« VorigeDoorgaan »
Little P. But, dear aunt, I know you must be angry with me, and you think with reason.
Miss P. [Crosses to L. C.] Don't speak to me, I am not 80 weak as your father, whatever you may fancy.
Little P. But indeed, aunt, you must hear me. Had I not loved you as I do, I should not have thus offended you, but it was merely ny regard for your character.
John. Character ! [Exit. Pickle kicks him off, L.
Little P. My dear aunt, I always heard that no ladies keep parrots or lap-dogs, 'till they can no longer keep lovers ;-and, when at school, I told 'em you had a parrot, the boys all said, then you must be a foolish old maid.
Miss P. Indeed !-impudent young wretches !
Little P. Yes, aunt ; and so I resolved you should no longer be thought so-for I think you are a great deal too young and too handsome for an old maid. [Taking her hand.]
Old P. Come, sister, i'faith you must forgive him : no female heart can withstand that.
Miss P. Brother, you know I can forgive where I see occasion; hut though these faults are thus excused, how will you answer to a charge of scandal and ill-nature ?
Little P. Ill-nature, nadam-I'm sure nooody can accuse me of that.
Miss P. How will you justify the report you spread, of my being locked up in my closet with Mr. Tagg, the author ?
Can you defend so vile an attempt to injure my reputation ?
Old P. What, that too, I suppose, was from your care of her character-and so to hinder your aunt from being an old maid, you locked her up in her closet with this author, as he is called.
Little P. Nay, indeed, dear madam, I beseech you 'twas no such thing ; all I said was, you were amusing yourself in your closet with a favourite author.
Miss P. I amuse myself in my closet with a favourite author ! Worse and worse !
Old P. Sister, hare patience-hear
Miss P. i am ashamed to see you support your boy in such insolence.1, indeed! who am scrupulous to a fault; but no longer will I remain subject to such impertinence : quit your house, sir : [Crosses, R.] and you shall quit all claim to my fortune :- this moment will I alter my will, and leave my money to a stranger, sooner than to your family.
[Exit, R, Old P. Her money to a stranger ! leave her money to a stranger! Oh! the three per-cent. consols-oh, the India stock-Go, child-fly-throw yourself at your aunt's feetsay any thing to please herI shall run distracted. Oh! those consols
Little P. I am gone, sir.-Shall I say she may die as soon as she pleases, but she must not give her money to a strano
Old P. Aye, aye, there's a good boy ? say any thing to. please her ? that will do very well-say, she may die as soon as she pleases, but she must not leave her money to a stranger. [Exit Little Pickle, R.] Sure, never man was so tormented.Well, I thought, when my poor dear wife, Mrs. Pickle, died, and left me a disconsolate widower, I stood come chance of being a happy man ; but I know not how it is, I could bear the vexation of my wife's bad temper better than this woman's. s All my married friends were as mise-, rable as myself—but now-faith, here she comes, and in a fine humour, no doubt.
Enter Miss PICKLE, R. Miss P. (R.) Brother, I have given directions for my iminediate departure, and am now come to tell you, I will persist my design, unless you this moment adopt the scheme I yesterday proposed for my nephew's amendment.
Old P. (L.) Why, my dear sister, you know there is nothing I would not readily do to satisfy and appease you; but to abandon my only child—to pretend that he is not mine to receive a beggar brat into my arms-impossible
Miss P. [Going.] Very well, sir, then I am gone.
Old P. But, sister, stop :-was ever man so usea ?--how long is this scheme of yours to last? How long am I to be deprived of him ?
Miss P. How long! Why, until he is brought duly to reflect upon his bad behaviour, which nothing will induce him to do, so soon as thinking himself no longer your son, but the child of poor parents--I yesterday spoke to Margaret, his old nurse, and she fully comprehends the whole affair.
Old P. Why, to be sure, as you say—'twill reform him, and as we shall have our eyes upon him all the while, and Margaret, his own nurse
Miss P. You may be sure she will take care of himWell, since this is settled, the sooner 'tis done the better-Thomas !
Enter THOMAS, R. Send your young master.
[Exit Thomas, R. Old P. I see you are finally resolved, and no other way will content you. I must comply.
Miss P. Brother, you are so blinded by your foolish fundness, that you cease to perceive what is for his bene. fit-'tis happy for you, there is a person to direct you, of my superior discernment.
Enter LITTLE PICKLE, R. Little P. Did you send for me, aunt?
Old P. Child, come hither. I have a great secret to disclose to you, at which you will be much surprised.
Little P. (R.) A secret, sir !
Miss P. (c.) Yes, and one that requires your utmost courage to hear :-you are no longer to consider that person as your father ; he is not so.—Margaret, who nursed you, has confessed, and the thing is sufficiently proved, that you are not his son, but hers—she exchanged you, when an infant, for my real nephew, and her conscience has at last compelled her to make the discovery.
Little P. I another person's child !-impossible !-Ah! you are only joking with me now, to see whether I love you or not, but indeed [Crosses to Pickle.] I am yoursity heart tells me I am only-only yours.
Old P. (L.) I am afraid you deceive yourself—there can be no doubt of the truth of Margaret's account; but still assure yourself of our protection--but no longer cau you remain in this house. I'must not do an injury to my own child-you belong to others—to them you must now go.
Little P. Yet, sir, for an instant hear me-pity we—ah too sure I kuow [To Old Pickle] I am not your child-or would that distress which now draws tears of pity from a stranger, fail to move nature in you ?
Miss P. Comfort yourself, we must ever consider you with compassion and regard—but now you must begoneMargaret is waiting without, to receive you.
TUNE.-Je suis Lindor.
Since then I'm doom'd this sad reverse to prove ;
To quit each object of my infant care ;
Torn from an honour'd parent's tender love,
And driven the keenest storms of fate to hear.
Yet grateful mem'ry still shall linger here,
You still may grcet me with a tender tear.
(Exeunt Old and Miss Pickle, R.; Little Pickle, L.
END OF THE FIRST ACT.
SCENE I.-A Parlour. Enter Miss PICKLE and MARGERY, L. Mar. And so I was telling your ladyship, poor little master does so take it to heart, and so weep and wail, it almost inakes me cry to hear him.
Miss P. (R.) Well, well, since he begins already to repent, his punishment shall be but short; have you brought your boy with you ?
Mar. (L.) Aye, have I-poor Tommy, he came from aboard a ship but now, and is so grown, and altered-sure enough he believes every word I have told him, as your honour ordered me, and I warrant, is so sheepish and shamefaced—but here comes my master--he has heard it all already.
Enter OLD PICKLE, L. But, my lady_shall I fetch my poor Tommy to you? he's waiting without
Old P. (L.) What, that ill. looking young rascal in the hall ?-he with the jacket and trowsers.
Mar. (c.) Ay, your honour !-what, then, you have seen him ?
Old P. Seen him ay, and felt him too.—The booby met me bolt at the corner, run his cursed carotty poll full in my face, and has looscned half the teeth in my head, I believe.
Mar. Poor lad ! he's a sailor, and but awkward as yet, and so shy, I warrant—but will your honour be kind to him ?
Old P. Kind to him? Why, I am to pass for his father -am not I?
Mar. Aye, I wish your honour had been poor Tommy's father - but no such luck for me, as I say to my husband.
Old P. Indeed !--Your husband must be very much obliged to you, and so am I.
Mar. But do, your honour, see my poor Tommy, ouce dressed in his fine smart clothes
Old P. Damme! I don't half like that Tommy: Miss P. (R.) Yes, yes, you shall-but now go and fetch him here to us; I should like much to see him.
Mar. [Going, crosses to L.) Do you now, madam, speak kindly to him-for, poor boy, he's quite dash’d. (Exit, L.
Old P. Yes, and he has dash'd some of my teeth outplague on him!
Aliss P. Now, Mr. Pickle, I insist upon your observing a proper decorum and behaviour towards this poor lad ; ob. serve the condescension of my deportment-methinks I feel a strange inclination already in his favour, perhaps may advance him, bye and bye, to be my page=shall I, brother ? -Oh, here he comes-and I declare, as prepossessing a countenance as ever 1 beheld.
Enter Margery, and Little Pickle, (as a sailor boy.) Come hither, child ; was ever there such an engaging air ?
Mar. [Puts Little Pickle over to Pickle.] Go, Tommy; do as you are bid, there's a good boy—thank his honour for his goodness to you.
Little P. (L. c.) Be you the old fellow that's just come to be my father ?
Old P. (R. c.) [Aside.] Old fellow! he's devilish dashed to be sure :-yes, I am the old fellow, as you call it will you be a good boy?
Little P. (R.) Ay, but what will you gi' me?-must I be good for nothing ?
Old P. [Mimicking.) Good for nothing! nay, 'that I'll swear (you are already. Well, and how long have you been come from sea ? eh ! how do you like a sailor's life?
Little Pickle, Sings.
But just come home from sea, Sir!