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would ak to the purpose, ask this lady's consent to make you happy.
Miss RICHLAND. Why indeed, Sir, his uncommon ardour almost compels me--forces me to comply. And yet I'm afraid he'll despise a conquest gained with too much ease: won't you, Mr. Leontine?
LeontinE. Confufion! (Aside.) Oh, by no means, madam, by no means. And yet, madam, you talked of force. There is nothing I would avoid so much as compulsion in a thing of this kind. No, madam, I will fill be generous, and leave you at liberty, to refuse.
· CROAKER. But I tell you, 'Sir, the lady is not at liberty. It's a match. You see the fays nothing. Silence gives consent :
LEONTINE. But, Sir, the talked of force. Consider, Sir, the cruelty of constraining her inclinations. .:
CROAKER. But I'say there's no cruelty. Don't you know, blockhead, that girls have always a roundabout way of saying yes before company? So get you both gone together into the next room, and hang him. that interrupts the tender explanation. Get you gone, I say; I'll not hear a word. VOL. 11.
CROAKER. Get off, you puppy, or I'll beg leave to insist upon knocking you down. Stupid whelp! But I don't wonder, the boy takes entirely after his mother.
[Exeunt Miss Rich. and Leont. Enter Mrs. Croaker.
Mrs. Croaker. Mr. Croaker, I bring you something, my dear, that I believe will make you smile.
Mrs. CROAKER. A letter; and, as I knew the hand, I ventur'd to open it.
Croaker. And how can you expect your breaking open my letters should give me pleasure ?
Mrs. Croaker. Poo, it's from your fifter at Lyons, and contains · good news: read it.
Crosker. What a Frenchified cover is here! That filter of mine has some good qualities, but I could never teach her to foid a letter.
Croaker, reading. « Dear Nick, “ AN English gentleman, of large fortune, has “ for some time made private, though honourable “ proposals to your daughter Olivia. They love “ each other tenderly, and I find she has consented, s without letting any of the family know, to crown “ his addresses. As such good offers don't come “ every day, your own good sense, his large fortune, “ and family considerations, will induce you to for“ give her. * Yours ever,
" Rachael Croaker." My daughter Olivia, privately contracted to a man of large fortune! This is good news, indeed. My heart never foretold me of this. And yet, how Nily the little baggage has carried it since she came home. Not a word on't to the old ones for the world. Yet, I thought, I saw something she wanted to conceal.
Mrs. CROAKER. Well, if they have concealed their amour, they fhan't conceal their wedding; that shall be public, I'm resolved.
· CROAKÉR. I tell thee, woman, the wedding is the most foolish part of the ceremony. I can never get this woman to think of the more serious part of the nuptial engagement,
Mrs. CROAKER. What, would you have me think of their funeral? But come, tell me, my dear, don't you owe more to me than you care to confess? Would you have ever been known to Mr. Lofry, who has undertaken Miss Richland's claim at the treasury, but for me? Who was it first made him an acquaintance at lady Shabbaroon's rout? Who got him to promise us his intereft? Is not he a back-stairs favourite, one that can do what he pleases with those that do what they please? Is not he an acquaintance that all your groaning and lamentations could never have got us ? '
CROAKER. He is a man of importance, I grant yoa. And yet, what amazes me is, that while he is giving away places to all the world, he can't get one for himself.
Mrs. Croaker. That perhaps may be owing to his nicety. Great men are not easily satisfied.
Enter French SERVANT.
SERVANT. An expresse from Monsieur Lofty. He vil be vait upon your honour's inftrammant. He be only giving four five instruction, read two three memorial, call upon von ambassadeur. He vil be vid you in one tree minutes.
Mrs. Croaker. You see now, my dear. What an extensive department! Well, friend, let your master know, that we are extremely honoured by this honour. Was there any thing ever in a higher style of breeding ! All messages among the great are now done by express,
'CROAKER. To be sure, no man does little things with more solemnity, or claims more respect than he. But he's in the right on't. In our bad world, respect is given, where respect is claim'd.
Mrs. CROAKER. Never mind the world, my dear; you were never in a pleasanter place in your lise. Let us now think of receiving him with proper respect (a loud rapping at the door) and there he is, by the thundering rap.
CROAKER. Ay, verily, there he is! as close upon the heels of his own express, as an indorsement upon the back of a bill. Well, I'll leave you to receive him, whilft I go to chide my little Olivia for intending to steal a marriage without mine, or her aunt's consent. I must seem to be angry, or the too may be. gin to despise my authority.