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Lofty. Undone, madam, that's all. His creditors have taken him into cuftody. A prisoner in his own house.
Mrs. CroAKER. A prisoner in his own house! How! At this very time! I'm quite unhappy for him.
LOFTY. Why so am I. The man, to be sure, was immensely good-natur's. But then I could never find that he had any thing in him.
Mrs. CROAKER. His manner, to be sure, was exceflive harmless; fome, indeed, thought it a little dull. For my part, I always concealed my opinion.
Lorry. It can't be concealed, madam ; the man was dull, dull as the last new comedy! A poor impracticable creature? I tried once or twice to know if he was fit for business; but he had scarce talents to be groom-porter to an orange
Mrs. CROAKER. How differently does Miss Richland think of him! For, I believe, with all his faults, she loves him.
Lofty. Loves him! Does The ? You should cure her of that by all means. Let me see ; what if he were
sent to him this instant, in his present doleful fituation ? My life for it, that works her cure. Dir tress is a perfect antidote to love. Suppose we join her in the next room? Miss Richland is a fine girl, has a fine fortune, and must not be thrown away. Upon my honour, madam, I have a regard for Mifs Richland; and rather than she thould be thrown away, I should think it no indignity to marry her myself.
Enter OLIVIA and LEONTINE.
LEONTINE. And yet, trust me, Olivia, I had every reason to expect Miss Richland’s refusal, as I did every thing in my power to deserve it. Her indelicacy surprises me!
OLIVIA. Sure, Leontine, there's nothing fo indelicate in being sensible of your merit. If so, I fear, I shall be the most guilty thing alive.
dear. The same attention I used to advance my merit with you, I practised to lessen it with her. What more could I do?
OLIVIA. Let us now rather consider what's to be done. We have both diffembled too long-I have always been alhamed -I am now quite weary of it. Sure
I could never have undergone so much for any other
Leontine. And you fall find my gratitude equal to your kindest compliance. Though our friends should totally forsake us, Olivia, we can draw upon content for the deficiencies of fortune.
Olivia. Then why should we defer our scheme of humble happiness, when it is now in our power? I may be the favourite of your father, it is true; but can it ever be thought, that his present kindness to a supposed child, will continue to a known deceiver ?
Leontine. I have many reasons to believe it will. As his attachments are but few, they are lasting. His own marriage was a private one, as ours may be. Besides, I have founded him already at a distance, and find all his answers exactly to our wish. Nay, by an expression or two that dropped from him, I am induced to think he knows of this affair.
OLIVIA. Indeed! But that would be an happiness too great to be expected.
LEONTINE. However it be, I'm certain you have power over him; and am persuaded, if you informed him of our situation, that he would be disposed to pardon it.
Olivia. You had equal expectations, Leontine, from your last scheme with Miss Richland, which you find has succeeded most wretchedly,
LEONTINE. As we could wifi, he comes this way. Now, my deareft Olivia, be resolute. I'll just retire within hearing, to come in at a proper time, either to Mare your danger, or confirm your victory, [Exit.
CROAKER. Yes, I must forgive her; and yet not too easily, neither. It will be proper to keep up the decorums of resentment a little, if it be only to impress her with an idea of my authority.
OLIVIA. How I tremble to approach him !-Might I prefume, Sir-If I interrupt you
CROAKER. No, child, where I have an affection, it is not a little thing that can interrupt me.
Affection gets over little things.
OLIVIA. Sir, you're too kind. I'm sensible how ill I deferve this partiality. Yet, heaven knows, there is nothing I would not do to gain it.
CROAKER. And you
have but too well succeeded, you little hussey, you. With those endearing ways of yours, on my conscience, I could be brought to forgive any thing, unless it "vere a very great offence indeed.
my guilt-Yes, you shall know it, though I feel the greatest pain in the confeffion.
CROAker. Why then, if it be so very great a pain, you may spare yourself the trouble; for I know every fyllable of the matter before you begin.
OLIVIA. Indeed! Then I'm undone.
CROAKER. Ay, miss, you wanted to steal a match, without letting me know it, did you ? But, I'm not worth being consulted, I suppose, when there's to be a marriage in my own family. No, I'm to have no hand in the disposal of my own children. No, I'm nobody. I'm to be a mere article of family lumbe ; a piece of crack'd china to be stuck up in a