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Full Online Book HomePlaysThe Pawnbroker's Daughter, A Farce - Act 1 - Scene 1
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The Pawnbroker's Daughter, A Farce - Act 1 - Scene 1 Post by :mindout Category :Plays Author :Charles Lamb Date :May 2012 Read :1638

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The Pawnbroker's Daughter, A Farce - Act 1 - Scene 1

ACT I - SCENE I

SCENE I.--An Apartment at Flint's house.


(FLINT. WILLIAM.)


FLINT
Carry those umbrellas, cottons, and wearing-apparel, up stairs. You may send that chest of tools to Robins's.

WILLIAM
That which you lent six pounds upon to the journeyman carpenter that had the sick wife?

FLINT
The same.

WILLIAM
The man says, if you can give him till Thursday--

FLINT
Not a minute longer. His time was out yesterday. These improvident fools!

WILLIAM
The finical gentleman has been here about the seal that was his grandfather's.

FLINT
He cannot have it. Truly, our trade would be brought to a fine pass, if we were bound to humour the fancies of our customers. This man would be taking a liking to a snuff-box that he had inherited; and that gentlewoman might conceit a favourite chemise that had descended to her.

WILLIAM
The lady in the carriage has been here crying about those jewels. She says, if you cannot let her have them at the advance she offers, her husband will come to know that she has pledged them.

FLINT
I have uses for those jewels. Send Marian to me.

(Exit William.)

I know no other trade that is expected to depart from its fair advantages but ours. I do not see the baker, the butcher, the shoemaker, or, to go higher, the lawyer, the physician, the divine, give up any of their legitimate gains, even when the pretences of their art had failed; yet _we are to be branded with an odious name, stigmatized, discountenanced even by the administrators of those laws which acknowledge us; scowled at by the lower sort of people, whose needs we serve!

(Enter Marian.)

Come hither, Marian. Come, kiss your father. The report runs that he is full of spotted crime. What is your belief, child?

MARIAN
That never good report went with our calling, father. I have heard you say, the poor look only to the advantages which we derive from them, and overlook the accommodations which they receive from us. But the poor _are the poor, father, and have little leisure to make distinctions. I wish we could give up this business.

FLINT
You have not seen that idle fellow, Davenport?

MARIAN
No, indeed, father, since your injunction.

FLINT
I take but my lawful profit. The law is not over favourable to us.

MARIAN
Marian is no judge of these things.

FLINT
They call me oppressive, grinding.--I know not what--

MARIAN
Alas!

FLINT
Usurer, extortioner. Am I these things?

MARIAN
You are Marian's kind and careful father. That is enough for a child to know.

FLINT
Here, girl, is a little box of jewels, which the necessities of a foolish woman of quality have transferred into our true and lawful possession. Go, place them with the trinkets that were your mother's. They are all yours, Marian, if you do not cross me in your marriage. No gentry shall match into this house, to flout their wife hereafter with her parentage. I will hold this business with convulsive grasp to my dying day. I will plague these _poor_, whom you speak so tenderly of.

MARIAN
You frighten me, father. Do not frighten Marian.

FLINT
I have heard them say, There goes Flint--Flint, the cruel pawnbroker!

MARIAN
Stay at home with Marian. You shall hear no ugly words to vex you.

FLINT
You shall ride in a gilded chariot upon the necks of these _poor_, Marian. Their tears shall drop pearls for my girl. Their sighs shall be good wind for us. They shall blow good for my girl. Put up the jewels, Marian.

(Exit.)

(Enter Lucy.)

LUCY
Miss, miss, your father has taken his hat, and is slept out, and Mr. Davenport is on the stairs; and I came to tell you--

MARIAN
Alas! who let him in?

(Enter Davenport.)

DAVENPORT
My dearest girl--

MARIAN
My father will kill me, if he finds you have been here!

DAVENPORT
There is no time for explanations. I have positive information that your father means, in less than a week, to dispose of you to that ugly Saunders. The wretch has bragged of it to his acquaintance, and already calls you _his_.

MARIAN
O heavens!

DAVENPORT
Your resolution must be summary, as the time which calls for it. Mine or his you must be, without delay. There is no safety for you under this roof.

MARIAN
My father--

DAVENPORT
Is no father, if he would sacrifice you.

MARIAN
But he is unhappy. Do not speak hard words of my father.

DAVENPORT
Marian must exert her good sense.

LUCY
(_As if watching at the window._)

O, miss, your father has suddenly returned. I see him with Mr. Saunders, coming down the street. Mr. Saunders, ma'am!

MARIAN
Begone, begone, if you love me, Davenport.

DAVENPORT
You must go with me then, else here I am fixed.

LUCY
Aye, miss, you must go, as Mr. Davenport says. Here is your cloak, miss, and your hat, and your gloves. Your father, ma'am--

MARIAN
O, where, where? Whither do you hurry me, Davenport?

DAVENPORT
Quickly, quickly, Marian. At the back door.--

(Exit Marian with Davenport, reluctantly; in her flight still holding the jewels.)

LUCY
Away--away. What a lucky thought of mine to say her father was coming! He would never have got her off, else. Lord, Lord, I do love to help lovers.

(Exit, following them.)

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