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ACT THE SECON D.
SCENE, CROAKER's boufe.
Mifs RICHLAND GARN E T.
LIVIA not his fifter? Olivia not Leontine's fifter? You amaze me!
Gar. No more his fifter than I am è I had it all from his own fervant: I can get any thing from that quar
Mifs Rich. But how? Tell me again, Garnet.
Gar. Why, madam, as I told you before, instead of going to Lyons, to bring home his fifter, who has been there with her aunt these ten years; he never went further than Paris; there he faw and fell in love with this young lady, by the bye, of a prodigious family.
Mifs Rich. And brought her home to my guardian, as his daughter?
Gar. Yes and his daughter she will be. If he don't confent to their marriage, they talk of trying what a Scotch parfon can do.
Mifs Rich. Well, I own they have deceived me-And fo demurely as Olivia carried it too! Would you believe
it, Garnet, I told her all my fecrets; and yet the fly cheat concealed all this from me?
Gar. And, upon my word, madam, I don't much blame her; she was loath to truft one with her fecrets that was so very bad at keeping her own.
Mifs Rich. But to add to their deceit, the young gentleman it seems, pretends to make me serious propofals. My guardian and he are to be here presently, to open the affair in form. You know I am to lose half my fortune if I refuse him.
Gar. Yet, what can you do? For being, as you are in love with Mr. Honeywood, madam
Mifs Rich. How! idiot; what do you mean? In love with Mr. Honeywood! Is this to provoke me?
Gar. That is, madam, in friendship with him; I meant nothing more than friendship, as I hope to be married; nothing more.
Mifs Rich. Well, no more of this! As to my guardian, and his fon, they fhall find me prepared to receive them; I'm refolved to accept their proposal with feeming pleasure, to mortify them by compliance, and fo throw the refusal at last upon them.
Gar. Delicious! and that will secure your whole fortune to yourself. Well, who could have thought fo innocent a face could cover fo much cuteness!
Mifs Rich. Why, girl, I only oppofe my prudence to their cunning, and practise a leffon they have taught me against themselves.
Gar. Then you're likely not long to want employment, for here they come, and in close conference.
Enter CROAKER, LEONTINE.
Leon. Excufe me, fir, if I feem to hesitate upon the point of putting to the lady fo important a quef
Croak. Lord! good fir, moderate your fears; you're so plaguy shy, that one would think you had changed fexes. I tell you we must have the half or the whole. Coine, let me fee with what fpirit you begin? Well, why don't you? Eh! What? Well then-I must, it feems-Mifs Richland, my dear, I believe you guess at our bufinefs; an affair which my fon here comes to open, that nearly concerns your happiness.
Mifs Rich. Sir, I fhould be ungrateful not to be pleafed with any thing that comes recommended by
Croak. How, boy, could you defire a finer opening? Why don't you begin, I fay? (To Leont.)
Leont. 'Tis true, madam, my father, madam, has fome intentions-hem-of explaining an affair-wh.ch -himself-can beft explain, madam.
Creak. Yes, my dear; it comes entirely from my fon; it's all a request of his own, madam. And I will permit him to make the best of it.
Leont. The whole affair is only this, madam ; my father has a propofal to make, which he infifts none but himfelf fhall deliver.
Croak. My mind mifgives me, the fellow will never be brought on (Afide) In fhort, madam, you see before you one that loves you; one whofe whole happiness is all in you.
Mifs Rich. I never had any doubts of your regard, fir; and I hope you can have none of duty.
Croak. That's not the thing, my little fweeting; my love! No, no, another guess lover than I; there he stands, madam, his very looks declare the force of his paffionCall up a look, you dog-But then, had you seen him, as I have, weeping, fpeaking foliloquies and blank verse, fometimes melancholy, and fometimes abfent
Mifs Rich. I fear, fir, he's abfent now; or such a declaration would have come moft properly from himfelf.
Croak. Himfelf! madam, he would die before he could make fuch a confeffion; and if he had not a channel for his paffion thro' me, it would ere now have drowned his understanding.
Mifs Rich. I must grant, fir, there are attractions in modeft diffidence above the force of words. A filent addreis is the genuine eloquence of fincerity.
Croak. Madam, he has forgot to speak any other language; filence is become his mother tongue.
Mifs Rich. And it must be confeffed, fir, it speaks very powerfully in his favour. And yet I fhould be thought too forward in making fuch a confeffion; shan't I, Mr. Leontine ?
Leon. Confufion! my referve will undo me. But, if modesty attracts her, impudence may difguft her. I'll try. (Afide.) Don't imagine from my filence, madam, that I want a due fenfe of the honour and happiness intended me. My father, madam, tells me, your humble servant is not totally indifferent to you. He admires
you; I adore you ; and when we come together, upon my foul I believe we fhall be the happieft couple in all St. James's.
Mifs Rich. If I could flatter myfelf, you thought as yon fpeak, firn Hai
Leont. Doubt my fincerity, madam? By your dear self I swear. Ask the brave, if they defire glory? ask cowards, if they covet fafety
Croak. Well, well, no more questions about it. Leont. Afk the fick if they long for health? afk mifers, if they love money? afk
Croak. Ask a fool, if he can talk nonsense! What's come over the boy? What fignifies afking, when there's not a foul to give you an answer ? If you would alk to the purpose, ask this lady's consent to make you happy.
Mifs Rich. Why, indeed, fir, his uncommon ardour almoft compels me, forces me to comply. And yet I'm afraid he'll defpife a conqueft gained with too much ease: won't you, Mr. Leontine?
Leont. Confufion! (Afide.) O, by no means, `madam, by no means. And yet, madam, you talk'd of force. There is nothing I would avoid fo much as compulfion in a thing of this kind. No, madam, I will ftill be generous, and leave you at liberty to refufe.
Croak. But I tell you, fir, the lady is not at liberty.It's a match. You fee fhe fays nothing. Silence gives
Leont. But, fir, he talked of 'force. Confider, fir, the cruelty of contraining her inclinations.