« ПредишнаНапред »
broke loose from Bedlam about it, but he can't find what it means for all that. O lud, he is coming this way all in the horrors !
Olivia. Then let us leave the house this instant, for fear he should ask farther questions. In the mean time Garnet, do you write and send off just such another.
Death and destruction! Are all the horrors of air, fire and water to be levelled only at me! Am I only to be singled out for gunpowder-plots, combustibles and conflagration! Here it is-An incendiary letter dropped at my door. “ To muster Croaker, these
with speed." Aye, aye, plain enough the direction: all in the genuine incendiary spelling, and as cramp as the devil, “ With speed.” O, confound your speed. But let me read it once more. (Reads) “Mus. “ter Croaker as sone as yoew see this leve twenty gui
neas at the bar of the Talboot tell called for or yowe
and yower experetion will be al blown up." An, but too plain. Blood and gunpowder in every line of it. Blown up! murderous dog! All blown up! Heavens! what have I and my poor family done, to be all blown up! (Reads) “Our pockets are low, and mo
ney we must have.” Aye, there's the reason; they'll blow us up, because they have got low pockets. (Reads) “ It is but a short time you have to consider; 6 for if this takes wind, the house will quickly be all “ of a flame.” Inhuman monsters! blow us up and then burn us. The earthquake at Lisbon was but a bonfire to it. (Reads.) “ Make quick dispatch, and “so no more at present. But may Cupid, the little u god of love, go with you wherever you go." The little god of love ! Cupid the little god of love go with me! Go you to the devil, you and your little Cupid together; I'm so frightened, I scarce know whether I sit, stand, or go. Perhaps this moment I'm treading on lighted matches, blazing brimstone, and barrels of gunpowder. They are preparing to blow me up into the clouds. Murder! We shall be all burnt in our beds; we shall be all burnt in our beds.
Enter Miss RICHLAND.
Miss Richland. Lord, Sir, what's the matter ?
Croaker. Murder's the matter. We shall be all blown up in our beds before morning.
I hope not, Sir.
Croaker. What signifies what you hope, madam, when I have a certificate of it here in my hand ? Will nothing alarm my family? Sleeping and eating, sleeping and eating is the only work from morning till night in my house. My insensible crew could sleep, though rock'd by an earthquake ; and fry beef steaks at a volcano.
But, Sir, you have alarmed them so often already, we have nothing but earthquakes, famines, plagues, and mad dogs from year's end to year's end. You remember, Sir, it is not above a month ago, you assured
us of a conspiracy among the bakers, to poison us in our bread; and so kept the whole family a week upon potatoes.
Croaker. And potatoes were too good for them. But why do I stand talking here with a girl, when I should be facing. the enemy without ? Here, John, Nicodemus, search the house. Look into the cellars, to see if there be
any combustibles below; and above in the apartments, that no matches be thrown in at the windows. Let all the fires be put out, and let the engine be drawn out in the yard, to play upon the house in case of nea cessity.
Miss Richland. ( alone.) What can he mean by all this? Yet, why should I enquire, when he alarms us in this manner almost every day! But Honeywood has desired an interview with me in private. What can he mean? or rather what means this palpitation at his approach ? It is the first time he ever shewed any thing in his conduct that seemed particular. Sure he cannot mean tobut he's here.
Honeywood. I presumed to solicit this interview, madam, before I left town, to be permitted
Miss Richland. Indeed! Leaving town, Sir?
Honeywood. Yes, madam ; perhaps the kingdom. I have presumed, I say, to desire the favor of this interview, in order to disclose something which our long friendship prompts. And yet my fears
Miss Richland. His fears! What are his fears to mine? ( Aside.) We have indeed been long acquainted, Sir; very long. If I remember, our first meeting was at the French ambassador's.-Do you recollect how you were pleased to rally me upon my complexion there?
Honeywood. Perfectly, madam: I presumed to reprove you for painting: but your warmer blushes soon convinced the company, that the coloring was all from nature.
And yet you only meant it in your good-natured way, to make me pay a compliment to myself. In the same manner you danced that night with the most aukward woman in company, because you saw nobody else would take her out.
Honeywood. and was rewarded the next night, by dancing with the finest woman in company, whom every body wished to take out.
Miss Richland. Well, Sir, if you thought so then, I fear your judg. ment has since corrected the errors of a first impression. We generally shew to most advantage at first. Our sex are like poor tradesmen, that put all their best goods to be seen at the windows.
Honeywood. The first impression, madam, did indeed deceive me. I expected to find a woman with all the faults of conscious flattered beauty. I expected to find her vain and insolent. But every day has since taught me that it is possible to possess sense without pride, and beauty without affectation.
Miss Richland. This, Sir, is a style very unusual with Mr. Honeywood ; and I should be glad to know why he thus attempts to increase that vanity, which his own lessons have taught me to despise.
Honeywood. I ask pardon, madam. Yet, from our long friendship, I presumed I might have some right to offer, without offence, what you may refuse without offending
Miss Richland. Sir! I beg you'd reflect; though, I fear, I shall scarce have any power to refuse a request of yours ; yet you may be precipitate : consider, Sir.
Honeywood. I own my rashness; but as I plead the cause of friendship, of one who loves-Don't be alarmed, madam-who loves you with the most ardent passion whose whole happiness is placed in you
Miss Richland. I fear, Sir, I shall never find whom you mean by this description of him.
Honeywood. Ah, madam, it but too plainly points him out; though he should be too humble himself to urge his pretensions, or you too modest to understand them.