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While each with tender passion burns,
Lean. To sum up all you now have heard,
A female trusted to your care,
Wag. He does not come or send, child. Pru. No-What do you do here, then, and be hanged to you!
Wag. I only bring a letter.
Pru. Very pretty jesting, truly! I was afraid that some of the family would take notice of my talking to you in the hall. But, in truth, here is no place of safety in the house; for now I've brought you up here, I'm afraid every moment of my master's surprising us.
Wag. Does the old gentleman always keep the house, then?
Pru. Keep the house!-he generally keeps his chamber, and very often his bed. You must know he's one of those folks, that are always sick, continually complaining, ever taking physic, and,
in reality, never ailing any thing. I'in his nurse, with a plague to him! and he worries me out of my life.
Wag. Would I were sick upon the same conditions!
Pru. Come, come, no fooling. You said you had a letter from your master to my young lady; give it me, and I'll deliver it to her.
Wag. There it is, my dear.
Pru. But am I not a very naughty wench, to be accessary, in this manner, to a clandestine correspondence?
Wag. The billet is perfectly innocent, I can assure you; and such as your lady will read with pleasure.
Pru. Well, now, go away.
Wag. I won't, without you give me a kiss.
Wag. I won't, pox
Pru. Then you may stay there all night.
Pru. Nay, if its worth having, its worth fetching.
Wag. Say you so, my girl―Thus, then, I proach those charming lips.
Pru. Very pretty, in troth, after the blow I have got!"
Ail. You have left me to bawl and call, till I am hoarse again.
Pru. And you have made me get a great bump on my forehead; so put one against the other, and we're quit.
Ail. How, Mrs. Impudence?
Ail. To desert me in such a manner!
Ail. Are you at it again! Why, you pert, brazen, audacious, provoking, abominable, insolent ap--Shan't I be allowed to have the pleasure of finding fault with you?
[Drawing near her with ridiculous ceremony. A bell rings violently. Pru. Confusion! away, away, away!-begone, as quick as you can, or we are both ruined!
Wag. Ay! how! what the devil's the
Pru. You may have that pleasure if you will; and it's as fair that I should have the pleasure of crying, if I like it.
Ail. Well, well, I have done. Take away these things, and get me my medicine. Its mat-three hours and two minutes since I took it————— and don't you know the prescription says every three hours! I fell the bad effect of my omission already.
Pru. My master's bell, my master's bell! He rings again! Down the back stairs and let yourself out at the street door. I can't stay to talk to you any longer now-Adieu ! [Exit. Wag. [As he is going off.] Hey, what a ringing's here! one would think the house was on fire. [Erit. AILWOU'D comes through the back-scene in a night-gown and flannel-cap, his crutch in one hand, and a small bell in the other.
Ail. O lord, O lord, here's usage for a poor, helpless, sick man! There's nobody in the house! sure, there can be nobody; they've all deserted me, and left me alone to expire without assistance.I made shift to muster up sufficient strength to crawl thus far; and now, I can die here. [Drops into the arm chair with a piteous groun; then, after a short pause, starting and staring.] Mercy on me, what's the matter with me? I am suddenly seized with a shivering fit! And now I burn like a red-hot coal of fire!And now again-shiver, shiver, shiver! as if my blood was turned into snow-water! Prudence, Nancy, Mrs. Ailwou'd, love, wife! They're all deaf! and my bell is not loud enough neither! Prudence, I say!
Pru. Here, sir, here! What's the matter? Ail. Ah, you jade you slut!
Pru. [Pretending to have hurt her head.]— he deuce take your impatience! you hurry
Pru. Lord, sir, why will you drench yourself with such nasty slops? One would think the physicians and apothecaries could find sufficient stuff for your craving bowels; but you must go to the quacks, too: and this Doctor Last with his universal, balsamic, restorative cordial, that turns water into asses milk.
Ail. That's a good girl! go on!
Pru. Methinks, if one was to take physic, one would rather choose to go to a regular physician than to a quack.
Ail. And why so, my dainty, adviser?
Pru. For the same reason, that, if I wanted a pair of shoes, I would rather go to an established shoc-maker, than lay out my money at a Yorkshire warehouse.
Ail. If I hear any more of your impudence, I'll break your head to some purpose; it shan't be a bump in the forehead will serve you. Pra. Eh, you old fanciful, foolish
Ail. Come here, Nancy; I want to speak with you.
Nan. What's your pleasure, sir?
Ail. Stay; before I say or do any thing further, I'll go into the next room, and take my
Pru. Some discourse, I suppose, about our new acquaintance, Mr, Hargrave; for you have done nothing but talk of him for this week past. Nan. And can you blame me for the good opinion I have of him?
Pru. Who says I do?
Ail. Nancy, child, I have a piece of news to tell you, that, perhaps, you little expect. Here's a match proposed to me for you. You smile a that; Ah, nature, nature! By what I perceive, then, I need not ask you if you are willing?
Nan. I am ready to submit to your commands in every thing, sir. Dear Prue, this is beyond my hopes.
Pru. Mr. Hargrave has kept his word, me dam.
Ail. What are you whispering about?
Ail. Well, child, at any rate, I am glad to find you in so complying a disposition; for to ted you the truth, I was resolved on the thing Letore I mentioned it to you, and had even LiveR AY word to put it as expeditiously as possible nie execution,
Pru. I am sure you are very much in the Nun. Or would you have me insensible to the right of it, sir; 'tis the wisest thing you ever aid tender protestations which he makes me? Pru. Heaven forbid !
Nan. Pr'ythee, tell me now, Prudence, don't you really think there was something of destiny in the odd adventure, that brought us acquainted?
Nan. Was there not something uncommonly brave and gentleman-like in that action of rescuing me, without knowing any thing of me? Pru. Very genteel and gentleman-like, indeed!
Nan. And was it possible for any one to make a more generous use of it?
in your life.
Ail. I have not seen the gentleman yet, but I am told he will be every way to the satisfaction of us both.
Nan. That, sir, I am certain of, for I have seen him already.
Ail. Have you?
Nan. Since your consent, sir, encourages me to discover my inclinations, you must know, that good fortune has lately brought us acquainted; and that the proposal, which has been made to you, is the effect of that esteem, which, at the first interview, we conceived for one another.
Ail. That's more than I knew, but no matter; the smoother things go on, the better I am plta
Nan. Then, Prue, he has a most charming sed-He is but a little man I am told. person. Don't you think so?
Pru. Who can think otherwise?
Nan. Something very noble in his air?
Nan. Then, he talks like an angel.
Nan. From Mr. Hargrave! You wicked girl, why would you keep it from me so long?
[Snatches it from her, and reads it to
Pru. Well, madam, what does the gentleman
Nan. Every thing, dear Prue; every thing in the world, that I could wish or desire. He says he can't live happy without me; and that he will, by the means of a common friend, immediately make a formal proposal for me to my fa
Pru. But do you think, madam, that your father will listen?
Nan. He can have no objection, Prudence. Pru. No, madam; but your mother-in-law may, who governs him, and I am sure bears you no good will. The best joke is, she thinks she has wheedled me into her interestsNan. Hush, here's my father!
Nan. He's well made, sir.
Ail. Agreeable in his person?
Ail. Really that's much-Very much, upon my word, that a man of low birth, and bred up to a mean profession-for, though the doctor bas now fifteen thousand pounds in the funds, and gets eight or nine hundred a-year, he owes au
to his medicinal secrets.
Ail. At least so Mr. Trash the book-seller, that vends his medicines, tells me; thro_ whose mediation, indeed, this proposal is made. Nan. Mr. Trash! Has Mr. Hargrave any thing to do, then—
Ail. Hargrave! Who the devil's he? I am talking of the person you are to marry, Dr. Last, whose cordial has done me so much service seems he is a widower, and has a mind to get a second wife, that may do nim some credit; suca as his worldly circumstances intitle him to. Nan. Well, but my dear sir
Ail. Yes, child, I know it's very well-The Doctor is to be brought here to-day to be introduced to me, and I am really concerned that I
Nan. Well, but, sir, give me leave to tell you, that Dr. Last was very far from my thoughts, when we began this conversation. In short, papa, all this while you have been talking of one person, and I of another.
Pru. Poh, poh, madam, make yourself easy; my master can have no such ridiculous design as he has been mentioning to you-Marry a young lady of family and fortune to a scoundrel quack!
Ail. And what business have you to be meddling, impudence!
Pru. No business at all, sir; but, if you are really serious in your design about this inarriage, give me leave to ask you, what can have put it into your head? •
Ail. You have nothing to do with that-I have told the girl the party I propose for her is rich; but if you must know what most inclined, and, indeed, determined me, as it were, to accept of Dr. Last for a son-in-law, is the number of invaluable sccrets he possesses; and this alliance will intitle me to take his medicines gratis, as my various infirmities may require a thing that we ought all to consider, my last year's apothecary's bill amounting to two hundred and nineteen pounds four shillings and eleven-pence. Pru. A very pretty reason for marrying your daughter to a quack, indeed! But, after all, sir, tell me, upon your honour, now, does any thing
Ail. Eh! how any thing ail me? Pru. Ay, sir, are you sick in earnest? and, if so, what's the matter with you?
Al. It's my misfortune not to know-Would to Heaven I did!-But to cut short all these impertinences, look you, daughter, I lay my commands upon you to prepare yourself to receive the husband I propose for you.
Pru And I, madam, on my part, command you to have nothing to do with him. [Going off.
Pru. I believe no father but yourself ever thought of such a thing.
Ail. Help me to catch her, daughter, or I'll never give you my blessing.
Pru. Never mind him, madam.
Ail. An audacious, impudent, insolentPru. Ay, ay, you may abuse me, if you please, but I won't give my consent to the match for all that.
Ail. Cockatrice, jade, slut! [Chasing her round the stage.] Oh, oh, I can support it no longer; she has killed, she has murdered me.
[Falls into his chair. Pru. Your humble servant, sweet sir-Come away, madam. [Exeunt PRU. and NAN. Ail. Love! wife! Mrs. Ailwou'd !
Mrs. Ail. Well, my heart!
Ail. They have been teazing and fretting me here out of the small portion of life and spirit I have left.
Mrs. Ail. No, sweet, I hope not! Who has angered thee?
Ail. That jade, Prudence. She is grown more saucy and impudent than ever!
Mrs. Ail. Don't put yourself in a passion with her, my soul!
Ail. I don't believe I shall ever recover it.
Ail. And has had the impudence to tell me I'm not sick; when you know, my lamb, how it is with me.
Mrs. Ail. I know, my heart, very well, you are feeble and weak-Heaven help thee!
Ail. That jade will bring me to my grave.
Ail. Why, you impudent slut, shall a chamber-She is the cause of half the phlegm I breed; and maid take the liberty-I have desired, a hundred and a hundred times, that you would turn her off.
Pru. She shan't marry the quack.
Ail. Shan't she? we'll see that, if I get near enough to lay my cane across your shoulders. [Rising in a fury. Pru. Oh, don't hinder him, madam; give him leave to come; he's welcome to do his
Nan. Dear sir
Ail. If I lay hold of you
[Following her. Pru. I say I won't let you do a foolish thing, [Getting behind a chair
if I can help it.
Mrs. Ail. My child, there are no servants but have their faults; and we must endure their bad qualities, that we may have the use of their good ones. However, I will give Mrs. Prudence a lecture for her impertinence, I assure you— Who's there? Prudence, I say!
Pru. Did you call me, madam ? [Very demurely. Mrs. Come hither, mistress-h is the
Ail. Come hither, come hither. [Still follow-meaning, that you fret and thwart your mister, ing her.] Nancy, stop her there; don't let her and put him into passions?
Pru. Who, I, madam! Bless my soul, I don't