The Bushrangers [a play by Charles Harpur]

[Editor: This play by Charles Harpur was published in The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems (1853). See the list of contents for links to the individual Acts of the play.]

The Bushrangers.

“Evil on itself shall back recoil,
And mix no more with goodness; when, at last,
Gathered like scum, and settled to itself,
It shall be in eternal restless change,
Self-fed, and self-consumed; if this fail,
The pillared firmament is rottenness,
And earth’s base built on stubble.”

COMUS

“Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time.”

MERCHANT OF VENICE.

Trust and Treachery, Wisdom, Folly,
Madness, Mirth, and Melancholy;
Love and Hatred, Thrift and Pillage,
All are housed in one small village.

MS.



Dramatis Personae.

Men.

ROGER TUNBELLY, }
WEALTHMAN WOOLSACK, } Magistrates of Windsor.
ABEL HARTLEY, a young Townsman of Richmond.
WALTHAM, his friend and fellow-traveller.
DREADNOUGHT, a Chief Constable.
BOMEBARD, a boasting Constable.
CANT, a simple Constable.
STALWART, the Chief of a Gang of Bushrangers.
MACBLOOD, }
BACKROAD, }
DESPERATE, }
FILCH, } Bushrangers.
FENCE, an obscure Settler in league with the Bushrangers.
A TAILOR, }
A SHOEMAKER, } Townsmen of Windsor.
An OLD SHEPHERD.
A FARMER, apprehended by Bomebard.
A DOORKEEPER of Windsor Police-Office.

——————

Women.

MRS. LESLIE, a Widow of Richmond.
ADA, her daughter, betrothed to Abel Hartley.
LUCY GREY, friend to Ada.
MRS. FENCE.
MARY, her daughter.

——————

A number of Constables, Bushrangers, Townsmen of Windsor, &c.

Scene — In Windsor, Richmond, and various parts of the interior Forest.

Costume of the Bushrangers — Kangaroo-skin caps and moccasins, with serge shirts worn blouse-wise, and belted.



Source:
Charles Harpur, The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems, Sydney: W. R. Piddington, 1853, pages 1-2

Editor’s notes:
The play includes many deliberate spelling aberrations, designed to reflect the vernacular. The text also includes various instances of bracketed text without a closing bracket, in accordance with a particular style of the time.

Comus = a masque (a type of courtly musical-play of the 16th and 17th centuries) by John Milton (1608-1674), written 1634

dramatis personae = Latin for “drama characters”; referring to the characters or actors in a drama, play, story, or in a series of events

MS. = abbreviation of “manuscript”

Merchant of Venice = a play by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), written circa 1596

[Editor: Corrected “A FARMER, apprehended by Stalwart” to “A FARMER, apprehended by Bomebard”, as per the story of the play.]

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