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I approve your resolution; and here they come to receive a confirmation of your pardon and consent.
Enter Mrs. CROAKER, JARVIS, LEONTINE, and OLIVIA.
Where's my husband! Come, come, lovey, you must forgive them. Jarvis here has been to tell me the whole affair; and I say, you must forgive them.. Our own was a stolen match, you know, my dear; and we never had any reason to repent of it.
I wish we could both say so. However, this gentleman, Sir William Honeywood, has been beforehand with you in obtaining their pardon. So, if the two poor fools have a mind to marry, I think we canf tack them together without crossing the Tweed for it. [Joining their hands.
How blest and unexpected; What, what can we
say to such goodness! But our future obedience shall be the best reply. And as for this gentleman, to whom we owe
Excuse me, Sir, if I interrupt your thanks, as I have here an interest that calls me. (Turning to Honeywood.) Yes, Sir, you are surprised to see me; and I own that a desire of correcting your follies led me hither. I saw with indignation the errors of a mind that only sought applause from others; that easiness of disposition, which though inclined to the
right, had not courage to condemn the wrong. with regret those splendid errors, that still took name from some neighboring duty; your charity, that was but injustice: your benevolence, that was but weakness; and your friendship, but credulity. I saw with regret great talents and extensive learning only employed to add sprightliness to error, and increase your perplexities. I saw your mind with a thousand natural charms; but the greatness of its beauty served only to heighten my pity for it's prostitution.
Cease to upbraid me, Sir: I have for some time but too strongly felt the justice of your reproaches. But there is one way still left me. Yes, Sir, I have determined this very hour to quit for ever a place where I have made myself the voluntary slave of all, and to seek among strangers that fortitude which may give strength to the mind, and marshal all its dissipated virtues. Yet ere I depart, permit me to solicit favor for this gentleman; who, notwithstanding what has happened, has laid me under the most. signal obligations. Mr. Lofty
Mr. Honeywood, I'm resolved upon a reformation as well as you. I now begin to find that the man who first invented the art of speaking truth was a much cunninger fellow than I thought him. And to prove that I design to speak truth for the future, I must now assure you, that you owe your late enlargement to another; as, upon my soul, I had no hand in the matter. So now, if any of the company has a mind for preferment, he may take my place, I'm determined to resign. [Exit.
How have I been deceived!
No, Sir, you have been obliged to a kinder, fairer friend for that favor. To Miss Richland. Would she complete our joy, and make the man she has honored by her friendship happy in her love, I should then forget all, and be as blest as the welfare of my dearest kinsman can make me.
After what is past it would be but affectation to pretend to indifference. Yes, I will own an attachment, which I find was more than friendship. And if my intreaties cannot alter his resolution to quit the country, I will even try if my hand has not power to detain him. [Giving her hand.
Heavens! how can I have deserved all this? How express my happiness, my gratitude! A moment like this overpays an age of apprehension.
Well, now I see content in every face; but heaven send we be all better this day three months!
Henceforth, nephew, learn to respect yourself. He who seeks only for applause from without, has all his happiness in another's keeping.
Yes, Sir, I now too plainly perceive my errors: my vanity in attempting to please all, by fearing to offend any; my meanness in approving folly lest fools should disapprove. Henceforth, therefore, it shall be my study to reserve my pity for real distress; my friendship for true merit; and my love for her, who first taught me what it is to be happy.
As puffing quacks some catiff wretch procure
To swear the pill, or drop, has wrought a cure;
*The author, in expectation of an Epilogue from a friend at Oxford, deferred writing one himself till the very last hour. What is here offered, owes all its success to the graceful manner of the actress who spoke it.