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Maj. Gospel, every word on't.
Charles. This letter will convince you, sir ! In consequence of what happened at Lady Freelove's, his lordship thought fit to send me a challenge ; but the messenger blundered, and gave me this letter instead of it. [Giving the letter.] I have the case which inclosed it in my pocket.
Lord T. Forgery from beginning to end, 'pon honour.
Maj. Truth upon my honour.-But read, read, Mr. Russet, read, and be convinced.
Rus. Let me see-let me see-[Reading.]--Um-um -um-um- so, so;-um-um-um-damnation !Wish me success, obedient slavem Trinket ---- Fire and fury! How dare you do this?
Lord T. When you are cool, Mr, Russet, I will explain this matter to you.
Rus. Cool ! 'Sdeath and hell !- I'll never be cool again—I'll be revenged-So my Harriet, my dear girl, is innocent at last. Say so, my Harriet; tell me, you are innocent,
[Embracing her. Har. I am, indeed, sir, and happy beyond expression at your being convinced of it.
Rus. I am glad on't-I am glad on't-I believe you, Harriet !-You was always a good girl.
Maj. So she is, an excellent girl !-Worth a regiment of such lords and baronets-Come, sir, finish every thing handsomely at once. Come, Charles will have a handsome fortune.
Rus. Marry !$he durst not do it.
Maj. Consider, sir, they have long been fond of each other-old acquaintances-faithful lovers-turtles and may be very happy.
Rus. Well, well-since things are so I love my girl.-Harkye, Young Oakly, if you don't make her a good husband, you'll break my heart, you rogue.
Maj. I'll cut his throat if he don't.
Charles. Do not doubt it, sir! my Harriet has reformed me altogether.
Rus. Has she? --Why then-there-Heaven bless you both—there—now there's an end on't.
Sir H. So, my lord, you and I are both distanced-A hollow thing, damme.
Lord T. N'importé.
Šir H. [Aside.) Now this stake is drawn, my lord may be for hedging off, mayhap. Ecod! I'll go to Jack Speed's, and secure Nabob, and be out of town in an hour.
[Exit. Enter LADY Freelove. Lady F. My dear Miss Russet, you'll excuseCharles. Mrs. Oakly, at your ladyship’s service. Lady F. Married ?
Har. Not yet, madam; but my father has been so good as to give his consent.
Lady F. I protest I am prodigiously glad of it. My dear, I give you joy—and you, Mr. Oakly. I wish you joy, Mr. Russet, and all the good company-for I think the most of them are parties concerned. Maj. How easy, impudent, and familiar! [Aside.
Lady F. Lord Trinket here too! I vow I did not see your lordship before. Lord T. Your ladyship's most obedient slave.
[Bowing Lady F. You seem gravé, my lord! Comé, come, I know there has been some difference between you and Mr. Oakly-You must give me leave to be a mediator in this affair.
Lord T. Here has been a small fracas, to be sure, madam!-We are all blown, 'pon honour.
Lady F. Blown! what do you mean, my lord ?
Lord T. Nay, your ladyship knows that I never mind these things, and I know that they never discompose your ladyship-But things have happened a little en traders-The little billet I sent your ladyship has fallen into the hands of that gentleman-[Pointing to CHARLES.] and so—there has been a little brouillerie about it that's all.
Lady F. You talk to me, my lord, in a very extraordinary style-If you have been guilty of any misbehaviour, I am sorry for it; but your ill conduct can fasten no imputation on me.-Miss Russet will justify me sufficiently.
Maj. Had not your ladyship better appeal to my friend Charles here ?—The letter, Charles ! Out with it this instant!
Charles. Yes, I have the credentials of her ladyship's integrity in my pocket.--Mr. Russet, the letter you read a little while ago was inclosed in this cover, which also I now think it my duty to put into your bands.
Rus. [Reading.) To the Right Honourable Lady Freelove-_'Sdeath and hell!—and now I recollect, the letter itself was pieced with scraps of French, and madam, and your ladyship-Fire and fury! madam, how came you to use me so? I am obliged to you, then, for the insult that has been offered me!
· Lady F. What is all this? Your obligations to me, Mr. Russet, are of a nature, that
Rus. Fine obligations! I dare say, I am partly obliged to you, too, for the attempt on my daughter by that thing of a lord yonder at your house. Zounds, madam! these are injuries never to be forgiven- They are the grossest affronts to me and my family-All the world shall know them-Zounds !—I'll
Lady F. Mercy on me! how boisterous are these country gentlemen! Why, really, Mr. Russet, you rave like a man in Bedlam-I am afraid you'll beat memand then you swear most abominably. How can you be so vulgar?--I see the meaning of this low maliceBut the reputations of women of quality are not so easily impeached—My rank places me above the scandal of little people, and I shall meet such petty insolence with the greatest ease and tranquillity. But you and your simple girl will be the sufferers.--I had some thoughts of introducing her into the first company But now, madam, I shall neither receive nor return your visits, and will entirely withdraw my protection from the ordinary part of the family.
(Exit. Rus. Zounds, what impudence ! that's worse than all the rest.
Lord T. Fine presence of mind, faith !-The true French nonchalance But, good folks, why such a deal of rout and tapage about nothing at all? If Mademoiselle Harriet had rather be Mrs. Oakly than Lady Trinket- Why-I wish her joy-that's all. Mr. Russet, I wish you joy of your son-in-law-Mr. Oakly, I wish you joy of the lady-and you, madam, [T. HARRIET.) of the gentleman- And, in short, I wish you all joy of one another, 'pon honour! [Exit.
Rus. There's a fine fellow of a lord now! The devil's in your London folks of the first fashion, as you call them. They will rob you of your estate, debauch your daughter, or lie with your wife—and all as if they were doing you a favour-'pon honour! Maj. Hey! what now? [Bell rings violently.
Maj. Zounds! what a clatter! She'll pull down all the bells in the house.
Oak. My observations, since I left you, have confirmed my resolution. I see plainly, that her good humour, and her ill humour, her smiles, her tears, and her fits, are all calculated to play upon me.
Maj. Did not I always tell you so ? It's the way with them all they will be rough and smooth, and hot and cold, and all in a breath. Any thing to get the better of us.
Oak. She is in all moods at present, I promise you— There has she been in her chamber, fuming and fret
ting, and despatching a messenger to me every two minutes—servant after servant—now she insists on my coming to her—now again she writes a note to intreat —then Toilet is sent to let me know that she is ill, absolutely dying—then, the very next minute, she'll never see my face again-she'll go out of the house directly. [Bell rings.] Again ! now the storm rises !
Maj. It will soon drive this way then-now, brother, prove yourself a man-You have gone too far to retreat.
Oak. Retreat !-Retreat !-No, no!-I'll preserve the advantage I have gained, I am determined.
Maj. Ay, ay !-keep your ground !--fear nothingup with your noble heart! Good discipline makes good soldiers ; stick close to my advice, and you may stand buff to a tigress-
Oak. Here she is, by heavens !—now, brother!
Enter Mrs. Oakly. Mrs. Oak. I think, Mr. Oakly, you might have had humanity enough to have come to see how I did. You have taken your leave, I suppose, of all tenderness and affection—but I'll be calm—I'll not throw myself into a passion-you want to drive me out of your house see what you aim at, and will be aforehand with you, let me keep my temper! I'll send for a chair, and leave the house this instant.
Oak. True, my love : I knew you would not think of dining in your own chamber alone, when I had company below. You shall sit at the head of the table, as you ought, to be sure, as you say, and make my friends welcome.
Mrs. Oak. Excellent raillery! Lookye, Mr. Oakly, I see the meaning of all this affected coolness and indifference.
Oak. My dear, consider where you are