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Full text of "The Dynasts : Parts First And Second"

SCENE v                     PART FIRST
OLD MAN (lowering his pike)
A form o words, Mis'ess Cantle, no more; ordained by his Majesty's Government to be spoke by all we on sworn duty for the defence o' the country. Strict rank-and-file rules is our only horn of salvation in these times-—But, my dear woman, why ever have ye come Jumpering up to Rainbarrows at this time o' night?
WOMAN
We've been troubled with bad dreams, owing to the firing out at sea yesterday; and at last I could sleep no more, feeling sure that sommat boded of His coming. And I said to Cantle, I'll ray myself, and go up to Beacon, and ask if anything have been heard or seen to-night. And here we be.
OLD MAN
Not a sign or sound—all's as still as a churchyard. And how is your good man ?
PRIVATE (advancing)
Clk! I be all right! I was in the ranks, helping to keep the ground at the review by the King this week. We was a wonderful sight—wonderful! The King said so again and again.—Yes, there was he, and there was I, though not daring to move a' eyebrow in the presence of Majesty. I havfe come home on a night's leave—off there again to-morrow. Boney's expected every day, the Lord be praised 1 Yes, our hopes are to be fulfilled soon, as we say in the army.
OLD MAN
There, there, Cantle ; don't ye speak quite so large, and stand so ovor-upright. Your back is as holler as a fire-dog's." Do ye suppose that we on active service here don't know war news? Mind you don't go
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