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errand? Quick, quick, despatch! Odso, may be, you are some gentleman's servant, that has brought me a letter, or a haunch of venison?
Dur. 'Sdeath, madam! do I look like a carrier? Bis. O, cry you mercy! I saw you just now, I mistook you, upon my word! you are one of the travelling gentlemen: and pray, sir, how do all our impudent friends in Italy?
Dur. Madam, I came to wait on you with a more serious intention than your entertainment has answered.
Bis. Sir, your intention of waiting on me was the greatest affront imaginable, however your expressions may turn it to a compliment: your visit, sir, was intended as a prologue to a very scurvy play, of which, Mr. Mirabel and you so handsomely laid the plot. Marry! No, no, I am a man of more honour." Where's your honour? Where's your courage, now? Ads my life, sir, I have a great mind to kick you! Go, go to your fellow-rake now, rail at my sex, and get drunk for vexation, and write a lampoon. But I must have you to know, sir, that my reputation is above the scandal of a libel, my virtue is sufficiently approved to those whose opinion is my interest; and, for the rest, let them talk what they will; for, when I please, I'll be what I please, in spite of you and all mankind; and so, my dear man of honour, if you be tired, con over this lesson, and sit there till I come to you. (Runs off:)
Dur. Tum ti tum. (Sings.) Ha, ha, ha! "Ad's my life, I have a great mind to kick you!" Oons and confusion! (Starts up.) Was ever man so abused! Ay, Mirabel set me on. Enter PETIT.
Petit. Well, sir, how d'ye find yourself? Dur. You son of a nine-eyed whore! dye come to abuse me? I'll kick you with a vengeance, you dog! (Petit runs off, and Duretete after him.),
SCENE I.-Old Mirabel's House.
Enter OLD and YOUNG MIRABLE, meeting. Old Mir. Bob, come hither, Bob.
Y. Mir. Your pleasure, sir?
Old Mir. Are not you a great rogue, sirrah? Y. Mir. That's a little out of my comprehension, sir; for I've heard say, that I resemble my father. Old Mir. Your father is your very humble slave. I tell thee what, child, thou art a very pretty fellow, and I love thee heartily; and a very great villain, and I hate thee mortally.
Y. Mir. Villain, sir! Then I must be a very impudent one; for I can't recollect any passage of my life that I'm ashamed of.
Old Mir. Come hither, my dear friend; dost see this picture? (Shows him a little picture.) Y. Mir. Oriana's? Psha!
Old Mir. What, sir, won't you look upon't? Bob, dear Bob, pr'ythes come hither, now. Dost want any money, child?
Y. Mir. No, sir.
Old Mir. Why then, here's some for thee: come here now. How canst thou be so hard-hearted an unnatural, unmannerly rascal, (don't mistake me, child, I a'n't angry) as to abuse this tender, lovely, good-natured, dear rogue? Why, she sighs for thee, and cries for thee, pouts for thee, and snubs for thee; the poor little heart of it is like to burst. Come, my dear boy, be good-natured, like your own father; be now; and then, see here, read this;-the effigies of the lovely Oriana, with thirty thousand pounds to her portion!-thirty thousand pounds, you dog!-thirty thousand pounds, you rogue! how
dare you refuse a lady with thirty thousand pounds, you impudent rascal?
Y. Mir. Will you hear me speak, sir?
Old Mir. Hear you speak, sir! If you had thirty thousand tongues, you could not out-talk thirty thousand pounds, sir.
Y. Mir. Nay, sir, if you won't hear me, I'll begone, sir: I'll take post for Italy, this moment. Old Mr. Ah, the fellow knows I won't part with him! Well, sir, what have you to say?
Y. Mir. The universal reception, sir, that marriage has had in the world, is enough to fix it for a public good, and to draw every body into the common cause; but there are some constitutions, like some instruments, so peculiarly singular, that they make tolerable music by themselves, but never do well in a concert.
Old Mir. Why, this is reason, I must confess: but yet it is nonsense, too, for, though you should reason like an angel, if you argue yourself out of a good estate, you talk like a fool.
Y. Mir. But, sir, if you bribe me into bondage with the riches of Croesus, you leave me but a beggar, for want of my liberty.
Old Mir. Was ever such a perverse fool heard? 'Sdeath, sir! why did I give you education? was it to dispute me out of my senses? Of what colour, now, is the head of this cane? You'll say, 'tis white, and, ten to one, make me believe it too. I thought that young fellows studied to get money.
Y. Mir. No, sir, I have studied to despise it; my reading was not to make me rich, but happy. sir. Old Mir. There he has me again, now! But, sir, did not I marry to oblige you?
Y. Mir. To oblige me, sir! in what respect, pray?
Old Mir. Why, to bring you into the world, sir; wa'n't that an obligation?
Y. Mir. And, because I would have it still an obligation, I avoid marriage.
Old Mir. How is that, sir?
Y. Mir. Because I would not curse the hour I was born.
Old. Mir. Lookye, friend, you may persuade me out of my designs, but I'll command you out of yours; and though you may convince my reason that you are in the right, yet there is an old attendant of sixty-three, called positiveness, which you, nor all the wits of Italy, shall ever be able to shake: so, sir, you're a wit, and I'm a father: you may talk, but I'll be obeyed."
Y. Mir. This it is to have the son a finer gentleman than the father; they first give us breeding, that they don't understand; then they turn us out of doors, because we are wiser than themselves. But I'm a little beforehand with the old gentleman. (Aside.) Sir, you have been pleased to settle a thousand pounds sterling a year upon me; in return for which, I have a very great honour for you and your family, and shall take care that your only and beloved son shall do nothing to make him hate his father, or to hang himself. So, dear sir, I'm your very humble servant. (Runs off) Old Mir. Here, sirrah! rogue! Bob! villain! Enter DUGARD.
Dug. Ah, sir! 'tis but what he deserves. Old Mir. "Tis false, sir! he don't deserve it: what have you to say against my boy, sir?
Dug. I shall only repeat your own words.
Old Mir. What have you to do with my words? I have swallowed my words already; I have eaten them up. I say, that Bob's an honest fellow, and who dares deny it?
Bis. That dare I, sir: I say, that your son is a wild, foppish, whimsical, impertinent coxcomb; and were I abused, as this gentleman's sister is, I would make it an Italian quarrel, and poison the whole family.
Dug. Come, sir, 'tis no time for trifling: my sister is abused; you are made sensible of the affront, and your honour is concerned to see her redressed.
Old Mir. Lookye, Mr. Dugard, good words go farthest. I will do your sister justice, but it must be after my own rate; nobody must abuse my son myself; for, although Robin be a sad dog, yet he's nobody's puppy but my own.
Dis. Ay, that's my sweet-natured, kind, old gentleman. (Wheedling him.) We will be good, then, if you'll join with us in the plot.
Old Mir. Ah, you coaxing young baggage, what plot can you have to wheedle a fellow of sixtythree?
Bis. Myself, sir; my friend is grown a perfect changeling: these foolish hearts of ours spoil our heads presently; the fellows no sooner turn knaves but we turn fools; but I am still myself, and he may expect the most severe usage from me, because I neither love him nor hate him. [Exit. Old Mir. Well said, Mrs. Paradox! but, sir, who must open the matter to him?
Dug. Petit, sir; who is our engineer general; and here he comes.
Dug. Ay, ay, speak freely.
Petit. You must know, sir,- odd's my life, I'm out of breath! you must know, sir, you must know
Old Mir. What the devil must we know, sir? Petit. That I have (pants and blows.) bribed, sir, bribed-your son's secretary of state.
Old Mir. Secretary of state! who's that, for heaven's sake?
Petit. His valet de chambre, sir? You must know, sir, that the intrigue lay folded up in the master's clothes; and when he went to dust the embroidered suit, the secret flew out of the right pocket of his coat, in a whole swarni of your crambo songs, short-footed odes, and long-legged pindarics. Old Mir. Impossible!
Petit. Ah, sir, he has loved her all along; there was Oriana in every line, but he hates marriage. Now, sir, this plot will stir up his jealousy, and we shall know by the strength of that, how to proceed farther. Come, sir, let's about it with speed:
Bis. The creature don't mind me! do you think, sir, that your humorous impertinence can divert me? No, sir, I'm above any pleasure that you can give, but that of seeing you miserable. And mark. me, sir; my friend, my injured friend, shall yet be Pelit. Q, sir, more discoveries! are all friends doubly happy, and you shall be a husband, as much about us? as the rights of marriage, and the breach of them, can make you. (Here Mirabel pulls out a Virgil, and reads to himself, while she speaks)
Y. Mir. (Reading.) At Regina dolos, (quis fallere
'Tis expedition gives our king the sway: For expedition to the French give way; Swift to attack, or swift-to run away.
Bis. (Aside.) A wild, foppish, extravagant, rakehell! [madcap! Y. Mir. (Aside.) A light, whimsical, impertinent Bis. Whom do you mean, sir?
Y. Mir. Whom do you mean, madam?
Bis. A fellow that has nothing left to re-establish him for a human creature, but a prudent resolution to hang himself!
Y. Mir. (Aside.) I wonder what my friend can see in this girl, to admire her?
Y. Mir. There is a way, madam, to force me to that resolution.
Bis. I'll do it with all my heart.
Y. Mir. Then you must marry me.
Bis. Lookye, sir, don't think your ill manners to me shall excuse your ill usage of my friend: nor, by fixing a quarrel here, to divert my zeal for the absent; for I'm resolved, nay, I come prepared, to make you a panegyric, that shall mortify your pride, like any modern dedication.
Y. Mir. And I. madam, like a true modern patron, shall hardly give you thanks for your trouble.
Bis. Come, sir, to let you see what little foundation you have for your dear sufficiency, I'll take you to pieces.
Y. Mir. And what piece will you choose?
Bis. Your heart, to be sure; because I should get presently rid on't; your courage I would give to a Hector, your wit to a lewd playmaker, your honour to an attorney, your body to the physicians, and your soul to its master.
Y. Mir. I had the oddest dream last night of the Duchess of Burgundy; methought the furbelows of her gown were pinned up so high behind, that I could see her head from her tail.
By your favour, friend Virgil, 'twas but a rascally trick of your hero, to forsake poor pug so inhumanly.
Bis. I don't know what to say to him. The devil what's Virgil to us, sir?
Y. Mis. Very much, madam; the most apropos in the world; for what should I chop upon, but the very place where the perjured rogue of a lover. and the forsaken lady, are battling it tooth and nail. Come, madam, spend your spirits no longer; we'll take an easier method; I'll be neas now, and you shall be Dido, and we'll rail by book. Now for you, Madam Dido:
Nec te noster amor, nic te data dex'era quondam,
Bis. Rudeness: affronts! impatience! I could almost start out, even to manhood, and want but a weapon, as long as his to fight him upon the spot. What shall I say?
Y. Mir. Now she rants.
Quæ quibus ante feram? jam jam nec maxima Juno. Bis. A man! No, the woman's birth was spirited away.
Y. Mir. Right, right, madam, the very words.
Enter YOUNG MIRABEL. Y. Mir. What's the matter, Petit?
Petit. Most critically met! Ah, sir, that one who has followed the game so long, and brought the poor hare just under his paws, should let a mongrel cur chop in, and run away with the puss.
Y. Mir. If your worship can get out of your allegories, be pleased to tell me, in three words, what
Petit. Plain, plain, sir! Your mistress and mine is going to be married!
Y. Mir. I believe you lie, sir.
Petit. Your humble servant, sir. (Going.)
Y. Mir. Come hither, Petit. Married, say you? Petit. No, sir, 'tis no matter; I only thought to do you a service; but I shall take care how I confer my favours for the future.
Y. Mir. Sir, I beg ten thousand pardons. (Bowing low.)
Petit. "Tis enough, sir. I come to tell you, sir, that Oriana is this moment to be sacrificed; married past redemption!
Y. Mir. I understand her; she'll take a husband out of spite to me, and then, out of love to me, she will make him a cuckold. But who is the happy Petit. A lord, sir. [man?
Y. Mir. I'm her ladyship's most humble servant. Now must I be a constant attender at my lord's levee, to work my way to my lady's couchee-A countess, I presume, sir.
Petit. A Spanish count, sir, that Mr. Dugard knew abroad, is come to Paris, saw your mistress yesterday, marries her to-day, and whips her into Spain to-morrow.
Oriana. Good my lord, a nobler choice had better suited your lordship's merit. My person, rank, and circumstance, expose me as the public theme of raillery, and subject me so to injurious usage, my lord, that I can lay no claim to any part of your regard, except your pity.
Old Mir. Breathes he vital air, that dares presume, With rude behaviour, to profane such excellence? Shew me the man
And you shall see how my sudden revenge
Y. Mr. Sir!
Oriana. Good my lord,-
Oriana. Pray, my lord, the gentleman's a stranger remember, sir, the lady now is mine, her injuries Old Mir. O, your pardon, sir, but if you hadare mine; therefore, sir, you understand me.Come, madam.
[Leads Oriana to the door; she goes off; Young Mirabel runs to his father, and pulls him by the sleeve.
Y. Mir. Ecoutez, Monsieur le Count.
Old Mir. Boh! what language is that, sir. Y. Mir. Spanish, my lord.
Old M r. What d'ye mean?
Y. Mir. This, sir. (Trips up his heels.)
Old Mir A very concise quarrel, truly—I'll bully him.-Trinidade Seigneur, give me fair play. (Offering to rise.)
Y. Mir. By all means, sir. (Takes away his sword.) Now, seigneur, where's that bombast look, and fustian face, your countship wore just now? (Strikes him.,
Old Mir. The rogue quarrels well, very well; my own son right! But hold, sirrah, no more jesting; I'm your father, sir! your father!
Y. Mir. My father! Then, by this light, I could find in my heart to pay thee. (Aside.) Is the fellow mad? Why, sure, sir, I ha'n't frighted you out of your senses?
Old Mir. But you have, sir!
F. Mir. Then I'll beat them into you again. (Offers to strike him.)
Old Mir. Why, rogue!-Bob, dear Bob! don't you know me, child?
Y. Mir. Ha, ha, ha! the fellow's downright distracted! Thou miracle of impudence! wouldst thou make me believe, that such a grave gentleman as my father would go a masquerading thus ? That a person of threescore and three would run about, in a fool's coat, to disgrace himself and family? why, you impudent villain, do you think I will suffer such an affront to pass upon my honoured father, my worthy father, my dear father? 'Sdeath, sir! mention my father but once again,
and I'll send your soul to thy grandfather this
Old Mir. Well, well. I am not your father.
Dug. Fie, file, Mirabel! murder your father!
Y. Mir. My father!
Old Mir. Ay, you dog's face! I am your father, for I have borne as much for thee, as your mother ever did.
Y. Mir. O ho! then this was a trick, it seems, a design, a contrivance, a stratagem! bones ache!
Oh, how my
SCENE I-Old Mirabel's House.
Enter OLD MIRABEL and DUGARD. Dug. The lady abbess is my relation, and privy to the plot.
Old Mir. Ay, ay, this nunnery will bring him about, i warrant ye. Enter DURETETE.
Dur. Here, where are ye all? O, Mr. Mirabel! you have done fine things for your posterity. And you, Mr. Dugard, may come to answer this; I come to demand my friend at your hands; restore him, sir, or-(To Old Mirabel.)
Old Mir. Restore him! what, d'ye think I have got him in my trunk, or my pocket.
Dur. Sir, he's mad, and you are the cause on't. Old Mir. That may be; for I was as mad as he when I begot him.
Dug. Mad, sir! What d'ye mean?
Dur. What do you mean, sir, by shutting up your sister, yonder, to talk like a parrot through a cage, or a decoy-duck, to draw others into the snare? Your son, sir, because she has deserted him, he has dig-forsaken the world; and in three words, hasOld Mir. Hanged himself!
Old Mir. Your bones, sirrah! why yours? Y. Mir. Why, sir, ha'n't I been beating my own flesh and blood all this while? O, madam. (To Oriana.) I wish your ladyship joy of your new nity. Here was a contrivance, indeed!
Oriana. Pray, sir, don't insult the misfortunes of your own creating.
Dug. My prudence will be counted cowardice, if I stand tamely now. (Comes up between Young Mirable and his sister.) Well, sir.
face at me?
Y. Mir. Well, sir! Do you take me for one of your tenants, sir, that you put on your landlord's [thus? (Draws.) Dug. On what presumption, sir, dare you assume Old Mir. What's that to you, sir? (Draws.) Petit. Help! help! the lady faints! (Oriana falis into her maid's arms.)
Y. Mir. Vapours! vapours! she'll come to herself. If it be angry fit, a dram of assafoetida; if jealousy, hartshorn in water; if the mother, burnt feathers; if grief, ratafla; if it be strait stays, or corns, there's nothing like a dram of plain brandy. [Exit. Oriana. Hold off, give me air.-O, my brother, would you preserve my life, endanger not your own; would you defend my reputation, leave it to itself; 'tis a dear vindication that's purchased by the sword; for, though our champion proves victorious, yet our honour is wounded.
Old Mir. Ay, and your lover may be wounded, that's another thing. But I think you are pretty brisk again, my child.
Oriana. Ay, sir, my indisposition was only a pretence to divert the quarrel; the capricious taste of your sex, excuses this artifice in ours. [Exit. Petit. Come, Mr. Dugard, take courage; there is a way still left to fetch him again.
Old Mir. Sir, I'll have no plot that has any relation to Spain.
Dug. I scorn all artifice whatsoever; my sword shall do her justice.
Petit. Pretty justice, truly! Suppose you run him through the body, you run her through the heart at the same time.
Old Mir. And me through the head-rot your sword, sir, we'll have plots. Come, Petit, let's hear.
Petit. What if she pretended to go into a nunnery, and so bring him about to declare himself? Dug. That, I must confess, has a face.
Old Mir. A face! a face like an angel, sir! Ad's my life, sir, 'tis the most beauitful plot in Christenom. We'll about it immediately, [Exeunt.
Dur. The very same-turned friar!
Old Mir. You lie, sir! 'tis ten times worse. Bob turned friar!-Why should the fellow shave his foolish crown, when the same razor may cut his throat?
Dur. If you have any command, or any interest over him, lose not a minute: he has thrown himself into the next monastery, and ordered me to pay off his servants, and discharge his equipage.
Old Mir. Let me alone to ferret him out; I'll sacrifice the abbot if he receives him; I'll try whether the spiritual or the natural father has the most right to the child. But, dear Captain, what has he done with his estate?
Dur. Settled it upon the church, sir.
Old Mir. The church! Nay, then the devil won't get him out of their clutches-Ten thousand livres a year upon the church! 'Tis downright sacrilege. Come, gentlemen, all bands to work; for half that sum, one of these monasteries shall protect you a traitor from the law, a rebellious wife from her husband, and a disobedient son from his own father.
Dug. But will ye persuade me that he's gone to a monastery.
Dur. Is your sister gone to the Filles Repenties? I tell you, sir, she's not fit for the society of repentDug. Why so, sir? [ing maids. Dur. Because she's neither one nor t'other; she's too old to be a maid, and too young to repent. [Exit; Dugard after him. SCENE II.-The Inside of a monastery. Enter ORIANA, in a nun's habit, and BISĂRRE. Oriana. I hope, Bisarre, there is no harm in jesting with this religious habit.
Bis. To me, the greatest jest in the habit, is taking it in earnest.
Oriana. But I'm reconciled, methinks, to the mortification of a nunnery; because I fancy the habit becomes me.
B's. A well-contrived mortification, truly, that makes a woman look ten times handsomer than she did before. Ay, my dear, were there any religion in becoming dress, our sex's devotion were rightly placed; for our toilets would do the work of the altar; we should all be canonized.
Oriana. But don't you think there is a great deal
of merit in dedicating a beautiful face and person, be another, for aught I know, sir: I have lost my to the service of religion.
Bis. Not half so much as devoting them to a pretty fellow. Come, come, mind your business, Mirabel loves you, 'tis now plain, and hold him to't give fresh orders that he sha'n't see you. We get more by hiding our faces, sometimes, than by exposing them: a very u ask, you see, whets desire; but a pair of keen eyes, through an iron grate, fire double upon them, with view and disguise. But I n ust begone upon my affairs; I have brought my captain about again.
Oriana. But why will you trouble yourself with that coxcomb'?
Bis. Because he is a coxcomb. Had I not better have a lover like him, that I can make an ass of, than a lover like yours, to make a fool of me? (Knocking below.) An essage from Mirabel, I'll lay my life! (She runs to the door.) Come hither! run, thou charming nun! come hither.
Oriana. What's the news? (Runs to her.)
Bis. Ah, thou poor blind Cupid. A friar! Don't you see a villanous genteel mien, under that cloak of hypocrisy?
Oriana. As I live, Mirabel turned friar! I hope, in heaven he's not in earnest.
child by these tricks, sir?
Y. Mir. What tricks, sir?
Old Mir. By a pretended trick, sir; a contrivance to bring my son to reason, and it has made him stark mad: I have lost him, and a thousand pounds a year.
Y. Mir. (Discovering himself.) My dear father, I'm your most humb e servant.
Old Mir. My dear boy! (Runs and kisses him.) Welcome, ex inferis, my dear boy. "Tis all a trick; she's no more a nun than I am.
Y. Mir. No!
Old Mir. The devil a bit.
Y. Mr. Then kiss me again, my dear dad, for the most happy news. And now, most venerable, holy sister! (Kneels.) Your mercy and your pardon I implore, For the offence of asking it before." Lookye, my dear, counterfeiting nun! take my advice; be a nun in good earnest. Women make the best nuns always, when they can't do otherwise.
Oriana. O, sir! how unhappily have you destroyed what was so near perfection: he is the counterfeit that has deceived you.
Old Mr. Ha! Lookye, sir, I recant; she is a nun. Y. Mir. Sir, your humble servant; then I'm a
Bis. In earnest? Ha, ha, ha! Are you in ear-friar this moment. nest? Remember what I say, if you would yield to advantage, and hold out the attack-to draw him on, keep him off, to be sure.
The cunning gamesters never gain too fast; But lose at first, to win the more at last. Enter YOUNG MIRABEL, in a friar's habit. Y. Mir. 'Save you. sister! Your brother, young lady, having a regard for your soul's health, has sent me to prepare you for the sacred habit, by confession.
Oriana. My brother's care I own; and to you, sacred sir, I confess, that the great crying sin, which I have long indulged, and now prepare to expiate, was love: my morning thoughts, my evening prayers, my daily musings, nightly cares, was love.
Y. Mir. She's downright stark mad in earnest. Death and confusion! I have lost her. (Aside.) You confess your fault, madam, in such moving terms, that I could almost be in love with the sin.
Oriana. Take care, sir; crimes, like virtues, are their own rewards. My chief delight became my only grief: he, in whose breast I thought my heart secure, turned robber, and despoiled the treasure that he kept.
Y. Mir. Perhaps that treasure he esteemed so much, that, like the miser, though afraid to use it, he reserves it safe.
Oriana. No, holy father; who can be miser in another's wealth, that's prodigal of his own? His heart was open, shared to all he knew; and what, alas! must then become of mine. But the same eyes that drew this passion in, shall send it out in tears; to which now hear my vow
Y. Mir. (Discovering himself) No, my fair angel! here, on my knees, behold the criminal that Vows repentance his. (Kneels.) Ah! no concern upon her!
Old Mir. Was ever an old fool so bantered by a brace of young ones! Hang you both! you're both counterfeits; and my plot's spoiled, that's all. Oriana. Shame and confusion love, anger, and disappointment-will work my brain to madness! [Takes of her habit; then exit. Y. Mir. Ay, ay, throw by the rags; they have served a turn for us both, and they shall e'en go off together. [Takes off his habit; then exit, throwing away the habit.
SCENE IL-Old Mirabel's House.
Enter DURETETE, with a letter.. Dur. (Reads.) "My rudeness was only a proof of your humour, which I have found so agreeable, that I own myself penitent, and willing to make any reparation upon your first appearance to-BISARRE." Mirabel swears she love me, and this cofirms it; then farewell gallantry, and welcome revenge! 'Tis my turn now to be upon the sublime; I'll take her off, I warrant her!
Bis. I hope, sir, you will pardon the modesty of—
Bis. Perhaps I do not.
Dur. Ha! abused again! Death, woman. I'll—
Dur. Confirm it, then, by your obedience; stand there, and ogle me now, as if your heart, blood, and soul, were like to fly out at your eyes-First, the direct surprise. (She looks full upon him) Right: next, the deux yeux par oblique. (She gives hum the side glance.) Right; now depart and languish. (She turns from him, and looks over her shoulder Very well; now sigh., (She sighs.) Now drop your fan on purpose. (She drops her fan.) Now take it up again. Come, now, confess your faults; are you not a proud-say after me.
Dur. ImpertinentB.s. Impertinent.