Obrázky stránek

SIR JOHN. To be fure I do.

STERL. But Sir John! one thing more. My Lord muft know nothing of this stroke of friendship between us.

SIR JOHN. Not for the world. Let me alone! let me alone.

STERL. And when every thing is agreed, we must give each other a bond to be held fast to the bargain.

SIR JOHN. To be fure. A bond by all means! a bond, or whatever you please.

STERL. I should have thought of more conditions, he is in a humour to give me every thing. Why, what mere children are your fellows of quality; that cry for a plaything one minute, and throw it by the next! as changeable as the weather, and as uncertain as the ftocks. Special fellows to drive a bargain! and yet they are to take care of the intereft of the nation truly! Here does this whirligig man of fashion offer to give up thirty thousand pounds in hard money, with as much indifference as if it was a China orange. By this mortgage, I fhall have a hold on his Terra Firma; and if he wants more money, as he certainly will, let him have children by my daughter or no, I shall have his whole eftate in a net for the benefit of my family. Well; thus it is, that the children of citizens who have acquired fortunes, prove perfons of fashion; and thus it is, that perfons of fashion, who have ruined their fortunes, reduce the next generation to cits.






R. Belcour, I am rejoiced to fee you; you are welcome to England.


BEL. I thank you heartily, good Mr. Stockwell; you and I have long converfed at a distance; now we are met, and the pleasure this meeting gives me, amply compenfates for the perils I have run through in accomplishing it.

STOCK. What perils, Mr. Belcour? I could not have thought you would have met a bad paffage at this time o'year.

BEL. Nor did we courier like, we came pofting to your fhores; upon the pinions of the fwifteft gales that ever blew; it is upon English ground all my difficulties have arifen; it is the paffage from the river-fide I complain of. STOCK. Ay, indeed! What obftructions can you have met between this and the river-fide?

BEL. Innumerable! Your town's as full of defiles as the island of Corfica; and, I believe, they are as obftinately defended; fo much hurry, buftle, and confufion, on your quays; fo many fugar-cafks, porter-buts, and common council-men, in your streets; that unless a man marched with artillery in his front, it is more than the labour of a Hercules can effect, to make any tolerable way through

your town.

STOCK. I am forry you have been fo incommoded.

BEL. Why, faith, it was all my own fault; accustomed to a land of flaves, and, out of patience with the whole tribe of custom-house extortioners, boat-men, tide-waiters, and water-bailiffs, that befet me on all fides, worfe than a fwarm of mufquetoes, I proceeded a little too roughly to brush them away with my rattan; the sturdy rogues took this in dudgeon, and beginning to rebel, the mob chofe different fides, and a furious fcuffle enfued; in the course of which, my perfon and apparel fuffered fo much, that I was


obliged to step into the firft tavern to refit, before I could make my approaches in any decent trim.

STOCK. Well, Mr. Belcour, it is a rough fample you have had of my countrymen's spirit; but, I truft, you will not think the worfe of them for it.

BEL. Not at all, not at all; I like them the better; was I only a vifitor, I might, perhaps, wifh them a little more tractable; but as a fellow-fubject, and a sharer in their freedom, I applaud their spirit, though I feel the effects of it in every bone of my fkin.-Well, Mr. Stockwell, for the first time in my life, here am I in England; at the fountainhead of pleafure, in the land of beauty, of arts and elegancies. My happy stars have given me a good eftate, and the confpiring winds have blown me hither to spend it.

STOCK. To ufe it, not to waste it, I fhould hope; to treat it, Mr. Belcour, not as a vaffal, over whom you have a wanton defpotic power, but as a fubject, which you are bound to govern with a temperate and reftrained authority.

BEL. True, Sir; moft truly faid; mine's a commiffion, not a right: I am the offspring of diftrefs, and every child of forrow is my brother; while I have hands to hold, therefore, I will hold them open to mankind; but, Sir, my paffions are my mafters; they take me where they will; and oftentimes they leave to reason and virtue nothing but my wifhes and my fighs.

Srock. Come, come, the man who can accufe, corrects himfelf.

BEL. Ah! that is an office I am weary of; I wish a friend would take it up: I would to Heaven you had leisure for the employ! but, did you drive a trade to the four corners of the world, you would not find the task so toilfome as to keep me free from faults.


STOCK. Well, I am not difcouraged; this candour tells me I should not have the fault of felf-conceit to combat ; that, at least, is not amongst the number.

BEL. No; if I knew that man on earth who thought more humbly of me than I do of myself, I would take up his opinion and forego my own.

STOCK. And, was I to chufe a pupil, it fhould be one of your complexion; fo if you will come along with me, we will agree upon your admiffion, and enter upon a course of lectures directly.

BEL. With all my heart.




LD. EUST. WELL, my dear Frampton, have you

fecured the letters ?

FRAM. Yes, my Lord, for their rightful owners. LD. EUST. As to the matter of property, Frampton, we will not dispute much about that. Neceffity, you know, may, fometimes render a trespass excufable.

FRAM. I am not cafuift fufficient to answer you upon that fubject; but this I know, that you have already trespassed against the laws of hofpitality and honour, in your conduct towards Sir William Evans, and his daughter-And as your friend and counsellor, both, I would advise you to think seriously of repairing the injuries you have committed, and not increase your offence, by a farther violation. LD. EUST. It is actually a pity you were not bred to the bar, Ned; but I have only a moment to stay, and am all impatience

impatience to know, if there be a letter from Langwood, and what he fays.

FRAM. I fhall never be able to afford you the least information, upon that fubject, my lord.

LD. EUST. Surely, I do not understand you. You faid you had fecured the letter-Have you not read them?

FRAM. You have a right, and none but you, to ask me fuch a question. My weak compliance with your firft propofal relative to these letters, warrants your thinking fo meanly of me. But know, my lord, that though my perfonal affection for you, joined to my unhappy circumftances, may have betrayed me to actions unworthy of myself, I never can forget, that there is a barrier fixed before the extreme of baseness, which honour will not let me pass.

LD. EUST. You will give me leave to tell you, Mr. Frampton, that where I lead, I think you need not halt.

FRAM. You will pardon me, my lord; the consciousnefs of another man's errors, can never be a juftification for our own; and poor, indeed, muft that wretch be, who can be fatisfied with the negative merit of not being the worst man he knows.

LD. EUST. If this difcourfe were uttered in a conventicle, it might have its effect; by fetting the congregation to fleep.

FRAM. It is rather meant to roufe, than lull your lordfhip.

Lp. EUST. No matter what it is meant for; give me the letters, Mr. Frampton.

FRAM. Yet, excufe me. I could as foon think of arming a madman's hand, against my own life, as fuffer you to be guilty of a crime that will, for ever, wound your honour.


« PředchozíPokračovat »