Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

string, properly tuned, may be still made to produce if we cannot hit upon a medium that will be agreethe very harmony we wish for. Yes, yes ! I have able to both parties. it: this serjeant, I see, understands business-and, Serj. (With great warmth.) Mr. Plausible, I have if I am not mistaken, knows how to take a hin. considered the clause fully; am entirely master of the Plaus. O! nobody better, Sir Pertinax.

question; my lord cannot give up the point. It is Sir Per. Why then, Plausible, the short road is unkind and unreasonable to expect it. always the best with sic a mon.—You must even Plaus. Nay, Mr. Serjeant, I beg you will not miscome up till his mark at once, and assure him from understand me. Do not think I want his lordship to me, that I will secure him a seat for one of these give up any point without an equivalent. Sir Pertivary boroughs.

nax, will you permit Mr. Serjeant and me to retire a Plaus. O ! that will do, Sir Pertinax—that will few moments to reconsider ihis point ? do, I'll answer for it.

Sir Per. For Heaven's sake, as your lordship and I Sir Per. And further— I beg you will let him know can have but one interest for the future, let us have that I think myself obliged to consider him in this nai mair words about these paltry boroughs, but conaffair, as acting for me as weel as for my lord, as a clude the agreement just as it stands : otherwise there coinmon friend till baith :—and for the services he must be new writings drawn, new consultations of has already done us, make my special compliments lawyers ; new objections and delays will arise; cretill him—and pray let this amicable bit of paper be ditors will be impatient and impertinent, so that we my faithful advocate to convince him of wha: my shall nai finish the Lord knows when. gratitude further intends for his great [Gives him a Lord Lum. You are right, you are right : say no bank-bill.] equity in adjusting this agreement be- more, Mac, say no more. Split the lawyers---you twixt my lord and me.

judge the point better than all Westminster-Hall Plaus. Ha, ha, ha!-upon my word, Sir Perti- could. It shall stand as it is : yes, you shall settle nax, this is noble.-Ay, ay! this is an eloquent bit it your own way; for your interest and nine are the of paper indeed.

same, I see plainly. Sir Per. Maister Plausible, in aw human dealings Sir Per. No doubt of it, my lord. the most effectual method is that of ganging at once Lord Lum. O! here the lawyers come. till the vary bottom of a man's heart:—for if we ex

Enter Counsellor PLAUSIBLE and Serjeant pect that men should serve us, we must first win their

EITHERSIDE. affections by serving them.

Serj. My lord, Mr. Plausible has convinced meEnter Lord LUMBERCOURT and Serjeant

fully convinced me. EITHEPSIDE.

Plaus. Yes, my lord, I have convinced him; I Serj. I assure you, Sir Pertinax, that in all his have laid such arguments before Mr. Serjeant as were lordship's conversation with me upon this business, irresistible and in his positive instructions—both he and I always Serj. He has indeed, my lord : besides, as Sir understood the nomination to be in my lord, durante Pertinax gives his honour that your lordship's nomivita.

nation shall be sacredly observed, why, upon a nearer Plaus. Well, but gentlemen, gentlemen, a little review of the whole matter, I think it will be the patience. Sure this mistake, some how or other, wiser measure to conclude the agreement just as it may be rectified.--Pr’ythee, Mr. Serjcant, let you is drawn.. and I step into the next room by ourselves, and re Lord Lum. I am very glad you think so, Mr. Ser., consider the clause relative to the boroughs, and try jeant, because that is my opinion too : so, my dear

science.

you

Eitherside, do you and Plausible despatch the busi- | except on one occasion ; never voted against your ness now as soon as possible.

friends, only in that affair.-But, sir, I hope you wil. Serj. My lord, every thing will be ready in less not so exert your influence, as to insist upon my supthan an hour. Come, Mr. Plausible, let us go and porting a measure by an obvious, prostituted sophisfill up the blanks, and put the last hand to the writings try, in direct opposition to my character and my cor. on our part. Plaus. I attend you, Mr. Serjeant.

Sir Per. Conscience ! why, you are mad! did y

BAFFLED CUNNING.

[Erevnt Lawyers. ever hear any man talk of conscience in political Lord Lum. And while the lawyers are preparing matters ? Conscience, quotha ? I have been in parlia. the writings, Sir Pertinax, I will go and saunter with ment these three and tharty years, and never heard the women.

[Erit singing, Sons of care,' &c. the term made use of before :-sir, it is an unparliaSir Per. So! a little flattery mixt with the finesse mentary word, and you will be laughed at for it; of a gilded promise on the one side, and a quantum therefore, I desire you will not offer to impose upon sufficit of the aurum palpabile on the other, have at me with sic phantoms, but let me know your reason

1 last made me the happiest father in Great-Britain. for thus slighting my friends and disobeying my comHah! my heart expands itself, as it were, through mands.-Sir, give me an immediate and an explicit ! every part of my whole body, at the completion of this answer. business, and feels nothing but dignity and elevation. Eger. Then, sir, I must frankly tell you, that you

work against my nature; you would connect me with Sir PertinAX MACSYCOPHANT and his Son.

men I despise, and press me into measures I abhor ; Sir Per. Come hither, Charles.

would make me a devoted slave to selfish leaders, Eger. Your pleasure, sir.

who have no friendship but in faction-no merit but Sir Per. About twa hours since I told vou, Charles, in corruption-nor interest in any measure but their that I received this letter express, complaining of own ;-and to such men I cannot submit; for know, your brother's activity at an election in Scotland sir, that the malignant ferment which the venal amagainst a particular friend of mine, which has given bition of the times provokes in the heads and hearts great offence ; and, sir, you are mentioned in the of other men, I deiest. letter as weel as he: to be plain, I must roundly tell Sir Fcr. What are you about, sir ? malignant feryou, that on this interview depends my happiness as ment! and venal ambition! Sir, every man should a father and as a man; and my affection to you, sir, be ambitious to serve his country--and every man as a son, for the remainder of our days.

should be rewarded for it: and pray, sir, would nai Eger. hope, sir, I shall never do any thin" either you wish to serve your country ? Answer me that.to forfeit your afiection, or disturb your happiness. I say, would nai you wish to serve your country?

Sir Per. I hope so too : but to the point. The fact Eger. Only stow me how I can serve my country, is this : there has been a motion maile this vary slay and my life is hers. Vere I qualitied to lead her to bring ou the grand affair, which is settled for Fri- armies, to steer her fleets, and deal her honest venday seven-night :--now, sir, as you are popular, have geance on her insulting foes ; -or could ny eloquence talents, and are weel heard, it is expected, and I in- fall down a state leviathan, mighty by the plunder of sist upon it, that you endeavour to atone, sir, for your his country, black with the treasons of her disgrace, late misconduct, by preparing, and taking a large and send his infamy down to a free posterity, as a share in that question, and supporting it with aw monumental terror to corrnpt ambuion, I would be your power.

foremost in such service, and act it with the unremitEger. Sir, I have always divided as you directed, (ting ardour of a Roman spirit.

Sir Per. Vary weel, sir! vary weel! the fellow is the other-impiously and a dacicusly affront the * beside himself !

Majesty of Heaven, by calling him to witness that Eger. But to be a common barker at envied power they have not received, nor ever will receive, reward --cu beat the drum of faction, and sound the trumpet or consideration for his suffrage.- Is not this a fact, of insidious patriotism, only to displace a rival-or sir? Can it be denied ? Can it be believed by those to be a servile voter in proud corruption's filthy train who know not Britain ? Or can it be matched in the --to market out my voice, my reason, and my trust, records of human policy ?-Who then, sir, that reto the party-broker who best can promise or pay for flects one moment, as a Briton or a Christian, on prostitution ; these, sir, are services my nature abbors this picture, would be conducive to a people's infamy -for they are such a malady to every kind of virtue, and a nation's ruin ? as must in time destroy the fairest constitution that Sir Per. Sir, I have heard your rhapsody with a ever wisdom framed, or virtuous liberty fought for. great deal of patience, and great astonishment--and

Sir Per. Why, are you mad, sir ? you have cer- you are certainly beside yourself. What the devil tainly been bit by some mad whig or other : but business have you to trouble your head about the sins now, sir, after aw this foul-mouthed phrenzy, and or the souls of other men ? You should leave this patriotic vulgar intemperance, suppose we were to matter till the clergy, wha are paid for looking after ask you a plain question or twa: Pray, what single them; and let every man gang to the devil his ain ustance can you, or any man, give of the political way: besides it is nai decent to find fault with what vice or corruption of these days, that has nai been is winked at by the whole nation—nay, and pracpractised in the greater states, and in the most vir- tised by aw parties. tuous tiines ? I challenge you to give me a single Eger. That, sir, is the very shame, the ruin I instance.

complain of. Eger. Your pardon, sir-it is a subject I wish to Sir Per. Oh! you are vary young, vary young in decline : you know, sir, we never can agree about it. these matters; but experience will convince you, sir, Sir Per. Sir, I insist upon an answer.

that every man in public business has twa consciences Eger. I beg you will excuse me, sir.

-a religious and a political conscience. Why, you Sir Per. I will not excuse you, sir.-I insist. see a merchant now, or a shopkeeper, that kens the

Eger. Then sir, in obedience, and with your pa- science of the world, always looks upon an oath at a tience, I will answer your question.

custom-house, or behind a counter, only as an oath in Bir Per. Ay! ay! I will be patient, never fear : business, a thing of course, a mere thing of course, come, let us have it, let us have it.

that has nothing to do with religion ;--and just so it Eger. You shall; and now, sir, let prejudice, the is at an election,--for instance now-I am a candi. rage of party, and the habitual insolence of success-date, pray observe, and I gang till a periwig-maker, ful vice---paise but for one moment-ad let religion, a hatter, or a hosier, and I give ten, twenty, or tharty laws, power herself, the policy of a nation's virtue, guineas for a periwig, a hat, or a pair of hose ; and and Britain's guardian genius, take a short, impar- so on, through a majority of voters ;-vary weel ;= tir] retrospect but of one transaction, notorious in this what is the consequence ? Why, this commercial inJand-then musi they behold yeomen, freemen, citi-tercourse, you see, begets a friendship betwixt us, a zens, artisans, divines, courtiers, patriots, merchants, commercial frievdship- and in a day or twa these soldiers, sailors, and the whole plebeian tribe, in men gang and give me their sufferages; weel! what septennial procession, urged and seduced by the con- is the inference ? Pray, sir, can you, or any lawyer, tending great ones of the land 10 the altar of perjury divine, or casuist, caw this a bribe ? Nai, sir, in fair -with the bribe in one hand, and the evangelist in political reasoning, it is ainly generosity on the one

upon it.

side, and gratitude on the other. So, sir, let me I virtue, though covered with a village garb, is virtue have nai mare of your religious or philosophical re- still; and of more worth to me than all the splendeur finements, but prepare, attend, and speak till the of erisined pride or redundant wealth. Therefore, question, or you are nai son of mine. "Sir, I insist sir

Sir Per. Ilaud your jabbering, you villain, haud Enter SAM.

vuur jabbering ; none of your romance or refinement Sam. Sir, my lord says the writings are now ready, till nie. I have but one question to ask you—but and his lordship and the lawyers are waiting for you one question, and then I have done with you for and Mr. Egerton.

ever, for ever ; therefore think before you answer : Sir Per. Vary weel : we'll attend his lordship.- |--Will you marry the lady, or will you break my [Exit Sam.] I tell you, Charles, aw this conscien- heart ? tious refinement in politics is downright ignorance, Eger. Sir, my presence shall not offend you any and impracticable romance ; and, sir, I desire to hear longer : but when reason and reflection take their no more of it. Come, sir, let us gang down and turn, I am sure you will not be pleased with yourself finish this business.

for this unpaternal passion.

[Going. Eger. (Stopping Sir Per, as he is going off.] Sir, Sir Per. Tarry, I command you ; and, I command with your permission, I beg you will first hear a word you likewise not to stir till you have given me an anor two upon the subject.

swer, a definitive answer: will you marry the lady, Sir Per. Weel, sir, what would you say ?

or will you not ? Eger. I have often resolved to let you know my Eger. Since you command me, sir, know then, aversion to this match

that I cannut, will not marry her.

(Exit. Sir Per. Ilow, sir !

Sir Per. Oh! the villain bas shot me through the Eger. But my respect, and fear of disobliging you, head : he has cut my vita!s ! I shall run distracted; bave hitherto kept me silent

the fellow destroys aw my measures-aw my schemes: Sir Per. Your aversion! your aversion, sir ! how ---there never was sic a bar ain as I have made with dare you use-sic language till me? Your aversion! this foolish lord :-possession of his whole estate, Look you, sir, I shall cut the matter very short : with three boroughs upon it-six members.– Why, consider, my fortune is nai inheritance; aw mine ain what an acquisition ! what consequence ! what dig. acquisition: I can make ducks and drahes of it; so nity! what weight till the house of Macsycophant. .do not provoke me, but sign the articles directly. 0! damn the fellow ! three boroughs, only for send

Eger. I beg your pardon, sir, but I must be free ing down six broom-sticks.-0! miserable ! miseron this occasion, and tell you at once, thrat I can no able ! ruined ! undone! For these five and twenty longer dissemble the honest passion that fills my heart years, ever since this fellow came into the world. for another woman.

have I been secretly preparing him for ministerial Sir Per. How! another woman ! and, you villain, dignity-and with the fellow's eloquence, abilities, how dare you love another woman without my leave? popularity, these boroughs, and proper connections, he · But what other woman—who is she ? Speak, sir, might certainly, in a little time, have done the deed; speak.

and sure never were times so favourable, every thing Eger. Constantia.

conspires, for aw the auld political post-horses are Sir Per. Constantia ! oh, you profligate! what! broken-winded and foundered, and cannot get on, .a creature taken in for charity!

and as till the rising generation, the vanity of surEger. Her poverty is not her crime, sir, but her passing one another in what they foolishly call taste misfortune : her birth is equal to the noblest; and and elegance, binds them hand and foot in the chain

of luxury, wnich will always set them up till the friendships, and charities, hospitalities, and sic kind best bidder ; so that if they can but get wherewithal of nonsense. -But to the business.Maister to supply their dissipation, a minister may convertSidney, I love you-yes, I love you—and I have the political morals of aw sic voluptuaries intill a been looking out and contriving how to settle you in vote that would sell the nation till Prester John, and the world. -- Sir, I want to see you comfortably and their boasted liberties till the great Mogul:—and this honourably fixed at the head of a respectable family; opportunity I shall lose by my son's marrying a var- and guin you were mine ain son a thousand times, I tuous beggar for-love:-0! confound lier vartue ! could nai make a more valuable present till you for it will drive me distracted.

[Exit that purpose, as a partner for life, than this same Con

stantia, with sic a fortune down with her as you yourSYCOPHANCY AND INDEPENDENCE CONTRASTED self shall deem to be competent, and an assurance of Sir PERTINAX MACSYCOPHANT and SIDNEY

every canonical contingency in my power to conser

or promote. Sid. Sir Pertinax, your servant :~Mr. Tomlins Sid. Sir, your offer is noble and friendly : but told me you desired to speak with me.

though the highest station would derive lustre from Sir Per. Yes, I wanted to speak with you upon a Constantia's charms and worth, yet were she more very singular business. Maister Sidney give me your amiable than love could paint her in the lover's hand. - Guin it did nai look like dattery, which I fancy- and wealthy beyond the thirst of the miser's detest, I would tell you Maister Sidney, that you are appetite-I could not-would not wed her.

(Rises. an honour till your cloth, your country, and till hu Sir Per. Not wed her ! odswuns, man! you surman nature.

prise me !-Why so ?—What hinders ? Sid. Sir, you are very obliging.

Sid. I beg you will not ask a reason for my refusal Sir Per. Sit you down, Maister Sidney :-sit you ---but, briefly and finally-it cannot be ; nor is it a

-My friend, I am under the subject I can longer converse upon. greatest obligations till you for the care you have Sir Per. Weel, weel, weel, sir, I have done I have taken of Charles. The principles-religious, moral, done. Sit down, man ;-sit down again ;--sit you and political, that you have infused intill him, de down.-I shall mention it no more ;—not but I must mand the warmest return of gratitude both fra him confess honestly till you, friend Sidney, that the match,

had you approved of my proposal, besides profiting Sid. Your approbation, sir, next to that of my own you, would have been of singular service till me likeconscience, is the best test of my endeavours, and the wise. However, you may still serve me as effectually highest applause tiey can receive.

as if you had married her. Sir Per. Sir, you deserve it-richly deserve it. Sid. Then, sir, I am sure I will most heartily. And now, sir, the same care that you have had of Sir Per. I believe it, friend Sidney, and I thank

wife has taken of her favourite you. my

-I have nai friend to depend upon but your-And sure, never were accomplish- self. heart is almost broke. -I cannot help ments, knowledge or principles, social and religious, these tears. -And, to tell you the fact at once infused intill a better nature.

your friend Charles is struck with a most dangerous Sid. In truth, sir, I think so too.

malady--a kind of insanity.--You see I cannot Sir Per. She is besides a gentle woman, and of as help weeping when I think of it ;-in short-this guid a family as any in this county.

Constantia, I am afraid, has cast an evil eye upon Sid. So I understand, sir.

him.-Do you understand me ? Sir Per. Sir, her father had a vast estate ; the Sid. Not very well, sir. which he dissipated and melted in feastings and Sir Per. Why, he is grievously smitten with the

down here by me.

and fra me.

Charles-the
Constantia.

same

« ZurückWeiter »