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Mrs. Deh. You were to have been aiding and assisting them in their escape, and have been the gobetween, it seems, the letter-carrier 1 soa
Hodge. Who, me, madam!
Mrs. Deb. Yes, you, sirrah.
Hodge. Miss Lucinda, did I ever carry a letter for you? I'll make my affidavy before his worship—
Mrs. Deb. Go, go, you are a villain, hold your tongue.
Luc. I own, aunt, I have been very faulty in this affair; I don't pretend to excuse myself; but we are all subject to frailties; consider that, and judge of me by yourself; you were once young, and inexperi1 as I:
If ever a find inclination
Rose in your hosom to rob you of rest,
On the soft pangs, which prevail'd in my breast.
Can you deny me thus torn and distrest?
Wou'd 1, how cou'd I, refuse his:
Looh on me sighing, crying, dying;
If I have been too complying,
Mrs. Deb. This is mighty pretty romantic stuffl but you learn it out of your play-books and novels. Girls in my time had other employments, we worked at our needles, and kept ourselves from idle thoughts: before I was yoiir age, I had finished with my own fingers a complete set of chairs, and a fire-screen in tent stitch; four counterpanes in Marseilles quilting; and the creed and the ten commandments, in the hair of our family: it was fram'd and glaz'd, and hung over the parlour chimney-piece, and your poor dear grandfather was prouder of it than of e'er a picture in his house. I never looked into a book, but when I said my prayers, except it was the Complete Housewife, or the great family receipt-book: whereas you are always at your studies! Ah, I never knew a woman come to good, that was fond of reading.
Luc. Well, pray, madam, let me prevail on you to give me the key to let Mr. Eustace out, and I promise, I never will proceed a step farther in this business, without your advice and approbation.
Mrs. Deb. Have not I told you already my resolution i—Where are my clogs and my bonnet? I'll go out to my brother in the fields; I'm a fool, you know, child, now let's see what the wits will think of themselves—Don't hold me— .,: \\ 251
Luc. I'm not going;—I have thought of a way to be even with you, so you may do as you please.
Well, I thought it would come to this, I'll be shot if I didn't—So here's a fine job—But what can they do to me—They can't send me to jail for carrying a letter, seeing there was no treason in it; and how was I obligated to know my master did not allow of their meetings:—The worst they can do, is to turn me off, and I am sure the place is no such great purchase— indeed, I should be sorry to leave Mrs. Rossetta, seeing as how matters are so near being brought to an end betwixt us; but she and I may keep company all as one; and I find Madge has been speaking with Gaffer Broadwheels, the waggoner, about her carriage up to London: so that I have got rid of she, and I am sure I have reason to be main glad of it, for she led me a wearisome life—But that's the way of them all. i • •■• s«»
A plague on those wenches, they mahe such a pother, '> s When once they have let'n a man have his will; - They're always a whining far something or otherr And cry he's unhind in his carriage. What tho'fhe speahs them ne'er so fairly, SHU they heep teazing, teazing on:
You cannot persuade 'em
They lellyou add rot it,
Their character's blasted, they're ruin'd, undone:
Enter Young Meadows.
Y. Mea. I am glad I had the precaution to bring this suit of clothes in my bundle, though 1 hardly know myself in them again, they appear so strange, and feel so unweildy. However, my gardener's jacket goes on no more.—I wonder this girl does not Come [loohing at his watch]: perhaps she won't come Why then I'll go into the village, take a postchaise and depart without any farther ceremony.
How much superior beauty awes, . . . ..
The coldest bosoms find J
The cashet, where, to outward shew,
The worhman's art is seen, e9o
Hark! she comes.
Enter Sir William Meadows and Hawthorn.
Y. Mea. Confusion! my father! What can this mean?
Sir Will. Tom, are not you a sad boy, Tom, to bring me a hundred and forty miles here—May I never do an ill turn, but you deserve to have your head broke; and I have a good mind, partly—What, sirrah, don't you think it worth your while to speak to me? 301
Y. Mea. Forgive me, Sir; I own I have been in a fault.
Sir Will. In a fault! to run away from me because I was going to do you good—May I never do an ill turn, Mr. Hawthorn, if I did not pick out as fine a girl for him, partly, as any in England? and the rascal run away from me, and came here and turn'd gardener. And pray what did you propose to yourself, Tom? I know you were always fond of Botany,