"Words Are But Empty Thanks"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The woman's wit of this play is the wit of Leonora, a scheming young woman who wishes to have all the men her suitors. Charles Longville knows her real character and tries to expose her falsity to Lord Lovemore, his friend who wishes to marry Leonora. Longville is prompted by his sister's love for Lord Lovemore, as well as by his friendship for the man. Leonora discovers what is happening and, by using her wits, tries to bring enmity between the two friends to hide her own perfidy. She even goes to such lengths as to lie about being already married to Longville herself and to falsify letters between Longville and his fiancée, Olivia. Leonora over-reaches herself, however, and is exposed at last for the villainess she is. The misunderstanding between Longville and his fiancée is cleared up, and Lord Lovemore realizes how Leonora has fooled him. Longville assures his sister that there is hope that Lovemore will marry her:

And now, Emilia, there is a blooming hope for thee, which time can only ripen: mean while intrust thy heart with me, and be assur'd, thou ne'er shalt blush, when I think to part with it.
This is beyond a brother's love: words are but empty thanks; my future conduct best will speak my gratitude.