Heart. What case! What business! Confound your impertinence : out with it.

Free. Why, then suppose your wife should

Heart. Should what? I tread upon a razor's edgeShould what?

Free. Should like this landlord.
Heart. Like him!

Free. Ay, love him, love him to distraction, doat upon him; nay, more, be as willing to pay him down this custom in kind as he is to receive it.

Heart. Furies ! damnation! What do you mean ?-[To his wife.] Madam, what does all this tend to?

Free. [ Aside. ] So, so: his blood circulates finely! -Faith, I begin to pity him. What a confounded hurry his spirits are in !

Flora. Why, 'tis even so, husband. This landlord I am obliged to love, obliged to it by all the ties of faith, honour, and gratitude.

Heart. Oh, very well, very well! [Walks about in disorder. ] Tell me, thou evil spirit in an angel's form

Wherefore was I chosen out to be thus abused,

[ocr errors]

Free. Because you are a man of fortune, Sir; be. cause she hopes in a little time to break your heart, and enjoy the full third of two thousand pounds a year.

Heart. Pray, Madam, favour me-You see I bear this affair very calmly—Pray, tell me, tho' I suppose 'tis no unreasonable request-what particular obliga. tions you have to this landlord ?

Flora. Such, Sir, of such a nature-you force me to repeat them-as nothing can dissolve. I love him passionately, and I believe his affection for me is mutual; nay, I hope it will endure to the last moment of my life.

Heart. That it shall ; for I'll put an end to it in. stantly

[Offers to draw, Freehold holds him. Free. Hold, hold! Fie, Don Orlando ! draw upon å woman. Look ye, Sir, erect your front, hold up your head, and learn to bear your fortune like a husband. I assure you, Sir, your lady has been at St. James's, she has, Sir; and she plays at piquet, ombre, basset; yes, and has her assemblies, tea-tables, visiting-days; together with a polite taste of every incidental pleasure thereunto belonging.

Heart. [Singing.] Tol, lol, tol !--Pray, Me'em, what's o'clock? I have been married but four hours, and I am breeding already. My wife, it seems, has antedated my commission. Get my horses ready. I'll ride post to Japan, but I'll be rid of this affair. But first I'll cut this toll-taking rascal's throat. A dog! Who shall drink his skim-milk? -" In what a “ dream have I been ? I'd give all my estate it were « one. Death! let me see him" What's his name? Where is he? Who is this landlord ?

Flora. Let your passion abate a little : let it ebb a while : recall your reason, and I'll tell you-know

demesne and me: this morning I was mistress of this house, these servants, and all the dirty acres within three miles round us; now they are yours, you are their master now.

Free. What say you, Sir Shall the landlord have his due, or no ?

Heart. My heart, my tongue, my eyes, my soul o'erflow with joy, what shall I do to pay this unex. ampled goodness ?

Flora. I was resolv'd, fully resolv'd, never to venture on a husband, till I was certainly convinc'd my person, and not my fortune, was his aim; that proof I think you have most generously given me, and I feel myself transported with joy, when I think I am capable of making you this grateful return.--I hope you will forgive the little deceits I have used to procure these assurances.

Heart. Give me thy hand, thy lips, thy heart; there let me dwell for ever, I cannot be more happy,

Flora. I thought our jest grew a little too severe at last. It gave me pain to see him suffer so for an imaginary evil.

Free. Oh, it was a proof of his passion ; 'tis good to give nature a fillip now and then, 'tis like a race in a frosty morning, it sets the blood upon the flow most deliciously-Bụt see your friend in bonds, Mr. Modely.

Modely brought in, guarded by two Country Fellows, a

Constable, &c.
Heart. What! in captivity, George!
Const. An' it please your worship, we have catch'd

a vagrom man here, who has committed a murder as I may say, in neighbour Freehold's Five-Acres; and so, Sir, an' like you, we bring him hither to take his exhibition upon the said burglary afore Sir Jann.

Heart. Murder'd! Who has he murder'd ? | Const. Nen nen, I know nat.—The young fellow and he beliken ha' had some words abouten their , sweethearts, and so he shot 'en—That's aw.

Heart. I always told you, George, what these wild ways would bring you to, but you would still run riot upon every thing; what could you expect ?

Mode. Yes, faith, we have made a very pretty ex. pedition_One of us is marry'd, and t'other may be hang’d. My—comfort is, I shall be out of my pain first,

Flora. Oh, my dear, that barbarous man, it seems, has kill'd one of the prettiest youths that ever liv'd the promise of the finest gentleman. .

Mode. Hah! A very fine gentleman, truly. Hark-ye, friend, you that are so happy in your chains, don't insult T he wasps have been at those sweetmeats The little rascal bounc'd of favours from that very virtuous lady, your spouse and therefore I kill'd him.

Heart. That does not relate to me, my dear George ; her person was her own, you know, till within these few hours---Prythee don't mind these things now, but turn all thy thoughts on another world- Think on thy past life, and tremble.

Mode. A contented one, too.--Mighty good! I

don't doubt, as this was a gentleman's duel, I shall have gentleman's play for my life: keep my chamber a month or two, touch cold iron, and come out as free as liberty---While you, having beat your poor wings in vain against the bar of your conjugal cage, sit sullenly moulting the remainder of your feathers, and sicken to death o' the pip.

Free. I believe I shall secure that affair; I can prove premeditated malice ; I can prove the challenge

and you know very well I saw you shoot him be. fore his pistol was cock'd.

Mode. So---S0 N ay, then my business is done! --- Thou devil, what have I done to thee, that thou tormentest me thus - If I could come at thee, I'd pawn my credit for one sin more, and send thee down to the father of falsehood, with a lie in thy mouth.

Heart. Don't vex the poor man so.

Flora. Consider him, I beseech you, as a dying man.

Heart. True! All his time will be little enough; don't put him into a passion now.

Mode. Fools and cuckolds- Your pity is as contemptible as your scorn— Sir, Sir, why do you treat me thus?

Flora. Shall I send for Mr. Puzzletext? He will give you some wholesome, ghostly advice. Poor creature, how he looks !

Mode. Insulting devil !
Flora. He will shew you, in a clear light, the folly

« 上一頁繼續 »