Enter GAYLESS and SHARP.
Gay. Prithee be serious, Sharp. Hast thou really succeeded?
Sharp. To our wishes, Sir. In short I have managed the business with such skill and dexterity, that neither your circumstances nor my veracity are suspected.
Gay. But how hast thou excused me from the ball and entertainment?
Sharp. Beyond expectation, Sir.--But in that particular I was obliged to have recourse to truth, and declare the real situation of your affairs. I told her we had so long disused ourselves to dressing either dinners or suppers, that I was afraid we should be but awkward in our preparations. In short, Sir,--at that instant a cursed gnawing seized my stomach, that I could not help telling her, that both you and myself seldom make a good meal now-a-days once in a quarter of a year.
Gay. Hell and confusion, have you betrayed me, villain! Did you not tell me this moment, she did not in the least suspect my circumstances?
Sharp. No more she did, Sir, till I told her.
Gay. Very well; and was this your skill and dexterity?
Sharp. I was going to tell you; but you won't hear reason; my melancholy face and piteous narration had such an effect upon her generous bowels, that she freely forgives all that's past.
Gay. Does she, Sharp?