صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Bel. Not at all ; not at all; I like them the better : were I only a visitor, I might, perhaps, with them a little more tractable ; bat as a fellow-subject, and a sharer in their freedom, I applaud their spirit, though I feel the effect of it in every bone of my skin.-Well, Mr. Stockwell, for the first time in my life, here am F 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 cone, spiring winds have blown me hither to spend it.

Stock. To use it, not to waste it, I should hope ;: to treat it, Mr. Belcour, not as a vassal, over whom you have a wanton defporic power, but as a subject, which you are bound to govern with a temperate and restrained authority.

Bel. True, Sir; most truly faid; 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 pasions 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, coré rects 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 leifure for the employ! but, did you drive a trade to the: four corners of the world, you would not find the talk toilfome 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, were I to choose a pupil, it should be oneof your complexion ; so if you will come along with me, we K 5


will agree upon your admiffion, and enter upon a course of lectures directly. BEL. With all my heart.




Yes, my

Lp. Eust. Well, my dear Frampton, have you feeured the letters? FRAM.

lord; for their rightful owners. Lp. Eusr. As to the matter of property, Frampton, we will not dispute much about that. Neceffrty, you know may sometimes render a trespass excusable.

FRAM. I am not cafuift fufficient to answer you upon that fubjeét; but this I know, that you have already tref-passed 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 seriously of repairing the injuries you have comzpitted, and not increase your offenee 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 impatience to know if there be a letter from Lang: wood, and 'what he says..

FRAM. I Mall never be able to afford you the least in. formation upon that subject, my lord.

Lo. E ust. Surely I do not understand you. You said you had secured the letters Have you not read them?

FRAM. You have a right, and pione but you, to ak' me fuch a question. My wealo compliance with your first pro. posabrelative to these letters, warrants your thinking so meanly of me. But know, my lord, that though my pera fonat affe&tion for you; joinedito my unhappy circumstances, may have betrayed me to a dions unworthy of my felf,

[ocr errors]


never can forget, that there is a barrier fixed before the extreme of baseness, which honour will not let me pass.

LD. Eust. You will give me leave to tell you, Mr. Frampton, that where I lead, I think you need not halt.

Fram. You will pardon me, my Lord; the consciouso ness of another man's errours can never be a justification for our own; and poor indeed muit that wretch be, who canbe satisfied with the negative merit of not being the worst man he knows.

Lo. Eust. If this discourse were uttered in a conventicle, it might have its effect, by setting the congregation to ileep.

Fram. It is rather meant to roufe than lall your lore ship.

LD. Eust. No matter what it is meant for; give me the letters, Mr. Frampton.

FRAM. Yet, excuse me. I could as soon think of arming a madman's hand against my own life, as fuffee you to be guilty of a crime, that will for ever wound your honour.

LD. Eust. I fall not come to you to heal the wound: your medicines are too rough and coarse for me:

FRAMThe foft poison of flattery might, perhapsg. please you better.

LD. Eust. Your conscience may, probably have ag. much need of palliatives, as mine, Mr. Frampton, as I arp. pretty well convinced, that your course of life has not been more regular than my own.

FRAM. With true contrition, my lord; I.confefsi pars of your sarcasm to be juft. Pleasure was the object of my pursuit: and pleasure I obtained, at the expense both of health and fortune : but yet, my lord, I broke not in upon : the peace -of others; the laws of hospitality I never vioLated; nor did Hever seek to injure.or seduce the wife or daughter of my friend.


La. Eust. I care not what you did ; give me the letters.

Fram. I have no right to keep, and therefore fhall fure render them, though with the utmost reluctance: but, by ou: former friendship, I entreat you not to open them.

LD. Eust. "That you have forfeited.

FRAM. Since it is not in my power to prevent your committing an errour, which you ought for ever to repent of, I will not be a witness of it. There are the letters.

Lo. Eust. You may, perhaps, have cause to repent your present conduct, Mr. Frampton, as much as I do our past attachment.

FRAM. Rather than hold your Friendship upon fuch terms, I refign it for ever. Farewell, my lord.

Reenter FRAMPTON. FRAM. IIl-treated as I have been, my lord, I find it impoffible to leave you surrounded by difficulties.

Ld. Eust. That sentiment should have operated sooner, Mr. Frampton. Recollection is feldom of use to our friends, though it may metimes be serviceable to ourselves.

FRAM. Take advantage of your own expressions, my lord, and recolleet yourself. Born and educated, as I have been, a gentleman, how have you injured both yourself and me, by admitting and uniting, in the same confidence, your rascally fervant!

LD. Eust. The exigency of my fituation is a fufficient excuse to my felf, and ought to have been fo to the mans who called himself my friend.

FRAM. Have a care, my lord, of uttering the leaft doubt

upon that subject; for could I think you once mean enough to fufpect the fincerity of my attachment to you, it muft vanith at that inftant.

Ld. Eust. The proofs of your regard have been rather painful of late, Mr. Frampton. Fram. When I see my friend upon



a precipice, is that a time for compliment ? Shall I not rudely



rush forward and drag him from it? Joft in that ftate you

at present, and I will ftrive to fave you. Virtue may languish in a noble heart, and suffer her rival, vice, to usurp her power; but baseness muft not enter, or lae flies for ever. The man who has forfeited his own esteem, thinks all the world has the same consciousness, and there. fore is, what he deserves to be, a wretch,

Lo. Eust. On, Frampton ! you have lodged a dagger in my heart !

Fram. No, my dear Euftace, I have saved you from one, from your owo reproaches, by preventing your being guilty of a meanness, which you could never have forgiven yourself.

Lo. Eust. Can you forgive me, and be ftill my friend?

FRAM. As firmly as I have ever been, my lord. But let us, at present, haften to get rid of the mean business we are engaged in, and forward the letters we have no right to detain.




Duke. Now, my comates, and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The season's difference; as the icy fang,
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind;
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and fay,
This is no flattery ; these are .counsellors,
That feelingly perfuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,


« السابقةمتابعة »