The runaway, a comedy: as it is acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane.
Cowley, Mrs. (Hannah), 1743-1809.
SCENE, the Garden.
Enter HARRIET.

In vain do I endeavour to conceal it from myself—This spot has charms for me, that I can find in no other—here have I seen—perhaps for the last time, Sir Charles Seymour. My Cousin's presence was unlucky—I should have heard him—but it would have been a crime in him to have talked to me of love—an insult that I must have resented—and yet 'tis the only subject on which I could wish to have heard him. Bless me! he's here again—he haunts this place—but he does not observe me, and I'll conceal myself; for I feel I could not now behave with proper reserve.

[Goes behind an arbor.
Enter Sir CHARLES, looking round.

Ha, not here then!—Sweet resemblance of her I love! come from thy hiding-place.

[takes a picture from his bosom, and kisses it.]
In her absence thou art the dearest object to my eyes. What a face is this!

"'Tis beauty truly blest, whose red and white
"Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on."
Enter GEORGE. Catches his hand with the picture.
Geo.

Ho ho!—so the Picture's come home from the Painter's, is it, Sir—and the drapery quite to your mind?

Page  36
Sir Ch.
[confused and recovering.]

The artifice I used to obtain it, those who love can pardon.

Geo.

And how many times a day dost thou break the decalogue in worshipping that Image?

Sir Ch.

Every hour that I live. I gaze on it till I think it looks, and speaks to me; it lies all night on my heart, and is the first object I address in the morning.

Geo.

Oh, complete your character, and turn Monk—'tis plain you're half a Papist.

Sir Ch.

Why condemn me to cells and penitence?

Geo.

That you mayn't violate the laws of Nature, by pretending to a character for which she never designed you. Your bonds, instead of silken fetters, appear to be hempen cords. Come, confess, have not you been examining on which of these trees you would be most gracefully pendent?

Sir Ch.

That gaieté de coeur, George, bears no mark of the tender passion; and, to be plain, I believe you know very little about it.

Geo.

You are confoundedly mistaken—we are both Lo|vers, but the difference between us lies thus: Cupid to me is a little familiar rogue, with an arch leer—and cheeks dimpled with continual smiles—To you—an aweful Deity, deck'd out in his whole regalia of darts, flames, and qui|vers, and so forth—I play with him—you—

Sir Ch.

Spare yourself the trouble of so long an expla|nation—All you would say is, that you love with hope—I with despair.

Geo.

Very concise, and most pathetically exprest—melancholy suits your features, Charles—'twere pity your Mistress should encourage you; it would deprive you of that something in your air which is so touching—Ha! ha! ha!—poor Seymour! Come, let us go in search of the girls, they are gone to the wood; who knows but you may find a nymph there, who'll have the kindness to put hang|ing and drowning out of your head?

Sir Ch.
Oh, would sweet Celia meet me there,
With soften'd looks, and gentler air,
Transported, to the Wood I'd fly,
The happiest Swain beneath the sky;
Sighs and complaints I'd give the wind,
And IO's sing, were Celia kind.
[As he repeats the verses, George, laughing, scans them on his fingers.
[Exit Sir Charles.
Geo.

Cupid is deaf, as well as blind.

[Exit George.
Page  37Enter HARRIET.
Har.

Her picture in his bosom, and kiss it with such rapture too! Well—I am glad I am convinced—I am per|fectly at ease. He loves them without hope, and George was mistaken in supposing him so near marriage—but he loves notwithstanding—her picture lies all night on his heart, and her idea is never absent from his mind—Well, be it so—I am perfectly at ease, and shall no longer find a diffi|culty in assuming an indifference that is become real—Oh, Seymour!

[Exit.