The Gala Day by Lydia Maria Child
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.
Constable and men.
Many children, dressed as fairies.
SCENE 1. A Garden; Children dressed as Fairies, playing about. They
join hands in a dance.
Sing the round;
Chide no bound;
Frisk it free with merry feet;
Lend your odors; breathe them sweet.
Bring the breeze,
Seize our songs and bear them round.
Dance we well on fairy ground.
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;
She's the star that flits with night.
Enter EDITH as Queen, and other fairies; also JULIA.
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.
O, whip-poor-will, dost thou hear that tone?
Come, lightsome queen, thou'rt mine own, mine own.
Art thou the elf that in the hollow tree
Hoots with the owl, and mocks the night with glee?
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.
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.
'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.
Thou art a gypsy girl—I know thee well;
Forget the queen, and Edith's fortunes tell.
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.
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.
Hold thy joys lightly. Beware, O, beware!
Vapors rise from the earth, and mists darken the air.
Tell me thy name, and wherefore art thou here?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Where is our queen?
She has not been seen
For many an hour,
In acorn or flower.
Pray can you tell?
Is she not there?
Have you seen her pass?
Where shall I go?
Does nobody know?
Look at that squirrel, lively and shy;
I know he can tell, by the fun in his eye.
There is a swallow, skimming about,
Set him to seek her, and he'll find her out.
Over the moon sails a tiny white cloud;
And on it she sails far away from the crowd.
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.
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.
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!
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
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
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
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
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
EDWARD. The gypsies' camp! I will find her, mother; do not be troubled
SCENE 4. A Lonely Road; LISA crying. EDWARD enters.
EDWARD. Edith, Edith, I have found you at last. (Throws his arms round
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.
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
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
SARAH. Let her alone. Don't go; she's better than we, and shall be left
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
SCENE 6. Garden, as before. MRS. LANDOR, EDITH, FANNY, LISA, EDWARD,
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
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
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
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
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
ELINOR. Who said so? They are laughing at you.
EDITH. Yes, it is true. Lisa is to be my little scholar.