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Scene between CECILIA BEVERLY. and HINRIETTA BEL
Geo. My dear Henrietta, you seem to be overjoyed.
May I know the cause ? Hen. My dear, dear Miss Beverly, I have such a thing to tell you-you would never guess it I don't know how to believe it myself-Mr. Delvill has written to me! be bas indeed! here is the note! (holding out a letter.] Ceo. Indeed! I long to know the contents, pray read ito Hen. [reads it.]
" To Mụss BELPIELD, Mr. Delvill presents his compliments to Miss Belfield, and begs to be permitted to wait on her for a few minutes at any time in the afternoon she would please to appoint."
Only think! it is me, poor simple me, of all people, that he wants to speak with. But what can he want! My dearest Cécilia tell me what you think he can have to say to me.
Céc. Indeed it is impossible for me to conjecture.
Hen: If you can't, I ain sure there is no wonder I can't. I have thought of a million things in a minute. It can't be about business---It can't be about my brother. It can't be about my dear Miss Beverly---] suspect-(A servant enters wilb a message:]
Ser: A gencleinan in the parlour desires to speak with Miss Belfield.
Servant goes out.] Hen. My dear Miss Beverly, what shall say to ķim? Pray advise me, I am so confused I cau't say a single word.
Cec. I can't advise you, Miss Belfield, for I don't know what he will say to you:
Hen. But I can guess, I can guess! and I shan't know what in the world to answer. I shall behave like a sim. pleton and disgrace myself. [Cecilia leaves ber and Mr. Delvill enters the room.]
Delvill. Good morrow Miss Beifield. I hope I have the pleasuse to see you well to day. Is Miss Beverly at home? I have a message for her from my mother,
Hen. [Witb a look of disappointment] yes, sir, she is at home, I will call her.
[goes out] [Cecilia enters. ] - Delu. Good morrow, madam, I have presumed to wait on you, this morning, by permission of my mother. But I am afraid that permission is so late that the inau. ence I hoped from it is past.
Cec. I had no means, Sir, of knowing you came from her. Otherwise I should have received her commands without hesitation.
Delv. I would thank you for the honour you do her, was it less pointedły exclusive. Yet I have no right to reproach you. Let me ask, Madam, could you, after my solemn promise at our last parting, to renounce all future claim upon you, in obediênce to my mother's will, could you think me so dishonorable, as to obtrude myself into your presence, while that promise wasin force?
Cec. I find I have been too hasty. I did indeed beJieve Mrs. Delvill would never authorize such a visit: but as I was much surprised, I hope I may be pardoned for a little doubt.
Delu. There spoke Miss Beverly! the same, the analtered Miss Beverly I hoped to find. Yet is she unaltered ? Am I not too hasty! And is the story I have heard about Belfield a dream? an error a falsehood ?
Cec. If it was not such a quick succession of quarrels would be endless-perplexity, I would be affronted that you can ask Áne such a question.
Delv. Had I thought it a question, I should not have asked it. But never for a moment did I credit it, till the rigour of your repulse alarmed me. But as you are good enough to account for that, I am encouraged to make known the design of my present visit. Yet with confidence I cannot speak? bardly with hope.
Cee. One thing Sir, let me say before you proceed; if your purpose has not the sanetion of Mrs. Delvill, as well as your visit, I would be excused from Wearing it, for I shall most certainly refuse it:
Delo. I would mention nothing without her concurtence, she has given it: and my father has also consent, ed to my present application.".
Cec. (clasping ber bands in joy.) Is it possible !
Dild. It is possible? With what emotions do I hear these words? Ah, Miss Beverly! once iny own Cecilia? do yow, can you wish it possible ?
Cec. No, no, I wish nothing about it. Yet tell me how it has happened---I am curious (smiling) though not interested in it.
Delo. What hope would this sweetness give me, was my scheme any other than it is? But you cannot--no, it would be unreasonable---it would be madness to exa pect your compliance? It is next to madness for me to wish it? But how shall a man who is desperate be pru: dent and circumspect.
Cec. Spare yourself Sir, this unnecessary pain. You will find in me no urinecessary scruples.
Delv. You know not what you say, Madam. All no. ble as you are, the sacrifice I have to propose.
Cec. Name it, Sir, with confidence, I will not disguise ---but frankly-own that I will agree to any sacrifice you will mention, provided it has Mrs. Delvill's approbation.
Delv. What words are these? Is it Miss Beverly that speaks?
Céc. What can I say more ? Must I offer this pledge to? (bolding out ber band.)
Delv. My dear Cecilia, how happy this makes me! (laking ber band) for my life I would not resign it. Yet how soon will you withdraw it when you know that the only' terms on which I can hold it, are that this hand must sign away your inheritance,
Cec: 1 do not comprehend this, Sir,
Delv. Can you for my sake, make such a sacrifice as this? I am not permitted to give up my name for yours; can you renounce your uncle's fortune, as you must, if jou renounce your name; and consent to such settle. ments as I can make-upon you ? Will these and
your own paternal inheritance of ten thousand pounds, satisfy your expectations of living.
Cec. (Turning pale and drawing back ber band) 0, Mr. Delville, your words pierce me to the soul.
Delv. Have I offended you madam? Pardon me the for indulging a romani whim which your better - judgment disapproves. My presumption deserves this
Cee. You know not then my inability to comply ?
Delv. Your ability or inability, I presume, depends on your own will.
Geç. No, Sir, by no means, my power is lost---My fortune, alas, is gone.
Delv. Impossible ! utterly impossible!
Cec. Would to heaven it was otherwise! But it is too true ; and our father knows it. i Delv. My father!
Cec. Did he ever hint it to you P
Delv. Distraction! what horrible confirmation is com. ing! (pausing) you only, Miss Beverly could bave made this credible !
Cec. And you then actually heard it?.
Delv. I had indeed heard it, as the most infamous false. hood. My heart swelled mith indignation at such slander,
Cec. Oh, Bir, the fact is undeniable; though the circumStances you have heard with it may be exaggerated.
Delu. That indeed mast have been the case. told that your parental fortune was totally exhausted, and that during your minority, you had been a dealer with the Jews! All this I was told from my father, or I could not have been made to hear it
Cec. Thos far he told you nothing but truth.
Delv. Truth! (starting) never thien was truth so scandalously wronged! I denied the whole reprint! I disbelieved every syllable! I pledged my own honor to prove every y assertion talse.
Coc. Generous Delvill, this is what I might expect from you (weeping.)
Delv. Why does Miss Beverly weep? Why bas she given me this alarm ? These things must at least hare been misrepresented. Will you condescend to unravel to me this mysterious affair.
Cec. Alas, Sir, the unfortunate Mr. Harrel! He has been the cause of my losses. You know his love of gas ming, a passion which led him to lis fatal eod. In his embariassments he came to me tor assistance. He was my guardian; what could I do? I yielded to his entreaties and repeatedly took up money of a Jewi upon the credit of my estate, until the whole was pledged. If it
was a fault, I kuow you will ascribe it to the real motive and pardon it.
Delu. My dear Cecilia, I thank you sincerely for this account of your misfortunes; altho it fills my heart with anguish. How will my mother be shocked to hear a confirmation of the report she had heard. How irritated at your injuries from Harrel! How grieved that your generosity should bring upon your character so many vile aspersions.
Cec. I have been of too easy a disposition---too un. guarded---yet always, at the moment, seemed guided by common humanity. But I thought myself secure of ealth; and while the revenue of my uncle ensured me prosperity, I thought little of my own fortune. Could I have foreseen this moment-
Deiv Would you then have listened to my romantic proposal?
Cec. Could I have hesitated?
Delv. Most generous of beings stil: then be mine! By our economy, we will make savings to pa, off our mortgages and clear our estates. I will still keep iny name to which my family is bigoted, and my gratitude for your complaisance shall make you forget what you lose by the change of yours.
Scene between CECILIA BEVERLY and a GENTLEMAN.
to ask your name?
Cec. My name, Sir!
Cec. Is it possible, Sir, you are come hicher without already knowing it ?
Gent. I know it only by common report, Madam.
Cee. Common report, Sir, I believe seldom is :v rong in a matter where it is so easy to be right.
Gent. Have you any objection, madamn, to telling me your name?
Cec. No, Şir, but your business can hardly be very important, if you are yet to learn whom you are to address. It will be time enough, therefore, for ust: meet, when you have elsewhere learnt my naine, (song.)