페이지 이미지


Oak. Let you know! Let me know what you Mrs Oak. [Rising.)--Well, sir—you see I would have of me. You stop my letter before have detected you—Tell me this instant where it comes to my hands, and then expect that I she is concealed. should know the contents of it.

Oak. So-S0-50—This hurts me- I'm shockMrs Oak. Heaven be praised ! I stopt it-Ied

To himself suspected some of these doings for some time Mrs Oak. What, are you confounded with past-- But the letter informs me who she is, and your guilt? Have I caught you at last? I'll be revenged on her sufficiently. Oh, you Oak. ( that wicked Charles ! To decoy a base man, you !

Jyoung lady from her parents in the country! The Oak. I beg, my dear, that you would mode (profligacy of the young fellows of this age is aboyour passion Shew me the letter, and I'll minable.

[To himself convince you of my innocence.

Airs Oak. [Half aside, and musing. Charles ! Mrs Ouk. Innocence ! - Aboininable !—Inno- Let me see ! Charles ! No! Impossible. This cence !- But I am not to be made such a fool - is all a trick, I am convinced of your perfidy, and very sure Oak. He has certainly ruined this poor lady. that

To himself. Ouk. 'Sdeath and fire ! your passion hurries Mrs Oak. Art! Art! All art! There's a sudyou out of your senses.- Will you hear me? den turn now! You have ready wit for an in

Mrs Ouk. No, you are a base man; and I trigue, I find. will not hear you.

Oak. Such an abandoned action! I wish I had Oak. Why, then, my dear, since you will nei- never had the care of him.

[To himself. ther talk reasonably yourself, nor listen to rea- Mrs Oak. Mighty fine, Mr Oakly! Go on, son froin me, I shall take my leave till you are sir; go on! I see what you mean. Your assus in a better humour. So, your servant! (Going. rance provokes me beyond your very falsehood

Mrs Oak. Ay, go, you cruel man!- -Go to itself. So, you imagine, sir, that this affected your inistresses, and leave your poor wife to her concern, this flimsy pretence about Charles, is to iviseries~ How unfortunate a woman am I!- bring you off? Matchless confidence! But I am I could die with vexation

armed against every thing—I am prepared for all [Throwing herself into a chair. your dark schemes: I am aware of all your low Oak. There it is-Now dare not I stir a step stratagems. further-If I offer to go, she is in one of her fits Oak. See there, now! Was ever any thing so in an instant-Never, sure, was woman at once provoking? To persevere in your ridiculousof so violent and so delicate a constitution ! For Heaven's sake, my dear, don't distract me! What shall I say to sooth her? Nay, never make When you see my mind thus agitated and uneathyself so uneasy, my dear—Come, come, you sy, that a young fellow, whom his dying father

, know I love you. Nay, nay, you shall be con- my own brother, committed to my care, should vinced.

be guilty of such enormous wickedness; I say, Mrs Oak. I know you hate me; and that your when you are witness of my distress on this ocunkindness and barbarity will be the death of casion, how can you be weak enough and cruel

(Whining. enough to Oak. Do not vex yourself as this rate I love Mrs Oak. Prodigiously well, sir! You do it you most passionately—Indeed, I do—This must very well. Nay, keep it up, carry it on, there's be some mistake.

pothing like going through with it. O


artful Mrs Oak. Oh, I am an unhappy woman! creature! But, sir, I am not to be so casily satis

[Weeping. fied. I do not believe a syllable of all this Oak. Dry up thy tears, my love, and be com- Give me the letter—[Snatching the letter.}- You forted ! You will find that I am not to blame in shall sorely repent this vile business, for I am rethis matter-Come, let me see this letter-Nay, solved that I will know the bottom of it. you shall not deny me. [Tuking the letter.

[Erit Mrs 0 Ak. Mrs Oak. There ! Take it; you know the Oak. This is beyond all paticnce. Provoking hand, I am sure.

woman! Her absurd suspicions interpret every Ouk. : To Charles Oakly, esq.-[Reading.)- thing the wrong way. She delights to make me Hand ! 'Tis a clerk-like hand, indeed! A good wretched, because she sees I ain attached to her, round text! and was certainly never penned by and converts my tenderness and affection into a fair lady.

the instruments of my own torture. But this Mrs Oak. Ay, laugh at me, do!

ungracious boy ! Iu how many troubles will he Oak. Forgive me, my love, I did not mean to involve his own and this lady's family I nerer laugh at thee-But what says the letter?—[Read-imagined that he was of such abandoned princiing.)—Daughter eloped-you must be privy to ples. O, here he comes !

it-scandalous-dishonourable---satisfactionrevenge'-um, um, um injured father.

Enter Major OAKLY and CHARLES. "Henry RUSSET.' Cha. Good-morrow, sir.



[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Maj. Good-morrow, brother, good-morrow! Oak. How can you trifle with my distresses, What! You have been at the old work, I find ? major ? Did not I tell you it was about a letter? I heard you-ding! dong! i'faith! She has rung Maj. A letter! Hum—a suspicious circuma noble peal in your ears. But how now? Why, stance, to be sure! What, and the seal a true sure, you've had a remarkable warm bout on't. - lover's knot now, hey? or an heart transfixed You seem more ruffled than usual.

with darts; or, possibly, the wax bore the indusOak. I am, indeed, brother! Thanks to that trious impression of a thimble ; or, perhaps, the young gentleman there. Have a care, Charles ! folds were lovingly connected by a prickYou may be called to a severe account for this. ) ed with a pin, and the direction written in a vile The honour of a family, sir, is no such light mat-scrawl, and not a word spelt as it should be; ha,

ha, ha! Cha. Sir!

Oak. Pooh! brother-Whatever it was, the
Maj. Hey day? What, has a curtain lecture letter, you find, was for Charles, not for me-
produced a lecture of morality? What is all this outrageous jealousy is the devil !

Maj. Mere matrimonial blessings, and domes-
Ouk. To a profligate mind, perhaps, these tic comfort, brother! Jealousy is a certain sign
things may appear agreeable in the beginning.- of love.
But don't you tremble at the consequences ? Oak. Love! it is this very love that hath made

Cha. I see, sir, that you are displeased with us both so miserable. Her lore for me has conme; but I am quite at a loss to guess at the oc- fined me to my house, like a state prisoner, withcasion.

out the liberty of seeing my friends, or the use of Ouk. Tell me, sir! Where is Miss Harriot pen, ink, and paper; while iny love for her has Russet ?

made such a fool of me, that I have never had Cha. Miss Harriot Russet ! Sir-explain- the spirit to contradict her.

Oak. Have not you decoyed her from her fa- Maj. Ay, ay; there you've hit it; Mrs Oakly ther?

would make air excellent wife, if you did but Cha. I decoyed her!

-Decoyed my Ilar- know how to manage her. riot! I would sooner die than do her the least Oak. You are a rare fellow, indeed, to talk of injury. What can this mean?

managing a wife! a debauched bachelor! a ratMaj. I believe the young dog has been at her, tle-brained, rioting fellow—who have picked up after all.

your common-place notions of women in bagnios, Oak. I was in hopes, Charles, you had better taverns, and the camp; whose most refined comprinciples. But there's a letter just come from merce with the sex has been in order to delude her father

country girls at your quarters, or to besiege the Cha. A letter! What letter? Dear sir, give it virtue of abigails, milliners, or mantua-maker's me. Some intelligence of my Harriot, major !- l 'prentices. The letter, sir; the letter this moment, for Hea- Maj. So much the better! So much the betven's sake!

ter ! Women are all alike in the main, brother, Oak. If this warmth, Charles, tends to prove high or low, inarried or single, quality or no quayour innocence

lity. I have found them so, from a duchess down Cha. Dear sir, excuse me-I'll prove any thing to a milk-maid. -Let me but see this letter, and I'll

Oak. Your savage notions are ridiculous. Oak. Let you see it? I could hardly get a What do you know of a husband's feelings? You, sight of it myself . Mrs Oakly has it.

who comprise all your qualities in your honour, Cha. Has she got it? Major, I'll be with you as you call it! Dead to all sentiments of delicacy, again directly.

[Exit Cha. hastily. and incapable of any but the grossest attachments Maj. Hey-day! The devil's in the boy! What to women. This is your boasted refinement, your a fiery set of people! By my troth, I think the thorough knowledge of the world! While, with whole family is made of nothing but combusti- regard to women, one poor train of thinking, bles !

one narrow set of ideas, like the uniform of the Oak. I like this emotion. It looks well. It whole regiment, serves the whole corps. may serve, too, to convince my wife of the folly Maj. Very fine, brother! There's commonof her suspicions. Would to Heaven I could place for you, with a vengeance! Henceforth, quiet them for ever!

expect no quarter from me. I tell you again Maj. Why, pray now, my dear nauglity bro- and again, I know the sex better than you do.ther, what heinous offence have you committed They all love to give themselves airs, and to have this morning ? What new cause of suspicion ? power : every woman is a tyrant at the bottom. You have been asking one of the maids to mend But they could never make a fool of me. No, your ruffle, I suppose, or have been hanging your no! no woman should ever domineer over me, fiead out of window, when a pretty young woman

let her bc mistress or wife. has past by, orm

Oak. Single men can be no judges in these

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

cases. They must happen in all families. But | closet? No, no; these fits, the more care you
when things are driven to extremities—to see a take of them, the more you will increase the disa
woman in uneasiness—a woman one loves, too, temper : let them alone, and they will wear
one's wife, who can withstand it? You neither themselves out, I warrant you.
think nor speak like a man that has loved, and Oak. True--very true-you're certainly in the
been married, major !

right—I'll follow your advice. Where do you Maj. I wish I could hear a married man speak dine to-day? I'll order the coach and go with my language-I'ın a bachelor, it's true; but I am

you. no bad judge of your case, for all that. I know Maj. O brave ! keep up this spirit, and you're yours, and Mrs Oakly's disposition to a hair.

made for ever. She is all impetuosity and fire-a very magazine Oak. You shall sec now, major! Who's there? of touchwood and gunpowder. You are hot enough, too, upon occasion; but then, it's over in

Enter Servant. an instant. În come love and conjugal affection, as you call it; that is, mere folly and Order the coach directly. I shall dine out toweakness—And you draw off your forces, just day. when you should pursue the attack, and follow Ser. The coach, sir ! Now, sir ! your advantage. Have at her with spirit, and Oak. Ay, now, immediately. the day's your own, brother!

Ser. Now? Sir!-the-the-coach ! Sir ! Oak. I tell you, brother, you mistake the mat- that is—my mistresster. Sulkiness, fits, tears! These, and such as Oak. Sirrah! Do as you're bid. Bid them put these, are the things which make a feeling man to this instant. uneasy. Her passion and violence have not half Ser. Ye-yes, sir-yes, sir. [Exit Ser. such an effect on me,

Oak. Well, where shall we dine? Maj. Why, then, you may be sure, she'll play Alaj. At the St Alban's, or where you will,that upon you, which she finds does most execu- This is excellent, if you do but hold it. tion. But you must be proof against every thing. Oak. I will have my own way, I am deterIf she's furious, set passion against passion; if mined. you find her at her tricks, play off art against art, Maj. That's right. and foil her at her own weapons. That's your Ouk. I am steel.

Muj. Bravo! Oak. Why, what would you bave me do? Oak. Adamant.

Maj. Do as you please, for one month, whe- Maj. Bravissimo! ther she likes it or not; and, I'll answer for it, Ouk. Just what you'd have me. she will consent you shall do as you please all Maj. Why, that's well said. But will you do her life after.

it? Dak. This is fine talking. You do not consi- Oak. I will. der the difficulty that

Maj. You won't. Maj. You must overcome all difficulties. As- Oak. I will. I'll be a fool to her no longer.-sert your right boldly, man! Give your own or- But, hark ye, major! my hat and sword lie in ders to servants, and see they observe them; my study. I'll go and steal them out, while she read your own letters, and never let her have a is busy talking with Charles. sight of them; make your own appointments, Maj. Steal them! for shame! prithee, take and never be persuaded to break them; see them boldly, call for them, make them bring what company you like; go out when you please; then to you here, and go out with spirit, in the return when you please; and don't suffer yourself face of your whole family. to be called to account where you have been.- Oak. No, nomyou are wrong-let her rare afIn short, do but shew yourself a man of spirit, ter I am gone; and, when I return, you know, I leave off whining about love, and tenderness, and shall exert myself with more propriety, after this ponsense, and the business is done, brother ! open affront to her authority.

Oak. I believe you are in the right, major! I Maj. Well, take your own way. sec you're in the right. I'll do it; I'll certainly Ouk. Ay, ay-let me manage it; let me mado it. But, then, it hurts me to the soul, to

[Erit Oak. think what uneasiness I shall give her. The first Maj. Manage it! Ay, to be sure, you are a opening of my design will throw her into fits, and rare manager ! It is dangerous, they say, to the pursuit of it, perhaps, may be fatal.

Ieddle between man and wife. I ain no great Maj. Fits! Ha, ha, ha! Fits! I'll engage to favourite of Mrs Oakly's already; and, in a cure her of her fits. Nobody understands hys- week's time, I expect to have the door shut in terical cases better than I do: besides, my sister's my teeth. symptoms are not very dangerous. Did you ever bear of her falling into a fit when you was not

Enter CHARLES. by? Was she ever found in convulsions in her | How now, Charles, what news?

game, brother!

bage it.


[ocr errors]

Cha. Ruined and undone ! She's gone, uncle ! , daughter, or a mistress with lady Freelove, to be My Harriot's lost for ever!

sure! I'll tell you what, Charles! you're a good Maj. Gone off with a man? I thought so: boy, but you don't know thc world. Women are they are all alike.

fifty times oftener ruined by their acquaintance Cha. O no! Fled to avoid that hateful match with each other, than by their attachment to with sir Harry Beagle.

Ore thorough-paced lady will train up Maj. Faith, a girl of spirit! Joy! Charles, I thousand novices. That lady Freelove is an argive you joy! she is your own, my boy! A fool rant- -By the hy, did not she, last summer, and a great estate ! Devilish strong tenptations! make formal proposals to Harriot's father from

Cha. A wretch! I was sure she would never lord Trinket? think of him.

Cha. Yes! but they were received with the · Maj. No! to be sure ! commend me to your utmost contempt. The old gentleman, it seems, modesty! Refuse five thousand a-year and a ba- hates a lord, and he told her so in plain terins. ronet, for pretty Mr Charles Oakly! It is tņue, Maj. Such an aversion to the nobility may indeed, that the fooby has not a single idea in his not run in the blood. The girl, I warrant you, head besides a hound, a hunter, a five-barred has no objection. However, if she's there, watch gate, and a horse-race; but, then, he's rich, and her narrowly, Charles ! lady Freelove is as miss that will qualify his absurdities. Money is a chievous as a monkey, and as cunning, too. wonderful improver of the understanding. But "Have a care of her. I say, have a care of her. whence comes all this intelligence?

Cha. If she's there, I'll have ber out of the Cha. In an angry letter from her father. How house within this half hour, or set fire to it. miserable I am! If I had not offended my Har- Maj. Nay, now, you're too violent-Stay a riot, much offended her by that foolish riot and moment, and we'll consider what's best to be drinking at your house in the country, she would done. certainly, at such a time, have taken refuge in my arms.

Re-enter OAKLY. Maj. A very agreeable figure for a young lady, to be sure, and extremely decent !

Oak. Come, is the coach ready? Let us be Cha. I am all uneasiness. Did not she tell gone. Does Charles go with us? me, that she trembled at the thoughts of having Cha. I go with you! What can I do? I am Crusted her affections with a man of such a wild so vext and distracted, and so many thoughts disposition? What a heap of extravagancies was crowd in upon me, I don't know which way to I guilty of?

turn myself. Maj

. Extravagancies with a witness ! Ah, you Mrs Oak. [Within.] The coach! dines out! silly young dog, you would ruin yourself with her where is your master? father, in spite of all I could do. There you Oak. Zounds! brother, here she is!

sat, as drunk as a lord, telling the old gentleman the whole affair, and swearing you would drive

Enter Mrs Oakly. sir Harry Beagle out of the country, though I kept winking and nodding, pulling you by the Mrs Oak. Pray, Mr Oakly, what is the matsleeve, and kicking your shins under the table, in ter you cannot dine at home to-day? hopes of stopping you, but all to no purpose. Oak. Don't be uneasy, my dear! I have a lit

Cha. What distress may she be in at this in- tle business to settle with my brother; so I am stant! Alone, and defenceless! Where? Where only just going to dinner with him and Charles can she be?

to the tavern. Maj. What relations or friends has she in Mrs Oak. Why cannot you settle your business town!

here as well as at a tavern? But it is some of Cha. Relations! let me see.—Faith! I have your ladies' business, I suppose, and so you must it. If she is in town, ten to one but she is at get rid of my company. This is chiefly your her aunt's, lady Freelove's. I'll go thither imme- fault, major Oakly! diately.

Maj. Lord, sister! what signifies it, whether a Maj. Lady Freelove's ! Hold, hold, Charles ! man dines at home or abroad?

(Coolly. do you know her ladyship?

Mrs Oak. It signifies a great deal, sir! and I Cha. Not much; but I'll break through all don't chooseforms to get to my Harriot.

Maj. Phoo! let him go, my dear sister, let Maj. I do know her ladyship.

him go! he will be ten times better company Cha. Well, and what do you know of ber? when he comes back. I tell you what, sisterMaj. Oh, nothing ! Her ladyship is a woman you sit at homne till you are quite tired of of the world, that's all —-she'll introduce Har- one another, and, then, you grow cross, and fall riot to the best company.

If you would but part a little now and Cha. What do you mean?

then, you might meet again in good humour. Maj. Yes, yes; I would trust a wife, or a Mrs Oak. I beg, major Oakly, that you would



trouble yourself about your own affairs; and let Oak. Oh, my dear! me tell you, sir, that I =

[Exeunt Mr and Mrs OAKLY, Oak. Nay, do not put thyself into a passion Maj. Ha, ha, ha! there's a picture of resoluwith the major, my dear! It is not his fault; tion! there goes a philosopher for you! ha! and I shall come back to thee very soon.

Charles ! Mrs Oak. Come back ! why need you go out? Cha. Oh, uncle ! I have no spirits to laugh, I know well enough when you mean to deceive me : for, then, there is always a pretence of die Maj. So! I have a fine time on't between you ning with sir John, or my lord, or somebody; and my brother. Will you meet me to dinner at but when you tell me that you are going to a ta- the St Alban's by four ? We'll drink her health, vern, it's such a bare-faced affront

and think of this affair. Oak. This is so strange, now! Why, my dear, Cha. Don't depend upon me. I shall be runI shall only just

ning all over the town in pursuit of my HarMrs Oak. Only just go after the lady in the riot. I have been considering what you have letter, I suppose?

said; but, at all events, I'll go directly to lady Oak. Well, well; I won't go then. Will that Freelove's. If I find her not there, which way I convince you? I'll stay with you, my dear! will shall direct myself, Heaven knows. that satisfy you?

Maj. Hark ye, Charles! If you meet with Maj. For shame! hold out, if you are a man. her, you may be at a loss. Bring her to my

[Apart. house. I have a snug room, andOak. She has been so much vext this inorn- Cha. Phoo! prithee, uncle, don't trifle with ning already, I must humour her a little now. me, now.

[Apart. Maj. Well, seriously, then, my house is at Maj. Fy, fy! go out, or you're undone.

[Apart. Cha. I thank you : but I must be gone. Oak. You see it's impossible [Apart. Maj. Ay, ay ; bring her to my house, and we'll [To Mrs Oakly.] I'll dine at home with thee, settle the whole affair for you. You shall clap

her into a a post-chaise, take the chaplain of our Mrs Oak. Ay, ay; pray do, sir. Dine at a degiment along with you; wheel her down to tavern, indeed!

[Going. Scotland; and, when you come back, send to selOnk. [Returning.] You may depend on me an- de her fortune with her father: that's the moather time, major.

dern art of making love, Charles ! Maj. Steel and adamant! Ah!

(Ereunt. Mrs Oak. (Returning ) Mr Oakly!

your service.

my love.


SCENE I.-A room in the Bull and Gate Inn. grandam, and great great grandam, were New,

market Peggy and Black Moll, and his great Enter Sir HARRY BEAGLE and Tom.

grandsire, and great great grandsire, were sir Sir Har. Ten guineas a mare, and a crown Ralph Whip’s Regulus, and the famous Prince the man? hey, Tom !

• Anamaboo. Tom. Yes, your honour.

bis Sir Har. And are you sure, Tom, that there

John X SPUR, is no flaw in his blood ?

mark. Tom. He's a good thing, sir, and as little be

STARTAL.' holden to the ground, as any horse that ever went over the turf upon four legs. Why, here's Tom. All fine horses, and won every thing! a his whole pedigree, your honour!

foal out of your honour's bald-faced Venus, by Sir Har. Is he attested?

this horse, would beat the world. Tom. Very well attested: it is signed by Jack Sir Har. Well, then, we'll think on't. But, Spur, and my lord Startall.

pox on't, Tom; I have certainly knocked up my [Giving the pedigree. little roan gelding, in this damned wild-goose Sir Har. Let me see- -[Reading: Tom- chase of threescore miles an end. come-tickle-me was out of the famous Tantwi- Tom. He's deadly blown to be sure, your hovy-mare, by sir Aaron Driver's chesnut horse nour; and I am afraid we are upon a wrong "White Stockings. White Stockings, bis dam, scent after all. Madam Harriot certainly took was got by lord Hedge's South Barh, full sister across the country, instead of coming on to Lonto the Proserpine Filley, and his sire Tom don. Jones, his grandain was the Irish Dutchess, and Sir Har. No, no; we traced her all the way . his grandsire 'Squire Sportly's Trajan; his great up. But d’ye hear, Tom, look out among the

[ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »