The Lucky Chance Monologue
|The Lucky Chance Monologue by Aphra Behn|
BREDWEL: You are my Lady, and the best of Mistresses--Therefore I would not grieve you, for I know you love this best--but most unhappy Man. [Pause.] My Master sent me yesterday to Mr. Crap, his Scrivener, to send to one Mr. Wasteall, to tell him his first Mortgage was out, which is two hundred pounds a Year--and who has since engaged five or six hundred more to my Master; but if this first be not redeem'd, he'll take the Forfeit on't, as he says a wise Man ought. Mr. Crap, being busy with a borrowing Lord, sent me to Mr. Wasteall, whose Lodging is in a nasty Place called Alsatia, at a Black-Smith's. Well, Madam, this Wasteall was Mr. Gayman! He's driven to the last degree of Poverty--Had you but seen his Lodgings, Madam! I went to the Black-Smith's, and at the door, I encountered the beastly thing he calls a Landlady; who looked as if she had been of her own Husband's making, compose'd of moulded Smith's Dust. I ask'd for Mr. Wasteall, and she began to open--and so did rail at him, that what with her Billinsgate, and her Husband's hammers, I was both deaf and dumb--at last the hammers ceas'd, and she grew weary, and call'd down Mr. Wasteall; but he not answering--I was sent up a Ladder rather than a pair of Stairs; at last I scal'd the top, and enter'd the enchanted Castle; there did I find him, spite of the noise below, drowning his Cares in Sleep. He waked--and seeing me, Heavens, what Confusion seiz'd him! which nothing but my own Surprise could equal. Asham'd--he wou'd have turn'd away; but when he saw, by my dejected Eyes, I knew him, He sigh'd, and blushed, and heard me tell my Business: Then beg'd I wou'd be secret; for he vow'd his whole Repose and Life depended on my silence. Nor had I told it now, But that your Ladyship may find some speedy means to draw him from this desperate Condition.
Credits: Reprinted from The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. 3. Ed. Montague Summers. London: Heinemann, 1915.