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What is it now?

James. A quarter to.


Whose house is that I see?

No, not the County Member's with the vane:
Up higher with the yewtree by it, and half
A score of gables.

That? Sir Edward Head's:
But he's abroad: the place is to be sold.

John. Oh, his. He was not broken.


No, sir, he,

Vex'd with a morbid devil in his blood

That veild the world with jaundice, hid his face
From all men, and commercing with himself,
He lost the sense that handles daily life-
That keeps us all in order more or less-

And sick of home went overseas for change.

John. And whither?

James. Nay, who knows? he's here and there.

But let him go; his devil goes with him,
As well as with his tenant, Jocky Dawes.

John. What's that?

James. You saw the man-on Monday, was it?There by the humpback'd willow; half stands up And bristles; half has fall'n and made a bridge; And there he caught the younker tickling troutCaught in flagrante—what's the Latin word ?Delicto : but his house, for so they say, Was haunted with a jolly ghost, that shook The curtains, whined in lobbies, tapt at doors, And rummaged like a rat: no servant stay'd: The farmer vext packs up his beds and chairs, And all his household stuff; and with his boy Betwixt his knees, his wife upon the tilt, Sets out, and meets a friend who hails him, “What! You're flitting !” Yes, we're flitting,” says the


(For they had pack'd the thing among the beds,) “On well,” says he, you flitting with us tooJack, turn the horses' heads and home again.”

John. He left his wife behind; for so I heard. James. He lest her, yes. I met my lady once :

A woman like a butt, and harsh as crabs.

John. Oh yet but I remember, ten years back

'Tis now at least ten years—and then she was
You could not light upon a sweeter thing:
A body slight and round, and like a pear
In growing, modest eyes, a hand, a foot
Lessening in perfect cadence, and a skin
As clean and white as privet when it flowers.

James. Ay, ay, the blossom fades, and they

that loved

At first like dove and dove were cat and dog.

She was the daughter of a cottager,

Out of her sphere. What betwixt shame and price, New things and old, himself and her, she sour'd

To what she is: a nature never kind!

Like men, like manners: like breeds like, they say

Kind nature is the best : those manners next

That fit us like a nature second-hand;

Which are indeed the manners of the great.

John. But I had heard it was this bill that past,

And fear of change at home, that drove him hence.

James. That was the last drop in the cup of gall. I once was near him, when his bailiff brought A Chartist pike. You should have seen him wince As from a venomous thing: he thought himself A mark for all, and shudder'd, lest a cry Should break his sleep by night, and his nice eyes Should see the raw mechanic's bloody thumbs Sweat on his blazon'd chairs; but, sir, you know

That these two parties still divide the world

Of those that want, and those that have: and still

The same old sore breaks out from


With much the same result. Now I myself,
A Tory to the quick, was as a boy
Destructive, when I had not what I would.

I was at school-a college in the South: There lived a flayflint near; we stole his fruit, His hens, his eggs; but there was law for us;

We paid in person. He had a sow, sir. She With meditative grunts of much content,

Lay great with pig, wallowing in sun and mud. By night we dragg’d her to the college tower From her warm bed, and up the corkscrew stau

With hand and rope we haled the groaning sow, And on the leads we kept her till she pigg'd.

Large range of prospect had the mother sow,

And but for daily loss of one she loved,

As one by one we took them- but for this

As never sow was higher in this world

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