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Title: Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Love in '76 - An Incident of the Revolution
Author: Bunce, Oliver Bell, 1828-1890
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Love in '76 - An Incident of the Revolution" ***

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[Illustration: OLIVER BELL BUNCE]



The name of Oliver Bell Bunce is not prominently connected with the
American Theatre. Authorities have taken little or no trouble to
unearth his association with the plays and players of his time--the
mid-period of the nineteenth century. Yet they all agree that, as
illustration of "parlour comedy," his "Love in '76" is a satisfactory
example of sprightliness and fresh inventiveness. For this reason, the
small comedietta is included in the present collection. It challenges
comparison with Royall Tyler's "The Contrast" for manner, and its
volatile spirit involved in the acting the good services of such
estimable players as Laura Keene, Stoddart, and Ringgold. In the
cast also was J.G. Burnett, author of "Blanche of Brandywine," a

"Love in '76" was given its première at Laura Keene's Theatre, New
York, on February 28, 1857, for the benefit of the Shirt Sewers'
Union; and was the second offering of a double bill beginning with
"Faust and Marguerite." Though the critiques of the time recognized
in it a "nice little play," they balked at what was considered to be
a foolish nomenclature, "Comedietta." What was liked about it,
particularly, was the absence of patriotic fustian, for the national
drama of the time seems to have been loaded down with long flights
of fancy on the subject of liberty. Others hailed it as smart in the
social sense. As late as March 31, 1892, the little play was revived
by amateurs for the benefit of a monument to be erected over the
neglected grave of Washington's mother.

This was not the first time Bunce had appeared as a playwright. There
had been seen, on June 10, 1850, at the New York Bowery Theatre, a
tragedy entitled "Marco Bozzaris; or, The Grecian Hero," and in the
cast were J. Wallack, Jr., and his wife, together with John Gilbert.
It was not based on the poem by Fitz-Greene Halleck, but, for its
colour and plot, Bunce went direct to history. For Wallack he also
wrote a tragedy, entitled "Fate; or, The Prophecy," and, according
to Hutton, during the summer of 1848, the Denin Sisters produced his
"Morning of Life," at the New York Chatham Theatre.

Such was the extent of Bunce's drama writing. His life was not cast in
the dramatic field, but rather in the publishing world. The plays
were done in his early manhood. But he was pledged in interest to the
theatre, and there are many significant criticisms and descriptions
in print which convey an excellent impression of his attitude toward
plays, players, and acting.

Bunce was a self-made man, with an excellent grasp of literature,
which served him well in his various literary ventures. His mind was
cast in channels of originality, and the history of book publishing
in New York must needs consider the numerous suggestions, which,
as literary adviser at different times for the houses of Harper and
Appleton, he saw to successful fruition. In 1872, he became Editor of
_Appleton's Journal_, and it is to the files of this magazine we must
turn to extract his frank reaction to the theatre of his day. He wrote
novels, stories, essays, editorials, everything to win him the name of
journalist; once he had a publishing house of his own, doing business
under the firm name of Bunce & Co. He was always cordial toward every
move to further the literary interest of the country, and was among
the first to welcome the founding of the Authors Club. It may be that
his "Love in '76" was a by-product of a book written by him, in 1852,
and called "Romance of the Revolution."

Bunce wrote well on theatrical matters; he is much more vivid and
human than many a better-known critic. Here, for instance, is an
impression of the old Park Theatre, New York, in 1846.

"That was the time," he writes in "The Editor's Table" of _Appleton's
Journal_ for October, 1880, "when the theatre had a pit, where critics
and wiseacres were wont to assemble and utter oracular things about
the plays and the performers. The actors were in those days afraid
of the Pit, especially at the Park, of the fourth bench from the
orchestra, where the magnates of the pen sat watchful, and where old
Nestors of the drama delivered their verdicts in terms that no one
dared to gainsay. The Pit was entered by cellar steps, and through a
half-lighted, subterranean passage. Decorative art, as we see it now
in the full bloom of the Madison Square auditorium and Mr. Daly's
lobby, had not even given a hint of its coming."

In _The Galaxy_ for February, 1868, Bunce ventures to survey "Some
of Our Actors" from the standpoint of deploring the pre-Raphaelite
realism of the modern school. He scored the attempted "truth" and
"fidelity" of Matilda Heron, and, in considering Maggie Mitchell's
_Fanchon,_ he bespoke the cause of ideality, as necessary in _Fanchon_
as in _Juliet._ "Modern comedy acting," he declares, "is usually a
bright, brisk touch-and-go affair, suited to modern plays; but to the
mellow and artistic style of a former generation, it is as the light
claret wines, now so much in use, to crusty old port."

Except in the instances of our comedians, like Murdoch, with his
"lightness of manner, that grace, which I have described elsewhere as
snuffing a candle in a way to make you feel that snuffing candles is
the poetry of life;" Harry Placide, with whose retirement went the
retirement of _Sir Peter Teazle_ and _Sir Harcourt Courtley_, ("When
Placide and Gilbert are gone," he writes, "Sheridan will have to be
shelved"); Holland, with his intense fun in eccentric bits; Brougham,
without whom "The Rivals" is difficult to endure--apart from these the
stage of the time, to Bunce, was not all it should be. He valued
at their worth the romantic extravagances of the Wallack family;
he applauded the sound judgment, and deplored the hard manner of
Davenport; he viewed calmly what he regarded to be an overestimation
of Edwin Booth--one of the first criticisms of an avowedly negative
character I have seen aimed directly at this actor. In other words,
Bunce fought hard against the encroachment of the new times upon the
acting of his early theatre days. The epitome of his old-time attitude
is to be found in _Appleton's Journal_ for April 3, 1869. His better
mood was to be met with in his discussion of the players of Ellen
Tree's type. Here are his words of censure against the new order:

"If we old files are to be believed, the art of acting is dying out,
and the very tradition of the stage disappearing.... Very likely the
spirit, which in painting we call pre-Raphaelism, is obtaining its
influence on the stage, and that some of the actors are turning out of
doors the traditions and formal mannerisms of the schools, and going
back to nature and truth for their inspiration.... There were very
artificial methods, no doubt, among the old actors, but there was also
a very consummate knowledge of the art, a great deal of breadth,
force and skill, and a finished training, which the new schools do
not exhibit. In aiming to be natural, some of our actors seem to have
concluded that their profession is not an art. They grow heedless
in the delivery of language, weakening or obscuring its meaning, and
missing its significance; and in some way lose that rich and mellow
colouring that characterized the bygone performers. So marked is this,
that some of the old dramatic characters are abandoned altogether,
because in the hands of the Realists they fade away into ineffective
and colourless forms. The _Sir Peter Teazles_ and _Sir Anthony
Absolutes_ of the old comedy require indispensably the resources
of the old art, and no thin, water-gruel realism, so-called, can
personate them. In avoiding the declamatory Kembletonianism of the old
school, our actors are right enough; but they cannot safely disregard
the skill which sharpens and chisels, as it were, the sentences; nor
forego the care, study, precision and stern adherence to rules of art,
that marked the old stage."

Steeped in such belief, it is small wonder that two of Bunce's plays
had characteristics in them to suit a member of the Wallack family.
And being such a lover of old English Comedy accounts for some of the
spirit of "Love in '76."

His plea, sound in its fundamental championing of the best that has
been on our stage, might well be heeded at this time (1920). It is a
strong valuation of tradition--the jade who is looked at askance by
the amateur players of the "little theatres," and too exacting for the
average player on the professional stage.

Bunce was a New Yorker, born in that city, February 8, 1828, and dying
there on May 15, 1890.




Change of Time. Doors open at half past Six. The performance will
commence with the Overture at a quarter past Seven.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Sixth time of the Dramatic Poem, in three acts, entitled


The Drama having been misapprehended by one or two critics, it is
respectfully stated that the translation has not been made by a
resident dramatist, as inferred, but by the celebrated European
scholar and linguist, Jonathan Birch, whose translation has been
recognized by Frederick William, of Prussia, as the best rendition of
the original of Goethe's Faust ever given in English to the public.

The play has been taken bodily from this translation, published by
Black & Armstrong, London, and F.A. Brockhaus, Leipsig, without any
alteration other than is necessary to bring it within the bounds of an
evening's performance. To produce the poem as written by Goethe, would
require at least three nights in performance. By reference to the
edition mentioned, it will be seen that there has been no deviation
from the original, except as above specified.

The fall of Marguerite, in the poem, is much more sudden than in the
play, and, indeed, the exceptions taken generally to the drama concern
the original author, Goethe, rather than the translation. Great care
has been taken to produce the play with strict fidelity to the author,
following in the architecture, costumes and groupings the celebrated
_chefs d' oeuvres_ of REIZSCH, who devoted the best years of his life
to illustrate this great work; and it should be added, also, that
every note of the music in this piece is from SPOHR.

  Music by Spohr, arranged by Mr. Thomas Baker
  New Scenery by Messrs. Hawthorne and Almay
  New Wardrobe by Mr. Bullock and Assistants
  Machinery by Mr. Smart and Assistants
  Properties and Appointments by Mr. W. Duverna

  Under the personal supervision of


       *       *       *       *       *

First time of a New American Comedietta, In two acts, by a Citizen of
New York, entitled


       *       *       *       *       *


Will be presented the great Dramatic Poem by Goethe, translated by
Jonathan Birch, Esq., and produced for the SIXTH TIME, as now adapted
and arranged for this artistic work under the title of



  Faust, an aged scholar                  Mr. C. Wheatleigh
  Mephistophilies                         Mr. George Jordan
  Wagner, a student, friend to Faust           Mr. Stoddart
  Valentine, a soldier, brother to Marguerite   Mr. Lingham
  Brandor, a soldier, friend to Valentine       Mr. Alleyne
  Frosh                                           Mr. Hayes
  Siebel                                          Mr. Reeve
  Fritz                                        Mr. Harcourt
  Students     Messers. Carpenter, Jackson, Carter, Kellogg
  Altmayer                                     Mr. McDonall
  Beggar                                         Mr. Beneon
  Marguerite, a young peasant girl         Miss Laura Keene
  Martha, her confidante                  Mrs. H.P. Grattan
  Lizzie   { Companions    }                   Miss Alleyne
  Barbara  { of Marguerite }                    Miss Howell
  Witch, creature of Mephistophiles            Mrs. Attwood
  Spirits of Good  Miss Howell, Miss Wall, Miss Berkowitz,
                                    and Miss Rosa Berkowitz
         Peasantry, Chorus of Demons, etc., etc.,

                  SCENERY IN THE DRAMA:

                         ACT I.
  Scene 1st--Faust's Laboratory                        By Almy
  Scene 2nd--Street in Wittenburg                 By Hawthorne

                        ACT II.
  Scene 1st--Pavillion and Garden of Marguerite   By Hawthorne

                        ACT III.
  Scene 1st--Street and Cathedral in Wittenburg   By Howthorne
  Scene 2nd--Rocky Glen                           By Hawthorne
  Scene 3rd--Prison                                    By Almy
  Scene 4th--Street and Cathedral--Apotheosis of Marguerite By Hawthorne

To conclude for the FIRST TIME with a New American Comedietta, in TWO
ACTS, by a Gentleman of this city, called


  Mr. Elsworth              Mr. Stoddart
  Lieutenant Harry Elsworth Mr. Ringgold
  Captain Walter Armstrong   Mr. Lingham
  Major Cleveland            Mr. Burnett
  Captain Arbald              Mr. Benson
  Lieutenant Marvin            Mr. Hayes
  Apollo Metcalf            Mr. Johnston
  John                      Mr. Harcourt
  Corporal                    Mr. Leslie
  Soldiers    Messers Jackson and Kellog
  Rose Ellsworth        Miss Laura Keene
  Kate Ellsworth            Miss Alleyne
  Bridget                    Miss Howell

A Grand Scenic Drama, called THE SONS OF NIGHT, has been in rehersal
and will be produced immediately.

  Drama Circle and Parquette  50 Cents
  Balcony Seats               75 Cents
  Family Circle               25 Cents
  Orchestra Stalls          One Dollar
  Private Boxes  Six and Eight Dollars

  Box Office open from 8 in the morning throughout the day.

  Children in Arms not admitted.  This regulation will be rigidly enforced.

  Treasurer          Mr. W.W. Gray
  Box Bookkeeper  Mr. F.N.Cartland

  LOVE IN '76




  NEW YORK, FEB. 28, 1857

  [The acting edition of this play, with the
  relative positions of the performers on the
  stage, is published by Samuel French.]


MR. ELSWORTH.--_Shad-cut brown coat, brown or black breeches,

LIEUTENANT HARRY ELSWORTH.--_Red, turned up with blue, buff breeches,
high boots._

CAPTAIN ARMSTRONG.--_Blue, turned up with buff, white top boots._

MAJOR CLEVELAND.--_Red, turned up with white, breeches, high boots._



APOLLO METCALF.--_Gray shad, square-cut suit._

THE LADIES.--_The costumes of the period of '76._

LOVE IN '76.


SCENE. _The drawing-room in the residence of_ MR. EDWARD ELSWORTH.
_Garden seen through doors._ ROSE ELSWORTH _occupied at a small table,
stitching._ KATE ELSWORTH _stretched languidly upon a sofa, with a
book in hand._ MR. EDWARD ELSWORTH _in an easy chair, with newspaper
in his lap. Writing materials on table._

KATE. Oh, dullness! dullness! I do wish Harry was at home, or Sir
William would march some of his troops this way! What's the use of an
army in the country, if one can't have a dance once in a while?

ROSE. What, indeed! All I desire is, sister, that they should be
[_Enter_ SERVANT _with letters for_ MR. ELSWORTH.] left to the dance!
That much they do very well.

KATE. I'm sure, Rose, I can't see what you find in these rebels to
admire. As far as my observation has gone, they are only so many
boors. There was Captain Arthur. Was there ever such a dunce? He had
no manner whatever. He attempted once to walk a minuet with me, and
I really thought he was a bear accidentally stumbled into coat and

ROSE. You're quite right! he never should have got his appointment
until he had served a campaign in the drawing-room. If I were the
Congress, I'd appoint none who could not bring diplomas from their

ELSWORTH. Ha? 'pon my word! Very extraordinary news.

[_All coming forward._

ROSE. What is it, papa?

ELSWORTH. There has been a battle.

ROSE. Is it possible? Oh, where, sir?

ELSWORTH. On Long Island. [_Reading._] Washington has been
defeated--has evacuated the city--is retiring northward. [_Speaking_.]
I feel, my daughters, that our situation is becoming here unsafe. We
shall be continually exposed to the assaults of marauders. It would
be wiser, in the present aspect of affairs, for us to seek a securer
residence in New York, now so fortunately in possession of Sir William

ROSE. I should prefer remaining here.

ELSWORTH. Would it be safe, Rose?

ROSE. Yes, for we neutralize each other. Your loyalty will secure
you with the Tories, and my Whiggism will protect us with the other

ELSWORTH. Your Whiggism, Rose? You shock me by such an avowal; and
your brother, too, an officer of the King.

KATE. I don't think there is much danger, if Mr. Armstrong is near to
protect us.

ELSWORTH. Mr. Armstrong?

KATE. Oh, yes, papa! He's got to be a captain.

ELSWORTH. Not a rebel, I trust.

ROSE. Not a traitor, I thank heaven.

ELSWORTH. You confound terms strangely. A traitor is one false to his

ROSE. False to his country, sir. A king is a creature of to-day--your
country a thing of immortality.

ELSWORTH. Your King is your sovereign, by divine right and true

ROSE. Then, sir, serve the Stuarts. How came the house of Hanover upon
the throne? You see, sir, that if you zealous loyalists could shift
off James, we, with less belief in the divine right of kings, can
shift off George.


METCALF. Good day, Mr. Elsworth. Good day, young ladies. "Good day"
all, I may say.

ELSWORTH. Have you any news of the war, Mr. Metcalf?

METCALF. News--plenty of it, and mad. The country is depopulated.
There isn't a youth with the first hope of a beard upon his chin, who
hasn't gone with young Armstrong, to join the army.

ELSWORTH. Young Armstrong?

METCALF. To be sure, sir. He's turned out a fiery rebel, after
all--and a captain, to boot.

ELSWORTH. Heaven bless me, but this is very sad. A promising youth
to be led astray! Dear me, dear me! Rose, I am very sorry to say that
this is certainly your fault. You have filled him with your wild,
radical, and absurd heroic rhapsodies. You have made him disloyal to
his King. You have put a dagger in his hand, to stab at the heart of
his country. Alas! I see what the end will be--disgrace and death,
ignominy and the gallows.

[ROSE _walks back to the window_.

KATE. Mr. Metcalf, how are your little charges? How flourishes the

METCALF. They've all caught the spirit of the rebellion, marm, and are
as untractable as bulls. Bless you, there isn't a lad over fourteen
who hasn't abandoned his horn-book and gone off with Armstrong. And
as for the girls, they're greater rebels than the boys. What do you
think, marm? The other day they came marching in procession, and
demanded to know on which side I was. I said "God save the King;"
whereupon they fell upon me like a swarm of bees, armed with a
thousand pins, and so pinched, and pricked, and pulled me, that there
wasn't a square inch of my skin that wasn't as full of holes as a
ten-year old pin-cushion. And I do believe they never would have
stopped if I hadn't cried, "Huzza for Washington!"

ELSWORTH. I hope, sir, that you will not be compelled to follow the
example of your scholars, and turn soldier.

METCALF. Never, sir. I content myself with teaching the young idea how
to shoot, without indulging in such dangerous practices myself.

ROSE. [_From the window_.] Why, there's Harry--father, Kate--Harry is
dismounting at the door.

ELSWORTH. Bless me! Is it possible?

[_All gather around the window_.

KATE. It is, I declare--and how splendid he looks. Harry! Harry!

[_All salute him, and shake their handkerchiefs._

METCALF. [_Aside to_ ROSE.] Hist! Miss Elsworth!


METCALF. Walter is near--a note--

ROSE. [_Seizing it, and reading hurriedly._] Will be with you to-day--

KATE. [_Looking towards right, at the window_.] Doesn't he look fine?
There's his step in the hall.

[_They all go towards door_. ROSE _conceals_ WALTER'S _note_.

HARRY. [_Within_.] Rose, Kate, father!

_Enter_ LIEUTENANT HARRY ELSWORTH. _All gather around him with
exclamations of welcome._

METCALF. [_Aside_.] I'll take occasion to steal down-stairs, and
plague Bridget into a kiss or two. Delicious Bridget!

[_Exit_ METCALF.

ELSWORTH. Harry! My brave lad!

ROSE. Dear brother!

HARRY. Dear sister! Father!

ELSWORTH. Stand aside, girls. Let me have a look at him. Harry! Harry!
You are a splendid-looking fellow, you are. Ha, ha, ha! Your hand, my
boy. You look like a soldier, sir.

HARRY. I have good news for you. I have just rode on before to
acquaint you that Major Cleveland will honour your roof to-day.

ELSWORTH. He shall be welcome--open doors and open hands.

HARRY. He will remain until to-morrow. Now, girls, some of us young
fellows are dying for a dance--can't we extemporize a ball?

ROSE. Good gracious, Harry! You will have to pit coat against
coat--where are your ladies?

HARRY. Oh, we'd drum them up. There are a dozen families within as
many miles.

ROSE. A mad idea.

HARRY. A wild one, I confess.

ELSWORTH. It would be a suitable festivity in honour of our Long
Island victory. Come girls, you have my consent.

_Enter_ SERVANT, _announcing_ CAPTAIN ARMSTRONG.


ALL [_but_ ROSE]. Captain Armstrong!

ARMSTRONG. Captain Armstrong!

ALL [_but_ ROSE]. In the Continental service?

ARMSTRONG. In the Continental service!

ELSWORTH. I am somewhat surprised, sir, at this visit. When you were a
loyal gentleman my doors were always open to you--now, in that dress,
I cannot consent to receive your visits. In happier moments you were
a companion of my daughters--a friend of my son--you have selected a
course which must terminate that connection with my family.

ARMSTRONG. You will pardon me, sir, I trust, for this intrusion. I
have reached this place with some danger, for these parts abound with
a set of fellows who have a fancy for wishing everybody else's skin
the colour of their own coats. Mr. Elsworth, my sense of duty has
compelled me to pursue a path which has estranged me from your
friendship. Let me ask frankly, sir, if it must separate me from one
who has honoured me with her consideration and affection?

ELSWORTH. You allude to my daughter--to Rose--

ARMSTRONG. I do, sir.

ELSWORTH. _Mister_ Armstrong--for I acknowledge no title bestowed by
an unlawful authority--I would rather wed my daughter to a Turk than
to one who had so forgotten his duty to his country.

[_Goes up_.--ARMSTRONG _bows_.

HARRY. Walter, we were friends once, but, as His Majesty's servant,
I can offer no compromise to a rebel. _Now_ you must not think of a
union with our family. [_Goes up_.

ROSE. This is nothing but blind prejudice. It has neither sense nor
justice. Hear me. That for which you discard him places him higher
in my esteem--shows me how worthy he is of the respect and honour of
every true woman. My greatest pride is that he to whom I have pledged
my hand wears those colours.

ARMSTRONG. Generous girl!

ELSWORTH. Rose, you pain me inexpressibly!

ROSE. I am not a giddy girl, sir. I'm a woman--old enough to know
my own heart, and to decide between right and wrong. Walter, go, and
carry with you assurances of my unwavering fidelity.

_Enter_ BRIDGET, _hurriedly_.

BRIDGET. Oh, my good gracious! dear me, good gracious! gracious,
goodness, me! Such a lot of soldiers--all coming down the road.

ARMSTRONG. Eh? Red or blue?

BRIDGET. Bless me, goodness gracious, you here, Mr. Armstrong? You'd
better look out, sir, for they are red coats, and there's a big number
of them, too.

ARMSTRONG. I must vanish. [_Running to the window_.] Why, we're
surrounded on every side. By Jove, I'm in a trap!

ROSE. What will you do?

ARMSTRONG. To the north of the house. Perhaps I can reach the forest--

BRIDGET. They're all around that way, sir.

HARRY. I wish that you could escape, Walter, without my knowledge.
This is the regiment to which I belong. You were foolhardy to venture

ARMSTRONG. I believe I'm caged, that's certain. And I've no desire to
be caught either, for they bear especial malice against me. If they
should know me for the fellow who played a certain trick upon them,
an hour's time would suffice for them to make me an ornament to one of
your old oaks on the lawn--a style of decoration that might suit their
taste, but which wouldn't accord with my fancy.

ROSE. Do they know your person?

ARMSTRONG. From description, probably.

ROSE. We must conceal you, then.

ARMSTRONG. If you've a rat hole into which you can crowd me.

HARRY. I must be ignorant of your movements. I will go and receive
them. [_Exit_.

ARMSTRONG. Whose command is it?

ROSE. Major Cleveland's.

ARMSTRONG. Eh? The man of men who itches to get hold of my
insignificant person. He has offered £50 for it.

KATE. [_At the window_.] Away! They are dismounting at the door.

ROSE. You, Bridget--I can trust you--quick, to the loft with him.

KATE. [_Still at the window_.] Quick! quick!

ARMSTRONG. Stow me away among your rubbish.

[ROSE _urges them off_. WALTER _snatches a kiss from_ ROSE'S _hand as
he exits with_ BRIDGET.

KATE. I do declare Captain Arbald is below, and I am sadly deranged.

ROSE. Oh, fearfully! Run to your glass, by all means. Set your
springes, for these red birds are rare game.

KATE. Sister! But I'll be revenged. [_Exit_ KATE.

_Enter_ MAJOR CLEVELAND, _ushered in by_ LIEUTENANT ELSWORTH, _who

ELSWORTH. My dear Major Cleveland, let me welcome you zealously to
this abode.

CLEVELAND. A great many thanks, my dear Elsworth. I'm delighted to
meet so true-hearted a loyalist. We pushed our march to partake of
your hospitality. Ah, Miss Elsworth! How shall I express my delight in
finding that Time, who deals so inexorably with us, has been induced
to favour you. It gives me infinite pleasure, Miss Elsworth, to meet
you once again, for the recollection of the occasions we have met
previously are bright spots in my memory.

ROSE. Oh, sir, I thank you.

ELSWORTH. And how, sir, comes on the royal cause? Will it be long ere
these rebels are taught their duty to their King?

CLEVELAND. Have no apprehensions, my dear Elsworth. Another campaign
will scatter them to the mountains, and a live rebel be so great a
curiosity, that to cage one and exhibit him would make a showman's

ROSE. [_Aside_.] If he knew there were a caged one here now!

ELSWORTH. But come, Major Cleveland, where are your companions? I must
see why they have not followed you.

CLEVELAND. They are delayed for a moment with the troop. By the way,
Miss Elsworth, I believe that there are a couple of gentlemen without,
who are old admirers of yours--Captain Arbald and Lieutenant Marvin.

ROSE. Old, Major! You flatter my taste.

CLEVELAND. Why, with beauty I thought the conquest of the morning
stale matter by night.

ROSE. Oh, sir, if staleness went to make their age, they would be
proverbed instead of Methuselah.

CLEVELAND. They took very much to you.

ROSE. So did the measles, sir.

CLEVELAND. They are desperately enamoured of you--would do any
difficult thing--even die for you.

ROSE. So they once told me, but I courtesied, and replied that I
should prefer a live rebel to even two dead loyalists.

CLEVELAND. And then--

ROSE. They vowed to live for me. I begged of them to put themselves to
no such inconvenience; that I wouldn't trouble them to do anything
of the kind; that if they didn't think it worth while to live for
themselves, I shouldn't intrude upon any suicidal intention they might

CLEVELAND. And so they lived--

ROSE. But I had no hand in it; I am innocent; my skirts are clear of
the melancholy fact.

CLEVELAND. They are noble gentlemen, Miss Elsworth. You must bear with
me if I defend them. They are good soldiers, and fine-looking fellows.

ROSE. For which I thank their tailors.

CLEVELAND. Gay, dashing; brave of heart, and witty of tongue.

ROSE. Then they have been studying the almanac. When I saw them last,
they hadn't a grain of wit--not even by scratching.

CLEVELAND. Really, Mr. Elsworth, your daughter has a sharp tongue.

ELSWORTH. It is her humour, sir. Her passes are but play.

CLEVELAND. I'll be sworn her heart is as true as her wit. She is--

ROSE. Rebel, sir, from top to toe!

[_Enter_ ARBALD, MARVIN, _and_ HARRY.]

Ah, gentlemen, my best welcome. My father will be proud to greet you--

ELSWORTH. And most happy to know you, gentlemen.

[_Enter_ SERVANT, _with wine_.]

Major Cleveland, will you do me the honour--

CLEVELAND. Sir, I esteem it an honour. Gentlemen, I hope you will all
fill in honour of our host. [_They gather around, fill, and drink to_
MR. ELSWORTH.] Fill again, gentlemen, and honour the toast I am going
to propose. The ladies! speedy priests and rings.

ROSE. A doubtful compliment, Major Cleveland.

CLEVELAND. Can you think so?

ROSE. Ay, sir; for marriages, though called matches, are mostly sad

CLEVELAND. And the unmarried--

ROSE. Oh, they are even worse. Old maids and old bachelors are the
tossed about odds and ends of humanity.

CLEVELAND. [_Going over to her_.] The happiest wit, madam, I ever

ROSE. Captain Arbald, will you grant me your arm? I'm sure you would
like a turn in the garden. I shouldn't wonder if my sister were upon
the grounds. Lieutenant Marvin, will you go with us? Kate is dying for
the sight of a red-coat. [_Exit_.

CLEVELAND. A merry-hearted woman, Mr. Elsworth. There is a touch of
sly deviltry in her composition.

ELSWORTH. I fear lest her indiscreet tongue--

CLEVELAND. Not at all, my dear friend! Lieutenant, I have been
informed within an hour, that one Captain Armstrong has been seen this
day within five miles of this place. On account of his connection with
a certain affair, I wouldn't let him escape me at any sacrifice. I
have already dispatched dragoons in his pursuit. At earliest dawn I
shall expect you to head a detachment in his search. Meanwhile, sir, I
should be grateful for an opportunity to repair my toilet.

HARRY. This way, sir; I myself will conduct you to a chamber.

[_Exeunt_ CLEVELAND _and_ HARRY.

ELSWORTH. This is a situation, indeed, for a royalist gentleman!
My house filled with the King's officers, and a proscribed
rebel concealed above. If discovered, I tremble to think of the
consequences. [_Exit_.

_Enter_ ROSE.

ROSE. Thank heaven; I am rid of them. Now to Walter, and learn his
full danger.

[_Enter_ ARMSTRONG.]

Are you mad? What are you here for? Back to your hiding place at once.

WALTER. No, Rose; I shall not go.

ROSE. Why--what--

WALTER. Hear me, Rose. Ask yourself if it is an honourable course for
me, a proscribed and hunted rebel, to suffer myself to be concealed
in your father's house when my discovery would involve him in terrible
consequences. I cannot consent to expose him to those consequences. I
would rather openly deliver myself into the hands of Major Cleveland.

ROSE. Foolish man! You are ruining all. Walter, for my sake go back
again. This is a ridiculous and false sense of honour.

WALTER. No, Rose, I am resolved--

ROSE. Walter, I implore you--


[_Aside_.] Ha! Lost! [_Aloud_.] Oh, Major Cleveland, how opportune.
Pray let me make you acquainted with Captain Fuller. A friend of my
father's, sir--a neighbour. Captain Fuller, Major Cleveland. Allow me
to commend you, gentlemen, to each other's better acquaintance.

CLEVELAND. A rebel officer. This is very extraordinary.

ROSE. Let me see you shake hands, gentlemen, for here, you know, you
must be friends. If you like to cut each other's throats elsewhere, so
be it; but, of course, you sheathe your swords, and swear peace in the
presence of a lady.

CLEVELAND. Miss Elsworth well rebukes us. Captain Fuller, for the
time being, the red and the blue rejoice under a common auspices--Miss
Elsworth smiles.

[_They shake hands ceremoniously_.

ROSE. Now, gentlemen, sit down. You, Major, shall have a seat upon
the sofa by my side. Captain Fuller, please, take the chair near you.
[_The gentlemen seat themselves_.] Now, you see, I am between you, and
shall prevent warfare. I here proclaim a truce. The Captain, Major,
wants to join our ball to-night. I have promised him my hand the next
after yours.

CLEVELAND. [_Scrutinizing_ WALTER _closely_.] I'm quite ready, Miss
Elsworth, to laugh at a joke, but really I cannot understand--

ROSE. Why two gentlemen cannot meet under my father's roof, as his
guests, and not fall to tearing each other to pieces? Is it the modern
way to make war in parlours, instead of the field?

CLEVELAND. Strange, very strange. Your pardon, Captain Fuller, but I
cannot help remarking that you closely resemble a description I have
received of one Captain Armstrong.

ROSE. Dear me, and who is Captain Armstrong, pray?

CLEVELAND. A rebel, madam.

ROSE. I like him for that.


ROSE. But what has all this to do with Captain Fuller? I have known
the Captain, Major, for some years, and I think you can take my word
for it, he is no spy.

CLEVELAND. Do Captain Fuller and Captain Armstrong wear the same

WALTER. All Continental officers wear the same colours.

CLEVELAND. Are they all of the same complexion, height, and [_Rising
and going over to him_.] do they all wear the same love tokens? Does
Captain Fuller wear Captain Armstrong's sash, worked with Captain
Armstrong's name!

WALTER. [_Aside_.] The sash Rose worked and gave me. Fool! fool!

CLEVELAND. Miss Elsworth, I'm under the necessity of a disagreeable
duty. I am compelled to consider our truce at an end. Young sir, you
are my prisoner.

WALTER. [_Drawing and rushing between the_ MAJOR _and the door._]
If you speak aloud or attempt to call aid, I will strike you dead. I
shall not yield without resistance. If you molest me, blood will be

CLEVELAND. [_Drawing a pistol._] I am better armed than you supposed,
sir. It would be awkward for any collision to occur in the presence of
a lady, and yet I shall not hesitate to do my duty. If you are really
Captain Fuller, I shall be very glad to shake hands and drink a glass
of wine with you; if Captain Armstrong, you _must_ become my prisoner.

ROSE. [_Standing by her chair, trembling._] Gentlemen! Gentlemen!

WALTER. I have but one reply to make: if you attempt to arrest me, I
shall defend myself--and will escape if I can.

[_Several shots fired within_.

_Enter_ MR. METCALF _suddenly, pursued by_ TWO SOLDIERS.


METCALF. [_Not seeing_ CLEVELAND, _and rushing up to_ WALTER.] Bless
me, Captain Armstrong.

CLEVELAND. Oh, then he is Captain Armstrong.

ROSE. [_With great suddenness._] Captain Fuller, Mr. Metcalf--don't
play your jests here--Captain Fuller, sir.

METCALF. Eh! Eh! [_Looking confused from one to another._] A jest,
Captain Fuller--capital--ha, ha, ha--[_Aside to_ ROSE.] What mischief
have I tumbled into now, and who is that fellow in a very red coat and
a very white wig?

ROSE. [_Aside to him._] Major Cleveland.

METCALF. Major Cleveland! We are all hanged and quartered--though for
the matter of that, in my capacity of expounder of the alphabet,
I've been quartered--on the neighbourhood, these ten years past. Your
obedient servant, sir, your very obedient--

CLEVELAND. That will do, fellow. What was the cause of those shots
just now? [_To_ SOLDIERS.

METCALF. 'Pon my word, sir, it was the guns.


SOLDIER. This fellow attempted to pass without the countersign.

METCALF. You see, sir, I was just about to enter to call on my friend,
Mr. Elsworth, to sip an afternoon glass with him, when a big-booted
fellow cried out, halt. Now, sir, the idea of asking a man well
in both legs to halt, is preposterous. So I said, and walked on
as straight as I could, when bang, bum, whiz, came one, two, three
bullets scattering after my hide--

CLEVELAND. Have done, sir. [_To_ WALTER.] I am desirous of giving
you, sir, every opportunity to disprove your identity with Captain
Armstrong. I chance to know that gentleman's handwriting. There is a
desk with pen and ink. Will you stand that test?

WALTER. [_Aside to_ ROSE.] That would never do. There isn't one of my
pot-hooks that wouldn't hang me.

ROSE. [_Quickly_.] Really, Major Cleveland, you might require a more
reasonable test. Don't you see the Captain has a rheumatic hand?

CLEVELAND. For a rheumatic hand, Miss Elsworth, he handled his sword
somewhat skilfully, just now. You see, sir, resistance is useless. You
will resign your sword, I trust.

[_The two_ SOLDIERS, _at a sign from_ CLEVELAND, _have come up behind_
WALTER. _He is seized_.

WALTER. Ha! I am your prisoner, sir.

_Enter_ MR. ELSWORTH _and_ HARRY.

ELSWORTH. What's this?

CLEVELAND. I regret to say, my dear Elsworth, that this gentleman
must, for a few hours, remain my prisoner. A mere form, sir. He will,
doubtless, be free in a few days. I shall have to make use of one of
your barns, sir. It is really a pity that the Captain must be deprived
of the dance to-night, but I will take care that his confinement shall
not be severe.

ROSE. This, sir, is a shameful breach of hospitality. Captain
Armstrong is my father's guest, no less than yourself. Every
consideration of delicacy and honour requires you to consider him so.

CLEVELAND. Miss Elsworth, I could wish you not to consider me wrong or
cruel in this.

ROSE. I judge, sir, by what I see.

CLEVELAND. You are severe.

ROSE. I am glad you find me so.

CLEVELAND. Will you not say peace?

ROSE. War, Major Cleveland, to the last.

ELSWORTH. Daughter, more courtesy.

ROSE. Oh! father, they may chain and bind our poor country, but they
cannot find a way to chain a free woman's free tongue.

CLEVELAND. Lieutenant Elsworth, I place the Captain in your charge.
Conduct him to a safe place.

HARRY. This is the hard necessity of duty.

ELSWORTH. And this will really be nothing serious?

CLEVELAND. A bagatelle, I do assure you, sir.

WALTER. [_Aside_.] I thank him for calming the fears of the
family--but I know how hard it will go with me.

HARRY. Walter--

WALTER. I go, Harry. Rose!

ROSE. [_Aside, with a sudden thought_.] Go! Say nothing.

WALTER. Come, sir. [_To_ HARRY.

ROSE_ assumes an air of cool indifference, and flings herself
carelessly in a chair._ MAJOR CLEVELAND _appears astonished_. MR.
ELSWORTH _and the others look surprised and incredulous_.



SCENE.--_A Garden.--House in the background, illuminated_.

_Enter_ ROSE _and_ MAJOR CLEVELAND _from house_, ROSE _hanging on the_
MAJOR'S _arm_.

ROSE. It was really absurd--was it not?--to think me the champion
of that country clown. Poor fellow! I couldn't bear his discomfited
looks, Major, and so, out of old companionship, what could I do less
than stand up for him? There won't be anything positively serious,
will there, eh? I should be sorry to have it so, inasmuch as he fell
into the trap under my father's roof. But don't you think I made a
good champion? It was really presumptuous for the fellow to come here,
though. These rustic clowns thrust themselves everywhere.

CLEVELAND. What, Miss Elsworth, Captain Armstrong, then, is nothing--

ROSE. Nothing in the world, I assure you, but a harmless country lad!
Do tell me, Major, am I not a good actor?

CLEVELAND. Excellent. I really could have supposed that this American
stood high in your esteem.

ROSE. Oh, I like him well enough. He is among the best the country
affords, but that is very bad, you know.

CLEVELAND. Then you bear me no malice?

ROSE. Not enough to kill a gnat.

CLEVELAND. Ah, Miss Elsworth, this assurance gives me the greatest

ROSE. Don't hurt the poor fellow though, Major, I beg of you. I should
be quite sorry if anything happened to him. He is a good-natured,
useful neighbour enough--an unpolished jewel, papa calls him. Ah,
Major, our social wants in this community are lamentable enough, when
we are obliged to content ourselves with such a poor substitute as you
have seen, for all the polish and manner of London circles.

CLEVELAND. Lamentable, indeed, Miss Elsworth!

ROSE. The war brings one boon, at least,--the society of gentlemen.

CLEVELAND. Very true, indeed.

ROSE. [_Aside._] Hem! Major Cleveland, I'll so wheedle you this night
you shall cry enough to a woman, even if it so happen that you have
never done it to a man. So look to it, my valiant Major! Look to it!

CLEVELAND. Do you know, dear Miss Elsworth, that I could wish to see
you in these troubled times united to some one who could afford you
the protection which only a husband can extend?

ROSE. [_Behind her fan._] Oh, Major!

CLEVELAND. [_Taking her hand._] I cannot be mistaken in the surmise
that you love already.

ROSE. [_With a sigh._] Oh, sir!

CLEVELAND. Miss Elsworth! Rose! Confide in me! I am your friend.

ROSE. [_With affected confusion._] I believe you, Major Cleveland.
I--I--really, sir--I implore you to believe me--I have nothing to

CLEVELAND. Do not be offended, Miss Elsworth. I have your interest
at heart. Pardon me--but Captain Arbald--[ROSE _starts and appears
agitated._] believes, or at least hopes, that he is acceptable to you.
I am very deeply his friend--very deeply yours.

ROSE. It is very pleasant to hear you say so, Major Cleveland.

CLEVELAND. Then you do look upon him with favour?

ROSE. Alas, Major Cleveland, these wars, these wars!

CLEVELAND. They separate us from those who are dearest to us--they
come between us and our hearts' affections.

ROSE. Do they not daily threaten us with a heart widowhood?

CLEVELAND. Ah, Miss Elsworth--Rose, let me call you--I see you are
thinking of the young Captain. You love him!

ROSE. [_Aside._] Walter, I must save you by whatever means! [_Aloud._]
Oh, Major, let me beg of you one thing--let me hear you promise what I
will ask you. You assure me you are my friend. Then grant me a pledge.
Promise me to--to protect--

CLEVELAND. The Captain--

ROSE. Who is to be my husband.

CLEVELAND. You delight me. Are you then pledged?

ROSE. We are.

CLEVELAND. The young rascal. He never told me so. And jealous enough,
I'll be sworn he is, to see me monopolize your society, as I do.

ROSE. His life is almost in your hands. Often you can save him from

CLEVELAND. You will marry him?

ROSE. [_Abashed._] Yes.

CLEVELAND. I give you the pledge, then, you ask. Make him your
husband, and for your sake I will defend and protect him to the extent
of my power.

ROSE. Oh, sir, you make me happy. I am, Major, a foolish girl. I
place, perhaps, absurdly, so much confidence in your ability to rescue
him from many dangers--that I should like--should like, sir, to wear
this ring [_Slipping one from his finger._] as a friendly pledge that
you will be his guardian, his watchful protector.

CLEVELAND. Let me kiss the ring upon your finger as a formal seal to
my pledge.

ROSE. It becomes an oath now.

CLEVELAND. It does--sworn upon this hand.

ROSE. That you are his friend--ever to be my husband's friend.

CLEVELAND. That is the oath. I take it again!

ROSE. [_Aside._] Now, Major Cleveland, I have you!

CLEVELAND. [_Aside._] She shall be his--then--why then to make her

ROSE. [_Aside_.] There is some libertine scheme behind all this, I
feel assured. He is playing the villain. Well, well! Shall we go in?

_Enter_ ARBALD.

CLEVELAND. Ah, Arbald. We have been looking for you.

ROSE. I believe, Captain, that I am pledged to you for the next dance.

ARBALD. It is my happiness to recollect it. But one dance is missed.

ROSE. Let me make amends.

_Enter_ MARVIN, _hurriedly_.

MARVIN. Sir, the rebel has escaped.

CLEVELAND. Ha! What do you mean? How?

MARVIN. It is uncertain how.

CLEVELAND. He must be about the grounds somewhere. Put your fellows
upon his track. Hunt him out! I wouldn't lose my hold upon him for the
value of a dozen ordinary rebels.


_During this speech_ ARMSTRONG _glides in behind, among the shrubbery,
and touches_ ROSE. ROSE _starts, and slightly screams. All turn
quickly toward her. She, hastily and unseen, unclasps a bracelet from
her arm, and flings it behind her_.

ROSE. Gentlemen! gentlemen! gentlemen! I've lost my bracelet--a
valued bracelet. Five minutes ago I had it on my arm. Major
Cleveland--Captain Arbald--I beseech you to search for it. What could
have become of it?

CLEVELAND. Your bracelet?

ROSE. Gentlemen, I implore you to search for it. Major, it may have
been dropped in the bower. Go look for it, sir. Captain Arbald and
Lieutenant Marvin, why do you stand idly there? Do you refuse to
search for my jewel? I've lost a bracelet, I tell you, sirs. Is this
the way you attend upon the wishes of a lady?

CLEVELAND. Really, Miss Elsworth, duty--

ROSE. Don't talk to me of duty, sir. I would not lose my bracelet for
the wealth of the world. A valued token from a dear friend; I swore
never to part with it. Oh, indeed, you are gallant gentlemen! You
let me lose a precious jewel, and you stand staring by. I tell you, I
value that bracelet with my very life.

CLEVELAND. But the escaped prisoner?

ROSE [_Passionately_.] What is the prisoner to me? What is he to my
bracelet? Must I lose my bracelet for the sake of a runaway rebel--a
miserable clown, who may either hang or run, I care not? Some one will
tread upon my bracelet, [_Walking up and down impetuously_.] one of
the common soldiers will find and keep it. I would not lose it for

ARBALD. Indeed, Miss Rose, I assure you--

ROSE. Oh, no assurances, sir. Where is your devotion to me? Where your
willingness to sacrifice everything for me, as I have heard you swear
more than once? If you ever expect to come into my presence again, you
must first clasp that bracelet on my arm. I will hear nothing, listen
to no excuse; and if you refuse to obey me, never let me see you

CLEVELAND. [_Aside_.] I must not lose my hold upon her, by offending
her. [_Aloud_.] Gentlemen, do you remain with Miss Elsworth, and
search for the lost jewel. I will myself give the necessary order for
the search for the missing prisoner.


ROSE. You, Captain, search yonder bower.

ARBALD. Were you there?

ROSE. Or I should not send you. [_Exit_ ARBALD.] Marvin, go hunt the
rooms--I cannot say what moment I dropped it.

MARVIN. I obey Miss Elsworth. [_Exit_ MARVIN.

ROSE. Where can he be--if my _ruse_ has only given him time.

[_Enter_ WALTER, _hurriedly_.]

Good heavens! Not off! Here yet!

WALTER. Every outlet is guarded: could I reach the house--

ROSE. This way--we may steal in--

WALTER. I found your jewel, Rose!

[_As they are hurrying off, enter_ MAJOR CLEVELAND.]

Caught, as I'm alive!

ROSE. Quick! away--

WALTER. It shall be so--[_Rushes off in an opposite direction._

CLEVELAND. Ha! ho! Guard! Corporal!

[_Enter_ CORPORAL _and_ GUARD _rapidly, with torches_.]

That way is your prisoner. Find him, I charge you.

[_Exeunt_ CORPORAL _and_ GUARD.]

What am I to think, Miss Elsworth?

ROSE. [_Vehemently_.] Think! That I would give the world for Captain
Armstrong to escape.

CLEVELAND. Humph! The gift would be useless. Look for yourself.

ROSE. [_Looking off; then suddenly burying her face in her hands_.]
Good heavens!

CLEVELAND. [_In her ear_.] How's this, Miss Elsworth? [_She starts up,

[_Enter_ SOLDIERS, _guarding_ WALTER.]

I rejoice, sir, that we meet again.

SOLDIER. A jewel, sir, found upon the prisoner.

CLEVELAND. Ha! what's this? [_Reading the inscription by a torch_.]
"To Rose, from Walter!" Madam, I understand you now. I was deceived.
Permit me to be the means of restoring this valued token from a dear
friend. Would it not be a strange vicissitude if the finding of
the trinket should be the means of losing the friend? Conduct your
prisoner hence.

[_Exeunt all but_ ROSE _and_ CLEVELAND.

ROSE. Major Cleveland, Captain Armstrong must be allowed to go free. I
have your promise. I hold you to it.

CLEVELAND. My promise--

ROSE. Look! [_Pointing to the signet received from the_ MAJOR.

CLEVELAND. Aha! Then it was Captain Armstrong, and not Captain Arbald,
to whom you alluded in our interview. I was beginning to suspect the

ROSE. Your shrewdness would have done you more credit if you had
detected it before. As it is, I have your signet and your promise to
save Captain Armstrong.

CLEVELAND. But the promise referred only to your husband.

ROSE. Captain Armstrong is my betrothed husband.

CLEVELAND. Ay, but at present is a prisoner. You see, madam, I hold
the cards.

ROSE. Your pardon, sir, but I have the game.

CLEVELAND. Eh! Is not the Captain in my hands?

ROSE. Before to-morrow morning he shall be in mine.

CLEVELAND. Confound it, madam, I'll keep so strict a guard upon him, a
fly sha'n't light upon him without my knowing it.

ROSE. Do so, and if you were argus-eyed into the bargain, I'd marry
him before to-morrow morning.

CLEVELAND. Ha! is it come to that? I'll march this hour.

ROSE. It would be too late.

CLEVELAND. This moment, then.

ROSE. I would anticipate you.

CLEVELAND. Zounds, madam, you talk idly.

ROSE. Zounds, sir, you talk without reason.

CLEVELAND. I'll go to him at once--put a pistol to his head--blow his
brains out, and--

ROSE. Make me his widow.

CLEVELAND. Deuce take it, you're mad.

ROSE. Mad if you will, Major Cleveland. It is a struggle between us.
Look to it, sir. You may be bold, valourous, cunning--vastly so; but
you have a woman's wit against you--so look to it!

CLEVELAND. Confound it.

ROSE. Bravo! bravo! Your passion, sir, well becomes you--

CLEVELAND. Deaths and devils! [_Exit_.

ROSE. Ha, ha, ha!

[_Enter_ METCALF.]

Here! Here, Mr. Metcalf--follow Major Cleveland; watch every step;
don't lose sight of him for a moment.

METCALF. Trust me; I'll be his shadow from this time forth. [_Exeunt


ARBALD. Really, Miss Kate, you do me injustice--but if I could only
induce you to intercede--

KATE. Plead your cause for you. [_Aside_.] Blind and stupid! Can't he
see that I am dying for that my sister laughs at.

ARBALD. If I could but find that lost bracelet--

KATE. Hush! Who comes here?

[_They withdraw_.

METCALF _behind_.

ELSWORTH. Declared to you that she would marry Captain Armstrong--

CLEVELAND. Yes, my dear sir, and I felt it my duty to acquaint you.

HARRY. I will go to the Captain and demand a satisfactory--

CLEVELAND. Your pardon, young gentleman. Captain Armstrong is now my
prisoner; and I shall hold him safe for my own purposes.

ELSWORTH. In face of my commands this day pronounced. It is monstrous.
I must seek out Rose, and have an explanation.


KATE. [_Aside to_ ARBALD.] You see, sir, how little the bracelet would
plead in your cause.

ARBALD. I do, indeed.

[_They saunter off_.

HARRY. I do not, sir, often ask favours of you. This day my father
forbade Armstrong from entertaining any intentions relative to my
sister. He has insulted me, my father, and Rose. I wish to chastise
him, sir.

CLEVELAND. Tut, tut! I will not give his cunning a chance to plan
another escape. The best thing you can do is to help me to prevent the
possibility of the marriage.

HARRY. You are my superior. I have no choice but to obey. But I long
to inflict the punishment due to his treachery. [_Exit_.

CLEVELAND. Pest on't, I love the wench. I thought, if married to
Arbald, and frequently near me, my suit might flourish. But the
cunning vixen caught me in my own trap. If I could only trip her now;
let me see--let me see.

_Enter_ ARBALD.

CLEVELAND. Ah, Arbald, come hither. How flourishes your suit with Miss

ARBALD. Badly, I must confess.

CLEVELAND. Unless we prevent it she will be married to this Armstrong
before morning.

ARBALD. Is it possible?

CLEVELAND. I have my own reasons for desiring to break up the match
between them--to prevent their marriage. Nothing occurs to me at all
feasible to that end, but some plan to get introduced into Armstrong's
presence a woman disguised as Rose.

ARBALD. And marry them?

CLEVELAND. Ay. Armstrong is on the alert for some scheme to rescue
him--would fall into such a net as fishes do--and think it was his
mistress' cunning to serve him.

ARBALD. But where is the woman?

CLEVELAND. Rose has a girl in attendance upon her who is near her size
and figure--a mischievous wench, or I am no judge of physiognomies.

METCALF. [_Who has been listening, aside_.] Oho! [_Exits hurriedly and

ARBALD. Bridget, they call her.

CLEVELAND. Send her to me. Fifty pounds will be more than her fidelity
can stand. Luckily we have the Chaplain with us. Have him ready.

ARBALD. I'll hunt Bridget up at once.

[_Exit_ ARBALD.

CLEVELAND. The plan is a good one. Now, Lady Wit, those who win may
laugh. But I was a blind fool ever to allow her to obtain that promise
from me.

_Enter_ METCALF.

METCALF. Hist! Major Cleveland.

CLEVELAND. Well, good fellow.

METCALF. [_Aside_.] Fellow! It is remarkable now that I, who daily
make a score of urchins tremble in their shoes at the frown of my
portentous brow, can't in the least make these people afraid of me.
Let me see what effect one of my frightfully severe looks would have.
[_Walks up to him_.

CLEVELAND. Well, sir, have you any business with me?

METCALF. No, no, sir. [_Aside_.] I suppose my urchins feel as I do
now. [_Aloud._] I've got an idea, sir, about the Captain.

CLEVELAND. Well, what idea?

METCALF. [_Aside_.] Here comes Rose--the very image of Bridget--all
I wanted was to give her time. [_Aloud_.] An idea--[_Aside_.] to trap
you with sword, coat, and all--

CLEVELAND. There she is--begone, fellow--you intrude upon me.

_Enter_ ROSE, _disguised as_ BRIDGET.

ROSE. [_Curtseying_.] Your Honour sent for me.

METCALF. Ha! ha! ha! Trap to catch foxes--ho! ho! ho!


CLEVELAND. You look a lively, quick-witted lass.

ROSE. [_Aside_.] Now for the airs of your true lady's lady.

CLEVELAND. Do you know how to keep a silent tongue?

ROSE. Bless us! Haven't I always been in practice? Ain't I mum to what
all the fine gentlemen say about the bouquets, the presents, the love

CLEVELAND. How would you like to make twenty pounds?

ROSE. Oh, sir, I am quite invincible.

CLEVELAND. But twenty pounds?

ROSE. Say twenty-five.

CLEVELAND. To be paid when the contract is performed. How would you
like to marry?

ROSE. Oh! good gracious!

CLEVELAND. Hush! Why the deuce do you raise that clatter?

ROSE. Lor, sir, we always do.

CLEVELAND. Be silent, or the twenty pounds--

ROSE. Twenty-five--

CLEVELAND. Twenty-five then. Marriage in jest.


CLEVELAND. Only in jest--to decide a wager. You must disguise yourself
as your mistress, when you will be admitted into the presence of
Captain Armstrong.

ROSE. Captain Armstrong.--Goodness gracious!

CLEVELAND. Hear me out. A pretended chaplain will be by, and a sham
form of marriage will be gone through with--

ROSE. Only in jest? Why, what a funny joke!

CLEVELAND. Capital! capital! Ha! ha! ha!

ROSE. Ha! ha! ha! A splendid joke, sir. But I don't quite understand

CLEVELAND. Oh, you understand enough. You must not speak above the
lowest whisper, nor let the Captain see your features. A few words and
the--the--ha, ha, ha--the joke is through with--

ROSE. I see--I see.

CLEVELAND. And then to-morrow when he comes to know it--don't you
see--we will have a run on the Captain--'twill be the rarest sport
when found out.

ROSE. But suppose now it should turn out to be a real no-mistake

CLEVELAND. But it can't. The priest is a sham--that's the point of the

ROSE. That's the point of the joke, eh?

CLEVELAND. Come, will you do it?

ROSE. Well--I am doubtful.

CLEVELAND. Only carry it out well, and you shall have fifty pounds.

ROSE. I am convinced, as old intrigues are dull, I want pastime, and
would like to earn fifty pounds, and if my chances in other quarters
are uninjured, why--

CLEVELAND. You will do it?

ROSE. Will the Captain think it a jest?

CLEVELAND. He thinks there is a plan on foot to introduce your
mistress to him for a similar purpose.

ROSE. And when he finds that he has married plain Bridget instead of
Miss Rose--what a rage he will be in! Oh, what a delightful jest--

CLEVELAND. The funniest you ever heard of. Such laughing as there will

ROSE. Fifty pounds--all in gold--is more than I can stand.

CLEVELAND. Then meet me in five minutes, by yonder tree.

ROSE. I'll slip on one of my mistress's dresses, and in five minutes
be ready--but remember--_fifty pounds_!

[_Exit_ ROSE.

CLEVELAND. [_Rubbing his hands_.] The best of tricks. Ha! ha! ha!



ELSWORTH. Ha, ha, ha! Bravo, Metcalf! a good jest, sir.--Bridget
disguised as Rose--ha! ha! ha!

METCALF. It's exquisitely funny, sir--only I think you don't quite
understand it--

ELSWORTH. It's you, Metcalf, that don't understand it. It's nothing
but a piece of military deviltry. Why, my innocent sir, Armstrong's
confinement is only a sham--it doesn't mean anything--Cleveland told
me so himself--he will be free to-night. I shouldn't wonder if they
were drinking and carousing together now. Bless you, Metcalf, it's
only one of Cleveland's practical jokes. But I must go and find Rose,
and tell her all about it--it will give her such a laugh. How the
Captain will stare when he finds it out, to be sure!


METCALF. Well, wise one, if you insist upon having it in that way,
why, do so--I suppose Miss Rose can fight her battles without your
help. It was devilish lucky, though, I overheard that plan of theirs,
or the Captain would have been victimized--damnably--ay, damnably--if
it be swearing--and a capital crime at Fidlington School. I wonder
where Bridget is--Bridget _bona fide_--I mean--a delicious girl,--I
love her--I will conjugate her. Nobody in the walks--the marriage not
over yet--bless me! I do believe that I am trembling like a refractory
scholar with a prospective birching. If it should fail--but it won't,
it can't--Rose is a girl to carry anything through.

_Re-enter_ MR. ELSWORTH.

ELSWORTH. Where can Rose be, I wonder! I can't find her anywhere.
Everybody inquiring for her--everybody laughing too about the
jest upon Armstrong. Ah, these military fellows are such practical
jokers--so full of deviltry, to be sure! Who could have thought of
such a trick?

METCALF. No civilian, you may be sure, sir. [_Aside, looking off_.]
Eh? There they are. The deed is done. It's all right, ha! ha! ha!
I'll cut. That Major has a sanguinary way of contemplating me that has
blood in it--blood! [_Aloud._] I think I saw Rose in this direction,
sir, with the Major; I dare say we can find her, if we go along.

ELSWORTH. Come, sir, then.



CLEVELAND. It's done, and they are fast married. Aha, my lady, who now
has the game? Armstrong looked astounded, but, expecting some plan to
aid him, he fell into the trap without asking a question. Now, now, my
course is clear!


ELSWORTH. Where can Rose be, to be sure? The guests are leaving, and
I must find her to give them a good-night. Ah, Major! Have you seen my


LIEUTENANT ELSWORTH. Sir, sir, do you not know that Rose has
clandestinely been introduced into the presence of Armstrong--

ELSWORTH. No! has she, though? You d-o-n-t say so! Let me whisper a
word, Master Harry--a beautiful joke--it was Bridget--

LIEUTENANT ELSWORTH. No, sir, it was Rose herself.

CLEVELAND. The young man is right.

ELSWORTH. How! What do you say?

CLEVELAND. Simply, sir, by the richest scheme in the world, this
rebel's union with your daughter is rendered impossible. I told you
the marriage was a jest--a sham. It was not--quite the contrary.

ELSWORTH. Do I understand you to say, sir, that you have really
tricked Captain Armstrong into a marriage with--

CLEVELAND. To be sure, sir. It will be the sport of the whole army.
The disgrace you feared cannot now occur. Miss Elsworth can never be
that rustic's wife--thanks, sir, to my splendid idea. Aha, it was a
glorious thought, glorious!

ELSWORTH. Now, damn all respect for the red-coats.


ELSWORTH. Sir, you have been guilty of a vile scheme. You have put
my house to a dishonourable use. You have betrayed one of my guests
infamously. Oh! that one of His Majesty's officers could lend himself
to a scheme like this.

CLEVELAND. Why, sir, I thought--

_Enter _ROSE _and_ WALTER, _back_.

ELSWORTH. That I would sanction such a plot. Major Cleveland, your
conduct has made me half a rebel. It was devilish--diabolical, sir!


_Enter_ METCALF, _dancing_.

METCALF. Armstrong has escaped.

CLEVELAND. Escaped! Again! Impossible!

METCALF. He has, or may I be birched.


MARVIN. Sir, the prisoner has escaped--and the woman--

CLEVELAND. By heaven! it shall not be--a hundred pounds reward for

ROSE. [_Approaching with_ WALTER.] I claim the reward, Major

CLEVELAND. You! The prisoner here! How came he free?

ROSE. By your signet. The sentry knew and acknowledged it.

CLEVELAND. Miss Elsworth?

ROSE. Mrs. Armstrong, by your kind assistance.

CLEVELAND. Ha! What do you mean?

ROSE. Permit me to present you to my husband.

CLEVELAND. Your husband! What does this mean?

ROSE. I _did have_ the trump card, sir, and have taken the trick.

CLEVELAND. I am bewildered--I cannot understand--

ROSE. Can't you see? [_Imitating him._] "How would you like to make
twenty pounds? Ha, ha, ha! only as jest! a splendid jest! we'll have
such a run on the Captain! As I want pastime, and my prospects--"

CLEVELAND. The wench has betrayed me.

ROSE. You never spoke a word to Bridget. I was the only person you


ROSE. Even I. Did I act it to the life?

CLEVELAND. Caught! Tricked! Fool! By--! Madam, this is a farce.

ROSE. Sir, I know it, but it has been played out, and you unwittingly
have acted the clown.

ELSWORTH. I am confounded.

CLEVELAND. The end is not yet. I refuse to be governed by a forced
construction to a promise which I meant to apply differently. The
rebel is still my prisoner. He is surrounded.

ROSE. If your promise is not observed to the letter, I'll proclaim
you through the army. I'll degrade you in the eyes of every English
officer and gentleman in the land. You disgrace your sword, sir, by
this very hesitation. Your bitter, unsoldierly, and dishonourable
hatred and persecution of an honourable prisoner, drove me to an
extremity which nothing but a question of life or death could have
persuaded me to undertake. My womanly modesty I was forced to outrage.
You compelled me to stoop to things which I abhorred. But I have a
brother who is an English officer; a husband who is an American one.
Be careful, sir, in what way you use my name in connection with this
night's work, for, be assured, they will not fail to punish a ribald,
a slanderous, or a libertine tongue. Consent to Captain Armstrong's
release, and your discomfiture remains a secret; refuse, and with one
word, I'll have all our guests upon the spot and a public confession.

CLEVELAND. It's absurd to suppose that I'm to be bound by such
figments as you have woven. The thing is too ridiculous!

ROSE. You acknowledged the binding nature of your promise, when you
attempted, with such heartless cruelty, to entrap the Captain into a
marriage with a servant. How would that story sound, think you? And
what would be said of the sagacity and discernment of an officer who
could allow such a deceit to be practised upon him as I practised upon
you? Dear me! I think, Major, that you are in a quandary.

METCALF. [_Aside_.] In a ditch!

ROSE. We await your decision. Shall the Captain be free and this
little jest go no further?

CLEVELAND. Miss Elsworth--

ROSE. Excuse me if I assist your memory--Mrs. Armstrong.

CLEVELAND. Madam, I yield to a woman. You fight with weapons I do not

ROSE. With wit, eh?

CLEVELAND. [_Aside_.] There is no hope for me. She has me at every
point. I may as well yield with what grace I can. [_Aloud_.] Miss
Elsworth, I am at your mercy. May not this night's work be forgotten?
Captain Armstrong, I swore if ever I caught you, that you should
pay dearly for that daring trick of yours--that bold capture of a
fellow-officer, sleeping by my very side--but this lady has checkmated

WALTER. Checkmated you, sir, and mated me.

CLEVELAND. Both were done by the same move.

ELSWORTH. And you are married, Rose?

ROSE. I will bear Walter's name when we are publicly married,
sir--which now, I trust, will be with your sanction.

ELSWORTH. You have it. You have won a husband, if ever woman did.

LIEUTENANT ELSWORTH. Walter, if you were only more true to the right--

WALTER. Oh, Harry! We will discuss that question yet. I shall make you
[_In his ear._] a convert; be sure of it.


KATE. Why, the company is breaking up. We missed you all, sadly. Here
come the guests.

CLEVELAND. Ah, Arbald, I'm afraid you will have to forego Miss Rose,

ARBALD. To pluck a flower no less sweet.

ROSE. What? Why, Kate--

ARBALD. I have your sister's consent, Miss Elsworth, conditioned only
that you all accord with her decision.

ROSE. And so you have been making love under the _rose_ all this
while. Do not doubt our good wishes.

METCALF. I wonder where Bridget is. I'll pop the question before

ELSWORTH. Rose, you have neglected your friends. Let us go in.

ROSE. Our first duty is to the friends before us--

WALTER. To which faction do they adhere--red or blue?

ROSE. True blue and rebel, I'll be sworn--but I will ask them! [_Comes
forward. To_ ARMSTRONG.] You see, sir, they respond already. [_To the
Audience._] Do you approve the Whiggish maid, and sanction her schemes
so boldly played? The heart of love is heroic in every age; and after

  What difference can we affix,
  Twixt love to-day, and Love in '76?


_The End._

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Love in '76 - An Incident of the Revolution" ***

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