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very anxious for the supply, you should require only forty or fifty per cent; but if you find him in great distress, and want the moneys very bad, you may ask double.
Sir Pet. A good honest trade you're learning, Sir Oliver.
Mos. Then, you know, you haven't the moneys yourself, but are forced to borrow them for him of a friend.
Sir Oliv. Oh! I borrow it of a friend, do I?
Mos. And your friend is an unconscionable dog, but you can't help that.
Sir Oliv. My friend an unconscionable dog, is he?
Mos. Yes, and he himself has not the moneys by him, but is forced to sell stock at a great loss.
Sir Oliv. He is forced to sell stock at a great loss, is he? Well, that's very kind of him.
Sir Pet. I' faith, Sir Oliver — Mr. Premium, I mean — you'll soon be master of the trade. But, Moses ! would not you have him run out a little against the annuity bill? That would be in character, I should think.
Mos. Very much.
Row. And lament that a young man now must be at years of discretion before he is suffered to ruin himself?
Mos. Ay, great pity!
Sir. Pet. And abuse the public for allowing merit to an act whose only object is to snatch misfortune and imprudence from the rapacious gripe of usury, and give the minor a chance of inheriting his estate without being undone by coming into possession.
Sir Oliv. So, so - Moses shall give me farther instructions as we go together.
Sir Pet. You will not have much time, for your nephew lives hard by.
Sir Oliv. Oh, never fear! my tutor appears so able, that though Charles lived in the next street, it must be my own fault if I am not a complete rogue before I turn the corner. [Exit with MOSES.
Sir Pet. So, now, I think Sir Oliver will be convinced : you are partial, Rowley, and would have prepared Charles for the other plot.
Row. No, upon my word, Sir Peter.
Sir Pet. Well, go bring me this Snake, and I'll hear what he has to say presently. I see Maria, and want to speak with her. [Exit
RowLEY.] I should be glad to be convinced my suspicions of Lady Teazle and Charles were unjust. I have never yet opened my mind on this subject to my friend Joseph - I am determined I will do it - he will give me his opinion sincerely.
So, child, has Mr. Surface returned with you?
Mar. No, sir; he was engaged.
Sir Pet. Well, Maria, do you not reflect, the more you converse with that amiable young man, what return his partiality for you deserves ?
Mar. Indeed, Sir Peter, your frequent importunity on this subject distresses me extremely — you compel me to declare that I know no man who has ever paid me a particular attention whom I would not prefer to Mr. Surface.
Sir Pet. So - here's perverseness ! No, no, Maria, 't is Charles only whom you would prefer. 'T is evident his vices and follies have won your heart.
Mar. This is unkind, sir. You know I have obeyed you in neither seeing nor corresponding with him ; I have heard enough to convince me that he is unworthy my regard. Yet I cannot think it culpable, if, while my understanding severely condemns his vices, my heart suggests some pity for his distresses.
Sir Pet. Well, well, pity him as much as you please ; but give your heart and hand to a worthier object.
Mar. Never to his brother !
Sir Pet. Go, perverse and obstinate ! But take care, madam : you have never yet known what the authority of a guardian is; don't compel me to inform you of it. Mar. I can only say, you shall not have just reason.
'Tis true, by my father's will, I am for a short period bound to regard you as his substitute ; but must cease to think you so, when you would compel me to be miserable.
[Exit. Sir Pet. Was ever man so crossed as I am, everything conspiring to fret me! I had not been involved in matrimony a fortnight before her father, a hale and hearty man, died, on purpose, I believe, for the pleasure of plaguing me with the care of his daughter. [Lady Teazle sings without.] But here comes my helpmate ! She appears in great good humour. How happy I should be if I could tease her into loving me, though but a little !
Enter LADY TEAZLE.
Lady Teaz. Lud! Sir Peter, I hope you haven't been quarrelling with Maria ? It is not using me well to be ill-humoured when I am not by.
Sir Pet. Ah, Lady Teazle, you might have the power to make me good-humoured at all times.
Lady Teaz. I am sure I wish I had; for I want you to be in a charming sweet temper at this moment. Do be good-humoured now, and let me have two hundred pounds, will you?
Sir Pet. Two hundred pounds! what, an't I to be in a good humour without paying for it? But speak to me thus, an i' faith there's nothing I could refuse you. You shall have it; but seal me a bond for the repayment. Lady Teaz. Oh, no there my note of hand will do as well.
[Offering her hand. Sir Pet. And you shall no longer reproach me with not giving you an independent settlement. I mean shortly to surprise you : but shall we always live thus, hey?
Lady Teaz. If you please. I'm sure I don't care how soon we leave off quarrelling, provided you'll own you were tired first.
Sir Pet. Well — then let our future contest be, who shall be most obliging.
Lady Teaz. I assure you, Sir Peter, good nature becomes you. You look now as you did before we were married, when you used to walk with me under the elms, and tell me stories of what a gallant you were in your youth, and chuck me under the chin, you would : and ask me if I thought I could love an old fellow who would deny me nothing - didn't you?
Sir Pet. Yes, yes, and you were as kind and attentive
Lady Teaz. Ay, so I was, and would always take your part, when my acquaintance used to abuse you, and turn you into ridicule.
Sir Pet. Indeed !
Lady Teaz. Ay, and when my cousin Sophy has called you a stiff, peevish old bachelor, and laughed at me for thinking of marrying one who might be my father, I have always defended you, and said I didn't think you so ugly by any means.
Sir Pet. Thank you.
Lady Teaz. And I dared say you'd make a very good sort of a husband.
Sir Pet. And you prophesied right: and we shall now be the happiest couple
Lady Teaz. And never differ again?
Sir Pet. No, never ! though at the same time, indeed, my dear Lady Teazle, you must watch your temper very seriously; for in all our little quarrels, my dear, if you recollect, my love, you always be
Lady Teaz. I beg your pardon, my dear Sir Peter: indeed, you always gave the provocation.
Sir Pet. Now see, my angel ! take care - contradicting isn't the way to keep friends.
Lady Teaz. Then don't you begin it, my love !
You don't perceive, my life, that you are just doing the very thing which you know always makes me angry.
Lady Teaz. Nay, you know if you will be angry without any reason,
Sir Pet. There ! now you want to quarrel again.
Lady Teaz. Why, you, to be sure. I said nothing - but there's no bearing your temper.
Sir Pet. No, no, madam : the fault's in your own temper.
Lady Teaz. Ay, you are just what my cousin Sophy said you would be.
Sir Pet. Your cousin Sophy is a forward, impertinent gipsy.
relations. Sir Pet. Now may all the plagues of marriage be doubled on me, if ever I try to be friends with you any more !
Lady Teaz. So much the better.
Sir Pet. No, no, madam : 't is evident you never cared a pin for me, and I was a madman to marry you a pert, rural coquette, that had refused half the honest squires in the neighbourhood.
Lady Teaz. And I am sure I was a fool to marry you dangling bachelor, who was single at fifty, only because he never could meet with any one who would have him.
Sir Pet. Ay, ay, madam ; but you were pleased enough to listen to me : you never had such an offer before.
Lady Teaz. No ! didn't I refuse Sir Tivy Terrier, who everybody
said would have been a better match? for his estate is just as good as yours, and he has broke his neck since we have been married.
Sir Pet. I have done with you, madam! You are an unfeeling, ungrateful — but there's an end of everything. I believe you capable of everything that is bad. Yes, madam, I now believe the reports relative to you and Charles, madam. Yes, madam, you and Charles are, not without grounds
Lady Teaz. Take care, Sir Peter! you had better not insinuate any such thing! I'll not be suspected without cause, I promise you.
Sir Pet. Very well, madam! very well ! A separate maintenance as soon as you please. Yes, madam, or a divorce! I'll make an example of myself for the benefit of all old bachelors. Let us separate, madam.
Lady Teaz. Agreed ! agreed ! And now, my dear Sir Peter, we are of a mind once more, we may be the happiest couple, and never differ again, you know: ha! ha! ha! Well, you are going to be in a passion, I see, and I shall only interrupt you — so, bye ! bye !
[Exit. Sir Pet. Plagues and tortures ! can't I make her angry either! Oh, I am the most miserable fellow! But I'll not bear her presuming to keep her temper: no ! she may break my heart, but she shan't keep her temper.
SCENE II. — A ROOM IN CHARLES SURFACE'S HOUSE
Enter Trip, Moses, and SIR OLIVER SURFACE.
[Exit, taking stuff Sir Oliv. To judge by the servants, one wouldn't believe the master was ruined. But what ! - sure, this was my brother's house?
Mos. Yes, sir; Mr. Charles bought it of Mr. Joseph, with the furniture, pictures, etc., just as the old gentleman left it. Sir Peter thought it a piece of extravagance in him.
Sir Oliv. In my mind, the other's economy in selling it to him was more reprehensible by half.