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Doctor. Bravo! this is the age for quacking, and all clever fellows are at it, from the Merry Andrew on his rostrum to the doctor in his chariot. [Going.
Enter Post Obit (newly drest).
Post Obit. Oh Doctor! my dear Doctor! is this Bedlam, or is it Sir Herbert Melmoth's r I thought to pass a quiet month here, and after enduring insult upon insult, what do you think? I am now to be (hot at.
Boiler. Shot at?
Post Obit. You shall hear.—Just now, after dinner, the captain and Sir Paddy began talking of duelling.—The former boasted he had lately wing'd a brother officer, for traducing his dear love of a waistcoat; (mimicking) and Sir Paddy lamented he hadn't fought for a whole month, tho' he had every where offered five pounds for an affront.—This, you may be sure, somewhat alarm'd me; and on their asking me if I had ever fought, I replied, " No, not that I recollect;" on which Mr. Jerry Curfitor observed, cc recollect indeed! why, he never has, and never will, unless some of you will leave him a thumping legacy, then, of course, he'll try to blow your brains out." This nettled me a good deal, and, one word bringing on another, fays I, " I ask your pardon, Mr. Curfitor, but that's a lie."—Says he, " I hope no offence," and he knock'd me down. Doctor. Indeed! and what followed? Post Obit. What! why, the Captain, and Sir Paddy instantly rang the bell, called for horse-pistols, and swore only one of us could leave the room alive 1 But Curfitor and I were of a different opinion—we wished the matter to drop, and said it was a joke. "Joke," fays the Captain, forcing a cock'd pistol into my hand,— « Poltroon, did he not give you a blow ?" " No," fays 1, <c he did not; did you, my dear Curfitor? And if he did, I dare fay I deserved it, and, therefore I'm ready to apologize."—«« Pooh!" fays Sir Paddy, " it's no longer their affair—people don't fight to please themselves, they fight to please the town."—" Damn the
s Z town," town," said we " our honour is completely satisfied; I've given him the lie, and he has knocked me down j and jf we fire away till doomsday, how can we have more satisfactory satisfaction?"
DoStor. What! and did they let you off?
Post Obit. No—only gave us leave of absence till we made our wills, and then they are to come and cane us if we don't go back and be killed. But, Doctor—my dear Doctor—you, who understand life and death,— can't you contrive?
DoSor. |Contrive! what, make me a party in your cowardice 1 Go, Sir, go fight directly, and at least once in your life, give proofs of personal courage.
Post Obit. Once in my life! Come, that's not handsome, Sir. You know very well 1 have given proofs of personal courage.
DoSlor. When? on what occasion.my little
Post Obit. When! why, if you will have it, when I drank a bottle of your Radix Rheno. If that isn't giving proofs of personal courage, the devil's in't. And, now I think on't, your are the last man I shou'd have applied
to for Alexander himself wasn't a greater warrior than
a quack doctor; so I'll go talk to somebody else.
DoElor. Adieu! and if you wish to please the pretty creatures, be yourself another Alexander. Honor is the true love-powder, and we, heroes, are elixir vitae to the ladies. [Exit.
Post Obit. Puppy! if I must turn out, take care I don't pick my man. But yonder I fee an old friend in the ball-roomr-and if he won't intercede for me, and I can't get rid of my good-nature, why, I'll return to these ferocious scconds-srsay, I can't bear to have the thing upon my mind, and fairly beg that they will cane me directly. [Exit.
SCENE II.—A'magnificent Room fitted up in the Eastern Style. (Music beard.)
Leonard. This Sir Herbert Melmoth! this the idol of his tenantry! of the poor, and of his country! this my father! herding with people he has ever scorned, mixing in scenes as opposite to him as to right feeling and to nature. O Georgiana! I will indeed reflect.
Shenkin. How you to do, Mr. Leonard? How do you like all this revelling and tevelling? this mobbing and robbing?
Leonard. Tell me, Shenkin, have all these visitors been long Sir Herbert's friends?
Shenkin. Friends! plels my foul, he do not know 'em, nor do they know him.—My Lady do want a great pig crowd, you do fee; and so she do peg, and pray of any body, to ask any pody.—Then she do hire some visitors by the night.
Leonard. Hire visitors!
Shenkin. Iss sure: Do you think, Mr. Leonard, people would come, and be smok'd and smother'd, and ramm'd and jamm'd, and hear such noise and nonsense without being paid for it? Look you,—those foreign singers yonder—(pointing to the /upper room) thereeating like vultures—They are not only paid, but they will not open their mouths to sing, till they have opened their mouths to eat. No long, no supper; that Is their way, Mr. Leonard.
Shenkin. Then, some do come without any invitation at all j for I did hear that tall gentleman there, (pointing again,) him with the rough lion head, and the thin put
B 3 terfly terfly pody—says he, " Aw! Aw! dem'me! I always go uninvited to married people's houses j for man and wife never speak—and, therefore, each supposes the other has asked you—aw—aw—dem'me." Oh I 'tis sad work—sad work.
Leonard. Disgusting fight! Lavish his fortune on a despicable set, who, if he died to-morrow—
Shenkin. Died! tear! tear! they do never know when one another die, never: For inteed, and upon my life, my Lady did send me with cards of invitation to her friend Captain Humdrum the whole winter long. And she would have gone on till now, only the widow did call one day, returned Lady Melmoth thanks for her many polite invitations, and extremely regretted it was not in the Captain's power to accept them, as he was buried six months before in Sr. Anne's church-yard.—But look you—I do forget my message—Sir Herbert do wait for you about cutting off your tail, you do know.
Leonard. I will fee more before I come—I would observe this lady Melmoth. (More music.)
Enter Lady Melmoth and Georgiana.
Lady M. Come, Mr. Leonard, why stand frowning there? W hy don't you join in our pleasures?
Leonard. Simply, Madam, because I take no pleasure in them.
Lady M. Indeed! Why now, perhaps, if I were to think a good deal, that might be my cafe also—but no—one dare not be old fashioned, you know.
Leonard. I dare, madam. 1 can prefer real happiness to artificial pleasure.—1 do not game, because it don't please me-<-l do not drink from the self-same motive— and 1 am not extravagant, because I seel more gratification at paying the tradesmen who supply my table, than in entertaining a million of sycophants around it.
Lady il/. Nay, now you are too severe, Mr. Leonard. —One must*keep up appearances; and, if now and
then then one didn't entertain sumptuously, the world would call one selfish, prudent-n
Leonard. Let them call you so. Who can be honest that is not prudent? Ay, you may smile» but whilst I am prudent, I can smile too;—and I hope there are still thinking beings in the world, who will not call me narrow hearted because I am not expensive, or a hypo-» crite because I am not a profligate.
Lady M. Come, Georgiana, let us go to the ball room. I dare fay I ought to reflect on all this; but reflection produces vexation, and vexation hurts the complexion, and so—you had better follow, Mr, Leonard.
Leonard. No, Madam, 1 can stay alone.
Lady M. Adieu, then; and I wish you much pleasure from your company (going, returns). Oh, I forgot— if you see Sir Herbert, do tell him to malce haste with those tiresome parchments j for I want to pay Mr. Malcour two or three hundred pounds I've just lost to him at piquette. I also want money for Cassino, and a thousand things. Adieu! You had better follow, Mr. Leonard. [Exit.
Georgiana. Now, are you satisfied?
Leonard. 1 am;—to sign will ruin, not relieve him 1 And yet—look there—it is my father comes! Alas! my heart is so entwined with his—he has been so kind a parent—so sincere a friend—
. Georgiana. How! still irresolute! (takes his band) for his fake 1 for your own! Nay, for my thoughtless cousin's here, who is not, now, the mistress of her reason ;—Oh, then, for mine! I have a strong and secret motive here—and if I ask it as the first request—
Lesnard (freffing her band). 'Tis granted—'tis unalterable—your wishes triumph over his.
[Exit Georgiana at the back scene, and
Enter Sir Herbert/hu» the wing.
Sir Herb. So» Sir, as I thought,—'tis Georgiana keeps you from your duty—'Sdeath! why stand loiter-, ing here, when the deeds wait your signature? Come, come, no more delay.
B 4 Leonard.