« PreviousContinue »
yesterday? How can it be! I cannot be in two Sir John. Oh, wretch! thou hast undone me! places at once.
I am fallen from the height of all my bopes, and Sir John. Poor wretch! She's stark mad! must still be cursed with a tempestuous wife; a
Lady. What, in the devil's name, was I bere fury whom I never knew quiet since I had ber. before I came? Let me look in the glass. Oh Doc. If that be all, I can continue the charm Heavens! I am astonished! I don't know my- for both their lives. self! If this be I that the glass shews me, I never Sir John. Let the event be what it will, I'll saw myself before.
hang you if you do not end the charm this inSir John. What incoherent madness is this !
Doc. I will this minute, sir; and, perhaps, Enter Jobson.
you'll find it the luckiest of your life; I can asLady. There, that's the devil in my likeness, sure you, your lady will prove the better for it. who has robbed me of my countenance. Is he Sir John. Hold; there's one material circuinhere, too?
stance I'd know, Job. Ay, hussy; and here's my strap, you
Doc. Your pleasure, sir? quean.
Sir John. Perhaps the cobler hass--you anderNell. O dear! I'm afraid iny husband will beat stand me? me, that am on t'other side the room, there. Doc. I do assure you, no ; for ere she was
Job. I hope your honours will pardon her; she conveyed to his bed, the cobler was got up to was drinking with a conjurer last night, and has work, and he has done nought but beat her ever been mad ever since, and calls herselt iny lady since. And you are like to reap the fruits of Loverule.
his labour. Ie'll be with you in a minute; here Sir John. Poor woman! take care of her; do he comes. not hurt her, she may be cured of this.
Enter Joesox. Job. Yes, and please your worship, you shall see mc cure ber presently. Hussy, do you see Sir John. So, Jobson, where's your wife? this?
Job. And please your worship, she's here at Nell. O! pray, Zekel, don't heat me. the door, but, indeed, I thought I had lost her
Sir John. What says my love? Docs she infect just now, for as she came into the hall, she fell thee with inadness, too?
into such a swoon, that I though she would neNell, I am not well; pray lead me in. ver come out on't again; but a tweak or two by
[Ereunt Nell and Maid. the nose, and half a dozen straps, did the busiJob. I beseech your worship don't take it ill ofness at last. Here, where are you, housewife? me; she shall never trouble you more. Sir John. Take her home, and use her kindly.
Enter Lady. Lady. What will become of me?
But. (Holds up the candle, but lets it fall [E.reunt Jobson and Lady, when he sees her.]-0 heaven and earth! Is this Enter Footman.
Job. What does he say? My wife changed to Foot. Sir, the doctor, who called here last my lady? night, desires you will give him leave to speak Cook. Ay; I thought the other was too good a word or two with you upon very earnest busi- for our lady.
Lady. [To Sir John.]—Sir, you are the perSir John. What can this mean? Bring him in. son I have most offended, and here I confess I
bave been the worst of wives in every thing, but Enter Doctor.
that I always kept myself chaste. If you can Doc. Lo! on my knees, sir, I beg forgiveness vouchsafe once more to take me to your bosom, for what I have dóne, and put my life into your the remainder of my days shall joyfully be spent hands,
in duty, and observance of your will. Sir John. What mean you!
Sir John. Rise, madam; I do forgive you; and Doc. I have exercised my magic art upon your if you are sincere in what you say, you'll make lady; I know you have too much honour to me happier than all the enjoyments in the take away my life, since I might have still con- world, without you, could do, cealed it, had I pleased.
Job. What a pox! Am I to lose my wife thus? Sir John. You have now brought me to a
Entor Lucy and Lertice. glimpse of misery too great to bear. Is all my happiness then turned into a vision only.
Lucy. Oh, sir! the strangest accident has hapDoc. Sir, I beg you, fear not; if any harm pened! it has amazed us; my lady was in so comes of it, I freely give you leave to hang me. great a swoon, we thought she had been dead.
Sir John. Inform me what you have done. Let. And when she came to herself, she prora
Doc. I have transformed your lady's face so, ed another woman. that she seems the cobler's wife, and have charm Job. Ila, ha, ha! A bull, a bull! ed her face into the likeness of any lady's ; and Lucy. She is so changed, I knew her not; I last night, when the storm arose, ny spirits con never saw her face betore: O lud! Is this my veyed them to each other's bed.
Let. We shall be mauled again.
dream, that I am quite weary of it. TO JOBSON.) Lucy. I thought our happiness was too great — Forsooth, madam, will you please to take to last.
your clothes, and let me have mine again? Lady. Fear not, my servants. It shall here
[To Lady LOVERULE. after be my endeavour to make you happy: Job. Hold your tongue, you fool; they'll serve Sir John. Persevere in this resolution, and we you to go to church.
[Aside. shall be blest indeed for life.
Lady. No, thou shalt keep them, and I'll pre-
serve thine as reliques.
Job. And can your ladyship forgive my strap-
Lady. Most freely. The joy of this blessed
past, and think of nothing now but joy and plea-
AIR.—Hey boys, up we go! Lady. To me, 'tis the happiest day I ever Lady. Let
every face with smiles appear, knew,
Be joy in every breast; Sir John. Here, Jobson, take thy fine wife.
Since from a life of pain and care, Job. But one word, sir. Did not your worship
We now are truly blest. make a buck of me, under the rose?
Sir John. May no remembrance of past time Sir John. No, upon my honour, nor ever kiss
Our present pleasures soil ; ed her lips till I came from hunting; but since
Be nought but mirth and joy our crime, she has been a means of bringing about this
And sporting all our toil. happy change, I'll give thee five hundred pounds Job. I hope you'll give me leave to speak, home with her; go, buy a stock of leather.
If I may be so bold; Job. Brave boys! I'm a prince, the prince of There's nought but the devil, and this coblers. Come hither and kiss me, Nell ; I'll
good strap, never strap thee more.
Could ever tome a scold. [Exeunt, Nell. Indeed, Zekel, I have been in such a
SCENE I.--Sherwood Forest.
at all so. Why we are all of us lost in the dark
every day of our lives. Knaves keep us in the Enter several Courtiers, as lost. dark by their cunning, and fools by their igno1st Cour. 'Tis horrid dark! and this wood, I rance. Divines lose us in dark mysteries ; lawbelieve, has neither end nor side.
yers in dark cases; and statesmen in dark in4th Cour. You mean to get out at, for we trigues. Nay, the light of reason, which we have found one in, you see.
so much boast of, what is it but a dark lant2d Cour. I wish our good King Harry had kept horn, which just serves to prevent us from runnearer home to hunt; in my mind the pretty ning our nose against a post, perhaps ; but is Lame deer in London make much better sport no more able to lead us out of the dark inists of than the wild ones in Sherwood forest.
error and ignorance, in which we are lost, than 3d Cour. I can't tell which way his majesty an ignus fatuus would be to conduct us out of went, nor whether any body is with him or not; this wood. but let us keep together, pray.
1st Cour. But, my lord, this is no time for 4th Cour. Ay, ay, like true courtiers, take preaching, methinks. And, for all your morals, care of ourselves, whatever becomes of our ma- daylight would be much preferable to this darkster.
ness, I believe. 2d Cour. Well, it's a terrible thing to be lost 3d Cour. Indeed would it. But come, let us in the dark.
go on; we shall find some house or other by and 4th Cour. It is. And yet it's so common by. a case, that one would not think it should be 4th Cour. Come along.
Enter the King
account of himself than you have done, I proKing. No, no; this can be no public road, King. I must submit to my own authority. that's certain : I am lost, quite lost indeed. Of [Aside.] Very well, sir, I am glad to hear the what advantage is it now to be a king ? Night king has so good an officer; and since I find you shews me no respect: I cannot see better, nor bave his authority, I will give you a better acwalk so well as another man. What is a king? count of myself, if you will do me the favour to Is he not wiser than another man? Not with hear it. out his counsellors, I plainly find. Is he not Mill. It's more than you deserve, I bemore powerful? I oft have been told so, in- lieve; but, let's hear what you can say for deed; but what now can my power command? | yourself. Is he not, greater, and more magnificent? King. I have the honour to belong to the When seated on his throne, and surrounded king, as well as you ; and, perhaps, should be as with nobles and flatterers, perhaps he may unwilling to see any wrong done him. I came think so; but when lost in a wood, alas! what down with him to hunt in this forest, and, the is he but a common man? His wisdom knows chase leading us to-day a great way from home, not which is north, and which is south; his I am benighted in this wood, and have lost my power a beggar's dog would bark at; and his way. greatness the beggar would not bow' to. And Mil. This does not sound well; if you have yet, how oft are we puffed up with these false been a hunting, pray, where is your
horse ? attributes? Well, in losing the monarch, I King. I have tired my horse, so that he lay have found the man.
down under me, and I was obliged to leave [The report of a gun is heard. bim. Hark! some villain sure is near! What were Mil. If I thought I might believe this nowit best to do? Will my majesty protect me? King. I am not used to lic, honest man. No. Throw majesty aside, then, and let man Mil. What! do you live at court, and not hood do it.
lie? that's a likely story, indeed!
King. Be that as it will, I speak truth now, Enter the Miller.
I assure you; and, to convince you of it, if Mil. I believe, I hear the rogue. Who's you will attend me to Nottingham, if I am there?
near it, or give me a night's lodging in your King. No rogue, I assure you.
own house; here is something to pay you for Mil. Little better, friend, I believe. Who your trouble, and if that is not sufficient, I fired that gun?
will satisfy you in the morning to your utmost King, Not I, iodeed.
desire. Mil. You lie, I believe.
Mil. Ay, now, I am convinced, you are a King. Lie ! lie! how strange it scems to me, courtier; here is a little bribe for to-day, and to be talked to in this style. (Aside.] Upon my a large promise for to-morrow, both in a breath; word, I don't.
here, take it again, and take this along with Mil. Come, come, sirrah, confess; you have it. -John Cockle is no courtier; he can do shot one of the king's deer, have not you? what he ought without a bribe.
King. No, indeed; I owe the king more re King. Thou art a very extraordinary man, I spect. I heard a gun go off, indeed, and was must own, and I should be glad, methinks, to be afraid some robbers might have been near. farther acquainted with thee.
Mil. I'm uot bound to believe this friend. Mil. Tbee ! and thou! prithee don't thee and Pray who are you? what's your name?
thou me: I believe I am as good a man as yourKing. Name:
self at least. Mil. Name! yes, name. Why you have a King. Sir, I beg your pardon. name, have not you? Where do you come from? Mil. Nay, I am not angry, friend; only, What is your business here?
I don't love to be too familiar with any body, King. These are questions I have not been before I know whether they deserve it or used to, bonest man.
Mil. May be so; but they are questions no King. You are in the right. But what am I honest man would be afraid to answer, I think. to do? So, if you can give me no better account of Mil. You may do what you please. You are yourself
, I shall make bold to take you along twelve miles from Nottingham, and all the way with me, if you please.
through this thick wood; but, if you are resolvKing. With you! what authority have you ed upon going thither to-night, I will put you in to
the road, and direct you, the best I can; or, if Mil. The king's authority, if I must give you you will accept of such poor entertainment as an account, sir. I am John Cockle, the miller of a miller can give, you shall be welcome to stay Mansfield, one of his majesty's keepers in this all night, and, in the morning, I will with you forest of Sherwood; and I will let no suspected myself.
this way, that cannot give a better King. And cannot you go with me to-night?
Mil. I would not go with you to-night, if you | See who's there. O heavens! 'tis he! Alas! were the king.
that ever I should be ashamed to see the man I King. Then I must go with you, I think. love!
distance, she weeping. SCENE II.—The Town of Mansfield. Dick. Well, Peggy (but I suppose you're ma
dam now, in that fine dress), you see, you have Dick alone.
brought me back; is it to triumph in your falseWell, dear Mansfield, I am glad to see thy face hood! or, am I to receive the slighted leavings
your fine lord? again. But my heart aches, metbiuks, for fear this should be only a trick of theirs, to get me done you, I cannot look on you without con
Peg. O Richard ! after the injury I have into their power. Yet, the letter seems to be fusion: But do not think so hardly of me: I wrote with an air of sincerity, I confess; and
stayed not to be slighted by him; for, the mothe girl was never used to lie, till she kept a
ment I discovered his vile plot on you, I Med Jord's
's company. Let me see, I'll read it once his sight; nor could he ever prevail to see me inore.
since. · Dear Richard,
Dick. Ah, Peggy! you were too hasty in be
lieving; and much I fear, the vengeance aim· I am at last (though much tooed at me, had other charms to recommend it to late for me) convinced of the injury done to us you; such bravery as that (Pointing to her both, by that base man, who made me think you clothes.] I had not to bestow; but, if a tenfalse. He contrived these letters which I send der, honest heart could please, you had it you, to make me think you just upon the point of all; and, if I wished for more, 'twas for your being married to another, a thought I could not sake. bear with patience; so, aiming at revenge on Peg. O Richard! when you consider the wickyou, consented to my own undoing. But, for ed stratagein he contrived, to make me think your own sake, I beg you to return hither, for you base and deceitful, I hope you will, at I have some hopes of being able to do you justice, least, pity my folly, and, in some measure, exwhich is the only comfort of your most distressed, cuse my falschood; that you will forgive me, I but ever affectionate,
dare not hope. PEGGY.
Dick. To be forced to fly from my friends
and country, for a crime that I was innocent There can be no cheat in this, sure ! The letters of, is an injury that I cannot easily forgive, to she has sent, are, I think, a proof of her since be sure: But, if you are less guilty of it than rity. Well, I will go to her, however : I can- I thought, I shall be very glad; and, if your not think she will again betray me. If she has design be really, as you say, to clear me, and as much tenderness left for me, as, in spite of to expose the baseness of him that betrayed her ill usage, I still feel for her, I'm sure she and ruined you, I will join with you, with won't. Let me see ! I am not far from the all my heart. But how do you propose to do house, I believe.
Peg. The king is now in this forest a-hunt. SCENE III.-A room.
ing, and our young lord is every day with him :
Now, I think, if we could take some opportuEnter Peggy and PHÊBE.
nity of throwing ourselves at his majesty's feet,
and complaining of the injustice of one of his Phæbe. Pray, madam, make yourself easy. courtiers, it might, perhaps, bave some effect
Peg. Ah, Phæbe! she that has lost her vir- upon him. tue, has, with it, lost her ease, and all her hap Dick, If we were suffered to make him sensin piness. Believing, cheated fool ! to think him ble of it, perhaps it might; but the complaints false.
of such little folks as we, seldom reach the ears Phæbe. Be patient, madam; I hope, you of majesty. will shortly be revenged on that deceitful Peg. We can but try. lord.
, if you will go with me to my faPeg. I hope I shall, for that were just re. ther's, and stay there, till such an opportunity venge! But, will revenge make me liappy? Will happens, I shall believe you in earnest, and will it excuse my falsehood? Will it restore me to join with you in your design. the heart of my much injured love! Ah, no! Peg. I will do any thing to convince you of That blooming innocence he used to praise, and my sincerity, and to make satisfaction for the call the greatest beauty of our sex, is gone! I injuries which have been done you. have no charm left, that might renew that Dick. Will you go now? fame, I took such pains to quench.
Peg. I'll be with you in less than an hour. [Knocking at the door.