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of separate inclinations are left entirely at the mercy of a husband's odd humours.
Lady G. Why, that indeed is enough to make a woman of spirit look about her.
Lady T. Nay, but to be serious, my dear, what would you really have a woman to do in my case?
Lady G. Why, if I had a sober husband, as you have, I would make myself the happiest wife in the world, by being as sober as he.
Lady T. Oh, you wicked thing! how can you teaze one at this rate, when you know he is so very sober, that (except giving me money) there is not one thing in the world he can do to please me. And I, at the same time, partly by nature, and partly, perhaps by keeping the best company, do with my soul love almost every thing he hates. I dote upon assemblies: my heart bounds at a ball; and at an opera-I expire. Then, I love play to distraction; cards enchant me-and dice-put me out of my little wits. Dear, dear hazard-Oh, what a flow of spirits it gives onę! do you never play at hazard, child?
Lady G. Oh, never! I don't think it sits well upon women; there's something so masculine, so much the air of a rake in it. You see how it makes the men swear and curse; and, when a woman is thrown into the same passion—why— Lady T. That's'very true; one is a little put to it, sometimes, not to make use of the same words to express it. Lady G. Well, and upon ill luck, pray what words are you really forced to make use of?
Lady T. Why, upon a very hard case, indeed, when a sad wrong word is rising just to one's tongue's end, I give a great gulp and swallow it.
Lady G. Well-and is it not enough to make you forswear play as long as you live?
Lady T. O, yes; I have forsworn it.
Lady G. Seriously?
Lady T. Solemnly, a thousand times; but then one is constantly forsworn.
Lady G. And how can you answer that?
Lady T. My dear, what we say, when we are losers, we look upon to be no more binding than a lover's oath, or a great man's promise. But I beg pardon, child: I should not lead you so far into the world; you are a prude, and design to live soberly.
Lady G. Why, I confess my nature and my education do in a good degree incline me that way.
Lady T. Well, how a woman of spirit (for you don't want that, child) can dream of living soberly, is to me inconceivable; for you will marry, I suppose.
Lady G. I can't tell but I may.
Lady T. And won't you live in town?
Lady G. Half the year, I should like it very well. Lady T. My stars! and you would really live in London half the year to be sober in it?
Lady G. Why not?`
Lady T. Why can't you as well go and be sober in the country?
Lady G. So I would-t'other half year.
Lady T. And pray, what comfortable scheme of life would you form now for your summer and winter sober entertainments?
Lady G. A scheme that I think might very well content
Lady T. Oh, of all things, let's hear it.
Lady G. Why, in summer I could pass my leisure hours in riding, in reading, walking by a canal, or sitting at the end of it under a great tree; in dressing, dining, chatting with an agreeable friend; perhaps hearing a little music, taking a dish of tea, or a game at cards soberly; managing my family, looking into its accounts, playing with my children, if I had any; or in a thousand other innocent amusements-soberly; and possibly, by these means, I might induce my husband to be as sober as myself.
Lady T. Well, my dear, thou art an astonishing creature! For sure such a primitive antediluvian notion of life have not been in any head these thousand years.- -Under a great tree' ha ha! ha!- -But I beg we may have the sober town scheme too-for I am charmed with the country one.
Lady G. You shall, and I'll try to stick to my sobriety there too.
Lady T. Well, though I am sure it will give me the vapours, I must hear it.
Lady G. Why, then, for fear of your fainting, madam, I will first so far come into the fashion, that I would never be dressed out of it-but still it should be soberly; for I can't think it any disgrace to a woman of my private fortune not to wear her lace as fine as the wedding suit of a first
dutchess; though there is one extravagance I would venture to come up to.
Lady T. Ay, now for it
Lady G. I would every day be as clean as a bride.
Lady T. Why, the men say that's a great step to be made one. -Well, now you are drest, pray let's see to
Lady G. I would visit—that is, my real friends; but as little for form as possible-I would go to court; sometimes to an assembly, nay, play at quadrille-soberly. I would see all the good plays; and because 'tis the fashion, now and then go to an opera; but I would not expire there -for fear I should never go again. And lastly, I can't say, but for curiosity, if I liked my company, I might be drawn in once to a masquerade;-and this, I think, is as far as any woman can go-soberly.
Lady T. Well, if it had not been for that last piece of sobriety, I was just going to call for some surfeit-water.
Lady G. Why, don't you think, with the farther aid of breakfasting, dining, taking the air, supping, sleeping, (not to say a word of devotion,) the four-and-twenty hours might roll over in a tolerable manner?
Lady T. Tolerable; deplorable!—Why, child, all you propose is but to endure life; now, I want to enjoy it.
Pri. No more! I'll hear no more! Be gone and leave
Jaff. Not hear me! By my sufferings, but you shall! My lord, my lord! I'm not that abject wretch
You think me. Patience! where's the distance throws
In right, though proud oppression will not hear me !
Jaff. Could my nature e'er
Have brook'd injustice or the doing wrong,
Pri. Yes, wrong'd me. In the nicest point,
Pleas'd with your seeming virtue, I received you;
My very self was yours: you might have us'd me
Childless you had been else, and in the grave
Pri. You stole her from me; like a thief, you stole her At dead of night; that cursed hour you chose.
To rifle me of all my heart held dear.
May all your joys in her prove false as mine;
Attend you both; continual discord make
Jaff. Half of your curse you have bestow'd in vain :
With a young boy, sweet as his mother's beauty.
Pri. No more.
Jaff. Yes, all; and then-adieu forever.
There's not a wretch, that lives on common charity,
The luscious sweets of plenty; every night
Whose blossom 'scap'd, yet's wither'd in the ripening.
Those pageants of thy folly;
Reduce the glitt'ring trappings of thy wife
Drudge to feed loathsome life: get brats and starve.
Jaff. Yes, if my heart would let me→→
This proud, this swelling heart; home would I go,
And we will bear our wayward fate together-
IV. Boniface and Aimwell.
Bon. THIS way, this way, Sir.
Aim. You're my landlord, I suppose.
Bon. Yes, Sir, I'm old Will Boniface; pretty well known upon this road, as the saying is.
Aim. O, Mr. Boniface, your servant.
Bon. O, Sir, What will your honour please to drink, as the saying is?
Aim. I have heard your town of Litchfield much famed for ale I think I'll taste that.
Bon. Sir, I have now in my cellar ten tuns of the best ale in Staffordshire: 'tis smooth as oil, sweet as milk, clear as amber, and strong as brandy; and will be just fourteen years old the fifth day of next March, old style.