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Blithe. But you won't reject her, destitute of a patrimony and a father's blessing ?
Hunks. Not one farthing shall she ever receive from my hand. Your son may take her, but her person is barely all that I'll give him; he has seduced her to disobey her father, and he shall feel the effects of it.
Blithe. You're somewhat ruffled, I perceive; but I hope you 'll recall these rash resolutions in your cooler moments.
Hunks. No, never, I give you my word, and that's as fixed as the laws of the Medes and Persians.
Blithe. But look ye, sir, here's another circumstance to be attended to; my son has the deeds already in his own hands.
Hunks. Deeds! What deeds? Those I gave to my brother?
Blithe. Yes, the very same.
Hunks. What a composition of villany and witchcraft is here! What, my deeds given up to your son ?
Blithe. Yes; your brother thought that my son had an undoubted title to them now, since his cousin was married, and so he gave
the next day. Hunks. This is intolerable! I could tear the scalp from my old brainless skull; why had I not more wit than to trust them with him ? I’m cheated every way! I can't trust a farthing with the best friend I have on earth. Blithe. That's very true ;
- 't is no wonder you can't trust your best friend. The truth of the case is,
you friend, nor can you expect any so long as you
make an idol of yourself, and feast your sordid, avaricious appetite upon the misfortunes of mankind. You take every possible advantage, by the present calamities, to gratify your own selfish disposition. So long as this is the case, depend upon it, you will be an object of universal detestation. There's no one on earth who would not rejoice to see how you ’re brought in. Your daughter has now got a good inheritance and an agreeable partner, which you were in duty bound to
grant her; but, instead of that, you were then doing your utmost to deprive her of every enjoyment of life. (Hunks puts his hands to his breast.) I don't wonder your conscience smites you for your villany. Don't you see how justly you have been cheated into your duty ?
Hunks. I'll go this moment to an attorney, and get a warrant; I'll put the villain in jail before an hour is at an end. Oh, my deeds — my farms ! what shall I do for my farms!
Blithe. Give yourself no further trouble about them; there's no evidence in the case ; you must be sensible, therefore, an action can't lie. I would advise you to rest contented, and learn from disappointments not to place such an exorbitant value
wealth. In the mean time, I should be very glad of your company at the wedding. My son and his wife would be very happy to see you.
Hunks. The dragon fly away with you, and your son, and your son's wife. O, my farms! what shall I do for my farms!
DIALOGUE WITH THE GOUT.
SCENE, – Paris, Midnight, 22d October, 1780. Dr. Franklin. Eh! oh! eh ! What have I done to merit these cruel sufferings?
Gout. Done? Many things; you have ate and drank too freely, and too much indulged those legs of yours in their indolence.
Franklin. Who is it that answers me ?
in Gout. No, not your enemy.
Franklin. I repeat it-my enemy; for you would not only torment my body to death, but ruin my good name :you reproach me as a glutton and a tippler. Now all the world that knows me will allow that I am neither the one nor the other.
Gout. The world may think as it pleases; it is always very complaisant to itself, and sometimes to its friends. But I very
well know that the quantity of meat and drink proper for a man who takes a reasonable degree of exercise, would be too much for another, that never takes any.
Franklin. I take -eh! oh! as much exercise - eh! - as I can, Madam Gout. You know my sedentary state, and on that account, it would seem, Madam Gout, as if you might spare me a little, seeing it is not altogether my own fault.
Gout. Not a jot; your rhetoric and your politeness are all thrown away; your apology avails nothing. If your situation in life is a sedentary one, your recr
creations, at least, ought to be active. Let us examine the course of your life. While the mornings are long, what do you do? Why, instead of gaining an appetite for breakfast, by salutary exercise, you amuse yourself with pamphlets and newspapers, which commonly are not worth the reading. Yet you eat an inordinate breakfast; and immediately afterward, you sit down to write at your desk, or converse with persons who apply to you on business, until dinner. And what is your practice after dinner? Walking in the beautiful gardens of those friends with whom you have dined, would be the choice of men of sense. Yours is to be fixed down to chess. This is your perpetual recreation. Wrapt in the speculations of this engrossing game, you destroy your constitution. What can be expected from such a course of living, but a body replete with stagnant humors, ready to fall a prey to all kinds of dangerous maladies, if I, the Gout, did not occasionally bring you relief, by agitating these humors, and so purifying or dissipating them ? So take that twinge--and that—and that.
I take no
Franklin. Oh! eh! oh-h-h! oh-h-h! As much instruction as you please, Madam Gout, and as many reproaches ; but pray, madam, a truce with
your corrections. Gout. No, sir, no,- I will not abate a particle of what is so much for your good; therefore
Franklin. Oh! e-h-h-h! It is not fair to say exercise, when I do, very often, going out to dine, and in my carriage.
Gout. Of all imaginable exercises, that is the most insignificant. Providence has appointed few to loll on springs, while he has given to all a pair of legs, which are infinitely more serviceable, Be grateful, then, and make a proper use
do with my
Franklin. What then would you have me carriage ?
Gout. Burn it, if you choose ; you would at least get heat out of it once in this way. Or, if
dislike that proposal, here's another for
poor peasants who work in the vineyards and grounds about Passy; you may find every day, among these deserving creatures, four or five old men and women, bent by the weight of years
and too much labor. Order your coachman to set them down at the doors of their huts—that will be an act good for your soul; and then do you return home on foot, which will be good for your body.
Franklin. Ah! how tiresome you are !
Gout. I stand corrected. I will be silent, and attend to my office. You will not forget that I am your physician. There ! take that.
Franklin. Oh-h-h! What a cruel physician !- I wish you were in the Red Sea.
Gout. How ungrateful you are to say so! Do you forget that I have already saved you from palsy, and from dropsy, and from apoplexy ? . One or other of these would have done for you, long ago,
but for me. Franklin. I submit, and thank you for the past ; but I entreat the discontinuance of your visits for the future. To my mind, one had better die than be cured so dolefully.
Gout. It is none of my business, as your physician, to humor the whims of my patient, who does not know what is for his good. I know my duty — there!
Franklin. Oh! oh!—for mercy's sake, leave me ; and I promise faithfully never more to play at chess, but to take exercise daily, and live temperately.
Gout. I know you too well ; you promise fair, but after a few months of good health, you will return to your old habits; and your fine promises will be forgotten, like the forms of last year's clouds. Let us finish the account, and I will go now. But I leave you with an assurance of visiting you again, at a proper time and place ; for my object is your good, and you are now sensible that I am your real friend.
[Escit Gout, and Franklin sleeps sweetly.]
THE PIN, NEEDLE, AND SCISSORS.
1. 'Tis true, although 't is sad to say,
Disputes are rising every day ;
Maintain the following discussion.
Was very sharp and full of pride ;