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Tat. How inhuman!
Val. Why, Tattle, you need not be much concerned at any thing that he says: for to converse with Scandal is to play al losing loadum; you must lose a good name to him, before you can win it for yourself.
Tat. But how barbarous that is, and how unfortunate for him, that the world should think the better of any person for his calumniation! I thank heaven, it has always been a part of my character lo handle the repatations of others very tenderly indeed.
Scan. Ay, sach rotten reputations as you have to deal with are to be handled tenderly indeed.
Tat. Nay, why rotten? why should you say rotten, when you know not the persons of whom you speak? How cruel that is!
Scan. Not know them? Why, thou never badst to do with any body that was not common to all the town,
Tat. Ha, ba, ha! nay, now you make a jest of it indeed; for there is nothing more known, Lhan that nobody knows any thing of that nature of me. As I hope to be saved, Valentine, I never exposed a woman
I since I knew wbal wojpan was.
Val. And yet you have conversed with several?
Tat. To be free with you, I have I don't care if I own that--nay, more (I'm going to say a bold word now), I never could meddle with a woman that had to do with any body else.
Val. Nay, faith, I'm apt to believe him-except her husband, Tattle.
Tat. Ob, that
Scan. What think you of that noble commoner, Mrs. Drab?
Tat. Pooh, I know madam Drab has made her brags in three or four places, that I said this and that, and writ to ber, and did I know not what-but, opon my repulation, she did ine wrong. Well, well, that was malice; but I know the bottom of it. She was bribed to that by one we all know-a man'too-only to bring n_ into disgrace with a certain woman of quality
Scan. Whom we all know.
Tat. No matter for that. Yes, yes, every hody knows-no doubt on't, every body knows my secrets ! -But I soon satisfied the lady of my innocence; for I told her—“Madam," says I, “ there are some persons who make it their business to tell stories, and say
this and that of one and the other, and every thing in the world; and,” says 1, « if
your graceScan. Grace!
Tat. O Lord! what have I said?--My unlucky tongue!
Val. Ha, ha, ha!
Scan. Why, Tattle, thou hast more impudence than one can in reason expect: I shall have an esteem for thee-well, and—ha, ha, ha!-well, go on : and what did you say to her grace?
Val. I confess this is something extraordinary.
Tat. Not a word, as I hope to be saved; an arrant lapsus linguæ !Come, let us talk of something else.
Val. Well, but how did you acquit yourself?
Tat. Pooh, poob, nothing at all; I only rallied with you.--A woman of ordinary rank was a little jealous of me, and I told her something or other faith, I know nol what.--Come, let's talk of something else.
Hums a Song Scar. Hang him, let him alone; he has a mind we should inquire.
Tat. Valentine, I supped last night with your mistress, and her ancle, old Foresight. I think your father lies at Foresight's.
Tat. Upon my soul, Angelica's a fine woman; and so is Mrs. Foresight, and her sister, Mrs. Frail.
Scan. Yes, Mrs. Frail is a very fine woman; we all know her.
Tat. Oh, that is not fair.
Tat. Who, I? Upon honour I don't know whether
Tat, Why then, as bope to be saved, I believe a woman only obliges a man to secrecy, that she may have the pleasure of telling herself.
Scan. No doubt on it. Well, but has she dope you wrong, or no? You have succeeded with her, ha?
Tut. Though I have inore honour than to tell first, have more manners thau to contradict what a lady has declared.
Scan. Well, you own il?
Tat. I am strangely surprised! Yes, yes, I cannot deny it, if she taxes me with it.
Scun. She'll be here by-and-by; she sees Valentine every morning.
-I mean of a visit sometimes. I did not think she bad grauted more to any body.
Scan. Nor 1, faith. But Tattle does not use to belie lady; it is contrary to his character.--How ove may be deceived in a woman, Valentine!
Tat. Nay, what do you mean, gentlemen?
Val. What did I say? I hope you won't bring me to confess an answer, when you never asked me the question.
Tat. But, gentlemen, this is the most inhuman proceeding--
Vali Nay, if you have known Scandal thus long, and cannot avoid such a palpable decoy as this was; the ladies have a fine time, whose reputations are in your keeping.
Val. Show her up when she comes. [Exit Jeremy.
Val. If there were, you have more discretion than to give Scandal such an advantage: why, your running away will prove all that he can tell ber.
Tat. Scandal, you will not be so ungenerous?-O, I shall lose my reputation of secrecy for ever.
:--I shall never be received but opon public days, and my visits will never be admitted beyond a drawing-room; I shall never see a bed-chamber again, never be locked in a closet, nor run bebind a screen or under a table; never be distinguished among the waiting-women by the name of trusty Mr. Tattle more.--You will not be so cruel ?
Val. Scandal, have pity on him; he'll yield to any conditions.
Tat. Any, any terms.
Scan. Come, then, sacrifice half a dozen women of good reputation to me presently.Come, where are you familiar?And see that they are women of quality too, the first quality.
Tat. 'Tis very hard." Won't a baronet's lady pass?
Tat. Alas, that is the same thing. Pray spare me their titles; Pl describe their persons.
Scan. Well, begin then. But take notice, if you are so ill a painter that I cannot know the person by your picture of her, you must be condemned, like other bad painters, to write the naine at the bottonf.
Tat. Well, first then--
Mrs. Frail. [Without] Very well, very well, let them wait.
Tat. O, unfortunate! she's come already. Will you have patience till another time? I'll double the number.
Scan. Well, on that condition-Take heed you don't fail me.
Enter Mrs. FRAIL. Mrs. Fruil. I shall get a fine reputation, by coming to see fellows in a morning! Scandal, yon devil, are you here too? Oh, Mr. Tatlle, every thing is safe with you, we know.
Mrs. Frail, No, I'll allow a lover present with his mistress to be particular; but otherwise, I think his passion ought to give place to his manners.
Val. But what if he has more passion than manuers?
Val. Marriage indeed may qualify the fury of his passion, but it very rarely mends a man's manners.
Mrs. Frail. You are the most mistaken in the world; there is no creature perfectly civil but a husband; for in a little time be grows only rude to his wife; and that is the highest good breeding; for it begets his civility to other people. Well, I'll tell you news; but, I sup: pose, you hear your brother Benjamin is landed : and my brother Foresight's daughter is conie out of the country. I assure you there's a' match talked of by the old people.-Well, if he be but as great a sea beast as she is a land monster, we shall have a most aniphibious breed--the progeny will be all otters: he has been bred at sea, and she has never been out of the country.
Val, Plague take them! Their conjunction bodes me no good, I'm sore.
Mrs. Frail. Now you talk of conjunction, iny brother Foresight has cast both their nativities, and prognosticates an admiral and an eminent justice of the peace to be the issae male of their two bodies. "Tis the most superstitious old fool! He would have persuaded me that this was an onlucky day, and would not let me