordship love reading, then ?

Lord Fop. Oh, passionately, madam ; but I never think of what I read. For example, madam, my life is a perpetual stream of pleasure, that glides through with such a variety of entertainments, I believe the wisest of our ancestors never had the least conception of any of 'em. I rise, madam, when in tawn, about twelve o'clock. I don't rise sooner, because it is the worst thing in the world for the complexion : nat that. I pretend to be a beau; but a man

must endeavour to look decent, lest he makes so odious a figure in the side-bax, the ladies should be compelled to turn their eyes upon the play. So at twelve o'clock, I say, I rise. Naw, if I find it is a good day, I resalve to take the exercise of riding; so drink my chocolate, and draw on my boots by two. On my return, I dress; and, after dinner, lounge perhaps to the opera.

Ber. Your lordship, I suppose, is fond of music ?

Lord Fop. Oh, passionately, on Tuesdays and Saturdays; for then there is always the best company, and one is not expected to undergo the fatigue of listening.

Aman. Does your lordship think that the case at the opera ?

Lord Fop. Most certainly, madam. There is my Lady Tattle, my Lady Prate, my Lady Titter, my Lady Sneer, my Lady Giggle, and my Lady Grin—these have boxes in the front, and while any favourite air is singing, are the prettiest company in the waurld, stap my vitals 1-Mayn't we hope for the honour to see you added to our society, madam ?

Aman. Alas! my lord, I am the worst company in the world at a concert, I'm so apt to attend to the music.

Lord Fop. Why, madam, that is very pardonable in the country or at church, but a monstrous inattention in a polite assembly. But I am afraid I tire the company ?

Love. Not at all. Pray go on.

Lord Fop. Why, then, ladies, there only remains to add, that I generally conclude the evening at one or other of the clubs; nat that I ever play deep ; indeed I have been for some time tied up from losing above five thousand paunds at a sitting.

Love. But isn't your lordship sometimes obliged to attend the weighty affairs of the nation ?

Lord. Fop. Sir, as to weighty affairs, I leave them to weighty heads; I never intend mine shall be a burden to my body.

Ber. Nay, my lord, but you are a pillar of the state.

Lord Fop. An ornamental pillar, madam ; for sooner than undergo any part of the fatigue, rat me, but the whole building should fall plump to the ground /

Aman. But, my lord, a fine gentleman spends a great deal of his time in his intrigues ; you have given us no account of them yet.

Lord Fop. [Aside.) So! she would inquire into my

amours—that's jealousy, poor soul k I see she's in love with me.-(Aloud.) O Lord, madam, I had like to have forgot a secret I must needs tell your ladyship.-Ned, you must not be so jealous now as to listen.

Love. {Leading BERINTHIA up the stage.] Not I, my lord ; I am too fashionable a husband to pry into the secrets of my wife.

Lord Fop. (Aside to AMANDA, squeezing her hand.) I am in love with you to desperation, strike me speechless !

Aman. [Strikes him on the ear. Then thus I return your passion. An impudent fool !

Lord Fop. Gad's curse, madam, I am a peer of the realm!

Love. [Hastily returning.) Hey! what the devil, do you affront my wife, sir ? Nay, then- [Draws. They fight

Aman. What has my folly done ?-Help I murder | help! Part them, for Heaven's sake.

Lord Fop. (Falls back and leans on his sword.] Ah! quite through the body, stap my vitals !

Enter SERVANTS

Love. [Runs to LORD FOPPINGTON.) I hope I ha'n't killed the fool, however. Bear him up.-Call a surgeon there.

Lord Fop. Ay, pray make haste. (Exit SERVANT
Love. This mischief you may thank yourself for.
Lord Fop. I may so; love's the devil indeed, Ned.

Re-enter SERVANT, with PROBE
Serd. Here's Mr. Probe, sir, was just going by the door.
Lord Fop. He's the welcomest man alive.

Probe. Stand by, stand by, stand by ; pray, gentlemen, stand by Lord have mercy upon us, did you never see a man run through the body before ?-Pray stand by.

Lord Fop. Ah, Mr. Probe, I'm a dead man.

Probe. A dead man, and I by! I should laugh to see that, egad.

Love. Pr’ythee don't stand prating, but look upon his wound.

Probe. Why, what if I won't look upon his wound this hour, sir ?

Love. Why, then he'll bleed to death, sir.
Probe. Why, then I'll fetch him to life again, sir.
Love. 'Slife! he's run through the body, I tell thee.

« 이전계속 »