HotFreeBooks.com
She Would Be a Soldier - The Plains of Chippewa
by Mordecai Manuel Noah
1  2     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

TRANSCRIBERS' NOTES

Spelling as in the original has been preserved.



SHE WOULD BE A SOLDIER

By M. M. NOAH



MORDECAI MANUEL NOAH

(1785-1851)

Mr. Noah was born in Philadelphia, July 19, 1785, the son of Portuguese Jewish descent, it being stated by some sources that his father not only fought in the Revolutionary Army, but was a sufficient friend of George Washington to have the latter attend his wedding. In his early years, he was apprenticed, according to the custom of the day, to a carver and gilder, but he spent most of his evenings in the Franklin Library and at the theatre, likewise attending school in his spare time, where, among the pupils, he met John and Steven Decatur, famed afterwards in the history of the American Navy. He filled a minor position in the Auditor's office in Philadelphia, but his tastes inclined more to journalistic than they did to desk work, and, in 1800, he travelled to Harrisburg as a political reporter.

Several years after this, he went to Charleston, and studied law, but before he had had a chance to practise, he became the editor of the Charleston City Gazette, and, advocating those principles which resulted in the War of 1812, he used his pen, under the pseudonym of Muley Molack, to disseminate those ideas in editorials. The consequence is he encouraged much hatred, and was forced into many duels to support his opinions. In 1811, he was offered the position of Consul at Riga by President Madison, but declined. In 1813, he was sent by Mr. Monroe, as Consul, to Tunis, at a time when the United States was having trouble with Algerian piracy.

During all this period, his pen was actively busy, and while he was abroad he did much travelling which resulted, in 1819, in his publishing a book of travels.

In 1816, he returned to New York, and settled there as a journalist. Being a Tammanyite in politics, we find him filling the position of Sheriff, Judge and Surveyor of the Port at various periods. He was, likewise, an editor of some skill, and his name is associated with the columns of the New York Enquirer, the Evening Star, the Commercial Advertiser, the Union, and the Times and Messenger.

His political career may be measured in the following manner:

In 1821 he became Sheriff. In 1823, he was admitted to the bar of New York, and in 1829 to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. This same year he was appointed Surveyor of the Port of New York.

Entering very prominently in politics, he opposed the election of Van Buren, and gave his vote to General Harrison. Governor Seward appointed him, in 1841, Judge of the Court of Sessions. The same year he was made a Supreme Court Commissioner.

It was in 1825 that, as one of the early Zionists of America, he entered into negotiations for the purchase of nearly three thousand acres of land on Grand Island, in New York State, where it was his dream to establish the City of Ararat, a haven of Judaism in this country. This venture became the basis for a story by Israel Zangwill, called "Noah's Ark." He died in New York on March 22, 1851, having lived in that city since 1813.

Any full Bibliography will give a sufficient idea of the scope of Major Noah's pen. He lived at a time when American Letters were beginning to develop, himself a friend of most of the literary figures of the day—Cooper, Irving, Fitz-Green Halleck and others. And we have an excellent impression of the manner in which the younger literary men regarded the authority of Noah in the "Reminiscences" of J. T. Trowbridge:

"Come with me," he [Mr. Noah] said, putting on his hat; and we went out together, I with my roll of manuscript, he with his stout cane. Even if I had been unaware of the fact, I should very soon have discovered that I was in company with an important personage. Everybody observed him, and it seemed as if every third or fourth man we met gave him a respectful salute. He continued his friendly talk with me in a way that relieved me of all sense of my own insignificance in the shadow of his celebrity and august proportions.

As far as his theatrical association is concerned, we can have no better source of information than a letter written by Noah to William Dunlap, and published in the latter's "History of the American Theatre." It is quoted in full:

New-York, July 11, 1832.

To William Dunlap, Esq., Dear Sir:

I am happy to hear that your work on the American Drama is in press, and trust that you may realize from it that harvest of fame and money to which your untiring industry and diversified labours give you an eminent claim. You desire me to furnish you a list of my dramatic productions; it will, my dear sir, constitute a sorry link in the chain of American writers—my plays have all been ad captandum: a kind of amateur performance, with no claim to the character of a settled, regular, or domiciliated writer for the green-room—a sort of volunteer supernumerary—a dramatic writer by "particular desire, and for this night only," as they say in the bills of the play; my "line," as you well know, has been in the more rugged paths of politics, a line in which there is more fact than poetry, more feeling than fiction; in which, to be sure, there are "exits and entrances"—where the "prompter's whistle" is constantly heard in the voice of the people; but which, in our popular government, almost disqualifies us for the more soft and agreeable translation to the lofty conceptions of tragedy, the pure diction of genteel comedy, or the wit, gaiety, and humour of broad farce.

I had an early hankering for the national drama, a kind of juvenile patriotism, which burst forth, for the first time, in a few sorry doggerels in the form of a prologue to a play, which a Thespian company, of which I was a member, produced in the South-Street Theatre—the old American Theatre in Philadelphia. The idea was probably suggested by the sign of the Federal Convention at the tavern opposite the theatre. You, no doubt, remember the picture and the motto: an excellent piece of painting of the kind, representing a group of venerable personages engaged in public discussions, with the following distich:

"These thirty-eight great men have signed a powerful deed, That better times, to us, shall very soon succeed."

The sign must have been painted soon after the adoption of the Federation Constitution, and I remember to have stood "many a time and oft," gazing, when a boy, at the assembled patriots, particularly the venerable head and spectacles of Dr. Franklin, always in conspicuous relief. In our Thespian corps, the honour of cutting the plays, substituting new passages, casting parts, and writing couplets at the exits, was divided between myself and a fellow of infinite wit and humour, by the name of Helmbold; who subsequently became the editor of a scandalous little paper, called The Tickler: He was a rare rascal, perpetrated all kind of calumnies, was constantly mulcted in fines, sometimes imprisoned, was full of faults, which were forgotten in his conversational qualities and dry sallies of genuine wit, particularly his Dutch stories. After years of singular vicissitudes, Helmbold joined the army as a common soldier, fought bravely during the late war, obtained a commission, and died. Our little company soon dwindled away; the expenses were too heavy for our pockets; our writings and performances were sufficiently wretched, but as the audience was admitted without cost, they were too polite to express any disapprobation. We recorded all our doings in a little weekly paper, published, I believe, by Jemmy Riddle, at the corner of Chestnut and Third-Street, opposite the tavern kept by that sturdy old democrat, Israel Israel.

From a boy, I was a regular attendant of the Chestnut-Street Theatre, during the management of Wignell and Reinagle, and made great efforts to compass the purchase of a season ticket, which I obtained generally of the treasurer, George Davis, for eighteen dollars. Our habits through life are frequently governed and directed by our early steps. I seldom missed a night; and always retired to bed, after witnessing a good play, gratified and improved: and thus, probably, escaped the haunts of taverns, and the pursuits of depraved pleasures, which too frequently allure and destroy our young men; hence I was always the firm friend of the drama, and had an undoubted right to oppose my example through life to the horror and hostility expressed by sectarians to plays and play-houses generally. Independent of several of your plays which had obtained possession of the stage, and were duly incorporated in the legitimate drama, the first call to support the productions of a fellow townsman, was, I think, Barker's opera of The Indian Princess. Charles Ingersoll had previously written a tragedy, a very able production for a very young man, which was supported by all the "good society;" but Barker, who was "one of us," an amiable and intelligent young fellow, who owed nothing to hereditary rank, though his father was a Whig, and a soldier of the Revolution, was in reality a fine spirited poet, a patriotic ode writer, and finally a gallant soldier of the late war. The managers gave Barker an excellent chance with all his plays, and he had merit and popularity to give them in return full houses.

About this time, I ventured to attempt a little melo-drama, under the title of "The Fortress of Sorrento" [1808], which, not having money enough to pay for printing, nor sufficient influence to have acted, I thrust the manuscript in my pocket, and, having occasion to visit New-York, I called in at David Longworth's Dramatic Repository one day, spoke of the little piece, and struck a bargain with him, by giving him the manuscript in return for a copy of every play he had published, which at once furnished me with a tolerably large dramatic collection. I believe the play never was performed, and I was almost ashamed to own it; but it was my first regular attempt at dramatic composition.

In the year 1812, while in Charleston, Mr. Young requested me to write a piece for his wife's benefit. You remember her, no doubt; remarkable as she was for her personal beauty and amiable deportment, it would have been very ungallant to have refused, particularly as he requested that it should be a "breeches part," to use a green-room term, though she was equally attractive in every character. Poor Mrs. Young! she died last year in Philadelphia. When she first arrived in New-York, from London, it was difficult to conceive a more perfect beauty; her complexion was of dazzling whiteness, her golden hair and ruddy complexion, figure somewhat embonpoint, and graceful carriage, made her a great favourite. I soon produced the little piece, which was called "Paul and Alexis; or, the Orphans of the Rhine." I was, at that period, a very active politician, and my political opponents did me the honour to go to the theatre the night it was performed, for the purpose of hissing it, which was not attempted until the curtain fell, and the piece was successful. After three years' absence in Europe and Africa, I saw the same piece performed at the Park, under the title of "The Wandering Boys,"[1] which even now holds possession of the stage. It seems Mr. Young sent the manuscript to London, where the title was changed, and the bantling cut up, altered, and considerably improved.

About this time, John Miller, the American bookseller in London, paid us a visit. Among the passengers in the same ship was a fine English girl of great talent and promise, Miss Leesugg, afterwards Mrs. Hackett. She was engaged at the Park as a singer, and Phillips, who was here about the same period fulfilling a most successful engagement, was decided and unqualified in his admiration of her talent. Every one took an interest in her success: she was gay, kind-hearted, and popular, always in excellent spirits, and always perfect. Anxious for her success, I ventured to write a play for her benefit, and in three days finished the patriotic piece of "She Would be a Soldier; or, the Battle of Chippewa,"[2] which, I was happy to find, produced her an excellent house. Mrs. Hackett retired from the stage after her marriage, and lost six or seven years of profitable and unrivalled engagement.[3]

After this play, I became in a manner domiciliated in the green-room. My friends, Price and Simpson, who had always been exceedingly kind and liberal, allowed me to stray about the premises like one of the family, and, always anxious for their success, I ventured upon another attempt for a holy-day occasion, and produced "Marion; or, the Hero of Lake George." It was played on the 25th of November, Evacuation day [1821], and I bustled about among my military friends, to raise a party in support of a military play, and what with generals, staff-officers, rank and file, the Park Theatre was so crammed, that not a word of the play was heard, which was a very fortunate affair for the author. The managers presented me with a pair of handsome silver pitchers, which I still retain as a memento of their good-will and friendly consideration. You must bear in mind that while I was thus employed in occasional attempts at play-writing, I was engaged in editing a daily journal, and in all the fierce contests of political strife: I had, therefore, but little time to devote to all that study and reflection so essential to the success of dramatic composition.

My next piece, I believe, was written for the benefit of a relative and friend, who wanted something to bring a house; and as the struggle for liberty in Greece was at that period the prevailing excitement, I finished the melodrama of the Grecian Captive, which was brought out with all the advantages of good scenery and music [June 17, 1822]. As a "good house" was of more consequence to the actor than fame to the author, it was resolved that the hero of the piece should make his appearance on an elephant, and the heroine on a camel, which were procured from a neighbouring menagerie, and the tout ensemble was sufficiently imposing, only it happened that the huge elephant, in shaking his skin, so rocked the castle on his back, that the Grecian general nearly lost his balance, and was in imminent danger of coming down from his "high estate," to the infinite merriment of the audience. On this occasion, to use another significant phrase, a "gag" was hit upon of a new character altogether. The play was printed, and each auditor was presented with a copy gratis, as he entered the house. Figure to yourself a thousand people in a theatre, each with a book of the play in hand—imagine the turning over a thousand leaves simultaneously, the buzz and fluttering it produced, and you will readily believe that the actors entirely forgot their parts, and even the equanimity of the elephant and camel were essentially disturbed.

My last appearance, as a dramatic writer, was in another national piece, called "The Siege of Tripoli," which the managers persuaded me to bring out for my own benefit, being my first attempt to derive any profit from dramatic efforts. The piece was elegantly got up—the house crowded with beauty and fashion—everything went off in the happiest manner; when, a short time after the audience had retired, the Park Theatre was discovered to be on fire, and in a short time was a heap of ruins. This conflagration burnt out all my dramatic fire and energy, since which I have been, as you well know, peaceably employed in settling the affairs of the nations, and mildly engaged in the political differences and disagreements which are so fruitful in our great state.

I still, however, retain a warm interest for the success of the drama, and all who are entitled to success engaged in sustaining it, and to none greater than to yourself, who have done more, in actual labour and successful efforts, than any man in America. That you may realize all you have promised yourself, and all that you are richly entitled to, is the sincere wish of

Dear sir, Your friend and servant, M. M. NOAH.

Wm. Dunlap, Esq.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] John Kerr wrote "The Wandering Boys; or, The Castle of Olival" (1823), which Dr. Atkinson believes was taken from the same French source as Noah's piece.

[2] She Would Be A Soldier,/or the/Plains of Chippewa;/An Historical Drama,/In Three Acts./By M. M. Noah./Performed for the first time on the 21st/of June, 1819./ New-York:/Published at Longworth's Dramatic Repository./Shakspeare Gallery./ G. L. Birch & Co. Printers./1819./[At one time, Edwin Forrest played the Indian in this piece.]

[3] Catherine Leesugg married James H. Hackett, the American actor, in 1819. As early as 1805, some critics in England spoke of her as the Infant Roscius. Of her, the newspaper versifier proclaimed:

"There's sweet Miss Leesugg—by-the-by, she's not pretty, She's a little too large, and has not too much grace, Yet there's something about her so witching and witty, 'Tis pleasure to gaze on her good-humoured face."



PREFACE

The following dramatic bagatelle was written in a few days, and its reception, under every circumstance, far exceeded its merits. I had no idea of printing it, until urged to do so by some friends connected with theatres, who, probably, were desirous of using it without incurring the expense of transcribing from the original manuscript. Writing plays is not my "vocation;" and even if the mania was to seize me, I should have to contend with powerful obstacles, and very stubborn prejudices; to be sure, these, in time, might be removed, but I have no idea of being the first to descend into the arena, and become a gladiator for the American Drama. These prejudices against native productions, however they may be deplored as impugning native genius, are nevertheless very natural. An American audience, I have no doubt, would be highly pleased with an American play, if the performance afforded as much gratification as a good English one; but they pay their money to be pleased, and if we cannot afford pleasure, we have no prescriptive right to ask for approbation. In England, writing of plays is a profession, by which much money is made if the plays succeed; hence a dramatic author goes to work, secundum artem.—He employs all his faculties, exhausts all his resources, devotes his whole time, capacity and ingenuity to the work in hand; the hope of reward stimulates him—the love of fame urges him on—the opposition of rivals animates his exertions—and the expectation of applause sweetens his labours—and yet, nine times out of ten, he fails. Mr. Dunlap, of this city, has written volumes of plays, and written well, "excellent well," but he made nothing; nay, he hardly obtained that civic wreath which he fairly earned. Barker, of Philadelphia, whose muse is the most delicate and enticing, has hung up his harp, which, I dare say, is covered with dust and cobwebs; and even Harby, of Charleston, whose talents are of the finest order, and who is a bold yet chaste poet, gained but little profit and applause from his labours. We must not expect, therefore, more encouragement for the American Drama than may be sufficient to urge us on. We will succeed in time, as well as the English, because we have the same language, and equal intellect; but there must be system and discipline in writing plays—a knowledge of stage effect—of sound, cadences, fitness of time and place, interest of plot, spirit of delineation, nature, poetry, and a hundred et ceteras, which are required, to constitute a good dramatic poet, who cannot, in this country, and while occupied in other pursuits, spring up over night like asparagus, or be watered and put in the sun, like a geranium in a flower pot.

I wrote this play in order to promote the benefit of a performer who possesses talent, and I have no objections to write another for any deserving object. New plays, in this country, are generally performed, for the first time, as anonymous productions: I did not withhold my name from this, because I knew that my friends would go and see it performed, with the hope of being pleased, and my opponents would go with other motives, so that between the two parties a good house would be the result. This was actually the case, and two performances produced nearly $2,400; I hope this may encourage Americans of more talent to attempt something.

National plays should be encouraged. They have done everything for the British nation, and can do much for us; they keep alive the recollection of important events, by representing them in a manner at once natural and alluring. We have a fine scope, and abundant materials to work with, and a noble country to justify the attempt. The "Battle of Chippewa" was selected, because it was the most neat and spirited battle fought during the late war, and I wish I was able to do it more justice.

N.

New-York, July, 1819.



DRAMATIS PERSONAE[4]

GENERAL, Mr. Graham. JASPER, Mr. Robertson. LENOX, Mr. Pritchard. HON. CAPTAIN PENDRAGON, Mr. Simpson. JERRY, Mr. Barnes. LAROLE, Mr. Spiller. JENKINS, Mr. Johnson. INDIAN CHIEF, Mr. Maywood. 1ST OFFICER, Mr. Bancker. SOLDIER, Mr. Nexsen. WAITER, Mr. Oliff. JAILOR, Mr. Baldwin.

Soldiers, Peasants, Indians, &c.

CHRISTINE, Miss Leesugg. ADELA, Miss Johnson. MAID, Mrs. Wheatley.

Peasant Women, &c.

FOOTNOTES:

[4] In Dr. Atkinson's copy of this play, the following cast is given: as a note, in the handwriting of Henry Wallack:

PHILADELPHIA, 1819.

GENERAL, Hughes. JASPER, —— LENOX, Darley, John, Jr. PENDRAGON, Wood, William. JERRY, Jefferson, Joseph. LAROLE, Blissett, Francis. CHIEF, Wallack, Henry. CHRISTINE, Darley, Mrs. John (Miss E. Westray). ADELA, Wood, Mrs. Wm. (Miss J. Westray).



SHE WOULD BE A SOLDIER,

or; the

PLAINS OF CHIPPEWA



ACT I.

SCENE I. A Valley with a neat Cottage on the right, an Arbour on the left, and picturesque Mountains at a distance.

Enter from the cottage, JASPER and JENKINS.

JENKINS. And so, neighbour, you are not then a native of this village?

JASPER. I am not, my friend; my story is short, and you shall hear it. It was my luck, call it bad or good, to be born in France, in the town of Castlenaudary, where my parents, good honest peasants, cultivated a small farm on the borders of the canal of Midi. I was useful, though young; we were well enough to live, and I received from the parish school a good education, was taught to love my country, my parents, and my friends; a happy temper, a common advantage in my country, made all things easy to me; I never looked for to-morrow to bring me more joy than I experienced to-day.

JENKINS. Pardon my curiosity, friend Jasper: how came you to leave your country, when neither want nor misfortune visited your humble dwelling?

JASPER. Novelty, a desire for change, an ardent disposition to visit foreign countries. Passing through the streets of Toulouse one bright morning in spring, the lively drum and fife broke on my ear, as I was counting my gains from a day's marketing. A company of soldiers neatly dressed, with white cockades, passed me with a brisk step; I followed them through instinct—the sergeant informed me that they were on their way to Bordeaux, from thence to embark for America, to aid the cause of liberty in the new world, and were commanded by the Marquis de la Fayette. That name was familiar to me; La Fayette was a patriot—I felt like a patriot, and joined the ranks immediately.

JENKINS. Well, you enlisted and left your country?

JASPER. I did. We had a boisterous passage to America, and endured many hardships during the revolution. I was wounded at Yorktown, which long disabled me, but what then? I served under great men, and for a great cause; I saw the independence of the thirteen states acknowledged, I was promoted to a sergeancy by the great Washington, and I sheathed my sword, with the honest pride of knowing, that I had aided in establishing a powerful and happy republic.

JENKINS. You did well, honest Jasper, you did well; and now you have the satisfaction of seeing your country still free and happy.

JASPER. I have, indeed. When the army was disbanded, I travelled on foot to explore the uncultivated territory which I had assisted in liberating. I purchased a piece of land near the great lakes, and with my axe levelled the mighty oaks, cleared my meadows, burnt out the wolves and bears, and then built that cottage there.

JENKINS. And thus became a settler and my neighbour; thanks to the drum and fife and the white cockade, that lured you from your home.

JASPER. In a short time, Jenkins, everything flourished; my cottage was neat, my cattle thriving, still I wanted something—it was a wife. I was tired of a solitary life, and married Kate, the miller's daughter; you knew her.

JENKINS. Ay, that I did; she was a pretty lass.

JASPER. She was a good wife—ever cheerful and industrious, and made me happy: poor Kate! I was without children for several years; at length my Christine was born, and I have endeavoured, in cultivating her mind, and advancing her happiness, to console myself for the loss of her mother.

JENKINS. Where is Christine? where is your daughter, neighbour Jasper?

JASPER. She left the cottage early this morning with Lenox, to climb the mountains and see the sun rise; it is time for them to return to breakfast.

JENKINS. Who is this Mr. Lenox?

JASPER. An honest lieutenant of infantry, with a gallant spirit and a warm heart. He was wounded at Niagara, and one stormy night, he presented himself at our cottage door, pale and haggard. His arm had been shattered by a ball, and he had received a flesh wound from a bayonet: we took him in—for an old soldier never closes his door on a wounded comrade—Christine nursed him, and he soon recovered. But I wish they were here—it is growing late: besides, this is a busy day, friend Jenkins.

JENKINS. Ah, how so?

JASPER. You know Jerry Mayflower, the wealthy farmer; he has offered to marry my Christine. Girls must not remain single if they can get husbands, and I have consented to the match, and he will be here to-day to claim her hand.

JENKINS. But will Christine marry Jerry? She has been too well educated for the honest farmer.

JASPER. Oh, she may make a few wry faces, as she does when swallowing magnesia, but the dose will go down. There is some credit due to a wife who improves the intellect of her husband; aye, and there is some pride in it also. Girls should marry. Matrimony is like an old oak; age gives durability to the trunk, skill trims the branches, and affection keeps the foliage ever green. But come, let us in.

[JASPER and JENKINS enter the cottage.

Pastoral Music.—LENOX and CHRISTINE are seen winding down the mountains—his left arm is in a sling.

CHRISTINE. At last we are at home.—O my breath is nearly gone. You soldiers are so accustomed to marching and countermarching, that you drag me over hedge and briar, like an empty baggage-wagon. Look at my arm, young Mars, you've made it as red as pink, and as rough as—then my hand—don't attempt to kiss it, you—wild man of the woods.

LENOX. Nay, dear Christine, be not offended; if I have passed rapidly over rocks and mountains, it is because you were with me. My heart ever feels light and happy when I am permitted to walk with you; even the air seems newly perfumed, and the birds chaunt more melodiously; and see, I can take my arm out of confinement—your care has done this; your voice administered comfort, and your eyes affection. What do I not owe you?

CHRISTINE. Owe me? Nothing, only one of your best bows, and your prettiest compliments. But I do suspect, my serious cavalier, that your wounds were never as bad as you would have me think. Of late you have taken your recipes with so much grace, have swallowed so many bitter tinctures with a playful smile, that I believe you've been playing the invalid, and would make me your nurse for life—O sinner as you are, what have you to say for yourself?

LENOX. Why, I confess, dear Christine, that my time has passed with so much delight, that even the call of duty will find me reluctant to quit these scenes, so dear to memory, hospitality, and, let me add, to love. Be serious, then, dear Christine, and tell me what I have to hope; even now I expect orders from my commanding officer, requiring my immediate presence at the camp; we are on the eve of a battle—Speak!

CHRISTINE. Why, you soldiers are such fickle game, that if we once entangle you in the net, 'tis ten to one but the sight of a new face will be sufficiently tempting to break the mesh—you're just as true as the smoke of your cannon, and you fly off at the sight of novelty in petticoats, like one of your Congreve rockets—No, I won't love a soldier—that's certain.

LENOX. Nay, where is our reward then for deserving well of our country? Gratitude may wreath a chaplet of laurel, but trust me, Christine, it withers unless consecrated by beauty.

CHRISTINE. Well, that's a very pretty speech, and deserves one of my best courtesies. Now suppose I should marry you, my "dear ally Croaker," I shall expect to see myself placed on the summit of a baggage-wagon, with soldiers' wives and a few dear squalling brats, whose musical tones drown e'en the "squeaking of the wry-neck'd fife;" and if I should escape from the enemy at the close of a battle, I should be compelled to be ever ready, and "pack up my tatters and follow the drum."—No, no, I can't think of it.

LENOX. Prithee, be serious, dear Christine, your gaiety alarms me. Can you permit me to leave you without a sigh? Can I depart from that dear cottage and rush to battle without having the assurance that there is a heart within which beats in unison with mine? a heart which can participate in my glory, and sympathize in my misfortunes?

CHRISTINE. No—not so, Lenox; your glory is dear to me, your happiness my anxious wish. I have seen you bear pain like a soldier, and misfortune like a man. I am myself a soldier's daughter, and believe me, when I tell you, that under the appearance of gaiety, my spirits are deeply depressed at your approaching departure. I have been taught, by a brave father, to love glory when combined with virtue. There is my hand;—be constant, and I am ever your friend; be true, and you shall find me ever faithful.

LENOX. Thanks—a thousand thanks, beloved Christine; you have removed a mountain of doubts and anxious wishes from my heart: I did hope for this reward, though it was a daring one. Love and honour must now inspire me, and should we again be triumphant in battle, I shall return to claim the reward of constancy—a reward dearer than thrones—the heart of a lovely and virtuous woman.

CHRISTINE. Enough, dear Lenox; I shall never doubt your faith. But come, let us in to breakfast—stay—my knight of the rueful countenance, where is the portrait which you have been sketching of me? Let me look at your progress.

LENOX. 'Tis here. [Gives a small drawing book.

CHRISTINE. [Opening it.] Heavens, how unlike! Why Lenox, you were dreaming of the Venus de Medici when you drew this—Oh, you flatterer!

LENOX. Nay, 'tis not finished; now stand there, while I sketch the drapery.—[Places her at a distance, takes out a pencil, and works at the drawing.]

CHRISTINE. Why, what a statue you are making of me. Pray, why not make a picture of it at once? Place me in that bower, with a lute and a lap dog, sighing for your return; then draw a soldier disguised as a pilgrim, leaning on his staff, and his cowl thrown back; let that pilgrim resemble thee, and then let the little dog bark, and I fainting, and there's a subject for the pencil and pallet.

LENOX. Sing, dear Christine, while I finish the drawing—it may be the last time I shall ever hear you.

CHRISTINE. Oh, do not say so, my gloomy cavalier; a soldier, and despair?

THE KNIGHT ERRANT.

Written by the late Queen of Holland.

It was Dunois, the young and brave, was bound to Palestine, But first he made his orisons before St. Mary's shrine: And grant, immortal Queen of Heav'n, was still the soldier's prayer, That I may prove the bravest knight, and love the fairest fair.

His oath of honour on the shrine he grav'd it with his sword, And follow'd to the Holy Land the banner of his Lord; Where, faithful to his noble vow, his war-cry fill'd the air— Be honour'd, aye, the bravest knight, beloved the fairest fair.

They ow'd the conquest to his arm, and then his liege lord said, The heart that has for honour beat must be by bliss repaid: My daughter Isabel and thou shall be a wedded pair, For thou art bravest of the brave, she fairest of the fair.

And then they bound the holy knot before St. Mary's shrine, Which makes a paradise on earth when hearts and hands combine; And every lord and lady bright that was in chapel there, Cry'd, Honour'd be the bravest knight, belov'd the fairest fair.

LENOX. There, 'tis finished—how do you like it?

CHRISTINE. Why, so, so—if you wish something to remind you of me, it will do.

LENOX. No, not so; your image is too forcibly impressed here to need so dull a monitor. But I ask it to reciprocate—wear this for my sake [Gives a miniature.], and think of him who, even in the battle's rage, will not forget thee. [Bugle sounds at a distance.] Hark! 'tis a bugle of our army. [Enter a SOLDIER, who delivers a letter to LENOX and retires—LENOX opens and reads it.]

"The enemy, in force, has thrown up entrenchments near Chippewa; if your wounds will permit, join your corps without delay—a battle is unavoidable, and I wish you to share the glory of a victory. You have been promoted as an aid to the general for your gallantry in the last affair. It gives me pleasure to be the first who announces this grateful reward—lose not a moment.

Your friend, MANDEVILLE."

I must be gone immediately.

Enter JASPER and JENKINS from the cottage.

JASPER. Ah! Lenox, my boy, good morning to you. Why Christine, you have had a long ramble with the invalid.

CHRISTINE. Lenox leaves us immediately, dear father; the army is on the march.

JASPER. Well, he goes in good time, and may success attend him. Ods my life, when I was young, the sound of the drum and fife was like the music of the spheres, and the noise and bustle of a battle was more cheering to me, than "the hunter's horn in the morning." You will not forget us, Lenox, will you?

LENOX. Forget ye? Never—I should be the most ungrateful of men, could I forget that endearing attention which poured oil into my wounds, and comforted the heart of a desponding and mutilated soldier. No, Jasper, no; while life remains, yourself and daughter shall never cease to live in my grateful remembrance.

[CHRISTINE and LENOX enter the cottage.

Pastoral Music.—Peasants are seen winding down the mountains, headed by JERRY, dressed for a festive occasion, with white favours, nosegays, &c.

JERRY. Here I am, farmer Jasper—come to claim Miss Crissy as my wife, according to your promise, and have brought all my neighbours. How do you do?

JASPER. Well—quite well—and these are all your neighbours?

JERRY. Yes—there's Bob Short, the tanner; Nick Anvil, the blacksmith; Patty, the weaver's daughter—and the rest of 'em; come here, Patty, make a curtchey to the old soger—[PATTY comes forward.]—a pretty girl! I could have had her, but she wanted edication—she wanted the airs and graces, as our schoolmaster says.

JASPER. Well, farmer, you are an honest man, but I fear my Christine will not approve this match, commenced without her advice, and concluded without her consent. Then her education has been so different from—

JERRY. O, fiddle-de-dee, I don't mind how larned she is, so much the better—she can teach me to parlyvoo, and dance solos and duets, and such elegant things, when I've done ploughing.

JASPER. But I'm not sure that she will like you.

JERRY. Not like me? Come, that's a good one; only look at my movements—why she can't resist me. I'm the boy for a race, for an apple-paring or quilting frolic—fight a cock, hunt an opossum, or snare a partridge with any one.—Then I'm a squire, and a county judge, and a brevet ossifer in the militia besides; and a devil of a fellow at an election to boot. Not have me? damme, that's an insult. Besides, sergeant Jasper, I've been to the wars since I've seen ye—got experience, laurels and lilies, and all them there things.

JASPER. Indeed!

JERRY. Yes—sarved a campaign, and was at the battle of Queenstown. What do you think of that?

JASPER. And did you share in the glory of that spirited battle?

JERRY. O yes, I shared in all the glory—that is—I didn't fight. I'll tell you how it was: I marched at the head of my village sogers, straight as the peacock in my farm yard, and I had some of the finest lads in our county, with rifles—well, we march'd and camp'd, and camp'd and march'd, and were as merry as grigs until we arrived at the river: half the troops had cross'd and were fighting away like young devils: ods life, what a smoke! what a popping of small arms, and roaring of big ones! and what a power of red coats!

JASPER. Well, and you panted to be at them? clubb'd your rifles, and dashed over?

JERRY. Oh no, I didn't—I was afear'd that in such a crowd, nobody would see how I fought, so I didn't cross at all. Besides, some one said, it were contrary to law and the constitution, to go into the enemy's country, but if they com'd into our country, it were perfectly lawful to flog 'em.

JASPER. And you did not cross?

JERRY. Oh no, I stood still and look'd on; it were contrary to the constitution of my country, and my own constitution to boot—so I took my post out of good gun shot, and felt no more fear nor you do now.

JASPER. No doubt. Admirable sophistry, that can shield cowards and traitors, under a mistaken principle of civil government! I've heard of those scruples, which your division felt when in sight of the enemy. Was that a time to talk of constitutions—when part of our gallant army was engaged with unequal numbers? Could you calmly behold your fellow citizens falling on all sides, and not avenge their death? Could you, with arms in your hands, the enemy in view, with the roar of cannon thundering on your ear, and the flag of your country waving amidst fire and smoke—could you find a moment to think of constitutions? Was that a time to pause and suffer coward scruples to unnerve the arm of freemen?

JERRY. Bravo! bravo! sergeant Jasper; that's a very fine speech—I'll vote for you for our assemblyman; now just go that over again, that I may get it by heart for our next town meeting—blazing flags—fiery cannon—smoking constitutions—

JASPER. I pray you pardon me. I am an old soldier, and fought for the liberty which you enjoy, and, therefore, claim some privilege in expressing my opinion. But come, your friends are idle, let us have breakfast before our cottage door.—Ah, Jerry, my Crissy would make a fine soldier's wife: do you know that I have given her a military education?

JERRY. No, surely—

JASPER. Aye, she can crack a bottle at twelve paces with a pistol.

JERRY. Crack a bottle! Come, that's a good one; I can crack a bottle too, but not so far off.

JASPER. And then she can bring down a buck, at any distance.

JERRY. Bring down a buck? I don't like that—can't say as how I like my wife to meddle with bucks. Can she milk—knit garters—make apple butter and maple sugar—dance a reel after midnight, and ride behind her husband on a pony, to see the trainings of our sogers—that's the wife for my money. Oh, here she comes.

Enter CHRISTINE and LENOX from the cottage.

JASPER. Christine, here is farmer Mayflower and his friends, who have come to visit our cottage, and you in particular.

CHRISTINE. They are all welcome. Good morning, Jerry—how is it with you?

JERRY. Purely, Miss Crissy, I'm stout and hearty, and you look as pretty and as rosy as a field of pinks on a sunshiny morning.

JASPER. Come here, farmer—give me your hand—Christine, yours—[Joins them.]—there; may you live long and happy, and my blessings ever go with you.

Christine. [Aside in amazement.] Heavens! what can this mean? [LENOX is agitated—pause—JASPER and group retire—LENOX remains at a distance.]

JERRY. Why, Miss Crissy, your father has consented that I shall marry you, and I've come with my neighbours to have a little frolic, and carry you home with me.

CHRISTINE. And am I of so little moment as not to be consulted? Am I thus to be given away by my father without one anxious question? [With decision.] Farmer, pardon my frankness; on this occasion, sincerity alone is required—I do not like you, I will not marry you—nay, do not look surprised. I am a stranger to falsehood and dissimulation, and thus end at once all hopes of ever becoming my husband.

JERRY. Why, now, Miss Crissy, that's very cruel of you—I always had a sneaking kindness for you, and when your father gave his consent, I didn't dream as how you could refuse me.

CHRISTINE. My father has ever found me dutiful and obedient, but when he bestows my hand, without knowing whether my heart or inclinations accompany it, I feel myself bound to consult my own happiness. I cannot marry you, farmer.

LENOX. [Advancing.] All things are prepared, and I am now about to depart. Christine, farewell! Friends, good fortune await you! [Aside.] Dear Christine, remember me.

[Exit hastily.

JERRY. Lack-a-daisy! What a disappointment to me, when I had put my house in such nice order—painted my walls—got a new chest upon chest—two new bed quilts, and a pair of pumps, and had the pig-sty and dairy whitewashed.—Hang me, after all, I believe, she is only a little shy. Oh, I see it now, she only wants a little coaxing—a little sparking or so—I've a great mind to kiss her. I will, too.

[Approaches CHRISTINE, who stands at a distance, buried in deep thought.

CHRISTINE. Begone—dare not touch me! Heavens, am I reserved for this humiliation? Could my father be so cruel?

JERRY. Now, Crissy, don't be so shy—you know you like me—you know you said t' other day, when I were out training, that I held up my head more like a soger than anybody in the ranks; come now, let's make up; you'll always find me a dutiful husband, and if I ever flog you, then my name's not Jerry.

Enter JASPER from the cottage, with a basket; PEASANTS following with fruit.

JASPER. Come, let us have breakfast in the open air—help me to arrange the table.

JERRY. Breakfast! Oh, true, I've a powerful appetite.

[Assists.

CHRISTINE. [Aside.] What is to be done? I have not a moment to lose; my father is stern and unyielding—I know his temper too well, to hope that my entreaties will prevail with him—the farmer is rich, and gold is a powerful tempter. I must be gone—follow Lenox, and in disguise, to avoid this hateful match. I'll in, whilst unobserved.

[Enters the cottage.

JASPER. Come, sit down, farmer and neighbours; and you, my pretty lads and lasses, let's have a dance. Ah, here is a foraging party.

[Enter SOLDIERS.

Party dance—several pastoral and fancy dances—and as the whole company retires, CHRISTINE comes from the cottage with cautious steps—she is dressed in a frock coat, pantaloons and hat.

CHRISTINE. They are gone—now to escape. Scenes of my infancy—of many a happy hour, farewell! Oh, farewell, forever!

[Exit.

JASPER and JERRY return.

JERRY. She refused me plumply.

JASPER. Impossible!

JERRY. No, it's quite possible. Farmer, said she, I will not marry you—and hang me if there's any joke in that.

JASPER. Refuse an honest man? A wealthy one, too? And one whom her father gives to her? Trifling girl! Insensible to her happiness and interest. What objections had she to you, farmer?

JERRY. Objections! Oh, none in the world, only she wouldn't marry me; she didn't seem struck at all with my person.

JASPER. Mere coyness—maiden bashfulness.

JERRY. So I thought, sergeant Jasper, and was going to give her a little kiss, when she gave me such a look, and such a push, as quite astounded me.

JASPER. I will seek and expostulate with the stubborn girl. Ah, Jerry, times have strangely altered, when young women choose husbands for themselves, with as much ease and indifference, as a ribbon for their bonnet.

[Enters the cottage.

JERRY. So they do—the little independent creatures as they are—but what Miss Crissy could see in me to refuse, hang me if I can tell. I'm call'd as sprightly a fellow as any in our county, and up to everything—always ready for fun, and perfectly good-natured.

[Enter JASPER from the cottage, agitated.

JASPER. She is nowhere to be found—she has gone off and left her poor old father. In her room, I found these lines scrawled with a pencil: "You have driven your daughter from you, by urging a match that was hateful to her. Was her happiness not worth consulting?" What's to be done? Where has she gone? Ah, a light breaks in upon me—to the camp—to the camp!

JERRY. Oho! I smell a rat too—she's gone after Mr. Lenox, the infantry ossifer. Oh, the young jade! But come along, old soger—get your hat and cane, and we'll go arter her—I'm a magistrate, and will bring her back by a habes corpus.

[They enter the cottage.

SCENE II. A Wood.

Enter CHRISTINE in haste, looking back with fear.

CHRISTINE. On, on, or I shall be pursued and o'ertaken—I have lost my way. Ah, yonder is the camp—I see the flags and tents—a short time and I shall be with you, dear Lenox.

[Exit.

Enter JASPER, JERRY and PEASANTS.

JERRY. We're on the right track, farmer; I know all tracks—used to 'em when I hunt 'possums.

JASPER. Cruel girl! to desert her old father, who has ever been kind and affectionate.

JERRY. Cruel girl! to desert me, who intended to be so very affectionate, if he had given me a chance.

JASPER. We cannot be far from the outposts, let us continue our search.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III. A Camp. A row of tents in the rear with camp flags at equal distances; on the right wing is a neat marquee, and directly opposite to it another. Sentinels on duty at each marquee.

Enter from the marquee, LENOX and ADELA.

LENOX. I never was more surprised! just when I had brush'd up my arms, and prepared to meet the enemy, who should I find in camp but you, my old hoyden scholar. Why Adela, you have grown nearly as tall as a grenadier, and as pretty—zounds, I would kiss you, if I dare.

ADELA. I am delighted to see you, dear Lenox; you are still as gay and amiable as when you taught your little Adela to conjugate verbs, and murder French; I heard of your gallantry and wounds, and imagined I should see you limping on crutches, with a green patch over one eye, and a wreath of laurel around your head, a kind of limping, one-eyed cupid; but I find you recovered from your wounds, and ready for new ones, my soldier.

LENOX. Bravo! the little skipping girl, who was once so full of mischief, has grown a tall and beautiful woman. But what brings you to camp, Adela? What have you to do with "guns and drums? heaven save the mark!"

ADELA. Why, my father wrote for me, expecting that the campaign was drawing to a close; but scarcely had I arrived here, when intelligence reached us that the enemy, in force, had occupied a position near Chippewa; it was too late to return, so I remained to see a little skirmishing.

LENOX. And are you prepared to endure the privations of a camp?

ADELA. Oh, it is delightful! it is something out of the common order of things, something new—such echoing of bugles—glistening of fire-arms, and nodding of plumes—such marchings and countermarchings—and such pretty officers too, Lenox; but then a terrible accident happened to me the other day.

LENOX. Aye, what was it?

ADELA. Why you must know, that I accompanied my father, who with his suite, and a small detachment, went out on a reconnoitering project.—Just as we debouched from the wood, according to the military phrase, we came suddenly and unexpectedly on a foraging party of the enemy, who began to fight and retreat at the same time.

LENOX. Well?

ADELA. My horse happening to be an old trooper, the moment the bugles sounded, and he heard the prattle of the small arms, he dashed in amongst them, and there was I screaming in a most delightful style, which, by some, must have been mistaken for a war-whoop, and to mend the matter, a very polite and accomplished Indian took aim at me with his rifle, and actually shot away the plume from my hat, which, I dare say, was as valuable a prize to him as I should have been.

LENOX. And how did you escape from your perilous situation?

ADELA. Oh, I soon recovered my fright, and reined in my old horse; my father and a few soldiers cut in before me, and covered my retreat, so that in the conclusion of this little affair, I gained a feather in my cap, though the enemy carried off the plume; and I found myself at last on the field of battle, as cool as any hero in the army.

LENOX. And so, my lively Adela, you have been fairly introduced to Mars and Bellona; how do you like them?

ADELA. Prodigiously. I find, after all, that courage is something like a cold bath; take the first plunge, and all is over. Lord, Lenox, how delightful it would have been, had I been armed and fought gallantly in that affair; my name would have been immortalized like Joan of Arc's. Congress would have voted me a medal, I should have had a public dinner at Tammany-Hall, and his honour the mayor would have made me one of his prettiest speeches, in presenting me with the freedom of the great city in a gold box.

LENOX. And so, then, you admire a military life?

ADELA. Oh, I'm in raptures with it! I am a perfect female Quixote, and would relinquish a thousand dandy beaux for one brave fellow; and, therefore, Lenox, don't be surprised, if you should see me going about from tent to tent, chaunting the old songs of

"Soldier, soldier, marry me, With your fife and drum."

CHRISTINE suddenly appears in the background and surveys the party with astonishment.

CHRISTINE. Heavens! what do I see? Lenox, and with a female so affectionately?

LENOX. Your spirits charm me, dear Adela, and revive those feelings for you, that time has impaired, but not destroyed. But come, let us in and see your worthy father.

[Leads her into the tent to the left.

CHRISTINE. Cruel, unkind, false Lenox! Are these your vows of constancy? are these your protestations of love? Scarcely are you free from our cottage, when your vows and pledges are but air. Wretched Christine! what will become of you? I have deserted my father's house to avoid a hateful match, and seek the protection of the man I love; he is false, and I am lost. What's to be done? Return home a penitent, and meet the frowns of my father, and be wedded to the man I hate? Never. Seek out Lenox, and upbraid him with his falsehood? No, pride and wounded honour will not permit me. Let him go—he is a wretch who trifles with the affections of a woman. I care not what becomes of me, despair is all that I have left. Ha! a thought strikes me with the lightning's force—the army—I will enlist—this disguise is favourable, and in the battle's rage, seek that death which quickly awaits me—'tis resolved. [CORPORAL passes over the stage.] Hist, corporal.

CORPORAL. Well, my lad, what would ye?

CHRISTINE. I would enlist, good corporal, and serve my country.

CORPORAL. Enlist! As a drummer or fifer, I suppose.

CHRISTINE. No; in the ranks—and though small, you will find me capable. Give me your musket. [CHRISTINE takes the musket, shoulders, presents, and goes through a few motions.]

CORPORAL. Well done, my little fellow; you'll do, if it's only for a fugelman; come along to our sergeant, and receive the bounty.

[Exit.

CHRISTINE. Now, Lenox, now am I fully revenged for your cruel desertion.

[Follows.

End of the First Act.



ACT II.

SCENE I. York, in Upper Canada; a Tavern meanly furnished.

Enter LAROLE, in pursuit of the chambermaid.

LAROLE. Come here, you littel demoiselle—you bootiful sauvage, vy you run vay from me—hay?

MAID. I wish you would let me alone, mounsure, you officers' gentlemen are very disagreeable things.

LAROLE. Disagreeable? ma foi! I am one joli garcon, one pretti batchelor; disagreeable? I vill tell you, ma belle grizette, I am maitre de mode, I give de lecons for dance, to speake de English, and de Francaise aussi; I can fence, aha! or fight de duel, or de enemi, je suis un soldat.

MAID. Well, if you're a soldier, you have no business to be following me up and down the house like a pet lamb. Why don't you go to camp?

LAROLE. Camp? vat is de camp? Oho, le champ de bataille; I shall tell you, mademoiselle, I did fight at the bataille de Vittoria, com un diable, like littel devil. I did kill beaucoup d'Anglais. Mai my maitre, le capitain, he did give me a dam tump on my head wis his rapier, and did knock me down from on top of my horse, and make a me von prisonier.

MAID. Poor fellow! And so, mounsure, you were made prisoner?

LAROLE. Oui, ven I could not run avay, begar I surrender like von brave homme, and now I am jentiman to capitain Pendragoon; I do brus his coat, poudre his hair, and pull his corset tight, and ven he was order to come to Amerique, and fight wis de Yankee Doodel, begar me come too. I arrive ici, I am here, to make a littel de love to you.

MAID. Well now, once for all, I tell you not to be following me; I don't like Frenchmen—I can't parlyvoo.

LAROLE. You no like de Frenchiman? O quell barbare! vy you ave von abominable gout, mademoiselle, von shockin taste. I shall tell you, mademoiselle, en my contree, en France, de ladies are ver fond of me. O beaucoup, I am so charmant—so aimable, and so jentee, I have three five sweetheart, ami de coeur, mai for all dat I do love you ver mush, par example.

MAID. Let me go! [Bell rings.] There, your master calls you.

[Exit.

LAROLE. Dam de littel bell, I vill not come; mon maitre he always interrupt me ven I make de love to the pretti ladi, he be jealous, begar I vill not come.

[Exit opposite side.

Enter CAPTAIN PENDRAGON, dressed in the British uniform, but in the extreme of fashion—throws himself into a chair.

PENDRAGON. Oh, curse such roads! My bones are making their way out of their sockets—such vile, abominable, detestable—Waiter!—If my friends at Castle Joram only knew the excruciating fatigues which I am undergoing in this barbarous land—Why, waiter!—or if his highness the commander-in-chief was only sensible of my great sacrifices to—Why, waiter! where the devil are you?

Enter WAITER.

WAITER. Here I be, sir.

PENDRAGON. Why didn't you come when I first called? Do you think I've got lungs like a hunter? I'm fatigued and hungry. Get me an anchovy, a toast, and a bottle of old port.

WAITER. A what, sir? an ancho—

PENDRAGON. Yes, sir, an anchovy—small ones—delicate.

WAITER. Why, sir, we don't know what these are in this country.

PENDRAGON. The devil you don't! Then pray, sir, what have you to eat in this damn'd house fit for a gentleman?

WAITER. Why, sir, not much—the army eats us out of house and home. We have some very excellent fresh bear meat, sir.

PENDRAGON. Bear meat! Why, what the devil, fellow, do you take me for a Chickasaw, or an Esquimau? Bear meat! the honourable captain Pendragon, who never ate anything more gross than a cutlet at Molly's chop-house, and who lived on pigeons' livers at Very's, in Paris, offered bear meat in North America! I'll put that down in my travels.

WAITER. Why, sir, it is considered here a great delicacy.

PENDRAGON. The devil it is! Then pray, sir, what are your ordinary fares, if bear's meat is considered a delicacy?

WAITER. Why, truly, sir, this is but a young country, and we have to live upon what we can catch. Pray, would you fancy some 'possum fat and hominy?

PENDRAGON. Oh, shocking! begone, fellow—you'll throw me into a fever with your vile bill of fare. Get me a cup of tea—mix it, hyson and souchong, with cream and muffins.

WAITER. We can't give you any of those things, sir.—However, you can have an excellent cup of sage tea, sweetened with honey.

PENDRAGON. Sage tea! Why, you rascal, do you intend to throw me into a perspiration by way of curing my hunger? or do you take me for a goose or a duck, that you intend stuffing me with sage? Begone, get out, you little deformed fellow! [Exit WAITER.] I shall perish in this barbarous land—bear meat, 'possum fat, and sage tea! O dear St. James! I wish I was snug in my old quarters. LaRole! [Enter LAROLE.] Where the devil do you hide yourself in this damn'd house? Why, I shall starve—there's nothing to eat, fit for a gentleman.

LAROLE. Oui, monsieur, dis is von damn contree, I can find nosing to eat. I did look into all de pantri, mai parbleu, I find only a ver pretti demoiselle, mai, I could not eat her.

PENDRAGON. We must be off to the camp, LaRole, my quarters there will be infinitely more agreeable. I shall get the blue devils in this cursed place.

LAROLE. Vell, sair, I have all de devils ventre bleu, das you can imagine; dere is no politesse, no respect, nosing paid to me.

PENDRAGON. My fit of the blues is coming on me; sing me a song, LaRole.

LAROLE. A chanson? Vell, sair, I shall sing to frighten avay de littel blue devil; vill you I shall sing de English or de Francaise?

PENDRAGON. Oh, English, by all means—curse your foreign lingo.

LAROLE. Ahem! Ahem! you shall understand.

Vat is dis dull town to me, Robin Hadair? Vere is all de joys on earth, dat Make dis town

[A bugle sounds without.

Ha! what is dat? who de devil intrup me in my chanson?

INDIAN CHIEF. [Speaks without.] Have them all ready, with their rifles and tomahawks in order; [Enters with another INDIAN.] and you, Coosewatchie, tell our priests to take their stand on yonder hill, and as my warriors pass them, examine whether they have fire in their eyes. [Exit INDIAN.] How now, who have we here?

PENDRAGON. [Examining him with his glass.] Where the devil did this character come from? he's one of the fancy, I suppose.

INDIAN. Who and what are you?

PENDRAGON. Who am I? Why, sir, I am the honourable captain Pendragon, of his majesty's guards, formerly of the buffs.

INDIAN. [Aside.] The officer who is to be under my command. Well sir, you have lately arrived from across the great waters: How did you leave my father, the King of England?

PENDRAGON. How! call my most gracious sovereign your father? Why, sir, you are the most familiar—impertinent—'sdeath! I shall choke—What the devil do you mean?

INDIAN. [Coolly.] What should I mean, young man, but to inquire after the health of my father, who commands my respect, who has honoured me with his favours, and in whose cause I am now fighting.

PENDRAGON. Well, sir, if you have the honour to hold a commission from his majesty, I desire that you will speak of him with proper awe, and not call him your father, but your gracious master.

INDIAN. Young man, the Indian warrior knows no master but the Great Spirit, whose voice is heard in thunder, and whose eye is seen in the lightning's flash; free as air, we bow the knee to no man; our forests are our home, our defence is our arms, our sustenance the deer and the elk, which we run down. White men encroach upon our borders, and drive us into war; we raise the tomahawk against your enemies, because your king has promised us protection and supplies. We fight for freedom, and in that cause, the great king and the poor Indian start upon equal terms.

PENDRAGON. A very clever spoken fellow, pon honour; I'll patronise him.

LAROLE. Parbleu, he is von very sensible sauvage; vill you take von pinch snuff?

INDIAN. Pshaw!

LAROLE. He say pshaw, I see he is born in de voods.

PENDRAGON. And are you prepared to fan these Yankees? We shall flog them without much fatigue, I understand.

INDIAN. Not so fast, young soldier; these pale-faced enemies of ours fight with obstinacy; accustomed to a hardy life, to liberty and laws, they are not willing to relinquish those blessings on easy terms; if we conquer them, it must be by no moderate exertions: it will demand force and cunning.

PENDRAGON. Oh, dry dogs, I suppose, not to be caught napping; well, I'm up to them, we'll fan them in high style; the ragged nabobs, I understand, are not far off, and our troops are in fine preservation.

INDIAN. True, preparation must be made to meet them. You are under my orders.

PENDRAGON. The devil I am!

INDIAN. Aye, sir; your general, at my request, has ordered you here to take command of a company of my warriors; but you must not appear in that dress: change it quickly, or they will not be commanded by you; they are men, and fight under the orders of men.

PENDRAGON. Change my dress! why what the devil do you mean, sir?

INDIAN. Mean? that you should appear in the ranks like a warrior, and not like a rabbit trussed for dressing—off with these garments, which give neither pleasure to the eye nor ease to the limbs—put on moccasins, wrap a blanket around you, put rings through your nose and ears, feathers in your head, and paint yourself like a soldier, with vermilion.

PENDRAGON. Why, this is the most impertinent and presuming savage in the wilds of North America. Harkee, sir, I'd have you to know, that I am a man of fashion, and one of the fancy—formerly of the buffs, nephew of a peer of the realm, and will be a member of parliament, in time; an officer of great merit and great services, Mr.—Red Jacket. Paint my face, and fight without clothes? I desire, sir, that you will please to take notice, that I fought at Badahoz with the immortal Wellington, and had the honour to be wounded, and promoted, and had a medal for my services in that affair, Mr.—Split-log. Put rings in my nose? a man of taste, and the ne plus ultra of Bond-street, the very mirror of fashion and elegance? Sir, I beg you to observe, that I am not to be treated in this manner—I shall resent this insult. Damme, I shall report you to the commander-in-chief at the Horse Guards, and have you courtmartialled for unfashionable deportment—Mr.—Walk-in-the-Water.

INDIAN. Come, come, sir, enough of this trifling; I do not understand it; you have heard my orders—obey them, or, after the battle, I'll roast you before a slow fire!

[Exit.

LAROLE. O le barbare! O de dam sauvage! dis is de most impertinent dog in de vorld. Roast before de fire! Parbleu, mon maitre, ve are not de littel pig.

PENDRAGON. I'm horrified! lost in amazement! but I'll resent it. Damme, I'll caricature him.

LAROLE. Oh, I vish I vas fight encore at Saragossa, vis mi lor Villainton; par example, I did get some hard tumps, mai I did get plenti to eat; but ici I ave nosing but de little bear to mange.

PENDRAGON. Come along—courage, LaRole. We'll fan the Yankee Doodles in our best style, and then get a furlough, and be off to White-Hall, and the rings in our noses will afford anecdotes for the bon-ton for a whole year. Allons.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II. The American Camp at daybreak. The drum and fife plays the reveille. Sentinels on duty before the tents.

LENOX enters from the tent on the right, GENERAL and ADELA from the left.

LENOX. Good morning, general; you are "stirring with the lark"—and you also, Adela.

GENERAL. The times require the utmost vigilance, Lenox: the enemy cannot escape a battle now, and we must be prepared at all points to meet him. Decision and energy cannot fail to promote success.

ADELA. And what is to become of me, father, in the battle? Am I to ride the old trooper again, and run the risk of having the tip of my nose carried away by a musket ball, and left on the field of battle in all my glory?

GENERAL. You shall be taken care of, dear Adela; we will place you in the rear, among the baggage-wagons.

ADELA. And if they should be captured, I become also a prisoner, and probably a prize to some gallant Indian chief, who will make me his squaw, and teach me to kill deer. O delightful thought!

[Bugles sound.

GENERAL. The troops are under arms, and approaching.

[Quick march—the GENERAL, LENOX and ADELA pass to the left, and stand near the tent; the troops advance; CHRISTINE is among them, dressed in uniform; they pass round the stage in regular order, then form the line two deep; CHRISTINE is in front on the right, and keeps her eye fixed anxiously on LENOX; drum beats the roll; the troops come to an order, and then proceed through the manual by the tap of drum, and finally to a present; the GENERAL, LENOX, and other officers advance, and pass through the line in review; the flags wave, and the band strikes up "Hail Columbia."]

GENERAL. Well—everything is right. And now, soldiers, to your posts; remember, discipline, subordination, courage, and country, and victory will be ours. [GENERAL, LENOX and ADELA, enter the tent to the left. The troops march off. CHRISTINE and a SOLDIER, headed by a CORPORAL, return to relieve guard at each tent. Port arms and whisper the countersign. CHRISTINE is placed before the tent on the right, her comrade on the left. CORPORAL retires with the two relieved sentries. After a pause, she beckons to her comrade.]

CHRISTINE. Hist—comrade!

SOLDIER. Well, what is it?

CHRISTINE. Will you exchange places? There is no difference—and the sun will be too powerful for me presently. Look, here is a dollar.

SOLDIER. With all my heart. [They cross quickly, the SOLDIER receives the money—CHRISTINE now paces before the tent into which LENOX, ADELA and the GENERAL have retired.]

CHRISTINE. Could I but see the false, perfidious LENOX, and upbraid him with his cruelty! [She is in great uneasiness, pauses occasionally, and looks into the tent—her comrade is watching her. LENOX sings within.]

Shall the pleasures of life unknown fade away, In viewing those charms so lovely and gay? Shall the heart which has breath'd forth rapturous flame, Be hid from the world and unsought for by fame?

Thus spoke the fond Roscoe to Scylla the fair, As he gaz'd on her charms, with a love-soothing care: Hear now the last wish, that fondly I sigh, I'll conquer in love, or in battle I'll die.

He girded his armour and flew to the field, Determin'd while life flow'd never to yield; The foe was subdued, but death's cruel dart Was aim'd at the valiant and fond Roscoe's heart:

But the blow was defeated—he lived to enjoy The sight of his Scylla, no longer so coy, And his laurels fresh bloom'd, as she smil'd on the youth, And gave her fair hand in reward for his truth.

CHRISTINE. Ha, that false voice! I can no longer bear it! [Throws down her gun, and is about entering the tent, when her comrade, who has been attentively regarding her movements, rushes over and seizes her.]

SOLDIER. Where are you going?

CHRISTINE. Unhand me this instant! [Struggles.

SOLDIER. Guards, there!

Enter an OFFICER with SOLDIERS, who attempts to seize CHRISTINE—she draws her sword and stands on the defensive, and after some resistance, escapes.

OFFICER. Pursue him quickly! [SOLDIERS pursue.

SOLDIER. He crosses the bridge.

OFFICER. The sentinels will reach him with their guns.

[Muskets discharged.

SOLDIER. They have him—he is not hurt.

GENERAL, ADELA and LENOX rush from the tent.

GENERAL. What means this confusion?

2ND OFFICER. The sentinel who was placed here on duty, attempted, for some desperate purpose, to enter your tent; but being discovered, he refused to surrender, drew his sword on me and the guard, and, after some resistance, has been disarmed and secured.

LENOX. Good heavens! What object could he have had?

2ND OFFICER. I know not—but he is a new recruit, probably a spy from the enemy.

GENERAL. It must be so—see that a court martial be called to try him, and bring the result to me without delay. If he is guilty, a dreadful example shall be made of him. Begone.

[Exeunt GENERAL, SOLDIERS, &c.

SCENE III. Another Part of the Camp.

Enter JASPER, JERRY and PEASANTS.

JASPER. Nowhere to be found. I have asked everybody in the camp in vain—she is lost to me. Unhappy, cruel girl! to quit her old and fond father thus.

JERRY. Unhappy girl! to leave me in such an ungenteel manner too, run away from me on my wedding day! but I'll find her out.

JASPER. Impossible! we must return, dejected and disappointed.

JERRY. I'll peep into every tent, bribe the sogers—I've got a little money left. [JASPER and PEASANTS retire. CORPORAL crosses the stage.] Hist, corporal!

CORPORAL. Well, what would you?

JERRY. Why no, sure—it isn't—yes, it is—why Corporal Flash, how do you do? Don't you know me?

CORPORAL. Can't say I do, sir.

JERRY. Why, not know Jerry Mayflower? Don't you remember me at the battle of Queenstown, when you were in the boat and I on land, and you were crossing to fight Johnny Bull, and I didn't cross at all?

CORPORAL. Oh, I remember you now—I remember calling you a cowardly rascal at the time.

JERRY. So you did—how have you been? I am very glad to see you—you're not killed, I take it?

CORPORAL. No, not exactly killed—but I was wounded—an honour which you didn't seem to care much about.

JERRY. No, not much; I'm not very ambitious that way.

CORPORAL. What brings you to the camp, just when we are about having another brush with the enemy—do you want to run away again? Zounds! you deserve a round hundred at the halberts.

JERRY. Yes, I deserve many things that I don't get—but pray, corporal, mout you have seen a young woman in this here camp lately?

CORPORAL. Oh, plenty, among the suttlers.

JERRY. No, a kind of a pretty girl, a little lady-like, parlyvoos, and carries her head up straight.

CORPORAL. No—I've seen no such person.

JERRY. Well, Corporal Flash, I've a little cash, and what say you to a jug of whiskey punch? Brave men, you know, like you and I, should drink with one another.

CORPORAL. With all my heart; you're good for nothing else but to drink with.

JERRY. Then come along, my boy; we'll drown care, raise our spirits, and swallow the enemy in a bumper.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV. A Prison.

Enter two OFFICERS, GUARDS and CHRISTINE. OFFICERS seat themselves at a table, with pens and ink.

1ST OFFICER. Young man, come forward. You have been charged with an act of mutiny, and with an attempt, for some unknown cause, to force your way, with arms in your hand, into the tent of the commanding general. We are convened for your trial—we have examined the testimony; and as you are a stranger in our ranks, no feelings of prejudice could have given a false colouring to that testimony. What have you to say?

CHRISTINE. Nothing.

OFFICER. Nothing?

CHRISTINE. Nothing! [With firmness.] I am guilty!

OFFICER. Have a care, pause before you make this avowal of your guilt.

CHRISTINE. [With settled firmness.] I have considered it well, and am ready to meet the consequences. I am guilty. [With a burst of anguish.] Oh, most guilty!

OFFICER. Unhappy young man, what could have tempted you to this act? Who set you on?

CHRISTINE. Seek not to know the cause, 'tis buried here. Do your duty—I am prepared for the result.

OFFICER. [To the Board.] The charge is fully admitted, and the rules of war prescribe the punishment. The object he had in view must yet be discovered; 'tis plain, however, that he is a spy, and has no hope of pardon. Record the verdict and sentence, for the inspection and concurrence of the general. [OFFICER writes. The company rise from the table, and one approaches CHRISTINE, who appears buried in thought.]

OFFICER. Young man, I deeply commiserate your unhappy situation, but the rules of war are rigid, and must be enforced. You must prepare to die!

CHRISTINE. [Starts, but recovers herself quickly.] I am ready.

OFFICER. I would offer you hope, but acts of mutiny, and when covering such suspicious motives as yours, cannot be pardoned. You have but a day to live. I deeply regret it, for you appear to have qualities which, in time, would have made you a valuable citizen. You are cut off in youth, probably from the hopes of a fond parent.

CHRISTINE. [In agony.] Oh, no more—no more!

OFFICER. All the sympathy and indulgence which can be offered you shall be yours! Farewell.

[Exit OFFICERS, GUARDS, &c.

CHRISTINE. At length 'tis concluded, and an ignominious death terminates my unmerited sufferings. Cruel father! and still more cruel Lenox! thus to have wounded the heart that loved you. Oh, what a situation is mine! separated from all I hold dear, sentenced to die, and in this disguise; to leave my poor father, and to know that death, alone, can tell my sad story. What's to be done? Discover all? No, no. Expose my weakness and folly—to see the false Lenox wedded to another, and I forced to accept the hand I loathe—to be pointed at for one who, lost to the delicacy of her sex, followed a perfidious lover in disguise, and, tortured by jealousy, enlisted, was mutinous, and sentenced to die; but who, to save a miserable life, avowed her situation, and recorded her disgrace at once? Never, never! let me die, and forever be forgotten—'tis but a blow, and it will end the pangs which torment me here. [Enter a SOLDIER, who beckons.] I am ready, lead the way.

[Exit.

SCENE V. Another part of the Prison.

Enter the JAILOR, driving JERRY before him.

JAILOR. In, in, you mutinous dog! do you come here to breed a riot in our camp?

JERRY. Now, my dear good-natured jailor, only have pity on me, and I'll tell you all about it.

JAILOR. I won't hear you—didn't you breed a riot?

JERRY. Why no, it was not me. I am as innocent as a young lamb. I'll tell you how it was—come, sit down on this bench with me. [They sit.] You must know that I'm a farmer, pretty well off, as a body mout say, and I wanted a wife; hard by our village, there lived an old soger with a pretty daughter, so I courted the old man for his daughter, and he consented to the match.

JAILOR. Well?

JERRY. And so I got together all my neighbours, and, with music, went to the old soger's to get my sweetheart, when, lo and behold! after all my trouble, she refused me plump.

JAILOR. No, did she?

JERRY. Ay, indeed; she didn't seem stricken with the proposal—and for fear her father would force her to marry me, egad, she run away.

JAILOR. And where did she go?

JERRY. I can't say, but her father and a whole posse comitatus, as we justices call 'em, went in search of her to the camp, and when I came here, I found some of my old comrades who fought with me at Queenstown; and so having a little money, we went to take a comfortable pitcher of whiskey punch together, and so, while over our cups, they doubted my valour, and hinted that I run away before the battle.

JAILOR. Well, and what did you do?

JERRY. Why, I offered to fight 'em single-handed all round, and we got into a dispute, and so when my money was all gone, they tweaked my nose, boxed my ears, and kick'd me out of the tent. So I then kick'd up a row, and—that's all.

JAILOR. A very pretty story, indeed! You look like a mutinous dog—so come, get into the black hole.

JERRY. Now, my dear jailor, do let me escape, and I'll give you the prettiest little pig in my farmyard.

JAILOR. What! bribe an honest and humane jailor, and with a pig? In with you.

JERRY. Well, but I've nothing to eat—I shall be half starved.

JAILOR. Oh no, you shall have something to employ your grinders on. [Goes out, and returns with a black loaf, and a pitcher of water.] There!

JERRY. O dear, nothing else but black bread and cold water? Can't you get me a pickle?

JAILOR. I think you're in a devil of a pickle already—come, get in! [Removes a board from the scene, which discovers a small dark hole. JERRY supplicates.]

JERRY. How long am I to be here, Mr. Jailor, in company with myself?

JAILOR. That depends on your good behaviour. [Cannon are heard.] There! the battle has commenced.

JERRY. [Putting his head out of the hole.] O dear, what's that? The great guns are going off. Are you sure, my dear jailor, that this prison is bomb proof?

JAILOR. Take your head in, you great land turtle.

JERRY. Oh, what will become of me?

End of the Second Act.



ACT III.

Scene in front of a pavilion tent; trumpets and drums sounding.

Enter GENERAL, LENOX, SOLDIERS, OFFICERS, &c.

GENERAL. At length victory has crown'd our arms, and the result of this action will keep alive the spirits of our troops, and the hopes of our country. Hark! the bugles are sounding a retreat, and the enemy has abandoned the field and taken to his entrenchments. Lenox, your hand—your conduct this day has confirmed our hopes—allow me in the name of our country to thank you.

LENOX. Not a word, dear general, not a word; I have merely done my duty, and done no more than every soldier in our ranks.

GENERAL. What is the result of this day's action?

LENOX. The enemy has lost upwards of 500 in killed and wounded, and several principal officers have been taken prisoners.

GENERAL. In what position were they when the attack became general?

LENOX. The British commander, pressed by our artillery under Towson, issued in all his force from his entrenchments. It was a gallant sight, to see his solid columns and burnished arms advance on the margin of the river, and his cavalry, with lightning's force, dart on our flanks to turn and throw them into confusion: but they were met by the volunteers under the brave Porter, and gallantly repulsed.

GENERAL. Go on.

LENOX. The enemy then condensed his forces and crossed the bridge, and was encountered on the plains of Chippewa by Scott, with his brigade, when the action became severe and general. No ambuscade or masked batteries were held in reserve—the enemy was not a moment concealed from our view—no tangled thicket or umbrageous groves gave effect or facility to our rifles: the battle was fought on a plain—where man grappled man, force was opposed to force, skill to skill, and eye to eye, in regular, disciplined, and admirable order.

GENERAL. How near were you to the British general?

LENOX. In sight and hearing. Charge the Yankees! said a hoarse voice which I knew to be his. Charge away! said our ardent troops, as they advanced with fixed bayonets; the fire became dreadful, and our stars and stripes were seen waving in the blaze. Scott rode through the lines cheering the men, and gallantly leading them on; Jessup and his third battalion turned the right flank of the enemy after a dreadful conflict; Ketchum had kept up a cross and ruinous fire; and Towson, from his dread artillery, scattered grape like hail amongst them. On, on! cried Leavenworth, the day's our own, my boys! Just then a shot struck down my comrade, Harrison, and shattered his leg.

GENERAL. Well?

LENOX. He grasped his sword and fought on his stump, clinging to the spot like fire-eyed Mars; the enemy, pressed on all sides, gave way; our troops pursued, and the flight became general. At length we drove them to their entrenchments, and remained masters of the field. Our trumpets sounded their retreat; victory perched on our eagles, and our bands struck up the soul-inspiring air of "Hail, Columbia, happy land!"

GENERAL. Well done, my brave fellows! This action will teach the enemy to respect that valour which they cannot subdue. See that the wounded prisoners are taken care of: give them all succor: victory loses half its value, when it is not tempered with mercy.

[Exit GENERAL.

LENOX. Now to my dear Christine, to receive from her the reward which I hope I have fairly earned, and seek with her the joys of tranquillity and love.

Enter a SOLDIER.

SOLDIER. Towards the conclusion of the battle we made two Indian warriors prisoners, who were fighting desperately; we have them with us.

LENOX. Bring them in; I will examine them, touching the number and force of their tribe. [Exit SOLDIER, who returns with PENDRAGON and LAROLE, with a file of men; both are painted and dressed as Indians; PENDRAGON preserves his opera-glass, and LAROLE his snuff-box.]

PENDRAGON. What are we brought here for, fellow?

LENOX. Warriors, the fate of battle has placed you in our power; yet fear nothing, we shall treat you like men and soldiers. Deeply do we regret to see you take up arms against us, instigated by foreign influence, and bribed by foreign gold. How numerous is your tribe?

PENDRAGON. Why what the devil, sir, do you take us for Choctaws? Can't you tell a man of fashion in masquerade?

LENOX. Who and what are you?

PENDRAGON. I am the honourable Captain Pendragon, of his Majesty's Coldstream guards.

LENOX. The honourable Captain Pendragon, and taken prisoner fighting in the ranks with Indians, and in disguise? A man of rank and fashion, and a soldier, changing his complexion, his nature and his character—herding with savages—infuriating their horrid passions, and whetting their knives and tomahawks against their defenceless prisoners? Impossible! And who are you, sir? [To LAROLE.

LAROLE. [Taking snuff.] Begar, sair, I am von man of fashion aussi, I am valet de sham to capitain Pendragoon; ve are in de masquerade, sair.

PENDRAGON. It's very true, sir, 'pon honour—we are in masquerade, though you look as if you doubt it. War, sir, is a kind of a—a singular science, and if you are to be knock'd on the head, 'tis of very little consequence whether your nose is tipped with blue or red, damme. I am in your power, sir, and a man of fashion, 'pon honour.

LENOX. Well, sir, if your example is to govern men of honour or men of fashion, I hope I am ignorant of the attributes of the one, or the eccentricities of the other. However, mercy to prisoners, even when they have forfeited mercy, may teach your nation lessons of toleration and humanity. Your life is safe, sir.

PENDRAGON. Sir, you speak very like a gentleman, and I shall be happy to taste Burgundy with you at the Horse Guards.

LENOX. I thank you, sir.

LAROLE. Par example, dis Yankee Doodel is von very pretti spoken jeune gentiman, I will give him de encouragement. Sair, I vill be ver happy to serve you en my contree, to take un tasse de caffee at de Palais Royale en Paris wid you, to dress your hair, or pull your corset tight.

Enter GENERAL, ADELA and OFFICER.

GENERAL. Who have we here?

LENOX. Prisoners, sir, and in disguise.

ADELA. As I live, an Indian dandy!

PENDRAGON. A lady? [With an air of fashion.] Ma'am, your most devoted slave—inexpressibly happy to find a beautiful creature in this damn'd wilderness. You see, ma'am, I am a kind of a prisoner, but always at home, always at my ease, a-la-mode St. James—extremely rejoiced to have the honour of your acquaintance. A fine girl, LaRole, split me!

LAROLE. Oh, oui, she is very fine, I like her ver mush.

ADELA. Pray, sir, may I ask how came you to fancy that disguise?

PENDRAGON. Oh, it's not my fancy, 'pon honour, though I am one of the fancy; a mere russe de guerre. We on the other side of the water, have a kind of floating idea that you North Americans are half savages, and we must fight you after your own fashion.

ADELA. And have you discovered that any difference exists in the last affair in which you have been engaged?

PENDRAGON. Why, 'pon my soul, ma'am, this Yankee kind of warfare is inexpressibly inelegant, without flattery—no order—no military arrangement—no deploying in solid columns—but a kind of helter-skelter warfare, like a reel or a country-dance at a village inn, while the house is on fire.

ADELA. Indeed?

PENDRAGON. All true, I assure you. Why, do you know, ma'am, that one of your common soldiers was amusing himself with shooting at me for several minutes, although he saw from my air, and my dodging, that I was a man of fashion? Monstrous assurance! wasn't it?

ADELA. Why ay, it was rather impertinent for a common soldier to attempt to bring down a man of fashion.

LAROLE. Oui—it is dam impertinent, mai par example, de littel bullet of von common soldat, he sometime kill von great general.

PENDRAGON. Pray, ma'am, will you permit me to ask, when you arrived from England, and what family has the honour to boast of so beautiful a representative?

ADELA. Sir, I am not of England, I stand on my native soil.

PENDRAGON. Oh.

ADELA. And much as I esteem English women for their many amiable qualities, I hope that worth and virtue are not wholly centered in that country.

PENDRAGON. Why, 'pon my soul, ma'am, though it is not fashionable this year to be prejudiced, yet were I to admit that I saw any beauty or elegance in America, my Bond-Street friends would cut me—split me!

ADELA. I cannot admire their candour. Merit is the exclusive property of no country, and to form a just estimate of our own advantages, we should be ever prepared to admit the advantages possessed by others.

Enter a SOLDIER.

SOLDIER. We have surprised and made captive the celebrated Indian chief, who fought so desperately against us.

GENERAL. Bring him before us. [Exit SOLDIER.] He has long been the terror of the neighbourhood, and the crafty foe of our country.

Enter SOLDIERS with the INDIAN CHIEF.

INDIAN. Who among you is the chief of these pale-faced enemies of our race?

GENERAL. I am he.

INDIAN. 'Tis well, sir; behold in me your captive, who has fallen into your power after a resistance becoming a warrior. I am ready to meet that death which I know awaits me.

GENERAL. Chief, your fears are groundless; we intend you no harm, but by our example, teach you the blessings of valour and mercy united.

INDIAN. Wherefore show me mercy? I ask it not of you.—Think you that I cannot bear the flames? that a warrior shrinks from the uplifted tomahawk? Try me—try how a great soul can smile on death. Or do you hope that I will meanly beg a life, which fate and evil fortune has thrown into your hands?

GENERAL. We ask no concessions of you, warrior; we wish to see you sensible of the delusions into which foreign nations have plunged you. We wish to see you our friend.

INDIAN. Your friend? Call back the times which we passed in liberty and happiness, when in the tranquil enjoyment of unrestrained freedom we roved through our forests, and only knew the bears as our enemy; call back our council fires, our fathers and pious priests; call back our brothers, wives and children, which cruel white men have destroyed.—Your friend? You came with the silver smile of peace, and we received you into our cabins; we hunted for you, toiled for you; our wives and daughters cherished and protected you; but when your numbers increased, you rose like wolves upon us, fired our dwellings, drove off our cattle, sent us in tribes to the wilderness, to seek for shelter; and now you ask me, while naked and a prisoner, to be your friend!

GENERAL. We have not done this, deluded man; your pretended advocates, over the great waters, have told you this tale.

1  2     Next Part
Home - Random Browse