Abbildungen der Seite

John. Gone! Now could I eat that rogue, I am so angry. Gone?

Petr. Gone?

Fred. Directly gone, fled, shifted; what would you have me say?

Duke. Well, gentlemen, wrong not my good opinion.

Fred. For your dukedom, sir, I would not be a knave.

John. He that is, a rot run in his blood.

Petr. But, harkye, gentlemen, are ye sure you had her here? Did you not dream this? John. Have you your nose, sir?

Petr. Yes, sir.

John, Then we had her.

Petr. Since you are so short, believe your having her shall suffer more construction.

John. Well, sir, let it suffer. [Turns off peevishly. Fred. How to convince you, sir, I can't imagine; but my life shall justify my innocence, or fall with it. Duke. Thus, then-for we may be all abused. Petr. "Tis possible.

Duke. Here let's part until to-morrow this time; we to our way, to clear this doubt, and you to yours: pawning our honours then to meet again; when, if she be not found

Fred. We stand engaged to answer any worthy way we are called to.

Duke. We ask no more.

Petr. To-morrow certain.

John. If we out-live this night, sir.

[Exeunt DUKE and PETRUCHIO. Fred, Very well, Don John! John. Very ill, Don Frederick! Fred. We have somewhat now to do.

John. With all my heart, I love to be doing.
Fred. If she be not found, we must fight.

[ocr errors][merged small]

John. I am glad on't; I have not fought a great


Fred. I am glad you are so merry, sir.
John. I am sorry you are so dull, sir.
Fred. Here let us part; and if the lady be
Not forthcoming,

'Tis this, Don John, shall damp your levity! [Clapping his Hand upon his Sword. John. Or this shall tickle up your modesty!




A Tavern.

Enter Second CONSTANTIA and her MOTHER.

Mother. Hold, Cons, hold; for goodness, hold! I am in that desertion of spirit, for want of breath, that I am almost reduced to the necessity of not being able to defend myself against the inconvenience of a fall.

2 Con. Dear mother, let us go a little faster, to secure ourselves from Antonio: for my part I am in that terrible fright, that I can neither think, speak, nor stand still, till we are safe a ship-board, and out of sight of the shore.

Mother. Out of sight of the shore! why, do you think I'll depatriate?

2 Con. Depatriate? what's that?


Mother. Why, you fool you, leave my country: what, will you never learn so speak out of the vulgar road?

2 Con. O Lord, this hard word will undo us.

Mother. As I am a christian, if it were to save my honour (which is ten thousand times dearer to me than life) I would not be guilty of so odious a thought.

2 Con. Pray, mother, since your honour is so dear to you, consider that if we are taken, both it and we are lost for ever.

Mother. Ay, girl; but what will the world say, if they should hear so odious a thing of us, as that we should depatriate ?

2 Con. Ay, there's it; the world! why, mother, the world does not care a pin, if both you

and I were hang’d; and that we shall be certainly, if Antonio takes us, for you have run away with his gold.

Mother. Did he not tell you that he kept it in his trunk for us? and had not I a right to take it when. ever I pleased: you have lost your reasoning faculty, Cons!

2 Con. Yes, mother, but you was to have it upon a certain condition, which condition I would sooner starve than agree to. I can't help my poverty, but I can keep my honour, and the richest old fellow in the kingdom shan't buy it: I'd sooner give it away than sell it, that's my spirit, mother.

Mother. But what will become of me, Cons? I have so indeliable an idea of my dignity, that I must have the means to support it, those I have got, and I will ne'er depart from the demarches of a person of quality; and let cume what will, I shall rather chuse to submit myself to my fate, than strive to prevent it, by any deportment that is not congruous in every degree to the steps and measures of a strict practitioner of honvur.

2 Con. Would not this make one stark mad? your style is nomore out of the way, than your manner of

reasoning; you first sell me to an ugly old fellow, then you run away with me and all his gold; and now, like a strict practitioner of honour, resolve to be taken, rather than depatriate, as you call it.

Mother. As I am a christian, Cons, a tavern, and a very decent sign; I'll in, I am resolved, though by it I should run a risk of never so stupendous a na. ture! 2 Con. There's no stopping her. What shall I do?

[Aside. Mother. I'll send for my kinswoman and some music, to revive me a little : for really, Cons, I am reduced to that sad imbecility, by the injury I have done my poor feet, that I am in a great incertitude, whether they will have liveliness sufficient to support me up to the top of the stairs, or no. [Exit MOTHER.

2 Con. I have a great mind to leave this fantastical mother-in-law of mine, with her stolen goods, take to my heels and seek my fortune; but to whom shall I apply?-Generosity and humanity are not to be met with at every corner of the street.- If any young fellow would but take a liking to me, and make an honest woman of me, I would make him the best wife in the world :-but what a fool am I to talk thus? Young men think of young women now a days, as they do of their clothes : it is genteel to have them, to be vain of them, to show them to every body, and to change them often—when their novelty and fashion is over, they are turned out of doors, to be purchased ana worn by the first buyer.-A wife, indeed, is not so easily got rid of: it is a suit of mourning, that lies neglected at the bottom of the chest, and only shows itself now and then upon melancholy occasions. What a terrible prospect!-however, I do here swear and vow to live for ever chaste, till I find a young fellow who will take me for better and for worse.-Law! what a desperate oath have I taken !

Mother. [Looking out of the Window.] Come up, Cons, the fiddles are here.

2 Con. I come [MOTHER goes from the Window.] I must begone, though whither I cannot tell; these fiddles, and her discreet companions, will quickly make an end of all she has stolen; and then for five hundred new pieces sell me to another old fellow, whom I will serve in the same manner. She has taken care not to leave me a farthing: yet I am so, better than under her conduct, 'twill be at worst but begging for my life:

And starving were to me an easier fate, Than to be forc'd to live with one I hate. Mother. Come, Cons, make haste, [Goes up to her MOTHER.


John. It will not out of my head, but that Don Frederick has sent away this wench, for all he carries it so gravely; yet methinks he should be honester than so; but these grave men are never touched upon such occasions. [Music above.] What's here, music and women? the best mixture in the world!-'would I were among them-[Music again, and a WOMAN appears in the Balcony.] That's a right one, I know it by her smile. I have an eye, that never fails me— [Another LADY appears.] Ah, rogue! she's right too; I'm sure on't; here's a brave parcel of them!

[Music still, and dancing. ·Mother. Come, come, let's dance in t'other room, 'tis a great deal better.

John. Say you so? what, now, if I should go up and dance too? It is a tavern-rot this business! why should a man be hunting upon a cold scent, when

« ZurückWeiter »