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- [Aloud] I'll send Lady Sneerwell away, and return directly. [Aside to SIR PETER] Sir Peter, not a word of the French milliner.
Sir Peter [aside to JOSEPH SURFACE] - I! not for the world! [Exit JOSEPH SURFACE.] Ah, Charles, if you associated more with your brother, one might indeed hope for your reformation. He is a man of sentiment. Well, there is nothing in the world so noble as a man of sentiment.
Charles Surface - Psha! he is too moral by half; and so apprehensive of his good name, as he calls it, that I suppose he would as soon let a priest into his house as a wench.
Sir Peter-No, no,
come, come, - you wrong him. No, no! Joseph is no rake, but he is no such saint either, in that respect.- [Aside] I have a great mind to tell him — we should have such a laugh at Joseph.
Charles Surface -Oh, hang him! he's a very anchorite, a young hermit!
Sir Peter Hark'ee you must not abuse him: he may chance to hear of it again, I promise you.
Charles Surface - Why, you won't tell him?
Sir Peter-No- but this way. -[Aside] Egad, I'll tell him [Aloud] Hark'ee-have you a mind to have a good laugh at Joseph ?
Charles Surface - I should like it of all things.
Sir Peter-Then, i' faith, we will! I'll be quit with him for discovering me. He had a girl with him when I called.
Charles Surface-What! Joseph? you jest.
Sir Peter Hush!-a little French milliner-and the best of the jest is she's in the room now.
Charles Surface - The devil she is!
Sir Peter - No, no, he's coming :—you shan't indeed! Charles Surface- Oh, egad, we'll have a peep at the little milliner!
Sir Peter-Not for the world! - Joseph will never forgive me.
Charles Surface -I'll stand by you
Sir Peter-Odds, here he is!
[CHARLES SURFACE throws down the screen.
Reënter JOSEPH SURFACE.
Charles Surface Lady Teazle, by all that's wonderful.
Charles Surface-Sir Peter, this is one of the smartest French milliners I ever saw. Egad, you seem all to have been diverting yourselves here at hide and seek, and I don't see who is out of the secret. Shall I beg your ladyship to inform me? Not a word! Brother, will you be pleased to explain this matter? What is Morality dumb too? - Sir Peter, though I found you in the dark, perhaps you are not so now! All mute! -Well-though I can make nothing of the affair, I suppose you perfectly understand one another; so I'll leave you to yourselves. [Going.] -[Going.] Brother, I'm sorry to find you have given that worthy man grounds for so much uneasiness. - Sir Peter! there's nothing in the world so noble as a man of sentiment!
Joseph Surface -Sir Peter notwithstanding —I confess -that appearances are against me if you will afford me your patience — I make no doubt — but I shall explain everything to your satisfaction.
Sir Peter-If you please, sir.
Joseph Surface-The fact is, sir, that Lady Teazle, knowing my pretensions to your ward Maria - I say, sir, Lady Teazle, being apprehensive of the jealousy of your temper ing my friendship to the family-she, sir, I say -in order that I might explain these pretensions- but on your coming being apprehensive as I said- of your jealousy she withdrew and this, you may depend on it, is the whole truth of the matter.
Sir Peter-A very clear account, upon my word; and I dare swear the lady will vouch for every article of it.
For not one word of it, Sir Peter!
Sir Peter How! don't you think it worth while to agree in the lie?
Lady Teazle-There is not one syllable of truth in what that gentleman has told you.
Sir Peter-I believe you, upon my soul, ma'am !
Joseph Surface [aside to LADY TEAZLE] — 'Sdeath, madam, will you betray me?
Lady Teazle-Good Mr. Hypocrite, by your leave, I'll speak for myself.
Sir Peter-Ay, let her alone, sir; you'll find she'll make out a better story than you, without prompting.
Lady Teazle-Hear me, Sir Peter!-I came here on no matter relating to your ward, and even ignorant of this gentleman's pretensions to her. But I came, seduced by his insidious arguments, at least to listen to his pretended passion, if not to sacrifice your honor to his baseness.
Sir Peter-Now, I believe, the truth is coming, indeed! Joseph Surface - The woman's mad!
Lady Teazle - No, sir; she has recovered her senses, and your own arts have furnished her with the means. Sir Peter, I do not expect you to credit me - but the tenderness you expressed for me, when I am sure you could not think I was a witness to it, has so penetrated to my heart, that had I left the place without the shame of this discovery, my future life should have spoken the sincerity of my gratitude. As for that smoothtongued hypocrite, who would have seduced the wife of his too credulous friend, while he affected honorable addresses to his ward- I behold him now in a light so truly despicable, that I shall never again respect myself for having listened to him.
[Exit. Joseph Surface-Notwithstanding all this, Sir Peter, Heaven
Sir Peter-That you are a villain! and so I leave you to your conscience.
Joseph Surface- You are too rash, Sir Peter; you shall hear me. The man who shuts out conviction by refusing
Sir Peter-Oh, damn your sentiments!
[Exeunt SIR PETER and JOSEPH SURFACE, talking.
[SAMUEL FOOTE, English dramatist and actor, was born at Truro, Cornwall, in 1720. After squandering a small fortune in London, he turned to the stage as a means of support and made an unsuccessful début in "Othello." In 1747, however, in a small theater in the Haymarket, he began to give a series of farces and variety entertainments, including imitations of the principal actors and other celebrities of the day, and at once found himself famous. He wrote over twenty dramatic pieces, of which the best are: "An Auction of Pictures," "The Liar," "The Minor," "The Nabob," and "The Mayor of Garratt." He died at Dover, October 21, 1777.]
FOOTE praising the hospitalities of the Irish, after one of his trips from the sister kingdom, a gentleman present asked him whether he had ever been in Cork. "No, sir," said he, quickly, but I have seen a great many drawings of it."
Foote, returning from dining with a lord of the admiralty, was met by a friend, who asked him what sort of a day he had had. "Very indifferent indeed: bad company and a worse dinner.' "I wonder at that," said the other, "as I thought the admiral a good jolly fellow." "Why, as to that, he may be a good sea-lord, but take it from me, he is a very bad land-lord.”
THE POINT OF FEMALE BEAUTY.
Being asked at what time of life he thought female beauty began to decline, he replied: "Woman is to be counted like a game of piquet: twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twentyeight, twenty-nine, sixty!"
TREES IN SCOTLAND.
On his return from Scotland, being asked by a lady whether there was any truth in the report that there were no trees in Scotland, "A very malicious report indeed, my lady," said he; "for, just as I was crossing from Port Patrick to Donaghadee, I saw two blackbirds perched on as fine a thistle as ever I saw in my life."
Foote always acknowledged the humor and naïveté of the Irish, and gave many instances of it in the course of his con
vivial hours. One frosty day, he said, as he was crossing the ferry near Dublin, a passenger was put into the boat quite drunk, who was at first very ungovernable. This occasioned many remarks. One said, "how beastly drunk he was; another, "that he ought to be thrown overboard," etc. At last, the boatman, looking at him, seemingly with an eye of compassion, exclaimed: "Why, to be sure, good people, the man is bad enough; but, bad as he is, I wish I had half his disorder about me."
Foote and Garrick supping together at the Bedford, the former, in pulling out his purse to pay the reckoning, dropped a guinea, which rolled in such a direction that they could not readily find it. "Where the deuce," says Foote, "can it be gone to?" "Gone to the devil, I suppose," said Garrick. "Well said, David, you are always what I took you for ever contriving to make a guinea go farther than any other man."
Foote, showing a house which he had newly fitted up to some friends, in passing through his bedchamber one of the company observed a small Roman bust of Garrick on the bureau, at which he smiled. "I don't wonder," said Foote, "you should laugh at me for allowing him to be so near my gold; but then please to observe he has no hands."
Foote having occasion for the testimony of Walter Ross, of Edinburgh, in some theatrical lawsuit, the latter (who was a Scotchman) traveled all the way up to town in a post chaise under the character of writer to the Signet, for which he charged Foote the whole of his expenses.
The cause, when it came to a hearing, was determined against Foote, and, as it was then said, on the incompetency of the evidence of Ross, which created some little coolness between the parties. Friends, however, interfering, they were reconciled, and dined together the day before Ross went out of town; during which meeting Foote asked him, in the course of conversation, how he intended to travel back. "On foot," said Ross, taking him in his own way. "I am heartily sorry for that," said the other, "as I know of no man who more richly deserves horsing.'
VOL. XIX. 9