Tansie. You shall pay for that, Chris.
John. [Stiffly.] I hope as I’ve a properer sense of my duty nor many others what I could name.
Mrs. Gardner. Those are the first suitable words that have been spoken in my hearing this afternoon.
[William, with Laura on his arm, returns. Laura carries a small cucumber very lovingly.
Laura. Julia, look! The first one of the season! O, isn’t it a picture!
Julia. O Laura, ’tis a fine wedding gift to be sure.
William. [Stepping up to John.] John, my man, here’s a five pound note to your pocket. I’d never have won this lady here if it hadn’t been for you.
John. [Taking the note.] Don’t name it, dear master. ’Tis a long courtship what has no ending to it, so I always says.
Mrs. Gardner. ’Tis one upset after another, but suppose you were to make yourself useful for once, Susan, and bring out the tray with the cake and glasses on it.
John. Ah, that’s it, and I’ll go along of she and help draw the cider. Courtship be powerful drying work.
Laura. [Looking into William’s eyes.] O William, ’twas those Early Snowballs that did first stir up my heart.
William. ’Twas John who thought of them. Why, John has more sensible thoughts to the mind of him than any other man in the world--and when the cider is brought, ’tis to John’s health we will all drink.
CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY
Rose, Marion, village girls.
Alice, her maid.
Leah, an old gipsy.
Susan, otherwise Princess Royal, her grand-daughter.
Jockie, a little swine herd.
Her ladies in waiting (or one lady only).
Lord Cullen, her only son.
As many girls as are needed for the dances should be in this Play.
The parts of Lord Cullen and Jockie may be played by girls.
Act I.—Scene 1.
A village green. Some girls with market baskets come on to it, each one carrying a leaflet which she is earnestly reading.
Gradually all the girls approach from different sides reading leaflets.
Under a tree at the far end of the green the old gipsy is sitting— she lights a pipe and begins to smoke as rose, her basket full of market produce, comes slowly forward reading her sheet of paper. She is followed by Marion—also reading.
Rose. Well, ’tis like to be a fine set out, this May Day.
Marion. I can make naught of it myself.
Rose. Why, ’tis Lord Cullen putting it about as how he be back from the war and thinking of getting himself wed, like.