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(Curtsies.) “Will your ladyship ride to did you write · Seek me at the bottom of cover to-day ? (Curtsies.) I can recom- the river'? mend our Voltigeur.'•I'am sorry that we Eva. Why? because I meant it! could not attend your grace's party on the that dreadful night! that lonely walk to 10th!' (Curtsies.) There, I am glad my Littlechester, the rain beating in my face nonsense has made you smile !
all the way, dead midnight when I came Eva. I have heard that your lordship,' upon the bridge; the river, black, slimy, and your ladyship,' and 'your grace' are swirling under me in the lamplight, by the all growing old-fashioned !
rotten wharfs — but I was so mad that I Dora. But the love of sister for sister mounted upon the parapet
362 can never be old-fashioned. I have been Dora. You make me shudder ! unwilling to trouble you with questions, Eva. To fling myself over, when I heard but you seem somewhat better to-day. We a voice, Girl, what are you doing there ?' found a letter in your bedroom torn into It was a Sister of Mercy, come from the bits. I could n't make it out.
death-bed of a pauper, who had died in his it?
misery blessing God, and the Sister took Eva. From him ! from him! He said me to her house, and bit by bit — for she we had been most happy together, and he promised secrecy - I told her all. trusted that some time we should meet Dora. And what then ? again, for he had not forgotten his promise Eva. She would have persuaded me to to come when I called him. But that was come back here, but I could n't. Then she a mockery, you know, for he gave me no got me a place as nursery governess, and address, and there was no word of marriage; when the children grew too old for me, and and, O Dora, he signed himself Yours I asked her once more to help me, once more gratefully' – fancy, Dora, 'gratefully'! she said, 'Go home;' but I had n't the heart *Yours gratefully'!
or face to do it. And then — what would Dora. Infamous wretch! (A side.) Shall father say ? - I sank so low that I went into I tell her he is dead ? No; she is still too service — the drudge of a lodging-house feeble.
and when the mistress died, and I appealed Era. Hark! Dora, some one is coming. to the Sister again, ber answer - I think I I cannot and I will not see anybody.
have it about me
383 Dora. It is only Milly.
Dora (reads). “My dear Child, - I can Enter Milly, with basket of roses.
do no more for you. I have done wrong in
keeping your secret; your father must be Well, Milly, why do you come in so now in extreme old age. Go back to him roughly? The sick lady here might have and ask his forgiveness before he dies. been asleep:
SISTER AGATHA. Sister Agatha is right. Milly. Pleäse, Miss, Mr. Dobson telled Don't you long for father's forgiveness ? me to saäy he's browt some of Miss Eva's Eva. I would almost die to have it ! roses for the sick laädy to smell on.
Dora. And he may die before he gives it; Dora. Take them, dear. Say that the
may drop off any day, any hour. You must sick lady thanks him! Is he here?
see him at once. (Rings bell
. Enter Milly.) Milly. Yeäs, Miss; and he wants to speak Milly, my dear, how did you leave Mr. to ye partic'lar.
Steer ? Dora. Tell him I cannot leave the sick Milly. He's been a-moänin’and a-groänlady just yet.
in' in 'is sleep, but I thinks he be wakkenin' Milly. Yeäs, Miss; but he says he wants оор. to tell ye summut very partic'lar.
Dora. Tell him that I and the lady here Dora. Not to-day. What are you stay- wish to see him. You see she is lamed, ing for ?
and cannot go down to him. Milly. Why, Miss, I be afeard I shall set Milly. Yeäs, Miss, I will. [Exit Milly. him a-sweäring like onythink.
Dora. I ought to prepare you.
You Dora. And what barın will that do you, must not expect to find our father as he so that you do not copy his bad manners
years ago. He is much altered; Go, child. (Exit Milly.) But, Eva, why I but I trust that your return — for you
ye lets ’im.
know, my dear, you were always his favor
Enter MILLY. ite — will give him, as they say, a new lease of life.
Milly. Miss Dora ! Miss Dora ! Eva (clinging to Dora). O, Dora, Dora ! Dora (returning and leaving the bedroom
door ajar). Quiet! Quiet! What is it? Enter STEER led by MILLY.
Milly. Mr. 'Arold, Miss.
460 Steer. Hes the cow cawved ?
Dora. Below ? Dora. No, father.
Milly. Yeäs, Miss. He be saäyin' a Steer. Be the colt deäd ?
word to the owd man, but he 'll coom up if Dora. No, father.
Steer. He wur sa bellows'd out wi' the Dora. Tell him, then, that I'm waiting wind this murnin', 'at I telld 'em to gallop for him. 'im. Be he dead ?
Milly. Yeas, Miss. Dora. Not that I know.
[Exit. Dora sits pensively and waits. Steer. What hasta sent fur me, then,
Enter HAROLD. fur ?
Dora (taking Steer's arm). Well, father, Harold. You are pale, my Dora ! but I bave a surprise for you.
the ruddiest cheek Steer. I ha' niver been surprised but That ever charm’d the plowman of your once i' my life, and I went blind upon it.
469 Dora. Eva has come home.
Might wish its rose a lily, could it look Steer. Hoäm ? fro' the bottom o' the But half as lovely. I was speaking with river ?
Your father, asking his consent - you Dora. No, father, that was a mistake.
wish'd me She's here again.
That we should marry.
He would answer Steer. The Steers was all gentlefoälks i’ nothing, the owd times, an' I worked early an' laäte I could make nothing of him; but, my to maake 'em all gentlefoälks ageän. The
flower, land belonged to the Steers i' the owd You look so weary and so worn! What is it times, an' it belongs to the Steers ageän: I Has put you out of heart? bowt it back ageän; but I could n't buy my Dora.
It puts me in heart darter back ageän when she lost hersen, Again to see you; but indeed the state could I? I eddicated boath on 'em to Of my poor father puts me out of heart. marry gentlemen, an' one on 'em went an' Is yours yet living ? lost hersen i' the river.
No - I told you. Dora. No, father, she's here.
When ? Steer. Here! she moänt coom here. Harold. Confusion ! Ah well, well ! What would her mother saäy? If it be
the state we all her ghoäst, we mun abide it. We can't Must come to in our spring-and-winter keep a ghoäst out.
world Eva (falling at his feet). O, forgive me ! If we live long enough! and poor Steer forgive me !
looks Steer. Who said that ? Taäke me away, The very type of Age in a picture, bow'd little gell. It be one o' my bad daäys. 449
To the earth he came from, to the grave [Exit Steer led by Milly.
he goes to, Dora (smoothing Eva's forehead). Be not Beneath the burthen of years. so cast down, my sweet Eva. You heard Dora.
More like the picture him say it was one of his bad days. He Of Christian in my • Pilgrim's Progress' will be sure to know you to-morrow.
here, Eva. It is almost the last of
bad Bow'd to the dust beneath the burthen of days, I think. I am very faint. I must
sin. lie down. Give me your arm.
Harold. Sin! What sin ? back again.
Not his own. [Dora takes Eva into inner room. Harold.
That nursery-tale Still read, then ?
Dora. Yes; our carters and our shep
herds Still find a comfort there. Harold.
Carters and shepherds ! Dora. Scorn ! I hate scorn.
A soul with no religion My mother used to say that such a one Was without rudder, anchor, compass
might be Blown every way
every gust and wreck On any rock; and tho' you are good and
gentle, Yet if thro' any want Harold.
Of this religion ? Child, read a little history, you will find The common brotherhood of man bas been Wrong'd by the cruelties of his religions More than could ever have happen'd thro'
the want Of any or all of them. Dora.
But, О dear friend, If thro' the want of any I mean the true
More fool he ! What, I that have been call'd a Socialist, A Communist, a Nihilist
will ! Dora. What are all these ? Harold.
Utopian idioteies. They did not last three Junes. Such ram
pant weeds Strangle each other, die, and make the
soil For Cæsars, Cromwells, and Napoleons To root their power in. I have freed my.
self From all such dreams, and some will say
because I have inherited my uncle. Let them. 530 But — shamed of you, my empress! I
But I can tell you, We Steers are of old blood, tho' we be
fallen. See there our shield. (Pointing to arms on mantelpiece.)
For I have heard the Steers Had land in Saxon times; and your own
And pardon me for saying it — you should
have taught me To love you. Harold. What is this? some one been
stirring Against me ? he, your rustic amorist, The polish’d Damon of your pastoral here, This Dobson of your idyll ? Dora.
No, sir, no ! Did you not tell me he was crazed with
jealousy, Had threaten'd even your life, and would
say anything ?
Good; then what is it That makes you talk so dolefully?
Dora. My father. Well, indeed, a friend just
I told you
True, I have held opinions, hold some still, Which you would scarce approve of; for
all that, I am a man not prone to jealousies, Caprices, humors, moods, but very ready To make allowances, and mighty slow To feel offences. Nay, I do believe I could forgive — well, almost anything And that more freely than your formal
priest, Because I know more fully than he can What poor earthworms are all and each of
us, Here ling in this boundless Nature.
One that has been much wrong'd, whose
griefs are mine, Was warning me that if a gentleman Should wed a farmer's daughter, he would
be Sooner later shamed of her among The ladies, born bis equals.
If marriage ever brought a woman happi- | I have wasted pity on her not dead doubt not I can make you happy.
No i acting, playing on me, both of them. Dora.
You make me They drag the river for her! no, not they ! Happy already.
Playing on me — not dead now — a swoon Harold. And I never said As much before to any woman living. Yet - how she made her wail as for the Dora. No ?
dead ! Harold. No i by this true kiss, you are
Milly. Please, Mister 'Arold.
To hev a word wi' ye about the marriage. Dora. She must be crying out · Edgar' Harold. The what? in her sleep.
The marriage. Harold. Who must be crying out • Id- Harold.
The marriage ? gar’ in her sleep ?
Yeäs, the marriage. Dora. Your pardon for a minute. She Granny says marriages be maäde i? 'eaven. must be waked.
Harold. She lies! They are made in Harold. Who must be waked ?
bell. Child, can't you see? Dora. I am not deaf; you fright me. Tell them to fly for a doctor. What ails you ?
O, law - yeäs, Sir. Harold. Speak.
I'll run fur 'im mysen.
Erit. Dora. You know her, Eva. Harold.
All silent there, Harold.
Eva! Yes, deathlike! Dead? I dare not look. [Eva opens the door and stands in the
If dead, entry.
Were it best to steal away, to spare myself, She !
And her too, pain, pain, pain ? Eva. Make her happy, then, and I for
My curse on all give you.
This world of mud, on all its idiot gleams Dora. Happy! What? Edgar? Is it Of pleasure, all the foul fatalities so? Can it be?
That blast our natural passions into pains They told me so. Yes, yes! I see it all
569 O, che has fainted! Sister, Eva, sister ! Dobson. You, Master Hedgar, Harold, He is yours again -- he will love you again;
or whativer I give lira back to you again. Look up ! They calls ye, for I warrants that ye goas One word, or do but smile ! Sweet, do you By haäfe a scoor o'naämes - out o' the hear me ?
chaumber! [Puts her hand on Eva's heart.
[Dragging him past the body. There, there the heart, O God !-- the Harold. Not that way, man! Curse on poor young heart
your brutal strength ! Broken at last all still and nothing I cannot pass that way. left
Ont o' the chaumber! To live for. [Falls on body of her sister. I'll mash tha into nowt. Harold. Living - dead She said . all Harold.
The mere wild-beast ! still.
Dobson. Out o' the chanmber, dang tha ! Nothing to live for.'
Lout, churl, clown! She she knows me — now
[While they are shouting and struggling (A pause.)
Dora rises and comes between them. She knew me from the first, she juggled Dora (to Dobson). Peace, let him be; it
is the chamber of Death ! She bid this sister, told me she was dead Sir, you are tenfold more a gentleman,
A hundred times more worth a woman's Dora.
What then ? love,
I wish'd, I hoped Than this, this — but I waste no words To make, to make –
Dora. What did you hope to make ? His wickedness is like my wretchedness Harold. T were best to make an end of Beyond all language.
my lost life.
631 (10 Harold.) You — you see her there ! O Dora, Dora ! Ouly fifteen when first you came on her, Dora. What did you hope to make ? And then the sweetest flower of all the Harold. Make, make ! I cannot find wolds,
the word — forgive it — So lovely in the promise of her May, Amends. So winsome in her grace and gaiety,
Dora. For what? to whom ? So loved by all the village people here, Harold.
To him, to you! So happy in herself and in her home
[Falling at her feet. Dahson (agitated). Theer, theer! ha' Dora. To him! to me! done. I can't abeär to see her.
No, not with all your wealth,
[Erit. Your land, your life! Out in the fiercest Dora. A child, and all as trustful as a
storm child !
That ever made earth tremble — he, uor Five years of shame and suffering broke
The shelter of your roof — not for one moThat only beat for you; and he, the father,
ment Thro' that dishonor which you brought Nothing from you ! upon us,
Sunk in the deepest pit of pauperism, 640 Has lost his health, his eyesight, even his Push'd from all doors as if we bore the mind.
plague, Harold (covering his face). Enongh! Smitten with fever in the open field,
Dora. It seem'd so; only there was left Laid famine - stricken at the gates of A second daughter, and to her you came
Death Veiling one sin to act another.
Nothing from you ! Harold.
But she there - her last word You wrong me there ! hear, hear me! I Forgave — and I forgive you. wish'd, if you
[Pauses. Dora. If I
Forgive yourself, you are even lower and Harold. Could love me, could be brought
baser to love me
Than even I can well believe you. Go! As I loved you
[He lies at her feet. Curtain falls.