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no doubt you will very shortly be in full possession of them all.
Lord M. Sir, I will have you know, I am, at present, in full possession of them all
Sir F. May be so, egad!
Lord M. And can no longer forbear telling you I believe you to be a villain.
Sir F. Ah! now your lordship is perfectly explicit. [They draw and fight.]
Enter GABRIEL, who runs fearlessly between them, and looks first at one, then at the other. Lord M. How now, sirrah! How dare you take this liberty?
Gab. Nay, ecod! there do seem to be some danger in it; an' I had not dared to dare, but that I thought your lordship would na stick I.
Lord M. Begone, sirrah!
Gab. Thank your worship's lordship. [GABRIEL puts up the purse and walks leisurely off.] Enter HARRIET.
Lord M. [Following GABRIEL.] Why, hark you, sirrah!-Come back!-Why, rascal!
Har. [Calling.] Hist! My Lord! My Lord! Lord M [Looking back to HARRIET, and then recollecting GABRIEL.] Astonishing effrontery! Har. My lord!
Lord M. [Returning.] Oh! madam, I am distracted.
Har. Have patience, but for one quarter of an
Gab. Nay, but my lady sent me, and would be hour, and I hope to rid you of all your fears, and glad to speak wi' your honour's worship.
Lord M. With me?
Gab. Oh! no; not wi' your lordship's honour's worship; but wi' his worship's honour, Sir Frederick Fashion.
Sir F. This is no place, my lord; we'll settle this business to-morrow. To-morrow, my lord, to-mor
inflict that punishment on the author of them, which he dreads most.
Lord M. How, madam?
Har. By exposing him; making him what he delights to make others a subject of laughter and contempt.
Lord M. Which way, madam?
Step with me at
Lord M. D-n!-Torture! To-morrow!He the antichamber, and I'll inform you. has some concealed meaning. How now, sirrah! What do you stand gaping at? How dare you
come between us?
Gab. Why, ecod! I knew that, wi' us, i'th' country, murder would have been against the commandments; and I had forgotten that here, in town, you have no commandments.
Lord M. [Aside.] This fool can see the excesses of passion in their true light.
Gab. I'm sorry 'at I angered your lordship's worship; becase as why, I wur determined to do like the rest of my neighbours; for, sartinly, wur a body to keep the commandments, while every body else is breaking them-a'd be a poor devil, indeed. [LORD MORDEN walks about.] Belike, your lordship be a bit jealousy, like?
Lord M. How, sirrah!
Gab. Nay, I should no' a'wondered an you wur, an I had no' been told that your Londoneers be never jealousy, like.
Lord M. Should not have wondered! Why not, sirrah ?
Gab. Nay, ecod! I munna tell.
Lord. M. Tell what?
Gab. Nay, that's it. As I said, I munna tell. Lord M. [Puts his hand to his sword.] Speak all you know, instantly, or
Gab. With half serious and half sulky reproof] Nay, nay, donna be in a passion, your worship: be no goose, you munna spit me.
Lord M. Speak, I say; I'll have your secret, or your soul.
Gab, Ecod! I believe your worship will be puzzled to find either-though that Sir Frederick be an old fox, a's used to steal chicken.
Lord M. Be explicit. What has he done?
Lord M. What?
Gab. Promised me a piace.
Gab. And, moreover, a' ga' me a purse; which is better still: for, your worship's grace do know that an egg in hand is better nur a hen in expectation.
Sir F. The devil! What's to be done! Is she with them?
antichamber wi' my lord.
Sir F. And has not seen them?
Sir F. Here! quick, change clothes with me, and tell them you are Sir Frederick Fashion. Gab. Me!-Ecod! thank you for that I would na' be in your coat for fifty pound. Sir F. Fool! they dare not detain you. Gab. I'll take care they sha'n't.
Sir F. 'Sdeath! What's to be done? Gab. Ecod! Suppose suppose I wur to go, al tell the Irish gentleman somebody wanted hur; azso make 'em arrest she?
Sir F. Ha! exquisite fellow, I conceive. Away send her instantly.
Bailiff May I ask, sir, how he is dressed? Sir F. [Aside.] Gad! well remember'd.-[ To the Bailiffs.] Dressed!-Oh! he is dressed for-for the masquerade. Here he comes.
[The Bailiffs retire a little upon the watch. Enter HARRIRT.
[TO HARRIET.] Well, Sir Frederick! Ha, ha, ha! How goes your scheme?
Har. Ob, ho! Faidth! and are you so jocular? Sir F. I have been thinking this is a dangerous business, and would advise you not to give the girl that contract; it may bring you into trouble.
Bailiff [Aside to his companion. You hear. Har. Oh! faidth! and she has it safe enough. Bailiff. [Advances.] Sir Frederick Fashion,[Touches HARRIET on the shoulder.]-you are my prisoner, sir. I have a special writ against you. Har. Ha, ha, ha! Against me! Arrah, frind, but you are making a bit of a bull, here.
Bailiff. We know what we are about, sir. My carriage is below; you shall be treated like a gentleman; but we must beg you to go with us instantly, and without a noise.
Har. [Alarmed and forgetting the brogue.] I tell you, friend, you mistake the person.
Sir F. Then, madam, I am inexpressibly obliged to you.
Emily. Yes; Mrs. Modely is very much your friend, and very much my friend-a'n't you, Mrs. Modely?
Mrs. M. Yes, my little dear, I am, indeed, very much your friend: and, if I had not the best opinion in the world of Sir Frederick, would not have spoken as I have.
Emily. Well, Sir Frederick, have you ordered the chaise and four?
Sir F. [Pretending to be afraid Mrs. MODELY should overhear.] Yes. Hush!
Emily. Nay, you may say anything before Mrs. Modely. I have told her all; for, you know, she is my friend.
Mrs. M. Yes, yes, Sir Frederick; be assured I will not betray any secret, the keeping of which will make my dear Emily so happy.
Emily. Yes, we shall be so happy! You know, Sir Frederick, you swear to marry me. Sir F. Solemnly.
[All through the scene he looks anxiously round, at intervals, fearful of being surprised. Emily. Well, but, swear it again; now, before Mrs. Modely.
Sir F. By all the saints
Emily. Saints! Psha! you should swear by-by
Gab. [Goes up to HARRIET.] Here, Sir Frederick, | my bright eyes that dim the stars. here be card from Colonel Castoff, wi' his compli
Har. Sirrah! Me!
Sir F. Oh! By those bright eyes, that dim the blazing sun.
Emily. And—and, my beauties that eclipse the
Gab. [With pretended astonishment.] Ees, to be blushing moon!
Gab. I do think I could get it.
Sir F. Ay! Nay, I do, almost, begin to believe in miracles. Which way?
Gab. No matter for that. What will gi' me? Sir F. Whatever thou canst wish: a hundred guineas
Gab. And the place in the excise?
Sir F. Anything, everything!-Run, try, fly!Think, succeed, and I'll make an emperor of thee. Gab. Ees; I'll be emperor of excise-men. [Exit. Sir F. The shrewdness and abilities of this tellow are amazing.
Enter Mrs. MODELY, followed by EMILY. Mrs. M. [Speaking as she enters.] Yes, my sweet little Emily, the greatest beauty in London would be envied, had she made such a conquest.
Emily. Ah! you say so.
Mrs. M. Say! why, to-morrow morning, the whole town will be in a flame.
Emily. Well, that will be pure!
Sir F. Runs to EMILY.] My life! my soul! my transport.
Emily. [To Mrs. MODELY.] What sweet words! Ms. M. You are very much obliged to me, I assure you. I have been speaking to my sweet, dear, little Emily here in your behalf.
Sir F. Ay, by those, and all your burning charms,
Emily. To marry me the moment we come to Scotland?
Sir F. The moment we come to Scotland.
Sir F. To fight for you! die for you!
Fmily. Come, let us set off! My band-box is ready.
Sir F. I have not ordered the chaise till ten o'clock.
Emily. Oh, dear! What, two whole hours longer? Sir F. They are two ages, I grant. Looking round.] Forgive my fears, my dearest Emily; but, though the pleasure of your company is the most precious thing on earth-a-a-yet
Emily. What, you want me gone?
Sir F. Rather than you should think so unkindly, I will run the hazard of being surprised, and eternally separated from you.
Emily. Will you? I am sure you don't love me, then. However, I'll go. You will be sure to be ready, the moment the clock strikes ten. [Exit. Sir F. Time is precious. Here have been such plots against me.
Mrs. M. Plots!
Sir F. Oh! I have escaped Scylla and Charyb. dis: but wind and tide are now both with me. Lady Morden is to meet me here in half an hour. Through that door is her chamber.
Mrs. M. Oh! you vile creature.
Sir F. What prude, to-morrow, will dare pretend that woman and education are a match for man and nature?
Mrs. M. And so you will persist in your wickedness, in spite of my persuasions.
Sir F. Lady Morden has still all the rhodomon- has maimed, and deformed, and left a full feeling of tade of love in her brain: thinks of nothing but wretchedness. cooing-constancy, and eternal raptures. Mrs. M. Simple woman!
Sir F. Except, indeed, tormenting her husband; which seems to give the sin a double sweetness. Mrs. M. Or she would be no wife.
Sir F. So, as soon as I am gone off with Emily, I will have a consolatory epistle delivered to her. Mrs. M. Compassionate toad!
Sir F. Here it is, ready written; and, if I don't flatter myself, a master-piece.
Mrs. M. Let me see! let me see!
Sir F. No, you shall hear. [Reads.] "Dear madam,-Though you are an angel, if there be other angels, am I to blame?"
Mrs. M. Certainly not.
General. How now, my lord?
Lord M. General, I am a wretch! an irretriev able, eternal wretch!
General. What! and are you come to a sense of this, now it is too late?
Lord M. There's the misery!-The curse is accomplished, and hope is fled!
General. Why, ay; such is the infatuation cổ folly and vice, they will not believe vengeance has an arm, till its fatal gripe is felt!
Lord M. I cannot support these tortures.-Ob! that it were possible
Lord M. To reclaim Lady Morden.
General What, then? Ánother month, and 8h
Sir F. [Reads.] “If man is naturally inconstant, Frederick Fashion, or any other libertine of fashion, and if I am a man, am I to blame?" might take her. Lord M. Never, never! Were her affections once
Mrs. M. Certainly not.
Sir F. [Reads.] “ If nature has made variety the again mine, the stroke of death only should separate highest enjoyment, am I to blame?”
Mrs. M. Certainly not.
Sir F. [Reads.] "If, since happiness is the pursuit of us all, I am happy as often as I can, am I to blame?" Mrs. M. Certainly not.
General. Well, my lord, if you are, at last, con vinced of the immensity of your loss,-I pity you! Lord M. Oh! would you could relieve!
General. Would I could! But, you were a witness how ineffectual my endeavours were. However, walk with me into the antichamber, and let us consult what is best to be done. Her principles, I fear, are shaken; the only rock on which virtue can
Sir F. [Reads.} Farewell, madam; circumstances, as you will find, force me, thus suidenly, from your arms, in which, I own, I found heaven centred: but, if you should call me cruel, perjured, and ungrateful, because I act naturally, and therefore ration-stand secure. ally, am I to blame?"
Mrs. M. Certainly not. Well, as I live, this is a master-stroke! Perfectly as I thought I knew you, you have astonished me.
Lord M. Sapped, destroyed! She avows her intents; unblushingly avows them! And recapitulating my errors, my crimes, dares me to complain of or notice her's! Scorns and contemns me, and justly, too, that such a thing as I should pretend to
Sir F. Yes; 'tis the true Socratic mode. But, now, my dear Mrs. Modely, go you to Emily, pre-repeat, or respect, the word virtue. vent her disturbing us, and keep her in readiness. General. It is what every husband, every father Mrs. M. Well-remember, everything is at of a family must expect. His smallest foibles will stake, and be yourself. stand as precedents for a swarm of follies; and, if he have any vices, they will propagate a hideous brood, that shall extirpate his name from the earth, or overwhelm it with obloquy. [Ereant.
Sir F. Fear me not; that prescience, which, they say, is the forerunner of all great events, gives me a happy assurance of success; a confidence, that makes success certain. [Exeunt.
SCENE I.-The same.
General BURLAND discovered.
General. I cannot keep from this house! There is a foreboding of mischief which haunts and perturbs ny imagination, and, I fear, with reason. The moignant joy, the smothered exult, the obscure, nonical, satire, which ran through the discourse of that Sir Frederick, were not without a meaning. I wish I had not consented to let Emily stay. He sneered, I remember, at the moment: nay, it seemed the sneer of triumph. I wish she were safe, at my own house. Poor Lady Morden! And, is it possible? Such rectitude of heart, such purity of sentiment! I wish Emily were at home. Should my child, my darling fall, I were a wretch indeed!
that its caterminating power had been final! But it Give it ma
Gab. Nay, hold there; I wanna do that. Sir F. Won't?
Gab. No, I wunna.
Sir F. Psha! make no words, but deliver it;and, here-here is-
Gab. Nay, put up your paper; for I wunna part wi' mine.
Sir F. 'Sdeath, fellow!
Sir F. Say not, dear lady, it is either my wish or resolution! Heaven can testify, I have not the power to be any thing, but what it shall please you to make me!
Lady M I have owned to you, that the levity I have lately affected is not natural to me! that my heart sighs for an acquaintance, a mate, that, like itself, is subject to all the sweet emotions of sensiyoubility!-Yes, it was the first wish of my soul to find this correspondent heart. A heart beating with the same ardour, vibrating to the same sensations, panting for the same pleasures, shrinking from the same pangs; pliant, yet firm; gentle, yet aspiring; passionate, yet pure!-Such I once thought Lord Morden's. Should I a second time be deceived
Gab. Nay, be mild tempered!-Stand where be; for an you stir another step, I'll call the bailiffs. Sir F. Aside. Cunning scoundrel! He has me in his power, and time presses.-Well, Gabriel, be faithful, and, depend on't, I'll make thee a clever
Gab. Why, ecod' I think I am like a Monmouthstrect coat-ready made.
Sir F. Thou rememberest the instructions I gave thee?
Sir F. I am poor in proofs of sincerity! I have none to offer! My former errors are present punishments! To deny or even palliate them would imply intentional deceit; and this is a moment in which I
Sir F. The chaise is to wait at the corner of the would wish for men and gods to be witnesses of my
Sir F. Hast thou taken care of the letter I gave thee?
Gab. Care! Ees, ecs; I a' ta'en gced care on't. Sir F. Observe, thou art to deliver it to Lady Morden, half an hour after we are departed.
Gab. Half an hour before you are departed?
Gab. But-but how will your worship get by the bailiffs?
Sir F. 'Sdeath, that's true!-Is there no disguise? Gab. Why-ces-there be a long great-coat i'the hall.
Sir F. Ay, true.-Bring it me.
Gab. Nay, nay; I'll put it on first, and let 'em see me; so, then, when they see you, they'll think
it be I.
Sir F. This fellow would outwit a whole conclave of cardinals!
Lady M. Well, Sir Frederick, here I am, you see; punctual to my promise.
Sir F. [With vast insinuation, seeming sincerity, and humble rupture, all through the scene.] Oh! madam, how can I repay this bounty!--this condescension! -Never!-My life were a poor sacrifice, to such sweetness and such charms!
Lady M. Sir Frederick, this is a trying, a decisive moment! I am going to be either the most happy or the most wretched of women! You tell me, it is your wish, your resolution, to be no longer that ge neral lover, that man of the world, you have, hitherto, been thought.
truth! I have had, I must own, most libertine opinions of your gentle sex; but these I, now, solemnly renounce! Had I, before, met with a Lady Morden, I should, before, have made this renunciation! But, perhaps, the women it has been my misfortune to know, deserved, in part, the light esteem in which I held them. Never, till now, did I find one who could mutually inspire such passion and respect! Such agitated, burning hopes! Such excruciating fears, or thoughts so sanctified, as those I, this moment, feel!
Lady M. Yet, Sir Frederick, I cannot help observing your conversation, in society, seems still tinged with the impurity of your former libertine principles.
Sir F. I own, Lady Morden, with confusion own, I have not hitherto had the courage, or, perhaps, L have wanted strength to stem the torrent: but, aided by you, I feel, I dare promise any thing!
Lady M. I confess, Sir Frederick, the mind finds some difficulty in rooting out fears, planted in it by reiterated accusations. The stories the world tells of you are dreadful. And, yet, there is such heartfelt conviction attends your present words that, to me, it is impossible to listen and retain a doubt.
Sir F. This generous confidence transports me, fills me with gratitude, and inspires rapturous hope! [Clasps her round the waist.] Oh, gently suffer me to conduct you, where love lies, in panting, breathless ecstasy
Enter GABRIEL, abruptly, in a great-coat, stands fired, and staring.
[Sternly.] How now!
Gab. [Deliberately.] Belike, you dunna want. company?
Sir F. No, sir.
Gab. I thought as much.
Sir F.Laying hold of him.] Begone, instantly!
Gab. [Still louder.] The bandbox ready.
Gab. Miss Emily waiting.
Sie F. Violently.] Begone, I say.
Gab. Gone! Nay, sartinly, you would no' ha' run away wi' her.
Lady M. [With contempt.] Ha, ha, ha!
Lady M. Oh, general!-Oh! my Lord! [Runs to Lord MORDEN and falls on his neck.] Lord M. My life! my ecstasy! my saviour!
Enter MRS. MODELY and EMILY.
Mrs. M. Bless me, what uproar!-Heyday![Aside. So, so! Here is a very pretty denouement to our plot, indeed!-[Aloud. I see, good folks, you are all embroiled here; and, as it is a very disagreeable thing to be present at family disputes, I'll -Is going; the General plants himself against the d.]
Gnera!. Priy, madam, stay, and receive the Compaments of the company wine, and your friend Emily's in particular.
Mrs. M. Oh, with pleasure!
Lord M. Mr. Winot! My best brother; though you have, in part, acquainted me with what is past, yet, it is so su den-an I you, my dearest lady, to hini you still the same is jy unspeakable.
Lady M. The task of making you suppose I had effe tually become what I sected, was, indeed, most painful; but the loss of your a Tection were net pan-twere horror! I told you my passion was too permanent to be shaken.-An! how could you imagine I meant another? Or, think it possible I ever coul! forget that chaste, that ardent, that eternal love, I have so repeatedly avowed?
Lord M. Oh! for words!-I am all love, gratitud, rapture, and amazement!
General. And so is Sir Frederick apparently; nay, even you, madam, seem a little surprised. [MIS. MODELY.]
Mrs. M. Me! Oh, dear! no.
Har. Yes, sir; that Harriet, whom, hearing, she had happiness in view, and proportioning your ideal triumph to the weight of misery you might entail, you raised heaven and earth to bring to wretchedness and ruin.
Mrs. M. Upon my honour, you-you are a sad man, Sir Frederick!-A very sad man! [The company by their looks show they understand Mrs. MODELY'S real character.]
Har. But your vanity is humbled; you, now stand detected; and, instead of envied, you will be sneered at by the depraved, pitied by the good, and henceforth, avoided by the credulous young creatures you, so manfully, have delighted to involve in guilt and destruction!
Mrs. M. A very dangerous man, indeed, Sir Frederick!
Gneral. Ironically.] Ay, beware of him, madam. Mrs. M. Oh! I-I will.
Har. Yes, sir, the finger of scorn points where it ought: you are exposed, and my resentment is appeised.
Sir F. Then, madam-the-the contract
Har. There it is, sir. [Returns it.] I never meant to make any other use of it than what has been better effected, by different means. [Curtsying to Lady MOREEN and Mr. WILMOT.]
Sir F. Madam!Har. No thanks, sir.
General. No; they would sit a little awkwardly. Lady M. And now, Sir Frederick, if, after this lesson, you should still retain your former principles and practices, and, hereafter, receive a still severer punishment, I hope you will acknowledge
Lady. M. [To Sir FREDERICK.] Dear sir, though we are "not to blame."