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Mr. Seyward You have something of love in your head, I'll lay my life on’t. Seyw. I never yet durst own it, madam. Charl. Why, what's the matter Seyw. My story is too melancholy to entertain a mind so much at ease as yours. Charl. Oh, I love melancholy stories of all things: —pray, how long have you lived with your uncle, Mr. Seyward Seyw. With Dočtor Cantwell, I suppose you mean, madam : Charl. Ay. Seyw. He's no uncle of mine, madam. Charl. You surprise me 1 not your uncle : Seyw. No, madam ; but that’s not the only charaēter the doćtor assumes, to which he has no right. Charl. Lord 1 I am concerned for you. Seyw. So you would, madam, if you knew all. Charl. I am already; but if there are any farther particulars of your story, pray let me hear them; and should any services be in my power, I am sure you may command them. Seyw. You treat me with so kind, so gentle a hand, that I will unbosom myself to you.-My father, madam, was the younger branch of a genteel family in the North; his name, Trueman—but dying while I was yet in my infancy, I was left wholly dependent on my mother; a woman really pious and wellmeaning, but In short, madam, Dočtor Cantwell fatally got acquainted with her, and as he is now your father's bosom counsellor, soon became hers; “for his hypocrisy had so great an effect on her “weak spirit, that he entirely led and managed her “at his pleasure.” She died, madam, when I was but eight years old ; and then I was indeed left an orphan. Charl. Poor creature 1–Lord! I cannot bear it 1 Seyw. She left Doctor Cantwell her sole heir and executor; but I must do her the justice to say, I believe it was in the confirmation that he would take care of, and do justice to me; “who, young as I “was, I yet remember to have heard her recom“mend to him on her death-bed :” and, indeed, he has so far taken care of me, that he sent me to a seminary abroad; and for these three years last past has kept me with him. Charl. A seminary 1 Oh I Heavens ! but why have you not strove to do yourself justice Seyw. Thrown so young into his power as I was— unknown and friendless, “but through his means,” to whom could I apply for succour Nay, madam, I will confess, that on my return to England, I was at first tainted with his enthusiastic notions myself; and, for some time, as much imposed upon by him as others; till, by degrees, as he found it necessary to make use of, or totally discard me (which last he did not think prudent to do), he was obliged to unveil himself to me in his proper colours—And I believe I can inform you of some parts of his private chara&ter, that may be the means of detecting one E.
of the wickedest impostors that ever praćtised upon credulity. Charl. But how has the wretch dared to treat you ? Seyw. In his ill and insolent humours, madam, he has sometimes the presumption to tell me that I am the object of his charity; and I own, madam, that I am humbled in my opinion, by his having drawn me into a connivance at some actions, which I cann’t look back on without horror | Charl. Indeed you cann’t tell how I pity you ; and depend upon it, if it be possible to serve you, by getting you out of the hands of this monster, I will. Seyw. Once more, madam, let me assure you, that your generous inclination would be a consolation to me in the worst misfortunes; and, even in the last moment of painful death, would give my heart a joy. Charl. Lord the poor unfortunate boy loves me too—what shall I do with him Pray, Mr. Seyward, what paper’s that you have in your hand ; Is it relative to Seyw. Another instance of the conscience, and gratitude, which animates our worthy doćtor. Charl. You frighten me! pray what is the purport of it? Is it neither signed nor sealed Seyw. No, madam; therefore to prevent it, by this timely notice, was my business here with you : your father gave it to the doćtor first, to shew his counsel; who, having approved it, I understand this evening it will he executed. Charl. But what is it
Seyw. It grants to Dočtor Cantwell, in present, four hundred pounds per annum, of which this very house is part ; and, at your father’s death, invests him in the whole remainder of his freehold estate.— For you, indeed, there is a charge of four thousand pounds upon it, provided you marry with the doctor's consent; if not, 'tis added to my lady's jointure— But your brother, madam, is, without conditions, utterly disinherited.
Charl. I am confounded 1–What will become of us! My father now, I find, was serious—Oh, this insinuating hypocrite Let me see—ay—I will go this minute. Sir, dare you trust this in my hands for an hour only
Seyw. Any thing to serve you [Bell rings.
Charl. Hark they ring to dinner : pray, sir, step in : Say I am obliged to dine abroad; and whisper one of the footmen to get a chair immediately; then do you take a proper occasion to slip out after me to Mr. Double's chambers in the Temple; there I shall have time to talk further with you, [Exeunt.
A CT III. SCENE I.
A Dressing Room, with Table and Chairs. Enter CHA R Lo TTE, with BETTY, taking off her Cloak, &c.
Charlotte. HAs any one been to speak with me, Betty Betty. Only Mr. Darnley, madam; he said he would call again, and bid his servant stay below, to give him notice when you came home.
Charl. You don’t know what he wanted
Betty. No, madam; he seemed very uneasy at your being abroad. Charl. Well, go and lay up those things—[Exit Betty..] Ten to one but his wise head has found out something to be jealous of: if he lets me see it, I shall be sure to make him infinitely easy—here he comes.
Darn. Your humble servant, madam. Charl. Your servant, sir. Darn. You have been abroad, I hear? Charl. Yes, and now I am come home, you see. Darn. You seem to turn upon my words, madam f Is there anything particular in them Charl. As much as there is in my being abroad, I believe. Darn. Might I not say you had been abroad without giving offence Charl. And might I not as well say I was come home, without your being so grave upon't Darn. Do you know any thing that should make me grave Charl. I know, if you are so, I am the worst person in the world you can possibly shew it to. Darn. Nay, I don't suppose you do anything you. won’t justify.