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Tanjore, and give him this letter---stop, let me read it once more.
My dear Coufin,
My house in town is magnificently fitted up to receive you- -to my houie in the country “ I have added two wings, built in the eastern
style to make it more worthy your acceptance;
my carriage, horses, and servants are waiting “ to conduct you to London; and I have got a “ bride for you, young, beautiful, and rich."
There, that will please the young Nabob; to be sure it was unlucky my shutting my doors against him before he went to India, but these attentions, and bringing his sister Cecilia to my house, will remove former prejudices, and make it a most successful speculation---there, dispateh.
[Giving letter to the Servant. Serv. I will, fir.
Exit. Projet. Then by marrying him to my.ward Emmeline, I shall prevent any overhawling of accounts, and if I keep her close till he arrives here comes my wife in a rage at my refusing her money this morning---the miserly spendthrift! to be saving farthings in the comforts and necessaries of life, and wasting hundreds in luxuries and superfluities.
Enter Lady KATHARINE PROJECT.
Lady Pro. So, Mr. Project, how dare you
refuse me money when I condescend to send for it?
Projekt. Because 'tis time to grow prudent, madam.
Wait the event of my speculations before you let folly and extravagance again undo us.
Lady Pro. Extravagance !—Sir, 'tis yourspeculations that have undone us—haven't they all fail'd?did'nt the first wise bubble burst into air ?
Project. The first, madam!
Lady Pro. Yes: didn't you give two thousand pounds for a picture gallery think the pictures all originals ? call it the Asiatic Asiphusicon, and say you should make a fortune by its exhibition ?-very well, sir, and didn't the famous picture that you advertis’d, as the “ celebrated champion of England, by Rembrant,” turn out to be nothing more than an old sign of St. George and the Dragon, blown down from an alehouse in Leadenhall Market ? was’nt the boasted beech tree, by Claude Lorraine, daub'd out a week before by a glasier's boy, in Cheapside?
Project. No, no, Madam. Besides if it was, didn't the speculation on bark make me ample amends ?-did'nt I, by the monopoly of that medicine, dispose of it at my own price?
Lady Pro. No: for the doctors and apothecaries, finding they could get no profit by it, swore bark was unwholesome physic, and nobody took it.--Then did't you run up so many new houses at Paddington that many of them were built without stair-cases; and by the time one part was finish'd, didn't another fall all to pieces?---wasn't
Project. Zounds ! have you done, ma'am ?---I say it is your false economy that has hurt my fortune: saving trifles and squandering thousands.
Lady Pro. Squandering !---What, sir, do you pretend I don't consult cheapness ?
Project. Yes; but how, madam? you will lame my best horses by sending them to a cheap blacksmith, and then give a hundred pounds for a hammercloth---you will quarrel with your maid for
burning two candles instead of one; and the same night lose a thousand pounds at faro---and, answer me fairly, that you might use otto of roses instead of lavender, haven't you sent me to bed supperless for a whole month? Lady Pro. Well: and what then, sir?
Project. Then you stint the servants in meat and drink, only to dress them with bags and nosegaysand once when you gave one hundred and fifty pounds for a curricle, didn't you want me to drive two miles over impassable roads, only to avoid paying a turnpike?---another time when you and your favourite Sir Frederick
Lady Pro. There he always strikes me dumb--Oh! if I could recriminate! (aside) Well, sir : what of Sir Frederick? I'm sure. there's no impropriety in our intimacy : we are never tête a tête---At the theatre, the opera, all public places, my grandmother is always present; and if ever Sir Frederick kist the tip of my finger, the old lady saw it--
Project. That's impossible: for the old lady's as blind as Cupid..--However, it isn't our interest to quarrel; and if my schemes on the Alderman and the Nabob turn out as I expect, you shall have what money you desire---come, shake hands,---and now walk with me towards Aldgate farm, and I'll explain to you all my plans.
Lady Pro. Aldgate farm! there again! pray, sir, to whom do you owe the power you have over the Alderman? By whose means is that lump of agriculture become an annuity to you ?---have not my charms lur'd him?
Project. To be sure : he too has a blindness; and by his own affectations of intrigue, and your flattering his vanity-Lady Pro. He is become so attach'd to the wife,
that the husband may speculate him out of all his property. Well, sir, since you confess the obligation, I'll walk with you, and see how this curious gentle. man farmer goes on. Saturday is the day, I think, the rustick comes from London.
Project. It is: and as usual he only comes to paint his outhouses and neglect his land.---The farm is mine, and he thinks 1 shall give him a long lease ; but when I find he has finish'd his improvements, I'll let it over his head.--Oh, Eliza! this is the
age for speculation---People love delusion---ay, so much that the more you dupe them, the better they like you, and while a rich citizen shall propose à fair scheme which nobody adopts, a dashing west-end of the town gentiemen shall start a visionary one, and, hey! presto !---every body meets him in full cry--This is my plan, and so the Nabob and the gentleman farmer shall find it.
SCENE--- A view of the Alderman's Farm-Barn
with painted doors—Carts, waggons, &c. of different colours—Hay-stack cover'd with an elegant awning-White rails, &c.
VICKERY discovered with a basket in his hand.
Vickery. Here are alterations !—The vulgar clod who kept this farm before my master, said he built every thing for use; he minded the value not the look of a thing :-now I think the Alderman has shewn him the difference.---Here he comes, and I must be off to his dear Lady Project with this basket full of choice garden-stuff, and haunches of Nova Scotia mutton. I wish the Alderman may succeed better as a lover than as a farmer; though
between you and I, master Vickery, I believe lie knows as much of the one as of the other. [Exit.
Enter Project and Alderman ARABLE.
Ald. Ar. There, there are improvements ! Welcome to Aldgate farm, my
friend. Project. Thank’ye, Alderman, thank'ye.-Any news in London ?
Ald. Ar. That for London ---that for trade! (snapping his fingers.) here's the spot to make a fortune in. Look, my dear friend : is'nt every thing so tasty ? so neat ? so clean ? you see at once this is none of your rough dirty farms: it belongs to a gentleman; not to a farmer.
Project. True : all the outhouses so new, so neat! ay, common farmers never think of these things.
Ald. Ar. No: plodding blockheads ! they think of nothing but ploughing, sowing, and reaping : they look to the inside of their barns; I to the out! that pretty team now; (pointing to one.) it carries all the ashes and other manure to a neighbouring farmer's, for you must know I'm toocleanly to haveany dust or dirt thrown on my land : a little chalk makes it look light and pretty.—Then the piggery! what do you think of the piggery? there! why there it is.
Project. Mercy on me! in high varnish! Why, its very elegant. But pray, Alderman, haven't you found that the pigs spoil the paint ?
Ald. Ar. Yes, and that the paint spoils the pigs ; so I've got an excellent remedy---I keep none.
Project. That's one way to be sure.--- But with regard to the more essential parts of farming --how goes on your cabbage plantation ? your speculation on butter? what have been your profits ? Ald. Ar. Profit ! ask my bailiff about that. The