British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview

L. GRA. It's almost six.

SIR CHA. At seven, then, be sure of me; till when I'd have you go back to the ladies to avoid suspicion,

and about that time -- have the vapors. 60

L. GRA. May I depend upon you? Exit.

SIR CHA. Depend on everything! -- A very troublesome business this -- send me once fairly rid on't, if ever I'm caught in an honorable affair again

-----! A debt, now, that a little ready civility 65
and away would satisfy, a man might bear with, but to have a rent-charge upon one's good nature, with an unconscionable long scroll of arrears, too, that would eat out the profits of the best estate in
Christendom -- ah! intolerable! Well, I'll even 70
to my lord and shake off the thoughts on't. Exit.

Enter LADY BETTY and LADY EASY.

L. BET. I observe, my dear, you have usually this great fortune at play; it were enough to make one suspect your good luck with an husband.

L. EA. Truly, I don't complain of my fortune 75
either way.

L. BET. Prithee tell me -- you are often advising me to it -- are there those real comfortable advantages in marriage that our old aunts and grand

mothers would persuade us of? 80

L. EA. Upon my word, if I had the worst husband in the world I should still think so.

L. BET. Ay, but then the hazard of not having a good one, my dear.

L. EA. You may have a good one, I dare say, 85
if you don't give airs till you spoil him.

L. BET. Can there be the same dear, full delight in giving ease, as pain? Oh, my dear! the thought of parting with one's power is insupportable.

L. EA. And the keeping it till it dwindles into 90
no power at all is most ruefully foolish.

L. BET, But still, to marry before one's heartily in love -----

L. EA. Is not half so formidable a calamity. But

if I have any eyes, my dear, you'll run no great 95
hazard of that in venturing upon my Lord Morelove. You don't know, perhaps, that within this half hour the tone of your voice is strangely softened to him, ha! ha! ha!

L. BET. My dear, you are positively, one or 100
other, the most censorious creature in the world, and so I see it's in vain to talk with you. Pray, will you go back to the company?

L. EA. Ah! Poor Lady Betty!

Exeunt.


[SCENE II]

The scene changes to SIR CHARLES'S lodgings.

Enter SIR CHARLES and LORD MORELOVE.

L. MO. Charles! you have transported me; you have made my part in the scene so very easy, too, 'tis impossible I should fail in it.

SIR CHA. That's what I considered, for now the

more you throw yourself into her power, the 5
more I shall be able to force her into yours.

L. MO. After all (begging the ladies' pardon) your fine women, like bullies, are only stout where they know their men: a man of an honest courage may

fright 'em into anything, I Well, I am fully in - 10
structed, and will about it instantly. Won't you go along with me?

SIR CHA. That may not be so proper: besides, I have a little business upon my hands.

L. MO. Oh, your servant, sir! -- Good bye to 15
you! -- you shan't stir.

SIR CHA. My lord, your servant!

Exit LORD MORELOVE.

So! now to dispose of myself till 'tis time to think of my Lady Graveairs. -- Umph! -- I have no great

maw to that business, methinks -- I don't find 20
myself in humor enough to come up to the civil things that are usually expected in the making up of an old quarrel. (EDGING crosses the stage.) There goes a warmer temptation by half. ----- Ha! into
my wife's bedchamber, too! I question if the 25
jade has any great business there; I have a fancy she has only a mind to be taking the opportunity of nobody's being at home to make her peace with me, Let me see -- ay, I shall have time enough to go to
her ladyship afterwards -- besides, I want a lit -- 30
fie sleep, I find. Your young fops may talk of their women of quality, but to me, now, there's a strange agreeable convenience in a Creature one is not obliged to say much to upon these occasions.

(Going.)

Enter EDGING.

EDG. Did you call me, sir? 35

SIR CHA. (aside). Ha! all's right. ----- Yes, madam, I did call you. (Sits down.)

EDG. What would you please to have, sir?

SIR CHA. Have! why, I would have you grow a

good girl and know when you are well used, 40
hussy.

EDG. Sir, I don't complain of anything, not I.

SIR CHA. Well, don't be uneasy -- I am not angry with you now. Come and kiss me.

EDG. Lard, sir! 45

SIR CHA. Don't be a fool, now -- come hither.

EDG. Pshah! (Goes to him.)

SIR CHA. No wry faces -- so -- sit down. I won't have you look grave, neither. Let me see you

smile, you jade, you. 50

EDG. Ha! ha!

(Laughs and blushes.)

SIR CHA. Ah, you melting rogue!

EDG. Come, don't you be at your tricks, now!

____________________
83] QQ of having.
99] QQ ha! ha! ha! ha!
104] QQ Betty. L. BET. Pshah! Exeunt.
SCENE 11. 8] DD stout when.
13] QQ beside.
26] QQ a great fancy.
30] QQ beside.
37] QQ He sits down.

-427-

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