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the good consequences of this letter; I am the friend, the relation of Woodville-my name Harcourt!
Cec. Is it possible he should be so cruel, so unjust
Capt. Har. He is neither cruel nor unjust, but only unfortunate.--Hear-He designs to marry you; this I learnt from himself only this morning. As a proof of my sincerity, I will own I doubted your right to that mark of his esteem, and made this trial in consequence. Pleas'd to find you worthy of his rank, I feel shock'd at reminding you, you ought not to share it. But, madam, if you truly love him, you cannot wish that, to be just to you, he should be unjust to those who have a prior right over him.- This shall positively be my last effort.
[Aside. Cec. A motive like your's, sir, will excuse any thing. How little my happiness, honour, or interest, ever weighed against his, need not be repeated. Far be it from me now to disgrace him; he is apprized of my invincible objections to a match which will never take place. May he form a happier, while I by a voluntary poverty expiate my offence!
Capt. Har. Ma-Ma- what the devil choaks me so?-I am struck with your sentiments, and must find you a proper asylum. The moment I saw you, I had hopes such manners could not veil an immoral heart. I have proved your sincerity, and owe a reparation to your delicacy. The proposed bride of Woodville is every way worthy that distinction ; nor am I without hopes even she will be prevailed on to protect you.-But I must not leave a doubt of my sincerity :-do you know Miss Mortimer?
Cec. I have seen the lady, sir. But dare I credit my senses ?-has heav'n form'd two such hearts, and for me ?
Capt. Har. With her, your story will be buried for ever: and, I think, the sooner you disappear, the more easily will you prevent Woodville's disobedience. I will open the affair to Miss Mortimer directly, and, if she acquiesces, desire her to call for you in person, to prevent the possibility of any artifice. : Cec. He, who inspir'd such sentiments, alone can reward them ! Oh, sir, you have raised a poor despond: ing heart; but it shall be the business of my future life to deserve those favours I can never half repay.
Capt. Har. I find, by punishing me with acknowledge ments, you are resolved to be obliged to me. The time is too precious to be wasted on such trifles. At seven, you shall have certain intelligence of my success ; employ the interim to the best advantage, and hope every thing from daring to deserve well. [Erit.
Cecilia alone. . Cec. Astonishing interposition of heaven !-HopeWhat have I to hope?-but let the consciousness of acting rightly support me in the sad moment of renouncing Woodville; and, in him, all that rendered life desirable.
Scene IV.-Lord Glenmore's House.
LORD GLENMORE and Vane. Lord G. And are you sure of all this?
Vane. Absolutely, my lord; I have known the bumpkin, her footman, from the height of his own club.
Lord G. What a cursed infatuation !-these are the comforts of children !-our fears beginning, from the moment our power ends ;-the happiest of fathers is not to be envied ;-I know not what to resolve on!
Vane. If I may be permitted to advise, my lord-
Vane. If you don't like my advice, I shall give you my opinion very shortly.--A crusty crab!
Lord G. This is the certain consequence of entrusting low people !-and yet there is no doing without them.— I can never master my feelings enough to speak properly to Woodville on the subject, therefore must fix on some other method—[Pauses. ]—That's a sure one, and falls heavy on the artful, aspiring creature only !-Vane!-
Re-enter Vane. Could not you procure me a travelling-chaise, and four stout fellows, immediately?
Vane. To be sure, my lord, I can order a chaise at any inn, if you choose it.
Lord G. Pho, pho!-don't put on that face;-you must go through with this thing like a man.—Here's something for the share you have already had in it.Do what I have ordered, and wait near the Horse Guards in about an hour; when I shall seize this insolent baggage, and convey her out of my son's reach. - You gave me a high-flown account of her;-and, as you are a smart young fellow, and she must at least be pretty, if we can contrive to frighten her into taking you as a husband, it will end all my fears, and shall be the making of your fortune.
Vane. 'Gad, I like the project well.-A handsome wife is the best bait, when we fish for preferment and this gives me a double claim both on father and son [Aside.] -Nothing but the profound respect I have for your lordship, could induce me to think of this;—though born without rank and fortune, I have a soul, my lord
Lord G. Come, come, my good lad! I guess what you would say ; but we have no time for speeches.I have set my heart on the success of this project; and you shall find your interest in indulging me.
[Exeunt different ways:
Scene V.—Miss Mortimer's Apartment.
Capt. Har. If I were to judge of your temper by your looks, my dear, I should say it was uncommonly sweet this morning. : Miss Mor. A truce with compliment; I must, in reason, renounce dear flattery after marriage.
Capt. Har. To flattery you never paid court; but the language of the heart and the world will, sometimes, resemble.—I ought, however, to praise your temper, for I am come to try itand give you a noble oppor, tunity of exerting its benevolence.
Miss Mor. A benevolence you certainly doubt, by this studied eulogium.
Cupt. Har. I might, did I not know it well.-In short, my love, I have taken the strangest step this morningMiss Mor. What step, for heaven's sake? . Capt. Har. In regard to a lady. Miss-Mor. Not another wife, I hope? Capt. Har. No,-only a mistress.Miss Mor. Oh, a trifle! a trifle !
Capt. Har. You may laugh, madam, but I am serious; and a fine girl she is; nay, to show you I have not read Chesterfield in vain, I have robbed my dearest friend of her; in plain English, Woodville has a mistress he doats on so madly, as even to intend marrying her.Imagining her, like most of her stamp, only an artful interested creature, I paid her a visit as a stranger, with an offer which must have unveiled her heart, had it been base;—but I found her, on the contrary, a truly noble-minded girl, and far above her present situation, which she earnestly wishes to quit.-In short, my dear, I thought it prudent to part them; and, in your name, offered her an asylum.
Miss Mor. In my name! you amaze me, Mr. Har.
court! Would you associate your wife with a kept mistress ? bring such an acquisition into the house of Lord Glenmore, and deprive Woodville of, perhaps, his only reason for not interfering with us ?-Do you think I credit this sudden acquaintance?
Capt. Har. I deceived myself, I find ;-I thought you above such low suspicion, that you could make distinctions.
Miss Mor. Yes, yes, I can make distinctions more clearly than you wished. You must excuse my interference in this affair, sir; and let me hint to you, that your own will do as little credit to your heart as to your understanding.
Capt. Har. Mighty well, madam; go on! Settle this with respect to yourself, but do not be concerned about me; for, in one word, if you cannot resolve on protecting this poor unfortunate, I will!
Miss Mor. [Aside.] That must not be; yet his warmth alarms me.- Nay but, my dear, think deliberately! Supposing her all you say, the world judges by actions, not thoughts, and will bury her merit in her situation. · Capt. Har. It is that cruel argument perpetuates error in so many of your frail sex; be the first to rise above it. That you are in Lord Glenmore's house will be your justification, both to the world and himself; for what but a generous motive can actuate you? In my eyes, my dear Sophia, virtue never looks so lovely as when she stretches out her hand to the fallen!
Miss Mor. Oh, Harcourt! I am ashamed of my suspicion ; I ought to have known all the candour and generosity of your heart, and received, in a moment, the unhappy woman it patronized ;-yet, at this crisis, in our own affairs to run the chance of further exasperating my benefactor
Capt. Har. I am not to learn, that friendship and love have been mere masks to fraud and folly in the