British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview
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of her infant, whom he had warmly adopted; and for whom, in case of a discovery, everything was to be dreaded from his resentment. And, indeed,

though the alteration in my condition might 90
have justified me in discovering myself, yet I always thought my son safer in trusting to the caprice than to the justice of his grandfather. My judgment has not suffered by the event; old Belcour is dead,
and has bequeathed his whole estate to him we 95
are speaking of.

STUKELY. Now then you are not longer bound to secrecy.

STOCK. True: but before I publicly reveal myself,

I could wish to make some experiment of my 100
son's disposition: this can only be done by letting his spirit take its course without restraint; by these means, I think I shall discover much more of his real character under the title of his merchant, than
I should under that of his father. 105


A Sailor enters, ushering in several black Servants, carrying portmanteaus, trunks, &c.

SAILOR. Save your honor! is your name Stockwell, pray?

STOCK. It is.

SAILOR. Part of my master Belcour's baggage

an't please you; there's another cargo not far 5
astern of us; and the coxswain has got charge of the dumb creatures.

STOCK. Prithee, friend, what dumb creatures do you speak of; has Mr. Belcour brought over a

collection of wild beasts? 10

SAILOR. No, Lord love him; no, not he: let me see; there's two green monkeys, a pair of grey parrots, a Jamaica sow and pigs, and a Mangrove1 dog; that's all.

STOCK. Is that all? 15

SAILOR. Yes, your honor; yes, that's all; bless his heart; 'a might have brought over the whole island if he would; 'a didn't leave a dry eye in it.

STOCK. Indeed! Stukely, show 'em where to

bestow their baggage. Follow that gentleman. 20

SAILOR. Come, bear a hand, my lads, bear a hand.

Exit with STUKELYand Servants.

STOCK. If the principal tallies with his purveyors, he must be a singular spectacle in this place: he has a friend, however, in this seafaring fellow; 'tis no

bad prognostic of a man's heart, when his ship­ 25
mates give him a good word. Exit.


Scene changes to a drawing-room. A Servant discovered setting the chairs by, &c. A Woman Servant enters to him.

HOUSEKEEPER. Why, what a fuss does our good master put himself in about this West Indian: see what a bill of fare I've been forced to draw out: seven and nine, I'll assure you, and only a family

dinner as he calls it: why if my Lord Mayor 5
was expected, there couldn't be a greater to-do about him.

SERV. I wish to my heart you had but seen the loads of trunks, boxes, and portmanteaus he has

sent hither. An ambassador's baggage, with all 10
the smuggled goods of his family, does not exceed it.

HOUSEK. A fine pickle he'll put the house into: had he been master's own son, and a Christian Englishman, there could not be more rout2 than

there is about this Creolian, as they call 'em. 15

SERV. No matter for that; he's very rich, and that's sufficient. They say he has rum and sugar enough belonging to him, to make all the water in the Thames into punch. But I see my master's

coming. Exeunt. 20


STOCKWELLenters, followed by a Servant.

STOCK. Where is Mr. Belcour? Who brought this note from him?

SERV. A waiter from the London Tavern, sir; he says the young gentleman is just dressed, and

will be with you directly. 5

STOCK. Show him in when he arrives.

SERV. I shall, sir. -- (Aside.) I'll have a peep at him first, however; I've a great mind to see this outlandish spark. The sailor fellow says he'll make

rare doings amongst us. 10

STOCK. You need not wait; leave me.

Exit Servant.

Let me see. (Reads.)


I write to you under the hands of the hairdresser;

as soon as I have made myself decent, and 15
slipped on some fresh clothes, I will have the honor of paying you my devoirs.


He writes at his ease; for he's unconscious to 20
whom his letter is addressed, but what a palpitation does it throw my heart into; a father's heart! 'Tis an affecting interview; when my eyes meet a son,

101] O1DB be only; O2O3N only be (Irish editions depend on O1).
SCENE. III. 19] O1DB master; O2O3N master's (Irish editions depend on O1).
Here, 'Jamaican' or 'West Indian.'


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British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan
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