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Joseph S. Well, it will give Sir Peter great satisfaction to hear this.
| Aloud. Charles S. To be sure, I once thought the lady seemed to liave taken a fancy to me; but, upon my soul, I never gave her the least encouragement: besides, you know my attachment to Maria.
Joseph S. But sure, brother, even if Lady Teazle had betrayed the fondest partiality for you
Charles S. Why, look’ee, Joseph, I hope I shall never deliberalely do a dishonourable action; but if a pretly woman was purposely to throw herself in
my way—and that pretty woman married to a man old enough to be her father
Joseph S. Well
Charles S. To borrow a little of your morality, that's all.-But, brother, do you know now that you surprise me exceedingly, by naming me with Lady Teazle; for, 'faith, I always understood you were her favourite.
Joseph S. 0, for shame, Charles ! This retort is foolish.
Charles S. Nay, I swear I have seen you exchange such significant glances
Joseph S. Nay, nay, sir, this is no jest.
Charles S. Egad, I'm serious.--Don't you remember one day when I called here
Joseph S. Nay, pr’ythee, Charles-
Joseph S. Brother, brother, a word with you! Gad, I must stop him.
[ Aside. Charles S. Informed, I say, that,
Joseph S. Hush! I beg your pardon, but Sir Peter has heard all we have been saying. I knew you would clear yourself, or I should not have consented.
Charles S. How, Sir Peter! Where is he?
Charles S. 0, 'fore heaven, l'll have him out. Sir Peter, come forth! [Trying to get to the closet. Joseph S. No, no
[Preventing him. Charles S. I say, Sir Peter, come into court[Pulls in SirPeter.)-What! my old guardian!-Whal! turn inquisitor, and take evidence incog? O, fie! O, fie!
Sir P. Give me your hand, Charles I believe I have suspected you wrongfully; but you mustn't be angry with Joseph-'was my plan!
Charles S. Indeed!
Sir P. But I acquit you. I promise you I don't think near so ill of you as I did: what I have heard has given me great satisfaction.
Charles S. Egad, then, 'twas lucky you didn't hear any more-wasn't it, Joseph ? [Apart to Joseph.
Sir P. Ah! you would have retorted on him.
Charles S. But you might as well have suspected him as me in this malter, for all that—mightn't he, Joseph ?
[ Apart to Joseph. Sir P. Well, well, I believe you. Joseph S. Would they were both out of the room!
[ Aside. Sir P. And in future, perhaps, we may not be such strangers.
Enter SERVANT. Serv. Lady Sneerwell is below, and says she will come up.
Joseph S Lady Sneerwell ! Gad's life! she must not come here! [Exit SERVANT.] Gentlemen, I beg pardon-I must wait on you down stairs: here is a person come on particular business.
Charles S. Well, you can see him in another room. Sir Peter and I have not met a long time, and I have something to say to him.
Joseph S. They must not be left together. [ Aside.] I'll send I ady Sneerwell away, and return directly. -Sir Peter, pot a word of the French milliner.
(Apart to Sir Peter, and goes out.
Sir P. 1! not for the worla!-(-Apart to JOSEPH.] -Ah! Charles, if you associated more with your brother, one might indeed hope for your reformation. He is a man of sentiment-Well, there is nothing in the world so noble as a man of sentiment!
Charles S. Pshaw! he is too moral by half—and so apprehensive of his good name, as he calls it, that he would as soon let a priest into his house as a wench.
Sir P. No, no,-Come, come,-you wrong him.No, no! Joseph is no rake, but he is no such saint either, in that respect.--I have a great mind to tell him-we should have such a laugh at Joseph. [A side.
Charles S. Oh, hang him! He's a very anchorite, a young hermit.
Sir P. Hark'ee--you must not abuse him : he may chance to hear of it again, I promise you.
Charles S. Why, you won't tell him?
Sir P. No-but-this way. Egad, l'll tell him.[ Aside.] Hark'ee-have you a mind to have a good laugh at Joseph ?
Charles S. I should like it of all things.
Sir P. Then, i'faith we will-I'll be quit with him for discovering me-He had a girl with him when I called
[Whispers. Charles S. What! Joseph ?-you jest.
Sir P. Hush a little French milliner-and the best of the jest is-she's in the room now.
Charles S. The devil she is ! [Looking at closet.
Charles S. Behind the screen! 'Slife , let us unveil.
Sir P. No, no-he's coming--you sha'n't, indeed!
Charles S. O, egad, we'll have a peep at the little milliner! [Endeavouring to get towards th screen.
[S1R P. preventing, Sir P. Not for the world-Joseph will never for.. give me,
Charles S. I'll stand by you
Sir P. Odds, here he is! (JOSEPH SURFACE enters, just as CHARLES SURFAGE throws down the screen.
Charles S. Lady Teazle! by all that's wonderful?
Charles S. Sir Peter, this is one of the smartest French milliners I ever saw. Egad, you seem all to have been diverting yourselves here at hide and seek, and I don't see who is out of the secret. Shall I beg your ladyship to inform me? Not a word!—Brother, will you be pleased to explain this matter? What! is Morality dumb too?-Sir Peter, though I found you in the dark, perhaps you are not so now! All mute!—Well-though I can make nothing of the affair, I suppose you perfectly understand one another —so I'll leave you to yourselves-[Going.] Brother, I'm sorry to find you have given that worthy man grounds for so much uneasiness.—Sir Peter! there's nothing in the world so noble as a man of sentiment. -[Exit CHARLES. They stand for some time looking
at each other. Joseph S. Sir Peter-notwithstanding–I confess that appearances are against me if you will afford me your patience-I make no doubt-but I shall explain every thing to your satisfaction.
Sir P. If you please, sir.
Joseph S. The fact is, sir, that Lady Teazle , knowing my pretensions to your ward Maria-I say, sir Lady Teazle , being apprehensive of the jealousy of your temper-and knowing my friendship to the family-she, sir, I say, -called here in order that I might explain these pretensions—but on your coming-being apprehensive—as I said—of your jealousy -she withdrew-and this, you may depend on it,
is the whole truth of the matter.
Sir P. A very clear account, upon my word ; and I dare swear the lady will vouch for every article of it.
Lady T. For not one word of it, Sir Peter!
Sir P. How! don't you think it worth while to agree in the lie!
Lady T. There is not one syllable of truth in what that gentleman has told you.
Sir P. I believe you, upon my soul, ma'am!
Lady T. Good Mr. Hypocrite, by your leave, I'll speak for myself.
Sir P. Ay, let her alone, sir; you'll find she'll make out a better story than you, without prompting.
Lady T. Hear me, Sir Peter!—I came hither on no matter relating to your ward, and even ignorant of this gentleman's pretensions to her.
But I caine, seduced by his insidious arguments, at least to listen to his pretended passion, if not to sacrifice your honour to his baseness.
Sir P. Now, I believe, the truth is coming, indeed!
Joseph S. The woman's mad!
Lady T. No, sir,-she has recovered her senses, and your own arts have furnished her with the means. Sir Peter, I do not expect you to credit me-but the tenderness you expressed for me, when I am sure you could not think I was a witness to it, has penetrated to my heart, that had I left the place without the shame of this discovery, my future life should have spoken the sincerity of my gratitude. As for that smoothtongued hypocrite, who would have seduced the wife of his too credulous friend, while he affected honourable addresses to his ward—I behold him now in a light so truly despicable , that I shall never again respect myself for having listened to him.
[Exit LADY TEAZLE. Joseph S. Notwithstanding all this, Sir Peter, Heaven knows
Sir P. That you are a villain! and so I leave you to your conscience.
Joseph S. You are too rash, Sir Peter; you shall hear me.—The man who shuts out conviction by refusing to Šir P. O damn your sentiments!
[Exeunt SiR PETER and SURFACE, talking.