WIDOW DAMPLY. If he's a villain, I can never hold.
LADY PEWIT. I shall tear his eyes out.20
MRS. DOTTEREL. For my part, if I was unmarried, I should not think him worth my anger.
ARABELLA. But as you are, Madam --
MRS. DOTTEREL. I understand your insinuations, Miss Bell; but my character and conduct need no justification.
ARABELLA. I beg pardon, madam. I intended no offence. But haste to your posts, ladies; the enemy's at hand.
They retire behind the trees.
Enter Tukely and Daffodil.
TUKEY (in woman's voice). For heaven's sake, let us be cautious. I am sure I heard a noise.
DAFFODIL. 'Twas nothing but your fear, my angel. Don't be alarmed;30 there can be no danger while we have love and darkness to befriend us.
TUKELY. Bless me, how my heart beats!
DAFFODIL. Poor soul, what a fright it is in. You must not give way to these alarms. Were you as well convinced of my honor as I am of your charms, you would have nothing to fear. (Squeezes her hand.)
ARABELLA (aside). Upon my word!
WIDOW DAMPLY (aside). So, so, so.
TUKELY. Hold, sir, you must take no liberties. But if you have the least feeling for an unhappy woman, urged by her passion to this40 imprudent step, assist me--forgive me--let me go.
DAFFODIL. Can you doubt my honor? Can you doubt my love? What assurances can I give you to abate your fears?
MRS. DOTTEREL (aside). Very slender ones, I can assure her.
TUKELY. I deserve to suffer all I feel. For what, but the most blinded passion, could induce me to declare myself to one whose amours and infidelities are the common topic of conversation. DAFFODIL (aside). Flattering creature!--May I never know your dear name, see your charming face, touch your soft hand, or hear your sweet voice, if I am not more sincere in my affection for this little50 finger than for all the sex besides. (The ladies seem astonished.)
TUKELY. Except the Widow Damply.
DAFFODIL. She! Do you know her, Madam?
TUKELY. I have not that honor.
DAFFODIL. I thought so. Did you never see her, Madam, nodding and gogling in her old-fashioned heavy chariot, drawn by a pair of lean hackney horses, with a fat blackamoor footman behind in a