Page images

thick wood; but, if you are resolved upon going thither to-night, I will put you in the road, and direct you the best I can; or, if you will accept of such poor entertainment as a Miller can give, you shall be welcome to stay all night, and in the morning I will go with you myself. King. And cannot you go with me to-night?

Miller. I would not go with you to-night if you were the king. King. Then I must go with you, I think.


SCENE II. The Town of Mansfield.

Enter Richard. Well, dear Mansfield, I am glad to see thy face again. But my heart aches, methinks, for fear this should be only a' trick of theirs to get me into their power. Yet the letter seems to be wrote with an air of sincerity, I confess; and the girl was never used to lie till she kept a Jord company. Let me see, I'll read it once more.

Dear Richard, I am at last (tho'mith too late for me) convinc'd of the injury done to us both by that base man, who made me think you fulse; he contriv'd these letters which I send you, to make me think you just upon the point of being married to another, a thought I could not beur with patience; so, aiming at revenge on you, consented to my own undoing. But, for your own sake, I beg you to return hither, for I have some hopes of being able to do you justice, which is the only comfort of your most distress’d, but ever affectionate,


There can be no cheat in this, sure! The letters she has sent are, I think, a proof of her sincerity. Well, I will go to her, however : I cannot think she will again betray me: if she has as much tenderness left for me, as, in spite of her ill usage, I still feel for her, I am sure she will not. Let me see, I am not far from the house, I believe.

[Exit. SCENE HI. A Room.

Enter PEGGY and PHERE. Phoebe. Pray, madam, make yourself easy.

Peggy. Ah! Phæbe, she that has lost her virtue has with it lost her ease, and all her happiness. Believing, cheated fool! to think him * false.

Phæbe. Be patient, madam, I hope you will shortly teach that deceitful lord, a better lesson than he has yet learnt.

Peggy. I hope I shall, for that were just. But will that make me happy? Will it excuse my falsehood ? Will it restore me to the heart of my much-injured love? Ah! no.

That blooming innocence he us'd to praise, and call the greatest beauty of our sex, is gone.

I have no charm left that might renew that flame I took such pains to quench.

[Knocking at the door. See who's there. [Exit Phabe.]



The maid, in yielding virtue, fancies

Fickle heart she may secure,
False the light before her dances,

Dazzling only to allure.
Will a man confide his honour

To the woman faithless grown,-
Can he place a trust upon her

Who hath fail'd to guard her own?


For the transient guilty pleasure,

Bankrupt, she is left to mourn ;

* Richard.

Vainly she regrets the treasure

By the cruel spoiler borne.
What, amid her grief and anguish-

Ah! what hope may there remain 2-
If repentant she shall languish,

Heav'n can wash away the stain.


Enter RICHARD, who stands looking on her at a dis.

tance, she weeping, Peggy. 'Tis he! Alas! that ever I shou'd be asham'd to see the man I love!

Rich. Well, Peggy (but I suppose you're madam now in that fine dress), you see you have brought me back. Is it to triumph in your falsehood? or am I to receive the slighted leavings of your fine lord ?

Peggy. O Richard ! after the injury I have done you, I cannot look on you without confusion : but do not think. so hardly of me; I stay'd not to be slighted by him, for the moment I discover'd his vile plot on you, I fled his sight; nor could he e'er prevail to see me since.

Rich. Ah, Peggy! you were too hasty in believing; and much I fear, the vengeance aim'd at me, had other charms to recommend it to you: such bravery

as that

*Bravery in old language often means splendour of dress." MALONE. See Malone's Shakspeare, Meas. for Meas. A. I, S. 1V. Vol. II. p. 18.

Mr. WHITER in his very ingenious and valuable Specimen of Commentary on Shakspeare, (8vo. 1794) p. 85, has the following Nole on this word as used in As You Like Il. A. II. S. VII.

“ The two following passages are the most striking instances “ which I have found of this well known signification of bravery. I

am unwilling that the latter should be lost, as it contains a distinc. “ tion between its present and ancient sense. • The lady herselfe “' was all clad in greene, so brave and rich, that bravery itself was “ • transformed into her.” (Shelion's Don Quixote, 3. 196.) ". Tan bizarra y ricamente, que la nisina bizarria venia trans

formanda en ella.” (3. 231. Edit. Bowles.)


[Pointing to her clothes] I had not to bestow; but, if a tender honest heart could please, you had it all; and, if i wish'd for more, 'twas for your

sake. Peggy. O Richard ! when you consider the wicked stratagem he contrived to make me think you base and deceitful, I hope you will, at least, pity my folly, and, in some measure, excuse my falsehood; that you will forgive me, I dare not hope.

Rich. To be forc'd to fly from my friends and coun. try, for a crime that I was innocent of, is an injury that I cannot easily overlook, to be sure: but, if you are less guilty of it than I thought, I shall be very glad; and, if your design be really as you say, to clear me, and to expose the baseness of him that betray'd and ruin'd you, I' will join with you with all my heart. But how do you propose to do this?

Peggy. The King is now in this Forest a hunting, and our young lord is every day with him : now, I think, if we could take some opportunity of throwing ourselves at his Majesty's feet, and complaining of the injustice of one of his courtiers, it might, perhaps, have some effect

[ocr errors]

upon him.

Rich. If we were suffer'd to make him şensible of it, perhaps it might; but the complaints of such little folks as we seldom reach the ears of Majesty.

Peggy. We can but try.

Rich. Well, if you will go with me to my father's, and stay there till such an opportunity happens, I shall believe you in earnest, and will join with you in your design.

Peggy. I will do any thing to convince you of my sin

"" Nav. I commended but their wits, madam, and their braveries. 6 6 I never look'd toward their valours.

« Hau. Sir Dauphine is valiant, and a wit too, it seems. 666 Mav. And a bravery too.

(The Silent Woman, Act IV. S. VI.)”. To this I will add that the word occurs also in Isaiab iii. 18. 66 Ia " that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling os.

naments about their feet, and their cauls, and their rongd tires like “ the moon," &c.



cerity, and to make satisfaction for the injuries which have been done you.

Rich. Will you go now?
Peggy. I'll be with you in less than an hour.

[Exeunt. SCENE IV. A Room in the Mill.*

MARGERY and Kare knitting. Kate. O dear, I would not see a spirit for all the world; but I love dearly to hear stories of them. Well, and what then? Margery. And so at last, in a dismal hollow tone it [A knocking at the door frights them both; they

scream out, and throw down their knitting. Margery and Kate. What's that?

Kate. O dear mother, why did we talk of such things.

Margery. Kate, go and see who's at the door.
Kate. I durst not go, mother; do you go.
Margery. Come, let's both go.
Kate. Now don't speak as if you was afraid.

Murgery. No, I won't if I can help it. Who's there?

Rich. [without.] What! won't you let me in?

Kate. O wonderful! it's like our Dick, I think : he's certainly dead, and it's his spirit.

Margery. Don't say so. I think in my heart it's he himself. Open the door, Kate.

Kate. Nay, do you.
Margery. Come, we'll both open it.

[They open the door.

* There is a house now standing about a mile from Mansfield, on the road to Sution, which is said to be the house formerly inhabited by The Miller. John Cockle is the name of The Miller in the Old Ballad; I have always considered it as a fictitious name, from Cuckle, the weed which grows among corn. 1 uoderstand that this house goes by his name; but the naine io the Ballad would of course be takeo as historical fact,

« PreviousContinue »