Page images
PDF

I had much rather that the rest of the family were annihilated, than that she should leave us. —Her vulgar father, that's the very abstract of 'Change-alley—the aunt, that's always endeayouring to be a fine lady—and the pert sister, for ever shewing that she is one, are horrid company indeed, and without her, would be intolerable. , Ah, la petite Fanchon she's the thing: isn’t she, Canton 2 Çun. Dere is very good sympatie entre vous, and dat young lady, mi lor. Lord O... I’ll not be left among these Goths and Vandals, your Sterlings, your Heidelbergs, and Devilbergs—if she goes, I’ll positively go too. Can. In de same post-chay, mi lor: You have no objection to dat, I believe, nor mademoiselle neither too—ha, ha, ha! Lord Og. Pr'ythee hold thy foolish tongue, Caut. Does thy Swiss stupidity imagine that I can see and talk with a fine girl without desires? —My eyes are involuntarily attracted by beautiful objects—I fly as naturally to a fine girl Can. As define girl to you, my lor, ha, ha, ha! you alway fly togedre like un pair de pigeons— Lora Og. Like un pair de pigeons—[Mocks him.]—Vous etes un sot, Mons. Canton—Thou art always dreaming of my intrigues, and never seest me badiner but you suspect some mischief, you old fool, you. Can. I am fool, I confess, but not always fool in dat, my lor, he, he, he Lord Og. He, he, he l—Thou art incorrigible, but § absurdities amuse one. Thou art like my rappee here, [Takes out his bor.] a most ridiculous superfluity, but a pinch of thee now and then is a most delicious treat. Can. You do me great honeur, mi lor. Lord Og. 'Tis fact, upon my soul. Thou art properly my cephalic snuff, and art no bad medicine against megrims, vertigoes, and profound thinking—ha, ha, ha! Can. Your flatterie, my lor, vil make me too prode. Lord Og. The girl has some little partiality for me, to be sure: but pr’ythee, Cant. is not that Miss Fanny yonder? Can. [Looking with a glass.] En verite, 'tis she, my lor—'tis one of de pigeons—depigeons d'amour. Lord Og. Don't be ridiculous, you old monkey. [Smiting. Can. I am monkee, I am ole, but I have eye, I have ear, and a little understand, now and den. Lord Og. Taisez vous, běte Can. Elle vous attend, my lor.—She vil make a love to you. Lord Og. Will she Have at her then | A fine girl cann’t oblige me more–Egad, I find myself a little enjoué-Come along, Cant. she is but in the next walk—but there is such a deal of this dammed crimkum-crankum, as Sterling calls it, that one sees people for half an hour before one can get to them—Allons, Mons. Canton, allons,

[blocks in formation]

Low. My dear Fanny, I cannot bear your distress it overcomes all my resolutions, and I am Popo for the discovery. 'an. But how can it be effected before my deure: Lov. I'll tell you.-Lord Ogleby seems to entertain a visible partiality for you; and, notwithstanding the peculiarities of his behaviour, I am sure that he is humane at the bottom. He is vain to an excess; but withal extremely goodnatured, and would do anything to recommend himself to a lady–Do you open the whole affair of our marriage to him immediately. It will come with more irresistible persuasion from you than from myself; and I doubt not but you’ll gain his friendship and protection at once. His influence and authority will put an end to Sir John’s solicitations, remove your aunt's and sister's unkindness and suspicions, and, I hope, reconcile your father and the whole family to our marriage. Fan. Heaven grant it ! Where is my lord? Lov. I have heard him and Canton, since dinner, singing French songs under the great walnuttree by the parlour-door. If you meet with him in the garden, you may disclose the whole immediately. Fan. Dreadful as the task is, I’ll do it.— Anything is better than this continual anxiety. Lov. By that time the discovery is made, I will appear to second you.-Ha! here comes m lord.—Now, my dear Fanny, summon up all your spirits, plead our cause powerfully, and be sure of success.- [Going. Fan. Ah, don't leave me ! Lov. Nay, you must let me. Fun. Well, since it must be so, I’ll obey you, if I have the power. Oh, Lovewell!" Lon. Consider, our situation is very critical. Toomorrow morning is fixed for our departure, and if we lose this opportunity, we may wish in vain for another.—He a proaches—I must retire-Speak, my dear Fanny, speak, and make us happy! - (Exit. Fun: Good Heaven! what a situation am I in what shall I do? What shall I say to him? I am all confusion. - - ---- -

Enter Lord OGLEBY and CANToN.

Lord Og. To see so much beauty so solitary, medam, is a satireupon mankind, and’tisfortunate that one man has broke in upon your reverie for the credit of our sex. I say one, madam; for poor Canton here,from age and infirmities, stands for nothing.

Can. Noting at all, indeed.

Fan. Your lordship does me great honour.— I had a favour to request, my lords

Lord Og. A favour, madam — To be honoured with your commands, is an inexpressible favour done to me, madam.

donc' [Exeunt, singing in French.

Fan. If your lordship could indulge me with

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

the honour of a moment's—What is the matter with me? to - - [Aside. Lord Og. The girl's confused—He — here's something in the wind, faith—I’ll haveatetea-tête with her—Allez vous en! [To CANToN. Can. I go—Ah, pauvre mademoiselle ! my lor, have pitié upon the poor pigeone ! Lord Og. I'll knock you down, Cant, if you're impertinent. , -- - [Smiling. Can. Den Imus away. [Shuffles along.] You are mosh please, for all dat. [Aside and exit. Fan. I shall sink with apprehension. . [Aside. ... Lord Og. What a sweet girl—she’s a civilized being, and atones for the barbarism of the rest of the follo. Fan. My lord l I—[She curtsics and blushes. Lord Og. [Addressing her.] I look upon it, madam, to be one of the luckiest circumstances of my life, that I have this moment the honour of receiving your commands, and the satisfaction of confirming with my tongue, what my eyes perhaps have but too weakly expressed—that I am lite*:::: humblest of your servants. . . . 'an. I think myself greatly honoured by your lordship's partiality to me; but it distresses me, that I am obliged in my present situation to apply to it for protection. Lord Og. I am happy in your distress, madam, because it gives me an opportunity to shew my zeal. Beauty to me is a religion in which I was born and bred a bigot, and would die a martyr. —I’m in tolerable spirits, faith ! [Aside. Fun. There is not, perhaps, at this moment, a more distressed creature than myself. Affection, duty, hope, despair, and a thousand different sentiments, are struggling in my bosom; and even the presence of your lordship, to whom I have flown for protection, adds to my perplexity. Lord Og. Does it, madam 2–Venus forbid! My old fault; the devil's in me, I think, for perplexing young women. [Aside and smiling.] Take courage, madam | Dear Miss Fanny, explain. You have a powerful advocate in my breast, I assure you My heart, madam—I am attached to you by all the laws of sympathy and delicacy.—By my honour, I am. Fan. Then I will venture to unburthen my mind—Sir John Melvil, my lord, by the most misplaced and mistimed declaration of affection for me, has made me the unhappiest of women. Lord Og. How, madam | Has Sir John made his addresses to you ? Fan. He has, my lord, in the strongest terms. But I hope it is needless to say, that my duty to my father, love to my sister, and regard to the whole family, as well as the great respect I entertain for your lordship, [Curtseying.] made me shudder at his addresses. Lord Og. of girl l–Proceed, my dear Miss Fanny, proceed! Fan. In a moment—give me leave, my lord' —But if what I have to disclose should be received with anger or displeasure— Lord Og. Impossible, by all the tender powers!

Speak, I beseech you, or I shall divine the cause before you utter it. Fan. Then, my lord, Sir John's addresses are not only shocking to me in themselves, but are more particularly disagreeable to me at this time —as—as— - [Hesitating. Lord Og. As what, madam 2 Fan. As—pardon my confusion—I am entirely devoted to another. Lord Og. If this is not plain, the devil's in it —[Aside.] But tell me, my dear Miss Fanny, for I must know; tell me the how, the when, and the where——Tell me

Enter CANToN hastily.

Can. My lor, my lor, my lor!

Lord Og. Damn your Swiss impertinence!how durst you interrupt me in the most critical melting moment that ever love and beauty honoured me with ?

Can. I demande pardonne, my lor! Sir John Melvil, my lor, sent me to beg you do him de honeur to speak a little to your lordship.

Lord Og. I’m not at leisure—I am busy—Get ony, you stupid old dog, you Swiss rascal, or I'll—

Can. Fort bien, my lor. - (CANTON goes out on tiptoe. Lord Og. By the laws of gallantry, madam, this interruption should be death; but as no punishment ought to disturbthe triumph of thesofter sions, the criminal is pardoned and dismissed. }. us return, madam, to the highest luxury of exalted minds—a declaration of love from the lips of beauty. Fan. The entrance of a third person has a little relieved me, but I cannot go through with it; and yet I must open my heart with a discovery, or it will break with its burthen. [Aside. Lord Og. What passion in her eyes! I am alarmed to agitation.[dside.] I presume, madam, (and, as you have flattered me, by making me a party concerned, I hope you'll excuse the presumption) that Fan. Do you excuse my making you a o concerned, my lord, and let me interest your heart in my behalf, as my future happiness or misery in a great measure depends— Lord Og. Upon me, madam? Fan. Upon you, my lord. [Sighs. Lord Og. There's no standing this: I have caught the infection—her tenderness dissolves me. [Sighs. Fan. And should you too severely judge of a rash action which passion prompted, and modesty has long concealed Lord Og. [Taking her hand] Thou amiable creature, command my heart, for it is vanquished. Speak but thy virtuous wishes, and enjoy them. Fan. I cannot, my lord; indeed, I cannot. Mr Lovewell must tell you my distresses; and when you know them, pity and protect me. [Erit in tears. Lord Og. How the devil could I bring her to this It is too much—too much—I cann’t bear it—I must give way to this amiable weakness. [Wipes his so My heart overflows with symathy, and I feel every tenderness I have inspired. Stifles a tear.] How blind have I been to the desolation I have made How could I possibly imagine that a little partial attention and tender civilities to this young creature should have gathered to this burst of passion | Can I be a man, and withstand it 2 No–I’ll sacrifice the whole sex to her. But here comes the father, quite ..". I’ll open the matter immediately, settle the business with him, and take the sweet girl down to Ogleby house to-morrow morning—But what the devil | Miss Sterling too ! What mischief’s in the wind now :

Enter Mr STERLING and Miss STERLING.

Sterl. My lord, your servant I am attending my daughter here upon rather a disagreeable affair. Speak to his lordship, Betsey. Lord Og. Your eyes, Miss Sterling, for I always read the eyes of a young lady, betray some little emotion. What are your commands, madam : Miss Sterl. I have but too much cause for my emotion, my lord Lord Og. I cannot commend my kinsman's behaviour, madam. He has behaved like a false knight, I must confess. I have heard of his apostacy. Miss Fanny has informed me of it. Miss Sterl. Miss Fanny's basemess has been the cause of Sir John's inconstancy. Lord Og. Nay, now, my dear Miss Sterling, your passion transports you too far. Sir John may have entertained a passion for Miss Fanny, but, believe me, my dear Miss Sterling, believe me, Miss Fanny has no passion for Sir John. She has a passion, indeed, a most tender passion. She has opened her whole soul to me, and I know where her affections are placed. (Conceitedly. Miss Sterl. Not upon Mr Lovewell, my lord; for I have great reason to think that her seeming attachment to him is, by his consent, made use of as a blind to cover her designs upon Sir John. Lord Og. Lovewell ! No, poor lad! She does not think of him. |Smiling. Miss Sterl. Have a care, my lord, that both the families are not made the dupes of Sir John’s artifice and my sister's dissimulation You don't know her; indeed, my lord, you don’t know her; a base, insinuating, perfidious!—It is too much— She has been beforehand with me, I perceive. Such unnatural behaviour to me! But, since I see I can have no redrcss, I am resolved that, some way or other, I will have revenge. [Exit. Sterl. This is foolish work, my lord Lord Og. I have too much sensibility to bear the tears of beauty. Sterl. It is touching, indeed, my lord; and very moving for a father. Lord Og. To be sure, sir! You must be distressed beyond measure | Wherefore, to divert your too exquisite feeling, suppose we change the subject, and proceed to business.

[ocr errors]

what will the folks say?

Sterl. With all my heart, my lord Lord Og. You see, Mr Sterling, we can make no union in our families by the proposed marriage. Sterl. And I am very sorry to see it, my lord. Lord Og. Have you set your heart upon being allied to our house, Mr Sterling ! Sterl. "Tis my only wish at present, my omnium, as I may call it. Lord Og. Your wishes shall be fulfilled. Sterl. Shall they, my lord but how—how? Lord Og. I'll marry in your family. Sterl. What! my sister Heidelberg 3 Lord Og. You throw me into a cold sweat, Mr Sterling. No, not your sister, but your daughter. Sterl. My daughter Lord Og. Fanny!—now the murder's out! Sterl. What you, my lord 2 Lord Og. Yes; I, I, Mr Sterling! Sterl. No, no, my lord; that's too much.[Smiling. Lord Og. Too much I don’t comprehend you. Sterl. What, you, my lord, marry my Fanny! Bless me, what will the folks say ? Lord Og. Why, what will they say? * That you're a bold man, my lord: that's

Lord Og. Mr Sterling, this may be city wit for aught I know. Do you court my alliance 2 Sterl. To be sure, my lord. Lord Og. Then I'll .. nephew won't marry your eldest daughter; nor I neither.— Your youngest daughter won't marry him; I will marry your youngest daughter. Sterl. What! with a youngest daughter's fortune, my lord? Lord Og. With any fortune, or no fortune at all, sir. Ilove is the idol of my heart, and the daemon Interest sinks before him. So, sir, as I said before, I will marry your youngest daughter; your youngest daughter will marry me. Sterl. Who told you so, my lord? Lord Og. Her own sweet self, sir. Sterl. Indeed 2 Lord Og. Yes, sir; our affection is mutual; your advantage double and treble; your daughter will be a countess directly—I shall be the happiest of beings; and you'll be father to an earl instead of a baronet. Sterl. But what will my sister say, and my daughter 2 Lord Og. I'll manage that matter; nay, if they won't consent, I’ll run away with your daughter in spite of you. . Sterl. Well said, my lord ' your spirit's good; I wish you had my constitution; but, if you'll venture, I have no objection, if my sister has none. Lord Og. I'll answer for your sister, sir. Apropos! the lawyers are in the house. I’ll have articles drawn, and the whole affair concluded tomorrow morning. Sterl. Very well! and I’ll dispatch Lovewell to London immediately for some fresh papers I shall want, and I shall leave you to managematters with my sister. You must excuse me, my lord, but I cann’t help laughing at the match.-He, he, he 4 [Exit. Lord Og. What a fellow am I going to make a father of He has no more feeling than the post in his warehouse—But Fanny's virtues tune me to rapture again, and I won’t think of the rest of the family.

Enter Lovewell, hastily.

Low. I beg your lordship's pardon, my lord; are you alone, my lord 2 Lord Og. No, my lord, I am not alone; I am in company, the best company. Lov. My lord Lord Og. I never was in such exquisite enchanting company since my heart first conceived, or my senses tasted pleasure. Lov. Where are they, mylord? [Looking about. Lord Og. In my mind, sir. Lov. What company have you there, my lord 2 [Smiling. Lord Og. My own ideas, sir, which so crowd upon my imagination, and kindle in it such a delirium of ecstacy, that wit, wine, music, poetry, all combined, and each perfection, are but mere mortal shadows of my felicity. Lov. I see that your lordship is happy, and I rejoice at it. Lord Og. You shall rejoice at it, sir; my felicity shall not selfishly be confined, but shall spread its influence to the whole circle of my friends. I need not say, Lovewell, that you shall have your share of it. Lov. Shall I, my lord —then I understand you; you have heard; Miss Fanny has informed you— Lord Og. She has ; I have heard, and she shall be happy; ’tis determined. Lov. Then I have reached the summit of my wishes. And will your lordship pardon the folly? Lord Og. O yes, poor creature, how could she help it : 'Twas unavoidable—Fate and necessity. Lor. It was indeed, my lord. Your kindness distracts me. Lord Og. And so it did the poor girl, faith. Lov. She trembled to disclose the secret, and declare her affections Lord Og. The world, I believe, will not think her affections ill placed. Lov. [Bowing.] You are too good, my lord. And do you really excuse the rashness of the action? Lord Qg. From my very soul, Lovewell. Lov. Your generosity overpowers me. [Bowing.] I was afraid of her meeting with a cold reception. Lord Og. More fool you then. Who pleads her cause with never-sailing beauty, Here finds a full redress. [Strikes his breast. She's a fine girl, Lovewell. Lov. Her beauty, my lord, is her least merit. She has an understanding Lord Og. Her choice convinces me of that. Lov. [Bowing.[That’s your lordship's goodness. Her choice was a disinterested one. Lord Og. No, no; not altogether; it began with interest, and ended in passion. Lov. Indeed, my lord, if you were acquainted

with her goodness of heart, and generosity of mind, as well as you are with the inferior beauties of her face and person Lord Og. I am so perfectly convinced of their existence, and so totally of your mind. touching every amiable particular of that sweet girl, that, were it not for the cold unfeeling impediments of the law, I would marry her to-morrow morning. Lot. My lord Lord Og. I would, by all that's honourable in man, and amiable in woman. Lov. Marry her l——What do you mean, my lord? Lord Og. Miss Fanny Sterling that is ; the Countess of Ogleby that shall be. Lov. I am astonish’d Lord Og. Why, could you expect less from me? Lov. I did not expect this, my lord. Lord Og. Trade and accounts have destroyed your feeling. Lov. No, indeed, my lord. [Sighs. Lord Og. The moment that love and pity entered my breast, I was resolved to plunge into matrimony, and shorten the girl's tortures—I never do any thing by halves: do I, Lovewell ? Lov. No, indeed, my lord. [Sighs.] What an accident Lord Og. What's the matter, Lovewell ? thou seem'st to have lost thy faculties. Why don't you wish me joy, man? Lov. O, I do, my lord. [Sighs. Lord Og. She said that you would explain what she had not power to utter; but I wanted no interpreter for the language of love. Lov. But has your lordship considered the consequences of your resolution 2 Lord Og. No, sir, I am above consideration, when my desires are kindled. Lov. But consider the consequences, my lord, to your nephew, Sir John. Lord Og. Sir John has considered no consequences himself, Mr Lovewell. Lov. Mr Sterling, my lord, will certainly refuse his daughter to Sir John. Lord Og. Sir John has already refused Mr Sterling's daughter. : Lov. But what will become of Miss Sterling, my lord? Lord Og. What's that to you?—You may have her if you will, I depend upon Mr Sterling's city-philosophy, to be reconciled to Lord Ogleby's being his son-in-law, instead of Sir John Melvil, baronet. Don't you think that your master may be brought to that, without having recourse to his calculations—Eh, Lovewell ? Lor. But, my lord, that is not the question. . Lord Og. Whatever is the question, I'll tell you my answer.—I am in love with a fine girl, whom I resolve to marry.

Enter Sir John MELvi L.

What news with you, Sir John —You look all

hurry and impatience—like a messenger after a

battle. Sir John. After a battle, indeed, my lord. I

have this day had a severe engagement, and, wanting your lordship as an auxiliary, I have at last mustered up resolution to declare what my duty to you and to myself have demanded from me soine turne. Lord Og. To the business then, and be as concise as possible, for I am upon the wing—eh, Lovewell ? | He smiles, and Lovewell, bows. Sir John. I find ’tis in vain, my lord, to struggle against the force of inclination. Lord Og. Very true, nephew; I am your witness, and will second the motion—sha’n’t I, Lovewell ? [Smites, and LovEWELL bows. Sir John. Your lordship's generosity encourages me to tell you, that I cannot marry Miss Sterling. Lord Og. I am not at all surprised at it—she’s a bitter potion, that's the truth of it; but as you were to swallow it, and not I, it was your business, and not mine—Anything more : Sir John. But this, my lord; that I may be permitted to make my addresses to the other sister. Lord Og. O yes; by all means—have you any hopes there, nephew —Do you think he'll succeed, Lovewell ? [Smiles, and winks at LovEwell. Lov. I think not, my lord. [Gravely. Lord Og. I think so too; but let the fool try. Sir John. Will your lordship favour me with your good offices to remove the chief obstacle to

Lord Og. Mrs Heidelberg —Had not youbet. ter begin with the young lady first : It will say: ou a great deal of trouble: won’t it, Lovewell? §§ But do what you please, it will be the same thing to me: won't it, Lovewell ? [Conceit. edly..] Why don’t you laugh at him f : Lov. I do, my lord. [Forces a smile. Sir John. And your lordship will endeavour to prevail on Mrs Heidelberg to consent to my marriage with Miss Fanny ? Lord Og. I'll speak to Mrs Heidelberg about the adorable Fanny as soon as possible. Sir John. Your generosity transports me. Lord Og. Poor fellow, what a dupe 1 he little thinks who’s in possession of the town. [Aside. Sir John. And your lordship is not in the least offended at this seeming inconstancy * Lord Og. Not in the least. Miss Fanny’s charms will even excuse infidelity. I look o Women as the fera natura—lawful game—and every man who is qualified, has a natural right to pursue them —Lovewell as well as you, and I as well as either of you.-Every man shall do his best; withoutoffencetoany——what say you, kinsmen? Sir John. You have made me happy, my lord. Lov. And me, I assure you, my lord. . . . Lord Og. And I am superlatively, so—aloni

the match, the repugnance of Mrs Heidelberg’

[ocr errors]

ACT V.

SCENE I.—FANNY's Appartment.

Enter LovEwell and FANNY, followed by BETTY.

Fan. Why did you come so soon, Mr Lovewell? the family is not yet in bed, and Betty cero heard somebody listening near the chamber OOt. Bet. My mistress is right, sir; evil spirits are abroad; and I am sure you are both too good, not to expect mischief from them. Lov. But who can be so curious, or so wicked 2 Bet. I think we have wickedness and curiosity enough in this family, sir, to expect the worst. 'an. I do expect the worst. Pr'ythee, Betty, return to the outward door, and listen if you hear any body in the gallery; and let us know directly. Bet. I warrant you, madam—the lord bless you both ! [Exit. Fun. What did my father want with you this evening 2 . . Lov. He gave me the key of his closet, with orders to bring from London some papers relating to Lord Ogleby. Fan. And why did you not obey him? Lov. Because I am certain that his lordship has

opened his heart to him about you, and thosepāpers are wanted merely on that account—but, as we shall discover all to-morrow, there will be no occasion for them, and it would be idle in me

to go. Fan. Hark!—hark bless me, how I tremble!—I feel the terrors of guilt indeed, Mr

Lovewell, this is too much for me. Lov. And for me too, my sweet Fanny. Your apprehensions make a coward of me –But what can alarm you? your aunt and sister are in their chambers, and you have nothing to fear from the rest of the family. Fan. I fear every body, and every thing, and every moment—My mind is in continual ago. tation and dread; indeed, Mr Lovewell, this situation may have very unhappy consequences. [Weeps. Lov. But it sha’n’t——I would rather tell our story this moment to all the house, and run the risque of maintaining you by the hardest labour, than suffer you to remain in this dangerous perplexity—What! shall Isacrifice all my besthopes and affections, in your dear health and safety, for the mean, and in such case, the meanest consideration—of our fortune 1–Were we to be abandoued by all our relations, we have that in our hearts and minds will weigh against the most affluent tir

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »