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Haw. Follow me, follow me; I warrant you. matters stood, I was quite astonished, as a Luc. I can assure you, Mr. Hawthorn, I am body may say; and could not believe it partly; very difficult to please.
Ros. And so am I, sir.
till her young friend that she is with here, assured me of the truth on't:-Indeed, at last, I began to recollect her face, though I have not set eyes on her before, since she was the height of a full grown greyhound.
Haw. Well, sir William, your son as yet knows nothing of what has happened, nor of your being come hither; and, if you'll follow my counsel, we'll have some sport with him. -He and his mistress were to meet in the garden this evening by appointment, she's gone to dress herself in all her airs; will you let me direct your proceedings in this affair?
Sir W. With all my heart, master Hawthorn, with all my heart; do what you will with me, say what you please for me; I am so overjoyed, and so happy-And may Inever do an ill turn1) but I am very glad to see you too; ay, and partly as much pleased at that as any thing else, for we have been merry together before now, when we were some years younger: well, and how has the world gone with you, master Hawthorn, since we saw one another last?
Haw. Why, pretty well, sir William, I have no reason to complain; every one has a mixture of sour with his sweets: but, in the main, I believe, I have done in a degree as tolerably as my neighbours.
The world is a well-furnish'd table,
Some gorge, while some scarce have a
But if I'm content with a little,
Sir W. Well, this is excellent, this is mighty good, this is mighty merry, faith; ha! ha! ha! was ever the like heard of? that my boy, Tom, Ros. Sir William, I beg pardon for detainshould run away from me, for fear of being ing you, but I have had so much difficulty in forced to marry a girl he never saw; that she adjusting my borrowed plumes.should scamper from her father, for fear of Sir W. May I never do an ill turn, but being forced to marry him; and that they they fit you to a T, and you look very well, should run into one another's arms this way so you do: Cocksbones, how your father will in disguise, by mere accident; against their chuckle when he comes to hear this!-Her faconsents, and without knowing it, as a body ther, master Hawthorn, is as worthy a man may say? May I never do an ill turn, master as lives by bread, and has been almost out of Hawthorn, if it is not one of the oddest ad- his senses for the loss of her But tell me, ventures partlyhussy, has not this been all a scheme, a piece How. Why, sir William, it is a romance, of conjuration between you and my son? Faith, a novel, a pleasanter history by half than the I am half persuaded it has, it looks so like loves of Dorastus and Faunia: we shall have hocus-pocus, as a body may say. ballads made of it within these two months, Ros. Upon my honour, sir William, what setting forth how a young squire became a has happened has been the mere effect of serving-man of low degree; and it will be chance; I came hither unknown to your son, stuck up with Margaret's Ghost, and the Spa- and he unknown to me: I never in the least nish Lady, against the walls of every cottage suspected that Thomas the gardener was other in the country. than his appearance spoke him; and least of Sir W. But what pleases me best of all, all, that he was a person with whom I had master Hawthorn, is the ingenuity of the girl. so close a connexion. Mr. Hawthorn can testify May I never do an ill turn, when I was called the astonishment I was in when he first inout of the room, and the servant said she formed me of it; but I thought it was my wanted to speak to me, if I knew what to duty to come to an immediate explanation make on't: but when the little gipsy took with you. me aside, and told me her name, and how
1) Little gipsy. little rogue, little baggage, and a thousand other littles, are merely terms of endearment.
Sir W. Is not she a neat wench, master Hawthorn? May I never do an ill turn, but
1) Sir William means, may I never do a good turn,
she is-But you little, plaguy devil, how came become of Lucinda? Sir William waits for this love affair between you? me, I must be gone. Friendship, a moment Ros. I have told you the whole truth very by your leave; yet as our sufferings have ingenuously, sir: since your son and I have been mutual, so shall our joys; I already lose been fellow servants, as I may call it, in this the remembrance of all former pains and anhouse, I have had more than reason to suspect xieties. he has taken a liking to me; and I will own, with equal frankness, had I not looked upon him as a person so much below me, I should have had no objection to receive his courtship. Haw. Well said, by the lord Harry, all above board, fair and open.
Ros. Perhaps I may be censured by some for this candid declaration; but I love to speak my sentiments; and I assure you, sir William, in my opinion, I should prefer a gardener with your son's good qualities, to a knight of the shire without them.
Sir W. Ay, but I must speak a word or two to my man about the horses first. [Exeunt Sir W. and Haw. Enter HODge.
Ros. Well-What's the business?
Ros. Why, Hodge, don't you know me?
The traveller benighted,
And led through weary ways,
The rising prospects viewing,
[Exit. Hodge. Hist, stay! don't I hear a noise? Luc. [Without Well, but dear, dear aunt— Mrs.D. [Without] You need not speak to me, for it does not signify.
Hodge. Adwawns, they are coming here! ecod, I'll get out of the way-Murrain take it, this door is bolted now-So, so.
Enter MRS. DEBORAH WOODCOCK, driving in LUCINDA before her.
Mrs. D. Get along, get along: you are a scandal to the name of Woodcock: but I was resolved to find you out; for I have suspected you a great while, though your father, silly man, will have you such a poor innocent. Luc. What shall I do?
Mrs. D. I was determined to discover what
you and your pretended music-master were about, and lay in wait on purpose: I believe Ros. Ay. he thought to escape me, by slipping into the Hodge. Know you! ecod, I don't know closet when I knocked at the door; but I was whether I do or not: never stir, if I did not even with him; for now I have him under think it was some lady belonging to the strange lock and key; and please the fates, there he gentlefolks: why, you ben't dizen'd this way shall remain till your father comes in: I will to go to the statute dance presently, be you? convince him of his error, whether he will or Ros. Have patience and you'll see:-but is not. there any thing amiss that you came in so abruptly?
Hodge. Amiss! why there's ruination.
Hodge. Why, with miss Lucinda: her aunt has catch'd she and the gentleman above stairs, and overheard all their love discourse.
Ros. You don't say so!.
Hodge. Ecod, I had like to have pop'd in among them this instant; but, by good luck, I heard Mrs. Deborah's voice, and run down again as fast as ever my legs could carry me. Ros. Is your master in the house?
Hodge. What, his worship! no no, he is gone into the fields to talk with the reapers and people.
Ros. Poor Lucinda! I wish I could go up to her; but I am so engaged with my own affairs
Hodge. Mistress Rosetta!
Hodge. Odds bobs, I must have one smack of your sweet lips.
Luc. You won't be so cruel, I am sure you won't: I thought I had made you my friend by telling you the truth.
Mrs. D. Telling me the truth, quotha! did I not overhear your scheme of running away to-night, through the partition? did I not find the very bundles pack'd up in the room with you, ready for going off? No, brazenface, I found out the truth by my own sagacity, though your father says I am a fool, but now we'll be judged who is the greatest-And you, Mr. Rascal, my brother shall know what an honest servant he has got.
Mrs. D. You were to have been aiding and assisting them in their escape, and have been the go-between, it seems, the letter-carrier! Hodge. Who, me, madam! Mrs. D. Yes, you, sirrah.
Hodge. Miss Lucinda, did I ever carry a letter for you? I'll make my affidavy 1) before his worship
Mrs. D. Go, go, you are a villain, hold your
Ros, Oh, stand off; you know I never al-tongue. low liberties,
Luc. I own, aunt, I have been very faulty
Hodge. Nay, but why so coy? there's rea- in this affair; I don't pretend to excuse myson in roasting of eggs; I would not deny self; but we are all subject to frailties; conyou such a thing.
Ros. That's kind: ha, ha, ha—But what will1) Affidavit.
And all their discourse is of marriage.
SCENE II-A Greenhouse.
sider that, and judge of me by yourself; you were once young and inexperienced as I am. Mrs. D. This is mighty pretty, romantic stuff! but you learn it out of your play-books and novels. Girls in my time had other employments, we worked at our needles, and Young M. I am glad I had the precaution kept ourselves from idle thoughts: before I was to bring this suit of clothes in my bundle, your age, I had finished with my own fingers though I hardly know myself in them again, a complete set of chairs and a firescreen in they appear so strange, and feel so unweildy. tent-stitch; four counterpanes in Marseilles However, my gardener's jacket goes on no quilting; and the creed and the ten command-more. -I wonder this girl does not come; ments in the hair of our family: it was fram'd [Looking at his Watch] perhaps she won't and glaz'd, and hung over the parlour chim-come.-Why, then I'll go into the village, ney-piece, and your poor, dear grandfather take a post-chaise, and depart without any was prouder of it than of e'er a picture in further ceremony. his house. I never looked into a book, but when I said my prayers, except it was the Complete Housewife, or the great family receipt-book: whereas you are always at your studies! Ah, I never knew a woman come to good, that was fond of reading.
Luc. Well pray, madam, let me prevail on you to give me the key to let Mr. Eustace out, and I promise I never will proceed a step further in this business without your advice and approbation.
How much superior beauty awes,
To sense and sweetness join'd.
Mrs. D. Have I not told you, already my Enter SIR WILLIAM MEADOWS and HAWresolution? Where are my clogs and my boanet? I'll go out to my brother in the fields; I'm a fool, you know, child; now let's see what the wits will think of themselves-Don't this mean? hold me
Young M. Confusion! my father! What can
[Exit. Sir W. Tom, are not you a sad boy, Tom, Luc. I'm not going; I have thought of a to bring me a hundred and forty miles here way to be even with you, so you may do as-May I never do an ill turn, but you deserve you please. [Exit. to have your head broke; and I have a good Hodge. Well, I thought it would come to mind, partly-What, sirrah, don't you think this, I'll be shot if I didn't-So here's a fine it worth your while to speak to me? job But what can they do to me? - They Young M. Forgive me, sir; I own I have can't send me to gaol for carrying a letter, been in a fault.
seeing there was no treason in it; and how Sir W. In a fault! to run away from me was I obligated to know my master did not because I was going to do you good-May ! allow of their meetings:-The worst they can never do an ill turn, Mr. Hawthorn, if I did do is to turn me off, and I am sure the place not pick out as fine a girl for him, partly, as is no such great purchase-indeed, I should any in England! and the rascal run away be sorry to leave Mrs. Rosetta, seeing as how from me, and came here and turn'd gardener. matters are so near being brought to an end And pray what did you propose to yourself, betwixt us; but she and I may keep company Tom? I know you were always fond of boall as one; and I find Madge has been speaking tany, as they call it; did you intend to keep with Gaffer Broadwheels, the waggoner, about the trade going, and advertise fruit-trees and her carriage up to London: so that I have got flowering-shrubs, to be had at Meadows' rid of she, and I am sure I have reason to be nursery? main glad of it, for she led me a wearisome life-But that's the way of them all.
A plague o'these wenches, they make such a pother,
When once they have let'n a man have his will;
They're always a whining for something or other,
And cry he's unkind in his carriage.
You cannot persuade 'em
Haw. No, sir William, I apprehend the young gentleman designed to lay by the profession; for he has quitted the habit already. Young M. I am so astonished to see you here, sir, that I don't know what to say: but I assure you, if had not come, I 'should have returned home to you directly. Pray, sir, how did you find me out?
Sir W. No matter, Tom, no matter: it was partly by accident, as a body may say; but what does that signify?-tell me, boy, how stands your stomach towards matrimony: do you think you could digest a wife now?
Young M. Pray, sir, don't mention it: I shall always behave myself as a dutiful son ought; I will never marry without your consent, and I hope you won't force me to do it against
Their character's blasted, they're ruin'd, un- my own.
Then to be sure, sir,
There is but one cure, sir,
Sir WV. Is not this mighty provoking, master Hawthorn? Why, sirrab, did you ever see the lady I designed for you?
father in this matter.
Young M. Sir, I don't doubt the lady's me- kind of embarrassment, and I don't wonder rit; but, at present, I am not disposed- at it; but this letter, which I received from Haw. Nay but, young gentleman, fair and him a few days before I left my father's house, softly; you should pay some respect to your will, I apprehend, expound the riddle. He cannot be surprised that I ran away from a Sir W. Respect, master Hawthorn! I tell gentleman who expressed so much dislike to you he shall marry her, or I'll disinherit him! me; and what has happened, since chance there's once. Look you, Tom, not to make has brought us together in masquerade, there any more words of the matter, I have brought is no occasion for me to inform him of. the lady here with me, and I'll see you con- Young M. What is all this? Pray don't tracted before we part; or you shall delve and make a jest of me! plant cucumbers as long as you live. Sir W. May I never do an ill turn, Tom, Young M. Have you brought the lady here, if it is not truth! this is my friend's daughter. sir? I am sorry for it. Young M. Sir! Sir W. Why sorry? What, then, you won't Ros. Even so; 'tis very true, indeed. In marry her? We'll see that! Pray, master Haw-short, you have not been a more whimsical thorn, conduct the fair one in. Ay, sir, you gentleman, than I have a gentlewoman; but may fret and dance about, trot at the rate of you see we are designed for one another, fifteen miles an hour, if you please; but, marry 'tis plain. whip me, I'm resolved.
Haw. Here is the lady, sir William.
Sir W. Come in, madam; but turn your face from him-he would not marry you because he had not seen you: but I'll let him know my choice shall he his, and he shall consent to marry you before he sees you, or not an acre of estate - Pray, sir, walk this
Young M. I know not, madam, what I either hear or see; a thousand things are crowding on my imagination; while, like one just awakened from a dream,'I doubt which is reality, which delusion.
Sir W. Well then, Tom, come into the air a bit, and recover yourself.
Young M. Nay, dear sir, have a little patience; do you give her to me?
Sir W. Give her to you! ay, that I do, and my blessing into the bargain. Young M. Sir, I cannot help thinking your Young M. Then, sir, I am the happiest man conduct a little extraordinary; but, since you in the world! I inquire no further; here I fix urge me so closely, I must tell you my af- the utmost limits of my hopes and happiness. fections are engaged.
Sir W. How, Tom, how?
Young M. I was determined, sir, to have Young M. All I wish in her obtaining,
got the better of my inclination, and never have done a thing which I knew would be disagreeable to you.
Fortune can no more impart:
Sir W. And pray, sir, who are your affec-Young M. tions engaged to? Let me know that. Young M. To a person, sir, whose rank Together. and fortune may be no recommendation to her, but whose charms and accomplishments entitle her to a monarch. I am sorry, sir, it's impossible for me to comply with your
commands, and I hope you will not be of--And, under favour, I'll salute you too, if
fended if I quit your presence.
Sir W. Not I, not in the least: go about business.
Young M. Sir, I obey.
Haw. Now, madam; is the time.
there's no fear of jealousy.
Young M. And may I believe this? Pr'ythee tell me, dear Rosetta!
los. Step into the house, and I'll tell you every thing; I must entreat the good offices
[Rosetta advances. Young Meadows turns of sir William and Mr. Hawthorn immedia
round and sees her.
Haw. Perhaps, sir William, your son does not like the lady; and, if so, pray don't put a force upon his inclination.
Young M. You need not have taken this method, sir, to let me see you are acquainted with my folly, whatever my inclinations are. Sir W. Well but, Tom, suppose I give my consent to your marrying this young woman? Young M. Your consent, sir?
for I am in the utmost uneasiness about my poor friend, Lucinda.
Haw. Why, what's the matter?
Ros. I don't know; but I have reason to fear I left her just now in. very disagreeable circumstances: however I hope if there's any mischief fallen out between her father and
Haw. The music-master! I thought so.
Sir W. What, is there a lover in the case? May I never do an ill turn, but I am glad, so I am! for we'll make a double wedding; and, by way of celebrating it, take a trip to London, to show the brides some of the pleasures of the town. And, master Hawthorn, you shall be of the party-Cone, children, go before us.
Ros. Come, sir William, we have carried Haw. Thank you, sir William; I'll go inthe jest far enough: I see your son is in a to the house with you, and to church to see
the young folks married; but as to London, heartily your servant; may I never do an ill I beg to be excused. turn, but I am glad to meet you.
If ever I'm catch'd in those regions of smoke,
Nor the pleasure the country enjoys.
And show me for twopence a- piece.
[Exeunt. SCENE III.-JUSTICE WOODCOCK'S Hall. Enter JUSTICE WOODCOCK, MRS. DEBORAH WOODCOCK, LUCINDA, EUSTACE, and HODGE. Mrs D. Why, brother, do you think can't hear, or see, or make use of my senses? I tell you, I left that fellow locked up in her closet; and, while, I have been with you, they have broke open the door, and got him out again.
Jus. W. Pray, sir William, are you acquainted with this person?
Sir W. What, with Jack Eustace? why he's my kinsman: his mother and I were cousin-germans once removed, and Jack's a very worthy young fellow; may I never do an ill turn, if I tell a word of a lie.
Jus. W. Well but, sir William, let me tell you, you know nothing of the matter; this man is a music-master; a thrummer of wire, and a scraper of catgut, and teaches my daughter to sing.
Sir W. What, Jack Eustace a music-master! no, no; I know him better.
Eust. 'Sdeath, why should I attempt to carry on this absurd farce any longer;-What that gentleman tells you is very true, sir; I am no music-master, indeed.
Jus. W. You are not, you own it then? Eust. Nay more, sir, I am, as this lady has represented me, [Pointing to Mrs. Deborah] your daughter's lover: whom, with her own Jus. W. Well, you hear what they say. consent, I did intend to have carried off this Mrs. D. I care not what they say; it's you night; but now that sir William Meadows encourage them in their impudence-Harkye, is here, to tell you who and what I am, 1 bussy, will you face me down that I did not throw myself upon your generosity; from lock the fellow up? which I expect greater advantages than I could Luc. Really, aunt, I don't know what you reap from any imposition on your unsuspimean; when you talk intelligibly, I'll answer cious nature. you.
Mrs. D. Well, brother, what have you to
Eust. Seriously, madam, this is carrying say for yourself now? You have made a prethe jest a little too far. cious day's work of it! Had my advice been Mrs. D. What, then, I did not catch you taken! Oh, I am ashamed of you; but you together in her chamber, nor overhear your are a weak man, and it can't be help'd; howdesign of going off to-night, nor find the ever, you should let wiser heads direct you. bundles packed upLuc. Dear papa, pardon me.
Eust. Ha, ha, ha.
Luc Why, aunt, you rave.
Sir W. Ay, do, sir, forgive her; my cousin Jack will make her a good husband, I'll answer for it.
Mrs. D. Brother, as I am a Christian woman, she confessed the whole affair to me Ros. Stand out of the way, and let me from first to last; and in this very place was speak two or three words to his worship.down upon her marrow-bones for half an Come, my dear sir, though you refuse all the hour together, to beg I would conceal it from you. world, I am sure you can deny me nothing: Hodge. Oh Lord! Oh Lord! love is a venial fault-You know what I mean. Mrs. D. What, sirrah, would you brazen-Be reconciled to your daughter, I conjure me too! Take that. [Boxes him. you, by the memory of our past affectionsHodge. I wish you would keep your hands What, not a word? to yourself! you strike me, because you have been telling his worship stories.
Jus. W. Why, sister, you are tipsy!
Mrs. D. I tipsy, brother!-I-that never touch a drop of any thing strong from year's end to year's end; but now and then a little anniseed water, when I have got the colic..
Go, naughty man, I can't abide you; Are then our vows so soon forgot? Ah! now I see if I had tried you, What would have been my hopeful lot. But here I charge you-Make them happy; Bless the fond pair, and crown their bliss: Come, be a dear, good natur'd pappy, And I'll reward you with a kiss. Jus. W. Come, come, I see well enough Mrs. D. Come, turn out of the house, and how it is; this is a lie of her own invention, be thankful that my brother does not hang ty make herself appear wise: but, you simple- you, for he could do it; he's a justice of ton, did you not know I must find you out? peace;-turn out of the house, I say:
Luc. Well, aunt, you have been complaining of the stomach-ach all day; and may have taken too powerful a dose of your cordial.
Enter SIR WILLIAM MEADOWS, HAWTHORN,
Eust. Plague on't, this rencounter is unlucky-Sir William, your servant.
Jus. W. Who gave you authority to turn him out of the house?-be shall stay where
Mrs. D. He shan't marry my niece. Jus. W. Shan't he! but I'll show you the difference now; I say he shall marry her, and what will you do about it?
Mrs. D. And you will give him your estate
Sir W. Your servant, again; and again, too, will you?