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This girl is a riddle—That she loves me, I think there is no room to doubt; she takes a thousand opportunities to let me see it: and yet, when I speak to her, she will hardly give me an answer; and, if I attempt the smallest familiarity, is gone in an instant—I feel my passion for her, grow every day more and more violent—Well, would I marry her?—would I make a mistress of her if I could ?—Two things, called prudence and honour, forbid either. What am I pursuing, then? A shadow. Sure my evil genius laid this snare in my way. However, there is one comfort, it is in my power to fly from it; if so, why do I hesitate 1 I am distracted, unable to determine any thing.
Still in bopes to get the better
Of my stubbornflame I try;
And the next my oath dmy.
Ev'ry charm in thought I brave,
And confess myself a slate.
A hall in Justice Woodcock's house. Enter HawThorn, with a fowling-piece in his hands, and a net with birds at his girdle: and, afterwards, Justice Woodcock.
There was a jolly miller once,
Livd on the river Dee;
No larh more blythe than he.
For ever us'd to be,
/ care for nobody, not I,
If no one cares for me. 240
House, here, house! what all gadding, all abroad! house, I say, hilli-ho, ho!
J. Wood. Here's a noise, here's a racket I William, Robert, Hodge! why does not somebody answer? Odds my life, I believe the fellows have lost their hearing! [Enteringl Oh, master Hawthorn! I guessed it was some such mad cap—Are you there?
Haw. Am I here ? Yes: and, if you had been where I was three hours ago, you would find the good effects of it by this time: but you have got the lazy unwholesome London fashion, of lying a bed in a morning, and there's gout for you—Why, sir, I have not been in bed five minutes after sun-rise these thirty years, am generally up before it; and I never took a dose of physic but once in my life, and that was in compliment to a cousin of mine, an apothecary, that had just set up business.
J. Wood. Well but, master Hawthorn, let me tell you, you know nothing of the matter; for, I say, sleep is necessary for a man; ay, and I'll maintain it. 261
Haw. What, when I maintain the contrary?
Look you, neighbour Woodcock, you are a rich man, a man of worship, a justice of peace, and all that;. but learn to know the respect that is due to the sound from the infirm; and allow me that superiority a good constitution gives me over you—Health is the greatest of all possessions; and 'tis a maxim with me, that an hale cobler is a better man than a sick king.
J. Wood. Well, well, you are a sportsman. 270
Haw. And so would you too, if you would take my advice. A sportsman! why there is nothing like it:
1 would not exchange the satisfaction I feel, while I am beating the lawns and thickets about my little farm, for all the entertainments and pageantry in Christendom.
Let gay ones and great
Well, who cares a jot, 280
/ envy them not,
For exercise, air,
To the fields I repair,
The blisses Ifind,
No stings leave behind,
Justice Woodcock, Hawthorn, Hodge.
Hodge. Did your worship call, sir? 289
J. Wood. Call, sir; where have you and the rest of these rascals been? but I suppose, I need not ask— You must know there is a statute, a fair for hiring servants, held upon my green to-day; we have it usually at this season of the year, and it never fails to put all the folks herc-about out of their senses.
Hodge, Lord, your honour, look out, and see what a nice show they make yonder; they had got pipers, and fidlers, and were dancing as I came along, for dear life—I never saw such a mortal throng in our village in all my born days again. 300
Haw. Why, I like this now, this is as it should be.
J. Wood. No, no, 'tis a very foolish piece of business; good for nothing but to promote idleness and the getting of bastards: but I shall take measures for preventing it another year, and I doubt whether I am not sufficiently authorised already; for by an adt passed Anno undecimo Caroli primi, which impowers a justice of peace, who is lord of the manor'
Haw. Come, come, never mind the act; let me tell you, this is a very proper, a very useful meeting I want a servant or two myself, I must go see what your market affords ;—and you shall go, and the girls, my little Lucy and the other young rogue, and we'll make a day on't as well as the rest.
/. Wood. I wish, master Hawthorn, I could teach you to be a little more sedate: why won't you take pattern by me, and consider your dignity ?—Odds heart, I don't wonder you are not a rich man; you laugh too much ever to be rich. 319
Haw. Right, neighbour Woodcock! health, goodhumour, and competence, is my motto: and, if my executors have a mind, they are welcome to make it my epitaph.
The honest heart, whose thoughts are clear
From fraud, disguise, and guile,
Nor court the harlot's smile.