« VorigeDoorgaan »
Dr. Cant. (C.) None, madam, that perhaps humanity may call very enormous; yet am I sure, that niy thoughts never stray a moment from celestial contemplations ; that they do not sometimes, before I am aware, turn to things of this earth; am I not often hasty, and surprised into wrath ? nay, the instance is recent; for, last night, being snarled at, and bit by Minxy, your daughter-in-law's lap dog, I am conscious I struck the little beast with a degree of passion, for which I have never been able to forgive myself since.
Old Lady Lamb. Oh, worthy, humble soul ! this is a slight offence, which your suffering and mortification may well atone for.
Dr. Cant. Alas, madam ! I want to suffer ; I ought to be mortified ; and I am obliged now to tell you, that for my soul's sake, I must quit your good son's family; I am pampered too much here, live too much at my
Old Lady Lamb. Good doctor !
Dr. Cant. Alas, madam! It is not you that should shed tears : it is I that ought to weep; you are a pure woman.
Old Lady Lamb. I pure! who, I? no, no; sinful, sinful- but do not talk of quitting our family; what will become of us - for friendship-for charity
Dr. Cant. Enough; say no more, madam ; I submit: while I can do good, it is my duty.
Enter COLONEL LAMBERT and DARNLEY, R. y. I.
Col. L. (R. C.) Your ladyship's most humble servant.
Dr. Cant.' (L. c.) Mr. Darnley, I am your most humble servant ; I hope you and the good Colonel will stay, and joir in the private duties of the family.
Old Lady Lamb. No, doctor, no; it is too early, the sun has not risen upon them ; but I doubt not, the day will come.
Dr. Cant. I warrant they would go to a play now!
Old Lady Lamb, Would they?- I am afraid they would.
Darn. Why, I hope it is no sin, madam; if I am not mistaken, I have seen your ladyship at a play.
Old Lady Lamb. Me, sir' see me at a play! you may have seen the prince of darkness, or some of his imps, in my likeness, perhaps
Darn. Well but, madam
Old Lady Lumb. Mr. Darnley, do you think I would commit a murder ?
Dr. Cant. No, sir, no: these are not the plants usually to be met with in that rank soil; the seeds of wickedness indeed sprout up every where too fast ; but a play-house is the devil's hot-bed
Col. Lamb. And yet, doctor, I have known some of the leaders of your tribe, as scrupulous as they are, who have been willing to gather fruit there for the use of the brethren-as in case of a benefit
Dr. Cant. The charity covereth the sin: and it may be lawful to turn the wages of abomination to the comfort of the righteous.
Col. Lamb. Ha! ha! ha!
Dr. Cant. Very well, sir; your father shall know my treatment.
[Exit, R. Old Lady Lamb. Let me run out of the house ; I shall have it fall upon my head, if I stay among such wicked wretches. O grandson! grandson! [Exit, L.
Darn. (R. C.) Was there ever so insolent a rascal !
Col. Lamb. (c.) The dog will one day provoke me to beat his brains out.
Darn. But what the devil is he? whence comés he?what is his original ? how has he so ingratiated himself with your father, as to get footing in the house?
Col. Lamb. Oh, sir, he is here in quality of chaplain; he was first introduced by the good old lady that's just gone out. You know, she has been a long time a frequenter of our modern conventicles, where, it seems, she got acquainted with this sanctified pastor. His disciples believe him a saint, and my poor father, who has been for some time tainted with their pernicious principles, has been led into the same snare.
Darn. Hah! here's your sister again.
Enter CHARLOTTE and DOCTOR CAntwell, R. Charl. (R.) You'll find, sir, I will not ho used thus : nor shall your credit with my father protect your insolence to me.
Col. Lamb. What's the matter ?
Charl. Nothing, pray be quiet. I don't want youstand out of the way-how durst you bolt with such authority into my chamber, without giving me notice ?
Darn. Confusion !
Col. Lamb. Hold-if my father won't resent this, 'tis then time enough for me to do it.
Dr. Cant. (R.) Compose yourself, madam; I came by your father's desire, who, being informed that you were entertaining Mr. Darnley, grew impatient, and gave his positive commands that you attend him instantly, or he himself, he says, will fetch you:
Darn. Ay, now the storm is rising.
Dr. Cant. So, for what I have done, madam, I had his authority, and shall leave him to answer you.
Charl. 'Tis false. He gave you no authority to insult me; or, if he had, did you suppose I would bear it from you? What is it you presume upon ? your function ? does that exempt you from the manners of a gentleman ?
Dr. Cant. Shall I have an answer to your father, lady?
Charl. I'll send him none by you.
[Exit. R. Charl. A saucy puppy. Col. Lamb. Pray, sister, what has the fellow done to
Charl. Nay, no great matter-but I was sitting carelessly in my dressing-room-and-and-and this impudent cur comes bounce in upon me.
Darn. The rogue must be corrected.
Col. Lamb. Yet, egad, I cannot help laughing at the accident; what a ridiculous figure must she make! ha! ha!
Charl. Hah! you're as impudent as he, I think.
Darn. (L.) Now, dear Tom, speak to her before she goes.
Charl. What does he say, brother?
Col. Lamb. Why, he wants to have me speak to you ; and I would have him do it himself.
[Goes R. Charl. (Crossing to L.] Ay, come do, Darnley; I am in a good humour now.
Darn. Oh, Charlotte ! my heart is bursting.
[Crosses to c. Charl. Well, well, out with it, then. Darn. Your father, now, I see, is bent on parting us - nay, what's worse, perhaps will give you to another - I cannot speak-imagine what I want from you
Charl. Well-o lud! one looks so silly thu' when one is serious-0 gad-in short, I cannot get it out.
Col. Lamb. I warrant you; try again.
Charl. O lud-well-if one must be teazed, thenwhy, he must hope, I think.
Darn. I'st possible !-thus
Col. Lamb. Buz- not a syllable; she has done very well. I bar all heroics; if you press it too far, I'll hold six to four she's off again in a moment.
Darn. I'm silenced.
Charl. Now am I on tiptoe to know what odd fellov my father has found out for me. Darn. I'd give something to know him.
Charl. He's in a terrible fuss at your being here, I find.
Col. Lamb. 'Sdeath! here he comes.
Charl. Now we are all in a fine pickle. [Enter Sir John Lambert hastily, R. and, looking sternly at DARNLEY, takes CHARLOTTE under his arm, and carries her off, R. ; COLONEL LAMBERT and DARNLEY exeunt, L.
END OF AUT I.
SCENE I. --- An Anti-Chamber in Sir John Lambert's
House. Enter SeYWARD, L. with a writing in his hand. Seyw. (L. c.) 'Tis so—I have long suspected where his zeal would end, in the making of his private fortune. But then, to found it on the ruii! of his patron's children! I shudder at the villainy! what desperation may a son be driven to, so barbarously disinherited ! Besides, his daughter, fair Charlotte, too, is wronged ; wronged in the tenderest point: for so extravagant is this settlement, that it leaves her not a shilling unless she marries with the doctor's consent, which is intended, by what I have heard, as an expedient to oblige her to marry the doctor himself. Now, 'twere but an honest part to let Charlotte know the snare that's laid for her. This deed's not signed, and may be yet prevented. It shall be so. Yes, charming creature ! I adore you ! And though I am sensible my passion is without hope, I may indulge it thus far, at least; I may have the merit of serving you, and perhaps the pleasure to know you think yourself obliged by me. Enter Sir John LAMBERT, LADY LAMBERT, and
CHARLOTTE, L. Sir J. Lamb. (L.) Oh! Seyward, your uncle wants you to transcribe some hymns. Seyw. (c.) Sir, I'll wait on him.
[Exit, L. Charl. (c) A pretty well-bred fellow that.
Sir J. Lamb. Ay, ay; but he has better qualities than his good breeding.
Charl. He's always clean, too.
Sir J. Lamb. I wonder, daughter. when you will take notice of a man's real merit. Humph-well-bred and clean, forsooth. Would not one think now she was describing a coxcomb? When do you hear my wife talk at this rate ? and yet she is as young as your fantastical ladyship.
Lady Lumb. "Charlotte is of a cheerful temper, my dear; but I know you don't think she wants discretion