Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker: Ch. 68

[+] | [-] | reset
 

'Have a little patience (replied our 'squire); we are not yet come to the catastrophe; and pray God it may not turn out a tragedy instead of a farce. — The captain is one of those saturnine subjects, who have no idea of humour. — He never laughs in his own person; nor can he bear that other people should laugh at his expence. Besides, if the subject had been properly chosen, the joke was too severe in all conscience.' ''Sdeath! (cried the knight) I could not have bated him an ace had he been my own father; and as for the subject, such another does not present itself once in half a century.' Here Mrs Tabitha interposing, and bridling up, declared, she did not see that Mr Lismahago was a fitter subject for ridicule than the knight himself; and that she was very much afraid, he would very soon find he had mistaken his man. — The baronet was a good deal disconcerted by his intimation, saying, that he must be a Goth and a barbarian, if he did not enter into the spirit of such a happy and humourous contrivance. — He begged, however, that Mr Bramble and his sister would bring him to reason; and this request was reinforced by lady Bullford, who did not fail to read the baronet a lecture upon his indiscretion, which lecture he received with submission on one side of his face, and a leer upon the other.

We now went to bed for the second time; and before I got up, my uncle had visited Lismahago in the green room, and used such arguments with him, that when we met in the parlour he seemed to be quite appeased. He received the knight's apology with good grace, and even professed himself pleased at finding he had contributed to the diversion of the company. — Sir Thomas shook him by the hand, laughing heartily; and then desired a pinch of snuff, in token of perfect reconciliation — The lieutenant, putting his hand in his waistcoat pocket, pulled out, instead of his own Scotch mull, a very fine gold snuff-box, which he no sooner perceived than he said, 'Here is a small mistake.' 'No mistake at all (cried the baronet): a fair exchange is no robbery. — Oblige me so far, captain, as to let me keep your mull as a memorial.' 'Sir (said the lieutenant), the mull is much at your service; but this machine I can by no means retain. — It looks like compounding a sort of felony in the code of honour. Besides, I don't know but there may be another joke in this conveyance; and I don't find myself disposed to be brought upon the stage again. — I won't presume to make free with your pockets, but I beg you will put it up again with your own hand.' So saying, with a certain austerity of aspect, he presented the snuffbox to the knight, who received it in some confusion, and restored the mull, which he would by no means keep except on the terms of exchange.

This transaction was like to give a grave cast to the conversation, when my uncle took notice that Mr Justice Frogmore had not made his appearance either at the night-alarm, or now at the general rendezvous. The baronet hearing Frogmore mentioned, 'Odso! (cried he) I had forgot the justice. — Pr'ythee, doctor, go and bring him out of his kennel.' Then laughing till his sides were well shaken, he said he would shew the captain, that he was not the only person of the drama exhibited for the entertainment of the company. As to the night-scene, it could not affect the justice, who had been purposely lodged in the farther end of the house, remote from the noise, and lulled with a dose of opium into the bargain. In a few minutes, Mr Justice was led into the parlour in his nightcap and loose morning-gown, rolling his head from side to side, and groaning piteously all the way. — 'Jesu! neighbour Frogmore (exclaimed the baronet), what is the matter? — you look as if you was not a man for this world. — Set him down softly on the couch — poor gentlemen! — Lord have mercy upon us! — What makes him so pale, and yellow, and bloated?' 'Oh, Sir Thomas! (cried the justice) I doubt 'tis all over with me — Those mushrooms I eat at your table have done my business — ah! oh! hey!' 'Now the Lord forbid! (said the other) — what! man, have a good heart — How does thy stomach feel? — hall?'