ing behind the door ; I don't believe there's a wife in the parish would have done so by her husband.

Dr. Cant. I beg your pardon, I believe 'tis near dinner time ; and Sir John will require my attendance.

Maw. Oh! I ain troublesome-nay, I only come to you, doctor, with a message from Mrs. Grunt. I wish your ladyship heartily and heartily farewell ; doctor, a good day to you.

Old Ludy Lamb. Mr. Mawworm, call on me some time this afternoon; I want to have a litile private discourse with you; and, pray, my service to your spouse.

Maw. I will, madam ; you are a malefactor to all goodness ; l'll wait upon your ladyship; I will, indeed. (Going, returns.] Oh, doctor, that's true; Susy desired me to give her kind love and respects to you.

(Exit, L. Dr. Cant. Madam, if you please, I will lead you into the parlour.

nid Lady Lamb. No, doctor, my coach waits at the door.

Enter SEYWARD, L. Dr. Cant. Charles, you may lay those papers by again, but in some place where you'll easily find them; for I believe we shall have occasion for them some time this afternoon. Seyw. I'll take care, sir.

{Exeunt Doctor and OLD LADY LAMBERT, L. -Occasicn for them this afternoon! (c.) Then there's no time to be lost; the coast is clear, and this is her chamber. (R.) What's the matter with me? The thought of speaking to her throws me into a disorder. There's nobody within, I believe--I'll knock again, R.D.

Enter Betty, R. D. Is your lady busy?

Betty. I believe she's only reading, sir.

Seyw. Will you do me the favour to let her know, if she's at leisure, I beg to speak with her upon some earnest business.

Enter CHARLOTTE, R. B. Charl. Who's that ?

Betty. She's here. Mr. Seyward, madam, desires to speak with you

Charl. Oh, your servant, Mr Seywaru. Here, take this odious Homer, and lay him up again; he tires me. [Crosses to C.-Exit BETTY, R. D.] How could the blind wretch make such an horrid fuss about a fine woman, for so many volumes together, and give us no account of her amours ? You have read him, I suppose, in the Greek, Mr. Seyward ?

Seyw. (R.) Not lately, madam.
Charl. (c.) But do you so violently admire him now?

Seyw. The critics say he has his beauties, madam; but Ovid has been always my favourite.

Charl. Ovid-Oh, he is ravishing !
Seyw. So art thou, to madness !

[Aside. Chari. Lord! how could one do to learn Greek :Were you a great while about it?

Seyw. It has been half the business of my life, inadam.

Charl. That's cruel now; then you think one could not be mistress of it in a month or two?

Seyw. Not easily, madam. Charl. They tell me it has the softest tone for love of any language in the world; I fancy I could soon earn it. I know two words of it already. Seyw. Pray, madam, what are they? Charl. Stay-let me see-Oh-ay-Zoe kai psuche. Seyis. I hope you know the English of them, madam ?

Charl. On lud ! I hope there is no harm in it, I am sure I heard the doctor say it to my lady. Pray, what is it?

Seyw. (R. c.) You must first imagine, madam, a tender lover gazing on his mistress ; and then, indeed, they have a softness in them; as thus-Zoe kai psuche ! my life! my soul!

Charl. [Aside r.] Oh, the impudent young rogue ! how his eyes spoke too! What the deuce can he want with me? It always run in my head that this fellow had something in him above his condition ; I'll know inmediately:-Well, but your business with me, Mr. Seyward? You have something of love in your head, I ll lay my life on't. Seyw.


never yet durst own it, madam. Charl. Why, what's the matter?

Seyw. My story is too melancholy to entertain a mind so much at ease as yours.

Charl. Oh, I love melancholy stories of all things : pray, how long have you lived with your uncle, Mr. Seyward ?

Šeyw. With Doctor Cantwell, I suppose you mean, madam ?

Charl. Ay.
Seym. He's no uncle of mine, madam.
Charl. You surprise me! not your uncle ?

Seyw. No, madam; but that's not the only character the doctor assumes, to which he has no right.

Charl. Lord! I am concerned for you.
Seyw. So you would, madam, if you knew all.

Charl. I am already ; but if there are any farther particulars of your story, pray let me hear them; and should any services be in my power, I am sure you inay command them.

Seyr. You treat me with so kind, so gentle a hand, that I will unbosom myself to you. My father, madam, was the younger branch of a genteel family in the north; his name, Trueman-but dying while I was yet in my infancy, I was left wholly dependant on ny mother, a woman really pious and well-meaning, but -in short, madam, Doctor Cantwell fatally got acquainted with her, and, as he is now your father's bosom counseilor, soon became her's. She died, madam, when I was but eight years old; and then I was, indeed, left an orphan!

Charl. Poor creature! Lord! I cannot bear it!

Seyw. She left Doctor Cantwell her sole heir and executor: but I must do her the justice to say, I believe it was in the confirmation that he would take care of, and do justice to me, and, indeed, he has so far taken care of me, that he sent me to a seminary abroad, and for these three years last past has kept me with him.

Charl. A seminary! Oh, heavens ! but why have you not strove to do yourself justice ?

Seyw. Thrown so young into his power, as I wasunknown and friendless, to whom could I apply for succour ? Nay, madain, I will confess, that on my return to England I was at first tainted with his enthusiastic notions myself; and, for some time, as much imposed upon by him, as others ; till, by degrees, as he found it necessary to make use of, or totally discard me (which last he did not think prudent to do), he was obliged to unveil himself to me in his proper colours ; and, I believe, I can inform you of some parts of his

private character, that may be the means of detecting one of the wickedest impostors that ever practised upon credulity.

Charl. But how has the wretch dared to treat you?

Seym. In his ill and insolent humours, madam, he has sometimes the presumption to tell me, that I am the object of his charity; and I own, madam, that I am humbled in my opinion, by his having drawn me into a connivance at some actions, which I can't look back on without horror!

Chail. Indeed, you can't tell how I pity you ; and depend upon it, if it be possible to serve you, by getting you out of the hands of this monster, I will.

Seyw. Once more, madam, let me assure you, that your generous inclination would be a consolation to me in the worst misfortunes : and, even in the last moment of painful death, would give my heart a joy.

Charl. Lord! the poor unfortunate boy loves me, too-what shall I do with him ? Pray, Mr. Seyward, what paper's that you have in your hand ? Is it relative to

Seyw. Another instance of the conscience and gratitude which animates our worthy doctor.

Charl. You frighten me! pray what is the purport of it? Is it neither signed nor sealed ?

Seyw. No, madam ; therefore, to prevent it, hy this timely notice, was my business here with you; your father gave it to the doctor first, to show his counsel; who having approved it, I understand this evening it will be executed.

Charl. But what is it?

Seyw. It grants to Doctor Cantwell, at present, four hundred pounds per annum, of which this very house is part; and, at your father's death, invests him in the whole remainder of his freehold estate. For you, indeed, there is a charge of four thousand pounds upon it, provided you marry with the doctor's consent; if not, 'tis added to my lady's jointure ; but your brother, madam, is, without conditions, utterly disinherited.

Charl. I am confounded! What will become of us ! My father now, I find, was serious. Oh, this insinuating hypocrite !-let me see-ay- I will go this minute. Sir, dare you trust this in my hands for an hour only?

Seyr. Any thing to serve you. [Bell rings.

Charl. Hark! they ring to dinner ; pray, sir, step in : say I am obliged to dine abroad; and whisper one of the footmen tu get a chair immediately; then do you take a proper occasion to slip out after me to Mr. Dou. ble's chambers in the Temple; there I shall have time to talk further with you.


[blocks in formation]

SCENE I.-A Dressing-Room, with Table and Chairs

Enter CHARLOTTE and BETTY, L. Charl. Has any one been to speak with me, Betty ?

Betty. Only Mr. Darnley, madam; he said, he would call again, and hid his servant stay below, to give him notice when you come home.

Charl. You don't know what he wanted ?

Betty. No, madam; he seemed very uneasy at your being abroad.

Charl. Well, go, I'll see him. [Exit Betty, L. Ten to one but his wise head has found out something to be jealous of: if he lets me see it, I shall be sure to make him infinitely easy-here he comes.

Enter DarNLEY, L. Darn. Your humble servant, madam, Charl. Your servant, sir. Darn. (L. c.) You have been abroad, I hear? Charl. (c.) Yes, and now I am come home, you see.

Darn. You seein to turn upon my words, madam! Is there any thing particular in them?

Charl. As much as there is in my being abroad, believe.

Darn. Might I not say you have been abroad, without giving offence ?

Charl. And might I not as well say, I was come home, without your being so grave upon't ?

Darn. Do you know any thing that should make me grave?

Charl. I know if you are so, I am the worst person in the world you can possibly show it to.

Darn. Nay, I don't suppose you do any thing you won't justify.


« VorigeDoorgaan »