Page images

and me,

Dor. Do, dear: the poor must be sparing. thinks insensible! the heart which nourishes a [Rosina going to put out the lamp, Dor- hopeless passion! I blest, like others, Belville's

cas looks after her und sighs ; she re- gentle virtues, and knew not that 'twas love.
turns hastily.

Unhappy, lost Rosina !
Ros. Why do you sigh, Dorcas?
Dor. I canno' bear it: it's nothing to Phæbe

but thou wast not born to labour.
Ros. Why should I repine? Heaven, which The morn returns in saffron drest,
deprived me of my parents and my fortune, left But not to sad Rosina rest.
me health, content, and innocence. Nor is it cer-

The blushing morn awakes the strain, tain that riches lead to happiness. Do you

Awakes the tuneful choir, think the nightingale sings the sweeter for being

But sad Rosina ne'er again in a gilded cage ?

Shall strike the sprightly lyre. Dor. Sweeter, I'll maintain it, than the poor little linnei, which thou pick’dst up half starved Rus. (Between the Scenes.] To work, my under the hedge yesterday, after its mother hearts of oak, to work! here the sun is half an had been shot, and brought'st to lite in thy hour higli, and not a stroke struck yet. bosom. Let ine speak to his honour he's main

[Enters singing, followed by Reapers. kind to the poor. Ros. Not for worlds, Dorcas ! I want nothing:

AIR. you have been a mother to ine.

Dor. Would I could! would I could! I ha' Rus. See, ye swains, yon streaks of red worked hard, and earned money in my time;

Call you from your slothful bed! but now I am old and feeble, and am pushed


till'd the fruitful soil ; about by every body. More's the pity, I say:

See where harvest crowns your

toil. it was not so in my young time; but the world

Chorus of Reapers. grows wickeder every day. Ros. Your age, my good Dorcas, requires

Late you tillid the fruitful soil ; rest : go intą the cottage, whilst Phæbe and I

See where harvest crowns your toil! join the gleaners, wbo are assembling from every part of the village.

Rus. As we reap the golden corn, Dor. Many a time bave I carried thy dear

Laughing Plenty fills her horn; mother, an infant, in these arms : little did I

What would gilded pornp avail, think a child of her's would live to share my poor

Should the peasant's labour fail ? pittance.—But I wo' not grieve thee. [Dorcas enters the Cottage, lovking buck

Chorus of Reapers. affectionately at Rosina.

What would gilded pomp avail, Phæ. What makes you so melancholy, Ro

Should the peasant's labour fail ? sina? mayhap it's because you have not a sweetheart? but you are so proud, you won't let Rus. Ripend fields your cares repay, our young men come a near you. You may live

Sons of labour haste away; to repent being so scornful.

Bending, see the waving grain

Crown the year, and cheer the swain. AIR.

Chorus of Reapers. I'hen William at ede meets me down at the

Bending, see the waving grain stile,

Crown the year, and cheer the swain. How sweet is the nightingale's song!

Rus. Hist! there's his honour. Where are Of the day I forget the labour and toil, Whilst the moon plays yon branches among

all the lazy Irishinen I hired yesterday at mar

ket? By her beams, without blushing, I hear him

Enter two Irishmen. complain, And believe every word of his song :

1 Irish. Is it us he's talking of, Paddy? then You know not how sweet 'lis to love the dear the devil inay thank him for his good comswain,

mendations. Whilst the moon plays yon branches among

Enter Belville, with two Servants. [During the last Stanza, William appears Bel. You are too severe, Rustic, the poor fel

at the end of the Scene, and makes signs to lows came three miles this inorning; therefore Prebe, who, when it is finished, steals softly I made them stop at the manor-house to take a to him, and they disappear.

little refreshment. Ros. How small a part of my evils is poverty! 1 Irish. God love your sweet face, my jewel, and how little does Phæbe know the heart she and all those that take your part ! Bad luck to


inyself if I would not, with all the veins of my Capt. B. And pray, brother, how are the parheart, split the dew before your feet in a morn- tridges this season? mg.

[To Belville. Bel. There are twenty coveys within sight of Rus. If I do speak a little cross, it's for your my house, and the dogs are in fine order. bonour's good.

Capt. B. The game-keeper is this moment [The Reapers cut the corn, and make it into leading them round; I am fired at the sight.

Sheaves. Rosina follows, and gleans. Rus. (Seeing Rosina.) What a dickens doth

AIR.— Trio. this girl du bere? keep back: wait till the reapers are off the field; do like the other

By the dawn to the downs we repair, gleaners.

With bosoms right jocund and guy, Rus. [Timidly.] If I have done wrong, sir, I And gain more than pheasant or harem will put what I bave gleaned down again.

Gain health by the sports of the day. [She lets full the ears she had gleaned. Bel. How can you be so unfeeling, Rustic? Mark! mark! to the right hand prepareshe is lovely, virtuous, and in want. Let fall See Dinna! she points-- see, they risesome ears, that she may glean the more.

See theu float on the bosom of air ! Rus. Your honour is too good by half.

Fire uway! whilst loud echo replies, Bel. No more; gather up the corn she has

Fire away! let fall. Do as I command you.

Rus. There, take the whole field, since his Hark! the volley resounds to the skies! bonour chooses.

Whilst echo in thunder replies ! [Putting the corn into her apron. Retires In thunder replies, gleaning.

And resounds to the skies, 2 Irish. Upon my soul now, bis honour's no Fire uway! fire away! fire away! churl of the wheat, whatever he may be of the barley.

Capt. B. (Aside.] But where is my little ruse Bel. (Looking after Rosina.] What be tic charmer? O! there she is. I am transported! witching softness! there is a blushing, bashful -Pray, brother, is not that the little girl gentleness, and almost infantine innocence, in whose dawning beauty we admired so much last that lovely countenance, which it is impossible 10 behold without emotion! she turns this way: Bel. It is, and more lovely than ever. I shall what bloom on that cheek! 'tis the blushing

dine in the field with my reapers to-day, brother: down of the peach.

will you share our rural repast, or have a dinner

prepared at the manor houses AIR.

Cupt. B. By no means; pray let me be one of

your party: your plan is an admirable one, espeHer mouth, which a smile,

cially if your girls are handsome. I'll walk round Deroid of all guile,

the field, and meet you at dinner time. Half opens to view,

Bel. Come this way, Rustic; I have some Is the bud of the rose,

orders to give you. In the morning that blows,

[Exeunt BELVILLE and RUSTIC. Impearl'd with the dew.

(Captain BELVILLE goes up to Rosina, gleans More fragrant her breath

a few ears, and presents them to her, she Than the flower-scented heath

refuses them; she runs out; he follows her. At the dawning of day; The hawthorn in bloom,

Enter William, speaking at the side Scene. The lily's perfume,

Will. Lead the dogs back, James, the capOr the blossoms of May.

tain won't shoot to day. (Seeing Rustic and

Puæbe behind.] Indeed! so close! I don't balf Enter CAPTAIN BELVILLE, in a Riding Dress. like it. Capt. B. Good morrow, brother; you are

Enter RUSTIC and Pube. early abroad. Bel. My dear Charles, I am happy to see you.

Rus. That's a good girl! do as I bid you, and True, I find, to the first of September.

you shan't want encouragement. Capt. B. I meant to have been here last night; [He goes up to the Reapers, and WILLIAMI Put one of my wheels broke, and I was obliged comes forward. in sleep at a village six miles distant, where I Will. 0, no; I dare say she won't. So, Mrs. left my chaise, and took a boat down the river at Phæbe ! day-break. But your corn is not off the ground. Phæbe. And so, Mr. William, if you go to

Bel. You know our harvest is late in the north, that! Lut you will find all the lands cleared on the Will. A new sweetheart, I'll be sworn; and other side the mountain.

a pretty comely lad he is : but he's rich, and

AIR. that's enough to win a woman.

Phabe. I don't desarve thuis of you, William ; Whilst with village maids I stray, but I'm rightly sarved for being such an easy Sweetly wears the joyous duy : fool. You think, maylap, I'm at my last prayers ; Cheerful glows my artless breast, but you may find yourself mistaken.

Mild content the constant guest. Will. You do right to cry out first; you think belike that I did not see you take that posy from Capt. B. Mere prejudice, child : you will Harry.

kuow better. I pity you, and will make your Phæbe. And you, belike, that I did not catch fortune. you tying up one of the cornflowers and wild Ros. Let me call my mother, sir. I am young, roses for the miller's maid: but I'll be fooled no and can support myself by my labour ; but she longer; I have done with you, Mr. William. is old and helpless, and your charity will be well

Will. I sban't break my heart, Mrs. Phæbe. bestowed. Please to transfer to her the bounty The iniller's maid loves the ground I walk on. you

intended for me.

Capt. B. Why, as to that,

Rus. I understand you, sir; your compassion

does not extend to old women. Will. I've kiss'd and I've pratiled to fifty Capl. B. Really, I believe not.

fuir muids,
And changed 'em as oft, d'ye see ;

But of all the fuir maidens that dunce
on the green,

Ros. You are just come in time, mother. I
The muid of the mill for me. have met with a generous gentleman, whose
Phæ. There's fifty young men huve told me charity inclines bim to succour youth.
fine tales,

Dor. 'l is very kind; and old age-
And call'd me the fairest she ;

Ros. He'll tell you that himself.
But of all the gay wrestiers that sport

[Rosina goes into the Cottage. on the green,

Dor. I thought so. Sure, sure, 'tis no sin to Young Hurry's the lud for me. be old! Will. Her eyes are as black as the sloe in the Capt. B. You must not judge of me by others, hedge,

honest Dorcas. I am sorry for your misfortunes, Her face like the blossom in May ; and wish tu serve you. Her teeth are as while as the new shorn Dor. And to what, your honour, may

I flock,

this kindness? Her breath like the new made hay. Capt. B. You have a charming daughterPhæ. He's tall and he's strait as a poplar tree, Dor. (Aside.] I thought as much. A vile

His chicks are as fresh as a rose ; wicked man !
He looks like a 'squire of high degree, Capt. B. Beauty like her's might find a thou-

When drest in his Sunduy clothes. sand resources in London: the moment she apPhæ. There's fifty young men, &c.

pears there, she will turn every head. Will. I've kiss'd and I've praltled, &c. Dor. And is your honour sure her own won't [Go off' on different sides of the Stage. turn at the same time?

Capt. B. She shall live in affluence, and take Enter Captain Belville and Rosina.

care of you too, Dorcas. Capt. B. Stay, and bear me, Rosina. Why Dor. I guess your honour's meaning ; but will you fatigue yourself thus ? only bomely girls you are mistaben, sir. If I must be a trouble to are born to work-your obstinacy is vain; you the dear child, I shall rather owe my bread to shall hear me.

ber labour than her shame. Ros. Why do you stop me, sir? my time is [Goes into the Cottage, and shuts the door. precious. When the gleaning season is over,

Capt. B. These women astonish me! but I will you make up my loss ?

won't give it up so. Capt. B. Yes. Ros. Will it be any advantage to you to make

Enter RUSTIC. me lose my day's work?

A word with you, Rustic. Capt. B. Yes.

Rus. I'm in a great hurry, your honour; I am Ros. Would it give you pleasure to see me going to hasten dinner. pass all my days in idleness

Capt. B. I sban't keep you a minute. Take Capt. B. Yes.

these five guineas. Ros. We differ greatly then, sir: I only wish Rus. For whom, sir? for so much leisure as makes me return to my Capt. B. For yourself; and this purse. work with fresh spirit. We labour all the week, Rus. For whom, sir? 'tis true : but then how sweet is our rest on Capt. B. For Rosina ; they say she is in disSunday !

tress, and wants assistance,



Rus. What pleasure it gives me to see you so | Rosina. Dorcas, you must come too, and charitable ! But why give me money, sir? Phæbe.

Capt. B. Only to tell Rosina there is a per Dor. We can't deny your honour. son who is very much interested in her happi

Ros. I am ashamed; but you command, sir. Rus. How much you will please his honour by Enter the Reapers, following CAPTAIN this ! he takes mightily to Rosina, and prefers

BELVILLE. her to all the young women in the parish. Capt. B. Prefers her! ah! you sly rogue !

AIR.--Finale. [Laying his hand on Rustic's shoulder. Bel. By this fountain's flowery side, Rus. Your honour's a wag : but I'm sure I

Drest in Nature's blooming pride, meant no harm,

Where the poplar trembles high, Capt. B. Give her the money, and tell her she

And the bees in clusters fly; shall never want a friend: but not a word to my

Whilst the herdsman on the hill brother.

Listens to the falling rill, Rus. All's safe, your honour.

Pride and cruel scorn away, [Erit Captain Belville.

Let us share the festive day. I don't vastly like this business. At the Captain's Ros. & Bel. Taste our pleasures ye who may, age this violent charity is a little duberous. I

This is Nature's holiday. am bis bonour's servant, and it's my duty to

Simple Nature ye who prize, hide nothing from him. I'll go seek his honour:

Life's fantastic forms despise. Oh! here he comes.

Chorus. Taste our pleasures ye who may,

This is Nature's holiday.

Capt. Blushing Bell, with downcast eyes, Bel. Well, Rustic, have you any intelligence

Sighs, and knows not why she sighs ; to coinmunicate ?

Tom is by herwe shall knowRus. A vast deal, sir. Your brother begins

How he


her! Is't not so ? to make a good use of his money: he has given Will. He is fond, und she is shy ! me these five guineas for myself, and this purse

He would kiss her !—fie!-Oh, fic ! for Rosina,

Mind thy sickle, let her be ; Bel. For Rosina ! [Aside.] 'Tis plain he loves

By and by she'll follow thee. her!-Obey him exactly: but as distress renders Chorus. Busy censors, hence, away! the mind haughty, and Rosina's situation re

This is Nalure's holiday. quires the utmost delicacy, contrive to execute Rus. Now we'll quaff the nut-brown ale, your commission in such a manner that she

Then we'll tell the sportive tale ; may not even suspect from whence the money

All is jest, and all is glee,

All is youthful jollity. Rus. I understand your honour.

Phæ. Lads und lasses all advance, Bel. Have you gained any intelligence in re

Carol blithe, and form the dance! spect to Rosina.

Trip it lightly, while you may, Rus. I endeavoured to get all I could from

This is Nature's holiday. the old woman's grand-daughter; but all she Chorus. Trip it lightly while you may, knew was, that she was no kin to Dorcas, and

This is Nature's holiday. that she had bad a good bringing-up: but here [All rise ; the Dancers come down the Stage are the labourers.

through the Sheaves of Corn, which are reBel. Let the cloth be laid on these sheaves. moved; the Dance begins, and finishes the Behold the table of happiness ! But I don't see Act.



SCENE continues.

Rus. This purse is the plague of my life: I hate money when it is not my own. I'll even put in the five guineas he gave me for myself: I don't want it, and they do. It's a good action, and will be its own reward. They certainly

must find it there. I'm glad I've got rid on't however; but I hear the cottage door open.

[Retires a little. [Dorcas and Rosina come out of the Cottage;

Dorcas with a great Buskel on her arm, filled with Skeins of Thread.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]



Dor. I am just going, Rosina, to carry this Will. I knows nothing about it.
thread to the weaver's.

Ros. Dorcas, however has found one.
Ros. This basket is too heavy for you: pray, Will. So much the better for she.
let me carry it.

Ros. You will oblige me very much, if you [Takes the Basket from Dorcas, and sets it will carry it to Mr. Belville, and beg him to down on the Bench.

keep it till the owner is found. Dor [Peevishly.] No, no.

Will. Since you desire it, I'll go; it shan't Ros. If you love me, only take half: this be the lighter for my carrying. evening, or to-morrow morning, I will carry the Ros. That I am sure of, Williain.

[Exit Rosina,
[She takes part of the Skeins out of the
Busket, and luys them on the Bench,

Enter PheBE.
looking affectionately on Dorcas.
There, be angry with ine, if you please.

Phæ. There is William ; but I'll pretend not
Dor. No, my sweet lamb, I am not angry; to see him.
but beware of men.
Ros. Have you any doubts of my conduct,

Dorcas ?

Dor. Indeed I have not, love; and yet I am Henry culld the flow'ret's bloom,

Marian loved the soft perfume,

Had playful kist, but prudence near
Enter Captain BELVILLE, listening.

Whisper'd timely in the ear ;
Go back to the reapers, whilst I carry


Simple Marian, ah! beware ;

Touch them not, for love is there.'
Ros. I'll go this moment.

[Throws away her Nosegay.
Dor. But as I walk but slow, and 'tis a good
way, you may chance to be at bome before me,

[While she is singing, William turns, looks 60 take the key.

at her, whistles, and plays with his stick. Ros. I will

Will. That's Harry's posy; the slut likes me [Whilst Dorcas feels in her pocket for the still. Key.

Pha. [Aside.] That's a copy of his counteCapt. B. [Aside.) Rosina to be at home nance, I'm sartain; he can no more help folbefore Dorcas ! how lucky! I'll slip into the lowing me nor he can be hanged. house, and wait her coming, if 'tis till mid

[WILLIAM crosses again, singing,
(He goes unperceived by them into the Cot- Of all the fair maidens that dance on the green,

The maid of the mill for me.
Dor. Let nobody go into the house.

Ros. I'll take care; but first I'll double lock Pha. I am ready to choke wi' madness, but the door. [Stops to lock the Door.

I'll not speak first an' I die fort.
Dor. (Sees the purse.) Good lack: what is [WILLIAM sings; throwing up his Stick, and
here? a purse, as I live!

catching it.
Ros. How?
Dor, Come, and see ; 'tis a purse, indeed. Will. Her eyes are us black as the sloe in the
Ros. Heavens ! 'tis full of gold !

Dor. We must put up a bill at the church

Her face like the blossoms in May. gate, and restore it to the owner. The best way is to carry the money to bis honour, and Phæ. I can't bear it no longer--you vile, une get him to keep it till the owner is found. You grateful, parfidious—but it's no matter-I shall go with it, love,

can't think what I could see in you,--Harry Ros, Pray excuse me, I dare not speak to loves me, and is a thousand times more handhim. Dor. 'Tis nothing but childishness : but his

[Sings, sobbing at every word. honour will like your bashfulness better than too much courage--carry it, my love.

Of all the gay wrestlers that sport on the [Goes out.

green, Ros. I cannot support his presence—my em Young Harry's the lud for me. barrassment-my confusion—a stronger sensation than that of gratitude agitates my heart Will. He's yonder a reaping: shall I call him? yet hope in my situation were madness.

[Offers to go.

Pha. My grandmother leads me the life of a Enter WILLIAM,

dog; and it's all along of you.

Will. Well, then she'll be better tempered Pray, William, do you know any body tbat has now.

Pha, I did not value her scolding of a brass


lost a purse.

« PreviousContinue »