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tune to himself, she was sent to France, under pretence of education; and there every art was tried to fix her for life in a convent, contrary to her inclinations. Of this I was informed upon my arrival at Paris; and, as I had been once her father's friend, I did all in my power to frustrate her guardian's base intentions. I had even meditated to rescue her from his authority, when your son stepped in with more pleasing violence, gave her liberty, and you a daughter.
Cro. But I intend to have a daughter of my own choosing, sir. A young lady, sir, whose fortune, by my interest with those who have interest, will be double what my son has a right to expect. Do you know Mr. Lofty, sir?
Sir Wil. Yes, sir; and know that you are deceived in him. But step this way, and I'll convince you.
[Croaker and Sir Wi am seem to confer.
Enter HONEYWOOD. Hon. Obstinate man, still to persist in his outrage! insulted by him, despised by all, I now begin to grow contemptible even to myself. How have I sunk by too great an assiduity to please! How have I overtaxed all my abilities, lest the approbation of a single fool should escape me! But all is now over; I have survived my reputation, my fortune, my friendships, and nothing remains henceforward for me but solitude and repentance.
Miss Rich. Is it true, Mr. Honeywood, that you are setting off, without taking leave of your friends? The report is, that you are quitting England. Can it be?
Hon. Yes, madam; and though I am so unhappy as to have fallen under your displeasure, yet, thank Heaven, I leave you to happiness; to one who loves you, and de.
serves your love; to one who has power to procure you affluence, and generosity to improve your enjoyment of it.
Miss Rich. And are you sure, sir, that the gentleman you mean is what you describe him?
Hon. I have the best assurances of it_his serving me. He does indeed deserve the highest happiness, and that is in your power to confer. As for me, weak and wavering as I have been, obliged by all, and incapable of serving any, what happiness can I find but in solitude? What hope but in being forgotten?
Miss Rich. A thousand! to live among friends that esteem you, whose bappiness it will be to be permitted to oblige you.
Hon. No, madam, my resolution is fixed. Inferiority among strangers is easy; but amongst those that once were equals, insupportable. Nay, to show you how far my resolution can go, I can now speak with calmness of my former follies, my vanity, my dissipation, my weak
I will even confess, that among the number of my other presumptions, I had the insolence to think of love ing you. Yes, madam, while I was pleading the passion of another, my heart was tortured with its own. But it is over; it was unworthy our friendship, and let it be forgotten.
Miss Rich. You amaze me!
Hon. But you'll forgive it, I know you will; since the confession should not have come from me even now, but to convince you of the sincerity of my intention of never mentioning it more.
[Going. Miss Rich. Stay, sir, one moment-Ha! he here
followed you here with a trifling piece of intelligence: but it goes no further, things are not yet ripe for a discovery. I have spirits working at a certain board; your affair at the treasury will be done in less than-a thousand years. Mum!
Miss Rich. Sooner, sir, I should hope.
Lof. Why, yes, I believe it may, if it falls into proper hands, that know where to push and where to parry; that know how the land lies—eh, Honeywood!
Miss Rich. It has fallen into yours.
Lof. Well, to keep you no longer in suspense, your thing is done. It is done, I say—that's all. I have just had assurances from Lord Neverout, that the claim has been examined, and found admissible. Quietus is the word, madam.
Hon. But how! his lordship has been at New-market these ten days. Lof. Indeed!
Then Sir Gilbert Goose must have been most damnably mistaken. I had it of him.
Miss Rich. He! why Sir Gilbert and his family have been in the country this month.
Lof. This month! it must certainly be so- -Sir Gil. bert's letter did come to me from New-market, so that he must have met his lordship there; and so it came about. I have his letter about me; I'll read it to you. [Taking out a large bundle.) That's from Paoli of Corsica, that from the Marquis of Squilachi.—Have you a mind to see a letter from Count Poniatowski, now King of Poland ?-Honest Pon—[Searching.] 0, sir, what are you here too? I'll tell you what, honest friend, if you have not absolutely delivered my letter to Sir William IIoneywood, you may return it. The thing will do without him.
Sir Wil. Sir, I have delivered it; and must inform you, it was received with the most mortifying contempt.
Cro. Contempt! Mr. Lofty, what can that mean?
Lof. Let him go on, let him go on, I say. You'll find it come to something presently.
Sir Wil. Yes, sir, I believe you'll be amazed, if, after waiting some time in the ante-chamber, after being surveyed with insolent curiosity by the passing servants, I was at last assured that Sir William Honeywood knew no such person, and I must certainly have been imposed upon.
Lof. Good; let me die; very good. Ha! ha! ha!
Cro. Now, for my life, I can't find out half the goodness of it.
Lof. You can't? Ha! ha!
Cro. No, for the soul of me! I think it was as confounded a bad answer as ever was sent from one private gentleman to another.
Lof. And so you can't find out the force of the mese sage? Why I was in the house that very time. Ha! ha! It was I that sent that very answer to my own letter. Ha! ha!
Cro. Indeed! how? why?
Lof. In one word, things between Sir William and me must be behind the curtain. A party has many eyes. He sides with Lord Buzzard, I side with Sir Gilbert Goose. So that unriddles the mystery.
Cro. And so it does, indeed; and all my suspicions are
Lof. Your suspicions! What, then you have been suspecting, you have been suspecting, have you? Mr. Croaker, you and I were friends; we are friends no longe
Never talk to me. It's over; I say, it's over.
Cro. As I hope for your favour, I did not mean to offend. It escaped me. Don't be discomposed.
Lof. Zounds! sir, but I am discomposed, and will be discomposed. To be treated thus! Who am I? Was it for this I have been dreaded both by ins and outs ?-Have I been libelled in the Gazetteer, and praised in the St. James's? Have I been chaired at Wildman's, and a speaker at Merchant-Taylor's Hall? Have I had my hand to addresses, and my head in the print shops-and talk to me of suspects?
Cro. My dear sir, be pacified. What can you have but asking pardon?
Lof. Sir, I will not be pacified.--Suspects! Who am I? To be used thus! Have I paid court to men in fa. vour to serve my friends; the lords of the treasury, Sir William Honeywood, and the rest of the gang—and talks to me of suspects! Who am I, I say, who am I? Sir Wil. Since, sir, you are so very pressing for an
I'll tell you who you are. A gentleman, as well acquainted with politics as with men in power; as well acquainted with persons of fashion as with modesty; with lords of the treasury as with truth; and with all, as you are with Sir William Honeywood. I am Sir William Honeywood. [Discovering his ensigns of the Bath.
Cro. Sir William Honeywood!
[ Aside. Lof. So then, my confounded genius has been all this time only leading me up to the garret, in order to fling me out of the window.
Cro. What, Mr. Importance, and are these your works? Suspect you! You, who have been dreaded by the ins and outs: you, who have had your hand to addresses, and