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will no more part with her and thirty thousand pounds than he would with a guinea to keep me from starving.
Sir Geo. Now you see gold can't do everything, Charles. Cha. Yes, for 'tis her gold that bars
father's gate against you.
Sir Geo. Why, if he be this avaricious wretch how cam'st thou by such a liberal education ?
Cha. Not a souse out of his pocket I assure you: I had an uncle who defray'd that charge; but for some - little wildnesses of youth, though he made me his heir, left dad my guardian till I came to years of discretion, which I presume the old gentleman will never think I am; and now he has got the estate into his clutches,
it does me no more good than if it lay in Prester John's .dominions.
Sir Geo. What, canst thou find no stratagem to rehdeem it?
Cha. I have made many essays to no purpose; , though want, the mistress of invention, still tempts - me on, yet still the old fox is too cunning for me.
I am upon my last project, which if it fails, then for ce my last refuge, a brown musquet. !
Sir Geo. What is't ? can I assist thee?
Cha. Not yet; when you can I have confidence y enough in you to ask it. -1
Sir Geo. I am always ready. But what does he intend to do with Miranda? is she to be sold in private, or will he put her up by way of auction, at who bids
most ? if so, egad I'm for him ; my gold, as you say, shall be subservient to my pleasure.
Cha. To deal ingenuously with you, sir George, I know very little of her or home; for since my uncle's death and my return from travel I have never been well with my father; he thinks my expences too great, and I his allowance too little; he never sees me but he quarrels, and to avoid that I shun his house as much as possible. The report is he intends to marry her himself.
Sir Geo. Can she consent to it?
Cha. Yes faith, so they say: but I tell you I am wholly ignorant of the matter. “ Miranda and I are « like two violent members of a contrary party; I can “ scarce allow her beauty, though all the world does, “ nor she me civility for that contempt." I fancy she plays the mother-in-law already, and sets the old gentleman on to do mischief.
Sir Geo. Then I have your free consent to get her? Cha. Ay, and my helping hand if occasion be.
Sir Gco. Poh! yonder's a fool coming this way, let's avoid him.
Cha. What, Marplot ? No, no, he's my instrument; there's a thousand conveniencies in him; he'll lend me his money when he has any, run of my errands, and be proud on it; in short, he'll pimp for me, lie for me, drink for me, do any thing but fight for me, and that I trust to my own arm for.
Sir Geo. Nay, then he's to be endured; I never knew his qualifications before.
Enter MarPlot with a patch cross his face. Mar. Dear Charles your's—Ha! Sir George Airy ! the man in the world I have an ambition to be known
[ Aside.] Give me thy hand, dear boy. Cha. A good assurance! But hark ye, how came your
beautiful countenanceclouded in the wrong place? Mar. I must confess 'tis a little mal-a-propos; but no matter for that. A word with you Charles. Pr'ythee introduce me to sir George--he is a man of wit, and I'd give ten guineas to
Cha. When you have 'em you mean.
Mar. Ay, when I have 'em; pugh, pox, you cut the thread of my discourse. -I would give ten guineas I say to be rank’d in his acquaintance. “Well, “ 'tis a vast addition to a man's fortune, according to “ the rout of the world, to be seen in the company
of “ leading men, for then we are all thought to be poli"ticians, or whigs, or jacks, or highflyers, or lowflyers,
or levellers--and so forth; for you must know we “ all herd in parties now.
“ Cha. Then a fool for diversion is out of fashion I find. Mar. “Yes, without it be a mimicking fool, and they are darlings every where.” But pry'thee introduce
Cha. Well, on condition you'll give us a true account how you came by that mourning nose I will. Mar. I'll do it.
Cha. Sir George, here's a gentleman has a passionate desire to kiss your hand.
Sir Geo. Oh, I honour men of the sword! and I pre. sume this gentleman is lately come from Spain or Portugal-by his scars.
Mar. No, really, sir George, mine sprung from civil fury. Happening last night into the groom porter's—I had a strong inclination to go ten guineas with a sort of a, sort of a--kind of a milksop, as I thought. A pox of the dice! he fung out, and my pockets being empty, as Charles knows they often are, he proved a surly North Briton, and broke my face for my deficiency.
Sir Geo. Ha, ha! and did not you draw?
Mar. Draw sir! why I did but lay my hand upon my sword to make a swift retreat, and he roar'd out, Now the deel a ma sal, sir, gin ye touch yer steel Ise whip mine through yer wem.
Sir Geo. Ha, ha, ha!
Cha. Ha, ha, ha, hal Safe was the word. So you walk'd off I suppose.
Mar. Yes, for I avoid fighting, purely to be serviceable to
friends Sir Geo. Your friends are much obliged to you, sir: I hope you'll rank me in that number.
Mar. Sir George, a bow from the side box, or to be seen in your chariot, binds me ever your's.
Sir Geo. Trifles; you may command?em when you please.
Cha. Provided he may command you.
Mar. Me! why I live for no other purpose- -Sir George, I have the honour to be caress'd by most of the reigning toasts of the town: I'll tell 'em you are the finest gentleman
Sir Geo. No, no, pry’thee let me alone to tell the ladies-my parts—Can you convey a letter upon occaģion, or deliver a message with an air of business, ha?
Mar. With the assurance of a page and the gravity of a statesman.
Sir Geo. You know Miranda.
Mar. What! my sister ward? why, her guardian is mine; we are fellow sufferers. Ah, he is a covetous, cheating, sanctified, curmudgeon: that sir Francis Gripe is a damn'd old—hypocritical
Cha. Hold, hold; I suppose, friend, you forget that he is my father.
Mar. Egad and so I did Charles-I ask your pardon, Charles, but it is for your sake I hate him. Well, I say the world is mistaken in him; his outside piety makes him every man's executer, and his inside curning makes him every heir's gaoler. Egad, Charles, I'm halfpersuaded that thou'rt some ward too, andnever of his getting—for never were two things so unlike as you and your father ; he scrapes up every thing and thou spend’st every thing ; every body is indebted to him, and thou art indebted to every body.
Cha. You are very free, Mr. Marplot,
Mar. Ay, I give and take, Charles--you may be as free with me you know.