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thought too forward in making such a confession; Than't I, Mr. Leontine:
But, if modesty attracts her, impudence may disgust her. I'll try. (Aside.) Don't imagine from my filence, madam, that I want a due sense of the honour and happiness intended me. My father, madam, tells me, your humble servant is not totally indifferent to you. He admires you ; I adore you;
and when we come together, upon my soul I believe we shall be the happiest couple in all St. James's.
Miss RICHLAND. If I could flatter myself, you thought as you speak, Sir
LEONTINE. Ask the fick, if they long for health i ask misers, if they love money ? aik
CROAKER. Ask a fool, if he can talk nonsense! What's come over the boy? What fignifies asking, when there's not a foul to give you an answer ? If you
would ask to the purpose, ask this lady's consent to make you happy.
Miss RICHLAND. Why indeed, Sir, his uncommon ardour almost compels me-forces me to comply. And yet I'm afraid he'll defpile a conquest gained with too much ease : won't you, Mr. Leontine?
LEONTINE. Confusion! (Afide.) Oh, by no means, madam, by no means. And yet, madam, you talked of force. There is nothing I would avoid so much as compulfion in a thing of this kind. No, madam, I will still be generous, and leave you at liberty to refuse.
CROAker. But I tell you, Sir, the lady is not at liberty. It's a match. You see the says nothing. Silence gives consent.
LEONTINE. But, Sir, she talked of force. Consider, Sir, the cruelty of constraining her inclinations.
CROAKER. But I say there's no cruelty. Don't you know, blockhead, that girls have always a roundabout way of saying yes before company? So get you both gone together into the next room, and hang him that interrupts the tender explanation. Get you gone, I fay; I'll not hear a word.
CROAKER. Get off, you puppy, or I'll beg leave to infift upon knocking you down. Stupid whelp! But I don't wonder, the boy takes entirely after his mother
[Exeunt Miss Rich. and Leont. ,
Enter Mrs. CROAKER.
Mrs. CROAKER. Mr. Croaker, I bring you something, my dear, that I believe will make you
Mrs. CROAKER, A letter ; and, as I knew the hand, I ventur'd to open it.
CROAKER. And how can you expect your breaking open my letters should give me pleasure ?
Mrs. CROAKER. Poo, it's from your fifter at Lyons, and contains good news: read it.
CROAKER. What a Frenchified cover is here! That fifter of mine has some good qualities, but I could never teach her to fold a letter.
CROAKER, reading. “ DEAR Nick, “ AN English gentleman, of large fortune, has “ for some time made private, though honourable “ proposals to your daughter Olivia. They love “ each other tenderly, and I find she has consented, “ without letting any of the family know, to crown “ his addresses. As such good offers don't come “every day, your own good sense, his large fortune, " and family considerations, will induce you to for“ give her. " Yours ever,
“ Rachael CROAKER.” My daughter, Olivia, privately contracted to a man of large fortune! This is good news, indeed. My heart never foretold me of this. And yet, how slily the little baggage has carried it since she came home. Not a word on't to the old ones for the world. Yet, I thought, I saw something she wanted to conceal.
Mrs. CROAKER. Well, if they have concealed their amour, they Than't conceal their wedding; that shall be public, I'm resolved.
CROAKER. I tell thee, woman, the wedding is the most foolish part of the ceremony. I can never get this woman to think of the more ferious part of the nuptial engagement.
Mrs. CROAKER. What, would
have think of their funeral ? But come, tell me, my dear, don't you owe more to me than you care to confefs? Would
have ever been known to Mr. Lofty, who has undertaken Miss Richland's claim at the treasury, but for me? Who was it first made him an acquaintance at lady Shabbaroon's rout? Who got him to promise us his interest ? Is not he a back-stairs favourite, one that can do what he pleases with thofe that do what they please? Is not he an acquaintance that all your groaning and lamentations could never have got
CROAKER. He is a man of importance, I grant you. And yet, what amazes me is, that while he is giving away places to all the world, he can't get one for himself.
Mrs. CROAKER. That perhaps may be owing to his nicety. Great men are not easily satisfied.
Enter FRENCH SERVANT.
Servant. An exprefle from Monsieur Lofty. He vil be vait upon your honour's inftrammant. He be only giving four five instruction, read two three memorial, call upon von ambassadeur. He vil be vid you in one tree minutes.