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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, Miss Richland. And, without a compliment, I and every day tells us why.

know none more disinterested, or more capable of Croaker. Ah, my dear friend, it is a perfect satis- friendship, than Mr. Honeywood. faction to be miserable with you. My son Leon- Mrs. Croaker. And, indeed, I know nobody that tine shan't lose the benefit of such fine conversation. has more friends, at least among the ladies. Miss I'll just step home for him. I am willing to show Fruzz, Miss Oddbody, and Miss Winterbottom, him so much seriousness in one scarce older than praise him in all companies. As for Miss Biddy himself-And what if I bring my last letter to the Bundle, she's his professed admirer, Gazetteer on the increase and progress of earth- Miss Richland. Indeed! an admirer I did not quakes? It will amuse us, I promise you. I there know, sir, you were such a favourite there. But prove how the late earthquake is coming round to is she seriously so handsome ? Is she the mighty pay us another visit, from London to Lisbon, from thing talked of? Lisbon to the Canary Islands, from the Canary Honerwood. The town, madam, seldom begins Islands to Palmyra, from Palmyra to Constantino-to praise a lady's beauty, till she's beginning to ple, and so from Constantinople back to London lose it.

(Smiling again.


Mrs. Croakcr. But she's resolved never to lose Honeyrood. 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. my own situation,

,-a broken fortune, a hopeless by every where exposing her person; sticking herpassion, friends in distress, the wish but not the self up in the front of a side box; trailing through power to serve them-(pausing and sighing.)

a minuet at Almack's; and then in the public garButler. More company below, sir; Mrs. Croaker ed ruins of the place.

dens, looking for all the world like one of the paintand Miss Richland; shall I show them up? but they're showing up themselves.

Honeywood. Every age has its admirers, ladies, [Exit.

While you, perhaps, are trading among the warmer Enter MRS, CROAKER and MISS RICHLAND. Miss Richland. You're always in such spirits. climates of youth, there ought to be some to carry Mrs. Croaker. We have just come, my dear on a useful commerce in the frozen latitudes beHoneywood, from the auction. There was the yond fifty. old deaf dowager, as usual, bidding like a fury

Miss Richland. But, then, the mortifications against herself. And then so curious in antiques: they must suffer, before they can be fitted out for herself the most genuine piece of antiquity in the traffic. I have seen one of them fret a whole whole collection.

morning at her hair-dresser, when all the fault was Honeymrood. Excuse me, ladies, if some uneasi. her face. ness from friendship makes me unfit to share in this Honeywood. And yet, I'll engage, has carried good-humour: I know you'll pardon me.

that face at last to a very good market. This Mrs. Croaker. I vow he seems as melancholy as good-natured town, madam, has husbands, like if he had taken a dose of my husband this morning. spectacles, to fit every age, from fifteen to fourscore. Well, if Richland here can pardon you I must.

Mrs. Croaker. Well, you're a dear good-natured Miss Richland. You would seem to insinuate, creature. But you know you're engaged with us madam, that I have particular reasons for being dis- this morning upon a strolling party. I want to posed to refuse it.

show Olivia the town, and the things; I believe I Mrs. Croaker. Whatever I insinuate, my dear, shall have business for you for the whole day. don't be so ready to wish an explanation.

Honeywood. I am sorry, madam, I have an apMiss Richland. I own I should be sorry Mr. pointment with Mr. Croaker, which it is impossiHoneywood's long friendship and mine should be ble to put off: misunderstood.

Mrs. Croaker. What! with my husband ? then Honeywood. There's no answering for others, I'm resolved to take no refusal. Nay, 1 protest madam. But I hope you'll never find me presum- you must. You know I never laugh so much as ing to offer more than the most delicate friendship with you. may readily allow.

Honeywood. Why, if I must, I must. I'll swear Miss Richland. And I shall be prouder of such you have put me into such spirits. Well, do you a tribute from you, than the most passionate pro- find jest, and I'll find laugh I promise you. We'll fessions from others.

wait for the chariot in the next room. (Exeunt. Honeywood. My own sentiments, madam; friendship is a disinterested commerce between equals; 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, *s cheerful as they are.

perhaps: I allow it; but it is natural to suppose, Oliria. How, my Leontine, how can I be cheer- that merit which has made an impression on one's ful, when I have so many terrors to oppress me? own heart, may be powerful over that of another. The fear of being detected by this family, and the Leontine. Don't, my life's treasure, don't let us apprehensions of a censuring world, when I must make imaginary evils, when you know we have be detected

so many real ones tv encounter. At worst, you Leontine. The world, my love! what can it say? know, if Miss Richland should consent, or my At worst it can only say, that, being compelled by father refuse his pardon, it can but end in a trip to a mercenary guardian to embrace a life you dis- Scotland : and liked, 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 cur, 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!

Oliria. But consider, Leontine, your disobedi- he's an example indeed. Where is he? I left him ence and my indiscretion; your being sent to here. France to bring home a sister, and instead of a Leontine. Sir, I believe you may see hiin, and sister, bringing home

hear him too, in the next room; he's preparing to Leontine. One dearer than a thousand sisters. go out with the ladies. One that I am convinced will be equally dear to Croaker. Good gracious! can I believe my eyes the rest of the farnily, 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 Oliria. But mayn't she write, mayn't her aunt could spread a horse-laugh through the pews of a write?

tabernacle. Leontine. Her aunt scarce ever writes, and all Leontine. Since you find so many objections to my sister's letters are directed to me.

a wife, sir, how can you be so earnest in recomOliria. But won't your refusing Miss Richland, mending one to me? for whom you know the old gentleman intends Croaker. I have told you, and tell you again, you, create a suspicion ?

boy, that Miss Richland's fortune must not go out Leontine. There, there's my master-stroke. I of the family; one may find comfort in the money, have resolved not to refuse her; nay, an hour whatever one does in the wife. hence I have consented to go with my father to Leontine. But, sir, though, in obedience to your make her an offer of my heart and fortune. Jesire, I am ready to marry her, it may be possible Olivia. Your heart and fortune!

she has no inclination to me. Leontine. Don't be alarmed, my dearest. Can Croaker. I'll tell you once for all how it stands. Olivia think so mcanly of iny honour, or my love, A good part of Miss Richland's large fortune conas to suppose I could ever hope for happiness from sists in a claim upon government, which my good any but her? No, my Olivia, neither the force, friend, Mr. Lofty, assures me the treasury will alnor, permit me to add, the delicacy of my passion, low. One half of this she is to forfeit, by her faleave any room to suspect me. I only offer Miss ther's will, in case she refuses to marry you. So, Richland a heart I am convinced she will refuse; if she rejects you, we seize half her fortune; if as I am confident, that without knowing it, her af- she accepts you, we seize the whole, and a fine girl sections are fixed upon Mr. Iloneywood. into the bargain.

Olivia. Mr. Honeywood! you'll excuse my ap- Leontine. But, sir, if you will but listen to reason-prehensions ; but when your merits come to be put Croaker. Come, then, produce your reasons. I in the balance

tell you, I'm fixed, determined; so now produce Leontine. You view them with too much par- your reasons. When I'm determined, I always tiality. However, by making this offer, I show a listen to reason, because it can then do no harm. seeming compliance with my father's command ; Leontine. You have alleged that a mutual choice and perhaps, upon her refusal, I may have his con- was the first requisite in matrimonial happiness. sent to choose for myself.

Croaker. Well, and you have both of you a Olivia. Well, I submit. And yet, my Leon- mutual choice. She has her choice—to marry you, line, Iown, I shall envy her even your pretended lor 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. Leontine. An only son, sir, might expect more Garnet. Yet, what can you do? For being, as indulgence.

you arc, in love with Mr. Honeywood, madamCroaker. An only father, sir, might expect more Miss Richland. How! idiot, what do you mean? obedience : besides, has not your sister here, that In love with Mr. Honeywood! Is this to provoke never disobliged me in her life, as good a right as me? you? He's a sad dog, Livy, my dear, and would Garnet. That is, madam, in friendship with take all from you. But he shan't, I tell you he him; I meant nothing more than friendship, as I shan't, for you shall have your share.

hope to be married; nothing more. Olivia. Dear sir, I wish you'd ,be convinced, Miss Richland. Well, no more of this: As to that I can never be happy in any addition to my my guardian and his son, they shall find me prefortune, which is taken from his.

pared 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. promise you; old Ruggins, the curry-comb maker, Garnet. Delicious! and that will secure your 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 ACT II.

employment, for here they come, and in close coni



Leontine. Excuse me, sir, if I seem to hesitate MISS RICHLAND, GARNET.

upon the point of putting to the lady so important 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 Garnet. Why, madam, as I told you before, in- dear, I believe you guess at our business, an affair stead of going to Lyons to bring home his sister, which my son here comes to open, that nearly conwho has been there with her aunt these ten years, cerns your happiness. he never went farther than Paris : there he saw Miss Richland. Sir, I should be ungrateful not and fell in love with this young lady, by the by, of to be pleased with any thing that comes recoma prodigious family.

mended by you. Miss Richland. And brought her home to my Croaker. How, boy, could you desire a finer guardian as his daughter ?

opening? Why don't you begin, I say? Garnet. Yes, and his daughter she will be. If

(To Leontine. he don't consent to their marriage, they talk of try- Leontine. 'Tis true, madam, my father, madam, ing what a Scotch parson can do.

has some intentions-hem--of explaining an affair Miss Richland. Well, I own they have deceiv- -which-himself-can best explain, madam. ed me—And so demurely as Olivia carried it too!- Croaker. Yes, my dear; it comes entirely from Would you believe it, Garnet, I told her all my se- my son ; it's all a request of his own, madam. And crets; and yet the sly cheat concealed all this from I will permit him to make the best of it. me?

Leontine. The whole affair is only this, madam; Garnet. And, upon my word, madam, I don't my father has a proposal to make, which he insists much blame her: she was loath to trust one with none but himself shall deliver. her secrets that was so very bad at keeping her Croaker. My mind misgives me, the fellow will

never be brought on. [Aside.] In short, madam, Miss Richland. But, to add to their deceit, the you see before you one that loves you; one whose young gentleman, it seems, pretends to make me whole happiness is all in you. serious proposals. My guardian and he are to bel Miss Richland. I never had any doubts of your




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regard, sir; and I hope you can have none of my Croaker. But I tell you, sir, the lady is not at duty.

liberty. It's a match. You see she says nothing. Crocket. That's not the thing, my little sweet- Silence gives consent. ing; my love! No, no, another guess lover than Leontine. But, sir, she talked of force. Consi1: there he stands, madam, his very looks declare der, sir, the cruelty of constraining her inclinations. the force of his passion-Call up a look, you dog! Croaker. But I say there's no cruelty. Don't (Aside. )-But then, had you seen him, as I have, you know, blockhead, that girls have always a weeping, speaking soliloquies and blank verse, roundabout way of saying yes before company ? sometimes melancholy, and sometimes absent- So get you both gone together into the next room,

Miss Richland. I fear, sir, he's absent now; or and hang him that interrupts the tender explanasuch a declaration would have come most properly tion. Get you gone, I say: I'll not hear a word.

1: from himself.

Leontine. But, sir, I must beg leave to insist Croaker. Himself! madam, he would die before Croaker. Get off, you puppy, or l'll beg leave to he could make such a confession ; and if he had insist upon knocking you down. Stupid whelp! not a channel for his passion through me, it would But I don't wonder: the boy takes entirely after his ere now have drowned his understanding. mother. Miss Richland. I must grant, sir, there are at

[Exeunt MISS RICILAND and LEONTINE. tractions in modest diffidence above the force of

Enter MRS. CROAKER. words. · A silent address is the genuine eloquence

Mrs. Croaker. Mr. Croaker, I bring you some. of sincerity.

thing, my dear, that I believe will make you smile. Croaker. Madam, he has forgot to speak any

Croaker. I'll hold you a guinea of that, my dear. other language; silence is become his mother tongue.

Mrs. Croaker. A letter; and as I knew the Miss Richland. And it must be confessed, sir, hand, I ventured to open it. it speaks very powerfully in his favour. And yet

Croaker. And how can you expect your breakI shall be thought too forward in making such a ing open my letters should give me pleasure ? confession; shan't I, Mr. Leontine?

Mrs. Croaker. Poo! it's from your sister at Leontine. Confusion! my reserve will undo me. Lyons, and contains good news; read it. But, if modesty attracts her, impudence may dis

Croaker. What a Frenchified cover is here! gust her. I'll try. [Aside.) Don't imagine from my That sister of mine has some good qualities, but I silence, madam, that I want a due sense of the hon- could never tcach her to fold a letter. our and happiness intended me. My father, mad

Mrs. Croaker. Fold a fiddlestick. Read what am, tells me, your humble servant is not totally in- it contains. different to you. He admires you; I adore you; and

CROAKER (reading.) when we come together, upon my soul I believe" DEAR Nick, we shall be the happiest couple in all St. James's. “An English gentleman, of large fortune, has

Mis: Richland. If I could flatter myself you for some time made private, though honourable prothought as you speak, sir

posals to your daughter Olivia. They love each Leontine. Doubt my sincerity, madam ? By your other tenderly, and I find she has consented, withdear self I swear.

Ask the brave if they desire fout letting any of the family know, to crown his glory? ask cowards if they covet safety

addresses. As such good offers don't come every Croaker. Well, well, no more questions about it. day, your own good sense, his large fortune and

Leontine. Ask the sick if they long for health ? family considerations, will induce you to forgive ask misers if they love money? ask


“ Yours ever, Croaker. Ask a fool if he can talk nonsense ?

“Rachael Croaker. 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

ceal. gained with too much ease; won't you, Mr. Leon

Mrs. Croaker. Well, if they have concealed tine?

their amour, they shat conceal their wedding; Leontine. Confusion ! ( Aside.] Oh, by no means, that shall be public, I'm resolved. madam, by no means. And yet, madam, you talk

Croaker. I tell thee, woman, the wedding is the ed of force. There is nothing I would avoid so most foolish part of the ceremony, I can never get much as compulsion in a thing of this kind. No, this woman to think of the most serious part of the madam, I will still be generous, ant leave you at nuptial engagement. liberty to refuse.

Mrs. Croaker. What, would you have me think of their funeral ? But come, tell me, my dear, don't Mrs. Croaker. Sir, this honouryou 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?

Mrs. Croaker. Sir, the happiness and honour Croaker. He is a man of importance, I grant are all mine; and yet, I'm only robbing the public you. And yet what amazes me is, that, while he while I detain you. is giving away places to all the world, he can't get Lofty. Sink the public, madam, when the fair one for himself.

are to be attended. Ah, could all my hours be so Mrs. Croaker. That perhaps may be owing to charmingly devoted! Sincerely, don't you pity us his nicety. Great men are not casily satisfied. poor creatures in affairs ? Thus it is eternally; soEnter French SERVANT.

licited for places here, teased for pensions there, and Serrant. An expresse from Monsieur Lofty.courted every where. I know you pity me. Yes, He vil be vait upon your honours instrammant. I see you do. He be only giving four five instruction, read two Mrs. Croaker. Excuse me, sir, "Toils of emtree memorial, call upon von ambassadeur. He pires pleasures are," as Waller says. vil be vid you in one tree minutes.

Lofty. Waller, Waller, is he of the house? Mrs. Croaker. You see now, my dear. What Mrs. Crouker. The modern poet of that name, an extensive department! Well, friend, let your sir. master know, that we are extremely honoured by Lofty. Oh, a modern! we men of business de. this honour. Was there any thing ever in a higher spise the moderns; and as for the ancients, we have style of breeding? All messages among the great no time to read them. Poetry is a pretty thing are now done by express.

enough for our wives and daughters; but not for 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 of books. I say, madam, I know nothing of he. But he's in the right on't. In our bad world, books; and yet, I believe, upon a land-carriage respect is given where respect is claimed. fishery, a stamp act, or a jag-hire, I can talk my

Mrs. Croaker. Never mind the world, my dear; two hours without feeling the want of them. you were never in a pleasanter place in your life. Mrs. Croaker. The world is no stranger to Mr. Let us now think of receiving him with proper re- Lofty's eminence in every capacity. spect—{a loud rapping at the door, ]—and there Lofty. I vow to gad, madam, you make me blush. he is, by the thundering rap.

I'm nothing, nothing, nothing in the world; a mere Croaker. Ay, verily, there he is! as close upon obscure gentleman. To be sure, indeed, one or two 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

Enter LOFTY, speaking to his Servant. resentment has never done the men, as mere men, Lofly. “And if the Venetian ambassador, or any manner of harm that is as mere men. that teasing creature the marquis, should call, I'm Mrs. Croaker. What importance, and yet what not at home. Dam'me, I'll be a pack-horse to modesty! 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 Losty," he used to say: Mrs. Croaker. Sir, this honour.

man has a finer knowledge of things; quite a man Lofty. “And, Dubardieu! if the person calls of information; and, when he speaks upon his legs about the commission, let him know that it is made by the Lord he's prodigious, he scouts them; and 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. ask ten thousand pardons.

V178. Croaker. And vet, I dare say, rou don't



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