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Who, that had reason, soul, or sense, would bear it
I am to blame: this talk revives your sorrow
O. Wilm. That cannot be reviv'd
Rand. The whole of my intent
O. Wilm. No more of that: Thou'st serv'd me
Without reward; so that account is balanced,
Rand. May, I beseech you, sir!—
O. Wilm. With my distress,
Is to discharge thee, Randal, from my hard
Quit books, and the unprofitable search Of wisdom there, and study humankind: No science will avail thee without that; But that obtain'd, thou needst not any other. This will instruct thee to conceal thy views, And wear the face of probity and honour, Till thou hast gain'd thy end: which must be ever Thy own advantage, at that man's expense Who shall be weak enough to think thee honest. Rand. You mock me, sure | . O. Wilm. I never was more serious. Rand. Why should you counsel, what you scorn'd to practise 2 O. Wilm. Because that foolish scorn has been my ruin. I've been an idiot, but would have thee wiser, And treat unankind, as they would treat thee, Randal, As they deserve, and I’ve been treated by them: Thou'st seen by me, and those who now despise me, How men of fortune fall, and beggars rise; Āhun my example ; treasure up my precepts; /The world's before thee—be a knave, and prosper. ! What, art thou dumb: [After a long Pause. Rand. Amazement ties my tongue. Where are your former principles? O. Wilm. No matter; Suppose I have renounc'd them : I have passions, And love thee still ; therefore would have thee think, The world is all a scene of deep deceit. And he, who deals with mankind on the square, Is his own bubble, and undoes himself. Farewell, and mark my counsel, boy. [Erit. Rand. Amazement Is this the man I thought so wise and just 2 What, teach and counsel me to be a villain! Sure grief has made him frantic, or some fiend Assum'd his shape: I shall suspect my senses. High minded he was ever, and improvident,
But pitiful, and generous, to a fault.
Enter CHARLoTTE and MARIA.
Char. What terror and amazement must they feel Who die by shipwreck!
Mar. "Tis a dreadful thought !
Char. Ay; is it not, Maria?—To descend, Living, and conscious, to the wat'ry tomb Alas! had we no sorrows of our own, The frequent instances of others' woe, Must give a gen'rous mind a world of pain. But you forget you promis'd me to sing. Though cheerfulness and I have long been strangers, Harmonious sounds are still delightful to me. There's sure no passion in the human soul, But finds its food in music. I would hear The song, compos'd by that unhappy maid, Whose faithful lover 'scap'd a thousand perils From rocks and sands, and the devouring deep; And after all, being arriv'd at home, . . Passing a narrow book, was drowned there, And perish'd in her sight,
scene II.] FATAL curiosity. 13
Cease, cease, heart-easing tears .
Char. What's this?—A letter superscrib'd to me! None could convey it here, but you, Maria. Ungen'rous, cruel maid to use me thus ! To join with flatt'ring men, to break my peace, And persecute me to the last retreat?
Mar. Why should it break your peace to hear the
Of honoe love? This letter is
Char. No matter whence: return it back unopen'd: I have no love, no charms, but for my Wilmot, Nor would have any.
Mar. Alas! Wilmot's dead; Or, living, dead to you.
Char. I'll not despair: Patience shall cherish hope; Nor wrong his honour by unjust suspicion. I know his truth, and will preserve my own.