much, Major, without knowing either what she commands, or what I can perform?
O'FLAHERTY. That's your concern, my dear, 35 not mine; I must keep my word you know.
DUDLEY. Or else, I suppose, you and I must measure swords.
O'FLAHERTY. Upon my soul, you've hit it.
DUDLEY. That would hardly answer to either 40 of us; you and I have, probably, had enough of fighting in our time before now.
O'FLAHERTY. Faith and troth, Master Dudley, you may say that; 'tis thirty years, come the time, that I have followed the trade, and in a pretty 45 many countries -- Let me see -- In the war before last I served in the Irish Brigade, d'ye see; there, after bringing off the French monarch, I left his service, with a British bullet in my body, and this ribband in my button-hole. Last war I followed 50 the fortunes of the German eagle, in the corps of grenadiers; there I had my bellyful of fighting, and a plentiful scarcity of everything else. After six and twenty engagements, great and small, I went off with this gash on my skull, and a kiss of 55 the Empress Queen's sweet hand (heaven bless it!) for my pains: since the peace, my dear, I took a little turn with the Confederates there in Poland -- but such another set of madcaps! -- by the Lord Harry, I never knew what it was they were scuffling 60 about.
DUDLEY. Well, Major, I won't add another action to the list, you shall keep your promise with Lady Rusport; she requires me to leave London; I shall go in a few days, and you may take what 65 credit you please from my compliance.
O'FLAHERTY. Give me your hand, my dear boy, this will make her my own; when that's the case, we shall be brothers, you know, and we'll share her fortune between us. 70
DUDLEY. No so, Major; the man who marries Lady Rusport will have a fair title to her whole fortune without division. But, I hope, your expectations of prevailing are founded upon good reasons.
O'FLAHERTY. Upon the best grounds in the 75 world; first, I think she will comply, because she is a woman; secondly, I am persuaded she won't hold out long, because she's a widow; and thirdly, I make sure of her, because I've married five wives (en militaire, Captain), and never failed yet; 80 and, for what I know, they're all alive and merry at this very hour.
DUDLEY. Well, sir, go on and prosper; if you can inspire Lady Rusport with half your charity, I shall think you deserve all her fortune; at present, I 85 must beg your excuse: good morning to you. Exit.
O'FLAHERTY. A good sensible man, and very much a soldier; I did not care if I was better acquainted with him: but 'tis an awkward kind of a country for that; the English, I observe, are 90 close friends, but distant acquaintance. I suspect the old lady has not been over generous to poor Dudley: I shall give her a little touch about that; upon my soul I know but one excuse a person can have for giving nothing, and that is, like myself, 95 having nothing to give. Exit.
Scene changes to LADY RUSPORT'S house. A dressing-room.
MISS RUSPORT and LUCY.
CHARLOTTE. Well, Lucy, you've dislodged the old lady at last; but methought you was a tedious time about it.
LUCY. A tedious time indeed; I think they who have least to spare, contrive to throw the most 5 away; I thought I should never have got her out of the house.
CHARLOTTE. Why, she's as deliberate in canvassing every article of her dress, as an ambassador would be in settling the preliminaries of a treaty. 10
LUCY. There was a new hood and handkerchief, that had come express from Holborn Hill on the occasion, that took as much time in adjusting --
CHARLOTTE. As they did in making, and she was as vain of them as an old maid of a young lover. 15
Lucy. Or a young lover of himself. Then, madam, this being a visit of great ceremony to a person of distinction, at the West end of the town, the old state chariot was dragged forth on the occasion, with strict charges to dress out the 20 box with the leopard-skin hammer-cloth.1
CHARLOTTE. Yes, and to hang the false tails on the miserable stumps of the old crawling cattle. Well, well, pray heaven the crazy affair don't break down again with her! at least till she gets to her 25 journey's end. -- But where's Charles Dudley? Run down, dear girl, and be ready to let him in; I think he's as long in coming, as she was in going.
Lucy. Why, indeed, madam, you seem the more alert of the two, I must say. Exit. 30
CHARLOTTE. Now the deuce take the girl for putting that notion into my head; I'm sadly afraid Dudley does not like me; so much encouragement as I have given him to declare himself, I never could get a word from him on the subject! This 35 may be very honorable, but upon my life it's very provoking. By the way, I wonder how I look today. Oh! shockingly, hideously pale! like a witch! This____________________