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Charlotte, how shall I find proper words to ask you
ACT V. adjusted before that's answered.
Col. Lamb. (Advancing.) Name them this moment; SCENE I.-A Parlour in Sir John Lambert's for, positively, this is the last time of asking.
Enter DARNLEY and CHARLOTTF.. plain English, my dear.
Charl. But, really, will you stand to the agres Charl. Lud! mind your own business, can't you? Col. Lamb. So I will; for I will make you do ment though, that I have made with the Doctor?
Darn. Why not? You shall not break your word more of your's in two minutes, than you would have done without me in a twelvemonth. Why, how upon my account, though he might be a villain you now! do you think the man's to dangle after your myself ? 'Tis true, he has slighted me of late.
gave it to. Suppose I should talk with Sir Joha ridiculous airs for ever?
Charl. No matter; here he comes. Charl. This is mighty pretty! Col. Lamb. You'll say so on Thursday se'nnight; ppen another scene of action to that I believe my
brother's preparing for. for, let affairs take what turn they will in the family, that's positively your wedding-day. (Char. attempts Enter Sir John ana Lady LAMBERT. to go.] Nay, you shan't stir.
Sir J. Lamb. Mr. Darnley, I'm glad I bare met Chur. Was ever such assurance ?
Darn. Upon my life, madam, I'm out of counte- Darn. I have endeavoured twice to-day, sir, to nance; I don't know how to behave myself.
pay my respects to you. Charl. No, no; let him go on, only—this is be- Sir J. Lamb. Sir, I'll be plain with you; I went yond whatever was known, sure !
out to avoid you: but where the welfare of a child Col. Lamb. Ha, ha! if I were to leave you to is concerned, you must not take it ill if we don't yourselves, what a couple of pretty out-of-counter stand upon ceremony. However, since I have nanced figures you would make! humming and reason now to be more in temper than, perhaps, I ha'ing upon the rulgar points of jointure and pin- was at that time, I shall be glad to talk with you. money! Come come; I know what's proper on both Darn. I take it as a favour, sir. sides; you shall leave it to me.
Sir J. Lamb. You must allow, Mr. Darnley, that Darn. I would rather Charlotte would name her conscience is the rule which every honest man ought own terms to me.
to walk by. Col. Lamb. Have you a mind to any thing parti. Darn. 'Tis granted, sir. cular, madam ?
Sir J. Lamb. Then give me leare to tell yon, sit, Charl. Why, sure! What, do you think I'm that giving you my daughter would be to act against only to be filled out as you please, and sweetened that conscience I pretend to, whilst I thought you and sipped up like a dish of tea ?
an ill lover; and, consequently, the same tie obliges Col. Lamb. Why, pray, madam, when your tea me to bestow her on a better man. is ready, what have you to do but to drink it? But Darn. Well,—but, sir, come to the point. Sup. you, I suppose, espect a lover's heart, like your pose the Doctor (whom I presume you intend her lamp, should always be flaming at your elbow; and for) actually consents to give me up his interest ? when it's ready to go out, you indolently supply it Śir J. Lamb. But why do you suppose, sir, he with the spirit of contradiction.
will give up his interest ? Char. And, so, you suppose that your assurance Darn, only judge from what your daughter tells has made an end of this matter ?
Col. Lamb. Not till you have given him your Sir J. Lamb. My daughter? hand upon it.
Darn. I appeal to her. Charl. That, then, would complete it ?
Charl. And I appeal even to yourself, sir. Has Col. Lamb. Perfectly.
not the Doctor, just now, in the garden, spoken in Charl. Why, then, take it, Darnley. Now, I favour of Mr. Darnley to you? Nay, pray, sir, be presume, you are in high triumph, sir. (To the Col. plain; because more depends on that than you can
Col Lamb. No, sister : now you are consistent easily imagine or believe. with the good sense I always thought you mistress of. Sir J. Lamb. What senseless insinuation have you
Charl. And now, I beg we may separate ; for our got into your head now? being seen together, at this critical juncture, may Charl. Be so kind, sir, first to answer me, that I give that devil
, the Doctor, suspicion of a confede- may be better able to inform you. racy, and make him set some engine to work that Sir J. Lamb. Well, I own he has declined his we are not aware of.
interest in favour of Mr. Darnley; but I must tell Col. Lamb. It's a very proper caution. Come you, madam, that he did it in so modest, so friendly, along, Darnley: nay, you must leave her now, what so good-natured, so conscientious a manner, that I ever violence you do yourself.
now think myself more than ever bound in honour Charl. Ay, ay, také him with you, brother; or, to espouse him. stay, Darnley; if you please, you may come along Charl. But now, sir, (only for argument's sale,) with me.
(Ereunt. suppose I could prove that all this seeming virtue
was artificial; that his regard for Mr. Darnley was neither founded upon modesty, friendship, good. nature, nor conscience; or, in short, that he has, like a villain, bartered, bargained, to give me to Mr Darnley for half the four thousand pounds you valued his consent at; I say, sir, suppose this could be proved, where would be his virtue then ?
Sir J. Lamb. It is impious to suppose it.
Lady Lamb. I did, sir; but that we may be sure Charl. Then, sir, from what principle must you that we are alone, pray, shut the outward door; ansuppose that I accuse him ?
other surprise inight ruin us. Is all safe? Sir J. Lamb. From an obstinate prejudice to all Dr. Cant. [Fustens the door.) I have taken care, that's good and virtuous.
madam. Charl. That's too hard, sir. But the worst your Lady Lamb. But I am afraid I interrupt your opinion can provoke me to. is to marry Mr. Darnley meditations. without either his consent or your's.
Dr. Cant. No, madam, no; I was only looking Sir J. Lamb. What! do you brave me, madam ? over some pious exhortations here, for the use of a
Charl. No, sir; but I scorn a lie; and will so far society of chosen brethren. vindicate my integrity, as to insist on your believing Lady Lamb. Ah! Doctor, what have you done to me; if not, as a child you abandon I have a right me? The trouble of my mind, since our last unforto throw myself into other arms for protection. tunate conference, is nit to be expressed. You, in
Darn. Dear Charlotte, how your spirit charms me! deed, discovered to me what, perhaps, for my own
Sir J. Lamb. I am confounded ! 'These tears can- peace, 'twere better I b id never been acquainted not be counterfeit, nor can this be true.
with; but I had not sufhcient time to lay my heart Lady Lamb. Indeed, my dear, I fear it is. Give open to you. me leave to ask you one question : in all our mutual Dr. Cant. Whither, padam, would you lead me ? course of happiness, have I ever yet deceived you Lady Lamb. I have been uncasy, too, not knowwith a falsehood ?
ing how far you might mistake my behaviour on the Sir J. Lamb. Never.
last accident that happened; but I was really so Lady Lamb. Would you, then, believe me, should shocked, so terrified, I knew not what I was doing; I accuse him even of crimes which virtue blushes but only, had I joined in your defence against the Coloto mention ?
nel, it would have been evident I was his enemy, Sir J. Lamb. To what extravagance would you and I have uses for his friendship. Silence, theredrive me?
fore, was my only prudent part; and I knew your Lady Lamb. I would before have undeceived you, credit with Sir John needed no support. when his late artifice turned the honest duty of your Dr. Cant. Let me presume, then, to hope, that son into his own reproach and ruin ; but knowing what I did, you judge was self-defence, and puro then your temper was inaccessible, I durst not offer necessity. it. But suppose I should be able to let you see his Lady Lamb. And, perhaps, after all, the accident villainy, make him repeat his odious love to me in was lucky; for Sir John, in order to obviate any ill your own hearing; at once throw off the mask, and construction that may be put upon it, insists now shew the barefaced traitor ?
that we should be more together, to let the world see Sir J. Lamb. Is it possible?
his confidence in us both. This relieves us from reLady Lamb. But then, sir, I must prevail on you straint, and I now dare tell you—but, no-I won'tto descend to the poor shifts we are reduced to. Dr. Cant. But, why, madam ? let me beseech you,
Sir J. Lamb. All; to any thing, to ease me of my Lady Lamb. No: besides, why need you ask me? doubts. Make me but witness of this fact, and I Dr. Cant. Ah! do not endeavour to decoy my shall soon accuse myself, and own my folly equal foolish heart, too apt to flatter itself. You cannot, to his baseness.
sure, think kindly of me?
(gine so. Lady Lamb. Behind that screen you may easily Lady Lamb. Well, well; I would have you ima. conceal yourself.
Dr. Cant. Besides, may I not with reason suspect, Sir J. Lamb. Be it so.
that this apparent goodness is but artifice, a shadow Lady Lamb. Mr. Darnley, shall we beg your of compliance, meant only to persuade me from your leave; and you, Charlotte, take the least suspected daughter? wav to send the Doctor to me directly.
Lady Lamb. Methinks this doubt of me seems Charl. I have a thought will do it, madam. rather founded on your settled resolution not to reSir J. Lamb. Oh, Charlotte ! Oh, Mr. Darnley! sign her. I am convinced of it. I can assure you, Darn. Have but resolution, sir, and fear nothing. sir, I should have saved you this trouble, had I known
[Exit uith CHARLOTTE. how deeply you were engaged to her. (Ieeps. Lady Lamb. Now, sir, you are to consider what Dr. Cant. Tears! then I must believe you : but, a desperate disease I have undertaken to cure; indeed, you wrong me. To prove my innocence, it therefore, be sure to keep close and still; and when is not an hour since I pressed Sir John to give Charthe proof is full, appear at your discretion. lotte to young Darnley.
Sir J. Lamb. Fear not; I will conform myself. Lady Lamb. Mere artifice! you knew that modest Yet be not angry, my love, if in a case like this, resignation would make Sir John warmer in your where I should not believe even him accusing you ; interest. be not angry, I say, if I have also charity enough Dr. Cant. No, indeed, indeed. I had other mo. to hope you may yet be deceived in what you charge tives, which you may hereafter be made acquainted him with, till the evidence of my own senses assures with, and will convince youme to the contrary.
Lady Lamb. Well, sir; now I'll give you reason Lady Lamb. "T'is just.
to guess why, at our last meeting, I pressed you so Sir J. Lamb. Hark! I think I hear him coming. warmly to resign Charlotte.
Lady Lamb. Now, my dear, remember your pro- Dr. Cant. Ab, dear! ah, dear! mise to have patience.
Lady Lamb. You cannot blame me for having Sir J Lamb. Rely upon it.
opposed your happiness, when my own, perhaps, des Lady Lamb. To your post, then. (Sir John goes pended upon it. behind the screen. 1
Dr. Cant. Spare me, spare me! you kill me with Enter Doctor CANTWELL, with a book. this kindness. Dr. Cant. Madam, your woman tells me, that Lady Lamb. But, now that i have discovered my being here and alone, you desired to speak with me. I weakness, be secret; for the least imprudence
Dr. Can. It is a vain fear.
reterend Mr. Scruple's, about an affair of simony, Lady Lamb. Call it not rain: my reputation is and called to take up the Doctor. But what strange dearer to me than hfe.
tales are these I hear below? Dr. Cant. Where can it find so sure a guard ? Sir J. Lamb. The Doctor is a villain, madan: 1 The grave austerities of my life will dumbfound sus have detected him: detected him in the horrible depicion, and your's may defy detraction.
sigo of seducing my wife. Lady Lamb. Well, Doctor, 'tis you must answer Jan. It's an possible! for my folly.
Sir J. Lamb. What do you say, man? Dr. Cani. I take it all upon myself.
Mau. I say, it's nnpossible! He has been locked Lady Lamb. But there's one thing still to be up with my wife for hours together, morning, boca, afraid of.
and night; and I never found ber the worse for his Dr. Cant. Nothing, nothing.
Old Lady Lamb. Ah! son, son ! Lady Lamb. My husband-Sir John.
Sir J. Lamb. What is your ladyship going to say Dr Cant. Alas! poor man, I will answer for him. Dow? Between ourselves, madam, your husband is weak; Old Lady Lamb. The Doctor is not in fault. I can lead him by the nose anywhere.
Sir J. Lemb. 'Slife, madam! Sir John LAMBERT adeances between them.
OU Lady Lamb. 'Oh! he swears, he swears:
Years in growing good, we become profligate in a Sir J. Lamb. No, caitiff! I'm to be led no further. moment. If you swear again, I won't stay in the Dr. Cant. Ah! woman!
house. Sir J. Lamb. Is this your sanctity? this your doc
Maw. Nor I neither. Aren't you ashamed of trine ? these your meditations ?
yourself? hare you no commensuration on your Dr. Cant. Is, then, my brother in a conspiracy soul? Ah! poor wicked sinner, I pity rou. against me?
Sir J. Lamb. 'Sdeath and the devil! Sir J. Lamb. Your brother! I have been your Maw. If you swear any more, I'll inform against friend, indeed, to my shame ; your dupe; but your you. spell bas lost its hold: no more canting; it will not Sir J. Lamb. Why would you bring this idiot, serve your turn any longer.
madarn? Lady Lamb. Now, heaven be praised !
Mar. Ay, do despise me, I'm the proader for it; Dr. Cant. It seems you want an excuse to part I likes to be despised. with me. Sir J. Lamb. Ungrateful wretch! But why do I
Enter CHARLOTTE. reproach you? Had I not been the weakest of man
Charl. Oh! dear papa, I shall faint away; there's kind, you never could have proved so great a villain. murder doing. Get out of my sight! leave my house ! Of all my Sir J. Lamb. Who, where, what is it? follies, which is it tells you that, if you stay much Charl. The Doctor, sir, and Seyward, Fere at longer, I shall not be tempted to wrest you out of the high words just now in the garden; and, upon a hands of the law, and punish you as you deserve ? sudden, there was a pistol fired between them. Oh!
Dr. Cani. Well; but first, let me ask you, sir, I'm afraid poor Seyward is killed. who it is you menace ? Consider your own condi
Sir J. Lamb. How! tion, and where you are.
Charl. Oh! here he comes himself; he'll tell yea Sir J. Lamb. What would the villain drive at ? more. Leave me; I forgive you; but once more I tell you, Enter Dr. CANTWELL, DARNLEY, SEYWARD, and seek some other place, out of my house. This in
Servants. stant be gone, and see my shameful face no more. Dr. Cant. Nay, then, 'tis my duty to exert myseli, rufian ; this is villainy beyond example.
Darn. Speaking as he enters.) Here, bring in this and let you know that I am master here. Turn you
Sir J. Lamb. What means this outrage ? out, sir! This house is mine! and now, sir, at your Lady Lamb. I tremble. peril, dare to insult me. Sir J. Lamb. Oh, heavens! 'tis true! whither mischief done; what was intended, the Doctor bere
Seyu. Don't be alarmed, madam; there is no shall I fly to hide me from the world ?
can best inform you. Lady Lamb. Whither are you going, sir ? Sir J. Lamb. I know not; but here, it seems,
Sir J. Lamb. Mr. Darnley, I am ashamed to see
I am a trespasser; the master of the house has warned me hence; and, since the right is now in him, 'tis of nothing.
Maw. So you ought; but this good man is ashamed just I should resign it.
Dr. Cant. Alas! my enemies prevail. Lady Lamb. You shall not stir. He dares not act
Seyw. In short, gentlemen, the affair is circunswith such abandoned insolence. No, sir; possession stantially this: the Doctor called me out into the still is your’s. If he pretend a right, let him by pavilion in the garden ; appeared in great disorder; open course of law maintain it.
told me there was a sudden storm raised, which be Dr. Cant. Ha! Here, Seyward!
was not sufficiently prepared to weather. He said Enter Maw WORM.
his dependance was upon me; and, at all events, I Sir J. Lamb. Who is this fellow? What do you had seen him pay Sir John several large sums of
must be ready to swear, when he called upon me, I Maw. My lady, come up.
money. He talked confusedly about giving False
for an estate ; but I boldly refused to perjure Enter Old Lady LAMBERT.
self; and told him, on the contrary, I was satisfied OU Lady Lamb. How now!
he had fleeced Sir John of several large sums, under Maw. He wants to know who I be.
the pretence of charitable uses, which he secretly Old Lady Lamb. The gentleman is a friend of converted to his own. This stung him, and he fastmine, son. I was carrying him in a coach to attend ened at my throat. Then, indeed, all temper left me; a controversy that's to be held this evening, at the and disengaging myself from his hold, with a home
want, man ?
I low I struck him down. At this, grown desperate, Dr. Cant. Come, sir, lead me where you please. he ran with fury to some pistols that hung above the
Erit, guarded. chimney; but, in the instant he reached one, I Old Lady Lamb. I don't know what to make of seized upon his wrist; and, as we grappled, the pis- all this. tol firing to the ceiling, alarmed the family.
Mau. (Mounts a form behind the screen, and looks Old Lady Lamb. This is a lie, young man; I see over; throws about his arms, and delivers the follonethe devil standing at your elbon
ing rhapsody.l Stay, stay, you infatuated wretches! Maw. So do I, with a great tig piicafork, pushing you know not what ye do. The Doctor is innocent:
Í say he is innocent! Touch not a hair of his preDr. Cant. Well, what have you more against me? cious head; rumple not one curl of his gracious
Darn. More, sir, I hope, is needless; but, if Sir wig! He's a saint ! if ever there was a saint, he John be yet unsatisfied
is one! But, ye will be the sufferers. I have one Sir J. Lamb. Oh! I have seen too much.
great and glorious consolation-I say, one glorious Dr. Cant. I demand my liberty.
consolation !- you'll all go to the devil! I shall go Sir J. Lamb. Let him go.
up, but you'll go down. And, when you see me Enter Colonel LAMBERT, and Attendants. mount, and leave ye to your fate, you'll want my Col. Lamb. Hold, sir! not so fast; you can't pass. cling to me! you'll attempt to lay hold of the skirts
aid ! you'll want me to take you with me! you'll Dr. Cant. Who, sir, shall dare to stop me ?
of my coat! but, I'll fling ye all; for I'll wear a Col. Lamb. Within, there!
[Erit with Old Lady LAMB. Enter TIPSTAFF.
Charl. Now, Darnley, I hope I have made some Tipstaff. Is your name Cantwell, sir?
atonement for your jealousy. Dr. ant. What if it be, sir?
Darn. You've banished it foj ever! This was beTipstaff. Then, sir, I have my lord chief justice's yond yourself surprising. warrant against you.
Col. Lamb. SisterDr. Cant. Against me ?
Charl. Come, no set speeches; if I deserve your Tipstaff: Yes, sir, for a cheat and impostor. thanks, return them in friendship to your first preOld Lady Lamb. What does he say ? Sir J. Lamb. Dear son, what is this?
Col. Lamb. The business of my life shall be to Col. Lamb. Only some actions of the Doctor's, sir, merit it. which I have affidavits in my hand here to prove, Seyu. And mine to speak my sense of obligations. from more than one credible witness; and I think it Sir J. Lamb. Oh! my child, for my deliverance my duty to make the public acquainted with them: I can only reward you here. (Giring her hand to if he can acquit himself of them, so ; if not, he must Darnley.) For you, my son, whose filial virtue I take the consequence.
have injured, this honest deed shall in every article Dr. Cant. Well, but stay; let the accusations be ratified. And, for the sake of that hypocritical against me be what they will, by virtue of this con- villain, I declare, that from henceforward I renounce vevance, producing it, | I am still master here ; and, all pious folks; I will have an utter abhorrence for if í be forced to leave the house myself, I will shut everything that bears the appearanceup the doors; nobody shall remain behind.
Charl. Nay, now, my dear sir, I must take the Sir J. Lamb. There, there, indeed, he stings me liberty to tell you you carry things too far, and go to the heart! for that rash act, reproach and end from one extreme to another. What! because a less shame will haunt me!
worthless wretch has imposed upon you under the Charl. No, sir; be comforted. Even there, too, fallacious shew of austere grimace, will you needs his wicked hopes must leave him ; for know, the have it, everybody is like him? confound the good fatal deed, which you intended to sign, is here, even with the bad, and conclude there are no truly reliyet unsealed and innocent.
[Producing it. gious in the world ? Leave, my dear sir, such rash Sir J. Lamb. What mean you ?
conclusions to fools and libertines. Let us be careCharl. I mean, sir, that this deed, by accident, ful to distinguish between virtue and the appearance falling into this gentleman's hands, his generous of it. Guard, if possible, against doing honour to concern for our family discovered it to me; and, hypocrisy; but, at the same time, let us allow there that, in concert, we procured that other to be drawn is no character in life greater or more valuable than exactly like it: which, in your impatience to exe- that of the truly devout ; nor anything more noble, cute, passed, unsuspected, for the original. Their or more beautiful, than the fervour of a sincere pietv. only ditference is, that wherever here you read the
(Eseuns Doctor's name, there you'll find my brother's.
A WOMAN KEEPS A SECRET. .
A COMEDY, IN FIVE ACTS,
BY MRS. CENTLIVRE.
Lop. If Antonio dies, Felix shall for England DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.
You have been there ; what sort of people are the
Fred. My lord, the English are, by nature, what
the ancient Romans were by discipline courageous, FREDERICK
bold, hardy, and in love with liberty. COLONEL BRITON
Lop. I like their principles: who does not wish Don PEDRO
for freedom in all degrees of life ? though common GIBBY
prudence sometimes makes us act against it, as I am LISSARDO
now obliged to do; for I intend to marry my danghter ALGUAZIL
to Don Guzman, whom I expect from Holland every VASQUEZ
day, whither he went to take possession of a large
estate left him by his uncle. DONNA VIOLANTE
Fred. You will not surely sacrifice the lovely DONNA ISABELLA
Isabella to age, avarice, and a fool ? Pardon the INIS
expression, my lord, but my concern for your beauFlora
teous daughter transports me beyond that good masners which I ought to pay your lordship's presence.
Lop. I can't deny the justness of the character,
Frederick; but you are not insensible what I have ACT I.
suffered by these wars : and he has two things
which render him very agreeable to me for a son-inSCENE I. -A Street.
law he is rich and well-born; as for his being a
fool, I don't conceive how that can be any blot in a Inter Don LOPEZ, meeting FREDERICK. husband who is already possessed of a good estate. Fred. My lord, Don Lopez.
A poor fool is, indeed, a very scandalous thing, and Inp. How d'ye, Frederick ?
so are your poor wits in my opinion, who have noFred. At your lordship’s service. I am glad to thing to be vain of but the inside of their skulls. see yon look so well, my lord. I hope Antonio's out Now, for Don Guzman-I know I can rule him as of danger?
I think fit. This is acting the politic part, Frederick, Lop. Quite contrary; his fever increases, they without which it is impossible to keep up the port of tell me; and the surgeons are of opinion his wound this life. is mortal.
Meil. But have you no consideration for your Fred. Your son, Don Felix, is safe, I hope ? Cavghter's welfare, my lord ?
Lop. I hope so too; but they offer large retul Law. Is a husband of twenty thousand crowds : to apprebend him.
yerir no consideration ? Now I think it a very good Fred. When heard your lordship from him ? consideration. Lop. Not since he went: I forbade him writing Fred. One way, my lord. But what will the till the public news gave him an account of Antonio's world say of such a match ? health. Letters might be intercepted, and the place Lop. Sir, I value not the world a button. of his abode discovered.
Fred. I cannot think your daughter can have any Fred. Your caution was good, my lord. Though inclination for such a husband. I am impatient to hear from Félix, yet his safety is Lop. There, I believe, you are pretty much in my chief concern.
the right, though it is a secret which I never had