The Clandestine Marriage/Act IV
ACT IV.SCENE I.
Enter Sterling, Mrs. Heidelberg, and Miſs Sterling.
Sterl. WHAT! will you ſend Fanny to town, ſiſter?
Mrs. Heidel. To-morrow morning. I've given orders about it already.
Mrs. Heidel. Poſitively.
Sterl. But conſider, ſiſter, at ſuch a time as this, what an odd appearance it will have.
Mrs. Heidel. Not half ſo odd, as her behaviour, brother.—This time was intended for happineſs, and I'll keep no incendaries here to deſtroy it. I inſiſt on her going off to-morrow morning.
Sterl. I'm afraid this is all your doing, Betſey.
Miſs Sterl. No indeed, Papa. My aunt knows that it is not.—For all Fanny's baſeneſs to me, I am ſure I would not do, or ſay any thing to hurt her with you or my aunt for the world.
Mrs. Heidel. Hold your tongue, Betſey!—I will have my way.—When ſhe is packed off, every thing will go on as it ſhould do.—Since they are at their intrigues, I'll let them ſee that we can act with vigur on our part; and the ſending her out of the way ſhall be the purlimunary ſtep to all the reſt of my perceedings.
Sterl. Well, but ſiſter——
Mrs. Heidel. It does not ſignify talking, brother Sterling, for I'm reſolved to be rid of her, and I will.—Come along, child! [to Miſs Sterling]—The poſt-ſhay ſhall be at the door by ſix o'clock in the morning; and if Miſs Fanny does not get into it, why I will, and ſo there's an end of the matter.
[bounces out with Miſs Sterling.
Mrs. Heidelberg returns.
Mrs. Heidel. One word more, brother Sterling!—I expect that you will take your eldeſt daughter in your hand, and make a formal complaint to Lord Ogleby of Sir John Melvil's behaviour.—Do this, brother; ſhew a proper regard for the honour of your fammaly yourſelf, and I ſhall throw in my mite to the raiſing of it. If not—but now you know my mind. So act as you pleaſe, and take the conſequences.
The devil's in the woman for tyranny—mothers, wives, miſtreſſes, or ſiſters, they always will govern us.—As to my ſiſter Heidelberg, ſhe knows the ſtrength of her purſe, and domineers upon the credit of it.—"I will do this"—and "you ſhall do that"—and "you muſt do t'other, or elſe the fammaly ſhan't have a farden of"—[mimicking.]—So abſolute with her money!—but to ſay the truth, nothing but money can make us abſolute, and ſo we muſt e'en make the beſt of her.
SCENE changes to the garden.
Enter Lord Ogleby and Canton.
Lord Ogle. What! Mademoiſelle Fanny to be ſent away!—Why?—Wherefore?—What's the meaning of all this?
Cant. Je ne ſcais pas.—I know noting of it.
Lord Ogle. It can't be; it ſhan't be. I proteſt againſt the meaſure. She's a fine girl, and I had much rather that the reſt of the family were annihilated than that ſhe ſhould leave us.—Her vulgar father, that's the very abſtract of 'Change-Alley—the aunt, that's always endeavouring to be a fine lady—and the pert ſiſter, for ever ſhewing that ſhe is one, are horrid company indeed, and without her would be intolerable. Ah, la petite Fanchon! ſhe's the thing. Is n't ſhe, Cant?
Cant. Dere is very good ſympatie entre vous, and dat young lady, mi Lor.
Lord Ogle. I'll not be left among theſe Goths and Vandals, your Sterlings, your Heidelbergs, and Devilbergs—If ſhe goes, I'll poſitively go too.
Cant. In de ſame poſt-chay, mi Lor? You have no object to dat I believe, nor Mademoiſelle neider too—ha, ha, ha.
Lord Ogle. Prithee hold thy fooliſh tongue, Cant. Does thy Swiſs ſtupidity imagine that I can ſee and talk with a fine girl without deſires?—My eyes are involuntarily attracted by beautiful objects—I fly as naturally to a fine girl—
Cant. As de fine girl to you, my Lor, ha, ha, ha; you alway fly togedre like un pair de pigeons.—
Lord Ogle. Like un pair de pigeons—[mocks him.]—Vous etes un ſot, Monſ. Canton—Thou art always dreaming of my intrigues, and never ſeeſt me badiner, but you ſuſpect miſchief, you old fool, you.
Cant. I am fool, I confeſs, but not always fool in dat, my Lor, he, he, he.
Lord Ogle. He, he, he.—Thou art incorrigible, but thy abſurdities amuſe one—Thou art like my rappee here, [takes out his box.] a moſt ridiculous ſuperfluity, but a pinch of thee now and then is a moſt delicious treat.
Cant. You do me great honeur, my Lor.
Lord Ogle. 'Tis fact, upon my ſoul.—Thou art properly my cephalick ſnuff, and art no bad medicine againſt megrims, vertigoes, and profound thinking—ha, ha, ha.
Cant. Your flatterie, my Lor, vil make me too prode.
Lord Ogle. The girl has ſome little partiality for me, to be ſure: but prithee, Cant, is not that Miſs Fanny yonder?
Cant. [looking with a glaſs.] En veritè, 'tis ſhe, my Lor—'tis one of de pigeons,—de pigeons d'amour.
Lord Ogle. Don't be ridiculous, you old monkey. [ſmiling.
Cant. I am monkeè, I am ole, but I have eye, I have ear, and a little underſtand, now and den.—
Lord Ogle. Taiſez vous bête!
Cant. Elle vous attend, my Lor.—She vil make a love to you.
Lord Ogle. Will ſhe? Have at her then! A fine girl can't oblige me more.—Egad, I find myſelf a little enjouée—come along, Cant! ſhe is but in the next walk—but there is ſuch a deal of this damned crinkum-crankum, as Sterling calls it, that one ſees people for half an hour before one can get to them—Allons, Monſ. Canton, allons donc!
[Exeunt ſinging in French.
Another part of the garden.
Lovewell, and Fanny.
Lovew. My dear Fanny, I cannot bear your diſtreſs; it overcomes all my reſolutions, and I am prepared for the diſcovery.
Fanny. But how can it be effected before my departure?
Lovew. I'll tell you.—Lord Ogleby ſeems to entertain a viſible partiality for you; and notwithſtanding the peculiarities of his behaviour, I am ſure that he is humane at the bottom. He is vain to an exceſs; but withall extremely good-natured, and would do any thing to recommend himſelf to a lady.—Do you open the whole affair of our marriage to him immediately. It will come with more irreſiſtible perſuaſion from you than from myſelf; and I doubt not but you'll gain his friendſhip and protection at once.—His influence and authority will put an end to Sir John's ſollicitations, remove your aunt's and ſiſter's unkindneſs and ſuſpicions, and, I hope, reconcile your father and the whole family to our marriage.
Fanny. Heaven grant it! Where is my Lord?
Lovew. I have heard him and Canton ſince dinner ſinging French ſongs under the great walnut-tree by the parlour door. If you meet with him in the garden, you may diſcloſe the whole immediately.
Fanny. Dreadful as the taſk is, I'll do it.—Any thing is better than this continual anxiety.
Lovew. By that time the diſcovery is made, I will appear to ſecond you.—Ha! here comes my Lord.—Now, my dear Fanny, ſummon up all your ſpirits, plead our cauſe powerfully, and be ſure of ſucceſs.—
Fanny. Ah, don't leave me!
Lovew. Nay, you muſt let me.
Fanny. Well; ſince it muſt be ſo, I'll obey you, if I have the power. Oh Lovewell!
Lovew. Conſider, our ſituation is very critical. To-morrow morning is fixt for your departure, and if we loſe this opportunity, we may wiſh in vain for another.—He approaches—I muſt retire.—Speak, my dear Fanny, ſpeak, and make us happy!
Good heaven, what a ſituation am I in! what ſhall I do? what ſhall I ſay to him? I am all confuſion.
Enter Lord Ogleby, and Canton.
Lord Ogle. To ſee ſo much beauty ſo ſolitary, Madam, is a ſatire upon mankind, and 'tis fortunate that one man has broke in upon your reverie for the credit of our ſex.—I ſay one, Madam, for poor Canton here, from age and infirmities, ſtands for nothing.
Cant. Noting at all, inteed.
Fanny. Your Lordſhip does me great honour. I had a favour to requeſt, my Lord!
Lord Ogle. A favour, Madam!—To be honoured with your commands, is an inexpreſſible favour done to me, Madam.
Fanny. If your Lordſhip could indulge me with the honour of a moment's—What is the matter with me? [aſide.
Lord Ogle. The girl's confus'd—he!—here's ſomething in the wind faith—I'll have a tete-a-tete with her—allez vous en! [to Canton.
Cant. I go—ah, pauvre Mademoiſelle! my Lor, have pitié upon de poor pigeone!
Lord Ogle. I'll knock you down Cant, if you're impertinent. [ſmiling.
Cant. Den I mus avay—[ſhuffles along.]—You are mosh pleaſe, for all dat. [Aſide, and exit.
Fanny. I ſhall ſink with apprehenſion. [aſide.
Lord Ogle. What a ſweet girl!—ſhe's a civiliz'd being, and atones for the barbariſm of the reſt of the family.
Fanny. My Lord! I—[She curtſeys, and bluſhes.
Lord Ogle. [addreſſing her.] I look upon it, Madam, to be one of the luckieſt circumſtances of my life, that I have this moment the honour of receiving your commands, and the ſatisfaction of confirming with my tongue, what my eyes perhaps have but too weakly expreſſed—that I am literally—the humbleſt of your ſervants.
Fanny. I think myſelf greatly honoured, by your Lordſhip's partiality to me; but it diſtreſſes me, that I am obliged in my preſent ſituation to apply to it for protection.
Lord Ogle. I am happy in your diſtreſs, Madam, becauſe it gives me an opportunity to ſhew my zeal. Beauty to me, is a religion, in which I was born and bred a bigot, and would die a martyr.—I'm in tolerable ſpirits, faith! [aſide.
Fanny. There is not perhaps at this moment a more diſtreſſed creature than myſelf. Affection, duty, hope, deſpair, and a thouſand different ſentiments, are ſtruggling in my boſom; and even the preſence of your Lordſhip, to whom I have flown for protection, adds to my preplexity.
L. Ogle. Does it, Madam?—Venus forbid!—My old fault; the devil's in me, I think, for perplexing young women. [aſide and ſmiling.] Take courage, Madam! dear Miſs Fanny, explain.—You have a powerful advocate in my breaſt, I aſſure you—my heart, Madam—I am attached to you by all the laws of ſympathy, and delicacy.—By my honour, I am.
Fanny. Then I will venture to unburthen my mind.—Sir John Melvil, my Lord, by the moſt miſplaced, and miſtimed declaration of affection for me, has made me the unhappieſt of women.
L. Ogle. How, Madam! Has Sir John made his addreſſes to you?
Fanny. He has, my Lord, in the ſtrongeſt terms. But I hope it is needleſs to ſay, that my duty to my father, love to my ſiſter, and regard to the whole family, as well as the great reſpect I entertain for your Lordſhip, [curtſeying] made me ſhudder at his addreſſes.
L. Ogle. Charming girl!—Proceed, my dear Miſs Fanny, proceed!
Fanny. In a moment—give me leave, my Lord!—But if what I have to diſcloſe ſhould be received with anger or diſpleafure—
L. Ogle. Impoſſible, by all the tender powers!—Speak, I beſeech you, or I ſhall divine the cauſe before you utter it.
Fanny. Then, my Lord, Sir John's addreſſes are not only ſhocking to me in themſelves, but are more particularly diſagreeable to me at this time, as—as—
L. Ogle. As what, Madam?
Fanny. As—pardon my confuſion—I am intirely devoted to another.
L. Ogle. If this is not plain, the devil's in it—[aſide.] But tell me, my dear Miſs Fanny, for I muſt know, tell me the how, the when, and the where—Tell me—
Enter Canton haſtily.
Cant. My Lor, my Lor, my Lor!—
L. Ogle. Damn your Swiſs impertinence! how durſt you interrupt me in the moſt critical melting moment that ever love and beauty honoured me with?
Cant. I demande pardonne, my Lor! Sir John Melvil, my Lor, ſent me to beg you to do him the honour to ſpeak a little to your Lorſhip.
L. Ogle. I'm not at leiſure—I'm buſy—Get away, you ſtupid old dog, you Swiſs raſcal, or I'll——
Cant. Fort bien, my Lor.—[Cant. goes out tiptoe.
L. Ogle. By the laws of gallantry, Madam, this interruption ſhould be death; but as no puniſhment ought to diſturb the triumph of the ſofter paſſions, the criminal is pardoned and diſmiſſed—Let us return, Madam, to the higheſt luxury of exalted minds—a declaration of love from the lips of beauty.
Fanny. The entrance of a third perſon has a little relieved me, but I cannot go thro' with it—and yet I muſt open my heart with a diſcovery, or it will break with its burthen.
L. Ogle. What paſſion in her eyes! I am alarmed to agitation. [aſide.]—I preſume, Madam, (and as you have flattered me, by making me a party concerned, I hope you'll excuſe the preſumption) that——
Fanny. Do you excuſe my making you a party concerned, my Lord, and let me intereſt your heart in my behalf, as my future happineſs or miſery in a great meaſure depend——
L. Ogle. Upon me, Madam?
Fanny. Upon you, my Lord. [ſighs.
L. Ogle. There's no ſtanding this: I have caught the infection—her tenderneſs diſſolves me. [ſighs.
Fanny. And ſhould you too ſeverely judge of a raſh action which paſſion prompted, and modeſty has long concealed—
L. Ogle. [taking her hand.] Thou amiable creature—command my heart, for it is vanquiſhed—Speak but thy virtuous wiſhes, and enjoy them.
Fanny. I cannot, my Lord—indeed, I cannot—Mr. Lovewell muſt tell you my diſtreſſes—and when you know them—pity and protect me!—
[Exit, in tears.
Lord Ogleby alone.
How the devil could I bring her to this? It is too much—too much—I can't bear it—I muſt give way to this amiable weakneſs—[wipes his eyes.] My heart overflows with ſympathy, and I feel every tenderneſs I have inſpired—[ſtifles the tear.] How blind have I been to the deſolation I have made!—How could I poſſibly imagine that a little partial attention and tender civilities to this young creature ſhould have gathered to this burſt of paſſion! Can I be a man and withſtand it? No—I'll ſacrifice the whole ſex to her.—But here comes the father, quite apropos. I'll open the matter immediately, ſettle the buſineſs with him, and take the ſweet girl down to Ogleby-houſe to-morrow morning—But what the devil! Miſs Sterling too! What miſchief's in the wind now?
Enter Sterling and Miſs Sterling.
Sterl. My Lord, your ſervant! I am attending my daughter here upon rather a diſagreeable affair. Speak to his Lordſhip, Betſey!
Lord Ogle. Your eyes, Miſs Sterling—for I always read the eyes of a young lady—betray ſome little emotion—What are your commands, Madam?
Miſs Sterl. I have but too much cauſe for my emotion, my Lord!
Lord Ogle. I cannot commend my kinſman's behaviour, Madam. He has behaved like a falſe knight, I muſt confeſs. I have heard of his apoſtacy. Miſs Fanny has informed me of it.
Miſs Sterl. Miſs Fanny's baſeneſs has been the cauſe of Sir John's inconſtancy.
Lord Ogle. Nay, now, my dear Miſs Sterling, your paſſion tranſports you too far. Sir John may have entertained a paſſion for Mſls Fanny, but believe me, my dear Miſs Sterling, believe me, Miſs Fanny has no paſſion for Sir John. She has a paſſion, indeed, a moſt tender paſſion. She has opened her whole ſoul to me, and I know where her affections are placed.
Miſs Sterl. Not upon Mr. Lovewell, my Lord; for I have great reaſon to think that her ſeeming attachment to him, is, by his conſent, made uſe of as a blind to cover her deſigns upon Sir John.
Lord Ogle. Lovewell! No, poor lad! She does not. think of him. [ſmiling.
Miſs Sterl. Have a care, my Lord, that both the families are not made the dupes of Sir John's artifice and my ſiſter's diſſimulation! You don't know her—indeed, my Lord, you don't know her—a baſe, inſinuating, perfidious!—It is too much—She has been beforehand with me, I perceive. Such unnatural behaviour to me!—But ſince I ſee I can have no redreſs, I am reſolved that ſome way or other I will have revenge.
Sterl. This is fooliſh work, my Lord!
Lord Ogle. I have too much ſenſibility to bear the tears of beauty.
Sterl. It is touching indeed, my Lord—and very moving for a father.
Lord Ogle. To be ſure, Sir!—You muſt be diſtreſt beyond meaſure!—Wherefore, to divert your too exquiſite feelings, ſuppoſe we change the ſubject, and proceed to buſineſs.
Sterl. With all my heart, my Lord!
Lord Ogle. You ſee, Mr. Sterling, we can make no union in our families by the propos'd marriage.
Sterl. And very ſorry I am to ſee it, my Lord.
Lord Ogle. Have you ſet your heart upon being allied to our houſe, Mr. Sterling?
Sterl. 'Tis my only wiſh, at preſent, my omnium, as I may call it.
Lord Ogle. Your wiſhes ſhall be fulfill'd.
Sterl. Shall they, my Lord!—but how—how?
Lord Ogle. I'll marry in your family.
Sterl. What! my ſiſter Heidelberg?
Lord Ogle. You throw me into a cold ſweat, Mr. Sterling. No, not your ſiſter—but your daughter.
Sterl. My daughter!
Lord Ogle. Fanny!—now the murder's out!
Sterl. What you, my Lord?—
Lord Ogle. Yes—I, I, Mr. Sterling!
Sterl. No, no, my Lord—that's too much. [ſmiling.
Lord Ogle. Too much?—I don't comprehend you.
Sterl. What, you, my Lord, marry my Fanny!—Bleſs me, what will the folks ſay?
Lord Ogle. Why, what will they ſay?
Sterl. That you're a bold man, my Lord—that's all.
Lord Ogle. Mr. Sterling, this may be city wit for ought I know—Do you court my alliance?
Sterl. To be ſure, my Lord.
Lord Ogle. Then I'll explain.—My nephew won't marry your eldeſt daughter—nor I neither—Your youngeſt daughter won't marry him—I will marry your youngeſt daughter—
Sterl. What! with a younger daughter's fortune, my Lord?
Lord Ogle. With any fortune, or no fortune at all, Sir. Love is the idol of my heart, and the dæmon Inrereſt ſinks before him. So, Sir, as I ſaid before, I will marry your youngeſt daughter; your youngeſt daughter will marry me.—
Sterl. Who told you ſo, my Lord?
Lord Ogle. Her own ſweet ſelf, Sir.
Lord Ogle. Yes, Sir: our affection is mutual; your advantage double and treble—your daughter will be a Counteſs directly—I ſhall be the happieſt of beings—and you'll be father to an Earl inſtead of a Baronet.
Sterl. But what will my ſiſter ſay?—and my daughter?
Lord Ogle. I'll manage that matter—nay, if they won't conſent, I'll run away with your daughter in ſpite of you.
Sterl. Well ſaid, my Lord!—your ſpirit's good—I wiſh you had my conſtitution!—but if you'll venture, I have no objection, if my ſiſter has none.
Lord Ogle. I'll anſwer for your ſiſter, Sir. Apropos! the lawyers are in the houſe—I'll have articles drawn, and the whole affair concluded to-morrow morning.
Sterl. Very well: and I'll diſpatch Lovewell to London immediately for ſome freſh papers I ſhall want, and I ſhall leave you to manage matters with my ſiſter. You muſt excuſe me, my Lord, but I can't help laughing at the match—He! he! he! what will the folks ſay? [Exit.
Lord Ogle. What a fellow am I going to make a father of?—He has no more feeling than the poſt in his warehouſe—But Fanny's virtues tune me to rapture again, and I won't think of the reſt of the family.
Enter Lovewell haſtily.
Lovew. I beg your Lordſhip's pardon, my Lord; are you alone, my Lord?
Lord Ogle. No, my Lord, I am not alone! I am in company, the beſt company.
Lovew. My Lord!
Lord Ogle. I never was in ſuch exquiſite enchanting company ſince my heart firſt conceived, or my ſenſes taſted pleaſure.
Lovew. Where are they, my Lord? [looking about.
Lord Ogle. In my mind, Sir.
Lovew. What company have you there, my Lord? [ſmiling.
Lord Ogle. My own ideas, Sir, which ſo croud upon my imagination, and kindle it to ſuch a delirium of extaſy, that wit, wine, muſick, poetry, all combined, and each perfection, are but mere mortal ſhadows of my felicity.
Lovew. I ſee that your Lordſhip is happy, and I rejoice at it.
Lord Ogle. You ſhall rejoice at it, Sir; my felicity ſhall not ſelfiſhly be confined, but ſhall ſpread its influence to the whole circle of my friends. I need not ſay, Lovewell, that you ſhall have your ſhare of it.
Lovew. Shall I, my Lord?—then I underſtand you—you have heard—Miſs Fanny has inform'd you—
Lord Ogle. She has—I have heard, and ſhe ſhall be happy—'tis determin'd.
Lovew. Then I have reached the ſummit of my wiſhes—And will your Lordſhip pardon the folly?
Lord Ogle. O yes, poor creature, how could ſhe help it?—'Twas unavoidable—Fate and neceſſity.
Lovew. It was indeed, my Lord—Your kindneſs diſtracts me.
Lord Ogle. And ſo it did the poor girl, faith.
Lovew. She trembled to diſcloſe the ſecret, and declare her affections?
Lord Ogle. The world, I believe, will not think her affections ill placed.
Lovew.—[bowing.]—You are too good, my Lord.—And do you really excuſe the raſhneſs of the action?
Lord Ogle. From my very ſoul, Lovewell.
Lovew. Your generoſity overpowers me.—[bowing.]—I was afraid of her meeting with a cold reception.
Lord Ogle. More fool you then.
Who pleads her cauſe with never-failing beauty,
Here finds a full redreſs. [ſtrikes his breaſt.
She's a fine girl, Lovewell.
Lovew. Her beauty, my Lord, is her leaſt merit. She has an underſtanding——
Lord Ogle. Her choice convinces me of that.
Lovew.—[bowing.]—That's your Lordſhip's goodneſs. Her choice was a diſintereſted one.
Lord Ogle. No—no—not altogether—it began with intereſt, and ended in paſſion.
Lovew. Indeed, my Lord, if you were acquainted with her goodneſs of heart, and generoſity of mind, as well as you are with the inferior beauties of her face and perſon——
Lord Ogle. I am ſo perfectly convinced of their exiſtence, and ſo totally of your mind touching every amiable particular of that ſweet girl, that were it not for the cold unfeeling impediments of the law, I would marry her to-morrow morning.
Lovew. My Lord!
Lord Ogle. I would, by all that's honourable in man, and amiable in woman.
Lovew. Marry her!—Who do you mean, my Lord?
Lord Ogle. Miſs Fanny Sterling, that is—the Counteſs of Ogleby that ſhall be.
Lovew. I am aſtoniſhed.
Lord Ogle. Why, could you expect leſs from me?
Lovew. I did not expect this, my Lord.
Lord Ogle. Trade and accounts have deſtroyed your feeling.
Lovew. No, indeed, my Lord. [ſighs.
Lord Ogle. The moment that love and pity entered my breaſt, I was reſolved to plunge into matrimony, and ſhorten the girl's tortures—I never do any thing by halves; do I, Lovewell?
Lovew. No, indeed, my Lord—[ſighs.]—What an accident!
Lord Ogle. What's the matter, Lovewell? thou ſeem'ſt to have loſt thy faculties. Why don't you wiſh me joy, man?
Lovew. O, I do, my Lord. [ſighs.
Lord Ogle. She ſaid, that you would explain what ſhe had not power to utter—but I wanted no interpreter for the language of love.
Lovew. But has your Lordſhip conſidered the conſequences of your reſolution?
Lord Ogle. No, Sir; I am above conſideration, when my deſires are kindled.
Lovew. But conſider the conſequences, my Lord, to your nephew, Sir John.
Lord Ogle. Sir John has conſidered no conſequences himſelf, Mr. Lovewell.
Lovew. Mr. Sterling, my Lord, will certainly refuſe his daughter to Sir John.
Lord Ogle. Sir John has already refuſed Mr. Sterling's daughter.
Lovew. But what will become of Miſs Sterling, my Lord?
Lord Ogle. What's that to you?—You may have her, if you will.—I depend upon Mr. Sterling's city-philoſophy, to be reconciled to Lord Ogleby's being his ſon-in-law, inſtead of Sir John Melvil, Baronet. Don't you think that your maſter may be brought to that, without having recourſe to his calculations? Eh, Lovewell!
Lovew. But, my Lord, that is not the queſtion.
Lord Ogle. Whatever is the queſtion, I'll tell you my anſwer.—I am in love with a fine girl, whom I reſolve to marry.
Enter Sir John Melvil.
What news with you, Sir John? You look all hurry and impatience—like a meſſenger after a battle.
Sir John. After a battle, indeed, my Lord.—I have this day had a ſevere engagement, and wanting your Lordſhip as an auxiliary, I have at laſt muſtered up reſolution to declare, what my duty to you and to myſelf have demanded from me ſome time.
Lord Ogle. To the buſineſs then, and be as conciſe as poſſible; for I am upon the wing—eh, Lovewell?
[he ſmiles, and Lovewell bows.
Sir John. I find 'tis in vain, my Lord, to ſtruggle againſt the force of inclination.
Lord Ogle. Very true, Nephew—I am your witneſs, and will ſecond the motion—ſhan't I, Lovewell?
[ſmiles, and Lovewell bows.
Sir John. Your Lordſhip's generoſity encourages me to tell you—that I cannot marry Miſs Sterling.
Lord Ogle. I am not at all ſurpriz'd at it—ſhe's a bitter potion, that's the truth of it; but as you were to ſwallow it, and not I, it was your buſineſs, and not mine—any thing more?
Sir John. But this, my Lord—that I may be permitted to make my addreſſes to the other ſiſter.
Lord Ogle. O yes—by all means—have you any hopes there, Nephew?—Do you think he'll ſuccced, Lovewell? [ſmiles, and winks at Lovewell.
Lovew. I think not, my Lord. [gravely.
Lord Ogle. I think ſo too, but let the fool try.
Sir John. Will your Lordſhip favour me with your good offices to remove the chief obſtacle to the match, the repugnance of Mrs Heidelberg?
Lord Ogle. Mrs. Heidelberg!—Had not you better begin with the young lady firſt? it will ſave you a great deal of trouble; won't it, Lovewell?—[ſmiles.]—but do what you pleaſe, it will be the ſame thing to me—won't it, Lovewell?—[conceitedly.]—Why don't you laugh at him?
Lovew. I do, my Lord. [forces a ſmile.
Sir John. And your Lordſhip will endeavour to prevail on Mrs. Heidelberg to conſent to my marriage with Miſs Fanny?
Lord Ogle. I'll go and ſpeak to Mrs. Heidelberg, about the adorable Fanny, as ſoon as poſſible.
Sir John. Your generoſity tranſports me.
Lord Ogle. Poor fellow, what a dupe! he little thinks who's in poſſeſſion of the town. [aſide.
Sir John. And your Lordſhip is not offended at this ſeeming inconſtancy.
Lord Ogle. Not in the leaſt. Miſs Fanny's charms will even excuſe infidelity—I look upon women as the feræ naturæ,—lawfull game—and every man who is qualified, has a natural right to purſue them; Lovewell as well as you, and I as well as either of you.—Every man ſhall do his beſt, without offence to any—what ſay you, kinſmen?
Sir John. You have made me happy, my Lord.
Lovew. And me, I aſſure you, my Lord.
Lord Ogle. And I am ſuperlatively ſo—allons donc—to horſe and away, boys!—you to your affairs, and I to mine—ſuivons l'amour! [ſings.