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Mrs. CROARER. 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, teized for pensions there, and courted I know you pity me.
Yes, I see you do.
Mrs. CROAKER. Excuse me, Sir. “ Toils of empires pleasures are," as Waller says.
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 jag-hire, I can talk my two hours without feeling the want of them.
Mrs. Croaker. The world is no ftranger 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 obfcure 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 be-fpatter me at all their little dirty levees. Yet, upon my soul, I wonder what they fee in me to treat me so! Measures, not men, have always been my mark; and I vow, by all that's honoura. ble, my resentment has never done the men, as mere men, any manner of harm-that is as mere men.
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 has 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
Mrs. CROAKER. And yet, I dare say, you don't want assurance when you come to solicit for
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 alk, I'm 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 interef, Business must be done, Mr. Secretary. I say, Mr. Secretary, her business must be done, Sir. That's my way, madam.
Mrs. CROAKER. Bless me! you said all this to the secretary of ftate, did you ?
Lofty. I did not say the secretary, did I? Well, curse it, since you
have found me out I will not deny it. It was to the secretary.
Mrs. CROAKER. 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 felicitor. I suppose you have heard what has just happened to him
LOFTY. Undone, madam, that's all. His creditors have taken him into custody. A prisoner in his own house.
Mrs. CROAKER. 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 good-natur’d. But then I could never find that he had any thing in him.
Mrs. CROAKER. 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 can'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. CROAKER. 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 he were
sent to him this instant, in his present doleful fituation ? My life for it, that works her cure. Diltress 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 the should be thrown away, I should think it no indignity to marry her myself,
Enter OLIVIA and LEONTINE.
LEONTINE. And yet, trust me, Olivia, I had every reason to expect Miss Richland's refusal, as I did every thing in my power to deserve it. Her indelicacy surprises
OLIVIA. Sure, Leontine, there's nothing so indelicate in being sensible of your merit. If so, I fear, I shall be the most guilty thing alive.
LEONȚINE. But you mistake, my dear. The same attention I used to advance my merit with you, I practised to leffen it with her. What more could I do?
OLIVIA, Let us now rather consider what's to be done. We have both dissembled too long I have always been ashamed -I am now quite weary of it. Sure