Page images


First Keeper. O, yes ! very civilly; you deserve to be us’d civilly, to be sure.

Fourth Courtier. Why, what have we done that we may not be civilly us'd ?"

First Keeper. Come, come, don't trifle, surrender. First Courtier. I have but three half crowns about Second Courtier. Here's three and six-pence for you, gentlemen.

Third Courtier. Here's my watch; I have no money at all.

Fourth Courtier. Indeed I have nothing in my pocket but a snuff-box.

Fourth keeper. What!. the dogs want to bribe us, do they ? No, rascals; you shall go before the justice tomorrow, depend on't.

Fourth Courtier. Before the justice! What, for being robb'd ?

First Keeper. For being robb'd! What do you mean?. Who has robb’d you?

Fourth Courtier. Why, did not you just now demand our money, gentlemen ?

Second Keeper. O, the rascals! they will" swear a robbery against us, I warrant.

Fourth Courtier. A robbery! ay, to be sure..

First Keeper. No, no; we did not demand your mo. ney, we demanded the deer you have kill'd.

Fourth Courtier. The déer ? he led us a chace of six hours, and got away from us at last.

First Keeper. Ye dogs, do ye think to banter us? I tell ye you have this night shot one of the King's deer; did'not we hear the gun go off? Did not we hear you say, you was afraid it should be taken from you?"

Second Courtier. We were afraid our money should be taken from us.

First Keeper. Come, come, no more shuffling : I tell ye, you're all rogues, and we'll have you hang’d, you may depend on't. Come, let's take them to old Cockle's; we're not far off; we'll keep 'em there all night, and

to-morrow morning we'll away with 'em before the justice. Fourth Courtier. A very pretty adventure!

[Exeunt. SCENE VI. A Room in the Mill.* The King, the MILLER, MARGERY, Kate, and Rich

ARD at Supper. Miller. Come, Sir, you must mend a bad supper with a glass of good ale; here's King Harry's health.

King. With all my heart. Come, Richard, here's King Harry's health ; I hope you are courtier enough to pledge me, are not you?

Rich. Yes, yes, Sir, I'll drink the king's health with all my heart.

Margery. Come, Sir, my humble service to you, and much good may do ye with your poor supper; I wish it had been better.

King. You need make no apologies.

Murgery. We are obliged to your goodness in excusing our rudeness.

Miller. Prithee, Margery, don't trouble the gentleman with compliments.

Margery. Why, husband, if one had no more manners than you, the gentleman would take us all for hogs.

Miller. Now I think the more compliments the less


King. I think so too. Compliments in discourse, I believe, are like burthensome ceremonies, in religion ; these are dangerous to true piety, and the other to sincerity and plain-dealing.

Miller. Then a fig for idle ceremony and compli. ments too: give us thy hand; and let us drink and be merry.

* When this piece is performed, this Scene is sometimes made a SECOND ACE.

King. Right, honest miller, let us be merry, come, ave you got e'er a good song ?

Miller. Ah! my singing days are over, but my man Joe has‘got an excellent one; and, if you have a mind to hear it, I'll call him in.

King. With all my heart.
Miller. Joe!

Enter Joe.
Miller. Come, Joe, drink, boy.-I have promis'd
this gentlemen that you shall sing him your last new

Joe. Well, master, if you have promis'd it him, he shall have it.



How happy a State does the Miller possess !
Who wou'd be no greater, nor fears to be less;
On his Mill and himself he depends for Support,
Which is better than servilely cringing at Court.


What tho' he all dusty and whiten'd does go,
The more he's be-powder'd, the more like a Beau ;
A Clown in this Dress may be honester far
Than some who are seen in a Garter and Star.


Tho' his Hands are so dawb'd they're not fit to be seen,
The Hands of some rich folks are not very clean ;
A Palm more polite may as dirtily deal,
Gold, in handling, will stick to the Fingers like Meal.


If ever a Pudding for Dinner he lucks,
He cribs not, as some do, from other Men's Sacks ;
He quotes not example, nor saucily brags
of great ones who borrow from other Men's Bags.

[ocr errors]

He eats when he's hungry, he drinks when he's dry
And down when he's weary contented does lie';

Then rises up cheerful to work and to sing :
If so happy a Miller, then who'd be a King?

Miller. There's a song


you. King. He should go sing this to King Harry, I think.. Rich. I believe, if he's wise, he will chuse to stay at

home, tho'.

Enter Peggy.. Miller. What wind blew you hither, pray! You hare a good share of impudence, or you wou'd be asham'd to set your foot within my house, methinks..

Peggy. Asham’d I am, indeed, but do not call me impudent.

[Weeps. Rich. Dear father, suspend your anger for the present; that she is here now is by my direction, and to do me justice.

Peggy. To do that is all that is now in my power; for as to myself, I am ruin'd past recovery; my character, my virtue, my peace, are gone: I am abandoned by my friends, despis'd by the world, and expos'd to misery and want.

King. Pray let me know the story of your misfor tunes; perhaps it may be in my power to do something towards redressing them.

Peggy. That you may learn from him whom I have wrong'd; but, as for me, shame will not let me speak, or hear it told.

[Exit. King. She is very pretty.

Rich. O, Sir, I once thought her little less than an angel; I lov'd her dearer than my life, and did believe her passion was the same for me: but a young nobleman of this neighbourhood happening to see her, her youth and blooming beauty presently struck his fancy; a thousand artifices were immediately employ'd to debauch and ruin her. But all his arts were vain; not even the promise of making her his wife, could prevail upon her: In a little time he found out her love to me, and, imagining this to be the cause of her refusal, he, by forg'd letters, and feigu'd stories, contriv’d to make her believe I was upon

the point of marriage with another woman. Possess'd with this opinion, she, in a rage, writes me word, never to see her more; and, in a kind of revenge, consented to her own undoing. Not contented with this, nor easy while I was so near her, he brib'd one of his cast-off mistresses to swear a child to me, which she did : this was the occasion of my leaving my friends, and flying to London.

King. And how does she propose to do you justice ?

Rich. Why, the King being now in this forest a hunting, we design to take some opportunity of throwing ourselves at his Majesty's feet, and complaining of the injustice done us by this noble villain.

Miller. Ah! Dick! I expect but little redress this way. Things of this nature can so seldom come before the king, that I am afraid lest the application should be made a jest of.

King. Those that can make a jest of what ought to be shocking to humanity, surely deserve not the name of great or noble men.

Rich. What do you think of it, Sir? If you belong to the court, you, perhaps, may know something of the King's temper.

King. Why, if I can judge of his temper at all, I think he would not suffer the greatest nobleman in his court, to do an injustice to the meanest subject in his kingdom. But pray, who is the nobleman that is capable of such actions as these ? Rich. Do


know Lord Lurewell ? King. Yes. Rich. That is the man.

King. Well, I would have you put your design in execution. - 'Tis my opinion, the King would not only hear your complaint, but redress your injuries. Miller. I wish it may prove so.

Enter the KeEPERs leading in the COURTIERS:

First Keeper. Hola! Cockle! Where are ye? Why, man, we have pabb’d a pack of rogues here just in the fact.


« PreviousContinue »