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CROAKER. Death and destruction ! Are all the horrors of air, fire and water to be levelled only at me! Am I only to be singled out for gunpowder-plots, combustibles and conflagration ! Here it is-An incendiary letter dropped at my door. “ To muster Croaker, these, “ with speed.” Aye, aye, plain enough the direction: all in the genuine incendiary spelling, and as cramp as the devil.
“ With speed.” O, confound your speed.
But let me read it once more. (Reads.) “ Musler Croaker as sone as ybew see this “ leve twenty guineas at the bar of the Talboot tell “ called for or yowe and yower experetion will be “ al blown up.” Ah, but too plain. Blood and gunpowder in every line of it. Blown up! murderous dog! All blown up! Heavens! what have I and my poor family done, to be all blown up! (Reads.) “ Our pockets are low, and money we must “ have.” Aye, there's the reason; they'll blow us up, because they have got low pockets. (Reads.) “ It is but a short time you have to consider; for if “ this takes wind, the house will quickly be all of
a flame.” Inhuman monsters! blow us up, and then burn us. The earthquake at Lisbon was but a bonfire to it. (Reads.) “ Make quick dispatch, “ and so no more at present. But may Cupid, the “ little god of love, go with you wherever you go" The little god of love! Cupid, the little god of
love go with me! Go you to the devil, you
your little Cupid together; I'm so frightened, I scarce know whether I fit, ftand, or go. Perhaps this moment I'm treading on lighted matches, blazing brimstone and barrels of gunpowder. They are preparing to blow me up into the clouds. Murder! We shall be all burnt in our beds; we shall be all burnt in our beds,
Enter Miss RICHLAND.
Miss RICHLAND. Lord, Sir, what's the matter? “
CROAKER. Murder's the matter. We shall be all blown up in our beds before morning.
Miss RICHLAND. I hope not, Sir.
CROAKER. What signifies what you hope, madam, when I have a certificate of it here in my hand? Will nothing alarm my family? Sleeping and eating, sleeping and eating is the only work from morning till night in my house. My infenfible crew could sleep, though rock’d by an earthquake; and fry beef steaks at a volcano.
Miss RICHLAND. But, Sir, you have alarmed them so often already, we have nothing but earthquakes, famines, plagues and mad dogs from year's end to year's end. You
remember, Sir, it is not above a month ago, you assured us of a conspiracy among the bakers, to poison us in our bread; and fo kept the whole family a week upon potatoes.
CROAKER. And potatoes were too good for them. But why do I stand talking here with a girl, when I should be facing the enemy without ? Here, John, Nicodemus, search the house. Look into the cellars, to see if there be any combustibles below; and above, in the apartments, that no matches be thrown in at the windows. Let all the fires be put out, and let the engine be drawn out in the yard, to play upon the house in case of necessity.
Miss RICHLAND, alone.
What can he mean by all this? Yet, why should I inquire, when he alarms us in this manner almost every day! But Honeywood has defired an interview with me in private. What can he mean? or, rather, what means this palpitation at his approach? It is the first time he ever shewed any thing in his conduct that seemed particular. Sure he cannot mean tobut he's here,
HoneyWOOD. I presumed to folicit this interview, madam, be. fore I left town, to be permitted
Miss RichLAND. Indeed! Leaving town, Sir!-
HONEYWOOD. Yes, madam; perhaps the kingdom. I have presumed, I say, to defire the favour of this interview, -in order to disclose something which our long friendship prompts. And yet my fears
Miss RICHLAND. His fears! What are his fears to mine? (Aside.) We have indeed been long acquainted, Sir ; very long. If I remember, our first meeting was at the French ambassador's.-Do you recollect how you were pleased to rally me upon my complexion there?
HoneyWOOD. Perfe&tly, madam: I presumed to reprove you for painting : but your warmer blushes foon convinced the company, that the colouring was all from nature.
Miss RICHLAND. And yet you only meant it, in your good-natured way, to make me pay a compliment to myself. In the same manner you danced that night with the most aukward woman in
saw nobody else would take her out.
Honeywood. Yes; and was rewarded the next night, by dancing with the finest woman in company,
every body wished to take out.
Miss RICHLAND. Well, Sir, if you thought so then, I fear your judgment has since corrected the errors of a first imprefiion. We generally shew to most advantage at first. Our sex are like poor tradesmen, that put all their best goods to be seen at the windows.
Honeywood. The first impreffion, madam, did indeed deceive me. I expected to find a woman with all the faults of conscious flattered beauty. I expected to find her vain and infolent. But every day has since taught me that it is poffible to poffefs fenfe without pride, and beauty without affectation.
Miss RICHLAND. This, Sir, is a style very unusual with Mr. Honeywood; and I should be glad to know why he thus attempts to encrease that vanity, which his own leffons have taught me to defpise.
HONEYWOOD. I aik pardon, madam. Yet, from our long friendship, I presumed I might have some right to offer, without offence, what you may refuse without offending
Miss RICHLAND. Sir! I beg you'd reflect; though, I fear, I shall scarce have any power to refuse a request of yours; yet you may be precipitate: consider, Sir.
HONEYWood. I own my rafhness; but, as I plead the cause of friendship, of one who loves--Don't be alarmed,