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Patch. Do't! what, whether you will or no, madam?

Sir Geo. Come, to the point; here's the gold; sum up the conditions

[SIR FRAN. pulling out a paper.]

| have you committed against the god of love, that he should revenge them so severely, to stamp husband on your forehead?

Sir Geo. For my folly, in having so often met you here, without pursuing the laws of nature, -But I resolve,

Mir. [Peeping.] Ay, for Heaven's sake do, for and exercising her commandmy expectation is on the rack!

Sir Fran. Well, at your peril be it.

Sir Geo. Ay, ay; go on.

Sir Fran. Imprimis, you are to be admitted into my house in order to move your suit to Miranda, for the space of ten minutes, without let or molestation, provided I remain in the same

room.

Sir Geo. But out of earshot.

Sir Fran. Well, well, I don't desire to hear what you say; ha, ha, ha! in consideration I am to have that purse and a hundred guineas. Sir Geo. Take it- [Gives him the purse. Mir. [Peeping.] So! 'tis well it's no worse: I'll fit you both

Sir Geo. And this agreement is to be performed to-day.

Sir Fran. Ay, ay; the sooner the better. Poor fool! how Miranda and I shall laugh at him!-Well, sir George, ha, ha, ha! take the last sound of your guineas, ha, ha, ha! [Chinks them.] [Exit. Mir. [Peeping.] Sure he does not know I am Miranda.

Sir Geo. A very extraordinary bargain I have made truly, if she should be really in love with this old cuff now!--Psha! that's morally impossible.But then, what hopes have I to succeed? I never spoke to her

Mir. [Peeping.] Say you so? then I am safe. Sir Geo. What though my tongue never spoke? my eyes said a thousand things, and my hopes flattered me her's answered them. If I'm lucky -If not, it is but a hundred guineas thrown away. [MIRANDA and PATCH come forward. Mir. Upon what, sir George?

Sir Geo. Ha! my incognita-upon a woman, madam.

Mir. They are the worst things you can deal in, and damage the soonest; your very breath destroys them, and, I fear, you'll never see your return, sir George, ha, ha, ha!

Sir Geo. Were they more brittle than china, and dropped to pieces with a touch, every atom of her I have ventured at, if she is but mistress of thy wit, balances ten times the sum. Prithee, let me see thy face!

Mir. By no means; that may spoil your opinion of my sense

Sir Geo. Rather confirm it, madam.

Patch, So, rob the lady of your gallantry, sir. Sir Geo. No, child; a dish of chocolate in the morning never spoils my dinner: the other lady I design a set meal; so there's no danger.

Mir. Matrimony! Ha, ha, ha! What crimes

ere we part now, to know who you are, where you live, what kind of flesh and blood your face is; therefore, unmask, and don't put me to the trouble of doing it for you.

Mir. My face is the same flesh and blood with my hand, sir George, which, if you'll be so rude to provoke

Sir Geo. You'll apply it to my cheek-the ladies' favours are always welcome, but I must have that cloud withdrawn.-[Taking hold of her.]—Remember you are in the Park, child; and what a terrible thing would it be to lose this pretty white hand!

Mir. And how will it sound in a chocolatehouse, that sir George Airy rudely pulled off a lady's mask, when he had given her his honour that he never would, directly or indirectly, endeavour to know her till she gave him leave? Patch. I wish we were safe out.

Sir Geo. But, if that lady thinks fit to pursue, and meet me at every turn, like some troubled spirit, shall I be blamed if I inquire into the reality? I would have nothing dissatisfied in a female. shape. [Pauses. Sir Geo. Aye, prithee, consider; for thou shalt find me very much at thy service.

Mir. What shall I do?

Patch. Suppose, sir, the lady should be in love with you?

Sir Geo. Oh! I'll return the obligation in a moment.

Patch. And marry her?

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SCENE I.

expects I should comfort her; and, to do her justice, she has said enough to encourage me. Turns about.] Ha! gone! the devil! jilted! Why, what a tale has she invented-of Paris, balls, and birth-days! Egad I'd give ten guineas to know who the gipsey is-A curse of my follyI deserve to lose her. What woman can forgive a man that turns his back!

The bold and resolute in love and war
To conquer take the right and swiftest way;
The boldest lover soonest gains the fair,
As courage makes the rudest force obey:
Take no denial, and the dames adore ye;
Closely pursue them, and they fall before ye.
[Exit.

ACT II.

Enter SIR FRANCIS GRIPE and MIRANDA. Sir Fran. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Mir. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Oh, I shall die with laughing-the most romantic adventureHa, ha, ha! What does the odious young fop mean? A hundred pieces to talk ten minutes with me! ha, ha, ha, ha!

Sir Fran. And I am to be by too; there's the jest! adad, if it had been in private, I should not have cared to trust the young dog.

with my own money! Which way shall I get out
of his hands.
[Aside.
Sir Fran. Well, what art thou thinking, my
girl, ha? how to banter sir George!

Mir. I must not pretend to banter: he knows
my tongue too well. [Aside.] No, Gardy, I have
thought of a way will confound him more than
all I could say, if I should talk to him seven
years.

Sir Fran. How's that? oh! I'm transported,
I'm ravished, I'm mad !-

Mir. It would make you mad if you knew all, Gar-[Aside.] I'll not answer him a word, but be dumb to all he says.

Mir. Indeed and indeed but you might, dy-Now, methinks, there's nobody handsomer than you: so neat, so clean, so good-humoured, and so loving

Sir Fran. Pretty rogue, pretty rogue! and so thou shalt find me, if thou dost prefer thy Gardy before these caperers of the age: thou shalt outshine the queen's box on an opera night; thou shalt be the envy of the ring, (for I will carry thee to Hyde-Park) and thy equipage shall surpass the-what d'ye call them, ambassadors. Mir. Nay, I am sure the discreet part of my sex will envy me more for the inside furniture, when you are in it, than my outside equipage.

Sir Fran. A cunning baggage i'faith thou art, and a wise one too! and, to shew thee that thou hast not chose amiss, I'll this moment disinherit my son, and settle my whole estate upon thee.

Mir. There's an old rogue now! [Aside.] No, Gardy, I would not have your name be so black in the world. You know my father's will runs, that I am not to possess my estate, without your consent, till I am five-and-twenty; you shall only abate the odd seven years, and make me mistress of my estate to-day, and I'll make you master of my person to-morrow.

Sir Fran, Humph! that may not be safeNo, Chargy, I'll settle it upon thee for pin-money, and that will be every bit as well, thou know'st. Mir. Unconscionable old wretch! bribe me

Sir Fran. Dumb! good; ha, ha, ha! Excel, lent! ha, ha, ha, ha! I think I have you now, Sir George. Dumb! he'll go distracted—well, she's the wittiest rogue. Ha, ha, dumb! I can't but laugh, ha, ha! to think how damned mad he'll be when he finds he has given his money away for a dumb show; ha, ha, ha!

Mir. Nay, Gardy, if he did but know my thoughts of him, it would make him ten times madder; ha, ha, ha, ha!

Sir Fran. Ay, so it would, Chargy, to hold him in such derision, to scorn to answer him, to be dumb! ha, ha, ha!

Enter CHARLES.

Sir Fran. How now, sirrah! who let you in? Cha. My necessities, sir.

Sir Fran. Your necessities are very impertinent, and ought to have sent before they entered. Cha. Sir, I knew 'twas a word would gain admittance nowhere.

Sir Fran. Then, sirrah, how durst you rudely thrust that upon your father, which nobody else would admit?

Cha. Sure the name of a son is a sufficient plea. I ask this lady's pardon if I have intruded.

Sir Fran. Ay, ay; ask her pardon and her blessing, too, if you expect any thing from me.

Mir. I believe yours, Sir Francis, in a purse of guineas, would be more material. Your son may have business with you; I'll retire.

Sir Fran. I guess his business; but I'll dispatch him; I expect the knight every minute: you'll be in readiness?

Mir. Certainly my expectation is more upon the wing than yours, old gentleman. [Aside. Exit. Sir Fran. Well, sir?

Cha. Nay, it is very ill, sir; my circumstances are, I'm sure,

Sir Fran. And what's that to me, sir? your management should have made them better.

Cha. If you please to entrust me with the management of my estate, I shall endeavour it, sir. Sir Fran. What, to set upon a card, and buy a lady's favour at the price of a thousand pieces; to rig out an equipage for a wench, or, by your carelessness, to enrich your steward; to fine for sheriff, or put up for a parliament-man?

Cha. I hope I should not spend it this way: however, I ask only for what my uncle left me; yours you may dispose of as you please, sir.

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Mar. Pogh! for a hundred things-I can't, for my life, tell you for what.

Cha. Sir, I suppose I have received all the answer I am like to have.

Mar. Oh, the devil! if he gets out before me, I shall lose him again.

Sir Fran. Ay, sir; and you may be marching as soon as you please-I must see a change in your temper, ere you find one in mine.

Mar. Pray, sir, dispatch me; the money, sir; I'm in mighty haste.

Sir Fran. Fool, take this, and go to the cashier. I sha'nt be long plagued with thee.

Sir Fran. That I shall, out of your reach, Ily assure you, sir. Adad, these young fellows think old men get estates for nothing but them to squander away in dicing, wenching, drinking, dressing, and so forth!

Cha. I think I was born a gentleman, sir; I'm sure my uncle bred me like one,

Sir Fran. From which you would infer, sir, that gaming, whoring, and the pox, are requisites for a gentleman.

Cha. Monstrous! when I would ask him only for a support, he falls into these unmannerly reproaches. I must, though against my will, employ invention, and, by stratagem, relieve myself. [Aside. Sir Fran. Sirrah, what is it you mutter, sirrah? ha! [Holds up his cane.] I say you shaʼnt have a groat out of my hands, till I please and may be I'll never please; and what's that to you? Cha. Nay, to be robbed, or have one's throat cut, is not much

Sir Fran. What's that, sirrah? would you rob me, or cut my throat, ye rogue?

Cha. Heaven forbid, sir!-I said no such thing.

Sir Fran. Mercy on me! what a plague it is to have a son of one-and-twenty, who wants to elbow one out of one's life to edge himself into the estate!

Enter MARPLOT.

[Gives him a note. Mar, Devil take the cashier! I shall certainhave Charles gone before I come back. [Runs out.

Cha. Well, sir, I take my leave-but remember, you expose an only son to all the miseries of wretched poverty, which too often lays the plan for scenes of mischief.

Sir Fran. Stay, Charles; I have a sudden thought come into my head, may prove to thy advantage.

Cha. Ha! does he relent?

Sir Fran. My Lady Wrinkle, worth forty thousand pounds, sets up for a handsome young husband; she praised thee t'other day; though the matchmakers can get twenty guineas for a sight of her, I can introduce thee for nothing.

Cha. My lady Wrinkle, sir! why, she has but one eye.

Sir Fran. Then she'll see but half vagance, sir.

your extraCha. Condemn me to such a piece of deformity! a toothless, dirty, wry-necked, hunchbacked hag!

Sir Fran. Hunch-backed! so much the better; then she has a rest for her misfortunes, for thou wilt load her swingingly. Now, I warrant, you think this is no offer of a father! forty thousand pounds is nothing with you!

Cha. Yes, sir, I think it is too much; a young, beautiful woman, with half the money, would be more agreeable.-I thank you, sir; but you chuse better for yourself, I find.

Sir Fran. Out of my doors, you dog! you pretend to meddle with my marriage, sirrah! Cha. Sir, I obey: but

Mar. Egad, he's here!-I was afraid I had lost him: his secret could not be with his father; his wants are public there.-Guardian, your servant -O Charles, are you there? I know, by that sor-to rowful countenance of thine, the old gentleman's fist is as close as his strong box-But I'll help ply! thee. [Apart.

VOL. II.

Sir Fran. But me no buts-Begone, sir! dare ask me for money again-refuse forty thousand pounds! Out of my doors, I say, without re[Exit CHA.

3 U

Enter MARPLOT, running.

Mar. Ha! gone! is Charles gone, Gardy? Sir Fran. Yes, and I desire your wise worship to walk after him,

Mar. Nay, egad I shall run; I tell you that. A pox of the cashier for detaining me so long! Where the devil shall I find him now? I shall certainly lose this secret, and I had rather by half lose my money-Where shall I find him now?-D'ye know where Charles is gone, Gardy?

Sir Fran. Gone to the devil, and you may go after him,

Mar. Ay, that I will, as fast as I can. [Going, returns.] Have you any commands there, Gardy? [Exit.

Sir Fran. What, is the fellow distracted?

Enter Servant.

Ser. Sir George Airy inquires for you, sir. Sir Fran. Desire sir George to walk up,Now for a trial of skill, that will make me happy, and him a fool. Ha, ha, ha! In my mind, he looks like an ass already,

Enter SIR GEORGE.

Well, sir George, do you hold in the same mind, or would you capitulate? ha, ha, ha! Look, here are the guineas; [Chinks them.] ha, ha, ha!

Sir Geo. Not if they were twice the sum, sir Francis; therefore be brief, call in the lady, and take your post.

Sir Fran. Agreed. Miranda!

[Erit. Sir Geo. If she's a woman, and not seduced by witchcraft to this old rogue, I'll make his heart ache; for if she has but one grain of inclination about her, I'll vary a thousand shapes but find it.

Enter MIRANDA and SIR FRANCIS.

Sir Fran. There, sir George; try your fortune. [Takes out his watch. Sir Geo. So from the eastern chambers breaks the sun, dispels the clouds, and gilds the vales below. [Salutes her. Sir Fran. Hold, sir; kissing was not in our agreement.

Sir Geo. Oh! that's by way of prologue. Pr'ythee, old Mammon, to thy post.

Sir Fran, Well, young Timon, 'tis now four exactly; ten minutes, remember, is your utmost limit; not a minute more.

[Retires to the bottom of the stage. Sir Geo. Madam, whether you'll excuse or blame my love, the author of this rash proceeding depends upon your pleasure, as also the life of your admirer: your sparkling eyes speak a heart susceptible of love; your vivacity a soul too delicate to admit the embraces of decayed mortality.

Mir. [Aside.] Oh! that I durst speak

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Sir Geo. Shake off this tyrant guardian's yoke; assume yourself, and dash his bold aspiring hopes. The deity of his desires is avarice; a heretick in love, and ought to be banished by the queen of beauty. See, madam, a faithful servant kneels, and begs to be admitted in the number of your slaves.

[MIRANDA gives him her hand to raise him. Sir Fran. I wish I could hear what he says now. [Running up.] Hold, hold, hold! no palming; that's contrary to articles

Sir Geo. 'Sdeath, sir, keep your distance, or I'll write another article in your guts!

[Lays his hand to his sword, Sir Fran. [Going back.] A bloody-minded fel

low!

Sir Geo. Not answer me! perhaps she thinks my address too grave: I'll be more free-Can you be so unconscionable, madam, to let me say all these fine things to you without one single compliment in return? View me well; am I not a proper handsome fellow, ha? can you prefer that old, dry, withered, sapless log, of sixty-five, to the vigorous, gay, sprightly love of twentyfour? With snoring only he'll awake thee; but I, with ravishing delight, would make thy senses dauce in concert with the joyful minutes-Ha! not yet? Sure she's dumb!-Thus would I steal and touch thy beauteous hand, [Takes hold of her hand.] till, by degrees, I reach'd thy snowy breasts, then ravish kisses thus,

[Embraces her with ecstacy. Mir. [Struggles, and flings from him.] Oh, heavens! I shall not be able to contain myself. [Aside.

Sir Fran. [Running up with his watch in his hand.] sure she did not speak to him- -There's five of the ten minutes gone, sir George-Adad, I don't like those close conferencesSir Geo. More interruptions!—you will have it, sir! [Lays his hand to his sword. Sir Fran. [Going back.] No, no; you shan't have her neither. [Aside,

Sir Geo. Dumb still!-sure this old dog has enjoined her silence. I'll try another way-I must conclude, madam, that, in compliance to your guardian's humour you refuse to answer me. Consider the injustice of his injunction.-Madam, these few minutes cost me a hundred pounds and would you answer me, I could pur-: chase the whole day so. However, madam, you must give me leave to make the best interpretation I can for my money, and take the indication of your silence for the secret liking of my person; therefore, madam, I will instruct you how to keep your word inviolate to sir Francis, and yet answer me to every question: as, for example, when I ask any thing to which you would reply in the affirmative, gently nod your. head-thus, [Nods.] and when in the negative, thus, [Shakes his head.] and in the doubtful, a tender sigh, thus, [Sighs.]

Mir. How every action charms me--but I'll fit | him for signs, I warrant him. [Aside.

Sir Fran. Ha, ha, ha! poor sir George! ha, ha, ha! [Aside. Sir Geo. Was it by his desire that you are dumb, madam, to all I can say? [MIRANDA nods.] Very well! she's tractable, I find-And is it possible that you can love him? [MIRANDA nods.] Miraculous! Pardon the bluntness of my questions; for my time is short. May I not hope to supplant him in your esteem? [MIRANDA sighs.] Good! she answers me as I could wish. -You'll not consent to marry him, then? [MIBANDA sighs.] How! doubtful in that?-Undone again-Humph! but that may proceed from his power to keep her out of her estate till twentyfive: I'll try that-Come, madam, I cannot think you hesitate in this affair out of any motive but your fortune-let him keep it till those few years are expired; make me happy with your person, let him enjoy your wealth.-[MIRANDA holds up her hands.] Why, what sign is that now? Nay, nay, madam, except you observe my lesson, I can't understand your meaning.

Sir Fran. What a vengeance! are they talking by signs? 'ad I may be fooled here. What do you mean, sir George?

Sir Geo. To cut your throat, if you dare mutter another syllable.

Sir Fran. 'Od I wish he were fairly out of my house!

Sir Geo. Pray, madam, will you answer me to the purpose? [MIRANDA shakes her head, and points to SIR FRANCIS.] What does she mean? she won't answer me to the purpose; or is she afraid yon old cuff should understand her signs?- -ay, it must be that. I perceive, madam, you are too apprehensive of the promise you have made to follow my rules; therefore, I'll suppose your mind, and answer for you.-First for myself, madam. That I am in love with you, is an infallible truth. Now for you. [Turns on her side.] Indeed, sir! and may I believe it?--As certainly, madam, as that 'tis daylight, or that I die, if you persist in silence.-Bless me with the music of your voice, and raise my spirits to their proper heaven. Thus low let me intreat, ere I'm obliged to quit this place; grant me some token of a favourable reception to keep my hopes alive. [Arises hastily, turns on her side.] Rise, sir; and since my guardian's presence will not allow me privilege of tongue, read that, and rest assured you are not indifferent to me. [Offers her a letter, she strikes it down.] Ha, right woman! but no matter; I'll go on.

Sir Fran. Ha! what's that? a letter!-Ha, ha, ha! thou art baulked.

Mir. The best assurance I ever saw

[Aside. Sir Geo. Ha! a letter! oh! let me kiss it with the same raptures that I would do the dear hand that touched it. [Opens it.] Now for a quick fancy, and a long extempore--What's here?

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[Reads.] 'Dear sir George! this virgin muse I
consecrate to you; which, when it has received
the addition of your voice, 'twill charm me into
a desire of liberty to love, which you, and only
you, can fix. My angel! oh, you transport me!
[Kisses the letter. And see the power of your
command! the god of love has set the verse al-
ready, the flowing numbers dance into a tune,
and I'm inspired with a voice to sing it.
Mir. I'm sure thou'rt inspired with impudence
enough.
[Aside.

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[SIR GEO. taking hold of MIRAN.] With all my
heart; this moment let's retire.
[SIR FRAN. coming up hastily.
Sir Fran. The time is expired, sir, and you
must take your leave. There, my girl, there's
the hundred pounds which thou hast won. Go,
I'll be with you presently. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

[Exit MIRAN. Sir Geo. Adsheart, madam! you won't leave me just in the nick, will you?

Sir Fran. Ha, ha, ha! she has nicked you, sir George, I think; ha, ha, ha! Have you any more hundred pounds to throw away upon courtship? ha, ha, ha!

Sir Geo. He, he, he, he! A curse of your fleering jests!-Yet, however ill I succeed, I'll venture the same wager she does not value thee a spoonful of snuff-nay, inore, though you enjoined her silence to me, you'll never make her speak to the purpose with yourself.

Sir Fran. Ha, ha, ha! Did I not tell thee thou wouldst repent thy money? Did I not say she hated young fellows? ha, ha, ha!

Sir Geo. And I'm positive she's not in love with age.

Sir Fran. Ha, ha, ha! no matter for that, ha, ha! She's not taken with your youth, nor your rhetoric to boot; ha, ha!

Sir Geo. Whate'er her reasons are for disliking of me, I am certain she can be taken with no thing about thee.

Sir Fran. Ha, ha, ha! how he swells with envy-Poor man! poor man!-ha, ha, ha! I must beg your pardon, sir George; Miranda will be impatient to have her share of mirth. Verily, we shall laugh at thee most egregiously; ha, ha, ha!

Sir Geo. With all my heart, faith!--I shall laugh in my turn, too!-for, if you dare marry her, old Belzebub, you will be cuckolded most egregiously: remember that, and tremble

She that to age her beauteous self resigns,
Shews witty management for close designs;

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