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in pity, Julia, do not kill me with resenting a fault which never can be repeated : but sealing, this once, my pardon, let me to-morrow, in the face of Heaven, receive my future guide and monitress, and expiate my past folly by years of tender adoration.
Jul. Hold, Faulkland that you are free from a crime, which I before feared to name, Heaven knows how sincerely I rejoice! These are tears of thankfulness for that! But that your cruel doubts should have urged you to an imposition that has wrung my heart, gives me now a pang more keen than I can express !
Faulk. By heavens / Julia
Jul. Yet hear me.-My father loved you, Faulkland ! and you preserved the life that tender parent gave me ; in his presence I pledged my hand-joyfully pledged itwhere before I had given my heart. When, soon after, I lost that parent, it seemed to me that Providence had, iņ Faulkland, shown me whither to transfer without a pause my grateful duty, as well as my affection : hence I have been content to bear from you what pride and delicacy would have forbid me from 'another. I will not upbraid you, by, repeating how you have trifled with my sincerity
Fautk. I confess it all! yet hear
Jul. After such a year of trial, I might have flattered myself that I should not have been insulted with a new probation of my sincerity, as cruel as unnecessary! I now see it is not in your nature to be content or confident in love: With this conviction-I never will be yours. While I had hopes that my persevering attention, and unreproaching kindness, might in time reform your temper, I should have been happy to have gained a dearer influence over you ; but I will not furnish you with a licensed power to keep alive an incorrigible fault, at the expense of one who never would contend with you.
Faulk. Nay, but, Julia, by my soul and honour, if after this
Jul. But one word 'more. -As my faith has once been given to you, I never will barter it with another.- I shall pray for your happiness with the truest sincerity; and the dearest blessing I can ask of Heaven to send you will be to charm you from that unhappy temper, which alone has prevented the performance of our solemn engagement. All I request of you is, that you will yourself reflect upon this infirmity, and when you number up the many true delights it has deprived you of, let it not be your least regret, that it lost you the love of one who would have followed you in beggary through the world I
[Exit Faulk. She's gone-for ever r-There was an awful resolution in her manner, that riveted me to my place— fool ! -dolt 1-barbarian! Cursed as I am, with more imperfections than my fellow wretches, kind Fortune sent a heaven-gifted cherub to my aid, and, like a ruffian, I have driven her from my side I must now haste to my appointment. Well, my mind is tuned for such a scene. I shall wish only to become a principal in it, and reverse the tale my cursed folly put me upon forging here.-0 Loveltormentor fiend le-whose influence, like the moon's, acting on men of dull souls, makes idiots of them, but meeting subtler spirits, betrays their course, and urges sensibility to madness !
[Exit Enter LYDIA and MAID
Maid. My mistress, ma'am, I know, was here just now perhaps she is only in the next room.
[Exit Lyd. Heigh-ho 1. Though he has used me so, this fellow runs strangely in my head. I believe one lecture from my grave cousin will make me recall him. (Re-enter JULIA.] O Julia, I am come to you with such an appetite for consolation.-Lud! child, what's the matter with you ? You have been crying - I'll be hanged if that Faulkland has not been tormenting you !
Jul. You mistake the cause of my uneasiness Something has flurried me a little. Nothing that you can guess at. (Aside.] I would not accuse Faulkland to a sister 1
Lyd. Ah ! whatever vexations you may have, I can assure you mine surpass them. You know who Beverley proves to be ?
Jul. I will now own to you, Lydia, that Mr. Faulkland had before informed me of the whole affair. Had young Absolute been the person you took him for, I should not have accepted your confidence on the subject, without a serious endeavour to counteract your caprice.
Lyd. So, then, I see I have been deceived by every one ! But I don't care-I'll never have him.
Jul. Nay, Lydia
Lyd. Why, is it not provoking ? when I thought we were coming to the prettiest distress imaginable, to find myself made a mere Smithfield bargain of at last! There, had I projected one of the most sentimental elopements so becoming a disguise !—so amiable a ladder of ropes !Conscious moon-four horses-Scotch parson--with such surprise to Mrs. Malaprop-and such paragraphs in the newspapers -Oh, I shall die with disappointment
Jul. I don't wonder at it !
Lyd. Now—sad reverse 1-what have I to expect, but, after a deal of flimsy preparation with a bishop's licence, and my aunt's blessing, to go simpering up to the altar ; or perhaps be cried three times in a country church, and have an unmannerly fat clerk ask the consent of every butcher in the parish to join John Absolute and Lydia Languish, spinster ! Oh that I should live to hear myself called spinster!
Jul. Melancholy, indeed I
Lyd. How mortifying, to remember the dear delicious shifts I used to be put to, to gain half a minute's conversation with this fellow ! How often have I stole forth, in the coldest night in January, and found him in the garden, stuck like a dripping statue ! There would he kneel to me in the snow, and sneeze and cough so pathetically! he shivering with cold and I with apprehension, and while the freezing blasts numbed our joints, how warmly would he press me to pity the flame, and glow with mutual ardour !
Ah, Julia, that was something like being in love.
Jul. If I were in spirits, Lydia, I should chide you only by lau hing heartily at you; but it suits more the situation of my mind, at present, earnestly to entreat you not to let a man, who loves you with sincerity, suffer that unhappiness from your caprice, which I know too well caprice can inflict.
Lyd. O Lud! what has brought my aunt here?
Enter MRS. MALAPROP, FAG, and DAVID
Mrs. Mal. So!
here's fine work here's fine suicide, parricide, and simulation, going on in the fields ! and Sir Anthony not to be found to prevent the antistrophe !
Jul. For Heaven's sake, madam, what's the meaning of this ?
Mrs. Mal. That gentleman can tell you-'twas he enveloped the affair to me. Lyd. Do, sir, will you, inform us ?
[To FAG Fag. Ma'am, I should hold myself very deficient in every requisite that forms the man of breeding, if I delayed a moment to give all the information in my power to a lady so deeply interested in the affair as you are.
Lyd. But quick! quick, sir !
Fag. True, ma'am, as you say, one should be quick in divulging matters of this nature ; for should we be tedious, perhaps while we are flourishing on the subject, two or three lives may be lost !
Lyd. O patience I-Do, ma'am, for Heaven's sake! tell us what is the matter ?
Mrs. Mal. Why, murder's the matter | slaughter 's the matter | killing 's the matter |-but he can tell you the perpendiculars.
Lyd. Then, prithee, sir, be brief.
Fag. Why then, ma'am, as to murder-I cannot take upon me to say—and as to slaughter, or manslaughter, that will be as the jury finds it.
Lyd. But who, sir—who are engaged in this ?
Fag. Faith, ma'am, one is a young gentleman whom I should be very sorry any thing was to happen to-a very pretty behaved gentleman! We have lived much together, and always on terms.
Lyd. But who is this? who! who I who?
Fag. My master, ma'am-my master-I speak of my master.
Lyd. Heavens! What, Captain Absolute !
Fag. As to the rest, ma'am, this gentleman can inform you better than I. Jul. Do speak, friend.
[To DAVID Dav. Look'ee, my lady—by the mass ! there's mischief going on. Folks don't use to meet for amusement with fire-arms, firelocks, fire-engines, fire-screens, fire-office, and the devil knows what other crackers beside |--This, my lady, I say, has an angry favour.
Jul. But who is there beside Captain Absolute, friend ?
Dav. My poor master—under favour for mentioning him first. You know me, my lady-I am David—and my master of course is, or was, Squire Acres. Then comes Squire Faulkland.
Jul. Do, ma'am, let us instantly endeavour to prevent mischief.
Mrs. Mal. O fy lit would be very inelegant in us :we should only participate things.
Dav. Ah! do, Mrs. Aunt, save a few lives—they are desperately given, believe me.--Above all, there is that ļ bloodthirsty Philistine, Sir Lucius OʻTrigger.
Mrs. Mat. Sir Lucius O'Trigger no mercy I have they drawn poor little dear Sir Lucius into the scrape ?Why, how you stand, girft you have no more feeling than one of the Derbyshire petrifactions !
Lyd. What are we to do, madam ?
Mrs. Mal. Why, fly with the utmost felicity, to be sure, to prevent mischief 1-Here, friend, you can show us the place?
Fag. If you please, ma'am, I will conduct you.--David, do you look for Sir Anthony.
[Exit DAVID Mrs. Mal. Come, girls! this gentleman will exhort us.Come, sir, you're our envoy-lead the way, and we ’ul precede.
Fag. Not a step before the ladies for the world I
Fag. I think I can find it, ma'am; and one good thing is, we shall hear the report of the pistols as we draw near, so we can't well miss them; never fear, ma'am, never fear.
[Exeunt, he talking
SCENE II.-The South Parade
Enter CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE, putting his sword under his great
Abs. A sword seen in the streets of Bath would raise as great an alarm as a mad dog.--How provoking this is in Faulkland never punctuall' I shall be obliged to go without him at last.—Oh, the devil ! here's Sir Anthony ! how shall I escape him ?
[Muffle's up his face, and takes a circle to go off
Enter SIR ANTHONY ABSOLUTE
Sir Anth. How one may be deceived at a little distance ! only that I see he don't know me, I could have sworn that was Jack |-Hey! Gad's life ! it is.—Why, Jack, what are you afraid of? hey sure I'm right. Why Jack, Jack Absolute !
[Goes up to him