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agree with me, I dare say; for the character suits with bis intended; and, faith, he will make but a modish husband, or he could not endure to see her flying about, like the queen-bee with the whole hive at her heels.
Lord G. You are too captious, brother! Gov. And you too placid, brother! If, like me, you had been toiling a third of your days to compass a fa. vourite design, and found it disappointed at the moment you thought it complete, what would even your serene lordship say and do !-Here have I promised myself a son in your's, -an heir in your's ;-instead of which
Lord G. His marriage with Miss Mortimer will not make him unworthy either title.
Gov. Never mention her name to me, I beg, my lord !—I hate all mode-mongers of either sex: the wife I would have given him, has beauty without knowing it, innocence without knowing it, because she knows nothing else ; and, to surprise you further, forty thousand pounds without knowing it—nay, to bring all your surprises together, is my daughter without knowing it.
Lord G. Your daughter: Why, have you married since my sister's death? your daughter by her, you lost before you went abroad.
Gov. Yes, but I shall find her again, I believe.--I know you will call this one of my odd whims, as usual; but we have all some ; witness this dainty project of your's; and so I will tell you the truth in spite of that project.–From the very birth of this girl, I saw her mother would spoil her, and, had she lived, proposed kidnapping miss in her infancy.
Lord G. Kidnap your own daughter!- Why, brother, I need only prove this to obtain a commission of lunacy, and shut you up for life.
Gov. Why, though my wife was your lordship's sister, I will venture to tell you she was plaguy fantastical, and contrived to torment me as much with her virtues, as others by their vices-Such a fuss about her delicacy, her sensibility, and her refinement, that I could neither look, move, nor speak, without offending one or the other; and execrated the inventor of the jargon every hour in the four-and-twenty: a jargon I resolved my girl should never learn; and heaven no sooner took her mother (heaven be prais’d for all things !) than I dispatched her draggle-tail'd French governess; made a bonfire of every book on education ; whipp'd miss into a post-chaise, under a pretence of placing her in a nunnery; instead of which, I journeyed into Wales, and left her in the care of a poor curate's wife, whose name was up as the best housewife in the whole coun. try; then return’d, with a solemn history of her death in the small-pox.
Lord G. Well, this is indeed astonishing ! an admirable tutoress truly for my niece !
Gov. Yes; but there's a better jest than that.
Goo. How do you think I contrived to make them obey my instructions? I saw they suspected I was some rich humorist, and was afraid they would, after all, make a little bit of a gentlewoman of her, for which reason, except the first year in advance, they never had a single shilling of my money. . · Lord G. This is almost incredible ! and so you left your only child to the charity of strangers ? . Gov. No, no, not so bad as that neither.-You remember my honest servant Hardy? After the poor fellow's leg was shot off in my tent, I promis'd him a maintenance; so, entrusting him with the secret, I or. der'd him to live in the neighbourhood, have an eye on the girl, and claim her if ill used.-Fine accounts I had from him, faith! The old parson and his wife, having no children, and not finding any one own her,
gave out she was their's, and doated on her; in short, she is the little wonder of the country ; tall as the palm-tree! with cheeks that might shame the drawingroom; and eyes, will dim the diamonds I have brought over to adorn them. This confounded gout has kept me in continual alarm, or else she should have spoke for berself.
Lord G. Why then does not Hardy bring her up to you?
Gov. Why for two very sufficient reasons:- In the first place, that identical parson paid him the last compliment, that is, buried him, a twelvemonth ago; and, in the second, they would hardly entrust her to any man but him who deliver'd her to them.-Here was a girl, my lord, to support your title, of which I dare swear you are as fond as ever: she would have brought you a race of true Britons; instead of which, from the painted dolls and unjointed macaronies of these days, we shall produce our own enemies, and have a race of Frenchmen born in England.
Lord G. I thank your intention, brother; but am far from wishing the chief accomplishments of Woodville's lady should be the making cream cheeses, goats' whey, and elder wine.
Gov. Let me tell your lordship, women were never better than when those were their chief accomplishments. But I may be ridiculous my own way, without being singular.- Harcourt shall have my girl, and my money too.-Cream cheeses, quotha ? No, no, making cream faces is an accomplishment which the belles of these days oftener excel in.
Lord G. I would not advise you to publish this opinion, Governor.
Goo. But where is this son of your's? Sure he has not totally forgot his old uncle?
Lord G. He will be here immediately.
Gov. Nay, I must e'en take an old man's fate, and follow his mistress without complaint.
Lord G. You have no reason for the reproach; this is not his hour for visiting Miss Mortimer.
Goo. Miss Mortimer !-Ha, ha, ha! why, do you think I took her for his mistress ? - What, I warrant, I can tell you news of your own family, though I have hardly been three days in it !-Woodville keeps a girl, and in great splendour !-nay, they tell me, that the unconscionable young rogue encroaches so far on the privileges of threescore, as to intend marrying the slut.
Lord G. You jest, surely?
Goo. There's no jest like a true one.-Ha, ha, ha! how foolish you look !—This is your innocent elegance this is the blessed effect of letting him live out of your own house! · Lord G. Pr'ythee reserve your raillery, sir, for some less interesting occasion ;-to have my views thus in a moment overturned !—Where does she live?
Gov. Ha, ha, ha !-Oh, the difference of those little syllables me and thee! Now you can guess what made me so peevish, I suppose ?--As to where miss lives, I have not heard; but somewhere near his lodgings.A devilish fine girl she is, by the by.Ah! I told you, twenty years ago, you would spoil this boy,entirely spoil him.
Lord G. Zounds! Governor, you have a temper Socrates himself could not have supported.--Is this a time for old sayings of twenty years ago ?--Finish dressing; -by that time your nephew will be here, and I shall have reflected on this matter.
Gov. With all my heart.--'Tis but a boyish frolic, and so good morning to you.-Here ; where's my tri. umvirate? Pompey, Anthony, Cæsar! [Exit.
Lord G. A boyish frolic, truly!-many a foolish fellow's life has been marked by such a boyish frolic !
-But her residence is the first object of my inquiry.Vane!
Enter Vane. Is not my son come ?
Vane. This moment, my lord ; and walks till the Governor is ready.
Lord G. Vane!- I have deserved you should be attached to me, and I hope you are.
Vane. My lord !- What the devil is he at? [Aside.
Lord G. This strange old Governor has alarmed me a good deal ;--you are more likely to know, whether with reason, than I can be. Have you heard any thing important of my son, lately?
Vane. Never, my lord.
Lord G. Not that he keeps a mistress ?-What does the fool smile at?
Vane. I did not think that any thing important, my lord.
Lord G. I do, sir—and am told a more important thing; that he even thinks of marrying her. Now, though I cannot credit this, I would choose to know what kind of creature she is. Could not you assume a clownish disguise, and, scraping an acquaintance with her people, learn something of her character and designs?
Vane. Doubtless, to oblige your Lordship, I could do such a thing.-But, if Mr. Woodville's sharp eyes (and love will render them still sharper) should discover me, I might chance to get a good drubbing in the character of a spy.
Lord G. Oh, it is very improbable he should suspect you :-at the worst, name your employer, and your bones are safe.-The office, perhaps, is not very agree. able, but I impose few such on you : execute it well, and you shall remember it with pleasure.-I will detain Woodville till you are ready; and, as I doubt not that