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I have heard has given me great satisfaction.
Chas. Surf. Egad, then, 'twas lucky you didn't hear any more. Wasn't it, Joseph ?
Sir Pet. Ah! you would have retorted on him.
Chas. Surf. Ah, ay, that was a joke.
Sir Pet. Yes, yes, I know his honor too well.
Chas. Surf. But you might as well have suspected him as me in this matter, for all that. Mightn't he, Joseph ?
Sir Pet. Well, well, I believe you.
Jos. Surf. Would they were both out of the room !
[Aside. Sir Pet. And in future, perhaps, we may not be such strangers. Re-enter SERVANT, and whispers JOSEPH
Serv. Lady Sneerwell is below, and says she will come up.
Jos. Surf. Lady Sneerwell! Gad's life! she must not come here. [Exit SERVANT.] Gentlemen, I beg pardon-I must wait on you down stairs : here is a person come on particular business.
Chas. Surf. Well, you can see him in another room.
Sir Peter and I have not met a long time, and I have something to say to him.
Jos. Surf. [Aside.] They must not be left together.-[Aloud.] I'll send Lady Sneerwell
away, and return directly. [Aside to Sir PETER.] Sir Peter, not a word of the French milliner.
Sir Pet. [Aside to JOSEPH SURFACE.] I! not for the world !--[Exit JOSEPH SURFACE.] Ah, Charles, if you associated more with your brother, one might indeed hope for your
reformation. He is a man of sentiment. Well, there is nothing in the world so noble as a man of sentiment.
Chas. Surf. Psha ! he is too moral by half; and so apprehensive of his good name, as he calls it, that I suppose he would as soon let a priest into his house as a wench.
Sir Pet. No, no,-come, come,—you wrong him. No, no, Joseph is no rake, but he is no such saint either, in that respect.- [Aside.] I have a great mind to tell him—we should have such a laugh at Joseph.
Chas. Surf. Oh, hang him! he's a very anchorite, a young hermit!
Sir Pet. Hark'ee-you must not abuse him : he may chance to hear of it again, I promise you.
Chas. Surf. Why, you won't tell him?
Sir Pet. No-but-this way - Aside.] Egad, I'll tell him.--[Aloud.] Hark'ee-have you a mind to have a good laugh at Joseph ?
Chas. Surf. I should like it of all things.
Sir Pet. Then, i'faith, we will! I'll be quit with him for discovering me. He had a girl with him when I called.
Chas. Surf. What! Joseph ? you jest.
Sir Pet. Hush !-a little French millinerand the best of the jest is-she's in the room
Chas. Surf. The devil she is !
[Points to the screen. Chas. Surf. Behind the screen! 'Slife, let's unveil her!
Sir Pet. No, no, he's coming :—you shan't, indeed !
Chas. Surf. Oh, egad, we'll have a peep at the little milliner !
Sir Pet. Not for the world !- Joseph will never forgive me.
Chas. Surf. I'll stand by youSir Pet. Odds, here he is ! [CHARLES SURFACE throws down the screen.
Re-enter JOSEPH SURFACE. Chas. Surf. Lady Teazle, by all that's wonderful !
Sir Pet. Lady Teazle, by all that's damnable !
Chas. Surf. Sir Peter, this is one of the smartest French milliners I ever saw. Egad, you seem all to have been diverting yourselves here at hide and seek, and I don't see who is out of the secret. Shall I beg your ladyship to inform me? Not a word !-Brother, will you be pleased to explain this matter? What! is Morality dumb too?—Sir Peter, though I
found you in the dark, perhaps you are not
now! All mute !-Well—though I can make nothing of the affair, I suppose you perfectly understand one another; so I'll leave you to yourselves—[Going.] Brother, I'm sorry to find you have given that worthy man grounds for so much uneasiness.—Sir Peter ! there's nothing in the world so noble as a man of sentiment !
[E.rit. Jos. Surf. Sir Peter-notwithstanding-I confess—that appearances are against me-if you will afford me your patience-I make no doubt—but I shall explain everything to your satisfaction.
Sir Pet. If you please, sir.
Jos. Surf. The fact is, sir, that Lady Teazle, knowing my pretensions to your ward Maria -I say, sir, Lady Teazle, being apprehensive of the jealousy of your temper-and knowing my friendship to the family-she, sir, I say, called here--in order that-I might explain these pretensions—but on your coming—being apprehensive-as I said--of your jealousy--she withdrew—and this, you may depend on it, is the whole truth of the matter.
Sir Pet. A very clear account, upon my word; and I dare swear the lady will vouch for every article of it.
Lady Teag. For not one word of it, Sir Peter !
Sir Pet. How! don't you think it worth while to agree in the lie?
Lady Teaz. There is not one syllable of truth in what that gentlem in has told you.
Sir Pet. I believe you, upon my soul, ma'am!
Jos. Surf. [As.de to LADY TEAZLE.] 'Sdeath, madam, will you betray me?
Lady Teas. Good Mr. Hypocrite, by your leave, I'll speak for myself.
Sir Pet. Ay, let her alone, sir; you'll find she'll make out a better story than you, without prompting
Lady Teaz. Hear me, Sir Peter !—I came here on no matter relating to your ward, and even ignorant of this gentleman's pretensions to her. But I came, seduced by his insidious arguments, at least to listen to his pretended passion, if not to sacrifice your honor to his baseness.
Sir Pet. Now, I believe, the truth is coming, indeed!
Jos. Surf. The woman's mad!
Lady Teas. No, sir; she has recovered her senses, and your own arts have furnished her with the means.--Sir Peter, I do not expect you to credit me—but the tenderness you expressed for me, when I am sure you could not think I was a witness to it, has so penetrated to my heart, that had I left the place without the shame of this discovery, my future life should have spoken the sincerity of my gratitude. As for that smooth-tongued hypocrite, who would have seduced the wife of his too credulous friend, while he affected