« ZurückWeiter »
string, properly tuned, may be still made to produce the very harmony we wish for. Yes, yes! I have it: this serjeant, I see, understands business—and, if I am not mistaken, knows how to take a hin' Plaus. O nobody better, Sir Pertinax. Sir Per. Why then, Plausible, the short road is always the best with sic a mon.—You must even come up till his mark at once, and assure him from me, that I will secure him a seat for one of these vary boroughs. Plaus. O ! that will do, Sir Pertinax—that will do, I'll answer for it. Sir Per. And further—I beg you will let him know that I think myself obliged to consider him in this affair, as acting for me as weel as for my lord, as a common friend till baith :—and for the services he has already done us, make my special compliments till him—and pray let this amicable bit of paper be my faithful advocate to convince him of what my gratitude further intends for his great [Gives him a bank-bill.] equity in adjusting this agreement betwixt my lord and me. - . Plaus. Ha, ha, ha!—upon my word, Sir Pertinax, this is noble.—Ay, ay! this is an eloquent bit of paper indeed. ir Per. Maister Plausible, in aw human dealings the most effectual method is that of ganging at once till the vary bottom of a man's heart:—for if we expect that men should serve us, we must first win their affections by serving them.
Enter Lord LUMBER count and Serjeant: Err her side.
sers. I assure you, Sir Pertinax, that in all his lordship's conversation with me . this business, and in his positive instructions—both he and I always understood the nomination to be in my lord, durante vito.
Plants. Well, but gentlemen, gentlemen, a little patience. Sure this mistake, some, how or other, may be rectified.—Pr’ythee, Mr. Serjeant, let you and I step into the next room by ourselves, and re
if we cannot hit upon a medium that will be agreeable to both parties. - Serj. [With great warmth.] Mr. Plausible, I have considered the clause fully; am entirely master of the question; my lord cannot give up the point. It is unkind and unreasonable to expect it. Plaus. Nay, Mr. Serjeant, I beg you will not misunderstand me. Do not think I want his lordship to give up any point without an equivalent. Sir Pertinax, will you permit Mr. Serjeant and me to retire a few moments to reconsider this point? Sir Per. For Heaven's sake, as your lordship and I can have but one interest for the future, let us have naimair words about these paltry boroughs, but conclude the agreement just as it stands: otherwise there must be new writings drawn, new consultations of lawyers; new objections and delays will arise; creditors will be impatient and impertinent, so that we shall nai finish the Lord knows when. Lord Lum. You are right, you are right: say no more, Mac, say no more. Split, the lawyers—you judge the |..." better than all Westminster-Hall could. It shall stand as it is : yes, you shall settle it your own way; for your interest and mine are the same, I see plainly. . Sir Per. No doubt of it, my lord. Lord Lum. O ! here the lawyers come.
Enter Counsellor Plausible and Serjeant Either side.
Serj. My lord, Mr. Plausible has convinced me— fully convinced me.
Plaus. Yes, my lord, I have convinced him; I have laid such arguments before Mr. Serjeant as were irresistible
Serj. He has indeed, my lord : besides, as Sir Pertinax gives his honour that your lordship's nomination shall be sacredly observed, why, upon a nearer review of the whole matter, I think it will be the wiser measure to conclude the agreement just as it is drawn. .
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 Eitherside, do you and Plausible despatch the business now as soon as possible. Serj. My lord, every thing will be ready in less than an hour. Come, Mr. Plausible, let us go and fill up the blanks, and put the last hand to the writings on our part. Plaus. I attend you, Mr. Serjeant. [Ereunt Lawyers. Lord Lum. And while the lawyers are preparing the writings, Sir Pertinax, I will go and saunter with the women. [Erit singing, ‘Sons of care,’ &c. Sir Per. So a little flattery mixt with the finesse of a gilded promise on the one side, and a quantum sufficit of the aurum palpabile on the other, have at last made me the happiest father in Great-Britain. Hah! my heart expands itself, as it were, through every part of my whole body, at the completion of this business, and feels nothing but dignity and elevation.
BAFF LED cu, N N ING. Sir PERTINAx Macsycoph ANT and his SoN. Sir Per. Come hither, Charles. Eger. Your pleasure, sir. Sir Per. About twa hours since I told you, Charles, that I received this letter express, complaining of your brother's activity at an election in Scotland against a particular friend of mine, which has given great offence; and, sir, you are mentioned in the letter as weel as he to be plain, I must roundly tell you, that on this interview depends my happiness as a father and as a man ; and my affection to you, sir, as a son, for the remainder of our days. Eger. I hope, sir, I shall never do anything either to forfeit your afiertion, or disturb your happiness. Sir Per. I hope so too : but to the point. The fact is this: there has been a motion made this vary day to bring on the grand affair, which is settled for Friday seven-night —now, sir, as you are popular, have talents, and are weel heard, it is expecte!, and 1 insist upon it, that you endeavour to atone, sir, for your late misconduct, by preparing, and taking a large share in that question, and supporting it with aw your power. Eger. Sir, I have always divided as you directed,
except on one occasion; never voted against your friends, only in that affair.—But, sir, I hope you wil. not so exert your influence, as to insist upon my supporting a measure by an obvious, prostituted sophistry, in direct opposition to my character and my cor. Science. Sir Per. Conscience why, you are mad! did you ever hear any man talk of conscience in political matters ? Conscience, quotha " I have been in parliament these three and tharty years, and never heard the term made use of before —sir, it is an unparliamentary word, and you will be laughed at for it; therefore, I desire you will not offer to impose upon me with sic phantoms, but let me know your reason for thus slighting my friends and disobeying my commands-Sir, give me an immediate and an explicit answer. Eger. Then, sir, I must frankly tell you, that you work against my nature; you would connect me with men I despise, and press me into measures I abhor; would make me a devoted slave to selfish leaders, who have no friendship but in faction—no merit but in corruption—nor interest in any measure but their own ;-and to such men I cannot submit ; for know, sir, that the malignant ferment which the venal ambition of the times provokes in the heads and hearts of other men, I detest. Sir Per. What are you about, sir? malignant fer. ment and venal ambition | Sir, every man should be ambitious to serve his country—and every man should be rewarded for it and pray, sir, would nai you wish to serve your country Answer me that.— I say, would nai you wish to serve your country Egor. Only show me how I can serve my country, and my life is hers. Were I qualified to lead her armies, to steer her fleets, and deal her honest vengeance on her insulting foes;–or could my eloquence poll down a state eviathan, mighty by the plunder of his country, black with the treasons of her disgrace, and send his infamy down to a free posterity, as a monumental terror to corrupt ambuion, I would be foremost in such service, and act it with the unremitting ardour of a Roman spirit.
Sir Per. Vary weel, sir! vary weel the fellow is beside himself Eger. But to be a common barker at envied power --to beat the drum of faction, and sound the trumpet of insidious patriotism, only to displace a rival—or to be a servile voter in proud corruption's filthy train —to market out my voice, my reason, and my trust, to the party-broker who best can promise or pay for prostitution; these, sir, are services my nature abbors —for they are such a malady to every kind of virtue, as must in time destroy the fairest constitution that ever wisdom framed, or virtuous liberty fought for. Sir Per. Why, are you mad, sir? you have certainly been bit by some mad whig or other; but now, sir, after aw this foul-mouthed phrenzy, and patriotic vulgar intemperance, suppose we were to ask you a plain question or twa : Pray, what single instance can you, or any man, give of the political vice or corruption of these days, that has nai been practised in the greater states, and in the most virtuous times I challenge you to give me a single instance. Eger. Your pardon, sir—it is a subject I wish to decline : you know, sir, we never can agree about it. Sir Per. Sir, I insist upon an answer. Eger. I beg you will excuse me, sir. Sir Per. I will not excuse you, sir.—I insist. Eger. Then sir, in obedience, and with your patience, I will answer your question. Sir P. r. Ay! av I will be patient, never fear: come, let us have it, let is have it. Eger. You shall; and now, sir, let prejudice, the rage of party, and the habitual insolence of successful vice—pause but for one moment—and let religion, laws, power herself, the policy of a nation's virtue, and Britain's guardian genius, take a short, impartirl retrospect bat of one transaction, notorious in this land—then must they behold yeomen, freemen, citizens, artisans, divines, countiers, patriots, merchants, soldiers, sailors, and the whole plebeian tribe, in septennial procession, urged and seduced by the contending great ones of the land to the altar of perjury —with the bribe in one hand, and the evangelist in
the other—impiously and a daciously affront the Majesty of Heaven, by calling him to witness that they have not received, nor ever will receive, reward or consideration for his suffrage.—Is not this a fact, sir? Can it be denied ? Can it be believed by those who know not Britain 2 Or can it be matched in the records of human policy –Who then, sir, that reflects one moment, as a Briton or a Christian, on this picture, would be conducive to a people's infamy and a nation's ruin Sir Per. Sir, I have heard your rhapsody with a great deal of patience, and great astonishment—and you are certainly beside yourself. What the devil business have you to trouble your head about the sins or the souls of other men You should leave this matter till the clergy, wha are paid for looking after them ; and let every man gang to the devil his ain way: besides it is nai decent to find fault with what is winked at by the whole nation—nay, and practised by aw parties. Eger. That, sir, is the very shame, the ruin I complain of. Sir Per. Oh you are vary young, vary young in these matters; but experience will convince you, sir, that every man in public business has twa consciences —a religious and a political conscience. Why, you see a merchant now, or a shopkeeper, that kens the science of the world, always looks upon an oath at a custom-house, or behind a counter, only as an oath in business, a thing of course, a mere thing of course, that has nothing to do with religion;–and just so it is at an election,-for instance now—I am a candidate, pray observe, and I gang till a periwig-maker, a hatter, or a hosier, and I give ten, twenty, or tharty guineas for a periwig, a hat, or a pair of hose ; and so on, through a majority of voters —vary weel;— what is the consequence Why, this commercial intercourse, you see, begets a friendship betwixt us, a commercial friendship—and in a day or twa these men gang and give me their sufferages; weel ! what is the inference Pray, sir, can you, or any lawyer, divine, or casuist, caw this a bribe Nai, sir, in fair political reasoning, it is ainly generosity on the one
side, and gratitude on the other. So, sir, let me have nai mare of your religious or philosophical refinements, but prepare, attend, and speak till the question, or you are nailson of mine. Sir, I insist upon it. Enter SAM. Sam. Sir, my lord says the writings are now ready, and his lordship and the lawyers are waiting for you and Mr. Egerton. Sir Per. Vary weel : we'll attend his lordship.– [Erit Sam.] I tell you, Charles, aw this conscientious refinement in politics is downright ignorance, and impracticable romance; and, sir, I desire to hear no more of it. Come, sir, let us gang down and finish this business. Eger. [Stopping Sir Per. as he is going off.] Sir, with your permission, I beg you will first hear a word or two upon the subject. Sir Per. Weel, sir, what would you say ? oger. I have often resolved to let you know my aversion to this match----Sir Per. How, sir! Eger. But my respect, and fear of disobliging you, have hitherto kept me silent Sir Per. Your aversion your aversion, sir! how dare you use-sic language till me ! Your aversion Look you, sir, I shall cut the matter very short : — consider, my fortune is nai inheritance; aw mine ain acquisition: I can make ducks and drakes of it; so do not provoke me, but sign the articles directly. Eger. I beg your pardon, sir, but I must be free on this occasion, and tell you at once, that I can no longer dissemble the honest passion that fills my heart for another woman. Sir Per. How ! another woman land, you villain, how dare you love another woman without my leave But what other woman—who is she Speak, sir, speak. Eger. Constantia. Sir Per. Constantia oh, you profligate what a creature taken in for charity Eger. Her poverty is not her crime, sir, but her
misfortune : her birth is equal to the noblest; and
virtue, though covered with a village garb, is virtue still; and of more worth to lie than all the splendour of errained pride or redundant wealth. Therefore, sit
Sir Per. Haud your jabbering, you villain, haud your jabbering ; none of your romance or refinement till me. I have but one question to ask you—but one question—and then I have done with you for ever, for ever; therefore think before you answer: —Will you marry the lady, or will you break my heart 2 Eger. Sir, my presence shall not offend you any longer : but when reason and reflection take their turn, I am sure you will not be pleased with yourself for this unpaternal passion. - [Going. Sir P. r. Tarry, I command you ; and, I command you likewise not to stir till you have given me an answer, a definitive answer: will you marry the lady, or will you not 2 Eger. Since you command me, sir, know then, that I cannot, will not marry her. [Erit. Sir Per. Oh the villain has shot me through the head : he has cut my vitals' I shall run distracted; the fellow destroys aw my measures—aw my schemes: —there never was sic a bargain as I have made with this foolish lord : —possession of his whole estate, with three boroughs upon it—six members.-Why, what an acquisition what consequence what dignity what weight till the house of Macsycophant. O damn the fellow ! three boroughs, only for sending down six broom-sticks—O ! miserable miserable ruined undone ! For these five and twent years, ever since this fellow came into the world. have I been secretly preparing him for ministerial dignity—and with the fellow's eloquence, abilities, popularity, these boroughs, and proper connections, he might certainly, in a little time, have done the deed; and sure never were times so favourable, every thing conspires, for aw the auld political post-horses are broken-winded and foundered, and cannot get on, and as till the rising generation, the vanity of surpassing one another in what they foolishly call taste and elegance, binds them hand and foot in the chain
of luxury, which will always set them up till the best bidder; so that if they can but get where withal to supply their dissipation, a minister may convert the political morals of aw sic voluptuaries intill a vote that would sell the nation till Prester John, and their boasted liberties till the great Mogul:—and this opportunity I shall lose by my son's marrying a var. tuous beggar for love:-O ! confound her vartue it will drive me distracted. [Erit
SY Copii ANCY AND INDEPENDENCE coxT RASTED Sir PERTINAx MIAcsycoph ANT and SIDNEY
Sid. Sir Pertinax, your servant:—Mr. Tomlins told me you desired to speak with me. Sir Per. Yes, I wanted to speak with you upon a very singular business. Maister Sidney give me your hand. – Guin it did nai look like flattery, which I detest, I would tell you Maister Sidney, that you are an honour till your cloth, your country, and till huInan nature. Sid. Sir, you are very obliging. Sir Per. Sit you down, Maister Sidney —sit you down here by me. My friend, I am under the greatest obligations till you for the care you have taken of Charles.—The principles—religious, moral, and political, that you |. infused intill him, de.. the warmest return of gratitude both fra him and frame. sid. Your approbation, sir, next to that of my own conscience, is the best test of my endeavours, and the highest applause they can receive. Sir Per. Sir, you deserve it—richly deserve it. And now, sir, the same care that you have had of Charles—the same my wife has taken of her favourite Constantia. And sure, never were accomplishments, knowledge or principles, social and religious, infused intill a better nature. Sid. In truth, sir, I think so too. Sir Per. She is besides a gentlewoman, and of as id a family as any in this county. ..Sid. So I understand, sir. Sir Per. Sir, her father had a vast estate ; the which he dissipated and melted in feastings and
friendships, and charities, hospitalities, and sic kind of nonsense. But to the business. Maister Sidney, I love you—yes, I love you—and I have been looking out and contriving how to settle you in the world.—Sir, I want to see you comfortably and honourably fixed at the head of a respectable family; and guin you were mine ain son a thousand times, I could nai make a more valuable present till you for that purpose, as a partner for life, than this same Constantia, with sic a fortune down with her as you yourself shall deem to be competent, and an assurance of every canonical contingency in my power to conser or promote. Sid. Sir, your offer is noble and friendly : but though the highest station would derive lustre from Constantia's charms and worth, yet were she more amiable than love could paint her in the lover's fancy—and wealthy beyond the thirst of the miser's appetite—I could not—would not wed her. [Rises. Sir Per. Not wed her odswuns, man you surprise me !—Why so —What hinders Sid, I beg you will not ask a reason for my refusal —but, briefly and finally—it cannot be ; nor is it a subject I can longer converse upon. Sir Per. Weel, weel, weel, sir, I have done—I have done. Sit down, man —sit down again;–sit you down.—I shall mention it no more ;-not but I must confess honestly till you, friend Sidney, that the match, had you approved of my proposal, besides profiting you, would have been of singular service till me likewise. However, you may still serve me as effectually as if you had married her. Sid. Then, sir, I am sure I will most heartily. Sir Per. I believe it, friend Sidney, and I thank Woll. I have nai friend to depend upon but yourself. My heart is almost broke. I cannot help these tears. And, to tell you the fact at once— vour friend Charles is struck with a most dangerous inalady—a kind of insanity. You see I cannot help weeping when I think of it;-in short—this Constantia, I am afraid, has cast an evil eye upon him.—Do you understand me ! Sid. Not very well, sir. Sir Per. Why, he is grievously smitten with the