Imágenes de páginas

SIR WM. Being left by him, I say, to the care of a mercenary wretch, whose only aim was to secure her fortune to himself, she was sent to France, under pretence of education; and there every art was tried to fix her for life in a convent, contrary to her inclinations. Of this I was informed upon my arrival at Paris; and, as I had been once her father's friend, I did all in my power to frustrate her guardian's base intentions. I had even meditated to rescue her from his authority, when your son stepped in with more pleasing violence, gave her liberty, and you a daughter.

CRO. But I intend to have a daughter of my own choosing, Sir. A young lady, Sir, whose fortune, by my interest with those who have interest, will be double what my son has a right to ex

Do you know Mr. Lofty, Sir? Sir Wm. Yes, Sir; and know that you are deceived in him. But step this way, and I'll convince you.

[CROAKER and Sir WILLIAM seem to confer.

pect. Do

Enter HONEYWOOD. HONEY. Obstinate man, still to persist in his outrage! Insulted by him, despised by all, I now begin to grow contemptible even to myself. How have I sunk by too great an assiduity to please! How have I over-taxed all my abilities, lost the approbation of a single fool should escape me! But all is now over; I have survived my reputation, my fortune, my friendships, and nothing remains henceforward for me but solitude and repentance.

Miss Rich. Is it true, Mr. Honeywood, that you are setting off, without taking leave of your friends? The report is, that you are quitting England. Can it be?

HONEY. Yes, Madam; and though I am so unhappy as to have fallen under your displeasure, yet, thank Heaven! I leave

you to happiness; to one who loves


and deserves your love: to one who has power to procure you affluence, and generosity to improve your enjoyment of it.

Miss Rich. And are you sure, Sir, that the gentleman you mean is what


describe him ? HONEY. I have the best assurances of it-his serving me. He does indeed deserve the highest happiness, and that is in your power to confer.

As for me, weak and wavering as I have been, obliged by all, and incapable of serving any, what happiness can I find but in solitude? what hope, but in being forgotten?

Miss Rich. A thousand ! to live among friends that esteem you, whose happiness it will be to be permitted to oblige you.

HONEY. No, Madam, my resolution is fixed. Inferiority among strangers is easy; but among those that once were equals, insupportable. Nay, to show you how far my resolution can go, I can now speak with calmness of my former follies, my vanity, my dissipation, my weakness. I will even confess, that, among the number of my other presumptions, I had the insolence to think of loving you. Yes, Madam, while I was pleading the passion of another, my heart was tortured with its own. But it is over ; it was unworthy our friendship, and let it be forgotten.

Miss Rich. You amaze me !

Honey. But you'll forgive it, I know you will; since the confession should not have come from me even now, but to convince you of the sincerity of my intention of never mentioning it more.

[Going Miss Rich. Stay, Sir, one moment—Ha! he here

Enter LOFTY. Lofty. Is the coast clear? None but friends? I have followed you here with a trifling piece of intelligence; but it goes

no further; things are not yet ripe for a discovery. I have spirits working at a certain board; your affair at the treasury will be done in less than—a thousand years. Mum !

Miss Rich. Sooner, Sir, I should hope.

LOFTY. Why, yes, I believe it may, if it falls into proper hands, that know where to push, and where to parry; that know how the land lies—eh, Honeywood ?

Miss Rich. It has fallen into yours.

Lofty. Well, to keep you no longer in suspense, your thing is done. It is done, I say-that's all. I have just had assurances from Lord Neverout, that the claim has been examined, and found admissible. Quietus is the word, Madam.

HONEY. But how? his lordship has been at Newmarket these ten days.

Lorty. Indeed! Then Sir Gilbert Goose must have been most damnably mistaken. I had it of him.

Miss Rich. He! why Sir Gilbert and his family have been in the country this month.

Lofty. This month! it must certainly be so—Sir Gilbert's letter did come to me from Newmarket, so that he must have met his lordship there; and so it came about. I have his letter about me; I'll read it to you—(Taking out a large bunille). That's from Paoli of Corsica ; that from the Marquis of Squilachi.--Have you a mind to see a letter from Count Poniatowski, now King of Poland ?-Honest Pon—(Searching). O, Sir! what, are you here too? I'll tell you what, honest friend, if you have not absolutely delivered my letter to Sir William Honeywood, you may return it. The thing will do without him. Sir WM. Sir, I have delivered it; and must inform you,

it was received with the most mortifying contempt.

Cro. Contempt! Mr. Lofty, what can that mean?

LOFTY. Let him go on, let him go on, I say. You'll find it come to something presently.

Sir WM. Yes, Sir; I believe you'll be amazed, if after waiting some time in the antechamber; after being surveyed with insolent curiosity by the passing servants, I was at last assured, that Sir William Honeywood knew no such person, and I must certainly have been imposed upon.

LOFTY. Good ! let me die; very good. Ha! ha! ha!

Cro. Now, for my life, I can't find out half the goodness of it.

Lofty. You can't. Ha! ha!

Cro. No, for the soul of me! I think it was as confounded a bad answer as ever was sent from one private gentleman to another.

Lofty. And so you can't find out the force of the message? Why, I was in the house at that very time. Ha! ha! It was I that sent that very answer to my own letter. Ha! ha!

Cro. Indeed! How? why?

Lofty. In one word, things between Sir William and me must be behind the curtain. A party has many eyes. He sides with Lord Buzzard, I side with Sir Gilbert Goose. So that unriddles the mystery.

Cro. And so it does, indeed; and all my suspicions are over.

LOFTY. Your suspicions! What, then, you have been suspecting? you have been suspecting, have you? Mr. Croaker, you and I were friends; we are friends no longer. Never talk to me. It's over ;


it's over.

As I hope for your favor, I did not mean to offend. It escaped me. Don't be discomposed.

LOFTY. Zounds! Sir, but I am discomposed, and will be discomposed. To be treated thus !

To be treated thus! Who am I? Was it for this I have been dreaded both by ins and outs? Have I been

libelled in the Gazetteer, and praised in the St. James's? Have I been chaired at Wildman's, and a speaker at Merchant-Tailor's Hall? Have I had my hand to addresses, and my head in the print-shops; and talk to me of suspects ?

Cro. My dear Sir, be pacified. What can you have but asking pardon?

LOFTY. Sir, I will not be pacified-Suspects! Who am I? To be used thus! Have I paid court to men in favor to serve my friends; the lords of the treasury, Sir William Honeywood, and the rest of the gang, and talk to me of suspects? Who am I, I say; who am I?

Sir WM. Since, Sir, you are so pressing for an answer, I'll tell you who you are:-A gentleman as well acquainted with politics as with men in power; as well acquainted with persons of fashion as with modesty; with lords of the treasury as with truth; and with all, as you are with Sir William Honeywood. I am Sir William Honeywood. (Discovering his ensigns of the Bath.)

Cro. Sir William Honeywood !
HONEY. Astonishment! my uncle !

[Aside. LOFTY. So, then, my confounded genius has been all this time only leading me up to the garret, in order to fling me out of the window.

Cro. What, Mr. Importance, and are these your works? Suspect you! You, who have been dreaded by the ins and outs; you, who have had your hand to addresses, and your head stuck up in print-shops. If you were served right, you should have your head stuck up in a pillory.

LOFTY. Ay, stick it where you will; for, by the Lord, it cuts but a very poor figure where it sticks at present.

Sir WM. Well, Mr. Croaker, I hope you now see how inca

« AnteriorContinuar »