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Just heaven hear me -I am innocent!
Sir Edward Mortimer sits, R. C. Fitz. Make it appear so. (Pointing to the trunk.] But
look there ! look there! Wil. Do you not knowSir E. What ?
Wil. 'Tis no matter, sir ; But I could swear
Sir E. (Rising.) Nay, Wilford, pause awhile : Reflect that oaths are sacred. Weigh the force Of these asseverations—mark it well : “I swear, by all the ties that bind a man, Divine or human !” Think on that, and shudder. Wil. (Aside.] The very words I uttered !-I am tongue
tied! Fitz. Wilford, if there be aught that you can argue To clear yourself, advance it.
Wil. Oh! I could-
To circumstantial charge. A stedfast brow
witnesses before him. Wil
. By the just Power that rules us, I am ignorant How they came there !—But 'tis my
firm belief, You placed them there to sink me.
Fitz. Oh, too much! You steel men's hearts against you. (To the Servants.)
Call the officers :
Sir E. Hold! (Seating himself, R.] Pray you, hold.
The front of guilt, that men may see and shun it. 'Tis done, and I will now proceed no further.
Fitz. Look ye, brother; this act Is so begrimed with black, ungrateful malice, That I insist on justice. Fly, knaves-run ! And let him be secured. (Exeunt Servants, R.) You tarry here.
[To Wilford. Sir E. I will not have it thus.
Fitz. You must-you shall ! Does not this rouse you, too? Look on these jewels ; Look at this picture—'twas our mother's. Stay, Let me inspect this nearer. (Examining the trunk.) What
are here? Parchments!
Sir E. Oh, look no further. They are deeds, Which, in his haste, no doubt, he crowded there, Not knowing what, to look o'er at his leisure. Family deeds : they all were in my
chest. Wil. (Aside.] Oh, 'tis deep laid! These, too, to give
be Of note upon his trial. What's this drops ? A knife, it seems.
Sir E. (Starting up.) What:
it! Sir E. Touch it not ! throw it back! bury it ! sink it! Oh, carelessness and haste! Give me that paper! Darkuess and hell!-Give back the paper!
[Sir Edward rushes down, R., and attempts to snatch
it- Wilford runs between the two brothers, falls on
his knees, and prevents him, clinging to Fitzharding. Wil. (Rapidly.] No! I I see ! Preserve it: you are judge. My innocence—my life, rests on it!
Sir E. Devils! Foil me at my own game! Fate! (Laughing hysterical.
ly.] Ha! ha! ha! Sport, Lucifer! He struck me
(Mortimer is fainting and falling-Wilford runs and
Wil. (c.) I'll support him.
Fitz. What is this? My mind misgives me :
before my death.
Wil. Plain--plain! Stay! he revives.
Sir E. What has been-Soft! I have been wandering with the damned, sure ! Brother! And—ay, 'tis Wilford! Oh! thought flashes on ine Like lightning !-I am brain-scorched !-Give me leave; I will speak—soon I will—a little yet! Come hither, boy-wronged boy! Oh, Wilford ! Wil
[Bursts into tears, and falls on Wilford's neck. Wil. Be firm, sir-pray, be firm! My heart bleeds
I see my
Warms for you! Oh! all your former charity
Fitz. Oh, mercy on me!
Sir E. More. I feared this boy;
To die-to have my ashes trampled on
Enter GREGORY, R.
[Exit Gregory, R. Wil. [Crossing to Sir Edward.] 'Twere best to raise
Enter HELEN, R
dies-Helen kneels over him as the curtain slowly descends.
DISPOSITION OF THE CHARACTERS AT THE FALL OF
HELEN. WILFORD. MORTIMER.