Page images
PDF

Jen. Poor dear soul, I pity you. Yes, yes, I believe you are miserable enough indeed; and I assure you I have pitied you a great while, and spoke many a word in your favour, when you little thought you had such a friend in a corner.

Lion. But, good Jenny, since, by some accident or other, you have been able to discover what I would willingly hide from all the world, I conjure you, as you regard my interest, as you value your Lady's peace and honour, never let the most distant hint of it escape you; for it is a secret of that importance—

Jen. And, perhaps, you think I can't keep a secret. Ah! Mr. Lionel, it must be hear, see, and say nothing in this world, or one has no business to live in it i besides, who would not be in love with my Lady > There's never a man this day alive but might be proud of it; for she is the handsomest, sweetest temperdest! And I am sure, one of the best mistresses, ever poor girl had.

Lion. Oh Jenny! She's an angel.

Jen. And so she is, indeed—Do you know that she gave me her blue and silver sack to-day, and it is every crum as good as new; and, go things as they will, don't you be fretting and vexing yourself, for I am mortally sartain she would liverer see a toad, than this Jessamy. Though I must say, to my thinking, he's a very likely man; and a fir.er pair of eye-brows, and a more delicate nose I never saw on a face.

Lion. By Heavens I shall run mad.

Jen. And why so? It is not beauty that always takes the fancy: moreover, to let you know, if it was, I don't think him any more to compare to you, than a thistle is to a carnation: and so's a sign; for, mark my words, my Lady loves you, as much as she hates him.

Lion. What you tell me, Jenny, is a thing I neither merit nor expert: No, I am unhappy, and let me continue so; my most presumptuous thoughts shall never carry me to a wish that may affect her quiet, or give her cause to repent. 50

Jen. That's very honourable of you, I must needs say! but for all that, liking's liking, and one can't help it; and if it should be my Lady's case, it is no fault of yours. I am sure, when she called me into her dressing-room, before she went down to dinner, there she stood with her eyes brim full of tears: and so I fell a crying for company—and then she said she could not abide the chap in the parlour; and at the same time, she bid me take an opportunity to speak to you, and desire you to meet her in the garden this evening after tea; for she has something to say to you. 62

Lion. Jenny, I see you are my friend; for which I thank yon, though I know it is impossible to do me any service; take this ring and wear it for my sake.

Jen. I am very much obliged to your honour; lam your friend indeed—but, I say, you won't forget to be in the garden now; and in the, mean time keep as little in the house as you can, for walls have eyes and ears; and I can tell you the servants take notice of your uneasiness, though I am always desiring them to mind their own business. 72

Lion. Pray have a care, Jenny, have a care, my dear girl, a word may breed suspicion.

Jen. Psha! have a care, yourself: it is you that breeds suspicion, Sighing and pining about; you look, for all the world like a ghost; and, if you don't pluck np your spirits, you will be a ghost soon; letting things get the better of you. Though, to be sure, when I thinks with myself, being cross'd in love is a terrible thing—There was a young man in the town where I was born, made away with himself upon the account of it. 83

Lion. Things shan't get the better of me, Jenny.

Jen. No more they don't ought. And once again I say, fortune is thrown in your dish, and you are not to fling it out; my lady's estate will be better than three bishopricks, if Sir John could give them to you. Thitlk of that, Mr. Lionel, think of that.

Lion. Think of what? 90

n'.'{L -A .

AIR.

'$h talh not to me of the wealth she possesses,
"" my hopes and my views to herself I conflne;
'The splendour of riches but slightly impresses
U heart that is fraught with a passion lihe mine.

.\By love, only love, should our souls be cemented; . int'rest, no motive, but that wou"dl own;

With her in a cottage he blest and contented,

And wretched wit/taut her, tho' plac'd on a ihroite.

SCENE 11.

Jenny, Colonel Oldboy.

Col. Very well, my Lady, I'll come again to you. presently, I am only going into the garden for a mouthful of air. Aha! my little Abigail! Here, Molly! Jenny! Betty! What's your name? Why don't you. answer me, hussy, when I call you?

Jen. If you want any thing, Sir, I'll call one of the footmen.

Col. The footmen! the footmen! Damn me, I never knew one of them, in my life, that wouldn't prefer a rascal to a gentleman—Come here, you slut, put your hands about my neck and kiss me.

Jen. Who, I, Sir!

Cel. Ay, here's money for you; what the devil are you afraid of? I'll take you into keeping; you shall go and live at one of my tenant's housep.. .

Jen. I wonder you aren't ashamedf Sir, to make an honest girl any such proposial; you that have a worthy gentlewoman, nay, a Lady of your own—To be sure she's a little stricken in years; but why shouldn't she grow elderly as well as yourself i ,

Col. Burn a lady, I love a pretty girl—

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »