is the old lady's glass; and she has left some of her wrinkles on it. How frightfully have I put 40 on my cap! all awry! and my hair dressed so unbecomingly! Altogether, I'm a most complete fright.
CHARLES DUDLEYcomes in unobserved.
CHARLES. That I deny.
CHARLES. Quarrelling with your glass, cousin? Make it up; make it up and be friends; it cannot compliment you more than by reflecting you as 5 you are.
CHARLOTTE, Well I vow, my dear Charles, that is delightfully said, and deserves my very, best curtesy: your flattery, like a rich jewel, has a value not only from its superior lustre, but from its 10 extraordinary scarceness; I verily think this is the only civil speech you ever directed to my person in your life.
CHARLES. And! ought to ask pardon of your good sense for having done it now. 15
CHARLOTTE. Nay, now you relapse again: don't you know, if you keep well with a woman on the great score of beauty, she'll never quarrel with you on the trifling article of good sense? But anything serves to fill up a dull yawning hour 20 with an insipid cousin; you have brighter moments, and warmer spirits, for the dear girl of your heart.
CHARLES. Oh! fie upon you, fie upon you.
CHARLOTTE. You blush, and the reason is apparent, you are a novice at hypocrisy; but no 25 practice can make a visit of ceremony pass for a visit of choice: love is ever before its time, friendship is apt to lag a little after it: pray, Charles, did you make any extraordinary haste hither?
CHARLES. By your question, I see you acquit 30 me of the impertinence of being in love.
CHARLOTTE. But why impertinence? Why the impertinence of being in love? You have one language for me, Charles, and another for the woman of your affection. 35
CHARLES. You are mistaken; the woman of my affection shall never hear any other language from me than what I use to you.
CHARLOTTE. I am afraid, then, you'll never make yourself understood by her. 40
CHARLES. It is not fit I should; there is no need of love to make me miserable; 'tis wretchedness enough to be a beggar.
CHARLOTTE. A beggar do you call yourself! O Charles, Charles, rich in every merit and accom 45 plishment, whom may you not aspire to? And why think you so unworthily of our sex, as to conclude there is not one to be found with sense to discern your virtue, and generosity to reward it?
CHARLES. You distress me, I must beg to 50 hear no more.
CHARLOTTE. Well, I can be silent -- Thus does he always serve me, whenever I am about to disclose myself to him.
CHARLES. Why do you not banish me and 55 my misfortunes forever from your thoughts?
CHARLOTTE. Ay, wherefore do I not, since you never allowed me a place in yours? But go, sir, I have no right to stay you; go where your heart directs you, go to the happy, the distinguished 60 fair one.
CHARLES. Now, by all that's good, you do me wrong: there is no such fair one for me to go to, nor have I an acquaintance amongst the sex, yourself excepted, which answers to that description. 65
CHARLES. In very truth: there then let us drop the subject. May you be happy though I never can!
CHARLOTTE. O, Charles! give me your hand; if I have offended you, I ask you pardon; you have 70 been long acquainted with my temper, and know how to bear with its infirmities.
CHARLES. Thus, my dear Charlotte, let us seal our reconciliation. (Kissing her hand.) Bear with thy infirmities! By heaven, I know not anyone 75 failing in thy whole composition, except that of too great a partiality for an undeserving man.
CHARLOTTE. And you are now taking the very course to augment that failing. A thought strikes me: I have a commission that you must abso 80 lutely execute for me; I have immediate occasion for the sum of two hundred pounds; you know my fortune is shut up till I am of age; take this paltry box (it contains my earrings, and some other baubles I have no use for), carry it to our op 85 posite neighbor, Mr. Stockwell (I don't know where else to apply), leave it as a deposit in his hands, and beg him to accommodate me with the sum.
CHARLES. Dear Charlotte, what are you about to do? How can you possibly want two hun 90 dred pounds?
CHARLOTTE. How can I possibly do without it, you mean? Doesn't every lady want two hundred pounds? Perhaps I have lost it at play; perhaps I mean to win as much to it; perhaps I want it for 95 two hundred different uses.
CHARLES. Pooh! pooh! all this is nothing; don't I know you never play?
CHARLOTTE. You mistake; I have a spirit to set not only this trifle, but my whole fortune, upon 100 a stake; therefore make no wry faces, but do as I bid you: you will find Mr. Stockwell a very honorable gentleman.____________________