Page images

that live and die in defending their country, left little else than honour behind him. Sir John sent this young man, at his own expence, to Oxford; where, while his son lived, they were upon the same footing : and since our young gentleman's death, which you know unfortunately happened about two years ago, he has continued him there. During the vacation he is come to pay us a visit, and Sir John intends that he shall shortly take orders for a very considerable benefice in the gift of the family, the present incumbent of which is an aged man.

Diana. The last time I was at your house, he was teaching Miss Clarissa mathematics and philosophy. What a strange brain I have! If I was to sit down to distract myself with such studies

Col. Go, hussey, let some of your brother's men inform their master that he has been long enough at his toilet; here is a message from Sir John Flowerdale.You a brain for mathematics, indeed! We shall have women wanting to head our regiments to-morrow or next day.

Diana. Well, papa, and suppose we did. I believe, in a battle of the sexes, you men would hardly get the better of us.


Tho' courage and strength are man's properties yet,

And patience to go thro' his duty, « The weapon we women contend with is wit,

< Resistless are found wit and beauty. Sound, sound, then, the trumpet, both sexes, to arms !

. Our tyrants at once and protectors ! We quickly shall see whether courage or charms

Decide for the Helens or Hectors.' [Exit. Jen. A tolerable spirit miss seems to have, Colonel ! -I wish it mayn't carry her too far one of these days.

[-Aside. Col. Well, master Jenkins ! don't you think, now, that a nobleman, a duke, an earl, or a marquis, might be content to share his title>I say, you understand me

-with a sweetener of thirty or forty thousand pounds,

to pay off mortgages ? Besides, there's a prospect of my whole estate ; for, its likely enough her brother may never have any children.

Jen. I should be concerned at that, Colonel, when there are two such fortunes to descend to his heirs, as yours and Sir John Flowerdale's.

Col. Why, look you, master Jenkins, Sir John Flowerdale is an honest gentleman; our families are nearly related; we have been neighbours time out of mind; and if he and I have an odd dispute now and then, it is not for want of a cordial esteem at bottom. He is going to marry his daughter to my son; she is a beautiful girl, an elegant girl, a sensible girl, a worthy girl, and—a word in your ear

I am very sorry for her. Jen. Sorry! Colonel ?

Col. Ay-between ourselves, master Jenkins, my son won't do.

Jen. How do you mean?

Col. I tell you, master Jenkins, he won't do- he is not the thing, a prig—At sixteen years old, or thereabouts, he was a bold sprightly boy, as you should see in a thousand; could drink his pint of port, or his bottle of claret-now he mixes all his wine with water.

Jen. Oh! if that be his only fault, Colonel, he will ne'er make the worse husband, I'll answer for it.

Col. You know my wife is a woman of quality- I was prevailed upon to send him to be brought up by her brother, Lord Jessamy, who had no children of his own, and promised to leave him an estate- He has got the estate indeed, but the fellow has taken his lordship's name for it. Now, master Jenkins, I would be glad to know how the name of Jessamy is better than that of Oldboy?

Jen. Well ! but, Colonel, it is allowed on all hands, that his lordship has given your son an excellent education.

Col. Psha ! he sent him to the university, and to travel; but, what of that? I was abroad and at the university myself, and never a rush the better for either. I quarrelled with his lordship about six years before his death, and so had not an opportunity of seeing how the youth went on; if I had, master Jenkins, I would no more have suffered him to be made such a monkey of He has been in my house but three days, and it is all turned topsey-turvey by him and his servants—then his chamber is like a perfumer's shop, with wash-balls, pastes, and pomatum—and do you know he had the impudence to tell me yesterday at my own table, that I did not know how to behave myself. Jen. Pray, Colonel, how does my Lady Mary?

Col. What, my wife? In the old way, master Jenkins; always complaining; ever something the matter with her head, or her back, or her legs, and ever plaguing her husband with jealousies.

Jen. And does her husband give her no reason for it? But, Colonel, I must take my leave; I have delivered my message, and Sir John may expect the pleasure of your company to dinner?

Col. Ay, ay, we'll comeno ceremony among friends. But won't you stay to see my son; I have sent to him, and suppose he will be here as soon as his valetde-chambre will give him leave.

Jen. There is no occasion, good sir: present my humble respects, that's all.

Col. Well, but, Jenkins, you must not go till you drink something let you and I have a bottle of hock

Jen. Not for the world, Colonel ; I never touch any. thing strong in the morning.

Col. Never touch any thing strong! Why, one bottle won't hurt you, man—this is old, and as mild as milk.

Jen. Well, but, Colonel, pray excuse me. Health is amongst the first of blessings, and that is to be hoped for only by temperance.


"To tell you the truth,
In the days of my youth,

Heedless of what I did,
I drank and sung
6 As the table rung,

And did us younkers bid.

[ocr errors]

But, now I am old,
I am grown more bold,

And all those freaks forbear,
And oft regret
At nought I set

Examples now held dear. * Exit. Enter Jessamy, and Lady MARY OLDBOY. Lady M. Shut the door, why don't you shut the door there? Have you a mind I should catch my

death? This house is absolutely the cave of Æolus ; one had as good live on the Edystone,+ or in a wind-mill.

Jes. I thought they told your ladyship that there was a messenger here from Sir John Flowerdale?

Col. Well, sir, and so there was; but he had not patience to wait upon your curling-irons. Mr. Jenkins was here, Sir John Flowerdale’s steward, who has lived in the family these forty years.

Jes. And pray, Sir, might not Sir John Flowerdale have come himself? If he had been acquainted with the rules of good breeding, he would have known that I ought to have been visited.

Lady M. Upon my word, Colonel, this is a solecism.

Col. It's none, my lady. Sir John Flowerdale came but last night from his sister's seat in the West, and is a little out of order. But I suppose he thinks he ought to appear before him with his daughter in one hand, and his rent-roll in the other, and cry, Sir, pray do me the favour to accept them.

* Io my Song Book with music, p.24, and in my Collection of Songs in 3 vols. 12mo. Vol. I. p. 133, will be found a song, beginning " My good father died all the age of four score," which mighi be introduced by Jenkins in this place.

+ The Edystone rocks, off the coast of Devonshire and Cornwall, which are supposed to have got this appellation from the great variety of contrary sets of the current among them, hoih upon the tide of dood and the tide of ebb. They are vearly fourteru miles souttie south-west from the port of Plymouth, and on them is situated that very wonderful piece of architecture the Edystone Light-house, built by Sweatop.

Lady M. Nay, but, Mr. Oldboy, permit me to say

Col. He need not give himself so many affected airs; I think its very well if he gets such a girl for going for i she's one of the handsomest and richest in this country, and more than he deserves.

Jes. That's an exceeding fine china jar your ladyship has got in the next room ; I saw the fellow of it the other day at Williams's, and will send to my agent to purchase it: it is the true matchless old blue and white. Lady Betty Barebones has a couple that she gave an hundred guineas for, on board an Indiaman; but she reckons them at a hundred and twenty-five, on account of half a dozen plates, four Nankin beakers, and a couple of shaking mandarins, that the custom-house officers took from under her cloak.

Col. Did you ever hear the like of this ! He's chattere ing about old china, while I am talking to him of a fine girl. I tell you what, Mr. Jessamy, (since that's the name you choose to be called by) I have a good mind to knock


down. Jes. Knock me down, Colonel! What do you mean? I must tell you, Sir, this is a language to which I have not been accustomed; and, if you


to continue to repeat it, I shall be under a necessity of quitting

Col. Quitting my house?
Jes. Yes, Sir, incontinently.

Col. Why, Sir, am not I your father, Sir ? and have I not a right to talk to you as I like? I will, sirrah.

Jes. Huh! huh! huh!
Col. Do you laugh at me, you saucy jackanapes !

Lady M. Who's there?—somebody bring me a chair. Really, Mr. Oldboy, you throw my weakly frame into such repeated convulsions—but I see your aim; you want to lay me in my grave, and you will very soon have that satisfaction.

Col. I can't bear the sight of him.

Lady M. Open that window, give me air, or I shall faipt.

Jes. Hold, hold, let me tie a handkerchief about my

your house.

« PreviousContinue »