Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

marry him.

of ghosts and apparitions generally end in a pot L Tru. I have been shewing the garden to of money.

Mr Tinsel : he's most insufferably witty upon us Ab. Why, truly, now, Mr Fantome, I should about this story of the drum. think myself a very bad woman, if I had done Ab. Indeed, madam, he's a very loose man: what I do for a farthing less.

I'm afraid 'tis he that hinders my poor master Fan. Dear Abigail, how I admire thy virtue ! from resting in his grave.

Ab. No, no, Mr Fantome, I defy the worst of L. Tru. We!), an infidel is such a novelty in my enemies to say I love mischief for mischief's the country, that I am resolved to divert myself sake.

a day or two at least with the oddness of his conFan. But is thy lady persuaded that I'm the versation. = ghost of her deceased husband ?

Ab. Ah, madam, the drum began to beat in db. I endeavour to make her believe so, and tell the house as soon as ever that creature was admither, every time your drum rattles, that her hus ted to visit you. All the while Mr Fantome made band is chiding her for entertaining this new lover. ! is addresses to you, there was not a mouse stir

Fun. Pr’ythee make use of all thy art; for I'm ring in the family, more than used to be. tired to death with strolling round this wide old L. Tru. This baggage has some design upon house, like a rat behind the wainscot.

me, more than I can yet discover. (Aside.)-Mr Ab. Did not I tell you 'twas the purest place Fantome was always thy favourite. in the world for you to play your tricks in? There's Ab. Ay, and should have been yours too, by none of the family that knows every hole and cor. my consent. Mr Fantome was not such a slight ner in it, besides myself.

fantastic thing as this is–Mr Fantome was the Fan. Ah, Mrs Abigail ! you have had your in- best built man one should see in a summer's trigues.

day! Mr Fantome was a man of honour, and Ab. For you must know, when I was a romp- loved you Poor soul, how has he sighed, when ing young girl, I was a mighty lover of hide and he has talked to me of my hard-hearted lady seek.

Well, I had as lief as a thousand pounds you would Fan. I believe by this time I am as well ac

marry Mr Fantome. , quainted with the house as yourself.

L' Tru. To tell thee truly, I loved him well Ab. You are very much mistaken, Mr Fan- enough till I found he loved me so much. But tome: but no matter for that : Here is to be your Mr Tinsel makes his court to me with so much station to-night. This place is unknown to any neglect and indifference, and with such an agreeone living besides myself, since the death of the able sauciness—Not that I say I'll joiner, who, you must understand, being a lover Ab. Marry him, quoth-a ! No-If you should, of mine, contrived the wainscot to move to and you'll be awakened sooner than married couples fro, in the manner that you find it. I designed generally are-you'll quickly have a drum at your it for a wardrobe for my lady's cast clothes. Oh, window. the stomachers, stays, petticoats, commodes, laced L. Tru. I'll hide my contempt of Tinsel for shoes, and good things that I have had in it ! - once, if it be but to see what this wench drives Pray take care you don't break the cherry bran

[Aside. dy bottle that stands up in the corner.

db. Why, suppose your husband, after this fair Fun. Well, Mrs Abigail, I hire your closet of warning he has given you, should sound you an you but for this one night-A thousand pounds, alarm at midnight, then open your curtains, with you know, is a very good rent.

a face as pale as my apron, and cry out, with a Ab. Well, get you gone: you have such a way bollow voice. What dost thou do in bed with this with you, there's no denying you any thing. spindle-shanked fellow?

Fun. I am thinking how Tinsel will stare, when L. Tru. Why wilt thou needs have it to be he sees me come out of the wall; for I am resol my husband ? He never had any reason to be ofved to make my appearance to-night,

fended at me. I always loved him while he was Ab. Get you in, get you in; my lady's at the living, and should prefer him to any man, were door.

be so still. Mr Tinsel is indeed very idle in his Fan. Pray take care she does not keep me up talk; but I fancy, Abigail, a discreet woman might so late as she did last night, or depend upon it reform him. I'll beat the tattoo.

Ab. That's a likely matter indeed ! Did you Ab, I'm undone, I'm undone !-[As he is go ever hear of a woman who had power over a man ing in.] Mr Fantoine! Mr Fantome! have you when she was his wife, that had none while she put the thousand pound bond into my brother's was his mistress? Oh, there's nothing in the

a man in his complaisance like Fan. Thou shalt have it; I tell thee, thou shalt marriage!

[Fan. goes in. L, Tru. He is, indeed, at present, too familiar Ab. No more words-Vanish, vanish! in his conversation.

Ab. Familiar, madam! in troth, he's downright Enter Lady TRUMAN.

rude. Ab. (Opening the door.] Oh, dear madam, was L. Tru. But that, you know, Abigail, shews it

that made such a knocking? My heart he has no dissimulation in him Then he is does so beat_I vow you have frighted me to apt to jest a little too much upon grave subjects. death—I thought verilý it had been the drummer. Ab. Grave subjects! He jests upon the church.

at.

[ocr errors]

hand?

world improves

have it.

[ocr errors]

you

L. Tru. But that, you know, Abigail, may be you thought every thing that was good is a me only to shew his wit -Then it must be owned grim. he's extremely talkative.

L. Tru. Why, truly, I don't very

well underAb. Talkative, d'ye call it ! he's downright im- stand what you meant by your doctrine to me in pertinent:

the garden just now, that every thing we saw was L. Tru. But that, you know, Abigail, is a sign made by chance. he has been used to good company-Then, in Ab. A very pretty subject indeed for a lover to deed, he is very positive.

divert his mistress with. Ab. Positive! why, he contradicts you in every L. Tru. But I suppose that was only a taste thing you say.

of the conversation you would entertain me with L. Tru. But then, you know, Abigail, he has after marriage. been educated at the inns of court.

Tin. Oh, I shall then have time to read you such Ab. A blessed education indeed! It has made lectures of motions, atoms, and nature-that you him forget his catechism.

shall learn to think as freely as the best of us, and L. Tru. You talk as if you hated him. be convinced, in less than a month, that all about Ab. You talk as if you loved him.

us is chance work. L. Tru. Hold your tongue ; here he comes. L. Tru. You are a very complaisant person in

deed; and so you would make your court to me Enter TINSEL.

by persuading me that I was made by chance! Tin. My dear widow !

Tin. Ha, ha, ha! well said, my dear! Why, Ab. My dear widow! marry come up! [Aside. faith, thou wert a very lucky hit, that's certain.

L. Trú. Let him alone, Abigail ; so long as he L. Tru. Pray, Mr Tinsel, where did you learn does not call me my dear wife, there's no harm this odd way of talking? done.

Tin. Ah, widow, 'tis your country innocence Tin. I have been most ridiculously diverted makes you think it an odd way of talking. since I left you—Your servants have made a con L. Tru. Though you give no credit to stories vert of my booby: his head is so filled with this of apparitions, I hope you believe there are such foolish story of a drummer, that I expect the things as spirits. rogue will be afraid hereafter to go upon a mes Tin. Simplicity! sage by moon-light.

Ab. I fancy you don't believe women have souls ; L. Iru. Ay, Mr Tinsel, what a loss of billet d'ye, sir? doux would that be to many a fine lady!

Tin. Foolish enough! Ab. Then you still believe this to be a foolish L. Tru. I vow, Mr Tinsel, I'm afraid malicious story? I thought my lady had told you that she people will say I'm in love with an atheist. had heard it herself.

Tin. Oh, my dear, that's an old-fashioned word Tin. Ha, ha, ha!

-I'm a free-thinker, child. Ab. Why, you would not persuade us out of Ab. I'm sure you are a free speaker! our senses?

L. Tru. Really, Mr Tinsel, considering that you Tin. Ha, ha, ha!

are so fine a gentleman, I'm amazed where you Ab. There's manners for you, madam. [Aside. got all this learning! I wonder it has not spoil

L. Tru. Admirably rally'd! That laugh was un ed your breeding. answerable! Now I'll be hanged if you could for Tin. To tell you the truth, I have not time to bear being witty upon me, if I should tell you I look into these dry matters myself, but I am conheard it no longer ago than last night.

vinced, by four or five learned men, whom I someTin. Fancy!

times overhear at a coffee-house I frequent, that L. Tru. But what if I should tell you my maid our forefathers were a pack of asses; that the was with me?

world has been in error for some thousands of Tin. Vapours, vapours ! Pray, my dear widow, years ; and that all the people upon earth, exceptwill you answer me one question ?-Had you ever ing those two or three worthy gentlemen, are im. this noise of a drum in your head all the while posed upon, cheated, bubbled, abused, bamboozled. your husband was living?

Ab. Madam, how can you hear such a profliL. Tru. And pray, Mr Tinsel, will you let me gate ? He talks like the London prodigal. ask

you another question ?-Do you think we can L. Tru. Why, really, I'm thinking, if there be hear in the country as well as you do in town? no such things as spirits, a woman has no occa

Tin. Believe me, madam, I could prescribe you sion for marrying-She need not be afraid to lie a cure for these imaginations.

by herself. Ab. Don't tell my lady of imaginations, sir: 1 Tin. Ah, my dear! are husbands good for nohave heard it myself.

thing but to frighten away spirits Dost thou Tin. Hark thee, child -Art thou not an old think I could not instruct thee in several other maid?

comforts of matrimony? Ab. Sir, if I am, it is my own fault.

L. Tru. Ah, but you are a man of so much Tin. Whims! freaks! megrims ! indeed, Mrs knowledge, that you would always be laughing Abigail.

at my ignorance-You learned men are so apt to Ab. Marry, sir, by your talk, one would believe despise one.

Tin. No, child ! I'll teach thee my principles- house. -Oh, we'd pass all our time in London. thou shouldst be as wise as I am in a week's time. 'Tis the scene of pleasure and diversions, where

L. Tru. Do you think your principles would there's something to amuse you every hour of the make a woman the better wife?

day. Life's not life in the country. Tin. Prythee, widow, don't be queer.

L. Tru. Well, then, you have an opportunity L. Tru. I love a gay temper, but I would not of shewing the sincerity of that love to me which have you rally things that are serious.

you profess. You may give a proof that you have Tin. Well enough, faith!- Where's the jest of an affection to my person, not my jointure. rallying any thing else?

Tin. Your jointure! How can you think me Ab. Ah, madam, did you ever hear Mr Fan- such a dog? But, child, won't your jointure be tome talk at this rate ?

(Aside. the same thing in London as in the country? Tin. But where's this ghost ; this son of a whore L. Tru. No, you're deceived ! You must know of a drummer? I'd fain hear him, methinks. it is settled on me by marriage-articles, on con.

Ab. Pray, madam, don't suffer him to give the dition that I live in this old mansion-house, and ghost such ill language, especially when you have keep it up in repair. reason to believe it is my master.

Rin, How ! Tin. That's well enough, faith, Nab.-Dost Ab. That's well put, madam. think thy master so unreasonable as to continue Tin. Why, faith, I have been looking upon this his claim to his relict after his bones are laid ? house, and think it is the prettiest habitation I Pray, widow, remember the words of your con

ever saw in

my

life. tract: you have fulfilled them to a tittle-Did L. Tru. Ay, but then this cruel drum! not you marry Sir George to the tune of till Death Tin. Something so venerable in it! us do part?

L. Tru. Ay, but the drum! L. Tru. I must not hear Sir George's memory Tin. For my part, I like this Gothic way of treated in so slight a manner. This fellow must building better than any of your new orders—it have been at some pains to make himself such a would be a thousand pities it should fall to ruin. finished coxcomb.

[Aside. L. Tru. Ay, but the drum ! Tin. Give me but possession of your person, Tin. How pleasantly we two could pass our and I'll whirl you up to town for a winter, and time in this delicious situation! Our lives would cure you at once. Oh, I have known many a be a continued dream of happiness. Come, faith, country lady come to London with frightful sto- widow, let's go upon the leads, and take a view ries of the hall-house being haunted; of fairies, of the country. spirits, and witches, that, by the time she had L. Tru. Ay, but the drum! the drum ! seen a comedy, played at an assembly, and am Tin. My dear, take my word for it, 'tis all fanbled in a ball or two, has been so little afraid of cy: besides, should he drum in thy very bed-chambug-bears, that she has ventured home in a chair ber, I should only hug thee the closer. at all hours of the night. Ab. Hum!-Sauce-box!

[Aside. Clasp'd in the folds of love, I'd meet my doom, Tin. 'Tis the solitude of thecountry that creates And act my joys, though thunder shook the these whimsies : there was never such a thing as

room.

{Excunt. a ghost heard of at London, except in the play

АСТ II.

SCENE I.-Opens, and discovers VELLUM in his passes for a conjuror, ut is really

enquirés after you, five him admittance. He Office, and a Letter in his Hand.

* Yourfaithful friend, Vel. This letter astonisheth :-May I believe

"G. TRUMAN. my own eyes—or rather my spectacles To

· P. S. Let this be a sebet, and you shall find Humphrey Vellum, esquire, steward to the lady your account in it.' Truman.'

This amazęth me! and ye the reasons why I • VELLUM,

should believe he is still livag are manifold. • I doubt not but you will be glad to hear your First, because this has oftenbeen the case of master is alive, and designs to be with you in half other military adventurers.-Scondly, because an hour. The report of my being slåin in the this newsof his death was first pufished in Dyer's Netherlands has, I find, produced some disorders Letter. Thirdly, because thi letter can be in my family. I am now at the George Inn. If written by none but himself-I how his land an old man with a grey beard, in a black cloak, and manner of spelling.-Fourthy

ease.

Enter Butler.

your memory, and could not forbear weeping when

she saw company. But. Sir, here's a strange old gentleman that Sir Geo. That was kind, indeed! I find she asks for you: he says he's a conjuror, but he looks grieved with a great deal of good breeding.–But very suspicious : I wish he ben't a jesuit. how comes this gang of lovers about her? Vel. Admit him immediately.

Vel. Her jointure is considerable. But. I wishi he ben't a jesuit ; but he says he's Sir Geo. How this fool torments me! [ Aside. nothing but a conjuror.

Vel. Her person is amiable. Vei. He says right-he is no more than a con Sir Geo. Death !

(Aside. juror. Bring him in, and withdraw. [Exit Butler.] Vel. But her character is unblemished. She -And fourthly, as I was saying, because has been as virtuous in your absence as a Pene

lope. Enter Butler, with Sir GEORGE.

Sir Geo. And has had as many suitors. But. Sir, here is the conjuror-What a devil Vel. Several have made their overtures. ish long beard he has ! I warrant it has been grow Sir Geo. Several ! ing these hundred years. (Aside.) [Exit. Vel. But she has rejected all.

Sir Geo. Dear Vellum, you have received my Sir Geo. There thou revivest me.—But what letter ; but before we proceed, lock the door. means this Tinsel ? Are his visits acceptable ? Vel It is his voice.

(Shuts the door.

Vel. He is young. Sir Geo. In the next place, help me off with Sir Geo. Does she listen to him? this cumbersome cloak.

Vel. He is gay. Vel. It is his shape.

Sir Geo. Sure she could never entertain a Sir Geo. So :-Now lay my beard upon the thought of marrying such a coxcomb! table.

Vel. He is not ill made. l'el. (After having looked on Sir Geo. through Sir Geo. Are the vows and protestations that kis spectacles.] It is his face, every lineament! passed between us come to this? I cann't bear. Sir Geo. Well

, now I have put off the conjuror the thought of it! Is Tinsel the man designed for and the old man, I can talk to thee more at my my worthy successor ?

Vel. You do not consider that you have been Vel. Believe me, my good master, I am as much dead these fourteen months. rejoiced to see you alive, as I was upon the day Sir Geo. Was there ever such a dog! (Aside. you were born. Your name was in all the news Vel. And I have often heard her say, that she papers in the list of those that were slain.

must never expect to find a second Sir George Sir Geo. We have not time to be particular. I Truman-meaning your ho—nour. shall only tell thee, in general, that I was taken Sir Geo. I think she loved me! But I must prisoner in the battle, and was under close con search into this story of the drummer, before I finement several months. Upon my release, I was discover myself to her. I have put on this habit resolved to surprise my wife with the news of my of a conjuror, in order to introduce myself. It being alive. I know, Vellum, you are a person must be your business to recommend me as a most of so much penetration, that I need not use any profound person, that, by my great knowledge further arguments to convince you that I am so. in the curious arts, can silence the drummer, and

Vel. I am—and moreover, I quesion not but dispossess the house. your good lady will likewise be coivinced of it. Vel. I am going to lay my accounts before my Her honour is a discerning lady.

lady, and I will endeavour to prevail upon her Sir Geo. I am only afraid she should be con ho-nour to admit the trial of your art. vinced of it to her sorrow. Is she not pleased Sir Geo. I have scarce heard of any of these with her imaginary widowhool? Tell me truly: stories, that did not arise from a love intrigue. - was she afficted at the rerort of my death? Amours raise as many ghosts as murders. Vel. Sorely.

Vel. Mrs Abigail endeavours to persuade us Sir Geo. How long did ler grief last? that 'tis your honour who troubles the house. Vel. Longer than I hxe known any widow's Sir Gio. That convinces me 'tis a cheat ; for I at least three days.

think, Vellum, I may be pretty well assured it is Sir Geo. Three dayssay’st thou? Three whole not me. days! I'm afraid thou fitterest me. -Oh, woman, Vel. I am apt to think so, truly; ha, ha, ha! woman!

Sir Geo. Abigail had always an ascendant over Vel. Grief is twoold.

her lady; and if there is a trick in this matter, Sir Geo. This ckhead is as methodical as depend upon it, she is at the bottom of it. I'll ever-but I knowe is honest.

(Aside be hanged if this ghost is not one of Abigail's faVel. There is a real grief, and there is a me- miliars. thodical grief. She was drowned in tears till such

Vel. Mrs Abigail has of late been very mystetime as the tajr had made her widow's weeds- rious. Indeed they kcame her.

Sir Geo. I fancy, Vellum, thou couldst worm Sir Geo. tcame her! and was that her com- it out of her. I know formerly there was an afort ? Trul, a most seasonable consolation.

mour between you. Vel. I mist needs say she paid a due regard to Vel. Mrs Abigail hath her allurements; and she

knows I have picked up a competency in your ho- | chamber where he intends to consummate, as he nour's service.

calls it. Sir Geo. If thou hast, all I ask of thee, in re L. Tru. Well, he's a wild fellow. turn, is, that thou wouldst immediately renew thy Ab. Indeed he's a very sad man, madam. addresses to her. Coax her up. Thou hast such L. Tru. He's young, Abigail : 'tis a thousand a silver tongue, Vellum, as 'twill be impossible pities he should be lost : I should be mighty glad for her to withstand. Besides, she is so very a to reform him. woman, that she'll like you the better for giving Ab. Reform him ! Marry, hang him. her the pleasure of telling a secret. In short, L. Tru. Has he not a great deal of life? wheedle her out of it, and I shall act by the ad Ab. Ay, enough to make your heart ache. vice wbich thou givest me.

L. Trú. I dare say thou think'st him a very Vel. Mrs Abigail was never deaf to me, when agreeable fellow. I talked upon that subject. I will take an oppor Ab. He thinks himself so, I'll answer for him. tunity of addressing myself to her in the most L. Tru. He's very good-natured. pathetic manner.

Ab. He ought to be so; for he's very silly. Sir Geo. In the mean time, lock me up in your L. Tru. Dost thou think he loves me? office, and bring me word what success you have. Ab. Mr Fantome did, I'm sure.

-Well, sure I am the first that ever was employ L. Tru. With what raptures he talked ! ed to lay himself.

Ab. Yes; but 'twas in praise of your jointureVel. You act, indeed, a threefold part in this house. house : you are a ghost, a conjuror, and my ho L. Tru. He has kept bad company. noured master, Sir George Truman ; he, he, he ! Ab. They must be very bad indeed, if they were You will pardon me for being jocular.

worse than himself. Sir Geo. Oh, Mr Vellum, with all my heart ! L. Tru. I have a strong fancy a good woman You know I love you men of wit and humour. might reform him. Be as merry as thou pleasest, so thou dost thy Ab. It would be a fine experiment, if it should business. (Mimicking him.] You will remember, not succeed. Vellum, your commission is twofold: first, to gain L. Tru. Well, Abigail, we'll talk of that anoadmission for me to your lady, and secondly, to ther time. Here comes the steward. I have no get the secret out of Abigail.

further occasion for you at present. (Exit AB. Vel. It sufficeth. [The scene shuts.

Enter VELLUM.
Enter Lady TRUMAN.

Vel. Madam, is your ho-nour at leisure to look L. Tru. Women who have been happy in a into the accounts of the last week? They rise first marriage are the most apt to venture upon very high. House-keeping is chargeable in a house a second. But, for my part, I had a husband so that is haunted. every way suited to my inclinations, that I must L. Tru. How comes that to pass ? I hope the entirely forget him, before I can like another man. drum neither eats nor drinks. But read your acI have now been a widow but fourteen months, count, Vellum. and have had twice as many lovers, all of them Vel. (Putting on and off his spectacles in this professed admirers of my person, but passionate- scene.) A hogshead and a half of ale. It is not ly in love with my jointure. I think it is a re for the ghost's drinking; but your ho—nour's servenge I owe my sex, to make an example of this vants say they must have something to keep up worthless tribe of fellows, who grow impudent, their courage against this strange noise. They dress themselves fine, and fancy we are obliged tell me they expect a double quantity of malt in to provide for them. But of all my captives, Mr their small beer, so long as the house continues in Tinsel is the most extraordinary in his kind. I this condition. hope the diversion I give myself with him is un L. Tru. At this rate, they'll take care to be blameable. I'm sure 'tis necessary to turn my frightened all the year round, I'll answer for them. thoughts off from the memory of that dear man, But go on. who has been the greatest happiness and afflic Vel. Item, Two sheep and a-Where is the tion of my life. My heart would be a prey to ox?-Oh, here I have bim-andan ox-Your hom melancholy, if I did not find these innocent me nour must always have a piece of cold beef in the thods of relieving it. But here comes Abigail : I house, for the entertainment of so many strangers, must tease the baggage; for I find she has taken who come from all parts to hear this drum. Item, it into her head that I'm entirely at her disposal. Bread, ten peck loaves—They cannot eat beef

without bread. Item, Three barrels of table beer Enter ABIGAIL.

- They must have drink with their meat. Ab. Madam, madam, yonder's Mr Tinsel has L. Tru. Sure no woman in England has a steas good as taken possession of your house. Mar-ward that makes such ingenious comments on his ry, he says, he must have Sir George's apartment works!

[Aside. enlarged; for truly,' says he, I hate to be straiten Vel. Item, To Mr Tinsel's servants five bottles ed. Nay, he was so impudent as to shew me the of port wine-It was by your ho-nour's order.

« PreviousContinue »