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SCENE I-A romantic rural Prospect- -on L. a cut Haystack-in the background, a distant View of white Cliffs and the Sea.
Enter ROBERT, L., HENRY BLUNT, R., meeting.
Hen, Honest Robert, I thought I had lost you. Rob. No! I was but just by here, vast'ning a hurdle to keep the sheep from breaking out.
Hen. And Sir Edward, you say, solicits your sister Mary's affection?
Rob. As to affection, he don't care much for that, I believe, so he could get her good will.
Hen. Do you think him likely to obtain it?
Rob. She shall die first.
Hen. And who is Sir Edward's appointment with here, think you?
Rob, Why, I be inclined to think (but I ben't sure) it is with Miss Change-about, at the Admiral-Speak o' th' devil and behold his horns!-This way.
[Henry retires, R., Robert behind the hay-stack.
Enter PEGGY, L.
Peg. I heard a rustling as I passed the copse. I began to think 'twas Old Nick-That fellow, Robert, does love me a little, to be sure-but Sir Edward—if he should make me Lady Sir Edward Dashaway
[Robert advances. Rob. [Aloud.] Hem! a little patience, and mayhap he will. [She screams.
Peg. How could you frighten a body so? Rob. Frighten thee, Peggy; it musn't be a trifle to do that. Have you set all shame at defiance? wonder Old Nick didn't appear to thee in thy road hither.
Peg. Don't you go to terrify me-now don't-if you do, you'll repent it.
Rob. No, Peggy, 'tis you that'ul repent. However, I do hope zome warning voice, zome invizible spirit, will appear to thee yet, bevore it be too late.
Peg. You had better not terrify me, now, I tell youyou'd better not.
Rob. Take care where thee dost tread, Peggy-[She trembles.]-I would not swear there is not a well under
thy feet-[She starts.]-Dam'un, here he is, zure enow! [Aside.] One word more, an' I ha' done. If, in this Ioansome place, [Very solemn.] Beelzebub should appear to thee in the likeness of a gentleman, wi' a gun in his hand, look for his cloven foot, repent thy perjuration, and, wi' tears in thy eyes, go whoam again, and make thy mother happy. [Retires again behind the hay-stack. Peg. Dear heart! dear heart!-I wish I hadn't come. I'm afraid to stir out of my place. Oh, lud! I wish I
was at home again.
Enter SIR EDWARD, L, Having put his gun against the rails of hay-stack, he steals behind, and taps her shoulder. Peg. (R.) Mercy upon me, Sir Edward!-I took you for Old Nick.
Sir E. (L.) You did me great honour.
Peg. Are you sure you have not a cloven foot?[Looking.]-I was cautioned to beware of you.
Sir E. By young Maythorn, I suppose-I saw the impulent rascal. Upon my soul, you look divinely! [Taking her to R.-Robert shows signs of displeasure.] Is not that a sweet cottage in the valley ?-Shall I make you a present of it, Peggy ?
Peg. Why, Sir Edward, though I don't think Robert Maythorn is a fit match for me—yet, you know, in losing him
Sir E. You have found a better match.
Peg. Oh, if your honour means it to be a match[Sir Edward turns.] that is, a lawful match
Sir E. To be sure I do, you little rogue. [She repulses him.] Nay, one kiss of your pretty pouting lips.
Peg. Why, as to a kiss, to be sure. [Wipes her lips.] I hope no one sees.
[She holds up her face-as he approaches, Robert reaches out his hand, fires the gun, and conceals himself again -Sir Edward and Peggy start.
Hen. [Without, R.] Mark! mark!
Peg. Good Heaven protect me !-'twas old Nick!
Or Robert's played some devilish trick.
'Twas sure a warning voice that spoke! Sir E. A warning voice-oh, no!
Peg. Believe me, sir, it was no joke.
[Robert steals off.
Peg Nay cease your fooling, pray, awhile,-
And mother's hobbling o'er the stile,-
Enter HENRY Blunt, r.
Sir E. Hey-what the devil brought you here?
Hen. I thought you told me to appear,
Enter LANDLADY, with ROBERt, l.
Lan. Where is this plaguy maid of mine?
'Tis near the hour that we should dine,
Peg. To gather nuts for you I've been,
[Mother examines it.
But, Mother, I old Nick have seen,
Rob. With fancy's tale, her mother's ear
For staying out so long, she'll swear
Sir E. Come, come, let's home with merry glee,
And, hostess, let our welcome be
A jug of nut-brown ale.
[All repeat the last verse.-Exeunt, L.
SCENE II.-Another Rural Prospect.
Enter MARY, R.
Mar. The bright evening sun dispels the farmer's fears, and makes him, with a smile, anticipate the business of to-morrow. How different our state! our future day looks dark and stormy'; and hope (the sun which gladdens all beside) sheds not for us a single ray.
Ere sorrow taught my tears to flow,
They call'd me-happy Mary,
In rural cot, my humble lot,
I play'd like any fairy;
And when the sun, with golden ray,
Fond as the dove was my true love,
And what was still my greater pride,
Ah, what avails remembrance now
Now all the day I sit and weep-
I dream of waves,—and sailor's graves,
And when I hear the midnight wind,
SCENE III.-The Turnpike, &c., as before, with a bench and table, at the Alehouse-Door. "Sir Edward's Groom calls gate;' Robert opens it, and the Groom crosses the stage with a bag of oats; Robert locks the gate; then" enter JOE STANDFAST and CRACK, L., with a trunk; Crack a little tipsy, and singing.
Joe. Damme, shipmate, but you are the worst steersman I ever met with.
Crack. Don't say so; if the horses had not run so fast, we should not have upset.
Joe. Well, be it as it may, we brought home one of the nags safe.
Crack. There you mistake-it was the nag brought us home safe; we three rode upon his back.
Joe. We three!
Crack. Yes,-you, I, and the trunk.
Joe. I'm sorry t'other poor devil is left behind. Crack. You're out again; for, when he broke loose, he left us behind; and, if he continued to gallop as fast as he began, he's a long way before.
Joe. Well, messmate, it's your own business. My head! here comes the groom; get out of it how you can! There's the trunk. [Lays it on the table.] And now for a peep at the paper: I'll not be overhauled, d'ye see; and so, friend Crack, I advise you to prepare a good [Goes into the Admiral, R. S. E. Crack. I never was without one in my life. If the groom won't stand quizzing, I'll be impudent,
Enter GROOM, R.
Groom. Why, that trunk, you, and the sailor, for a light carriage, were a little too weighty, I think, friend. Crack. Not weighty enough, friend, or your trotting nags would not have galloped so fast! but it seems you and your horses' wits jump.
Groom. How so?
Crack. Why, your horses, like you, voted us too weighty, and so unloaded us.
Groom. Unloaded you?
Crack. Yes; if you won't believe me, ask your master's great coat. [Gives it.] Brush it, d'ye hear,—it has been rubbed already.
Groom. And hav'nt you brought the black horse back?
Crack. Why, how you talk! the black horse would not bring us back.
Groom. And where is he?
Crack. He's gone.
Groom. Gone! where?
Crack. He did not tell me where he was going; I was not in his confidence; when you catch him, teach him better manners.
Groom. Damme, if ever I heard the like before.
[Amazed. Crack. No, nor saw the like behind! He winced like a devil! the worst bred horse I ever saw.
Groom. What do you talk of? Not a better-bred horse in the kingdom. [With a knowing slang manner. Crack. Then the manners of horses are not more refined than their masters'; he kicked up, as much as to say, that for you. [Kicks up.
Groom. Damme, but you seem to have made a very nice job of it.
Crack. If you flatter at hearing half, what will you