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Sir John. What, Jenkins, after having lived so many years in confidence with my child, shall I become an eves-dropper to detect her?
Fenk. It is necessary at present.—Come in, my dear master, let us only consider that we were once young like them; subject to the same passions, the same indiscretions; and it is the duty of every man to pardon errors incident to his kind.
When love gets into a youthful brain,
But do or say,
Love and youth will have their day.
CLARISSA, Lionel. Clar. Sir, you desired to speak to me; I need not tell
you the present situation of my heart ; it is full. Whatever you have to say, I bey you will explain yourself; and, if possible, rid me of the anxiety under which I have laboured for some hours.
Lion. Madam, your anxiety cannot be greater than mine ; I come, indeed, to speak to you ; and yet, I know not how, I come to advise you, shall I say as a friend ? yes, as a friend to your glory, your felicity; dearer to me than my life.
Clar. Go on, Sir.
few are blessed with ; his care, his prudence has provided for you a match-Your refusal renders him inconsolable. Listen to no suggestions that would pervert you from your duty, but make the worthiest of men happy by submitting to his will.
Clar. How, Sir, after what passed between us yesterday evening, can you advise me to marry Mr. Jessamy?
Lion. I would advise you to marry any one, Madam, rather than a villain.
Clar. A villain, Sir.
Lion. I should be the worst of villains, Madam, was I to talk to you in any other strain : Nay, am I not a villain, at once treacherous and ungrateful ?
Received into this house as an asylum: what have I done! Betrayed the confidence of the friend that trusted me; endeavoured to sacrifice his peace, and the honour of his family, to my own unwarrantable desires.
Clar. Say no more, Sir; say no more; I see my error too late ; I have parted from the rules prescribed to my sex ; I have mistaken indecorum for a laudable sincerity; and it is just I should meet with the treatment my imprudence deserves.
502 Lion. 'Tis I, and only I, am to blame ; while I took advantage of the father's security, I practised upon the tenderness and ingenuity of the daughter ; my own imagination gone astray, I artfully laboured to lead yours after it: but here, Madam, I give you back those vows which I insidiously extorted from you ; keep them for some happier man, who may receive them without wounding his honour, or his peace.
511 Clar. For Heaven's sake! Lion. Why do you weep? Clar. Don't speak to me.
Lion. Oh! my Clarissa, my heart is broke; I am hateful to myself for loving you ;-yet, before I leave you for ever, I will once more touch that lovely hand -indulge my fondness with a last lookyour health and prosperity.
Clar. Can you forsake me?-Have I then given my affections to a man who rejects and disregards them? --Let me throw myself at my father's feet; he is ge
nerous and compassionate :—He knows your
worthLion. Mention it not; were you stript of fortune, reduced to the meanest station, and I monarch of the globe, I should glory in raising you to universal empire; but as it is
Clar. Yet hear me
O dry those tears ! like melted ore,
Fast dropping on my heart they fall:
The mem'ry of past scenes recall.
On a wild sea of passion tost,
I split upon the fatal shelf ;
And now I wish to lose myself.
CLARISSA, Jenny, then Sir John FLOWERDALE,
Jenkins, and afterwards Lionel. Jen. 0, Madam! I have betray'd you. I have gone and said something I should not have said to my uncle Jenkins; and, as sure as day, he has gone and told it all to Sir John.
541 Clar. My father!
Sir John. Go, Jenkins, and desire that young gentleman to come back-stay where you are-But what 1 have I done to you, my child? How have I deserv'd that you should treat me like an enemy? Has there been any undesigned rigour in my conduct, or terrori in my looks?
Clar. On, Sir!
Sir John. Come in—When I tell you that I am instructed in all your proceedings, and that I have been ear-witness to your conversation in this place ; you will, perhaps, imagine what my thoughts are of you, and the measures which justice prescribes me to follow.
Lion. Sir, I have nothing to say in my own defence; I stand before you, self-convicted, self-condemn'd, and shall submit without murmuring to the sentence of my judge.
560 Sir John. As for you, Clarissa, since your earliest infancy, you have known no parent but me; I have been to you, at once, both father and mother; and, that I might the better fulfill those united duties, tho' left a widower in the prime of my days, I would never enter into a second marriage-I loved you for
your likeness to your dear mother; but that mother never deceiv'd me—and there the likeness fails—you have repaid my affection with dissimulation-Clarissa, you should have trusted me.
570 Jen. O my dear, sweet Lady,