Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

a

Sir F. Oh, yes! I would not neglect the house for ever so much.

Man. Well, and pray what have they done there?

Sir F. Why, troth! I can't well tell you what they have done; but I can tell you what I did, and I think pretty well in the main, only I happened to make a little mistake at last, indeed.

Man. How was that?

Sir F. Why, they were all got there into a sort of puzzling debate about the good of the nation-and I were always for that, you know—but, in short, the arguments were so long-winded on both sides, that waunds! I did not well understand um: howsomever I was convinced, and so resolved to vote right, according to my conscience; so, when they came to put the question, as they call it—I don't know how 'twas—but I doubt I cried ay! when I should ha' cried no!

Man. How came that about ?

Sir F. Why, by a mistake, as I tell you; for there was a good-humored sort of a gentleman, one Mr. Totherside, I think they call him, that sat next me, as soon as I had cried ay! gives me a hearty shake by the hand. Sir, says he, you are a man of honor, and a true Englishman ; and I should be proud to be better acquainted with you—and so, with that he takes me by the sleeve, along with the crowd into the lobby—so I knew nowght—but odds-flesh! I was got on the wrong side the post —for I were told, afterwards, I should have staid where I was.

Man. And so, if you had not quite made your fortune before, you have clinched it now! Ah, thou head of the Wrongheads! (Aside.)

Sir F. Odso! here's my lady come home at last. I hope, cousin, you will be so kind as to take a family supper with us?

Man. Another time, Sir Francis ; but to-night I am engaged.

SELECTION XI.

KING—MILLER-COURTIER.-Anonymous.

King. (Enters alone wrapped in a cloak.) No, no, this can be no public road, that's certain. I have lost my way undoubtedly. Of what advantage is it now to be a king. Night shows me no respect; I cannot see better, nor walk so well as another man. When a king is lost in a wood, what is he more than other men.

His wisdom knows not which is north and And yet

which is south ; his power a beggar's dog would bark at, and the beggar himself would not bow to his greatness. how often are we puffed up with these false attributes! Well, in losing the monarch I have found the man.

But hark! somebody sure is near. What were it best to do? Will my majesty protect me ? No. Throw majesty aside then, and let manhood do it.

(Enter the miller.) Miller. I believe I hear the

rogue.

Who's there? King. No rogue, I assure you. Miller. Little better, friend, I believe. Who fired that gun? King. Not I, indeed. Miller. You lie, I believe.

King (Aside.) Lie, lie! how strange it seems to me to be talked to in this style. (Aloud.) Upon my word I don't, sir.

Miller. Come, come, sirrah, confess; you have shot one of the king's deer, hav'nt you ? King. No, indeed ; I owe the king more respect.

I heard a gun go off, to be sure, and was afraid some robbers might have been near.

Miller. I am not bound to believe this, friend. Pray who are you? What's your name?

King. Name!

Miller. Name! ay, name. You have a name, hav'nt you ? Where do you come from? What is your business here?

King. These are questions I have not been used to, honest

man.

Miller. May be so; but they are questions no honest man would be asraid to answer; so if you can give no better account of yourself, I shall make bold to take you along with me, if you please.

King. With you! what authority have you to

Miller. The king's authority, if I must give you an account. Sir, I am John Cockle, the miller of Mansfield, one of his majesty's keepers in the forest of Sherwood, and I will let no suspicious fellow pass this way unless he can give a better account of himself than you have done, I promise you.

King. Very well, sir, I am very glad to hear the king has so good an officer; and since I find you have his authority, I will give you a better account of myself, if you will do me the savor to hear it.

Miller. You don't deserve it, I believe; but let's hear what you can say for yourself.

King. I have the honor to belong to the king as well as you, and perhaps should be as unwilling to see any wrong done him. I came down with him to hunt in this forest, and

a

the chase leading us to-day a great way from home, I am benighted in this wood, and have lost my way.

Miller. This does not sound well; if you have been a hunting, pray where is your horse ?

King. I have tired my horse so that he lay down under me, and I was obliged to leave him.

Miller. If I thought I might believe this now.
King. I am not used to lie, honest man.

Miller. What, do you live at court, and not lie ? that's a likely story, indeed!

King. Be that as it will, I speak truth now, I assure you; and to convince you of it, if you will attend me to Nottingham, or give me a night's lodging in your house, here is something to pay you for your trouble, (Offering money) and if that is not sufficient, I will satisfy you in the morning to your utmost desire.

Miller. Ay, now I am convinced you are a courtier; here is a little bribe for to-day, and a large promise for to-morrow, both in a breath. Here, take it again, John Cockle is no courtier. He can do what he ought without a bribe.

King. Thou art a very extraordinary man, I must own, and I should be glad, methinks, to be further acquainted with thee.

Miller. Prithee, don't thee and thou me at this rate. I suppose I am as good a man as yourself, at least.

King. Sir, I beg pardon.

Miller. Nay, I am not angry, friend; only I don't love to be too familiar with you until I am satisfied as to your honesty.

King. You are right. But what am I to do?

Miller. You may do what you please. You are twelve miles from Nottingham, and all the way through this 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 except 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 himself. King. Then I must go with you, I think.

(Enter a courtier in haste.) Courtier. Ah! is your majesty safe? We have hunted the forest over to find

you. Miller. How are you the king! (Kneels.) Your majesty will pardon the ill-usage you have received. (The King draws his sword.) His majesty surely will not kill a servant for doing his duty too faithfully.

King. No, my good fellow. So far from having any thing to pardon, I am much your debtor. I cannot think but so good and honest a man, will make a worthy and honorable knight. Rise, Sir John Cockle, and receive this sword as a badge of knighthood, and a pledge of my protection; and to support your nobility, and in some measure requite you for the pleasure you have done us, a thousand crowns a year shall be your revenue.

a

SELECTION XII. OLLAPOD-SIR CHARLES CROPLAND.--Colman. Ollapod. Sir Charles, I have the honor to be your slave. Hope your health is good. Been a hard winter here--Sore throats were plenty: so were woodcocks. Flushed four couple, one morning in a half-mile walk from our town, to cure Mrs. Quarles of a quinsy. May coming on soon, Sir Charles. Hope you come to sojourn. Should'nt be always on the wing—that's being too flighty. Do you take, good sir, do you take?

Sir Charles. Oh, yes, I take. But by the cockade in your hat, Ollapod, you have added lately, it seems, to your avocations.

Olla. My dear Sir Charles, I have now the honor to be cornet in the volunteer association corps of our town. It fell out unexpected-pop on a sudden ; like the going-off of a fieldpiece, or an alderman in an apoplexy.

Sir C. Explain.

Olla. Happening to be at home-rainy day—no going out to sport, blister, shoot, nor bleed—was busy behind the counter.

-You know my shop, Sir Charles—Galen's head over the door. -new-gilt him last week, by the by-looks as fresh as a pill.

Sir Č. Well, no more on that head now-proceed.

Olla. On that head! That's very well, very well indeed! Thank you, good sir-I owe you one. Churchwarden Posh, of our town, being ill of an indigestion, from eating three pounds of measly pork, at a vestry dinner, I was making up a cathartic for the patient; when, who should strut into the shop, but Lieutenant Grains, the brewer-sleek as a dray-horse-in a smart scarlet jacket, tastily turned up with a rhubarb-colored lapel. I confess his figure struck me. I looked at him, as I was thumping the mortar, and felt instantly inoculated with a mili

W

a

tary ardor.

Sir C. Inoculated! I hope your ardor was of a very favorable sort.

Olla. Ha! ha! That's very well-very well, indeed! Thank you, good sir-I owe you one.

We first talked of

shooting-he knew my celebrity that way, Sir Charles. I told him, the day before, I had killed six brace of birds—I thumped on at the mortar-We then talked of physic—I told him, the day before, I had killed—lost, I mean-six brace of patients

I I thumped on at the mortar-eyeing him all the while ; for he looked mighty flashy, to be sure ; and I felt an itching to belong to the corps. The medical, and military, both deal in death, you know—so 'twas natural. Do you take, good sir-do you take ?

Sir C. Take ? Oh, nobody can miss.

Olla. He then talked of the corps itself ; said it was sickly; and if a professional person would administer to the health of the association-dose the men, and drench the horse—he could, perhaps, procure him a cornetcy.

Sir C. Well, you jumped at the offer!

Olla. Jumped! I jumped over the counter-kicked down churchwarden Posh's cathartic into the pocket of lieutenant Grain's smart scarlet jacket, tastily turned up with a rhubarbcolored lapel; embraced him and his offer, and I am now cornet Ollapod, apothecary, at the Galen's Head, of the association corps of cavalry, at your service.

Sir Ĉ. I wish you joy of your appointment. You may now distill water for the shop, from the laurels you gather in the field.

Olla. Water for-Oh! laurel-water. Come, that's very well - very well, indeed!

Thank you, good sir,-I owe you one. Why, I fancy fame will follow, when the poison of a small mistake I made, has ceased to operate.

Sir C. A mistake?

Olla. Having to attend Lady Kitty Carbuncle on a grand field day, clapped a pint bottle of her ladyship’s diet drink into one of my holsters ; intending to proceed to the patient, after the exercise was over. I reached the martial ground, and jalaped-galloped, I mean-wheeled and flourished with great eclat; but when the word · fire' was given, meaning to pull out my pistol, in a horrible hurry, I presented, neck foremost, the villanous diet drink of Lady Kitty Carbuncle; and the medicine being unfortunately fermented by the jolting of my horse, it forced out the cork with a prodigious pop, full in the face of my gallant commander.

Sir C. But in the midst of so many pursuits, how proceeds practice among the ladies ? Any new faces since I left the country?

Olla. Nothing worth an item-Nothing new arrived in our town. In the village, to be sure, hard by, Miss Emily Worthington, a most brilliant beauty, has lately given lustre to the estate of Farmer Harrowby.

a

« PredošláPokračovať »