True, but come, I will shew you the house where dwells this credulous
Ha, ha, my old friend dwindled down to one letter. [Exeunt.]
SCENE.—An Apartment in MELESINDA’S House.
MELESINDA sola, as if musing.
MELESINDA H.H.H. Sure it must be something precious by its being concealed. It can’t be Homer, that is a Heathen’s name; nor Horatio, that is no surname; what if it be Hamlet? the Lord Hamlet—pretty, and I his poor distracted Ophelia! No, ’tis none of these; ’tis Harcourt or Hargrave, or some such sounding name, or Howard, high born Howard, that would do; may be it is Harley, methinks my H. resembles Harley, the feeling Harley. But I hear him, and from his own lips I will once for ever be resolved.
Enter MR. H.
My dear Melesinda.
MELESINDA My dear H. that is all you give me power to swear allegiance to,—to be enamoured of inarticulate sounds, and call with sighs upon an empty letter. But I will know.
MR. H. My dear Melesinda, press me no more for the disclosure of that, which in the face of day so soon must be revealed. Call it whim, humour, caprice, in me. Suppose I have sworn an oath, never, till the ceremony of our marriage is over, to disclose my true name.
MELESINDA Oh! H.H.H. I cherish here a fire of restless curiosity which consumes me. ’Tis appetite, passion, call it whim, caprice, in me. Suppose I have sworn I must and will know it this very night.
MR. H. Ungenerous Melesinda! I implore you to give me this one proof of your confidence. The holy vow once past, your H. shall not have a secret to withhold.
MELESINDA My H. has overcome: his Melesinda shall pine away and die, before she dare express a saucy inclination; but what shall I call you till we are married?
MR. H. Call me? call me any thing, call me Love, Love! aye, Love, Love will do very well.
How many syllables is it, Love?
How many? ud, that is coming to the question with a vengeance. One, two,
three, four,—what does it signify how many syllables?
How many syllables, Love?
My Melesinda’s mind, I had hoped, was superior to this childish curiosity.
How many letters are there in it?
[Exit MR. H. followed by MELESINDA repeating the question.]
Sir Harbottle Hammond, you may depend upon it.
Sir Hardy Hardcastle, I tell you.
The Hammonds of Huntingdonshire.
The Hardcastles of Hertfordshire.
Don’t tell me: does not Hardcastle begin with an H?