SIR FRET. Zounds! no, Mr. Dangle; don't I tell you these things never fret me in the least? 510
DANGLE. Nay, I only thought
SIR FRET. -- And let me tell you, Mr. Dangle, 'tis damned affronting in you to suppose that I am hurt, when I tell you I am not.
SNEER. But why so warm, Sir Fretful? 515
SIR FRET. Gad's life! Mr. Sneer, you are as absurd as Dangle. How often must I repeat it to you, that nothing can vex me but your supposing it possible for me to mind the damned nonsense you have been repeating to me! -- And let me tell 520 you, if you continue to believe this, you must mean to insult me, gentlemen -- and then your disrespect will affect me no more than the newspaper criticisms -- and I shall treat it -- with exactly the same calm indifference and philosophic contempt -- and 525 so your servant. Exit.
SNEER. Ha!. ha! ha! Poor Sir Fretful! Now will he go and vent his philosophy in anonymous abuse of all modern critics and authors. -- But, Dangle, you must get your friend Puff to take me to 530 the rehearsal of his tragedy.
DANGLE. I'll answer for't, he'll thank you for desiring it. But come and help me to judge of this musical family; they are recommended by people of consequence, I assure you. 535
SNEER. I am at your disposal the whole morning -- but I thought you had been a decided critic in music as well as in literature.
DANGLE. So I am -- but I have a bad ear. I'faith, Sneer, though, I am afraid we were a 540 little too severe on Sir Fretful -- though he is my friend.
SNEER. Why, 'tis certain that unnecessarily to mortify the vanity of any writer is a cruelty which mere dullness never can deserve; but where a 545 base and personal malignity usurps the place of literary emulation, the aggressor deserves neither quarter nor pity.
DANGLE. That's true, egad! -- though he's my friend! 550
A drawing-room, harpsichord, &c. Italian family, French Interpreter, MRS. DANGLE, and Servants discovered.
INTERPETER. Je dis, madame, j'ai l'honneurto introduceet de vous demander votre protection pour le Signor Pasticcio Ritornello et pour sa charmante famille.
SIGNOR PASTICCIO. Ah! Vosignoria, noi vi5preghiamo di favoritevi colla vostra protezione.
1ST DAUGHTER. Vosignoria fatevi questi grazzie.
2D DAUGHTER. Si, signora.
INTERP. Madame --- me interpret. -- C'est à dire
-- in English -- qu'ils vous prient de leur faire10 l'honneur --
MRS. D. -- I say again, gentlemen, I don't understand a word you say.
SIGNOR PAST. Questo signore spiegheró --
INTERP. Oui -- me interpret. -- Nous avons15les lettres de recommendation pour Monsieur Dangle de --
MRS. D. -- Upon my word, sir, I don't understand you.
SIGNOR PAST. La Contessa Rondeau e nostra20padrona.
3D DAUGH. Si, padre, et mi Ladi Fuge.
INTREP. Oh! -- me interpret. -- Madame, ils disent -- in English -- qu'ils ont l'honneur d'être protégés de ces dames. -- You understand?25
MRS. D. No, sir, -- no understand!
Enter DANGLE and SNEER.
INTERP. Ah, voici Monsieur Dangle!
ALL ITALIANS. A! Signor Dangle!
MRS. D. Mr. Dangle, here are two very civil gentlemen trying to make themselves under 30 stood, and I don't know which is the interpreter.
DANGLE. Eh, bien!
INTERP. Monsieur Dangle, le grand bruit|
de vos talents pour la critique, et de votre
intérêt avec Messieurs les Directeurs à tous 35
les théâtres --
SIGNOR PAST. Vosignoria siete si famoso par|
la vostra conoscensa, e vostra interessa colla
le Direttore da --
DANGLE. Egad, I think the interpreter is the 40 hardest to be understood of the two!
SNEER. Why I thought, Dangle, you had been an admirable linguist!
DANGLE. So I am, if they would not talk so damned fast. 45
SNEER. Well, I'll explain that -- the less time we lose in hearing them the better -- for that, I suppose, is what they are brought here for.
(SNEER speaks to SIGNOR PASTICCIO. They sing trios, etc., DANGLE beating out of time.)
Servant enters and whispers DANGLE.
DANGLE. Show him up. Exit Servant.
Bravo! admirable! bravissimo! admirablissimo! 50 -- Ah! Sneer! where will you find such as these voices in England?
SNEER. Not easily.
DANGLE. But Puff is coming. Signor and little Signora's -- obligatissimo! -- Sposa Signora 55 Danglena -- Mrs. Dangle, shall I beg you to offer them some refreshments, and take their address in the next room.
Exit MRS. DANGLEwith the Italians and Interpreter ceremoniously.____________________