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Mrs. Mar. It shall be all discover'd. You wear it a moment. This way, this way, be too shall be discover'd; be sure you shall, I can persuaded. but be exposed; if I do it myself, I shall prevent your baseness.
Fain. Why, what will you do?
Mrs. Mar. Disclose it to your wife; own what has past between us.
Mrs. Mar. By all my wrongs I'll do't. I'll publish to the world the injuries you have done me, both in my fame and fortune: with both I trusted you, you bankrupt in honour, as indigent of wealth.
Enter MIRABELL and MRS. FAINALL. Mrs. F. They are here yet.
Mir. They are turning into the other walk. Mrs. F. While I only hated my husband, I could bear to see him; but since I have despised him, he's too offensive.
Mir. O you should hate with prudence. Mrs. F. Yes, for I have loved with indiscretion.
Mir. You should have just so much disgust Fain. Your fame I have preserved. Your for your husband, as may be sufficient to fortune has been bestow'd as the prodigality make you relish your lover.
of your love would have it, in pleasures which Mrs. F. You have been the cause that I have we both have shared. Yet, had not you been loved without bounds; and would you set false, I had ere this rapaid it. 'Tis true, had limits, to that aversion, of which you have you permitted Mirabell with Millamant to have been the occasion? Why did you make me stolen their marriage, my lady had been in- marry this man?
censed beyond all means of reconcilement: Mir. Why do we daily commit disagreeMillamant had forfeited the moiety of her for-able and dangerous actions? To save that idol tune, which then would have descended to my reputation. If the familiarities of our loves wife. And wherefore did I marry, but to had produced that consequence, of which you make lawful prize of a rich widow's wealth, were apprehensive, where could you have fixed and squander it on love and you. a father's name with credit, but on a husband? Mrs. Mar. Deceit and frivolous pretence. I knew Fainall to be a man lavish of his morFain. Death, am I not married? what's pre-als, an interested and professing friend, a tence? Am I not imprison'd, fetter'd? have I false and a designing lover; yet one whose not a wife? nay, a wife that was a widow, a wit and outward fair behaviour have gain'd a young widow, a handsome widow; and would reputation with the town, enough to make be again a widow, but that I have a heart of that woman stand excused, who has suffered proof, and something of a constitution to bustle herself to be won by his addresses. A better through the ways of wedlock and this world. man ought not to have been sacrificed to the Will you be reconciled to truth and me? Mrs. Mar. Impossible. Truth and you are inconsistent. I hate you, and shall for ever. Fain. For loving you?
Mrs. Mar. I loathe the name of love after such usage: and next to the guilt with which you would asperse me, I scorn you most. Farewell.
Fain. Nay, we must not part thus.
Fain. Come, I'm sorry.
Mrs. Mar. I care not.-Let me go.-Break
Mrs. Mar. Well, I have deserved it all.
Mrs. Mar. Poor dissembling! O that-Well, it is not yet
Fain. What? what is it not? what is not yet is it not yet too late?
Mrs. Mar. Ho, it is not yet too late, I have that comfort.
Fain. It is, to love another.
occasion; a worse had not answer'd to the purpose. When you are weary of him, you know your remedy.
Mrs. F. I ought to stand in some degree of credit with you, Mirabell.
Mir. In justice to you, I have made you privy to my whole design, and put it in your power to ruin or advance my fortune.
Mrs. F. Whom have you instructed to represent your pretended uncle?
Mir. Waitwell, my servant,
Mrs. F. He is an humble servant to Foible, mother's woman, and my may win her to your interest.
Mir. Care is taken for that-she is won and worn by this time. They were married this morning.
Mrs. F. Who?
Mir. Waitwell and Foible. I would not tempt my servant to betray me by trusting him too far. If your mother, in hopes to ruin me, should consent to marry my pretended uncle, he might like Mosca in the Fox, stand upon terms; so I made him sure before-hand. Mrs. Mar. But not to loathe, detest, abhor Mrs. F. So, if my poor mother is caught mankind, myself, and the whole treacherous in a contract, you will discover the imposture betimes; and release her, by producing a cerFain. Nay, this is extravagance. Come, Itificate of her gallant's former marriage. ask your pardon-No tears-I was to blame Mir. Yes, upon condition that she consent -I could not love you and be easy in my to my marriage with her niece, and surrender doubts-Pray forbear-I believe you; I'm con- the moiety of her fortune in her possession. inced I've done you wrong; and any way, Mrs. F. She talked last night of endeavourevery way will make amends; I'll hate my ing at a match between Millamant and your wife yet more; damn her, I'll part with her, uncle.
b ber of all she's worth, and we'll retire Mir. That was by Foible's direction, and somewhere, any where, to another world. I'll my instruction, that she might seem to carry marry thee-Be pacified-'Sdeath! they come, it more privately.
bide your face, your tears-You have a mask, Mrs. F. Well, I have an opinion of your
success; for I believe my lady will do any you pin up your hair with all your letters? thing to get a husband; and when she has I find I must keep copies. this, which you have provided for her, I sup- Mrs. Mill. Only with those in verse, Mr. pose she will submit to any thing to get rid Witwould. of him.
Mir. Yes, I think the good lady would marry any thing that resembled a man, though 'twere no more than what a butler could pinch out of a napkin.
I never pin up my hair with prose. I think, I tried once, Mincing. Min. O mem, I shall never forget it. Mrs. Mill. Ay, poor Mincing tift and tift1) all the morning.
Min. Till I had the cramp in my fingers, Mrs. F. Female frailty! we must all come I'll vow, mem, and all to no purpose. But to it, if we live to be old, and feel the cra- when your la'ship pins it up with poetry, it ving of a false appetite when the true is decay'd. sits so pleasant the next day as any thing, and Mir. An old woman's appetite is depraved is so pure and so crips. 2) like that of a girl- 'tis the green-sickness of Wit. Indeed, so crips? a second childhood; and like the faint offer of a latter spring, serves but to usher in the fall, and withers in an affected bloom.
Mrs. F. Here's your mistress.
Enter MRS. MILLAMANT, WITWOULD, and
Min. You're such a critic, Mr. Witwould. Mrs. Mill. Mirabell, did you take exceptions last night? O ay, and went away - Now 1 think on't I'm angry-No, now I think on't I'm pleased-For I believe I gave you some pain. Mir. Does that please you?
Mrs. Mill. Infinitely; I love to give pain. Mir. You would affect a cruelty which is not in your nature; your true vanity is in the power of pleasing.
Mir. Here she comes, i'faith, full sail, with her fan spread and streamers out, and a shoal of fools for tenders-ha, no; I cry her mercy. Mrs. F. I see but one poor empty sculler; Mrs. Mill. Ó, I ask your pardon for that— and he tows her woman after him.' One's cruelty is one's power, and when one Mir. You seem to be unattended, madam. parts with one's cruelty one parts with one's -You used to have the beau-monde throng power; and when one has parted with that, after you, and a flock of gay fine perukes I fancy one's old and ugly.
hovering round you. Mir. Ay, ay, suffer your cruelty to ruin the Wit. Like moths about a candle-I had like object of your power, to destroy your lover; to have lost my comparison for want of breath. and then how vain, how lost a thing you'll Mrs. Mill. Ŏ I have denied myself airs to-be! Nay, 'tis true: you are no longer handday. I have walk'd as fast through the crowd-some when you have lost your lover; your Wit. As a favourite just disgraced; and with beauty dies upon the instant: for beauty is as few followers. the lover's gift; 'tis he bestows your charmsMrs. Mill. Dear Mr. Witwould, truce with Your glass is all a cheat. The ugly and the your similitudes; for I am as sick of 'em—
Wit. As a physician of a good air-1 cannot help it, madam, though 'tis against myself. Mrs. Mill. Yet again! Mincing, stand between me and his wit.
Wit. Do, Mrs. Mincing, like a screen before a great fire. I confess I do blaze to-day, I am too bright.
Mrs. F. But, dear Millamant, why were you so long?
Mrs. Mill. Long! lud! have I not made violent baste? I have ask'd every living thing I met for you; I have inquired after you, as after a new fashion.
Wit. Madam, truce with your similitudes -no, you met her husband, and did not ask him for her.
old, whom the looking-glass mortifies, yet, after commendation, cau be flatter'd by it, and discover beauties in it; for that reflects our praises, rather than your face.
Mrs Mill. O the vanity of these men! Fainall, d'ye hear him? If they did not commend us, we were not handsome! Now you must know they could not commend one, if one was not handsome. Beauty the lover's gift! Dear me, what is a lover, that it can give? Why, one makes lovers as fast as one pleases, and they live as long as one pleases, and they die as soon as one pleases; and then, if one pleases, one makes more.
Wit. Very pretty. Why you make no more of making of lovers, madam, than of making so many card-matches.
Mir. By your leave, Witwould, that were Mrs. Mill. One no more owes one's beauty like inquiring after an old fashion, to ask husband for his wife.
Wit. Hum, a hit, a hit, a palpable hit, confess it.
Min. You were dress'd before I came abroad. Mrs. Mill. Ay, that's true-O but then I had -Mincing, what had I? why was I so long? Min. O mem,) your la'ship staid to peruse a pacquet of letters.
Mrs. Mill. O ay, letters-I had letters-I am persecuted with letters-I hate letters-nobody knows how to write letters; and yet one has 'em, one does not know why-they serve one to pin up one's hair.
Wit. Is that the way? Pray, madam, do
1) Mincing minees the word madam into mem.
to a lover, than one's wit to an echo: they can but reflect what we look and say, vain, empty things, if we are silent or unseen, and want a being.
Mir. Yet, to those two vain empty things you owe two of the greatest pleasures of your life.
Mrs. Mill. How so?
Mrs. Mill. O fiction! Fainall, let us leave these men.
Mir. Draw off Witwould.
[Aside to Mrs. Fainall. Mrs. F. Immediately: I have a word or two for Mr. Witwould.
Mrs. Mill, Without the help of conjuration, you can't imagine; unless she should tell me herself. Which of the two it may have been, I will leave you to consider; and when you have done thinking of that, think of me. [Exeunt Millamant and Mincing. [Exeunt Mrs. Fainall and Witwould. Mir. I have something more-Gone-Think Mir. I. would beg a little private audience of you! to think of a whirlwind, though 'twere too-You had the tyranny to deny me last in a whirlwind, were a case of more steady night; though you knew I came to impart a contemplation; a very tranquillity of mind and secret to you that concern'd my love. mansion. A fellow that lives in a windmill, Mrs. Mill. You saw I was engaged. has not a mcre whimsical dwelling than the Mir. Unkind. You had the leisure to en-heart of a man that is lodg'd in a woman. tertain a herd of fools; things who visit you There is no point of the compass to which from their excessive idleness; bestowing on they cannot turn, and by which they are not your easiness that time, which is the incum- turn'd; and by one as well as another; for brance of their lives. How can you find de- motion, not method, is their occupation. To light in such society? It is impossible they know this, and yet continue to be in love, is should admire you, they are not capable; or to be made wise from the dictates of reason, if they were, it should be to you as a morti- and yet persevere to play the fool by the fication; for sure to please a fool is some force of instinct-O here comes my pair of degree of folly. turtles-What, billing so sweetly! is not VaMrs. Mill. I please myself-Besides, some- lentine's day over with you yet? times to converse with fools is for my health. Enter WAITWELL and FOIBLE. Mir. Your health! Is there a worse disease Sirrah, Waitwell, why sure you think you than the conversation of fools? were married for your own recreation; and not for my conveniency.
Mrs. Mill. Yes, the vapours; fools are physic for it, next to asa-fœtida.
Mir. You are not in a course of fools? Mrs. Mill. Mirabell, if you persist in this offensive freedom, you'll displease me. I think I must resolve, after all, not to have youWe shan't agree.
Mir. Not in our physic, it may be.
Wait. Your pardon, sir. With submission, we have indeed been billing; but still with an eye to business, sir. I have instructed her as well as I could. If she can take your directions as readily as my instructions, sir, your affairs are in a prosperous way.
Mir. Give you joy, Mrs. Foible.
Foi. O-las, sir, I'm so ashamed-I'm afraid my lady has been in a thousand inquietudes for me. But I protest, sir, I made as much haste as I could.
Wait. That she did indeed, sir.
Mrs. Mill. And yet our distemper, in all likelihood, will be the same; for we shall be sick of one another. I shan't endure to be reprimanded, nor instructed; 'tis so dull to act always by advice,and so tedious to be told of one's faults-I can't bear it. Well, I won't Foi. I told my lady, as you instructed me, have you, Mirabell—I'm resolved I think sir, that I had a prospect of seeing sir Row-You may go-Ha, ha, ha! What would land, your uncle; and that I would put her you give that you could help loving me? ladyship's picture in my pocket to show him; Mir. I would give something that you did not know I could not help it.
Mrs. Mill. Come, don't look grave then. Well, what do you say to me?
Mir. I say that a man may as soon make a friend by his wit, or a fortune by his honesty, as win a woman with plain-dealing and sia
Mrs. Mill. Sententious Mirabell! Pry'thee don't look with that violent and inflexible wise face, like Solomon at the dividing of the chid in an old tapestry hanging.
Mir. You are merry, madam; but I would persuade you for a moment to be serious.
which I'll be sure to say has made him so enamour'd of her beauty, that he burns with impatience to lie at her ladyship's feet, and worship the original,
Mir. Excellent Foible! Matrimony has made you eloquent in love.
Wait. I think she has profited, sir, I think so.
Foi. I told her, sir, because I did not know that you might find an opportunity; she had so much company last night.
Mir. Your diligence will merit more- -in the mean time[Gives Money. Foi. O, dear sir, your humble servant. Wait. Spouse.
Mrs. Mill. What, with that face? No, if you keep your countenance, 'tis impossible I should hold mine. Well, after all, there is Mir. Stand off, sir, not a penny- Go on something very moving in a love-sick face. and prosper, Foible-The lease shall be made Ha, ha, ha! Well, I won't laugh, don't be good, and the farm stock'd, if we succeed. peevish-Heigho! Now I'll be melancholy, as Foi. I don't question your generosity, sir; melancholy as a watch-light. Well, Mirabell, and you need not doubt of success. If you if ever you will win me, woo me now-Nay, have no more commands, sir, I'll be gone; if you are so tedious, fare you well: I see I'm sure my lady is at her toilet, and can't they are walking away. dress till I come. O dear, I'm sure that Mir. Can you not find, in the variety of [Looking out] was Mrs. Marwood that went your disposition, one momentby in a mask; if she has seen me with you I'm sure she'll tell my lady. I'll make haste home and prevent her. Your servant, sir. B'w'ye, Waitwell.
Mrs. Mill. To bear you tell me Faible's married, and your plot like to speed?—No, Mir. But how you came to know it
Wait, Sir Rowland, if you please. The Lady W. O Marwood, let her come in. jade's so pert upon her preferment, she for- Come in, good Marwood." gets herself.
Mir. Come, sir, will you endeavour to for-
Ay, there's my grief; that's the sad change
Enter MRS. MARWOOD. Mrs. M. I'm surprised to find your ladyship in dishabille at this time of day.
Lady W. Foible's a lost thing; has been abroad since morning, and never heard of since.
Mrs. M. I saw her but now, as I came mask'd through the park, in conference with Mirabell.
Lady W. With Mirabell! you call my blood into my face, with mentioning that traitor. She durst not have the confidence. I sent her to negociate an affair, in which, if I'm detected, I'm undone. If that wheedling villain has wrought upon Foible to detect me, I'm ruin'd. Oh my dear friend, I'm a wretch of wretches if I'm detected.
Mrs. M. O madam, you cannot suspect Mrs.
SCENE I-A Room in LADY WISHFORT'S Foible's integrity.
Lady W. O, he carries poison in his tongue that would corrupt integrity itself. If she LADY WISHFORT at her Toilet, PEG waiting. has given him an opportunity, she has as good Lady W. Merciful, no news of Foible yet? as put her integrity into his hands. Ah! dear Peg. No, madam. Marwood, what's integrity to an opportunity? Lady W. I have no more patience-If I-Hark! I hear her-Dear friend, retire into. have not fretted myself till I am pale again, my closet, that I may examine her with more there's no veracity in me. Fetch me the red freedom-You'll pardon me, dear friend, I can -the red, do you hear? An arrant ash-co- make bold with you-There are books over lour, as I'm a person. Look you how this the chimney-Quarles and Pryn, and the Short wench stirs! why dost thou not fetch me a View of the Stage, with Bunyan's works, to little red? didst thou not hear me, mopus? entertain you. [Exit Mrs. Marwood] Go, you Peg. The red ratafia, does your ladyship thing, and send her in. [Exit Peg. mean, or the cherry-brandy?
Lady W. Ratafia, fool! no, fool, not the ratafia, fool-Grant me patience! I mean the Spanish paper, idiot; complexion. Darling what hast thou been doing? paint, paint, paint; dost thou understand that, changeling, dangling thy hands like bobbins. before thee? why dost thou not stir, puppet? thou wooden thing upon wires.
Lady W. Q Foible, where hast thou been?
Peg. Lord, madam, your ladyship is so impatient-I cannot come at the paint, madam; Mrs. Foible has lock'd it up, and carried the key with her.
Foi. Madam, I have seen the party. Lady W. But what hast thou done? Foi. Nay, 'tis your ladyship has done, and are to do; I have only promised. But a man so enamour'd-so transported! well, if worshipping of pictures be a sin-poor sir Rowland, I say.
Lady W. The miniature has been counted Lady W. Plague take you both-Fetch me like-But hast thou not betray'd me, Foible? the cherry-brandy then. [Exit Peg] I'm as Hast thou not detected me to that faithless pale and as faint, I look like Mrs. Qualmsick, Mirabell?—What hadst thou to do with him the curate's wife, that's always breeding-in the park? answer me, has he got nothing Wench, come, come, wench; what art thou out of thee? doing, sipping? tasting? save thee, dost thou not know the bottle.
Foi. So, mischief has been before-hand with me; what shall I say? [Aside] Alas, madam, could I help it, if I met that confident thing? Enter PEG, with a Bottle and China Cup. was I in fault? If you had heard how he Peg. Madam, I was looking for a cup. used me, and all upon your ladyship's acLady W. A cup, save thee; and what a cup count, I'm sure you would not suspect my hast thou brought! dost thou take me for a fidelity. Nay, if that had been the worst, 1 fairy, to drink out of an acorn? why didst could have borne: but he had a fling at your thou not bring thy thimble? hast thou ne'er ladyship too; and then I could not hold: but a brass thimble clinking in thy pocket with a i'faith I gave him his own. bit of nutmeg? I warrant thee. Come, fill, Lady W. Me! what did the filthy fellow fill-So-again. See who that is. [One knocks] say? Set down the bottle first.-Here, here, under Foi. O madam; 'tis a shame to say what the table-What, wouldst thou go with the he said-With his taunts and fleers, tossing bottle in thy hand, like a tapster? [Exit Peg] up his nose. Humph, says he, what, you are As I'm a person, this wench has lived in an inn upon the road, before she came to me. Enter PBG.
No Foible yet?
Peg. No, madam, Mrs. Marwood.
hatching some plot, says he, you are so early abroad, or catering, says he, ferreting for some disbanded officer, I warrant-Half-pay is but thin subsistence, says he-Well, what pension does your lady propose? Let me see,
says he, what, she must come down pretty he does come? will he be importunate, Foible, deep now, she's superannuated, says he, and- and push? for if he should not be importuLady W. Odds my life, I'll have him-I'll nate I shall never break decorums-I shall bave him murder'd. I'll have him poison'd. die with confusion, if I am forced to advance Where does he eat? I'll marry a drawer, to-Oh no, I can never advance-I shall swoon have him poison'd in his wine. if he should expect advances. No, I hope sir
Foi. Poison him! poisoning's too good for Rowland is better bred, than to put a lady to him. Starve him, madam, starve him; marry the necessity of breaking her forms. I won't sir Rowland, and get him disinherited. O you be too coy, neither.-I won't give him deswould bless yourself, to hear what he said. pair-But a little disdain is not amiss: a little Lady W. A villain! superannuated! scorn is alluring. Foi. Humph, says he, I hear you are laying designs against me too, says he, and Mrs.
Foi. A little scorn becomes your ladyship. Lady W. Yes, but tenderness becomes me Millamant is to marry my uncle; he does not best---You see that picture has a-sort of asuspect a word of your ladyship; but, says ha, Foible? a swimmingness in the eyeshe, I'll fit you for that; I warrant you, says Yes, I'll look so-My niece affects it; but she he: I'll hamper you for that, says he, you wants features. Is sir Rowland handsome? and your old frippery too, says he, I'll handle Let my toilet be removed-I'll dress above. youI'll receive sir Rowland here. Is he handsome? Lady W. Audacious villain! handle me! Don't answer me. I won't know; I'll be surwould he durst?-Frippery! old frippery! Was prised, I'll be taken by surprise. there ever such a foul-mouth'd fellow? I'll be Foi. By storm, madam; sir Rowland's a married to-morrow, I'll be contracted to-night. brisk man. Foi. The sooner the better, madam. Lady W. Is he? O then he'll importune, Lady W. Will sir Rowland be here, say'st if he's a brisk man. I have a mortal terror thou?-when, Foible? at the apprehension. Let my things be reFoi. Incontinently, madam. No new sheriff's moved, good Foible. [Exit. wife expects the return of her husband after knighthood, with that impatience in which sir Rowland burns for the dear hour of kissing your ladyship's hand after dinner,
Enter MRS. FAINALL.
Mrs. F. O Foible, I have been in a fright, lest I should come too late. That devil, Marwood, saw you in the park with Mirabell, and I'm afraid will discover it to my lady. Foi. Discover what, madam?
Lady W. Frippery! superannuated frippery! I'll frippery the villain; I'll reduce him to frippery and rags; a tatterdemallion-I hope to see him hung with tatters, like a Long-lane Mrs. F. Nay, nay, put not on that strange pent-house, or a gibbet thief. A slander- face. I am privy to the whole design, and mouth'd railer: I warrant the spendthrift pro- know that Waitwell, to whom thou wert this digal is in debt as much as the million lottery, morning married, is to personate Mirabell's or the whole court upon a birth-day. I'll uncle, and as such, winning my lady, to inspoil his credit with his tailor. Yes, he shall volve her in those difficulties from which Mibave my niece with her fortune, he shall. rabell only must release her, by his making Foi. He! I hope to see him lodge in Lud- his conditions to have my cousin and her forgate 1) first, and angle into Blackfriars for tune left to her own disposal. brass farthings, with an old mitten 2).
Foi. O dear madam, I beg your pardon. Lady W. Ay, dear Foible; thank thee for It was not may confidence in your ladyship that, dear Foible. He has put me out of all that was deficient; but I thought the former patience. I shall never recompose my features, good correspondence between your ladyship to receive sir Rowland with any economy of and Mr. Mirabell might have hinder'd his face. The wretch has fretted me, that I am communicating this secret. absolutely decay'd. Look, Foible.
For Your ladyship has frown'd a little too rashly, indeed, madam. There are some cracks discernable in the white varnish.
Mrs. F. Dear Foible, forget that.
Foi. O dear madam, Mr. Mirabell is such a sweet winning gentleman-But your ladyship is the pattern of generosity. Sweet lady, Lady W. Let me see the glass-Cracks, to be so good! Mr. Mirabell cannot choose say'st thou? why I am arrantly flay'd-I look but be grateful. I find your ladyship has his like an old peel'd wall. Thou must repair me, heart still. Now, madam, I can safely tell Foille, before sir Rowland comes; or I shall your ladyship our success. Mrs. Marwood never keep up to my picture. had told my lady; but I warrant I managed
Fot. I warrant you, madam; a little art myself. I turn'd it all for the better. I told once made your picture like you; and now my lady that Mr. Mirabell rail'd at her. I a little of the same art must make you like laid horrid things to his charge, I'll vow; your picture. Your picture must sit for you, and my lady is so incensed, that she'll be madam. contracted to sir Rowland to-night, she says. Lady W. But art thou sure sir Rowland -I warrant I work'd her up, that he may will not fail to come? or will he not fail when have her for asking for, as they say of a Welsh maidenhead.
1) Ladgate prison.
Mrs. F. O rare Foible!
1) Woolen-glove or stocking. That is, she hopes to see Foi. Madam, I beg your ladyship to acàm cusfned n Ludgate-prison, and letting down as old stocking tied to the end of a stick, begging for quaint Mr. Mirabell of his success. I would the charity of persons passing below in Black-friars; be seen as little as possible to speak to him; at the present day the prisoners in Fleet prison, which besides, I believe madam Marwood watches leaks out apon Fleet market, are seen begging for the
poor confined debtors who have nothing to live upon." me; she has a penchant; but I know Mr.