« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Heart. And unless it be immediately discharged, Sir Hubert is resolved to
Oat. (R.). That for Sir Hubert. He shall have his rent. Frank, send your sister Jessy to the Nabob's, he'll let me have the money.
Fra. No! I won't.—What business have sister at such a desperate prodigal place ! Na, na, I'll go myzelf.
Heart. (R.) You are in the right, honest Frank.
Cat. Ugh! you vulgar mungrel. Well, desire the Nabob's gentleman to desire the Nabob to let me have three hundred pounds.
Fra. He won't gi' thee a brass farthing.
Oat. Sir Hubert shall have his money–Ha! ha! ha! my notion is, he wants it sad enough, ha! ha! Heart. Sirrah !
Fra. Don't you mind 'un, zur, don't ye, he be's intoxicated. Dong thee, beheave thyzelf !
[With sorrow and vexation. Oat. Silence, you hound ! and obey !-Bon jour, Mr. Steward, [Crosses to L.]—I'll to bed - Pon honour, í mus cut champaigue, it makes me so narvous—Sir Hubert shall have his inoney, let that satisfy.-- Follow me, cur!
[Exit into the house, L. U. E. Heart. Sad doings, Frank.
(Exit R. [Frank shakes his head, and follows Oatland into the house.
SCENE II.-A Room in the Nabob's House.
Enter ELLEN VORTEX, L. meeting BRONZE, R. EU. (L.) Good Mr. Bronze, have you been at Sir Hubert Stanley's ?
Bro. (R.) Yes, ma'am.
Bro. I don't know, ma'am, upon my soul.-I beg par. don, but really the Baronet's house is horrid vulgar, compared to your uncle's, the Nabob's here ; I peeped through my glass into an old hall, and beheld fifty paupers at din. ner,—such wretches !and the Baronet himself walking round the table, to see them properly fed. How damned low !-Ugh! I would bet a rump and dozen, our second table is more genteelerer than Sir Hubert's own. But I must away, for we expect the rich Miss Vortex I beg pardon; but your name and the Nabob's daughter being the same, we call her the rich, to distinguish
Ell. And you do wisely. No term of distinction could possibly be more significant, or better understood by the world than that you have adopted.
Bro. Hope no offence, ma'am.
[Exit, L. Ell. The rich Miss Vortex-most true.-But now my dear Charles Stanley is returned, I claim the superior title of the happy. Oh! Charles, when we parted last at Spa ; how great the contrast! thy animated form was prisoned in the icy fetters of disease, thy pale aud quiv'ring lip refused a last adieu ;-but ha! a smile that seemed borrowed from a seraph, who waited to bear thee up to heaven, swore for thee everlasting love. That smile supported me in solitude,-but to solitude I have now bade adieu ; and to be near the lord of my heart, have again entered this house, the palace of ruinous luxury and licentious madness :-hut here comes its whimsical proprietor. Enter Mx. VORTEX, with a paper in his hand, attended by
JOHN, ROBERT, and two black Servants, L. Vor. Sublime!-Oh, the fame of this speech will spread to Indostan. Eh ! don't I smell the pure air in this room? Oh! you villains, would you destroy me? [Crosses R.] Throw about the perfumes. [Exit Servants r.] For legislative profundity, for fancy and decoration—'tis a speech
EU. What speech is it, sir ?
Vor. Ah! Ellen,—why, my maiden speech in parliament. It will alarm all Europe.--I'll speak it to youEll. No, my dear uncle, not just now.
I hear you've been ill.
Vor. Oh! very. A strange agitation at my heart, and such a whizzing and spinning in my head
Ell. I hope you've had advice. Vor. Oh, yes ; I've had them all. One physician told me it was caused by too brilliant and effervescent a genius ;. —the next said, it was the scurvy!- a third, it proceeded from not eating pepper to a melon ;-another had the innpudence to hiut it was only little qualms that agitated some gentlemen who had made fortunes in India ; --one recommended a sea voyage,-another, a flannel night-cap ; one prescribed water,-the other, brandy; but, howerer,
they all agreed in this essential point, that I'm not to be contradicted, but have my way in every thing.
Ell. An extremely pleasant prescription, certainly. But under these circumstances do you hold it prudent, uncle, to become a parliamentary orator ? I believe a little gentle contradiction is usual in that house.
Vor. I know it-but if you will hear my speech, you will see how I manage-I begin-Sirm
Enter JOHN, R. Ser. Your daughter, Sir, is arrived from town. Ell. Thank you, cousin, for this relief. (Aside. Miss Vor. [Without, R.) Above, is he?-Oh, very well !. Vor. Zounds! I'm not to be interrupted. Ser. She is here, sir.
Enter Miss VORTEX, R.—Exit John, R. Miss Vor. My dear Nabob, uncommon glad to see you. Ah, Ellen! [Crosses c.] what, tired of seclusion and a cottage ?
El. (L.) I hope, cousin, I am welcome to you.
Miss Vor. (c.) Certainly; you know we are uncommon glad to see any body in the country. But, my dear Nabob, you don't inquire about the opening of nur town. house.
Vor. (R.) I was thiuking of my speech.
Miss Vor. The most brilliant house-warming-uncommon full, about a thousand people-every body there.
Ell. Pray, cousin, do you then visit every body?
Ell. Must! I should imagine that would depend on inclination.
Miss Vor. Inclination ! Pshaw! I beg your pardon, but you are really uncommon ignoraut, my dear. They must ask me, I tell you.- Now, suppose a duchess rash enough to shut me from her parties ;-very well. --She names a night,I name the same, and give an entertainment greatly surpassing hers in splevdour and profusion.- What is the consequence ?--why, that her rooms are as deserted as an ex-minister's levee, and mine crammed to suffocation with her Grace's most puissant and noble friends.-Ha! ha! my dear Ellen, the Court of St. James's run after a good supper as eagerly as the Court of Aldermen.-Ha! ha! your being in this country, Naboh, was thought quite charming.--A host not being at home to receive his guests is uncommon new and elegant, isn't it. Here we improve, iny dear, on ancient hospitality—those little memorandums, Nabob, will give you an idea of the sort of thing.
Vor. [Reads.] “ March.”. Oh! that's a delightful month, when nature produces nothing, and every thing is forced.-Let me see "fifty quarts of green peuse, at five guineas a quart,"—that was pretty well :-" five hundred peaches,”—at what? _“ a guinea each."-Oh! too cheap.
Miss Vor. 'Tis very true ; but, I assure you, I tried every where to get them dearer, but could not.
Vor. And I suppose the new white satin furniture was all spoiled.
Miss Vor. Oh! entirely—and the pier glasses shivered to pieces so delightfully.
Vor. Well, I hope you had the whole account put in the papers ?
Miss Vor. Certainly, else what would have been the use of giving the fête. Then the company ; such charming eccentricity, such characters out of character.-Oh! my dear Miss Vortex, why don't you partake in these charining scenes.
Ell. My dear Miss Vortex, six suppers would annihilate my fortune.
Miss Vor. Oh! true; I forgot your uncommon small fortune : but I don't think it much signifies. I swear people of fashion in town seem to do as well without money as with it. You might be successful at play—there are points to be learnt which certainly do not give you the worst of the game. Come, will you be my protégé ?
Ell. Excuse me, cousin, I dare say I ought to be covered with blushes when I own a vulgar detestation of the character of a female gamester; and I must decline the honour of your introduction to the haut-ton, till at least they have justice on their side.
Miss Vor. An uncommon odd girl, Nabob.
Ell. Heavens ! what state of abject degradation must fashionable society be reduced, when officers of police are as much dreaded by ladies in the purlieus of St. James's, as they are by cut-purses in the wretched haunt of St. Giles's.
Miss Vor. For shame, Ellen, to censure your own sex.
Ell. No, madam, I am its advocate ; and in that sex's name protest an abhorrence of those women who do not consider any thiug shameful, but to be ashamed of any
thing; whose resemblance to nature and innocence exists but in their nakedness, and to whom honour is only known as a pledge at a gaming-table.
(Exit, L. Aliss Vor. Did you ever hear, Nabob ?
Vor. I did not hear a word she said ; I was thinking of my speech.
Miss Vor. A pert, gothic, low-bred creature! But her contemptible fortune suits uncommon well with her grovelling ideas.
Vor. Don't you talk of her fortune, it always makes my poor head worse. You know at the time I gave her five thousand pounds in lieu of what I called her expectations, I had in my hands an enormous sum of hers. O dear ! I'm afraid the doctor was right-ah! mine are certainly East India qualms_I wonder, if giving her fifty thousand back again would do my heart any good ?
Miss Vor. What! my dear Nahob? I declare you quite shock me.
Vor. Oh, conscience!
Miss Vor. Conscience ! he! he! a thing so uncommon vulgar, a thing so completely chansséed ; besides, you know very well it is absolutely impossible to exist under twenty thousand pounds a year.
Vor. That's very true. Aliss Por. Some people certainly do contrive to grub on with ten thousand, but how they do it is to me iniraculous ; then think of your intention of marrying me to the sou of your great rival, the baronet ; think of his borough.
Vor. Ah! very true.-Conscience, avauut! I have made a motion on matrimony to Sir Hubert.
Miss Vor. And young Stanley's arrival. Oh !. what a sweet youth:
Vor. Oh! what a sweet borough interest! But I'm glad your heart is interested.
Miss Vor. Heart interested ! Lud, how can you suspect me of so uncommon vulgar a sensation. I trust my joy is occasioned by ideas more becoming a woman of fashion.I am charmed because his fortune is large, his family an
and because my marriage will render all my female friends so uncommon miserable; and because I suspect that Ellen met young Stanley at Spa, and that she dares aspire to
Vor. I wish she were out of the house.
Vor. Shall stay. I'm not to be contradicted, you know -my physicians