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most dissipated and extravagant young fellow Scene I.-LADY SNEERWELL'S House.

in the kingdom, without friends or character:

the former an avowed admirer of your ladyDiscovered LADY SNEERWELL at the dress-ship's, and apparently your favourite: the

ing-table; SNAKE drinking chocolate. latier attached to Maria, Sir Peter's ward, Lady Sncer. The paragraphs, you say, Mr. and confessedly beloved by her. Now, on the Snake, were all inserted ?

face of these circumstances, it is utterly unSnake. They were, madam; and as I co-accountable to me, why you, the widow of a pied them myself in a feigned hand, there can city knight, with a good jointure, should not be no suspicion whence ihey came. close with the passion of a man of such cha

Lady Sneer: Did you circulate the report racter and expectations as Mr. Surface; and of Lady Brittle's intrigue with Captain Boasiall? more so why you should be so uncommonly

Snake. That's in as fine a irain as your earnest to destroy the mutual aitachment subladyship could wish. In the common course sisting between his brother Charles and Maria. of things, I think it must reach Mrs. Clackitt's Lady Sneer. Then at once to unravel this ears within four and twenty hours; and then, mystery, I must inform you, that love has no you know, the business is as good as done. share whatever in the intercourse between

Lady Sneer. Why, truly, Mrs. Clackitt has Mr. Surface and me. a very pretty talent, and a great deal of in- Snake. No! dustry.

Lady Sneer. His real allachment is to MaSnake. True, madam, and has been tole- ria, or her fortune; but finding in his brorably successful in her day. To my know-ther a favoured rival, he has been obliged to ledge she has been the cause of six matches mask his pretensions, and profil by my asbeing broken off, and three sous disinherited ;sistance. of four forced elopements, and as many close

Snake. Yet still I am more puzzled why confinements; nine separate maintenances, and you should interest yourself in bis success. two divorces. Nay, I have more than once Lady Sneer. How dull you are! Cannot traced her causing a tête-à-tête in the Town you surmise the weakness which I hitherto, and Country Magazine, when the parties, per- through shame, have concealed even from you? haps, had never seen each other's face before Must I confess, that Charles, that libertine, in the course of their lives.

that extravagant, that bankrupt in fortune and Lady Sneer. She certainly has talents, but reputation, that he it is for whom I'm thus her manner is gross.

anxious and malicious, and to gain whom I Snake. 'Tis very true.-She generally, de-would sacrifice every thing? signs well, has a free tongue and a bold in- Snake. Now, indeed, your conduct appears vention; but her colouring is too dark, and consistent : but how came you and Mr. Surher outlines often extravagant. She wants that lace so confidential? delicacy of tint, and mellowness of sneer, Ludy Sneer. For our mutual interest. I which distinguishes your ladyship's scandal. have found him out a long time since. I know

Lady Snerr. You are partial, Snake. him to be ariful, sellish, and malicious-in

Snake. Not in the least-every body allows short, a sentimental knave; while with Sir that Lady Sneerwell can do more with a word Peler, and indeed with all bis acquaintance, or a look than many can with the most la- be passes for a youthful miracle of prudence, boured detail, even when they happen to have good sense, and benevolence. a little truth on their side to support it. Snake. Yes; yet Sir Peler vows he has not

Lady Șneer. Yes, my dear Snake; and his equal in England and above all, be praiam no hypocrite to deny the satisfaction 1 ses him as a man of sentiment. reap from the success of my efforts. Wound- Lady Sneer. True-and with the assistance ed myself in the early part of my life by, the of his sentiment and hypocrisy, he has brought envenomed tongue of slander, I confess I have Sir Peter entirely into his interest with resince known no pleasure equal to the redu-gard to Maria; while poor Charles has no cing others to the level of my own injured friend in the house, though, I fear, he has a reputation.

powerful one in Maria's heart, against whom Snake. Nothing can be more natural. But, we must direct our schemes. Lady Sneerwell, there is one affair in which

Enter Servant. you have lately employed me, wherein, I confess, I am at a loss to guess your motives. Serv. Mr. Surface.

Lady Sneer. I conceive you mean with Lady Sneer. Show bim up. [E.rit Servant. respect to iny neighbour, Sir Peter Teazle, and bis family ?

Enter JOSEPH SURFACE, Snake. I do. Here are two young men, to Joseph S. My dear Lady Sneerwell, how whom Sir Peter bas acted as a kind of guar- do you do to-day? Mr. Snake, your most dian since their father's death; the eldest pos- obedient. sessing the most amiable character, and uni- Lady Sneer. Snake has just been rallying versally well spoken of — the youngest, theme on our mutual attachment; but I have in

your brother.

formed him of our real views. You knowl. Maria. Ob, he has done nothing—but 'tis how useful he has been to us, and, believe for what he has said: his conversation is a me, the confidence is not ill placed. perpetual libel on all his acquaintance.

Joseph S. Madam, it is impossible for me Joseph S. Ay, and the worst of it is, ibere lo suspect a man of Mr. Snake's sensibility is no advantage in not knowing him -- for and discernment.

he'll abuse a stranger just as soon as his best Lady Sneer. Well, well, no compliments friend; and his uncle's as bad. now; but tell me when you saw your mis- Lady Sneer. Nay, but we should make altress, Maria--or, what is more material to me, lowance.-Sir Benjamin is a wit and a poet.

Maria. For my part, I confess, madam, Joseph S. I have not seen either since I wit loses its respect with me, when I see it left

you; but I can inform you that they ne-in company with malice.- What do you think, ver meet. Some of your stories have taken a Mr. Surface ? good effect on Maria.

Joseph S. Certainly, madam; to smile at Lady Sneer. Ab! my dear Snake! the me- the jest wbich planis a thorn in another's rit of this belongs to you: but do your bro- breast is to become a principal in the mischief. ther's distresses increase?

Lady Sneer. Pshaw !- there's no possibility Joseph S. Every bour. I am told he has of being willy without a little ill nature; the had another execution in the house yesterday. malice of a good thing is the barb that makes In short, bis dissipation and extravagance ex- it stick.-What's your opinion, Mr. Surface? ceed any thing I have ever heard of.

Joseph S. To be sure, madam; that conLady Sneer, Poor Charles!

versation, where the spirit of raillery, is supJoseph S. True, madam; notwithstanding pressed, will ever appear tedious and insipid. bis vices, one can't help, feeling for him. Poor Maria. Well, I'll not debate how far scanCharles ! I'm sure I wish it were in my power dal may be allowable; but in a man, I am to be of any essential service to bim; for the sure, it is always contemptible. We have man who does not share in the distresses of pride, envy, rivalship, and a thousand molires a brother, even though merited by his own to depreciate each other; but the male sianmisconduct, deserves

derer must have the cowardice of a woman Lady Sneer. O Lud! you are going to be before he can traduce one. moral, and forget that you are among friends. Joseph S. Egad, that's true !—I'll keep that

Enter Servant. sentiment till I see Sir Peter;, however, it Serv. Madam, Mrs. Candour is below, and certainly is a charity to rescue Maria from if your ladyship's at leisure, will leare ber such a libertine, who, if he is to be reclaimed, carriage. can be so only by a person of your ladyship's Lady Sneer. Beg her to walk in. - [Erit superior accomplishments and understanding. Servant] --Now, Maria, here is a character

Snake, I believe, Lady Sneerwell, here's to your taste; for though Mrs. Candour is a company coming: I'll go and copy the letter little talkative, every body allows her to be I mentioned to you.—Mr. Surface, your most the best natured and best sort of woman. obedient.

[Exit Snake. Mario. Yes, with a very gross affectation Joseph S. Sir, your very devoted. — Lady of good nature and benevolence, she does Sneerwell, I am very sorry you have put any more mischief than the direct malice of old farther confidence in that fellow.

Crabtree. Lady Sneer. Why so?

Joseph S. l'faith that's true, Lady Soeerwell: Joseph S. I bave lately detected him in fre- whenever I hear the current running against quent conference with old Rowley, who was the characlers of my friends, I never think formerly my father's steward, and has never, them in such danger as when Candour unyou know, been a friend of mine.

dertakes their defence. Lady Sneer. And do you think he would Lady Sneer, Hush!-here she is! betray us? Joseph S. Nothing more likely :--take my

Enter Mrs. CANDOUR. word for't, Lady Sneerwell, that fellow hasn't Mrs. Can. My dear Lady Sneerwell, how virtue enough to be faithful even to his own have you been this century ?--Mr. Surface, what villany.-Ah! Maria!

news do you hear?-though indeed it is no Enter MARIA.

matter, for I think one bears nothing else but Lady Sneer. Maria, my dear, how do you scandal. do ?- VVhat's the maller?

Joseph S. Just so, indeed, mi'am. Maria. Oh! there is that disagreeable lover Mrs. Can. Oh, Maria! child,—what is the of mine, Sir Benjamin Backbite, has just call- whole affair off between you and Charles?ed at my guardian's, with his odious uncle, His extravagance, I presume--the town talks Crabtree; so I slipt out, and ran bither to of nothing else. aroid them.

Marin. Indeed! I am very sorry, ma'am, Lady Sncer. Is that all ?

the town is not belter employed. Joseph S. If my brother Charles had been Mrs. Can. True, true, child: but there's no of the party, madam, perhaps you would not stopping, people's longues. I own I was burt have been so much alarmed.

lo hear it, as I indeed was to learn, from the Lady Sneer. Nay, now you are severe; same quarter, that your guardian, Sir Peter, for I dare swear the truth of the matter is, and Lady Teazle have not agreed lately as

laria beard you were bere.-But, my dear, well as could be wished. what has Sir Benjamin done, that you would Maria. "Tis strangely impertinent for people avoid bim so ?

Ito busy themselves so.



ed up:

Mrs. Can. Very true, child:-but what's to Lady Sneer. So, Maria, you see your lover be done? People will talk-there's no pre- pursues you; positively you sha'n't escape. venting it. Why, it was but yesterday. I was told that Miss Gadabout had eloped with Sir Enter Crabtree and Sir Benjamin BackFiligree Flirt.—But, Lord! there's no minding what one hears; though, to be sure, I bad Crabt. Lady Sneerwell, I kiss your handthis from very good authority.

Mrs. Candour, I don't believe you are Maria. Such reports are highly scandalous. quainted with my nephew, Sir Benjamin Back

Mrs. Can. So they are, child — shameful, bite? Egad! ma'am, he has a pretty wit, and shameful! But the world is so censorious, no is a preliy poet too; isn't be, Lady Sneercharacter escapes. — Lord, now who would well? have suspected your friend, Miss Prim, of an Sir Benj. B. O fie, uncle ! indiscretion? Yet such is the ill-nature of Crabt. Nay, egad it's true; I back bim at prople, that they say her uncle stopt her last a rebus or a charade against the best rhymer week, just as she was stepping into the York in the kingdom. — Has your ladyship heard diligence with her dancing-master.

the epigram be wrote last week on Lady Maria. I'll answer for't there are no grounds Frizzle's feather catching fire?-Do, Benjamin, for that report.

repeat it, or the charade you made last night Mrs. Can. Ah, no foundation in the world, exiempore at Mrs. Drowzie's conversazione. I dare swear; no more, probably, than for Come now;-your first is the name of a fish, the story circulated last month, of Mrs. Festi- your second a great naval commander, and no's affair with Colonel Cassino;—though, to Sir Benj. B. Uncle, now-pr’ytheebe sure, that matler was never rightly clear- Crabt. I'faith, ma'am, 'twould surprise you

to hear how ready he is at all these fine sort Joseph S. The licence of invention some of things. people take is monstrous indeed.

Lady Sneer. I wonder, Sir Benjamin, you Maria. 'Tis so,—but, in my opinion, those never publish any thing. who report such things are equally culpable. Sir Benj. B. To say truth, ma'am, 'tis very

Mrs. Can. To be sure they are; tale-bearers vulgar to print; and as my little productions are as bad as the tale-makers='is an old ob- are mostly salires and lampoons on particular servation, and a very true one: but what's to people, I find they circulate more by giving be done, as I said before? how will you pre-copies in confidence to the friends of the vent people from talking? To-day, Mrs. Clackitt parties. However, I bave some love elegies, assured me, Mr. and Mrs. Honeymoon were which, when favoured with this lady's smiles, at last become mere man and wisc, like the I mean to give the public. rest of their acquaintance. She likewise hint- Crabt. 'Fore heaven, ma'am, they'll immored that a certain widow, in the next street, talise you! - you will be handed down to had got rid of ber dropsy and recovered her posterity, like Petrarch's Laura, or Waller's shape in a most surprising manner. And at Sacharissa. the same time, Miss Tattle, who was by, af- Sir Benj. B. Yes, madam, I think


will firmed, that Lord Buffalo had discovered bis like them, when


shall see them on a lady at a house of no extraordinary fame; beautiful quarto page, where a neat rivulet of and that Sir H. Boquet and Tom Saunter text shall meander through a meadow of marwere to measure swords on a similar provo- gin.— 'Fore Gad they will be the most elegant cation.—But, Lord, do you think I would re-things of their kind! port these things ?-No, no! tale-bearers, as Crabt. But, ladics, that's true-have you I said before, are just as bad as the tale- heard the news? makers.

Mrs. Can. What, sir, do you mean the reJoseph S. Ah! Mrs. Candour, if every body port ofhad your forbearance and good-nature! Crabl. No, ma'am, that's not it-Miss Ni

Mrs. Can. I confess, Mr. Surface, I cannot cely is going to be married to her own footbear to bear people attacked behind their man. backs; and when ugly circumstances come Mrs. Can. Impossible! out against our acquaintance, I own I always Crabt. Ask Sir Benjamin. love to think the best.—By the by, I hope'tis Sir Benj. B. 'Tis very true, ma'am; every not true that your brother is absolutely ruined? thing is fixed, and the wedding liveries be

Joseph S. I am afraid his circumstances spoke. are very bad indeed, ma'am.

Crabt. Yes—and they do say there were Mrs. Can. Ab! I heard so- - but you must pressing reasons for it. tell him to keep up his spirits; every body | Lady Sneer. Why, I have heard something almost is in the same way-Lord Spindle, Sír of this before. Thomas Splint, Captain Quinze, and Mr.

Mrs. Can. It can't be and I wonder any Nickit-all

up, I hear, within this week; so one should believe such a story, of so pruif Charles is undone, he'll find half his ac- dent a lady as Miss Nicely. quaintance ruined too, and that, you know, Sir Benj. B. O Lud! ma'am, that's the very is a consolation.

reason 'twas believed at once. She has always Joseph S. Doubtless, ma'am-a very great been so cautious and so reserved, that every

body was sure there was some reason for it

at bottom. Enter Servant.

Mrs. Can. Why, to be sure, a tale of scanSero. Mr. Crabtree and Sir Benjamin Back- dal is as fatal 10 ihe credit of a prudent lady bite. [Exit Servant of ber stamp, as a fever is generally to those


of the strongest constitutions. But there is al Joseph S. This may be entertainment to you, sort of puny sickly reputation, that is always gentlemen, but you pay very little regard 16 ailing, yet will outline the robuster characters the feelings of a brother. of a hundred prudes.

Maria. Their malice is intolerable.- Lady Sir Benj. B. True, madam,--there are vale- Sneerwell, I must wish you a good morning: tudinarians in reputation as well as constitu- I'm not very well.

[Exit Maria. tion, who, being conscious of their weak Mrs. Can. O dear! she changes colour part, avoid the least breath of air, and supply very much. iheir want of slamina by care and circum- Lady Sneer. Do, Mrs. Candour, follow her: spection.

she may want assistance. Mrs. Can. Well, but this may be all a Mrs. Can. That I will, with all my soul, mistake. You know, Sir Benjamin, very trif-ma'am.-- Poor dear girl, who knows wbat ber ling circumstances often give rise to the most situation may be! (E.rit Mrs. Candour. injurious tales.

Lady Sneer. 'Twas nothing but that she Crabt. That they do, I'll be sworn, ma'am. could not bear to bear Charles reflected on, -Did you ever hear bow Miss Piper came notwithstanding their difference. to lose her lover and her character last sum- Sir Benj. B. The young lady's penchant is mer at Tunbridge?--Sir Benjamia, you re- obvious. member it?

Crabt. But, Benjamin, you must not give Sir Benj. B. Oh, to be sure! - the most up the pursuit for that:- follow her, and put whimsical circumstance.

her into good humour. Repeet her some of Lady Sneer. How was it, pray?

your own verses. Come, I'll assist you. Crabt. Why, one evening, at Mrs. Pon- Sir Benj. B. Mr. Surface, I did not mean to's assembly, the conservation happened to to hurt you; but depend on't your brother is turn on the breeding Nova Scotia sheep in utterly undone. this country. Says a young lady in company, Crabt. O Lud, lay! undone as ever man I have known instances of it--for Miss Leti-was.-Can't raise a guinea ! tia Piper, a first cousin of mine, had a Nova Sir Benj. B. And every thing sold, I'm told, Scolia sheep that produced her Iwins,-Wbat! that was moveable.cries the Lady Dowager Dundizzy (who you Crabt. I have seen one that was at bis know is as deaf as a post), bas Miss Piper house. Not a thing left but some empty bad twins?- This mistake, as you inay ima- boules that were overlooked, and the family gine, threw the whole company into a fit of pictures, which I believe are framed in the laughter. However, 'twas the next morning wainscols-every where reported, and in a few days be- Sir Benj. B. And I'm very sorry, also, to lieved by the whole town, that Miss Letitia hear some bad stories against him. [Going. Piper had actually been brought to bed o! Crabt. Oh! he has done many mean things, a fine boy and a girl; and in less than a thai's certain. week there were some people who could Sir Benj. B. But, however, as be's your naine the father, and the farmbouse where brother

[Going. the babies were put to nurse,

Crabt. We'll tell you all another opportuLady Sneer. Straoge, indeed!

nily. [E.cit Crabtree and Sir Benjamin. Crabt. Maller of Tact, I assure you.-0 Lady Sncer. Ha! ha! 'tis


hard for Lud! Mr. Sursace, pray is it true that your them to leave a subject they have not quite uncle, Sir Oliver, is coming home ?

run down. Joseph S. Not that I know of, indeed, sir. Joseph S. And I believe the abuse was no

Crabt. Hc bas been in the East Indies a more acceplable to your ladyship than Maria, long time. You can scarcely remember him, Lady Sneer. I doubt her assections are I believe?-Sad comfort whenever he returns, farther engaged than we imagine. But the to hear how your brother has gone

on! family are to be bere this evening, so you Joseph S. Charles has been imprudent, sir, inay as well dine where you are, and we to be sure; but I hope no busy people have shall have an opporlunity of observing farther; already prejudiced Sir Oliver against him. in the meantime, I'll go and plot mischief, He may reform.

and you shall study sentimeut. [Exeunt

. Sir Benj. B. To be sure he may: for my part, I never believed bim to be so utterly SCENE II.-SIR PETER'S House. void of principle as people say; and though be has lost all his friends, I am told nobody

Enter Sir Peter. is better spoken of by the Jews.

Sir Peter T. When an old bachelor marCrabt

. That's true, egad, nephew. If the ries a young wisc, what is he to expect? Tis Old Jewry was award, I believe Charles now six moalbs since Lady Teazle made me would be an alderman:-Do man more po- the happiest of men- and I have been the pular there, 'lore Gad! I hear he pays as inost miserable dog ever since! We listed a many annuities as the Irish tontine; and that lille going to church, and fairly quarrelled whenever he is sick, they have prayers for before the bells bad done ringing. I was more the recovery of bis health in all the synagogues. than once nearly choked with gall during the

Sir Benj. B. Yet no man lives in greater honeymoon, and had lost all comfort in life splendour. They tell me, when he entertains before my friends had done wishing me joy

. his friends he will sit down to dinner with a Yet I chose with caution-a girl bred wholly dozen of his own securities; have a score of in the country, who never knew luxury beradesmen waiting in the antechamber, and yond one silk gown, nor dissipation abore an officer behind every guest's chair. lihe annual gala of a race ball. Yet now she

plays her part in all the extravagant foppe- the most critical period of his fortune. I came ries of the fashion and the town, with as hither with news that will surprise you. ready a grace as if she had nerer seen a bush Sir Peter T. What! let me bear. or a grass-plot out of Grosvenor-square! I am Rowley. Sir Oliver is arrived, and at this sneered at by all my acquaintance, and pa- moment in town. ragraphed in the newspapers. She dissipates Sir Peter T. Now! you astonish me! I my fortune, and contradicts all my humours; thought you did not expect him this month. yet, the worst of it is, I doubt I love her, or Rowley. I did not; but his passage has 1 sbould never bear all this. However, I'll been remarkably quick. never be weak enough to own it.

Sir Peter T. Egad, I shall rejoice to see

my old friend. 'Tis fiftcen years since we Enter RowLEY.

met.-We have had many a day together :Rowley. Oh! Sir Peter, your servant: how but does he still enjoin us not io inform his is it with you, sir?

nephews of his arrival? Sir Peter T. Very bad, Master Rowley, Rowley. Most strictly. He means, before very bad. I meet with nothing but crosses it is known, to make some trial of their disand vexations.

position. Rowley. What can have happened to trou- Sir Peter T. Ah! there nceds no art to ble you since yesterday?

discover their merils-he shall have his

way: Sir Peter T. A good question to a married but, pray, does be know I am married? man!

Rowley. Yes, and will soon wish you joy. Rowley. Nay, I'm sure your lady, Sir Pc- Sir Peter T. What, as we drink health io ter, can't be tbe cause of your uneasiness. a friend in a consumption. Ab! Oliver will

Sir Peter T. Why, has any body told you laugh at me. We used to rail at matrimony she was dead?

togelber, and be has been steady to his text. Rowley. Come, come, Sir Peter, you love - Well, he must be soon ai my house, ber, notwithstanding your tempers don't ex- though!—I'll instantly give orders for his reactly agree.

ception.-But, Master Rowley, don't drop a Sir Peter T. But the fault is entirely hers, word that Lady Teazle and I ever disagree. Master Rowley. I am, myself, the sweetest Rowley. By no means. tempered man alive, and bate a teasing tem- Sir Peter 1'. For I should never be able to per; and so I tell her a hundred times a day. sland Noll's jokes; so I'd have him think, Rowley. Indeed!

Lord forgive me that we are a very happy Sir Peter T. Ay; and what is very extra-couple. ordinary, in all our dispules she is always in Rowley. I understand you:- but then you the wrong! But Lady Speerwell, and the set must be very careful not to disser wbile he is she meets at her house, encourage the per- in the house with

you. verseness of her disposition.—Then, to com- Sir Peter T. Egad, and so we must-and plete my vexation, Maria, my ward, whom that's impossible. Ah! master Rowley, when 1 ought to have the power over, is determi- an old bachelor marries a young wise, he dened io turn rebel too, and absolutely refuses serves-no-the crime carries its punishment the man whom I have long resolveil on for along with it.

[E.reunt. ber husband; meaning, I suppose, to bestow herself on his profligate brother.

A CT II. Rowley. You know, Sir Peter, I have al

Scene I. ways taken the liberty to differ with you on the subject of these two young gentlemen. I only

Enter SiR PETER and LADY TEAZLE. wish you may not be deceived in your opi- Sir Peter T. Lady Teazle, Lady Teazle, I'll nion of the elder. For Charles, my life on't! not bear it! he will retrieve his errors yet. Their worthy Lady T. Sir Peter, Sir Peter, you may bear father, once my honoured master, was, at his it or not, as you please; but I ought to have years, nearly as wild a spark; yet, when be my own way in every thing, and what's more, died, he did not leave a more benevolent heart I will, too. What! 'though I was educated to lament his loss.

in the country, I know very well that women Sir Peler T. You are wrong, Master Row- of fashion in London are accountable to noley. On their father's death, you know, I acl-body after they are married. ed as a kind of guardian to them both, till Sir Peter T. Very well, ma'am, very well; their uncle Sir Oliver's liberality gave them -so a husband is io have no influence, no an early independence: of course, no person authority? could have more opportunities of judging of Lady T. Authority! No, to be sure:- if you their hearts, and I was never mistaken in my wanted authority over me, you should have life. Joseph is indeed a model for the young adopted me, and not married me: I am sure men of the age. He is a man of sentiment, you were old enough. and acts up to the sentiments he prosesses ; Sir Peter T. Old enough! --ay-there it is. but for the other, take my word for't, if he Well, well, Lady Teazle, though my life may bad any grain

of virtue by descent, he has be made unhappy by your temper, I'll not be dissipated it with the rest of his inheritance. ruined by your extravagance. Ah! my old friend, Sir Oliver, will be deep- Lady 1. My extravagance! I'm sure I'ın y mortified when he finds how part of his not more extravagant than a woman of fashbounty has been misapplied.

ion ought to be. Rowley. I am sorry to find you só violent Sir Peter T. No, no, madam, you shall against the young man, because this may be throw away no more sums on such unmean

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