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going on to strike the balance between us, and ascertain, if I might, which, upon the whole amount, is the veriest wretch of the two-be our several ingredients of wretchednėss what they may.
Tes. Pho, pho! - this is not a matter to be arbitrated by the parties concerned ; and even if it were, I can't think the discovery would pay the trouble ;-however, since you are so very anxious for the honour and glory of being the most unlucky dog alive, there is Mrs. Testy, who has generally been sitting quietly at her needle in that corner, while we have been over our business; and as I think she can't well have helped overhearing our conversation, which, on my part, at least, has not been carried on in a wbisper,) let us abide by her decision ;-and pray don't be afraid of any conjugal bias in the case; for I have so long been in the practice of making her the confidante of my distresses, without always stopping to enquire whether she was in the humour to hear them, that I am afraid her partiality as an arbitress will be found quite unimpeachable !Come, Madam Testy, lay down your gewgaws, and let's have your judgment upon this knotty question, -I'll bet half a crown, Sensitive, that she gives it for me after all.
Sen. Done, Sir; and Mrs. Testy shall hold the stakes.--Now, my dear Madam, what is your sentence upon the case ?
Mrs. Tes. O, pray don't ask me ;-I know nothing about your mind, and your matter, really :--for all I can see, you have both been making a great fuss about nothing, and so I shall leave you both to settle it between yourselves. All I do know, is that you, Mr. Tesly have made.' me miserable enough, by stunning me with your nonsensical complaints for six months together ;-and so, as you both seem to like misery better than any thing else, I will beg leave to read you a short list of some of my own troubles, which I have set down, at odd times, as I could spare myself from my household affairs, which I have been diligently carrying on for your
comfort, Mr. Testy, while you have been alarming the neighbourhood by sounding out your" domestic miseries” like a town crier.In short, whoever ought to be the winner, I know who ought not.
Sen. There, Mr. Testy! I think you will admit that you have fairly lost the wager.
Tes. I deny it, Sir ;--she has not given it against me as yet; and I'll soon see whether I can't persuade her to give it for me: come, come, Madam, I'll have you on your knees for this,' or my name is not Timothy Testy. [He advances to her, and proceeds to put his threat into execution.]
Sen. Nay, Sir, this is too much ;--you are certainly the loser, and ought, in honour, to pay the forfeit; but if you persist in refusing it-rather than see a lady, and such a lady, put to the question in this manner, and elated as I feel myself by Mrs. Testy's evident inclination to my side, I will consent to make it a drawn bet; and so let each take back his half-crown.
Ned Tes. Aye,
Or both divide the crown ;-
T'es. Well, well, take it, then,—and I give you joy of your sorrow :-you may now sing, with old Burton,
“ Nought so sweet as melancholy !” And so now, Mrs. Testy, for your miseries, if you please ;--produce your bit of ass's skin in a twinkling, and let us hear
.6 furens quid foemina possit.” Vir. Mrs. Tes. Yes, I can
answer thee in sighs, keep pace With all thy woes, and count out tear for tear.”
Cato. You must take them as they come, Gentlemen ;
for I had not time to throw them into
Sigh 1. (Mrs. T.) After having invited a large party to dinnerwithin a few hours of their expected arrival, some of the most indispensable servants (the cook in particular) seized with the influenza, smallpox, &c. when it is quite too late either to look out for substitutes, or to put off the engagement.
2. While playing on the piano-forte, being obsedée by the attentions of a courteous gentleman (quite ignorant of music) who turns over the leaf of your music-book a dozen bars too soon, and in his zeal to be soon enough, pulls down the book on the keys, and one (if not both) of the candles, into your lap.,
The two following came to my memory, as having befallen me before I was Mrs. Testy.
If you are a single woman, with a reasonable stock of delicacy and pride,-being joked by a facetious gentleman, in a company where you are not very much known, on the subject of a husband.