|-- Well, Maria, have you given orders for the||70|
|MA. Sir, I have endeavored not to wrong your||75|
THOR. Nay, 'twas a needless caution; I have no cause to doubt your prudence.
MA. Sir, I find myself unfit for conversation; I
|should but increase the number of the company||80|
THOR. Nay, my child, this melancholy must not be indulged.
MA. Company will but increase it. I wish you
|would dispense with1 my absence; solitude best||85|
THOR. You are not insensible that it is chiefly on your account these noble lords do me the honor so frequently to grace my board; should you be
|absent, the disappointment may make them||90|
MA. He that shall think his time or honor lost in visiting you can set no real value on your daughter's company, whose only merit is that she is yours. The
|man of quality who chooses to converse with a||95|
THOR. Come, come, Maria; I need not tell you that a young gentleman may prefer your con
|versation to mine, yet intend me no disrespect||100|
|would have been insipid and tiresome to me if it||105|
MA. Yours no doubt was as agreeable to her, for generous minds know no pleasure in society but
|where 'tis mutual,||110|
THOR. Thou know'st I have no heir, no child but thee; the fruits of many years' successful industry must all be thine. Now, it would give me pleasure great as my love to see on whom you would bestow
|it. I am daily solicited by men of the greatest||115|
|marriage state, I had rather my approbation||120|
MA. What can I say? How shall I answer as I ought this tenderness, so uncommon even in the best of parents? But you are without example; yet had
|you been less indulgent, I had been most||125|
|a parent's right to be obeyed, I had submitted,||130|
THOR. From your perfect obedience in every other instance I feared as much, and therefore would leave you without a bias in an affair wherein your happi
|ness is so immediately concerned.||135|
MA. Whether from a want of that just ambition that would become your daughter, or from some other cause, I know not, but I find high birth and titles don't recommend the man who owns them to
THOR. I would not that they should, unless his merit recommends him more. A noble birth and fortune, though they make not a bad man good, yet they are a real advantage to a worthy one, and
|place his virtues in the fairest light.||145|
MA. I cannot answer for my inclinations, but they shall ever be submitted to your wisdom and authority; and, as you will not compel me to marry where I cannot love, love shall never make me act contrary
|to my duty. Sir, have I your permission to||150|
THOR. I'll see you to your chamber. Exeunt.
A room in MILLWOOD'S house.
MILLWOOD at her toilet. LUCY, waiting.
MILL. How do I look today, Lucy?
LUCY. Oh, killingly, madam! A little more red, and you'll be irresistible! But why this more than ordinary care of your dress and complexion? What
|new conquest are you aiming at?||5|
MILL. A conquest would be new indeed!
LUCY. Not to you, who make 'em every day, -- but to me -- well! 'tis what I'm never to expect, unfortunate as I am. But your wit and beauty --
|MILL. First made me a wretch, and still con||10|
|LUCY. You are certainly, madam, on the||15|
MILL. We are but slaves to men.____________________