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Hodge. I warrant you.

Hodge. Bring you to shame! Don't make me Luc. Not for your life, drop a word of it to any speak, Madge; don't make me speak. mortal.

Hodge. Never fear me. Luc. And, Hodge

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Enter HODGE, followed by MADGE.

Hodge. What does the wench follow me for? Ods flesh folk may well talk, to see you dangling after me everywhere, like a tantony pig: find some other road, can't you: and don't keep wherreting me with your nonsense.

Madge. Nay, pray you, Hodge, stay, and let me speak to you a bit.

Hodge. Well; what say'n 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.

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 it to your face.

Madge. No, no, Hodge, 'tis no such thing; 'tis a base lie of farmer Ploughshare's. But I know what makes you false-hearted to me; that you may keep company with young madam's waitingwoman; and I'm sure she's no fit body for a poor man's wife.

Hodge. How should you know what she's fit for? She's fit for as much as you, mayhap; don't find fault with your betters, Madge.

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?

Young M. Well, and what then?

Hodge. Nay, not much, only the hostler at the Green-man was saying, as how there was a passenger at their house as see'd you go by, and said he know'd you; and axt a mort of questions. So, I thought I'd tell you.

Young M. The devil! ask questions about me? I know nobody in this part of the country: there must be some mistake in it. Come hither, Hodge.

[Exeunt Hodge and Young Meadows.

Madge. A nasty, ungrateful fellow, to use me at this rate, after being to him as I have. Well, well I wish all poor girls would take warning by my mishap, and never have any thing to say to none of them.

AIR.

How happy were my days till now;
I ne'er did sorrow feel;

I rose with joy to milk my cow,
Or turn my spinning-wheel.
My heart was lighter than a fly,
Like any bird I sung;
Till he pretended love, and I
Believ'd his flatt'ring tongue.

Oh, the fool, the silly fool,
Who trusts what man may be;
I wish I was a maid again,
And in my own country.

[Exit.

SCENE IV. Green, with a prospect of a village, and the representation of a 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,

Countryman. His worship!

Jus. W. Fie, fie, what a crowd's this! Od. I'll put some of them in the stocks. (Striking a fellow.) Stand out of the way, sirrah.

Haw. For shame, neighbour. you willing to serve the king?

Well, my lad, are

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Countryman. Why, can you list ma? Serve the king, measter? No, no; I pay the king, that's enough for me. Ho, ho, ho!

Hau. Well said, Sturdy-boots.
Jus. W. Nay, if you talk to them, they'll answer

you.

Haw. I would have them do so, I like they should. Well, madam, is not this a fine sight? I did not know my neighbour's estates had been so well peopled. Are all these his own tenants?

Mrs. D. More than are good of them, Mr. Hawthorn. I don't like to see such a parcel of young hussies fleering with the fellows.

Haw. There's a lass. (Beckoning to a country girl.) Come hither, my pretty maid. What brings you here? (Chucking her under the chin.) Do you come to look for a service?

Country G. Yes, an't please you.

Haw. Well, and what place are you for? Country G. All work, an't please you. Jus. W. Ay, ay, I don't doubt it; any work you'll put her to.

Mrs. D. She looks like a brazen one; go, hussy.

Haw. Here's another. (Catching a girl that goes by) What health, what bloom! This is nature's work; no art, no daubing. Don't be asham'd, child; those cheeks of thine are enough to put a whole drawingroom out of countenance.

Hodge. Now, your honour, now the sport will come the gut-scrapers are here, and some among them are going to sing and dance. Why there's not the like of our statute, mun, in five counties; others are but fools to it.

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Here's one for your purpose, come take me and try;
You'll say you ne'er met with a better nor I.
Gee ho, Dobbin, &c.

Compar'a to the beef of old England,

Compar'd to old English roast beef?

Chorus. My master and mistresses hither repair; What servants you want, you will find in our fair; Men and maids fit for all sorts of stations there be; And, as for their wages, we sha'n't disagree.

Cart. If you want a young man, with a true honest

heart,

Who knows how to manage a plough and a cart,

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Cookm. Who wants a good cook my hand they must Justice) O! sir, here is my papa!

Luc. Why, that, I confess, requires some consideration.

Eust. Yet, remember, while you are deliberating, the season, now so favourable to us, may elapse never to return.

Enter JUSTICE WOODCOCK, and MRS. DE-
BORAH WOODCOCK.

Jus W. Hoity-toity! who have we here?
Luc. My father, and my aunt.

Eust. The devil! what shall we do?

Luc. Take no notice of them, only observe me.(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 sit down a moment, I dare swear, he will return- (Pretends to see the

cross;

Jus. W. Here is your papa, hussy! Who's this you have got with you? Hark you, sirrah,

For plain wholesome dishes I'm ne'er at a loss;

And what are your soups, your ragouts, and your who are you, ye dog? and what's your business

here?

sauce,

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.

Mrs. D. Send him to jail, brother, that's right. Jus. W. And how do you know it's right? How

should you know anything'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 believe 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, 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 until I saw my papa.

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Jus. W. He does not look! ha, ha, ha! Was ever such a poor stupe? Well, and what does he look like, then? But I suppose you mean he is not dressed like a music-master. Why, you silly wretch, these whipper-snappers set up for gentlemen now-a-days, and give themselves as many airs as if they were people of quality.-Hark you, friend, I suppose you don't come within the vagrant act: you have some settled habitation. Where do you live?

Mrs. D. It's an easy matter for him to tell you a wrong place.

Jus. W. Sister Deborah, don't provoke me. Mrs. D. I wish, brother, you would let me examine him a little.

Jus. W. You sha'nt 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, Luc. If my papa did ask the question, aunt, it would be very easily resolved.

because desire it.

you

Mrs. D. Who bid you speak, Mrs. Nimblechops? I suppose the man has a tongue in his head to answer for himself.

AIR-LUCINDA.

Believe me, dear aunt,

If you rave thus and rant,
You'll never a lover persuade;
The men will all fly,
And leave you to die,

Oh, terrible chance! an old maid.

How happy the lass,

Must she come to this pass,
Who ancient virginity 'scapes!
'Twere better on earth

Have five brats at a birth,
Than in hell be a leader of apes.

(Exit Mrs D.

Jus. W. Well done, Lucy, send her about her business; & troublesome, foolish creature. Does she think I want to be directed by her? Come hither, my lad, you look tolerably honest.

(Lucy retires.)

Eust. I hope, sir, I shall never give you cause to alter your opinion.

Jus. W. No, no, I am not easily deceived; I am generally pretty right in my conjectures.-You must know, I had once a little notion of music myself, and learned upon the fiddle. I could play the Trumpet, Minuet, and Buttered Peas, and two or three tunes. I remember, when I was in London, about thirty years ago, there was a song, a great favourite at our club at Nando's Coffee-house; Jack Pickle used to sing it for us, a droll fish! but 'tis an old thing, I dare swear you have heard of it often.

AIR.

When I follow'd a lass that was froward and shy,
Oh! I stuck to her stuff, till I made her comply;
Oh! I took her so lovingly round the waist,
And I smack'd her lips and held her fast:
When hugg'd and haul'd,

She squeald and squall'd:
Yet I pleas'd her so well that she bore it again:
But though she vow'd all I did was in vain,
Then hoity-toity.
Whisking, frisking,

Green was her gown upon the grass:
Oh! such were the joys of our dancing days.

Eust. Very well, sir, upon my word.

Jus. W. No, no, I forget all those things now;

Jus. W. Will nobody stop that prating old
woman's mouth for me? Get out of the room.
Mrs. D. Well, so I can, brother; I don't want to
stay but remember, I tell you, you will make your-but I could do a little at them once.-Well, stay
self ridiculous in this affair: for through your own
obstinacy, you will have your daughter run away
with, before your face.

Jus. W. My daughter! who will run away with my daughter?

Mrs. D. That fellow will.

Jus. W. Go, go, you are a wicked, censorious

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teaching the girl:-Lucy, take your master to
and eat your dinner, and we'll talk about your
your spinnet, and shew him what you can do-I
must go and give some orders. Then hoity-toity,

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Eust. 'Sdeath! why would you bring me into the house? We could expect nothing else: besides, since they did surprise us, it would have been better to have discovered the truth.

Luc. Yes, and never have seen one another afterwards. I know my father better than you do; he has taken it into his head I have no inclination for a husband; and let me tell you, that is our best security; for if once he has said a thing, he will not be easily persuaded to the contrary.

Eust. And pray what am I to do now?

Luc. Why, as I think all danger is pretty well over, since he has invited you to dinner with him, stay; only be cautious of your behaviour; and, in the mean time, I will consider what is next to be one.

Eust. Had not I better go to your father? Lue. Do so, while I endeavour to recover myelf a little out of the flurry this affair has put me in.

SCENE II-A Garden.

Enter ROSETTA.

[Exeunt.

Ros. If ever poor creature was in a pitiable condition, surely I am. The deuse take this fellow! I cannot get him out of my head; and yet I would fain persuade myself I don't care for him: well, but surely I am not in love; let me examine my heart a little: I saw him kissing one of the maids the other day; I could have boxed his ears for it, and have done nothing but find fault and quarrel with the girl ever since. Why was I uneasy at his toying with another woman? What was it to me? Then I dream of him almost every night-but that may proceed from his being generally uppermost in my thoughts all day:-Oh! worse and worse!Well, he certainly is a pretty lad; he has something very uncommon about him, considering his rank. And now, let me only put the case, if he were not a servant, would I or would I not prefer him to all the men I ever saw? Why, to be sure, if he were not a servant-In short, I'll ask myself no more questions, for the further I examine, the less reason I shall have to be satisfied.

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Young M. Come, don't affect to treat me with contempt; I can suffer anything better than that, In short, I love you; there is no more to be said: I am angry with myself for it, and strive all I can against it; but in spite of myself, I love you.

Ros. Really, Mr. Thomas, this is very improper language; it is what I don't understand; I can't suffer it, and, in short, I don't like it. Young M. Perhaps you don't like me. Ros. Well, perhaps I don't.

Young M. Nay, but 'tis not so; come, confess you love me.

Ros. Confess! Indeed, I shall confess no such thing: besides, to what purpose should I confess it?

Young M. Why, as you say, I don't know to what purpose; only it would be a satisfaction to me to hear you say so; that's all.

Ros. Why, if I did love you, I can assure you, you would never be the better for it; women are apt enough to be weak; we cannot always answer for our inclinations, but it is in our power not to give way to them; and if I were so silly, I say if I were so indiscreet, which I hope I am not, as to entertain an improper regard, when people's circumstances are quite unsuitable, and there are obstacles in the way that cannot be surmounted

Young M. Oh! to be sure, Mrs. Rosetta; to be sure: you are entirely in the right of it-I know very well you and I can never come together.

Ros. Well, then, since that is the case, as I assure you it is, I think we had better behave accordingly.

Young M. Suppose we make a bargain, then, never to speak to one another any more Ros. With all my heart.

Young M. Nor look at, nor, if possible, think of, one another?

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despises the meanness of my condition, thinking a to-day-Adad, you little slut, I believe you are gardener below the notice of a lady's waiting-painted. woman: 'sdeath, I have a good mind to discover myself to her.

(Aside.)

Ros. Poor wretch! he does not know what to make of it: I believe he is heartily mortifled, but I must not pity him.

(Aside.)

Young M. It shall be so: I will discover myself to her, and leave the house directly.-Mrs. Rosetta -Plague on it, yonder's the justice come into the garden.

Ros. O lord! he will walk round this way: pray go about your business; I would not for the world he should see us together.

Young M. The devil take him; he's gone across the parterre, and can't hobble here this half hour: I must and will have a little conversation with you.

Ros. Some other time.

Young M. This evening, in the greenhouse, at the lower end of the canal; I have something to communicate to you of importance. Will you meet me there?

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Ros. O, sir! you are pleased to compliment. Jus. W. Adad, I believe you are-let me tryRos. Lord, sir!

Jus. W. What brings you into this garden so often, Rosetta? I hope you don't get eating green fruit and trash; or have you an hankering after some lover in dowlas, who spoils my trees by engraving true lovers' knots on them, with your horn and buck-handled knives? I see your name written upon the ceiling of the servant's-hall, with the smoke of a candle; and I suspect

Ros. Not me, I hope, sir. No, sir, I am of another guess mind, I assure you; for I have heard say, men are false and fickle.

Jus. W. Ay, that's your flaunting, idle, young fellows; so they are: and they are so d-d impudent, I wonder a woman will have anything to say to them; besides, all that they want is something to brag of, and tell again.

Ros. Why, I own sir, if ever were to make s slip it should be with an elderly gentleman; about seventy or seventy-five years of age.

Jus. W. No, child, that's out of reason; though I have known many a man turned of three-score with a hale constitution,

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