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you're a wit, and I'm a father : you may talk, but I'll be obeyed.
Y. Nir. This it is to have the son a finer gentleman than the father: they first give us breeding, that they don't understand; then they turn us out of doors, because we are wiser than themselves. But I'm a little aforehand with the old gentleman. [Aside.)—Sir, you have been pleased to settle a thousand pound sterling a year upon me; in return of which, I have a very great honour for you and your family, and shall take care that your only and beloved son shall do nothing to make him hate his father or to hang himself. So, dear sir, I'm your very humble servant.
[Runs off, Old Mir. Here, sirrah! rogue! Bob! villain
Dug. Ah, sir! 'tis but what he deserves.
Old Mir. 'Tis false, sir ! he don't deserve it: what have you to say against my boy, sir?
Dug. I shall only repeat your own words.
words? I have swallowed my words already; I have eaten them up.- I
say, that Bob's an honest fellow, and who dares deny it?
son is a wild, foppish, whimsical, impertinent coxcomb; and, , were I abused as this gentleman's sister is, I would
make it an Italian quarrel, and poison the whole fac mily.
Dug. Come, sir, 'tis no time for trifling; my sister is abused; you are made sensible of the affront, and your honour is concerned to see her redressed.
Old Mir. Lookye, Mr Dugard, good words go farthest. I will do your sister justice, but it must be after my own rate; nobody must abuse my son but myself; for, although Robin be a sad dog, yet he's nobody's puppy but my own.
Bis. Ay, that's my sweet-natured, kind, old gentleman-[Wheedling him.) We will be good, then, if you'll join with us in the plot.
Old Mir. Ah, you coaxing young baggage ! what plot can you have to wheedle a fellow of sixty-three?
Bis. A plot that sixty-three is only good for : to bring other people together, sir. You must act the Spaniard, because your son will least suspect you; and if he should, your authority protects you from a quarrel, to which Oriana is unwilling to expose her brother.
Old Mir. And what part will you act in the business, madam ?
Bis. Myself, sir; my friend is grown a perfect changeling ; these foolish hearts of ours spoil our heads presently; the fellows no sooner turn knaves, but we turn fools; but I am still myself, and he may expect the most severe usage from me, because I neither love him nor hate him.
[Exit. Old Mir. Well said, Mrs Paradox !-But, sir, who must open
the matter to him? Dug. Petit, sir; who is our engineer general; and here he comes.
Enter Petit. Petit. O, sir, more discoveries ! Are all friends about us?
Dug. Ay, ay, speak freely.
my life, I'm out of breath!-You must know, sir, you must know
Old Mir. What the devil must we know, sir?
Petit. That I have [Pants and blows.] bribed, sir, bribed-your son's secretary of state.
Old Mir. Secretary of state ! who's that, for Hearen's sake?
Pelit. His valet de chambre, sir.
You must know, sir, that the intrigue lay folded up in his master's clothes ; and, when he went to dust the embroidered suit, the secret flew out of the right pocket of his coat, in a whole swarm of your crambo
songs, short-footed odes, and long-legged pindarics.
Old Mir. Impossible !
Petit. Ah, sir, he has loved her all along; there was Oriara in every line, but he hates marriage. Now, sir, this plot will stir up his jealousy, and we shall know, by the strength of that, how to proceed farither.
Come, sir, let's about it with speed :
Enter Young MIRABEL and BISARRE, passing care
lessly by one another. Bis. [Aside.] I wonder what she can see in this fel. low, to like him? Y. Mir. [Aside.] I wonder what
friend in this girl, to admire her?
Bis. (Aside.] A wild, foppish, extravagant, rakehell!
Mir. [Aside.] A light, whimsical, impertinent, madсар !
Bis. Whom do you mean, sir?
Bis. A fellow, that has nothing left to re-establish him for a human creature, but a prudent resolution to hang himself!
Y. Mir. There is a way, madam, to force me to that resolution. Bis. I'll do it, with all
heart. Y. Mir. Then you must marry me. Bis. Lookye, sir, don't think your ill manners to
me, shall excuse your
my friend; nor, by fixing a quarrel here, to divert my zeal for the absent; for I'm resolved, nay, I come prepared, to make you a panegyric, that shall mortify your pride, like any modern dedication.
Y. Mir. And I, madam, like a true modern patron, shall hardly give you
trouble. Bis. Come, sir, to let you see what little foundation
you have for your dear sufficiency, I'll take you to pieces. Y. Mir. And what piece will you
chuse? Bis. Your heart, to be sure ; because I should get presently rid on't : your courage I would give to a Hector, your wit to a lewd playmaker, your honour to an attorney, your body to the physicians, and your soul to its master.
Y. Mir. I had the oddest dream last night of the Duchess of Burgundy : Methought the furbelows of her gown were pinned up so high behind, that I could not see her head for her tail.
Bis. The creature don't mind me !Do you think, sir, that your humorous impertinence can divert me? No, sir, I'm above any pleasure that you can give, but that of seeing you miserable. And mark me, sir; my friend, my injured friend, shall yet be doubly happy, and you shall be a husband, as much as the rites of marriage, and the breach of them, can
[Here MIRABEL pulls out a Virgil, and reads
to himself, while she speaks. Mir: [Reading. ] At Regina dolos, (quis fallere pos
sit amantem ?) Dissimulare etiam sperâsti, perfide tantummom Very true.
By your favour, friend Virgil
, 'twas but a rascally trick of your hero, to forsake poor pug so inhu. manly. Bis. I don't know what to say to him. The devil what's Virgil to us, sir?
Mir. Very much, madam; the most apropos in the world-for, what should I chop upon, but the very place where the perjured rogue of a lover, and the forsaken lady, are battling it tooth and nail ! Come, madam, spend your spirits no longer; we'll take an easier method: I'll be Æneas now, and
you shall be Dido, and we'll rail by book. Madam Dido:
Now for you,
Nec te noster amor, nec te data dextera quondam,
[Looking at her. Bis. Rudeness ! affronts ! impatience! I could almost start out, even to manhood, and want but a weapon as long as his to fight him upon the spot. What shall I say?
Mir. Now she rants.
Quæ quibus anteferam ? jam jam nec maxima Juno.
Bis. A man! No, the woman's birth was spirited away.
Mir. Right, right, madam, the very words.
Bis. And some pernicious elf left in the cradle, with human shape, to palliate growing mischief.
(Both speak together, and raise their Voices by