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Serj. Have a care, hussy-there are severe laws against speaking evil of dignitiés.
Serj. Scandalum magnatum is a statute must not be trifled with: why you are not one of those vulgar sluts that think a man the worse for being a lord ?
Char. No, sir; I am contented with only not thinking him the better.
Serj. For all this, I believe, hussy, a right honourable proposal would soon make you alter your mind.
Char. Not unless the proposer had other qualities than what he possesses by patent. Besides, sir, you know sir Luke is a devotee to the bottle.
Serj. Not a whit the less honest for that.
Char. It occasions one evil at least ; that when under its influence, he generally reveals all, sometimes more, than he knows.
Serj. Proofs of an open temper, you baggage, but, come, come, all these are but trifling objections.
Char. You mean, sir, they prove the object a trifle.
Serj. Why, you pert jade, do you play on my words? I say sir Luke is
Serj. Nobody ! how the deuce do you make that out? He is neither person attainted or outlaw'd, may in any of his majesty's courts sue or be sued, appear by attorney, or in propria persona, can acquire, buy, procure, purchase, possess, and inherit not only personalities, such as goods, and chattels, but even realities, as all lands, tenements, and hereditaments, whatsoever, and wheresoever.
Char. But sir
Serj. Nay, further, child, he may sell, give, bestow, bequeath, devise, demise, lease, or to farm lett, ditto lands, or to any person whomsoeverand
Char. Without doubt, sir; but there are note withstanding in this town a great number of nobodies, not described by lord Coke.
Char. There is your next-door neighbour, sir Harry Hen, an absolute blank.
Serj. How so, Mrs. Pert?
Char. What, sir! a man who is not suffered to hear, see, smell, or in short to enjoy the free use of any one of his senses; who, instead of having a positive will of his own, is denied even a paltry negative ; who can neither resolve or reply, consent or deny, without first obtaining the leave of his lady: an absolute monarch to sink into the sneaking state of being a slave to one of his subjects-On fye!
Serj. Why, to be sure, sir Harry Hen, is as I may say
Char. Nobody, sir, in the fullest sense of the word- Then your client lord Solo.
Serj. Heyday! Why you would not annihilate a peer of the realm, with a prodigious estate, and an allowed judge too of the elegant arts.
Char. O yes, sir, I am no stranger to that nobleman's attributes ; but then, sir, please to consider, his power as a peer he gives up to a proxy; the direction of his estate, to a rapacious, artful attorney: and as to his skill in the elegant arts, I presume you confine them to painting and music, he is directed in the first by mynheer Van Eisel, a Dutch dauber; and in the last is but the echo of signora Florenza, his Jordship's mistress and an opera singer.
Serj. Mercy upon us! at what a rate the jade runs!
Char. In short, sir, I define every individual who, ceasing to act for himself, becomes the tool, the mere engine of another man's will, to be nothing more than a cypher.
Serj. At this rate the jade will half unpeople the world: but what is all this to sir Luke? to him, not one of your cases apply.
Char. Every one-Sir Luke has not a first principle in his whole composition; not only his pleasures, but even his passions are prompted by others; and he is as much directed to the objects of his love and his hatred, as in his eating, drinking, and dressing. Nay, though he is active, and eternally busy, yet his own private affairs are neglected; and he would not scruple to break an appointment that was to determine a considerable part of his property, in order to exchange a couple of hounds for a lord, or to buy a pad nag for a lady. In a word—but he's at hand, and will explain himself best ; I hear his stump on the stairs.
Serj. I hope you will preserve a little decency before your lover at least. .
Char. Lover! ha, ha, ha!
Enter Sir Luke Limp.
Sir Luke. Mr. Serjeant, your slave--Ah! are you there my little =O Lord! Miss, let me tell you something for fear of forgetting-Do you know that you are new christened, and have had me for a gossip? Char Christened! I don't understand you.
Sir Luke. Then lend me your ear--Why last night, as colonel Kill'em, sir William Weezy, lord Frederick Foretop, and I were carelessly sliding the Ranelagh round, picking our teeth, after a damn'd muzzy dinner at Boodle's, who should trip by but an abbess, well known about town, with a smart little nun in her suite. Says Weezy (who, between ourselves, is as husky as hell) Who is that? odds flesh, she's a delicate wench! Zounds! cried lord Frederick, where can Weezy have been, not to have seen the Harietta before? for you must know Frederick is
a bit of a Macaroni, and adores the soft Italian termination in a.
Char. He does ?
Sir Luke. Yes, a dilettante all over.- Before ? replied Weezy: crush me if ever I saw any thing half so handsome before !-No! replied I in an instant; colonel, what will Weezy say when he sees the Charlotta ?--Hey! you little
Char. Meaning me, I presume.
Sir Luke. Without doubt; and you have been toasted by that name ever since.
Serj. What a vast fund of spirits he has !
Sir Luke. And why not, my old splitter of causes?
Serj. I was just telling Charlotte, that you was not a whit the worse for the loss.
Sir Luke. The worse! much the better, my dear. Consider, I can have neither strain, splint, spavin, or gout; have no fear of corns, kibes, or that another man should kick my shins or tread on my toes,
Sir Luke. What, dy'e think I would change with Bill Spindle for one of his drumsticks, or chop with lord Lumber for both of his logs ?
Sir Luke. No, dámn it, I am much better.-Look there-Ha ! - What is there I am not able to do? To be sure I am a little aukward at running; but then, to make me amends, I'll hop with any man in town for his sum.
Serj. Ay, and I'll go his halves.
Sir Luke. Then as to your dancing, I am cut out at Madam Cornelly's, 1 grant, because of the croud; but as far as a private set of six couple, or moving a chair-minuet, match me who can.
Char. A chair minuet! I don't understand you.
Sir Luke. Why, child, all grace is confined to the motion of the head, arms, and chest, which may be as fully displayed sitting as if one had as
many legs as a polypus.--As thus-tol de roldon't you see?
Serj. Very plain.
Sir Luke. A leg! a redundancy! a mere nothing at all.
Man is from nature an extravagant creature. In my opinion, we might all be full as well as we are, with but half the things that we have.
Char. Ay, sir Luke! how do you prove that?
Sir Luke. By constant experience.-You must have seen the man who makes and uses pens without hands.
Serj. I have.
Sir Luke. And not a twelvemonth ago, I lost my way in a fog, at Mile-End, and was conducted to my house in May-Fair by a man as blind as a beetle.
Serj. Wonderful !
Sir Luke. And as to hearing and speaking, those organs are of no manner of use in the world.
Sir Luke. If you doubt it, I will introduce you to a whole family, dumb as oysters, and deaf as the dead, who chatter from morning till night by only the help of their fingers.
Šerj. Why, Charlotte, these are cases in point.
Sir Luke. Oh! clear as a trout-stream; and it is not only, my little Charlotte, that this piece of timber answers every purpose, but it has procured me many a bit of fun in my tiine.
Sir Luke. Why, it was but last summer, at Tunbridge, we were plagued the whole season by a bullet-headed Swiss from the canton of Bern, who was always boasting, what, and how much he dared do ; and then, as to pain, no Stoic, not Diogenes, held it more in contempt.--By gods, he vas no more minds it dan nothings at all--o, fore. gad, I gave my German a challenge.