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conscience, I could be brought to forgive any thing, unless
my guilt-Yes, you shall know it, though I feel the greatest pain in the confession.
Croak. Why then, if it be so very great a pain, you may spare yourself the trouble ; for I know every syllable of the matter before you begin.
Oliv. Indeed! Then I'm undone.
Croak. 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 am to have no hand in the disposal of my own children. No, I'm nobody. I'm to be a mere article of family lumber; a piece of crack'd china to be stuck
in a corner. Oliv. Dear Sir, nothing but the dread of your authority could induce us to conceal it from you.
Croak. 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.
[Aside. Oliv. I was prepar'd, Sir, for your anger, and despair'd of pardon, even while I presum'd to ask it. But your severity shall never abate my affection, as my punishment is but justice.
Croak. And yet you should not despair neither, Livy. We ought to hope all for the best.
Oliv. And do you permit me to hope, Sir ? Can I ever expect to be forgiven ? But hope has too long deceived
Croak. Why then, child, it shan't deceive you now,
for I forgive you this very moment, I forgive you all! and now you are indeed my daughter.
Oliv. O transport ! this kindness overpowers me.
Croak. 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.
Oliv. What generosity! but can you forget the many falsehoods, the dissimulation
Croak. 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.
Oliv. 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
Leont. 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 trifling blessing,
Croak. And, good 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.
Leont. How, Sir! Is it possible to be silent, 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 occasioned ?
Croak. 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!
Leont. But, Sir, I that have so large a part in the benefit, is it not my duty to show my joy ? is the being ad
mitted to your favour so slight an obligation ? is the happiness of marrying my Olivia so small a blessing ?
Croak. Marrying Olivia! marrying Olivia ; marrying his own sister! Sure, the boy is out of his senses. His own sister !
Leont. My sister !
Croak. What does the booby mean? or has he any meaning ? Eh, what do you mean, you blockhead you?
Leont. Mean, Sir—why, Sir-only when my sister 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.
Croak. 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.
Oliv. O! yes, Sir, very happy.
Croak. 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.
Oliv. What can it mean?
Leont. He knows something, and yet for my life I can't tell what.
Oliv. It can't be the connexion between us, I'm pretty certain.
Leont. 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 assistance. 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 share them.
SCENE, YOUNG HONEYWOOD'S HOUSE.
Bailiff, Honeywood, Follower.
Bailiff. Lookey, Sir, I have arrested as good men as you in my time : no disparagement of you neither. Men that would go forty guineas on a game of cribbage. I challenge the town to show a man in more genteeler practice than myself.
Honeyw. Without all question, Mr. — I forget your name, Sir ?
Bail. How can you forget what you never knew ; he ! he! he!
Honeyw. May I beg leave to ask your name?
Bail. That I didn't promise to tell you. He! he! he! A joke breaks no bones, as we say among us that practise the law.
Honeyw. You may have reason for keeping it a secret, perhaps? Bail. The law does nothing without reason.
I'm ashamed to tell my name to no man, Sir.
If shew cause, as why, upon a special capus, that I should prove my name—But, come, Timothy Twitch is my name.
And, now you know my name, what have you to say to that ?
Honeyw. Nothing in the world, good Mr. Twitch, but that I have a favour to ask, that's all.
Bail. Ay, favours are more easily asked than granted, as we say among us that practise the law. I have taken an oath against granting favours. Would you have me perjure myself ?
Honeyw. But my request will come recommended in so strong a manner, as, I believe, you'll have no scruple (pulling out his purse). The thing is only this : I believe I shall be able to discharge this trifle in two or three days at farthest ; but as I would not have the affair known for the world, I have thoughts of keeping you, and your good friend here, about me till the debt is discharged ; for which I shall be properly grateful.
Bail. Oh! that's another maxum, and altogether within
oath. For certain, if an honest man is to get any thing by a thing, there's no reason why all things should not be done in civility.
Honeyw. Doubtless, all trades must live, Mr. Twitch; and yours is a necessary one.
(Gives him money.) Bail. Oh! your honour; I hope your honour takes nothing amiss as I does, as I does nothing but my duty in so doing. I'm sure no man can say I ever give a gentleman, that was a gentleman, ill usage. If I saw that a gentleman was a gentleman, I have taken money not to see him for ten weeks together.
Honeyw. Tenderness is a virtue, Mr. Twitch.
Bail. Ay, Sir, it's a perfect treasure. I love to see a gentleman with a tender heart. I don't know, but I think I have a tender heart myself. If all that I have lost by my heart was put together, it would make a—but no matter for that.
Honeyw. Don't account it lost, Mr. Twitch. The