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he is my tenant and my slave; in hell -ha! save me from the thought-in hell he'll be my equal! No matter; reflection comes too late; my hand, already heavy with the weight of blood, can rise with murderous and fatal aim no more. What, ho! within there! *
Enter WHEATSHEAF. Farmer. Be it your honour's lordship do please to call ? lord B. (Signs to farmer to approach.) Nearer, still nearer, I
say; what fear'st thou?
Farmer. Fear, my lord? Saving your lordship's presence, I ha' nothing to be afeard on. A man-is a man; and zoa long as he can do zoa(striking his bosom,) he needn't fear ony body, I do take it.
Lord B. (Groans deeply. +) Ah! he cuts me to the soul! No more of this. Listen to me, farmer. Thou know'st this world contains one living creature hateful to my sight. (Mysteriously.), Thou know'st the rest, too. I
Farmer. (Looking cautiously about.) My lord
Lord B. Listen, and reply not. Ere earth be canopied by the shades of night—(More mysteriously.) Thou understand’st me. Farmer. (Trembling, and grasping his own hair.) My lord Lord B. Silence. Hast thou decided ? Farmer. (Irresolutely.) My lord
Lord B. Peace! (Draws his hand from his breeches-pocket, and gives the farmer a piece of money.) This is the reward of thy obedience.
Farmer. (Looking at the money.) My lord-
Lord B. Enough. (Draws his other hand from his bosom, and delivers to the farmer a knife.) This is the instrument which must rid me of my tormentor.
Farmer. I do tremble zoa, and the words do stick in my throat for all the world like the teeth of a rake in a gravelly zoil.
Lord B. Quickly decide.
Farmer. (Throws down the money.) Dom thee, lie there. (Strikes his bosom gently.) I can do zoa a little better now. (Throws down the knife.) Dom thee, lie there, too. (Strikes his bosom violently.) My lord, I ha' decided : I can do zoa as well as ever.
Lord B. What means all this?
Farmer. I'll tell’ee what it do mean: Thee beest a lord-but can thee do zoa? (Striking his bosom.)
Lord B. I understand; thou refusest me! Then await my vengeance.
Farmer. Vengeance! I tell’ee what: saving your lordship’s presence, thof I be poor the sun do shine over my head ; when I do sow the seed on my ground, the corn do grow; and if the ears do be full, and the crop do be good, I do get as much an acre for my harvest as your lordship’s honour do for yours.
Lord B. He plants a dagger in my heart. (Groaning piteously.) S
Farmer. (Taking Lord Bluedevil kindly by the hand.) And I tell’ee what: when I do lay down my head at night, I can do zoa; (striking his bosom ;) and thof you be a lord, if you did but know the pleasure of doing zoa- -but be a man, my lord-here be somebody coming-here, take a good book to comfort you. (Gives him the Pilgrim's Progress.)
This speech is very strongly written, as I have heard it said of many other of the serious parts of the same author's comedies. Undoubtedly he often exhibits great power of (melodramatic) writing.
+ Peculiarity of the MODERN THALIA.
# Similar scenes of confidence, between lords and clod-hoppers, are common in our author's plays.
§ More COMEDY !!
Enter Dame WHEATSHEAF, hastily. Farmer. Dom thee, what dost thee want here?
Dume. Ifackins! what dost thee want here! why, here be my Lady Rosevalley, and my Lord Dashtown, and Squire Chevychace, and a mort o'fine folks, coming up
to farm. Farmer. Then let 'em come and welcome, deame; for thof we be poor, we be honest.
Lord B. (Sinks into a chair, and rests his head on the table.) Oh! for a cordial to cheer my sinking heart.
Dame. We ha' gotten no cordials; but ye be heartily welcome to a draught oʻgood home-brew'd yeale.
Farmer. Hold thy dom fool's tongue, wool'ee, missus ? Enter Lady RosevaLLEY, LORD Dashtown, SQUIRE CHEVYCHACE, and
several Ladies and Gentlemen. Lady R. I declare I never was so fatigued in my life. One would imagine people never sat down in these wild regions; for there appears to be no preparation for such an event. (Looking about the room, but not perceiving Lord Bluedevil.)
All.* (Laugh.) Ha! ha! ha!
Lord Dush. Damme, you are right, my lady; damn'd right. Give me Bond-street for a morning's airing, and leave country rambles to country clod-poles. Eh, farmer? (Tapping farmer on the shoulder.)
Lady R. Vastly well indeed. (Laughs.) Ha! ha! ha!
Farmer. I don't rightly understand what you may mean by clod-pole, my lord; but look'ee, my lord ; (striking his bosom ;) can you do zoa?
Lord Dash. Yes, farmer; and, damme, though I'm a man of fashion, damme, I'm not without a heart, damme.
Squire Chevy. Yoicks, tally-ho! broke cover! turned up Old Bluedevil here.
Lady R. Merciful powers! he seems grief-worn and exhausted : give him air. (They all crowd about him.)
Farmer. (Taking Lady Rosevalley aside.) And well he may be. O miss, -my lady, I should say; if I thought you were as good as you're pratty - but stop-can you do zoa? (Striking his bosom.)
Lady R. O farmer, I can, indeed; indeed I can.
Dame. (Aside.) Mercy on me! I hope she's not going to fall in love with my Gaffer: 'twouldn't be the first time a fine young lady has fallen in love with a farmer at first sight."
Farmer. Can you ? then I'll tell’ee. (Mysteriously.) You must know, that my lord
Lord B. (Rushing wildly forward.) Spare me, spare me the dreadful trial. Fiends—torments-furies-serpents hissing and whizzing in my ears -darkness—the shades of night-the gloom of despair.-Be silent as the grave, I charge thee !--no-1 charge thee, speak !-Blazon the horrible design-let it be shouted and gazetted to the execrating world. . I would have instigated him to- -ha !
Farmer. To murder!
The audience is not necessarily included in this direction. It is with regret I allow, that in scenes of this kind, in which he endeavours to represent the things of fashion-where, in short, he attempts to imitate Reynolds, Mr. M-n totally fails. Mr. Reynolds, till he began to write Exiles and Virgins of the Sun (in imitation of kim), displayed such a fund of whim, so extraordinary a facility at catching the passing follies of the day, such an inexhaustible vain of gaiety, easy and unforced gaiety, as atoned for many of the faults by which his pieces were distigured. Mr. M-n's serious comedy (I repeat it) is very serious indeed : but justice forces me to acknowledge, that his attempts at pleasantry are, in general, laboured and heavy. † As in A Cure for the Heart Ache.
More strong writing.
All. Murder! whom?
Farmer. (Dashing a tear from one eye, and looking compassionately with the other.) A poor old cock, that has crowed afore his gate five years come Michaelmas. But I hadn't the heart to do it.
Lord B. Support me. Farmer, draw near : it shall not die. O, farmer, thou hast given peace to my heart, and quiet to my conscience. Thou hast taught me, that where vice exists, there virtue cannot be ; and that a virtuous tenant is happier than a guilty landlord.
Farmer. But, my lord- (pointing to his bosom,) you understand me?
Lord B. Yes, farmer; and I may now proudly boast, that I also (striking his bosom,) can do so.
Farmer. (Coming forward.) And yet, thof I zay it as shouldn't zay it, unless our koind friends shed the sun-shine of their smiles, to ripen our harvest, we cannot hope-to do zoa.
(All the characters strike their bosoms, and the curtain falls.)
A PERSIAN TALE.
If you are one that loves to sit by fires
Undiadem the Greek; come, list to me!
Young Osmyn stood upon the sanguine shore
For the First Part, sec No. XII. for December, 1920, vol. ii. p. 618.
Melts in the wind-the fearful past was clear.
He stood alone ;-the satrap and the slave
The mists rolld off; the sudden sunbeams show'd
But plunderers had been busy there: the floor
He heard a distant cry: the wild turmoil
Their march stray'd on through ways of dreariness,
Twinkled and vanish'd, like the sickly lamp
'Twas morning on the brow; but yellow even
Through the tent-curtains; and the wood-fire's blaze
Thus pass’d they many a furlong, and the tents
They reach'd the central camp: the centinel
The captive's name was told: a sudden cry Burst through the proud pavilion ; and its porch Thicken'd with wonderers; and the wind-toss'd torch Glanced on a waving sheet of fiery eyes And swarthy brows, turban'd with scarlet dyes, And turquoise helm’d. 'Twas tenfold victory To see that captive in their bondage lie. Yet murmurs rose, and pityings, through the crowd,