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home for him. I am willing to sew him so much seriousness in one scarce older than himself-And what if I bring my last letter to the Gazetteer on the encrease and progress of carthquakes ? It will amuse us, I promise you. I there prove how the late earthquake is coming round to pay us another visit from London to Libon, from Lisbon to the Canary Illands, from the Canary Ilands to Palmyra, from Palmyra to Conítantinople, and so from Constantinople back to London again.
[Exit. HONEYWOOD. Poor Croaker! his situation deserves the utmoit pity. I shall scarce recover my spirits these three days. Sure to live upon such terms is worse than death itself. And yet, when I consider my own fin tuation, a broken fortune, an hopeless passion, friends in distress; the with but not the power to serve them---(paufing and fighing.)
BUTLER. More company below, Sir: Mrs. Croaker and Miss Richland; ihall I thew them up? but they're fhewing up themselves.
(Exit. Enter Mrs. CROAKER and Miss RICHLAND.
Miss RICHLAND. You're always in such fpirits.
Mrs. CROAKER. We liave just come, my dear Honeywood, from the auction. There was the old deaf dowager, as
usual, bidding like a fury against herself, And then so curious in antiques ! herself the most genuine piece of antiquity in the whole collection.
HONEYWOOD. Excuse me, ladies, if some uneasinefs from friendfhip makes me unfit to share in this good humour : I know you'll pardon me.
Mrs. CROAKER. I vow he feems as melancholy as if he had taken a dose of my husband this morning. Well, if Richland here can pardon you, I must.
Miss RichLAND. You would seem to insinuate, madam, that I have particular reasons for being disposed to refuse it.
Mrs. CROAKER. Whatever I infinuate, my dear, don't be so ready to with an explanation.
Miss RICHLAND. I own I should be sorry, Mr. Honeywood's long friendship and mine should be misunderstood.
HONEYWOOD. There's no answering for others, madam. But I hope you'll never find me presuming to offer more than the most delicate friendship may readily allow.
Miss RICHLAND. And I shall be prouder of such a tribute from you than the most passionate professions from others.
HONEYwood. My own sentiments, madam : friendfhip is a difinterested commerce between equals ; love, an abject intercourse between tyrants and saves.
Miss RichLAND. And, without a compliment, I know none more disinterested, or more capable of friendship than Mr. Honeywood.
Mrs. CROAKER. And, indeed, I know nobody that has more friends, at least among the ladies. Miss Fruzz, Miss Odbody, and Miss Winterbottom praise him in all companies. As for Miss Biddy Bundle, she's his profeffed admirer.
Miss RICHLAND. Indeed! an admirer! I did not know, Sir, you were such a favourite there. But is the seriously so handsome? Is she the mighty thing talked of?
HONEYWOOD. The town, madam, feldom begins to praise a lady's beauty, till she's beginning to lose it.
(Smiling.) Mrs. CROAKER. But she's resolv'd never to lose it, it seems. For, as her natural face decays, her skill improves in making the artificial one. Well, nothing diverts me more than one of those.fine, old, dressy things, who thinks to conceal her age, by every where exposing her person; sticking herself up in the front of a fide
box; trailing through a minuet at Almack's; and then, in the public gardens, looking for all the world like one of the painted ruins of the place.
HONEYWOOD. Every age has its admirers, ladies. While you, perhaps, are trading among the warmer climates of youth; there ought to be some to carry on an useful commerce in the frozen latitudes beyond fifty.
Miss RICHLAND. But, then, the mortifications they must suffer, before they can be fitted out for traffic. I have seen one of them fret an whole morning at her hairdresser, when all the fault was her face.
engage, has carried that face at last to a very good market. This good-natur’d town, madam, has hufbands, like spectacles, to fit every age, from fifteen to fourscore.
Mrs. CROAKER. Well, you're a dear good-natur'd creature. But you know you're engaged with us this morning upon a strolling party. I want to shew Olivia the town, and the things ; I believe I shall have business for you for the whole day.
Honeywood. I am sorry, madam, I have an appointment with: Mr. Croaker, which it is impossible to put off.
Mrs. CROAKER. What! with my huiband! then I'm resolved to take no refusal. Nay, I proteft you mult. You know I never laugh so much as with you.
you me into fuch spirits. Well, do you find jest, and I'll find laugh, I promise you. We'll wait for the chariot in the next room.
Enter Leontine and OLIVIA.
LEONTINE. There they go, thoughtless and happy. My deareft Olivia, what would I give to see you capable of faring in their amusements, and as cheerful as they
OLIVIA. How, my Leontine, how can I be cheerful, when I have so many terrors to oppress me? the fear of being detected by this family, and the apprehensions of a censuring world, when I must be detected
LEONTINE. The world!
my love, what can it say? At worst it can only say that, being compelled by a mercenary guardian to embrace a life you disliked, you formed a resolution of flying with the man of your choice ; that you confided in his honour, and took refuge in my father's house ; the only one where your's could remain without cenfure.