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Enter Arabella. Arab. Your mantua-maker, with your new sack, sister.
Mrs. Cad. Is that all? She might have stay'd, I think.
Arab. What? You were better engaged? But don't be angry, I am sorry I interrupted you.
Mrs. Cad. Hey! Now will I be hang'd if she be'nt jealous of Mr. Poet; but I'll listen, and see the end on't, I'm resolved.
( Aside and exit. Arab. Are you concern'd at the interruption too?
Cape. It was a very seasonable one, I promise you; had you stay'd a little longer, I don't know what might have been the consequence,
Arab. No danger to your person, I hope.
Cape. Why, consider, my dear Bell; tho' your sister is a fool, she is a fine woman, and Aesh is frail.
Arab. Dear Bell! And flesh is frail! We are grown strangely familiar, I think.
Cape. Heydey! In what corner sits the wind now?
Arab. Where it may possibly blow strong enough to overset your hopes.
Cape. That a breeze of your breath can do.
what is the meaning of all this?
Arab. Ask your own guilty conscience.
Cape. Were I inclined to Hatter myself, this little passion wou'd be no bad presage.
Arab. You may prove a false prophet.
Cape. Let me die, if I know what to— But to descend to a little common sense ; what part of my conduct
Arab. Look'e, Mr. Cape, all explanations are unnecessary: I have been lucky enough to discover
in at my
your disposition before it is too late ; and so you know there's no occasion but however, I'll not be any impediment to you ; my sister will be back immediately; I suppose my presence will only But consider, sir, I have a brother's honour Cape. Which is as safe from me, as if it was
your brother's closet: But surely, madam, you are a little capricious, here; have I done any thing but obey your directions?
'Arab. That was founded upon a supposition that
but no matter. Cape. That what? Arab. Why, I was weak enough to believe, what you was wicked enough to protest
Cape. That I loved you; and what reason have I given you to doubt it? Arab. A pretty situation I found
Cape. An assumed warmth, for the better concealing the fraud.
Mrs. Cad. What's that? Aside, listening.
Cape. Surely if you doubted my constancy, you must have a better opinion of my understanding: Mrs. Cad. Mighty well.
(Aside. Cape. What an ideot, a driveller! no consideration upon earth, but my paving the way to the possession of you, could have prevail'd upon me to support her folly a minute.
Enter Mrs. Cadwallader. Mrs. Cad. Soh! Mr. Poet, you are a pretty gentleman, indeed ; ecod, I'm glad I have caught you. I'm not such a fool as you think for, man; but here will be Dicky presently, he shall hear of your tricks, he shall; I'll let him know what a pretty person he has got in his house.
Cape. There's no parrying this; had not I better decamp:
Arab. And leave me to the mercy of the enemy: damn his soup
My brother's temper is so odd, there's no knowing in what light he'll see this.
Mrs. Cad. Oh, he's below, I hear him. Now we shall hear what he'll say to you, madam. Enter Cadwallader, Governor, Sprightly, and Robin.
Cad. No, pray walk in, Mr. Interpreter, between you and I, I like his royal highness mightily ; he's a polite, pretty, well-bred gentleman--but
Gov. Why, sir, you eat as if you lik'd it.
Cad. Lik'd it ! hey, egad, I would not eat another mess to be his master's prime minister ; as bitter as gall, and as black as my hat; and there have I been sitting these two hours with my legs under me 'till they are both as dead as a herring.
Cape. Your dinner displeas'd you?
Cad. Displeas'd! hey! Look'e, Mr. Sprightly, I'm mightily obliged to you for the honour; but hold, hold, you shall never persuade me to be a hobblinwisky again, if the great cham of the Calmucks were to come over himself. Hey! and what a danın'd language has he got? Whee, haw, haw! but you speak it very fluently.
Gov. I was long resident in the country.
Cad. May be so, but he seems to speak it better; you have a foreign kind of an accent, you don't sound it through the nose so well as he. Hey ! well Becky, what, and how have you entertain'd Mr. Cape.
Mrs. Cad. Oh! here have been fine doings since you have been gone.
Cape. So, now comes on the storm.
Cad. Hey! hold, hold, what has been the matter?
Mrs. Cad. Matter! why the devil is in the poet, I think
Cad. The devil! hold,
try I think
Mrs. Cad. Why here he has been making love to me like bewitch'd.
Cad. How, which way?
, Cad. Hey! hold, hold, egad I believe he's a little mad; this morning he took me for king Turnus, you; now who can tell, but this afternoon he may take you for queen Dido?
Mrs. Cad. And there he told me I was to run, and to double, and quat, and there he was to catch me, and all that.
Cad. Hold, hold, catch you? Mr. Cape, I take it very unkindly; it was, d’ye see, a very unfriendly thing to make love to Becky in my absence. .
Cape. But, sir.
Cad. And it was the more ungenerous, Mr. Cape, to take this advantage, as you know she is but a foolish woman.
Mrs. Cad. Ay, me; who am but a foolish woman.
Cape. But hear me.
Cad. A poor ignorant, illiterate, poor Becky! And for a man of your parts to attack
Cape. There's no
Cad. Hold, hold, ecod it is just as if the grand signor, at the head of his janisaries, was to kick a chimney-sweeper.
Mrs. Cad. Hey! what's that you say, Dicky; what, be I like a chimney-sweeper?
Cad. Hey! hold, hold. · Zounds! no, Beck; hey! no : That's only by way of simile, to let him see I understand your tropes, and figures, as well as himself, egad! and therefore
Spri. Nay, but Mr. Cadwallader
Cad. Don't mention it, Mr. Sprightly; he is the first poet I ever had in my house, except the bellman for a Christinas-box.
Spri. Good sir.
Cad. And hold, hold; I am 'resolved he shall be the last. Spri
. I have but one way to silence him. Cad. And let me tell you
Spri. Nay, sir, if I must tell him ; he owes his reception here to my recommendation; any abuse of your goodness, any breach of hospitality here, he is answerable to me for.
Cad. Hey! hold, hold, so he is, ecod ; at him ; give it him home.
Spri. Ungrateful monster! and is this your return for the open, generous treatment
Mrs. Cad. As good fry'd cow-heel, with a roast fowl and sausages, as ever came to a table.
Cad. Hush, Beck, hush!
Cad. If I had had a university education-
Spri. Thus far relates to this gentleman; but now, sir, what apology can you make me, who was your passport, your security ?
Cad. Zounds, none; fight him.
Cad. Ay, do ; I'd fight him myself, if I had not had the measles last winter; but stay till I get out of the room.
Spri. No, he's sure of a protection here, the presence of the ladies.
Cad. Pshaw, pox! they belong to the family, never mind them.
Spri. Well, sir, are you dumb? No excuse ? No pallation ?
Cad. Ay, no palliation ?
Mrs. Cad. Ay, no tribulation? It's a shame, so it is.
Cape. When I have leave to speak