Act IV - Act IV, Scene XII


FORE. Ah, Sir Sampson, heav'n help your head. This is none of your lucky hour; Nemo omnibus horis sapit. What, is he gone, and in contempt of science? Ill stars and unconvertible ignorance attend him.

SCAN. You must excuse his passion, Mr Foresight, for he has been heartily vexed. His son is non compos mentis, and thereby incapable of making any conveyance in law; so that all his measures are disappointed.

FORE. Ha! say you so?

MRS FRAIL. What, has my sea-lover lost his anchor of hope, then? [Aside to MRS FORESIGHT.]

MRS FORE. O sister, what will you do with him?

MRS FRAIL. Do with him? Send him to sea again in the next foul weather. He's used to an inconstant element, and won't be surprised to see the tide turned.

FORE. Wherein was I mistaken, not to foresee this? [Considers.]

SCAN. Madam, you and I can tell him something else that he did not foresee, and more particularly relating to his own fortune. [Aside to MRS FORESIGHT.]

MRS FORE. What do you mean? I don't understand you.

SCAN. Hush, softly,--the pleasures of last night, my dear, too considerable to be forgot so soon.

MRS FORE. Last night! And what would your impudence infer from last night? Last night was like the night before, I think.

SCAN. 'Sdeath, do you make no difference between me and your husband?

MRS FORE. Not much,--he's superstitious, and you are mad, in my opinion.

SCAN. You make me mad. You are not serious. Pray recollect yourself.

MRS FORE. Oh yes, now I remember, you were very impertinent and impudent,--and would have come to bed to me.

SCAN. And did not?

MRS FORE. Did not! With that face can you ask the question?

SCAN. This I have heard of before, but never believed. I have been told, she had that admirable quality of forgetting to a man's face in the morning that she had lain with him all night, and denying that she had done favours with more impudence than she could grant 'em. Madam, I'm your humble servant, and honour you.--You look pretty well, Mr Foresight: how did you rest last night?

FORE. Truly, Mr Scandal, I was so taken up with broken dreams and distracted visions that I remember little.

SCAN. 'Twas a very forgetting night. But would you not talk with Valentine? Perhaps you may understand him; I'm apt to believe there is something mysterious in his discourses, and sometimes rather think him inspired than mad.

FORE. You speak with singular good judgment, Mr Scandal, truly. I am inclining to your Turkish opinion in this matter, and do reverence a man whom the vulgar think mad. Let us go to him.

MRS FRAIL. Sister, do you stay with them; I'll find out my lover, and give him his discharge, and come to you. O' my conscience, here he comes.