Изображения страниц

Lady T. Oh, there's no life like it! Why, t'other day, for example, when you dined abroad, my Lord and 1, after a pretiy cheerful tele a tete moal, sat us down by the fireside, in an easy, indolent, pick tooth way, for about a quarter of an hour, as if we had not thought of one another's being in the room.-At last, stretching himself and yawning-My dear, says he-aw- you came home very late last night.- Twas but just turned of two, says I. I was in bed

b y eleven, says he. So you are every night, says Well, sayshe, I am amazed you can sit up so late. flow: can you be amazed, says I, at a thing that happens so often i Upon which we entered into a conversation -and though this is a point ihat has entertained us above fifty times already, we always find so many pretty wew things to say upon it, that I believe in my soul it will last as long as I live...

Lady G. But pray, in such sort of family dialogues (though extremely well for passing the time) does'nt there now and then enter some little witty sort of bit. terness?

Lady T. Oh yes! Which does not do amiss at all.. A smart repartee, with a zest of recrimination at the head of it, makes the prettiest sherbert. Aye, aye, if we did not mix a little of the acid with it a matrimonial society would be so luscious, that nothing but an old liq. uorish prude would be able tü bear it.

Lady G. Well, certainly you have the most elegant taste

Lady T. Though to tell you the truth, my dear, I rather think we squeezed a little too much lenion into it this bout; for it grew so suur at last, that I think - almost told hin he was a fool and he again

talked something oddly- turning me out of doors.

Lady G. Oh! Have a care of that. .

Lady T. Nay, if he should, I may thank my own wire la her for it.

Lady G. How so ?

Lady . Why when my good Lord first opened his honorable trenches before me, my unaccountable

papa, in whose hands I then was, gave me up at discre


Lrdy G. How do you mean!

Lady T. He said, the wives of this age were come to that pass, that he would not desire even his own daugh. ter should be trusted with pinmoney; so that my whole train of separate inclinations are left entirely at the mer. cy of a husband's odd humour. "

Ltdy G. Why, that indeed is enough to make a wom. an 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. On, you wicked thing! how can you teaze one at this rate, when you know he is so very se ber 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 alınost every thing he hates. I dote upon assemblies; my heart bounds at a ball, and at an opera-l expire. Then I love play to distraction; cards enchant memand dice--put me out of my little wits. Dear. dear hazard ! 0 what a flux of spirits it gives one! Do you never play at hazard, child?

Lady G. Oh, never! I don't think it sits well uron women; there's something so masculine, go inuch 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 is very true; one is a little put to it, sometiines, not to make use of the same words to es. press it

Lady G. Well, and upon iil 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 gulph and-wailow it.

Lady G. Well--and is it not enough to make you forswear play as long as you live?

Lady T. Ol, yes: I have forsworn it.
Lady G, Seriously :

Lady T. Solemnly, a thousand times; but then one is constantly forsworn. * Lrdy 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 degre: confine me that way.

Lady T. Well, how a woinan 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. Hall 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 confortable scheme of life. would you form now for your suminer and winter suber entertainments ?

Lady G. A scheme that I think might very well contentus.

Lady T. Oh, of all things, let's hear it.

Lady G.: Why, in suminer I could pass my leisure hours in riding, in reading, walking by a canal, or site ting 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 hus. band to be as sober as in yself.

Lady T. Well, my dear, thou art an astonishing crea

ture! For sure such primitive antediluvian notions of life have not been in any head these thousand years. Under a great cree! ha! ha! ha! But beg we may have the sober town scheme tou—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 vapors, I inust hear it.

žady 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 priyate fortune not to wear her lace as fine as the wedding suit of a first dutchess; though there is one extrava. gance 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.

Indy T. Why, the men say that's a great step to be made one. Well, now you are drest, pray let's see te what purpose.

Lady G. I would visit that is, my real friends ;but as little for forın as possible. I would go to court;, sometimes to an assembly, nay, play at quadrille-50berly. I would see all the good plays.; and because 'tis the fashion, now and then go to an opera ; but I would not espire there--for fear I should never go again. And Jastly, I can't say, but fur curiosity, if I liked my company, I miglit 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 a 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 fair and twerty hours might roll over in a tolerable manner?

Lady T. Tolerable ? Deplorable; Why, child, all you propose is but lo endure life; now, I want to en

joy it.

III.-Priuli and Jaffier.- Venice FRESERVED.

Pri. No more! I'll hear no more ! Beyone, and leave me.

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 throw's Me back so far, but I may boldly speak In right, though proud oppression will not hear mc ?:

Pri. Have you not wrong'd mę?

Jaff. Could my nature e'er
IIa ve brook'd injustice, or ihe doing wrong,
I need not nowy thus low hai. bent myself,
To gain a hearing from a cruel father.
Wrong'd you

Pri. Yes, wrong d me. In the nicest point,
The honor of my house, you've done me wrong.
When you first came home from travel,
With such hopes as made you look'd on,
By all men's eyes, a youth of expectation,
Pleas'd with your seeming virtue, I received you
Courted and sought to raise you to your merits !
My house, my table, nay, my fortune too,
My very self was yours ; you might have us’d me:
· To your best service ; like an open friend
.I treated, trusted you, and thought you mine :
When, in equality of my best endeavors.
You treacherously practis'd to undo me ;
Seduc'd the weakness of iny age's darling,
My only child, and stole her from my bosom.

Jaff. 'Tis to me you ove her ;
Childless you had been else, and in the grave
Your name extinct; no more Priuli heard of.
Yuu inay remember, scarce five years are pasto.
Since, in your brigantine, you sail'd to see
The Adriatic wedded by our duke ; .
And I was with you. Your unskilful pilot
Dash'd us upon a rock ; when to your boat
You made for safety ; enter'd first yourself:
The affrighted Belvidera, following next, :
As she stood trembling on the vessel's siuez.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »