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claim him as your partner for the first polka, the first valse, and a myriad of quadrilles.
Mrs. 1. (Aside, hesitating. Have it as you will; I agree to everything.
Capt. [To Charles.] Huzza! we have reached the winning-post-the day's our own!
Charles. [Dancing about the stage, aud snapping his fingers in the air.] Bravo! bravo ! that for old Aminadab Sleek and Lady Creamly !
In his transport he throws about the papers. At this
moment Lady CREAMLY and MR. SLEEK enter, L.,
she, with bonnet on, and he with hat and umbrella. Lady C. In the name of goodness! what are you about?
Charles. Only putting the house in order.
Lady C. (Seeing Mrs. Delmaine and the Captain, bows very stiffly, and scarcely recognizes them. They return her salute in the same manner.] I am going first to dinner, as I have one or two commissions by the way. You, Mr. Sleek, will follow us as soon as possible, and—[ To Mrs. Torrens.-you, my dear, and Mr. Torrens will not delay. You know that our dear friend's hours are not those of fashionable life.
[Crosses to R. Charles. Dear mamma, my head aches so severely it is impossible I can go out 10-day.
Sleek. Why, Mr. Torrens, I never saw you looking better in
life. Capt. You're quite mistaken in your prognosis. Charles's nerves are all shook to atoms.
Lady C. Well, then, daughter, you and Emma will come as soon as possible. I will send the carriage for you.
Mrs. T. Oh, dear mamma, my nerves are also much affected.
Mrs. D. Excuse me, Lady Creamly, but Mrs. Charles Torrens must stay at home to take care of her husband. The duty of a wife is superior to all other considerations.
Mrs. T. Be so kind, Mr. Sleek, as to make my compliments and excuses to your sister; my husband's indisposition prevents me the pleasure of waiting on her as I
intended. (Crosses to Charles.] Come, dear husband, we must see what can be done for you.
[Exeunt Charles and Mrs. Torrens, L. Lady C. [To Mrs. Delmaine.] I suspect this is all your doing, madam.
Mrs. D. (Affecting not to understand her.] I would be very happy, but really I'm engaged.
Šleek. (Going up to the Caplain.] I much fear, Captain Murphy Maguire, you are meddling with matters you do not understand.
Capt. (Also affecting not to understand him.) I am really very sorry, it's quite out of my power to oblige you.
[Mr. Sleek and Lady Creamly look at each other with
astonishment. Lady C. (Aside to Sleek.] There is something awful going on here, which I cannot understand. I will leave you to unravel the mystery if you can, and secure Emma as I much fear my son-in-law has some designs on her independence. Exits R., disdainfully, not noticing Mrs. Delmaine or
the Captain. Capt. [Down R.] Huzza! the enemy has beat a retreat without beat of a drum or blast of trumpet. Now Mr. Aminadab Sleek, you are our prisoner; at any rate wo are two to one against you. Do you surrender at discretion ?
Mrs. D. Mr. Sleek, have you the discretion to surrender ?
Capt. I want you to inveigle Lady Creamly-
Mrs. D. The greater the honor, if you succeed with Lady Creamly. The truth is, that between you both you have converted the house of Mr. İorrens into a state prison, and the Captain and I are determined to release him.
Capt. Now, sir, in double quick time, or in no time at all—are we to treat you as a friend or an enemy?
Sleek. It is quite indifferent how I am treated by you; my interests are not of this house, nor of this hemisphere.
Capt. Of course not ; nor have you any personal interest, except the getting of Miss Torrens's fortune into your hands, by marrying her to young Straight-hair, your nephew.
Sleek. As a worm, I forgive you; as a man, I despise your hints and inuendoes.
Capt. Make up your pious mind that not a shilling of the young lady's property will pass your fingers. Her brother and guardian has already made choice of a husband- -a decent young fellow, with a live heart in his bosom. And here comes Emma Torrens herself, who, if you should have any ugly doubts on the subject, will clear them up, I dare answer.
Enter Emma in a ball-dress, L. Emma. Captain Maguire, is it not a love of a dress ? Do I please you?
Sleek. Heaven preserve me! what do I see?
Mrs. D. You are charmingly dressed, and I suppose you are ready to accompany Mr. Aminadab Sleek, who is waiting to escort you to his sister.
Emma. I fear, Mr. Sleek, you will have to make my excuse, as I am engaged to a ball this evening.
Sleek. A ball! an abomination! Lady Creamly will put a stop to these wicked mummeries !
Enter FRANK VINCENT, R. Frank. (Running in.] Captain Maguire, we are all ready. Gunter's people have come with a hamper of silver forks ; there are mountains of cream, and whole lakes of wenham ice; and Jullien, and Kønig, and the band, are coming up stairs.
Sleek. What means this awful outbreak the house will be defiled! Capt. We are going to have a ball to-night.
(Sleek groans, Capt. You may stay and dance if you like. Mr. and Mrs. Torrens have resolved, as you will not let them go to the world, to make the world come to them.
Sleek. A ball here ! oh! (Groans.] I will go for Lady Creanıly, and make you all repent this conduct.
Mrs. D. It will be time lost, Mr. Sleek; and I would recommend you to compound with your conscience, as
you have often done before, and as I have already advised, come over to our side.
Sleek. [To Emma, bursting with rage.] As for youMiss-Miss !
Capt. Softly, Mr. Sleek, the British flag protects Miss Torrens.
Sleek. I see there is a conspiracy against us—I will speak to Mrs. Torrens.
Emma. No, Mr. Sleek; my sister is dressing for the ball, she must not be disturbed.
Sleek. (Returns much mortified and puts on his hat.] I will go for Lady Creamly! [His hat falls off, he picks it up and puts it on again.] Yes, for Lady Creamly(Going, his hat falls off again ; returns—to Captain.] I will make you responsible for everything!
His hat fulls off a third time; as he is going out he picks it up, and exits foaming with rage. .
All laugh. Capt. Huzza! the coast is clear-but, I fear, for a short time only, as that old sinner will be sure to bring back Lady Creamly—so let us each to our respective posts to get the ball in train before her ladyship arrives. (To Mrs. Delmaine.. You and Emma will have the kindness to see the decorations are in order. You can accompany them, Frank, as their loyal esquire. The supper and wines I take under my especial charge. And, now, Eng. land
every manMrs. D. And womanCapt. And woman- -will do his duty ! [Exeunt Captain R. ; Frederick, Emma, and Mrs. Delmaine, c.
Enter CHARLES, full dressed, L. Charles. No one in the way; I think I can get off to Lady Blank's without being perceived. That damned Maguire had nearly spoiled all my plans, but, fortunately, I escaped exactly in the nick of time.
Enter Mrs. TORRENS, elegantly attired, L. Good heavens! what do I see ? Mrs. Torrens in fulldress? Well, my dear, what extraordinary fancy has taken yon to-night?
Mrs. T. I may ask the same question, Mr. Torrens ; for I see, by your costume, you are bent on conquest. Charles
. [Tenderly.] Eve, the only conquest I wish to make is here.
Mrs. T. Ah, Charles ! you mock me.
Charles. [ Taking her hand.] No, my dear. In truth, I never saw you looking so handsome. These jewels, and this dress, become you most admirably.
Mrs. T. If you are pleased, I am happy. But now, dear Charles, let us have a few moments' explanation, for, perhaps, on the experiment of this night all our future happiness depends.
Charles. Dearest Eve, I am all attention.
Mrs. T. Charles, you have not been sincere with me. You found me a young creature accustomed only to obey the voice of my mother, and ignorant that I had other duties, but those she imposed on me, to fulfil. You should have told me the little world in which I lived, was not the world in which you, and other reasonable creatures in our sphere of life, existed. I now find that I have been wrong-very wrong indeed, and that if you have
gone a little on your side astray the fault is all my own.
Charles. Ah, Eve; you are too kind, too amiable; the fault is all mine. I should have known better what a treasure I possessed.
Mrs. T. I am now determined, dearest Charles, to give you no excuse for seeking amusement abroad, by giving it you at home. We have, henceforth, but one mind, one heart; and in spite of all Mr. Sleek or Lady Creamly may say, we shall be as gay and happy-with prudence, and in season, of course-as other people of our rank and fortune.
Charles. You are an angel, Eve; and from this moment I swear eiernal fidelity.
Enter CAPTAIN R.; Mrs. DELMAINE, EMMA, C. Welcome! a thousand times welcome! I am the happiest of men; and here is the most angelic creature in existence. Ask 110 explanations, but we are now the happiest couple in the world. Your hand, Maguire ; it is to your spirit and courage I owe this moment of liberty.