Page images

Now terror seiz'd her quaking frame:

For, where the path was bare,
The trotting ghost kept on the same!

She mutter'd many a prayer.

Yet once again, amidst her fright,

She tried what sight could do ; When through the cheating glooms of night

A MONSTER stood in view.
Regardless of whate'er she felt,

It follow'd down the plain !
She own'd her sins, and down she knelt,

And said her prayers again.

Then on she sped; and hope grew strong,

The white park gate in view; Which pushing hard, so long it swung

That ghost and all pass'd through.

Loud fell the gate against the post!

Her heart-strings like to crack: For much she feard the grisly ghost

Would leap upon her back.

Still on, pat, pat, the goblin went,

As it had done before;
Her strength and resolution spent,

She fainted at the door.

Out came her husband, much surpris'd :

Out came her daughter dear; Good-natur'd souls ! all unadvis'd

Of what they had to fear.

The candle's gleam pierc'd through the night,

Some short space o'er the green ; And there the little trotting sprite

Distinctly might be seen.

An ass's foal had lost its dam

Within the spacious park;
And, simple as the playful lamb,

Had follow'd in the dark.

No goblin he; no imp of sin :

No crimes had ever known.
They took the shaggy stranger in,

And reard him as their own.

His little hoofs would rattle round

Upon the cottage floor;
The matron learn'd to love the sound

That frightened here before.

A favorite the ghost became ;

And 'twas his fate to thrive :
And long he liv'd, and spread his fame,

And kept the joke alive.

For many a laugh went through the vale,

And some conviction too :-
Each thought some other goblin tale,

Perhaps, was just as true.



Sir Philip. Come hither. I believe you hold a farm of mine.

Ashfield. Eees, zur, I do, at your zarvice.
Sir P. I hope a profitable one.

Ash. Zometimes it be, zur. But thic year it be all t'other way, as 'twur; but I do hope, as our landlords have a tightish big lump of the good, they 'll be so kind-hearted as to take a little bit of the bad.

Sir P. It is but reasonable. I conclude, then, you are in

my debt.

[ocr errors]


Ash. Eees, zur, I be; at your zarvice.
Sir P. How much?

Ash. I do owe ye a hundred and fifty pounds; at your zarvice.

Sir P. Which you can't pay.
Ash. Not a varthing, zur; at you zarvice.
Sir. P. Well, I am willing to allow you every indulgence.

Ash. Be you, zur? that be deadly kind. Dear heart ! -it will make my auld dame quite young again, and I don't think helping a poor man will do your honor's health any harm; I don't, indeed, zur. I had thought of speaking to your worship about it; but then, thinks I, the gentleman mayhap be one of those that do like to do a good turn, and not have a word zaid about it : zo zur,


had not mentioned what I owed

you, I am zure I never should ; should not, indeed, Sir. P. Nay, I will wholly acquit you of the debt, on condition

Ash. Eees, zur.

Sir. P. On condition, I say, that you instantly turn out that boy—that Henry. Ash. Turn out Henry! Ha, ha, ha! Excuse my tittering,

you bees making your vun of I, zure. Sir. P. I am not apt to trifle : send him instantly from you, or take the consequences.

Ash. Turn out Henry! I do vow I shouldn't know how to set about it; I should not, indeed, zur.

Sir. P. You hear my determination. If you disobey, you know what will follow. I'll leave you to reflect on it. (Exit.)

Ash. Well, zur, I'll argify the topic, and then you may wait upon me, and I'll tell ye. (Makes the motion of turning out.) I should be deadly awkward at it, vor zartin. However, I'll put the case. Well! I goes wbiztling whoam; noa, drabbit it! I shouldn't be able to whiztle a bit, I'm zure. Well! I goes whoam, and I zees Henry zitting by my wife, mixing up someit to comfort the auld zoul, and take away the

zur; but

to you.

pain of her rheumatics. Very well! Then Henry places a chair vor I by the vire-side and zays—“ Varmer, the horses be fed, the sheep be volded, and you have nothing to do but to zit down, smoke your pipe, and be happy”! Very well ! (Becomes affected.) Then I zays, "Henry, you be poor and friendless; zo you must turn out of my house directly." Very well! Then my wife stares at I; reaches her hand towards the vire-place and throws the poker at my head. Very well! Then Henry gives a kind of auguish shake, and getting up, sighs from the bottom of his heart; then, holding up his head like a king, zays, “ Varmer, I have too long been a burden

Heaven protect you, as you have me. Farewell! I go.” Then I zays, “ If thee doez, I'll be smashed.” (With great energy.) Hollo! you Mister Sir Philip! you may come in

(Enter Sir Philip Blanford.) Zur, I have argified the topic, and it wouldn't be pretty; zo I can't.

Sir. P. Can't ?
Ash. Well, zur, there is but another word: I won't.
Sir P. Indeed !

Ash. No, zur, I won't. I'd see myself hanged virst, and you too, zur! I would, indeed. (Bowing.)

Sir. P. You refuse, then, to obey ?
Ash. I do, zur ; at your zarvice. (Bowing.)
Sir P. Then the law must take its course.

Ash. I be zorry for that, too. I be, indeed, zur ; but if corn wouldn't grow, I couldn't help it: it weren't poisoned by the hand that zowed it. Thic hand, zur, be as free from guilt as your own. Good morning to you. I do hope I have made myself agreeable; and zo I'll go whoam. (Exeunt)



P. Henry. Welcome, Jack. Where hast thou been?

Falstaff A plague on all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too!

marry and amen! (To an attendant.) Give me a cup of sack, boy. Ere I lead this life long, I'll sew nethersocks, and mend them, and foot them too. A plague on all cowards: -Give me a cup of sack, rogue. Is there no virtue extant? (Drains the cup.) You rogue, here 's lime in this sack, too. There is nothing but roguery to be found in villanous man ! Yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it; a villanous coward. Go thy ways, old Jack; die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the face of the earth, then I am a shotten herring. There live not three good men unhanged in England; and one of them is fat, and grown old,-a bad world, I say! A plague on all cowards, I

say still !


P. Henry. How now, wool-sack ? what mutter you?

Fal. A king's son! If I do not beat thee out of thy kingdom with a dagger of lath, and drive all thy subjects afore thee like a flock of wild geese, I 'll never wear hair on my face

You-Prince of Wales
P. Henry. Why, what's the matter ?
Fal. Are you not a coward ? answer me that.

P. Henry. Ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward, I'll stab thee.

Fal. I call the coward? I'll see the hanged ere I call thee coward; but I would give a thousand pound, I could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight enough in the shoulders, you care not who sees your back. Call you that, backing of your friends ? A plague upon such backing! give me them that will face me. Give me a cup of sack :-I am a rogue, if I have drunk to-day.

P. Henry. Oh villain! thy lips are scarce wiped since thou drankst last.

« PreviousContinue »