British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

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

as your behavior. Who are you? What 310
brought you here?

CHAR. I am one, madam, always ready to draw my sword in defence of innocence in distress, and more especially in the cause of that lady I delivered

from his lordship's fury; in search of whom I 315
troubled your ladyship's house.

L. FREE. Her lover, I suppose? or what?

CHAR. At your ladyship's service; though not quite so violent in my passion as his lordship there.

L. TRINK. Impertinent rascal! 320

L. FREE. You shall be made to repent of this insolence.

L. TRINK. Your ladyship may leave that to me.

CHAR. Ha, ha!

SIR H. But pray what is become of the lady 325
all this while? Why, Lady Freelove, you told me she was not here, and, i'faith, I was just drawing off another way, if I had not heard the view-hollow.1

L. FREE. You shall see her immediately, sir.

Who's there? 330

Enter Servant.

Where is Miss Russet?

SERV. Gone out, madam.

L. FREE. Gone out! where?

SERV. I don't know, madam. But she ran down

the back stairs crying for help, crossed the 335
servants' hall in tears, and took a chair at the door.

L. FREE. Blockheads! to let her go out in a chair alone! Go and enquire after her immediately.

Exit Servant.

SIR H. Gone! what a pox had I just run her down,

and is the little puss stole away at last? 340

L. FREE. (to SIR HARRY). Sir, if you will walk in with his lordship and me, perhaps you may hear some tidings of her; though it is most probable she may be gone to her father. I don't know any

other friend she has in town. 345

CHAR. I am heartily glad she is gone. She is safer anywhere than in this house.

L. FREE. Mighty well, sir! My lord, Sir Harry, I attend you.

L. TRINK. You shall hear from me, sir! 350

(TO CHARLES.)

CHAR. Very well, my lord!

SIR H. Stole away! pox on't! stole away.

Exeunt SIR HARRY and LORD TRINKET.

Manent CHARLES and LADY FREELOVE.

L. FREE. Before I follow the company, give me leave to tell you, sir, that your behavior here has

been so extraordinary -- 355

CHAR. My treatment here, madam, has indeed been very extraordinary.

L. FREE. Indeed! Well; no matter. Permit me to acquaint you, sir that there lies your way out, and

that the greatest favor you can do me is to 360
leave the house immediately.

CHAR. That your ladyship may depend on. Since you have put Miss Russet to flight, you may be sure of not being troubled with my company.

I'll after her immediately. I can't rest till I 365
know what is become of her.

L. FREE. If she has any regard for her reputation, she'll never put herself into such hands as yours.

CHAR. O, madam, there can be no doubt of her

regard to that, by her leaving your ladyship. 370

((L. FREE. Insolent monster!

((CHAR. Poor lady!

((L. FREE. Begone this moment.

((CHAR. Immediately -- My dear Harriot! Would

I could have spoken with her! -- But she was 375
in danger, and I delivered her. -- That's comfort still -- and yet -- ))

L. FREE. Leave my house!

CHAR. Directly. A charming house! and a

charming lady of the house too! ha! ha! 380

L. FREE. Vulgar fellow!

CHAR. Fine lady! Exeunt severally.


ACT III

SCENE [I]

LADY FREELOVE'S.

Enter LADY FREELOVE, and LORD TRINKET.

L. TRINK. Doucement, doucement, my dear Lady Freelove! excuse me! I meant no harm, 'pon honor.

L. FREE. Indeed, indeed, my Lord Trinket, this is absolutely intolerable. What! to offer rudeness

to a young lady in my house! What will the 5
world say of it?

L. TRINK. Just what the world pleases. It does not signify a doit what they say. However, I ask pardon; but, 'egad, I thought it was the best way.

L. FREE. For shame, for shame, my lord! I 10
am quite hurt at your want of discretion.

((L. TRINK. 'Pon honor, now, I am always for taking them by a coup de main. I never knew it fail before.))

L. FREE. Leave the whole conduct of this 15
affair to me, or I'll have done with it at once. How strangely you have acted! There I went out of the way on purpose to serve you, by keeping off that looby Sir Harry Beagle, and preventing him or her
father from seeing the girl, till we had some 20

____________________
317]O1 or Bully, or what?
363]O1 O2 Miss Harriot; O3 O4 Miss Russet.
371-377 Passage in guillemets (( )) include O1 and D.
1
Huntsman's shout on seeing the fox break cover; view-halloo.

-691-

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