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A man's qualities cannot come out all at once. I wish you would teach me a little how to lay a cloth.

Blanch. You are well qualified for your office, truly, not to know that.

Sam. To say truth, we had little practice that home. We stood not upon forms; we had sometimes no cloth for a dinner

Blanch. And sometimes no dinner for a cloth.
Sam. Just so. We had little order in our family.
Blanch. Well, I will instruct you.

Sam. That's kind. I will be grateful. They tell me I have learned nothing but wickedness yet; but I will instruct you in anything I know, in return.

Blanch. There, I have no mind to become your scholar. But be steady in your service, and you may outlive your beggary, and grow into respect.

(Exit, R. Sam. Nay, an' riches rain upon me, respect will grow, of course.

I never knew a rich man yet who wanted followers to pull off their caps to him.

SONG.—Samson.
A traveller stopped at a widow's gate :
She kept an inn, and he wanted to bait,

But the landlady slighted her guest.
For when Nature was making an ugly race,
She certainly moulded the traveller's face,

As a sample for all the rest.
The chambermaid's sides they were ready to crack,
When she saw his queer nose and the hump at his back,

(A hump isn't handsome, no doubt);
And, though 'tis confessed that the prejudice goes
Very strongly in favour of wearing a nose,

Yet a nose shouldn't look like a snout.
A bag full of gold on the table he laid ;
'T had a wondrous effect on the widow and maid,

And they quickly grew marvellous civil.
The money immediately altered the case ;
They were charmed with his hump, and his snout, and his face,

Though he still might have frightened the devil.
He paid like a prince, gave the widow a smack,
Then flopped on his horse at the door like a sack;

While the landlady, touching the chink,
Cried, “Sir, should you travel this country again,
I heartily hope that the sweetest of men
Will stop at the widow's to drink.”

(Exit, L.

CHEST

SCENE IV - The Library as before.

WILFORD discovered. Wil. I would Sir Edward were come. The dread of a fearful encounter is often as terrible as the encounter itself. Eh! he's coming! No! The old wainscot cracks, and frightens me out of my wits; and I verily believe, the great folio dropped on my head just now from the shelf, on purpose to increase my terrors. Enter Sir Edward MORTIMER, R. door, which he locks after

him— Wilford turns round on hearing him shut it. [Aside, L. c.] What's that? 'Tis he himself !—Mercy on me! he has locked the door! What is going to become of me!

Sir E. Wilford, is no one in the picture-gallery?

Wil. No--not a soul, sir-not a human soul;
None within hearing, if I were to bawl
Ever so loud.

Sir E. (Pointing to L.] Lock yonder door.
Wil. The door, sir !
Sir E. (Sitting, R. c.) Do as I bid you.

Wil. What, sir, lock- {Mortimer waves his hand. I shall, sir.

[Goes to the door, L., and locks it. His face has little anger in it, neither ; 'Tis rather marked with sorrow and distress. Sir E. Wilford, approach me.

What am I to say For aiming at your life? Do you not scorn me, Despise me for it?

Wil. I !-Oh, sir

Sir E. You must;
For I am singled from the herd of men,
A vile, heart-broken wretch !

Wil. Indeed, indeed, sir,
You deeply wrong yourself. Your equals' love,
The poor man's prayer, the orphan's tear of gratitude,
All follow you ; and I-I owe you all —
I am most bound to bless you!

Sir E. Mark me, Wilford.
I know the value of the orphan's tear,
The poor man's prayer, respect from the respected ;

I feel, to merit these, and to obtain them,
Is to taste here below that thrilling cordial,
Which the remunerating angel draws
From the eternal fountain of delight,
To

pour on blessed souls that enter heaven.
I feel this-I! How must my nature, then,
Revolt at him who seeks to stain his hand
In human blood? And yet, it seems, this day
I sought your life. Oh, I have suffered madness!
None know my tortures—pangs; but I can end them,-
End them as far as appertains to thee.
I have resolved it: hell-born struggles tear me ;
But I have pondered on't, and I must trust thee.

Wil. Your confidence shall not be
Sir E. You must swear.,
Wil. Swear, sir! Will nothing but an oath, then-

Sir E. (Rising and seizing Wilford's arm. Listen :
May all the ills that wait on frail humanity
Be doubled on your head, if

you

disclose My fatal secret! May your body turn Most lazar-like and loathsome, and

your

mind More loathsome than your body! May those fiends, Who strangle babes for very wantonness, Shrink back, and shudder at your monstrous crimes, And, shrinking, curse you! Palsies strike your youth ; And the sharp terrors of a guilty mind Poison your aged days; while all your nights, As on the earth you lay your houseless head, Out-horror horror! May you quit the world Abhorred, self-hated, hopeless for the next, Your life a burthen, and your

death a fear! Wil. For mercy's sake, forbear! you terrify me. Sir E. Hope this may fall upon thee; swear thou

hopest it,
By every attribute which heaven, earth, hell,
Can lend, to bind and strengthen conjuration,
If thou betray'st me!

Wil. (Hesitating.) Well—I-
Sir E. No retreating.
Wil. (After a pause. I swear, by all the ties that bind

a man,
Divine or human, never to divulge!

Sir E. Remember, you have sought this secret-yes,
Extorted it. I have not thrust it on you.
'Tis big with danger to you ; and to me,
While I prepare to speak, torment unutterable.
Know, Wilford, that-Damnation !

Wil. Dearest sir,
Collect yourself; this shakes you horribly.
You had this trembling, it is scarce a week,
At Madam Helen's.

Sir E. There it is. Her uncler
Wil. Her uncle !

Sir E. Him. She knows it not-none know it :
You are the first ordained to hear me say,
I am-his murderer!

Wil. Oh, Heaven !
Sir E. His assassin !
Wil. What! you that-mur—the murder-I am

choked! Sir E. Honour-thou blood-stained god ! at whose red

altar
Sit war and homicide, oh! to what madness
Will insult drive thy votaries! By Heaven!
In the world's range there does not breathe a man,
Whose brutal nature I more strove to soothe,
With long forbearance, kindness, courtesy,
Than his who fell by me. But he disgraced me,
Stained me! Oh, death and shame! the world looked on,
And saw this sinewy savage strike me down ;
Rain blows upon me, drag me to and fro
On the base earth, like carrion. Desperation,
In every fibre of my frame, cried vengeance !
I left the room, which he had quitted. Chance,
(Curse on the chance !) while boiling with my wrongs,
Thrust me against him, darkling, in the street.
I stabbed him to the heart; and my oppressor
Rolled lifeless at

my
foot!

[Crosses to L. Wil. Oh, mercy on me! How could this deed be covered ?

Sir E. Would you think it ? E'en at the moment when I gave

the blow, Butchered a fellow-creature in the dark, I had all good men's love. But my disgrace,

34

THE IRON CHEST.

Agent

[ACT II.
Be satisfied, good Edward : 'tis a toy ;
But, of all men, I would not have thee know on't;
It is a tender subject.

Sir E. (R.) Ay, indeed!
Fitz. (c.) May not I have my secret ?
brother,

Oons ! good
What would you say, now, should a meddling knave
Busy his brains with matters, though but trivial,
Which concern you alone ?

Sir E. l'd have him rot,-
Die piecemeal-pine-moulder in misery!

and sacrifice to Heaven's wrath,
When castigating plagues are hurled on man,
Stands lean and lynx-eyed Curiosity,
Watching his neighbour's soul; sleepless himself,
To banish sleep from others. Like a leech,
Sucking the blood-drops from a care-worn heart,
He gorges on't; then renders up his food
To nourish Calumny, his foul-lunged mate,
Who carries Rumour's trumpet; and whose breath,
Infecting the wide surface of the world,
Strikes pestilence and blight! Oh, fie on't! fie!
Whip me the curious wretch from pole to pole,
Who writhes in fire, and scorches all around him,
A victim, making victims !

Fitz. By the mass,
'Twere a sound whipping that, from pole to pole!
From constable to constable might serve.

Sir E. Your pardon, brother;
I had forgot. Wilford, I've business for you:
Wait for me-ay-an hour after dinner,
Wait for me in the library,

Wil. (Aside.] The library!
I sicken at the sound !--[Aloud.] Wait there for you-

and-
Captain Fitzharding, sir ?

Sir E. For me alone.
Wil. Alone, sir?
Sir E. Yes.-Begone!

Wil. I shall, sir. (Aside to Sir Edward, R. But
If I have ever breathed a syllable
That might displease you, may-

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