us poor soldiers; and the divine story of Le Fever, 5 which makes part of this book,1 in my opinion of it, does honor not to its author only, but to human nature.
FULMER. He is an author I keep in the way of trade, but one I never relished; he is much too 10 loose and profligate for my taste.
DUDLEY. That's being too severe: I hold him to be a moralist in the noblest sense; he plays indeed with the fancy, and sometimes perhaps too wantonly; but while he thus designedly marks his main 15 attack, he comes at once upon the heart; refines, amends it, softens it; beats down each selfish barrier from about it, and opens every sluice of pity and benevolence.
FULMER. We of the Catholic persuasion are 20 not much bound to him. -- Well, sir, I shall not oppose your opinion; a favorite author is like a favorite mistress; and there you know, Captain, no man likes to have his taste arraigned.
DUDLEY. Upon my word, sir, I don't know 25 what a man likes in that case; 'tis an experiment I never made.
FULMER. Sir! -- Are you serious?
DUDLEY. 'Tis of little consequence whether you think so. 30
FULLER (aside). What a formal old prig it is! --[Aloud.] I apprehend you, sir; you speak with caution; are you married?
DUDLEY. I have been.
FULMER. And this young lady, which accom 35 panies you --
DUDLEY. Passes for my daughter.
FULLER (aside). Passes for his daughter! humph --[Aloud.] She is exceedingly beautiful, finely accomplished, of a most enchanting shape and 40 air.
DUDLEY. You are much too partial; she has the greatest defect a woman can have.
FULMER. How so, pray?
DUDLEY. She has no fortune. 45
FULMER. Rather say that you have none; and that's a sore defect in one of your years, Captain Dudley: you've served, no doubt?
DUDLEY (aside). Familiar coxcomb! But I'll humor him. 50
FULMER (aside). A dose old fox! But I'll unkennel him.
DUDLEY. Above thirty years I've been in the service, Mr. Fulmer.
FULMER. I guessed as much; I laid it at no 55 less: why 'tis a wearisome time; 'tis an apprenticeship to a profession, fit only for a patriarch. But preferment must be closely followed: you never could have been so far behindhand in the chase, unless you had palpably mistaken your way. 60 You'll pardon me, but I begin to perceive you have lived in the world, not with it.
DUDLEY. It may be so; and you perhaps can give me better counsel. I'm now soliciting a favor; an exchange to a company on full pay; nothing 65 more; and yet I meet a thousand bars to that; though, without boasting, I should think the certificate of services, which I sent in, might have purchased that indulgence to me.
FULMER. Who thinks or cares about 'em? 70 Certificate of services, indeed! Send in a certificate of your fair daughter; carry her in your hand with you.
DUDLEY. What! Who! My daughter! Carry my daughter; well, and what then? 75
FULMER. Why then your fortune's made, that's all.
DUDLEY. I understand you: and this you call knowledge of the world? Despicable knowledge; but, sirrah, I will have you know -- 80
FULMER. Help! Who's within? Would you strike me, sir; would you lift up your hand against a man in his own house?
DUDLEY. In a church, if he dare insult the poverty of a man of honor. 85
FULMER. Have a care what you do; remember there is such a thing in law as an assault and battery; ay, and such trifling forms as warrants and indictments.
DUDLEY. Go, sir; you are too mean for my 90 resentment: 'tis that, and not the law, protects you. Hence!
FULMER (aside). An old, absurd, incorrigible blockhead! I'll be revenged of him. Exit.
Young DUDLEYenters to him.
CHARLES. What is the matter, sir? Sure I heard an outcry as I entered the house.
DUDLEY. Not unlikely; our landlord and his wife are forever wrangling. -- Did you find your aunt Dudley at home? 5
CHARLES. I did.
DUDLEY. And what was your reception?
CHARLES. Cold as our poverty and her pride could make it.
DUDLEY. You told her the pressing occasion 10 I had for a small supply to equip me for this exchange; has she granted me the relief I asked?
CHARLES. Alas! Sir, she has peremptorily refused it.
DUDLEY. That's hard; that's hard, indeed! 15 My petition was for a small sum; she has refused it,____________________