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now a-days the devil a thing of their own manufactures about them, except their faces.
HONEYWOOD. But, however these faults may be practised abroad, you don't find them at home, either with Mrs. Croaker, Olivia, or Miss Richland.
CROAKER. The beft of them will never be canoniz'd for a faint when she's dead. By the bye, my dear friend, I don't find this match between Miss Richland and my fon much relished, either by one side or t'other.
CROAKER. Ah, Mr. Honeywood, a little of your fine serious advice to the young lady might go far: I know the has a very exalted opinion of your understanding.
HONEYWOOD. But would not that be usurping an authority that more properly belongs to yourself!
CROAKER. My dear friend, you know but little of my authority at home. People think, indeed, because they see me come out in a morning thus, with a pleasant face, and to make my friends merry, that all's well within. But I have cares that would break an heart of stone. My wife has fo encroached upon every one of my privileges, that I'm now no more than a mere lodger in my own house.
HONEY WOOD. But a little spirit exerted on your side might perhaps restore your authority.
CROAKER. No, though I had the spirit of a lion! I do rouze fometimes. But what then! always haggling and haggling. A man is tired of getting the better before his wife is tired of losing the victory.
HONEYWOOD. It's a melancholy confideration indeed, that our chief comforts often produce our greatest anxieties, and that an encrease of our possessions is but an inlet to new disquietudes.
CROAKER. Ah, my dear friend, these were the very words of poor Dick Doleful to me not a week before he made away with himself. Indeed, Mr. Honeywood, I never see you but you put me in mind of
poorDick. Ah there was merit neglected for you! and so true a friend; we lov'd each other for thirty years, and yet he never asked me to lend him a fingle farthing
HoneywOOD. Pray what could induce him to commit fo rash an action at laft ?
CROAKER. I don't know, some people were malicious enough to fay it was keeping company with
because we used to meet now and then and open our hearts
to each other. To be sure I loved to hear him talk, and he loved to hear me talk; poor dear Dick. He us'd to say that Croaker rhim'd to joker ; and so we us'd to laugh-Poor Dick. (Going to cry.)
fick of this miserable life, where we do nothing but eat and grow hungry, dress and undress, get up and lie down; while reason, that should watch like a nurse by our fide, falls as fast asleep as we do.
HoneYWOOD. To say truth, if we compare that part of life which is to come, by that which we have past, the prospect is hideous.
CROAKER. Life at the greatest and best is but a froward child, that must be humour'd and coax'd a little till it falls alleep, and then all the care is over.
HONEYWOOD. Very true, Sir, nothing can exceed the vanity of our existence, but the folly of our pursuits. We wept
when we came into the world, and every day tells us why.
dear friend, it is a perfect satisfaction to be miserable with you. My son Leontine shan't lofe the benefit of such fine conversation. I'll just step
home for him. I am willing to shew 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 earthquakes ? 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 Lisbon, from Lisbon to the Canary Ilands, from the Canary Islands to Palmyra, from Palmyra to Conftantinople, and so from Constantinople back to London again.
[Exit. HONEYWOOD. Poor Croaker! his situation deserves the utmost pity. I shall scarce recover my fpirits these three days. Sure to live upon such terms is worse than death itself.
And yet, when I consider my own sin tuation, a broken fortune, an hopeless passion, friends in distress; the wish but not the power to serve them_ -(paufing and fighing.)
BUTLER. More company below, Sir : Mrs. Croaker and Miss Richland; fhall I thew them up? but they're sewing up themselves.
[Exit. Enter Mrs. Croaker and Miss RICHLAND.
Miss RICHLAND. You're always in such fpirits.
Mrs. CROAKER. We have just come, my dear Honeywood, from the auction. There was the old deaf dowager, as
usual, bidding like a fury against herself. And then fo curious in antiques ! herself the most genuine piece of antiquity in the whole collcetion.
HONEYWOOD. Excuse me, ladies, if some uneasiness from friend. hip makes me unfit to share in this good humour: I know you'll pardon me.
Mrs. CROAKER. I vow he seems 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 insinuate, 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.