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Enter FAIRFIELD. Lord A. How now, Master Fairfield, what bringe
Fair. I am come, my lord, to thank you for your bounty to me and my daughter this morning, and most humbly to entreat your lordship to receive it at our hands again.
Lord A. Ay-why, what's the matter ?
Fair. I don't know, my lord ; it seems your generosity to my poor girl has been noised about the neighbourhood; and some evil minded people have put it into the young man's head, that was to marry her, that you would never have made her a present so much above her deserts and expectations, if it had not been upon some naughty account: now, my lord, I am a poor man, 'tis true, and a mean one; but I and my father, and my father's father, have lived tenants upon your lordship's estate, where we have always been known for honest men; and it shall never be said, that Fairfield, the miller, became rich, in his old days, by the wages of his child's shame.
Lord A. What, then, Master Fairfield, do you believe
Fuir. No, my lord, no; Heaven furbid! but when I consider the sum, it is too much for us ; it is indeed, my lord, and enough to make bad fólks talk.
Lord A. The farmer then refuses to marry Patty, notwithstanding their late reconciliation.
Fair. Yes, my lord, he does indeed; and has made a wicked noise, and used us in a very base manner.
Lord A. Well, Master Fairfield, I will not press on you a donation, the rejection of which does you so much credit; you may take my word, however, that your fears upon this occasion are entirely groundless : but this is not enough, as I have been the means of losing your daughter one husband, it is but just I should get her another; and, since the farmer is so scrupulous, there is a young man in the house here, whom I have some influence over, and I dare say
he will be less squeamish. Fair. To be sure, my lord, you have, in all honest
a right to dispose of me and mine, as you think proper.
Lord A. Go then immediately, and bring Patty hither; I shall not be easy till I have given you entire satisfaction. But, stay and take a letter, which I am stepping into my study to write: I'll order a chaise to be got ready, that you may go backward and forward with greater expedition.
Near the Mill.
Enter Fanny, following RALPH.
Fanny. Ralph, Ralph!
Fanny. Lord, I never knowed such a man as you are, since I com'd into the world; a body can't speak to you, but you falls strait ways into a passion: I followed you up from the house, only you run so, there was no such a thing as overtaking you, and I have been waiting there at the back door ever so long.
Ralph, Well, and now you may go and wait at the fore door, if you like it: but I forewarn you and your gang not to keep lurking about our mill any longer; for if you do, I'll send the constable after you, and have
you every mother's skin clapped into the county gaol: you are such a pack of thieves, one can't hang so much as a rag to dry for you : it was but the other day that a couple of them came into our kitchen to beg a handful of dirty flour, to make them cakes, and before the wench could turn about, they had whipped off three brass candlesticks, and a pot-lid.
Fanny. Well, sure it was not I!
Ralph. Then you know that old rascal, that you call father; the last time I catched him laying snares for the hares, I told him I'd inform the gamekeeper, and I'll expose all
Fanny. Ah, dear Ralph, don't be angry with me.
Ralph. Yes, I will be angry with you --what do you come nigh me for 7-You shan't touch me There's the skirt of my coat, and if you do but lay a finger on it, my lord's bailiff is here in the court, and I'll call him and give you to him.
Funny. If you'll forgive me, I'll go down on my knees.
Ralph. I tell you I won't.—No, no, follow your gentleman; or go live upon your old fare, crows and pole-cats, and sheep that die of the rot; pick the dead fowl off the dunghills, and squench your thirst at the next ditch, 'tis the fittest liquor to wash down such dainties--skulking about from barn to barn, and lying upon wet straw, on commons, and in
lanes -30, and be whipped from parish to parish, as you used to be.
Fanny. How can you talk so unkind ?
Ralph. And see whether you will get what will keep you as I did, by telling of fortunes, and coming with pillows under your apron, among the young farmers' wives, to make believe you are breeding, with “ The Lord Almighty bless you, sweet mistress, you cannot tell how soon it may be your own case."
know I amacquainted with all your tricks—and how you turn up the whites of your eyes, pretending you were struck blind by thunder and lightning.
Fanny. Pray don't be angry, Ralph.
Ralph. Yes, but I will though ; spread your cobe webs to catch flies, I am an old wasp, and don't value them a button.
When you meet a tender creature,
Prove as kind again to she ;
And be fond, as fond can be.
But if one you meet that's froward,
'Tis to mend her ne'er the wit.
Nothing's tough enough to bind her;
when once you find her, Let her go, and never mind her;
Heart alive, you're fairly quit.
Fanny. I wish I had a draught of water. I don't know what's come over me; I have no more strength than a babe; a straw would Aing me down.—He has a heart as hard as any parish officer; I don't doubt now but he would stand by and see me whipped himself; and we shall all be whipped, and all through my means- -The devil run away with the gentleman, and his twenty guineas too, for leading me astray: if I had known Ralph would have taken it so, I would have hanged myself before I would have said a word --but I thought he had no more gall than a pigeon.
O, what a simpleton was I,
To make my bed at such a rate!
Thy true-love seeks another mate.
No tears, alack !
Will call him back,
I could bite
My tongue thro' spite-
A Room in the Miller's House.
Enter Giles, followed by Patty, and THEODOSIA.
Giles. Why, wbat the plague's the matier with you :- What do you scold at me for? I am sure I did not say an uncivil word, as I know of; I'll be judged by the young lady if I did.
Patty. 'Tis very well, Farmer; all I desire is, that you will leave the house: you see my father is not at home at present; when he is, if
any thing to say, you know where to come.
Giles. Enough said, I don't want to stay in the house, not l; and I don't much care if I had never come into it.