Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 297
Oldrents, a kindly country squire. Troubled by a fortune-teller’s prediction that his daughters will become beggars, he becomes so melancholy and unlike his usual self that he drives them to run away with a troop of wandering beggars. At their return, his happy nature is restored.
Springlove, Oldrents’ good-hearted and reliable steward. His only fault is an annual restlessness that makes him turn over his accounts to an assistant and take to the open road. He aids the squire’s daughters in their runaway plan and looks after their safety. He is finally revealed as their half brother, an illegitimate son of Oldrents and the nephew of the patrico of the beggars.
Meriel, the squire’s romantic daughters, who find begging, in reality, less pleasant than they had imagined.
Amie, a niece of Justice Clack. He tries to force her to marry Talboy. She runs away with Martin, joins the beggars, falls in love with Springlove, and is united with him in marriage when he is discovered to be Oldrents’ son.
Master Talboy, Amie’s jilted bridegroom.
Justice Clack, a talkative and officious country justice. His examination of the beggars in the presence of Oldrents leads to the needful disclosures and the happy ending.
The patrico, the priest of the beggars. He reveals to Oldrents that Springlove is Oldrents’ son.
Hearty, a decayed gentleman, Oldrents’ friend and a parasite.
Martin, Hearty’s cowardly nephew, a second potential bridegroom disappointed in his hopes of winning Amie.
Oliver, the lecherous son of Justice Clack. He fails in his attempt to attack Rachel.
Hilliard, the lovers of the squire’s daughters, who accompany them on their adventure.
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