MRS. HEIDELBERG. Nay, but niece, consider a little. Don't drag me out in this figur. Let me put on my fly-cap! If any of my Lord's fammaly or the councellors at law should be stirring, I should be perdigus disconcarted.
MISS STERLING. But, my dear madam, a moment is an age in my situation. I am sure my sister has been plotting my disgrace and ruin in that chamber. Oh, she's all craft and wickedness!
MRS. HEIDELBERG. Well, but softly, Betsey! You are all in emotion. Your mind is too much flustrated; you can neither eat nor drink,10 nor take your natural rest. Compose yourself, child; for if we are not as warysome as they are wicked, we shall disgrace ourselves and the whole fammaly.
MISS STERLING. We are disgraced already, madam. Sir John Melvil has forsaken me; my Lord cares for nobody but himself--or, if for anybody, it is my sister; my father, for the sake of a better bargain, would marry me to a 'Change broker; so that if you, madam, don't continue my friend--if you forsake me--if I am to lose my best hopes and consolation--in your tenderness--and af fect--ions--I had better--at once--give up the matter--and let my20sister enjoy--the fruits of her treachery--trample with scorn upon the rights of her eldest sister, the will of the best of aunts, and the weakness of a too interested father. (She pretends to he bursting into tears all this speech.)
MRS. HEIDELBERG. Don't, Betsey--keep up your spurrit. I hate whimpering. I am your friend; depend upon me in every partickler, but be composed and tell me what new mischief you have discovered.
MISS STERLING. I had no desire to sleep and would not undress myself, knowing that my Machiavel sister would not rest till she had broke my heart. I was so uneasy that I could not stay in my room, but30 when I thought that all the house was quiet I sent my maid to discover what was going forward. She immediately came back and told me that they were in high consultation; that she had heard only, for it was in the dark, my sister's maid conduct Sir John Melvil to her mistress and then lock the door.
MRS. HEIDELBERG. And how did you conduct yourself in this dalimma?
MISS STERLING. I returned with her and could hear a man's voice, though nothing that they said distinctly; and you may depend upon it that Sir John is now in that room, that they have settled the matter and will run away together before morning if we don't40 prevent them.
MRS. HEIDELBERG. Why, the brazen slut! Has she got her sister's hus-____________________