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to cross me.
SCENE I.--A room in MR STRICTLAND's house. come in, rascal? [Beats him.] All vexations meet Mr and Mrs STRICTLand discovered ; she weep
Test. Lard, sir! what do you strike me for ing, and he writing.
my mistress ordered me never to come in where Mrs Strict. Heigh ho!
she was, without first knocking at the door. Strict. What can possibly be the occasion of Strict. Oh, cunning devil! Tester is too bom that sigh, madam? you have yourself agreed to nest to be trusted. a maintenance, and a maintenance no dụichess Mrs Strict. Unhappy man! will nothing unneed be ashamed of.
[Aside. Mrs Strict. But the extremities of provocation, Test. Sir, here is a letter. that drove me to that agreement
wife? Strict. Were the effect of your own follies. Test. No, sir, to you.
The servant waits Why do you disturb me?
[Writes on. below. Mrs Strict. I would not willingly give you a
Strict, Art sure it is a servant? moment's uneasiness; I but desire a fair and Test. Sir! (Staring) it is Mr Buckle, sir. equal hearing; and if I satisfy you not in every Strict. I am mad: I know not what to say, or point, then abandon me, discard me to the world, do, or think. But let's read: (Reads to himself: and its malicious tongues.
· Sir, we cannot bear to reflect that Mrs StrictStrict. What was it you said ? Damn this pen n! | land may possibly be ruined in your esteem, and
Mrs Strict. I say, Mr Strictland, I would • in the voice of the world, only by the confusion only
· which our affairs have made in your fainily, Strict. You would only—You would only re-without offering all within our power to clear peat what you have been saying this hour; I am the misunderstanding between you. If you will innocent; and when I shewed you the letter I give yourself the trouble but to step to Mr Mey. had taken from your maid, what was then your yot's, where all parties will be, we doubt not poor evasion, but that it was to Clarinda, and * but we can entirely satisfy your most flagrant you were innocent?
suspicions, to the honour of Mrs Strictland, and Mrs Strict. Heaven knows, I am innocent! the quiet of your lives. Strict. But I know your Clarinda, your woman
"Jacintha. John BELLAMY.' of honour, is your blind, your cover, your Hey! Here is the whole gang witnessing for one But why do I distract myself about a woman I another. They think I am an ass, and will be have no longer any concern with ? Here, madam, led by the nose to believe every thing. Call me is your fate. A letter to your brother in the a chair. (Exit TESTER.] Yes, I will go to this country.
rendezvous of eneinies- I will and find out all Mrs Strict, Sir
her plots, her artifices and contrivances : it will Strict. I have told him what a sister he has to clear my conduct to her brother, and all her receive, and how to bid her welcome.
[E.rit Mr STRICTLAND. Mrs Strict. Then my ruin is complete. My Mrs Strict. Gone so abruptly! What can that brother!
letter be about? no matter; there is no way left Strict. I must vindicate my own honour, else to make us easy, but by my disgrace, and I inust what will the world say?
learn to suffer; time and innocence will teach Mrs Strict. That brother was my only hope, me to bear it patiently. my only ground of patience. In his retirement, I hoped my name might have been safe, and slept,
Enter LUCETTA till, by some bappy means, you might at length have known me innocent, and pitied me.
Luc, Mrs Bellamy, madam, (for my young Strict. Retirement ! pretty soul! no, no; that lady is married) begs you would follow Nir Suictface was never made for retirement; it is another land to Mr Meggot's; she makes no doubt but sort of retiring you are fittest for. Ha! bark! | she shall be able to make you 'and my inaster What's that? [4 knocking at the door.] Two easy. gentle taps- and why but two! was that the sig ÀIrs Strict. But how came she to know any nal, inadam? Stir not, on your life!
thing of the matter? Mrs. Strict. Give me resolution, Ilearen, to Luc. I have been with them, madam; I could bear this usage, and keep it secret from the world! not bear to see so good a lady ill-treated.
[Aside. N1rs Strict. I am indeed, Lucetta, ill-treated : Strict. I will have no signs, no items, no hem but I hope this day will be the last of it. to tell him I am here. Ha ! another tap. The Luc. Madam Clarinda and Mir Frankly will gentleman is in haste, I find. (Opens the dour, be there : and the young gentleman, madam, who and enter Tesier.) Tester! Why did you not was with you in this room last night.
Mrs Strict. Ha ! if he is there, there may be a breath. I know not what to say; I am quite hopes; and it is worth the trying.
ashamed of my last night's behaviour. Luc. Dear lady, let me call a chair.
| Jac. Come, come, Clarinda, it is all well; all Mrs Strict. I go with you. I cannot be more is over, and forgot. Mr Bellamy - (Sulute. wretched than I am.
[Ereunt. Cla. I wish you joy, sir, with all my heart,
and should have been very sorry if any folly of SCENE II.-A room in Jack MEGGOT's house.
mine had prevented it.
Beh Madam, I am obliged to you. Eater FRANKLY, Ranger, BELLAMY, JACINTIA,
Cla. I see nothing of Mr Frankly! my mind and Jack MEGGOT. misgives me.
Ran. And so, you came hither purely out of Frank. Oh, Ranger, this is news indeed! your friendship, good-nature, and humility ? cousin, and a lady of such fortune!
Cla. Purely. Ran. I have done the basiness for you: I tell Ran. To confess your offences, to beg pardon, you she's your own. She loves you.
and to make reparation ? Frank. You make my heart dance with joy! Clu. Purely. Is this any thing so extraordiWords are too faint to tell the joy I feel !
Ran. I have put that heart of hers into such J. Meg. The most so of any thing in life, I. a flutter, that I'll lay a hundred goineas, with the think. a assistance which this lady has promised me, I fix Ran. A very whimsical business for so fine a her yours directly.
lady! and an errand you seldom went on before, Jac. Ay, ay, Mr Frankly, we have a design I fancy, my dear cousin ? opon her which cannot fail. But you must obey Jac. Never, I dare swear, if I may judge by orders.
the awkward concern she shews in delivering it. Frank. Most willingly: but remember, dear Cla. Concern! Lard ! well, I protest, you are lady. I have more than life at stake.
all exceeding pretty company! Being settled for Jac. Away, then, into the next room ; for she life, Jacintha, gives an ease to the mind that is this instant coming hither.
brightens conversation strangely. Frank. Hither! you surprise me more and Jac. I am sorry, with all my heart, you are
not in the same condition; for, as you are, my Jac. Here is a message from her, by which she dear, you are horridly chagriné. desires leave to wait on me this afternoon.
Run. But with a little of our help, madam, Ran. Only for the chance of seeing you here, the lady may recover, and be very good com
pany. Frank. Let me hug thee; though I know not Čla. Hum! What does he mean, Mr Belboy to believe it.
lamy? Ran. Psha! prithee don't stifle me! It is a Bel. Ask him, madam. basy day, a very busy day.
Cla. Indeed, I shall not give myself the trouj. Veg. Thou art the most unaccountable ble. creature ju life.
Jac. Then, you know what he means? Ran. But the most lucky one, Jack, if I suc Cla. Something impertinent, I suppose, not ceed for Prankly as I have for Bellamy; and my worth explaining. heart whispers me I shall. Come in, most noble Jac. It is something you won't let him explaint, Mr Buckle! and what have you to propose ? I find. Enter BUCKLE.
Enter Buckle, and whispers MEGGOT. Buc. A lady, madam, in a chair, says her J. Meg. Very well. Desire him to walk into Dame is Clarinda.
the parlour. Madam, the gentleman is below. Jac. Desire her to walk up.
Jac. Theo every one to your posts. You know Bel. How could you let her wait ? [Erit your cues ? Beckle.) You must excuse him, madam; Buckle Ran. I warrant ye. [Exeunt Gentlemen. is a true bachelor's servant, and knows no man Cla. All gone! İ am glad of it, for I want to
speak to you. Jae. Away, away, Mr Frankly, and stay till I Jac. And I, my dear Clarinda, have something call you. A rap with my fan shall be the signal. which I do not know how to tell you: but it [Erit FRANKLY.) We make very free with your must be known sooner or tatter. house, Mr Meogot.
Cla. What's the matter?
Cla. You fright me out of my senses !
Jac. Has no wounds but what you can cure,
I assure ye.
Jac. Psha ! You are pleased ; and will be more
Frank. Not in my opinion, I assure you, maSo, when I tell you, this man, whom fortune has dam; and I am now going to put it to the trial. thrown in your way, is, in rank and temper, the Cla. What is he going to say, now? [Aside. man in the world who suits you best for a hus Frank. What is it that ails me, that I cannot band.
speak ? Psha ! he here!
Aside. Cla. Husband ! I say, husband, indeed! Where will this end?
Enter Raxger. Jac. His very soul is yours; and he only waits Interrupted ! impertinent ! an opportunity of telling you so. He is in the Ran. There is no sight so ridiculous as a pair next rooin. Shall I call him in?
of your true lovers. Here are you two now, bowing ! Cla. My dear girl, hold !
and cringing, and keeping a passion secret from Jac. How foolish is this coyness now, Clarinda! one another, that is no secret to all the house beIf the men were here, indeed, something might side. And, if you don't make up the matter imbe said And so, Mr Frankly
mediately, it will be all over the town within Cla. How can you be so teasing?
these two hours. Jac. Nay, I ain in downright earnest : and, to Cla. What do you mean? shew how particular I have been in my inquiries,
Frank. Rangerthough I know you have a spirit above regarding Ran. Do you be quiet, can't ye? (Aside.] But the modish, paltry way of a Smithfield bargain it is over, I suppose, cousin, and you have given to his fortune
him your consent. Cla. I don't care what his fortune is.
cia. Sir, the liberties you are pleased to take Jac. Don't you so ? Then you are farther gone with me than I thought you were.
Ran. Oh! in your airs still, are you? Why, Cla. No, psha! prithee, I don't mean so, nei- then, Mr Frankly, there is a certain letter of ther.
yours, sir, to this ladyJac. I don't care what you mean: but you
Cla. A letter to me! won't like him the worse, Í hope, for having a Ran. Ay! to you, madam. fortune superior to your own? Now, shall I call Frank. Ha! wbat of that letter? him in?
Ran. It is only fallen into Mr Strictland's Cla. Pho, dear girl—Some other time. hands, that is all; and he has read it.
Jac. [Raps with her fan.] That's the signal, Frank. Read it! and here he is. You shall not stir : I positively Ran. Ay, read it to all his family at home, will leave you together. [Erit Jacintha. and to all the company below : and it some stop Cla. I tremble all over!
be not put to it, it will be read in all the coffee
houses in town. Enter FrankLY.
Frank. A stop! this sword shall put a stop to
it, or I will perish in the attempt. Frank. Pardon this freedom, madam : but I Ran. But will that sword put a stop, to the hope our having so luckily met with a common talk of the town?
-Only make it talk the fastfriend in Mrs Bellamy“
er, take my word for it. Cla. Sir!
Cla. This is all a trick. Frank. Makes any farther apology for my
be Ran. A trick! Is it so? you shall soon see haviour last night absolutely unnecessary.
that, my fine cousin. Cla. So far, Mr Frankly, that I think the apo Frank. It is but too true, I fear. There is logy should be rather on my side, for the imper- such a letter, which I gave Lucetta. Can you tinent bustle I made about her.
forgive me? Was I much to blame, when I Frank. This behaviour gives me hopes, ma could neither see nor hear of you? dam : pardon the construction—but, from the Cla. [Tenderly.) You give yourself, Mr Frankbustle you made about the lady, may I not hope ly, a thousand times more uneasiness than you you was not quite indifferent about the gentle need about me. man?
Frank. If this uneasiness but convinces you Cla. Have a care of being too sanguine in your how much I love you -Interrupted again! hopes: might not a love of power, or the satis Cla. This is downright malice. faction of shewing that power,or the dear pleasure of abusing that power; might not these have been
Enter Ranger, followed by JACINTIA, MR foundation enough for more than what I did?
STRICTLAND, BELLAMY, and MEGGOT. Frank. Charining woman! with most of your sex, I grant, they might; but not with you. What Ran. Enter, enter, gentlemen and lady. Now ever power your beauty gives, your good-nature you shall see whether this is a trick or no. will allow you no other use of it than to oblige. Cla. Mr Strictland here! What is all this?
Cla. This is the height of compliment, Mr Jac. Do not be uneasy, my dear; we will cs Frankly.
plain it to you.
Frank. I cannot bear this trifling, Ranger, Strict. Go on; I will defend you, let who will when heart is on the rack.
resent it, Ran. Come this way, then, and learn.
Ran. Why, then, sir, I declare myself your [JACINTHA, CLARINDA, FRANKLY, and Rano friend : and, were I as you, nothing but their imGER, retire.)
mediate marriage should convince me. [Mr STRICTLAND, BELLAMY, and Meggot, ad Strict. Sir, you're right, and are my friend invance.]
deed. Give me your hand. Strict, Why, I know not well what to say. Ran. Nay, were I to hear her say, I, Clarinda, This bas a face. This letter may as well agree take thee, Charles, I would not believe them, till with Clarinda, as with my wite, as you have told I saw them a-bed together. Now, resent it as the story; and Lucetta explained it so: but she, you will. for a sixpenny piece, would have construed it the Strict. Ay, sir, as you will: but nothing less
shall convince me: and so, my fine lady, if you J. Meg. But, sir, if we produce this Mr Frank- are in earnestly to you, and he owns himself the author of this Cla. Sure, Mr Strictlandletters
Strict. Nay, no flouncing; you cannot escape. Bel. And if Clarinda likewise be brought be Ran. Why, Frankly, hast no soul ? fore your face to encourage his addresses, there Frank. I pity her confusion. can be no farther room for doubt?
Ran. Pity her confusion! the man's a fool Strict. No. Let that appear, and I shall, I think Here, take her hand. I shall, be satished—But yet it cannot be
Frank. Thus, on my knees, then let me ravish, Bel. Why not? Flear me, sir. [They talk.
your hand, your heart. (Jacintha, Clarinda, Frankly, and Ran Cla. Ravish it you cannot; for it is with all GER, advance.
my heart I give it you. Jac. In short, Clarinda, unless the affair is Strict. I am satisfied. made up directly, a separation, with all the Cla. And so am I, now it is once over. obloquy on her side, must be the consequence. Ran. And so am I, my dainty cousin; and I
Cla. Poor Mrs Strictland! I pity her : but, for wish you joy of a man your whole sex would go him, he deserves all he feels, were it ten times to cuffs for, if they knew him but half so well as I what it is.
domla! she's here; this is more than I bargainJac. It is for her sake only, that we beg of you
[Aside. both to bear his impertinence. Cla. With all my heart. You will do what
JACINTHA leads in Mrs STRICTLAND. you please with me.
Strict. (Embracing MRS STRICTLAND.)-MaFrank. Generous creature !
dam, reproach me not with iny folly, and you Strict. Ha ! here she is, and, with her, the very shall never hear of it again. man I saw deliver the letter to Lucetta. I do Mrs Strict. Reproach you ! No! If ever you begin to fear I have made myself a fool. Now hear the least reflection pass my lips, forsake me for the proof. Here is a letter, sir, which has in that instant: or, what would yet be worse, given me great disturbance, and these gentlemen suspect again. assure me, it was writ by you.
Strict. It is enough. I am ashamed to talk to Frank. That letter, sir, upon my honour, I thee. This letter, which I wrote to your brother, left this morning with Lucetta, for this lady. thus I tear in pieces, and, with it, part for ever
Strict. For that lady! and Frankly, the name with my jealousy. at the bottom, is not feigned, but your real name? Mrs Strict. This is a joy, indeed! As great as Frank. Frankly is my name,
unexpected. Yet there is one thing wanting, to Strict. I sce, I feel myself ridiculous,
make it lasting Jac. Now, Mr Strictland, I hope
Ran. What the devil is coming now? (Aside. J. Meg. Ay, ay; a clear case.
Mrs Strict. Be assured, every other suspicion Strict. I am satisfied, and will go this instant of me was as unjust as your last : though, perto Mrs Strictland.
haps, you had more foundation for your fears. Ran. Why, then, the devil fetch me if this Ran. She wont tell, sure, for her own sake. would satisfy me!
[iside. Strict. What's that?
Mrs Strict. All must be cleared, before my Ran. Nay, nothing; it is no affair of mine. heart will be at ease. Bel. What do you mcan, Ranger?
Ran. It looks plaguy like it, though! (Aside. Strict. Ay, what do you mean? I will know Strict. What mean you? I am all attention. before I stir.
Mrs Strict. There was a man, as you suspectRan. With all my heart, sir. Cannot you see ed, in my chainber last night. that all this may be concerted matter between Strict. Ha ! take care; I shall relapse. them?
Mrs Strict. That gentleman was he Frank. Ranger, you know I can resent. Ran. Here is a devil for you! [Aside
Mrs Strict. Let him explain the rest.
Strict. No joking, I beseech you; you know
Ran. Nay, don't let us quarrel the very mo- enough, call it what you will, to be very rude to
Strict. I must, I cannot but believe you; and Strict. Be quick, then, and ease me of my for the future, madam,' you shall find a heart
ready to love, and trust you. No tears, I beg; I Ran. Why, then, as I was strolling about last cannot bear them. night upon the look-out, I must confess, chance, Mrs Strict. I cannot speak; and yet there is a and chance only, conveyed me to your house ; favour, sirwhere I espied a ladder of ropes most invitingly Strict. I understand you; and, as proof of fastened to the window
the sincerity with which I speak, I beg it as a fa, Juc. Which ladder I had fastened for my vour, of this lady in particular,—[TO ČLARINDA] escape.
-and of all the company in general, to return to Strict. Proceed.
my house immediately, where every thing, Mr Run. Up mounted I, and up I should have Bellamy, shall be settled to your entire satisfacgone, if it had been into the garret; it's all one to tion. No thanks; I have not deserved them. Ranger. I opened one door, then another, and, J. Meg. I beg your pardon, sir; the fiddles are to my great surprise, the whole house was silent; ready; Mrs Bellamy has promised me her hand, at last, I stole into a room where this lady was and I won't part with one of you till midnight; undressing,
and, if you are as well satisfied as you pretend to Strict. 'Sdeath and the devil! You did not be, let our friend Rattle, here, begin the ball with dare, sure
Mrs Strictland; for he seems to be the hero of Ran. I don't know whether I had dared, or no, if I had not heard the maid say something of Strict. As you and the company please. her master's being jealous, Oh, damn me, Ran. Why, this is honest; continue but in this thought I, then the work is half done to my humour, and faith, sir, you may trust me to run hands!
your house like a spaniel. I cannot suffiJuc. Do you mind that, Mr Strictland ? ciently admire at the whimsicalness of my good Strict. I do-1 do, most feelingly.
furtune, in being so instrumental to this general Ran. The maid grew saucy, and, most conve- happiness. Bellamy, Fraukly, I wish you joy, niently to my wishes, was turned out of the vith all my heart-though I had rather you should room; and, if you had not the best wife in the be married than I, for all that Never did maworld
crimony appear to me with a smile upon her face, Strict. 'Ounds, sir! But what right have till this instant. you
Ran. What right, sir? If you will be jealous Sure joys for ever wait each happy pair, of your wife without a cause; if you will be out When sense the man, and virtue crowns the at that time of night, when you might have been fair, so much better employed at home; we, young And kind compliance proves their mutual care. fellows, think we have a right
[A dance. Exeunt omnes.