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bility is not always accompanied with riches to support it in its lustre.
Mel. You have a just exception against the capriciousness of destiny; yet, if I were owner of any noble qualities, (which I am not) I should not much esteem the goods of fortune.
Alon. But pray conceive me, sir; your father did not leave you flourishing in wealth.
Mel. Only a very fair seat in Andalusia, with all the pleasures imaginable about it: That alone, were my poor deserts according, -- which, I confess, they are not, -were enough to make a woman happy in it.
Alon. But give me leave to come to the point, I beseech you, sir. I have lost a jewel, which I vålue infinitely, and I hear it is in your possession : But I accuse your wants, not you, for it.
Mel. Your daughter is indeed a jewel; but she were not lost, were she in possession of a man of parts.
Alon. A precious diamond, sir-
Alon. I know what you would say, sir,--that a man of honour is not capable of an unworthy action; and, therefore, I do not accuse you of the theft: I suppose the jewel was only put into your hands. Mel. By honourable ways, I assure
assure you, Alun. Sir, sir, will you restore my jewel?
Mel. Will you please, sir, to give me leave to be the unworthy possessor of her? I know how to use her with that respect
Alon. I know what you would say, sir; but if it belong to our family? otherwise, I assure you, it were at your service.
Mel. As it belongs to your family, I covet it; not that I plead my own deserts, sir.
Alon. Sir, I know your deserts; but, I protest, I cannot part with it. For, I must tell you, this diamond ring was originally my great-grandfather's.
Mel. À diamond ring, sir, do you mean?
Alon. By your patience, sir; when I have done, you may speak your pleasure. I only lent it to my daughter; but, how she lost it, and how it came upon your finger, I am yet in tenebris.
Alon. I know it, sir ; but spare yourself the trouble, I'll speak for you; you would say you had it from some other hand; I believe it, sir.
Mel. But, sir
your speaking ;—from another hand you had it; and now, sir, as you say, sir, and as I am saying for you, sir, you are loth to part with it.
Mel. Good sir, -let me
Alon. I understand you already, sir,--that you have taken a fancy to it, and would buy it; but, to that I answer, as I did before, that it is a relick of my family: Now, sir, if you can urge aught farther, you have liberty to speak without interruption.
Mel. This diamond you speak of, I confess
Alon. But what need you confess, sir, before you are accused ?
Mel. You promised you would hear me in my turn, sir, but
Alon. But, as you were saying, it is needless, because I have already spoken for
you. Mel. The truth is, sir, I was too presumptuous to take this pledge from Theodosia without your knowledge; but you will pardon the invincible necessity, when I tell you
Alon. You need not tell me; I know your neces
sity was the reason of it, and that place and opportunity have caused your error.
Mel. This is the goodest old man I ever knew; he prevents me in my motion for his daughter. (Aside. Since, sir, you know the cause of my errors, and are pleased to lay part of the blame upon youth and opportunity, I beseech you, favour me so far to accept me, as fair Theodosia already has
Alon. I conceive you, sir,—that I would accept of your excuse : Why, restore the diamond, and 'tis done.
Mel. More joyfully than I received it: And, with it, I beg the honour to be received by you as your son-in-law.
Alon. My son-in-law! this is the most pleasant proposition I ever heard. Mel
. I am proud you think it so; but, I protest, I think not I deserve this honour.
Alun. Nor I, I assure you, sir; marry my daughter-ha, ha, ha!
Mel. But, sir
Alon. I know what you would say, sir—that there is too much hazard in the profession of a thief, and therefore you would marry my daughter to become rich, without venturing your neck fort. I beseech you, sir, steal on, be apprehended, and, if you please, be hanged, it shall make no breach betwixt us. For my part, I'll keep your counsel, and so, good night, sir.
[Erit ALON. Mél. Is the devil in this old man, first to give me occasion to confess my love, and, when he knew it, to promise he would keep my counsel? But who are these? I'll not be seen ; but to my old appointment with Theodosia, and desire her to unriddle it.
Enter MASKALL, JACINTHA, and BEATRIX. Mask. But, madam, do you take me for a man of honour ?
Mask. Why there's it! if you had, I would have sworn that my master has neither done nor intended
you any injury. I suppose you'll grant he knew you in your disguise?
Beat. Nay, to know her, and use her so, is an aggravation of his crime.
Mask. Unconscionable Beatrix ! would you two have all the carnival to yourselves? He knew you, madam, and was resolved to countermine you in all your plots. But, when he saw you so much piqued, he was too good natured to let you sleep in wrath, and sent me to you to disabuse you : for, if the business had gone on till to-morrow, when Lent begins, you would have grown so peevish (as all good Catholics are with fasting) that the quarrel would never have been ended.
Jac. Well; this mollifies a little: I am content he shall see me.
Mask. But that you may be sure he knew you, he will bring the certificate of the purse along with him.
Jac. I shall be glad to find him innocent.
Wild. No mortal man ever threw out so often.
Mask. Madam, 'tis certainly my master; and he is so zealous to make his peace, that he could not stay till I called him to you.
Wild. Sirrah, I'll teach you more manners than to leave me another time: You rogue, you have lost me two hundred pistoles, you and the devil your accomplice; you, by leaving me to myself, and he, by tempting me to play it off.
Mask. Is the wind in that door? Here's like to be fine doings.
Wild. O mischief! am I fallen into her ambush? I must face it out with another quarrel.
[ Aside. Jac. Your man has been treating your accommodation; 'tis half made already.
Wild. Ay, on your part it may be.
Wild. Yes; I do know you so well, that my poor heart aches for't. I was going to bed without telling you my mind; but, upon consideration, I am come
Jac. To bring the money with you.
Wild. Do you think it a reasonable thing to put on two disguises in a night, to tempt a man? (Help me, Maskall
, for I want arguments abominably.) I thank heaven I was never so barbarously used in all
Jac. He begins to anger me in good earnest.