Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

without the least petition, the least motion of mine, sent for me, and with the utmost generosity, made me a present of ten pieces. Young Bone. Ha, ha, ha! Young Val. Why do you laugh?

Young Bone. To see you so much over-rate a trifle. My father paid me a visit this morning, and with the utmost generosity made me a present of a hundred: upon which, with the utmost gratitude, I asked him for more! Why, tell me, Charles, dost thou think it is not his duty who hath begot us with all those appetites and passions, to supply them to the utmost of his power? But, Charles, I hope you will make your friends partakers of your father's generosity: you will dine with us today.

Young Val. Your company is generally too expensive for me.

Young Bone. Why, faith, the world is grown to such a pass, that, without expence, a man cannot keep good company.

Young Val. By good company, I suppose you mean embroider'd company; for men of sense are to be come at cheaper.

Young Bone. By good company, I mean polite company; for true politeness, though it does not make a man of sense, it mends him.

Young Val. But does politeness never dine without a French cook, nor eat out of any thing but plate?

Young Bone. To shew you I think otherwise, I will dine with you wherever you please.

Young Val. Why my business with you was, to let you know my father has been so good to give my sister leave to spend this day at your house; now, if you will, without ceremony, let me invite myself to the same place

Young Bone. You make me perfectly happy, and I hope to know something this afternoon which will make you so; at least, if you wish to call me brother as eagerly as I do to call you by that name.

Young Val. Need I declare that to you?

Young Bone. Then I assure you, your father's consent is only wanting.

Young Val. Ha! you make me happy, indeed; for

were the alliance less advantageous, he is so good, so indulgent, I will fly to him, and throw myself at his feet to obtain it.

Young Bone. I believe my chariot is at the door; I will carry you—O, my dear Charles, my spirits are now so high, that it must be an uncommon accident which will ruffle them; and believe me, the vast delight, which the near prospect of enjoyment of my love affords me, is not a little heightened by the expectations of seeing you also happy in your wishes; and I can look down with contempt on the merchant, who sees the anchor cast to his ship; the general, who has just obtained a victory; or the despairing minister, who has just carried his point, and subverted the designs of his enemies. [Exeunt.

ACT II.—SCENE I.

Scene, a Room in Valence's House.
Enter Old Valence and Servant.

OLD VALENCE.

Tell Mr. Boncour I shall be glad to see him.—What can this formal visit mean? I hope he has not discovered

the intimacy between our children: if I could once compass that double marriage, I should complete my wishes; why not? For I know the violent passion of the young people, and the extreme indulgence of the father; but, though he is a weak man, it is impossible he should give his consent; the disparity of fortune is too great: well! but, as he has brought up his children to hate and despise him, perhaps they may not ask it; no, it would make me cot happy.

Enter Boncour.

Bone. My good old friend and neighbour, how do you do?

Val. Mr. Boncour, T am heartily glad to see you; this is extremely kind, and hath prevented me this very morning paying you that visit, which I have been obliged to owe you some time against my inclination.

Done. Ceremony between old friends, my good neighbour, is ridiculous; it is the privilege of friendship and love, to throw aside those forms, which only serve men to keep up an appearance of affection where there is none; there has been a long acquaintance and intimacy between our families.

Val. There has been so indeed, and highly to my satisfaction.

Bone. I am deceived, my very good old friend, if there are not some who wish a much closer alliance; you know, Mr. Valence, my way hath been always to discover my sentiments, without great formality of introduction; in short, I have discover'd a very particular intimacy between our younger branches; I am mistaken if they are not desirous to knit the alliance still closer. Val. So! (just what I fear'd). [Aside.

Bone. But you know, my old friend, the views of young people, and of their parents, in matrimony, are extremely different; theirs is only the satisfaction of an immediate passion, ours looks forward to their future happiness.

Val. Sir, I am surpris'd at what you tell me.

[ Confusedly.

Bone. Why surpris'd? it is but a natural affection.

Val. It is an affection, Sir, which I never encourag'd in them.

Bone. It is in our power, Mr. Valence

Val. I shall be very ready to contribute mine, I assure you; I scorn to connive at my children's stealing a match into any family, particularly my friend's: I do assure you, I should scorn it.

Bone. I believe, indeed, you wou'd—But

Val. If I had had but the least suspicion—if such a thing had ever enter'd into my thoughts, you should have known it that moment.

Bone. I am convine'd, but give me leave perhaps

the advantage may be somewhat of your side.

Val. Dear Sir, the whole world knows how infinitely it is so; but I am not like the world in all respects; I am not so devoted to my interest to do a mean thing; I would not do a mean thing for the world.

Bone. Nor am I so like the world to place my own, or my children's interest in riches only, or rather to sacrifice their happiness to my own vanity; I am willing, when they have taken out a licence, that they shall have no more to do with Doctors' Commons; for which reason I will neither marry my daughter to a spindle-shank'd beau, nor my son to a rampant woman of quality. Mr. Valence, our children love each other, and their passions, if encourag'd, may make them happy: my business with you, my neighbour, is not to frustrate, but to complete their attachments; in a word, what think you of a double marriage between our families?

Val. {Surpris'd.) Sir!

Bone. Are you willing it should be so?
Val. Are you in earnest?

Bone. I thought you had known me too well to suspect me of jesting on such an occasion; I assure you I have no other business here at present: I know my son's happiness is wrapt up in your daughter, and for ought I know, my daughter may have the same affection for your son; I do not only therefore propose the match to you, but I do it with earnestness.

Val. Do you? Why then, for that very reason, I shall put on some backwardness; eagerness is always to be taken advantage of. [Aside.

Bone. Be not surpris'd; perhaps there may be some advantage in point of fortune on one side or other: if it should be on mine, I can never give it up better than to an old friend.

Val. Hum—that estate of mine in Northumberland is a very good estate, and very improvable; let me tell

you, it is an estate that

Bone. It will be the business of hereafter to consider each particular; we have been neighbours to each other so long, that our affairs in general can be no secret to either. At present I should be glad of your direct answer.

Val. A double marriage between our children! It is a matter, Mr. Boncour, which will require great consideration.

Bone. Aye!

Val. Are you certain your son has so violent an affection for my daughter? Bone. I am certain.

Val. And that your daughter has the same liking towards my son?

Bone. Women are not so open on these occasions, but I have reason to believe it.

« AnteriorContinuar »