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Char. Lord, sir! what filthy thing's this?
[Seeing the Paper. Sir G. Ay, there's the business-a brat of my lady's brain, thal has got a mischance: that's all.
Frank. Some roasted poetry, I presuine.
Sir G. Ay, ay; the-the-lhe passion of Bibble Babble; I don't know what she calls it: but she bas been in such a fume here, that balf the servants are going to leave the house about it. Charlotte, you can wheedle upon occasion: pr’ythee step into the hall, and see if you can make up this matter among them. Char. I'll do my best, sir.
[Exit Char. Frank. Poor lady! she is a little apt to be overconcerned for her poetry.
Sir G. Concerned! odsblews! if a line on't happens to be mislaid, she's as mad as a blind mare that has lost her foal; she'll run her head against a stone wall to recover it. All the use I find of her learning is, that it furnishes her with more words to scold with.
Enter a Servant.
Sir G. Oh, that's well. Come, Mr. Frankly, let's all go into the dining-room together; may hap she may
be ashamed to be in a passion before company,
Frank. At least we may keep her within bounds, sir,
Sir G. You're right! you're right! ah! ils a very hard case! there's no condition of life without plague and trouble-Wby, most people think now I have fortune enough to make ten men of quality happy
And yet you see how oddly things are carried;
SCENE I. Enter GRANGER and FRANKLY. Frank. In one word, Granger, thou art a very dangerous fellow; why, thou art more in my lady's faroor in half an hour, than all my art could make me in half a year.
Gran. Have I not always told you, Frankly, that one civil thing from a downright dealer goes farther than a thousand from a man of general complaisance?
Frank. Nay, if thon bast not done tby business with Sophronia effectually, I know nothing of the sex: why, she blosl’d, man, like a damask rose, when you first came into the room.
Gran. Did not I tell you too, her quarrel and spleen to you would be of service to me?
Frank. O! palpably! I was ready to borst to see her bridle, and smile at me, upon your growing particular to her
Gran. And what paiys she took, to make you observe, that she overlooked you! ha, ha! But the misfortune
is, I have flattered my lady into so good a humour, by engaging to make out a fair copy of her basted verses there, that I doubt, she won't be able to leave me alone with Sophronia.
Frank. Never fear; her malice is too busy, in selling Witling against me, to interrupt you.
Gran. There, indeed, I have sorne hopes.
Frank. I believe I shall be able to assist them, and in part to return the favour you have done me with sir Gilbert. Gran. Any thing in my power you may be sure of -but see, he's here!
Enter SiR GILBERT. Sir G. 0! your servant, gentlemen; I thought we had lost you.
Gran. Your pardon, sir, we had only a word or two in private.
Frank. We were just coming into the company.
Sir G. In troth, I can tell you, the sooner the better: for there's my lady and Charlotte are going to play all the game upon us.
Frank. Never fear, sir; as long as you have given me leave to go Charlotte's halves, she'll make the most of her cards, I'll warrant you.
Sir G. I don't know that, but I am sure Witling yonder is making the most of bis time : his wit, or his impudence, has got him into such bigl favour with my lady, that she is railing at you like a fury, and crying him up for an angel : ip short, Charlotte has discovered all your affair with her, and has plainly told him you are his rival. But it seems, sir, your pretensions are so ridiculous, that they are all three cracking their sides in a full chorus of laughing at you.
Frank. Sir, I am obliged to you for your concern; bat in all this, Charlotte is acting no wrong part, I can assure you.
Sir G. No wrong part! Odsheart! I tell you she's coquetting to him, wiih every wicked limb about her
and is as full of her airs there, as a bandsome widow to a young lord in the lobby, when she bas a suit depending in the house of peers. Frank. Better still, the more likely to carry her
Sir G. Carry her cause! carry her coxcomb, sir; for, you'll see, that will be the end on't: she'll be carried off herself, sir. Why, man, he is going to beleaguer her with a whole army of fiddlers yonder; such a concourse of cal-guls, you'd swear one of their outlandish squallers were roasting alive here.
Frank. Believe me, sir, there is no terror in all this preparation; do you but stand it oul stoutly with my lady, and I'll engage to dismount his musical battery with a cbild's whistle.
Sir G. My lady! Psbaw waw! What dost thou talk of her, man? Why I tell you, I'll put her into a mousehole, provided you engage to bring me off with Witling.
Gran. Your security shall be signed the minule it can be drawn, sir.
Sir G. That's enough; but give me leave to tell you again, gentlemen, I really don't understand the girl's way of proceeding all this while.
Frank. Why, sir don't you know that Witling is the vainest rogue upon earth.
Sir G. I grant it.
Frank. Why, sir, then, if Charlotte were to despise him, we are sure he would then insist upon his bargain; but while she flatters him, and you and I only laugh at him, he may be vain enough to trust his triumph to her choice and inclination only.
Sir G. O! now I begin to take you: so that, if lie is rightly handled among us, you propose that Charlotle will be able to coquette bim out of his contract.
Frank. Nay, it's her own project, sir: and I cannot really think we bave an ill chance for it at worst: but we must leave it all to her now. In love affairs, you know, sir, women have generally wiser heads than we.
Sir G. Troth! I don't wholly dislike it; and if I don't handle him roundly on my part
Gran. Hush! my lady-
Enter LADY WRANGLE and SOPHRONIA. Lady W. Well, Sophronia, since I see this giddy girl is neither to be formed by precept or example; it is at least some consolation, to find her natural inconstancy so effectually mortifies that vile apostate, Frankly.
Soph. Yet I am amazed he should not be more moved at her infidelity.
Lady W. You know he's vain, and thinks his merit may sleep in full security. But now! to rouse him from his dream-01, Mr. Granger! I am sorry you left us; I am perfectly killed with laughing! There's Mr. Willing has had such infinite humour; he has entertained us more than ten comedies.
Gran. O! pray, madam, let us go in and participate. Lady W. By no means; he's now alone with his mistress, and 'twould be barbarous to interrupt them.
Grun. His mistress, madam!
Lady W. Ay! with Charlotte; and, you know, lorers so near their happiness are apt to like no company so well as their own.
Frank. D'ye hear, sir? [To Sir Gilbert apurt. Sir G. I told
how it was. [To Frankly apart. Lady W. Beside, he is to give us a little music; and I think this room will be more convenient.
Gran. He is a fortunate man indeed, madam, to be so well acquainted with the young lady already.
Lady W. There's no accounting for that idle passion in uncultivated minds: I am not surprised at her forwardness, considering the vulgar education Mr.Wrangle has given her.
Sir G. Odsheart, madam! don't disparage my girl ; she has had a more useful education than your lady. ship.
Lady W. 0! no doubt! she has shown most hopeful