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Mr. JESSAMY, Lady MARY OLDBOY, and then Colonel
Lady M. Shut the door, why don't you shut the door there? Have you a mind I should catch my death? This house is absolutely the cave of Æolus; one had as good live on the eddy-stone, or in a wind-mill. 201
Mr. Jes. I thought they told your Ladyship, that there was a messenger here from Sir John Flowerdale.
Col. Well, sir, and so there was; but he had not patience to wait upon your curling-irons. Mr. Jenkins was here, Sir John Flowerdale's steward, who has lived in the family these forty years.
Mr. Jes. And pray, Sir, might not Sir John Flower, dale have come himself: if he had been acquainted with the rules of good breeding, he would have known that I ought to have been visited.
Lady M. Upon my word, Colonel, this is a solecism.
Col. 'Sblood, my Lady, it's none. Sir John Flowerdale came but last night from his sister's seat in the West, and is a little out of order. But I suppose he thinks he ought to appear before him with his daughter in one hand, and his rent-roll in the other, and cry, Sir, pray do me the favour to
them. 218 Lady M. Nay, but, Mr. Oldboy, permit me to say
Col. He need not give himself so many affected airs; I think it's very well if he gets such a girl for going
for; she's one of the handsomest and richest in this country, and more than he deserves.
Mr. Jes. That's an exceeding fine china jar your ladyship has got in the next room; I saw the fellow of it the other day at Williams's, and will send to my agent to purchase it : it is the true matchless old blue and white. Lady Betty Barebones has a couple that she gave an hundred guineas for, on board an Indiaman ; but she reckons them at a hundred and twenty-five, on account of half a dozen plates, four Nankeen beakers, and a couple of shaking Mandarins, that the custom-house officers took from under her petticoats.
234 Col. Did you ever hear the like of this! He's chattering about old china, while I am talking to him of a fine girl. I tell you what, Mr. Jessaniy, since that's the name you choose to be called by, I have a good mind to knock you down.
Mr. Jes. Knock me down! Colonel? What do you mean? I must tell you, Sir, this is a language to which I have not been accustomed; and, if you think proper to continue to repeat it, I shall be under a ne. cessity of quitting your house?
Col. Quitting my house?
Col. Why, Sir, am not I your father, Sir, and have I not a right to talk to you as I like? I will, sirrah. But, perhaps, I mayn't be your father, and I hope not.
Lady M. Heavens and earth, Mr. Oldboy!
Col. What's the matter, Madam? I mean, Madam, that he might have been changed at nurse, Madam ; and I believe he was.
Mr. Jes. Huh! huh! huh !
Lady M. Who's there? somebody bring me a chair. Really, Mr. Oldboy, you throw my weakly frame into such repeated convulsions—but I see your aim; you want to lay me in my grave, and you will very soon have that satisfaction.
261 Col. I can't bear the sight of him.
Lady M. Open that window, give me air, or I shall faint.
Mr. Jes. Hold, hold, let me tie a handkerchief about my neck first. This cursed sharp north wind -Antoine, bring down my muff.
Col. Ay, do, and his great-coat.
Lady M. Marg'ret, some harts-horn. My dear Mr. Oldboy, why will you fly out in this way, when you know how it shocks my tender nerves ?
Col. 'Sblood, Madam, its enough to make a man mad.
Lady M. Hartshorn! Hartshorn
Will you give me leave to ask you one question ?
Col. I don't know whether I will or not.
Mr. Jes. I should be glad to know, that's all, what single circumstance in my conduct, carriage, or figure you can possibly find fault with—Perhaps I may be brought to reform-Prythee let me hear from your own mouth, then, seriously what it is you do like, and what it is you do not like,
Zounds, Sir! then I'll tell you without any jest,
A coxcomb, a fop,
A dainty milk-sop;
A thing full of prate,
Lady MARY OLDBOY, Mr. JESSAMY. Mr. Jes. What's the matter with the Colonel, Madam ; does your ladyship know?
Lady M. Heigho! don't be surprised, my dear; it was the same thing with my late dear brother, Lord Jessamy; they never could agree : that good natured friendly soul, knowing the delicacy of my constitution, has often said, sister Mary, I pity you. Not but your father has good qualities, and I assure you I remember him a very fine gentleman himself. In the year of the hard frost, one thousand seven hundred and thirty-nine, when he first paid his addresses to me, he was called agreeable Jack Oldboy, though I married him without the consent of your noble grandfather.
316 Mr. Jes. I think he ought to be proud of me: I believe there's many a Duke, nay Prince, who would esteem themselves happy in having such a son
Lady M. Yes, my dear; but your sister was always your father's favourite : he intends to give her a prodigious fortune, and sets his heart upon seeing her a woman of quality.
Mr. Jes. He should wish to see her look a little like a gentlewoman first. When she was in London last winter, am told she was taken notice of by a few men. But she wants air, manner.