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on purpose. This is one of the points which I intend Snake shall give you conviction of.
Sir P. I wish I were once satisfied of that. She looks this way. What a remarkably elegant turn of the head she has! Rowley, I'll go to her.
Sir P. Though when it is known that we are reconciled, people will laugh at me ten times more.
Row. Let them laugh, and retort their malice only by shewing them yon are happy in spite of it.
Sir P. l'faith, so I will! and , if I'm not mistaken, we may yet be the happiest couple in the country.
Row. Nay, Sir Peter, he who once lays aside suspicion
Sir P. Hold, master Rowley! If you have any regard for me, never let me hear you utter any thing like a sentiment: I have had enough of them to serve me the rest of my life
[Exeunt SCENE. III.—The Library. Enter LADY SNEERWELL and JOSEPH SURFACE. Lady S. Impossible ! Will not Sir Peter immediately be reconciled to Charles, and of consequence no longer oppose his union with Maria ? The thought is distraction to me.
Joseph S. Can passion furnish a remedy? Lady S. No, nor cunning neither. 0! I was a fool, an idiot, to league with such a blunderer!
Joseph S. Sure, Lady Sneerwell, I am the greatest sufferer; yet you see I bear the accident with calmness. Well, I admit I have been to blame. I confess I deviated from the direct road of wrong, but I don't think we're so totally defeated neither.
Lady S. No!
Joseph S. You tell me you have made a trial of Snake since we met, and that you still believe him faithful to us.
Lady S. I do believe so.
Joseph S. And that he has undertaken, should it be necessary, to swear and prove, that Charles is at
this time contracted by vows and honour to your ladyship, which some of his formers letters to you will serve to support.
Lady S. This, indeed, might have assisted.
Joseph S. Come, come; it is not too late yet. [Knocking at the door.] But, hark! this is probably my uncle, Sir Oliver: retire to that room; we'll consult farther when he is gone.
Lady S. Well, but if he should find you out, too?
Joseph S. Oh, I have no fear of that. Sir Peter will hold his tongue for his own credit's sake-and you may depend on it, I shall soon discover Sir Oliver's weak side?
Lady S. I have no diffidence of your abilities! only be constant to one roguery at a time. [Exit Lady SNEERWELL.
Joseph S. I will, I will. So! 'tis coufounded hard, aster such bad fortune, to be baited by one's confederate in evil. Well, at all events, my character is so much better than Charles's, that I certainly-Hey!what!--this is not Sir Oliver, but old Stanley again. Plague on't! that he should return to tease me just now -I shall have Sir Oliver come and find him hereand
Enter SIR OLIVER SURFACE. Gad's life, Mr. Stanley, why have you come back to plague me at this time? You must not stay now, upon
Sir O. Sir, I hear your uncle Oliver is expected here, and though he has been so penurious to you I'll try what he'll do for me.
Joseph S. Sir, 'tis impossible for you to stay now, so I must beg-Come any other time, and I promise you, you shall be assisted.
Sir O. No! Sir Oliver and I must be acquainted.
Joseph S. Zounds, sir! then I insist on your quitting the room directly.
Sir O. Nay, sir.
This gentleman out. Since you compel me, sir, -not one moment - this is such insolence!
[Going to push him out. Enter Charles Surface. Charles S. Hey day! what's the matter now! What the devil, have you got hold of my little broker here? Zounds, brother, don't hurt lillle Premium. What's the matter, my little fellow?
Joseph S. So ! he has b en with you too, has he?
Charles S. To be sure he has. Why, he's as honest a little-But sure, Joseph, you have not been borrowing money too, have you ?
Joseph S. Borrowing! No! But, brother, you know we expect Sir Olirer here every
Charles S. O Gad, that's true! Noll must'nt find the little broker here, to be sure ? Joseph S. Yet Mr. Stanley insists— Charles S. Stanley ! why his name's Premium. Joseph S. No, sir, Stanley. Charles S. No, no, Premium. Joseph S. Well, no matter which—but
Charles S. Ay, ay, Stanley or Preminm, 'tis the same thing, as you say; for I suppose he goes by half a hundred names, besides A B. at the coffee-house.
Joseph S. 'Sdeath! here's Sir Oliver at the door. Now I beg, Mr. Stanley
Charles S. Ay, ay, and I beg, Mr. Premium-
[Both forcing Sir Oliver out. Enter LADY TEAzle and Sir PETER, MARIA,
and ROWLEY. Sir P. My old friend, Sir Oliver-hey! What in the name of wonder-here are dutiful nephews-assault their uncle at a first visit!
Lady T. Indeed, Sir Oliver, 'twas well we came in to rescue you.
Row. Truly, it was; for I perceive, Sir Oliver, the character of old Stanley was no protection to you.
Sir O. Nor of Premium either; the necessities of the former could not extort a shilling from that benevolent gentleman; and with the other, I stood a chance of faring worse than my ancestors, and being knocked down without being bid for.
Joseph S. Charles!
Sir O. Sir Peter, my friend, and Rowley too--look on that elder nephew of mine. You know what he has already received from my bounty; and you also know how gladly I would have regarded half my fortune as held in trust for him: judge then my disappointment in discovering him to be destitute of truth, charity, and gratitude.
Sir P. Sir Oliver, I should be more surprised at this declaration, if I had not myself found him to be selfish, treacherous, and hypocritical.
Lady T. And if the gentleman pleads not guilty to these, pray let him call me to his character.
Sir P. Then, I believe, we need add no more: if he knows himself, he will consider it as the most perfect punishment, that he is known to the world.
Charles S. If they talk this way to honesty, what will they say to me, by and bye?
[ A side. [Sir Peter, Lady Teazle, and Maria, retire. Sir 0. As for that prodigal, his brother, there, Charles S. Ay, now comes my turn: the damned family pictures will ruin me.
[A side. Joseph S. Sir Oliver-uncle, will you honour me
Charles S. Now if Joseph would make one of his long speeches, I might recollect myself a little. (A side.
Sir 0. I suppose you would undertake to justify yourself.
with a hearing?
Joseph S. I trust I could.
Sir (). Nay, if you desert your roguery in its distress, and try to be justified-you have even less principle than I thought you had. [To Charles.] Well, sir ! you could justify yourself too, I suppose ?
Charles S. Not that I know of, Sir Oliver.
Sir O. What!-Liltle Premium has been let too much into the secret, I suppose ?
Charles S. True, sir; but they were family secrets, and should not be mentioned again , you know.
Row. Come, Sir Oliver, I know you cannot speak of Charles's follies with anger.
Sir 0. Odds heart, no more I can; nor with gravity either. Sir Peter, do you know, the rogue bargained with me for all his ancestors; sold me judges and generals by the foot, and maiden aunts as cheap as broken china.
Charles S. To be sure, Sir Oliver, I did make a little free with the family canvass, that's the truth on't. My ancestors may certainly rise up in judgment against me; there's no denying it; but believe me sincere when I tell you—and upon my soul I would not say so if I was not-that if I do not appear mortified at the exposure of my follies, it is because I feel at this moment the warmest satisfaction in seing you, my liberal benefactor.
Sir 0. Charles, I believe you; give me your hand again: the il-looking little fellow over the settee has made your peace.
Charles S. Then, sir, my gratitude to the original is still increased.
Lady T. (Advancing.] Yet, I believe, Sir Oliver, here is one whom Charles is still more anxious to be reconciled to.
Sir 0. Oh, I have heard of his attachment there; and, with the young lady's pardon, if I construe right
Maria. Sir, I have little to say, but that I shall rejoice to hear that he is happy; for mem whatever