Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

262. Richard Brinsley Sheridan. 1751-1816. (Manual, p. 397.)

FROM THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL'

THE OLD HUSBAND AND THE YOUNG WIFE. Sir Peter Teazle. But here comes my helpmate! She appears in great good humour. How happy I should be if I could tease her into loving me, though but a little !

Enter LADY TEAZLE. Lady Teaz. Lud! Sir Peter, I hope you haven't been quarrelling with Maria ? It is not using me well to be ill-humoured when I am not by.

Sir Pet. Ah, Lady Teazle, you might have the power to make me good-humoured at all times.

Lady Teaz. I am sure I wish I had; for I want you to be in a charming sweet temper at this moment. Do be good-humoured now, and let me have two hundred pounds, will you ?

Sir Pet. Two hundred pounds; wbat an't I to be in a good humour without paying for it! But speak to me thus, and i' faith there's nothing I could refuse you. You shall have it; but seal me a bond for the repayment. Lady Teaz. Oh, no—there—my note of hand will do as well.

[Offering her hand. Sir Pet. And you shall no longer reproach me with not giving you an independent settlement. I mean shortly to surprise you: but shall we always live thus, hey?

Lady Teaz. If you please. I'm sure I don't care how soon we leave off quarrelling, provided you'll own you were tired first.

Sir Pet. Well—then let our future contest be, who shall be most obliging.

Lady Teaz. I assure you, Sir Peter, good nature becomes you. You look now as you did before we were married, when you used to walk with me under the elms, and tell me stories of what a gallant you were in your youth, and chuck me under the chin, you would ; and ask me if I thought I could love an old fellow, who would deny me pothing-didn't you ?

Sir Pet. Yes, yes, and you were as kind and attentive

Lady Teaz. Ay, so I was, and would always take your part, when my acquaintance used to abuse you, and turn you into ridicule.

Sir Pet. Indeed !

Lady Teaz. Ay, and when my cousin Sophy has called you a stiff, peevish old bachelor, and laughed at me for thinking of marrying one who might be my father, I have always defended you, and said, I didn't think you so ugly by any means.

Sir Pet. Thank you.

Lady Teaz. And I dared say you'd make a very good sort of a husband.

Sir Pet. And you prophesied right; and we shall now be the happiest couple

Lady Teaz. And never differ again ?

Sir Pet. No, never !—though at the same time, indeed, my dear Lady Teazle, you must watch your temper very seriously; for in all our little quarrels, my dear, if you recollect, my love, you always began first.

Lady Teaz. I beg your pardon, my dear Sir Peter: indeed, you always gave the provocation.

Sir Pet. Now see, my angel! take care-contradicting isn't the way to keep friends.

Lady Teaz. Then don't you begin it, my love!
Sir Pet. There, now ! you-you are going on.

You don't perceive, my love, that you are just doing the very thing wbich you know always makes me angry.

Lady Teaz. Nay, you know if you will be angry without any reason, my dear

Sir Pet. There! now you want to quarrel again.

Lady Teaz. No, I'm sure I don't: but, if you will be so peevishSir Pet. There now! who begins first ?

Lady Teaz. Why, you, to be sure. I said nothing—but there's no bearing your temper.

Sir Pet. No, no, madam : the fault 's in your own temper.

Lady Teaz. Ay, you are just what my cousin Sophy said you would be.

Sir Pet. Your cousin Sophy is a forward, impertinent gipsy.

Lady Teaz. You are a great bear, I'm sure, to abuse my relations.

Sir Pet. Now may all the plagues of marriage be doubled on me, if ever I try to be friends with you any more!

Lady Teaz. So much the better.

Sir Pet. No, no, madam : 'tis evident you never cared a pin for me, and I was a madman to marry you—a pert, rural coquette, that had refused half the honest ’squires in the neighbourhood.

Lady Teaz. And I am sure I was a fool to marry you—an old dangling bachelor, who was single at fifty, only because he never could meet with any one who would have him.

Sir Pet. Ay, ay, madam; but you were pleased enough to listen to me: you never had such an offer before.

Lady Teaz. No! didn't I refuse Sir Tivy Terrier, who every body said would have been a better match ? for his estate is just as good as yours, and he has broke his neck since we have been married.

Sir Pet. I have done with you, madam! You are an unfeeling, ungrateful—but there's an end of every thing. I believe you capable of every thing that is bad. Yes, madam, I now believe the reports relative to you and Charles, madam, Yes, madam, you and Charles are, not without grounds

Lady Teaz. Take care, Sir Peter! you had better not insinuate any such thing! I'll not be suspected withont cause, I promise you.

Sir Pet. Very well, madam! very well! A separate maintenance as soon as you please. Yes, madam, or a divorce! I'll make an example of myself for the benefit of all old bachelors. Let us separate, madam..

Lady Teaz. Agreed ! agreed! And now, my dear Sir Peter, we are of a mind once more, we may be the happiest couple, and never differ again, you know : ha! ha! ha! Well, you are going to be in a passion, I see, and I shall only interrupt you—so, bye, bye![Exit.

Sir Pet. Plagues and tortures ! can't I make her angry either! Oh, I am the most miserable fellow! But I'll

bear her presuming to keep her temper : no! she may break my heart, but she shan't keep her temper.

[Exit.

CHAPTER XX.

WALTER SCOT.T.

1771-1832. (Manual, pp. 401-422.)

FROM THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.'

263. DESCRIPTION OF MELROSE ABBEY. If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright, Go visit it by the pale moonlight; For the gay beams of lightsome day Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray. When the broken arches are black in night, And each shafted oriel glimmers white; When the cold light's uncertain shower Streams on the ruin'd central tower; When buttress and buttress, alternately, Seem framed of ebon and ivory ; When silver edges the imagery, And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die; When distant Tweed is heard to rave, And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave, Then go—but go alone the whileThen view St. David's ruin'd pile ; And, home returning, soothly swear, Was never scene so sad and fair!

264. LOVE OF COUNTRY. Breathes there a man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land !
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd

From wandering on a foreign strand ?
If such there breathe, go mark him well:
For him no minstrel raptures swell;

High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.

O Caledonia! stern and wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child !
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e'er untie the filial band
That knits me to thy rugged strand !
Still as I view each well-known scene,
Think what is now,

and what hath been,
Seems as to me, of all bereft,
Sole friends thy woods and streams were left ;
And thus I love them better still,
Even in extremity of ill.

FROM `MARMION.'

265. PITT AND Fox.
To mute and to material things,
New life revolving summer brings :
The genial call dead Nature hears,
And in her glory reappears.
But, oh! my country's wintry state,
What second spring shall renovate ?
What powerful call shall bid arise
The buried warlike and the wise ;
The mind that thought for Britain's weal,
The hand that grasped the victor's steel ?
The vernal sun new life bestows,
E'en on the meanest flower that blows;
But vainly, vainly may he shine,
Where glory weeps o'er Nelson's shrine,
And vainly pierce the solemn gloom
That shrouds, O Pitt, thy hallowed tomb!

Deep graved in every British heart,
Oh! pever let those names depart!

« AnteriorContinuar »