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place; here's all the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war! Mars in a vis-a-vis, and Bellona giving a Fête-Champêtre.
L. Plume. But now, seriously, brother, what can make you judge so indifferently of the camp from any body else?
Sir Harry. Why, seriously, then, I think it the worst planned thing I ever beheld ; for instance now, the tents are all ranged in a straight line; now, Lady Gorget, can any thing be worse than a straight line ? and is not there a horrid uniformity in their infinite vista of canvass ? no curve, no break, and the avenue of marquees abominable.
L. Sash. O, to be sure, a circus or a crescent, would have been vastly better.
L. Gorget. What a pity Sir Harry was not consulted.
Sir Harry. As Gad's my judge. I think so; for there is a great capability in the ground.
L. Sash. A camp cognoscenti, positively, Sir Harry; we will have you publish a treatise on military virtue.
Sir Harry. Very well, but how will you excuse this; the officers' tents are close to the common soldiers; what an arrangement is that now? If I might have advised, there certainly should have been one part for the canaille, and the west end of the camp for the noblesse, and persons of a certain rank.
L. Gorget. Very right. I dare say you would have thought of proper marquees far hazard and quinze.
L. Plume. To be sure, with festino tents, and opera pavilior s.
Sir Harry. Gad, the only plan that could make it supportable for a week; well, certainly, the greatest defect in a general is want of taste.
L. Sash. Undoubtedly, and conduct, discipline, and want of humanity, are no atonement for it.
Sir Harry. None in nature.
L. Plume. But, Sir Harry, it is rather unlucky, that the military spirit is so universal, for you will hardly find one to side with you.
Str Harry. Universal indeed; and the ridicule of it is to see how this madness has infected the whole road from Maidstone to London; the camp jargon is as current all the way as bad silver; the very postillions that drive you talk of their cavalry, and refuse to charge on a trot up the hill, the turnpikes seem converted in to redoubts, and the dogs demanded the countersign of my servants, instead of ihe tickets; then when I got to Maidstone, I found the very waiters had got a smattering of tactics, for inquiring what I could have for dinner, a cursed drill waiter, after reviewing his bill of fare with the air of a field-marshal, proposed an advanced party of soup and bouille, to be followed by the main body of ham and chickens, flanked by a fricasee, with sallads in the intervals, and a corps de reserve of sweetmeats and whipt syllabubs to form a hollow square in the centre.
L. Plume. Ha, ha, ha! Sir Harry, I'm very sorry you have so strong a dislike to every thing military, for unless you would contribute to the fortune of our little recruit
Sir Harry. O, madam, most willingly; and very apropos, here comes your ladyship’s protegée, and has brought, I see, the little recruit, as you desired.
Enter Nell and Nancy. Nell. Here, Nancy, make your curtsey, or your bow, to the ladies, who have so kindly promised you protection.
Nancy. Simple gratitude is the only return I can make; but I am sure, the ladies who have hearts to do so good-natured a deed, will excuse my not being able to answer them as I ought.
Nell. She means, an' please your ladyships, that she will always acknowledge your ladyships' goodness, to the last hour of her life, and, as in duty bound, will ever pray for your ladyships' happiness and prosperity. That's what you mean, you know.
[Aside to Nancy. L. Plume. Very well: but Nancy, are you satisfied that your soldier shall continue in his duty?
Nell. O yes, your ladyship, she's quite satisfied.
L. Plume. Well, child, we're all your friends, and be assured your William shall be no sufferer by his constancy.
Nell. There, Nancy, say something.
L. Sash. But, are you sure you will be able to bear the hardships of your situation ?
[Retires up with Nancy. L. Plume. [To Nell.] You have seen him then ? Nell. O, yes, your ladyship.
L. Plume. Go, and bring him here. [Exit NELL.] Sir Harry, we have a little plot, which you must assist us in.
Nancy. [Coming forward with LADY SASH.] 0, madam, most willingly.
For a soldier, a soldier's the lad for me.
Nuncy. 0, I shall discover myself --I tremble so unlike a soldier.
Enter Nell and WILLIAM.
Nell. Why, I tell you, William, the ladies want to ask you some questions.
Sir Harry. Honest corporal, here's a little recruit, son to a lenant of mine, and, as I am told, you are an intelligent young fellow, I mean to put him under your care.
Wili. What, that boy, your honour. Lord bless you, sir, I shall never be able to make any thing of him.
Nancy. [ Aside.] I am sorry for that.
Will. He is under size, my lady, such a strip ling is fitter for a drummer than a rank and file.
Šir Harry. But he's straight and well made.
Will. Well, l'll do all in my power to oblige your ladyship. Come, youngster, turn about -ah, Nelly, tell me, is't not she?
Sir Harry. Why don't you march him off?
blockhead! Nancy. O ladies, pray excuse me!-- My dvar William!
[Runs into his arms. Nell. They'll never be able to come to an explanation before your ladyslips-Go, go and talk by yourselves.
[They retire up the stage. Enter SERJEANT, two CountRYMEN, Fife, &c. Serj. Please your ladyships, we have laken a sort of a spy this morning, who has the assurance to deny it, tho' he confesses himself and Irish Painter. I have undertaken, however, to bring this letter from him to lady Sarah Sash.
Sir Harry. What appears against him?
Serj. A great many suspicious circumstances, please your honour; he has an 0 before his name, and we took him with a draught of the camp in his hand.
L. Sash. Ha! ha! ha! This is ridiculous enough, 'tis O'Daub, the Irish Painter, who diverted us some lime ago at the Fêtc-Champêtre. Honest serjeant, we'll see your prisoner, and I fancy you may release him.
Sir Harry. Pray, serjeant, what's to be done this evening?
Serj. The line, your honour, turns out, and as there are pleasure tents pitched, perhaps the ladies will condescend to hear a march and chorus, which some recruits are practising against his Majesty comes to the camp.
L. Sash. Come, Sir Harry, you'll grow fond of a camp life yet.
Sir Harry. Your ladyships will grow tired of it first, I'll answer for it.
L. Sash. No, no.
Sir Harry. Yes, on the first had weather you'll give orders to strike your tents and toilets, and secure a relreat at Tunbridge.
A March, while the Scene changes to a
View of the Camp.
While the loud voice of war resounds from afar,
Songs of duty and triumph we'll pay: When our Monarch appears, we'll give him three With huzza! huzza ! huzza!
NANCY. Ye sons of the field, whose bright valour's your shield,
Love and beauty your toils shall repay;
No perils shall William dismay;