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Jer. 'Tis an act of charity, sir, to save a fine woman with thirty thousand pounds from throwing her
Tatt. So 'tis, faith! I might have saved several others in my time; but egad I could never find in my heart to niarry any body before.
Jer. Well, sir, I'll go and tell her my master's coming; and meet you in half a quarter of an hour, with your disguise, at your own lodgings. You must talk a little madly ;-she won't distinguish the tone of your voice.
Tatt. No, no, let me alone for a counterfeit. I'll be ready for you.
Enter Miss PRUE.
Miss P. 0, Mr. Tattle, are you here? I'm glad I have found you. I have been looking up and down for you like any thing, till I'm as tired as any thing in the world.
Tatt. O pox! how shall I get rid of this foolish girl ?
[Aside. Miss P. O, I have pure news, I can tell you pure -I must not marry the seaman now
-My father says so. Why won't you be my husband? You say you love me and you won't be my husband. And I know you may be my husband now, if you please.
Tatt. O fie, miss! who told you so, child ?
Tatt. O fie, miss! why did you do sol and who told you so, child ?
Miss P. Who? Why you did ; did not you?
Tatt. O pox, that was yesterday, miss; that was a great while ago, child. I have been asleep since ; slept a whole night, and did not so much as dream of the matter.
Miss P. Pshaw! O but I dreamt that it was so though,
Tatt. Ay, but your father will tell you that dreams come by contraries, child. O fie! what, we must not love one another now. Pshaw, that would be a foolish thing indeed! Fie, fie! you're a woman now, and must think of a new man every morning, and forget him every night. No, no, to marry is to be a child again, and play with the same rattle always: O fie, marrying is a paw thing!
Miss P. Well, but don't you love me as well as you did last night then?
Tatt. No, no, child, you would not have me.
Tatt. Pshaw, but I tell you, you would not. You forget you are a woman, and don't know your own mind.
Miss P. But here's my father, and he knows my mind.
Enter Foresight. For. O, Mr. Tattle, your servant, you are a close man; but methinks your love to my daughter was a secret I might have been trusted with !-or had you a mind to try if I could discover it by my art ?-Hum, ha! I think there is something in your physiognomy, that has a resemblance of her; and the girl is like me.
Tatt. And so you would infer, that you and I are alike-What does the old prig mean? I'll banter him, and laugh at him, and leave him. [Aside. ]-I fancy you have a wrong notion of faces.
For. How? what? a wrong notion! how so?
Tatt. In the way of art, I have some taking features, not obvious to vulgar eyes, that are indication of a sudden turn of good fortune, in the lottery of wives; and promise a great beauty and great fortune reserved alone for me, by a private intrigue of destiny, kept secret from the piercing eye of perspicuity, from all astrologers, and the stars themselves.
For. How? I will make it appear, that what you say is impossible.
Tait. Sir, I beg your pardon, I am in haste
Tatt. No, sir ; it is to be done privately~I never make confidents.
For. Well; but my consent, I mean-You won't marry my daughter without my consent ?
Tatt. Who, I sir? I am an absolute stranger to you and your daughter, sir.
For. Hey-day! What time of the moon is this? Tatt. Very true, sir; and desire to continue so. I have no more love for your daughter, than I have like. ness of you: and I have a secret in my heart, which you would be glad to know, and shan't know : and yet you shall know it too, and be sorry for it afterwards. I'd have you know, sir, that I am as knowing as the stars, and as secret as the night. And I'm going to be married just now, yet did not know of it half an hour ago; and the lady stays for me, and does not know of it yet. There's a mystery for you. I know
love to untie difficulties. Or if you can't solve this; stay here a quarter of an hour, and I'll come and explain it to you.
[Exit. Miss P. O father, why will you let him go! Won't you make him to be my husband ?
For. Mercy on us, what do these lunacies portend? Alas! he's mad, child, stark wild.
Miss P. What, and must not I have e'er a husband then? What, must I go to bed to nurse again, and be a child as long as she's an old woman? Indeed, but I won't. For, now my mind is set upon a man, I will have a man some way or other. “Oh, me" thinks I'm sick when I think of a man ; and if I “ can't have one, I would go to sleep all my
for “ when I'm awake, it makes me wish and long, and “ I don't know, for what-and I'd rather be always “ asleep, than sick with thinking.” For. O fearful! I think the girl's influenced too.
-Hussy, you shall have a rod. Miss P. A fiddle of a rod! I'll have a husband ; and if you won't get me one, I'll get one for myself.
I'll marry our Robin the butler; he says he loves me : and he's a handsome man, and shall be my husband : I warrant he'll be my husband, and thank me too; for he told me so.
Enter SCANDAL, Mrs. FORESIGHT, and Nurse.
For. Did he so ? I'll dispatch him for it presently! Rogue ! Oh, Nurse, come hither.
Nurse. What is your worship's pleasure ?
For. Here take your young mistress, and lock her up presently, till farther orders from me. word, hussy-Do what I bid you. No reply : away. And bid Robin make ready to give an account of his plate and linen, dy'e hear? Be gone, when I bid you.
[Exeunt Nurse and Miss Prue. Mrs. For. What's the matter, husband ?
For. 'Tis not convenient to tell you now -Mr. Scandal, Heaven keep us all in our senses ! I fear there is a contagious frenzy abroad. How does Valentine ?
Scand. O, I hope he will do well again. I have a message from him to your niece Angelica.
For. think she has not returned since she went abroad with Sir Sampson. Nurse, why are you not gone ? [Enter Ben.] Here's Mr. Benjamin ; he can tell us if his father be come home.
Ben. Who ? Father ? Ay, he's come home with a vengeance.
Mrs. For. Why, what's the matter a