Page images

ble, the rain of her I cannot but love, how ill soever I have been treated. Not knowing me to be his rival, he brought me along with him. We arrived in London yes. terday, and I am now sent by him to give your daughter privately this letter.

Sir John. What can it tend to? I know not what to think ; but if I find he means to wrong me and my daughter, it shall go hard, but his wicked plots shall be turn'd against himself.

Greenw. Then let me tell you, he means you vil. lainous wrong. The ruin of your daughter is contrived ; I heard the plot; and this very letter is to put it in execution.

Sir John. What shall I do?

Greenw. Leave all to me. I'll deliver the letter, and, by her behaviour, we shall know better how to take our

But how shall I see her ? Sir John. She is in the next room; I'll go in and send


her to you.

Greenw. If you tell her who it is, perhaps she will not be seen. Sir John. I won't.

[Exit. Enter Miss Kitty. Miss. Is not that Sir_Timothy's Livery! [Aside.) Pray, Sir, is Sir Timothy Flash come to town?

Greenw. Yes, madam.

Miss. Is it you? What new whim have you got in your head now, pray ?

Greenw. No new whim in my head, but an old one in my heart, which, I am afraid, will not be easily remov'd.

Miss. Indeed, young man, I am sorry for it; but you have had my answer already, and I wonder you should trouble me again.

Greenw. And is it thus you receive me! Is this the reward of all my faithful love?

Miss. Can I help your being in love? I'm sure I don't desire it; I wish you would not teaze me with your impertinent love any more.

Greenw. Why then did you encourage it? For, give me leave to say, you once did love me.

Miss. Perhaps I might, when I thought myself but your equal; but now, I think, you cannot in modesty pretend to me any longer.

Greenw. Vain, foolish girl! what alteration do you find in yourself for the better? In what, I wonder, does the fine lady differ from the miller's daughter? Have you more wit, more sense, or more virtue, than you had before? Or are you in any thing alter'd from your former self, except in pride, folly, and affectation?

Miss. Sir, let me tell you these are liberties that don't become you at all. Miller's daughter !

Greenw. Come, come, Kitty, for shame, lay aside these foolish airs of the fine lady; return to yourself, and let me ask you one serious question : Do you really think Sir Timothy designs to marry you?

Miss. You are very impertinent to ask me such a question ; but to silence your presumption for everI'm sure he designs it.

Greenw. I'm glad she thinks so, however. [Aside.] Nay, then, I do not expect you will resign the flattering prospect of wealth and grandeur, to live in a cottage on a little farm. 'Tis true, I shall be independent of all the world; my farm, however small, will be my own, unmortgaged.

Miss. Psha ! can you buy me fine clothes ? Can you keep me a coach? Can you make me a lady? If not, I advise you to go down again to your pitiful farm, and marry somebody suitable to your rank. And so, Sir, your very humble servant.

Greenw. Nay, madam, you shall not leave me yet;I have something more to say before we part. Suppose this worthy, honourable knight, instead of marriage, should only have a base design upon your virtue.

Miss. He scorns it: No, he loves me, and I know will marry me.

Greenw. Dear Kitty, be not deceived; I know he will not.


Kitty. You know nothing of the matter.
Greenw. Read that, and be convinc'd. [She reads.]

My dearest love, I could no longer stay in the country, when you were not there to make it agreeable. I came to town yesterday; and beg, if possible, you will, this evening, make me happy with your company. I will meet you at a relation's ; my servant will conduct you to the house. I am impatient 'till I behold your bright face again, and convince you how much I am Your fond and passionate admirer,


Miss. Well, and what is there in this to convince me of his ill intentions ?

Greenw. Enough, I think. If his designs are honourable, why are they not open ? Why does he not - come to your father's house, and make his proposals ? Why are you to be met in the dark at a stranger's ?

Miss. Let me see; I'll meet you at my relation's; my seroant will conduct you; indeed I don't know what to think of that.

Greenw. I'll tell you, madam; that pretended relation is a notorious Procuress.

Miss. 'Tis false; you have contriv'd this story to abuse me.

Greenw. No, Kitty, so well I love you, that if I thought his designs were just, I could rejoice in your happiness, though at the expence of my own.

Miss. You strangely surprize me; I wish I knew the truth.

Geeenw. To convince you, of my truth, here is a direction to the house in his own hand, which he himself

gave me, lest I should mistake: whither, if you still şi doubt my sincerity, and think proper to go, I am ready

conductor. $s. And is this the end of all his designs ! have I been courted only to my ruin! my eyes are now too clearly open'd. : What have I been doing !

to be your

[ocr errors]

jur Jan. Tier I am bayot. Bet re must not suffer bus postred krisit to go wspanish d, that he may pia ki triks eiseveze. us. Wat be code?

Greesi. As kis base desigos bare bot been executed, I thiak if we could expose and laugh at him, it would be scicient penishment.

Sir John. Is it coald be done severely.

blis. I think it cay. I believe I have found out a way for it; come with me into the next room, and we'll put it in execution.

Enter Joe.
Joe. Sir, a gentleman desires to speak with you.

Sir John. I'll come to him.-Go you, together, d'ye bear, and contrive your design.

[They go out severally.

SCENE V. Another Apartment at Sir John's

Enter Sir John, and the King disguis'd as a

Collegiate. Sir John. No compliments, I tell ye, but come to the point : what is your business?

King. As I appear to you in the habit of a collegiate, you may fancy I am some queer pedantic fellow; but I assure you

I am a person of some birth, and had a liberal education. I have seen the world, and kept the best company. But living a little too freely, and baving spent the greatest part of my fortune on women and wine, I was persuaded, by a certain nobleman, to take orders, and he would give me a living, which he said was coming into his hands. I was just closing with the proposal, when the incumbent recover'd, and I was disappointed.

Sir John. Well, and what's all this to me?'

King. Why, Sir, there is a living now fallen, which is in the King's gift, and I hear you have so good an interest with his Majesty, that I am persuaded a word from you, in 'my favour, would be of great service to me.

Sir John. And what must that word be; pray?
King. Nay, that I leave to you.

Sir John. You are in the right; and I'll tell you what it shall be. That you, being a senseless, idleheaded fellow, and having ruined yourself by your own folly and extravagance, you, therefore, think yourself highly qualified to teach mankind their duty. Will that do ?

King. You are in jest, Sir.

Sir John. Upon my word, but I am in earnest. I think he that recommends a profligate wretch to the most serious function in life, merely for the sake of a joke, gives as bad a proof of his morals, as he does of his wit.

King. Sir, I honour your plain-dealing. You exactly answer the character I have heard of your uncommon sincerity; and, to let you see that I am capable of something, I have written a poem in praise of that virtue, which I beg leave to present to you, and hope you will receive it kindly.

[Gives him the Poem. Sir John. Sir, I am not us'd to these things : I don't understand 'em at all; but, let's see [Sir John reads. 4 Poem in Praise of the incomparable Sincerity and uncommon Honesty of the worthy Sir John Cockle, &c.Enough, enough; a Poem in Praise of Sincerity, with a fulsome compliment in the very title, is extraordinary indeed. Sir, I am obliged to you

kind intentions; your wit and your poetry may be very fine, for

for your

« PreviousContinue »