« 上一頁繼續 »
Sir WILLIAM. Ay, or that does not ask it. I have been now for some time a concealed spectator of his follies, and find them as boundless as his diffipation.
JARVIS. And yet, faith, he has some fine name or other for them all. He calls his extravagance, generofity; and his trusting every body, universal benevolence. 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
Sir WILLIAM. And upon that I proceed, as my last effort, though with very little hopes to reclaim him. That very fellow has juft abfconded, and I have taken up the fecurity. Now, my intention is to involve him in fi&titious distress, before he has plunged himself into real calamity. To arreft 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 impoflible. I have tried to fret him myself every morning these three years ; but, instead of being angry, he fits 'as calmly to hear me ícold, as he does to his hair-dresser.
Sir WILLIAM. We must try him once more, however, and I'll go this instant to put my scheme into execution; and I don't despair of succeeding, as, by your means, I can have frequent opportunities of being about him, without being known. What a pity it is, Jarvis, that any man's good-will to others should produce so much neglect of himself, as to require correction? Yet, we must touch his weaknesses 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, good-natur’d, foolish, openhearted— And yet, all his faults are such that one loves him still the better for them.
Honeywood. Well, Jarvis, what meffages from my friends this inorning?
JARVIS. (Pulling out bills) A few of our usual cards of compliment, that's all. This bill from your taylor; this from your mercer; and this from the little broker in Crooked-lane. He says he has been at a great deal of trouble to get back the money you borrowed.
Honeywood. 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'nt I reason to be out of my senses, when I see things going at fixes and sevens?
HONEYWOOD. 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 fo-Every thing upon the waste. There's Miss Richland and her fine fortune gone already, and upon the point of being given to your rival.
JARVIS. Your uncle in Italy preparing to difinherit 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.
HONEYWOOD. Then they have the more occafion 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.
HONEYWOOD. In the fact? If so, I really think that we should pay him his wages, and turn him off.
JARVIS. He shall be turn'd off at Tyburn, the dog; we'll hang him, if it be only to frighten the rest of the family.
HONEYWOOD. 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 moft work, and ought to have most wages.
HONEYWOOD. That's but just; though perhaps here comes the butler to complain of the footman.
JARVIS. Ay, its the way with them all, from the scullion to the privy-counsellor. If they have a bad master, they keep quarrelling with him : if they have a good master, they keep quarrelling with one another.
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.
HONEYWOOD. Full and explicit enough. But what's his fault, good Philip?'