Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

then. The blue and gold then. I believe Mr. Flanigan will look best in blue.

Bailiff. Rabbit me, but little Flanigan will look well in any thing. Ah, if your honour knew that bit of flesh as well as I do, you'd be perfectly in love with him. There's not a prettier scout in the four counties after a shy-cock than he; scents like a hound: sticks like a weasel. He was master of the ceremonies to the black queen of Morocco, when I took him to follow me. [Re-enter Flanigan.] Heh, ecod, I think he looks so well, that I don't care if I have a suit from the same place for myself.

Miss Richland. I'm quite displeased when I see [Exit Flanigan. a fine subject spoiled by a dull writer.

Honeywood. We should not be so severe against dull writers, madam. It is ten to one but the dullest writer exceeds the most rigid French critic who presumes to despise him.

Follower. Damn the French, the parle vous, and all that belongs to them. Miss Richland. Sir!

Honeywood. Well, well, I hear the lady coming. Miss Richland. Yet, Mr. Honeywood, this does Dear Mr. Twitch, I beg you'll give your friend di-not convince me but that severity in criticism is rections not to speak. As for yourself, I know you necessary. It was our first adopting the severity will say nothing without being directed. of French taste, that has brought them in turn to taste us. Bailiff. Taste us! By the Lord, madam, they devour us. Give monseers but a taste, and I'll be damn'd but they come in for a bellyfull.

Bailiff. Never you fear me; I'll show the lady that I have something to say for myself as well as another. One man has one way of talking, and another man has another, that's all the difference between them.

Miss Richland. Very extraordinary this!

Follower. But very true. What makes the bread rising? the parle vous that devour us. What makes the mutton fivepence a pound? the parle vous that eat it up. What makes the beer threepence-halfpenny a pot?——

Honeywood. Ah! the vulgar rogues; all will be out. [Aside.] Right, gentlemen, very right, upon my word, and quite to the purpose. They draw a parallel, madam, between the mental taste and that of our senses. We are injured as much by the French severity in the one, as by French rapacity in the other. That's their meaning.

Miss Richland. Though I don't see the force of the parallel, yet I'll own, that we should sometimes pardon books, as we do our friends, that have now and then agreeable absurdities to recommend them.

Enter MISS RICHLAND and her Maid.

Miss Richland. You'll be surprised, sir, with this visit. But you know I'm yet to thank you for choosing my little library.

Honeywood. Thanks, madam, are unnecessary; as it was I that was obliged by your commands. Chairs here. Two of my very good friends, Mr. Twitch and Mr. Flanigan. Pray, gentlemen, sit without ceremony.

80.

Miss Richland. Who can these odd-looking men be; I fear it is as I was informed. It must be [Aside. Bailiff [after a pause.] Pretty weather; very pretty weather for the time of the year, madam. Follower. Very good circuit weather in the country.

Honeywood. You officers are generally favourites among the ladies. My friends, madam, have been upon very disagreeable duty, I assure you. The fair should in some measure recompense the toils of the brave!

Miss Richland. Our officers do indeed deserve every favour. The gentlemen are in the marine service, I presume sir?

Honeywood. Why, madam, they do-occasionally serve in the fleet, madam. A dangerous service!

Miss Richland. I'm told so. And I own it has often surprised me, that while we have had so many instances of bravery there, we have had so few of wit at home to praise it.

Honeywood. Ha ha, ha! honest Mr. Flanigan. A true English officer, madam; he's not contented with beating the French, but he will scold them

too.

Honeywood. Igrant, madam, that our poets have not written as our soldiers have fought; but they have done all they could, and Hawke or Amherst could do no more.

[ocr errors]

Bailiff. That's all my eye. The king only can pardon, as the law says: for set in case

Honeywood. I'm quite of your opinion, sir. I see the whole drift of your argument. Yes, certainly, our presuming to pardon any work, is arrogating a power that belongs to another. If all have power to condemn, what writer can be free?

Bailiff. By his habus corpus. His habus corpus can set him free at any time: for, set in case

Honeywood. I'm obliged to you, sir, for the hint. If, madam, as my friend observes, our laws are so careful of a gentleman's person, sure we ought to be equally careful of his dearer part, his fame. Follower. Ay, but if so be a man's nabb'd you know

Honeywood. Mr. Flanigan, if you spoke for ever, you could not improve the last observation. For my own part, I think it conclusive.

Bailiff. As for the matter of that, mayhap―

Honeywood. Nay, sir, give me leave in this in-setting him free, I own, was quite unexpected. I stance to be positive. For where is the necessity has totally unhinged my schemes to reclaim him. of censuring works without genius, which must Yet it gives me pleasure to find, that among a shortly sink of themselves? what is it, but aiming number of worthless friendships, he has made one an unnecessary blow against a victim already under acquisition of real value; for there must be some softer passion on her side that prompts this genethe hands of justice? rosity. Ha! here before me: I'll endeavour to sound her affections.-Madam, as I am the person that have had some demands upon the gentleman before I of this house, I hope you'll excuse me, enlarged him, I wanted to see yourself.

Miss Richland. The precaution was very unnecessary, sir. I suppose your wants were only such as my agent had power to satisfy.

Bailiff Justice! O, by the elevens, if you talk about justice, I think I am at home there: for, in

a

course of law—

Honeywood. My dear Mr. Twitch, I discern what you'd be at perfectly; and I believe the lady must be sensible of the art with which it is introduced. I suppose you perceive the meaning, madam, of his course of law.

Sir William. Partly, madam. But I was also willing you should be fully apprised of the charac ter of the gentleman you intended to serve.

I

Bailiff. Madam, you are a gentlewoman, and will make the matter out. This here question is about severity, and justice, and pardon, and the like of they. Now, to explain the thing

Miss Richland. It must come, sir, with a very sure it after what you ill grace from you. To ce have done, would look like malice; and to speak favourably of a character you have oppressed, would be impeaching your own. And sure, his tenderness, his humanity, his universal friendship, may atone for many faults.

Honeywood. O! curse your explanations.

[Aside.

Enter SERVANT.

Sir William. That friendship, madam, which is exerted in too wide a sphere, becomes totally useless. Our bounty, like a drop of water, disappears when diffused too widely. They, who pretend most to this universal benevolence, are either

Servant. Mr. Leontine, sir, below, desires to speak with you upon earnest business. Honeywood. That's lucky [Aside.] Dear madam, you'll excuse me and my good friends here, deceivers, or dupes: men who desire to cover their for a few minutes. There are books, madam, to private ill-nature, by a pretended regard for all; or men who, reasoning themselves into false feelings, are more earnest in pursuit of splendid, than of useful virtues.

Miss Richland. I protest, sir, I do not. I perceive only that you answer one gentleman before he has finished, and the other before he has well begun.

amuse you. Come, gentlemen, you know I make no ceremony with such friends. After you, sir. Excuse me. Well, if I must. But I know your natural politeness.

Miss Richland. I am surprised, sir, to hear one, who has probably been a gainer by the folly of

Bailiff. Before and behind, you know.

Follower. Ay, ay, before and behind, before and others, so severe in his censure of it. behind.

Sir William. Whatever I may have gained by folly, madam, you see I am willing to prevent your

[Exeunt Honeywood, Bailiff, and Follower. Miss Richland. What can all this mean, Gar-losing by it. net ?

Garnet. And so they are. But I wonder, madam, that the lawyer you just employed to pay his debts, and set him free, has not done it by this time. He ought at least to have been here before now. But lawyers are always more ready to get a man into troubles than out of them.

Miss Richland. Your cares for me, sir, are un

Garnet. Mean, madam! why, what should it necessary. I always suspect those services which mean, but what Mr. Lofty sent you here to see? are denied where they are wanted, and offered, perThese people he calls officers, are officers sure haps, in hopes of a refusal. No, sir, my directions have been given, and I insist upon their being comenough; sheriff's officers; bailiffs, madam. plied with.

Miss Richland. Ay, it is certainly so. Well, though his perplexities are far from giving me pleasure, yet I own there's something very ridiculous in them, and a just punishment for his dissimulation.

Sir William. Thou amiable woman! I can no longer contain the expressions of my gratitude, my pleasure. You see before you one, who has been equally careful of his interest; one, who has for some time been a concealed spectator of his follies, and only punished in hopes to reclaim him—his uncle!

Miss Richland. Sir William Honeywood! You How shall I conceal my confusion? I amaze me. fear, sir, you'll think I have been too forward in my services. I confess I

Enter SIR WILLIAM HONEYWOOD.

Sir William. Don't make any apologies, maSir William. For Miss Richland to undertake dam. I only find myself unable to repay the obli

[ocr errors]

gation. And yet, I have been trying my interest | had some reason to confide in my judgment; one

of late to serve you. Having learnt, madam, that little reason, perhaps.
you had some demands upon Government, I have,
though unasked, been your solicitor there.

Miss Richland. Sir, I'm infinitely obliged to your intentions. But my guardian has employed another gentleman, who assures him of success,

Sir William. Who, the important little man that visits here? Trust me, madam, he's quite contemptible among men in power, and utterly unable to serve you. Mr. Lofty's promises are much better known to people of fashion, than his person, I assure you.

Miss Richland. How have we been deceived! As sure as can be here he comes.

Sir William. Does he? Remember I'm to continue unknown. My return to England has not as yet been made public. With what impudence he enters!

Miss Richland. Pray, sir, what was it?

Lofty. Why, madam-but let it go no farther-
it was I procured him his place.
Sir William. Did you, sir?
Lofty. Either you or I, sir.

Miss Richland. This, Mr. Lofty, was very kind indeed.

Lofty. I did love him, to be sure; he had some amusing qualities; no man was fitter to be a toastmaster to a club, or had a better head.

Miss Richland. A better head?

Lofty. Ay, at a bottle. To be sure he was as dull as a choice spirit: but, hang it, he was grateful, very grateful; and gratitude hides a multitude of faults.

Lofty. Then, madam, what can we do? You know I never make promises. In truth, I once or twice tried to do something with him in the way of business; but, as I often told his uncle, Sir William Honeywood, the man was utterly impracticable.

Sir William. He might have reason, perhaps. His place is pretty considerable, I'm told.

Lofty. A trifle, a mere trifle among us men of business. The truth is, he wanted dignity to fill up a greater.

Sir William. Dignity of person, do you mean, sir? I'm told he's much about my size and figure, sir.

Enter LOFTY.

Lofty. Let the chariot-let my chariot drive off; I'll visit to his grace's in a chair. Miss Richland here before me! Punctual, as usual, to the calls f humanity. I'm very sorry, madam, things of this kind should happen, especially to a man I have shown every where, and carried amongst us as a particular acquaintance.

Miss Richland. I find, sir, you have the art of my meaning. making the misfortunes of others your own.

Lofty. My dear madam, what can a private man like me do? One man can't do every thing; and then, I do so much in this way every day :-Let me see; something considerable might be done for him by subscription; it could not fail if I carried the list. I'll undertake to set down a brace of dukes, two dozen lords, and half the lower house, at my own peril.

Sir William. And, after all, it's more than pro-and it's over. bable, sir, he might reject the offer of such powerful patronage.

Lofty. Ay, tall enough for a marching regiment; but then he wanted a something-a consequence of form-a kind of a-I believe the lady perceives

Miss Richland. O, perfectly; you courtiers can do any thing, I see.

Lofty. My dear madam, all this is but a mere exchange; we do greater things for one another every day. Why, as thus, now: let me suppose you the first lord of the treasury; you have an employment in you that I want; I have a place in me that you want; do me here, do you there: interest of both sides, few words, flat, done and done,

Sir William. A thought strikes me. [Aside.] Now you mention Sir William Honeywood, madam, and as he seems, sir, an acquaintance of yours, you'll be glad to hear he is arrived from Italy; I had it from a friend who knows him as well as he does me, and you may depend on my information.

Lofty. The devil he is! If I had known that, we should not have been quite so well acquainted. [Aside. Sir William. He is certainly returned; and as

Sir William. His uncle! then that gentleman, I suppose, is a particular friend of yours. Lofty. Meaning me, sir?-Yes, madam, as I this gentleman is a friend of yours, he can be of often said, my dear Sir William, you are sensible signal service to us, by introducing me to him; there are some papers relative to your affairs that require dispatch, and his inspection.

I would do any thing, as far as my poor interest goes, to serve your family: but what can be done? there's no procuring first-rate places for ninth-rate abilities.

Miss Richland. This gentleman, Mr. Lofty, is a person employed in my affairs: I know you'll serve us.

Miss Richland. I have heard of Sir William Honeywood; he's abroad in employment: he con- Lofty. My dear madam, I live but to serve you fided in your judgment, I suppose? Sir William shall even wait upon him, if you think Lofty. Why, yes, madam, I believe Sir William proper to command it.

Sir William. That would be quite unnecessary. Lofty. Well, we must introduce you then. Call upon me-let me see-ay, in two days.

Jarvis. Why, there it is: he has no money, that's true; but then, as he never said No to any request in his life, he has given them a bill, drawn

Sir William. Now, or the opportunity will be by a friend of his upon a merchant in the city lost for ever. which I am to get changed; for you must know that I am to go with them to Scotland myself. Sir William. How?

Lofty. Well, if it must be now, now let it be. But damn it, that's unfortunate; my Lord Grig's cursed Pensacola business comes on this very hour, and I'm engaged to attend-another time

Jarvis. It seems the young gentleman is obliged to take a different road from his mistress, as he is Sir William. A short letter to Sir William will to call upon an uncle of his that lives out of the

do.

way, in order to prepare a place for their reception when they return; so they have borrowed me from my master, as the properest person to attend the young lady down.

Sir William. To the land of matrimony? A pleasant journey, Jarvis.

Jarvis. Ay, but I'm only to have all the fatigues on't.

Sir William. Well, it may be shorter, and less fatiguing, than you imagine. I know but too much of the young lady's family and connexions, whom I have seen abroad. I have also discovered

Lofty. You shall have it; yet, in my opinion, a letter is a very bad way of going to work; face to face, that's my way.

Sir William. The letter, sir, will do quite as well.

Lofty. Zounds! sir, do you pretend to direct me? direct me in the business of office? Do you know me, sir? who am I?

Miss Richland. Dear Mr. Lofty, this request is not so much his as mine; if my commands-but you despise my power.

Lofty. Delicate creature! your commands could that Miss Richland is not indifferent to my thoughteven control a debate at midnight: to a power so less nephew; and will endeavour, though I fear in constitutional, I am all obedience and tranquillity. vain, to establish that connexion. But, come, the He shall have a letter: where is my secretary? letter I wait for must be almost finished; I'll let Dubardieu? And yet, I protest I don't like this you further into my intentions in the next room. way of doing business. I think if I spoke first [Exeunt. to Sir William-But you will have it so.

[Exit with Miss Richland.

ACT IV.

SCENE-CROAKER'S HOUSE.

Sir William [alone.] Ha, ha, ha!-This too is one of my nephew's hopeful associates. O vanity, thou constant deceiver, how do all thy efforts to exalt, serve but to sink us! Thy false colourings, Lofty. Well, sure the devil's in me of late, for like those employed to heighten beauty, only seem running my head into such defiles, as nothing but to mend that bloom which they contribute to de-a genius like my own could draw me from. I was stroy. I'm not displeased at this interview: ex-formerly contented to husband out my places and posing this fellow's impudence to the contempt it pensions with some degree of frugality; but, curse deserves, may be of use to my design; at least, if he it, of late I have given away the whole Court Recan reflect, it will be of use to himself.

Enter JARVIS.

gister in less time than they could print the titlepage: yet, hang it, why scruple a lie or two to come at a fine girl, when I every day tell a thousand for

Sir William. How now, Jarvis, where's your nothing. Ha! Honeywood here before me. Could master, my nephew? Miss Richland have set him at liberty?

Enter HONEYWOOD.

Jarvis. At his wit's ends, I believe: he's scarce gotten out of one scrape, but he's running his head into another.

Mr. Honeywood, I'm glad to see you abroad again. I find my concurrence was not necessary in your unfortunate affairs. I had put things in a train to do your business; but it is not for me to say what I intended doing.

Honeywood. It was unfortunate indeed, sir. But what adds to my uneasiness is, that while you seem to be acquainted with my misfortune, I myself continue still a stranger to my benefactor. Lofty. How! not know the friend that served you?

Sir William. How so?

Jarvis. The house has but just been cleared of the bailiffs, and now he's again engaging tooth and nail in assisting old Croaker's son to patch up a clandestine match with the young lady that passes in the house for his sister.

Sir William. Ever busy to serve others.

Jarvis. Ay, any body but himself. The young couple, it seems, are just setting out for Scotland; and he supplies them with money for the journey. Sir William. Money! how is he able to supply others, who has scarce any for himself?

Honeywood. Can't guess at the person.
Lofty. Inquire.

Honeywood. I have; but all I can learn is, that your heart is labouring to be grateful. You shall he chooses to remain concealed, and that all in- be grateful. It would be cruel to disappoint you. quiry must be fruitless. Honeywood. How! teach me the manner. there any way?

Is

Lofty. Must be fruitless!

Lofty. From this moment you're mine. Yes
my friend, you shall know it-I'm in love.
Honeywood. And can I assist you?
Lofty. Nobody so well.

Honeywood. In what manner? I'm all imps

Honeywood. Absolutely fruitless.
Lofty. Sure of that?

Honeywood. Very sure.

Lofty. Then I'll be damn'd if you shall ever know it from me.

Honeywood. How, sir?

Lofty. I suppose now, Mr. Honeywood, you think my rent-roll very considerable, and that I have vast sums of money to throw away; I know you do. The world, to be sure, says such things of me.

Honeywood. The world, by what I learn, is no stranger to your generosity. But where does this tend?

tience.

Lofty. You shall make love for me. Honeywood. And to whom shall I speak in your favour?

Lofty. To a lady with whom you have great interest, I assure you; Miss Richland. Honeywood. Miss Richland!

Lofty. To nothing; nothing in the world. The town, to be sure, when it makes such a thing as me the subject of conversation, has asserted, that I never yet patronised a man of merit.

Lofty. Unfortunate, indeed! And yet can I endure it, till you have opened the affair to her for

Honeywood. I have heard instances to the con- me. Between ourselves, I think she likes me. I'm trary, even from yourself. not apt to boast, but I think she does.

Lofty. Yes, Honeywood; and there are instances to the contrary, that you shall never hear from myself.

Honeywood. Indeed! but do you know the person you apply to?

Lofty. Yes, I know you are her friend and mine:

Honeywood. Ha! dear sir, permit me to ask you that's enough. To you, therefore, I commit the but one question.

Lofty. Sir, ask me no questions; I say, sir, ask me no questions; I'll be damn'd if I answer them. Honeywood. I will ask no further. My friend! my benefactor! it is, it must be here, that I am indebted for freedom, for honour. Yes, thou worthiest of men, from the beginning I suspected it, but was afraid to return thanks; which, if undeserved, might seem reproaches.

success of my passion. I'll say no more, let friend-
ship do the rest. I have only to add, that if at any
time my little interest can be of service-but, hang
it, I'll make no promises-you know my interest is
yours at any time. No apologies, my friend, I'll
not be answered; it shall be so.
[Exit.
Honeywood. Open, generous, unsuspecting man!
He little thinks that I love her too; and with such
an ardent passion!-But then it was ever but a
vain and hopeless one; my torment, my persecu-

Lofty. I protest I do not understand all this, Mr. Honeywood: you treat me very cavalierly. I tion! What shall I do? Love, friendship; a hopedo assure you, sir-Blood, sir, can't a man be per- less passion, a deserving friend! Love, that has mitted to enjoy the luxury of his own feelings, been my tormentor; a friend that has, perhaps, diswithout all this parade? tressed himself to serve me. It shall be so. Yes,

[ocr errors]

Lofty. Yes, Miss Richland. She has struck the blow up to the hilt in my bosom, by Jupiter.

Honeywood. Heavens! was ever any thing more unfortunate? It is too much to be endured.

Honeywood. Nay, do not attempt to conceal an action that adds to your honour. Your looks, your air, your manner, all confess it.

I will discard the fondling hope from my bosom, and exert all my influence in his favour. And yet to see her in the possession of another!-In

Lofty. Confess it, sir! torture itself, sir, shall supportable! But then to betray a generous, trustnever bring me to confess it. Mr. Honeywood, I ing friend!-Worse, worse! Yes, I'm resolved. have admitted you upon terms of friendship. Don't Let me but be the instrument of their happiness, let us fall out; make me happy, and let this be and then quit a country, where I must for ever deburied in oblivion. You know I hate ostentation; spair of finding my own. [Exit. you know I do. Come, come, Honeywood, you Enter OLIVIA, and GARNET, who carries a milliner's box. know I always loved to be a friend, and not a patron. I beg this may make no kind of distance between us. Come, come, you and I must be more familiar-Indeed we must.

Honeywood. Heavens! Can I ever repay such friendship? Is there any way?-Thou best of men, can I ever return the obligation?

Lofty. A bagatelle, a mere bagatelle! But I see

Olivia. Dear me, I wish this journey were over. No news of Jarvis yet? I believe the old peevish creature delays purely to vex me.

Garnet. Why, to be sure, madam, I did hear him say, a little snubbing before marriage would teach you to bear it the better afterwards.

Olivia. To be gone a full hour, though he had

« ПредишнаНапред »