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box; trailing through a minuet at Almack's; and then, in the public gardens, looking for all the world like one of the painted ruins of the place.
HONEYWOOD. Every age has its admirers, ladies. While you, perhaps, are trading among the warmer climates of youth; there ought to be some to carry on an useful commerce in the frozen latitudes beyond fifty.
Miss RichLAND. But, then, the mortifications they must suffer, before they can be fitted out for traffic. I have seen one of them fret an whole morning at her hairdresser, when all the fault was her face.
Honeywood. And yet,
I'll engage, has carried that face at laft to a very good market. This good-natur'd town, madam, has husbands, like spectacles, to fit every age, from fifteen to fourscore.
Mrs. CROAKER. Well, you're a dear good-natur'd creature. But you know you're engaged with us this morning upon a strolling party. I want to thew Olivia the town, and the things ; I believe I Mall have business for
Mrs. CROAKER. What! with my husband! then I'm resolved to take no refusal. Nay, I protest you must. You know I never laugh so much as with you.
Honeywood. Why, if I must, I muft. I'll fwear you have put me into such spirits. Well, do you find jeft, and I'll find laugh, I promise you. We'll wait for the chariot in the next room.
Enter Leontine and OLIVIA.
LEONTINE. There they go, thoughtless and happy. My dear, et Olivia, what would I give to see you capable of sharing in their amusements, and as cheerful as they are?
OLIVIA. How, my Leontine, how can I be cheerful, when I have so many terrors to oppress me? the fear of being detected by this family, and the apprehensions of a censuring world, when I must be detected
LEONTINE, The world! my love, what can it say? At worst it can only say that, being compelled by a mercenary guardian to embrace a life you disliked, you formed a resolution of flying with the man of your choice ; that you confided in his honour, and took refuge in my father's house; the only one where your's could remain without censure. C 3
OLIVIA. But 'confiđer, Leontine, your disobedience and my indiscretion : your being sent to France to bring home a filter ; and, instead of a fifter, bringing home
fifter's letters are directed to me.
Olivia. But won't your refusing Mifs Richland, for whom you know the old gentleman intends you, create a fufpicion?
LEONTINE. There, there's my master-stroke. I have resolved not 'to refuse lier ; nay, an hour hence I have consented to go with my father, 'to make her an off of my heart and fortune.
OLIVIA. Your heart and fortune !
LEONTINE. Don't be alarm’d, my dearest. Can Olivia think so meanly of my honour, or my love, as to suppose I could ever hope for happiness from any but her ? No, my Olivia, neither the force, nor, permit me to add, the delicacy of my paffion, leave any room to suspect me. I only offer Miss Richland an heart, I am convinc'd she will refuse ; as I am confident, that, without knowing it, her affections are fixed upon Mr. Honeywood
OLIVIA. Mr. Honeywood! You'll excuse my apprehenfions; but when your merits come to be put in the balance
LEONTINE. You view them with too much partiality. However, by making this offer, I few a seeming compliance with my father's command; and perhaps, upon her refusal, I may have his confent to chuse for myself.
OLIVIA. Well, I submit. And yet, my Leontine, I own, I shall envy her, even your pretended addresles. I consider every look, every expression of your esteem, as due only to me. This is folly perhaps : I allow it: but it is natural to suppose, that merit which
has made an impression on one's own heart, may be powerful over that of another.
LEONTINE. Don't, my life's treasure, don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter. At worst, you know, if Miss Richland should consent, or my father refuse his pardon, it can but end in a trip to Scotland; and
CROAKER. Where have you been, boy! I have been seeking you. My friend Honeywood here, has been saying such comfortable things. Ah! he's an example indeed. Where is he? I left him here.
LEONTINE. Sir, I believe you may see him, and hear him too in the next room: he's preparing to go out with the ladies.
CROAKER. Good gracious, can I believe my eyes or my ears! I'm ftruck dumb with his vivacity, and stunn'd with the loudness of his laugh. Was there ever such a transformation ! (A laugh behind the scenes, Croaker mimics it.) Ha! ha! ha! there it goes: a plague take their balderdash; yet I could expect nothing less, when my precious wife was of the party. On my conscience, I believe, the could spread an horselaugh through the pews of a tabernacle,