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Jos. Believe me, Sir Peter, such a discovery would affect
just as much as it does you.
Sir Pet. What a happiness to bave a frieud we can trust, even with our family secrets Can't you guess who it is?
Jos.. I hav'n't the most distant idea. It can't be Sir
No, no. - What do you think of Charles ?
I can't think he would be capable of such baseness and ingratitude.
Sir Pet. Ah, the goodness of your own mind makes you" slow to believe such villainy.
Jos. Very true, Sir Peter. The man who is conscious of the integrity of his own heart, is ever slow to credit another's baseness.
Sir Pet. And yet, that the son of my old friend should practice against the honour of my family.
Jos. Ay, there's the case, Sir Peter. When ingratitude barbs *) the dart of injury, the wound feels doubly smart.
Sir Pet.. What noble sentiments! - He never used a gentiment, ungrateful boy! that I acted as guardian to, and who was brought up under my eye; and I never in my life refused him Jos. I don't know, Sir Beter,
be such a man if it be so, he is no longer a brother of mine; I renounce him. I disclaim him. For the man who can break through the laws of hospitality, and seduce the wife or daughter of his friend, deserves to be branded as a pest to society.
Sir Pet. And yet, Joseph, if I was to make it public, I should only be sneered and laughed at.
Jos. Why, that's very true No, no, you must not make it public; people would talk
Sir Pet. Talk! - they'd say it was all my own fault; an old, doating batchelor, to marry a young giddy girl. They'd paragraph me in the news - papers, and make ballads on me.
Jos. And yet, Sir Peter, I can't think that my lady Teazle's honour
Sir Pet.! Ah, my dear friend, what's ber honour opposed against the flattery of a bandsome young fellow? But Joseph, she has been upbraiding me of late, that I have not made her a settlement; and I think, in our last quarrel she
-). To, barb, einen Pfeil mit Wiederhaken versehen.
told me she should not be very 'sorry if I was dead. Now, I bave brought drafts of two deeds for your perusal, and she shall find, if I was to die, that I have not been inattentive to her welfare while living. By the one, she will enjoy eight hundred pounds a year during my life; and by the other, bulk of my fortune after my death.
Jos. This conduct is truly generous I wish it mayn's corrupt my pupil.
[ Aside.) Sir Pet. But I would not have her as yet acquainted with the least mark of my affection. Jos. Nor I if I could help it.
(Aside. ) Sir Pet. And now I have unburthened myself to you, let us talk over your affair with Maria.
Jos. Not a syllable upon the subject now. ( alarmed ] Some other time; I am too much affected by your affairs, to think of my own. For the man, who can think of his own happiness, while his friend is in distress, deserves to be hunted as a monster to society.
Sir Pet. I am sure of your affection for her.
Sir Pet. And though you are so averse to Lady Teazle's knowing it, I assure you she is not your enemy, and I am sensibly chagrined you have made no further progress. Jos. Sir Peter, I must not hear you The man who
Enter a Servant. What do you want, sirrah ?
Serv. Your brother, Sir, is at the door talking to a gentleman; he says he knows you are at home, that Sir Peter is with you, and he must see you.
Jos. I'm not a home.
[Exit Servant.] Sir Pet. Now, Joseph, r'll hide myself, and do you tar him about the affair with my Lady Teazle, and so draw the secret from him.
Jos. O fie! 'Sir Peter what, join in a plot to trepan
Sir Pet. Oh aye, to serve your friend; besides, if he is innocent, as you say he is, it would give binn an opportunity to clear himself, and make me verry happy. Hark, I hear him coming Where shall I go?
Behind this screen
What the devil! here has been one listener already, for I'll swear I saw a petticoat.
Jos. [Affecting to laugh] It's very ridiculous Ha, ha,
- a ridiculous affair indeed ha, ha, ha! Hark'ye, Sir Peter, [ pulling him aside ] though I hold a man of intrigue to be a most despicable character, yet you know it does not follow, that one is to be an absolute Joseph either. Hark’ye, 'ris a little French milliner, who calls upon me sometimes, and hearing you were coming, and having some character to lose, she slipped behind the screen.
Sir Pet. A French milliner! (smiling] Cunning rogue ! Joseph Sly rogue
But zounds, she has overheard every thing that has passed about my wife.
Jos. Oh, never fear Take my word,' it will never go further for her.
Sir Pet. Won't it?
Sir Pet. Well, well, if it will go no further But where shall I hide myself?
Jos. Here, here, slip into this closet, and you may overhear every word.
L. Teaz. Can I steal away. [Peeping.]
lock the closet door? Jos. Not a word
you'll be discovered. Sir. Pet. Joseph, don't spare
him. Jos. For heaven's sake lie close
A pretty situation I am in, to part man and wife in this manner. [ Aside. ] Sir. Pet. You're sure the little French milliner won't blab.
fellow denied you, they said, you were not at home What, have you a Jew or a wench with you?
Jos. Neither, brother, neither.
Jos. He was, brother;, but hearing you was coming, he left the house.
Char. What, was the old fellow afraid I wanted to bor. row money of him!
Jos. Borrow! no brother, but I am sorry to hear you have given that worthy man cause for great uneasiness. Char. Yes. I am told I do that to a great many worthy
But how do you mean, brother? Jos. Why', he thinks you have endeavdured to alienate the affections of Lady T'eazle.
Char. Who, I alienate the affections of Lady Teazle! Upon my word he accuses me very injustly. What, has the old gentleman found out that he has got a young wife; or, what is worse, has the lady found out that she has got an old husband?
Jos. For shame, brother.
Char. 'Tis true, I did once suspect her ladyship had a partiality for me, but upon my soul I never gave her the least encouragement; for, you know my attachment was to Maria.
Jos. This will make Sir Peter extremely happy But if she had a partiality for you, surely you would not have been base enough
Char. Why, look’ye, Joseph, I hope I shall never deliberately do a vishonourable action; but if a pretty woman should purposely throw herself in my way, and that pretty woman should happen to be married to a man old enough to be her father
Jos. What then ?
Char. Why then, I believe I should have occasion 10 borrow a little of your morality, brother.
Jos. Oh fie, brother The man who can jest
But Joseph, do you know that I am surprised at your suspecting me with Lady Teazle. I thought you was always the favourite tliere.
Char. Why yes; I have seen you exchange such siguificant glances.
Char. Yes I have; and don't you remember when I came in here, and caught you and her at
Jos. I must stop him, [ Aside.] [Stops his mouth. ] Sir Peter has overheard every word that you have said.
Char. Sir Peter! where is he? What, in the closet 'Foregad I'll have him out.
Jos. No, no. [Stopping him. ]
Is it not,
Char. I will Sir Peter Teazle, come into court.
Enter Sir Peter. What,
my old guardian turn inquisitor, and take evidence incog*).
Sir Pet. Give me your hand. - I own, my dear boy, I have suspected you wrongfully; but you must not be angry with Joseph; it was all my plot, and I shall think of you as long as I live for what I overheard.
Char. Then 'tis well you did not hear more. Joseph?
Sir Pet. What, you would have retorted on Joseph, would you?
Char. And yet you migbt as well have suspected him as
Enter Servant. Serv. [Whispering Joseph. ] - Lady Sneerwell, Sir, is just coming up, and says she must see you.
Jos. "Gentlemen, I must beg your pardon; I have company waiting for me; give me leave to conduct you down stairs.
Char. No, no, speak to them in another room; I have not seen Sir Peter a great while, and I want to talk with him.
Jos. Well, 'l'll send away the person and return immediately. Sir Peter, not a word of the little French milliner.
[ Aside and exit. ] Sir Pet. Ah, Charles, what a pity it is you don't asso- ' ciate more with your brother, we might then have some hopes of your reformation; he's a young mau of such sentiments Ah, there's nothing in the world so noble as a man of sentiment.
Char. Oh, he's too moral by half; and so apprehensive of his good name, that, I dare say, he would as soon let a' priest **) into his house, as a wench.
Sir Pet. No, no, you accuse him wrongfully Tho' Joseph is not a rake, he is no saint.
Char. Oh! a perfect anchorite
Sir Pet. Hush, hush; don't abuse him, may chance to hear of it again.
Char. Why, you won't tell him, will you ?
but I have a great mind to tell
a young hermit.
*) Aus incognito entstanden. **) A priest, nämlich ein ka. tholischer Geistlicher, Diese sind in England nicht sehr beliebt.