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WHEN Tom, an' please your honour, got to the shop, there was no body in it, but a poor negro girl, with a bunch of white feathers slightly tied to the end of a long cane, flapping away flies--not killing them.'Tis a pretty picture! said my uncle Toby-she had suffered persecution, Trim, and had learnt mercy
She was good, an' please your honour, from nature as well as from hardships ; and there are circumstances in the story of that poor friendless slut that would melt a heart of stone, said Trim; and some dismal winter evening, when your honour is ju humour, they shall be told you with the rest of Tom's story, for it makes a part of it
Then do not forget, Trim, said my uncle Toby.
A Negro has a soul, an' please your honour, said the corporal (doubtingly.)
I am not much versed, corporal, quoth my uncle Toby, in things of that kind ; but I supposé, God would not
1 leave him without one, any more than thee or me.
It would by putting one sadly over the head of another, quoth the corporal.
It would so; said my uncle Toby. Why then an please your honour, is a black wench to be used worse than a white one ?
I can give no reason, said my uncle Toby,----Only, cried the corporal, shaking his head, because she has no one to stand up for her
Tis that very thing, Trim, quoth my uncle Toby, which recommends her to protection, and her brethren with her ;-'tis the fortune of war which has put the whip into our hands now -where it may be hereafter, Heaven knows but be it where it will, the brave Trim, will not use it unkindly.
-God forbid, said the corporal. Amen, responded my uncle Toby, laying his hand up- , on his heart.
RIVERS AND SIR HARRY.
Sir. Har. COLONEL, your most obedient: I am come upon the old business; for unless I am allowed to entertain hopes of Miss Rivers, I shall be the most miserable of all human beings.
Riv. Sir Harry, I have already told you by letter, and I'now tell you personally, I cannot listen to your proposals. Sir Har. No, Sir ?
Riv. No, Sir, I have promised my daughter to Mr. Sidney ; do you know that, Sir ?
Sir Har. I do ; but what then? Engagements of this kind, you know
Riv. So then, you do know I have promised her to Mr. Sidney ?
Sir Har. I do ; but I also know that matters are not finally settled between Mr. Sidney and you; and I moreover know, that his fortune is by no means equal to mine, therefore
Riv. Sir Harry, let me ask you one question before you make
your consequence. Sir Har. A thousand if you please, Sir.
Riv. Why then, Sir, let me ask you, what you have ever observed in me or my conduct, that you desire me so familiarly to break my word ? I thought, Sir, you considered me as a man of honour.
Sir. Har. And so I do, Sir, a man of the nicest honour.
Riv. And yet, Sir, you ask me to violate the sanctity of my word ; and tell me directly, that it is my interest to he a rascal.
Sir Har. I really don't understand you, Colonel : 1 thought when I was talking to you I was talking to a man who knew theworld; and as you have not yet signed
Riv. Why, this is mending matters with a witness! And so you think because I am not legally bound, I am under no necessity of keeping my word! Sir Harry, laws were never made for men of honour; they want no bond but the rectitude of their own sentiments, and laws are of no use but to bind the villains of society.
Sir Har. Well! but my dear Colonel, if you have no regard for me, shew some little regard for your daughter.
Riv. I shew the greatest regard for my daughter, by giving her to a man of honour : and I must not be insulted with any farther repetition of your proposals.
Sir Har. Insult you, Conolel ! Is the offer of my, alliance an insult ? Is my readiness to make what settle ments you think proper
Riv. Sir Harry, I should consider the offer of a kingdom an insult, if it was to be purchased by the violation of my word: Besides, though my daughter should never go a beggar to the arms of her husband, I would rather see her happy than rich; and if she has enough to provide handsomely for a young family, and something to spare for the exigencies of a worthy friend, I shall think her as affluent as if she was mistress of Mexico.
Sir Har. Well, Colonel, I have done; but I believe
Riv. Well, Sir Harry, and as our conference is done, we will, if you please, retire to the ladies: I shall be always glad of your acquaintance, though I cannot receive you as a son-in-law; for a union of interests I look upon as a union of dishonour, and consider a marriage for money, at best, but a legal prostitution.
SIR JOHN MELVIL AND STERLING.
STERL. WHAT are your commands with me, Sir John ?
- SIR JOHN. After having carried the negociation between our families to so great a length, after having assented so readily to all your proposals as well as received so many instances of your cheerful compliance with the demands made on our part, I am extremely concerned, Mr. Sterling, to be the involuntary cause of any uneasiness.
STERL, Uneasiness! what uneasiness ? Where busidess is transacted as it ought to be, and the parties under. stand one another, there can be no uneasiness. You agree, on such and such conditions, to receive my daughter for a wife ; on the same conditions, I agree to receive you as a son-in-law; and as to all the rest, it fol. lows of course, you know, as regularly as the payment of a bill after acceptance.
SIR JOHN. Pardon me, Sir; more uneasiness has arisen than you are aware of. I am myself, at this instant, in a state of inexpressible embarrassment; Miss Sterling, I know, is extremely disconcerted too; and unless you will oblige me with the assistance of your friendship, I foresee the speedy progress of discontent and animosity through the whole family.
STERL. What the deuce is all this? I do not understand a single syllable.
SIR JOHN. In one word then, it will be absolutely impossible for me to fulfil my engagements in regard to Miss Sterling
STERL. How, Sir John ? Do you mean to put an affront upon my family? What! refuse to
SIR JOHN. Be assured, Sir, that I neither mean to affront, nor forsake your family. My only fear is, that you
should desert me ; for the whole happiness of my life de. pends on being well connected with your family by the Dearest and tenderest ties in the world.
STERL. Why, did not you tell me, but a moment ago, it was absolutely impossible for you to marry my daughter ?
SIR JOHN. True : But you have another daughter, sir
STERL. Well ?
SIR JOHN. Who has obtained the most absolute do. minion over my
heart. I have already declared my passion to her ; nay, Miss Sterling herself is also apprised of it, and if you will but give a sanction to my present addresses, the uncommon merit of Miss Sterling will no doubt recommend her to a person of equal, if not superior rank to myself, and our families may still be allied by my union with Miss Fanny.
STERL. Mighty fine, truly ! Why, what the plague do you make of
US, Sir John? Do you come to market for my daughters, like servants at a statute-fair ? Do you think that I will suffer you, or any man in the world to come into my house, like the Grand Seignior, and throw the handkerchief first to one, and then to l'other, just as he pleases ? Do you think I drive a kind of Afri can slave-trade with them ? and
Sir JOHN. A moment's patience, sir ! Nothing but the excess of my passion for Miss Fanny should have induced me to take any step that had the least appearance of disrespect to any part of your family; and even now I am desirous to atone for my transgression, by making the most adequate compensation that lies in my power.
STERL. Compensation! what compensation can you possibly make in such a case as this, Sir John ?
SIR JOHN. Come, come, Mr. Sterling ; I kpow you to be a man of sense, and a man of business, a man of the world, I will deal frankly with you; and you shall see that I do not desire a change of measures for my