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an shall wed with me,
Let parents rule, cry nature's laws,
And is there then no saving clause,
Luc. Well, but my dear, mad girl
Ros. Indeed, Lucinda, you are very silly. Luc. Indeed, Rosetta, that blush makes you look very handsome.
Ros. Blush! I am sure I don't blush.
Ros. Pshaw! Lucinda, how can you be so ridiculous?
Luc. Well, don't be angry, and I have done— But suppose you did like him, how could you help yourself? [Exeunt into an Arbour. Enter young MEADOWS.
Young M. Let me see-on the fifteenth of June, at half an hour past five in the morning, [Taking out a Pocket-book] I left my father's Ros. Lucinda, don't talk to me-Was your house unknown to any one, having made free father to go to London; meet there by acci- with a coat and jacket of our gardener's that dent with an old fellow as wrong-headed as fitted me, by way of a disguise; so says my himself; and, in a fit of absurd friendship, pocket-book: and chance directing me to this agree to marry you to that old fellow's son, village, on the twentieth of the same month whom you had never seen, without consulting I procured a recommendation to the worshipyour inclinations, or allowing you a negative, ful justice Woodcock, to be the superintendant in case he should not prove agreeable- of his pumpkins and cabbages, because I would Luc. Why I should think it a little hard, let my father see, I chose to run any lengths, I confess yet, when I see you in the charac- rather than submit to what his obstinacy would ter of a chambermaidhave forced me, a marriage against my in
Ros. Is is the only character, my dear, in clination, with a woman I never saw. [Puts which I could hope to lie concealed; and, I up the Book, and takes up a Wateringcan tell you, I was reduced to the last ex- pot] Here I have been three weeks, and in tremity, when, in consequence of our old that time I am as much altered as if I had boarding-school friendship, I applied to you to changed my nature with my habit.-'Sdeath, receive me in this capacity; for we expected to fall in love with a chambermaid: And yet, the parties the very next week. if I could forget that I am the son and heir of Sir William Meadows. But that's impossible.
Luc. But had not you a message from your intended spouse, to let know he was as little inclined to such ill-concerted nuptials as you were?
Ros. More than so; he wrote to advise me, by all means, to contrive some method of breaking them off; for he had rather return to his dear studies at Oxford: and, after that, what hopes could I have of being happy with bim?
Luc. Then you are not at all uneasy at the strange rout you must have occasioned at home? I warrant, during this month you have been absent
Ros. Oh! don't mention it, my dear; I have had so many admirers, since I commenced Abigail ), that I am quite charmed with my situation-But hold, who stalks yonder in the yard, that the dogs are so glad to see?
O! had I been by fate decreed
My sheep upon the plain;
Which now I ne'er must know!
My fair one's lot so low?
Ha! who was it I had a glimpse of as I pass'd by that arbour? Was it not she sat reading there? the trembling of my heart tells me my eyes were not mistaken-Here she comes.
[Retires. Rosetta comes down from the Arbour. Ros. Lucinda was certainly in the right of it; and yet I blush to own my weakness even Luc. Daddy Hawthorn, as I live! He is to myself -- Marry, hang the fellow for not come to pay my father a visit; and never being a gentleman.
more luckily, for he always forces him abroad. Young M. I am determined I won't speak By the way, what will you do with yourself to her. [Turning to a Rose-tree, and plucking while I step into the house to see after my the Flowers] Now or never is the time to trusty messenger, Hodge? conquer myself: besides, I have some reason Ros. No matter; I'll sit down in that arbour, to believe the girl has no aversion to me: and, and listen to the singing of the birds: you as I wish not to do her an injury, it would know I am fond of melancholy amusements. be cruel to fill her head with notions of what Luc. So it seems, indeed: sure, Rosetta, can never happen. [Hums a Tune] Pshaw! none of your admirers had power to touch rot these roses, how they pick one's fingers! your heart; you are not in love, I hope? Ros. He takes no notice of me; but so
Ros. In love! that's pleasant: who do you much the better; I'll be as indifferent as be suppose I should be in love with, pray? is. I am sure the poor lad likes me; and if Luc. Why, let me see-What do you think I was to give him any encouragement, I supof Thomas, our gardener? There he is at the pose the next thing he talked of would be other end of the walk - He's a pretty young buying a ring, and being asked in churchman, and the servants say, he's always writing
verses on you. 1) Servant-maid.
Oh, dear pride, I thank you for that thought. Young M. Hah, going without a word! a look!-I can't bear that Mrs. Rosetta, I am
gathering a few roses here, if you please to take them in with you.
Haw. Am I here? Yes: and, been where I was three hours ago, you would Ros. Thank you, Mr. Thomas, but all my find the good effects of it by this time: but lady's flower-pots are full. you have got the lazy, unwholesome, London Young M. Will you accept of them for fashion of lying abed in a morning, and there's yourself, then? [Catching hold of her] What's gout for you-Why, sir, I have not been in the matter? you look as if you were angry bed five minutes after sunrise these thirty with me.
Ros. Pray let go my hand. Young M. Nay, pr'ythee, why is this? you shan't go, I have something to say to you. Ros. Well, but I must go, I will go; I desire, Mr. Thomas
Gentle youth, ah, tell me why
years, am generally up before it; and I never took a dose of physic but once in my life, and that was in compliment to a cousin of mine, an apothecary, that had just set up business.
Jus. W. Well but, master Hawthorn, let me tell you, you know nothing of the matter; for, I say, sleep is necessary for a man; ay,
and I'll maintain it.
Haw. What, when I maintain the contrary?-Look you, neighbour Woodcock, you are a rich man, a man of worship, a justice of peace, and all that; but learn to know the respect that is due to the sound from the in[Exit. firm; and allow me that superiority a good Young M. This girl is a riddle-That she constitution gives me over you-Health is the loves me I think there is no room to doubt; greatest of all possessions; and 'tis a maxim she takes a thousand opportunities to let me with me, that a hale cobler is a better man see it: and yet, when I speak to her, she will than a sick king.
hardly give me an answer; and, if I attempt| Jus. W. Well, well, you are a sportsman. the smallest familiarity, is gone in an instant- Haw. And so would you be too, if you I feel my passion for her grow every day would take my advice. A sportsman! why more and more violent-Well, would I marry there is nothing like it: I would not exchange her?- would I make a mistress of her if I the satisfaction I feel, while I am beating the could? - Two things, called prudence and lawns and thickets about my little farm, for honour, forbid either. What am I pursuing, all the entertainment and pageantry in Christthen? A shadow. Sure my evil genius laid endom. this snare in my way. However, there is one comfort, it is in my power to fly from it; if so, why do I hesitate? I am distracted, unable to determine any thing.
SCENE II.-A Hall in JUSTICE WOODCOCK'S
Enter HAWTHORN, with a Fowlingpiece in
There was a jolly miller once,
Liv'd on the river Dee;
Let gay ones and great,
Make the most of their fate,
Hodge. Did your worship call, sir?
Jus. W. Call, sir; where have you and the rest of these rascals been? but I suppose I need not ask- You must know there is a statute, a fair for hiring servants, held upon my green to-day; we have it usually at this season of the year, and it never fails to put
He work'd and sung from morn till night; all the folks hereabout out of their senses.
No lark more blithe than he.
And this the burthen of his song,
For ever us'd to be
I care for nobody, not I,
If no one cares for me.
House, here, house! what all gadding, abroad! house, I say, hilli-ho, ho!
Jus. W. Without] Here's a noise, here's a racket! William, Robert, Hodge! why does not somebody answer? Odds my life, I believe the fellows have lost their hearing!
Enter JUSTICE WOODCOCK.
Hodge. Lord, your honour, look out, and see what a nice show they make yonder; they had got pipers, and fiddlers, and were dancing as I came along, for dear life - I never saw such a mortal throng in our village in all my born days again.
Haw. Why, I like this now, this is as it should be.
Jus. W. No, no, 'tis a very foolish piece of business; good for nothing but to promote idleness and the getting of bastards: but I shall take measures for preventing it another year, and I doubt whether I am not sufficiently
Oh, master Hawthorn! I guessed it was some authorized already; for by an act passed Anno such madcap-Are you there?
undecimo Caroli primi, which empowers a
justice of peace, who is lord of the manorHaw, Come, come, never mind the act; let me tell you, this is a very proper, a very useful meeting; I want a servant or two myself, I must go see what your market affords ;and you shall go, and the girls, my little Lucy and the other young rogue, and we'll make a day on't as well as the rest.
Luc. So! give it me.
[Reads the Letter to herself. Hodge. Lord a inercy! how my arm achs with beating that plaguy beast: I'll be hang'd if I won'na' rather ha' thrash'd half a day, than ha' ridden ber.
Luc. Well, Hodge, you have done your business very well.
Jus. W. I wish, master Hawthorn, I could Hodge. Well, have not I now? teach you to be a little more sedate: why Luc. Yes-Mr. Eustace tells me in this letter, won't you take pattern by me, and consider that he will be in the green lane, at the other your dignity? Odds heart, I don't wonder end of the village, by twelve o'clock - You you are not a rich man; you laugh too much know where he came before. ever to be rich.
Haw. Right, neighbour Woodcock! health, good humour, and competence, is my motto: and, if my executors have a mind, they are welcome to make it my epitaph.
Hodge. Been, ay, I ha' been far enough, an that be all: you never knew any thing fall out so crossly in your born days.
Luc. Why, what's the matter?
Hodge. Ay, ay.
Luc. Well, you must go there; and wait till he arrives, and watch your opportunity to introduce him, across the fields, into the little summer-house, on the left side of the garden. Hodge. That's enough.
Luc. But take particular care that nobody
Well, well, say no more;
I see the full length of my tether;
That I need go to school?
I can spell you and put you together.
Though I say it myself,
But I know a sheep's head from a carrot.
Hodge. Why you know, I dare not take a horse out of his worship's stables this morning, for fear it should be missed, and breed questions; and our old nag at home was so cruelly beat i'th' hoofs, that, poor beast, it had not a foot to set to ground; so I was fain to go to Luc. How severe is my case! Here I am farmer Ploughshare's, at the Grange, to bor- obliged to carry on a clandestine correspondence row the loan of his bald filly; and, would you with a man in all respects my equal, because think it? after walking all that way-de'el from the oddity of my father's temper is such, that me, if the crossgrained toad did not deny me I dare not tell him I have ever yet seen the the favour. person I should like to marry But perhaps he has quality in his eye, and hopes, one day or other, as I am his only child, to match me with a title-vain imagination!
Hodge. Well, then I went my ways to the King'shead in the village, but all their cattle were at plough: and I was as far to seck below at the turnpike: so at last, for want of a better, I was forced to take up with dame Quickset's blind mare.
Luc. Oh, then you have been?
Luc. Pshaw! Why did not you say so
Cupid, god of soft persuasion,
Justly those we tyrants call,
SCENE III-A Field with a Stile.
Enter HODGE, followed by MADGE. Hodge. What does the wench follow me for? Odds flesh, folk may well talk, to see you
I wish I was a maid again,
dangling after me every where, like a tantony pig): find some other road, can't you; and don't keep wherreting me with your nonsense. SCENE IV.-A Green, with the Prospect of Madge. Nay, pray you, Hodge, stay, and let me speak to you a bit.
Hodge. Well; what sayn you?
Madge. Dear heart, how can you be so barbarous? and is this the way you serve me after all; and won't you keep your word, Hodge?
Hodge. Why no I won't, I tell you; I have chang'd my mind.
Madge. Nay but surely, surely-Consider Hodge, you are obligated in conscience to make me an honest woman.
Hodge. Obligated in conscience! How am I obligated?
Madge. Because you are; and none but the basest of rogues would bring a poor girl to shame, and afterwards leave her to the wide world.
a Village, and the Representation of Statute or Fair.
Enter JUSTICE WOODCOCK, HAWTHORN, MRS. DEBORAH WOODCOCK, LUCINDA, ROSETTA, young MEADOWS, HODGE, and several country People.
Hodge. This way, your worship, this way. Why don't you stand aside there? Here's his worship a coming.
Countrymen. His worship!
Jus. W. Fie, fie, what a crowd's this! Odd, put some of them in the stocks. [Striking Fellow] Stand out of the way, sirrah. Haw. For shame, neighbour. Well, my lad, are you willing to serve the king?
Countryman. Why, can you list me? Serve the king, master? no, no, I pay the king, that's enough for me. Ho, ho, ho!
Haw. Well said, Sturdy-boots.
Jus. W. Nay, if you talk to them, they'll answer you.
Hodge. Bring you to shame! Don't make me speak, Madge; don't make me speak. Madge. Yes do, speak your worst. Hodge. Why then, if you go to that, you were fain to leave your own village down in the west, for a bastard you had by the clerk of the parish, and I'll bring the man shall say should.-Well, madam, is not this a fine sight? it to your face. I did not know my neighbour's estate had Madge. No, no, Hodge, 'tis no such thing, been so well peopled.-Are all these his own 'tis a base lie of farmer Ploughshare's-But I tenants?
Haw. I would have them do so, I like they
know what makes you false-hearted to me, Mrs. D. More than are good of them, Mr. that you may keep company with young ma- Hawthorn. I don't like to see such a parcel dam's waiting-woman; and I am sure she's of young hussies fleering with the fellows. no fit body for a poor man's wife. Haw. There's a lass. [Beckoning to a Hodge. How should you know what she's country Girl]-Come hither, my pretty maid. fit for. She's fit for as much as you, may- What brings you here? [Chucking her under hap; don't find fault with your betters, Madge. the Chin] Do you come to look for a service?
Enter young MEADOWS.
Oh! master Thomas, I have a word or two to say to you; pray did not you go down the village one day last week with a basket of something upon your shoulder?
Country G. Yes, an't please you.
Haw. Well, and what place are you for?
Mrs. D. She looks like a brazen one-Go, hussy.
Young M. Well, and what then? Hodge. Nay, not much, only the hostler at Haw. Here's another. [Catching a Girl that the Greenman was saying, as how there was goes by] What health, what bloom!-This is a passenger at their house as see'd you go by, nature's work; no art, no daubing. Don't be and said he know'd you; and axt a mort of asham'd, child; those cheeks of thine are enough questions-So I thought I'd tell you. to put a whole drawing-room out of counteYoung M. The devil! ask questions about nance. me! I know nobody in this part of the coun- Hodge. Now, your honour, now the sport try; there must be some mistake in it-Come will come: The gut-scrapers are here, and hither, Hodge. [Exit with Hodge. some among them are going to sing and dance. Madge. A nasty, ungrateful fellow, to use Why there's not the like of our statute, mun, me at this rate, after being to him as I have.-in five counties; others are but fools to it. Well, well, I wish all poor girls would take Servant-man. Come, good people, make a warning by my mishap, and never have nothing ring; and stand out, fellow servants, as many to say to none of them.
How happy were my days, till now!
1) St. Anthony's pig.
of you as are willing, and able, to bear a bob 1). We'll let my masters and mistresses see we can do something at least; if they won't hire us, it shan't be our fault. Strike up the Servants' Medley.
MEDLEY and CHORUS.
Housem. I pray ye, gentles, list to me:
For work that's in the county.
1) To take a part in the song.
Footm. Behold a blade, who knows his trade
In chamber, hall, and entry:
I can dress, and comb, and shave;
On a message I can go,
For plain wholesome dishes I'm ne'er at a loss;
Compar'd to the beef of old England,
Who knows how to manage a plough and
Here's one for your purpose, come take me
And, as for the wages, we shan't disagree.
SCENE I-A Parlour in JUSTICE
Luc. My father, and my aunt! Eust. The devil! What shall we do? Luc. Take no notice of them, only observe -[Speaks aloud to Eustace] Upon my word, sir, I don't know what to say to it, unless the justice was at home; he is just stepp'd into the village with some company; but, if you'll sit down a moment, I dare swear he will return-[Pretends to see the Justice] —O! sir, here is my papa!
Jus. W. Here is your papa, hussy! Who's this you have got with you? Hark you, sirrab, who are you, ye dog? and what's your business here?
Eust. Sir, this is a language I am not used to. Jus. W. Don't answer me, you rascal-I am a justice of the peace; and if I hear a word out of your mouth, I'll send you to jail, for all your lac'd hat.
Mrs. D. Send him to jail, brother, that's right. Jus. W. And how do you know it's right? How should you know any thing's right?Sister Deborah, you are never in the right. Mrs. D. Brother, this is the man I have been telling you about so long.
Jus. W. What man, goody Wiseacre? Mrs. D. Why the man your daughter has an intrigue with: but I hope you will not be lieve it now, though you see it with your own eyes-Come, hussy, confess, and don't let your father make a fool of himself any longer.
Luc. Confess what, aunt? This gentleman is a music-master: he goes about the country, WOOD-teaching ladies to play and sing; and has been recommended to instruct me; I could not turn him out when he came to offer his service; and did not know what answer to give him till I saw my papa.
Enter LUCINDA and EUSTACE. Luc. Well, am I not a bold adventurer, to bring you into my father's house at noon-day? Though, to say the truth, we are safer here than in the garden; for there is not a human creature under the roof besides ourselves.
Eust. Then why not put our scheme into execution this moment? I have a post-chaise ready.
Luc. Fie: how can you talk so lightly? I protest I am afraid to have any thing to do with you; and my aunt Deborah says
Eust. What! by all the rapture my heart now feels
Jus. W. A music-master?
Eust. Yes, sir, that's my profession.
Jus. W. What then you know better than the fellow himself, do you? and you will be wiser than all the world?
Mrs. D. Brother, he does not look like a music-master.
Jus. W. He does not look! ha! ha! ba! Was ever such a poor stupe! Well, and what Luc. Oh, to be sure, promise and vow; it does he look like, then? But I suppose you sounds prettily, and never fails to impose upon mean he is not dressed like a music-master. a fond female. Why, you silly wretch, these whipper-snappers Eust. Well, I see you've a mind to divert set up for gentlemen now-a-days, and give yourself with me; but I wish I could prevail themselves as many airs as if they were people on you to be a little serious. of quality.-Hark you, friend, I suppose Luc. Seriously then, what would you desire you don't come within the vagrant act? You me to say? I have promised to run away with have some settled habitation-Where do you you; which is as great a concession as any live? reasonable lover can expect from his mistress. Eust. Yes; but, you dear provoking angel, you a wrong place. you have not told me when you will run away with me.
Luc. Why that, I confess, requires consideration.
Eust. Yet remember, while you are deliberating, the season, now so favourable to us, may elapse, never to return.
Mrs. D. It's an easy matter for him to tell
Jus. W. Sister Deborah, don't provoke me. Mrs. D. I wish, brother, you would let me examine him a little.
Jus. W. You shan't say a word to him, you shan't say a word to him.
Mrs. D. She says he was recommended here, brother; ask him by whom.
Jus. W. No, I won't now, because you
Enter JUSTICE WOODCOCK and MRS. DEBO- desire it.
Jus. W. Hoity-toity; who have we here?
Luc. If my papa did ask the question, aunt, it would be very easily resolved.