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Ang. Nay, Mr. Tattle, if you make love to me, you spoil my design; for I intend to make you my confident,
Scand. How's this ! Tattle making love to Angelica !
Tatt. But madam to throw away your person, such a person! and such a fortune, on a madman!
Ang. I never loved him till he was mad; but don't tell
any body so. Tatt. Tell, madam? alas, you don't know me. I have much ado to tell your ladyship how long I have been in love with you-but, encouraged by the impossibility of Valentine's making any more addresses to you, I have ventured to declare the very inmost passion of my heart. Oh, madam, look upon us both. There you see the ruins of a poor decayed creature! --Here, a complete lively figure, with youth and health, and all his five senses in perfection, madam; and to all this, the most passionate lover
Ang. O, fie for shame, hold your tongue. A passionate lover, and five senses in perfection! When you are as mad as Valentine, I'll believe you love me ; and the maddest shall take me.
Val. It is enough. Ha! who's there ;
[To Jeremy. Jer. No, no, madam; he won't know her; if he should, I can persuade him.
Val. Scandal, who are these? Foreigners? If they are, I'll tell you what I think.-Get away all the com
pany but Angelica, that I may discover my design to her.
[Whispers. Scand. I will.-I have discovered something of Tattle, that is of a piece with Mrs. Frail. He courts Angelica; if we could contrive to couple them together- -Hark'ee
[Whispers. Mrs. For. He won't know you, cousin ; he knows nobody.
For. But he knows more than any body.-Oh, niece, he knows things past and to come, and all the profound secrets of time.
Tatt. Look you, Mr. Foresight; it is not my way to make many words of matters, and so I shan't say much. But in short, d'ye see, I will hold you a hun. dred pounds now, that I know more secrets than he.
For. How? I cannot read that knowledge in your face, Mr. Tattle. Pray what do you know;
Tatt. Why, d’ye think I'll tell you, sir -Read it in my face! No, sir, it is written in my heart; and safer there, sir, than letters written in juice of lemon, for no fire can fetch it out. I'm no blab, sir.
Val. Acquaint Jeremy with it; he may easily bring it about. They are welcome, and I'll tell them so myself. [To Scandal.] What, do you look strange upon me ?—Then I must be plain. [Coming up to them.] I am Honesty and hate anold acquaintance with a new face.
[Scandal goes aside with Jeremy. Tatt. Do you know me, Valentine ? Val. You? Who are you? I hope not. Tatt. I am Jack Tattle, your friend.
Val. Oh, very
Val. My friend! what to do? I'm no married man, and thou canst not lie with my wife. I am very poor, and thou canst not borrow money of me. Then what employment have I for a friend?
Tatt. Ha! a good open speaker, and not to be trusted with a secret. Ang. Do you know me, Valentine ?
well. Ang. Who am I?
Val. You're a woman-one to whom Heaven gave beauty, when it grafted roses on a briar. You are the reflection of heaven in a pond ; and he that leaps
you is sunk. You are all white, a sheet of lovely spotless paper, when you were first born; but you are to be scrawled and blotted by every goose's quill. I know
you; for I loved a woman, and loved her so long, that I found out a strange thing; I found out what a woman was good for.
Tatt. Ay, prythee, what's that?
Val. O, exceeding good to keep a secret: for though she should tell, yet she is not believed.
Tatt. Ha! good again, faith.
" I like.
« I know my eyes
would lend my
heart to you, “ And I should all my vows and oaths renew; “ But, to be plain, I never would be true.
• For, by our weak and weary truth, I find,
ever let us chain what should be free,
" No more ; for I'm melancholy.” [Walks musing
Jer. (Jeremy and Scandal whisper. ] I'll do't, sir.
Scand. Mr. Foresight, we had best leave him. He may grow outrageous, and do mischief.
For. I will be directed by you.
Jer. [To Mrs. Frail.] You'll meet, madam. I'll take care every thing shall be ready.
Mrs. F. Thou shalt do what thou wilt; in short, I will deny thee nothing.
Tatt. Madam, shall I wait upon you ? [To Angelica.
Ang. No, I'll stay with him.-Mr. Scandal will protect me.
Aunt, Mr. Tattle desires you would give him leave to wait upon you.
Tatt. Pox on't, there's no coming off, now she has said that-Madam, will you do me the honour :
Mrs. For. Mr. Tattle might have used less ceremony!
[Exeunt Mrs. Frail, Mr. and Mrs. Foresight and
Tattle.] Scand. Jeremy, follow Tattle. [Exit Jeremy
Ang. Mr. Scandal, I only stay till my maid comes, and because I have a mind to be rid of Mr. Tattle.
Scand. Madam, I am very glad that I overheard a better reason which you gave to Mr. Tattle; for his impertinence forced you to acknowledge a kindness for Valentine, which you denied to all his sufferings and my solicitations. So I'll leave him to make use of the discovery; and your ladyship to the free confession of your
inclinations. Ang. Oh Heavens ! you won't leave me alone with a madman?
Scand. No, madam ; I only leave a madman to his remedy.
[Exit. Val. Madam, you need not be very much afraid for I fancy I begin to come to myself.
Ang. Ay, but if I don't fit you, I'll be hang'd. [ Aside.
Val. You see what disguises love makes us put on. Gods have been in counterfeited shapes for the same reason; and the divine part of me, my mind, has worn this masque of madness, and this motley livery, only as the slave of love, and menial creature of your beauty.
Ang. Mercy on me, how he talks! - Poor Valentine!
Val. Nay, faith, now let us understand one another, hypocrisy apart. The comedy draws towards an end; and let us think of leaving acting, and be ourselves; and, since you have loved me, you must own, I have at length deserved you should confess it.
Ang. [Sighs.] I would I had loved you !--for, Heaven knows, I pity you; and, could I have foreseen