Page images
PDF
EPUB

him? [Goes up, meets Stripe, who is c'ossing-speaks in dumb show. Stripe points L. Exit Littleton Coke, R and Stripe, L.

Katè. Alice, dear, what's to be done ?

Lady A. They must not fight, because we can't spare either of them.

Kate. But, do you-do you think, dear, we shall have tomto-exchange them?

Ludy A, I don't know, love; but it's very likely; I never was run away with before: but, I believe, people in such predicaments always do marry, dear, if they can.A distant gun.] What's that ?

Enter STRIPE, L. Stripe. Ready, guard, the Colonel comes--that's the signal

Kate. Oh, Alice, I dare not meet him.
Lady A. And I am ashamed !
Rock. (Outside.] Guard-
Kate. Here, in this pagoda. Quick !

They enter the pagoda, R. Enter COLONEL ROCKET, L., followed by Tom COKE, LORD

POMPION, and LADY POMPION. Rock. So! gond! guard, turn in. (Exeunt the men, L.] Stripe !

[Crosses to e. Stripe. Colonel ! Rock. [With suppressed rage.] The reports ?

Stripe. Nothing, sir, particular, till past two this morning Rock. And thenStripe. Two carriages arrived half an hour apart. Rock. Whom did they contain ?

Stripe. The first, Miss Rocket, and an old gentleman, in the last, only a lady.

Lady P. My niece! I knew that girl would come to some shocking end.

Tom. But she was alone.
Stripe. Alone!
Tom. (Aside.] There's a sovereign for you.

Rock. Stripe-dismiss. [Stripe salutes and exit, 1.They all look at each other.

Tom. (Aside.] I feel as if my heart was returned to my body.

Retires up stage. Lord P. Calm yourself, my dear Colonel-observe my imperturbability. Your daughter has, unfortunately, eloped with her own groom; a buzz—three days' amusing variations of the story, and it is forgotten. Perhaps you will be kind enough to tell my niece that we await her here.

Rock. As for the rascally footboy, I'll kick him into Chodah-Kate will keep, but let me only catch that old intriguer. Excuse me, your ladyship till I've found him I'm not fit to play the host. [Goes into the house, R.

Lady P. Where can Charles bę ?

Lord P. I heard the shouts as we passed-perhaps they are chairing him.

Lady P. Mr. Coke, favour me with your arm—the excitement has quite unnerved me.

[Tom and Lady Pompion go up, and into the house, R. Lord P. 'Tis done-they are wedded—I'm sure of it.

Enter Lord ROEBUCK, R. Roe. Where can this old—my father! Lord P. Charles, or is it a

Roe. Of course, my lord, you have discovered all-if not, I am not in the vein to deceive you longer.

Lord P. What do you mean?

Roe. That to achieve the hopes of my heart, I was induced to assume the disguise in which we met last night.

Lord P. Then you were-
Roe. The groom to Miss Rocket.
Lord P. And you are—are married to her ?
Roe, I-I

Lord P. Don't speak, sir-I know-I've been duped, and by my own son.

Lord Charles ! what excuse-what -what-Where's that meddling old fellow ? This is his doing—his work—I'll find him—and let him know the consequences of thwarting a minister of state, and a peer of the realm.

[Exit Lord Pompion into house, R. Roe. And I, to show him how his folly has severed two young hearts for ever. [Exit Roebuck into house, R.

Enter Rural, at the back, R. U. E. Rur. Bless me, what a run I've had-joy has given me

youth again, and I really did have a scamper--yes--butStaggers. Ah! these old limbs--these old limbs.

[Sits on a garden chair, c Re-enter LORD POMPION from house, R. Lord P. Oh!-at last-I have found you, sir!

COLONEL ROCKET rushes down from the house, R.
Rock. Aba! Here you are, are you?
Rur. Yes, my dear friends, here I am.
Rock. Let me contain myself, and respect

his
age

and his profession. Harkye, sir, are you not ashamed of yourself?

Rur. [Aside.] Oh, here come the reproaches. Yes; ha! ha! I am-I am..

Lord P. To connive at the abduction of a young lady by her own groom.

Rur. Ha! ha!-{Aside.] He told me not to heed his anger that he would assume it for policy~I won't.(Aloud, and in Lord Pompion's face.] Ha! ha! ha!

Lord P. And by what authority did you marry my son, sir ?

Rur. {Aside.] Ha! ha! ha! and he told me to do it oh, the hypocrite.—[Aloud.] Ha! ha! ha!

Rock. I respect your position, sir, but-
Rur. Ha! ha! ha!
Lord P. Mr. Rural, this is indecent.
Rur. Ha! ha! ha! ha! [Retires up, L., with Lord P.

Rock. If I remain, I shall forget myself.
Enter Lady ALICE HAWTHORN, LITTLETON COKE, Miss

ROCKET, and ROEBUCK, R. U. E. Rur. Aha! at last, they are here, my blest ones, and I am free--give me your hands. [Crosses to Roebuck.

Roe. When you have severed our hearts for ever?
Rur. Eh?

Kate, Oh, sir, you have destroyed the only hope of my existence.

Rur. What!

Lady A. What could have actuated you to such a deed ? or did you betray us to the Earl and the Colonel, and agree to compromise us into obedience.

Rur. Bless me-Littleton

Lit. Do not look to me for help.

Rur. l-ah-[Aside,] the rascal is keeping up the joke, because the old people are here.

Lady A. Exonerate yourself, sir.
Rur. Ha !
Roe. What excuse can you
Rur. Ha! ha!
Kate. You could not have mistaken.
Rur. Ha! ha! ha!
Lit. Can you not see, sir, this is reality?
Rur. Ha! ha!--[Chokes a laugh,] ha!
Lit. Is my ruin a subject for your mirth?
Rur. Ha! ha! (In wonder, but continuing to laugh.
1.ady A. It is inhuman!
Rur. Ha! ha! ha!

Lit. Or have you—yes, her suspicions are true, and you have betrayed me.

Rur. Ha! ha! ha!

Lit. And over such a deed, you can laugh—farewell for ever!

[Rural bursts into a paroxysm of hysterical and con

vulsive laughter, Lady Alice Hawthorn runs to Rural on one side, Miss Rocket on the other, while Roebuck and Littleton Coke walk up and down on

opposite sides. Lady A. Don't weep, it was no fault of your's—you would have aided our love if our foolish

young

hearts had not puzzled your kind old head.

Rur. He's gone! he's gone !

Lit. No, my deur friend, (Littleton goes to Rural and embraces him, pardon-my cruelty to you: I have slighted your affection, (Looking at Lady A.] and for what?

Rur. Bless my heart! but I have ruined you.
Lit. No!
Rur. I have, I know I have.--I have ruined

my

child -my-oh, forgive me, will you, Littleton ?

Lit. How shall I forgive myself; come, we will leave this place. (Rural gets up and clings to him.] Lady Alice, one word, before I go.

Lady A. You shall not, till you have forgiven me.
Lit. Forgiven !
Kate. Charles, I do repent my cruelty.

(Rural goes up with Littleton, Roebuck, and Miss Rocket, R., Colonel Rocket and ihe Earl speak, R.

Enter Tom COKE from the house, R. Rock. I trust, my lord, you do not suspect I had any hand in this affair ?

Lord P. Let us make the best of it. I have reasons for wishing that the particulars should not be investigated.

Rock. There, Kate, I don't forgive you for outflanking your old father; but, [Whispers,] damme, girl, you're right, he's a dashing fellow.

[Crosses to Kate, and goes up, c. Tom. May I beg a moment of your ladyship’s attention ?

Lady A. Certainly. [They advance, the rest retire a little.

Tom. A'm-a-a man of few words, and I don't think you loike me less for being honest. A've none of the ways that the gay young fellows about town cultivate to win women's hearts with because I never in my life intended to win but one, and I meant that should be my wife's.

Lady A. I believe you.

Tom. A-ahem.--(Aside.] This wants more than hanesty, I find. (Pauses-at last loud and bluntly.) A've two estates in Yorkshire-a’ve twenty coal pits, and an iron hole-a've—a've four thousand honest pounds a-year to spend, and a've a true English heart, very much at your ladyship's service-and a've-a've-that's all-[A pause,

- don't hesitate-be honest, as I am-say yes-or

[ocr errors]

o-no.

Lady A. Honestly-I must say—110.

Tom. Well-a-that-is-at-least-bonest. Yes it is—it ism-[He is affected,] and [Huskily,] may I ask you a straightforward question ?

Lady A. Yes.
Tom. Do you love another?
Lady A. I do.

Tom. That's honest, too-oh, I loike it-and--ahem, that other Lady A. Is

your brother. Tom. Littleton ? Lady A. Yes. Tom Thank you-I-that is--thank you (She retires)

« PreviousContinue »