« VorigeDoorgaan »
barefoot; in a month out at knees with begging Foi. By heaven! Mrs Marwood's. I know it. an alms-he shall starve upward and upward, My heart akes-get it from her- [To him. till he has nothing living but his head, and then Wait. A woman's hand! No, madam, that's no go out in a stink, like a candle's end upon a save-woman's hand, I see that already. That's someall.
body, whose throat must be cut. Lady Wish. Well, sir Rowland, you have the Lady Wish. Nay, sir Rowland, since you give way-You are no novice in the labyrinth of love me a proof of your passion by your jealousy, I
- You have the clue-But, as I am a person, sir I promise you l'll make a return, by a frank comRowland, you must pot attribute my yielding to munication-You shall see it- we'll open it toany sinister appetite, or indigestion of widowhood; gether- look you here.--Reads Madam, though nor impute my compla ency to any lethargy of unknown to you,' (Look you there, 'tis from nocontinence-I hope you do not think me prone body, that I know) I have that honour for your to any iteration of nuptials
character, that I think myself obliged to let you Wuit. Far be it from me
know you are abused. He, who pretends to be Lady Wish. If you do, I protest I must recede sir Rowland, is a cheat and a rascal-'O hea, -or think that I have made a prostitution of de-ven's ! what's this? corums; but, in the vehemence of compassion, Foi. Unfortunate, all's ruined ! and to save the life of a person of so much im- Wait. How, how ! let me see, let me see ;portance
[Reading: 7-'A rascal, and disguised, and subWait. I esteem it so--
orned for that imposture,–0 villainy! O villainy! Ludy Wish. Or else you wrong my condescen - By the contrivance of sion--
Lady Il'ish. I shall faint, I shall die, ho! Wait. I do not, I do not
Foi. Say, 'tis your nephew's hand.-Quickly, Lady Wish. Indeed, you do.
his plot, swear it, swear it. Wuit. I do not, fair shrine of virtue.
Wait. Here's a villain, madam ! don't you perLady Wish. If you think the least scruple of ceive it, don't you see it? caruality was an ingredient
Lady Wish. Too well, too well; I have seen Wait. Dear madam, no. You are all camphire too much. and frankincense; all chastity and odour.
Wait. I told you at first I knew the hand : a Lady Wish. Or that
woman's hand! The rascal writes a sort of a large
hand ; your Roman 'hand-I saw there was a Enter Foible.
throat to be cut presently. If he were my son, Foi. Madam, the dancers are ready, and there's as he is my nephew, I'd pistol him . one with a letter, who must deliver it into your Foi. O, treachery! But are you sure, sir Rowown hands.
| land, it is his writing? Lady Wish, Sir Rowland, will you give me Wail. Sure! Am I here? Do I live? Do I leave think favourably, judge candidly, and con- love this pearl of India! I have twenty letters in clude you have found a person, who would suf- my pocket from him, in the same character. fer racks in honour's cause, dear sir Rowland, Lady Wish. How! and will wait on you incessantly.
Foi. 0, what luck it is, sir Rowland, that [Exit LADY WISHFORT. you were present at this juncture! this was the Wait. Fy, fy !-What a slavery have I under business that brought Mr Mirabell disguised to gone! Spouse, hast thou any cordial? I want madam Millamant this afternoon. I thought spirits.
something was contriving, when he stole by me, Foi. What a washy rogue art thou, to pant and would have hid his face. thus for a quarter of an hour's lying and swearing Lady Wish. How, how !-I heard the villain to a fine lady!
was in the house, indeed; and, now, I rememWait. 0, she is the antidote to desire. Spouse, ber, my niece went away abruptly, when sir Wilthou wilt fare the worse for it. By this hand, I'd .full was to have made his addresses. rather be a chairman in the dog-days-than act |
| Foi. Then, ther, madam, Mr Mirabell waited sir Rowland till this time to-morrow.
for her in her chamber! but, I would not tell
your ladyship, to discompose you, when you were Enter LADY WISHFORT with a letter.
to receive sir Rowland. Lady Wish. Call in the dancers ;—Sir Row- Wait. Enough, bis date is short. land, we'll sit, if you please, and see the enter- Foi. No, good sir Rowland, don't incur the tainment. [Dance. Now, with your permission, law, sir Rowland, I will peruse my letter I would Wait. Law! I care not for law. I can but open it in your presence, because I would not die; and, 'tis in a good cause-My lady shall be make you uneasy. If it should make you uneasy satisfied of my truth and innocence, though it I would burn it-speak, if it does--but you cost me my life. may see, the superscription is like a woman's Lady Wish. No, dear sir Rowland, don't fight; hand,
if you should be killed, I must never shew my
face : Or hanged SO, consider my reputation, Wait. And, may I presume to bring a contract sir Rowland !--No, you shan't fight-I'll go in to be signed this night ? May I hope so far? and examine my niece; I'll make her confess. I Lady Wish. Bring what you will; but come conjure you, sir Rowland, by all your love, not alive, pray, come alive. O, this is a happy disto fight.
covery! Wait. I am charined, madam; I obey. But Wait. Dead or alive, I'll come-and, married some proof you must let me give you. I'll go for we will be, in spite of treachery. Come, my a black box, which contains the writings of my | buxom widow: whole estate, and deliver that into your hands. Ere long, you shall substantial proof receive,
Lady Wish. Ay, dear sir Rowland, that will That I'm an arrant knight be some comfort; bring the black box.
Foi. Or arrant knave.
Foi. Pray, do but hear me, madam; he could
not marry your ladyship, madam-No, indeed, LADY WISH FORT and FOIBLE.
bis marriage was to have been void in law; for, Lady Wish. Out of my house, out of my house, he was married to me first, to secure your ladythou viper, thou serpent, that I have fostered! ship. Yes, indeed; I inquired of the law in that thou bosom traitress, that I raised from nothing! case, before I would meddle or make. Begone, begone, begone! go, go!- That I took | Ludy Wish. What, then, I have been your profrom washing of old gauze, and weaving of dead perty, have I? I have been convenient to you, it hair, with a bleak blue nose, over a chaffing-dish seems--while you were catering for Mirabell, [ of starved embers, and dining behind a traverse have been broker for you! What, have you made rag, in a shop no bigger than a birdcage,-go, go! a passive bawd of me? This exceeds all precestarve again, do, do.
dent; I am brought to fine uses, to become a Foi. Dear madam, I'll beg pardon on my botcher of second-hand marriages between Abiknees.
gails and Andrews! I'll couple you. Yes, I'll Lady Wish. Away! out, out! go, set up for baste you together, you and your Philander. I'll yourself agaiire-do, drive a trade, do, with your Duke's-Place you, as I'in a person. Your turtle three-pennyworth of small ware, flaunting upon | is in custody already: you shall coo in the same a pack-thread, under a brandy-seller's bulk, or cage, if there be a constable or warrant in the against a dead wall by a ballad-monger. Go, I parish.
[Erit. hang out an old frisoneer-gorget, with a yard of Foi. () that ever I was born ! O that I was ever yellow Colberteen, again; do; an old gnawed married !-a bride! ay, I shall be a Bridewell mask, two rows of pins, and a child's fiddle; a bride, oh! glass necklace, with the beads broken, and a quilted night-cap with one ear. Go, go, drive a
Enter MRS FAINALL." trade. These were your commodities, you treacherous trull! this was the merchandise you! Mrs Fain. Poor Foible, what's the matter? dealt in, when I took you into my house, placed Foi. O madam, my lady's gone tor a constable! you next myself, and made you governante of I shall be had to a justice, and put to Bridewell my whole family. You have forgot this, have to beat hemp; poor Waitwell's gone to prison you, now you have feathered your nest?
already. Foi. No, no, dear madam! Do but hear me; Mrs Fain. Have a good heart, Foible; Mirahave but a moment's patience-I'll confess all. bell's gone to give security for him. This is all Mr Mirabell seduced me; I am not the first, that Marwood's and my husband's doing. he has wheedled with his dissembling tongue; Foi. Yes, yes, I know it, madam; she was in your ladyship's own wisdom has been deluded by my lady's closet, and overheard all that you said him; then, how should I, a poor ignorant, de to me before dinner. She sent the letter to iny fend myself? 0, madam ! if you knew but what lady; and that missing effect, Mr Fajnall laid he promised me; and how he assured me your this plot to arrest Waitwell, when he pretended ladyship should come to no damage-Or else the to go for the papers; and, in the mean time, Mrs wealth of the Indies should not have bribed me Marwood declared all to my lady. to conspire against so good, so sweet, so kind a Mrs Fain. Was there no mention made of lady as you have been to me.
me in the letter? My mother does not Lady Wish. No damage! What! to betray suspect my being in the confederacy? I fancy me, and marry me to a cast serving-man! to Marwond has not told her, though she has told make me a receptacle, an hospital for a decayed my husband. pimp! No damage! O thou frontless impudence, Foi. Yes, madam; but my lady did not see more than a big-bellied actress !
that part : we stitled the letter before she read
so far. Has that mischievous devil told Mr and now, you are become an intercessor with my Fainall of your ladyship then ?
son-in-law, to save the honour of my house, and Mirs Fain. Ay, all's out; my affair with Mira- compound for the frailties of my daughter. bell, every thing discovered. This is the last day Well, friend, you are enough to reconcile me to of our living together, that's my comfort. the bad world, or else I would retire to deserts
Foi. Indeed, madam! and so 'tis a comfort, and solitudes, and feed harmless sheep by groves if you know all-he has been even with your and purling streams. Dear Marwood, let us ladyship; which I could have told you long leave the world, and retire by ourselves, and be enough since; but I love to keep peace and shepherdesses. quietness by my good will: I had rather bring Mrs Mar. Let us first dispatch the affair in friends together, than set them at distance. But hand, madam. We shall have leisure to think Mrs Marwood and he are nearer related than of retirement afterwards. Here is one who is ever their parents thought for. !
concerned in the treaty. Mrs Fain. Say'st thou so, Foible? Canst thou Lady Wish. O daughter, daughter! is it possiprove this?
ble thou shouldst be my child, bone of my bone, Foi. I can take my oath of it, madam ; so can and flesh of my flesh, and, as I may say, anotherme, Mrs Mincing. We have had many a fair word and yet transgress the minute particle of severe from madam Marwood, to conceal something, that virtue? Is it possible you should lean aside to passed in our chamber one evening, when we iniquity, who have been cast in the direct mould were at Hyde Park;-and we were thought to of virtue? have gone a walking: but we went up una- Mrs Fain. I don't understand your ladyship. wares,— though we were sworn to secrecy, Lady Wish. Not understand! why, have you too; madam Marwood took a book, and swore us not been naught? have you not been sophisticat upon it: but it was but a book of poems.-So ed? Not understand! here I am ruined to comlong as it was not a bible-oath, we may break it pound for your caprices, and your cuckoldoms. with a safe conscience.
I must part with my plate and my jewels, and Mrs Fain. This discovery is the most oppor- ruin my niece, and all little enoughtune thing I could wish-Now, Mincing!
Mrs Fain. I am wronged and abused, and so
are you. 'Tis a false accusation, as false as hell ! Enter Mincing.
as false as your friend there, ay, or your friend's
friend, my false husband ! Min. My lady would speak with Mrs Foible. Mrs Mar. My friend! Mrs Fainall? your mem. Mr Mirabell is with her; he has set your husband my friend! what do you mean? spouse at liberty, Mrs Foible, and would have Mrs Fain. I know what I mean, madam, axd you hide yourself in my lady's closet, till my old so do you : and so shall all the world at a time lady's anger is abated. O, my old lady is in a convenient. perilous passion, at something Mr Fainall has / Mrs Mar. I am sorry to see you so passionsaid; he swears, and my old lady cries. There's ate, madam. More temper would look more a fearful hurricane, I vow. He says, mem, how like innocence. But I have done. I am sorry that he'll have my lady's fortune made over to my zeal to serve your ladyship and family should him, or he'll be divorced.
admit of misconstruction, or make me liable to Mrs Fain. Does your lady or Mirabell know affronts. You will pardon me, madam, if I medthat!
dle no more with an affair, in which I am not Min. Yes, mem, they have sent me to see if personally concerned, Sir Wilfull be sober, and to bring him to them. Lady Wish. O dear friend, I am so ashamed My lady is resolved to have him, I think, rather that you should meet with such returns you than lose such a vast sum as six thousand ought to ask pardon on your knees, ungrateful pounds. O, come Mrs Foible; I hear my old creature ! she deserves more from you, than all lady.
your life can accomplish- don't leave me desMrs Fain. Foible, you must tell Mincing, that titute in this perplexity !no, stick to me, my she must prepare to vouch when I call her. good genius! Foi. Yes, yes, madam.
Mrs Fain. I tell you, madam, you're abused Min. O, yes, mem, I'll vouch any thing for Stick to you? ay, like a leech, to suck your best your ladyship's service, be what it will.
bloodshe'll drop off, when she's full. Madam, [E.reunt FOIBLE and MINCING. you shan't pawn a bodkin, nor part with a brass Enter LADY WISHFort and Mrs MARWOOD.
counter, in composition for me. I defy them all.
Let them prove their aspersions : I know my own Lady Wish, O my dear friend, how can I enu- innocence, and dare stand a trial. merate the benefits that I have received from
Erit. your goodness! To you, I owe the timely dis- Lady Wish. Why, if she should be innocent, covery of the false vows of Mirabell; to you, I if she should be wronged after all, ha! I don't owe the detection of the impostor sir Rowland; know what to think--and, I promise you, her education has been very unexceptionable— I may say it: for I chiefly made it my own care to ini
Enter FAINALL. tiate her very infancy in the rudiments of virtue, Lady Wish. Ay, ay, I do not doubt it, dear and to impress upon her tender years a young Marwood: no, no, I do not doubt it. odium and aversion to the very sight of men Fain. Well, madam, I have suffered myself to - ay, friend, she would ha' shrieked, if she be overcome by the importunity of this lady, your had bat seen a man, till she was in her teens. friend; and am content you shall enjoy your As I'm a person, 'tis true-She was never suffered own proper estate during life; on condition you to play with a male child, though but in coats; oblige yourself never to marry, under such penay, her very babies were of the feminine gender nalty as I think convenient.
-0, she never looked a man in the face, but Lady Wish. Never to marry ! her own father, or the chaplain, and him we Fain. No more sir Rowlands----the next immade a shift to put upon her for a woman, by posture may not be so timely detected. the help of his long garments and his sleek face, Mrs Mar. That condition, I dare answer, my all she was going in her fifteen. O dear friend, lady will consent to, without difficulty; she has I can't believe it. No, no; as she says, let him already but too much experienced the perfidiousprove it, let hin prove it.
ness of men. Besides, inadam, when we retire Mrs Mar. Prove it, madam? what, and have to our pastoral solitude, we shall bid adieu to all your name prostituted in a public court; yours other tboughts. and your daughter's reputation worried at the Lady Wish. Ay, that's true. bar by a pack of bawling lawyers ! to be ushered Fain. Next, my wife shall settle on me the rein with an O-yes of scandal; and have your case mainder of her fortune, not made over already; opened by an old fumbling letcher in a coif like and, for her maintenance, depend entirely on iny a man-midwife, to bring your daughter's infamy discretion. to light; to be a theme for legal punsters, and Lady Wish. This is most inhumanly savage ; quibblers by the statute; and become a jest, exceeding the barbarity of a Muscovite husband. against a rule of court, where there is no prece- Fain. I learned it from his Czarish majesty's dent for a jest in any record, not even in Dooms- retinue, in a winter evening's conference over day-book; to discompose the gravity of the brandy and pepper, amongst other secrets of mabench, and provoke naughty interrogatories in trimony and policy, as they are at present pracmore naughty law Latin ; while the good judge, tised in the northern hemisphere. But this must tickled with the proceeding, simpers under a be agreed unto, and that positively. Lastly, I grey beard, and fidgets off and on his cushion, will be endowed, in right of my wife, with that as if he had swallowed cantharides, or sat upon six thousand pounds, which is the moiety of Mrs cow-itch!
Millamant's fortune in your possesion; and which Lady Wish. O, 'tis very hard !
she has forfeited (as will appear by the last-will Mrs Mar. And then to have my young revel- and testament of your deceased husband, sir lers of the Temple take notes, like 'prentices at Jonathan Wishfort), by her disobedience in cona conventicle; and after talk it over again in tracting herself against your consent or knowcommons, or before drawers in an eating-house! ledge, and by refusing the offered match with Lady Wish. Worse and worse.
Sir Wilfull Witwould, which you, like a careful Mrs Mar. Nay, this is nothing; if it would aunt, had provided for her. end here, 'twere well. But it must, after this, be Lady Wish. My nephew was non compos; and consigned by the short-hand writers to the pub-could not make his addresses. lic press; and from thence be transferred to the Fain. I come to make demands—I'll hear no hands, nay, into the throats and lungs of hawkers, objections. with voices more licentious than the loud foun- Lady Wish. You will grant me time to consider-man's; and this you must hear till you are der? stunned; nay, you must hear nothing else for Fain. Yes, while the instrument is drawing, some days.
to which you must set your hand till more suffiLady Wish. O, 'tis insupportable! No, no, cient deeds can be perfected, which I will take care dear friend, make it up, make it up; ay, ay, I'll shall be done with all possible speed. In the compound. I'll give up all, myself and my all, mean while, I will go for the said instrument, and my niece and her all—any thing, every thing for till my return, you may balance this matter in composition.
your own discretion.
(Exit. Mrs Mar. Nay, madam, I advise nothing; Il Lady Wish. This insolence is beyond all preonly lay before you, as a friend, the inconve- cedent, all parallel; must I be subject to this niences which, perhaps, you have overseen. merciless villain? Here comes Mr Fainall; if he will be satisfied Mrs Mar. 'Tis severe, indeed, madam, that to huddle up all in silence, I shall be glad. You you should smart for your daughter's failings. inust think I would rather congratulate than con- Lady Wish. 'Twas against my consent, that dole with you.
she married this barbarian; but she would have
him, though her year was not out-ah! her first Mrs Mar. This is precious fooling, if it would husband, my son Languish, would not have carried pass; but I'll know the bottom of it. it thus. Well, that was my choice, this is hers; Lady Wish. Oh, dear Marwood, you are not she is matched now, with a witness—I shall be going. mad, dear friend; is there no comfort for me? Mrs Mar. Not far, madam; I'll return imMust I live to be confiscated at this rebel-rate? mediately. Here come two more of my Egyptian plagues,
[Exit Mrs MARWOOD. too.
Enter MIRABELL. Enter MILLAMANT and SiR WILFULL.
Sir Wil. Look up, man, I'll stand by you; Sir Wil. Aunt, your servant.
'sbud, an' she do frown-she can't kill you; beLady Wish. Out, caterpillar! call not me sides—harkee, she dare not frown desperately, aunt; I know thee not.
because her face is none of her own; 'sheart, an' Sir Wil. I confess I have been a little in dis- she should, her forehead would wrinkle like the guise, as they say— 'Sheart! and I'm sor- coat of a cream-cheese ; but mum for that, fel
What would you have? I hope I low-traveller. committed no offence, aunt--and, if I did, Mira. If a deep sense of the many injuries I I am willing to make satisfaction; and what have offered to so good a lady, with a sincere recan a man say fairer? If I have broke any thing, morse, and a hearty contrition, can but obtain I'll pay for't, an' it cost a pound. And so let the least glance of compassion, I am too happy. tiat content for what's past, and make no more Ah, mnadam! there was a time—but let it be forwords. For what's to come, to pleasure you, I'm gotten-I confess I have deservedly forfeited the willing to marry my cousin. So, pray, let's high place, I once held, of sighing at your feet; all be friends; she and I are agreed upon the nay, kill me not, by turning from me in disdain matter before a witness.
I come not to plead for favour; nay, not for parLady Wish. How's this, dear niece? have I don; I ain a supplicant only for pity—I am goany comfort ? can this be true?
ing where I never shall behold you more. Mill. I am content to be a sacrifice to your Sir Wil. How, fellow-traveller! you shall go repose, madam; and, to convince you that I had by yourself, then. no hand in the plot, as you were misinformed, I Mira. Let me be pitied first: and afterwards have laid my commands on Mirabell to come in forgotten-I ask no more. person, and be a witness, that I give my hand to Sir Wil. By'r lady, a very reasonable request, this flower of knighthood; and, for the contract and will cost you nothing, aunt. Come, come, that passed between Mirabell and me, I have forgive and forget, aunt; why, you must, an' you obliged him to make a resignation of it in your are a Christian. ladyship’s presence ;-he is without, and waits Mira. Consider, madam, in reality, you could your leave for admittance.
not receive much prejudice; it was an innocent Lady Wish. Well, I'll swear I am soinething device; though, I confess, it had a face of guiltirevived at this testimony of your obedience; but ness-it was at most an artifice, which love conI cannot admit that traitor—I fear I cannot for- trived—and errors, which love produces, have tify myself to support his appearance. He is as ever been accounted venial. At least think it is terrible to me as a Gorgon; if I see him, I fear punishment enough, that I have lost what, in my I shall turn to stone, and petrify incessantly. heart, I hold most dear; that to your cruel indig
Mill. If you disoblige him, he may resent nation I have offered up this beauty, and with your refusal, and insist upon the contract still. her my peace and quiet; nay, all my hopes of Then 'tis the last time he will be offensive to future counfort. you.
Sir Wil. An' he does not move me, would I Lady Wish. Are you sure it will be the last may never be o' the quorum! An' it were not time ? if I were sure of that shall I never see as good a deed as to drink, to give her to him him again?
again, I would I might never take shipping !Mill. Sir Wilfull, you and he are to travel to- Aunt, if you don't forgive quickly, I shall melt, I gether, are you not?
can tell you that. My contract went no farther Sir Wil." 'Sheart, the gentleman's a civil gen-than a little mouth-glue, and that's hardly dry; tleman; aunt, let him come in; why, we are one doleful sigh more from my fellow-traveller, sworn brothers, and fellow-travellers. We are and 'tis dissolved. to be Pylades and Orestes, he and I– he is to be Lady Wish. Well, nephew, upon your account my interpreter in foreign parts. He has been -ah! he has a false, insinuating tongue. Well, over-seas once already; and, with proviso that I sir, I will stifle my just resentment, at my nemarry my cousin, will cross them once again, phew's request-I will endeavour what I can to only to bear me company. 'Sheart, I'll call him forget---but, on proviso, that you resign the conin-an' I set on't once, he shall come in; and sce tract with my niece immediately. who'll hinder him. [Goes to the door, and hems. Mira. It is in writing, and with papers of