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that is, they are so hateful to her, that she has fora
Sir Edw. Alone! why, what are you?
Sir Edw. No! but nothing as you are, I fancy there never was a female hermitage without fomething like you-But, don't be alarm’d-I visit the old lady for the sake of a young one, the lovely Miss Olivia.
Nich. Miss Olivia !
Sir Edw. Ay: I met her last night at a friend's house,—and hearing she was the adopted child of your mistress, Miss Stoic's brother
Nich. She is ;-of the gallant Major Tornado, who, blessings on him, arrived here two days ago.
Sir Edw. Major Tornado! tell me—was hc lately at Naples?
Nich. I can't fay: but its not unlikely, for he came over land from India.
Sir Edw. From India! 'tis the same I met him there, on my travels, three months
and a more active, animated-But a hermitage! Major Tornado two whole days in a hermitage! 'with no companion but this Petrarch in petticoats-Zounds! is he alive?
Nich. Hardly! the quiet of a country life is almoft death to him; and whilst his fifter is conftantly praising the charms of retirement, he is secretly cursing them. But here he comes, to defcribe, in person, his dislike to rural felicity.
[Exit into the House. Enter MAJOR TORNADO. Sir Edw. Major Tornado ! I rejoice to see you.
Major. Sir Edward ! my dear fellow ! how long have you been in England? the sight of a civilized being is pleasant any where ; but, in the country, amids trees that never move, prospects that never
alter, and brutes that never utter-Where do you live? Where are you going? don't shirk-for, like a drowning man, I'll cling to
I'll cling to you, till we both sink together.
Sir Edw. You are very good ; but I don't mean to sink. The country has, for me, a thousand charms; and, for civilized fociety—answer me can cows speak scandal, or sheep tell lies of us.
Major. No; I wish they could--any conversatign's' better than none; for, is it to be expected, that an old soldier, who, for forty years, has been listening to the glorious rattle of the cannon, can now sit down contented with the baaing of lambs, and the squeaking of little pigs ? No, give me noise, battle, occupation! And, sooner than pass another two days of still life in that hermitage, curse me, but I'll do good to the community by sending challenges to all the apothecaries, and bringing actions against all the attornies.
Sir Edu. 'Tis very strange! pray, have you rural sports ?-shooting-fishing
Major. Shooting ! that's very well! as if a man, that has been accustomed to wing game six feet high, can take interest in popping at partridges ! and for fishing, I tried that yesterday; and falling fast asleep with the line round my hand, the first bite from a large jack plumped me fouse into the water. But, I'll tell you what-I've one resource -I mean to build a neat cottage, on the modern plan.
Sir Edw. On the modern plan?
Major. Ay; that is, a house with dining rooms, drawing rooms, ball rooms, and stabling for about fifty horses--and, if the workmen will be so merciful, as to take two years to finish it, I shall have all the pleasure, without any of the fatigue; for, at that time, my leave of absence expires, and I'll return to India without once setting foot in it.
Sir Edw. Why, you are in a bad way indeed ! Have you no mental resources ? Nothing to excite love or friendship, or
Major. Don't talk of it :-I have an adopted child; but
Sir Edw. But what?
Major. She's undutiful to me, ungrateful to my fifter here, Miss Stoic, and I'm sorry for it. Her story interested me, it cut me to the heart; and though I adopted Olivia without seeing her, yet I pictured to myself a lovely, helplefs orphan, bida ding me welcome by the name of father-benefactor-But, now, look ye, Sir Edward, if time don't make his clocks itike months in cad of hours, my leave of absence will extend much beyond this world ; for I can find no peace or comfort but in war, battle, and general uproar.
Sir Edw. Undutiful, and ungrateful, do you say? How! in what manner ?
Major. How! wby, when her best friend, there, my fifter (pointing to Hermitage) finding her mind untutored, and her manners awkward, wished her to remove from her present negligent governess, Miss Olivia refused to comply forfooth-But I've done with her--As soon as I can find a house to place her in, the shall bid adieu to this neighbourhood for ever; and to me, and my friendship, and -- o, bang it, after all, perhaps, if I must have employment, I can't pass time much better than in, now and then, sending a bank note to a poor,
abans doned orphan.
Sir Edw. Right, Major! do not quite forsake her-and as you're such a stranger here, if I can be of service-My aunt, for instance, has a houte, a few miles off, and will, I'm sure, be ready to receive her.
Major. Indeed! that's the very thing; for I promised my filter the thould be sent away to
night, and I'll go tell her directly. But, I say, who is to conduct her? For, tho' I've the highest opinion of your character, Sir Edward
Sir Edw. 'Sdeath, fir ! if you doubt that I'm a man of honour!
Major. . Oh! no; not at all. -But, begging your pardon, it is possible now-a-days to be a man of very great honour, and yet be a very sad rascal: for, feducing the wife or daughter of your friend, and, afterwards thooting him in a duel, don't in the least deprive you of the fashionable appellation. Yet, seriously, Sir Edward, you rank so high in every good man's praise, that I safely may trust you.
Sir Edtv. You may depend on’t.--I see you would avoid Olivia. - I will inform her of your withcs.
Major. Do ;-directly—while I prepare an attendant (going towards the Hermitage). Look ! what a miserable hole am I going into! . My sister has a strong, enlighten'd mind, and can support solitude; but I'm so little of the hermit-Hark ye! come back as fast as you can, and I'll take a peep with you, at all the pretty faces in the public walks; for, tho' Miss Stoic bates our sex, I'm very fond of hers; and if I find I can't manage time any other way, i'cod I'll take a wife.
Sir Edu. Do.
Major. I will ; for, next to war, I know pothing more likely to give a gentleman ample employment.
[Exit into Hermitage. Sir Edw. Bravo! Sir Edward! You have won the prize--and yet, shan't lose each good man's prailc; for bere's the stalking-horse, to cloak my guilt ; here is the desperate and convenient friend, that is to answer for his patron's crimes.
Enter the DELINQUENT.
Why what's the matter? What agitates you ?
Delin. That, which gives joy to you, the sight of England, of your native land-No friendly, kindred smile hails my return; and I, who once was welcom’d, and lov'd like you, now, if l'ın known, I'm known to be destroyed.
Sir Edw. Be patient, and remember well'Tis but a year ago fince, in a poor Italian inn, I found
you almost perishing for want. Delin. You did; at Lucca_and I repeat what then I told you, much as my life is worth, so much I owe you. (With fullen pride)
Sir Edw. Remember, too, I knew you at first fight. Knew you were the man, who had so wrong’d, and so deceiv'd my father ; but, burying in oblivion all paft injuries, offer'd to protect you.
Delin. You have ; and what are your commands? I see you have in view fome daring, defperate service; and I am bound, and pledg'd to undertake it.
Sir Edw. Why, then, in brief, here, at the neighbouring school, there is a lovely girl, and none can thwart me in my plans, but her fulpicious governess. You understand-she must be fomeway filenc'd, and yet my name kept secret.
Delin. And mine proclaimed—Well, be it fo ; yet
Sir Edre. No remonftrance: be it yours; be it yours to execute my wishes; no hesitation,
Delin. And do I hesitate? No; yet think a little, Sir Edwardyou can, as yet, look into yourself: can see a spotless and untainted heart ! and if, expanding with its pangs, hereafter it would