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THE ,

MILLER AND HIS MEN.

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ACT I. SCENE I.

The Hanks of a RiverOn the right a rocky Eminence, on rehich is a IVindmill at workCottage in front. \ Sun-sct. Music as the Scene opens. The Miller s Men are seen in perspective, descending the eminencecross the River in J3oats, and land near the Cottage with their . SacksThen sing the following Round. .-. •?

'When the wind blows, i ,u •

When the mill goes, ,,' • lt ... ,'

Our hearts are all light and merry-y \' , ,, . i] When the wind drops,' /

... . ,. When th« null stops, •-.••.'!» j••'.•;

We drink and sing, hey down deny.' , { ,;.V \ ";. . .

[With the concluding symphony the Millers depart, and old Kdmar enters from the Cottage. .'

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Kel. What! more sacks, more grist to the mill! Early ond late the miller thrives; he that was my tenant is now my landlord; this.hovel.that onre sheltered him, is now the only dwelling of bankrupt broken-hearted Kelmar—Well, 1 strove my best against misfortune, and thanks be to heaven havo failed respected—even 'by my enemies.— So,Claiidine,you are returned.—£f3wter Claudine tcitlt abasktt^]—Where staid you so long V

[graphic]

Cla. I was obliged to wait ere I could cross the ferry—there were other passengers.

Kel. Amongst whom i suppose was one in whose company time flew so fast—the sun had 6et before you had observed it.

Cla. No, indeed, father^ since you desired me not to meet Lothair—and I told him what you had desired—I have never 6een him but in the cottage here, when you were present.

Kel. You are a good girl—a dutiful child, and I believe you—you never yet deceived me.

Cla. Nor over will, dear father—but—

Kel. But what?

Cla. I—I find it very lonely passing the borders of the forest without—without—

Kel. Without Lothair?

Cla. You know 'tis dangerous, father.

Kel. Not half so dangerous as love—subdue it, -child, in time.

Cla. But the robbers F

Kel. Robbers! what then?—they cannot injure ,thee or thy father—Alasl we have no more to ,lose—yet, thou hast one treasure left—innocence! —Guard well thy heart, for should the fatal passion there take root, 'twill rob thee of thy peace.

Cla. You-told me, once, love's impulse could 4iot be resisted.

Kel. When the object is worthless,^ should .not be indulged.

Cla. Is Lothair worthless?

Kel. No—but he is poor, almost as you are.

Cla. Do riches without love give happiness?

Kel. Never.

Cla. Then I must be unhappy jf I wed the "Miller Grindoff.

Kel. Not so—not so ;;—'independence gives 'comfort, but love without competence is endless Mnisery. Yon can never wed Lothair.

Cla. (Sighing}\ can never love the mUler.

Kel. Then you shall never marry hint—though to see you Grindoff's wife be the last wish of your old father's heart. Go in, child ; go in, Claudine. (Clandine kisses lus hand, and goes into the cottage) 'Tis plain her heart is rivetted to Lothair, and honest Grmdoff yet must sue in vain. I know not how to act, the thought of leaving her aloneand unprotected,embittersevery moment that I live. She has been my only joy, my only comfort through an age of sorrow! To deny Lothair will but increase her hatred to the miller—i know not how to act.

Enter Lothair hastily.

Lot. Ah I Kelmar. and alone !—where is Claudine?

Kel. At home, in her father's house,—where should she be}

l&t. Then she has escaped—she is safe and I am happy—I did not accompany her in vain.

Kel. Accompany !—accompany !—Has she then told me a falsehood ?—were, you with .her, Lothair }

Lot. No—ye—yes. (Aside.) I must not alarm ti«.

Ktl. What mean these contradictions? .

iiOt. She knew not I was near her—You have denied our meeting—but you cannot prevent nmy loving her—I have watch'd her daily through the village and along the borders of the forest.

Kel. I thank you; but she needs no guard; her poverty will protect her from a thief.

Lot. Will her beauty protect her from a libertine.?

Kel. Her virtue will. . .

Lot. I 4oubt it :--r>wh»t.can her resistance avail against the powerful arm of villainy?

Kel. Is there such a wretdh ?. . Lot. There is.

Kel. Lothair, Lothair! I fear you glance'at the Miller Grindoff. This is not well J this is not just.

Lot. Kelmar, you wrong me; 'tis true,, he is my enemy, for he bars my road to happiness. Yet I respect his character; the riches that industry has gained him he employs in assisting the unfortunate—he has protected you and your child, and I honor him.

Kel. If not to Grindoff, to whom did you allude?

Lot. Listen:—As I crossed the hollow way in the forest, where the old oaks twine their huge arms across, and make the road most gloomy, I heard a rustling in the Codsc . Claudine had reached the bank above. As I was following, voices, subdued and whispering, struck my ear. Her name distinctly was pronounced: "She' comes," said one; " Now! now we may secure her,'' cried the second; and instantly tvVo men advanced; a sudden exclamation burst from my lips, and arrested their intent; they turned to seek me, and with dreadful imprecations vowed death to the intruder. Stretched beneath a bush of holly I lay concealed; they passed within my reach ; I scarcely breathed, while I observed them to be ruffians, uncouth and savage—they were banditti. I i Kel. Banditti ! are they not yet content? All that I had—all that the hand of Providence had spared, they have deprived me of; and would they take my child?

Lot. 'Tis plain they would. Now, Kelmar, hear the last proposal of him you have rejected. Without Claudine my life is but a blank, useless toothers, and wretched to myself; it shall be risked to avenge the wrongs you have suffered. I'll seek these robbers! If I should fall, your daughter will more readily obey your wish, ^tnd become the wife of Grindoff. If I should succeed promise her to me. The reward I shall receive will secure our future comfort, and thus your fears and your objections both are satisfied.

Kel. (affected) Lothair, thou art a good lad, a noble lad, and worthy my daughter's love; she had been freely thine, but that by sad experience I know how keen the pangs of penury are to a parent's heart. My sorrows may descend to her when I am gone, but I have nothing to bequeath her else.

Lot. Then you consent?

Kel. I do, I do; but pray be careful. I fear 'tis a rash attempt; you must have help.

Lot. Then indeed 1 fail as others have before me. No, Kelmar, I must go alone, pennyless, unarmed, and secretly. None but yourself must know my purpose, or my person.

Kel. Be it as you will; but pray be careful; come, thou shalt see her. (The.mill stops.)

Lot. I'll follow; it may be my last farewell.

Kel. Come in. I see the mill has stopped. Grindoff will be here anon; he always visits me at night-fall, when labor ceases. Come.

[Exit Kelmar.

Lot. Yes, at the peril of my life I'll seek them. With the juice of herbs my face shall be discoloured, and in the garb of misery I'll throw myself within their power—the rest I leave to Providence—But the miller comes.

[Exit to the Cottage.

(Music. The Miller appears in perspective coming from the Crag in the Rock. As the Boat disappears on the oppO' site side the two Robbers, Riber and Golotx, enter hastily, Sfc.

R't. We are too late—she has reached the cot* taje.

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