Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/855
and head, and left him as bare of hair as he was of money.
"George," said the gentleman, "I have always used you as a friend; my purse hath been open to you; you know that I highly value the book I committed to you to translate, and I want it done. I have used you in this fashion so as to force you to stay at home till the translation is completed; for I know you will be ashamed to show in the streets the ridiculous figure you now are. By the time the book is done, your beard will have grown again." Then he put in his hand forty shillings, detained him till nightfall, and sent him home.
Next morning there was a hubbub in the street, crying and shouting, and a mob collected. The gentleman looked out of his window, and saw a girl with dishevelled hair, wringing her hands and screaming, "Oh! my father! my good—my dear father!" and the people around were clamouring to know what was the matter. Then the girl burst forth into "Woe to this place, that my dear father ever saw it! I am now an orphan, a castaway, and my mother a widow." The servants of the gentleman came upstairs to him in concern, saying that George Peele's daughter was on the doorstep calling down imprecations on the house and all within. The gentleman in a mighty quaking sent for the girl, who came in sobbing and crying. When she saw him she screamed, "Out on thee! thou cruel man! Thou hast made my father—my good father—drown himself." Then she fainted. The gentleman was in serious alarm. He sent his servants at once to buy a new and smart suit of clothes for the girl, as the best way to console her, and gave her five pounds; then, as she recovered, he bade her return home, and tell her mother that he would visit her in the evening.