페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

any that

name.

whom I could love, perhaps, just enough to put will not give me an instance to the contrary, by it in her power to plague me.

refusing the favour I am going to ask you. Lady Grace. And that's a power, I doubt, Lady Grace. I don't believe I shall refuse commonly made use of.

you think proper to ask. Mar. The amours of a coquette, madam, sel- Mun. Only this, madan, to indulge me so far dom have any other view; I look upon them and as to let me know how this letter came into your prudes to be nuisances just alike, though they hand. seem very different: the first are always plaguing Lady Grace. Inclosed to me in this, without a the men, and the others are always abusing the women.

Mun. If there be no secret in the contents, Lady Grace. And yet both of them do it for madamthe saine vain ends; to establish a false charac- Lady Grace. Why--there is an impertinent ter of being virtuous.

insinuation in it: but as I know your good sense Man. Of being chaste, they mean; for they will think it so, too, I will venture to trust you. know no other virtue; and, upon the credit of Mun. You will oblige me, madam. that, they traffic in every thing else that's vicious.

[He takes the other letter, and reads. They (even against nature) keep their chastity, Lady Grace, [ Aside.] Now am I in the oddest only because they find they have more power to situation ! methinks our conversation grows terdo mischief with it, than they could possibly put ribly critical. This must produce something-in practice without it.

Oh, lud! would it were over. Lady Grace. Hold, Mr Manly! I am afraid Man. Now, madam, I begin to have some this severe opinion of the sex is owing to the ill light into the poor project that is at the bottom choice you have made of your inistresses. of all this.

Man. In a great measure it may be so ; but, Lady Grace. I have no notion of what could madam, if both these characters are so odious, be proposed by it. how vastly valuable is that woman, who has at- Man. A little patience, madam— First, as tained all they aim at, without the aid of the fol- to the insinuation you mention ly or rice of either!

Lady Grace. O? what is he going to say now? Lady Grace. I believe those sort of women to

A side. be as scarce, sir, as the men that believe there

Man. Though my intimacy with my lord

may are any such; or that, allowing such, have virtue have allowed my visits to have been very freenough to deserve them.

quent here of late; yet, in such a talking town Man. That could deserve them, then-had as this, you must not wonder if a great many of been a more favourable reflection.

those visits are placed to your account; and this, Lady Grace. Nay, I speak only from my little taken for granted, I suppose, has been told to my experience; for (I'll be free with you, Mr Man- Lady Wronghead, as a piece of news, since her ly) I don't know a man in the world, that, in ap- arrival, uot improbably with many more imagipearance, might better pretend to a woman of nary circumstances. the first merit than yourself: and yei, I have a Lady Grace. My lady Wronghead! reason in my hand, here, to think

you
have
your

Man. Ay, madam; for I am positive this is failings.

her hand. Man. I have infinite, madam; but I am sure Lady Grace. What view could she have in the want of an implicit respect for you is not writing it? among the number

-Pray, what is in your Man. To interrupt any treaty of marriage she hand, madam?

may have heard I am engaged in; because, if I Lady Grace. Nay, sir, I have no title to it, die without heirs, her family expects that some for the direction is to you.

part of my estate may return to tiem again.

[Gives him a letter. But I hope she is so far mistaken, that if this Man. To me! I don't remember the band. letter has given you the least uneasiness - I shall

[Reads to himself. think that the happiest moinent of life. Lady Grace. I can't perceive any change of Lady Grace. That does not carry your usual guilt in him; and his surprise seems natural. – complaisance, Mr Manly!

Aside.). Give me leave to tell you one thing Man. Yes, madain, because I am sure I can by the way, Mr Manly, that I should never convince you of my innocence. have shewn you this, but that my brother enjoin- Lady Grace. I am sure I have no right to ined me to it.

quire into it. Man. I take that to proceed from my lord's Mun. Suppose you may not, madai; yet you good opinion of me, madam.

may, very innocently, have so much curiosity. Lady Grace. I hope, at least, it will stand as Lady Grace. With what an artful gentleness an excuse for my taking this liberty.

he steals into my opinion ! [ Aside.) Well, sir, I Man. I never yet saw you do any thing, ma- won't pretend to have so little of the woman in dam, that wanted an excuse; and I hope you me, as to want curiosity-But, pray, do you sup

iny

[ocr errors]

ter.

pose, then, this Myrtilla is a real, or a fictitious mighty plcasant: but, for fear of the worst, maname?

dam, she whispered me--to get her chair ready. Man. Now I recollect, madam, there is a

[Exit Trusty. young woman in the house where my lady Lady Grace. Oh, here they come! and, by Wronghead lodges, that I heard somebody call their looks, seem a little unfit for company. Myrtilla : this letter may be written by her

[Erit Lady GRACE. But how it came directed to me, I confess, is a mystery, that, before I ever presume to see your Enter Lady Towaly, Lord Townly following. ladyship again, I think myself obliged in honour Lady Town. Well, look you, my lord, I can to find out.

[Going. hear it no longer; nothing still but about my Ludy Grace. Mr Manly-you are not going?, faults, my faults: an agreeable subject, truly !

Mían. 'Tis but to the next street, madam; I Lord Town. Why, madan), if you won't hear shall be back in ten minutes.

of them, how can I ever hope to sce you mend Lady Grace. Nay, but dinner's just coming them? up.

Lady Town. Why, I don't intend to mend them Man. Madam, I can neither eat nor rest, till I-I can't mend them—you know I have tried see an end of this affair,

to do it a hundred times--and it hurts me so Lady Grace. But this is so odd! why should -I can't bear it. any silly curiosity of mine drive you away? Lord Town. And I, madam, can't bear this

Man. Since you won't suffer it to be yours, daily licentious abuse of your time and characmadam, then it shall be only to satisfy my own curiosity

[Erit Man. Lady Town. Abuse ! astonishing ! when the Lady Grace. Well-and now, what am I to universe knows I am never better company than think of all this? Or, suppose an indifferent per- when I am doing what I have a mind to ! But son had heard every word we have said to one to see this world! that men can never get over another, what would they have thought on't ?- that silly spirit of contradiction—Why, but last Would it have been very absurd to conclude, he Thursday, now,—there you wisely amended one is seriously inclined to pass the rest of his life of my faults, as you call them---you insisted upon with me? I hope not-for I am sure the case is my not going to the masquerade-and, pray, what terribly clear on my side; and why may not I, was the cousequence? Was not I as cross as the without vanity, suppose my unaccountable devil all the night after? Was not I forced to somewhat-has done as much execution upou get company at home? And was it not almost him? Why-because he never told me so- - nay, three o'clock in the morning before I was able he has not so much as mentioned the word love, to come to myself again! And then the fault is or cver said one civil thing to my person-well not mended neither for next time I sball --Lut he has said a thousand to iny good opini- only have twice the inclination to go : so that all nion, and has certainly got it-- -bad he spoke this mending, and inending, you see, is but darnfirst to my person, he had paid a very ill compli- ing an old ruitle, to make it worse than it was ment to my understanding I should have before. thought him impertinent, and never have trou- Lord Tozon. Well, the manner of women's bled my head about him; but, as he has managed living of late is insupportable; and one way or the matter, at least I ain sure of one thing, that otherlet bis thoughts be what they will, I shall never Ludy Town. It's to be inended, I suppose ? trouble my head about any other man as long as why, so it may:. but then, iny dear lord, you I live.

must give one time--and when things are at

worst, you know, they may mend themselves, ha, Entor MRS TRUSTY.

ha!

Lord Toren. Madam, I am not in a humour Well, Mrs Trusty, is my sister dressed yet? now to trifle.

Trusty. Yes, madam; but my lord has been Lady Town. Why then, my lord, one word of courting her so, I think, till they are both out of fair argument--to talk with you in your own humour.

way, now-You complain of my late hours, and Lady Grace. How so?

I of your early ones-so far we are even, you'll Trusty. Why, it began, madam, with his lord-allow-- But pray, which gives us the best figure ship's desiring her ladyship to dine at home to in the eye of the polite world? my active, spiritday-upon which, my lady said she could not be ed three in the morning, or your dull, drowsy ready ; upon that, my lord ordered them to stay eleven at night? Now, I think, one has the air the dinner; and then my lady ordered the coach: of a woman of quality, and t'other of a plodthen my lord took her short, and said he had or- ding mechanic, that goes to bed betimes, that dered the coachman to set up; then my lady he may rise early to open his shop---laugh! made him a great curtsey, and said she would Lord Town. Fy, fý, madam ! is this your wait till his lordship’s horses had dined, and was way of reasoning? 'tis time to wake you, then

Tis not your ill hours alone that disturb me, but patience !- I won't come home till four to-moras often the ill company that occasion those ill row morning. hours.

Lord Town. That may be, madam; but I'll Lady Town. Sure I don't understand you order the doors to be locked at twelve. now, my lord; what ill company do I keep? Lady Town. Then I won't come home till to

Lord Town. Why, at best, women that lose morrow night. their money, and men that win it; or, perhaps, Lord Town. Then, madam--you shall never men that are voluntary bubbles at one game, in come home again. [Erit Lord TownLY. bopes a lady will give them fair play at another. Ludy Town. What does he mean? I never Then, that vuavoidable mixture with known heard such a word from him in my life before ! rakes, concealed thieves, and sharpers in em- The man always used to have manners in his broidery—or, what, to me, is still more shock- worst humours. There's something, that I don't ing, that herd of familiar, chattering, crop-eared see, at the bottom of all this—But his head's coxcombs, who are so often like monkeys, there always upon some impracticable scheme or would be no knowing them asunder, but that other; so I won't trouble mine any longer about their tails hang from their heads, and the mon- him. Mr Manly, your servant. key's grows where it should do. Lady Town. And a husband must give eminent

Enter Manly. proof of his sense, that thinks these powder-puffs Man. I ask pardon for intrusion, madam; but dangerous.

I hope my business with my lord will excuse it. Lord Town. Their being fools, madam, is not Lady Town. I believe you'll find him in the always the husband's security; or, if it were, for- next room, sir. tune sometimes gives them advantages that might Man. Will you give me leave, madam? make a thinking woman tremble.

Lady Town. Sir—you have my leave, though Lady Town. What do you mean?

you were a lady. Lord Town. That women sometimes lose more Man. (Aside.] What a well-bred age do we than they are able to pay: and if a creditor be a live in!

[Erit Manly. little pressing, the lady inay be reduced to try, if, insiead of gold, the gentleman will accept of

Enter LADY GRACE, a trinket.

Lady Town. Oh, my dear lady Grace ! how Lady Town. My lord, you grow scurrilous; could you leave me so unmercifully alone all this Fou'll make me hate you. I'll have you to know, I while ? keep company with the politest people in town; Lady Grace. I thought my lord had been with and the asseinblies I frequent are full of such. you.

Lord Town. So are the churches----now and Lady Town. Why, yes—and therefore I wantthen.

ed your relief; for he has been in such a flutter Lady Town. My friends frequent them, too, as well as the assemblies.

Lady Grace. Bless me! for what? Lord Town. Yes, and would do it oftener, if a Ludy Town. Only our usual breakfast; we groom of the chambers were there allowed to have each of us had our dish of matrimonial furnish cards to the company.

comfort this morning-We have been charmLady Town. I see what you drive at all this ing company ! while : you would lay an imputation on my fame, Lady Grace. I am mighty glad of its sure it to cover your own avarice. I might take any must be a vast happiness, when a man and a wife pleasures, I find, that were not expensive. can give themselves the same turn of conversa

Lord Town. Have a care, madam; don't let tion! me think you only value your chastity to make ine Lady Town. Oh, the prettiest thing in the reproachable for not indulging you in every thing world! else that's vicious---1, madam, have a reputation, Lady Grace. Now I should be afraid, that too, to guard, that's dear to me as yours---The where two people are every day together so, they follies of an ungoverned wife may make the must often be in the want of something to talk wisest man oveasy; but 'tis his own fault, if | upon. ever they make him contemptible,

Lady Town. Oh, my dear, you are the most Lady Town. My lord--you would make a wo- mistaken in the world ! married people have man mad!

things to talk of, child, that never enter into the Lord Town. You'd make a man a fool! imagination of others. Why, here's my lord and Lady Town. If Heaven has made you other-I, now, we have not been married above two wise, that won't be in my power.

short years, you know, and we have already eight Lord Town. Whatever may be in your inclina- or ten things constantly in bank, that, whenever tion, inadam, I'll prevent your making me a beg- we want company, we can take up any one of gar, at least.

them for two hours together, and the subject neLady Town. A beggar! Cræsus ! I'm out of ver the flatter; nay, if we have occassion for it,

here

aw

it will be as fresh next day, too, as it was the first as you have, I would make myself the happiest hour it entertained us.

wife in the world, by being as sober as he. Lady Grace. Certainly that must be vastly Lady Town. Oh, you wicked thing! how can pretty!

you teaze one at this rate, when you know he is Lady Town. Oh, there's no life like it! Why, so very sober, that (except giving me money) there t'other day, for example, when you dined abroad, is not one thing in the world he can do to please my lord and I, after a pretty cheerful tête à tête me? And I, at the same time, partly by nature, meal

, sat us down by the fire-side in an easy, in- and partly, perhaps, by keeping the best company, dolent, pick-tooth way, for about a quarter of an do, with my soul, love almost every thing he hour, as if we had not thought of any other's hates. I dote upon assemblies; my heart bounds being in the room--At last, stretching himself, at a ball; and at an opera-I expire. Then I and yawning-My dear-says he

-you love play to distraction; cards enchant meand came home very late last night-'Twas but just dice put me out of my little wits-Dear, dear turned of two, says I–I was in bed-aw-by hazard !-Oh, what a flow of spirits it gives oue! eleven, says he --So you are every night, says 1- -Do you never play at hazard, child? Well, says he, I am amazed you can sit up so Lady Grace. Oh, never! I don't think it sits late-Ilow can you be amazed, says I, at a thing well upon women; there's something so mascuthat happens so often ?-Upon which we entered line, so much the air of a rake in it. You see into a conversation--and though this is a point how it makes the men swear and curse; and has entertained us above fifty times already, we when a woman is thrown into the same passionalways find so many pretty new things to say whyupon it, that I believe in my soul it will last as Lady Town. That's very true; one is a little long as we live.

put to it, sometimes, not to make use of the same Lady Grace. But pray, in such sort of family words to express it. dialogues, (though extremely well for passing the Lady Grace. Well--and, upon ill luck, pray time) don't there, now and tiren, enter some little what words are you really forced to make use witry sort of bitterness?

of? Lady Town. Oh, yes! which does not do amiss Lady Town. Why, upon a very hard case, inat all. A smart repartec, with a zest of recrimi- deed, when a sad wrong word' is rising, just nation at the head of it, makes the prettiest to one's tongue's end, I give a great gulp-and sherbet. Ay, ay, if we did not mix a little of the swallow it. acid with it, a matrimonial society would be so Lady Grace. Well; and is not that enough to luscious, that nothing but an old liquorislı prude make you forswear play as long as you live? would be able to bear it.

Lady Town. Oh, yes: I have forsworn it. Lady Grace. Well-certainly you have the Lady Grace. Seriously? most elegant taste

Lady Town. Solemnly! a thousand times; Lady Town. Though, to tell you the truth, my but then one is constantly forsworn. dear, I rather think we squeezed a little too much Lady Grace. And how can you answer that? lemon into it this bout! for it grew so sour at Lady Town. My dear, what we say, when we Jast, that I think I almost told him he was a are losers, we look upon to be no more binding fool--and he, again--talked something oddly ofthan a lover's oath, or a great man's promise. turning me out of doors.

But I beg pardon, child; I should not lead you Lady-Grace. Oh, have a care of that! so far into the world; you are a prude, and de

Lady Town. Nay, if he should, I may thank sign to live soberly. my own wise father for that

Lady Grace. Why, I confess, my nature and Lady Grace. How so?

my education do, in a good degree, incline me Lady Town. Why—when my good lord first that way. opened his honourable trenches before me, my Lady Town. Well, how a woman of spirit (for unaccountable papa, in whose hands I then was, you don't want that, child) can dream of living gave me up at discretion.

soberly, is to me inconceivable; for you will marLady Grace. How do you mean?

ry, I suppose ? Lady Toun. Ile said, the wives of this age Ludy Grace. I can't tell but I may. were come to that pass, that he would not desire Lady Town. And won't you live in town? even his own daughter should be trusted with Lady Gruce. Half the year, I should like it pin-money; so that, my whole train of separate very well. inclinations are lett entirely at the mercy of a Lady Town. My stars! and you would really husband's odd humours.

live in London half the year, to be sober in it? Ludy Grace. Why, that, indeed, is enough to Ludy Gruce. Why not? make a woman of spirit look about her.

Lady Town. Why can't you as well go and be Lady Town. Nav, but to be serious, my dear; sober in the country? what would you really have a woman do, in my case? Ludy Grace. So I would—tother half year.

Lady Grace. Why--if I had a suber husband, Lady Town. And pray, what comfortable scheme of life would you form, now, for your child, all you propose is but to endure life; now, summer and winter sober entertainments ? I want to enjoy it.

Lady Grace. A scheme that, I think, might very well content us.

Enter Mrs Trusty. Lady Town. Oh, of all things, let's hear it! Trust. Madam, your ladyship's chair is ready.

Lady Grace. Why, in summer, I could pass Lady Town. Have the footmen their white my leisure hours in riding, in reading, walking by flambeaux yet? For, last night, I was poisoned. a canal, or sitting at the end of it under a great Trust. Yes, madam; there were some come in tree; in dressing, dining, chatting with an agree this morning.

[Exit TRUSTY, able friend; perhaps, hearing a little music, taking Lady Town. My dear, you will excuse me ; a dish of tea, or a game of cards, soberly; ma- but you know my time is so preciousnaging my family, looking into its accounts, play- Lady Grace. That I beg I may not hinder ing with my children, if I had any, or in a thou- your least enjoyment of it. sand other innocent amusements—soberly; and Lady Town. You will call on me at lady Repossibly, by these means, I might induce my hus- vel's ? band to be as sober as myself

Lady Grace. Certainly. Lady Town. Well, my dear, thou art an asto- Lady Town. But I am so afraid it will break nishing creature ! For sure such primitive ante into your scheme, my dear! diluvian notions of life have not been in any head Lady Grace. When it does, I will soberly these thousand years Under a great tree! 0, break from you. iny soul !-But I beg we may have the sober Lady Town. Why then, 'till we meet again, town-scheme too-for I am charmed with the dear sister, I wish you all tolerable happiness. country one!

[Erit Lady TownLy. Lady Grace. You shall, and I'll try to stick to Lady Grace. There she goes-Dash! into her my sobriety there too.

stream of pleasures ! Poor woman! she is really Lady Toan. Well, though I'm sure it will give a fine creature; and sometimes infinitely agreeme the vapours, I must hear it, however. able; nay, take her out of the madness of this

Lady Grace. Why, then, for fear of your town, rational in her notions, and easy to live fainting, madam, I will first so far come into the with : but she is so borne down by this torrent fashion, that I would never be dressed out of it of vanity in vogue, she thinks every hour of her -but still it should be soberly: for I can't think life is lost that she does not lead at the head of it any disgrace to a woman of my private for- | it. What it will end in, I tremble to imagine ! tune, not to wear her lace as fine as the wedding- Ha, my brother! and Manly with him? I guess suit of a first duchess. Though there is one ex- what they bave been talking of- -I shall hear travagance I would venture to come up to. it in my turn, I suppose; but it won't become me Lady Town. Aye, now for it

to be inquisitive.

[Erit Lady GRACE. Ludy Grace. I would every day be as clean as a bride.

Enter Lord TOWNLY and MANLY. Lady Town. Why, the men say, that's a great Lord Town. I did not think my lady Wrongstep to be made one-Well, now you are drest-head had such a notable brain : though I can't Pray, let's see to what purpose ?

say she was so very wise, in trusting this silly Lady Grace. I would visit—that is, my real girl, you call Myrtilla, with the secret

. friends; but as little for form as possible. I Man. No, my lord, you inistake me; bad the would go to court; sometimes to an assembly, girl been in the secret, perhaps I had never come nay, play at quadrille-soberly: I would see at it inyself. all the good plays; and, because 'tis the fashion, Lord Town. Why, I thought you said this girl, now and then an opera

-but I would not writ this letter to you, and that my lady Wrongexpire there, for fear I should never go again : head sent it inclosed to my sister ? and, lastly, I can't say, but for curiosity, if I liked Mun. If you please to give me leave, my lord my company, I might be drawn in once to a mas- -the fact is thus- This inclosed letter to lady querade; and this, I think, is as far as any wo- Grace was a real original one, written by this man can go- -soberly.

girl to the count we have been talking of the Lady Toæn. Well

, if it had not been for that count drops it, and my lady Wronghead finds it: last piece of sobriety, I was just going to call for then, only changing the cover, she seals it up as some surfeit-water.

a letter of business, just written by herself, to Lady Grace. Why, don't you think, with the me: and, pretending to be in a hurry, gets this farther aid of breakfasting, dining, and taking the innocent girl to write the direction for her. air, supping, sleeping, not to say a word of devo- Lord Town. Oh, then, the girl did not know tion, the four-and-twenty hours might roll over she was superscribing a billet-doux of her own to in a tolerable manner?

you? Lady Toan. Tolerable! Deplorable! Why, Man. No, my lord; for when I first question

« 이전계속 »