with the caution of a jockey, and pays no more compliment to her personal charms than if she were a mere breeding animal. 60
BEV. JUN. Are you sure that is not affected? I have known some women sooner set on fire by that sort of negligence than by --
MYRT. No, no! hang him, the rogue has no art; it is pure, simple insolence and stupidity. 65
BEV. JUN. Yet with all this, I don't take him for a fool.
MYRT. I own the man is not a natural;1 he has a very quick sense, though very slow understanding. He says, indeed, many things that want only the 70 circumstances of time and place to be very just and agreeable.
BEV. JUN. Well, you may be sure of me if you can disappoint him; but my intelligence says the mother has actually sent for the conveyancer to draw 75 articles for his marriage with Lucinda, though those for mine with her are, by her father's order, ready for signing. But it seems she has not thought fit to consult either him or his daughter in the matter.
MYRT. Pshaw! a poor, troublesome woman. 80 Neither Lucinda nor her father will ever be brought to comply with it; besides, I am sure Cimberton can make no settlement upon her without the concurrence of his great-uncle, Sir Geoffry, in the west.
BEV. JUN. Well, sir, and I can tell you that's 85 the very point that is now laid before her counsel, to know whether a firm settlement can be made without this uncle's actual joining in it. Now pray consider, sir, when my affair with Lucinda comes -- as it soon must -- to an open rupture, how are you 90 sure that Cimberton's fortune may not then tempt her father, too, to hear his proposals?
MYRT. There you are right, indeed; that must be provided against. Do you know who are her counsel?
BEV. JUN. Yes, for your service I have found 95 out that, too: they are Sergeant Bramble and old Target -- by the way, they are neither of 'em known in the family. Now, I was thinking why you might not put a couple of false counsel upon her to delay and confound matters a little; besides, it may 100 probably let you into the bottom of her whole design against you.
MYRT. As how, pray?
BEV. JUN. Why can't you slip on a black wig and a gown, and be old Bramble yourself? 105
MYRT. Ha! I don't dislike it. -- But what shall I do for a brother in the case?
BEV. JUN. What think you of my fellow Tom? The rogue's intelligent, and is a good mimic. All his part will be but to stutter heartily, for that's 110 old Target's case. Nay, it would be an immoral thing to mock him, were it not that his impertinence is the occasion of its breaking out to that degree. The conduct of the scene will chiefly lie upon you.
MYRT. I like it of all things. If you'll send 115 Tom to my chambers I will give him full instructions. This will certainly give me occasion to raise difficulties, to puzzle or confound her project for a while at least.
BEV. JUN. I'll warrant you success. So far 120 we are right, then. And now, Charles, your apprehension of my marrying her is all you have to get over.
MYRT. Dear Bevil, though I know you are my friend, yet when I abstract myself from my 125 own interest in the thing, I know no objection she can make to you or you to her, and therefore hope --
BEV. JUN. Dear Myrtle, I am as much obliged to you for the cause of your suspicion as I am offended at the effect; but be assured, I am taking meas 130 ures for your certain security, and that all things with regard to me will end in your entire satisfaction.
MYRT. Well, I'll promise you to be as easy and as confident as I can, though I cannot but remember that I have more than life at stake on your fi 135 delity. (Going.)
BEV. JUN. Then depend upon it, you have no chance against you.
MYRT. Nay, no ceremony-you know I must be going. Exit MYRTLE. 140
BEY. JUN. Well! This is another instance of the perplexities which arise, too, in faithful friendship. We must often in this life go on in our good offices even under the displeasure of those to whom we do them, in compassion to their weaknesses 145 and mistakes. -- But all this while poor Indiana is tortured with the doubt of me. She has no support or comfort but in my fidelity, yet sees me daily pressed to marriage with another. How painful, in such a crisis, must be every hour she thinks on 150 me! I'll let her see at least my conduct to her is not changed. I'll take this opportunity to visit her; for though the religious vow I have made to my father restrains me from ever marrying without his approbation, yet that confines me not from 155 seeing a virtuous woman that is the pure delight of my eyes and the guiltless joy of my heart. But the best condition of human life is but a gentler misery. To hope for perfect happiness is vain, And love has ever its allays2 of pain. Exit. 160
Enter ISABELLA and INIDIANA in her own lodgings.
ISAB. Yes, I say 'tis artifice, dear child: I say to thee again and again, 'tis all skill and management.
IND. Will you persuade me there can be an ill design in supporting me in the condition of a woman of quality -- attended, dressed, and lodged like 5____________________