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

SCENE I.—A chamber in Miss Spindle's house.—LAWYER CRIBBS and MISS SPINDLE discovered, seated, C.


Cribbs.

  (L.) Be explicit, my dear madam; this is a most serious affair: breach of promise, marriage promise. How my heart bleeds for you, dear young lady, suffering virtue. But tell me the particulars.


Miss S.

  (R.) Oh, sir, why will you cause me to narrow up my feelings; my bleeding heart, by the recital of my afflictions. I have "let concealment like a" caterpillar on a button-wood, feed on my cambric cheek—and—[Aside.] I can't remember the rest of it.


Cribbs.

  Alas, poor lady! pray go on.


Miss S.

  The first of our acquaintance was down at a corn-husking. Not that I make a practice of attending such vulgar places, Squire, but—


Cribbs.

  Oh, certainly not—certainly not.


Miss S.

  Well, I was over-persuaded. I set up and stripped the dry coatings from the yellow corn—only two years—I husked no more, Squire.


Cribbs.

  Indeed, indeed! two ears—you are certain it was but two ears? It is best to be particular. We shall make out a prima faciæ case.


Miss S.

  Well, I got hold of a red ear, it was the last I husked. I think it was a red ear; so I was obliged to be kissed. Oh, Squire, think of my mortification, when I was told that such was the invariable rule—the custom at a husking.


Cribbs.

  [With energy.] Your sufferings must have been intolerable.


Miss S.

  Oh, sir, you know how to feel for delicate timidity. A big coarse young man, Bill Bullus, rose up to snatch the fragrance from my unwilling cheek—


Cribbs.

  [Groans.] Oh!


Miss S.

  I put up my kerchief—it was a cambric, a fine


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cambric, Squire Cribbs, and said I had a choice in those things—looking at Edward, whom I took to be a gentleman, you know. He took the hint immediately. Bullus fell back appalled at my manner, and Edward—oh, sir! spare my blushes.


Cribbs.

  I understand—he—yes. I understand.


Miss S.

  He did it, sir. I felt the pressure of his warm lip upon—


Cribbs.

  Your cheek, of course.


Miss S.

  Oh, no, no, sir. It was said, by my friend, the Chelsea Beach Bard, that from my lips he stole ambrosical blisses.


Cribbs.

  Enormous! but go on.


Miss S.

  You may judge what was my confusion.


Cribbs.

  Certainly, Miss Spindle.


Miss S.

  The ear of corn was not more red than was my burnished cheek.


Cribbs.

  I do not know, my dear young lady, but you might make out a case for assault and battery.


Miss S.

  It was very rude for a college-bred. Well, after that he bowed to me as we were coming out of church.


Cribbs.

  Aha! the evidence comes in. Have you got proof of that, most injured fair one?


Miss S.

  Oh, sir, no proof would be required. I trust that a person of my respectability need bring no proof of what they know. Well, after that I was agoing down to Mr. Simmons', and lo, a cow stood in the road. I must pass within twenty feet of the ferocious animal if I continued my route; providentially, at the very instant, Edward came down the road that turns up by Wollcott's mill. He saw my strait. He saw that I stood trembling like some fragile flower tossed by the winds of heaven. Like Sir William Wallace flying to the rescue of the Greeks, he came, panting on the wings of love. He rushed like an armed castle to the side of the cow, and she wheeled about like the great leviathan of the deep, and trotted down towards the school-house.


Cribbs.

  I can imagine your feelings, Miss Spindle—a delicate young lady in imminent danger. But he did no more than any man would have done.


Miss S.

  Well, sir, you may judge what were the feelings of my palpitating heart, tender as it always was—


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Cribbs.

  Have any letters passed between you?


Miss S.

  Oh, yes, yes; five or six, sir.


Cribbs.

  We've got him there, aha! If Miss Spindle would be so condescending as just to show me one of those letters.


Miss S.

  He's got them all in his possession.


Cribbs.

  Unfortunate! horrible! How did he obtain possession of those letters?


Miss S.

  Oh! I sent them—sometimes by one person, sometimes by another.


Cribbs.

  How, madam? His letters, I mean—how did he get—


Miss S.

  Oh, sir, mark his ingratitude. I sent him half a dozen—


Cribbs.

  [Discouraged.] Oh! I understand. The correspondence was all on one side, then?


Miss S.

  Not one letter did he write to me. Ah! sir, think of it; all my tenderness, all my devotion. Oh! my breaking heart.


Cribbs.

  [Aside.] Oh! humbug! Well, good day, Miss Spindle. I have a pressing engagement, and—


Miss S.

  Well, but, lawyer Cribbs, what is your advice? How ought I to proceed?


Cribbs.

  Get your friends to send you to the insane hospital, and place you among the incurable, as the most fusty, idiotic old maid that ever knit stockings. [Exit hastily, R.


Miss S.

  Spirit of Lucretia Borgia! Polish pattern of purity—was there ever such a Yankee hedgehog! [Exit angrily, R.