be decyphered. This young gentleman has certainly touched her. There are some objections to him, and, among so many young men of fashion that fall in her way, she certainly might have made a better choice. She has an understanding to be sensible of this; and, if I am not mistaken, it is a struggle between her reason and her passion that occasions all this confusion. But here she is.
Enter Miss Harriet.
MISS HARRIET. I hope you are not angry, Sir, that I left you so abruptly,10 without making any apology?
HEARTLY. I am angry that you think any apology necessary. The matter we were upon was of such a delicate nature that I was more pleased with your confusion than I should have been with your excuses. You'll pardon me, my dear.
MISS HARRIET. I have reflected that the person for whom I have conceived a most tender regard may, from the wisest motives, doubt of my passion. And therefore I would endeavor to answer all his objections and convince him how deserving he is of my highest esteem.
HEARTLY. I have not yet apprehended what kind of dispute could arise20 between you and Mr. Clackit. I would advise you both to come to a reconciliation as soon as possible. The law of nature is an imperious one and cannot, like those of our country, be easily evaded; and though reason may suggest some disagreeable reflections, yet when the stroke is to be given we must submit to it.
MISS HARRIET (aside). He still continues in his error, and I cannot undeceive him.
HEARTLY. Shall I take the liberty of telling you, my dear--(Taking her hand.) You tremble, Harriet; what is the matter with you?
MISS HARRIET. Nothing, Sir, Pray go on.30
HEARTLY. I guess whence proceeds all your uneasiness. You fear that the world will not be so readily convinced of this young gentleman's merit as you are. And, indeed, I could wish him more deserving of you. But your regard for him gives him a merit he otherwise would have wanted and almost makes me blind to his failings.
MISS HARRIET. And would you advise me, Sir, to make choice of this gentleman?
HEARTLY. I would advise you, as I always have done, to consult your own heart upon such an occasion.40
MISS HARRIET. If that is your advice, I will most religiously follow it. And for the laste time I am resolved to discover my real sentiments.____________________