British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview

aversion to the match your father has proposed you?

BEV. JUN. I shall appear, Humphrey, more 275
romantic in ray answer than in all the rest of my story; for though I dote on her to death, and have no little reason to believe she has the same thoughts for me, yet in all my acquaintance and utmost
privacies with her I never once directly told her 280
that I loved.

HUMPH. How was it possible to avoid it?

BEV. JUN. My tender obligations to my father have laid so inviolable a restraint upon my conduct

that till I have his consent to speak I am deter­ 285
mined, on that subject, to be dumb forever.

HUMPH. Well, sir, to your praise be it spoken, you are certainly the most unfashionable lover in Great Britain.

Enter TOM.

TOM. Sir, Mr. Myrtle's at the next door, and, 290
if you are at leisure, will be glad to wait on you.

BEV. JUN. Whenever he pleases. -- Hold, Tom! did you receive no answer to my letter?

TOM. Sir, I was desired to call again, for I was

told her mother would not let her be out of her 295
sight. But about an hour hence, Mrs. Lettice said, I should certainly have one. BEV. JUN. Very well.

HUMPH. Sir, I will take another opportunity: in

the meantime, I only think it proper to tell you 300
that, from a secret I know, you may appear to your father as forward as you please to marry Lucinda, without the least hazard of its coming to a conclusion. Sir, your most obedient servant!

BEV. JUN. Honest Humphrey, continue but 305
my friend in this exigence and you shall always find me yours. Exit HUMPHREY.

[Aside.] I long to hear how my letter has succeeded with Lucinda -- but I think it cannot fail, for at

worst, were it possible she could take it ill, her 310
resentment of my indifference may as probably occasion a delay as her taking it right. Poor Myrtle, what terrors must he be in all this while? Since he knows she is offered to me and refused to him there
is no conversing or taking any measures with 315
him for his own service. But I ought to bear with my friend, and use him as one in adversity:

All his disquiets by my own I prove;
The greatest grief's perplexity in love. Exeunt.


ACT II

SCENE I

Scene continues.

Enter BEVIL JUNIOR and TOM.

TOM. Sir, Mr. Myrtle.

BEV. JUN. Very well -- do you step again, and wait for an answer to my letter. [Exit TOM.]

Enter MYRTLE.

BEV. JUN. Well, Charles, why so much care in

thy countenance? Is there anything in this world 5
deserves it? -- You, who used to be so gay, so open, so vacant!1

MYRT. I think we have of late changed complexions. You, who used to be much the graver man,

are now all air in your behavior. But the cause 10
of my concern may, for aught I know, be the same object that gives you all this satisfaction. In a word, I am told that you are this very day -- and your dress confirms me in it -- to be married to
Lucinda. 15

BEV. JUN. You are not misinformed. -- Nay, put not on the terrors of a rival till you hear me out. I shall disoblige the best of fathers if I don't seem ready to marry Lucinda; and you know I have ever

told you you might make use of my secret resolu­ 20
tion never to marry her, for your own service, as you please. But I am now driven to the extremity of immediately refusing or complying unless you help me to escape the match.

MYRT. Escape? Sir, neither her merit or her 25
fortune are below your acceptance. Escaping do you call it?

BEV. JUN. Dear sir, do you wish I should desire the match?

MYRT. No, but such is my humorous2 and 30
sickly state of mind since it has been able to relish nothing but Lucinda, that though I must owe my happiness to your aversion to this marriage, I can't bear to hear her spoken of with levity or unconcern.

BEV. JUN. Pardon me, sir; I shall transgress 35
that way no more. She has understanding, beauty, shape, complexion, wit --

MYRT. Nay, dear Bevil, don't speak of her as if you loved her, neither.

BEV. JUN. Why, then, to give you ease at 40
once, though I allow Lucinda to have good sense, wit, beauty, and virtue, I know another in whom these qualities appear to me more amiable than in her.

MYRT. There you spoke like a reasonable and 45
good-natured friend. When you acknowledge her merit and own your prepossession for another, at once you gratify my fondness and cure my jealousy.

BEV. JUN. But all this while you take no notice,

you have no apprehension, of another man that 50
has twice the fortune of either of us.

MYRT. Cimberton! Hang him, a formal, philosophical, pedantic coxcomb! for the sot, with all these crude notions of divers things, under the direction of

great vanity and very little judgment, shows his 55
strongest bias is avarice -- which is so predominant in him that he will examine the limbs of his mistress

____________________
1
Disengaged from toil or business.
2
Unhealthy, captious.

-450-

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