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time; the honest Scotchman, who announced you, told me you had something of importance to communicate to me. Aub. I have: I’m told I am your debtor, and I came with a design to pay you down such thanks as your benevolence well merits; but I perceive already you are one, whom great professions would annoy, whose principle is virtue, and whose retribution rises from within. Mort. Pray, sir, no more of this; if you have any thing to request, propose it: I’d rather much be told what I may do for you, than reminded of what I may have done. Aub. I readily believe you, and according to your humour will address you: I own you may confer a benefit upon me ’tis in your power, Mr. Mortimer, to make me the happiest of all mankind. Mort. Give me your hand; why now you speak good sense; I like this well: let us do good, sir, and not talk about it: show me but how I may give happiness to you, with innocence to myself, and I shall be the person under obligation. o Aub. This then it is; you have a young person under your protection, a lady of the name of AubreyMort. I have. Auð. Resign her to my care. Mort. Sir I Aub. Put her into my hands: I am rich, sir, I can support her. Mort. You're insolent, or grossly ignorant, to think
I would betray a trust, a sacred trust : she’s a ward of virtue; 'tis from want, 'tis from oppression I protect Miss Aubrey—who are you that think to make a traitor of me?
Auð. Your zeal does honour to you; yet if you persist in it, and spite of my protest hold out, your constancy will be no virtue; it must take another iname.
Mort. What other name, and why? Throw off
your mystery, and tell me why
Mort. Ay, let us hear your cause.
Aub. Because I am her father.
Mort. Do I live *
Aub. Yes, in my heart, while I have life or me. mory; that dear injured girl, whom you so honourably protećt, is my daughter. The overflowings of a father's heart bless and reward you ! You whom I know not, and that poor Highlander, out of his small pittance, have, under Providence, preserved my child; whilst Bridgemore, whom I raised from penury, and trusted with the earnings of my travel, has abandoned and defrauded her.
Mort. O, mother Nature, thou’lt compel me to forswear thee.
Aub. Ah, sir, you feel the villany of man in every vein; I am more practised, and behold it only with a sigh: Colin and I have laid a little plot to draw this Bridgemore hither; he believes me dead, and thinks he is to meet a person at your house, who can relate
particulars of my death; in which case it is clear he
means to sinka capital consignment I sent him about
three years since, and turn my daughter on the world. Mort. Well, let him come; next to the satisfaction
I receive in the prosperity of an honest man, I am
best pleased with the confusion of a rascal.
Enter TYRRel hastily. Tyr. Dear uncle, on my knees—what am I doing? Mort. You thought I was alone. Tyr. I did. Mort. And what had you to tell me in such haste? Tyr. I had a petition to prefer, on which my happiness in life depends. Aub. I beg I may retire : I interrupt you. Mort. By no means: I desire you will not stir; let him make his request; if it is not fit for you to hear, it is not fit for me to grant. Speak out : nay, never hesitate. Tyr. What can I ask of you but to confirm my hopes, and make Miss Aubrey mine. Mort. Was ever the like heard Pray whence do you derive your pretensions to Miss Aubrey Tell me in presence of this gentleman. | Tyr. Not from my own deservings, I confess; yet, if an ardent, firm, disinterested passion, sančtified withall by her consent, can recommend me, I am not without some title. Mort. Look you there now : this fellow you shall know, sir, is my nephew; my sister's son; a child of fortune,—Hark’e, with what face do you talk of love, who are not worth a groat Tyr. You have allowed me, sir, to talk of love; openly beneath your eye I have solicited Miss Aubrey's consent, and gain’d it; as for my poverty, in that I glory, for therein I resemble her whom I adore; and I should hope, though fortune has not favoured us, we have not lost our title to the rights of nature. Mort. Pooh 1 the rights of nature!—While you enjoy its rights, how will you both provide against its want S : Tyr. Your bounty hitherto has let me feel no wants; and should it be your pleasure to withdraw it, thanks to Providence, the world is not so scantily provided, but it can give to honest industry a daily dinner. Mort. Fine words! But I’ll appeal to this good gentleman ; let him decide betwixt us. Aub. In truth, young gentleman, your uncle has good reason on his side; and was I he, I never would consent to your alliance with Miss Aubrey, till she brought a fortune large enough to keep you both. Tyr. These are your maxims I’ve no doubt; they only prove to me, that you love money more than beauty, generosity, or honour. Aub. But is your lady in possession of all these? Let me be made acquainted with her, and perhaps I may come over to your sentiments. Mort. Ay, Frank, go fetch your girl, and let my friend here see her;-I'm in earnest. Upon my
honour, nephew, till you have gained this gentleman’s
consent, you never can have mine;—so go your way
and let us see if you have interest enough to bring
Enter Ty RRE L, introducing Miss AUB Re Y.
Tyr. You are obeyed; you see the lady, and you've nothing now to wonder at but my presumption. Aub. To wonder at 1 I do behold a wonder 1–'Tis her mother's image 1–Gracious Providence, this is too much : Mort. You will alarm her; your disorder is too visible. Aub. I cannot speak to her; I pray you let me hear her voice. Aug. Why am I sent for Is your uncle angry How have I offended ?— Aub. Hush, hush, she speaks;–’tis she herselfit is my long-lost wife restor'd and rais'd again.