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An!us. But thou wast still implacable to Rome,
And sconi'd her friendship.
Car. [Starting up from the body.] Soldier, I had arms,
Had neighing steeds to whirl my iron cars,
Had wealth, dominion. Dost thou wonder, Roman,
I fought to save them? What if Caesar aims,
To lord it universal o'er the world,
Shall the world tamely crouch at Caesar's footstool? Aulas. Read in thy fate our answer. Yet if sooner
Thy pride had yielded
Car. Thank thy gods, I did not
Had it been so, the glory of thy master,
Like my misfortunes, had been short and trivial,
Oblivion's ready prey: Now, after straggling
Nine years, and that right bravely, 'gainst a tyrant,
I am his slave to treat as seems him good;
If cruelly,'twill be an easy task
To bow a wretch, alas! how bow'd already!
Down to the dust: If well) his clemency
When trick'd and varnish'd by your glossing
penmen, Will shine in honour's annals, and adorn Himself; it boots not me. Look there, look
there, The slave that shot that dart, kill'd ev'ry hope Of lost Caractacus! Arise, my daughter. Alas! poor prince; art thou too in vile fetters?
[To Elidurus. Come hither, youth: Be thou to me a son, To her a brother. Thus with trembling arms I lead you forth; children, we go to Rome. Weep'st thou, my girl ? I prithee hoard thy tears For the sad meeting of thy captive mother: For we have much to tell her, much to say Of these good men, who nurturM us in Mona; Much of the fraud and malice, that pursu'd us; Much of her son, who pourM his precious blood To save his sire and sister: Think'?t thou, maid* Her gentleness can hear the tale, and live i And yet she must. O gods, I grow a talker! Grief-and old age are ever full of words: But I'll be mute. Adieu! ye holy men; Yet one look more—Now lead us hence for ever. Like fiun'd La Mancha's knight, who, lance in
hand, Mounted his steed to free th' enchanted land, Our Quixote bard sets out a monster-taming, A mi 'd at all points, to fight that monster, Gaming. Aloft on Pegasus he waves his pen, And hurls defiance at the caitiff's den: The first on fancied giants spent his rage, But this has more than windmills to engage. He combats passion rooted in the soul, Whose powers at once delight ye, and controul; Whose magic bondage each lost slave enjoys, Nor wishes freedom, though the spell destroys. To save our land from this magician's charms, And rescue maids and matrons from his arms, Our knight poetic comes—And, oh! ye fair This black enchanter's wicked arts beware! His subtle poison dims the brightest eyes,
And at his touch, each grace and beauty dies.
Enter Mrs BEVERLEY and CHARLOTTE.
Mrs bee. Be comforted, my dear; all may be Well yet. And now, methinks, tlie lodging begins to look with another face. Oh, sister! sister! if these were all my hardships; if all I hat! to complain of were no more than" quitting my house, servants, equipage, anil shew, your pity would be weakness.
Char. Is poverty nothing, then?
Mrs Bcv. Nothing in the world, if it affected only me. While we had a fortune, I was the happiest of the rich: and now it is gone, give me but a bare subsistence, and my husband's smiles, and I'll be the happiest of the poor. To me, now, these lodgings want nothing but their master. Whv do you look at me i
Char. That I may hate my brother.
Mrs Bcv. Do not talk so, Charlotte.
Char. Has he not undone you? Oh, this
pernicious vice of gaming! But, methinks his usual hours of four or five in the morning might have contented him; it was misery enough to wake for him till then. Need he have staid out all night? 1 shall learn to detest him.
Mrs Bev. Not for the first fault. He never slept from me before.
Char. Slept from you ! No, no, his nights have nothing to do with sleep. How has this one vice
driven him from every virtue! Nay, from his
affections, too! The time was, sister
Mrs licv. And is. I have no fear of his affections. Would I knew, that he were safe!
Char. From ruin and his companions. But that is impossible. His poor little boy, too! What must become of him?
Mrs licv. Whv, want shall teach him industry. From his father's mistakes he shall learn prudence, and, from his mother's resignation, patience. Poverty has no such terrors in it as you iimiL'iiie. There is no condition of life, sickness and pain excepted, where happiness is excluded. The husbandman, who rises early to his labour, enjoys more welcome rest at night for it. His br -,ul is sweeter to him, his home happier, his family dearer, his enjoyments surer. The sun, that rouses him in the morning, sets in the evening to release him. All situations have their comforts, if sweet contentment dwell in the heart. But my poor Beverley has none. The thought of hnving ruined those, he loves, is misery for ever to him. Would I could ease his mind of that!
Char. If he alone were ruined, it were just he should be punished. He is my brother, it is true; but when I think of what he has done, of the fortune you brought him, of his own large estate too, squandered away ,upon this vilest ofpassions, mid among the vilest of wretches! Oh; I have no
patience! My own little fortune is untouched, ne says. Would I were sure of it!
Mrs Bev. And so you may it would be a
sin to doubt it.
Char. I will be sure of it it was madness
in me to give it to his management. But I will demand it from him this morning. I have a melancholy occasion for it.
Mrs Bev. What occasion?
Char. To support a sister.
Mrs Bev. No; I have no need of it. Take it, and reward a lover with it. The generous Lewson deserves much more. Why won't you make him happy?
Char. Because my sister is miserable.
Mrs Bev. You must not think so. I have my jewels left yet. I will sell them to supply our wants; and, when all is gone, these hands shall toil for our support. The poor should be industrious—Why those tears, Charlotte!
Char. They flow in pity for you.
Mrs Bev. All may be well yet. When he has nothing to lose, I shall fetter him in these arms again; and then what is it to be poor?
Char. Cure him but of this destructive passion, and my uncle's death may retrieve all yet.
Mrs Bev. Ay, Charlotte, could we cure hini! But the disease of play admits no cure but poverty; and the loss of another fortune would but increase his shame and affliction. Will Mr Lewson call this morning?
Char. He said so last night He gave me hints too, that he had suspicions of our friend Stukcly.
Airs Bev. Not of treachery to my husband! That he loves play I know, but surely he is honest.
Char. He would faiu be thought so; therefore I doubt him. Honesty needs no pains to set itself off.
Mrs Ber. What now, Lucy?
Liny. Your old steward, madam. I had not the heart to deny him admittance, the good old man begged so hard for it. [Esit LtXY.
Mrs Bev. Is this well, Jarvis? I desired yoo to avoid me.
Jar. Did you, madam? I am an old man, and had forgot Perhaps, too, you forbad my tears; but I am old, madam, and age will be forgetful.
Mrs Bev. The faithful creature! how he moves me. [To Charlotte.
Char. Not to have seen him had been cruelty.
Jar. I have forgot these apartments too. I remember none such in my young master's house; and yet I have lived in it these five and twenty years. His good father woold not have dismissed » me.
Mrs Bev. He ha 010 reason, Jam's.
Jar. I was faithful to him, while he lived; and when he died he bequeathed me to his son. I have been faithful to him, too.
Mrs Bev. I know it, I know it, Jarvis.
Char. We both know it.
Jar. I am an old man, madam, and have not a long time to live. I asked but to have died with him, and he dismissed me.
Mrt Bev. Prithee, no more of this! It was his poverty that dismissed you.
Jar. Is he indeed so poor, then ?—Oh! he
was the joy of my old heart But must his
creditors nave all:—And have they sold his house too? His father built it, when he was but a prating boy. The times, that I have carried him in these arms! And, " Jarvis," says he, when a beggar has asked charity of me, " why should people be poor? You shan't be poor, Jarvis; if I were a king, nobody should be poor." Yet he is
poor. And then he was so brave! Oh, he
was a brave little boy! And yet so merciful, he'd not have killed the gnat, that stun;; h:m.
Mrs Bev. Speak to him, Charlotte; for I cannot.
Char. When I have wiped my eyes.
Jar. I have a little money, madam; it might have been more, but I have loved the poor. All that I have is yours.
Mrt Bev. No, Jarvis; we have enough yet I thank you,'though, and will deserve your goodness.
Jar. But shall I see my master: And will he let me attend him in his distresses i I'll be no cxpence to him; and it will kill me to be refused. Where is he, madam?
Mrs Bev. Not at home, Jarvis. You shall see him another time.
Char. To-morrow, or the next day—Oh, Jarvis! what a change is here!
Jar. A change "indeed, madam! my old heart
aches at it. And yet, methinks But here's
Enter Lucy with Stukely.
J.Iicv. Mr Stukely, madam. [En'.
Stuke. Good morning to you, ladies. Mr Jarvis, your servant. Where's my friend, madam?
[To Mrs Bev.
Mrs Bev. I should have asked that question of you. Have you seen him to-day?
.Stuke. No, madam.
Char. Nor last night?
Stuke. Last night! Did he not come home, then?
Mrt Bev. No. Were you not together?
Stuke. At the beginning of the evening; but not since. Where can he have staid i
Char. You call yourself his friend, sir; why do you encourage him in this madness of gaming?
Stake. You have asked me that question before, madam; and I told you my concern was, that I could not save him. Air Beverley is a man, madam; and, if the most friendly entreaties have no effect upon him, I have no other means. My purse has been his, even to the injury of my
fortune. If that has been encouragement, I deserve censure; but I meant it to retrieve him.
Mrs Bev. I don't doubt it, sir; and I thank you—But where did you leave him last night?
Stuke. At Wilson's, madam, if I ought to tell; in company I did not like. Possibly he may be there still. Mr Jarvis knows the house, I believe.
Jar. Shall I go, madam?
Mrs Ber. No, he may take it ill.
Char. He may go as from himself.
Stuke. And, if he pleases, madam, without naming me. I am faulty myself, and should conceal the errors of a friend. But I can refuse nothing here. [Bowing to the ladies:
Jar. I would fain see him, methinks.
Mrs Bev. Do so, then; but take care how you upbraid him—I never upbraided him.
Jar. Would I could bring him comfort! [Exit.
Stuke. Don't be too much alarmed, madam. All men have their errors, and their times of seeing them. Perhaps, my friend's time is not come yet. But he has an uncle; and old men don't live for ever. You should look forward, madam; we are taught how to value a second fortune by the loss of a first
[Knocking ill the door.
Mrs Bev. Hark! No—that knocking was too
rude for Mr Beverley. Pray Heaven he be well!
Stuke. Never doubt it, madam. You shall be well, too.—Every thing shall be well.
Mrs Bev. The knocking is a little loud, though—Who waits there? Will none of you answer ?—None of you, did I say? Alas, what was I thinking of! I had forgot mvself.
Char. I'll go, sister—But don't be alarmed so.
Stake. What extraordinary accident have you to fear, madam?
Airs Bev. I beg your pardon; but 'tis ever thus with me in Mr Beveriey's absence. No one knocks at the door, but I fancy it is a messenger of ill news.
Stuke. You are too fearful, madam; 'twas but one night of absence; and if ill thoughts intrude (as love is always doubtful,) think of your worth and beauty, and drive them from your breast.
Mrs Bcv. What thoughts ! I have no thought?, that wrong my husband.
Stake. Such thoughts, indeed, would wrong him. The world is full of slander; and everv wretch, tliat knows himself unjust, charges hiK neighbour with like passions; and by the general
frailty hides his own If you are wise, and
would be happy, turn a deaf ear to such reports. It is ruin to believe them.
Mrs Bcr. Ay, worse than ruin. It would be to sin against conviction. Why was it mentioned?
Stuke. To guard you against rumour. The sport of half mankind is mischief; and for a single error they make men devils. If their tales roach you, disbelieve them.
Mrs Bev. What teles? Bv whom? Whv told? I have heard nothing—or if I had, with all his errors, my Beverley's firm faith admits no doubt —It is my safety, my seat of rest and joy, while the storm threatens round me. I'll not forsake it. [stukely sighs and looks down.] Why turn you, sir, away? and, why that sigh i
SI ulte. I was attentive, madam; and sighs will come wc know not why. Perhaps, I have been too busy—If it should seem so, impute my zeal to friendship, that meant to guard you against evil tongues. Your Beverley is wronged, slandered most vilely—My life upon his truth.
Mis Bev. And mine too. Who is it that
doubts it? But no matter 1 am prepared, sir
Yet why this caution? You are my husband's friend; I think you mine too; the common friend of both. [Pauses.] I had been unconcerned else.
Stuke. For Heaven's sake, madam, be so still! I mean to guard you against suspicion, not to alarm it.
Mrs Ber. Nor have you, sir. Who told you of suspicion; I have a heart it cannot reach.
Stuke. Then I am happy—I would say more; but am prevented.
Mr* Bev. Who was it, Charlotte?
Char. What a heart has that Jarvis! A creditor, sister. But the good old man has taken him away—' Don't distress his wife; don't distress his sister,' I could hear him say. 'It is cruel to
distress the afflicted' And when he saw me
at the door, he begged pardon, that his friend had knocked so loud.
Stuke. I wish 1 had known of this. Was it a large demand, madam?
Char. I heard not that; but visits, such as these, we must expect often—Why so distressed, sister? This is no new affliction.
Mrs Bev. No, Charlotte; but I am faint with watching—quite sunk and spiritless—Will you excuse me, sir? I'll to my chamber, and try to rest a little. [Exit.
Stuke. Good thoughts go with you, madam. My bait is taken, then. \Aside.] Poor Mrs Beverley! How my heart grieves to Bee her thus!
Char. Cure her, and be a friend, then.
Stuke. How cure her, madam?
Chur. Reclaim my brother.
Stuke. Ay, give him a new creation, or breathe another soul into him. Til think on it, madam. Advice, I see, is thankless.
Char. Useless I am sure it is, if through mistaken friendsliip, or other motives, you feed his passion with your purse, and soothe it by example. Physicians, to cure fevers, keep from the patient's thirsty lip the cup, that would inflame him. You
five it to his hands. [A knocking.] Hark, sir!— 'hese are my brother's desperate symptoms
Stuke. One not so easily got rid of— What, Lcwrson!
Lew. Madam, your servant Yours, sir. I
was enquiring for you at your lodgings.
Stuke. This morning! You had business, then?
Lew. You'll call it by another name, perhaps. Where's Mr Beverley, madam?
Char. We have sent to enquire for him.
Lew. Is he abroad, then ? He did not use to go out so early.
Char. No, nor stay out so late.
Lew. Is that the case? I am sorry for it.— But Mr Stukely, perhaps, may direct you to him.
Stuke. I have already, sir. But what was your business with me?
Lew. To congratulate you upon your late successes at play. Poor Beverley !—But you are his friend; and there's a comfort in having successful friends.
Stuke. And what am I to understand by this?
Leu. That Beverley's a poor man, with a rich friend; that's all.
Stuke. Your words would mean something, I suppose. Another time, sir, I shall desire an explanation.
Lew. And why not now? I am no dealer in long sentences. A minute or two will do for me.
Stuke. But not for me, sir. I am slow of apprehension, and must have time and privacy. A lady's presence engages my attention. Another morning I may be found at home.
Lew. Another morning, then, I'll wait upon you.
Stuke. I shall expect you, sir. Madam, your servant [Exit Stuke.
C'Aur. What mean you by this?
Lew. To hint to him, that I know him.
Char. How know him > Mere doubt and supposition!
Lew. I shall have proof soon.
Chur. And what then? Would you risque your life to be his punisher!
Lew. My life, madam! Don't be afraid. And yet I am happy in your concern for me. But let it content you, that I know this Stukely—It will be as easy to make him honest as brave.
Char. And what do you intend to do?
Lea. Nothing, till I have proof. Yet my suspicions are well-grounded—But, methinks, madam, I am acting here without authority. Could I have leave to call Mr Beverley brother, his concerns would be my own. Why will you make my services appear officious?
Char. You know my reasons, and should not press me. But I am cold, you say; and cold I
will be, while a poor sisters destitute My
heart bleeds for her ; and, till I see her sorrows moderated, love has no joys for me.
Lew. Can I be less a friend by being a brother? I would not say an unkind thing—But the pillar of your house is shaken; prop it with another, and it shall stand firm again. You must comply.
Char. And will, when I have peace within my