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Miss R. But to what
Croak. Why, Mr. Honeywood brought me here, to do nothing, now I am here; and my son is going to be married to I don't know who, that is here; so now you are as wise as I am.
Miss R. Married! to whom, sir?
Croak. To Olivia; my daughter, as I took her to be; but who the devil she is, or whose daughter she is, I know no more than the man in the moon.
Sir W. Then, sir, I can inform you: and, though a stranger, you shall find me a friend to your family: it will be enough at present to assure you, that, both in point of birth and fortune, the young lady is at least your son's equal. Being left by her father, Sir James Woodville
Croak. Sir James Woodville! What, of the West ?
Sir W. Being left by him, I say, to the care of a mercenary wretch, whose only aim was to secure her fortune to himself, she was sent into France, under pretence of education; and there every art was tried to fix her for life in a convent, contrary to her inclinations. Of this I was informed upon my arrival at Paris; and, as I had been once her father's friend, I did all in my power to frustrate her guardian's base intentions. I had even meditated to rescue her from his authority, when your son stepped in with more pleasing violence, gave her liberty, and you a daughter.
Croak, But I intend to have a daughter of my own chusing, sir. A young lady, sir, whose fortune, by my interest with those that have interest, will be double what my son has a right to expect. Do you know Mr, Lofty, sir?
Sir W. Yes, sir; and know that you are deceived in him. But step this way, and I'll convince you.
[CROAKER and SiR WILLIAM confer.
Enter HONEYWOOD. Mr. H. Obstinate man! still to persist in his outrage! Insulted by him, despised by all, I now begin to grow contemptible, even to myself. How have I sunk, by too great an assiduity to please! How have I overtaxed all my abilities, lest the approbation of a single fool should escape me! But all is now over ; I have survived my reputation, my fortune, my friendships, and nothing remains henceforward for me but solitude and repentance.
Miss R. Is it true, Mr. Honeywood, that you are setting off, without taking leave of your friends ? The report is, that you are quitting England ; Can it be?
Mr. H. Yes, madam; and, though I am so un. happy as to have fallen under your displeasure, yet, thank Heaven, I leave you to happiness; to one who loves you, and deserves your love; to one who has power to procure you affluence, and generosity to improve your enjoyment of it.
[Going Miss Å. Stay, sir, one moment-Ha! he here
Enter LOFTY. Lofty. Is the coast clear? None but friends. I have followed you here with a trifling piece of iutelligence: but it goes no farther; things are not yet ripe for a discovery. I have spirits working at a certain board; your affair at the Treasury will be done in less than—a thousand years. Mum!
Miss R. Sooner, sir, I should hope.
Lofty. Why, yes, I believe it may, if it falls into proper hands, that know where to push, and where to parry ; that know how the land lies-eh, Honeywood ?
Miss R. It is fallen into yours.
Lofty. Well, to keep you no longer in suspense, your thing is done. It is done, I say—that's all. í have just had assurances from Lord Neverout, that the claim has been examined, and found admissible. Quietus is the word, madam.
Mr. H. But how ! his lordship has been at Newmarket these ten days.
Lofty. Indeed! Then Sir Gilbert Goose must have been most damnably mistaken. I had it of him.
Miss R. He! why Sir Gilbert and his family have been in the country this month!
Lofty. This month! It must certainly be soSir Gilbert's letter did come to me from Newmarket, so that he niust have met his lordship there; and so it came about.--I have his letter about me, I'll read it to you.-[Taking out a large Bundle.] That from the Marquis of Squilachi. -Have you a mind to see a letter from Count Poniatowski, -Honest Pon
--[Searching 1-0, sir, what are you here too?—I'll tell you what, honest friend, if you have not absolutely delivered my letter to Sir William Honeywood, you may return it.
The thing will do without him. Sir.W. Sir, I have delivered it, and must inform you, it was received with the most mortifying contempt.
Croak. Contempt! Mr. Lofty, what can that mean? Lofty. Let him go on, let him go on, I say.
You'll find it come to something presently.
Sir W. Yes, sir, I believe you'll be amazed, if, after waiting some time in the ante-chamber, after being surveyed with insolent curiosity by the passing servants, I was at last assured, that Sir William Honeywood knew no such person, and I must certainly have been imposed upon.
Lofty. Good; let me die, very good. Ha! ha! ha!
Croak. Now, for my life, I can't find out half the goodness of it. Lofty. You can't? Ha! ha!
Croak. No, for the soul of me; I think it was as confounded a bad answer, as ever was sent from one private gentleman to another.
Lofty. And so you can't find out the force of the Inessage? Why, I was in the house at that
time. Ha! ha! It was I, that sent that very answer to my own letter.
Lofty. In one word, things between Sir William and me must be behind the curtain. A party has many eyes. He sides with Lord Buzzard, I side with Sir Gilbert Goose. So that unriddles the mystery.
Croak. And so it does, indeed, and all my suspicions are over. Lofty. Your suspicions !--What then
-What then you have been suspecting you have been suspecting, have you? Mr. Croaker, you and I were friends—we are friends no longer. Never talk to me. It's over; I say, it's over.
Croak. As I hope for your favour, I did not mean to offend. It escaped me. Don't be discomposed.
Lofty. Zounds, sir, but I am discomposed, and will be discomposed. To be treated thus ! -- Who am 13Was it for this I have been dreaded both by the ins and outs?--Have I been libelled in the Gazetteer, and praised in St. James's ? have I been chaired at Osbourn's, and a speaker at Guildhall? have I had my hand to addresses, and my head in the print-shops? and talk to me of suspects! Who am I, I say, who am I?
Sir W. Since, sir, you're so pressing for an answer, I'll tell you who you are. A gentleman as well acquainted with politics as with men in power; as well acquainted with persons of fashion, as with modesty; with lords of the Treasury, as with truth; and with all, as you are with Sir William Honeywood. I am Sir William Honeywood.
[Discovering his Ensigns of the Bath. Croak. Sir William Honeywood! Mr. H. Astonishment!
[Aside. Lofty. So then my confounded genius has been all
this time only leading me up to the garret, in order to fling me out of the window.
Croak. What, Mr. Importance, and are these your works! Suspect you! You, who have been dreaded by the ins and outs! You, who have had your
hand to addresses, and your head stuck up in print-shops ! If you were served right, you should have your head stuck up in the pillory.
Lofty. Ay, stick it where you will, for, by the lord, it cuts but a poor figure where it sticks at present.
Sir W. Well, Mr. Croaker, I hope you now see how incapable this gentleman is of serving you, and how little Miss Richland has to expect from his inAuence.
Croak. Ay, sir, too well I see it; and I can't but say I have had some boding of it these ten days. So I'mn resolved, since my son has placed his affections on a lady of moderate fortune, to be satisfied with his choice, and not run the hazard of another Mr. Lofty, in helping him to a better.
Sir W. I approve your resolution, and here they come, to receive a confirmation of your pardon and consent. Enter Mrs. CROAKER, JARVIS, LEONTINE, and
OLIVIA. Mrs. C. Where's my husband !--Come, come, lovey, you must forgive them. Jarvis here, has been to tell me the whole affair; and, I say, you must forgive them. Our own was a stolen match, you know, my dear; and we never had any reason to repent of it.
Croak. I wish we could both say so: however, this gentleman, Sir William Honeywood, has been beforehand with you, in obtaining their pardon. So, if the two poor fools have a mind to marry, I think, we can Yack them together without crossing the Tweed for it.
(Joining their Hands.