British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

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

whom you oftener disoblige than please by that very

care. Oh, that sons could know the duty to a 180
father before they themselves are fathers! But perhaps you'll say now that I am one of the happiest fathers in the world; but I assure you, that of the very happiest is not a condition to be envied.

HUMPH, Sir, your pain arises, not from the 185
thing itself, but your particular sense of it. You are overfond -- nay, give me leave to say you are unjustly apprehensive from your fondness. My master Bevil never disobliged you, and he will -- I know he
will -- do everything you ought to expect. 190

SIR J. BEV. He won't take all this money with this girl. For aught I know, he will, forsooth, have much moderation as to think he ought not to force his liking for any consideration.

HUMPH. He is to marry her, not you; he is 195
to live with her, not you, sir.

SIR J. BEV. I know not what to think. But I know nothing can be more miserable than to be in this doubt. Follow me; I must come to some resolu

tion. Exeunt. 200

BEVIL JUNIOR'S lodgings.

Enter TOM and PHILLIS.

TOM. Well, madam, if you must speak with Mr. Myrtle, you shall; he is now with my master in the library.

PHIL. But you must leave me alone with him, for

he can't make me a print, nor I so handsomely 5
take anything from him, before you. It would not be decent.

TOM. It will be very decent, indeed, for me to retire and live my mistress with another man!

PHIL. He is a gentleman and will treat one 10

TOM. I believe so; but, however, I won't be far off, and therefore will venture to trust you. I'll call him to you. Exit TOM.

PHIL. what a deal of pother and sputter hem 15
is between my mistress and Mr. Myrtle from mere punctilio! I could, any hour of the day, get her to her lover, and would do it -- but she, forsooth, will allow no plot to get [to] him; but, if he can come to her, I know she would be glad of it. I must, to therefore, do her an acceptable violence and surprise her into his arms. I am sure I go by the best rule 1 imaginable; if she were my maid, I should think her the best servant in the world for doing so by me.


Oh, sir! You and Mr. Bevil are fine gentle- 25
men to let a lady remain under such difficulties as my poor mistress, and no attempt to set her at liberty or release her from the danger of being instantly married to Cimberton.

MYRT. Tom has been telling -- but what is 30
to be done?

PHIL. What is to be done? -- when a man can't come at his mistress! Why, can't you fire our house, or the next house to us, to make us run out, and you

take us? 35

MYRT. How, Mrs. Phillis!

PHIL. Ay; let me see that rogue deny to fire a house, make a riot, or any other little thing, when there were no other way to come at me!

TOM. I am obliged to you, madam! 40

PHIL. Why, don't we hear every day of people's hanging themselves for love, and won't they venture the hazard of being hanged for love? Oh! were I a man --

MYRT. What manly thing would you have 45
me undertake, according to your ladyship's notion of a man?

PHIL. Only be at once what, one time or other, you may be, and wish to be, or must be.

MYRT. Dear girl, talk plainly to me, and 50
consider I, in my condition, can't be in very good humor. You say, to be at once what I must be.

PHIL. Ay, ay -- I mean no more than to be an old man; I saw you do it very well at the masquerade.

In a word, old Sir Geoffry Cimberton is every 55
hour expected in town to join in the deeds and settlements for marrying Mr. Cimberton. He is half blind, half lame, half deaf, haft dumb -- though as to his passions and desires he is as warm and ridiculous
as when in the heat of youth. 60

TOM. Come, to the business, and don't keep the gentleman in suspense for the pleasure of being courted, as you serve me.

PHIL. I saw you at the masquerade act such a one

to perfection. Go and put on that very habit, 65
and come to our house as Sir Geoffry. There is not one there but myself knows his person; I was born in the parish where he is lord of the manor.2 I have seen him often and often at church in the country.
Do not hesitate, but come thither; they will 70
think you bring a certain security against Mr. Myrtle, and you bring Mr. Myrtle[ Leave the rest to me. I leave this with you, and expect -- they don't, I told you, know you; they think you out of town, which
you had as good be for ever if you lose this op­ 75
portunity. I must be gone; I know I am wanted at home.

MYRT. My dear Phillis!

(Catches and kisses her, and gives her money.)

PHIL. O fie! my kisses are not my own; you have

committed violence; but I'll carry 'em to the 80
right owner. (TOM kisses her. -- To TOM.) Come,

I.e., the Golden Rule,
The chief landholder, and hence the most important personage.


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