图书图片
PDF
ePub

her hand to her mouth, from her mouth to her heart, and so conclude in her bed, categorematice. [Exit,

Y. Mir. Now the game begins, and my fool is entered.But here comes one to spoil my sport; now shall I be teased to death with this old fashioned contract ! I should love her too, if I might do it my own way, but she'll do nothing without witness, forsooth! I wonder women can be so immodest !

Enter ORIANA. Well, madam, why d'ye follow me?

Oriana. Well, sir, why do you shun me? Y, Mir. 'Tis my humour, madam, and I'm naturally swayed by inclination.

Oriana. Have you forgot our contract, sir?

Y. Mir. All I remember of that contract is, that it was made some three years ago, and that's enough, in conscience, to forget the rest on't.

Oriana. 'Tis sufficient, sir, to recollect the passing of it; for in that circumstance, I presume, lies the force of the obligation.

Y. Mir. Obligations, madam, that are forced upon the will, are no tie upon the conscience: I was a slave to my passion when I passed the instrument, but the recovery of my freedom makes the contract void.

Oriana. Come, Mr Mirabel, these expressions I expected from the raillery of your humour, but I hope for very

different sentiments from your honour and generosity.

Y. Mir. Lookye, madam, as for my generosity, 'tis at your service, with all my heart: I'll keep you a coach and six horses, if you please, only permit me to keep my honour to myself. Consider, madam, you have no such thing among ye, and 'tis a main point of policy to keep no faith with reprobates-thou art a pretty little reprobatę, and so get thee about thy by. siness!

Oriana. Well, sir, even all this I will allow to the gaiety of your temper; your travels have improved your talent of talking, but they are not of force, I hope, to impair your morals.

Y. Mir. Morals! why, there 'tis again now!-Itell thee, child, there is not the least occasion for morals in any business between you and I. Don't you

know that, of all commerce in the world, there is no such cozenage and deceit, as in the traffic between man and woman? We study all our lives long how to put tricks upon one another.—No fowler lays abroad more nets for his game, nor a hunter for his

prey,
than

you do, to catch poor innocent men.-Why do you sit three or four hours at your toilet in a morning? only with a villainous design to make some poor fellow a fool before night. What d'ye sigh for? —What d’ye weep for? What d'ye pray for? Why, for a husband: That is, you implore Providence to assist you in the just and pious design of making the wisest of his creatures a fool, and the head of the creation a slave.

Oriana. Sir, I am proud of my power, and am resolved to use it.

Y. Mir, Hold, hold, madam, not so fast-As you have variety of vanities to make coxcombs of us; so we have vows, oaths, and protestations, of all sorts and sizes, to make fools of you—And this, in short, my dear creature, is our present condition. I have sworn and lied briskly to gain my ends of you; your ladyship has patched and painted violently to gain your ends of me; but, since we are both disappointed, let us make a drawn battle, and part clear on both sides.

Oriana. With all my heart, sir! Give me up my contract, and I'll never see your face again.

Y. Mir. Indeed, I won't, child !
Oriana. What, sir! neither do one nor t'other?

Y. Mir. No, you shall die a maid, unless you please to be otherwise upon my terms.

Oriana. What do you intend by this, sir?

Y. Mir. Why, to starve you into compliance;lookye, you shall never marry any man; and you had as good let me do you a kindness as a stranger.

Oriana. Sir, you're a
Y. Mir. What am I, ma'am ?
Oriana. A villain, sir.

Y. Mir. I'm glad on’t I never knew an honest fellow in my life, but was a villain upon these occasions. Han't you drawn yourself, now, into a very pretty dilemma? Ha! ha! ha! the poor lady has made a vow of virginity, when she thought of making a vow to the contrary. Was ever poor woman so chealed into chastity ?

Oriana. Sir, my fortune is equal to yours, my friends as powerful, and both shall be put to the test to do me justice.

Y. Mir. What! you'll force me to marry you, Oriana. Sir, the law shall.

Y. Mir. But the law can't force me to do any thing else, can it?

Oriana. Pshaw, I despise thee-Monster!

Y. Mir. Kiss and be friends, then-Don'tcry, child, and you shall have your sugar plumb-Come, madam, d'ye think I could be so unreasonable as to make you fast all your life long! No, I did but jest, you shall have your liberty-here, take your contract, and give me mine.

Oriana. No, I won't.
Y. Mir. Eh! What, is the girl a fool?

Oriana. No, sir, you shall find me cunning enough to do myself justice; and since I must not depend upon your love, I'll be revenged, and force you to marry me out of spite.

Y. Mir. Then I'll beat thee out of spite, and make a most confounded husband !

will ye?

Oriana. 0, sir, I shall match ye! A good husband makes a good wife at any time. Y, Mir. I'll rattle down

your

china about your ears. Oriana. And I'll rattle about the city to run you in debt for more.

Y. Mir. I'll tear the furbelow off your clothes, and when you swoon for vexation, you shan't have a penny to buy a bottle of hartshorn.

Oriana. And you, sir, shall have hartshorn in abundance.

Y. Mir. I'll keep as many mistresses as I have coach horses.

Oriana. And I'll keep as many gallants as you have

grooms. Y. Mir. But, sweet madam, there is such a thing as a divorce!

Oriana. But, sweet sir, there is such a thing as alimony! so divorce and

[Erit. Y. Mir. Ay, that separate maintenance is the devil—there's their refuge!--O my conscience, one would take cuckoldom for a meritorious action, because the women are so handsomely rewarded for it.

on,

spare not.

[Erit.

Enter DURETETE and Petit.
Dur. And she's mighty peevish, you say?

Petit. O sir, she has a tongue as long as my leg, and talks so crabbedly, you would think she always spoke Welsh.

Dur. That's an odd language, methinks, for her philosophy,

Petit. But sometimes she will sit you half a day without speaking a word, and talk oracles all the while by the wrinkles of her forehead, and the motions of her eyebrows.

Dur. Nay, I shall match her in philosophical ogles, "faith!--that's

my

talent: I can talk best, you must know, when I say nothing.

D

Petit. But d'ye ever laugh, sir?
Dur. Laugh? Won't she endure laughing?

Petit. Why, she's a critic, sir; she hates a jest, for fear it should please her; and nothing keeps her in humour, but what gives her the spleen.-And then, for logic, and all that, you know

Dur. Ay, ay, I'm prepared; I have been practising hard words and no sense this hour, to entertain her.

Petit. Then place yourself behind this screen, that you may have a view of her behaviour before you begin.

Dur. I long to engage her, lest I should forget my lesson. Petit. Here she comes, sir-I must fly. [Erit Petit, and DURETETE stands peeping behind the Curtain.

Enter BISARRE and Maid. Bis. [With a Book.] Pshaw! hang books! they sour our temper, spoil our eyes, and ruin our complexions.

[Throws away the Book, Dur. Eh? the devil such a word there is in all Aristotle!

Bis. Come, wench, let's be free-call in the fiddle, there's nobody near us.

Dur. 'Would to the Lord there was not !

Bis. Here, friend, a minuet-[Music.] Quicker time-ha-'would we had a man or two!

Dur. [Stealing away.) You shall have the devil sooner, my dear, dancing philosopher ! Bis. Uds

my

life!-Here's one!

[Runs to DURETETE, and hales him back, Dur. Is all my learned preparation come to this?

Bis. Come, sir, don't be ashamed; that's my good boy-you're very welcome, we wanted such a onem Come, strike up-[Dance.) I know you dance well, sir, you're finely shaped for't-Come, come, sir ; quick, quick! you miss the time else.

« 上一页继续 »