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that profligate Mandeville! — What brought you from India, Sir? — And after what has passed, how dare you show your face in my house?
Mand. How !-- You against me too!---what have I done?
Sir Sol. What have yon not done, Sir? Hav'n't you deserted your own child? - Hav'n't you left the governess to maintain her at her own expense?
Mand. 'Tis false: on my life, 'tis false! - I wrote letter after letter - made repeated remittances; till, receiving no answer, and unable to endure such torturing suspense, I came at all hazards to England, to know why I was so harshly treated.
Sir Sol. And now you know that your father has made Albina his heiress — that she is shortly to be married to Mr. Veritas -- to this gentleman's tutor, Sir— And you may also know, that I expect you instantly to discharge the late Mr. bioward's debt for twelve hundred pounds.
Howard. Mr. Howard's debt! - My father's?
Sir Sol. Yes, Sir :- Mr. Mandeville was his surety I have his bond; and had he behaved as he ought, I'd have died rather than have asked him for it; but now
Enter a SERVANT in Livery. Servant. Sir, Miss Albina and her governess are this moment arrived at the Castle.
Sir Sol. Are they? I'll wait upon them directly. Mr. Mandeville, don't expect to see your daughter; for, till she is married to the tytor, Mrs. Rigid means to seclude her from all society - And for you, George Howard, you must not associate with a man of his charaeter. Though your
father behaved ill to him, remember you are not responsible for his ingratitude. — Now for the Castle -- next for the Cottage, and then - All for Love, or the World well lost.
[Exit. Mand. Then all's confirmed; and I've no hope - no friend! - What's to be done? Whither shall I go? — where fly? - Who will receive so lost a wretch as I am? - Pursued by enemies-- abandoned by a father-forsaken by my child !--who will, who dare befriend me!
Howard. I will. Mand. You ! Howard. You have forgot me, Mr. Mandeville-I see you have - You don't recollect George Howard, whom when a boy you used to take such notice of — I'm strangely altered since you went to India--that is, in person only, I hope; for in mind and disposition I am still the same.
Mand. Are you?
Howard. Oh Mr. Mandeville! I don't know why--whether it is from the joy at seeing you, or from the grief I feel at the cruel treatment you've received I don't know which it is--but I'm going to be the same blubbering boy you left
Mand. Indeed !-- 'Sdeath! this generosity afflicts me more than all their cruelty!- Let me go- I heard your uncle's orders — “ You must not associate with a man of his character," Let me begone. I will not involve you.
Howard. Not involve me! Didn't my father involve you? And if I've not the fortune to repay the obligation, I'll prove I have the gratitude to remember it. From this hour I am devoted to your service: and if the friendship of the son can atone for the injuries of the parent, I
shall be far happier in partaking your distresses than in sharing my unfeeling uncle's riches.
Mand. I am most grateful: but I cannot consent
Howard. You must-you shall consent ! Come, come your case is not so lost as you imagine. The governess isn't the only person who has an influence over your daughter - there is another
Mand. Who? This tutor?
Howard. No! his pupil. I flatter myself Albina has no slight partiality for her father's friend.
Mand. For you! How, and where, did you know her?
Howard. I'll tell you. When I and my tutor arrived from the grand tour, we found Albina and the governess at Dover. Mr. Veritas and Mrs. Rigid being related, we often paid them visits; and while the schoolmaster and schoolmistress moralised on the miseries of the world, their two scholars as naturally conversed on its pleasures. In short, we soon laughed ourselves into an attachment; which the governess perceiving, Albina was locked up, I turned out, and the tutor destined for her husband.
Mand. Indeed !-And did she - forgive my weakness, Sir - did she once name her father?
Howard. Often: but the governess has instilled into her young mind such notions of your barbarity, and at the same time of her own benevolence, that she looks on her as a parent; you as an enemy. However, don't despair - if we can once gain an interview - And what say you ? Shall we go to the Castle directly?
Mand. "Twill be in vain. The gates will be shut against us.
Howard. Never mind :
we'll fórce them
Mand. Nay: but consider you are dependent on your uncle.
Howard. No matter. The hope that the name of Howard may still be dear to him, who now has so much cause to curse it, makes me superior to all selfish thoughts.
Mand. Is it possible? You that have had a fashionable education! you that have been schooled in all the arts of modern foppery, and foreign folly! you, to be the only one to pity or befriend me!
Howard. Why, the fact is, they tried hard to spoil me; but I wouldn't let them they sent me all over the continent, before I'd been half over England; taught me foreign languages, before I knew my own; instructed me how to pick my teeth all the morning in Bond-street; yawn all night at the opéra.-But I was a bad scholar, Mr. Mandeville: and the satisfaction I feel at this moment proves I did right to educate myself. Now then for Albina! They may have perverted my head; but I assure you, they hav'n't corrupted
END OF THE FIRST ACT.
SCENE-A modern Apartment in the Castle.
Enter VERITAS and MRS. RIGID.
MRS. RIGID. Yes, yes: Albina already thinks me the best of women, and shall soon believe that you are the first of men.
Veritas. Granted But about Howard Is she as fond of him as ever?
Mrs. Rigid. No; she don't like him half so well as she did. Ever since he left Dover, I have been undermining him, and extolling you; and in proof of my argument, Sir Solomon has just told her of Howard's intimacy with a gamekeeper's daughter. This has roused her jealousy
her indignation. Veritas. Indeed !
Mrs. Rigid. Yes; and as he has now lost her affections
Veritas. I may soon win them! Master Veritas !-- You're lord and master of ten thousand a-year!
Mrs. Rigid. Ten thousand? - Heyday! Have you forgot our agreement? Please to recollect, that on the day of your marriage with Albina I am to receive half!
Mrs. Rigid. To be sure. - What other motive could I have for getting Mandeville disinherited ? Did not Albina gain the property through my