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to me; though, for aught I know, poor Mrs. S. I say, Mr. Strictland, I would Frankly's life may depend upon it.
onlyCla. Whose life, Sir ?
Strict. You would only-you would only Ran. And here do I stand prating to you repeat what you have been saying this bour,
I am ipnocent; and when I showed you the Cla. Pray, good cousin, explain yourself. letter I had taken from your maid, what was Ran. Good cousin ! She has it. [Aside. ] | then your poor evasion, but that it was to Why, whilst 1 was making off with the Clarinda, and you were innocent. wench, Bellamy and he were quarrelling Mrs. S. Heaven knows, I am innocent. about her; and though Jacintha and I made Strict. But I know your Clarinda, your all the baste we could, we did not get to them woman of honour, is your blind, your cover, before
your- But why do distract myself about Cla. Before what? I'm frightened out of my a woman I have no longer any concerns with? wits?
Here, Madam, is your fate- letter to your Ran. Not that Frankly cared three-balfpence brother in the couniry. for the girl.
Mrs. S. Sir
Strict. I have told him what a sister he is to hope ?
receive, and how to bid her welcome. Ran. Pho! a slight scratch ; nothing at all, Mrs. S. Then my ruin is complete. My as the surgeon said : though he was but a brother! queer-looking son of a bitch of a surgeon
Strict. I must vindicate my own honour, else neither.
what will the world say? Cla. Good God! why, he should have the Mrs. S. That brother was my only hope, my best that can be found in London.
only ground of patience. In his retirement i Ran. Ay, indeed, so he should ; that was hoped my name might have been safe, and what I was going for when I saw you. (Sits slept, till by some happy means you might at down.) They are all at Jack Meggot's, hard length have known me innocent, and pitied by, and you will keep me here.
Cla. I keep you here! For Heaven's sake, Strict. Retirement! pretty soul! no, no, begone!
that face was never made for retirement; it is Ran. Your tea is a damned while a coming. another sort of retiring you are fittest for. Ha!
Clu. You shall have no tea now, I assure hark! What's that? (X knocking at the door.) yon.
Two gentle taps--and why but two ? was that Ran, Nay, one dish!
the sigpal, Madam? Stir not, on your life! Cla. No, positively you shall not stay.
Mrs. S. Give me resolution, Heaven, to bear Run. Your commands are absolute, Madam. this usage, and keep it secret from the world, (Going.
[Aside. Cla. Then Frankly is true, and I only am
Strict. I will have no signs, no items, nu bem to blame.
to tell him I am bere. (A knock.) Ha, another Ran. [Returns. But I beg ten thousand tap! The gentleman is in haste I find. pardons, cousin, that I should forget
(Opens the door. Cla. Forget what? Ran. Forget to salute you.
Enter Tester. Cla. Pshaw! how can you trifle at such a Tester! Why did you not come in, rascal? time as this?
[Beats him.] All vexations meet to cross me. Ran. A trifle ! wrong not your beauty.
Tes. Lard, Sir! what do you strike me for ? Cla. Lord, how teasing you are! There. my mistress ordered me never to come in where
Ran. (Kisses her.] Poor thing, how uneasy shie was, without first knocking at the door. she is! (A side.) Nay, no ceremony; you shall Strict. Oh,canning devil! Tester is too not stir a step with me.
[Exit. honest to be trusted. Cla. I do not intend it. This is downright Mrs. S. Unhappy man! will nothing undeprovoking.
[Exit. cejve him ?
Tes. Sir, here is a letter.
Strict. To my wife ?
Tes. No, Sir, to you. The servant waits SCENE I.-A Room in MR. STRICTLAND's below. House.
Strict. Art sure it is a servant?
Tes. Sir! it is Mr. Buckle, Sir. [Stares. MR. and Mrs. STRICTLAND; she weeping, he
Strict. I am mad; I know not what to say, writing or do, or think. But let's read
[Reads to himself. Mrs. S. Heigh ho!
Strict. What can possibly be the occasion of Sir-We cannot bear to reflect that Mrs. Strictthat sigh, Madam ? you have yourself agreed land may possibly be ruined in your esteem, and to a maintenance, and a maintenance no in the roice of the world, only by the confusion duchess need be ashamed of.
which our affairs hare made in your family, uithMrs. S. But the extremities of provocation out offering all within our power to clear the misthat drove me to that agreement
understanding between you. you will gire Strict. Were the effect of your own follies. yourself the trouble but to step to Mr. Meggot's, Why do you disturb me?
[Writes. where all parties will be, we doubt not but we can Mrs. $. I would not willingly, give you a entirely satisfy your most flagrant suspicions, to moment's uneasiness; I but desire a fair and the honour of Mrs. Strictiand, und the quiet of equal hearing; and if I satisfy you pot in your lires. JACINTHA. John BELLAMY. every point, then abandon me, discard me to the world and its malicious tongues.
Hey! bere is the whole gang witnessing for Strict. What was it you said? Damn this one another. They think I am an ass, and will ped.
be led by the nose to believe every thing.
[.Aside.) Call me a chair. (Exit Tester.) Yes, Jac. Desire her to walk up.
will go to this rendezvous of enemies—I will Bel. How could you let her wait? (Erit -and find out all her plots, her artifices, and Buckle.) You must excuse him, Madam ; contrivances : it will clear my conduct to her Buckle is a true bachelor's servant, and knows brother and all her friends. (Aside, and exit. no manners.
Mrs. S. Gone so abruptly! What can that Jac. Away, away Mr. Frankly, and stay letter be about? no matter; there is no way till I call you. A rap with my fan shall be the left to make us easy but by my disgrace, and signal. [Exit FRANKLY.) We make very free. I must learn to suffer ; time and innocence will with your house, Mr. Meggot. teach me to bear it patiently.
J. Meg. Oh, you could not oblige me more. Enter LUCETTA.
Enler CLARINDA. Luc. Mrs. Bellamy, Madam (for my yonng lady is married) begs you would follow Mr. I am to wish you joy and ask you pardon all
Cla. Dear Mrs. Bellamy, pity my confusion. Strictland to Mr. Meggot's. She makes no in a breath. I know not what to say; I am doubt but she shall be able to make you and quite ashamed of my last night's behaviour. my master easy.. Mrs. S. But how came she to know any all is over and forgot. Mr. Bellamy
Jac. Come, come Clarinda, it is all well; thing of the matter ? Luc. I have been with them, Madam; I
[Salute. could not bear to see so good a lady so ill and should have been very sorry if any follý
Cla. I wish you joy, Sir, with all my heart ; treated. Mrs. S. I am indeed, Lucetta, ill treated;
of mine had prevented it.
Bel. Madam, I am obliged to you. but I hope this day will be the last of it. Luc. Aladam Clarinda and Mr. Frankly will
Clu. I see nothing of Mr. Frankly! my mind be there and the young gentleman, Madam, misgives me.
(Aside. who was with you in this room last night.
Ran. And so, you came hither purely out of Mrs. S. Ha! if he is there, there may be friendship, good nature, and humility.
Cla. Purely, hopes; and it is worth the trying. Luc. Dear lady, let me call a chair.
Ran. To confess your offences, to beg parMrs. S. l'll go with you, I cannot be more
don, and to make reparation. wretched than I am.
Cla. Purely. Is this any thing so extraordi. nary?
J. Meg. The most so of any thing in life, I SCENE II.-A Room in Jack Meggot's
Ran. A very whimsical business for so fine a Enter FRANKLY, RANGER, BELLAMY, JACIN- lady, and an errand you seldon went on beTHA, and Jack MEGGOT.
fore, I fancy, my dear cousin.
Jac. Never, i dare swear, if I may judge by Frank. Oh, Ranger, this is news indeed! the awkward concern she shows iá deliveriog your cousin, and a lady of such fortune ?
it. Ran. I have done the business for you; I Cla. Concern! Lard, well I protest you are tell you she's your own. She loves you.
all exceeding pretty company! Being settled Frank. You make my heart dance
with joy. for life, Jacintba, gives an ease to the mind Words are too faint to tell the joy I feel. that brightens conversation strangely.
Ran. I have put that heart of hers into such Jac. I am sorry, with all my heart, you are a flutter, that I'll lay a hundred guineas, with not in the same condition ; for as you are, my the assistance which this lady has promised dear, you are horrid!y chagriné. me, I fix her yours directly.
Ran. But with a liitle of our help, Madam, Jac. Ay, ay, Mr. Frankly, we have a design the lady
may recover, and be very good conupon her which cannot fail. But you must
pany. obey orders.
Cia. Hum! what does he mean, Mr. BelFrank. Most willingly; but remember, dear lamy? lady, I bave more than life at stake.
Bel. Ask him, Madam. Juc. Away then into the next room ; for she Cla. Indeed I shall not give myself the is this instant coming hither.
trouble. Frunk. Hither! you surprise me more and Jac. Then you know what he meads.
Cla. Something impertinent, I suppose, not Juc. Here is a message from her, by which worth explaining: she desires leave to wait on me this afternoon. Jac. It is something you wont let him ex.
Ran. Only for the chance of seeing you here, plain, I find. I assure ye.
Frank. Let me bug thee, though I know not Re-enter Buckle, and whispers Jack Meggot. how to believe it.
Ran. Pshaw! pr’ythee don't stille me! It J. Meg. Very well. Desire him to walk into is a busy day, a very busy day.
the parlour. Madam, the gentleman is below. J. Még. Thou art the most unaccountable Jác. Then every one to your posts. You creature in life.
know your cues. Ran. But the most lucky one, Jack, if I suc- Ran. I warrant ye. [E.reunt Gentlemen. ceed for Frankly as I have for Bellamy, and Cla. All gone! I am glad of it, for I want my heart whispers me I shall. Come in, most to speak to you. noble Mr. Buckle : and what have you to pro- Jac. And I, my dear Clarinda, have some
thing which I do not know how to tell you :
but it must be known sooner or later. Enter BuckLE.
Cla. What's the matter? Buck. A lady, Madam, in a chair, says her Jac. Poor Mr. Frankly name is Clarinda.
Cla. You fright me vut of my senses !
Jac. Has no wounds but what you can cure. ( of your trne lovers. Here are you two now, Ha, ha, ha!
bowing and cringing, and keeping a passion Cla. Pshaw! I am angry.
secret from one another, that is no secret to Jac. Pshaw! You are pleased; and will be all the house beside; and if you don't make more so, when I tell you this man, whom for the matter up immediately, it will be all over tune has thrown in your way, is in rank and the town within these two hours. temper the man in the world who suits you Cla. What do you mean? best for a husband.
Frunk. RangerCla. Husband! I say, husband indeed! Ran. Do you be quiet, can't ye? [Apart to where will this end ?
(Aside. FRANKLY.) But it is over, I suppose, cousin, Jac. His very soul is yours, and he only and you have given him your consent ? waits an opportunity of telling you so. He is Cla. Sir, the liberties you are pleased to in the next room. Shall I call him in ?
take with me Cla. My dear girl, hold!
Ran. Oh! in your airs still, are yon? Why Jac. How foolish is this coyness now, Clar. then, Mr. Frankly, there is a certain letter of inda! If the men were here indeed, something yours, Sir, to this ladymight be said-And so, Mr. Frankly
Cla. A letter to me? Cla. How can you be so teasing ?
Ran. Ay! to you, Madam. Jac. Nay, I am in downright earnest; and Frank. Ha! what of that letter? to show how particular I have been in my in- Ran. It is only fallen into Mr. Strictland's quiries, though I know you have a spirit above hands, that is all; and he has read it. regarding the modish, paltry way of a Smith- Frank. Read it! field bargain-His fortune
Ran. Ay, read it to all his family at home, Cla. I don't care what his fortune is. and to all the company below; and if some
Jac. Don't you so; then you are further gone stop be not put to it, it will be read in all the than I thought you were.
coffee-houses in town. Cla. No, psbaw! Pr'ythee, I don't mean so Frunk. A stop! this sword shall put a stop neither.
to it, or I will perish in the attempt. Jac. I don't care what you mean; but you Run. But wil that sword put a stop to the wont like him the worse, I hope, for having a talk of the town?-Only make it talk the fasfortune superior to your own. Now shall Iter, take my word for it. call him in!
Cla. This is all a trick. Clu. Pho, dear girl- Some other time. Ran. A trick! is it so ? you shall soon see Jac. (Raps with her fan.] That's the signal, that, may tine cousin.
[Erit. and here he is. You shall not stir: I positively Frank. It is but too true, I fear. There is will leave you together.
(Exit. such a letter, which I gave Lucetta. Can you Cla. I tremble all over.
forgive me? Was I much to blame, when I
could neither see nor hear of you? Enter FRANKLY.
Cla. [Tenderly.) You give yourself, Mr. Frak. Pardon this freedom, Madam ; but Frankly, a thousand more uneasinesses than I hope our having so luckily met with a com
you need about me.
Frank. If this uneasiness but convinces you mon friend in Mrs. Bellamy
how much I love you-Interrupted again! Cla. Sir! Frank. Makes any further apology for my
Cla. This is downright malice. [Aside. behaviour last night absolutely unnecessary.. Re-enter RANGER, followed by JACINTH., Cla. So far, Mr. Frankly, that I think the
STRICTLAND, BELLAMY, and JACK MEGGOT. apology should be rather on my side, for the inipe:tinent bustle I made about her.
Ran. Enter, enter, gentlemen and lady. Frank. This behaviour gives me hopes, Ma. Now you shall see whether this is a trick or dam : pardon the construction--but from the
no. little bustle you made about the lady, may I
Cla. Mr, Sʻrictland here! What is all this? not hope you was not quite indiferent abont
Jac. Do not be uneasy, my dear; we will the gentleman ?
explain it to you. Cla. Have a care of being too sanguine in
Frank. I cannot bear this trifling, Ranger, your hopes : might not a love of power, or the when my heart is on the rack. satisfaction of showing that power, or the dear
Ran. Come this way, then, and learn. pleasure of abusing that power; might not
[JACINTHA, CLARINDA, FRANKLY, and ihese have been foundation enough for more
RANGER, retire. STRICTLAND, BELthan what I did ?
LAMY, and MEGGOT advance. Frank. Charming woman! with most of
Strict. Why, I know not well what to say. your sex, I grant, they might, but not with you. This has a face. This letter may as well agree Whatever power your beauty gives, your good with Clarinda as with my wife, as you have nature will allow you no other use of it than told the story; and Lucetta explained it so; to oblige.
but she, for a sixpenny-piece, would have con: Clu. This is the height of compliment, Mr. strued it the other way. Frankly.
J. Meg. But, Sir, if we produce this Mr. Frank. Not in my opinion, I assure yon, Frankly to you, and he owns himself the auMadam; and I am now going to put it to the thor of this lettertrial.
Bel. And if Clarinda likewise be brought Cla. What is he going to say now? (Aside. before your face to encourage his addresses,
Frank. What is it that ails me, that I cannot there can be no further room for doubt. speak ? Pshaw! he here!
Strict. No. Let that appear, and I shall, I
think I shall, be satisfied—But yet it cannot Enter Ranger.
Bel. Why not? Hear me, Sir. Interrupted ! impertinent!
[They talk ; Jacin. CLARIN. FRANKLY, Ran. There is no sight so ridiculous as a pair
and Ran, advance.
509 Juc. In short, Clarinda, unless the affair is Mrs. S. Reproach you! No! If ever you made up directly, a separation, with all the hear the least reflection pass my lips, forsake obloquy on her side, must be the consequence. me in that instant; or, what would yet be
Cru. Poor Mrs. Strictland! I pity her; but worse, suspect again. for him, he deserves all he feels, were it ten Strict. It is enough. I am ashamed to talk tiines what it is.
to thee. This letter, which I wrote to your Jac. It is for her sake only, that we beg of brother, thus I tear in pieces, and with it part you both to bear his impertinence.
for ever with my jealousy: Cla. With all my heart. You will do what Mrs. S. This is a joy, indeed! as great as you please with me.
unexpected. Yet there is one thing wanting Frank. Generous creature!
to make it lasting: Strict. Ha! here she is, and with the very
Ran. What the devil is coming now. [Aside. man I saw deliver the letter to Lucetta. I do Mrs. S. Be assured, every other suspicion of begin to fear I have made myself a fool. Now me was as unjust as your last: though per, for the proof. (Aside.) Here is a letter, Sir, haps you had more foundation for your fears. which has given me great disturbance, and Ran. She wont tell, sure, for her own sake. these gentlemen assure me it was wrote by
Mrs. S. All must be cleared before my heart Frank. That letter, Sir, upon my honour, I will be at ease. left this morning with Lucetta, for this lady. Run. It looks plaguy like it, though! [Aside.
Strict. For that lady ? and Frankly, the name Strict. What mean you! I am all attention. at the bottom, is not feigned, but your real
Mrs. S. There was a man, as you suspected, name?
in my chamber last night. Frank. Frankly is my name,
Strict. Ha! take care, I shall relapse.
Ran. Here is a devil for you! [.Iside. J. Meg. Ay, ay; a clear case.
Mrs. S. Let him explain the rest. Strict. I am satisfied, and will go this in- Ran. A frolic, a mere frolic, on my life. stant to Mrs. Strictland.
Strict. A frolic! Zounds! [They interpose. Ran. Why then the devil fetch me, if this
Ran. Nay, don't let us quarrel the very mo. would satisfy me.
ment you declared yourself my friend. There Strict. What's that?
was no harm done, I promise you. Nay, never Ran. Nay, nothing; it is no affair of mine. frown. After I have told my story, any satisBel. What do you mean, Ranger ?
faction you are pleased to ask, I shall be Strict. Ay, what do you mean? I will know ready to give. before I stir.
Strict. Be quick then, and ease me of my pain. Ran. With all my heart, Sir. Cannot you
Ran. Why then, as I was strolling about see that all this may be a concerted matter last night, upon the look out, I must confess, between them ?
chance, and chance only, conveyed me to Frank. Ranger, you know I can resent. your house where I espied a ladder of ropes Strict. Go on; I will defend you, let who most invitingly fastened to the window. will resent it.
Jac. Which ladder, I had fastened for my Ran. Why then, Sir, I declare myself your escape. friend: and were 1 as you, nothing but their Strict. Proceed. immediate marriage should convince me. Run. Up mounted I, and up I should have
Strict. Sir, you're right, and are my friend gone, if it had been in the garret; it's all one indeed. Give me your hand.
to Ranger. I opened one dvor, and then anoRan. Nay, were I to hear her say--I, Cla- ther, and to my great surprise the whole house rinda, take thee, Charles, I would not believe was silent; at last, 1 sto e into a room where them till I saw them a-bed together. Now re- this lady was undressing. sent it as you will.
Strict. 'Sdeath and the devil! you did not Strict. Ay, Sir, as you will; but nothing less dare sure shall convince me ; and so, my fine lady, if you
Run. I don't know whether I had dared, or are in earnest
no, if I had not heard the maid say something Cla. Sure, Mr. Strictland
of her master's being jealous. Oh, damn me, Strict. Nay, no founcing; you cannot thought I, then the work is half done to my escape.
hands. Ran. Why, Frankly, has't no soul ?
Jac. Do you mind that, Mr. Strictland? Frank. I pity her confusion.
Strict. I do—I do, most feelingly. Ran. Pity her confusion !--the man's a fool Ran The maid grew saucy, and most con-Here, take her band.
veniently to my wishes was turned out of the Frank. Thus, on my knees, then, let me ra- room; and if you had not the best wife in the vish with your hand, your heart.
worldCla. Ravish it you cannot; for it is with all Strict. Ounds, Sir, but what right have you, my heart I give it you.
Ran. What right, Sir ? if you will be jealous Strict. I am satisfied.
of your wife, without a cause; if you will be Cla. And so am I, now it is once over. out at this time of night, when you might have Ran. And so am I, my dainty cousin; and I been so much better employed at home; we wish you joy of a man your whole sex would young fellows think we have a rightgo to cuffs for, if they knew him but half so Strict. No joking, I beseech you; you know well as I do--Ha! she here; this is more than not what I feel. I bargained for.
(Aside. Ran. Then seriously, I was mad, or drunk Enter Jacintha, leading in Mrs. STRICTLAND. to this lady, for which I ask both her pardon
enough, call it which you will, to be very rude Strict. (Embracing Mrs. STRICTLAND.) Ma- and yours. I am an odd sort of a fellow, perdam, reproach me not with my folly, and you haps; but I am above telling you or any shall never hear of it again.
man a lie, damn me, if I am not.
Strict. I must, I cannot but believe you; and Ran. Why, this is honest; continue but in for the future, Madam, you shall find a heart this humour, and faith, Sir, you may trus! me ready to love and trust you. No tears, I beg; to run about your house like a spaniel. I can. I cannot bear them.
not sufficiently admire the whimsicalness or Mrs. S. I cannot speak, and yet there is a my good fortune, in being so instrumental to favour, Sir
this general happiness. Bellamy, Frankly, I Strict. I understand you ; and, as a proof of wish you joy with all my heart, though I had the sincerity with which I speak, I beg it as rather you should be married than I, for all a favour, of this lady in particular, [To Cla-that. Never did matrimony appear to me with RINDA.) and of all the company in general, to a smile upon her face till this instant. return to my house immediately, where every Sure joyfuss ever wait each happy pair, thing, Mr. Bellamy, shall be settled to your When sense the man, and virtue crowns the entire satisfaction. No thanks; I have not
fair, deserved them.
And kind compliance proves their mutual