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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
Ah! how vainly mortals treasure
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.
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
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
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
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
While love, rage, and jealousy, rach me by turns. 119
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