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JARVIS. What signifies explanations, when the thing is done ?
HoneyWOOD. Will nobody hear me? Was there ever such a set, so blinded by passion and prejudice! (To the postboy.) My good friend, I believe you'll be surprised, when I assure you
Postboy. Sure me nothing-I'm sure of nothing but a good beating
CROAKER. Come, then, you, madam, if you ever hope for any favour or forgiveness, tell me sincerely all you know of this affair.
OLIVIA. Unhappily, Sir, I'm but too much the cause of your suspicions: you see before you, Sir, one that with false pretences has ftept into your family to betray it : not your daughter
CROAKER. Not my daughter!
OLIVIA. Not your daughter-but a mean deceiver-whosupport me, I cannot
HONEYWOOD. Help, he's going, give her air.
CROAKER. Aye, aye, 'take the young woman to the air; I would not hurt a hair of her head, whose ever daughter she may be not so bad as that neither.
[Exeunt all but Croaker.
CROAKER. Yes, yes, all's out; I now see the whole affair: my son is either married, or going to be so, to this lady, whom he imposed upon me as his fifter. Aye, certainly so; and yet I don't find it afflicts me fo much as one might think. There's the advantage of fretting away our misfortunes beforehand, we never feel them when they come.
Enter Miss RICHLAND and Sir WILLIAM,
Sir WILLIAM. But how do you know, madam, that my nephew intends setting off from this place ?
Miss RICHLAND. My maid assured me he was come to this inn, and my own knowledge of his intending to leave the kingdom, suggested the rest. But what do I fee, my guardian here before us! Who, my dear, Sir, could have expected meeting you here? to what accident do we owe this pleasure ?
CROAKER. To play the fool,
Miss RICHLAND, But, with whom ?
CROAKER. With greater fools than myself.
Miss RICHLAND. Explain.
Croaker. Why, Mr. Honeywood brought me here, to do nothing, now I am here; and my son is going to be married to I don't know who, that is here : fo now you are as wise as I am.
Miss RICHLAND. Married ! to whom, Sir?
CROAKER. To Olivia ; my daughter as I took her to be ; but who the devil she is, or whose daughter she is, I know no more than the man in the moon.
Sir WILLIAM. Then, Sir, I can inform you; and, though a stranger, yet you shall find me a friend to your family: it will be enough, at present, to assure you, that, both in point of birth and fortune, the young lady is at least your son's equal. Being left by her father, Sir James Woodville
Sir WILLIAM. Being left by him, I say, to the care of a mercenary wretch, whose only aim was to secure her fortune to himself, she was sent to France, under
pretence of education; and there every art was tried to fix her for life in a convent, contrary to her inclinations. Of this I was informed, upon my arrival at Paris ; and, as I had been once her father's friend, I did all in my power to frustrate her guardian's base intentions. I had even meditated to rescue her from his authority, when your son stept in with more pleafing violence, gave her liberty, and you a daughter.
CROAKER. But I intend to have a daughter of my own chusing, Sir. A young lady, Sir, whose fortune, by my interest with those who have intereft, will be double what my son has a right to expect. Do you know Mr. Lofty, Sir.
Sir WILLIAM. Yes, Sir; and know that you are deceived in him. But step this way, and I'll convince you.
[Croaker and Sir William seem to confer.
HONEYWOOD. Obstinate man, still to persist in his outrage ! insulted by him, despised by all, I now begin to grow . contemptible, even to myself. How have I funk by
too great an affiduity to please! How have I overtaxed all my abilities, left the approbation of a fingle fool should escape me! But all is now over ;
I have survived my reputation, my fortune, my friendships, and nothing remains henceforward for me but solitude and repentance.
Miss RICHLAND. Is it true, Mr. Honeywood, that you are setting off, without taking leave of your friends ? The report is, that you are quitting England. Can it be ?
HONEYWOOD. Yes, madam; and though I am so unhappy as to have fallen under your displeasure, yet, thank Heaven, I leave you to happiness; to one who loves you, and deserves your love ; to one who has power to procure you affluence, and generosity to improve your enjoyment of it.
Miss RICHLAND. And are you sure, Sir, that the gentleman you mean is what you describe him ?
HoneyWOOD. I have the best assurances of it, his serving me. He does indeed deserve the highest happiness, and that is in your power to confer. As for me, weak and wavering as I have been, obliged by all, and incapable of serving any, what happiness can I find but in solitude? What hopę but in being forgotten?