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Mrs Oak. I was not sure of it. Has he been be alarmed; I must insist on your not making to wait on your ladyship already on this occa- yourself uneasy. sion ?

Mrs Oak. Not at all alarmed -not in the least Lady Free. To wait on me! The expression is uneasy. Your most obedient. much too polite for the nature of his visit. My

(Erit Mrs Oakly. lord Trinket, the nobleman whom you met as Lady Free. Ha, ha, ha! There she goes, brimyou came in, had, you must know, madam, some ful of anger and jealousy, to vent it all on her thoughts of my niece, and, as it would have been husband. Mercy on the poor man! an advantageous match, I was glad of it; but, I believe, after what he has been witness to this

Enter LORD TRINKET. morning, he will drop all thoughts of it.

Mrs Oak. I am sorry that any relation of mine Bless me! My lord, I thought you was gone. should so far forget himself

Lord Trink. Only into the next room. My Lady Free. It's no matter-his behaviour, in- curiosity would not let ine stir a step further. Í deed, as well as the young lady's, was pretty ex- heard it all, and was never more diverted, in my traordinary—and yet, after all, I don't believe he life, 'pon honour. Ha, ha, ba ! is the object of her affections.

Lady Free. How the silly creature took it! Mrs Oak. Ha !

[Much alarmed. Ha, ha, ha! Lady Free. She has certainly an attachment · Lord Trink. Ha, ha, ha! My dear lady Freesomewhere, a strong one; but his lordship, who love, you have a deal of ingenuity, a deal of was present all the time, was convinced, as well esprit, ’pon honour. as myself, that Mr Oakly's nephew was rather a Lady Free. A little shell thrown into the eneconvenient friend, a kind of go-between, than the my's works, that's all. lover. Bless me, madam, you change colour ! Both. Ha, ha, ha, ha! You seem uneasy! What's the matter?

Lady Free. But I must leave you. I have Mrs Oak. Nothing--madam--nothing- twenty visits to pay. You'll let me know how a little shocked that my husband should behave you succeeded in your secret expedition?

Lord Trink. That you may depend on. Lady Free. Your husband, madam!

Lady Free. Remember, then, that to-morrow Mrs Oak. His nephew, I mean. His unpar- morning I expect to see you. At present, your donable rudeness—but I am not well-I am sor- lordship will excuse me. Who's there?-(Calry I have given your ladyship so much troublem ling to the servants.]—Send Epingle into my I'll take my leave.

dressing-room. Lady Free. I declare, madam, you frighten

[Erit Lady FREELOVE. me. Your being so visibly affected makes me Lord Trink. So ! If O'Cutter and his myrmiquite uneasy. I hope I have not said any thing dons are alert, I think I cannot fail of success, -I really don't believe your husband is in fault. and then prenez garde, Mademoiselle Harriot! Men, to be sure, allow themselves strange liber- This is one of the drollest circumstances in vaties. But I think, nay, I am sure, it cannot lie ture! Here is my lady Freelove, a woman of

It is impossible. Don't let what I have sense, a woman that knows the world, too, assaid have any effect on you.

sisting me in this design. I never knew her laMrs Oak. it has not, I have no idea of dyship so much out. How, in the name of wonsuch a thing. Your ladyship’s most obedient- der, can she imagine that a man of quality, or [Going, returns.)-but sure, madarn, you have any man else, 'egad, would marry a five girl, afnot heard, or don't know any thing.

ter-not I, 'pon honour. No-no—when I bare Lady Free. Come, come, Mrs Oakly, I see had the entamure, let who will take the rest of how it is, and it would not be kind to say all I the loaf. know. I dare not tell you what I have heard.Only be on your guard—there can be no harm in SCENE II.-Changes to Mr Oakly's house. that. Do you be against giving the girl any countenance, and see what effect it has.

Enter Harriot following a servant. Mrs Oak. I will-I am much obliged-But Har. Not at home! Are you sure that Mrs does it appear to your ladyship, then, that Mr Oakly is not at home, sir? Oakly—

Ser. She is just gone out, madam. Lady Free. No, not at all—nothing in't, I dare Har. I have something of consequencesay-I would not create uneasiness in a family-- If you will give me leave, sir, I will wait till she but I ain a woman myself, have been married, returns. and cannot help feeling for you. But don't be Ser. You would not see her, if you did, mauneasy; there's nothing in't, I dare say.

dam. She has given positive orders not to be Mrs Oak. I think so. Your ladyship’s humble interrupted with any company to-day. servant.

Har. Sure, sir, if you was to let her know that Lady Free. Your servant, madam. Pray don't I had particular business



Ser. I should not dare to trouble her, indeed, of meeting with the protection I expected, I was madam.

alarmed with the most infamous designs upon my Har. How unfortunate this is ! What can I honour. It is not an hour ago, since your nedo ? Pray, sir, can I see Mr Oakly, then? phew rescued me from the attempts of a villain.

Ser. Yes, madam: I'll acquaint my master, if I tremble to think, that I left him actually enyou please.

gaged in a duel. Har. Pray do, sir.

Oak. He is very safe. He has just sent home Ser. Will you favour me with your name, ma- the chariot from the St Alban's tavern, where he dam?

dines to-day. But what are your commands for Har. Be pleased, sir, to let him know that a me, madam? lady desires to speak with him.

Har. I am heartily glad to hear of his safety. Šer. I shall, madam.

[Erit Ser. The favour, sir, I would now request of you is, Har. I wish I could have seen Mrs Oakly.- that you would suffer me to remain for a few What an unhappy situation am I reduced to ! days in your house. What will the world say of me? And yet what Oak. Madam! could I do? To remain at lady Freelove's was Har. And that, in the mean time, you will use impossible. Charles, I must own, has this very your utmost endeavours to reconcile me to my day revived much of my tenderness for him; and father, without his forcing me into a marriage yet I dread the wildoess of his disposition. I with sir Harry Beagle. must now, however, solicit Mr Oakly's protec- Oak. This is the most perplexing situation ! tion, a circumstance (all things considered) ra- Why did not Charles take care to bestow you ther disagreeable to a delicate mind, and which properly? nothing, but the absolute necessity of it, could Har. It is most probable, sir, that I should not excuse. Good Heavens! What a multitude of have consented to such a measure myself. The difficulties and distresses am I thrown into, by world is but tno apt to censure, even without a my father's obstinate perseverance to force me cause : and, if you are so kind as to admit me into a marriage which my soul abhors !

into your house, I must desire not to consider

Mr Oakly in any other light than as your neEnter OAKLY.

phew; as, in my present circumstances, I have Oak. (At entering.)-Where is this lady?

- particular objections to it. [Seeing her.Bless me, Miss Russet, is it you? Oak. What an unlucky circumstance !-Upon Was ever any thing so unlucky ?-[Aside.]—Is it my soul, madam, I would do any thing to serve possible, madam, that I see you here?

you!—but being in my house creates a difficulty, Har. It is too true, sir; and the occasion on ihatwhich I am now to trouble you, is so much in Har. I hope, sir, you do not doubt the truth need of an apology, that

of what I have told you? Oak. Pray make none, madam. If my wife Oak. I religiously believe every tittle of it, mashould return before I get her out of the house dam; but I have particular family considerations, again!

[Aside. that Har. I dare say, sir, you are not quite a stran- Har. Sure, sir, you cannot suspect me to be ger to the attachment your nephew has professed base enough to form any connections in your fato me?

mily contrary to your inclinations, while I am liOak. I am not, madam. I hope Charles has ving in your house? not been guilty of any baseness towards you. If Oak. Such connections, madam, would do me, he has, I'll never see his face again.

and all my family, great honour. I never dreamt Har. I have no cause to accuse him. But, of any scruples on that account.

What can I Oak. But what, madam ? Pray be quick! The do? Let me see-let me see-supposevery person in the world I would not have seen!

[Pausing. [Aside. Har. You seem uneasy, sir !

Enter Mes Oakly behind, in a capuchin, tipOak. No, nothing at all — Pray go on, ma

pet, &c. dam.

Mrs Oak. I am sure I heard the voice of a Har. I am at present, sir, through a concur- woman conversing with my husband- -Ha! rence of strange accidents, in a very unfortunate [Seeing HARRIOT.] It is so, indeed! Let me situation, and do not know what will become of contain myself I'll listen. me without your assistance.

Har. I see, sir, you are not inclined to serve Oak. I'll do every thing in my power to serve me--good Heaven! what I am reserved to ?you; I know of your leaving your father, by a Why, why did I leave my father's house to exletter we have had from him. Pray, let me know pose myself to greater distresses ? the rest of your story.

[Ready to weep. Har. My story, sir, is very short. When I Oak. I would do any thing for your sake :left my father's, I came immediately to London, indeed I would. So, pray be comforted, and and took refuge with a relation, where, instead | I'll think of some proper place to bestow you in

Mrs Oak. So! So !

Har. Dear madam! how can you imagine Har. What place can be so proper as your Oak. I tell you, my dear, this is the young laown house?

dv that CharlesOak. My dear madam, I-I

Mrs Oak. Mighty weil ! but that won't do, Mrs Oak. My dear madam-mighty well ! sir! Did not I hear you lay the whole intrigue

Oak. Hush!' hark!- what noise- -no- together? Did not I hear your fine plot of nothing. But I'll be plain with you, madamı; we throwing all the blame upon Charles? may be interrupted. The family consideration I Oak. Nay, be cool a moment. You must hinted at, is nothing else than my wife. She is know, my dear, that the letter which came this a little unhappy in her temper, madam! and if morning related to this ladyyou was to be admitted into the house, I don't Mrs Oak. I know it know what would be the consequence.

Oak. And since that, it seems, Charles has Mrs Oak. Very fine

been so fortunate as toHar. My behaviour, sir

Mrs Oak. O, you deceitful man ! That trick Oak. My dear life, it would be impossible for is too stale to pass again with me. It is plain, you to behave in such a manner, as not to give now, what you meant by your proposing to take ber suspicion.

her into the house this morning. But the gentleHar. But if your nephew, sir, took every woman could introduce herself, I see. thing upon himself

Oak. Fy! fy! my dear; she came on purpose Oak. Still that would not do, madam. Why to inquire for you. this very morning, when the letter came from Mrs Oak. For me! better and better! Did your father, though I positively denied any know- not she watch her opportunity, and come to you jedge of it, and Charles owned it, yet it was al- just as I went out? But I am obliged to you for most impossible to pacify her.

your visit, madam. It is sufficiently paid. Pray, Mrs Oak. The letter! How I have been bub- don't let me detain you. bled !

Oak. For shame! for shame, Mrs Oakly! Har. What shall I do? What will become of How can you be so absurd? Is this proper behame?

viour to a lady of her character? Oak. Why, look'e, iny dear madam, since my Mrs Ouk. I have heard her character. Go, wife is so strong an objection, it is absolutely im- my fine run-away madam! Now, you've eloped possible for me to take you into my house. Nay, from your family, and run away from your aunt! if I had not known she was gone out, just be- Go! You shan't stay here, I promise you. fore you came, I should be uneasy at your being Oak. Prithee, be quiet. You don't know what here even now. So we must manage as well as you are doing. She shall stay. we can. I'll take a private lodging for you a lit- Mrs Oak. She shan't stay a minute. tle way off, unknown to Charles or my wife, or Ouk. She shall stay a minute, an hour, a day, any body; and if Mrs Oakly should discover it a week, a month, a year ! 'Sdeath, madam, she at last, why the whole matter will light upon shall stay for ever, if I choose it. Charles, you know.

Mrs Oak. How! Mrs Oak. Upon Charles !

Hur. For Heaven's sake, sir, let me go. I am Har. How unhappy is my situation ! [Weep-frighted to death. ing] I am ruined for ever.

Oak. Don't be afraid, madam! She shall stay, Oak. Ruined ! Not at all. Such a thing as I insist upon it. this has happened to many a young lady before Rus. [Within.] I tell you, sir, I will go up. I you, and all has been well again- -Keep up am sure the lady is here, and nothing shall hinder your spirits! I'll contrive, if I possibly can, to visit you every day.

Har. O my father! my father! Mrs Oak. (Advancing.] Will you so? O, Mr

[Faints away. Oakly! have 1 discovered you at last? I'll visit Oak. See! she faints. (Catching her.) Ring you, indeed. And you, my dear madam, I'll — the bell! Who's there? Har. Madam, I don't understand

Alrs Oak. What ! take her into your arms, Mrs Oak. I understand the whole affair, and too! I have no patience. have understood it for some time past. You shall have a private lodging, miss ! It is the fit

Enter Russet and Servants. test place for you, I believe. How dare you look me in the face?

Rus. Where is this- -ha ! fainting! (RunOak. For Heaven's sake, my love, don't be so ning to her.] O my dear Harriot! my child ! violent. You are quite wrong in this affair—you my child ! don't know who you are talking to. That lady Oak. Your coming so abruptly shocked ber is a person of fashion.

spirits But she revives. How do you, madam? Mrs Oak. Fine fashion, indeed! to seduce Har. [10 Russet.] 0, sir! other women's husbands !

Rus. O my dear girl! How could you run


away from your father, that loves you with such | One word with you, sir !—The height of yout fondness -But I was sure I should find you passion, and Mrs Oakly's strange misapprehenhere

sion of this whole affair, makes it impossible to Mrs Dak. There—there ! sure he should find explain matters to you at present. I will do it her here ! Did not I tell you so? Are not you a when you please, and how you please. [Erit. wicked man, to carry on such base underband Rus. Yes, yes; I'll have satisfaction. So, doings, with a gentleman's daughter?

madam! I have found you at last. You have Rus. Let me tell you, sir, whatever you may made a fine confusion here! think of the matter, I shall not easily put up Har. I have, indeed, been the innocent cause with this behaviour. How durst you encourage of a great deal of confusion. my daughter to an elopement, and receive her in Rus. Innocent!-What business had you to your house.

be running hither after Mrs Oak. There, mind that! The thing is as Har. My dear sir, you misunderstand the plain as the light.

whole affair. I have not been in this house half Oak. I tell you, you misụnderstand

an hour, Rus. Look you, Mr Oakly, I shall expect sa- Rus. Zouns, girl, don't put me in a passion ! tisfaction from your family for so gross an af- You know I love you--- but a lie puts me in a front. Zouns, sir ! I am not to be used ill by passion. But come along-we'll leave this house any man in England.

directly—(CHARLES singing without.] Heyday! Har. My dear sir, I can assure you

what now? Rus. Hold your tongue, girl! You'll put me in a passion.

After a noise without, enter Charles, drunk. Oak. Sir, this is all a mistake.

Cha. But my wine neither nurses nor babiex Rus. A mistake! Did not I find her in your

can bring, house?

And a big-bellied bottle's a mighty good Oak. Upon my soul, she has not been in my


(Singing; house above

What's here? a woman? Harriot! impossible ! Mrs Oak. Did not I hear you say you would My dearest, sweetest Harriot! I have been looktake her a lodging? a private lodging !

ing all over the town for you, and at lastOak. Yes, but that

when I was tired—and weary—and disappointRus. Has not this affair been carried on a long ed—why, then, the honest major and I sat down time in spite of my teeth?

together to drink your health in pint bumpers. Oak. I never troubled myself

[Running up to her. Mrs Oak. Never troubled yourself! Did not Rus. Stand off!- -How dare you take any you insist on her staying in the house, whether I | liberty with my daughter before me? Zouns, sir, would or no?

I'll be the death of you ! Oak. No.

Cha. Ha! 'Squire Russet, too! You jolly Rus. Did not you send me to meet her, when old cock, how do you do?-But Harriot! my she came to town?

dear girl! (Taking hold of her.] My life, my soul, Oak. No.

my Mrs Oak. Did not you deceive me about the Rus. Let her go, sir-come away, Harriot !letter this morning?

Leave him this instant, or I'll tear you asunder. Oak. No-no-00–I tell you, no.

[Pulling her. Mrs Oak. Yes-yes-yes- -I tell you, yes.

Har. There needs no violence to tear me from Rus. Shan't I believe my own eyes?

a man who could disguise himself

in such a gross Mrs Oak. Shan't I believe iny own ears? manner, at a time when he knew I was in the utOak. I tell you, you are both deceived. most distress. Rus. Zouns, sir, I'll have satisfaction.

[ Disengages herself, and exit with Rus. Mrs Oak. I'll stop these fine doings, I warrant Cha. Only hear me, sir- -madam! -my you.

dear Harriot- -Mr Russet- gone !--she's Oak. 'Sdeath, you will not let me speak—and gone !—and, egad, in very ill humour, and in very you are both alike, I think. I wish you were mar- bad company! -I'll go after her--but hold! – ried to one another with all my heart.

I shall only make it worse- -as I did now I Mrs Oak. Mighty well! mighty well!

recollect-once before. How the devil came Rus. I shall soon find a time to talk with you. they here ? —Who would have thought of finding

Oak. Find a time to talk! you have talked her in my own house ? --My head turns round enough now for all your lives.

with conjectures.- I believe I am drunk-very Mrs Oak. Very fine! Come along, sir! Leave drunk- -so, egad, I'll e'en go and sleep myself that lady with her father. Now she is in the sober, and then inquire the meaning of all this. properest hands.

Oak. I wish I could leave you in his hands. I love Sue, and Sue loves me, &c. {Going, returns.] I shall follow you, madam!

Erit singing



SCENE 1.-OAKLY's house.

house uncomfortable to him, poisons his meals,

and breaks his rest. Enter Mrs OAKLY and MAJOR OAKLY.

Mrs Oak. I beg, Major Oakly, that

Maj. This it is to have a wife that dotes upon Maj. WELL- -well- -but sister!

one the least trifle kindles your suspicion; you Mrs Oak. I will know the truth of this mat take fire in an instant, and set the whole family ter. Why can't you tell me the whole story? in a blaze.

Maj. I'll tell you nothing. There's nothing to Mrs Oak. This is beyond all patience.-No, tell—you know the truth already. Besides, what sir, 'tis you are the incendiary—you are the cause have I to do with it? Suppose there was a dis of-I can't bear such—[ready to weep.}-from turbance yesterday, what's that to me? was I this instant, sir, I forbid you my house. Howhere? it's no business of mine.

ever Mr Oakly may treat me himself, I'll never Mrs Oak. Then, why do you study to make it be made the sport of all his insolent relations. so! Am not I well assured that this mischief

[Erit Mrs OAK. comenced at your house in the country? And Maj. Yes, yes, I knew I should be turned out now you are carrying it on in town.

of doors. There she goes back again to my Maj. This is always the case in family brother directly. Poor gentleman !

_'Slife, if squabbles. My brother has put you out of hu- he was but half the man that I am, I'd engage to mour, and you choose to vent your spleen upon keep her going to and fro all day, like a shuttleme.

cock. Mrs Oak. Because I know that you are the

Enter CHARLES. occasion of his ill-usage. Mr Oakly never behaved in such a manner before.

What, Charles ! Maj. I? Am I the oceasion of it?

Cha. O major ! have you heard of what hapMrs Oak. Yes, you, I am sure on't. pened after I left you yesterday? Maj. I am glad on't with all my heart.

Maj. Heard ! Yes, yes, I have heard it plain Mrs Oak. Indeed !

enough. But poor Charles ! Ha, ha, ha! What Maj. Ay, indeed: and you are the more obli- a scene of confusion! I would give the world to ged to me. Come, come, sister, it's time you have been there. should reflect a little. My brother is become a Cha. And I would give the world to have been public jest ; and, by and by, if this foolish affair any where else. Cursed fortune ! gets wind, the whole family will be the subject of Maj. To come in so opportunely at the tail of town-talk.

an adventure! -Was not your mistress mighty Mrs Oak. And well it may, when you take so glad to see you? You was very fond of her, Í much pains to expose us. The little disquiets dare say? and uneasiness of other families are kept secret; Cha. I am upon the rack. Who can tell what but here, quarrels are fomented, and afterwards rudeness I might offer her! I can remember noindustriously made public. And you, sir, you thing—I deserve to lose her to make myself a have done all this--you are my greatest enemy.

beast !-and at such a time, too!-0 fool, fool, Maj. Your truest friend, sister.

fool ! Mrs Oak. But it's no wonder. You have no Maj. Prithee, be quiet, Charles !

-Never feelings of humanity, no sense of domestic hap- vex yourself about nothing; this will all be made piness, no idea of tenderness, or attachment to up the first time you see her. any woman.

Cha. I should dread to see her—and yet, the Maj. No idea of plague or disquiet—no, no, not knowing where she is, distracts me--her faand yet I can love a woman for all that—hearti-ther may force her to marry sir. Harry Beagle ly—as you say, tenderly_But then, I always immediately. chuse a woman should shew a little love for me, Maj. Not he, I promise you. She'd run plump too.

into your arms first, in spite of her father's teeth. Mrs Oak. Cruel insinuation !- But I defy your Cha. But then her father's violence, and the malice--Mr Oakly can have no doubt of my mildness of her dispositionaffection for him.

Maj. Mildness !-Ridiculous !- Trust to the Maj. Nor I, neither; and yet your affection, spirit of the sex in her. I warrant you, like all such as it is, has all the evil properties of aver-the rest, she'll have perverseness enough not to sion. You absolutely kill him with kindness. do as her father would have her. Why, what a life he leads ! He serves for nothing Cha. Well, well--But then my behaviour to but a mere whetstone of your ill-humour. her. To expose myself in such a condition to Mrs Oak. Pray now, sir !

her again! The very occasion of our former quarMaj. The violence of your temper makes his rel!

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