The Gala Day by Lydia Maria Child

PERSONS.

   MRS. LANDOR.
   EDITH, her daughter,           }
   FANNY, Edith's cousin.         } Dressed as Fairies.
   EDWARD, Mrs. Landor's son.
   ELINOR, a gypsy woman.
   JULIA. Fantastically dressed.
   LISA. In an old brown dress.
   CATHARINE HALL.
   SARAH MUNN.
   Constable and men.
   Many children, dressed as fairies.

SCENE 1. A Garden; Children dressed as Fairies, playing about. They join hands in a dance.

SONG.

      Sing the round;
      Chide no bound;
  Frisk it free with merry feet;
      Harebells blue,
      Violets true,
  Lend your odors; breathe them sweet.

      Bring the breeze,
      Tallest trees;
  Seize our songs and bear them round.
      Circle on;
      Anon, anon,
  Dance we well on fairy ground.

      Waters bright,
      Gleaming light,
  Where's the elf of Eldon Low?
      Sit with me
      Upon the tree;
  Sing our songs on the topmost bough.

      Wait a pace;
      With a grace
  Comes our queen—a gentle sprite;
      Fireflies glow;
      Whisper low;
  She's the star that flits with night.

Enter EDITH as Queen, and other fairies; also JULIA.

  EDITH.
  Our wings are very weary. We've been flying
  From tree to tree, with stillest motions spying
  Into frail nests; and every dreaming bird
  Popped up his head, when he our whispers heard.
  They told us all their secrets—many a one
  That is not warbled to the full-rayed sun.
  But dance away; we will go rest a while,
  While you with sports and songs the time beguile.

  JULIA.
  O, whip-poor-will, dost thou hear that tone?
  Come, lightsome queen, thou'rt mine own, mine own.

  EDITH.
  Art thou the elf that in the hollow tree
  Hoots with the owl, and mocks the night with glee?

  JULIA.
  In the halo of a star
  Bathe thy brow, and gaze afar;
  Stately walk, with dainty mien;
  Fold thy robes, my fairy queen;
  Thou art mine, and I am thine;
  Ope thine eyes and bid them shine.

  EDITH.
  Go hence, dull raven; when I bid thee croak,
  'Twill be when frogs sing ditties on an oak;
  When hopping toads like winged skylarks fly;
  When limping elves are lovely to mine eye.

  JULIA.
  'Twill be when the morning's freshness breathes,
  And the clustering ivy thy hair inwreathes;
  When thy voice shall be soft as the day's last sigh.
  And hope like a shadow shall over thee lie;
  Thou wilt call on my name; and from far o'er the sea,
  Fierce thunders and lightnings shall mutter of me.

  EDITH.
  Thou art a gypsy girl—I know thee well;
  Forget the queen, and Edith's fortunes tell.

  JULIA.
  Sorrow is o'er thee, though 'tis not thine own;
  Lonely thou art, though never alone;
  The sunshine is bright; but the sunshine is dark,
  The sea shall betray thee; yet hide not thy bark.

  EDITH.
  Sorrow is o'er me! Not on these summer days,
  When nature gives consent to all our plays.
  The happy birds attune their songs to ours,
  And rainbow hues encircle frolic showers;
  Our saddest tears are wept without dismay;
  Soft shining sunsets cheer the cloudiest day.

  JULIA.
  Hold thy joys lightly. Beware, O, beware!
  Vapors rise from the earth, and mists darken the air.

  EDITH.
  Tell me thy name, and wherefore art thou here?

  JULIA.
  I am the Queen of Sorrow; to my court,
  'Mid clouds and storms, both old and young resort.
  The golden stream of life, on which you glide,
  Through my grim caves must roll its head-long tide.

  EDITH.
  How wildly gleams the light within thine eye!
  And thy dark hair hangs o'er thee mournfully.
  O, come with me and join our gladsome dance!
  If thou hast griefs, we'll lull them in a trance.
  We weave our melodies from spring's soft air;
  Sure such sweet sounds will banish all thy care.
  Do not go forth to wander on the waste,
  For there, they say, pale sorrows dimly haste.

  JULIA sings.

  Sweet grief, I have loved thee so long,
    I cannot leave thee now;
  They woo me with music and song;
    Here at thy feet I bow.

  They move in their festal robes,
    And thine are worn and gray;
  Let me hide 'mid their heavy folds,
    Let me turn from their joy away.

  Thine eyes threw their shadow o'er me;
    I caught their glance so wild;
  I stood on thy earthen floor;
    Thou welcomed the young, timid child.

  FIRST FAIRY.
  See, pretty queen, I have brought thee a flower,
  A little white snowdrop; 'twill droop in an hour:
  I drove out the bee that hummed in its cell;
  O, take it, for Caronec loveth thee well.

  SECOND FAIRY.
  Pray look at my marvels, wrought of pure gold;
  Bright are the sunbeams they gayly enfold;
  The elves call them king-cups, but, queen, they are thine;
  I've filled them with dewdrops instead of red wine.

  EDITH.
  I thank you both, my merry little fays;
  Now spread your wings, and speed along your ways;
  And I will go where cooler shades press down,
  For I am weary, though I wear a crown.

SCENE 2. Outside the Garden Gate. LISA alone.

LISA. I wish mother would come; I am so tired and hungry! She said Julia was in here, but I cannot see her. How many children are moving about—all in white dresses, and so pretty! They have wings too. I wonder if all ladies have wings. I wish I could go in; and perhaps they would give me a piece of bread; but I am afraid. For all they look so pleasant, they might drive me away. One is coming down the path; I am sure I might speak to her, she looks so kind.

Enter EDITH.

EDITH. It is pretty to play queen and be a fairy; but I know not how it is, I cannot dance and frolic as usual to-day. That gypsy girl looked so wildly upon me! She has been over sea and land, and knows many strange things, and I have seen nothing. How sorrowful she was! I wished to hold out my hand to her, but feared she would throw it aside; there was something so scornful about her. Dear little Amy! I will lie down and rest in your garden. Here are the lilies of the valley you planted; the moonlight shines down upon them as they lie folded in their green leaves, just as you lay in my arms when you were so ill; and they look out and smile as you smiled at me. Why did you go away from me? Amy, Amy! Who is that sobbing? It sounded like Amy among her flowers; but O, it cannot be. No, it is outside the gate. I will go and see who is there. What is the matter, little girl? Why do you cry so?

LISA. I am so hungry, and so lonesome here. I wanted to speak to you, and was afraid.

EDITH. Poor child! come in. I will run and bring you something to eat. Sit down here by my little sister's garden until I come back. (Goes.)

LISA. How beautiful she is! I wonder if her little sister died. I would not if I had been her sister. I wish she would let me kiss her once.

EDITH, (returning.) Here is some cake for you. The children called out to me, but I snatched it from the table and flew off. Eat it all, and then you shall tell me who you are, and where you live.

LISA. I do not live any where; I go about all the time with mother and the gypsies.

EDITH. You are a little gypsy girl then. Was that your sister who came into the garden?

LISA. Was she there? She said she was going, but I peeped in and could not see her.

EDITH. And you wander about all over the world, seeing wonderful things?

LISA. O, yes, we walk about from one place to another, till I am so tired I can hardly stand. When I was small, mother used to carry me; but now I am too big. But at night she wraps her cloak round me, and holds me close in her arms, and sings me to sleep. I like the nights best. In the day she often goes off and leaves me waiting for her, somewhere, all alone.

EDITH. In the nights you sleep in your tents, and hear them flapping in the wind, and look out at the stars?

LISA. Most always we sleep in a barn. When we can't find one we sleep out doors, and have a fire when it is very cold. I am so sleepy I never look up at the stars, only sometimes. Last night we slept under a tree full of blossoms, and when I woke up, they were blowing over us like a snow storm. I wanted mother to see how pretty they were, but I knew she was tired, so I kissed her softly, and went to sleep again.

EDITH. What does she sing to you?

LISA sings.

  We have wandered far through forest wild;
  We have climbed where craggy rocks are piled;
  Sleep in peace, my gypsy child;
        Mother watcheth o'er thee.

  Night winds breathe a lulling sound;
  Gentle moonlight streams around;
  Shadows settle o'er the ground;
        Sweet visions fly before thee.

  Sleep, my child; to-morrow, waking,
  To thee shall come no sad heart-aching;
  One is near—the ne'er-forsaking!
        Mother watcheth o'er thee.

LISA. It makes the tears come into your eyes; does your mother sing it to you?

EDITH. O, no, my mother never sings to me. I sleep all alone, in a great, silent room, and they draw the heavy curtains all around, so that not even a star can peep in. I wish I could sleep under the sky as you do. Would it not be pleasant if we could change places a little while! I will be your mother's child, and you shall have all my fine things, and plenty to eat, and can play about all day.

LISA. O, yes, but I don't like to leave mother.

EDITH. It will be only for a day or two, and I know she will be willing. I will roam about with her, and see the world, and they will all be kind to you here; so let us change clothes. You shall have my fairy garments, and I will put on your brown dress.

LISA. And shall I wear these beautiful things all the time?

EDITH. To-morrow they will play fairy again; after that, my cousins will go away, and you will have to begin to study. Do you like to study?

LISA. What is study?

EDITH. Do you not even know your alphabet? How funny it will be to see Miss Magin sitting up like a forsaken owl, calling out A, and A you will softly say; then B, and C, and so on. If you had learned to read, you would have to pore over books all the time. Nothing but books! I could learn more, rambling about three days, than I could in books in half a century. When lessons are over, mother will come in and ask if you have been good, and as you will not have had any novels or poetry hidden away, Miss Magin will answer, "Yes, madam, she has been so." Then mother will give you a tart and an orange, and say you may walk in the garden and gather pinks. You can go round the garden and look at the fountains, or into the grove, but not outside the wall, or you will have Miss Magin tagging after you, to see that nothing happens to you. After dinner, you will have to practise and sew, and in the evening play backgammon with mother, or talk to the visitors who come in.

LISA. But I cannot do all these things; I don't know how.

EDITH. Well, you will not have to. They will soon find out you are a gypsy girl, and cannot be tamed down into a young lady. But you must not let them find it out to-night, or they will immediately send you after me. Your voice is so much like mine they will not notice that, and you must stay in the shadow of the evergreens, and not venture into the moonlight. When they talk to you, you must not say much, but sing gypsy songs, always changing the word gypsy for fairy; and in a little while you can steal quietly off to bed.

LISA. But how shall I know where to go?

EDITH. I sleep now with my cousin Fanny. She has a blue dress and silver wings; you must whisper to her and ask her to go with you; and then you can tell her the secret. She will not tell any one. Perhaps you had better leave the wreath here, and the wings, for many of the fairies have none, and they will not think it is I, without them. You cannot get on my shoes—can you?

LISA. I walk so much barefooted. What pretty gold shoes they are! I wish I could wear them.

EDITH. No, you will have to leave them here. Lay them on this flower bed with the wings. They look as if they might belong to little Amy—perhaps she will come for them to-night.

LISA. You seem so strange in my dress!

EDITH. I like to have it on. But it will hurt me to go barefooted. Never mind—I wish to try how you live, in every way. How pleasant it will be to sleep in the free air to-night! But you will like my bed with the flowered curtains, and the pictures, and all the things.

LISA. O, yes; but you will give my love to mother.

EDITH. Not to-night. I am going to be her little girl to-night. But to-morrow I will. I will come back in a few days and give you a great many pretty presents before you go away. Good by. I hope you will have a pleasant time.

LISA. May I kiss you once?

EDITH. Why, yes, indeed. You are a dear child; you look like a real fairy in your new dress. Good night.

LISA goes along the Garden Path. EDITH waits outside, and pulls her hat over her face as ELINOR approaches.

ELINOR. Come along. Lisa. Have you seen any thing of Julia? Here, take this bundle.

EDITH. How heavy it is!

ELINOR. Heavy, do you call it? It's I that have the burden to bear. I've had enough to do this day; we must be home pretty quick, I can tell you. But stop, child, you have had nothing to eat; here's some meat for you.

EDITH, I do not want it. A lady came and gave me some cake.

ELINOR. A lady! What kind of a lady, I wonder?

EDITH. She was all dressed in purple and gold, and we sat and ate it together. It was very nice cake.

ELINOR. A lady ate with a beggar! This is the first time I ever heard of such a thing. All in gold too.—(Aside.) I must teach her the business—what a chance she had.

EDITH, (aside.) What a frightful woman! Can it be Lisa's mother? I must ask some questions and find out. (To Elinor.) Where do you think Julia is?

ELINOR. I know not, and care not. She's a real vagrant, that girl is. No manner of use. She may go her own ways; I wash my hands of her.

EDITH. Will you sing me to sleep to-night? I am very tired.

ELINOR. Sing you to sleep? Yes, darling! What makes you lag behind so? Take hold of my hand; I'll help you along. How your hand trembles. Sing a song and cheer up. We must walk fast.

EDITH sings the song LISA sang.

We have wandered far through forests wild, &c.

ELINOR. She has a sweet voice; we might make something of that. But it's of no use—she can't be saved. I may as well begin now. Lisa, do you know what is in these bundles?

EDITH. Something that weighs a good deal.

ELINOR. It's silver, child; real silver.

EDITH. But where did you get it?

ELINOR. Where? where do you think? I took it out of a house.

EDITH. Took it! Do you mean that you stole it?

ELINOR. Stole it? Out with it! Yes, I stole it. How should you like to steal?

EDITH. But it is not right.

ELINOR. Who says it is not right?

EDITH. Why, every body says so.

ELINOR. The rich say so. They ride in their carriages, and live in their grand houses, and when we are starving, and freezing with cold, if we take a mouthful to eat, or a rag to put on, they call it stealing, and hunt us up to put us in jail, and treat us worse than brutes. I tell you I hate them. I should like to see them homeless as we are, with the cold winds blowing through them. Then would I laugh at them, as they laugh at us. Then would they know what it is to suffer, with never a hand to help them.

EDITH. But some of them are kind.

ELINOR. Kind do you call if? If you beg and beg, and tell a piteous story, they will give you an old gown and a cold potato, just as they would throw a bone to a dog; and you must stand in their entries all the time. Your clothes are not good enough for their parlors, and they watch every motion, to see that you do not steal. But I can tell them I will steal. If I had not taken their clothes and their food, do you think you would be alive now? You would have been frozen in the winter snows, and not a hand to help you. I asked for work and work, and never a bit could I get; so I took what I wanted, and you must learn to do so too, for I may not always be here to take care of you.

EDITH. But cannot I learn to work?

ELINOR. You never can get any work to do, unless you can show a good character, as they call it. I wonder what kind of characters they would have if they were treated as we are. Run! Hide! Down in the ditch with you! They are after us!

Enter a CONSTABLE and Man.

CONSTABLE. Here they are! Hallo, there! Come out of that! You need not duck under like two great bull-frogs. Up with you—here's a hand. We're polite folks, marm. Fish out the bundles, Jim. Them's the articles—silver spoons and all. Off to jail with you. You'll have to trip it fast enough, I'll warrant you. Here, Jim, you take the old bird; I'll see to the young un.

ELINOR. O, my child; you shall not take her away!

CONSTABLE. Shall not, ma'am! If you valooed your child, you'd be right glad to have her go. She's got bad notions enough. We'll edicate her now.

ELINOR. Lisa! Lisa!

ELINOR is led off.

EDITH. Where are you going to take me?

CONSTABLE. To the House of Correction; you'll get a good lesson there.

EDITH. You shall not; I am Miss —— No, I will not tell him. I want to see what they would have done with Lisa. I can come away whenever I tell my name.

Exeunt CONSTABLE and EDITH.

SCENE 3. Same as 1st Scene. Garden, and Children dancing and singing.

  FIRST FAIRY.
  Where is our queen?
  She has not been seen
  For many an hour,
  In acorn or flower.
  Airy bluebell,
  Pray can you tell?
  Anemone fair,
  Is she not there?
  Upspringing grass,
  Have you seen her pass?
  Where shall I go?
  Does nobody know?

  SECOND FAIRY.
  Look at that squirrel, lively and shy;
  I know he can tell, by the fun in his eye.

  THIRD FAIRY.
  There is a swallow, skimming about,
  Set him to seek her, and he'll find her out.

  FOURTH FAIRY.
  Over the moon sails a tiny white cloud;
  And on it she sails far away from the crowd.

  Enter LISA.

  FAIRIES sing.

  All hail to our queen! Now sing us a song,
  While we rest in the shadows, all lying along.

  LISA, as queen.

  Fairies, fairies, ever go
  Where the mountain torrents flow;
  Foot it high, and foot it low,
    A wildly joyful band.

  Fairies, fairies, loud our song;
  No man hears us pass along;
  Rugged cliffs and vales among—
    A wild and hidden land.

  Fairies, fairies, night is nigh;
  Light steals slowly from the sky.
  Lay us down with lullaby,
    Sleeping hand in hand.

  FIRST FAIRY.
  Come, lovely queen, you must dance with me now;
  For under the alder I vowed me a vow,
  Beneath the clear moonlight to kiss you three times.
  And whirl you about to my swift flowing rhymes.

  LISA, as queen.

    Under the tree
    Is the home for me;
  Here will I sleep,
   Through the lonely night,
  While the cold dews weep,
    In the pale starlight.

  FAIRY.

  Jewels must shine
    In the glance of the day;
  We shall mourn and repine,
    If thou hidest away.

  Come, my fair lily, shine graciously out,
  While we thy leal subjects will frisk all about.

  They draw her out.

  FIRST FAIRY. Why, it is not Edith; yet she has on her purple dress!

  SECOND FAIRY.
  An elf has crept into Fairyland;
  Bid her bide, and make her stand;
  Fairies, seize her by the hand;
      She shall not slip away.

THIRD FAIRY. How came you with the queen's dress?

LISA. She put it on me.

FANNY. Edith wishes to play us a trick; this is one of the farmer's daughters, perhaps.

Enter MRS. LANDOR.

MRS. L. Edith, it is time to break up your plays for to-night. To-morrow you shall dance again as much as you please.

FANNY. It is not Edith.

MRS. L. O, I thought it was; where is she? Some of you must go and look for her.

FANNY. This girl can tell you. She says Edith gave her the purple dress.

MRS. L. Where is Edith?

LISA. O, she has gone!

MRS. L. Gone! where?

LISA. She has gone with my mother.

MRS. L. With your mother, child? What do you mean?

LISA. Please don't frighten me so, and I will tell you. She said she wanted to be a gypsy; so she put on my dress, and waited at the gate for mother.

MRS. L. O, my child, my child! The gypsies have carried her off. What shall I do?

LISA. They did not carry her off; she said she wanted to go, and I should stay and sleep in her bed, and have plenty to eat, and be your child.

MRS. L. Be my child, you little impostor! Away with you, as fast as you can go.

FANNY. But she has Edith's fairy dress on.

MRS. L. Let her put on her own rags again.

FANNY. But Edith has her dress.

MRS. L. Then she must have one of Edith's old ones. Here, Nancy, see this child dressed in one of Miss Edith's frocks. Keep an eye upon her, and do not let her steal any thing.

FANNY. Mary, run and tell the men to go and look for Edith, and find Edward as soon as possible.

EDWARD, (entering.) Here I am, mother; what do you wish?

MRS. L. You must go in search of Edith; she has been carried off to the gypsies' camp.

EDWARD. The gypsies' camp! I will find her, mother; do not be troubled about her.

SCENE 4. A Lonely Road; LISA crying. EDWARD enters.

EDWARD. Edith, Edith, I have found you at last. (Throws his arms round her.)

LISA. It is not Edith; it is only me.

EDWARD. You, you little vagabond! What have you done with Edith? Where is your gypsy camp?

LISA. She is not there; I have been to the gypsies. They say mother is carried to jail, and Edith to the House of Correction.

EDWARD. Edith in the House of Correction! My sister! That shall never be.

Exit.

LISA. O, stop, stop! Pray show me the way to the jail; don't leave me alone here! There, he has gone. Edith would not have done so. What shall I do? I am so tired I cannot drag one foot after another. I must lie down and die here, all alone in the dark night. And mother is in the jail without me. How wretched she will be! O mother, mother!

SCENE 5. House of Correction. EDITH, CATHARINE HALL, SARAH MUNN, and other Women.

SARAH. What young thing is that they have just brought in? She looks as if she thought we were wild tigers from a caravan.

CATHARINE. She's a proud little minx; see how she holds up her head, and looks about, with her old brown rags on. For all she has such fine ways, I'll warrant you she is no better than the rest of us. I'll have a talk with her.

SARAH. Let her alone. Don't go; she's better than we, and shall be left so.

CATHARINE. Hands off. Do you think I'm going to be cheated of my sport? You had better turn minister. You look as grand as a judge. We'll teach her what kind of company she has fallen into. Come along; you haven't had any too much amusement to-day.

SARAH. Well.

CATHARINE. Come, child, tell us all about it; what are you in here for?

EDITH. I have done nothing.

CATHARINE. Arson, perhaps; that's my go.

EDITH. What is arson?

CATHARINE. What innocence! You never set a barn on fire, did you, my pretty one?

SARAH. Only a fence, Catharine, you know.

CATHARINE. You never stole a watch, or picked a pocket, or took a drink or two. O, no! How very young we are! Well, stay with us a while, and you'll soon be old. We can give you the best instructors.

EDWARD, (entering.) Where is she? Here, among these women! Edith, look up. I have come to take you home.

EDITH. Home! O Edward, I have heard such things!

EDWARD. Never mind the things; come quick as you can. Mother is in the greatest distress.

EDITH. Is Lisa there?

EDWARD. No, we sent her off, fast enough. I met her in the road looking for the jail and her mother.

EDITH. And you showed her the way?

EDWARD. No, I left her there; I was in haste to find you. I would not have any one know you are here for the world; the whole village would be talking about it to-morrow.

EDITH. Edward, I will not stir from this place until you bring Lisa here. If you knew to what dangers she is exposed, you would not have left her.

EDWARD. Are the bears coming to eat her? What dangers are you talking about?

EDITH. I cannot tell you now. Go—will you not? and bring her. She must not be left with these wretched people; she must not be taught to be wicked. She must go, with us, and be taken care of.

EDWARD. But let me carry you home first.

EDITH. No, Edward; I will not go until Lisa goes with me.

EDWARD. How obstinate you have become, all of a sudden! But I suppose I must go; I shall find her somewhere, crying, in the road. Hide yourself away; pray do not let any one see you. (Goes out.)

EDITH. Hide! I should like to hide a thousand miles under the ground. Is this the beautiful world I have dreamed so much about? It cannot be—such things cannot be true! Yes, I see them written on the faces of these women—how dreadful they are! O, what can we do?

SARAH. How could you talk to her so, Catharine? See how you have made her feel.

CATHARINE. She'll get used to it soon; that's the way with us all at first. She'll harden to it.

SARAH. It makes me almost cry to see her. Poor child! It was just so with me once; but that's all over now.

EDITH. You are not so bad as you seem. There is something good in you.

SARAH. Once there was.

EDITH. And is now. I am sure you would be good if you could come out, and live where people would love you, and be kind to you.

SARAH. That can never be.

EDITH. O, yes. You shall come and let me take care of you; I am not so poor as I seem. My mother is rich, and you shall come and live in one of her houses, and have books to read, and a little garden, and every thing pleasant.

SARAH. Your mother will never let me come. She will tell you, you must not speak to me, and send me away if I go near her.

EDITH. No, she will not. I will tell her the temptations you are led into; she knows nothing about it now. When she does, she will do all she can for you.

SARAH. O, if it might be so!

EDITH. And you too; I can forgive you, although you have made me so unhappy. I do not believe you are entirely wicked.

CATHARINE. I am wicked enough. Let me alone.

EDITH. But have you no one in the world who loves you—no mother, no sister, or brother?

CATHARINE. I have a child. I shall never see her again!

EDITH. Never see her again! Why not?

CATHARINE. I sent her away from me; I do not want her to lead the life I lead.

EDITH. But if you could lead a good life,—if she could be with you all day, and love you, and sleep all night with her little arms round you,—then should you not be happy?

CATHARINE. And scorn me, and jeer at me, as all the others do.

EDITH. But she will not; she will call you her own mother, and love you dearly. You will become good, and she will never know you have done wrong. Will you not come?

CATHARINE. O, yes, I will, I will!

Enter LISA and EDWARD.

EDITH. I am so glad you are found, Lisa; now you shall go home with me.

LISA. O, no; my mother is in prison; I must go to her—she'll want me so much. Do let me go.

EDITH. Edward, we must carry her there before we go home.

EDWARD. It will be useless; we cannot get into the jail at this hour of the evening.

EDITH. To-morrow, Lisa, early in the morning.

LISA. It is so long till then!

EDITH. Tell me your names before I go. "Catharine Hall." "Sarah Munn." "You will not forget."

CATHARINE. And my child—you will not forget her.

EDITH. I will remember you all, and come to-morrow. Good night.

She holds out her hand; CATHARINE draws back, then takes it. SARAH kisses it.

SCENE 6. Garden, as before. MRS. LANDOR, EDITH, FANNY, LISA, EDWARD, and Children.

MRS. L. Edith, how much trouble you have given me! Where have you been? Why did you bring that girl back?

EDWARD. Where do you think I found her? In the House of Correction.

MRS. L. In the House of Correction! My daughter! Edith Landor!

EDITH. Mother, I have something to say to you; will you not walk down the path with me? I shall come back soon, Lisa. Be gentle, girls.

FIRST GIRL. So you are a gypsy. A pretty game you have been playing! What made you steal Edith's clothes?

LISA. I did not steal them; she changed with me.

GIRL. That's a likely story. Your mother beat her, and made her give them up.

LISA. My mother did not beat her; she never beats any one. O, yes, she punishes Julia sometimes.

GIRL. And you very often, I think.

FANNY. How can you speak so to her? See, you have made her cry. Never mind, little girl; we know you did not mean to do any harm. I believe what you say. Edith is always getting into mischief in some way.

LISA. You will be good to me; you will be like Edith, will you not?

EDITH, (walking with her mother.) You knew all this, and you sent the child away from your home, to wander houseless, and be led into all kinds of evil. You love me, and take care of me, your own child, and yet you let so many children suffer and do wrong, and do nothing to save or help them. O mother!

MRS. L. I have been very thoughtless. I have never realized these things until now.

EDITH. But, mother, now that you do, you will not send this poor child away. Let her live in Jane's cottage; you know there are spare rooms there; and I can teach her to read and sew, and she will be so good! Will you not let her stay?

MRS. L. Yes, Edith, have it as you please.

EDITH. Lisa, you are going to live in a nice cottage of ours in the grove, and I shall teach you to read and write, and we will walk and play together, and be so happy.

LISA. And mother too?

MRS. L. No, I cannot have the gypsy woman about the place. What could she do here?

EDITH. But she will not be a gypsy woman if she lives here. She will become like one of us, and be very happy here with Lisa.

MRS. L. These gypsies never change; their vagabond ways are in the blood. You can do nothing with them. She will be for wandering off, east, west, and north, and be like a caged lioness when she is in the house.

EDWARD. They are not real gypsies, mother. I have heard the neighbors say they are poor people, who have assumed the gypsy mode of life to tell fortunes, and impose upon the country people.

EDITH. O, yes, mother, they do not seem like real gypsies. I know you can make of her what you will, if you will only let her come.

LISA. Do let her come—she is so good to me! I will not leave her. I will go wherever she goes.

MRS. L. Well, she may come too; we will try it, and see how it will answer.

EDITH. Dear mother, how can I thank you enough? She shall come this very night. Edward, cannot we get her out of jail?

EDWARD. It will be impossible, I think.

ELINOR. (rushes in.) Lisa! my child!

LISA. Mother, mother, have you come? (Throws herself into Elinor's arms.)

MRS. L. How did you come here, woman?

ELINOR. O, I ran away; they have not caught me this time. Come, Lisa, we must be off like lightning.

LISA. Mother, we are going to stay here, and live in a nice cottage, near Edith.

ELINOR. Who said so? They are laughing at you.

EDITH. Yes, it is true. Lisa is to be my little scholar.