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Y. Wilm. It is a scandal,
Have long lain under, and with too much justice:
Eust. Your treasure's safe, I hope 2
Y. Wilm. "Tis here, thank Heaven Being in jewels, when I saw our danger, I hid it in my bosom.
Eust. I observed you, And wonder how you could command your thoughts In such a time of terror and confusion.
Y. Wilm. My thoughts were then at home. O
Thou seat of plenty, liberty, and health,
Eust. Believe me, Wilmot, Your grave reflections were not what I smil'd at ; I own the truth. That we're return'd to England, Affords me all the pleasure you can feel. Yet I must think a warmer passion moves you; Thinking of that, I smil'd.
Y. Wilm. O Eustace Eustace' Thou know'st, for I've confess'd to thee, I love; But having never seen the charming maid, Thou canst not know the fierceness of my flame. My hopes and fears, like the tempestuous seas That we have pass'd, now mount me to the skies, Now hurl me down from that stupendous height. And drive me to the centre. Did you know How much depends on this important hour, You would not be surpris'd to see me thus. The sinking fortune of our ancient house, Compell'd me, young, to leave my native country, My weeping parents, and my lovely Charlotte, Who rul’d, and must for ever rule, my fate. O, should my Charlotte, doubtful of my truth, Or in despair ever to see me more, Have given herself to some more happy lover !— Distraction's in the thought !—Or, should my parents, Griev'd for my absence, and oppress'd with want, Have sunk beneath their burden and expir'd, While I, too late, was flying to relieve them; The end of all my long and weary travels, The hope that made success itself a blessing, Being defeated, and for ever lost; What were the riches of the world to me?
Eust. The wretch who fears all that is possible, Must suffer more than he, who feels the worst A man can feel, yet lives exempt from fear. A woman may be false, and friends are mortal; And yet your aged parents may be living, And your fair mistress constant.
Y. Wilm. True, they may ; I doubt, but I despair not. No, my friend! My hopes are strong, and lively as my fears; They tell me, Charlotte is as true as fair; That we shall meet, never to part again; That I shall see my parents, kiss the tears From their pale hollow cheeks, cheer their sad hearts, And drive that gaping phantom, meagre want, For ever from their board; their days to come Crown all with peace, with pleasure, and abundance ; Receive their fond embraces and their blessings, And be a blessing to them. Eust. 'Tis our weakness : Blind to events, we reason in the dark, And fondly apprehend, what none e'er found, Or ever shall, pleasure and pain unmix'd ; And flatter, and torment ourselves by turns, With what shall never be. Y. Wilm. I'll go this instant To seek my Charlotte, and explore my fate, Eust. What, in that foreign habit? Y. Wilm. That's a trifle, Not worth my thoughts. Eust. The hardships you've endur'd, And your long stay beneath the burning zone, Where one eternal sultry summer reigns, Have marr'd the native hue of your complexion : Methinks you look more like a sun-burnt Indian, Than a Briton. Y. Wilm. Well; 'tis no matter, Eustace' I hope my mind's not alter'd for the worse, And for my outside—But inform me, friend, When I may hope to see you. Eust. When you please: You'll find me at the inn.
Y. Wilm. When I have learn'd my doom, expect me there. -
Till then, farewell !
Enter CHARLOTTE, thoughtful; and soon after, a
Serv. Madam, a stranger, in a foreign habit, de-
'Tis strange, and unexpected. But admit him.
Who can this stranger be I know no foreigner—
Nor any man like this.
Y. Wilm. Ten thousand joys!
Char, Sir, you are too bold—Forbear, and let me
know What business brought you here, or leave the place.
Y. Wilm. Perfidious maid!—Am I forgot, or scorn'd? Char. Can I forget a man I never knew? Y. Wilm. My fears are true; some other has her heart: She's lost: My fatal absence has undone me? [Aside. O ! could thy Wilmot have forgot thee, Charlotte Char. Ha! Wilmot ? say, what do your words imort 2 O, gent stranger, ease my swelling heart! What dost thou know of Wilmot ? Y. Wilm. This I know :When all the winds of Heaven seem'd to conspire Against the stormy main, and dreadful peals Of rattling thunder deafen'd ev'ry ear, And drown'd th’ affrighten'd mariners' loud cries; When livid lightning spread its sulphurous flames Through all the dark horizon, and disclos'd The raging seas incens'd to his destruction; When the good ship, in which he was embark'd, Broke, and o'erwhelm'd by the impetuous surge, Sunk to the oozy bottom of the deep, And left him struggling with the warring waves: In that dread moment, in the jaws of death, When his strength fail'd, and ev'ry hope forsook him, And his last breath press'd towards his trembling lips, The neighbouring rocks, that echo'd to his moan, Return'd no sound articulate but—Charlotte. Char. The fatal tempest, whose description strikes The hearer with astonishment, is ceas'd ; And Wilmot is at rest. The fiercer storm Of swelling passions, that o'erwhelms the soul, And rages worse than the mad foaming seas In which he perish'd, ne'er shall vex him more. Y. Wilm. Thou seem'st to think he's dead; enjoy that thought ; Persuade yourself, that what you wish is true, And triumph in your falsehood. Yes, he's dead,