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The Fatal Falsehood
written by "More, Hannah, 1745-1833"
...ve, Nor was that theme less grateful than the former. I seem'd the very idol of his soul; Rivers, he said, would thank me for the friendship I bore to his Orlando; I believ'd him. Julia was absent then—but what of Julia? Riv. Aye, what of her, indeed? why nam'd you Julia? You could not surely think?—no, that were wild. Why did you mention Julia? Em. (confusedly.) Nay, 'twas nothing, 'Twas accident, nor had my words a meaning; If I did name her—'twas to note the time—— To mark the period of Orlando's coldness—— The circumstance was casual, and but meant To date the change; it aim'd at nothing further. Riv. (agitated.) 'Tis very like—no more—I'm satisfied—— You talk as I had doubts: what doubts have I? Why do you labour to destroy suspicions Which never had a birth? Is she not mine? Mine by the fondest ties of dear affection?—— But did Orlando change at her return? Did he grow cold? It could not be for that; You may mistake.—And yet you said 'twas then; Was it precisely then—I only ask For the fond love I bear my dearest sister. Em. 'Twas as I said. Riv. (recovering himself.) He loves thee, Emmelina: These starts of passion, this unquiet temper, Betray how much he loves thee: yes, my sister, He fears to lose thee, fears his father's will May dash his rising hopes, nor give thee to him. Em. Oh, flatterer! thus to soothe my easy nature With tales of possible, unlikely bliss! Because it may be true, my credulous heart Whispers it is, and fondly loves to cherish The feeble glimmering of a sickly hope. Riv. This precious moment, worth a tedious age Of vulgar time, I've stol'n from love and Julia; She waits my coming, and a longer stay Were treason to her beauty and my love. Doubts vanish, fears recede, and fondness triumphs. [Exeunt.   ACT III. Scene—A Garden. Em. Why do my feet unbidden seek t...

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