Page images
PDF
EPUB

done some time, it could not be reasonable to turn the young men out of business again, though it was at the demand of their father.

Neigh. However, his violence, and their unwillingness to disoblige or obstruct their father, made, all things easy that way. It happened one day, that he had been at London with his sons, and in their warehouse, for he had taken a house at some distance from the town; but when he went to town, used to go and sit in his sons' compting-house, to dc any business of his own, or divert bimself with them : here he suw their business went on flourishing and successful, after another rate than ever it did under his management,--and a strange uneasiness possesses his mind at the sight; instead of rejoicing that his sons minded their business, agreed, and went hand in hand, that they throve well, and that business flowed in upon them,-I say, instead of rejoicing at tbis prosperity of bis family, a spirit of envy and discontent seized him, and he went away chagrined and melancholy.

Wen he came home, his wife perceived a cloud of discontent sat upon his countenance; and though she was full of apprehension that he was under some violent disturbance, yet being willing to abate it as much as possible, she went cheerfully to him, and smiling, asked him how he did? He gave her little or no answer at first, but after some other little inquiries, he flew out upon her with the greatest fury imaginable ; told her, it was she that had supplanted him in his business, made him an invalid to his family, and a pensioner to bis children ; that her sons were engrossing the wealth of the family, and taking that increase which was his right,--and that she had confederated with them to draw him into a snare,mbut added, that he would break all the contrivances that were made use of to abuse him,

She could easily have answered every objection, and with great disadvantage to him; but she saw he was out of temper, and she had too much wisdom to throw oil,

into the fire ; she answered calmly, that as far as she had any hand in it, she could not but see that it is was for bis advantage: that she had acted purely with that design : but that if it appeared otherwise, she would with the same zeal, join with him to break any contrivance that was for bis hurt.

Why, says he, do you talk so ? Is it not to my hurt to see my sons set above me, and, as it were, possessing my inheritance before it falls to them? Could they not have staid till my head was laid ?

Wife. My dear, says she, you were satisfied of the reasons of it, before you did it.'

Husb. What reasons do you talk of?

Wife. Reasons, my dear, that I had rather you would not oblige me to repeat.

Husb. No reasons, but what would as well have served to have sent me to a mad-house. I have carried ou my trade these twenty-four years with success; what occasion had I throw it away at last?

Wife. Do not let us debate about the occasion.

Husb. Yes, yes, I will enter into the occasion, I see nothing in it but a plot between you and your sons, to get your husband more into your dispose.

Wife. You are disposed to be angry, my dear; I am far from desiring to have you at any body's dispose but your own.

Husb. And I will take care to be at nobody's dispose but my own; I assure you, I will unravel all your contrivances, and * make you all examples for trampliog apon, and taking advantages of the infirmities of a husband and a father.

* Here he raised his voice, looked pale, and grew very angry and hot, that his wife was even frighted; for though he had been hot with other people, he had never been so directly furious at her before.]

However, she kept on her discourse with calmness and tenper: says she,

Wife. My dear, do not fly upon your family so, and threaten us all, --you can do us no mischief, but will wound yourself ; bave a little patience, and hear calmly what we have to offer, you may be assured we have none of us in

jured you.

Husb. What! have you not injured me?

[Here he rises up in a great rage, and stamped upon the ground, walking hastily, talking loud, and looking furious ; in a word, shewing all the tokens of a most enraged temper.]

Wife. Do not suffer yourself to fly out, my dear; consider calmly, bope no body injured you.

Husb. Not injured me! Am I not turned out of business, like a lunatic that is begged out of his estatc ?

Wife. No, no, my dear, you are not used any thing like that.

Husb. What, am I not placed here like an idiot under guardians ? Am I not a mere pupil to my two sons ? And is not the management of the whole trade put wholly into their hands, and I fed from hand to mouth with a pension ; is not this abusing me? But I will put an end to it all immediately,- I will take the staff into my own hands again, I assure you, and I will use you as you deserve.

Wife. I pray God you may, my dear ; but I see you are hot and in a passion, I will withdraw and talk of these things another time.

Husb. No, no, I desire you will sit still; I am as fit to talk of them now as at another time, * pray sit still, and if you have any thing to say, speak it now.

[* He steps to the parlour-door, and shut her in, before she could be quick enough to withdraw.] Wife. I had rather you would excuse me, my dear;

let us talk of it another time. Husb. No, no, just now, no delays, I will go to work with it just now; if you have any thing to say for your conduct, or against what I intend to do, let me hear it.

[ocr errors]

pray

Wife. I do not know what you intend to do, how should I have any thing to say to it?

Husb. I tell you, do not I ? I tell you I will unravel all you have done.

Wife. Well, my dear, if you are resolved, what can I say to it? You have often done things in your passion, which you have beon sorry for; I wish you may do nothing of the like kind now, that is all I can say.

Hush. Nay, I know you cannot say any thing for what you have done, and that is the season why you can say nothing against what I am to do.

Wife. I desire to oppose you in nothing that is for your advantage ; whether this may be so, I know not, because I

,

, know not what it is you

intend. Husb. I will tell you what I intend, I will go immediately to the warehouse, send your two sons bome, and take my business into my own hands again ; and so once more I

1 will be my own master, and not an underling and a pensioner.

Wife. My dear, I have but one thing to say to it,-1 wish you

couid bear to hear me. Husb. Yes, yes, I'll hear your advice, though I may not take it; for I suppose it will be of as much consequence as other things,--let us hear it, whether I mind it

or no.

Wife. Why, my dear, that you may do nothing to repent of, my advice and request is, bow your knee to God first, and though it be but two minutes, ask seriously for his direction and blessing upon what you are going to do, and then, whatever you do after that, I will readily acquiesce in.

Husb. Well, it is nothing to you whether I do

or no,

[She was in a great concern all this while, lest his pas. sion might break out to do any intemperate violent thing, and would fain have got away from him but could not.)

Wife. Yes, it is much to me on your own account.

Husb. You are provided for, what is it to you .

Wife. I have some concern sure in your welfare ? you cannot be miserable without me; and I am sure, my dear, I mourn over your mistakes, and would prevent them if it were in my power.

Husb. Moarn over your own ill usage of me.

Wife. My dear, if I had ever used you ill, I should do so,--but you will see, when your passion is over, I have not used you ill, or done any thing that ought to displease or dissatisfy you, even in the very thing that now most dis

turbs you.

Husb. Not used me ill ! am I not turned out of my business, as a man not fit to

arry it on; as a madman that must not be trusted with a knife, or any necessary thing that he is capable of doing barm with ?

Wife. I could convince you, my dear another time, but you are angry now, and I care not to enter into words that may

increase it. Husb. No, no, I can never be convinced : but I'll convince you all that I am not so easily to be imposed upon, as you may believe , l'il undo all that has been done, and that immediately, before I sleep.

Wife. My dear, I entreat you, though you do all you say you will do, yet do not do it in a passion ; even though you were doing well, yet doing it in such a temper. it is odds but you do something nmiss.

Husb. I tell you I will not be bought or sold aniong you; I have been betrayed and treacherously used, and my sons bave got up in my saddle, are getting estates in my business, and in a few years will be able to say they can live without me.

Wife. Well, my dear, can you repine at the prosperity of your own children ?

Husb. They should have come to it in their own timc : what is the prosperity of the children to be raised upon the ruin of the father? Wif:. My dear, are you ruined, are you beneath toem?

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »