0 sir, instruct me to support this unexpected turn of fortune.
DUDLEY. Name not fortune; 'tis the work of 15 Providence, 'tis the justice of heaven that would not suffer innocence to be oppressed, nor your base aunt to prosper in her cruelty and cunning.
A Servant whispers BELCOUR, and he goes out.
O'FLAHERTY. You shall pardon me, Captain Dudley, but you must not overlook St. Patrick 20 neither, for by my soul if he had not put it into my head to slip behind the screen when your righteous aunt and the lawyer were plotting together, I don't see how you would ever have come at the paper there, that Master Stockwell is reading. 25
DUDLEY. True ray good friend, you are the father of this discovery, but how did you contrive to get this will from the lawyer?
O'FLAHERTY. By force, my dear, the only way of getting anything from a lawyer's clutches. 30
STOCK. Well, Major, when he brings his action of assault and battery against you, the least Dudley can do is to defend you with the weapons you have put into his hands.
CHARLES. That I am bound to do, and after 35 the happiness I shall have in sheltering a father's age from the vicissitudes of life, my next delight will be in offering you an asylum in the bosom of your country.
O'FLAHERTY. And upon my soul, my dear, 40 'tis high time I was there, for 'tis now thirty long years since I sat foot in my native country, and by the power of St. Patrick I swear I think it's worth all the rest of the world put together.
DUDLEY. Ay, Major, much about that time 45 have I been beating the round of service, and 'twere well for us both to give over; we have stood many a tough gale and abundance of hard blows, but Charles shall lay us up in a little private, but safe, harbor, where we'll rest from our labors, and peace 50 fully wind up the remainder of our days.
O'FLAHERTY. Agreed, and you may take it as a proof of my esteem, young man, that Major O'Flaherty accepts a favor at your hands, for by heaven I'd sooner starve than say I thank you 55 to the man I despise. But I believe you are an honest lad, and I'm glad you've trounced the old cat, for on my conscience I believe I must otherwise have married her myself to have let you in for a share of her fortune. 60
STOCK. Hey-day, what's become of Belcour?
LOUISA. One of your servants called him out just now and seemingly on some earnest occasion.
STOCK. I hope, Miss Dudley, he has atoned to you as a gentleman ought. 65
LOUISA. Mr. Belcour, sir, will always do what a gentleman ought, and in my case I fear only you will think he has done too much.
STOCK. (aside). What has he done; and what can be too much? Pray heaven, it may be as I wish! 70
DUDLEY. Let us hear it, child.
LOUISA. With confusion for my own unworthiness, I confess to you he has offered me --
LOUISA. 'Tis true. 75
STOCK. Then I am happy; all my doubts, my cares are over, and I may own him for my son.-- Why these are joyful tidings: come, my good friend, assist me in disposing your lovely daughter to accept this returning prodigal; he is no unprincipled, no 80 hardened libertine; his love for you and virtue is the same.
DUDLEY. 'Twere vile ingratitude in me to doubt his merit -- What says my Child?
O'FLAHERTY. Begging your pardon now, 'tis 85 a frivolous sort of a question, that of yours; for you may see plainly enough by the young lady's looks, that she says a great deal, though she speaks never a word.
CHARLES. Well, sister, I believe the Major has 90 fairly interpreted the state of your heart.
LOUISA. I own it; and what must that heart be, which love, honor, and beneficence like Mr. Belcour's can make no impression on?
STOCK. I thank you. What happiness has 95 this hour brought to pass!
O'FLAHERTY. Why don't we all sit down to supper then and make a night on't.
STOCK. Hold, here comes Belcour.
BELCOURintroducing MISS RUSPORT.
BEL. Mr. Dudley, here is a fair refugee, who properly comes under your protection; she is equipped for Scotland, but your good fortune, which I have related to her, seems inclined to save you both the journey--Nay, madam, never go back; you are 5 amongst friends.
CHARLOTTE. The same; that fond officious girl, that haunts you everywhere; that persecuting spirit -- 10
CHARLES. Say rather, that protecting angel; such you have been to me.
CHARLOTTE. O Charles, you have an honest, but proud heart.
CHARLES. Nay, chide me not, dear Charlotte. 15
BEL. Seal up her lips then; she is an adorable girl; her arms are open to you; and love and happiness are ready to receive you.
CHARLES. Thus then I claim my dear, my destined wife. 20