Part 4 out of 10
"Yes," said Laura, smiling; "she whispered so loud that I could not help
hearing her too. She said I was a little miser."
"But did not you hear her say that I was very GENEROUS? and she'll see
that she was not mistaken. I hope she'll be by when I give my basket to
Bell--won't it be beautiful? There is to be a wreath of myrtle, you
know, round the handle, and a frost ground, and then the medallions--"
"Stay," interrupted her sister, for Rosamond, anticipating the glories of
her work-basket, talked and walked so fast that she had passed, without
perceiving it, the shop where the filigree-paper was to be bought. They
turned back. Now it happened that the shop was the corner house of a
street, and one of the windows looked out into a narrow lane. A coach
full of ladies stopped at the door, just before they went in, so that no
one had time immediately to think of Rosamond and her filigree-paper, and
she went to the window where she saw her sister Laura looking earnestly
at something that was passing in the lane.
Opposite to the window, at the door of a poor-looking house, there was
sitting a little girl weaving lace. Her bobbins moved as quick as
lightning, and she never once looked up from her work. "Is not she very
industrious?" said Laura; "and very honest, too?" added she in a minute
afterwards; for just then a baker with a basket of rolls on his head
passed, and by accident one of the rolls fell close to the little girl.
She took it up eagerly, looked at it as if she was very hungry, then put
aside her work, and ran after the baker to return it to him. Whilst she
was gone, a footman in a livery, laced with silver, who belonged to the
coach that stood at the shop door, as he was lounging with one of his
companions, chanced to spy the weaving pillow, which she had left upon a
stone before the door. To divert himself (for idle people do mischief
often to divert themselves) he took up the pillow, and entangled all the
bobbins. The little girl came back out of breath to her work; but what
was her surprise and sorrow to find it spoiled. She twisted and
untwisted, placed and replaced, the bobbins, while the footman stood
laughing at her distress. She got up gently, and was retiring into the
house, when the silver laced footman stopped her, saying, insolently,
"Sit still, child."
"I must go to my mother, sir," said the child; "besides, you have spoiled
all my lace. I can't stay."
"Can't you?" said the brutal footman, snatching her weaving-pillow again,
"I'll teach you to complain of me." And he broke off, one after another,
all the bobbins, put them into his pocket, rolled her weaving-pillow down
the dirty lane, then jumped up behind his mistress' coach, and was out of
sight in an instant.
"Poor girl!" exclaimed Rosamond, no longer able to restrain her
indignation at this injustice; "poor little girl!"
At this instant her mother said to Rosamond--"Come, now, my dear, if you
want this filigree paper, buy it."
"Yes, madam," said Rosamond; and the idea of what her godmother and her
cousin Bell would think of her generosity rushed again upon her
imagination. All her feelings of pity were immediately suppressed.
Satisfied with bestowing another exclamation upon the "Poor little girl!"
she went to spend her half-guinea upon her filigree basket. In the
meantime, she that was called the "little miser" beckoned to the poor
girl, and, opening the window, said, pointing to the cushion, "Is it
"Quite! quite spoiled! and I can't, nor mother neither, buy another; and
I can't do anything else for my bread." A few, but very few, tears fell
as she said this.
"How much would another cost?" said Laura.
"Oh, a great--GREAT deal."
"More than that?" said Laura, holding up her half-guinea.
"Then you can buy another with that," said Laura, dropping the half-
guinea into her hand; and she shut the window before the child could find
words to thank her, but not before she saw a look of joy and gratitude,
which gave Laura more pleasure probably than all the praise which could
have been bestowed upon her generosity.
Late on the morning of her cousin's birthday, Rosamond finished her work-
basket. The carriage was at the door--Laura came running to call her;
her father's voice was heard at the same instant; so she was obliged to
go down with her basket but half wrapped up in silver paper--a
circumstance at which she was a good deal disconcerted; for the pleasure
of surprising Bell would be utterly lost if one bit of the filigree
should peep out before the proper time. As the carriage went on,
Rosamond pulled the paper to one side and to the other, and by each of
the four corners.
"It will never do, my dear," said her father, who had been watching her
operations. "I am afraid you will never make a sheet of paper cover a
box which is twice as large as itself."
"It is not a box, father," said Rosamond, a little peevishly; "it's a
"Let us look at this basket," said he, taking it out of her unwilling
hands, for she knew of what frail materials it was made, and she dreaded
its coming to pieces under her father's examination. He took hold of the
handle rather roughly; when, starting off the coach seat, she cried, "Oh,
sir! father! sir! you will spoil it indeed!" said she, with increased
vehemence, when, after drawing aside the veil of silver paper, she saw
him grasp the myrtle wreathed handle. "Indeed, sir, you will spoil the
"But what is the use of THE POOR HANDLE," said her father, "if we are not
to take hold of it? And pray," continued he, turning the basket round
with his finger and thumb, rather in a disrespectful manner, "pray, is
this the thing you have been about all this week? I have seen you all
this week dabbling with paste and rags; I could not conceive what you
were about. Is this the thing?"
"Yes, sir. You think, then, that I have wasted my time, because the
basket is of no use; but then it is a present for my Cousin Bell."
"Your Cousin Bell will be very much obliged to you for a present that is
of no use. You had better have given her the purple jar."
"Oh, father! I thought you had forgotten that--it was two years ago; I'm
not so silly now. But Bell will like the basket, I know, though it is of
"Then you think Bell is sillier now than you were two years ago,--well,
perhaps that is true; but how comes it, Rosamond, now that you are so
wise, that you are fond of such a silly person?"
"_I_, father?" said Rosamond, hesitating, "I don't think I am VERY fond
"I did not say VERY fond."
"Well, but I don't think I am at all fond of her."
"But you have spent a whole week in making this thing for her."
"Yes, and all my half guinea besides."
"Yet you think her silly, and you are not fond of her at all; and you say
you know this thing will be of no use to her."
"But it is her birthday, sir; and I am sure she will EXPECT something,
and everybody else will give her something."
"Then your reason for giving is because she expects you to give her
something. And will you, or can you, or should you, always give, merely
because others EXPECT, or because somebody else gives?"
"Always?--no, not always."
"Oh, only on birthdays."
Rosamond, laughing: "Now you are making a joke of me, papa, I see; but I
thought you liked that people should be generous,--my godmother said that
"So do I, full as well as your godmother; but we have not yet quite
settled what it is to be generous."
"Why is it not generous to make presents?" said Rosamond.
"That is the question which it would take up a great deal of time to
answer. But, for instance, to make a present of a thing that you know
can be of no use to a person you neither love nor esteem, because it is
her birthday, and because everybody gives her something, and because she
expects something, and because your godmother says she likes that people
should be generous, seems to me, my dear Rosamond, to be, since I must
say it, rather more like folly than generosity."
Rosamond looked down upon the basket, and was silent. "Then I am a fool,
am I?" said she looking up at last.
"Because you have made ONE mistake? No. If you have sense enough to see
your own mistakes, and can afterwards avoid them, you will never be a
Here the carriage stopped, and Rosamond recollected that the basket was
Now we must observe, that Rosamond's father had not been too severe upon
Bell when he called her a silly girl. From her infancy she had been
humoured; and at eight years old she had the misfortune to be a spoiled
child. She was idle, fretful, and selfish; so that nothing could make
her happy. On her birthday she expected, however, to be perfectly happy.
Everybody in the house tried to please her, and they succeeded so well,
that between breakfast and dinner she had only six fits of crying. The
cause of five of these fits no one could discover: but the last, and
most lamentable, was occasioned by a disappointment about a worked muslin
frock; and accordingly, at dressing time, her maid brought it to her,
exclaiming, "See here, miss, what your mamma has sent you on your
birthday. Here's a frock fit for a queen--if it had but lace round the
"And why has not it lace around the cuffs? mamma said it should."
"Yes, but mistress was disappointed about the lace; it is not come home."
"Not come home, indeed! and didn't they know it was my birthday? But
then I say I won't wear it without the lace--I can't wear it without the
lace, and I won't."
The lace, however, could not be had; and Bell at length submitted to let
the frock be put on.
"Come, Miss Bell, dry your eyes," said the maid who educated her; "dry
your eyes, and I'll tell you something that will please you."
"What, then?" said the child, pouting and sobbing.
"Why--but you must not tell that I told you."
"No,--but if I am asked?"
"Why, if you are asked, you must tell the truth, to be sure. So I'll
hold my tongue, miss."
"Nay, tell me, though, and I'll never tell--if I AM asked."
"Well, then," said the maid, "your cousin Rosamond is come, and has
brought you the most BEAUTIFULLEST thing you ever saw in your life; but
you are not to know anything about it till after dinner, because she
wants to surprise you; and mistress has put it into her wardrobe till
"Till after dinner!" repeated Bell, impatiently; "I can't wait till then;
I must see it this minute." The maid refused her several times, till
Bell burst into another fit of crying, and the maid, fearing that her
mistress would be angry with HER, if Bell's eyes were red at dinner time,
consented to show her the basket.
"How pretty!--but let me have it in my own hands," said Bell, as the maid
held the basket up out of her reach.
"Oh, no, you must not touch it; for if you should spoil it, what would
become of me?"
"Become of you, indeed!" exclaimed the spoiled child, who never
considered anything but her own immediate gratification--"Become of YOU,
indeed! what signifies that--I sha'n't spoil it; and I will have it in my
own hands. If you don't hold it down for me directly, I'll tell that you
showed it to me."
"Then you won't snatch it?"
"No, no, I won't indeed," said Bell; but she had learned from her maid a
total disregard of truth. She snatched the basket the moment it was
within her reach. A struggle ensued, in which the handle and lid were
torn off, and one of the medallions crushed inwards, before the little
fury returned to her senses.
Calmed at this sight, the next question was, how she should conceal the
mischief which she had done. After many attempts, the handle and lid
were replaced; the basket was put exactly in the same spot in which it
had stood before, and the maid charged the child, "TO LOOK AS IF NOTHING
WAS THE MATTER."
We hope that both children and parents will here pause for a moment to
reflect. The habits of tyranny, meanness, and falsehood, which children
acquire from living with bad servants, are scarcely ever conquered in the
whole course of their future lives.
After shutting up the basket they left the room, and in the adjoining
passage they found a poor girl waiting with a small parcel in her hand.
"What's your business?" said the maid.
"I have brought home the lace, madam, that was bespoke for the young
"Oh, you have, have you, at last?" said Bell; "and pray why didn't you
bring it sooner?" The girl was going to answer, but the maid interrupted
her, saying--"Come, come, none of your excuses; you are a little idle,
good-for-nothing thing, to disappoint Miss Bell upon her birthday. But
now you have brought it, let us look at it!"
The little girl gave the lace without reply, and the maid desired her to
go about her business, and not to expect to be paid; for that her
mistress could not see anybody, BECAUSE she was in a room full of
"May I call again, madam, this afternoon?" said the child, timidly.
"Lord bless my stars!" replied the maid, "what makes people so poor, I
WONDERS! I wish mistress would buy her lace at the warehouse, as I told
her, and not of these folks. Call again! yes, to be sure. I believe
you'd call, call, call twenty times for twopence."
However ungraciously the permission to call again was granted, it was
received with gratitude. The little girl departed with a cheerful
countenance; and Bell teazed her maid till she got her to sew the long
wished-for lace upon her cuffs.
Unfortunate Bell!--All dinner time passed, and people were so hungry, so
busy, or so stupid, that not an eye observed her favourite piece of
finery. Till at length she was no longer able to conceal her impatience,
and turning to Laura, who sat next to her, she said, "You have no lace
upon your cuffs. Look how beautiful mine is!--is not it? Don't you wish
your mamma could afford to give some like it? But you can't get any if
she would, for this was made on purpose for me on my birthday, and nobody
can get a bit more anywhere, if they would give the world for it."
"But cannot the person who made it," said Laura, "make any more like it?"
"No, no, no!" cried Bell; for she had already learned, either from her
maid or her mother, the mean pride which values things not for being
really pretty or useful, but for being such as nobody else can procure.
"Nobody can get any like it, I say," repeated Bell; "nobody in all London
can make it but one person, and that person will never make a bit for
anybody but me, I am sure. Mamma won't let her, if I ask her not."
"Very well," said Laura, coolly, "I do not want any of it; you need not
be so violent: I assure you that I don't want any of it."
"Yes, but you do, though," said Bell, more angrily.
"No, indeed," said Laura, smiling.
"You do, in the bottom of your heart; but you say you don't to plague me,
I know," cried Bell, swelling with disappointed vanity. "It is pretty
for all that, and it cost a great deal of money too, and nobody shall
have any like it, if they cried their eyes out."
Laura received this declaration in silence--Rosamond smiled; and at her
smile the ill-suppressed rage of the spoiled child burst forth into the
seventh and loudest fit of crying which had yet been heard on her
"What's the matter, my pet?" cried her mother; "come to me, and tell me
what's the matter." Bell ran roaring to her mother; but no otherwise
explained the cause of her sorrow than by tearing the fine lace with
frantic gestures from her cuffs, and throwing the fragments into her
mother's lap. "Oh! the lace, child!--are you mad?" said her mother,
catching hold of both her hands. "Your beautiful lace, my dear love--do
you know how much it cost?"
"I don't care how much it cost--it is not beautiful, and I'll have none
of it," replied Bell, sobbing; "for it is not beautiful."
"But it is beautiful," retorted her mother; "I chose the pattern myself.
Who has put it into your head, child, to dislike it? Was it Nancy?"
"No, not Nancy, but THEM, mamma," said Bell, pointing to Laura and
"Oh, fie! don't POINT," said her mother, putting down her stubborn
finger; "nor say THEM, like Nancy; I am sure you misunderstood. Miss
Laura, I am sure, did not mean any such thing."
"No, madam; and I did not say any such thing, that I recollect," said
Laura, gently. "Oh, no, indeed!" cried Rosamond, warmly, rising in her
No defence or explanation, however, was to be heard, for everybody had
now gathered round Bell, to dry her tears, and to comfort her for the
mischief she had done to her own cuffs. They succeeded so well, that in
about a quarter of an hour the young lady's eyes, and the reddened arches
over her eyebrows came to their natural colour; and the business being
thus happily hushed up, the mother, as a reward to her daughter for her
good humour, begged that Rosamond would now be so good as to produce her
Rosamond, followed by all the company, amongst whom, to her great joy,
was her godmother, proceeded to the dressing room. "Now I am sure,"
thought she, "Bell will be surprised, and my godmother will see she was
right about my generosity."
The doors of the wardrobe were opened with due ceremony, and the filigree
basket appeared in all its glory. "Well, this is a charming present,
indeed!" said the godmother, who was one of the company; "MY Rosamond
knows how to make presents." And as she spoke, she took hold of the
basket, to lift it down to the admiring audience. Scarcely had she
touched it, when, lo! the basket fell to the ground, and only the handle
remained in her hand. All eyes were fixed upon the wreck. Exclamations
of sorrow were heard in various tones; and "Who can have done this?" was
all that Rosamond could say. Bell stood in sullen silence, which she
obstinately preserved in the midst of the inquiries that were made about
At length the servants were summoned, and amongst them, Nancy, Miss
Bell's maid and governess. She affected much surprise when she saw what
had befallen the basket, and declared that she knew nothing of the
matter, but that she had seen her mistress in the morning put it quite
safe into the wardrobe; and that, for her part, she had never touched it,
or thought of touching it, in her born days. "Nor Miss Bell, neither,
ma'am,--I can answer for her; for she never knew of its being there,
because I never so much as mentioned it to her, that there was such a
thing in the house, because I knew Miss Rosamond wanted to surprise her
with the secret; so I never mentioned a sentence of it--did I, Miss
Bell, putting on the deceitful look which her maid had taught her,
answered boldly, "NO;" but she had hold of Rosamond's hand, and at the
instant she uttered this falsehood she squeezed it terribly. "Why do you
squeeze my hand so?" said Rosamond, in a low voice; "what are you afraid
"Afraid of!" cried Bell, turning angrily; "I'm not afraid of anything,--
I've nothing to be afraid about."
"Nay, I did not say you had," whispered Rosamond; "but only if you did by
accident--you know what I mean--I should not be angry if you did--only
"I say I did not!" cried Bell, furiously; "Mamma, mamma! Nancy! my
cousin Rosamond won't believe me! That's very hard. It's very rude, and
I won't bear it--I won't."
"Don't be angry, love. Don't," said the maid.
"Nobody suspects you, darling," said her mother; "but she has too much
sensibility. Don't cry, love; nobody suspected you. But you know,"
continued she, turning to the maid, "somebody must have done this, and I
must know how it was done. Miss Rosamond's charming present must not be
spoiled in this way, in my house, without my taking proper notice of it.
I assure you I am very angry about it, Rosamond."
Rosamond did not rejoice in her anger, and had nearly made a sad mistake
by speaking aloud her thoughts--"I WAS VERY FOOLISH--" she began and
"Ma'am," cried the maid, suddenly, "I'll venture to say I know who did
"Who?" said everyone, eagerly. "Who?" said Bell, trembling."
"Why, miss, don't you recollect that little girl with the lace, that we
saw peeping about in the passage? I'm sure she must have done it; for
here she was by herself half an hour or more, and not another creature
has been in mistress' dressing-room, to my certain knowledge, since
morning. Those sort of people have so much curiosity. I'm sure she must
have been meddling with it," added the maid.
"Oh, yes, that's the thing," said the mistress, decidedly. "Well, Miss
Rosamond, for your comfort she shall never come into my house again."
"Oh, that would not comfort me at all," said Rosamond; "besides, we are
not sure that she did it, and if--" A single knock at the door was heard
at this instant. It was the little girl, who came to be paid for her
"Call her in," said the lady of the house; "let us see her directly."
The maid, who was afraid that the girl's innocence would appear if she
were produced, hesitated; but upon her mistress repeating her commands,
she was forced to obey. The girl came in with a look of simplicity; but
when she saw a room full of company she was a little abashed. Rosamond
and Laura looked at her and one another with surprise, for it was the
same little girl whom they had seen weaving lace.
"Is not it she?" whispered Rosamond to her sister.
"Yes, it is; but hush," said Laura, "she does not know us. Don't say a
word, let us hear what she will say."
Laura got behind the rest of the company as she spoke, so that the little
girl could not see her.
"Vastly well!" said Bell's mother; "I am waiting to see how long you will
have the assurance to stand there with that innocent look. Did you ever
see that basket before?"
"Yes, ma'am," said the girl.
"YES, MA'AM!" cried the maid; "and what else do you know about it? You
had better confess it at once, and mistress, perhaps, will say no more
"Yes, do confess it," added Bell, earnestly.
"Confess what, madam?" said the little girl; "I never touched the basket,
"You never TOUCHED it; but you confess," interrupted Bell's mother, "that
you DID SEE it before. And, pray, how came you to see it? You must have
opened my wardrobe."
"No, indeed, ma'am," said the little girl; "but I was waiting in the
passage, ma'am, and this door was partly open; and looking at the maid,
you know, I could not help seeing it."
"Why, how could you see through the doors of my wardrobe?" rejoined the
The maid, frightened, pulled the little girl by the sleeve.
"Answer me," said the lady, "where did you see this basket?" Another
"I saw it, madam, in her hands," looking at the maid; "and--"
"Well, and what became of it afterwards?"
"Ma'am"--hesitating--"miss pulled, and by accident--I believe, I saw,
ma'am--miss, you know what I saw."
"I do not know--I do not know; and if I did, you had no business there;
and mamma won't believe you, I am sure." Everybody else, however, did
believe; and their eyes were fixed upon Bell in a manner which made her
feel rather ashamed.
"What do you all look at me so for? Why do you all look so? And am I to
be put to shame on my birthday?" cried she, bursting into a roar of
passion; "and all for this nasty thing!" added she, pushing away the
remains of the basket, and looking angrily at Rosamond.
"Bell! Bell! O, fie! fie!--Now I am ashamed of you; that's quite rude
to your cousin," said her mother, who was more shocked at her daughter's
want of politeness than at her falsehood. "Take her away, Nancy, till
she has done crying," added she to the maid, who accordingly carried off
Rosamond, during this scene, especially at the moment when her present
was pushed away with such disdain, had been making reflections upon the
nature of true generosity. A smile from her father, who stood by, a
silent spectator of the catastrophe of the filigree basket, gave rise to
these reflections; nor were they entirely dissipated by the condolence of
the rest of the company, nor even by the praises of her godmother, who,
for the purpose of condoling with her, said, "Well, my dear Rosamond, I
admire your generous spirit. You know I prophesied that your half-guinea
would be gone the soonest. Did I not, Laura?" said she, appealing, in a
sarcastic tone, to where she thought Laura was. "Where is Laura? I
don't see her." Laura came forward. "You are too PRUDENT to throw away
your money like your sister. Your half-guinea, I'll answer for it, is
snug in your pocket--Is it not?"
"No, madam," answered she, in a low voice.
But low as the voice of Laura was, the poor little lace-girl heard it;
and now, for the first time, fixing her eyes upon Laura, recollected her
benefactress. "Oh, that's the young lady!" she exclaimed, in a tone of
joyful gratitude, "the good, good young lady, who gave me the half-
guinea, and would not stay to be thanked for it; but I WILL thank her
"The half-guinea, Laura!" said her godmother. "What is all this?"
"I'll tell you, madam, if you please," said the little girl.
It was not in expectation of being praised for it, that Laura had been
generous, and therefore everybody was really touched with the history of
the weaving-pillow; and whilst they praised, felt a certain degree of
respect, which is not always felt by those who pour forth eulogiums.
RESPECT is not an improper word, even applied to a child of Laura's age;
for let the age or situation of the person be what it may, they command
respect who deserve it.
"Ah, madam!" said Rosamond to her godmother, "now you see--you see she is
NOT a little miser. I'm sure that's better than wasting half a guinea
upon a filigree basket; is it not, ma'am?" said she, with an eagerness
which showed that she had forgotten all her own misfortunes in sympathy
with her sister. "This is being REALLY GENEROUS, father, is it not?"
"Yes, Rosamond," said her father, and he kissed her; "this IS being
really generous. It is not only by giving away money that we can show
generosity; it is by giving up to others anything that we like ourselves:
and therefore," added he, smiling, "it is really generous of you to give
your sister the thing you like best of all others."
"The thing I like the best of all others, father," said Rosamond, half
pleased, half vexed. "What is that, I wonder? You don't mean PRAISE, do
"Nay, you must decide that yourself, Rosamond."
"Why, sir," said she, ingenuously, "perhaps it WAS ONCE the thing I liked
best; but the pleasure I have just felt makes me like something else much
[Extracted from the "Courier" of May, 1799.]
"Yesterday this triennial ceremony took place, with which the public are
too well acquainted to require a particular description. A collection,
called Salt, is taken from the public, which forms a purse, to support
the Captain of the School in his studies at Cambridge. This collection
is made by the Scholars, dressed in fancy dresses, all round the country.
"At eleven o'clock, the youths being assembled in their habiliments at
the College, the Royal Family set off from the Castle to see them, and,
after walking round the Courtyard, they proceeded to Salt Hill in the
"His Majesty, his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and the Earl of
"Their Royal Highnesses the Dukes of Kent and Cumberland, Earl Morton,
and General Gwynne, all on horseback, dressed in the Windsor uniform,
except the Prince of Wales, who wore a suit of dark blue, and a brown
"Then followed the Scholars, preceded by the Marechal Serjeant, the
Musicians of the Staffordshire Band, and Mr. Ford, Captain of the
Seminary, the Serjeant Major, Serjeants, Colonels, Corporals, Musicians,
Ensign, Lieutenant, Steward, Salt Bearers, Polemen, and Runners.
"The cavalcade was brought up by her Majesty and her amiable daughters in
two carriages, and a numerous company of equestrians and pedestrians, all
eager to behold their Sovereign and his family. Among the former, Lady
Lade was foremost in the throng; only two others dared venture their
persons on horseback in such a multitude.
"The King and Royal Family were stopped on Eton Bridge by Messrs. Young
and Mansfield, the Salt Bearers, to whom their Majesties delivered their
customary donation of fifty guineas each.
"At Salt Hill, his Majesty, with his usual affability, took upon himself
to arrange the procession round the Royal carriages; and even when the
horses were taken off, with the assistance of the Duke of Kent, fastened
the traces round the pole of the coaches, to prevent any inconvenience.
"An exceeding heavy shower of rain coming on, the Prince took leave, and
went to the 'Windmill Inn,' till it subsided. The King and his
attendants weathered it out in their great-coats.
"After the young gentlemen walked round the carriage, Ensign Vince and
the Salt Bearers proceeded to the summit of the hill; but the wind being
boisterous, he could not exhibit his dexterity in displaying his flag,
and the space being too small before the carriages, from the concourse of
spectators, the King kindly acquiesced in not having it displayed under
"Their Majesties and the Princesses then returned home, the King
occasionally stopping to converse with the Dean of Windsor, the Earl of
Harrington, and other noblemen.
"The Scholars partook of an elegant dinner at the 'Windmill Inn,' and in
the evening walked on Windsor Terrace.
"Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cumberland, after
taking leave of their Majesties, set off for town, and honoured the Opera
House with their presence in the evening.
"The profit arising from the Salt collected, according to account,
amounted to 8OO pounds.
"The Stadtholder, the Duke of Gordon, Lord and Lady Melbourne, Viscount
Brome, and a numerous train of fashionable nobility, were present.
"The following is an account of their dresses, made as usual, very
handsomely, by Mrs. Snow, milliner, of Windsor:--
"Mr. Ford, Captain, with eight Gentlemen to attend him as servitors.
"Mr. Sarjeant, Marechal.
"Mr. Bradith, Colonel.
"Mr. Plumtree, Lieutenant.
"Mr. Vince, Ensign.
"Mr. Young, College Salt Bearer; white and gold dress, rich satin bag,
covered with gold netting.
"Mr. Mansfield, Oppidan, white, purple, and orange dress, trimmed with
silver; rich satin bag, purple and silver: each carrying elegant poles,
with gold and silver cord.
"Mr. Keity, yellow and black velvet; helmet trimmed with silver.
"Mr. Bartelot, plain mantle and sandals, Scotch bonnet, a very Douglas.
"Mr. Knapp, flesh-colour and blue; Spanish hat and feathers.
"Mr. Ripley, rose-colour; helmet.
"Mr. Islip (being in mourning), a scarf; helmet, black velvet; and white
"Mr. Tomkins, violet and silver; helmet.
"Mr. Thackery, lilac and silver; Roman Cap.
"Mr. Drury, mazarin blue; fancy cap.
"Mr. Davis, slate-colour and straw.
"Mr. Routh, pink and silver, Spanish hat.
"Mr. Curtis, purple, fancy cap.
"Mr. Lloyd, blue; ditto.
"At the conclusion of the ceremony the Royal Family returned to Windsor,
and the boys were all sumptuously entertained at the tavern at Salt Hill.
About six in the evening all the boys returned in the order of
procession, and, marching round the great square of Eton, were dismissed.
The captain then paid his respects to the Royal Family, at the Queen's
Lodge, Windsor, previously to his departure for King's College,
Cambridge, to defray which expense the produce of the Montem was
presented to him.
"The day concluded by a brilliant promenade of beauty, rank, and fashion,
on Windsor Terrace, enlivened by the performance of several bands of
"The origin of the procession is from the custom by which the Manor was
"The custom of hunting the Ram belonged to Eton College, as well as the
custom of Salt; but it was discontinued by Dr. Cook, late Dean of Ely.
Now this custom we know to have been entered on the register of the Royal
Abbey of Bec, in Normandy, as one belonging to the Manor of East or Great
Wrotham, in Norfolk, given by Ralph de Toni to the Abbey of Bec, and was
as follows:--When the harvest was finished the tenants were to have half
an acre of barley, and a ram let loose; and if they caught him he was
their own to make merry with; but if he escaped from them he was the
Lord's. The Etonians, in order to secure the ram, houghed him in the
Irish fashion, and then attacked him with great clubs. The cruelty of
this proceeding brought it into disuse, and now it exists no longer.--See
Register of the Royal Abbey of Bec, folio 58.
"After the dissolution of the alien priories, in 1414, by the Parliament
of Leicester, they remained in the Crown till Henry VI., who gave Wrotham
Manor to Eton College; and if the Eton Fellows would search, they would
perhaps find the Manor in their possession, that was held by the custom
Alderman Bursal, Father of young Bursal.
Lord John, )
Wheeler, ) Young Gentlemen of Eton, from 17 to 19 years of age.
Rory O'Ryan )
Mr. Newington, Landlord of the Inn at Salt Hill.
A Waiter and crowd of Eton Lads.
The Marchioness of Piercefield, Mother of Lord John.
Lady Violetta--her Daughter, a Child of six or seven years old.
Lousia Talbot, her Daughter.
Miss Bursal, Daughter to the Alderman.
Mrs. Newington, Landlady of the Inn at Salt Hill.
Sally, a Chambermaid.
Patty, a Country Girl.
Pipe and Tabor, and Dance of Peasants.
The Bar of the "Windmill Inn" at Salt Hill.
MR. and MRS. NEWINGTON, the Landlord and Landlady.
Landlady. 'Tis an unpossibility, Mr. Newington; and that's enough. Say
no more about it; 'tis an unpossibility in the natur of things. (She
ranges jellies, etc., in the Bar.) And pray, do you take your great old
fashioned tankard, Mr. Newington, from among my jellies and
Landlord (takes his tankard and drinks). Anything for a quiet life. If
it is an impossibility, I've no more to say; only, for the soul of me, I
can't see the great unpossibility, wife.
Landlady. Wife, indeed!--wife!--wife! wife every minute.
Landlord. Heyday! Why, what a plague would you have me call you? The
other day you quarrelled with me for calling you Mrs. Landlady.
Landlady. To be sure I did, and very proper in me I should. I've turned
off three waiters and five chambermaids already, for screaming after me
Mrs. Landlady! Mrs. Landlady! But 'tis all your ill manners.
Landlord. Ill manners! Why, if I may be so bold, if you are not Mrs.
Landlady, in the name of wonder what are you?
Landlady. Mrs. Newington, Mr. Newington.
Landlord (drinks). Mrs. Newington, Mr. Newington drinks your health; for
I suppose I must not be landlord any more in my own house (shrugs).
Landlady. Oh, as to that, I have no objections nor impediments to your
being called LANDLORD. You look it, and become it very proper.
Landlord. Why, yes, indeed, thank my tankard, I do look it, and become
it, and am nowise ashamed of it; but everyone to their mind, as you,
wife, don't fancy the being called Mrs. Landlady.
Landlady. To be sure I don't. Why, when folks hear the old fashioned
cry of Mrs. Landlady! Mrs. Landlady! who do they expect, think you, to
see, but an overgrown, fat, featherbed of a woman, coming waddling along
with her thumbs sticking on each side of her apron, o' this fashion?
Now, to see me coming, nobody would take me to be a landlady.
Landlord. Very true, indeed, wife--Mrs. Newington, I mean--I ask pardon;
but now to go on with what we were saying about the unpossibility of
letting that old lady, and the civil-spoken young lady there above, have
them there rooms for another day.
Landlady. Now, Mr. Newington, let me hear no more about that old
gentlewoman, and that civil-spoken young lady. Fair words cost nothing;
and I've a notion that's the cause they are so plenty with the young
lady. Neither o' them, I take it, by what they've ordered since their
coming into the house, are such grand folk, that one need be so
petticular about them.
Landlord. Why, they came only in a chaise and pair, to be sure; I can't
Landlady. But, bless my stars! what signifies talking? Don't you know,
as well as I do, Mr. Newington, that to-morrow is Eton Montem, and that
if we had twenty times as many rooms and as many more to the back of
them, it would not be one too many for all the company we've a right to
expect, and those the highest quality of the land? Nay, what do I talk
of to-morrow? isn't my Lady Piercefield and suite expected? and,
moreover, Mr. and Miss Bursal's to be here, and will call for as much in
an hour as your civil-spoken young lady in a twelvemonth, I reckon. So,
Mr. Newington, if you don't think proper to go up and inform the ladies
above, that the Dolphin rooms are not for them, I must SPEAK myself,
though 'tis a thing I never do when I can help it.
Landlord (aside). She not like to speak! (Aloud.) My dear, you can
speak a power better than I can; so take it all upon yourself, if you
please; for, old-fashioned as I and my tankard here be, I can't make a
speech that borders on the uncivil order, to a lady like, for the life
and lungs of me. So, in the name of goodness, do you go up, Mrs.
Landlady. And so I will, Mr. Newington. Help ye! Civilities and
rarities are out o' season for them that can't pay for them in this
world; and very proper. [Exit Landlady.]
Landlord. And very proper! Ha! who comes yonder? The Eton chap who
wheedled me into lending him my best hunter last year, and was the
ruination of him; but that must be paid for, wheedle or no wheedle; and,
for the matter of wheedling, I'd stake this here Mr. Wheeler, that is
making up to me, do you see, against e'er a boy, or hobbledehoy, in all
Eton, London, or Christendom, let the other be who he will.
Wheeler. A fine day, Mr. Newington.
Landlord. A fine day, Mr. Wheeler.
Wheel. And I hope, for YOUR sake, we may have as fine a day for the
Montem to-morrow. It will be a pretty penny in your pocket! Why, all
the world will be here; and (looking round at the jellies, etc.) so much
the better for them; for here are good things enough, and enough for
them. And here's the best thing of all, the good old tankard still; not
empty, I hope.
Landlord. Not empty, I hope. Here's to you, Mr. Wheeler.
Wheel. Mr. Wheeler!--CAPTAIN Wheeler, if you please.
Landlord. YOU, Captain Wheeler! Why, I thought in former times it was
always the oldest scholar at Eton that was Captain at the Montems; and
didn't Mr. Talbot come afore you?
Wheel. Not at all; we came on the same day. Some say I came first; some
say Talbot. So the choice of which of us is to be captain is to be put
to the vote amongst the lads--most votes carry it; and I have most votes,
I fancy; so I shall be captain, to-morrow, and a pretty deal of salt* I
reckon I shall pocket. Why, the collection at the last Montem, they say,
came to a plump thousand! No bad thing for a young fellow to set out
with for Oxford or Cambridge--hey?
*Salt, the cant name given by the Eton lads to the money collected at
Landlord. And no bad thing, before he sets out for Cambridge or Oxford,
'twould be for a young gentleman to pay his debts.
Wheel. Debts! Oh, time enough for that. I've a little account with you
in horses, I know; but that's between you and me, you know--mum.
Landlord. Mum me no mums, Mr. Wheeler. Between you and me, my best
hunter has been ruinationed; and I can't afford to be mum. So you'll
take no offence if I speak; and as you'll set off to-morrow, as soon as
the Montem's over, you'll be pleased to settle with me some way or other
to-day, as we've no other time.
Wheel. No time so proper, certainly. Where's the little account?--I
have money sent me for my Montem dress, and I can squeeze that much out
of it. I came home from Eton on purpose to settle with you. But as to
the hunter, you must call upon Talbot--do you understand? to pay for him;
for though Talbot and I had him the same day, 'twas Talbot did for him,
and Talbot must pay. I spoke to him about it, and charged him to
remember you; for I never forget to speak a good word for my friends.
Landlord. So I perceive.
Wheel. I'll make bold just to give you my opinion of these jellies
whilst you are getting my account, Mr. Newington.
(He swallows down a jelly or two--Landlord is going.)
Talbot. Hallo, Landlord! where are making off so fast? Here, your
jellies are all going as fast as yourself.
Wheel. (aside). Talbot!--I wish I was a hundred miles off.
Landlord. You are heartily welcome, Mr. Talbot. A good morning to you,
sir; I'm glad to see you--very glad to see you, Mr. Talbot.
Talb. Then shake hands, my honest landlord.
(Talbot, in shaking hands with him, puts a purse into the landlord's
Landlord. What's here? Guineas?
Talb. The hunter, you know; since Wheeler won't pay, I must--that's all.
Wheel. (aside). What a fool!
(Landlord, as Talbot is going, catches hold of his coat.)
Landlord. Hold, Mr. Talbot, this won't do!
Talb. Won't it? Well, then, my watch must go.
Landlord. Nay, nay! but you are in such a hurry to pay--you won't hear a
man. Half this is enough for your share o' the mischief, in all
conscience. Mr. Wheeler, there, had the horse on the same day.
Wheel. But Bursal's my witness--
Talb. Oh, say no more about witnesses; a man's conscience is always his
best witness, or his worst. Landlord, take your money, and no more
Wheel. This is very genteel of you, Talbot. I always thought you would
do the genteel thing as I knew you to be so generous and considerate.
Talb. Don't waste your fine speeches, Wheeler, I advise you, this
election time. Keep them for Bursal or Lord John, or some of those who
like them. They won't go down with me. Good morning to you. I give you
notice, I'm going back to Eton as fast as I can gallop; and who knows
what plain speaking may do with the Eton lads? I may be captain yet,
Wheeler. Have a care! Is my horse ready there?
Landlord. Mr. Talbot's horse, there! Mr. Talbot's horse, I say.
"He carries weight--he rides a race--
'Tis for a thousand pound!" (Exit Talbot.)
Wheel. And, dear me! I shall be left behind. A horse for me, pray; a
horse for Mr. Wheeler! (Exit Wheeler.)
Landlord (calls very loud). Mr. Talbot's horse! Hang the hostler! I'll
saddle him myself. (Exit Landlord.)
A Dining room in the Inn at Salt Hill.
MRS. TALBOT and LOUISA.
Louisa (laughing). With what an air Mrs. Landlady made her exit!
Mrs. Talbot. When I was young, they say, I was proud; but I am humble
enough now: these petty mortifications do not vex me.
Louisa. It is well my brother was gone before Mrs. Landlady made her
entree; for if he had heard her rude speech, he would at least have given
her the retort courteous.
Mrs. Talb. Now tell me honestly, my Louisa--You were, a few days ago, at
Bursal House. Since you have left it and have felt something of the
difference that is made in this world between splendour and no splendour,
you have never regretted that you did not stay there, and that you did
not bear more patiently with Miss Bursal's little airs?
Louisa. Never for a moment. At first Miss Bursal paid me a vast deal of
attention; but, for what reason I know not, she suddenly changed her
manner, grew first strangely cold, then condescendingly familiar, and at
last downright rude. I could not guess the cause of these variations.
Mrs. Talb. (aside) I guess the cause too well.
Louisa. But as I perceived the lady was out of tune, I was in haste to
leave her. I should make a very bad, and, I am sure, a miserable toad
eater. I had much rather, if I were obliged to choose, earn my own
bread, than live as toad eater with anybody.
Mrs. Talb. Fine talking, dear Louisa!
Louisa. Don't you believe me to be in earnest, mother! To be sure, you
cannot know what I would do, unless I were put to the trial.
Mrs. Talb. Nor you either, my dear. (She sighs, and is silent.)
Louisa (takes her mother's hand). What is the matter, dear mother? You
used to say, that seeing my brother always made you feel ten years
younger; yet even while he was here, you had, in spite of all your
efforts to conceal them, those sudden fits of sadness.
Mrs. Talb. The Montem--is not it to-morrow? Ay, but my boy is not sure
of being captain.
Louisa. No; there is one Wheeler, who, as he says, is most likely to be
chosen captain. He has taken prodigious pains to flatter and win over
many to his interest. My brother does not so much care about it; he is
Mrs. Talb. I love your generous spirit and his! but, alas! my dear,
people may live to want, and wish for money, without being avaricious. I
would not say a word to Talbot; full of spirits as he was this morning, I
would not say a word to him, till after the Montem, of what has happened.
Louisa. And what has happened, dear mother? Sit down,--you tremble.
Mrs. Talb. (sits down and puts a letter into Louisa's hand.) Read that,
love. A messenger brought me that from town a few hours ago.
Louisa (reads). "By an express from Portsmouth, we hear the Bombay
Castle East Indiaman is lost, with all your fortune on board." ALL! I
hope there is something left for you to live upon.
Mrs. Talb. About 15O pounds a year for us all.
Louisa. That is enough, is it not, for YOU?
Mrs. Talb. For me, love? I am an old woman, and want but little in this
world, and shall be soon out of it.
Louisa (kneels down beside her). Do not speak so, dearest mother.
Mrs. Talb. Enough for me, love! Yes, enough, and too much for me. I am
not thinking of myself.
Louisa. Then, as to my brother, he has such abilities, and such
industry, he will make a fortune at the bar for himself, most certainly.
Mrs. Talb. But his education is not completed. How shall we provide him
with money at Cambridge?
Louisa. This Montem. The last time the captain had eight hundred, the
time before a thousand, pounds. Oh, I hope--I fear! Now, indeed, I know
that, without being avaricious, we may want, and wish for money.
(Landlady's voice heard behind the scenes.)
Landlady. Waiter!--Miss Bursal's curricle, and Mr. Bursal's vis-a-vis.
Run! see that the Dolphin's empty. I say run!--run!
Mrs. Talb. I will rest for a few moments upon the sofa, in this
bedchamber, before we set off.
Louisa (goes to open the door). They have bolted or locked it. How
unlucky! (She turns the key, and tries to unlock the door.)
Waiter. Ladies, I'm sorry--Miss Bursal and Mr. Bursal are come--just
Mrs. Talb. Then, will you be so good, sir, as to unlock this door?
(Waiter tries to unlock the door.)
Waiter. It must be bolted on the inside. Chambermaid! Sally! Are you
within there? Unbolt this door.
Mr. Bursal's voice behind the scenes.
Mr. Burs. Let me have a basin of good soup directly.
Waiter. I'll go round and have the door unbolted immediately, ladies.
Enter MISS BURSAL, in a riding dress, and with a long whip.
Miss Bursal. Those creatures, the ponies, have a'most pulled my 'and
off. Who 'ave we 'ere? Ha! Mrs. Talbot! Louisa, 'ow are ye? I'm so
vastly glad to see you; but I'm so shocked to 'ear of the loss of the
Bombay Castle. Mrs. Talbot, you look but poorly; but this Montem will
put everybody in spirits. I 'ear everybody's to be 'ere; and my brother
tells me, 'twill be the finest ever seen at HEton. Louisa, my dear, I'm
sorry I've not a seat for you in my curricle for to-morrow; but I've
promised Lady Betty; so, you know, 'tis impossible for me.
Louisa. Certainly; and it would be impossible for me to leave my mother
Chambermaid (opens the bedchamber door). The room's ready now, ladies.
Mrs. Talb. Miss Bursal, we intrude upon you no longer.
Miss Burs. Nay, why do you decamp, Mrs. Talbot? I 'ad a thousand things
to say to you, Louisa; but am so tired and so annoyed--
(Seats herself. Exeunt Mrs. Talbot, Louisa and Chambermaid.)
Enter MR. BURSAL, with a basin of soup in his hand.
Mr. Burs. Well, thank my stars the Airly Castle is safe in the Downs.
Miss Burs. Mr. Bursal, can you inform me why Joe, my groom, does not
make his appearance?
Mr. Burs. (eating and speaking). Yes, that I can, child; because he is
with his 'orses, where he ought to be. 'Tis fit they should be looked
after well; for they cost me a pretty penny--more than their heads are
worth, and yours into the bargain; but I was resolved, as we were to come
to this Montem, to come in style.
Miss Burs. In style, to be sure; for all the world's to be here--the
King, the Prince of WHales, and Duke o' York, and all the first people;
and we shall cut a dash! Dash! dash! will be the word to-morrow!--
(playing with her whip).
Mr. Burs. (aside). Dash! dash! ay, just like her brother. He'll pay
away finely, I warrant, by the time he's her age. Well, well, he can
afford it; and I do love to see my children make a figure for their
money. As Jack Bursal says, what's money for, if it e'nt to make a
figure. (Aloud). There's your, brother Jack, now. The extravagant dog!
he'll have such a dress as never was seen, I suppose, at this here
Montem. Why, now, Jack Bursal spends more money at Eton, and has more to
spend, than my Lord John, though my Lord John's the son of a marchioness.
Miss Burs. Oh, that makes no difference nowadays. I wonder whether her
ladyship is to be at this Montem. The only good I ever got out of these
stupid Talbots was an introduction to their friend Lady Piercefield.
What she could find to like in the Talbots, heaven knows. I've a notion
she'll drop them, when she hears of the loss of the Bombay Castle.
Enter a WAITER, with a note.
Waiter. A note from my Lady Piercefield, sir.
Miss B. Charming woman! Is she here, pray, sir?
Waiter. Just come. Yes, ma'am. (Exit Waiter.)
Miss B. Well, Mr. Bursal, what is it?
Mr. B. (reads). "Business of importance to communicate--" Hum! what can
Miss B. (aside). Perhaps some match to propose for me! (Aloud). Mr.
Bursal, pray before you go to her ladyship, do send my OOMAN to me to
make me presentable. (Exit Miss Bursal at one door.)
Mr. B. (at the opposite door). "Business of importance!" Hum! I'm glad
I'm prepared with a good basin of soup. There's no doing business well
upon an empty stomach. Perhaps the business is to lend cash; and I've no
great stomach for that. But it will be an honour, to be sure.
LANDLADY--MR. FINSBURY, a man-milliner, with bandboxes--a fancy cap, or
helmet, with feathers, in the Landlady's hand--a satin bag, covered with
gold netting, in the man-milliner's hand--a mantle hanging over his arm.
A rough looking Farmer is sitting with his back towards them, eating
bread and cheese, and reading a newspaper.
Landlady. Well, this, to be sure, will be the best dressed Montem that
ever was seen at Eton; and you Lon'on gentlemen have the most
fashionablest notions; and this is the most elegantest fancy cap--
Finsbury. Why, as you observe, ma'm, that is the most elegant fancy cap
of them all. That is Mr. Hector Hogmorton's fancy cap, ma'm; and here,
ma'm, is Mr. Saul's rich satin bag, covered with gold net. He is college
salt bearer, I understand, and has a prodigious superb white and gold
dress. But, in my humble opinion, ma'm, the marshal's white and purple
and orange fancy dress, trimmed with silver, will bear the bell; though,
indeed, I shouldn't say that,--for the colonel's and lieutenant's, and
ensign's, are beautiful in the extreme. And, to be sure, nothing could
be better imagined than Mr. Marlborough's lilac and silver, with a Roman
cap. And it must be allowed that nothing in nature can have a better
effect than Mr. Drake's flesh-colour and blue, with this Spanish hat,
ma'm, you see.
(The farmer looks over his shoulder from time to time during this speech,
Farmer (reads the newspaper). French fleet at sea--Hum!
Landlady. O gemini: Mr. Drake's Spanish hat is the sweetest, tastiest
thing! Mr. Finsbury, I protest--
Finsb. Why, ma'm, I knew a lady of your taste couldn't but approve of
it. My own invention entirely, ma'm. But it's nothing to the captain's
cap, ma'm. Indeed, ma'm, Mr. Wheeler, the captain that is to be, has the
prettiest taste in dress. To be sure, his sandals were my suggestion;
but the mantle he has the entire credit of, to do him justice; and when
you see it, ma'm, you will be really surprised; for (for contrast, and
elegance, and richness, and lightness, and propriety, and effect, and
costume) you've never yet seen anything at all to be compared to Captain
Wheeler's mantle, ma'm.
Farmer (to the Landlady). Why, now, pray, Mrs. Landlady, how long may it
have been the fashion for milliners to go about in men's clothes?
Landlady (aside to Farmer). Lord, Mr. Hearty, hush! This is Mr.
Finsbury, the great man-milliner.
Farm. The great man-milliner! This is a sight I never thought to see in
Finsb. (packing up band boxes). Well, ma'm, I'm glad I have your
approbation. It has ever been my study to please the ladies.
Farm. (throws a fancy mantle over his frieze coat). And is this the way
to please the ladies, Mrs. Landlady, nowadays?
Finsb. (taking off the mantle). Sir, with your leave--I ask pardon--but
the least thing detriments these tender colours; and as you have just
been eating cheese with your hands--
Farm. 'Tis my way to eat cheese with my mouth, man.
Farm. I ask pardon--man-milliner, I mean.
Landlord. Why, wife!
Landlord. I ask pardon--Mrs. Newington, I mean. Do you know who them
ladies are that you have been and turned out of the Dolphin?
Landlady (alarmed). Not I, indeed. Who are they, pray? Why, if they
are quality it's no fault of mine. It is their own fault for coming,
like scrubs, without four horses. Why, if quality will travel the road
this way, incognito, how can they expect to be known and treated as
quality? 'Tis no fault of mine. Why didn't you find out sooner who they
were, Mr. Newington? What else, in the 'versal world have you to do, but
to go basking about in the yards and places with your tankard in your
hand, from morning till night? What have you else to ruminate, all day
long, but to find out who's who, I say?
Farm. Clapper! clapper! clapper! like my mill in a high wind, landlord.
Clapper! clapper! clapper!--enough to stun a body.
Landlord. That is not used to it; but use is all, they say.
Landlady. Will you answer me, Mr. Newington? Who are the grandees that
were in the Dolphin?--and what's become on them?
Landlord. Grandees was your own word, wife. They be not to call
grandees; but I reckon you'd be sorry not to treat 'em civil, when I tell
you their name is Talbot, mother and sister to our young Talbot, of Eton;
he that paid me so handsome for the hunter this very morning.
Landlady. Mercy! is that all? What a combustion for nothing in life!
Finsb. For nothing in life, as you say, ma'm; that is, nothing in high
life, I'm sure, ma'm; nay, I dare a'most venture to swear. Would you
believe it, Mr. Talbot is one of the few young gentlemen of Eton that has
not bespoke from me a fancy dress for this grand Montem?
Landlady. There, Mr. Newington; there's your Talbot for you! and there's
your grandees! O trust me, I know your scrubs at first sight.
Landlord. Scrubs, I don't, nor can't, nor won't call them that pay their
debts honestly. Scrubs, I don't, nor won't, nor can't, call them that
behave as handsome as young Mr. Talbot did here to me this morning about
the hunter. A scrub he is not, wife. Fancy-dress or no fancy-dress, Mr.
Finsbury, this young gentleman is no scrub.
Finsb. Dear me! 'Twas not I said SCRUB. Did I say scrub?
Farm. No matter if you did.
Finsb. No matter, certainly; and yet it is a matter; for I'm confident I
wouldn't for the world leave it in anyone's power to say that I said--
that I called--any young gentleman of Eton a SCRUB! Why, you know, sir,
it might breed a riot!
Farm. And a pretty figure you'd make in a riot!
Landlady. Pray let me hear nothing about riots in my house.
Farm. Nor about scrubs.
Finsb. But I beg leave to explain, gentlemen. All I ventured to remark
or suggest was, that as there was some talk of Mr. Talbot's being captain
to-morrow, I didn't conceive how he could well appear without any dress.
That was all, upon my word and honour. A good morning to you, gentlemen;
it is time for me to be off. Mrs. Newington, you were so obliging as to
promise to accommodate me with a return chaise as far as Eton.
(Finsbury bows and exit.)
Farm. A good day to you and your bandboxes. There's a fellow for you
now! Ha! ha! ha!--A man-milliner, forsooth!
Landlord. Mrs. Talbot's coming--stand back.
Landlady. Lord! why does Bob show them through this way?
Enter MRS. TALBOT, leaning on LOUISA; Waiter showing the way.
Landlady. You are going on, I suppose, ma'am?
Waiter (aside to Landlord). Not if she could help it; but there's no
beds, since Mr. Bursal and Miss Bursal's come.
Landlord. I say nothing, for it is vain to say more. But isn't it a
pity she can't stay for the Montem, poor old lady! Her son--as good and
fine a lad as ever you saw--they say, has a chance, too, of being
captain. She may never live to see another such a sight.
(As Mrs. Talbot walks slowly on, the Farmer puts himself across her
way, so as to stop her short.)
Farm. No offence, madam, I hope; but I have a good snug farm house, not
far off hand; and if so be you'd be so good to take a night's lodging,
you and the young lady with you, you'd have a hearty welcome. That's all
I can say and you'd make my wife very happy; for she's a good woman, to
say nothing of myself.
Landlord. If I may be so bold to put in my word, madam, you'd have as
good beds, and be as well lodged, with Farmer Hearty, as in e'er a house
at Salt Hill.
Mrs. Talb. I am very much obliged--
Farm. O, say nothing o' that, madam. I am sure I shall be as much
obliged if you do come. Do, miss, speak for me.
Louisa. Pray, dear mother--
Farm. She will. (Calls behind the scenes.) Here, waiter! hostler!
driver! what's your name? drive the chaise up here to the door, smart,
close. Lean on my arm, madam, and we'll have you in and home in a whiff.
(Exeunt Mrs. Talbot, Louisa, Farmer, Landlord and Waiter.)
Landlady (sola). What a noise and a rout this farmer man makes! and my
husband, with his great broad face, bowing, as great a nincompoop as
t'other. The folks are all bewitched with the old woman, I verily
believe. (Aloud.) A good morning to you, ladies.
END OF THE FIRST ACT.
ACT THE SECOND.
A field near Eton College;--several boys crossing backwards and forwards
in the back-ground. In front, TALBOT, WHEELER, LORD JOHN and BURSAL.
Talbot. Fair play, Wheeler! Have at 'em, my boy! There they stand,
fair game! There's Bursal there, with his dead forty-five votes at
command; and Lord John with his--how many live friends?
Lord John (coolly). Sir, I have fifty-six friends, I believe.
Talb. Fifty-six friends, his lordship believes--Wheeler inclusive, no
Lord J. That's as hereafter may be.
Wheeler. Hereafter! Oh, fie, my LUD! You know your own Wheeler has,
from the first minute he ever saw you, been your fast friend.
Talb. Your fast friend from the first minute he ever saw you, my lord!
That's well hit, Wheeler; stick to that; stick fast. Fifty-six friends,
Wheeler INclusive, hey, my lord! hey, my LUD!
Lord J. Talbot EXclusive, I find, contrary to my expectations.
Talb. Ay, contrary to your expectations, you find that Talbot is not a
dog that will lick the dust: but then there's enough of the true spaniel
breed to be had for whistling for; hey, Wheeler?
Bursal (aside to Wheeler). A pretty electioneerer. So much the better
for you, Wheeler. Why, unless he bought a vote, he'd never win one, if
he talked from this to the day of judgment.
Wheeler (aside to Bursal). And as he has no money to buy votes--he! he!
he!--we are safe enough.
Talb. That's well done, Wheeler; fight the by-battle there with Bursal.
Now you are sure of the main with Lord John.
Lord J. Sure! I never made Mr. Wheeler any promise yet.
Wheel. O; I ask no promise from his lordship; we are upon honour: I
trust entirely to his lordship's good nature and generosity, and to his
regard for his own family; I having the honour, though distantly, to be
Lord J. Related! How, Wheeler?
Wheel. Connected, I mean, which is next door, as I may say, to being
related. Related slipped out by mistake; I beg pardon, my Lord John.
Lord J. Related!--a strange mistake, Wheeler.
Talb. Overshot yourself, Wheeler; overshot yourself, by all that's
awkward. And yet, till now, I always took you for "a dead-shot at a
*Young noblemen at Oxford wear yellow tufts at the tops of their caps.
Hence their flatterers are said to be dead-shots at yellow-hammers.
Wheel. (taking Bursal by the arm). Bursal, a word with you. (Aside to
Bursal.) What a lump of family pride that Lord John is.
Talb. Keep out of my hearing, Wheeler, lest I should spoil sport. But
never fear: you'll please Bursal sooner than I shall. I can't, for the
soul of me, bring myself to say that Bursal's not purse-proud, and you
can. Give you joy.
Burs. A choice electioneerer!--ha! ha! ha!
Wheel. (faintly). He! he! he!--a choice electioneerer, as you say.
(Exeunt Wheeler and Bursal; manent Lord J. and Talbot.)
Lord J. There was a time, Talbot--
Talb. There was a time, my lord--to save trouble and a long explanation-
-there was a time when you liked Talbots better than spaniels; you
Lord J. I have found it very difficult to understand you of late, Mr.
Talb. Yes, because you have used other people's understandings instead
of your own. Be yourself, my lord. See with your own eyes, and hear
with your own ears, and then you'll find me still, what I've been these
seven years; not your understrapper, your hanger-on, your flatterer, but
your friend! If you choose to have me for a friend, here's my hand. I
am your friend, and you'll not find a better.
Lord J. (giving his hand). You are a strange fellow, Talbot; I thought I
never could have forgiven you for what you said last night.
Talb. What? for I don't keep a register of my sayings. Oh, it was
something about gaming--Wheeler was flattering your taste for it, and he
put me into a passion--I forget what I said. But, whatever it was, I'm
sure it was well meant, and I believe it was well said.
Lord J. But you laugh at me sometimes to my face.
Talb. Would you rather I should laugh at you behind your back?
Lord. J. But of all things in the world I hate to be laughed at. Listen
to me, and don't fumble in your pockets while I'm talking to you.
Talb. I'm fumbling for--oh, here it is. Now, Lord John, I once did
laugh at you behind your back, and what's droll enough, it was at your
back I laughed. Here's a caricature I drew of you--I really am sorry I
did it; but 'tis best to show it to you myself.
Lord J. (aside). It is all I can do to forgive this. (After a pause, he
tears the paper.) I have heard of this caricature before; but I did not
expect, Talbot, that you would come and show it to me, yourself, Talbot,
so handsomely, especially at such a time as this. Wheeler might well say
you are a bad electioneerer.
Talb. Oh, hang it! I forgot my election, and your fifty-six friends.
Enter RORY O'RYAN.
Rory (claps Talbot on the back). Fifty-six friends, have you, Talbot?
Say seven--fifty-seven, I mean; for I'll lay you a wager, you've forget
me; and that's a shame for you, too; for out of the whole posse-comitatus
entirely now, you have not a stauncher friend than Poor little Rory
O'Ryan. And a good right he has to befriend you; for you stood by him
when many who ought to have known better were hunting him down for a wild
Irishman. Now that same wild Irishman has as much gratitude in him as
any tame Englishman of them all. But don't let's be talking sintimint;
for, for my share I'd not give a bogberry a bushel for sintimint, when I
could get anything better.
Lord J. And pray, sir, what may a bogberry be?
Rory. Phoo! don't be playing the innocent, now. Where have you lived
all your life (I ask pardon, my LARD) not to know a bogberry when you see
or hear of it? (Turns to Talbot.) But what are ye standing idling here
for? Sure, there's Wheeler, and Bursal along with him, canvassing out
yonder at a terrible fine rate. And haven't I been huzzaing for you
there till I'm hoarse? So I am, and just stepped away to suck an orange
for my voice--(sucks an orange.) I am a THOROUGH GOING friend, at
Talb. Now, Rory, you are the best fellow in the world, and a THOROUGH
GOING friend; but have a care, or you'll get yourself and me into some
scrape, before you have done with this violent THOROUGH GOING work.
Rory. Never fear! never fear, man!--a warm frind and a bitter enemy,
that's my maxim.
Talb. Yes, but too warm a friend is as bad as a bitter enemy.
Rory. Oh, never fear me! I'm as cool as a cucumber all the time; and
whilst they tink I'm tinking of nothing in life but making a noise, I
make my own snug little remarks in prose and verse, as--now my voice is
after coming back to me, you shall hear, if you plase.
Talb. I do please.
Rory. I call it Rory's song. Now, mind, I have a verse for everybody--
o' the leading lads, I mean; and I shall put 'em in or lave 'em out,
according to their inclinations and deserts, wise-a-wee to you, my little
frind. So you comprehend it will be Rory's song, with variations.
Talbot and Lord John. Let's have it; let's have it without further
"I'm true game to the last, and no WHEELER for me."
Rory. There's a stroke, in the first place, for Wheeler,--you take it?
Talb. O yes, yes, we take it; go on.
"I'm true game to the last, and no Wheeler for me.
Of all birds, beasts, or fishes, that swim in the sea,
Webb'd or finn'd, black or white, man or child, Whig or Tory,
None but Talbot, O, Talbot's the dog for Rory."
Talb. "Talbot the dog" is much obliged to you.
Lord J. But if I have any ear, one of your lines is a foot too long, Mr.
Rory. Phoo, put the best foot foremost for a frind. Slur it in the
singing, and don't be quarrelling, anyhow, for a foot more or less. The
more feet the better it will stand, you know. Only let me go on, and
you'll come to something that will plase you.
"Then there's he with the purse that's as long as my arm."
Rory. That's Bursal, mind now, whom I mean to allude to in this verse.
Lord J. If the allusion's good, we shall probably find out your meaning.
Talb. On with you, Rory, and don't read us notes on a song.
Lord J. Go on, and let us hear what you say of Bursal.
"Then there's he with the purse that's as long as my arm;
His father's a tanner,--but then where's the harm?
Heir to houses, and hunters, and horseponds in fee,
Won't his skins sure soon buy him a pedigree?"
Lord J. Encore! encore! Why, Rory, I did not think you could make so
good a song.
Rory. Sure 'twas none of I made it--'twas Talbot here.
Rory. (aside). Not a word: I'll make you a present of it: sure, then,
it's your own.
Talb. I never wrote a word of it.
Rory. (to Lord J.). Phoo, Phoo! he's only denying it out of false
Lord. J. Well, no matter who wrote it,--sing it again.
Rory. Be easy; so I will, and as many more verses as you will to the
back of it. (Winking at Talbot aside.) You shall have the credit of
all. (Aloud.) Put me in when I'm out, Talbot, and you (to Lord John)
Rory sings, and Lord John sings with him.
"Then there's he with the purse that's as long as my arm;
His father's a tanner,--but then where's the harm?
Heir to houses, and hunters, and horseponds in fee,
Won't his skins sure soon buy him a pedigree?
There's my lord with the back that never was bent--"
(Lord John stops singing; Talbot makes signs to Rory to stop; but Rory
does not see him, and sings on.)
"There's my lord with the back that never was bent;
Let him live with his ancestors, I am content."
(Rory pushes Lord J. and Talbot with his elbows.)
Rory. Join, join, both of ye--why don't you join? (Sings.)
"Who'll buy my Lord John? the arch fishwoman cried,
A nice oyster shut up in a choice shell of pride."
Rory. But join or ye spoil all.
Talb. You have spoiled all, indeed.
Lord J. (making a formal low bow). Mr. Talbot, Lord John thanks you.
Rory. Lord John! blood and thunder! I forgot you were by--quite and
Lord J. (puts him aside and continues speaking to Talbot). Lord John
thanks you, Mr. Talbot: this is the second part of the caricature. Lord
John thanks you for these proofs of friendship--Lord John has reason to
thank you, Mr. Talbot.
Rory. No reason in life now. Don't be thanking so much for nothing in
life; or if you must be thanking of somebody, it's me you ought to thank.
Lord J. I ought and do, sir, for unmasking one who--
Talb. (warmly). Unmasking, my lord--
Rory (holding them asunder). Phoo! phoo! phoo! be easy, can't ye?--
there's no unmasking at all in the case. My Lord John, Talbot's writing
the song was all a mistake.
Lord J. As much a mistake as your singing it, sir, I presume--
Rory. Just as much. 'Twas all a mistake. So now don't you go and make
a mistake into a misunderstanding. It was I made every word of the song
out o' the face*--that about the back that never was bent, and the
ancestors of the oyster, and all. He did not waste a word of it; upon my
conscience, I wrote it all--though I'll engage you didn't think I could
write a good thing. (Lord John turns away.) I'm telling you the truth,
and not a word of a lie, and yet you won't believe me.
*From beginning to end.
Lord J. You will excuse me, sir, if I cannot believe two contradictory
assertions within two minutes. Mr. Talbot, I thank you (going).
(Rory tries to stop Lord John from going, but cannot.--Exit Lord John.)
Rory. Well, if he WILL go, let him go then, and much good may it do him.
Nay, but don't you go too.
Talb. O Rory, what have you done?--(Talbot runs after Lord J.) Hear me,
my lord. (Exit Talbot.)
Rory. Hear him! hear him! hear him!--Well, I'm point blank mad with
myself for making this blunder; but how could I help it? As sure as ever
I am meaning to do the best thing on earth, it turns out the worst.
Enter a party of lads, huzzaing.
Rory (joins.) Huzza! huzza!--Who, pray, are ye huzzaing for?
1st Boy. Wheeler! Wheeler for ever! huzza!
Rory. Talbot! Talbot for ever! huzza! Captain Talbot for ever! huzza!
2nd Boy. CAPTAIN he'll never be,--at least not to-morrow; for Lord John
has just declared for Wheeler.
lst Boy. And that turns the scale.
Rory. Oh, the scale may turn back again.
3rd Boy. Impossible! Lord John has just given his promise to Wheeler.
I heard him with my own ears.
(Several speak at once.) And I heard him; and I! and I! and I!--Huzza!
Wheeler for ever!
Rory. Oh, murder! murder! murder! (Aside.) This goes to my heart! it's
all my doing. O, my poor Talbot!-- murder! murder! murder! But I won't
let them see me cast down, and it is good to be huzzaing at all events.
Huzza for Talbot! Talbot for ever! huzza! (Exit.)
Enter WHEELER and BURSAL.
Wheel. Who was that huzzaing for Talbot?
(Rory behind the scenes, "Huzza for Talbot! Talbot for ever! huzza!")
Burs. Pooh, it is only Rory O'Ryan, or the roaring lion as I call him.
Ha! ha! ha! Rory O'Ryan, alias O'Ryan, the roaring lion; that's a good
one; put it about--Rory O'Ryan, the roaring lion, ha! ha! ha! but you
don't take it--you don't laugh, Wheeler.
Wheeler. Ha! ha! ha! O, upon my honour I do laugh; ha! ha! ha!
(Aside). It is the hardest work to laugh at his wit. (Aloud.) Rory
O'Ryan, the roaring lion--ha! ha! ha! You know I always laugh, Bursal,
at your jokes--he! he! he!--ready to kill myself.
Burs. (sullenly). You are easily killed, then, if that much laughing
will do the business.
Wheel. (coughing). Just then--something stuck in my throat; I beg your
Burs. (still sullen). Oh, you need not beg my pardon about the matter.
I don't care whether you laugh or no--not I. Now you have got Lord John
to declare for you, you are above laughing at my jokes, I suppose.
Wheel. No, upon my word and honour, I DID laugh.
Burs. (aside). A fig for your word and honour. (Aloud.) I know I'm of
no consequence now; but you'll remember, that if his lordship has the
honour of making you captain, he must have the honour to pay for your
captain's accoutrements; for I sha'n't pay the piper, I promise you,
since I'm of no consequence.
Wheel. Of no consequence! But, my dear Bursal, what could put that into
your head? that's the strangest, oddest fancy. Of no consequence!
Bursal, of no consequence! Why, everybody that knows anything--everybody
that has seen Bursal House--knows that you are of the greatest
consequence, my dear Bursal.
Burs. (taking out his watch, and opening it, looks at it). No, I'm of no
consequence. I wonder that rascal Finsbury is not come yet with the
dresses (still looking at his watch).
Wheel. (aside). If Bursal takes it into his head not to lend me the
money to pay for my captain's dress, what will become of me? for I have
not a shilling--and Lord John won't pay for me--and Finsbury has orders
not to leave the house till he is paid by everybody. What will become of
me?--(bites his nails).
Burs. (aside). How I love to make him bite his nails! (Aloud.) I know
I'm of no consequence. (Strikes his repeater.)
Wheel. What a fine repeater that is of yours, Bursal! It is the best I
Burs. So it well may be; for it cost a mint of money.
Wheel. No matter to you what anything costs. Happy dog as you are! You
roll in money; and yet you talk of being of no consequence.
Burs. But I am not of half so much consequence as Lord John--am I?
Wheel. Are you? Why, aren't you twice as rich as he!
Burs. Very true, but I'm not purse-proud.
Wheel. You purse-proud! I should never have thought of such a thing.
Burs. Nor I, if Talbot had not used the word.
Wheel. But Talbot thinks everybody purse-proud that has a purse.
Burs. (aside). Well, this Wheeler does put one into a good humour with
one's self in spite of one's teeth. (Aloud.) Talbot says blunt things;
but I don't think he's what you can call clever--hey, Wheeler?
Wheel. Clever? Oh, not he.
Burs. I think I could walk round him.
Wheel. To be sure you could. Why, do you know, I've quizzed him
famously myself within this quarter of an hour!
Burs. Indeed! I wish I had been by.
Wheel. So do I, 'faith! It was the best thing. I wanted, you see, to
get him out of my way, that I might have the field clear for
electioneering to-day. So I bowls up to him with a long face--such a
face as this. Mr. Talbot, do you know--I'm sorry to tell you, here's
Jack Smith has just brought the news from Salt Hill. Your mother, in
getting into the carriage, slipped, and has BROKE her leg, and there
she's lying at a farmhouse, two miles off. Is not it true, Jack? said I.
I saw the farmer helping her in with my own eyes, cries Jack. Off goes
Talbot like an arrow. Quizzed him, quizzed him! said I.
Burs. Ha! ha! ha! quizzed him indeed, with all his cleverness; that was
Wheel. Ha! ha! ha! With all his cleverness he will be all the evening
hunting for the farmhouse and the mother that has broke her leg; so he is
out of our way.
Burs. But what need have you to want him out of your way, now Lord John
has come over to your side? You have the thing at a dead beat.
Wheel. Not so dead either; for there's a great independent party, you
know; and if YOU don't help me, Bursal, to canvass them, I shall be no
captain. It is you I depend upon after all. Will you come and canvass
them with me? Dear Bursal, pray--all depends upon you.
(Pulls him by the arm--Bursal follows.)
Burs. Well, if all depends upon me, I'll see what I can do for you.
(Aside.) Then I am of some consequence! Money makes a man of some
consequence, I see; at least with some folks.
In the back scene a flock of sheep are seen penned. In front, a party of
country lads and lasses, gaily dressed, as in sheep-shearing time, with
ribands and garlands of flowers, etc., are dancing and singing.
Enter PATTY, dressed as the Queen of the Festival, with a lamb in her
arms. The dancers break off when she comes in, and direct their
attention towards her.
1st Peasant. Oh, here comes Patty! Here comes the Queen o' the day.
What has kept you from us so long, Patty?
2nd Peasant. "Please your Majesty," you should say.
Patty. This poor little lamb of mine was what kept me so long. It
strayed away from the rest; and I should have lost him, so I should, for
ever, if it had not been for a good young gentleman. Yonder he is,
talking to Farmer Hearty. That's the young gentleman who pulled my lamb
out of the ditch for me, into which he had fallen--pretty creature!
1st Peasant. Pretty creature--or, your Majesty, whichever you choose to
be called--come and dance with them, and I'll carry your lamb.
(Exeunt, singing and dancing.)
Enter FARMER HEARTY and TALBOT.
Farmer. Why, young gentleman, I'm glad I happened to light upon you
here, and so to hinder you from going farther astray, and set your heart
at ease like.
Talb. Thanks, good farmer, you have set my heart at ease, indeed. But
the truth is, they did frighten me confoundedly--more fool I.
Farm. No fool at all, to my notion. I should, at your age, ay, or at my
age, just the self-same way have been frightened myself, if so be that
mention had been made to me, that way, of my own mother's having broke
her leg or so. And greater, by a great deal, the shame for them that
frighted you, than for you to be frighted. How young gentlemen, now, can
bring themselves for to tell such lies, is to me, now, a matter of
amazement, like, that I can't noways get over.
Talb. Oh, farmer, such lies are very witty, though you and I don't just
now like the wit of them. This is fun, this is quizzing; but you don't
know what we young gentlemen mean by quizzing.
Farm. Ay, but I do though, to my cost, ever since last year. Look you,
now, at yon fine field of wheat. Well, it was just as fine, and finer,
last year, till a young Eton jackanapes--
Talb. Take care what you say, farmer; for I am a young Eton jackanapes.
Farm. No; but you be not the young Eton jackanapes that I'm a-thinking
on. I tell you it was this time last year, man; he was a-horseback, I
tell ye, mounted upon a fine bay hunter, out a-hunting, like.
Talb. I tell you it was this time last year, man, that I was mounted
upon a fine bay hunter, out a-hunting.
Farm. Zooks! would you argufy a man out of his wits? You won't go for
to tell me that you are that impertinent little jackanapes!
Talb. No! no! I'll not tell you that I am an impertinent little
Farm (wiping his forehead). Well, don't then, for I can't believe it;
and you put me out. Where was I?
Talb. Mounted upon a fine bay hunter.
Farm. Ay, so he was. "Here, YOU," says he, meaning me--"open this gate
for me." Now, if he had but a-spoke me fair, I would not have gainsaid
him: but he falls to swearing, so I bid him open the gate for himself.
"There's a bull behind you, farmer," says he. I turns. "Quizzed him!"
cries my jackanapes, and off he gallops him, through the very thick of my
corn; but he got a fall, leaping the ditch out yonder, which pacified me,
like, at the minute. So I goes up to see whether he was killed; but he
was not a whit the worse for his tumble. So I should ha' fell into a
passion with him then, to be sure, about my corn; but his horse had got
such a terrible sprain, I couldn't say anything to him; for I was a-
pitying the poor animal. As fine a hunter as ever you saw! I am sartain
sure he could never come to good after.
Talb. (aside). I do think, from the description, that this was Wheeler;
and I have paid for the horse which he spoiled! (Aloud.) Should you know
either the man or the horse again, if you were to see them?
Farm. Ay, that I should, to my dying day.
Talb. Will you come with me, then, and you'll do me some guineas' worth
Farm. Ay, that I will, with a deal of pleasure; for you be a civil
spoken young gentleman; and, besides, I don't think the worse on you for
being FRIGHTED a little about your mother; being what I might ha' been,
at your age, myself; for I had a mother myself once. So lead on, master.
END OF THE SECOND ACT.
ACT THE THIRD.
The garden of the "Windmill Inn," at Salt Hill.
MISS BURSAL, MRS. NEWINGTON, SALLY, the Chambermaid.
(Miss Bursal, in a fainting state, is sitting on a garden stool, and
leaning her head against the Landlady. Sally is holding a glass of water
and a smelling bottle.)
Miss Bursal. Where am I? Where am I?
Landlady. At the "Windmill," at Salt Hill, young lady; and ill or well,
you can't be better.
Sally. Do you find yourself better since coming into the air, miss?
Miss B. Better! Oh, I shall never be better!
(Leans her head on hand, and rocks herself backwards and forwards.)
Landlady. My dear young lady, don't take on so. (Aside.) Now would I
give something to know what it was my Lady Piercefield said to the
father, and what the father said to this one, and what's the matter at
the bottom of affairs. Sally, did you hear anything at the doors?
Sally (aside). No, indeed, ma'am; I never BE'S at the doors.
Landlady (aside). Simpleton! (Aloud.) But, my dear Miss Bursal, if I
may be so bold--if you'd only disembosom your mind of what's on it--
Miss B. Disembosom my mind! Nonsense! I've nothing on my mind. Pray
leave me, madam.
Landlady (aside). Madam, indeed! madam, forsooth! Oh, I'll make her pay
for that! That MADAM shall go down in the bill, as sure as my name's
Newington. (Landlady, in a higher tone.) Well, I wish you better,
ma'am. I suppose I'd best send your own servant?
Miss B. (sullenly). Yes, I suppose so. (To Sally.) You need not wait,
child, nor look so curious.
Sally. CUR'OUS! Indeed, miss, if I look a little CUR'OUS, or so
(looking at her dress), 'tis only because I was FRIGHTED to see you take
on, which made me forget my clean apron, when I came out; and this apron-
Miss B. Hush! Hush! child. Don't tell me about clean aprons, nor run
on with your vulgar talk. Is there ever a seat one can set on in that
Sally. O dear 'ART, yes, miss; 'tis the pleasantest _H_arbour on
_H_earth. Be pleased to lean on my _H_arm, and you'll soon be there.
Miss B. (going). Then tell my woman she need not come to me, and let
nobody INTERUDE on me--do you 'EAR? (Aside.) Oh, what will become of
me? and the Talbots will soon know it! And the ponies, and the curricle,
and the vis-a-vis--what will become of them? and how shall I make my
appearance at the Montem, or any WARE else?
Wheeler. Well, but my lord--Well, but Bursal--though my Lady
Piercefield--though Miss Bursal is come to Salt Hill, you won't leave us
all at sixes and sevens. What can we do without you?
Lord J. You can do very well without me.
Bursal. You can do very well without me.
Wheel. (to Burs.). Impossible!--impossible! You know Mr. Finsbury will
be here just now, with the dresses; and we have to try them on.
Burs. And to pay for them.
Wheel. And to settle about the procession. And then, my lord, the
election is to come on this evening. You won't go till that's over, as
your lordship has PROMISED me your lordship's vote and interest.
Lord J. My vote I promised you, Mr. Wheeler; but I said not a syllable
about my INTEREST. My friends, perhaps, have not been offended, though I
have, by Mr. Talbot. I shall leave them to their own inclinations.
Burs. (whistling). Wheugh! wheugh! wheugh! Wheeler, the principal's
nothing without the interest.
Wheel. Oh, the interest will go along with the principal, of course; for
I'm persuaded, if my lord leaves his friends to their inclinations, it
will be the inclination of my lord's friends to vote as he does, if he
says nothing to them to the contrary.
Lord J. I told you, Mr. Wheeler, that I should leave them to themselves.
Burs. (still whistling). Well, I'll do my best to make that father of
mine send me off to Oxford. I'm sure I'm fit to go--along with Wheeler.
Why, you'd best be my tutor, Wheeler!--a devilish good thought.
Wheel. An excellent thought.
Burs. And a cursed fine dust we should kick up at Oxford, with your
Montem money and all!--Money's THE GO after all. I wish it was come to