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to the drivelling unwillingness dotards feel to be swept from hypocrites who have professed to regard them.
Tor. Opium-and antidote !-You've dealt with a damned bad apothecary. Hatred to mankind is Lucifer's own laudanum; and, whenever he coaxes a Christian to swallow it, he sends one of his imps to shake the bottle. All men hypocrites! Zounds! here's a doctrine! So, then, love, and friendship, and—
Bar. Love and friendship are, at best, life's fading roses; but reject the roses, and you escape many a thorn. Tor. How should you like to lose your legs?
Bar. Why my legs, sir?
Tor. They are part of the fading blessings of life, like love and friendship; but you may have the gout. Reject your legs, and you escape many a twinge in your great toe.
Bar. I have suffered deprivations enough already, sir. Tor. I give you joy of them; for, according to your own account, they must make you very comfortable. But you have deprived yourself of that, which your worst enemy's malice should never have taken from you. Bar. What is it?
Tor. Universal benevolence: the chain of reason in which we all willingly bind ourselves. Nature gave us the links, and civiliz'd humanity has polished them.
Bar. And how often are the links of reason and nature broken by sophistry and art!
Tor. I'm sorry for it. I know there are rascals; but the world is good in the lump, and I love all human kind; kings, lords, commons, duchesses, tallow-chandlers, dairy-maids, Indian chiefs, ambassadors, washerwomen, and tinkers. They have all their claims upon my regard, in their different stations; and, whatever you may think, hang me if I don't believe there are honest attorneys ! Bar. You have been fortunate in the world, I perceive. Tor. I have been fortunate enough in my temper to keep the milk of human kindness from curdling.
Bar. By having no acids squeezed into it.
Tor. Plenty who has'nt? But, when you were put out to nurse, curse me if I don't think you sucked a leYou have a fine field to fatten in upon others' calamities here. Only look out. [Pointing to the window.] Pretty havock from the fire? There's a house, now, that would just suit you. It sticks up by itself, gloomy and gutted, in the midst of the rubbish.
Bar. That was my residence, sir: my refuge, as 1 hoped, during the remainder of my life, from ingratitude and treachery.
Tor. Did-did-did you live in that house?
Bar. Eight months ago I entered its door, to take possession of an humble lodging; and last night I leap'd with difficulty, amidst the flames, through its window. Tor. Out at-that window?
Bar. Yes; with that wreck of property on which you have been pleased so much to question me.
Tor. My dear sir, you are an unfortunate man; I have behav'd like a brute, and I beg your pardon. [Seizing his hand. [Coldly.
Bar. I feel no anger, sir.
I know you
Tor. Damn it, then, you despise me. must, for I have treated you cruelly; but, as you have taken offence at all the world, don't think me too contemptible to be left out of the number. Pray, be angry with me; then show me you forgive me by telling me how to serve you-I happen to be rich.
Bar. And I happen to be poor; but I will always be independent, and will accept no favours.
Tor. That's right: but I have taken a house in the neighbourhood-Dine with me every day. That will only be doing me a favour, you know.
Enter AMY, L., with a letter.
Amy. [To Barford.] Here's a letter for you, sir.
Amy. 'Tis from the parson of next parish.
[Gives the letter and exit.-Barford opens the letter, and reads to himself.
Tor. [While Barford is reading.] Independent! That's the proud lie of a decay'd gentleman.-It sometimes gives truth the ear-ache-but it always gives pity the heart-ache; and, to prove that I don't believe you, [Going to the table, L. c.] here goes my pocket-book into your bundle! There! [Stuffs it in.] You are now a hundred and fifty pounds nearer to independence than you imagine.
Bar. [R., Folding up the letter.] This bears the semblance of kindness, and 'tis from a clergyman. His profession commands respect. I will wait upon him, and decline his offer.
Tor. [Hastily.] What is it? [Checks himself.] I beg pardon; but I
Bar. His house, sir, if you must know, in my calamity[Crosses to the table, L. C. Tor. That's right, don't take it; cut the parson, and
come to me.
Bar. 1 fix in no residence, sir, which I cannot call my
Tor. Well, you may call mine your own; and bring the parson with you. I like that parson.
Bar. Excuse me; [Takes his bundle from the table.] but, before I leave you, sir, one word, which, I think, I owe you.
Tor. I won't take back a shil-I mean you don't owe me a syllable.
Bar. Pardon me, and I must pay it. Your impulses, apparently, proceed from benevolence; but your impetuosity may render you an offence to the sensitive, and a dupe to the designing. Farewell, Sir. [Exit, C. D. F. Tor. (c.) That advice is a little too late to a man at fifty. My impulses are like old radishes; they have stuck so long in the soil, that, whenever they are drawn out, they are sure to be hot.
Enter HEARTLY, C. D. F.
Ah, Heartly! my dear old friend! give me your hand! I hav'n't shaken it these ten years. I'm so glad to see you, that I-well, and-Zounds! my heart's so full, that I had better hold my tongue.
Hea. (c.) Moderate yourself! I need not tell you how happy I am to see you.
Tor. (R. C.) Well, old schoolfellow! I've closed all accounts of business at last: but we have a deal to think about:-the estate, and the tenants, and the fire, and all that. We must go to work directly, old Franky! Hea. [Smiling.] I thought you had done with busi
Tor. Pshaw! this isn't London business. That is a constant fatigue. This is country bustle, that keeps the mind from stagnation.--But, damn it, how well you look! Hea. And you wear well, my friend.
Tor. No, no; city smoke and a counting-house ;but, with your air, in a fortnight, I shall get as fat and as red about the gills as a cramm'd turkey.-By the by,
did you meet any body, as you were coming in, with a bundle under his arm?
Hea. You mean Mr. Barford.
Tor. That's his name, is it? What is he?
Hea. Nobody can tell. I fancy he has serv'd in the army. He avoids the gentlemen in the neighbourhood, and is a mystery to the villagers.
For. He seems a strange fellow.
Hea. You have convers'd with him, then?
Tor. Yes; he appears to be a gentleman; but I'm afraid he's poor.
Hea. I hope you gave him no hint of such a fear.
Tor. Yes; and so I dropp'd the rest behind his back. Hea. Oh! I begin to perceive. And how were they dropp'd?
Tor. Pshaw!-Why-into his bundle, if you must know.
Hea. To no small amount, probably and without investigating his character.
Tor. I hadn't time. He was in want-I may never see him again; and, in such a case, 'tis better to take our chance for a knave, lest caution should let honesty go away unsuccour'd.
Hea. Here you may have chanced right; for I fancy he only affects misanthropy.
Tor. I fancy so, too.
Hea. I have many reasons to think so; and one of the strongest is, his only having that small bundle with him.
Tor. How so?
Hea. He relinquished the material part of his property to save his landlord's infant son.
Tor. Zounds! then his landlord is a rascal. Not run the first to his own child, when the house was on fire!
Hea. My dear impetuous friend! a father who was, three days ago, struck with a palsy, occasion'd, perhaps, from grief for his wife's recent death, finds some difficulty in running, even to his child. This was the landlord's case, Barford knew it, when the house was burning beneath him. He rush'd to the poor cottage-garret, clasp'd the sleeping baby under one arm, and, with the poor bundle (which you saw) under the other, leap'd to the ground.
Tor. And where's his landlord? Hea. Barford recollected him, as soon as he had placed the child in safety. A ladder was at hand; he ascended it to a room, from which the smoke was rolling in columns; he dragged the father through the flames, and seated him by his boy! But this man professes misanthropy.
Tor. He lies! he lies! God bless him! he lies! I'll run after him, and stop him from going to the parson. [Running out.
Hea. [Detaining him.] Stay, stay; he is not leaving the neighbourhood. He has a bed here, I find—and you have enough to do, besides.
Tor. Why, that's true: the man of the house is sicka good fellow ;-and I must think of Amy, who is in love with Solomon Gundy.
Hea. [Laughing.] Ha! ha! ha! These are minor considerations, when you have the distress of a whole village to remedy: but, for Solomon Gundy, I must be an advocate.
Tor. Do you recommend him?
Hea. He is an industrious fellow, and a proper object. Tor. I know him; he's burnt out-I read his board. He's a rat-catcher-I'll make him my valet de chambre, directly.
Hea. Softly.-What may your present household consist of?
Tor. Why, some I shall find, as you wrote me word, on the spot. Two footmen I sent on before me to the house, to avoid fuss. A cook was packed off a week ago. A housekeeper I expect every hour. That's all, for the present.
Hea. Who recommended the housekeeper to you?
Hea. So! I hope she is a steady, methodical woman. I think, my good friend, you will want one of thatdescription.
Tor. Why, distress generally makes people think; and, when 'tis accompanied by virtue, it should never want a place in a rich English family.
Hea. What is her age?
Hea. Rather young for a steady housekeeper! What threw her in your way?