« PreviousContinue »
As flesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say,
And, for my love, I pray you, wrong me not.
SPEECH OF MARINO FALIERO.....Lord Byron.
You see me here,
And urge them on to deeds, and not to war
Nor kingdom, which hath neither prince nor people,
That many know, and they who know not yet
And to your chiefs, accept me or reject me,
Or nothing, and who has left his throne to be so.
BARFORD-TORRENT..... .George Colman.
Barford. REST there, my whole property !-the remains of many a wreck, rest there!
Torrent. Eh! Zounds! Wreck! He looks like a gentleman. Pray, sir, how came the wreck of all your property tied up in such a small pocket-handkerchief?
Bar. By what right, sir, do you inquire?
Tor. By the right that lugg'd me out of the horsepond -the right of running to any man's assistance who seems -to be stuck in the mud.
Bar. (turning from him.) Pshaw! Sir, you are obtru
Tor. Why, it was rather rude to be reading the newspaper in my own room, when you chose to walk in, and interrupt me.
Bar. This is the parlour of a village inn, sir; where 'tis the custom to huddle people together indiscriminately. 'Tis an emblem of the world! men mingle in it from necessity, as we do now, till they part in dislike, as we may do presently.
Tor. We seem to bid fair for it: for I detest misanthropy.
Bar. 'Tis the opium to our affections; an antidote to the drivelling unwillingness dotards feel to be swept from hypocrites who have professed to regard them.
Tor. Opium-and antidote !-You've dealt with a villanous apothecary. Hatred to mankind is Lucifer's own laudanum; and, whenever he coaxes a christian to swallow it, he sends one of his imps to shake the bottle. All men hypocrites! Zounds! here's a doctrine! So, then, love, and friendship, and
Bar. Love and friendship, are, at best, life's fading roses; but reject the roses, and you escape many a thorn. Tor. How should you like to lose your legs?
Bar. Why my legs, sir?
Tor. They are part of the fading blessings of life, like love and friendship; but you may have the gout. Reject your legs, and you may escape many a twinge in your great
Bar. I have suffer'd deprivations enough already, sir. Tor. 1 give you joy of them; for, according to your own account, they must make you very comfortable. But you have deprived yourself of that which your worst enemy's malice should never have taken from you.
Bar. What is it?
Tor. Universal benevolence; the chain of reason in which we all, willingly, bind ourselves. Nature gave us the links, and civilized humanity has polished them.
Bar. And how often are the links of reason and nature broken by sophistry and art!
Tor. I'm sorry for it. I know there are rascals; but the world is good in the lump; and I love all human kindkings, lords, commons, duchesses, tallow-chandlers, dairymaids, Indian chiefs, ambassadors, washerwomen, and tinkers. They have all their claims upon my regard, in their different stations; and, whatever you may think, hang me if I don't believe there are honest attorneys !
Bar. You have been fortunate in the world, I perceive. Tor. I have been fortunate enough in my temper to keep the milk of human kindness from curdling.
Bar. By having no acids squeezed into it.
Tor. Plenty who hasn't? But, when you were put out to nurse, hang me if I don't think you sucked a lemon! You have a fine field to fatten in, upon others' calamities here. Only look out. Pretty havock from the fire! There's a house, now, that would just suit you. It sticks up by itself, gloomy and gutted, in the midst of the rubbish.
Bar. That was my residence, sir; my refuge, as I hoped, during the remainder of my life, from ingratitude and treachery.
Tor. Did-did-did you live in that house?
Bar. Eight months ago, I enter'd its door, to take possession of an humble lodging; and last night, I leap'd with difficulty, amidst the flames, through its window.
Tor. Out at-that window?
Bar. Yes; with that wreck of property, on which you have been pleas'd so much to question me.
Tor. My dear sir, you are an unfortunate man; I have behav'd like a brute, and I beg your pardon.
Bar. I feel no anger, sir.
Tor. Then, you despise me. I know you must, for I have treated you cruelly; but, as you have taken of fence at all the world, don't think me too contemptible to be left out of the number. Pray, be angry with me, then show me you forgive me by telling me how to serve you-I happen to be rich.
Bar. And I happen to be poor; but I will always be independent, and will accept no favours.
Tor. That's right; but I have taken a house in the neighbourhood-Dine with me every day. That will only be doing me a favour, you know.
Bar. Excuse me; but before I leave you, sir, one word which, I think, I owe you.
Tor. I won't take back a shil—I mean, you don't owe me a syllable.
Bar. Pardon me, and I must pay it. Your impulses, apparently, proceed from benevolence; but your impetuosity may render you an offence to the sensitive, and a dupe to the designing. Farewell, sir. [Exit. Tor. That advice is a little too late to a man at fifty. My impulses are like old radishes; they have stuck so long in the soil, that, whenever they are drawn out, they are sure to be hot.
Dorax. Now do you know me?