Зображення сторінки


Bowl. (Looking attentively at his master and the pipe.) I am a scandalous fellow ?

Capt. Yes!
Bowl. Your honor will not have the pipe ?

Capt. No; I will take nothing from him who would raise his own character at the expense of another old servant. (Jack takes

up the pipe and throws it out of the window.) What are you doing? Bouil

. Throwing the pipe out of the window. Capt. Are you mad ?

Bowl. Why, what should I do with it? You will not have it, and it is impossible for me to use it, for as often as I should puff away the smoke, I should think, “old Jack Bowlin, what a pitiful scamp you must be, a man whom you have served honestly and truly these thirty years, and who must know you from stem to stern, says you are a scandalous fellow," and the thought would make me weep like a child. But when the pipe is

gone, I shall try to forget the whole business, and say to myself, my poor old captain is sick, and does not mean what he said."

Capt. Jack, come here. (Takes his hand.) I did not mean what I said.

Bowl. (Shakes his hand heartily.) I knew it, I knew it. I have you and your honor at heart, and when I see such an old hypocritical bell-wether cheating you out of your hard-earned wages, it makes my blood boil

Capt. Are you at it again? Shame on you. You hare opened your heart to-day, and given me a peep into its lowest hold.

Bowl. So much the better! for you will then see that my ballast is love and truth to my master. But hark ye, master, it is certainly worth your while to inquire into the business.

Capt. And hark ye, fellow, if I find you have told me a lie, I'll have no mercy on you.

I'll turn you out of doors to starve in the street.

Bowl. No, captain, you won't do that.

Capt. But I tell you I will, though. I will do it. And if you say another word, I'll do it now.

Bowl. Well, then away goes old Jack to the hospital.

Capt. What's that you say? hospital ? hospital, you rascal ? what will you do there?

Bowl. Die.

Capt. And so you will go and die in a hospital, will you? Why-why-you lubber, do you think I can't take care of you after I have turned you out of doors, hey?


Bowl. Yes, I dare say you would be willing to pay my board, and take care that I did not want in my old days; but I had rather beg than pick up money so thrown at me.

Capt. Rather beg! there's a proud rascal!
Bowl. He that don't love me must not give me money.

Capt. Do you hear that? Is not this enough to give a sound man the gout? You sulky fellow, do you recollect twenty years ago, when we fell into the clutches of the Algerines ? The pirates stripped me of my last jacket, but you lubber, who was it hid two pieces of gold in his hair, and who was it that half a year afterwards, when we were ransomed and turned naked on the world, shared his money and clothes with me? Hey, fellow, and now you would die in a hospital. Bowl. Nay, but captain

Capt. And when my ship's crew mutinied, at the risk of his life he disclosed the plot. Have you forgotten it, you lubber?

Bowl. Well, and didn't you build my old mother a house for it?

Capt. And when we had boarded the French privateer, and the captain's hanger hung over my head, didn't you strike off the arm that was going to split my skull! Have you forgot that too? Have I built you a house for that? Will you die in a hospital now-you ungrateful dog! hey?

Bowl. My good old master!

Capt. Would you have it set on my tombstone, “here lies an unthankful hound who let his preserver and messmate die in a hospital,” would you ? Tell me this minute, you will live and die by me, you lubber! Come here and give me your hand.

Bowl. (Going towards him.) My noble, noble master,

Capt. Avast. Stand off, take care of my lame leg; yet I had rather you should hurt that than my heart, my old boy. (Shakes his hand heartily.) Now go and bring me the pipe. Stop, let me lean on you, and I will go down and get it myself and use it on my birth-day. You would die in a hospital, would you, you unfeeling lubber?


(Robin Roughhead discovered raking hay.). Rob. Ah! work, work, work, all day long, and no such thing as stopping a moment to rest! for there's old Snacks, the steward, always upon the look-out; and if he sees one, slap he has it down in his book, and then there's sixpence gone plump


(Comes forward.) I do hate that old chap, and that's the truth on't. Now, if I was lord of this place, I'd make one rulethere should be no such thing as work; it should be one long holiday all the year round. Your great folks have strange whims in their heads, that's for sartin. I don't know what to make of 'um, not I. Now there's all yon great park there, kept for his lordship to look at, and his lordship has not seen it these twelve years. Ah! if it was mine, I'd let all the villagers turn their cows in there, and it should not cost 'em a farthing; then, as the parson said last Sunday, I should be as rich any

in the land, for I should have the blessings of the poor. Dang it! here comes Snacks. Now I shall get a fine jobation, I suppose. (Enter Snacks, bowing very obsequiously; Robin takes his hat off, and stands staring at him.)

Rob. I be main tired, Master Snacks; so I stopt to rest myself a little. I hope you'll excuse it. I wonder what the dickens he's grinning at. (Aside.)

Snacks. Excuse it? I hope your lordship's infinite goodness and condescension will excuse your lordship’s most obsequious, devoted, and very humble servant, Timothy Snacks, who has come into the presence of your lordship, for the pur. pose of informing your lordship

Rob. Lordship! he, he, he! Well! I never knew I had a hump before. Why, Master Snacks, you grow funny in your

Snacks. No, my lord, I know my duty better; I should never think of being funny with a lord.

Rob. What lord ? Oh you mean the lord Harry, I suppose. No, no, must not be too funny with him, or he'll be after playing the very deuce with you.

Snacks. I say I should never think of jesting with a person of your lordship's dignified character.

Rob. Dig-dig-what! Why, now I look at you, I see how it is ; you are mad. I wonder what quarter the moon's in. Dickens ! how your eyes do roll! I never saw you so before. How came they to let you out alone ?

Snacks. Your lordship is most graciously pleased to be facetious.

Rob. Why, what gammon are you at? Don't come near me, for you have been bit by a mad dog ; I'm sure you have.

Snacks. If your lordship will be so kind as to read this letter, it would convince your lordship. Will your lordship condescend ?

Rob. Why, I would condescend, but for a few reasons, and one of 'em is, that I can't read,

old age.


Snacks. I think your lordship is perfectly right; for these pursuits are too low for one of your lordship’s nobility.

Rob. Lordship, and lordship again! I'll tell you what, Master Snacks-let's have no more of your fun, for I won't stand it any longer, for all you be steward here : my name's Robin Roughhead, and if you don't choose to call me by that name, I shan't answer you, that's flat. I don't like him well enough to stand his jokes. (Aside.)

Snacks. Why then, Master Robin, be so kind as to attend whilst I read this letter. (Reads.)

“Sir,—This is to inform you, that my lord Lackwit died this morning, after a very short illness; during which he declared that he had been married, and had an heir to his estate: the woman he married was commonly called, or known, by the name of Roughhead: she was poor and illiterate, and through motives of false shame, his lordship never acknowledged her as his wife : she has been dead sometime since, and left behind her a son called Robin Roughhead: now this said Robin is the legal heir to the estate. ì have therefore sent you the necessary writings to put him into immediate possession, according to his lordship's last will and testament. Yours to command,

Kit Codicil, Attorney at Law.” Rob. - What !—What all mine ? the houses, the trees, the fields, the hedges, the ditches, the gates, the horses, the dogs, the cats, the cocks, and the hens, and the cows, and the bulls, and the pigs, and the-What! are they all mine ? and I, Robin Roughhead, am the rightful lord of all this estate ? Don't keep me a minute now, but tell mem

-is it so ? make haste, tell mequick, quick!

Snacks. I repeat it, the whole estate is yours.

Rob. Huzza! Huzza! (Catches off Snacks hat and wig.) Set the bells a ringing ; set the ale a running; set-Go get my hat full of guineas to make a scramble with; call all the tenants together. I'll lower their rents—I'll

Snacks. I hope your lordship will do me the favor to-
Rob. Why, that may be as it happens; I can't tell. (Carelessly.)
Snacks. Will your lordship dine at the castle to-day?
Rob. Yes.
Snacks. What would your lordship choose for dinner ?
Rob. Beef-steaks and onions, and plenty of 'em.

Snacks. Beef-steaks and onions! What a dish for a lord !He'll be a savory bit for my daughter, though. (Aside.)

Rob. What are you at there, Snacks ? Go, get me the guineas-make haste; I'll have the scramble, and then I'll go to Dolly, and tell her the news.



Snacks. Dolly! Pray, my lord, who's Dolly ?

Rob. Why, Dolly is to be my lady, and your mistress, if I find you honest enough to keep you in my employ.

Snacks. He rather smokes me. (Aside.) I have a beauteous daughter, who is allowed to be the very pink of perfection.

Rob. Hang your daughter! I have got something else to think of; don't talk to me of your daughter; stir your stumps, and get the money.

Snacks. I am your lordship's most obsequious-Zounds! what a peer of the realm. (Aside and exit.)

Rob. Ha! ha! ha! What work I will make in the village! -Work! no, there shall be no such thing as work: it shall be all play.-- Where shall I go? I'll go to—No, I won't go there; I'll go to Farmer Hedgestakes, and tell him—No, I'll not go there ; I'll go—I'll go no where; yes, I will; I'll go every where; I'll be neither here nor there, nor any where else. How pleased Dolly will be when she hears—

(Enter villagers, shouting.) Dick, Tom, Jack, how are you, my lads ?—Here's news for you! Come, stand round, make a ring, and I'll make a bit of a speech to you. (They all get round him.) First of all, I suppose Snacks has told you that I am your landlord ?

Vil. We are all glad of it.
Rob. So am I; and I'll make you all happy; I'll lower all

your rents.

All. Huzza! long live lord Robin!
Rob. You shan't pay no rent at all.'
All. Huzza! huzza! long live lord Robin!

Rob. I'll have no poor people in the parish, for I'll make 'em all rich ; I'll have no widows, for I'll marry 'em all. (Villagers shout.) I'll have no orphan children, for I'll father 'em all myself; and if that's not doing as a lord should do, then I say I know nothing about the matter-that's all. All. Huzza! huzza!

(Enter Snacks.) Snacks. I have brought your lordship the money.-He means to make 'em fly, so I have taken care the guineas shall be all light. (Aside.)

Rob. Now, then, young and old, great and small, little and tall, merry men all, here's among you—(Throws the money; they scramble.) Now you've got your pockets filled, come to the castle, and I'll fill all your mouths for you. (Villagers carry him off shouting. Snacks follows.)


« НазадПродовжити »