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When a' they ettle at-their greatest wish,
Is to be made o', and obtain a kiss ?
Can there be toil in tending day and night
The like o' them, when love maks care delight ?
JENNY. But poortith, Peggy, is the warst o'a';
Gif o'er your heads ill-chance should begg'ry draw,
But little love or canty cheer cau come
Frae duddy doublets, and a pantry toom.
Your nowt may die-the spate may bear away
Frae aff the holms your dainty rucks o' hay.
The thick-blawn wreaths o'shaw, or blashy thows,
May smoor your wethers, and may rot your ewes.
A dyvour buys your butter, woo, and cheese,
But, or the day o' payment, breaks, and flees.
Wi' gloomiu' brow, the laird seeks in his rent;
It's no to gie; your merchant's to the bent.
His honour maunna want--he poinds your gear ;
Syne, driven frae house and hald, where will ye steer ?
Dear Meg, be wise, and live a single life;
Troth, it's nae mows to be a married wife.
PEGGY. May sic ill-luck befa' that silly she
Wha has ric fears, for that was never me.
Let fouk bode weel, and strive to do their best;
Nae inair 's required : let Heaven mak out the rest.
I've heard my honest uncle aften say,
That lads should a' for wives that 's virtuous pray ;
For the maist thrifty man could never get
A weel-stored room, unless his wife wad let:
Wherefore nocht shall be wanting on my part,
To gather wealth to raise my shepherd's heart :
Whate'er he wins, I'll guide wi' canny care,
And win the vogue at market, tron,
For halesome, clean, cheap, and sufficient ware.
A flock o'lambs, cheese, butter, and some woo,
Shall first be sald to pay the laird his due;
Syue a' behind 's our ain. Thus without fear,
Wi’ love and rowth, we through the warld will steer;
And when my Pate in bairns and gear grows rife,
He'li bless the day he gat me for his wife.
JENNY. But what if some young giglet on the green,, Wi’ dimpled cheeks and twa bewitching een, Should gar your Patie think his half-worn Meg, And her kenned kisses, hardly worth a feg?
PEGGY. Nae mair o'that-- Dear Jenny, to be free, There's some men constanter in love than we: Nor is the ferly great, when nature kind Hast blest them wi' solidity o' mind. They'll reason calmiy, and wi' kindness smile, When our short passions wad our peace beguile : Sae, whenso'er they slight their maiks at hame, It's ten to ane the wives are maist to blame. Then I'll employ wi' pleasure a' my art To keep him cheerfu', and secure his heart. At e'en, when he come weary frae the hill, I'll ha’é a' things made ready to his will; Iu winter, when he toils through wind and rain, A bleezing ingle, and a clean hearthstane; And soon as he flings by his plaid and staff. The seething pat's be ready to tak aff; Clean h:g-a-bag I'll spread upon his board, And serve him wi' the best we c'n afford; Good-humour and white bigonets shall be
Guards to my face to keep his love for me.
JENNY. A dish o'married love right soon grows cauld,
And dosens down to nane, as fouk grow auld.
PEGGY But we'll grow auld thegither, and n'er find
The loss o' youth, when love grows on the mind.
Bairns and their bairns mak sure a firmer tie,
Than aught in love the like of us can spy.
See yon twa elms that grow up side by side,
Suppose them some year syne bridegroom and bride:
Nearer and nearer ilka year they've prest,
Till wide their spreading branches are increast.
And in their misture now are fully blest :
This shields the ither frae the eastlin blast,
That, in return, defends it frae the wast.
Sic as stand single-a state sae liked by you !-
Beneath ilk storm, frae every airt, maun bow.
JENNY. I've done-1 yield, dear lassie; I maan yield ;
Your better sense has fairly won the field.
DRAMATISTS. The dramatic literature of this period was, like its general poetry, polished and artificial. In tragedy, the highest name is that of Southerne, who may claim, with Otway, the power of touching the passions, yet bis language is feeble compared with that of the great dramatists, and his general style low and unimpressive. Addison's *Cato' is more properly a classical poem than a dramitas cold and less vigorous than the tragedies of Junson. In comedy, the national taste is apparent in its faithful and witty delineations of polished lite, of which Wycherley and Congreve had set the example, and which was well continued by Farqular and Vanbrugh. Beaumont and Fletcher first introduced what may be called comedies of intrigue, borrowed from the Spanish drama; and the innovation appears to lave been congenial to the English taste, for it still pervades our comic literature. The vigorous exposure of the immorality of the stage by Jeremy Collier, and the essays of Steele and Addison, improving the taste and moral feeling of the public, a partial reformation took place of those nuisances of the drama which the Restoration had introduced. The Master of the Revels, by whom all plays had to be licensed, also aided in this work of retrenchment; but a glance at even those improved plays of the reign of William III. and his successors, will shew that ladies frequenting the theatres had still occasion to wear masks, which Colley Cibber says they usually did or the production of a new play.
THOMAS SOUTHERNE. THOMAS SOUTHERNE (1659-1746) may be classed either with the last or the present period. His life was long, extended, and prosper
He was a native of Dublin, but came to England, and enrolled himself in the Middle Teinple as a student of law. He afterwards entered the army, and held the rank of captain under the Duke of
York, at the time of Monmouth's insurrection. His latter days were spent in retirement, and in the possession of a considerable fortune.
Southerne wrote ien plays, but only two exhibit bis characteristic powers, namely ‘Isabella, or the Fatal Marriage,' and `Oroonoko.' The latter is founded on an actual occurrence; Oroonoko, an African prince, having been stolen from his native kingdom of Angola, and carried to one of the West India islands. The impassioned grandeur of Oroonoko's sufferings, his burst of horror and indignation at the slave-trade, and his unhappy passion for Imoinda, are powerful and pathetic. In the following scene, the hero and heroine unexpectedly meet after a long absence :
OROONOKO. My soul steals from my body through my eyes ;
All that is left of life I'll gaze away,
And die upon the pleasure.
Lieut. This is strange!
Oroo. If you but mock me with her image here:
If she be not Imoinda-
[She looks upon him and falls into a swoon; he runs to her.
Ha! she faints !
Nay, then, it must be she-it is Imoinda!
My heart confesses her, and leaps for joy,
To welcome her to her own empire here.
(Kisses her. Imoinda ! oh, thy Oroonoko calls.
IMOINDA (recovering). My Oroonoko! Oh! I can't believe
What any man can say.
But if I am
To be deceived, there's something in that name,
That voice, that face-
[Stares at him, Oh ! if I know myself, I cannot be mistaken.
OROO. Never here :
You cannot be mistaken: I am yours,
Your Oroonoko, all that you would have;
Your tender, loving husband.
IMO. All, indeed,
That I would have : my husband! then I am
Alive, and waking to the joys I feel :
They were so great, I could not think 'em true;
But I believe all that you say to me:
For truth itself, and everlasting love
Grows in this breast, and pleasure in these arms.
Oroo. Take, take me all; inquire into my heart
You know the way to every secret there
My heart, the sacred treasury of love:
And if, in absence, I have disemployed
A mite from the rich store ; if I have spent
A wish, a sigh, but what I sent to you,
May I be cursed to wish and sigh in vain,
And you not pity me.
IMO. Oh! I believe,
And know you by myself. If these sad eyes,
Since last we parted, have beheld the face
Of any comfort, or once wished to see
The light of any other heaven but you,
May I be struck this moment blind, and loge
Your blessed sight, never to find you more.
OROO. Imoinda! Oh! this separation
Has made you dearer, if it can be so,
Than you were ever to me.
Like a kind star to my laenighted steps,
To guide me on my way to happiness :
I cannot miss it now. Governor, friend,
You think me inad: but let me bless you all,
Who anyways have been the instruments
Of finding her again. Imoinda 's found !
And everything that I would have in her.
BLAND. Sir, we congratulate your happiness; I do most heartily.
LIEUT. And all of us : but how it come to pass-
OROO. That would require
More precious time than I can spare you now.
I have a thousand things to ask of her,
And she as many mcre to know of me.
But you have made me happier, I confess,
Acknowledge it, much happier than I
Have words or power to tell you. Captain, you,
Even you, who most have wronged me, I forgive.
I will not say you have betrayed ine now:
I'll think you but the minister of fate,
To bring me to my loved Imoinda here.
IMO. How, how shall I receive you ? how be worthy
Of such endearments, all this tenderness ?
These are the transports of prosperity,
When fortune smiles upon us.
Oroo. Let the fools
Who follow fortune live upon her smiles;
All our prosperity is placed in love ;
We have enough of that to make us happy.
This little spot of earth you stand upon
Is more to me than the extended plains
Of my great father's kingdom. Here I reign
In full delights, in joys to power unknown ;
Your love my empire, and your heart my throne.
(Exeunt. Mr. Hallam says that Southerne was the first English writer who denounced (in this play) the traffic in slaves and the cruelties of their West Indian bondage. This is an honour which should never be omitted in any mentiou of the dramatist. Isabella' is more correct and regular ihan 'Oroonoko,' and the part of the heroine affords scope for a tragic actress, scarcely inferior in pathos to Belvidera. Otway, however, has more depth of passion, and more vigorous delineation of character. The plot of Isabella' is simple. In abject distress, and believing her husband, Biron, to be deac, Isabella is hurried into a second marriage. Biron returns, and the distress of the heroine terminates in madness and death. Comic scenes are interspersed throughout Southerne's tragedies, which, though they re. lieve the sombre colouring of the main action and interest of the piece, are sometimes misplaced and unpleasant.
Return of Biron.
A Chamber-Enter ISABELLA.
ISABELLA, I've heard of witches, magic spells, and charms,
That have made nature start from her old course ;
The sun has been eclipsed, the moon drawn down
From her career, still paler, and subdued
To the abuses of this under worid.
Now I believe all possible. This ring,
This little ring, with uecromantic force,
Has raised the ghost of pleasure to my fears;
Conjured the sense of honour and of love
Into such shapes, they fright me from myself !
I dare not think of them.
NURSE. Madam, the gentleman 's below.
Isa. I had forgot; pray, let me speak with him.
This ring was the first present of my love
To Biron, my first husband; I must blush
To think I have a second. Biron died
(Still to loss) at Cazdy ; there's my hope.
Oh, do I live to hope that he died there?
It must be so; he's dead, and this ring left,
By his last breath, to some known faithful friend,
To bring me back again;
That's all I have to trust to.
Enter BIRON—(ISABELLA looking at him.)
My fears were woman's--I have viewed him all;
And let me let me say '. to myself,
I live again, and rise but from his tomb.
BIRON. Have you forgot me quite ?
Isa. Forgot you!
BIR. Then farewell my disguise, and my misfortunes!
My Isabella !
(He goes to her ; she shrinks, and faints. Isa. Ha!
BIR. Oh! come again ;
Thy Biron summons thee to life and love;
Thy once-loved, ever-loving husband calls-
Thy Biron speaks to thee.
Excess of love and joy, for my return,
Has overpowered her. I was to blame
To take thy sex's softness unprepared ;
But sinking thus, thus dying in iny arms,
This ecstacy has made my welcome more
Than words could say. Words may be counterfeit,
False coined, and current only from the tongue,
Without the mind; but passion's in the soul,
And always speaks the heart.
ISA. Where have I been? Why do you keep him from me ?
I know his voice; my life, upon the wing,
Hears the soft lure that brings ine back again;
"Tis he himself, my Biron.
Do I hold you fast,
Never to part again ?
If I must fall, death 's welcome in these arms.
Bır. Live ever in these arms.
Isa. But pardon me:
Excuse the wild disorder of my soul;
The joy, the strange, surprising joy of seeing you,
Of seeing you again, distracted me.
Bir. Thou everlasting goodness!
ISA. Answer' me:
What haud of Providence has brought you back
To your own home again ?
Oh, tell me all,
For every thought confounds me.
BIR. My best life! at leisure all.
Isa. We thought you dead; killed at the siege of Candy,
Bir. There I fell among the dead;