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Governor CAPE and ROBIN.
ND he believes me dead, Robin ?
Gov. You have given him no intimation that his fortunes might mend?
Rob. Not a diftant hint.
Gov. How did he receive the news?
Rob. Calmly enough: when I told him that his hopes from abroad were at an end, that the friend of his deceafed father thought he had done enough in putting it in his power to earn his own livelihood, he replied, 'twas no more than he had long expected, charged me with his warmest acknowledgments to his concealed benefactor, thanked me for my care, fighed, and left me.
Gov. And how has he lived fince?
Rob. Poorly, but honeftly: to his pen he owes all his fubfiftence, I am fure my heart bleeds for him: confider, Sir, to what temptations you expofe him.
Gov. The feverer his trials, the greater his triumph. Shall the fruits of my honeft induftry, the purchase of many perils, be lavifh'd on a lazy luxurious booby, who has no other merit than being born five-and-twenty years after me? No, no, Robin; him, and a profufion of debis, were all that the extravagance of his mother left me.
Rob. You lov'd her, Sir?
Gov. Fondly, nay, foolishly, or neceffity had not compell'd me to feek for fhelter in another climate. 'Tis true, fortune has been favourable to my labours; and when George convinces me that he inherits my fpirit, he fhall fhare my property, not else.
Rob. Confider, Sir, he has not your opportunities. Gov. Nor had I his education.
Rob. As the world goes, the worst you cou'd have given him. Lack-a-day! Learning, learning, Sir, is no commodity for this market: nothing makes money here, Sir, but monty; or fome certain fashionable qualities that you wou'd not wifh your fon to poffefs.
Gov. Learning ufelefs! Impoffible !-Where are the Oxfords, the Halifaxes, the great protectors and patrons of the liberal arts?
Rob. Patron!-The word has loft its ufe; a guineafubfcription at the request of a lady, whose chambermaid is acquainted with the author, may be now and then pick'd up-Protector!-Why, I dare believe there's more money laid out upon Iflington turnpike in a month than upon all the learned men in Great Britain in seven years.
Gov. And yet the prefs groans with their productions! How do they all exift?
Rob. In garrets, Sir; as, if you will step to your fon's apartment in the next treet, you will fee.
Gov. But what apology fhall we make for the vifit? Rob. That you want the aid of his profeffion; a well. penn'd addrefs now from the fubjects of your late government, with your gracious reply, to put into the newspapers.
Gov. Ay! is that part of his practice?—Well, lead on, Robin.
SCENE draws, and difcovers Young Cape with the Printer's Devil.
Cape, Prithee, go about thy business-Vanish, dear devil.
Devil. Mafter bid me not come without the proof; he fays as how there are two other Answers ready for the prefs; and if yours don't come out a Saturday, 'twon't pay for the paper. But you are always fo lazy: I have more plague with you-There's Mr Guzzle, the tranf lator, never keeps me a minute-unless the poor gentle man happens to be fuddled.
Cape. Why, you little, footy, fniv'ling, diabolical puppy, is it not fufficient to be plagu'd with the ftupidity of your abfurd master, but I must be pester'd with your impertinence?
Devil. Impertinence!Marry come up, I keep as good company as your worship every day in the yearThere's Mr Clench, in Little Britain, does not think it beneath him to take part of a pot of porter with me, VOL. III. T tho'
tho' he has wrote two volumes of Lives in quarto, and has a folio a-coming out in numbers.
Cape. Harky', firrah, if you don't quit the room this inftant, I'll show you a fhorter way into the street than the ftairs.
Devil. I fhall fave you the trouble. -Give me the French book that you took the ftory from for the laft Journal.
Cape. Take it
[Throws it at him. Devil. What, d'ye think it belongs to the circulating library, or that it is one of your own performances, that you
Cape. You fhall have a larger-(Exit Devil.) 'Sdeath! a pretty fituation I am in! And are these the fruits I am to reap from a long, laborious, and expenfive.
Devil. I had like to have forgot, here's your week's pay for the newspaper, five and fivepence; which, with the two-and-a-penny Mafter pafs'd his word for to Mrs Suds your washerwoman, makes the three half-crowns.
Cape. Lay it on the table.
Devil. Here's a man on the ftairs wants you; by the fheepifhnefs of his looks, and the shabbiness of his drefs, he's either a pickpocket or poet- Here, walk in, Mr What-d'ye call-um, the gentleman's at home.
[Surveys the figure, laughs, and exit.
Poet. Your name, I prefume, is Cape?
Poet. Sir, I beg pardon; you are a gentleman that writes?
Poet. Why, Sir, my cafe, in a word, is this: I, like you, have long been a retainer of the mufes, as you may fee by their livery.
Cape. They have not discarded you, I hope?
Poet. No, Sir; but their upper fervants, the bookfellers, have.I printed a collection of jefts upon my own account, and they have ever fince refused to employ me; you, Sir, I hear, are in their graces: Now I have brought you, Sir, three Imitations of Juvenal in
profe; Tully's oration for Milo, in blank verfe; two effays on the British Herring-fishery, with a large collection of rebufes; which if you will difpofe of to them in your own name, we'll divide the profits.
Cape. I am really, Sir, forry for your distress; but I have a larger cargo of my own manufacturing than they choose to engage in.
Poet. That's pity; you have nothing in the compiling or index way, that you wou'd entrust to the care of another?
Poet. I'll do it at half price.
Cape. I'm concern'd it is not in my power at prefent to be useful to you; but if this trifle
Poet. Sir, your fervant. Shall I leave you any
Poet. An effay or an ode?
Poet. Your very obedient[Exit Poet, Cape. Poor fellow! and how far am I removed from his condition? Virgil had his Pollio; Horace, his Mecænas; Martial, his Pliny. My protectors are, Titlepage the publisher, Vamp the bookfeller, and Index the printer. A moft noble triumvirate; and the rafcals are as profcriptive and arbitrary as the famous Ro man one, into the bargain.
Spri. What! in foliloquy, George-reciting some of the pleasantries, I fuppofe, in your new piece?
Cape. My difpofition has at prefent very little of the vis comica.
Spri. What's the matter?
Cape. Survey that mafs of wealth upon the table; all my own, and earn'd in little more than a week.
Spri. Why, 'tis an inexhaustible mine!
Cape. Ay, and delivered to me, too, with all the foft civility of Billingsgate by a printer's prime minifter, call'd a devil.
Spri. I met the imp upon the stairs. But I thought thefe midwives to the mufes were the idolizers of you their favourite fons.
Cape. Our tyrants, Tom! Had I indeed a pofthu-
mous piece of infidelity, or an amorous novel, decorated with lufcious copperplates, the flaves would be civil enough.
Spri. Why don't you publish your own works? Cape. What! and paper my room with 'em? No, no, that will never do; there are fecrets in all trades: ours is one great mystery; but the explanation wou'd be too tedious at prefent.
Spri. Then why don't you divert your attention to fome other object?
Cape. That fubject was employing my thoughts.
Cape. I have, I think, at prefent, two ftrings to my bow: if my comedy fucceeds, it buys me a commiffion; if my miftrefs, my Laura, proves kind, I am settled for life; but if both my cords fnap-adieu to the quill, and welcome the mufket.
Spri. Heroically determined! proceeds your honourable paffion?
But a propos-how
Cape. But flowly-I believe I have a friend in her heart, but á most potent enemy in her head: you know I am poor, and fhe is prudent. With regard to her fortune, too, I believe her brother's confent effentially ne cellary But you promised to make me acquainted with him. Spri. I expect him here every inftant. He may, George, be useful to you in more than one capacity; if your comedy is not crowded, he is a character, I can tell you, that will make no contemptible figure in it.
Cape. His fifter gave me a sketch of him laft fummer. Spri. A fketch can never convey him. His peculiarities require infinite labour and high finishing.
Cape. Give me the outlines.
Spri. He is a compound of contrarieties; pride and meannefs, folly and archnefs: At the fame time that he wou'd take the wall of a prince of the blood, he wou'd hot fcruple eating a fry'd faufage at the Mews-gate. There is a minutenefs now and then in his deferiptions, and fome whimfical unaccountable turns in his conversation, that are entertaining enough: but the extravaganceand oddity of his manner, and the boat of his birth, Complete his character.