« VorigeDoorgaan »
Jarvis. You have no friends. Jarvis. Ay, it's the way with them all, from the Honeywood. Well; from my acquaintance then? scullion to the privy-counsellor. If they have a bad Jarvis. [pulling out bills.] A few of our master, they keep quarrelling with him; if they usual cards of compliment, that's all. This bill have a good master, they keep quarrelling with one from your tailor; this from your mercer; and this another. from the little broker in Crooked-lane. He says he has been at a great deal of trouble to get back the money you borrowed.
Honeywood. That I don't know; but I am sure we were at a great deal of trouble in getting him to lend it.
Jarvis. He has lost all patience.
Honeywood. Then he has lost a very good thing. Jarvis. There's that ten guineas you were sending to the poor gentleman and his children in the Fleet. I believe that would stop his mouth for a while at least.
Honeywood. Ay, Jarvis, but what will fill their mouths in the meantime? Must I be cruel, because he happens to be importunate; and, to relieve his avarice, leave them to insupportable distress?
Jarvis. 'Sdeath! sir, the question now is how to relieve yourself; yourself.-Haven't I reason to be out of my senses, when I see things going at sixes and sevens?
Enter BUTLER, drunk.
Butler. Sir, I'll not stay in the family with Jonathan; you must part with him, or part with me, that's the ex-ex-exposition of the matter, sir.
Honeywood. In the fact? If so, I really think that we should pay him his wages, and turn him off.
Honeywood. Full and explicit enough. But what's his fault, good Philip?
Butler. Sir, he's given to drinking, sir, and I shall have my morals corrupted by keeping such company.
Honeywood. Ha! ha! he has such a diverting
Jarvis. He shall be turned off at Tyburn, the dog; we'll hang him, if it be only to frighten the rest of the family.
Honeywood. No, Jarvis; it's enough that we have lost what he has stolen; let us not add to it the loss of a fellow creature!
Jarvis. O, quite amusing.
Butler, I find my wine's a-going, sir; and liquors don't go without mouths, sir; I hate a drunkard, sir.
Butler. Begging your honour's pardon, and beg ging your pardon, Master Jarvis, I'll not go to bed, Honeywood. Whatever reason you may have nor to the devil neither. I have enough to do to for being out of your senses, I hope you'll allow mind my cellar. I forgot, your honour, Mr. that I'm not quite unreasonable for continuing in Croaker is below. I came on purpose to tell you. mine. Honeywood. Why didn't you show him up,
Honeywood. Well, well, Philip, I'll hear you upon that another time; so go to bed now.. Jarvis. To bed! let him go to the devil.
Jarvis. You are the only man alive in your pre-blockhead? sent situation that could do so.-Every thing upon Butler. Show him up, sir! With all my heart, the waste. There's Miss Richland and her fine sir. Up or down, all's one to me. [Exit. fortune gone already, and upon the point of being Jarvis. Ay, we have one or other of that family given to your rival. in this house from morning till night. He comes on the old affair, I suppose. The match between his son that's just returned from Paris, and Miss Richland, the young lady he's guardian to.
Honeywood. I'm no man's rival.
Jarvis. Your uncle in Italy preparing to disinherit you; your own fortune almost spent; and nothing but pressing creditors, false friends, and a pack of drunken servants that your kindness has made unfit for any other family.
Honeywood. Then they have the more occasion please. for being in mine.
Jarvis. Ah! if you loved yourself but half as
Jarvis. Soh! What will you have done with well as she loves you, we should soon see a marhim that I caught stealing your plate in the pan-riage that would set all things to rights again. try? In the fact; I caught him in the fact.
Honeywood. Love me! Sure, Jarvis, you dream. No, no; her intimacy with me never amounted to more than friendship-mere friendship. That she is the most lovely woman that ever warmed the human heart with desire, I own. But never let me harbour a thought of making her unhappy, by a connexion with one so unworthy her merits as I am. No, Jarvis, it shall be my study to serve her, even in spite of my wishes; and to secure her hap piness, though it destroys my own,
Jarvis. Very fine! well, here was the footman just now, to complain of the butler: he says he does most work, and ought to have most wages.
Jarris. Was ever the like? I want patience. Honeywood, Besides, Jarvis, though I could obtain Miss Richland's consent, do you think I could succeed with her guardian, or Mrs. Croaker, his
Honeywood. That's but just; though perhaps
here comes the butler to complain of the footman. wife; who, though both very fine in their way, are
Honeywood. Perhaps so. Mr. Croaker knowing my friendship for the young lady, has got it into his head that I can persuade her to what I
are yet a little opposite in their dispositions, you Richland and my son much relished, either by one know. side or t' other.
Jarvis. Opposite enough, Heaven knows! the very reverse of each other: she, all laugh and no joke; he always complaining and never sorrowful; a fretful poor soul, that has a new distress for every hour in the four-and-twenty
Honeywood. Hush, hush, he's coming up, he'll hear you.
Jarvis. One whose voice is a passing-bell-
Jarvis. A raven that bodes nothing but mischief; a coffin and cross bones; a bundle of rue; a sprig of deadly night-shade; a— [Honeywood stopping his mouth, at last pushes him off. Exit JARVIS.
Honeywood. I must own my old monitor is not entirely wrong. There is something in my friend Croaker's conversation that quite depresses me. His very mirth is an antidote to all gaiety, and his appearance has a stronger effect on my spirits than an undertaker's shop.—Mr. Croaker, this is such a satisfaction
Honeywood. I thought otherwise.
Croaker. Ah, Mr. Honeywood, a little of your fine serious advice to the young lady might go far: know she has a very exalted opinion of your understanding.
Honeywood. I have no apprehensions for the ladies, I assure you.
Croaker. May-be not. Indeed, what signifies whether they be perverted or no? the women in my time were good for something. I have seen a lady drest from top to toe in her own manufactures formerly. But now-a-days, the devil a thing of their own manufacture's about them, except their faces.
Honeywood. But would not that be usurping an authority that more properly belongs to yourself?
Croaker. My dear friend, you know but little of my authority at home. People think, indeed, because they see me come out in a morning thus, with pleasant face, and to make my friends merry, that all's well within. But I have cares that would break a heart of stone. My wife has so encroached upon every one of my privileges, that I'm now no more than a mere lodger in my own house.
Honeywood. But a little spirit exerted on your side might perhaps restore your authority.
Croaker. No, though I had the spirit of a lion! do rouse sometimes. But what then? always haggling and haggling. A man is tired of getting the better before his wife is tired of losing the victory.
Honeywood. It's a melancholy consideration indeed, that our chief comforts often produce our greatest anxieties, and that an increase of our possessions is but an inlet to new disquietudes.
Croaker. A pleasant morning to Mr. Honeywood, and many of them. How is this! you look most shockingly to-day, my dear friend. I hope this weather does not affect your spirits. To be sure, if this weather continues-I say nothingBut God send we be all better this day three months. Honeywood. I heartily concur in the wish, though, I own, not in your apprehensions.
Croaker. Ah, my dear friend, these were the very words of poor Dick Doleful to me not a week before he made away with himself. Indeed, Mr. Honeywood, I never see you but you put me in mind of poor Dick. Ah, there was merit neglected
Croaker. May-be not. Indeed what signifies what weather we have in a country going to ruin for you! and so true a friend! we loved each other like ours? taxes rising and trade falling. Money for thirty years, and yet he never asked me to lend flying out of the kingdom, and Jesuits swarming him a single farthing. into it. I know at this time no less than a hundred and twenty-seven Jesuits between Charing-cross mit so rash an action at last? and Temple-bar.
Honeywood. Pray what could induce him to com
Croaker. I don't know: some people were ma
Croaker. May-be not. Indeed, what signifies whom they pervert in a country that has scarce any religion to lose! I'm only afraid for our wives and daughters.
Honeywood. The Jesuits will scarce pervert licious enough to say it was keeping company with you or me, I should hope. me; because we used to meet now and then and open our hearts to each other. To be sure I loved to hear him talk, and he loved to hear me talk; poor dear Dick. He used to say that Croaker rhymed to joker; and so we used to laugh-Poor Dick. [Going to cry.
Honeywood. His fate affects me. Croaker. Ay, he grew sick of this miserable life, where we do nothing but eat and grow hungry. dress and undress, get up and lie down; while rea son, that should watch like a nurse by our side, falls as fast asleep as we do.
Honeywood. To say truth, if we compare that part of life which is to come, by that which we have past, the prospect is hideous.
Honeywood. But, however these faults may be practised abroad, you don't find them at home, either with Mrs. Croaker, Olivia, or Miss Richland? Croaker. Life at the greatest and best is but a Croaker. The best of them will never be canon-froward child, that must be humoured and coaxed ized for a saint when she's dead. By the by, my a little till it falls asleep, and then all the care is end, I don't find this match between Miss is over.
Honeywood. Very true, sir, nothing can exceed love, an abject intercourse between tyrants and the vanity of our existence, but the folly of our pur- slaves. suits. We wept when we came into the world, and every day tells us why.
Miss Richland. Indeed! an admirer!-I did not know, sir, you were such a favourite there. But is she seriously so handsome? Is she the mighty
Croaker. Ah, my dear friend, it is a perfect satisfaction to be miserable with you. My son Leontine shan't lose the benefit of such fine conversation. I'll just step home for him. I am willing to show him so much seriousness in one scarce older than himself—And what if I bring my last letter to the Gazetteer on the increase and progress of earthquakes? It will amuse us, I promise you. I there prove how the late earthquake is coming round to pay us another visit, from London to Lisbon, from thing talked of? Honeywood. The town, madam, seldom begins Lisbon to the Canary Islands, from the Canary Islands to Palmyra, from Palmyra to Constantino- to praise a lady's beauty, till she's beginning to [Smiling ple, and so from Constantinople back to London lose it. [Exit. Mrs. Croaker. But she's resolved never to lose again. Honeywood. Poor Croaker! his situation deserves it, it seems. For, as her natural face decays, her the utmost pity. I shall scarce recover my spirits skill improves in making the artificial one. Well, these three days. Sure to live upon such terms is nothing diverts me more than one of those fine. worse than death itself. And yet, when I consider old, dressy things, who thinks to conceal her age. -a broken fortune, a hopeless by every where exposing her person; sticking hermy own situation,passion, friends in distress, the wish but not the self up in the front of a side box; trailing through a minuet at Almack's; and then in the public garpower to serve them-[pausing and sighing.] dens, looking for all the world like one of the paint
ed ruins of the place.
Miss Richland. And, without a compliment, I know none more disinterested, or more capable of friendship, than Mr. Honeywood.
Mrs. Croaker. And, indeed, I know nobody that has more friends, at least among the ladies. Miss Fruzz, Miss Oddbody, and Miss Winterbottom, praise him in all companies. As for Miss Biddy Bundle, she's his professed admirer.
Butler. More company below, sir; Mrs. Croaker and Miss Richland; shall I show them up? but they're showing up themselves.
Enter MRS. CROAKER and MISS RICHLAND.
[Exit. Miss Richland. You're always in such spirits. Mrs. Croaker. We have just come, my dear Honeywood, from the auction. There was the old deaf dowager, as usual, bidding like a fury against herself. And then so curious in antiques! herself the most genuine piece of antiquity in the
Honeywood. Excuse me, ladies, if some uneasiness from friendship makes me unfit to share in this good-humour: I know you'll pardon me.
Mrs. Croaker. I vow he seems as melancholy as if he had taken a dose of my husband this morning. Well, if Richland here can pardon you I must. Miss Richland. You would seem to insinuate, madam, that I have particular reasons for being disposed to refuse it.
Honeywood. Every age has its admirers, ladies. While you, perhaps, are trading among the warmer climates of youth, there ought to be some to carry on a useful commerce in the frozen latitudes beyond fifty.
Miss Richland. But, then, the mortifications they must suffer, before they can be fitted out for traffic. I have seen one of them fret a whole morning at her hair-dresser, when all the fault was her face.
Mrs. Croaker. Whatever I insinuate, my dear, don't be so ready to wish an explanation.
Honeywood. And yet, I'll engage, has carried that face at last to a very good market. This good-natured town, madam, has husbands, like spectacles, to fit every age, from fifteen to fourscore
Mrs. Croaker. Well, you're a dear good-natured creature. But you know you're engaged with us this morning upon a strolling party. I want to show Olivia the town, and the things; I believe I shall have business for you for the whole day.
Honeywood. I am sorry, madam, I have an ap pointment with Mr. Croaker, which it is impossible to put off.
Miss Richland. I own I should be sorry Mr. Honeywood's long friendship and mine should be misunderstood.
Mrs. Croaker. What! with my husband? then Honeywood. There's no answering for others, I'm resolved to take no refusal. Nay, I protest madam. But I hope you'll never find me presum- you must. You know I never laugh so much as with you. ing to offer more than the most delicate friendship may readily allow.
Miss Richland. And I shall be prouder of such a tribute from you, than the most passionate professions from others.
Honeywood. My own sentiments, madam; friendship is a disinterested commerce between equals;
Honeywood. Why, if I must, I must. I'll swear Well, do you you have put me into such spirits. find jest, and I'll find laugh I promise you. We'll wait for the chariot in the next room. [Exeunt.
Enter LEONTINE and OLIVIA.
Leontine. There they go, thoughtless and hap
py. My dearest Olivia, what would I give to see addresses. I consider every look, every expression you capable of sharing in their amusements, and of your esteem, as due only to me. This is folly as cheerful as they are. perhaps: I allow it; but it is natural to suppose, that merit which has made an impression on one's own heart, may be powerful over that of another.
Olivia. How, my Leontine, how can I be cheerful, when I have so many terrors to oppress me? The fear of being detected by this family, and the apprehensions of a censuring world, when I must be detected
Leontine. Don't, my life's treasure, don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter. At worst, you know, if Miss Richland should consent, or my father refuse his pardon, it can but end in a trip to Scotland: and
Leontine. The world, my love! what can it say? At worst it can only say, that, being compelled by a mercenary guardian to embrace a life you disliked, you formed a resolution of flying with the man of your choice; that you confided in his hon- Croaker. Where have you been boy? I have our, and took refuge in my father's house; the only been seeking you. My friend Honeywood here one where yours could remain without censure. has been saying such comfortable things. Ah! Olivia. But consider, Leontine, your disobedi- he's an example indeed. Where is he? I left him ence and my indiscretion; your being sent to France to bring home a sister, and instead of a sister, bringing home
Leontine. Sir, I believe you may see him, and hear him too, in the next room; he's preparing to
Croaker. Good gracious! can 1 believe my eyes
Leontine. One dearer than a thousand sisters. go out with the ladies. One that I am convinced will be equally dear to the rest of the family, when she comes to be known. or my ears! I'm struck dumb with his vivacity Olivia. And that, I fear, will shortly be. and stunned with the loudness of his laugh. Was Leontine, Impossible, till we ourselves think there ever such a transformation! [A laugh beproper to make the discovery. My sister, you hind the scenes, Croaker mimics it.] Ha! ha! ha! know, has been with her aunt at Lyons, since she there it goes: a plague take their balderdash! yet was a child, and you find every creature in the I could expect nothing less, when my precious wife family takes you for her. was of the party. On my conscience, I believe she Olivia. But mayn't she write, mayn't her aunt could spread a horse-laugh through the pews of a write?
Leontine. Her aunt scarce ever writes, and all my sister's letters are directed to me.
Olivia. But won't your refusing Miss Richland, for whom you know the old gentleman intends you, create a suspicion?
Leontine. There, there's my master-stroke. I have resolved not to refuse her; nay, an hour hence I have consented to go with my father to make her an offer of my heart and fortune.
Olivia. Your heart and fortune!
Leontine. Since you find so many objections to a wife, sir, how can you be so earnest in recommending one to me?
Croaker. I have told you, and tell you again, boy, that Miss Richland's fortune must not go out of the family; one may find comfort in the money, whatever one does in the wife.
Leontine. But, sir, though, in obedience to your desire, I am ready to marry her, it may be possible she has no inclination to me.
Leontine. Don't be alarmed, my dearest. Can Olivia think so meanly of my honour, or my love, as to suppose I could ever hope for happiness from any but her? No, my Olivia, neither the force, nor, permit me to add, the delicacy of my passion, low. One half of this she is to forfeit, by her fa
Croaker. I'll tell you once for all how it stands. A good part of Miss Richland's large fortune consists in a claim upon government, which my good friend, Mr. Lofty, assures me the treasury will al
leave any room to suspect me. I only offer Miss Richland a heart I am convinced she will refuse; as I am confident, that without knowing it, her affections are fixed upon Mr. Honeywood.
Olivia. Mr. Honeywood! you'll excuse my apprehensions; but when your merits come to be put in the balance
ther's will, in case she refuses to marry you. So, if she rejects you, we seize half her fortune; if she accepts you, we seize the whole, and a fine girl into the bargain.
Leontine. But, sir, if you will but listen to reason-Croaker. Come, then, produce your reasons. I tell you, I'm fixed, determined; so now produce your reasons. When I'm determined, I always listen to reason, because it can then do no harm.
Leontine. You view them with too much partiality. However, by making this offer, I show a seeming compliance with my father's command; and perhaps, upon her refusal, I may have his consent to choose for myself.
Leontine. You have alleged that a mutual choice was the first requisite in matrimonial happiness. Croaker. Well, and you have both of you a
Olivia. Well, 1 submit. And yet, my Leon- mutual choice. She has her choice to marry you. line, I own, I shall envy her even your pretended or lose half her fortune; and you have your choice
to marry her, or pack out of doors without any here presently, to open the affair in form. You fortune at all.
know I am to lose half my fortune if I refuse him.
Garnet. Yet, what can you do? For being, as you are, in love with Mr. Honeywood, madam
Miss Richland. How! idiot, what do you mean? In love with Mr. Honeywood! Is this to provoke me?
Leontine. An only son, sir, might expect more indulgence.
Croaker. An only father, sir, might expect more obedience: besides, has not your sister here, that never disobliged me in her life, as good a right as you? He's a sad dog, Livy, my dear, and would take all from you. But he shan't, I tell you he shan't, for you shall have your share.
Garnet. That is, madam, in friendship with him; I meant nothing more than friendship, as I hope to be married; nothing more.
Miss Richland. Well, no more of this: As to my guardian and his son, they shall find me prepared to receive them: I'm resolved to accept their
Croaker. Well, well, it's a good child, so say no proposal with seeming pleasure, to mortify them by more; but come with me, and we shall see some-compliance, and so throw the refusal at last upon thing that will give us a great deal of pleasure, I them. Garnet. Delicious! and that will secure your promise you; old Ruggins, the curry-comb maker, lying in state: I am told he makes a very hand- whole fortune to yourself. Well, who could have some corpse, and becomes his coffin prodigiously. thought so innocent a face could cover so much He was an intimate friend of mine, and these are 'cuteness! friendly things we ought to do for each other.
Miss Richland. Why, girl, I only oppose my [Exeunt. prudence to their cunning, and practise a lesson they have taught me against themselves.
Garnet. Then you're likely not long to want employment, for here they come, and in close conference.
Olivia. Dear sir, I wish you'd be convinced, that I can never be happy in any addition to my fortune, which is taken from his.
Enter CROAKER, LEONTINE.
SCENE CROAKER'S HOUSE.
MISS RICHLAND, GARNET.
Miss Richland. Olivia not his sister? Olivia not a question. Leontine's sister? You amaze me!
Croaker. Lord! good sir, moderate your fears; Garnet. No more his sister than I am; I had it you're so plaguy shy, that one would think you had all from his own servant: I can get any thing from changed sexes. I tell you we must have the half that quarter. or the whole. Come, let me see with what spirit Miss Richland. But how? Tell me again, Gar- you begin: Well, why don't you? Eh! what? Well then-I must, it seems-Miss Richland, my dear, I believe you guess at our business, an affair which my son here comes to open, that nearly con cerns your happiness.
Garnet. Why, madam, as I told you before, instead of going to Lyons to bring home his sister, who has been there with her aunt these ten years, he never went farther than Paris: there he saw and fell in love with this young lady, by the by, of a prodigious family.
Miss Richland. Sir, I should be ungrateful not to be pleased with any thing that comes recommended by you.
Croaker. How, boy, could you desire a finer opening? Why don't you begin, I say?
[To Leontine. Leontine. 'Tis true, madam, my father, madam, has some intentions-hem-of explaining an affair
Miss Richland. And brought her home to my guardian as his daughter?
Garnet. Yes, and his daughter she will be. If he don't consent to their marriage, they talk of trying what a Scotch parson can do.
Miss Richland. Well, I own they have deceiv--which-himself-can best explain, madam. ed me-And so demurely as Olivia carried it too!Would you believe it, Garnet, I told her all my secrets; and yet the sly cheat concealed all this from me?
Garnet. And, upon my word, madam, I don't much blame her: she was loath to trust one with her secrets that was so very bad at keeping her
Miss Richland. But, to add to their deceit, the young gentleman, it seems, pretends to make me serious proposals. My guardian and he are to be
Croaker. Yes, my dear; it comes entirely from
Leontine. The whole affair is only this, madam;
Croaker. My mind misgives me, the fellow will
Miss Richland. I never had any doubts of your