Page images
PDF
EPUB

got the start of me ; and I the poor forsaken maid “ am left complaining on the shore." But I'll tell you a hint that he has given me. Sir Sampson is enraged, and talks desperately of committing matrimony himself. If he has a mind to throw himself away, he can't do it more effectually than upon me, if we could bring it about.

Mrs. For. O hang him, old fox ! he's two cunning ; besides, he hates both you and me. But I have a project in my head for you, and I have gone a good way towards it. I have almost made a bargain with Jeremy, Valentine's man, to sell his master to us.

Mrs. F. Sell him ? how ?

Mrs. For. Valentine raves upon Angelica, and took me for her; and Jeremy says will take any body for her that he imposes on him. Now I have promised him mountains, if in one of his mad fits he will bring you to him in her stead, and get you married together, and put to bed together and after consummation, girl, there's no revoking. And if he should recover his senses, he'll be glad at least to make you a good settlement. Here they come ; stand aside a little, and tell me how you like the design.

Enter VALENTINE, SCANDAL, FORESIGHT, and

Jeremy. Scand. And have you given your master a hint of their plot upon him.

[To Jeremy. Jer. Yes, sir; he says he'll favour it, and mistake her for Angelica.

K

Scand. It may make us sport.
For. Mercy on us !

Val. Husht-interrupt me not~I'll whisper prediction to thee, and thou shalt prophesy.--I am Ho. nesty, and can teach thy tongue a new trick. I have told thee what's past—Now I'll tell what's to come! -Dost thou know what will happen to-morrow Answer me not-for I will tell thee. To-morrow knaves will thrive through craft and fools through fortune ; and Honesty will go as it did, frost-nipt in a summer suit.

Ask me questions concerning to

morrow,

Scand. Ask him, Mr. Foresight.
For. Pray what will be done at court ?

Val. Scandal will tell you-I am Honesty ; I never come there.

For. In the city ?

Val. Oh, prayers will be said in empty churches, at the usual hours. Yet you will see such zealous faces behind counters, as if religion were to be sold in every shop. Oh! things will go methodically in the city. The clocks will strike twelve at noon, and the horned herd buz in the Exchange at two. Husbands and wives will drive distinct trades; and care and pleasure separately occupy the family. Coffee-houses will be full of smoke and stratagem. And the cropt 'prentice that sweeps his master's shop in the morning, may ten to one dirty his sheets before night. But there are two things that you will see very strange; which are, wanton wives with their legs at liberty, and tame cuckolds with chains about their necks.—But hold, I must examine you before I go further; you look suspiciously. Are you a husband ?

Por. I am married.

Val. Poor creature! Is your wife of Covent-garden parish ?

For. No; St. Martin in the Fields.

Val. Alas; poor man! his eyes are sunk, and his hands shrivelled ; his legs dwindled, and his back bowed. Pray, pray for a metamorphosis.-Change thy shape, and shake off age; get thee Medea's kettle, and be boiled anew; come forth, with labouring, callous hands, a chine of steel and Atlas' shoulders. Let Taliacotius trin the calves of twenty chairmen, and make thee pedestals to stand erect upon; and look matrimony in the face. Ha, ha, ha! that a man should have a stomach to a wedding supper, when the pigeons ought rather to be laid to his feet! ha, ha, ha!

For. His frenzy is very high now, Mr. Scandal.
Scand. I believe it is a spring tide.

For. Very likely truly; you understand these matters.-Mr. Scandal, I shall be very glad to confer with

you about these things which he has uttered.His sayings are very mysterious and hieroglyphical.

Val. Oh, why would Angelica be absent from my eyes so long?

Jer. She's here, sir.
Mrs. For. Now, sister.
Mrs. F. O Lord, what must I say?

Scand. Humour him, madam, by all means.

Val. Where is she? Oh, I see her i-She comes like riches, health, and liberty, at once, to a despairing, starving, and abandoned wretch.-0 welcome, wel. come!

Mrs. F. How dy'e, sir ? can I serve you?

Val. Harkee—I have a secret to tell you-Endymion and the moon shall meet us upon Mount Lat. mos, and we'll be married in the dead of night.-But say not a word.-Hymen shall put his torch into a dark lantern, that it may be secret ; and Juno shall give her peacock poppy water, that he may fold his ogling tail, and Argus's hundred eyes be shut, ha ? Nobody shall know but Jeremy.

Mrs. F. No, no, we'll keep it secret; it shall be done presently. Val. The sooner the better-Jeremy, come hither

-closer—that none may overhear us. Jeremy, I can tell you news. Angelica is turned nun; and I am turned friar : and yet we'll marry one another in spite of the pope. Get me a cowl and beads, that I may play my part-for she'll meet me two hours hence in black and white, and a long veil to cover the project; and we won't see one another's faces, till we have done something to be ashamed of-and then we'll blush once for all.

Enter TATTLE and ANGELICA.
Jer. I'll take care, and-
Val. Whisper.

Ang. Nay, Mr. Tattle, if you make love to me, you spoil my design; for I intend to make you my confident.

Scand. How's this ! Tattle making love to Angelica !

Tatt. But madam to throw away your person, such a person! and such a fortune, on a madman !

Ang. I never loved him till he was mad; but don't tell any body so.

Tatt. Tell, madam? alas, you don't know me. I have much ado to tell your ladyship how long I have been in love with you—but, encouraged by the impossibility of Valentine's making any more addresses to you, I have ventured to declare the very inmost passion of my heart. Oh, madam, look upon us both. There you see the ruins of a poor decayed creature! -Here, a complete lively figure, with youth and health, and all his five senses in perfection, madam; and to all this, the most passionate lover

Ang. O, fie for shame, hold your tongue. A passionate lover, and, five senses in perfection! When you are as mad as Valentine, I'll believe you love me ; and the maddest shall take me.

Val. It is enough. Ha! who's there ;
Mrs. F. O Lord, her coming will spoil all.

[To Jeremy. Jer. No, no, madam ; he won't know her; if he should, I can persuade him.

Val. Scandal, who are these? Foreigners ? If they are, I'll tell you what I think.–Get away all the com

« PreviousContinue »