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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-
I could say much, but must not—no, I will not !
Do as you please. I have no friend—no witness,
Save my accuser. Did he not-pray, ask him-
Did he not menace, in his pride of power,
To blast my name, and crushemy innocence ?
Fitz. What do you answer,

sir ?
Sir E. I answer, no.
More were superfluous, when a criminal
Opposes empty volubility

To circumstantial charge. A stedfast brow
Repels not fact, nor can invalidate
These dumb, [Pointing to the trunk, L. c.] but damning,

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 :
He shall meet punishment. [The Servants are going, R.

Sir E. Hold! (Seating himself, R.] Pray you, hold.
Justice has thus far struggled with my pity,
To do an act of duty to the world.
I would unmask a hypocrite-lay bare

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

a colour!
Fitz. What have we here? Here is a paper
Of curious enfolding; slipt, as 'twere,
By chance within another. This may

be Of note upon his trial. What's this drops ? A knife, it seems.

Sir E. (Starting up.) What:
Fitz. Marks of blood


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

catches him.


Wil. (c.) I'll support him.
Read! read! read!

Fitz. What is this? My mind misgives me :
It is my brother's hand. [Reading.) “ To be destroyed

before my death.
Narrative of my murder of_" Oh, great Heaven!
(Reading.] “ If, ere I die, my guilt should be disclosed,
May this contribute to redeem the wreck
Of my lost honour !I am horror-struck !

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

for you

I see my

Warms for you! Oh! all your former charity
To your poor boy is in my mind ;-still, still

Sir E. Well, I will
I will be firm : one struggle, and 'tis over.
I have most foully wronged you. Ere I die,
And I feel death-struck, let me haste to make
Atonement. Brother, note. The jewels
Yes, and that paper-Heaven and accident
Ordained it so—were placed-curse on my flesh,
To tremble thus !-were placed there by my hand.

Fitz. Oh, mercy on me!

Sir E. More. I feared this boy;
He knew my secret, and I blackened him,
That, should he e'er divulge the fatal story,
His word might meet no credit. Infamy
Will brand my memory for't ; Posterity,
Whose breath I made my god, will keep my shame
Green in her damning record. Oh! I had
I had a heart o’erflowing with good thoughts
For all mankind: one fatal-fatal turn
Has poisoned all! Where is my honour now?

To die-to have my ashes trampled on
By the proud foot of scorn!- Polluted !-Hell!
Who dares to mock my guilt ?—ls't you? or you?
Wrack me that grinning fiend !-Damnation !
Who spits upon my grave ?—I'll stab again!
I'll-Oh !

Fitz. This rives my heart in twain !Why, brother !

His looks are ghastly.

Gre. Sir, the officers
Fitz. Away, knave !-Send them hence—the boy is in-

Tell it your fellows. Hence! Send in some help:
· Your master's ill o' the sudden. Send some help.

[Exit Gregory, R. Wil. [Crossing to Sir Edward.] 'Twere best to raise

him, sir.
Fitz. Soft—who comes here?

Enter HELEN, R
Hel. Where is he ?-I]], and on the ground !-Oh!

Oh, Heaven !—My Mortimer !-Oh, raise him-gently!
Speak to me, love. He cannot !
Sir E. Helen-'twas 1-that-killed-
(He struggles to speak, but, unable to utter, he falls and

dies-Helen kneels over him as the curtain slowly descends.






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