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Lord T. Oh! you should not pore so much just after dinner, child.
Lady G. That's true; but any body's thoughts are better than always one's own, you know. Lord T. Who's there?
Enter Williams, L. D. Leave word at the door, I am at home to nobody but Mr. Manly.
[Exit Williams, L. D. Lady G. And why is he expected, pray, my lord ?
Lord T. I hope, madam, you have no objection to his company?
Lady G. Your particular orders, upon my being here, look, indeed, as if you thought I had not.
Lord T. And your ladyship's inquiry into the reason of those orders, shows, at least, it was not a matter indifferent to you.
Lady G. Lord, you make the oddest constructions, brother!
Lord T. Look you, my grave Lady Grace: in one serious word—I wish you had him.
Lady G. I can't help that. Lord T. Ha! you can't help it! ha! ha! The flat simplicity of that reply was admirable.
Lady G. Pooh, you tease one, brother!
Lord T. Come, I beg pardon, child—this is not a point, I grant you, to trifle upon; therefore, I hope you'll give me leave to be serious.
Lady G. If you desire it, brother; though, upon my word, as to Mr. Manly's having any serious thoughts of me, I know nothing of it.
Lord T. Well, there's nothing wrong in your making a doubt of it. But, in short, I find, by his conversation of late, he has been looking round the world for a wife; and if you were to look round the world for a husband, he is the first man I would give to you.
Lady G. Then, whenever he makes me any offer, brother, I will certainly tell you of it.
Lord T. Oh, that's the last thing he'll do! He'll never make you any offer, till he's pretty sure it won't be refused.
Lady G. Now you make me curious. Pray, did he ever make any offer of that kind to you?
Lord T. Not directly—but that imports nothing ; he is a man too well acquainted with the female world to
be brought into a high opinion of any one woman without some well-examined proof of her merit; yet I have reason to believe, that your good sense, your turn of mind, and your way of life, have brought him to so favourable a one of you, that a few days will reduce him to talk plainly to me: which, as yet, notwithstandivg our friendship, I have neither declined, nor encouraged him to.
Lady G. I am mighty glad we are so near in our way of thinking ; for, to tell you the truth, he is much upon the same terms with me: you know he has a satirical turn, but never lashes any folly, without giving due encomiums to its opposite virtue; and, upon such occasions, he is sometimes particular in turning his compliments upon me, which I don't receive with any reserve, lest he should imagine I take them to myself.
Lord T. You are right, child ; when a man of merit makes his addresses, good sense may give him an answer without scorn or coquetry. Lady G. Hush! he's here
Enter MR. MANLY, L. D. Manly. (L.) My lord, your most obedient. Lord T. (c.) Dear Manly, yours I was thinking to
Manly. (L. c.) Then I am glad I am here, my lordLady Grace, I kiss your hands.-What, only you two !How many visits may a man make before he falls into such unfashionable company! A brother and sister som berly sitting at home, when the whole town is a gadding; I question if there is so particular a tête-à-tête again in the whole parish of St. James's.
Lady G. (R. C.) Fie, fie, Mr. Manly, how censorious
send to you.
you are !
Manly. I had not made the reflection, madam, but that I saw you an exception to it. Where's my lady?
Lord T. That, I believe, is impossible to guess.
Lord T. But, 'tis probable, I may hear of her by that time I have been four or five hours in bed.
Manly. Now, if that were my case-I believe 1-But I beg pardon, my lord.
Lord T. Indeed, sir, you shall not : you will oblige me if you speak out, for t was upon this head I wanted to see you.
Manly. Why, then, my lord, since you oblige me to proceed—I have often thought that the misconduct of my lady has, in a great measure, been owing to your lordship’s treatment of her.
Lady G. Bless me !
Manly. Ay, my lord ; you so idolized her before marriage, that you even indulged her like a mistress after it: in short, you continued the lover when you should have taken up the husband ; and so, by giving her more power than was needful, she has none where she wants it; having such entire possession of you, she is not mistress of herself.--And, mercy on us! how many fine women's heads have been turned upon the same occasion !
Lord T. Oh, Manly, 'tis too true! there's the source of my disquiet; she knows, and has abused her power.
Manly. However, since you have had so much pati. ence, my lord, even go on with it a day or two more; and, upon her ladyship's next sally, be a little rounder in your expostulations : if that don't work-drop her some cool hints of a determined reformation, and leave herto breakfast upon them.
Lord T. You are perfectly right. How valuable is a friend in our anxiety!
Manly. Therefore, to divert that, my lord, I beg, for the present, we may call another cause.
Lady G. Ay, for goodness' sake, let us have done with this.
Lord T. With all my heart.
Manly. Apropos I have some, madam; and I believe, my lord, as extraordinary in its kind
Lord T. Pray, let us have it.
Manly. Do you know that your country neighbour, and my wise kinsman, Sir Francis Wronghead, is coming to town with his whole family?
Lord T. The fool! what can be his business here?
Manly. Oh, of the last importance, I'll assure youNo less than the business of the nation.
Lord T. Explain.
Manly. He has carried his election-against Sir John Worthland.
Lord T. The deuce! What! for-for-
Lady G. Pray, Mr. Manly, don't I know him ?
Manly. You have dined with him, madam, when I was last down with my lord, at Bellmont.
Lady G. Was not that he, that got a little merry before dinner, and overset the tea-table in making his compliments to my lady?
Manly. The same.
Lady G. Pray, what are his circumstances ! I know but very little of him.
Manly. Then he is worth your knowing, I can tell you, madam. His estate, if clear, I believe, might be some five or six thousand pounds a year; though, as it was left him saddled with two jointures and two weighty mortgages upon it, there is no saying what it is. -But, that he might be sure never to mend it, he married a profuse young buzzy, for love, without a penny of money. Thus, having, like his brave ancestors, provided heirs for the family (for his dove breeds like a tame pigeon), he now finds children and interest money make such a bawling about his ears, that at last he has taken the friendly advice of bis kinsman, the good Lord Danglecourt, to run his estates two thousand pounds more in debt, to put the whole management of what is left into Paul Pillage's hands, that he may be at leisure himself to retrieve his affairs, by being a Parliament man.
Lord T. A most admirable scheme, indeed!
Manly. And with this politic prospect, he is now upon his journey to London
Lord T. What can it end in ?
Lord T. Do you think he'll stir, till bis money is gone; or, at least, till the session is over?
Manly. If my intelligence is right, my lord, he won't sit long enough to give his vote for a turnpike.
Lord T. How so?
Manly. Oh, a bitter business ! he had scarcely a vote in the whole town, besides the returning officer. Sir John will certainly have it heard at the bar of the house, and send him about his business again.
Lord T. Then he has made a fine business of it indeed.
Manly. Which, as far as my little interest will go, shall be done in as few days as possible.
Lady G. But why would you ruin the poor gentleman's fortune, Mr. Manly?
Manly. No, madam, I would only spoil his project to save his fortune.
Lady G. How are you concerned enough to do either ?
Manly. Why-I have some obligations to the family, madam: I enjoy at this time a pretty estate, which Sir Francis was heir at law to: but, by his being a booby, the last will of an obstinate old uncle gave it to me.
Enter WILLIAMS, L. D. Wil. [To Manly.] Sir, here is one of your servants, from your house, desires to speak with you. Manly. Will you give him leave to come in, my lord ? Lord T. Sir--the ceremony's of your own making.
[Exit Williams, Enter JAMES, L. D. Munly. Well, James, what's the matter?
James. (L.) Sir, here is John Moody just come to town: he says Sir Francis, and all the family, will be here to-night, and is in a great hurry to speak with you.
Manly. Where is he ?
James. At our house, sir : he has been gaping and stumping about the streets, in his dirty boots, and asking every one he meets, if they can tell him where he may have a good lodging for a Parliament man, till he can hire a handsome whole house, fit for all his family, for the winter.
Manly. I am afraid, my lord, I must wait upon Mr. Moody.
Lord T. Pr’ythee let us have him here; he will divert
Manly. Oh, my lord, he's such a cub! Not but he's so near common sense, that he passes for a wit in the family.
Lady G. I beg, of all things, we may have him: I am in love with nature, let her dress be never so homely. Manly. Then desire him to come hither, James.
[Exit James, L. D. Lady G. Pray, what may be Mr. Moody's post ?
Manly. Oh, his maître d'hotel, his butler, his bailiff, his bind, bis huntsman, and sometimes—his companion.
Lord T. It runs in my head, that the moment this knight has set him down in the house, he will get up, to give them the earliest proof of what importance he is to the public in his own country.