ACT V
Scene III.
 

TATTLE, JEREMY.

TATTLE
Is not that she gone out just now?

JEREMY
Ay, sir; she's just going to the place of appointment. Ah, sir, if you are not very faithful and close in this business, you'll certainly be the death of a person that has a most extraordinary passion for your honour's service.

TATTLE
Ay, who's that?

JEREMY
Even my unworthy self, sir. Sir, I have had an appetite to be fed with your commands a great while; and now, sir, my former master having much troubled the fountain of his understanding, it is a very plausible occasion for me to quench my thirst at the spring of your bounty. I thought I could not recommend myself better to you, sir, than by the delivery of a great beauty and fortune into your arms, whom I have heard you sigh for.

TATTLE
I'll make thy fortune; say no more. Thou art a pretty fellow, and canst carry a message to a lady, in a pretty soft kind of phrase, and with a good persuading accent.

JEREMY
Sir, I have the seeds of rhetoric and oratory in my head: I have been at Cambridge.

TATTLE
Ay; 'tis well enough for a servant to be bred at an university: but the education is a little too pedantic for a gentleman. I hope you are secret in your nature: private, close, ha?

JEREMY
Oh, sir, for that, sir, 'tis my chief talent: I'm as secret as the head of Nilus.

TATTLE
Ay? Who's he, though? A privy counsellor?

JEREMY
O ignorance! [Aside.] A cunning Egyptian, sir, that with his arms would overrun the country, yet nobody could ever find out his head-quarters.

TATTLE
Close dog! A good whoremaster, I warrant him: --the time draws nigh, Jeremy. Angelica will be veiled like a nun, and I must be hooded like a friar, ha, Jeremy?

JEREMY
Ay, sir; hooded like a hawk, to seize at first sight upon the quarry. It is the whim of my master's madness to be so dressed, and she is so in love with him she'll comply with anything to please him. Poor lady, I'm sure she'll have reason to pray for me, when she finds what a happy exchange she has made, between a madman and so accomplished a gentleman.

TATTLE
Ay, faith, so she will, Jeremy: you're a good friend to her, poor creature. I swear I do it hardly so much in consideration of myself as compassion to her.

JEREMY
'Tis an act of charity, sir, to save a fine woman with thirty thousand pound from throwing herself away.

TATTLE
So 'tis, faith; I might have saved several others in my time, but, i'gad, I could never find in my heart to marry anybody before.

JEREMY
Well, sir, I'll go and tell her my master's coming, and meet you in half a quarter of an hour with your disguise at your own lodgings. You must talk a little madly: she won't distinguish the tone of your voice.

TATTLE
No, no; let me alone for a counterfeit. I'll be ready for you.