페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

his large fortune, and family considerations, will induce you to forgive her.

Yours ever,

Rachel 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. C. Well, if they have concealed their amour, they sha’n't conceal their wedding ; that shall be public, I'm resolved.

Croak. I tell thee, woman, the wedding is the most foolish part of the ceremony. I can never get this woman to think of the most serious part of the nuptial engagement.

Mrs. C. What, would you have me think of their funeral ? But come, tell me, my dear,, don't you owe more to me than you care to confess? Would you 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 ? one that can do what he pleases with those that do what they please? Is'n't he an acquaintance that all your groanings and lamentations could never have got us ?

Croak. 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 forhimself.

Mrs. C. That, perhaps, may be owing to his nicety. Great men are not easily satisfied.

Enter DUBARDIEU. Dub. An expresse from Monsieur Lofty. He vil

in one

ment upon

be vait upon your honour's instrammant. He be only giving four five instruction, read two tree memorial, call upon von ambassadeur. He vil be vid you tree minutes.

Mrs. C. You see now, my dear. What an extensive department! Well, friend, let your master know, that we are extremely honoured by this honour. Was there any thing ever in a higher style of breeding ! All messages among the great are now done by express.

[Exit DUBARDIEU. Croak. Ay, verily, there he is ! [Aloud Rap.] as close upon

the heels of his own express, as an endorse

the back of a bill. Well, I'll leave you to receive him, whilst I go to chide my little Olivia, for intending to steal a marriage without mine, or her aunt's consent. I must seem to be angry, or she, too, may begin to despise my authority.

[Exit. Enter LOFTY, speaking to his SERVANT. Lofty. And if the Venetian ambassador, or that teasing creature the marquis, should call, I'm not at home. Dam'me, I'll be pack-horse to none of them. My dear madam, I have just snatched a momentAnd if the expresses to his grace be ready, let them be sent off; they're of importance. Madam, I ask a thousand pardons.

Mrs. C. Sir, this honour

Lofty. And, Dubardieu! If the person calls about the commission, let him know that it is made out, As for Lord Cumbercourt's stale request, it can keep cold ;-you understand me. Madam, I ask ten thousand pardons.

Mrs. C. Sir, this honour

Lofty. And, Dubardieu ! If the man comes from the Cornish borough, you must do him—you must do him, I say. Madam, I ask ten thousand pardons. And if the Russian ambassador calls--but he will

scarce call to-day, I believe. And now, madam, I have just got time to express my happiness, in having the honour of being permitted to profess myself your most obedient humble servant.

Mrs. C. Sir, the happiness and honour are all mine; and yet, I'm only robbing the public, while I

detain you.

Lofty. Sink the public, madam, when the fair are to be attended. Ah, could all my hours be so charmingly devoted ! sincerely, don't you pity us poor creatures in affairs ? Thus it is eternally; solicited for places here, teased for pensions there, and courted every where. I know you pity me. Yes, I see you

do.

Mrs C. Excuse me, sir. Toils of empires pleasures are, as Waller says.

Lofty. Waller, Waller: is he of the house?
Mrs. C. The modern poet of that name, sir.

Lofty. Oh, a modern! We men of business despise the moderns; and as for the ancients, we have no time to read them. Poetry is a pretty thing enough for our wives and daughters; but not for us. Why now, here I stand, that know nothing of books. I say, madam, I know nothing of books; and yet, I believe, upon a land carriage fishery, a stamp act, or a jaghire, I can talk my two hours without feeling the want of them.

Mrs. C. The world is no stranger to Mr. Lofty's eminence in every capacity.

Lofty. I vow to gad, madam, you make me blush. I'm nothing, nothing, nothing in the world; a mere obscure gentleman. To be sure, indeed, one or two of the present ministers are pleased to represent me as a formidable man. I know they are pleased to bespatter me at all their little dirty levees. Yet, upon my soul, I wonder what they see in me to treat me so! Measures, not men, have always been my

ance, when

mark; and I vow by all that's honourable, my resentment has never done the men, as mere men, any manner of harm—That is, as mere men.

Mrs. C. What importance, and yet, what modesty!

Lofty. Oh, if you talk of modesty, madam! There, I own, I'm accessible to praise: modesty is my foible. It was so, the Duke of Brentford used to say of me.I love Jack Lofty, he used to say—no man a finer knowledge of things--quite a man of information : and when he speaks upon his legs, by the lord he's prodigious—he scouts them; and yet all men have their faults; too much modesty is his, says his grace. Mrs. C. And yet, I dare say, you don't want assuryou come to solicit for

your

friends. Lofty. O, there, indeed, I'm in bronze. A propos : I have just been mentioning Miss Richland's case to a certain personage; we must name no names. When I ask, I am not to be put off, madam. No, no, I take my friend by the button.—A fine girl, sir; great justice in her case-A friend of mine-Borough interest

. — Business must be done, Mr. Secretary.-I say, Mr. Secretary, her business must be done, sir. That's

my way, madam. Mrs. Č. Bless me! you said all this to the Secretary of State, did you?

Lofty. I did not say the Secretary, did I? Well, curse it, since have found me out, I will not deny it. It was to the Secretary.

Mrs. C. This was going to the fountain head at once, not applying to the understrappers, as Mr. Honeywood would have had us.

Lofty. Honeywood! he! he! He was indeed a fine solicitor. I suppose you have heard what has just happened to him?

Mrs. C. Poor dear man! no accident, I hope?

Lofty. Undone, madam, that's all. His creditors have taken him into custody.-A prisoner in his own house.

you

Mrs. C. A prisoner in his own house! How! At this very time! I'm quite unhappy for him.

Lofty. Why, so am I. The man; to be sure, was immensely goodnatured: But then, I could never find that he had any thing in him.

Mrs. C. His manner, to be sure, was excessive harmless; some, indeed, thought it a little dull. For my part, I always concealed my opinion.

Lofty. It cann't be concealed, madam; the man was dull-dull as the last new comedy !--A poor impracticable creature! I tried once or twice, to know if he was fit for business; but he had scarce talents to be groom-porter to an orange barrow.

Mrs. C. How differently does Miss Richland think of him ! for, I believe, with all his faults, she loves him.

Lofty. Loves him! Does she? You should cure her of that, by all means. Let me see, what if she were sent to him this instant, in his

present doleful situation ? My life for it, that works her cure! Distress is a perfect antidote to love. Suppose we join her in the next room? Miss Richland is a fine girl-has a fine fortune, and must not be thrown away. Upon my honour, madam, I have a regard for Miss Richland; and, rather than she should be thrown away, I should think it no indignity to marry her myself.

(Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Another Apartment.

Enter Olivia and LEONTINE.

Leon. And yet, trust me, Olivia, I had every reason to expect Miss Richland's refusal, as I did every

« 이전계속 »