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Yet proofs of her love, too, are strong ;
And unworthy of bliss if I'm wrong.
I know not how much I adore :
And I wonder I prized them no more !
[Exit. SCENE III.- A Room in DON JEROME's House.
Enter DONNA LOUISA and DUENNA. Don. Louisa. But, my dear Margaret, my charming Duenna, do you
think we shall succeed? Duen. I tell you again, I have no doubt on't; but it must be instantly put to the trial. Everything is prepared in your room, and for the rest we must trust to fortune.
Don. Louisa. My father's oath was, never to see me till I had consented to
Duen. 'Twas thus I overheard him say to his friend, Don Guzman,
I will demand of her to-morrow, once for all, whether she will consent to marry Isaac Mendoza ; if she hesitates, I will make a solemn oath never to see or speak to her till she returns to her duty.—These were his words.
Don. Louisa. And on his known obstinate adherence to what he has once said, you have formed this plan for my escape.
-But have you secured my maid in our interest ? Duen. She is a party in the whole; but remember, if we succeed, you resign all right and title in little Isaac, the Jew, over to me.
Don. Louisa. That I do with all my soul; get him if you can, and I shall wish you joy most heartily. He is twenty times as rich as my poor Antonio.
But when his worth my hand shall gain,
No word or look of mine shall show
Yet still his grateful heart shall own
I loved him for himself alone. Duen. I hear Don Jerome coming.-Quick, give me the last letter I brought you from Antonio--you know that is to be the ground of my dismission-I must slip out to seal it up, as undelivered.
[Exit. Enter Don JEROME and Don FERDINAND. Don Jer. What, I suppose you have been serenading too ! Eh, disturbing some peaceable neighbourhood with villanous catgut and lascivious piping! Out on't ! you set your sister, here, a vile example ; but I come to tell you, madam, that I'll suffer no more of these midnight incantations—these amorous orgies, that steal the senses in the hearing; as, they say, Egyptian embalmers serve mummies, extracting the brain through the ears.
However, there's an end of your frolics—Isaac Mendoza will be here presently, and to-morrow you shall
Don. Louisa. Never, while I have life !
Don Ferd. Indeed, sir, I wonder how you can think of such a man for a son-in-law.
Don Jer. Sir, you are very kind to favour me with your sentiments—and pray, what is your objection to him ?
Don Ferd. He is a Portuguese, in the first place.
Don Jer. Another mistake : he has been a Christian these six weeks.
Don Ferd. Ay, he left his old religion for an estate, and has not had time to get a new one.
Don. Louisa. But stands like a dead wall between church and synagogue, or like the blank leaves between the Old and New Testament.
Don Jer. Anything more?
Don Ferd. But the most remarkable part of his character is his passion for deceit and tricks of cunning.
Don. Louisa. Though at the same time the fool predominates so much over the knave, that I am told he is generally the dupe of his own art.
Don Ferd. True; like an unskilful gunner, he usually misses his aim, and is hurt by the recoil of his own piece.
Out of my
Don Jer. Anything more?
Don. Louisa. To sum up all, he has the worst fault a hus. band can have-he's not my choice.
Don Jer. But you are his; and choice on one side is sufficient-two lovers should never meet in marriage—be you sour as you please, he is sweet-tempered; and for your good fruit, there's nothing like ingrafting on a crab.
Don. Louisa. I detest him as a lover, and shall ten times more as a husband.
Don Jer. I don't know that-marriage generally makes a great change—but, to cut the matter short, will you have him or not?
Don. Louisa. There is nothing else I could disobey you in. Don Jer. Do you value your father's peace ?
Don. Louisa. So much, that I will not fasten on him the regret of making an only daughter wretched.
Don Jer. Very well, ma’am, then mark me-never more will I see or converse with you till you return to your duty-no reply—this and your chamber shall be your apartments; I never will stir out without leaving you under lock and key, and when I'm at home no creature can approach you but through my library : we'll try who can be most obstinate. sight there remain till you know your duty. [Pushes her out.
Don Ferd. Surely, sir, my sister's inclinations should be consulted in a matter of this kind, and some regard paid to Don Antonio, being my particular friend.
Don Jer. That, doubtless, is a very great recommendation ! - I certainly have not paid sufficient respect to it.
Don Ferd. There is not a man living I would sooner choose for a brother-in-law,
Don Jer. Very possible ; and if you happen to have e'er a sister, who is not at the same time a daughter of mine, I'm sure I shall have no objection to the relationship; but at present, if you please, we'll drop the subject.
Don Ferd. Nay, sir, 'tis only my regard for my sister makes me speak.
Don Jer. Then, pray, sir, in future, let your regard for your father make you hold your tongue.
Don Ferd. I have done, sir. I shall only add a wish that you would reflect what at our age you would have felt, had you been crossed in your affection for the mother of her you are so severe to.
Don Jer. Why, I must confess I had a great affection for your mother's ducats, but that was all, boy. I married her for
her fortune, and she took me in obedience to her father, and a very happy couple we were. We never expected any love from one another, and so we were never disappointed. If we grumbled a little now and then, it was soon over, for we were never fond enough to quarrel; and when the good woman died, why, why,-I had as lieve she had lived, and I wish every widower in Seville could say the same. I shall now go and get the key of this dressing-room-so, good son, if you have any lecture in support of disobedience to give your sister, it must be brief; so make the best of your time, d'ye hear?
(Exit. Don Ferd. I fear, indeed, my friend Antonio has little to hope for; however, Louisa has firmness, and my father's anger will probably only increase her affection. In our intercourse with the world, it is natural for us to dislike those who are innocently the cause of our distress; but in the heart's attachment a woman never likes a man with ardour till she has suffered for his sake-[Noise.] So! What bustle is here ! between my father and the Duenna too—I'll e'en get out of the way.
[Exit. Re-enter Don JEROME with a letter, pulling in DUENNA. Don Jer. I'm astonished ! I'm thunder-struck! here's treachery and conspiracy with a vengeance ! You, Antonio's creature, and chief manager of this plot for my daughter's eloping ! you, that I placed here as a scarecrow ?
Duen. What ?
Don Jer. A scarecrow-to prove a decoy-duck! What have you to say for yourself?
Duen. Well, sir, since you have forced that letter from me, and discovered my real sentiments, I scorn to renounce them. -I am Antonio's friend, and it was my intention that your daughter should have served you as all such old tyrannical sots should be served—I delight in the tender passions, and would befriend all under their influence.
Don Jer. The tender passions ! yes, they would become those impenetrable features ! Why, thou deceitfu! hag! I placed thee as a guard to the rich blossoms of my daughter's beauty. I thought that dragon's front of thine would cry aloof to the sons of gallantry: steel traps and spring guns seemed writ in every wrinkle of it.—But you shall quit my house this instant. The tender passions, indeed! go, thou wanton sibyl, thou amorous woman of Endor, go!
Duen. You base, scurrilous, old—but I won't demean myself by naming what you are.— Yes, savage, I'll leave your den; but
I suppose you don't mean to detain my apparel-I may have my things, I presume ?
Don Jer. I took you, mistress, with your wardrobe on—what have you pilfered, eh?
Duen. Sir, I must take leave of my mistress; she has valuables of mine: besides, my cardinal and veil are in her room.
Don Jer. Your veil, forsooth! what, do you dread being gazed at? or are you afraid of your complexion ? Well, go take your leave, and get your veil and cardinal ! so ! you quit the house within these five minutes.-In-in-quick !-[Exit DUENNA.] Here was a precious plot of mischief !—these are the comforts daughters bring us !
Sighing and whining,
Dying and pining,
Wrangling and jangling,
Flouting and pouting, Oh, what a plague is an obstinate daughter ! Re-enter DONNA LOUISA, dressed as DUENNA, with cardinal and
veil, seeming to cry. This way, mistress, this way.-- What, I warrant, a tender parting; so ! tears of turpentine down those deal cheeks.-Ay, you may well hide your head—yes, whine till your heart breaks! but I'll not hear one word of excuse--so you are right to be dumb. This way,
[Exeunt. Re-enter DUENNA. Duen. So, speed you well, sagacious Don Jerome ! Oh rare effects of passion and obstinacy! Now shall I try whether I can't play the fine lady as well as my mistress, and if I succeed, I may be a fine lady for the rest of my life—I'll lose no time to equip myself.
(Exit. SCENE IV.-The Court before Don JEROME's House.
Enter Don JEROME and DONNA LOUISA. Don Jer. Come, mistress, there is your way—the world lies before you, so troop, thou antiquated Eve, thou original sin ! Hold, yonder is some fellow skulking ; perhaps it is Antonio -go to him, d'ye hear, and tell him to make you amends, and