Act III - Act III, Scene XII


MRS FORE. Husband, will you go to bed? It's ten a'clock. Mr Scandal, your servant.

SCAN. Pox on her, she has interrupted my design--but I must work her into the project. You keep early hours, madam.

MRS FORE. Mr Foresight is punctual; we sit up after him.

FORE. My dear, pray lend me your glass, your little looking-glass.

SCAN. Pray lend it him, madam. I'll tell you the reason.

[She gives him the glass: SCANDAL and she whisper.] My passion for you is grown so violent, that I am no longer master of myself. I was interrupted in the morning, when you had charity enough to give me your attention, and I had hopes of finding another opportunity of explaining myself to you, but was disappointed all this day; and the uneasiness that has attended me ever since brings me now hither at this unseasonable hour.

MRS FORE. Was there ever such impudence, to make love to me before my husband's face? I'll swear I'll tell him.

SCAN. Do. I'll die a martyr rather than disclaim my passion. But come a little farther this way, and I'll tell you what project I had to get him out of the way; that I might have an opportunity of waiting upon you. [Whisper. FORESIGHT looking in the glass.]

FORE. I do not see any revolution here; methinks I look with a serene and benign aspect--pale, a little pale--but the roses of these cheeks have been gathered many years;--ha! I do not like that sudden flushing. Gone already! hem, hem, hem! faintish. My heart is pretty good; yet it beats; and my pulses, ha!--I have none--mercy on me--hum. Yes, here they are--gallop, gallop, gallop, gallop, gallop, gallop, hey! Whither will they hurry me? Now they're gone again. And now I'm faint again, and pale again, and hem! and my hem! breath, hem! grows short; hem! hem! he, he, hem!

SCAN. It takes: pursue it in the name of love and pleasure.

MRS FORE. How do you do, Mr Foresight!

FORE. Hum, not so well as I thought I was. Lend me your hand.

SCAN. Look you there now. Your lady says your sleep has been unquiet of late.

FORE. Very likely.

MRS FORE. Oh, mighty restless, but I was afraid to tell him so. He has been subject to talking and starting.

SCAN. And did not use to be so?

MRS FORE. Never, never, till within these three nights; I cannot say that he has once broken my rest since we have been married.

FORE. I will go to bed.

SCAN. Do so, Mr Foresight, and say your prayers. He looks better than he did.

MRS FORE. Nurse, nurse!

FORE. Do you think so, Mr Scandal?

SCAN. Yes, yes. I hope this will be gone by morning, taking it in time.

FORE. I hope so.