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Árn. I am not insensible to her sister's merit, but have no such views as you have. However, you have promised me that if you find in this lady that real virtue which you so firmly deny to exist in the sex, you will give up the pursuit, and, foregoing the low considerations of fortune, make atonement by marriage.
Thorn.' Such is my serious resolution." Arn. I wish you'd forego the experiment. But you have been so much in raptures with your success, that I have, as yet, had no clear account how you came acquainted in the family.
Thorn. Oh, I'll tell you immediately. You know Lady Patchet?
Arn. What, is she here?
Thorn. It was by her I was first introduced. It seems that, last year, her ladyship's reputation began to suffer a little; so that she thought it prudent to retire for a while, till people learned better manners or got worse memories. She soon became acquainted with this little family, and, as the wife is a prodigious admirer of quality, grew in a short time to be very intimate, and, imagining that she may one day make her market of the girls, has much ingratiated herself with them. She introduced me--I drank, and abused this degenerate age with the father-promised wonders to the mother for all her bratspraised her gooseberry wine, and ogled the daughters, by which means in three days I made the progress 'I related to you.
Arn. You have been expeditious indeed. I fear where that devil Lady Patchet is concerned there can be no good—but is there not a son ?
Thorn, Oh! the most ridiculous creature in nature. He has been bred in the country a bumpkin all his life, till within these six years, when he was sent to the University, but the misfortunes that have reduced his father" falling out, he is returned, the most ridiculous animal you ever saw, a conceited, disputing blockhead. So there is no great matter to fear from his penetration. But come, let us begone, and see this moral family, we shall meet them coming from the field, and you will see a man who was once in affluence, maintaining by hard labour a numerous family.
Arn. Oh! Thornhill, can you wish to add infamy to their poverty ?
[Exeunt. There also remain among his papers some scenes of a drama, without a name,-written evidently in haste, and with scarcely
any correction,—the subject of which is so wild and upmanageable, that I should not have hesitated in referring it to the same early date, had not the introduction into one of the scenes of “Dry be that tear, be hush'd that sigh,” proved it to have been produced after that pretty song was written.
The chief personages upon whom the story turns are a band of outlaws, who, under the name and disguise of Devils, have taken up their residence in a gloomy wood, adjoining a village, the inhabitants of which they keep in perpetual alarm by their incursions and apparitions. In the same wood resides a hermit, secretly connected with this band, who keeps secluded within his cave the beautiful Reginilla, hid alike from the light of the sun and the
of men. She has, however, been indulged in her prison with a glimpse of a handsome young huntsman, whom she believes to be a phantom, and is encouraged in her belief by the hermit, by whose contrivance this huntsman (a prince in disguise) has been thus presented to her. The fol-lowing is the scene that takes place between the fair recluse and her visitant. The style, where style is attempted, shows, as the reader will perceive, a taste yet immature and unchas tened:
Scene draws, and discovers REGINILLA asleep in the Cave. Enter PEVIDOR and other Devils, with the HUNTSMAN-unbind
him, and exeunt. Hunts. Ha! Where am I now? Is it indeed the dread abode of guilt, or refuge of a band of thieves ? it cannot be a dream. (Sees REGINILLA.) Ha ! if this be so, and I do dream, may I never wake-it is—my beating heart acknowledges my dear, gentle Reginilla. I'll not wake her, lest, if it be a phantom, it should vanish. Oh, balmy breath! but for thy soft sighs that come to tell me it is no image, I should believe . . (bends down towards her) a sigh from her heart !--thus let me arrest thee on thy way (kisses her.) A deeper blush has flushed her cheek-sweet modesty ! that even in sleep is conscious and resentful.--She will not wake, and yet some fancy calls up those frequent sighs-how her heart beats in its ivory cage, like an imprisoned bird-or as if to reprove the hand that dares approach its sanctuary! Oh, would she but wake,
and bless this gloom with her bright eyes !-Soft, here's a lute -perhaps her soul will hear the call of harmony.
Oh yield, fair lids, the treasures of my heart,
Release those beams, that make this mansion bright;
Begone, and give the air she breathes in light.
Let rosy slumbers still around her play,
When in thy lap, new-born, in smiles he lay.
Oh take my shape, and play a lover's part ;
Till her eyes shine, 'tis night within my heart. *
Rises. Hunts. [Kneeling to her.] Thou beauteous sun of this dark world, that mak'st a place, so like the cave of death, a heaven to me, instruct me how I may approach thee-how address thee and not offend.
Reg. Oh how my soul would hang upon those lips! speak on-and yet, methinks he should not kneel so—why are you afraid, sir ? indeed, I cannot hurt you.
• Mr. Moore says that he has taken the liberty here of supplying a few rhymes and words that are wanting in the original copy of the song. The last line of all runs thus in the manuscript:
Till her eye shines I live in darkest night, which, not rhyming as it ought, he has ventured to alter as above; and a correspondent in “ Notes and Queries,” No. 103, remarks : " The following sonnet, which occurs in the third book of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia,' is evidently the source whence Sheridan drew his inspiration, the concluding line in both poems being the same. Had Moore given Sheridan without alteration, the resemblance would, in all probability, be found much closer.'s
Look up, faire liddes, the treasure of my heart,
Preserve those beames, this ages only light;
Her sence too weake to beare her spirits might.
O harbour all her parts in easefull plight :
In this rare subject from thy common right ;
But while thyself in such a seate delight,
Kiss her from me, and say unto her sprite;
Hunts. Sweet innocence, I'm sure thou would'st not.
Reg. Art thou not he to whom I told my name, and didst thou not say thine was
Hunts. Oh blessed be the name that then thou told'st-it has been ever since my charm, and kept me from distraction. But, may I ask how such sweet excellence as thine could be hid in such a place?
Reg. Alas, I know not-for such as thou I never saw before, nor any like myself.
Hunts. Nor like thee ever shai.. But would'st thou leave this place, and live with me as I am ?
Reg. Why may not you live here with such as I?
Hunts. Yes—but I would carry thee where all above an azure canopy extends, at night bedropt with gems, and one more glorious lamp, that yields such bashful light as love enjoys -while underneath, a carpet shall be spread of flowers to court the pressure of thy step, with such sweet whispered invitations from the leaves of shady groves or murmuring of silver streams, that thou shalt think thou are in Paradise.
Hunts. Ay, and I'll watch and wait on thee all day, and cull the choicest flowers, which while thou bind'st in the mysterious knot of love, I'll tune for thee no vulgar lays, but tell thee tales to make thee weep yet please thee
- while thus I press thy hand, and warm it thus with kisses.
Reg. I doubt thee not; but then my Governor has told me many a tale of faithless men who court a lady but to steal her peace and fame, and then to leave her.
Hunts. Oh never such as thou art-witness all ...
Reg. Then wherefore could'st thou not live here? For I do feel, though tenfold darkness did surround this spot, I could be blest, would you but stay here ; and, if it made you sad to be imprison'd thus, I'd sing and play for thee, and dress thee sweetest fruits, and, though you chid me, would kiss thy tear away and hide my blushing face upon thy bosom-indeed I would. Then what avails the gaudy day, and all the evil things I'm told inhabit there, to those who have within themselves all that delight and love, and heaven can give ?
Hunts. My angel, thou hast indeed the soul of love. Reg. It is no ill thing, is it? Hunts. Oh most divine—it is the immediate gift of heaven, which steals into our breast
'tis that which makes me sigh thus, look thus-fear and tremble for thee. Reg. Sure I should learn it too, if you would teach me.
[Sound of horn without-HUNTSMAN starts. Reg. You must not go—this is but a dance preparing for my amusement-oh we have, indeed, some pleasure here--come, I will sing for you the while.
To woo the fair that love the gaudy day?
Who dwells in darkness loves thee more than they.
Shall be to please and make thee love to stay
you go, nor music, song, nor dance,
If thou art studious, I will read
Thee tales of pleasing woe-
If thou woulds't play, I'd kiss thee till I blush,
Then hide that blush upon thy breast,
Shall rock thy aching head to rest.
Enter PEVIDOR. Pev. So fond, so soon! I cannot bear to see it. What ho, within, [Devils enter] secure him.
[Seize and bind the HUNTSMAN, The duke or sovereign of the country, where these events are supposed to take place, arrives at the head of a military force, for the purpose of investing the haunted wood, and putting down, as he says, those “lawless renegades, who, in infernal masquerade, make a hell around him." He is also desirous of consulting the holy hermit of the wood, and availing himself of his pious consolations and prayers--being haunted with remorse for having criminally gained possession of the crown by con