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regard, sir; and I hope you can have none of my duty.
Croaker. That's not the thing, my little sweet-Silence gives consent. ing; my love! No, no, another guess lover than I: there he stands, madam, his very looks declare the force of his passion-Call up a look, you dog! [Aside.]-But then, had you seen him, as I have, weeping, speaking soliloquies and blank verse, sometirnes melancholy, and sometimes absent
Miss Richland. I fear, sir, he's absent now; or such a declaration would have come most properly from himself.
Croaker. But I tell you, sir, the lady is not at liberty. It's a match. You see she says nothing.
Croaker. Himself! madam, he would die before he could make such a confession; and if he had not a channel for his passion through me, it would ere now have drowned his understanding.
Miss Richland. I must grant, sir, there are attractions in modest diffidence above the force of words. A silent address is the genuine eloquence of sincerity.
Croaker. Madam, he has forgot to speak any other language; silence is become his mother tongue. Miss Richland. And it must be confessed, sir, it speaks very powerfully in his favour. And yet I shall be thought too forward in making such confession; shan't I, Mr. Leontine ?
Leontine. Doubt my sincerity, madam? By your dear self I swear. Ask the brave if they desire glory? ask cowards if they covet safety— Croaker. Well, well, no more questions about it. Leontine. Ask the sick if they long for health? ask misers if they love money? ask
Leontine. But, sir, she talked of force. Consider, sir, the cruelty of constraining her inclinations.
Croaker. But I say there's no cruelty. Don't you know, blockhead, that girls have always a roundabout way of saying yes before company? So get you both gone together into the next room, and hang him that interrupts the tender explanation. Get you gone, I say: I'll not hear a word. Leontine. But, sir, I must beg leave to insistCroaker. Get off, you puppy, or I'll beg leave to insist upon knocking you down. Stupid whelp! But I don't wonder: the boy takes entirely after his mother.
[Exeunt MISS RICHLAND and LEONTINE. Enter MRS. CROAKER.
Mrs. Croaker. Mr. Croaker, I bring you some. thing, my dear, that I believe will make you smile.
Croaker. I'll hold you a guinea of that, my dear. Mrs. Croaker. A letter; and as I knew the hand, I ventured to open it.
Croaker. And how can you expect your breaking open my letters should give me pleasure?
Mrs. Croaker. Poo! it's from your sister at Lyons, and contains good news; read it.
Croaker. What a Frenchified cover is here! That sister of mine has some good qualities, but I
Leontine, Confusion! my reserve will undo me. But, if modesty attracts her, impudence may disgust her. I'll try. [Aside.] Don't imagine from my silence, madam, that I want a due sense of the hon-could never teach her to fold a letter. our and happiness intended me. My father, madam, tells me, your humble servant is not totally in- it contains. different to you. He admires you; I adore you; and when we come together, upon my soul I believe "DEAR NICK, we shall be the happiest couple in all St. James's. Miss Richland. If I could flatter myself you thought as you speak, sir
Mrs. Croaker. Fold a fiddlestick. Read what
"An English gentleman, of large fortune, has for some time made private, though honourable proposals to your daughter Olivia. They love each other tenderly, and I find she has consented, without letting any of the family know, to crown his addresses. As such good offers don't come every day, your own good sense, his large fortune and family considerations, will induce you to forgive
"RACHAEL CPOAKER Croaker. Ask a fool if he can talk nonsense? What's come over the boy? What signifies asking, My daughter Olivia privately contracted to a when there's not a soul to give you an answer? If man of large fortune! This is good news indeed. you would ask to the purpose, ask this lady's con- My heart never foretold me of this. And yet, how sent to make you happy. slily the little baggage has carried it since she came Miss Richland. Why indeed, sir, his uncom-home; not a word on't to the old ones for the world. mon ardour almost compels me--forces me to com-Yet I thought I saw something she wanted to conply. And yet I'm afraid he'll despise a conquest gained with too much ease; won't you, Mr. Leontine?
Mrs. Croaker. Well, if they have concealed heir amour, they shan't conceal their wedding; that shall be public, I'm resolved.
Croaker. I tell thee, woman, the wedding is the most foolish part of the ceremony, I can never get this woman to think of the most serious part of the
Leontine. Confusion! [Aside.] Oh, by no means, madam, by no means. And yet, madam, you talked of force. There is nothing I would avoid so much as conpulsion in a thing of this kind. No, madam, I will still be generous, and leave you at nuptial engagement. liberty to refuse.
Mrs. Croaker. What, would you have me thins
Mrs. Croaker. Sir, this honour—————
of their funeral? But come, tell me, my dear, don't] you owe more to me than you care to confess? Lofty. "And, Dubardieu! if the man comes Would you have ever been known to Mr. Lofty, from the Cornish borough, you must do him; you who has undertaken Miss Richland's claim at the must do him, I say."-Madam, I ask ten thousand Treasury, but for me? Who was it first made him pardons.-" And if the Russian ambassador calls; an acquaintance at Lady Shabbaroon's rout? Who but he will scarce call to-day, I believe.”—And got him to promise us his interest? Is not he a now, madam, I have just got time to express my back-stairs favourite, one that can do what he happiness in having the honour of being permitted pleases with those that do what they please? Is to profess myself your most obedient humble sernot he an acquaintance that all your groaning and vant. lamentation could never have got us?
Croaker. He is a man of importance, I grant you. And yet what amazes me is, that, while he is giving away places to all the world, he can't get one for himself.
Mrs. Croaker. That perhaps may be owing to his nicety. Great men are not easily satisfied.
Enter French SERVANT.
Servant. An expresse from Monsieur Lofty. He vil be vait upon your honours instrammant. He be only giving four five instruction, read two tree memorial, call upon von ambassadeur. He vil be vid you in one tree minutes.
Mrs. Croaker. Sir, the happiness and honour are all mine; and yet, I'm only robbing the public while I detain you.
Lofty. Sink the public, madam, when the fair are to be attended. Ah, could all my hours be so charmingly devoted! Sincerely, don't you pity ns poor creatures in affairs? Thus it is eternally; solicited for places here, teased for pensions there, and courted every where. I know you pity me. Yes. I see you do.
Mrs. Croaker. Excuse me, sir, "Toils of em pires pleasures are," as Waller says.
Lofty. Waller, Waller, is he of the house?
Mrs. Croaker. You see now, my dear. What an extensive department! Well, friend, let your sir. master know, that we are extremely honoured by this honour. Was there any thing ever in a higher style of breeding? All messages among the great are now done by express. Croaker. To be sure, no man does little things us. Why now, here I stand that know nothing with more solemnity, or claims more respect, than he. But he's in the right on't. In our bad world, respect is given where respect is claimed.
Lofty. Oh, a modern! we men of business de spise the moderns; and as for the ancients, we have no time to read them. Poetry is a pretty thing enough for our wives and daughters; but not for
of books. I say, madam, I know nothing of books; and yet, I believe, upon a land-carriage fishery, a stamp act, or a jag-hire, I can talk my two hours without feeling the want of them.
Mrs. Croaker. Never mind the world, my dear; you were never in a pleasanter place in your life. Let us now think of receiving him with proper respect a loud rapping at the door,]-and there he is, by the thundering rap.
Mrs. Croaker. The world is no stranger to Mr Lofty's eminence in every capacity.
Lofty. I vow to gad, madam, you make me blush. I'm nothing, nothing, nothing in the world; a mere obscure gentleman. To be sure, indeed, one or two
Croaker. Ay, verily, there he is! as close upon the heels of his own express as an endorsement of the present ministers are pleased to represent me upon the back of a bill. Well, I'll leave you to re- as a formidable man. I know they are pleased to ceive him, whilst I go to chide my little Olivia for bespatter me at all their little dirty levees. Yet, intending to steal a marriage without mine or her upon my soul, I wonder what they see in me to aunt's consent. I must seem to be angry, or she treat me so! Measures, not men, have always been too may begin to despise my authority. [Exit. my mark; and I vow, by all that's honourable, my resentment has never done the men, as mere men, any manner of harm that is as mere men.
Mrs. Croaker. What importance, and yet what modesty!
Enter LOFTY, speaking to his Servant. Lofty. "And if the Venetian ambassador, or that teasing creature the marquis, should call, I'm not at home. Dam'me, I'll be a pack-horse to none of them." My dear madam, I have just Lofty. Oh, if you talk of modesty, madam, there, snatched a moment-" And if the expresses to his I own, I'm accessible to praise: modesty is my foi grace be ready, let them be sent off; they're of im-ble: it was so the Duke of Brentford used to say portance."-Madam, I ask a thousand pardons. of me. "I love Jack Lofty," he used to say: "no man has a finer knowledge of things; quite a man of information; and, when he speaks upon his legs, by the Lord he's prodigious, he scouts them; and
Mrs. Croaker. Sir, this honour. Lofty. "And, Dubardieu! if the person calls about the commission, let him know that it is made out. As for Lord Cumbercourt's stale request, it yet all men have their faults; too much modesty is
can keep cold: you understand me."-Madam, 1 his," says his grace. LSK ten thousand pardons.
Mrs. Croaker. And yet, I dare say, you don't
want assurance when you come to solicit for your every thing in my power to deserve it. Her infriends. delicacy surprises me.
Lofty. O, there indeed I'm in bronze. Apro- Olivia. Sure, Leontine, there's nothing so inpos! I have just been mentioning Miss Richland's delicate in being sensible of your merit. If so, I case to a certain personage; we must name no fear I shall be the most guilty thing alive. names. When I ask, I'm not to be put off, madam. Leontine. But you mistake, my dear. The No, no, I take my friend by the button. A fine same attention I used to advance my merit with girl, sir; great justice in her case. A friend of you, I practised to lessen it with her What more mine. Borough interest. Business must be done, could I do? Mr. Secretary. I say, Mr. Secretary, her business must be done, sir. That's my way, madam. Mrs. Croaker. Bless me! you said all this to the secretary of state, did you?
Lofty. I did not say the secretary, did I? Well, curse it, since you have found me out, I will not deny it. It was to the secretary.
Mrs. Croaker. This was going to the fountainhead at once, not applying to the understrappers, as Mr. Honeywood would have had us.
Lofty. Honeywood! he he! He was, indeed, fine solicitor. I suppose you have heard what has just happened to him?
Mrs. Croaker. Poor dear man; no accident, hope?
Olivia. Then why should we defer our scheme of humble happiness, when it is now in our power? I may be the favourite of your father, it is true; but can it ever be thought, that his present kind. Iness to a supposed child will continue to a known deceiver?
Lofty. Undone, madam, that's all. His creditors have taken him into custody. A prisoner in his own house.
Mrs. Croaker. A prisoner in his own house! How? At this very time? I'm quite unhappy for him.
Olivia. Let us now rather consider what is to be done. We have both dissembled too long.-I have always been ashamed-I am now quite weary of it. Sure I could never have undergone so much for any other but you.
Leontine. And you shall find my gratitude equal to your kindest compliance. Though our friends should totally forsake us, Olivia, we can draw upon content for the deficiencies of fortune.
Leontine. I have many reasons to believe it will. As his attachments are but few they are lasting. His own marriage was a private one, as ours may be. Besides, I have sounded him already at a distance, and find all his answers exactly to our wish. Nay, by an expression or two that dropped from him, I am induced to think he knows of this affair.
Olivia. Indeed! But that would be a happiness too great to be expected.
Mrs. Croaker. His manner, to be sure, was excessive harmless; some, indeed, thought it a little dull. For my part, I always concealed my opinion.
Leontine. However it be, I'm certain you have power over him; and I am persuaded, if you informed him of our situation, that he would be disposed to pardon it.
Lofty, It can't be concealed, madam; the man was dull, dull as the last new comedy! a poor impracticable creature! I tried once or twice to know if he was fit for business; but he had scarce talents to be groom-porter to an orange-barrow.
Olivia. You had equal expectations, Leontine, from your last scheme with Miss Richland, which you find has succeeded most wretchedly.
Leontine. And that's the best reason for trying another.
Mrs. Croaker. How differently does Miss Richland think of him! For, I believe, with all his faults, she loves him.
Olivia. If it must be so, I submit.
Leontine. As we could wish, he comes this way. Lofty. Loves him! does she? You should cure Now my dearest Olivia, be resolute. I'll just reher of that by all means. Let me see; what if she tire within hearing, to come in at a proper time, were sent to him this instant, in his present doleful either to share your danger, or confirm your vicsituation? My life for it, that works her cure. tory. [Exit. Distress is a perfect antidote to love. Suppose we join her in the next room? Miss Richland is a fine girl, has a fine fortune, and must not be thrown away. Upon my honour, madam, I have a regard for Miss Richland; and rather than she should be thrown away, I should think it no indignity to marry her myself. [Exeunt.
Lofty. Why, so am I. The man, to be sure, was immensely good-natured. But then I could never find that he had any thing in him.
Enter OLIVIA and LEONTINE.
Leontine And yet, trust me, Olivia, I had every reason to expect Miss Richland's refusal, as I did
Croaker. Yes, I must forgive her; and yet not too easily neither. It will be proper to keep up the decorums of resentment a little, if it be only to im press her with an idea of my authority.
Olivia. How I tremble to approach him!Might I presume, sir,-if I interrupt you—
Croaker. No, child, where I have an affection, it is not a little thing that can interrupt me. Af fection gets over little things.
Leontine. Permit him thus to answer for him
Olivia. Sir, you're too kind. I'm sensible how ill I deserve this partiality; yet, Heaven knows, there is nothing I would not do to gain it. Croaker. And you have but too well succeeded, self. [Kneeling.] Thus, sir, let me speak my you little hussy, you. With those endearing ways gratitude for this unmerited forgiveness. Yes, sir, of yours, on my conscience, I could be brought to this even exceeds all your former tenderness. I forgive any thing, unless it were a very great of now can boast the most indulgent of fathers. The life he gave, compared to this, was but a trifling fence indeed. blessing.
Olivia. But mine is such an offence-When you know my guilt-Yes, you shall know it, though I feel the greatest pain in the confession. Croaker. Why, then, if it be so very great a pain, you may spare yourself the trouble; for know every syllable of the matter before you begin.
Croaker. And, good sir, who sent for you, with that fine tragedy face, and flourishing manner? don't know what we have to do with your gratitude upon this occasion.
Olivia. Indeed! then I'm undone.
Leontine. How, sir! Is it possible to be silent, when so much obliged? Would you refuse me Croaker. Ay, miss, you wanted to steal a match, the pleasure of being grateful? of adding my thanks without letting me know it, did you? But I'm to my Olivia's? of sharing in the transports that not worth being consulted, I suppose, when there's you have thus occasioned?
Croaker. Lord, sir, we can be happy enough without your coming in to make up the party. I don't know what's the matter with the boy all this day; he has got into such a rhodomontade manner all this morning!
to be a marriage in my own family. No, I'm to have no hand in the disposal of my own children. No, I'm nobody. I'm to be a mere article of family lumber; a piece of cracked china to be stuck up
in a corner.
Leontine. But, sir, I that have so large a part Olivia. Dear sir, nothing but the dread of your in the benefit, is it not my duty to show my joy? authority could induce us to conceal it from you. Croaker. No, no, my consequence is no more; is the being admitted to your favour so slight an I'm as little minded as a dead Russian in winter, obligation? is the happiness of marrying my Olijust stuck up with a pipe in its mouth till there via so small a blessing?
comes a thaw-It goes to my heart to vex her.
Olivia. I was prepared, sir, for your anger, and despaired of pardon, even while I presumed to ask it. But your severity shall never abate my affection, as my punishment is but justice.
Croaker. And yet you should not despair neither, Livy. We ought to hope all for the best.
Olivia. And do you permit me to hope, sir? Can I ever expect to be forgiven? But hope has too long deceived me.
Croaker. Marrying Olivia! marrying Olivia! marrying his own sister! Sure the boy is out of his senses. His own sister.
Leontine. My sister!
Olivia. Sister! How have I been mistaken! [Aside. Leontine. Some cursed mistake in all this, I find. [Aside. Croaker. What does the booby mean? or has he any meaning? Eh, what do you mean, you blockhead, you?
Croaker. Why then, child, it shan't deceive you now, for I forgive you this very moment; I forgive you all! and now you are indeed my daughter. Olivia. O transport! this kindness overpowers-I have made a point of it.
Leontine. Mean, sir,-why, sir-only when my sister is to be married, that I have the pleasure of marrying her, sir, that is, of giving her away, sir,
Croaker. O, is that all? Give her away. You
Croaker. I was always against severity to our have made a point of it. Then you had as good children. We have been young and giddy our-make a point of first giving away yourself, as I'm selves, and we can't expect boys and girls to be old going to prepare the writings between you and Miss Richland this very minute. What a fuss is before their time. here about nothing! Why, what's the matter now? I thought I had made you at least as happy as you could wish.
Olivia. What generosity! But can you forget the many falsehoods, the dissimulation
Croaker. You did indeed dissemble, you urchin you; but where's the girl that won't dissemble for a husband? My wife and I had never been married, if we had not dissembled a little beforehand.
Olivia. It shall be my future care never to put such generosity to a second trial. And as for the partner of my offence and folly, from his native honour, and the just sense he has of his duty, I can answer for him that
Olivia. O! yes, sir; very happy.
Croaker. Do you foresee any thing, child? You look as if you did. I think if any thing was to be foreseen, I have as sharp a look-out as another; [Exit. and yet I foresee nothing.
Olivia. What can it mean?
Leontine. He knows something, and yet for my | gether within my oath. For certain, if an honest life I can't tell what.
Olivia. It can't be the connexion between us, I'm pretty certain.
man is to get any thing by a thing, there's no rea son why all things should not be done in civility. Honeywood. Doubtless, all trades must live, Mr Leontine. Whatever it be, my dearest, I'm re- Twitch; and yours is a necessary one. solved to put it out of fortune's power to repeat our [Gives him money. mortification. I'll haste and prepare for our jour- Bailiff. Oh! your honour: I hope your honour ney to Scotland this very evening. My friend takes nothing amiss as I does, as I does nothing Honeywood has promised me his advice and assist- but my duty in so doing. I'm sure no man can ance. I'll go to him and repose our distresses on his friendly bosom; and I know so much of his honest heart, that if he can't relieve our uneasinesses, he will at least share them. [Exeunt
say I ever give a gentleman, that was a gentleman, ill usage. If I saw that a gentleman was a gentleman, I have taken money not to see him for ten weeks together.
SCENE-YOUNG HONEYWOOD'S HOUSE.
BAILIFF, HONEYWOOD, FOLLOWER.
Bailiff. Lookye, sir, I have arrested as good men es you in my time: no disparagement of you neither: men that would go forty guineas on a game of cribbage. I challenge the town to show a man in more genteeler practice than myself.
Honeywood. Without all question, Mr. forget your name, sir. Bailiff. How can you forget what you never knew? he he! he!
Honeywood. Tenderness is a virtue, Mr. Twitch. Bailiff. Ay, sir, it's a perfect treasure. I love to see a gentleman with a tender heart. I don't know, but I think I have a tender heart myself. If all that I have lost by my heart was put together, it would make a-but no matter for that.
Bailiff. Humanity, sir, is a jewel. It's better than gold. I love humanity. People may say, I that we in our way have no humanity; but I'll show you my humanity this moment. There's my follower here. Little Flanigan, with a wife and four children, a guinea or two would be more to him
Honeywood. May I beg leave to ask your name? than twice as much to another. Now, as I can't Bailiff. Yes, you may. show him any humanity myself, I must beg leave you'll do it for me.
Honeywood. I assure you, Mr. Twitch, yours
Honeywood. Then, pray, sir, what is your name? Bailiff. That I didn't promise to tell you. He! he! he! A joke breaks no bones, as we say among is a most powerful recommendation. us that practise the law. [Giving money to the follower. Honeywood. You may have reason for keeping Bailiff. Sir, you're a gentleman, I see you know it a secret, perhaps? what to do with your money. But, to business: Bailiff. The law does nothing without reason. we are to be with you here as your friends, I supI'm ashamed to tell my name to no man, sir. If pose. But set in case company comes.-Little you can show cause, as why, upon a special capus, Flanigan here, to be sure, has a good face; a very that I should prove my name-But, come, Timo- good face; but then, he is a little seedy, as we say thy Twitch is my name. And, now you know among us that practise the law. Not well in my name, what have you to say to that? clothes. Smoke the pocket-holes.
Honeywood. Well, that shall be remedied without delay.
Honeywood. Nothing in the world, good Mr. Twitch, but that I have a favour to ask, that's all. Bailiff. Ay, favours are more easily asked than granted, as we say among us that practise the law. I have taken an oath against granting favours. Would you have me perjure myself?
Honeywood. Don't account it lost, Mr. Twitch. The ingratitude of the world can never deprive us of the conscious happiness of having acted with humanity ourselves.
Servant. Sir, Miss Richland is below.
Honeywood. How unlucky! Detain her a mo ment. We must improve my good friend little Mr. Flanigan's appearance first. Here, let Mr. Flanigan have a suit of my clothes-quick-the brown and silver-Do you hear?
Honeywood. But my request will come recommended in so strong a manner as, I believe, you'll have no scruple. [Pulling out his purse.] The thing is only this: I believe I shall be able to discharge this trifle in two or three days at farthest; but as I would not have the affair known for the world, I have thoughts of keeping you, and your good friend here, about me, till the debt is discharg ed; for which I shall be properly grateful. Bailiff. Oh! that's another maxum, and alto- Honeywood. Well, the first that comes to hand
Servant. That your honour gave away to the begging gentleman that makes verses, because it was as good as new.
Honeywood. The white and gold then.
Servant. That, your honour, I made bold to sell, because it was good for nothing.