SCENE III. [A room in Overreach's house. ]


All. Whether to yield the first praise to my lord's

Unequall'd temperance or your constant sweetness

That I yet live, my weak hands fasten'd on

Hope's anchor, spite of all storms of despair,

I yet rest doubtful.

Marg. Give it to Lord Lovell;

For what in him was bounty, in me's duty,

I make but payment of a debt to which

My vows, in that high office regist'red,

Are faithful witnesses.

All. 'Tis true, my dearest:

Yet, when I call to mind how many fair ones

Make wilful shipwreck of their faiths, and oaths

To God and man, to fill the arms of greatness,

And you rise up [no]〖Inserted by Dodsley.〗 less than a glorious star,

To the amazement of the world,—hold out

Against the stern authority of a father,

And spurn at honour, when it comes to court you;

I am so tender of your good, that faintly,

With your wrong, I can wish myself that right

You yet are pleas'd to do me.

Marg. Yet, and ever.

To me what's title, when content is wanting?

Or wealth, rak'd up together with much care,

And to be kept with more, when the heart pines

In being dispossess'd of what it longs for

Beyond the Indian mines? or the smooth brow

Of a pleas'd sire, that slaves me to his will,

And, so his ravenous humour may be feasted

By my obedience, and he see me great,

Leaves to my soul nor faculties nor power

To make her own election?

All. But the dangers

That follow the repulse——

Marg. To me they are nothing;

Let Allworth love, I cannot be unhappy.

Suppose the worst, that, in his rage, he kill me,

A tear or two, by you dropt on my hearse

In sorrow for my fate, will call back life

So far as but to say, that I die yours;

I then shall rest in peace: or should he prove

So cruel, as one death would not suffice

His thirst of vengeance, but with ling'ring torments

In mind and body I must waste to air,

In poverty join'd with banishment; so you share

In my afflictions, which I dare not wish you,

So high I prize you, I could undergo 'em

With such a patience as should look down

With scorn on his worst malice.

All. Heaven avert

Such trials of your true affection to me!

Nor will it unto you, that are all mercy,

Shew so much rigour: but since we must run

Such desperate hazards, let us do our best

To steer between them.

Marg. Your lord's ours, and sure;

And, though but a young actor, second me

In doing to the life what he has plotted.

Enter OVERREACH [behind.]

The end may yet prove happy. Now, my Allworth—

[Seeing her father.]

All. To your letter, and put on a seeming anger.

Marg. I'll pay my lord all debts due to his title;

And when with terms, not taking from his honour,

He does solicit me, I shall gladly hear him.

But in this peremptory, nay, commanding way,

To appoint a meeting, and, without my knowledge,

A priest to tie the knot can ne'er be undone

Till death unloose it, is a confidence

In his lordship will deceive him.

All. I hope better,

Good lady.

Marg. Hope, sir, what you please: for me

I must take a safe and secure course; I have

A father, and without his full consent,

Though all lords of the land kneel'd for my favour,

I can grant nothing.

Over. I like this obedience: [Comes forward.]

But whatsoe'er my lord writes, must and shall be

Accepted and embrac'd. Sweet Master Allworth,

You shew yourself a true and faithful servant

To your good lord; he has a jewel of you.

How! frowning, Meg? Are these looks to receive

A messenger from my lord? What's this? Give me it.

Marg. A piece of arrogant paper, like th' inscriptions.

Over. Reads. “Fair mistress, from your servant learn all joys

That we can hope for, if deferr'd, prove toys;〖Trifles.〗

Therefore this instant, and in private, meet

A husband, that will gladly at your feet

Lay down his honours, tend'ring them to you

With all content, the church being paid her due.”

—Is this the arrogant piece of paper? Fool!

Will you still be one? In the name of madness what

Could his good honour write more to content you?

Is there aught else to be wish'd, after these two,

That are already offer'd; marriage first,

And lawful pleasure after: what would you more?

Marg. Why, sir, I would be married like your daughter;

Not hurried away i' th' night I know not whither,

Without all ceremony; no friends invited

To honour the solemnity.

All. An't please your honour,

For so before to-morrow I must style you,

My lord desires this privacy, in respect

His honourable kinsmen are afar off,

And his desires to have it done brook not

So long delay as to expect〖Wait for.〗 their coming;

And yet he stands resolv'd, with all due pomp,

As running at the ring, plays, masques, and tilting,

To have his marriage at court celebrated,

When he has brought your honour up to London.

Over. He tells you true; 'tis the fashion, on my knowledge:

Yet the good lord, to please your peevishness,

Must put it off, forsooth! and lose a night,

In which perhaps he might get two boys on thee.

Tempt me no further, if you do, this goad [Points to his sword.]

Shall prick you to him.

Marg. I could be contented,

Were you but by, to do a father's part,

And give me in the church.

Over. So my lord have you,

What do I care who gives you? Since my lord

Does purpose to be private, I'll not cross him.

I know not, Master Allworth, how my lord

May be provided, and therefore there's a purse

Of gold, 'twill serve this night's expense; to-morrow

I'll furnish him with any sums. In the mean time,

Use my ring to my chaplain; he is benefic'd

At my manor of Gotham, and call'd Parson Willdo:

'Tis no matter for a licence, I'll bear him out in't.

Marg. With your favour, sir, what warrant is your ring?

He may suppose I got that twenty ways,

Without your knowledge; and then to be refus'd

Were such a stain upon me!—If you pleas'd, sir,

Your presence would do better.

Over. Still perverse!

I say again, I will not cross my lord;

Yet I'll prevent〖Anticipate your objections.〗 you too.—Paper and ink, there!

All. I can furnish you.

Over. I thank you, I can write then.

Writes on his book.

All. You may, if you please, put out the name of my lord,

In respect he comes disguis'd, and only write,

“Marry her to this gentleman.”

Over. Well advis'd.

'Tis done; away;—MARGARET kneels. My blessing, girl? Thou

hast it.

Nay, no reply, be gone.—Good Master Allworth,

This shall be the best night's work you ever made.

All. I hope so, sir. Exeunt ALLWORTH and MARGARET.

Over. Farewell!—Now all's cocksure:

Methinks I hear already knights and ladies

Say, Sir Giles Overreach, how is it with

Your honourable daughter? Has her honour

Slept well to-night? or, will her honour please

To accept this monkey, dog, or paraquit,〖Parrot.〗

(This is state in ladies), or my eldest son

To be her page, and wait upon her trencher?

My ends, my ends are compass'd—then for Wellborn

And the lands; were he once married to the widow——

I have him here—I can scarce contain myself,

I am so full of joy, nay, joy all over. Exit.

All Directories