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SCENE- The Gate of Mandeville Castle, and
View of surrounding Country.
ROBERT. Joy! I give you joy, Sir! - Once more welcome to Mandeville Castle!-Look, Sir! there stands the old pile, just as we left it fourteen years ago! Shall I knock at the gate?
Mand. Lose not a moment. (Robert knocks.) I have travelled far to have the mystery unravelled; and till I know why I have been thus treated -- why for three tedious years I have received no letter from my father- no tidings of my child-the interval is insupportable!
Robert. Pretty treatment, indeed, Sir!- to bring two gentlemen from India---all the way from the shores of Bengal to the coast of Devonshire-only to get an answer to our letters!
Mand. Didn't I write by every packet? - regularly remit half my pay for the support of my daughter? --- And to receive no answer ! — to hear nothing from my father, or Mrs. Rigid, the governess of my child ! - What — what can be the motive for their silence? - In India I have been guilty of no vices—no extravagance!-and if, before I went, I involved myself in pecuniary embarrassments, was it not to serve a friend?
Robert. It was, Sir!-- You became security for the ungrateful Mr. Howard; and because he took it into his head to die, and leave you responsible for twenty thousand pounds
Mand. We were compelled to fly to India! Well-well-blame not Howard ; if he had lived, he would have proved himself deserving of my friendship. But now, Robert, I am here once more in the centre of
my creditors; and if my father has forgotten me Knock again — the suspense is dreadful!
Robert. (Knocks.) Surely, they are all run away, or drowned, or hanged Hanged!—I beg pardon, Sir! - I only allude to the female part of the family - and I dare say many a fair neck has been twisted in consequence of my absence. ---- Not come yet! - Nay: don't fret so, Sir,--the worst come to the worst, we can but make the same exit we did this time fourteen years !
Robert. Can't you remember our stealing out of those gates in disguise ? -our being found out by the bailiffs, and dodging them so artfully from place to place, that by the time they had taken out a writ in one county we were safely perched in another; till at last, after having outwitted half the sheriffs' officers and attorneys in England, we
secured our retreat by arriving at Portsmouth late on a Saturday night, and sailing for India early on Sunday morning! -Ha! ha! ha! I shall never forget the Captain's smoking us, and after dinner giving for a toast—"Success to the Sunday men !"
Mand. Hush! who comes here? Old Realize, my father's steward !-- Now we shall get information. Observe!
Enter REALIZE and COPSLEY. Real. Don't talk to me, you old poacher! Hav'n't you been repeatedly warned off Sir Solomon's manor, and didn't he himself see you kill the hare on his ground? — And therefore, at Sir Solomon's request, I dismiss you from being gamekeeper to the Mandeville manors.
Cops. Consider--consider, Mr. Realize!--I am an old servant, and am as innocent of poaching
Real. You were caught in the fact; and therefore I dismiss you, and appoint in your place
(ROBERT comes up to him.) : Robert. Me, Mr. Steward !-honest Bob Tickwell!-How are you, my old friend ? --- how are you ?—Here we are, you see-hot from Bengal !
Real. Why, it can't be!-- Yes: it is !-- The long-look'd for come at last! -Huzza !
Mand. Realize, I am glad to see you.
Real. So am I to see you; and so will Sir Solomon; and so will all the neighbours.
Robert. There!-I said so!-I knew we should have a joyous welcome!—Come! open wide the Castle gates, and prepare the wine-the venison
Real. Open wide the prison gates, and prepare the bread and water !-- Mr. Mandeville, (To
Mandeville.) Sir, I'll trouble you for that two hundred pounds you owe me!
Robert. Psha!- this isn't a proper time-
Robert. Nonsense! His father will satisfy you. - Come — we'll all pay the old gentleman a visit together. (Laying hold of Realize's arm.)
Real. Softly, master Robert -- You may both go to the old gentleman as soon as you like; but, for me, I don't intend to pay him a visit these twenty years.
Mand. No! - Why, where is he?
Real. Where, I can't exactly say—only I fancy you are about as far from him now as when you were hot in Bengal.
Mand. What, is he gone abroad?
Real. No; he's gone home!- he's dead!defunct ! — was buried twelve months ago!
Mand. Dead! — My father dead! - I didn't expect this. (Putting his handkerchief to his eyes.)
Robert. No more did I, Sir-Oh! h! h! (Weeping violently.) Real. Why, what's the milksop crying at? Robert. I'm
crying to think what trouble old Mr. Mandeville's death will occasion to my poor master~What a fatigue it will be to collect in all the rents to pay his debts to discharge you, and appoint me steward in your place - Oh! h! h!
Real. Indeed !-If that's all that afflicts you, dry up your tears, booby-Your master is disinherited.
Robert. Disinherited! Real. Cut off with a shilling! – Mr. Mandeville has left his whole estate to a woman.
Robert. A woman!-Oh! the old profligate!
Real. To your child, Sir (To Mandeville.) to his own grand daughter !
Mand. To Albina!
Robert. Bravo!- Then it comes to the same point: - my master of course manages the property, and I'm steward still.
Real. There you're out again! I rather think Mrs. Rigid will manage the property. I rather imagine the young heiress will be ruled by the old governess; and as you've been no friend to her, Mr. Mandeville
Mand. No friend to her! - How?
Real. Nay: perhaps you may call it friendship to leave her to support your daughter at her own expence; perhaps you may call it friendship, not to write any letters, or remit any money, for three years together.
Mand. Go on, Sir; let me know all.
Real. Why then you may know that Mrs. Rigid informed the late Mr. Mandeville of your anfatherlike conduct; that he invited her and his grand-daughter to his house, and taking a fancy to Miss Albina, he made her his heiress. — Therenow you've heard the whole story; and I shall call it friendship if you'll pay me my two hundred pounds.
Mand. Not write letters ! - Not remit money!- Hear me, Sir. .
Real. Not now. - The heiress is expected from Dover every moment, and I must go and prepare the Castle for her reception, Come along, Poacher; come and deliver your keys to your successor I'll take out a writ directly, and he sha'n't slip through my fingers a second time --(Aside.) No more disguises, Mr. Mandeville No more Sunday-men, Mr, Steward. -- Oh! what trouble will the di gentleman's death oc