honestly -- don't you think there is something forward -- something indelicate in this haste to forgive? -- Women should never sue for reconcil 145 iation: -- that should always come from us. -- They should retain their coldness till wooed to kindness -- and their pardon, like their love, should 'not unsought be won.'1
ABS. I have not patience to listen to you: 150 -- thou'rt incorrigible! -- so say no more on the subject. -- I must go to settle a few matters. -- Let me see you before six -- remember -- at my lodgings. -- A poor industrious devil like me, who have toiled, and drudged, and plotted to gain my 155 ends, and am at last disappointed by other people's folly -- may in pity be allowed to swear and grumble a little; -- but a captious sceptic in love, -- a slave to fretfulness and whim -- who has no difficulties but of his own creating -- is a subject more 160 fit for ridicule than compassion! Exit ABSOLUTE.
FAULK. I feel his reproaches! -- yet I would not change this too exquisite nicety for the gross content with which he tramples on the thorns of love. -- His engaging me in this duel has started an idea 165 in my head, which I will instantly pursue. -- I'll use it as the touchstone of Julia's sincerity and disinterestedness. -- If her love prove pure and sterling ore -- my name will rest on it with honor! -- and once I've stamped it there, I lay aside my doubts 170 forever: -- but if the dross of selfishness, the allay2 of pride predominate -- 'twill be best to leave her as a toy for some less cautious fool to sigh for. Exit FAULKLAND.
[JUL.] How this message has alarmed me! What dreadful accident can he mean! why such charge to be alone? -- O Faulkland! -- how many unhappy moments! -- how many tears have you cost me!
Enter FAULKLAND [muffled up in a riding-coat].
JUL. What means this? -- why this caution, 5 Faulkland?
FAULK. Alas! Julia, I am come to take a long farewell.
JUL. Heav'ns! what do you mean?
FAULK. You see before you a wretch, whose 10 life is forfeited. -- Nay, start not! -- the infirmity of my temper has drawn all this misery, on me. -- I left you fretful and passionate -- an untoward accident drew me into a quarrel -- event is, that I must fly this kingdom instantly. -- O Julia, 15 had I been so fortunate as to have called you mine entirely before this mischance had fallen on me, I should not so deeply dread my banishment! -- But no more of that -- your heart and promise were given to one happy in friends, character, and station! 20 they are not bound to wait upon a solitary, guilty exile.»
JUL. My soul is oppressed with sorrow at the nature of your misfortune: had these adverse circumstances arisen from a less fatal cause, I 25 should have felt strong comfort in the thought that I could now chase from your bosom every doubt of the warm sincerity of my love. -- My heart has long known no other guardian. -- I now entrust my person to your honor -- we will fly together. -- 30 When safe from pursuit, my father's will may be fulfilled -- and I receive a legal claim to be the partner of your sorrows, and tenderest comforter. Then on the bosom of your wedded Julia, you may lull your keen regret to slumbering; while virtuous 35 love, with a cherub's hand, shall smooth the brow of upbraiding thought, and pluck the thorn from compunction.
FAULK. O Julia! I am bankrupt in gratitude! But the time is so pressing, it calls on you for so 40 hasty a resolution -- would you not wish some hours to weigh the advantages you forego, and what little compensation poor Faulkland can make you beside his solitary love?
JUL. I ask not a moment. -- No, Faulkland, I 45 have loved you for yourself: and if I now, more than ever, prize the solemn engagement which so long has pledged us to each other, it is because it leaves no room for hard aspersions on my fame, and puts the seal of duty to an act of love. -- But let us not 50 linger. -- Perhaps this delay -----
FAULK. 'Twill be better I should not venture out again till dark. -- Yet am I grieved to think what numberless distresses will press heavy on your gentle disposition! 55
JUL. Perhaps your fortune may be forfeited by this unhappy act. -- I know not whether 'tis so -- but sure that alone can never make us unhappy. -- The little I have will be sufficient to support us; and exile never should be splendid. 60
FAULK. Aye, but in such an abject state of life, my wounded pride perhaps may increase the natural fretfulness of my temper, till I become a rude, morose companion, beyond your patience to endure. Perhaps the recollection of a deed my conscience 65 cannot justify may haunt me in such gloomy and unsocial fits, that I shall hate the tenderness that would relieve me, break from your arms, and quarrel with your fondness!
JUL. If your thoughts should assume so un 70____________________