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CHAPTER OF ACCIDENTS.
Scene 1.-A Hall.
Enter Vane, in a riding dress, and a Footman. Vane. Run, and tell Mrs. Warner, my lord is at hand; and bid the butler send me a bottle of hock.[Throws himself along the hall chairs, wiping his forehead.]
-Phew! the months have jumbled out of their places, and we have July in September.
Enter Mrs. WARNER.
done these fifty ages?
Mrs. War. Why, methinks you are grown mighty grand, or you would have come to the still-rooin to ask; will you choose
chocolate ? Vane. Why don't you see I am dead ?-absolutely dead; and, if you was to touch me, I should shake to mere dust, like an Egyptian mummy.-Because it was not provoking enough to lounge away a whole summer in the country, here I am driven up to town, as if the devil was at my heels, in the shape of our hopeful heir; who has neither suffered my lord nor me to rest
one moment, through his confounded impatience to see his uncle.
Mrs. War. Umph-he'll have enough of the old gentleman presently. He is the very moral of my poor dear lady, his sister, who never was at peace herself, nor suffered any one else to be so. Such a house as we have had, ever since he came !—Why, he is more full of importance and airs than a bailiff in possession; and hectors over Miss Mortimer, till she almost keeps her chamber to avoid him.
Vane. Hates Miss Mortimer !—Why, here'll be the devil to pay about her, I suppose !
Mrs. War. Hate her? ay, that he does. He look'd as if he could have kill'd her, the moment she came down to see him; and got into his chamber presently after, where he sends for me." Who is this young woman, Mrs. What's-your-name?” says he. Why, sir, says I, she is the orphan of a Colonel Mortimer, whose intimacy with my lord, says I-"Pho, pho," says
“all that I know, woman; what does she do in this house?” says he; his face wrinkling all over, like cream when it's skimming. Why, sir, says I, her father unluckily died just before the Duke his brother, and so could not leave her one shilling of all that fine fortune ; and so my lord intends to marry her to Mr. Woodville, says I.-" He does ?” cries he: “ heav'n be prais'd I'm come in time to mar that dainty project, however. You may go, woman, and tell miss, I don't want any thing more to-night.”-So up goes I to Miss Mortimer, and tells her all this. Lord! how glad she was, to find he intended to break the match, though she can't guess what he means.
Vane. Upon my soul, I think it is full as hard to guess what she means.
What the devil, will not my lord's title, fortune, and only son, be a great catch for a girl without a friend or a shilling?
Mrs. War. Ay; but I could tell you a little story, would explain all.-You must know-[Sitting down; a loud knocking.) Vane. (Starts up.) Zounds, here's my lord !
Scene II.-An Antichamber.
Lord GLENMORE and the Governor meet, the latter
hobbling Lord G. You are welcome to England, brother! I am sorry your native air pays you so ill a compliment after sixteen years absence.
Gov. Faith, my lord, and so am I too, I promise you: I put up with these things tolerably well in the Indies; I did not go there to be happy; but, after all my labours, to find I have just got the money when it is out of my power to enjoy it, is a cursed stroke: like a fine ship of war, I am only come home to be dismasted, and converted into an hospital. However, I am glad you hold it better : I don't think
look'd as well when we parted. My sister, poor Susan! she is gone too :-well, we can never live a day the longer for thinking on't. Where's Frank? Is he still the image of his mother?
Lord G. Just as you left him; but that the innocence of the boy is dignified by the knowledge of the man.
Goo. He will hardly remember his old uncle !—I did love the rogue, that's the truth on't; and never look'd at my money-bags but I thought of him. However, you have provided him a wife?
Lord G. I have; you saw her on your arrival, I suppose, for I left her in town to attend a sick aunt. Poor Mortimer! he died one month before the duke his brother, and niissed a fine title and estate. You know how I loved the honest fellow, and cannot won
der I took home his orphan'd daughter, as a match for Woodville.
Gov Brother, brother, you are too generous ; it is your foible, and artful people know how to convert it to their own advantage.
Lord G. It is, if a foible, the noblest incident to humanity. Sophia has birth, merit, accomplishments; and wants nothing but money to qualify her for any rank.
Gov. Can she have a worse want on earth? Birth, merit, accomplishments, are the very things that render money more essential : if she had been brought up in a decent plain way indeed,—but she has the airs of a peeress already; and, if any philosopher doubts of the perpetual motion, I would advise him to watch the knocker of your house. Then you have, out of your precise decorums, removed your son, to make for this flirt of fashion ; and what is the consequence of rendering him thus early his own master?
Lord G. If you run on thus, only to divert yourself, with all my heart; but, if you would throw a real imputation on Miss Mortimer's conduct, she is entitled to my serious defence. I never saw any good arise from secluding young people; and authorise Woodville and Sophia to live with that innocent elegance, which renders every rank easy, and prevents pleasure from seducing the heart, or ignorance the senses.
Gov. My lord, I am amazed at you! Was there ever yet a woman who didn't mean to pass for a goddess ? Do they not gain upon us continually, till nothing of our prerogative remains but the name? We are wise fellows truly, if we do not keep down this humour of their's as long as possible, by breeding them in retirement. Every tinsel fop will find address enough to convince a wife she is an angel; and the husband must be lucky, as well as sensible, who reconciles her to treatment so inferior to her deserts. Woodville will:
agree with me, I dare
for the character suits with bis intended; and, faith, he will make but a modish husband, or he could not endure to see her flying about, like the queen-bee with the whole hive at her heels.
Lord G. You are too captious, brother!
Gov. And you too placid, brother! If, like me, you had been toiling a third of your days to compass a favourite design, and found it disappointed at the moment you thought it complete, what would even your serene lordship say and do !-Here have I promised myself a son in your's, -an heir in your's;—instead of which
Lord G. His marriage with Miss Mortimer will not make him unworthy either title.
Goo. Never mention her name to me, I beg, my lord !—I hate all mode-mongers of either sex: the wife I would have given him, has beauty without knowing it, innocence without knowing it, because she knows nothing else ; and, to surprise you further, forty thousand pounds without knowing it-nay, to bring all your surprises together, is my daughter without knowing it.
Lord G. Your daughter? Why, have you married since my sister's death? your daughter by her, you lost before you went abroad.
Gov. Yes, but I shall find her again, I believe.-I know you
will call this one of my odd whims, as usual ; but we have all some; witness this dainty project of your's; and so I will tell you the truth in spite of that project.–From the very birth of this girl, I saw her mother would spoil her, and, had she lived, proposed kidnapping miss in her infancy.
Lord G. Kidnap your own daughter!-- Why, brother, I need only prove this to obtain a commission of lunacy, and shut you up for life.
Goo. Why, though my wife was your lordship’s