Page images
PDF
EPUB

ourself, and filence these invaders, whilst I seclude myself in my recess. Major. Do ; retire to your fanctum sanctorum.

[Exit Miss Stoic at a door in back scene. I'll lecture them! I'll teach them to disturb this facred, solitary-Shew me to this servant, Sir.

Nich. What for, fir ? Sure you don't mean to go?

Major. Go!any where--every where--and tho' I don't know this Mr. Doric, of course he knows me; or, if he don't, 'tis the more civil of him to ask mc-and with bis ball, Sir Edward's concert, and the Yorks and Lancasters, I may forget Olivia -No, never--my memory—that helps me where I owe a favour, so fails me at an injury, that I forgive, and can't help glorying in my weakness.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.-A Road.

Enter DORVILLE.

Dorv. So-as I thought-none yet have noticed Jack's mad cards of invitation ; and I've no. hope but one---the letter which, unknown to him, I sent his uncle yesterday, ftating his love of study and improveinent. Should this regain his worthy partner's friendship, inine will be well rewarded.

Enter YOUNG DORIC. Y. Doric. Joy, joy, my boy! I have again held converse with Olivia, met her this moment with her governess-and, what do you think? they come-both come

Dorv. What! to the ball ?

Y. Doric. Ay: they refus'd at first; but when they faw, amongfi my list of visitors, Major Tornado's name, they told me such a long affecting

tale,

tale of him, his sister, and Sir Edward Specious, that 'twas resolved to meet him at my ball; and if it saves Olivia from the snares of villains, this, my last hundred, shall afford me more pure substantial joy, than all my former thousands yielded.

Dorv. Granted: but suppose the Major don't come, or, what is worse, suppose nobody comes. Y. Doric. Ay: there's the rub.

(Holds down his head.) Doro. What! you begin to be alarmed ?

Y. Doric. Not for myself, but for Olivia and her friend their fate depends on my success, and not one anliveryet-noncnibbling at the bait!--Zounds! is credulity confined to cities ! and here, where air encreases appetite, shall suppers go uneaten?

Dorv. Pooh! nonsense ! in London, you are known.

Y. Doric. So I am every where. A common swindler might expect no guests--but, fam’d Jack Doric! on whose gala nights, all Bond-street, and all Bow-sireet are let loose, and who lo occupies both town and country talk, that, even scandal must give way to my chalked floors, hot fuppers, and hot rooms--and, shall not bumpkins bite ? Now when two helpless women rest their hopes

Enter Servant. Well, fir, what news ? What has detained you ?

Serv. Lord, sir, consider-I've had to deliver a hundred cards of invitation, and wait for almost as many answers.

Y. Doric. Where are they then ? (snatches them out of his hand) Now be propitious for Olivia's reads the cards) “ Mrs. Squeeze's compli

-Rev. Tim Tantrum's compli-
Doctor and Mrs. Tarradiddle's

with them their town visin, a Dutch Commissioner, and

two gentlemen from the Victualling Office." Bravo! they bite--and if they come in crowds, why, 'tis the London mode; for, when the gala season once sets in, they flock, like geefe, and cackle for their supper! Ah, but the Major-What says Olivia's benefactor!

Serv. Oh, fir! he is so cager, and so pleas'd, that he is gone to the ball-room alrcady.

[Exit Servant. Y. Doric There, George ! what tay you to my system now? Had I gonc cringing to the Major's door, would it have served Olivia ?-But back'd by balls, and such a host of guests, may I not hope to ask him to a wedding supper next! And then, no longer will I send out cards of invitation, with the words, at home ;”—but, grown domestic, I it all advertise, that I am " out," the whole year round.

Enter the Delinquent,
Delin. Your pardon, fir; but, if your name be
Doric (to Dorville).

Y. Doric. I, fir-I am that happy gentleman.
Delin. One word in private, then.

[Young Doric beckons Dorville to retire, Your name's familiar to my memory,-and, when I read it on the card you fent Sir Edward Specious

Y. Duric. My card ! what, you're left out! My dear fir, if I had room, I'd alk all Europe ; but at this rate, I shan't get in myself.

Delin. Sir, you mistake-fecing your name, I merely came to ask if you ever heard of one Sir Arthur Courcy.

Y. Doric. Oh! is that all ? Courcy ?

Delin. Ay; of Rowland Castle, in Northumberland; he, who fled for debt.

Y. Doric. Debt! no-(considering)-yes-didn't my uncle, Mr. Doric, rebuild the castle, by his . orders ? Delin. He did : speak quickly-do

quickly—do you know fir Arthur's person?

Y. Doric. No
Delin. Sure! are you quite sure ?

Y. Doric. Quite, or if I did, and his distress proceeded from misfortune, do you suspect that I'd betray him? No; rather I'd invite him to my ball, and, fcorning modern oftentatious fhew, revive that antient English hospitality, that cheer'd the wretched, and upheld the poor.

Delin. Would you! I knew him well (fhaking Young Doric's hand violently).

Y. Doric. Indeed !

Delin. And on some future day perhapswhere, where can he repay those thanks I offer now?

Y. Doric. Therc-taking a card out of his pocket). And, for yourself, pray join us at the ball,

-You'll see, at least, one object worth the secking the lovely Miss Tornado.

Delin. Miss Tornado! What! (having the pocket-book open in his hand, to place the card in it.)

Y. Doric. Ay: attended by her kind, her worthy governess.

Delin. Worthy! (trembling, and in his agitation, letting a letter drop from his pocket-book, unseen by him). You're deceived-ihe is most guiltyand, not to part her from her lovely charge, by any means however desperate-(Y. Doric appeals) yet if she's innocent, the deed will drive me mad. --Ob! that I were already fo--then might I plead insanity for pardon ; for none but madmen would forsake that peace, which virtue yields--preserve it-cling to it--fortified with that, you boast a bulwark may defy the world !

[Exit.

30

THE DELINQUENT :

Y. Doric. Now, is this an old complaint, or ludo denly brought on froin my not alking him to supper. I'll go, and-(treads on leiter) Oh ho! this may explain, perhaps-listen, (reads) " Where have you been loitering? I have kept Major Tornado out of the way, by employing him to provide fingers at a great expence for my concert : and, by the enclosed assignment to you, of Mrs. Aubrey's house, you may keep her out of the way, by arresting her directly in your own naine, for the 40l. due for rent.--Proceed in this, whilft I proceed to bear away her pupil-Edward Specious”-So! a most lively town--and I shall have a goodly company. What's to be done?

Dor. What indeed !

Y. Doric. You've not a guinea to discharge the debt, and

my last shilling must discharge the bill but come-'ere this, the ball's begun, and should it cross Sir Edward in his plots, and ibis

poor tenant be releas'd from bondage, let the floor crack with crowds of company–His is the genuine social plan, who cheers the men and makes the women happy.

[Exit.

SCENE III.-Ball.-Anti-Chamber.-Music.

Enter Major TORNADO.

Major. So!-hard at it again.-The Yorks and Lancasters have been drawn out in regular line of battle, and to decide !~Who should lead down first couple !—They all called for the court calendar, but that not having the honour of knowing any of them, “ Molly put the kettle on," cried 1, and looking ficrce, and handing out a sweet, interesiing partner, they all grounded their arms

« PreviousContinue »