Page images
PDF
EPUB

Sir George. That you have as much health, youth, and spirits

Savage. As any choice fpirit-
Sir George. Or young gentleman

Sir Paul. In the whole world !I'm rous'd! I'm fir'd! and to shew I'm season'd! true English heart of Oak!-allóns !

Savage. (Singing.) Bring the Alask! the music

Sir George. (Singing.) “ Joy fhall quickly find

)

[ocr errors]

Sir Paul. « Let us dance and laugh and sing, and drive old care behind us !"

[Exeunt at Porticom

Enter Mrs. Darnley.

Mrs. Darnley. Can this be the mansion of ele. gance and taste? I meet with nothing but rudeness and neglect !--I with I could find Mr. Darnley !>I dare say, by this time, he is Gcken’d of the scene, and anxious as myself, to see his home again.

Enter DARNLEY from ike Portico, half drunk,

with Lady Sarah Savage's letter in bis band. Darnley. r Specking as he enters.) Fill away my boys!-till!-All !while I like a faithful galJant !-gallane! hold, hold, friend Darnley. This lecter is to benefit your interest, not sacrifice your honour.

Mrs. Darnley. Heavens !what do I fee? Mr. Parnley!

Darnley. (Not regarding ber.) Yes :--you do ; you see Mr. Darnley.

Mrs.

[ocr errors]

Mrs. Darnley. Why ?-.what's the matter with you !-what's that letter?

Darnley. This letter?--this is a love letter, my angel,-ha!-why it is it is my wife !

Mrs. Darnley. Yes : that wife who in the hour of dissipation you forget-can I believe it?-in a little hour can all our past attachment-abut why am I alarmed ?-Fashion may dupe the wicked and the weak, but virtue such as his must scorn its empty power.

Darnley. Forget !--no never !-and now I look at you~I think I ought to be massacred for having even for a moment neglected you Oh Maria !-I have such news for you Lady Sarah has been so kind-she has promised to promote me—to befriend you—and in short lhe has taken a liking to the whole family.

Mrs. Darnley. And why, Harry ?

Darnley. Why! ay : there's the rub! but don't be jealous, Maria-I entreat you, don't be jealous !--for by heaven, I love you !---I do so tenderly that if it were not for my promise, I could find in my heart to return home directly.

Mrs. Darnly. Do ; let us begone—the place distracts me : and I fear this high company will corrupt you.

Darnley. High company !-hang it:-if that's all you're afraid of, there's not much danger in this house I fancy--but my letter-my word to Sir George--and consider our interest, Maria.

Mrs. Darnley. Oh no-consult our happiness my love; and surely there is none in this tuinuituous scene-we left all joy behind us, in our children and our cottage, Harry; and there alone we shall recover it come.

Darnley. She's right--the pretty prattler has reafan on her fide and who can disobey-(looks

without,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

without,) ha!--Sir George and Lady Sarah in close conversation !--they beckon me !-again !

Mrs. Darnley. Why do you pause ?

Darnley. I'm in for it-the die is caft!-Maria!-excuse me.

(going from her.) Mrs. Darnley. How! will you leave me, Mr. Darnley ?

Darnley. What can I do?-'tis but for a short time. Mrs. Darnley. You must not.

(Laying bold of lim.) Darnley. Nay: only for an hour.

Mrs. Darnley. (Letting bim go and taking out her handkerchief.)-This is the first time you ever us'd me thus.

Darnley. So it is--now what a pretty scoundrel I am!-and this is fashionable life is it? -Oh fool! fool! to quit fubftantial peace for artificial pleasure !-don't weep, Maria-I go

for our mutual advantage--I go to make our children happy.

Mrs. Darnley. Then stay with their mother they never wilh'd that we should part.

Darnley. Nor will we we've liv'd so long and happily together, that I would rather lose the little we have left, than hurt your quiet.(Enter Sir George Gauntlet.) Sir George stay with her-I'll see Lady Sarah, entreat her forgiveness, and return instantly; for, oh my friend !-my heart drops blood for every tear she sheds.

Sir George. P'sha -remember your interestLady Sarah will soon reconcile your scruples, and leave me to compose Mrs. Darnley-nay: take your opportunity-you must keep the appointment-I infift-fo begone !-(Darnley exil.) What a fuss here is about a man's leaving his

[ocr errors]

wife for an hour, when so many worthy couple would be happy to part for ever.

· Mrs. Darnley. Sir George, tell me, where is he gone? tell me, that I 'may fly and overtake him!

Sir George. Why! can't you guess ?
Mrs. Darnley. No, indeed, I cannot.

Sir George. Not that he is gone to Lady Sarah to keep an assignation with her.

Mrs. Darnley. An affignation.

Sir George. In her dressing-room! at this very hour--the gay scene has so alter'd him, that you see he has left you to keep the appointment.

Mrs. Darnley. I'll not believe it !-he is above such baseness.

Sir George. Won't you ?—then I'll prove it.

Mrs. Darnley. I defy you !-he knows the value of my heart too well to trifle with it; and I've known his so long, that I'll not venture to suspect it-no-though his friend defames it.

Sir George. Nay then-you remember his hand-writing--here is his answer to the lady's letter-read.

[ giving her the letter. Mrs. Darnley. (Looks over it.) Ha !_it is too plain—I am deceiv'd-deserted.

Sir George. I was the bearer of that letter, and preserv'd ic merely to shew it you, I thought ic the duty of a friend.

Mrs. Darnley. And from the same duty, you advis'd him to write it.-Oh! I have known you long, Sir George--you are one of those who find no happiness but in marring that of others—who seduce the affections of the husband, the better to betray the honour of the wife! and when you've spoilt all social and domestic peace, the

friend you laugh at, and the woman scorn!-I
know you well!
Sir George. My dear ma'am, how you

mistake! -I meant to oblige you.

Mrs. Darnley. Sir-there is but one way-leave menay, I infift

Sir George. I shall obey.

Mrs. Darnley. I must have stronger proof before I am convinc'd, and then observe, Sir George, if his truth weakens, I'll add strength to mine! my constancy and honour shall be lo exemplary, that I will shame him from his follies ! make him repent : and when reclaim'd, be proud to say he is my own again!

(Exeunt.

SCENE II.-An elegant Apartment leading to

Lady Sarah's Dressing-Room--the Door in the
Flat.

Enter CLARA.

!

Clara. Yes: yes : its all over the House Sir George makes no secret of the assignation, and I've no doubt but Darnley is now in that room waiting for Lady Sarah Savage-she can't come at present-the servant says, she's gone to the stables to see the beasts unharness'd-faith! if she'd go to her brother's party she'd see that business already done !-however I'll prevent Darnley's exposing himielf, and as he is certainly conceal'd in that room, I'll talk to him.-Dear!-here's my guardian again!

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »