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Charles S. Ay, ay, 'tis very true; but, hark’ee, Rowley, while I have, by heaven I'll give; so damn your economy, and away to old Stanley with the money.
[Exeunt. SCENE II.-A Saloon. Enter Moses and SIR OLIVER SURFACE. Moses. Well, sir, I think, as Sir Peter said, you have seen Mr. Charles in high glory; 'tis great pity he's so extravagant.
Sir O. But he would not sell my picture.
Sir O. But he would not sell my picture. ---0, here's Rowley.
Enter Rowley. Row. So, Sir Oliver, I find you have made a purchase
Sir O. Yes, yes, our young rake has parted with his ancestors like old tapestry.
Row. And here has he commissioned me to re-deliver you part of the purchase-money-- I mean, thongh, in your necessitous character of old Stanley.
Moses. Ah! there is the pity of all; he is so damned charitable.
Row. And I left a hosier and two tailors in the hall, who I'm sure won't be paid, and this hundred would satisfy them.
Sir O. Well, well, I'll pay his debts, and his benevolence too.—But now I am no more a broker, and you shall introduce me to the elder brother as old Stanley.
Row. Not yet awhile; Sir Peter, I know , means to call there about this time.
Enter TRIP. Trip. 0, gentlemen, I beg pardon for not shewing you out; this way—Moses, a word.
[Exeunt Trip and MOSES,
Sir O. There's a fellow for you-would you believe it, that puppy intercepted the Jew on our coming,
and wanted to raise money before he got to his master.
Sir O. Yes, they are now planning an annuity business.—Ah! master Rowley, in my days, servants were content with the follies of their masters, when they were worn a little thread-bare; but now, they have their vices, like their birth-day clothes, with the gloss
Scene III.--A Library, a large Screen, Pem-
JOSEPH SURFACE and a SERVANT discovered.
Joseph S. I am surprised she has not sent, if she is prevented from coming. Sir Peter certainly does not suspect me. Yet, I wish I may not lose the heiress, through the scrape I have drawn myself into with the wife; however, Charles's imprudence and bad character are great points in my favour.
[Knocking heard without. Serv. Sir, I believe that must be Lady Teazle.
Joseph S. Hold !-See whether it is or not before you go to the door: I have a particular message for you, if it should be my brother.
Serv. 'Tis her ladyship, sir; she always leaves her chair at the milliner's in the next street.
Joseph S. Stay, stay; draw that screen before the window—that will do ;—my opposite neighbour is a lady of a curious temper.—[Servant exit.]—I have a difficult hand to play in this affair. Lady Teazle has lately suspected my views on Maria; but she must by no means be let into that secret, -at least, till I have her more in my power.
Enter LADY TEAZLE. Lady T. What, sentiment in soliloquy now? Have
you been very impatient?- Lud! don't pretend to look grave.- vow I couldn't come before.
Joseph S. 0, madam, punctuality is a species of constancy, very unfashionable in a lady of quality. [Places chairs, and sits afler LADY TEAžLE is seated.]
Lady T. Upon my word you ought to pity me. Do you know Sir Peter is grown so ill-natured to me of late, and so jealous of Charles too-that's the best of the story, isn't it? Joseph S. I am glad my scandalous friends keep
[-Aside. Lady T. I am sure I wish he would let Maria marry him, and then perhaps he would be convinced; don't you, Mr. Surface ?
Joseph S. Indeed I do not. [ A side.)- Oh certainly I do! for then my dear Lady Teazle would also be convinced, how wrong her suspicions were of my having any design on the silly girl.
Lady T. Well, well, I'm inclined to believe you. But, is'nt it provoking, to have the most ill-natured things said of one ?--And there's my friend, Lady Sneerwell, has circulated I don't know how many scandalous tales of me, and all without any foundation too-that's what vexes me.
Joseph S. Aye, madam, to be sure, that is the provoking circumstance-without foundation; yes, yes, there's the mortification, indeed; for when a scandalous story is believed against one, there certainly is no comfort like the consciousness of having deserved it.
Lady T. No, to be sure, then I'd forgive their malice; but to attack me, who am really so innocent , and who never say an ill-natured thing of any bodythat is, of any friend; and then Sir Peter too, to have him so peevish, and so suspicious, when I know the integrity of my own heart—indeed, 'tis monstrous !
Joseph S. But, my dear Lady Teazle, 'tis your own fault ifyou sufferit. When a husband entertains a groundless suspicion of his wife, and withdraws his confidence from her, the original compact is broken, and she owes it to the honour of her sex to endeavour to outwit him.
Lady T. Indeed so that if he suspects me without cause, it follows, that the best way of curing his jealousy is to give him reason for t.
Joseph S. Undoubtedly--for your husband should never be deceived in you, and in that case it becomes you to be frail in compliment to his discernment.
Lady T. To be sure, what you say, is very reasonable; and when the consciousness of my inno
Joseph S. Ah! my dear madam, there is the great mistake: 'tis this very conscious innocence that is of the greatest prejudice to you. What is it makes you negligent of forms, and careless of the world's opinion?—why, the consciousness of your own innocence. What makes you thoughtless in your conduct, and apt to run into a thousand little imprudencies ?—why, the consciousness of your own innocence. What makes you impatient of Sir Peter's temper, and outrageous at his suspicions ?-why, the consciousness of your innocence.
Lady T. 'Tis
Joseph S. Now, my dear Lady Teazle, if you would but once make a trifling faux pas, you can't conceive how cautious you would grow, and how ready to humour and agree with your husband.
Lady T. Do you think so ?
Joseph S. 0! I am sure on't; and then you would find all scandal would cease at once; for, in short, your character at present is like a person in a plethora, absolutely dying from too much health.
Lady T. So, so; then I perceive your prescription is, that I must sin in my own defence, and part with my virtue to preserve my reputation.
Joseph S. Exactly so, upon my credit, ma'am.
Lady T. Well, certainly this is the oddest doctrine, and the newest receipt for avoiding calumny!
Joseph S. An infallible one, believe me. Prudence, like experience, must be paid for.
Lady T. Why, if my understanding were once convinced
Joseph S. O, certainly, madam, your understanding should be convinced.-Yes, yes-heaven forbid i should persuade you to do anything you thoughl wrong. No, no, I have too much honour to desire it.
Lady T. Don't you think we may as well leave honour out of the argument?
[Rises. Joseph S. Ah! the ill effects of your country education, I see, still remain with you.
[Rises. Lady T. I doubt they do indeed; and I will fairly own to you, that if I could be persuaded to do wrong, it would be by Sir Peter's ill usage, sooner than your honorable logic, aster all.
Joseph S. Then, by this hand, which he is unworthy of
[Taking her hand.
Enter SERVANT. 'Sdeath, you blockhead—what do you want?
Serv. beg your pardon, sir, but I thought you would not choose Sir Peter to come up without announcing him.
Joseph S. Sir Peter!-Oons—the devil!
Lady T. Sir Peter! 0 Lud-I'm ruined-I'm ruined!
Serv. Sir, 'twasn't I let him in.
Lady T. Oh! I'm quite undone! What will become of me? Now, Mr. Logic-Oh! mercy, sir, he's on the stairs-l'll get behind here—and if ever I'm so imprudent again
[Goes behind the screen. Joseph S. Give me that book. [Siis down, SERVANT pretends to adjust his chair.
Enter SiR PETER . Sir P. Ay, ever improving himself—Mr. Surface, Mr. Surface!
[Taps Joseph on the shoulder. Joseph S. Oh! my dear Sir Peter, 1 beg your pardon-[Gaping-throws uwar the book.]-I have been dozing over a stupid book.–Well, I am much obliged to you for this call. You haven't been here, I believe, since I fitted up this room.Books, you know, are the Only things I am a coxcomb in.