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Scene, another part of the Village.
Fair to the shepherd's anxious eye,
Tho' storms succeed, doth glow,
The many-colour'd bow.
And tho' we wake to pain,
We wish to sleep again.
How sweetly custom teaches us to reap comfort from adversity, as the bird gathers the down that warms his humble dwelling, from the thistle that wounds his breast. The fifteen months I have spent in the service of this honest man -- but he comes.
Enter STURDY. Stur. Two strangers have alighted at the house. Gra. I wish I had been there to attend them.
Stur. Perhaps it's as well as 'tis: they are young; and you are handsome. I take them for a couple of London sparks; gentlemen who have too much pride to marry a poor girl, yet sufficient condescension to ruin, and just spirit enough to desert her.
Gra. I hope you are mistaken, sir.
Stur. I hope so too. I have been so often deceived in my good opinion of mankind, that I'm always heartily glad to be honestly ashamed of a bad one: but come, we'll talk more of them as we go along.
Scene, a Room in Justice FIDGET's House.
Enter Sophia and Susan. Sus. Well, madam, and how did you and the old gentleman settle the affair at last ?
Soph. I have agreed to marry the lawyer, in case upon further acquaintance he should like me.
Sus. And how will you prevent his liking you ?
Soph. I have a scheme for that, which I have been for some time putting in execution; but run and see who the fellow is, that you say is lurking about the hoyse.
Sus. Yes, ma'am, he wants to speak with some of the female part of it, I'll be sworn; so I'll just give him a decent opportunity, and be back immediately.
[Exit Susan. Soph. If it should be a messenger from Constant; yet I dare not expect it. The pangs of disappointment are too severe a penance for the indulgence of hope.
Sad vigils, like a cloister'd nun,
Till his reviving ray appears,
. Enter Susan. Sus. I knew I was right, madam. Soph. What have you got there? Sus. Read madam, read; 'tis from Captain Constant. Soph. Who told you so ? Sus. The man who brought it. Soph. And what have you done with him?
(Opens the letter, and reads.) Sus. Why, madam, I was some time in doubt whether I should put him into the pantry to assist Robin in scrubbing the plate, or lock him up with old Deborah
to make conserves; but concluding, that like the rest of the male creatures, he must have a natural partiality for our sex- Bless me, what's the matter? why you look as melancholy as if you had been reading a tragedy. I hope the captain is'nt falsehearted ?
Soph. Let me see the messenger. · Sus. Yes, madam; he's certainly false-hearted after all!
Soph. What am I to think of this ? 'tis not Cona stant's hand, and the contents are absolute nonsense; yet this is about the time I expected him.
Enter Susan and Toddy.
Sus. What, with a strange man, madam ? I can't think of that.
Soph. Well, well, shut the door then. You brought this letter from Captain Constant ?
Tod. Yes, madam.
Tod. His writing ? you know his writing, ma'am, I presume?
Soph. Perfectly. -
truth, tho' he swore me to secrecy, it is not his writing. My master, madam, owing to a trifling accident
Soph. Accident ! oh, heav'ns ! - Tod. The mere fortune of war: the loss of an arm, upon such occasions
Soph. Loss of an arm?
Tod. Very true, madam: in following the enemy too vigorously, a masqued battery opened upon us, and at the first discharge my master lost his right arm; but take comfort, madam ; don't be distress'd; he has got as handsome a wooden one.
Soph. A wooden one?
Tod. Yes, madam, and he moves it so naturally, that you'd hardly know it from flesh and blood. I was, as I said before, sworn to secrecy, but there's an openness in my disposition : I have my faults, but I never could tell a lie in my life.
Soph. But his intellects, sir ?
Sus. What does the man gape at? Is your master in his right senses ? Tod. An excellent hint.
(Aside.) Soph. You understand me, is he perfectly rational ? Tod. He's in love, madam. Soph. But is he in his perfect senses ? Tod. As much so as most gentlemen in that unfor