« 前へ次へ »
Syl. As you say, cousin Melinda, there are several sorts of air.
Mel. Psha! I talk only of the air we breathe, or more properly of that we taste-Have not you, Sylvia, found a vast difference in the taste of airs ?
Syl. Pray, cousin, are not vapours a sort of air? Taste air! you might as well tell me I
may feed upon air! but pr’ythee, my dear Melinda! don't put on such an air to me. Your education and mine were just the same, and I remember the time when we never troubled our heads about air, but when the sharp air from the Welsh mountains made our fingers ache in a cold morning, at the boarding-school.
Mel. Our education, cousin, was the same, but our temperaments had nothing alike; you have the constitution of a horse.
Syl. So far as to be troubled neither with spleen, cholic, nor vapours. I need no salts for my stomach, no hartshorn for my head, nor wash for my complexion; I can gallop all the morning after the huntinghorn, and all the evening after a fiddle. In short, I can do every thing with my father, but drink and shoot flying; and I am sure I can do every thing my mother could, were I put to the trial.
Mel. You are in a fair way of being put to't, for ļ am told your captain is come to town.
Syl. Ay, Melinda, he is come, and I'll take care he sha'n't go without a companion.
Mel. You are certainly mad, cousin !
“ And there's a pleasure in being mad,
Which none but madmen know." Mel
. Thou poor romantic Quixote !-hast thou the vanity to imagine that a young sprightly officer, that rambles o'er half the globe in half a year, can confine his thoughts to the little daughter of a country.justice, in an obscure part of the world?
Syl. Psha! what care I for his thoughts ? Ti should not like a man with confined thoughts; it'shewsa nará
rowness of soul. In short, Melinda, I think a petticoat a mighty simple thing, and I am heartily tired of my sex.
Mel. That is, you are tired of an appendage to our sex, that you can't so handsomely get rid of in petticoats as if you were in breeches. O'my conscience, Sylvia, hadst thou been a man, thou hadst been the greatest rake in Christendom.
Syl. I should have endeavoured to know the world, which a man can never do thoroughly without half a hundred friendships, and as many amours.
But now I think on't, how stands your affair with Mr Worthy? Mel. He's
Syl. I say, that you should not use that honest fel. low so inhumanly: he's a gentleman of parts and fortune, and besides that he's
my Plume's friend; and by all that's sacred, if you don't use him better, I shall expect satisfaction.
Mel. Satisfaction ! you begin to fancy yourself in breeches in good earnest-But, to be plain with you, I like Worthy the worse for being so intimate with your captain; for I take him to be a loose, idle, unmannerly coxcomb.
Syl. Oh, madam! you never saw him perhaps, since you were mistress of twenty thousand pounds: you only knew him when you were capitulating with Worthy for a settlement, which perhaps might encourage him to be a little loose and unmanneriy with you.
Mel. What do you mean, madam?
lel. Better it had, madam; for methinks you are too plain.
Syl. If you mean the plainness of my person, I think your ladyship’s as plain as me to the full.
Mel. Were I sure of that, I would be glad to take up with a rakeheliy officer, as you do.
Syl. Again ! lookye, madam, you are in your own house. Mel. And if
I should have excused you.
Syl. Don't be troubled, madam; I sha'n't desire to have my visit returned.
Mel. The sooner, therefore, you make an end of this, the better.
Syl. I am easily persuaded to follow my inclinations; and so, madam, your hunible servant. [ Exit. Mel. Saucy thing!
Enter Lucy. Lucy. What's the matter, madam?
Mel. Did not you see the proud nothing, how she swelled upon the arrival of her fellow?
Lucy. Her fellow has not been long enough arrived, to occasion any great swelling, madam; I don't believe she has seen him yet.
Md. Nor sha’n’t, if I can help it. Let me see-I have it; bring me pen and ink-Hold, I'll go write in my
closet. Lucy. An answer to this letter, I hope, madam ?
[Presents a Letter. Mel. Who sent it? Lucy. Your captain, madam.
Mei. He's a fool, and I'm tired of him: send it back unopened.
Lucy. The messenger's gone, madam.
Mel. Then how should I send an answer? Call him back immediately, while I go write. [Exeunt.
ACT THE SECOND,
Enter JUSTICE BALANCE and Plume.
Bal. Lookye, captain, give us but blood for our money, and you
sha'n't want men. Ad's my life, captain, get us but another marshal of France, and I'll go myself for a soldier.
Plume. Pray, Mr Balance, how does your fair daughter?
Bal. Ah, captain! what is my daughter to a marshal of France ? we're upon a nobler subject; I want to have a particular description of the last battle.
Plume. The battle, sir, was a very pretty battle as any one should desire to see; but we were all so inten' upon victory, that we never minded the battle : all that I know of the matter is, our general commanded us to beat the French, and we did so; and, if he pleases but to say the word, we'll do it again, But pray, sir, how does Mrs Sylvia ?
Bal. Still upon Sylvia! for shame, captain! you are engaged already-wedded to the war: victory is your mistress, and 'tis below a soldier to think of any other.
Plume. As a mistress, I confess—but as a friend, Mr Balance
Bal. Come, come, captain, never mince the mat
ter: would not you seduce my daughter, if you could ?
Plume. How, sir? I hope she is not to be seduced.
Bal. 'Faith, but she is, sir; and any woman in England of her age and complexion, by your youth and vigour, Lookye, captain, once I was young, and once an officer, as you are, and I can guess at your thoughts now by what mine were then;
and I remember very well that I would have given one of my legs to have deluded the daughter of an old country gentleman like me, as I was then like
you. Plume. But, sir, was that country gentleman your friend and benefactor?
Bal. Not much of that.
Plume. There the comparison breaks: the favours, sir, that
Bal. Pho, pho! I hate set speeches: if I have done you any service, captain, it was to please myself. I love thee, and if I could part with my girl, you should have her as soon as any young fellow I know;
but I hope you have more honour than to quit the service, and she more prudence than to follow the camp: But she's at her own disposal ; she has five thousand pounds in her pocket, and so-Sylvia, Sylvia!
Syl. There are some letters, sir, come by the post from London; I left them upon the table in your closet.
Bal. And here is a gentleman from Germany.[Presents Plume to her.] Captain, you'll excuse me; I'll go read my letters, and wait on you.
[Exit. Syl. Sir, you are welcome to England.
Plume. You are indebted to me a welcome, madam, since the hopes of receiving it from this fair hand was the principal cause of my seeing England.