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has been ill all the time. I wish you would come and see him a little oftener. Mrs. C. He doesn't want me.
You are everything now. Besides, I can't come alone.
Col. G. Why not?
Mrs. C. Constance would fancy I did not want to take her.
Col. G. Then why not take her ?
Mrs. C. It would break my heart, Walter, to quarrel with you, but I will if you use such an expression.
Col. G. But why shouldn't you bring Miss Lacordère with you ?
Mrs. C. He's but a boy, and it might put some nonsense in his head.
Col. G. She's a fine girl. You make a friend of her.
Mrs. C. She's a good girl, and a lady-like girl; but I don't wan't to meddle with the bulwarks of society. I hope to goodness they will last my time.
Col. G. Clara, I begin to doubt whether pride be a Christian virtue.
Mrs. C. I see! You'll be a radical before long. Everything is going that way.
Col. G. I don't care what I am, so I do what's right. I'm sick of all that kind of thing. What I want is bare honesty. I believe I'm a tory as yet, but I should be a radical to-morrow if I thought justice lay on that side.—If a man falls in love with a woman, why shouldn't he marry her ?
Mrs. C. She may be unfit for him.
Col. G. How should he fall in love with her, then ? Men don't fall in love with birds.
Mrs. C. It's a risk—a great risk.
Col. G. None the greater that he pleases himself, and all the more worth taking. I wish my poor boy
Mrs. C. Your poor boy might please himself and yet not succeed in pleasing you, brother!
Col. G. (aside). She knows something. I must go and see about his dinner. Goodbye, sister.
Mrs. C. Good-bye, then. You will have your own way!
Col. G. This once, Clara. Exeunt severally.
END OF ACT II.
SCENE.-A garret-room. MATTIE.
Mat. At the worst we've got to die some day, Sue, and I don't know but hunger may be as easy a way as another.
Sus. I'd rather have a choice, though. And it's not hunger I would choose. Mat. There are worse ways.
Sus. Never mind : we don't seem likely to be bothered wi' choosin'.
Mat. There's that button-hole done. (Lays down her work with a sigh, and leans back in her chair.)
Sus. I'll take it to old Nathan. It'll be a chop a-piece. It's wonderful what a chop can do to hearten you up.
Mat. I don't think we ought to buy chops, dear. We must be content with bread, I think.
Sus. Bread, indeed!
Sus. Do you call it eatin' when you see a dog polishin' a bone ?
Mat. Bread's very good with a cup of tea.
Sus. Tea, indeed! Fawn-colour, trimmed with sky-blue !-If you'd mentioned lobstersalad and sherry, now!
Mat. I never tasted lobster-salad.
Sus. I have, though; and I do call lobstersalad good. You don't care about your wittles : I do. When I'm hungry, I'm not t all comfortable.
Mat. Poor dear Sue! There is a crust in the cupboard.
Sus. I can't eat crusts. I want summat nice. I ain't dyin' of 'unger. It's only I'm peckish. Very peckish, though. I could eat -Jet me see what I could eat :I could eat