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Jus. IV. Why, you impudent, audacious
Haw. So, so, justice at odds with gravity! his worship playing at romps! (Aside) Your servant, sir, Jus. W. Ha! friend Hawthorn!
Haw. I hope I don't spoil sport, neighbour; I thought I had the glimpse of a petticoat as I came in here?
Jus. W. Do, so, Master Hawthorn, do so. But pray, what sort of a man is this Sir William Meadows? Is he a wise man?
Haw. There is no occasion for a man that has five thousand pounds a year, to be a conjuror; but Jus. W. Oh! the maid. Ay, she has been gather-story about his son; taking it for granted, that wise I suppose you ask that question because of this ing a salad: but come hither, Master Hawthorn, parents make wise children. and I'll shew you some alterations I intend to make in my garden.
Haw. No, no, I am no judge of it; besides, I want to talk to you a little more about this. Tell me, Sir Justice, were you helping your maid to gather a salad here, or consulting her taste in your improvements, eh? ha, ha, ha! Let me see, all among the roses: 'egad! I like your notion; but you look a little blank upon it; you are ashamed of the business then, are you?
Oons! neighbour, ne'er blush for a trifle like this;
No age, no profession, no station is free;
Jus. W. I profess, Master Hawthorn, this is all Indian, all Cherokee language to me; I don't understand a word of it.
Haw. No, may be not; well, sir, will you read this letter, and try whether you can understand that? It is just brought by a servant, who stays for
Jus. W. A letter! and to me? (Taking the letter.) Yes, it is to me; and yet I am sure it comes from no correspondent that I know of. Where are my spectacles? not but I can see very well without them, Master Hawthorn; but this seems to be a sort of a crabbed hand. (Reads.) Sir,-I am ashamed of giving you this trouble: but I am informed there is an unthinking boy, a son of mine, now disguised and in your service, in the capacity of a gardener. Tom is a little wild but an honest lad; and no fool either, though I am his father that say it. Tom! oh, this is Thomas our gardener; I always thought that he was a better man's child than he appeared to be, though I never mentioned it.
Haw. Well, well, sir, pray let's hear the rest of the letter.
Jus. W. Stay, where is the place? Oh, here. I am come in quest of my runaway, and write this at an inn in your village, while I am swallowing a morsel of dinner; because, not having the pleasure of your acquaintance, I did not care to intrude, without giving you notice. Whoever this person is, he understands good manners. I beg leave to wait on you, sır; but desire you would keep my arrival a secret, particularly from the young man.
I'll assure you, a very well worded, civil letter. Do you know anything of the person who writes it, neighbour?
Haw. Let me consider! Meadows. By dad! I believe it is Sir William Meadows of Northamptonshire; and, now I remember, I heard some time
Jus. W. No doubt of it, Master Hawthorn; no
doubt of it. I warrant we shall find now that this Young rascal has fallen in love with some minx, against his father's consent. Why, sir, if I had of at school, in the destruction of Troy, not one of as many children as king Priam had, that we read them should serve me so.
Haw. Well, well, neighbour, perhaps not; but we should remember when we were young ourselves; and I was as likely to play an old don such a trick in my day, as e'er a spark in the hundred; nay, between you and me, I had done it once, had the wench been as willing as I.
My Dolly was the fairest thing!
Her breath disclos'd the sweets of spring;
Her swelling bosom, tempting ripe,
I found her heart was winter cold.
Jus W. Ah! you were always a scape-grace rattlecap.
Ilaw. Ods heart! neighbour Woodcock, don't though we preach till we're hoarse again; and so tell me; young fellows will be young fellows, there's an end on't.
SCENE III.-Justice Woodcock's Hall.
Hodge. So, mistress, who let you in? Madge. Why, I let myself in. Hodge. Indeed! Marry come up! why then pray let yourself out again. Times are come to a pretty pass; I think you might have had the manners to knock at the door first. What does the wench stand for?
Madge. I want to know if his worship's at home? Hodge. Well, what's your business with his worship? Look ye,
Madge. Perhaps you will hear that. Hodge, it does not signify talking; I am come, once for all, to know what you intends to do? for L won't be made a fool of any longer.
Hodge. You won't?
Madge. No, that's what I won't, by the best man that ever wore a head; I am the make-game of the whole village upon your account; and I'll try whether your master gives you toleration in your doings,
Hodge. You will?
Madge. Yes, that's what I will; his worship shall be acquainted with all your pranks, and see how you will like to be sent for a soldier.
Hodge. There's the door: take a friend's advice, and go about your business.
Madge. My business is with his worship; and I won't go till I sees him.
Hodge. Look you, Madge, if you make any of your orations here, never stir, if I don't set the dogs at you. Will you be gone?
Madge. I won't.
Hodge. You manage her! I'll kick her.
Ros. No, no; it will be more for my credit to get the better of her by fair means; I warrant I'll bring her to reason.
Hodge. Well, do so then; but may I depend upon you? when shall I speak to the parson? Ros. We'll talk of that another time. Go! Hodge. Madge, good bye!
Ros. The brutality of this fellow shocks me! Oh, man! man! you are all alike. A bumpkin here,
Hodge. Here, Towser; (whistling,) whu, whu, bred at the barn door; had he been brought up in whu!
Ros. Sure, I heard the voice of discord here. As I live, an admirer of mine; and, if I mistake not, a rival. I'll have some sport with them. How now,
fellow servant, what's the matter?
Hodge. Nothing, Mrs. Rosetta, only this young woman wants to speak with his worship; Madge, follow me.
Madge. No, Hodge, this is your fine madam! but I am as good flesh and blood as she, and have as clear a slain too, tho'f I mayn't go so gay; and now she's here, I'll tell her a piece of my mind. Hodge. Hold your tongue, will you? Madge. No; I'll speak, if I die for it. Ros. What's the matter, I say?
Hodge. Why, nothing, I tell you; MadgeMadge. Yes, but it is something; it's all along of she, and she may be ashamed of herself.
Ros. Bless me, child! do you direct your discourse to me?
Madge. Yes, I do, and to nobody else; there was not a kinder soul breathing than he was till of late; I never had a cross word with him till he kept you company; but all the girls about say, there is no such thing as keeping a sweetheart for you.
Ros. Do you hear this, friend Hodge?
Hodge. Why, you don't mind she, I hope? but if that vexes her, I do like you, I do: my mind runs upon nothing else: and if so be as you was agreeable to it, I would marry you to-night, before totnorrow.
Madge. You're a nasty monkey! you are parjur'd, you know you are; and you deserve to have your eyes tore out.
Hodge. Let me come at her; I'll teach you to call names, and abuse folk.
Madge. Do; strike me! You a man!
Ros. Hold, hold! we shall have a battle here presently, and I may chance to get my cap tore off. Never exasperate a jealous woman, 'tis taking a mad bull by the horns; leave me to manage her.
a court, could he have been more fashionably vicious? Shew me the lord, squire, colonel, or captain of them all, that can outdo him!
Madge. I am ready to burst; I can't stay in the place any longer.
Ros. Hold, child! come hither.
Madge. Don't speak to me, don't you.
Ros. Well, but I have something to say to you of consequence, and that will be for your good; I suppose this fellow promised you marriage?
Madge. Ay; or he never should have prevail'd upon me.
Ros. Well, now you see the ill consequence of trusting to such promises: when once a man hath cheated a woman of her virtue, she has no longer hold of him; he despises her for wanting that which he has robb'd her of; and, like a lawless conqueror, triumphs in the ruin he has occasioned. Madge. Anan!
Ros. However, I hope the experience you have got, though somewhat dearly purchased, will be of use to you for the future; and, as to any designs I yourself easy; for I assure you, I shall be no have upon the heart of your lover, you may make dangerous rival; so go your ways, and be a good girl.
Madge. Yes; I don't very well understand her talk, but I suppose that's as much as to say she'll keep him all to herself; well, let her; who cares? I don't fear getting better nor he is any day of the year, for the matter of that: and I have a thought come into my head, that, may be, will be more to my advantage.
('Fore George, a most rare matrimonial receipt;
Ros. And have you resolved to take wing to- | Haw. night?
Luc. This very night, my dear: my swain will go from hence this evening, but no further than the inn, where he has left his horses; and, at twelve precisely, he will be with a post-chaise at the little gate that opens from the lawn into the road, where I have promised to meet him.
Ros. Then depend upon it I'll bear you company. Luc. We shall slip out when the family are asleep, and I have prepared Hodge already. Well, I hope we shall be happy.
Ros. Never doubt it.
In love should there meet a fond pair.
Whose words are th' excess of the heart:
On this side the stars can be found,
And Cupid by lymen is crown'd.
Haw. Lucy, where are you?
Luc. Your pleasure, sir.
Ros. Mr. Hawthorn, your servant.
Haw. What, my little water-wagtail! The very couple I wished to meet: come hither both of you.
Ros. Now, sir, what would you say to both of us?
Observe it, ye fair, in the choice of a mate; Remember, 'tis wedlock determines your fate. [Exeunt.
SCENE 1. A Parlour in Justice Woodcock's house,
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, should run away from me, for fear of being forced to marry a girl he never saw; that she should scamper from her father, for fear of being forced to marry him; and that they should run into one another's arms this way in disguise, by mere accident; against their consents, and without knowing it, as a body may say? May I never do an ill turn, Master Hawthorn, if it is not one of the oddest adventures partly
Haw. Why, Sir William, it is a romance, a novel, a pleasanter history by half, than the loves of Dorastus and Faunia: we shall have ballads made of it within these two months, setting forth how a young squire became a serving-man of low degree; and it will be stuck up with Margaret's Ghost, and the Spanish Lady, against the walls of every cottage in the country.
Sir W. But what pleases me best of all, Master Hawthorn, is the ingenuity of the girl. May I never do an ill turn, when I was called out of the room, and the servant said she wanted to speak to me, if I knew what to make on't: but when the little gipsy took me aside, and told me her name, and how matters stood, I was quite astonished, as a body may say; and could not believe it partly, till her young friend that she is with here, assured
Haw. Why, let me look at you a little; have you got on your best gowns, and your best faces? If not, go and trick yourselves out directly, for I'll tell you a secret: there will be a young bachelor in the house within these three hours, that may fall to the share of one of you, if you look sharp; but whether mis-me of the truth on't:-Indeed, at last, I began to tress or maidrecollect her face, though I have not set eyes on her before, since she was the height of a full grown greyhound.
Ros. Ay, marry, this is something; but how do you know whether either mistress or maid will think him worth acceptance?
Haw. Follow me, follow me; I warrant you. Luc. I can assure you, Mr. Hawthorn, I am very difficult to please.
Ros. And so am I, sir.
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 I never do an ill turn, but I am very glad to see you too; ay, and partly as much pleased at that as anything 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 neigh bours.
The world is a well furnish'd table,
My simile holds to a little,
Some gorge, while some scarce have a taste; But if I'm content with a little, Enough is as good as a feast.
Ros. Sir William, I beg pardon for detaining you, but I have had so much difficulty in adjusting my borrowed plumes.
Sir W. May I never do an ill turn, but they fit you to a T. and you look very well, so you do: how your father will chuckle when he comes to hear this! Her father, Master Hawthorn, is as worthy a man as lives by bread, and has been almost out of his senses for the loss of her. But tell me, hussy, has not this been all a scheme, a piece of conjuration between you and my son? Faith, I am half persuaded it has, it looks so like hocuspocus, as a body may say.
Ros. Upon my honour, Sir William, what has happened has been the mere effect of chance; I came hither unknown to your son, and he unknown to me: I never in the least suspected that Thomas the gardener was other than his appearance spoke him; and least of all, that he was a person with whom I had so close a connexion. Mr. Hawthorn can testify the astonishment I was in when he first informed me of it; but I thought it was my duty to come to an immediate explanation with you,
Ros. Have patience and you'll see; but is there anything amiss that you came in so abruptly? Hodge. Amiss! why there's ruination. Ros. How? where?
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!
them this instant; but, by good luck, I heard Mrs. Hodge. Ecod, I had like to have poppu in among Deborah's voice, and run down again as fast as ever my legs would carry me,
Ros. Is your master in the house?
Hodge. What, his lordship! 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.
Ros. Oh, stand off; you know I never allow liberties.
Hodge. Nay, but why so coy? there's reason in roasting of eggs; I would not deny you such a thing.
Ros. That's kind; ha, ha, ha! but what will become of Lucinda? Sir William waits for me, I must be gone. Friendship, a moment by your leave; yet, as our sufferings have been mutual, so
Sir W. Is not she a neat wench, Master Haw-shall our joys; I already lose remembrance of all thorn? May I never do an ill turn, but she is former pains and anxieties. but you little, plaguy devil, how came this love affair between you?
Ros. I have told you the whole truth very ingenuously, sir; since your son and I have been fellow-servants, as I may call it, in this house, I have had more than reason to suspect 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.
Haw. Well but, sir, we lose time; is not this about the hour appointed to meet in the garden? Ros. Pretty near it,
Haw. Oons then, what do we stay for? Come, my old friend, come along; and by the way we will consult how to manage your interview.
Sir W. Ay, but I must speak a word or two to my man about the horses first.
Hodge. Aist! stay! don't I hear a noise? Luc. (Without.) Well, but dear, dear auntit does not signify, Mrs. D. (Without.) You need not speak to me, or
Hodge. Adwawns, they are coming here! ecod, door is bolted now-so, so. I'll get you out of the way; Murrain take it, this
Enter MRS. DEBORAH WOODCOCK, driving in LUCINDA, before her
Mrs. D. Get along, get along; you are a scands 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?
Luc. You won't be so cruel, I'm sure you won't: I thought I had made you my friend by telling you the truth.
for she led me a wearisome life; but that's the way with them all.
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,
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 bun-4 dles pack'd up in the room with you, ready for going off? No, brazen-face, 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 as
sisting them in their escape, and have been the go-
Hodge. Who? me, madam?
Hodge. Miss Lucinda, did I ever carry a letter for you? I'll make my affidavy before his worshipMrs. D. Go, go, you are a villain; hold your tongue.
Luc. I own, aunt, I have been very faulty in this affair; I don't pretend to excuse myself; but we are all subject to frailties; consider 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 kept ourselves from idle thoughts; before I was your age, I had finished, with my own fingers, a complete set of chairs and a fire-screen in tent-stitch, four counterpanes in Marseilles quilting, and the Creed and the Ten Commandments in the hair of our family; it was framed and glaz'd, and hung over the parlour chimney-piece, and your poor, dear grandfather was prouder of it than e'er a picture in 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.
Mrs. D. Have not I told you already, my resolution? Where are my clogs and my bonnet? 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 hold me.
[Exit. Luc. I'm not going; I have thought of a way to be even with you, so you may do as you please.
Ana cry he's unkind in his carriage.
What tho'f he speaks them ne'er so fairly,
Till promise you've made 'em;
character's blasted, they're ruin'd, undone,
Then to be sure, sir,
There is but one cure, sir,
Ana aut their discourse is of marriage.
SCENE II-A Greenhouse.
Enter YOUNG MEADOWS.
Young M. I am glad I had the precaution to bring this suit of clothes in my bundle, though I hardly know myself in them again. However, my gardener's jacket goes on no more. I wonder this girl does not come. (Looking at his watch.) Perhaps she won't come. Why, then I'll go into the village, take a post-chaise, and depart without any further ceremony.
How much superior beauty awes,
To sense and sweetness join'd.
15 doubly valu'd when we know
Hark! she comes.
Enter SIR WILLIAM MEADOWS and HAW
Young M. Confusion! my father! What can this mean?
Sir W. Tom, are not you a sad boy, Tom, to bring me a hundred and forty miles here? May I never do an ill turn, but you deserve to have your head broke; and I have a good mind, partly. What, sirrah, don't you think it worth your while to speak to me?
Young M. Forgive me, sir; I own I have been in fault.
Sir W. In fault! to run away from me because I was going to do you good. May I never do an ill turn, Mr. Hawthorn, if I did not pick out as fine a girl from him, partly, as any in England! and the rascal ran away from me, and came here and turn'd gardener. And pray what did you propose to yourself, Tom? I know you were always fond of botany, as they call it: did you intend to keep the trade going, and advertise fruit-trees and flowering-shrubs, to be had at Meadows' nursery?
[Exit. Hodge. Well, I thought, it would come to this, I'll be shot if I didn't; so, here's a fine job: but what can they do to me? They can't send me to gaol for carrying a letter, seeing there was no treason in it: and how was I obliged to know my master did not allow of their meetings? The worst they can do, is to turn me off, and I am sure the place is no such great purchase; indeed, I should be sorry to leave Mrs. Rosetta, seeing as how matters are so near being brought to an end betwixt us; but she and I may keep company all Young M. I am so astonished to see you here, as one: and I find Madge has been speaking with sir, that I don't know what to say: but I assure Gaffer Broadwheels, the waggoner, about her car-you, if you had not come, I should have returned riage up to London; so that I have got rid of she, home directly. Pray, sir, how did you find me and I am sure I have reason to be main glad of it, out?
Haw. No, sir William, I apprehend the young gentleman designed to lay by the profession; for he has quitted the habit already.