« PreviousContinue »
SCENE I.--WuITTLE's house.
Neph. And for the same reason. This jour
ney to Scarborough will unfold the riddle. Enter BAT Eş and Servant.
Bates. Come, come, in plain English, and before
your uncle comes, explain the matter. Bates. Is he gone out? his card tells me to Neph. In the first place, I am undone. come directly—I did but lock up some papers, Bates. In love, I know-l bope your uncle is take my hat and cane,
not undone, too—that would be the devil! Ser. My master desires you will sit down, he Neph. He has taken possession of him in every will return immediately: he had some business In short, be came to Scarborough to see with his lawyer, and went out in great haste, the lady I had fallen in love with leaving the message I have delivered. Here is Bates. And fell in love himself? my young master.
Neph. Yes, and with the same lady.
Bates. That is the devil indeed!
Neph. O, Mr. Bates! when I thought my hapBates, What, lively Billy!-hold, I beg your piness complete, and wanted only my uncle's pardon-melancholy William, I think-Here's a consent, to give me the independence he so often fine revolution-I hear your uncle, who was last has promised me, he came to Scarborough for month all gravity, and you all mirth, have that purpose, and wished me joy of my choice; changed characters; he is now all spirit, and but in less than a week, his approbation turned you are in the dumps, young man.
into a passion for her: he now hates the sight of
me, and is resolved, with the consent of the fa
Enter THOMAS. ther, to make her his wife directly.
Bates. So he keeps you out of your fortune, Bates. Mr. Thomas, I am glad to see you; won't give his consent, which his brother's foolish upon my word, you look charmingly-you wear will requires, and he would marry himself the well, Mr. Thomas. same woman, because right, title, conscience, Tho. Which is a wonder, considering how nature, justice, and every law, divine and human, times go, Mr. Bates they'll wear and tear me are against it!
too, if I don't take care of myself—my old masNeph. Thus he tricks me at once both of wife ter has taken the nearest way to wear himself and fortune, without the least want of either. out, and all that belong to him.
Bates. Well said, friend Whittle! but it can't Bates. Why, surely this strange story about be, it shan't be, and it must not be !--this is town is not true, that the old gentleman is fallen murder and robbery in the strongest sense, and in love? he shan't be hanged in chains, to be laughed at Tho. Ten times worse than that! by the whole town, if I can help it.
Bates. The devil! Neph. I am distracted, the widow is distressed, Tho. And his horns-going to be married ! and we both shall run mad!
Bates. Not if I can help it. Bates. A widow, too! 'gad a mercy, three Tho. You never saw such an altered man in score and five!
your born days She's grown young again; he Neph. But such a widow? She is now in frisks, and prances, and runs about, as if he had town with her father, who wants to get her off a new pair of legs—he has left off his brown his hands; 'tis equal to him who has her, so camlet surtout, which he wore all the summer, she is provided for-I hear somebody coming and now, with his hat under his arm, he goes --I must away to her lodgings, where she waits open breasted, and he dresses and powders, and for me to execute a scheme directly for our de- smirks, so that you would take him for the mad livery.
Frenchman in Bedlam—something wrong in his Būtes. What is her name, Billy ?
upper story-Would you think it?--he wants Neph. Brady.
me to wear a pig-tail ! Bates. Brady! Is not she daughter to sir Pa Bates. Then he is far
indeed! trick O'Neale?
Tho. As sure as you are there, Mr. Bates, a Neph. The same. She was sacrificed to the pig-tail ! we have had sad work about it - I most senseless drunken profligate in the whole made a compromise with him to wear these country: He lived to run out his fortune; and ruffled shirts which he gave me; but they stand the only advantage she got from the union was, in my way-I am so listless with themhe broke that and his neck before he had broke though I have tied up my hands for him, I won't her heart.
tie up my head, that I am resolute. Bates. The affair of marriage is, in this coun Bates. This it is to be in love, Thomas ? try, put upon the easiest footing; there is neither
Tho. He may make free with himself, be love or hate in the matter; necessity brings them shan't make a fool of me-he has got his head together : they are united at first for their mutual into a bag, but I won't have a pig-tail tacked to convenience, and separated ever after for their mine-and so I told him. particular pleasures-- rare matrimony !-- Bates. What did you tell him? Where does she lodge ?
Tho. That as I and my father, and his father Neph. In Pall Mall, near the hotel.
before me, had wore their own hair as heaven Bates. I'll call in my way, and assist at the bad sent it, I thought myself rather too old to consultation : I am for a bold stroke, if gentle set up for a monkey at my time of life, and wear methods should fail.
a pig-tail-he, he, he !-he took it. Neph. We have a plan, and a spirited one, if Bates. With a wry face, for it was wormmy sweet widow is able to go through it-pray wood. let us have your friendly assistance--ours is the Tho. Yes, he was frumped, and called me cause of love and reason,
old blockhead, and would not speak to me the Bates. Get you gone, with your love rest of the day-but the next day he was at it and reason! they seldom pull together now- again—he then put me into a passion and I a-days. I'll give your uncle a dose first, and could not help telling him, that I was an Engthen I'll meet you at the widow's-What says lishman born, and had my prerogative as well your uncle's privy counsellor, Mr. Thomas, to as he; and that as long as I had breath in my this?
body, I was for liberty, and a strait head of Neph. He is greatly our friend, and will en-hair! ter sincerely into our service-be is honest, Bates. Well said, Thomas !—he could not ansensible, ignorant, and particular; a kind of swer that. half coxcomb, with a thorough, good heart--but Tho. The poorest man in England is a match he's here.
for the greatest, if he will but stick to the laws Butes. Do you go about your business, and of the land, and the statute books, as they are leave the rest to me.
[Exit NEPHEW. delivered down to us from our forefathers,
Bates. You are right-we must lay our wits Whit. I believe you never saw me look better, together, and drive the widow out of your old Frank, did you? master's head, and put her into your young mas Bates. () yes, rather better forty years ago. ter's hands.
Whit. What, when I was at Merchant Taylors' Tho. With all my heart!--nothing can be School? more meritorious-marry at his years! what a Bates. At Lincoln's-Inn, Tom. terrible account would he make of it, Mr. Bates ! Whit. It can't be---I never disguise my age, -Let me see-on the debtor side sixty-five- and next February I shall be fifty-four. and per contra creditor, a buxom widow of twen Bates. Fifty-four ! Why I am sixty, and you ty-three-He'll be a bankrupt in a fortnight- always licked me at school--though I believe I he, he, he !
could do as much for you now, and 'ecod I beBates. And so he would, Mr. Thomas-what lieve you deserve it too. have you got in your hand?
whit. I tell you I am in my fifty-fifth year. Tho. A pamphlet my old gentleman takes in Bates. O, you are !-let me see--we were to-he has left off buying histories and religious gether at Cambridge, anno domini twenty-five, pieces by numbers, as he used to do; and since which is ncar fifty years ago—you came to the he bas got this widow in his head, he reads no college, indeed, surprisingly young; and what thing but the Amorous Repository, Cupid's is more surprising, by this calculation, you went Revels, Call to Marriage, Hymen's Delights, to school before you was born-you was always Love lies a Bleeding, Love in the Suds, and such a forward child. like tender compositions.
Whit. I see there is no talking or consulting Bates. Here he comes, with all his folly about with you in this humour; and so, Mr. Bates, him.
when you are in temper to show less of your wit, Tho. Yes, and the first fool from Vanity-fair and moore of your friendship, I shall consult with -Heaven lielp us !-love turns man and woman you. topsy turvy!
[Exit Thomas. Bates. Fare you well, my old boy-young Whit. (Without.) Where is he? where is my fellow, I mean—when you have done sowing good friend?
your wild oats, and have been blistered into your Enter WuITTLE,
right senses; when you have half killed yourself
with being a beau, and return to your woollen Ha! here he is—give me your hand.
caps, fannel waistcoats, worsted stockings, cork Bates. I am glad to see you in such spirits, soles, and gallochies, I am at your service again. my old gentleman.
So bon jour to you, Monsieur Fifty-four--hia, Whit. Not so old neither-no man ought to ha!
[Erit. be called old, friend Bates, if he is in health, Whit. He has certainly heard of my affair spirits, and
but he is old and peevish---he wants spirits, and Bates, In his senses —which I should rather strength of constitution to conceive my happidoubt, as I never saw you half so frolicksome in ness---I am in love with the widow, and must
have her: Every man knows his own wants--'Whit. Never too old to learn, friend; and if let the world laugh, and my friend stare ! let I don't make use of my philosophy now, I may them call me imprudent, and mad, if they wear it out in twenty years--I have been always please-I live in good times, and among bantered as of too grave a cast-you know, people of fashion; so none of my neighbours, when I studied at Lincoln's Inn, they used 10 thank Heaven, can have the assurance to laugh call me Young Wisdom.
Bates. And if they should call you Old Folly, it will be a much worse paine.
Enter Old KECKSEY. Whit. No young jackanapes dares to call me 80, while I have this friend at my side. [Touches Kec. What, my friend Whittle! joy, joy, to his sword.]
you, old boy-you are going, a goiag, a going ! Bates. A hero, too! what in the name of a fine widow has bid for you, and will have you common sense is come to you, my friend? hah, friend? all for the best--there is nohigh spirits, quick honour, a long sword, and thing like it--hugh, hugh, hugh !---a good wife is a bag k-you want nothing but to be terribly a good thing, and a young one is a better--hah in love, and then you may sally forth Knight ---who's afraid? If I had not lately married of the Woeful Countenance. Ha, ha, ha! one, I should have been at death's door by this
Whit. Mr. Bates—the ladies, who are the time-hugh, hugh, hugh! best judges of countenances, are not of your Whit. Thank, thank you, friend! I was comopinion; and unless you'll be a little serious, ing to advise with you I am got into the pound I'must bey pardon for giving you this trouble, again-in love up to the ears---a fine woman, and I'll open my mind to some more attentive faith; and there's no love lost between usfriend.
Ain I right, friend?. Bates. Well, come! unlock then, you wild, Kec. Right! ay, right as my leg, Tom ! handsome, vigorous young dog you—I will please Life's nothing without love-hugh, hugh! I am you if i can.
happy as the day's long ! my wife loves gadding,
and I can't stay at home; so we are both of a 1 ried in England some time, and lived among my mind-She's every night at one or other of the betters. garden places; but among friends, I am a little Neph. Thou charming, adorable woman! afraid of the damp; hugh, hugh, hugh! She what shall we do then? I never wished for a has got an Irish gentleman, a kind of cousin of fortune till this moment. hers, to take care of her; a fine fellow, and so Wid. Could we live upon affection, I would good-natured!—It is a vast comfort to have give your fortune to your uncle, and thank him such a friend in a family! Hugh, huyh, hugh! for taking it; and then
Whit. You are a bold man, cousin Kecksey. Neph. What then, my sweet widow ?
Kec. Bold! ay, to be sure; none but tie Wid. I would desire you to run away with brave deserve the fair-Hugh, hugh! who's me as fast as you can -What a pity it is, that afraid?
this money, which my heart despises, should - Whit. Why, your wife is five feet ten! binder its happiness, or that, for want of a
Kec. Without her shoes. I hate your little few dirty acres, a poor woman must be made shrimps; none of your lean, meagre French miserable, and 'sacrificed twice to those who frogs for me; I was always fond of the majestic: have them ! give me a slice of a good English surloin! cut Neph. Heaven forbid ! these exquisite sentiand come again; hugh, hugh, hugh! that's my ments endear you more to me, and distract me taste.
with the dread of losing you. Whit. I'm glad you have so good a stomach Bates. Young folks; let an old man, who is And so you would advise me to marry the widow not quite in love, and yet will admire a fine wodirectly?
man to the day of his death, throw in a little adKec. To be sure !-you have not a moment to vice among your flames and darts. lose; I always mind what the poet says,
Wid. Though a woman, a widow, and in love too, I can hear reason, Mr. Bates.
Bates. And that's a wonder-You have no 'Tis folly to lose time,
time to lose; for want of a jointure you are When man is in his prime:
still your father's slave; he is obstinate, and Hugh! hugh! hugh !
has promised you to the old man: Now, maWhit. You have an ugly cough, cousin.
dam, if you will not rise superior to your Kec. Marriage is the best lozenge for it.
sex's weakness, to secure a young fellow instead Whit. You have raised me from the dead-1 of an old one, your eyes are a couple of hypo
crites. am glad you came-Frank Bates had almost killed me with his jokes—but you have coin and have led their mistress into a toil, from
Wid. They are a couple of traitors, I'm sure, forted me, and we will walk through the Park; and I will carry you to the widow in Pall-Mali: which all her wit cannot release her. Kec. With all my heart !—I'll raise her uncle adored, and fell in love with you for your
Neph. But it can, if you will but exert it. My spirits, and yours too. Courage, Tom--come beauty, softness, and almost speechless reserve. along-who's afraid ?
Now, if, amidst all his rapturous ideas of your
delicacy, you would bounce upon him a wild, SCENE II.—The Widow's lodgings. ranting, buxom widow, he will grow sick of his
bargain, and give me a fortune to take you off Enter Widow, Nephew, and BATES. his hands.
Wid. I shall make a very bad actress. Bates. Indeed, madam, there is no other way but to cast off your real character, and assume but the character of your Irish female neighbour
Neph. You are an excellent mimic; assume a feigned one; it is an extraordinary occa- in the country, with which you astonished us so sion, and requires extraordinary measures; agreeably at Scarborough; you will frighten ny pluck up a spirit, and do it for the honour of uncle to terms; and do that for us which neither
my love nor your virtue can accomplish without Neph. Only consider, my sweet widow, that it. our all is at stake.
Wid. Now for a trial-[Mimicking a strong Wid. Could I bring my heart to act con- brogue.]-Fait and trot, if you will be after trary to its feelings, would not you hate me for bringing me before the old jontleman, it he loves being a hypocrite, though it is done for your music, I will trate his ears with a little of the sake?
brogue, and some dancing too, into the bargain, Neph, Could I think myself capable of such it he loves capering—0 bless me! my heart fails ingratitude Il'id. Don't make fine specches! You men are
me, and I am frightened out of my wils; I can
never go through it. strange creatures ! you turn our heads to your
(NEPHEW and Bates both laugh.purposes, and then despise us for the folly you Neph. Kneeling and kissing her hand.] Ob, teach us. 'Tis hard to assume a character con- 'tis admirable ! Love himself inspires you, and trary to my disposition: I cannot get rid of my we shall conquer. What say you, Mr. Bates ? unfasnionable prejudices till I have been mar Bates. I'll insure you success; I can scarce
believe my own ears : such a tongue and a wench, with her lovers and footmen about her; brogue would make Hercules tremble at five- she's a gay one, by her motions. -and-twenty! But away, away, and give him Whit. Were she not so flaunting, I should the first broadside in the Park; there you'll take it for—No, it is impossible; and yet is find him hobbling with that old cuckold, not that my nephew with her? I forbad him Kecksey.
speaking to her; it can't be the widow! I hope Wid. But will my dress suit the character I it is not. play? Neph. The very thing! Is your retinue ready,
Enter Widow, followed by NEPHEW, three and your part got by heart?
Footmen, and a black Boy. Wid. Ail is ready; 'tis an act of despair
Wid. Don't bother me, young man, with your to punish folly and reward merit; 'tis the darts, your cupids, and your panys; if
bad last effort of pure, honourable love; and if half of them about you that you swear you have, every woman would exert the same spirit for they would have cured you, hy killing you long the same out-of-fashion rarity, there would be ago. Would you have me faitless to your uncle, less business for Doctors'-Commons. Now hah! young man? Was not I faitful to you, 'till let the critics laugh at me, if they dare.
I was ordered to be faitful to him? but I must
[Erit with spirit. know more of your English ways, and live more Neph. Bravo! bravissimo ! sweet widow ! among the English ladies, to learn how to be
[Erit after her. faitful to two at a time—and so there's my anBates. Huzza! huzza !
[Exit. swer for you.
Neph. Then I know my relief, for I cannot SCENE III.-The Park. live without you.
Wid. Take what relief you plase, young jonEnter WHITTLE and KECKSEY.
tleman, what have F to do with dat! He is Whit. Yes, yes, she is Irish; but so modest, certainly mad, or out of his sinses, for he swears so mild, and so tender, and just enough of he can't live without me, and yet he talks of the accent to give a peculiar sweetness to her killing himself? how does he make out dat? if words, which drop from her in monosyllables, a countryman of mine had made such a blunder, with such a delicate reserve, that I shall have they would have put it into all the news-papers, all the comfort, without the impertinence of a and Faulkner's Journal beside ; but an Englishwife.
man may look over the hedge, while an Irishman Kec. There our taste differs, friend; I am must not stale a horse. for a lively smart girl in my house, hugh! Kec. Is this the widow, friend Whittle? hugh! to keep up my spirits, and make me Whit. I don't know : [Sighing.) it is, and it merry. I don't admire dumb waiters, not I; is not. no still life for me; I love the prittle prattle; Wid. Your servant, Mr. Whittol ; I wish you it sets me to sleep, and I can take a sound would spake to your nephew not to be whining nap, while my Sally and her cousin are run- and dangling after me all day in his green coat, ning and playing about the house like young like a parrot : it is not for my reputation that
he should follow me about like a beggarWhit. I am for no cats in my house; I can- man, and ask me for what I had given him not sleep with a noise; the widow was made long ago, but have since bestowed upon you, on purpose for me; she is so bashful, has no Mr. Whittol. acquaintance, and she never would stir out of
Whit. He is an impudent beggar, and shall be doors, if her friends were not afraid of a really so for his disobedience. consumption, and so force her into the air : Wid. As he can't live without me, you know, Such a delicate creature! you shall see her; it will be charity to starve him : I wish the poor you were always for a tall, chattering, frisky young man dead with all my heart, as he thinks wench; now, for my part, I am with the old it will do him a grate deal of good. saying,
Kec. [To WHITTLE.] She is tender, indeed!
and I think she has the brogue a little-hugh! Quiet house;
hugh! Wife a cat,
Whit. It is stronger to day than ever I heard
it. Dreadful that!
Wid. And are you now talking of my brogue! Keck. I don't care for your sayings-who's It is always the most fullest when the wind is afraid?
aesterly ; it has the same effect upon me as Whit. There goes Bates : let us avoid him, he upon stammering people they can't spake for will only be joking with us ;: when I have taken their impediment, and my tongue is fixed so a serious thing into my head, I can't bear to loose in my mouth, I can't stop it for the life have it laughed out again. This way, friend of me. Kecksey-What have we got here?
Whit. What a terrible misfortune, friend Keck. (Looking out.] Some fine prancing Kecksey!
Wife a mouse,