The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 519 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4.

MR. H. Melesinda, you behold before you a wretch who would have betrayed your confidence, but it was love that prompted him; who would have tricked you by an unworthy concealment into a participation of that disgrace which a superficial world has agreed to attach to a name—­but with it you would have shared a fortune not contemptible, and a heart—­but ’tis over now.  That name he is content to bear alone—­to go where the persecuted syllables shall be no more heard, or excite no meaning —­some spot where his native tongue has never penetrated, nor any of his countrymen have landed, to plant their unfeeling satire, their brutal wit, and national ill manners—­where no Englishman—­(Here Melesinda, who has been pouting during this speech, fetches a deep sigh.) Some yet undiscovered Otaheite, where witless, unapprehensive savages shall innocently pronounce the ill-fated sounds, and think them not inharmonious.

MELESINDA
Oh!

MR. H.
Who knows but among the female natives might be found—­

MELESINDA
Sir! (raising her head).

MR. H.
One who would be more kind than—­some Oberea—­Queen Oberea.

MELESINDA
Oh!

MR. H.
Or what if I were to seek for proofs of reciprocal esteem among
unprejudiced African maids, in Monomotopa.

Enter Servant.

SERVANT
Mr. Belvil. [Exit.]

Enter BELVIL.

MR. H.
In Monornotopa (musing.)

BELVIL Heyday, Jack! what means this mortified face? nothing has happened, I hope, between this lady and you?  I beg pardon, Madam, but understanding my friend was with you, I took the liberty of seeking him here.  Some little difference possibly which a third person can adjust—­not a word—­will you, Madam, as this gentleman’s friend, suffer me to be the arbitrator—­strange—­hark’e, Jack, nothing has come out, has there? you understand me.  Oh I guess how it is—­somebody has got at your secret, you hav’n’t blabbed it yourself, have you? ha! ha! ha!  I could find in my heart—­Jack, what would you give me if I should relieve you—­

MR. H.
No power of man can relieve me (sighs) but it must lie at the root,
gnawing at the root—­here it will lie.

BELVIL
No power of man? not a common man, I grant you; for instance, a
subject—­it’s out of the power of any subject.

MR. H.
Gnawing at the root—­there it will lie.

BELVIL
Such a thing has been known as a name to be changed; but not by a
subject—­(shews a Gazette).

MR. H. Gnawing at the root (suddenly snatches the paper out of Belvil’s hand); ha! pish! nonsense! give it me—­what! (reads) promotions, bankrupts—­a great many bankrupts this week—­there it will lie (lays it down, takes it up again, and reads) “The King has been graciously pleased”—­gnawing at the root—­“graciously pleased to grant unto John Hogsflesh”—­the devil—­“Hogsflesh,

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The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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