Scene I.The Library in Joseph Surfaces House
Enter Joseph Surface and Servant.
Jos. Surf. Mr. Stanley! and why should you think I would see him? you must know he comes to ask something.
Ser. Sir, I should not have let him in, but that Mr. Rowley came to the door with him.
Jos. Surf. Psha! blockhead! to suppose that I should now be in a temper to receive visits from poor relations!Well, why dont you show the fellow up?
Ser. I will, sir.Why, sir, it was not my fault that Sir Peter discovered my lady
Jos. Surf. Go, fool![Exit Servant.] Sure Fortune never played a man of my policy such a trick before! My character with Sir Peter, my hopes with Maria, destroyed in a moment! Im in a rare humour to listen to other peoples distresses! I shant be able to bestow even a benevolent sentiment on Stanley. So! here he comes, and Rowley with him. I must try to recover myself, and put a little charity into my face, however.
Enter Sir Oliver Surface and Rowley.
Sir Oliv. What! does he avoid us? That was he, was it not?
Row. It was, sir. But I doubt you are come a little too abruptly. His nerves are so weak, that the sight of a poor relation may be too much for him. I should have gone first to break it to him.
Sir Oliv. Oh, plague of his nerves! Yet this is he whom Sir Peter extols as a man of the most benevolent way of thinking!
Row. As to his way of thinking, I cannot pretend to decide; for, to do him justice, he appears to have as much speculative benevolence as any private gentleman in the kingdom, though he is seldom so sensual as to indulge himself in the exercise of it.
Sir Oliv. Yet he has a string of charitable sentiments at his fingers ends.
Row. Or, rather, at his tongues end, Sir Oliver; for I believe there is no sentiment he has such faith in as that Charity begins at home.
Sir Oliv. And his, I presume, is of that domestic sort which never stirs abroad at all.
Row. I doubt youll find it so;but hes coming. I mustnt seem to interrupt you; and you know, immediately as you leave him, I come in to announce your arrival in your real character.
Sir Oliv. True; and afterwards youll meet me at Sir Peters.
Row. Without losing a moment.
Sir Oliv. I dont like the complaisance of his features.
Re-enter Joseph Surface.
Jos. Surf. Sir, I beg you ten thousand pardons for keeping you a moment waiting.Mr. Stanley, I presume.