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Scene I.-A Room in Oakly's House.
Noise heard within.
Oak. [Within.] But, my dear! Mrs. Oak. Nay, nay, &c. [Squabbling within. Enter Mrs. Oakly, with a Letter, OAKLY following. Mrs. Oak. Say what you will, Mr. Oakly, you shall never persuade me, but this is some filthy intrigue of. yours.
Oak. I can assure you, my love
Mrs. Oak. Your love !-- Don't I know your Tell me, I say, this instant, every circumstance relating to this letter.
Oak. How can I tell you, when you will not so much as let me see it?
Mrs. Oak. Look you, Mr. Oakly, this usage is not to be borne. You take a pleasure in abusing my tenderness, and soft disposition. To be perpetually running over the whole town, nay, the whole kingdom too, in pursuit of your amours !--Did not I discover, that you was great with mademoiselle, my own woman? Did not you
contract a shameful familiarity with Mrs. Freeman ? Did not I detect your intrigue with Lady Wealthy?Was not you
Oak. Oons! madam, the Grand Turk himself has not half so many mistresses-You throw me out of all patience-Do I know any body but our common friends ?-Am I visited by any body, that does not visit you ?-Do I ever go out, unless you go with me?-And am I not as constantly by your side, as if I was tied to your apron-strings?
Mrs. Ouk. Go, go, you are a false man-Have not I found you out a thousand times? And have not I this moment a letter in my-hand, which convinces me of your baseness ? Let me know the whole affair, or I will
Oak. Let you know? Let me know what you would have of me- You stop my letter before it comes to my hands, and then expect that I should know the contents of it!
Mrs. Oak. Heaven be praised, I stopped it! I suspected some of these doings for some time past-But the letter informs me who she is, and I'll be revenged on her sufficiently. Oh, you base man, you! · Oak. I beg, my dear, that you would moderate your passion !-Show me the letter, and I'll convince you of my innocence..
Mrs. Oak. Innocence !-Abominable !—Innocence ! But I am not to be made such a fool—I am convinced of your perfidy, and very sure that — - Oak. 'Sdeath and fire! your passion hurries you out of your senses- Will you hear me? * Mrs. Oak. No, you are a base man: and I will not hear you. ' . . . ., . Oak. Why then, my dear, since you will neither talk reasonably yourself, nor listen to reason from me, I shall take my leave till you are in a better humour. So, your servant! ..
Mrs. Oak. Ay, go, you cruel man !--Go to your . mistresses, and leave your poor wife to her miseries. - How unfortunate a woman am I!-I could die with vexation
[Throwing herself into a chair. Oak. There it is—Now dare not I stir a step further -If I offer to go, she is in one of her fits in an instant -Never sure was woman at once of so violent and so delicate a constitution! What shall I say to sooth her? Nay, never make thyself so 'uneasy, my dear-Come, come, you know I love you.
Mrs. Oak. I know you hate me; and that your unkindness and barbarity will be the death of me.
[Whining Oak. Do not vex yourself at this rate - I love you most passionately-Indeed I domThis must be some mistake.
Mrs. Oak. Oh, I am an unhappy woman! [Weeping:
Oak. Dry up thy tears, my love, and be comforted ! You will find that I am not to blame in this matter -Come, let me see this letter_ Nay, you shall not deny me.
[Taking the letter. Mrs. Oak. There! take it, you know the hand, I am sure,
Oak. [Reading.) To Charles Oakly, Esq.—Hand ! 'Tis . a clerk-like hand, a good round text ! and was certainly never penned by a fair lady. .
Mrs. Oak. Ay, laugh at me, do!
Oak. Forgive me, my love, I did not mean to laugh at thee But what says the letter!--[Reading.) Daughter eloped—you must be privy to it--scandalous . dishonourable--satisfaction-revenge--um, um, um-injured father,
Mrs. Oak. [Rising.] Well, sir---you see I have detected you-_Tell me this instant where she is. concealed.