« 上一頁繼續 »
Enter Lady RESTLESS and TATTLE.
Ludy R. Somewhat better, Tattle. Reach that chair. Tattle, tell me honestly, does that girl live with Lady Conquest?
Tat. She does, madam, upon my veracity.
Lady R. Very well! you will be obstinate, I see, but I shall know the truth presently. -- I shall have an answer from her ladyship, and then all will come
Tat. You will hear nothing, ma'am, but what I have told you already. .
Lady R. Tattle, Tattle, I took you up in the country, in hopes gratitude would make you my friend ; but you are as bad as the rest of them. Conceal all you know: it is of very little consequence. I now see through the whole affair. Though it is the picture of a man, yet I am not to be deceived : I understand it all. This is some former gallant: the creature gave this to Sir John, as a proof that she had no affection for any one but himself. What art he must have had to induce · her to this !-I have found him out at last.
Sir John. [Peeping in.) What does she say?
Lady R. I have seen enough to convince me what kind of man he is. The fate of us poor women is hard : we all wish for husbands, and they are the torment of our lives.
Tat. There is too much truth in what you say, ma'am.
Sir John. You join her, do you, Mrs. Iniquity?
Lady R. What a pity it is, Tattle, that poor women should be under severer restraints than the men are !
Sir John. You repine for want of freedom, do you?
Lady R. Cruel laws of wedlock! The tyrant husband may triumph in his infidelity. He may securely trample upon all laws of decency and order: it redounds to his
credit; gives him a fashionable air of vice, while a poor woman is obliged to submit to his cruelty. She remains tied to him for life, even though she has reason to entertain a mortal hatred for him.'
Sir John. Oh! very well argued, madam!
Lady R. What a pity it is, Tattle, that we cannot .change our husbands, as we do our ear-rings or our gloves !
Sir John. There is a woman of spirit!
Lady R. Tattle! will you own the truth to me about that girl?
Tat. I really have told you the truth, madam.
Lady R. You won't discover, I see: very well! you may go down stairs.
Tat. I assure your ladyship
Lady R. Would I had never seen my husband's face!
Sir John. I am even with you; I have as good wishes for you, I assure you.
Lady R. This picture here~Oh, the base man!
Lady R. This is really a handsome picture: what a charming countenance! it is perfumed, I fancy: the scent is agreeable.
Sir John. The jade! how eagerly she kisses it !
Lady R. Why had I not such a dear, dear man, instead of the brute, the monster
Sir John. Monster !-She does not mince the matter : plain downright English ! I must contain my rage, and steal upon her meditations-S0-50-80mm
Enter Sir John, on tiptoe.
Sir John. [Looking over her shoulder.] Oh! what a handsome dog she has chosen for herself!
Lady R. With you, I could be for ever happy! . Sir John. You could, could you?
[Snatches the picture. Lady R. [Screams out.] Mercy on me!-Oh! is it you, sir?
Sir John. Now, madam, now, false one, have I caught you?
Lady R. You are come home at last, I find, sir.
Sir John. My Lady Restless, my Lady Restless, what can you say for yourself now?
Lady R. What can I say for myself, Sir John?
Sir John. Of my shame!-'tis very true what she says: yes, madam, it will be an evidence of my shame; I feel that but too sensibly. But on your part
Lady R. You own it then, do you?
Sir John. Own it! I must own it, madam; though confusion cover me, I must own it: it is what you have deserved at my hands.
Lady R. I deserve it, Sir John! find excuses if you will. Cruel, cruel man :-- to make me this return at last. I cannot bear it. Oh! oh! (Cries.) Such black injustice!
Sir John. You may weep; but your tears are lost : they fall without effect. ' I now renounce you for ever, This picture will justify me to the wide world; it will show what a base woman you have been.
Lady R. What does the man mean?
Sir John. Had the original of this fallen to your lot, you could kiss the picture for ever. You can gloat upon it, madam, glue your very lips to it.
Lady R. Shallow artifice!
Lady R. This is all in vain, Sir John. :.:
Sir John. Had such a dear, dear man, fallen to your lot, instead of the brute, the monster-Am I a monster? I am, and you have made me so. The world shall know your infamy.
Lady R. Oh! brave it out, sir, brave it out to the last: harmless, innocent man! you have nothing to blush for, nothing to be ashamed of: you have no intrigues, no private amours abroad. I have not seen any thing, not I.
Sir John. Madam, I have seen, and I now see your paramour.
Lady R. That air of confidence will be of great use to you, sir. You have no convenient to meet you under my very window, to loll softly in your arms !
Sir John. Hey! how?
Lady R. Her arm thrown carelessly round your neck! Your hand tenderly applied to her cheek. . .
Sir John. 'Sdeath! that's unlucky-she will turn it against me.
[Aside. Lady R. You are in confusion, are you, sir? But why should you? You meant no harm-"You are safe with me, my dear"_" Will you step into my house, my love?”-Yes, sir, you would fain bring her into my very house.
Sir John. My Lady Restless, this evasion is mean and paltry.-.You beheld a lady in distress.;
Lady R. Oh, I know it, sir; and you, tender-hearted man, could caress her out of mere compassion; you could gaze wantonly out of charity ; from pure benevolence of disposition, you would convey her to some convenient dwelling. O, Sir John, Sir John! · Sir John. Madam, this well-acted passion
Lady R. Don't imagine she has escaped me, sir. '
Sir John. You may talk and rave, ma'am, but I will find, by means of this instrument here in my hand, who your darling is. I will go about it straight. Ungrateful, treacherous woman!
[Erit. · Lady R. Yes, go under that pretext, in pursuit of your licentious pleasures. This ever has been his scheme to cloke his wicked practices : abandoned man! to face me down too, after what my eyes so plainly beheld! I wish I could wring that secret out of Tattle. I'll step to my own room directly, and try by menaces, by wheedling, .by fair means, by foul means, by every means, to wrest it from her.
Scene 11.—The Park..
· Enter Sir John and Robert. Sir John. Come hither, Robert. Look at this picture. Rob. Yes, sir.
Sir John. Let me watch his countenance. Well, well! Dost thou know it, Robert ?
Rob. 'Tis a mighty handsome picture, sir. .
[Aside. Rob. The finest lady in the land need not desire a handsomer man, sir.
Sir John. How well he knows the purposes of it! Well, well! honest Robert, tell me ;-well-who is it?
Sir John. You know whose picture it is :-I know you do. Well ! well! who-who-who is it? :
Rob. Upon my word, sir, it is more than I can tell.
Sir John. Not know! I am convinced you do : so own the truth;—don't be a villain, don't. .
Rob. As I am an honest man, sir
Sir John. Be an honest man, then, and tell me. Did you never see such a smooth-faced, fiery-eyed, warmcomplexioned, taper young fellow, here about my house?
Rob. Never, sir.
Sir John. Not with my wife !--to drink chocolate of VOL. III.