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before the marriage; and that's my business with your maTM


Sharp. The devil it is!


Kit. She'll not have it public, she designs to invite only eight or ten couple of friends.

Sharp. No more?

Killy. No more and she ordered me to desire your master not to make a great entertainment.

Sharp. Oh, never fear

Kil. Ten or a dozen little nice things, with some fruit, I believe, will be enough in all conscience. Sharp. Oh, curse your conscience!

[Aside. Kit. And what do you think I have done of my own head?

Sharp. What?

Kit. I have invited all my lord Stately's servants to come and see you, and have a dance in the kitchen; won't your master be surpriz'd?

Sharp. Much so indeed!

Kil. Well, be quick and find out your master, and make what haste you can with your preparations: you have no time to lose.-Prithee, Sharp, what's the matter with you? I have not seen you for some time, and you seem to look

a little thin.

Sharp. Oh my unfortunate face! [Aside.] I'm in pure good health, thank you, Mrs Kitty; and I'll assure you, have a very good stomach, never better in my life, and I an as full of vigour, hussy! [Offers to kiss her.

Kit. What, with that face! well, bye, byc, [going] oh, Sharp, what ill-looking fellows are those, were standing about your door when I came in? They want your master too, I suppose.

Sbarp. Hum! Yes, they are waiting for him.They are some of his tenants out of the country that want ty pay him some money.

Kit. Tenants! what, do you let his tenants stand in the street?

Sharp. They chuse it; as they seldom come to town they are willing to see as much of it as they can, when they do; they are raw, ignorant, honest people. Kit. Well, I must run home, farewel! -But do you hear? Get something substantial for us in the kitchen a ham, a turkey, or what you will-We'll be very merry;

and be sure to remove the tables and chairs away there too,
that we may have room to dance; I can't bear to be con-
fined in my French dances; tal, tal, tal, [dancing.] Well,
adieu! Without any compliment, I shall die if I don't see
you soon.
[Exit Kitty.
Sharp. And without any compliment, I pray heaven
you may!


[They look for some time sorrowful at each other.] Gayl. Oh, Sharp!

Sharp. Oh, master!

Gayl. We are certainly undone!

Sharp. That's no news to me:

Gayl. Eight or ten couple of dancers

-ten or a dozen

little nice dishes, with some fruit-my lord Stately's servant's, ham and turkey!

Sharp. Say no more; the very sound creates an appetite: and I am sure of late I have had no occasion for whetters and provocatives.

Gayl. Curs'd misfortune! What can we do?

Sharp. Hang ourselves; 1 see no other remedy; except you have a receipt to give a ball and a supper without meat or music.

Gayl. Melissa has certainly heard of my bad circumstances, and has invented this scheme to distress me, and break offthe match.

Sharp. I don't believe it, Sir: begging your pardon. Gayl. No, why did her maid then make so strick an enquiry into my fortune and affairs?

Sharp. For two very substantial reasons; the first to satisfy a curiosity, natural to her as a woman; the second, to have the pleasure of my conversation, very natural to her as a woman of taste and understanding.

Gayl. Prithee be more serious: is not our All at stake? Sharp. Yes, Sir: and yet that All of ours is of so little consequence, that a man, with a very small share of philosophy may part from it without much pain or uneasiness. However, Sir, I'll convince you in half an hour, that Mrs Melissa knows nothing of your circumstances, and I'll tell you what too, Sir, she shan't be here to-night, and yet you shall marry her to-morrow morning. Gayl..How, how, dear Sharp?



Sharp. 'Tis here, here, Sir! warm, warm, and delay will cool it; therefore I'll away to her, and do you be a merry as love and poverty will permit you.

Would you succeed, a faithful friend depute,
Whose bead can plan, and front can execute.

I am the man, and I hope you neither dispute my friendship or qualification.

Gayl. Indeed, I don't; prithee be gone.
Sharp, I fly.

SCENE, Melissa's Lodgings.



Mel. You surprise me, Kitty; the master not at home! the man in confusion! no furniture in the house! and illlooking fellows about the doors! 'tis all a riddle.

Kit. But very easy to be explain'd.

Mel. Prithee explain it then, nor keep me longer in suspence.

Kit. The affair is this, madam; Mr Gayless is over head and ears in debt; you are over head and ears in love; you'll marry him to-morrow; the next day, your whole fortune goes to his creditors, and you and your children are to live comfortable upon the remainder.

-You are very

Mel, I cannot think him base. Kit. But I know they are all baseyoung, and very ignorant of the sex; I am young too, but have more experience: you never was in love before; I have been in love with an hundred, and try'd 'em all; and know 'em to be a parcel of barbarous, perjur'd, deluding, bewitching devils,

Mel. The low wretches you have had to do with, may answer the character you give 'em ; but Mr Gayless Kit. Is a man, madam.

Mel. I hope so, Kitty, or I would have nothing to do with him.

Kit. With all my heartI have given you my sentiments upon the occasion, and shall leave you to your own inclinations.

Mel, Oh, madam, I am much obliged to you for your


great coneescension, ha, ha, ha! however, I have so great a regard for your opinion, that had I certain proofs of his vi lainy.

Kit. Of his poverty you may have a hundred, I am sure I have had none to the contrary.

Mel. Oh, there the shoe pinches.

[Aside. Kit. Nay, so far from giving me the usual perquisites of my place, he has not so much as kept me in temper with little endearing civilities; and one might reasonably expect when a man is deficient in one way, that he shou'd make it up in another. [Knocking without.

Mel. See who's at the door. [Exit Kitty.]—I must be cautious how I hearken too much to this girl: her bad opinion of Mr Gayless seems to arise from his disregard of


Enter SHARP and KITTY.

Kit. So, Sharp, have you found your master? will things be ready for the ball and entertainment?

Sharp. To your wishes, madam. I have just now bespoke the music and supper, and wait now for your ladyship's farther commands.

Mel. My compliments to your master, and let him know I and my company will be with him by six; we design to drink tea, and play at cards, before we dance.

Kit. So shall I and my company, Mr Sharp.
Sharp. Mighty well, madam!


Mel. Prithee, Sharp, what makes you come without your

coat? 'Tis too cool to go so airy, sure.

Kit. Mr Sharp, madam, is of a very hot constitution, ha, ha, ha!

Sharp. If it had been ever so cool I have had enough, to warm me since I came from home, I'm sure, but no matter for that. [Sigbing.

Mel. What d'ye mean? Sharp. Pray don't ask me, madam; I beseech you don't: let us change the subject.

Kit. Insist upon knowing it, madam-My curiosity must be satisfied, or, I shall burst.


Mel. I do insist upon knowing-On pain of my displea


tell me!

Sharp. If my master should know- I must not tell you, madam, indeed.


Mel. I promise you, upon my honour, I never shall. Sharp. But can your ladyship insure secrecy from that quarter?

Kit. Yes, Mr Jackanapes, for any thing you can say.
Mel. I engage for her.

Sharp. Why then, in short, madam, I cannot tell you.
Mel. Don't trifle with me.

Sharp. Then since you will have it, madam,—I lost my coat in defence of your reputation.

Mel. In defence of my reputation!

Sharp. I will assure you, madam, I've suffer'd very much in defence of it; which is more than I would have done for my own.

Mel. Prithee explain.

Sharp. In short, madam, you was seen about a month ago, to make a visit to my master alone.

Mel. Alone! my servant was with me.

Sharp. What, Mrs Kitty? so much the worse; for she was looked upon as my property; and I was brought in guilty, as well as you and my master.

Kit. What, your property, Jackanapes?

Mel. What is all this?

Sharp. Why, madam, as I came out but now, to make preparation for you and your company to-night; Mrs Pryabout, the attorney's wife at next door, calls to me; harkee fellow! says she, do you and your modest master know that my husband shall indite your house, at the next parish meeting, for a nusauce?

Mel. A nusance!
Sharp. I said so.

-A nusance! I believe none in the neighbourhood live with more decency and regularity than I and my master, as is really the case -Decency and regularity, cries she, with a sneer; -why, sirrah, does not my window look into your master's bed-chamber? and did not he bring in a certain lady, such a day? describing you, madam. And did not I see..

Mel. See! O scandalous! What?
Sharp. Modesty requires my silence.
Mel. Did not you contradict her?

Sharp. Contradict her! Why, I told her I was sure she ly'd for zounds! said I, for I could not help swearing, I am so well convinc'd of the lady's and my master's prudence

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