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ACT THE FIRST.
An Apartment in Young Honeywood's House.
Enter Sir WILLIAM HONEYWOOD and JARVIS,
Sir W. Good Jarvis, make no apologies for this honest bluntness. Fidelity, like yours,
is the best excuse for
freedom. Jarvis. I can't help being blunt, and being very angry too, when I hear you talk of disinheriting so good, so worthy a young gentleman as your nephew, my master.-All the world loves him.
Sir W. Say, rather, that he loves all the world; that is his fault.
Jarvis. I'm sure there is no part of it more dear to him than you are, though he has not seen you since he was a child.
Sir W. What signifies his affection to me, or how can I be proud of a place in a heart, where every
sharper and coxcomb find an easy entrance? I have been now for some time a concealed spectator of his follies, and find them as boundless as his dissipation.
Jarvis. And yet, 'faith, he has some fine name or other for them all. He calls his extravagance, generosity; and his trusting every body, universal bene. volence. It was but last week, he went security for a fellow, whose face he scarce knew, and that he called an act of exalted mu-mu-munificence; ay, that was the name he
it. Sir W. And upon that I proceed, as my last effort, though with very little hopes to reclaim him. That very fellow has absconded, and I have taken up the security. Now, my intention is to involve him in fictitious distress, before he has plunged himself into real calamity. To arrest him for that very debt-to clap an officer upon him, and then let him see which of his friends will come to his relief.
Jarvis. Well, if I could but any way see him thoroughly vexed, every groan of his would be music to me; yet 'faith, I believe it impossible. I have tried to fret him myself every morning these three years ; but, instead of being angry, he sits as calmly to hear me scold, as he does to his hair-dresser.
Sir W. We must try him once more, howeverYet we must touch his weakness with a delicate hand. There are some faults so nearly allied to excellence, that we can scarce weed out the vice, without eradicating the virtue.
[Exit. Jarvis. Well, go thy ways, Sir William Honeywood. It is not without reason that the world allows thee to be the best of men. But here comes his hopeful nephew; the strange, goodnatured, foolish, open hearted -And yet, all his faults are such that one loves him still the better for them.
Enter Mr. Honeywood. Mr. H. Well, Jarvis, what messages from my friends this morning?
Jarvis. You have no friends,
Jarvis. [Pulling out Bills.] A few of our usual cards of compliment, that's all. This bill from your tailor; this from your mercer; and this from the little broker, in Crooked - Lane. He
he has been at a great deal of trouble to get back the money you borrowed.
Mr. H. That I don't know ; but I'm sure we were at a great deal of trouble in getting him to lend it.
Jarvis. He has lost all patience.
Jarvis. There's that ten guineas you were sending to the poor gentleman and his children in the Fleet. I believe that would stop his mouth, for a while at least.
Mr. H. Ay, Jarvis, but what will fill their mouths in the mean time? Must I be cruel because he happens to be importunate; and, to relieve his avarice, leave them to insupportable distress?
Jarvis. 'Sdeath, sir! the question now is how to relieve yourself. Yourself! hav'n't I reason to be out of my senses, when I see things going at sixes and sevens?
Mr. H. Whatever reason you may have for being out of your senses, I hope you'll allow that I'm not quite unreasonable for continuing in mine.
Jarvis. You're the only man alive in your present situation that could do so---Every thing upon the waste.
There's Miss Richland and her fine fortune gone already, and upon the point of being given to
Mr. H. I'm no man's.rival.
Jarvis. Your uncle in Italy, preparing to disinberit you; your own fortune almost spent; and nothing but pressing creditors, false friends, and a pack of drunken servants, that your kindness has made unfit for any other family,
Mr. H. Then they have the more occasion for being in mine.
Jarvis. Soh! What will you have done with him, that I caught stealing your plate, in the pantry? In the fact;-I caught him in the fact.
Mr. H. Then pay him his wages, and turn him off.
Jarvis. He shall be turned off at the Old Bailey, the dog; we'll hang him, if it be only to frighten the rest of the family.
Mr. H. No, Jarvis: it's enough that we have lost what he has stolen ; let us not add to it the loss of a fellow creature !
Jarvis. Very fine; well, here was the footman just now, to complain of the butler; he says he does most work, and ought to have most wages.
Mr. H. That's but just; though, perhaps, here comes the butler to complain of the footman,
Enter BUTLER, drunk. Butler. Sir, I'll not stay in the family with Jonathan; you must part with him, or part with me, that's the ex-ex-exposition of the matter, sir.
Mr. H. Full and explicit enough. But what's his fault, good Philip?
Butler. Sir, he's given to drinking, sir, and I shall have my morals corrupted, by keeping such company.
Mr. H. Ha! ha! very pleasant-
Butler. I find my wines a going, sir; and liquors don't
go without mouths, sir ;-I hate a drunkard, sir. Mr. H. Well, well, Philip, I'll hear you upon that another time, so go to bed now.
Jarvis. To bed! Let him go to the devil.
Butler. Begging your honour's pardon, and begging your pardon, master Jarvis, I'll not go to bed, nor to the devil neither. I have enough to do to mind my cellar. I forgot, your honour, Mr. Croaker is below. I came on purpose to tell you.