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her beautiful creation? I'll travel over, and taste every blessing ; nor wait till the tired sense palls with possession, but fly from joy to joy, unsated, fresh for new delights.
Heart. Do so, make yourself as good an entertainment as you can possibly form in imagination; while I walk forward, and endeavour to get a real supper and a bed.
[Going. Mode. Nay, I'll go with you. You know I am no Platonic; in love or mutton, I always fall to without ceremony.
FLORA, AURA, and some country Maids and Men dancing, with a fiddle before them, singing, the burden of the ballad : The lads and the lasses a sheep-sheering go.
Aura. In short, my feet are out o' measure; I am tired with the mirth of the day, “ and my weary “ limbs hobble after the crowd, like a tired pack“ horse to the lamentable music of his own heavy « bells."
Flora. You have won the garland of the green; the sheep-sheerers have given you the honours of their feast ; you must pay the fees, and dance out of their debt. * Aura. Strike up then, thou torturer of cat-guts, “ clap thy ear and thy hands to the fiddle, and awake “ the drowsy strings." Flora. First we'll have the sheep-sheering song.
When the rose is in bud, and blue violets blow, .
When without the plough
Fat oxen low,
The cleanly milk-pail
Our table's the grass;
And every lad has his lass.
The shepherd sheers his jolly fleece,
'Tis our cloth and our food,
And our politic blood;
'Tis a mine above ground,
Where our treasure is found;
Aura. Now, Clodden, once more thy hand, if thou durst venture t'other trip.
“ Clod. Ay, with all my heart, fair maiden; I'll “ stand by you, to be sure, as long as 'tone foot will “ stand by t'other. " Aura. Away, then.
[A dancc. “ 1 Count. Odsnigs, she dances featly! Ha, Mall, " didst thou ever see the peer o'en ?
• 2 Count. Pray ye, now, who be thick maidens, " who have been so merry at our feast to-day?
« 1 Count. Nay, nay, I know 'em not. Neighbour “ Clodden brought 'em; they been his guests, to be « sure.
“ Clod. Now, look ye, d'ye see, to be sure we will “ have the Sheep-sheering once again, and then it " will be time to go home. The sun is going to bed “ already. Come, neighbour, dust it away.”
[Dance, and exeunt omnes, except Aura and Flora. Aura. Cousin, I'll go to London.
Flora. What new lure has Satan employed to tempt you thither?
Aura. Only to see some of my own species, a few men and women; for I cannot look on the things we talk'd to just now, but as beings between men and beasts, and of an inferior nature to the people who grow in cities. If I stay longer among these savages, I shall not have vanity enough to keep myself clean. I must go to London to recover my pride ; 'tis starv. ing here.
Flora. And yet, how often have I heard thee rail at London, and call it an infectious congregation of vapours, an assemblage of falsehood and hypocrisy ?
Aura. 'Tis true ; but my affections have taken another turn. The heart of a woman, girl, like a bowl down a hill, continually changes as it rolls; “'tis a glass “ that receives every image, but retains none; the “ next new idea wholly effaces the former.” I declare seriously, I never knew my own mind two hours together in my life. .
« Flora. 'Tis a blank sheet, and yet will receive no « impression. How often have I endeavoured to enis grave there an aversion to that abominable town, “ where credit is the pawn of knaves, and fatténs “ upon the avariče of fools. Religion has been made " the politician's bubble, and honour's public mer“ chandise; and what ought to be the distinction of “ virtue, has been there made the price of sin. The " tyrant, money, governs all: there every thing is “ venal; faith, fame, friendship, reason, and reli6 gion; nay, love, my dear, love, is bought and « sold there too. : « Aura. О' my word, you declaim, child, like a “ country schoolmaster. Yet, after all, people bred " in society, who can talk, and look, and lie, and r bow a little, are as much superior to these clowns,
as angels are to them. . “ Flora. Have you courage enough to go barefaced
into a crowd, where every body wears a mask?
“ Aura. No, I'll be in the mode, and wear one ď too.
“ Flora. What, at the price of truth? With us « now every thing is unadorn'd by art, and looks so “ beautiful in the dress of nature, so innocent, sim“ ple, and undisguised
" Aura. Ay; but there is a sort of wearisome dul. « ness that waits upon our simplicity. Now here we « must travel seven miles, seven long miles at least, “ to a beggarly country village, which you pom" pously stile our market town, where we may by “ chance see two things like intelligent beings, the “ parson and the attorney, or it may be some younger “ brother of some neighbouring lord of the manor, “ whose face carries the colour of the October, and “ his shape of the hogshead he feeds on, who drinks “ so constantly and so much, as if all the religion he “ had ever been taught was, that man was created to “ swallow a prodigious quantity of stale beer.”
Flora. Cousin, thou art a very wild fop.
Aura. We are all so in our hearts. What girl, whose whole composition is not dough and phlegm, would quit the management of her fan for a shepherdess's crook, or gather daisies in the meads, and make garlands for lambs, when she may pick up hearts in the ring, and make conquests of men, or be content to behold the muddy reflection of her own face in a pond, when she may glide through a crowd of living mirrors in the drawing-room, and be flattered by the whole beau monde-But, o' my conscience, here they are!