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darling ?-But, je me port bien, as the French say ;-and
standing by the side of this ordinary man is a mighty i advantage, you know.
Fan. You will think me very presuming, sir; but I imagined, also, that my employer was a native of Eng
Sir L. Is it just a little twist of the tongue you are noticing ?
Fan. I confess it is, sir.
Sir L. That's why I took this estate. I'm partial, you see, to the country I was born in.
Fan. To say truth, I am ignorant of dialects here, sir. Except the last six months at London, my whole life has been passed in Jamaica.
And. That's where the rum do come from.
Fan. But, if your accent be of this country, sir, your gamekeeper, or my ear deceives me, cannot be Yorkshire, also.
And. Na, miss—I'm Irish.
Fan. Forgive the questions I ask, sir.-A heart, like yours, that can compassionate female distress, slightly
etch'd as mine was, in a newspaper, will account for my apprehensions.
Sir L. [Aside.) A newspaper! You'll find many an honest man, every day, mighty tender-hearted, in a case
Fan. I have found only one, except yourself, sir.
Fan. The person who had the interview with your
Sir L. [Looking at the card.] Oh, I rememberJonathan Oldskirt.
Fan. Your first notice of my advertisement was ad dress'd to me, under cover, to his initials, sir.
Sir L. His initials.--Yes-that's [Referring to the card)—that's I, O, my dear.
Fan. Yes, sir, you wrote me word you had enter'd them in your pocket-book.
Sir L. Yes, you may say that there's I, 0, in my
pocket-book ;-with a damn'd sight of thousands at the tail of it.
[-4side. Fun. His house has been my asylum, sir.
Sir L. And didn't you find the asylum rather dark and dingy, my dear, at the back of St. Clement's?
Fan. Oh, sir, gilded roofs escape the eye of affliction ; but the smile of welcome, the tear of pity, strike forcibly upon the heart, when benevolence shelters misery ;-and the meanest cabin true charity inhabits affords gratitude a palace.
Sir L. It's my notion you love this same Jonathan Oldskirt, my darling.
Fan, Dearly, sir;- I love him as a father. Anxious for my welfare, he hopes you will not think him intrusive, by requesting to be admitted here, a few days, till he sees me' properly settled.
Sir L. And is he come with yourself?
Fan. He would not presume so much, sir, without your permission ; for which he waits in the neigbouring village.
Sir L. [Aside.) I wish, with all my soul he was waiting in Constantinople.
Fan. He will be here in the evening, to know if he have your leave to remain, sir.
Sir L. Oh, faith, let him take leave, and welcome. Mr. Bang, you'll do the honours to Mr. Jonatban Oldskirt.
And. Ees, zur.-[Apart.] I ha' locked Mother Glastonbury up in china-closet, putting by her husband's horn; when Mr. Oldskirt do come, I'll lock he up wi' her, for company.
Sir L. Do that thing--my dear, I-I—the family is a little unsettled just now, you see; so you'll take a mutton-chop to-day with me, you know.
Fan. With-with you, sir!-I beard, indeed, you were but just arrived on the estate the family unform'd, and—but, still, I
Sir L. Damn the soul's in the house but ourselves, good or bad; except the old steward, and that ill-looking gamekeeper. Fan. Indeed !—This is very strange! [Aside.] Sir, IMrs. G. [Without.] Let me out-I insist upon it. Fan. Bless me! what's that! Sir L. That? Oh! that's a rumpus.--You must know,
among other live lumber, I found an old housekeeper on the estate, and-and she's lock'd up.
Fan. Good heavens! this is very alarming.-Lock'd
And. Don't ye be frightful, miss.--It ben't often, here, we do lock up the housekeeper.
Sir L. Make yourself easy, my darling. The game. keeper shall take you to l'other side of this great big house, and devil the bit will you be plagued with that woman's bawling. I'll come to you, and we'll go over the apartments, and we'll-show the way, Mr. Bang.
And. This way, miss.
Fan. Go on-I know not what to think: but, if I betray my suspicions, 1-[Aside.]-Go on.
(Exit Andrew, conducting her, L. Sir L. (c.) Whether, now, is this one of the deserted ladies who are unhappy, in the Morning Post, every day, thirteen to the dozen, or real virtue in misfortune? Any way, she'll procure me an agreeable companion, in the long afternoons. If she's kind, we'll make a merry
if she's immaculate, I'll have no bad tête-à-tête with my own conscience,--for dismissing innocence, with its due honours, when I had it so much in my power.
SCENE II.-A Room in the Manor House.
Enter TORRENT and Heartly, ... Tor. (c.) It shall all be done, slap-dash-on the spur of the moment. By this day se’onight, every tenant, man, woman and child, shall meet me with a grin of joy, and a face as round as a dumpling. They shall all buzz in sunshine, like a hive of bees.
Hea. (L. C) Are the drones on your estate to profit equally by the heat of your munificence ?
Tor. Pshaw! Why won't you let the poor devils be happy, if they can
Hea. Certainly, you have a right to command here ; but I think you are too hasty in such indiscriminate kindness.
Tor. Too' hasty in doing good to the poor !-No, no ;-come ;-there is a warm adviser, old boy, in that case, that tells me I am right. Heg. Who is that adviser ?
Tor. My heart.
Hea. 'Tis too warm for an adviser-'twere better to consult a cooler.
Tor. Yourself, I suppose ?
Hea. No; you can spare me, at times. 'Tis one you cannot live without for a moment.
Tor. Who is that?
Tor. I should make an awkward figure without it, that's certain.-But what's the use of a consultation about relieving want, if I can afford it?
Hea. To distinguish between an ardour and a rage for charity; to regulate patronage, that we may not injure society at large, by squandering relief upon distress'd knaves; and to prevent one of the worst national principles affluence can inculcate--that want is to place virtue and vice upon a level.
Tor. Well, but there are some points that speak for themselves. The poor widow, for instance, who left her petition at the house against my arrival. Her case is notorious to all the parish.
Heu. Yes--and to half the next, they tell me.
Tor. Why, you hard-hearted Turk! she has five little children,--and without her husband.
Hea. That was well known before she was a widow. Tor. What?
Hea. That she had five children without her husband. -She's a scandal to the place.
Tor. Indeed !--At all events, the children must be brought up to some honest employment.
Hea. There I agree with you. To train an infant of the abandon'd to industry is a noble mode of serving the public, by saving the individual.
Tor. I am glad I have got you to agree to something at last. You'll allow, too, I was right to make a present just now to the thatcher ?
Hea. Clearly ;--if you were certain he is a worthy object.
Tor. Where's the doubt ?-Isn't be disabled from work ?-Wasn't his hand scorch'd last night at the fire ?
Hea, He is used to that.
Tor. Curse me, if I think you have any thing decent in the parish! You have decoy'd me into a neighbour
hood of ill fame; and I must go about at noon-day, like * Diogenes, with a lantern, looking for an honest man.
Hea. Oh! he was a Cynic, or he might have found plenty, without the help of a candle.
Tor. Hang it! after all, it matters little how my money goes. My young brother,-mad Tom, as I used to call him,-was the last relation I had in the world,
and he has been gone many years. If he hadn't been a & bad subject, rambled away from all his friends, turn'd
soldier, and died abroad, nobody could hear exactly where or how, he should have inherited my fortune. Well, it can't be help'd, and
Sol. [Without.] I'll denounce you to my master in a petty momong.
Tor. There's that infernal Solomon Gundy !--the ratcatcher, whom you have made my valet-de-chambre.
Hea. He's honest, I'll be sworn.
Tor. Confound him!—he does nothing but run about and talk. He's all legs and mouth, like a Dutch oven upon a trivet. He knocks the furniture about as he does French and English, and makes as much havock in a house as in a language. Enter SOLOMON GUNDY, R., with 4 clean white linen
sol. (R. C.) A multiplication of affairs !—I've laid the cloth, fed the mastiff, comb'd your best wig, tapp'd the ale, hunted the pigs from the pleasure-ground, and clean'd the parlour windows.
Hea. (L. c.) A pretty good half-hour's employment.
Tor. (c.) But, why will you be in such a devil of a bustle?
Sol. Bless your honour! I'm very jealous to learn, till when you'll pardon my defection. Mr. Thomas is so condescending as to say he'll do pothing at all, that I may get versified in all the work of the house.
Tor. Is he ?- Then I'll tell you how, you are to dust
Sol. Commong? as they say at Dunkirk.
Tor. Put it on Mr. Thomas's back, and beat it as hard as you can with a horsewbip. Tell him 'tis my order. What was that smash I heard just now in the hall ?
Sol. A fraction.