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Lady G. Well, and upon ill luck, pray what words are you really forced to make use of?
Lady T. Why, upon a very hard case, indeed, when a sad wrong word is rising just to one's tongue's end, I give a great gulph, and-swallow it.
Lady G. Well-and is it not enough to make you foreswear play as long as you live?
Lady T. Oh, yes: I have foresworn it.
Lady G. Seriously?
Lady T. Solemnly, a thousand times; but then one is constantly foresworn.
Lady G. And how can you answer that?
Lady T. My dear, what we say when we are losers, we look upon to be no more binding than a lover's oath, or a great man's promise. But I beg pardon, child: I should not lead you so far into the world; you are a prude, and design to live soberly.
Lady G. Why, I confess my nature and my education do in a good degree confine me that way.
Lady T. Well, how a woman of spirit (for you don't want that, child) can dream of living soberly, is to me inconceivable; for you will marry, I suppose.
Lady G. I can't tell but I may.
Lady T. And won't you live in town?
Lady G. Half the year, I should like it very well. Lady T. My stars! And you would really live in London half the year, to be sober in it!
Lady G. Why not?
Lady T. Why can't you as well go and be sober in the country?
Lady G. So I would-t'other half year.
Lady T. And pray, what comfortable scheme of life would you form now for your summer and winter sober entertainments?
Lady G. A scheme that I think might very well content us.
Lady T. Oh, of all things, let's hear it.
Lady G. Why, in summer I could pass my leisure hours in riding, in reading, walking by a canal, or sitting at the end of it under a great tree; in dressing, dining, chatting with an agreeable friend; perhaps hearing a little music, taking a dish of tea, or a game at cards-soberly managing
my family, looking into its accounts, playing with my children, if I had any; or in a thousand other innocent amusements-soberly; and possibly, by these means, I might induce my husband to be as sober as myself.
Lady T. Well, my dear, thou art an astonishing creature! For sure such primitive antedeluvian notions of life have not been in any head these thousand years. Under a great tree! ha! ha! ha!- -But I beg we may have the sober town scheme, too-for I am charmed with the country one.
Lady G. You shall, and I'll try to stick to my sobriety
Lady T. Well, though I am sure it will give me the vapors. 1 must hear it.
Lady G. Why, then, for fear of your fainting, madam, I will first come so far into the fashion,that I would never be dressed out of it—but still it should be soberly; for I can't think it any disgrace to a woman of my private fortune not to wear her lace as fine as the wedding suit of a first dutchess; though there is one extravagance I would venture to come up to.
Lady T. Ay, now for it
Lady G. I would every day be as clean as a bride. Lady T. Why, the men say that's a great step to be made one.-Well, now you are drest, pray let's see to what purpose.
Lady G. I would visit-that is, my real friends; but as little for form as possible -I would go to court; sometimes to an assembly, nay, play at quadrille-soberly. I would see all the good plays; and, because 'tis the fashion, now and then go to an opera; but not expire there for fear I should never go again. And lastly, I can't say, but for curiosity, if I liked my company, I might be drawn in once to a masquerade ;—and this, I think, is as far as any woman can go-soberly.
Lady T. Well, if it had not been for that last piece of sobriety, I was just agoing to call for some surfeit water.
Lady G. Why, don't you think, with the further aid of breakfasting, dining, taking the air, supping, sleeping, (not to say a word of devotion) the four-and-twenty hours might roll over in a tolerable manner?
Lady T. Tolerable? Deplorable!——Why, child, all you propose is but to endure life; now, I want-to enjoy
III.-Priuli and Jaffier.-VENICE PRESERVED.
Priuli. N Begone, and leave me.
Jaff. Not hear me? By my sufferings, but you shall !
In right, though proud oppression will not hear me?
Have brook'd injustice, or the doing wrong,
Pri. Yes, wrong'd me. In the nicest point,
Childless you had been else, and in the grave
Th' affrighted Belvidera, following next,
Pri. You stole her from me; like a thief, you stole her
Jaff. Half of your curse you have bestowed in vain : Heaven has already crown'd our faithful loves With a young boy, sweet as his mother's beauty. May he live to prove more gentle than his grand sire, And happier than his father.
Pri. No more.
Jaff. Yes, all; and then-adieu forever. There's not a wretch that lives on common charity But's happier than I: for I have known The luscious sweets of plenty; every night Have slept with soft content about my head, And never wak'd but to a joyful morning; Yet now must fall; like a full ear of corn, Whose blossom 'scap'd, yet's wither'd in the ripening. Pri. Home and be humble, study to retrench; Discharge the lazy vermin of thy hall, Those pageants of thy folly; Reduce the glitt'ring trappings of thy wife, To humble weeds, fit for thy little state:
Then to some suburb cottage both retire:
Jaff. Yes, if my heart would let me--
Yet still I am in love, and pleas'd with ruin.
IV.-Boniface and Aimwell.-BEAUX STRATAGEM.
HIS way, this way, Sir.
Bon. Yes, Sir, I'm old Will Boniface; pretty well known upon this road, as the saying is.
Aim. O, Mr. Boniface, your servant.
Bon. O, Sir-What will your honor please to drink, as the saying is?
Aim. I have heard your town of Litchfield much famed for ale; I think I'll taste that.
Bon. Sir, I have now in my cellar ten tun of the best ale in Staffordshire; 'tis smooth as oil, sweet as milk, clear as amber, and strong as brandy; and will be just fourteen years old the fifth day of next March old style.
Aim. You're very exact, I find, in the age of your ale. Bon. As punctual, Sir, as I am in the age of my chil dren:-I'll shew you such ale !-Here, tapster, broach number 1706, as the saying is.-Sir, you shall taste my anno domini.—I have lived in Litchfield, man and boy, above eight and fifty years, and I believe, have not consumed eight and fifty ounces of meat.
Aim. At a meal, you mean, if one may guess by your
Bon. Not in my life, Sir: I have fed purely upon ale: I have eat my ale, drank my ale, and I always sleep upon ale. [Enter tapster, with a tankard.] Now, Sir, you shall Your worship's health! [drinks]-Ha!--deli