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DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

STOCKWELL.
BELCOUR.
MAJOR O'FLAHERTY.
CAPTAIN DUDLEY.
CHARLES DUDLEY.
VARLAND.
STUKELY.
FULMER.

LADY RUSPORT.
CHARLOTTE RUSPORT.
LOUISA DUDLEY.
MRS. FULMER.
Lucy.

SCENE-London.

THE

WEST INDIAN.

ACT I.

Scene 1.-A Merchant's Compting House. In an inner room, set off by glass-doors, are discovered

sederal Clerks, employed at their desks. A writing table in the front room.

Stockwell is discovered, reading a letter ;-STUKELY comes gently out of the back room, and observes him some time before he speaks.

Stuke. He seems disordered : something in that letter; and, I'm afraid, of an unpleasant sort.-He has many ventures of great account at sea : a ship richly freighted for Barcelona; another for Lisbon; and others expected from Cadiz, of still greater value. Besides these, I know he has many deep concerns in foreign bottoms, and underwritings to a vast amount. I'll accost him-SirMr. Stockwell!

Scock. Stukely!-Well, have you shipped the cloths ?

Stuke. I have, sir; here's the bill of lading, and copy of the invoice; the assortments are all compared : Mr. Traffic will give you the policy upon 'Change.

Stock. 'Tis very well—lay these papers by; and no more of business for awhile. Shut the door, Stukely ; I have had long proof of your friendship and fidelity to me; a matter of most intimate concern lies on my mind, and 'twill be a sensible relief to unbosom myself to you; I have just now been informed of the arrival of the young West Indian I have so long been expecting -you know whom I mean?

Stuke. Yes, sir; Mr. Belcour, the young gentleman who inherited old Belcour's great estate in Jamaica.

Stock. Hush! not so loud; come a little nearer this way. This Belcour is now in London ; part of his baggage is already arrived, and I expect him every minute. Is it to be wondered at, if his coming throws me into some agitation, when I tell you, Stukely, he is

my son ?

Stuke. Your son!

Stock. Yes, sir, my only son. Early in life, I accompanied his grandfather to Jamaica as his clerk; he had an only daughter, somewhat older than myself; the mother of this gentleman : it was my chance (call it good or ill) to engage her affections; and, as the inferiority of my condition made it hopeless to expect her father's consent, her fondness provided an expedient, and we were privately married; the issue of that concealed engagement is, as I have told you, this Belcour.

Stuke. That event surely discovered your connexion.

Stock. You shall hear. Not many days after our marriage, old Belcour set out for England; and, during his abode here, my wife was, with great secresy, de

red of this son. Fruitful in expedients to disguise her situation without parting from her infant, she contrived to have it laid and received at her door as a foundling. After some time her father returned, having left me here; in one of those favourable moments that decide the fortunes of prosperous mèn, this child was introduced; from that instant he treated him as his own, gave him his name, and brought him up in his family.

Stuke. And did you never reveal this secret, either to old Belcour, or your son ?

Stock. Never.

Stuke. Therein you surprise me; a merchant of your eminence, and a member of the British Parliament, might surely aspire, without offence, to the daughter of a planter. In this case too, natural affection would prompt to a discovery.

Stock. Your remark is obvious; nor could I have persisted in this painful silence, but in obedience to the dying injunctions of a beloved wife. This letter, you found me reading, conveyed those injunctions to me; it was dictated in her last illness, and almost in the article of death; (you'll spare me the recital of it) she there conjures me, in terms as solemn as they are affecting, never to reveal the secret of our marriage, or withdraw my son, while her father survived.

Stuke. But on what motives did your unhappy lady found these injunctions ?

Stock. Principally, I believe, from apprehension on my account, lest old Belcour, on whom at her decease I wholly depended, should withdraw his protection. My judgment has not suffered by the event: old Belcour is dead, and has bequeathed his whole estate to him we are speaking of

Stuke. Now then you are no longer bound to secresy.

Stock. True : but before I publicly reveal myself, I could wish to make some experiment of my son's disposition: this can only be done by letting his spirit take its course without restraint; by these means, I think I shall discover much more of his real character under the title of his merchant, than I should under that of his father.

Enter a Sailor, ushering in several Black SERVANTS,

carrying portmanteaus, trunks, 8c. Sail. 'Save your honour! is your name Stockwell, pray?

Stock. It is.
Sail. Part of my master Belcour's baggage, an't

please you: there's another cargo not far a-stern of us ; and the coxswain has got charge of the dumb creatures.

Stock. Pr’ythee, friend, what dumb creatures do you speak of; has Mr. Belcour brought over a collection of wild beasts?

Sail. No, lord love him ; no, not he; let me see; there's two green monkeys, a pair of grey parrots, a Jamaica sow and pigs, and a Mangrove dog; that's all.

Stock. Is that all ?

Sail. Yes, your honour: yes, that's all; bless his heart, a' might have brought over the whole island if he would ; a' didn't leave a dry eye in it.

Stock. Indeed ! Stukely, show them where to bestow their baggage. Follow that gentleman. Sail. Come, bear a hand, my lads, bear a hand.

[Exit with STUKELY and Servants. Stock. If the principal tallies with his purveyors, he must be a singular spectacle in this place: he has a friend, however, in this sea-faring fellow; 'tis no bad prognostic of a man's heart, when his shipmates give him a good word.

(Exil.

Scene II.-A Drawing Rooņi.
A FOOTMAN discovered setting the chairs by, &c.

Enter HousekeepER. Housek. Why, what a fuss does our good master put himself in about this West Indian! see what a bill of fare I've been forced to draw out; seven and nine, I'll assure you, and only a family dinner, as he calls it: why, if my Lord Mayor was expected, there could'nt be a greater to-do about him.

Foot. I wish to my heart you had but seen the loads of trunks, boxes, and portmanteaus, he has sent hither.

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