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Cun. Ha! Oh, the charming Sound ! And will you not consent to make me happy? Or do you not believe I love you.? By all those Fires that burn within my Soul, I swear
Pru. Hold! Hold, Sir! You have sworn enough already to corrupt a whole Nunnery of Sighing, Praying and Wishing young Votaries. Why don't you give him your Hand, since he has your Heart. I believe you love to hear him swear and Give him your Hand, or, I'll discover all. Phil. Well, there 'tis then ; (Gives her Hand to
Cuningham. But I promise nothing else. I fear I have given too much already:
Cun. Oh, never! never ! I'll pay thee back so vast a store of Love and Constancy, as shall weary thee with still receiving.
Pru. Madam, Madam, your Aunt's behind you,
Phil. Ha! My Aunt ! What shall I do?
Cun. Fear nothing, Madam, but give me your Hand. I'll bring all off. (Pretends to tell her Fortune, This Line seems to Point out some unexpected Cross: And this Line chwarting the Line of Life, fignifies a retir'd Life ; and this joining with it, shews you'll be in Danger of ending the latter part of your Days in a Nunnery.
(Widow behind them. Widow. How, Mr. Cuningham ! Can you tell Fortunes ?
Cun. I understand a little Palmistry, Madam, and can give a Ghess at Phyfiognomy,
Widow. 'Tis very well. When I enter'd first, I thought you had been making
Love to my Neice : I am glad to find it otherwise.
Pru. In the next Room, Madam.
Love. I'll wait upon him: I'd feign try whether his Inside be answerable to his outward Appearance.
(Is going. Cun. Nay, prithee stay; I can assure you, he is not to be equalld either in Person or Discourse.
Pru. He is indeed a fine proper Man, as one would wish to see.
Widow. Why, really his Lordship has Parts. Phil. You and Prudence go find him out, and bear him Company awhile; l'll wait on him immediately, tell him. You, Sir, may go with 'em, if you please.
(To Lovemore. Love. Madam, most willingly. Cun. Sdeath! You won't leave me? (Aside 10
Lovemore. Love. Faith, but I will; dost think I'll stay to endure a second Hell? For if there be one upon Earth, 'tis being left alone with her. Madam, Your Ladyship shall ever command me. (To
the Widow. Come, Lady, if you please, the Honour of your fair Hand.
(Exit with Phil. and Pru. Cun. What will become of me now? ( Aside. Widow. Well, Mr. Cuningham, I have long d for some time to be alone with you, that I might speak more freely to you.
Cun. Madam, 'tis too great an Honour.
Widow. I wonder, Sir, you never think of Marrying?
Cun. Madam, as yet I dare not think on't..
Cun. Because I have not well consider'd it; and I have been told, 'tis a dangerous Undertaking, without having well thought before-hand,
Widowo. Pray, Sir, why should you think fo? I'll vow ’tis an odd Thought, Sir, for one of your Understanding : Why, Sir, I'll tell you. I have had Three Husbands, and yet I have no great Reason to complain : Tho' in my last Husband's time, I had not altogether that real Satisfa&ion, as I had with the other Two; for to deal freely with you, Sir, my Husband Sir Oliver Laycock, though he was a very well-bred Man, yet he had his Humours fometimes, and would be a little given to Jealousy, fo that Í feldom led a quiet Hour when the Fit was upon him. But in my first Husband's Days, fure never Woman liv'd so happy! I would not a.been unmarried to have had all the Riches of the Earth laid at my Feet : But when I married with Sir Oliver, and had once seen his Temper, nothing I had in the World but what I would a given to a been free a. gain ; and indeed in my Passion I often vow'd never (if please Heav'n Sir Oliver died) to marry any more.
Cun. 'Twas rafhly done. But no doubt, were there that Man fitting to merit your Favour, and equally deserving your Person and your Estate, and one whom your Ladyship could like, you might perhaps be persuaded to break your Vow, and venture once again.
Widow. I'll swear I hardly think it, and yet one don't know how one may be tempted; tho' if I were to be persuaded, (and I will not forswear any thing) I know not any one, that can so soon persuade me to it as you, Mr. Cuning ham.
Cun. Death and the Devil! What have I brought upon my self!
(Aside. Oh Madam! You make me blush. But Madam! How cou'd you with Honoar put off the Viscount, who you know loves you, and is come on purpose to marry you?
Wid. Why, I intend him for my Niece you must know, who no doubt will be much better pleasid with the Change. For, to say Truth, Mr.Cuningham, I have always had more, than a common Efteem for you, and for your Behaviour, and have long since refolv'd, that if I do alter my Condition, you are the Man alone I have plac'd my Thoughts upon.
Cun. You make me blush, Madam.
Hell but this.
(Aside. You cannot sure.
(To her. Wid. I vow 'tis true, and yet Cun. Hear me but speak, Madam?
Wid. 'Tis odd, that Love shou'd over-power People at so strange a rate.
Cun. But I thould be unjust to my Friend, who I
Widow. Mr. Lovemore! I'll swear I don't believe it.
Cun. Oh Madam! 'tis but too true, as will appear I'm afraid, when he knows you place your Affedtions on any other Man.
Widow. I'll vow you much furprize me, Mr. Cuningham ; but how came you to know it?
Čun. Oft has he begg'd me to bear him Company in some lonely Place, where he wou'd figh, and tell such things of his distressed Passion, as wou'd have mov’d the most obdurate Heart ; and when I ask'd him, why he did not acquaint your Ladyship with his Love, he would figh, with Arms a.cross, as if his Heart would force its way through his Breaft, and
Oh that's my Grief, my Friend, I cannot dare not tell her ! for should I attempt it once, and meer her scorn, (for oh! thou know'st her Vow). I Mou'd be for ever loft.
Then tan o'er a thousand Tales of Love, so foft, so moving, and how he priz'd you, that cannot be express'd by any, except one, who loves like him.
Widow. Truly, Sir, if it be so
Cun. If it be fo! were your Ladyship to observe his diftra&ted Throes, you'd pity him.
Widow. But why should he not declare it to me?
Cun. That's what I tell him, Madam; Urging that your Ladyship
But'mum! who have we here?
Euter Viscount, Philadelphia and Prudence.
Visc. Ha ! Whispering! And fo close ! I like it not.
Widow. The Viscount ! this is unlucky. He looks disturb'd! Good Sir, some other time we'll end this Discourse.
(to Cuningham Visc. Ha! What are you, Sir? that thus dares to encroach upon my Territories, and invade my Right?
Widow. Nay, pray my Lord, be not displeas'd. This Gentleman, you must know, has a Law suit de pending, and is come to entreat a Line of Commendation from me to my Lawyer.
Vifc. Enough ; I do believe all you can say. Ah! those Eyes of yours! What Looks are there! they enfame my very Soul.
Widow. Ah, Prudence, how I long to be alone with him.
Visc. I am impatient of this Delay, when shall we be married ?
Widow. Pray moderate your Passion, Sir.
Visc. What, you are afraid of char melancholy Gentleman, that stands fo filently there.
Widow. Speak softly, I am afraid he hears you, Sir. Vifc. What care I if he does.