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Fair. Ralph, thou hast been drinking this morning. · Ralph. Well, if so be as I have, it's nothing out of your pocket, nor mine's neither.
Fair. Who has given thee liquor, sirrah ?
Ralph. Yes, a gentleman that's come piping hot from London: he is below, at the Cat and Bagpipes— Icod, he rides a choice bit of a nag; I dare to say, she'd fetch as good as forty pound, at ever a fair in all England.
Fair. A fig's end for what she'd fetch! mind thy business, or by the lord Harry
Ralph. Why, I won't do another hand's turn today now; so that's flat.
Fair. Thou wilt not
Ralph. Why, no, I won't ; so what argufies your putting yourself in a passion, feyther? I've promised to go back to the gentleman ; and I don't know but what he's a lord too, and mayhap he may do more for me than you thinks of.
Fair. Well, son Ralph, run thy gait; but, remember, I tell thee, thou wilt repent this untowardness.
Ralph. Why, how shall I repent it? Mayhap, you'll turn me out of your service ; a match, with all heartsmlcod, I don't care three brass pins.
If that's all you want, who the plague will be sorry? "Twere leter, by half, to dig stones in a quarry;
For my share, I'm weary of what is got by it: S'flesh, here's such a racket"! such scolding und coiling! You 're never content but when folks are a-toiling,
And drudging, like horses, from morning till night,
You think I'm afraid, but, the diff"rence to show you, First, yonder's your shovel ; your sacks too, I throw you;
Henceforward, take care of your matters who will ; They're welcome to slave for your wages who need 'em; Tol, lol de rol lol, I have purchased my freedom,
And never, hereafter, shall work at the mill. [Exit.
Fair. Dear heart, dear heart! I protest, this ungracious boy puts me quite beside myself! Patty, my dear, come down into the yard a little, and keep me company; and you, thieves, vagabonds, gipsies, out here! 'tis you debauch my son.
[Exit, driving out the Gipsies.
Enter Patty, from the Mill.
Yet know your passion vain ;
Yet fear to tell your pain
Can sharpen pangs like these?
Yield not a moment's ease.
Enter FAIRFIELD. Fair. Well, Patty, Master Goodman, my lord's steward, has been with me just now, and I find we are like to have great doings : his lordship has brought down Sir Harry Sycamore, and his family, and there is more company expected in a few days. . Patty. I know Sir Harry very well : he is, by marriage, a distant relation of my lord's.
Fair. Pray, what sort of a young body is the daughter there? I think she used to be with you at the castle, three or four summers ago, when my young lord was out upon his travels.
Patty. Oh, very often ; she was a great favourite of my lady's: pray, father, is she come down ?
Fair. By what I can learn, she is; and there is likely to be a nearer relationship between the fami. lies, ere long. It seems, his lordship was not over willing for the match, but the friends, on both sides, in London, pressed it so hard !-then there's a swinging fortune! Master Goodman tells me, a matter of twenty or thirty thousand pounds.
Patty. If it was a million, father, it would not be more than my Lord Aimworth deserves : I suppose the wedding will be celebrated here, at the mansion house.
Fair. So it is thought, as soon as things can be properly prepared—And now, Patty, if I could but see thee a little merry-Come, bless thee, pluck up thy spirits—To be sure, thou hast sustained, in the death of thy lady, a heavy loss; she was a parent to thee; nay, and better, inasmuch as she took thee when thou wert but a babe, and gave thee an education which thy natural parents could not afford to do.
Patly. Ah! dear father, don't mention what, perhaps, has been my greatest misfortune.
Fair. Nay, then, Patty, what's become of all thy sense, that people talk so much about?-But I have something to say to thee, which I would have thee consider seriously-There is our neighbour, Farmer Giles: he is a sober, honest, industrious young fellow, and one of the wealthiest in these parts; he is greatly taken with thee, and it is not the first time I have told thee, I should be glad to have him for a son-in-law.
Patty. And I have told you as often, father, I would submit myself entirely to your direction ; whatever you think proper for me is so.
Fair. Why, that's spoken like a dutiful, sensible girl; get thee in then, and leave me to manage it.
[Exit Patty. Enter Giles. Giles. Well, Master Fairfield, you and Miss Pat have had a long discourse together! Did you tell her that I was come down? · Fair. No, in truth, friend Giles; but I mentioned our affair at a distance; and I think there is no fear.
Giles. That's right and when shall us—you do know, I have told you my mind, often and often.
Fair. Farmer, give us thy hand; nobody doubts thy goodwill to me and my girl; and you may take my word, I would rather give her to thee than another, for I am main certain thou wilt make her a good husband.
Giles. Thanks to your kind opinion, Master Fair-, field ; if such be my hap, I hope there will be no cause of complaint.
Fair. And I promise thee my daughter will make thee a choice wife. But thou know'st, friend Giles, that I, and all belongs to me, have great obligations to Lord Aimworth's family; Patty, in particular, would be one of the most ungrateful wretches, this day breathing, if she was to do the smallest thing, contrary to their consent and approbation. .
Giles. Nay, nay, 'tis well enough known to all the country she was the old lady's darling.
Fair. Well, Master Giles, I'll assure thee she is not one whit less obliged to my lord himself. When his mother was taken off so suddenly, and his affairs called him up to London, if Patty would have remained at the castle, she might have had the com-, mand of all: or, if she would have gone any where
else, he would have paid for her fixing, let the cost be what it would.
Giles. Why, for that matter, folks did not spare to say, that my lord had a sort of a sneaking kind. ness for her himself; and I remember at one time it was rife all about the neighbourhood, that she was actually to be our lady.
Fair. Pho, pho! a pack of woman's tales !
Fair. My lord's a man of a better way of thinking, friend Giles-But this is neither here nor there to our business. Have you been at the castle yet?
Giles. Who, I? Bless your heart, I did not hear a syllable of his lordship's being come down, till your lad told me.
Fair. No! why then, go up to my lord, let him know you have a mind to make a match with my daughter-hear what he has to say to it; and, afterwards, we will try if we can't settle matters.
Giles. Go up to my lord! Icod, if that be all, I'll do it with the biggest pleasure in life.—But where's Miss Pat? Might one not ax her how she do?
Fair. Never spare it; she's within there. Giles. I sees her-odd rabbit it, this hatch is locked now- Miss Pat! Miss Patty !-She makes believe not to hear me.
Fair. Well, well, never mind; thou'lt come and eat a morsel of dinner with us?
Giles. Nay, but just to have a bit of a joke with her at present-Miss Pat, I say! won't you open the door?
Hark! 'tis I, your own true lover.
After walking three long miles,