« 上一页继续 »
Inkle. My heels ! Here's pretty doctrine ! Do you think I travel merely for motion? What, would you have a man of business come abroad, scamper extravagantly here and there and everywhere, then return home, and have nothing to tell, but that he has been here and there and every where? 'Sdeath, sir, would you have me travel like a lord ?
Med. No, the Lord forbid !
Inkle. Travelling, uncle, was always intended for improvement; and improvement is an advantage; and advantage is profit, and profit is gain; which in the travelling translation of a trader, means, that you should gain every advantage of improving your profit. I have been comparing the land, here, with that of our own country. Med. And
you find it like a good deal of the land of our own country -cursedly encumbered with black-legs, I take it.
Inkle. And calculating how much it might be made to produce by the acre.
Med. You were ?
Inkle. Yes; I was proceeding algebraically upon the subject.
Inkle. I was thinking too, if so many natives could be caught, how much they might fetch at the West India markets.
Med. Now let me ask you a question or two, young cannibal-catcher, if you please.
Med. Ara't we bound for Barbadoes, partly to trade, but chiefly to carry home the daughter of the governor, Sir Christopher Curry, who has till now been under your father's care, in Threadneedle street, for polite English education?
Med. And isn't it determined, between the old folks, that you are to marry Narcissa as soon as we get there?
Inkle. A fixed thing. Med. Then what the devil do you do here, hunt. ing old hairy negroes, when we ought to be obliging a fine girl in the ship? Algebra, too! You'll have other things to think of when you are married, I promise you. A plodding fellow's head, in the hands of a young wife, like a boy's slate, after school, soon gets all its arithmetic wiped off: and then it appears in its true simple state,-dark, empty, and bound in wood, Master Inkle.
Inkle. Not in a match of this kind. Why, it's a table of interest from beginning to end, old Medium.
Med. Well, well, this is no time to talk. Who kpows but, instead of sailing to a wedding, we may get cut up, here, for a wedding dinner; tossed up for a dingy duke, perhaps, or stewed down for a black | baronet, or eat raw by an inky commoner?
Inkle. Why sure you ar'n't afraid ?
Med. Who, I afraid? Ha! ha! ha! No, not I! What the deuce should I be afraid of? Thank Heaven I have a clear conscience, and need not be afraid of any thing. A scoundrel might not be quite so easy on such an occasion ; but it's the part of an honest man not to behave like a scoundrel:-I never beha. ved like a scoundrel-for which reason I am an honest man, you know. But come-I hate to boast of my good qualities.
Inkle. Slow and sure, my good, virtuous Mr Medium! Our companions can be but half a mile before us : and, if we do but double their steps, we shall overtake 'em at one mile's end, by all the powers of arithmetic.
Med. Oh curse your arithmetic! (Exeunt.
Another part of the Forest. A ship at anchor in the
bay at a small distance.-Mouth of a cave. Enter Sailors and MATE, as returning from foraging.
Mate. Come, come, bear a hand, my lads. Tho'f the bay is just under our bowsprits, it will take a damned deal of tripping to come at it—there's hardly any steering clear of the rocks here. But do we muster all hands? All right, think ye?
1st Sail. All to a man -besides yourself and a monkey—the three land-lubbers, that edged away in the morning, go for nothing, you know--they're all dead, mayhap, by this.
Mate. Dead! you be-Why they're friends of the captain; and if not brought safe aboard to night, you may all chance to have a salt eel for your supperthat's all. Moreover the young plodding spark, he with the grave, foul-weather face, there, is to man the tight little frigate, Miss Narcissa—what d'ye call her that is bound with us for Barbadoes. Rot'em for not keeping under weigh, I say! But come, let's see if a song will bring 'em to. Let's have a full chorus to the good merchant ship, the Achilles, that's wrote. by our captain.
The Achilles, though christen'd, good ship, 'tis surmised, From that old man of war, great Achilles, so prized, Was he, like our vessel, pray, fairly baptized ?
Ti tol lol, 8cm
Poets sung that Achilles--if, now, they've an itch
Ti tol lol, 8c
What tho' but a merchant ship-sure our supplies : Now
your men of war's gain in a lottery lies, And how blank they all look, when they can't get a prize!
Ti tol lol, Sc.
What are all their fine names? when no rhino's behind, The Intrepid, and Lion, look sheepish you'll find ; Whilst, alas! the poor Æolus can't raise the wind !
Ti tol lol, &c.
Then the Thunderer's dumb ; out of tune the Orpheus ;
Ti tol lol, &c. 1st Sail. Avast! look a-head there.
Here they come, chased by a fleet of black devils.
Midsh. And the devil a fire have I to give them. We ha'n't a grain of powder left. What must we do, lads?
2d Sail. Do? Sheer off to be sure.
Midsh. (Reluctantly.) Well, if I must, I must. (Going to the other side, and halloing to IxKLE, &c.] Yolo, lubbers! crowd all the sail you can, d'ye mind me?
[Exeunt SAILORS. Enter Medium, running across the stage, as pursued
by the Blacks. Med. Nephew ! Trudge! run-scamper! Scourfly! Zounds, what harm did I ever do to be hunted to death by a pack of bloodhounds? Why, nephew ! Oh! confound your long sums in arithmetic! I'll take care of myself; and if we must have any arithmetic, dot and carry one for my money. [Runs off.
Enter INKLE and TRUDGE, hastily. Trudge. Oh! that ever I was born, to leave pen, ink, and powder for this !
Inkle. Trudge, how far are the sailors before us ?
Inkle. Blockhead, come here. The savages are close upon us ; we shall scarce be able to recover our party. Get behind this tuft of trees with me; they'll pass us, and we may then recover our ship with safety.
Trudge. [Going behind.1 Oh! Threadneedle-street, Thread
Trudge. (Hiding.)–Needle-street. [They hide behind trees. Natives cross. After a long pause, INKLE looks from the trees.]
look and see? Inkle. (Looking round.] So, all is safe at last. [Coming forward.] Nothing like policy in these cases; but you'd have run on like a booby! A tree, I fancy, you'll find, in future, the best resource in a hot pursuit.
Trudge. Oh, charming! It's a retreat for a king, sir: Mr Medium, however, has not got up in it; your uncle, sir, has run on like a booby; and has got up with our party by this time, I take it; who are now most likely at the shore. But what are we to do next, sir?
Inkle. Reconnoitre a little, and then proceed.
Trudge. Then pray, sir, proceed to reconnoitre; for the sooner the better.
Inkle. Then look out, d'ye hear? and tell me if you discover any danger. Trudge. Y
Trudge. Eh! Oh lord !--Clear! (Rubbing his eyes.] Oh dear! oh dear! the coast will soon be clear enough now, I promise youThe ship is under sail, sir!
Inkle. Confusion ! my property carried off in the vessel.