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Ang. But, I believe Mr. Tattle meant the favour to me, I thank him.
Tatt. I did, as I hope to be saved, madam; my intentions were good.--- But this is the most cruel thing, to marry one does not know how, nor why, nor wherefore. The devil take me, if ever I was sy much concerned at any thing in my
life. Ang. 'Tis very unhappy, if you don't care for one another.
Tatt. The least in the world--that is, for my part, I speak for myself. Gad, I never had the least thought of serious kindness I never liked any body less in my life. Poor woman ! Gad, I'm sorry for her too; for I have no reason to hate her neither ; but I believe I shall lead her a damned sort of a life.
Mrs. For. He's better than no husband at allthough he's a coxcomb.
[To Frail. Mrs. F. [To her.] Ay, ay, it's well it's no worse. Nay, for my part, I always despised Mr. Tattle of all things; nothing but his being my husband could have made me like him less.
Tatt. Look you there, I thought as much! Por on't, I wish we could keep it secret; .why I don't believe any of this company would speak of it.
Ben. If you suspect me, friend, I'll go out of the
Mrs. F. But, my dear, that's impossible ; the par. son and that rogue Jeremy will publish it.
Tatt. Ay, my dear, so they will, as you say.
Ang. O you'll agree very well in a little time ; cus. tom will make it
you. Tatt. Easy! Pox on't, I don't believe I shall sleep to-night.
Sir S. Sleep, quotha! No, why, you would not sleep on your wedding night? I'm an older fellow than you, and don't mean to sleep.
Ben. Why, there's another match now, as thof a couple of privateers were looking for a prize, and should fall foul of one another. I'm sorry for the young man with all my heart. Look you, friend, if I may advise you, when she's going—for that you must expect, I have experience of her-when she's going, let her go. For no matrimony is tough enough to hold her; and if she can't drag her anchor along with
her, she'll break her cable, I can tell you that. Who's - here ? the madman?
Enter VALENTINE, SCANDAL, and JekEMY. Val. No; here's the fool ; and, if occasion be, l'll give it under
hand. Sir S. How now?
Val. Sir, I'm come to acknowledge my errors, and ask your pardon.
Sir S. What have you found your senses at last then? In good time, sir.
Val. You were abused, sir ; I never was distracted.
Scand. No, really, sir; I'm his witness, it was all counterfeit.
Val. I thought I had reasons
but it was a poor contrivance : the effect has shewn it such.
Sir S. Contrivance! what to cheat me? to cheat your father | Sirrah, could you hope to prosper ?
Val. Indeed, I thought, sir, when the father endea, voured to undo the son, it was a reasonable return of nature.
Sir S. Very good, sir. Mr. Buckram, are you ready? Come, sir, will you sign and seal?
Val. If you please, sir ; but first I would ask this lady one question.
Sir S. Sir, you must ask me leave first -That lady! No, sir; you shall ask that lady no questions, till
you have asked her blessing, sir ; that lady is to be
Val. I have heard as much, sir; but I would have it from her own mouth.
Sir S. That's as much as to say, I lie, sir; and you don't believe what I say.
Val. Pardon me, sir. But I reflect that I very lately counterfeited madness: I don't know but the frolic
may go round. Sir S Come, chuck, satisfy him, answer him. Come, Mr. Buckram, the
and ink. Buck. Here it is, sir, with the deed; all is ready.
[Val. goes to Ang. Ang. 'Tis true, you have a great while pretended love to me; nay, what if you were sincere ? Still you must pardon me,
if I think my own inclinations have a better right to dispose of my person, than yours.
Sir S. Are you answered now, sir ?
Sir S. Where's your plot, sir ? and your contrivance now, sir? Will you sign, sir? Come, will you sign and seal?
Val. With all my heart, sir.
Scand. 'Sdeath, you are not mad indeed? to ruin yourself?
Val. I have been disappointed of my only hope ; and he that loses hope may part with any thing. I never valued fortune, but as it was subservient to my pleasure ; and my only pleasure was to please this lady : I have made many vain attempts ; and find at last that nothing but my ruin can effect it; which, for that reason, I will sign to. Give me the paper. Ang. Generous Valentine !
[Aside. Buck. Here is the deed, sir.
Val. But where is the bond, by which I am obliged to sign this?
Buck. Sir Sampson you have it.
Ang. No, I have it; and I'll use it, as I would every thing that is an enemy to Valentine.
[Tears the paper. Sir S. How now ? Val. Ha!
Ang. Had I the world to give you, it could not make me worthy of so generous and faithful a passion. Here's my hand; my heart was always yours, . and struggled very hard to make this utmost trial of
Val. Between pleasure and amazement, I am lostbut on my knees I take the blessing.
Sir S. Oons, what is the meaning of this ?
Ben. Mess, here's the wind changed again. Father, you and I
may make a voyage together now! Ang. Well, Sir Sampson, since I have played youa trick, I'll advise you how you may avoid such anither. Learn to be a good father, or you'll never get a second wife. I always loved your son, and hated your unforgiving nature. I was resolved to try hin to the utmost; I have tried you too, and know you both. You have not more faults than he has vir tues; and it is hardly more pleasure to me, than I can make him and myself happy, than that I can punish you.
“ Val. If my happiness could receive addition, this “ kind surprise would make it double.”
Sir S. Oons, you're a crocodile.
Tatt. If the gentleman is in disorder for want of a wife, I can spare him mine. Oh, are you there, sir? I am indebted to you for my happiness. [To Jeremy.
Jer. Sir, I ask you ten thousand pardons : it was an arrant mistake. You see, sir, my master was never mad, nor any thing like it.-Then how can it be otherwise ?
Val. Tattle, I thank you; you would have inter posed between me and heaven ; but Providence lait purgatory in your way. You have but justice.