Page images
PDF
EPUB

Enter VELLUM, with a Pint of Sack. Vel. Mrs. Abigail, don't I break in upon you une seasonably?

Ab. Oh, no, Mr. Vellum, your visits are always seasonable.

Vel. I have brought with me a taste of fresh canary, which I think is delicious.

Ab. Pray set it down I have a dram-glass just by- [Brings in a rummer.

er.] I'll pledge you ; my lady's good health.

Vel. And your own with it-sweet Mrs. Abigail.

Ab. Pray, good Mr. Vellum, buy me a little parcel of this sack, and put it under the article of teaI would not have my name appear to it.

Vel. Mrs. Abigail, your name seldom appears in my bills and yet--if you will allow me a merry expression---you have been always in my books, Mrs. Abigail. Ha, ha, ha!

db. Ha, ha, ha! Mr. Vellum, you are such a dry jesting man !

Vd. Why, truly, Mrs. Abigail, I have been looking over my papers--and I find you have been a long time my debtor.

Ab. Your debtor! For what, Mr. Vellum?

Vel. For my heart, Mrs. Abigail-And our accounts will not be balanced between us till I have yours in exchange for it. Ha, ha, ha!

Ab. Ha, ha, ha! You are the most gallant dun, Mr. Vellum.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Vel. But I am not used to be paid by words only, Mrs. Abigail; when will you be out of my debt?

Ab. Oh, Mr. Vellum, you make one blush-My humble service to you.

Vel. I must answer you, Mrs. Abigail, in the country phrase.--Your love is sufficient. Ha, ha, ha!

Ab. Ha, ha, ha! Well, I must own I love a

merry man!

Vel Let me see, how long is it, Mrs. Abigail, since I first broke my mind to you-- -.-.-" It was, I 6. think, undecimo Gulielmi'' We have conversed together these fifteen years--and yet, Mrs. Abigail, I must drink to our better acquaintance, He, he, he !

-Mrs. Abigail, you know I am naturally jocose. Ab. Ah! you men love to make sport with us silly

creatures,

a

a

Vel. Mrs. Abigail, I have a trifle about me, which I would willingly make you a present of. It is indeed but a little toy.

Ab. You are always exceedingly obliging.

Vel. It is but a little toy-scarce worth your ac. ceptance.

db. Pray don't keep me in suspence; what is it, Mr. Vellum ?

Vel. A silver thimble.
Ab. I always said Mr. Vellum was a generous lover,

Vel. But I must put it on myself, Mrs. AbigailYou have the prettiest tip of a finger----I must take the freedom to salute it.

db. Oh, fie! you make me ashamed, Mr. Vel“ lum; how can you do so? I protest I am in such « confusion

[4 feigned struggle." Vel. “ This finger is not the finger of idleness; it " bears the honourable scars of the needle"

But why are you so cruel as not to pare your nails?

Ab. Oh, I vow you press it so hardl pray give me my finger again.

Vel. This middle finger, Mrs. Abigail, has a pretty neighbour-A wedding ring would become it mightily-He, he, he!

Ab. You're so full of your jokes. Ay, but where must I find one for it?

Vel. I design this thimble only as the forerunner of it, they will set off each other, and are-indeed a twofold emblem. The first will put you in mind of being a good housewife, and the other of being a good wife. Ha, ha, ha!

Ab. Yes, yes, I see you laugh at me.
Vel. Indeed I am serious.
16. I thought you had quite forsaken me-

-I am sure you cannot forget the many repeated vows and promises you formerly made me.

Vel. I should as soon forget the multiplication table.

Ab. I have always taken your part before my lady.

Vel. You have so, and I have itemed it in my memory,

Ab. For I have always looked upon your interest as my own.

E jij

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Fan. It happens luckily that this suit of clothes of Sir George's fits me so well-I think I cann't fail hitting the air of a man with whom I was so long acquainted.

Ab. You are the very man I vow I almost start when I look upon you.

Fan. But what good will this do me, if I must remain invisible ?

Ab. Pray, what good did your being visible do you? The fair Mr. Fantome thought no woman could withstand him-But when you were seen by my lady in your proper person, after she had taken a full survey of you, and heard all the pretty things you could say, she very civilly dismissed you for the sake of this empty noisy creature, Tinsel. She fancies you have been gone from hence this fortnight.

Fan. Why, really, I love thy lady so well, that though I had no hopes of gaining her for myself, I could not bear to see her given to another, especially such a wretch as Tinsel.

Ab. Well, tell me truly, Mr. Fantome, have not you a great opinion of my fidelity to my dear lady, that I would not suffer her to be deluded in this man. ner for less than a thousand pounds?

Fan. Thou art always reminding me of my promise--Thou shalt have it, if thou canst bring our project to bear: dost not know, that stories of ghosts and apparitions generally end in a pot of money.

Ab. Why, truly now, Mr. Fantome, I should think myself a very bad woman, if I had done what I do for a farthing less.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

lai tic

Fan. Dear Abigail, how I admire thy virtue!

Ab. No, no, Mr. Fantome, I defy the worst of my enemies to say I love mischief for mischief's sake.

Fan. But is thy lady persuaded that I'm the ghost of her deceased husband ?

Ab. I endeavour to make her believe so: and tell her, every time your drum rattles, that her husband is chiding her for entertaining this new lover.

Fan. Pr'ythee, make use of all thy art: for I'm tired to death with strolling round this wide old house, like a rat behind the wainscot.

Ab. Did not I tell you 'twas the purest place in the world for you to play your tricks in? There's none of the family that knows every hole and corner in it, bea sides myself.

Fan. Ah, Mrs. Abigaill you have had your intrigues

Ab. For you must know, when I was a romping young girl, I was a mighty lover of hide and seek.

Fan. I believe by this time, I am as well acquainted with the house as yourself.

Ab. You are very much mistaken, Mr. Fantome : but no matter for that; here is to be your station tonight. This place is unknown to any one living be. sides myself, since the death of the joiner, who, you must understand, being a lover of mine, contrived the wainscot to move to and fro, in the manner that you find it. I designed it for a wardrobe for my lady's cast clothes. Oh, the stomachers, stays, peto ticoats, commodes, laced shoes, and good things that

« PreviousContinue »