SCENE v PART FIRST
FIRST PEDESTRIAN (to Second Pedestrian)
These be inland men who, I warrant 'ee, don't know a lerret from a lighter! Let's take no heed of such, comrade ; and hurry on!
Will you not hear
That what was seen behind the midnight mist, Their oar-blades tossing1 twinkles to the moon. Was but a fleet of fishing-craft belated By reason of the vastness of their haul?
Hey? And d'ye know it?—Now I look back to the top o5 Rudgeway the folk do seem as come to a pause there.—Be this true, never again do I stir my stumps for any alarm short of the Day of Judgment! Nine times has my rheumatical rest been broke in these last three years by hues and cries of Boney upon us. 'Od rot the feller; now he's made a fool of me once more, till my inside is like a wash-tub, what wi1 being so gallied, and running so leery!—But how if you be one of the enemy, sent to sow these tares, so to speak it, these false tidings, and coax us into a fancied*safety ? Hey, neighbours? I don't, after all, care for this story!
If Boney's come, 'tis best to be away ; And if he's not, why, we've a holiday!
The Spirits of Rumour vanish, while the scene seems to become involved in the smoke from the beacon, and slowly disappears.1
1 The remains of the lonely hut occupied by the beacon-keepers, consisting of some half-buried brickbats, and a little mound of peat overgrown with moss, are still visible on the elevated spot referred to. The two keepers themselves, and their eccentricities and sayings, are traditionary,