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ever I go, I frighten every body away. Surely, it can't be this suit of black-no matter, the melancholy ceremony over, I have now time to return to the soft duties of love and my grand work on Vampires. I am somewhat fatigued by my day's exertions, and shall retire to my room, without disturbing the family. Thanks to Paul's assistance, every thing went off admirably well. My poor cousin must have been highly gratified, in being buried so tastefully and comfortably. Heigho! [Exit Nicodemus, L.
SCENE IV.-Bed Room in Aldwinkle Hall.
tables, chairs, &c.
VAUNTINGTON discovered sitting at a table R. Brandy, pistols, candles, books, &c. before him.
Vaunt. [Looking at his watch.] "Tis very near twelve-I don't half like this job. I must take a little more brandy. [Drinks.]-It would be no use firing at him; he'd no more mind having the contents of a pistol in his body than if they were only so many force-meat balls; I must take another bumper. [Drinks. ]-Tis the only thing I have to support me-what an awful silence! I wish I could break it, somehow-I'll sing-Tol lol de-No, I'm in no humour for ́singing, suppose I try and whistle, pho, pher, phe. [Whistles.]-Damn it, whistling's ominous-and, besides, my throat's so dry that-I must take a little more brandy.[Drinks.]-I can't be wrong-it's a spiritual service, and Sore fit for the chaplain of our regiment than me. I've a great mind to sound a retreat-but then, Georgiana and her fortune. I can't afford to loose her fortune so-I'll take another glass of brandy [Drinks.]-then-yaw aw! I feel growing amazingly sleepy, so I'll just finish the bottle [Drinks.]—and, yaw aw!-defy the devil and-yaw aw !— [Sleeps.
Enter NICODEMUS, L. walks up to the table. Nic. Hey day! a stranger in my room! and-Eh, pistols! and what's here?-a bottle-brandy-a Vulgate. What shall I do? Poor gentleman, he has mistaken the way; I'd better wake him and set him right. Sir! sir![Tries to wake Vauntington.] Zounds, how fast he is. Ulloa! what's your name?-Mister! I'll bawl no more -what shall I do? I have it-I'll try if the report of one of these pistols will wake him.
[Fires one of the pistols-Vauntington starts up in terror-sees Nicodemus.]
Vaunt. The ghost himself, by all that's damnable! [Exit hastily, R.
Nic. Stop sir-Mister-Ulloa-he's off-very odd--what did he mean by a ghost? I must seek Mr. Aldwinkle, and obtain an explanation of these mysteries. Oh, that they would let me have a little rest!-Heigho! [Exit Nicodemus, R.
SCENE V.-Another Apartment in Aldwinkle Hall.
Ald. Dickory Dickory! they are at it, ding dong; I heard the pistols go off just this moment.
Dic. Hey, dang it, here he be again!
Ald. Who? The ghost.
Dic. Na, only the Captain.
Enter VAUNTINGTON, R.
Ald. Well, my dear boy, how have you got on?
Geo. (L.) Ah! how have you got on? I'm dying to know. Vaunt. (c.) What the deuce shall I say? If I confess my defeat, I lose my Georgiana. I must brazen it out. [Aside.] -Oh! I've had desperate work-we've been at it tooth and nail, for the last half hour: but I think the business is settled now. Firing was of no use: one might as well have shot at the air, for all the wounds it created; so I had at him with the Latin, Friar Bacon, Doctor Faustus, and Agrippa.
Dic. Ay, he be a gripper, indeed.
Ald. That's right. I could have laid him myself, if I had but understood Latin.
Vaunt. I fumigated him, exorcised him.
Dic. (R.) Dang me, but I should ha' liked to ha seen un done his exercise.
Ald. Be quiet, Dickory, scoundrel!
Vaunt. And, at length, I pressed him so hard, that he took himself off through the key-hole in a clap of thunder, and I dare say will never shew his face here again.
Dic. Na, not till the next time.
Ald. My dear, dear boy, you shall marry Georgiana directly. I suppose the foolish phantom thought he had children to deal with.
Enter NICODEMmus, R.
Nic. Mr. Aldwinkle, what is the reason, sir
[The women scream-all exeunt hastily, in great terror
Nic. This is more and more extraordinary. Surely, I must have been metamorphosed, unknown to myself; transntogrified into some monster, or-But I have more important things to occupy my mind. [Aldwinkle, Lavinia, &c. appear listening.] The great and conclusive truth, at which I have arrived in my grand work, renders my mind sufficiently disengaged to think of love. There is no doubt that Vampires seek an union with mortal beings expressly to prolong their existence on this earth. I shall instantly, therefore, seek the fair Aldwinkle, and achieve our marriage. After what I have endured, meanwhile, a walk in the soft moonlight will revive me. [Exit Nicodemus, R. Enter ALDWINKLE, GEORGIANA, LAVINIA, VAUNTINGTON, and DICKORY, creeping in, L. S. E.
Lav. (L. D.) There, sir; you hear what he said. He is a Vampire, and merely seeks an union with my cousin, to prolong his existence.
Geo. Oh, I am sure I'll never marry a Vampire, Pa! He'd eat me up.
Dic. Ay, kill you wi' kindness.
Lav. You see, he 's gone into the garden, to bring himself to life again, in the moon-beams, from the wounds of the captain.
Vaunt. Why, I did kill him half a dozen times, certaiuly.
Dic. Dang it! I didn't know the moon were a doctor, afore they be all mad. [Aside. Ald. What a persecuted old man I am-What's to be done?-how can we get rid of him?
Lav. Listen to me, sir-Guarantee that the captain shall have my cousin, and settle a small fortune on me, and I undertake to keep Mr. Nicodemus from ever troubling you at night again; I'll make him rest, I'll warrant him.
Ald. Do that, and I'll make your fortune equal to my daughter's.
Lav. I pledge my life on the result; join me, a few minutes hence, in the garden, and let the performance of your promise follow that of mine.
Ald. An odd wench, i'faith-I if the jade was to keep her word. ior I long to ascertain the truth.
[Exit Lavinia, L. should'nt at all wonder Let us walk slowly on,
[Exeunt omnes, L.
SCENE VI.-Garden of Aldwinkle Hall, by moonlight.
Nic. (c.) Can it be possible, that the moon, beaming such cool pure lustre, can entrance men's minds to madness ?She bathes me in her filmy light, like dew, refreshing and allaying-melting me into softness, and attuning each sterner chord of the heart to love and harmony-Heigho! Enter LAVINIA, L.
By heavens! responsive to my feelings, comes this angelic girl, to captivate and charm!
Lav. My good sir, if you have no particular wish to be knock'd o'the head for an evil spirit, you will give over these nightly wanderings; hit upon some decisive method of proving yourself an ipso facto man, and rest quietly in your bed at night.
Nic. How admirably she will assist me in my learned labours!
Lav. I fear, I am more likely to disturb his learned labours, than to assist him in them.
[Aside. Nic. An evil spirit-nightly wanderings-knock me o'the head! A light begins to break in upon me-fair creature, how better can I prove myself a man, than by uniting my life's fate with thine? Thus on my knees- [Kneels.
Enter ALDWINKle, Georgiana, Vauntington, and
Ald. He's laid, at last-see, he's on his knees, begging for mercy.
Lav. Rise, sir; I know all you are going to say-and, as I've no very particular objection, there's my hand.
Nic. Upon my word-a very sensible girl-she saves one a world of trouble.
Lav. And now, sir, [To Aldwinkle.] I claim the performance of your promise. To rid your house of the nightly visits of this terrible being, and to make him rest quietly, as other Christians do, I have heroically resolved to sacrifice myself, and marry him.
Ald. What! marry a ghost-a vampire-a spirit? Nic. I see it all. Here has been a grand mistake; you have confounded me with my cousin.
Ald. Egad! it seems we've all been cozened and confounded too-however, I'm heartily glad things have turned
out as they have; but you, Dickory, how came you to take it into your head this gentleman was a ghost?
Dic. Why, sir, if he warn't a ghost, he was a spirit: and spirits very often get into my head.
Lav. I will explain every thing, and rid you of all further cause of fear. This gentleman will like me none the worse for having a fortune; my cousin will like him none the worse for having been the means of uniting her to the captain; and, if our friends permit our harmless ghost to walk a few nights longer, for their amusement, we shall like them none the worse; but receive a zest to act with additional spirit for the future.
DISPOSITION OF THE CHARACTERS AT THE FALL OF THE CURTAIN.
VAUNT., GEO., NICODEMUS, LAVINIA, ALDWinkle, Dic.