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HONEYWOOD. But a little spirit exerted on your fide might perhaps restore your authority.
CROAKER. No, though I had the spirit of a lion! I do rouze sometimes. But what then! always haggling and haggling. A man is tired of getting the better before his wife is tired of losing the victory.
HONEYWOOD. It's a melancholy confideration indeed, that our chief comforts often produce our greatest anxieties, and that an encrease of our possesions is but an inlet to new disquietudes.
CROAKER. dear friend, these were the very words of poor Dick Doleful to me not a week before he made away with himself. Indeed, Mr. Honeywood, I never see you but you put me in mind of poorDick. Ah there was merit neglected for you! and * so true a friend; we lov'd each other for thirty
years, and yet he never asked me to lend him a fin*gle farthing
HONEYWOOD. Pray what could induce him to commit fo rash an action at last ?
CROAKER. I don't know, some people were malicious enough to say it was keeping company with me; because we used to meet now and then and open our hearts
to each other.
To be sure I loved to hear him talk, and he loved to hear me talk ; poor dear Dick. He us’d to say that Croaker rhim’d to joker ; and so we us'd to laugh-Poor Dick. (Going to cry.)
HONEYWOOD. His fate affects me.
sick of this miserable life, where we do nothing but eat and grow hungry, dress and undress, get up and lie down; while reason, that should watch like a nurse by our fide, falls as faft asleep as we do.
HONEYWOOD. To say truth, if we compare that part of life which is to come, by that which we have past, the prospect is hideous.
CROAKER. Life at the greatest and best is but a froward child, that must be humour'd and coax'd a little till it falls asleep, and then all the care is over.
HONEYWOOD. Very true, Sir, nothing can exceed the vanity of our existence, but the folly of our pursuits. We wept when we came into the world, and every day tells us why.
CROAKER. Ah, my dear friend, it is a perfect satisfaction to be miserable with you. My son Leontine shan't lose the benefit of such fine conversation. I'll just step
home for him. I am willing to shew him so much feriousnefs in one scarce older than himself-And what if I bring my last letter to the Gazetteer on the encrease and progress of earthquakes ? It will amuse us, I promise you. I there prove how the late earthquake is coming round to pay us another visit from London to Lisbon, from Lisbon to the Canary Islands, from the Canary Islands to Palmyra, from Palmyra to Conftantinople, and so from Conftantinople back to London again.
[Exit. HONEYWOOD. Poor Croaker! his situation deserves the utmost pity. I shall scarce recover my spirits these three days. Sure to live upon such terms is worse than death itself. And yet, when I consider my own fituation, a broken fortune, an hopeless passion, friends in distress; the with but not the power to serve them -(paufing and fighing.)
BUTLER. More company below, Sir : Mrs. Croaker and Miss Richland; fall I shew them up? but they're shewing up themselves.
[Exit Enter Mrs. CROAKER and Miss RICHLAND.
Miss RichLAND. You're always in such fpirits.
Mrs. CROAKER.“ We have just come, my dear Honeywood, from the auction. There was the old deaf dowager, as
usual, bidding like a fury against herself. And
Miss RICHLAND. You would seem to infinuate, madam, that I have particular reasons for being difpofed to refuse it.
Mrs, CROAKER. Whatever I insinuate, my dear, don't be so ready to with an explanation.
Miss RICHLAND. I own I hould be forry, Mr. Honeywood's long friendship and mine should be misunderstood.
HoneyWOOD. There's no answering for others, madam. But I hope you'll never find me presuming to offer more than the most delicate friendship may readily allow.
Miss RICHLAND. And I shall be prouder of such a tribute from you than the most paflionate professions from others.
HONEYwood. My own sentiments, madam: friendship iş a dif. interested commerce between equals; love, an abject intercourse between tyrants and slaves.
Mifs RICHLAND. And, without a compliment, I know none more disinterested, of more capable of friendship
, than Mr. Honeywood.
Mrs. CROAKER. And, indeed, I know nobody that has more friends, at least among the ladies. Miss Fruzz, Miss Odbody, and Miss Winterbottom praise him in all companies. As for Miss Biddy Bundle, she's his professed admirer.
Miss RICHLAND. Indeed! an admirer! I did not know, Şir, you were such a favourite there. But is the seriously fo handsome? Is the the mighty thing talked of?
HONEYWOOD The town, madam, feldom begins to praise a lady's beauty, till he's beginning to lose it.
(Smiling? Mrs. CROAKER. But Me's resolv'd never to lose it, it seems. For, as her natural face decays, her kill improves in making the artificial one. Well, nothing diverts me more than one of those fine, old, dressy things, who thinks to conceal her age, by every where exposing her person ; sticking herself up in the front of a fide