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Let. We shall be mauled again.

dream, that I am quite weary of it.[To JOBSON.] Lucy. I thought our happiness was too great-Forsooth, madam, will you please to take to last. your clothes, and let me have mine again? [To LADY LOVERULE. Job. Hold your tongue, you fool; they'll serve you to go to church. [Aside. Lady. No, thou shalt keep them, and I'll preserve thine as reliques.

Lady. Fear not, my servants. It shall hereafter be my endeavour to make you happy. Sir John. Persevere in this resolution, and we shall be blest indeed for life.

Enter NELL.

Nell. My head turns round! I must go home. O Zekel! Are you there?

Job. O lud! Is that fine lady my wife? Egad, I'm afraid to come near her. What can be the meaning of this?

Sir John. This is a happy change, and I'll have it celebrated with all the joy I proclaimed for my late short-lived vision.

Job. And can your ladyship forgive my strapping your honour so very much?

Lady. Most freely. The joy of this blessed change sets all things right again.

Sir John. Let us forget every thing that is past, and think of nothing now but joy and pleasure.

Lady. To me, 'tis the happiest day I ever Lady. knew.

Sir John. Here, Jobson, take thy fine wife. Job. But one word, sir. Did not your worship make a buck of me, under the rose?

AIR.-Hey boys, up we go!

Let every face with smiles appear,
Be joy in every breast;
Since from a life of pain and care,
We now are truly blest.

Sir John. May no remembrance of past time
Our present pleasures soil;

Sir John. No, upon my honour, nor ever kissed her lips till I came from hunting; but since she has been a means of bringing about this happy change, I'll give thee five hundred pounds Job. home with her; go, buy a stock of leather.

Job. Brave boys! I'm a prince, the prince of coblers. Come hither and kiss me, Nell; I'll never strap thee more.

Nell. Indeed, Zekel, I have been in such a

Be nought but mirth and joy our crime,
And sporting all our toil.

I hope you'll give me leave to speak,
If I may be so bold;

There's nought but the devil, and this
good strap,

Could ever tame a scold. [Exeunt.

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SCENE I.-Sherwood Forest.

ACT I.

Enter several Courtiers, as lost. 1st Cour. Tis horrid dark! and this wood, I believe, has neither end nor side.

4th Cour. You mean to get out at, for we have found one in, you see.

2d Cour. I wish our good King Harry had kept nearer home to hunt; in my mind the pretty tame deer in London make much better sport than the wild ones in Sherwood forest.

3d Cour. I can't tell which way his majesty went, nor whether any body is with him or not; but let us keep together, pray.

at all so. Why we are all of us lost in the dark every day of our lives. Knaves keep us in the dark by their cunning, and fools by their ignorance. Divines lose us in dark mysteries; lawyers in dark cases; and statesmen in dark intrigues. Nay, the light of reason, which we so much boast of, what is it but a dark lanthorn, which just serves to prevent us from running our nose against a post, perhaps; but is no more able to lead us out of the dark mists of error and ignorance, in which we are lost, than an ignus fatuus would be to conduct us out of this wood.

1st Cour. But, my lord, this is no time for 4th Cour. Ay, ay, like true courtiers, take preaching, methinks. And, for all your morals, care of ourselves, whatever becomes of our mua-daylight would be much preferable to this darkness, I believe.

ster.

2d Cour. Well, it's a terrible thing to be lost in the dark.

4th Cour. It is. And yet it's so common a case, that one would not think it should be

3d Cour. Indeed would it. But come, let us go on; we shall find some house or other by and by. [Exeunt.

4th Cour. Come along.

Enter the King.

account of himself than you have done, I proinise you.

King. No, no; this can be no public road, that's certain: I am lost, quite lost indeed. Of what advantage is it now to be a king? Night shews me no respect: I cannot see better, nor walk so well as another man. What is a king? Is he not wiser than another man? Not without his counsellors, I plainly find. Is he not Mill. It's more than you deserve, I bemore powerful? I oft have been told so, in-lieve; but, let's hear what you can say for deed; but what now can my power command? yourself. Is he not, greater, and more magnificent? When seated on his throne, and surrounded with nobles and flatterers, perhaps he may think so; but when lost in a wood, alas! what is he but a common man? His wisdom knows not which is north, and which is south; his power a beggar's dog would bark at; and his greatness the beggar would not bow to. And yet, how oft are we puffed up with these false attributes? Well, in losing the monarch, I have found the man.

King. I must submit to my own authority. [Aside.] Very well, sir, I am glad to hear the king has so good an officer; and since I find you have his authority, I will give you a better account of myself, if you will do me the favour to hear it.

[The report of a gun is heard. Hark! some villain sure is near! What were it best to do? Will my majesty protect me? No. Throw majesty aside, then, and let manhood do it.

Enter the Miller.

Mil. I believe, I hear the rogue. there?

King. No rogue, I assure you.
Mil. Little better, friend, I believe.
fired that gun?

King, Not I, indeed.
Mil. You lie, I believe.

King. I have the honour to belong to the king, as well as you; and, perhaps, should be as unwilling to see any wrong done him. I came down with him to hunt in this forest, and, the chase leading us to-day a great way from home, I am benighted in this wood, and have lost my

way.

Mil. This does not sound well; if you have been a hunting, pray, where is your horse?

King. I have tired my horse, so that he lay down under me, and I was obliged to leave him.

Mil. If I thought I might believe this now.—
King. I am not used to lic, honest man.
Mil. What do you live at court, and not.
lie? that's a likely story, indeed!

King. Be that as it will, I speak truth now, I assure you; and, to convince you of it, if Who's you will attend me to Nottingham, if I am near it, or give me a night's lodging in your own house; here is something to pay you for Who your trouble, and if that is not sufficient, I will satisfy you in the morning to your utmost desire.

King. Lie! lie! how strange it seems to me, to be talked to in this style. [Aside.] Upon my word, I don't.

Mil. Come, come, sirrah, confess; you have shot one of the king's deer, have not you?

King. No, indeed; I owe the king more respect. I heard a gun go off, indeed, and was afraid some robbers might have been near.

Mil. I'm not bound to believe this friend.
Pray who are you? what's your name?
King. Name!

Mil. Name! yes, name. Why you have a name, have not you? Where do you come from? What is your business here?

King. These are questions I have not been used to, honest man.

Mil. May be so; but they are questions no bonest man would be afraid to answer, I think. So, if you can give me no better account of yourself, I shall make bold to take you along with me, if you please.

King. With you! what authority have you

to

Mil. The king's authority, if I must give you an account, sir. I am John Cockle, the miller of Mansfield, one of his majesty's keepers in this forest of Sherwood; and I will let no suspected fellow pass this way, that cannot give a better

Mil. Ay, now, I am convinced, you are a courtier; here is a little bribe for to-day, and a large promise for to-morrow, both in a breath; here, take it again, and take this along with it.- -John Cockle is no courtier; he can do what he ought without a bribe.

King. Thou art a very extraordinary man, I must own, and I should be glad, methinks, to be farther acquainted with thee.

Mil. Thee! and thou! prithee don't thee and thou me: I believe I am as good a man as yourself at least.

King. Sir, I beg your pardon.

Mil. Nay, I am not angry, friend; only, I don't love to be too familiar with any body, before I know whether they deserve it or

not.

King. You are in the right. But what am I to do?

Mil. You may do what you please. You are twelve miles from Nottingham, and all the way through this thick wood; but, if you are resolved upon going thither to-night, I will put you in the road, and direct you, the best I can; or, if you will accept of such poor entertainment as a miller can give, you shall be welcome to stay all night, and, in the morning, I will go with you myself.

King. And cannot you go with me to-night?

Mil. I would not go with you to-night, if you | See who's there. O heavens! 'tis he! Alas! were the king. that ever I should be ashamed to see the man I love!

King. Then I must go with you, I think.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.-The Town of Mansfield,

DICK alone.

Well, dear Mansfield, I am glad to see thy face again. But my heart aches, methinks, for fear this should be only a trick of theirs, to get me into their power. Yet, the letter seems to be wrote with an air of sincerity, I confess; and the girl was never used to lie, till she kept a lord's company. Let me see, I'll read it once

more.

"Dear Richard,

I am at last (though much too late for me) convinced of the injury done to us both, by that base man, who made me think you false. He contrived these letters which I send you, to make me think you just upon the point of being married to another, a thought I could not bear with patience; so, aiming at revenge on you, consented to my own undoing. But, for your own sake, I beg you to return hither, for I have some hopes of being able to do you justice, which is the only comfort of your most distressed, but ever affectionate,

'PEGGY.'

There can be no cheat in this, sure! The letters she has sent, are, I think, a proof of her sincerity. Well, I will go to her, however: I cannot think she will again betray me. If she has as much tenderness left for me, as, in spite of her ill usage, I still feel for her, I'm sure she won't. Let me see! I am not far from the house, I believe. [Exit.

SCENE III.-A room.

Enter PEGGY and РHŒBE.

Phabe. Pray, madam, make yourself easy. Peg. Ah, Phœbe! she that has lost her virtue, has, with it, lost her ease, and all her happiness. Believing, cheated fool! to think him false.

Phabe. Be patient, madam; I hope, you will shortly be revenged on that deceitful lord.

Peg. I hope I shall, for that were just revenge! But, will revenge make me happy? Will it excuse my falsehood? Will it restore me to the heart of my much injured love! Ah, no! That blooming innocence he used to praise, and call the greatest beauty of our sex, is gone! I have no charm left, that might renew that flame, I took such pains to quench.

[Knocking at the door.

Enter RICHARD, who stands looking on her at a distance, she weeping.

Dick. Well, Peggy (but I suppose you're madam now, in that fine dress), you see, you have brought me back; is it to triumph in your falsehood? or, am I to receive the slighted leavings of your fine lord?

Peg. O Richard! after the injury I have done you, I cannot look on you without confusion: But do not think so hardly of me: I stayed not to be slighted by him; for, the moment I discovered his vile plot on you, I fled his sight; nor could he ever prevail to see me

since.

Dick. Ah, Peggy! you were too hasty in believing; and much I fear, the vengeance aimed at me, had other charms to recommend it to you; such bravery as that [Pointing to her clothes.] I had not to bestow; but, if a tender, honest heart could please, you had it all; and, if I wished for more, 'twas for your sake.

Peg. O Richard! when you consider the wicked stratagem he contrived, to make me think you base and deceitful, I hope you will, at least, pity my folly, and, in some measure, excuse my falsehood; that you will forgive me, I dare not hope.

Dick. To be forced to fly from my friends and country, for a crime that I was innocent of, is an injury that I cannot easily forgive, to be sure: But, if you are less guilty of it than I thought, I shall be very glad; and, if your design be really, as you say, to clear me, and to expose the baseness of him that betrayed and ruined you, I will join with you, with all my heart. But how do you propose to do this?

Peg. The king is now in this forest a-hunting, and our young lord is every day with him: Now, I think, if we could take some opportu nity of throwing ourselves at his majesty's feet, and complaining of the injustice of one of his courtiers, it might, perhaps, have some effect upon him.

Dick. If we were suffered to make him sensible of it, perhaps it might; but the complaints of such little folks as we, seldom reach the ears of majesty.

Peg. We can but try.

Dick. Well, if you will go with me to my father's, and stay there, till such an opportunity happens, I shall believe you in earnest, and will join with you in your design.

Peg. I will do any thing to convince you of my sincerity, and to make satisfaction for the injuries which have been done you. Dick. Will you go now? Peg. I'll be with you in less than an hour. [Exeunt.

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Dick. Very well, I thank you, father. King. A little more, and you had pushed me down.

Mil. Faith, sir, you must excuse me; I was overjoyed to see my boy. He has been at London, and I have not seen him these four

years.

King. Well, I shall once in my life have the happiness of being treated as a common man; and of seeing human nature without disguise.

Aside.

Mil. What has brought thee home so unexpected?

Dick. You will know that presently.

Mil. Of that, by-and-by, then. We have got the king down in the forest a hunting, this season; and this honest gentleman, who came down with his majesty from London, has been with them to-day, it seems, and has lost his way.-Come, Madge, see what thou can'st get for supper. Kill a couple of the best fowls: [Exit MAR.] and go you, Kate, and "draw a pitcher of ale [Erit KATE.]-We are famous, sir, at Mansfield, for good ale; and for honest fellows, that know how to drink it.

King. Good ale will be acceptable at present, for I am very dry. But, pray, how came your son to leave you, and go to London?

Mil. Why, that's a story which Dick, perhaps, won't like to have told.

King. Then I don't desire to hear it.

Enter KATE, with an earthen pitcher of ale, and a horn.

Mil. So; now, do you go help your mother. I-Sir, my hearty service to you.

Dick. Very well, Kate. But where's my father?

Mar. He heard a gun go off, just now, and he's gone to see who 'tis.

Dick. What, they love venison at Mansfield as well as ever, I suppose?

Kate. Ay; and they will have it, too.
Mil. [Without.]-Hoa! Madge! Kate! bring

a light here!

Mar. Yonder he is.

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King. Thank ye, sir. This plain sincerity and freedom, is a happiness unknown to kings.

Mil. Come, sir.

King. Richard, my service to you. Dick. Thank you, sir.

[Aside.

Mil. Well, Dick, and how dost thou like London? Come, tell us what thou hast seen. Dick. Seen! I have seen the land of promise.

Mil. The land of promise! What dost thou mean?

Dick. The court, father.

Mil. Thou wilt never leave joking.

Dick. To be serious, then, I have seen the disappointment of my hopes and expectations; and that's more than one would wish to see.

Mil. What! Would the great man, thou wast recommended to, do nothing at all for thee at last?

Dick. Why, yes; he would promise me to the last.

Mil. Zoons! Do the courtiers think their dependents can eat promises?

Dick. No, no; they never trouble their heads to think whether we eat at all or not. I have now dangled after his lordship several years, tantalized with hopes and expectations; this

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