« VorigeDoorgaan »
pire moulder from my hands, and gave up all for love.I must have a young wife, with a murrain to me I hate her to-and yet the devil on't is, I'm still jealous of her Stay! let me reckon up all the fashionable virtues the has that can make a man happy. In the first place-1 think her very ugly;
Sup. Ah! that's because you are married to her, Sir.
Sir Sol. As for her expences, no arithmetic can reach them ; Mhe's always longing for something dear and use. lefs; she will certainly ruin me in china, filks, ribbands, fans, laces, perfumes, walhes, powder, patches, jeffamine: gloves, and ratifia. Sup. Ah,
Sir, that's a cruel liquor with them. Sir Sol. To sum up all would run me madThe only way to put a stop to her career, must be to put off my coach, turn away her chairmen, lock out her Swiss porter, bar up the doors, keep out all visitors, and then The'll be lefs expensive.
Sup. Ay, Sir, for few women think it worth their while to dress for their husbands.
Sir Sol. Then we fan't be plagued with my old lady Tittle Tattle's howd'ye's in a morning, nor my Lady Dainty's fpleen, or the sudden indifpofition of that grim beast her horrible Dutch mastiff.
Sup. No, Sir, nor the impertinence of that great fat creature, my Lady Swill-Tea.
Sir Sol. And her squinting daughter.No, Supple, after this night, nothing in petticoats Niall come within ten yards of my doors.
Sup. Nor in breeches neither.
Sir Sol. Only Mr. Clerimont; for I expect him to fight articles with me for the five hundred pounds he is to give me, for that ungovernable jade my niece Clarinda. But now to my own affairs. I'll step into the park, and fee if I can meet with my hopeful spouse there. I war. rant, engaged in some innocent freedom, as the calls it, as walking in a mask, to laugh at the inpertinencies of fops that don't know her; but 'tis more likely, I'm afraid, a plot to intrigue with those that do. Oh, how many torments lie in the small circle of a wedding-ring.
A CT II.
There's no accounting for inclination : for if there were, you know, why should it be a greater folly in me, to fall in love with a man I never faw but once in my life, than it is in you to resist an honest gentleman, whose fidelity has deserved your heart an hundred times over.
Clar. Ah, but an utter ftranger, coufin, and one that, for aught you know, may be no gentleman.
Syl. That's impoffible; his conversation could not be counterfeit. An elevated wit, and good breeding, have a natural lustre that's inimitable. Befide, he saved my life at the hazard of his own; so that part of what I gave him, is but gratitude.
Clar. Well; you are the first woman that ever took • fire in the middle of the Thames, sure.' But suppose now he is married, and has three or four children. Syl. Píha! pr’ythee don't teaze me with fo
ill. natured objections: I tell you he is not married; I am fure he is not : for I never saw a face look more in hu. mour in my life. Beside, he told me himself, he was a country gentleman, just come to town upon business: and I'm refolved to believe him.
Clar. Well, well; I'll suppose you both as fit for one another as a couple of tallies. But, still, my dear, you know there's a furly old father's command against you ; he is in articles to marry you to another: and though I know-love is a notable contriver, I can't see how you'll get over that difficulty.
Syl. 'Tis a 'terrible one, I own; but with a little of your atliftance, dear Clarinda, I am ftill in hopes to bring it to an even wager, I prove as wise as my father.
Clar. Nay, you may be sure of me: you may fee by the manageinent of my own amours, I have so natural a compassion for disobedience, I sha'n't be able to refuse
you any thing in distress. There's my hand; tell me how I can serve you?
Syl. Why thus:---because I would not wholly difcover myself to him at once, I have sent him a note to visit me here, as if these lodgings were my own.
Clar. Hither! to my lodgings ! 'Twas well I sent Colonel Standfast word 'I should not be at home. [Aide.
Syl. I hope you'll pardon my freedom, fince one end of my taking it too, was to have your opinion of him before I engage any farther.
Clar. Oh, it needs no apology; any thing of mine is at your service.--I am only afraid, my troublesome, lover, Mr. Clerimont, should happen to see hiin, who is of late so impertinently jealous of a rival, though from what cause I know not-not but I lie too. (Aside.] I fay, should he fee him, your country gentleman would be in danger, I can tell you.
Syl. Ob, there's no fear of that; for I have ordered him to be brought in the back way: when I have talked with him a little alone, I'll find an occasion to leave him with you; and then we'll compare our opinions of him,
Enter Servant to Clarinda, Serv. Madam, my Lady Sadlife.
[Exit. Syl. Piha ! fhe here! Clar. Don't be uneasy ; she shan't disturb you: I'll take care of her.
Enter Lady Sadlife. Lady Sad. Oh, my dears, you have lost the sweetest morning, sure, that ever peeped out of the firmament. ne park never was in such perfection. Clar. 'Tis always so when your ladyship's there. Lady Sad. 'Tis never so without my dear Clarinda.
Syl. How civilly we women hate one another! [Afíde.] Was there a good deal of coinpany, Madam?
Lady Sad. Abundance ! and the best I have seen this season: for 'twas between twelve and one, the very hour you know when the mob are violently hungry. Oh, the air was so inspiring ! fo amorous ! And, to complete the pleasure, I was attacked in conversation by the most charming, modest, agreeably infinuating young fellow, fure, that ever woman played the fool with. 4
Clar. Who was it >
Lady Sad. Nay, Heaven knows; his face is as entirely new as his conversation. What wretches our young fellows are to him?
Syl. What sort of a person?
Lady Sad. Tall, straight, well-limbed, walked firm; and a look as chearful as a May-day morning,
Syl. The picture's very like : pray Heaven it is not my gentleman's !
(Afíde. Clar. I wish this don't prove my Colonel. (Afide. Syl. How came you to part with him fo toon?
Lady Sad. Oh, name it not ! that eternal damper of all pleasure, my husband, Sir Soloman, came into the Mall in the very crisis of our conversation-I saw him at a dir. tance, and complained that the air grew tainted, that I was sick o'th' sudden, and left hiin in such abruptness -and confusion, as if he had been himself my husband.
Clar. A melancholy disappointment, indeed!
A Servant enters and whispers Sylvia.
be at hand. Clar. In the next room--Come, Madam, Sylvia has a little business. I'll new you some of the sweetest, preto tieft figured china. Lady Sad. My dear, I wait on you.
[Exeunt Lady Sad. and Clar. Enter Atall, as Mr. Freeman. Syl. You find, Sir, I have kept my word in seeing you ; 'tis all you yer have asked of me; and when I know 'ris in my power to be more obliging, there's nothing you can command in honour I fhall refuse
you. At. This generous offer, Madam, is fo high an obli. gation, that it were almost mean in me to ask a farther favour. But 'tis a lover's merit to be a mifer in his wishes, and grasp at all occafions to enrich them. I own I feel your charms too sensibly prevail, but dare not give a loose to my ambitious thoughts, 'till I have passed one dreadful doubt that shakes them.
Syl. If 'uis in my power to clear it, ask me freely.
fears are vain : but yet to kill or cure them once for ever, be just and tell me: are you married ?
Syl. If that can make you easy, nó.
At. 'Tis cale indeed nor are you promised, nor your heart engaged?
Syl. That's hard to tell you : but to be just, I own my father has engaged my person to one I never saw; and my heart, I fear, is inclining to one he never saw,
At. On, yet be merciful, and ease my doubt; tell me the happy man that has deserved fo exquisite a blessing,
Syl. That, Sir, requires fome pause: firit tell me why you're so inquisitive, without letting me know the condition of your own heart.
At. In every circumstance my heart's the same with yours; 'tis promised to one I never faw, by a command. ing father, who, by my firm hopes of happiness, I am resolved to disobey, unleis your cruelty prevents it.
Syl. But my disobedience would beggar me.
At. Banish that fear. I'm heir to a fortune will sup. port you like yourself-May I not know your family.
Sył. Yet you must not.
At. Why that nicety? Is not it in my power to en. quire whole house this is when I am gone?
Syl. And be never the wiser: these lodgings are a friend's, and are only borrowed on this occafion : but to fave you the trouble of any further needless questions, I will make you one proposal. I have a young lady here within, who is the only confident of my engagements to you : on her opinion I rely; nor can you take it ill, if I make no farther steps without it : 'would be miferable indeed should we both meet beggars. I own your actions and appearance merit all you can defire; let her be as well fatisfied of your pretensions and condition, and you fall find it sha'n't be a little fortune fhall make me ungrateful.
At. So generous an offer exceeds my hopes.
coufin Clarinda to walk in. At. Ha! Clarinda ! if it should be my Clarinda now, I'm in a sweet condition-by all that's terrible thé very The; this was finely contrived of fortune.
Enter Clarinda. Clar. Defend me! Colonel Standfaft! she has certainly discovered my affairs with him, and has a mind to insult