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(Reads) “Make quick despatch, and so no more at present. But may Cupid, the little god of love, go with you wherever you go.” The little god of love! Cupid, the little god of love, go with me! Go you to destruction, you and
little Cupid together. I'm so frightened, I scarce know whether I sit, stand, or go. Perhaps this moment I'm treading on lighted matches, blazing brimstone, and barrels of gunpowder. They are preparing to blow me up into the clouds. Murder! we shall be all burned in our beds; we shall be all burned in our beds.
Enter Mrs. CROAKER and HONEYWOOD.
Mrs. Cro. Ha! ha! ha! And so, my dear, it's your supreme wish, that I should be quite wretched upon this occasion ? ha! ha!
Cro. (Mimicking.) Ha ! ha! ha! And so, my dear, it's your supreme pleasure to give me no better consolation?
Mrs. Cro. Positively, my dear; what is this incendiary stuff and trumpery to me? Our house may travel through the air like the house of Loretto, for aught I care, if I am to be miserable in it.
Cro. Would to Heaven it were converted into a house of correction for your benefit. Have we not everything to alarm us? Perhaps this very moment the tragedy is beginning.
Mrs. Cro. Then let us reserve our distress till the rising of the curtain, or give them the money they want, and have done with them.
Cro. Give them my money!-And pray, what right have they to my money ?
Mrs. Cro. And pray, what right then have you to my goodhumor?
Cro. And so your good-humor advises me to part with my money? Why, then, to tell your good-humor a piece of my mind, I'd sooner part with my wife. Here's Mr. Honeywood; see what he'll say to it. My dear Honeywood, look at this incendiary letter dropped at my door. It will freeze
you with terror; and yet lovey here can read itcan read it and laugh!
Mrs. Cro. Yes, and so will Mr. Honeywood.
Cro. If he does, I'll suffer to be hanged the next minute in the rogue's place, that's all.
Mrs. Cro. Speak, Mr. Honeywood; is there anything more foolish than
husband's fright upon this occasion ? Honey. It would not become me to decide, Madam ; but, doubtless, the greatness of his terrors now will but invite them to renew their villany another time.
Mrs. Cro. I told you he'd be of my opinion.
Cro. How, Sir! do you maintain that I should lie down under such an injury, and show, neither by my tears nor complaints, that I have something of the spirit of a man in me?
Honey. Pardon me, Sir. You ought to make the loudest complaints, if you desire redress. The surest way to have redress, is to be earnest in the pursuit of it.
Cro. Ay, whose opinion is he of now?
Mrs. Cro. But don't you think that laughing off our fears is the best
? Honey. What is the best, Madam, few can say ; but I'll maintain it to be a very wise way.
Cro. But we're talking of the best. Surely the best way is to face the enemy in the field, and not wait till he plunders us in our very bed-chamber.
Honey. Why, Sir, as to the best, that—that's a very wise
Mrs. Cro. But can anything be more absurd than to double our distresses by our apprehensions, and put it in the power of
every low fellow, that can scrawl ten words of wretched spelling, to torment us?
Honey. Without doubt, nothing more absurd.
Cro. How! would it not be more absurd to despise the rattle till we are bit by the snake ?
Honey. Without doubt, perfectly absurd.
Honey. Heav'ns forbid, Madam! No, sure, no reasoning can be more just than yours. We ought certainly to despise malice, if we cannot oppose it, and not make the incendiary's pen as fatal to our repose as the highwayman's pistol.
Mrs. Cro. O! then you think I'm quite right?
Cro. A plague of plagues, we can't be both right. I ought to be sorry or I ought to be glad. My hat must be on my head, or my hat must be off.
Mrs. Cro. Certainly, in two opposite opinions, if one be perfectly reasonable, the other can't be perfectly right.
Honey. And why may not both be right, Madam! Mr. Croaker in earnestly seeking redress, and you in waiting the event with good-humor? Pray, let me see the letter again. I have it. This letter requires twenty guineas to be left at the bar of the Talbot inn. If it be indeed an incendiary letter, what if you and I, Sir, go there; and, when the writer comes to be paid his expected booty, seize him ?
Cro. My dear friend, it's the very thing; the very thing. While I walk by the door, you shall plant yourself in ambush near the bar; burst out upon the miscreant like a masked battery ; extort a confession at once, and so hang him up by surprise.
Honey. Yes, but I would not choose to exercise too much severity. It is my maxim, Sir, that crimes generally punish themselves.
Cro. Well, we may upbraid him a little, I suppose ? (Ironically.)
Honey. Ay, but not punish him too rigidly.
Honey. Well, I do; but remember, that universal benevolence is the first law of nature.
Cro. Yes; and my universal benevolence will hang the dog, if he had as many necks as a hydra.
THE CROCODILE.-MRS. J. L. GRAY.
1. On the banks of the fertile and many-mouthed Nile,
A long time ago lived a fierce crocodile,
'Twas easy to see
No pity had he:
2. The sheep he devoured, and the shepherd I ween;
The herd feared to graze in the pastures so green,
There never before
Was panic so sore, On the banks of the Nile as this creature spread o'er.
3. Wherever he went, all were flying before him,
Tho' some in their blindness thought fit to adore him ;
By day and by night
It was his delight,
4. Grown proud of his prowess, puffed up with success,
The reptile must travel-how could he do less ?
To Tentyra's isle,
To visit awhile,
5. Tho' the Tentyrites thought themselves able before To
conquer each monster that came to their shore,
Yet now they, with horror, were fain to confess,
So in great consternation,
A grand consultation
6. It met; but, alas ! such the terror and fright,
They failed to distinguish the wrong from the right;
With modesty winning,
To give his opinion
7. “Grave sirs," said he, bowing," I see your distress,
And your griefs are, I fear me, past present redress;
For 'tis my impression,
A little discretion
8. “No doubt, 'tis a noble and great undertaking,
Great war on a mighty great foe to be making;
While the crocodile lies
In an egg of small size,
9. “You see me before you a poor feeble creature;
Yet I cope with this monster—for such is my nature, And while you have met here in grand consultation, This one crocodile to expel from the nation,
I thought it a treat
For breakfast to eat