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Vane. Noa, not I.
Jac. Od rabbit it! I thought ev'ry muortal zoul had knawd zhe.- Well, Nan and I ware such near neighbors, there ware only a barn between us;-she ware a desperate zmart lass, that's the truth on't: and I had half a moind to teake to feyther's business, and marry zhe:—but ecod the zimpletony grow'd so fond, that some how or other, I ware tired first! when behold you, zquire takes a fancy to me, and made I cuome and live at the hall; and as my head run all on tuown, when aw comed up to London, aw brought I wi’un : zo I thought to get rid that way of the bullocking of Nan.
Vane. But, Jacob, how didst get into thic foine house?
Jac. Dang it, doan't I zeay, I'll tell thee presentZoa, as I ware zaying, -one holiday I went to zee thic there church, wi’the top like a huge punch bowl turned auver; and, dang it! who should arrive in the very nick, but madam Nan- Well, huome comes I as merry as a cricket ;-zquire caals for I in a muortal hurry; when who should I zee, but madam Nan on her marrowbones a croying for dear loife !-dang it, I thought at first I should ha zwounded ;-zo a made a long zarmant about 'ducing a poor girl, and zaid I should zartainly go to the divil for it, and then turned I off. But the best fun is to come, mun ;-rabbit me! if aw did not teake Nan into keeping himself; and zhe do flaunt it about, as foine as a duchess!
Vane. A mighty religious moral gentleman, truly! [Aside.] Well, how came you to this pleace?
Jac. Why, Meay-day, walking in Common Garden to smell the pozeys, who should I zee but our Bridget ? -I was muortal glad to zee her, you must needs think, and zhe got I this here pleace.
Vane. Wounds! dost live wi' a lord in this foine house?
Jac. Noa; a leady, you fool! but such a leady, zuch a dear, easy, good-natur'd creature !-zhe do never say noa, let we do what we wull.
Vane. Now to the point, (Aside.]—Is your lady married ?
Jac. Noa: but she's as good ; and what'st think, mun? -to a lord's zon!--tho'if a ware a king, aw would not be too good for zhe.- A muortal fine comely mon too, who do love her, as aw do the eyes in his head. Couzin Bridget do tell I, zhe zeed a letter where aw do zay aw wull ha her any day of the week, whatever do come o'th' next.—Why I warrant they have 'pointed wed. ding day!
Vane. The devil they have! my lord will go mad at this news.
[Aside. Jac. Lauk a deazy! how merry we will be on that day! Wo't come and junket wi' us ?
Vane. Yes, yes, I shall certainly make one among you,-either then or before ; [Aside.)—but now I must goa and give this geame to zquire-zquire—what the dickens be his neame! I do always forget it,—there zhould be a ticket somewhere :-zoa,-rabbit me! if some of your London fauk ha' no' cut it off, out o' fun!
Jac. Ha, ha, ha! ecod, nothing more likelier-[Both laugh foolishly.] The rum people be zo sharp as needles. -But there's no pleace like it for all that I be set upon living and dying in it.
Vane. Now to secure my return if necessary. [Aside. ] -I'll tell thee what, Jacob! seeing as how I ha' lost thic there direction, do thee teake the basket: 'tis only a present of geame from the parson o' our parish ; and if zo be I can't find the gentleman, why 'tis honestly mine.- Meay be I'll come, and teake a bit oʻsupper wi' ye.
Jac. Wull ye indeed ?-dang it! that's clever; and then you'll see our Bridget. She's a mortal zmart lass, I promise ye !-and, meay be, may’st get a peap at my leady, who's desperate handsome!-Good bye t'ye.Bridget's zo comical !-odd rabbit it, we'll be main merry.
[Erit. Vane alone. Vane. Thus far I have succeeded to admiration ! our young heir has really a mind to play the fool and marry his mistress !-tho', faith, màrrying his own does not seem very inexcusable, when so many of his equals modestly content themselves with the cast-offs of half their acquaintance.
Scene 111.-An Apartment in Cecilia's House.
Enter Bridget. Brid. So, just the old story again! crying, crying for ever!-Lord, if I was a man, I should hate such a whimpering--what would she have, I wonder? to refuse such a handsome, genteel, good-natur'd man !and, I'll be sworn, he offer'd to marry her; for I listened with all my ears !-oh, that he would have me now!-I should become my own coach purdigiously, that's a sure thing. Hay, who knocks?
Brid. No no, no ;-that's not so easy to find.- What can any man want with her ? show him in here, Jacob.
Jac. [Returning in a kind of glee.] When shall we have the wedding, Bridget?
Brid. We shall have a burying first, I believe. ..
Jac. Od rabbit it! we won't be their seconds there, faith!
[Exit. Brid. Now, if he mistakes me for my lady, I shall find out what he wants.
Enter Captain Harcourt, disguised, with Jacob. . Capt. Har. (Surveying her.]— Is that your lady?
Jac. He, he, he! lauk, zur, don't you know that's our Bridget?
Brid. So, deuce on him, there's my whole scheme spoilt !—My lady, sir, is engaged; but, if you tell me your business, it will do just as well.
Capt. Har. For yourself it may, child! (Chucks her under the chin.)
Brid. What, you belong to Mr. Gargle, the apothecary? or come from the jeweller on Ludgate-hill? or have a letter from
Capt. Har. [Interrupting. her.]-The very person; you have hit it. And now, do me the favour to tell your lady, a stranger wishes to speak to her on particular business.
Brid. Very well, sir :-was ever handsome man so crabbed !
Capt. Har. Egad, if the mistress have half as much tongue as the maid, Woodville may catch me in the midst of my first speech. Now for my credentials ! and here she comes !-a lovely girl, indeed! I can scarce blame Frank, for she awes me.
Enter Cecilia, followed officiously by Bridget. Cec. I was informed, sir, you had particular business with me.
Capt. Har. I took the liberty, madam,—I say, madam,
Cec. As I have neither friends nor relations in London, (Sighs.] I am at a loss to guess
Capt. Har. What I would communicate, madam, requires secresy. .
Cec. Bridget, go where I ordered you just now.
Brid. Yes, madam ;-but if I an't even with you for this
(Exit. Cec. I complied with your request, sir, without enVOL. III.
quiring the motive; because you, I think, can have only one-My father, if I may trust my heart, has made you his messenger to an unwilling offender.
Capt. Har. Pardon me, madam, but I refer you to this.
Being certainly informed Mr. Woodville is on the point of marrying a lady chosen by his friends, when it is presumed you will be disengaged, a nobleman of rank, and estate above what he can ever possess, is thus early in laying his heart and fortune at your feet, lest some more lucky rival should anticipate him The bearer is authorized to disclose all particulars, and offer you a settlement worthy your acceptance.— Deign, madam, to listen to him on the subject, and you will find the unknown lover as generous and not less constant than Woodville.
Cec. Good heavens! to what an insult have I exposed myself!
[She bursts into tears, and sinks into a chair, without
minding HARCOURT; who watches her with irre
solution.] Capt. Har. What can I think ?-there is an air of injur'd delicacy in her, which teaches me to reproach myself for a well-meant deceit.— If, madam,
Cec. I had forgot this wretch. [Rises.] Return, sir, to your vile employer; tell him, whoever he is, I am too sensible of the insult, though not entitled to resent it-tell him, I have a heart above my situation, and that he has only had the barbarous satisfaction of adding another misery to those which almost overwhelmed me before.
Capt. Har. Hear me, madam, I conjure you!
(Struggling to go off. Capt. Har. Nay, you shall- You do not know half