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Title: The Battle of Hexham; - or, Days of Old; a play in three acts
Author: Colman, George, 1732-1794
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.

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[Illustration:
  BATTLE OF HEXHAM
  MARGARET--STRIKE NOT ON THY ALLEGIANCE
  ACT II. SCENE III
  PAINTED BY HOWARD PUBLISHD BY LONGMAN & CO ENGRAVD BY STOW]



THE BATTLE OF HEXHAM; OR, DAYS OF OLD;

A PLAY, IN THREE ACTS;

BY GEORGE COLMAN, THE YOUNGER.

AS PERFORMED AT THE THEATRE ROYAL, HAYMARKET.

PRINTED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE MANAGERS FROM THE PROMPT BOOK.

WITH REMARKS BY MRS. INCHBALD.

       *       *       *       *       *

  LONDON:
  PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND ORME, PATERNOSTER ROW.


  WILLIAM SAVAGE, PRINTER,
  LONDON.



REMARKS.


Mr. Colman acquaints his readers, in his Preface to this play, dated
1808, that it was written near twenty years ago: then, stating, as an
apology to his jocose accusers, this reason for having made Shakespeare
the model for his dialogue--that plays, which exhibit incidents of
former ages, should have the language of the characters conform to
their dress--he adds--"To copy Shakspeare, in the general _tournure_ of
his phraseology, is a mechanical task, which may be accomplished with
a common share of industry and observation:--and this I have attempted
(for the reason assigned); endeavouring, at the same time, to avoid a
servile quaintness, which would disgust. To aspire to a resemblance of
his boundless powers, would have been the labour of a coxcomb;--and had
I been vain enough to have essayed it, I should have placed myself in a
situation similar to that of the strolling actor, who advertised his
performance of a part"--"In imitation of the inimitable Garrick."

"The Battle of Hexham" has been one of the author's most popular works;
and has, perhaps, to charge its present loss of influence with the
public, to those historical events of modern times, which have steeled
the heart against all minor scenes of woe, and deprived of their
wonted interest the sorrows of Queen Margaret and her child.

There is a short, but well known narrative, written by one Clery,
an humble valet de chambre--which, for pathetic claims, in behalf of
suffering majesty and infant royalty, may bid defiance to all that
history has before recorded, or poets feigned, to melt the soul to
sympathy.

Nor can anxiety be now awakened in consequence of a past battle at
Hexham, between a few thousand men, merely disputing which of two
cousins should be their king, when, at this present period, hundreds
of thousands yearly combat and die, in a cause of far less doubtful
importance.

The loyal speeches of Gondibert, in this play, his zeal in the cause of
his sovereign, every reader will admire--yet one difficulty occurs to
abate this admiration--Did Gondibert know who his sovereign _was_? This
question seems to be involved in that same degree of darkness, in which
half the destructive battles which ever took place have been fought.

The adverse parties at Hexham had each a sovereign. Edward the Fourth
was the lawful king of the York adherents, as Henry the Sixth was of
those of Lancaster; and Edward had at least birthright on his side,
being the lineal descendant of the elder brother of Henry the Fourth,
and, as such, next heir to Richard the Second, setting aside the
usurper.--But, possibly, the degraded state of Henry the Sixth was
the strongest tie, which bound this valiant soldier to his supposed
allegiance;--for there are politicians so compassionate towards the
afflicted, or so envious of the prosperous, they will not cordially
acknowledge a monarch until he is dethroned.--Even the people of
England never would allow the Bourbon family to be the lawful kings
of France, till within these last fifteen years[1].

The youthful reader will delight in the conjugal ardour of Adeline;
whilst the prudent matron will conceive--that, had she loved her
blooming offspring, as she professes, it had been better to have
remained at home for their protection, than to have wandered in camps
and forests, dressed in vile disguise, solely for the joy of seeing
their father.--But prudence is a virtue, which would destroy the best
heroine that ever was invented. A mediocrity of discretion even,
dispersed among certain characters of a drama, might cast a gloom over
the whole fable, divest every incident of its power to surprise, take
all point from the catastrophe, and, finally, draw upon the entire
composition, the just sentence of condemnation.

[Footnote 1: It was since the French Revolution that the crown of
England relinquished its title and claim to the kingdom of France.]



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.


  MARQUIS OF MONTAGUE                _Mr. Gardner._
  DUKE OF SOMERSET                   _Mr. Johnson._
  A NOBLEMAN                         _Mr. Iliffe._
  LA VARENNE                         _Mr. Williamson._
  PRINCE OF WALES                    _Miss Gaudry._
  GONDIBERT                          _Mr. Bannister, jun._
  BARTON                             _Mr. Aickin._
  GREGORY GUBBINS                    _Mr. Edwin._
  FOOL                               _Mr. R. Palmer._
  CORPORAL                           _Mr. Baddeley._
  DRUMMER                            _Mr. Moss._
  FIFER                              _Mr. Barret._
  FIRST ROBBER                       _Mr. Bannister, sen._
  SECOND DITTO                       _Mr. Davies._
  THIRD DITTO                        _Mr. Chapman._
  FOURTH DITTO                       _Mr. Rees._
  OTHER ROBBERS                      _Mr. Mathews_, _Mr. Chambers_, _&c._
  FIRST MALE VILLAGER                _Mr. Burton._
  SECOND DITTO                       _Mr. Painter._
  FIRST FEMALE SINGING VILLAGER      _Mrs. Bannister._
  SECOND DITTO                       _Mrs. Iliffe._
  MARGARET                           _Mrs. S. Kemble._
  ADELINE                            _Mrs. Goodall._

  _Various ROBBERS, SOLDIERS, VILLAGERS, &c. &c._


_SCENE--Northumberland._



THE BATTLE OF HEXHAM.

       *       *       *       *       *



ACT THE FIRST.


SCENE I.

    _An open Country, near Hexham, in Northumberland; with a distant
    View of HENRY THE SIXTH'S Camp. Time Day-break._


_Enter ADELINE, in Man's Habit and Accoutrements._

_Adeline._ Heigho! Six dark and weary miles, and not yet at the camp.
How tediously affliction paces!--Come, Gregory! come on. Why, how you
lag behind!--Poor simple soul! what cares has he to weigh him down? Oh,
yes,--he has served me from my cradle; and his plain honest heart feels
for his mistress's fallen fortunes, and is heavy.--Come, my good
fellow, come!

_Enter GREGORY._

_Gregory._ Mercy on us, how my poor legs do ache!

_Adeline._ What, with only six miles this morning?--Fie!

_Gregory._ Six!--sixteen, if we've gone an inch; my feet are cut
to pieces. A man may as well do penance, with pease in his shoes,
as trudge over these confounded roads in Northumberland. I used to
wonder, when we were at home, in the south, where it is as smooth as
a bowling-green, what the labourers did with all the loose stones they
carried off the highways; but now, I find, they come and shoot their
rubbish in the northern counties. I wish we had never come into them,
with all my heart!

_Adeline._ Then, you are weary of my service--you wish you had not
followed me.

_Gregory._ Who I? Heaven forbid!--I'd follow you to the end of the
world:--nay, for that matter, I believe I shall follow you there; for
I have tramped after you a deuced long way, without knowing where we
are going. But I'd live, ay, and die for you too.

_Adeline._ Well, well; we must to the wars, my good fellow.

_Gregory._ The wars! O lud! that's taking me at my word with a
vengeance! I never could abide fighting--there's something so plaguy
quarrelsome in it.

_Adeline._ Then you had best return. We now, Gregory, are approaching
King Henry's camp.

_Gregory._ Are we? Oh dear, oh dear! Pray, then, let us wheel about as
fast as we can.

_Adeline._ Don't you observe the light breaking through the tents
yonder?

_Gregory._ Mercy on me! they are tents, sure enough! Come, madam, let's
be going, if you please.

_Adeline._ Why, whither should I go, poor simpleton? My home is
wretchedness. The wars I seek have made it so; they have robbed me of
my husband; comfort now is lost to me. Oh! Gondibert, too faithful to
a weak cause, our ruin is involved with our betters!

_Gregory._ Oh, rot the cause, say I! Plague on the House of Lancaster!
it has been many a noble gentleman's undoing. The white and red roses
have caused more eyes to water in England, than if we had planted
the whole island with onions. Such a coil kept up with their two
houses!--one's so old and t'other's so old!--they ought both to be
pulled down, for a couple of nuisances to the nation.

_Adeline._ Peace! peace, man!--half such a word, spoken at random,
might cost your life. The times, Gregory, are dangerous.

_Gregory._ Very true, indeed, madam. Death has no modesty in him
now-a-days; he stares every body full in the face. I wish we had kept
quiet at home, out of his way. Who knows but my master, Lord Gondibert,
might have returned to us, unexpectedly; I'm sure he left us
unexpectedly enough; for the deuce a bit of any notice did he give us
of his going.

_Adeline._ Ay, Gregory; was it not unkind? And yet I will not call him
so--the times are cruel--not my husband.--His affection had too much
thought in it to change. His regular love, corrected by the steady
vigour of his mind, knew not the turbulence of boyish raptures; but,
like a sober river in its banks, flowed with a sweet and equal current.
Oh! it was such a placid stream of tenderness!--How long is it since
your master left us, Gregory?

_Gregory._ Six months come to-morrow, madam. I caught a violent cold
the very same day: it has settled in my eyes, I believe, for they have
been troublesome to me ever since. Ah! I shall never forget that morning;
when the spies of the House of York, that's got upon the throne,
surrounded him for being an old friend to the Lancasters. Egad, he laid
about him like a lion!--Out whips his broad-sword; whack he comes me
one over the sconce; pat he goes me another on the cheek; and, after
putting them all out of breath, about he wheels his horse, and we have
never seen nor heard of him since.

_Adeline._ And, from that day to this, I have in vain cherished hopes
of his return.--Fearful, no doubt, of being surprised, he keeps
concealed.--Thus is he torn from me--torn from his children--poor
tender blossoms! too weak to be exposed to the rude tempest of the
times, and leaves their innocence unsheltered!

_Gregory._ Yes, and mine among the rest. But what is it you mean to
do, madam?

_Adeline._ To seek him in the camp. The Lancasters again are making
head, here, in the north. If he have had an opportunity of joining
them, 'tis more than probable he is in their army. Thither will
we;--and for this purpose have I doff'd my woman's habit; leaving my
house to the care of a trusty friend: and, thus accoutred, have led
you, Gregory, the faithful follower of my sorrows, a weary journey half
over England.

_Gregory._ Weary! oh dear, no--not at all--I could turn about again
directly, and walk back, brisker by half than I came.

_Adeline._ What, man, afraid! Come, come; we run but little risk.
Example, too, will animate us. The very air of the camp, Gregory, will
brace your courage to the true pitch.

_Gregory._ That may be, madam; and yet, for a bracing air, people are
apt to die in it, sooner than in any other place.

_Adeline._ Pshaw! pr'ythee, man, put but a confident look on the
matter, and we shall do, I warrant. A bluff and blustering outside
often conceals a chicken heart. Mine aches, I am sure! but I will hide
my grief under the veil of airy carelessness.--Down, sorrow! I'll be
all bustle, like the occasion. Come, Gregory! Mark your mistress, man,
and learn: see how she'll play the pert young soldier.


SONG.--ADELINE.

  _The mincing step, the woman's air,_
    _The tender sigh, the soften'd note,_
  _Poor Adeline must now forswear,_
    _Nor think upon the petticoat._

  _Since love has led me to the field,_
    _The soldier's phrase I'll learn by rote;_
  _I'll talk of drums, of sword and shield,_
    _And quite forget my petticoat._

  _When the loud cannon's roar I hear,_
    _And trumpets bray with brazen throat,_
  _With blust'ring, then, I'll hide my fear,_
    _Lest I betray my petticoat._

  _But ah! how slight the terrors past,_
    _If he on whom I fondly dote,_
  _Is to my arms restored at last;--_
    _Then--give me back my petticoat!_


[Exit ADELINE.

_Gregory._ Well, if I must go, I must. I cannot help following my poor
Lady Adeline--affection has led many a bolder man by the nose than I.
I wonder, though, how your bold fellows find themselves just before
they're going to fight. I wonder if they have any uncomfortable sort
of sticking in the throat, and a queer kind of a cold tickling feel in
some part of the flesh. Ah! Gregory, Gregory Gubbins! your peaceable
qualities will never do for a camp. I never could bear gunpowder, since
I got fuddled at the fair, and the boys tied crackers, under Dobbin's
tail, in the Market Place.


SONG.--GREGORY GUBBINS.

  _What's a valiant Hero?_
    _Beat the drum,_
    _And he'll come:--_
  _Row de dow dero!_

  _Nothing does he fear, O!_
    _Risks his life,_
    _While the fife--_
  _Twittle, twittle twero--_
  _Row de dow de dow,_
  _Twittle, twittle twero._

  _Havock splits his ear, O!_
    _Groans abound,_
    _Trumpets sound,_
  _Ran tan tan ta tero--_
  _Twittle, twittle twero._

  _Then the scars he'll bear, O!_
    _Muskets roar,_
    _Small shot pour--_
  _Rat tat tat to tero--_
  _Pop, pop, pop,_
  _Twittle, twittle twero._

  _What brings up the rear, O?_
    _In comes Death;_
    _Stops his breath;--_
  _Good bye, valiant Hero!--_
  _Twittle twittle, rat a tat,_
  _Pop, pop, pop, row de dow, &c. &c._                           [Exit.


SCENE II.

    HENRY THE SIXTH'S _Camp, at Hexham._

_Enter a DRUMMER and a FIFER._

_Drum._ Morrow to you, Master Tooting--a merry day-breaking to your
worship.

_Fifer._ A sad head-breaking, I fancy. Plaguy troublesome times,
brother! Buffetted, by the opposite party, out of one place, and now
waiting till they come to buffet us out of another. Whenever they do
come, let me tell you, a man will scarce have time to get up from his
straw bed, before he's laid down again by a long shot of the enemy. We
shall be popp'd at like a parcel of partridges, rising from stubble.

_Drum._ Pshaw! plague, what signifies taking matters to heart? Luck's
all. War's a chance, you know. If one day's bad, another's better.
What matters an odd drubbing, or so? A soldier should never grumble.

_Fifer._ Why, zouns! flesh and blood, nor any thing that belongs to a
camp, can't help it. Do, now, only give your drum a good beating, and
mind what a damn'd noise it will make.--Not grumble, when we take so
many hard knocks?

_Drum._ No, to be sure; else how should we be able to return them?

_Fifer._ Ay, there stands the case; we never can return them. Others
can have a blow, and give a blow; but as for me, and yourself, and Kit
Crackcheeks, the trumpeter; 'sbud, they may thump us from morning to
night, and all the revenge we have, is--Toot-a-too, rub-a-dub, and
tantararara.

_Drum._ O fie! learn to know our consequence better, brother, I beseech
you. My word for it, we are the heros that do all the execution. Who
but we keep up the vigour of an engagement, and the courage of the
soldiers? Fear, brother, is, for all the world, like your bite of a
tarantula; there's no conquering its effects without music. We are of
as much consequence to an army, as wind to a windmill: the wings can't
be put in motion without us.

_Fifer._ Marry, that's true: and if two armies ever meet without coming
to blows, nothing but our absence can be the occasion of it. The only
way to restore harmony is, to take away our music.

_Enter a CORPORAL and SOLDIERS._

_Soldier._ Come along, my boys; now for the news!

_Corp._ Silence!

_Soldiers._ Ay, ay--Silence.

_Corp._ Hold your peace, there, and listen to what I'm going to inform
you--Hem!--Who am I?

_All Soldiers._ Our corporal! Alick Puff;--our corporal.

_Corp._ O ho! am I so?--then obey orders, you riotous rascals, and keep
your tongues between the few teeth the civil war has been civil enough
to leave you. What! is it for a parcel of pitiful privates to gabble
before their superior officer! know yourselves for a set of ignorant
boobies, as you are--and do not forget that I am at the head of you.

_Drum._ But, pr'ythee, good Master Corporal, what news?

_Corp._ Ay, there it is; good Master Corporal, and sweet Master Corporal,
the news? who is to tell you, but I? and what do I ever get by it?

_Fifer._ Come, come, you shall have our thanks with all our hearts;--we
promise you that.

_Soldier._ Ay, ay, that you shall--now for it!

_Corp._ Then!--You remember your promise?

_All Soldiers._ Yes, yes, we do.

_Corp._ Why, then, you'll all have your throats cut before to-morrow
morning.

_All._ How!

_Drum._ Pshaw! it can't be!

_Corp._ See there, now! just as I expected.--After all I have imparted,
merely for your pleasure and satisfaction, not a man among you has the
gratitude to say, thank you, Corporal, for your kind information.

_Drum._ But, is the enemy at hand?

_Corp._ No matter, Mum! only when the business is over with you, and
you are all stiff in the field, do me the credit to say, afterwards, I
was the first that told you it would happen. I, Alexander Puff, corporal
to King Henry the Sixth, (Heaven bless him!) in his majesty's camp, at
Hexham, in Northumberland.

_Fifer._ Well, though they do muster strong, we may make Edward's party
skip for all that; if we have but justice on our side.

_Corp._ Well said, Master Wiseacre!--Justice! No, no! Might overcomes
right, now a days. Bully Rebellion has almost frightened Justice out of
her wits; and, when she ventures to weigh causes, her hand trembles so
confoundedly, that half the merits tumble out of the scale.

_Fifer._ But, still, I say----

_Corp._ Say no more--but take care of yourself in the battle--that's
all.--'Sblood! if the enemy were to find your little, dry, taper
carcase, pink'd full of round holes, they'd mistake you for your own
fife. But, remember this, my lads. Edward of York has again shoved King
Henry from his possessions, and squatted his own usurping, beggarly
gallygaskins, in the clean seat of sovereignty; and here are we brave
fellows, at Hexham, come to place him on the stool of repentance. And
there's our king at the head of us--and there's his noble consort, the
sword and buckler, Queen Margaret--and there's the Lord Seneschal of
Normandy--and the Lord Duke of Somerset--and the Lord knows who!--The
enemy is at hand, with a thumping power; so up, courage, and to
loggerheads we go for it.--Huzza! for the Red Roses, and the House
of Lancaster.

_All._ Huzza! huzza! huzza!


SONG.--CORPORAL.

  _My tight fellow soldiers, prepare for your foes;_
  _Fight away, for the cause of the jolly Red Rose;_
  _Never flinch while you live; should you meet with your death,_
  _There's no fear that you'll run--you'll be quite out of breath._
  _Then be true to your colours, the Lancasters chose,_
  _And the laurel entwine with the jolly Red Rose._

  Chorus. _Then be true, &c._

  _He who follows for honour the drum and the fife,_
  _May perhaps have the luck to get honour for life;_
  _And he who, for money, makes fighting his trade,_
  _Let him now face the foe, he'll be handsomely paid._

  _Then be true, &c._

  _The fight fairly done, my brave boys of the blade,_
  _How we'll talk, o'er our cups, of the havock we've made!_
  _How we'll talk, if we once kill a captain or two,_
  _Of a hundred more fellows, that nobody knew._
  _Then my tight fellow soldiers prepare for your foes._
  _And the laurel entwine with the jolly Red Rose._

[Exeunt.


SCENE III.

    _Outside of the Royal Tent._

_Enter FOOL._

_Fool._ Queen Margaret has sheltered me from the peltings of fortune,
this many a year. Now the pelting has damaged my shelter; but still I
stick to it. More simpleton I!--to stand, like a thin-clad booby, in
a hard shower, under an unroofed penthouse. Truly, for a fool of my
experience, I have but little wisdom: and yet a camp suits well with
my humour; take away the fighting--the sleeping in a field--the bad
fare--the long marches, and the short pay--and a soldier's is a rare
merry life.--Here come two more musterers--troth we have need of
them--for, considering the goodness of the cause, they drop in as
sparingly as mites into a poor's box.

_Enter ADELINE and GREGORY._

_Adeline._ Tremble not now, Gregory, for your life!

_Gregory._ Lord, madam, that is the only thing I do tremble for: if I
had as many lives as a cat, I must borrow a tenth, I fancy, to carry me
out of this place.

_Adeline._ Pooh! pr'ythee--we are here among friends. Did you not mark
the courtesy of the centinels; who, upon signifying our intentions, bid
us pass on, till we should find a leader, to whom we might tender our
services?

_Gregory._ Ah! and there he is, I suppose. [_Pointing to the FOOL._]
Mercy on us! he's a terrible looking fellow--his coat has been so pepper'd
with musket shot in the wars, that 'tis patch'd from the very top to the
bottom.

_Adeline._ Tut, tut, man! your fears have made you blind; this motley
gentleman's occupation has nothing terrible in it, I'll answer for
it--we will accost him. How now, fellow?

_Fool._ How now, fool?

_Adeline._ What, sirrah? call you me fool?

_Fool._ 'Faith may I, sir; when you call me fellow. Hail to you, sir,
you are very well met. Nay you need not be ashamed of me for a companion;
simple though I seem, we fools come of a great family, with a number of
rich relations.

_Adeline._ Why do you follow the camp, fool?

_Fool._ For the same reason that a blind beggar follows his dog;--though
it may lead me where my neck may be broke, I can't get on in the world
without it. You, sir, I take it, are come, like me, to shoot your bolt
at the enemy?

_Adeline._ I come, partly, indeed, among other purposes, to offer my
weak aid to the army.

_Fool._ Your weakness, sir, acts marvellously wisely: you'll be the
clean-shaved Nestor of the regiment.

_Adeline._ If I could find your leader, I would vouch, too, for the
integrity of this my follower, to be received into the ranks.

_Gregory._ Oh no, you need not put yourself to the trouble of vouching
for me.

_Fool._ Right; for your knave, when great folks have occasion for him,
is received with little inquiry into his character. Marry, let an
honest man lack their assistance, and starving stares him in the face,
for want of a recommendation.

_Adeline._ Lead us to your General, and you shall be well remember'd by
me.

_Fool._ Why, as to a General, I can stand you in little stead; but if
such a simple thing as a Queen can content you, I am your only man: for
 being a proper fellow, and a huge tickler up of a lady's fancy, I may
chance to push your fortune as far as another. Truly, you fell into
good hands when you stumbled on me. [_Flourish._] Stand back, here
comes royalty.

_Enter QUEEN MARGARET, DUKE OF SOMERSET, LA VARENNE, SENESCHAL OF
  NORMANDY, with KNIGHTS and SOLDIERS,  from the Tent._

  _Som._ Here, if it please you, madam, we'll debate.
  Our tented councils but disturb the King,
  And break his pious meditations.

  _Marg._ True, Duke of Somerset; for some there are
  Who, idly stretch'd upon the bank of life,
  Sleep till the stream runs dry.--Is't not vexatious,
  That frolic nature, as it were, in mockery,
  Should in the rough, and lusty mould of manhood,
  Encrust a feeble mind!--Well, upon me
  Must rest the load of war.--Assist me, then,
  Ye powers of just revenge! fix deep the memory
  Of injured majesty! heat my glowing fancy
  With all the glittering pride of high dominion;
  That, when we meet the traitors who usurp it,
  My breast shall swell with manly indignation,
  And spur me on to enterprise.

  _La Var._ Oh! happy
  The knight who wields his sword for such a mistress.
  I cannot but be proud! When late, in Normandy,
  Your grace demanded succour of my countrymen,
  And beauty in distress shone like the sun
  Piercing a summer's cloud--then--then was I
  The honour'd cavalier a royal lady
  Chose, from the flower of our nobility,
  To right her cause, and punish her oppressors.

  _Marg._ Thanks, La Varenne; our cause is bound to you;
  And my particular bond of obligation
  Is stamp'd, my lord, with the warm seal of gratitude.
  Yours is a high and gallant spirit, lord!
  Impatient of inaction, even in peace
  It manifests its owner: for, I found you,
  In fertile France, (that nurse of courtesy)
  Our sex's foremost champion;--in the tournament
  Bearing away the prize, that you might lay it
  At some fair lady's feet: thus, in rehearsal,
  Training the martial mind to feats of chivalry;
  That, when occasion call'd for real service,
  It ever was found ready--witness the troops
  You lead to action.--Say, lords, think you not
  That these, our high-bred Normans, mingled with
  Our hardy Scottish friends, like fire in flint,
  Will, when the iron hand of battle strikes,
  Produce such hot and vivid sparks of valour,
  That the pale House of York, aghast with fear,
  Shall perish in the flame it rashly kindled?

  _La Var._ No doubt, no doubt!
  'Would that the time were come, when our bright swords
  Shall end the contest! Since I pledged myself
  To fight this cause, delay's as irksome to me,
  As to the mettled boy, contracted to
  The nymph he burns for, when cold blooded age
  Procrastinates the marriage ceremony.

  _Marg._ The time's at hand, my lord; the enemy,
  Hearing of succours daily flocking to us,
  Is marching, as I gather, towards our camp--
  Therefore, good Seneschal, look to our troops:
  Keep all our men in readiness;--ride thro' the ranks,
  And cheer the soldiery.--Come, bustle, bustle.
  Oh! we'll not fail, I warrant!--How now, sirrah?
  How came you here?                                    [_To the FOOL._

_Fool._ Willy nilly, madam, as the thief came to the gallows. I am a
modest guest here, madam, with a poor stomach for fighting, and need
a deal of pressing before I fall to. When Providence made plumbers, it
did wisely to leave me out of the number; for, Heaven knows, I take
but little delight in lead: but here are two who come to traffic in
that commodity.                       [_Points to ADELINE and GREGORY._

_Marg._ How mean you, sir? What are these men?

_Fool._ Swelling spirits, madam, with shrunk fortunes, as I take
it;--as painful to the owners, as your gouty leg in a tight boot: but
if a man's word be not taken in the world, he's forced to come to blows
to keep up a reputation. Poverty without spirit lets in the frost upon
him worse than a crazy portal at Christmas; so here are a couple of
warped doors in the foul weather of adversity, madam, who want to be
listed.

  _Marg._ I never saw a youth of better promise:
  But say, young man, serve you here willingly
  In these our wars?                                     [_To ADELINE._

  _Adeline._ Yes, madam, if it please you;
  And, if my youth should lack ability,
  I do beseech you, let my honest will
  Atone for its defect:--yet I will say--
  And yet I would not boast--that a weak boy
  May show you that he is zealous in your service:
  For tho' but green in years, alas! misfortune
  Has sorely wrung my heart!--and the proud world,
  (I blush for't, while I utter it)--must know
  What 'tis to suffer, ere its thoughtless breast,
  Callous in happiness, can warm with feeling
  For others in distress.

  _Marg._ Poor youth! I pity thee.
  And for thy willingness, which I esteem
  In friendly working more than if thou brought'st
  The strength of Hercules to nerve our battle,
  Should the just Heavens smile on our enterprise,
  I will not, trust me, youth, forget thee.--

_Enter a MESSENGER._

  Now the news!

  _Mess._ The enemy approaches. On the brow
  Of the next hill, rising a short mile hence,
  Their colours wave.

_La Var._ Now then for the issue!

_Marg._ Ha!--So near! Who is't that leads their power?

_Mess._ The Marquis of Montague, so please your Majesty.       [_Exit._

  _Marg._ Then he shall find us ready. Now, my lords!
  Remember, half our hopes rest on this onset.--
  Some one prepare the King.               [_A KNIGHT enters the Tent._
  If on the border
  Of England, here, we cut but boldly through
  The troops opposed to intercept our passage,
  The afterwork is easy:--
  Where's my young son!--then, like a rolling flood,
  That once has broke its mound, we'll pour upon
  The affrighted country, sweeping all before
  Our flood of power, till we penetrate
  The very heart on't.----
  Go, bring the Prince of Wales!--Now, gallant soldiers,
  Fight lustily to-day, and all the rest
  Is sport and holiday.

_Enter an OFFICER with the young PRINCE._

  My son!--my boy.
  Come to thy mother's bosom! Heaven, who sees
  The anxious workings of a parent's heart,
  Knows what I feel for thee! Alas! alas!
  It grieves me sore to have thee here, my child!
  The rough, unkindly blasts of pitiless war
  Suit not thy tender years.

  _Prince._ Why, mother,
  Mustn't I be a soldier? And 'tis time
  I should begin my exercise--by and bye
  'Twill be too late to learn--and yet I wish
  That I were bigger now, for your sake, mother.

_Marg._ Why, boy?

  _Prince._ Oh! you know well enough, for all your asking.
  Do you think, if I were strong enough to fight,
  I'd let these raw-boned fellows plague you so?

  _Marg._ My sweet, brave boy!--Come, lords, and gentlemen;
  Let us go cheerily to work! If woman,
  In whose weak, yielding breast, nature puts forth
  Her softest composition, can shake off
  Her idle fears,--what may not you perform?
  And you shall see me now, steel'd by th' occasion,
  So far unsex myself, that tho' grim death
  (Breaking the pale of time) shall stride the field,
  With slaught'rous step,--and, prematurely, plunge
  His dart in vigorous bosoms, till the earth
  Is purple-dyed in gore--still will I stand
  Fix'd as the oak, when tempests sweep the forest.
  But, still, one woman's fear--one touch of nature,
  Tugs at my heartstrings--'tis for thee, my child!
  --Oh! may the white-robed angel,
  That watches over baby innocence,
  Hear a fond mother's prayer, and in the battle
  Cast his protecting mantle round thee!--On--
  Away.                                                        [_Exit._

_Gregory._ I shall never know how to set about the business I am put
upon. Of all the sports of the field, I never went a man shooting
before in my life:--and, yet, when the lady, with the brass bason on
her head, begins to talk big, there is a warm glow about one, that--gad!
I begin to think 'tis courage;--for I don't know how to describe it;
and never felt any thing like it before. [_Alarm._] Zouns! no it
e'n't--if it is, my courage is of a plaguy hot nature; for the very
sound of a battle has thrown me into a perspiration. Oh! my poor
mistress's man! Oh! I wish we were at home, and I was comfortably laid
up in our damp garret, with a fine twinging fit of the rheumatism.
[_Huzza._] Mercy on us!--here's a whole posse, too, coming the other
way. I'm in for it! but, if there is such a thing as the protecting
mantle they talk'd of, I hope 'tis a pure large one; and there'll be
room enough to lap up me, and my mistress in the tail on't.    [_Exit._


SCENE IV.

    _The Field._

_Enter LA VARENNE, followed by the FOOL._

  _La Var._ Death and shame!
  Are these the rough, and hardy northern men,
  That were to back my Normans? Why, they fly,
  Like skimming shadows, o'er a mountain's side,
  Chased by the sun.

_Fool._ True; the heat of the battle is too strong for their cold
constitutions.

  _La Var._ Here, sirrah, take this token to the King:--
  Go with your utmost speed: entreat him, quickly,
  To bring his forces in reserve. This effort
  Restores, or kills, our hope.--Yet I'll fight all out;
  I'll shake these pillars of the White-rose House
  Till the whole building totters, tho' its fall
  Should crush me in the ruins.                                [_Exit._

_Fool._ Well said, Sampson--that's a bold fellow, and I'm on his side.
Red roses for ever!

_Enter a SOLDIER, of the White Rose Party._

_Soldier._ Now, fellow, speak! tell me who you fight for.

_Fool._ Marry, will I, very willingly. Pray canst tell who has the best
of the battle?

_Soldier._ The White Rose, to be sure: we are the strongest.

_Fool._ Thank you, friend: pass on--I'm on your side. [_Exit SOLDIER._]
A low clown, now, might stagger at this shifting; but your true,
court-bred fool, always cuts the cloth of his conscience to the fashion
of the times.                                                  [_Exit._

_Enter GREGORY and ADELINE, hastily._

_Gregory._ Run, run, madam! follow a blockhead's advice, and run, or
'tis all over with us.

_Adeline._ Whither shall I fly! Fatigue and despair so wear and press
me, I scarcely know what course to take.

_Gregory._ Take to your legs, madam! Get on now, or we shall never be
able to get off. Come, my dear, good, Lady Adeline! Lord! Lord! only to
see now, what little resolution people have, that they can't run away
when there's danger. [_Shout._] Plague on your shouting! Since they
must make soldiers of us--the light troops against the field, say I!

                                 [_Exit, running, followed by ADELINE._

_Alarm--Shout--and Retreat sounded._


SCENE V.

    _Open Country._

_Enter the MARQUIS OF MONTAGUE, EGBERT, and
  other LORDS of the White Rose Party, SOLDIERS, &c._

  _Mont._ Cheerly, my valiant friends! the field is ours.
  The scatter'd Roses of the Lancasters,
  Now deeper tinted, blush a double red,
  In shame of this defeat. Oh! this will much
  Rejoice King Edward!--Say, has any friend
  Made Henry sure?

  _Egbert._ He is escaped alone, my lord! and Margaret,
  Who, with her little son, went, hand in hand,
  Hovering about the field, with anxious hope,
  Ev'n to the very last; when she perceived
  Her lines broke thro'--her troops almost dispersed,--
  She hung upon her boy, in silent anguish,
  Till the big tear dropt in his lily neck:
  Then, kissing him, as by a sudden impulse,
  Which mothers feel, she snatch'd him to her bosom,
  And fled with her young treasure in her arms:----
  Nature so spoke in't, that our very soldiers
  Were soften'd at the scene, and, dull'd with pity,
  Grew sluggish in pursuit.

  _Mont._ Well, let them go:--
  Their cause is, now, become so weak, and sickly,
  That, tho' the head exist, to plot fresh mischief,
  They will want limbs to execute,--Their House,
  (Once strong and mighty,) like a a palsied Hercules,
  Must, now, lament it has outlived its powers.--
  Meantime, as we return, in pride of conquest,
  Let us impress the minds of Englishmen
  With new-won glories of the House of York.
  Strike drum!--Sound trumpet!--Let the air be rent,
  With high and martial songs of victory.


GRAND CHORUS.

        _Strike!--the God of Conquest sheds_
        _His choicest laurels on our heads:_
            _Mars, with fury-darting eye,_
          _Smooths his brow, and stalks before us;_
          _Leading our triumphant chorus,_
            _Hand in hand, with victory._
  _And hark! the thund'ring drum, and fife's shrill tone,_
  _With brazen trumpet's clang, proclaim the day our own._

                                                             [_Huzzas._



ACT THE SECOND.


SCENE I.

    _A Cave, in Hexham Forest; in which ROBBERS are discovered, drinking._


OLD GLEE, AND OLD WORDS.

  _When Arthur first, in court, began_
    _To wear long hanging-sleeves,_
  _He entertain'd three serving-men,_
    _And all of them were thieves._

  _The first he was an Irishman,_
    _The second was a Scot,_
  _The third he was a Welshman,_
    _And all were knaves, I wot._

  _The Irishman, he loved Usquebaugh,_
    _The Scot loved ale, called blue-cap;_
  _The Welshman he loved toasted cheese,_
    _And made his mouth like a mouse-trap._

  _Usquebaugh burnt the Irishman,_
    _The Scot was drown'd in ale;_
  _The Welshman had like t' have been choak'd with a mouse,_
    _But he pull'd her out by the tail._


_1 Rob._ Sung like true and noble boys of plunder! Isn't this
free-booting spirit, now, better than leading a cowardly life of musty
regularity? Honesty is a scarce and tender commodity, that perishes
almost as soon as it appears:--the rich man is not known to have it,
for fortune has never put him to the test; and the poor blockhead, that
boasts on't, dies for hunger in proving it.

_2 Rob._ Right; it is but a fever in the blood, that soon kills the
patient if it be not expelled.--I had the fever, once.

_4 Rob._ And what was your cure for't?

_2 Rob._ Starving. Ever while you live, starve your fever:--when
honesty is your case, only call in poverty as physician, and the
disease soon yields to his prescriptions.

_1 Rob._ Pshaw! plague on your physic? aren't we taking our wine in the
full vigour of roguery? This it is [_Holding the Bottle._] that gives
courage to poor knaves to knock down rich fools, in the forest;--just
as it gives rich fools spirits to sally forth, and break poor knaves'
heads, in the town. Come, as I'm Lieutenant, and our Captain is prowling,
let's to business:--read over the list of our yesterday's booties.

_2 Rob._ Agreed! but, first, one more round; one health; one general
health, and then we'll to't.

_1 Rob._ Here it is then--here's a short, little, snug, general health,
that hits most humours; it suits your soldier, your tithe parson, your
lawyer, your politician, just as well as your robber.

_All._ Now for it.                                         [_All rise._

_1 Rob._ Plunder!                                            [_Drinks._

_All._ Plunder!                                           [_All drink._

_1 Rob._ And now for the list.

_2 Rob._ [Reads.] _Hexham Forest, May 14th, 1462. Taken, from a single
lady, on a pad nag, eleven pounds, four groats, and a portmanteau.--She
seemed marvellously frightened, and whispered thanks, privately, for
her delivery._

_1 Rob._ No uncommon case--she isn't the first single lady who has been
delivered, and whispered thanks for it in private.

2 Rob. _From a Scotch laird, on his way from London to Inverness--by
Philip Thunder in gloves; the whole provision for his journey, viz. one
cracked angel, and two sticks of brimstone._

_1 Rob._ Who has his horse?

_2 Rob._ No one; the Scotch laird travelled on foot. _From a pair of
justices of the peace, a foundered mare, a black gelding, two doublets,
and a hundred marks in gold--they were tied back to back;--_

_1 Rob._ Good! It is but right, that they who bind over so many, should
at last, be bound over themselves; and a wise thief is ever bound in
justice to put a foolish justice in binding.

2 Rob. _Back to back, and hoodwinked--They were left, lamenting their
fate, in the forest._

_1 Rob._ Lament! O villains!--To be in the commission of the peace, and
not know that Justice should always be blind. Marry, a good day! Are there
any more?

_2 Rob._ Only a fat friar, who was half plundered, and saved himself
by flight.

_1 Rob._ The better fortune his. Few fat friars, I fancy, have the luck
to be saved. What did he yield?

2 Rob. _The rope from his middle, a bottle of sack from his bosom, and
a link of hog's puddings, pulled out of his left sleeve._

_1 Rob._ Gad a mercy, friar! For the sack, and the sausages, they shall
be shared, merrily, among us; and for the rope,--hum!--come, we won't
think of that, now. [_A Horn wound lowly._] Hark! there's our Captain's
horn!--'faith, for one who, I suspect is married, he chuses an odd
signal of approach.

_2 Rob._ Nay, though he may be married, he's no milksop; and, I warrant
him, when he's on duty, and robbing among us, he quite forgets his
wife, as an honest man should do. He has joined us but a short time,
yet, egad, he heads us nobly! He'll pluck you an hundred crowns from a
rich fellow's pocket, with one hand, and throw his share of them into a
hungry beggar's hat, with the other. But, here he comes.

_Enter GONDIBERT._

_All._ Hail, noble Captain!

_Gondi._ How now, my bold and rugged companions! What has been done in
my absence?

_1 Rob._ Oh, sir, a deal of business--We have been washing down old
scores, and getting vigour for new. We have had a cup for every breach
of the law we have committed. Marry, sir, ours is a rare cellar, to
stand such a soaking.

_Gondi._ Now then, to a business of greater import. I have been lurking
round the camp, here, on the skirts of the forest. The parties have
met, and a hot battle ensued. It was a long time fought with such
stubborn courage, that, as I stood observing it, the spirit of war,
pent up within me, had well nigh burst my breast.--Twenty times, I was
at the point of breaking from my shelter, and joining combat. But I am
pledged to you, my fellows;--that thought restrained me.

_2 Rob._ O, noble Captain!--but who has conquered?

_Gondi._ Ay, there it is:--'sdeath and fury, my blood boiled to see it!
The sleek, upstart rascals, cut through the ranks as if--oh! a plague
on their well feeding!--We had carried it else, all the world to
nothing!

_2 Rob._ We! why what is it to us who has the day? Do but tell us who.

_Gondi._ I had forgot. The Lancasters are defeated, their soldiers
routed, and many of their leaders dispersed about the country. Some,
no doubt, are in the forest. Usurping war never glutted on a richer
banquet.

_1 Rob._ Why, it seems to have been a pretty feast; and, the best on't
is, now 'tis over, we shall come in for the picking of the bones.

_Gondi._ It may be so. You all, I know, will expect a rich booty; and
they whom we shall meet will, probably, from the unsettled nature of
the times, bear their whole wealth about their persons:--but they are
brave, and have been oppressed;--disappointment, therefore, and their
situation, may cause them to fight in their defence, like heros.

_2 Rob._ Nay, an they fight like devils, they'll find we can match them
in courage. Put me to any proof you please, and they shall soon find me
a man.

_Gondi._ Then, prove it, friend, by pity for the unfortunate. Believe
me, comrades, he has little better to boast than a brute, who cannot
temper his courage with feeling. And, now, as our expedition is at
hand, let each of you observe my orders. If there be any whose
appearance denotes a more than common birth, treat him with due respect,
and conduct him to my cave. As to the plunder (which our wild life
obliges us to exact from the way-worn passenger) on this occasion,
pr'ythee, good comrades, take sparingly, and use your prisoners
generously.

_4 Rob._ [_Half aside, and muttering._] 'Sblood! this captain of ours
had better take to the pulpit than the road. If he must preach so
plaguily about generosity, he might, at least, pay for it out of his
own pocket.

_Gondi._ Who's he that dares to mutter? Come forth, thou wretch! Thus
do I punish mutiny, and presumption.

                       [_Pulls him down, and holds his Sword over him._

_4 Rob._ Oh, mercy! good Captain, mercy!

_Gondi._ Well, take it, though thou deservest none; and learn from
this, thou poor, base reptile! how to show mercy to others whom fortune
places in thy power. Now, friends, all to your posts. I shall go forth
alone. You have your orders, and I know you will obey them strictly.
The night steals on us apace; and the angry clouds, threatning a storm,
add to the awful gloom of the forest. Away, boys! and be steady.

_1 Rob._ As rocks, Captain. Come, bullies! all to your duties. Keep
your ears, and lose your tongues. Listen, in silence, for the tread of
a passenger; and, when he's near enough, spring upon him, like so many
cats at a mouse hole.


CATCH.

                _"Buz, quoth the blue-fly."_
                _Lurk o'er the green-sword;_
                    _Mum let us be:--_
                _Lurk, and mum's the word,_
                    _For you and me!_
  _Thro' the brake, thro' the wood, prowl, prowl around!_
  _We watch the footsteps, with ears to the ground._
                              _Ears to the ground._

                                                     [_Exeunt ROBBERS._

  _Gondi._ Here is another moment snatch'd--a short one--
  To commune with myself:--yet, wherefore, think?
  Why court consuming sorrow to my bosom,
  Which, like the nurs'ling pelican, drinks the blood
  Of its fond cherisher?
  Why rather should not turbulence of action
  Shake off the tax of tyrannous remembrance?
  'Tis not the mere, and actual suffering,
  That bends the noble spirit to the earth,
  And cracks the proud heart's chord:--The prisoner,
  Whose feverish limbs, for many a long, long year,
  No summer breeze has fann'd, might still be patient,--
  Did not remembrance, yoked with cursed comparison,
  Enter his dungeon walls, and conjure up
  The shadows of past joys;--then, thought on thought,
  Like molten lead, run thro' the wretch's brain,
  And burning fancy mads him.--Hence, Remembrance!
  How baneful art thou to me, when this course
  Must be thy antidote! I'll thro' the forest,
  And seek these wanderers.--Fell necessity,
  And the rude band that I am link'd withal,
  Demand that I should prey on them:--yet, still,
  My heart leans to them, tho' their fatal cause
  Has shorn me to the quick:--for them I fled
  My home, my dear loved----Oh, peace, Gondibert!
  Touch not that string!--If I must think, I'll think
  That Heaven one day may smile.                               [_Exit._


SCENE II.

    _Part of the Forest._

_Enter ADELINE and GREGORY._

_Gregory._ Gently, good madam; gently, for the love of corns! Where is
it you mean to go?

_Adeline._ Even where chance shall carry us, Gregory.

_Gregory._ 'Faith, madam, and if chance would carry us, it would be
doing us a great favour; for we have walked far enough, in all
conscience.

_Adeline._ Then, here, my good fellow, we must rest ourselves.

_Gregory._ Here! what in the wood? and night coming on!

_Adeline._ Good faith even here!--here, for necessity demands it, we
must pass the night: and, in the morning, the ring-dove, cooing to its
mate, will wake us to our journey homeward. This is a retreat, were but
the mind at ease, a king might well repose in.

_Gregory._ It must be King Nebuchadnezzar then: if we haven't some of
his grass-eating qualities, we shall find ourselves badly off for a
supper. 'Tis ten to one, too, but we may wander here for a week,
without finding our way out again.

_Adeline._ Oh! this world! this world! I am weary on't! 'Would I had
been some villager!--'twere well, now, to be a shepherd's boy--he has
no cares--but while his sheep browse on the mountain's side, with
vacant mind--happy in ignorance--he sinks to sleep, o'ercanopied with
heaven, and makes the turf his pillow.

_Gregory._ Yes, but he has plaguy damp sheets, for all that. I'd
exchange all the turf and sky in the county, for a good warm barn and a
blanket; and as for the cooing doves, I would not give a crack'd tester
for a forest full of them; unless I could see some of their claws stuck
up through the holes of a brown piecrust.

_Adeline._ Fie! Gregory; be content, be content. Think that we are
happy in this forest, in having thus escaped the enemy's fire, and be
grateful in the change.

_Gregory._ Why, we are out of the fire, to be sure; but, make the best
on't we can, we are still in the frying-pan. And starving is one of
those blessings for which people are not very apt to be thankful. But
we have escaped killing; so I'll e'en be content, as long as there is
comfort in comparison. I stumbled over a fat trumpeter in the field,
stript and plunder'd, with his skin full of bullets. Well, I am
thankful yet--mine is a marvellous happy lot, to be better than a dead
trumpeter!

_Adeline._ Truce now, Gregory; and consider how we can best dispose
ourselves here, till the morning.

_Gregory._ Nay, there's no need of much consideration; there's little
distinction of apartments here, madam: we shall both sleep on the
ground floor--and our lodgings will be pure and airy, I warrant them.

_Adeline._ Peace, fool! nor let thy grosser mind, half fears, half
levity, thus trifle with my feelings! I have borne me up against
affliction, till my o'ercharged bosom can contain no longer.

_Gregory._ O the father! look if my poor dear lady be not a
weeping!--why, madam--Lady Adeline--dear madam! I am but a fool as you
say; but I'm as honest and as faithful as the greatest knave of them
all:--and haven't I sighed, sobbed, fasted, fought, and run away, to
show you that I would stand by you to the last? and haven't I----

_Adeline._ Pr'ythee, no more, Gregory! bear with, my pettishness--for,
now and then, the tongue of disappointment will needs let fall some of
the acid drops which misery sprinkles the heart withal.

_Gregory._ Now must I play the comforter. Why, lord, madam, I think,
when a body comes to be used to it a little, this forest must be a
sweet, dingy, retired, gloomy, pleasant sort of a place;--besides,
what's one night? sleeping bears it out--and I'll warrant us we'll find
such snug delicious beds of dry leaves, that-- [_Hard shower_.] 'Sbud!
no!--I lie--it rains like all the dogs and cats in the kingdom--there
won't be a dry twig left, large enough to shelter a cock-chafer--we
shall both be sopped here, like two toasts in a tankard-- [_Thunder._

_Adeline._ Why, why should fortune sport with a weak woman thus! why,
fickle goddess, wanton as boys in giddy cruelty, torture a silly fly
before you kill it?

_Gregory._ 'Faith, madam, for that matter, I am but a blue-bottle of
fortune's myself; and, though sorrow is dry, they say, this is a sort
of soaking it does not care to be moistened with. If it would rain good
barrels of ale, now, sorrow would not so much mind being out in the
storm. [_Thunder again._] No; sorrow would be disappointed there too:
this rumbling is enough to flatten the finest beer shower, a man would
wish to take a whet in.--Lud! lud! madam! let's get out ou't, if
there's a hollow tree to be found.                          [_Thunder._

_Adeline._ The thunder rolls awful on the ear, and strikes the soul
with terror. The plunderer, too, perhaps catching the sulphurous flash,
explores his wretched prey, and stalks to midnight murder.

_Gregory._ Mercy on us, madam, don't talk of that!--now I think on't,
if we were to pick and chuse, for a twelvemonth, we couldn't have
pitched upon a more convenient place to be knocked down in. Shelter!
dear madam! shelter.

_Adeline._ Is it thus you stand by me, Gregory? I, at least, hoped you
had valour enough to--

                          [_ROBBERS appear behind, and slowly advance._

_Gregory._ Exactly enough; but not a morsel to spare. So we'll e'en
look out for a place of safety. Not that I'm afraid though.--Stand by
you?--egad, if half a dozen, now, of stout, raw-boned fellows were to
dare to molest you, I would make no more of whipping this [_Drawing his
Sword._] through their dirty lungs, than I would of----

                               [_ROBBERS surround ADELINE and GREGORY._

_1 Rob._ Stand!

_Gregory._ O mercy! mercy! I'm as dead a man as ever I was in my life.
                                         [_Drops his Sword, and falls._

_Adeline._ Heavens! when will my miseries end! Speak, friends, what
would you have?

_1 Rob._ What you have.

_Adeline._ If it is our lives you seek, they are so care worn, that in
resigning them, we part with that which is scarce worth the keeping.

_Gregory._ 'Tis very true indeed. Pray don't take them,
gentlemen;--they'll do you no kind of good.

_2 Rob._ Peace!

_1 Rob._ Marry, a well favoured boy. Say, youth, whence came you, and
whither bound?

_Adeline._ I scarce know whither; but I came far inland; sent by my
father to the wars; his sword the sole inheritance his age can leave
me. This man, a faithful servant of our cottage, in simple love has
followed me.

_1 Rob._ Well, youth; be of good cheer--He, who has little, has little
to lose; and a soldier's pocket is seldom much lighter for emptying.
Come; you must both with us--bring them to our captain's cave.

                                     [_Exeunt FIRST and FOURTH ROBBER._

_Gregory._ Oh lud; oh lud! Dear, good, sweet faced gentlemen!

_2 Rob._ Peace, dolt! fear not; our captain's honourable!

_Gregory._ Nay, that he must be by his company--but sweet, civil,
honest gentlemen! [_The ROBBERS press them on._] Oh confound
these underground apartments! We shall never get out of them alive.
Lord! lord! how hard it is upon a man to be forced to walk to his own
burying!

             [_Exeunt ADELINE and GREGORY, hurried off by the ROBBERS._


SCENE III.

    _Another Part of the Forest._

_Enter MARGARET, with the Young PRINCE EDWARD._

  _Marg._ Why, that's well done, my boy!--so--cheerly, cheerly!
  See, too, the angry storm's subsiding:--what,
  Thou canst not be a-weary, Ned?--I know,
  Thou'rt more a man.

  _Prince._ Sooth, now, my legs ache sadly!
  My heart is light and fresh though; and it mocks
  My legs for aching. I would I had your legs,
  And you my heart.--Your heart, I fear me, mother,
  Is heavier far than mine.

_Marg._ Dost think so, Ned?

_Prince._ Ay, and I know so too:--for I am in it.

_Marg._ My dear, wronged child!

  _Prince._ Pr'ythee now, mother, do not grieve for me;--
  I warrant I shall live to be a king, yet.

  _Marg._ Alas! poor monkey! thou hast little cause

  To be in love with greatness: thou hast felt
  Its miseries full early.

  _Prince._ Then, you know
  I've all its good to come.

  _Marg._ May Heaven grant it!
  For thou dost promise nobly, boy. This forest
  Will screen us from the hatred of our enemies.
  Here, till the rage of war has ceased around us,
  I will watch o'er thee, Ned; here guard thy life;--
  Thy life! the hope, the care, the joy of mine!
  And when thy harrass'd limbs have gain'd their pliancy,
  We will resume our task: for I must lead thee
  A painful walk, across Northumberland,
  As far as Berwick, boy; where we may meet,
  Again, our Scottish friends. What sayest thou Ned,
  Shouldst joy to see thy father there?

  _Prince._ Ay, mother;--
  And, though we know he has escaped the traitors,
  Were we but sure to find him there, I could
  Set out directly.

  _Marg._ Rest a day or two:
  For hadst thou strength, the danger that surrounds us
  Prevents our venturing.--Come!--on a little--
  We will go look some moss-grown cavern out,
  And there thou shalt repose thee, sweet.--

_Enter GONDIBERT._

  Come, boy! come, take my hand----

                         [_GONDIBERT approaches, with his Sword drawn._

  _Gondi._ Advance no further.

  _Marg._ Ha! Who art thou, that comest, with murderous look,
  Here, in the dusky bosom of the wood,
  To intercept our passage?

  _Gondi._ One of those
  Who, stript of all, by an oppressing world,
  Now make reprisals: if my looks be dark,
  They best explain my purpose.

  _Prince._ Fly! fly! mother!
  The villain else, will kill us.

  _Marg._ Let us pass.
  Thou know'st us not; else would there so much terror
  Still strike thee of our person, that--no matter.
  What cause hast thou to stay me?

  _Gondi._ Biting want;--
  An oath sworn to my fellows;--disappointment;--
  Despair.--I came not here to parley, lady;----quickly,
  Yield what you have, or go where I command.

  _Marg._ Command! base slave! reduced to this!--Command,
  From thee? thou worm!

                      [_Making majestically past him, with the PRINCE._

  _Gondi._ Nay, nay; you fly not, lady.  [_Holds his Sword, over them._

  _Marg._ Oh, Heaven! my boy! strike not, on thy allegiance!
  Save him, I charge thee, fellow! Save my son;--
  The son of thy anointed king.

  _Gondi._ My king!                   [_Drops his Sword at their Feet._

  _Marg._ Ay, look, and tremble, slave.

  _Gondi._ I do indeed!--
  And tho' my sword has never been unsheathed,
  Since fate has link'd me to a lawless band,
  But to intimidate, not harm the passenger,
  I rather would have plunged its naked point
  In mine own bosom, than have raised it thus.--
  I do beseech your pardon:--and, if aught,
  Wherein I may be capable of service,
  Can make atonement, you shall find me ready,
  Be it at what blind and perilous risk soever:--
  For I have heard the fate of this day's battle;
  And should a guide, whose dark, and haggard fortune,
  Wraps him in humble seeming, be thought worthy,
  In this the time's extremity, to direct
  Your wand'ring steps, my zeal will prove itself
  Warm, and unshaken, madam.

  _Marg._ Thou makest amends:--
  And the strong tide of evils, rushing in,
  With rapid force, upon us, well might urge me,
  Like sinking men who grasp at idle straws,
  To accept thy service. Yet, thou may'st be false,
  And lead my boy to his destruction.--Say,--
  What sureties, fellow, have I of thy truth?

  _Gondi._ Think on the awe-inspiring air that marks
  A royal brow, and makes the trait'rous soul
  Shrink at its own suggestion.--And, when care,
  With envious weight, invades the diadem,
  To aim an injury then--'twere monstrous baseness!
  Oh! long, and ever, ever be there seen
  A heaven-gifted charm round Majesty,
  To draw confusion on the wretch, who, watching
  A transient cloud, that dims its lustre, dares
  Think on his sovereign with irreverence!
  But, more to bind me, madam, to your confidence,
  Know, I have been your soldier; and have fought
  In this proud cause--some, haply, may remember me--
  When fortune's sunshine smiled upon it.

  _Marg._ Now--
  For greatness ever has its summer friends,
  Who, at the fall and winter of its glory,
  Fly off like swallows--thou'lt betray me.

  _Gondi._ Never.
  Wrong me not in your thoughts, beseech you, madam;
  For I will serve you truly;--truly guard
  Your royal son.--He is but half a subject,
  Who, in the zeal, and duty, for his monarch,
  Feels not his breast glow for his prince's welfare.
  And, in the moment when the time's rough trial
  Calls, loudly, on my sworn allegiance,
  And summons it to proof, if I abandon either,
  May Heaven, when most I stand in need of mercy,
  Abandon me!

  _Prince._ Let us go with him, mother.

  _Gondi._ I know each turn and foot-path of the forest:--
  Can lead you thro' such blind and secret windings,
  That will perplex pursuers, till they wander,
  As in a labyrinth.--West of this a little,
  There stand some straggling cottages, that form
  A silent village; and whose humble tops,
  Deep shadow'd by the dark o'erhanging wood,
  Escape the notice of the traveller.
  Thither, so please you, I'll conduct you, madam.
  I have a friend,
  Lowly but trusty, who shall tend upon you;
  While I will scout the country round, to gain
  Intelligence of your divided party.

  _Marg._ [_Taking up the Sword which GONDIBERT dropped._]
  Then, take my boy!--for I will trust thee, fellow.
  I must perforce;--but mark;--for still I doubt:--
  If for a moment--mark me, fellow, well!
  Thou givest me cause to think thy damn'd intent
  Aims at my dear child's life, that very moment,
  Tho' that the next should be my last, I'll plunge
  Thy weapon to thy heart.

  _Gondi._ Fear not.

  _Marg._ Lead on.

 [_Exeunt_:--_GONDIBERT leading the PRINCE, and MARGARET following with
                                      the Sword over Gondibert's Head._



ACT III.


SCENE I.

    _A Village, on the Skirts of the Forest._

_Enter FOOL and a VILLAGER._

_Vil._ Tell me, good fellow, now, I pr'ythee--

_Fool._ But wilt thou lend an ear to my tale?

_Vil._ That will I; all the ears I am worth.

_Fool._ Then need not I tell the story:--for, if thou lend'st all thy
ears, then thou'lt have none left to hear it.--Wast ever in a battle,
old boy?

_Vil._ No, truly!

_Fool._ Then thou art a dead man.

_Vil._ What, for not being in a battle!

_Fool._ Yea, marry,--by the very first rapier that comes in thy
way;--for no man can live by the sword but a soldier;--and of soldiers
there are three degrees; and three only.

_Vil._ As how?

_Fool._ As thus:--Your hot fighter--your cool fighter--and your
fighter-shy.--The last degree makes a wondrous figure, in many
muster-rolls.

_Vil._ Of which last you make one.

_Fool._ In some degree.

_Vil._ And it was that made you run from the battle.

_Fool._ Right; running is your only surety. Bully Achilles, the great
warrior of old, thought otherwise; and he was vulnerable only in the
heel:--now, my heels always insure me from being wounded.--Dost know
why Heaven makes one leg of a man stouter than the other?

_Vil._ No.

_Fool._ That he may be able to put the best leg foremost, when there's
occasion.

_Vil._ And you had occasion enough, last night.

_Fool._ Truly, had I; and thus came I to your cottage; where I slept on
a bare board all night.

_Vil._ Ah! Heaven knows my lodging is poor enough! but such as it is,
you are welcome.

_Fool._ Nay, I quarrel not with the lodging; I only complain of the
board--and now wouldst thou know my story.

_Vil._ I would willingly hear of the battle that was lost.

_Fool._ Then pr'ythee, ask of those that found it: but, come, I'll e'en
tell thee how it was.----Thou hast a wife?

_Vil._ Yes, forsooth;--that was my old dame you saw at home.

_Fool._ Keep her there; for nature plainly intended her for a homely
woman--Didst ever quarrel with her before marriage?

_Vil._ Never.

_Fool._ Afterwards, a little?

_Vil._ Um!--Why, to say the truth, my poor dame has a fine flourish
with a cudgel; but people will needs fall out, now and then, when once
they come together.

_Fool._ That's the very way we lost the battle:--for had the two
parties never met, depend on't, one had never cudgel'd the other.

_Vil._ Mass! thou art a rare fellow in the field!

_Fool._ Very rare;--for I never come there but when I can't help it.


SONG.--FOOL.

  _To arms, to arms, when Captains cry,_
    _With a heigho! the trumpets blow--_
  _To legs, to legs, brave boys, say I!_
                _Heigho;_
            _I needs must go._

  _Arrows swift begin to fly,_
    _With a heigho! Twang goes the bow--_
  _And soldiers tumble down and die:--_
                _Heigho!_
            _I'll not do so._

  _Whizzing by come balls of lead;_
    _With a heigho! thump they go.--_
  _Tall men grow shorter by the head;_
                _Heigho!_
            _I'd rather grow._

  _In time of trouble I'm away;_
    _With a heigho!--ill winds blow;_
  _But always ready at pay day;_
                _Heigho!_
            _Great folks do so._

_Enter another VILLAGER._

_1 Vil._ Now, goodman Hobs, whence come you?

_2 Vil._ There is a great lord come in, from the routed party, who has
taken shelter in our village, since break of day. One of your great
friends, good sir.                                      [_To the FOOL._

_Fool._ Didst see him! how look'd he?

_2 Vil._ I tended him, some quarter of an hour:--troth, he seem'd
wondrous weary.

_Fool._ Of thy company.--Now could I be weary too, and find in my heart
to be dull:--but here come females; and, were a man's head emptier than
a spendthrift's purse, they will ever bring something out on't. Hence
comes it, that your dull husband's head is improved by your lively
wife:--if she can bring out nothing else, why she brings out horns.

_Enter VILLAGERS, Male and Female._

Now, good folk, whither go you?

_3 Vil._ Truly, sir, this is our season for making of hay; and here am
I, sir, with the rest of our village, going about it.

_Fool._ Now might I, were it not for disgracing the army, turn mower
among these clowns;--and why not? Soldiers are but cutters down of
flesh, and flesh is grass, all the world over. I'll e'en out, this
morning, and do execution in the field.--Come, lads and maidens! One
roundelay, and we'll to't!


SONG AND CHORUS OF VILLAGERS.

  1 Wom. _Drifted snow no more is seen;_
            _Blust'ring Winter passes by;_
          _Merry Spring comes clad in green,_
            _While woodlarks pour their melody._
                _I hear him! hark!_
                _The merry lark,_
          _Calls us to the new mown hay,_
          _Piping to our roundelay._

  2 Vil. _When the golden sun appears,_
            _On the mountain's surly brow;_
          _When his jolly beams he rears,_
            _Darting joy--behold them now!--_
                _Then, then, oh, hark!--_
                _The merry lark_
          _Calls us to the new mown hay,_
          _Piping to our roundelay._

  3 Vil. _When the village boy, to field,_
            _Tramps it with the buxom lass,_
          _Fain she would not seem to yield,_
            _Yet gets her tumble on the grass:_
                _Then, then, oh, hark!_
                _The merry lark,_
          _While they tumble in the hay,_
          _Pipes alone his roundelay._

  4 Vil. _What are honours? What's a court?_
            _Calm content is worth them all:--_
          _Our honour lies in cudgel sport;_
            _Our brightest court a green-sward ball._
                _But then--oh hark!_
                _The merry lark,_
          _Calls us to the new mown hay,_
          _Piping to our roundelay._

[Exeunt.


SCENE II.

    _An old fashioned Apartment, in BARTON'S House, in the Village.
      Rusty Arms, and other Military Paraphernalia hanging up, in
      different Parts; &c._

_LA VARENNE and BARTON._

  _Barton._ Nay, sir, thank not me:
  I am no trader, I, in empty forms;
  In neat congees, and kickshaw compliments;
  In your,--"Dear sirs," and "Sir, you make me blush;"--
  I'm for plain speaking; plain and blunt; besides,
  I've been a soldier:--and, I take it, sir,
  You, who are still in service, are aware
  That blushing seldom troubles the profession.

  _La Var._ Still, friend, I thank thee.--Thou hast shelter'd me,
  At a hard trying moment, when the buffets
  Of tainting fortune rather would persuade
  Friends to shrink back, than serve me.

  _Barton._ 'Faith, good sir,
  I know not how you have been buffetted:--
  But this I know,--at least I think I know it--
  If there's a soldier, in the world's wide army,
  Who will not, in the moment of distress,
  Stretch forth his hand to save a falling comrade,
  Why, then, I think, that he has little chance
  Of being found in Heaven's muster-roll.

  _La Var._ I like thy plainness well.

  _Barton._ Nay, sir, my plainness
  Is such as Nature gave me: and would men
  Leave Nature to herself, good faith, her work
  Is pretty equal;--but we will be garnishing;
  Until the heart, like to a beauty's face,
  Which she ne'er lets alone till she has spoil'd it,
  Is so befritter'd round, with worldly nonsense,
  That we can scarcely trace sweet Nature's outlines.

  _La Var._ Who of our party, pr'ythee, since the battle
  Have shelter'd here among the villagers?--
  Canst tell their names?

  _Barton._ Ay, marry, can I, sir.
  But can and will are birds of diff'rent feather.
  Can is a swan, that bottles up its music,
  And never lets it out till death is near;
  But will's a piping bullfinch, that does ever
  Whistle forth every note it has been taught,
  To any fool that bids it. Now, sir, mark;--
  Whoever's here, would fain be private here;
  Whoever's here, depend on't, tell I can;--
  Whoever's here, depend on't, tell I will not.

  _La Var._ Why, this is over-caution!--would not they
  Rejoice as readily at seeing me,
  As I at seeing them?

  _Barton._ I know not that:
  I am no whisper-monger;--and if, once,
  A secret be entrusted to my charge,
  I keep it, as an honest agent should,
  Lock'd in my heart's old strong box; and I'll answer
  No draught from any but my principal.

  _La Var._ If now thou hast a charge, old trusty, I,
  (Believe me), am next heir to't.

  _Barton._ Very like.
  Yet, sir, if heirs had liberty to draw
  For what is not their own, till time shall give it them,
  I fear the stock would soon be dry;--and, then,
  The principals might have some cause to grumble.

  _La Var._ Thou art the strangest fellow! What's thy name?

  _Barton._ Barton;--that I may trust you with.

  _La Var._ No more?

  _Barton._ No, not a pin's point more.  Pshaw! here comes one,
  To let all out. Children, and fools, and women,
  Will still be babbling.

_Enter PRINCE EDWARD._

  _Prince._ Oh! my lord, is't you!

  _La Var._ Oh, my young sir! how my heart springs to meet you!
  Where is your royal mother? is she safe?

  _Prince._ She's in this house, my lord.--Last night,
  This honest man received us:--and another,--
  His friend--not quite so honest as he might be--
  Did bring us hither;--'twas a rogue, my lord;--
  Yet no rogue neither;--and, to say the sooth,
  The rogue, my lord, 's a very honest man.
  Lord, how this meeting will rejoice my mother!
  And she was wishing, now, within this minute,
  To see the Seneschal of Normandy.

  _Barton._ So!
  This is the Seneschal of Normandy!
  Here is another secret.--Plague take secrets!
  This is in token of their liking me;--
  Just as an over hospitable host,
  Out of pure kindness to his visitor,
  Crams the poor bursting soul with meat he loaths.

  _La Var._ I cannot blame thee, friend;--thou knew'st me not:
  And, thou hast, now, a jewel in thy care,
  Well worth thy utmost caution in preserving.

  _Barton._ I need not to be told the value on't.
  I have been sworn his mother's subject, sir; and since
  My poor house has been honour'd with her presence,
  The tender scenes, I've been a witness to,
  'Twixt her, and this young bud of royalty,
  Would make me traitor to humanity,
  Could I betray her. There is a rapturous something,
  That plays about an English subject's heart,
  When female majesty is seen employ'd
  In these sweet duties of domestic love,
  Which all can feel,--but very few describe!

  _La Var._ Oh! how thou warm'st me, fellow, with thy zeal!
  Come, my young lord!--now lead us to her majesty.       [_To BARTON._

  _Barton._ Why, as things are, I'll lead you where she is:--
  But were they otherwise, and you had not
  Discover'd where she is--you'll pardon me--
  But I had led you, sir, a pretty dance
  Ere I had led you to her. Come, I'll conduct you.          [_Exeunt._


SCENE III.

    _Another Apartment, in BARTON's House._

_Enter GONDIBERT and 1st ROBBER._

_Gondi._ Away all night! What then? Am not I their leader? Do they
begin to doubt me? Am not I, as it were, wedded to the party?

_Rob._ Very true, noble captain: and we have treated you as a wife
would a kind husband:--but when a husband is out all night--why--

_Gondi._ Well, sir;--what then?

_Rob._ Marry, then, the wife is apt to grumble a little; that's all.

_Gondi._ Go to;--I had reason. What's the news?

_Rob._ The news is, we have taken some stragglers, in the forest.

_Gondi._ Are they of note?

_Rob._ 'Faith, we have some of all qualities;--gentle and simple
mixed:--we had no time to stand upon the picking:--they're all penn'd
up in the back cavern;--and you must e'en take 'em like a score of
sheep--fat and lean together. But, there is a beardless youth, follow'd
by a cowardly serving man, who presses hard to see you.

_Gondi._ What would he?

_Rob._ 'Faith, sir, he would be a noble fellow. I take it he has a
great soul, too large for the laws;--he has questioned me plentifully
concerning you.

_Gondi._ Concerning me?

_Rob._ Yes; he inquired if you were married; how long you had been with
us; your age; your stature; nay, he was particular enough to ask what
sort of a nose stood on your face.

_Gondi._ Wherefore these questions?

_Rob._ Troth, I think he would like well to serve in our band; for
he seems to have a marvellous nice notion of honour. He took up your
dagger, of curious workmanship, that lies on your table, in the cave,
and did so study the dudgeon on't!--Marry, the boy knows how to handle
a weapon, I'll warrant him.

_Gondi._ Where have you bestowed him?

_Rob._ Why, he was so importunate, that I have brought him, and his
man, hither along.--The man, I feared, might babble: so, I've entrusted
him to your friend Barton, here; and he, finding he has been a butler,
has locked him in the cellarage.

_Gondi._ Conduct the youth hither.

                                                        [_Exit ROBBER._

  Then why should I repine? since there are others,
  Who, in the early spring, and May of life,
  Behold the promised blossoms of their hope
  Nipt in the very bud. Here comes the youth;--
  And bears a goodly outside;--yet 'tis a slender bark,
  That Providence ne'er framed for tossing much
  In a rough sea of troubles.

_Enter ROBBER with ADELINE._

_Rob._ Here, youth; this is our captain. Cheer up now, and speak
boldly. You need not fear.--A raw youth, captain, but a mettled one,
I'll warrant him.--A word with you.           [_Takes GONDIBERT apart._

_Adeline._ It is, it is my lord!--Oh Heaven! my heart!--to find him
thus, too!--Yet, to find him any how is transport.

_Rob._ I shall look to it.--You would be private now, I take it.--Now,
youth, plead, cleverly, to get admitted among us, and your fortune's
made. Be but a short time with us, and it will go hard, indeed, if all
your cares, in this world, are not shortly at an end.          [_Exit._

_Gondi._ Now to your business, youth.

_Adeline._ 'Tis brief.--I have been sorely wrung, sir, by the keen
pressure of mishap.--I once had friends: they have left me. One whom
I thought a special one--a noble gentleman--who pledged himself, by
all the ties that are most binding to a man, to guard my uninstructed
youth--even he, to whom my soul looked up; whom, I might say, I loved
as with a woman's tenderness,--even he has, now, deserted me.

_Gondi._ Then he acted basely.

_Adeline._ I hope not so, sir.

_Gondi._ Trust me, I think he did, youth; for there is an open native
sincerity that marks thy countenance, which I scarce believe could give
just cause to a steady friend to leave thee.

_Adeline._ Now, by my holy dame, he had none to suspect me. Yet, from
the pressure of the time,--some trying chance--but, I am wandering.
This is my suit to you.--If you should find me fit to be entrusted with
the secrets of your party, I could wish to be enrolled among you.

  _Gondi._ Hast thou well weigh'd the hardships which our life
  Constrains us to? Our perils; nightly watchings
  Our fears, disquietudes; our jealousies,
  Even of ourselves?--which keep the lawless mind
  For ever on the stretch, and turn our sleep,
  To frightful slumbers;--where imagination
  Discovers, to the dull and feverous sense,
  Mis-shapen forms, ghastly and horrible;--
  And mixes, in the chaos of the brain,
  Terrors, half real, half unnatural;--
  Till nature, struggling under the oppression,
  Rouses the sleeping wretch,--who starts, and wipes
  The chilly drop from off his clay-cold temples;
  And fain would call for help, yet dares not utter,
  But trembles on his couch, silent and horror struck!

  _Adeline._ Attempt not to dissuade me; I am fix'd.
  Yet there is one soft tie, which, when I think
  The cruel edge of keen necessity
  Has cut asunder, almost bursts my heart.

  _Gondi._ What is it, youth?

  _Adeline._ That, which from my youth,--
  For I have scarcely yet told one and twenty,--
  Might, haply, not be thought;--yet so it is;--
  Know, then, that I am married.

  _Gondi._ Married, didst say?
  And dost thou love----

  _Adeline._ Oh! witness for me, Heaven!
  The pure and holy warmth that fills my bosom.

  _Gondi._ Nay then, my heart bleeds for thee! for thou mightst
  As easily attempt to walk unmov'd,
  With all the liquid fires which Ætna vomits
  Pour'd in thy breast, as here to hope for happiness.
  Oh! what does the heart feel, that's rudely torn
  From the dear object of its wedded love!
  And, still, to add a spur to gall'd reflection,
  That very object, whom the time's necessity
  Mads you to part with, witless of the cause,
  Arraigns your conduct.

  _Adeline._ And have you felt this!                   [_With emotion._

  _Gondi._ I tell thee wretched youth--fie! thou unman'st me.--
  Pr'ythee, return, young man!--I have a feeling,--
  A fellow feeling for thee;--if thou hop'st
  For gentle peace to be an inmate with thee,
  Turn thy steps homeward;--link not with our band.

  _Adeline._ Wherefore should I return? return to witness
  The bitter load of misery, which circumstance
  Has brought upon my house? My infant children--

  _Gondi._ And hast thou children then?
  Whose innocence has oft beguil'd thy hours;
  Who have look'd smiling up into thy face,
  Till the sweet tear of rapturous content
  Has trickled down thy cheek?--Thou trying for tune!
  Mark out the frozen breast of apathy,
  And tho' 'twere triple cased in adamant,
  Throw but this poisonous shaft of malice at it,
  'Twill pierce it thro'and thro'.

  _Adeline._ An if I thought 'twere so?--

  _Gondi._ Hear me, young man:--
  Thou wring'st a secret from me, which, till now,
  Was borne in silence here; while, vulture-like,
  It preys upon my vitals.--I am married:--
  I have a wife--and one whom kindly nature
  Form'd in her lavish mood:--Oh! her gentle love
  Beam'd through her eyes, whene'er she turn'd them on me,
  With such a mild and virtuous innocence,
  That it might charm stern murder!--and yet I
  Have wounded, villain like, her peace. Even I,--
  In whom her very soul was wrapt--
  Turn'd coward with the time, have basely left her.
  But I am punish'd for't:--day, night,--asleep,
  Awake,--still, or in action,--bleeding fancy
  Pictures my wife, sitting in patient anguish;
  Pale; mild in sufferance; mingling meek forgiveness
  With bitter agony;--blessing him who wrongs her;--
  While my poor children, my deserted little ones,
  Hang on her knees, and watch the silent drops
  Steal down her grief-worn face!--Yea, dost thou weep?
  Shape thy course homeward then; for pangs like mine,
  Would so convulse thee, youth, that, like an engine,
  'Twould wrench thy tender nature from its frame,
  And pluck life with it.

  _Adeline._ Oh! my dear, loved lord!
  Here cease those pangs;--here, in the ecstacy of joy,
  Behold your Adeline, now rushing to the arms
  Of a beloved husband.                       [_Running into his Arms._

  _Gondi._ Merciful Heaven!
  My Adeline! And hast thou!--Oh, my heart!
  This sudden conflict!--thus let me clasp thee to it;
  Ne'er to part more, till pangs of death shall shake us.
  What hast thou suffer'd, sweet!--for me to cause--
  And are our children----?

  _Adeline._ Well, and in safety.

  _Gondi._ And, to leave them too!

  _Adeline._ Nay, pr'ythee, now, no more of this:--
  Blot from thy memory all former sorrow:--
  Or, if we think on't, be it at some moment,
  When calm content smiles round our happy board.
  And, trust me, now, I think our storms are over:--
  For, on my way, I learn, the House of York
  Has now sent forth free pardon to all those,
  Who, long attach'd to the Lancastrian party,
  Have not engaged in their late enterprise.

  _Gondi._ Blessed chance,
  That now constrain'd me to inaction! Adeline!
  Once more to hold thee! to return to happiness--
  To see our children!--

_Enter FIRST ROBBER._

  How now! What's the matter?

_1 Rob._ Marry, the matter is, with the oaf in the cellar; the fool
shakes as though he were in an ague; we may e'en turn him adrift any
how, for he will no how turn to our profit. He's cowardly and poor;
he can neither rob, nor be robbed.

_Adeline._ Oh! 'tis my man: I pray you conduct him hither.

_1 Rob._ I'll trundle him in; but you will make nothing of him. I have
been trying to talk him into service, and make him fit for our party;
but there are some manner of men 'tis impossible to work any good upon.
                                                               [_Exit._

_Adeline._ Poor simpleton! 'tis Gregory, who, in pure zeal, and honest
attachment, has followed me.

_Enter GREGORY._

_Gregory._ Mercy on us! this is the great cock captain of the whole
brood of banditti! 'Tis all over! and I have been shut up, these two
hours, like a calf for killing. Lord! lord! if calves did but know the
reason for their being stalled, as I have been, they'd so fall away
with fear, that veal would not be worth the taking to market.

_Gondi._ Why, how now, man?

_Gregory._ Oh lud! I am a poor fellow, sir; that shall be a longtime
getting rich, and would fain not die till I am so. Take my life, sir,
and you take all;--I carry it about me, as a snail does his
house:--and, truly, sir, you'll find that time has a mortgage upon it
of forty-two years, and the furniture, of late, is so worn with ill
usage, that the remainder of the lease is not worth your
acceptance:--if, sweet, noble, sir, you would but----

      [_During this Speech, GREGORY has been gradually raising his Eyes
              from the Ground, till he fixes them on GONDIBERT'S Face._

Eh!--Oh!--O, the father!--No!--Yes--Oh lud--Oh lord!

_Gondi._ Why, dost not know me, Gregory?

_Gregory._ Huzza!--He's found! [_Capering._] Dear my lord, I never was
happier since I was born, at the sight of you.

  _Gondi._ Trust me, I think so, Gregory. Come, love;
  Let's in for calmer conference. Follow, good Gregory.

                                       [_Exeunt ADELINE and GONDIBERT._

_Gregory._ Here's a simple change in a man's fortune! Now might I, when
I say 'tis he--were it not as plain 'tis he as a nose is a nose--swear
that my eyes were putting a lie in my mouth, in very spite of my
teeth.--Oh, the quiet, comfortable days that I shall see again! Mercy
on me! 'Tis enough to make a coward tremble, to think on the battles my
valour has been put to. Nothing, now again, but old fare, old rubbing
of spoons, and a cup of old sherry, behind the old pantry door, to
comfort my nose, in a cold frosty morning.


SONG.

"Moderation and Alteration."

  _In an old quiet parish, on a brown healthy old moor,_
  _Stands my master's old gate, whose old threshold is wore_
  _With many an old friend, who for liquor would roar,_
  _And I uncork'd the old sherry--that I had tasted before._
                      _But it was in Moderation, &c._

  _There I had an old quiet pantry, of the servants was the head;_
  _And kept the key of the old cellar, and old plate, and chipp'd
      the brown bread._
  _If an old barrel was missing, it was easily said,_
  _That the very old beer was one morning found dead:--_
                      _But it was in Moderation, &c._

  _But, we had a good old custom, when the week did begin,_
  _To show, by my accounts, I had not wasted a pin;--_
  _For my lord, tho' he was bountiful, thought waste was a sin;_
  _And never would lay out much, but when my lady lay-in._
                      _But still it was Moderation._

  _Good lack! good lack! how once Dame Fortune did frown!_
  _I left my old quiet pantry, to trudge from town to town;_
  _Worn quite off my legs, in search of thumps, bobs, and cracks
      on the crown,_
  _I was fairly knock'd up, and very near foully knock'd down._
                      _But now there's an Alteration,_
                      _Oh! it's a wonderful Alteration!_

                                                               [_Exit._


SCENE IV.

    _The Village._

_Enter MARGARET, LA VARENNE, and PRINCE._

  _Marg._ The northern coast beset!

  _La Var._ Close watch'd with enemies:--'twere too bold a risk,
  That way to seek the sea: then bend your course
  Thro' Cumberland, so please you.----
  At Solway Frith, we have warm friends, to favour
  Your embarkation--Sailing, thence to Galloway,
  With all convenient speed, we march towards Edinburgh;
  And thitherward, I learn, the king has fled:
  Where, in the bosom of the Scottish court,
  You may in safety sojourn, till the succour
  Which noble Burgundy, warm in beauty's cause,
  Once more, no doubt, will lend, again shall plume
  The wing of majesty.

  _Marg._ Then, let sharp injury
  Subdue base minds alone; its scalding spirit,
  Pour'd in a royal breast, will quicken vengeance.
  Why, worthy Seneschal, there's hope in't still!
  Holds it not likely,
  When our dispersed nobility shall hear,
  We are again on foot, our royal standard
  Will be so flock'd with friends!----
  Here comes the fellow, whom I told you of.

_Enter GONDIBERT, ADELINE, and GREGORY, behind._

  Now, good friend, the news?

  _Gondi._ Thus, as my spies inform me, madam:--Montague
  Has march'd right north; towards Dunstaburgh; hoping
  There to surprise your Majesty--

  _Marg._ Let the fool on.--
  This favours our intended march, through Cumberland.
  What else?

  _Gondi._ No more; but that some twenty,
  Or thereabout, of your dispersed soldiers
  Are fall'n into my power. I have ventured,
  Finding, that, here, the village is attach'd,
  In honest bonds of loyalty, to direct
  My men to march them hither: if your course
  Should need a secret guard, these few will serve,
  When more were dangerous.

  _Marg._ Oh, true, true fellow!
  Believe me, honest friend, of all the bolts,
  Which spiteful fortune hurls against my crown,
  None strike so deeply, as my poor ability
  Now to requite thy faith.

  _Gondi._ The subject, madam,
  Who, in his poor endeavour, can relieve
  A sovereign from distress, they, who are loyal,
  Will pour down blessings on him; that requital
  Threefold o'erpays his services. But here,
  Heaven has, in pity of me, now pour'd balm
  Upon my bleeding sufferings.

  _Marg._ What, my young warrior!

  _Adeline._ A weak one, madam;--and a woman too.
  Your pardon, madam, if, to seek a husband,--
  Happy has been my search--more than the cause,
  Altho' my heart is warm in't--brought me hither.

  _Gondi._ Your guard approaches, madam, and the villagers,

_Enter KNIGHTS and SOLDIERS._

  Anxious, in zeal, to see their royal mistress,
  In throngs have follow'd.

_Enter VILLAGERS, MALE and FEMALE, on each Side._

  _Marg._ This is a cheering sight!
  Soon may this warmth be general; and may Henry
  Bask in its genial sunshine.--England, awhile, farewell!
  And if in future times--no doubt 'twill be so--
  Thy King unite his people to his confidence,
  And his commanding virtues, mild, yet kingly,
  Shall draw the breath of rapturous loyalty
  From the gilt palace to the clay-built cottage,
  Then will thy realm, indeed, be enviable.
  Strike!----Then on.

_Procession of SOLDIERS, and Grand Chorus of VILLAGERS._

  _Sea-girt England, fertile land!_
  _Plenty, from her richest stores,_
  _Ever, with benignant hand,_
  _Her treasure on thy bosom pours._
    _England! to thyself be true;_
      _When thy realm is truly blest,_
    _'Tis when a monarch's love for you_
      _Is by your loyalty confest._


THE END.





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