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Thank you, Francis. And here's to thee. [Drinks A Servants' Apartment in Woodvil Hall.
I shall be fuddled anon.
And drunkenness I hold to be a very despicable vice. " When the King enjoys his own again."
ALL 0! a shocking vice.
[They drink round
PETER. A delicate song. Where didst learn it, fellow?
Inasmuch as it taketh away the understanding.
DANIEL Even there, where thou learnest thy oaths and thy
And makes the eyes red. politics—at our master's table.-—Where else should a
PETER serving-man pick up his poor accomplishments ?
And the tongue to stammer.
DANIEL Well spoken, Daniel. O rare Daniel !-his oaths And to blab out secrets. and his politics! excellent!
[During this conversation they continue drinking. FRANCIS.
PETER. And where did'st pick up thy knavery, Daniel ? Some men do not know an enemy from a friend
when they are drunk. That came to him by inheritance. His family have supplied the shire of Devon, time out of mind, with Certainly sobriety is the health of the soul. good thieves and bad serving-men. All of his race
MARTIN. have come into the world without their conscience.
Now I know I am going to be drunk.
DANIEL Good thieves, and bad serving-men! Better and How canst tell, dry-bones? better. I marvel what Daniel hath got to say in reply.
Because I begin to be melancholy. That's always I marvel more when thou wilt say anything to the
a sign. purpose, thou shallow serving-man, whose swiftest conceit carries thee no higher than to apprehend with Take care of Martin, he'll topple off his seat else. difficulty the stale jests of us thy compeers. When
(Martin drops asleep. wast ever known to club thy own particular jest among us?
Times are greatly altered, since young master took MARTIN.
upon himself the government of this household. Most unkind Daniel, to speak such biting things of
Greatly altered. See-if he hath not brought tears into the poor
I think everything be altered for the better since fellow's eyes with the saltness of his rebuke.
His Majesty's blessed restoration. No offence, brother Martin—I meant none. "Tis true, Heaven gives gifts, and with holds them. It has
In Sir Walter's days there was no encouragement been pleased to bestow upon me a nimble invention given to good house-keeping. to the manufacture of a jest ; and upon thee, Martin, an indifferent bad capacity to understand my meaning.
None. MARTIN. Is that all? I am content. Here's my hand. For instance, no possibility of getting drunk before
two in the afternoon. Well, I like a little innocent mirth myself, but never could endure bawdry.
Every man his allowance of ale at breakfast—his
quart! Quot homines tot sententiæ.
[In derision. And what is that?
Nothing left to our own sweet discretions.
Whereby it may appear, we were treated more I hope there is none between us.
like beasts than what we were—discreet and reason
able serving.men. Here's to thee, brother Martin. (Drinks.
MARTIN (opening his eyes).
You lazy feasters at another's cost,
That eat like maggots into an estate,
And do as little work,
Being indeed but foul excrescences,
And no just parts in a well-order'd family; I marvel all this while where the old gentleman You base and rascal imitators, has found means to secrete himself. It seems no Who act up to the height your master's vices, man has heard of him since the day of the King's But cannot read his virtues in your bond : return. Can any tell why our young master, being Which of you, as I enter'd, spake of betraying? favored by the court, should not have interest to pro- Was it you, or you, or, thin-face, was it you? cure his father's pardon ?
Whom does he call thin-face?
SANDFORD. that will not be beholden to the court for his safety. No prating, loon, but tell me who he was, MARTIN.
That I may brain the villain with my staff,
That seeks Sir Walter's life?
You miserable men,
Have you that noble bounty so forgot, That cannot I; but I have my conjectures. Which took you from the looms, and from the plows DANIEL
Which better had ye follow'd, fed ye, clothed ye, Two hundred pounds, as I hear, to the man that And entertain'd ye in a worthy service, shall apprehend him.
Where your best wages was the world's repute, FRANCIS.
That thus ye seek his life, by whom ye live? Well, I have my suspicions.
Have you forgot, too,
How often in old times And so have I.
Your drunken mirths have stunn'd day's sober ears, MARTIN.
Carousing full cups to Sir Walter's health ?-
Whom now ye would betray, but that he lies
Out of the reach of your poor treacheries.
[Aside. This learn from me,
Our master's secret sleeps with trustier tongues, Perhaps not.
Than will unlock themselves to carles like you. FRANCIS.
Go, get you gone, you knaves. Who stirs ? this staff Nearer perhaps.
Shall teach you better manners else.
Well, we are going.
Young mistress Margaret coming this way.
[Exeunt all but SANDFORD. O Lord! surely not. [They drink to Sir Walter's safety. Enter Margaret, as in a fright, pursued by a Gen
tleman, who, seeing SANDFORD, retires muttering a I have often wondered how our master came to be excepled by name in the late Act of Oblivion.
Good morrow to my fair mistress. "T was a chance ALL
I saw you, lady, so intent was I
On chiding honce these graceless serving-men, DANIEL
Who cannot break their fast at morning meals "T is thought he is no great friend to the present Without debauch and mistimed riotings. happy establishment.
This house hath been a scene of nothing else
But atheist riot and profane excess, 0! monstrous !
Since my old master quitted all his rights here. PETER. Fellow-servants, a thought strikes me.- Do we, or Each day I endure fresh insult from the scorn
MARGARET. do we not, come under the penalties of the treason
Of Woodvil's friends, the uncivil jests, art, by reason of our being privy to this man's con
And free discourses, of the dissolute men cealment ?
That haunt this mansion, making me their mirth. Truly, a sad consideration.
Does my young master know of these affronts !
I cannot tell. Perhaps he has not been told;
Perhaps he might have seen them if he would. Maintained for state, not use ;
I have known him more quick-sighted. Let that pass
All things seem changed, I think. I had a friend Portray without its terrors, painting lies
I have thought on every possible event,
The dangers and discouragements you speak of, On but a bare surmise, a possibility,
Even till my woman's heart hath ceased to fear them That Margaret had suffer'd an affront.
And cowardice grows enamour'd of rare accidents. Some are too tame, that were too splenetic once. Nor am I so unfurnish'd, as you think, SANDFORD.
Of practicable schemes. 'T were best he should be told of these affronts.
Now God forbid ; think twice of this, dear lady. MARGARET. I am the daughter of his father's friend, Sir Walter's orphan-ward.
I pray you spare me, Mr. Sandford, I am not his servant-maid, that I should wait
And once for all believe, nothing can shake my purpose.
But what course have you thought on?
To seek Sir Walter in the forest of Sherwood. Himself a suitor late to Margaret.
I have letters from young Simo
Of their concealment, place, and manner of life, And joyful mistress of his youth.
And the merry hours they spend in the green haunts None once so pleasant in his eyes as Margaret :
Or Sherwood, nigh which place they have ta'en a house His conscience, his religion, Margaret was,
In the town of Nottingham, and pass for foreigners, His dear heart's confessor, a heart within that heart, Wearing the dress of Frenchmen. And all dear things summ'd up in her alone.
All which I have perused with so attent As Margaret smiled or frown'd, John lived or died:
And child-like longings, that to my doting ears His dress, speech, gesture, studies, friendships, all
Two sounds now seem like one, Being fashion'd to her liking.
One meaning in two words, Sherwood and Liberty His flatteries taught me first this self-esteem,
And, gentle Mr. Sandford, His flatteries and caresses, while he loved.
'Tis you that must provide now The world esteemi'd her happy, who had won
The means of my departure, which for safety His heart, who won all hearts;
Must be in boy's apparel. And ladies envied me the love of Woodvil.
Since you will have it so, He doth affect the courtier's life too much,
(My careful age trembles at all may happen), Whose art is to forget,
I will engage to furnish you : And that has wrought this seeming change in him,
I have the keys of the wardrobe, and can fit you That was by nature noble.
With garments to your size. "T is these court-plagues, that swarm about our house, of lively Lincoln green, that shall much grace you
I know a suit
In the wear, being glossy fresh, and worn but seldon Tainting his generous spirit with ambition.
Young Stephen Woodvil wore them, while he lived
And ere day-break will rise and let you forth. I know not how it is ;
What things soe'er you have need of I can furnish you, A cold protector is John grown to me.
And will provide a horse and trusty guide, The mistress, and presumptive wife, of Woodvil
To bear you on your way to Nottingham.
That once this day and night were fairly past ! But which his own neglects have sanction'd rather, For then I'll bid this house and love farewell,
Farewell, sweet Devon; farewell, lukewarm John, Both sanction'd and provoked: a mark'd neglect,
For with the morning's light will Margaret be gone. And strangeness fast'ning bitter on his love,
Thanks, courteous Mr. Sandford. His love which long has been upon the wane.
[Exeunt divers ways
An apartment in Woodvil Hall.
(Reading Parts of a Letter.) To your abused fancy, as 't is likely,
“When Love grows cold, and indifference has usurp
ed upon old esteem, it is no marvel if the world begin to account that dependence, which hitherto has To say the truth, my love for her has of late stopt been esteemed honorable shelter. The course I have short on this side idolatry. taken (in leaving this house, not easily wrought thereunto), seemed to me best for the once-for-all releasing As all good Christians' should, I think. of yourself (who in times past have deserved well of me) from the now daily, and not-to-be-endured, I am sure, I could have loved her still within the tribute of forced love, and ill-dissembled reluctance limits of warrantable love. of affection. “ MARGARET" A kind of brotherly affection, I take it
WOODVIL. Gone! gone! my girl ? so hasty, Margaret !
We should have made excellent man and wife in And never a kiss at parting? shallow loves,
time. And likings of a ten days' growth, use courtesies,
LOVEL. And show red eyes at parting. Who bids “ farewell" A good old couple, when the snows fell, to crowd In the same tone he cries “God speed you, Sir ?" about a sea-coal fire, and talk over old matters. Or tells of joyful victories at sea,
WOODVIL. Where he hath ventures ? does not rather muffle While each should feel, what neither cared to acHis organs to emit a leaden sound,
knowledge, that stories oft repeated may, at last, come To suit the melancholy dull “ farewell,”
to lose some of their grace by the repetition. Which they in Heaven not use ! So peevish, Margaret ?
Which both of you may yet live long enough to But 't is the common error of your sex,
discover. For, take my word for it, Margaret as a When our idolatry slackens, or grows less, bird that will come back to you without a iure. (As who of woman born can keep his faculty Of Admiration, being a decaying faculty,
Never, never, Lovel. Spite of iny levity, with tears For ever strain’d to the pitch? or can at pleasure I confess it, she was a lady of most confirmed honor, Make it renewable, as some appetites are, of an unmatchable spirit, and determinable in all As, namely, Hunger, Thirst ?-) this being the case, virtuous resolutions ; not hasly to anticipate an af They tax us with neglect, and love grown cold, front, nor slow to feel, where just provocation was Coin plainings of the perfidy of men,
given. Which into maxims pass, and apophthegms
LOVEL To be retail'd in ballads.
What made you neglect her, then ? I know them all. They are jealous, when our larger hearts receive Mere levity and youthfulness of blood, a malady More guests than one (Love in a woman's heart incident to young men : physicians call it caprice. Being all in one). For me, I am sure I have room here Nothing else. He, that slighted her, knew her value. For more disturbers of my sleep than one. and 't is odds, but, for thy sake, Margaret, John will Love shall have part, but Love shall not have all. yet go to his grave a bachelor. Ambition, Pleasure, Vanity, all by turns,
(A noise heard, as of one drunk and singing. Shall lie in my bed, and keep me fresh and waking;
LOVEL. Yet Love not be excluded.- Foolish wench,
Here comes one, that will quickly dissipate these I could have loved her twenty years to come, humors. And still have kept my liking. But since 't is so,
(Enter one drunk.) Why fare thee well, old playfellow! I'll try
DRUNKEN MAN. To squeeze a tear for old acquaintance sake.
Good-morrow to you, gentlemen. Mr. Lovel, I am I shall not grudge so much.
your humble servant. Honest Jack Woodvil, I will
get drunk with you to-morrow.
And why to-morrow, honest Mr. Freeman ?
I scent a traitor in that question. A beastly ques
tion. Is it not his majesty's birth-day? the day of all WOODVIL, Nothing is the matter, only the wench has forced days in the year, on which King Charles the second sume water into my eyes, which will quickly disband. was graciously pleased to be born. (Sings) “Great
pity 't is such days as those should come but once a
year." I cannot conceive you.
Drunk in a morning! foh! how he stinks! Margaret is flown.
And why not drunk in a morning? can'st tell, bully? Upon what pretence ?
day, methinks, it should ill endure such early blightings Neglect on my part: which it seems she has had
DRUNKEN MAN. the wit to discover, maugre all my pains to conceal it.
I grant you, 't is in some sort the youth and tender
nonage of the day. Youth is bashful, and I give it a Then, you confess the charge ?
cup to encourage it. (Sings) “ Ale that will make
Grimalkin prate."-At noon I drink for thirst, at night Do I affect the favors of the court. for fellowship, but, above all, I love to usher in the I would be great, for greatness haih great power, liashful morning under the auspices of a freshening And that's the fruit I reach ai.stoup of liquor. (Sing 8) “ Ale in a Saxon rumkin then Great spirits ask great play-room. Who could sit, makes valor burgeon in tall men."-But, I crave With these prophetic swellings in my breast, pardon. I fear I keep that gentleman from serious That prick and goad me on, and never cease, thoughts. There be those that wait for me in the cellar. To the fortunes something tells me I was born to ?
Who, with such monitors within to stir him, Who are they?
Would sit him down, with lazy arms across,
A unit, a thing without a name in the state, Gentlemen, my good friends, Cleveland, Delaval, A something to be govern’d, not to govern, and Truby. I know by this time they are all clam- A fishing, hawking, hunting, country gentleman ? orous for me. [Erit, singing
(Erik WOODVIL. This keeping of open house acquaints a man with
SCENE II. strange companions.
Sherwood Forest. (Enter, at another door, Three calling for HARRY FREEMAN.)
SIR WALTER Woodvil. Simon WOODVIL Harry Freeman, Harry Freeman.
(Disguised as Frenchmen.) He is not here. Let us go look for him. Where is Freeman ?
How fares my boy, Simon, my youngest born? Where is Harry ?
My hope my pride, young Woodvil, speak to me [Exeunt the Three, calling for FREEMAN. Some grief untold weighs heavy at thy heart:
I know it by thy alter'd cheer of late. Did you ever see such gentry? (laughing.) These Thinkest, thy brother plays thy father false ? are they that fallen on ale and tobacco in a morning, It is a mad and thriftless prodigal, drink burnt brandy at noon to promote digestion, and Grown proud upon the favors of the court; piously conclude with quart bumpers after supper, Court manners, and court fashions, he affects, to prove their loyalty.
And in the heat and uncheck'd blood of youth, LOVEL.
Harbors a company of riotous men, Come, shall we adjourn to the Tennis Court? All hot, and young, court-seekers, like himself,
Most skilful to devour a patrimony; WOODVIL. No, you shall go with me into the gallery, where and these have eat into my old estates, I will show you the Vandike I have purchased. “The And these have drain'd thy father's cellars dry: late King taking leave of his children.”
But these so common faults of youth not named, LOVEL.
(Things which themselves outgrow, left to themselves). I will but adjust my dress, and attend you.
I know no quality that stains his honor.
[Exit Lovel. My life upon his faith and noble mind, JOHN Woodvil (alone).
Son John could never play thy father false. Now universal England getteth drunk
SIMON. For joy that Charles, her monarch, is restored :
I never thought but nobly of my brother, And she, that sometime wore a saintly mask,
Touching his honor and fidelity. The stale-grown vizor from her face doth pluck,
Still I could wish him charier of his person, And weareth now a suit of morris-bells,
And of his time more frugal, than to spend With which she jingling goes through all her towns In riotous living, graceless society, and villages.
And mirth unpalatable, hours better employ'd The based factions in their houses skulk:
(With those persuasive graces nature lent him) The commonwealthsman, and state machinist,
In fervent pleadings for a father's life.
I would not owe my life to a jealous court,
Unknowing what free grace or mercy mean,
And John has ta'en you, father, at your word Nor yet to be seer whispering with some great one, True to the letter of his paternal charge!