Char. He said so last night. He gave me hints too, that he had suspicions of our friend Stukely.
Mrs. Bev. Not of treachery to your Brother? That he loves play I know; but surely he is honest.
Char. He would fain be thought so; therefore I doubt him. Honesty needs no pains to set itself off.
Mrs. Bev. What now, Lucy?
Lucy. Your old steward, madam. I
had not the heart to deny him admittance, the good
old man begged so hard for it.
Mrs. Bev. Is this well, Jarvis? I desired you to avoid me.
Jar. Did you, madam? I am an old man, and had forgot. Perhaps too you forbad my tears; but I am old, madam, and age will be forgetful.
Mrs. Bev. The faithful creature! how he moves
Char. Not to have seen him had been cruelty.
Jar. I have forgot these apartments too. I remember none such in my young master’s house; and yet I have lived in’t these five and twenty years. His good father would not have dismissed me.
Mrs. Bev. He had no reason, Jarvis.
Jar. I was faithful to him while he lived, and when he died, he bequeathed me to his son. I have been faithful to Him too.
Mrs. Bev. I know it, I know it, Jarvis.
Char. We both know it.
Jar. I am an old man, madam, and have not a long time to live. I asked but to have died with him, and he dismissed me.
Mrs. Bev. Prithee no more of this! ’Twas his poverty that dismissed you.
Jar. Is he indeed so poor then? Oh! he was the joy of my old heart. But must his creditors have all? And have they sold his house too? His father built it when He was but a prating boy. The times I have carried him in these arms! And, Jarvis, says he, when a beggar has asked charity of me, why should people be poor? You shan’t be poor, Jarvis; if I was a king, nobody should be poor. Yet He is poor. And then he was so brave!—O, he was a brave little boy! And yet so merciful, he’d not have killed the gnat that stung him.
Mrs. Bev. Speak to him, Charlotte; for I cannot.
Char. When I have wiped my eyes.
Jar. I have a little money, madam; it might have been more, but I have loved the poor. All that I have is yours.
Mrs. Bev. No, Jarvis; we have enough yet. I thank you though, and will deserve your goodness.
Jar. But shall I see my master? And will he let me attend him in his distresses? I’ll be no expence to him: and ’twill kill me to be refused. Where is he, madam?