Page images

then labrynths and lights; then in a little closet with one wall out, apparently for the admission of noise and glare. I was astonished into the place, and amazed out of it, and thankful I am to get here again.--[Aside.] Here's the Colonel-l'll venture toto sound him about his consent to the marriage.—My military friend, will you allow me to ask-has Littleton acquainted you with his intentior:s ?

Rock. No, sir-I wish he had-however, accident has revealed them to me.

Rur. And dare he hope that you will grant your consent? Rock. Grant! I'll secure his success.

He shall have Tack Rocket's interest, sir.

Rur. Then you approve of his offer ? (Astonished.

Rock. I could not have selected from all England a finer fellow-more after my own heart.

Rur. He is—he is-
Rock. Noble souled.
Rur. Princely.
Rock. Honest, free.-
Rur. God bless

you u!
Rock. No stiff-backed pretension-
Rur. What a kind soul you are.

Rock. I'll lay a thousand, his father was at the battle of Hastings.

Rur. But, your daughterRock. Kate! ay—she'll go with hin., heart and soul! Rur. She will; she has said as much. Rock. Bless her heart, it always says right. Rur. My dear benefactor, don't, don't overcome me with gratitude: what shall I say or do—may I run and tell Littleton ?

Rock. Tell the rascal, I'll never forgʻve him not coming lo me at first.

Rur. At first, ha! ha!

Rock. Tell him, my carriage is at his servico-my house at his command.

Rur. Ha! ha! I shall do something very foolish for joy when I get out!

Rock. Advise him to lose no time : he should clinch tho affair before breakfast to-morrow.

Rur. To-morrow! isn't that rather, rather early, eh?

Rock. Too late sir—I like despatch,
Rur. But the lady?

Rock. Kate! pooh! you don't know the girl, she'll spring up at five in such a cause.

Rur. Bless me!

Rock. No more- -I'm off. Remember my carriage will be at the door in two hours, let him use it.

Rur. Use it to

Rock. Not a word-orders given-ho! great guns ! this is glorious !

Rur. Miraculous !

Rock. I'm in the saddle again, huzza! [Twinges.! Oh! the gout !—I'm a rusty old arquebuse, only fit to hang up for a show of old times; but no! I'll be charged and primed, and damme I'll go off once more, if I'm blown to the devil for it!-Hurrah! eh! ha! ha! hurrah.

[The Colonel shouts, becomes excited, and exit, L. Ru

ral, very excited, joins feebly in his boisterous shouts. Rur. Hurrah! bless me, how exciting all this is ;-ha! ha! (He runs about.). I'm inclined to do something very frantic-Huzza!

Enter LORD POMPION, R. C. Lord P. My dear sir.—{Aside. What is the old man about ?— Will you have the kindness to inform Mr. Coke

Rur. Certainly, in two hours

Lord P. I mean the member, sir; that I would be happy to see him here

Rur. Before breakfast-
Lord P. On parliamentary business-
Rur. Of course. Tell the rascal I'll never forgive him.
Lord P. Mr. Rural—will you-
Rur. Spring up at five in such a cause. [Crosses to R.
Lord P. He is possessed-
Rur. Great guns ! this is glorious! Hurrah! hurrah!

[Erit Rural, c. Enter SERVANT, L. Serv. Mr. Crawl,


lord. Lord P. Show him in. (Exit Servant, L.] Charles informs me that Bribe sends word that he is engaged against us by the opposing candidate ; but he has proved himself a trustworthy fellow, for he has despatched an

intelligent and junior partner in his firm, whom he feels assured will carry all before him. We must do some. thing for Bribe-fidelity should be rewarded.

Enter Servant, L.
Serv. Mr. Crawl.

Enter Bob, L., dressed in black.-Exit Servant, L.
Lord P. Mr. Crawl?
Rob. Of the firm of Bribe, Crawl, and Treatem.

Lord P. Fame speaks highly of you, Mr. Crawl, and parliament has its eye on you. Fortune favoured me, when, twenty years ago, I selected

firm for



Bob. I remember the era. Its date-I think-is on your lordship’s first mortgage to us.

Lord P. À tenacious memory—be seated. (Points to chair.] How fortunate for us that Bribe is secured to our opposing candidate.

Bob. He's a treasure-
Lord P. So are you-

Bob. Oh, I'm a mint, my lord, a perfect niint-I'll coin you votes that shall pass current with any Committee of the House-I'll put you in for any borough in Great Britain, and return you with any majority you may please to pay for-I'll qualify you with three hundred a-year, landed property, for fifty pounds, and show more voters in your interest unpolled, than there is population in the county.

Lord P. My dear Mr. Crawl!
Bob. Oh, my Lord—that's nothing.
Lord P. I may conclude my son elected, then ?

Bob. Chaired-and has returned thanks ir a neat speech, which I have already prepared.

Lord P. Then I may venture to dismiss anx'ety from my mind--and enter on other topics.

Bob. (Aside.) Other topics—master didn't prime me for other topics.

Lord P. Fifteen years ago
Bob. [Aside.] Oh, lord !

Lord P. It may be in your tenacious recollection that
I confided to the care of Mr. Bribe, a boy.

[ocr errors]


I see.

Bob. Oh! perfectly—a perfect chili ama mere-aboy--a--oh, I perfectly

Lord P. The-the-son of an old and valued servant Bob. Female ? Lord P. No—my butler. Bob. Oh! Lord P. I promised to-to-protect—to educate--my - I mean, his child—and confided the responsibility to Bribe's charge.

Bob. [Aside.] Oho!—the Earl has been a gay deceiver in his youth-ahem !_not much of the Lothario left !

Lord P. I-I left England shortly after this occur. rence, as ambassador to the court of Lisbon-since my return-business-a

Bob. Of course. -Oh, yes, I know the boy-a fine fellow he has grown-an universal favourite.

Lord P. Indeed!

Bob. His name is Robert, but we call him Bob, familiarly.

Lord P. Yes, yes.

Bob. I do assure you, there's no one for whom I possess a higher esteem—whose interest I have more at heart.

Lord P. It does you honour.
Bob. I


him into the service of Mr. Littleton Coke. Lord P. Coke! what a strange coincidence.

Bob. But, to-day he has obtained the situation of groum to a Miss Rocket.

Lord P. Miss Rocket! why, that lady is now in this house.

Bob. Indeed! then so is Bob.
Lord P. Could I-1-see him?

Bob. Of course; permit me to ring. (Rings bell on L. table.] By the way, if you will excuse the idea, I can't help thinking that there is a considerable resemblance be. tween his features and those of your son-our candidate.

Lord P. Ha! ha! what a strange notion.-[Aside.] Can it be so striking as to betray me?

Pob. Tell Miss Rocket's new groom to step up.

[Exit Servant, ...


[Aside.) So, Lord Charles, you roasted me once, now I'll give you a turn.

Lord P. [Aside.] How agitated I feel. Enter Lord CHARLES dressed as a groom, with his mous

tachios and beard cut, and his hair cropped. Bob. Step forward, young man-my lord, this is Bob. Roe. (Aside.] My father—the devil— [Threatens Bob, Lord P. [Aside.) I dare not look at him

Bob. His lordship is good enough to take an interest in you, Bob—for which you will feel duly grateful-ahem -I've no doubt that he will even do something handsome

you-you see the reward of virtue :- I promised you, that by steady and persevering conduct, I should be able to give you a turn when you least expected it.

Roe. (Aside.] Expected it—the fellow is roasting me now with a vengeance ! Bob. Do


hear ? Roe. 1-i heartily thank his lordship.

Lord P. [Asidc.] The voice—the Pompion voice-1 could swear to its haughty tones amongst a million.[Looks at him.] Mercy! he will betray me. Blindness would know him to be Charles's brother.

Bob. Bob, are you ready to experience his lordship’s generosity?

Lord P. Young man-I-take some_little interest in your-Robert-1-[Checks himself.] Mr. Crawl, you will expend this hundred pounds for Robert's benefit.

[Gires money. Bob. I feel it as a gift to myself-every shilling of it shall be conscientiously spent on that individual. Bob, have you no tongue ? mercy on me-no gratitude-there you stand-do you see, sir, 'tis one hundred pounds thank his lordship.

Roe. [Aside.] Oh, the scoundrel !
Bob. Thank him on your knees, sir.

Roe. [Bowing. Oh, you-your-lordship-I--scarcely know how to—[Aside.] Damn that fellow's impudence.

Lord P. Farewell, Mr. Crawl; you will let me hear of this young man from time to time. [Takes a last look at Roebuck from the door.] Fatal image-poor boy-Sarah Jane-oh, memory!

[Exit, R. c.

« PreviousContinue »