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Pr’ythee, Tam, tell me one thing,—did not your heart cut a caper up to your mauth, when you heard I was run through the bady?
Fash. Why do you think it should ?
Lord Fop. Because I remember mine did so, when I heard my uncle was shot through the head.
Fash. It then did very ill.
Lord Fop. Well !-Naw, strike me dumb ! he starved me; he has let me want a thausand women for want of a thausand paund.
Fash. Then he hindered you from making a great many ill bargains; for I think no woman worth money that will take money.
Lord Fop. If I was a younger brother I should think so too.
Fash. Then you are seldom much in love ?
Fash. Why, then, did you make all this bustle about Amanda ?
Lord Fop. Because she's a woman of insolent virtue, and I thought myself piqued, in honour, to debauch her.
Fash. Very well.—[Aside.] Here's a rare fellow for you, to have the spending of ten thousand pounds a year! But now for my business with him. (Aloud.] Brother, though I know to talk of any business (especially of money) is a theme not quite so entertaining to you as that of the ladies, my necessities are such, I hope you'll have patience to hear me.
Lord Fop. The greatness of your necessities, Tam, is the worst argument in the waurld for your being patiently heard. I do believe you are going to make a very good speech, but, strike me dumb ! it has the worst beginning of any speech I have heard this twelvemonth.
Fash. I'm sorry you think so.
do believe thou art : but come, let's know the affair quickly.
Fash. Why then, my case in a word is this : the necessary expenses of my travels have so much exceeded the wretched income of my annuity, that I have been forced to mortgage it for five hundred pounds, which is spent. So, unless you are so kind as to assist me in redeeming it, I know no remedy but to take a purse.
Lord Fop. Why faith, Tam, to give you my sense of the thing, I do think taking a purse the best remedy in the waurld; for if you succeed, you are relieved that way, if you are taken, (Drawing his hand round his neck,] you are relieved t'other.
Fash. I'm glad to see you are in so pleasant a humour; I hope I shall find the effects on 't.
Lord Fop. Why, do you then really think it a reasonable thing, that I should give you five hundred paunds ?
Fash. I do not ask it as a due, brother; I am willing to receive it as a favour.
Lord Fop. Then thou art willing to receive it any how, strike me speechless 1 But these are damned times to give money in; taxes are so great, repairs so exorbitant, tenants such rogues, and bouquets so dear, that, the devil take me, I am reduced to that extremity in my cash, I have been forced to retrench in that one article of sweet pawder, till I have brought it down to five guineas a maunth-now judge, Tam, whether I can spare you five hundred paunds.
Fash. If you can't, I must starve, that's all.-[Aside.) Damn him!
Lord Fop. All I can say is, you should have been a better husband.
Fash. Ouns! if you can't live upon ten thousand a year, how do you think I should do 't upon two hundred ?
Lord Fop. Don't be in a passion, Tam, for passion is the most unbecoming thing in the waurld—to the face. Look you, I don't love to say any thing to you to make you melancholy, but upon this occasion I must take leave to put you in mind that a running horse does require more attendance than a coach-horse. Nature has made some difference 'twixt you and me.
Fash. Yes she has made you older.--[Aside.] Plague take her!
Lord Fop. That is not all, Tam.
Lord Fop. (Looks first on himself, and then on his brother.) Ask the ladies. : Fash. Why, thou essence-bottle, thou musk-cat ! dost thou then think thou hast any advantage over me by what Fortune has given thee ?
Lord Fop. I do, stap my vitals !
Fash. Now, by all that's great and powerful, thou art the prince of coxcombs !
Lord Fop. Sir, I am proud at being at the head of so prevailing a party.
Fash. Will nothing provoke thee ?—Draw, coward !
Lord Fop. Look you, Tam, you know I have always taken you for a mighty dull fellow, and here is one of the foolishest plats broke out that I have seen a lang time. Your poverty makes life so burdensome to you, you would provoke me to a quarrel, in hopes either to slip through my lungs into my estate, or to get yourself run through the guts, to put an end to your pain. But I will disappoint you in both your designs ; far with the temper of a philasapher, and the discretion of a statesman-I shall leave the room with my sword in the scabbard..
[Exit Fash. So ! farewell, brother; and now, conscience, I defy thee, Lory |
Enter LORY Lory. Sir!
Fash. Here's rare news, Lory : his lordship has given me a pill has purged off all my scruples.
Lory. Then my heart's at ease again : for I have been in a lamentable fright, sir, ever since your conscience had the impudence to intrude into your company.
Fash. Be at peace; it will come there no more : my brother has given it a wring by the nose, and I have kicked it down stairs. So run away to the inn, get the chaise ready quickly, and bring it to Dame Coupler's without a moment's delay.
Lory. Then, sir, you are going straight about the fortune ?
Fash. I am.Away-fly, Lory !
Lory. The happiest day I ever saw. I'm upon the wing already. Now, then, I shall get my wages. [Exeunt
SCENE II.-A Ga den behind LOVELESS's Lodgings
Enter LUVELESS and. SERVANT
Love. Is my wife within ?
Love. Well, leave me.--[Exit SERVANT.] How strangely does my mind run on this widow. 1-Never was my heart so suddenly seized on before. That my wife should pick out her, of all womankind, to be her playfellow! But what fate does, let fate answer for : I sought it not. So ! by Heavens! here she comes.
Ber. What makes you look so thoughtful, sir ?
I hope you are not ill.
Love. I was debating, madam, whether I was so or not, and that was it which made me look so thoughtful.
Ber. Is it then so hard a matter to decide ? I thought all people were acquainted with their own bodies, though few people know their own minds.
Love. What if the distemper I suspect be in the mind ?
Love. Nay, I'll allow you to be so yet further; for I have reason to believe, should I put myself into your hands, you would increase my distemper.
Love. Nay, that's swearing by my deity ; swear by your own, and I shall believe you.
Ber. Well then, I swear by man!
Love. I'm satisfied. Now hear my symptoms, and give me your advice. The first were these : when I saw you at the play, a random glance you threw at first alarmed
I could not turn my eyes from whence the danger came- I gazed upon you till my heart began to pant-nay, even now, on your approaching me, my illness is so increased that if you do not help me I shall, whilst you look on, consume to ashes.
(Takes her hand Ber. O Lord, let me go ! 'tis the plague, and we shall be infected.
[Breaking from him Love. Then we'll die together, my charming angel.
Ber. O Gad! the devil's in you! Lord, let me go !here's somebody coming.
Serv. Sir, my lady's come home, and desires to speak
Love. Tell her I'm coming.- [Exit SERVANT.) But before I go, one glass of nectar to drink her health.
[To BERINTHIA Ber. Stand off, or I shall hate you, by Heavens !
Love. [Kissing her.) In matters of love, a woman's oath is no more to be minded than a man's.
(Exit Ber. Um!
Enter COLONEL TOWNLY
Col. Town. [Aside.] So! what's here-Berinthia and Loveless-and in such close conversation - I cannot now wonder at her indifference in excusing herself to me ko rare woman - Well then, let Loveless look to his wife, 't will be but the retort courteous on both sides.-[Aloud.] Your servant, madam ; I need not ask you how you do, you have got so good a colour.
Ber. No better than I used to have, I suppose.
Col. Town. Is that all ? Pray was it Mr. Loveless went from here just now ?
Ber. O yeshe has been walking with me.
Ber. Upon my word I think he is a very agreeable man; and there is certainly something particularly 'insinuating in his address !
Col. Town. (Aside.) So, so ! she hasn't even the modesty to dissemble [Aloud.] Pray, madam, may I, without impertinence, trouble you with a few serious questions?
Ber. As many as you please; but pray let them be as little serious as possible.
Col. Town. Is it not near two years since I have presumed to address you ?
Ber. I don't know exactly—but it has been a tedious long time.
Col. Town. Have I not, during the riod, had every reason to believe that my assiduities far from being unacceptable ?
Ber. Why, to do you justice, you ha re been extremely troublesome and I confess I have been more civil to you than you deserved.