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Pol. You'd better keep a civil tongue in your head, young woman.
Sus. You live lobster !
One violent. Tother incapable.
Sus. You're another. Mattie, my dear, come along home. Pol. That's right; be off with you.
MATTIE rises. Mat. Let's go, Sue! Let's get farther off.
Sus. You can't walk, child. If I hadn't been so short o' wittles for a week, I could ha’ carried you. But it's only a step to the cook-shop
Mat. No money, Sue. (Tries to walk.)
Sus. O Lord ! What shall I do! And that blue-bottle there a buzzin' an' a starin' at us like a dead codfish!- Boh!
Bill. Our Mattie! Gracious! what's the row, Susan ?
Sus. Seen him! Oh, my! I wish it had been me.
I'd ha' seen him! I'd ha' torn his ugly eyes out.
Mat. They ain't ugly eyes. They’re big and blue, and they sparkle so when he talks to her!
Sus. And who's her? Ye didn't mention a her. Some brazen-faced imperence!
Mat. No. The young lady at Mrs. Clifford's.
Sus. Oho! See if I do a stitch for her! -Shan't I leave a needle in her shimmy,
Mat. What shall I do! All the good's gone out of me! And such a pain here!
Sus. Keep in yer breath a minute, an' push yer ribs out.
It's one on 'em's got a top ó' the other.
Mat. Such a grand creature! And her colour coming and going like the shadows on the corn! It's no wonder he forgot poor me. But it'll burn itself out afore long.
talk like that, Mattie; I can't abear it.
Mat. If I was dressed like her, though, and could get my colour back! But laws! I'm such a washed out piece o' goods beside her!
Sus. That's as I say, Matilda ! It's the dress makes the differ.
Mat. No, Susan, it ain't. It's the free look of them—and the head up-and the white hands—and the taper fingers. They're stronger than us, and they're that trained like, that all their body goes in one, like the music at a concert. I couldn't pick up a needle without going down on my knees after it. It's the pain in my side, Sue.-Yes, it's a fine thing to be born a lady. It's not the clothes, Sue. If we was dressed ever so, we couldn't come near them. It's that look,—I don't know what.
Sus. Speak for yerself, Mattie; I'm not a goin' to think such small beer of myself, I
Sus. She ain't well. Take her other arm, Bill, and help her out o' this. We ain't in no Christian country. Pluck up, Mattie, dear.
Bill. Come into the tart-shop. I'm a customer.
They go towards the shop. Exit POLICEMAN. Mat. No, no, Sukey! I can't abide the smell of it. Let me sit on the kerb for a minute. (Sits down.) Oh, father ! father!
Bill. Never you mind, Mattie! If he wor twenty fathers, he shan't come near ye.
Mat. Oh, Bill! if you could find him for me! He would take me home.
Bill. Now who'd ha’ thought o that ? Axially wantin' her own father! I'd run far enough out o' the way o’mine-an’ farther if he wur a-axin' arter me.
Mat. Oh me! my side !
Sus. It's hunger, poor dear! (Sits down beside her.)
Bill (aside). This won't do, Bill! I'm ashamed o' you, Bill!
It's not your
Mat. No, Susan, it's not hunger. It's the old story, Sue.
Sus. Mattie! I never! You don't mean to go for to tell me you're a breakin' of your precious heart about him? gentleman surely! It's not him ye’re turnin' sick about, this time o' day?
MATTIE nods her head listlessly. Sus. What's up fresh, then ?
You was pretty bobbish when you left me. It's little he thinks of you, I'll be bound.
Mat. That's true enough. It's little he ever thought of me. He did say he loved me, though. It's fifty times he did !
Sus. Lies, lies, Mattie--all lies !
Mat. No, Susan; it wasn't lies. He meant it-at the time. That's what made it look all right. Oh dear! Oh dear!
Sus. But what's come to you now, Mattie ? What's fresh in it? You're not turned like this all at once for nothink!
Mat. I've seen him !