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lieve there's many a duke, nay prince, who would esteem themselves happy in having such a son Lady M. O. Yes, my dear; but your sister was always your father's favourite: he intends to give her a prodigious fortune, and sets his heart upon seeing her a woman of quality. Jess. He should wish to see her look a little like a gentlewoman first. When she was in London last winter, I am told she was taken notice of by a few men. But she wants air, manner Lady M. O. Well, my dear, I must go and dress myself, though I protest I am fitter for my bed than my coach. And condescend to the Colonel a little— Do, my dear, if it be only to oblige your mamma. [Exeunt.
4 Study in SIR John FlowerDALE’s House; two Chairs and a Table, with Globes and Mathematical Instruments.
Immortal pow'rs protect me,
Jenny. My dear lady, what ails you?
Clar. Nothing, Jenny, nothing. Jenny. Pardon me, madam, there is something ails you indeed. Lord! what signifies all the grandeur and riches in this world, if they can’t procure one content. I am sure it vexes me to the heart, so it does, to see such a dear, sweet, worthy young lady as you are, pining yourself to death. Clar. Jenny, you are a good girl, and I am very much obliged to you for feeling so much on my account; but in a little time, I hope, I shall be easier. Jenny. Why, now, here to-day, madam, for sartain you ought to be merry to-day, when there’s a fine gentleman coming to court you; but, if you like an one else better, I am sure, I wish you had him, wit all my soul. Clar. Suppose, Jenny, I was so unfortunate, as to like a man without my father's approbation; would you wish me married to him Jenny. I wish you married to any one, madam, that could make you happy, Clar. Heigho Jenny. Madam | Madam! yonder's Sir John and Mr Lionel on the terrace; I believe they are coming up here. Poor dear Mr Lionel, he does not seem to be in over great spirits either. To be sure, madam, it's no business of mine; but, I believe, if the truth was known, there are those in the house, who would give more than ever I shall be worth, or any the likes of me, to prevent the marriage of a sartain person that shall be nameless. Clar. What do you mean I don’t understand you, Jenny. I hope you are not angry, madam? Clar. Ah! Jenny Jenny. Lauk | Madam, do you think, when Mr Lionel’s a clergyman, he’ll be obliged to cut off his hair I’m sure it will be a thousand pities, for it is the sweetest colour, and looks the nicest put up in a queue.
Clar. I’m going into my dressing-room—It seems then Mr Lionel is a great favourite of yours; but pray, Jenny, have a care how you talk in this manner to any one else.
Jenny. Me talk! Madam, I thought you knew me better; and, my dear lady, keep up your spirits. I’m sure I have dressed you to-day as nice as hands and pins can make you.
I’m but a poor servant, 'tis true, ma'am :
But was I a lady like you, ma'am, -
No, faith, I would search the world thro’, ma'am,
Set in case a young man
Enter SIR John FlowerDALE and LionEL.
Sir J. F. Indeed, Lionel, I will not hear of it. What! to run from us all of a sudden, this way: and at such a time too; the eve of my daughter's wedding, as I may call it; when your company must be doubly agreeable, as well as necessary, to us! I am sure you have no studies at present, that require your attendance at Oxford: I must, therefore, insist on your putting such thoughts out of your head.
Lionel. Upon my word, sir, I have been so long from the university, that it is time for me to think of returning. It is true, I have no absolute studies; but, really, sir, I shall be obliged to you, if you will give me leave to go. Sir J. F. Come, come, my dear Lionel, I have for some time observed a more than ordinary gravity growing upon you, and I am not to learn the reason of it: I know, to minds serious and well-inclined, like yours, the sacred functions you are about to embrace r Lionel. Dear sir, your goodness to me, of every kind, is so great, so unmerited | Your condescension, your friendly attentions—in short, sir, I want words to express my sense of obligations— Sir J. F. Fie, fie no more of them. By my last letters, I find that my old friend, the rector, still continues in good health, considering his advanced years. You may imagine I am far from desiring the death of so worthy and pious a man; yet, I must own, at this time, I could wish you were in orders, as you might then perform the ceremony of my daughter's marriage, which would give me a secret satisfaction. Lionel. No doubt, sir, any office in my power, that could be instrumental to the happiness of any in your family, I should perform with pleasure, Sir J. F. Why, really, Lionel, from the character of her intended husband, I have no room to doubt, but this match will make Clarissa perfectly happy: to be sure, the alliance is the most eligible for both families. Lionel. If the gentleman is sensible of his happimess in the alliance, sir. Sir J. F. The fondness of a father is always supected of partiality; yet, I believe, I may venture to say, that few young women will be found more unexceptionable than my daughter: her person is agreeable, her temper sweet, her understanding good; and, with the obligations she has to your instruction— Lionel. You do my endeavours too much honour, sir; I have been able to add nothing to Miss Flower
dale's accomplishments, but a little knowledge in matters of small importance to a mind already so well improved. Sir J. F. I don’t think so; a little knowledge, even in those matters, is necessary for a woman, in whom I am far from considering ignorance as a desirable characteristic: when intelligence is not attended with impertinent affectation, it teaches them to judge with precision, and gives them a degree of solidity necessary for the companion of a sensible man. Lionel. Yonder's Mr Jenkins: I fancy he's looking for you, sir, Sir J. F. I see him; he’s come back from Colonel Oldboy's ; I have a few words to say to him; and will return to you again in a minute. [Exit. Lionel. To be a burden to one’s self, to wage continual war with one’s own passions, forced to combat, unable to overcome ! But see, she appears, whose presence turns all my sufferings into transport, and makes even misery itself delightful.
Perhaps, madam, you are not at leisure now; otherwise, if you thought proper, we would resume the subject we were upon yesterday. Clar. I am sure, sir, I give you a great deal of trouble. Lionel. Madam, you give me no trouble; I should think every hour of my life happily employed in your service; and, as this is probably the last time I shall have the satisfaction of attending you upon the same Occasion Clar. Upon my word, Mr Lionel, I think myself extremely obliged to you, and shall ever consider the enjoyment of your friendship— Lionel. My friendship, madam, can be of littlema