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Charl. Why, then, take it, Darnley.-Now I presume you are in high triumph, sir.
[To the Cou Col. Lamb. No, sister; now you are consistent with the good sense I always thought you mistress of.
Charl. And now I beg we may separate ; for our being seen together, at this critical juncture, may give that devil, the doctor, suspicion of a confederacy, and make him set some engine at work, that we are not aware of.
Col. Lamb. It's a very proper caution. Come along, Darnley ; nay, you must leave her now, whatever vio lence you do yourself.
Charl. Ay, ay, take him with you, brother- or stay, Darnley ; if you please, you may come along with me.
[Exeunt CoL. LAMB, L. CHARL. and DARN. R. D.
END OF ACT IV.
SCENE I.-A Parlour in Sir John Lambert's House,
Enter DARNLEY and CHARLOTTE, L.
Charl But really, will you stand to the agreement though, that I have made with the doctor ?
Darn. Why not? you shall not break your word upon my account, though he might be a villain you give it to. Suppose I should talk with Sir John himself ?-'tis true he lias slighted me of late.
Charl. No matter-here he comes--this may open another scene of action to that, I believe, my brother's preparing for.
Enter SIR JOAN and LADY LAMBERT, L. Sir J. Lamb (c.) Mr. Darnley, I am glad I have met
Darn. (R. C.) I have endeavoured twice to-day, sir, to pay my respects to you.
Sir J. Lamb. (L. c.) Sir, I'll be plain with you-I went out to avoid you; but where the welfare of a child is concerned, you must not take it ill if we don't stand upon ceremony.-However, since I have reason now to be more in tempér than perhaps I was at tha time, I shall be glad to talk with you.
Darn. I take it as a favour, sir.
Sir J. Lamb. You must allow, Mr. Darnley, that conscience is the rule which every honest man ought to
Darn. 'Tis granted, sir.
Sir J. Lamb. Then give ñe leave to tell you, sir, that giving you iny daughter, would be to act against that conscience I pretend to, whilst I thought you an ill lover ; and consequently the same tie obliges me to bestow her on a better man
Darn. (c.) Well but, sir, to come to the point. -Suppose the doctor (whom I presume you design her for) actually consents to give me up his interest?
Sir J. Lamb. But why do you suppose, sir, he will give up his interest ?
Darn. I only judge from what your daughter tells me, sir.
Sir J. Lamb. My daughter !
Charl. (c.) And I appeal even to yourself, sir-has not the doctor, just now, in the garden, spoke in favour of Mr. Darnley to you? Nay, pray sir, be plain; because more depends on that than you can easily imagine or believe.
Sir J. Lamb. What senseless insinuation have you got into your head now?
Charl. Be so kind, sir, first to answer me, that I may be better able to inform you ?
Sir J. Lamb. Well, I own he has declined his interest in favour of Mr. Darnley ; but I must tell you, madam, he did it in so modest, so friendly, so good-natured, so conscientious a manner, that I now think myself more than ever bound in honour to espouse him.
Charl. But now, sir, (only for argument's sake) suppose I could prove that all this seeming virtue was artificial; that his regard for Mr. Darnley was neither founded upon modesty, friendship, good-nature, nor conscience; or, in short, that he has, like a villain, barter. ed, bargained, to give me to Mr. Darnley for half the four thousand pounds you valued his consent at; I say,
sır, suppose this could be proved, where would be his virtue then ?
Sir J. Lamb. It is impious to suppose it.
Churl. Then, sir,' from what principle must you suppose that I accuse bim?
Sir J. Lamb. From an obstinate prejudice to all that's good and virtuous.
Charl. That's too hard, sir. But the worst your opinion can provoke me to is, to marry Mr. Darnley, without either bis consent or yours.
Sir J. Lamb. What, do you brave me, madam ?
Charl. No, sir; but I scorn a lie; and will so far vindicate my integrity, as to insist on your believing me ; if not, as a child you abandon, I have a right to throw myself intɔ other arms for protection. Darn. Dear Charlotte, how your spirit charms me!
Sir J. Lamb. I am confounded. These tears cannot be counterfeit; nor can this be true.
Laay Lamb. (c.) Indeed, my dear, I fear it is. Give me leave to ask you one question. In all our mutual course of happiness, have I ever yet deceived you with a falsehood ?
Sir J. Lamb. Never.
Lady Lamb. Would you then believe me, should I accuse him even of crimes which virtue blushes but to mention ?
Sir J. Lamb. To what extravagance would you drive Lady Lamb. I would before have undeceived you, when his late artifice turned the honest duty of your son into his own reproach and ruin; but knowing then your temper was inaccessible, I durst not offer it. But suppose I should be able to let you see his villainy, make him repeat his odious love to me in your own hearing ; at once throw off the mask, and show the barefaced traitor ?
Sir J. Lamb. Is it possible ?
Lady Lamb. But then, sir, I must prevail on you to descend to the poor shifts we are reduced to.
Sir J. Lamb. All; to any thing, to ease me of my doubts: make me but witness of this fact, and I shall soon accuse myself, and own my folly equal to his baseness.
Lady Lamb. Behind that screen you may easily conceal yourself.
Sir J. Lamb. Be it so.
Lady Lamb. Mr. Darnley, shall, we beg your leave, and you, Charlotte, take the least suspected way to send the doctor to me directly?
Charl. (R. C.) I have a thought will do it, madam.
Darn. (R. C.) Have but resolution, sir, and fear nothing. (Exeunt DARNLEY and CHARLOTTE, 1.
Lady Lamb. (c.) Now, sir, you are to consider what a desperate disease I have undertaken to cure; therefore be sure keep close and still ; and when the proof is full, appear at your discretion.
Sir J. Lamb. Fear not; I will conform myself-Yet be not angry, my love, if in a case like this, where I should not believe even him accusing you; be not angry, I say, if I have also charity enough to hope you may yet be deceived in what you charge him with, till the evidence of my own senses assure me to the contrary.
Lady Lamb. 'Tis just.
Lady Lamb. Now, my dear, remember your promise to have patience.
Sir J. Lumb. Rely upon't.
[SIR John goes behind the screen near R. U. E. Enter DOCTOR CANTWELL, L. D. with a book. Dr. Cant. (L.) Madam, your woman tells me, that being here, and alone, you desired to speak with me.
Lady Lamb. (c.) I did, sir-but, that we may be sure that we are alone, pray shut the outward dooranother surprise might ruin us—is all safe ?
Dr. Cant. [Turns and fastens L. D.] I have taken care, madam.
Lady Lamb. But I am afraid I interrupt your meditations.
Dr. Cant. No, madam, no; I was only looking over some pious exhortations here, for the use of a society of chosen brethren.
Lady Lamb. Ah, doctor, what have you done to me: the trouble of my mind since our last unfortunate conference, is not to be expressed. You indeed discovered to me, what, perhaps, for my own peace, 'twere better I had never been acquainted with ; but I had not sufficient time to lay my beart open to you.
Dr. Cant. Whither, madam, would you lead me?
Lady Lamb. I have been uneasy, too, not knowing how far you might mistake my behaviour on the last accident that happened; but I was really so shocked, so terrified, I knew not what I was doing: only had I. joined in your defence against the colonel, it would have been evident that I was his enemy, and I have uses for his friendship. Sitence, therefore, was my only pru. dent part ; and I knew your credit with Sir John needed no support.
Dr. Cant. Let me presume then to hope, that what I did, you judge was self-defence, and pure necessity.
Lady Lamb, And perhaps, after all, the accident was lucky; for Sir John, in order to obviate any ill constructions that may be put upon it, insists now that we should be more together, to let the world see his confidence in us both. This relieves us from restraint, and I now dare tell you-but no-I wontDr. Cant. But why, madam ? let ine beseech you Lady Lamb. No-besides- what need you ask me
Dr. Cant. Ah! do not endeavour to decoy my foolish heart, too apt to flatter itself.. You, cannot, sure, think kindly of me?
Lady Lamb. Well, well ; I would have you imagine so.
Dr. Cant. Besides, may I not with reason suspect, that this apparent goodness is but artifice, a shadow of compliance, meant only to persuade me from your daughter?
Lady Lamb. Methinks this doubt of me seems rather founded on your settled resolution not to resign her. I am convinced of it. I can assure you, sir, I should have saved you this trouble, had 'I known how deeply you were engaged to her.
Weeps. Dr. Cant. Tears- then I must believe you-but indeed you wrong me. To prove my innocence, it is not an hour since I pressed Sir John to give Charlotte to young Darnley,
Lady Lamb. Mere artifice. You knew that modest resignation would make Sir John warmer in your interest.
Dr. Cant. No, indeed, indeed, I had other motives, which you may hereafter be made acquainted with, and will convince you
Lady Lamb. Well, sir; now I'll give you reason to guess the reason why, at our last meeting, I pressed you so warmly to resign Charlotte.
Dr. Cant. Ah! dear! ah ! dear !