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THE WAY TO
[ACT 1. madam, and I'll be master in my own house, madam ; I have made a provision for the issue of our marriago in the settlement, madam; and I would have you to know, that I am not obliged to pay for your cats and your dogs, and your squirrels, and your monkeys and your gaming debts." Love. (L. c.) How could you? That
too sharply said
Sir Bash. Ay, ay, I gave it her-but for all that [smiling)-I..-I---am very good-natured at the bottom, Mr. Lovemore.
Love. I dare say you are, Sir Bashful.
Sir Bash. Yes, yes ; but a man must keep up his own dignity.--I'll tell you what I did--- I went to the mercer's myself, and paid him the money.
[Smiles at him. Love. Did you?
Sir Bash. I did: but then one would not let the world know that---No, no.
Love. By no means.
Sir Bash. It would make them think me too uxorious.
Love. So it would !---I must encourage that notton of his.
[ Aside. Sir Bash. And so I told him ; " Mr. Lutestring,' says I, “ mum's the word---there is your money ; but let nobody know that I paid you slily.
Love. Well, you have the handsomest way of doing a genteel thing Sir Bash. But that is not all I have to tell you. Love. No! Sir Bash. No---no---[smiles. )--I have a deeper secret than that.
Love. Have ye? Sir Bash. I have ---may I trust you ? Love. O! upon my honourSir Bash. Well, well! I know you are my friend -I know you are, and I have great confidence in you. [Looking round.] Look ye, Mr. Lovemore, you must know
Enter MUSLIN, L.
Mus. (L.) Sir, my lady desires to know, if you will drink a dish of tea with her this morning ?
Love. I desire I may not be teased in this mannertell your mistress---go---go'about your business
[Turns her out. Sir Bash. [Aside.] Ay! I see he don't care a cherrystone for his wife.
Love. I hate this interruption---Well, Sir Bashful
Sir Bash. No; he does not care a pinch of snuff for her.
[Aside. Love. Well--- Proceed, Sir Bashful
Sir Bash. It does not signify, Mr. Lovemore ; it's a foolish affair ; I won't trouble you about it,
Love. Nay, that's unkind--Sir Bash. Well, well! come, I will---Do you think Muslin did not overhear us ? [Looking round.
Love. Not a syllable---Come, come, we are safe--
Sir Bush. Let me ask you a question first---Pray now, have you any regard for your lady ? Love. The highest value for her.
Sir Bash. I repose it with you. You must know, Mr. Lovemore---as I told you.--I am at the bottom very good-natured ; and though appearances may in some sort---[SiR BRILLIANT rings without.] We are interrupted again.
Enter Sir BRILLIANT, L. singing. Sir Bril. (L.) Well, I have paid my visit, Lovemore.
Love. This is the most cross accident---So, Sir Brilliant!
Sir Bash. Ah! I see there is no going on now..Mr. Lovemore, I wish you a good day.
Love. Po! Pr’ythee--- you sha'n't go.
Sir Bash. Yes, yes; another time---Suppose you call at my house at one o'clock---nobody shall interrupt us there.
[Aside to LOVEMORE, L. Love. With all my heart.
Sir Bash. Do so, then; do so---we'll be snug by ourselves---Well, Mr. Lovemore, your servant, a good morning---Sir Brilliant, I kiss your hand. You won't forget, Mr. Lovemore.
Love. Depend upon me.
Love. Ha! ha !---you broke in upon us in the most critical moment--- he was just going to communicate--
Sir Bril. I beg your pardon ; I did not know-..
Love. Nay, it's no matter ; I shall get it out of him another time.
Enter MUSLIN, L.
Love. Pshaw ! for ever teasing !---I'll wait upon her presently.
[Exit MUSLIN, L, Sir Bril. l'll step and entertain her while you dress ---May I take that liberty, Lovemore?
Love. You know you may---no ceremony---how could you ask such a question ? apropos ; but, Sir Brilliant, first step one moment into my study--- I want just one word with you.
Sir Bril. I attend you.
Love. This absurd Sir Bashful ! ha! ha! a ridicu. lous, anaccountable-ha! ha!
SCENE II--- Another Apartment. Mrs. LOVEMORE sitting, R. c. and a Maid attending
her. Mrs. Love. This trash of tea !---I don't know why I drink so much of it. Heigho !--- I wonder what keeps Muslin---Do you step, child, and see if she is come back. Maid. Yes, ma'am.
[Exit, L. Mrs. Love. Surely, never was any poor woman treated with such cruel indifference; nay, with such an open, undisguised insolence of gallantry.
Enter MUSLIN, L. Mrs. Love. Well, Muslin, have you seen his prime minister?
Mus. (L. C.) Yes, ma'am, I have seen Mr. William ; and he says, as how my master came home according to custoin, at five this morning, and in a huge pickle. He is now in his study, and has Sir Brilliant Fashion with him.
Mrs. Love. Is he there again?
Mus. He is, ma'am; and as I came by the door I heard them both laughing as loud as any thing.
Mrs. Love. About some precious mischief, I'll be sworn; and all at my cost too! Heigho!
Mus. Dear ma'am, why will you chagrin yourself about a vile man, that is not worth-no, as I live and breathe-not worth a single sigh!
Mrs. Love. What can I do, Muslin ?
Mus. Do, ma'am! Lard! if I was as you, I'd do for him; as I'm a living christian, I would. If I could not cure my grief, I'd find some comforts, that's what I would.
Mrs. Love, Heigho! I have no comfort.
Mus. No comfort, ma'am : Whose fault then? Would any body but you, ma'am- -it provokes me to think of it. Would any body, ma'am, young and handsome as you are, with so many accomplishments, ma'am, sit at home here, as melancholy as a poor servant out of place? And all this, for what? Why for a husband ! and such a husband! What do you think the world will say of you, ma'am, if you go on in this way?
Mrs. Love. I care not what they say-I am tired of the world, and the world may be tired of me, if it will: my troubles are my own only, and I must endeavour to bear them. Who knows what patience may do? If Mr. Lovemore has any feeling left, my resignation may some day or other have its effect, and incline him to do me justice.
Mus. But, dear ma'am, that's waiting for dead men's shoes. Incline him to do you justice! What signifies expecting and expecting? Give me a bird in the hand. Lard, ma'am, to be for ever pining and grieving! Dear heart! if all the women in London, in your case, were to sit down and die of the spleen, what would become of all the public places? They might turn Vauxhall into a hop-garden, make a brewhouse of Ranelagh, and let both the playhouses to a methodist preacher. We should not have the racketting with them we have now“John, let the horses be put to-John, go to my Lady Trumpabout’s, and invite her to a small party of twenty or thirty cord-tables.-John, run to my Lady Catgut, and let her ladyship know I'll wait on her to the new opera. -John, run as fast as ever you can, with my compli. ments to Mr. Brandon, and tell him, I shall take it as the greatest favour on earth, if he will let me have a side-box for the new play. No excuse, tell him.” They whisk about the town, and rantipole it with as unconcerned looks, and as florid outsides, as if they were treated at home like so many goddesses, though every body knows possession has ungoddessed them all long ago; and their husbands care no more for them-no, by jingo, no more than they do for their husbands.
Mrs. Love. You run on at a strange rate. Mus. Dear ma'am, 'tis enough to make a body run on. If every body thought like you
Mrs. Love. If every body lov'd like me.
Mus. A brass thimble for love, if it is not answered by love. What the deuce is here to do? Shall I go and fix my heart upon a man, that shall despise me for that very reason; and,“ Aye,” says he,“ poor fool, I see she loves me-the woman's well enough, only she has one inconvenient circumstance about her: I'm married to her, and marriage is the devil.” And.then, when he's going a rogueing, smiles impudently in your face, and,“ My dear, divert yourself, I'm just going to kill half an hour at the chocolate-house, or to peep in at the play : your servant, my dear, your servant. Fie upon 'em! I know 'em all. Give me a husband that will enlarge the circle of my innocent pleasures :-but a husband now-a-days, ma'am, is no such a thing. A husband now, as I hope for mercy, is nothing at all but a scarecrow ; to show you the fruit, but touch it if you dare. A husband! the devil take 'em all !-Lord forgive me for swearing—is nothing but a bug-bear, a snapdragon; a husband, ma'am, is
Mrs. Love. Pr’ythee, peace with your tongue, and see what keeps that girl.
Mus. Yes, ma'am.-Why, Jenny! [Calling, L.] why don't you come up to my lady? What do you stand a gossipping there for?-A husband, ma'am, is a mere monster; that is to say, if one makes him so ; then for certain he is a monster, indeed; and if one does not make him so, then he behaves like a monster; and of the two evils, by my troth-ma'am, was you ever at the play of Catherine and Mercutio ? The vile man calls his wife his goods, and his chattels, and his household stuff. There you may see, ma'am, what a husband is-a husband is—But here comes one will tell you here comes Sir Brilliant Fashion. Ask his advice, ma'am,