Зображення сторінки

At such to-night, with other legal game,
Our vent'rous author takes satiric aim ;
And brings, he hopes, originals to view,
Nor pilfers from th' Old Magpie, nor the New*.
But will to Candour chearfully submit ;
She reigns in boxes, galleries, and pit.

• Alluding to Mr. Garrick's Prologue to the Jubilee.

[blocks in formation]



А с т І.

Enter Serjeant Circuit and Charlotte.

Char. I TELL you, sir, his love to me is all a pretence : it is amazing that you, who are so acute, so quick in discerning on other occasions, should be so blind upon this.

Serj. But where are your proofs, Charlotte ? What signifies your opening matters which your evidence cannot support?

Char. Surely, sir, strong circumstances in every court should have weight.

Serj. So they have collaterally, child, that is by way as it were of corroboration, or where matters are doubtful; then indeed, as Plowden wisely observes “ Les circonstances ajout beaucoup depoids aux faits.”—You understand me?

Char. Not perfectly well. Serj. Then to explain by case in point; A, we will suppose, my dear, robs B of a watch upon Hounslow heath-dy’e mind, child ?

Char. I do, sir.

Serj. A is taken up and indicted ; B swears positively to the identity of A.-Dy'e observe ?

Char. Attentively. Serj. Then what does me A, but sets up the alibi C, to defeat the affidavit of B.--You take me?

Char. Clearly.

Serj. So far you see then the balance is even. Char. True.

Serj. But then to turn the scale, child, against A, in favour of B, they produce the circumstance D, viz. B's watch found in the pocket of A; upon which, the testimony of C being contradicted by B,—no, by D, --why then A, that is to say C, -no D,-joining B, they convict C, no, no, A, -against the affidavit of C.-So this being pretty clear, child, I leave the application to you. Char. Very obliging, sir.

obliging, sir. But suppose now, sir, it should appear that the attention of sir Luke Limp is directed to some other object, would that not induce you to

Serj. Other object! Where?
Char. In this very house.

Serj. Here! why the girl is non compos; there's nobody here, child, but a parcel of Abigails.

Char. No, sir?
Serj. No.
Char. Yes, sir, one person else.
Serj. Who is that?

Char. But remember, sir, my accusation is confined to sir Luke.

Serj. Well, well.

Char. Suppose then, sir, those powerful charms which made a conquest of you, may have extended their empire over the heart of sir Luke?

Serj. Why, hussy, you don't hint at your mother-in-law ?

Char. Indeed, sir, but I do.

Serj. Ay; why this is point blank treason against my sovereign authority : but can you, Charlotte, bring proof of any overt acts ?

Char. Overt acts!

Serj. Ay; that is any declaration by writing, or even word of mouth is sufficient; then let 'em demur if they dare.

Char. I can't say that, sir ; but another organ has been pretty explicit.


. Which? Char. In those cases a very infallible one the eye. Serj. Pshaw! nonsense and stuff:

-The eye! the eye has no authority in a court of law.

Char. Perhaps not, sir ; but it is a decisive evidence in a court of love.

Serj. Hark you, hussy, why you would not file an information against the virtue of madam your mother; you would not insinuate that she has been guilty of crim. con. ?

Char. Sir, you mistake me; it is not the lady, but the gentleman I am about to impeach.

Serj. Have a care, Charlotte, I see on what ground your action is founded-jealousy.

Char. You were never more deceived in your life ; for it is impossible, my dear sir, that jealousy can subsist without love.

Serj. Well.

Char. And from that passion (thank Heaven) I am pretty free at present.

Serj. Indeed !
Char. A sweet object to excite tender desires !
Serj. And why not, hussy ?
Char. First as to his years.
Serj. What then?

Char. I own, sir, age procures honour, but I believe it is very rarely productive of love.

Serj. Mighty well.

Char. And tho' the loss of a leg can't be imputed to sir Luke Limp as a fault

Serj. How!

Char. I hope, sir, at least you will allow it as a misfortune.

Serg. Indeed ?

Char. A pretty thing truly, for a girl, at my time of life, to be tied to a man with one foot in

the grave.

Serj. One foot in the grave! the rest of his

body is not a whit the nearer for that.-There has been only an execution issued against part of his personals, his real estate is unencumbered and free-besides, you see he does not mind it a whit, but is as alert, and as merry, as a defendant after non-suiting a plaintiff for omitting an S.

Char. O, sir ! I know how proud sir Luke is of his leg, and have often heard him declare, that he would not change his bit of timber for the best flesh and bone in the kingdom.

Serj. There's a hero for you!

Char. To be sure, sustaining unavoidable evils with constancy is a certain sign of greatness of mind.

Serj. Doubtless.

Char. But then to derive a vanity from a misfortune, will not I'm afraid be admitted as a vast instance of wisdom, and indeed looks as if the man had nothing better to distinguish himself by.

Serj. How does that follow ?
Char. By inuendo.
Serj. Negatur.

Char. Besides, sir, I have other proofs of your hero's vanity, not inferior to that I have mentioned.

Serj. Cite them.

Char. The paltry ambition of loving and following titles.

Serj Titles! I don't understand you?

Char. I mean the property of fastening in public upon men of distinction, for no other reason but because of their rank; adhering to sir John till the baronet is superseded by my lord ; quitting the puny peer for an earl ; and sacrificing all three to a duke.

Serj. Keeping good company! a laudable ambition !

Char. True, sir, if the virtues that procured the father a peerage, could with that be entaila on the son.

« НазадПродовжити »