Abbildungen der Seite

Sir Per. Your lordship's most devoted. Lord Lum. Why, you stole a march upon me this morning; gave me the slip, Mac; though I never wanted your assistance more in my life. I thought you would have called on me. Sir Per. My dear lord, I beg ten millions of pardons for leaving town before you ; but you ken that your lordship at dinner 3. settled it that we should meet this morning at the levee. Lord Lum. That I acknowledge, Mac.—I did promise to be there, I own. Sir Per. You did, indeed. And accordingly I was at the levee, and waited there till every soul was gone, and, seeeing you did not come, I concluded that your lordship was gone before. Lord Lum. Why to confess the truth, my dear Mac, those old siliers, Lord Freakish, General Jolly, Sir Anthony Soaker, and two or three more of that set, laid hold of me last night at the opera; and, as the General says, “from the intelligence of my head this morning,” I believe we drank pretty deep ere we departed ; ha, ha, ha! Sir Per. Ha, ha, ha! nay, if you were with that party, my lord, I do not wonder at not secing your lordship at the levee. Lord The truth is, Sir Pertinax, my fellow let me sleep too long for the levee. But I wish I had seen you belore you left town ; I wanted you dreadfully. Sir Per. I am heartly sorry that I was not in the way — but on what account did you want me ! Lord /.msn. If v, ha, ha! a cursed awkward affair. And, ha, ha, ha' yet I can't help laughing at it neither, though it vexed me confoundedly. Sir P. r. Vext you, my lord ' Zounds, I wish I had been with you : but, for heaven's sake, inv lord, what was it that could possibly vex your lordship 2 Lord /um. Why, that impudent, teasing, dunning rascal, Mahogany, my upholsterer.—You know the fellow 1 Sir Per. Perfectly, my lord. Lord Lum. The impudent scoundrel has sued me up to some damned kind of a--—something or other in the law which I think they call an execution.

Sir Per. The rascal' Lord Lum. Upon which, sir, the fellow, by way of asking pardon, ha, ha, ha! had the modesty to wait on me two or three days ago, to inform my honour, ha, ha, ha! as he was pleased to dignify me, that the execution was now ready to be put in force against my honour; but that out of respect to my honour, as he had taken a great deal of my honour's money, he would not suffer his lawyer to serve it, till he had first informed my honour, because he was not willing to affront my honour; ha, ha, ha! a son of a whore Sir Per. I never heard of so impudent a dog. Lord Lum. Now my dear Mac, ha, ha, ha! as the scoundrel's apology was so very satisfactory, and his information so very agreeable, I told him that, in honour, I thought that my honour could not do less than to order his honour to be paid immediately. Sir Per. Vary weel, vary weel, you were as complaisant as the scoundrel till the full, I think, my lord. Lord Lum. You shall hear, you shall hear, Mac; so, sir, with great composure, seeing a smart oaken cudgel that stood very handily in a corner of my dressing-room, I ordered two of my fellows to hold the rascal, and another to take the rudgel and return the scoundrel's civility with a good drubbing as long as the stick lasted. Sir Per. Ha, ha, ha! admirable' as guid a stroke of humour as ever I heard of. And aid they drub him, my lord Lord Lum. Most liberally, most liberally, sir. And there I thought the affair would have rested, till I should think proper to pay the scountirel; but this morning, just as I was stepping into my chaise, my sel vants all about ine, a feilow, called a tipstaff, stepped up, and beged the favour of my footman, who threshed the upholsterer, and of the two that held hin, to go along with him upon a little business to my Lord Chief Justice. Sir I'd r. The devil Lord I./m. And at the same instant, I, in my turn, was acrosted by two other very civil scoundrels, who, with a most iasoleut politeness, begged my pardon, and informed me that I must not chaise. Sir Per. How, my lord! not intill your ain carriage 2 , Lord Lum. No, sir; for that they, by order of the sheriff, must seize it, at the suit of a gentleman—one Mr. Mahogany, an upholsterer. Sir Per. An impudent villain : Lord Lum. It is all true, I assure you : so you see, my dear Mac, what a damned country this is to live in, where noblemen are obliged to pay their debts just like merchants, cobblers, peasants, or mechanics—is not that a scandal, dear Mac, to the nation ? Sir Per. My lord, it is not only a scandal, but a national grievance. Lord Lum. Sir, there is not another nation in the world has such a grievance to complain of. Now in other countries were a mechanic to dun, and tease, and behave as this Mahogany has done, a nobleman might extinguish the reptile in an instant; and that only at the expense of a few sequins, florins, or louis d’ors, according to the country where the affair happened. Sir Per. Vary true, my lord, vary true—and it is monstrous that a mon of your lordship's condition is not entitled to run one of these mechanics through the body, when he is impertinent about his money; but our laws, shamefully, on these occasions, make no distinction of persons amongst us. Lord Lum. A vile policy, indeed, Sir Pertinax.But, sir, the scoundrel has seized upon the house too, that 1 furnished for the girl I took |. the opera. Sir Per. I never heard of sic an a scoundrel. Lord Lum. Ay, but what concerns me most—I am afraid, my dear Mac, that the villain will send down to Newmarket, and seize my string of horses. Sir Per. Your string of horses zounds ! we must prevent that at all events: that would be sic an a disgrace. I will despatch an express to town directly, to put a stop till the rascal's proceedings. ilord Lum. Pr'ythee do, my dear Sir Pertinax. Sir Per. O ! it shall be done, my lord. Lord Lum. Thou art an honest fellow, Sir Pertiuax, upon honour.


go into my own

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Sir Per. Weel; but, Lady Rodolpha, I wanted to ask your ladyship some questions about the coinpany at the Bath; they say you had aw the world there. Lady Rod. O, yes! there was a very great mob there indeed ; but very little company. Aw canaille, except our ain party. The place was crowded with your little purse-proud mechanics; an odd kind of queer looking animals that have started intill fortune fra lottery tickets, rich prizes at sea, gambling in Change-Alley, and sic iike caprices of fortune; and away they aw crowd to the Bath to learn gentcelity, and the names, titles, intrigues, and bon-nots of us people of fashion; ha, ha, ha! Ford Luon. Ha, ha, ha! I know them : I know the things you mean, my dear, extremely well. I have observed them a thousand times, and wondered where the devil they all came from ; ha, ha, ha! Lady Lion. Pray, Lady Rodolpha, what were your diversions at Bath 2 - Lady Rod. Guid traith, my lady, the company were my diversion ; and better nai human follies ever afforded ; ha, ha, ha! sic an a mixture, and sic oddities, ha, ha, ha! a perfect gallimaufry. Lady Kunegunda M. Kenzie and I used to gang about till every part of this human chaos, on purpose to reconnoitre the monsters and pick up their frivolities; ha, ha, ha! Sir Per. Ha, ha, ha! why that must have been a high entertainment till your ladyship. Lady Rod. Superlative and inexhaustible, Sir Pertinax ; ha, ha, ha! Madam, we had in one group, a peer and a sharper, a duchess and a pin-maker's wife, a boarding school miss and her grandmother, a fat parson, a lean general, and a yellow admiral ; ha, ha, ha! aw speaking together, and bawling and

wrangling in fierce contention, as if the fame and fortune of aw the parties were to be the issue of the conflict. Sir Per. Ha, ha, ha! pray, madam, what was the object of their contention 1 Lady Rod. O ! a very important one, I assure you ; of no less consequence, madam, than how an odd trick at whist was lost, or might have been saved. Omaes. Ha, ha, ha! Ladv Lum. Ridiculous! Lord Lum. Ha, ha, ha! my dear Rodolpha, I have seen that very conflict a thousand times. Sir Per. And so have I, upon honour, my lord. Lady Rod. In another party, Sir Pertinax, ha, ha, has we had what was called the cabinet-council, which was composed of a duke and a haberdasher, a red-hot patriot and a sneering courtier, a discarded statesman and his scribbling chaplain, with a busy, bawling, muckle-headed, prerogative lawyer ; all of whom were every minute ready to gang together by the lugs, about the in and the out meenistry ; ha, ha, ha! Sir Per. Ha, ha, ha! weel, that is a droll motley cabinet, I vow. Vary whimsical, upon honour.— But they are aw great politicians at Bath, and settle a meenistry there with as much ease as they do the tune of a country dance. Lady Rod. Then, Sir Pertinax, in a retired part of the room—in a by corner—snug we had a Jew and a bishop— Sir Per. A Jew and a bishop ;-ha, ha!— a develish guid connection that, and pray, my lady, what were they about ! Lady Rod. Why, sir, the bishop was striving to convert the Jew—while the Jew, by intervals, was slily picking up intelligence fra the bishop, about the change in the meenistry, in hopes of making a stroke in the stocks. Omnes. Ha, ha, ha / Sir Per. Ha, ha, ha! admirable admirable ! I honour the smouse :—hah it was develish clever of him, my lord, develish clever.

Lord Lum. Yes, yes; the fellow kept a sharp lookout. I think it was a fair trial of skill on both sides, Mr. Egerton. Eger. True, my Lord, but the Jew seems to have been in the fairer way to succeed. Lord Lum. O ! all to nothing, sir; ha, ha, ha!— Well, child, I like your Jew and your bishop much. It 's develish clever. Let us have the rest of the history, pray, my dear. Lady Rod. Guid traith, my lord, the sum total is —that there we aw danced, and wrangled, and flattered, and slandered, and gambled, and cheated, and iningled, and jumbled, and wallopped together-clean and unclean—even like the animal assembly in Noah's ark. * Omnes. Ha, ha, ha! Lord Lum. Ha, ha, ha!—Well, you are a droll girl, Rodolpha; and, upon my honour, ha, ha, ha! you have given us as whimsical a sketch as ever was hit off. Sir Per. Ah! yes, my lord, especially the animal assembly in Noah's ark. It is an excellent picture of the oddities that one meets with at the Bath.


Sir PERTIN Ax Macsycoph ANT and his Son EG E R to N.

Sir Per. Charles, I have often told you, and now again I tell you, once for aw, that the manoeuvres of pliability are as necessary to rise in the world, as wrangling and logical subtlety are to rise at the bar . why you see, sir, I have acquired a noble for: tune, a princely fortune—and how do you think I raised it !

Eger. Doubtless, sir, by your abilities.

Sir Per. Doubtless, sir, you are a blockhead:– nai, sir, I'll tell you how I raised it: sir, I raised it—by bowing : [Hous ridiculously sou...]—by bowing : sir, I never could stand straight in the presence of a great mon, but always bowed, and bowed, and bowed—as it were by instinct.

Eger. How do you mean by instinct, sir?


Sir Per. How do I mean by instinct —Why, sir, I mean by—by—by the instinct of interest, sir, which is the universal instinct of nankind. Sir, it is wonderful to think, what a cordial, what an amicable— nay, what an infallible influence bowing has upon the pride and vanity of human nature. Charles, answer me sincerely, have you a mind to be convinced of the force of my doctrine, by example and demonstration ? Eger. Certainly, sir. Sir Per. Then, sir, as the greatest favour I can confer upon you, I'll give you a short sketch of the stages of my bowing, as an excitement, and a landmark for you to bow by, and as an infallible nostrum to rise in the world. Eger. Sir, I shall be proud to profit by your experten ce. Sir Per. Vary weel, sir : sit ye down then, sit you down here: [They sit down.]—and now, sir, you must recall to your thoughts, that your grandfather was a man, whose penurious income of half-pay was the sum total of his fortune; and, sir, aw my provision fra him was a modicum of Latin, an expertness in arithmetic, and a short system of worldly counsel; the principal ingredients of which were, a persevering industry, a rigid economy, a smooth tongue, a pliability of temper, and a constant attention to make every man well pleased with himself. Eger. Very prudent advice, sir. Sir Per. Therefore, sir, I lay it before you. Now, sir, with these materials, I set out a raw-boned stripling fra the North, to try my fortune with them here in the South ; and my first step intill the world was a beggarly clerkship in Sawney Gordon's counting-house, here in the city of London, which you'll say afforded but a barren sort of a prospect. Eger. It was not a very fertile one indeed, sir. Sir Per. The reverse, the reverse: weel, sir, seeing myself in this unprofitable situation, I reflected deeply: I cast about my thoughts morning, noon, and night, and marked every man and every mode of prosperity; at last I concluded that a matrimonial adventure, Prudently conducted, would be the readiest

gate I could gang for the bettering of my condition, and accordingly I set about it : now, sir, in this pursuit, beauty beauty —ah ! beauty often struck mine een, and played about my heart! and fluttered, and beat, and knocked, and knocked ; but the devil an entrance I ever let it get; for I observed, sir, that beauty—is generally—a proud, vain, saucy, expensive, impertinent sort of a commodity. Eger. Yo...". observed, sir. Sir Per. And therefore, sir, I left it to prodigals and coxcombs, that could afford to pay for it; and in its stead, sir—mark I looked out for an ancient, weel-jointured, superannuated dowager; a consumptive, toothless, ptisicky, wealthy widow; or a shrivelled, cadaverous piece of deformity in the shape of an ixzard, or an appersi-and-or, in short, ainy thing, ainy thing that had the siller, the siller—for that, sir, was the north star of my affections. Do you take me, sir? was nai that right ! Eger. O ! doubtless—doubtless, sir. Sir Per. Now, sir, where do you think I ganged to look for this woman with the siller —nair till court, nai till play houses or assemblies—nai, sir, I ganged till the kirk, till the anabaptist, independent, bradlonian, and muggletonian meetings; till the morning and evening service of churches and chapels of ease, and till the midnight, melting, conciliating love-feasts of the methodists; and there, sir, at last, I fell upon an old, slighted, antiquated, musty maiden, that looked—ha, ha, ha! she looked just like a skeleton in a surgeon's glass case. Now, sir, this miserable object was religiously angry with herself and aw the world ; had nai comfort but in metaphysical visions, and supernatural deliriums; ha, ha, ha! sir, she was as mad—as mad as a Bedlamite. Eger. Not improbable, sir; there are numbers of poor creatures in the same condition. Sir Per. O' numbers—numbers. Now, sir, this cracked creature used to pray, and sing, and sigh, and groan, and weep, and wail, and gnash her teeth constantly morning and evening, at the tabernacle in Moorfields: and as soon as I found she had got the siller, ahal guid traith, I plumpen me down upon my

knees close by her—cheek by jowl—and prayed, and sighed, and sung, and groaned, and gnashed my teeth as vehemently as she could do for the life of her; ay, and turned up the whites of mine een, till the strings awmost cracked again :-I watched her motions, handed her till her chair, waited on her home, got most religiously intimate with her in a week, married her in a fortnight, buried her in a month;touched the siller, and with a deep suit of mourning, a melancholy port, a sorrowful visage, and a joyful heart, I began the world again —and this, sir, was the first bow, that is, the first effectual bow, I ever made till the vanity of human nature —now, sir, do you understand this doctrine 2 1. iter. Perfectly well, sir. Sir Per. Ay, but was it not right 2 was it not ingenious, and weel hit off Eger. Certainly, sir; extremely well, Sir Per. My next bow, sir, was till your ain mother, whom I ran away with fra boarding-school ; by the interest of whose family I got a good smart place in the Treasury –and, sir, my vary next step was intill Parliament; the which I entered with as ardent and as determined an ambition as ever agitated the heart of Caesar himself. Sir, I bowed, and watched, and hearkened, and ran about, backwards and forwards; and attended, and dangled upon the then great mon, till I got intill the vary bowels of his confidence,—and then, sir, I wriggled, and wought, and wriggled, till I wriggled myself among the very thick of them : hall ! I got my snack of the clothing, the foraging, the contracts, the lottery tickets, and aw the political bonuses;–till at length, sir, I became a much wealthier man than one half of the golden calves I had been so long a-bowing to : [He rises, and Egerton rises too]—and was nai that bowing to some purpose 2 Eger. It was indeed, sir. Sir Per. But are you convinced of the guid effects, and of the utility of bowing. Joger, Thoroughly, sir. Sir Per. Sir, it is infallible :--but, Charles, ah while I was thus bowing, and wriggling, and raising

this princely fortune, ah! I met with many heartsores and disappointments fra the want of literature, eloquence, and other popular abeleties. Sir, guin I could but have spoken in the house, I should have done the deed in half the time ; but the instant I opened my mouth there, they aw fell a-laughing at me;—aw which deficiencies, sir, I determined at any expense, to have supplied by the polished education of a son, who, I hoped, would one day raise the house of Macsycophant till the highest pitch of ministerial ambition. This, sir, is my plan : I have done my part of it; nature has done hers : you are popular, you are eloquent ; aw parties like and respect you; and now, sir, it only remains for you to be directed—completion follows.


Sir PERT IN Ax Macsycopri ANT and Counsellor PLA usi BLE.

Sir Per. Why, Counsellor, did you ever see so impertinent, so meddling, and so obstinate a blockhead as that Serjeant Eitherside 2 confound the fellow, he has put ine out of aw temper. Paus. But, Sir Pertinax, there is a secret spring in this business that you do not seem to perceive; and which, I am afraid, governs the matter respecting these boroughs. Sir Per. What spring do you mean, counsellor 2 Paus. I have some reason to think that my lord is tied down by some means or other to bring the serjeant in, the very first vacancy, for one of these boroughs:–now that, I believe, is the sole motive why the serjeant is so strenuous that my lord should keep the boroughs in his own power; fearing that you might reject him for some man of your own. Sir Per. Odswounds and death ! Plausible, you are clever, devilish clever. By the blood, you have hit upon the vary string that has made aw this discord. —Oh ! I see it, I see it now. But hauld—hauld– bide a wee bit—a wee bit, mon; I have a thought come intill my head—yes—I think, Plausible, that with a little twist in our negociation, that this very

« ZurückWeiter »