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Croaker.

How, boy, could you desire a finer opening? Why don't you begin, I say? \To Leant.

Leontine.

'Tis true, madam, my father, madam, has some intentions—hem—of explaining an affair—which—himself—can best explain, madam.

Croaker.

Yes, my dear ; it comes entirely from my son ; it's all a request of his own, madam. And I will permit him to make the best of it.

Leontine.

The whole affair is only this, madam; my father has a proposal to make, which he insists none but himself shall deliver.

Croaker.

My mind misgives me, the fellow will never be brought on. (Aside.) In short, madam, you see before you one that loves you; one whose whole happiness is all in you.

Miss Richland.

I never had any doubts of your regard, Sir; and I hope you can have none of my duty.

Croaker.

That's not the thing, my little sweeting; my love! No, no, another guess lover than I; there he stands, madam, his very looks declare the force of his passion—Call up a look, you dog (Aside.)—But then, had you seen him, «s I have, weeping, speaking soliloquies and blank verse, sometimes melancholy, and sometimes absent—

Miss Richland.

I fear, Sir, he's absent now; or such a declaration would have come most properly from himself.

Croaker.

Himself! madam, he would die before he could make such a confession; and if he had not a channel for his passion through me, it would ere now have drowned his understanding.

Miss Richland. . I must grant, Sir,, there are attractions in modesE diffidence above the force of words. A silent addressis the genuine eloquence of sincerity.

Croaker.

Madam, he has forgot to speak any other language; silence is become his mother-tongue.

Miss Richland.

And it must be confessed, Sir, it speaks very pow_erfully in his favor. And yet I shall be thought too forward in making such a confession: shan't I, Mr! I^eontkie?

Leontine.

Confusion ! my reserve will undo me. But if modesty attracts her, impudence may disgust her. I'll try. (Aside.) Don't imagine from my silence, madam, that I want a due sense of the honor and happiness intended me. My father, madam, tells me, your humble servant is not totally indifferent to you. He admires you j I adore you; and when we eomo togsther, upon my soul I believe we shall be the happiest couple in St. James's.

Miss Richland.

If I could flatter myself, you thought as you speak, Sir—

Leonline.

Doubt my sincerity, madam? By your dear self I swear. Ask the brave, if they desire glory ? ask cowards, if they covet safety—

Croaker..

Well, well, no more questions about it.

Leontine.

Ask the sick, if they long for health ? ask misers, if they love money? ask

Croaker.

Ask a fool, if they can talk nonsense! What's come over the boy? What signifies asking, when there's not a soul to give you an answer? If yoa would ask to the purpose, ask this lady's consent to make you happy.

Miss Richland.

'Why indeed, Sir, his uncommon ardor almost com_pels me—forces me to comply. And yet I'm afraid he'll despise a conquest gain'd with too much ease: won't you, Mr. Leontine I

Leontine.

Confusion! (Aside.) Oh, by no means, madam, fcy no means. And yet, madam, you talked of force. There is nothing I would avoid so mueh as compulsion. in a thing of this kind. No, madam, I will still be gerous, and leave you at liberty to refuse.

Croaker.

But I tell you, Sir, the lady is not at liberty. It's a match. You see she says nothing. Silence gives consent.

Leontine.

But, Sir, she talked of force. Consider, Sir, the cruelty of constraining her inclinations.

Croaker.

But I say there's no cruelty. Don't you know, blockhead, that girls have always a roundabout way of saying yes before company? So get you both gone together in the next room, and hang him that interrupts the tender explanation. Get you gone, I say; I'll hear not a word.

Leontine.

But, Sir, I must beg leave to insist—
Croaker.

Get off, you puppy, or I'll beg leave to insist upon knocking you down. Stupid whelp! But I don't wonder, the boy takes entirely after his mother.

\Jixeunt Miss Rich, and Lcont.

Enter Mrs. Croaker.

Mrs. Croaker. Mr. Croaker, I bring you something, my dear, that I believe will make you smile.

Croaker.

I'll hold you a gninea of that, my dear.

Mrs. Croaker. A letter; and, as I knew the hand, I ventur'd to •pen it.

Croaker.

And how can you expect your breaking open my letters should give me pleasure?

Mrs. Croaker. Poo, it's fi om your sister at Lyons, and contains good news; read it.

Croaker.

What a Frenchified cover is here ! That sister of mine has some good qualities, but I could never Icack her to fold a letter.

Mrs. Croaker.
Fold a fiddlestick. Read what it contains.

Croaker, reading.

"dear Nick, a An English gentleman, of large fortune, has for « some time made private, though honorable propo"sals to your daughter Olivia. They love each other "tenderly, and I find she has consented, without letting "any of the family know, to crown his addresses. As "such good offers don't come every day, your own « good sense, his large fortune, and family considera"tions, will induce you to forgive her.

"Your's ever,

"Rachael Croaker."

My daughter Olivia privately contracted to a man of large fortune! This is good news, indeed. My

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