Page images

Fai. Well, son Ralph, run thy gait; but remember I tell thee, thou wilt repent this untowardness.

Ral. Why, how shall I repent it? Mayhap you'll turn me out of your service; a match ; with all hearts -I cod I don't care three brass pins.



If that's all you want, who the plague will be sorry, 'Twere better by half to dig stones in a quarry;

For my share I'm weary of what is got by’t : S'flesh! here's such a racket, such scolding and coiling, You're never content, but when folks are a toiling, And drudging like horses from morning 'till night.

You think I'm afraid, but the difference to shew you ; First yonder's your shovel ; your sacks too I throw you;

Henceforward take care of your matters who will ; They're welcome to slave for your wages who need 'em, Tol lol derol lol, I have purchas'd my freedom,

81 And never hereafter shall work at the mill.



Fai. Dear heart, dear heart! I protest this ungracious boy puts me quite beside myself. Patty, my dear come down into the yard a little, and keep me company--and you, thieves, vagabonds, gipsies, out here, 'tis you who debauch my son.


Pat. In love to pine and languish,

Yet know your passion vain ;
To harbour heart-felt anguish,

Yet fear to tell your pain.


What powers unrelenting,

Severer ills inventing,

Can sharpen pangs like these;
Where days and nights tormenting,

Yield not a moment's ease!


Fai. Well, Patty, Master Goodman, my lord's steward, has been with me just now, and I find we are like to have great doings; his lordship has brought down Sir Harry Sycamore and his family, and there is more company expected in a few days.

Pat. I know Sir Harry very well; he is by marriage a distant relation of my lord's.

Fai. Pray what sort of a young body is the daughter there? I think she used to be with you at the castle, three or four summers ago, when my young lord was out upon his travels.

Pat. Oh! very often; she was a great favourite of my lady's : pray father is she come down?

109 Fai. Why you know the report last night, about my lord's going to be married; by what I can learn she is; and there is likely to be a nearer relationship between the families, ere long. It seems, his lordship was not

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors][merged small]

over willing for the match, but the friends on both sides in London pressed it so hard : then there's a swinging fortune : master Goodman tells me a matter of twenty or thirty thousand pounds.

Pat. If it was a million, father, it would not be more than my lord Aimworth deserves; I suppose the wedding will be celebrated here at the mansion-house.

Fai. So it is thought, as soon as things can be properly prepared And now, Patty, if I could but see thee a little merry-Come, bless thee, pluck up thy spirits—To be sure thou hast sustained, in the death of thy lady, a heavy loss; she was a parent to thee nay, and better, inasmuch as she took thee when thou wert but a babe, and gave thee an education which thy natural parents could not afford to do.

Pat. Ah! dear father, don't mention what, perhaps, has been my greatest misfortune.

13° Fai. Nay then, Patty, what's become of all thy sense, that people talk so much about?--But I have something to say to thee which I would have thee consider seriously. - I believe I need not tell thee, my child, that a young maiden, after she is marriageable, especially if she has any thing about her to draw people's no. tice, is liable to ill tongues, and a many cross accidents; so that the sooner she's out of harm's way the better.

Pat. Undoubtedly, father, there are people enough who watch every opportunity to gratify their own malice; but when a young woman's conduct is unblameable

142 Fai. Why, Patty, there may be something in that;

think proper

is so.


you know slander will leave spots, where malice finds none : I say, then, a young woman's best safeguard is a good husband. Now there is our neighbour, Farmer Giles; he is a sober, honest, industrious young fellow, and one of the wealthiest in these parts; he is greatly taken with thee; and it is not the first time I have told thee I should be glad to have him for a son-in-law.

151 Pat. And I have told you as often, father, I would submit myself entirely to your direction; whatever you


me, Fai. Why that's spoken like a dutiful, sensible girl; get thee in, then, and leave me to manage it-Perhaps our neighbour Giles is not a gentleman; but what are the greatest part of our country gentlemen good for?

159 Pat. Very true, father. The sentiments, indeed, have frequently little correspondence with the condition; and it is according to them alone we ought to regulate our esteem.

What are outward forms and shews,

To an honest heart compar'd?
Oft the rustic, wanting those,

Has the nobler portion shar'd.
Oft we see the homely flower

Bearing at the hedge's side
Virtues of
more sov’reign pow'r

170 Than the garden's gayest pride.



FAIRFIELD, Giles. Giles. Well, mister Fairfield, you and Miss Pat have had a long discourse together; did you tell her that I was come down?

Fai. No, in truth, friend Giles; but I mentioned, our affair at a distance; and I think there is no fear.

Giles. That's right-and when shall us—You do know I have told you my mind often and often.

Fai. Farmer, give us thy hand ; nobody doubts thy good will to me and my girl ; and you may take my word, I would rather give her to thee than another; for I am main certain thou wilt make her a good husband.

183 Giles. Thanks to your good opinion, master Fairfield; if such be my hap, I hope there will be no cause of complaint.

Fai. And I promise thee my daughter will make thee a choice wife. But thou know'st, friend Giles, that I, and all belongs to me, have great obligations to lord Aimworth's family; Patty, in particular, would be one of the most ungrateful wretches this day breathing if she was to do the smallest thing contrary to their consent and approbation.

193 Giles. Nay, nay, 'tis well enough known to all the country, she was the old lady's darling.

Fai. Well, master Giles, I'll assure thee she is not one whit less obliged to my lord himself. When his

« PreviousContinue »