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Vane. Ahey! miss will be, as much too complying in a minute.- Well, then, my dear! I must marry you, or you will still be in the power of your enemies. · Brid. Hey?-what? do I hear rightly? marry me? -[Aside.] Why, this will be the luckiest day's work I ever did !--Nay, sir, if you should be so generous, I hope I shall live to make you amends.
Vane. [Aside.] The only amends you can make me, is by dying.–And now, my dear! I will own to you, I have the license in my pocket; and my lord, as eager as myself—Our chaplain will do us the favour with more expedition than he says grace before meat! Well done, Vane! egad, thy lucky star predominates !
no [Aside-takes her arm. Brid. Surely my locking up does end very comical.
[Exeunt, arm in arm.
Scene II.-The Drawing-room. Miss Mortimer and Captain Harcourt. Miss Mor. Woodville is now with his father, and both in the decisiye mood.- Oh, Charles! as the moment approaches nearer, your influence becomes insensibly less powerful:—the frantic fits of the Governor; the solemn absurdity of my lord, -but, above all, the behaviour of Woodyille, hurts and alarms me!-still cautious not to offend his father, he had tried ev'ry way to extort the refusal from me; but, by a pardonable equivocation, I left him hopeless, and assured him I should, to the utmost of my power, obey my benefactor-Why, why did you marry one, who could give you nothing but her heart !
Capt. Har. I shall not answer, till you can name me an equivalent–Trust to my management, my dear Sophia.- I still flatter myself, one storm will settle the tenor of our lives-If not; while acquitted to heaven, the world, and ourselves, we may struggle with spirit against fortune; and sometimes owe our dearest enjoyments to her fluctuations.
Miss Mor. By sentiments like these you won my very soul; and to retain for ever a heart so invaluable, I have ventured the displeasure of my benefactor : but our hearts will not always follow the lead of our reason, nor, when I consider the cause, can I repeut the deviation of mine.
Capt. Har. Think, if you pity yourself, what you can give to Cecilia; and fortify her mind against too strong a sense of her frailty. For my part, I must watch whatever is going on.
Miss Mor. So you leave me out of the plot?- Well, if it ends happily, I shall be contented; and, like the world, measuring your merit by your success, will declare you a most inimitable schemer.--Adieu !
Capt. Hur. Nay, stay a moment. Miss Mor. Not for the world ; for here comes your uncle, with a face more petrifying than Medusa's. (Exit.
Enter the Governor, musing. Gov. I have lived fifty-eight years, five months, and certain odd days, to find out I am a fool at last; but I will live as many more, before I add the discovery that I am a knave too.
Capt. Har. What the devil can he be now hatching? ---mischief, I fear.
Gov. Dear Fortune! let me escape this once undis. covered, and I compound for all the rest.-Charles, the news of the house for the politics of this family are employment for ev'ry individual in it.
Capt. Har. Bella, horrida bella, sir!-My lord is determined to bring his son's duty to an immediate test.[Aside.] Thanks to his friend's schemes and his mistress's beauty!
Gov. What poor malicious wretches are we by
nature !--Zounds, if I could not find in my heart to rejoice at thivking every one here will be as mortified and disappointed, as a certain person that shall be nameless.-So, so, here they come, faith, to argue the point in open court.
Enter Lord GLENMORE, followed by WOODVILLE. Lord G. Without this proof of your obedience, all you can urge, sir, is ineffectual.
Wood. While obedience was possible, I never swerv'd, my lord ; but, when you command me to make myself wretched, a superior duty cancels that :-already bound by a voluntary, an everlasting vow, I cannot break it without offending heaven, nor keep it without offending you.
Gov. [Aside.] What's this ?--Chopp'd about again!
Wood. Did you once know the incomparable merits of my love, even your lordship's prejudices must give way to your reason.
Lord G. Mere dotage.- Doesn't her conduct equally evince her folly and depravity?
Wood. Cover'd, as I ought to be, with confusion and remorse, I will own she was seduced and deceived.
Goo. [Aside.) Ah, poor boy !-one of the two was woefully deceived, sure enough.
Lord G. Oh, your conscience may be very easy on that account; it could not require much art to deceive such an idiot.
Gov. No, no, my lord! Why paint the devil blacker than he is ? Not an idiot, neither.
Wood. Sir, my father's freedom of speech I must endure ;—but your's
Goo. You must endure too, young sir, or I shall bite my tongue off.
Wood. But, my lord, that dear unhappy girl is no longer a subject of debate. She evidently proves her merit by her flight.
Lord G. Would you make a virtue from not doing ill, when it is no longer in your power?- Wood ville! I was once weak enough to believe indulgence the surest way of obtaining your duty and esteem. My eyes are at last opened-Miss Mortimer is worthy a better husband; but you are her's, or no son of mine.- I solemnly promised this to her dying father, and will acquit myself at all events.
Wood. Can you resolve to sacrifice me to a promise made before we could judge of each other?-You never felt, sir, the compulsion you practise.—Will you dissolve the first band of morality; and see your highlyestimated title end in me? for never will I on these terms continue it.
Lord G. I almost wish I never had continued it.[Walks in anger.] I am determined, Woodville ! and nothing but Miss Mortimer's refusal can break the match.
Wood. I shall not put that in her power, my lord. Permit me to tell you, no son was ever more sensible of a father's kindness : but, if I can purchase its continuance only with my honour and my happiness, it would be too dearly bought. · Lord G. 'Tis well, sir.--I have listened to you suffi. ciently. Now hear me. Know, this worthless wretch you prefer to your duty, is in my power; nay, in this house.
Capt. Har. [Aside.] The devil she is! How in the name of ill-luck should he find that. out? -My fine scheme entirely blown up, by Jupiter!
Wood. Why play thus upon me, my lord :-Her letter
Lord G. What, has she wrote to you ? - That I was not aware of, nor indeed suspected she could write.
Gov. No, not so ignorant as that neither. I ordered she should write too!
Lord G. You order'd she should write ?-Let me tell you, sir, it was wronging my confidence !
Goo. No, I did not order she should write ;-I mean, -I mean,--sounds! I don't know what I mean!
Wood. So it seems, indeed, since hardly half an hour ago my uncle himself persuaded me to marry my love. Gov. Here's a cursed affair now!
Lord G. Can this be possible? Let me tell you, Governor, if, presuming upon your wealth, you play a double part in my family
Gov. Zounds! nobody knows his own part in your family, that I see! And this fellow, too, to tease me, whom I lov'd above all in it. Why, I spoke entirely from regard to him. If since then I have discovered a bumpkin was beforehand with him in the possession of his Miss
Wood. If any one, beside yourself, sir, durst tell such a falsehood, it would cost a life.
Goo. Yes; and, if any one beside myself durst tell me such a truth, it would cost a soul, perhaps. [Exit.
Capt. Har. This is more unintelligible than all the rest.
Lord G. To end these altercations ;-upon yourself, Woodville, shall depend the fortune of this wretch, to whom you have been so gross a dupe as to justify the imputation of folly. Why, even without knowing me, she ridiculed your passion, and offered to leave you.
Lord G. Dare you disbelieve me, sir?--Nay, she shall be produced, and obliged to confess her arts;—. then blush and obey! Here, Vane! Governor! the keys !
[Exit. ΓWoon τιμη
[Woodville walks behind in great agitation. Capt. Har. Now could I find in my heart to make this story into a ballad, as a warning to all meddling puppies; and then hang myself, that it may conclude with a grace. Zound ! she must be endued with super