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—yet, when I see you in the character of a chambermaid— 87

Ros. It is the only character, my dear, in which I could hope to lie concealed; and, I can tell you, I was reduced to the last extremity, when in consequence of our old boarding-school friendship, I applied to you to receive me in this capacity: for we expected the parties the very next week.

Luc. But had not you a message from your intended spouse, to let you know he was as little inclined to such ill-concerted nuptials as you were?

Ros. More than so; he wrote to advise me, by all means, to contrive some method of breaking them off, for he had rather return to his dear studies at Oxford; and after that, what hopes could I have of being happy with him? Joi

Luc. Then you are not at all uneasy at the strange rout you must have occasioned at home? I warrant, during this month you have been absent—

Ros. Oh! don't mention it, my dear; I have had so many admirers, since I commenced Abigail, that I am quite charmed with my situation—But hold, who stalks yonder in the yard, that the dogs are so glad to see 1

Luc. Daddy Hawthorn, as I live! He is come to pay my father a visit; and never more luckily, for he always forces him abroad. By the way, what will you do with yourself while I step into the house to see after my trusty messenger, Hodge?

B

Ros. No matter, I'll sit down in that arbour, and listen to the singing of the birds : you know I am fond of melancholy amusements.

Luc. So it seems, indeed: sure, Rossetta, none of your admirers had power to touch your heart; you are not in love, I hope? lao

Ros. In love! that's pleasant : who do you suppose I should be in love with, pray?

Luc. Why, let me see What do you think of

Thomas, our gardener? There he is, at the other end of the walk—He's a pretty young man, and the servants say, he's always writing verses on you.

Ros. Indeed, Lucinda, you are very silly.

Luc. Indeed, Rossetta, that blush makes you look, very handsome.

Ros. Blush? I am sure I don't blush. 130

Luc. Ha, ha, ha!

Ros. Pshaw, Lucinda, how can you be so ridiculous?

Luc. Well, don't be angry, and I have done .

But suppose you did like him, how could you help yourself?

AIR.

When once Love's subtile poison gains

A passage to thefemale breast,
Lihe lightning rushing through the veins,

Each wish, and every thought's possest: 140

To heal the pangs our minds endure,
Reason in vain its shill applies;

Nought can afford the heart a cure.
But what is pleasing to the eyes.

SCENE H.

Enter Young Meadows.

Y. Mea. Let me see—on the fifteenth of June, at half an hour past five in the morning [tahing out a pochet booh] I left my father's house, unknown to any one, having made free with a coat and jacket of our gardener's, which fitted me, by way of a disguise: so says my pocket-book; and, chance directing me to this village, on the twentieth of the same month I procured a recommendation to the worshipful Justice Woodcock, to be the superintendant of his pumpkins and cabbages, because I would let my father see, I chose to run any lengths, rather than submit to what his obstinacy would have forced me, a marriage against my inclination, with a woman I never saw. [Puts up the booh, and tahes up a watering-pot.] Here I have been three weeks, and in that time I am as much altered, as if I changed my nature with my habit. 'Sdeath, to fall in love with a chambermaid! And yet, if I could forget that I am the son and heir of Sir William Meadows—But that's impossible. 163 AIR.

0! had I been by fate decreed

Some humble cottage swain;
In fair Rossetta'i sight tofeed

My sheep upon the plain;
What bliss had I been born to taste,

Which now I ne'er must hnow P
Ye envious pow'rs I why have ye plac' d 170

My fair one's lot so low t

Ha! who was it I had a glimpse of as I past by that arbour! Was it not she sat reading there! the trembling of my heart tells me my eyes were not mistaken —Here she comes.

SCENE nr.

Young Meadows, Rossetta.

Ros. Lucinda was certainly in the right of it, and yet I blush to own my weakness even to myself— Marry, hang the fellow for not being a gentleman.

Y. Mea. I am determined I won't speak to her {turning to a rose-tree, and pluching the flowers.] Now or never is the time to conquer myself: besides, I have some reason to believe the girl has no aversion to me: and, as I wish not to do her an injury, it would be cruel to fill her head with notions of what can never happen, [hums a tune.'} Pshaw! rot these roses, how they prick one's fingers!

Ros. He takes no notice of me; but so much the better, I'll be as indifferent as he is. I am sure the poor lad likes me; and if I was to give him any encouragement, I suppose the next thing he talked of, would be buying a ring, and being asked in church— Oh, dear pride, I thank you for that thought, 191

Y. Mea. Hah, going without a word! a look! —I can't bear that—Mrs. Rossetta, I am gathering a few roses here, if you please to take them in with you.

Ros. Thank you, Mr. Thomas, but all my lady's flower-pots are full.

Y. Mea. Will you accept of them for yourself, . then? [catching hold of her.] What's the matter? you look as if you were angry with me.

Ros. Pray let go my hand.

Y. Mea. Nay, pr'ythee, why is this? you shan't go, I have something to say to you.

Ros. Well, but I must go, I will go; I desire, Mr. Thomas—

AIR.

Gentle youth, ah, tell me why
Still you force me thus tofly?
Cease, oh I cease, to persevere;
Speah not what I must not hear;
To my heart its ease restore;
Co, and never ste me mote.

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