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though as such not ill-treated, yet the fright, the shock, and cruel disappointment, seized with such violence upon her unhealthy frame, she sickened, pined,

and died at sea. Humph. Poor soul! O the helpless in

fant! Bev. Her sister yet survived, and had

the care of her. The captain, too, proved to have humanity, and became a father to her; for having himself married an English woman, and being childless, he brought home into Toulon this her little country-woman, presenting her, with all her dead mother's movables of value, to his wife, to be educated as his own

adopted daughter. Humph. Fortune here seemed again to

smile on her. Bev. Only to make her frowns more ter

rible; for, in his heiglit of fortune, this captain, too, her benefactor, unfortunately was killed at sea; and dying intestate, his estate fell wholly to an advocate, his brother, who, coming soon to take possession, there found (among his other riches) this blooming virgin at his

mercy. Humph. He durst not, sure, abuse his

power? Bev. No wonder if his pampered blood

was fired at the sight of her—in short, he loved; but when all arts and gentle means had failed to move, he offered, too, his menaces in vain, denouncing vengeance on her cruelty, demanding her to account for all her maintenance from her childhood; seized on her little fortune as his own inheritance, and was dragging her by violence to prison, when Providence at the instant interposed,

and sent me, by miracle, to relieve her. Humph. 'Twas Providence, indeed. But

pray, sir, after all this trouble, how came

this lady at last to England ? Bev. The disappointed advocate, finding

she had so unexpected a support, on cooler thoughts, descended to a composition, which I, without her knowledge,

secretly discharged. II umph. That generous concealment made

the obligation double. Bev. Having thus obtained her liberty, I

prevailed, not without some difficulty, to see her safe to England; where, no sooner arrived, but my father, jealous of my being imprudently engaged, immediately proposed this other fatal match that hangs upon my quiet.

Humph. I find, sir, you are irrecoverably

fixed upon this lady. Bev. As my vital life dwells in my heart

—and yet you see what I do to please my father: walk in this pageantry of dress, this splendid covering of sorrowBut, Humphry, you have your lesson. Humph. Now, sir, I have but one ma

terial question Bev. Ask it freely. Humph. Is it, then, your own passion for

this secret lady, or hers for you, that gives you this aversion to the match

your_father has proposed you? Bev. I shall appear, Humphry, more ro

mantic in my answer than in all the rest of my story; for though I dote on her to death, and have no little reason to believe she has the same thoughts for me, yet in all my acquaintance and utmost privacies with her, I never once directly

told her that I loved. IIumph. How was it possible to avoid it? Bev. My tender obligations to my father

have laid so inviolable a restraint upon my conduct that, till I have his consent to speak, I am determined, on that sub

ject, to be dumb for ever. II umph. Well, sir, to your praise be it

spoken, you are certainly the most unfashionable lover in Great Britain.

(Enter Tom.) Tom. Sir, Mr. Myrtle's at the next door,

and, if you are at leisure, will be glad to

wait on you. Bev. Whenever he pleases-hold, Tom!

did you receive no answer to my letter? Tom. Sir, I was desired to call again; for

I was told her mother would not let her be out of her sight; but about an hour hence, Mrs. Lettice said, I should cer

tainly have one. Bev. Very well.

(Erit Tom.) Humph. Sir, I will take another oppor

tunity. In the meantime, I only think it proper to tell you that, from a secret I know, you may appear to your father as forward as you please, to marry Lucinda without the least hazard of its coming to a conclusion-Sir, your most

obedient servant. Bev. Honest Humphry, continue but my

friend in this exigence, and you shall always find me yours. (Exit Humph.)I long to hear how my letter has succeeded with Lucinda-but I think it cannot fail; for, at worst, were it possi

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ble she could take it ill, her resentment of my indifference may as probably occasion a delay as her taking it right. Poor Myrtle, what terrors must he be in all this while? Since he knows she is offered to me, and refused to him, there is no conversing or taking any measures with him for his own service. -But I ought to bear with my friend, and use him as one in adversity, All his disquiets by my own I prove, The greatest grief's perplexity in love

(Exit.)

ACT II.

SCENE 1. Bevil, Jun.'s Lodgings.

(Enter Bevil, Jun., and Tom.) Tom. Sir, Mr. Myrtle. Bev. Jun.' Very well-do you step again, and wait for an answer to my letter.

(Erit Tom.)

(Enter Myrtle.) Bev. Jun. Well, Charles, why so much

care in thy countenance? Is there anything in this world deserves it? You, who used to be so gay, so open, SO

vacant! 13 Myrt. I think we have of late changed

complexions. You, who used to be much the graver man, are now all air in your behavior.—But the cause of my concern may, for auglit I know, be the same object that gives you all this satisfaction. In a word, I am told that you are this very day—and your dress confirms me in

it-to be married to Lucinda. Bev. Jun. You are not misinformed.

Nay, put not on the terrors of a rival till you hear me out. I shall disoblige the best of fathers if I don't seem ready to marry Lucinda; and you know I have ever told you you might make use of my secret resolution never to marry her for your own service as you please; but I am now driven to the extremity of immediately refusing or complying unless

you help me to escape the match. Myrt. Escape? Sir, neither her merit or

her fortune are below your acceptance

Escaping do you call it? Bev. Jun. Dear sir, do you wish I should

desire the match? Myrt. No; but such is my humorous

and sickly state of mind since it has 18 care-free.

been able to relish nothing but Lucinda, that though I must owe my happiness to your aversion to this marriage, I can't bear to hear her spoken of with levity

or unconcern. Bev. Jun. Pardon me, sir, I shall trans

gress that way no more. She has understanding, beauty, shape, complexion,

witMyrt. Nay, dear Bevil, don't speak of her

as if you loved her neither. Bev. Jun. Why, then, to give you ease at

once, though I allow Lucinda to have good sense, wit, beauty, and virtue, I know another in whom these qualities

appear to me more amiable than in her. Myrt. There you spoke like a reasonable

and good-natured friend. When you acknowledge her merit, and own your prepossession for another, at once you gratify my fondness and cure my jeal

ousy. Bev. Jun. But all this while you take no

notice, you have no apprehension, of another man that has twice the fortune of

eitlier of us. Myrt. Cimberton! hang him, a formal,

philosophical, pedantic coxcomb; for the sot, with all these crude notions of divers things, under the direction of great vanity and very little judgment, shows his strongest bias is avarice; which is so predominant in him that he will examine the limbs of his mistress with the caution of a jockey, and pays no more compliment to her personal charms than if she were a mere breeding

animal. Bev. Jun. Are you sure that is not af

fected? I have known sooner set on fire by that sort of negli

gence than byMyrt. No, no; hang him, the rogue has

no art; it is pure, simple insolence and

stupidity. Bev. Jun. Yet, with all this, I don't take

him for a fool. Myrt. I own the man is not a natural;

he has a very quick sense, 16 though very slow understanding.. He says, indeed, many things that want only the circumstances of time and place to be very just

and agreeable. Bev. Jun. Well, you may be sure of me

if you can disappoint him; but my intelligence says the mother has actually sent for the conveyancer to draw articles for his marriage with Lucinda, though 15 idiot.

14 capricious.

16 perception

some

women

13

14

those for mine with her are, by her father's orders, ready for signing; but it seems she has not thought fit to consult either him or his daughter in the mat

ter. Myrt. Pshaw! a poor troublesome woman.

Neither Lucinda nor her father will ever be brought to comply with it. Besides, I am sure Cimberton can make no settlement upon her without the concurrence of his great uncle, Sir Geoffry, in the

west. Bev. Jun. Well, sir, and I can tell you

that's the very point that is now laid before her counsel, to know whether a firm settlement can be made without his uncle's actual joining in it. Now, pray consider, sir, when my affair with Lucinda comes, as it soon must, to an open rupture, how are you sure that Cimberton's fortune may not then tempt her

father, too, to hear his proposals ? Nyrt. There you are right, indeed; that

must be provided against. Do you

know who are her counsel? Bev. Jun. Yes, for your service I have

found out that, too. They are Serjeant Bramble and Old Target—by the way, they are neither of them known in the family. Now, I was thinking why you might not put a couple of false counsel upon her to delay and confound matters a little; besides, it may probably let you into the bottom of her whole design

against you. Myrt. As how, pray? Bev. Jun. Why, can't you slip on a black

wig and a gown, and be Old Bramble

yourself? Myrt. Ha! I don't dislike it. But what

shall I do for a brother in the case? Bev. Jun. What think you of my fellow,

Tom? The rogue's intelligent, and is a good mimic. All his part will be but to stutter heartily, for that 's old Target's case. Nay, it would be an immoral thing to mock him were it not that his impertinence is the occasion of its breaking out to that degree. The conduct of

the scene will chiefly lie upon you. Myrt. I like it of all things. If you 'll

send Tom to my chambers, I will give him full instructions. This will certainly give me occasion to raise difficulties, to puzzle or confound her project

for a while at least. Bev. Jun. I'll warrant you success.-So

far are right, then. And now,

Charles, your apprehension of my mar

rying her is all you have to get over. Myrt. Dear Bevil, though I know you are

my friend, yet when I abstract myself from my own interest in the thing, I know no objection she can make to you,

or you to her, and therefore hope Bev. Jun. Dear Myrtle, I am

as much obliged to you for the cause of your suspicion, as I am offended at the effect; but, be assured, I am taking measures for your certain security, and that all things with regard to me will end in

your entire satisfaction. Myrt. Well, I'll promise you to be as

easy and as confident as I can, though I cannot but remember that I have more than life at stake on your fidelity.

(Going.) Bev. Jun. Then depend upon it, you have

no chance against you. Myrt. Nay, no ceremony, you know I must be going.

(Exit Myrt.) Bev. Jun. Well, this is another instance

of the perplexities which arise, too, in faithful friendship. We must often in this life go on in our good offices, even under the displeasure of those to whom we do them, in compassion to their weaknesses and mistakes.-But all this while poor Indiana is tortured with the doubt of me. She has no support or comfort but in my fidelity, yet sees me daily pressed to marriage with another. How painful, in such a crisis, must be every hour she thinks on me! I'll let her see at least my conduct to her is not changed. I'll take this opportunity to visit her; for though the religious vow from ever marrying without his approI have made to my father restrains me h. bation, yet that confines me not from seeing a virtuous woman that is the pure delight of my eyes and the guiltless joy of my heart. But the best condition of human life is but a gentler misery

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we

17 alloys.

an

Ind. Will you persuade me there can be

an ill design in supporting me in the condition of a woman of quality ? attended, dressed, and lodged like one; in my appearance abroad and my furniture at home, every way in the most sumptuous manner, and he that does it has an

artifice, a design in it? Isab. Yes, yes. Ind. And all this without so much as ex

plaining to me that all about me comes

from him! Isab. Ay, ay, the more for that. That

keeps the title to all you have the more

in him. Ind. The more in him! He scorns the

thoughtIsab. Then he-he-heInd. Well, be not so eager. If he is an

ill man, let us look into his stratagems. Here is another of them. (Showing a letter.) Here's two hundred and fifty pounds in bank notes, with these words: "To pay for the set of dressing-plate which will be brought home to-morrow." Why, dear aunt, now here's another piece of skill for you, which I own I cannot comprehend; and it is with a bleeding heart I hear you say anything to the disadvantage of Mr. Bevil. When he is present I look upon him as one to whom I owe my life and the support of it; then, again, as the man who loves me with sincerity and honor. When his eyes are cast another way, and I dare survey him, my heart is painfully divided between shame and love. Oh!

could I tell youIsab. Ah! you need not; I imagine all

this for you. Ind. This is my state of mind in his pres

ence; and when he is absent, you are ever dinning my ears with notions of the arts of men; that his hidden bounty, his respectful conduct, his careful provision for me, after his preserving me from utmost misery, are certain signs he means nothing but to make I know not

what of me. Isab. Oh! You have a sweet opinion of

him, truly. Ind. I have, when am rith him, ten

thousand things, besides my sex's natural decency and shame, to suppress my heart, that yearns to thank, to praise, to say it loves him. I say, thus it is with me while I see him; and in his absence I am entertained with nothing but your endeavors to tear his amiable image

from my heart; and in its stead, to place a base dissembler, an artful invader of

my happiness, my innocence, my honor. Isab. Ah, poor soul! has not his plot

taken? don't you die for him? has not the way he has taken been the most proper with you? Oh! oh! He has

sense, and has judged the thing right. Ind. Go on then, since nothing can

swer you; say what you will of him.

Heigh! ho! Isab. Heigh! ho! indeed. It is better to

say so, as you are now, than as many others are. There are, among the destroyers of women, the gentle, the generous, the mild, thè affable, the humble, who all, soon after their success in their designs, turn to the contrary of those characters. I will own to you, Mr. Bevil carries his hypocrisy the best of any man living, but still he is a man, and therefore a hypocrite. They have usurped an exemption from shame for any baseness, any cruelty towards us. They embrace without love; they make vows without conscience of obligation; they are partners, nay, seducers to the crime, wherein they pretend to be less

guilty. Ind. That's truly observed. (Aside.)

But what's all this to Bevil? Isab. This it is to Bevil and all mankind.

Trust not those who will think the worse of you for your confidence in them; ser. pents who lie in wait for doves. Won't you be on your guard against those who would betray you? Won't you doubt those who would contemn you for believing 'em? Take it from me, fair and natural dealing is to invite injuries; 't is bleating to escape wolves who would devour you! Such is the world-and such (since the behavior of one man to myself) have I believed all the rest of the

(Aside.) Ind. I will not doubt the truth of Bevil,

I will not doubt it. He has not spoke it by an organ that is given to lying. His eyes are all that have ever told me that he was mine. I know his virtue, I know his filial piety, and ought to trust his management with a father to whom he has uncommon obligations. What have I to be concerned for? my lesson is very short. If he takes me for ever, my purpose of life is only to please him. If he leaves me (which Heaven avert) I know he'll do it nobly, and I shall have nothing to do but to learn to die,

sex.

me.

after worse than death has happened to Isab. Ay, do, persist in your credulity!

flatter yourself that a man of his figure and fortune will make himself the jest of the town, and marry a handsome beg

gar for love. Ind. The town! I must tell you, madam,

the fools that laugh at Mr. Bevil will but make themselves more ridiculous; his actions are the result of thinking, and he has sense enough to make even virtue

fashionable. Isab. O' my conscience he has turned her

head.-- Come, come, if he were the honest fool you take him for, why has he kept you here these tlıree weeks, without sending you to Bristol in search of your

father, your family, and your relations? Ind. I am convinced he still designs it,

and that nothing keeps him here, but the necessity of not coming to a breach with his father in regard to the match he has proposed him. Beside, has he not writ to Bristol? and has not he advice that my father has not been heard of there

almost these twenty years? Isab. All sham, mere evasion; he is

afraid, if he should carry you thither, your honest relations may take you out of his hands, and so blow up all his

wicked hopes at once. Ind. Wicked hopes! did I ever give him

till he comes. I live only when I'm

with him. (Exit.) Isab. Well, go thy ways, thou wilful in

nocent!-I once had almost as much love for a man, who poorly left me to marry an estate; and I am now, against my will, what they call an old maid-but I will not let the peevishness of that condition grow upon me, only keep up the suspicion of it, to prevent this creature's being any other than a virgin, except upon proper terms.

(Erit.) (Re-enter Indiana, speaking to a Servant.) Ind. Desire Mr. Bevil to walk in-De

sign! impossible! A base designing mind could never think of what he hourly puts in practice. And yet, since the late rumor of his marriage, he seems more reserved than formerly—he sends in too, before he sees me, to know if I am at leisure—such new respect may cover coldness in the heart; it certainly makes me thoughtful-I'll know the worst at once; I'll lay such fair occasions in his way, that it shall be impossible to avoid an explanation, for these doubts are insupportable!—But see, he comes, and clears them all.

(Enter Bevil.) Bev. Madam, your most obedient-I am

afraid I broke in upon your rest last night; 't was very late before we parted, but 't was your own fault. I never saw

you in such agreeable humor. Ind. I am extremely glad we were both

pleased; for I thought I never saw you

better company. Bev. Me, madam! you rally; I said very

little. Ind. But I am afraid you heard me say

a great deal; and, when a woman is in the talking vein, the most agreeable thing a man can do, you know, is to have

patience to hear her. Bev. Then it's pity, madam, you should

ever be silent, that we might be always

agreeable to one another. Ind. If I had your talent or power, to

make my actions speak for me, I might indeed be silent, and yet pretend to

something more than the agreeable. Bev. If I might be vain of anything in

my power, madam, 't is that my understanding, from all your sex, has marked you out as the most deserving object of my esteem.

any such ?

ever

L.

Isab. Has he ever given you any honest ones?

Can you say, in your conscience, he has once offered to marry

you? Ind. No! but by his behavior I am con

vinced he will offer it, the moment 't is in his power, or consistent with his honor,

to make such a promise good to me. Isab. His honor! Ind. I will rely upon it; therefore desire

you will not make my life uneasy, by these ungrateful jealousies of one, to whom I am, and wish to be, obliged. For from his integrity alone, I have re

solved to hope for happiness. Isab. Nay, I have done my duty; if you

won't see, at your peril be it! Ind. Let it be—This is his hour of visit

ing me. Isab. Oh! to be sure, keep up your form;

don't him in bed-chamberThis is pure prudence, when she is liable, wherever he meets her, to be conveyed

where'er he pleases. (Apart.) Ind. All the rest of my life is but waiting

see

a

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