« ZurückWeiter »
SCENE, at Flint's.
FLINT, WILLIAM. Flint. I have overwalked myself, and am quite exhausted. Tell Marian to come and play to me. Wil. I shall, sir.
[Exit. Flint. I have been troubled with an evil spirit of late; I think, an evil spirit. It goes and comes, as my daughter is with or from me. It cannot stand before her gentle look, when, to please her father, she takes down her music-book.
Wil. The shopmen say she went out with Mr Davenport.
Wil. They say they are sure it was he, by the same token that they saw her slip into his hand, when she was past the door, the casket which you
Flint. Gave her, William ? I only intrusted it to her. She has robbed me. Marian is a thief. You must go to the Justice, William, and get out a warrant against her immediately. Do you help them in the description. Put in “ Marian Flint,” in plain words-no remonstrances, William-“ daughter of Reuben Flint,” no remonstrances, but do it
Wil. Nay, sir
Flint. I am rock, absolute rock, to all that you can say --A piece of solid rock. What is it that makes my legs to fail, and my whole frame to totter thus ? It has been my over walking. I am very faint. Support me in, William,
SCENE- The Apartment of Miss Flyn.
Miss Flyn, Betty. Miss F. 'Tis past eleven. Every minute I expect Mr Pendulous here. What a meeting do I anticipate !
Betty. Anticipate, truly! what other than a joyful meeting can it be between two agreed lovers who have been parted these four months ?
Miss F. But in that cruel space what accidents have happened !-(aside) As yet I perceive she is ignorant of this unfortunate affair.
Betty. Lord, madam, what accidents ? He has not had a fall or a tumble, has he? He is not coming upon crutches?
Miss F. Not exactly a fall-(aside)—I wish I had courage to admit her to my confidence.
Betty. If his neck is whole, his heart is so too, I warrant it.
Miss F. His neck !-(aside)-She certainly mistrusts something. He writes me word that this must be his last interview.
Betty. Then I guess the whole business. The wretch is unfaithful. Some creature or other has got him into a noose.
Miss F. A noose!
Betty. About that dear, fond neck, I was going to add, madam, but you interrupted me.
Miss F. I can no longer labour with a secret which oppresses me thus. Can you be trusty ?
Betty. Who, I, madam ?-(aside)-Lord, I am so glad. Now I shall know all,
Miss F. This letter discloses the reason of his unaccountable long absence from me. Peruse it, and say if we have not reason to be unhappy.
(BETTY retires to the window to read the letter, Mr
PENDULOUS enters.) Miss F. My dear Pendulous !
Pen. Maria !--nay, shun the embraces of a disgraced man, who comes but to tell you that you must renounce his society for ever.
Miss F. Nay, Pendulous, avoid me not.
Pen.-(aside.) That was tender. I may be mistaken. Whilst I stood on honourable terms, Maria might have met my caresses without a blush.
(Betty, who has not attended to the entrance of PENDULOUS, through
her eagerness to read the letter, comes forward.) Betty. Ha! ha! ha! What a funny story, madam ; and is this all you make such a fuss about? I should not care if twenty of my lovers had been(seeing PENDULOUS.)-Lord, sir, I ask pardon.
Pen. Are we not alone, then ?
Miss F. I must be ingenuous. You must know, then, that I was just giving Betty a hint-as you came in.
Pen. A hint !
Pen. 'Tis mighty well, madam. 'Tis as it should be. I was ordained to be a wretched laughing-stock to all the world; and it is fit that our drabs and our servant wenches should have their share of the amusement.
Betty. Marry come up! Drabs and servant wenches! and this from a person in his circumstances !
[BETTY flings herself out of the room, muttering. Miss F. I understand not this language. I was prepared to give my Pendulous a tender meeting. To assure him, that however, in the eyes of the superficial and the censorious, he may have incurred a partial degradation, in the esteem of one, at least, he stood as high as ever. That it was not in the power of a ridiculous accident, involving no guilt, no shadow of imputation, to separate two hearts, cemented by holiest vows, as ours have been. This untimely repulse to my affections may awaken scruples in me, which hitherto, in tenderness to you, I have suppressed.
Pen. I very well understand what you call tenderness, madam; but in some situations, pity-pity-is the greatest insult.
Miss F. I can endure no longer. When you are in a calmer mood, you will be rry that you have wrung my heart so.
[Exit. Pen. Maria !-She is gone—in tears--Yet it seems she has had her scruples. She said she had tried to smother them. Her maid Betty intimated as much.
Betty. Lord, sir, these scruples will blow over. Go to her again, when she is in a better humour. You know we must stand off a little at first, to save appearances. Pen. Appearances ! we! Betty. It will be decent to let some time elapse. Pen. Time elapse!
Lost, wretched Pendulous ! to scorn betrayed,
(Exeunt. Re-enter Miss Flyn, with MARIAN. Miss F. Now both our lovers are gone, I hope my friend will have less ·
You must consider this apartment as yours while you stay here. 'Tis larger and more commodious than your own.
Mar. You are kind, Maria. My sad story I have troubled you with. I have some jewels here, which I unintentionally brought away. I have only to beg, that you will take the trouble to restore them to my father; and, without disclosing my present situation, to tell him, that my next step—with or without the concurrence of Mr Davenport-shall be to throw myself at his feet, and beg to be forgiven. I dare not see him till you have explored the way for me. I am convinced I was tricked into this elopement.
Miss F. Your commands shall be obeyed implicitly.
Miss F. Moderate your apprehensions, my sweet friend. I too have known my sorrows (smiling.) - You have heard of the ridiculous affair.
Mar. Between Mr Pendulous and you ? Davenport informed me of it, and we both took the liberty of blaming the over-niceness of your scruples. Miss F. You mistake. The refinement is entirely on the part of my
lover. He thinks me not nice enough. I am obliged to feign a little reluctance, that he may not take quite a distaste to me. Will you believe it, that he turns my very constancy into a reproach, and declares, that a woman must be devoid of all delicacy, that, after a thing of that sort, could endure the sight of her husband in
Mar. In what ?
Miss F. In-in a-(whispers)-night cap, my dear; and now the mischief is out.
Mar. Is there no way to cure him?
Miss F. None, unless I were to try the experiment, by placing myself in the hands of justice for a little while, how far an equality in misfortune might breed a sympathy in sentiment. Our reputations would be both upon a level then, you know. What think you of a little innocent shop-lifting, in sport?
Mar. And by that contrivance to be taken before a magistrate ? the project sounds oddly. Miss F. And yet I am more than half persuaded it is feasible.
Enter BETTY. Betty. Mr Davenport is below, ma'am, and desires to speak with you.
Mar. You will excuse me-(going—turning back.)—You will remember the casket ?
Miss F. Depend on me. Betty. And a strange man desires to see you, ma'am. I do not half like his looks. Miss F. Shew him in.
(Exit Betty, and returns with a Police Officer. BETTY goes out.) Officer. Your servant, ma'am. Your name is Miss F. Flyn, sir. Your business with me ?
Off (Alternately surveying the lady and his paper of instructions)-Marian Flint. Miss F. Maria Flyn.
Off. Aye, aye, Flyn or Flint. 'Tis all one. Some write plain Mary, and some put ann after it. I come about a casket.
Miss F. I guess the whole business. He takes me for my friend. Something may come out of this. I will humour him.
Of. (Aside)—Answers the description to a tittle. “Soft, grey eyes, pale complexion,
Miss F. Yet I have been told by flatterers that my eyes were blue-(takes out a pocket-glass.)—I hope I look pretty tolerably to-day.
Off Blue !-they are a sort of blueish-grey, now I look better; and as for colour, that comes and goes. Blushing is often a sign of a hardened offender. Do you know any thing of a casket ?
Miss F. Here is one which a friend has just delivered to my keeping. Of. And which I must beg leave to secure, together with your lady
ship's person.“ Garnets, pearls, diamond-bracelet," here they are, sure enough.
Miss F. Indeed, I am innocent.
Off Tolerably cool that. Here it is, signed by Justice Golding, at the requisition of Reuben Flint, who deposes that you have robbed him.
Miss F. How lucky this turns out!--(aside.) ---Can I be indulged with a coach ?
Off To Marlborough Street? certainly-an old offender--(aside.)-The thing shall be conducted with as much delicacy as is consistent with security. Miss F. Police manners ! I will trust myself to your protection then.
JUSTICE, FLINT, OFFICERS, &c. sust. Before we proceed to extremities, Mr Flint, let me entreat you to consider the consequences. What will the world say to your exposing your own child?
Flint. The world is not my friend. I belong to a profession which has long brought me acquainted with its injustice. I return scorn for scorn, and desire its censure above its plaudits. Just. But in this case delicacy must make you pause.
Flint. Delicacy-ha! ha!-pawnbroker-how fitly these words suit. De licate pawnbroker-delicate devil-let the law take its course.
Just. Consider, the jewels are found.
Flint. 'Tis not the silly baubles I regard. Are you a man? are you a father ? and think you I could stoop so low, vile as I stand here, as to make money-filthy money—of the stuff which a daughter's touch has desecrated ? Deep in some pit first I would bury them.
Just. Yet pause a little. Consider. An only child.
Flint. Only, only,—there, it is that stings me, makes me mad. She was the only thing I had to love me-to bear me up against the nipping injuries of the world. I prate when I should act. Bring in your prisoner. (The Justice makes signs to an Officer, who goes out, and returns
with Miss Flyn.) Flint. What mockery of my sight is here? This is no daughter. Off. Daughter, or no daughter, she has confessed to this casket.
Flint. (Handling it)-The very same. Was it in the power of these pale splendors to dazzle the sight of honesty-to put out the regardful eye of piety and daughter-love? Why, a poor glow-worm shews more brightly. Bear witness how I valued them-(tramples on them.)-Fair lady, know you aught of my child ?
Miss F. I shall here answer no questions.
Miss F. (aside.) Now confidence assist me!. -A gentleman in the neighbourhood will answer for me
Just. His name Miss E. Pendulous Just. That lives in the next street ? Miss F. The same -now I have him sure. Just. Let him be sent for. I believe the gentleman to be respectable, and will accept his security.
Flint. Why do I waste my time, where I have no business ? None I have none any more in the world-none.
Enter PENDULOUS. Pen. What is the meaning of this extraordinary summons ?-Maria here? Flint. Know you any thing of my daughter, sir ?
Pen. Sir, I neither know her nor yourself, nor why I am brought hither ; but for this lady, if you have any thing against her, I will answer it with my life and fortunes.
Just. Make out the bail-bond.
Off. (Surveying Pendulous.) Please, your worship, before you take that gentleman's bond, may I have leave to put in a word ?
Pen. (Agitated.) I guess what is coming.
Off My eyes cannot deceive me. His lips quivered about, while he was being tried, just as they do now. His name is not Pendulous.
Miss F. Excellent! Of. He pleaded to the name of Thomson at You es. Just. Can this be true ? Miss F. I could kiss the fellow ! Off. He was had up for a footpad. Miss F. A dainty fellow ! Pen. My iniquitous fate pursues me everywhere. Just. You confess, then. Pen. I am steeped in infamy. Miss F. I am as deep in the mire as yourself. Pen. My reproach can never be washed out. Miss F. Nor mine. Pen. I am doomed to everlasting shame. Miss F. We are both in a predicament. Just. I am in a maze where all this will end. Miss F. But here comes one who, if I mistake not, will guide us out of all our difficulties.
Enter Marian and DavenPORT. Mar. (Kneeling.) My dear father ! Flint. Do I dream? Mar. I am your Marian. Just. Wonders thicken! Flint. The casketMiss F. Let me clear up the rest. Flint. The casketMiss F. Was inadvertently in your daughter's hand, when, by an artifice of her maid Lucy,--set on, as she confesses, by this gentleman here,
Dav. I plead guilty.
Miss F. She was persuaded, that you were in a hurry going to marry her to an object of her dislike; nay, that he was actually in the house for the purpose. The speed of her flight admitted not of her depositing the jewels; but to me, who have been her inseparable companion since she quitted your roof, she intrusted the return of them; which the precipitate measures of this gentleman (pointing to the Officer) alone prevented. Mr Cutlet, whom I see coming, can witness this to be true.
Enter Cutler, in haste. Cut. Aye, poor lamb! poor lamb! I can witness. I have run in such a haste, hearing how affairs stood, that I have left my shambles without a protector. If your worship had seen how she cried (pointing to Marian,) and trembled, and insisted upon being brought to her father. Mr Davenport here could not stay her.
Flint. I can forbear no longer. Marian, will you play once again, to please your old father ?
Mar. I have a good mind to make you buy me a new grand piano for your naughty suspicions of me.
Dav. What is to become of me?
Flint. I will do more than that. The poor lady shall have her jewels again. Mar. Shall she?
Flint. Upon reasonable terms, (smiling.) And now, I suppose, the court may adjourn.
Dav. Marian !