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Sir John. You are deceived a little in that particular. Love. You'll find I am in the right.
Sir John. I have some little reason to think other- wise.
Love. You have not declared your passion to her already?
Sir John. Yes, I have.
Love. Indeed !-And-and-and how did she receive it?
Sir John. I think it is not very easy for me to make my addresses to any woman, without receiving some
Love. Encouragement !_did she give you any encouragement?
Sir John. I don't know what you call encouragement. ---but she blushed--and cried-and desired me not to think of it any more :-upon which I pressed her hand -kissed it-swore she was an angel--and I could see it tickled her to the soul.
Love. And did she express no surprise at your declaration ?
Sir John. Why, faith, to say the truth, she was a little surprised -and she got away from me too, before I could thoroughly explain myself. If I should not meet with an opportunity of speaking to her, I must get you to deliver a letter for me.
Love. I!--a letter !—I had rather have nothing- Sir John. Nay, you promised me your assistance, and I am sure you cannot scruple to make yourself useful on such an occasion. You may, without suspi, cion, acquaint her verbally of my determined affection for her, and that I am resolved to ask her father's consent.
Love. As to that, 1-your commands, you know that is, if she- Indeed, Sir John, I think you are in the wrong.
Sir John. Well-well-that's my concern- Ha!
there she goes, by heaven! along that walk yonder, d'ye see! I'll go to her immediately.
Love. You are too precipitate. Consider what you are doing.
Sir John. I would not lose this opportunity for the universe.
Love. Nay, pray don't go! Your violence and eagerness may overcome her spirits.—The shock will be too much for her.
[Detaining him. Sir John. Nothing shall prevent me.—Ha! now she turns into another walk- Let me go! [Breaks from him.] I shall lose her. [Going, turns back.) Be sure now to keep out of the way! If you interrupt us, I shall never forgive you.
[Exit hastily. Lode. 'Sdeath! I can't bear this. In love with my wife! acquaint me with his passion for her! make his addresses before my face !-I shall break out before my time. This was the meaning of Fanny's uneasiness. She could not encourage him-I am sure she could not. -Ha! they are turning into the walk, and coming this way. Shall I leave the place ?-Leave him to solicit my wife! I can't submit to it.— They come nearer and nearer.-If I stay, it will look suspicious-it may betray us, and incense him.-They are here~ I must go+I am the most unfortunate fellow in the world !
Enter Fanny and Sir John. · Fanny. Leave me, Sir John-I beseech you, leave me! Nay, why will you persist to follow me with idle solicitations, which are an affront to my character, and an injury to your own honour?
Sir John. I know your delicacy, and tremble to offend it: but let the urgency of the occasion be my excuse ! Consider, madam, that the future happiness of my life depends on my present application to you! Consider, that this day must determine my fate; and these are
perhaps the only moments left me to incline you to warrant my passion, and to entreat you not to oppose the proposals I mean to open to your father.
Fanny. For shame, for shame, Sir John! Think of your previous engagements! Think of your own situation, and think of mine! What have you discovered in my conduct that might encourage you to so bold a declaration? I am shocked that you should venture to say so much, and blush that I should even dare to give it a hearing.–Let me be gone.
Sir John. Nay, stay, madam, but one moment. Your sensibility is too great.-Engagements! what engagements have been pretended on either side, more than those of family convenience? I went on in the trammels of a matrimonial negociation, with a blind submission to your father and Lord Ogleby; but my heart soon claimed a right to be consulted. It has devoted itself to you, and obliges me to plead earnestly for the same tender interest in your's..
Fanny. Have a care, Sir John! do not mistake a depraved will for a virtuous inclination. By these common pretences of the heart half our sex are made fools, and a greater part of your's despise them for it.
Sir John. Affection, you will allow, is involuntary. We cannot always direct it to the object on which it should fix-but when it is once inviolably attached inviolably as inine is to you, it often creates reciprocal affection. When I last urged you on this subject, you heard me with more temper, and I hoped with some compassion.
Panny. You deceived yourself. If I forbore to exert a proper spirit; nay, if I did not even express the quickest resentment at your behaviour, it was only in consideration of that respect I wish to pay you, in honour to my sister; and be assured, sir, woman as I am, that my vanity could reap no pleasure from a triumph that must result from the blackest treachery to her.
Sir John. One word, and I have done. [Stopping her.] -Your sister, I verily believe, neither entertains any real affection for me, or tenderness for you. Your father, I am inclined to think, is not much concerned by means of which of his daughters the families are · united. Now, as they cannot, shall not be connected,
otherwise than by my union with you, why will you, from a false delicacy, oppose a measure so conducive to my happiness, and, I hope, your own? I love you, most passionately and sincerely love you—and hope to propose terms agreeable to Mr. Sterling :-If then you don't absolutely loathe, abhor, and scorn me if there is no other happier man
Fanny. Hear me, sir; hear my final determination.Were my father and sister as insensible as you are pleased to represent them ;-were my heart for ever to remain disengaged to any other, I could not listen to your proposals.- What! you on the very eve of a marriage with my sister; I living under the same roof with her, bound not only by the laws of friendship and hospitality, but even the ties of blood, to contribute to her happiness, and not to conspire against her peace; the peace of a whole family, and that of my own too ! -Away, away, Sir John! - At such a time, and in such circumstances, your addresses only inspire me with horror.–Nay, you must detain me no longerI will go.
Sir John. Do not leave me in absolute despair ! Give me a glimpse of hope ! [Falling on his knees. Fanny. I cannot.—Pray, Sir John!
[Struggling to go. Sir John. Shall this hand be given to another? [Kissing her hand.] No, I cannot endure it.—My whole soul is yours, and the whole happiness of my life is in your power.
Enter Miss STERLING. . Fanny. Ha! my sister is here. Rise, for shame, Sir John. Sir John. Miss Sterling!
[Rising. Miss Sterl. I beg pardon, sir !-You'll excuse me, madam! I have broke in upon you a little unopportunely, I believe-but I did not mean to interrupt you-I only came, sir, to let you know that breakfast waits, if you have finished your morning's devotions.
Sir John. I am very sensible, Miss Sterling, that this may appear particular, but
Miss Sterl. O dear, Sir John, don't put yourself to the trouble of an apology—the thing explains itself.
Sir John. It will soon, madam.-In the meantime, I can only assure you of my profound respect and esteem for you, and make no doubt of convincing Mr. Sterling of the honour and integrity of my intentions.And_and—your humble servant, madam!
[Exit in confusion. Miss Sterl. Respect !-Insolence !--Esteem !-Very fine, truly !- And you, madam! my sweet, delicate, innocent, sentimental sister! will you convince my papa too of the integrity of your intentions ?
Funny. Do not upbraid me, my dear sister! Indeed I don't deserve it. Believe me, you can't be more of. fended at his behaviour than I am, and I am sure it cannot make you half so miserable.
Miss Sterl. Make me miserable! You are mightily deceived, madam; it gives me no sort of uneasiness, I assure you.—A base fellow !-As for you, miss, the pretended softness of your disposition, your artful goodnature, never imposed upon me. I always knew you to be sly, and envious, and deceitful.
Fanny. Indeed you wrong me.
Miss Sterl. Oh, you are all goodness, to be sure!Did not I find him on his knees before you? Did not I