Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

lor. A vulg r one, I'm sure, if you were concern'd in i. I heard you letting down the great lamp by the pulley-so, I suppose, you have broke it ?

Sol. Into a thousand anatomies. It came down with so much voracity that it forced my head through the glass bottom, and wedged 1.e in, down to my shoulders.

Tor. Fine mischief you h ve been doing already. Sol. Don't be concern'd; I'm very little hart. A slight confusion in my head, but soon heal'd, your honour.

Tor. Curse me if the confusion in your head isn't incurable! And where is Thomas ?

Sol. Tasting the ale.
Tor. Then I hope 'tis sour.

Sol. He thought so the third jug,- -s0 he's drawing a fourth, to be certain.

Tor. I've a great mind to be plagued with that drunken rascal no longer.

Hea. Why have you been plagued with a drunken rascal at all?—Nobody but yourself would keep him a week.

Tor. That's the reason I have kept him these seven years. He'd starve if I turn'd him away.

Hea. That's his affair.

Tor. No, it isn't :-'tis the affair of a sober woman and two squalling brats, who must-starve along with him.

Sol. Ah! you've got a cure, as the French say.
Tor. Curse the French ! What brought you in here?
Sol. I came to say that-

Tor. But stop-First remember to keep that sot out of my sight during the rest of the day. Let him come to my chamber, as soon as I rise to-morrow, and I'll lecture him when his head aches.

Sol. What time do you get up?
Tor. Nine.

Sol. Not till nine ?-Then, before I shave you, I'll catch a few rats.

Tor. This fellow will lather me with arsenic ! Now, why did you come in ?

Sol. With a message.
Tor. Deliver it.

Sol. I came to denounce that a gentleman in the hall is

Voice [Without.] Solomon Gundy!

?

[ocr errors]

Sol. That's Mrs. Cook's voice. The jack's down. I'll be back dong le momong, as they say. [Exit, R.

Tor. An active booby !-He is as provoking as a bad barometer ; his quicksilver only causes confusion.

Hea. Nay, give him a fair trial.

Tor. I intend it :-But where is your grand recommendation ? the person you writ to at London, to come down and lay out my grounds ?

Hea. He was to have been here yesterday.
Tor. Is he clever ?

Hea. Very; and as cheap as any dirt he has beautified.

Tor. I don't mind expense, if he has taste ; but, if he throws Chinese bridges over a dry English ditch, Solomon Gundy shall kick him into it. I never heard of him.

Hea. Few have.- He is a man of talent and acquire. ment, but modest, even to shyness; and of too simple manners to make a fortune, as many bustlers do without one tithe of his ability. His mind is like the landscape he adorns : the height of its polish has not disturb'd the quietness of nature.

Tor. He is just what I want. I hate to hear fashion cry up an architect, or a painter, or a play-wright, as the is only man, to the degradation of all others. A fury for

individual artists pinches the arts; and, when people have patronage, they should always draw modest genius from obscurity.-But why isn't he here?

Hea. I think there must be some mistake-You dine late-I must leave you for half-an-hour to go into the village ; and I will make inquiries about him at the inn.

[Going, .. Tor. HeartlyHea. Eh?

Tor. The Spread Eagle has got the gout in his sto mach.

Heu. I intend calling there.
Jor. Aren't his liquors very bad ?
Hea. Execrable.
Tor. I've laid in some famous old Madeira.
Hea. I shall taste it at dinner.

Tor. If you don't mind a little bumping behind you, perhaps a bottle in each of your coat-pockets may do the poor fellow a service.

Heu. I'll take care of him, depend upon it.' "Exit, L.

Enter SOLOMON GUNDY, R.
Sol. A man in the hall wants your ear.
Tor. My ear?
Sol. Yes—your orell.
Tor. What's his name!

Sol. I forgot to ask :--that was a little fore-paw, as the French say.—I'll run and

(Going, R. Tor. Zounds! come back; and stand still, if you can! - Did you ask his business?

Sol. As I am but a menial, I thought it might flavonr of curiosity. But he comes from London.

Tor. From London ?--Oh! Heartly's friend that's to lay out the ground. I'm glad he's arrived.- Does'nt he say he comes recommended to me ?

Sol. He says a person, now in the house, was to give you some intimidation,

Tor. Ay, ay, 'tis he : desire him to walk in.
Sol. Shall you want me again till I wait at dinner ?
Tor. No, I hope not.

Sol. Then I'll bait my traps, just to passy le tongs, as they say.

[Exit, R. Tor. I'm glad the surveyor is come. We'll go at it, ding dong!

Enter JONATHAN OLDSKIRT, R. Oh, pray come in ! I have been expecting, and am very happy to see you:

Old. (R. c.) Then Miss Fanny has mentioned me [Aside.] I should be sorry to intrude, but

Tor. (c.) Intrude!-Nonsense. Merit never intrudes; and you have just been mention'd to me by a person I sincerely regard and respect.-Sit down.

Old. Regard and respect! How pretty he talks of Miss Fanny already! (Aside.] Why, Sir,-[both of them sitting.] the long and the short on't is, I had set my heart upon coming. Tor. Had you heard a good account of the situation ?

Old. A friend or two told me it was a situation for any body that wanted one, to jump at.-But, says I, “ though prospects are good, my advice is wanted, and I had better be on the spot, to see how I may mend them."

Tor. Certainly. The only way, I suppose, to mend the prospects, is to be on the spot.

Old. Well, I hope you don't think I come upon bad grounds.

Tor. In that I must bow to your opinion. You must be a better judge of any grounds you come upon, than

I am.

Old. [Aside.) The sweetest-temper’d man I ever met with !--Ah, sir! we might be of much service between us :—and I have great hopes; for, to say truth, I am prodigiously pleased with what little I have seen of your

manner.

[ocr errors]

Tor. Why, the manor, they tell me, isn't a bad one; but there's room for improvement.

Old. Indeed, I think it vastly agreeable.
Tor. Then, on the whole, you don't dislike the place ?

Old. In my opinion, the place bids fair to turn out all I could wish.

Tor. Well, well, we must lay our heads together, how to make it better.

Old. Begging your pardon, that will depend upon the master.

Tor. Pooh! if you mean money, I don't mind that.

Old. Why, money is an object, in a place, to be sure; but good treatment is a prime matter with me.

Tor. Treatment! Ay, true;-as the poet says—" In all, let nature never be forgot:"—We mustn't have too much labour.

Old. That's good hearing; for she's very delicate.
Tor. “ But treat the goddess like a modest fair."
Old. The goddess !
Tor. “ Nor over dress-
Old. That would be ridiculous.
Tor. “ Nor leave her wholly bare.”

Old. [Starting up.] Dam'me, if I'd stand by and suffer
such a thing, for the universe !
Tor. [Rising.] This man's an enthusiast in his busi-

He'll do! We'll begin our operations betimes 1 to-morrow morning. Are you an early riser ?

Old. First up in the house, this thirty years.
Tor. Indefatigable in your profession, I dare say,

Old. I was always fond of my business. When I was a boy, I had the watering-pot in my hand 'by daybreak, and had generally done sprinkling before a soul was stirring.

Tor. The watering-pot !-S0-began with the lowest radiments of his art, I suppose, and was a common

[ocr errors]

ness.

7

[ocr errors]

gardener-[Aside.) Well, application added to genius ha is always sure to rise ; and 'tis amazing how much we have mended in your line, within the last century. Quite another taste. Hardly a remnant of the old style to be seen.

Old. Now and then, a remnant of that kind comes in my way; but very scarce.

Tor. So much the better.-Our forefathers were too formal ;-too stiff by half;—no grace, no ease, no sweeps ;-they could never boast any thing like the lawns of the present day.

Old. Lawns are a nice article, and brought to amazing perfection, that's certs.in.

Tor. I see, we shall agree in our notions on all points. We'll talk more about it, when the cloth is removed. You'll dine with me, of course. I have only Heartly.

Old. Dine with you? Bless me! that honour is too great.

Tor. Why, where the deuce would you dine ?

Old. With your leave, as long as I stay, I'll take my victuals in the housekeeper's room.

Tor. (Aside.] Zounds i he is modest even to shyness, indeed, as Heartly says. You are to do as you like, but

[ocr errors]

Enter SOLOMON GUNDY, R.

Sol. (R.) There's a man in the hall

Tor. 'Wants my other ear, I suppose. What's his name?

Sol. Mr. Barford, of our village.

Tor. The gentleman I met at the Spread Eagle, who was burnt out?

Sol. Yes ;-one of the unhappy incendiaries.

Tor. Show him into the breakfast-parlour.-And conduct this gentleman to the housekeeper's rooin. [To Oldskirt.] But, suppose you let him take you into the park first.-Do-perhaps you'll catch a hint.

Old. (Aside.] Catch a hint !- Bless me! I'm more likely to catch a cold, this rainy day.-By all means, whatever you please.

Tor. Attend the gentleman, then, Solomon. We shall meet by and by, you know.

[Evit, l. Old. I'm always at your commands. [To Soloncon.] Show me to the housekeeper's room at once.

« PreviousContinue »