Imagens das páginas

Silent, and shy.

What is it that molests you?
In the short month we have been man and wife,
How has the fervor of your love abated!

Edw. No, Caroline, in that you do me wrong;
I love you every moment more and more,
Still thanking Heaven for having made you mine.
Car. Then why so peevish, distant, and dejected?
Edw. 1 cannot tell-but I have much at heart.
My father has not yet approv'd our marriage,
Nor to the letters which Sir Robert wrote
In our behalf, yet sent the slightest answer.
He has assign'd us nothing to support us,
And we are here but as Sir Robert's servants.
The strange elopement of my sister too-
A thousand cares, from all these causes springing,
Prey on my heart, and keep me from repose.

Car. All true. But sure our servitude is gentle;
We are together; and our worthy master

More as his children than as servants treats us.
Let us be thankful for the good we have,

Nor pine for that which may not make us happier.
Edw. Ah! Caroline, you speak but of the rose,
While in my breast I feel the rankling thorn.

Car. Who can obtain the rose without the thorn? How many, Edward, must endure the wound

And ne'er enjoy the flower!

Edw. (aside.) What I feel here.


Could she but know (lays his hand on his bosom.)

O think what we have suffer'd!

How blest am I to sit beside you thus,

To work with you, and share with you my hire. (He rises and comes to her.)

Edw. Thanks, my dear Caroline, a thousand thanks.

But could we gain some other livelihood,

Or in some other house, I should be pleased.

Car. Edward, what is there here that you dislike?
Have we not here much good already gain'd?
What tears we shed before we found this comfort!

Much has Sir Robert done already for us,
And more has promis'd; nor is he a man
That in his word will fail. Then his son too—
Edw. (aside.) Ah! there she probes my sore.

He has to me

Shown many tokens of the purest friendship-
I know not, Edward, a more noble youth.

Edw. Henry, you think, has some affection for you?
Car. Yes, much, I know he has.


The like before your marriage?


And had he not

True, he had;

But then his love was of another kind.

Edw. (aside.) Now this is what I never can believe.
Car. I would as soon that you suspected me

As that most true and virtuous gentleman.
Edw. But I am busy, and we waste the time.

(He returns to the desk, and begins to write.)
Car. I will not trouble you. Alas, my heart!
He that so lov'd me, and should know me well,
To be thus alter'd in a little month.


Tho. Our master, Mr. Edward, calls for you.
Edw. Which?


Sir Robert, sure. Did not you know

That Master Henry's to the country gone

On some affair of the estate.


Tho. Well go, Sir Robert waits.


Aye, true.

Yes, presently.


I want but two lines to complete this copy.

I have a huge suspicion of this knave.

Tho. (softly.) I have a secret for you, Caroline.

Car. Pray tell it me.

Tho. (softly.)

• Edw. (aside.)

No, not just now.

What's this?

Tho. This is fine linen truly, and these shirts

Are for Sir Robert?


No; but for my husband.

Edw. (aside.) What can he mean by this sly whispering? Car. I am all anxious, Sir, to hear this secret.

Tho. (to Edward.) Pray do make haste; master will be impatient.

Edw. Why do you press me so?-what is't to you? Car. Go, my dear Edward, when Sir Robert calls. It is not wise to make him wait for you.

Edw. But I have yet to make out this account.

Car. (to Thomas.) Make you it for him.

Edw. And tell Sir Robert that I was not able?
Car. How many frivolous delays you make.
Edw. Poh, foolish girl, do not vex yourself.
Car. I pray you, Edward, only do your duty.
Edw. My duty! well, I will.

With the greatest pleasure.


Where is th' account?

Edw. There: be so good(aside.) I must dissemble

with them.

[Exit Edward.

Tho. What is the matter with your spouse to-day?

Car. He suffers much that still his father writes not.

But what is it that you have got to tell?

Tho. A thing of very serious import.
Car. To me, or to my husband?


But to this ancient honorable house

No, to neither;

Of great concern, for it affects the heir.

Car. I thought it something that affected us.Then why not tell it me in Edward's hearing?

Thom. I say it freely that I much esteem him,
Much for himself and much on your account.
But this is something that requires great prudence,
And therefore will I only trust yourself.

Car. Think you not, Edward—


Yes, I like him greatly.

Car. But what is this important mystery?

Thom. Give me your word not to divulge it then.
Car. Why you should know me.


True; therefore I trust you.

But pledge your word of honor to me first.

Car. Then by my honor I will not divulge.

Thom. You know there is a match, of rich account, Afoot, between Sir Robert and a widow,

For master Henry.


Well, and what of it?

Thom. And you must know that a sad breach impends;

For master Henry has plung'd deep in love

O'er head and ears, with a young fair-fac'd madam.

Car. It is but natural for youth to love,

And to be loth to marry with old age.

Thom. But here the sorrow is, that this, his passion, Is for his rank a most misplac'd attachment.

Car. I guess now who it is, the stranger lady; She whom he rescued from the highwayman? Who-what is she?


No one can tell me that.

She came to town alone, no one knows wherefrom,

Nor how she lives, nor what she does in town:

She visits no one, and no one admits

But only Henry, and save with himself

A night or two to see the theatres,

She never stirs abroad. In sooth to say,

She is a marvellous romantic damsel.

Car. It grieves my very heart: I did not think

That Henry ever could have sunk to this.

Fear you that he will marry? What's her name?
Thom. Sylvia, Sylvia-I forget the other,
But it has too a rare poetic tinkle ;—

I have a letter from him for her here.

Car. Will you deliver it?


No, that I wont,

The love I bear him, and this worthy house,
Which I have ate the bread of, man and boy,
For more than fifty years, has made me do
What he may count a very great offence :—
Look, I have open'd it.


Good! and what says he?

Thom. I cannot tell, for it is all outlandish.

Car. Let me look at it? It is writ in French.

Thom. I thought so. Now as you can read it, do.

Car. But how is this, it is address'd to no one?

Thom. It was sent under cover.


Nor subscrib'd?

Thom. There he was prudent, lest it had been lost.
Car. Nor do I, Thomas, think the writing his.
Thom. 'Tis certainly not done as he is wont ;-
[showing another letter.]

But here he speaks to me plainly enough:

This is, you see, his own free penmanship.

Car. It is so. While I read, look no one comes.

Their love, indeed, is far advanc'd.


Ay, ay,

But how shall it be thwarted?-out upon't-
Car. Leave me this letter, I will speak to him.
Thom. He says to me he'll be in town to-night.
Car. And to his mistress-yes, he says the same.

Be you attentive, and apprise me duly


you have learnt that he is come to her.

[she lays the letter on the table.]

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