페이지 이미지

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

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 happiness 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 unexcep. tionable 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.

Enter CLARISSA. 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

Lioncl. My friendship, madam, can be of littlema.

ment to you; but if the most perfect adoration, if the warmest wishes for your felicity, though I should never be witness of it; if these, madam, can have any merit to continue in your remembrance a man once honoured with a share of your esteem

Clar. Hold, sir-I think I hear somebody.

Lionel. If you please, madam, we'll turn over this celestial globe once more Have you looked at the book I left you yesterday?

Clar. Really, sir, I have been so much disturbed in my thoughts for these two or three days past, that I have not been able to look at any thing.

Lionel. I am sorry to hear that, madam; I hope there was nothing particular to disturb you. The care Sir John takes to dispose of your hand in a manner suitable to your birth and fortune

Clar. I don't know, sir ;-I own I am disturbed ; I own I am uneasy; there is something weighs upon my heart, which I would fain disclose.

Lionel. Upon your heart, madam! did you say your heart? Clar. I-did, sir, I

Enter Jenny. Jenny. Madam! Madam! Here's a coach and six driving up the avenue: It's Colonel Oldboy's family : and, I believe, the gentleman is in it that's coming to court you.-Lord, I must run and have a peep at him out of the window

(Exit. Lionel. Madam, I'll take


leave. Clar. Why so, sir !--- Bless me, Mr Lionel, what's the matter? --You turn pale.

Lionel. Madam!

Clar. Pray speak to me, sir.You tremble.- Tell me the cause of this sudden change. How are you? Where's your disorder ? Lionel. Oh fortune! fortune!


You ask me in vain,

Of what ills I complain,
Where harbours the torment I find;

In my head, in my heart,

It invades ev'ry part,
And subdues both my body and mind.

Each effort I try,
Ev'ry med'cine apply,

pangs of my soul to appease ;
But, doom'd to endure,

What I mean for a cure;
Turns poison, and feeds the disease. [Exit.

Enter DIANA.

Diana. My dear Clarissa !-I am glad I have found you alone.-For Heaven's sake, don't let any one break in upon us ;—and give me leave to sit down with you a little :-I am in such a tremor, such a panic

Clar. Mercy on us ! what has happened?

Diana. You may remember I told you, that, when I was last winter in London, I was followed by an odious fellow, one Harman ; I can't say but the wretch pleased me, though he is but a younger brother, and not worth sixpence : And, in short, when I was leaving town, I promised to correspond with him. Clar. Do


think that was prudent? Diana. Madness! But this is not the worst; for what do you think?—the creature had the assurance to write me about three weeks ago, desiring permission to come down and spend the summer at my father's.

Clar. At your father's!

Diana. Ay, who never saw him, knows nothing of him, and would as soon consent to my marrying a horse-jockey. He told me a long story of some tale he intended to invent, to make my father receive him as an indifferent person; and some gentleman in London, he said, would procure him a letter, that should give it a face; and he longed to see me so, he said, he could not live without it; and if he could be permitted but to spend a week with me

Clar. Well, and what answer did you make ?

Diana. Oh! abused him, and refused to listen to any such thing. But I vow I tremble while I tell it you——just before we left our house, the impudent monster arrived there, attended by a couple of servants, and is now actually coming here with my father.

Clar. Upon my word, this is a dreadful thing.

Diana. Dreadful, my dear! I happened to be at the window as he came into the court, and I declare I had like to have fainted away.

Clar. Well, Diana, with regard to your affair-I think you must find some method of immediately informing this gentleman that you consider the outrage he has committed against you, in the most heinous light, and insist upon his going away directly.

Diana. Why, I believe that will be the best way but then he'll be begging my pardon, and asking to stay.

Clar. Why then you must tell him positively you won't consent to it; and if he persists in so extravagant a design, tell him you'll never see him again as long as you live.

Diană. Must I tell him so ?

[merged small][ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »