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SCENE I.-The London tavern. have to question me, and I shall not answer till
I see occasion. Enter O'FLAUERTY, STOCKWELL, CHARLES,
Stock. Had you been as silent heretofore, maand BeLcOUR.
dam, it would have saved you some trouble; but O'Fla. GENTLEMEN, well met! you under- we don't want your confession. This letter, stand each other's minds; and, as I see you have which you wrote to Mr Belcour, will explain your brought nothing but your swords, you may set to design; and these diamonds, which, of right, bewithout any further ceremony.
long to Miss Rusport, will confirm your guilt: Stock. You will not find us backward in any the law, Mrs Fulmer, will make you speak, worthy cause; but, before we proceed any furthough I can't. Constable, take charge of your ther, I would ask this young gentleman, whether prisoners. he has any explanation to require of Mr Bel- Ful. Hold a moment! Mr Stockwell, you are
a gentleman that knows the world, and a memCha. Of Mr Belcour none; his actions speak ber of parliament; we shall not attempt to imfor themselves : but to you, sir, I would fain propose upon you; we know we are open to the pose one question.
law, and we know the utmost it can do against Stock. Name it.
Mr Belcour has been ill used, to be sure, Cha. How is it, Mr Stockwell, that I meet a and so has Miss Dudley; and, for my own part, man of your character on this ground?
I always condemned the plot as a very foolish Stock. I will answer you directly, and my an- plot; but it was a child of Mrs Fulmer's brain, swer shall not displease you. I come hither in and she would not be put out of conceit with it. defence of the reputation of Miss Dudley, to re- Mrs Ful. You are a very foolish man, Mr dress the injuries of an innocent young lady. Fulmer; so, prithee, hold your tongue.
O'Fla. By my soul the man knows he's to fight, Ful. Therefore, as I was saying, if you send only he mistakes which side he's to be of. her to Bridewell, it won't be amiss; and if you
Stock. You are about to draw your sword to give her a little wholesome discipline, she may be refute a charge against your sister's honour; you the better for that too : but for me, Mr Stockwould do well, if there were no better means well, who am a man of letters, I must beseech within reach; but the proofs of her innocence you, sir, not to briug any disgrace upon my proare lodged in our bosoms, and, if we fall, you de- fession. stroy the evidence that most effectually can clear Stock. 'Tis you, Mr Fulmer, not I, that disher fame.
grace your profession; therefore begone, nor exCha. How's that, sir?
pect that I will betray the interests of mankind Stock. This gentleman could best explain it to so far as to shew favour to such incendiaries. you, but you have given him an undeserved | Take them away; I blush to think such wretches name that seals his lips against you: I am not should have the power to set two honest men at under the same inhibition; and, it your anger can variance.
[Ereunt FULMER, &c. keep cool for a few minutes, I desire I may cal! Cha. Mr Belcour, we have mistaken each in two witnesses, who will solve all difficulties ar other; let us exchange forgiveness. I am cononce. Here, waiter! bring those people in thai vinced you intended no affront to my sister, and are without.
ask your pardon for the expression I was betrayO'Fla. Out upon it, what need is there for so ed into. much talking about the matter? can't you settle Bel. Tis enough, sir; the error began on my your differences first, and dispute about them af- side, and was Miss Dudley here, I would be the terwards?
first to atone.
Stock. Let us all adjourn to my house, and Fulmer and Mrs Fulner brought in.
conclude the evening like friends : you will find
a little entertainment ready for you; and, if I am Cha. Fulmer and his wife in custody? not mistaken, Miss Dudley and her father will
Stock. Yes, gir; these are your honest landlord make part of our company. Come, major, do and landlady, now in custody for defrauding this you covsent? gentleman of certain diamonds intended to have O'Fla. Most readily, Mr Stockwell; a quarrel, been presented to your sister.-Be so good, Mrs well made up, is better than a victory hardly Fulmer, to inform the company why you so earned. Give me your hand, Belcour; omy grossly scandalized the reputation of an innocent conscience, you are too honest for the country lady, by persuading Mr Belcour, that Miss Dud- you live in. And now, my dear lad, since peace ley was not the sister, but the mistress, of this is concluded on all sides, I have a discovery to gentleman.
make to you, which you must find out for your. Alrs Ful. Sir, I don't know what right you self; for deuce take me if I rightly comprehend
it, only that your aunt Rusport is in a conspiracy | Mr Belcour to believe he could be guilty of a against you, and a vile rogue of a lawyer, whose designed affront to an innocent girl; and I am name I forget, at the bottom of it.
much too well acquainted with your character, to Cha. What conspiracy? Dear inajor, recollect suppose you could abet him in such design ; I
have no doubt, therefore, all things will be set to O‘Fla. By my soul, l've no faculty at recol rights in very few words, when we have the plealecting myself; but l've a paper somewhere about sure of seeing Mr Belcour. me, that will tell you more of the matter than I Stock. He has only stept into the compting
When I get to the merchant's, I will en- house, and will wait upon you directly. You deavour to find it.
will not be over strict, madam, in weighing Mr Cha. Well, it must be in your own way; but Belcour's conduct to the minutest scruple. Ilis I confess you have thoroughly roused my curio manners, passions, and opinions, are not, as yet, sity.
[E.reunt. assimilated to this climate; he comes amongst
you a new character, an inhabitant of a new SCENE II.–STOCKWELL's house. world; and both hospitality, as well as pity, re
commend him to our indulgence. Enter CAPTAIN DUDLEY, Lovisa, and STUKELY.
Enter Belcour, who bows to Miss DUDLEY. Dud. And are those wretches, Fulmer and his wife, in safe custody?
Bel. I am happy, and ashamed, to see youStuke. They are in good hands; I accompa- no man in his senses would offend you—Í fornied thein to the tavern, where your son was to feited mine, and erred against the light of the be, and then went in search of you. You may sun, when I overlooked your virtues—but your be sure Mr Stockwell will enforce the law against beauty was predominant, and hid them from my them as far as it will go.
sight-I now perceive I was the dupe of a most Dud. What mischief might their cursed ma- inprobable report, and bumbly entreat your chinatious have produced, but for this timely dis- pardon. covery!
Lou. Think no more of it; 'twas a mistake. Lou. Still I am terrihed I tremble with ap- Bel. My life has been composed of little else; prehension lest Mr Belcour's impetuosity, and | 'twas founded in mystery, and has continued in Charles's spirit, should not wait for an explana- error: I was once given to hope, Mr Stockwell, tion, but drive them both to extremes, before that you was to have delivered me from these the mistake can be unravelled.
difficulties; but, either I do not deserve your Stuke. Mr Stockwell is with them, madam, confidence, or 1 was deceived in my expectaand you have nothing to fear-you cannot sup- tions. pose he would ask you hither for any other pur- Stock. When this lady has confirmed your parpose but to celebrate their reconciliation, and to don, I shall hold you deserving of my confireceive Mr Belcour's atonement.
dence. Dud. No, no, Louisa. Mr Stockwell's honour Lou. That was granted the moment it was and discretion guard us against all danger or of- asked. fence—he well knows we will endure no imputa- Bel. To prove my title to his confidence, hotion on the honour of our family, and he cer- nour me so far with yours, as to allow me a few tainly has invited us to receive satisfaction on minutes conversation in private with you. that score in an amicable way.
(She turns to her father. Lou. Would to Heaven they were returned ! Dud. By all means, Louisa; come, Mr Stock
Stuke. You may expect them every minute; well, let us go into another room. and see, madam, agreeable to your wish, they Cha. And now, major O'Flaherty, I claiin are here.
[Exit Stuke. your promise of a sight of the paper, that is to Enter Charles, and afterwards STOCKWELL think I have waited with great patience.
unravel this conspiracy of my aunt Rusport's: I and O'FLAHERTY.
O'Fla. I have been endeavouring to call to Lou. O Charles ! O brother! how could you mind what it was I overheard—I've got the pa serve me so? how could you tell me you was go- per, and will give you the best account I can of ing to lady Rusport's, and then set out with a the whole transaction, design of fighting Mr Belcour? But where is he?
[Exeunt. Where is your antagonist? Stock. Captain, I am proud to see you; and
Enter BELCOUR and LOUISA. you, Miss Dudley, do me particular honour. Bel. Miss Dudley, I have solicited this audiWe have been adjusting, sir, a very extraordi- ence, to repeat to you my penitence and confunary and dangerous mistake, which, I take for sion. How shall I atone? What reparation can granted, my friend Stukely has explained to you. I make to you and virtue?
Dud. He has. I have too good an opinion of Lou. To me there's nothing due, nor any thing demanded of you, but your more favourable opi
Enter O'FLAHERTY, and afterwards DUDLEY nion for the future, if you should chance to think
and CHARLES with STOCKWELL. of me. Upon the part of virtue, I'm not empowered to speak; but if, hereafter, as you range O'Fla. Joy, joy, joy! Sing, dance, leap, laugh through life, you should surprise her in the per- for joy! Ha' done making love, and fall down on son of soine wretched female, poor as myself, your knees to every saint in the calendar; for and not so well protected, enforce not your ad- they're all on your side, and honest St. Patrick at vantage, complete not your licentious triumph, the head of them. but raise her, rescue her from shame and sorrow, Cha. O Louisa, such an event! By the luckiest and reconcile her to herself again.
chance in life, we have discovered a vill of my Bel. I will, I will : by bearing your idea ever grandfather's, made in bis last illness, by which present in my thoughts, virtue shall keep an ad- he cuts off my aunt Rusport with a small annuivocate within me. But tell me, loveliest, when ty, and leaves me heir to his whole estate, with you pardon the offence, can you, all perfect as a fortune of fifteen thousand pounds to yourself. you are, approve of the offender? As I now cease Lou. What is it you tell me? O, sir, iustruct to view you in that false light I lately did, can me to support this unexpected turn of fortune. you, and, in the fulness of your bounty, will you,
[To her father. cease also to reflect upon the libertine addresses Dud. Name not fortune; 'tis the work of I have paid you, and look upon me as your re- Providence'tis the justice of Heaven, that formed, your rational admirer:
would not suffer innocence to be oppressed, por Lou. Are sudden reformations apt to last? your base aunt to prosper in her cruelty and and how can I be sure the first fair face you cunning. meet will not ensnare affections so unsteady, (A serrant whispers Belcour, and he goes and that I shall not lose you lightly as I gained
O'Fla. You shall pardon me, captain Dudley, Bel. Because, though you conquered me by but you must not overlook St Patrick neither;= surprise, I have no inclination to rebel; because, for, by my soul, if he had not put it into my since the first moment that I saw you, every in- head to slip behind the screen when your rightestant has improved you in my eyes; because, by teous aunt and the lawyer were plotting togeprinciple as well as passion, I am unalterably gether, I don't see how you would ever have yours : in short, there are ten thousand causes come at the paper there, that master Stockwell for my love to you :-would to Heaven I could is reading. plant one in your soft bosom, that might move Dud. True, my good friend; you are the fayou to return it!
ther of this discovery; but how did you contrive LouNay, Mr
get this will from lawyer
I know I'm tainted with a thousand faults, sick of getting any thing from a lawyer's clutches. a thousand follies; but there's a healing virtue Stock. Well, major, when he brings his action in your eyes that makes recovery certain. I can- of assault and battery against you, the least not be a villain in your arins.
Dudley can do is, to defend you with the weaLou. That you can never be: whomever you pons you have put into his hands. shall honour with your choice, iny life upon't that Cha. That I am bound to do; and after the woman will be happy: it is not from suspicion happiness I shall have in sheltering a father's that I hesitate, it is from honour : 'tis the seve- age from the vicissitudes of life, my next desight rity of my condition: it is the world, that never will be in offering you an asylum in the bosom of will interpret fairly in our case.
your country. Bel. Oh, what am I? and who in this wide O'Fla. And upon my soul, my dear, 'tis high world concerns himself for such a nameless, such time I was there'; for 'tis now thirty long years a friendless thing as I am?. I see, Miss Dudley, since I set foot in my native country-and, by the I've not yet obtained your pardon.
power of St Patrick I swear, I think it's worth Lou. Nay, that you are in full possession of. all the rest of the world put together.
Bel. Oh, seal it with your hand then, loveliest Dud. Ay, major, much about that time hare of women; confirm it with your heart; make me I been beating the round of service, and 'twere honourably happy, and crown your penitent, not well for us both to give over: we have stond with your pardon only, but your love.
many a tough gale, and abundance of hard Lou. My love!
blows; but Charles shall lay us up in a little priBel. By Heaven, my soul is conquered with vate, but safe, harbour, where we'll rest from your virtues, more than my eyes are ravished with our labours, and peacefully wind up the remainyour beauty! Oh, may this soft, this sensitive der of our days. aların, be happy, be auspicious! Doubt not, deli- O'Fla. Agreed; and you may take it as a berate not, delay not. If happiness be the end proof of my esteem, young man, that major 0of life, why do we slip a moment?
Flaherty accepts a favour at your hands for,
by Heaven, I'd sooner starve than say, “I thank Char. O, Charles ! you have an honest, but you' to the man I despise. But I believe you proud heart. are an honest lad, and I am glad you have Cha. Nay, chide me not, dear Charlotte. trounced the old cat-for, on my conscience, I Bel. Seal up her lips, then ; she is an adorabelieve I must otherwise have married her my- ble girl; her arms are open to you; and love self
, to have let you in for a share of her for and happiness are ready to receive you. tune.
Cha. Thus, then, I claim my dear, my destiStock. Hey-day, what's become of Belcour? ned wife.
[Embracing her. Lou. One of your servants called him out and seemingly on some earnest occa
Enter LADY Rusport. sion.
Stock. I hope, Miss Dudley, he has atoned to Lady Rus. Hey-day! mighty fine! wife truyou as a gentleman ought?
ly! mighty well? kissing, embracing-did Lou. Mr Belcour, sir, will always do what a ever any thing equal this? Why, you shameless gentleman ought-and, in my case, I fear only hussy! But I won't condescend to waste a word you will think he has done too much.
upon you. You, sir, you, Mr Stockwell, you fine, Stock. What has he done? and what can be sanctified, fair-dealing man of conscience, is this too much? Pray, Heaven, it may be as I wish! the principle you trade upon ? Is this your neigh
[Aside. bourly system, to keep a house of reception for Dud. Let us hear it, child ?
pun-away daughters, and young beggarly fortuneLou. With confusion for my own unworthi-hunters? ness, I confess to you he has offered me
O'Fla. Be advised now, and don't put yourself Stock. Himself?
in such a passion; we were all very happy till Lou. 'Tis true.
you came, Stock. Then, I am happy: all my doubts, my Lady Rus. Stand away, sir ! have not I a reacares are over, and I may own him for my son. son to be in a passion? Why, these are joyful tidings : come, my good
OʻFla. Indeed, honey, and you have, if you friend, assist me in disposing your lovely daugh- knew all. ter to accept this returning prodigal : he is no Lady Rus. Come, madam, I have found out unprincipled, no hardened libertine; his love your haunts; dispose yourself to return home for you and virtue is the same.
with me. Young man, let me never see you Dud. 'Twere vile ingratitude in me to doubt within my doors again. Mr Stockwell, I shall his merit-What says my child?
report your behaviour, depend upon it. O Fla. Begging your pardon now, 'tis a frivo- Stock. Hold, madam; I cannot consent to lous sort of a question, that of yours; for you lose-Miss Rusport's company this evening, and I may see plainly enough, by the young lady's looks, am persuaded you won't insist upon it: 'tis an that she says a great deal, though she spe:ks ne- unmotherly action to interrupt your daughter's ver a word.
happiness in this manner; believe me it is. Cha. Well, sister, I believe the major has Lady Rus. Her happiness, truly! upon my fairly interpreted the state of your heart. word! and I suppose 'tis an unmotherly action
Lou. I own it; and what must that heart be, to interrupt her ruin; for, what but ruin must it which love, honour and benevolence, like Mr be to marry a beggar? I think my sister had a Belcour's, can make no impression on?
proof of that, sir, when she made choice of you. Stock. I thank you. What happiness has this
[To Capt. DUDLEY. hour brought to pass !
Dud. Don't be too lavish of your spirits, lady O'Fla. Why don't we all sit down to supper, Rusport. then, and make a night on't?
O'Fla. By my soul, you'll have occasion for a Stock. Hold, here comes Belcour.
sip of the cordial elixir, by and by.
Stock. It don't appear to me, madam, that Mr Belcour introducing Miss RusPORT.
Dudley can be called a beggar. Bel. Mr Dudley, here is a fair refugee, who Lady Rus. But it appears to me, Mr Stockproperly comes under your protection : she is well—I am apt to think a pair of colours cannot equipt for Scotland; but your good fortune, furnish settlement quite sufficient for the heiress which I have related to her, seems inclined to of sir Stephen Rusport. save you both the journey-Nay, madam, ne- Char. But a good estate, in aid of a commisver go back; you are amongst friends.
sion, may do something. Cha, Charlotte !
Lady Rus. A good estate, truly! where should Char. The same; that fond officious girl, that she get a good estate, pray? haunts you every where; that persecuting spi- Stock. Why, suppose now a worthy old gentlerit
man, on his death bed, should have taken it in Cha. Say rather, that protecting angel : such inind to leave him oneyou have been to me.
Lady Rus. Ha! what's that you say? VOL II.
OʻFla. O ho! you begin to smell a plot, do y "Tis a night of wonderful and surprising ups and you?
dowas: I wish we were all fairly set down to Stock. Suppose there should be a paper in the supper, and there was an end on't. world that runs thus—I do hereby give and Stock. Hold for a moment ! I have yet one bequeath all my estates, real and personal, to word to interpose-Entitled, by my friendship, Charles Dudley, son of my late daughter, Lou- to a voice in your disposal, I have approved your isa,' &c. &c. &c.
match : there yet remains a father's consent to Lady Rus. Why, I am thunderstruck! By be obtained. what contrivance, what villainy, did you get pos
Bel. Have I a father! session of that paper?
Ştock. You have a father: did not I tell you Stock. There was no villainy, madam, in get. I had a discovery to make? Compose yourself ; ting, possession of it: the crime was in conceal- you have a father, who observes, who knows, ing it, none in bringing it to light.
who loves you. Lady Rus. Oh, that cursed lawyer, Varland! Bel. Keep me no longer in suspense! my
O'Fla. You may say that, faith! he is a cursed heart is softened for the affecting discovery, and lawyer, and a cursed piece of work I had to get nature fits me to receive his blessing. the paper from him. Your ladyship now was to Stock. I am your father. have paid him five thousand pounds for it-I for- Bel. My father! Do I live? ced him to give it me of his own accord, for no- Stock. I am your father. thing at all, at all.
Bel. It is too much; my happiness overpowers Lady Rus. Is it you that have done this? Am me: to gain a friend, and find a father, is too I foiled by your blundering contrivances, after nuch: I blush to think how little I deserve yoy. all?
[They embrace. O'Fla. 'Twas a blunder, faith, but as natural Dud. See, children, how many new relations a one as if I bad inade it o' purpose.
spring from this night's unforeseen events, to enCha. Come, let us not oppress the fallen; do dear us to each other. right even now, and you shall have no cause to O'Fla. O’my conscience, I think we shall be complain.
all related by and by. Laily Rus. Am I become an object of your Stock. How happily has this evening conpity, then? Insufferable ! Confusion light amongst cluded, and yet how threatening was its apyou ! Marry and be wretched : let me pever see proach! Let us repair to the supper-room, where you more.
[Exit. I will unfold to you every circumstance of my Char. She is outrageous; I suffer for her, and mysterious story. Yes, Belcour, I have watched blush to see her thus exposed.
you with a patient, but inquiring eye; and I have Cha. Come, Charlotte, don't let this angry discovered, through the veil of some irregulari womart disturb our happiness: we will save her ties, a heart beaming with benevolence, an aniin spite of herself; your father's memory shall mated nature, fallible, indeed, but not incorrignot be stained by the discredit of his second ble; and your election of this excellent young choice.
lady makes me glory in acknowledging you to be Char. I trust implicitly to your discretion, my son. and am in all things yours.
Bel. I thank you and, in niy turn, glory in Bel. Now, lovely but obdurate, does not this the father I bave gained : sensibly imprest with example soften?
gratitude for such extraordinary dispensations, I Lou. What can you ask for more ? Accept my beseech you, amiable Louisa, for the time to hand, accept my willing heart.
come, whenever you perceive me deviating into Bel. O bliss unutterable! brother, father, error or offence, bring only to my mind the Pro friend, and you, the author of this general joy- vidence of this night, and I will turn to reason, O'Fla. Blessings of St Patrick upon us all!' and obey.