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SCENE 1.-YOUNG HONEYWOOD's House.
BAILIFF, HONEYWOOD, FOLLOWER.
Bailiff. Look-ye, sir, I have arrested as good men as 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. — I forget your name, sir?
Bailiff. That I didn't promise to tell you. He he he! A joke breaks no bones, as we say among us that practise the law.
Honeywood. You may have reason for keeping it a secret, perhaps.
Bailiff. The law does nothing without reason. I'm ashamed to tell my name to no man, sir. If you can show cause, as why, upon a special capus, that I should prove my name.-But, come, Timothy Twitch is my name.
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. But my request will come recommenaed 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 thought of keeping you, and your good friend here, about me till the debt is discharged; for which I shall be properly grateful.
Bailiff. Oh! that's another maxum, and altogether within my oath. For certain, if an honest man is to get anything by a thing, there's no reason why all things should not be done in civility.
Honeywood. Doubtless, all trades must live, Mr. Twitch; and yours is a necessary one. (Gives him money.).
Bailiff. Oh! your honour; I hope your honour takes nothing amiss as I does, as I does nothing but my duty in so doing. I'm sure no man can 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. Honeywood. Tenderness is a virtue, Mr. Twitch.
Servant. Sir, Miss Richland is below.
Honeywood. How unlucky! Detain her a moment. 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 ? 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.
Honeywood. Well, the first that comes to hand, then : the blue and gold. I believe Mr. Flanigan will look best in blue.
(Exit FLANIGAN.) Bailiff. Rabbit me, but little Flanigan will look well in anything. Ah, if your honour knew that bit of flesh as well as I do, you'd be perfectly in love with him. There's not a prettier scout in the four counties after a shy-cock than he. Scents like a hound; sticks like a weasel. He was master of the ceremonies to the black Queen of Morocco, when I took him to follow me. (Re-enter FLANIGAN.) Heh, I think he looks so well, that I don't care if I have a suit from the same place for myself.
Honeywood. Well, well, I hear the lady coming. Dear Mr. Twitch, I beg you'll give your friend directions not to speak. As for yourself, I know you will say nothing without being directed.
Bailiff. Never you fear me, I'll show the lady that I have something to say for myself as well as another. One man has one way of talking, and another man has another; that's all the difference between them.
Enter MISS RICHLAND and her Maid.
Miss Rich. You'll be surprised, sir, with this visit. But you know I'm yet to thank you for choosing my little library.
Honeywood. Thanks, madam, are unnecessary, as it was I that was obliged by your commands. Chairs here. Two of my very good friends, Mr. Twitch and Mr. Flanigan. Pray, gentlemen, sit without ceremony.
Miss Rich. Who can these odd-looking men be? I fear it is as I was informed. It must be so. (Aside.)
Bailiff(After a pause.) Pretty weather, very pretty weather, for the time of the year, madam.
Follower. Very good circuit weather in the country.
Honeywood. You officers are generally favourites among the ladies. My friends, madam, have been upon very disagreeable duty, I assure you. The fair should, in some measure, recompense the toils of the brave.
Miss Rich. Our officers do indeed deserve every favour. The gentlemen are in the marine service, I presume, sir?
Honeywood. Why, madam, they do-occasionally serve in the Fleet, madam: a dangerous service.
Miss Rich. I'm told so. And I own it has often surprised me that, while we have had so many instances of bravery there, we have had so few of wit at home to praise it.
Honeywood. I grant, madam, that our poets have not written as our soldiers have fought; but they have done all they could, and Hawke or Amherst could do no more.
Miss Rich. I'm quite displeased when I see a fine subject spoiled by a dull writer.
Honeywood. We should not be so severe against dull writers, madam. It is ten to one, but the dullest writer exceeds the most rigid French critic who presumes to despise him.
Follower the French, the parle vous, and all that belong to them! Miss Rich. Sir!
Honeywood. Ha! ha! ha! honest Mr. Flanigan. A true English officer, madam; he's not contented with beating the French, but he will scold them too.
Miss Rich. Yet, Mr. Honeywood, this does not convince me but that severity in criticism is necessary. It was our first adopting the severity of French taste that has brought them in turn to taste us.
Bailiff. Taste us, madam! they devour us. Give Monseers but a taste, and they come in for a bellyful.
Miss Rich. Very extraordinary, this.
Follower. But very true. What makes the bread rising ?-the parle vous that devour us. What makes the mutton fivepence a pound ?-the parle vous that eat it up. What makes the beer threepence-halfpenny a pot Honeywood. Ah! the vulgar rogues! All will be out. (A side.) Right,
, gentlemen, very right, upon my word, and quite to the purpose. They draw a parallel, madam, between the mental taste and that of our senses. injured as much by French severity in the one, as by French rapacity in the other. That's their meaning.
Miss Rich. Though I don't see the force of the parallel, yet I'll own that we should sometimes pardon books, as we do our friends, that have now and then agreeable absurdities to recommend them.
Bailiff. That's all my eye. The king only can pardon, as the law says; for set in case
Honeywood. I'm quite of your opinion, sir. I see the whole drift of your argument. Yes, certainly, our presuming to pardon any work is arrogating the power that belongs to another. If all have power to condemn, what writer can be free?
Bailiff. By his habus corpus. His habus corpus can set him free at any time. For set in case
Honeywood. I'm obliged to you, sir, for the hint. If, madam, as my friend
observes, our laws are so careful of a gentleman's person, sure we ought to be equally careful of his dearer part, his fame.
Follower. Ay, but if so be a man's nabbed, you know—
Honeywood. Mr. Flanigan, if you spoke for ever, you could not improve the last observation. For my own part, I think it conclusive. Bailiff
. As for the matter of that, mayhap-Honeywood. Nay, sir, give me leave in this instance to be positive. For where is the necessity of censuring works without genius, which must shortly sink of themselves? what is it, but aiming an unnecessary blow against a victim already under the hands of justice ?
Bailiff. Justice! Oh, by the elevens, if you talk about justice, I think I am at home there; for, in a course of law
Honeywood. My dear Mr. Twitch, I discern what you'd be at perfectly, and I believe the lady must be sensible of the art with which it is introduced. 1 suppose you perceive the meaning, madam, of his course of law?
Miss Rich. I protest, sir, I do not. I perceive only that you answer one gentleman before he has finished, and the other before he has well begun.
Bailiff. Madam, you are a gentlewoman, and I will make the matter out. This here question is about severity, and justice, and pardon, and the like of they. Now, to explain the thing
Honeywoud. Oh! — your explanations. (Aside.)
Enter Servant. Servant. Mr. Leontine, sir, below, desires to speak with you upon earnest business.
Honeywood. That's lucky. (Aside.) Dear madam, you'll excuse me and my good friends here for a few minutes. There are books, madam, to amuse you. Come, gentlemen, you know I make no ceremony with such friends. After you, sir. Excuse me.
Well, if I must; but I know your 'natural politeness.
Bailiff. Before and behind, you know. .
(Exeunt HONEYWOOD, BAILIFF, and FOLLOWER.) Miss Rich. What can all this mean, Garnet ? Garnet. Mean, madam ? why, what should it mean, but what Mr. Lofty
. sent you here to see? These people he calls officers are officers sure enough : sheriff's officers—bailiffs, madam.
Miss Rich. Ay, it is certainly so. Well, though his perplexities are far from giving me pleasure, yet I own there's something very ridiculous in them, and a just punishment for his dissimulation.
Garnet. And so they are. But I wonder, madam, that the lawyer you just employed to pay his debts and set him free, has not done it by this time. He ought at least to have been here before now. But lawyers are always more ready to get a man into troubles than out of them.