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'Tis as pure, and as fure, and fecure as a gun,
fellow finds, tho' he go
The nearest way home.
Mrs High. I can bear this no longer. I wou'd advise you, Madam, and your mafter both, to keep from my houfe, or I fhall take meafures you won't like.
[Exit. Let. I defy you: we have the strongest party: and I warrant we'll get the better of you. But here comes the young lady herfelf.
Enter Charlotte. Char. So, Mrs Lettice!
Let. 'Tis pity you had not come a little fooner, Ma dam; your aunt is but just gone, and has left pofitive orders that you should make more frequent vifits at our houfe.
Let. Yes, Madam; for she has forbid my mafter ever vifiting at yours, and I know it will be impoffible for you to live without feeing him.
Char. I affure you! Do you think me fo fond then? Let. Do I! I know you are; you love nothing elfe, think of nothing else all day; and, if you will confess the truth, I dare lay a wager that you dream of nothing else all night.
Char. Then, to fhow you, Madam, how well you know me--the devil take me-if you are not in the right.
Let. Ah! Madam, to a woman practis'd in love, like me, there's no occafion for confeffion;-for my part, I don't want words to affure me of what the eyes tell me. Oh! if the lovers would but confult the eyes of their miftreffes, we fhou'd not have fuch fighing, languishing, and defpairing as we have.
AIR II. Bush of Boon.
What need he trust your words precife,
When, oh! he reads within your eyes
Nor ever cheat your lover.
Val. My deareft Charlotte! this is meeting my wishes indeed; for I was coming to wait on you.
Let. 'Tis very lucky that you do meet her here, for her houfe is forbidden ground; you have seen the last of that, Mrs Highman fwears.
Val. Ha! not go where my dear Charlotte is? what danger cou'd deter me? what difficulty prevent me? Not cannon nor plagues, nor all the most frightful forms of death, fhould keep me from her arms.
Char. Nay, by what I can find, you are not to put your valour to any proof;-the danger is to be mine; I am to be turn'd out of doors if ever you are seen in them again.
Val. The apprehenfions of your danger wou'd, indeed, put it to the fevereft proof: But why will my deareft Charlotte continue in the house of one who threatens to turn her out of it? why will the not know another home, one where she would find a protector from every kind of danger?
Char. How can you pretend to love me, Valentine, and ask me that in our prefent defperate circumftances?
Let. Nay, nay, don't accuse him wrongfully: I won't indeed infift that he gives you any great inftance of his prudence by it; but I'll fwear it is a very strong one of his love, and fuch an instance, as whe man has once shown, no woman of any honesty, o onour, or gratitude, can refuse him any longer. For my part, if I had ever found a lover who had not wicked mercenary views upon my fortune, I should have married him, whatever he had been.
Char. Thy fortune!
Let. My fortune! Yes, Madam, my fortune; I was, worth fifty-fix pounds before I put it into the lottery:
What it will be now, I can't tell; but you know, fomebody must get the great lot, and why not I?
Val. Oh, Charlotte! wou'd you had the fame fentiments with me! For, by heavens! I apprehend no danger but that of lofing you; and, believe me, love will fufficiently reward us for all the hazards we run on his
AIR III. Fanny blooming fair, &c.
Let bold ambition lie
Within the warrior's mind;
With flaughter of mankind:
Lay thousands in the grave;
Which mafter fhall enflave.
Let him there rule alone,
Still fitting on his throne:
At his commands to fly;
Or look'd from that dear eye!
Love's title is the best;
Who makes his subjects bleft?
Did empire first defign,
To rule by right divine.
Let. Hit! hit! get you both about your business; Mr Oldcastle is juft turn'd the corner, and if he fhou'd fee you together you are undone. (Exeunt Valentine and Charlotte.) Now will I banter this old coxcomb feverely; for I think it is a moft impertinent thing in thefe old fumblers to interpofe in young people's sport.
Old. Hem! hem? I profefs it is a very fevere eafterly
wind-and if it was not to fee a miftrefs, I believe I fhould scarce have stirred abroad all day.
Let. Mr Oldcastle, your very humble fervant. Old. Your humble fervant, Madam; I ask your par don; but I profefs I have not the honour of knowing you.
Let. Men of your figure, Sir, are known by more than they are themselves able to remember; I am a poor handmaid of a young lady of your acquaintance, Mifs Charlotte Highman.
Old. Oh! your very humble fervant, Madam. I hope your lady is well?
Let. Hum! fo, fo-She fent me, Sir, of a small meffage to you.
Old. I am the happiest man in the world.
Let. She begs, if you have the least affection for her, that he may never fee you here again.
Old. What! what!
Let. She is a very well-bred, civil, good-natur'd lady, and does not care to fend a rude meffage; therefore only bids me tell you, fhe hates you, fcorns you, detefts you, more than any creature upon the earth; that if you are refolv'd to marry, the wou'd recommend to you a certain excellent dry-nurfe, who might poffibly be brought by your money to do any thing but go to bed with you; and laftly, fhe bide me tell you, in this cold weather, never to go to-bed without a good warm poffet, and never to lie without at least a pair of flannel-shirts.
Old. Hold your impertinent faucy tongue!
Let. Nay, Sir, don't be angry with me, I only deliver my meffage; and that too in as civil and concise a manner as poffible.
Old. Your mistrefs is a pert young huffy, and I shall tell her aunt of her.
Let. That will never do; you had better trust to her own good nature. 'Tis I am your friend; and if we can get over three little obftacles, I don't despair of marry ing you to her yet.
Old. What are thofe obftacles?
Let. Why, Sir, there is in the first place your great age; you are at least some fixty-fix.
Old. 'Tis a lie; I want feveral
months of it.
Let. If you did not, I think we may get over this: one half of fortune makes a very your fufficient amends
Old. We fhan't fall out about that.
Let. Well, Sir; then there is, in the fecond place, your terrible ungenteel air: this is a grand obftacle with her, who is fo doatingly fond of every thing that is fine and foppish; and yet I think we may get over this too, by the other half of your fortune-And now there remains but one, which, if you can find any thing to fet afide, I believe I may promise you, you shall have her : and that is, Sir, that horrible face of yours, which it is impoffible for any one to fee without being frighten'd.
Old. Ye impudent baggage! I'll tell your miftrefs; I'll have you turn'd off.
Let. That will be well repaying me indeed, for all the fervices I have done you.
Let. Services! Yes, Sir, fervices; and to let you fee I think you fit for a hufband, I'll have you myfelf! Who can be more proper for a husband, than a man of your age and tafte? for I think you cou'd not have the confcience to live above a year, or a year and a half at moft: and I think a good plentiful jointure wou'd make amends for one's enduring you as long as that; provided we live in feparate parts of the house, and one had a good handfome groom of the chambers to attend one.
Hark, bark, the cock crows.
When a lover like you
Does a woman pursue,
She must have little wit in her brain, Sir;
She takes not the purse,
Alas, with her fighing poor fwain, Sir;