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Lady S. What! Dick, have you found out my attachment there? Well, I confess it ; and, if my regard be not, I'll take care my revenge shall be, gratified ; and 'tis a great consolation that one is nearly as sweet as the other.
Das. And I'll he equally candid. The miserable fact is, I am completely hroziered, cut down to a sixpence, and have left town.
Lady S. Like a skilful engineer, who, having laid his train for the destruction of others, prudently retires during the blow-up. Cau. [Without, ...] In the next room, do you say?
Enter CAUSTIC, L. Lady Sorrel, I rejoice to see you, and have provided at home for your reception.
Lady S. (c.) Then I'll order my carriage and servants there.
Cau. (L. c.) No; I can depend on your prudence, but not on your servants. 'Sdeath! were any of your fashionable London servants to get footing in my family, I suppose in a week my old housekeeper would give conversationes, a little music, and two-penny faro.
Dus. Vastly well.-By no means contemptible.
Lady S. Cousin, this is Mr. Dashall, one of the first men in the city, -sees the first company, lives in the first style.
Cau. This is a merchant of the city of London ?
Das. Curse the quiz! I'll throw off a little--[Crosses to him.] Perhaps you've not been in town lately?
Cau. No, sir.
Das. Oh, the old school quite gone by-I remember my old gig of a father wore a velvet night-cap in his counting-house-what a vile bore, ha, ha!
Cau. And pray, sir, what may you wear in your counting-house?
Das. Strike me moral if I've seen it these three months. If you wish to trade in style, and make a splash, you must fancy Cheapside Newmarket, and Lloyd's and the Alley faro-tables, for Demoivre has as completely ousted Cocker's arithmetic with us, as Hoyle has the Complete Housewife with our wives. Egad ! talk of Brooks's or Newniarket-chicken hazard to the
game we play at Lloyd's--monopoly's the word now, old boy; hops, corn, sugar, furs-at all in the ring.
Cau. Amazing! sir, your capital must be astonishing, to be-at all in the ring.
(Mimicking. Das. Capital! an old bugbear-never thought of now-no, paper-discount does it.
Das. Ay; suppose I owe a tradesman, my tailor for instance, two thousand pounds.
Cau. A merchantowe his tailor two thousand pounds! mercy on us !
Das. I give him my note for double the sum-he discounts it-I touch half in the ready-note comes due-double the sum again-touch half again, and so on, to the tune of fifty thousand pounds. If monopolies answer, make all straight-if not, smash into the Gazette. Brother merchants say, “ Damn'd fine fellow-lived in style -only traded beyond his capital.”-So, certificate's signed, ruin a hundred or two reptiles of retailers, and so begin the war again. That's the way to make a splash-devilish neat, isn't it?
Cau. Pretty well.
Das. How you stare! you don't know nothing of life, old boy.
Cau. Vulgar scoundrel!
Das. We are the boys in the city! Why, there's Sweetwort, the brewer,-don't you know Sweetwort ? dines an hour later than any duke in the kingdom, imports his own turtle, dresses turbot by a stop-watch, has house-lamb fed on cream, and pigs on pine-apples-gave a jollification t'other day-Stokehole in the brew. house--asked a dozen peers-all glad to come-can't live as we do. Who make the splash in Hyde Park ? who fill the pit at the Opera? who inhabit the squares in the west? why, the knowng ones from the east, to be sure.
Cau. Not the wise ones from the east, I'm sure.
Das. Who support the fashionable faro-tables ? Oh! how the duchesses chuckle and rub their hands, when they see one of us.
Cau. Duchesses keep gaming-tables !
Das. To be sure ! how the devil should they live? Such a blow-up the other night! you were there, Lady Sorrel!
Lady S. I at a faro-table !
Cau. No, no.
Das. [Aside.) Upon my honour, I beg pardon-you see, sir, the duchess was dealing, and Mrs. Swagger was punting. « Oh oh!” cries Mrs. Swagger, that was very neatly done."-" What do you mean?" says the duchess" Only, madam, I saw you slip a card."
“ Dam’me," says the duchess-
Das. Where was I? Ob, Dam'me,” says the duchess, “but you turn out of my house.”_“ And curse me,” cries little Miss Swagger (a sweet amiable little creature of about fourteen), “ if we stay here to be swindled."-Words got high, and oaths flew about like rouleaus ; but, as they had pluck'd me of my last feather, I got up, and, in imitation of my betters, twang’d off a few dam'mes, and retired.
[Retires up. Cau. The world's at an end--all is sophisticated !-nothing bears even its right name-whoredom is gallantry ; swindling, running out; female debauchery, a faux-pas. The murdering duellist has a nice sense of honour; the cuckold-maker is a dear delicious devil; and the cuckold the best-humoured creature in the world.
Das. Well said, old one!-you've some nous about you.
Cau. Foul-tongued blockhead !
Tan. [Without, L.] Tell Counsellor Endless, I'll be in court presently.
Cau. I think I know that voice.
Lady S. (Tenderly). So do I [Aside]. 'Tis your darling nephew, your adopted, Tangent I saw him come out of a chaise with two barristers.
Cau. Psha! barristers ! you forget he is in the army. Lady S. May'nt I trust my eyes ?
Cau. Why, at fifty-nine, cousin, eyes are not always to be trusted. Pray, Mr. Dashall, do you know this nephew of mine ?
Das. Oh, yes; but he associates with authors and wits, quite out of our set-we in the city don't vote them gentlemen--you'll never find no wit at my table, I'll
take care of that. But you expect company, and so I'll be off to my friend Allspice's. [Crosses to L.] By the way, I hear his daughter will touch to the tune of thirty thousand pounds.
Cau. (c.) Very likely : but I don t know any good it will do her.
Das. Not do good! I beg pardon. Riches give wit, elegance.
Čau. Do they? I'm sorry you're so poor.
Das. Eh! what! Oh, neat enough! and what do you say riches give, queer one ?
Cau. Generally, vulgar impertinence.
Das. I congratulate you on being so rich, ha, ha! rat me! but at last I've said a good one.-Lady Sorrel, your devoted.-Good bye, queer one !-What a superlative gig it is!
[Exit, L. Cau. Was that not my nephew's voice ?
Enter TANGENT, L. Sir, your most obedient !
Tan, Ab, my dear uncle! who could have expected to have seen you in this part of the world ?
Cau. (c.) This part of the world ? why, 'tis the town I live in, is it not? and have not you come on purpose to visit me ? Tan. True, uncle; I was
Cau. At your old tricks, castle-building. Fancying yourself Tippoo Saib, I warrant, or emperor of all the Russias.
Tan. No, no, you wrong me-Ab, Lady Sorrel ! how could you leave town, where you were the ton?
Cau. [Mimicking.] The ton, ha, ha! Then I suppose grandmothers are the ton?
Tan. You have hit it, uncle [Aside to Caustie.]—I never saw you look so well.
[To Lady Sorrel. Lady S. (R.) Dear sir, you flatter.
Cau. He does, he does. Come, sir, no more of that. Age is respectable, and you ought to be above making a jest of an old woman.
Lady S. Mr. Caustic, your behaviour is intolerable. Mr. Tangent, do you dine with us?
Tan. Nothing can afford me greater felicity.
Can. Than to dine with an old woman.--Nonsense! go home, cousin, go home.
[Crosses to R.
Lady S. Brute! [Crosses to L.] Mr. Tangent, good morning. Sweet, elegant youth ! how my heart doats on him.
[Exit, L. Cau. Frank, leave that cursed trick, that
Tan. I know what you mean, I believe I used to indulge in little flights of fancy.
Cau. You did, indeed.
Tan. Ah ! that's all over. My life passes in a dull consistent uniformity.
Cau. I'm glad on't. Well, how goes on the regiment? Tan. The regiment? Ob, I've left the army.
Cau. Oh! you've left the army? [Imitating.] And why, sir?
Tan. I don't know-I imagine I was tired of the routine, field days, parade, mess-dinners, and so
Cau. And so what, sir?
Cau. I've no patience with your folly. But, sir, are you sure the law has brought you here? Is it not some ridiculous love affair, some jilting tit from Exeter ?
Tan. [Aside.] I'll humour his dislike to the sexwomen! Gewgaws for boys and dotards.
Cau. True. He has a fine understanding. [Aside.
Tan. The best of them are virtuously vicious, and inpertinently condescending.
Cau. He's a fine youth !-Go on.
“ Woman's at best a contradiction still ; then he goes on
“ A fop their passion, and their prize, a sot.” Tan. “ Alive, ridiculous ; and dead, forgot.”—Sir, I've the whole epistle by heart.
Cau. Have you ? Come to my arms. Now stick to this and the law, and my whole fortune is your own when I die.
Tan. And in the meantime I'll thank you for a thou. sand pounds.
Cau. Thank me! I dare say you will. A thousand pounds! But how is it to be employed ? What fashionable scheme?