Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

she found, merely to be married. On enquiry he discovered that this lady was Miss Beverly,

Cec. You will find all this, Sir, end in nothing. • Geni. That, Madam, reinains to be proved. If a young lady is seen--and sbe was seen going into the church at eight o'clock in the morning, with a young gentleman and one female friend ; -and is afterwards seen coming out of it followed by a clergyman and one other person -and is seen to get into a coach with the same young gentleman and saine female friend, why the circumstances are pretty strong.

Cec. They may seem so, Sir; but all conclusions diawn from them will be erroneous: I was not married then, upon my honour. . Gent. We have little to do, Madam, with professions ; the circumstances are strong enough to beara irial-auda,

Cec. A trial?

Gent. We have fouvd many witnesses to prove a number of particulars, and eight months share of such an estate as this, is well worth a lit. le trouble..

Cec. I am amazed, Sir ; surely Mi. Eggleston never authorised you to make use of this language to me.

Gent. Mr. Eggleston, madam, has behaved very honorably; tho' he knew the whole affair, he supposed Mr. Delvill had good reasons for a short concealment, and expected every day when the matter would become pupile. He therefore did not interfere. But on hearing that Mr. Delvili had set out for the continent, he was advised to claim his rig ats.

Cew. His claims, Sir, will doubtless be satisfied without threatening or law suits.

Gent. The truth is, Madam, Mr. Eggleston is a little embarrassed for want of some money.

This makes it a point with him, to have the affair settled speedily, unless you chuse to compromise, by advancing a particular sum till it suits you to refund the whole ihat is due to him, and quit the premises.

Cec. Nothing, Sir, is due to him; at least nothing worth inentioning. I will enter into no terms: I have no coinpromise to make. As to the premises, I will quit thein as soon as possible.

Gent, You will do well, madam, for the truth is, il

Cecilia. WHAT

will not be convenient for him to wait any longer. (be goes out.)

Eec. How weak and blind have I been, to form a secret plan of defrauding the heir to my uncle's estate: I am betrayed_and I deserve it. Never, never more will I disgrace myself by such an act.

Scene between CECILIA and HENRIETTA..

THAT is the matter with my dear Henri

etta ? Who is it that has already afflicted that kind heart, which I am pow compelled to afflict for myself.

Hen. No madam, not afflicted for you! it would be strange if I was, while I think as I now de,

Cec. I am glad you are not, for was it possible I would give you nothing but pleasure and joy,

Hen. Ah, madam, wh: will you sav so, when you don't care what becomes of me! Wben you are going to cast me off and when you will soon be top happy to think of me more !

Ceciflam never happy till then, sad indeed will be my lifele share in my heart : and time would always have been the welcomest guest in my house, but for those unhappy circumstances which make our separating inevitables

Hen. Yet ou suffered me, madam, io hear from any hosly that you was married and going away, and all uie common servants in the house knew it before me.

Coc. I am ainazed! How and whick.oy ay can they bave heard it

Hen. The map that went to Mr. Eggleston brought the first news of it, for be said all the sei vants there talked of nothing else, and that their master was to come and take possession here next Thursday. Cec. Yet

you envy me, tho I am forced to leave my house! thio' am not provided with any other! and tho he for whom I relinquished it is far off, without the means of pro:ecting me, or the power of returning home.

Her. But you are married to him, Madam.
Cec., Tive, ny love, but I am also parted from him.

Hen, O how differently do the great think írom ihe little Was I married and so married, I should want make

neither house nor fine clothes, nor riches, nor any thing -I should not care where I lived every place would be a paradise to me.

Cec. o Henrietta . Should Ierer repir,e at iny situation, I will call to mind this heroio declaration of yours, and blush for my own 'weakness. Scene between Dr. Lyster, Mr. Delvili, MR. MOR

TIMER DELVILL, and Cecilia' his wifes and LADY

HONORIA.
Dr. Lyster. My good friends

, in the course

of my long practice I have found it impossió ble to study the human frame, without looking a linle into the mind; and from all that I have yet been able to

out, either by observation, reflection or compari. son, it appears to me at this moment, that Mr. Mortimer Delvill has got the best wife, and you, Sir, (To Mr. Dela vill] the most faultless daughter in law, that any husband or any father in law jo' the kingdom can have or desire.

Lady, Hun. When you say the best and most faultless, Dr. Lyster, you should always add, the rest of the com. pany excepted.

Dr. Lys. Upon my word I beg your Ladyship's par don ; but sometimes an unguarded warmth comes across a man, that drives ceremony from his head, and makes him speak truth before he well knows wiiere he is.

Lady Hon. Oh terrible! this is sinking deeper and deeper ; I had bopes the town air had taught you better things; but l tosd you have visited Delvill Castle, till you are fit for no other place.

Delv. Coffended] Whoever, Lady Honoria, is fit for Delvill Casile, must be fit for every other place; tho every other place may by no means be fit for him.

Lady Hon. O yes, Sir, every possible place will be fit for him, if he can once bear with that. Don't you think so, Dr. Lister?

Dr: Lys. Why, when a man has the honour to see your Ladyship, he is apt to think too much of the person to care about the place. + Lady Hon. Come, I begin to have some hopes of you, for I see, for a Doctor, you really have a very pretty no. tion of a complainent. Only you have one great fault still.; you look the whole time as if you said it for joke. Dr. Lys. Why in fact, Madam, when a man has been

3 plain dealer both in word and look for fifty years, "tis expecting too quick a reformation to demand ductility of voice and eye from him at a blow. However, give me a little time and a little encouragement, and with such a tutoress, 'twill be hard, if I do not, in a few lessons, learn the right method of seasoning a simper, and the newest fashion of twisting words from their meauing:

Lady Hon. But pray, Sir, always remember on these occasions to look serious. Nothing sets off a compliment so much as a long face. If you are tempted to an unseasonable laugh, think of Delvill Castle; 'tis an expedient I commonly make use of myself, when I am afraid of being too frolicksome ; and it always succeeds, for the very thought of it gives me the head-ache in a moment. I wonder, Mr. Delvill, you keep your health so good ; after living in that horrible place so long. I have expected to hear of your death at the end of every summer, and I assure you, I was once very near buying mourning.

Delv. The estate which descends to a man from his ancestors, Lady Honoria, will seldom bé åpt to injure his 'health, if he is conscious of committing no mišdemeanor which has degraded their memory.

Lady Hon. [in a low voice to Cecilia] How vastly odious is this new father of yours. What could ever induce you to give up your charming estate for the sake of coming into his fusty old family? I would really advise you to have your marriage annulled. You know you have only to take an oath that you were forcibly run away with ; and as you are an heiress, and the Delvill's are all so violent, it will easily be believed. And then, as soon as sou are at liberty, I would advise you to inarry my little lord Derford.

Cec. Would you only then have me gain my freedom in order to part with it?“

Lady Hon. Certainly'; for you can do nothing at all without being married. A single woman is a thousand times more shackled than a wife ; for she is accountable to every body; and a wife, you know, has nothing to do but just to inanage her husband.

Cec: (smiling:] And that you consider as a tride!

care for

Lady Hon. Yes, if you do but marry a man you don't

Cec. You are right, then, indeed, to recommend to me iny Lord Derford.

Lady Hon. Oyes, he will make the prettiest liusband fu the world; you may fly about yourself as wild as a lark, and keep him the whole time as tame as a jackdaw. And tho' he may complain of you to your friends, he will never have the courage to find fault to your face. But as to Mortimer, you will not be able to govern him as long as you live'; for the momeut you have put him upon the fret, you will fall into the dumps yourself, hold out your hand to him, and losing the opportunity of gaining some material point, make up with him at the first soft word.

Cec. You think then the quarrel more amusing than the recollection ?

Lady Hon. O a thousand times ! for while you are quarrelling you may say any thing and demand any thing ; 'but when you are reconciled, you ought to be have pretty, and seem contented,

Cec. If any gentleman has any pretensions to your ladyship, he must be made very happy indeed to hear your principles.

Lady Hon. O, it would not signify at all; for one's fathers and uncles and such people always make conuet. tions for one; and not a soul thinks of our principles till they find them out by our conduct; and nobod can possibly find them out till we are married, for they give us no power betore hand.

The men know nothing of us in the word, while we are single, but how we can dance a roinuet, or play a lesson upon the harpsichord.

Del. And wliat else need a young lady of rank desire to be known for ? Your ladychip would surely not have her degrade herself by studying like an artistor professor.

Lady Hun. O no, Sir, I would not have her siudy at all; its.mighty well for children ; but really after sixteen, and when one is come out, one has quite fatigue eriough in dressing and going to public places and ordering new things, without all the torment of first and second po:ition, and E upon the first line, and F upon the first space.

« НазадПродовжити »