Изображения страниц

Dam. 'll finish the sentence-their brilliancy blinded you to her imperfections, while their keenness enabled her to discover yours.

Tem. Rather so-yes. -And, between ourselves, a priest of the sun is not required to offer more frequent incense to his idol, than I am to their effulgence.-She's here.

Dam. A fine woman, faith !-I'm afraid of these dazzling eyes--a coup de soleil might be fatal.--I had better go.

Tem. Go! my friend!

Dam. I can't adninister to vanity, not I ;-besides, I'm in deshabille.-Oh! here's a glass, to adjust my wig and cravat by. [Goes to a glass, R.] Personal vanity I abominate, friend Templeton, and few are to be found without it

(Adjusting his figure in the glass. Tem. Very few, indeed.

Mrs. Tem. [Without, L.] Pray, don't teaze me now; tell them all, to be sure and come to-morrow.-[Enters, L..] My dear Mr. Tenipleton, you'll be delighted with the guest your son Vincent has introduced.

Tem. (c.) You mean Mr. Aspic.

Mrs. T'em. (L.) Such commanding talents, such superior taste-he has found fault with every thing he has seen ; and has pronounced the house and grounds so detestable, that I can't endure the sight of them :-how obliging it is of him!

Tem. Extremely

Mrs. T. We've laid such delightful plans :--the house is to come down, the farm to be parked, and the meadows to be put under water. Now, my love, you'll have no trouble

Tem. Except the slight trouble of paying for it.

Mrs. T. Oh, but Mr. Aspic says people of taste never think about that : so I shall give orders to begin.

Tem. When, my dear? Mrs. 7. Oh, to-morrow. Dam. Then all's safe.

[Aside. Mrs. T. Who is that odd man ?

Tem. My late partner, who, contented with competence, retired— [Dumper advances, R.] My love, I am happy to atford you the gratification of making welcome my friend Mr. Damper.

Mrs. T. (L.) The possessor of that title must be interesting in my eyes. Dam. (R.) Eyes, already!


Mrs. T. To see a friend of Mr. Templeton's is highly gratifying

Tem. (c.) [To Damper.] Do you mark the emphasis ?

Mrs. T. But in glancing over our list I have not observed your name: but my tall man is shockingly inaccurate. [Crosses, c.] Do you know, last winter, Sir, he told me I was quite intimate with Lady Paramount-but, in making her a visit, the old Goth denied the least knowledge of me. I wish some of the Society of Arts' people would offer a premium for the best system of visiting one's friends.—Could not you book-keeping gentlemen deserve well of your country by some plan ?

Dam. (R.) Why, really, I don't see why the merchandise of fashionable arrangements should be without its ledger, though it might be difficult to post some things to the credit of the account.

Mrs. T. (c.) Ha, ha!

Dam. Then, as your time is so precious, what think you, madam, of a subscription for a west-end-of-the-town clearing-house, where these worsted-lace representatives of our nobility might assemble for the exchange of accepted calls, dishonoured invitations, and the quick transfer of the paper currency of polite accommodation.

Mrs. T. Delightful !--the tunnels and auction marts, in real utility, would be nothing to it. I'll positively write to town about it to-morrow.-Oh, there's Mr. Aspic!

Dam. Who?

Mrs. T. Mr. Aspic! If you don't know him, I'll make you acquainted.

Dan. I will not be acquainted, madam, because I do know him.

Mrs. T. Are you aware that he writes in the Tenterhook Review, is a caricaturist, and the author of the severest satirical novels ? "T'is highly dangerous uot to be well with him.

Dam. A pleasant recommendation, truly.

Mrs. 7. Crosses, R.] Well, I must away—I've a thousand things to arrange for to-morrow. I hope I may look forward, Sir, to a long visit :

Dam. I shall not have the temerity to promise thatyou may not like me a little, and I may like you too much.

Mrs. T. Oh, I shall wink at that.

Dum. Closing those eyes is certainly the best way to securc my safety.

Mrs. T. Pshaw ! Templeton, can tell you how I hate all that.

Dam. He has.

Mrs. T. I'm too clear-sighted to be deceived by such flattery, I assure you. I hope you'll stay a great while-I shall be quite sorry to part with you.-Adieu ! [Exit, R.

Dam. Rid your house of that fellow-that Aspic. He's another instance of the blessed effects of modern education, which has armed every witling with the weapons of personal satire.-But where's your son, Vincent ?

Tem. (L.) I see little of him—he's all abstraction.

Dam. Do him justice, he's all one thing, or all t'otherhe's po retailer of the passions. You gave him the rein

too soon.

Tem. Too soon! Did not he carry off the prize at school?

Dam. And did not he carry off the bedmaker's daughter with it ?

Tem. Did not his calculations make him a wrangler at Canıbridge ?

Dam. And a tame pigeon at the club at St. James's. -When he came to town, he was all business :-he involved the house in speculations—then he was all extravagance—things went wrong, then he was all rage-that subsided, then he was all indolence.

Tem. That accounts for his conduct-he avoids me.
Dam. Perhaps not; for here he comes.
Tem. Indeed ! I'll speak to him.

Dam. Perhaps I had better do so; your tenderness may overcome your fortitude. T'em. True, and your fortitude is in no such danger.

[Crosses, R. Dam. Humph! Perhaps 'tis tenderness for you both inakes me ask it.

Tem. True, true, my friend ; grant me your pardon !

Dam. On condition you take it away with you instantly.

[Exit Templeton, R. Enter VINCENT TEMPLETON, L. Vin. (L.) Hey day, Damper !—what rare occurrence brought you here?

Dam. (R.) A very rare oue, I assure you—friendship.

Vin. "Tis always under the sanction of that name that grumblers annoy society.—Now for a lecture as long as a tailor's bill.

Dam. That is unnecessary, wheu the total may be ex. pressed in one wordm-economy!

Vin. I'm its slave ; have not I sold my barouche and stud ?

Dam. Aud lost the produce at Maccow.

Vin. That was unlucky; but have not I discharged my lodgings ?

Dam. What, at Farmer Broadcast's ?
Vin. Confusion! What do you mean, Sir ?
Dam. Generally what I say~Poor Rosine !
Vin. Ah, her name !--If you betray me!

Dam. Young man, if you despise the character of a betrayer as much as I do, virtue and secrecy will be equally sacred.

Vin. Rosine's virtue is sacred, and he merits chastisement that suspects it.

Dam. And what does he merit who placed her in a situation to justify suspicion ?

Vin. 'Sdeath, how could you learn?

Dam. Was it likely that a beautiful and accomplished woman from a fashionable seminary should disappear with. out inquiry--without wonder-without sorrow?

Vin. Pshaw! I'm weary of your croaking.

Dam. Yet the raven must breathe a, hoarser note your father

Vin. [Alurmed.] What of him ?
Dam. Is on the brink of ruin.
Vin. Ruin !
Dam. I fear-inevitable ruin.
Vin, I dread to ask the cause.
Dam. His son's indiscretion.

Vin. Oh, save me from that thought! May dishonour blast me, if the life he gave me is so precious as my dear father's happiness !- Let me fly to him. [Crosses, R.

Dam. (L.) Hold! He is as yet unacquainted with his situation-am, by his partners, intrusted with the secret. Is this estate large?

Vin. Very.
Dam. It must go.
Vin. It will destroy him.
Dam. Has he other resources ?

Vin. His expenditure is very ample. I hope he has-senseless prodigal! unfeeling son !

Dam. Vincent, come hither.-—I see in your countenance the expression of sincere sorrow, and your eye is illumined with the benign lustre of filial love. Here's my hand-the blood that animates it is not propelled from an unfeeling heart.-Your father shall not fall, while old Damper can buy a crutch to sustain him.-Come, come—though I sometimes depress the buoyancy of unfeeling prosperity, I hope I am always willing to lift up the desponding.

All niay yet be well.

Vin. Here comes my mother-in-law, with Aspic.--I would avoid them.

Dam. Avoid your friend !
Vin. Not my friend; but his knowledge of the world.

Dam. The man that shuts his heart against every valuable feeling, finds his excuse in this boasted knowledge of the world.-Dismiss him from your counsels.

Vin. I've sometimes courted the Muses, and his favour

Dam. That writer neither consults his interest nor his honour who seeks auy favour but that of the public. In their candour will his weakness find the securest shelterin the sunshine of their favour only can the wreath blossom, that is to crown his honourable exertions. [Exeunt, R.

SCENE II. · A Library of Mr. Templeton'sAn iron

chest occupies a conspicuous situation.

Enter Mrs. TEMPLETON and ASPIC, L. Mrs. T'. You are a rile, shocking man! Indeed, Mr. Aspic, you are too severe. How many instances of disinterested friendship do we find in books?

Asp. True, and no where else; ha! ha!-Come, come, don't mar an enchanting smile by the cold intrusion of prudery, which acts on the mind like our grandmothers' drapery on the body; burying, in whalebone stiffness and cutvelvet dignity, the form, ease, and vigour, of wit and repartee.

Mrs. T. (R.) Pshaw! what signifies how I look!
Asp. (L.) Heigh ho !
Mrs T. You sigh.

Asp. Woe to the world! what devastation will those eyes cause in the spring !

Mrs. T. Now I hate you—Yet, I own, I long for the spring—dear, animating spring! How delightful,

to enjoy thy charms in Bond-street, to hear the dear little dingy sparrows chirping on the lamp-irons, and see Flora's fair. est flowers nodding in carts for the decoration of the ballrooms.—Dear Templeton, come here.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »