Enter OLD LOVEYET listening.
HUMPHRY. I mean the Constitution that you read in the newspapers about; that that your worship was a going to get at loggerheads with old Mr. What's-his-name, about.
LOVEYET. I'll old you, you rascal!
TRUEMAN. Did you never hear your friends in the country talk of the new Constitution?
HUMPHRY. Not I, I never heard anybody talk about it, at the Pharisee's Head;—I don't believe Jeremy Stave, the clark of the meeting-house, no, nor Parson Thumpum himself ever heard of such a word—No, not even old Mr. Scourge, the Schoolmaster.
TRUEMAN. A hopeful genius, for a Schoolmaster, upon my education. Do you send him to me,—I'll qualify him for that important station.
HUMPHRY. And I'll be qualify'd I never larnt such a word when I went to his school.
TRUEMAN. Nor any other one, I believe, properly speaking.
HUMPHRY. Oh yes, I'll say that for him;—he us'd to take a great deal of pains for to larn us proper speaking.
TRUEMAN. The Constitution you hear so much noise about, is a new government, which some great and good men have lately contrived, and now recommend for the welfare and happiness of the American nation.
LOVEYET. Oh, the traitor!
HUMPHRY. But didn't old Mr. What's-his-name say, how they wanted for to make slaves of us?
LOVEYET. There's old Mr. What's-his-name, again.
TRUEMAN. Mr. Loveyet is a weak man;—you must not mind what he says.
LOVEYET. Oh, I shall burst!
TRUEMAN. Only think now of his sending me a challenge, because I told him he was sixty odd years of—
LOVEYET. [Running towards them.] Death and the devil! Have I sent you a challenge?
HUMPHRY. No, not you, old gentleman.
LOVEYET. I'll give you old gentleman.—Take that, for calling me old again. [Offers to strike him; but missing his blow, he falls down.] Oh, what an unlucky dog I am! My evil genius is certainly let loose today.
TRUEMAN. Let us coolly enquire into this enigmatical affair, Mr. Loveyet. [Breaks open the note, and reads.] What is all this?—Booby—blockhead— satisfaction—challenge—courage—honour—gentleman—honour'd per Monsieur Cubb.
HUMPHRY. Aye, that's I.
TRUEMAN. And pray, Mr. Cubb, who gave you this pretty epistle?
HUMPHRY. Why, mounsieur, the barber.
TRUEMAN. By the dignity of my profession, it must be so:—Now there's a solution to the enigma.—Mr. Loveyet, you will excuse my mistaking this business so much;—the paltry Frisieur never enter'd my head;—you recollect I gave him a little flagellation this morning.
LOVEYET. Yes, and I recollect the occasion too;—this confounded upstart Constitution (that cause of all my crosses and troubles) is at the bottom of every mischief.
TRUEMAN. Yes, your wou'd-be Constitution, has indeed done a deal of mischief.
LOVEYET. I deny it;—it is perfectly inoffensive and mild.
TRUEMAN. Mild, indeed:—happy would it be for America, if her government was more coercive and energetic!—I suppose you have heard that Massachusetts has ratified this upstart Constitution;—this is the sixth grand column in the federal edifice; we only want three more to make up the lucky nine; and then the nine Muses will make our western world their permanent abode; and he who is at once their Favourite and Patron, will preside over the whole: then we shall see another Golden Age; arts will then flourish, and literature be properly encouraged. That's the grand desideratum of my wishes.
LOVEYET. A fig for your Latin and your literature!—That's the way your unconstitutional Constitutionalists take the advantage of our weak side, and—
TRUEMAN. And the said weak side being easily discovered, as you have but one side,—go on, sir.
LOVEYET. And cram their unconstitutional bolus down our throats, with Latin;—you and your vile junto of perfidious politicians want to Latin us out of our liberties.
HUMPHRY. Well, why don't they take the law of the pollikitchens then, eigh?
TRUEMAN. Mr. Loveyet, I never knew a man of your age and wisdom—
LOVEYET. Age, sir!—Wisdom!—Yes, wisdom, sir.—Age again, eigh? Ugh, ugh.
TRUEMAN. Was there ever such preposterous behaviour!—You are getting as crazy as your favorite Constitution.
LOVEYET. You are crazier than either, you old blockhead, or you would not make such a crazy speech: I say my constitution is a thousand per cent. better than yours. Ugh, ugh, ugh.
TRUEMAN. A pretty figure for a good constitution! What a striking instance of health, youth, and beauty! How emblematically grotesque! The very image of deformity and infirmity! A perfect mirror for Milton's description of Sin and Death.
Not Yorick's skull, nor Hamlet's ghost, Nor all the tragic, stage-made host; With saucer eyes, and looks aghast, Would make me run away so fast: Not all who Milton's head inspire,— "Gorgons and Hydras and Chimaeras dire!" Nor haggard Death, nor snake-torn Sin, Look half so ugly, old and thin; No—all his hell-born, monstrous crew, Are not so dire a sight as you!
[While TRUEMAN is saying this, LOVEYET appears to be in a violent rage, and makes several attempts to interrupt the former, who shuns LOVEYET, as if afraid.]
LOVEYET. Fire and murder!—Must I bear to be held up for such a monster? Perdition!—What shall I do? What shall I say?—Oh! oh! oh!—Oh! liberty! Oh, my country! Look how he ridicules me!—Did ever any poor man suffer so much for the good of his country!—But I won't give up the glorious cause yet;—sir,—Mr. Trueman—I insist upon it, the new Constitution, sir,—I say, that the old—the new—that—that—'Zounds and fury!—
[Running towards him, and making an attempt to strike him.
TRUEMAN. My dear Mr. Loveyet, compose yourself a little;—for heaven's sake, sir, consider;—your animal Constitution is not able to withstand the formidable opposition of my political one;—the shock is too great;—let me persuade you, sir; and as soon as nine States accede to the adoption of the new Constitution, we will investigate the merits of the old. Ha, ha, ha.
[This speech and the preceding one, are to be spoken at the same time; during which, TRUEMAN and LOVEYET run about the stage, and HUMPHRY retreats from them as they approach him.]
Enter HARRIET alarmed.
HARRIET. Oh, Papa,—my dear Papa, what's the matter!
LOVEYET. And, sir, as sure as—as—eight times nine is sixty-three, your new government is not bottom, not sound; and—
TRUEMAN. And as sure as you are sixty-three, your head is not sound.
LOVEYET. Here is your incomparable daughter;—I came here to acquaint you of her scandalous conduct; but now she can save me that trouble.
TRUEMAN. How, sir! My daughter's scandalous conduct?
LOVEYET. I was going to tell you. I caught her with a strange gallant,—a "very particular friend;" whose "love,—friendship, I would say," was so sincere, that she was kind enough to grant him a little "friendly freedom," in my presence.
TRUEMAN. Heaven protect me! There certainly must be something in this. [Aside.
LOVEYET. And that I have received a letter from my son.
HUMPHRY. Aye, now he's his son again. [Aside.
LOVEYET. And that he will be here soon, and that when he comes, I am going to marry him to Miss Maria Airy.
HUMPHRY. I must go tell Mr. Lovit of that, at once. [Aside, and exit.
LOVEYET. And—but it is no matter now:—I suppose she will tell you a fine story of a cock and a bull.
HARRIET. I shall not be base enough to deceive a father, I give you my honour, sir.
LOVEYET. I am very much mistaken if you have not given that to somebody already:—A woman's honour is a very perishable commodity; a little thing often spoils it.
HARRIET. By what a feeble tenure does poor woman hold her character and peace of mind!—It is true, sir, that a woman's reputation is too frequently, with ruffian cruelty, blasted in the bud, without a cause; and that so effectually, that it seldom or never flourishes again; but let me remind you, sir, in the words of the poet, that—
"Honour's a sacred tie, the law of kings;— It ought not to be sported with."
LOVEYET. I say it ought to be sported with; and, by my body, 'tis capital sport, too;—eigh, Horace?—[Sings.]—"Then hoity toity, whisky frisky, &c."
TRUEMAN. A truce to your insipid, hard-labour'd wit: the honour you are pleased to call in question, is not an empty name which can be purchased with gold; it is too inestimable to be counterpoised by that imaginary good; otherwise the titles of Honourable and Excellent would be always significant of his Honour's or his Excellency's intrinsic worth;—a thing "devoutly to be wish'd," but unfortunately too seldom exemplified; for, as the dramatic muse elegantly says of money,—"Who steals my purse, steals trash."
LOVEYET. I deny it;—the dramatic muse, as you call him, was a fool:—trash indeed! Ha, ha, ha. Money trash! Ready Rhino trash! Golden, glittering, jingling money!—I'm sure he cou'dn't mean the hard stuff.
TRUEMAN. Very sublime conceptions, upon my erudition; and expressed by some truly elegant epithets; but your ideas, like your conscience, are of the fashionable, elastic kind;—self-interest can stretch them like Indian-rubber.
LOVEYET. What a stupid old gudgeon!—Well, you'll believe what I tell you, sooner or later, Mr. Schoolmaster; so your servant:—as for you, Miss Hypocrite, I wish your Honour farewell, and I guess you may do the same.
TRUEMAN. These insinuations, Harriet, have put my anxiety to the rack.
HARRIET. I am happy I can so soon relieve you from it, sir. Young Mr. Loveyet arrived this morning; but, it seems, the old gentleman has entirely forgot him, during his long absence; and when he heard his father's resolution, in consequence of the dispute he had with you, he did not think proper to make himself known. It was this which made him think me so culpable, that you hear he talks of marrying him to my friend Maria.
TRUEMAN. I see into the mistake; but the worst construction the affair will admit, does not justify his using you so indecently; and, if it were not for the more powerful consideration of a daughter's happiness, I would make him repent it.
HARRIET. I have ever found my honoured, my only parent both wise in concerting plans for that daughter's happiness, and good in executing them to the utmost of his ability; and, I dare say, he does not think her alliance with Mr. Loveyet's son will prove unfavourable to her happiness.
TRUEMAN. Far from it, my child:—Your unusual good sense makes a common-place lecture unnecessary, Harriet; but beware of flattery and dissimulation; for the manners of the present age are so dissolute, that the young fellows of these degenerate days think they cannot be fine gentlemen without being rakes, and—in short, rascals; for they make a merit even of debauching innocence:—indeed, that is scarcely to be wondered at, when so many of those who are called ladies of taste and fashion, strange as it may seem, like them the better for it;—but I hope, you and Mr. Loveyet are exceptions to such depravity.
HARRIET. I think I can venture to assure you, we are, sir;—and now, if my father has nothing more to impart, I will take my leave of him; and be assured, sir, your advice shall be treasured here, as a sacred pledge of paternal love.—Adieu, Papa.
TRUEMAN. Farewell, Harriet;—Heaven prosper your designs.
SCENE II. A Street.
Enter HUMPHRY and WORTHNOUGHT meeting.
WORTHNOUGHT. Sir, your most obedient.
HUMPHRY. Here's that mackmarony again. [Aside.
WORTHNOUGHT. I have not the honour to know your name, sir, but if you will inform me what you were whispering with Mr. Loveyet about, you will make me the most obsequious and devoted of your slaves.
HUMPHRY. My slave!—Why, I wou'dn't have you for a slave, if you was to pay me for it;—with your silk sattin breeches, and your lily white gloves, and your crimp'd up toes, and your fine powder'd calabash, that's so smart outside.
WORTHNOUGHT. You entirely mistake my meaning, friend;—I'm a man of quality.—Do I look like a servant, a hireling, a vile menial?
HUMPHRY. No, you look more like a dancing-master, a fighting-master, or a play-actor, or some such flashy folks; but looks is nothing, for everybody dresses alike nowadays; like master, like man, as the old saying is; ecod, you can't tell a Congressman from a marchant's 'prentice, everybody dresses so fine.
WORTHNOUGHT. Ha, ha, ha,—he is pasitively a very eccentric bady, and there is a small tincture of a barbarous sart of wit in what he says; but it wants an immensity of correction, an infinitude of polishing; he is a mere son of nature, everything he says is express'd in such a Gathic, uncouth, Anti-Chesterfieldian style; and as for his dress, it is pasitively most prepasterously clownish and original.
HUMPHRY. Why he talks as many long-winded, old-fashioned words, as the Schoolmaster.
WORTHNOUGHT. Mr.—Mr.—Pray what is your proper name, besides Humphry? Your sirname, I mean.
HUMPHRY. My proper sirname is Humphry Cubb; why our family is the most largest family within the circumroundibus of fifty miles, and the most grandest too, tho' I say it that shou'dn't say it; for my father's father's great-grandfather was a just-ass of the peace, when King George the third was a sucking baby, and, therefore, as father says, a greater man then, than he was, ha, ha, ha. And his great aunt, by his mother's side, had the honour to be chief waiting woman to Mynheer Van Hardsprakencrampdejawmetlongname, the Dutch governor's public scratchetary; but I needn't go so far back neither, for I've got, at this present time, no less than two second cousins; one of 'em is soup-provider for the county, and t'other belongs to the liglislature, and both belonging to our family too;—both Cubbs.
WORTHNOUGHT. Yes, the world abounds with Cubbs, just such unlick'd ones as you are;—there is a profusion of them in this city.—You must know, I am Dick Worthnought, esquire; a gentleman, a buck of the blood, and a—you understand me.
HUMPHRY. Why, your family must be as big as mine, then; for I've seen hundreds of such Worth-nothing bloody bucks as you, since I've been in town.
WORTHNOUGHT. Your criticisms are perfectly barbarous and disagreeable, 'foregad; but,—will you let me know what you and the West-India young gentleman were whispering about, at Miss Trueman's?
HUMPHRY. Yes.—You can have Miss Trueman now, if you've a mind.
WORTHNOUGHT. Can I? Only prove your words, and enroll me your everlasting, your indissoluble friend, demme.
HUMPHRY. Friend me none of your friends; I don't want such everlasting friends as you, d'ye see, becase why, if you never make a beginning with your friendship, I'm sure it can't be everlasting; and if you've got a mind to shew your friendliness, I'm sure you cou'dn't have a more fitter time than now.
WORTHNOUGHT. What wou'd the addity have me say, I wonder.
HUMPHRY. I wou'dn't have you say anything,—you talk too much already, for the matter o' that; I like for to see people do things, not talk 'em.
WORTHNOUGHT. There [Gives him money.]—is that what you want?
HUMPHRY. Aye, I thought you understood me well enough.—Your friendship wants as much spurring and kicking and coaxing as our lazy old gelding at home;—I wou'dn't trust such a friend as far as I cou'd fling a cow by the tail.
WORTHNOUGHT. Poh, poh,—to the point, to the point.
HUMPHRY. Why, then you must know, how old Mr. Lovit is a going for to marry the West-Indian young gentleman to young Mistress Airy, I think he call'd her; and so you can go try Mistress Harriet yourself, for I'm sure she won't have him now.
WORTHNOUGHT. Why, pray?
HUMPHRY. Why if she gets him, she'll get a bastard, for old Mr. Lovit isn't his father.
HUMPHRY. No;—and then he and the Schoolmaster kick'd up a proper rumpus about a challenge I fetch'd him; and that's all the news you'll get for your money.—A poor shilling that won't buy ale to my oysters to-night.
This is a lucky meeting, 'foregad;—I'll go immediately and report, that young Loveyet has of late seen my quondam charmer carry a copy of him in miniature about her, which (strange to tell) is continually growing nearer to the life; and that he refuses to have her, on that account.—"If she gets him, she will get a bastard."—By which I choose to understand,—matters have gone so far, that she cannot save herself from that disgrace, even if she marries him.—Now, in order that this tale of mine may transpire briskly, I must first see some of my tattling female friends;—they will set it a going like wild-fire.—Split me, but it is an excellent thought;—ha, ha, ha. Poor Loveyet.
SCENE III. HERALD'S House.
Enter CANTWELL and HERALD.
CANTWELL. I am very happy to find you home;—I was almost eat up with the vapours before I saw you. [Sighs.]—Well, what's the news, Miss Herald?
HERALD. Nothing strange, Miss Tabitha; I am as barren of anything new, as an old Almanack.
CANTWELL. Oh shocking!—"as barren of anything new."—What an odious expression!—The most vulgarest comparison in nature.
HERALD. Umph.—I suppose, if Mr. Gracely was here, you would not be so much in the dumps.
CANTWELL. Ah, Miss Herald!—If you felt the corruptions of your wicked heart, you would be in the dumps too, as you call it.
HERALD. I believe there is a certain corruption in your heart, which our sex are apt to feel very sensibly, and that is the want of a husband.
CANTWELL. The want of a husband!—I vow, you are monstrous indelicate, Miss Herald; I am afraid you are wandering from the paths of vartue, as dear good Mr. Gracely says.
HERALD. There comes his very reverse,—Mr. Worthnought.
CANTWELL. Ah, he is a profane rake; he is lighter than vanity, as Mr. Gracely says;—a mere painted sepulchre.
HERALD. That ancient sepulchre of yours is pretty much daub'd, I think. [Aside.
WORTHNOUGHT. Ladies, J'ay bien de la joye de vous voir. I have the supernal and superlative hanor and felicity, of being most respectfully yours.
CANTWELL. I hope I have the pleasure to see Mr. Worthnought well.
WORTHNOUGHT. La, La, Mademoiselle; assez bien: Je vous suis oblige.—She has reviv'd her wither'd chaps with rouge in a very nasty manner, 'pan hanor. [Aside.]—Have you heard the news, respecting Miss Harriet Trueman, ladies?
CANTWELL. Yes, now I think on 't, there is a report about town, that old Mr. Loveyet saw her and another rather familiar together.
WORTHNOUGHT. Oh, you have not heard half, madam.
CANTWELL. Do, let us hear, Mr. Worthnought.
HERALD. Aye, do; but do not say anything that will hurt Miss Tabitha's delicacy; for, before you came in, I was complaining that I was barren of anything new, and she was almost ready to swoon at the expression.
WORTHNOUGHT. If Miss Tabitha has such an antipathy to barrenness, she will not be offended at my subject, which is a very prolific one, I assure you; for Miss Trueman is on the verge of bearing a son.
CANTWELL. Oh, horrid! What will this wicked world come to at last!—A good-for-nothing, wanton hussy.
WORTHNOUGHT. Very true, madam:—by persons of easy notions of virtue, indeed, it would be considered a trifling faux pas, as the French call it; a perfect bagatelle; or, at most, a superficial act of incontinency; but to those who have such rigid notions of virtue as Miss Cantwell, for example, or Miss Herald, or their humble servant; it appears quite another thing, quite another thing, ladies:—though it is one of my foibles;—I own it is a fault to be so intalerably nice about the affairs of women; but it is a laudable imperfection, if I may be allowed the phrase;—it is erring on the safe side, for women's affairs are delicate things to meddle with, ladies.
CANTWELL. You are perfectly in the right, Mr. Worthnought, but one can't help speaking up for the honour of one's sex, you know.
WORTHNOUGHT. Very true, madam:—to make the matter still worse, ladies, Mr. Loveyet is just arrived from abroad to be married to her; and the old gentleman is going to ally him immediately to Miss Maria Airy in consequence of it.
HERALD. I am glad of that, however;—I will forgive Miss Trueman her failing, if that is the case, for then I shall have a better chance to gain Frankton. [Aside.
WORTHNOUGHT. But this is entre nous, ladies.—[Looks at his watch.] Hah,—the tete-a-tete!—Ladies, I have the hanor to be your slave.
CANTWELL. You are positively the greatest lady's man, Mr. Worthnought,—
WORTHNOUGHT. I am proud of your compliment, madam; and I wish Miss Tabitha could consider me such, from her own experience; it would be conferring the highest hanor on her slave, 'pan hanor.
CANTWELL. Oh, sir,—your politeness quite confuses me. [Curtsying.
WORTHNOUGHT. Miss Herald, your thrice devoted.—Mademoiselle, je suis votre Serviteur tres humble.
CANTWELL. Mr. Worthnought, your servant.—[Exit WORTHNOUGHT.]—Don't you think he is a very pretty fellow, Miss Herald?—He's the very pattern of true politeness; his address is so winning and agreeable,—and then, he talks French, with the greatest felicity imaginable.
HERALD. I cannot say I see many perfections in him; but you talk'd very differently just now;—Mr. Worthnought then was lighter than vanity; and now, it seems, he has more weight with you, than good Mr. Gracely.
CANTWELL. You are only mortify'd that Mr. Worthnought took so little notice of you, ma'am; you see he prefers me to you, though you value yourself so much upon being a little young, ma'am; you see men of sense don't mind a few years, ma'am; so your servant, ma'am.
What a vain old fool! Now will she make this story of her swain spread like a contagion: as for me, I must circulate it pretty briskly too; perhaps, it may make me succeed better with Frankton; otherwise the poor girl might lie in peaceably, for me.
SCENE IV. OLD LOVEYET'S House.
OLD LOVEYET discovered solus.
Enter CHARLES LOVEYET.
CHARLES. Mr. Loveyet, your most obedient.
LOVEYET. Sir, your servant.
CHARLES. Don't you know me, sir?
LOVEYET. Yes, I think I have seen you before.
CHARLES. You really have, sir.
LOVEYET. Oh, yes, I recollect now;—you are the person who have supplanted my son.
CHARLES. Indeed, sir, I am not that person.
LOVEYET. How!—Was you not with Harriet Trueman, this morning?
CHARLES. Yes, sir; but I have no intention to supplant your son, I assure you; on the contrary, it is the supreme wish of my heart, that his love may be rewarded with so rich a treasure as the amiable Harriet.
LOVEYET. He shall be rewarded with a much richer one, if he is wise enough to think so.
CHARLES. If it be wisdom to prefer another to Harriet, then may I ever remain a fool! [Aside.
LOVEYET. But pray, sir, what is your business with me?
CHARLES. My business is first to know if you have any objection to my marrying Miss Trueman, sir.
LOVEYET. What a paradoxical fellow this is! [Aside.]—Did not you this minute say, you did not intend to have her?
CHARLES. I did not, sir; I mean to have her if possible, and that without disappointing your son; but I shall explain myself better, by telling you who I am. Look at me well, sir—did you never see such a face before?
LOVEYET. I hope I am not talking to a lunatic! [Aside.]—Yes, I saw you this morning.
CHARLES. Did you never see me before that, sir?
LOVEYET. [Looks at him steadfastly.] Yes,—I'm sure I have; and I'm very much mistaken, if—yes, that reconciles all his strange conduct;—it must be so;—it is Charles himself.
CHARLES. My father!
LOVEYET. And are you indeed my son?
CHARLES. I hope I am, sir; and as such, I thus kneel to obtain forgiveness for deceiving you so.
LOVEYET. Rise up my lad;—by my body, I am rejoic'd to see you;—you did take your father in a little, to be sure; but never mind it;—I'll take you in another way, perhaps.
CHARLES. I wish you would take me in the matrimonial way, sir;—that would be a most agreeable take in.
LOVEYET. Well, well, we shall not disagree about that:—I am very happy this affair clears up Harriet's conduct so well; she is a fine girl, that's certain; and, if you love her as much as you formerly did, why—I don't know what I may not do.
CHARLES. Oh, sir, you make me unspeakably happy! If my Love is to be the condition of the welcome Bond, I do not care if it is executed to-morrow; for, were the penalty an age of love, I am sure I could pay it.
LOVEYET. By my body, I'll have a wedding soon, and a merry one too:—I'll go and make it up with old Trueman;—but then he must not talk of the Constitution.—That's true, Charles, what government are you for, eigh?—The old or the new?
LOVEYET. I say, which Constitution do you like best?
CHARLES. What the mischief shall I say!—Now Love befriend me. [Aside.] Since you seem desirous of knowing my opinion on this subject, sir; I must candidly tell you, I am decidedly in favour of the new Constitution.
LOVEYET. Hah—the new Constitution!—A good-for-nothing, corrupted, aristocratic profligate!—But you shall not have her now; that is as fixed as fate.
CHARLES. Oh, cruel event! How soon all my towering hopes fall prostrate in the dust!—Do, sir, try and think better of the matter;—I will promise to make myself think or do anything you please, rather than have the double misfortune to offend my father, and lose my Harriet.
LOVEYET. Base foe to the liberties of his country!
CHARLES. It is very strange, sir, that you should be so violent about such matters, at your time of life.
LOVEYET. Hah! do you dare?—Yes, he wants to provoke me still more;—to talk to me about my time of life! Why, I'm not old enough for your father, you great whelp you:—Ungracious young bastard,—to have the assurance to ridicule his father!—Out of my house, you 'scape-grace!
CHARLES. Unnatural usage for so trivial an offense!—But I obey you, sir: I'll remain no longer in the house of a father, who is so destitute of a father's feelings; and since I see you value my happiness so little, sir, I shall not think myself undutiful, if I take some necessary steps to promote it myself.
LOVEYET. Out of my house, I say!—Promote your own happiness, forsooth; did you ever know any one to be happy without money, you fool?—And what will you do, if I don't choose to give you any, eigh?
CHARLES. As well as I can:—I have a few of your unnecessary thousands in my hands, thank fortune;—I'll try if they will not befriend me, if their avaricious owner, and my unnatural parent will not. [Aside, and exit.
LOVEYET. My time of life, indeed.—Provoking profligate!—I'll give Miss Airy all I'm worth, if she'll consent to have him;—the graceless fellow has us'd me so ill, that he shall be punish'd for it.
End of the Fourth Act.
SCENE I. A Street.
Enter YOUNG LOVEYET, HUMPHRY, and a NEGRO with a trunk on his head.
LOVEYET. Did you hear him say so?
HUMPHRY. Yes; he said how he was intend you should have Miss Mary Airy, or Airy Mary, or some such a name.
LOVEYET. Say you so, father?—I believe I shall do myself the pleasure to baulk you. I want you to go a little way with my man; but you will be sure to make no mistake.
HUMPHRY. No, no, never fear me; I an't so apt for to make blunders as you.
LOVEYET. [Looking at his watch.] 'Sdeath! I should have been with her half an hour ago.—I know I can depend on you. Here, Cuffy, go with this gentleman.
HUMPHRY. Why, if I am a gentleman, Mr. Cuffy needn't give himself the trouble;—I can carry it myself.
CUFFY. Tankee, massa buckaraw; you gi me lilly lif, me bery glad;—disa ting damma heby. [Puts down the trunk.]—An de debelis crooka tone in a treet more worsa naw pricka pear for poor son a bitch foot; an de cole pinch um so too!—
LOVEYET. No, no, you shall carry it;—your head is harder than his.
HUMPHRY. To be sure, my head is a little soft.
LOVEYET. You must let him take it to number two hundred and twenty-one, Broadway;—will you remember the direction?
HUMPHRY. Yes, number two hundred and twenty-one, Broadway.
LOVEYET. Right;—and enquire for Mr. Frankton, and tell him who it is from.
HUMPHRY. Aye, aye, let me alone for that.
[Exit, with NEGRO.
I think I am even with the old gentleman now;—but I lament the necessity of this conduct; and, if a man could eat and digest matrimony, without a little matter of money, I would forgive my unreasonable father, with all my heart; and he might eat his gold himself; though, by the bye, this sum of money, in equity and good conscience, is mine.—Now he wants to cross my inclination, by making me the rival of my friend;—what a strange whim! But if I don't trick him out of his project and his money too, it shall not be my fault.
SCENE II. MR. FRIENDLY'S House.
Notwithstanding the arrival of Charles, and the happy result of the interview with my father, my mind is not at ease;—these strange rumours must have some foundation;—one says he is married to Maria; another says, he is discovered to be illegitimate; a third reports, he was found in company with a woman of ill fame; and to conclude the catalogue of evil tidings, a fourth says, that old Mr. Loveyet is going to disinherit him, in consequence of his having made him a grandfather, since his arrival.—But here he comes.
Enter YOUNG LOVEYET.
LOVEYET. She seems very thoughtful;—perhaps, she too has been unfortunate in her suit to her father;—or, what is far worse, perhaps,—but I will not cherish such gloomy apprehensions.—Your servant, madam.
HARRIET. Good day, Mr. Loveyet.—"Your servant, madam!"—What a stoical salutation! I fear there is too much truth in what I have heard. [Aside.
LOVEYET. You seem unusually serious, Miss Harriet: I hope Mr. Trueman has not proved relentless as you expected.
HARRIET. No sir; it gives me pleasure to acquaint you, my father was all kindness and forgiveness.
LOVEYET. I wish I could say so of mine;—he indeed was kind and forgiving too at first; but no sooner had I begun to anticipate approaching happiness, than one luckless circumstance deprived me of all that love and hope had inspired.
HARRIET. An unlucky circumstance, indeed; but would the disappointment really be so great, if you were obliged to give up the thought of an alliance with me?
LOVEYET. How, Miss Harriet! Give up the thought of having you!—By heaven, it must be so!—Yes, the beau would never have presumed to say so much if it were not so;—and Frankton's ambiguous account of them both, confirms the suspicion;—and then the extravagant encomiums he bestowed on her yesterday.—Confusion! my fears were just, though he ridicul'd me for exposing them.—But she must not see my anxiety. [Aside.
HARRIET. If my doubts are well founded, he must be an adept in the art of dissimulation. I will try him a little farther.—[Aside.] What think you, Mr. Loveyet, of our New-York beauties? Have not the superior charms of so many fine women, been able to overcome such old-fashioned notions as constancy and priority of affection?
LOVEYET. I have beheld their beauty with equal pleasure and astonishment; and the understanding, the affability, and vivacity, by which strangers, with so much propriety, characterize my fair countrywomen, give them a pre-eminence over the ladies of most other countries, that is highly gratifying to a mind already so much attached to its native city, by the most endearing of all human ties;—they are all that the warmest, the most luxuriant fancy can wish; beautiful—almost beyond the possibility of an increase of charms; and—I had almost said, they furnish room for love and warm conceptions, "even to madness!"
HARRIET. I am in doubt no longer;—such passionate expressions must have Love for their prompter. [Aside.
LOVEYET. My friend Frankton extolled them highly; but his description derogates from their desert;—you, too, he praised;—I listened to him—with unspeakable delight, and believed him with all the ardour of faith and expectation; for I could readily believe that, which I had so often, so sweetly experienced;—but when you last blest my eyes with that enchanting form, how was the idea exceeded by the reality!—To do justice to such perfection, the praises I this minute bestowed on the ladies I have seen, would be spiritless and insufficient!—To charms like Miss Harriet's, what hermit could remain insensible!—I was not insensible;—the tender passion, I began so early to entertain; a passion, which length of absence, and a succession of objects and events, had rendered too dormant, was then excited to sensations the most exquisitely sensible;—was then taught to glow with a flame, too fervent to be now suppressed!
HARRIET. Were I but sure of his sincerity! [Aside.
LOVEYET. With what indifference she hears me!—If she is so insensible to the genuine effusions of a heart like mine, I am lost indeed! But I will try a little deception to discover the truth. [Aside.]—What a lovely picture Mr. Frankton drew of Miss Airy! But it was not too highly finished; for a thousand Loves and Graces have conspired, to make her the most accomplished of her sex.
HARRIET. My pride shall not let him triumph over my chagrin. [Aside.]—I know Miss Airy to be as accomplished as you represent her, sir: and Mr. Frankton gave such a lovely description of her, you say;—I dare say he did;—oh,—yes—yes [Appears disconcerted, by striving to hide her concern.]—he loves her to distraction;—Mr. Frankton has doubtless made a wise choice.
LOVEYET. By all that's false, she is concerned at Frankton's having praised his mistress! She absolutely loves him! [Aside.
HARRIET. And you have seen the amiable Miss Airy, sir.
LOVEYET. Forgive me, honour and veracity. [Aside.]—Yes, Miss Trueman; and not without a deep sense of her uncommon worth and beauty.
HARRIET. I admire your discernment, sir;—Mr. Frankton, too, is a very nice judge of female merit; and he cannot evince his judgment better, than by praising my friend Maria.
LOVEYET. Pardon me, madam: with submission to your friend's merit, I think his panegyric would better apply to you.
HARRIET. That compliment is too great, to be meant, I fancy.
LOVEYET. I rather think, you value the author of it so little, that you would as soon he should withhold it, madam.
HARRIET. Certainly, sir, when I have reason to think there is another who has a better right to it, and for whom it is secretly intended.
LOVEYET. You wrong me much, madam:—some tattling gossip or designing knave, has whispered some falsehood to my prejudice;—probably my rival,—Mr. Worthnought.
HARRIET. If you have come here with a design to use me ill, sir, I beg you will tell me so, and then I shall act accordingly.
LOVEYET. Your actions accord very illy with your professions, I think, madam.
HARRIET. Your duplicity, sir, both in word and action, justifies my retorting that ungenerous accusation.
LOVEYET. I entreat you to believe me, Miss Harriet, when I say, I am unconscious of having done anything I ought to be ashamed of, since my arrival: I am so confident of this, that the circulation of a malicious rumour, however dishonourable to me, would give me little disquiet, did I not reflect, that it is the object of Harriet's credulity;—a reflection, that is the source of real unhappiness to me:—be kind then, Harriet, and tell me wherein I am guilty;—obscurity in a matter so interesting, gives more torture to the mind, than the most unwelcome truth.
HARRIET. He must be sincere. [Aside.]—Your request shall be comply'd with, sir.—The principal offence you are charged with, is your having been smitten by the lady, on whom you have bestowed such liberal commendation;—be that as it may, I heard Mr. Loveyet talk of such a match:—I believe it will require a more able advocate than yourself, to defend this cause.
LOVEYET. Suppose I assure you, on the sacred honour of a gentleman, that what you have heard is false;—suppose I add the more important sanction of an oath, to seal the truth.
HARRIET. I will save you that trouble:—you have an advocate here, which has already gained your cause.
LOVEYET. Oh, Harriet, you are too good!—Conscious as I am of the rectitude of my conduct, as it respects my Harriet;—sure as I am of not deserving your displeasure, I still feel myself unworthy of such matchless goodness.
HARRIET. You say too much; and compel me to tell you that you merit my highest esteem.
LOVEYET. Esteem! What a cold epithet!—And am not I entitled to something more than esteem?
HARRIET. Excuse the poverty of the expression; and be assured, my heart dictated a more exalted word;—let this confession atone for the fault.
LOVEYET. And yet I would fain attract your esteem too; for, I have heard connoisseurs in the science of Love say, it is possible to love an object, and that to distraction, without having a particle of esteem for it.
HARRIET. I have assured you that my esteem is at least equalled by a more passionate affection:—but how strangely you talk!—First you acknowledge yourself unworthy of my favour;—then you are alarmed that I should only esteem you; and when I talk of a passion, superior to mere Platonic love, you are afraid, on the other hand, it is a blind, enthusiastic impulse, not founded on esteem.—How inconsistent are lovers!
LOVEYET. Your reasoning, like your person, surprises, charms and subdues:—I will be more consistent;—but our contention is only for pre-eminence in love;—delightful emulation! Agreeable inconsistency!
HARRIET. I am now ashamed of my childish suspicions; but I should not have been so credulous, had it not been for an affection, which rendered my better judgment blind to the fallacy, and made me more apprehensive of your inconstancy, than satisfied of your innocence; and this disposed me to misinterpret every thing you said.
LOVEYET. And your apparent indifference, in consequence of that misinterpretation, excited similar suspicions in me; and thus, mutual distrust produced mutual misapprehension.
HARRIET. But you have not told me the particulars of your interview with old Mr. Loveyet.
LOVEYET. Were you to hear those particulars, they would only afford you pain;—'tis sufficient for me to tell you, he has turned me out of his house, only because I told him, I was a friend to the new Constitution, forsooth.
HARRIET. He is a strange character:—when I call'd on my father, I was alarmed to find them at high words;—and he abus'd me most unmercifully.
LOVEYET. He did? 'Tis well for him he has call'd himself my father;—but if my Harriet consents, I will immediately put myself in a situation that will justify my preventing his future ill usage:—Fortune has enabled me to act independent either of his frown or his favour;—I have taken such measures, in consequence of his base usage, as will guard us against the effects of the one, without obliging us to cringe for the other.
HARRIET. I am happy to hear it; but affluence is not my object, nor poverty my dread; and I am happy I can convince you how little I desire an alliance for interest, by now tendering you the whole of my trifling fortune, in case your father should deprive you of yours.
LOVEYET. Charming Harriet! Miracle of disinterested love! Thus let me evince my gratitude.
[Kneels, and kisses her hand.
HARRIET. Pray do not worship me, Mr. Loveyet; I am less generous than you imagine;—self-love is at the bottom of this noble declaration; for if I did not suppose you capable of making me happier than any other man, I would keep both my fortune and my person, to myself.
LOVEYET. Better and better!—Your explanation gives me new reason to adore such uncommon worth, and makes me blest beyond measure! By heaven, New-York does not contain such a fortunate fellow!
HARRIET. [Seeing FRANKTON.]—Ha, ha. You could not say more, if you were addressing my friend Maria.
LOVEYET. Talk not of your friend Maria,—
HARRIET. You talked enough of her perfections just now, for both of us.
FRANKTON. He did, eigh? [Aside.
LOVEYET. I spoke of her as I thought she deserv'd; she is a lovely creature, but—but [Sees FRANKTON.]—Frankton!
FRANKTON. I hope Miss Trueman will excuse my coming in so abruptly:—I have been looking for Mr. Loveyet, all over the city; at last I concluded, I might find him here.
HARRIET. Really sir; and pray, what made you conclude so?
FRANKTON. I thought it was within the compass of probability, madam.
LOVEYET. Perhaps it was the lady you wanted to see so much, Frankton;—that she might be here, was certainly within the compass of probability.
FRANKTON. Had I then known what I have discovered since, I should have looked for you at some place not very distant from the lady, whose perfections you have been contemplating with so much admiration; for by Miss Harriet's account, you have seen her, perhaps, more than once.
LOVEYET. I saw her yesterday, and was charmed with her beauty.—Whenever I am betrayed into one falsehood, I am obliged to support it with twenty more. [Aside.
HARRIET. It is really so, sir;—he was enraptured with her idea just now.—I fear your friend is your rival, sir.
LOVEYET. And I fear my friend is my rival, madam.
HARRIET. Nay, what cause have you for such a fear?
LOVEYET. About as good as you have, my dear.—I am glad you came in when you did, Frankton; for you must know, we have had certain mutual doubts and jealousies; in consequence of which, a little ill-natured altercation, otherwise called love, ensued: a small foretaste of conjugal felicity; but the short-liv'd storm soon subsided, and a reconciliation made all calm again.
FRANKTON. I have something to say to you in private, Loveyet. [Aside to LOVEYET.]—I am sorry to deprive you of Mr. Loveyet's company, madam; but I trust you will excuse me, when I tell you I have particular business with him.
HARRIET. By all means, sir.
FRANKTON. Your most obedient, madam.
LOVEYET. [Goes up to HARRIET.]—Adieu;—expect me soon, and be assured of my unalterable fidelity.
[Exit with FRANKTON.
HARRIET. Farewell.—I wish he had look'd for you a little farther, before he had taken you away.—There are so many captivating objects in the city (as he has already seen and declared), and dissipation abounds so much among us, that who knows, if he is now sincere, how long he will remain so;—and how long after marriage:—"Ah, there's the rub."—Well, matrimony will put his constancy to the test, that's one comfort;—it is a hazardous expedient, but it is a certain one.
SCENE III. A Street.
Enter FRANKTON and YOUNG LOVEYET.
LOVEYET. He denounces perpetual enmity against me; threatens me with beggary, and (what is worse) resolves to prevent my union with Harriet, and thus blast all my hopes; but I shall take care to disappoint his views;—I have just sent the most valuable part of my property to—
FRANKTON. Hah! There goes Miss Airy, I believe:—pray excuse me, Charles; perhaps she has observed me. You have eased my mind of its doubts, and your resolution has made your friend happy.—Adieu.
[Exit in haste.
A plague take your hurry, I say:—In the very moment of my telling him about sending the money to his house, he must conceit he saw Miss Airy;—but he has not received it yet, or he would have told me.—I hope Humphry has made no mistake;—I must see about it immediately.
SCENE IV. The Street before MARIA'S House.
Enter HUMPHRY and NEGRO with a trunk.
HUMPHRY. This here is the house, I warrant you;—these crooked figures is enough for to puzzle a lawyer.—He said number two hundred and twenty-one:—two two's and a one stands for that, and there it is. [Knocks,—SERVANT comes out.] Does one Mr. Frankton live here, pray?
SERVANT. No;—he is here pretty often though, and I expect he will live here altogether, by and by.
HUMPHRY. Aye, I suppose he's only a lodger;—yes, this must be the place.
SERVANT. 'Tis not the place you want, I believe.—Mr. Airy lives here.
HUMPHRY. Mr. Airy! Aye, aye, now I've got it.—Here, Mr. What-d'ye-call'um, will you please to tell Miss Mary, somebody wants for to speak to her. [Exit SERVANT.] Now I've found out the mistake;—since I told him how the old man was a going for to marry him to Miss Mary, he thought he must obey the old fellow, for fear he shou'dn't let him have any of his money, and she's got a swinging fortune, they say; so he sent the trunk to her.—But what shou'd he tell me to take it to Mr. Frankton's for?—Why I suppose he thought I should find him here, for the man says he's here very often:—and then the number on the door; why, that settles the matter at once,—there can't be two numbers alike, in the same street, sartainly:—Yes, he's made one of his old blunders.
SERVANT. Please to walk in, sir.
HUMPHRY. Aye, aye;—here, master Cuffy, this way.
[They go in.
SCENE V. A Room in MARIA'S House.
MARIA and OLD LOVEYET discovered sitting.
LOVEYET. It certainly is a mistake, madam; I have sent nothing out of my house to-day.
MARIA. He said it was from Mr. Loveyet, sir.—I confess I could not conceive what could induce you to send me a trunk of money.
LOVEYET. Who brought it, madam?
MARIA. A clownish kind of person, sir,—a countryman, I believe.
LOVEYET. Ah, now I begin to suspect something.—What a sad rascal!—want to cheat his father! But this lucky mistake will spoil his project. [Aside.
MARIA. You are striving to unravel the mystery, sir.—I am afraid the man has made some serious mistake.
LOVEYET. No matter,—it could not have come to a more suitable place; for, now it is here, it shall be yours, if you will consent to a proposal I have to make to you; for I have discovered it to be my property, after all.
MARIA. If I can with propriety consent to anything you may propose, I will, sir;—but I hope you do not think either your or your son's money will tempt me.
LOVEYET. No, madam,—that is to say, I dare say it will not tempt you to do anything that is wrong;—but money is a tempting thing too,—though not quite so tempting as Miss Maria.—Hem, hem.—There was a delicate compliment for her! [Aside.
MARIA. Mercy on me! What can the ugly old mortal mean! It cannot be possible he would have the vanity to propose his odious self. [Aside.
LOVEYET. You must know, madam, my son has lately arrived from the West-Indies—
MARIA. Really?—You rejoice me, sir.—Happy, happy Harriet!
LOVEYET. Not so happy as you imagine, madam; for she is not to have my son, I assure you; I intend a lady of greater beauty and merit for him, who is not very far from me now,—provided she and her father have no objection.—There I put it home to her [Aside.]. Ugh, ugh.
MARIA. I fear there is something in this rumour about Harriet. [Aside.
LOVEYET. Come, shall it be so, eigh?—Well, silence gives consent.—I know you can't have any particular objection. I must have you for a—Ugh, ugh, uh.
MARIA. I must humour this joke a little. [Aside.]—The honour you wish to confer on me, is so great, Mr. Loveyet, that I want words to express a suitable acknowledgment;—but what will the world say, when a gentleman of Mr. Loveyet's sedateness and experience stoops to a giddy girl like me?
LOVEYET. By my body, she thinks I want to have her myself.—Why, what a lucky young dog I am! I wish old Trueman was here now;—'ods my heart, and my life, and my—ugh, ugh,—but I must talk the matter over coolly with her. Hem, hem. [Aside.]—Oh, you dear little charming, angelic creature;—I love you so much, I cou'd find in my heart to—'Zounds! I cou'd eat you up.—By my body, but you must give me a sweet kiss. [Offers to kiss her.] 'Sblood! I can't bear it any longer. [Snatches a kiss.]—Ugh, ugh.
MARIA. What a preposterous old dotard! [Aside.]—You will excuse me, Mr. Loveyet; I have company waiting for me.
LOVEYET. By all means, my blossom;—it goes to my very heart to part with you, though;—but go to your company, my love, go, go.—I wou'dn't disoblige you, nor put the least thing in your way, for the seraglio—of the Grand Seignior. You may give up the trunk to my son now, if he calls for it, my love. [Exit MARIA.] Oh, what a dear creature! Such sweet lips,—such panting, precious, plump, little—oh, I cou'd jump out of my skin at the thoughts of it!—By my body, I must have her, and poor Charles may have Harriet, for all.—A fig for both the Constitutions now, I say; I wou'dn't give my dear little Maria for a score of them.
SCENE VI. A Street.
Enter YOUNG LOVEYET.
I wish I could find that fellow;—I cannot think he has been treacherous;—but it is very strange, neither he nor my man have returned yet:—I am tired of seeking Frankton too;—since he made free to call at Harriet's for me, I think I will go to Miss Airy's for him: they say she lives near by. [Enter HUMPHRY.]—Well, sir, what have you done with the trunk?
HUMPHRY. Why, what you told me, to be sure. I've been a making your man Cuffy drunk, with some of the money you give me; but he's 'most sober now.
LOVEYET. Did you see Mr. Frankton?
HUMPHRY. No; but I carried the trunk to his lodgings though: I was just a going to Mr. Airy's, to see if I cou'dn't find you there.
LOVEYET. Mr. Airy's?
HUMPHRY. Aye,—where Mr. Frankton lodges; number two hundred and twenty-one;—there it is before your eyes.
LOVEYET. That is number one hundred and twenty-two;—you did not carry it there, I hope.
HUMPHRY. Yes I did.—Why isn't that the place?
LOVEYET. Confound your dull brains!—Did you not enquire who liv'd there?
HUMPHRY. Yes, Mr. Airy lives there.
LOVEYET. What a strange circumstance!—You are sure Mr. Airy lives there.
HUMPHRY. Sure and sartin;—why I see the young lady you're a going to be married to, and I give her the trunk; for I think the sarvint said how Mr. Frankton lodg'd there.—I hope there's no harm done.
LOVEYET. I hope so too;—I must step in, and see; but this is the last time I shall send you with a message.
HUMPHRY. Like enough, for I'm a going home in the country to-morrow.
SCENE VII. TRUEMAN'S House.
Enter TRUEMAN [reading a letter].
This is very unaccountable;—Richard Worthnought, eigh:—I wish, Mr. Worthnought, you had been at my school a while, before you scrawl'd this wretched epistle:—but the subject is still more unintelligible.
WORTHNOUGHT. Mr. Trueman, I am yours.
TRUEMAN. I deny it.—Heaven forbid, such a thing as you should be either mine or my daughter's!
WORTHNOUGHT. I should not gain much credit by the alliance, I believe.—You have received my letter, sir, I presume.
TRUEMAN. I think you presume—rather more than becomes you, sir.
WORTHNOUGHT. I find, the foolish old Put don't like me. [Aside.]—I am sorry you do not approve of my offer; but, but—a—rat me, but I must have her, for all that. Ha, ha, ha;—'foregad, I must, old gentleman.
Enter OLD LOVEYET.
LOVEYET. But I say you shall not have her, sir;—there, I suppose you will have the impudence to call me old gentleman next.
WORTHNOUGHT. Demme, sir; what have you to do with his daughter?
LOVEYET. Nothing; but my son has something to do with her: ha'n't he, friend Horace?
TRUEMAN. Heyday! what does all this mean?—Has any State rejected the new Constitution?
WORTHNOUGHT. Come, let's have no palitics, for gad's sake;—rat the canstitution:—I wou'dn't give une Fille de joye, for all the musty canstitutions in christendom.
TRUEMAN. By the dignity of my profession, you never read Publius then; or you would have liked one constitution.
WORTHNOUGHT. Publius! ha, ha, ha.—I read Publius! Not I, sir, I assure you:—an outre fellow,—a dull, mysterious, mechanical writer, as ever I refused to read, split me.
LOVEYET. So he is, so he is, sir: by my body, I am glad to find somebody of my mind.
[TRUEMAN and LOVEYET retire to the back of the stage.
Enter FRANKTON and HUMPHRY.
FRANKTON. You saw him go into Miss Airy's house, this morning, you say.
HUMPHRY. Yes. [Walks thoughtlessly about the stage.
FRANKTON. I think, this is a tolerable confirmation of the matter. [Aside.
WORTHNOUGHT. Hah,—Frankton;—'foregad, I am yours, superlatively.
FRANKTON. Are you, positively? Hah,—she is here. [Enter MARIA, on the opposite side.] Your humble servant, Miss Airy.
MARIA. [Pretends to take no notice of FRANKTON.] Mr. Trueman, I hope I have the pleasure to see you well.
TRUEMAN. I thank you, madam. [Resumes his discourse with LOVEYET, who does not yet observe MARIA.]
MARIA. I hoped to have found Miss Harriet here, sir.
TRUEMAN. Madam?— [Turns to LOVEYET again.
LOVEYET. Therefore, sir, as I was telling you, I am determined to have her. [To TRUEMAN.
TRUEMAN. [Leaving LOVEYET.] How is this, madam?—Mr. Loveyet tells me, he is determined to have you.
FRANKTON. Who! How!—Have who, sir? [Loud and earnestly.
LOVEYET. [Seeing MARIA.] By my body, there she is herself.—Have who, sir?—Why, have this lady, sir; who do you think?—My sweet Miss Airy, I have the transcendent pleasure to kiss your hand, ugh, ugh.
MARIA. Oh, fie, Mr. Loveyet.—I will have the pleasure to tease Frankton, now. [Retires with OLD LOVEYET, whispering, and looking tenderly at him.]
FRANKTON. Amazement!—The old fellow! [Aside.
WORTHNOUGHT. This is all very astanishing, 'foregad:—demme, but she deserves to die an old maid, if she has him. [Aside.
MARIA. [Pretends to observe FRANKTON, for the first time.]—Mr. Frankton!—I did not observe you before: I give you joy of your friend's arrival, sir;—I suppose you have seen him;—he is very agreeable.
FRANKTON. Then I need not ask you, if you have seen him, madam.
MARIA. He was at my house not two hours ago.
FRANKTON. Did not you see him before that, madam?
MARIA. I did not, sir.
FRANKTON. Detested falsehood! [Aside.
MARIA. The old gentleman acquainted me of his arrival, only a few minutes before.
LOVEYET. Eigh, how,—old gentleman!—she did not mean me, I hope. [Aside.
FRANKTON. And you think Mr. Loveyet is so agreeable then.
LOVEYET. Aye, that's me;—by my body, he is jealous of me. Ha, ha; poor young fool! [Aside.
FRANKTON. He thinks very highly of you, I assure you, madam; he speaks of you with admiration.
MARIA. And what of that, sir?—You speak as if you thought him my only admirer. [Affectedly.
FRANKTON. Disgusting vanity! [Aside.]—No, madam,—the number of your admirers is at least equal to that of your acquaintance;—but there is only one, who sincerely loves, as well as admires you.
LOVEYET. Come, come, sir; none of your airs, sir:—love her indeed;—why—why, she don't love you. [Ogling and winking at her, &c.
WORTHNOUGHT. Ha, ha, gudgeons all, demme;—old square toes is cursedly bit; I see that. [Aside.
MARIA. Mr. Loveyet, I return'd the trunk to your son.
HUMPHRY. His son.—Ha, ha.
LOVEYET. Yes, yes, he told me so just now:—the poor dog was ready to jump out of his skin, when I told him he should have Harriet.
Enter CANTWELL and HERALD.
WORTHNOUGHT. Oh, the devil!—Now shall I be blown up, like a barrel of gun-powder. [Aside.
CANTWELL. Servant, gentlemen and ladies.—How is your daughter, Mr. Trueman? I hope she is likely to do well.
TRUEMAN. I hope she is, madam; it is a match which we all approve.
CANTWELL. No, no, sir; I mean concerning her late affair.
HERALD. Why, young Loveyet certainly would not stoop so low, as to have her now.
TRUEMAN. 'Zounds! Why not, pray?
LOVEYET. What, in the name of ill luck, can they mean!—I hope, I—oh, there they come.
Enter HARRIET and CHARLES LOVEYET.
CANTWELL. Oh, dear, here they are;—why she don't look as if that was the case. [To HERALD.
TRUEMAN. I desire, ladies, to know what you mean, by these mysterious whispers.
CANTWELL. La! sir; you only want to put a body to the blush; but if you want an explanation, that gentleman [Pointing to WORTHNOUGHT.] can give it to you.
CHARLES. The villain! [Aside.]—I fancy I could explain it as well.
WORTHNOUGHT. Hem, hem,—now comes on my trial. [Aside.
CHARLES. But first,—your blessing, sir. [Kneels to his father.
HARRIET. And yours, sir. [Kneels to TRUEMAN.
LOVEYET. What,—married already!
CHARLES. This ten minutes, sir. [Rising.
CANTWELL } AND } Married! HERALD }
WORTHNOUGHT. Then my ill-star'd fortune is decided. [Aside.
TRUEMAN. Upon my erudition, you have been too precipitate, Harriet; but I have no reason to think, you will repent it; you, therefore, have my sincerest benediction. [Raising her.
MARIA. I give you joy, my dear. [To HARRIET.
FRANKTON. Now all my fears have vanished. [Aside, and goes to YOUNG LOVEYET.
LOVEYET. By my body, you have made quick work of it, Charles.
CHARLES. For fear of the worst, I have. [Aside.
LOVEYET. But—but are you in favour of the new Constitution yet?
CHARLES. At present I can think of no Constitution but that of Love and Matrimony, sir.
LOVEYET. And I shall be sorry if your matrimonial Constitution does not prove the better one of the two.—Eigh, Maria?
WORTHNOUGHT. Dick Worthnought, esquire, thou art an ass and a liar; and, what is worse than both,—as poor as poverty. Oh, Fortune, thou blind disposer of human events, when wilt thou make a man of me?
CHARLES. Stay a little, if you please, sir.—My happiness is too great at present, to let me take that revenge, which the baseness of your conduct deserves: but justice bids me accuse you of having wickedly, and without cause, endeavoured to injure the reputation of this lady, whom it is my highest boast and felicity now to call my wife; my making her such, however, at the very time when the baneful tongue of Slander is so diligent to damn her spotless fame,—[Looking significantly at CANTWELL and HERALD.]—will at once convince the public of her innocence, and the cruelty of her enemies. With her, you have also injured her connexions; but I, for my own part, am fully satisfied with those symptoms of shame and repentance, which you now evince.
TRUEMAN. Upon my education, I did not think him susceptible of either.—A few minutes ago, I received this audacious epistle from him.
"Sir, I have the honour to—acquaint you—that I have an inclination—to marry your daughter,—notwithstanding—the late scandalous—reports that are transpiring to her disadvantage, and (what is still worse) the—comparative meanness—of her fortune to mine."—The comparative meanness of her fortune to mine.
HARRIET, } MARIA, } LOVEYET, } Ha, ha, ha. CHARLES, } FRANKTON,}
WORTHNOUGHT. Never was put so much to my trumps, 'foregad.
HERALD. Unmannerly wretches! [Scornfully, and exit.
CANTWELL. Oh, the wickedness of this wicked world! [Exit after her.
LOVEYET. Why, this is just as it should be now;—I think business goes on finely.
MARIA. You will not think so, much longer. [Aside.
LOVEYET. By my body, I am as merry as a cricket;—an't you, Maria? For my part, I feel so well pleased, I could find in my heart to—to do as you have done;—[To CHARLES.] cou'dn't you, my love? [To MARIA.
MARIA. Yes, sir.
LOVEYET. Oh, you dear little rogue! With whom, eigh, with whom?—Don't be bashful,—tell them.—I know she means me. [Aside.
MARIA. I beg to be excused from telling that, sir; but I will tell you who it is I would not have.
LOVEYET. Aye, that's him.—[Aside, looking at FRANKTON.]—Well, who is it you won't have, Maria, who is it?
MARIA. You, sir. [Emphatically.
LOVEYET. Me, eigh?—me—me, Maria?
CHARLES. Preposterous infatuation!
LOVEYET. D——'d, wanton, treacherous jilt! [Walks about discomposed.
MARIA. You have jilted yourself, sir;—nothing but excess of dotage and self-conceit could have let you impose on yourself in such a manner.
FRANKTON. And may I then hope—
MARIA. Hope?—Oh, yes, sir;—you have my permission to hope for anything you please.
CHARLES. And you, madam, the disposition to gratify his hopes, I fancy.
LOVEYET. I fancy you lie, sir; and you sha'n't have Harriet, for your impertinence.
CHARLES. Excuse me, father;—it is not in your power to prevent that;—the happy deed is already executed.
LOVEYET. 'Zounds! that's true!—and, what is still worse, the other deed is executed too.—Fire and fury! All is lost, for the sake of that inveigling, perfidious young Syren. Ugh, ugh, ugh.
TRUEMAN. [Burlesquing what LOVEYET has said in a former scene.] "'Sdeath, sir! I tell you I am but two and forty years old: she sha'n't be more than thirty odd, sir; and she shall be ten years younger than I am too.—A man of five and forty, old, forsooth!" Ha, ha, ha.
LOVEYET. Perdition! Is this what I have come to at last?—Despis'd,— betray'd,—laugh'd at,—supplanted by a puppy,—[Pointing to FRANKTON]— trick'd out of my money by a graceless, aristocratic son,—I—I'll—I'll go hang myself.
[Exit in a passion.
HUMPHRY. This is, for all the world, like the show I see t'other night, at the Play-house.
CHARLES. His agitation of mind distresses me: my happiness is not complete, while it is enjoyed at the expense of a father's:—painful reflection!—We will go immediately, Harriet, and endeavour to pacify him.
His conduct shall instruct the hoary Sage, That youth and beauty were not meant for age; His rage, resentment, av'rice, dotage, pride, (Sad view of human nature's frailest side!) Shall mend us all;—but chiefly I shall prove, That all his Politics, can never match my LOVE.
General: Variable hyphenation of mack(-)marony and to(-)day as in original. Page 353: Politican corrected to Politician. Footnote 2: Geneological as in original text (twice).