« PreviousContinue »
ly I am not in love: let me examine my heart a little: I saw him kissing one of the maids the other day; I could have boxed his ears for it, and have done nothing but find fault and quarrel with the girl ever since. Why was I uneasy at his toying with another woman? what was it to me ?—Then I dream of him almost every night—but that may proceed from his being generally uppermost in my thoughts all day: Oh! worse and worse !'—Well, he is certainly a pretty lad; he has something uncommon about him, considering his rank :—And now, let me only put the case, if he was not a servant, would I, or would I not, prefer him to all the men I ever saw ? Why, to be sure, if he was not a servant—In short, I'll ask myself no more questions, for the further I examine, the less reason I shall have to be satisfied. 251
How bless'd the maid, whose bosom
Young Meadows, Rossetta.
Y. Mea. Do you come into the garden, Mrs. Rossetta, to put my lilies and roses out of countenance; or, to save me the trouble of watering my flowers, by reviving them? The sun seems to have hid himself a little, to give you an opportunity of supplying his place.
Ros. Where could he get that now? he never read it in the Academy of Compliments.
Y. Mea. Come, don't affett to treat me with contempt; I can suffer any thing better than that; in short, I love you; there is no more to be said: I am angry with myself for it, and strive all I can against it; but, in spite of myself, I love you.
In vain, I ev'ry art essay,
That ranhles in my heart:
Andfiercer mahe the smart. 179
Ros. Really, Mr. Thomas, this is very improper language; it is what I don't understand; I can't suffer it, and, in short, 1 don't like it.
Y. Mea. Perhaps you don't like me.
Y. Mea. Nay, but 'tis not so; come, confess you love me.
Ros. Confess! indeed I shall confess no such thing: besides, to what purpose should I confess it i
Y. Mea. Why, as you say, I don't know to what purpose; only, it would be a satisfaction to me to hear you say so; that's all. 291
Ros. Why, if I did love you, I can assure you, you wou'd never be the better for it—Women are apt enough to be weak; we cannot always answer for our inclinations, but it is in our power not to give way to them; and, if I was so silly; I say, if I was so indiscreet, which I hope I am not, as to entertain an improper regard, when people's circumstances are quite unsuitable, and there are obstacles in the way that cannot be surmounted— 301
Y. Mea. Oh! to be sure, Mrs. Rossetta, to be sure: you are entirely in the right of it—I—know very well, you and I can never come together.
Ros. Well then, since that is the case, as I assure you it is, I think we had better behave accordingly.
Y. Mea. Suppose we make a bargain, then, never to speak to one another any more?
Ros. With all my heart.
Y. Mea. Nor look at, nor, if possible, think of, one another > 311 Res. I am very willing.
Y. Mea. And, as long as we stay in the house together, never to take any notice i ■ Ros. It is the best way.
Y. Mea. Why, I believe it is—Well, Mrs. Ros. setta
Ros. Begone / agree
From this moment we're free:
Of the fates that ordain—
Tear you image away,
Ros. Well, now, I think, I am somewhat easier: I am glad I have come to this explanation with him, because it puts an end to things at once.
Y. Mea. Hold, Mrs. Rossetta, pray stay a moment —The airs this girl gives herself are intolerable: I find now the cause of her behaviour; she despises the meanness of my condition, thinking a gardener below the notice of a lady's waiting-woman: 'sdeath, I have a good mind to discover myself to her.
Ros. Poor wretch! he does not know what to make
of it: I believe he is heartily mortified, but I must not pity him. 341
Y. Mea. It shall be so: I will discover myself to her, and leave the house directly—.Mrs. Rossetta— [starting bach.]—Pox on it, yonder's the Justice come into the garden!
Ros. O Lord I he will walk round this way; pray go about your business; I would not for the world he should see us together.
Y. Mea. The devil take him: he's gone across the parterre, and can't hobble here this half hour: I must and will have a little conversation with you.
Ros. Some other time.
Y. Mea. This evening, in the green-house, at the lower end of the canal; I have something to communicate to you of importance. Will you meet me there i
Ros. Meet you!
Y. Mea. Ay; I have a secret to tell you; and I swear, from that moment, there shall be an end of every thing betwixt us. 360
Ros. Well, well, pray leave me now.
Y. Mea. You'll come then >
Ros. I don't know, perhaps I may.
Y. Mea. Nay, but promise.
Ros. What signifies promising; I may break my promise—but, I tell you, I will.
Y. Mea. Enough—Yet, before I leave you, let me desire you to believe I love you more than ever man