that, was it not for the hope that delicacy, and not
disgust, inspires this conduct in you, I should sink
with shame and apprehension; but time presses; and
I must speak; and plainly too -- Was you now in
|distant, and at this moment are so deterring, ||15|
you ought to be, and, was you inclined to seek a companion for life, should you, or should you not, in that
case, honor your unworthy Charlotte with your
|possession of your grandfather's estate, as justly ||20|
judge me heaven, there is not a circumstance on
earth so valuable as your happiness, so dear to me as
your person: but to bring poverty, disgrace, reproach from friends, ridicule from all the world upon
|CHARLES. My unworthy Charlotte! So ||25|
an open, unreserved, ingenuous heart, O Charlotte!
dear, unhappy girl, it is not to be done.
|a generous benefactress; thievishly to steal into ||30|
CHARLOTTE. Nay, now you rate too highly the
poor advantages fortune alone has given me over
to any balance? Come, my dear Charles, I have
enough; make that enough still more by sharing it
with me: sole heiress of my father's fortune, a short
time will put it in my disposal; in the meanwhile you
|you: how otherwise could we bring our merits ||35|
a separation, by setting out this very night for that
happy country where marriage still is free: carry me
this moment to Belcour's lodgings.
|will be sent to join your regiment; let us prevent ||40|
CHARLES. Belcour's? -- (Aside.) The name is
|ominous; there's murder in it: bloody inexora ||45|
CHARLOTTE. D'ye pause? Put me into his hands,
while you provide the means for our escape: he is the
most generous, the most honorable of men.
|CHARLES. Honorable! most honorable! ||50|
CHARLOTTE. Can you doubt it? Do you demur?
Have you forgot your letter? Why, Belcour 'twas
that prompted me to this proposal, that promised to
supply the means, that nobly offered his unasked
O'FLAHERTY. Run, run, for holy St. Antony's
sake, to horse and away! The conference is broke
up, and the old lady advances upon a full Piedmontese trot, within pistol-shot of your encampment.
stairs! O, Charles, remember me!
|CHARLOTTE. Here, here, down the back- ||60|
CHARLES. Farewell! Now, now I feel myself a
CHARLOTTE. What does he mean?
[Exit CHARLOTTE.] She has cooled the lad's courage,
and wonders he feels like a coward. There's a damned
deal of mischief brewing between this hyena and her
lawyer: egad I'll step behind this screen and listen:
| O'FLARERTY. Ask no questions, but begone! ||65|
as well as open field. (Retires.)
|a good soldier must sometimes fight in ambush ||70|
LADY RUSPORTand VARLAND.
LADY R. Sure I heard somebody. Hark! No;
only the servants going down the back-stairs. Well,
Mr. Varland, I think then we are agreed; you'll take
my money; and your conscience no longer stands in
VAR. Your father was my benefactor; his will
ought to be sacred; but, if I commit it to the flames,
how will he be the wiser? Dudley, 'tis true, has
done me no harm; but five thousand pounds will do
offer; I will confer with my clerk, who witnessed the
will; and to-morrow morning put it into your hands,
upon condition you put five thousand good pounds
|me much good; so, in short, madam, I take your ||10|
|LADY R. 'Tis a bargain: I'll be ready for you: ||15|
VAR. Let me consider -- Five thousand pounds
prompt payment for destroying this scrap of paper,
not worth five farthings; 'tis a fortune easily earned;
away: 'tis a good round sum to be paid down at once
for a bribe, but 'tis a damned rogue's trick in me to
|yes, and 'tis another man's fortune easily thrown ||20|
O'FLAHERTY (aside). So, so! this fellow speaks
-- but hush!
|truth to himself, though he lies to other people ||25|
VAR. 'Tis breaking the trust of my benefactor:
that's a foul crime, but he's dead, and can never reproach me with it: and 'tis robbing young Dudley of
he's alive and knows nothing of the matter.
|his lawful patrimony, that's a hard case, but ||30|
O'FLAHERTY (aside). These lawyers are so used to
bring off the rogueries of others, that they are never
without an excuse for their own.
give me half the money for producing this will, that Lady Rusport does for concealing it, I would deal
with him, and be an honest man at half price; I wish
every gentleman of my profession could lay his hand
|VAR. Were I assured now that Dudley would ||35|
|on his heart and say the same thing. ||40|
O'FLAHERTY. A bargain, old gentleman! Nay,
never start, nor stare, you wasn't afraid of your own
conscience, never be afraid of me.
VAR. Of you, sir; who are you, pray?
to wish to be honest, but want the heart to set about
it; now I am the very man in the world to make you
so; for if you do not give me up that paper this very
instant, by the soul of me, fellow, I will not leave
| O'FLAHERTY. I'll tell you who I am: you seem ||45|
|one whole bone in your skin that shan't be ||50|