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Rur. [To Lady Pompion.] Your ladyship, may I entreat your sympathy and beneficence in favour of a subscription I am raising for a poor creature, a widow with eight children ?
Lady P. Widows never appear to have less—have I been the case in the Morning Post ?
Rur. Not I am aware of.
Lady P. Pray, sir, let me see your list-what people of importance have subscribed ? (To Coke.] one gets one's name mixed
with such canaille in these charities. [To Rural.] In whose name, sir, is it raised, pray?
Rur. In that of the most bountiful Dispenser of all Good. Lady P. Ah! sorry—we are not acquainted.
[ Turns away and takes coffee from Servant. Lord P. Colonel Rocket, a word. [They advance. Rock. My lord ?
[Lord P. takes him into R. corner and speaks apart. Lady A. [To Tom.] Ha! ha! you strange creature-I declare I will storm Sykes Hall next September.
Lit. [Aside.] This is done to torture me--and succeeds.
Tom. I'd ask no better.
Lit. Really, I-[Aside.] Damn the dog! [Coming down.] I can suffer this agony no longer-although she may despise my want of pride in suing her after my exhibition of ill-temper-what would I give to be able to affect her indifference ? No! after all my oaths to bring her to submission first-Here I go !
[Goes up and joins Lady A. Lord P. (Aside to Rock.] In a word, Colonel Rocket, your attentions are thrown away-My dear sir, recollect --the son of a peer!
Lord P. With all respect-I have (ther views for him, and, excuse my candour—but the Pompions came over after the Battle of Hastings, and have never yet mingled with anything but Norman blood.
Rock. Damn it, my lord, Kate Rocket need not look up to blood royal-her mother was the Begum of Currypore, princess of the first caste; she was the only one of her family my guns had left alive—I took her in a brisk charge after she had shot two horses under me, no offence, my lord—but her ladyship don't show such blood as that.
Lord P. No! My Countess is not of a fusileer family -pardon me, I feel my honesty is almost plebeian, but should your daughter's name suffer by contact with my son's, don't blame him.
[Goes up, R. Rock. Blame! certainly not, I'll blow his brains out! (Calls.) Kate! Kate. (Rises.] Colonel !
[Joins him. Rock. (Aside.) We leave this house to-morrow. Kate. Aside. To-morrow! (Looks at Roebuck.
Rock. Orders given, no appeal-duty-damme-ha! ha! that peer is as proud of—of the Norman puddle that stagnates in his heart, as if his country had ever seen any of it-ha! Battle of Hastings ! ha! a pretty affair that must have been, when there's no mention of it in the Army List! ha! damme if I think there ever was such a battle.
Roe. (To Lord P., who has been speaking aside to him.] Be careful! wherefore, my lord ?
Lord P. [To Roebuck.] I have discovered that all the Government interest he possesses is confined to 3 per cent. on 50001., and he is no more an East India Director than my valet. Need I say more?
[Goes up, c. Littleton leaves Lady Alice, who has been devoting
herself to Tom, and advances. Lit. 'Tis useless. I have yielded up my will, soul, and all to her-I cannot escape her torture-struggling wounds me more than patient suffering. Heaven-to what despicable slavery can manhood be reduced !
Rur. (Joining him. My dear boy, what's the matter? why do you look so darkly at Tom ? is he not your brother ?
Lit. Is he so ?—why then has he crossed me though life--has he not devoured my inheritance-am I 100 a beggar?
Rur. No-not while a roof and crust are mine. Littleton--listen to me--I left my cure, my people in the coun. try, for the holy purpose of uniting you again: I entered this wilderness to bring back a lost sheep.
Lit. Then you should have come unaccompanied by tho wolf-I care not to avow it-I am madly in love.
[Crosses, L. Rur. My goodness !
Lit. Servilely-despicably-meanly--infatuated-willing-anxious to exchange degrading worship for contempt, to return blind grovelling adoration for iudifference !
Rur. The dear impetuous boy.
Lit. Look around you, and judge if I have cause for misery.
[Goes up and seats himself, R. Rur. Misery-cause-let me see! (Puts on his spectacles, looks round, sees Roebuck and Miss Rocket.) Oh! oh! ob! there it is-well-poor Littleton ! perhaps I can do something here! it may not be hopeless.
[Tom comes down, L. Tom. 'Tis my opinion there's honest nature in that girl, and wholesome feeling, too—I'll wait, and see if it be his Jordship's Burgundy, or my reason, that's at work upon my heart-Minister!
[Rural adrances, R. Rur. Well, Tom. Tom. You noticed yon blithe lass, I'm thinking. Rur. I did, Tom.
Tom. Do't again— I'm not clear about it; but it's more than likely I'm in love. Rur. Bless
remarkable ! Tom. I have hesitated, minister, because I thought Lit. tleton did seem that way
inclined. Rur. Thank heaven, I can answer no to that !-- no, Tom, he is in love, but 'tis there. (Points to Miss Rocket.
Tom. Ar't sure ?
Tom. 'Tis loike him to drag a poor, trusting, loving girl from comfort here to share his discontent.
(Goes up, L. • Rur. I'm determined-yes, that will do—the bequest ieft me by the father of these boys, I have never thought of till this moment—'tis not a fortune, but with my vicarage--enough-enough-Littleton shall have her-I-I will provide for all—they shall come to me, and my liappiness will be too much more than I deserve; then Tom will relent, I know his good heart, and I shall be blessed in their union once again !--how shall I begin ?
| Thinks apart.
Enter the GROOM OF THE CHAMBERS, L., with shawls.
Lord P. (Advancing c.] Mr. Coke, a seat in our box is at your service. (Tom crosses to Lady P. and shawls her, then crosses back to Lady Alice.
Tom. Oh, too happy, [To Lady Alice, does your la. dyship accompany us?
Lady A. I don't mind, though I have a box of my own on the pit tier-Russell, have they sent my Brougham ?
Serv. Not yet, my lady.
Lady A. Then, I'll follow you, for I hate three in a chariot.
Lady P. Charles, dear, do take Bichon to his valet. I think he's sleepy.
Lord P. Colonel, shall we stroll down to the house?
Rock. Your lordship’s pardon—I've an appointment at my club—the Oriental.
Lady A. Here, one of you men, run and see if my carriage is come. [To Littleton. You'll do, and ask my footman if the lorgnette is in the pocket. There, do go, run. [Exit Littleton Coke, L.] Colonel, [Taking Rockets arm, suppose you propose me at the Oriental?
Rock. Would you not prefer being a member of the Jockey Club ?
Lady A. No; I could amuse myself with your old drolls, but nothing appears to me so slow as your
soi-disant Come, do propose me. Rock. You would kill us all off with laughing in a week. Lady A. Do, now!
Rock. No, no. (Exeunt talking, L. Lady Pompion and Tom go out, L., Kate, following Roebuck, with dog shauled up, is going, R.
Roe. [Dropping the dog.] Miss Rocket, one word.
Kate. Don't detain me!--[Aside.] I must let him know how valuable his time is, or he will let me go.-[Aloud.] Let me say farewell, my father leaves town to-morrow.
Roe. Tomorrow !-then there is no time for delicacy.
Kate. Not a mom-that is, I mean, let me go-how 1 tremble
Roe. Lean on me!
Kate. Thank you.
I am so faintRoe. Do, if we are discovered ! Kate. I will. What am I saying ?
Rur. [Aside-coming down, R.] How ve y extraordina. ry--here's more love. It appears to me that the young people in this house don't do anything else.
Roe. [ While Miss Rocket hides her face in her hands.] Kate-dear Kate-need words pass between us, doesn't this speak for itself? Your father's tyranny will defeat itself, and excuse this precipitation of an avowal.
Kate. My father's tyranny !-you mean that of the severe and haughty earl.
Koe. No, dearest, fear nothing from him-I am his son, is true, and, as such, will yield him the obedience I ought. But 'tis to my children, not to my father, that I am answerable for the choice of my heart -- I claim, therefore, my freedom and your hand-assure me that I have won it. Kate. Spare me a reply—but, my
fatherRoe. On what pretext can he withhold his consent? Kate. On the earl's dislike to our union.
Roe. Ha! I see-my father has already spoken to the colonel—that accounts for his sudden departure.
Kate. I fear so--but don't mind papa, he's nobody-
Kate. Yes—so is his obedience-he's a dear, noisy old man-the worst-tempered, best-hearted creature in the world; he's fond of reviewing, so I let him burn his powder, and then I march him home again-ha! ha!
Roe. I took him for a tyrant.
Kate. He ? why he has the heart of a woman-when my mother died, before I was two years old, I've heard that he would watch me like a nurse_fearing to touch me, but envying the Ayeh to whom I was confided. Roe. But
had some female relatives ? Kate. Not one-nor did I feel their absence. I felt myself, as our mess-room used to toast me,
" the fair colonel.” Oh, Charles, you will love him so—could you have seen him as I have, under the scorching sun of india, pacing along the ranks, trying to inspect the men with a regulation frown, and swearing down their honest murmurs of “ bless his old wig and spurs,” 'till, suffocated