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Miss Rich. But then the mortifications they must suffer before they can be fitted out for traffic. I have seen one of them fret an whole morning at her hair.dreffer, when all the fault was her face.
Honey. And yet, I'll engage, has carried that face at last to a very good market. This good-natur’d town, madam, has hufbands, like spectacles, to fit every age, from fifteen to fourscore.
Mrs. Croak. Well, you're a dear good natur'd creature. But you know you're engaged with us this morning upon a strolling party. I want to shew Olivia the town, and the things; I believe I shall have business for you for the whole day.
Honey. I am sorry, madamn, I have an appointment with Mr. Croaker, which it is impossible to put off.
Mrs. Croak. What! with my husband! Then I'm resolved to take no refusal. Nay, I protell you muft. You know I never laugh so much as with you.
Idoney. Why, if I muft, I muft. I'll fwear you have pút me into such spirits. Well, do you find jest, and I'll find laugh, I promise you. We'll wait for the chariot in the next room.
Enter LEONTINE and OLIVIA.
Leon. There they go, thoughtless and happy. My dearest Olivia, what would I give to see you capable of sharing in their amusements, and as chearful as they are.
Oliv. How, my L.eontine, bow can I be chearful, when I have so many terrors to oppress me? The fear of being detected by this family, and the apprehenGons of a censuring world, when I must be detected
Leont. The world ! my love, what can it say? Af worft it can only fay that, being compelled by a merce, nary guardian to embrace a, life you disliked, you formed a resolution of flying with the man of your choice ; that you confided in his honour, and took refuge in my fa, ther's house; the only one where your's could remain without censure.
Oliv. But consider, Leontine, your disobedience and my indiscretion : your being sent to France to bring home a filter ; and, instead of a fiser, bringing homem
Leont. One dearer than a thousand Gifters. One that I am convinc'd will be equally dear, to the rest of the family, when she comes to be known,
Olie. And that, I fear will shortly be.
Leont. Impossible, 'till we ourselves think proper to make the discovery. My filter, you know, has been with her aunt, at Lyons, since she was a child, and you find every creature in the family takes you
for her. Oliv. But may’nt she writę, may’nt her aunt write ?
Leont. Her aunt scarce ever writes, and all my lifter's letters are directed to me,
Oliv, But won't your refusing Miss Richland, for whom you know the old gentleman intends you, create a suspicion ?
Leont. There, there's my inafter-stroke, I have refolved not to refuse her ; nay, an hour hence I have consented to go with my father, to make her an offer of my heart and fortune.
Oliv. Your heart and fortune!
Leont. Don't be'alarmed, my deareft. Can Olivia think so meanly of my honour, or my love as to suppose I could ever hope for happiness from any but her? No, my Olivia, neither the force, nor, permit me to add, the delicacy of my paffion, leave any toom to fufpect me. I only offer Miss Richland an heart, I am convinc'd she will refuse; as I am confident, that, without knowing it, her affections are fixed upon Mr. Honeywood.
Oliv. Mr. Honeywood ! You'll excuse my apprehen-, fions; but when your merits come to be put in the balance
Leont. You view them with too much partiality. However, by making this offer, I shew a seeming compliance with my father's command; and perhaps, upon her refusal, I may have his consent to chuse for myself.
Oliv. Well, I submit. And yet, my Leontine, I own, I shall envy her, even your pretended addresses. I confider every look, every expression of your esteem, as due only to me. This is folly perhaps :'1 allow it ; but it is natural to suppose, that merit which has made an impression on one's own heart, may be powerful over that of another.
Leont. Don't, my life's treasure, don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter. At worst, you know, if Miss Richland should consent, or iny father refuse his pardon, it can but end in a trip to Scotland ; and
Enter CROAK ER.
Croak. Where have you been, boy? I have been seeking you. My friend Honeywood bere, has been saying such comfortable things. Ah! he's an example indeed. Where is he? I left him here.
Leont. Sir, I believe you may see him, and hear him too in the next room : he's preparing to go out with The ladies.
Croak. Good gracious, can I believe my eyes or my ears! I'm ftruck dumb with his vivacity, and funn'd with the loudness of his laugh. Was there ever such a transformation ! (A laugh behind the scenes, Croaker mimicks it.) Ha ! ha! ha! there it goes : a plague take their balderdash; yet I could expect nothing lefs, when my precious wife was of the party. On my conscience, I believe, she could spread an horselaugh thro' the pews of a tabernacle,
Leont. Since you find so many objections to a wife, fir, how can you be so earnest in recommending one to me?
Croak. I have told you, and tell you again boy, that Miss Richland's fortune must not go out of the family ; may
find comfort in the money, whatever one does in the wife.
Leont. But, fir, tho”, in obedience to your desire, I am ready to marry her ; it may be possible, she has no inclination to me.
Croak. I'll tell you once for all how it ftands. A good part of Miss Richland's large fortune consists in a claim
government, which my good friend, Mr. Lofty, affures me the treasury will allow. One half of this the is to forfeit, by her father's will in case she refuses to marry you. So, if she rejects you, we seize half her fortune ; if she accepts you, we seize the whole, and a fine girl into the bargain.
Leont. But, sir, if you will but listen to reason
Crouk. Come, then, produce your reasons. I tell you I'm fix'd, determined, so now produce your reasons.
When I'm determin’d I always listen to reason, because it can then do
no, harm. Leont. You have alledged that a mutual choice was the first requilite in matrimonial happiness.
Croak. Well, and you have both of you a mutual choice. She has her choice to marry you, or lose half her fortune ; and
Croak. An only father, fir, might expect more obedience ; besides, has not your sister here, that never difobliged me in her life, as good a right as you ? He's a fade dog, Livy, my dear, and would take all from you. But he shan't, I tell you he shan't, for you fhall have your thare.
Oliv, Dear fir, I wish you'd be convinced that I can never be happy in any addition to my fortune, which is taken from his.
Croak. Well, well, it's a good child, so say no more ; but come with me, and we shall see something that will give us a great deal of pleasure, I promise you ; old Buggins, the curry-comb-maker, lying in state ; I'm ald he makes a very handiome corpse, and becomes his coffin prodigiously. He was an intimate friend of mine, and these are friendly things we ought to do for each other.