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29. NOT ASHAMED OF HIS OCCUPATION. — Original adaptation from Morton.
Jasper. Now, there's a nice looking young man for a wedding party!
Stephen. Ah, dad! How are you, dad? Jas. Not dressed yet? What are you thinking of, you idle dog? Ste. Idle! Excuse me, dad; I was at work afore daylight. Jas. Work! daylight! what have you to do with daylight, such a day as this? Don't you know that Lady Leatherbridge, and her niece, Lady Valeria, will be here presently? Go to that glass, Sir! gaze upon that coat, waistcoat and trousers, including boots, and then tell me, is that figure Stephen Plum, or a common cotton-spinner, out of the hundreds in his employ?
Ste. Well, and what 's Stephen Plum, after all 's said and done, but a common spinner, too? A common spinner growed rich, like his father before him? Was n't his father, bless the old face of him! was n't he a common spinner, too? No, he was n't; Jasper Plum was no common spinner; he was one in a thousand, he was! Did n't he use to make the bobbins fly; and did n't he card and comb till his face was as shiny red as a bran new penny bit? Ah' dad, you was something like a man, then, you was!
Jas. Well, I believe I was rather a good hand. But those mechanical times are gone; we are now gentlemen!
Ste. Speak for yourself, dad; I'm no gentleman. I was, and am, and always shall be, a cotton-spinner. Now, don't be unreasonable, dad! have n't you made brother Freddy a gentleman? Surely, one gentleman in a family 's quite enough.
Jas. Yes, Frederick William's a pretty fellow, fellow.
a very pretty
Ste. Freddy's been wound on a different bobbin to me. Freddy's been to Oxford College, and larnt no end of larning; and Freddy's been to London, and seen no end of London life.
Jas. And, if you had n't preferred living like a bear, you might have accompanied him, and seen how all the mothers, who had daughters to marry, tried to get him to marry their daughters. Even the head of the illustrious house of Leatherbridge graciously condescended to accept his proposals for her niece, Lady Valeria Westendleigh. The whole affair was moved, debated and carried, in a week; only it was arranged that the wedding should take place here at Bristol during the family's visit to Clifton, to avoid what we call éclat! éclat, Sir! [dignified.]
Ste. Well, I don't wonder at Freddy; Freddy's a handsome chap, and a thorough good fellow; and Jasper Plum is the warmest man in our parts, and can put one hundred thousand yellow-boys into Freddy's breeches-pocket.
Jas. Yellow-boys! breeches-pocket! Stephen Plum, I hope you don't mean to discharge such fearful expressions in the hearing of Lady Leatherbridge!
Ste. Bless you, no; before them female nobs, my grammar 'll be as right as a trivet.
Jas. Female nobs! right as a trivet! Stephen, Stephen, the sad truth is, you've got no elevation of soul! You'll live and die in
Ste. I hope so; I mean to stick to cotton as long as cotton sticks to me.
Jas. [taking cotton off his coat]. Cotton sticks to you too much, Stephen Plum
Ste. I wish you 'd stick to cotton, dad, and get rid of all these fine, new, silk-and-satin notions of yours! The idea of your idling away your time, studying parlez vou Fransy! and then getting that whacking looking-glass, where I seed you making great ugly faces at yourself! Don't say you did n't, 'cause Toby and I catched you at it, t' other morning. How we did laugh, surely! Ho, ho, ho!
Jas. What you are pleased to call great ugly faces, Sir, were postures and smiles to receive my guests, and look at the result! Behold the transmogrified Jasper Plum! Passed into the state of butterfly, out of the state of grub!
Ste. A butterfly, you? I say, dad, don't you feel a little stiffish about the wings? Ho, ho! butterfly and grub [Suddenly serious.] Look you, dad; winter and summer, in work and out of work, I can manage to keep five hundred cotton spinners, families and all, a matter of two thousand poor creatures, and every man, woman and child, among 'em, has helped to make us rich. For my part, I can't lift a bit to my mouth, but I ask myself if any of theirs be empty. No, no! I must live and die among 'em ; but what need to tell you so? Don't they love you, and you love them, as dear as dear can be? Bless your old heart, I know you do! And now, dad, I'll tell you a secret. I'm in love.
Jas. In what?
Ste. In love! and I don't mind to tell you another secret, it's with a woman!
Jas. In love with a woman!
Ste. Yes; and, now you 're in for it, I'll tell you a third secret, I want to marry her off-hand, directly.
Jas. The boy 's mad! His brother's marriage has got into his head, and turned it! You marry? and marry a woman, too? What next, I wonder?
Ste. Don't be angry, dad; I only want a wife of my own, like my father before me; so you 'd very much oblige me, if you'd just name the time and keep it.
Jas. Indeed! before I name the time, Sir, perhaps you'll condescend to name the woman.
Ste. Ah! now comes the tug. I say, dad, you see that hook atop of the ceiling, - that 's just where you 'll jump to, when you hear who 't is. Well, then, the woman I love, and want to marry, is the
poor factory girl, Martha Gibbs. Now, don't jump! [Holding Jasper down.]
Jas. Martha Gibbs! Ha, ha, ha! Come, I like this. There's some character about such abominable audacity! It tickles one to have one's hair stand on end! Degenerate offspring! do you want to be the death of the house of Plum? And do you think I'll ever sanction such an alliance for a son of mine? Never, never! The voice of all your ancestors exclaims, Never! never!
Ste. Then I wish my ancestors would just speak when they 're spoke to.
Jas. Reflect, rash youth, what was this creature, Martha? A beggar, asking charity!
Ste. No, she asked for wages, and paid you with hard work. Jas. And who was she? I ask for her ancestry; she never had any. I ask for her parents; I don't believe she ever had any. Then warn't she a clever
Ste. Never had a father and mother? girl to manage to do without? Ho, ho, ho!
Jas. Reflect like a man, Sir, and don't laugh like a horse! I'll turn that intriguing hussy, Martha Gibbs, out of the house, this very day!
Ste. Stop, dad; you don't, you can't mean that?
Jas. I do mean that, and I 'll do it!
Ste. No, you won't; you may save yourself the trouble now, and the pain afterwards. Martha has given notice; she means to quit the factory to-morrow morning.
Jas. A pleasant journey to her!
Ste. I hope so, 'cause I go along with her.
Jas. What did you say, Sir?
Ste. I go along with her.
Jas. You, Stephen! go and leave-O, Stephen!
Ste. Perhaps it's best it should be so; long 's the day I've seen father and brother are ashamed of me.
Jas. Stephen Plum!
Ste. And you'd have me marry a fine lady, who'd be ashamed of me, too; but I won't. So, if you won't have us near you, why Martha and I must love you far
Jas. Well, I'll reflect, - let me have time to reflect.
Ste. That 's but fair; I'll give you lots of time. [Looking at his watch.] I'll give you five-and-twenty minutes.
Ste. Well, I don't mind making it half an hour; now, mind, in thirty minutes I'll return for your yes or no. If it's "No," I must pack up my carpet-bag, 'cause I can't go into the wide world without a change of linen. [Exit.]
Jas. I shall run distracted! Stephen Plum, if you 've any lingering love for your half-expiring father-Stephen, I say! Half an hour, indeed! that the house of Plum should come to this! [Exit.]
30. THE UNION AND ITS GOVERNMENT.- Wm. Gilmore Simms.
We hold to be the creature of our need,
Neither abridged nor pampered; and no calling
Or wrong of either. These, Sir, are my doctrines!
31. COLONNA TO THE KING.- Richard Lalor Shiel.
THE favor that I ask is one, my liege,
Of their soft countenances, are the vermin
Though ruin knock not at the palace gate,
Your gorgeous banquets, your high feasts of gold,
One generous deed, than the sarcophagus
32. ADDRESS TO THE SWISS.-Adaptation from Schiller's play of Wiliam Tell.
CONFEDERATES, listen to the words which God