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· Miss Her. Never mind, my dear Mr. Manly, what they are like; we will settle the impromptu upon more mature deliberation another time.
0. Man. Egad, and so we will; for nothing requires so much time as an off-hand speech.
Miss Her. Now, sir, to the object of my visit.--Report says, that you have seen Miss Wingrove, and I am anxious to hear how the charming creature endures her misfortunes.
0. Man. Very true, madam ; but where should I see Miss Wingrove?
Miss Her. Why, report does say, sir, that you met her at a place where it would have been equally for her happiness, and your reputation, that you had never met at all-at Mrs. Larron's.
0. Man. It's a falsehood-a confounded falsehood!I go to Mrs. Larron's! But, dear Miss Herbert, how can a young lady of your candour and good sense give credit to such a thing, particularly when you had such good reason for disbelieving it, as its being the general report?
Miss Her. Why indeed, Mr. Manly, as you say, what should you do at such places? You know you are subsiding into the calm evening of life, when the tempestuous passions gently sink into a soft, undisturbed repose. I dare say, now, you feel this sweet cheerful twilight of your days to be attended with more substantial comfort, and much more real happiness, than the gaudier scenes of your meridian life, when every thing was brilliant, and nothing solid; every thing gay, but nothing rational.
0. Man. Twilight! Gadso !-none of your twilights neither, miss. This is the way—there is no such thing as purchasing impunity in this world for one offence, but by pleading guilty to a worse.-Well, miss, and suppose I was at Mistress Larron's ?
Miss Her. [Aside.] O ho! I thought I should bring him to confession; he will acknowledge any vice, but age-So, sir, you were there, then, after all.
0. Man. Gads life, ma'am! don't ask so many ques. tions; I understand you well enough, miss—You would insinuate that I am a helpless old fellow-that you can see no great use in my living, and that the sooner I am hang'd out of the way, the better ; but give me leave to tell you, madam
Enter ADMIRAL CLEVELAND. Adm. Hey day! what storm's a brewing now? Why, neighbour Manly, this is a rough gale upon so fair a coast-- What! quarrelling with my niece >
Miss Her. Dear uncle! I'm quite rejoiced to see you-you never came so seasonably to the rescue of a poor little disabled frigate in your life.—Mr. Manly, here
0. Man. Your niece is an impertinent, forward, malicious young woman, Mr. Cleveland ; and I desire never to see her face again I'll never, never forgive her-No, if I were to live till I was sixty.
Miss Her. What a formidable resentment! Why the period of it has expired these five years.
Adm. [Aside.] Leave him to me, I'll tease the old fellow-I came on purpose.
Miss Her. I will.
Adm. But how did the brush happen? What is the cause of it?
Miss Her. Why, sir, I spoke, I am afraid, somewhat too justly of your friend's age, and appeared to entertain too favourable an opinion of his morality-offences which a lively, determined rover, in his climacteric, can never reconcile to his forgiveness.
Adm. Oh, is that all ?
Miss Her. So good, Mr. gallant, gay Lothario of sixty-five, a good morning to you. [Exit Miss HERBERT,
0. Man. A saucy minx.
Adm. Come, Manly, you have too many of the substantial afflictions of life to contend with at present, to be ruffled by little breezes of this sort-But I am your friend, and I thought it my duty as such to call upon you, and to do what a friend ought to comfort you.
0. Man. Why that was very kind, my old neighbour, very kind indeed-Be seated, I beseech you.-. Yes, indeed, 'tis very true, as you say, Admiral, I am a wretched, miserable, unhappy man! oppress’d with sorrows, laden with affliction-overtaken, before my time, by many cares. Yet 'tis something, my worthy neighbour, to have a trusty friend, to take a kind in. terest in one's misfortunesto share, as it were, the sad load of life-to ride and tie with one in the weary pilgrimage-Oh, 'tis a charming thing to have a friend!
Adm. I think so, indeed, and hope to prove as much -I have no other object but to comfort you—pone, done. You are indeed very unhappy.
0. Man. Very, very!
Adm. Nay, be comforted, my friend—be comforted. Why she is of herself a sufficient load of misery for any one poor pair of mortal shoulders ; always fretful, her suspicions never asleep-and her tongue, always awake, constantly making her observations, like a ves. sel sent out upon discovery—ever on the watch, like an armed cutter, to cut off any little contraband toy, and to intercept any harmless piece of smuggled amusement.
0. Man. Oh! 'tis dreadful, neighbour-quite dreadful, indeed!
Adm. Take comfort, my friend-What did I come here for? Take comfort, I say.—There is your son, too. - 0. Man. Yes, my son, too, an abandon'd profligate!
Adm. Nay, if that were all, there might be hopes.
The early little irregularities that grow out of the honest passions of our nature, are sometimes an advantage to the ripened man; they carry their own remedy along with them, and, when remedied, they generally leave the person wiser and better than they found him-wiser for his experience, and better for the indulgence which they give him towards the infirmities of others: but a canting, whining, preaching profligate-a sermonmaker at twenty-a fellow that becomes a saint before he's a man--a beardless hypocrite-a scoundrel, that cannot be content with common homely sinning, but must give it a relish by joining a prayer with it in his mouth? Of such a fellow there can be no hopes-no hopes indeed.
0. Man. None, none. Oh! miserable that I am, where will my affliction end? where shall I find consolation ?
Adm. Consolation !- In me, to be sure! What else was the purpose of my visit? --I forbear to say any thing of your daughter-poor, unhappy girl!
0. Man. Conceal nothing from me. What has happened to my poor child—what has happened to her? She was my favourite. Miserable man! O miserable man !
Adm. Nay, if it will give you any comfort, I will tell you—it is my duty to do so. Why she, you know, was desperately in love with Charles Welford. He has turned her off, I find discharged her the service, and has fallen in with somebody else; so that, I suppose, by to-morrow morning, we may look for her birth, poor "girl! in the ambush of a willow, or the retirement of a fisb-pond..
0. Man Now the sum of my calamities is complete. [Weeps.] Now, indeed, the cup is full. Poor undone man--miserable husband-wretched father! • Adm. Aye, and all’to come upon you at your time of life, too. Had your misfortunes reached you when
VOL. II. '
you were in the vigour of your days— [OLD MANLY dries his eyes, and looks resentfully.] - when you retained enough of bodily strength and force of mind to cope with them-but, at your time of day, when the timbers are approaching fast towards decay when the lights of the understanding are upon the glimmer, and the reckoning of life is pretty nearly out-Oh! 'tis too hor.' rible. Faith! after all, I don't know how to comfort you.
0. Man. [In a rage.] [Both rising.] I believe not, indeed; you fusty, musty, old, foul-mouthed, weatherbeaten coxcomb- timbers approaching fast to decay! Whose timbers do you mean, old Jury-mast? Look at your own crazy hulk-do-and don't keep quoting your d-n'd log-book criticisms upon your juniors and your betters.
Adm. Nay, my good friend "0. Man. Dan your friendship, and your goodness too. I don't like friendship that only wants me to hate myself—and goodness, that only goes to prove every thing bad about me. So, good. Mr. Yellow Admiral, sheer off-do-and, till you can stuff your old vessel with a cargo of more commoditable merchandise, don't let me see you in my latitude again.
Adm. Sir, let me tell you, you may repent of this language; and were it not for pity of your age and your misfortunes
0. Man. O curse your pity; and as for misfortunes, I know of none equal to your consolation.
Adm. You shall hear more of this, Mr. Manly.
0. Man. Not for the present, if you please.--If you want my life, take it-take any thing-only take yourself off. .
Adm. Very well, sir. You shall hear from me at a proper time [Aside.] I have made the old fool nobly miserable ; that's some comfort, however.
0. Man. [Solus.] What an ass was I, to listen so long