LADY R. Alack-a-day, poor man! Well, Mr.
|Varland, you find me here overwhelmed with||15|
|VAR. Your ladyship inherits under a will||20|
LADY R. I do so, Mr. Varland; I do so.
VAR. I well remember it; I engrossed every
|syllable; but I am surprised to find your lady||25|
LADY R. Why you know, Mr. Varland, I am a moderate woman; I had enough before; a small matter satisfies me; and Sir Stephen Rusport
|(heaven be his portion!) took care I shouldn't||30|
VAR. Very true; very true, he did so; and I am overjoyed at finding your ladyship in this disposition; for, truth to say, I was not without appre
|hension the news I have to communicate would||35|
LADY R. News, sir! What news have you for me?
VAR. Nay, nothing to alarm you; a trifle, in your
|present way of thinking: I have a will of Sir||40|
LADY R. A will! Impossible! How came you by it, pray?
VAR. I drew it up, at his command, in his last
|illness: it will save you a world of trouble: it||45|
LADY R. To Dudley? His estate to Charles Dudley? I can't support it! I shall faint! You've
|killed me, you vile man! I never shall survive it!||50|
VAR. Look'ee there now: I protest, I thought you would have rejoiced at being clear of the incumbrance.
LADY R. 'Tis false; 'tis all a forgery, concerted
|between you and Dudley; why else did I never||55|
VAR. Have patience, my lady, and I'll tell you. By Sir Oliver's direction, I was to deliver this will into no hands but his grandson Dudley's: the young
|gentleman happened to be then in Scotland;||60|
|journey, found young Dudley had left Scotland||65|
LADY R. Dudley then, as yet, knows nothing of
VAR. Nothing; that secret rests with me.
LADY R. (aside). A thought occurs: by this fellow's talking of his conscience, I should guess it was upon sale. -- (Aloud.] Come, Mr. Varland, if 'tis as
|you say, I must submit. I was somewhat||75|
|fever had you, and I had your paper.||80|
Miss RUSPORT, CHARLES, and O'FLAHERTY.
CHARLOTTE. So, so! My lady and her lawyer have retired to close confabulation: now, Major, if you are the generous man I take you for, grant me one favor.
|O'FLAHERTY. Faith will I, and not think much||5|
CHARLES (aside). Could this man's tongue do
|justice to his thoughts, how eloquent would he||10|
CHARLOTTE. Plant yourself then in that room: keep guard, for a few moments, upon the enemy's motions, in the chamber beyond; and, if they should
|attempt a sally, stop their march a moment, till||15|
O'FLAHERTY. A word to the wise! I'm an old campaigner; make the best use of your time; and
|trust me for tying the old cat up to the picket.||20|
CHARLOTTE. Hush! hush! not so loud.
CHARLES. 'Tis the office of a sentinel, Major, you have undertaken, rather than that of a field-officer.
O'FLAHERTY. 'Tis the office of a friend, my dear
|boy; and, therefore, no disgrace to a general. Exit.||25|
CHARLES and CHARLOTTE.
CHARLOTTE. Well, Charles, will you commit yourself to me for a few minutes?
CHARLES. Most readily; and let me, before one goes by, tender you the only payment I can ever
|make for your abundant generosity.||5|
CHARLOTTE. Hold, hold! so vile a thing as money must not come between us. What shall I say! O Charles! O Dudley! What difficulties have you thrown upon me! Familiarly as we have lived, I
|shrink at what I'm doing; and, anxiously as I||10|
CHARLES. You alarm me!
CHARLOTTE. Your looks and actions have been so