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it, only that your aunt Rusport is in a conspiracy | Mr Belcour to believe he could be guilty of a against you, and a vile rogue of a lawyer, whose designed affront to an innocent girl; and I am name I forget, at the bottom of it.
much too well acquainted with your character, to Cha. What conspiracy? Dear inajor, recollect suppose you could abet him in such design; I yourself.
have no doubt, therefore, all things will be set to O'Fla. By niy soul, l've no faculty at recol rights in very few words, when we have the plealecting anyself; but I've a paper somewhere about sure of seeing Mr Belcour. me, that will tell you inorc of the matter than I Stock. He has only stept into the compting
When I get to the merchant's, I will en- house, and will wait upon you directly. You deavour to find it.
will not be over strict, madam, in weighing Dr Chu. Well, it must be in your own way; but Belcour's conduct to the minutest scruple. His I confess you have thoroughly roused my curio- manners, passions, and opinions, are not, as yet, sity.
[Exeunt. assiinilated to this climate; he comes amongst
you a new character, an inhabitant of a new SCENE II.–STOCKWELL's house. world; and both hospitality, as well as pity, re
commend him to our indulgence. Enter CAPTAIN Dudley, Louisa, and
Enter Belcour, who bows to Miss Dudley. wife, in safe custody?
Bel. I am happy, and ashamed, to see youStuke. They are in good hands; I accompa- no man in his senses would offend you—I fornied theip to the tavern, where your son was to feited mine, and erred against the light of the be, and then went in search of you. You may sun, when I overlooked your virtues--but your be sure Mr Stockwell will enforce the law against beauty was predominant, and hid them from my them as far as it will go.
sight-I now perceive I was the dupe of a most Dud. What mischief might their cursed ma- improbable report, and humbly entreat your chinatious have produced, but for this timely dis- pardon. covery!
Lou. Think no more of it; 'twas a mistake. Lou, Still I am terrified !-I tremble with ap- Bel. My life has been composed of little else; prehension lest Mr Belcour's impetuosity, and 'twas founded in mystery, and has continued in Charles's spirit, should not wait for an explana- error: I was once given to hope, Mr Stockwell, tion, but drive thein both to extreines, before that you was to have delivered me from these the unistake can be unravelled.
difficulties; but, either I do not deserve your Sluke. Mr Stockwell is with them, madam, confidence, or I was deceived in my expectaand
you have nothing to fear-you cannot sup- tions. pose he would ask you hither for any other pur- Stock. When this lady has confirmed your parpose but to celebrate their reconciliation, and to don, I shall hold you deserving of my confireceive Mr Belcour's atonement.
dence. Dud. No, no, Louisa. Mr Stockwell's honour Lou. That was granted the moment it was and discretion guard us against all danger or of asked. fence-he well knows we will endure no imputa- Bel. To prove my title to his confidence, hotion on the honour of our family, and he cer- nour me so far with yours, as to allow me a few tainly bas invited us to receive satisfaction on minutes conversation in private with you. that score in an amicable way.
(She turns to her father. Lou. Would to Heaven they were returned ! Dud. By all means, Louisa; come, Mr Stock
Stuke. You may expect them every minute; well, let us go into another room. and see, madam, agreeable to your wish, they Cha. And now, major O'Flaherty, I claim are here.
[Erit STUKE. | your promise of a sight of the paper, that is to Enter Charles, and afterwards STOCKWELL think I have waited with great patience.
unravel this conspiracy of my aunt Rusport's: I and OʻFLAHERTY.
O'Fla. I have been endeavouring to call to Lou. O Charles ! O brother! how could you mind what it was I overheard—I've got the paserve me so? how could you tell me you was go- per, and will give you the best account I can of ing to lady Rusport's, and then set out with a the whole transaction. design of fighting Mr Belcour? But where is he?
[Exeunt. Where is your antagonist? Stock. Captain, I am proud to see you ; and
Enter Belcour and Louisa. you, Miss Dudley, do me particular honour, Bel. Miss Dudley, I have solicited this audiWe have been adjusting, sir, a very extraordi- ence, to repeat to you my penitence and confunary and dangerous mistake, which, I take for sion. How'shall I'atone? What reparation can granted, my friend Stukely has explained to you. I make to you and virtue?
Dud. He has. I have too good an opinion of Lou. To me there's nothing due, nor any thing
demanded of you, but your more favourable opi-| Enter O'Flaherty, and afternards DUDLEY nion for the future, if you should chance to think
and CHARLES with STOCKWELL. of me. Upon the part of virtue, I'm not empowered to speak; but if, hereafter, as you range O'Fla. Joy, joy, joy! Sing, dance, leap, laugh through life, you should surprise.her in the per- for joy! Ha' done making love, and fall down on son of some wretched female, poor as myself, your knees to every saint in the calendar; for and not so well protected, enforce not your ad- they're all on your side, and honest St. Patrick at vanta complete not your licentious triumph, the head of them. but raise her, rescue her from shame and sorrow, Cha. O Louisa, such an event! By the luckiest and reconcile her to herself again.
chance in life, we have discovered a will of my Bel. I will, I will: by bearing your idea ever grandfather's, made in his last illness, by which present in my thoughts, virtue shall keep an ad-he cuts off my aunt Rusport with a small annuivocate within me. But tell me, loveliest, when ty, and leaves me heir to his whole estate, with you pardon the offence, can you, all perfect as a fortune of fifteen thousand pounds to yourself. you are, approve of the offender? As I now cease Lou. What is it you tell me? 0, sir, iustruct to view you in that false light I lately did, can me to support this unexpected turn of fortune. you, and, in the fulness of your bounty, will you,
[To her father. cease also to reflect upon the libertine addresses Dud. Name not fortune; 'tis the work of I have paid you, and look upon me as your re- Providence'tis the justice of Heaven, that ormed, your rational admirer:
would not suffer innocence to be oppressed, nor Lou. Are sudden reformations apt to last? your base. aunt to prosper in her cruelty and and how can I be sure the first fair face you cunning. meet will not ensnare assections so unsteady, [A servant whispers BeLcOUR, and he goes and that I shall not lose you lightly as I gained out.] you?
O'Fla. You shall pardon me, captain Dudley, Bel. Because, though you conquered me by but you must not overlook St Patrick neither;surprise, I have no inclination to rebel; because, for, by my soul, if he had not put it into my since the first moment that I saw you, every in- head to slip behind the screen when your righte stant has improved you in my eyes; because, by teous aunt and the lawyer were plotting togeprinciple as well as passion, I am unalterably gether, I don't see how you would ever have yours : in short, there are ten thousand causes come at the paper there, that master Stockwell for my love to you :-would to He ven 1 ould is reading. plant one in your soft bosom, that might move Dud. True, my good friend; you are the fayou to return it!
ther of this discovery; but how did you contrive Lou. Nay, Mr Belcour
to get this will from the lawyer? Bel. I know I am not worthy your regard. I O'Fla. By force, my dear-the only way of know I'm tainted with a thousand faults, sick of getting any thing from a lawyer's clutches, a thousand follies; but there's a healing virtue Stock. Well, major, when he brings his action in your eyes that makes recovery certain. I can- of assault and battery against you, the least not bè a villain in your arms.
Dudley can do is, to defend you with the weaLou. That you can never be: whomever you pons you have put into his hands. shall honour with your choice, iny life upon't that Cha. That I am bound to do; and after the woman will be bappy: it is not from suspicion happiness I shall have in sheltering a father's that I hesitate, it is from honour : 'tis the seve- age from the vicissitudes of life, my next delight rity of my condition: it is the world, that never will be in offering you an asylum in the bosom of will interpret fairly in our case.
your country. Bel. Oh, what am I? and who in this wide O'Fla. And upon my soul, my dear, 'tis high world concerns himself for such a nameless, such time I was there; for 'tis now thirty long years a friendless thing as I am? I see, Miss Dudley, since I set foot in my native country-and, by the I've not yet obtained your pardon.
power of St Patrick I swear, I think it's worth Lou. Nay, that you are in full possession of. all the rest of the world put together.
Dud. Ay, major, much about that time hare of women; confirm it with your heart; make me I been beating the round of service, and 'twere honourably happy, and crown your penitent, not well for us both to give over: we have stood with your pardon only, but your
many a tough gale, and abundance of hard Lou. My love!
blows; but Charles shall lay us up in a little priBel. By Heaven, my soul is conquered with vate, but safe, harbour, where we'll rest from your virtues, more than my eyes are ravished with our labours, and peacefully wind up the remainyour beauty! Oh, may this soft, this sensitive der of our days. alarm, be happy, be auspicious! Doubt not, deli- O'Fla. Agreed; and you may take it as a berate not, delay not. If happiness be the end proof of my esteem, young man, that major (?of life, why do we slip a moment?
Flaherty. accepts a favour at your handsfor,
by Heaven, I'd sooner starve than say, 'I thank Char. O, Charles ! you have an honest, but you' to the man I despise. But I believe you proud heart. are an honest lad, and I am glad you have Cha. Nay, chide me not, dear Charlotte. trounced the old cat-for, on my conscience, I Bel. Seal up her lips, then ; she is an adorabelieve I must otherwise have married her my- ble girl; her arms are open to you; and love · self, to have let you in for a share of her for- and happiness are ready to receive you.
Cha. Thus, then, I claim my dear, my destiStock. Hey-day, what's become of Belcour? ned wife.
[Embracing her. Lou. One of your servants called him out just now, and seemingly on some earnest occa
Enter LADY RUSPORT. sion.
· Stock. I hope, Miss Dudley, he has atoned to Lady Rus. Hey-day! mighty fine! wife truyou as a gentleman ought?
ly! mighty well! kissing, einbracing--did Lou. Mr Belcour, sir, will always do what a ever any thing equal this? Why, you shameless gentleman ought-and, in my case, I fear only hussy! But I won't condescend to waste a word you will think he has done too much.
upon you. You, sir, you, Mr Stuckwell, you fine, Stock. What has he done? and what can be sanctilied, fair-dealing man of conscience, is this too much? Pray, Heaven, it may be as I wish! the principle you trade upon? Is this your neigh
| Aside. bourly system, to keep a house of reception for Dud. Let us hear it, child ?
run-away daughters, and young beggarly fortuncLou. With confusion for my own unworthi- | hunters? ness, I confess to you he has offered me.
O'Fla. Be advised now, and don't put yourself Stock. Himself?
in such a passion; we were all very happy till Lou. 'Tis true.
you came. Stock. Then, I am happy: all my doubts, my Lady Rus. Stand away, sir ! hare not I a reacares are over, and I may own him for my son. son to be in a passion? Why, these are joyful tidings : come, my good
O'Fla. Indeed, honey, and you have, if you friend, assist me in disposing your lovely daugh- knew all. ter to accept this returning prodigal : he is no Lady Rus. Come, madam, I have found out unprincipled, no hardened libertine; his love your haunts; dispose yourself to return home for you and virtue is the same.
with me. Young man, let me never see you Dud. 'Twere vile ingratitude in me to doubt within my doors again. Mr Stockwell, I shall his merit--What says my child ?
report your behaviour, depend upon it. OʻFla. Begging your pardon now, 'tis a frivo- Stock. Hold, madam ; I cannot consent to Jous sort of a question, that of yours; for you lose Miss Rusport's company this evening, and I may see plainly enough, by the young lady's looks, am persuaded you won't insist upon it: 'tis an that she says a great deal, though she speaks ne- inmotherly action to interrupt your daughter's ver a word.
happiness in this mavner; believe me it is. Cha. Well, sister, I believe the major has Lady Rus. Her happiness, truly! upon my fairly interpreted the state of your heart. word! and I suppose 'tis an unınotherly action
Lou. I own it; and what must that heart be, to interrupt her ruin; for, what but ruin must it which love, honour and benevolence, like Mr be to marry a beggar? I think my sister had a Belcour's, can make no impression on?'
proof of that, sir, when she made choice of you. Stock. I thank you. What happiness has this
(To Capt. Dudley. hour brought to pass !
Dud. Don't be too lavish of your spirits, lady O'Fla. Why don't we all sit down to supper, Rusport. then, and make a night on't?
O'Fla. By my soul, you'll have occasion for a Ştock. Hold, here corneş Belcour.
sip of the cordial elixir, by and by.
Stock. It don't appear to me, madam, that Mr Belcour introducing Miss RusPORT.
Dudley can be called a beggar. Bel. Mr Dudley, here is a fair refugee, who Lady Rus. But it appears to me, Mr Stockproperly comes under your protection : she is well—I am apt to think a pair of colours cannot equipt for Scotland; but your good fortune, furnish settlement quite sufficient for the heiress which I have related to her, seems inclined to of sir Stephen Rusport. save you both the journey- Nay, madam, ne- Char. But a good estate, in aid of a commisver go back; you are amongst friends.
sion, may do something. Cha. Charlotte !
Lady Rus. A good estate, truly! where should Char. The same; that fond officious girl, that he get a good estate, pray? haunts you every where; that persecuting spi- Stock. Why, suppose now a worthy old gentlerit
man, on his death bed, should have taken it in Cha. Say rather, that protecting angel: such mind to leave him oneyou have been to me.
Lady Rus. Ha! what's that you say? VOL II.
O'Fla. O ho! you begin to smell a plot, do j Tis a night of wonderful and surprising ups and you?
downs: I wish we were all fairly set down to Stock. Suppose there should be a paper in the supper, and there was an end on't. world that runs thus- - I do hereby give and Stock. Hold for a moment! I have yet one 'bequeath all my estates, real and personal, to word to interpose-Entitled, by my friendship, • Charles Dudley, son of my late daughter, Lou- to a voice in your disposal, I have approved your ‘isa,' &c. &c. &c.
match : there yet remains a father's consent to Lady Rus. Why, I am thunderstruck! By be obtained. what contrivance, w hat villainy, did you get pos- Bel. Have Į a father! session of that paper ?
Stock. You have a father: did not I tell you Stock. There was no villainy, madam, in get- I had a discovery to make? Compose yourself : ting possession of it: the crime was in conceal- you have a father, who observes, who knows, ing it, none in bringing it to light.
who loves you. Lady Rus. Oh, that cursed lawyer, Varland! Bel. Keep me no longer in suspense! my
O'Fla. You may say that, faith! he is a cursed heart is softened for the atlecting discovery, and lawyer, and a cursed piece of work I had to get nature fits me to receive his blessing. the paper from him. Your ladyship now was to Stock. I am your father. have paid him five thousand pounds for it-I for
Bel. My father! Do I live? ced him to give it me of his own accord, for no- Stock. I am your father. thing at all, at all.
Bel. It is too much; my happiness overpowers Lady Rus. Is it you that have done this ? Am ine: to gain a friend, and find a father, is too I foiled by your blundering contrivances, after much: I blush to think how little I deserve you. all?
[They embrace. O'Fla. 'Twas a blunder, faith, but as natural Dud. See, children, how many new relations a one as if I had made it o' purpose.
spring from this night's unforeseen events, to enCha. Come, let us not oppress the fallen; do | dear us to each other. right even now, and you shall have no cause to O'Fla. O' my conscience, I think we shall be complain.
all related by and by. Lully Rus, Am I become an object of your Stock. How happily has this evening conpity, then? Insufferable ! Confusion light amongst cluded, and yet how threatening was its apyou ! Marry and be wretched : let me never see proach! Let us repair to the supper-room, where you more.
[Erit. I will unfold to you every circumstance of my Char. She is outrageous; I suffer for her, and mysterious story. Yes, Belcour, I have watched blush to see her thus exposed.
you with a patient, but inquiring eye; and I have Cha. Come, Charlotte, don't let this angry discovered, through the veil of some irregulariwoman disturb our happiness: we will save her ties, a heart beaming with bencrolence, an aniin spite of herself; your father's memory shall mated nature, fallible, indeed, but not incorriginot be stained by the discredit of his second ble ; and your election of this excellent young choice.
lady makes me glory in acknowledging you to be Char. I trust implicitly to your discretion, my son. and am in all things yours.
Bel, I thank you—and, in niy turn, glory-in Bel. Now, lovely but obdurate, does not this the father I have gained: sensibly imprest with example soften?
gratitude for such extraordinary dispensations, I Lou. What can you ask for more ? Accept my beseech you, amiable Louisa, for the time to hand, accept my willing heart.
come, whenever you perceive me deviating into Bél. Oʻ bliss unutterable! brother, father, error or offence, bring only to my mind the Pro friend, and you, the author of this general joy- / vilence of this night, and I will turn to reason, O'Fla. Blessings of St Patrick upon us all!' and obey.
SCENE I.A chamber in an old-fushioned among us; but now, they travel faster than a house.
stage-coach. Its fopperies come down, not only
as inside passengers, but in the very basket. Enter Mrs HARDCASTLE and MR HARDCASTLE
Mrs Hard. Ay, your times were fine times,
indeed: you have been telling us of thein for Mrs Hard. I vow, Mr Hardcastle, you're very many a long year. Here we live in an old ruinparticular. Is there a creature in the whole bling mansion, that looks for all the world like, country, but ourselves, that does not take a trip an inn, but that we never see company. Our best to town now and then, to rub off the rust a little! visitors are old Mrs Oddfish, the curate's wife There's the two Miss lloggs, and our neighbour, and little Cripplegate, the lame dancing inaster; Mrs Grigsby, go to take a month's polishing eve- and all our entertaininent your old stories of winter.
Prince Eugene and the duke of Marlboroug. I Hord. Ay, and bring back vanity and affecta- hate such old-fashioned trumpery. tion to last them the whole year. I wonder Hard. And I love it. I love every thing that's why London cannot keep its own fools at home. old: old friends, old times, old manners, old In my time, the follies of the town crept slowly books, old wine; and, I believe, Dorothy, [70