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Ha! ha!
I knew it would stagger him.

LOVEL.
Pray, give me leave.
Where has he dwelt, how liv'd, how lain con-

ceal'd? Sure I

may
ask so much.

JOHN.
From place to place, dwelling in no place long,
My brother Simon still hath borne him company,
("Tis a brave youth, I envy him all his virtues.)
Disguis'd in foreign garb, they pass for French-

men, Two Protestant exiles from the Limosin Newly arriv'd. Their dwelling's now at Not

tingham, Where no soul knows them.

LOVEL.

Can you assign any reason, why a gentleman of Sir Walter's known prudence should expose his person so lightly?

JOHN. I believe, a certain fondness, A child-like cleaving to the land that gave him LOVEL. I have known some exiles thus To linger out the term of the law's indulgence, To the hazard of being known.

birth, Chains him like fate.

JOHN.
You may suppose sometimes
They use the neighb'ring Sherwood for their sport,
Their exercise and freer recreation.-
I see you smile. Pray now, be careful.

LOVEL.
I am no babbler, sir; you need not fear me.

JOHN.
But some men have been known to talk in their

sleep, And tell fine tales that

way.

LOVEL. I have heard so much. But, to say truth, I mostly sleep alone.

JOHN. Or drink, sir? do you never drink too freely ? Some men will drink, and tell you all their secrets.

LOVEL.. Why do you question me, who know my habits ?

JOHN. I think you are no sot, No tavern-troubler, worshipper of the grape ;

But all men drink sometimes,
And veriest saints at festivals relax,
The marriage of a friend, or a wife's birth-day.

LOVEL. How much, sir, may a man with safety drink? (smiling)

JOHN.
Sir, three half pints a day is reasonable;
I care not if you never exceed that quantity.

LOVEL.
I shall observe it ;
On holidays two quarts.

JOHN.
Or stay; you keep no wench?

LOVEL.
Ha!

JOHN.
No painted mistress for your private hours?
You keep no whore, sir?

LOVEL.
What does he mean?

JOHN. Who for a close embrace, a toy of sin, And amorous praising of your worship's breath, In rosy junction of four melting lips, Can kiss out secrets from you?

LOVEL. How strange this passionate behaviour shews in

you! Sure you think me some weak one.

JOHN. Pray pardon me some fears. You have now the pledge of a dear father's life. I am a son—would fain be thought a loving one; You may allow me some fears : do not despise

me, If, in a posture foreign to my spirit, And by our well-knit friendship I conjure you, Touch not Sir Walter's life. (kneels) You see these tears. My father's an old man. Pray let him live.

LOVEL. I must be bold to tell you, these new freedoms Shew most unhandsome in you.

JOHN. (rising) Ha! do you say so? Sure, you are not grown proud upon my secret! Ah! now I see it plain. He would be babbling. No doubt a garrulous and hard-fac'd traitorBut I'll not give you leave. (draws)

LOVEL. What does this madman mean?

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JOHN.
Come, sir; here is no subterfuge.
You must kill me, or I kill you.

LOVEL. (drawing)
Then self-defence plead my excuse.
Have at you, sir.

(they fight.)

JOHN.

Stay, sir.

I hope you

have made

your

will.
If not, 'tis no great matter.
A broken cavalier has seldom much
He can bequeath : an old worn peruke,
A snuff-box with a picture of Prince Rupert,
A rusty sword he'll swear was used at Naseby,
Though it ne'er came within ten miles of the

place;
And, if he's very rich,
A cheap edition of the Icon Basilike,
Is mostly all the wealth he dies possest of.
You say few prayers, I fancy;-
So to it again.

(they fight again. Lovel is disarmed.)

LOVEL.

You had best now take

my

life. I

guess you

mean it.

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