Page images

SCENE ll—Outside of Lord Blushdale's small villa,.-—Practicable door and window.—Garden and open country in the back-ground.

Enter Deborah.

t)eb. Come, come, be of good heart, Deborah —end your day's work with 'spirit—shut the doors and windows of your dear master's house, and, then, your aching limbs shall have their night's holiday.—Heigh-ho! I wonder whether Mr. Copsland —his pardon,—my Lord Blushdale, I mean, is as fond of parading in his great London-house and gilt chariot, as he was of tending his little garden, and managing his little farm. Pray, heaven, he may be! I can give him an excellent character, and I hope he won"t give me a bad one; for, as times go, I hav'n't been a very short while in his service —only twenty years,—that's all—only twenty years.—Heigh-ho! (unlocks door.)

\_Exit into house.


Enter Cicely, hastily.

Cicely. Hark! what was that? Surely the sound of feet.—I am pursued,—discovered.—No,—'twas but fancy—and if some hospitable roof will shelter me to-night, to-morrow I'll set forth again;—but whither?—and to whom ?—Oh, Algernon !—Algernon'

[ocr errors]

Re-enter Deborah, from the house.

Deb. So—fast bind, fast find.—Heigh-day! (seeing Cicely.) What have we here? I declare, as nice, modest-looking a young creature—


[ocr errors]

(going nearer.) How! in tears !—in trouble? Come, come, cheer up.—Though 1 am old in body, I'm stout in heart,- and, perhaps, it will be rendering myself a service, to do yon one. Come, come, what's the matter?

Cicely. My story is not worth your hearing.— It is enough to say, that, could I find a kind asylum for to-night, to-morrow I'll set forth for London, and in some menial situation—

Deb. What !* you want a place! and have no home !—No,—and there it is—there's the worst on't—my cabin is so small,—bless you! I've but two little rooms.—In the one there is myself, my cat, too daughters, and a bed—and in the other, there is my poor sick nephew, who, when he's well, works about six miles off, at worthy Mr. Solace's.

Cicely. Your dwelling is too public—I must remain unseen, unknown—and since no other shelter oflerr. some wood shall be my resting place till morning. Farewell! and had 1 always met with hearts like yours, these had been tears of joy, and not of anguish.

Deb. Stop—do you think I shall close my eyes, if you sleep in a damp, dreary wood? And such a night as this ! so bleak !—Tso stormy !—No—look— (pointing to the wing) there is nobody in that house, nor likely to be for some months; for the owner of it, now Lord Blushdale, has nobler mansions elsewhere;—-I have the keys, to keep it aired and tidy —and if you prefer being alone, in a warm, comfortable bed-room, to wandering in a wood, my pretty innocent

Cicely. I do—I do.

Deb. Indeed ! then I'll lock you safe in to-night, and in the morning, after bringing you a good hearty breakfast, I and my daughters will set you forward! on yourjourney.


Cicely. Oh! this is past my hopes!—Let me this moment enter.

Deb. So you shall.—And, another thing, when Vou get to London, I know mv lord wants an underhousekeeper—and, though you are somewhat young, there is no harm in applying for the situation. (Stamping of feet without.) Hush! somebody's coming! In, in, before we are observed.—Good night! and do, as I always do, in a strange house,— Jock, lock your bed-room' door fast, and don't stir till I call you.

Cicely. 111 mind—and when in London, I will ask Lord Blushdale for the place.—Good night,—and thank, and bless you for your kindness.

[Exit into house.

Deb. (Locking door, and keeping the keys in her hand.) And thank, and bless you;—for now I shall sleep like a top.—Yes, yes; she'll be the very ser^ vant for his lordship.

Enter Legis.

Heighdays! and holidays! Mr. Legis! why, I hav'n't clapt eyes upon you these four months! No, not since that topsy turvy morning, when you brought the letter, which changed my dear master into a peer and a parliament man.

- Legis. True, Deborah; and I wonder how the change suits him; for if you recollect, he stared, and hesitated at leaving his retirement.

Deb. At first, Mr. Legis; but when you pointed out the advantages, when you told him how every body would respect, and look up to him, i'faith, he actually set offin such glee, and such bustle! But, heigh-ho! my old bones require rest, or I could tell

you such long stories of his mild, good-natured

but, another time! -I'll make amends by calling early some morning, and talking of him the whole day, Mr. Legis!

D 2 Legis.

Legis. Do, Deborah,—I shall be glad to see you.

[Exit Deborah. Ave, and my friend, Copsland also—though, 1 suppose, he's so involved in fashionable scenes, that he disdains to think of his once favourite dwelling.— Why, zounds! {Looking out.) No.—-Yes,—'tis he, and looking so strange, and so flurried!

Enter Lord Blushdaj.e. hastily, followed by

Lord B. (Not seeing Lcgix.) There it is—there is the dear, old darling spot !—Go, Geoffery,—go, get the keys from Deborah,—and mind nobody observes you.

[Exit Geoffery. So! I think they won't follow me up here.

Legis. My lord, I rejoice to see you.

Lord B. (His head from Legis.) Sir, you mistake,—you—(seeing Legis) Legis! my dear fellow, I'm glad to see you—I thought it was somebody who wanted a favour of me.

Legis. Not I, my lord,—I want no favour.

LordB. Don't you? then I'm more glad to see you; but you deceived me about London, for it wasn't as you said,—nobody wanted to oblige Lord Blushdale!—No; every body so wanted Lord Blushdale to oblige them, that from the moment I put my foot in London, 'twas—(mimicking) ■" My Loid, will "your Lordship do me the favour to attend my "party this evening"—"My Lord, will your Lord"ship do me the favour to attend my motion this "evening?"—And in the one house 1 did pretty well —talked, and heard nonsense,—played, and paid for cards—smiled, and was smiled at; but in the other house I was so sleepy, that, though I gave in my vote, I hav'n't the least notion on which side I gave it.

Legis. Astonishing! but why be hurried into



scenes that you so little were prepared for! Only I know your easy, pliant nature—accustomed to oblige, you could never refuse

LordB. Never; and, in humble life, it was all very well ; but for a great man to grant whatever is asked of him! Onlv think, Lesrisl Amongst other pleasant things, it turned out, that I had the reversion of a large living in Yorkshire, and five curates applying for it at the same time, 'twixt my flurry, old habits, and thinking to get rid of every thing, by complying with every thing, i'cod, I promised it to every one of them.—Yes, I did, and the rector dying suddenly, a week ago, hang me s if they hav'n't all started fair, to get possession! And so E started fair; for if they get possession of me, there'll be no mercy—no benefit of clergy, Legis.

Legis. He! he! and you think to escape by taking refuge in your old hiding place.

Lord B. Certainly; for they'll look for me in my high stately castle in the north.—A cottage is too low to catch the eye of place-hunters, and sycophants.—So, mum to all except my nephew.—He's somewhere, not far off; and I've rare news for him about Selina's husband.

Legis. What! Mr. Danyers has informed you of this secret marriage?

Lord B. He has; and of the superintendant's power :—and here's a welcome answer to his letter. {Producing one ) I'm on his side—I hate these profligate St. Albyns, and for their sake, I'm glad I 'am ennobled; for I'll, at any rate, , provide for them.

Re-enter Geoffery, with the keys.

Geoff. My lord, I've got the keys from Deborah—that is, from the nail, on which she always hangs them; for the good old soul was fast asleep, and I didn't chuse to awaken her, lest she should be curious, and inquisitive,


« PreviousContinue »