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a morning, tea of an evening -Come, honest Robert; I'll give you a lease of a good farm. What say you? A lease for your life-Well, well !-you may take your wife's life into the bargain. Well
Rob. Believe me, Sir John, I never saw
Sir John. I'll add your child's life. Come, speak out -your own life, your wife's life, and your child's!~ Now ! now! a lease for three lives! Now, Robert !
Rob. As I hope for mercy, I never saw any such a gentleman.
Sir John. Robert, Robert, you are bribed by my wife. Rob. No, as I am a sinner, sir.
Sir John. And the worst of sinners you will be, if you are a confederate in this plot against my peace and honour. Reflect on that, Robert.
Enter a FOOTMAN. Foot. Pray, does not Sir John Restless live somes where hereabout?
Sir John. He does, friend; what is your business with him?
Foot. My business is with his lady. .
[Asida. Foot. I have a letter here for my Lady Restless, sir. Sir John. A letter for my lady!—from whom, pray? Foot. From my Lord Conquest. '
Sir John. My Lord Conquest ! Very well, friend:. you may give the letter to me. I am Sir John Restless : that there is my house. Let me have the letter: I will take care of it.
Foot. I was ordered to deliver it into my lady's own hand.
Sir John. The devil you was ! I must have the letter. I'll buy it of the rascal. [Aside.]-Here, take this for your trouble, friend-[Gives him money.)--and I'll take care of the letter. Foot. I bumbly thank your honour.
Sir John. Now, now, now; let me see what this is. Now, my Lady Restless; now, false one, now.[Reads.]
My Lady Conquest being gone into the country for a few days, I have judged it proper to send a speedy answer to your's, und to assure you, for your peace of mind, that you need not entertain the least suspicion of Marmalet, my lady's woman. She has lived some years in my family, and I know her by experience to be an honest, trusty girl, incapable of making mischief between your ladyship and Sir John.
I have the honoar to be,
CONQUEST. So! so! so !-Marmalet is a trusty girl! one that will not make mischief between man and wife ! that is to say, she will discover nothing against my Lady Restless! for her peace of mind he lets madam know all this too! She may go on boldly now; my Lady Coną quest is gone into the country, Marmalet is trusty, and my lord has given her the most speedy notice. Very well! very well! proofs thicken upon proofs. Shall I go directly and challenge his lordship ?-No-no-that won't do. Watch him closely, that will do better. If I could have a word in private with the maid-Robert, Robert, come hither. Step to my Lord Conquest's — but with caution proceed-inquire there for Marmalet, the maid.
Rob. I know her, sir.
[Aside, Rob. She visits our Tattle, sir.
Sir John. Visits our Tattle ! m it is a plain case, [Aside.]-Inquire for that girl ; but with caution : tell her to meet me privately; unknown to any body ; in the dusk of the evening; in the Birdcage Walk, yonder.
Rob. I will, sir.
Sir John. And don't let Tattle see her. Tattle has engaged her in her mistress's interest. I see how it is. Don't let any of my servants see her: go directly, Robert. Now shall I judge what regard you have for me. But, harkye : come hither! a word with you. Should it be known that this girl converses with me; should my lady have the least item of it, they will be upon their guard. Let her come wrapped up in darkness : concealed from every observer, with a mask on. Ay, let it be with a mask.
Rob. A mask, Sir John? Won't that make her be remarked the more?
Sir John. No, no, let her come masked; I will make every thing sure. Robert, bring this about for me, and I am your friend for ever. .
Rob. I will do my endeavour, sir. .. [Exit,
Sir John. I'll now take a turn round the Park, and try if I can find the minion this picture belongs to. .
. .. [Erit. Enter BEVERLEY and BellMONT. Beo. Yes, they had almost surprised us : but at sight of her father, Belinda gave the word, and away I darted down towards the canal.
Bell. Was Sir William with him?
Bev. Yes; they had been plotting our ruin. But we shall out-officer them, it is to be hoped.
Bell. Yes; and it is also to be feared, that we shall
Beo. Hey! you alarm me; no new mine sprung!
Bell. Nothing but the old story. Our wise fathers are determined. At the turning of yonder corner, they came. both full tilt upon Clarissa and me.
Bev. Well, and how! what passed ?
Bell. Why, they were scarcely civil to your sister. Sir William fixed his surly eye upon me for some time:
at last he began : “ You will run counter to my will,
I see : you will be ever dangling after that girl: but Mr. Blandford and I have agreed upon the match : and then he peremptorily commanded me to take my leave of Clarissa, and fix my heart upon your Belinda.
Bev. And did you so?
Bell. And did you so ? How can you ask such a question? Sir, says I, I must see the lady home; and off I-marched, arm in arm with her, my father bawling after me, and I bowing to him, “ Sir, your humble servant, I wish you a good morning, sir." He continued calling out: I kissed my hand to him; and so we made our escape.
Beo. And where have you left Clarissa ?
Beo. Well! and do you both continue in the same mind; is to-morrow to be your wedding-day?
Bell. Now are you conjuring up a thousand horrid fancies to torment yourself. But don't be alarmed, my dear Beverley. I shall leave you your Belinda, and content myself with the honour of being your brotherin-law.
Bev. Sir, the honour will be to me- But uneasy! ha! ha! 10—no- I am not uneasy ; nor shall I ever be so again.
Bell. Keep that resolution, if you can. Do you dine with us at the club?
Beo. With all my heart: I'll attend you.
Bell. That's right; let us turn towards the Mall, and saunter there till dinner.
Beo. No, I can't go that way yet. I must inquire how Belinda does, and what her father said to her. . have not seen her since we parted in the morning,
Bell. And now, according to custom, you will make her an apology for leaving her, when there was an absolute necessity for it; and you'll fall to an explanation of circumstances, that require no explanation at all, and
refine upon things, and torment yourself and her into the bargain.
Beo. Nay, if you begin with your raillery, I am off: your servant; a l'honneur.
: [Exit. Bell. Poor Beverley Though a handsome fellow, and of some agreeable talents, he has such a strange diffidence in himself, and such a solicitude to please, that he is every moment of his life most ingeniously elaborating his own uneasiness.
Enter Sir John. · Sir John. Not yet, not yet; nobody like it as yet. Ha! who is that hovering about my house ?-If that should be he now !-I'll examine him nearer- Pray, sir— what the devil shall I say ?- Pray, sir
Sir John. I beg pardon for troubling you, sir; but pray, what o'clock is it by your watch?
Bell. By my watch, sir !—I'll let you know in a moment. Sir John. Let me examine him now
[Looks at him, and then at the picture, Bell. Egad, I am afraid my watch is not right : it must be later.
. [Looking at his watch. Sir John. It is not like him
[Comparing the picture. Bell. It does not go, I am afraid. [Puts it to his ear. Sir John. The eye- No!
Bell. Well, sir, by my watch it wants a quarter of three.
Sir John. It is not he: and yet-no-no-no-I am still to seek.
Sir John. Here comes another; they are all swarming about my house.