how it is, and it would not be kind to say all I know. I dare not tell you what I have heard. Only be on your guard: there can be no harm in that. Do you be against giving the girl any countenance, and see what effect it has. 340
MRS. OAK. I Will. I am much obliged -- But does it appear to your ladyship, then, that Mr. Oakly --
L. FREE. No, not at all. Nothing in't, I dare say. I would not create uneasiness in a family: but 345 I am a woman myself, have been married, and can't help feeling for you. But don't be uneasy; there's nothing in't, I dare say.
MRS. OAK. I think so. Your ladyship's humble servant. 350
L. FREE. Your servant, madam. Pray don't be alarmed; I must insist on your not making yourself uneasy.
MRS. OAK. Not at all alarmed; not in the least uneasy. Your most obedient. Exit. 355
L. FREE. Ha, ha, ha! There she goes, brimful of anger and jealousy, to vent it all on her husband. Mercy on the poor man!
Enter LORD TRINKET.
Bless me, my lord! I thought you were gone.
L. TRINK. Only into the next room. My 360 curiosity would not let me stir a step further. I heard it all, and was never more diverted in my life, 'pon honor. Ha, ha, ha!
L. FREE. How the silly creature took it! Ha, ha, ha! 365
L. TRINK. Ha, ha, ha! My dear Lady Freelove, you have a deal of ingenuity, a deal of esprit, 'pon honor.
L. FREE. A little shell thrown into the enemy's works, that's all. 370
BOTH. Ha, ha, ha, ha!
L. FREE. But I must leave you. I have twenty visits to pay. You'll let me know how you succeed in your secret expedition.
L. TRINK. That you may depend on. 375
L. FREE. Remember then that to-morrow morning I expect to see you. At present your lordship will excuse me. Who's there? (Calling to the Servants.) Send Epingle into my dressing-room.
LORD TRINKET solus.
L. TRINK. So! If O'Cutter and his myr 380 midons are alert, I think I can't fail of success; and then prenez garde, mademoiselle Harriot! This is one of the drollest circumstances in nature. Here is my Lady Freelove, a woman of sense, a woman that knows the world too, assisting me in this de 385 sign. I never knew her ladyship so much out. How, in the name of wonder, can she imagine that a man of quality, or any man else, 'egad, would marry a fine girl, after -- Not I, 'pon honor. No, no! when I have had the entamure,1 let who will 390 take the rest of the loaf. Exit.
Scene changes to MR. OAKLY'S.
Enter HARRIOT, following a Servant.
HAR. Not at home! are you sure that Mrs. Oakly is not at home, sir?
SERV. She is just gone out, madam.
HAR. I have something of consequence -- If you will give me leave, sir, I will wait till she returns. 5
SERV. You would not see her, if you did, madam. She has given positive orders not to be interrupted with any company to-day.
HAR. Sure, sir, if you were to let her know that I had particular business -- 10
SERV. I should not dare to trouble her, indeed, madam.
HAR. How unfortunate this is! What can I do? Pray, sir, can I see Mr. Oakly then?
SERV. Yes, madam: I'll acquaint my master, 15 if you please.
HAR. Pray do, sir.
SERV. Will you favor me with your name, madam?
HAR. Be pleased, sir, to let him know that a 20 lady desires to speak with him.
SERV. I shall, madam. Exit Servant.
[HAR.] I wish I could have seen Mrs. Oakly! What an unhappy situation am I reduced to! What will the world say of me? and yet what could I 25 do? To remain at Lady Freelove's was impossible. Charles, I must own, has this very day revived much of my tenderness for him; and yet I dread the wildness of his disposition. I must now, however, solicit Mr. Oakly's protection; a circumstance (all 30 things considered) rather disagreeable to a delicate mind, and which nothing, but the absolute necessity of it, could excuse. Good heavens, what a multitude of difficulties and distresses am I thrown into, by my father's obstinate perseverance to force 35 me into a marriage which my soul abhors!
OAK. (at entering). Where is this lady? (Seeing her.) Bless me, Miss Russet, is it you? -- (Aside.) Was ever anything so unlucky? [Aloud.] Is it possible, madam, that I see you here? 40____________________