Meet us on:
Entire Site
    Try our fun game

    Dueling book covers…may the best design win!

    Random Quote
    "Our envy of others devours us most of all."

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Follow us on Twitter

    Never miss a good book again! Follow Read Print on Twitter

    Act I

    • Rate it:
    Launch Reading Mode Next Chapter
    Chapter 2
    Previous Chapter
    SCENE.--Before Farmhouse.

    Farming Men and Women. Farming Men carrying forms, &c., Women carrying baskets of knives and forks, &c.

    1ST FARMING MAN. Be thou a-gawin' to the long barn?

    2ND FARMING MAN. Ay, to be sewer! Be thou?

    1ST FARMING MAN. Why, o' coorse, fur it be the owd man's birthdaäy. He be heighty this very daäy, and 'e telled all on us to be i' the long barn by one o'clock, fur he'll gie us a big dinner, and haäfe th' parish'll be theer, an' Miss Dora, an' Miss Eva, an' all!

    2ND FARMING MAN. Miss Dora be coomed back, then?

    1ST FARMING MAN. Ay, haäfe an hour ago. She be in theer, now. (Pointing to house.) Owd Steer wur afeärd she wouldn't be back i' time to keep his birthdaäy, and he wur in a tew about it all the murnin'; and he sent me wi' the gig to Littlechester to fetch 'er; and 'er an' the owd man they fell a kissin' o' one another like two sweet-'arts i' the poorch as soon as he clapt eyes of 'er.

    2ND FARMING MAN. Foälks says he likes Miss Eva the best.

    1ST FARMING MAN. Naäy, I knaws nowt o' what foälks says, an' I caäres nowt neither. Foälks doesn't hallus knaw thessens; but sewer I be, they be two o' the purtiest gels ye can see of a summer murnin'.

    2ND FARMING MAN. Beänt Miss Eva gone off a bit of 'er good looks o' laäte?

    1ST FARMING MAN. Noä, not a bit.

    2ND FARMING MAN. Why coöm awaäy, then, to the long barn. [Exeunt.

    DORA looks out of window. Enter DOBSON.

    DORA (singing).

    The town lay still in the low sun-light, The hen cluckt late by the white farm gate, The maid to her dairy came in from the cow, The stock-dove coo'd at the fall of night, The blossom had open'd on every bough; O joy for the promise of May, of May, O joy for the promise of May.

    (Nodding at DOBSON.) I'm coming down, Mr. Dobson. I haven't seen Eva yet. Is she anywhere in the garden?

    DOBSON. Noä, Miss. I ha'n't seed 'er neither.

    DORA (enters singing).

    But a red fire woke in the heart of the town, And a fox from the glen ran away with the hen, And a cat to the cream, and a rat to the cheese; And the stock-dove coo'd, till a kite dropt down, And a salt wind burnt the blossoming trees; O grief for the promise of May, of May, O grief for the promise of May.

    I don't know why I sing that song; I don't love it.

    DOBSON. Blessings on your pretty voice, Miss Dora. Wheer did they larn ye that?

    DORA. In Cumberland, Mr. Dobson.

    DOBSON. An' how did ye leäve the owd uncle i' Coomberland?

    DORA. Getting better, Mr. Dobson. But he'll never be the same man again.

    DOBSON. An' how d'ye find the owd man 'ere?

    DORA. As well as ever. I came back to keep his birthday.

    DOBSON. Well, I be coomed to keep his birthdaäy an' all. The owd man be heighty to-daäy, beänt he?

    DORA. Yes, Mr. Dobson. And the day's bright like a friend, but the wind east like an enemy. Help me to move this bench for him into the sun. (They move bench.) No, not that way--here, under the apple tree. Thank you. Look how full of rosy blossom it is. [Pointing to apple tree.

    DOBSON. Theer be redder blossoms nor them, Miss Dora.

    DORA. Where do they blow, Mr. Dobson?

    DOBSON. Under your eyes, Miss Dora.

    DORA. Do they?

    DOBSON. And your eyes be as blue as----

    DORA. What, Mr. Dobson? A butcher's frock?

    DOBSON. Noä, Miss Dora; as blue as----

    DORA. Bluebell, harebell, speedwell, bluebottle, succory, forget-me-not?

    DOBSON. Noä, Miss Dora; as blue as----

    DORA. The sky? or the sea on a blue day?

    DOBSON. Naäy then. I meän'd they be as blue as violets.

    DORA. Are they?

    DOBSON. Theer ye goäs ageän, Miss, niver believing owt I says to ye--hallus a-fobbing ma off, tho' ye knaws I love ye. I warrants ye'll think moor o' this young Squire Edgar as ha' coomed among us--the Lord knaws how --ye'll think more on 'is little finger than hall my hand at the haltar.

    DORA. Perhaps, Master Dobson. I can't tell, for I have never seen him. But my sister wrote that he was mighty pleasant, and had no pride in him.

    DOBSON. He'll be arter you now, Miss Dora.

    DORA. Will he? How can I tell?

    DOBSON. He's been arter Miss Eva, haän't he?

    DORA. Not that I know.

    DOBSON. Didn't I spy 'em a-sitting i' the woodbine harbour togither?

    DORA. What of that? Eva told me that he was taking her likeness. He's an artist.

    DOBSON. What's a hartist? I doänt believe he's iver a 'eart under his waistcoat. And I tells ye what, Miss Dora: he's no respect for the Queen, or the parson, or the justice o' peace, or owt. I ha' heärd 'im a-gawin' on 'ud make your 'air--God bless it!--stan' on end. And wuss nor that. When theer wur a meeting o' farmers at Littlechester t'other daäy, and they was all a-crying out at the bad times, he cooms up, and he calls out among our oän men, 'The land belongs to the people!'

    DORA. And what did you say to that?

    DOBSON. Well, I says, s'pose my pig's the land, and you says it belongs to the parish, and theer be a thousand i' the parish, taäkin' in the women and childer; and s'pose I kills my pig, and gi'es it among 'em, why there wudn't be a dinner for nawbody, and I should ha' lost the pig.

    DORA. And what did he say to that?

    DOBSON. Nowt--what could he saäy? But I taäkes 'im fur a bad lot and a burn fool, and I haätes the very sight on him.

    DORA. (Looking at DOBSON.) Master Dobson, you are a comely man to look at.

    DOBSON. I thank you for that, Miss Dora, onyhow.

    DORA. Ay, but you turn right ugly when you're in an ill temper; and I promise you that if you forget yourself in your behaviour to this gentleman, my father's friend, I will never change word with you again.

    Enter FARMING MAN from barn.

    FARMING MAN. Miss, the farming men 'ull hev their dinner i' the long barn, and the master 'ud be straänge an' pleased if you'd step in fust, and see that all be right and reg'lar fur 'em afoor he coöm. [Exit.

    DORA. I go. Master Dobson, did you hear what I said?

    DOBSON. Yeas, yeas! I'll not meddle wi' 'im if he doänt meddle wi' meä. (Exit DORA.) Coomly, says she. I niver thowt o' mysen i' that waäy; but if she'd taäke to ma i' that waäy, or ony waäy, I'd slaäve out my life fur 'er. 'Coomly to look at,' says she--but she said it spiteful-like. To look at--yeas, 'coomly'; and she mayn't be so fur out theer. But if that be nowt to she, then it be nowt to me. (Looking off stage.) Schoolmaster! Why if Steer han't haxed schoolmaster to dinner, thaw 'e knaws I was hallus ageän heving schoolmaster i' the parish! fur him as be handy wi' a book bean't but haäfe a hand at a pitchfork.

    Enter WILSON.

    Well, Wilson. I seed that one cow o' thine i' the pinfold ageän as I wur a-coomin' 'ere.

    WILSON. Very likely, Mr. Dobson. She will break fence. I can't keep her in order.

    DOBSON. An' if tha can't keep thy one cow i' horder, how can tha keep all thy scholards i' horder? But let that goä by. What dost a knaw o' this Mr. Hedgar as be a-lodgin' wi' ye? I coom'd upon 'im t'other daäy lookin' at the coontry, then a-scrattin upon a bit o' paäper, then a-lookin' ageän; and I taäked 'im fur soom sort of a land-surveyor--but a beänt.

    WILSON. He's a Somersetshire man, and a very civil-spoken gentleman.

    DOBSON. Gentleman! What be he a-doing here ten mile an' moor fro' a raäil? We laäys out o' the waäy fur gentlefoälk altogither--leastwaäys they niver cooms 'ere but fur the trout i' our beck, fur they be knaw'd as far as Littlechester. But 'e doänt fish neither.

    WILSON. Well, it's no sin in a gentleman not to fish.

    DOBSON. Noa, but I haätes 'im.

    WILSON. Better step out of his road, then, for he's walking to us, and with a book in his hand.

    DOBSON. An' I haätes booöks an' all, fur they puts foälk off the owd waäys.

    Enter EDGAR, reading--not seeing DOBSON and WILSON.

    EDGAR. This author, with his charm of simple style And close dialectic, all but proving man An automatic series of sensations, Has often numb'd me into apathy Against the unpleasant jolts of this rough road That breaks off short into the abysses--made me A Quietist taking all things easily.

    DOBSON. (Aside.) There mun be summut wrong theer, Wilson, fur I doänt understan' it.

    WILSON. (Aside.) Nor I either, Mr. Dobson.

    DOBSON. (Scornfully.) An' thou doänt understan' it neither--and thou schoolmaster an' all.

    EDGAR. What can a man, then, live for but sensations, Pleasant ones? men of old would undergo Unpleasant for the sake of pleasant ones Hereafter, like the Moslem beauties waiting To clasp their lovers by the golden gates. For me, whose cheerless Houris after death Are Night and Silence, pleasant ones--the while-- If possible, here! to crop the flower and pass.

    DOBSON. Well, I never 'eard the likes o' that afoor.

    WILSON. (Aside.) But I have, Mr. Dobson. It's the old Scripture text, 'Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.' I'm sorry for it, for, tho' he never comes to church, I thought better of him.

    EDGAR. 'What are we,' says the blind old man in Lear? 'As flies to the Gods; they kill us for their sport.'

    DOBSON. (Aside.) Then the owd man i' Lear should be shaämed of hissen, but noän o' the parishes goä's by that naäme 'ereabouts.

    EDGAR. The Gods! but they, the shadows of ourselves, Have past for ever. It is Nature kills, And not for her sport either. She knows nothing. Man only knows, the worse for him! for why Cannot he take his pastime like the flies? And if my pleasure breed another's pain, Well--is not that the course of Nature too, From the dim dawn of Being--her main law Whereby she grows in beauty--that her flies Must massacre each other? this poor Nature!

    DOBSON. Natur! Natur! Well, it be i' my natur to knock 'im o' the 'eäd now; but I weänt.

    EDGAR. A Quietist taking all things easily--why-- Have I been dipping into this again To steel myself against the leaving her? (Closes book, seeing WILSON.) Good day!

    WILSON. Good day, sir.

    (DOBSON looks hard at EDGAR.)

    EDGAR. (To DOBSON.) Have I the pleasure, friend, of knowing you?

    DOBSON. Dobson.

    EDGAR. Good day, then, Dobson. [Exit.

    DOBSON. 'Good daäy then, Dobson!' Civil-spoken i'deed! Why, Wilson, tha 'eärd 'im thysen--the feller couldn't find a Mister in his mouth fur me, as farms five hoonderd haäcre.

    WILSON. You never find one for me, Mr. Dobson.

    DOBSON. Noä, fur thou be nobbut schoolmaster; but I taäkes 'im fur a Lunnun swindler, and a burn fool.

    WILSON. He can hardly be both, and he pays me regular every Saturday.

    DOBSON. Yeas; but I haätes 'im.

    Enter STEER, FARM MEN and WOMEN.

    STEER. (Goes and sits under apple tree.) Hev' ony o' ye seen Eva?

    DOBSON. Noä, Mr. Steer.

    STEER. Well, I reckons they'll hev' a fine cider-crop to-year if the blossom 'owds. Good murnin', neighbours, and the saäme to you, my men. I taäkes it kindly of all o' you that you be coomed--what's the newspaäper word, Wilson?--celebrate--to celebrate my birthdaäy i' this fashion. Niver man 'ed better friends, and I will saäy niver master 'ed better men: fur thaw I may ha' fallen out wi' ye sometimes, the fault, mebbe, wur as much mine as yours; and, thaw I says it mysen, niver men 'ed a better master--and I knaws what men be, and what masters be, fur I wur nobbut a laäbourer, and now I be a landlord-- burn a plowman, and now, as far as money goäs, I be a gentleman, thaw I beänt naw scholard, fur I 'ednt naw time to maäke mysen a scholard while I wur maäkin' mysen a gentleman, but I ha taäen good care to turn out boäth my darters right down fine laädies.

    DOBSON. An' soä they be.

    1ST FARMING MAN. Soä they be! soä they be!

    2ND FARMING MAN. The Lord bless boäth on 'em!

    3RD FARMING MAN. An' the saäme to you, Master.

    4TH FARMING MAN. And long life to boäth on 'em. An' the saäme to you, Master Steer, likewise.

    STEER. Thank ye!

    Enter EVA. Wheer 'asta been?

    EVA. (Timidly.) Many happy returns of the day, father.

    STEER. They can't be many, my dear, but I 'oäpes they'll be 'appy.

    DOBSON. Why, tha looks haäle anew to last to a hoonderd.

    STEER. An' why shouldn't I last to a hoonderd? Haäle! why shouldn't I be haäle? fur thaw I be heighty this very daäy, I niver 'es sa much as one pin's prick of paäin; an' I can taäke my glass along wi' the youngest, fur I niver touched a drop of owt till my oän wedding-daäy, an' then I wur turned huppads o' sixty. Why shouldn't I be haäle? I ha' plowed the ten-aäcre--it be mine now--afoor ony o' ye wur burn--ye all knaws the ten-aäcre--I mun ha' plowed it moor nor a hoonderd times; hallus hup at sunrise, and I'd drive the plow straäit as a line right i' the faäce o' the sun, then back ageän, a-follering my oän shadder--then hup ageän i' the faäce o' the sun. Eh! how the sun 'ud shine, and the larks 'ud sing i' them daäys, and the smell o' the mou'd an' all. Eh! if I could ha' gone on wi' the plowin' nobbut the smell o' the mou'd 'ud ha' maäde ma live as long as Jerusalem.

    EVA. Methusaleh, father.

    STEER. Ay, lass, but when thou be as owd as me thou'll put one word fur another as I does.

    DOBSON. But, Steer, thaw thou be haäle anew I seed tha a-limpin' up just now wi' the roomatics i' the knee.

    STEER. Roomatics! Noä; I laäme't my knee last night running arter a thief. Beänt there house-breäkers down i' Littlechester, Dobson--doänt ye hear of ony?

    DOBSON. Ay, that there be. Immanuel Goldsmiths was broke into o' Monday night, and ower a hoonderd pounds worth o' rings stolen.

    STEER. So I thowt, and I heärd the winder--that's the winder at the end o' the passage, that goäs by thy chaumber. (Turning to EVA.) Why, lass, what maäakes tha sa red? Did 'e git into thy chaumber?

    EVA. Father!

    STEER. Well, I runned arter thief i' the dark, and fell ageän coalscuttle and my kneeä gev waäy or I'd ha' cotched 'im, but afoor I coomed up he got thruff the winder ageän.

    EVA. Got thro' the window again?

    STEER. Ay, but he left the mark of 'is foot i' the flowerbed; now theer be noän o' my men, thinks I to mysen, 'ud ha' done it 'cep' it were Dan Smith, fur I cotched 'im once a-stealin' coäls an' I sent fur 'im, an' I measured his foot wi' the mark i' the bed, but it wouldn't fit-- seeäms to me the mark wur maäde by a Lunnun boot. (Looks at EVA.) Why, now, what maäkes tha sa white?

    EVA. Fright, father!

    STEER. Maäke thysen eäsy. I'll hev the winder naäiled up, and put Towser under it.

    EVA. (Clasping her hands.) No, no, father! Towser'll tear him all to pieces.

    STEER. Let him keep awaäy, then; but coom, coom! let's be gawin. They ha' broached a barrel of aäle i' the long barn, and the fiddler be theer, and the lads and lasses 'ull hev a dance.

    EVA. (Aside.) Dance! small heart have I to dance. I should seem to be dancing upon a grave.

    STEER. Wheer be Mr. Edgar? about the premises?

    DOBSON. Hallus about the premises!

    STEER. So much the better, so much the better. I likes 'im, and Eva likes 'im. Eva can do owt wi' 'im; look for 'im, Eva, and bring 'im to the barn. He 'ant naw pride in 'im, and we'll git 'im to speechify for us arter dinner.

    EVA. Yes, father! [Exit.

    STEER. Coom along then, all the rest o' ye! Churchwarden be a coomin, thaw me and 'im we niver 'grees about the tithe; and Parson mebbe, thaw he niver mended that gap i' the glebe fence as I telled 'im; and Blacksmith, thaw he niver shoes a herse to my likings; and Baäker, thaw I sticks to hoäm-maäde--but all on 'em welcome, all on 'em welcome; and I've hed the long barn cleared out of all the machines, and the sacks, and the taäters, and the mangles, and theer'll be room anew for all o' ye. Foller me.

    ALL. Yeas, yeas! Three cheers for Mr. Steer! [All exeunt except DOBSON into barn.

    Enter EDGAR.

    DOBSON (who is going, turns). Squire!--if so be you be a squire.

    EDGAR. Dobbins, I think.

    DOBSON. Dobbins, you thinks; and I thinks ye weärs a Lunnun boot.

    EDGAR. Well?

    DOBSON. And I thinks I'd like to taäke the measure o' your foot.

    EDGAR. Ay, if you'd like to measure your own length upon the grass.

    DOBSON. Coom, coom, that's a good un. Why, I could throw four o' ye; but I promised one of the Misses I wouldn't meddle wi' ye, and I weänt. [Exit into barn.

    EDGAR. Jealous of me with Eva! Is it so? Well, tho' I grudge the pretty jewel, that I Have worn, to such a clod, yet that might be The best way out of it, if the child could keep Her counsel. I am sure I wish her happy. But I must free myself from this entanglement. I have all my life before me--so has she-- Give her a month or two, and her affections Will flower toward the light in some new face. Still I am half-afraid to meet her now. She will urge marriage on me. I hate tears. Marriage is but an old tradition. I hate Traditions, ever since my narrow father, After my frolic with his tenant's girl, Made younger elder son, violated the whole Tradition of our land, and left his heir, Born, happily, with some sense of art, to live By brush and pencil. By and by, when Thought Comes down among the crowd, and man perceives that The lost gleam of an after-life but leaves him A beast of prey in the dark, why then the crowd May wreak my wrongs upon my wrongers. Marriage! That fine, fat, hook-nosed uncle of mine, old Harold, Who leaves me all his land at Littlechester, He, too, would oust me from his will, if I Made such a marriage. And marriage in itself-- The storm is hard at hand will sweep away Thrones, churches, ranks, traditions, customs, marriage One of the feeblest! Then the man, the woman, Following their best affinities, will each Bid their old bond farewell with smiles, not tears; Good wishes, not reproaches; with no fear Of the world's gossiping clamour, and no need Of veiling their desires. Conventionalism, Who shrieks by day at what she does by night, Would call this vice; but one time's vice may be The virtue of another; and Vice and Virtue Are but two masks of self; and what hereafter Shall mark out Vice from Virtue in the gulf Of never-dawning darkness?

    Enter EVA.

    My sweet Eva, Where have you lain in ambush all the morning? They say your sister, Dora, has return'd, And that should make you happy, if you love her! But you look troubled.

    EVA. Oh, I love her so, I was afraid of her, and I hid myself. We never kept a secret from each other; She would have seen at once into my trouble, And ask'd me what I could not answer. Oh, Philip, Father heard you last night. Our savage mastiff, That all but kill'd the beggar, will be placed Beneath the window, Philip.

    EDGAR. Savage, is he? What matters? Come, give me your hand and kiss me This beautiful May-morning.

    EVA. The most beautiful May we have had for many years!

    EDGAR. And here Is the most beautiful morning of this May. Nay, you must smile upon me! There--you make The May and morning still more beautiful, You, the most beautiful blossom of the May.

    EVA. Dear Philip, all the world is beautiful If we were happy, and could chime in with it.

    EDGAR. True; for the senses, love, are for the world; That for the senses.

    EVA. Yes.

    EDGAR. And when the man, The child of evolution, flings aside His swaddling-bands, the morals of the tribe, He, following his own instincts as his God, Will enter on the larger golden age; No pleasure then taboo'd: for when the tide Of full democracy has overwhelm'd This Old world, from that flood will rise the New, Like the Love-goddess, with no bridal veil, Ring, trinket of the Church, but naked Nature In all her loveliness.

    EVA. What are you saying?

    EDGAR. That, if we did not strain to make ourselves Better and higher than Nature, we might be As happy as the bees there at their honey In these sweet blossoms.

    EVA. Yes; how sweet they smell!

    EDGAR. There! let me break some off for you. [Breaking branch off.

    EVA. My thanks. But, look, how wasteful of the blossom you are! One, two, three, four, five, six--you have robb'd poor father Of ten good apples. Oh, I forgot to tell you He wishes you to dine along with us, And speak for him after--you that are so clever!

    EDGAR. I grieve I cannot; but, indeed--

    EVA. What is it?

    EDGAR. Well, business. I must leave you, love, to-day.

    EVA. Leave me, to-day! And when will you return?

    EDGAR. I cannot tell precisely; but--

    EVA. But what?

    EDGAR. I trust, my dear, we shall be always friends.

    EVA. After all that has gone between us--friends! What, only friends? [Drops branch.

    EDGAR. All that has gone between us Should surely make us friends.

    EVA. But keep us lovers.

    EDGAR. Child, do you love me now?

    EVA. Yes, now and ever.

    EDGAR. Then you should wish us both to love for ever. But, if you will bind love to one for ever, Altho' at first he take his bonds for flowers, As years go on, he feels them press upon him, Begins to flutter in them, and at last Breaks thro' them, and so flies away for ever; While, had you left him free use of his wings, Who knows that he had ever dream'd of flying?

    EVA. But all that sounds so wicked and so strange; 'Till death us part'--those are the only words, The true ones--nay, and those not true enough, For they that love do not believe that death Will part them. Why do you jest with me, and try To fright me? Tho' you are a gentleman, I but a farmer's daughter--

    EDGAR. Tut! you talk Old feudalism. When the great Democracy Makes a new world--

    EVA. And if you be not jesting, Neither the old world, nor the new, nor father, Sister, nor you, shall ever see me more.

    EDGAR (moved). Then--(aside) Shall I say it?--(aloud) fly with me to-day.

    EVA. No! Philip, Philip, if you do not marry me, I shall go mad for utter shame and die.

    EDGAR. Then, if we needs must be conventional, When shall your parish-parson bawl our banns Before your gaping clowns?

    EVA. Not in our church-- I think I scarce could hold my head up there. Is there no other way?

    EDGAR. Yes, if you cared To fee an over-opulent superstition, Then they would grant you what they call a licence To marry. Do you wish it?

    EVA. Do I wish it?

    EDGAR. In London.

    EVA. You will write to me?

    EDGAR. I will.

    EVA. And I will fly to you thro' the night, the storm-- Yes, tho' the fire should run along the ground, As once it did in Egypt. Oh, you see, I was just out of school, I had no mother-- My sister far away--and you, a gentleman, Told me to trust you: yes, in everything-- That was the only true love; and I trusted-- Oh, yes, indeed, I would have died for you. How could you--Oh, how could you?--nay, how could I? But now you will set all right again, and I Shall not be made the laughter of the village, And poor old father not die miserable.

    DORA (singing in the distance).

    'O joy for the promise of May, of May, O joy for the promise of May.'

    EDGAR. Speak not so loudly; that must be your sister. You never told her, then, of what has past Between us.

    EVA. Never!

    EDGAR. Do not till I bid you.

    EVA. No, Philip, no. [Turns away.

    EDGAR (moved). How gracefully there she stands Weeping--the little Niobe! What! we prize The statue or the picture all the more When we have made them ours! Is she less loveable, Less lovely, being wholly mine? To stay-- Follow my art among these quiet fields, Live with these honest folk-- And play the fool! No! she that gave herself to me so easily Will yield herself as easily to another.

    EVA. Did you speak, Philip?

    EDGAR. Nothing more, farewell.

    [They embrace.

    DORA (coming nearer).

    'O grief for the promis May, of May, O grief for the promise of May.'

    EDGAR (still embracing her). Keep up your heart until we meet again.

    EVA. If that should break before we meet again?

    EDGAR. Break! nay, but call for Philip when you will, And he returns.

    EVA. Heaven hears you, Philip Edgar!

    EDGAR (moved). And he would hear you even from the grave. Heaven curse him if he come not at your call! [Exit.

    Enter DORA.

    DORA. Well, Eva!

    EVA. Oh, Dora, Dora, how long you have been away from home! Oh, how often I have wished for you! It seemed to me that we were parted for ever.

    DORA. For ever, you foolish child! What's come over you? We parted like the brook yonder about the alder island, to come together again in a moment and to go on together again, till one of us be married. But where is this Mr. Edgar whom you praised so in your first letters? You haven't even mentioned him in your last?

    EVA. He has gone to London.

    DORA. Ay, child; and you look thin and pale. Is it for his absence? Have you fancied yourself in love with him? That's all nonsense, you know, such a baby as you are. But you shall tell me all about it.

    EVA. Not now--presently. Yes, I have been in trouble, but I am happy--I think, quite happy now.

    DORA (taking EVA'S hand). Come, then, and make them happy in the long barn, for father is in his glory, and there is a piece of beef like a house-side, and a plum-pudding as big as the round haystack. But see they are coming out for the dance already. Well, my child, let us join them.

    Enter all from barn laughing. EVA sits reluctantly under apple tree. STEER enters smoking, sits by EVA.


    Next Chapter
    Chapter 2
    Previous Chapter
    If you're writing a Lord Alfred Tennyson essay and need some advice, post your Lord Alfred Tennyson essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

    Top 5 Authors

    Top 5 Books

    Book Status
    Want to read

    Are you sure you want to leave this group?