Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

"Thou haft feen perhaps (reading) the artificial ver"milion on the cheeks of Cleora, or the vermilion of "nature on those of Sylvia; thou haft feen-in a word, "the lovely face of Emila was overspread with blushes."

-This is a most beautiful paffage, I proteft! Well, a novel for my money!-Lord, Lord, my ftupid papa has no tafte. He has no notion of humour and character, and the fenfibility of delicate feeling, (affectedly.) And then mama- -But where was I-Oh, here "Overspread with blushes, (reading.)-Sir George, "touched at her confufion, gently feized her hand, "and foftly preffing it to his bofom, (acting it as fhe "reads), where the pulfes of his heart beat quick, throb"bing with tumultuous paffion, in a plaintive tone of "voice breathed out, Will you not anfwer me, Emilia-Tender creature!- She, half raifing (reading and acting) her downcaft eyes, and half“inclining her averted head, faid in faultering accents "Yes, Sir."-Well, now! Then gradually reco

vering, with ineffable fweetnefs fhe prepared to ad"drefs him; when Mrs Jenkins bounced into the room, "threw down a fet of china in her hurry, and ftrewed "the floor with porcelain-fragments: then turning E*milia round and round, whirled her out of the apart*ment in an inftant, and struck Sir George dumb with "aftonishment at her appearance. She raved; but the "baronet refuming his accuftomed effrontery." Enter Nurfe.

"

Oh, nurfe, I am glad to fee you!-Well, and how
Nur. Well, chicken?

Pol. Tell me, tell me all this inftant. Did you fee him? Did you give him my letter? Did he write? Will he come? Shall I fee him? Have you got the answer in your pocket? Have you

Nur. Bleffings on her, how her tongue runs!

Pol. Nay, but come, dear nurfee, tell me, what did he fay?

Nur. Say? why, he took the letter

Pol. Well!

Nur. And kife'd it a thousand times, and read it a thousand times, and

Pok Oh charming!

P2

Nur.

Nur. And ran about the room, and bleft himself,and, Heav'n preserve us, curft himself, and

Pol. Very fine, very fine!

Nur. And vowed he was the most miserable creature upon earth, and the happiest man in the world, and— Pol. Prodigioufly fine! excellent! My dear, dear nurfee! (Kiffing her.) Come, give me the letter. Nur. Letter, chicken! what letter? Pol. The answer to mine.- -Come then! (Impatiently.)

Nur. I have no letter. He had fuch a peramble to write, by my troth I could not stay for it.

Pol. Píha!

Nur. How foon you're affronted now! He faid he'd fend it fome time to-day.

Pol. Send it fome time to-day!-I wonder now (as if mufing) how he will convey it. Will he fqueeze it, as he did the laft, into the chicken-houfe in the garden? Or will he write it in lemon-juice, and fend it in a book like blank paper? Or will he throw it into the houfe inclosed in an orange? Or will he

Nur. Heavens bless her, what a sharp wit she has ! Pol. I have not read fo many books for nothing. Novels, nurfee, novels! A novel is the only thing to teach a girl life, and the way of the world, and elegant fancies, and love to the end of the chapter.

Nur. Yes, yes; you are always reading your fimple ftory-books; the Ventures of Jack this, and the Hiftory of Betsy t'other, and Sir Humphrys, and women with hard Chriftian names. You had better read your prayer. book, chicken.

Pol. Why fo I do; but I'm reading this now(Looking into the book.) "She raved; but the baronet" -I really think I love Mr Scribble as well as Emilia did Sir George.-Do you think, nurfee, I fhould have had fuch a good notion of love fo early if I had not read novels? Did not I make a conqueft of Mr Scribble in a fingle night at a dancing? but my crofs papa will hardly ever let me go out.-And then, I know life as well as if I had been in the beau-monde all my days. I can tell the nature of a masquerade as well as if I had been at twenty, I long for a mobbing fcheme with Mr

Scribble

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Scribble in the two-fhilling gallery, or a fnug party a little way out of town in a poft-chaife-And then I have fuch a head full of intrigues and contrivances! Oh, nurfee, a novel is the only thing.

Nur. Contrivances ay, marry, you have need of contrivances. Here are your papa and mama fully refolved to marry you to young Mr Ledger, Mr Simeon the rich Jew's wife's nephew; and all the while your head runs upon nothing but Mr Scribble.

Pol. A fiddle-ftick's end for Mr Ledger!-I tell you
what, nurfee, I'll marry Mr Scribble, and not marry Mr
Ledger, whether papa and mama choose it or nơ.-
And how do you think I'll contrive it?
Nur. How, chicken?

Pol. Why, don't you know?
Nur. No, indeed.

Pol. And can't you guefs?
Nur. No, by my troth, not I.

Pol. O Lord, 'tis the commoneft thing in the world.
-I intend to elope.

You

Nur. Elope, chicken! what's that?

Pol. Why, in the vulgar phrafe, run away-that's all.

Nur. Mercy on us!-Run away!

Pol. Yes, run away, to be fure. Why, there's nothing in that, you know. Every girl elopes when her parents are obftinate and ill-natur'd about marrying her. It was juft fo with Betfy Thompfon, and Sally Wilkins, and Clarinda, and Leonora, in the Hiftory of Dick Carelefs, and Julia in the Adventures of Tom Ramble, and fifty others. Did not they all elope? and fo will I too. I have as much right to elope as they had; for I have as much love, and as much fpirit as the best of them.

Nur. Why, Mr Scribble's a fine man, to be fure, a gentleman every inch of him. Will you

Pol. So he is; a dear charming man! clope too, nurfee?

Nur. Not for the varfal world. kin, your papa and mama

Suppofe now, chic

Pol. What care I for papa and mama? Have not they been married and happy long enough ago? and are they not fill coaxing, and fondling, and kiffing each other

all the day long?-Where's my dear love, (mimicking.) My beauty! fays papa, hobbling along with his crutchheaded cane and his old gouty legs. Ah, my fweeting, my precious Mr Honeycombe, d'ye love your nown dear wife? fays mama; and then they fqueeze their hard hands to each other, and their old eyes twinkle, and they're as loving as Darby and Joan, especially if mama has had a cordial or two-Eh, nurfee!

Nur. Oh fie, chicken!

Pol. And then, perhaps, in comes my utter averfion, Mr Ledger, with his news from the 'Change, and his Change-alley wit, and his thirty per cent. (mimicking) and flocks have risen one and a half and three-eighths. I'll tell you what, nurfee, they would make fine characters for a novel, all three of them.

Nur. Ah, you're a graceless bird!-But I muft go down ftairs, and watch if the coast's clear, in case of a letter.

Pol. Cou'd not you go to Mr Scribble's again after it?

Nur. Again, indeed, Mrs Hot-upon't!

Pol. Do now, my dear nurfee, pray do; and call at the circulating library as you go along for the reft of this novel-the Hiftory of Sir George Trueman and Emilia-and tell the bookfeller to be fure to send me the British Amazon, and Tom Faddle, and the rest of the new novels this winter, as foon as ever they come out.

Nur. Ah, pife on your naughty novels, I fay. [Exit. Pol. Ay, go now, my dear nurfee, there's a go; good woman. What an old fool it is! with her pife on it-and fie, chicken-and no, by my troth- ~(mimicking.)-Lord, what a ftrange house I live in !-not a foul in it, except myself, but what are all queer animals, quite droll creatures. There's papa and mama, and the old foolish nurse- -(Re-enter Nurfe with a band-box.) Oh, nurfee, what brings you back fo foon? What have you got there?

Nur. Mrs Commode's 'prentice is below, and has brought home your new cap and ruffles, chicken.

Pol. Let me fee-let me fee-(opening the box.) Well I fwear this is a mighty pretty cap, a fweet pair of flying lappets! Aren't they, nurfee?-Ha, what's this?

[looking

(looking into the box.)-Oh charming! a letter! did not I tell you fo?-Let's fee-let's fee-(opening the letter haftily-it contains three or four fheets)" Joy of "my foul-only hope-eternal blifs-(dipping in"to different places.) The cruel blafts of coynefs and "difdain blow out the flame of love, but then the vir"gin-breath of kindness and compaffion blows it in "again."-Prodigious pretty! isn't it, nurfee? (Turning over the leaves.)

Nur. Yes, that is pretty-but what a deal there is on't. 'Tis an old faying, and a true one, the more there's faid, the lefs there's done. Ah, they wrote otherguefs fort of letters when I was a girl! (While fhe talks, Polly reads.)

Pol. Lord, nurfee, if it was not for novels and loveletters, a girl would have no jufe for her writing and reading-But what's here? (reading.) Poetry! "Well may I cry out with Alonzo in the Revenge"Where didft thou fteal thofe eyes? From heaven? "Thou didft, and 'tis religion to adore them." Excellent! Oh, he's a dear man!

Nur. Ay, to be fure-But you forget your lettercarrier below; fhe'll never bring you another if you don't speak to her kindly.

Pol. Speak to her! why, I'll give her fixpence, woman! Tell her I am coming-I will but juft read my letter over five or fix times, and go to her-Oh, he's a charming man! (reading.) Very fine! very pretty! -He writes as well as Bob Lovelace-(Kiffing the letter.) Oh, dear, fweet Mr Scribble !

[Exit.

SCENE changes to another Apartment. Honeycombe and Mrs Honeycombe at Breakfaft-Honeycombe reading in the Newspaper.

Mrs Hon. My dear!

[Peevishly. [Still reading.

Hon. What d'ye fay, my love? Mrs Hon. You take no notice of me- -Lay by that filly paper-put it down-come then-drink your tea-You don't love me now.

Hon. Ah, my beauty!
Mrs Hon. Do you love

[Looking very fondly. your own dear wife?

[Tenderly

Hon

« НазадПродовжити »