The Yeomen of the Guard

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Dialogue following No. 3a

Enter Leonard Meryll.

Leonard Pheobe & Meryll

Leonard. Father!

Sergeant Meryll. Leonard! my brave boy! I'm right glad to see thee, and so is Phœbe!

Phœbe. Aye — hast thou brought Colonel Fairfax's reprieve?

Leonard. Nay, I have here a despatch for the Lieutenant, but no reprieve for the Colonel!

Phœbe. Poor gentleman! poor gentleman!

Leonard. Aye, I would I had brought better news. I'd give my right hand — nay, my body — my life, to save his!

Sergeant Meryll. Dost thou speak in earnest, my lad?

Leonard. Aye, father — I'm no braggart. Did he not save thy life? and am I not his foster-brother?

Sergeant Meryll. Then hearken to me. Thou hast come to join the Yeomen of the Guard!

Leonard. Well?

Sergeant Meryll. None has seen thee but ourselves?

Leonard. And a sentry, who took scant notice of me.

Sergeant Meryll. Now to prove thy words. Give me the despatch and get thee hence at once! Here is money, and I'll send thee more. Lie hidden for a space, and let no one know. I'll convey a suit of Yeoman's uniform to the Colonel's cell — he shall shave off his beard, so that none shall know him, and I'll own him as my son, the brave Leonard Meryll, who saved his flag and cut his way through fifty foes who thirsted for his life. He will be welcomed without question by my brother-Yeomen, I'll warrant that. Now, how to get access to the Colonel's cell? (To Phœbe.) The key is with thy sour-faced admirer, Wilfred Shadbolt.

Phœbe. (demurely) I think — I say, I think — I can get anything I want from Wilfred. I think — mind I say, I think — you may leave that to me.

Sergeant Meryll. Then get thee hence at once, lad — and bless thee for this sacrifice.

Phœbe. And take my blessing, too, dear, dear Leonard!

Leonard. And thine. eh? Humph! Thy love is newborn; wrap it up carefully, lest it take cold and die.

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