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Neph. Thou charming, adorable woman! what shall we do then? I never wished for a fortune till this moment.
and I can't stay at home; so we are both of a | ried in England some time, and lived among my mind-She's every night at one or other of the betters. garden places; but among friends, I am a little afraid of the damp; hugh, hugh, hugh! She has got an Irish gentleman, a kind of cousin of hers, to take care of her; a fine fellow, and so good-natured!-It is a vast comfort to have such a friend in a family! Hugh, hugh, hugh! Whit. You are a bold man, cousin Kecksey. Kec. Bold! ay, to be sure; none but tie brave deserve the fair-Hugh, bugh! who's afraid?
Whit. Why, your wife is five feet ten!
Kec. Without her shoes. I hate your little shrimps; none of your lean, meagre French frogs for me; I was always fond of the majestic: give me a slice of a good English surloin! cut and come again; hugh, hugh, hugh! that's my
Hugh! hugh! hugh!
Whit. You have an ugly cough, cousin. Kec. Marriage is the best lozenge for it. Whit. You have raised me from the dead-I am glad you came-Frank Bates had almost kilied me with his jokes-but you have comforted me, and we will walk through the Park; and I will carry you to the widow in Pall-Mall. Kec. With all my heart!I'll raise her spirits, and yours too. Courage, Tom-come along who's afraid? [Exeunt.
SCENE II.-The WIDOW's lodgings.
Enter WIDOW, NEPHEW, and BATES. Bates. Indeed, madam, there is no other way but to cast off your real character, and assume a feigned one; it is an extraordinary occasion, and requires extraordinary measures; pluck up a spirit, and do it for the honour of
Neph. Only consider, my sweet widow, that our all is at stake.
Wid. Could I bring my heart to act contrary to its feelings, would not you hate me for being a hypocrite, though it is done for your
Neph. Could I think myself capable of such ingratitude
Wid. Don't make fine speeches! You men are strange creatures! you turn our heads to your purposes, and then despise us for the folly you teach us. 'Tis hard to assume a character contrary to my disposition: I cannot get id of my unfashionable prejudices till I have been mar
Wid. Could we live upon affection, I would give your fortune to your uncle, and thank him for taking it; and then
Neph. What then, my sweet widow?
Wid. I would desire you to run away with me as fast as you can-What a pity it is, that this money, which my heart despises, should hinder its happiness, or that, for want of a few dirty acres, a poor woman must be made miserable, and sacrificed twice to those who have them!
Neph. Heaven forbid! these exquisite sentiments endear you more to me, and distract me with the dread of losing you.
Bates. Young folks; let an old man, who is not quite in love, and yet will admire a fine woman to the day of his death, throw in a little advice among your flames and darts.
Wid. Though a woman, a widow, and in love too, I can hear reason, Mr. Bates.
Bates. And that's a wonder-You have no time to lose; for want of a jointure you are still your father's slave; he is obstinate, and has promised you to the old man: Now, madam, if you will not rise superior to your sex's weakness, to secure a young fellow instead of an old one, your eyes are a couple of hypocrites.
Wid. They are a couple of traitors, I'm sure, and have led their mistress into a toil, from which all her wit cannot release her.
Neph. But it can, if you will but exert it. My uncle adored, and fell in love with you for your beauty, softness, and almost speechless reserve. Now, if, amidst all his rapturous ideas of your delicacy, you would bounce upon him a wild, ranting, buxom widow, he will grow sick of his bargain, and give me a fortune to take you his hands.
Wid. I shall make a very bad actress.
Neph. You are an excellent mimic; assume hut the character of your Irish female neighbour in the country, with which you astonished us so agreeably at Scarborough; you will frighten my uncle to terms; and do that for us which neither my love nor your virtue can accomplish without it.
Wid. Now for a trial-[Mimicking a strong brogue.]-Fait and trot, if you will be after bringing me before the old jontleman, if he loves music, I will trate his ears with a little of the brogue, and some dancing too, into the bargain, if he loves capering O bless me ! my heart fails
and I am frightened out of my wits; I can never go through it.
[NEPHEW and BATES both laugh Neph. Kneeling and kissing her hand.] Oh, 'tis admirable! Love himself inspires you, and we shall conquer. What say you, Mr. Bates?
Bates. I'll insure you success; I can scarce
believe my own ears: such a tongue and a brogue would make Hercules tremble at fiveand-twenty! But away, away, and give him the first broadside in the Park; there you'll find hm hobbling with that old cuckold, Kecksey.
Wid. But will my dress suit the character I play?
Neph. The very thing! Is your retinue ready, and your part got by heart?
Wid. All is ready; 'tis an act of despair to punish folly and reward merit; 'tis the last effort of pure, honourable love; and if every woman would exert the same spirit for the same out-of-fashion rarity, there would be less business for Doctors'-Commons. Now let the critics laugh at me, if they dare. [Erit with spirit. Neph. Bravo! bravissimo! sweet widow ! [Exit after her. Bates. Huzza! huzza! [Exit.
SCENE III.-The Park.
Enter WHITTLE and KECKSEY. Whit. Yes, yes, she is Irish; but so modest, so mild, and so tender, and just enough of the accent to give a peculiar sweetness to her words, which drop from her in monosyllables, with such a delicate reserve, that I shall have all the comfort, without the impertinence of a
Keck. I don't care for your sayings-who's afraid?
Whit. There goes Bates: let us avoid him, he will only be joking with us; when I have taken a serious thing into my head, I can't bear to have it laughed out again. This way, friend Kecksey-What have we got here?
Keck. [Looking out.] Some fine prancing
wench, with her lovers and footmen about her; she's a gay one, by her motions.
Whit. Were she not so flaunting, I should take it for-No, it is impossible; and yet is not that my nephew with her? I forbad him speaking to her; it can't be the widow! I hope it is not.
Enter WIDOW, followed by NEPHEW, three Footmen, and a black Boy.
Wid. Don't bother me, young man, with your darts, your cupids, and your pangs; if you had half of them about that you you swear you have, they would have cured you, by killing you long ago. Would you have me faitless to your uncle, hah! young man? Was not I faitful to you, 'till I was ordered to be faitful to him? but I must
know more of your English ways, and live more among the English ladies, to learn how to be faitful to two at a time—and so there's my answer for you.
Neph. Then I know my relief, for I cannot live without you.
Wid. Take what relief you plase, young jontleman, what have I to do with dat! He is certainly mad, or out of his sinses, for he swears he can't live without me, and yet he talks of killing himself? how does he make out dat? if a countryman of mine had made such a blunder, they would have put it into all the news-papers, and Faulkner's Journal beside; but an Englishman may look over the hedge, while an Irishman must not stale a horse.
Kec. Is this the widow, friend Whittle? Whit. I don't know: [Sighing.] it is, and it is not.
Wid. Your servant, Mr. Whittol; I wish you would spake to your nephew not to be whining and dangling after me all day in his green coat, like a parrot: it is not for my reputation that he should follow me about like a beggarman, and ask me for what I had given him long ago, but have since bestowed upon you, Mr. Whittol.
Whit. He is an impudent beggar, and shall be really so for his disobedience.
Wid. As he can't live without me, you know, it will be charity to starve him: I wish the poor young man dead with all my heart, as he thinks it will do him a grate deal of good.
Kec. [To WHITTLE.] She is tender, indeed! and I think she has the brogue a little-hugh! hugh!
Whit. It is stronger to day than ever I heard [Staring.
Wid. And are you now talking of my brogue! It is always the most fullest when the wind is aesterly; it has the same effect upon me as upon stammering people-they can't spake for their impediment, and my tongue is fixed so loose in my mouth, I can't stop it for the life of me.
Whit. What a terrible misfortune, friend Kecksey!
Keck. Not at all; the more tongue the better, say I.
of a second; and my father kept my spirits in subjection, as the best receipt (he said) for changing a widow into a wife; but now I have my arms and legs at liberty, I must and will have my swing: Now I am out of my cage, I could dance two nights together, and a day too, like any singing bird; and I'm in such spirits, that I have got rid of my father, I could fly
Wid. When the wind changes, I have no brogue at all, at all. But come, Mr. Whittol, don't let us be vulgar, and talk of our poor relations: It is impossible to be in this metropolis of London, and have any thought but of operas, plays, masquerades, and pantaons, to keep up one's spirits in the winter; and Rane-over the moon without wings, and back again lagh, Vauxhall, and Marybone fire-works, to cool and refresh one in the summer. La la la! [Sings. Whit. I protest she puts me into a sweat! we shall have a mob about us.
Kec. The more the merrier, I say who's afraid?
before dinner. Bless my eyes! and I don't see there Miss Nancy O'Flarty, and her brother, captain O'Flarty? He was one of my dying Strephons at Scarborough. I have a very great regard for him, and must make him a little miserable with my happiness. [Curtseys.] Come along, Skips! [To the servants.] don't you be Wid. How the poople stare! as if they never gostring there; show your liveries, and bow to saw a woman's voice before; but my vivacity your master that is to be, and to his friend, has got the better of my good manners. This, and hold up your heads, and trip after me as suppose, this strange gentleman, is a near lightly as if you had no legs to your feet. I friend and relation? and as such, notwithstand-shall be with you again, jontlemen, in the crack ing his appearance, I shall always trate him, of a fan-O, I'll have a husband, ay, marry! though I might dislike him upon a nearer acquaintance.
Kec. Madam, you do me honour! I like your frankness, and I like your person, and I envy my friend Whittle; and if you were not engaged, and I were not married, I would endeavour to make myself agreeable to you, that I wouldhugh! hugh!
Wid. And indeed, sir, it would be very agraable to me, for if I should hate you as much as I did my first dare husband, I should always have the comfort, that in all human probability, my torments would not last long.
Kec. She utters something more than monosyllables, friend! this is better than bargain: she has a fine bold way of talking.
Whit. More bold than welcome! I am struck all of a heap.
Wid. What, are you low spirited, my dare Mr. Whittol? When you were at Scarborough, and winning my affections, you were all mirth and gaiety; and now you have won me, you are as thoughtful about it, as if we had been married some time!
Whit, Indeed, madam, I can't but say I am a little thoughtful; we take it by turns; you were very sorrowful a month ago for the loss of your husband; and that you could dry up your tears so soon naturally makes me a little thoughtful.
[Exit singing. Kec. A fine buxom widow, faith! no acquaintance-delicate reserve-mopes at home forced into the air,-inclined to a consumption -What a description you gave of your wife! Why, she beats my Sally, Tom!
Whit. Yes, and she'll beat me, if I dont take care. What a change is here! I must turn about, or this will turn my head. Dance for two nights together! and leap over the moon! you shall dance and leap by yoursslf, that I am resolved.
Kec. Here she comes again; it does my heart good to see her-You are in luck, Tom. Whit. I would give a finger to be out of such luck.
Enter WIDOW, &c.
Wid. Ha, ha, ha! the poor captain is marched off in a fury: he can't bear to hear that the town has capitulated to you, Mr. Whittol. I have promised to introduce him to you: he will make one of my danglers to take a little exercise with me, when you take your nap in the after
Whit. You shan't catch me napping, I assure you. What a discovery and escape I have made; I am in a sweat with the thought of my danger! [Aside. Kec. I protest, cousin, there goes my wife, Wid. Indeed, I could dry up my tears for a and her friend, Mr. Mac Brawn. What a fine dozen husbands when I was sure of having a tir-stately couple they are! I must after them, and teenth like Mr. Whittol: that's very natural, sure, both in England and Dublin, too!
Kec. She won't die of a consumption; she has fine full-toned voice, and you'll be very happy, Tom!-Hugh! hugh!
Whit. O yes, very happy.
Wid. But come, don't let us be melancholy before the time: I am sure I have been moped up for a year and a half-I was obliged to mourn for my first husband, that I might be sure
have a laugh with them-now they giggle and
Wid. I know Mr. Mac Brawn extremely well. He was very intimate at our house in my first husband's time; a great comfort he was to me, to be sure! He would very often leave his claret and companions for a little conversation with
me: He was bred at the Dublin university;and, being a very deep scholar, has fine talents for a tate a tate.
Whit. She knows him, too! I shall have my house over-run with the Mac Brawns, O'Shoulders, and the blood of the Backwells: Lord have mercy upon me!
Wid. Pray, Mr. Whittol, is that poor spindlelegged crater of a cousin of yours lately married? ha, ha, ha! I don't pity the poor crater his wife, for that agreable cough of his will soon reward her for all her sufferings.
Whit. What a delivery! a reprieve before the knot was tied! [Aside. Wid. Are you unwell, Mr. Whittol? I should be sorry you would fall sick before the happy day. Your being in danger afterwards, would be a great consolation to me, because I should have the pleasure of nursing you myself. Whit. I hope never to give you that trouble, madam.
Wid. No trouble at all, at all! I assure you, sir, from my soul, that I shall take great delight
in the occasion.
Whit. Indeed, madam, I believe it.
Whit. And so do I from mine, madam.
Wid. I'll rattle them away like smoke; there are no vapours where I come. I hate your dumps, and your nerves, and your megrims; and I had much rather break your rest with a little racketting, than let any thing get into your head that should not be there, Mr. Whittol.
Whit. I will take care that nothing shall be in my head, but what ought be there: What a deliverance! [Aside.
Wid. [Looking at her watch.] Bless me! how the hours of the clock creep away when we are plased with our company! But I must lave you, for there are half a hundred people waiting for me to pick your pocket, Mr. Whittol. And there is my own brother, lieutenant O'Neale, is to arrive this morning; and he is so like me, you would not know us asunder when we are together. You will be very fond of him, poor lad! He lives by his wits, as you do by your fortune, and so you may assist one another. Mr. Whittol, your obedient, 'till we meet at the pantaon. Follow me, Pompey! and Skips, do you follow him.
Pom. The Baccararo white-man no let blacky boy go first after you, missis; they pull and pinch me.
Foot. It is a shame, your ladyship, that a black negro should take place of English christians-We can't follow him, indeed.
Wid. Then you may follow one another out of my sarvice: if you follow me, you shall follow him, for he shall go before me: Can't I make him your superior, as the laws of the land have made him your equal! therefore, resign as fast as you plase; you shan't oppose government, and keep your places, too; that is not good politics in England or Ireland either; so, come along, Pompey, be after going before me-Mr. Whittol, most tinderly yours.
[Sighs. Wid. But don't let us think of future pleasure, and neglect the present satisfaction. My mantua-maker is waiting for me to choose my clothes, in which I shall forget the sorrows of Mrs. Brady in the joys of Mrs. Whittol. Though I have no fortune myself, I shall bring a tolerable one to you, in debts, Mr. Whittol; and which I will pay you tinfold in tinderness: Your deep purse, and my open heart, will make us the envy of the little grate ones, and the grate little ones: the people of quality, with no souls, and grate souls with no cash at all. I Whit. Most tinderly yours! [Mimicks her.] hope you'll meet me at the pantaon this even--Ecod, I believe you are, and any body's else. ing Lady Rantiton, and her daughter Miss-O, what an escape have I had! But how Nettledown, and Nancy Tittup, with half a shall I clear myself of this business! I'll serve dozen Maccaronies, and two Savoury Vivers, her as I would bad money, put her off into other are to take me there; and we propose a grate hands: My nephew is fool enough to be in love deal of chat and merriment, and dancing all with her, and if I give him a fortune, he'll night, and all other kind of recreations. I am take the good and the bad together-He shall do quite another kind of a crater, now I am a bird so, or starve. I'll send for Bates directly, conin the fields: I can junket about a week to fess my folly, ask his pardon, send him to my gether: I have a fine constitution, and am nephew, write and declare off with the widow, never molested with your nasty vapours. Are and so get rid of her tinderness as fast as I you ever troubled with vapours, Mr. Whittol? can. Whit. A little now and then, madam.
Bates. I know you are a good lad, or I would not have meddled in the matter; but the business is not yet completed till signatum et sigillatum.
Neph. Let me fly to the widow, and tell her how prosperouly we go on.
Bates. Don't be in a hurry, young man ! She is not in the dark I assure you, nor has she yet finished her part: so capital an actress should not be idle in the last act.
Neph. I could wish that you would let me come into my uncle's proposal at once, without vexing him farther.
Bates. Then I declare off. Thou silly young man, are you to be duped by your own weak good nature, and his worldly craft ? This does not arise from his love and justice to you, but from his own miserable situation; he must be tortured into justice: He shall not only give up your whole estate, which he is loth to part with, but you must now have a premium for agreeing to your own happiness. What, shall your widow, with wit and spirit, that would do the greatest honour to our sex, go through her task cheerfully, and shall your courage give way, and be outdone by a woman's?-fie for shame!
Neph. I beg your pardon, Mr. Bates! I will follow your directions; be as hard-hearted as my uncle, and vex his body and mind for the good of his soul.
Bates. That's a good child! and remember that your own, and the widow's future happi- | ness, depends upon your both going through the business with spirit; make your uncle feel for himself, that he may do justice to other people. Is the widow ready for the last experiment?
Neph. She is. But think what anxiety I shall feel while she is in danger!
Bates. Ha, ha, ha! she'll be in no danger! besides, shan't we be at hand to assist her?-Hark! I hear him coming: I'll probe his callous heart to the quick! and if we are not paid for our trouble, nay, I am no politician. Fly: now we shall do! [Exit NEPHEW.
Whit. Well, Mr. Bates, have you talked with my nephew? is not he overjoyed at the proposal?
Bates. The demon of discord has been among you, and has untuned the whole family; you have screwed him too high: the young man is out of his senses, I think he stares and mopes about, and sighs-looks at me, indeed, but gives I don't like him. very absurd answers.
Whit. What's the matter, think you?
Bates. What I have always expected. There is a crack in your family, and you take it by turns! you have had it, and now transfer it to your nephew, which, to your shame be it spoken, is the only transfer you have ever made
Whit. But am not I going to do him more than justice?
Bates. As you have done him much less than justice hitherto, you can't begin too soon.
Whit. Am not I going to give him the lady he likes, and which I was going to marry myself?
Butes. Yes, that is, you are taking a perpetual blister off your own back, to clap it upon his? What a tender uncle you are !
Whit. But you don't consider the estate which I shall give him?
Bates. Restore to him, you mean; 'tis his own, and you should have given it up long ago: you must do more, or Old Nick will have you.— Your nephew won't take the widow off your hands without a fortune-throw him ten thousand into the bargain.
Whit. Indeed, but I shan't; he shall run mad, and I'll marry her myself, rather than do that.— Mr. Bates, be a true friend, and sooth my nephew to consent to my proposal.
Bates. You have raised the fiend, and ought to lay him; however, I'll do my best for you:When the head is turned, nothing can bring it right again so soon as ten thousand pounds.Shall I promise for you.
Whit. I'll sooner go to Bedlam myself. [Erit BATES.] Why, I am in a worse condition than I was before! If this widow's father will not let me be off without providing for his daughter, I may lose a great sum of money, and none of us be the better for it. My nephew half mad! myself half married! and no remedy for either of us!
Ser. Sir Patrick O'Neale is come to wait upon you : would you please to see him ?
Whit. By all means, the very person I wanted: don't let him wait. [Exit Servant.] I wonder if he has seen my letter to the widow; I will sound him by degrees, that I may be sure of my mark before I strike the blow.