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plication to you! consider that this day must de- Fan. Hear me, sir; hear my final determinatermine my fate; and these are, perhaps, the on- tion. Were my father and sister as insensible as ly moments left me to incline you to warrant my you are pleased to represent them; were my passion, and to entreat you not to oppose the pro- heart for ever to remain disengaged to any other, posals I mean to open to your father.
I could not listen to your proposals. What! Fan. For shame, for shame, sir John! Think You, on the very eve of a marriage with my sisof your previous engagements! Think of your ter; I living under the same roof with her, bound, own situation, and think of mine! What have not only by the laws of friendship and hospitaliyou discovered in iny conduct, that might en- ty, but even the ties of blood, to contribute to courage you to so bold a declaration? I am shock- her happiness, and not to conspire against her ed that you should venture to say so much, and peace, the peace of a whole family, and that blush that I should even dare to give it a hear- of my own too !--Away, away, sir John !--At ing. -Let me be gone!
such a time, and in such circumstances, your adSir John. Nay; stay, madam, but one mo- dresses only inspire me with horror. Nay, you
Your sensibility is too great..--En- must detain me no longer-I will go. gagements! what engagements have been pre- Sir John. Do not leave me in absolute destended on either side more than those of family pair! Give me a glimpse of hope ! convenience? I went on in the trammels of ma
[Falling on his knees. trimonial negociation with a blind submission to Fan. I cannot. Pray, sir John! your father and lord Ogleby; but my heart soon
(Struggling to go. claimed a right to be consulted. It has devoted Sir John. Shall this hand be given to another? itself to you, and obliges me to plead earnestly -[Kissing her hand.].-No; I cannot endure it. for the same tender interest in yours.
My whole soul is yours, and the whole happiness Fan. Have a care, sir John ! do not mistake a of my life is in your power. depraved will for a virtuous inclination. By these
Enter Miss STERLING. common pretences of the heart, half our sex are made fools, and a greater part of yours despise Fan. Ha! my sister is here. Rise, for shame, them for it.
sir John ! Sir John. Affection, you will allow, is involun- Sir John. Miss Sterling !
[Rising. tary. We cannot always direct it to the object Miss Ster. I beg pardon, sir; you'll excuse me, on which it should fix—But when it is once in- madam! I have broke in upon you a little unopviolably attached_inviolably as mine is to you, portunely, I believe—but I did not mean to init often creates reciprocal affection.—When I terrupt you---I only came, sir, to let you know last urged you on this subject, you heard me with that breakfast waits, if you have finished your more temper, and, I hoped, with some compas- morning's devotions. sion.
Sir John. I am very sensible, Miss Sterling, Fan. You deceived yourself. If I forbore to that this may appear particular, butexert a proper spirit; nay, if I did not even ex- Miss Ster. O dear, sir John, don't put yourpress the quickest resentment of your behaviour, self to the trouble of an apology—the thing exit was only in consideration of that respect I wish plains itself. to pay you, in honour to my sister: and, be as- Sir John. It will soon, madam. In the mean sured, sir, woman as I am, that my vanity could time, I can only assure you of my profound rereap no pleasure from a triumph, that must result spect and esteem for you, and make no doubt of from the blackest treachery to her. [Going. convincing Mr Sterling of the honour and inte
Sir John. One word, and I have done. [Stop-grity of my intentions. And---and--your humping her.] Your impatience and anxiety, and the ble servant, madam! urgency of the occasion, oblige me to be brief
[Erit Sir Jorn in confusion. and explicit with you. I appeal, therefore, Miss Ster. Respect ! Insolence! Esteem ! from your delicacy to your justice. Your sis- Very fine, truly !--And you, inadam! my sweet, ter, I verily believe, neither entertains any real delicate, innocent, sentimental sister! Will you affection for me, or tenderness for you. Your fa- convince my papa, too, of the integrity of your ther, I am inclined to think, is not much concern- | intentions? ed by means of which of his daughters the farni- Fan. Do not upbraid me, my dear sister ! Inlies are united. Now, as they cannot, shall not, deed, I don't deserve it. Believe me, you canbe connected, otherwise than by my union with not be more offended at his behaviour than I am, you, why will you, from a false delicacy, oppose and I am sure it cannot make you half so misera measure so conducive to my happiness, and, I able. hope, your own? I love you, most passionately Miss Ster. Make me miserable! You are and sincerely love you—and hope to propose mightily deceived, madam; it gives me no sort terms agreeable to Mr Sterling : -If, then, you of uneasiness, I assure you. A base feil :w! As don't absolutely loath, abhor, and scorn me- -if for you, miss! the pretended sofiness of your there is no other happier man
disposition, your artful good-nature, nerer wwposed upon me. I always knew you to be sly, my papa and my aunt, for they shall both know and envious, and deceitful.
of this matter, I promise you. (Exit Miss Ster. Fan. Indeed, you wrong me.
Fan. How'unhappy I am! My distresses mulMiss Ster. Oh, you are all goodness, to be tiply upon me. Mr Lovewell must now become sure ! Did not I find him on his knees before acquainted with sir John's behaviour to me, and you? Did not I see him kiss your sweet hand? | in a manner that may add to his uneasiness. My Did not I hear his protestations ? Was not I a father, instead of being disposed, by fortunate cirwitness of your dissembled modesty ? No, no, my cumstances, to forgive any transgression, will be dear! don't imagine that you can make a fool of previously incensed against me. My sister and your elder sister so easily.
my aunt will become irreconcileably my enemies, Fan. Sir John, I own, is to blame; but I am and rejoice in my disgrace. Yet, in all events, I above the thoughts of doing you the least injury. am determined on a discovery. I dread it, and
Miss Ster. We shall try that, madam. I hope, am resolved to hasten it. It is surrounded with miss, you'll be able to give a better account to more horrors every instant, as it appears every
instant more necessary.
SCENE I.-A hall.
an estate to A, and his heirs for ever, they'll
make a query whether he takes in fee or in tail ! Enter a Sertant, leading in SERJEANT I'Lower, and CounsellORS Traverse und TRUEMAN, the Home Circuit these assizes?
Flow. Do you expect to have much to do on all booted.
Tra. Not much nisi prius business, but a good Ser. This way, if you please, gentlemen; my deal on the crown side, I believe. The gaols are master is at breakfast with the family at present, brim-full, and some of the felons in good circumbut I'll let him know, and he will wait on you stances, and likely to be tolerable clients. Let me immediately.
see! I am engaged for three highway robbeFlow. Mighty well, young man : mighty well. ries, two murders, one forgery, and half a dozen
Ser. Please to favour me with your names, larcenies, at Kingston. gentlemen.
Flow. A pretty decent gaol-delivery!- Do you Flow. Let Mr Sterling know, that Mr Serjeant expect to bring off Darkin, for the robbery on Flower, and tivo other gentlemen of the bar, Putney-Common? Can you nake out your alibi? are come to wait on him, according to his ap- Tra. Oh! no! the crown-witnesses are sure pointment.
to prove our identity. We shall certainly be Ser. I will, sir.
[Going. hanged: but that don't signify. But, Mr SerFlow. And hark'e, young man—[Servant re- jeant, have you much to do? Any remarkable turns.)-desire my servant-Mr Serjeant Flow- cause on the midland this circuit? er's servant, to bring in my green and gold saddle- Flow. Nothing very remarkable-except two cloth and pistols, and lay them down here in the rapes, and Rider and Western at Nottingham, hall with my portinanteau.
for crim. con.-—but, on the whole, I believe a Ser. I will, sir.
[Erit Ser. good deal of business. Our associate tells me, Flow. Well, gentlemen! the settling these there are above thirty venires for Warwick. marriage articles falls conveniently enough, al- Tra. Pray, Mr Serjeant, are you concerned in most just on the eve of the circuits. Let me see Jones and l'homas at Lincoln ?' --the Home, the Midland, and Western; ay, we Flow. I am------for the plaintiff. can all cross the country well enough to our se- Tra. And what do you think on't ? veral destinations. Traverse, when do you begin Flow. A nonsuit. at Hertford ?
Tra. I thought so. Tra. The day after to-morrow.
Flow. Oh, no manner of doubt on't-luce Flow. That is commission-day with us at War- clarius--we have no right in us----We have but wick, too. But my clerk has retainers for every one chance. cause in the paper, so it will be time enough if I Tra. What's that? am there the next morning. Besides, I have Flow. Why, my Lord Chief does not go the cirabout half a dozen cases that have lain by me cuit this time, and niy brother Puzzle being in ever since the spring assizes, and I must tack the commission, the cause will come on before opinions to them before I see my country clients him. again; so I will take the evening before me, and True. Ay, that may do indeed, if you can but then currente calamo, as I say-eh, Traverse ? throw dust in the eyes of the defendant's counsel,
Tra. True, Mr Serjeant; and the easiest thing Flow. True. Mr Trueman, I think you are in the world, too; for those country attornies are concerned for Lord Oyleby in this affair? such ignorant dogs, that in case of the devise of
[TO TRUE True. I am, sir---I have the honour to be rela- , death of Mr Sterling, a further sum of seventy ted to his lordship, and hold some courts for him thousandin Somersetshire-go the Western circuit--and attend the sessions at Exeter, merely because his
Enter Sir Joun MELVILL. lordship’s interests and property lie in that part of the kingdom.
Ster. Ah, sir John! Here we are-hard at itFlow. Ha !---and pray, Mr Trueman, how long paving the road to matrimony, First the lawyers, have you been called to the bar?
then comes the doctor—Let us but dispatch the True. About nine years and three quarters. long robe, we shall soon get pudding-sleeves to
Flow. Ha !---I don't know that I ever had the work, I warrant you. pleasure of seeing you before. I wish you suc- Sir John. I ain sorry to interrupt you, sircess, young gentleman !
but I hope that both you and these gentlemen
will excuse me- -Having something very partiEnter STERLING.
cular for your private ear, I took the liberty of Ster. Oh, Mr Serjeant Flower, I am glad to following you, and beg you will oblige me with see you---Your servant, Mr Serjeant! gentlemen, an audience immediately. your servant !---Well, are all matters concluded ? Ster. Ay, with all my heart !-Gentlemen, Mr Has that snail-paced conveyancer, old Ferret, of Serjeant, you'll excuse it-Business must be done, Gray’s-Inn, settled the articles at last? Do you you know. The writings will keep cold till to approve of what he has done? Will his tackle morrow morning. hold, tight and strong? Eh, master Serjeant? Flow. I must be at Warwick, Mr Sterling, the
Flow. My friend Ferret's slow and sure, sir--- day after. But then, serius aut citius, as we say, soolier or Ster. Nay, nay, I shan't part with you to-night, later, Mr Sterling, he is sure to put his business / gentlemen, I promise you. My house is very out of hand as he should do. My clerk has full, but I have beds for you all, beds for your brought the writings, and all other instruments, servants, and stabling for all your horses. Will along with him, and the settlement is, I believe, you take a turn in the garden, and view some of as good a settlement as any settlement on the my improvements, before dinner? Or will you face of the earth!
amuse yourselves on the green, with a game of Ster. But that damned mortgage of 60,0001.--- bowls, and a cool cankard ? My servants shall alThere don't appear to be any other incumbran- tend you. Do you chuse any other refreshment! ces, I hope?
Call for what you please; do as you please ; Tra. I can answer for that, sis--and that will make yourselves quite at home, I beg of you.— be cleared off immediately on the payment of the Here, Thomas! Harry! William! wait on these first part of Miss Sterling's proportion.------You gentlemen! (Follou's the lawyers out, barling agree, on your part, to come down with 80,0001.? and talking, and then returns to Sir John.F
Ster. Down on the nail. Ay, ay, my money is And now, sir, I am entirely at your service. ready to-morrow if he pleases--he shall have it What are your coinmands with me, sir John in India-bonds, or notes, or how he chooses.- Sir John. After having carried the negociaYour lords, and your dukes, and your people at tion between our families to so great a length; the court end of the town, stick at payments after having assented so readily to all your prosometimes—debts unpaid, no credit lost with posals, as well as received so many instances of thein-but no fear of us substantial fellows. your cheerful compliance with the deinands made Eh, Mr Serjeant?
on our part, I am extremely concerned, Mr SterFlow. Sir John having last term, according to ling, to be the involuntary cause of any uneasiagreement, levied a fine, and suffered a recovery, has hitherto cut off the entail of the Ogleby Ster. Uneasiness! what uneasiness? Where estate, for the better effecting the purposes of the business is transacted as it ought to be, and the present intended marriage; on which above-men- parties understand one another, there can be do tioned Ogleby estate, a jointure of 2000l. per uneasiness. You agree, on such and such conannum is secured to your eldest daughter, now ditions, to receive my daughter for a wife; on Elizabeth Sterling, spinster; and the whole estate, the same conditions, I agree to receive you as a after the death of the aforesaid earl, descends to son-in-law; and as to all the rest, it follows of the heirs-male of sir John Melvil, on the body course, you know, as regularly as the payment of of the aforesaid Elizabeth Sterling, lawfully to
a bill after acceptance. be begotten.
Sir John. Pardon me, sir, more uneasiness has Tra. Very true and sir John is to be put arisen than you are aware of. I am myself, at in immediate possession of as much of his lord- this instant, in a state of inexpressible embarrassship's Somersetshire estate, as lies in the manors inent; Miss Sterling, I know, is extremely disof Hogmore and Cranford, amounting to between concerted, too; and, unless you will oblige me two and three thousand per annum; and at the with the assistance of your friendship, I foresee
the speedy progress of discontent and animosity agree to pay down the gross sum of eighty thouthrough the whole family.
sand pounds. Sier. What the deuce is all this? I don't un- Ster. Well ! derstand a single syllable.
Sir John. Now if you will but consent to my Sir John. In one word then it will be abso- waving that marriage lutely impossible for me to fulfil my engagements Ster. I agree to your waving that marriage ! in regard to Miss Sterling.
Impossible, sir John! Ster. How, sir John! Do you mean to put an Sir John. I hope not, sir; as, on my part, I will affront upon my family? What? refuse to- agree to wave my right to thirty thousand pounds
Sir John. Be assured, sir, that I neither mean of the fortune I was to receive with her. to affront, nor forsake your family. My only Ster. Thirty thousand, d’ye say? fear is, that you should desert me; for the whole Sir John. Yes, sir; and accept of Miss Fanny happiness of my life depends on my being con- with fifty thousand, instead of fourscore. nected with your family, by the nearest and ten- Ster. Fifty thousand
[Pausing derest ties in the world.
Sir John. Instead of fourscore. Ster. Why, did not you tell me, but a moment Ster. Why-why---there may be something in ago, that it was absolutely impossible for you to that.--Let me see--- Fanny with fifty thousand, marry my daughter?
instead of Betsy with fourscore. --But how can Sir John. True. But you have another daugh- this be, sir John? For you know I am to pay
this ter, sir
money into the hands of my lord Oyleby, who, I Ster. Well!
believe, between you and me, sir John, is not Sir John. Who has obtained the most absolute overstocked with ready money at present; and dominion over my heart. I have already decla- threescore thousand of it, you know, is to go to red my passion to her; nay, Miss Sterling herself | pay off the present incumbrances on the estate, is also apprised of it; and if you will but give a sir John. sanction to my present addresses, the uncommon Sir John. That objection is easily obviated.--merit of Miss Sterling will, ro doubt, recommend | Ten of the twenty thousand, which would remain her to a person of equal, if not superior, rank to as a surplus of the fourscore, after paying off the myself, and our families may still be allied by mortgage, was intended by his lordship for my my union with Miss Fanny.
use, that we might set off with some little eclat Ster. Mighty fine, truly! Why, what the plague on our marriage, and the other ten for his own. do you make of us, sir John? Do you come to l --Ten thousand pounds, therefore, I shall be market for my daughters, like servants at a sta- able to pay you immediately; and for the retute-fair? Do you think that I will suffer you, or maining twenty thousand, you shall have a mortany man in the worid, to come into my house, gage on that part of the estate which is to be like the grand signior, and throw the handker- made over to me, with whatever security you chief first to one, and then to t’other, just as he shall require for the regular payment of the inpleases? Do you think I drive a kind of African terest, till the principal is duly discharged. slare-trade with them? and
Ster. Why--to do you justice, sir John, there Sir John. A moment's patience, sir! Nothing is something fair and open in your proposal; and but the excess of my passion for Miss Fanny since I find you do not mean to put an affront should have induced me to take any step that upon the familyhad the least appearance of disrespect to any Sir John. Nothing was ever farther from my part of your family; and, even now, I am desirous thoughts, Mr Sterling.---And, after all, the whole to atone for my transgression, by making the atfair is nothing extraordinary---such things hapmost adequate compensation that lies in my pen every day; and, as the world has only heard power.
generally of a treaty between the fainilies, when Ster. Compensation! what compensation can this marriage takes place, nobody will be the you possibly make in such a case as this, sir wiser, if we have but discretion enough to keep Jobn?
our own counsel. Sir John. Come, come, Mr Sterling; I know Ster. True, true; and, since you only transfer you to be a man of sense, a man of business, a froin one girl to the other, it is no more than man of the world. I'll deal frankly with you ; transferring so much stock, you know. and you shall see, that I don't desire a change of Sir John. The very thing! Ideasures for my own gratification, without endea- Ster. Odso! I had forgot.--We are reckoning vouring to make it advantageous to you.
without our host here--there is another difficulSter. What advantage can your inconstancy tybe to me, sir John ?
Sir John. You alarm me! What can that be? Sir John. I'll tell you, sir. You know, that, by Ster. I can't stir a step in this business without the articles at present subsisting between us, on consulting my sister fleidelberg.---The family has the day of my marriage with Miss Sterling, you very great expectations from her, and we must.
not give her any offence.
Sir John. But if you come into this measure, With all her arts she never could insinuate herself surely she will be so kind as to consent
into my good graces; and yet she has a way with Ster. I don't know that—Betsy is her darling, her, that deceives man, woman, and child, exand I can't tell how far she may resent any slight cept you and me, niece. that scems to be offered to her favourite niece. Miss Ster. O ay; she wants nothing but a However, I'll do the best I can for you. You crook in her hand, and a lamb under her arm, shall go and break the matter to her first; and by to be a perfect picture of innocence and simplithat time I may suppose that your rhetoric has city. prevailed on her to listen to reason, I will step in Mrs Heid. Just as I was drawn at Amsterto reinforce your arguments.
dam, when I went over to visit my husband's reSir John. I'll fly to her immediately; you pro- lations. mise me your assistance ?
Miss Ster. And then, she's so mighty good to Ster. I do.
servants---' pray, John, do this--pray, Tom, do Sir John. Ten thousand thanks for it! and now, that-- thank you, Jenny;' and then, so humble success attend me!
[Going to her relations to be sure, papa!--as my aunt Ster. Hark'e, sir John! [Sir John returns.] l' pleases---my sister knows best.'--But, with all Not a word of the thirty thousand to my sister, her demureness and humility, she has no objecsir John?
tion to be lady Melvil, it seems, nor to any wickSir John. Oh, I am dumb, I am dumb, sir. edness that can make her so.
Mrs Heid. She lady Melvil! Compose yourSter. You'll remember it is thirty thousand? self, niece! I'll ladyship her, indeed: a little Sir John. To be sure I do.
She shan't be the better for a Ster. But, sir John! one thing more. [Sir farden of my money. But tell me, child, how John returns. My lord must know nothing of does this intriguing with sir John correspond with this stroke of friendship between us.
her partiality to Lovewell? I don't see a concaSir John. Not for the world. Let me alone! tunation here. let me alone!
[Offering to go.
Miss Ster. There I was deceived, madam. I Ster. (Holding him.) And when every thing is took all their whisperings and stealing into coragreed, we must give each other a bond, to be ners to be the mere attraction of vulgar minds; held fast to the bargain.
but, behold! their private meetings were not to Sir John. To be sure. A bond by all means! | contrive their own insipid happiness, but to cona bond, or whatever you please.
spire against mine. But I know whence pro[Exit Sir John hastily. ceeds Mr Lovewell's resentment to me. I could Ster. I should have thought of more conditions not stoop to be familiar with my father's clerk, --he's in a humour to give me every thing-Why, and so I have lost his interest. what mere children are your fellows of quality, Mrs Heid. My spirit to a T! My dear child! that cry for a plaything one minute, and throw (Kisses her.) Mr Heidelberg lost his election for it by the next! as changeable as the weather, and member of Parliament, because I would not deas uncertain as the stocks! Special fellows to mean myself to be slobbered about by drunken drive a bargain ! and yet they are to take care of shoemakers, beastly cheesemongers, and greasy the interest of the nation truly! Here does this butchers and tallow-chandlers. However, niece, whirligig man of fashion offer to give up thirty I can't help diffuring a little in opinion from you in thousand pounds in hard money, with as much this matter. My experunce and sagacity makes indifference as if it was a china orange. By this me still suspect, that there is something more bemortgage, I shall have a hold on his terra firma ;tween her and that Lovewell, notwithstanding and, if he wants more money, as he certainly this affair of sir John. I had my eye upon them will--let him have children by my daughter or no, the whole time of breakfast. Sir John, I obserI shall have his whole estate in a net for the be- ved, looked a little confounded, indeed, though I nefit of my family. Well, thus it is, that the knew nothing of what had passed in the garden. children of citizens, who have acquired fortunes, You seemed to sit upon thorns, too : But Fanny prove persons of fashion; and thus it is, that and Mr Lovewell made quite another guess-sort persons of fashion, who have ruined their for- of a figur, and were as perfect a pictur of two tunes, reduce the next generation to cits. distrest lovers, as if it had been drawn by Ra
[Erit Sten. phael Angelo. As to sir John and Fanny, I want
a matter of fact. SCENE II.--Changes to another apartment.
Miss Ster. Matter of fact, madam! Did not I Enter Mrs HEIDELBERG, and Miss Sterling. John kneeling at her feet, and kissing her hand ?
come unexpectedly upon them? Was not sir Miss Ster. This is your gentle-looking, soft- Did not he look all love, and she all confusion? speaking, sweet-smiling, affable Miss Fanny for Is not that matter of fact? and did not sir John, you !
the moment that papa was called out of the Mrs Heid. My Miss Fanny! I disclaim her. room to the lawyer-men, get up from breakfast,