페이지 이미지

and But what if I should tell you my


tell you I heard it no longer ago than last night. cure you at once. Oh, we'd pass all our time in

London. 'Tis the scene of pleasure and diver

sions, where there's something to amuse you maid was with me?

every hour of the day. Life's not life in the Tin. Vapours, vapours ! Pray, my dear widow, country. will you answer me one question? Had you ever Lady True. Well, then, you have an opportuthis noise of a drum in your head, all the while nity of shewing the sincerity of that love to me your husband was living? Believe me, madam, I which you profess. You may give a proof that could prescribe you a cure for these imagina- you have an affection to my person, not my joistions.

Abi. Don't tell my lady of imaginations, sir; I Tin. Your jointure! How can you think me have heard it myself.

such a dog? But, child, won't your jointure be Tin. Hark thee, child--Art thou an old the same thing in London, as in the country? maid?

Lady True. No; you're deceived. You must Abi. Sir, if I am, it is my own fault.

know it is settled on me by inarriage articles, on Tin. Whims! Freaks! Megrims! indeed, Mrs condition that I live in this old mansion-house, Abigail.

and keep it up in repair. Abi. Marry, sir, by your talk, one would be- Tin. How! lieve you

thought every thing that was good is a Abi. That's well put, madam. megrim.

Tin. Why, faith, I have been looking upon Lady True. Though you give no credit to sto- this house, and think it is the prettiest habitation ries of apparitions, I hope you believe there are I ever saw in my life. such things as spirits ?

Lady True. Aye, but then this cruel drum! Tin. simplicity!

Tin. Something so venerable in it! Abi. I fancy you don't believe women have Lady True. Aye, but the drum! souls, d'ye, sir?

Tin. For my part, I like this Gothic way

of Tin. Foolish enough! But where's this ghost ? building better than any of your new orders this son of a whore of a drummer? I'd fain hear it would be a thousand pities it should fall to him, methinks.

ruin. Abi. Pray, madam, don't suffer him to give the Lady True. Aye, but the drum! ghost such ill language, especially when you have Tin. How pleasantly we two could pass our reason to believe it is my master.

time in this delicious situation ! Our lives would --Tin. That's well enough, faith, Nab; dost be a continued dream of happiness Come, thou think thy master so unreasonable, as to faith, widow, let's go upon the leads, and take a continue his claim to his relict after his bones view of the country. are laid? Pray, widow, remember the words of Lady True. Aye, but the drum ! the drum! your contract—you have fulfilled them to a tittle Tin. My dear, take my word for it, 'tis all –Did not you marry sir George to the tune of fancy: besides, should he drum in thy very bedTill death us do part ?

chamber, I should only hug thee the closer. Lady True. I must not hear sir George's memory treated in so slight a manner.

Clasped in the folds of love, I'd meet my doom, Tin. Give me but possession of your person,

And act my joys, though thunder shook the and I'll whirl you up to town for a winter, and





• in a black cloak, enquires after you, give him SCENE I.-Opens and discovers Vellum in his

admittance. He passes for a conjurer, but is office, and a letter in his hand. Vel. This letter astonisheth; may I believe

• Your faithful friend, my own eyes—or rather my spectacles — To

• G. TRUEMAN. Humphrey Vellum, esq. steward to the lady *P.S. Let this be a secret, and you shall find Trueman.

your account in it.'

This amazeth me! and yet the reasons why I VELLUM,

should believe he is still living are manifoldI doubt not but you will be glad to hear your First, because this has often been the case of • master is alive, and designs to be with you in other military adventurers. Secondly, because • balf an hour. The report of my being slain in this news of his death was first published in • the Netherlands, has, I find, produced some Dyer's Letter. Thirdly, because this letter can * disorders in my family. I am now at the be written by none but himself— I know luis • George Ion. If an old man with a grey beard, hand, and manner of spelling. Fourthly

[ocr errors]


Vel. There is a real grief, and there is a me

thodical grief: she was drowned in tears till But. Sir, here's a strange old gentleman that such time as the tailor had made her widow's asks for you; he says he's a coujurer, but he weeds- -Indeed, they became her. looks very suspicious; I wish he ben't a Jesuit. Sir Geo. Became her! and was that her comVel. Admit him immediately,

fort ? Truly, a most seasonable consolation! But. I wish he ben't a Jesuit; but he says Vel. I must needs say she paid a due regard he's nothing but a conjurer.

to your memory, and could not forbear weeping Vel. He says right-He is no more than a

when she saw company: conjurer. Bring him in, and withdraw. (Exit Sir Geo. That was kind, indeed! I find she Butler. And fourthly, as I was saying, be- grieved with a great deal of good breeding. But cause

how coines this gang of lovers about her?

Vel. Her jointure is considerable.
Enter Butler, with Sir GEORGE.

Sir Geo. How this fool torments me!
But. Sir, here's the conjurer-
-What a

(Aside. devilish long beard he has ! I warrant it has been Vel. Her person is amiable. growing these hundred years. Aside. Erit. Sir Geo. Death!

[Aside. Sir Geo. Dear Vellum, you have received my Vel. But her character is unblemished. She letter : but, before we proceed, lock the door. has been as virtuous in your absence as a Pe Vel. It is his voice.

(Shuts the door. nelope Sir Geo. In the next place, help me off with Sir Geo. And has had as many suitors ? this cumbersome cloak.

Vel. Several have made their overtures. Vel. It is his shape.

Sir Geo. Several ! Sir Geo. So; now, lay my beard upon the ta- Vel. But she has rejected all. ble.

Sir Geo. There thou revivest me! But what Vel. (After having, looked on Sir GEORGE means this Tinsel? Are his visits acceptable? through his spectacles.] It is his face, every line

Vel. He is young. ament !

Sir Geo Does she listen to him? Sir Geo. Well, now I have put off the conju

Vel. He is gay. rer and the old man, I can talk to thee more at Sir Geo. Sure she could never entertain a my ease.

thought of marrying such a coxcomb ! Vel. Believe me, my good master, I am as Vel. He is not ill made. much rejoiced to see you alive, as I was upon Sir Geo. Are the vows and protestations that the day you were born. Your name is in all passed between us come to this? I can't bear the newspapers in the list of those that were the thought of it! Is Tinsel the man designed for slain.

my worthy successor? Sir Geo. We have not time to be particular. Vel. You do not consider that you have been I shall only tell thee, in general, that I was taken dead these fourteen months prisoner in the battle, and was under close con- Sir Geo. Was there ever such a dog! [Aside. finement several months. Upon my release, I Vel. And I have often heard her say, that she was resolved to surprize my wife with the news must never expect to find a second sir George of being alive. I know, Vellun, you are a per- Trueman—meaning your ho—nour. son of so much penetration, that I need not use Sir Geo. I think she loved me! but I must any further arguments to convince you that I am search into this story of the drummer, before I

discover myself to her. I have put on this babit Vel. I am--and moreover, I question not but of a conjurer, in order to introduce myself. It your good lady will likewise be convinced of it. must be your business to recommend me as a Her honour is a discerning lady.

most profound person, that, by my great knowSir Geo. I am only afraid she could be con- ledge in the curious arts, can silence the drunvinced of it to her sorrow. Is she not pleased mer, and disposess the house. with her imaginary widowhood ? Tell me truly; Vel. I am going to lay my accounts before my was she afflicted at the report of my death?

and I will endeavour to prevail upon her Vel. Sorely.

honour to admit the trial of your art. Sir Geo. How long did her grief last?

Sir Geo. I have scarce heard of any of these Vel. Longer than I have known any widow's stories, that did not arise from a love-intrigue.at least three days.

Amours raise as many ghosts as murders. Sir Geo. Three days, say'st thou ?- Three Vel. Mrs Abigail endeavours to persuade us, whole days !-I am afraid thou fatterest me- that 'tis your ho—nour who troubles the house. Oh, woman, woman!

Sir Geo. That convinces me 'tis a cheat; for Vel, Grief is twofold

I think, Vellum, I may be pretty well assured it Sir Geo. This blockhead is as methodical as is not me. ever-but I know he is honest, [ Aside. Vel. I am apt to think so, truly. Ha, ha, ha!

[ocr errors]


Sir Geo. Abigail had always an ascendant | larged; for, truly, says he, I hate to be straiten over her lady; and if there is a trick in this ed. Nay, he was so impudent as to shew me the matter, depend upon it, she is at the bottom of chamber where he intends to consummate, as he it. I'll be hanged if this ghost is not one of Abi- calls it. gail's familiars!

Lady True. Well, he's a wild fellow. Vel. Mrs Abigail has of late been very myste- Abi. Indeed, he's a very sad man, madam. rious.

Lady True. He's young, Abigail ; 'tis a thouSir Geo. I fancy, Vellum, thou couldst worm sand pities he should be lost; I should be mighty it out of her. I know formerly there was an glad to reform hiin! amour between you.

Abi. Reform him! marry, hang him! Vel. Mrs Abigail hath her allurements; and Lady True. Has he not a great deal of life? she knows I have picked up a competency in your Abi. Ay! enough to make your heart ache. bonour's service.

Lady True. I dare say thou think'st him a very Sir Geo. If thou hast, all I ask of thee, in re- agreeable fellow. turn, is, that thou wouldst immediately renew Abi. He thinks himself so, I'll answer for him. thy addresses to her. Coax her up. Thou hast Lady True. He's very good-natured. such a silver tongue, Vellum, as 'twill be impos- Abi. He ought to be so; for he's very silly. sible for her to withstand. Besides, she is so Lady True. Dost thou think he loves me? very a woman, that she'll like you the better for Abi. Mr Fantome did, I'm sure. giving her the pleasure of telling a secret. In Lady True. With what raptures he talked! short, wheedle her out of it, and I shall act by Abi. Yes; but 'twas im praise of your jointurethe advice which thou givest me.

house. Vel. Mrs Abigail was never deaf to me, when Lady True. He has kept bad company. I talked upon that subject. I will take an op- Abi. They must be very bad, indeed, if they portunity of addressing myself to her in the most were worse than himself. pathetic manner.

Lady True. I have a strong fancy'a good woSir Geo. In the mean time, lock me up in man might reform him. your office, and bring me word what success you Abi. It would be a fine experiment, if it should have- -Well, sure I am the first that ever was not succeed. employed to lay himself!

Lady True. Well, Abigail, we'll talk of that Vel. You act, indeed, a threefold part in this another time. Here comes the steward. I have house; you are a ghost, a conjurer, and my hom no further occasion for you at present. noured master, sir George Trueman; he, he, he!

[Erit ABI. You will pardon me for being jocular. Sir Geo. Oh, Mr Velluin, with all my heart! You

Enter VELLUM. know I love you mien of wit and humour. Be as Vel. Madam, is your ho-nour at leisure to look merry as thou pleasest, so thou dost thy business

. into the accounts of the last week? They rise (Mimicking him.] You will remember, Vellum, very high. Housekeeping is chargeable in a house your commission is twofold; first, to gain admis- that is haunted. sion for me to your lady; and, secondly, to get Lady True. How comes that to pass ? I hope the secret out of Abigail.

the drum neither eats nor drinks. But read your Vel. It sufficeth.

[The scene shuts. account, Vellum.

Vel. (Putting on and off his spectacles in this Enter LADY TRUEMAN.

scene.) A hogshead and a half of ale-It is not Lady True. Women, who have been happy in for the ghost's drinking; but your ho—nour's sera first marriage, are the most apt to venture upon vants say, they must have something to keep up a second. But, for my part, I had a husband so their courage against this strange noise. They every way suited to my inclinations, that I must tell me, they expect a double quantity of malt in entirely forget hiin, before I can like another their small beer, so long as the house continues man. I have now been a widow but fourteen in this condition. months, and have had twice as many lovers, all Lady True. At this rate, they'll take care to of them professed admirers of my person, but be frightened all the year round, I'll answer for passionately in love with my jointure. I think it them. But go on. is a revenge I owe my sex, to make an example Vel. Iiem, Two sheep, and 2-Where is the of this worthless tribe of fellows. But, here ox? -Oh, here I have him and an ox-Your comes Abigail; I must tease the baggage; for, ho--nour must always have a piece of cold beef I find she has taken it into her head, that I'm en- the house, for the entertainment of so many tirely at her disposal.

strangers, who come from all parts to hear this

druin. Item, Bread, ten peck loaves, They can Enter ABIGAIL.

not eat beef without bread. Item, Three bara Abi. Madam, madam! yonder's Mr Tinsel has rels of table beer-They must have drink with as good as taken possession of your house. Marry, their meat. he says, he must have sir George's apartinent en- Ludy True. Sure no woman in England has a steward that makes such ingenious comments reacheth down to his girdle. The common people on his works!

[Aside. call him a wizard, a white-witch, a conjurer, a Vel. Item, To Mr Tinsel's servants, five bot-cunning man, a necromancer, atles of port wine-It was by your ho-nour's or- Lady True. No matter for his titles. But der. Item, Three bottles of sack, for the use of what of all this? Mrs Abigail.

Vel. Give me the hearing, good my lady. He Lady True. I suppose that was by your own pretends to great skill in the occult sciences, and order.

is come hither upon the rumour of this drum. If Vel. We have been long friends; we are your one may believe him, he knows the secret of layhonour's ancient servants. Sack is an innocenting ghosts, or of quieting houses that are hauntcordial; and gives her spirit to chide the ser- ed. vants, when they are tardy in their business; lie, Lady True. Pho! these are idle stories, to he, he! Pardon me for being jocular.

amuse the country people: this can do us no Lady True. Well, I see you'll come together good. at last.

Vel. It can do us no harm, my lady. Vel. Item, a dozen pound of watch-lights, for Lady True. I dare say, thou dost not believe the use of the servants.

there is any thing in it thyself? Lady True. For the use of the servants! What! Vel. I cannot say I do; there is no danger, are the rogues afraid of sleeping in the dark ? | however, in the experiment. Let hiin try his What an unfortunate woman ain I! This is such skill; if it should succeed, we are rid of the drum; a particular distress, it puts me to my wits end. if it should not, we may tell the world that it has, Vellum, wliat would you advise me to do? and, by that means, at least get out of this ex

Vel. Madam, your ho-nour has two points to pensive way of living; so that it must turn to consider. Imprimis, To retrench these extrava- your advantage, one way or another. gant expences, which bring so many strangers up- Lady True. I think you argue very rightly. on you—Secondly, to clear the house of this in- But where is the man? I would fain' see him. visible drummer.

Ile must be a curiosity. Lady True. This learned division leaves me Vel. I have already discoursed him, and he is just as wise as I was. But how must we bring to be with me, in my office, half an bour hence. these two points to bear?

He asks nothing for his pains till he has donc his l'el. I beseech your homnour to give me the work-No cure, no money. hearing.

Lady True. That circumstance, I must conLady True. I do; but, prithee, take pity on me, fess, would make one believe there is more in his and be not tedious.

art than one would imagine. Pray, Vellum, go Vel. I will be concise. There is a certain per- and fetch him hither immediately. son arrived this morning, an aged man, of a ve- Vel. I am gone. He shall be forth-coming nerable aspect, and of a long, hoary beard, that forthwith.




Sir Geo. Prithee, let the lock alone at present,

and answer me. Opens, and discovers Sir GEORGE in VELLUM's

Vel. Delays in business are dangerous—I must office.

send for the smith next week; and, in the mean

time, will take a minute of it. Sir Geo. I WONDER I don't hear of Vellum Sir Geo. But what says your lady? yet. But I know his wisdom will do nothing Vel. This pen is naught, and wants mendingrashly. This fellow has been so used to form in My lady, did you say? business, that it has infected his whole conversa- Sir Geo. Does she admit me? tion. But I must not find fault with that punctual Vel. I have gained admission for you as a conand exact behaviour which has been of so much jurer. use to me; my estate is the better for it.

Sir Geo. That's enough-I'll gain admission

for myself as a husband. Does she believe there's Enter VELLUM.

any thing in my art?

Vel. It is hard to know what a woman beWell, Vellum, I'm impatient to hear your suc- lieves.

Sir Geo. Did she ask no questions about me! Vel. First, let me lock the door.

Vel. Sundry She desires to talk with you Sir Geo. Will your lady admit me?

herself, before you enter upon your business. Vel. If this lock is not mended soon, it will be Sir Geo. But when ? quite spoiled.

Vel. Immediately—this instant. VOL. II.



Sir Geo. Pugh! what hast thou been doing all Abi. Ay! where does he live? this while? Why didst not tell me so ? Give me Tin. In the Horse-Guards. But he has one my cloak-Have you met with Abigail ?

fault I must tell thee of; if thou canst bear with Vel

. I have not yet had an opportunity of talk- that, he's a man for thy purpose. ing with her; but we have interchanged some Abi. Pray, Mr Tinsel, what may that be? languishing glances.

Tin. Hle's but five-and-twenty years old. Sir Geo. Let thee alone for that, Vellum. I Abi. 'Tis no inatter for his age, if he has been have formerly seen thee ogle her through thy well educated. spectacles. Well, this is a most venerable cloak. Tin. No man better, child; he'll tie a wig, toss After the business of this day is over, I'll make a die, make a pass, and swear with such a grace, thee a present of it. 'Twill become thee mighti- as would make thy heart leap to hear him. ly.

Abi. Half these accomplishments will do, proVel. He, he, he! Would you make a conjurer vided he has an estate. Pray, what has he? of your steward?

Tin. Not a farthing. Šir Geo. Prithee, don't be jocular; I'm in Abi. Pox on him! what do I give him the hearhaste. Help me on with my beard.

ing for?

[Aside. Vel. And what will your honour do with your Tin. But as for that, I would make it up to him. cast heard ?

Abi. Ilow? Sir Geo. Why, faith, thy gravity wants only Tin. Why, look ye, child, as soon as I have such a beard to it. If thou wouldst wear it with married thy lady, I design to discard this old prig the cloak, thou wouldst make a most complete of a steward, and to put this honest gentleman I heathen philosopher. But where's my wand? am speaking of, into his place.

Vel. A fine taper stick-It is well chosen. I Abi. (Aside.] This fellow's a fool I'll have will keep this till you are sheriff of the county. no more to say to him.-Hark! my lady's aIt is not my custom to let any thing be lost. coming.

Sir Geo. Come, Vellum, lead the way. You Tin. Depend upon it, Nab, I'll remember my must introduce me to your lady. Thou art the promise. fitrest fellow in the world to be master of the ce- Abi. Ay, and so will I too, to your cost. remonies to a conjurer. [Ereunt.

[Aside. Exit ABI.

Tin. My dear is purely fitted up with a maidEnter ABIGAIL, crossing the stage, TINSEL

But I shall rid the house of her. following

Enter LADY TRUEMAX. Tin. Nabby, Nabby! whither so fast, child ?

Abi. Keep your hands to yourself. I'm going Lady True. Oh, Mr Tinsel, I am glad to meet to call the steward to my lady.

you here. I am going to give you an entertainTin. What, Goodman Twofold? I met him inent that won't be disagreeable to a man of wit walking with a strange old fellow yonder. I sup- and pleasure of the town. There may be somepose he belongs to the family, too. He looks very thing diverting in a conversation between a conantique. He must be some of the furniture of jurer, and this conceited ass.

[Aside. this old mansion-house.

Tin. She loves me to distraction, I see that. Abi. What does the man mean? Don't think [Aside. Prithee, widow, explain thyself. to palm me, as ye do my lady.

Lady True. You must know, here is a strange Tin. Prithee, Nabby, tell me one thing sort of man come to town, who undertakes to What's the reason thou art my enemy?

free the house from this disturbance. The stewAbi. Marry, because I'm a friend to my lady. ard believes him a conjurer.

Tin. Dost thou see any thing about me thou Tin. Ay, thy steward is a deep one. dost not like? Come hither, hussy-Give me a Lady True. He's to be here immediately. It kiss. Don't be ill-natured.

is indeed an odd figure of a man. Abi. Sir, I know how to be civil. [Kisses her.] Tin. Oh, I warrant you, he has studied the This rogue will carry off my lady, if I don't take black art! Ha, ha, ha! Is he not an Oxford

(Aside. scholar? Widow, thy house is the most exTin. Thy lips are as soft as velvet, Abigail. I traordinarily inhabited of any widow's this day must get thee a husband.

in Christendom. I think thy four chief domesAbi. Ay, now you don't speak idly-I can talk tics are, a withered Abigail

, a superannuated

steward, a ghost, and a conjurer. Tin. I have one in my eye for thee. Dost thou Lady True. [Mimicking Tin.] And you would love a young lusty son of a whore?

have it inhabited by a fifth, who is a more extraAbi. Lud! how you talk!

ordinary person than any of all these four. Tin. This is a thundering dog.

Tin. 'Tis a sure sign a woman loves you, when Abi. What is he?

she imitates your manner. (Aside.] Thou’rt very Tin. A private gentleman.

smart, my dear. But see, sinoke the doctor;


to you.

« 이전계속 »