BY GEORGE COLMAN, THE ELDER
A room in OAKLY'S house. Noise heard within.
MRS. OAKLY (within). Don't tell me! I know it is so. It's monstrous, and I will not bear it.
OAKLY (within). But, my dear!
MRS. OAK. [within]. Nay, nay, etc.
Enter MRS. OAKLY, with a letter, OAKLY following.
|MRS. OAK. Say what you will, Mr. Oakly,||5|
OAK. I can assure you, my love --
MRS. OAK. Your love! Don't I know your -- Tell me, I say, this instant, every circumstance 10 relating to this letter.
OAK. How can I tell you, when you will not so much as let me see it?
MRS. OAK. Look you, Mr. Oakly, this usage is not to be borne. You take a pleasure in 15 abusing my tenderness and soft disposition. To be perpetually running over the whole town, nay, the whole kingdom too, in pursuit of your amours! Did not I discover that you were great with Mademoiselle, my own woman? Did not you con 20 tract a shameful familiarity with Mrs. Freeman? Did not I detect your intrigue with Lady Wealthy? Were not you --
OAK. Ooons, madam, the Grand Turk himself has not half so many mistresses! You throw 25 me out of all patience. Do I know anybody but our common friends? Am I visited by anybody that does not visit you? Do I ever go out, unless you go with me? And am I not as constantly by
|your side as if I was tied to your apron strings?||30|
MRS. OAK. Go, go, you are a false man. Have not I found you out a thousand times? And have I not this moment a letter in my hand, which convinces me of your baseness? Let me know the
|whole affair, or I will --||35|
OAK. Let you know! -- Let me know what you would have of me. You stop my letter before it comes to my hands, and then expect that I should know the contents of it.
MRS. OAK. Heaven be praised! I stopped 40 it. I suspected some of these doings for some time past. But the letter informs me who she is, and I'll be revenged on her sufficiently. O, you base man, you!
OAK. I beg, my dear, that you would mod 45 erate your passion! Show me the letter, and I'll convince you of my innocence.
MRS. OAK. Innocence! abominable! innocence! But I am not to be made such a fool. I am con
|vinced of your perfidy, and very sure that --||50|
OAK. 'Sdeath and fire! your passion hurries you out of your senses. Will you hear me?
MRS. OAK. No, you are a base man, and I will not hear you.
OAK. Why then, my dear, since you will 55 neither talk reasonably yourself, nor listen to reason from me, I shall take my leave till you are in a better humor. So, your servant! (Going.)
MRS. OAK. Ay, go, you cruel man! Go to your
|mistresses, and leave your poor wife to her||60|
(Throwing herself into a chair.)
OAK. There it is. Now dare not I stir a step further. If I offer to go, she is in one of her fits in an instant. Never, sure, was woman at once 65 of so violent and so delicate a constitution! What shall I say to soothe her? -- Nay, never make thyself so uneasy, my dear. Come, come, you know I love you. Nay, nay, you shall be convinced.
MRS. OAK. I know you hate me; and that 70 your unkindness and barbarity will be the death of me. (Whining.)
OAK. Do not vex yourself at this rate. I love you most passionately. Indeed I do. This must
|be some mistake.||75|
MRS. OAK. O, I am an unhappy woman!
OAK. Dry up thy tears, my love, and be comforted! -- You will find that I am not to blame in this matter. Come, let me see this letter. Nay,
|you shall not deny me. (Taking the letter.)||80|
MRS. OAK. There! take it! You know the hand, I am sure.
OAK. (reading). 'To CHARLES OAKLY, ESQ.' -- Hand! 'Tis a clerk-like hand, indeed! A good
|round text! and was certainly never penned||85|
MRS. OAK. Ay, laugh at me, do!____________________