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Mr Smith. Very well, sir.
Dorn. I have done with him; he is henceforth no son of mine! Let him starve !
Mr Smith. He acts very improperly, sir, indeed. Dorn. Improperly !-How? What does he do?
[Alarmed. Mr Smith. Sir! Dorn. Have
any thing of Mr Smith. [Confused.] No-no, sir--nothing-nothing but what you yourself tell me.
Dorn. Then how do you know he has acted improperly?
Mr Smith. He is certainly a very good-hearted young gentleman, sir.
Dorn. Good-hearted !-How dare you make such an assertion ?
Mr Smith. Sir!
Dorn. How dare you, Mr Smith, insult me so !-Is not his gaming notorious; his racing, driving, riding, and associating with knaves, fools, debauchees, and blacklegs?
Mr Smith. Upon my word, sir_I_
Dorn. But it's over! His name has this very day been struck out of the firm ! Let his drafts be return. ed. It's all ended ! (Passionately.] And, observe, not a guinea! If you lend him any yourself, I'll not pay you.—I'll no longer be a fond doting father! There. fore take warning! Take warning, I say ! Be his distress what it will, not a guinea! Though you should hereafter see him begging, starving in the streets, not so much as the loan or the gift of a single guinea!
(With great passion. Mr Smith. I shall be careful to observe your orders, sir.
Dorn. Sir! [Terror.] Why, would you see him starve ?-Would you see him starre, and not lend him a guinea! --Would you, sir? Would you?
My Smith. Sir!Certainly not, except in obedie ence to your
orders, Dorn. [ Amazement and compassion.] And could any orders justify your seeing a poor unfortunate, youth, rejected by his father, abandoned by his friends, starving to death?
Mr Smith. There is no danger of that, sir.
Dorn. I tell you the thing shall happen ! He shall starve to death! [Horror at the supposition.] I'll never look on him more as a son of mine: and I am very certain, when I have forsaken him, all the world will forsake him too. [Almost in tears.] Yes, yes! he is born to be a poor wretched outcast !
Mr Smith. I hope, sir, he still will make a fine man,
Dorn. Will ! _There is not a finer, handsomer, nobler looking youth in the kingdom; no, not in the world!
Mr Smith. I mean a worthy good man, sir.
can you mean any such thing? The company he keeps would corrupt a saint.
Mr Smith. Sir, if you will only tell me what your pleasure is, I will endeavour to act like a faithful seryant.
Dorn. I know you are a faithful servant, Mr Smith. Takes his hand.). I know you are,mbut you—you are not a father!
Enter MR SULKY, and MR SMITH goes off. Dorn. Well, Mr Sulky, have you heard any thing of him?
Sulky. Yes. Dorn. And, eh (Excessively impatient.] Any thing consoling, any thing good ?
Dorn. No!-No, say you ?-Where is he? - What is he' about?
Sulky. I don't know.
Dorn. Don't?-You love to torture me, sir! You love to torture me,
have heard !
Sulky. I love to torture you.
Dorn. Put me out of my pain! If you are not a tiger, put me out of my pain!
Sulky. (Reluctantly drawing a newspaper out of his pocket.] There, read!
Sulky. The first paragraph in the postscript: the beginning line in capitals.
Dorn. [Reads.] The junior partner of the great banking-house, not a mile from the Post Office, has again been touched at Newmarket, for upward of ten thousand pounds-- (Pause.] It can't be !
Dorn. How do you know? What proof have you that this is not a lie?
Sulky, His own hand-writing.
Sulky. Bills, at three days sight, to the full amount, have already been presented.
Dorn. And accepted?
Dorn. But !-Why !_Were you mad, Mr Sulky Were you mad?
Sulky. I soon shall be.
my house begins to totter! Sulky. Well it may.
Dorn. What the effect of such a paragraph may be, I cannot tell.
Sulky, I can-Ruin.
Sulky. I am not inclined to laugh--A run against the house, stoppage, disgrace, bankruptcy.
Dorn. Really, Mr Sulky, you
Sulky. Yes, I kpow I offend. I was bred in your house, you used me tenderly, I served you faithfully, and
you admitted me a partner. Don't think I care for myself. No; I can sit at the desk again. But you !--you!—First man of the first commercial city on earth, your name in the Gazette ! Were it mine only, I would laugh at it. What am I?-Who cares for me?
Dorn. [Calling.] Mr Smith - Thomas !-Wil. liam!
Enter MR SMITH. Call all the servants together, Mr Smith ;--clerks, footmen, maids, every soul! Tell them, their young master is a scoundrel
Mr Smith. Very well, sir.
Dorn. Sir! [His.anger recurring.] Bid them shut the door in his face! I'll turn the first away that lets him set foot in this house ever again !
Mr Smith. Very well, sir. Dorn. Very well, sir ! Damn your very well, sir !I tell you, it is not very well, sir. He shall starve, die, rot in the street! Is that very well, sir?
[Exeunt Mr DORNTON and Mr Smith, Sulky. He has a noble heart :-a fond father's heart. The boy was a fine youth, but he spoiled him; and now he quarrels with himself, and all the world, because he hates his own folly. [Distant knocking heard at the street door.) So! here is the youth returned.
Enter Mr DORNTON, followed by SERVANTS. Doru Don't stir on your lives, don't go to the door ! --Are the bolts and locks all fastened? Seruts. All, sir.
[Knocking Dorn. Don't mind his knocking! Go to bed every soul of you instantly, and fall fast asleep..He shall istarve in the streets! (Knocking again.] Fetch me my blunderbuss ! Make haste!
The Street before the Door.
HARRY DORNTON, MILFORD, and PostILLIONS. Post. We smoked along, your honour.
Harry. [Knocks.) I know you did. Had you been less free with your whip, you would have been half a crown richer. Your next step should be, to turn drummers, and handle the cat-o-nine-tails. Post. It is very late, your
honour. Harry. Begone! I'll give you no more. [Knocks.
[Exeunt PostilLIONS. Dorn. [Throwing up the sash, and presenting the blunderbuss-MR Sulky behind.] Knock again, you scoundrel, and you shall have the full contents, loaded to the muzzle, rascal !
Harry. So ! I suspected dad was in his tantarums. Milf. You have given him some cause.
Harry. Very true. [To his father.] Consider, my dear sir, the consequences of lying out all night!
Dorn. Begone, villain !