« AnteriorContinuar »
Miss Ster. But, my dear madam, a moment Miss Ster. Nothing but servants ; let us retire is an age, in my situation. I am sure my sister a moment !
(They retire. has been plotting my disgrace and ruiu in that chamber- -O! she's all craft and wickedness. Enter Brusu, half drunk, laying hold of the
Mrs Heid. Well, but softly, Betsey Kyou are Chamber-maid, who has a candle in her hand. all in emotion—your niind is too much flustrated you can neither eat, nor drink, nor take your Cham. Be quiet, Mr Brush ; I shall drop dowa natural rest-compuse yourself, child; if we are with terror! not as warysome as they are wicked, we shall Brush. But my sweet, and most amiable chamdisgrace ourselves and the whole fammaly. bermaid, if you have no love, you may hearken
Miss Ster. We are disgraced already, madam. to a jittle reason ; that cannot possibly do your Sir John Melvil has forsaken me; my lord cares virtue any
harm. for nobody but himself; or, if any body, it is my Cham. But you may do me harm, Mr Brush, sister; my father, for the sake of a better bar- and a great deal of harm, too; pray let me go; gain, would marry me to a 'Change broker; so I am ruined if they hear you; I tremble like an that if you, madam, don't continue my friend asp. if you forsake me- e-if I am to lose my beșt hopes Brush. But they shan't hear us; and if you and consolation in your tenderness—and affec- have a mind to be ruined, it shall be the making tions—I had better--at once-give up the mat- of your fortune, you little slut, you! therefore, I ter-and let my sister enjoy—the fruits of her say it again, if you have no love, hear a little treachery-trample with scorn upon the rights reason ! of her elder sister, the will of the best of aunts Cham. I wonder at your impurence, Mr Brush, and the weakness of a too interested father. to use me in this manner; this is not the way to
(She pretends to be bursting into tears all keep me company, I assure you. You are a this speech
town-rake, I see; and now you are a little in Mrs Heid. Don't, Betsey-keep up your spurrit liquor, you fear nothing. -I hate whimpering- I am your friend-depend Brush. Nothing, by Heavens, but your frowns, upon me in every particular--but be composed, most amiable chamber-maid ! I am a little and tell me what new mischief you have dis- electrified, that's the truth on't; I am not used covered?
to drink port, and your master's is so heady, Miss Ster. I had no desire to sleep, and would that a pint of it oversets a claret-drinker. not undress myself, knowing that my Machiavel Cham. Don't be rude! bless ine!-I shall be sister would not rest till sbe had broke my heart: ruined—what will become of me? - I was so uneasy that I could not stay in my Brush. I'll take care of you, by all that's how room ; but, when I thought that all the house was nourable ! quiet, I sent my maid to discover what was going Cham. You are a base man to use me so I'll forward; she immediately came back, and told cry out, if you don't let me go. That is Miss me that they were in high consultation; that she Sterling's chamber, that Miss Fanny's, and that had heard only, for it was in the dark, my sister's Madam Heidelberg's. maid conduct sir John Melvil to her mistress, Brush. And that my lord Ogleby's, and that and then lock the door.
my lady What-d'ye-call-'em's: I don't mind such Mrs Heid. And how did you conduct yourself folks when I'm sober, much less when I am in this dalimma?
whimsical-rather above that, too. Miss Ster. I returned with her, and could lear Cham. More shame for you, Mr Brush !- you a man's voice, though nothing that they said, dis- terrify me, -you have no modesty. tinctly; and you inay depend upon it, that sir Brush. O, but I have, my sweet spider-brushJohn is now in that room, that they have settled er !—for instance; I reverence Miss Fannythe matter, and will run away together before she's a most delicious morsel, and fit for a prince. morning, if we don't prevent them.
-With all my horrors of matrimony, I could Mrs Heid, Why, the brazen slut! she has got marry her myself—but for her sisterher sister's husband (that is to be) locked up in Miss Ster. There, there, madam, all in a story! her chamber ! at night, too!-I tremble at the Cham. Bless me, Mr Brush !-I heard some thoughts !
thing! Miss Ster. Hush, madam ! I hear some- Brush. Rats, I suppose, that are gnawing the thing.
old timbers of this execrable old dungeon-If it Mrs Heid. You frighten me let me put on was mine, I would pull it down, and fill your fine my fly-cap-1 would not be seen in this figur canal up with the rubbish ; and then I should for the world.
get rid of two damned things at once. Aliss Ster. 'Tis dark, madam ; you can't be Cham. Law! law! how you blaspheme !-we seen.
shall have the house upon our heads for it Mrs Heid. I protest there's a candle coming, Brush. No, no; it will last our time—but, as I and a man, too!
was saying, the eldest sister-Miss Jezebel
Cham. Is a fine young lady, for all your evil
Cham. Now, madam !'Tis so very late, matongue.
damBrush. No-we have smoaked her already; Mrs Heid. I don't care how late it is. Tell and unless she inarries our old Swiss, she can him there are thieves in the house- -that the have none of us no, no, she won't do-.we house is on fire-tell him to come here imare a little too nice.
mediately-go, I say! Cham. You're a monstrous rake, Mr Brush, Cham. I will, I will, though I'm frightened out and don't care what you say.
of my wits.
Erit. Brush. Why, for that matter, my dear, I am a Mrs Heid. Do you watch here, my dear; and little inclined to mischief; and if you don't have I'll put myself in order, to face them. We'll pity upon me, I will break open that door, and plot them, and counter-plot them, tvo. ravish Mrs fleidelberg.
[Erit into her chamber. Mrs Heid. (Coming forwurd.] There's no bear- Miss Ster. I have as much pleasure in this reing this—you profligate monster!
venge, as in being made a countess.--Ha! they Cham. Ha! I am undone !
are unlocking the door. Now for it! Brush. Zounds ! here she is, by all that's món
[Retires. strous !
Runs off Miss Ster. A fine discourse you have had with Fanny's door is unlocked. and Betty comes out that fellow !
with a candle. Miss STERLING upproaches
her. Mrs Heid. And a fine time of night it is to be here with that drunken monster!
Betty. (Calling within.) Sir, sir! now's your Miss Ster. What have you to say for your-time-all's clear. [Seeing Miss Sterling.) self?
Stay, stay-not yet-we are watched. Cham. I can say nothing. I'on se frightened, Miss Ster. And so you are, madam Betty. and so ashamed-but indeed I am vartuous-I [Miss STERLING lays hold of' her, while am vartuous, indeed.
BETTY locks the door, and puts the key Mrs Heid. Well, well--don't tremble so;
into her pocket.] but, tell us what you know of this horrable plot, Bet. [Turning round.] What's the matter, here.
madain? Miss Ster. We'll forgive you, if you'll discover Miss Ster. Nay, that you shall tell my father all.
and aunt, madani. Cham. Why, inadam-don't let me betray my Bet. I am no tell-tale, madam, and no thief ; fellow servants
-I shan't sleep in my bed, if I they'll get nothing from me. do.
Miss Ster. You have a great deal of courage, Mrs Heid. Then you shall sleep somewhere Betty; and, considering the secrets you have to else to-morrow night.
keep, you have occasion for it. Cham. O dear! what shall I do!
Bet. My mistress shall never repent her good Mrs Heid. Tell us this moment, or I'll turn opinion of me, ma'am. you out of doors directly. Cham. Why, our burler has been treating us
Enter MR STERLINC. below in his pantry
-Mr Brush forced is to make a kind of a holiday might of it.
Ster. What's all this? What's the matter? Miss Ster. Holiday ! for what?
Why am I disturbed in this manner? Chum. Nay, I only made one.
Miss Ster. This creature, and my distresses, ... Miss Ster. Well, well ; but upon what ac- sir, will explain the matter. count? Cham. Because, as how, madam, there was a
Re-enter Mrs HEIDELBERG, with another headchange in the family, they said- that his hon
dress. our, sir John, was to marry Miss Fanny, instead of your ladyship.
Mrs Heid. Now I'm prepared for the ranMiss Ster. And so you make a holiday for that? counter. Well, brother, have you heard of this -Very fine!
scene of wickedness? Cham. I did not make it, madam.
Ster. Not I-but what is it? Speak. I was Mrs Heid. But do you know nothing of sir got into my little closet, all the lawyers were in John's being to run away with Miss Fanny to- bed, and I had almost lost my senses in the night?
confusion of lord Ogleby's mortgages, when I Cham. No, indeed, madam.
was alarmed with a foolish girl, who could hardMiss Ster. Nor of his being now locked up in ly speak; and whether it's fire, or thieves, or my sister's chamber?
murder, or a rape, I'm quite in the dark. Cham. No, as I hope for marcy, madam. Mrs Heid. No, no; there's no rape, brother!
Mrs Heid. Well, I'll put an end to all this di- all parties are willing, i believe. rectly“ do you run to my brother Sterling Miss Ster. Who's in that chamber?
[Detaining Betty, who seemed to be steating or burn themselves in it, rather than not be way.)
revenged. Bet. My mistress. Miss Ster. And who's with
Enter CANTON, in a night-gown and slippers. mistress?
your Bet. Why, who should there be ?
Can. Eh, diable ! vat is de raison of dis great Miss Ster. Open the door, then, and let us noise, dis tantamarre?
Ster. Ask those ladies, sir; 'tis of their maBet. The door is open, madam. (Miss Ster king. LING goes to the door.] I'll sooner die than Lord Oyle. (Calls within.) Brush ! Brush! peach.
[Erit hastily. Canton! where are you? What's the matter Miss Ster. The door is locked ; and she has (Rings a bell.] Where are you? got the key in her pocket.
Ster. 'Tis my lord calls, Mr Canton. Mrs Heid. There's impudence, brother! pi- Can. I com, mi lor!ping hot from your daughter Fanny's school !
[Erit Caxton. Ster. But zounds! what is all this about? You
(LORD OGLEBY still rings. tell me of a sum total, and you don't produce the Serj. Flow. (Calls within.] A light! a light, particulars.
here! where are the servants? Bring a light for Mrs Heid. Sir John Melvil is lock up in your me and my
brothers. daughter's bed-chamber-There is the parti- Ster. Lights here ! lights for the gentlemen! culars.
[Exit STERLING, Stor. The devil he is! That's bad.
Mrs Heid. My brother feels, I see-your sisMiss Ster. And he has been there some time, ter's turn will come next.
Miss Ster. Ay, ay, let it go round, madam; it Ster. Ditto!
is the only comfort I have left. Mrs Heid. Ditto! worse and worse, I say.-I'll raise the house, and expose him to
Re-enter STERLING, with lights, before Serjeant lord,
my and the whole famınaly,
Flower, with one boot and a slipper, and
TRAVERSE. Ster. By no means! we shall expose ourselves, sister! the best way is to insure privately Ster. This way, sir! this way, gentlemen!
let me alone! I'll make him marry her to- Flow. Well; but Mr Sterling, no danger, I morrow morning.
hope. Have they made a burglarious entry? Miss Ster. Make him marry her! this is be- Are you prepared to repulse them? I am very yond all patience! You have thrown away all much alarmed about thieves at circuit-time. your affection; and I shall do as much by my They would be particularly severe with us genobcdience; unnatural fathers make unnatural tlemen of the bar. children. My revenge is in my own power, and
Tra. No danger, Mr Sterling? no trespass, I I'll indulge it. Had they made their escape, I hope? should have been exposed to the derision of the Ster. None, gentlemen, but of those ladies world: but the deriders shall be derided; and making. su--help! help, there! thieves ! thieves !
Mrs Heid. You'll be ashamed to know, genMrs Heid. Tit-for-tat, Betsey! you are right, tlemen, that all your labours and studies a
bout this young lady are thrown away-Sir John Ster. Zounds! you'll spoil all-you'll raise Melvil is, at this moment, locked up with this the whole family-the devil's in the girl !
lady's younger sister, Mrs Heid. No, no; the devil's in you, bro- Flow. The thing is a little extraordinary, to ther; I am ashamed of your principles. What! be sure; but, why were we to be frightened out would you connive at your daughter's being of our beds for this ? Could not we have tried locked up with her sister's husband? Help! this 'cause to-morrow morning? thieves ! thieves, I say!
[Cries out. Miss Ster. But, sir, by to-morrow morning, Ster. Sister, I beg you! daughter, I command perhaps, even your assistance would not have you! If you have no regard for me, consider been of any service-the birds, now in that caye, yourselves! we shall lose this opportunity of en- would have flown away nobling our blood, and getting above twenty per Enter LORD OGLEBY, in his robe-de-chambre, cent. for our money. Miss Ster. What, by my disgrace and my sis
night-cap, &c. leaning on Canton. ter's triumph! I have a spirit above such mean Lord Ogle. I had rather lose a limb than my considerations; and to shew you, that it is not a night's rest
. What's the matter with you all ? low-bred, vulgar 'Change-alley spirit help
Ster. Ay, ay, 'tis all over! Here's my lord help! thieves ! thieves ! thieves, I say!
too! Ster. Ay, ay, you may save your lungs—the Lord Ogle. What's all this shrieking and house is in an uproar : women, at best, have no screaming? Where's my angelic Fanny = She's discretion; but, in a passion, they'll fire a house, safe, I hope?
Mrs Heid. Your angelic Fanny, my lord, is Flow. Luce clarius. locked up with your angelic nephew in that Lord Ogle. Upun my word, ladies, if you have chamber.
often these frolicks, it would be really entertainLord Ogle. My nephew! then will I be excom- ing to pass a whole summer with you. But come, municated.
[To Betty.] open the door, and entreat your Mrs Heid. Your nephew, my lord, has been amiable mistress to come forth, and dispel all plotting to run away with the younger sister; our doubts with her smiles. and the younger
sister has been plotting to run Bet. [Opening the door.] Madam, you are away with your nephew: and if we had not wanted in this room.
[Pertly. watched them, and called up the fammaly, they had been upon the scamper to Scotland by this
Enter Fanny, in great confusion. time.
Miss Ster. You see she's ready dressed--and - Lord Ogle. Look'e, ladies! I know that sir what confusion she's in ! John has conceived a violent passion for Miss Mrs Heid. Ready to pack off, bag and bagFanny; and I know, too, that Miss Fanny has gage ! her guilt confounds her! conceived a violent passion for another person; Flow. Silence in the court, ladies! and I am so well convinced of the rectitude of Fan. I am confounded, indeed, madam! her affections, that I will support them with my Lord (gle. Don't droop, my beauteous lily! fortune, my honour, and my life. Eh, shan't I, but, with your own peculiar modesty, declare your Mr Sterling ? [Smiling.) What say you ?
state of mind.---Pour conviction into their ears, Ster. (Sulkily.) To be sure, my lord. These and raptures into mine.
[Smiling bawling women have been the ruin of every Fan. I am, at this moment, the most unhappy thing.
[Aside. --most distressed—the tumult is too much for Lord Ogle. But come, I'll end this business in my heart and I want the power to reveal a se a trice—if you, ladies, will compose yourselves, cret, which, to conceal, has been the misfortune and Mr Sterling will insure Miss Fanny from vio- and misery of my
[Faints away. dence, I will engage to draw her from her pillow Lord Ogle. She faints ! help, help! for the with a whisper through the key-hole.
fairest and best of women ! Mrs Heid. The horrid creatures! I say, my Bet. (Running to her.] 0, my dear mistress lord, break the open.
-help, help, there! Lord Ogle. Let me beg of your delicacy not Sir John. Ha! let me fly to her assistance. to be too precipitate. Now to our experiment ! [Advancing towards the door.
Lovewell rushes out of the chamber. Aliss Ster. Now, what will they do? my heart will beat through my bosom.
Love. My Fanny in danger! I can contain no
longer.-Prudence were now a crime; all other Enter Betty, with the key.
cares were lost in this !--speak, speak, speak to Bet. There's no occasion for breaking open me, my dearest Fanny !-let me but hear thy doors, my lord; we have done nothing that we voice! open your eyes, and bless me with the ought to be ashamed of, and my mistress shall smallest sign of life! face her enemies. (Going to unlock the door. [During this speech, they are all in amazeMrs Heid. There's impudence !
ment.] Lord Ogle. The mystery thickens. Lady of Miss Ster. Lovewell !-I am easy. the bed-chamber, [.To Betty.] open the door, Mrs Heid. I am thunderstruck ! and entreat sir John Melvil (for the ladies will Lord Ogle. I am petrified ! have it that he is there) to appear and answer to Sir John. And I undone ! high crimes and misdemeanors.-Call sir John Fun. (Recovering.] 0, Lovewell !—even supMelvil into the court!
ported by thee, I dare not look my father, nor
his lordship, in the face. Enter Sir John Melvil, on the other side.
Ster. What now! did not I send you to LonSir John. I am here, my lord.
don, sir? Mrs Heid. Hey-day!
Lord Ogle. Eh !-What! How's this ? by what Miss Ster. Astonishment !
right and title have you been half the night in Sir John. What's all this alarm and confusion that lady's bed-chamber? there is nothing but hurry in the house; what is Love. By that right, which makes me the hapthe reason of it?
piest of men! and, by a title, which I would not
Lord Ogle. I am annihilated !
der; but now I can speak. --Zounds ! what have you to say to me? Lovewell
, you are a villain.- passions too much to tyrannize over those of other You have broke your word with me.
people. Poor souls, I pity them! And you must Fan. Indeed, sir, he has not---you forbade him forgive them, too. Come, come, melt a little to think of me, when it was out of his power to of your flint, Mr Sterling! obey you ; we have been married these four Šter. Why, why, as to that, my lord—to be monthis.
sure he is a relation of yours, my lord—what Ster. And he shan't stay in my house four say you, sister Heidelberg ? hours. What baseness and treachery! As for Nrs Heid. The girl's ruined, and I forgive you, you shall repent this step as long as you live, her. madam.
Ster. Well—30 do I, then.- Nay, no thanks Fan. Indeed, sir, it is impossible to conceive (To Lovewell and Fanny, who seem preparing the tortures I have already endured in conse- to speak.] there's an end of the matter. quence of my disobedience. My heart has con- Lord Ogle. But, Lovewell, what makes you tinually upbraided me for it ; and, though I dumb all this while? was too weak to struggle with affection, I feel that Love. Your kindness, my lord-I can scaræ I must be miserable for ever, without your for- believe my own senses--they are all in a tumult giveness.
of fear, joy, love, expectation, and gratitude; I Ster. Lovewell, you shall leave my house di- ever was, and am now more bound in duty to rectly; and you shall follow him, madam. your lordship. For you, Mr Sterling, it every
Lord Ogle. And if they do, I will receive them moment of my life, spent gratefully in your serinto mine. Look ye, Mr Sterling; there have vice, will, in some measure, compensate the waut been some mistakes, which we had all better for- of fortune, you, perhaps, will not repent your get, for our own sakes; and the best way to for- goodness to me. And you, ladies, I fatter myget them, is to forgive the cause of thein; which selt, will not, for the future, suspect me of arcifice I do, from my soul.---Poor girl! I swore to sup- and intrigue--I shall be happy to oblige and port her affection with my life and fortune ;--'tis serve you.---As for you, sir Johna debt of honour, and must be paid---you swore Sir John. No apologies to me, Lovewell; I do as much, too, Mr Sterling ; but your laws in the not deserve any. All I have to offer, in excuse city will excuse you, I suppose; for you never for what bas happened, is my total ignorance of strike a balance without errors excepted. your situation. Had you dealt a little more open
Ster. I am a father, my lord; but, for the ly with me, you would have saved me, and yoursake of all other fathers, I think I ought not to self, and that lady (who, I hope, will pardon forgive her, for fear of encouraging other silly my behaviour), a great deal of uncasiness. Give girls, like herself, to throw themselves away with me leave, however, to assure you, that, light and out the consent of their parents.
capricious as I may have appeared, now my inLove. I hope there will be no danger of that, fatuation is over, I have sensibility enough to be sir. Young ladies, with minds like my Fanny's, ashamed of the part I have acted, ad honour would startle at the very shadow of vice; and, enough to rejoice at your happiness. when they know to what uneasiness only an in- Love. And now, my dearest Fanny, though we discretion has exposed her, her example, in- are seemingly the happiest of beings, yet all our stead of encouraging, will rather serve to deterjoys will be dampt, if bis lordship's generosity them.
and Mr Sterling's forgivenness, should not be sucMrs Heid. Indiscretion, quotha ! a mighty ceeded by the indulgence, approbation, and conpretty delicate word to express disobedience! sent of these our best benefactors. (To the audiLord Ogle. For my part, I indulge my own | ence.]