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traordinary; such things happen every day; and as the world has only heard generally of a treaty between the families, when this marriage takes place, no body will be the wiser, if we have but discretion enough to keep our own counsel.
STERL. True, true; and since you only transfer from one girl to the other, it is no more than transferring so much ftock, you know.
Sir John. The very thing.
Sterl. Odso! I had quite forgot. We are reckoning without our host here. There is another difficulty
Sir John. You alarm me. What can that be?
STERL. I cannot ftir a step in this business without confulting my sister Heidelberg. The family has very great expectations from her, and we must not give her any offence.
Sir John. But if you come into this measure, surely le will be so kind as to consent
STERL. I do not know that. Betsey is her darling, and I cannot tell how far she may resent any slight that seems to be offered to her favourite niece. However, I will do the beft I for you. You shall go and break the matter to her first, and by the time that I may suppose that your rhetoric has prevailed on her to listen to reason, I will step in to reinforce your arguments.
Sir John. I will fly to her immediately : you promise me your assistance ?
STERL.. I do.
Sir John. Ten thousand thanks for it! and now success attend me!
SterL. Harkee, Sir John! Not a word of the thirty thousand to my sister, Sir John.
Sir John. Oh, I am dumb, I am dumb, Sir.
Sir John. To be sure I do.
STERL. But Sir John ! one thing more. My Lord muf know nothing of this stroke of friendship between us.
Sir John. Not for the world. Let me alone! let me alone.
STERL. And when every thing is agreed, we must give each other a bond to be held fast to the bargain.
Sir John. To be sure. A bond by all means! a bond, or whatever you please.
STERL. I should have thought of more conditions, he is in a humonr to give me every thing. Why, what mere children are your fellows of quality; that cry for a plaything one minute, and throw it by the next! as changeable as the weather, and as uncertain as the stocks. Special fel. lows to drive a bargain ! and yet they are to take care of the interest of the nation truly! Here does this whirligig man of fashion offer to give up thirty thousand pounds in hard money, with as much indifference as if it was a China on range. By this mortgage, I Mall have a hold on his Terra Firma ; and if he wants more money, as he certainly will, let him have children by my daughter or no, I shall have his whole estate in a net for the benefit of my family. Well; thus it is, that the children of citizens, who have acquired fortunes, prove persons of fashion ; and thus it is, that perfons of fashion, who have ruined their fortunes, reduce the next generation to cits,
C H A P. VII.
are welcome to England.
Bel.. I thank you heartily, good Mr. Stockwell ; you 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 o’year.
Bel. Nor did we: courier like, we came posting to your fhores; 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.
STOCK. Ay, indeed! What obstructions can you have met between this and the river-side ?
BEL. Innumerable! Your town's as full of defiles as the island of Corsica; and, I believe, they are as obstinately defended; so much hurry, bustle, and confusion, on your quays; so many sugar-cafks, porter-buts, and common council-men, in your streets ; that unless a man marched with artillery in his front, it is more than the labour of a Hercules can effect, to make any tolerable way through your town.
STOCK. I am sorry you have been fo incommoded.
BEL. Why, faith it was all my own fault; accufomed to a land of llaves, and, out of patience with the whole tribe of custom-house extortioners, boat-men, tide-waiters, and water-bailiffs, that beset me on all sides, worse than a swarın of musquetoes, I proceeded a little too roughly to brush them away with my rattan ; the sturdy rogues took this in dudgeon, and beginning to rebel, the mob chofe different fides, and a furious scuffle ensued; in the course of which, my person and apparel suffered so much, that I was
obliged obliged to step into the first tavern to refit, before I could make my approaches in any decent trim.
Stock. Well Mr. Belcour, it is a rough sample you have had of my countrymen's spirit; but, I trust, you will not think the worse of them for it.
Bel. Not at all, not at all; I like them the better ; was I only a visitor; I might, perhaps, wish them a little more tractable; but as a fellow-fubject, and a sharer in their freea dom, I applaud their fpirit, though I feel the effects 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 confpiring winds have blown me hither to spend it.
Stock. To ufe 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 pas. sions are my masters; they take me where they will; and oftentimes they leave to reason and virtue nothing but my wishes and my fighs.
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 fo 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 amongst the number.
Bel. No; if I knew that man on earth who thought more humbly of me than I do of myself, I would take up his opinion and forego my own.
Stock. And, was I to chuse 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.
с н А Р.
LORD EUSTACE AND FRAMPTON.
LO. EUST. ELL, my dear Frampton, have you fe
cured the letters ?
Lo. 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 fufficient to answer you upon that fubject; but this I know, that you have already trespassed against the laws of hospitality and honour, in your conduct towards Sir William Evans, and his daughter-And as your friend and counsellor, both, I would advise you to think feriously, 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