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Care. And thou art always spoiling company | noise and impertinence keep my Lady Touchby coming into it.
wood's head from working : for hell is not more Brisk. Pooh, ha, ha, ha! I know you envy me. busy than her brain, nor contains inore devils Spite, proud spite, by the gods! and burning en-than that imaginations. vy. I'll be judged by Mellefont here, who gives Care. I thought your fear of her had been and takes raillery better, you or I. Pshaw, man; Is not to-morrow appointed for your marwhen I say you spoil company by leaving it, Iriage with Cynthia, and her father sir Paul Plymean you leave nobody for the company to laugh ant come to settle the writings this day, on purat. I think there I was with you, ba! Melle- pose ? font?
Mel. True; but you shall judge, whether I Mel. O my word, Brisk, that was a home have not reason to he alarmed. None, besides thrust—you have silenced him.
you and Maskwell, are acquainted with the secret Brisk. Oh, my dear Mellefont, let me perish, of my aunt Touchwood's violent passion for me. if thou art not the soul of conversation, the very Since my first refusal of her addresses, she has Essence of wit, and spirit of wine-The deuce endeavoured to do me all ill offices with my untake me, if there were three good things said, or cle; yet has managed them with that subtilty, one understood, since thy amputation from the that to him they have borne the face of kindness, body of our society–Heh! I think that's pretty, while her malice, like a dark lanthorn, only and metaphorical enough: Egad, I could not shone upon me, where it was directed. Still it have said it out of thy company-Careless, ha ! gave me less perplexity to prevent the success of Care. Hum, what is it?
her displeasure, than to avoid the importunities Brisk. O, mon caur! What is it! Nay, gad, I of her love; and, of two evils, I thought myself will punish you for want of apprehension : the favoured in her aversion : but, whether urged by deuce take me, if I tell you.
her despair, and the short prospect of time she Mel. No, no, hang him, he has no taste-But, saw to accomplish her designs; whether the dear Brisk, excuse me, I have a little business. hopes of revenge, or of her love, terminated in
Care. Prithee, get thee gone : thou see'st we the view of this my marriage with Cynthia, I are serious.
know not; but this morning she surprised me in Mel. We'll come immediately, if you'll but go my bed. in, and keep up good humour and sense in the Care. Was there ever such a fury! It is well company: Prithee do—they'll fall asleep else. nature has not put it into her sex's power to ra
Brisk. Egad so they will-Well, I will, I vish. Well, bless us! proceed. What followed? will; gad you shall command me from the zenith Mel. What at first amazed me; for I looked to the nadir. But the deuce take me, if I say a to have seen her in all the transports of a slighted good thing till you come. But, prithee, dear and revengeful woman : but when I expected rogue, make haste, prithee make haste, I shall thunder from her voice, and lightning in her eyes, burst else. And yonder your uncle, my lord I saw her melted into tears, and hu hed into a Touchwood, swears he will disinherit you, and sigh. It was long before either of us spoke; sir Paul Plyant threatens to disclaim you for a passion had tied her tongue, and amazement son-in-law, and my lord Froth won't dance at your mine. In short, the consequence was thus: she wedding to-morrow; nor the deuce take me, I omitted nothing, that the most violent love could won't write your epithalamium—and see what a urge, or tender words express; which, when she condition you are like to be brought to.
saw had no effect, but still I pleaded honour and Mel. Well, I will speak but three words, and nearness of blood to my uncle, then came the follow you.
storm I feared at first; for, starting from my bedBrisk. Ennugh, enough. Careless, bring your side like a fury, she flew to my sword, and, with apprehension along with you. (Erit BRISK. much ado, I prevented her doing me or herself a Care. Pert coxcomb!
mischief: having disarmed her, in a gust of pasMel. Faith, 'tis a good-natured coxcomb, and sion she left me, and in a resolution, confirined has very entertaining follies-- You must be more by a thousand curses, not to close her eyes, till humane to him; at this juncture it will do me they had seen my ruin. service. I'll tell you, I would have mirth conti- Čare. Exquisite woman! But, what the devil! pued this day at any rate, though patience pur- does she think thou hast no more sense than to chase folly, and attention be paid with noise. get an heir to disinherit thyself? for, as I take it, There are times, when sense inay be unseasona- this settlement upon you is with a proviso, that ble, as well as truth. Prithee, do thou wear none your uncle have no children. to-day; but allow Brisk to have wit, that thou Mel. It is so. Well, the service you are to do mayst seem a fool.
me will be a pleasure to yourself. I must get you Care. Why, how now, why this extravagant to engage my lady Plyant all this evening, that proposition?
my pious aunt may not work her to her interest; Mel
. O, I would have no roon for serious de- and, if you chance to secure her to yourself, you sign, for I am jealous of a plot I would have may incline her to mine. She is handsome, and Vol. II.
knows it; is very silly, and thinks she has sense ; | tious person—and the best company.-And and has an old fond husband.
my lord Froth, your lordship is so merry a man, Care. I confess a very fair foundation for a he, he, he ! lover to build upon.
Lord Froth. () foy, sir Paul, what do you Mel. For my lord Froth, he and his wife will mean? Merry! O barbarous! I'd as lieve you be sufficiently taken up with admiring one ano- called me fool. ther, and Brisk's gallantry, as they call it
. I will Sir Paul, Nay, I protest and vow now, 'tis
worthy to be laughed at?
I don't say so; for I often smile at your concepCare. Faith I cannot help it; you know I tions. But there is nothing more unbecoming a never liked him ; I am a little superstitious in man of quality, than to laugh; 'tis such a vulgar physiognomy:
expression of the passion! every body can laugh. Mel. He has obligations of gratitude to bind Then, especially, to laugh at the jest of an inferior him to me; his dependence upon any uncle is person, or when any body else of the same quathrough iny means.
lity does not laugh with one. Ridiculous! to be Care. Upon your aunt, you mean.
pleased with what pleases the crowd! Now, when Mel. My aunt!
I laugh, I always laugh alone. Care. I am mistaken, if there be not a fami- Brisk. I suppose that's because you laugh at liarity between them you do not suspect, not your own jests, 'egad, ha, ha, ha! withstanding her passion for you.
Lord Froth. Ile, he, I swear though! your Mel. Pooh, pooh; nothing in the world but raillery provokes me to a smile. his design to do me service; and he endeavours Brisk. Ay, my lord, it's a sign I hit you in the to be well in her esteem, that he may be able to teeth, if you shew them. effect it.
Lord Froth. He, he, he! I swear that's so very Cure. Well, I shall be glad to be mistaken: pretty, I can't forbear. but your aunt's aversion, in her revenge, cannot Lord Touch. Sir Paul, if you please we'll rebe any way so effectually shewn, as in bringing tire to the ladies, and drink a dish of tea to forth a child to disinherit you. She is handsonie settle our heads. and cunning, and naturally wanton. Maskwell Sir Paul. With all my heart.- Mr. Brisk, is fesh and blood at best, and opportunities be you'll come to us---or call to me when you tween them are frequent. His affection to you, joke—I'll be ready to laugh incontinently. you have confessed; is grounded upon his interest;
(Exeunt Lord Touch, and Sir Paul. that you have transplanted; and, should it take Mel. But does your lordship never see comroot in my lady, I do not see what you can ex- medies ? pect from the fruit.
Lord Froth. O yes, sometimes; but I never Mel. I confess the consequence is visible, laugh. were your suspicions just.—But see, the company Mel. No! is broke up; let us meet them.
Lord Froth. Oh no-never laugh, indeed, sir.
Care. No! Why, what d'ye go there for?
Lord Froth. To distinguish myself from the
commonalty, and mortify the poets;—the fellows Lord Touch. Out upon't, nephew-leave grow so conceited, when any of their foolish wit your father-in-law, and me, to maintain our prevails upon the side-boxes.- I swear-he, ground against young people!
he, be! I have often constrained any inclinations Mel. I beg your lordship's pardon—we were to laugh—he, he, he! to avoid giving them enjust returning
couragement, Sir Paul. Were you, son? Gadsbud, much Mel. You are cruel to yourself, my lord, as better as it is--Good, strange! I swear I'm al- well as malicious to them. most tipsy- -t'other bottle would have been too Lord Froth. I confess I did myself some viopowerful for me—as sure as can be it would.- lence at first, but now I think I have conquered We wanted your company, but Mr. Brisk-it. where is he? I swear and vow he's a most face Brisk. Let me perish, my lord, but there is
something very particular in the humour; 'tis | a patch; my wife shall supply you. Come, gentrue, it makes against wit, and I'm sorry for tlemen; allons! here is company coming. soine friends of mine that write; but 'egad, I love
[Ereunt. to be malicious.-Nay, deuce take me, there's wit in't, too and wit must be foiled by wit;
SCENE II. cut a diamond with a diamond; no other way, 'egad.
Enter Lady Touchwood and MASKWELL. Lord Froth. Oh, I thought you would not be Lady Touch. I'll hear no more- -Yare false long before you found out the wit.
and ungrateful; come, I know you false. Care. Wit! In what? Where the devil's the Mask. I have been frail, I contess, madam, for wit in not laughing, when a man has a mind to't? your ladyship’s service.
Brisk. O lord, why, can't you find it out? Lady Touch. That I should trust a man, whom Why, there 'tis, in the not laughing - Don't I had known betray bis friend! you apprehend me? My lord, Careless is a Mask. What friend have I betrayed? or to very honest fellow; but hark ye—you understand whom? me, somewhat heavy, a little shallow, or so.- Ludy Touch. Your fond friend Mellefont, and Why, I'll tell you now; suppose, now, you come
-Can you deny it? up to me- -Nay, pr’ythee, Careless, be instruct- Mask, I do not. ed. Suppose, as I was saying, you come up to Lady Touch. Have you not wronged my Lord, me, holding your sides, and laughing, as if you who has been a father to you in your wants, and would —Well-I look grave, and ask the cause given you being ? Have you not wronged him in of this immoderate mirth-Yon laugh on still, the highest manner, in his bed? and are not able to tell me
-Still I look grave,
Mask. With your ladyship’s help, and for not so much as smile.
your service, as I told you before. I cannot Care. Smile, no; what the devil should you deny that, neither. Any thing more, madam? smile at, when you suppose I can't tell you ? Lady Touch. More! audacious villain. Oh,
Brisk. Pshaw, pshaw, pry’thee don't interrupt what's more is most my shame--Slave you not me.-But I tell you, you shall tell me—at last - dishonoured me? But it shall be a great while first.
Mask. No, that I deny : for I never told in Care. Well; but pr’ythee don't let it be a all my life; so that accusation's answered great while, because I long to have it over. On to the next.
Brisk. Well, then, you tell me some good jest, Lady Touch. Death! do you dally with my or very witty thing, laughing all the while as if passion ? Insolent devil! But have a careyou were ready to die_and I hear it, and provoke me not; for, by the eternal fire, you look thus. Would not you be disappointed ? shall not escape my vengeance! Calm villain !
Care. No: for if it were a witty thing, I how unconcerned he stands, confossing treachery should not expect you to understand it. and ingratitude! Is there a vice more black
Lord Froth. O foy, Mr. Careless, all the world Oh, I have excuses, thousands, for my faults: fire allows Mr. Brisk to have wit; my wife says he in my temper; passions in my soul, apt to every has a great deal. I hope you think her a judge. provocation ; oppressed, at once, with love and
Brisk. Pooh, my lord, his voice goes for no- with despair: but a sedate, a thinking villain, thing.–I can't tell how to make him apprehend. whose black blood runs temperately bad, what --Take it t'other way. Suppose I say a witty excuse can clear? thing to you?
Mask. Will you be in temper, madam? I Care. Then I shall be disappointed, indeed. would not talk not to be heard. I have been
Mel. Let him alone, Brisk; he is obstinately (She walks about disordered.) a very great rogue bent not to be instructed.
for your sake, and you reproach me with it; I Brisk. I'm sorry for him, the deuce take me. am ready to be a rogue still, to do you service; Mel. Shall we go to the ladies, my lurd ? and you are flinging conscience and honour in
Lord Froth. With all my heart;methinks my face, to rebate my inclinations. How am I We are a solitude without them.
to behave myself? You know I am your creature, Mel. Or, what say you to another bottle of my life and fortune in your power; to disoblige champagne ?
you brings me certain ruin. Allow it, I would Lord Froth. O, for the universe, not a drop betray you, I would not be a traitor to myself more, I beseech you. Oh, intemperate! I have I do not pretend to honesty, because you know a flushing in my face already,
I am a rascal : but I would convince you, from [Takes out a pocket glass, and looks in it. the necessity of my being firm to you. Brisk. Let me see, let me see, my lord ! I Lady Touch. Necessity, impudence! Can no broke my glass that was in the lid of my snuff- gratitude incline you, no obligations touch you? box. Hum! Deuce take me, I have encouraged Were you not in the nature of a servant, and a pimple here too. [Takes the glass, and looks. have not I, in effect, made you lord of all, of me,
Lord Froth. Then you must mortify him with and of my lord? Where is that humble love, the
languishing, that adoration, which once was paid you yourself, in open hours of love, have told me, and everlastingly engaged?
me. Why should you deny it? Nay, how can Mask. Fixed, rooted in my heart, whence no- you? Is not all this present heat owing to the thing can remove them; yet you
same fire? Do you not love him still? How have Lady Touch. Yet, what yet?
I this day offended you, but in not breaking off Mask. Nay, misconceive me not, madam, his match with Cynthia? which, ere to-morrow, when I say I have had a generous and faithful shall be done -had you but patience. passion, which you had never favoured but Lady Touch. How! what said
you, Maskwell? through revenge and policy.
-Another caprice to unwind my temper? Ludy Touch. Ha!
Mask. By Heaven, no! I am your slave, the Musk. Look you, madam, we are alone. Pray slave of all your pleasures; and will not rest till contain yourself, and hear me. You know you I have given you peace, would you suffer me. loved your nephew, when I first sighed for you; Lady Touch. Oh, Maskwell! in vain do I disI quickly found it; an argument that I loved : guise me from thee: thou knowest me, knowest for with that art you veiled your passion, 'twas my
soul- married to-morrow! Despair strikes imperceptible to all but jealous eyes. This dis- me! Yet my soul knows I hate him, too: let him covery made me bold, I confess it; for, by it, I but once be mine thought you in
my power. Your nephew's scorn Mask. Compose yourself, you shall possess of you added to my hopes; I watched the occa- and ruin him, too_Will that please you? sion, and took you, just repulsed by him, warm Lady Touch. How, how? thou dear, thou pre at once with love and indignation; your disposi- cious villain, how? tion, my arguments, and happy opportunity, ac- Mask. You have already been tampering with complished my design; I prest the yielding mi- my Lady Plyant. nute, and was blest. How I have loved you Lady Touch. I have; she is ready for any imsince, words have not shewn; then, how should pression I think fit. words express?
Mask. She must be thoroughly persuaded that Lady Touch. Well, mollifying devil !- And Mellefont loves her. have I not met your love?
Lady Touch. She is so credulous that way naMask. Your zeal, I grant, was ardent, but mis- turally, and likes him so well, that she will beplaced; there was revenge in view; that woman's lieve it faster than I can persuade her. But I idol had defled the temple of the god, and love don't see what you can propose from such a was made a mock-worship son and heir trifling design; for her first conversing with Melwould have edged young Mellefont upon the lefont will convince her of the contrary. brink of ruin, and left him none but you to catch Mask. I know it, I don't depend upon itat for prevention.
But it will prepare something else ; and gain us Lady Touch. Again provoke me! Do you leisure to lay a stronger plot If I gain a little wind me like a larum, only to rouse my stilled time, I shall not want contrivance. soul for your diversion? Confusion !
One minute gives invention to destroy, Mask. Nay, madam, I am gone, if you relapse What, to rebuild, will a whole age employ. -What needs this? I say nothing but what
Cyn. Write, what?
Lady Froth. Songs, elegies, satires, encomiums, Enter Lady FROTH and CYNTHIA,
panegyrics, lampoons, plays, or heroic poems. Cyn. Indeed, madam! Is it possible your Cyn. () lord, not I, madam ; I am content to ladyship could have been so much in love? be a courteous reader.
Lady Froth. I could not sleep; I did not sleep, Lady Froth. O inconsistent! in love, and not one wink for three weeks together.
write! If my lord and I had been both of your Cyn. Prodigious ! I wonder want of sleep, and temper, we had never come together o bless so much love, and so much wit as your ladyship me! what a sad thing would that have been, if has, did not turn your brain.
my lord and I should never have met ! Lady Froth. O my dear Cynthia, you must Cyn. Then, neither my lord nor you
would not rally your friend—but really, as you say, I ever have met with your match, on my conwonder, 100--but then I had a way. For, between science. you and I, I had whimsies and vapours—but I Lady Froth. O'my conscience no more we gave them vent.
should; thou say'st right-for sure my Lord Cyn. How, pray, madam?
Froth is as fine a gentleman, and as much a man Lady Froth. O, I writ, writ abundantly of quality! Ah! nothing at all of the common Do you never write?
air-I think I may say he wants nothing but a
blue ribband and a star, to make him shine the Mellefont, don't you think Mr Brisk has a world
Brisk. O dear, madam-
[Aside. Lady Froth. More wit than any body. Lady Froth. Nay, I beg your pardon; but Brisk. I am everlastingly your humble servant, being derived from the Greek, I thought you deuce take me, madam. might have escaped the etymology-But I am Lord Froth. Don't you think us a happy the more amazed, to find you a woman of letters, couple? and not write! Bless me! how can Mellefont Cyn. I vow, my lord, I think you the happiest believe you love him?
couple in the world. Cyn. Why, faith, madam, he, that won't take Lord Froth. I hope Mellefont will make a my word, shall never have it under my hand. good husband, too.
Lady Froth. I vow Mellefont's a pretty gen- Cyn. 'Tis niy interest to believe he will, may tleman, but methinks he wants a manner. lord. Cyn. A manner! What's that, madam?
Lord Froth. D'ye think he'll love you as well Lady Froth. Some distinguishing quality; as, as I do my wife? I am afraid not. for example, the bel air or brillant of Mr Brisk; Cyn. I believe he'll love me better. the solemnity, yet complaisance of my lord; or Lord Froth. Heavens! that can never be; but something of bis own that should look a little why do you think so ? je ne sçai quoi ; he is too much a mediocrity, in Cyn. Because he has not so much reason to be my mind.
fond of himself. Cyn. He does not indeed affect either pert- Lord Froth. O your humble servant for that, ness or formality, for which I like him—-Here dear madam. Well, Mellefont, you'll be a happy he comes. Enter Lord FROTH, MELLEFONT, and Brisk.
Mel. Ay, my lord, I shall have the same rea
son for my happiness that your lordship has; I Impertinent creature ! I could almost be angry shall think myself happy. with her now.
Lord Froth. Ah, that's all. Lady Froth. My lord, I have been telling Brisk. [To Lady Frotu.] Your ladyship is in Cynthia how much I have been in love with you; the right; but, 'egad, I'm wholly turned into saI swear I have; I'm not ashamed to own it now. tire. I confess I write but seldom, but when I Ah! it makes my heart leap; I vow I sigh when do---keen Iambics, 'egad. But my lord was I think on’t:-My dear lord ! ha, ha, ha, do you telling me, your ladyship has made an essay toremember, my lord ?
ward an heroic poem. (Squeezes him by the hand, looks kindly on Lady Froth. Did my lord tell you? Yes, I
him, sighs, and then laughs out.] vow, and the subject is my lord's love to me. Lord Froth. Pleasant creature! Perfectly And what do you think I call it? I dare swear well. Ah! that look! Ay, there it is; who yon won't guess—The Syllabub! ha, ha, ha! could resist! -'Twas so my heart was made a Brisk. Because my lord's title's Froth, 'egad; captive at first, and ever since it has been in ha, ha, ha, ha! deuce take me, very à propos, and love with happy slavery.
surprizing, ha, ha, ha! Lady Froth. O that tongue, that dear deceit- Lady Froth. He, he! ay, is not it?--And then ful tongue ! that charming softness in your mien I call my lord Spumosa ; and myself-what do ye and your expression! and then your bow! Good, think I call myself? my lord, bow as you did when I gave you my Brisk. Lactilla, may be 'Egad I cannot tell. picture; here, suppose this my picture-[Gives Lady Froth. Biddy, that's all; just my own him a pocket glass.}-Pray mind, my lord; ah! name. he bows charmingly. Nay, my lord, you shan't Brisk. Biddy! 'Egad very pretty --Deuce take kiss it so much ; I shall grow jealous, I vow now, me, if your ladyship has not the art of surprizing (He bows profoundly low, then kisses the glass.] | the most naturally in the world—I hope you'll
Lord Froth. I saw myself there, and kissed make me happy in communicating the poem. for your sake.
Lady Froth. O, you must be my confident; I Lady Froth. Ah! gallantry to the last degree must ask your
advice. -Mr Brisk, you are a judge; was ever any thing Brisk. I'm your humble servant, let me perish so well bred as my lord?
-1 presume your ladyship has read Bossu? Brisk. Never any thing but your ladyship, let Lady Froth. ( yes, and Rapine, and Dacier me perish.
upon Aristotle and Horace.—My lord, you must Lady Froth. O prettily turned again ; let me not be jealous ! I'm communicating all to Mr die but you have a great deal of wit-Mr. Brisk.