CHAR. Wish me joy, wish me joy! I have 215 found her; my dear girl, my Harriot! She is at an inn in Holborn, Major!
MAJ. Ay! how do you know?
CHAR. Why this dear, delightful, charming, blundering captain has delivered me a wrong letter. 220
MAJ. A wrong letter!
CHAR. Yes, a letter from Lord Trinket to Lady Freelove.
MAJ. The devil! What are the contents?
CHAR. The news I told you just now, that 225 she's at an inn in Holborn: and, besides, an excuse from my lord, for not waiting on her ladyship this morning, according to his promise, as he shall be entirely taken up with his design upon Harriot.
MAJ. So, so! a plot between the lord and the 230 lady.
CHAR. What his plot is I don't know, but I shall beg leave to be made a party in it. So perhaps his lordship and I may meet, and decide our deferance, as the captain calls it, before to-morrow morn 235 ing. There! read, read, man! (Giving the letter.)
MAJ. (reading). Um -- um -- um -- very fine! And what do you propose doing?
CHAR. To go thither immediately.
MAJ. Then you shall take me with you. 240 Who knows what his lordship's designs may be? I begin to suspect foul play.
CHAR. No, no; pray mind your own business. If I find there is any need of your assistance, I'll send for you. 245
MAJ. You'll manage this affair like a boy now -- go on rashly, with noise and bustle, and fury, and get yourself into another scrape.
CHAR. No, no; let me alone; I'll go incog.; leave my chariot at some distance; proceed pru 250 dently, and take care of myself, I warrant you. I did not imagine that I should ever rejoice at receiving a challenge; but this is the most fortunate accident that could possibly have happened. B'ye, b'ye, uncle! Exit hastily. 255
[MAJ.] I don't half approve this; and yet I can hardly suspect his lordship of any very deep designs neither. Charles may easily outwit him. Hark ye, William! (As seeing a servant at some distance.)
SERV. Sir! 260
MAJ. Where's my brother?
SERV. In his study, alone, sir!
MAJ. And how is he, William?
SERV. Pretty well, I believe, sir.
MAJ. Ay, ay, but is he in good humor, or -- 265
SERV. I never meddle in family affairs, not I, sir.
[MAJ.] Well said, William! No bad hint for me, perhaps! What a strange world we live in! No two people in it love one another better than my brother and sister, and yet the bitterest enemies could 270 not torment each other more heartily. Ah, if he had but half my spirit! And yet he don't want it neither. But I know his temper: he pieces out the matter with maxims, and scraps of philosophy, and odds and ends of sentences: 'I must live in peace' -- 275 'Patience is the best remedy' -- 'anything for a quiet life' -- and so on! However, yesterday, to give him his due, he behaved like a man. Keep it up, brother! keep it up! or it's all over with you. Since mischief is on foot, I'll e'en set it forwards 280 on all sides. I'll in to him directly, read him one of my morning-lectures, and persuade him, if I possibly can, to go out with me immediately; or work him up to some open act of rebellion against the sovereign authority of his lady-wife. Zounds, brother, 285 rant, and roar, and rave, and turn the house out of the window. If I was a husband! 'Sdeath, what a pity it is that nobody knows how to manage a wife, but a bachelor. Exit.
Scene changes to the Bull and Gate Inn.
[ HAR.] What will become of me? My father is enraged, and deaf to all remonstrances; and here I am to remain, by his positive orders, to receive this booby baronet's odious addresses. Among all my distresses, I must confess that Charles's be 5 havior yesterday is not the least. So wild! so given up to excesses! And yet, I am ashamed to own it even to myself, I love him; and death itself shall not prevail on me to give my hand to Sir Harry. But here he comes! What shall I do with him? 10
Enter SIR HARRY BEAGLE.
SIR HAR. Your servant, miss! What, not speak? Bashful mayhap; why then I will. Look'e, miss, I am a man of few words. What signifies haggling? It looks just like a dealer. What d'ye think of me for a husband? I am a tight young fellow -- 15 sound wind and limb -- free from all natural blemishes, rum all over, damme.
HAR. Sir, I don't understand you. Speak English, and I'll give you an answer.
SIR H. English! why so I do, and good plain 20 English too. What d'ye think of me for a husband?____________________