ta's suspicions grow violent, I have apartments ready to receive you. (Mimicking Sir Charles.] But a word in your ear, old gentleman -Those apartments won't do.

Sir Cha. Oh, Sir, I begin to be a little in the secret!

Fad. Mighty quick of apprehension, faith!--And the little innocent! Still, Sir Charles, my tears are all that I can thank you with; for this goodness is too much for me. (Mimicking Fidelia.] Upon my soul, you have a great deal of goodness, Sir Charles ; a great deal of goodness, upon my foul.

Sir Cha. Why, now I understand you, Sir. And as these inatters may require time, for the sake of privacy, we'll Mut this door.

(Shuts the door. Fad. Any other time, Sir Charles. But I am really so hurried at present, that-Oh, Lord !

[-Afide. Sir Cha. Why, what does the wretch tremble at Broken bones are to be set again ; and thou mayest yet die in thy bed. (Takes holi of bim.) You have been a liftener, Sir.

Fad. Lord, Sir!--Indeed, Sir!-Not I, Sir!
Sir Cba. No denial, Sir.

(Sbakes bim. Fail. Oh, Sir, I'll confess! I did listen, Sir I did, indeed, Sir.

Sir Cba. Does your memory furnish you with any other villainy of yours, that may save me the trouble of an explanation ? Fad. It think, Sir What the devil shall I say now?

[Afde. Sir Cha. Take care ; for every lie thou tellest me, shall be scored ten fold upon thy fesh. Anfwer me-How came Mr. Belmont's filter by that anonymous lerter ?

Fad. Letter, Sir!
Sir Cha. Whence came it, I say?
Fad. Is there no remiffion, Sir?

Sir Cha. None that thou canst deserve : for honesty is not in thy nature.

Fad. If I confess?
Sir Cha. Do so, then, and trust me.)

Fad. Yes, and so be beat to mummy by Charles-
If you won't tell him, Sir-

Sir Cha, I'll think on't.
Fad. Why, then, Sir ----But he'll certainly be the


[merged small][ocr errors]

death of me -It was by his contrivance I wrote the letter, and sent it from the King's-Arms.

Sir Cha. Very well, Sir. And did you know to what purpose it was sent?

Fad. Yes, Sir; it was to alarm the family against Fi. delia, that Charles might get her into private lodgings That was all, as I hope to be fav’d, Sir.

Sir Cha. Was it, Sir? And upon what principles were you an accomplice in this villainy?

Fad. I was out of money, Sir, and not over-valiant; and Charles promised and threatened —'Twas either a small purse, or a great cudgel-And so, I took one, to avoid t'other, Sir.

Sir Cha. And what dost thou deserve for this?

Fad. Pray, Sir, consider my honest confeffion, and think me paid already, if you please, Sir.

Sir Cba. For that thou art fafe. If thou wouldlt continue so, avoid me. Begone, I say ! Fad. Yes, Sir and well off, too, faith.

[-Ifide, and going Sir Cba. Yet stay -If thou art open to any sense of Thame, hear me.

Fad. I will, Sir.

Sir Cha Thy life is a disgrace to humanity. A foolis prodigality makes thee needy; need makes thce vicious, and both make thee contemptible. Thy wit is prostituted to slander and buffoonery; and thy judgment, if thou hast any, to meanness and villainy. Thy betters that laugh with thee, laugh at thee: and who are they? The fools of quality at court, and those who ape them in the city: The varieties of thy life are pitiful rewards, and painful abuses; for the same trick that gets thee a guinea to-day, fhall thee beaten out of doors to-morrow. Those who caress chee are enemies to themselves; and when they know it, will be so to thee: in thy distresses they'll desert thee, and leave thee, at last, to sink in thy poverty, unregarded and unpitied. If thou canst be wise, think of me, and be honest.

(Exit. Fad. I'll endeavour it, Sir A most excellent discourse, faith, ; and mighty well there was not a larger congregation. --So, lo!-I must be witty, with a vengeance!

-What the devil Shall I say to Charles, now?

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

And here he comes, like poverty and the plague, to detroy me at once -Let me fee -Ay-as truth has saved me with one, I'll try what a little lying will do with t'other.

Enter Young Belmont.
Ha, ha, ha! Oh, the rareft sport, Charles !

Bel. What sport, pr'ythee?
Fad. I shall búrft! Ha, ha, ha! The old

gentleman has let me into all his secrets.

Bel. And like a faithful confident, you are going to reveal.chem.

Fad. Not a breath, Charles-Only that I am in commillion, my dear, that's all.

Bil. So I suppose, indeed.

Fad. Nay, Charles, if I tell thee a lie, cut my throat. The short of the matter is, the old poacher, finding me in the fecret, thought it the wisest way to make a confident of me; and this very moment, my dear, I am upon the wing to provide lodgings for the occasion.,

Bel. If this should be apocryphal, as my father says Fad. Gospel every tyliable, as I hope to be faved Why, what, in the devil's name, have I to do, to be inventing lies for thee. ?

But here comes the old gentleman again, faith-Oh, the devil ! [ Afide.] --Pr'ythee, stroke him down a little, Charles, if 'tis only to see how awkward he takes it I must about the lodgings, ha, ha, ha!

-But if ever I set foot in this house again, may a horse-pond be my portion.

[Afide, and exit. Enter Sir Charles, with a letter in his hand, Speaking to a

Servant. Sir Cha. Bid him wait a little, and I'll attend him. [Ex: it Servant.] What can this mean?-Let me read it again. [Reads.) “ If the interest of Sir Charles Raymond's family be dear to him, he will follow the bearer with the fame halte that he would shun ruin.' - That he would Shun ruin! This is strange! But, be it as it will, I have another concern, that must take place first.

Bel. Sir Charles, your servant. Any news, Sir?

Sir Cha. Not much, Sir; only, that a young gentleman, of honour and condition, had introduced a virtuous lady to his family; and when a worthless fellow defamed her innocence, and robbed her of her quiet, he, who.

[ocr errors]


Thall find me a very

[ocr errors][merged small]


might have dried her tears, and vindicated her virtue, forlook her in her injuries, to debauch his mind with the affaffin of her reputation.

Bel. If your tale ends there, Sir, you have learned but half on't ; for my advices add, that a certain elderly gentleman, of title and fortune, pitying the forlorn circumstances of the lady, has offered her terms of friendship and accommodation : and this night she bids farewel to maidenhood, and a female bedfellow in private apart.

Sir Cha. You treat me lightly, Mr. Belmont.
Bel. You use me roughly, Sir Charles.
Sir Cha, How, Sir ?
Bel. In the person of Fidelia.
Sir Cha, Make it appear,


you boy in my submissions.

Bel. 'Twould be time loft ; and I can employ it to advantage. But remember, Sir, that this house is another's, not yours ; that Fidelia is under my direction, not yours ; and that


will must determine her removal, yours. Sir. Cha. Is the your saye, Sir, to bear the burden of your insults without complaining, or the right of chusing another master?

Bel. And who shall be that master? You, Sir? The poor bird, that would escape the kite, is like to find warm protection from the fox.

Sir Cha. Pr'ythee, think me a man, and treat me as fuch.

Bel. As the man I have found you, Sir Charles. Your grave deportment, and honesty of heart, are covers only for wantonness and design. You preach up temperance and fobriety to youth, to monopolize, in age, the vices you are unfit for.

Sir Cha. Hark you, young man--you must curb this impetuous fpirit of yours, or I shall be tempted to teach you manners, in a method disagreeable to you.

Bel. Learn them first yourself, Sir. You say Fidelia is insulted by me; how is it made out? Why, truly, I would possess her without marriage! I would so. Mar. riage is the thing I would avoid : 'tis the trick of priests, to make men miserable, and women insolent. I have dealt plainly, and told her so. Have you said as much?


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

leave my

No; you wear the face of honesty, to quiet her fears ; that when your blood boils, and security has stolen away her guard, you may rush at midnight upon her beauties, and do the ravage you are sworn to protect her from.

Sir Cha. Hold, Sir. You have driven me beyond the limits of my patience; and I must tell you, young man, that the obligations I owe your father, demand no returns that manhood muft blush to make. Therefore, hold, I say ; for I have a sword to do me justice, tho' it should

dearest friend childless. Bel. I fear it not.

Sir Cha. Berter tempt it nat; for your fears may come too late. You have dealt openly with Fidelia, you say : deal fo for once with me, and tell me, whence came that vile scroll to Rosetta this afternoon ?

Bel. It seems, then, I wrote it. You dare not think so.

Sir Cha. I dare speak, as well as think, where honour directs me.

Bel. You are my accuser, then?

Sir Cha. When I become so, I mall take care, Mr. Belmont, that the proof waits upon the accusation,

Bd. I disdain the thought.
Sir Cha. Better have disdained the deed.
Bel. I do both-and him that suspects me.

Sir Cha. Away! You fear him that suspects you; and have disdained neither the thought nor the deed. Bel. How, Sir?

[Drawing Sir Cha. Put up your sword, young man, and use it in a better cause: this is a vile one. And now you shall be as still thro' shame, as you have been loud thro' pride. You should have known, that cowards are unfit for secrets.

Bel. And if I had, Sir ?

Sir Cha. Why, then, Sir, you had not employed such a wretch as Faddle, to write that letter to Rosetta.

Bel. The villain has betrayed me! But I'll be sure on't. (Afide.] He durft not say I did.

Sir Cha. You should rather have built your innocence upon the probability of his unfaying it; for the same fear that made him confess to me, may make himn deny every fyllable to you.

Bel. What has he confessed, Sir ?
Sir Cha. That, to-day, at dinner, you prompted the


« VorigeDoorgaan »