UTC
The Drunkard; or, the Fallen Saved
Adapted by W.H. Smith
New York: WM. Taylor and Co.1850

ACT I.

SCENE I.—Interior of a pretty rural cottage.—Flowers, paintings, &c.Everything exhibits refined taste, and elegant simplicity.—Table, with bible and arm chair, R. MARY seated by table,L.


Mrs. W.

  It was in that corner, Mary, where your poor father breathed his last—this chair is indeed dear to me, for it was in this he sat the very day before he died. Oh, how he loved this calm retreat, and often in his last illness he rejoiced that the companion of his youth would close his eyes in these rural shades, and be laid in yon little nook beside him; but now—


Mary.

  Dear mother. It is true, this sweet cottage is most dear to us. But we are not the proprietors. Old Mr. Middleton never troubled us much. But as our late worthy landlord is no more, it is generally believed that our dear cottage will be sold. We cannot censure his son for that.


Mrs. W.

  No; the young must be provided for, and willingly would I bow with resignation to that great power that loveth while it chasteneth; but when I think that you, my beloved child, will be left exposed to the thousand temptations of life a penniless orphan. [A knock


8

C.D.] Hark! who knocks! Dry your tears, my darling. Come in.

Enter LAWYER CRIBBS C.D.comes down C.

Good morning, sir. Mary, my child, a chair.


Cribbs.

  [Sitting, L. C.] Good morning, Mrs. Wilson; good morning, my dear young lady. A sad calamity has befallen the neighborhood, my good Mrs. Wilson.


Mrs. W.

  Many a poor person, I fear, will have reason to think so, sir.


Cribbs.

  Yes, yes. You are right. Ah! he was a good man, that Mr. Middleton. I knew him well. He placed great confidence in my advice.


Mary.

  Was he not very rich once, Mr. Cribbs?


Cribbs.

  Yes, yes; when the times were good, but bad speculations, unlucky investments, false friends—alas! alas! we have all our ups and downs, my dear madam!


Mrs. W.

  Ah! Mr. Cribbs, I perceive you are a man, who—


Cribbs.

  Has a heart to feel for the unfortunate. True, madam, it is the character I have attained, though I am not the man to boast. Have you any prospect of—that is—have you provided—


Mary.

  It is true then, too true, the cottage and garden will be sold?


Cribbs.

  Why, what can the young man do, my dear? A gay young man like him. Fond of the world, given somewhat to excess, no doubt. But pardon me, my dear Miss Mary; I would not call up a blush on the cheek of modesty. But you know, the extravagance, that is, the folly—


Mrs. W.

  All, sir. I understand you—very much unlike his father I would say.


Cribbs.

  I place great confidence in your prudence, Mrs. Wilson. I wish the young man well, with all my heart. Heaven knows I have cause to do so for his honored father's sake. [Puts a handkerchief to his eyes.


Mrs. W.

  Come, come, Mr. Cribbs, he is better off. It is impiety to mourn a good man's death. His end was that of a Christian.


Cribbs.

  Judge, then, of the interest which I take in the


9

last remaining scion of that honored stock. But, madam, Edward Middleton. He is yet young, and—


Mrs. W.

  I think he is not more than twenty. I recollect him when a lad, a bright, blue-eyed boy, with flaxen hair, tall of his age.


Cribbs.

  Twenty-three last July, madam; that is his age precisely—he is giddy, wild, and reckless. As the good man says, "when I was a child, I thought as a child." [A pause.—Cribbs looks round the room.] Well, madam, business is business. I am a plain man, Mrs. Wilson, and sometimes called too blunt—and—and—


Mary.

  You mean to say that we must leave the cottage, sir.


Cribbs.

  [Pretending feeling.] No, not yet, my dear young lady—I would say it is best to be prepared, and as Edward is sudden in all his movements, and as my entreaties would never change him—why, if you could find a place before he moves in the matter, it might save you from much inconvenience, that's all.


Mrs. W.

  You impose on us a severe task, my dear sir.


Cribbs.

  Bear up, my dear madam, bear up. If I may be so officious, I would try Boston—at the Intelligence Offices there, any healthy young woman, like your daughter, can obtain a profitable situation—think of it, think of it, my good madam. I will see you again soon, and now, heaven bless you.

[Exit, C.D., and off L.Mrs. Wilson and Mary look for a moment at each other, and then embrace.


Mrs. W.

  Well, comfort, my daughter, comfort. It is a good thing to have a friend in the hour of trouble. This Mr. Cribbs appears to be a very feeling man; but before taking his advice, we would do well to make our proposed trial of this young man, Edward Middleton. You have the money in your purse?


Mary.

  It is all here, mother. Thirty dollars—the sum we have saved to purchase fuel for the winter.


Mrs. W.

  That will partially pay the rent score. When this young man finds we are disposed to deal fairly with him, he may relent. You turn pale, Mary; what ails my child?


Mary.

  Dear mother, it is nothing; it will soon be


10

over—it must be done. I fear this young man. He has been described so wild, so reckless. I feel a sad foreboding—


Mrs. W.

  Fear not, Mary; call him to the door. Refuse to enter the house—give him the money, and tell him your sad story. He must, from family and association at least, have the manners of a gentleman—and however wild a youth may be, when abroad among his associates, no gentleman ever insulted a friendless and unprotected woman.


Mary.

  You give me courage, dear mother. I should indeed by an unnatural child, if—[Aside.]—yet I am agitated. Oh, why do I tremble thus? [Puts on a village bonnet, &c.


Mrs. W.

  [Kisses her.] Go forth, my child—go as the dove flew from the ark of old, and if thou shouldst fail in finding the olive branch of peace, return, and seek comfort where thou shalt surely find it—in the bosom of thy fond and widowed mother. [Exit R.D., and Mary, C.D.



SCENE II.—Front and cut woods in C.

Enter LAWYER CRIBBS, L.


Cribbs.

  Well, that interview of mock sympathy and charity is over, and I flatter myself pretty well acted too, ha! ha! Yes, the widow and her child must quit the cottage—I'm resolved. First for the wrongs I years ago endured from old Wilson; and secondly, it suits my own interests; and in all cases, between myself and others, I consider the last clause as a clincher. Ha! here comes the girl—I must watch closely here. [Retires, L.S.E.

MARY enters, fearful and hestitating, L.


Mary.

  I have now nearly reached the old mansion house. In a few moments I shall see the young man, this dissipated collegian. Oh! my poor mother must be deceived! Such a man can have no pity for the children of poverty, misfortune's supplicants for shelter beneath the roof of his cottage—oh, my poor mother, little do you know the sufferings that—ha! a gentleman approaches. My fears tell me this is the man I seek. Shall I ever have


11

courage to speak to him? I will pause till he has reached the house. [Retires gathering flowers, R.

Enter EDWARD MIDDLETON, R. S. E., and CRIBBS, L. S. E. meeting.


Cribbs.

  Good day, good day, son of my old friend! I have been looking for you.


Edward.

  Mr. Cribbs, your most obedient; any friends of my father are always welcome.


Cribbs.

  Well said, nobly said. I see your father before me, when I look on you.


Edward.

  You were enquiring for me, Mr. Cribbs?


Cribbs.

  I was. I wished to see you with regard to the cottage and lands adjoining. I have an opportunity of selling them. When last we talked upon this subject—


Edward.

  I was then ignorant that a poor widow—[Mary at back, C., listening.]—and her only daughter—


Cribbs.

  Who are in arrears for rent—


Edward.

  Had lived there many years—that my father highly esteemed them—to turn them forth upon the world in the present condition of the old lady—


Cribbs.

  Which old lady has a claim upon the Alms House. [Mary shudders.


Edward.

  In short, Mr. Cribbs, I cannot think of depriving them of a home, dear to them as the apple of their eyes—to send them forth from the flowers which they have reared, the vines which they have trained in their course—a place endeared to them by tender domestic recollections, and past remembrances of purity and religion.


Cribbs.

  Oh! all that and more—the fences which they have neglected; the garden gate off the hinges; the limbs of the old birch tree broken down for firewood; the back windows ornamented with an old hat—


Edward.

  Cease, Mr. Cribbs; all this has been explained; my foster-brother, William, has told me the whole story. The trees were broken down by idle school-boys, and with regard to an old hat in the window, why, it was the hat of a man; can as much be said of yours, Mr. Cribbs?


Cribbs.

  You are pleased to be pleasant, to-day, sir. Good morning, sir; good morning. [Exit, L., muttering.


12


Edward.

  I'm sorry I offended the old man. After all he was the friend of the family; though it is strange, my poor father almost always took his advice, and was invariably unfortunate when he did so.

Re-enter CRIBBS, L.


Cribbs.

  Good morning again; beg pardon, sir. I now understand you better. You are right; the daughter—fine girl, eh! sparkling eyes, eh! dimples, roguish glances! Ah, when I was young, eh, ha? Well, never mind; you have seen her, eh?


Edward.

  Never; explain yourself, Mr. Cribbs.


Cribbs.

  If you have not seen her, you will, you know, eh! I understand. Traps for wild fowl; mother and daughter grateful; love-passion; free access to the cottage at all hours.


Edward.

  Cribbs, do you know this girl has no father?


Cribbs.

  That's it; a very wild flower growing on the open heath.


Edward.

  Have you forgotten that this poor girl has not a brother?


Cribbs.

  A garden without a fence, not a stake standing. You have nothing to do but step into it.


Edward.

  Old man! I respect your grey hairs. I knew an old man once, peace to his ashes, whose hair was as grey as yours; but beneath that aged breast there beat a heart, pure as the first throbs of childhood. He was as old as you—he was more aged; his limbs tottered as yours do not—I let you go in peace. But had that old man heard you utter such foul sentences to his son; had he heard you tell me to enter, like a wolf, this fold of innocence, and tear from her mother's arms the hope of her old age, he would have forgotten the winters that have dried the pith within his aged limbs, seized you by the throat, and dashed you prostrate to the earth, as too foul a carcass to walk erect and mock the name of man. [Crosses, L.


Cribbs.

  But, Mr. Middleton, sir—


Edward.

  Leave me, old man; begone; your hot lascivious breath cannot mingle with the sweet odor of these essenced wild flowers. Your raven voice will not harmonize with the warblings of these heavenly songsters, pouring


13

forth their praises to that Almighty power, who looks with horror on your brutal crime. [Crosses, R., Mary rushes forward, C., and kneels.


Mary.

  The blessings of the widow and fatherless be upon thee, may they accompany thy voice to Heaven's tribunal, not to cry for vengeance, but plead for pardon on this wretched man.


Cribbs.

  Ha! The widow's daughter! Mr. Middleton, you mistake me. I—I cannot endure a woman's tears. I—poor child! [Aside.] I'll be terribly revenged for this. [Exit Cribbs, L. S. E.


Edward.

  This, then, is the widow's child, nurtured in the wilderness. She knows not the cold forms of the fashionable miscalled world. Cribbs, too, gone; a tale of scandal—I'll overtake the rascal, and at least give no color to his base fabrications. [Crossing, and going, L.


Mary.

  (R.) Stay, sir, I pray you. I have an errand for you. This is part of the rent, which— [Holding out money.


Edward.

  Nay, then, you have not overheard my discourse with the old man, who has just left us. I have told him—


Mary.

  That we should still remain in the cottage. Oh, sir! is that a reason we should withhold from you these dues? now paid with double pleasure, since we recognize a benefactor in our creditor—take this, I entreat, 'tis but a portion of the debt; but be assured, the remainder shall be paid as soon as busy, willing hands can earn it.


Edward.

  Nay, nay, dear girl; keep it as a portion of your dowry.


Mary.

  Sir!


Edward.

  If you have overheard the dialogue that I just held with that old man, you must know that I sometimes speak very plain.


Mary.

  [Apprehensively.] Yes, sir.


Edward.

  I have spoken plainly to him: shall I now speak plainly to you?


Mary.

  Alas, sir! It is not our fault that the fences are broken down. When my poor father lived, it was not so. But since—


Edward.

  When that vile old man spoke to me of your charms, I heeded him not. There are plenty of pretty


14

girls in this section of the country; but I have since discovered what I had before heard, something more that the ordinary beauty which he described. A charm that he is incapable of appreciating. The charm of mental excellence, noble sentiment, filial piety. These are the beauties that render you conspicuous above all the maidens I have seen. These are the charms which bind captive the hearts of men. I speak plainly, for I speak honestly, and when I ask you to keep that money as a portion of your dowry, need I say into whose hands I would like to have it fall at last.


Mary.

  [Droops her head during the above.] To affect—to affect not to understand you, sir, would be an idle return for kindness such as yours, and yet—


Edward.

  I sometimes walk down in the vicinity of your cottage, and—


Mary.

  Should I see you go by without stopping—why, then—


Edward.

  Then what, dear Mary?


Mary.

  Then I should suppose you had forgotten where we lived.


Edward.

  Thanks! [Kisses her hand.] Ah! little did I think when I thought of selling that dear old cottage, that it should be regarded as a casket, invaluable for the jewel it contained. [Leads her off, L. U. E.



SCENE III.—Interior of Miss Spindle's dwelling house. Toilette table, looking glass, essence bottles.—All denotes vulgar wealth, devoid of elegance or taste.—MISS SPINDLE discovered at toilette table, R.


Miss S.

  The attractions of the fair sex are synonymous. True, old Bonus is the destroyer of female charms; but as my beautiful poet, Natty P. says, in his sublime epistle to Lucinda Octavia Pauline, "Age cannot wither me, nor custom stale my infinite vacuity." But time is money, then money is time, and we bring back, by the aid of money, the times of youth. I value my beauty at fifty dollars a year, as that is about the sum it costs me for keeping it in repair year by year. Well, say that my beauty is repaired in this way, year by year; well, what then! I have heard a gentleman say that a pair of boots when repaired and


15

foxed, were better than they were when new. Why should it not be so with our charms? Certainly, they last longer in this way. We can have red cheeks at seventy, and, thanks to the dentist, good teeth at any time of life. Woman was made for love. They suppose that my heart is unsusceptible of the tender passion. But the heart can be regulated by money, too. I buy all the affecting novels, and all the terrible romances, and read them till my heart has become soft as maiden wax, to receive the impression of that cherished image I adore. Ah! as true as I live, there goes his foster brother, William, by the window. Hem, William! [Taps at window, C.William sings without, L.

"When I was a young and roving boy,
Where fancy led me I did wander,
Sweet Caroline was all my joy,
But I missed the goose and hit the gander."

Enter WILLIAM DOWTON, L.


William.

  Good day, Miss Spindle.


Miss S.

  You heard my rap, William?


William.

  As much as ever, Miss Spindle. Such fingers as yours don't make noise like the fist of a butcher.


Miss S.

  My hand is small, William, but I did not suppose that you had noticed it.


William.

  I only noticed it by the lightness of your tap. So, I supposed you must be very light fingered.


Miss S.

  Pray, sit down, William; take a chair, don't be bashful; you're too modest.


William.

  It's a failing I've got, Miss Spindle. I'm so modest I always go to bed without a candle. [Both sit, C.


Miss S.

  (R. C.) Shall I tell you what I have thought, William?


William.

  (L. C.) Why, that's just as you agree to with yourself. I don't care much about it, one way or t'other.


Miss S.

  You were singing as you came in, William. I suppose you know I sometimes invoke the help of Polyhymnia.


William.

  Why, I don't know as to the help of Polyhym-him-nina, but if you want good help, you can't do better than hire Polly Striker, old Farmer Jone's wife's daughter, by her first husband.


16


Miss S.

  You don't understand the heathen mythology, William.


William.

  Why, I hear Parson Roundtext talk sometimes of the poor benighted heathens; but I am free to say, that I can't come anything in regard to their conchology, as you call it. Will you have some shell-barks, or chestnuts, Miss Spindle?


Miss S.

  No, William. But this is what I have thought. William there are two sorts of men.


William.

  Oh yes, Miss Spindle, long ones and short ones, like cigars. Sometimes the short ones are the best smoking, too.


Miss S.

  You mistake my meaning, William. Some are warm and susceptible of the charms of women.


William.

  Warm, oh, yes. Florida boys, and Carolina niggers, eh?


Miss S.

  While others are cold and apparently insensible to our beauties—


William.

  Oh, yes. Newfoundlanders, Canada fellows, and Blue noses.


Miss S.

  Now William, dear William, this is the confession I would confide in your generous secrecy. I have a trembling affection, and then, a warm, yet modest flame.


William.

  Trembling affection, warm flame, why, the old girl's got the fever and ague.


Miss S.

  And how to combat with this dear, yet relentless foe.


William.

  Put your feet into warm water, and wood ashes, take two quarts of boiling hot arb tea. Cover yourself with four thick blankets, and six Canada comforters, take a good perspicacity, and you'll be well in the morning.


Miss S.

  Sir!


William.

  That's old Ma'am Brown's recipe for fever and ague, and I never yet found it fail.


Miss S.

  Fever and ague! You mistake me, William, I have an ardent passion.


William.

  Don't be in a passion, Miss Spindle, it's bad for your complaint.


Miss S.

  You will not understand. I have a passion for one.


William.

  For one! Well, it's lucky it's only one.


17


Miss S.

  Can you not fancy who that one is? He lives in your house.


William.

  Well, I'm darned, Miss Spindle, it's either me or Mr. Middleton.


Miss S.

  I never can bestow my hand without my heart, William—


William.

  Why, I think myself they ought to be included in the same bill of sale.


Miss S.

  Ah! William, have you ever read the "Children of the Abbey"?


William.

  No, Miss Spindle, but I've read the "Babes of the Wood."


Miss S.

  I have read all the Romantics of the day. I have just finished Mr. Cooper's Trapper.


William.

  Oh! I dare say she understands trap, but she don't come the trapper over my foster brother this year.


Miss S.

  He understands little of the refinements of the civilized circular. I must try something else. How do you like my green dress? How does it become me?


William.

  Beautiful! It matches very well indeed, marm.


Miss S.

  Matches with what, William?


William.

  With your eyes, ma'rm.


Miss S.

  It becomes my complexion, William.


William.

  It's a beautiful match—like a span of grey horses.


Miss S.

  Does your master fancy green, William?


William.

  Oh, yes, ma'rm. He loves it fine, I tell you.


Miss S.

  But in what respect? How did you find out?


William.

  In respect of drinking, ma'rm.


Miss S.

  Drinking!


William.

  Yes. He always tells the cook to make green tea.


Miss S.

  Well, William, how about the cottage? When are you going to turn out those Wilsons?


William.

  The girl will be out of that place soon, depend on that, mar'm.


Miss S.

  I'm glad to hear it. I never could endure those Wilsons, and it's a duty when one knows that respectable people like your master are injured, to speak out. I know they haven't paid their rent, and do you know that girl was


18

seen getting into a chaise with a young man, when she ought to have been at work, and she did not return till nine o'clock at night, William, for I took the pains to put on my hood and cloak and look for myself—though it was raining awful.


William.

  That was the time you cotched the fever, the fever and the ague, ma'rm. Well, good-bye.


Miss S.

  Are you going, William?


William.

  Yes, ma'rm. I shall be wanted to hum. You take care of your precious health, ma'rm. Keep your feet warm, and your head cool; your mouth shut and your heart open, and you'll soon have good health, good conscience, and stand well on your pins, ma'rm. Good morning, ma'rm.

"To reap, to sow, to plough and mow,
And be a farmer's boy, and be a farmer's boy

[Exit William, L.


Miss S.

  The vulgar creature! But what could I expect? He ought to know that American ladies ought never to have any pins. But I am certain for all this, Edward, dear Edward, is dying for me—as the poet, Dr. Lardner, says: "He lets concealment, like a worm in the bud, feed on the damask curtains of—his—cheek"—damask bud. I'm quite sure it's something about bud. Yes, I am convinced, my charms as yet are undecayed, and even when old age comes on, the charm of refined education, will still remain—as the immortal Chelsea Beach Poet has it:

"You may break, you may ruin the vase, if you will,
The scent of roses will cling round it still."

[Exit, affectedly, R.



SCENE IV.—Landscape View.

Enter PATIENCE BRAYTON, SAM EVANS, OLD JOHNSON. Male and female villagers, R. U. E.Music.


Patience.

  Come, there's young men enough, let's have a ring-play.


All.

  Yes, a ring-play. A ring-play! fall in here.


Sam.

  Come, darnation, who'll go inside?


Patience.

  Go in yourself, Sam.


19


Sam.

  Well, I'm agreed. Go on.

  [They form a circle and revolve round the young man, singing.

"I am a rich widow, I live all alone,
I have but one son, and he is my own.
Go, son, go, son, go choose you one,
Go choose a good one, or else choose none."

  [Sam choose one of the girls.—She enters the ring. He kisses her, and the ring goes round.

"Now, you are married you must obey
What you have heard your parents say
Now you are married you must prove true
As you see other's do, so do you."

  [The ring goes round.—Patience, who is in the ring, chooses Old Johnson.


Patience.
Mercy on me, what have I done?
I've married the father instead of the son
His legs are crooked, and ill put on.
They're all laughing at my old man

[A general laugh.


Sam.

  Come, girls, you forget 'tis almost time for Mary Wilson's wedding.


Patience.

  (R.C.) Well, now, ain't we forgetting how proud she must be, going to marry a college bred.


Johnson.

  (L.C.) She'll be none the better for that. Larning don't buy the child a new frock.


Sam.

  Well, let's have a dance, and be off at once.


All.

  Yes. Partners. A dance! A dance! [A village dance, and exit, L.

Enter LAWYER CRIBBS, L.


Cribbs.

  Thus ends my prudent endeavors to get rid of those Wilsons. But, young Middleton, there is yet some hope of him. He is at present annoyed at my well intended advice, but that shall not part us easily. I will do him some unexpected favor, worm myself into his good graces, invite him to the village bar-room, and if he falls, then, ha! ha! I shall see them begging their bread yet. The wife on her bended knees to me, praying for a morsel of food for her starving children—it will be revenge, revenge! Here comes his foster brother, William. I'll wheedle him—try the ground before I put my foot on it.


20

Enter WILLIAM DOWTON, whistling, L.


William.

  Lawyer Cribbs, have you seen my poor, little, half-witted sister Agnes, eh?


Cribbs.

  No, William, my honest fellow, I have not. I want to speak to you a moment.


William.

  [Crossing, R.] What does old Razor Chops want with me, I wonder. Well, lawyer, what is it?


Cribbs.

  You seem to be in a hurry. They keep you moving, I see.


William.

  There are pretty busy times, sir. Mr. Edward is going to be married—that's a dose. [Aside.] Senna and salts.


Cribbs.

  Yes, yes, ahem! Glad to hear it.


William.

  Yes, I thought you seemed pleased. [Aside.] Looks as sour as Sam Jones, when he swallowed vinegar for sweet cider.


Cribbs.

  I am a friend to early marriages, although I never was married myself. Give my best respects to Mr. Edward.


William.

  Sir?


Cribbs.

  William, I suppose I leave it to your ingenuity to get me an invitation to the wedding, eh? And here's a half dollar to drink my health.


William.

  No, I thank you, lawyer, I don't want your money.


Cribbs.

  Oh, very well; no offence meant, you know. Let's step into the tavern, and take a horn to the happiness of the young couple.


William.

  Lawyer Cribbs, or Squire, as they call you, it's my opinion, when your uncle Belzebub wants to bribe an honest fellow to do a bad action, he'd better hire a pettifogging bad lawyer to tempt him, with a counterfeit dollar in one hand, and a bottle of rum in the other. [Exit William, R.


Cribbs.

  Ah, ah! You're a cunning scoundrel, but I'll fix you yet. [Agnes sings without, L.

"Brake and fern and cypress dell,
Where the slippery adder crawls

Cribbs.

  Here comes that crazy sister of his. She knows too much for my happiness. Will the creature never die?


21

Her voice haunts me like the spectre of the youth that was engaged to her, for my own purposes I ruined, I triumphed over him—he fell—dies in a drunken fit, and she went crazy. Why don't the Alms House keep such brats at home?

Enter AGNES, deranged, L.


Agnes.
"Brake and fern and cypress dell,
Where the slippery adder crawls.
Where the grassy waters well,
By the old moss-covered walls."

For the old man has his grey locks, and the young girl her fantasies.

"Upon the heather, when the weather
Is as wild as May,
So they prance as they dance
And we'll all be gay."

But they poured too much red water in his glass. The lawyer is a fine man, ha, ha! he lives in the brick house yonder. But the will. Ah, ha, ha! The will—


Cribbs.

  [Angrily.] Go home, Agnes, go home.


Agnes.

  Home! I saw a little wren yesterday. I had passed her nest often. I had counted the eggs, they were so pretty—beautiful, so beautiful—rough Robin of the mill came this morning and stole them. The little bird went to her nest, and looked in—they were gone. She chirruped mournfully and flew away. She won't go home any more.


Cribbs.

  Agnes, who let you out? You distress the neighborhood with your muttering and singing. [Threatening.] I'll have you taken care of.


Agnes.

  There's to be a wedding in the village. I saw a coffin carried in full of bridal cake.

"And the bride was red with weeping,
Cypress in her hair."

Can you tell why they cry at weddings? Is it for joy? I used to weep when I was joyful. You never weep, old man. I should have been married, but my wedding dress was mildewed, so we put off the marriage till another day. They'll make a new dress for me. They say he won't come again to me, and then the will, ha, ha, old man, the will.


22


Cribbs.

  Ha, confusion! Get you gone, or thus— Seizes her and raises cane, William enters rapidly, R., and throws him round to R. corner


William.

  (L. C.) Why, you tarnation old black varmint! Strike my little, helpless, half-crazed sister! If it was not for your grey hairs, I'd break every bone in your black beetle body. If all I have heard be true, you'll have to account for—


Cribbs.

  [Rising, R.] You'll rue this, young man, if there's any law in the land. A plain case of assault and battery. I'll put you in jail. Predicaments, premunires, fifa's and fieri facias. I'll put you between stone walls. [Exit, blustering, R.


William.

  Put me between stone walls! If you'd have been put between two posts with a cross-beam long ago, you'd had your due, old land-shark. You stay here, darling Agnes, till I come back. Fiery faces, and predicaments! If I can get you near enough to a horse-pond, I'll cool your fiery face, I'll warrant. [Exit, R.

AGNES, scattering flowers and singing.

"They lived down in the valley,
Their house was painted red,
And every day the robin came
To pick the crumbs of bread."

But the grass does not wither when they die. I will sit down till I hear the bells that are far off, for then, I think of his words. Who says he did not love me? It was a good character he wanted of the parson. A girl out of place, is like an old man out of his grave. [Bells chime piano.] They won't ask me to their merry-makings, now, though I washed my best calico in the brook.

"Walk up young man, there's a lady here,
With jewels in her hair."

[Suddenly clasps her hands and screams.] Water, water! hear him, oh, hear him cry for water; quick! he'll turn cold again! his lips are blue; water, water! [Exit, frantically, R.



SCENE V.Exterior of a beautiful cottage, L., Vines, entwined roses, &c.—The extreme of rural tranquil beauty.—Rustic table, with fruit, cake, &c., &c., L. Rustic chairs and benches.

Enter procession, R. U. E., of villagers.—EDWARD, MARY, MRS. WILSON,—Bridesman and Bridesmaid, &c., &c., —Bells ringing.—They enter, come down, R., to front, cross and up stage on L., singing chorus.

Hail, hail! happy pair!
Bells are ringing, sweet birds singing
Bright roses bringing—flowers flinging
Peace, purity, and happiness

Edward.

  (L. C.) Dearest Mary, ah, now indeed my own; words are too poor, too weak to express the joy, the happiness that agitates my heart. Ah, dear, dear wife, may each propitious day that dawns upon thy future life, but add another flower to the rosy garland that now encircles thee.


Mary.

  (L.) Thanks, Edward, my own loved husband, thy benison is echoed from my inmost heart. Ah, neighbor Johnson, many thanks for your kind rememberance of your pupils. My dear friends, your children, too, are here.


Johnson.

  (R.) Yes, my dear Mary, your happiness sheds its genial rays around old and young. Young man I was a witness at your father's wedding. May your life be like his—an existence marked by probity and honor, and your death as tranquil. Mrs. Wilson, I remember your sweet daughter, when but a child of nine years, and that seems only yesterday.


Mary.

  Dear Patience, I am glad to see you too, and who is this, your brother? [Points to Sam, L. corner.


Patience.

  (L.) No. An acquaintance, that—


Sam.

  Yes. An acquaintance that—


Mary.

  Oh, yes, I understand.


Mrs. W.

  My dearest children, the blessing of a bereaved heart, rest, like the dews of heaven, upon you. Come, neighbors, this is a festival of joy. Be happy, I entreat.


William.

  Well, if there's anyone happier than Bill Dowton, I should like to know it, that's all. Come, lads and lasses, sing, dance, and be merry. [Dance—tableau.


END OF ACT I.