Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker: Ch. 79

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So saying, he started up, and could hardly be with-held from returning to the scene we had quitted — You will perceive it would have been very absurd for me to argue with a man that talked so madly. — On all such occasions, the first torrent of passion must be allowed to subside gradually. — I endeavoured to beguile his attention by starting little hints and insinuating other objects of discourse imperceptibly; and being exceedingly pleased in my own mind at this event, I exerted myself with such an extraordinary flow of spirits as was attended with success. — In a few hours, he was calm enough to hear reason, and even to own that Heaven could not have interposed more effectually to rescue him from disgrace and ruin. — That he might not, however, relapse into weaknesses for want of company, I passed the night in his chamber, in a little tent bed brought thither on purpose; and well it was I took this precaution, for he started up in bed several times, and would have played the fool, if I had not been present.

Next day he was in a condition to talk of business, and vested me with full authority over his household, which I began to exercise without loss of time, tho' not before he knew and approved of the scheme I had projected for his advantage. — He would have quitted the house immediately; but this retreat I opposed. — Far from encouraging a temporary disgust, which might degenerate into an habitual aversion, I resolved, if possible, to attach him more than ever to his Houshold Gods. — I gave directions for the funeral to be as private as was consistant with decency; I wrote to London, that an inventory and estimate might be made of the furniture and effects in his town-house, and gave notice to the landlord, that Mr Baynard should quit the premises at Lady-day; I set a person at work to take account of every thing in the country-house, including horses, carriages, and harness; I settled the young gentleman at a boarding-school, kept by a clergyman in the neighbourhood, and thither he went without reluctance, as soon as he knew that he was to be troubled no more with his tutor, whom we dismissed. The aunt continued very sullen, and never appeared at table, though Mr Baynard payed his respects to her every day in her own chamber; there also she held conferences with the waiting-women and other servants of the family: but, the moment her niece was interred, she went away in a post-chaise prepared for that purpose: she did not leave the house, however, without giving Mr Baynard to understand, that the wardrobe of her niece was the perquisite of her woman; accordingly that worthless drab received all the clothes, laces, and linen of her deceased mistress, to the value of five hundred pounds, at a moderate computation.

The next step I took was to disband that legion of supernumerary domestics, who had preyed so long upon the vitals of my friend:, a parcel of idle drones, so intolerably insolent, that they even treated their own master with the most contemptuous neglect. They had been generally hired by his wife, according to the recommendation of her woman, and these were the only patrons to whom they payed the least deference. I had therefore uncommon satisfaction in clearing the house of these vermin. The woman of the deceased, and a chambermaid, a valet de chambre, a butler, a French cook, a master gardener, two footmen and a coachman, I payed off, and turned out of the house immediately, paying to each a month's wages in lieu of warning. Those whom I retained, consisted of the female cook, who had been assistant to the Frenchman, a house maid, an old lacquey, a postilion, and under-gardener. Thus I removed at once a huge mountain of expence and care from the shoulders of my friend, who could hardly believe the evidence of his own senses, when he found himself so suddenly and so effectually relieved. His heart, however, was still subject to vibrations of tenderness, which returned at certain intervals, extorting sighs, and tears, and exclamations of grief and impatience: but these fits grew every day less violent and less frequent, 'till at length his reason obtained a complete victory over the infirmities of his nature.