페이지 이미지
PDF

I bare not told you, madam, of my cousin's smart answer just now to Mr. Marlow. We so laugh'd. You must know, madam—this way a little, for he must not hear Us. (They ceafer.)

Tony. (Still gazing.) A d—d cramp piece of penmanship as ever I saw in my life. I can read your print hand very well: but here they're such handles, and shanks, and dashes, that one can scarce tell the head from the tail. To Anthony Lumpkin, Esq.—It's very odd, I can read the outside of my letters, where my own name is, well enough; but when I come to open it, it is all— buzz. That's hard, very hard; for the inside of the letter is always the cream of the correspondence.

Mis. If. Ha, ba, ha! Very well, very well. And Bo my son was too hard for the philosopher?

Miss N. Yes, Madam; but you must hear the rest, madam. A little more this way, or he may hear us. You'll hear how he nuzzled him again

Mrs. H. He seems strangely puzzled now himsclf, methinks.

Tony. (Still gating.) A d—d up and down ban£, as if disguised in liquor. — (Reading.)—Dear Ay, that's that. Then there's an M, and a T and an S; but whether the next be an izzard or an R, confound me! I cannot tell. [any assistance?

Mrs. H. What's that, my dear? Can I give you

Miss N. Pray, aunt, let me read it No body reads a cramp hand better than I.—Twitching the letter from her.)—Do you know who it is from? [feeder.

Tony. Can't tell, except from Dick Ginger, the

Miss N. Ay, so it is.—(Pretending to read.)Dear 'squire, hoping that you're in health, as I am at present. The gentleman of the Shate-bag club has cut the gentleman of the Gooss-green quite out 0/ feather. Theodds—um—odd battle—um—long fighting —um—here, here; it's all about cocks, and fighting; it's of no conseqnence; here, put it up, put it up.— (Thrusting the - rumpled letter upon him.)

Tony. But I tell you, miss, it's of all the conseqnence in the world; I would not lose the rest of it for a guinea. Here, mother, do you make it out Of no conseqnence! (Giving Mrs. H. the letter.)

Mrs. H. How's this? (Reads.)—" Dear 'Squire, — / am now waiting for Miss Neeille, with a postchaise and pair, at the bottom of the garden; but I find my horses yet unable to perform their journey. I expect you'll assist its with a pair of jresh fvrses, as you promised. Despatch is nevessary, as' the hag, (ay, the hag,) your mother, will otlterwise suspect ns.

Yours Hastings." Grant me patience! I shall run distracted! My rago chokes me.

MissN. I hope you'll suspend your resentmont for a few moments, and not impute to me any impertinence, or sinister design that belongs to another.

Mrs. H. (Curtseying very low.) .Fine spoken madam, you are most miraculously polite and engaging, and quite the very pink of courtesy and circumspection, madam. (Changing her tone.) And you, you great ill-fashioned oaf, with scarce sense enough to keep your)mouth shut, wore you, too, joined against Saer But I'll defeat all your plots in a moment As for yon, madam, since you havo got a pair of fresh horses ready, It would be crnel to disappoint them. So, if you please, instead of running away with your spark, preparo, this very moment, to run off with mo. Your old aunt Podigree, will keep you secure, I'll warrant me. You, too, sir, may mount your horse, and guard us upon the way. Here, Thomas, Roger, Diggory! I'll shew 5 ou that I wish you better than you do yourself. [Exit. Mm A'. So, now I'm completely ruined,

Tony. Ay, that's a sure thing.

[graphic]

Miss N. What better Could be expected from being connected with such a stnpid fool, and after all tho nods and signs I made him?

Tony. By the laws! miss, it was your own cleverness, and not my stupidity, that did your business. You were so nice and so busy with your Shakeba<rs and Goose-greens, that I thought you could never bo making believe.

Enter HASTINGS.

Hast. So, sir, I find, by my servant, that you have shewn my letter, and betrayed us. Was this well done, young gentleman?

Tony. Here's another! Ask miss there who betrayed you. Ecod! it was her own doing, not mine. Enter MARLOW.

Mar, So, I have been finely used here among yon. Rendered contemptible, driven into ill-manners, despised, insulted, laughed at

Tony. Here's another! We shall have old Bedlam broke loose presoutly.

Miss N. And there, sir, is the gentleman to whom we all owe every obligation.

Mar. What can, I say to him, a mere boy, an idiot, whose ignorance and youth are a protection?

Hast. A poor contemptible booby, that would but disgrace correction.

Miss N. Yet, with cunning and malice enough to make himself merry with all our embarrassments.

Hast. An insensible cub I

Mar. Replete with tricks and mishief.

Tony. Baw! (Starts up.) D—e! but I'll fight you both, one after the other—with baskets.

Mar. As for him, he's below resentment But your conduct, Mr. Hastings, requires an explanation- You knew of my mistakes, yet would not undeceive me.

Hast. Tortured as I am with my own disappointments, is this a time for explanations? It is n.t friendly, Mr. Marlow.

Mas. But, sir—

Miss N. Mr. Marlow, we never kept on your mistake till it was too late to undeoeive yon. Be pacified.

Enter DIGGORY.

Dig. My mistress desires you'll get ready immediately, madam. The horses are putting to; your hat and things are in the next room. We are to go thirty miles before morning. [Exit.

Miss N. I come. Oh! Mr. Marlow, if yon knew what a scene of constraint and ill-nature lies before me, I'm sure it would convert your resentment into pity.

Mrs. H. (Within) Miss Neville! Constance! why, Constance, I say I

Miss N. I'm coming. Well, constancy; remember, constancy is the word. [Exit.

Hast. My heart, how con I support this? To be so near happiness, and such happiness!

Mar. (To Tony.) You see now, young gentleman, the effects of your folly. What might be amusement to you, is hero disappointment, and even distress.

Tovy. (From a reeerie.) Ecod! I have hit it; it's bere. Your hands ; and yours, and yours, my poor Sulky. Meet me, two hours bonce, at the bottomof tho garden; and if you don't find Tony Lumpkin, a more good-natured fellow than you thought for, I'll givo you leave to take my best horse, and Bet Bouncer into the bargain. Come along. [Exeunt.

ACT V.-SCENE L—An old-fashioned House. Enter SIR CHARLES MARLOW and HARDCASTLE.

Hard. Ha, ha, ha! The peremptory tone in which he sent forth his sublime commands.

Sir C And the reserve with which I suppose, ha treated all your advances.

UaT'd. And yet, he might have seen something in me above a common innkeeper, too.

Sir C. Yes, Di-:k, but he mistook you for an uncommon innkeeper. Ha, ha. ha I

Hard. Well, I'm in too good spirits to think of anything but joy. Yes, my dear friend, this 'union of our families will make our personal friendships hereditary; and though my daughter's fortuno is but small—

Sir C. Why, Dick, will you talk of fortuno to me? My son is possessed of more than a competence already, andean want nothing but a good and virtuous girl to share his happiness, and increase it. If they like eaoh other, as you say they do—

Hard. If, man! I tell you, they do like each other; my daughter as good as told me so.

Sir C. But girls are apt to fiatter themselves, you know.

Hard. I saw him grasp her hand in the warmest manner myself; and here he comes to put you out of yourifs, I warrant him.

Enter 3lARLOW.

Mar. I come, sir, once more to ask pardon for my strange conduct I ean scarce refiect on myinsolence without confusion.

Hard. Tut! boy, a trifie ; you take it too gravely. An hour or two's laughing with my tlaughter will set a!l to rights again. She'll never like you the worso for it. [bation.

Mar. Sir, I shall bo always proud of her appro

Hard. Approbation is but a cold word, Mr. Marlow; if I am not deceived, you have something mi.re than approbation thereabouts. You take me?

Mar. Really, sir, I have not that happiness.

Hard. Come, boy, I'm an old fellow, and know what's what, as well as you that are younger. I know what has passed between you; but, mum.

Mar. Sure, sir, nothing has passed between us but the most profound respect on my side, and the most distant reserve on hers. You don't think, sir, — that my impudence has been passed upon all the rest of the family.

Hard. Impudence! No, I don't say that—not quite impudence. Girls like to be played with, and rumpled too, sometimes. But she has told no tales, I assure you.

Mar. May I die, sir, if I ever—

Hard. I tell you, sho don't dislike you; and as I'm sure you like her—

Mar. Dear, sir, I protest, sir—

Hard. I see no reason why you should not be joined as fast as the parson can tie you.

Mar. But why won't you hear me? By all that's just and trne, I never gave Miss Hardcastle the slightest mark of my attachment, or even the most distant hint to suspect me of affection. We had but one interview, and that was formal, modest, and uninteresting.

Hard. This fellow's formal, modest impudence is beyond bearing. (Aside.)

Sir C. And you never grasped her hand, or made any protestations.

Mar. As heaven is my witness, I came down in obedience to your commands. I saw tho lady without emotion, and parted without reluctance. I hope you'll exact no further proofs of my duty, nor prevent me from leaving a house in which I suffer So many mortifications. [Exit.

Sir C. I'm astonished at tho air of sincerity with which, he parted.

Hard. And I'm astonished at tho deliberate intrepidity of his assurance. (truth.

4f'r C- I dare pledge my life and honour upon bla

| Hard. Here comes my daughter, and I would stake my happiness upon her veracity.

Enter MISS HARDCASTLE. Kate, come hither, child. Answer us slncerely, and without reserve. Has Mr. Marlow made you any professions of love and affection?

Miss H. The qnestion As very abrupt, sir; but since you require unreserved sincerity, I think he has.

Hard. (To Sir 0.) You see. Sir C. And pray, madam, have you and my son had more than one interview? Miss H. Yes, sir; several. Hard. (To Sir C.) You see. Sir C. But did he profess any attachment? Miss H. A lasting one. i Sir C. Did he talk of love? Miss H. Much, sir?

SirC. Amazing! and all this formally?

Miss H. Formally

Hard. Now, my friend, I hope you are satisfied.

Sir C. And how did he behave, madam?

Miss H. As most professed admirers do. Said some civil things of my face, talked much of his want of merit, and the greatness of mine; mentioned his heart, gave a short tragedy speech, and ended with pretended rapture.

Sir C. Now I'm perfectly convinced; indeed, I know his conversation among women to be modest and submissive. This forward, canting, ranting manner, by no means describes him, and I'm confident he never sat for the picture.

Miss H. Then, what, sir, if I should convince you to your face of my sincerity? If you and my papa, in about half-an-hour, will place yourselves behind that screen, you shall hear him declare his passion to me in person.

Sir C: Agreed; and if I find him what you decribe, all my happiness in him must have an end.

[Exit with Hard.

Miss H. And if you don't find him what I doscribe, I fear my happiness must never have a beginning.

SCENE IL—The Back of the Garden.
Enter HASTINGS.

Hast. What an idiot am I, to wait here for a fellow, who probably takes a delight in mortifying me. He never intended to be punctual, and I'll wait no longer. What do I see? It is he, and perhaps, with news of my Constance.

Enter TONY, booted, Tlc. My honest 'squire! I now find you a man of your word. This looks like friendship.

Tony. Ay, I'm your friend, and the best friend you have in the world, if you knew but alL This riding by night, by-the-by, is cursedly tiresome. It has shook me worse than tho basket of a stage coach.

Hast. But how ? where did you leave yonr fellowtravellers? Are they in safety? Are they housed?

Tony. Five-and-twenty miles in two hours and a half is no such bad driving. The poor beasts have imoked for it. Rabblt me! but I'd rather ride forty miles after a fox, than ten with suoh varment

Hast Well, but where have you left the ladies? I die with impatience.

Tony. Left them I why, where should I leave them, but where I found mem?

Hast. This is a riddle.

Tony. Riddle mo this, then. What's that goes round the houso, and round the house, and never

touches tho house? Hast. I'm still astray.

Tony. Why, that's it, man, I have led them astray. By jingo! there's not a pond or slough within fivs miles of the place, but they can tell the taste of.

Hast. Ha, ha, ha! I understand; you took them in a round, while they thought themselves going forward. " And so you have at last brought them home again I

Tony. You shall hear. I first took them down Feather-bed-lane, where we stuck fast in the mud. I then rattled them crack over the stones, up-anddown hilL I then introduced them to the gibbet on Heavy-tree-heath; and from that, with a circumbendibus, I fairly lodged them in the horse-pond at the bottom of the garden.

Hast. But no accident, I hope?

Tony. No, no; only mother Is confoundedly frightened. She thinks herself forty miles off. She's sick of the journey, and the cattle can scarce scrawl. So if your horses be ready, you may whip off with cousin, and I'll be bound that no soul here can budge a foot to follow you.

Hast, My dear friend, how can I bo grateful?

Tony. Ay, now it's dear friend, noble 'squire. Just now it was all idiot, cub, and run me through the guts. D—n your way of fighting, I say I After we take a knock, in this part of the country, we shake hands and be friends. But if vou had run me through the guts, then I should be dead, and you might shake hands with the hangman.

Hast. The rebuke is just But I must hasten to relieve Miss Neville; if you keep the old lady employed, I promise to take care of the young one.

[Exit,

Tovy. Never fear me. Here she comea Vanish I She's got into the pond, and is draggled up to the waist like a mermaid.

Enter MBS. HARDCASTLE.

Mrs. H. Oh I Tony, I'm killed I shook! battered to death I I shall never survive it. 'I he last jolt against the quick-set hedge has done my business.

Tovy. Alack! mamma, it was all your own fault You would be for running away by night, without knowing one inch of the way.

Mrs. H. I wish we were at home again. I never met so many accidents it so short a journey. Drench'd in the mud, overturned in a ditch, stuck fast in a slough, jolted to a jelly, and at last to lose our way! 'Whereabouts do you think we are, Tony?

Tony. By my gness, we should be upon O-raefcskull common, about forty miles from home.

Mrs. i£. Oh, lud! oh, lud I tho most notorious spot in all the country. We only want a rtikksutf to make a complete night on't

Tony. Don't be afraid, mamma, don't be afraid. Two of the five that kept here are hanged, and the other three may not find us. Don't be afraid. Ii that a man gallopping behind us? No; it's only a tree. Don't be afraid. | Mrs. H. The fright will certainly kill me. i Tony. Do you see anything like a black hat movting behind the thicket?

* Mrs. H, Oh, death! [ma; don't be afraid.

Tony. No, it's only a cow. Don't be afraid, mam

Mrs. H. As I'm alive, Tony, I see a man coming towards us. Ah! I'm sure on't If he perceives us, we ate undone.

Tony. Father-in-law, by all that's unlucky I come to take one of his night-walks. (Aside.) Ah! it's a highwayman with pistols as long as my arm. A d—d ill-looking fellow 1

Mrs. H. Good heaven defend us! he approaches.

Tony. Do you hide yourself in that thicket, and leave me to manage him. If there be any danger I'll c ough and cry hem. When I cough be sure to keep close, (Mrs. H. hides behind a tree in the back tcene.)

Enter HARDCASTLE. Hard. I'm mistaken, or I heard voloefi of people in want of help. Oh! Tony, la that you? I did not expect you so soon back. Are your mother and her charge in safety? Tovy. Very safe, sir, at my aunt Pedigree S. Hem Mrs. H. (From behind.). Ah, death! I find there's danger.

Hard. Forty miles in three hours! sure, that's too much, my youngster.

Tony. Stout horses and willing minds make short journeys as they say. Heml [boy no harm.

Mrs. H. (From behind.) Sure, he'll do the dear

Hard. But I heard a voice here; I should be glad to know from whence it came.

Tony. It was I, sir, talking to myself, sir. I was saying, that forty miles in three hours was very good going. Hem! As to be sure it was. Hem I have got a sort of cold by being out in the air. We'll go in, if your please. Hem!

Hard. But if you talked to yourself, you did not answer yourself. I am certain I heard two voices, and am resolvod (raising his voicc) to find the other out

Mrs. H. (Rushing forward.) Oh, lud; he'll murder my poor boy—my darling. Here, good gentleman, whet your rage upon me. Take my money— my life, but spare that young gentleman; spare my child, if you have any mercy.

Hard. My wife, as I'm a Christian! From whence can she come? or what does she mean?

Mrs. H. (Kneeling.) Take compassion on us, good Mr. Highwayman. Take our money, our watches —all we have, but spare our lives. We will never bring you to justice; indeed, wo won't, good Mr. Highwayman.

Hard. I believe the woman's out of her senses What, Dorothy, don't you know me?

Mrs. H. Mr. Hardcastle, as I'm alive! My fears blindod me. But who, my dear, could have expected to meet you here, in this frightful place, so far from homo? What has brought you to follow us?

Hard. Sure, Dorothy, you have not lost your wits. So far from home, when you are within forty yards •f your own door. (To Tony.) This is one of your old tricks, you graceless rogne, you I (To Mrs. H.) Don't you know the gate, and the mulberry-tree? and don't you remember the horse-pond, my dear?

Mrs. H. Yes, I shall remember the horse-pond as long as I live; I have caught my death in it (To Tony.) And is it to you, you graceless varlet, I owe all this? I'll teach you to abuse your mother, I will.

Tony. Ecodl mother, all the parish say you have spoiled me, and so you may take the fruits on't.

Mrs. H. I'll spoil you, I wilt (Beats him off.)

Hard. Ha, ha, ha! [Exit, SCENE HL—A Parlour. Enter SIB CHABLES MARLOW, and MISS HARDCASTLE.

Sir C. What a situation am I in! If what you say appears, I shall then find a guilty son. If what he says be trne, I shall then lose one that, of all others, I most wished for a daughter.

Miss H. I am proud of your approbation, and to shew I merit it, if you place yourselves as I directed, you shall hear his explicit declaration. Bat he comes.

Sir C. I'll to your father, and keep him to the appointment [Exit. Enter MABLOW.

Mar. Though prepared for setting out, I t onoe more to take leave; nor did I till this ment, know the pain I feel in the separation.

Miss H. (In her own natural manner.) I believe these sufferings cannot be very great, sir, which you can so easily remove. A day or two longer, perhaps, might lessen your uneasiness, by shewing the little valne of what you now think proper to regret Mar. This girl every moment improves upon mo. (Aside,) It must not be, madam. I have already trified too long with my heart, and nothing can restore me to myself, but this painful effort of resolution.

Miss H. Then go, sir; I'll urge nothing more to detain you. Though my family be as good as hers you came down to visit, and my education, I hope, not inferior, what are these advantages without equal affinence? I must remain contented with tie slight approbation of imputed merit; I mu.-t have only the mockery of your addresses, while all your serious aims are fixed on fortune. Enter HABDCASTLE and SIR CHARLES MAELOW from behind.

Mar. By heaven, madam, fortune was ever my smallest consideration. Your beauty first caught my eye; for who could see that without emotion? But everymoment that I converse with you, steals in some new grace, heightens the picture, and gives it stronger expression. What, at first, seemed rustic plainness, now appears refined simplicity. What seemed forward assurance, now strikes me as the result of courageous innocence, and conscious virtne. I'm now determined to stay, madam, and 1 have too good an opinion of my father's discernment, when he sees jou, to deny his approbation.

Miss S. Sir, I must entreat you'll desist. As our acquaintance began, so let it end, in indifference. I might have given an hour or two to levity, but, seriously, Mr. Marlow, do you think I could eier submit to a connexion where I must appear mercenary, and you imprudent? Do you think I could ever catch at the confident address of a secure admirer?

Mar. (KneeHn?.) Does this look like security? Doos this look like confidence? No, madam; every moment that shews your merit, only serves tp increase my diffidenco and confusion. Hero let me continne—

Sir C. I can hold it no longer. (Coming forward.) Charles, Charles, how hast thou deceived me! Is this your indifference—50m" uninteresting conversation?

Hard. Your cold contempt—your formal interview? What have you to say now?

Mar. That I'm all amazemeut! What can It mean?

Hard. It means that you can say and unsay things at pleasure; that you can address a lady in private, and deny it in public; that you have one story for us, and another for my daughter.

Mar. Daughter I this lady your daughter?

Hard. Yes, sir; my only daughter—my Kate. Whose else should she be?

Mar. Oh! the devil!

Miss H. Yes, sir; that very identical tall, squinting lady you were pleased to take me for. (Curtseying.) She that you addressed as the mild, modest, sentimental man of gravity; and the bold, forward, agreeable Rattle of the ladies' club. Ha, ha, ha I

Mar. Zounds! there's no bearing this. Miss H. In which of your characters, sir, will you give Use leave to address yuu? As the faltering gentleman, with looks on the ground, that speaks just to be heard, and hates hyprocrisy; or the loud, confident creature, that keeps it up with Mrs. Mantrap, and old Miss Biddy Buckskin, till three in the morning. Ha, ha, ha!

"Oh! curse onmy noisy headl Ineverat

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

tempted to be impudent yet, that I was not t down. I must be gone.

Hard. By the hand of my body, but you shall not. £ see it was all a mistake, and I am rejoiced to find ft You shall not, sir, I tell you. I know she'll forgive you. Won't you forgive him, Kate? We'll all forgive you. Take courage, man, (They retire, she tormenting hvn, to the back seene.)

Enter MliS. HARDGASTLE and TONY.

Mrs H. S.-, so, they're gene off. Let them go, I

Hard. Who's gone? . [care not.

Mrs. li. My umilul niece and her gentleman, Mr. Hastings, . com town; he who came down with our modest visitor here.

Sir C. Who, my honest George Hastings? Ao worthy a fellow as lives, and the girl could not have made a more prudent choice.

Hol d Then, by the hand'
Enter HASTINGS and„

Mrs. H. What, returned so like it. (Aside.)

Hast, (lb Hard:astle.) ~For off with your niece, let my . my punishment We are now come back, to appeal from your juiiice to your humanity. By her father's consent I first )-t.d her my addresses, and our passions wero first founded in duty.

Miss N. Sinco his death, I have bees obliged to stoop to dissimulation to avoid oppression. In an hour of levity. 1 was ready to give up my fortune to secure my cliu}ce. But I'm now recovered from the ds!4siou, at-hope from your tenderness what is dec'ttd n:c from a nearer connexion.

Hard. Be it what it will, I'm glad they're come back tli recUin; their dne. Come hither, Tony, boy. Do you refuso this lady's hand, which I now offer you?

Tony. What signifies my refusing? You know I can't refuse her till I'm of ago, father.

Hard. While I thought concealing your age, boy, was likely to conduce to your improvement I concurred with your mother's desire to keep it secret But since I find she turns it to a wrong use, I must now declare you have been of age these three months.

Tovy. Of age! Am I of age, father?
Hast. Above three months.

Tony. Then you'll see the first use I'll make of my liberty. (Taking Miss Neeille's hand.) Witness all men by these presents, that I, Anthony Lumpkin, esquire, of Blank-place, refuse you, Constantia Neville, spinster, of no place at all, for my trne and lawful wife. So Constantia Neville may marry whom she pleases, and Tony Lumpkin is his own man again.

SirC. 0! brave 'squire! I Mast. My worthy friend 1

Mrs. H. My undutiful offspring. (Beats Tony off.)

Mar. Joy, my dear George; I give you joy sincerely; and, could I prevail upon my little tyrant here to be less arbltrary, I should be the happiest man alive, If you would return me the favour.

Hast. (To Miss Hardcastle.) Come, madam, you are now driven to the very last scene of all your contrivances. I know you like him, I'm sure he loves you, and you must and shall bavo him.

Hard. (Joining their hands.) And I say so, too. And, Mr, Marlow, if she makes as good a wife ae she has a daughter, I don't believe you'll everrepent your bargain. So now to supper. To-morrow we shall gather all the poor of the parish about us, and the mistakes of the night shall be crowned with a merry morning; so, boy, take her; and, as you have been mistaken in the mistress, my wish is, that you may never bo mistaken in tho wife. [Exeunt.

[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

Oh I Donglas, Donglas! if departed ghosts

Be e'er permitted to review this world,

Within the circle of that wood thou art,

And with the passion of immortals hear'st

My lamentation: hear'st thy wretched wifo

weep for her hushand slain, her infant los-.

My hrother's timeless death I seem to mourn;

Who perish'd with thee on this fatal day.

Oh! disregard me not; thongh I am call'd

Another's now, my heart is wholly thine.

Incapahle of change, affection lies

Butted, my Donglas, in a hloody grave.

Bat Randolph come-> whom fate has mado my lord,

To chide my anguish, and defrand the dead.

« 이전계속 »