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own to employ his spirits, without setting them against other people. Make it up as fast as you can : watch this gentleman out; follow him wherever he goes, and bring me word who and what he is; be sure you don't lose sight of him ; I've other business in hand. (Exit.
Bel. Pray, sir, what sorrows and distresses have befallen this old gentleman you speak of?
Ful. Poverty, disappointment, and all the distresses attendant thereupon: sorrow enough of all conscience: I soon found how it was with him, by his way of living, low enough of all reason; but what I overheard this morning put it out of all doubt.
Bel. What did you overhear this morning?
Ful. Why, it seems he wants to join his regiment, and has been beating the town over to raise a little money for that purpose upon his pay; but the climate, I find, where he is going, is so unhealthy, that nobody can be found to lend him any.
Bel. Why, then, your town is a damned good-fornothing town: and I wish I had never come into it.
Ful. That's what I say, sir; the hard-heartedness of some folks is unaccountable. There's an old Lady Rusport, a near relation of this gentleman's; she lives hard by here, opposite to Stockwell's, the great merchant; he sent to her a-begging, but to no purpose; though she is as rich ás a Jew, she would not furnish him with a farthing.
Bel. Is the Captain at home?
Bel. Will you take the trouble to desire him to step hither? I want to speak to him.
Ful. I'll send him to you directly. I don't know what to make of this young man ; but, if I live, I will find him out, or know the reason why.
[Exit. Bel. I've lost the girl, it seems, that's clear: she was the first object of my pursuit; but the case of this poor officer touches me; and, after all, there may be
as much true delight in rescuing a fellow-creature from distress, as there would be in plunging one into itBut let me see: it's a point that must be managed with some delicacy-Apropos ! there's pen and ink-I've struck upon a method that will do. [Writes.] Ay, ay, this is the very thing: 'twas devilish lucky I happened to have these bills about me. There, there, fare you well! I'm glad to be rid of you; you stood a chance of being worse applied, I can tell you.
[Encloses and seals the paper. Fulmer brings in Dudley. Ful. That's the gentleman, sir. I shall make bold, however, to lend an ear.
Dud. Have you any commands for me, sir?
Bel. You command a company, I think, Captain Dudley?
Dud. I did : I am now upon half-pay.
Dud. A pretty many years; long enough to see some people of more merit, and better interest than myself, made general officers.
Bel. Their merit I may have some doubt of; their interest I can readily give credit to; there is little promotion to be looked for, in your profession, I believe, without friends, Captain?
Dud. I believe so too: have you any other business with me, may I ask?
Bel. Your patience for a moment. I was informed you was about to join your regiment in distant quarters abroad.
Dud. I have been soliciting an exchange to a company on full pay, quartered at James's Fort, in Senegambia; but, I'm afraid, I must drop the undertaking.
Bel. Why so, pray?
Dud. Why so, sir? 'Tis a home question, for a perfect stranger to put; there is something very particular in all this.
Bel. If it is not impertinent, sir, allow me to ask you what reason you have for despairing of success ?
Dud. Why, really, sir, mine is an obvious reason, for a soldier to have want of money ; simply that.
Bel. May I beg to know the sum you have occasion for?. .
Dud. Truly, sir, I cannot exactly tell you on a sudden; nor is it, I suppose, of any great consequence to you to be informed: but I should guess, in the gross, that two hundred pounds would serve.
Bel. And do you find a difficulty in raising that sum upon your pay? 'Tis done every day.
Dud. The nature of the climate makes it difficult: I can get no one to insure my life.
Bel. Oh! that's a circumstance may make for you, as well as against: in short, Captain Dudley, it so happens, that I can commund the sum of two hundred pounds: seek no further; I'll accommodate you with it upon easy terms.
Dud. Sir! do I understand you rightly ?-I beg your pardon ; but am I to believe that you are in earnest ?
Bel. What is your surprise ? Is it an uncommon thing for a gentleman to speak truth? Or is it incredible that one fellow-creature should assist another?
Dud. I ask your pardon-May I beg to know to whom?-Do you propose this in the way of business?
Eel. Entirely: I have no other business on earth.
Bel. I hope you will not think the worse of me for being neither; in short, sir, if you will peruse this paper, it will explain to you who I am, and upon what terms I act; while you read it, I will step home, and
fetch the money: and we will conclude the bargain without loss of time. In the meanwhile, good day to you.
[Exit hastily. · Dud. Humph! there's something very odd in all this -let me see what we've got here—This paper is to tell me who he is, and what are his terms: in the name of · wonder, why has she sealed it ? Hey day! what's here?
Two Bank notes, of a hundred each! I can't comprehend what this means. Hold; here's a writing ; perhaps that will show me. “ Accept this trifle; pursue
your fortune, and prosper." Am I in a dream? Is this . a reality?
Enter Major O'Flaherty. OʻFla. 'Save you, my dear! Is it you now that are Captain Dudley, I would ask? Whuh! What's the hurry the man's in? If 'tis the lad that run out of the shop you would overtake, you might as well stay where you are; by my soul he's as nimble as a Croat, you are a full hour's march in his rear--Ay faith, you may as well turn back, and give over the pursuit; well, Captain Dudley, if that's your name, there's a letter for you. Read, man; read it; and I'll have a word with you after you have done.
Dud. More miracles on foot! So, so, from Lady Rusport.
OFla. You're right; it's from her ladyship.
Dud. Well, sir, I have cast my eye over it; 'tis short and peremptory; are you acquainted with the contents?
O'Fla. Not at all, my dear; not at all.
O'Fla. Not a syllable, honey: only, when you've digested the letter, I've a little bit of a message to deliver you from myself.
Dud. And may I beg to know who yourself is?
O'Fla. Dennis O'Flaherty, at your service; a poor Major of Grenadiers; nothing better.
Dud. So much for your name and title, sir; now be 80 good as to favour me with your message.
O'Fla. Why then, Captain, I must tell you I have promised Lady Rusport you shall do whatever it is she bids you to do in that letter there.
Dud. Ay, indeed; have you undertaken so much, Major, without knowing either what-she commands, or what I can perform?
O'Fla. That's your concern, my dear, not mine ; I must keep my word, you know.
Dud. Or else, I suppose, you and I must measure swords.
O'Fla. Upon my soul you've hit it.
Dud. That would hardly answer to either of us; you and I have, probably, had enough of fighting in our time before now.
O'Flu. Faith and troth, Master Dudley, you may say that; 'tis thirty years, come the time, that I have followed the trade, and in a pretty many countries.—Let me see -- In the war before last I served in the Irish brigade, d'ye see; there, after bringing off the French monarch, I left his service, with a British bullet in my body, and this ribband in my button-hole. Last war I followed the fortunes of the German eagle, in the corps of grenadiers; there I had my bellyfull of fighting, and a plentiful scarcity of every thing else. After six-and-twenty engagements, great and small, I went off with this gash on my skull, and a kiss of the Empress Queen's sweet hand, (heaven bless it!) for my pains. Since the peace, my dear, I took a little turn with the confederates there in Poland-but such another set of madcaps !--by the Lord Harry, I never knew what it was they were scuffling about.
Dud. Well, Major, I won't add another action to the list; you shall keep your promise with Lady Rusport; she requires me to leave London ; I shall go in a few days, and you may take what credit you please from my compliance.