Love in a Village → ; A COMIC OPERA. As it is performed at the THEATRE ROYAL IN COVENT-GARDEN.
LONDON: Printed by W. GRIFFIN; For J. NEWBERY, and W. NICOLL, in St. Paul's Church-Yard; G. KEARSLY, in Ludgate-Street; T. DAVIES, in Russel-Street, Covent-Garden; and J. WALTER, at Charing-Cross. MDCCLXIII.
TO MR. BEARD.
IT is with great pleasure I embrace this opportunity to acknowledge the favours I have received from you. Among others I would mention in particular the warmth with which you espoused this piece in its passage to the stage; but that I am afraid it would be thought a compliment to your good na∣ture, too much at the expence of your judge∣ment.
If this Opera is considered merely as a piece of Dramatic writing, it will certainly be found to have very little merit: in that light no one can think more indifferently of it than I do myself; but I believe I may venture to assert, on your opinion, that some of the songs are tollerable; that the music is more pleasing than has hitherto appeared in any composition of this kind; and the words better adapted, considering the na∣ture of the airs, which are not common bal∣lads, than could be expected, supposing any degree of poetry to be preserved in the ver∣sification. More than this few people expect, in an Opera, and if some of the severer cri∣tics should be inclined to blame your indul∣gence to one of the first attempts of a young writer, I am persuaded the Public in ge∣neral Page [unnumbered] will applaud your endeavour to pro∣vide them with something new, in a species of entertainment, in which the performers at your Theatre so eminently excel.
You may perceive Sir, that I yield a punc∣tual observance to the injunctions you laid upon me, when I threatened you with this address, and make it rather a preface than a dedication: And yet I must confess I can hardly reconcile those formalities which ren∣der it indelicate to pay praises where all the world allows them to be due; nor can I easily conceive why a man should be so studious to deserve, what he does not desire: But since you will not allow me to offer any panegy∣ric to you, I must hasten to bestow one upon myself, and let the public know (which was my chief design in this intro∣duction) that I have the honor to be,
Your most obliged, And most obedient servant, The AUTHOR.
Of the Publishers of this OPERA may be had, Price One Shilling, THOMAS and SALLY, OR THE SAILOR'S RETURN. A MUSICAL FARCE. Written by the same AUTHOR.Page [unnumbered]
- Sir William Meadows,
- Mr. Collins.
- Young Meadows,
- Mr. Mattocks.
- Justice Woodcock,
- Mr. Shuter.
- Mr. Beard.
- Mr. Dyer.
- Mr. Dunstall.
- Miss Brent.
- Miss Hallam.
- Mrs. Deborah Woodcock,
- Mrs. Walker.
- Miss Davies.
- Country Men and Women, Servants, &c.
Scene a Village,Page [unnumbered]Love in a Village → .
ACT I. SCENE I.
Well, child, what do you say?
'Tis a devilish thing to live in a village an hundred miles from the capital, with a preposterous gouty father, and a superannuated maiden aunt.—I am heartily sick of my situation.
And with reason.—But 'tis in a great mea∣sure your own fault: Here is this Mr. Eustace, a man of character and family; he likes you, you like him; you know one another's minds, and yet you will not resolve to make yourself happy with him.
And this is your advice?
Here's my hand, positively I'll follow it.—I have already sent to my gentleman, who is now in the country, to let him know he may come hither this Page 3 day; we will make use of the opportunity to settle all preliminaries—And then—But take notice, when∣ever we decamp, you march off along with us.
Oh! madam, your servant; I have no incli∣nation to be left behind, I assure you—But you say you got acquainted with this spark, while you were with your mother during her last illness at Bath, so that your father has never seen him.
Never in his life, my dear; and I am confi∣dent he entertains not the least suspicion of my having any such connection; my aunt, indeed, has her doubts and surmises; but, besides that my father will not allow any one to be wiser than himself, it is an established maxim between these affectionate relations, never to agree in any thing.
Except being absurd; you must allow they sympathize, perfectly, in that—But now we are on the subject, I desire to know what I am to do with this wicked old justice of peace? this libidinous father of yours, he follows me about the house like a tame goat.
Nay, I'll assure you he has been a wag in his time—you must have a care of yourself.
Wretched me! to fall into such hands, who have been just forced to run away from my parents to avoid an odious marriage—you smile at that now, and I know you think me whimsical, as you have often told me; but you must excuse my being a little over-delicate in this particular.
Well, but my dear mad girl—
Lucinda, don't talk to me—Was your father to go to London, meet there by accident with an old fellow as wrong headed as himself; and in a fit of absurd friendship, agree to marry you to that old fel∣low's son, whom you had never seen, without consult∣ing your inclinations, or allowing you a negative, in case he should not prove agreeable—
Why, I should think it a little hard, I con∣fess—yet when I see you in the character of a cham∣bermaid—
It is the only character, my dear, in which I could hope to lie concealed; and I can tell you, I was reduced to the last extremity, when, in consequence of our old boarding-school friendship, I applied to you to receive me in this capacity: for we expected the par∣ties the very next week—
But had not you a message from your in∣tended spouse, to let you know he was as little inclined to such ill-concerted nuptials as you were?
More than so; he wrote to advise me by all means, to contrive some method of breaking them off, for he had rather return to his dear studies at Oxford; and after that, what hopes could I have of being hap∣py with him?
Then you are not at all uneasy at the strange rout you must have occasioned at home? I warrant, during this month that you have been absent—
Oh! don't mention, it, my dear; I have had so many admirers since I commenced abigail, that I am quite charmed with my situation—But hold, who stalks yonder into the yard, that the dogs are so glad to see?
Daddy Hawthorn as I live! He is come to pay my father a visit; and never more luckily, for he always forces him abroad. By the way, what will you do with yourself while I step into the house to see after my trusty messenger Hodge?
No matter, I'll sit down in that arbour and lis∣ten to the singing of the birds: you know I am fond of melancholy amusements.
So it seems indeed: sure Rossetta none of your admirers have made a hole in your heart; you are not in love, I hope?
In love! that's pleasant: who do you suppose I should be in love with pray?
Why let me see—What do you think of Thomas, our gardiner? there he is at the other end of the walk—He's a very pretty young man, and the servants say he's always writing verses on you.
Indeed Lucinda you are very silly.
Indeed Rossetta that blush makes you look very handsome.
Blush! I am sure I don't blush.
Ha, ha, ha!
Pshaw, Lucinda how can you be so ridiculous?
Well don't be angry and I have done—but suppose you did like him, how could you help yourself
Let me see—on the fifteenth of June, at half an hour past five in the morning
Hah! who was it I had a glimpse of as I past by that arbour? was it not she sat reading there? the trembling of my heart tells me my eyes were not mistaken—Here she comes.
Lucinda was certainly in the right of it, and yet I blush to own my weakness even to myself—Marry, hang the fellow for not being a gentleman.
I am determined I won't speak to her,
He takes no notice of me, but so much the better, I'll be as indifferent as he is. I am sure the poor lad likes me; and if I was to give him any en∣couragement; I suppose the next thing he talked of would be buying a ring; and being asked in church—Oh, dear pride, I thank you for that thought!
Hah, going without a word! a look!—I can't bear that—Mrs Rossetta, I am ga∣thering a few roses here, if you'll please to take them in with you.
Thank you, Mr. Thomas, but all my lady's flowerpots are full.
Will you accept of them for yourself, then,
Pray, let go my hand.
Nay, pr'ythee, why is this? you shan't go, I have something to say to you.
Well, but I must go, I will go; I desire Mr Thomas!
This girl is a riddle—That she loves me I think there is no room to doubt; she takes a thousand opportunities to let me see it, and yet when I speak to her, she will hardly give me an answer, and if I attempt the smallest familiarity is gone in an instant—I feel my passion for her grow every day more and more violent—Well, would I marry her? would I make a mistress of her if I could? Two things, called prudence and honour, forbid either. What am I pursuing, then? a shadow. Sure my evil genius laid this snare in my way. However, there is one comfort, it is in my power to fly from it! if so, why do I hesitate? I am dis∣tracted, unable to determine any thing.
House here, house; what all gadding, all abroad! house I say, hilli ho ho!
Here's a noise, here's a racket! Wil∣liam, Robert, Hodge! why does not somebody answer? Odds my life I believe the fellows have lost their hearing:
Am I here, yes: and if you had been where I was three hours ago, you would find the good effects of it by this time: but you have got the lazy, unwhol∣some London fashion, of lying a bed in a morning, and there's gout for you—Why Sir I have not been in bed five minutes after sun-rise these thirty years, am generally up before it; and I never took a dose of phy∣sic but once in my life, and that was in compliment to Page 11 a cousin of mine an apothecary, that had just set up business.
Well but master Hawthorn, let me tell you, you know nothing of the matter, for I say sleep is necessary for a man, ay and I'll maintain it.
What when I maintain the contrary!—Look you neighbour Woodcock, you are a rich man, a man of worship, a justice of peace, and all that; but learn to know the respect that is due to the sound from the infirm; and allow me the superiority a good constitution gives me over you—Health is the great∣est of all possessions, and 'tis a maxim with me, that an hail cobler, is a better man than a sick king.
Well, well, you are a sportsman.
And so would you too, if you would take my advice. A Sportsman quotha! why there is nothing like it: I would not exchange the satisfaction I feel while I am beating the lawns and thickets about my little farm, for all the entertainments and pageantry in Chris∣tendom.
Did your worship call Sir?
Call Sir! where have you and the rest of those rascals been? but I suppose I need not ask—You must know there is a statute, a fair for hiring ser∣vants, held upon my green to day, we have it usually at this season of the year, and it never fails to put all the folks here-about out of their senses.
Lord your honour look out, and see what a nice shew they make yonder, they had got pipers, and fidlers, and were dancing as I com'd along for dear life—I never saw such a mortal throng in our village in all my born days again.
Why I like this now, this is as it should be.
No no, 'tis a very foolish piece of bu∣siness; good for nothing but to promote idleness and the getting of bastards: but I shall take measures for preventing it another year, and I doubt whether I am not sufficiently authorized already: For by an act pas∣sed Anno, undecimo, Caroli primo, which impowers a justice of peace, who is lord of the manor.—
Come come, never mind the act, let me tell you this is a very proper, a very useful meeting; I want a servant or two myself, I must go see what your market affords;—and you shall go, and the girls, my little Lucy and the other young rogue, and we'll make a day on't as well as the rest.
I wish master Hawthorn, I cou'd teach you to be a little more sedate: why wont you take pat∣tern by me, and consider your dignity—Odds heart I don't wonder you are not a rich man, you laugh too much ever to be rich.
Right neighbour Woodcock! health, good humour, and competence is my motto: and if my exe∣cutors have a mind, they are welcome to make it my epitaph.
Hist, hist, Hodge!
Who calls? here am I.
Well, have you been?
Been, ay I ha been far enough, an that be all? you never knew any thing fall out so crossly in your born days.
Why, what's the matter?
Why you know, I dare not take a horse out of his worship's stables this morning, for fear it should be missed, and breed questions; and our old nag at home was so cruelly beat i'th hoofs, that poor beast, it had not a foot to set to ground; so I was fain to go to farmer Ploughshares, at the Grainge, to borrow the loan of his bald filly: and wou'd you think it? after walking all that way,—de'el from me, if the cross-grain'd tead, did not deny me the favour.
Well, then I went my ways to the King's head in the village, but all their cattle were at plough: and I was as far to seek below at the turnpike: so at last, for want of a better; I were forced to take up with dame Quicksets blind mare.
Oh, then you have been?
Yes, yes, I ha' been.
Psha! why did not you say so at once?
Ay, but I have had a main tiresome jaunt on't for she is but a sorry jade at best—
Well, well did you see Mr. Eustace, and what did he say to you—come quick—have you e'er a letter!
Yes, he gave me a letter, if I ha' na' lost it.
Lost it man!
Nay, nay, have a bit of patience, adwawns, you are always in such a hurry
So, give it me.
Lord a mercy! how my arm achs with beating that plaguy beast, I'll be hang'd if I won'na' rather ha'thrash'd half a day, than ha' ridden her.
Well Hodge, you have done your business very well.
Well, have not I now?
Yes, Mr. Eustace tells me in this letter, that he will be in the green lane at the other end of the vil∣lage, by twelve o'clock—You know where he came before.
Well, you must go there; and wait 'till he arrives; and watch your opportunity to introduce him across the fields, into the little summer-house, on the left side of the garden.
But take particular care that nobody sees you.
I warrant you.
Nor for your life drop a word of it to any mortal.
Never fear me.
How severe is my case? here am I obliged to carry on a clandestine correspondence with a man in all res∣pects my equal, because the oddity of my father's tem∣per is such, that I dare not tell him, I have ever yet seen the person I should like to marry—But hold—is not the blame his then—when princes are oppressive in their government, subjects have a right to assert their liberty—perhaps my father has quality in his eye, and hopes one day or other, as I am his only child, to match me with an earl or a duke—vain imagination!
What does the wench follow me for? Odds flesh, folk may well talk, to see you dangling after me every where, like a tantony pig; find some other road, can't you, and don't keep wherreting me with your non∣sense.
Nay pray you Hodge stay, and let me speak to you a bit.
Well; what fayn you?
Dear heart, how can you be so barbarous? and is this the way you serve me after all? and wont you keep your word Hodge?
Why no I wont, I tell you; I have chang'd my mind.
Nay but surely, surely—Consider Hodge, you are obligated in conscience, to make me an honest woman.
Obligated in conscience, how am I obligated?
Because you are: and none but the basest of rogues wou'd bring a poor girl to shame, and after∣wards leave her to the wide world.
Bring you to shame, don't make me speak Madge, don't make me speak.
Yes do, speak your worst.
Why then if you go to that, you were fain to leave your own village down in the West, for a bas∣tard you had by the clerk of the parish, and I'll bring the man shall say it to your face.
No no Hodge, 'tis no such a 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 waiting woman, and I am sure she's no fit body for a poor man's wife.
How shou'd you know what she's fit for, she's fit for as much as you mayhap, don't find fault, with your betters Madge.
Well and what then?
Nay not much, only the Ostler 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 〈◊〉 a mort of questions—So I thought I'd tell you—
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.
A nasty ungrateful fellow, to use me at this rate, after being to him as I have—Well well, I wish all poor girls, wou'd take warning by my mishap, and never have nothing to say to none of them.
This way, your worship, this way! Why don't you stand aside there? here's his worship a coming.
Fye, fye; what a crowd's this; odd, I'll put some of them in the stocks
For shame, neighbour. Well, my lad, are you willing to serve the king?
Why can you list ma? Serve the king, master! no, no, I pay the king, that's enough for me. Ho, ho, ho!
Well said, sturdy-boots.
Nay, if you talk to them, they'll answer you.
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 estate had been so well peopled.—Are all these his own tenants?
More than are good of them, Mr. Haw∣thorn. I don't like to see such a parcel of young husseys fleering with the fellows.
There's a lass
Yes, an't please you.
Well, and what place are you for?
All work, an't please you.
Ay, ay, I don't doubt it; any work you'll put her to.
She looks like a brazen one.—Go hussey.
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 likes of our statute, mun, in five counties; others are but fools to it.
Come good people, make a ring, and stand out, fellow-servants, as many of you as are wil∣ling, and able to bear a bob: we'll let my masters and mistresses see we can do something, at least; if they won't hire us it shan't be our fault. Strike up the Ser∣vants Medley.
ACT II. SCENE I.
WELL, am not I a bold adventurer, to bring you into my father's house at noon∣day? though, to say the truth, we are safer here than in the garden; for there is not a human creature under the roof beside ourselves.
Then why not put our scheme into execution this moment? I have a post-chaise ready—
Fie! how can you talk so lightly? I protest I am afraid to have any thing to do with you; your passion seems too much founded on appetite; and my aunt Deborah says—
What! by all the rapture my heart now feels—
Oh to be sure, promise and vow; it sounds prettily, and never fails to impose upon a fond female.
Well, I see you have a mind to divert yourself with me; but I wish I could prevail on you to be a little serious.
Seriously then, what would you desire me to say? I have promised to run away with you; which is as great a concession, as any reasonable lover can ex∣pect from his mistress.
Yes, but you dear provoking angel, you have not told me, when you will run away with me.
Why, that I confess requires some considera∣tion.
Yet remember, while you are deliberating, the season, now so favourable to us, may elapse, never to return.
Why, here is nothing in the world in this house but catter-wawling from morning till night, nothing but catter-wawling. Hoity toity! who have we here?
My father and my aunt!
The Devil, what shall we do?
Take no notice of them, only observe me,
Here is your papa hussey! who's this you have got with you? hark you sirrah, who are you, ye dog? and what's your business here?
Sir, this a language I am not used to.
Don't answer me you rascal—I am a justice of peace, and if I hear a word out of your mouth, I'll send you to jail, for all your laced hat.
Send him to jail brother, that's right.
And how do you know it's right? how should you know any thing's right? Sister Deborah you are never in the right.
Brother this is the man I have been tell∣ing you about so long.
What man, goody wiseacre?
Why, the man your daughter has an in∣trigue with, but I hope you will not believe it now, though you see it with your own eyes.—Come hussey confess, and don't let your father make a fool of himself any longer.
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 'till I saw my papa.
A music master?
Yes Sir, that's my profession.
It's a lye young man, it's a lye; brother, he is no more a music master, than I am a music master.
What then you know better than the fellow himself, do you? and you will be wiser than all the world?
Brother, he does not look like a music master.
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, because of his ruffles, and this bit of gar∣nishing about his coat, which seems to be copper too; why you silly wretch, these whippersnappers 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?
It's an easy matter for him to tell you a wrong place.
Sister Deborah don't provoke me.
I wish brother you would let me examine him a little.
You shan't say a word to him, you shan't say a word to him.
She says he was recommended here bro∣ther, ask him by whom?
No I won't now, because you desire it.
If my papa did ask the question aunt, it would be very easily resolved—
Who bid you speak Mrs. Nimble Chops, I suppose the man has a tongue in his head to answer for himself.
Will no body stop that prating old woman's mouth for me, get out of the room.
Well, so I can brother, I don't want to stay, but remember I tell you; you will make yourself ridiculous in this affair, for through your own obstinacy, you will have your daughter run away with before your face.
My daughter! who will run away with my daughter?
That fellow will.
Go, go, you are a wicked censorious woman.
Why, sure madam you must think me very coming indeed.
Ay, she judges of others by herself; I remember when she was a girl, her mother dare not trust her the length of her apron string, she was clam∣bering upon every fellows back.
I was not.
Well, but why so violent.
You are an impudent slut.
Well done Lucy, send her about her business, a troublesome foolish creature; does she think I want to be directed by her;—Come hither my lad, you look tolerably honest—
I hope sir, I shall never give you cause to alter your opinion
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 pease, and two or three tunes. I Page 32 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 it often.
Very well sir, upon my word.
No no, I forget all those things now, but I could do a little at them once;—Well stay and eat your dinner, and we'll talk about your teaching the girl:—Lucy, take your master to your spinnet, and shew him what you can do—I must go and give some orders; "then hoity, toity, &c.
My sweet, pretty papa, your most obedient humble servant, hah, hah, hah! was ever so whimsical an accident! well sir, what do you think of this?
Think of it! I am in a maze.
O your aukwardness! I was frightened out of my wits, lest you should not take the hint! and if I had not turned matters so cleverly, we should have been utterly undone.
'Sdeath! why would you bring me into the house? we could expect nothing else: besides, since they did surprize us, it would have been better to have dis∣covered the truth.
Yes, and never have seen one another after∣wards. 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 per∣suaded to the contrary.
And pray, what am I to do now?
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 done.
Had not I better go to your father?
Do so, while I endeavour to recover myself a little, out of the flurry this affair has put me in.
Well, but what sort of a parting is this, with∣out so much as your servant, or good by to you; Page 34 No ceremony at all? can you afford me no token to keep up my spirits 'till I see you again.
If ever poor creature was in a pitiable condition, surely I am. The devil 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 Page 35 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 is certainly a pretty lad, he has something uncom∣mon about him, considering his rank: and now let me only put the case, if he was not a servant, would I, or would I not, prefer him to all the men I ever saw? Why, to be sure, if he was not a servant.—In short, I'll ask myself no more questions, for, the farther I examine, the less reason, I shall have to be satisfied.
Do you come into the garden, Mrs. Rossetta, to put my lilies and roses out of countenance; or to save me the trouble of watering my flowers, by reviving them? The sun seems to have hid himself a lit∣tle, to give you an opportunity of supplying his place.
Where could he get that now? he never read it in the academy of compliments.
Come don't affect to treat me with contempt; I can suffer any thing better than that: in short I love you; there is no more to be said; I am an∣gry with myself for it, and strive all I can against it; but in spite of myself I love you.
Really Mr. Thomas, this is very improper lan∣guage, it is what I don't understand; I can't suffer it, and in short, I don't like it.
Perhaps you don't like me.
Well, perhaps I don't.
Nay, but 'tis not so: come, confess you love me.
Confess! indeed I shall confess no such thing; besides, to what purpose should I confess it.
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.
Why if I did love you, I can assure you, you wou'd never be the better for it—Women are apt enough to be weak, we cannot always an∣swer for our inclinations but it is in our power not to give way to them; and if I was so silly; I say, if I Page 37 was so indiscreet, which I hope I am not, as to enter∣tain an improper regard, when people's circumstances are quite unsuitable, and there are obstacles in the way that cannot be surmounted—
Oh! to be sure, Mrs. Rossetta, to be sure, you are entirely in the right of it—I—know very well, you and I can never come together.
Well then, since that is the case, as I assure you it is, I think we had better behave accordingly.
Suppose we make a bargain then, never to speak to one another any more?
With all my heart.
Nor look at, nor, if possible, think of one another.
I am very willing.
And as long as we stay in the house together, after this day, never to take any notice.
It is the best way.
Why, I believe it is—Well, Mrs. Rossetta.
Well, now I think I am somewhat easier; I am glad I have come to this explanation with him, be∣cause it puts an end to things at once.
Hold Mrs Rossetta, pray stay a mo∣ment—the airs this girl gives herself are intolerable: I find now the cause of her behaviour, she despises the meanness of my condition, thinking a gardener, below the notice of a lady's waiting woman: Sdeath! I have a good mind to discover myself to her.
He seems in a brown study, poor wretch! I believe he is heartily mortified, but I must not pity him.
It shall be so, I will discover myself to her, and leave the house directly—Mrs. Rossetta.
Oh lord he will walk round this way, pray go about your business, I would not for the world he shou'd see us together.
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.
Some other time.
This evening, in the green-house at the lower end of the canal, I have some thing to communi∣cate to you of importance. Will, you meet me there.
Ay, I have a secret to tell you, and I swear from that moment, there shall be an end of every thing betwixt us.
Well, well, pray leave me now.
You'll come then.
I don't know, perhaps I may,
Nay but promise.
What signifies promising, I may break my pro∣mise,—but I tell you I will.
Enough—Yet before I leave you, let me desire you to believe I love you more than ever man loved woman, and that when I relinquish you, I give up all that can make my life supportable.
What can this be that he wants to tell me, I have a strange curiosity to hear it me thinks—well—
Hem: hem: Rossetta!
So, I thought the devil would throw him in my way, now for a courtship of a different kind, but I'll give him a surfeit—did you call me Sir?
Ay, where are you running so fast?
I was only going into the house Sir.
Well but come here; come here I say
Thank you Sir, pretty well.
Why, you look as fresh and bloomy to day—Adad you little slut I believe you are painted.
Oh! Sir, you are pleased to compliment.
Adad I believe you are—let me try—
What brings you into this garden so often Rossetta? I hope you don't get eating green fruit and trash; or have you a hankering after some lover in dowlas, who spoils my trees by engraving truelovers knots on them, with your horn, and buck-handled knives? I see your name written upon the cieling of the servants hall, with the smoak of a candle; and I suspect—
Not me I hope Sir—No Sir, I am of ano∣ther guess mind I assure you; for I have heard say, men are so false and fickle—
Ay, that's your flanting idle young fel∣lows; so they are; and they are so damm'd impudent, I wonder a woman will have any thing to say to them; besides, all that they want, is something to brag of, and tell again.
Why, I own Sir, if ever I was to make a slip, it should be with an elderly gentleman—about seventy or seventy-five years of age.
No, child, that's out of reason; tho' I have known many a man turned of threescore with a hale constitution—
Then, sir, he should be troubled with the gout, have a good strong, substantial winter cough—and I should not like him the worse—if he had a small of the rheumatism.
Pho, pho, Rossetta, this is jesting.
No, sir, every body has their taste, and I have mine.
Well, but Rossetta, have you thought of what I was saying to you?
What was it, sir?
Ah! you know, you know, well enough, hussey.
Dear sir, consider my soul, would you have me endanger my soul?
Besides, sir, consider, what has a poor servant to depend on but her character? And I have heard you gentlemen will talk one thing before, and another after.
I tell you again, these are the idle, flashy young dogs; but when you have to do with a staid, sober man—
And a magistrate! sir.
Right, it's quite a different thing.—Well, shall we Rosseta, shall we?
Really, sir, I don't know what to say to it.
Why you silly girl, I won't do you any harm.
Won't you, sir?
But won't you, indeed, sir?
Why I tell you I won't.
Ha, ha, ha.
Ha, ha, ha!—Your servant, sir, your servant.
Why you impudent, audacious—
So, so, justice, at odds with gravity! his worship playing a game at romps!—Your servant, sir.
Hah: friend Hawthorn!
I hope I don't spoil sport, neighbour: I thought I had the glympse of a petticoat as I came in here.
Oh! the maid. Ay, she has been ga∣thering a sallad.—But come hither, master Hawthorn, and I'll shew you some alterations I intend to make in my garden; how do you like my haha, have not I brought the country finely in?
Pho, pho, 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 sallad here, or consulting her taste in your improve∣ments, 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?
I profess, master Hawthorn, this is all Indian, all Cherokee language to me; I don't under∣stand a word of it.
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 an answer.
A letter, and to me!
I am ashamed of giving you this trouble, partly; 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, tho' I am his father that say it.
Well, well, sir; pray let's hear the rest of the letter.
Stay, where is the place?
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
I beg leave to wait on you, sir; but desire you would keep my arrival a secret particularly from the young man.
Let me consider—Meadows—By dad I be∣lieve it is sir William Meadows, of Northamptonshire; and, now I remember, I heard, some time ago, that the heir of that family had absconded, on account of a marriage that was disagreeable to him. It is a good many years since I have seen sir William, but we were once well acquainted; and, if you please, sir, I will go and conduct him up to the house.
Do so, master Hawthorn, do so.—But, pray what sort of a man is this sir William Mea∣dows, is he a wise man?
There is no occasion for a man that has five thousand pounds a year to be a conjurer; but I suppose you ask that question because of this story about his son; taking it for granted, that wise parents make wise chil∣dren?
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 as many children as king Priam had, that we read of at school in the destruction of Troy, not one of them would serve me so.
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.
Ah, you were always a scape-grace, rattle-cap.
Odds heart, neighbour Woodcock, don't tell me, young fellows will be young fellows, though we preach 'till we're hoarse again; and so there's an end on't.
Mercy on us.—I wish I may be hanged if I had not like to drop down with the fright, when I saw the gentleman in the parlour with my master: I thought all the fat was in the fire, and I should have lost my place, that's for certain.
Well, but Hodge, things have fallen out more luckily; and my papa is very well reconciled to the gentleman, but does not suspect who he is; so take care you don't blab it.
Blab it, did I ever?—
I don't accuse you—And, as I have often put confidence in you before, I am now going to give you a fresh instance of my dependance on your fidelity.—I have just come to a resolution to leave the house, with Mr. Eustace, this night.
What! and his worship know nothing of the matter?
Not a syllable; nor would I have him, till we are out of his reach, which we shall be by to-morrow morning, for the world.
Why, then you are going to run away, miss!
I dare swear I shall return soon again, Hodge.—When my father finds that we are married, and what's done cannot be undone, you know.—
Nay, ecod, you'll be of the sure side of the hedge, then; but have you any thing for me to do?
That you shall be told, if you come into my chamber after dinner; Mr. Eustace will be there—And, in the mean time, as a reward for the services you have done us already, there's somewhat
Five guineas!—Mayhap you think it's for the value of this, now—Why I'd go through fire and water for you, by day or by night, without ever a penny—But if his worship should come to know that I have meddled or made—
Depend upon it, Hodge, I will insure you from all damages.—But where shall I find Rossetta, to tell her of this?—Well, I am going to do a strange bold thing, but I hope we shall be happy.
So mistress, who let you in?
Why, I let myself in.
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?
I want to know if his worship's at home.
Well, what's your business with his worship!
Perhaps you will hear that.—Look ye, Hodge, it does not signify talking, I am come, once for all, to know what you intends to do; for I won't be made a fool of any longer.
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.
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.
There's the door, take a friend's advice and go about your business.
My business is with his worship.
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?
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?
Nothing Mrs. Rossetta, only this young woman wants to speak with his worship;—Madge follow me.
No Hodge, this is your fine madam! but I am as good flesh and blood as she, and have as clean a skin too, tho'f I mayn't go so gay; and now she's here I'll tell her a piece of my mind.
Hold your tongue will you.
No, I'll speak if I dye for it.
What is the matter I say.
Why nothing I tell you;—Madge—
Yes, but it is something, it's all along of she, and she may be ashamed of herself.
Bless me child, do you direct your discourse to me?
Yes, I do, and to nobody else; there was not a kinder soul breathing than he was 'till of late; I had never a cross word from him till he kept you company; but all the girls about say, there's no such thing as keep∣ing a sweetheart for you.
Do you hear this, friend 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 to morrow.
Oh you base rogue, you deceitful fellow, you are parjur'd, you know you are, and you deserve to have your eyes tore out.
Let me come at her,—I'll teach you to call names, and abuse folk.
Do, strike me; you a man!
Hold, hold,—we shall have a battle, here pre∣sently, 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.
You manage her! I'll kick her.
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.
Well, do so then;—But may I depend upon you? when shall I speak to the Parson?
We'll talk of that another time;—Go.
Madge, good by.
The brutality of this fellow shocks me!—Oh man, man,—you are all alike.—A bumkin here, bred at the barn-door! had he been brought up in a court, could he have been more fashionably vicious? shew me the lord, 'squire, colonel, or captain of them all, that can out-do him.
I am ready to burst, I can't stay in the place any longer.
Hold child, come hither.
Don't speak to me, don't you.
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.
Ay, or he should never have prevail'd upon me.
Well, now you see the ill consequence of trust∣ing to such promises: when once a man hath cheated a Page 52 of her virtue, she has no longer hold of him; he despises her for wanting that which he hath robb'd her of; and like a lawless conqueror, triumphs in the ruin he hath occasioned.
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 have upon the heart of your lover, you may make yourself easy, for I assure you, I shall be no dangerous rival, so go your ways and be a good girl.
Yes,—I don't very well understand her talk, but I suppose that's as much as to say she'll keep him 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.
Ha! ha! ha! Oh admirable, most delectibly rediculous. And so your father is content he should be a music master, and will have him such, in spite of all your aunt can say to the contrary?
My father and he child, are the best com∣panions you ever saw: they have been singing together the most hideous duets! bobbing joan, and old sir simon the king; heaven knows where Eustace could pick them up; but he has gone through half the contents of pills to purge melancholy with him.
And have you resolved to take wing to-night?
This very night, my dear; my swain will go from hence this evening, but no farther 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.
Then depend upon it, I'll bear you company.
We shall easily slip out when the family is a sleep, and I have prepared Hodge already.
Nay, for that matter, you need not have a more expert pilot than myself upon such an expedition, but hark you—
Lucy, where are you.
Your pleasure, Sir.
Mr. Hawthorn, your servant.
What my little water wagtail, the very cou∣ple I wished to meet, come hither both of you.
Now Sir, what would you say to both of us.
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 batchelor in the house within these three hours, that may fall to the share of one of you, if you look sharp,—but whether mistress or maid—
Ay, marry this is something, but how do you know, whether either mistress or maid, will think him worth acceptance.
Follow me, follow me, I warrant you.
I can assure you, Mr. Hawthorn, I am very difficult to please.
And so am I Sir.
ACT III. SCENE I.
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 aocident; against their con∣sents, 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—
Why Sir William it is 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 Margret's ghost, and the Spanish lady, against the walls of every cottage in the country.
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 Page 57 to make on't: but when the little gypsey took me aside, and told me her name, and how matters stood, I was quite astonish'd as a body may say; and could not believe it partly; till her young friend, that she is with here, assu∣red me of the truth on't. Indeed at last I began to recol∣lect her face, though I have not set eyes on her before, since she was the height of a full grown greyhound.
Well Sir William, your son as yet knows no∣thing of what has happen'd, nor of your being come hi∣ther; and if you'll follow my council, 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.
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 overjoy'd 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 any thing 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.
Why, pretty well Sir William, I have no reason to complain; every one has a mixture of four with his sweets; but in the main I believe I have done in a degree as tollerably as my neighbours.
Sir William I beg pardon for detaining you, but I have had so much difficulty in adjusting my bor∣rowed plumes.—
May I never do an ill turn but they fit you to a T, and you look very well so you do; cockbones 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 hussey, 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 hocus pocus as a body may say.
Upon my honour Sir William what has happen∣ed has been the mere effect of chance; I came hither unknown to your son, and he unknown to me: I ne∣ver 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 connec∣tion. Page 59 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.
Is not she a neat wench master Hawthorn? May I never do an ill turn but she is—But you little plaguy devil, how came this love affair between you?
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 had taken a liking to me; and I will own with equal frankness, had I not look'd upon him as a person so much below me, I should have had no objec∣tion to receiving his courtship.
Well said by the lord Harry, all above board, fair and open.
Perhaps I may be censured by some for this can∣did declaration; but I love to speak my sentiments, and I assure you Sir William, in my own opinion, I should prefer a gardener, with your son's good qualities, to a knight of the shire without them.
Well, but Sir, we lose time—is not this about the hour you appointed to meet in the garden?
Pretty near it.
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.
Ay, but I must speak a word or two to my man about the horses first.
Well,—What's the business?
Madam,—Mercy on us, I crave pardon!
Why Hodge, don't you know me?
Know you, ecod I don't know whether I do or not: never stir, if I did not think it was some lady belonging to the strange gentlefolks: why you ben't dizen'd this way, to go to the statute dance presently, be you?
Have patience and you'll see:—But is there any thing amiss, that you came in so abrutly?
Amiss! why there's ruination.
Why with miss Lucinda: her aunt has catch'd, she, and the gentleman above stairs, and over-heard all their love discourse.
You don't say so.
Ecod, I had like to have pop'd in among them this instant, but by good luck, I heard Mrs. Debo∣rah's voice, and ran down again, as fast as ever my legs could carry me.
Is your master in the house?
What his worship? no, no, he is gone into the fields to talk with the reapers and people.
Poor Lucinda, I wish I could go up to her, but I am so engaged with my own affairs—
Odds bobs, I must have one smack of your sweet lips.
Oh stand off, you know I never allow liberties.
Nay, but why so coy, there's reason in roast∣ing of eggs; I would not deny you such a thing.
That's kind, ha, ha, ha!—but what will be∣come 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 shall our joys; I already lose the remembrance of all former pains and anxieties.
Hist, stay! don't I hear a noise?
Adwawns they are coming here, ecod I'll get out of the way;—Murrain take it this door is bolted now—So so.
Get along, get along;
What shall I do.
I was determined to discover what you, and your pretended music matter were about; and lay in wait on purpose: I believe he thought to escape me, by slipping into the closet when I knocked at the door; but I was even with him, for now I have him under lock and key, and please the fates, there he shall remain till your father comes in: I will convince him of his error, whether he will or not.
You won't be so cruel, I am sure you won't; I thought I had made you my friend, by telling you the truth.
Telling me the truth quotha? did I not over∣hear your scheme of running away to night, through the partition; did not I find the very bundles packed up in the room with you ready for going off? No brazen∣face, I found out the truth by my own sagacity, though Page 63 your father says, I am a fool; but now we'll be judged who is the greatest.—And you Mr. rascal, my bro∣ther shall know what an honest servant he has got.
You were to have been aiding and assisting them in their escape, and have been the go be∣tween it seems, the letter carrier!
Who me madam!
Yes, you sirrah!
Miss Lucinda, did I ever carry a letter for you? I'll make my affidavy before his worship—
Go, go, you are a villain, hold your tongue.
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, who were once young, and inexperienced as I am.
This is mighty pretty romantick stuff! but you learn it out of your play books, and novels. Girls in my time, had other employments, we work'd at our needles, and kept ourselves from idle thoughts: before I was your age, I had finished with my own fingers, a compleat set of chairs, and a fire screen in tent stitch; four counterpanes, in Marsailles quilting; and the creed, and the ten commandments, in the hair of our family: it was framed, and glazed, and hung over the parlour chimney piece, and your grandfather was prouder of it, than of e'er a picture in his house. I never looked into a book, but when I said my prayers, except it was the compleat 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.
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 farther in this business, with∣out your advice and approbation.
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—
I'm not going;—I have thought of a way to be even with you, so you may do as you please.
Well, I thought it would come to this, I'll be shot if I didn't;—So here's a fine jobb—But what can they do to me;—They can't send me to jail for carrying a letter, seeing there was no treason in it; and how was I obligated 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 pur∣chase;—indeed, I shall be sorry to leave Mrs. Rossetta, seeing as how matters are so near being brought to an end, betwixt us; but she and I may keep company all as one: and I finds Madge has been speaking with gaffer Broadwheels, the waggoner, about her carriage up to London; so that I have got rid of she, and I am sure I have reason to be main glad of it, for she led me a wearysome life;—But that's the way of them all.
I am glad I had the precaution to bring this suit of cloaths in my bundle, though I hardly know myself in them again, they appear so strange, and feel so unwieldy. However, my gardener's jacket goes on no more.—I wonder this girl does not come
Hark! she comes.
Confusion! my father! What can this mean?
Tom, are not you a sad boy, Tom, to bring me a hundred and forty miles, here.—May I never Page 67 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?
Forgive me, sir, I own I have been in a fault.
In a fault! to run away from me because I was going to do you good.—May I never do an ill turn, master Hawthorn, if I did not pick out as fine a girl for him, partly, as any in England; and the rascal run 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 Bottany, as they call it; did you intend to keep the trade going, and advertise fruit-trees and flowering-shrubs, to be had at Meadows's nursery?
No, sir William, I apprehend the young gentleman designed to lay by the profession; for he has quitted the habit already.
I am so astonished to see you here, sir, that I don't know what to say; but, I assure you, if you had not come, I should have returned home to you directly. Pray, sir, how did you find me out?
No matter, Tom, no matter; it was partly by accident, as a body may say; but what does that sig∣nify—tell me, boy, how stands your stomach towards matrimony? Do you think you could digest a wife now?
Pray, sir, don't mention it; I shall always behave myself as a dutiful son ought: I will never marry without your consent, and I hope you won't force me to do it against my own.
Is not this mighty provoking, master Haw∣thorn? Why, sirrah, did you ever see the lady I de∣signed for you?
Sir, I don't doubt the lady's merit; but, at present, I am not disposed.
Nay, but young gentleman, fair and softly, you should pay some respect to your father in this matter.
Respect, master Hawthorn! may I never do an ill turn, but he shall marry her, or I'll disinherit him! there's once. Look you, Tom, not to make any more words of the matter, I have brought the lady here with me, and I'll see you contracted before we part; or you shall delve and plant cucumbers as long as you live.
Have you brought the lady here, sir? I am sorry for it.
Why sorry? what, then you won't marry her? we'll see that; pray, master Hawthorn, conduct the fair one in.—Ay, sir, you may fret, and dance about, trot at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, if you please; but may I never do an ill turn, but I am resolved.
Here is the lady, sir William.
Come in, madam, but turn your face from him—he would not marry you because he had not seen you; but I'll let him know my choice shall be his, and he shall consent to marry you before he sees you, or not an acre of estate.—Pray, sir, walk this way.
Sir, I cannot help thinking your con∣duct a little extraordinary; but, since you urge me so closely, I must tell you my affections are engaged.
How, Tom! how!
I was determined, sir, to have got the better of my inclination, and never have done a thing which I knew would be disagreeable to you.—
And pray, sir, who are your affections en∣gaged to? let me know that.
To a person, sir, whose rank and for∣tune may be no recommendations to her; but whose charms and accomplishments entitle her to a monarch. I am sorry, sir, it's impossible for me to comply with your commands, and I hope you will not be offended if I quit your presence.
Not I, not in the least; go about your business.
Sir, I obey.
Now is your time, madam.
Well, Tom, will you go away from me now?
Perhaps, sir William, your son does not like the lady; and, if so, pray don't put a force upon his inclination.
You need not have taken this method, sir, to let me see you were acquainted with my folly, whatever my inclinations are—.
Well, but Tom, suppose I give my consent to your marrying this young woman?
Your consent, sir!
Come, sir William, we have carried the jest far enough; I see your son is in a kind of embarrassment, and I don't wonder at it; but this letter, which I re∣ceived from him a few days before I left my father's house, will, I apprehend, expound the riddle.—He cannot be surprized that I ran away from a gentleman who expressed so much dislike to me; and what has happened since chance brought us together in masque∣rade, there is no occasion for me to inform him of.
What is all this? pray don't make a jest of me.
May I never do an ill turn, Tom, if it is not truth; this is my friend's daughter.
Even so; 'tis very true indeed. In short, you have not been a more whimsical gentleman, than I have a gentlewoman; but you see we were designed for one another, 'tis plain.
I know not, madam, what I either hear or see, a thousand things are crowding on my imagina∣tion; while, like one just wakened from a dream, I doubt which is reality, which delusion.
Well then, Tom, come into the air a bit, and recover yourself.
Nay, dear sir, have a little patience; do yon give her to me?
Give her to you! ay, that I do, and my blessing into the bargain.
Then, sir, I am the happiest man in the world. I enquire no farther; here I fix the utmost limits of my hopes and happiness.
Give you joy, sir; and you fair lady.—And, under favour, I'll salute you, too, if there's no fear of jealousy.
But may I believe this?—Pr'ythee tell me, dear Rossetta.
Step into the house and I'll tell you every thing.—I must intreat the good offices of Sir William, and Mr. Hawthorn, immediately; for I am in the utmost uneasiness about my poor friend Lucinda.
Why, what's the matter?
I don't know, but I have reason to fear, I left her just now in very disagreeable circumstances, how∣ever, I hope, if there is any mischief fallen out between her father and her lover—
The music master, I thought so.
What is there a lover in the case, may I never do an ill turn, but I am glad, so I am; for we'll make a double wedding; and, by way of celebrating it, take a trip to London, to shew the brides some of the Page 72 pleasures of the town. And, master Hawthorn, you shall be of the party.—Come, children, go before us.
Thank you, sir William, I'll go into the house with you, and to church, to see the young folks married; but, as to London, I beg to be excused.
Why, brother, do you think I can hear or see, or make use of my senses? I tell you, I left that fellow locked up in her closet; and, while I have been with you, they have broke open the door, and got him out again.
Well, you hear what they say.
I care not what they say; it's you encou∣rage them in their impudence.—Hark'e, hussey, will you face me down that I did not lock the fellow up?
Really, aunt, I don't know what you mean; when you talk intelligibly, I'll answer you.
Seriously madam, this is carrying the jest a little too far.
What then, I did not catch you together in her chamber, nor over-hear your design of going off to night, nor find the bundles packt up—
Ha, ha, ha!
Why aunt you rave.
Brother, as I am a christian woman, she confessed the whole affair to me from first to last: and in this very place was down upon her marrow-bones, for half an hour together, to beg I would conceal it from you.
Oh Lord! Oh Lord!
What sirrah, would you brazen me too, take that
I wish you would keep your hands to your∣self, you strike me, because you have been telling his worship stories.
Why sister you are tipsey!
I tipsey brother!—I—that never touch a drop of any thing strong from year's end to year's end; but now and then a little Annyseed water, when I have got the cholic.
Well, aunt, you have been complaining of the stomach-ach all day; and may have taken too powerful a doze of your cordial.
Come, come, I see well enough how it is, this is a lye of her own invention, to make herself appear wise: but you simpleton, did not you know I must find you out?
Bless me Sir! look who is yonder.
Cocksbones, Jack, honest Jack, are you there.
Plague on't, this rencounter is unlucky—Sir William your servant.
Your servant again, and again, heartily your servant; may I never do an ill turn, but I am glad to meet you.
Pray Sir William, are you acquainted with this person?
What, with Jack Eustace? why he's my kinsman; his mother and I are cousin-germans once removed, and Jack's a very worthy young fellow; may I never do an ill turn if I tell you a word of a lye.
Well, but Sir William, let me tell you, you know nothing of the matter; this man is a music master; a thrummer of wire, and scraper of cat-gut, and teaches my daughter to sing.
What Jack Eustace a music master! no, no, I know him better.
S'death, why should I attempt to carry on this absurd farce any longer?—What that gentleman tells you is very true, Sir; I am •… music master indeed.
You are not, you own it then?
Nay, more Sir, I am as this lady has represented me,
Well brother, what have you to say for yourself now? you have made a precious day's work of it! had my advice been taken: Oh I am ashamed of you, but you are a weak man and it can't be helpt; however you should let wiser heads direct you.
Dear papa, pardon me.
Ay, do Sir forgive her; my cousin Jack, will make her a good husband, I'll answer for it.
Stand out of the way, and let me speak two or three words to his worship;—Come my dear Sir, though you refuse all the world, I am sure you can deny me nothing: love is a venial fault—You know what I mean.—Be reconciled to your daughter, I conjure you, by the memory of our past affections—What not a word!
Come turn out of the house; and be thankful my brother does not hang you, for he could Page 76 do it, he's a justice of peace;—turn out of the house I say:—
Who gave you authority to turn him out of the house—he shall stay where he is,
He shan't marry my niece.
Shan't he? but I'll shew you the diffe∣rence now, I say he shall marry her, and what will you do about it.
And you will give him your estate too, will you?
Yes I will.
Why I am sure he's a vagabond.
I like him the better, I would have him a vagabond.
Come, come, madam all's very well, and I see my neighbour is what I always thought him, a man of sense and prudence.
May I never do an ill turn, but I say so too.
Here young fellow, take my daughter; and bless you both together; but hark you, no money till I dye; observe that.
Sir in giving me your daughter, you bestow upon me more than the whole world would be without her.
Dear Lucinda, if words could convey the trans∣ports of my heart upon this occasion—
Words are the tools of hypocrites, the preten∣ders to friendship; only let us resolve to preserve our esteem for each other.
Dear Jack, I little thought we should ever meet in such odd circumstances—but here has been the strangest business between this lady and me—
What then Mrs. Rossetta, are you turned false-hearted after all; will you marry Thomas the gar∣dener, and did I forsake Madge for this?
Oh lord Hodge! I beg your pardon; I protest I forgot; but I must reconcile you and Madge I think; and give you a wedding dinner to make you amends.
Adds me Sir, here are some of your neigh∣bours Page 78 come to visit you, and I suppose, to make up the company of your statute ball; yonder's music too I see, shall we enjoy ourselves; if so give me your hand—
Why here's my hand, and we will en∣joy ourselves, heaven bless you both children I say,—sister Deborah, you are a fool.
You are a fool brother, and mark my words—But I'll give myself no more trouble about you.
Fidlers strike up.
A Table of the Songs, with the names of the several composers.
N B. Those mar∣ked thus * were composed on purpose for this Opera.
- A New Overture by Mr. Abel.
- ACT I.
- 1 Hope thou nurse of young desire
- Mr. Weldon
- 2 Whence can you inherit
- 3 My heart's my own my will is free
- 4 When once love's subtle poison gains
- 5* Oh had I been by fate decreed
- 6 Gentle youth ah tell me why
- 7* Still in hopes to get the better
- 8 There was a jolly miller once
- 9 Let gay ones and great
- 10 The honest heart whose thoughts are free
- 11 Well well say no more
- 12 Cupid God of soft persuasion
- 13 How happy were my days till now
- 14 The court and the city fine folks may extol
- 15 A Medley
- ACT II.
- 16 We women like weak Indians trade
- 17 Think my fairest how delay
- 18* Believe me dear aunt
- 19 When I followed a lass that was froward and shy
- 20 Let rakes and libertines resign'd
- 21 How blest the maid whose bosom
- 22 In vain I every art assay
- 23 Begone I agree
- 24 Oh how shall I in language weak
- 25 Young I am and sore afraid
- 26 Zooks neighbour ne'er blush for a trifle like this
- 27 My Dolly was the fairest thing
- 28 Oh Hymen propitious receive in thy train
- Arne Page [unnumbered]
- 29 Was ever poor fellow so plagued with a vixen
- 30 Cease seducers pride to take
- 31 Since Hodge proves ungrateful, no farther I'll seek
- 32* Well come let us hear what the swain must possess.
- ACT III.
- 33 The world is a well furnished table
- 34 It is not wealth, it is not birth
- 35* The traveller benighted
- 36 If ever a fond inclination
- 37 Plague o'these wenches they make such a po∣ther
- 38* How much superior beauty aws
- 39 When we see a lover languish
- 40 All I wish in her obtaining
- 41 If ever I am catched in those regions of smoke
- 42*Go naughty man I can't abide you
- 43 The merchant whose vessel the winds make their sport
- 44 Hence with cares complaints and frowing