The Clandestine Marriage/Act I
SCENE A room in Sterling's houſe.
Miſs Fanny and Betty meeting.
Betty running in.
MA'am! Miſs Fanny! Ma'am!
Fanny. What's the matter! Betty!
Betty. Oh la! Ma'am! as ſure as I'm alive, here is your huſband—
Fanny. Huſh! my dear Betty! if any body in the houſe ſhould hear you, I am ruined.
Betty. Mercy on me! it has frighted me to ſuch a degree, that my heart is come up to my mouth.—But as I was a ſaying, Ma'am, here's that dear, ſweet—
Fanny. Have a care! Betty.
Betty. Lord! I'm bewitched, I think.—But as I was a ſaying, Ma'am, here's Mr. Lovewell juſt come from London.
Betty. Yes, indeed, and indeed, Ma'am, he is. I ſaw him croſſing the court-yard in his boots.
Fanny. I am glad to hear it.—But pray now, my dear Betty, be cautious. Don't mention that word again on any account. You know, we have agreed never to drop any expreſſions of that ſort for fear of an accident.
Betty. Dear Ma'am, you may depend upon me. There is not a more truſtier creature on the face of the earth, than I am. Though I ſay it, I am as ſecret as the grave—and if it's never told, till I tell it, it may remain untold till doom's-day for Betty.
Fanny. I know you are faithful—but in our circumſtances we cannot be too careful.
Betty. Very true, Ma'am!—and yet I vow and proteſt, there's more plague than pleaſure with a ſecret; eſpecially if a body mayn't mention it to four or five of one's particular acquaintance.
Fanny. Do but keep this ſecret a little while longer, and then, I hope you may mention it to any body.—Mr. Lovewell will acquaint the family with the nature of our ſituation as ſoon as poſſible.
Betty. The ſooner, the better, I believe: for if he does not tell it, there's a little tell-tale, I know of, will come and tell it for him.
Fanny. Fie, Betty! [bluſhing.]
Betty. Ah! you may well bluſh.—But you're not ſo ſick, and ſo pale, and ſo wan, and ſo many qualms—
Fanny. Have done! I ſhall be quite angry with you.
Betty. Angry!—Bleſs the dear puppet! I am ſure I ſhall love it, as much as if it was my own.—I meant no harm, heaven knows.
Fanny. Well—ſay no more of this—It makes me uneaſy—All I have to aſk of you, is to be faithful and ſecret, and not to reveal this matter, till we diſcloſe it to the family ourſelves.
Betty. Me reveal it!—if I ſay a word, I wiſh I may be burned. I wou'd not do you any harm for the world—And as for Mr. Lovewell, I am ſure I have loved the dear gentleman ever ſince he got a tide-waiter's place for my brother—But let me tell you both, you muſt leave off your ſoft looks to each other, and your whiſpers, and your glances, and your always ſitting next to one another at dinner, and your long walks together in the evening—For my part, if I had not been in the ſecret, I ſhou'd have known you were a pair of loviers at leaſt, if not man and wife, as——
Fanny. See there now! again. Pray be careful.
Betty. Well—well—nobody hears me.—Man and wife—I'll ſay ſo no more—what I tell you is very true for all that—
Lovewell. [calling within.] William!
Betty. Hark! I hear your huſband—
Betty. I ſay, here comes Mr. Lovewell—Mind the caution I give you—I'll be whipped now, if you are not the firſt perſon he ſees or ſpeaks to in the family—However, if you chuſe it, it's nothing at all to me—as you ſow, you muſt reap—as you brew, ſo you muſt bake.—I'll e'en ſlip down the back-ſtairs, and leave you together.
I ſee, I ſee I ſhall never have a moment's eaſe till our marriage is made publick. New diſtreſſes croud in upon me every day. The ſollicitude of my mind ſinks my ſpirits, preys upon my health, and deſtroys every comfort of my life. It ſhall be revealed, let what will be the conſequence.
Lovew. My love!—How's this?—In tears?—Indeed this is too much. You promiſed me to ſupport your ſpirits, and to wait the determination of our fortune with patience.—For my ſake, for your own, be comforted! Why will you ſtudy to add to our uneaſineſs and perplexity?
Fanny. Oh, Mr. Lovewell! The indelicacy of a ſecret marriage grows every day more and more ſhocking to me. I walk about the houſe like a guilty wretch: I imagine myſelf the object of the ſuſpicion of the whole family; and am under the perpetual terrors of a ſhameful detection.
Lovew. Indeed, indeed, you are to blame. The amiable delicacy of your temper, and your quick ſenſibility, only ſerve to make you unhappy.—To clear up this affair properly to Mr. Sterling, is the continual employment of my thoughts. Every thing now is in a fair train. It begins to grow ripe for a diſcovery; and I have no doubt of its concluding to the ſatisfaction of ourſelves, of your father, and the whole family.
Fanny. End how it will, I am reſolved it ſhall end ſoon—very ſoon.—I wou'd not live another week in this agony of mind to be miſtreſs of the univerſe.
Lovew. Do not be too violent neither. Do not let us diſturb the joy of your ſiſter's marriage with the tumult this matter may occaſion!—I have brought letters from Lord Ogleby and Sir John Melvil to Mr. Sterling.—They will be here this evening—and, I dare ſay, within this hour.
Fanny. I am ſorry for it.
Lovew. Why ſo?
Fanny. No matter—Only let us diſcloſe our marriage immediately!
Lovew. As ſoon as poſſible.
Fanny. But directly.
Lovew. In a few days, you may depend on it.
Fanny. To night—or to-morrow morning.
Lovew. That, I fear, will be impracticable.
Fanny. Nay, but you muſt.
Lovew. Muſt! why?
Fanny. Indeed, you muſt.—I have the moſt alarming reaſons for it.
Lovew. Alarming indeed! for they alarm me, even before I am acquainted with them—What are they?
Fanny. I cannot tell you.
Lovew. Not tell me?
Fanny. Not at preſent. When all is ſettled, you ſhall be acquainted with every thing.
Lovew. Sorry they are coming!—Muſt be diſcovered!—What can this mean!—Is it poſſible you can have any reaſons that need be concealed from me?
Fanny. Do not diſturb yourſelf with conjectures—but reſt aſſured, that though you are unable to divine the cauſe, the conſequence of a diſcovery, be it what it will, cannot be attended with half the miſeries of the preſent interval.
Lovew. You put me upon the rack.—I wou'd do any thing to make you eaſy.—But you know your father's temper.—Money (you will excuſe my frankneſs) is the ſpring of all his actions, which nothing but the idea of acquiring nobility or magnificence can ever make him forego—and theſe he thinks his money will purchaſe.—You know too your aunt's, Mrs. Heidelberg's, notions of the ſplendor of high life, her contempt for every thing that does not reliſh of what ſhe calls Quality, and that from the vaſt fortune in her hands, by her late huſband, ſhe abſolutely governs Mr. Sterling and the whole family: now, if they ſhould come to the knowledge of this affair too abruptly, they might, perhaps, be incenſed beyond all hopes of reconciliation.
Fanny. But if they are made acquainted with it otherwiſe than by ourſelves, it will be ten times worſe: and a diſcovery grows every day more probable. The whole family have long ſuſpected our affection. We are alſo in the power of a fooliſh maid-ſervant; and if we may even depend on her fidelity, we cannot anſwer for her diſcretion.—Diſcover it therefore immediately, leſt ſome accident ſhould bring it to light, and involve us in additional diſgrace.
Lovew. Well—well—I meant to diſcover it ſoon, but would not do it too precipitately.—I have more than once ſounded Mr. Sterling about it, and will attempt him more ſeriouſly the next opportunity. But my principal hopes are theſe.—My relationſhip to Lord Ogleby, and his having placed me with your father, have been, you know, the firſt links in the chain of this connection between the two families; in conſequence of which, I am at preſent in high favour with all parties: while they all remain thus well-affected to me, I propoſe to lay our caſe before the old Lord; and if I can prevail on him to mediate in this affair, I make no doubt but he will be able to appeaſe your father; and, being a lord and a man of quality, I am ſure he may bring Mrs. Heidelberg into good-humour at any time.—Let me beg you, therefore, to have but a little patience, as, you ſee, we are upon the very eve of a diſcovery, that muſt probably be to our advantage.
Fanny. Manage it your own way. I am perſuaded.
Lovew. But in the mean time make yourſelf eaſy.
Fanny. As eaſy as I can, I will.—We had better not remain together any longer at preſent.—Think of this buſineſs, and let me know how you proceed.
Lovew. Depend on my care! But, pray, be chearful.
Fanny. I will.
As ſhe is going out, Enter Sterling.
Sterl. Hey-day! who have we got here?
Fanny. [confuſed.] Mr. Lovewell, Sir!
Sterl. And where are you going, huſſey!
Fanny. To my ſiſter's chamber, Sir! [Exit.
Sterl. Ah, Lovewell! What! always getting my fooliſh girl yonder into a corner!—Well—well—let us but once ſee her elder ſiſter faſt-married to Sir John Melvil, we'll ſoon provide a good huſband for Fanny, I warrant you.
Lovew. Wou'd to heaven, Sir, you would provide her one of my recommendation!
Sterl. Yourſelf? eh, Lovewell!
Lovew. With your pleaſure, Sir!
Sterl. Mighty well!
Lovew. And I flatter myſelf, that ſuch a propoſal would not be very diſagreeable to Miſs Fanny.
Sterl. Better and better!
Lovew. And if I could but obtain your conſent, Sir,——
Sterl. What! you marry Fanny!—no—no—that will never do, Lovewell!—You're a good boy, to be ſure—I have a great value for you—but can't think of you for a ſon-in-law.—There's no Stuff in the caſe, no money, Lovewell!
Lovew. My pretenſions to fortune, indeed, are but moderate: but though not equal to ſplendor, ſufficient to keep us above diſtreſs.—Add to which, that I hope by diligence to increaſe it—and have love, honour——
Sterl. But not the Stuff, Lovewell!—Add one little round o to the ſum total of your fortune, and that will be the fineſt thing you can ſay to me.—You know I've a regard for you—would do any thing to ſerve you—any thing on the footing of friendſhip—but——
Lovew. If you think me worthy of your friendſhip, Sir, be aſſured, that there is no inſtance in which I ſhould rate your friendſhip ſo highly.
Sterl. Pſha! pſha! that's another thing, you know.—Where money or intereſt is concerned, friendſhip is quite out of the queſtion.
Lovew. But where the happineſs of a daughter is at ſtake, you wou'd not ſcruple, ſure, to ſacrifice a little to her inclinations.
Sterl. Inclinations! why, you wou'd not perſuade me that the girl is in love with you—eh, Lovewell!
Lovew. I cannot abſolutely anſwer for Miſs Fanny, Sir; but am ſure that the chief happineſs or miſery of my life depends entirely upon her.
Sterl. Why, indeed now if your kinſman, Lord Ogleby, would come down handſomely for you—but that's impoſſible—No, no—'twill never do—I muſt hear no more of this—Come, Lovewell, promiſe me that I ſhall hear no more of this.
Lovew. [heſitating.] I am afraid, Sir, I ſhou'd not be able to keep my word with you, if I did promiſe you.
Sterl. Why you wou'd not offer to marry her without my conſent? wou'd you, Lovewell!
Lovew. Marry her, Sir! [confuſed.]
Sterl. Ay, marry her, Sir!—I know very well that a warm ſpeech or two from ſuch a dangerous young ſpark, as you are, will go much farther towards perſuading a ſilly girl to do what ſhe has more than a month's mind to do, than twenty grave lectures from fathers or mothers, or uncles or aunts, to prevent her.—But you wou'd not, ſure, be ſuch a baſe fellow, ſuch a treacherous young rogue, as to ſeduce my daughter's affections, and deſtroy the peace of my family in that manner.—I muſt inſiſt on it, that you give me your word not to marry her without my conſent.
Lovew. Sir—I—I—as to that—I—I—I beg, Sir—Pray, Sir, excuſe me on this ſubject at preſent.
Sterl. Promiſe then, that you will carry this matter no further without my approbation.
Lovew. You may depend on it, Sir, that it ſhall go no further.
Sterl. Well—well—that's enough—I'll take care of the reſt, I warrant you.—Come, come, let's have done with this nonſenſe!—What's doing in town?—Any news upon 'Change?
Lovew. Nothing material.
Sterl. Have you ſeen the currants, the ſoap, and Madeira, ſafe in the warehouſes? Have you compared the goods with the invoice and bills of lading, and are they all right?
Lovew. They are, Sir!
Sterl. And how are ſtocks?
Lovew. Fell one and an half this morning.
Sterl. Well—well—ſome good news from America, and they'll be up again.—But how are Lord Ogleby and Sir John Melvil? When are we to expect them?
Lovew. Very ſoon, Sir! I came on purpoſe to bring you their commands. Here are letters from both of them.
Sterl. Let me ſee—let me ſee—'Slife, how his Lordſhip's letter is perfumed!—It takes my breath away.—[opening it.] And French paper too! with a fine border of flowers and flouriſhes—and a ſlippery gloſs on it that dazzles one's eyes.—My dear Mr. Sterling.—[reading.]—Mercy on me! His Lorſhip writes a worſe hand than a boy at his exerciſe—But how's this?—Eh!—with you to-night—[reading.]—Lawyers to-morrow morning—To-night!—that's ſudden indeed.—Where's my ſiſter Heidelberg? ſhe ſhou'd know of this immediately.—Here John! Harry! Thomas! [calling the ſervants.] Hark ye, Lovewell!
Sterl. Mind now, how I'll entertain his Lordſhip and Sir John—We'll ſhew your fellows at the other end of the town how we live in the city—They ſhall eat gold—and drink gold—and lie in gold—Here cook! butler! [calling.] What ſignifies your birth and education, and titles? Money, money, that's the ſtuff that makes the great man in this country.
Lovew. Very true, Sir!
Sterl. True, Sir?—Why then have done with your nonſenſe of love and matrimony. You're not rich enough to think of a wife yet. A man of buſineſs ſhou'd mind nothing but his buſineſs.—Where are theſe fellows? John! Thomas! [calling.]—Get an eſtate, and a wife will follow of courſe.——Ah! Lovewell! an Engliſh merchant is the moſt reſpectable character in the univerſe. 'Slife, man, a rich Engliſh merchant may make himſelf a match for the daughter of a Nabob.—Where are all my raſcals? Here, William!
So!—As I ſuſpected.—Quite averſe to the match, and likely to receive the news of it with great diſpleaſure.—What's beſt to be done?—Let me ſee!—Suppoſe I get Sir John Melvil to intereſt himſelf in this affair. He may mention it to Lord Ogleby with a better grace than I can, and more probably prevail on him to interfere in it. I can open my mind alſo more freely to Sir John. He told me, when I left him in town, that he had ſomething of conſequence to communicate, and that I could be of uſe to him. I am glad of it: for the confidence he repoſes in me, and the ſervice I may do him, will enſure me his good offices.—Poor Fanny! It hurts me to ſee her ſo uneaſy, and her making a myſtery of the cauſe adds to my anxiety.—Something muſt be done upon her account, for at all events, her ſollicitude ſhall be removed.
Scene changes to another chamber.
Enter Miſs Sterling, and Miſs Fanny.
Miſs Sterl. Oh, my dear ſiſter, ſay no more! This is downright hypocriſy.—You ſhall never convince me that you don't envy me beyond meaſure.—Well, after all it is extremely natural—It is impoſſible to be angry with you.
Fanny. Indeed, ſiſter, you have no cauſe.
Miſs Sterl. And you really pretend not to envy me?
Fanny. Not in the leaſt.
Miſs Sterl. And you don't in the leaſt wiſh that you was juſt in my ſituation?
Fanny. No, indeed, I don't. Why ſhould I?
Miſs Sterl. Why ſhould you?—What! on the brink of marriage, fortune, title—But I had forgot.—There's that dear ſweet creature Mr. Lovewell in the caſe.—You would not break your faith with your true love now for the world, I warrant you.
Fanny. Mr. Lovewell!—always Mr. Lovewell!—Lord, what ſignifies Mr. Lovewell? Siſter!
Miſs Sterl. Pretty peeviſh ſoul!—Oh, my dear, grave, romantick ſiſter!—a perfect philoſopher in petticoats!—Love and a cottage!—Eh, Fanny!—Ah, give me indifference and a coach and ſix!
Fanny. And why not the coach and ſix without the indifference?—But, pray, when is this happy marriage of your's to be celebrated?—I long to give you joy.
Miſs Sterl. In a day or two—I can't tell exactly.—Oh, my dear ſiſter!—I muſt mortify her a little. [aſide.]—I know you have a pretty taſte. Pray, give me your opinion of my jewels.—How d'ye like the ſtile of this eſclavage?
Fanny. Extremely handſome indeed, and well fancied.
Miſs Sterl. What d'ye think of theſe bracelets? I ſhall have a miniature of my father, ſet round with diamonds, to one, and Sir John's to the other.—And this pair of ear-rings! ſet tranſparent!—here, the tops, you ſee, will take off to wear in a morning, or in an undreſs—how d'ye like them?
Fanny. Very much, I aſſure you—Bleſs me; ſiſter, you have a prodigious quantity of jewels—you'll be the very Queen of Diamonds.
Miſs Sterl. Ha! ha! ha! very well, my dear!—I ſhall be as fine as a little queen indeed.—I have a bouquet to come home to-morrow—made up of diamonds, and rubies, and emeralds, and topazes, and amethyſts—jewels of all colours, green, red, blue, yellow, intermixt—the prettieſt thing you ever ſaw in your life!—The jeweller ſays I ſhall ſet out with as many diamonds as any body in town, except Lady Brilliant, and Polly What d'ye-call-it, Lord Squander's kept miſtreſs.
Fanny. But what are your wedding-cloaths, ſiſter?
Miſs Sterl. Oh, white and ſilver to be ſure, you know.—I bought them at Sir Joſeph Luteſtring's, and ſat above an hour in the parlour behind the ſhop, conſulting Lady Luteſtring about gold and ſilver ſtuffs, on purpoſe to mortify her.
Fanny. Fie, ſiſter! how could you be ſo abominably provoking?
Miſs Sterl. Oh, I have no patience with the pride of your city-knights' ladies.—Did you never obſerve the airs of Lady Luteſtring dreſt in the richeſt brocade out of her huſband's ſhop, playing crown-whiſt at Haberdaſher's-Hall?—While the civil ſmirking Sir Joſeph, with a ſmug wig trimmed round his broad face as cloſe as a new-cut yew-hedge, and his ſhoes ſo black that they ſhine again, ſtands all day in his ſhop, faſtened to his counter like a bad ſhilling?
Fanny. Indeed, indeed, ſiſter, this is too much—If you talk at this rate, you will be abſolutely a bye-word in the city—You muſt never venture on the inſide of Temple-Bar again.
Miſs Sterl. Never do I deſire it—never, my dear Fanny, I promiſe you.—Oh, how I long to be tranſported to the dear regions of Groſvenor-Square—far—far from the dull diſtricts of Alderſgate, Cheap, Candlewick, and Farringdon Without and Within!—My heart goes pit-a-pat at the very idea of being introduced at court!—gilt chariot!—pyeballed horſes!—laced liveries!—and then the whiſpers buzzing round the circle—"Who is that young Lady! Who is ſhe?"—"Lady Melvil, Ma'am!"—Lady Melvil! my ears tingle at the ſound.—And then at dinner, inſtead of my farther perpetually aſking—"Any news upon 'Change?"—to cry—well, Sir John! any thing new from Arthur's?—or—to ſay to ſome other woman of quality, was your Ladyſhip at the Dutcheſs of Rubber's laſt night?—Did you call in at Lady Thunder's? In the immenſity of croud I ſwear I did not ſee you—ſcarce a ſoul at the opera laſt Saturday—ſhall I ſee you at Carliſle-Houſe next Thurſday?—Oh, the dear Beau-Monde! I was born to move in the ſphere of the great world.
Fanny. And ſo, in the midſt of all this happineſs, you have no compaſſion for me—no pity for us poor mortals in common life.
Miſs Sterl. [affectedly.] You?—You're above pity.—You would not change conditions with me—you're over head and ears in love, you know.—Nay, for that matter, if Mr. Lovewell and you come together, as I doubt not you will, you will live very comfortably, I dare ſay.—He will mind his buſineſs—you'll employ yourſelf in the delightful care of your family—and once in a ſeaſon perhaps you'll ſit together in a front-box at a benefit play, as we uſed to do at our dancing-maſter's, you know—and perhaps I may meet you in the ſummer with ſome other citizens at Tunbridge.—For my part, I ſhall always entertain a proper regard for my relations.—You ſha'n't want my countenance, I aſſure you.
Fanny. Oh, you're too kind, ſiſter!
Enter Mrs. Heidelberg.
Mrs. Heidel. [at entring.] Here this evening!—I vow and perteſt we ſhall ſcarce have time to provide for them—Oh, my dear! [to Miſs Sterl.] I am glad to ſee you're not quite in diſh-abille. Lord Ogleby and Sir John Melvil will be here to-night.
Miſs Sterl. To-night, Ma'am?
Mrs. Heidel. Yes, my dear, to-night.—Do, put on a ſmarter cap, and change thoſe ordinary ruffles!—Lord, I have ſuch a deal to do, I ſhall ſcarce have time to ſlip on my Italian luteſtring.—Where is this dawdle of a houſekeeper?—[Enter Mrs. Truſty.] Oh, here, Truſty! do you know that people of qualaty are expected here this evening?
Truſty. Yes, Ma'am.
Mrs. Heidel. Well—Do you be ſure now that every thing is done in the moſt genteeleſt manner—and to the honour of the famaly.
Truſty. Yes, Ma'am.
Mrs. Heidel. Well—but mind what I ſay to you.
Truſty. Yes, Ma'am.
Mrs. Heidel. His Lordſhip is to lie in the chintz bedchamber—d'ye hear?—And Sir John in the blue damaſk room—His Lordſhip's valet-de-ſhamb in the oppoſite——
Truſty. But Mr. Lovewell is come down—and you know that's his room, Ma'am.
Mrs. Heidel. Well—well—Mr. Lovewell may make ſhift—or get a bed at the George—But hark ye, Truſty!
Mrs. Heidel. Get the great dining-room in order as ſoon as poſſible. Unpaper the curtains, take the civers off the couch and the chairs, and put the china figures on the mantle-piece immediately.
Truſty. Yes, Ma'am.
Mrs. Heidel. Be gone then! fly, this inſtant!—Where's my brother Sterling——
Truſty. Talking to the butler, Ma'am.
Mrs. Heidel. Very well. [Exit Truſty.] Miſs Fanny!—I perteſt I did not ſee you before—Lord, child, what's the matter with you?
Fanny. With me? Nothing, Ma'am.
Mrs. Heidel. Bleſs me! Why your face is as pale, and black, and yellow—of fifty colours, I perteſt.—And then you have dreſt yourſelf as looſe and as big—I declare there is not ſuch a thing to be ſeen now, as a young woman with a fine waiſt—You all make yourſelves as round as Mrs. Deputy Barter. Go, child!—You know the qualaty will be here by and by—Go, and make yourſelf a little more fit to be ſeen. [Exit Fanny.] She is gone away in tears—abſolutely crying, I vow and perteſt.—This ridicalous Love! we muſt put a ſtop to it. It makes a perfect nataral of the girl.
Miſs Sterl. Poor ſoul! ſhe can't help it. [affectedly.
Mrs. Heidel. Well, my dear! Now I ſhall have an opportunity of convincing you of the abſurdity of what you was telling me concerning Sir John Melvil's behaviour to you.
Miſs Sterl. Oh, it gives me no manner of uneaſineſs. But, indeed, Ma'am, I cannot be perſuaded but that Sir John is an extremely cold lover. Such diſtant civility, grave looks, and lukewarm profeſſions of eſteem for me and the whole family! I have heard of flames and darts, but Sir John's is a paſſion of mere ice and ſnow.
Mrs. Heidel. Oh, fie, my dear! I am perfectly aſhamed of you. That's ſo like the notions of your poor ſiſter! What you complain of as coldneſs and indiffarence, is nothing but the extreme gentilaty of his addreſs, an exact pictur of the manners of qualaty.
Miſs Sterl. Oh, he is the very mirror of complaiſance! full of formal bows and ſet ſpeeches!—I declare, if there was any violent paſſion on my ſide, I ſhould be quite jealous of him.
Mrs. Heidel. I ſay jealus indeed—Jealus of who, pray?
Miſs Sterl. My ſiſter Fanny. She ſeems a much greater favourite than I am, and he pays her infinitely more attention, I aſſure you.
Mrs. Heidel. Lord! d'ye think a man of faſhion, as he is, can't diſtinguiſh between the genteel and the wulgar part of the famaly?—Between you and your ſiſter, for inſtance—or me and my brother?—Be adviſed by me, child! It is all politeneſs and good-breeding.—Nobody knows the qualaty better than I do.
Miſs Sterl. In my mind the old lord, his uncle, has ten times more gallantry about him than Sir John. He is full of attentions to the ladies, and ſmiles, and grins, and leers, and ogles, and fills every wrinkle in his old wizen face with comical expreſſions of tenderneſs. I think he wou'd make an admirable ſweetheart.
Sterl. [at entring.] No fiſh?—Why the pond was dragged but yeſterday morning—There's carp and tench in the boat.—Pox on't, if that dog Lovewell had any thought, he wou'd have brought down a turbot, or ſome of the land-carriage mackarel.
Mrs. Heidel. Lord, brother, I am afraid his lordſhip and Sir John will not arrive while it's light.
Sterl. I warrant you.—But, pray, ſiſter Heidelberg, let the turtle be dreſt to-morrow, and ſome veniſon—and let the gardener cut ſome pine-apples—and get out ſome ice.—I'll anſwer for wine, I warrant you—I'll give them ſuch a glaſs of Champagne as they never drank in their lives—no, not at a Duke's table.
Mrs. Heidel. Pray now, brother, mind how you behave. I am always in a fright about you with people of qualaty. Take care that you don't fall aſleep directly after ſupper, as you commonly do. Take a good deal of ſnuff; and that will keep you awake.—And don't burſt out with your horrible loud horſe-laughs. It is monſtrous wulgar.
Sterl. Never fear, ſiſter!—Who have we here?
Mrs. Heidel. It is Monſ. Cantoon, the Swiſh gentleman, that lives with his Lordſhip, I vow and perteſt.
Sterl. Ah, Mounſeer! your ſervant.—I am very glad to ſee you, Mounſeer.
Canton. Moſh oblige to Monſ. Sterling.—Ma'am, I am yours—Matemoiſelle, I am yours. [Bowing round.
Mrs. Heidel. Your humble ſervant, Mr. Cantoon!
Canton. I kiſs your hands, Matam!
Sterl. Well, Mounſeer!—and what news of your good family!—when are we to ſee his Lordſhip and Sir John?
Canton. Monſ. Sterling! Milor Ogelby and Sir Jean Melvile will be here in one quarter-hour.
Sterl. I am glad to hear it.
Mrs. Heidel. O, I am perdigious glad to hear it. Being ſo late I was afeard of ſome accident.—Will you pleaſe to have any thing, Mr. Cantoon, after your journey?
Canton. No, I tank you, Ma'am.
Mrs. Heidel. Shall I go and ſhew you the apartments, Sir?
Canton. You do me great honeur, Ma'am.
Mrs. Heidel. Come then!—come, my dear! [to Miſs Sterling.]
Sterl. Pox on't, it's almoſt dark—It will be too late to go round the garden this evening.—However, I will carry them to take a peep at my fine canal at leaſt, I am determined.