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Ger. Law! I'd almost forgotten-I'd run so fast. How well Peter looks this morning-don't he ?
Swy. Do let Peter alone! and tell me who wants meand what for. Is it the wine for breakfast?
Ger. Yes, that's it-you've got the keys of the cellar, and the Baron wants some of the best Moselle, to give Captain Amersfort.
Swy. Good morning, then, Peter. I'll take an opportunity of speaking to the Captain, depend upon it. I must go now for the Baron.
Of what you drink every day. [Exit Swyzel, L. Ger. (Aside.) An old rogue, I am sure he is; and be always snubs me and scolds me. So does everybody, indeed, except Peter. Peter never snubs me, at any rate; but that's because he hardly ever speaks to me. ly look at him this moment! there he stands, puffing away with his pipe, and turning up the whites of his eyes. Now, what can he be thinking about ?that is, if he is thinking -suppose it's about-[Aloud, and taking hold of his arm). -Peter! Pet. Eh !-Oh! you're here still, are you?
Ger. [Aside.] How civil! (Aloud.| Yes, I'm here still ; and if I had kept still, you'd never have known it, seemingly. What are you thinking about so deeply?
Pet. Thinking about? Why, I was thinking about Mother Wynk's tavern, where I breakfasted this morning.
Ger. What an interesting subject !
Pet. Rather. The old vrow worried my life out with " Why don't you get married, Farmer Spyk?"_" Why do you
live alone, in that old house, like an owl in an ivybush ?”—“ Why don't you take a wife ? you've got money
enough to keep one, and you are your own master; you've only to please yourself.”
Ges: Well, and haven't I told you so over and over again?
Pet. Well, so you have; and I do think, if I should get the Appledoorn Farm, I'll sign a lease and a contract the same day.
Ger. But, if you don't get the farm, what does it signify?—you might marry all the same for that. You’ye enough without. You needn't wait—that is, if you liko anybody well enough to marry them.
Pet. Ah, but then I don't know that I do. Now, who is there, in your opinion, that would suit me
e ? Ger. Oh, I don't know. I dare say, if I were to choose, I could name somebody.
Pet. Well, but let's see, now. To begin with the neighbourhood :-I know all the girls here, and I am sure I can't say.-Suddenly.) What d'ye think of Mary Moerdyke, to begin with?
Ger. Very bad to begin with, and much better to have done with as soon as possible. She is the worst tempered girl in all Utretcht, and as tall as the tower yonder-a great, gawky, sulky thing, just like it.
Pet. Ah, well, I don't think she would suit me, certainly. But there's her cousin, Judith-she's very good-natured ?
Ger. Ah, Judith’s a pretty girl, if you please, and very good-natured, as you say,—perhaps a little too good-natured,
Pet. No, really, humph!—I shouldn't like that. What do you say to Anne Stein ?
Ger. Everybody says she's a great coquette. See her on a Sunday, that's all! or at a dance at the fair! She's always changing her partner.
Pet. Oh, if she's always changing her partner--well, they can't say that of the little Barbara ?
Ger. No, because she's lame, and can't dance at all. Pet. That's very true ; poor thing, she's lame, so she is. Well, I declare, then, Vrow Wynk herself!
Ger. Old enough to be your grandmother,
Pot. The devil! Then I must go farther a-field, for there's nobody else that I know of in this place.
Ger. [Aside. Oh, doar! oh, dear! how blind he is, to
Pet. Ah !-stop! What a fool I am, never to have remeinbered
Ger. Well, who ?--what ?
Det. Why, that to-morrow will be market-day here, and that there'll be plenty of pretty girls from all the villages round about so I can choose without the trouble of a journey.
In verity, verity, &c. Pet. Well, at any rate, I'll take my chance of to-morrow. But yonder's Mamzelle and some of the gentlefolks, so I'll go and hear what the steward has done for me. Good bye, Gertrude. I say, mind, if you can find me a nice, little, good-tempered wife, I'll make you a present the day I'm married, and you shall dance at the wedding.
[Exit, R. Ger. Now, isn't it provoking? He can think of every body but me; and unless I were to say to him, plump, “ Peter, will you marry me?”—and then, if he should say, “No!" oh, I should die with shame and disappointment. Oh, dear! oh, dear! how vexatious it is! And it's not only Peter, but nobody seems to think me worth marrying at all-nobody ever says a civil thing to me of any sort ! I never had a sweetheart in all my life, and I do believe that's the reason. If I only had one to being with, I shouldn't wonder if they swarmed afterwards.
SUNG.-(" A Temple to Friendship.")
I know I should make a most excellent wife:
The girls all around me have lovers in plenty,
For lasses as poor I've known dozens to win;
(Retires up the stage, sobbing, R.
that I should tow the passage-boat. Amer. I shouldn't wonder if you proposed something equally extravagant. For myself, I have done--I shall suggest nothing else. Please yourself, if possible, and you will please me.
Ern. Now he's out of humour.
Amer. No, not out of humour, but you are the most capricious creature !
Ern. Well, well, sir, if you are tired of your allegiance, renounce it at once. I have plenty of slaves at my
footstool, who will serve me with oriental obedience!
Amer. (R.) If they really loved you, they would not encourage you in your follies. Ern. (c.) My follies! How dare you
talk to me
my follies, sir ? Hold your tongue! Hold your tongue, directly! There's Gertrude, and I want to speak to her. Gertrude!
[Calling. Ger. (1.) Yes, mamzelle.
[Drying her eyes. Ern. What's the matter, Gertrude? you've been crying. Ger. (...) Yes, mamzelle.
Ern. And what for? Has any one vexed you ? some faithless swain, perhaps ?
Ger. Oh, dear, no, mamzelle. I wish it was --but that's not possible!
[Bursts out a fresh. Ern. How d’ye mean—not possible, child ? Ger. Because I haven't got a swain of any sort.
Ern. Bless the girl! What, no sweetheart, at your age ?
Ger, No, mamzelle.
Ern. Silly wench! you ought to rejoice at it rather; the men are nothing but plagues, Gertrude. Lovers, indeed! there's not one worth having.
Ger. 1-I wish I had one, though, just to try. I was just saying to myself, it was a shame that some young women should have a score, and others none at all.
Amer. The girl is right enough there. It's a shame that some young women should have a score, and hold out equal hopes to all.
Ern. The sooner you lessen the number of mine, the lietter, then. I could manage to spare even the gallant Captain Amersfort—and—a capital thought! as you seem so concerned at the unequal division, I'll transfer Gertrude.
Ger. Law, mamzelle, you don't say so? Will you, really?
Amer. Ernestine! What folly !
you have no admirer, Gertrude, and I have so many, I'll give you one of mine.
Ger. Oh, but I don't want you to give me one, mamzelle. If you'll only lend me a beau-.just to encourage the others.
Ern. Ha! ha! ha! delightful! That's better still!. you hear, sir, I am not to give you up altogether, though you deserve it; I shall only try your obedience! We command you, therefore, on pain of our sovereign displeasure, to pay all proper attentions to our handmaid, Gertrude; you are her beau till further notice.
Amer. Ernestine, are you mad ?
Ern. Mad or not, you will obey me, or take the consequences.
I won't be charged with folly and extravagance for nothing.-(Aside.] Remember, I have promised my father to decide this day in favour of somebody. If you hesitate only, you are excluded from all chance.- Aloud.] Gertrude, 1 lend you a beau, on your personal security, mind.
Ger. Oh, you needn't be afraid, mamzelle-I'll take the greatest care of him—and, besides