Lady Teaz. Sir Peter, Sir Peter, you may bear it or not, as you please; but I ought to have my own way in everything, and, whats more, I will, too! What! though I was educated in the country, I know very well that women of fashion in London are accountable to nobody after they are married.
Sir Pet. No, no, madam, you shall throw away no more sums on such unmeaning luxury. Slife! to spend as much to furnish your dressing-room with flowers in winter as would suffice to turn the Pantheon into a greenhouse, and give a fête champêtre at Christmas.
Lady Teaz. And am I to blame, Sir Peter, because flowers are dear in cold weather? You should find fault with the climate, and not with me. For my part, Im sure I wish it was spring all the year round, and that roses grew under our feet.
Sir Pet. Yes, yes, madam, you were then in somewhat a humbler stylethe daughter of a plain country squire. Recollect, Lady Teazle, when I saw you first sitting at your tambour, in a pretty figured linen gown, with a bunch of keys at your side, your hair combed smooth over a roll, and your apartment hung round with fruits in worsted, of your own working.
Lady Teaz. Oh, yes; I remember it very well, and a curious life I led. My daily occupation to inspect the dairy, superintend the poultry, make extracts from the family receipt-book, and comb my aunt Deborahs lapdog.
Lady Teaz. And then you know my evening amusements! To draw patterns for ruffles, which I had not materials to make up; to play Pope Joan with the curate; to read a sermon to my aunt; or to be stuck down to an old spinet to strum my father to sleep after a fox-chase.
Sir Pet. I am glad you have so good a memory. Yes, madam, these were the recreations I took you from. But now you must have your coachvis-à-visand three powdered footmen before your chair; and, in the summer, a pair of white cats to draw you to Kensington Gardens. No recollection, I suppose, when you were content to ride double, behind the butler, on a docked coach-horse.
Sir Pet. I thank you, madambut dont flatter yourself; for, though your ill conduct may disturb my peace of mind, it shall never break my heart, I promise you. However, I am equally obliged to you for the hint.
Lady Teaz. Thats very true, indeed, Sir Peter! And, after having married you, I should never pretend to taste again, I allow. But now, Sir Peter, since we have finished our daily jangle, I presume I may go to my engagement at Lady Sneerwells.
Sir Pet. Yes, egad, they are tenacious of reputation with a vengeance; for they dont choose anybody should have a character but themselves! Such a crew! Ah! many a wretch has rid on a hurdle who has done less mischief than these utterers of forged tales, coiners of scandal, and clippers of reputation.
Lady Teaz. But I vow I bear no malice against the people I abuse. When I say an ill-natured thing, tis out of pure good-humour; and I take it for granted they deal exactly in the same manner with me. But, Sir Peter, you know you promised to come to Lady Sneerwells, too.
Sir Pet. SoI have gained much by my intended expostulation! Yet with what a charming air she contradicts everything I say, and how pleasantly she shows her contempt for my authority! Well, though I cant make her love me, there is great satisfaction in quarrelling with her; and I think she never appears to such advantage as when she is doing everything in her power to plague me.