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FANTOME.

Dear Abigail, how I admire thy virtue!

ABIGAIL.

my ene

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

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But is thy lady persuaded that I am the ghost of her deceased husband?

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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.

FANTOME.

Prithee make use of all thy art; for I'm tir'd to death with strolling round this wide old house, like a .rat behind the wainscot.

ABIGAIL.

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

FANTOME.

Ah! Mrs. Abigail! you have had your intrigues

ABIGAIL.

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

FANTOME.

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

ABIGAIL.

You are very much mistaken, Mr. Fantome: but no matter for that; here is to be your station to-night. This place is unknown to any one living besides 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 design'd it for a wardrobe for my lady's cast clothes. Oh! the stomachers, stays, petticoats, commodes, lac'd shoes, and good things that I have had in it!— Pray take care you do not break the cherry-brandy bottle that stands up in the corner.

FANTOME.

Well, Mrs. Abigail, I hire your closet of you but for this one nightA thousand pound, you know,

is a very good rent.

ABIGAIL.

with you,

Well, get you gone: you have such a way with there's no denying you any thing!

FANTOME.

I'm a thinking how Tinsel will stare, when he sees me come out of the wall; for I am resolv'd to make my appearance to-night.

ABIGAIL.

-Get you in, get you in, my lady's at the door.

FANTOME.

Pray take care she does not keep me up so late as she did last night, or depend upon it I'll beat the

tattoo.

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ABIGAIL.

I'm undone, I'm undone [As he is going in.]

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Mr. Fantome, Mr. Fantome, have you put the thousand pound bond into my brother's hands?

FANTOME.

31

Thou shalt have it; I tell thee thou shalt have it.

ABIGAIL.

[Fantome goes in.

No more words-Vanish, vanish.

ENTER LADY.

ABIGAIL, opening the door.

Oh, dear Madam, was it you that made such a knocking? my heart does so beat-I vow you have frighted me to death-I thought verily it had been the Drummer.

LADY.

I have been showing the garden to Mr. Tinsel: he's most insufferably witty upon us about this story of the drum.

ABIGAIL.

Indeed, Madam, he's a very loose man! I'm afraid 'tis he that hinders my poor master from resting in his grave.

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LADY.

Well, an infidelis such a novelty in the country, that I am resolvid to divert myself a day or two at least with the oddness of his conversation.

ABIGAIL.

Ah, Madam! the drum began to beat in the house as soon as ever this creature was admitted to visit you. All the while Mr. Fantome made his addresses to you, there was not as mouse stirring in the family more than us'd to be

LADY.

This baggage has some design upon me, more than I can yet discover. [Aside.]-Mr. Fantome was always thy favourite.

ABIGAIL.

Ay, and should have been yours too, by my consent! Mr. Fantome was not such a slight fantastic thing as this is Mr. Fantome was the best built man one should see in a summer's day! Mr. Fantome was a man of honour, and lov'd you! Poor soul! how has he sighed when he has talk'd to me of my hard-hearted lady Well! I had as lief as a thousand pound you would marry Mr. Fantome!

LADY.

To tell thee truly, I lov'd him well enough till I found he lov'd me so much.

But Mr. Tinsel makes

his court to me with so much neglect and indifference, and with such an agreeable sauciness-Not that I say I'll marry him.

ABIGAIL.

Marry him, quoth-a! No, if you should, you'll be awaken'd sooner than married couples generally are -You'll quickly have a drum at your window.

LADY.

I'll hide my contempt of Tinsel for once, if it be but to see what this wench drives at. [Aside.

ABIGAIL.

Why, suppose your husband, after this fair warning he has given you, should sound you an alarm at midnight; then open your curtains with a face as pale as my apron, and cry out with a hollow voice, "What dost thou do in bed with this spindle-shank'd fellow?"

LADY.

Why wilt thou needs have it to be my husband? He never had any reason to be offended at me. I always lov'd him while he was living; and should prefer him to any man, were he so still. Mr. Tinsel is indeed very idle in his talk; but, I fancy, Abigail, a discreet woman might reform him.

ABIGAIL.

That's a likely matter indeed! Did you ever hear of a woman who had power over a man when she was his wife, that had none while she was his mistress? Oh! there's nothing in the world improves a man in his complaisance, like marriage!

LADY.

He is, indeed, at present, too familiar in his conversation.

ABIGAIL.

Familiar! Madam, in troth, he's downright rude.

LADY.

But that, you know, Abigail, shows he has no dissimulation in him-Then he is apt to jest a little too much upon grave subjects.

ABIGAIL.

Grave subjects! he jests upon the church.

LADY.

But that, you know, Abigail, may be only to show his wit-Then it must be own'd he's extremely talkative.

ABIGAIL.

Talkative, d'ye call it! he's downright impertinent.

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