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ACT V. SCENE I.
A Parlour in Sir John LAMBERT's House, Enter DARN LEY and CHARLoTTE.
Charlotte. But really, will you stand to the agreement though, that I have made with the doćtor Darn. Why not you shall not break your word upon my account, though he might be a villain you gave it to. Charl. Well, I take it as a compliment; not but I have some hopes of getting over it, and justly too : but don't let me tell you now, I love to surprise— though you shall know all, if you desire it. Darn. No, Charlotte; I don’t want the secret: I am satisfied in your inclination to trust me. Charl. Well then, I'll keep the secret, only to shew you that you may, upon occasion, trust me with one. Darn. But pray, has the doćtor yet given you any proof of his having declined his interest to your father Charl. Yes; he told me just now he had brought him to pause upon it, and does not question in two days to complete it; but desires, in the mean time, you will be ready and punctual with the premium. Darn. Suppose I should talk with Sir John myself —'tis true he has slighted me of late.
Charl. No matter—Here he comes—This may open another scene of action to that I believe my brother's preparing for.
Enter Sir Joh N and Lady LAMBERT.
Sir 7. Lamb. Mr. Darnley, I am glad I have met you here. Darn. I have endeavoured twice to-day, sir, to pay my respects to you. Sir. 7. Lamb. Sir, I’ll be plain with you—I went out to avoid you ; but where the welfare of a child is concerned, you must not take it ill if we don’t stand upon ceremony—However, since I have reason now to be more in temper than perhaps I was at that time, I shall be glad to talk with you. Darn. I take it as a favour, sir. Sir 7. Lamb. You must allow, Mr. Darnley, that conscience is the rule which every honest man ought to walk by. Darn. 'Tis granted, sir. Sir 7. Lamb. Then give me leave to tell you, sir, that giving you my daughter would be to ačt against that conscience I pretend to, while I thought you an ill-liver; and consequently the same tie obliges me to bestow her on a better man— Darn. Well but, sir, to come to the point.—Suppose the doćtor (whom, I presume, you design her for) ačtually consents to give me up his interest Sir 7. Lamb. But why do you suppose, sir, he will give up his interest
Darn. I only judge from what your daughter tells me, Slr.
Sir 7. Lamb. My daughter |
Darn. I appeal to her.
Charl. And I appeal even to yourself, sir Has not the doćtor just now in the garden spoke in favour of Mr. Darnley to you ? Nay, pray, sir, be plain; because more depends on that than you can easily imagine or believe.
Sir J. Lamb. What senseless insinuation have you got into your head now
Charl. Be so kind, sir, first to answer me, that I may be better able to inform you.
Sir 7. Lamb. Well, I own he has declined his interest in favour of Mr. Darnley; but I must tell you, madam, he did it in so modest, so friendly, so goodnatured, so conscientious a manner, that I now think myself more than ever bound in honour to espouse him.
Charl. But now, sir, (only for argument's sake) suppose I could prove that all this seeming virtue was artificial; that his regard for Mr. Darnley was neither founded upon modesty, friendship, goodnature, nor conscience; or in short, that he has, like a villain, bartered, bargained to give me to Mr. Darnley for half the four thousand pounds you walued his consent at; I say, sir, suppose this could be proved, where would be his virtue then
Sir 7. Lamb. It is impious to suppose it.
Charl. Then, sir, from what principle must you suppose that I accuse him Sir 7. Lamb. From an obstinate prejudice to all that’s good and virtuous. Charl. That's too hard, sir. But the worst your opinion can provoke me to, is to marry Mr. Darnley without either his consent or yours. Sir 7. Lamb. What, do you brave me, madam Charl. No, sir; but I scorn a lie; and will so far vindicate my integrity, as to insist on your believing me; if not, as a child you abandon, I have a right to throw myself into other arms for protećtion. Darn. Dear Charlotte, how your spirit charms me! Sir 7. Lamb. I am confounded. These tears cannot be counterfeit; nor can this be true. Lady Lamb. Indeed, my dear, I fear it is. Give me leave to ask you one question. In all our mutual course of happiness, have I ever yet deceived you with a falsehood Sir J. Lamb. Never. Lady Lamb. Would you then believe me, should I accuse him even of crimes which virtue blushes but to mention * Sir 7. Lamb. To what extravagance would you drive me Lady Lamb. I would before have undeceived you, when his late artifice turned the honest duty of your
son into his own reproach and ruin; but knowing
then your temper was inaccessible, I durst not offer it.—But suppose I should be able to let you see his villany, make him repeat his odious love to me in your own hearing; at once throw off the mask, and shew the barefaced traitor Sir 7. Lamb. Is it possible Lady Lamb. But then, sir, I must prevail on you to descend to the poor shifts we are reduced to. Sir J. Lamb. All ; to anything, to ease me of my doubts: make me but witness of this fačt, and I shall soon accuse myself, and own my folly equal to his baseness. “Lady Lamb. Observe then, they that set toils for “beasts of prey— “Sir J. Lamb.” Place me where you please. Lady Lamb. Behind that screen you may easily conceal yourself. Sir J. Lamb. Be it so. Lady Lamb. Mr. Darnley, shall we beg your leave and you, Charlotte, take the least suspected way to send the doćtor to me directly. Charl. I have a thought will do it, madam. Sir 7. Lamb. Oh, Charlotte Oh, Mr. Darnley Darn. Have but resolution, sir, and fear nothing. [Exeunt Darnley and Charlotte. Lady Lamb. Now, sir, you are to consider what a desperate disease I have undertaken to cure : therefore, be sure to keep close and still; and when the proof is full, appear at your discretion. Sir 7. Lamb. Fear not; I will conform myself— Yet, be not angry, my love, if in a case like this, “ where I should not believe even him accusing you ;