LADY R. Hey-day! mighty fine! wife truly! mighty well! kissing, embracing -- did ever anything equal this? Why you shameless hussy! -- But I won't condescend to waste a word upon you.-- You, sir, you, Mr. Stockwell, you fine, sanctified, fair 5 dealing man of conscience, is this the principle you trade upon? Is this your neighborly system, to keep a house of reception for runaway daughters, and young beggarly fortune-hunters?
O'FLAHERTY. Be advised now, and don't put 10 yourself in such a passion; we were all very happy till you came.
LADY R. Stand away, sir; haven't I a reason to be in a passion?
O'FLAHERTY. Indeed, honey, and you have, 15 if you knew all.
LADY R. Come, madam, I have found out your haunts; dispose yourself to return home with me: young man, let me never see you within my doors again: Mr. Stockwell, I shall report your be 20 havior, depend on it.
STOCK. Hold, madam, I cannot consent to lose Miss Rusport's company this evening, and I am persuaded you won't insist upon it; 'tis an unmotherly action to interrupt your daughter's happi 25 ness in this manner, believe me it is.
LADY R. Her happiness truly; upon my word! and I suppose it's an unmotherly action to interrupt her ruin; for what but ruin must it be to marry a beggar? (To CAPTAIN DUDLEY.) I think my 30 sister had a proof of that, sir, when she made choice of you.
DUDLEY. Don't be too lavish of your spirits, Lady Rusport.
O'FLAHERTY. By my soul you'll have occasion 35 for a sip of the cordial elixir by and by.
STOCK It don't appear to me, madam, that Mr. Dudley can be called a beggar.
LADY R. But it appears to me, Mr. Stockwell; I am apt to think a pair of colors cannot furnish 40 settlement quite sufficient for the heiress of Sir Stephen Rusport.
CHARLOTTE. But a good estate in aid of a commission may do something.
LADY R. A good estate, truly! where should 45 he get a good estate pray?
STOCK. Why suppose now a worthy old gentleman on his death-bed should have taken it in mind to leave him one --
LADY R. Hah! what's that you say? 50
O'FLAHERTY. O ho! you begin to smell a plot, do you?
STOCK. Suppose there should be a paper in the world that runs thus -- 'I do hereby give and bequeath all my estates, real and personal, to 55 Charles Dudley, son of my late daughter Louisa, &c. &c. &c.'
LADY R. Why I am thunderstruck! by what contrivance, what villainy did you get possession of that paper? 60
STOCK. There was no villainy, madam, in getting possession of it; the crime was in concealing it, none in bringing it to light.
LADY R. Oh, that cursed lawyer, Varland!
O'FLAHERTY. You may say that, faith, he is 65 a cursed lawyer, and a cursed piece of work I had to get the paper from him; your ladyship now was to have paid him five thousand pounds for it, I forced him to give it me of his own accord for nothing at all, at all. 70
LADY R. Is it you that have done this? Am I foiled by your blundering contrivances, after all?
O'FLAHERTY. 'Twas a blunder, faith, but as natural a one as if I'd made it o' purpose.
CHARLES. Come, let us not oppress the fallen; 75 do right even now, and you shall have no cause to complain.
LADY R. Am I become an object of your pity then? Insufferable! confusion light amongst you! marry and be wretched: let me never see you more. 80
CHARLOTTE. She is outrageous; I suffer for her, and blush to see her thus exposed.
CHARLES. Come, Charlotte, don't let this angry woman disturb our happiness: we will save her in spite of herself; your father's memory shall not 85 be stained by the discredit of his second choice.
CHARLOTTE. I trust implicitly to your discretion, and am in all things yours.
BEL. Now, lovely but obdurate, does not this example soften? 90
LOUISA. What can you ask for more? Accept my hand, accept my willing heart.
BEL. O bliss inutterable! brother, father, friend, and you the author of this general joy --
O'FLAHERTY. Blessing of St. Patrick upon us 95 all! 'tis a night of wonderful and surprising ups and downs: I wish we were all fairly set down to supper, and there, was an end on't.
STOCK. Hold for a moment! I have yet one word to interpose -- Entitled by my friendship to a 100 voice in your disposal, I have approved your match; there yet remains a father's consent to be obtained.
BEL. Have I a father?
STOCK. You have a father: did not I tell you I had a discovery to make? Compose yourself: you 105 have a father, who observes, who knows, who loves you.
BEL. Keep me no longer in suspense; my heart is____________________