Page images
PDF

ACT II. SCENE I.

A marble portico, ornamented with statues, which opens from Lord Aimworth's house; two chairs near the front.

Enter Lord Aimworth reading.

In how contemptible a light would the situation I am now in shew me to most of the fine men of the present age f In love with a country girl; rivalled by a poor fellow, one of my meanest tenants, and uneasy at it! If I had a mind to her, I know they would tell me, I ought to have taken care to make myself easy long ago, when I had her in my power. But I have the testimony of my own heart in my favour; and I think, was it to do again, I should acl as I have done. Let's see, what we have here? perhaps a book may compose my thoughts; [reads and throws the booh away\ it's to no purpose, I can't read, I can't think, I can't do any thing. 13

AIR.

Ah! how vainly mortals treasure
Hopes of happiness and pleasure,
Hard and doubtful to obtain;
By what standards false we measure:
Still pursuing
Ways to ruin,
Seehing bliss, and finding pain. 20

SCENE II.

Lord Aimworth, Patty.

Pat. Now comes the trial: no, my sentence is al* ready pronounc'd, and I will meet my fate with prudence and resolution.

L. Aim. Who's there?

Pat. My lord!

L. Aim. Patty Fairfield!

Pat. I humbly beg pardon, my lord, for pressing so abruptly into your presence; but 1 was told I might walk this way; and I am come by my father's commands to thank your lordship for all your favours. 31

L. Aim. Favours, Patty! what favours? I have done you none: but why this metamorphosis? I protest, if you had not spoke, I should not have known you; I never saw you wear such clothes as these in my mother's life-time.

Pat. No, my lord, it was her ladyship's pleasure I should wear better, and therefore I obeyed; but it is now my duty to dress in a manner more suitable to my station, and future prospecls in life. 40

L. Aim. I am afraid, Patty, you are too humblecome, sit down—nay, I will have it so.—What is it I have been told to-day, Patty? It seems you are going to be married.

Pat. Yes, my lord.

E

L. Aim. Well, and don't you think you could have made a better choice than farmer Giles? I should imagine your person, your accomplishments, might have intitled you to look higher. 49

Pat. Your lordship is pleased to over-rate my little merit: the education I received in your family does not intitle me to forget my origin; and the farmer is my equal.

/.. Aim. In what respect? The degrees of rank and fortune, my dear Patty, are arbitrary distinctions, unworthy the regard of those who consider justly; the true standard of equality is seated in the mind: those who think nobly are noble. 58

Pat. The farmer, my lord, is a very honest man.

L. Aim. So he may: I don't suppose he would break into a house, or commit a robbery on the highway: what do you tell me of his honesty for'

Pat. I did not mean to offend your lordship.

L. Aim. Offend! I am not offended, Patty; not at

all offended But is there any great merit in a man's

being honest?

Pat. I don't say there is, my lord.

L. Aim. The farmer is an ill-bred, illiterate booby; and what happiness can you propose to yourself in

such a society? Then, as to his person, I am sure

—But perhaps, Patty, you like him; and if so, I am doing a wrong thing. 72 . Pat. Upon my word, my lord

L. Aim. Nay, I see you do: he has had the good fortune to please you j and in that case, you are certainly in the right to follow your inclinations.—I must tell you one thing, Patty, however—I hope you won't

think it unfriendly of me But I am determined

farmer Giles shall not stay a moment on my estate, after next quarter-day. 80

Pat. I hope, my lord, he has not incurred your displeasu re

L. Aim. That's of no signification.—Could I find

as many good qualities in him as you do, perhaps

But 'tis enough, he's a fellow I don't like; and as you have a regard for him, I would have you advise him to provide himself. .

Pat. My lord, I am very unfortunate. 88

L. Aim. She loves him, 'tis plain Come, Patty,

don't cry; I would not willingly do any thing to make you uneasy.—Have you seen Miss Sycamore yet ?—I suppose you know she and I are going to be married.

Pat. So I hear, my lord. Heaven make you

both happy!

L. Aim. Thank you, Patty; I hope we shall be happy.

Pat. Upon my knees, upon my knees I pray it: may every earthly bliss attend you! may your days prove an uninterrupted course of delightful tranquility; and your mutual friendship, confidence and love, end but with your lives! 102

L. Aim. Rise, Patty, rise; say no more—I suppose you'll wait upon Miss Sycamore before you go away—

at present I have a little business As I said, Patty, don't afflidt yourself: I have been somewhat hasty .with regard to the farmer; but since I see how deeply you are interested in his affairs, I may possibly

alter my designs with regard to him You know—

You know, Patty, your marriage with him is no concern of mine—I only speak 111

AIR.

My passion in vain I attempt to dissemble;

TV endeavour to hide it, but mahes it appear: Enraptur'd I gaze; when I touch her I tremble,

And speah to and hear her, with falt'ring and/ear.

By how many cruel ideas tormented!

My blood's in a ferment; it freezes, it burns
This moment I wish, what the next is repented;

While love, rage, and jealousy, rach me by turns. 119

Scene nl.

Patty, Giles.

Giles. Miss Pat—Odd rabbit it, I thought his honour was here; and I wish I may die if my heart did not jump into my mouth—Come, come down in all haste, there's such rig below as you never knew in your born days.

"Pat. Rig I

« PreviousContinue »