Page images

America, when we are all in a merry cue ?' So they all fell a laughing. Now, there's Commons made Lords, and there's Lords made the Lord knows what; but that's nothing to us; they make us pay our taxes; they take care of that; ay, ay, they are sure of that. Pray, what have they done for these twenty years last past? Why, nothing at all; they have only made a few turnpike roads, and kept the partridges alive till September; that's all they have done for the good of their country. There were some great people formerly, that lov'd their country—that did everything for the good of their country. There were your Alexander the Great-he lov'd his country; and Julius Cæsar lov'd his country; and Charles of Sweden lov'd his country; and Queen Semiramis-she lov'd her country more than any of 'em ; for she invented solomongundy: that's the best eating in the whole world. Now, I'll show you my plan of operations, Mr. Costive. We'll suppose this drop of punch here to be the main ocean, or the sea-very well; these pieces of cork to be our men-of-war-very well. Now, where shall I raise my fortifications? I wish I had Mr. Major Moncrieff here; he's the best in the world at raising a fortification. Oh! I have it.. (Breaks the pipes.) We'll suppose them to be all the strong fortified places in the whole world; such as Fort Omoa, Tilbury Fort, Bergen op Zoom, and Tower-ditch, and all the other fortified places all over the world. Now, I'd have all our horse-cavalry wear cork waistcoats, and all our foot-infantry should wear air jackets. Then, sir, they'd cross the sea before you could say Jack Robinson. And where do you think they should land, Mr. Costive? Whisper me that. Ha! What?—when ?-how? You don't know. How should you! Was you ever in Germany or Bohemia? Now, I have-I understands jography. Now, they should land in America, under the line, close to the south pole;—there they should land, every mother's babe of 'em, Then there's the Catabaws, and there's the Catawaws! there's the Cherokees, and there's the ruffs and rees ;—they are the four great nations. Then I takes my Catabaws all across the continent, from Jamaica to Bengal; then they should go to the Mediterranean. You know where the Mediterranean is ?-No, you know nothing. I'll tell you ; the Mediterranean is the metropolis of Constantinople. Then I'd send a fleet to blockade Paris till the French King had given up Paul Jones. Then I'd send for General Clinton and Colonel Tarleton; and

- Where was I, Mr. Costive? With Tarleton. Thank ye; so I was. But you are so dull, Mr. Costive, you put me out. Now, I'll explain the whole affair to you; you shan't miss a word of it. Now, there is the King of Prussia, and the Empress of Russia, and the nabob of Arest, and the King of the Hottentots, are all in the Protestant interest : they make a diversion upon all the chain of Tartary's back settlements. Then Sir Guy Carleton comes with a circumbendibus, and retakes all the islands, Rhode Island and all, and takes 'em here and there, and there and here, and everywhere. There is the whole affair explained to you at once.


ALFRED Evelyn; Mr. Sharp, a lawyer, writing at a desk ;

Mr. Crimson, the portrait painter ; Mr. Grab, the publisher; Mr. TABOURET, the upholsterer ; Mr. PATENT, the coachmaker ; and Mr. FRANTZ, the tailor.

Pat. (To Frantz, showing a drawing.) Yes sir; this is the Evelyn vis-a-vis ! No one more the fashion than Mr. Evelyn. Money makes the man, sir. Frantz. But de tailor, de schneider, make de gentleman !

Door at the back thrown open.Enter EVELYN. Eve. A levee, as usual. Good day. Ah, Tabouret, your designs for the draperies ; very well. And what do you want, Mr. Crimson ?

Crim. Sir, if you'd let me take your portrait, it would make my fortune. Every one says you're the finest judge of paintings.

Eve. Of paintings ! of paintings ! Are you sure I'm a judge of paintings?

Crim. Oh, sir, didn't you buy the great Correggio for £4,000 ?

Eve. True—I see. So £4,000 makes me an excellent judge of paintings. I'll call on you, Mr. Crimson. Good day. Mr. Grab-oh, you're the publisher who once refused me £5 for my poem ? you are right : it was sad doggrel.

Grab. Doggrel! Mr. Evelyn, it was sublime ! But times were bad then.

Eve. Very bad times with me.

Grab. But now, sir, if you give the preference, I'll push it, sir-I'll push it! I only publish for poets in high life, sir ; and a gentleman of your station ought to be pushed !-£500 for the poem,

sir ! Eve. £500 when I don't want it, where £5 once would have seemed a fortune.

“Now I am rich, what value in the lines !
How the wit brightens-how the sense refines !”

(Turns to the rest who surround him. Pat. (Showing drawing.) The Evelyn vis-à-vis !

Frantz. (Opening his bundle and with dignity.) Sare, I have brought de coat-the great Evelyn coat.

Eve. Oh, go to that is, go home !- Make me as celebrated for vis-à-vis, salvers, furniture, and coats, as I already am for painting, and shortly shall be for poetry. I resign myself to you-go!

(Exeunt Patent, fc.

Enter Stout. Eve. Stout, you look heated !

Stout. I hear you have just bought the great Groginhole property.

Eve. It is true. Sharp says it's a bargain.

Stout. Well, my dear friend Hopkins, member for Groginhole, can't live another month—but the interests of mankind forbid regret for individuals! The patriot Popkins intends to start for the boro' the instant Hopkins is dead !-your interest will secure his election !--now is your time !-put yourself forward in the march of enlightenment !-By all that is bigoted here comes Glossmore!

Enter GLOSSMORE; SHARP still at his desk. Gloss. So lucky to find you at home! Hopkins of Groginhole, is not long for this world. Popkins, the brewer, is already canvassing underhand (so very ungentlemanlylike !) Keep your interest for young Lord Cipher-a valuable candidate. This is an awful moment—the CONSTITUTION depends on his return! Vote for Cipher !

Stout. Popkins is your man!

Eve. (Musingly.) Cipher and Popkins-Popkins and Cipher! Enlightenment and Popkins--Cipher and the constitution! I Am puzzled! Stout, I am not known at Groginhole.

Stout. Your property's known there!
Eve. But purity of election-independence of votes-

Stout. To be sure: Cipher bribes abominably. Frustrate his schemes--preserve the liberties of the borough-turn every man out of his house who votes against enlightenment and Popkins !

Eve. Right !-down with those who take the liberty to admire any liberty except our liberty! That is liberty !

Gloss. Cipher has a stake in the country--will have £50,000 a-year-Cipher will never give a vote without considering beforehand how people of £50,000 a-year will be affected by the motion.

Eve. Right: for as without law there would be no property, so to be the law for property is the only proper property of law !- That is law!

Stout. Popkins is all for economy—there's a sad waste of the public money—they give the Speaker £5,000 a year, when I've a brother-in-law who takes the chair at the vestry, and who assures me confidentially he'd consent to be Speaker for half the money!

Gloss. Enough, Mr. Stout. Mr. Evelyn has too much at stake for a leveller.

Stout. And too much sense for a bigot.

Eve. Mr. Evelyn has no politics at all !--Did you ever play at battledore ?

Both. Battledore !

Eve. Battledore !--that is, a contest between two parties : both parties knock about something with singular skillsomething is kept up-high-low-here-there--everywhere —nowhere! How grave are the players ! how anxious the by-standers ! how noisy the battledores ! But when this something falls to the ground, only fancy-it's nothing but cork and feather! Go and play by yourselves,—I'm no hand at it!

Stout. (Aside.) Sad ignorance ! -Aristocrat!
Gloss. Heartless principles !--Parvenu !

Stout. Then you don't go against us!—I'll bring Popkins to-morrow.

Gloss. Keep yourself free till I present Cipher to you.

Stout. I must go to inquire after Hopkins. The return of Popkins will be an era in history.

(Exit. Gloss. I must be off to the club—the eyes of the country are upon Grogenhole. If Cipher fail, the constitution is

(Excit, Eve. (At table.) Sharp, come here, (Sharp advances,) let me look at you! You are my agent, my lawyer, my man of business. I believe you honest; but what is honesty ?where does it exist ?—in what part of us?

Sharp. In the heart, I suppose.

Eve. Mr. Sharp, it exists in the pocket! Observe! I lay this piece of yellow earth on the table—I contemplate you both; the man there—the gold here--! Now, there is

many a man in yonder streets, honest as you are, who moves, thinks, feels, and reasons as well as we do; excellent in form-imperishable in soul; who, if his pockets were three days empty, would sell thought, reason, body, and soul too, for that little coin! Is that the fault of the man ?-no! it is the fault of mankind! God made man-Sir, behold what mankind have made a god! When I was poor I hated the world ; now I am rich I despise it. Fools-knaves-hypocrites !


« PreviousContinue »