페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

ingratitude of the world can never deprive us of the conscious happiness of having acted with humanity ourselves.

Bail. Humanity, Sir, is a jewel. It's better than gold. I love humanity. People may say, that we in our way, have no humanity; but I'll shew you my humanity this moment. There's my follower here, little Flanigan, with a wife and four children, a guinea or two would be more to him, than twice as much to another. Now, as I can't shew him any humanity myself, I must beg leave you'll do it for me.

Honeyw. I assure you, Mr. Twitch, yours is a most powerful recommendation. (Giving money to the follower.)

Bail. Sir, you're a gentleman. I see you know what to do with your money. But, to business : we are to be with you here as your friends, I suppose. But set in case company comes.—Little Flanigan here, to be sure has a good face; a very good face; but then, he is a little seedy, as we say among us that practise the law. Not well in clothes. Smoke the pocket-holes.

Honeyw. Well, that shall be remedied without delay.

Enter Servant.

Serv. Sir, Miss Richland is below.

Honeyw. How unlucky! Detain her a moment. We must improve, my good friend, little Mr. Flanigan's appearance first. Here, let Mr. Flanigan have a suit of my clothes-quick-the brown and silver-Do you hear ?

Serv. That your honour gave away to the begging gentleman that makes verses, because it was as good as

new.

Honeyw. The white and gold, then.

Serv. That, your honour, I made bold to sell, because it was good for nothing.

Honeyw. Well, the first that comes to hand then. The blue and gold. I believe Mr. Flanigan will look best in blue.

[Exit Flanigan. Bail. Rabbet me, but little Flanigan will look well in any thing. Ah, if your honour knew that bit of flesh as well as I do, you'd be perfectly in love with him. There's not a prettier scout in the four counties after a shy-cock than he : scents like a hound; sticks like a weazle. He was master of the ceremonies to the black Queen of Morocco, when I took him to follow me. (Re-enter Flanigan.) Heh, ecod, I think he looks so well, that I don't care if I have a suit from the same place for myself.

Honeyw. Well, well, I hear the lady coming. Dear Mr. Twitch, I beg you'll give your friend directions not to speak. As for yourself, I know you will say nothing without being directed.

Bail. Never you fear me; I'll show the lady that I have something to say for myself as well as another. One man has one way of talking, and another man has another, that's all the difference between them.

а

Enter Miss Richland and her Maid. Miss Rich. You'll be surpris'd, Sir, with this visit. But you know I'm yet to thank you for chusing my little library.

Honeyw. Thanks, madam, are unnecessary; as it was I that was obliged by your commands. Chairs here. Two of my very good friends, Mr. Twitch and Mr. Flanigan. Pray, gentlemen, sit without ceremony.

Miss Rich. Who can these odd-looking men be! I fear it is as I was informed. It must be so. (Aside.)

Bail. (after a pause.) Pretty weather, very pretty weather for the time of the year, madam.

Fol. Very good circuit weather in the country.

Honeyw. You officers are generally favourites among the ladies. My friends, madam, have been upon very

[ocr errors]

disagreeable duty, I assure you. The fair should, in some measure, recompence the toils of the brave !

Miss Rich. Our officers do indeed deserve every favour. The gentlemen are in the marine service, I presume, Sir ?

Honeyw. Why, madam, they do—occasionally serve in the Fleet, madam. A dangerous service!

Miss Rich. I'm told so. And I own, it has often surprised me, that, while we have had so many instances of bravery there, we have had so few of wit at home to praise it.

Honeyw. I grant, madam, that our poets have not written as our soldiers have fought; but they have done all they could, and Hawke or Amherst could do no more.

Miss Rich. I'm quite displeased when I see a fine subject spoiled by a dull writer.

Honeyw. We should not be so severe against dull writers, madam. It is ten to one, but the dullest writer exceeds the most rigid French critic who presumes to despise him.

Fol. Damn the French, the parle vous, and all that belongs to them.

Miss Rich. Sir !

Honeyw. Ha, ha, ha! honest Mr. Flanigan. A true English officer, madam; he's not contented with beating the French, but he will scold them too.

Miss Rich. Yet, Mr. Honeywood, this does not convince me but that severity in criticism is necessary.

It was our first adopting the severity of French taste, that has brought them in turn to taste us.

Bail. Taste us! By the Lord, madam, they devour us. Give monseers but a taste, and I'll be damn’d but they come in for a bellyful.

Miss Rich. Very extraordinary this !

Fol. But very true. What makes the bread rising? the parle vous that devour us. What makes the mutton fivepence a pound ? the parle vous that eat it

up.

What makes the beer threepence-halfpenny a pot ?

Honeyw. Ah! the vulgar rogues ; all will be out. (Aside.) Right, gentlemen, very right, upon my word, and quite to the purpose. They draw a parallel, madam, between the mental taste and that of our senses. We are injured as much by the French severity in the one, as by French rapacity in the other. That's their meaning.

Miss Rich. Though I don't see the force of the parallel, yet I'll own, that we should sometimes pardon books, as we do our friends, that have now and then agreeable absurdities to recommend them.

Bail. That's all my eye. The King only can pardon, as the law says : for, set in case

Honeyw. I'm quite of your opinion, Sir. I see the whole drift of your argument. Yes, certainly, our presuming to pardon any work, is arrogating a power that belongs to another. If all have power to condemn, what writer can be free ? Bail. By his habus corpus.

His habus corpus can set him free at any time : for, set in case

Honeyw. I'm oblig'd to you, Sir, for the hint. If, madam, as my friend observes, our laws are so careful of a gentleman's person, sure we ought to be equally careful of his dearer part, his fame.

Fol. Ay, but if so be a man's nabb’d, you know

Honeyw. Mr. Flanigan, if you spoke for ever, you could not improve the last observation. For my own part, I think it conclusive.

Bail. As for the matter of that, mayhap

Honeyw. Nay, Sir, give me leave in this instance to be positive. For where is the necessity of censuring works without genius, which must shortly sink of themselves ? what is it, but aiming our unnecessary blow against a victim already under the hands of justice ?

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Bail. Justice ! O, by the elevens, if you talk about justice, I think I am at home there : for, in a course of law—

Honeyw. My dear Mr. Twitch, I discern what you'd be at perfectly ; and I believe the lady must be sensible of the art with which it is introduced. I suppose you perceive the meaning, madam, of his course of law.

Miss Rich. I protest, Sir, I do not. I perceive only that you answer one gentleman before he has finished, and the other before he has well begun.

Bail. Madam, you are a gentlewoman, and I will make the matter out. This here question is about severity and justice, and pardon, and the like of they. Now to explain the thing

Honeyw. 0! curse your explanations. [Aside.

[ocr errors]

Enter Servant.

Serv. Mr. Leontine, Sir, below, desires to speak with you upon earnest business.

Honeyw. That's lucky. (Aside.) Dear madam, you'll excuse me and my good friends here, for a few minutes. There are books, madam, to amuse you. Come, gentlemen, you know I make no ceremony with such friends. After you, Sir. Excuse me. Well, if I must. But I know your natural politeness.

Bail. Before and behind, you know.
Fol. Ay, ay, before and behind, before and behind.

[Exeunt Honeywood, Bailiff, and Follower. Miss Rich. What can all this mean, Garnet ?

Garn. Mean, madam ! why, what should it mean, but what Mr. Lofty sent you here to see! These people he calls officers are officers sure enough : sheriff's officers ; bailiffs, madam.

Miss Rich. Ay, it is certainly so. Well, though his

[ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »