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SCENE.- A Road. In the back Ground, large
Gates opening to a Park—the Trees at a distance are seen illuminated-an Orchestra also-all mark
ing a Sylvan fête.--Stage partly darken’d. Enter Sir EDWARD DELAUNY and SERVANT through
the Gates. Sir Edw. Discover’d, say you !--goon-repeat the joyful welcome tidings.
Servant. Yes, Sir, we saw her stealing out of yonder wood: and so whilst William staid to watch and to observe her, I came to ask your further orders.
Sir Edw. And you are sure it is Lauretta St. Orme.
Servant. Quite, Şir; we recollect her on the fa. tal morning and see! The comes this way.
Sir Edw. Wish'd for, enchanting fight;-goinform my solicitor-bid him come instantly, and bring the process that secures her-I'll stay myself, and guard her. [Exit Servant through the gates.
Enter LAURETTA ST. ORME. Lauretta. Oh, thanks to that sheltering wood, that hitherto has thus preserv'd me; and if I reach again my lone retreat, none but a father's voice ha!-- What lights are those ? surely I hav'n's lost
oh yes-fear, and the darkness of the night, have quite milled me-- Heavens !-lec me fly
Sir Edw. (Advancing before her.) Stay-pass not, I command you.
Lauretta. Oh, for mercy !
Sir Edw. Mercy! from whom?from him who sepresents Sir Frederick ; (LAURETTA fews violent agitation. ) --Aye: behold your mortal, deadly foe ; who long has fought, but now will never lose you.
Lauretta. (Trying to cross him.) You cannot you will let me pass ;--consider, by detaining me, you make me guilty of the very crime of which you charge my father.-He gave me life :-will you compel me to destroy his?
Sir Edw. Peace !--I'm resolv'd.
Lauretta. (Falling at his feet.) Look at mem'cis said I bear a strong resemblance to my mothermy poor ill-fated mother !--and shall my rashness rob her of a tender husband's care?-Look-do I not remind you?
Sir Edw. You do—and therefore is your prefence still more hateful.-Yes:- The first debaled our noble house's name, by marrying with this outcast.
Lauretta. (Still kneeling.) She !--do you censure her!
Sir Edw. I do;-and to complete the degradation, did she not abroad expose her daughter on a public stage?
Sir Edw. Train her disgracefully in that low, mimic school
Lauretta. (Rising.) No, Sir—that fault was mine -I saw her perishing for want-my father helpless and infirm—and though, as a woman, most profesfions are denied me, the stage was still before me ! -and I shall ever bless chose kind approving hearts that fanction'd my attempts; nor call that path disgraceful, that leads a daughter to support her parents.
Sir Edw. Have a care-dare not to vindi.
Laurettà. Sir!-the stage requires not vindication-Is it a crime to labour to instruct and entertain? Is there in Shakespear's hallow'd lines such ignorance and vice, that'cis degrading to re
peat them ?-No, Sir,—the day of prejudice is past in public life, let there be private virtue, and the poor player will be more respected, than those who censure and despise her !
Enter HENRY SAPLING. Henry. So she is and every body should respect actors--because they always pay such handsome compliments to us British failors.
Iauretta. Heavens, Mr. Henry !
Henry. I came to claim your promile, Sir Edward -as visitor at your house, by my uncle's intros duction, you bade me ask for what I like-now I don't ask such serious favours of you, as shooting or fishing on the best part of the manor-because, I've heard, it only puts you country gentlemen to the trouble of whispering your game-keeper, to take one to your neighbour's grounds-no-in the way of spoit, I simply beg leave to carry off this bird of passage! (Taking Lauretta's band.)
Sir Edw. 'Sdeath, Sir-I infift--(going to part them).
Henry. And I infift, Sir, I knew her in a country where there are some savages; but none bad enough to wish her to convict her father-or if there were, do you think I'd suffer it ?-10-I'm afraid of only one human being, and as she's at an agreeable distance, I wish you good night, Sir Edward.
Sir Edw. Hold, Sir, -defift!-(Noise of stamping will feet without, Sir EDWARD looks round.) Ha! I defy you now--for here comes one vefted with legal power to secure her!-Dare you contend against the law ?
Henry. No-but I dare run from it-and I'm sure you ought to thank me, Sir Edward : for now
you may enjoy your evening's fête--but if I hado's reliev'd you from this little burthen, (pointing to LAURETTA,) all the music of the spheres cou'dn't have cheer'd you come, Lauretta, this is the first cime I ever Aed from an enemy; but if by my retreating you escape, 'will be the proudest victory I ever gain'd!
[Exit with LAURETTA. Enter immediately from the Park Gate Paul
POSTAONE, the MS. Music in bis Hand.
Paul. Quite, lor, -" To arms, to arms,' (Humming tune, and then recollecting bimself.)-Oh, I beg pardon, I thought it was Mr. but I perceive now, you want the subpæna-here it is all prepar'd you see.
Sir Edw. I do and look, yonder goes Lau. retta-follow her-make sure of her; and, left her champion should moleft you, and my appearance may be thought vindictive, I'll seek and send af. fiftance. Away-lose not a moment-my happiness, my reputation-nay, my life depends on your success.
[Exit. Paul. I'll do it-l'll serve the process in spite of her and all her champions.-(As he is going, a flourish of grand martial music is beard.)--Bless my Soul ! it's beginning ! the music is beginning! and now at the moment, when I should have cut such a figure.-Was there ever such an infernal la. borious profession? (looks out.) --Yes: there they are all leated-all the sweet beautiful ladies, waite ing to applaud my vocal and instrumental powers dear! dear! Wou'dn't it be time enough to serve the subpoena early to-morrow morning? I've often put it off till the last moment; and no man living has ever lost I mean, gain'd, more causes than I have done.-- But then, Sir Edward and his reputation !--Oh-I must go after her.
Enter SAPLING through the Park Gates, hastily.
Sapling. Oh, Lord ! I'm so glad I've found you. Come along-(taking bis arm.) The sweet creatures are all on the tip-toe of expectation.
Paul. I know it. So am Ibuc look, look ae that tormenting witness.
Sapling. Witness !-Where? I fee nobody. Paul. Don't you !-faith !--no more do I.
Sapling. No : whoever they are, they're safely out of sight for this night. --So-nonsense ! ftuff! put it off till day-light; and now it's the assizes, récollect you've a right to enjoy yourself ! -- Isn't it a part of the business to have balls--concerts
Paul. So it is; and if barristers partake of them, why not attornies ?-damme, I won't be the Nave I have been !—I'll let my genius take its bent ; and if it ordains me musical, it's a better trade than mine-more profit-less trouble
Sapling. Aye: and as a reward for your labours, applause and repetition; but in law !--now I only ask, Who ever claps a declaration ?
Paul. No: or who ever encores a bill in Chancery ?-come along.--" To arms! to arms! we heroes cry.-Huzza ! to victory !” [Exeunt singing to grand martial music, which continues after the dropping of the curtain.
END OF THE SECOND ACT.