BETTY. I think we have wickedness and curiosity enough in this family, sir, to expect the worst.
FANNY. I do expect the worst. Prithee, Betty, return to the outward door and listen if you hear anybody in the gallery; and let us10 know directly.
BETTY. I warrant you, madam. The Lord bless you both.
FANNY. What did my father want with you this evening?
LOVEWELL. He gave me the key of his closet, with orders to bring from London some papers relating to Lord Ogleby.
FANNY. And why did not you obey him?
LOVEWELL. Because I am certain that his Lordship has opened his heart to him about you, and those papers are wanted merely on that account. But as we shall discover all tomorrow, there will be no occasion for them, and it would be idle in me to go.20
FANNY. Hark!--hark! Bless me, how I tremble! I feel the terrors of guilt--indeed, Mr. Lovewell, this is too much for me.
LOVEWELL. And for me too, my sweet Fanny. Your apprehensions make a coward of me. But what can alarm you? Your aunt and sister are in their chambers, and you have nothing to fear from the rest of the family.
FANNY. I fear everybody, and every thing, and every moment. My mind is in continual agitation and dread; indeed, Mr. Lovewell, this situation may have very unhappy consequences. (Weeps.)
LOVEWELL. But it shan't--I would rather tell our story this moment30 to all the house and run the risk of maintaining you by the hardest labor, than suffer you to remain in this dangerous perplexity. What, shall I sacrifice all my best hopes and affections in your dear health and safety for the mean, and in such a case the meanest, consideration of our fortune? Were we to be abandoned by all our relations, we have that in our hearts and minds will weigh against the most affluent circumstances. I should not have proposed the secrecy of our marriage but for your sake, and with hopes that the most generous sacrifice you have made to love and me might be less injurious to you by waiting a lucky moment of rec40 onciliation.
FANNY. Hush! Hush! For heaven sake, my dear Lovewell, don't be so warm. Your generosity gets the better of your prudence; you will be heard, and we shall be discovered. I am satisfied, indeed I am. Excuse this weakness, this delicacy--this what you will. My mind's at peace--indeed it is; think no more of it, if you love me!
LOVEWELL. That one word has charmed me, as it always does, to the