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THE

INCONSTANT.

ACT THE FIRST.

SCENE I.

The Street.

Enter DUGARD, and his Man, Petit, in Riding

Habits.

Dug. Sirrah, what's o'clock?
Petit. Turned of eleven, sir.

Dug. No more! We have rid a swinging pace from Nemours, since two this morning! Petit, run to Rousseau's, and bespeak a dinner, at a louis d'or a head, to be ready by one.

Petit. How many will there be of you, Dug. Let me see- Mirabel one, Duretete two, mya self three

Petit. And I four. Dug. How now, sir ? at your old travelling familiarity! When abroad, you had some freedom, for want

sir ?

of better company, but among my friends, at Paris, pray remember your distance-Begone, sir! (Exit Petir.] This fellow's wit was necessary abroad, but he's too cunning for a domestic; I must dispose of him some way else.--Who's here? Old Mirabel, and my sister ! - My dearest sister!

Enter Old MIRABEL and ORIANA.

Oriana. My brother! Welcome!

Dug. Monsieur Mirabel! I'm heartily glad to see you.

Old Mir. Honest Mr Dugard, by the blood of the Mirabels, I'm your most humble servant !

Dug. Why, sir, you've cast your skin, sure; you're brisk and gay—lusty health about you—no sign of age, but your silver hairs,

Old Mir. Silver hairs ! Then they are quicksilver hairs, sir. Whilst I have golden pockets, let my hairs be silver, an' they will. Adsbud, sir, I can dance, and sing, and drink, and no, I can't wench. But, Mr Dugard, no news of my son Bob in all your travels ?

Dug. Your son's come home, sir.

Old Mir. Come home! Bob come home! By the blood of the Mirabels, Mr Dugard, what say you ?

Oriana. Mr Mirabel returned, sir ?

Dug. He's certainly come, and you may see him within this hour or two.

Old Mir. Swear it, Mr Dugard, presently swear it.

Dug. Sir, he came to town with me this morning; I left him at the Banieurs, being a little disordered after riding, and I shall see him again presently.

Old Mir. What! and he was ashamed to ask a blessing with his boots on! A nice dog! Well, and how fares the young rogue, ha?

Dug. A fine gentleman, sir: He'll be his own messenger.

Old Mir. A fine gentleman! But is the

rogue

like

me still ?

Dug. Why, yes, sir; he's very like his mother, and as like you as most modern sons are to their fathers.

Old Mir. Why, sir, don't you think that I begat him?

Dug. Why, yes, sir; you married his mother, and he inherits your estate. He's very like you, upon my word.

Oriuna. And pray, brother, what's become of his honest companion, Duretete?

Dug. Who, the captain? The very same, he went abroad; he's the only Frenchman I ever knew that could not change. Your son, Mr Mirabel, is more obliged to nature for that fellow's composition, than for his own : for he's more happy in Duretete's folly than his own wit. In short, they are as inseparable as finger and thumb; but the first instance in the world, I believe, of opposition in friendship.

Old Mir. Very well : will he be home to dinner, think ye?

Dug. Sir, he has ordered me to bespeak a dinner for us at Rousseau's, at a louis d'or a head.

Old Mir. A louis d’or a head! Well said, Bob; by the blood of the Mirabels, Bob's improved ! But, Mr Dugard, was it so civil of Bob to visit Monsieur Rous. seau before his own natural father, eh ?--Harkye, Oriana, what think you now of a fellow that can eat and drink ye a whole louis d'or at a sitting ? He must be as strong as Hercules; life and spirit in abundance. Before Gad, I don't wonder at these men of quality, that their own wives can't serve them! A louis d'or a head ! 'tis enough to stock a whole na. tion with bastards, 'tis, 'faith Mr Dugard, I leave you with your sister.

[Exit. Duy. Well, sister, I need not ask

you

how you do, your looks resolve me; fair, tall, well-shaped; you're almost grown out of my remembrance,

you misa

Oriana. Why, truly, brother, I look pretty well, thank nature and my toilet; I eat three meals a day, am very merry when up, and sleep soundly when I'm down.

Dug. But, sister, you remember that upon my going abroad, you would chuse this old gentleman for your guardian; he's no more related to our family than Prester John, and I have no reason to trusted my management of your

fortune : Therefore, pray be so kind as to tell me, without reservation, the true cause of making such a choice.

Oriuna. Lookye, brother, you were going a rambling, and 'twas proper, lest I should go a rambling too, that somebody should take care of me. Old Monsieur Mirabel is an honest gentleman, was our father's friend, and has a young lady in his house, whose company I like, and who has chosen him for her guardian as well as I.

Dúg. Who, Mademoiselle Bisarre ?

Oriana. The same; we live merrily together, without scandal or reproach; we make much of the old gentleman between us, and be takes care of us;

all the week we dance and sing, and upon Sundays, go first to church, and then to the play.--Now, brother, besides these motives for chusing this gentleman for my guardian, perhaps I had some private reasons.

Dug. Not so private as you imagine, sister : Your love to young Mirabel's no secret, I can assure you, but so public, that all your friends are ashamed on't. Oriana. O’my word, then, my

friends are very

bashful; though I'm afraid, sir, that those people are not ashamed enough at their own crimes, who have so many blushes to spare for the faults of their neighbours.

Dug Ay, but, sister, the people say

Oriuna. Pshaw ! hang the people ! they'll talk freason, and profane their Maker; must we therefore

cess.

infer, that our king is a tyrant, and religion a cheat? Lookye, brother, their court of enquiry is a tavern, and their informer, claret : They think as they drink, and swallow reputations like loches; a lady's health goes briskly round with the glass, but her honour is lost in the toast.

Dug. Ay, but, sister, there is still something

Oriana. If there be something, brother, 'tis none of the people's something : Marriage is my thing, and I'll stick to't.

Dug. Marriage! Young Mirabel marry! he'll build churches sooner. Take heed, sister, though your honour stood proof to his home-bred assaults, you must keep a stricter guard for the future: He has now got the foreign air, and the Italian softness; his wit's improved by converse, his behaviour finished by observation, and his assurances confirmed by suc

Sister, I can assure you, he has made his conquests; and 'tis a plague upon your sex, to be the soonest deceived by those

you know have been false to others. But then, sister, he's as fickle

Oriana. For God's sake, brother, tell me no more of his faults, for, if you do, I shall run mad for him : Say no more, sir; let me but get him into the bands of matrimony, I'll spoil his wandering, I warrant him; I'll do his business that way, never fear.

Dug. Well, sister, I won't pretend to understand the engagements between you and your lover; I expect, when you have need of my counsel or assistance, you will let me know more of

your

affairs. Mirabel is a gentleman, and as far as my honour and interest can reach, you may command me, to the furtherance of your happiness : In the mean time, sister, I have a great mind to make you a present of another humble servant; a fellow that I took up at Lyons, who has served me honestly ever since.

Oriana. Then why will you part with him?

very men that

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