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Ere bright Rosina met my eyes,
How peaceful pass'd the joyous day!
Each virgin listen'd to my lay.
But nowo no more I touch the lyre,
No more the rustic sport can please;
Lost to myself, to mirth und ease.
It's boughs extended o'er the plain,
Nor charms the eye, nor shades the swain.
[' He speaks between the scenes. Will. Here's his honour, Phæbe; wait for me at the stile. [bowing.] Please your honour, I am sent ' to tell you Dorcas and Rosina have found a purse.
• Bel. Does any body claim it? ! Will. No, Sir.
Bel. Let them keep it, William. . Will. But they charged me, please your honour, to give it to you:
Bel. Go, William, and carry it back. • Will. [ Aside.] He put it there himself: I thought so; 'tis so like him. I shall, your honour.
['Exit William. Bel. Since the sun rose, I have been in continual exercise; I feel exhausted, and will try to rest a quarter of an hour on this bank.
[Lies down on a bank by the fountain. [Gleaners pass the stage with sheaves of corn on
their heads; last Rosina, who comes forward singing.
Light as thistledown moving which floats on the air, *
What do I see? Mr. Belville asleep? I'll steal softly I may
take a moment's look at him, without cause for blushing. [Lays down the corn, and walks softly up towards him.] The sun points full on this spot; let me fasten these branches together with this ribbon, and shade him from its beams-yes-that will do--but if he should wake-[Takes the ribbon from her bosom, and ties the branches together.] How my heart beats! ah! I have waked him
[She flies, and endeavours to hide herself against
the door of the cottage, turning her head every
instant. Bel. What noise was that? [Half raising himself.
Ros. He is angry-how unhappy I am how I to tremble!"
Bel. This ribbon I have seen before, and on the lovely Rosina's bosom
[He rises, and goes towards the cottage. Ros. I will hide myself in the house. [Rosina opening the door, sees Capt. Beloille, and
starts back. Ha! a man in the house! Capt. B. Now, love assist me! Comes out, and seizes Rosina; she breaks from
him, and runs affrighted cross the stage-Belville follows ; Capt. Belville, who comes out to pursue her, sees his brother, and steals off at the
* This image was probably suggested by Isaiah xvii, 13, which Bisbop Lowth translates, " And they shall be driven like the chaff of the hills before the wind, * Add like the gossimer before the whirlwind."
But Dr. Blair in bis Lectures, (Lect xli. On The Poetry of The Hebreus, Vol. Ju. p. 190.) translates it “ they shall be chased as " the chaff of the mountain before the wind, and like the down of • the thistle before the wbirlwiod.”
See also Bp. Horne, on Pealm LIXXIII. 13.
other scene - Belville leads Rosinu back. Bel. Why do you fly thus, Rosina ? what can you fear? you are out of breath.' Ros. O, sir! my strength fails
[Leans on Belville, who supports her in his arms. Where is he?-a gentleman pursued me
Looking round. Bel. Don't be alarmed, 'twas my brother-he could not mean to offend you.
Ros. Your brother? why then does he not imitate your virtues? why was he here?
Bel. Forget this; you are safe. But tell me, Rosina, for the question is to me of importance; have I not seen you wear this ribbon?
Ros. Forgive me, sir; I did not mean to disturb you. I only meant to shade you from the too great heat of the Sun.
Bel. To what motivé do I owe this tender attention ? Ros. Ah, sir! do not the whole village love you? Bel. ' At this moment, Rosina, think me a brother; or a friend a thousand times more affectionate than a brother. You tremble! why are you alarmed?
BELVILLE and Rosina
BELVILLE, [taking her hand.]
[Rosina withdraws her hand, I feel an affection which yet wants a name.
Rosina. My timid heart pants, &c.
Bel. Unveil your whole heart to me, Rosina. The graces of your form, the native dignity of your mind which breaks through the lovely simplicity of your deportment, a thousand circumstances concur to couvince me you were not born a villager. Ros. To you, sir, I can have no reserve.
A pride, I hope an honest one, made me wish to sigh in secret over my misfortunes.
Bel. [Eagerly.] They are at an end.
Ros. Dorcas approaches, sir; she can best relate my melancholy story.
Enter Dorcas. Dor. His honour here? how sorry I am I happened to be from home. Troth, I'm sadly tired.
Ros. Why would you insist on going ? indeed, sir, she will kill herself.
Bel. Will you let me speak with you a moment alone, Dorcas ?
Dor. Sure will I, your honour. Rosina, take this basket.
Ros. [Aside.] I'll put the rest of the thread in, and' run with it to the weaver's.
[Exit. [Capt. BELVILLE at the top of the stage, speaking
to a servant. Capt. B. Rosina has taken that bye-road: run instantly, and execute my orders; but be prudent, and watch the moment.'
[He retires. Dor. Will your honour please to walk into our homely cottage?
Bel. I thank you, Dorcas, but 'tis pleasanter here: sit down by me on the bench.
[She courtesies and sits down.
Dor. Dear soul ! not a bit of pride.' Bel. Rosina has referred me to you, Dorcas, for an account of her birth, which I have long suspected to be above her present situation.
Dor. To be sure, your honour, since the dear child gives me leave to speak, she's of as good a family as any in England. Her mother, sweet lady, was my bountiful old master's daughter, 'Squire Welford of Lincolnshire.
• Bel. What happiness ! but go on.
• Dor. He was a noble gentleman, but too heedless about money-matters.* His estate was seized for a mortgage of not half its value, just after young madam was married, and she ne'er got a penny of her portion. They say, if Rosina had a friend, she might get the estate again by paying the mortgage.' Bel. And her father ?
Dor. Was a brave gentleman too, a colonel : a charm. ing couple they were, and loved one another so, it would have done your heart good to see them. His honour went to the Eastern Indies, to better his fortune, and madam would go wi' him. The ship was lost, and they,
* It is in the original and nobody's enemy but his own." I have altered this, as it is a proverbial expression, which, in my mind, is of very pernicious tendency. The men of whom this is commonly said, are, I think, enemies to many besides themselves; though perhaps with not much of positive hostile intention, if any. Dr. Ř. 'Hey in his Dissertation on the Pernicious Effects of Gaming, (p. 54, edit. 1784. p. 41, edit. 1812,) has treated this subject with his usual ability. Speaking of Idleness and Extravagance, he
says: “ To excuse, or so much as to palliate, those vices, under an " idea that they are hurtful to pone but him who is guilty of them, " is an ill-judged Leoity. And it deserves the more to be noticed “ here, because the same Lenity may perhaps by some be extended
to Gaming itself, as well as to these two vices which are in the “ train of pernicious Effects. The plea is false : a man cannot be " idle and extravagant, without injuring others as well as himself, “ Not to mention singly the several mischiefs which such a one must * bring upon those with whom he has connexions, (as that would
carry me too far from the immediate subject I am upon;) it may “ be observed that habitual Idleness and Extravagance unfit a per. " son entirely for the discbarge of his duty to mankind. It is not
enough for a man to have a few vague feelings of good-will foc