Page images

Tan. A very unfashionable one, uncle-in paying my debts.

Cau. (c.) You know, Frank, you once disgraced yourself, and deeply offended me, by borrowing money of MʻQuery, a knavish money-lender. If your debts are of that description, you become my antipathy, my detestation.

Tan. On my honour, no.

Cau. Well, then, as I can better afford to lose it than an honest creditor, I'll give it you on conditions-first, that

you adhere to the law. Tan. Granted. Cau. Secondly, that you leave that hair-brained folly, which makes me mad, -that castle-building.

Tun. Oh! granted.

Cau. And, lastly, that this thousand shall be the sum total of your extravagance.

Tan. With all my heart-And here's my hand.

Cau. But, Frank, what say you to 30,0001. down on the nail ?

Tan. I say, sir, that no particular objection to it strikes me at present.

Cuu. Then I'll tell you--Here's a will, by which it is supposed Miss Clementina Allspice will be heiress to that sum.

Now I'll introduce you : and if, on seeing her, you agree with me that she is grossly vulgar, and extravagantly affected-in short, should you thoroughly dislike her, I can see no rational objection to your marrying her.

Tan. Certainly not-I'll attend you ; but first I must go to the courts.

Cau. Ay, stick to the law-stick to that stick to anything. You remember your pranks. This hour writing a satire on the frivolity of the age, the next riding a hundred miles to shoot at a target. One day dressed in solemn black for the purpose of ordination. The next in a pink jacket and jockey cap, riding a match at Newmarket-so, no more of that, but stick to the law.

Tan. To be sure ; what expansion of intellect it occa. siops! What honours does it not lead to !

Cau. True!
Tun. Think of the woolsack.
Ciu. Yes.
Tan. There's an object to look to !

Cau. Tremendous !

Tan. My ambition anticipates my honours, and I see myself in the envied situation.

Cau. Eh!
Tan. Dress'd in my robes, I bow to the throne.

[Sits down with dignity in a chair. Cau. Zounds! now he's at it.

[Tangent rises and puts on his hat. Tan. Order! order! is it your lordship's pleasure this bill do pass-as many as are content, say “Ay,"not content,"No"- the contents have it.

Cau. Now would it not provoke the devil ?--I humbly move that your lordship may leave the woolsack, and that your brains may cease to go a wool.gathering.

Tan. My lord !-Eh !-Oh!-] beg your excuse, unclem I was just indulging a little flight.

Cau. Yes, I know you were; but where are you


Tan. To the courts.
Cau. Pray stick to the law.

Tan. And to the woolsack. Does not the hope of that fill our universities with blockheads, and cram our courts full of barristers, with heads as empty as they leave their clients' pockets !--As many as are content, say " Ay," not content, “No”-The contents have it. [Exit, L.

Cau. So-mad and absurd as ever! But I trust he has a good heart, and I'll give him fair play ; for, sometimes, the subsiding opposition of worth and folly produces the brightest characters, even as the beautiful firmament is said to have been formed from the contending chaos of ligbt and darkness.

[Exit, ...

SCENE II.-Faulkner's House-- knocking at the door, R.–Faulkner crosses the stage, and opens the door.

Enter Servant, R. D. Ser. Captain Faulkner, my master (Mr. Caustic) will wait on you this morning for the payment of his rent.

Fau. (c.) My compliments, and I shall be glad to see him. [Exit Servant, R. D.] Thank heaven, enough remains for that! My rent being paid, perhaps I may gloss over the meagre hue of poverty, till my law suit is decided. [A hurp is heard, L.] Poor Julia! didst thou know thy father's abject penury, 'iwould break thy heart. Perhaps it may be concealed--at least I'll try to think so. Julia ! my daughter!

Enter JULIA, L.
Jul. My dearest father!
Fau. My child! thou art this day of age.

Jul. Yes, sir. (Averting her face with dejection--then recovering herself.] I beg your pardon.

Fau. Heiress of penury! My darling girl! Oh, bad heaven so willed it, this had been a morning that pleasure might have long'd for. The sad reverse made sleep a stranger to me. I rose, and gave thee, Julia, all a poor fond father could-a blessing at the throne of mercy.

Jul. More rich, more valued, than all the splendour we have lost. Indeed, I grieve not for it. Pray, sir, be cheerful, as we are above the reach of want.

Fau. Oh! [Stifling agroan.] True, my love; return to your harp-I expect my attorney-he despatched, I'll come to thee. Sure, he stays I-What says my watch ? -hold-I forgot I had parted with it.

[Aside. Jul. How fortunate! Look, sir, I've made a purchase for you. [Showing a watch.) Since you lost your's, you have been less punctual in coming home, and I have been the loser of many a happy hour-'tis quite a bargain-the man will call to-day for the money.

Fau. How unlucky!

Jul. You are not angry ! You cannot be! What, not a kiss for my attention?

Fau. My only comfort! [Kisses her.] Here's a banknote-pay for your purchase, and employ the rest in procuring our household wants. Go in-a thousand blessings on thee? [Exit Julia, L.] Poor luckless wench! Oh, how willingly would I lay down this life, but for thy sake, my child ! M'Que. [Without, R. D.] Captain Faulkner!

[Faulkner goes to the door, R. and opens it.

Enter MʻQUERY, R. D. Fau. Ah, my attorney! Speak, tell me, relieve the sufferings of a parent's heart-am I to despair ? [M'Query shakes his head.] Is there a hope?

M'Que. (R. C.) Here's a letter. [Faulkner opens it with trepidation, and gives it to


Fau. Pray read it.

M'Que. (Reads.). “ Sir, I am sorry that, instead of congratulating you on the recovering your valuable estates, I have to inform you, that, by an unlucky and accidental error in our declaration, we were nonsuited. I must trouble you to remit me £200, as I cannot in prudence undertake the continuance of this inportant cause without the costs being secured to me - Your faithful strvant,

“ DEDIMUS Duplex.” Fau. Ruin! ruin !

M'Que. Oh, here's a bit of a postscript“A Mr. Tangent. Fau. Wbo?

[Alarmed. M'Que. What's the matter? [Reads.] “A Mr. Tangent has been frequently inquiring after you."

Fau. How unlucky!
M'Que. That you did not see him?
Fau. [With hesitation.] Y-ye-ye-yes--sir-
M'Que. How lucky, then! for I saw him just now.
Fau. In this town?
M'Que. Yes; I'll bring him here in a crack. [Going.
Fau. Hold ! not for the world.

M Que. Not for the world! what makes you tremble? Oh, ho! there's a bit of a secret, and I must be master of it. [Aside.] Come, an't I your friend ! Did not I come and offer my friendship and assistance, without even knowing you ?

Fau. You did so.

M'Que. And an't I still ready with my friendship and service?-And I will assist you.

Fau. Will you, will you, sir ? Indeed, I want it. Hear, then, my unhappy story; but swear by sacred honour.

M.'Que. If you've a bit of a bible, I'll take my oath ; honour's all moonshine.

Fau. No, sir. Honour is the conservation of society : without it even our virtues would be dangerous. It tempers courage, and vice it puts to shame; it irra. diates truth, and mixes up opposing passions in the sweet compound of urbanity.

M'Que. Oh, very true! (Aside.] I'll pop that into my next brief. Oh, it will make a flashy speech for one of our fine pathetic barristers ! But now for the secret. Whatever you communicate shall be locked here, upon

my honour.

Fau. It was my fate to marry contrary to my father's will, and I was driven by misfortune to India; where, after a residence of eighteen years, the news reached me of my father's decease, and that at his death he bad done me the justice he refused me living. I was about to return to England to take possession of my estates, when the service demanded my assistance to check the inroads of a powerful banditti that infested the frontier. In a skirmish, Lieutenant Richmond, a brave lad, fell by my side

he gave to my care one thousand pounds, as a bequest to his friend Mr. Tangent.

M'Que. So far, so well.

Fau. On my return, sir, I found my wife dying. I am sorry to trouble you with hearing my misfortunes.

M'Que. Don't mention it'tis a pleasure--you found your wife dying.

Fau. And my patrimony, as you know, usurped by a distant and wealthy relation-I endeavoured to find Mr. Tangent

M'Que. Oh no!

Fau. Indeed, I did, sir--distresses came upon mearrears for my daughter's education-the expenses of my wife's funeral

[Weeps. M'Que. [Aside.] Nobody would grudge that, sure.

Fau. And the hopes of recovering my ght by law, induced me, sir, to-to

M'Que. Maké use of Mr. Tangent's money.

Fau. Y-yes, sir. I doubted not but I could soon replace it. I had considerable prize-money due--ay, and somewhat hardly earned; but it is not paid. Involved with agents, proctors

M'Qur. Ay, and sweet pretty picking it is.

Fau. Then, sir, I hoped soon to recover my estates. But the progress of the law is, you know, so very slow

M'Que. We don't-we don't hurry ourselves, certainly.

Fau. Now, sir, would you advance the money to pay Mr.

M'Que. Why, you don't mean to pay it, do you?
Fau. Sir!

[With indignation. M'Que. Don't bother yourself about such a trifle ; pay him! pogh! stuff! Between ourselves, I thought you had been dabbling in a little forgery.

Fau, Villain! [Siezes him; M'Query smiles.] Oh! I beg pardon--you are pleasant.

M'Que. Yes, I am very pleasant; and I wish I could

« PreviousContinue »