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The Portico to Lord Aimworth'i House.

Enter Lord Aimworth, Sir Harry, Lady SycaMore.

Lady Sycamore.

A Wretch! a vile, inconsiderate wretch! coming of such a race as mine; and having an example like me before her!

L. Aim. I beg, madam, you will not disquiet yourself: you are told here, that a gentleman lately arrived from London has been about the place to-day; that he has disguised himself like a gipsey, came hither, and had some conversation with your daughter; you are even told, that there is a design formed for their going off together; but possibly there may be some mistake in all this. 11

S. Har. Ay, but my lord, the lad tells us the gentleman's name; we have seen the gipsies; and we know she has had a hankering

L. Syc. Sir Harry, my dear, why will you put in your word, when you hear others speaking—I protest, my lord, I'm in such confusion, I know not what to say: I can hardly support myself.

L. Aim. This gentleman, it seems, is at a little inn at the bottom of the hill. ao

S. Har. I wish it was possible to have a file of musqueteers, my lord; I could head them myself, being in the militia: and we would go and seize him directly.'

L. Aim. Softly, my dear sir; let us proceed with a little less violence in this matter, I beseech you. We should first see the young lady Where is Miss Sycamore, madam?

L. Syc. Really, my lord, I don't know; I saw her go into the garden about a quarter of an hour ago, from our chamber window. 31

5. Har. Into the garden! perhaps she has got an inkling of our being informed of this affair, and is gone to throw herself into the pond. Despair, my lord, makes girls do terrible things. 'Twas but the Wednesday before we left London, that I saw, taken out of Rosamond's pond, in Saint James's Park, as likely a young woman as ever you would desire to set your eyes on, in a new callimanco petticoat, and a pair of silver buckles in her shoes. 40

L. Aim. I hope there is no danger of any such fatal accident happening at present; but will you oblige me, Sir Harry?

S. Har. Surely, my lord

L. Aim. Will you commit the whole direction of this affair to my prudence i

S. Har. My dear, you hear what his lordship says.

L. Syc. Indeed, my lord, I am so much asham'd, I don't know what to answer; the fault of my daughter.— ,50

L. Aim. Don't mention it, madam; the fault has been mine, who have been innocently the occasion of a young lady's transgressing a point of duty and decorum, which, otherwise, she would never have violated. But if you, and Sir Harry, will walk in and repose yourselves, I hope to settle every thing to the general satisfaction.

L. Syc. Come in, Sir Harry. [Exit.

L. Aim. I am sure, my good friend, had I known that I was doing a violence to Miss Sycamore's inclinations, in the happiness I proposed to myself—— 61

S. Har. My lord, 'tis all a case .My grandfather,

by the mother's side, was a very sensible man—he was elecled knight of the shire in five successive parliaments; and died high sheriff of his county—a man of fine parts, fine talents, and one of the most curiosest docker of horses in all England (but that he did

only now and then for his amusement) And he

used to say, my lord, that the female sex werle good for nothing but to bring forth children, and breed disturbance. 71

L. Aim. The ladies were very little obliged to your ancestor, Sir Harry: but for my part, I have a more favourable opinion-———

S. Har. You are in the wrong, my lordi with submission, you are really in the wrong.

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To speah my mind of woman hind,

In one word 'tis this;
By nature they're design'd,

To say and do amiss. 80

Be they maids, he they wives,
Alihe they plague our lives-,
Wanton, headstrong, cunning, vain;
Born to cheat, and give men pain.

Their study day and night,
Is mischief, their delight:
And if we should prevent,
At one door their intent;
They quichly turn about,

And find another out. 90


«« LordAimworth," Enter Fairfield, "ralph."

"Ral. Dear goodness, my lord, I doubts I have "done some wrong here; I hope your honour will "forgive me; to be sartin, if I had known

"L. Aim. You have done nothing but what's very "right, my lad"; don't make yourself uneasy."—. How now, master Fairfield, what brings you here?

Fai. I am come, my lord, to thank you for your bounty to me and my daughter this morning, and most humbly to intreat your lordship to receive it at our hands again. 100

L. Aim. Ay—why, what's the matter?

Fai. I don't know, my lord; it seems your generosity to my poor girl has been noised about the neighbourhood; and some evil-minded people have put it into the young man's head, that was to marry her, that you would never have made her a present so much above her deserts and expectations, if it had not been upon some naughty account: now, my lord, I am a poor man, 'tis true, and a mean one; but I and my father, and my father's father, have lived tenants upon your lordship's estate, where we have always been known for honest men; and it shall never be said, that Fairfield, the miller, became rich in his old days by the wages of his child's shame.

L. Aim. What then, Master Fairfield, do you believe——

Fai. No, my lord, no, Heaven forbid : but when I consider the sum, it is too much for us; "it is in"deed, my lord," and enough to make bad folks talk: besides, my poor girt is greatly alter'd; she i us'd to be the life of every place she came into; but since her being at home, I have seen nothing from her but sadness and watery eyes. 123

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