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Scene VIII.

SIR SAMPSON, VALENTINE, SCANDAL.

SCANDAL
That ever I should suspect such a heathen of any remorse! [Aside.]

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
Dost thou know this paper, Val? I know thou'rt honest, and wilt perform articles. [Shows him the paper, but holds it out of his reach.]

VALENTINE
Pray let me see it, sir. You hold it so far off that I can't tell whether I know it or no.

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
See it, boy? Ay, ay; why, thou dost see it--'tis thy own hand, Vally. Why, let me see, I can read it as plain as can be. Look you here. [Reads.] THE CONDITION OF THIS OBLIGATION--Look you, as plain as can be, so it begins--and then at the bottom--AS WITNESS MY HAND, VALENTINE LEGEND, in great letters. Why, 'tis as plain as the nose in one's face. What, are my eyes better than thine? I believe I can read it farther off yet; let me see. [Stretches his arm as far as he can.]

VALENTINE
Will you please to let me hold it, sir?

SIR SAMPSON LEGEND
Let thee hold it, sayest thou? Ay, with all my heart. What matter is it who holds it? What need anybody hold it? I'll put it up in my pocket, Val, and then nobody need hold it. [Puts the paper in his pocket.] There, Val; it's safe enough, boy. But thou shalt have it as soon as thou hast set thy hand to another paper, little Val.

William Congreve