Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Cyn. Yes.

the last line of an acrostic, and be with you in the communicate to your lordship-But it may be as twinkling of an ejaculation, in the pronouncing of well done to-night. an Amen, or before you can

Ld T. Here is company-Come this way, and Mask. Nay, good Mr Saygrace, do not prolong tell me.

(Excunt. the time by describing to me the shortness of your

Enter CARELESS and CYNTHIA. stay; rather, if you please, defer the finishing of your wit, and let us talk about our business; it Care. Is not that he, now gone out with my shall be tithes in your way.

lord ? Enter SAYGRACE.

Care. By Heaven, there's treachery - The Say. You shall prevail ; I would break off in confusion that I saw your father in, my Lady the middle of a sermon to do you a pleasure. Touchwood's passion, with what imperfectly I Mask. You could not do me a greater-except overheard between my lord and her, confirm me

-the business in hand--Have you provided in my fears.- Where's Mellefont? a habit for Mellefont?

Cyn. Here he comes. Suy. I have; they are ready in my chamber,

Enter MELLEFONT. together with a clean starched band and cuffs.

Mask. Good : let them be carried to him, 1-Did Maskwell tell you any thing of the chapHave

you stitched the gown-sleeve, that he may lain's chamber? be puzzled, and waste time in putting it on ? Mel. No; my dear, will you get ready ?—The

Suy. I have; the gown will not be endued things are all in my chamber ; I want nothing but without perplexity.

the habit. Mask. Meet me in half an hour, here, in your Care. You are betray'd, and Maskwell is the own chamber. When Cynthia comes, let there villain I always thought him. be no light; and do not speak, that she may not Cyn. When you were gone, he said his mind distinguish you from Mellefont. I'll urge haste to was changed, and bid me meet him in the chapexcuse your silence.

lain's room, pretending immediately to follow S.y. You have no more commands ?

you, and give you notice. Mask. None-your text is short.

Cure. There's Saygrace tripping by with a Suy. But pithy, and I will handle it with dis- bundle under his arm : He cannot be ignorant cretion.

that Maskwell means to use his chamber; let's Musk. It will be the first you have so served. follow and examine him,

(Errunt. Mel. 'Tis loss of time: I cannot think him false.

[Exeunt MELLEFONT and CARELESS. Enter Lord TOUCHWOOD and MASKWELL. Ld T. Sure I was born to be controuled by

Enter Lord TouchWOOD. those I should command; my very slaves will Cyn. My lord, musing! shortly give me rules how I shall govern them. Ld T. He has a quick invention, if this were

Músk. I'm concerned to see your lordship so suddenly designed-Yet he says he had prediscomposed

pared my chaplain already, Ld T. Have you seen my wife lately, or dis- Cyn. How is this !-Now I fear indeed. obliged her?

Ld T. Cynthia here !Alone, fair cousin, and Mask. No, my lord.What can this mean? melancholy?

[ Aside. Cyn. Your lordship was thoughtful. Ld T. Then Mellefont has urged somebody to Ld T. My thoughts were on serious business, incense her-Something she has heard of you, not worth your hearing. which carries her beyond the bounds of patience. Cyn. Mine were on treachery concerning Fou,

Mask. This I feared. (Aside.] Did not your and may be worth your hearing. lordship tell her of the honours you designed me? Ld Ý. Treachery concerning me! Pray, be LI T. Yes.

plain- -Hark! What noise ! Mask. 'Tis that ; vou know my lady has a high Mask. [Within.] Will you not hear me? spirit, she thinks I am unworthy.

Lady T. (Wrthin.] No, monster! traitor ! no. LT. Unworthy! 'Tis an ignorant pride in Cyn. My lady and Maskwell! This may be her to think so—Honesty to me is true nobility. lucky My lord, let me entreat you to stand be However, 'tis my will it shall be so, and that bind this screen and listen; perhaps this chance should be convincing to her as much as reason, may give you proof of what you never could bave By heaven, I'll not be wife-ridden! Were it pos- believed from my suspicions. sible, it should be done this night.

Mask. By heaven he meets my wishes ! (Aside.] Enter Lady TOUCHWOOD, with a dagger, and Few things are impossible to willing minds.

MASKWELL-CYNTHIA and Lord TouchLd T. Instruct me how this may be done, you

WOOD abscond, listening, shall see I want no inclination.

Lady T. You want but leisure to invent fresh Musk. I bad laid a small design for to-morrow falsehood, and sooth me to a fond belief of all (as love will be inventing) which I thought to your fictions; but I will stab the lie that's forin

a

ing in your heart, and save a sin in pity to your Mask. I have so contrived, that Mellefont will soul.

presently, in the chaplain's habit, wait for CynMask. Strike then, since you will have it so. thia in your dressing-room : but I have put the Lady T. Ha! a steady villain to the last ! change upon her, that she may be otherwise emMask. Come, why do you dally with me thus ? ploy'd- -Do you procure her night-gown, and

Lady T. Thy stubborn temper shocks me, and with your hoods tied over your face, meet him you know it would

-This is cunning all, and in her stead ; you may go privately by the back not courage; no, I know thee well-But thou stairs, and, unperceived, there you may propose shalt miss thy aim.

to reinstate him in his uncle's favour, if he will Mask. Ha, ha, ha!

comply with your desires ; his case is desperate, Lady T. Ha! Do you mock my rage! Then and I believe he'll yield to any conditions - If this shall punish your fond, rash contempt, not, here, take this; you may employ it better Again smile!

(Goes to strike. than in the heart of one who is nothing when not And such a smile as speaks in ambiguity; yours.

(Gives the dagger. Ten thousand meanings lurk in each corner of Lady T. Thou canst deceive every body—nay, that various face.

thou hast deceived me; but 'tis as I could wish. O! that they were written in thy heart,

-Trusty villain, I could worship thee. That I, with this, might lay thee open to my sight. Alask. No more-it wants but a few minutes But then 'twill be too late to know

of the time, and Mellefont's love will carry him Thou hast, thou hast found the only way to turn there before his hour. my rage; too well thou knowest my jealous soul Lady T. I go, I fly-Incomparable Maskwell! could never bear uncertainty.—Speak then, and

(Exit. tell me -Yet are you silent?-Oh, I am wil. Mask. So, this was a pinch indeed; my invender'd in all passions !--But thus my anger melts. tion was upon the rack, and made discovery of [Weeps.]–Here, take this poniard; for my very her last plot-I hope Cynthia and my chaplain spirits faint, and I want strength to hold it—thou will be ready. I'll prepare for the expedition. hast disarm’d my soul. [Gives the dagger.

[Erit. Ld T. Amazement shakes me- -Where will this end?

CYNTHIA and Lord TouchWOOD come forwurd. Mask. So,'tis well— let your wild fury have a Cyn. Now, my lord ! vent, and when you have temper, tell me.

Ld T. Astonishment binds up my rage ! VilLady T. Now, now, now I am calm, and can lainy upon villainy! Heavens, what a long track

of dark deceit has this discover'd! I am confoundMask. (Aside.) Thanks, my invention : and now

ed when I look back, and want a clue to guide me I have it for you. First tell me, what urged through the various mazes of unheard-of treachyou to this violence ? For your passion broke out -My wife! Damnation ! my hell ! in such imperfect terms, that yet I am to learn Cyn. My lord, have patience, and be sensible the cause.

how great our happiness is, that this discovery Lady T. My lord himself surprised me with was not made too late. the news, you were to marry Cynthia—that you

Ld T. I thank

you; yet it

may

be still too late, had own'd your love to him, and his indulgence if we don't presently prevent the execution of would assist you to attain your ends.

their plots--Ha! I'll do it.—Where is MelleCyn. How, my lord !

font, my poor injured nephew? How shall I make Ld T. Pray forbear all resentments for a while, him ample satisfaction? and let us hear the rest.

Cyn. I dare answer for him. Mask. I grant you in appearance all is true;

LA T. I do him fresh wrong to question his I seem'd consenting to my lord, nay, transported forgiveness, for I know him to be all goodness. with the blessings -But could you think that -Yet my wife! Damn her! She'll think to 1, who had been happy in your loved embraces, meet him in that dressing-room—Was't not so? could e'er be fond of inferior slavery?

and Maskwell will expect you in the chaplain's Cyn. Nay, good my lord, forbear resentment; chamber--For once I'll add my plot too_Let let us hear it out.

us haste to find out, and inform my nephew; and Ld T. Yes, I will contain, though I could burst. do you, quickly as you can, bring all the compa

Mask. I that had wanton'd in the rich circle ny into this gallery-I'll expose the strumpet and of your world of love, could be confined within the villain.

[Ereunt. the puny province of a girl? No-Yet though

Enter Lord FROTH and Sir PAUL. I dote on each last favour more than all the rest, though I would give a limb for every

look

you LI F. By Heavens, I have slept an age--Sir cheaply throw away on any other object of your Paul, what o'clock is it? past eight?lore; yet so far I prize your pleasures o'er my conscience, my lady's is the most inviting couch, own, that all this seeming plot that I have laid and a slumber there is the prettiest amusement ! has been to gratify your taste and cheat the world, -But where is all the company? to prove a faithful rogue to you.

Sir P. The company! Gads-bud, I don't know, Lady T. If this were true- But how can my lord; but here's the strangest revolution-ali it be?

turn’d topsy-turvy, as I hope for Providence.

hear you.

ery

a

On my

Ld F. O Heavens ! what's the matter? Where Care. You need not fear, madam ; you have is my wife?

charms to fix inconstancy itself. Sir P. All turn’d topsy-turvy, as sure as a gun. Lady P. O dear, you make me blush. Ld F. How do you mean? My wife?

Ld F. Come, my dear, shall we take leave of Sir P. The strangest posture of affairs my lord and lady? Ld F. What, my wife?

Cyn. They'll wait upon your lordship presently, Sir P. No, no, I'mean the family. Your lady's Ludy F. Mr Brisk, my coach shall set you affairs may be in a very good posture; I saw her down. go into the garden with Mr Brisk.

All. What's the matter? Ld F. How? Where? when? what to do? [A greut shriek from the corner of the stage.

Sir P. I suppose they have been laying their heads together.

Enter Lady TOUCHWOOD, and runs out affright Ld F. How?

ed, my Lord after her, like a parson. Sir P. Nay, only about poetry, I suppose, my

Lady T. I'm betrayed—Save me, help me! lord-making couplets.

LI T. Now what évasion, strumpet ? Ld F. Couplets!

Lady T. Stand off, let me go. Sir P. O, here they come !

Ld T. Go, and thy own infamy pursue thee

You stare as you were all amazed—I do not wonEnter Lady FROTH and BRISK.

der at it-But too soon you'll know mine and Brisk. My lord, your humble servant; Sir Paul, that woman's shame. yours

-The finest nightLady F. My dear, Mr Brisk and I have been Enter Melleront, disguised in a parson's hastar-gazing I don't know how long.

bit, and pulling in MASKWELL. Sir P. Does it not tire your ladyship? Are not Mel. Nay, by heaven you shall be seen-Careyou weary with looking up?

less, your hand-Do you hold down your head? Lady F. O no; I love it violently-My dear, Yes, I am your chaplain ; look in the face of your you are melancholy.

injured friend, thou wonder of all falsehood. Ld F. No, my dear, I am but just awake. Ld T. Are you silent, monster ? Lady F. Snuff some of my spirit of hartshorn. Mel. Good heavens ! how I believed and loved

Ld F. I have some of my own, thank you, my this man !—Take him hence, for he is a disease doar.

to my sight. Lady F. Well, I swear, Mr Brisk, you under- Ld T. Secure that manifold villain. stand astronomy like an old Egyptian.

(Servants seize him. Brisk. Not comparably to your ladyship; you Care. Miracle of ingratitude ! are the very Cynthia of the skies, and queen of Brisk. This is all very surprising, let me perish. stars.

Lady F. You know I told you Saturn looked Lady F. That's because I have no light, but a little more angry than usual. what's by reflection from you, who are the sun. Ld T. We'll think of punishment at leisure,

Brisk. Madam, you have eclipsed me quite; but let me hasten to do justice, in rewarding virlet me perish, I cannot answer that.

tue and wronged innocence.–Nephew, I hope I Lady F. No matter-Hark'e, shall you and I have your pardon and Cynthia's. make an almanack together?

Mel. We are your lordship’s creatures. Brisk. With all my soul-Your ladyship has Ld T. And be each other's comfort :-Let me made me the man in it already, I am so full of join your hands-Unwearied nights and wishthe wounds which you have given.

ing days attend you both; mutual love, lasting Lady F. O, finely taken! I swear now you are health, and circling joys, tread round each happy even with me- Parnassus ! you have an infi- year of your long lives. nite deal of wit.

Sir P. So he has, gads-bud, and so bas your Let secret villainy from hence be warned, ladyship.

Howe'er in private mischiefs are conceived, Enter Lady PLYANT, CARELESS, and CYNTHIA.

Torture and shame attend their open birth;

Like vipers in the womb, base treachery lies Lady P. You tell me most surprising things- Still gnawing that whence first it did arise; Bless ine, who would ever trus a man?

No sooner born, but the vile parent dies. heart aches for fear they should be all deceitfui

(Excunt ornes. alike!

my

363

Congreve.]

EPILOGUE.

COULD poets but foresee how plays would take, The vizor masks that are in pit and gallery, Then they could tell what epilogues to make; Approve or damn the repartee and raillery. Whether to thank or blame their audience most: The lady critics, who are better read, But that late knowledge does much hazard cost, Inquire if characters are nicely bred; 'Till dice are thrown, there's nothing won, nor If the soft things are penned and spoke with lost.

grace : So till the thief has stolen, he cannot know They judge of action too, and time and place; Whether he shall escape the law or no.

In which we do not doubt but they're discerning, But poets run much greater hazards far, For that's a kind of assignation learning. Than they who stand their trials at the bar ; Beaux judge of dress; the witlings judge of songs; The law provides a curb for its own fury, The cuckoldom, of ancient right, to cits belongs. And suffers judges to direct the jury.

Thus poor poets the favour are denied, But in this court, what difference does appear ! Even to make exceptions, when they're tried. For every one's both judge and jury here; 'Tis hard that they must every one admit: Nay, and what's worse, an executioner.

Methinks I see some faces in the pit, All have a right and title to some part,

Which must of consequence be foes to wit. Each choosing that in which he has most art. You who can judge, to sentence may proceed; The dreadful men of learning all confound, But though he cannot write, let him be freed, Unless the fable's good and moral sound, At least, from their contempt who cannot read.

LOVE FOR LOVE.

BY

CONGREVE.

PROLOGUE.

The husbandman in vain renews his toil,
To cultivate each year a hungry soil ;
And fondly hopes for rich and generous fruit,
When what should feed the tree devours the

root:
Th’unladen boughs, he sees, bode certain dearth,
Unless transplanted to more kindly earth,
So, the poor husbands of the stage, who found
Their labours lost upon ungrateful ground,
This last and only remedy have provel,
And hope new fruit from ancient stocks removed.
Well way they hope, when you so kindly aid,
Well plant a soil which you so rich have made.
As Nature gave the world to man's first age,
So from your bounty we receive this stage;
The freedom man was born to, you've restored,
And to our world such plenty you afford,
It seems like Eden, fruitful of its own accord.
But since in paradise frail flesh gave way,
And when but two were made, both went astray;
Forbear your wonder, and the fault forgive,
If, in our larger family, we grieve
One falling Adam, and one tempted Eve.
We who remain would gratefully repay,
What our endeavours can, and bring this day
The first-fruit offering of a virgin play:

We hope there's something that may please each

taste, And though of homely fare we make the feast, Yet you will find variety at least. There's humour, which for cheerful friends we

got, And for the thinking party there's a plot. We've something too to gratify ill-nature, (If there be any here)—and that is satire ; Though satire scarce dares grin, 'tis grown so

mild, Or only shews its teeth, as if it smiled. As asses thistles, poets mumble wit, And dare not bite, for fear of being bit. They hold their pens, as swords are held by fools, And are afraid to use their own edge-tools. Since the Plain Dealer's scenes of manly rage, Not one bas dared to lash this crying age. This time, the poet owns the bold essay. Yet hopes there's no ill-manners in his play: And he declares by me, he has designed Affront to none; but frankly speaks his mind. And, should the ensuing scenes not chance to

hit, He offers but this one excuse—'twas writ Before your late encouragement of wit.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

BUCKRAM.

MEN. Sir SAMPSON LEGEND. VALENTINE. SCANDAL. TATTLE. BEN. FORESIGHT. JEREMY. TRAPLAND.

WOMEN. ANGELICA. Mrs FORESIGHT. Mrs FRAIL. Miss PRUE. Nurse. JENNY.

A Steward, Officers, Sailors, and several Servants.

SCENE,-London.

« ПредишнаНапред »