Act I - Act I, Scene XIII


TATT. I'll be gone.

VAL. You'll meet her.

TATT. Is there not a back way?

VAL. If there were, you have more discretion than to give Scandal such an advantage. Why, your running away will prove all that he can tell her.

TATT. Scandal, you will not be so ungenerous. Oh, I shall lose my reputation of secrecy for ever. I shall never be received but upon public days, and my visits will never be admitted beyond a drawingroom. I shall never see a bed-chamber again, never be locked in a closet, nor run behind a screen, or under a table: never be distinguished among the waiting-women by the name of trusty Mr Tattle more. You will not be so cruel?

VAL. Scandal, have pity on him; he'll yield to any conditions.

TATT. Any, any terms.

SCAN. Come, then, sacrifice half a dozen women of good reputation to me presently. Come, where are you familiar? And see that they are women of quality, too--the first quality.

TATT. 'Tis very hard. Won't a baronet's lady pass?

SCAN. No, nothing under a right honourable.

TATT. Oh, inhuman! You don't expect their names?

SCAN. No, their titles shall serve.

TATT. Alas, that's the same thing. Pray spare me their titles. I'll describe their persons.

SCAN. Well, begin then; but take notice, if you are so ill a painter that I cannot know the person by your picture of her, you must be condemned, like other bad painters, to write the name at the bottom.

TATT. Well, first then -