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us! a happy dog!-How the deuce come I to be interested in a man's fortune unless I am his stew. ard or his tailor ? Indeed knowledge and genius are worth examining into; by those
understanding may be improved, or my imagination gratified; but why such a man's being able to eat ortolans, and drink French wine, is to recommend him to my esteem, is what I cannot readily conceive.
Jenk. This complaint may with justice be made of all imitations; the ridiculous side is ever the object imitated. But a truce to moralising and to our business. Prithee, in the first place, how can you gain admittance to your mistress ? and, in the second; is the girl independent of her father? his consent, I suppose, you have no thoughts of obtaining
Hart. Some farther proposals concerning my estate, such as an increase of the mortgage or an absolute sale, is a sufficient pretence for a visit; and, as to cash, twenty to my knowledge! inde pendent too, you rogue! and, besides, an only child, you know! and then, when things are done they can't be undone, and 'tis well its no worse, and a hundred such pretty proverbs, will, its great odds, reconcile the old fellow at last. Besides, my papa in posse has a foible, which, if I condescend to humour, I have his soul, my dear.
Jenk. Prithee, now you are in spirits, give me a portrait of Sir Penurious; though he is my neighbour, yet he is so domestic an animal that I know no more of him than the common country con. versation, that he is a thrifty, wary, man.
Hart. The very abstract of penury! Sir John Culler, with his transmigrated stockings, was but a type of him. For instance, the barber has the growth of his and his daughter's head once a year for shaving the knight once a fortnight ; his shoes are made with the leather of a coach of his grandfather's, built in the year 1; his male servant is footinan, groom, carter, coachman, and tailor; his maid employs her leisure hours in plain-work for the neighbours, which Sir Penurious takes care, as her labour is for his emolument, shall be as many as possible, by joining with his daughter in scouring the rooms, making the beds, &c. thus much for his moral character. Then, as to his intellectual, he is a mere carte blanche; the last man he is with must afford him matter for the next he goes to; but a story is his idol, throw him in that and he swallows it; no matter what, raw or roasted, savory or insipid, dow it goes, and up again to the first person he meets ; it is upon this basis I found my favour with the knight, having acquired patience enough to hear his stories, and equipped myself with a quantity sufficient to furnish him; his manner is indeed peculiar, and for once or twice entertaining enough. I'll give you a specimen ;
-is not that an equipage? Jenk. Hey! yes, faith! and the owner an acquaintance of mine ; Sir Gregory Gazette, by Jupiter! and his son Tim with him. Now I can match your knight. He must come this way to the parlour. We'll have a scene; but take your cue, he is a country politician.
Sir Gregory, entering, and waiter. Sir Greg. What, neither the Gloucester Journal, nor the Worcester Courant, nor the Northampton
Mercury, nor the Chester ? Mr. Jenkins, I am your humble servant; a strange town this, Mr. Jenkins, no news stirring, no papers taken in! Is that gentleman a stranger, Mr. Jenkins ? Pray, sir, not to be too bold, don't you come from London?
Hart. But last night.
Sir Greg. Lack-a day! that's wonderful! Mr. Jenkins, introduce me.
Jenk. Mr. Hartop, Sir Gregory Gazette.
Sir Greg. Sir, I am proud to Well, sir, and what news? You come from Pray, sir, are you a parliament-man?
Hart. Not I indeed, sir.
Sir Greg. Good lack! may be belong to the law ?
Hart. Nor that.
Sir Greg. Oh, then in some of the offices; the treasury or the exchequer?
Hart. Neither, sir.
Sir Greg. Lack-a-day! that's wonderful! Well, but, Mr. - Pray what name did Mr. Jenkins, HaHa
Hart. Hartop Sir Greg. Ay, true! what, not of the Hartops of Boston ?
Sir Greg. May be not. There is, Mr. Hartop, one thing that I envy you Londoners in much ;quires of
newspapers !-Now I reckon you read a matter of eight sheets every day?
Hart. Not one.
Sir Greg. Wonderful! then, may be, you are about court; and so, being at the fountain-head, know what is in the papers before they are printed
Hart. I never trouble my head about them.An old fool! [Aside.]
Sir Greg. Good lord! Your friend, Mr. Jenkins, is very close.
Jenk. Why, Sir Gregory, Mr. Hartop is much in the secrets above; and it becomes a man so trusted to be wary, you know.
Sir Greg. May be so, may ye so. Wonderful, ay, ay, a great man no doubt.
Jenk. But I'll give him a better insight into your character, and that will induce him to throw off his reserve.
Sir Greg. May be so; do, do; ay, ay!
Jenk. Prithee, Jack, don't be so crusty, indulge the knight's humour a little; besides, if I guess right, it may be necessary for the conduct of your design to contract a pretty strict intimacy here.
[Aside. Hart. Well, do as you will. [Aside,]
Jenk. Sir Gregory, Mr. Hartop's ignorance of your character made him a little shy in his replies, but you will now find him more communicative and, in your ear,--he is a treasure; he is in all the mysteries of government; at the bottom of every thing.
Sir Greg. Wonderful! a treasure! ay, ay, may
Jenk. And, that you may have him to your. self, I'll
in search of your son. Sir Greg. Do so, do so; Tim is without, just come from his uncle Tregegle's at Mavagezy in
Cornwall; Tim is an honest lad: so. [Exit Jenk.] Well, Mr. Hartop, and so a peace; lack-a-day! long looked for come at last. But pray, Mr. Hartop, how many newspapers may you have printed in a week?
Hart. About a hundred and fifty, Sir Gregory,
Sir Greg. Good now, good now! and all full, I reckon; full as an egg; nothing but news! well, well, I shall go to London one of these days. A hundred and fifty; wonderful! and, pray now, which do you reckon the best?
Hart. Oh, Sir Gregory, they are as various in their excellencies as their uses; if you are inclined to blacken, by a couple of lines, the reputation of a neighbour, whose charactèr neither your nor his whole life can possibly restore, you may doit fortwo shillings in one paper; if you are displaced, or disappointed of a place, a triplet against the ministry will be always well received at the head of another; and then, as a paper of morning amuse« ment, you have the Fool.
Sir Grcg. The Fool good lack! and pray who and what may that same Fool be?
Hart. Why, Sir Gregory, the author has artfully assumed that habit, like the royal jesters of old, to level his satire with more security to himself and severity to others.
Sir Greg. May be so, may be so! the Fool! ha, ha, ha! well enough! a queer dog, and no fool, I warrant you! Killigrew, ah, I have heard my grandfather talk much of that same Killigrew, and no fool! But what is all this to news, Mr. Hartop? Who gives us the best account of the king of Spain, and the queen of Hungary, and those great?