Sir W. Every thing precisely in order, even in Ireland!--laid, I do believe, at the verysame angle at which they used to be placed on my own dressing-table, at Hamden-place,in Kent. Exact Gilbert! most punctual of valet de chambres!--and a young fellow, as he is,too! It is admirable!--Ay, though he looks as if he were made of wood, and moves like anautomaton, he has a warm heart, and a true English spirit--true-born English every inch of him. I remember him, when first I saw him ten years ago at his father's, Farmer Ashfield's, at the harvest-home; there was Gilbert in all his glory, seated on the top of ahay-rick, singing,
"Then sing in praise of men of Kent,So loyal, brave, and free;Of Britain's race, if one surpass,A man of Kent is he!"
How he brought himself to quit the men of Kent to come to Ireland with me is wonderful.However, now he is here, I hope he is tolerably happy: I must ask the question in directterms; for Gilbert would never speak till spoken to, let him feel what he might.Sir W. (calls) Gilbert!--Gilbert!Enter GILBERT.Gilb. Here, sir.Sir W. Gilbert, now you have been in Ireland some weeks, I hope you are not unhappy.Gilb. No, sir, thank you, sir.Sir W. But are you happy, man?Gilb. Yes, sir, thank you, sir.[GILBERT retires, and seems busy arranging his master's clothes: Sir WILLIAMcontinues dressing.Sir W. (aside) Yes, sir, thank you, sir. As dry as a chip--sparing of his words, as if theywere his last. And the fellow can talk if he would--has humour, too, if one could get itout; and eloquence, could I but touch the right string, the heartstring. I'll try again.(Aloud) Gilbert!Gilb. Yes, sir. (Comes forward respectfully.)Sir W. Pray what regiment was it that was passing yesterday through the village of Bannow?