us lose no time to bring her over to--Hark! Here she comes. Do you retire till I have prepared her for you. Exit Miss Nancy.
Enter Mrs. Stockwell.
JENNY. Well, of all the women in London, sure there never was such a temper as my lady's.
MRS. STOCKWELL (aside). What can have set this girl against me?
JENNY. Such good humor and good sense together seldom meet--then such a perpetual smile upon her features. Well, her's is a sort of face that can never grow old. What would I give for such a lasting face as she has.30
MRS. STOCKWELL. Hussey, hussey, you're a flatterer. (Taps her on the shoulder.)
JENNY. Ah! Madam, is it you? I vow you made me start. Miss Nancy and I had just been talking of you, and we agreed you were one of the best of women, the most reasonable friend, the tenderest mother, and the--the--the --
MRS. STOCKWELL. Nay, that's too much. I have my failings, and my virtues too, Jenny. In one thing indeed I am very unlike other women; I always hearken to reason.
JENNY. That's what I said, madam.
MRS. STOCKWELL. I am neither headstrong nor fantastical, neither --40
JENNY. No, sweet lady, the smallest twine may lead you. Miss, says I, hear reason, like your mama; will so good a mother, do you think, force her daughter to marry against her inclinations?
MRS. STOCKWELL. I force my child's inclinations! No, I make the case my own. But tell me--there's a good girl--has my daughter an aversion to young Harlowe?
JENNY. I don't say that, madam. That is, aversion, to be sure, but I believe she hates him like the devil.
MRS. STOCKWELL. Poor thing, poor thing! And perhaps her little heart is beating for another?50
JENNY. Oh, that's a certain rule! When a young woman hates her husband, 'tis taken for granted she loves another man. For example, you yourself, as you have often told me, hated the sight of Mr. Stockwell when first he was proposed for your husband. Why? Only because you were in love, poor lady, with captain--you know who that was killed at the siege--you know where.
MRS. STOCKWELL. Why will you name him, jenny? (Wipes her eyes.) --
JENNY. Tender lady!
MRS. STOCKWELL. Why, indeed, had that fine young creature survived his wounds, I should never have married Mr. Stockwell--that I will60 say.