« 上一頁繼續 »
Heart. Humph! It has been a little dipped; but I have always honourably redeemed it, child.
Flora. Have you a lawful assignment from your last mistress ? Heart. I was as free as air till I beheld those eyes.
. : [ Bowing very low. Flora. Ah, that humble, killing bow !---Go on. Now I know you are to talk of chains, and daggers, and Aames, and dying, and darts. · Heart. Is it possible to hide a passion, which, tho' my tongue is silent, breaks out in every look and motion? • Flora. Wonderful pretty this! But, Sir, I know the natural whirl of the mind of man; 'tis as inconstant as a turn-stile, his heart's a tennis-ball, his inclination's the racket, and his passions drive it round the world.
Heart. Dare only to try me, and if you like me not, discharge me.
Flora. She deserves to be robbed, who takes a ser. vant that brings a certificate of his being a thief.
Heart. 'Tis not engraven here, I hope.
Flora. Yes, truly, there is a sort of faithless, love ing, London, lying air, that hangs upon your features, and frightens me terribly. .
Heart. Then propose your own security; bind me as you please.
Flora. Agreed. Suppose then I liked you well enough to make a husband of you ; would you marry me ?-Look ye there- confounded-astonished at
once-Mentioning the word only, has put the man into a cold sweat, I profess.
Heart. People who marry for love, my dear, are like those who give bonds with interest for large sums of ready money, and squander the principal; so in a little time are both beggars and prisoners.
Flora. I had rather be a beggar afterwards, than a bubble beforehand. But go on to your purpose, Sir.
Heart. I would have you leave this sour old man, and this rustic cot, and take your Aight with me and love---Love shall conduct us with his purple wings, joys shall meet joys in circles, and new pleasures chase the swift hours away. Thou shalt be dearer to me than any wife can be ; “ every moment of our lives shall be « beyond the wedding-nights of the dull yulgar."
Flora. So, 'tis out at last. What, then I am to be your mistress only, your pretty bella favorita, your little private hunting-seat; have every inconvenience of a wife, with the scandal of a wench, and perhaps be forced to cluck a brood of illegal chickens after me, and peck about the parish for my subsistence ?
Heart. What horrible ideas dost thou form! No, my dear, it shall not be within my power to wrong you; I will settle two hundred pounds a year upon you for life, and provide for all our children.
Flora. With a sham lawyer, and a counterfeit set: tlement.
Heart. Choose your own lawyer, take your own se. curity; make your own trustees; you shall have an inheritance in my heart, and my land as firm as if you were born to it.
Flora. To be serious, then, since you are so, I'll tell you, all the inheritance I boast or wish for, is this low, humble cottage, and a mind, I hope a virtuous mind, that cannot, even in this situation, bear disho. nour. Take back your worthless trife of a heart, and your more worthless promises, and know, I scorn as much to yield to the mean bargain of your hireling passion, as you do to submit to honourable love.
[Going, Heart. Stay, you shall stay.--Let me but think a moment
Flora. Think then, ungrateful man, what 'tis you do. My father, whose prop I am, the stay of his old age, taught me, with pious care, to tread the paths of virtue : how would it tear the strings of his old heart to see me fallen at once to shame and infamy! You call yourself a gentleman, and say, the laws of faith and honour, when they're broken, ask life for recompence: the lie is death; yet you would falsify your trust to him, defraud him of his treasure in his child, inhospitably murder your good host, the man whose house you entered with a trust that would to common thieves, under these limitations, be sacred and invio. lable.
Heart. Oh, thou hast touch'd my soul! I feel thy words; a conscious pang stabs thro'my heart, and covers me with shame. Yet, Flora, yet I hope you will forgive me, when you think how strongly we are biased to what is wrong. Custom, family, fortune, I know not what terrible words, make me fear to suffer in opinion only.
* Flora. I know the disparity of our fortunes; I know you fear your family and name should suffer. Believe me, Sir, they suffer more when you but tempt an honest mind from virtue.
Heart. Oh, Flora, Flora, thou hast conquered ! I own my crime, and humbly beg you will forgive it. Thy words, bright excellence, charm like thy beauty; thy soul's refined without society or courts; na. ture has form’d thee fair as her own humble lilies; no family can mend, no education teach, no habit improve your manners.
Florai “ Oh, man, for flatt'ry and deceit re" nown'd!"
Heart. In you I see the most perfect virtue clothed in all the charms of the most elegant form; in you I see all that we know of heaven, of those celestial lights that move for ever, virtue and beauty joined. Thus let me kneel, thus lowly at your feet, and ask your hand, your hand and heart in marriage ; let the priest now join us. Will you, dare you trust your convert?
Flora. Away with this! Think seriously, seriously, Sir. Can you for ever love me, for your life? A poor country girl, without a portion, without one penny for posterity ? Take time, and think on’t.
Heart. I would marry thee, tho' I wrought with my
hands for thy daily support. My whole soul, all my wishes, are centered in thee.
Flora, Ay, but when we are married they'll move eccentrically again. Marriage is a tedious journey in a heavy road; many an honest fellow, who set out briskly at first, has been heartily tired before he reached his inn at night.
Heart. I must not, cannot, will not live without thee. “ No hero in romance, no shepherd in pasto“ ral, no poet's imagination, was ever more in love. “ Can you deny me?" Give me your hand; let me be yours for ever.
Flora. Come, Sir, I see you're a man of courage, and if my uncle consents
Heart. I'll go in, and ask it without ceasingum But shall I then be sure of yours?
Flora. I don't know- But I think you do what ** you will with me.
[ Exeunt. .
Enter MODELY. Mođe. I can't imagine where Heartwell is gone, nor 4 can I find the girls. I have hunted every_ Ha, Miss! have I caught you. :
Enter AURA. · Aura. Sir, the tea is ready.
Mode. Tea! Why, you live within doors as politely * as the people of our world, as elegantly. This coto tage is like a diamond in the quarry, all rough with