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Queen Katharine, Henry VIII. (See Plate LIV.)
Enter Katharine dowager, sick; led between Griffith and Patience.
Griffith. How does your grace?
Kath. O Griffith, sick to death:
Plate LV. is intended to designate the character of Sir Abel Handy in the comedy of Speed the Plough. Sir Abel Handy is an old gentleman, who is so conceited of his own skill, in every thing that relates to mechanical inventions, that he invariably mars his own ideas, in the execution of his favourite plans. He carries his lady's fan in his cane, &C. &C. To delineate the character, as depicted by its late representative, exceeds the power of graphic illustration; it is one of the most humorous efforts of as excellent a comic actor as ever graced the boards of a theatre: one whose talents have been so long acknowledged, by sound critics, that any farther encomium, in this place, would be as presumptuous as it is unnecessary.
Sir Abel. Better and better—" the whole capable of the greatest improvement." Come, that seems true, however.— I shall have plenty to do, that's one comfort—I'll have such contrivances! I'll have a canal run through my kitchen—I must give this rustic some idea of my consequence. [Aside.] You must know, farmer, you have the honour of conversing with a man who has obtained patents for tweezers, toothpicks, and tinder.boxes—to a philosopher who has been consulted on the Wapping docks and the Gravesend tunnel, and who has now in hand two inventions which will render him immortal—the one is for converting sawdust into deal boards, and the other is a plan for cleaning rooms by a steam engine —and, farmer, I mean to give prizes for industry—I'll have a ploughing match.