The Yeomen of the Guard


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Dialogue following No. 11

Wilfred. No, thou'rt not — not yet! But, Lord, how she woo'd! I should be no mean judge of wooing, seeing that I have been more hotly woo'd than most men. I have been woo'd by maid, widow, and wife. I have been woo'd boldly, timidly, tearfully, shyly — by direct assault, by suggestion, by implication, by inference, and by innuendo. But this wooing is not of the common order; it is the wooing of one who must needs woo me, if she die for it!

Exit Wilfred. Enter Sergeant Meryll, cautiously, from Tower.

Courtice Pounds as Colonel Fairfax in the Original Production
Click on picture to enlarge

Meryll. (looking after them) The deed is, so far, safely accomplished. The slyboots, how she wheedled him! What a helpless ninny is a love-sick man! He is but as a lute in a woman's hands — she plays upon him whatever tune she will. But the Colonel comes. I' faith, he's just in time, for the Yeomen parade here for his execution in two minutes!

Enter Fairfax, without beard and moustache, and dressed in Yeoman's uniform.

Fairfax. My good and kind friend, thou runnest a grave risk for me!

Meryll. Tut, sir, no risk. I'll warrant none here will recognise you. You make a brave Yeoman, sir! So — this ruff is too high; so — and the sword should hang thus. Here is your halbert, sir; carry it thus. The Yeomen come. Now, remember, you are my brave son, Leonard Meryll.

Fairfax. If I may not bear mine own name, there is none other I would bear so readily.

Meryll. Now, sir, put a bold face on it, for they come.

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