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London, and call it an infectious congregation of vapours, an assemblage of falsehood and hypocrisy ?
Aura. 'Tis true; but my affections have taken another turn. The heart of a woman, girl, like a bowl down a hill, continually changes as it rolls; “ 'tis a glass " that receives every image, but retains none; the “ next new idea wholly effaces the former.” I declare seriously, I never knew my own mind two hours together in my life.
“ Flora. 'Tis a blank sheet, and yet will receive no “ impression. How often have I endeavoured to en
grave there an aversion to that abominable town, “ where credit is the pawn of knaves, and fattens upon
the avarice of fools. Religion has been made " the politician’s bubble, and honour's public mer( chandise ; and what ought to be the distinction of “ virtue, has been there made the price of sin. The " tyrant, money, governs all: there every thing is “ venal; faith, fame, friendship, reason, and reli“ gion; nay, love, my dear, love, is bought and " sold there too.
“ Aura. O’ my word, you declaim, child, like a “ country schoolmaster. Yet, after all, people bred “ in society, who can talk, and look, and lie, and " bow a little, are as much superior to these clowns,
as angels are to them.
“ Flora. Have you courage enough to go barefaced “ into a crowd, where every body wears a mask ?.
" Aura. No, I'll be in the mode, and wear one
“ Flora. What, at the price of truth? With us
now every thing is unadorn'd by art, and looks so “ beautiful in the dress of nature, so innocent, sim.
ple, and undisguised“ Aura. Ay, but there is a sort of wearisome dulness that waits upon our simplicity. Now here we
must travel seven miles, seven long miles at least, “ to a beggarly country village, which you pom« pously stile our market town, where we may by « chance see two things like intelligent beings, the
parson and the attorney, or it may be some younger “ brother of some neighbouring lord of the manor, « whose face carries the colour of the October, and « his shape of the hogshead he feeds on, who drinks “ so constantly and so much, as if all the religion he “ had ever been taught was, that man was created to “ swallow a prodigious quantity of stale beer.” Flora. Cousin, thou art a very wild fop.
Aura. We are all so in our hearts. What girl, whose whole composition is not dough and phlegm, would quit the management of her fan for a shepherdess's crook, or gather daisies in the meads, and make garlands for lambs, when she may pick up hearts in the ring, and make conquests of men, or be content to behold the muddy reflection of her own face in a pond, when she may glide through a crowd of living mirrors in the drawing-room, and be flattered by the whole beau monde-But, o' my conscience, here they are!
Aura. Men, my dear, men-human creatures; look yonder, they move towards us; my heart beats quick at the uncommon sight; does not thine too? Be honest, and tell truth.
Flora. Remember your character, compose yourself, put your manners in your pocket, and be a clown for a moment.
“ Aura. My hands are set, my eyes are fix’d, I 66 have a blush at command, I'll bite the fingers of
my cotton gloves, and be as very a She-Cudden as “ ever hopped round a may-pole. Enter Modely and HEARTWELL as FLORA and
Aura are going off Mode. Pretty maidens, stay one moment; turni again and give your assistance to two honest fellows in distress-our horses are lame, 'tis late, we have lost our way
Heart. And we wou'd know where--(She is intole. rably handsome!)
[ Aside of Flora. Mode. We shall lie to-night ?-(She is a sweet girl.)
[Aside of Aura, Flora. Sir, we buy, we don't sell fortune; two gypsies just now offered us a penny-worth, they passed by those elms, I believe you may o'ertake 'em.
Aura. Yes, Sir, they will tell you what will happen to you exactly--good evening.
[Going Mode. Nay, if I part with you thus. “ Heart. I am surprisid--such dialect. So much
“ beauty here, too, in a wild country hamlet-'tis a wonderful.
“ Mode. They have the perfect mien of fine ladies « at St. James's in their air.
“ Heart. Ay, and their habits are genteel thoru. « ral. Don't let 'em go yet, Modely. Mode. « No, no-you must not stir."
[Holding her. Aura. Pray, Sir, as you are a gentleman
Mode. Why, you wou'd not leave us in a strange place, child ?
Aura. We have no title at all to you ; if you are couple of stray cattle, all we can do is, to bring you to the constable. - Mode. And what then?
Aura. Why then he must 'cry you three marketdays, and if no body owns you, you fall to the lord o the manor.
Heart. [To Flora, to whom he has been talking. ] Stay one moment, dear creature, vanish not immediately, if you wou'd not have me believe myself in a vision, and go raving up and down, talking of angels in country habits.
Flora. You have been talking all this while out of my compass : pray, Sir, come down to my understanding ; mine, you see, is as plain as my dress “ 'Tis downright popery, to say your prayers in an "6 unknown tongue.
“ Heart. I'll turn catholic, any thing, say you'll be
“ Flora. But can I grant your prayer, if I don't « understand your petition ?
• Heart. Your understanding is equal to your “ form, for to say which excels is impossible, where « both are perfect.
“ Flora. If I have any understanding, don't batter " it with hard words. I know no woman who is “ proof against flattery; that Will-with-a-whisp “ leads us all astray; but I'll shut my ears and take “ myself away from it instantly.
“ Heart. 'Tis impossible to see thee and not talk in “ rapture.-Thou beautiful robber, won't you gagg
“ Flora. It grows late : pray give me my hand: let me go."
Heart. In one word then; who is the inhabitant of that farm-house in the bottom:
Aura. A sour old man, Sir, who, when he is in a very good humour, vouchsafes to call me daughter.
Flora. And me cousin : there we live, gentlemen, and are like to live, fretting one another like silk and worsted wove together, 'till we quite wear out.
Heart. You have none of the rust of the country upon youấtis wonderful ; you live polish'd among savages. Neither your words, your mien, your manners, nor any thing but your habits, speak you what you
Aura. My father and the vicar of our parish taught us both to read and write ; but indeed, Sir, my father was born a gentleman, and is by accident only a clown,