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Har Away! You do not know the sex: Her vanity will make you play the fool till she despises you, and then contempt will destroy her affection for you—It is a part she has often played. Mar: I am obliged to you, however, madam, for the lesson you have given me, how far I may depend on a woman's friendship: it will be my own fault if I ever am deceived hereafter. Har. My friendship, madam, naturally cools when I discover its object less worthy than I imagined her.—I can never have any violent esteem for one who would make herself unhappy to make the person who dotes on her more so: The ridiculous custom of the world is a poor excuse for such a behaviour: and, in my opinion, the coquette, who sacrifices the ease and reputation of as many as she is able to an ill-natured vanity, is a more odious, a more pernicious creature, than the wretch whom fondness betrays to make her lover happy at the expence of her own reputation.
Enter Mrs Wisely and CleriMo NT.
Mrs Wise. Upon my word, sir, you have a most excellent taste for pictures. Mar. I can bear this no longer—If you had been base enough to have given up all friendship and bonour, good-breeding ..f. restrained you from using me after this inhuman, cruel, barbarous manner. Mr. Wise. Bless me, child ! what's the matter: Har. Let me entreat you, Mariana, not to expose yourself: you have nothing to complain of on his side, and therefore pray let the whole be a secret. Mar. A secret! No, madam: the whole world shall know how I have been treated. I thank Heaven I have it in my power to be revenged on you; and if I am not reveng'd on you 'red. See, sister, was I not in the right? Did , I not tell you you would ruin me? and now you have done it. Har. Courage! all will go well yet: You must not be frightened at a few storms: these are only blasts that carry a lover to his harbour.
Love. I ask your pardon :-I have dispatched my business with all possible haste. Mrs Wise. I did not expect, Mr Lovegold, when we were invited hither, that your children intended to affront us. Love. Has any one affronted you, madam? Mrs Wise. Your children, sir, have used my r girl so ill, that they have brought tears into to: I can assure you we are not used to be treated in this manner. My daughter is of as good a family Love. Out of my sight, audacious, vile wretches! and let me never see you again. Fred. Sir, I Love. I won't hear a word, and I wish I may never hear you more. Was ever such impudence! to dare, after what I have told you
Har. Come, brother, perhaps I may give you some comfort. Fred. I fear you have destroyed it for ever. [Exeunt FREDERick and HARRIET: Love. How shall I make you amends for the rudeness you have suffered 3 Poor pretty cre-ture had they stolen my purse I would almos: as soon have pardoned them. Mrs Wise. The age is come to a fine pass indeed, if children are to controul the wills of their parents. If I would have consented to a second match, I would have been glad to see a child of mine oppose it! Love. Let us be married immediately, my dear! and if, after that, they ever dare to offend you, they shall stay no longer under my roof. Mrs Wise. Look’e, Mariana, I know your corsent will appear a little sudden, and not altogether conform to those nice rules of decorum of which I have been all my life so strict an observer; but this is so prudent a match, that the world will be apt to give you a dispensation. When women seem too forward to run away with ide young fellows, the world is, as it ought to be, very severe on them; but when they only consult their interest in their consent, though it be never so quickly given, we say, Lal who suspected it? I: was mighty privately carried on 1 Mar. I resign myself entirely over to your will, madam, and am at your disposal. Mrs Wise. Mr Lovegold, my daughter is a lit. tle shy on this occasion: you know your courtship has not been of any long date; but she has considered your great merit, and I believe I may venture to give you her consent. Love. And shall Is Hey! I begin to find myself the happiest man upon earth ! 'Od, madam, you shall be a grandmother within these ten months! —I am a very young fellow. Mar. If you were five years younger, I should utterly detest you. Love. The very creature she was described to be No one, sure, ever so luckily found a mass of treasure as I have. My pretty sweet! if you will walk a few minutes in the garden, I will wait on . k I must give some necessary orders to my clerk. Mrs Wise. We shall expect you with impatience. [Exeunt MARIANA and Mrs WISELY. Love. Clerimont, come hither. You see the disorder my house is like to be in this evening. I must trust everything to your care. See that matters be managed with as small expence as possible. My extravagant son has sent for fruit, sweet-meats, and tokay. Take care what is not eat or drank be returned to the trades-people. If you can save a bottle of the wine, let that be sent back too; and put up what is left, if part of a bot. tle, in a pint: that F. keep for my own drinking when I am sick. Be sure that the servants of my guests be not asked to come farther than the hall, for fear some of mine should ask them to eat. I trust every thing to you. Cler. I shall take all the care possible, sir: But
there is one thing in this entertainment of yours which gives me inexpressible pain. Love. What is that, pr’ythee? Cter. That is, the cause of it. Give me leave, sir, to be free on this occasion. I am sorry a man of your years and prudence should be prevailed on to so indiscreet an action as I fear this marriage will be called. Love. I know she has not quite so great a fortune as I might expect. Cler. Has she any fortune, sir? Love: Oh, yes, yes: I have been very well assured that her mother is in very good circumstances, and you know she is her only daughter: Besides, she has several qualities which will save a fortune; and a penny saved is a penny got. Since I find I have great occasion for a wife, I might have searched all over this town and not have got one cheaper. Cler. Sure you are in a dream, sir:-She save a fortune ! Love. In the article of a table, at least two hundred pounds a-year. Cler. Sure, sir, you do not know— Love. In clothes two hundred more. Cler. There is not, sir, in the whole town— Love. In jewels one hundred; play five hundred: these have been all proved to me; besides
all that her mother is worth. In short, I have made a very prudent choice. Cler. Do but hear me, sir. Love. Take a particular care of the family, my good boy. Pray, let there be nothing wasted. [Exit LovE. Cler. How vainly do we spend our breath, while passion shuts the ears of those we talk to I thought it impossible for any thing to have surmounted his avarice; but I find there is one little passion which reigns triumphant in every mind it creeps into ; and, whether a man be covetous, proud, or cowardly, it is in the power of woman to make him liberal, humble, and brave. Sure this young lady will not let her fury carry her into the arms of a wretch she despises: but as she is a coquette, there is no answering for any of her actions. I will hasten to acquaint Frederick with what I have heard. Poor man! how little satisfaction he finds in his mistress, compared to what I meet in Harriet! Love to him is misery, to me perfect happiness. Women are always one or the other: they are never indifferent.
Whoever takes for better and for worse, Meets with the greatest blessing, or the great€St CurSe. |Exit.
SCENE I.—A Hall in LovEGold's House.
Enter FREDERICK and RAMILIE.
Fred. How ! Lappet my enemy and can she attempt to forward Mariana's marriage with my father? Ram. Sir, upon my honour, it is true: she told it me in the highest confidence; a trust, sir, which nothing but the inviolable friendship I have for you could have prevailed with me to have broken, Fred. Sir, I am your most humble servant: I am infinitely obliged to your friendship. Ram. Oh, sir, but really I did withstand pretty considerable offers; for, would you think it, sir?—the jade had the impudence to attempt to engage me too in the affair. ... I believe, sir, you would have been pleased to have heard the answer I gave her:—Madam, says I, do you think, if I had no more honour, I should have no greater regard to my interest? It is my interest, madam, says I, to be honest; for my master is a man of that generosity, that liberality, that bounty, that I am sure he will never suffer any servant of his to be a loser by being true to him. No, no, says I, let him alone for rewarding a servant, when he is but once assured of his fidelity. Fred. No demands now, Ramilie: I shall find a time to reward you. Kom. That was what I told her, sir. Do you think, says I, that this old rascal, (I ask your par
don, sir,) that this hunks, my master's father, will live for ever? And then, says I, do you think my master will not remember his old friends? Fred. Well, but, dear sir, let us have no more of your rhetoric.—Go and fetch Lappethither: I’ll try if I cann’t bring her over. Ram. Bring her over ! A fig for her, sir! I have a plot worth fifty of yours. I’ll blow her up with your father: I’ll make him believe just the contrary of every word she has told him. Fred. Can you do that? Ram. Never fear it, sir: I warrant my lies keep even pace with hers. But, sir, I have another plot:—I don’t question but, before you sleep, I shall put you in possession of some thousands of your father's money. Fred He has done all in his power to provoke me to it; but I'm afraid that will be carrying the jest too far. Ram. Sir, I will undertake to make it out that robbing him is a downright meritorious act. Besides, sir, if you have any qualms of conscience, you may return it him again: your having possession of it will bring him to any terms. Fred. Well, well, I believe there is little danger of thy stealing any thing from him ; so about the first affair: it is that only which causes my present pain. Ram. Fear nothing,
sir, whilst Ramilie is your friend.
Fred. If impudence can give a title to success, I am sure thou hast a good one.
C!er. Oh, Frederick I have been looking you all over the house. I have news for you which will give me pain to discover, though it is necessary you should know it. In short, Mariana has determined to marry your father this evening.
Fred. How ! Oh, Clerimont' is it possible — Cursed be the politics of my sister; she is the in. mocent occasion of this. And can Mariana, from a pique to her, throw herself away? Dear Clerimont' give me some advice; think on some method by which I may prevent, at least, this match; for that moment which gives her to my father will strike a thousand daggers in my heart.
Cler. Would I could advise you !—But here comes one who is more likely to invent some means for your deliverance.
Fred. Ha! Lappet.
Lap. Hey-day! Mr Frederick, you stand with your arms across, and look as melancholy as if there were a funeral going on in the house instead of a wedding. Fred. This wedding, madam, will prove the occasion of my funeral : I am obliged to you for being instrumental to it. Lap. Why, truly, if you consider the case rightly, I think you are: it will be much more to your interest to Fred. Mistress, undo immediately what you have done: prevent this match, which you have forwarded, or by all the devils which inhabit that heart of vours Lap. For Heaven's sake, sir! you do not intend to kill me? Fred. What could drive your villainy to attempt to rob me of the woman I dote on more than life? What could urge thee, when I trusted thee with my passion, when I have paid the most extravagant usury for money to bribe thee to be my friend, what could sway thee to betray me? Lup. As I hope to be saved, sir, whatever I have done was intended for your service. Fred. It is in vain to deny it: I know thou hast used thy utmost art to persuade my father into this match. Lap. If I did, sir, it was all with a view towards your interest It I have done any thing to prevent your having her, it was because I thought you would do better without her. Fred. Wouldst thou, to save my life, tear out my heart? and dost thou, like an impudent inquisitor, whilst thou art destroying me, assert it is for my own sake? Lap. Be but appeas'd, sir, and let me recover out of this terrible fright you have put me into, and I will engage to make you easy yet. Ctor. Dear Frederick, adjourn your anger for a while at least : I am sure Mrs Lappet is not your enemy in heart; and whatever she has done, if it has not been for your sake, this I dare con
fidently affirm, it has been for her own - and I have so good an opinion of her, that the momen. you shew her it will be more her interest to serve you than to oppose you, you may be secure of her friendship. Fred. But has she not already carried it be. yond retrieval 2 Lap. Alas, sir! I never did any thing yet so effectually but that I have been capable #P.undoing it; nor have I ever said anything so positively but that I have been able as positively to unsay it o: #. for truth, I have neglected it so long, that I often forget which side of the question it is of: besides, I look on it to be so very insignficant towards success, that I am indifferent whether it is for me or against me. Fred. Let me entreat you, dear madam, to lose no time in informing us of your many excel. lent qualities; but consider how very precious our time is, since the marriage is intended this very evening. Lap. That cannot be. Cler. My own ears were witnesses to her conSent. Lap. That indeed may be—but for themar. riage, it cannot be, nor it shall not be. Fred. How ! how will you prevent it? Lap. By an infallible rule I have.—But, sir, Mr Čso was mentioning a certain little word called interest just now.. I should not repeat it to you, sir, but that really one goes about a thing with so much better a will, and one has so much better luck in it too, when one has got some little matter by it." Fred. Here, take all the money I have in my pocket, and on my marriage with Mariana thou shalt have fifty more. Lap. That is enough, sir:—If they were half married already, I would unmarry them again. I am impatient till I am about it.—Oh, there is nothing like gold to quicken a woman’s *::: Exit. Fred. Dost thou think I may place any confi. dence in what this woman says? Cler. Faith, I think so. I have told you how dexterously she managed my affairs. I have seen such proofs of her capacity, that I am much easier on your account than I was. Fred. My own heart is something lighter too: –Oh, Clerimont' how dearly do we buy all the joys which we receive from women 1 Cler. A coquette's lover generally pays very severely à. his game is sure to lead him a long chase; and if he catches her at last, she is hardly worth carrying home.—You will excuse ine. Fred. It does not affect me; for what #. a coquette in Mariana is rather the effect of sprightliness and youth, than any fixed habit of mind: she has good sense and good nature at the bottom. Cler. If she has good nature, it is at the bottom indeed, for I think she has never discovered any to you. Fred. Women of her beauty and merit have
such a variety of admirers, that they are shocked to think of giving up all the rest by fixing on one. Besides, so many pretty gentlemen are continually attending them, and whispering soft things in their ears, who think all their services well reI. with a courtesy or a smile, that they are started, and think a loveramost unreasonable creature, who can imagine he merits their whole person. Cter. They are of all people my aversion; they are a sort of spaniels, who, though they have no chance of running down the hare themselves, often spoil the chase. I have known one of these fellows pursue half the fine women in town without any other design than of enjoying them all in the arms of a strumpet. It is pleasant enough to see them watching the eyes of a woman of quality half an hour, to get an opportunity of making a bow to her. Fred. Which she often returns with a smile, or some more extraordinary mark of affection, from a charitable design of giving pain to her real admirer, who, though he cann’t be jealous of the animal, is concern'd to see her condescend to take notice of him.
Har. I suppose, brother, you have heard of my good father's economy, that he has resolved to join two entertainments in one, and prevent giving an extraordinary wedding-supper. Fred. Yes, I have heard it, and I hope have taken measures to prevent it. Har. Why, did you believe it, then 2 Fred. I think I had no longer room to doubt. Har. I would not believe it, if I were to see them in bed together. Fred. Heaven forbid it ! Har. So say I too; Heaven forbid I should have such a mother-in-law but I think if she were wedded into any other family, you would have no reason to lament the loss of so constant a mistress. Fred. Dear Harriet! indulge my weakness. Har. I will indulge your weakness with all my heart—but the men ought not; for they are such lovers as you who spoil the women.—Come, you will bring Mr Clerimont into my apartment, if 'll give you a dish of tea, and you shall have some sal volatile in it, though you have no real cause for any depression of your spirits, for I dare swear your mistress is very safe; and I am sure if she were to be lost, in the manner you apprehend, she would be the best loss you ever had in your life. - Cler. Oh, Frederick! if your mistress were but equal to your sister, you might well be called the happiest of mankind. [Exeunt.
Mar. Have I not told you already, that I will marry him? Lap. Indeed you will not. Mar. How, Mrs Impertinence, has your mistress told you so? and did she send you hither to persuade me against the match? Lap. What should you marry him for 2 as for his riches, you might as well think of going hungry to a fine entertainment, where you were sure of not being suffered to eat: the very income of your own fortune will be more than he will allow you. Adieu fine clothes, operas, plays, assemblies; adieu dear quadrille–And to what have you sacrificed all these —not to a husband—for, whatever you make of him, you will never make a husband of him, I’m sure. Mar. This is a liberty, madam, I shall not allow you; if you intend to stay in this house, }. must leave off these pretty airs you have ately given yourself—Remember you are a servant here, and not the mistress, as you have been suffered to affect. Lap. You may lay aside your airs too, good madam, if you come to that for I shall not desire to stay in this house when you are the mistress of it. Mar. It will be prudent in you not to put on your usual insolence to me; for if you do, your master shall punish you for it. Lap. I have one more comfort, he will not be able to punish me half so much as he will you; the worst he can do to me is to turn me out of the house—but you he can keep in it. Wife to an old fellow ! faugh 1 Mar. If Miss Harriet sent you on this errand, you may return, and tell her her wit is shallower than I imagined it—and, since she has no more experience, I believe I shall send my daughterin-law to school again. Erit. Lap. Hum ! you will have a schoolmaster at home. I begin to doubt whether this sweettemper'd creature will not marry in spite at last. I have one project more to prevent her, and that I will about instantly. [Erit.
SCENE II.-The Garden.
Enter LoveGold and Mrs WISELY.
Love. I cannot be easy; I must settle something upon her.
Mrs Wisc. Believe me, Mr Lovegold, it is unnecessary; when you die, you will leave your wife very well provided for.
Love. Indeed I have known several law-suits happen on these accounts; and sometimes the whole has been thrown away in disputing to which party it belonged. I shall not sleep in my grave while a set of villainous lawyers are divi. ding the little money I have among them.
Mrs Wise. I know this old fool is fond enough now to come to any terms; but it is ill trusting him: violent passions can never last long at his years. [Aside.
Love. What are you considering?
Mrs Wise. Mr Lovegold, I am sure, knows the world too well to have the worse opinion of any woman from her prudence; therefore I must tell you, this delay of the match does not at all please me: it seems to argue your inclination abated, and so it is better to let the treaty end here, My daughter has a very good offer now, which were she to refuse on your account, she would make a very ridiculous in the world after you had left her. Love. Alas, madam ' I love her better than j thing almost upon the face of the earth : this delay is to secure her a good jointure: I am not yo the money the world says; I am not ineccl. Mrs Wise. Well, sir, then there can be no harm, for the satisfaction both of her mind and mine, in your signing a small contract, which can be prepared immediately. ove. What signifies signing, madam : Mrs Wise. I see, sir, you don’t care for it, so there is no harm done; and really this other is so very advantageous an offer, that I don’t know whether I shall not be blamed for refusing him on any account. Love. Nay, but be not in haste; what would you have me sign : Mrs Wise. Only to perform your promise of marriage. Love. Well, well, let your lawyer draw it up then, and mine shall look it over. Mrs Wise. I believe my lawyer is in the house; I’ll go to him, and get it done instantly, and then we will give this gentleman a final answer. I assure you he is a very advantageous offer. [Exit. Love. As I intend to marry this girl, there can be no harm in signing the contract: her lawyer draws it, so I shall be at no expence, for I can i. mine to look it over for nothing. I should ave done very wisely indeed to have entitled her to a third of my fortune, whereas I will not make her jointure above a tenth ! I protest it is with some difficulty that I have prevailed with myself to put off the match: I am more in love, I find, than I suspected.
Lap. Oh, unhappy miserable creature that I am what shall I do 2 whither shall I go 3 Love. What's the matter, Lappet 2 Lap. To have been innocently assisting in betraying so good a man! so good a masters so good a friend! Love. Lappet, I say! Lap. I shall never forgive myself; I shall never outlive it; I shall never eat, drink, sleep [Runs against him. Love. One would think you were walking in you, sleep now. What can be the meaning of this: Lap. Oh, sir!—you are undone, sir! and I am undone ! Love. How! what! has any one robbed me? have I lost any thing?
Lap. No, sir; but you have got something. Love. What 2 what? Lap. A wife, sir. Love. No, I have not yet—but why— Lap. How, sir! are you not married? Love. No. Lap. That is the happiest word I ever heard come out of your mouth. Love. I have, for some particular reasons, put off the match for a few days. Lap. Yes, sir; and for some particular reasons you fill ut off the match for a few years. Love. What do you say * Lap. Oh, sir! this affair has almost determined me never to engage in matrimonial matters again. I have been finely deceived in this lady! I told you, sir, she had an estate in a certain country; but I find it is all a cheat, sir; the devil of any estate has she l Love. How ! not any estate at all! how can she live then 2 Lap. Nay, sir, Heaven knows how half the people in this town live. Love. However, it is an excellent good quality in a woman to be able to live without an estate. She that can make something out of nothing, will make a little go a great way. I am sorry she has no fortune; but, considering all her saving qualities, Lappet— Lap. All an imposition, sir; she is the most extravagant wretch upon earth. Love. How ! hows extravagant? Lap. I tell you, sir, she is downright extravagance itself. love. Can it be possible, after what you told Ine : Lap. Alas, sir! that was only a cloak thrown over her real inclinations. Love. How was it possible for you to be deceived in her? Lap. Alas, sir!"she would have deceived any one upon earth, even you yourself: for, sir, during a whole fortnight, since you have been in love with her, she has made it her whole business to conceal her extravagance, and appear thrifty. Love. That is a good sign though, Lappet, let me tell you, that is a good sign: right habits, as well as wrong, are got by affecting them; and she who could be thrifty a whole fortnight, gives lively hopes that she may be brought to be so as long as she lives. Lap. She loves play to distraction; it is the only visible way she has of a living. Love. She must win then, Lappet; and play, when people play the best of the game, is no such very bad thing. Besides, as she plays only to support herself, when she can be supported without it, she may leave it off Lap. To support her extravagance, in dress particularly; why, don't you see, sir, she is dress'd out to-day like a princess 2 Love. It may be an effect of prudence in a young woman to dress in order to get a husband; and as that is apparently her motive, when she is married that motive ceases; and, to say the