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OLIVIA. Dear Sir, nothing but the dread of your authority could induce us to conceal it from you.

CROAKER. No, no, my consequence is no more; I'm as little minded as a dead Russian in winter, just stuck up with a pipe in his mouth till there comes a thaw--" It goes to my heart to vex her. (Afide.)

OLIVIA. I was prepar’d, Sir, for your anger, and despair'd of pardon, even while I presume to ask it. But your severity thall never abate my affection, as my punishment is but justice.

CROAKER. And yet you fhould not despair neither, Livy. We ought to hope all for the best.

OLIVIA. And do you permit me to hope, Sir? Can I ever expect to be forgiven? But hope has too long deceived me.

CROAKER. Why then, child, it shan't deceive you now, far I forgive you this very moment. I forgive you all ; and now you are indeed my daughter.

OLIVIA.
O transport! This kindness overpowers me.

CROAKER. I was always against severity to our children. We have been young and giddy ourselves, and we can't expect boys and girls to be old before their time.

OLIVIA.

OLIVIA. What generofity! But can you forget the many falsehoods, the diffimulation

CROAKER. You did indeed dissemble, you urchin you ; but where's the girl that won't dissemble for an husband? My wife and I had never been married, if we had not dissembled a little beforehand.

OLIVIA. It shall be my future care never to put such generosity to a second trial. And as for the partner of my offence and folly, from his native honour, and the just sense he has of his duty, I can answer for him that

Enter LEONTINE.

LEONTINE. Permit him thus to answer for himself. (Kneeling.) Thus, Sir, let me speak my gratitude for this unmerited forgiveness. Yes, Sir, this even exceeds all your former tenderness : I now can boast the most indulgent of fathers. The life he gave, compared to this, was but a triling blessing.

CROAKER. And, goud Sir, who sent for you, with that fine tragedy face, and flourishing manner? I don't know what we have to do with your gratitude upon this occasion.

LEON

LEONTINE. How, Sir! Is it poisible to be filent, when so much obliged! Would you refuse me the pleasure of being grateful! of adding my thanks to my Olivia's ! of sharing in the transports that you have thus occafioned ?

CROAKER. Lord, Sir, we can be happy enough, without your coming in to make up the party. I don't know what's the matter with the boy all this day; he has got into such a rhodomontade manner all this morning!

Leontine. But, Sir, I that have so large a part in the benefit, is it not my duty to thew my joy? is the being admitted to your favour so slight an obligation ? is the happiness of marrying my Olivia so small a blessing?

CROAKER. Marrying Olivia ! marrying Olivia! marrying his own fifter! Sure the boy is out of his senses. His own fitter !

LEONTINE. My sister!

OLIVIA. Sifter! How have I been mistaken! [ Afide.

LEONTINE. Some curs'd mistake in all this I find. [Afide.

VOL. II.

E

CROAKER.

CROAKER, What does the booby mean? or has he any meaning? Eh, what do you mean, you blockhead you ?

LEONTINE. Mean, Sir-why, Sir-only when my fifter is to be married, that I have the pleasure of marrying her, Sir, that is, of giving her away, Sir-I have made a point of it.

CROAKER.
O, is that all. Give her away.

You have made a point of it. Then you had as good make a point of first giving away yourself, as I'm going to prepare the writings between you and Miss Richland this very minute. What a fuss is here about nothing ! Why, what's the matter now? I thought I had made you at least as happy as you could wish.

OLIVIA. O! yes, Sir, very happy.

CROAKER. Do you foresee any thing, child? You look as if you did. I think if any thing was to be foreseen, I have as sharp a look out as another: and yet I foresee nothing.

[Exit.

LEONTINE, OLIVIA.

OLIVIA. What can it mean?

LEONTINE. He knows something, and yet for my life I can't tell what.

OLIVIA.

OLIVIA. It can't be the connection between us, I'm pretty certain.

LEONTINE. Whatever it be, my dearest, I'm resolved to put it out of fortune's power to repeat our mortification. I'll haste and prepare for our journey to Scotland this very evening. My friend Honeywood has promised me his advice and aisistance. I'll go to him, and repose our distresses on his friendly bosom: and I know so much of his honest heart, that if he can't relieve our uneasinesses, he will at least hare them.

Exeunt.

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