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Well, heaven grant you health, and may you act as you
ought, and all may be well yet.

_P. Coun._ Why, father, did you return the money I sent?--

_Clar._ Because, thank God! I do not want it. What is the use of having
more than is necessary, to supply the wants of life?--I think you have
more.

_P. Coun._ There is no great harm in that.

_Clar._ But I think there is! People will have strange ideas, and do
strange things, when they have too much. If I must tell you my mind,
son, I am not altogether pleased to see you raised so high of a sudden,
Our plain citizens are not altogether satisfied with you and your
elevation. They think the other gentlemen shove you near the fire to
get the roasted chesnuts out of the coals for themselves, and that you
are a good cat's paw. Such, for instance, is that bequest to old
Counsellor Reissman.

_P. Coun._ Pray, tell me, father, what induces you to oppose that will,
which is legal, though I must own it bears hard on the children.

_Clar._ Jack, you know your father long, though for some time since you
have made a stranger of yourself.--What would you think of me, if I had
not commenced the suit?

_P. Coun._ The claim rests on a will.

_Clar._ Which has been obtained, by the old Counsellor, by undue
influence; is not that your opinion?

_P. Coun._ Can that be proved?--

_Clar._ We must see--

_P. Coun._ If you cannot prove it, the Counsellor will recover.

_Clar._ He certainly will, and therefore you must assist me to combat
him.

_P. Coun._ Who, I? How came you to think so? Well, we will leave the
cause to take its due course, and so should you.--

_Clar._ Ay, ay, Jack.


_P. Coun._ Besides, I must tell you, Reissman proposes to give me his
daughter.

_Clar._ So I hear. The lady has all my best wishes. Heaven prosper your
union! But sure you would not begin it by an act of injustice!

_P. Coun._ No, certainly not! But why would you, suppose even though
Reissman were wrong,--why would you, for the sake of strangers, destroy
my happiness?

_Clar._ Can poor, injured, unhappy children, in any situation, be
_strangers_ to me? And have wards, intrusted to my care, fewer titles
to my assistance than my own children? And have not you, in the name of
the magistrates, appointed me one of their guardians?

_P. Coun._ That, as they are unfortunate, I might see them in good
hands.

_Clar._ Why, they are in good hands. I am come to request you to see
the business speedily executed. Of the verdict itself I will make no
mention. You will act as an honest man, or else I must despise you, and
look for redress elsewhere. Meanwhile, I tell you, the children shall
not go to the hospital, because that is impracticable.

_P. Coun._ Father, I Have given my word.

_Clar._ You must recall it.

_P. Coun._ How can I?

_Clar._ Say you did not understand the matter. It is upon my word
better than to expose your name to shame or ridicule, and to fill your
mind with inquietude.

_P. Coun._ Father, I love you dearly, but pray do not interfere with my
business.

_Clar._ Very well; then you act as Privy Counsellor, as you think
proper; and I, as trustee of the hospital and guardian of the children,
will do the same.

_P. Coun._ Cannot we talk of more agreeable things, and drop that
question. I wish you so well, but you reject all I propose.

_Clar._ You make me presents in money, and, I am told, you want to make
me mayor of the town. Jack, make me no presents! do good to town and
country; and, if you can, come after your business is done. I do not
care if it be but once or twice every three months; come to me in my
timber-yard. Then we will close the doors, seat ourselves in the little
bower, where, when a boy, you used to sit so industriously about your
tasks; there we will spend an hour in happy converse, and drink a glass
of old wine that you shall send me; then I will thank God for my dear
boy, who has continued to be a good son, and, when you leave me again
to repair to your desk, I will give you my blessing, and look after
you, till you are quite out of sight! Do you see, Jack, I ask no
more;--I have no occasion for more; but this I earnestly request of you.
Give me your hand, that you will do it. That is the way I wish you to
honour and to please me.

_P. Coun._ I shall do more, father. Pray accept it, and--

_Clar._ All your other honours are of little estimation in my sight;
these grey hairs, blanched with care and toil, shall never be covered
with a long bushy wig; look at these hands, rough with labour; look on
your father, as you know his ways; you also know that he is neither to
be drawn nor driven out of them; Master Clarenbach, even in the office
of Mayor, would not suit your fine apartments and your fine company.
What, to remain at home, as motionless as an old statue, scarce
permitted to speak to an old friend, lest it should lessen his dignity,
or break in on his gravity! What, to remain in such a situation, and
see people work and move before his window! Jack, that will not do.
Pray, as I never found fault with you for being too high, do not find
fault with me for being too low; it is best suited to my age and
inclinations.

_P. Coun._ Certainly not; but Mr. Reissman insists on it, as a
principal condition.

_Clar._ I hope you know that there is a wide difference betwixt your
father and Mr. Reissman. My axe, since I could raise it, has been
employed in raising houses for the industrious, and his pen, since he
could handle it, in pulling them down again.

_P. Coun._ This is the only service you can render me now father; is it
not unkind to refuse me then?

_Clar._ The only service I can render you now? What, if the cares and
inquietudes of rank and office should lay you on a sick bed, who would
attend you with so much tenderness and affection as your old father?
What if your house should take fire, I would be the first to ascend
through the flames; but I will not climb into office and rank, I tell
you that.

_P. Coun._ You must give way, father.--

_Clar._ You now stand on high; may you so stand respected by your
fellow citizens and approved by your own conscience is the sincerest
wish of your old father! Therefore, I prefer my complaints to you
against a man; his name is Grobman, an ironmonger. This wretch wanted
to persuade me, that you had taken two thousand dollars from another,
to let him have the monopoly. He offered me two hundred dollars, if I
would gain you over to his interest. Arrest the vile slanderer.

_P. Coun._ That fellow is an ideot.

_Clar._ God forbid! he is much worse. I have told him I would inform
against him, and so I have to a few of my acquaintances.

_P. Coun._ Why so?

_Clar._ That you should make an example of him.

_P. Coun._ What is all this fuss? Why do you interfere with my
concerns?

_Clar._ Concerns? I am as anxious for your honour as I am for your
life! Do not you bear my name, which has always been as good as the
best bond, in this place, time out of mind? Are not you my son? Are not
you the representative of our sovereign? Is not the least stain visible
on your ermine? Is it, or is it not true, Jack?--No, no, I say; it is
impossible, it cannot be true!

_P. Coun._ It is possible; it is so, but done in a manner which
cannot--

_Clar._ Do not speak, I will not know it. I---I--cannot (going from
him) look on you. Is that your wisdom! your honour! your integrity!
Have I, therefore,--well,--if matters are so with you, then do as you
like; enquire no more after me, come no more to see me; you ought to be
ashamed of yourself, in the presence of your honest father. Farewell,
Jack; repent and amend. I will visit you no more, till you have altered
your ways, and divided your cursed mammon among the poor. Live on your
honest earnings; then come to me, tender me a clean hand, and I will
bless you. (Exit.)


SCENE V.

PRIVY COUNSELLOR, (alone.)

_P. Coun._ Whimsical, honest man!--Whoever is forced up to the giddy
summit, must hold as fast as he can, and by what he can.


SCENE IV.

Enter Counsellor SELLING.

_P. Coun._ What part of the world have you come from Selling?

_Sell._ From Miss Frederica.

_P. Coun._ From my sister? how is she? Has the new furniture been
carried home?

_Sell._ Beautiful, splendid! thanks to your care! Old papa will open
all his eyes when he comes home. All the old furniture has been carried
off, and the room looks very elegant with all the new things you have
sent.

_P. Coun._ And Frederica?--

_Sell._ She was so uneasy, she did not know what to do with herself.
She fixed her eyes on every article as it was carried off, as if she
took leave of an old friend. But the large easy chair still remains;
she grasped it with both hands, and would not suffer it to be removed.

_P. Coun._ These people must be metamorphosed; we must see how they
reconcile themselves to it.

_Sell._ But, what a man you are! What a noble heart, to be thus
attached to your family!

_P. Coun._ Very natural. I am indebted to my father for so many
things;--and Frederica is a good-natured creature.

_Sell._ More than that. I know none of her sex that strives so
anxiously to cultivate her understanding, and to exalt her faculties to
an extraordinary height.

_P. Coun._ (gives him his hand.) I am glad you find her so.

_Sell._ With your permission, Frederica will now assume a different
dress, better suited to the furniture you have sent.

_P. Coun._ I have to thank you for this attention.

_Sell._ By your direction I do all that lies in my power to fan the
girl's ambition. If that Mr. Gernau only--

_P. Coun._ That fool! He shall be removed. All has been prepared, and
is now determined on; He goes to Friethal. His patent is in hand.

_Sell._ It is too lenient for his stubborn opposition. This indulgence
on your side will gain you every heart.

_P. Coun._ Do you think I am rather popular?

_Sell._ Popular? People venerate you with enthusiasm! And what have you
not done to acquire this popularity?



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