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ther was here just now, on some business with old Swyzel, and something was dropped about my having the Appledoorn farm; and Swyzel says, she gave him a hint that her daughter Anne was very fond of me, and that decided me at once.
Ger. It did ?
Pet. Oh, yes; because, where a woman is really fond of one, you know-So, directly I've settled with the captain about the farm, l'll post off to Widow Stein's, and-well, what's the matter with you, Gertrude? Why, you are crying! Ger. Nothing—nothing! I wish you may
I wish you may be happythat's all, Peter.
Pet. Thank ye—thank ye! It's very kind of you to cry for joy about me, I'm sure—and I won't forget my promise. Re-enter AMERSFORT and SwYZEL from the summer
house, R. S. E. Swy. You can't be in earnest, Captain ?
Amer. I tell you, there it is, in black and white ! Put a wafer in that (Giving a notel, and send it immediately to my lawyer's, as directed.
Swy. [Aside.] Two thousand crowns to portion off a wench like that. 'Gad, she wont want a husband long.
[Exit, R. Amer. (To Peter.] Now for you, Farmer. I find there are writing materials in the summer-house, so we can
Ger. Stop! stop !-one word.
Ger. [Leading him apart from Peter. You are my beau, you know, and you're to do everything I bid you !
Amer. Of course.
Ger. Well, then, I bid you refuse the farm to Peter Spyk! Amer. Refuse !-Why, I thought you said
Ger. It doesn't signify what I said !—I've changed my mind! I suppose
do that as well as your fine ladies! You're to obey me!-Mamzelle Ernestine said so: and I don't choose you shall let Peter have the farm !
Speaking the last five words loud enough for Peter to Pet. (Aside.] “ Let Peter hare the farm !" 'Gad, she's giving me a famous lift with the Captain.
Amer. Well, if you don't choose, he sha'n't have it, certainly; and I'm not sorry, for I don't think he deserves it. And now listen to me. I mean to help you to a good husband, and, in return, you must assist me in a little plot. I can't stay to tell you now; but meet me in half an hour's time at the sun-dial yonder. May I depend upon you?
Ger. That you may.
Amer. Enough! Now, [Crosses, L.) Master Peter Spyk, follow me. There's no occasion for writing: we can settle this business in two words.
Pet. [Aside. The farm's mine! (To Gertrude.) I owe you a good turn for this! Erit with Amersfort, L. Ger. Indeed
do. If Anne Stein marries him now, I'm mistaken in the family altogether.
Re-enter SwYZEL, R. Swy, I've sent Delve with the note; but I've made up my mind. I'm not a young man, certainly; and I had no idea of changing my situation ; but two thousand crowns will suit me as well as anybody in the world, and so here goes—there's nothing like being first in the field, Aloud.] Gertrude! Gertrude !—come hither, Gertrude ; I want to say a word to you in private !
Ger. To me, Master Steward ? [Aside.] Oh, dear, now he's going to scold me for something, I'm sure.
A cross old patch!
Swy. Come here, I tell you! Nearer-don't be afraid -I'm going to propose something for your good, my dear!
Ger. (Aside.] “My dear!” Bless me, how kind he's grown all of a sudden!
Swy. I've known you a long while, Gertrude—from your cradle, in fact. I knew your poor dear father and mother, and I always had a great affection for you!
Ger. You, Mynheer Swyzel ?—I'm sure you never showed it, then.
Suy. May be not-may be not! I was afraid of spoiling you, as a child ; but now, you know, you are grown
and very nicely you have grown up, I see it more and more every day-and, in short, Gertrude l've been think
ing that, as I am a bachelor, I couldn't do better than marry a good, pretty girl like you, whose character and temper I have watched the growth of from an infant.
Ger. You-you, Mynheer Swyzel, marry me ?
Swy. Why not-why not !—if you have no objection. I'm only fifty-five, and a hale, hearty man for that age. I have saved some money in the service, and~
Ger. But I haven't a doit in the world!
Ger. (Aside.) So-so! here's a real, downright sweetheart at last !-and old Swyzel, too, of all men in the world! I shall die of laughing! Swy. (Aside. She's silent !-she hesitates !
The two thousand crowns are mine!
way to swear you love a body-you
go down on your knees ! Swy. There !-there, then! (Kneels.] Charming Gertrude, on my knees I swear eternal love and constancy !
Enter Peter, L Pet. Halloo !—why, Mynheer Swyzel, what are you doing there?
Swy. [Scrambling up.] Confusion! (Aloud.) I--nothing-only kneeling to-Aside to Gertrude. Don't say anything to that fool. Come to my room as soon as you've got rid of him.
[Exit, R. Ger. You here again, Peter ?
Pet. Here again !—I believe I am, too; and just as I went away.
Would you believe it ?-Captain Amersfort won't let me have the farm after all!
Ger. Dear me !—you don't say so ?
Pet. He wouldn't hear a word; and, to make matters worse, old Widow Stein, who saw me talking to him, waited to hear the upshot; and, when I told her, she as good as gave me to understand that I wasn't match enough for her daughter, and that Anne herself liked Groot, the miller, much better than she did me! A coquette !-you said she was a coquette !-and you were quite right. I don't know how it is, but you're always right !-you've got more sense than all of 'em put together; and, for the matter of looks, why, there's the captain's vows-and, talking of vows, what was old Swyzel about on his knees ? I do believe he was vowing, too!
Ger. Between you and me, he was vowing all sorts of love to me!-and he wants me to marry him!
Pet. Marry him!—marry old Swyzel !-and will you ?
Ger. I don't know !—what do you think? Would you like me to marry him, Peter ?
Pet. Not at all! I don't know how it is, but I can't fan. cy your marrying anybody--that is, I never thought of your marrying anybody; and, now I do think of it, thinkGer. Well-What?
Enter DELVE, with a note, R. Del. Oh, Gertrude, here you are; here's a note for you. It's
very particular they gave me a florin to run all the
Ger. A note for me ?—who is it from ?
Del. The clerk at Van Nickem's, the lawyer's. I took a letter there for the captain, and, as his master wasn't at home, the clerk opened it, and wrote this answer to the captain, and then scribbled that for you, and begged me to give you yours first-and so I have : and now I must find the captain.
Gei A note for me? Nobody ever wrote to me before; and, if they had, it would have been no use, for I can't read written hand. You can, Peter; so pray open it, and let's hear what it's all about.
Pet. [Opening and reading.] “ Mamzelle." Mamzelle, to you!
Ger. Go on-go on.
Pet. “I dared not disclose my passion ; but, believe me,
courage to address
you, and if the offer of my hand and fortune”—another proposal who is the fellow that writes this? Ger. Van Nickem's clerk, Delve told
you. Pet. Yes; here's his ugly name, sure enough, at the bottom of it-Simon Sneek!
Ger. Ah! if I recollect, he's rather a good-looking young man !
Pet. Why, you don't mean tom
Pet. Well? but what does it all mean? Everybody wants to marry you
? Ger. I can't help that-can I? But I shan't be in a hurry; I shall do as you do-look about me; perhaps somebody may offer that I should like better. (Clock strikes.] Hark! that's two o'clock! [Crosses, L.]-and I promised to meet the captain at the sun-dial yonder. Good bye, Peter; and mind, if you can find me a husband that I should like better than any of these, I'll make you a present the day I'm married, and you shall dance at the wedding.
(Runs out, L. Pet. (Stands staring after her, with the note open in his hand. Well, when she talks of Anne Stein always changing her partner-she's off to meet the captain now; and yet she
says to me, “if you can find me a husband I should like better!” the idea of Gertrude having a husband !-a little girl, that was only a baby the other day, as it seems to me. I wonder if she'd like me better; because if she would—I want a wife myself—and I don't know why I didn't at first-But there goes that cursed captain, running