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Title: The Highland Reel

Date of first publication: 1815

Author: John O'Keeffe (1747-1833)

Date first posted: November 7 2012

Date last updated: November 7 2012

Faded Page eBook #20121113

This ebook was produced by: Delphine Lettau & the Online Distributed Proofreading Canada Team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

















London, 1815




McGilpin,Mr Quick.
Sandy,Mr Incledon.
Shelty,Mr Munden.
Charley,Mr Townsend.
Captain Dash,Mr Claremont.
Serjeant Jack,Mr Clarke.
Laird of Raasey, Mr Thompson.
Croudy,Mr Cubitt.
Apie,Mr Rees.
Benin,Mr Simmons.
Moggy,Mrs Martyr.
Jenny,Miss Mitchell.






SCENE I.—A small Court-yard before McGilpin's
House, inclosed with a low Paling and a small Gate.

Time—Morning Twilight.

Charley and Moggy appear at different Windows.


Char.The lamb and the heifer are taking their rest,
Mog.The lark and the sparrow lie snug in their nest;
Char.Pussy dozes;
Mog.And so does my doggy.
Char.All are snoring but Charley,
Mog.  And Moggy!
We wake to love before it is day.
Char.Come, my dearest!
Mog. I come, my dear!
Both.We must be tripping away.
Mog.No portion, dear Charley, if I marry thee,
My little old Dad will give unto me!
Will love cool if you take me so barely?
Char.Mog in her smickit is welcome to Charley!
Mog.We wake to love before it is day, &c.
Char.Come, my dearest, &c.

[They retire.

Enter McGilpin from the House.

McGil. I will believe in witchcrafts, in wizards, and warlocks—Though I did pack Goody Commins out of the island, yet I am certain her elves have been about my house this night—No noise in Jenny's room, nor in my daughter Moggy's, nor in Charley's, nor in Benin's—yet, noises I most assuredly heard.—[Moggy from her Window, lowers a Box on his feet.] Eh!

Mog. Have you got it?

McGil. Yes. [Feels his Foot as if hurt.] What! my daughter! Oh ho! [Aside.]

Mog. I thought I heard my father. [Softly.]

McGil. So did I. [In an under tone.]

Mog. Do you think he's got up?

McGil. No.

Mog. Now you'll catch me?

McGil. Yes, I'll catch you—you jade! [Aside.]

Mog. Now for it.

McGil. The devil! she won't jump out of the window! [Aside.]

Mog. Now, my fine fellow—Here goes—

McGil. Oh, Lord! My child will break her bones! [Aside.]—Stop! Can't you come out at the street door? it's open.

Mog. Psha! why didn't you tell me so before? Upon my word, I don't like such jokes. [Retires and goes down.]

McGil. [Aside.] Nor I, upon my soul! [Shelty sings.] If I could carry on her mistake, I may find out who her seducer is—I think it's scarce light enough for her to know me now.

Enter Shelty, singing.

Shel. If Sandy and Jenny are to be married to-day, it's time to rouse the boys and girls.

McGil. I think I know that voice.—Oh! this is her fine fellow, I suppose. [Aside.]

Enter Moggy from the House. (Charley steals in.)

Mog. Come, now I'm for you, my dilding! [Takes McGilpin under the Arm.]

McGil. And I'm for you, my dolding! [In his own voice, laying hold of her.Moggy screams.] And pray, my dear, where were you going so early? Eh!

Mog. Going!—Sir!—I—I—was going——

McGil. I know you was going, sir—but where, sir?

Mog. To—to—church, sir.

McGil. Jump out of the window to go to church!

Enter Charley from the House, half undressed, and
pretending to be scarce awake

Char. Aw! aw!—What's the matter here? Ah! [Yawning.

McGil. Where have you been, sirrah?

Char. Sir—I—I was—aw—aw—fast asleep!

McGil. You stupid—Where's Jenny?

Char. Sir—she's—aw—aw—fast asleep!

McGil. You lazy lubber! snoring in bed, and robbers and ravishers running away with my daughter! [To Shelty.] Sirrah! What do you want with my daughter?

Shel. I! [Looking simple.]

Char. Eh! Shelty!—Moggy!—Oh ho! [Looking at them.] Well, hang me if I didn't long suspect this!—[To Moggy.] Turn it upon him, and we are safe.

Mog. Go, my dear Shelty!

Shel. Eh!

Mog. Don't attempt to seduce my innocence any more.

Shel. I—seduce!

Mog. Your wanting me to jump out of the window to you——

Shel. I—jump?

McGil. To make a girl perhaps break her bones!

Mog. Ay, my poor little bones!—you cruel lad!

Shel. Why, is the devil in you all?

McGil. Don't name the devil, you profligate!—You're as wicked as the witch your grand-mother, and the smuggling thief your father!

Shel. My granny was an innocent old woman, and so is my daddy!

McGil. Charley, I commit her to your care.

Mog. Oh, cruel father!

[Charley takes hold of her.

McGil. Take her, Charley! you marry, you jade! you sha'n't be even present at a wedding—I'll have Sandy's and Jenny's celebrated to-day, and, oh, not a peep at it—up to your malepardis—go!

Char. Come, miss; I'll take care you don't marry anybody—but myself. [Apart to her.]

[Charley takes Moggy into the House.

McGil. That's right, Charley! [Follows them.

Shel. [Solus—looking out.] As well as I can distinguish, yonder seems a boat put off from that ship that couldn't get in last night—I may pick up customers among the passengers: they can't come to a neater house than mine. Every body says, ha, ha, ha! that Shelty's a queer fellow: I believe I am—but I don't know how—I get on—I do—I will!


When I've money I am merry,
When I've none I'm very sad;
When I'm sober I am civil,
When I'm drunk I'm roaring mad.
With my fal, lal, tidle, tum,
Likewise toodle, teedle tum,
Not forgetting titherin I,
And also folderoodle um.

When disputing with a puppy,
I convince him with a rap,
And when romping with a girl,
By accident I—tear a cap.
With my fal, lal, &c.

Gadzooks, I'll never marry,
I'm a lad that's bold and free,
Yet I love a pretty girl,
A pretty girl is fond of me.
With my fal, lal, &c.

There's a maiden in a corner,
Round and sound, and plump and fat,
She and I drink tea together,
But no matter, sir, for that.
With my fal, lal, &c.

If this maiden be with bairn,
As I do suppose she be,
Like good pappy I must learn
To dandle Jacky on my knee.
With my fal, lal, &c.


Enter McGilpin and Charley.

McGil. Oh, my daughter is a most degenerate girl! Well, you've locked her up?

Char. Yes, sir. [Shews a Key.]

McGil. Keep her from Shelty.

Char. I'll keep her from Shelty, don't fear, sir.

McGil. My good boy, how much I'm obliged to you—how shall I reward you?

Char. I shall want cash for our frolic—a choice opportunity to coax him out of a little. [Aside.]

McGil. Only let me know what I should do for you.

Char. Why, sir, last Christmas you promised me a Christmas-box; now didn't you?

McGil. I did so, my faithful Charley; keep but a strict watch upon Moggy, and——Maybe you have thoughts of some little blossom yourself; only let me know the girl that can make you happy, and you shall have her by my authority.

Char. Ah, sir! there is a girl—


McGilpin and Charley.
McGil.Thy secrets to thy kind master tell.
Char.I love a maid—
McGil.Is she full of play?
Char.No kid more gamesome—
McGil.Where does she dwell?
Char.Lang twango dillo
Twang, lango dillo day.
McGil.If you're in love, boy, you're not to blame.
Char.As much, kind sir, I have heard you say;
I love my charming—
McGil.Ay, what's her name?
Char.Lang twango dillo
Twang, lango dillo day.
Char.My Christmas-box—
McGil.Oh, I understand!
Thy faithful services I'll repay;
Here's five bright shillings—    [Takes out Money.
Char.Here's my hand.
McGil.Lang twango dillo
Twang, lango dillo day.

[Exit Charley.

McGil. Here comes the simple Sawney, that prefers love to money.

Enter Sandy.

Ha, Sandy! welcome home, my boy!

Sandy. [Joyful.] Here, sir, I have got all our wedding geer in the newest Edinbro' taste.

McGil. But when comes the parson?

Sandy. He's gone over to Raasey so I desired Jamy McKenzie to send us their new curate—But, sir, is my Jenny awake? [Going.] Oh, yonder she comes, bright as the morn which gives the flowers their beauty! welcome as the gale which wafts its sweetness!


Oh, had I Allan Ramsay's art
To sing my passion tender!
In every verse she'd read my heart,
Such soothing strains I'd send her;
Nor his, nor gentle Rizio's aid,
To shew is all a folly,
How much I love the charming maid,
Sweet Jane of Grisipoly.

She makes me know what all desire
With such bewitching glances;
Her modest air then checks my fire,
And stops my bold advances:
Meek as the lamb on yonder lawn,
Yet by her conquer'd wholly;
For sometimes sprightly as the fawn,
Sweet Jane of Grisipoly.

My senses she's bewilder'd quite,
I seem an amorous ninny;
A letter to a friend I write,
For Sandy I sign Jenny:
Last Sunday, when from church I came,
With looks demure and holy,
I cried, when asked the text to name,
'Twas Jane of Grisipoly.

My Jenny is no fortune great,
And I am poor and lowly;
A straw for power and grand estate,
Her person I love solely:
From every sordid, selfish view,
So free my heart is wholly;
And she is kind as I am true,
Sweet Jane of Grisipoly.

Enter Jenny.

Jenny. Welcome home, my Sandy!

Sandy. [Embrace.] My love!

McGil. Ah! ha! Egad, my Highland lad and Lowland lassie, you'll make a neat couple, ha, ha, ha!

Jenny. [To McGilpin.] Dear sir, take the only return in my power—my thanks, my gratitude for your unmerited goodness.

McGil. Ah, Jenny! was I the man that boasted of his goodness, I'd remind you that I gave you an asylum when you was but a squalling bairn—though I didn't, nor suppose I ever shall, know what family you are of. Your mother coming here to Col to lie-in privately, and dying in my house—yet my astonishing benevolence—Oh!—

Sandy. Your benevolence would be astonishing indeed! [Aside.]

McGil. I say, my amazing charity and——

Sandy. Well, sir, we have often heard that story.

McGil. To be sure. Would you have me put my candle under a bushel? Speak, Jenny—did not I bring you up equal to my own daughter, Miss Moggy McGilpin? Sent you to the tip-top boarding school in Inverness, kept by Miss Caroline Killcoobery?

Jenny. You did, dear sir.

McGil. I did—I did—Though your forlorn mother didn't leave you a bawbee——but 500l. which you shall never see. [Aside.]—So, out of pure friendship, Sandy—there, take her——off my hands. [Aside.]

Jenny. Dear sir——

McGil. Aye, I'm a kind friend, Jenny; an't I a gay old fellow? Why, I'm a second Robin Gray!

Jenny. Oh, sir! this last proof of your kindness leaves me not a wish, but to know my parents.


Such pure delight my bosom knows,
My thanks are due to heaven and thee;
With gratitude my heart o'erflows,
Kind agent of its clemency!
Humanity! thou good supreme
To chace the orphan's tear away,
Alike the bright all-cheering beam
Brings comfort from the god of day.

McGil. Hey! yonder's a boat put in from that ship in the offing—Some great strangers landed. [Exit.

Sandy. I must gather all the lads to make a handsome wedding procession to the kirk, Jenny.

Jenny. And I to assemble the lasses. Oh, Sandy—here, as the packet's in, will you see if there's any letter for me, as I desired the lottery-man to send me notice if this chance should be drawn a prize. [Gives it to him.]

Sandy. Ha, ha, ha! you never told me you had bought a lottery chance: but it must, it shall be a prize; I'll keep it safe for you—this day proves I'm a favourite of fortune, and she shall smile upon my Jenny.

[Exeunt severally.


SCENE II.—An open CountryShelty's House.

Captain Dash and Serjeant Jack discovered.

Both. Ha, ha, ha!

Serj. Yes; the letter you'll send by little Tom the drummer, will prepare the old taxman.—Ha, ha, ha! He won't have a doubt that you're the real captain in the army, ha, ha, ha!

Capt. Ha, ha, ha! and my sole commission only the promise of a pair of colours in the East India service, on condition I can raise an hundred men, ha, ha, ha!

Serj. Ha, ha, ha! Ay, by this sham of pretending their young laird is our colonel, from the affection of a Scotch Highlander, I warrant they'll flock to our standard—we know our ground, and the character of old McGilpin—flatter his eloquence, and promise him an agency, and we have every man in the island.

Capt. Dam'me, I'd rather have one pretty woman I saw just now, than the honour of planting my standard on the walls of Belgrade.

[A loud laugh of Peasants.

Serj. Some country gambols going forward.

Capt. The time to recruit—introduce yourself to them: coax, wheedle, drink, swear—Zounds! make 'em——

Serj. As wicked as ourselves. [Exit Captain.

Enter Shelty, playing the Pipes before some
Country Lads

Shel. Ay, lads, I think we'll honour Sandy's wedding; but the lassies mus'n't set out for kirk before us.

Serj. Ha, my hearties! My honest lad, shake hands.

[To Shelty.

Shel. Every man shake his own hand.

Serj. Why, you all seem very merry to-day.

Shel. Yes; and we'll all be merry to-morrow, ha, ha, ha! and we were merry yesterday, ha, ha, ha!

Serj. Ha, ha, ha! why, you're a pleasant fellow.

Shel. Ha, ha, ha! yes, I am—ha, ha, ha! I was born laughing, ha, ha, ha! instead of crying, my mother laughed out, ha, ha, ha!—My daddy liked to have dropt me out of his arms on the floor laughing at me, ha, ha, ha!—What's the child's name, said the parson that christened me? Shelty, says my god-daddy; ha, ha, ha! then the parson laughed, ha, ha, ha!—Amen, says the clerk, ha, ha, ha! Since that moment every body has laughed at me, ha, ha, ha! and I laugh at every body, ha, ha, ha!

Serj. Ha, ha, ha! I should like to enlist such a pleasant fellow—Your good-humour would keep us in such spirits; you'd be the drum of the corps.

Shel. Yes; and your rattan would be the drum-stick of the corps, to beat the travally on my back—row-dy-dow! Good morning to you.

Serj. I tell you, you'd make a devilish good soldier.

Shel. That's more than my daddy could.

Serj. Ha, ha, ha! you're an odd fish.

Shel. Yes; but I won't be a red herring.

Serj. No; but you're a pickled one though:—But pray what are you?

Shel. Me! I'm a merchant, and a brogue-maker—I sells a horn of malt—moreover I am a famous piper. My father, Mr Croudy, is a famous necromancer; he's the gift of second sight; and Mrs Commins, my granny, was banished for a witch. Now I must tune my chaunter.

Serj. Any particular festival to-day?

Shel. A wedding; and there's the lads assembled to honour the wedding of Sandy and Jenny. Come, lads, quick! march two and two till we join Miss Jenny.

Serj. Eh! well said, my lad! you deserve encouragement—I've a rough guinea here, and, egad, I'll make one at this wedding, to drink my king's health, and success to the young couple.


Serjeant and Chorus.
For soldiers the feast prepare,
Who friends protect and foes annoy,
What war has won let's now enjoy,
Good cheer bright mirth bestowing.
Old Sirloin first we'll nobly dare,
Our host looks round his table,
His breast with friendship glowing,
We jovial lads whilst able,
Resolved to do all honour
To the donor,
With courage charge
His boil'd and roast,
In goblets large
Each loyal toast,
With sparkling bumpers flowing.

Let drums beat, and fifes sound shrill,
Ye clarions, lend your sweetest notes,
Now, trumpets, rend your silver throats,
Proclaim in warlike measure,
When the racy bowl we fill
The fair shall do their duty,
And sip its balmy treasure.
Touch'd by the lip of beauty,
'Tis now a draught for Hector;
'Tis nectar,
The gods' delight—here's wine and love,
Like Mars who fight, should kiss like Jove,
By turns the soldier's pleasure.






SCENE I.—As before.

Enter Charley.

Char. Ha, ha, ha! My master goes to seize his own goods that I stole out of his stores, and hid in the rocks for him to seek out, whilst I run off with his daughter.

Enter Moggy unperceived.

I must run and let her out. [Going.]

Mog. Dear sir, won't you wait for company?

Char. Moggy! how the plague did you get out?

Mog. No matter, here I am, and take me while you can.

Char. Hey!—Ecod, this is doing things!—Ha, ha, ha! Charming! I've cut out work for your father on the opposite side of the island; so I'll run down to the pier and get the boat ready, and off we skim like curlews.


Mog. Make haste, Charley!—Oh, my bonny Charley!—Eh! yon's a boat put in—here's some of the passengers [Looking.]—By the description, it must be the strange parson that's expected from Mull to marry Jenny and Sandy.

Enter Laird of Raasey as a Parson, and Servant.

Laird. That dwelling [Points to Shelty's.] looks like a public house.

Servant. Yes, sir, it is.

Laird. Then engage a room, and leave my baggage. Here—my great coat was comfortable on the water, but on land 'tis cumbrous. [Takes it off and gives it to Servant.]—And lay out my best periwig, that I may look decent.

Servant. Yes, sir.

[Exit with things into Shelty's.

Parson. Here, pretty maiden!

Mog. Sir—what a civil gentleman! [Aside.

Parson. Do you know one Sandy Frazer?

Mog. Eh! Sandy?

Parson. Whom I am to marry to one Jenny.

Mog. He, he! Lord! if I could persuade him Charley and I are they! may be he'd marry us. [Aside.]—Oh, sir; dear sir! reverend sir! you're heartily welcome, sir! [Curtsying.] My Charley, I dare say, sir—my Sandy is just gone yonder to the pier, to look out for you, sir.

Parson. Oh, then you are Jenny?

Mog. Yes, sir; [Curtsy.] I am Jenny, sir—I hope he won't find me out. [Aside. The Parson views her with attention.] Lord! I believe he suspects me. [Aside and confused.] Oh, sir! here comes my Sandy!—Now, sir, you'll—Oh, heavens! my father! [Aside.] Good b'ye, sir. [Going.

Parson. But lassie, stop—

Mog. Yes, sir; I'll stop when I'm out of your sight.

[Exit running into Shelty's.

Parson. A whimsical sort of a young lady.

[Exit after Moggy.

Enter Charley.

Char. The boat's ready, and—Hey! where has she scampered! This giddy tit just to kick up her heels at the starting post!—Her father! Zounds! it's well she has missed him!

Enter McGilpin in a rage.

McGil. Fine police, if the king's officers are to be assaulted in the execution of their duty.

Char. Ha, ha, ha! [Aside.]—Oh then, sir, you've beat old Croudy?

McGil. No, damn him! but he beat me! But I'll let the ruffian know nobody shall cheat the king in this island, but myself. He's a poacher too, goes fowling, growsing, and cocking; but I'll growse and cock him! I'll shew him, that in Col I'm grand fowler, prowler, and comptroller. His son Shelty have a child of mine! My dear Charley, take care of Moggy.

Char. She's safe, I'll answer, sir.

McGil. Have you seen the captain? I mean to give Jenny to him, and break my promise with Sandy—'tis more for my interest.

Char. I'll set him another hunt whilst I look for Moggy. [Aside.]—Sir, have an eye to Jenny: the parson's come; and if Sandy gets a hint of your intention to give her to the captain, they'll be coupled unknown to you.

McGil. Oddsfish! but where is Jenny?

Char. This instant gone into Shelty's.

McGil. Run you in, boy, and secure her, whilst I raise the posse after Croudy.

Char. Lord! sir, Jenny'd never stay with me; you'd best in and secure her yourself, and I'll bring the constables for Croudy.

[Exit McGilpin into the House.


SCENE II.—Shelty's House.

Enter Shelty with a Jug. Servant with a Coat
and Wig.

Shel. Yes, sir—I am here, sir—I am there, sir—Coming, sir. [Drinks.] Lord! what nice ale do I sell! Yes, sir;—my house is so full—Oh, what a mortal fine chance have I to make money! besides, I'm your only lad in the island for harmonious jollyfications! But father's wrangling with McGilpin will kick down all!—Here he comes; now if he hasn't been in some new combustifications.

Enter Croudy.

Croudy. Ha! [Takes the Mug from Shelty and drinks.] Ho! A scoundrel! tell me I rob the king! The custom-house officer takes his pay and smuggles, and he's a damn'd bad servant indeed that robs his master. Boy, McGilpin would have seized my boat, though he only last week claw'd up my other [Drinks.]—Lost my poor swallow!

Shel. I shouldn't have thought as much. [Turning the Mug.]

Croudy. This taxman—Oh, zounds! I'll—

Shel. Lord! father! how you do put me out of all sorts! here's my house full—There's the Serjeant, Sandy, and all the lads playing cards; and here's Sandy's marriage—

Croudy. Go froth your ale and score double, boy; I've thresh'd McGilpin.

Shel. You ha'n't.

Croudy. I've bang'd him, sirrah!

Enter Apie.

Apie. Oh, mercy! Master Croudy, here's the constables! And here's Mr McGilpin!

Shel. Lord! Lord! you'll be taken! Go you, and let nobody come up. [Puts Apie off. Sees Clothes.] Eh! this is the luckiest—Here, step into this great coat, hat, and wig, the parson's servant left here—No time for thinking—do take a fool's advice!

Croudy. Eh!

Shel. If you're taken, to jail you go—Do you want to make a riot in my house, and give him a pretence to take away my licence? No? do things easy—here, quick, quick! [Helps him on with the Clothes.] There—the devil a one of them can know you now—I'll run and get the boat ready. You're so nicely disguised, you may easily get to it—Huh! Oh dear!


Croudy. Oh, you cowardly cur! you're no son of mine. My cudgel is but a—If I had only—Zounds! Isn't that my broad sword yonder? I made a present of it to this pigeon, but he never had spirit to use it! [Takes it from over the Chimney.] If they take me, they must first take this—no disguise now —It never shall be said a Highlander sneaked out like a poltroon, with his broad-sword in his hand—No, no! [Flings Clothes off.] [Exit.

Enter Moggy frightened.

Mog. Oh, Lud! Where shall I hide from father? If I could stand behind the door and slip out as he comes in—but what could bewitch Charley to send him after me? If I could but get down to the pier! What's this? [Looks at Clothes, &c.] Ha! the parson's!—Ecod! I've a great mind to try now if I can't hide myself in it—ha, ha, ha! On they go. [Puts them on.]—Ha, ha, ha!—and wig—ha, ha, ha!

McGilpin and Shelty without.

McGil. She is here.

Mog. O Lord! there's father!

Shel. She is not.

McGil. Sirrah! Charley told me she came in just now.

Mog. Did he indeed?

Enter McGilpin and Shelty.

Shel. She is not, I tell you—You've done like a wise man! [Apart to Moggy.]

McGil. I'll have the house searched.

Shel. Don't speak, and I'll get you out.

McGil. Where's Jenny? You're of a stamp with the rascal your father.

Shel. Father, keep your temper.

McGil. Deliver up Jenny, you scoundrel!

Shel. Keep your cudgel quiet—Oh, Jenny! You think I'm a devil amongst the girls. This morning I was running away with Moggy—now, it's Mr Shelty, sir, you've been kissing Jenny.

McGil. What old fellow's that? [To Moggy.]

Shel. Fellow! This? Oh, sir, this gentleman is the parson from Raasey.

McGil. Od! I beg his pardon—How do you do, doctor? Oh true, you're come to marry Sandy and Jenny—Ah! that's all up, sir.

Shel. Don't speak to him, sir.

McGil. Damn your busy—Sirrah! you are the cause of my child's present distresses, you miscreant! I'll—Ecod! I'll revenge all upon the rogue your father! Doctor—Oh, here Charley has brought the constables!

Shel. Father, you see you must fight your way.

Enter Charley and two Constables.

Char. Sir, I saw Croudy enter here.

McGil. We'll have him! There, Charley, you shew the Doctor here to my house, whilst the constables and I search this for Croudy.

Shel. [Apart to Charley.] Do, Charley, take the Doctor—it's my father—get him off.

Char. What! I help the escape of smugglers! Sir, that's Croudy in disguise.

Mog. [Apart to him.] It's me, you blockhead!

Char. Moggy again! [Aside.] Ay, come along, Doctor.

McGil. No, you old rogue! no collusion with my clerk—I know you, Croudy—I see the tip of his nose—constables, lay hold of him.

[The Constables lay hold of Moggy.—Shelty takes the stick from one, and beats the other.—Moggy throws off her disguise, and kneels before her Father.

Shel. Keep off; I'll defend my father with my life.

Mog. Oh, save my dearest father!

McGil. My daughter!

Shel. This my daddy!

McGil. My dear child!

Char. I've done this well! [Aside.

McGil. Before I lock'd—but now I'll double-lock you. No, I'll take care of you myself, my dutiful, affectionate—But, you jade, who got you out?

Mog. Who but my dear Shelty?

Shel. I? Me?

McGil. Ay; what are locks and brick walls against such an Algerine family as Shelty's? Even the old water-thief his father would rob a bishop of his butter-boats.

[Exeunt, dragging out Moggy.

Shel. But where the devil can old Croudy be? Egad! as I found Miss Moggy under a great coat, perhaps I may find my daddy under a petticoat!


Boys, when I play, cry, oh crimini,
Shelty's chaunter, squeakerimini;
In love tunes I'm so emphatical,
Fingers shaking, quiveratical,
With agility,
Grace, gentility,
Girls shake heel and toe;
Pipes I tickle so,
My jiggs fill a pate,
Pretty mate,
My hops love mirth, young blood circulate.

Oh my chaunters sound so prettily,
Sweeter far than pipes from Italy;
Cross the Tweed I'll bring my Tweedle dum,
Striking foreign flute and fiddle dumb!
Modern Rizzi's so,
Pleases ma'ams, misses though,
Peers can marry strum,
Act plays, very rum,
I'll puff at Square Hanover,
Can over,
Man over,
All the puny pipes from Italy.

I'm in talk a pedant musical,
In fine terms I lug intrusical,
Slap bravuras, alt, the rage about,
Haydn, Mara, Opera, stage about;
Cramers, Florios:
Things at Jubilee,
Neither he or she,
Dye at Syren's note,
Tiny throat,
This is amateur high musica'.



SCENE III.—A Street in a Country Town.

Enter Sandy and Jenny.

Jenny. My dear Sandy, don't grieve; why should ill-fortune disturb our tranquillity, unless it could lessen our affection!

Sandy. McGilpin's design of giving you to Captain Dash distracts me.

Jenny. But he sha'n't—my obligations to him are great; yet this tyrannous attempt to fetter my inclinations, and a suspicion that his motives were not quite disinterested, have somewhat abated my debt of gratitude.

Sandy. And he won't let me continue in my farm without this fine of fifty pounds, so I must give it up—but he laid it on to ruin me.

Jenny. Well, and even so, ar'n't there other farms—or no farm—could you not be happy with poor Jenny?

Sandy. My dear Jenny!


At dawn I rose with jocund glee,
For joyful was the day
That could this blessing give to me,
Now Joy is fled away—Jenny!

No flocks, nor herds, nor stores of gold,
Nor house, nor home have I;
If beauty must be bought and sold,
Alas! I cannot buy—Jenny!

Yet I am rich, if thou art kind,
So prized a smile from thee,
True love alone our hearts shall bind,
Thou'rt all the world to me—Jenny!

Sweet, gentle maid, though patient, meek,
My lily drops a tear,
Ah! raise thy drooping head and seek
Soft peace and comfort here—Jenny!





SCENE I.—McGilpin's House.

Enter Benin with a Bundle, meeting Moggy.

Moggy. Well, Benin, have you—Shew, my good—

Ben. Yes, Missy; and I tink dey vil fit you.

Mog. My best creature!

Ben. Ah, Missy; but Massa lick a me as I vas vorse creature—Missy, if you run away I vill run too—Massa kill a me if know I help you.

Mog. Psha! you fool, I'm not going to run away.

Ben. Missy, dere be Miss Jenny write letter in parlour below—want me fetch it, Missy—Now don't tell Massa I brought your clothes.


Mog. Let's see what you have brought. [Opens Bundle.] Jacket, kilt, bonnet, complete—I won't even tell Charley of my design till I'm equipt, ha, ha, ha! I'll surprise him—There, I'll lay all snug. [Puts them in the Press.] Now if Charley could borrow cash to carry us up to Edinbro', father could never find us out there—let's see—Lud! I havn't above half-a-guinea left of my own pocket-money. Oh, poor Charley, and I——

Enter Benin.

Ben. Miss Moggy, Jenny desire me give you dis. [Gives a Letter.]

Mog. Very well. [Exit Benin.] What's this? [Opens Letter and takes out a Bill.] An Edinbro' bank-note for 40l. Let's see. [Reads.] "My dear Moggy, Sandy in a fit of despair has enlisted himself among the soldiers; I have sold my lottery-chance for the inclosed 40l! For certain, the captain will never part with such a soldier as my Sandy, therefore I shall take your hint and follow the drum—as I shall not want the money, accept it, my dear friend, for travelling charges—besides, a supply of cash you will find necessary till you can obtain your father's pardon for the step you are about to take—in which be happier than your Jenny." My generous friend! No—I will not enjoy happiness whilst you feel sorrow!—with the assistance of my Highland dress here in my cupboard, if I can once more elope, the first use I make of my liberty is to procure it for you, Sandy! Ay, though father catches me the next moment.

Enter McGilpin.

McGil. I'll first catch you this moment. [Takes her by the arm, and takes a key out of his pocket.] Go in there.

Mog. No, sir.

McGil. Go in.

Enter Charley.

Char. What's the matter, sir?

McGil. Here's a young lady won't be lock'd up.

Char. Oh fye, Miss! refuse to be locked up!—that's so unreasonable of you.

McGil. So it is. Isn't it a proof what a high value I set upon you, hussey? Don't I lock up my guineas? You young brazen-face, go in there. [He puts her into a Room.] If I should be obliged to go out, Charley, you'll have a watch here, and I'll certainly give you——

[As McGilpin turns his Head to speak to Charley, Moggy, unseen by either, slips again out of the room, pulls Charley by the Ear, and runs into the Press in flatt, where she had before put the Clothes.]

Char. Now, sir, what's that for? [Puts his Hand to his Ear.]

McGil. Charley, don't say a word against it—I shall do as I like with my family.

Char. Yes, sir; but when you count ears, pray don't consider me one of your family.

McGil. Ay, true, my lad—However, [Turns to the Room-door, where he thinks Moggy is.] stay you there, the plague of my family! [Locks the Door.] I think I have you fast now, my dearee!

Char. My poor girl. [Aside.]

McGil. Charley, boy—though I have the key, yet I scarce think I'm sure of her even now; she's full of hocus pocus! So, d'ye hear, now and then throw an eye to the door. That rogue Shelty must have been assisted by his grandmother the old witch I banished, to have got her out before.

Char. Eh! I'll encourage this thought! [Aside.]

McGil. Charley, I'm now going into my study to practise oratory—Don't let any body interrupt me, boy!—Hem!

[Exit, with much self-sufficiency.

Char. I find he don't know yet that old Laird Donald is come—Ha, ha, ha! this ridiculous idea of Shelty's grandmother being a witch—Ha, ha, ha! I'm strangely tickled with the thought.

Shel. [Without.] Suppose he is busy?

Benin. [Without.] Well, I'll tell my Massere.

Char. Ha, ha, ha! And here comes Shelty in the nick, to help my project! Ha, ha, ha! I'll try it however.

McGil. [Without.] I'll break your bones!

Benin. [Without.] Me don't care—Oh! [Crying.]

Char. Hey! what now.

McGil. [Without.] An impudent scoundrel! I'll—

Char. Here he comes, and in as rare a humour for my purpose—If I can but make him give her up to Shelty! Once she's out of these doors, I have my dear girl.

Enter McGilpin in a violent rage, and
Benin crying.

McGil. You villain! you shouldn't have interrupted me at study—No, not for the Lord Advocate of Scotland!

Benin. [Crying.] Why, Massere, I did tought——

McGil. Will you prate? Interrupted for Shelty? [Looks in a Paper.]

Char. Ha, ha, ha!

Benin. [Apart to Charley.] You may laugh! Massere never beats you—Oh! Eh, do, he did tumpa me!

Char. [Aside.] This may give a lift to my scheme. [Apart to Benin.] No, Benin, master never beats me, because when I find he's in a passion I never answer him.

Benin. He! if it saves me a beating I will not make him no answer.

Char. Don't you know he's an orator, and likes to have all the talk to himself?

Benin. Ha, ha, ha! then he shall—Thank ye, Charley—Ha, ha, ha! when I find he raise his voice, I will no answer him—Ha, ha, ha!


McGil. I wonder he dares thrust his saucy face into my house!

Char. Now for it—If I can but work upon his fancy [Aside.]—Ay, sir, Shelty would make you believe he has the power to bring you to terms.

McGil. Power and terms! What do you mean?

Char. And yet, I assure you, sir, I put little or no faith in these sort of old women's stories. I see Shelty's intent—as he said——

McGil. Why, what did he say?

Char. Says he, just now: "Charley, I have your master under my thumb; I know that the clue to his fame and fortune is his tongue; therefore," says he, "with my scissars of fate I'm determined to cut"——

McGil. What! to cut my tongue with his scissars! Oh, the bloody-minded——

Char. No, sir, to cut the thread of your discourse! to deprive you of——

McGil. Of what, Charley?

Char. Your power of——

McGil. Of what, boy?

Char. Of voice.

McGil. What, make me not speak! impossible! I will talk, though there were three women in company.

Char. I tell you, sir, it's his wicked determination, if you don't give him Miss Moggy, to take from your speech all sound! Look, sir, here he comes—and look, see the very talisman in his hand.

McGil. Eh!—what, that crabstick?

Char. Stick! I know it's cut from the yew-tree in the church-yard; and he told me he had it from the witch his grandmother.

McGil. Charley, don't talk wicked—now I—I don't think the fellow looks like a conjurer.

Enter Shelty with great consequence.

Shel. Where's McGilpin?

Char. You don't mean my master, Shelty?

Shel. The master now has a master.

McGil. What's that, sirrah?

Shel. Only the kicker shall be kicked—Laird Donald's come; fine overhauling of accounts, master Steward! Now the eagle's pounced, you'll have something else to do than brooding over your tender chick, my old cock.

McGil. Ay, though you'd take the chick from the roost; ay, from under my wing, you most caitiff hawk! yet you shall never prevent me from—Ay, spite of your arts, the old cock will crow.

Shel. Let's hear you.

Char. [Apart to McGilpin.] You see by his insolence he's conscious of his power.

McGil. I do.

Char. Forbear! [To Shelty.]

Shel. Forbear!

Char. You know I know your business.

Shel. Business! True; you know I'm a piper.

McGil. Keep off—if you dare use your infernal scissars!

Shel. I've no scissars; but I have—look here—I know you'll be hatching up a story to Laird Donald; but if you dare open your lips to the prejudice of me, or my daddy—see—let this keep you silent.—[Shews his Stick.] I'll—Oh! by the——

Char. He says that [Pointing to Shelty's Stick.] shall make you silent. [Apart to McGilpin.]

McGil. Keep off your baleful yew—

Shel. I'm as good as you.

McGil. Silver'd in the moon's eclipse!

Shel. Moon's eclipse!—he's touched.

McGil. Am I? Has he?

Char. Hark'ee, Shelty, dare to come near my master with your damned twig there, and I'll kick you and it to the devil.

Shel. Kick me, you little pick-thank! I'll—[Strikes Charley with his Stick, as he endeavours to put him off.]

McGil. To him! out with him, my hero!

[Charley wrests the Stick from Shelty, and thrusts
him off

You are a clever boy, faith!

[Charley throws Shelty's Stick down, struts about,
uses much action, and moves his lips as if talking

Gad, Charley can't speak, he's so very angry—I never saw him in a passion before—Is he gone? He is—the knave! So, let's come to ourselves and consider—Call Benin. [Charley moves his lips as if calling.] Why don't you call him when I bid you? Zounds, sirrah! call him—Benin! [Calls very loud, looks at Charley, who moves his lips.] Damn the fellow, what is he at? Is Benin coming, eh?—What, an't I worthy of an answer? Dam'me, I'll knock you down if you stand making mouths at me, you rascal! Eh—why—he can't—Can't you speak, eh?—Aye, indeed, I saw Shelty strike him with that fatal stick—but it's impossible!—it can't be—Speak, I won't believe but you can—Eh!—come, none of your capers upon me—Come, speak this moment—this instant say in plain, audible English, "How do you do, Mr McGilpin"—or down you go as flat as a fluke. Eh, poor Charley! faith, he has really lost his voice—I won't believe it—I'm strongly tempted to try it on myself; but then, when I get into parliament—if I lose my voice, I should be fit only to be the Speaker—I'll venture—You, Charley, sirrah! take up that stick and touch me with it—Very gently, boy. [Charley hits him very forcibly.] Zounds! that is enough to knock a man speechless!

Char. Oh, if I never recover my voice, I am a miserable being!

McGil. Why, you have, you rogue—I heard you speak then very plain.

Char. Eh! now my master's lips move as if he was talking.

McGil. Ha, ha, ha! why I am talking, you fool!

Char. Yes, they still move, but no sound—Eh! perhaps I may now have recovered my voice by the stick touching my master—Oh true, Shelty told me the dumbness was transferable.

McGil. Transferable! the dumbness—What's that you say, boy?

Char. Yes, by the motion of his lips, the poor gentleman thinks he's speaking.

McGil. Speaking! Zounds, I'm bawling! I won't believe but I'm heard—Sirrah! I'll—

Enter Benin.

Now I'll see if [Aside.]—Here, you scoundrel! do you hear me? [Very loud.]

Ben. Tank you, Charley!

[Exit without looking at McGilpin.

McGil. Ay—it's plain—I can't make myself be heard—Oh! I've lost my voice! [Very loud.] But, zounds! it can't be! This may be a confederacy—but hold—if so—my daughter can't be in the plot, as nobody could have spoke to her since I locked her up here within—True, and even the window is nailed down—I'll see if she can hear me.

[Unlocks the door and goes in.

Char. Oh the plague! now Moggy'll answer him, and overthrow all my magic.

Mog. [Peeps out of the Press.] Charley!

Char. You there! Oh—the—Why, I believe the black gentleman has been at work in earnest. How the deuce got you there?

Mog. Psha! you fool—Hush! I'm dressing here, ha, ha, ha! why, you're humming him nicely! But only get him out of the way, and off we go.

Char. Pop in—here he comes. [Moggy takes in her head.] Now, if I can but get him out!

Re-enter McGilpin in a great rage and astonishment.

McGil. She's gone!—I shall go mad! He has got her out; but how? No other way but the chimney or the key-hole—How the devil!—Bless us! Yes, if Shelty could carry her off when here—I found the door locked—I can no longer doubt his power to take my speech—Oh! I'm a most miserable old gentleman! I'm in grief, and nobody to pity me—I complain, and none can hear my lamentations! [Weeps.] Eh! But—hold!—As Charley recovered by my getting the dumbness, I can as easily transfer it to somebody else, and so recover my own voice, ha, ha, ha! Pshaw! except his taking Moggy, if this is the worst, a fig for his power! ha, ha, ha! I've a great mind to return it again to Charley, ha, ha, ha! But his voice will be necessary to explain my accounts to Laird Donald.

Char. Well, sir, what does Miss Moggy say to her lover's tricks?

McGil. Pshaw! This fool tantalizing me with questions, when he knows I can't make him hear my answers! Who shall I confer this favour on?—Eh!—Ay!—Stupid Benin; the blackamoor has little occasion for his guttural sounds.

Enter Benin.

Benin. Sir, here's Laird Donald. [Very submissively.]

McGil. Oh dear! I must recover my tongue to talk him over! Yes, I'll give my dumbness to Benin—Dam'me, I'll bang you into silence, my double-dyed, swarthy acquaintance. [Takes the Stick from the ground.]

Benin. Tank ye, Charley. [Exit.

McGil. He has hopp'd off like a blackbird——Wouldn't even wait till I'd shake salt upon his tail.



SCENE II.—Landscape.

Enter Captain Dash and Serjeant Jack.

Capt. Ha, ha, ha! Well, Jack, our success is e'en beyond my expectation.

Serj. I've done my best, because I undertook the thing; but under a false hope trepanning the poor fellows from their homes and families—Excuse me, but I can't enjoy the prosperity that's built on the distresses of another.

Capt. Psha! damn your nonsense! What the devil is come to you? This Sandy is——Oh, have you seen his Jenny?

Serj. Yes! I've seen her, and I wish she was his.

Capt. Wish she was his! Very civil, when you know I love her to distraction—Hey—what's here?

Enter Moggy, dressed as a Highlander.

Mog. I beg your honour's pardon; but hasn't your honour listed one Sandy Frazer?

Capt. Yes, my lad; and I'll list you too.

Serj. Yes; we'll list you if you're willing.

Mog. It's for that I'm come, if you'll take me in my brother's place?

Serj. Why, is Sandy your brother?

Mog. Yes, sir, he is; and the eldest of eight little brothers and sisters, not one of 'em but me able to earn a morsel of bread for themselves—Oh, merciful, good captain! take me and discharge brother Sandy! Oh! [Cries.]

Capt. Ha, ha, ha! you young dog! do you think I'll exchange an effective man for such a little whipper-snapper as you? Get along, you little monkey!

Mog. I am a little monkey—Oh! I shall never be able to maintain the family! Oh! [Cries.]

Capt. Ha, ha, ha! Why, Jack, [To Serjeant.] here's another opportunity for your sentiment, ha, ha, ha!

Serj. Yes; and for your humanity, if you have any. [Walks up.]

Capt. Humanity!—Eh!—go home, my boy. [To Moggy.]

Mog. Sir, I've raised a little bit of money here, by selling some of our stock; if this could make up for my deficiency till I grow bigger?

Serj. [Advancing.] Hey, money!

Capt. Money! [Draws her to him.]

Mog. Yes, sir; if you will accept this forty pounds and me, in the place of my brother Sandy—Oh, worthy, noble gentleman! you'll see what a good fine soldier I'll make in time.

Capt. Eh—in—time—[Looks at her] forty pounds—

Serj. And this younker will grow taller.

Mog. Oh yes, sir, I intend to grow a deal taller.


Though I am now a very little lad,
If fighting men cannot be had,
For want of a better I may do
To follow the boys with the rat-tat-too.
I may seem tender, yet I'm tough,
And though not much of me, I'm right good stuff;
Of this I'll boast, say more who can,
I never was afraid to see my man.
I'm a chicka-biddy—see
Take me now, now, now,
A merry little he
For your row, dow, dow,
Brown Bees I'll knock about, oh, there's my joy!
With my knapsack at my back like a roving boy.

In my tartan plaid a young soldier view,
My philabeg, and dirk, and bonnet blue;
Give the word, and I'll march where you command,
Noble serjeant, with a shilling then strike my hand.
My captain, when he takes his glass,
May like to toy with a pretty lass,
For such a one I've a roguish eye,
He'll ne'er want a girl when I am by.
I'm a chicka-biddy, &c.

Though a barber has never yet mowed my chin,
With my great broad sword I long to begin,
Cut, slash, ram, dam, oh, glorious fun!
For a gun pip pop change my little pop-gun.
The foes should fly like geese in flocks,
Even Turks I'd drive like turkey-cocks,
Wherever quartered I shall be,
Oh zounds! how I'll kiss my landlady.
I'm a chicka-biddy, &c.

Capt. Ha, ha, ha!—Well, my little—tall boy—[Writes in his pocket-book, and tears a Leaf out, which he gives to Moggy.] Ha, ha, ha! There's your brother Sandy's discharge—I take your forty pounds—There's a shilling.

Mog. A shilling! generous captain! Thank ye, sir—this paper—What a present for my poor Jenny! [Aside with joy.]

Serj. Sir, we're lucky rogues! This forty pounds comes to us most àpropos. [Apart to Captain.]

Cap. What do you mean, fellow? We, and us! In profit I am solus.—[To Moggy.] Now you are the king's man.

Mog. And Sandy is his own.

Enter Shelty, and Sandy as a Recruit.

Mog. [Giving Sandy the Paper she received from the Captain.] There's your discharge, Sandy; no more the king's, you're now only Jenny's man.

Enter Jenny.

Jenny. Ah, Sandy! how could you forsake me?

Capt. Hey, the devil! What's all this about? Here, you little busy rascal! [To Moggy.]—True, my lad, [To Sandy,] as he says, you're free; but I'll order your pert young brother here up to the halberts. [Points to Moggy.]

Sand. Me—I've no brother!

Capt. Why, dam'me, you little son of a gun!—

Mog. No, sir; but I happen to be daughter to an old great gun.

Enter Charley.

Here's my match! [Takes him by the Hand.] And, hey! I'm off like a sky-rocket.

[Runs off with Charley.

Jenny. Sandy, didn't you know her?

Capt. Oh ho! I see it now—You have been a confederate in this imposition. [To Sandy.]

Sandy. Totally innocent!

Enter Laird of Raasey and McGilpin.

Laird. [To Captain.] Pray, sir, by whose authority do you list men in this island?

Capt. The king, and my colonel.

Laird. Who is your colonel?

Capt. The owner of this island, my friend, young Bob McDonald.

Laird. Well, this is rather odd; my son a colonel! The first time I ever heard he was even in the army.

Capt. Son!—Jack! [To Serjeant.] Zounds! if—can this be the old laird?

Laird. [Seeing Sandy.] Eh! Is't possible? Bob!

Capt. Why, sir, do you know this Sandy?

Laird. What d'ye mean by Sandy? This is my son Robert. Ha, ha, ha! Your friend, young Bob McDonald.

Capt. This young Donald!—Confusion! Jack, we are undone! Yes; they'll hang us. [Apart.]

Serj. [Aloud.] Us!—What do you mean, fellow? In hanging you are solus. [Mimics the Captain's former manner.]

Laird. But, Bob, your whole conduct to me wears a face of mystery: your turning common soldier—How? Come, sir, I insist on a full and clear explanation.

Sandy. Sir, my motives for enlisting were to secure this gentleman's conviction for his very impudent fraud, founded on a forgery of my name; and by fabricating imaginary distresses, I have proved how far true love would go to alleviate a real one.

Shelty. Hard now that I can't turn out to be somebody else.

McGil. Justice, my laird, on this cursed juggling, conjuring piper, who has struck me dumb as a fish, and without my consent run away with and married my daughter.

Enter Charley, leading in Moggy, in her
Highland Dress

Char. [To McGilpin.] Sir, give me leave to introduce Captain McGilpin! [Presenting Moggy.]

McGil. Moggy! Oh, you brazen-face! Hey, turned soldier?

Mog. I am, sir; under the command of General Charley. The parson, who is now below at the door, gave the word—'twas love, honour, and obey.

Laird. [To Jenny.] Your affections have been proved, and you must both be happy.

Shelty. So, I'm a conjurer! These are comical conjurations:—The tenant is the landlord—the poor orphan is the lady of the land—the captain is no soldier—the soldier is a woman—the 'prentice is a master—the master is—nobody—the poor parson is a laird of much land [Looking at them by turns.]—and, poor Shelty the Scotch piper, still your humble servant to command. (Bows to them.) And whether I tap the barrel or tune my chaunter—Hey! neighbours, neighbours! Come, let's all be merry.


Come, sprightly Lowland lass,
And Highland
Lad, trip here in jovial glee;
Gentle winds, from every island
Waft hearts merry, blithe, and free;
At Shelty's house
In gay carouse
Your hours employ,
Oh, well said, boy!
To wish the young folks love and joy.
Sorrow kick to nick the de'il,
Care or trouble who can feel,
Lilting up the Highland Reel?
Mind, dearest lad, I tell you fairly,
Married, I must have my way;
I'm sure, dear lass, you'll govern rarely,
Love and honour I'll obey.
Nor marriage chain.
Nor bit nor rein.
The deuce a bit.
A gamesome tit.
Gadzooks! poor hen-peck'd Charley!
A wise man I, my child's a wit.
Whiskey, &c.
The torch of love by cupid lighted,
Never shall extinguished lie;
True vows at Hymen's altar plighted
Rosy hours the knot shall tie,
Earnest this.
Of heavenly bliss.
My only love.
Well said, by Jove!
Sweet blossom, ne'er be blighted!
She'll coo like any turtle dove.
Whiskey, &c.
Old Neptune's arms the globe embracing,
In his grasp can kingdoms hem.
Great Jove upon his finger placing
Albion's isle, a radiant gem;
Oh, ever shine,
In rays divine
Shed lustre round,
And thus enthroned,
Royal George with years increasing,
With each blessing ever crown'd.
Whiskey, &c.


[The end of The Highland Reel by John O'Keeffe]