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I can have frequent opportunities of being about him, without being known. What a pity it is, Jarvis, that any man's good-will to others should produce so much neglect of himself, as to require correction? Yet, we must touch his weakness with a delicate hand. There are some faults so nearly allied to excellence, that we can scarce weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue.
Jarvis. Well, go thy ways, Sir William Honeywood. It is not without reason that the world allows thee to be the best of men. But here comes his hopeful nephew; the strange good-natur'd, foolish, open-hearted-And yet, all his faults are such that one loves him the better for them.
Honeywood. Well, Jarvis, what messages from my friends this morning?
Jarvis. You have no friends.
Jarvis. ( Pulling out bills.) A few of our usual cards of compliment, that's all. This bill from your taylor; this from your mercer; and this from the little broker in Crooked-lane. He says he has been at a great deal of trouble to get back the money you borrowed.
Honeywood. That I don't know ; but I'm sure we were at a great deal of trouble in getting him to lend it.
Jarvis. He has lost all patience.
Honeywood. Then he has lost a very good thing.
There's that ten guineas you were sending to the poor gentleman and his children in the Fleet. I believe that would stop his mouth, for a while at least.
Honeywood. Ay, Jarvis, but what will fill their mouths in the mean time ? Must I be cruel because he happens to be importunate; and, to relieve his avarice, leave them to insupportable distress?
Jarvis. 'Sdeath! Sir, the question is now how to relieve yourself. Yourself-Hav'nt I reason to be out of my senses, when I see things going at sixes and sevens ?
Honeywood. Whatever reason you may have for being out of your senses, I hope you'll allow that I'm not quite unreasonable for continuing in mine.
Jarvis. You're the only man alive in your present situation that could do somEvery thing upon the waste. There's Miss Richland and her fine fortune gone already, and upon the point of being given to your riyal.
Honeywood. I'm no man's rival.
Jarvis. Your uncle in Italy preparing to disinherit you ; your own fortune almost spent; and nothing but pressing creditors, false friends, and a pack of drunken servants that your kindness has made unfit for any other family.
Honeywood. Then they have the more occasion for being in mine.
Jarvis. Soh! What will you have done with him that I caught stealing your plate in the pantry ? In the fact; I caught him in the fact.
Honeywood. In the fact? If so, I really think we should pay him his wages
and turn him off.
Jarvis. He shall be turn'd off at Tyburn, the dog ; we'll hang him, if it be only to frighten the rest of the family,
Honeywood. No, Jarvis : it's enough that we have lost what he has stolen, let us not add to it the loss of a fellowa creature !
Jarvis. Very fine ; Well, here was the footman just now, to complain of the butler; he says he does most worky and ought to have most wages.
Honeywood. That's but just; though perhaps here comes the butler to complain of the footman.
Jarvis. Ay, its the way with them all, from the scullion to the privy-counsellor. If they have a bad master they keep quarrelling with him; if they have a good master, they keep quarrelling with one another.
Enter BUTLER, drunk.
Butler. Sir, I'll not stay in the family with Jonathan, you must part with him, or part with me, that's the exex-ex-position of the matter, Sir.
Honeywood. Full and explicit enough. But what's his fault, good Philip?
Butler. Sir, he's given to drinking, Sir, and I shall have my morals corrupted by keeping such company.
O quite amusing.
Butler. I find my wine's a-going, Sir; and liquors don't go without mouths, Sir; I hate a drunkard, Sir.
Honeywood. Well, well, Philip, I'll hear you upon that another time, so go to bed now.
Butler. Begging your honor's pardon, and begging your pardon, master Jarvis, l'll not go to bed, nor to the devil neither. . I have enough to do to mind my cellar. I forgot, your honor, Mr. Croaker is below. I came on purpose to tell you.
Butler. Shew him up, Sir! With all my heart, Sir. Upor down, all's one to me.
Jarvis. Ay, we have one or other of that family in this house from morning till night. He comes on the old affair, I suppose.
The match between his son that's just returned from Paris, and Miss Richland, the young lady he's guardian to.
Honeywood. Perhaps so. Mr. Croaker, knowing my friendship for the young lady, has got it into his head that I can persuade her to what I please.
Jarvis. Ah! if you loved yourself but half as well as she loves you, we should soon see a marriage that would set all things to rights again.
Honeywood. Love me ! Sure Jarvis, you dream. No, no; her intimacy with me never amounted to more than