Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

A DIALOGUE written in the ycar 1776, by Mr. ANDRUSÉ

of Yale College, since deceased. OW now Mr. Hunks, have you settled the controversy

with Baxter? Hunk». Yes, to a fraction, upon condition that he would pay me six per cent, upon all fis notes and bonds, from the date until they were discharged.

Blithe. Then it seems you have bro't him to your owat terms.

Hiinks. Indeed I have; I would settle with him upon no other. Men now-a-days think it a dreadful hardship to pay a little interest; and will quibble a thousand ways to fool a body out of his just property. But I've grown too old to be cheated in that manner. I take care to secure the interest as well as the principal. And to prevent any dită culty, I take new notes every year, and carefully exact interest upon interest, and add it to the principal.

Blithe. You don't exact interest upon interest ! this looks a little like extortion.

Hunks. Extortion! I have already lost more than five hundred pounds, by a number of rascally bankrupts. I wont trust a furthing of my money without interest upon interest.

Plithe. I see I mist hunor his foible there's no other way to deal with him.-[aside.

Hunks. There's no security in men's obligations, in these times. And if I've a sum of money in the hands of those we call good chaps, I'm more plagu'd to get it than 'uis all worth. They would be giad to turn me off with mere rubbish, if they could. I'd rather keep my money in my own chest, than let it out for such small interest as I have for it.

Blithe. There's something I confess in your observations. We never know when we are secure unless we have our property in our chests or in lands.

Hunks. That's true--I'd rather have my property in , lands at three per cent, than in the hands of the best man in this town at six-it is a fact. Lands will grow higher when the wars are over.

Blithe. You're entirely right. I believe if I'd as much money as you, I should be of the same mind.

Hunks. That's a good disposition. We must all learn. take care of ourselves these hard times. But I wonder

how it happens that your disposition is so different from your son'she's extremely wild and profuse--I should think it was not possible for you with all your prudence and dexterity, to get money as fast as he would spend it.

Blithe. Oh, he's young and airy; we must make allowances for such things; we used to do so ourselves when we were young mcn.

Hunks. No you are mistaken; I never wore a neckcloth nor a pair of shoe-buckles, on a week day, in my life. But this is now become customary among the lowest ranks of people.

Blithe. You have been very singular; there are few men in our age that have been so frugal and saving as you have. But we must all endeavor to conform ourselves a little to the customs of the times. My son is not more extravagant than other young people of his age. He loves to drink a glass of wine sometimes, with his companions, and to appear pretty gaily drest; but this is only what is natural and customary for every one. I understand he has formed some connexions with your eldest daughter, and I should be fond of the alliance, if I could gain your approbation in the matter.

Hunks. The customs of the times will undo us all there's no living in this prorligal age. The young people must have their bottles, their tavern dinners, and dice, while the old ones are made perfect drudges to support their luxury.

Blithe. Our families, sir, without doubt, would be very . kappy in such a connection, if you would grant your consenit.

Hunks. I lose all patience when I see the young beaux and fops, strutting about the streets in their laced coats and ruffled shirts, and a thousand other extravagant articles of expense. Blithe. Sir, I should be very glad if you

would turn your attention to the question I proposed.

Hunks. There's one half of these coxcomical spendthrists, that can't pay their taxes, and yet they are constantly running in debt, and their prodigality must be supported by poor, inonest laboring men.

Plithe. This is insufferable; I'm vex'd at the old fellow's impertinence--[eside.

Hunke. The world has got to a strange pas3, a very

[ocr errors]

strange pass indeed; There's no distinguishing a poor man from a rich one, but only by his extravagant dress, and supercilious behavior.

Blithe. I abhor to see a man all mouth and no ears.

Hunks. All mouth and no ears! do you mean to insult me to my face?

Blithe. I ask your pardon, sir ; but I've been talking to you this hour and you have paid me no attention.

Hunks. Well, and what is this mighty affair upon which you want my opinion.

Blithe. It is something you have paid very little attention to it seems; I'm willing to be heard in my turn, as well as you. I was telling that my son had entered into a treaty of marriage with your eldest daughter, and I desire your consent in the matter.

Hunks. A treaty of marriage! why didn't she ask my liberty before she attempted any such thing? A treaty of marriage ! I won't hear a word of it.

Blitke. The young couple are very fond of each other, and may perhaps be ruined if you cross their inclin ions.

Hunks. Then let them be ruined. I'll have my daugh-. ter to know she shall make no treaties without my consent.

Blithe. She's of the same mind, that's what she wants


Hunks. But you say the treaty is already made ; howerer I'll make it over again.

Blithe. Well, sir, the stronger the better.
Hunks. But I mean to make it void.

Blithe. I want no trifling in the matter; the subject is not of a trifling nature. I expect you will give me a direct answer one way or the other.

Hunks. If that's what you desire, I can tell you at once. I have two very strong objections against the proposal ; one is, I dislike your son; and the other is, I have determined upon

another match for my daughter. Hlithe. Why do you dislike 'my son, pray?

Hunks. 0, he's like the rest of mankind, running on in this extravagant way of living. My estate was earned too hard to be trifled away in such a manner.

Blithe. Extravagant! I'm sure he is very far from deserving that character. 'Tis true he appears genteel and fashionable mong people, but he's in good business, and above board, and that's sufficient for any man.

Hunks. 'Tis fashionable, I suppose, to powder and curl at the barber's an hour or two before he visits liis mistress; to pay six pence or eight pence for brushing his boots; to drink a glass of wine at every tavern; to dine upon fowls drest in the richest manner; and he must dirty two or three ruffled shirts in the journey. This is your genteel fashionable way, is it?

Blithe. Indeed, Sir, it is a matter of importance to appear decently at such a time, if ever. Would you have him go as you used to do, upon the same business, dress'd in a long ill shapen coat, a greasy pair of breeches, and a flap'd hat ; with your oats in one side of your saddle bags, and your dinner in the other? This would make an odd appearance in the present age.

Hunks. A fig for the appearance, so long as I gain'd my point, and sav'd my money, and consequently my credit The coat you mention is the same I have on now. 'Tis not so very long as you would represent it to be-[measuring the skirts by one leg.] See, it comes just below the calf.This is the coat that my father was married in, and I after lim. It has been in the fashion five times since it was new, and never was altered, and ʼtis a pretty good coat yet.

Blithe, You've a wonderful faculty of saving your money and credit, and keeping in the fashion at the same time. I suppose you mean by saving your credit, that money and credit are inseparably connected.

Hunks. Yes, that they are ; he that has one need not fear the loss of the other. For this reason I can't consent to your son's proposal ; he's too much of a spendthrift to merit my approbation.

Blithe. If you call him a spendthrift for his generosity, I desire he may never merit your approbation. A reputation that's gained by saving money in the manner you have mentioned, is at best but a despicable character.

Hunks. Do you mean to call my character despicable ?

Blithe. We wont quarrel about the name, since you are so well contented with the thing.

Hunks. You're welcome to your opinion ; I would not give a fiddle stick's end for your good or ill-will; my ideas of reputation are entirely different from yours or your son's, which are just the same, for I find you justify him in all his conduct. But as I have determined upon another match for my daughter, I shan't trouble myself about his behavior.



Bethe. But perhaps your proposed match will be equally disagreeable.

Hunks. No, I've no apprehension of that. He's a person of a fine genius and an excellent character.

Blithe. Sir, I desire to know who this person is, that has such a genius and character, and is so agreeable to your taste.

Hunks. 'Tis my young cousin Griffin. He's heir to a great estate you know. He discovered a surprising genius almost as soon as he was born. When he was a very child, he made him a box, with one small hole in it, into which he could just crowd his money, and could not get it out again without breaking his box; by which means he made a continual addition till be filled it, and

Blithe. Enough! Enough! I've a sufficient idea of his character without hearing another word. But are you sure you shall obtain this excellent match for your daughter? Hunks. Oh, I'm certain on't, I you,


my utimnost wishes are grauified with the prospect. He has a large patrimony lying between two excellent farms of mine, which are at least worth two thousand pounds. These I've given to my daughter ; and have ordered her uncle to take the deeds into his own hands, and deliver them to her on the dlay of her marriage.

Blithe. Then it seems you've almost accomplished the business. But have you got the consent of the young gentleman in the affair ?

Hunks. His consent! what need I care about his consent? so long as I've his father's ; that is sufficient for my pur. pose.

Blithe. Then you intend to force the young couple to mariy, if they are unwilling?

Hunks. Those two thousand pounds will soon give them a disposition, I'll warrant you.

Blithe. Your schemes, I confess, are artfully concerted ; but I must tell you, for your mortification that the young gentleman is already married.

Hunks. What do you say ! already married ? It can't be! I don't believe a syllable on't !

Blithe. Every syllable is true, whether you believe it or not. I received a letter this day from his father ; if you won't believe me, you may read it. (gives him the letter) There's the account in the postscript. (points to it)

« ZurückWeiter »