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Hugh MacDougall, James Fenimore Cooper Society
Few details are yet known about the author of this play, Captain Stephen E. Glover.
Family: He was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, on January 9, 1778, the son of Elisha Glover and Jerusha Billings Glover. He became a merchant ship captain, as well as an owner and builder of ships.
His first wife was Mary Woodward, daughter of Joseph Woodward. She died in Dorchester in September 1816. On March 10, 1818, he married Rebecca Payne Gore, born November 12, 1790, daughter of Samuel Gore and Rebecca Payne Gore. The house he occupied in Dorchester was advertised for sale at auction in October 1818.
His children include: Joseph Stephen Glover (1815-1833); George Stephen Glover (1816-1867); and Theodore Russell Glover (1824-1908). Captain Glover died at his home in Mount Pleasant, Roxbury, Massachusetts on November 21, 1843; his widow Rebecca died there on December 13, 1846. He is buried, with both his wives and three sons, in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Mariner: Capt. Glover first appears in the shipping news as master of the "new ship Milo," bound for Liverpool, in June 1811. He remained Captain of the Milo until at least April 1816, engaged in trade between Liverpool and Boston. A news item in 1845 claimed that, just after the end of the War of 1812, "the ship Milo, commanded by the late Capt. Stephen Glover, made the passage from Boston [to Liverpool] in fourteen days and four hours," the fastest time from the East Coast ever recorded. In 1820 he is advertised as master of the ship Triton, sailing from Boston to Liverpool, but seems to have been replaced within a year or so.
Captain Glover next appears, however, as master of the ship Tallahassee. Passenger lists show that he made at least seven Atlantic crossings, all but one from Liverpool, between 1829 and 1835. Of these five, between 1829 and 1833, were to New Orleans. I have not located any further voyages by Capt. Glover.
Playwright: Capt. Glover wrote at least two plays, both based on novels by James Fenimore Cooper. "The Last of the Mohicans," (according to Edward Harris' compilation of Cooper-based plays, on this website) was first produced in Charleston, South Carolina, January 6, 1830, and then at the Camp Street Theatre (also known as the American Theatre) in New Orleans, built in 1824 by James H. Caldwell, on March 19, 1831. No copy of this play seems to have survived.
"The Cradle of Liberty" was first produced on March 24, 1831, also at the Camp Street Theatre in New Orleans, under the title "The Rake-Hellies." In some performances Capt. Glover played the role of Lord Noodle. The noted American writer, William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870), attended an early performance, and described it in his newspaper series, Notes of a Small Tourist, No. 10, April-May, 1831:
Glover, of the ship Tallahassee, brought forward during my stay in Orleans, a new melo-drama, called "The Rake-hellies" and founded upon Cooper's novel of Lionel Lincoln. It went off with infinite success and was repeated. He has done more, towards effect, with Job Pray than the original author. I think his two pieces, the "Last of the Mohicans," and the "Rake-hellies," their nationality considered, among the very best of our minor American acted drama, and in point of scenic effect, much better than ever Major Noah, made out to execute. Caldwell's Theatre is lit with gas thereby much smoke is lost much bad odor from lamp oil avoided, and the eyes of the audience considerably better for wear."
[NOTE: Noah Ludlow was a former partner of theatre owner James H. Caldwell. The Camp Street Theatre was the first gas-lit theatre in the American southwest.]
In 1832 there were productions of the play, now retitled "The Cradle of Liberty," at the Tremont Theatre in Boston, and the Bowery Theatre in New York City, where critic and dramatist, and Cooper friend, William Dunlap (1766-1839) commented "All that was good was Cooper's; the rest was trash.". Further productions continued in East Coast cities until the Civil War. (See Edward Harris' compilation of Cooper-based plays, on this website, for details.) French's Standard Drama published an undated acting edition (from which our version is taken) which evidently remained in print for many years. The play was popular at Fourth of July events because of its climax at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
WITH ORIGINAL CASTS, COSTUMES, AND THE WHOLE OF THE STAGE
BUSINESS, CORRECTLY MARKED AND ARRANGED, BY
MR. J. B. WRIGHT, ASSISTANT MANAGER
OF THE BOSTON THEATRE
SCENE I. A Street in Boston in 1775, near the Market Place, Faneuil Hall, L. G.
Enter SETH SAGE, R. H. 1 E., with a basket on his arm. Music.
Seth. Beef, half a crown; turkey, two and nine; oysters, one and six that's a heap of money for one day: must raise the price of board. Sixteen shillings a week won't make both ends meet.
Enter MIKE MAINSAIL, R. H. 1 E., with a letter bag on his shoulder.
Mike. Ahoy, there! Shipmate, ahoy! Luff to a bit, till I get alongside; ye see I steers rather wild, and this groundswell here stops my headway. Are you acquainted much alongshore here?
Seth. Why, yes; I reckon I'm pretty considerable well acquainted, seeing as how I was raised and brought up here. Why, have you lost your way, stranger?
Mike. Why, d'ye see, it's a matter of fifteen years since I've run this coast down; and I wants to get the bearings and distance of old Funnel, so as to take a good departure for the post office, where I'm ordered to deliver this letter bag in good order and well conditioned: they are despatches by the Hope, from Bristol, just come to in the Roads.
Seth. Do tell if they are! Well, you've hit the right rail on the head; for I am the postmaster of the Bay Province, justice of the peace, captain of the militia, and innkeeper of the Royal George, where I should be happy to sarve to ye, for I keeps the best spirits in the colonies prime New England and real Jimmakee. Seth Sage is my name; but I'm often called Busy Seth.,
Mike. (Drops the bag, and stares at SETH.) What, Seth! No! my eyes, but it is, though. Give us a tip of your daddle, my old boy! What! Don't you know me? Have you forgot your old school-fellow, Mike Mainsail? Don't you remember how often we've coasted down Copp's Hill, and skated on the Mill Pond together?
Seth. Why, Michael, do tell; that ain't you, is it? Why, where a wonder did you come from? We thought the fishes had swallowed you long ago; for we heard the Dolly was lost, and all hands gone to Old Nick! (Shaking his hand heartily.)
Mike. It is as true as the Big Book. All but myself gone to Davy's locker, and dad among the rest. Heaven bless him!
Seth. Don't say so! Well, do tell how you got saved.
Mike. Well, clap a bit of a stopper on your jaw tacks, and I'll give you the long and the short of it. You know, fifteen years ago, I left here, a bit of a shaver, with dad, in the Dolly, bound for the Banks. Well, all went an snugly, till one stormy night, whilst lying at anchor, bows under at every pitch; I remember it as well as though 'twere yesterday; the wind was blowing in squalls from the sou-west, with somewhat the same spite fet! fet! that a Tom cat spits at a strange dog when one comes athwart his hawse. Well, it was so thick you couldn't see the jib-boom, when, all at once, the wind chopped round to the nor-west; and, my eyes, how it piped! It blew so hard that it wanted two men to hold one man's hair on.
Seth. Now, do tell; that's a whopper, I reckon.
Mike. Well, it lighted up a bit, and what should there be but an island of ice close to windward of us! "Cut away the cables!" cried dad. They were the last words he ever spoke. But it was too late. The sea boarded us on the starboard bow, and down went the Dolly, dad, and all. The first thing I knew I was paddling for it, all the same as a green turtle.
Seth. And so you swam ashore, didn't you?
Mike. Swam ashore, you lubber! I fell in with a spar afloat, and stuck to it till morning, when I was picked up by his majesty's ship, Thunder, Admiral Storm commander, where I sarved man and boy fourteen years. But this row a-brewing between the two countries quite broke the old man's heart, for he, too, was a Boston boy; and just afore he slipped his wind he sends for me. "Mike," says he, "I'm about getting under weigh for that undiscovered country they talks about. They say it's a dangerous coast, and full of rocks and shoals; but it's very hard," says he, "if an old seaman, who has been beating through life against head winds and contrary currents, shouldn't at last find some snug anchorage to moor his shattered old hulk. And, Mike," says he, I shall always remember his last words, "Mike," says he, "never desert your native land!" "If I do," says I, "may I be damned!"
Seth. (Putting his hand on MIKE's mouth.) Don't swear, Michael.
Mike. Well, I couldn't help it, Seth. And ye see I've kept my word; and here I am, ready to lend my towneys a hand, if so be they should need me; and if we do come to blows, I'll stick by them while there's a shot in the locker; and Mike Mainsail shall be the last man to desert his country in the hour of peril!
Seth. That's right, Michael; that's Boston, every inch.
Mike. I say, Seth, what are all these lobster-looking chaps doing here, backing and filling through our streets?
Seth. Hush, Michael! Boston ain't what Boston was: dreadful times now! Hard times on one side of the water, and tarring and feathering on the other. I don't know where it will end, since they've sent the reg'lars 'mongst us.
Mike. Why, do they think to frighten Boston boys with these troopers?
Seth. I reckon so; but I conclude they'll find a small mistake in that matter. Ye see there seems to be a little difference of opinion between Parliament and the Bay men consarning the stamp act and the tea tax. So, to end the dispute, the Bay people concluded 'twas best to burn the stamps, and to turn the tea overboard.
Mike. Sarve 'em right, to be sure!
Seth. But that rather enraged the king, who closed the doors of old Funnel, and shut up the harbor; and the people not much liking this sort of treatment, they have pretty much all left the town, and gone into the country; and it's but natural to conclude they'll make some considerable stir about it.
Mike. Well, as soon as I get my walking ticket from the Hope, I'll top my boom into the country and join 'em.
Seth. And has the Hope brought out any more fresh troops?
Mike. No; she's a store ship only two passengers aboard. One of 'em is a king's officer, and he's a Boston boy young Lionel Lincoln. You know he left home about the time I did, with his dad, old Sir Lionel, for the other country. But there's strange stories told about the old chap. Some say he died in a madhouse, and others say the king's ministers stopped his mouth because he talked too loud, and stuck out for the rights of his country.
Seth. Yes, I reckon the people will look into that affair. So you say young Lionel Lincoln is a king's officer?
Mike. Ay; and since he's messed so long with the nobs and big wigs of t'other country, I suppose he'll forget his towneys.
Seth. That's not nat'ral for a Boston boy. And who is the other?
Mike. Why, he's an old rusty chap they calls Ralph. Nobody knows who he is, or where he is from, not even the skipper himself. But they do think he's a sort of a Finn or a wizard.
Seth. Come, come, Michael, I guess you've stretched that yarn a little.
Mike. That! Didn't you never hear of the one-eyed Finn of the North Sea, or the Flying Dutchman of the Cape of Good Hope?
Seth. 'Twon't do, Michael! I've heard a fish story afore now. You'd better wash down one fib before you begin another; so, if you step with me to the Royal George, I'll treat you. I mean to alter the name of my inn now, since the king's got so plaguy ugly mean to call it Liberty Hall, Come along, you critter, and I'll treat you to a drop of real Jimmakee. (Exit, L.)
Mike. (Taking up his bag.) Well, then, heave ahead for your Liberty Hall, and I'll take a pull at your, "real Jimmakee."
SCENE II. Antique Apartment in the Province House, 2. G. Evening. Antique table on R. H., on it two lighted candles; two antique chairs on L. H.
Enter AGNES and CECIL, R. H. 1 E.
Cecil. Think you, Agnes, the time will ever arrive when our native town will again be settled down in its former peace and tranquillity?
Agnes. It seems not likely, Cecil, for every thing at present wears a threatening aspect. Every day the troops are becoming more insolent and turbulent. The exasperated citizens are deserting their homes; and what few remain wear the sullen but resolute mien of men about to engage in a desperate conflict.
Cecil. May Heaven avert such an awful calamity!
Agnes. 'Tis a retribution which the rulers have so long invited. The governor, our infatuated guardian, has been blinded by that evil counsellor Leslie, until he has reared above his head a fabric so frail in its foundation, that its tottering frame threatens, at the first blast, to crush him beneath its ruins.
Cecil. 'Tis very strange he should be thus blindly led on by this Leslie!
Agnes. Yes, 'tis through this arch fiend that these colonies have been misrepresented, and the petitions of the people rejected; but the time has now arrived when they will no longer sue for redress, but boldly stand forth and declare their rights, and declaring, maintain them.
Cecil. Agnes, Agnes, you know not the fatal consequences of such an act. The people of the colonies are yet too feeble to contend with the power of the king, and our beloved country would present a scene of bloodshed and desolation.
Agnes. Dreadful as the carnage would be, 'twere better, far better, than longer submit to the insolent taunts and scoffs of these proud usurpers who infest our shores!
Cecil. Agnes, you speak of this threatened eruption as though 'twere not to be shunned. Let us hope for a more amicable change. Our cousin, Lionel Lincoln, is daily expected to arrive, and 'tis said he is invested with full power from the ministry to reconcile these domestic feuds; and as this is the land of his birth, I trust he still retains a natural sympathy for the welfare of his countrymen.
Agnes. I fear the colonists will find but few liberal principles fostered in his bosom; reared, as he has been, from youth, under the eyes of a heartless aristocracy, these blossoms must have been blighted even in the bud.
Cecil. Let us hope not; for his father, to the last, was a strenuous advocate in behalf of these colonies.
Agnes. Ay, Cecil; but the wise precepts of the father were lost to the son by his untimely death: 'twas a nefarious act.
Cecil. His fate is still clouded in mystery, which has not yet been solved.
Agnes. Ask the mischief-plotting Leslie the fate of our patriotic and bold representatives of the colonies. He will tell ye he died mad. If he was mad, who drove him to madness? Ask him that, and you'll drive the color from his sallow cheek.
Cecil. There is much cause to think this Leslie has been busy in the affair of Sir Lionel's fate; but hist! Here comes one of his colleagues, Lord Noodle.
Agnes. Then let us retire, Cecil; for I cannot endure the consummate impudence of the conceited coxcomb.
Cecil. Stay, Agnes, a while; perchance we shall be able to glean some intelligence respecting the movements of our countrymen.
Agnes. There's but little that's useful to be gleaned from him.
Enter NOODLE, L. H. 1 E., quizzing them.
Noodle. Ah! Bonjour, mademoiselles. I hope I find you in a perfect state of salubrity this morning. I hain't seen you look so charming this age: I hain't, 'pon honor.
Cecil. The old compliment! My lord, I wonder it has not grown threadbare ere this!
Noo. Not at all, not at all; quite the go still, I do assure you. You know I always keep at the top of the fashion strike me exquisite. This is my first morning call before breakfast strike me perpendicular.
Cecil. Then pray, my lord, what time do you breakfast? It must be rather late in the day; for the bell has struck eight, and the street lamps have been lighted an hour.
Noo. Why, we noblemen of the ton usually breakfast about eleven P. M.; that's the fashionable hour. None but the vulgar eat earlier strike me corpulent.
Agnes. And pray when do you fashionables find time to perform your military evolutons?
Noo. (Crosses to C.) Why, the order of the day runs thus: Rise at eight P.M., promenade until eleven P.M., break our fast at midnight, then stroll about till three A.M., when we regale, or, as the vulgar term it, dine; rise from the table at five A.M., get through our military labors by six A.M., when we sip our bohea, and retire to our horizontal repose, and close the remainder of the day in gentle slumbers.
Cecil. Then, my lord, you seldom behold the rays of the sun?
Noo. No, no; that would be vulgar in the extreme: 'twould, 'pon honor. And if I have a prejudice in the world, 'tis agin sunshine strike me mameluke.
Agnes. Is there any news stirring abroad, my lord? for since your fashionables have taken possession of our town, all communication with our friends, has been cut off, and we lack our usual information.
Noo. Why, there arn't any thing of import, except that Sir Dumphy's charger is a little lame in his left hind leg; and a rumor stirring abroad that his majesty has an idea of changing the court livery; but that news wants confirmation strike me doubtful.
Agnes. News of much importance, indeed! But is it not reported that more troops are on their way from England?
Noo. Why, yes, 'tis so said; but 'tis truly ridiculous of the ministry to think of sending out more force. Why, my regiment alone can drive all the Yankee Doodles out of the country strike me a Choctaw. (Crosses, R. H.)
Agnes. Your profound philosophy may soon be put to the test, my lord.
Noo. Why, really, you can't seriously believe the barbarians intend to take up arms in earnest. Why, there ain't a soldier in the whole vile wilderness strike me curious.
Agnes. Your glass does not magnify strong enough to descry them; but I forget that yours is a night, not a day glass.
Noo. Now, really, Miss Agnes, 'tis very cruel in you to quiz me. But, my angelic creature, pray when are you going to allow me the honor of a private interview? for I'm pining for an opportunity to declare my passion for you; I am, 'pon honor.
Cecil. Here's, indeed, a turn in the conversation.
Agnes. I have told you never to mention that subject to me again; for I am quite disgusted with such nonsense!
Noo. Nonsense! Well, really, I can't conceive how any woman of these parts can call it nonsense, at the offer of being made a lady.
Agnes. Let us retire, Cecil, nor longer remain to be insulted by such a puppy! (Exeunt AGNES and CECIL, R. H. 1 E.)
Noo. A puppy! demme! Lord Noodle called a puppy! I'm entirely petrified. Insulted! Astonishing! Who could have believed that any of the feminine gender of these parts would take it as an insult at the offer of being made my Lady Noodle? But it's all owing to the ignorance of the heathens want of taste, blow me! Ha, I have an idea. There's a rival a rival in the case. Yes, I plainly perceive it all; she certainly prefers the fat captain. What a vulgar taste, to prefer a twaddling duck-legged chap to such a genteel fellow as me! But odds pistols and side arms! if he don't resign the woman, I'll propel a bullet through his fat carcass, or strike me into a thunder cloud. (Exit, L. H. 1 E.)
Enter CAPTAIN McFUSE and LORD LESLIE, R. H. 1 E.
Leslie. (L.) Be vigilant, Captain McFuse. Keep faithful watch, post trusty sentinels, disperse all mobs of the citizens, and let none depart the town without our especial license; and arrest all who dare dispute the authority of his majesty's representatives.
McFuse. O, never fear, my lord. The Royal Irish never sleep wid dare eyes open, though 'tis wondrous strange, your honor, how the divil the ribil thaves managed to lug off one of the big guns from the Common t'other night, widout being heard at all at all! when I myself, Dennis McFuse, was on duty the self-same night.
Les. Their leaders are on the alert; they have already collected a large quantity of arms and munitions of war, which they have stored at Concord, near Lexington. They seem preparing to make a resistance.
McF. By the powers, but I'm glad to hear that! for then there'll be a chance of having a little fair fighting at last.
Les. We must defeat the plans of the rebels ere they make a stand: we must seize upon their stores at once. Ay, this very night, have the grenadiers in readiness for a march to Lexington. Pitcairn will command the detachment. (Crosses to R. H. 1 E.)
McF. Och, never fear but the grenadiers will be ready to trot. But, your honor, how the divil are the poor fellows to fight at all if we take away their arms and ammunition? By my conscience, the battle will be like the handle of a jug, all on one side!
Les. See your orders immediately executed.
McF. Och, I'll execute it directly. But the divil a bit of honor can I see at all in bating a parcel of chaps without powther or ball. (Exit, L. H. 1 E.)
Les. These rebels grow bold; decisive measures must be taken with the knaves, and force shall bring them to submission.
Seth. (Peeps in at L. H. 1 E.) So, Beelzebub's at home, and there's no chance of seeing the governor, I reckon.
Enter SETH, L. H. 1 E., cautiously, with papers.
Les. Well, sir, what's your pleasure? O, despatches, I perceive.
Seth. Yes, I conclude they are something of that sort. (Peeping into them.)
Les. Prying knave, give me the papers! (Snatching them.)
Seth. Why, they ain't directed to you. They are for the governor; and, as postmaster, I reckon it's my duty to deliver 'em into the right hands.
Les. Yes, so it seems.
Seth. But I guess the people would be a little better satisfied if his excellency would attend rather more to his own affairs.
Les. You do! And pray what are the people's designs? Do they intend to resist the measures taken by the ministry?
Seth. Why, a rat will resist if you pen him.
Les. And do the people consider themselves to be penned? (SETH takes chair, and seats himself.)
Seth. Why, that's a matter of opinion; it's pretty much as folks think. But seeing that the troops hold the town, and the people hold the country, (which cuts off all supplies,) it's a matter of doubt who are the worst penned.
Les. And if the people had possession of the town, what would they presume to do?
Seth. Why, that's rather hard to say; but seeing that they made a bonfire of the stamps, and a big teapot of Boston Harbor, it's but nat'ral to conclude they would do pretty much as they damn pleased!
Les. Indeed! And are they aware that such things will bring down chastisement on their rebellious heads?
Seth. Why, they calculate upon a little disturbance.
Les. Disturbance! thou immovable pest! And do yon call an open rebellion nothing more than a disturbance? I suppose, if the truth were known, you are among the rest of the loyal subjects who object to his majesty's troops occupying a small part of the town.
Seth. Why, the people have come to a conclusion that their assistance is not wanted, as we calculate to do all our own fighting.
Les. And pray who gave the people liberty to come to any conclusion without the sanction of his majesty's authorities?
Seth. Liberty? Hem! As I'm a magistrate, I reckon it's best not to say too much.
Les. Thou cautious knave! I believe thou art as great a rebel as the worst of them!
Seth. Take care what you say. It's agin the law to call a man a rebel unless you can prove it.
Les. Talk to me of the law! Out of the house, thou death-watch! (Drives him around.)
Seth. That's agin the law. That's assault and battery. (Runs around, and both off, L. H. 1 E; clear stage.)
SCENE III. Boston Harbor by Moonlight. Shipping at anchor. Music.
Enter a boat, L. H. U. E., with RALPH, LINCOLN, and two seamen. RALPH and LINCOLN land, and the seamen push off again, L. H.; RALPH and LINCOLN come forward.
Ralph. (R.) Most mighty but mysterious cause, accept the humble thanks of an old man, that his feet once again tread in freedom their native soil! (Uncovering his head.)
Lincoln. (Comes forward, wrapped close in his military cloak, looking round.) There seems a vast change in this town since I left here fifteen years ago, with my poor father, for the mother country. How pleased would he have been, had Heaven spared him, to behold this wonderful improvement; for his whole soul was devoted to the welfare of this country.
Ralph. Ay, thou hast spoken truly, boy. Thy father told them there was a mighty nation rising in the west, that would make the very pillars of their institutions tremble! But they laughed at him, scoffed his predictions, and called him republican and democratic dog! and said he was mad. Ay, he was, indeed, mad; but 'twas the madness of the mountain panther at beholding its feeble offspring set upon by a herd of voracious wolves. The panther was then in fetters; but there has come a time when the dweller of the wilderness is again freed from his vile chains ay, as free as are the winds of his native wilds. And let them beware the fangs of the injured sire, for furious shall he his revenge. Boy, the prediction of thy father is fast approaching.
Lin. Sir, you ever speak in parables when you speak of my father. There seems some awful mystery connected with his fate, which you fain would have me know, but dare not reveal. Why withhold the secret from me? nay, even of yourself? We have been the close companions of a tedious voyage, yet am I still ignorant of one who has strangely obtained over me a feeling of respect and veneration such as I have never before felt for any of mankind.
Ralph. (Taking him by the hand, and pointing upwards.) Boy, 'tis an inspiration from that just but mysterious power, whose great works are wrought for some wise end. My sufferings have been greater than the common miseries allotted to mankind; yet I murmur not, for I feel that I am reserved for some useful purpose. 'Tis true my time is but short upon the earth; yet much may be done ere I depart.
Lin. Would it were in my power to alleviate your distress.
Ralph. Boy, you wear the uniform of the enemies of your country.
Lin. Sir, I trust that I am not yet so base as to lose the due respect for my birthplace, or a sense of feeling for its welfare.
Ralph. Why, then, like a renegade, do you appear in the face of your townsmen armed as a bandit, to lead on a band of base hirelings, whose designs are to trample down the rights of a brave and free-minded people?
Lin. By Heaven! old man, you wrong me much: so far from wishing any harm to befall my kinsmen, I have volunteered in this cause solely to prevent bloodshed.
Ralph. 'Tis too late: the train is already laid, and not the power of man can prevent an explosion. Think ye to quench the flame of a volcano when its source is rooted in the hearts of the people? Yet there is time to retrieve your blighted honor, and to save your soul from foul pollution. Do it, then, by boldly standing forth a champion of your country's rights, and lend her your aid in this approaching struggle for liberty!
Ralph. Ay, liberty!
Lin. Old man, what mean you? Do not the colonies enjoy the same liberties as the mother country? Have not the people the same banner waving over their heads to protect them?
Ralph. Proud boy! But the villains have taught him this. Know ye, sir, that the time is nigh at hand when the haughty flag of Britain will be lowered, never more to rise in this hemisphere?
Lin. Sir, this language grows too bold, and ill befits the ear of a British officer. It oversteps the bounds of loyalty, and borders on treason; and, as a friend, let me warn you to be more cautious of speech, lest your overwarm zeal in behalf of the colonies lead you into danger.
Ralph. Danger! I've faced it in the very halls of him you call your master. Think ye I shall now shrink from it? Look at me, boy behold these gray locks and this emaciated form. Think ye 'twould destroy the root of the tree by lopping off one of its withered branches?
Lin. No, no, old man, I meant not that I meant not that. But there is something awful in listening to one even on the very verge of eternity thus calmly speaking of desolation and death; and dreadful must be the conflict when gray-headed men revolt. But I do beseech you, if you value my friendship, to spare my feelings; and if I have uttered aught to offend, I humbly beg forgiveness.
Ralph. I do value thy friendship, ay, boy, more than all the wealth of the globe; and I do forgive thee freely forgive thee. When I spake, my afflictions bore heavily on my mind: I meant kindly, though I did chide thee even with the feelings of a father.
Lin. Father, said ye? 'Tis a hallowed name. I have much lacked paternal admonition: the hand of Heaven deprived me early of that blessing.
Ralph. 'Tis false, boy. Accuse not the just powers of a crime committed by infidels. They were fiends in the form of men who robbed thee of thy father.
Lin. Why not, then, disclose to me the secret of his death, and thine own connection with him? for if there has been aught that's wrong practised against my father's life, a son lives to revenge his injuries.
Ralph. I must not I dare not. An oath, a sacred oath, seals up these lips for a time; but ere long thou shalt know all. But know ye, for the present, that I have endured slavery in that very country which boasts so loudly of her liberty ay, for years have I borne the badge of servitude, and bowed down to infidels. Shackled by fetters, and shut out from the light of the sun, thus have I dwindled away my youthful years. I was doomed to death, but bought my life with gold; and the base slave who bartered for my liberty, bound me, by a solemn vow, never while he lived to discover myself. But go go to thy rest; be it my care we meet again. (Exit, L. H. 2 E.)
Lin. He's gone. Mysterious man! he seems almost a supernatural being. Doubtless he knows much more than he reveals; but my brain is getting bewildered. If I remember aright, this must be the way. (Exit, L. H. 1 E.)
SCENE IV. A Street in Boston in '75, 1 G. Music. JOB PRAY is driven in, R. H. 1 E., by DOYLE, and a squad of half drunken, British soldiers beating him with canes.
Job. Don't kill Job! Fair play, and Job will fight any of you, one at a time. (Taking a boxing attitude.)
Doyle. Dare ye make resistance, ye ribil thafe? (Raising cane.)
Enter LINCOLN, R. H. 1 E., and catching the arm of DOYLE.
Lin. How is this? Hold off thy hands. By what authority is this boy abused?
Doyle. By what authority dare ye lay your hands on a Breetish souljer?
Lin. By that of your master. (Throwing open his cloak.)
Doyle. We beg your honor's pardon. We thought you were a citizen.
Lin. And if I were a citizen, think ye that would justify such outrage? Answer me. Why is this lad thus grossly abused? What's his offence?
Doyle. Och, it's very great, your honor. He refused to drink the king's health, and we were just about bringing him to it.
Job. (In R. corner.) He's a scornful liar, and the devil will catch him. Job wouldn't drink the king's health, for he don't love the king, or rum either.
Doyle. You hear what he says, your honor?
Lin. Begone! out of my sight, and hide your faces! You are noble supporters of your country's fame, to thus set upon an unarmed simpleton! Away with ye; ye disgrace the name of soldiers. (DOYLE and soldiers sneak off, L. H. 1 E. ashamed.)
Job. (Coming forward more boldly.) Ay, if they want to fight, let 'em go out behind the hills, and the people will teach 'em the law.
Lin. What mean ye? Surely the people have not taken up arms against his majesty's troops?
Job. To be sure they have. Ain't the king's troops taken up arms agin the people? And do you think the rakehellies are to be wheeling about the Bay province with their marches and counter-marches, burning folks' housen, and disturbing the people with their ungodly bellowing of trumpets and rattling of drums, and no stir made about it? No, no; Boston boys ain't to be frightened with trumpets and drums.
Lin. No, I should hope not; for I am a Boston boy.
Job. You are? Then you shouldn't wear a red coat; for if you are Boston born you can't love the king.
Lin. And why not love the king, pray?
Job. Why, hain't the king shut up Boston Harbor, and closed the doors of old Funnel? and don't the fish have to come up at night? But he can't keep out the water arter all. No, no; Boston folks ain't to be cheated out of God's waters by acts of Parliament.
Lin. I perceive that some evil-minded persons have been practising on his simplicity, and yet, doubtless, he speaks much after the opinion of his townsmen. But come; I need a guide. Will you conduct me to the Province House?
Job. To be sure, Job knows the Province 'Us. All the Boston boys knows the Province 'Us. It's a big building, with pilaxters afore it. Stingy Tommy and the Black Dragon live there.
Lin. Stingy Tommy! I presume he means the governor. And whom do you call the Black Dragon?
Job. Why, Lord Leslie, the governor's aid and adviser, and leader of the rakehellies.
Lin. Rakehellies! He means the regular troops, Truly my kinsmen have selected an honorable title to greet the brave fellows of Wolfe. I begin to think I shall reap few laurels from my countrymen if this youth is a mirror by which I am to view myself. But why do you call the soldiers rakehellies?
Job. Why do they call me Job Pray? Because I am Job Pray, And why shouldn't we call them rakehellies if they are rakehellies?
Lin. Truly, a sound reason. But come, we are wasting time: 'tis near midnight, and we are making no progress towards the Province House. Guide me there, and I will reward you with a crown.
Job. Job is a Boston boy; he don't love crowns; but he'll show the gentleman the way to the Province 'Us without any reward, for he saved Job's back from the blows of the rakehellies. This is the way. (Exit, L. H. 1 E.)
Lin. Lead on, then. Though void of intellect, he is not divested of gratitude; and that's a virtue will balance many vices. (Exit, L. H. 1 E.)
SCENE V. Handsome Apartment in the Province House at midnight. Sofa on L. H.; table and chairs on R. H.; the candles in their sockets, and the stage darkened; door in flat, C. ; LESLIE on the sofa, L. H.
Leslie. Yes, the baronet can no longer trouble me; for he sleeps to wake no more. But the boy; he is another stumbling block in my path to greatness. What evil cause has sent that stripling again to these shores to mar my schemes? But I'll weave a net for him; and let the son beware lest he share the fate of the sire. I have moulded the easy governor to my will, and fortune seems to smile on my works.
Enter NAB, D. F. C., and listens to LESLIE'S speech.
The ministry have already awarded me thanks for my vigilance, and ere long I trust to reap a rich harvest, the fruit of all my cares and labors. (Chord. Shrinks back in terror on beholding NAB near him on his R. H.; LESLIE rises.)
Nab. Ay, my lord, thou hast reckoned well. There is a reward prepared for thee; but 'tis such reward as the Furies shower on the damned in the bottomless pit of darkness.
Les. Woman, whence com'st thou? Why dost haunt me thus at this dead hour of the night?
Nab. Wouldst sleep If so, I'll watch over thee, and fright away the foul fiend.
Les. Woman, woman, why wilt thou torment me thus with thy loathsome presence? What would ye? Take what thou wilt; but leave me. There's gold for thee; take it, and begone! (Gives purse.)
Nab. (Throws it at his feet.) Take back thy vile dross; 'tis alloyed with blood. I'll have no more of thy wealth: it has already sunk my soul to perdition. I came not for gold, but to look on thee. 'Tis relief for the wretched to behold another victim of guilt. I'll not begone I'll not leave thee. I'll haunt thee by day and by night, awake and asleep, ay, and in thy dreams will I whisper in thine ear a tale so frightful as shall chase away all those sweet hours of bliss, of which, with thy boasted treasure, thou canst not purchase one little moment.
Les. Woman, what wouldst thou have?
Nab. That which thou hast robbed me of, but cannot give me back again my innocence, my soul's hope, my lost peace of mind!
Les. The grave cannot give up the dead.
Nab. 'Tis false: the grave holds but the body, while the spirit is left to stalk the earth. This very night has he appeared and fixed on me his terrific eye of vengeance.
Les. Woman, 'tis but an idle sketch of thine own wild fancy.
Nab. Wretch! thou wouldst fain scoff when thy very soul trembles with fear! Thy pallid lips belie thy words. Tell me what brings the boy back again? Comes he to seek his mother? If so, thou canst tell him where to find her in the grave. Ay, rotten, and fed upon by vile worms, with all her beauty. And thou canst tell him, too, who sent her there; thou hast not yet forgotten.
Les. Thyself, thou murderess!
Nab. Ha! say'st thou so? Who set me on? Ay, murderer, who set me on? Whilst burning with jealousy and revenge, did ye not whisper in mine ear the damning device to destroy the cause, and I should again recall my forlorn hope, and the father of my child? Villain, where now are thy false promises of happier days? Fiend, thou hast deceived me! for it drove him to madness, and me to wretchedness and despair. Tremble at it, assassin! for on thy head shall fall the punishment of that most foul deed!
Les. And dare you accuse me of the crime?
Nab. Ay, and more. Where sleeps the once proud heir of Ravenscliffe, thy crazed victim? Not content with destroying his intellect, you must add to the crime chains, hunger, and death! Villain! villain! had I known the ends of thy dark designs, this burden of guilt had not lain so heavily on my soul! But beware his revengeful arm, for his injured spirit seeks revenge.
Les. Think ye thus to fright me from my purpose by these crazy tales? Avaunt, thou hag of mischief, and quit my sight, or else this instant will I alarm the guard, and thy life shall pay the forfeit of thy crimes!
Nab. Ha! Dare you threaten me? If I am summoned hence, thou shalt go with me.
Les. What, ho, there! guards! guards!
Nab. Another word, and 'tis thy last! (Music, NAB seizes him, draws a dagger, and stands over him.)
END OP ACT I.
SCENE I. A Wood in the Skirts of the Town, 2 G. LORD NOODLE and CAPTAIN McFUSE are discovered pacing off the ground. McFUSE has pistols.
Noo. (R. H.) My dear fellow, don't tell me about distances. Why, you don't think we intend to fight in a bandbox, do you? Why, you ha'n't measured more than the ten paces of a genteel turkey! Strike me twaddle-legged!
McF. (L.) Blood an 'ouns! but your lordship is not a-going to fight with field pieces, are you? For pistol shot, ten paces is a great plenty. The shorter the distance, the easier the difference is settled.
Noo. I say, captain, it's just one minute and three seconds past the time appointed. I think we can now retire from the field with honor; I do, upon my veracity.
McF. Tush, man! don't be in such a pother to be off. Be asy a bit, and we'll make a mighty dacent little fight of it after all.
Noo. Why, it ar'n't the fashion for gentlemen of the ton to wait for their antagonist to come up; it ain't, 'pon honor!
McF. Och! the divil a bit will you wait long for Polwarth! Give him a little time. Polly has a big belly and short legs; and that's two mighty great rasons for making a short journey long. But never fear; he'll come up to the scratch at last.
Noo. Why, really, you don't think the fat captain means to fight, do ye?
McF. Fight? to be sure! What the divil else are ye to meet for?
Noo. Why, that's not the fashion nowadays with us "lords." The way is, "to chalk farm," (that is, measure ground, as the plebeians would say,) explode the nitric acid gently into the air, shake hands, and retire to regale. The next morning, it would appear in the Gazette as follows: "Yesterday an affair of honor took place between his lordship (as may be) and the honorable gentleman of Squander Hall. The heroes exchanged shots, when the parties interposed, and honorably settled the affair. N. B. We understand that neither of the gallant knights were seriously injured."
McF. By my conscience, but they might well say that, for what the divil was there to injure them? That's not the way we fight in Ireland!
Noo. Well, captain, I shall now retire from the field, and gazette my fat rival as a coward. Strike me timid!
McF. By my faith, rather than have my friend Polly disgraced, I'll take a pop at you in his behalf. So take your stand! (Crosses, R. H. McFUSE draws a pistol, stands, R., and points at NOODLE.)
Noo. Take care, my dear fellow! (Retreats to left wing, and holds his hat before him.) That's a very dangerous position to hold fire arms! They may go off! Do pray put them up! for it quite shocks my nerves, and, if I have a prejudice in the world, 'tis agin fire arms.
McF. By my soul, but I think your lordship has a prejudice against any thing that's dangerous. But here comes Polly at last! (Looks off; R. H., till NOODLE is off.)
Noo. Then I'm off! Strike me locomotive! (Exit, L. H. 2 E.)
McF. Now, my Lord Noodle! Here, come back wid you! Bad luck to your long shanks! Hillo! (Runs off, 2 E. L. H.)
Enter LINCOLN and POLWARTH, R. H. 1 E.
Lin. Captain Polwarth, 'tis important that you should make me acquainted with the cause of this jaunt, ere you lead me any farther.
Pol. Well, Leo, I'll now open the subject to you in full. 'Tis an affair of honor, Leo; it's a serious matter, Leo; it's a love affair. I want your aid in a duel.
Lin. An affair of honor! With whom, pray?
Pol. Why, with Noodle. His lordship has called me out. You see I'm on the defensive, Leo!
Lin. Indeed! I marvel that your epicurean studies should have allowed you time for a thought on love matters. But who is the fair damsel for whom you are about to contend?
Pol. You know her well, Leo. She is as arch a little traitor to King George as there is in the whole colonies. But her qualifications are rare. When she is grave, she walks with the stateliness of show beef; when she runs, 'tis with the activity of a turkey; and, when she is at rest, she is like what you can never get enough of a dish of venison.
Lin. Even your metaphors, Polwarth, seem to be tainted with the doctrine of Epicurus.
Pol. The most savory doctrines in the world, Leo! But don't tell me! I tell you the wench is no other than the cousin of your intended bride Agnes Danforth. But the plague of it is, she rejects us both!
Lin. Agnes Danforth! Then I marvel not at your disappointment; for even the sight of a red coat is enough to banish her amicable feelings.
Pol. Why, since that unfortunate skirmish at Lexington, from whence our troops retreat I mean countermarched in such haste, scarlet cloth has not stood in very high repute 'mongst the ladies of the province. But surely you must have heard the wench speak of me, Leo?
Lin. Yes; I do remember hearing her speak of you once, in particular, on your late march to Lexington.
Pol. Ay, poor girl! I understand: she was alarmed lest some ill should befall me hey, Leo?
Lin. No; she hinted the hen roosts would be likely to suffer.
Pol. Faugh! That was a hasty business, Leo; no laurels gained there.
Lin. It was indeed a hasty business, Captain Polwarth; and deeply do I regret the ill-timed occurrence. It has made a breach between the two countries not easily to be closed; 'tis a stain never to be erased from the annals of British history.
Pol. 'Twas murder, Leo, foul murder, to fire on inoffensive men!
Lin. We have too much cause to fear the people of the colonies will make use of the same terms when speaking of that imprudent act. To me 'tis a deadly blow; for it has severed me from my kinsmen, and blighted the blossom of my fondest hopes.
Pol. Come, come, Leo; you look as melancholy as a half-starved recruit on short rations. Tut, man! look gloomy on your wedding day? Why, it should be the merriest day of your life.
Lin. I was not aware my visage bore so true an index of my aching heart; but I'll make an effort to be more cheerful. But I see nothing yet of your antagonist.
Pol. A plague upon all Noodles! Marry, I am sorry I did heed the goose; for he is as chicken-hearted as a three-weeks-old pullet. By my valor, with a bare hoop pole, I'd trounce as many Noodles as could stand between St. Paul's and Charing Cross. (Distant roll of drums, L. H. U. E.)
Lin. Hark! there goes the drum which calls you to duty.
Pol. A plague upon all such noisy rattletraps! I can't see the use of such barbarous instruments, except to deprive people of their natural rest. But the sound of the sheep skin seems to be food for my Lord Leslie. What a suicide I committed, Leo, when I exchanged from the cavalry to the foot corps! But, if this is the way he intends to drill us, I'll throw up my commission at once. Besides, there's very strong symptoms of an approaching famine.
Lin. I'll walk with thee, and mayhap thy woful murmurs may rouse me from this lethargy. (Exeunt LINCOLN and POLWARTH, L. H. 1 E.)
Enter MIKE MAINSAIL, half drunk, R. H. 2 E., with a small keg of rum under each arm. He has a sword stack in his belt behind.
Mike. "Cease, rude Boreas, blustering railer!
List, ye landsmen all, to me!"
Steady, Mike! steady as you go, as old Admiral Storm used to say. Bless his old soul, he liked to take a pull at the peak too now and then. (Drinks.) But I believe I'm getting a little too much by the head hic but it's no fault of mine ; it's all owing to Seth's Jimmakee!
Enter DOYLE, L. H. 2 E.
Doyle. Who goes there? Stand!
Mike. Stand, you lubber? Why, don't I stand, and be damned to you? I'm not so crank as to capsize yet; I'm stiff enough to carry a pretty taut rag, I can tell you.
Doyle. Have done wid your blarney, and give me the countersign!
Mike. The counter counter what? O! I suppose it's some new-invented liquor he means. No; I've got nothing of that sort to give ye; but here's a drop of Seth's Jimmakee, if you'll take a pull.
Doyle. Throw down your arms, and surrender! I arrest you in the name of his majesty!
Mike. No; I'm damned if you do! What d'ye mean? Do you want to pick a quarrel, you land porpoise? If so be it, why, here's at ye! (Takes off hat and jacket, and stands in a boxing attitude.)
Doyle. Down wid your arms, or I'll cut you to pieces! (Draws sword.)
Mike. O ho! is that the time o' day! Well, it's all the same to Mike Mainsail. (Music. Combat.)
Enter LINCOLN, L. H. 2 E., and strikes up their swords.
Lin. Stand off, I command ye! The first who dares to raise his arm I'll cleave to the earth. Speak! what means this clamor?
Doyle. I challenged his countersign, your honor, when the sea bear gave fight.
Lin. Go to your duty. I know him, and will answer for his error. (Exit DOYLE, L. H. 1 E.) Michael, how is it that I find you thus in open combat with one of his majesty's troops?
Mike. (Who has put up his sword, taken a quid, &c.) Why, you see, major, the long and short of it is this: it's all owing to Seth's Jimmakee. I was lying off and on here, to fall in with you, humming a bit of ditty to myself, when this landshark bears down, and hails me to stand, when, damn me, I was standing as stiff as an admiral.
Lin. But whence arose this quarrel?
Mike. Why, as I was saying, it's all owing to Seth's Jimmakee; for he axes me for counter something, but, not having any thing of that sort to give, I offers him some of Seth's Jimmakee; and that's what kicked up the row. So, you see, it's all owing to Seth's Jimmakee!
Lin. 'Twas well I were at hand; else your life might have paid the forfeit of your rashness. But where have you been absent thus long? 'Tis a length of time since last I saw you.
Mike. I've been on a land cruise into the country, along with my towneys and your old messmate they calls Ralph.
Lin. Ralph with the disaffected citizens! Then, indeed, have the people one efficient adviser. And say ye he has enlisted in their mad enterprise?
Mike. To be sure; he's one of their leaders, and a rum old codger he is. Why, old Admiral Storm himself couldn't have brought the Royal Billy better into action than this same old Ralph did the people when he bore down on the troopers at Lexing (aside) avast a bit, Mike, or you'll blow the gaff!
Lin. When sage advisers and gray-headed veterans revolt, desperate must be their resistance. Am I, then, to behold these once happy haunts of my infancy involved in desolation and carnage? and am I to be one of the first to be guilty of fratricide, and stain my hands in the blood of my kinsmen? The thought of it is horrible! 'twill drive me mad! Did yon aged Ralph speak aught of me when last you saw him?
Mike. To be sure he did. Why, I've been in your wake for the matter of three glasses with a message from him to you; and I should have overhauled you afore, but I was rather out of trim, and steered a little wild. But it's no fault o' mine; it's all owing to Seth's Jimmakee! (Shows keg.)
Lin. Said ye you bore me a message from Ralph?
Mike. Ay; he said he must meet You at ten P. M., let the risk be life or death; and the place of rendezvous is in my backy box. (Takes a note from it.)
Lin. (Reads it.) Yes, yes; 'tis fit that I (crosses, R. H.) should warn him of his danger. Say to him I will meet at the time and place appointed, let the risk be life or death; and beware ye the vigilance of the troops! (Exit, R. H. 1 E.)
Mike. Troopers! They be damned! (Drinks and sings.)
"Messmates, hear a brother sailor
Sing the dangers of the sea."
SETH runs in, L. H. 2 E., and puts his hand over his mouth.
Seth. Why, Michael, what in the name of wonder possesses you? We heard you clean down to Liberty Hall. Why, you'll raise every critter in the camp. I do believe, Michael, you are really tipsy. Come along, or the reg'lars will catch you!
Mike. Well, it's no fault o' mine; it's all owing to your Jimmakee.
Seth. Hush, Michael, or we'll both be cotched! (Exeunt, L. H. 1 E.)
SCENE II. Interior of NAB's Dwelling, 3 G. A miserable dwelling hat. A lamp burning on a rude table, R. H.; a door in the flat, L. C. Stage dark. Set D. R. H. 2 E.; set D. L. H. 3 E. Music.
Enter AGNES and CECIL, D. L. H. F.
Agnes. (R.) Seemingly absent, but this luminary betokens her not far distant. Every thing here bespeaks the greatest poverty and distress; and we can bestow our mite under the pretence of wishing to take a peep into the book of nature. Cecil. And many, Agnes, are credulous enough to believe in her wild predictions; but, for my part, I have but little faith in her prescience.
Enter NAB, D. R. H. 2 E.
Nab. (Looking wild.) The time may come when Cecil Dynevor will have more faith.
Agnes. (C.) Then it must happen speedily, good Abigail; for this very night she resigns the name of Dynevor, and becomes the bride of Lionel Lincoln. We have now been paying her last maiden visits. Our carriage awaits in the street; and we have but a moment to spare to learn our fortunes, which you have so often promised to reveal to us. And here is a trifle to recompense you for your trouble. (Gives purse.)
Nab. (On R. H.) There is but little in telling Agnes Danforth that the cause of her visit here is for a different purpose than to seek into future events. (Taking her hand.) And yet there's a weight of anxious care hanging heavily on thy mind which you fain would solve.
Agnes. (C.) I know what thou wouldst say;
"I fain would solve a maiden's greatest care:
Who is the youth; his age; his eyes: his hair?"
Nab. (R.) No!
"Thy greatest care were first to see
Our infant country strong and free,
Listen! learn this truth from me:
That hour of glory soon shall be."
(Turns to go, R.)
Cecil. (Crosses to C.) Stay, good Abigail; for I would also wish to have a share of good fortune. Be as generous to me as you have been to Agnes, and I shall be content.
Nab. (Takes her hand.) The web of thy life is mixed with mingled yarn; but I warped it not. Listen!,
"'Tis true, this evening thou wilt wed;
But 'twixt the rites and bridal bed
Thy husband's lost to thee and fled.
To seek him, woman, thou shalt tread
O'er the dying and the dead."
(Exit hastily, D. R. H. 2 E. CECIL is terrified; AGNES goes to her.)
Agnes. Dear Cecil, heed her not. It was but one of her wild freaks of passion; yet 'twas indeed very unkind.
Cecil. O Agnes, it was an awful denunciation; and, when she uttered those dreadful words, her frightful eyes shot such a terrific glance on mine that it has almost chilled my blood. (Thunder and lightning. Knocking, D. L. F.)
Agnes. Let us retire, Cecil. There is some one seeking shelter from this approaching storm. We can leave the house by this door unobserved. (Exeunt AGNES and CECIL, D. L. H. 3 E.)
Enter LINCOLN, D. F. L. H., wrapped in military cloak.
Lin. Surely I heard voices within. I cannot be mistaken; this must be the place where Ralph appointed to meet me. 'Tis a comfortless hovel, and seems quite deserted, save the solitary flame of yon feeble torch. (Thunder and lightning.) 'Tis a fearful night, and there seems a strange sensation creeping over me. (Thunder and lightning. Chord.)
NAB suddenly appears before him, D. R. H. 2 E. LINCOLN recoils from her supernatural appearance.
Nab. What seeks the heir of Ravenscliffe Castle in the habitations of the wretched?
Lin. Am I then known? (Agitated.)
Nab. (Takes lamp from table, R. H., and holds it in his face.) The fair features of the mother, and the terrible eye of the father! (Replaces the lamp.)
Lin. And my unfortunate parents also! Say! canst thou tell me the cause of my poor father's malady? for I do begin to fear the heavy curse which visited the sire has already fallen upon the head of the son. Say! canst tell me what drove my father mad?
Nab. Ask me not! I cannot, dare not tell thee! O, 'twas a hellish deed! But, if thou wouldst learn the cause, ask him thy-self. (She tears open his cloak.) But why is Lionel Lincoln clothed in scarlet when the kinsmen and clan of his father are clad in blue?
Lin. My father's clan! What mean you?
Nab. Ay, thy father, boy! Hast not seen him? If not, thou shalt find him out behind the hills, training the sons of liberty to wield the weapons of death.
Lin. My father, woman? But she's deranged mad quite mad some bedlamite got loose! My father, woman, sleeps in peace 'neath the vaulted arches of his ancestors.
Nab. Ay, the body; but his spirit stalks proudly through the ranks of his countrymen.
Lin. Surely 'tis not me that's mad; and yet I feel my brain is growing quite bewildered. When and where saw ye last my father?
Nab. On the bloody fields of Lexington. As the conscience-smitten foe shrunk back from their havoc and destruction, I saw his form gliding through the broken lines of his kinsmen like the fleeting shadow of a cloud sweeping o'er the plains, his hollow tones echoing through the rising mists like the roaring of the billows 'midst a raging storm; and, as the sullen troops wheeled to retrace their steps, high in the air he raised his hands, gave a ghastly shout, and shook his gray hairs in triumph!
Lin. She is indeed mad raving mad!
Nab. But why does the heir of Ravenscliffe loiter in the dwellings of poverty when the gay nuptial ceremony awaits his presence?
Lin. 'Tis true most true! She's not half so mad as me. I should be there; but my faith is pledged to meet a friend, even under this very roof. Know ye an aged man called Ralph?
Nab. Ralph? No; I know of none who bear that name, nor none who claim a right to enter here without my bidding. I know no Ralph!
Enter JOB, D. L. F., and catches the last sentence. He shuffles up to LINCOLN, on L. H.
Job. Job knows Ralph; he's a great warrior.
Nab. (R.) Foolish boy! (Rain, thunder, occasionally kept up.)
Lin. (R. C.) Ha, Job! Know you then this mad woman?
Job. (L. C.) To be sure; Job knows his own mother, though Job don't know who his father is; but Nab says Job is a great man's son.
Nab. Peace, simpleton! Heed him not; nature has denied the boy the power of reason. But where have you been loitering thus long?
Job. Job has been out behind the hills with Ralph and the people. Job left Ralph there teaching the Bay men how to fight.
Lin. Then has the old man deceived me; for this is the hour he promised to meet me here. But perhaps I wrong him; this storm may prevent his coming, or mayhap he fears detection from the troops.
Job. No, no; you can't frighten Ralph. He's seen bigger armies than all the grannies and infantry both put together. If Ralph said he'd come, he will come; for he can go and come when he pleases, and neither a thunder storm nor all the rakehellies, with Old Nick at their head, can stop him.
Lin. Indeed! you hold the troops quite cheap. Pray, why cannot he be stopped?
Job. Why, they can't stop a ghost, and the people all say that Ralph is one. Job wondered why the bullets didn't hit him at Lexington, for they flew about as thick as hailstones.
Lin. Simple boy! Then, after all my warnings, have you been foolish enough to be thus led into danger?
Nab. Danger! And think ye that gentle or simple will shrink from danger in such a righteous cause? Look at the boy! Simple as he is, he shares thy blood! Ay, start not, Lionel Lincoln, when I tell thee, in that child of nature you behold a brother!
Lin. A brother! Woman, I would not believe it, though 'twere proclaimed from heaven!
Enter RALPH, D. F. L. H., during the last speech, unobserved. He comes forward, and lays his right hand on the head of JOB. RALPH looks pale and supernatural.
Ralph. 'Tis as true as the heaven you would doubt! (Music. NAB turns to L., observes RALPH, whom she supposes to be the spirit of LIONEL LINCOLN. She gives a loud shriek, and rushes out, D. F. L. H.)
Job. Nab is afraid of Ralph; Job will bring her back. (Exit at door.)
Lin. (R. C.) Old man, said ye that boy was the child of my beloved father?
Ralph. Even so; and thy elder born, as Heaven is witness!
Lin. And of my mother?
Ralph. No, but of one whose charms were once nothing less, and now the wretched tenant of this miserable abode. The boy is the unfortunate offspring of thy father's youthful follies, and born ere he had even beheld thy mother.
Lin. Those last words have relieved me of a bitter pang. But I pray thee, speak more of my father.
Ralph. 'Tis for that purpose that I have thus braved this night's dangers.
Lin. You are indeed in danger proclaimed an outlaw, and a price set. upon your head. Old man, why have ye enlisted in a mad and lawless act, and thus raised a barrier between us?
Ralph. Unthinking boy, 'tis thou who hast raised the barrier; 'tis thou who art enlisted in a mad and lawless act. Your designs are to enslave; mine to free. Now comes the hour of trial, to put men's souls to the test; now must they throw off their masks, and stand as friends or foes; and thus shall future ages behold them recorded. On which pillar shall the name of Lincoln be engraved?
Lin. 'Tis an unfortunate strife. The child cannot think to prosper who would raise its arm against its natural parent.
Ralph. 'Tis the parent who hath struck the blow of enmity. An infant driven from its home, and left to struggle with the savage and wild beast, or perish in the wilderness, can owe but little gratitude to its unnatural parent; but America is now no longer a child, but has grown to manhood, and will no longer brook the insults of imperious tyrants. Think ye this seeming apathy of the people betokens submission? Think ye that the fury of the storm will be less destructive because 'tis slow in gathering? I tell thee, again, heedless boy, that there is a terrific eruption at hand, whose convulsions shall overthrow the power of that country to whom thou hast madly united thy strength; and there remains but a single hour in which you can retract with honor.
Lin. Honor! And would you have me branded traitor?
Ralph. And Lionel Lincoln will look calmly on, and behold the stranger take possession of his country and home, for which his sires have so long contended with savage and beast of the forest to maintain! Witness, Heaven, that I have urged every human reason to reclaim him! There is but one painful effort left. Listen, boy, and learn the last commands of thy father!
Lin. Pronounce them, and, so help me Heaven, will I obey his sacred will, though it costs my life! Nay, more: I will obey his commands, even though 'twere to league with this mad rebellion!
Ralph. Hear him, ye powers of justice and vengeance! He has sworn it! he has sworn it! (A loud roll of trumpets and drums at back, R. H. U. E.)
Enter JOB, D. F. L. H.
Job. The rakehellies are wheeling down the alley, shouting, "Ralph the outlaw!" (JOB runs off, R. H. 2 E.)
Ralph. Let the miscreants come on! My life shall not be cheaply bought! (Draws both pistols.)
Reenter JOB with long gun, D. R. H. 2 E., and kneels beside RALPH.
Job. (Aiming at door, L. F.) Ay, let the rakehellies come on! and we'll teach 'em the law ! If Job is a fool. Job can shoot.
Lin. Fly, old man, and conceal yourself! Stay not here to lose your life!
Ralph. Never will I shrink from the dastards! I'll meet them boldly face to face, and let the will of Heaven be done!
Lin. Be gone, old man! For my sake, I implore you to be gone! I'll go forth and meet the troops! (Exit, D. F. L. H.)
Job. (Coming down very quickly.) Job will take Ralph in his skiff, where Old Nick himself can't find him. (Music. Exeunt JOB and RALPH, D. F. L. H. Thunder and lightning.)
SCENE III. Boston Harbor in a Storm, 6 G. Midnight; stage dark; thunder and lightning; alarm bells ringing; clashing of swords off L. H. U. E. and shots fired, after which RALPH rushes in, L. H. U. E., sword drawn, his face bloody, pale, and wounded.
Ralph. Thus far have I freed myself from these bloodhounds. They have found the old man's arm has not yet lost its strength. (Leans, R. H.)
McFUSE rushes in, L. H. U. E., sword drawn.
McF. Down wid your arms, ye ribil traitor, and surrender to his majesty.
Ralph. Never, with life! (Music. They fight; McFUSE disarms RALPH, and he falls, R. C., exhausted.)
McF. Die, traitor! (Raises his sword over RALPH.)
MIKE MAINSAIL rushes in, L. H. U. E.; their swords meet over RALPH's body.
Mike. No, he don't! (Music. MIKE fights McFUSE, and beats him off, L. H. U. E.; then returns, and raises RALPH.)
Enter JOB PRAY in a skiff, during the fight, from L. H. U. E.
Job. Hurrah! we'll teach 'em the law! (Music. He lands, and helps RALPH into the boat; as MIKE and JOB help RALPH into the boat, and are ready to push off, McFUSE enters, L. H. U. E., with a body of British troops, who form a line, L. H.)
McF. Halt! present! (The soldiers aim their guns at those in the boat, R. H.)
LINCOLN rushes in, L. H. U. E., and beats up the muskets of the troops with his sword.
Lin. Hold, I command ye! (Music. At that moment the boat pushes off, R. H., and they escape amid the tempest, which has continued to rage throughout the scene.)
Boat off, R. H.
R. H. L. H.
End of ACT II.
SCENE I. A Wood, 2 G.
Enter SETH SAGE, dressed in a suit of old-fashioned regimentals, a slouched hat turned up at the sides with tape, and a long, white plume, boots, &c., marching in a squad of citizens armed with divers weapons and guns of different descriptions, clad in their ordinary costumes, but mostly blue. Drum and fife playing Yankee Doodle as they march on, L. H.
Seth. Halt! front face! that's right. Order arms! very well done. I conclude the reg'lars couldn't do it much better. Attention, the whole! Now, fellow-citizens, seeing that we have pretty much made up our minds to fight it out, I reckon the best plan to save time and ammunition will be to take tolerable good aim before we fire. There's old Putnam come down from Connecticut, and Warren, and Ward, and Prescott, and Willard, and Hancock, and Adams, Otis, and Gray, and a host more ready and making preparations for fortifying Bunker's Hill; and we must be ready to start at a minute's warning. We have a good many folks that's skilled in the art of war; for there's old Ralph, who fought so stoutly at Lexington, and nobody knows where he comes from; and there's Mike Mainsail, who don't care a snap for powder and ball. But I reckon the principal thing is not to be afraid, and to fire away right sharp, and I calculate we shall give the reg'lars a pretty considerable damned smart drubbing. (All cheer, and swing their hats in the air.)
Mike. (Off, L.H.) Ahoy, there!
Enter MIKE MAINSAIL, L. H. 1 E., with the end of a rope over his shoulder.
I say, messmates, damme, I've caught a lobster! (MIKE hauls in the long slack of the rope, at least three fathoms, and hauls NOODLE on, made fast to the end of it, and whirls him round to the C.)
Noo. (C., not observing the citizens.) My dear fellow, my good Mr. Mainsail, or Topsail, or whatever other salt water name you are called, pray do have a little mercy! for this cursed tarry rope quite offends my nostrils, and barbarously disorganizes the lacings of my stays.
Mike. What! Do you mean your backstays or your bobstays?
Noo. (Observing the citizens.) My dear fellow, you surely ar'n't a-going to be so cruel as to give me up to these cannibals. Why, they'll roast me for supper: they will, 'pon honor.
Mike. (L.) No, they'll only chop you up into a mess of lobscouse.
Noo. (C.) Lobscouse! Horrible a vile sea dish!
Seth. (R.) Where did you catch the critter, Michael?
Mike. Why, d'ye see, last night I slung my hammock to the limbs of a big oak tree; when about five A. M. I twigs the covey a-reconnoitring, as he calls it; so I just heaves the bowline over his head, and hauls him in.
Seth. Then I conclude he's a spy, and we must sarve him out.
Noo. Pray, good Mr. Rebel, if I am to be sarved out, I beg you'll do it in a genteel manner. Only think, my dear fellow, how vulgar it will sound at St. James's that Lord Noodle was stewed up into a mess of lobscouse.
Seth. Why, I calculate the most genteel thing will be to pickle you, and send you home again.
Noo. "Who could have believed that Lord Noodle
Was born to be pickled by a Yankee Doodle?"
Mike. Howsomever, as we ar'n't yet on a short allowance, we'll keep you a bit. (Distant trumpet and drums, L. H. U. E.; citizens all begin to be alarmed, and attempt to disperse, but are stopped by SETH.)
Seth. Halt, fellow-citizens! halt, I command you! Let us retreat in a soldier-like manner. Attention, the whole! As you are. (Puts them into a line again.) Shoulder hoop!
Sergeant Doolittle: I say, Captain Sage, I guess we'd better be off, for the reg'lars are arter us. You know what Nab the witch said?
Seth. Now, attention, the whole! Right face! (DOOL1TTLE and some others turn left.) I say, Sergeant Doolittle, won't you never learn the right from the left? (SETH chalks R. on his arm.) There, that's right, and the other's left. As you are. Right face! Give us Yankee Doodle once again, quick time. Forward, march! (Drum and fife play Yankee Doodle, march round, and off, R. H. 1 E.)
Mike. Well, as one can't make much headway with another craft in tow, and as the prize seems to be of no great vallie, I'll bring him to an anchor. (Ties NOODLE to a tree, R. H.) Now, when they axes you who moored you there, tell 'em Jack Nastyface, and be damned to you; and there's an old soger to keep you company. (Throws a quid at him, and exit, R. H.)
Noo. What a vile sea monster to leave me tied here in this wilderness, to be devoured by wildcats and catamounts strike me ferocious! (Trumpets and drums, L. H. U. E.)
Enter McFUSE, L. H. 1 E., at the head of a band of British soldiers, who form a line, L. H.
McF. Halt! front! Why, what the divil, my lord, are you doing there wid a rope round ye, like a pig tied at a gate post? (Releases NOODLE.)
Noo. My dear captain, you've just come up in time to save me from a cruel death: you see that I was just about to be burnt alive at the stake. Such a desperate encounter I have had! I have been set upon by a ferocious tribe of Yankee Doodles, at least a score of them. They attacked me most furiously with sticks, stones, clubs, spears, bows and arrows, boarding pikes, scalping knives, and tomahawks; but I cut, thrust, and slashed, right and left, and kept the cannibals at bay at least an hour; but my foot slipped, and 1 came to the ground, when the savages overpowered me and bound me. They were about taking my scalp when the sound of your drums alarmed the heathens, and they flew into the woods: 'tis true, 'pon honor.
McF. Which way have the ribils fled? I'll pursue the thaves.
Noo. Into the woods, captain. (Pointing, R. H.) Charge on 'em, captain. Damme, charge on 'em! (Drawing his sword.)
McF. Forward, soldiers! Charge! (All charge off, R. H., after McFUSE; drums and trumpet, L. H.)
Noo. (Follows them as far as R. H. 1 E., and turns back,) The Yankees may make pickles of you, but demme if they shall pickle me! I had rather be preserved. (Exit, with long strides, L. H. l E.)
SCENE II. Antique Apartment in the Province House, 3 G. Midnight; a secret door in flat, and no other door seen; the only entrance to the chamber is supposed to be at the R. H. 2 E.; a table on R. H., with lighted candles and papers on it.
Enter LINCOLN and CECIL, R. H. 2 E.
Lin. Heed it not, Cecil: 'twas merely a shadow.
Cecil. But where was the substance? O, Lionel, 'twas an ill-omened bridal!
Lin. Say not so, Cecil; I prithee do not let so trifling a thing cast a gloom over our happiness. What is there to fear? Are we not wedded, solemnly united, with the consent of all who have a right to interpose?
Cecil. Perhaps, Lionel, there is yet one lives whose consent, perchance, we may lack, if Abigail's tales be true.
Lin. Heed not the wild tales of that frantic woman.
Cecil. It may be folly, and you must forgive a woman's weakness; but the awful forebodings of that woman, the ill-timed omen, and the alarming state of the country, all tend to increase my fears.
Lin. Dear Cecil, chase away these idle fancies, for you almost persuade me there is something ill about to happen; and of late I cannot bear up against these ills with the same strength that I was wont to do. Come, revive your drooping spirits, and do not permit this chill to blight the prospect of this night's joy!
Cecil. Well, Lionel, I'll try to drive this away; but I had nearly forgotten. I have been preparing a trifling thing to present you on this our wedding eve: 'tis the work of my own hands, wrought to surprise you. I will go for it: there is still a little more wanting to complete it; but in a few moments I will be with you again.
Lin. I pray thee, my dear, let those moments be short; for 'tis unkind in thee to rob me even of thy company on our wedding eve, (takes the candle;) and I will insist on lighting you through the lobby.
(Music. Exeunt LINCOLN and CECIL, D. R. H. 2 E.; stage dark; RALPH opens the secret door in flat, enters, and closes it again; he comes to the table, R. H., lays down his hat, then comes forward, L. C., where he stands erect, pale, and motionless, in deep thought; he is still armed, and the marks of blood are still visible on his face; he looks more like the dead than the living.)
Reënter LINCOLN, R. H. 2 E., without the light, and recoils at the sight of RALPH's supernatural appearance. Chord.
Ralph. Lionel Lincoln, I have entered these halls without a bidding, perhaps an unwelcome visitor on your bridal eve.
Lin. 'Tis well you have spoken, else I had taken you for a being of the other world. But how gained you admittance here?
Ralph. I have been familiar with every nook of this town from infancy. I knew it when 'twas but a wilderness and the haunt of the savage and the panther. I have viewed its progress as a parent watches the movements of a darling child. But I am wandering from my purpose. It matters not by what means I gained an entrance: 'tis enough that I am now before thee. There is much to be done in a little space, and time is fleeting fast: there is none to be lost in idle words. Lionel Lincoln, I come to claim the fulfilment of thy sacred vow.
Lin. And dare ye trust yourself within these walls, now surrounded by his majesty's troops, when, if detected, your life would pay the forfeit of your rashness?
Ralph. There's an invisible hand which shields the life of Ralph.
Lin. Put not too much belief in this, old man. I am an officer of the crown, and sworn to protect it. You best know how well I have kept my oath, by shielding the life of an avowed traitor. Why have you again thrown yourself within my power?
Ralph. I in thy power! Foolish boy, behold these weapons of death! (Draws his pistols.) Think ye I could not free myself from thee if I beheld the slightest signs of being betrayed? Nay, more, thou art in my power. Even from within these massy walls, and surrounded by thy hireling band, I could drag thee forth. But I come not to force, but to persuade thee hence: I am here by the will of thy father.
Lin. My father! Old man, trifle not with my feelings! My father is in his grave.
Ralph. 'Tis false, boy; he lives.
Ralph. Ay, lives, and treads again his native shores in freedom. Ay, free to hurl destruction on the heads of his vile oppressors!
Lin. Old man, deceive me not, or dread the weight of Heaven's wrath! As ye hope for peace in this world, or mercy in the next, perjure not thy soul by a damning lie!
Ralph. Does age like mine bespeak the proclaimer of falsehoods?
Lin. No, it betokens the truth, the sacred truth. But when or where have you had intercourse with my poor father?
Ralph. For years have I been linked to him, heart to heart in the same cell, shackled with the same chains, fed upon the same pittance, and breathed the same foul pestilence of a filthy dungeon! But he is now freed from his vile fetters, and lives for vengeance.
Lin. Give me some proof thou dost not play me falsely.
Ralph. (Takes a miniature from his bosom, and gives it to LINCOLN.) Behold! Know you that face, boy?
Lin. (Kisses it.) 'Tis the picture of my mother. He ever wore it next his heart. And did my father send this precious relic to me?
Ralph. It is his will that you should wear it. Read. (Gives him a letter.)
Lin. (Reads it.) It is his sacred hand and seal. He commands me to follow thee straightway to him.
Ralph. And wilt thou obey his commands?
Lin. Most humbly. O thou eternal Power! have I so long been blinded by wily sycophants? have I so long slumbered in peace, whilst my poor father has been writhing in agony? Lead me to him quickly, that I may fall at his feet and beg forgiveness.
Ralph. Come, then, hasten. He will not only forgive, but he will bless thee. Come, come! (Drags LINCOLN, half bewildered, to the secret door, and opens it.)
Lin. (Recollecting himself.) No, no, no, that's not the way! I cannot go! My wife! my wife! my new-made bride! (Struggling.)
Ralph. Thy father! thy much-wronged father! (Pointing to the door.)
Lin. But one little moment my wife! (Pointing to R. H. 2 E.)
Ralph. Thy father this instant, or he's lost forever. (Drops LINCOLN's hand, and is about to leave him.)
Lin. Stay, old man, in mercy! I shall go mad! My brain! my brain! Lead me where thou wilt. (Music. RALPH and LINCOLN exeunt at secret door in F.; LESLIE rushes in, D. R. H. 2 E., in time to catch a glimpse of RALPH and LINCOLN; NAB, at that instant, enters at secret door in F., and brandishes an oaken staff looks wildly.)
Nab. You pass not here! (Chord.)
Les. Ha, thou hag of darkness! (Snaps his pistol at her. Two chords; NAB raises her staff; and beats him to the ground bleeding, at one blow.)
Cecil. (Without, R. H. 2 E., alarmed.) Lionel, why have you deserted me at this fearful hour? Lionel! husband!
Enter CECIL, R. H. 2 E.
Whither have you fled? (Observes NAB, and shrieks.)
Nab. "To seek him, woman, thou shalt tread
o'er the dying and the dead."
(Music. CECIL faints and falls, R. C.; NAB laughs hysterically.)
CECIL. NAB. LESLIE.
END OF ACT III.
SCENE I. A Chamber in SETH's Inn, (Liberty Hall.) A window in the flat, L. C.; door in flat; "Store Room" over the door; a table, L. H., spread, and set out with beef; ham, turkey, soup, &c.; evening; two candles lighted.
POLWARTH discovered seated at the table, L. H., eating soup with a ladle; JOB seated on a stool, R. H. from the table.
Pol. (Eating.) Awful times these, Job, to be half starved when there's such an abundance of good things so nigh at hand!
Job. To be sure it is: the town is full of hunger when there's cart loads of food in the country.
Pol. So you managed to smuggle in some provisions, hey, boy?
Job. Yes; Job got a ham, a turkey, a pair of ducks, and some sa'ace.
Pol. That's a good lad that's a good lad! As I'm a sinner, I do believe that I should famish for want of the very necessaries of life, if it wer'n't for thee, boy.
Job. Job has a tough time of it to get in and out of town, for the rakehellies are as thick as mosquitoes.
Pol. I tell ye, boy, you mustn't call the troops rakehellies. But come, lad, will you share in my mess? You look half famished!
Job. Nab is so poor Job don't get much to eat nowadays. Job ain't tasted any thing since he feasted in the country yesterday.
Pol. (Drops his ladle, and waddles up to JOB.) Not tasted food for four and twenty hours! (Feeling JOB's pulse.) Miraculous! Boy, you are committing suicide! murdering yourself by inches! Hunger is a foul distemper, and more fatal than the plague. Get thee to the table, boy; get thee to the table quickly, lest ye be past recovery! (Pushes JOB to the table, R., and takes his place.)
Job. Captain Polwarth is a Christian, and he will be rewarded.
Pol. (Helping JOB.) Here's soup, but that's too light; here's roast beef, the glory of Old England! Here's a slice the king couldn't refuse; and here's ham and tongue. Which dost prefer first, boy (Helps him to every thing.)
Job. Job ain't particular in his eating. (Eats heartily.)
McF. (Off, L. H.) Up wid ye into your dirty cockloft, ye ribil! (McFUSE drives in SETH SAGE, L. H., his sword drawn; SETH has still on his uniform and cocked hat, his hands tied behind him.) There, I'll kape ye till ye are hung up by the neck to your own ugly, crooked sign post. (SETH crosses to R., and seats himself on a stool.)
Pol. (L. C.) What! How now, Mac? What's the matter, that ye thus hold our host in durance vile?
Seth. I reckon that the captain has made a mistake in the person.
McF. A mistake! the divil a mistake at all about it! D'ye think I didn't know that cock's feather in your hat?
Seth. I guess there was a good many folks with feathers in their hats.
Pol. Tut, Mac, it's another of your Irish blunders.
McF. Blood and turf; man, didn't he level his duck gun at me all the same as he would at a woodcock? and whipped a bit of cold lead into my shoulder, which the knave calls a buck shot? Tell me, ye thafe, and disdain lying as much as you would ating any thing but codfish on Saturday, didn't ye fire at me?
Pol. Let me tell ye, Mac, a real dumb fish ain't to be despised, especially when 'tis served up between two others to preserve the flavor.
McF. And let me tell you, Captain Polwarth, that your damnable Epicurean propensities makes a cannibal of ye, when ye talk of ating and drinking with a poor divil's life at stake. Tell me, you blackguard, didn't ye shoot at me from behind the mulleins?
Seth. The captain is sure that the shot came from behind the mullein stalks.
McF. Sure? Ye thafe of the world! Didn't I take ye there, ye baste, in the very act of reloading?
Seth. Why, then, seeing that there can't be any mistake, I pretty much conclude it must have been me.
McF. Conclude! Then, ye ribil, I'll conclude to hang ye!
Job. (Comes forward, R. C.) You can't hang Seth Sage for shooting at the rakehellies, when they fired first: it's agin the law.
McF. And is it such as you, ye divil's imp, that would tache Dennis McFuse the law? Now, I dare say, if the truth were known, you were one among the rest of the rabble that murdered the flower of the British army.
Job. Job never murdered any body; he only shot two rakehellies and one officer.
McF. D'ye hear the baste, Polly? Let me cut his throat! (Draws his sword.)
Pol. (Draws his sword, and crosses blades with McFUSE.) Stand off, Mac! Stand off!
McF. That shell of a man to boast of having murdered three fine fellows! Let me butcher him!
Pol. Stand off, Mac; for if you butcher the boy, you must slay me first. (JOB runs off, L. H.) He's a simple boy, ay, a goodly lad! Marry, if you slay the boy 'tis slaying me, for you take from me that which sustaineth life; and, by St. Peter, I'll fight for my life as stoutly as any man! Tut, Mac, put up your sword: he's only a child. (Puts up his sword.)
McF. (Putting up sword.) May the divil burn such babes, thinks I! (Trumpets and drums, L. H.)
Enter DOYLE, L. H. 1 E., and presents a note to McFUSE.
How now, Doyle? What is the word?
Doyle. Orders are out for the troops to be in readiness for an immediate march into the country; for word has come in that the ribils are fortifying Bunker's Hill. (Exit, L. H. 1 E.)
McF. Hear ye that, Polly? Here's work for us, my jewel!
Pol. All nonsense, Mac! False alarm only a parade.
McF. Odds blood and thunder, man! haven't I got it here all in black and white?
Pol. All a fuss, I'll warrant, about some old rusty gun the rebels have picked up. But, by St. Paul, if this is the way we are to be trained, like a parcel of race horses, I'll resign at once. What! march into the country at midnight, through quagmires and mud puddles, and perhaps to be stuck fast in some bog hole as a target for the Yankees to shoot at? Why, it's murder, Mac, wilful murder, in the first degree!
McF. Captain Polwarth, it's our duty to obey our orders widout a murmur.
Pol. Granted, Mac all legal orders. Now, if we were ordered into the country on some expedition of importance, such as looking out a goodly stock of supplies, such as bullocks, sheep, swine, poultry, and such like, by the mass, I should be one of the last to grumble.
McF. Polly, will you think of nothing but ating and drinking? Come, prepare yourself for the march. (Buckling his belt tighter.)
Pol. Well, if I must prepare, I must. (He goes and takes a piece of beef; and shoulders a ham.)
McF. (C.) Why, what the divil, man, are you after now? You've already, to-day, laid in a stock of provisions for a siege.
Pol. (Comes, L. H.) As I'm a Christian, Mac, I've scarcely tasted food enough to-day to satisfy the cravings of a full-grown pigeon; and this will serve on the march for a cold cut.
McF. Och, may the divil fly away wid your cold cuts! That's what always kapes ye in the rear. Bad luck to your twaddling duck legs!
Pol. Legs! I don't know the use of legs but to fatigue the body withal. Now, a man can be a first-rate tailor, a good fiddler, a lawyer, a parson, a judge, and a tolerably good cook without legs. No! don't see myself that a man has any need of legs.
McF. Ask Mr. Seth Sage the use of legs, and he'll tell ye to the contrary. Bad luck to his bog-trotters that carried him all the way to Lexington to shoot at Christian people all the same as though they were wild bastes.
Pol. All a blunder of yours, Mac. Seth, mine host, be it my care ye are straightway freed from durance vile. Now, then, for the march. (Exit, L. H. 1 E.)
McF. And be it my care that ye dance in the air.
Enter NOODLE, L. H. 1 E., and quizzes SETH.
Ha, my lord, you've just come in time to aid me in the disposal of this ribil traitor!
Noo. Strike me lucky if it ar'n't the very Yankee Doodle that was a-going to pickle me! Leave him to me, captain. I'll astonish him, demme! (Crosses to SETH, C.)
McF. Och, he's an old offender, that; but I'll place strong guards at the door to prevent any more of his Yankee tricks; and I hope you'll hang the thafe widout a trial. (Exit, L. H. 1 E.)
Seth. It's agin the law to hang a man without a trial.
Noo. (Drawing his sword.) Perhaps you'd rather be pickled.
Seth. (Spits at NOODLE.) It ain't fair play to fight a man with both hands tied.
Noo. I'll make a scarecrow of ye, you ragamuffin, to frighten away the rest of the rabble! I'll pickle ye, and hang you up to dry! (During this time MIKE enters at the window in the flat, L. H., and throws a bowline over NOODLE, and secures him.)
Mike. No you don't! (Holds a pistol to NOODLE's head.) Not a word out of your lantern jaws, or I'll blow you into a cocked hat! (He cuts SETH adrift.)
Noo. (C., drops his sword.) Here's another chance of being pickled.
Seth. (R. H., picks up sword, and lunges at NOODLE.) May be we'll make a scarecrow of ye, and hang ye up to dry hey? I reckon you might be of some sarvice in the cornfields; and that's pretty much all such critters as you are good for.
Mike. (L.) Now, Seth, open that locker. (SETH opens the store room door, R. F.) To the right about! (Whirls NOODLE around, and takes off the rope.) March! (Pointing to the store room.)
Noo. (C., going.) If I have a prejudice in the world 'tis agin a tarry sailor!Mike. And if I have a prejudice in the world 'tis agin a trooper! (Gives NOODLE his sword.) There, march in, ye horse mackerel, and keep sentry over Seth's Jimmakee! (Shuts him in.)
Seth. Michael, you are a wonderful critter! Do tell how you climbed up to the window, and how I'm to escape; for they mean to hang me, that's sartin!
Mike. Here, jump into this bowline. There's no time for palaver; for there's a whole shoal of landsharks prowling around the house. (Puts the rope around him.)
Seth. Ain't there danger of the rope's breaking, Michael? If it does, I shall be knocked into that cocked hat you talk about.
Mike. You wouldn't think there was any danger of the rope if you were boused up at the Royal Billy's ya'd-arm! Come, bear a hand, or may be the troopers will sling ye by a worse place. (Puts SETH out of the window, and lowers him down.) Damme, he quivers like a stuck porpoise! (MIKE is seated in the window when McFUSE reënters, L. H. 1 E., crosses to R. H., and observes him.)
McF. Ha, by St. Patrick! is that the game? (He advances towards MIKE. Chords. MIKE fires both his pistols at McFUSE, and exits out at the window.) What, ho! below there! Guards! (Exit, L. H. 1 E.)
SCENE II. A Street near Copps' Hill, 1 G. Trumpets, drums, and alarm bells.
Enter CECIL, L. H. 1 E., almost exhausted, her hair loose and flowing.
Cecil. Alas, I know not where I wander, nor where to seek him! Ah, Lionel, twas cruel in thee to thus desert me at such a fearful hour! No, no, I wrong him! he was torn from me by some unknown power! Would that I could meet some friendly hand to help me search him out!
Enter NAB, L. H. 1 E., and crosses to R.; pistols in her belt, and sword drawn.
"To seek him, woman, thou shalt tread
O'er the dying and the dead." (Going.)
Cecil. Stay, in mercy, stay! That awful prediction is but half fulfilled!
Nab. Then the widowed woman has faith in the mad woman's prescience.
Cecil. O Abigail, desert me not in this awful hour! I never harmed thee or thine. Tell a forsaken and helpless wife where to seek her lost husband, if you have but a spark of pity left in your bosom, or one feeling of mercy in your heart!
Nab. Pity and mercy have long been strangers to this bosom; ay, even the source from whence they once did flow is quite, quite dried up. The heart which once felt pity, feels it no more: 'tis turned to stone! I have never found mercy or pity. Why should I feel it, then, for others? (Weeps.) But I will tell thee of the proud heir of Ravenscliffe. The hirelings of a tyrant are on his trail, and a felon's death awaits him; for they who would be lords of the land, proclaim him traitor!
Cecil. Traitor! Merciful Heaven protect him!
Nab. Heed them not! The spirit of the father hovers round him, and shields his life from danger!
Cecil. Said ye, Abigail, that he had found his father? Ah, in pity, lead me to him!
Nab. Ay, follow quickly, and you shall see.
Cecil. What, Abigail?
Nab. "A few brave patriots make a stand
'Gainst a ruthless, hireling band,
And, opposing, sword in hand,
Drive the spoilers from the land!
A magic spell, at dead of night,
Has reared a mound on Bunker's Height,
Where the young bride, at dawn of light,
Shall meet the bridegroom midst the fight!" (Exit, hastily, R. H. 1 E.)
Cecil. I'll follow if my feeble limbs will bear me hence. She's gone! But this din of death will guide me on; and 'mid the rage of battle will I search him out, or perish in the field of blood! But my strength begins to fail me. My head grows dizzy. I can go no further! (She faints and falls, R. C.; distant roll of drums, L. H.)
Enter RALPH, L. H. 1 E., sword drawn.
Ralph. The work of death hath already begun! (Observes CECIL,) Ha! what do I behold? A female stricken to the earth! (Raises her partly up.) Powers of mercy! 'tis the havoc of mine own hands! The bride seeks the bridegroom; this is a sorrowful bridal bed! Look up, thou flower of innocence, and bless an old man with thy forgiveness! Awake, thou child of sorrow! Awake! 'tis a father calls. Open thine eyes, for thy husband is near. (Raises her up.)
Cecil. (R.) What voice of comfort was that? or was't delusion? (Sees RALPH.) Old man, who art thou? Did ye not speak of my husband?
Ralph. I did, my child! Look up, and be composed; for there is joy in store for thee. Thy husband is near, and I'll lead thee to him.
Cecil. Bless thee bless thee, old man! Heaven will reward thee! But who art thou? No, I cannot be mistaken! the lines of nature speak too strongly. Thou art the lost Sir Lionel Lincoln the father of my husband.
Ralph. 'Tis true; but none know it: thou art the first to discover me. I was not free to avow myself. An oath sealed up these lips; but the death of a villain has cancelled the obligation, and I am now free to declare my name: and thou shalt be the first to proclaim, "The lost is found."
Cecil. Let me, then, fly to him, that he may learn the joyful tidings.
Ralph. Come, then, hasten; for this hour is big with the fate of Liberty. Lean on this arm. Infirm as it is, it hath much strength in this righteous cause! Come, come! (Leads her off, R. H.)
SCENE III. Bunker's Hill, 7 G. In the rear, heights with pickets, and a fence in front; a broad pass over it; a winding pass to ascend from the C. of the stage to R. H.; SETH, JOB, and citizens discovered on the heights enclosed by the pickets, armed with muskets, fowling pieces, pikes, &c.; trumpets, drams, and alarm bells.
Enter MIKE, R. H., ascends the pass, and plants the American ensign on the hill, C.; citizens give three cheers, and swing up their hats.
Enter McFUSE at the head of all the British troops.
McF. Halt! front! (They form a line.) Throw down your arms, ye ribils, and disperse!
Job. (L., on the hill.) Let the rakehellies come on, and the people will teach 'em the law! (Trumpets, drums, and bell.)
McF. (R.) Fire! (Troops fire, and citizens return it; McFUSE, with the troops, rush up the pass, and disappear, R.; the citizens rush off, R., to meet them; the flag remains on the hill; MIKE and McFUSE descend the pass fighting; MIKE drives McFUSE off, L. H.; SETH and DOYLE also enter, R. H., fighting; SETH drives DOYLE off, L. H.; the citizens, at the same time, drive all the troops off, L. H., or kill them in the rear.)
Enter POLWARTH and NOODLE, R. H., with their swords drawn; noise stops.
Pol. By St. Peter, we've got into the hottest of it! (Music. They rush half way up the pass; at the same time JOB charges down the pass, runs against POLWARTH, who tumbles against NOODLE, and they both roll down to the front of stage; L. C., seated.) This is descending with a fury! but I suppose I shall rise with the rest.
Noo. (R. C., seated.) If I have a prejudice in the world 'tis against being rolled down hill!
Job. (R.) Here comes Captain Sage. Look out, boys! (Sits beside NOODLE, R. H.)
Enter SETH, L., and sits beside POLWARTH, L.
Seth. I conclude you are both prisoners to Job and me.
Noo. I see that I am born to be pickled!
Pol. Well, mine host, there's no disgrace in surrendering to a superior force, for Noodle here is nobody. Here's my sword and buckler; but I surrender on these conditions that ye lead me forth-with to the first depot of refreshment, for I am perishing for the want of nourishment.
Seth. (Gets up.) Very well! Attention, the whole! Get up! Right face! Quick time! Forward, march! (SETH and JOB march NOODLE and POLWARTH off to the R. H.)
Noo. If I have a prejudice in the world, 'tis agin being pickled by a Yankee Doodle. (All go off, R. Flourish.)
Enter LESLIE, L. H. 3 E., disordered, wounded, face bloody.
Les. Some evil hand aids the rebels' cause! This wound will be my death!
Nab. (R., descends the pass.) Ay, murderer! thy hour is come! Beware the arm of Ralph!
Les. (L.) Ha, thou shalt not live to triumph! (Fires his pistols at NAB; she falls.)
Nab. Nor would I, Death, I've sought and found thee! Welcome! welcome! Thou O! (Dies.)
RALPH, at the same time, rushes in, R.
Ralph. Vengeance is holy! Die, damned dog! (Grasps his throat, and strangles him; LESLIE falls dead, L. C.; RALPH stands, C.)
LINCOLN, at that instant, rushes in, L.; seizes RALPH by the throat.
Lin. Gray-headed wretch! fulfil thy vow! Instantly bring me to him, or I'll tear out thy perjured heart!
CECIL rushes in, R. H.
Cecil. Lionel, hold off those unnatural hands! they are raised against thy father!.
(Shouts and flourish. CECIL kneels at the R. of RALPH; LIONEL at his L.; RALPH, standing in the C. of stage, spreads his arms over LINCOLN and CECIL, in an attitude of benediction; at the same time JOB rushes in, R., and kneels beside NAB, R. C.; POLWARTH descends the pass, eating the leg of a chicken; at the same time MIKE enters, L., and SETH, R., in front, and the citizens in the rear; SETH bearing a banner inscribed "The Cradle," and MIKE another banner inscribed "Liberty." Shouts and flourish.)
British soldiers on the hill, dead.
CITIZENS. DOOLITTLE. POLWARTH. MILITIA. CITIZENS.
JOB. NAB, dead. RALPH. CITIZENS.
SETH, with banner, MIKE MAINSAIL, with banner.
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