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SCENE I-The Park:
SIR GEORGE AIRY meeting CHARLES. Cha. Ha! Sir George Airy a birding thus early! what forbidden game roused you so soon? for no lawful occasion could invite a person of your figure abroad, at such unfashionable hours. Sir Geo. There are some men, Charles, whom fortune has left free from inquietudes, who are diligently studious to find out ways and means to make themselves uneasy.
Cha. Is it possible that any thing in nature can ruffle the temper of a man whom the four seasons of the year compliment with as many thousand pounds, nay, and a father at rest with his ancestors?
Sir Geo. Why, there it is now! a man, that wants money, thinks none can be unhappy that has it; but, my affairs are in such a whimsical posture, that it will require a calculation of my nativity to find if my gold will relieve me or not,
Cha. Ha, ha, ha! never consult the stars about that; gold has a power beyond them; gold unlocks the midnight councils; gold outdoes the wind, becalms the ship, or fills her sails; gold is omnipotent below; it makes whole armies fight or fly; it buys even souls; and bribes wretches to betray their country: then, what can thy business be that gold won't serve thee in?
Sir Geo. Why, I'm in love.
Cha. In love!- -Ha, ha, ha, ha! in love!
Ha, ha, ha, ha! with what, prithee? a cheru- | avoid that, I shun his house as much as possible.
Sir Geo. No; with a woman.
Cha. A woman! good. Ha, ha, ha, ha! and gold not help thee?
Sir Geo. But, suppose I'm in love with twoCha. Ay, if thou'rt in love with two hundred, gold will fetch them, I warrant thee, boy. But who are they? who are they? come!
Sir Geo. One is a lady, whose face I never saw; but witty to a miracle; the other, beautiful as Venus
Cha. And a fool
Sir Geo. For aught I know; for I never spoke to her; but you can inform me. I am charmed by the wit of the one, and die for the beauty of the other.
Cha. And, pray, which are you in quest of now? Sir Geo. I prefer the sensual pleasure; I'm for her I've seen, who is thy father's ward, Miranda. Cha. Nay, then, I pity you; for the Jew, my father, will no more part with her and thirty thousand pounds, than he would with a guinea to keep me from starving.
Sir Geo. Now, you see gold can't do every thing, Charles.
Cha. Yes; for 'tis her gold that bars my father's gate against you.
Sir Geo. Why, if he be this avaricious wretch, how cam'st thou by such a liberal education?
Cha. Not a souse out of his pocket, I assure you: I had an uncle who defrayed that charge; but, for some little wildness of youth, though he made me his heir, left dad my guardian till I came to years of discretion, which, I presume, the old gentleman will never think I am; and now he has got the estate into his clutches, it does me no more good than if it lay in Prester John's dominions.
Sir Geo. What! canst thou find no stratagem to redeem it?
Cha. Yes, faith! so they say: but, I tell you, I am wholly ignorant of the matter. Miranda and I are like two violent members of a contrary party; I can scarce allow her beauty, though all the world does; nor she me civility for that contempt. I fancy she plays the mother-in-law already; and sets the old gentleman on to do mischief.
Sir Geo. Then, I have your free consent to get her?
Cha. Ay; and my helping hand, if occasion
Sir Geo. Poh! yonder's a fool coming this way; let's avoid him.
Cha. What? Marplot? No, no; he's my instrument; there's a thousand conveniences in him: he'll lend me his money, when he has any; run of my errands, and be proud of it; in short, he'll pimp for me, lie for me, drink for me, do any thing but fight for me; and that I trust to
my own arm for.
Sir Geo. Nay, then, he's to be endured; I never knew his qualifications before.
Enter MARPLOT, with a patch across his face.
Mar. Dear Charles, your's-Ha! Sir George Airy the man in the world I have an ambition to be known to! [Aside.] Give me thy hand, dear boy!
Cha. A good assurance! But hark ye, how came your beautiful countenance clouded in the wrong place?
Mar. I must confess 'tis a little mal-a-propos; but no matter for that. A word with you, Charles. Prithee, introduce me to sir Georgehe is a man of wit, and I'd give ten guineas to
Cha. When you have them, you mean?
Mar. Ay, when I have them; pugh, pox, you cut the thread of my discourse I would give ten guineas, I say, to be ranked in his acquaintance.. Well, is a vast addition to a man's for
Cha. I have made many essays to no purpose. Though want, the mistress of invention, still tempts me on, yet still the old fox is too cumming for me.-I am upon my last project, which, if it fails, then, for my last refuge, a brown mus-tune, according to the rout of the world, to be quet.
Sir Geo. What is't? can I assist thee?
seen in the company of leading men; for, then, we are all thought to be politicians, or whigs, or
Cha. Not yet; when you can, I have confi-jacks, or highayers, or lowflyers, or levellers-and dence enough in you to ask it. so forth; for, you must know, we all herd in parties now.
Sir Geo. I am always ready. But what does he intend to do with Miranda? is she to be sold in private, or will he put her up by way of auction, at who bids most? if so, egad I'm for him; my gold, as you say, shall be subservient to my pleasure.
Cha. To deal ingenuously with you, sir George, I know very little of her or home; for, since my uncle's death, and my return from travel, I have never been well with my father: he thinks my expences too great, and I, his allowance too little; he never sees me, but he quarrels; and, to
Cha. Then, a fool for diversion is out of fashion, I find?
Mar. Yes, without it be a mimicking fool; and they are darlings every where. But, prithee, introduce me.
Cha. Well, on condition you'll give us a true account how you came by that mourning nose, I will.
Mar. I'll do it.
Cha. Sir George, here's a gentleman has a passionate desire to kiss your hand.
Sir Geo. Oh, I honour men of the sword! And, I presume, this gentleman is lately come from Spain or Portugal-by his scars.
Mar. No, really, sir George, mine sprung from civil fury. Happening last night into the groom porter's-I had a strong inclination to go ten guineas with a sort of a, sort of a-kind of a milksop, as I thought. A pox of the dice! he flung out, and my pockets being empty, as Charles knows they often are, he proved a surly North Briton, and broke my face for my deficiency.
Sir Geo. Ha, ha, ha! and did not you draw? Mar. Draw, sir! Why, I did but lay my hand upon my sword, to make a swift retreat, and he roared out-Now the deel a ma saul, sir, gin ye touch yer steel Ise whip mine through yer wem. Sir Geo. Ha, ha, ha!
Cha. Ha, ha, ha, ha! Safe was the word. So, you walked off, I suppose.
Mar. Yes, for I avoid fighting, purely to be serviceable to my friends, you know
Sir Geo. Your friends are much obliged to you, sir: I hope you'll rank me in that number.
Mar. Sir George, a bow from the side-box, or to be seen in your chariot, binds me ever yours. Sir Geo. Trifles; you may command them, when you please.
Cha. Provided he may command you. Mar. Me! Why, I live for no other purpose -Sir George, I have the honour to be caressed by most of the reigning toasts of the town: I'll tell them you are the finest gentleman
Sir Geo. No, no; prithee, let me alone to tell the ladies my parts-Can you convey a letter upon occasion, or deliver a message with an air of business, ha?
Mar. With the assurance of a page, and the gravity of a statesman.
Sir Geo. You know Miranda ?
would be no enduring his impertinence. He is pressing to be employed, and willing to execute; but some ill fate generally attends all he undertakes, and he oftener spoils an intrigue than helps it.
Mar. I have always your good word; but if I miscarry, 'tis none of my fault; I follow my instructions.
Cha. Yes, witness the merchant's wife.
Mar. Nay, Charles, now, don't expose your friend.
Cha. Why, you must know, I had lent a certain merchant my hunting horses, and was to have met his wife in his absence. Sending him along with my groom to make the compliment, and to deliver a letter to the lady at the same time; what does he do, but gives the husband the letter, and offers her the horses!
Mar. Why, to be sure, I did offer her the horses, and I remember you was even with me, for you denied the letter to be yours, and swore I had a design upon her, which my bones paid
Mar. What can his business be with Sir Francis? Now would I give all the world to know it! Mar. What! My sister ward? Why, her guar- Why the devil should not one know every man's dian is mine; we are fellow-sufferers. Ah, he is concerns? Aside. a covetous, cheating, sanctified, curmudgeon. Cha. Prosperity to it, whatever it be: I have that sir Francis Gripe is a damned old-hypo-private affairs, too: over a bottle, we'll compare critical
Cha. Hold, hold; I suppose, friend, you forget that he is my father?
Mar. Egad, and so I did, Charles--I ask your pardon, Charles, but it is for your sake i hate! him. Well, I say the world is mistaken in him, his out-side piety makes him every man's executor, and his inside cunning makes him every heir's gaoler. Egad, Charles, I'm half persuaded that thou'rt some ward, too, and never of his getting -for never were two things so unlike as you and your father; he scrapes up every thing, and thou spendest every thing; every body is indebted to him, and thou art indebted to every body.
Cha. You are very free, Mr Marplot. Mar. Aye, I give and take, Charles-you may be as free with me, you know.
Sir Geo. A pleasant fellow.
Mar. Curst! What's curst, Charles? Cha. Come along with me; my heart feels pleasure at her name. Sir George, your's; we'll
Cha. The dog is diverting, sometimes, or there meet at the old place the usual hour.
Ha! Miss Patch alone! Did not you tell me you had contrived a way to bring Isabinda to the Park?
Mir. It is necessary such a report should be,
Patch. But is it true, madam?
Mir. That's not absolutely necessary.
Patch. I thought it was only the old strain, coaxing him still for your own, and railing at all the young fellows about town: in my mind, now, you are as ill plagued with your guardian, madam, as my lady is with her father.
Mir. No, I have liberty, wench; that she wants: what would she give now to be in this deshabille in the open air, nay more, in pursuit of the young fellow she likes? for that's my case, I
Patch. As for that, madam, she's even with you; for, though she can't come abroad, we have a way to bring him home in spite of old Argus. Mir. Now, Patch, your opinion of my choice, Ha! my guardian with for here he comes. him! what can be the meaning of this? I'm sure [They withdraw. sir Francis can't know me in this dress. Let me observe them.
Patch. Oh, madam, your ladyship cannot imagine what a wretched disappointment we have met with! Just as I had fetched a suit of my clothes for a disguise, comes my old master into his closet, which is right against her chamber door this struck us into a terrible fright-At length I put on a grave face, and asked him if he was at leisure for his chocolate? in hopes to draw him out of his hole; but he snapped my Sir Fran. Verily, sir George, thou wilt repent nose off: no, I shall be busy here, these two hours. At which my poor mistress, seeing no throwing away thy money so; for I tell thee sinway of escape, ordered me to wait on your lady-cerely, Miranda, my charge, does not like a young fellow; they are all vicious, and seldom ship with the sad relation. make good husbands: in sober sadness, she can't abide them.
Mir. Unhappy Isabinda! Was ever any thing so unaccountable as the humour of Sir Jealous Traffick?
Patch. Oh, madam, it's his living so long in Spain. He vows he'll spend half his estate, but he'll be a parliament-man, on purpose to bring in a bill for women to wear veils, and other odious Spanish customs-he swears it is the height of impudence to have a woman seen barefaced, even at church, and scarce believes there's a true begotten child in the city.
Mir. Ha, ha, ha! how the old fool torments himself! Suppose he could introduce his rigid rules-does he think we could not match them in contrivance? No, no; let the tyrant man make what laws he will, if there's a woman under the government, I warrant she finds a way to break them. Is his mind set upon the Spaniard for his son-in-law still?
Enter SIR FRANCIS GRIPE and SIR GEORGE
Mir. [Peeping.] In sober sadness, you are mistaken-What can this mean?
Sir Geo. Look'e, sir Francis; whether she can or cannot abide young fellows, is not the business will you take the fifty guineas?
Sir Fran. In good truth I will not-for I knew thy father; he was a hearty wary man; and I cannot consent that his son should squander away what he saved to no purpose.
Mir. [Peeping.] Now, in the name of wonder, what bargam can he be driving about me for fifty gumeas?:::
•Patch. I wish it be not for the first night's lodging, madain.
Sir Geo. Well, sir Francis, since you are so conscientious for my father's sake, then permit me, the favour gratis.
Mir.[Peeping.] The favour! O' my life I believe 'tis as you said, Patch!
Sir Fran. No verily; if thou dost not buy thy experience thou wilt never be wise; therefore, give me a hundred, and try thy fortune.
Patch. Aye, and he expects him by the next.
Mir. I knew thy prolific brain would be of
Patch. But, madam, the report is that you are going to marry your guardian!
Sir Geo. The scruples arose, I find, from the
Mir. [Peeping.] As ten to one I shall-