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Mrs Bev. And truly so—Why do you look so wildly : Bev. Do I? The news was unexpected. But has he left me all 2 Jar. All, all, sir—He could not leave it from you. Bev. I am sorry for it. Mrs Bev. Why are you disturbed so : Bev. Has death no terrors in it 2 Mrs Bev. Not an old man's death. Yet, if it troubles you, I wish him living. Bev. And I, with all my heart. For I have a tale to tell shall turn you into stone; or, if the power of speech remain, you shall kneel down and curse Ine, - Mrs Bev. Alas! what tale is this? And why are we to curse you?—I’ll bless you for ever. Bev. No; I have deserved noblessings. The world holds not such another wretch. All this large fortune, this second bounty of Heaven, that might have healed our sorrows, and satisfied our utmost hopes, in a cursed hour I sold last night. Mrs Bev. Impossible ! Bev. That devil, Stukely, with all hell to aid him, tempted me to the deed. To pay false debts of honour, and to redeem past errors, I sold the reversion —Sold it for a scanty sum, and lost it among villains. Char. Why, farewell all then I Bev. Liberty and life—Come, kneel and curse
ne, Mrs Bev. Then hear me, Heaven! [Kneels.] Look down with mercy on his sorrows : Give softness to his looks, and quiet to his heart! On me, on me, if misery must be the lot of either, multiply misfortunes! I'll bear them patiently, so he is happy! These hands shall toil for his support And every duty of a fond and faithful wife be £o done, to cheer and comfort him —So hear me! so reward me ! [Rises.
scENE III.], THE GAMESTER. 65
Bev. I would kneel too, but that offended Heaven would turn my prayers into curses. For I have done a deed to make life horrible to you
Mrs Bev. What deed?
Jar. Ask him no questions, madam—This last misfortune has hurt his brain. A little time will give him patience.
Bev. Why is this villain here? Stuke. To give you liberty and safety. There, madam, is his discharge. [Giving a Paper to MRs BEverley.] The arrest last night was meant in friendship, but came too late. Char. What mean you, sir? Stuke. The arrest was too late, I say; I would have kept his hands from blood, but was too late. Mrs Bev. His hands from blood —Whose blood 2 Stuke. From Lewson’s blood. Char. No, villain ' Yet what of Lewson 2 Speak quickly. Stuke. You are ignorant then | I thought I heard the murderer at confession. Char. What murderer?—And who is murdered 2 Not Lewson 2–Say he lives, and I’ll kneel and worship you. Stuke. In pity, so I would; but that the tongues of all cry murder. I came in pity, not in malice, to save the brother, not kill the sister. Your Lewson's dead. Char. Oh, horrible Bev. Silence, I charge you—Proceed, sir. Stuke. No. Justice may stop the tale—and here's an evidence.
Bates. The news, I see, has reached you. But. take comfort, madam. [To CHARLoTTE.] There's one without enquiring for you.-Go to him, and lose no time. Char. O misery 1 misery 1 [Exit. Mrs Bev. Follow her, Jarvis. If it be true, tha Lewson's dead, her grief may kill her. Bates. Jarvis must stay here, madam. I have some questions for him. Stuke. Rather let him fly. His evidence may crush his master. Bev. Why ay; this looks like management. Bates. He found you quarrelling with Lewson in the streets last night. [To BeverLEY. Mrs Bev. No ; I am sure he did not. Jar. Or if I did— Mrs Bev. 'Tis false, old man—They had no quarrel; there was no cause for quarrel. • Bev. Let him proceed, I say—Oh! I am sick! sick —Reach a chair. [He sits down. Mrs Bev. You droop and tremble, love—Yet, you are innocent! If Lewson's dead, you killed him In Ot.
Stuke. Who sent for Dawson 2
Bates. 'Twas I–We have a witness too you little think of—without there !
Stuke. What witness 2
Enter LEwson and CHARLoTTE.
Stuke. Lewson 1 O villains ! villains ! [To BATEs and DAwson, Mrs Bev. Risen from the dead Why, this is unexpected happiness! Char. Or is it his ghost? [To STUKELY.] That sight would please you, sir.
Jar. What riddle's this? Bev. Be quick and tell it—My minutes are but few. Mrs Bev. Alas! why so? You shall live long, and happily. Lew, While shame and punishment shall rack that viper | [Pointing to Stukely.] The tale is shortI was too busy in his secrets, and therefore doomed to die. Bates, to prevent the murder, undertook it— I kept aloof to give it credit— Char. And gave me pangs unutterable. Jew. I felt them all, and would have told youBut vengeance wanted ripening. The villain's scheme was but half executed. The arrest by Dawson followed the supposed murder—And now, depending on his once wicked associates, he comes to fix the guilt on Beverley. - . Mrs Bev. Oh! execrable wretch! Bates. Dawson and I are witnesses of this: Lew. And of a thousand frauds. His fortune ruined by sharpers and false dice; and Stukely sole contriver and possessor of all. Daws. Had he but stopt on this side murder, we had been villains still. Lew. How does my friend? [To BEveRLEY. Bev. Why, well. Who's he that asks me? Mrs Bev. 'Tis Lewson, love—Why do you look so at him 2 Bev. They told me he was murdered. [Wildly. Mrs Bev. Ay; but he lives to save us. Bev. Lend me your hand—The room turns round. Mrs Bev. O Heaven! Lew. This villain here disturbs him. Remove him from his sight—And, for your lives, see that you guard him. STUKELY is taken off by Dawson and BATEs.] How is it, sir? Bev. 'Tis here—and here. [Pointing to his Head and Heart.] And now it tears me.
Mrs Bev. You feel convulsed too—What is't disturbs you? Bev. A furnace rages in this heart—Down, restless flames 1 [Laying his Hand on his Heart.] Down to your native hell There you shall rack me— "Oh! for a pause from pain!—Where's my wife?— Can you forgive me, love? Mrs Bev. Alas! for what? Bev. For meanly dying. Mrs Bev. No–do not say it. Bev. As truly as my soul must answer it.—Had Jarvis staid this morning all had been well. But, pressed by shame—pent in a prison—tormented with my pangs for you—driven to despair and madness— I took the advantage of his absence, corrupted the poor wretch he left to guard me, and—swallowed poison. Lew. O, fatal deed! Bev, Ay, most accursed—And now I go to my account. Bend me, and let me kneel. [Kneels.] I’ll pray for you too. Thou power that madest me, hear me! If for a life of frailty, and this too hasty deed of death, thy justice dooms me, here I acquit the sentence; but is, enthroned in mercy where thou sittest, thy pity has beheld me, send me a gleam of hope, that in these last and bitter moments my soul may taste of comfort 1 and for these mourners here, Oh! let their lives be peaceful, and their deaths happy!— Now I die. [They lift him to the Chair. Mrs Bev. Restore him, Heaven Oh, save him! save him or let me die too. Bev. No; live, I charge you.-We have a little one.—Though I have left him, you will not leave him.—To Lewson's kindness I bequeath him.—Is not this Charlotte?—We have lived in love, though I have wronged you.-Can you forgive me, Charlotte? Char. Forgive you ! Oh, my poor brother Bev, Lend me your hand, love—so—raise me—