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and I have long conversed at a distance; now we are met, and the pleasure this meeting gives me, amply compensates for the perils I have run through in accomplishing it.
Stock. What perils, Mr. Belcour? I could not have thought you would have met a bad passage at this time
BEL. Nor did we : courier-like, we came posting to your shores, upon the pinions of the swiftest gales that ever blew : it is upon English ground all my difficulties have arisen; it is the passage from the river-side I complain of
Srock. Ay, indeed! What obstructions can you have met with between this and the river-side ?
Bel. Innumerable! Your town's as full of defiles as the island of Corsica; and, I beliere, they are as obstinately defended; so much hurry, hustle, and confusion, on your quays; so many sugar-casks, porter-butts, and cominon-courcilmen, in your streets; that unless a man marched with artillery in his front, it is more than the labour of an Hercules can effect, to make any tolerable way through your town.
Srock. I am sorry you have been so incommoded.
BEL. Why, faith, it was all my own fault; accustomed to a land of slaves, and out of patience with the whole tribe of custom-house extortioners, boat-men, lide-waiters, and water-bailiffs, that beset me on all sides, worse than a swarm of moschettoes, I proceeded a little too roughly to brush them away with my rátan ;- the sturdy rogues took this in dudgeon, and begivning to rebel, the mob chose different sides, and a furious scuffle ensued; in the course of which, my person and apparel suffered so much, that I was obliged to step into the first tavern to refit, before ! could make my approaches in any decent trim.
STOCK. Well, Mr. Belcoor, it is a rough sample you have had of my countrymen's spirit; but, I trust, you will not think the worse of théın for it.
BeL Not at all; not at all; I like them the betier: were I only a visiver, I might, perhaps, wish them a little more traciable; bat as a fellow-subject, and a sharer in their freedom, I applaud their spirit, though I feel the effect of
it in every bone of my skin.-Well, Mr. Stockwell, for the first time in my life, here am I in England ; at the fountain-head of pleasure, in the land of beauty, of arts and elegancies. My happy stars have given me a good estate, and the conspiring winds have blown ine hither to spend it.
Stock. To use it, not to waste it, I should hope ; to treat it, Mr. Belcour, not as a vassal, over whom you have a wanton despotic power; but as a subject, which
you are bound to govern with a temperate and restrained authority.
BEL. True, Sir; most truly said; mine's a commission, not a right: I am the offspring of distress, and every child of sorrow is my brother. While I have hands to hold, therefore, I will hold them open to mankind; but, Sir, my passions are my masters; they take me where they will; and oftentiines they leave to reason and virtue nothing but my wishes and my sighs,
STOCK. Come, come, the man who can accuse, corrects himself.
Bel. Ah! that is an office I am weary of; I wish a friend would take it up: I would to Heaven you had leisure for the employ! but, did you drive a trade to the four corners of the world, you would not find the task so toilsome as to keep me free from faults.
STOCK. Well, I am not discouraged ; this candour tells me I should not have the fault of self-conceit to combat ; that, at least, is not among the number.
Bel. No: if I knew that man op earth who thought more humbly of we than 1 do of myself, I would take up his opinion and for« go my own.
STOCK. And, were I to choose a pupil it should be one of
your complexion, so if you will come along with me, we will agree upon your admission, and enter upon a course of lectures directly. BEL. With all my heart.
CHAPTER VIII. :
LORD EUSTACE AND FRAMPTON.
LD. Eust. Well, my dear Frampton, have you secured the letters.
FRAM. Yes, my lord; for their rightful owners. : LD. Eust. As to the matter of property, Frampton, we will not dispute much about that.' Necessity, you know, may sometimes render a trespass excusable.
Fram. I am not casuist sufficient to answer you upon that subject; but this I know, that you have already trespassed against the laws of hospitality and honour, in your conduct towards Sir William Evans ánd' his daughter.
- And, as your friend and counsellor both, I would advise you to think seriously of repairing the injuries you have committed, and not increase your offence, by a farther violation.
LD. Eust. It is actually a pity you were not bred to the bar, Ned; but I have only a moment to stay, and am all impatience to know if there be a letter from Langwood, and what he says.
Fram. I shall never be able to afford you the least inforination upon that subject, my lord.
Lu. Eust. Surely, I do not understand you. You said you had secured the letters. Have you not read them?
FRAM. You have a right, and none but you, to ask me such a question. My weak compliance with your first proposal relative to these letters, warrants your thinking meanly of me. Bu know, my lord, that though my personal affection for you, joined to my unhappy circum. stances, may have betrayed me to actions unworthy of myself, I never can forget, that there is a barrier fixed before the extreme of baseness, which honour will not let ne pass. Lv. Eust. You will give me leave to tell
you, Frampton, that where I lead, I think you need not halt.
Fram. You will pardon me, my lord ; the consciousness of another man's errors can never be a justification for our own; and poor indeed must that wretch be, who
can be satisfied with the negative merit of not being the worst man he knows.
Ln. Eust. If this discourse were uttered in a conven. ticle, it might have its effect; by setting the congrega: tion to sleep.
Fram. It is rather meant to rouse, than lull your lordship:
in. Eust. No matter what it is meant for; give me the letters, Mr. Frampton.
Fram. Yet, excuse me I could as soon think of arming a nadman's hand against his own life, as suff-r you to be guilty of a crime, that will for ever wound your honour.
LD. Eust. I shall not come to you to heal the wound: your medicines are too rough and coarse for me.
Fram. The soft poison of flattery mighe, perhaps, please you better.
Lp. Eust. Your conscience may, probably, have as much need of palliatives as mine, Mr. Frampton; as I am pretty well convinced, that your course of life bas not been more regular than my own.
FRAM, Wiih true contrition, my lord, I confess part of your sarcasm to be just. Pleasure was the object of my pursuit; and pleasure I obtamed, at the expense both of healih and fortune: but yet, my lord, I broke not in upon the peace of others; the laws of hospitality I never vio. lated ; nor did I ever seek to injure, or seduce, the wife oë daughter of iny friend.
LD. Eust. I care not what you did; give me the letters.
Fuam. I have no right to keep, and i herefore shall sur. Tender them, though with the utmost reluctance; but, by our former friendship, I entreat you not to open them. LD. Eust. That
have forfeited. FRAM. Since it is not in my power to prevent your conimitting an error, which you ought for ever to repent of, I will not be a witness of it. There are the letters.
Lo. Eust. You may, perhaps, have cause to repent your present conduct, Mr. Frampton, as much as I do our past attachment.
Fram. Rather than hold your friendship upon such termis, 1 resign it for ever. Farewell, my lord.
Re-enter FRAMPTON. Fram. Ill-treated as I have been, my lord, I find it impossible to leave you surrounded by difficulties.
Ln). Eust. That sentiment should have operated sooner, Mr. Frampton. Recollection is seldom of use to our friends, though it may sometimes be serviceable to ourselves.
FRAM. Take advantage of your own expression, my lord, and recollect yourself
. Born and educated as I have been, a gentleman, how have you injured both yourself and me, by admitting and unitmg, in the same confidence, your rascally servant!
Lv). Eust. The exigency of my situation is a sufficient excuse to myself, and ought to liave been so to the man who called himseif my friend.
Fram. Have a care, my lord, of uitering the least doubt
upon thạt subject; for could I think you once mean enough to suspect the sincerity of my attachment to you, it must Fanish at that instant.
Lu. Eust. The proofs of your regard have been rather painful of late, Mr. Frampton. Fram. When I see my
pretipice, is that a time for compliment: Shall I not rudely rush forward, and drag him from it ? Just in that state you are at present, and I will strive to save you. Virtue may languish in a noble heart, and saffer her rival, Vice, to usurp her power; but baseness must not enter, or she flies for ever. The man who has forfeited his own esteem, thinks all the world has the same consciousness, and therefore is, what he deserves to be, a wretch.
LD. Eusk. Oh, Frampton, you have lodged a dagger in my heart.
FRAM. No, my dear Eustace, I have saved you from one, from your own reproaches, by preventing your being guilty of a meanness, which you could never have forgiven yourself.
LD. Eust. Can you forgive me, and be still my friend?
FEAM. As firmly as I have ever been, my lord.-But lei us, at present, hasten to get rid of the mean business we are engaged in, and forward the letters we have no right to detain.
SCHOOL FOR RAKES.