Page images

Capt. Miss Walsingham!-Death and the devil!

Bel. Miss Walsingham.


Capt. Why surely she has not received your addresses with any degree of approbation?

Bel. With every degree of approbation I could expect.

Capt. She has?

Bel. Ay: why this news surprises you ?

Capt. It does indeed!

Bel. Ha, ha, ha! I cann't help laughing to think what a happy dog Miss Walsingham's husband is likely to be!

Capt. A very happy dog, truly!

Bel. She's a delicious girl, is'n't she, Savage? but she'll require a little more trouble;-for a fine woman, like a fortified town, to speak in your father's language, demands a regular siege; and we must even allow her the honours of war, to magnify the greatness of our own victory.

Capt. Well, it amazes me how you gay fellows ever have the presumption to attack a woman of principle; Miss Walsingham has no apparent levity of any kind about her.

Bel. No; but she continued in my house after I had whispered my passion in her ear, and gave me a second opportunity of addressing her improperly; what greater encouragement could I desire?


Well, Spruce, what are your commands?

Spruce. My lady is just gone out with Lady Rachel,


Bel. I understand you.

Spruce. I believe you do.

Aside. Exit.

Capt. What is the English of these significant looks between Spruce and you?

Bel. Only that Miss Walsingham is left alone, and that I have now an opportunity of entertaining her; · you must excuse me, Savage; you must, upon. my soul; but not a word of this affair to any body; because, when i shake her off my hands, there may be fools enough to think of, her upon terms of honourable matrimony. [Exit.

Capt. So, here's a discovery ! a precious discovery I and while I have been racking mylimagination, and sacrificing my interest, to promote the happiness of this woman, she has been listening to the addresses of another; to the addresses of a married man! the husband of her friend, and the intimate friend of her intended husband-By Belville's, own account, however, she has not yet proceeded to any criminal lengths-But why did she keep the affair a secret from me? or why did she continue in his house after a repeated acclaration of his, unwarrantable attachment? What's to be done if I open my engage. ment with her to Belville, I am sure he will instantly desist; but then her honour is left in a state extremely questionable-It shall be still concealedWhile it remains unknown, Belville will himself tell me every thing;-and doubt, upon an occasion of

this nature, is infinitely more insupportable than the downright falsehood of the woman whom we love.



An Apartment in General SAVAGE'S · House. Enter General SAVAGE and TORRINGTON.


ZOUNDS! Torrington, give me quarter, when I surrender up my sword: I own that for these twenty years, I have been suffering all the inconveniencies of marriage, without tasting any one of its comforts, and rejoicing in an imaginary freedom, while I was really grovelling in chains.

Tor. In the the dirtiest chains upon earth;-yet you wou'dn't be convinc'd, but laugh'd at all your married acquaintance as slaves, when not one of them put up with half so much from the worst wife, as you were oblig'd to crouch under from a kept mistress."

Gen. 'Tis too true. But, you know she sacrificed much for me ;-you know that she was the widow of a colonel, and refus'd two very advantageous matches on my account.

Tor. If she was the widow of a judge, and had refused a high chancellor, she was still a devil incarnate, and you were in course a madman to live with her.

Gen. You don't remember her care of me when I have been sick.

Tor. I recollect, however, her usage of you in health, and you may easily find a tenderer nurse, when you are bound over by the gout or the rheu matism.

Gen. Well, well, I agree with you that she is a devil incarnate; but I am this day determin'd to part with her for ever.

Tor. Not you indeed.

Gen. What, don't I know my own mind?

Tor. Not you indeed, when she is in the question: with every body else, your resolution is as unalterable as a determination in the house of peers; but Mrs. Tempest is your fate, and she reverses your decrees with as little difficulty as a fraudulent debtor now-adays procures his certificate under a commission of bankruptcy.

Gen. Well, if, like the Roman Fabius, I conquer by delay, in the end, there will be no great reason to find fault with my generalship. The proposal of parting now comes from herself.

Tor. O, you daren't make it for the life of you. Gen. You must know that this morning we had a smart cannonading on Belville's account, and she threatens, as I told you before, to quit my house if I don't challenge him for taking away her niece.

Tor. That fellow is the very devil among the women, and yet there isn't a man in England fonder of his wife.

Gen. Poh, if the young minx hadn't surrender'd to him, she would have capitulated to somebody else, and I shall at this time be doubly obliged to him, if he is any ways instrumental in getting the aunt off my hands.

Tor. Why at this time?

Gen. Because, to shew you how fixed my resolution is to be a keeper no longer, I mean to marry immediately.

Tor. And cann't you avoid being press'd to death, like a felon who refuses to plead, without incurring a sentence of perpetual imprisonment?

Gen. I fancy you would yourself have no objection to a perpetual imprisonment in the arms of Miss Walsingham.

Tor. But have you any reason to think that upon examination in a case of love, she would give a favourable reply to your interrogatories ?

Gen. The greatest-do you think I'd hazard such an engagement without being perfectly sure of my ground? Notwithstanding my present connection won't suffer me to see a modest woman at my own house-She always treats me with particular attention whenever I visit at Belville's, or meet her any where else—If fifty young fellows are present, she directs all her assiduities to the old soldier, and my son has a thousand times told me that she professes the highest opinion of my understanding,

Tor. And truly you give a notable proof of your

« PreviousContinue »