Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

DIALOGUE XXX.

MR. MERRYMAN, MR. LOVEGOOD, AND THE FAMILY

OF THE WORTHY’S.

AN ACCOUNT OF TIIE AWFUL DEATH OF MR. GREEDY,

GREAT-UNCLE OF MR. LOVELY.

An absence of about ten days, engaged Mr. Lovegood's attention before his return frorn bis excursion with the Lovely's ; and on the morning after his return, he called at Brookfield-Hall

Lov. [To Mr. Lovegood, ineeting him at the hal door.] How do you do my dear Sir? You are welcome home. Come in ; we have no one in the breakfast room but my wife aud daughters, and Mr. Merryman; and I am sure ihey will all be glad to see you.

Loveg. Sir, I hope you are all well?

Wor. All well, 1 thank you. But we are a little busy in settling matters previous to the marriage of my daughter. Mr. Merryman will not be contented any longer without her. In regard to worldly circumstances, she might have met with a more eligible match ; but we shall not thwarı the young people in their inclinations. My daughter seems quite in love with him ; in short we are all in love with him. He is an excellent youg man.

Loveg. Sir it is very kind of you and Mrs. Worthy, not to throw any impediment in their way : I have no doubt but that they will be very happy to, gether.

Wor. Between friends, I do not suppose he will leave our house till he has taken my daughter with

A

him; so that in a day or two, you will have that office to perform. [They enter the breakfast room.]

Mrs. Wor. Well Sir, we are all happy to see you back again; but how did you leave those charming creatures, the Lovelys?

Loveg. o Madam! they have been uncommonly agitated, by their great-uncle's death. Mrs. Wor. Did you find bim alive when you arrived ?

Loveg. Madam, he lived four days after we came there.

Wor. Then you can tell us somewhat about him.

Loveg. The very recollection of what I have seen and heard, makes me tremble ; the horrors of his conscience, were inexpressible.

Mer. I should rather have supposed that he would have left the world stupified, and senseless, through his great age and weakness.

Loveg. His faculties seemed to be very little impaired indeed : but the dreadful state of his mind, was beyond description.

Wor. What, was that the case during all his illpess?

Loveg, By what I could learn, he had been very low and dejected for above a month; though he lived in such a wretched, mean way, that no one thought it worth their while to inquire after him, or come to see him.

Mer. How then could you get any information respecting the state of his mind?

Loveg. All that we could know about him was from the Doctor, and a poor old woman who waited upon him; but we had sufficient specimens of the horrid state of his mind, during the four last days of his life.

Wor. I suppose you called on him directly as you arrived,

Loveg. No Sir; we first went to Mrs. Lovely's father, who seems to me, to be almost the only respectable person in the town.

Wor. What sort of a town is it then ?

a

Loveg. Sir, I hope there is not such another to be found. It is filled with the most contemptible set of misers that ever lived. There are in it, very large families of the Pinchpoors, the Gripelands, and the Graspalls; the Sharpers, the Closefists, the Hoarders, the Trickers, the Selfs, the Squeezers, the Grinders, the Scrapers, the Skinflints, and the Pennymans, the rule of whose family is, never to spend

penny if they can save it; almost the whole town has been in the possession of the Greedy's for some centuries. It seems, in old writings, to have been originally called Greedytown, only the inhabitants have softened the name ; and what is still more curious, the family of the Savealls, who are very numerous indeed in that lown, first got possession of the living so long ago, as when such multitudes of ministers were ejected from their livings, in the reign of Charles the Second; and so it has been contrived, that the living has continued in the same family ever since.

Mer. What a horrid condition the people must be in, while under the care of such a minister!

Loveg. Oh Sir! they are wonderfully pleased with him; bis sort of sermons just suit their taste; he is always expatiating on the evils of extravagance, on the virtues of forecast and frugality, and on the excellencies, and necessity of good economy.

Wor. How can Mr. Commerce bear to live with such a set?

Loveg. Sir, he is very glad he has it to say, that his family are not among the natives of the Town, though there is some reason to apprehend that he has caught, at least, a little of the contagion belonging to the place. [To Mr. Worthy.] I think Sir, it would kill you if you were to attempt to live there for a month, it is situated in such a sad, cold, barren spot; and though very large, as you may suppose, from the families that live in it, yet it is a miserable, mean, dirty looking place. Mr. Lovely's father, though Fairfield, where he lives, is above six miles from Grediton, can

a

[ocr errors]

scarcely bear his house, while the wind sets that way, it is so very offensive to his constitution.

Mrs. Wor. Did Mr. Lovely spend no time at his great-uncle's house, while you were at Grediton ?

Loveg. Why Madam, it is impossible to describe the miserably mean way in which he lived. The bed on which he died, and all the furniture of the room, could not, I am satisfied have been worth forty shillings : we were obliged to live entirely with Mr. Commerce.

Mrs. Wor. But we want to know how you got an interview with bim.

Loveg. Oh Madam ! it was with great difficulty indeed; for his nephew, the Esquire as he is called, who lives at Grediton House, the old family seat, about a mile and a half from the town, sent Mr. Quirk his lawyer to him, that as he was likely to die soon, he wished to die in peace with him. And this was all with a design to get his money from him: for he was to remind the old man that he was next akin.

Wor. These tricks are just what I should expect from such a set.

Loveg. But here Sir, there was trick upon trick; for before Mr. Quirk performed bis office for his client, he first began tampering with Mr. Lovely, telling him his erranu ; and that if he would only give him a thousand pounds, the will should be made entirely in his favour.

Mer. I will engage for it, Mr. Lovely would never submit to such a detestable design.

Loveg. Sir, before Mr. Lovely went to his greatuncle's, he told me of the proposal; and we both agreed that such a transaction for the sake of money, migh: justly be deemed a scandalous juggle.

Wor. I believe that amiable youth would rather suffer any thing, than submit to any action which was dirty, and unjust; so that here it should appear, he was likely to have another sacrifice to make, nearly as ostly as the former.

Loveg. Oh po Sir; this was only a trick of Mr.

AWFUL DEATH OF GREEDY.

289

Quirk's; for the old man, having had several sharp contests with his nephew, the Esquire, about money matters, was ever determind to make Mr. Lovely his heir. However I advised Mr. Lovely by no means to suffer Mr. Quirk to go alone to his greatuncle, that he might prevent any underhand dealings; so they went both of them together, and Mr. Lovely told me as soon as they entered the room,

he groaned ivexpressibly, and cried, “Oh nephew! I must die, I know I must die ; and oh that dreadful moment!” Mr. Quirk theo interrupted him and said, Sir, I have come with your nephew, Mr. Greedy's respects, that he hopes you have forgiven him, and that you die in peace with lim; and it is to be hoped

; Sir, according to these principles of mutual forgiveness, you have setiled your affairs. He took him up very hastily, and said, " What do you ask me that question for?” Mr. Quirk made answer, that he only wished to remind him, that his nephew was nearer akin than Mr. Lovely. Immediately, though quite in despair, he swore at him several times, calling him rascal, and said that he should leave all to young George.

Mer. Could the lawyer stand all this?

Loveg. Sir, he immediately retired, and Mr. Lovely and the old woman were left in the room alone with Mr. Greedy, while he continued cursing the designs of the lawyer, in the profanest manner.

Wor, Was this profane way of talk what he in general accustomed himself to ?

Loveg. When he was in a passion, he would at times be very reprobate; but in general he did not adopt this infernal language However it was a most awful circumstance, that when the horrors of bis conscience were the most dreadful his language would be the most profane.

Wor. I fear then it was a difficult matter for you to get an introduction to him.

Loveg. Sir, Mr. Lovely first opened the business

« ÎnapoiContinuați »