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great world; no one would blame me, were I to suffer Woodville to ruin himself, as the shortest way of fixing my own fortune, and obtaining my lord's approbation of your choice. But, I know not how it happened, that, when a mere boy, I took it into my head, truth was as much to the purpose as lying; and, as I never got into more scrapes than others, why, I still pursue my system, and prefer honour to art. Then, if we fail, we have something better to console us than a pond or pistol ; and, if we succeed, what is there wanting to our happiness?
Miss Mor, And how do you mean to manage her escape?
Capt. Har. That, my dearest, is the difficulty. I found she had seen you, and, therefore, was obliged to satisfy her of my honour, by assuring her you would call for her in person.
Miss Mor. Very well; we must carefully watch our opportunity. You dine here—the word of command you are accustomed to obey, but you must now become obedient to the look ; for, you know, I have my difficul. ties, however strong my desire of obliging you.
Scene I.-A magnificent Drawing-Room. Miss Mortimer pouring out coffee, sends it to the com
pany; Captain HARCOURT leans against a pannel near · her, sipping it; at a little distance, the GOVERNOR and
WOODVILLE playing at backgammon, while LORD GLENMORE leans over his chair, thoughtfully observing the behaviour of his son, who loses merely to make his uncle leave off.
Capt. Har. It grows near the appointed hour, my love !--but how to make sure of Woodville?
Miss Mor. You should have thought of that before, my sagacious confidant! However, as I do not need your company, fasten it upon him ;-pretend a duel,pretend an intrigue ;-in short, if all else fails, pretend you are dying, and keep him to make your will, rather. than suffer him to interrupt me.
Lord G. [To himself.] What way can I secure the absence of this son of mine? For, I see plainly, another lucky hit would almost provoke him into throwing the dice in the governor's face; yet Vane, I doubt, has hardly been able to procure me every convenience in so short a time. However, I will make one of my own garrets his minx's prison, rather than suffer her to interfere with my serious views.
Goo. [Rising from play.] Zounds, Frank! you are like the French ; so ready to be beat, that there is hardly any triumph in conquering you. But you shall take your revenge, I insist upon it.
Wood. Another time, sir;—my head achs ;-myin short, I cannot play any longer; my cousin will engage with you.
Capt. Har. [Twitching his sleeve.] Kind sir, your cousin is infinitely indebted to you ; but he, like yourself, may have something else to do; and so indeed has every body, for we all seem impatient to separate.
Miss Mor. [To the Servant, removing coffee.] Bid
Lord G. Going abroad, my dear?
Miss Mor. Sweetly contrived, that, however; and my lover seems posed [Aside to Harcourt.]—I will not so severely tax Mr. Woodville's politeness, my lord.
Wood. You are very obliging, madam ;-[To HAR. court.] and the only thing she has said or done to oblige me this day, entre nous.
Capt. Har. [Aside.] Um, not quite sure of that, if
you knew all.-[Turning to Miss MORTIMER.] I will march off quietly, and lie in wait for Woodville, so that I think you may depend on his not meeting you.
[Goes off unobserved.-WOODVILLE, having
taken his hat and sword, offers his hand to
Miss MORTIMER.) Lord G. So, he is going to escape !—They all take pleasure in perplexing me.-Frank, return to me di. rectly ; I have bethought myself of something very important, in which I need your assistance.
Wood. Would I had bethought myself of vanishing, like Harcourt !-How devilishly vexatious!
. [Leads Miss MORTIMER off. Gov. So, there goes madam, to coquet, curtesy, and talk nonsense with every well-dressed ape of either sex. Before I would allow a girl such a freedom
Lord G. Brother, do not judge till you know her; and give me leave to tell you, these prejudices of your temper will render you very ridiculous.
Gov. The prejudices of my temper! Oh, lord ! oh, lord! this is an excellent jest. Zounds! because you have not the use of your eyes
Lord G. I shall never have patience !-My head is just now full of something too important, to examine which of us is most in the wrong.--I am fixed on removing this ambitious minx of my son's for ever out of his reach immediately. Will you oblige me with the company of your servants ? Being slaves, they will not dare reveal the affair; and, were they so inclined, can hardly comprehend it.
Gov. Will I? Ay, that I will! and with my own company into the bargain !
Lord G. Hist! He returns; and if we may judge by his countenance, mortified enough to lose the evening away from her.
Re-enter Woodville. -Go, my dear Frank, first to Puzzle's chambers, for the mortgage of Hayfield-house, and don't fail to learn his whole opinion upon the subject;-[Aside to the GoVERNOR.]—and that will take two long hours, by a very moderate computation ;—then proceed to the London Tavern, and ask if Levi, the Jew, waits there hy my appointment; otherwise, do you wait there till either he or I join you.
Wood. A pretty round-about employment my father has invented for me! And I dạre not give the least symptoms of disgust, lest that troublesome old uncle of mine should pry into the cause. [Aside.]I shall observe your orders, my lord,—though if the devil has called upon the counsellor a little before this time, I shall consider it as an eternal obligation. [Exit.
Lord G. Now I must inquire after Vane. (Exit.
Gov. And I will give a little lecture to my myrmidons, and wait, with them, your pleasure.—Od, it will be precious sport, to catch madam so unawares, and see her play off every virtuous grimace with which she entangled young 'Scape-grace. [Exeunt, severally.
Scene II.— The Hall.
Enter Vant, looking about. Vane. Hey-day! sure his old-fashioned lordship has not employed two of us on one errand !- An old man has been hovering about madam's house, and has followed me here, without my knowing what to make of him ! However, ears befriend me! [Retires listening. Enter the Governor, and his Black Servants soon after.
Goo. Here, Antony, Pompey, Cæsar! you dogs! be ready to attend my lord and me on a little expedition.
No, no flambeaus, boobies !—the chaste Miss Diana will surely take a spiteful pleasure in lighting us to catch another kind of miss.-And, do ye hear? not one syllable of the when, where, or how; except you intend to dangle on one string like a bunch of black grapes.
[Talks to them apart.
Enter Grey. Grey. It is here, I am at length informed, the father of this abandoned seducer resides.—Yet, what redress can poverty hope from pride ?-Surely, however, for his own sake he will assist me in regaining the poor girl, and afterwards prevent the wretch from pursuing her !—There I suppose he is !—My lord !
Goo. [Turns short upon him.] Well, old Sturdy! what do you want with my lord ? · Grey. Merciful heaven! the father of Cecilia.
Vane. [Listening:) Hey ?-indeed ! Grey. Oh! how my heart misgives me !—Perhaps this base Woodville-her very brother
Gov. What! is the old man ill ?-Sure I know this honest it is not yet it is—Grey ?
Grey. The same indeed, my lord.
Gov. No my lord, to me, man! my name is Harcourt.
Grey. Blessed be heaven for that, however!
Gov. Be not righteous over-much! for that my name is Harcourt, I do not reckon among the first favours of heaven.-But, ha, ha! perhaps you thought I had no name at all by this time?-Faith, I put a pretty trick upon- Well, well, well !—[to the blacks]—you may retire till my lord is ready.
[Exeunt. I am a riddle, honest Grey! but now I am come to expound myself, and make thy fortune into the bargain. -It is many a long day since I saw old England. But at last I am come home with a light heart and a heavy purse, design to fetch up my Cicely, give her