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ther, when I saw you enter I slipt back into the next room, where I overheard every syllable. Mar. Did you, Charles? I wish I had been with
you. Sir Geo. That I said—but I'll be hang'd if you heard her answer-But pr’ythee tell me, Charles, is she a fool ?
Cha. I never suspected her for one; but Marplot can inform you better if you'll allow him a judge.
Mar. A fool! I'll justify she has more wit than all the rest of her sex put together. Why, she'll rally me till I ha'n't a word to say for myself.
Cha. A mighty proof of her wit, truly
Mar. There must be some trick in't, sir George: egad I'll find it out if it cost me the sum you paid for't.
Sir Geo. Do, and command me-
Enter Whisper, and speaks aside to his master. The devill he here again ? damn that fellow, he ne ver speaks out. Is this the same or a new secret? You
may speak out, here are none but friends. Cha. Pardon me, Marplot, 'tis a secret.
Mar. A secret! ay, or ecod I would not give a farthing for it. Sir George, won't you ask Charles what news Whisper brings ?
Sir Geo. Not I, sir ; I suppose it does not relate to
Mar. Lord, Lord! how little curiosity some peo«
ple have! Now my chief pleasure is in knowing every body's business.
Sir Geo. I fancy, Charles, thou hast some engagement upon thy hands? Mar. Have you,
Sir Geo. Marplot, if it falls in your way to bring me any intelligence from Miranda, you'll find me at the Thatch'd-house at six
Mar. You do me much honour.
Cha. You guess right, sir George; wish me success.
Sir Geo. Better than attended me. Adieu. [Exit. Cha. Marplot, you must excuse me-
Mar. Nay, nay; what need of any excuse amongst friends ? I'll
Mar. No; then I suppose 'tis a duel, and I will go to secure you.
Cha. Well, but tis no duel, consequently no danger; therefore, pr’ythee be answer'd.
Mar. What, is't a mistress then?-Mum-you know I can be silent upon occasion.
Cha. I wish you could be civil too : I tell you, you neither must nor shall go with me. Farewell. [Exit.
Mar. Why then-I must and will follow you. [Ex.
ACT III. SCENE 1.
Charles. Well, here's the house which holds the lovely prize, quiet and serene : here no noisy footmen throng to tell the world that Beauty dwells within; no ceremonious visit makes the lover wait, no rival to give my heart a pang. Who would not scale the window at midnight without fear of the jealous father's pistol, rather than fill up the train of a coquette, where every minute he is jostled out of place! [Knocks softly.] Mrs. Patch, Mrs. Patch!
Enter MARPLOT. Mar. There he goes! Who the devil lives here? except I can find out that, I am as far from knowing his business as ever. Gad I'll watch; it may be a bawdyhouse, and he may have his throat cut. If there should be any mischief I can make oath he went in. Well, Charles, in spite of your endeavours to keep me out of the secret I inay save your life for aught I know. At that corner I'll plant myself? there I shall see whoever goes in or comes out. Gad I love discoveries.
Draws, and discovers CHARLES, ISABINDA, and Parch.
Isab. Patch, look out sharp; have a care of dad.
Isab. Well, sir, if I may judge your love by your ..courage, I ought to believe you sincere, for you venture into the lion's den when you come to see me.
Cha. If you'd consent whilst the furious beast is abroad, I'd free you from the reach of his paws.
Isab. That would be but to avoid one danger by running into another, “ like poor wretches who fly “the burning ship and meet their fate in the water." Come, come, Charles, I fear if I consult my reason, confinement and plenty is better than liberty and starving. I know you would make the frolick pleasing for a little time, by saying and doing a world of tender things; but when our small substance is exhausted, and a thousand requisites for life are want. ing, Love, who rarely dwells with Poverty, would also fail us.
Cha. Faith I fancy not; methinks my heart has laid
up a stock will last for life, to back which I have taken a thousand pounds upon my uncle's estate ; that surely will support us till one of our fathers re
Isab. There's no trusting to that, my friend ; I doubt your father will carry his humour to the grave, and mine till he sees me settled in Spain.
Cha. And can you then cruelly resolve to stay till that curs'd Don arrives, and suffer that youth, beauty, fire, and wit, to be sacrific'd to the arms of a dull Spaniard, to be immured, and forbid the sight of any thing that's human ?
Isab. No, when it comes to that extremity, and no stratagem can relieve us, thou shalt list for a soldier, and I'll carry thy knapsack after thee.
Cha. Bravely resolv'd! the world cannot be more savage than our parents, and Fortune generally assists the bold, therefore consent now: why should she put it to a future hazard? who knows when we shall have another opportunity ?
Isab. Oh, you have your ladder of ropes I suppose, and the closet window stands just where it did ; and if
you ha'n't forgot to write in characters, Patch will find a way for our assignations. Thus much of the Spanish contrivance my father's severity has taught me, I thank him : though I hate the nation I admire their management in these affairs.
Enter Patch. Patch. Oh, madam! I see my master coming up the street.
Cha. Oh, the devil I would I had my ladder now! I thought you had not expected him till night. Why, why, why, why, what shall I do, madam ? Isab. Oh! for Heaven's sake don't
way; you'll meet him full in the teeth.
“Oh, unlucky at moment!!!