The Yeomen of the Guard


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Dialogue following No. 2

Rosina Brandram in the 1897 Revival
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Enter Dame Carruthers.

Dame Carruthers. A good day to you!

2nd Yeoman. Good day, Dame Carruthers. Busy to-day?

Dame Carruthers. Busy, aye! the fire in the Beauchamp last night has given me work enough. A dozen poor prisoners — Richard Colfax, Sir Martin Byfleet, Colonel Fairfax, Warren the preacher-poet, and half-a-score others — all packed into one small cell, not six feet square. Poor Colonel Fairfax, who's to die to-day, is to be removed to No. 14 in the Cold Harbour that he may have his last hour alone with his confessor; and I've to see to that.

2nd Yeoman. Poor gentleman! He'll die bravely. I fought under him two years since, and he valued his life as it were a feather!

Phœbe.He's the bravest, the handsomest, and the best young gentleman in England! He twice saved my father's life; and it's a cruel thing, a wicked thing, and a barbarous thing that so gallant a hero should lose his head — for it's the handsomest head in England!

Dame Carruthers. For dealings with the devil. Aye! if all were beheaded who dealt with him, there'd be busy doings on Tower Green.

Phœbe.You know very well that Colonel Fairfax is a student of alchemy — nothing more, and nothing less; but this wicked Tower, like a cruel giant in a fairy-tale, must be fed with blood, and that blood must be the best and bravest in England, or it's not good enough for the old Blunderbore. Ugh!

Dame Carruthers. Silence, you silly girl; you know not what you say. I was born in the old keep, and I've grown grey in it, and, please God, I shall die and be buried in it; and there's not a stone in its walls that is not as dear to me as my right hand.

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