Page images
PDF
EPUB

at Paris, with a privilege forgot by the marquis, Clas. Sir John, place yourself here, and be a an indisputable right to cheat at cards, in spite witness bow near a crisis is the fate of your faof detection.

mily. Mar. Pardon me, sir, we have the same; but I thought this privilege so known and universal,

Enter Buck and Lucinda. that 'twas needless to mention it. Buck. You give up nothing, I find: but to tell

Buck. Psha! What signifies her? 'Tis odds you my blunt thoughts in a word, if any woman

whether she would consent from the fear of my can be so abandoned, as to rank amongst the father. Besides, she told me we could never be comforts of matrimony, the privilege of hating married here; and so pack up a few things, and her husband, and the liberty of committing every

we'll off in a post-chaise directly. fully and every vice contained in your catalogue,

Luc. Stay, Mr. Buck, let me have a moment's she may stay single for me ; for, damn me, if i reflection- What am I about? Contriving, in am a husband fit for her humour! that's all.

concert with the most profligate couple that ever Mar. I told you, mademoiselle!

disgraced human nature, to impose an indigent Luc. But stay; what have you to offer as a orphan on the sole representative of a wealthy counterbalance for these pleasures?

and honourable family! Is this a character beBuck. Why, I have, madam, courage to pro- corning my birth and education? What must be tect you, good-nature to indulge your love, and the consequence? Sure detection and contempt; health enough to make gallants useless, and too contempt even from him, when bis passions cool. good a fortune to render running in debt neces

I have resolved, sir. sary. Find that here, if you can.

Buck. Madam! Mar. Bagatelle !

Luc. As the expedition we are upon the point Luc. Spoke with the sincerity of a Briton; of taking, is to be a lasting one, we ought not to and, as I don't perceive that I shall have any use

be over hasty in our resolution. for the fashionable liberties you propose, you'll

Buck. Pshaw! Stuff! When a thing's resolved, pardon, marquis, my national prejudice; here's the sooner 'tis over the better. my hand, Mr. Buck.

Luc. But before it is absolutely resolved, give Buck. Servant, monsieur.

me leave to beg an answer to two questions. Mar. Serviteur.

Buck. Make haste, then. Buck. No offence?

Luc. What are your thoughts of me? Mar. Not in the least; I am only afraid the

Buck. Thoughts! Nay, I don't know ; why,

that reputation of that lady's taste will suffer a little ;

you are a sensible, civil, bandsome, handy and to shew her at once the difference of her girl, and will make a devilish good wife. That choice, the preference, which if bestowed on me,

is all, I think. would not fail to exasperate you, I support with

Luc. But of my rank and fortune ? out murmuring ; so, that favour which would but that's no business of mine; I was always de

Buck. Nr. Subtle says they are both great ; probably have provoked my fate, is now your protection. Voila la politess Francoise, madam;

termined to marry for love. I have the honour to be-Bon jour, monsieur.

Luc. Generously said! My birth, I believe, Tol de rol!

| Erit Mar. won't disgrace you; but for my fortune, your Buck. The fellow bears it well. Now, if you'll friend, Mr. Subtle, I fear, bas anticipated you

there. give me your hand, we'll in, and settle matters with Mr. Subtle.

Buck. Mach good may it do him; I have Luc. Tis now my duty to obey. [E.reunt. enough for both : but we lose time, and may be

prevented. Enter Roger, peeping about.

Luc. By whom?

Buck. By Domine; or, perhaps, father may Rog. The coast is clear; sir, sir, you may come in now, Mr. Classic.

Luc. Your father! You think he would pre

vent you, then?
Enter MR. CLASSIC and Sie John Buck. Buck. Perhaps he would.

Luc. And why?
Clas. Roger, watch at the door. I wish, Sir
John, I could give you a more cheerful welcome: this is like saying one's catechise.

Buck. Nay, I don't know; but, pshaw !'zook: ! but we have no time to lose in ceremony; you Luc. But don't you think your father's conare arrived in the critical minute; two hours more would have placed the inconsiderate cou

sent necessary?

Buck. No: why 'tis I am to be married, and ple out of the reach of pursuit.

not he. But come along: old fellons love to be Sir John. How can I acknowledge your kind- obstinate; but 'ecod I am as mulish as he; and ness? You bave preserved my son; you have to tell you the truth, if he had proposed me saved

a wife, that would have been reason enough to Class. I have done my duty ; but of that

make me dislike her; and I don't think I should Rug. Maister and the young woman's com- be half so hot about marrying you, only I thought ing

'twould plague the old fellow damnably. So,

come.

more

own.

CX

my pretty partner, coine along; let us have no pay, I demand it; you have wronged me, and

must do me justice.

Clas. I am sure, madam, Sir John will be glad Enter Sir John Buck, and Classic, to find his fears are false; but you cannot blame

him. Sir John. Sir, I om obliged to you for this de Luc. I don't, sir; and I shall but little tresclaration, as, to it, I owe the entire subjection pass on his patience. When you know, sir, that of that paternal weakness which has hitherto I am the orphan of an honourable and once suspended the correction your abandoned liber- wealthy family, whom her father, misguided by tinism has long provoked. You have forgot the pernicious politics, brought with him, in her earduty you owe a father, disclaimed my protection, liest infancy, to France; that dying here, he becancelled the natural covenant between us; 'tis queathed me, with the poor remnant of our shattime I now should give you up to the guidance tered fortune, to the direction of this rapacious of your own guilty passions, and treat you as a pair ; I'am sure you'll tremble for me. stranger to my blood for ever.

Sir John. Go on. Buck. I told you what would happen if he Luc. But when you know that, plundered of should come; but you may thank yourself. the little fortune left me, I was reluctantly com

Sir John. Equally weak as wicked, the dupe pelled to aid this plot; forced to comply, under of a raw, giddy girl. But, proceed, sir; you the penalty of deepest want : without one hospihave nothing farther to fear from me ; com- table roof to shelter me : without one friend to plete your project, and add her ruin to your comfort or relieve me ; you must, you can't but Buck Sir, as to me, you may say what you

pity me.

Sir John. Proceed. please; but for the young woman, she does not Luc. To this, when you are told, that, prevideserve it; but now she wanted me to get your ous to your cominy, l' had determined never to consent, and told me that she had never a penny wed your son, at least without your knowledge of portion into the bargain. Sir John. A stale obvious artifice ! She knew and acquit me.

and consent, I hope your justice then will credit the discovery of the fraud must follow close on Sir John. Madain, your tale is plausible and your inconsiderate marriage, and would then moving : I hope 'tis true.

Here comes th plead the merits of her prior candid discovery; - plainer of this riddle. The lady, doubtless, sir, has other secrets to disclose; but as her cuuning revealed the first, her

Enter MR. and Mrs. SUBTLE. policy will preserve the rest. Luc. What secrets?

Mr. Sub. Buck's father! Buck. Be quiet, I tell you; let him alone, and Sir John. I'll take some other time, sir, to he'll cool of himself by-and-by.

thank

you

for the last proofs of your friendship Luc. Sir, I am yet the protectress of my own to my family; in the mean time be so candid as honour; in justice to that, I must demand an to instruct us in the knowledge of this lady, explanation. What secrets, sir?

whom, it seems, you have chosen for the partner Sir John. Oh, perhaps, a thousand! But I am of my son. to blame to call them secrets; the customs of Mr. Sub. Mr. Buck's partner I choose this gay country give sanction, and stamp merit I-Iupon vice! and vanity will here proclaim, what Sir John. No equivocation or reserve; your modesty would elsewhere blush to whisper. plot is revcaled, known to the bottom. Who is

Luc. Modesty! You suspect my virtue, then the lady?

Sir John. You are a lady; but the fears of a Mr. Sub. Lady, sir? the lady's a gentlewoman, father may be pernitled to neglect a little your sir. plan of politeness: therefore, to be plain, from Sir John. By what means ? your residence in this house, from your connec Mr. Sub. By her father and mother. tion with these people, and from the scheme Sir John. Who were they, sir? which my presence has interrupted, I have sus Mr. Sub. Her mother was of -I forgot ber picions-of what nature, ask yourself.

maiden name. Luc. Sir, you have reason; appearances are Sir John. You han't forgot her father's? against me, I confess; but when you have heard Mr. Sub. No, no, no! my melancholy story, you'll own you have wrong Sir John. Tell it, then. ed me, and learn to pity her, whom you now

Mr. Sub. She has told it you, I suppose. hate.

Sir John. No matter; I must have it, sir, from Sir John. Madam, you misemploy you: time; you. Here's some mystery. there tell your story, there it will be believed; Mr. Sub. 'twas Worthy. I am too knowing in the wiles of women to be Sir John. Not the daughter of Sir Gilbert? softened by a syren-tear, or imposed on by an Mr. Sub. You have it. artful tale,

Sir John. My poor girl ! -I, indeed, have Luc. But hear me, sir; on my knees I beg it; wronged, but will redress you. And pray, sir,

after the many pressing letters you received ble treasure, and shall not trust it in a spendfrom ine, how came this truth concealed? But I thrift's hands. guess your motive. Dry up your tears, Lucinda; Buck. What would you have me to do, sir? at last

you

have found a father. Hence, ye de Sir John. Disclaim the partners of your riot, generate, ye abandoned wretches, who, abusing polish your manners, reform your pleasures, and, the confidence of your country, unite to plunder before you think of governing others, learn to those ye promise to protect.

direct yourself. And now iny beauteous ward, [Exeunt Mr. and Mrs. Subtle. we'll for the land where first you saw the light, Luc. Am I then justified?

and there endeavour to forget the long, long Sir John. You are: your father was my first bondage you have suffered here. I suppose, sir, and firmest friend; I mourned his loss; and long we shall have no difficulty in persuading you to have sought for thee in vain, Lucinda.

accompany us; it is not in France I am to hope Buck. Pray, han't I some merit in finding her? for your reformation. I have now learned, that she's mine by the custom of the manor.

he, who transports a profligate son to Paris, by Sir John. Yours! First study to deserve her; way of mending his manners, only adds the she's mine, sir ; I have just redeemed this valua- vices and follies of that country to those of his

[Exeunt omnes.

own.

[blocks in formation]

SCENE I.-A Room.

her. You are no stranger to the situation of my

circumstances : my neighbourhood to Sir PenuHARTOP and JENKINS discovered. rious Trifle, was a sufficient motive for his ad

vancing what money I wanted by way of Jen. I should not chuse to marry into such a mortgage ; the hard terms he imposed upon me, faroily.

and the little regard I have paid to economy, Har. Choice, dear Dick, is very little con- has made it necessary for me to attempt, by some cerned in the matter; and, to convince you that scheme, the re-establishment of my fortune. love is not the minister of my counsels, know, This young lady's simplicity, not to say ignothat I never saw but once the object of my pre- rance, presented her at once as a proper subject sent purpose; and that too at a time, and in a for my purpose. circumstance, not very likely to stamp a favour Jen. Success to you, Jack, with all my soul ! able impression. What think you of a raw a fellow of your spirit and vivacity, mankind boarding-school girl at Lincoln-Minster, with a sought to support,' for the sake of themselves. mind unpolished, a figure uninformed, and a set For whatever Seneca and the other moral wriof features tainted with the colour of her un. ters may have suggested in contempt of riches, wholesome food?

it is plain their maxims were not calculated for Jen. No very engaging object indeed, Hartop. the world as it now stands. In days of yore,

Hur. Your thoughts now were mine then; but indeed, when virtue was called wisdom, and some connexions I have since had with her fa- vice folly, such principles might have been enther, have given birth to my present design upon couraged: but as the present subjects of our

man.

inquiry are, not what a man is, but what he nal, nor the Worcester Courant, nor the Northhas; as to be rich, is to be wise and virtuous, ampton Mercury, nor the Chester? Mr. Jenkins, and to be poor, ignorant, and vicious—I hearti- I ain your bumble servant: A strange town this, ly applaud your plan.

Mr. Jenkins; no news stirring, no papers taken Har. Your observation is but too just. in ! Is that gentleman a stranger, Mr. Jenkins?

Jen. But, pr’ythee in the first place, low can Pray, sir, not to be too bold, you don't come from you gain adınittance to your mistress? and, in London the second, is the girl independent of her father? Har. But last night. His consent, I suppose, you have no thought of Sir Gre. Lack-a-day, that's wonderful! Mr. obtaining?

Jenkins, introduce me. Har. Some farther proposals concerning my Jen. Mr. Hartop, Sir Gregory Gazette. estate; such as an increase of the mortgage, or Sir Gre. Sir, I am proud to Well, sir, and an absolute sale, is a sufficient pretence for a vi- what news! You come from-Pray, sir, are sit; and, as to the cash, twenty to my know you a parliament-man? ledge; independent too, you rogue! and besides, Har. Not I, indeed, sir. an only child, you know: and then, when things Sir Gre. Good lack ! may be, belong to the are done, they can't be undone and 'tis well 'tis law? no worse-and a hundred such pretty proverbs, Har. Nor that. will, 'tis great odds, reconcile the old fellow at Sir Gre. Oh, then in some of the offices; the last. Besides, my papa in posse, has a foible, treasury, or the exchequer ? which, if I condescend to humour, I have his Har. Neither sir. soul, my dear.

Sir Gre. Lack-a-day, that's wonderful! Well, Jen. Pr’ythee, now you are in spirits, give me but Mr-Pray, what name did Mr. Jenkins, Ha, a portrait of Sir Penurious; thorgh he is my Haneighbour, yet he is so domestic an animal,

Har. Hartop. that I know no more of him than the common Sir Gre. Ay, true !-What, not of the Hartops country conversation, that he is a thrifty, wary of Boston?

Har. No. Har, The very abstract of penury! Sir John Sir Gre. May be not. There is, Mr. Hartop, Cutler, with his transmigrated stockings, was but one thing that I envy you Londoners in much a type of him. For instance, the barber has the quires of news-papers! Now I reckon you read growth of his agd his daughter's head once a year, a matter of eight sheets every day? for shaving the knight once a fortnight; bis shoes

Har. Not one. are made with the leather of a coach of his Sir Gre. Wonderful !—Then, may be, you are grandfather's, built in the year One; bis male- about court; and so, being at the fountainservant is footman, groom, carter, coachman, head, know what is in the papers before they and tailor; his maid employs her leisure hours are printed. in plain work for the neighbours, which Sir Pe Har. I never trouble my head about them.nurious takes care, as her labour is for his emo- An old fool !

(Aside. lument, shall be as many as possible, by joining Sir Gre. Good Lord! Your friend, Mr. Jenwith his daughter in scouring the rooms, making kins is very

close. the beds, &c.--Thus much for his moral charac Jen. Why, Sir Gregory, Mr. Hartop is much in ter. Then, as to his intellectual, he is a mere the secrets above ; and it becomes a man so charte blanche ; the last man he is with, must trusted, to be wary, you know. afford him matter for the next he goes to: but a Sir Gre. May be so, may be so. Wonderful ! story is his idol; throw him in that, and he Ay, ay; a great man, no doubt. swallows it; no matter what, raw or roasted, Jen. But I'll give him a better insight into savoury or insipid, down it goes, and up again your character, and that will induce him to throw to the first person he meets. It is upon this off his reserve.

Sir Gre. May be so; do, do; ay, ay. acquired patience enough to hear his stories, and equipped myself with a quantity suitlicient duige the knight's humour a little! Besides, if I to furnish him. His manner is indeed pecu- guess right, it may be neces

cessary for the conduct liar, and, for once or twice entertaining enough. of your design to contract a pretty strict intiI'll give you a specimen—Is not thai an equi- macy there.

Har. Well, do as you will. Jen. Hey! yes, faith; and the owner an ac Jen. Sir Gregory, Mr. Hartop's ignorance of quaintance of mine : Sir Gregory Gazette, by your character made him a little shy in his reJupiter! and his son Tim with him. Now I can plies; but you will now find him more commumatch your knight. He must come this way to nicative; and, in your ear-he is a treasure ; he the parlour. We'll have a scene: but take your is in all the mysteries of government : at the cuc; he is a country politician.

bottom of every thing.

Sir Gre. Wonderful! a treasure ! Sir Gregory entering, and Waiter.

ay, may

be so.

Jen. And, that you may have him to yourself, Sir Gre. What, neither the Gloucester Jour- ! I'll go in search of your son.

page?

« PreviousContinue »