British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview
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imagine; unless she should tell me herself. Which

of the two it may have been, I will leave you 545
to consider; and when you have done thinking of that, think of me. Exit.

MIRA. I have something more. --. Gone! -- Think of you! To think of a whirlwind, though

'twere in a whirlwind, were a case of more 550
steady contemplation; a very tranquillity of mind and mansion. A fellow that lives in a windmill, has not a more whimsical dwelling than the heart of a man that is lodged in a woman. There is no point
of the compass to which they cannot turn, 555
and by which they are not turned, and by one as well as another; for motion, not method, is their occupation. To know this, and yet continue to be in love, is to be made wise from the dictates of reason,
and yet persevere to play the fool by the force 560
of instinct. Oh, here come my pair of turtles!1 -- What, billing so sweetly! Is not Valentine's Day over with you yet?

Enter WAITWELL and FOIBLE.

Sirrah Waitwell, why sure you think you were

married for your own recreation, and not for 565
my conveniency.

WAIT. Your pardon, sir. With submission, we have indeed been solacing in lawful delights; but still with an eye to business, sir. I have instructed

her as well as I could. If she can take your 570
directions as readily as my instructions, sir, your affairs are in a prosperous way.

MIRA. Give you joy, Mrs. Foible.

FOIB. O 'las, sir, I'm so ashamed -- I'm afraid

my lady has been in a thousand inquietudes 575
for me. But I protest, sir, I made as much haste as I could.

WAIT. That she did indeed, sir. It was my fault that she did not make more.

MIRA. That I believe. 580

FOIB. But I told my lady as you instructed me, sir. That I had a prospect of seeing Sir Rowland, your uncle; and that I would put her ladyship's picture in my pocket to show him; which I'll be sure to

say has made him so enamored of her beauty, 585
that he burns with impatience to lie at her ladyship's feet and worship the original.

MIRA. Excellent Foible! Matrimony has made you eloquent in love.

WAIT. I think she has profited, sir. I think 590
so.

FOIB. You have seen Madam Millamant, sir?

MIRA. Yes.

FOIB. I told her, sir, because I did not know that

you might find an opportunity; she had so 595
much company last night.

MIRA. Your diligence will merit more. In the meantime ----- (Gives money.)

FOIB. O dear sir, your humble servant.

WAIT. Spouse! 600

MIRA. Stand off, sir, not a penny. -- Go on and prosper, Foible. The lease shall be made good and the farm stocked, if we succeed.

FOIB. I don't question your generosity, sir: and

you need not doubt of success. If you have no 605
more commands, sir, I'll be gone; I'm sure my lady is at her toilet, and can't dress 'till I come. -- Oh dear, I'm sure that (looking out) was Mrs. Marwood that went by in a mask; if she has seen me with you I'm
sure she'll tell my lady. I'll make haste home 610
and prevent2 her. Your servant, sir. B'w'y, Waitwell. Exit FOIBLE.

WAIT. Sir Rowland, if you please. -- The jade's so pert upon her preferment she forgets herself.

MIRA. Come, sir, will you endeavor to for­ 615
get yourself -- and transform into Sir Rowland.

WAIT. Why, sir, it will be impossible I should remember myself -- married, knighted, and attended all in one day! 'Tis enough to make any

man forget himself. The difficulty will be 620
how to recover my acquaintance and familiarity with my former self; and fall from my transformation to a reformation into Waitwell. Nay, I shan't be quite the same Waitwell neither -- for now I re
member me, I am married, and can't be my 625
own man again.

Ay, there's the grief; that's the sad change of life; To lose my title, and yet keep my wife. Exeunt.


ACT III

SCENE I

A room in LADY WISHFORT'S house.

LADY WISHFORT at her toilet, PEG waiting.

LADY WISH. Merciful,3 no news of Foible yet? PEG. No, madam.

LADY WISH. I have no more patience. If I have not fretted myself till I am pale again, there's no veracity in me. Fetch me the red -- the red, do 5 you hear, sweetheart? An errant ash color, as I'm a person. Look you how this wench stirs! Why dost thou not fetch me a little red? Didst thou not hear me, mopus?4

PEG. The red ratafia does your ladyship 10
mean, or the cherry-brandy?

LADY WISH. Ratafia, fool! No, fool. Not the ratafia, fool -- grant me patience! I mean the

____________________
625] Q2W1 I'm.
1
Turtle-doves.
2
Anticipate.
3
Heaven (or God) understood.
4
Stupid person.

-324-

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