The Yeomen of the Guard


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Dialogue following No. 3

Enter Sergeant Meryll.

Phœbe. Father! Has no reprieve arrived for the poor gentleman?

Sergeant Meryll. No, my lass; but there's one hope yet. Thy brother Leonard, who, as a reward for his valour in saving his standard and cutting his way through fifty foes who would have hanged him, has been appointed a Yeoman of the Guard, will arrive to-day; and as he comes straight from Windsor, where the Court is, it may be — it may be— that he will bring the expected reprieve with him.

Phœbe. Oh, that he may!

Sergeant Meryll. Amen to that! For the Colonel twice saved my life, and I'd give the rest of my life to save his! And wilt thou not be glad to welcome thy brave brother, with the fame of whose exploits all England is a-ringing?

Darrell Fancourt as Sergeant Meryll & Marjorie Eyre as Phœbe, 1939
Click on Picture to enlarge

Phœbe. Aye, truly, if he brings the reprieve.

Sergeant Meryll. And not otherwise?

Phœbe. Well, he's a brave fellow indeed, and I love brave men.

Sergeant Meryll. All brave men?

Phœbe. Most of them, I verily believe! But I hope Leonard will not be too strict with me — they say he is a very dragon of virtue and circumspection! Now, my dear old father is kindness itself, and —

Sergeant Meryll. And leaves thee pretty well to thine own ways, eh? Well, I've no fears for thee; thou hast a feather-brain, but thou'rt a good lass.

Phœbe. Yes, that's all very well, but if Leonard is going to tell me that I may not do this and I may not do that, and I must not talk to this one, or walk with that one, but go through the world with my lips pursed up and my eyes cast down, like a poor nun who has renounced mankind — why, as I have not renounced mankind, and don't mean to renounce mankind, I won't have it — there!

Sergeant Meryll. Nay, he'll not check thee more than is good for thee, Phœbe! He's a brave fellow, and bravest among brave fellows, and yet it seems but yesterday that he robbed the Lieutenant's orchard.

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