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Mich. Sir, I repented.
At least, I liv'd in hopes I might be so: B. Will. Repented! what's that? Dog, know For time, and gratitude, and Arden's love, your rank, and act as we command, or your I hop'd, might quench my guilty fane for heart's blood
you, Mich. What must I do?
[Frighted. And make my heart a present worthy him. B. Will. Do! you must show us the house, Mos. And dost thou glory in thy perjuries ! appoint the time and place, and lure your In love, inconstancy alone's a crime. master thither-We'll take care of him without Think on the ardour of our youthful passion, your trouble.
Think how we play'd with love; nor thought Green. So shall you purchase noble Mosby's
it guilt, friendship
Till thy first falsehood, (call it not obedience,) And, by his friendship, gain his sister's love. Thy marriage with this Arden, made me desMich. They'll murder me too, should I not
[Aside. Think on the transports of our love renew'd, Green. Think on your love, your interest. And B. Will. Or your death.
Alic. Hide the rest, lest list'ning winds Mich. To-night, soon as the abbey-clock
should hear, strikes ten,
[Trembling. And publish to the world our shameful tale. Come to his house : I'll leave the doors un- Here let remembrance of our follies die. barr'd:
[ber; Mos. Shall our loves witber in their early The left-hand stairs lead to my master's cham
bloom ? There take him, and dispose him as you please. Alic. Their harvest else will be to both our Green. This cannot fail.
shames. Shake. Unless this love-sick coward thinks Hast thou not made a monster of me, Mosby? to deceive us.
You should abhor
I abhor myself. Mich. I will not, by Heaven!
When unperceiv'd I stole on Arden's sleep, B. Will. I believe thee ; for, by hell, thou (Hell steeld my heart, and death was in my darest not.
hand,) Mich. Master, thy constant love and daily Pale anguish brooded on his ashy cheek, bounty
And chilly sweats stood shivering on his brow. Deserve more grateful offices from Michael. Relentless murder, at a sight so sad,
(Exit, in tears. Gave place to pity'; and, as he wak'd, I stood SCENE II.-A Room in ARDEN's House.
Irresolute, and drown'd in tears.
Mos. She's lost,
And I, in vain, have stain'd my soul with Alic. When vice has spread her poison
[Aside. through the soul,
Alic. Give o'er, in time : in vain are your How lifeless, slow, confus'd, and insincere,
[ed Are our resolves in the pursuits of virtue !
Upon my Arden's life; for Heaven, that wrestWhat wonder, then, Heaven should refuse its The fatal weapon from my trembling hand, aid
Still has him in its charge. To thoughts, that only blossom for a time;
Mos. Little she thinks, Look blooming to the eye, but yield do fruit.
That Arden's dead ere now.-It must be so;
I've but that game to play, ere it be known. Enter Mosby.
[Aside. Mos. I come, Alicia, to partake thy griefs ; Alic. I know our dang’rous state ; 1 hesiFor fire, divided, burns with lesser force.
tate ; Alic. 'I know thee: thou art come to fan the I tremble for your life; I dread reproach. flame
(us. But we've offended, and must learn to suffer.. Thy breath hath kindled here, till it consume Mos. Then Arden lives in his Alicia bless'd, But tears and sighs shall stifle in my heart And Mosby, wretched. Yet should chance The guilty passion.
or nature Mos. Is heroic love,
Lay Arden gently in a peaceful grave, That form’d the bright examples of thy sex, Might I presume to hope? Alicia, speak. Made their lives glorious, and their fame im- Alic. How shall I look into my secret mortal,
thoughts, A crime in thee? Art thou not mine by oaths, And answer what I fear to ask myself? By mutual sufferings, by contract, mine?
(A long pause. Alic. Why do you urge a rash, a fatal, pro- Mos. Silence speaks best for me. His death mise,
once known, I had no right to make, or you to ask ?
I must forswear the fact, and give these tools Why did you practise on my easy heart? To public justice-and pot live in fear. [Aside. Why did I ever listen to your vows?
Thy heart is mine. I ask but for my own. In me, 'twas foolish guilt and disobedience;
[To her. In you, 'twas avarice, insolence, and pride. Truth, gratitude, and honour, bind you to me, Mos.' 'Twas love in me, and gratitude in Or else you never lov'd. you.
Alic. Then why this struggle? Alic. 'Twas insolence in you, meanness in Not lov'd! O had my love been justly plac'd, me,
As sure it was exalted and sincere, And madness in uş both. My careful parents, I should have gloried in it, and been happy. In scorn of your presumption and my weak. But I'll no longer live the abject slave ness,
Of loose desirem-I disclaim the thought. Gave me in marriage to a worthy gentleman, Mos. I'll ask no more what honour shoulil Of birth and fortune equal to my own.
By Heaven, I never will.
[deny; Three years I liv'd with him without reproach, Alic. Well, then, remernber, And made bim in that time the happy father On that condition only, I renew Of two most lovely children. I too was happy; My vows. If time and the event of things
Should ever make it lawful, I'll be yours. | What shall we call this undetermin'd state,
[Gives her hand. This narrow isthmus 'twixt two boundless Mos. O, my full joys !
(tend ? Alic. Suppress thy frantic transports, That whence we came, and that to which we My heart recoils; I am betray'd. -0 give me Is it life, chequer'd with the sleep of death? My promis'd faith.
[back Or death, enliven'd by our waking dreams! Mos. First, let the world dissolve.
But we'll to Led. Here, Michael, bring the Alic. There is no joy, por peace, for you or
Enter MICHAEL, with lights.
(Gives Franklin a candle. "Till then, farewell.–Aside.] Now, fortune, Frank. The like to you. do thy worst.
(Exit. Mich. Shall I attend you, Sir ? Alic. Mosby, return: he's gone, and I am Frank. No, no, I choose to be alone. Good wretched.
night. I should have banish'd him my sight for ever. (Exit FrankLIN. MICHAEL attends his You happy fair ones, whose untainted fame
master with the other light, and returns. Has never yet been blasted with reproach,
Mich. I, who should take my weapon in my Fly from th' appearance of dishonour, far.
band, Virtue is arbiirary, nor admits debate: And guard his life with hazard of my own, To doubt, is treason in her rigid court; With fraudful smiles have led him, unsusBut, if ye parley with the foe, you're lost.
pecting, [Exit. Quite to the jaws of death—But I've an oath.
Mosby has bound me with a horrid vow, SCENE III.-A Room in Arden's House. Which if I break, these dogs have sworn my
death. ARDEN and FRANKLIN sitting together on a
[latch. I've left the doors unbarr'd.-Hark! 'twas the couch: ARDEN, thoughtful.
They come I hear their oaths, and see their frank. Nay, wonder poto-Though every
Insulting o'er my master's mangled body, Thus strangely met to prove the lady false, While he for mercy pleads. Good master, And justify the husband's horrid vengeance ;
['emYet it appears to every honest eye,
I'll bar the doors again. But, should I meet (Too late for the poor lady,) she was wrong’d. What's that?-I heard 'em cry, where is this Ard. Is't possible ?
coward ? Frunk. Ay, very possible :
Arden once dead, they'll murder me for sport. He lives that proves it so. Concealid from Help_call the neighbours-Master-Franklin justice,
-help. He pines with ceaseless sorrow for his guilt, And each hour bends him lower towards his
Enter ARDEN and FRANKLIN, undressed. grave.
Ard. What dismal outcry's this? Ard. I know thy friendship, and perceive its Frunk. What frights thee, Michael ? drift.
[wrong'd. Mich. My master!-Franklin ! I'll bear my wrongs-for sure I have been Ard. Why dost tremble so? Do I but think so, then! What fools are men,
Mich. I dream'd the house was full of thieves Whom love and hatred, anger, hope, and fear, and murderers.
[Treml ling. And all the various passions, rule by turns, Ard. Dream'd! what, awake! Are all the And in their several turns alike deceive? doors made fast? Frank. To cast away, and on suspicion only,
Mich. I think they are. A jewel, like Alicia, were to her
Ard. I'll go and see myself. (Exit ARDEN. Unjust, and cruel to yourself,
Frank. You made a fearful noise.
[Clock strikes ten. Mich. Did I?Good night,
Ard. (Within.] Why, Michael ! The clock has stricken ten,
Frank. You tremble still.-Has any one Ard. I thought it more.
been here? Frank. I thought it not so much.
Mich. No, I hope not. My master will be Ard. Why, thus it is :
angry. Our happy hours are few, and fly so swift, That they are past ere we begin to count 'em:
Enter ARDEN. But, when with pain and misery oppress'd, Ard. This negligence not half contents me, Anticipating Time's unvarying pace,
The doors were all left open. We think each heavy moment is an age.
Mich. SirFrank. Come, let's to rest. Impartial as the Ard. To bed,
grave, Sleep robs the cruel tyrant of his power,
And, as you prize my favour, be more careful.
Frank. "Tis very cold. Once more, my Gives rest and freedom to the o'erwrought
Ard. -Good night.
[Exeunt. And steals the wretched beggar from his want. Droop not, my friend; sleep will suspend thy
ACT IV. And time will end them.
(cares, Ard. True, for time brings death,
SCENE I.-An Inn, the Flower-de-luce. The only certain end of human woes. Sleep, interrupts, but waking, we're restor’d
Enter Mosby and MICHAEL. To all our griefs again. Watching and rest, Mich. Though I with oaths appeal to conAlternately succeeding one another,
scious Heaven, Are all the idle business of dull life,
That Arden rose and shut the doors hinself,
Yet, but for Green, these bloody rogues had she eats, nor sleeps. Her lovely, downcast kill'd me.
Her troubled breast heaves with incessant Mos. Such ever be the employ
[blast Of him I hate.
Which drink the purple streams of life, and Mich.-The mourning fair, all chang'd, Her bloom, as storms the blossoms of the By me conjures you, (and with tears she
spring spake it)
But sure her prayers must quickly reach high Not to involve yourself and her in ruin,
And her lost peace restore.
Frank. Their mutual peace, Maria ! Mich. And hopes, (as Heaven, in answer For his can ne'er be found but in Alicia. to her prayers,
Asham'd to view the face of man or day, Hath reconcil'd her duty and affection,) As Mosby's name was written on his brow, You will approve her resolution
He cheerless wanders; seeks the darkest gloom Mos. Doubtless !
To hide his drooping head, and grieve alone. Mich. And learn, by her example, to subdue With a full heart, swoln eyes, and falt'ring Your guilty passion
tongue, Mos. Ha, ha, ha! exquisite woman! He sometimes, seeking to beguile his grief, So! rather than not change, she'll love her Begins a mournful tale : but straight, a thought husband !
of his imagin'd wrongs crossing his memory, But she will not persevere.
Ends bis sad story ere the half
be told. Mich. Yes, sure, she will.
O may our pains with wish'd success be Mos. Have I then slighted her whole sigh
crown'd. ing sex, Bid opportunity and fortune wait;
Enter ARDEN. And all, to be forsaken for a husband !
Ard. No, Franklin, no; your friendly cares By Heaven, I am glad he has so oft escap'd,
are vain : That I may have him murder'd in her sight. Were I but certain she bad wrong'd my bed,
I then might hate her, and shake off my woes; Enter GREEN.
But, thus perplex'd, can never taste of comfort. Green. How strange a providence attends
Frank. O jealousy! thou bane of social joy! this man !
Oh! she's a monster, made of contradictions ! 'Tis vain to strive with Heaven–Let's give it Let truth in all her native charms appear, Mos. No: when I do, may I be curs'a for And with the voice of harmony itself
Plead the just cause of innocence traduc'd; ever, Hopeless to love, and hate without revenge:
Deaf as the adder, blind as upstart greatness, May I ne'er know an end of disappointment, She sees nor hears. And yet, let slander But, press'd with hard necessity, like thee,
whisper, Live, the contempt of my insulting foe.
Rumour bas fewer tongues than she has ears; Green. I scorn the abject thought-Had he And Argus' hundred eyes are dim and slow,
To piercing jealousy's.Hung on each hair, he dies—If we succeed,
Ard. -No more, no moreThis very night Maria shall be thine.
I know its plagues, but where's the remedy? [To Mich.
Mar. In your Alicia. Mich. I am a man again.
Frunk. She shall beal these wounds. Mos. I've thought a way
Ard. She's my disease, and can she be my That may be easy under friendship’s mask,
cure ? Which, to a foe suspected, may be hard.
My friends should rather teach me to abhor ber, Green. Friendship! Impossible
To tear her image from my bleeding heart. Mos. -You know him not.
Mar. We leave that hateful office to the fiends. You, with your ruffians, in the street shall
Frank. If you e'er lor'd, you'll not refuse to seek him.
see her: I follow at some distance. They begin
You promis'd that. (No matter how,) a quarrel, and at once
Ard. Did I ? Assault him with their swords. Straight 1
Frank. Indeed, you did.
Ard. Well, then, some other time.
Frank. No, see her now.
Ard. Franklin, I know my heart, and dare then fly,
not see her: And leave the rest to me.
I have a husband's honour to maintain, Mich. I know his temper.
I fear the lover's weakness may betray.
Let me not do what bonour must condemn, This seeming benefit will cancel all His former doubts, and gain his easy heart.
And friendship blush to bear, Green. Perhaps 50-yet
Frank. Thai Arden never will. Mos. Farther debates are needless. (Exeunt.
Mar. Did you but know her grief
Ard. Am I the cause ? SCENE II.-A Room in ARDEN's House. Have I, just Heaven, have I e'er injur'd her ?
Yet I'm the coward. O prepost'rous fear! Enter FRANKLIN and MARIA.
See, where she comes—Arm'd with my mumFrank. Well, in what temper did you find
'rous wrongs, Alicia?
I'll meet with honourable confidence Mar. Never was anguish, never grief, like Tb'offending wife, and look the honest hushers:
Frank. Maria, we'll withdraw-even friend- Thou inconsistent spring of grief and joy, ship here
Whence bitter streams and sweet alternate Would seem impertinence.
flow, Ard. Be still, my heart.
Come to my arms, and in this too fond bosom (Alicia enters, not seeing Arden. Disburden all the fulness of thy soul. Alic. How shall I bear my Arden's just re- Alic. Let me approach with awe that sacred proaches !
temple, Or can a reconcilement long continue, Resume my seat, and dwell for ever there. That's founded on deceit! Can I avow
Ard. There ever reign, as on thy native My secret guilt?-No–At so mean a thought Thou lovely wanderer.
(throne, Abandon'd infamy herself would blush.
Alic. Am I at last, Nay, could I live with public loss of honour, In error's fatal mazes long bewilder'd, Arden would die to see Alicia scorn'd. Permitted here to find my peace and safety! He's here; earth, open-hide me from his Ard. Dry up thy tears; and tell me, truly
sigbt. Ard. Guilt chains her tongue. Lo! silent, Has my long-suffering love at length prevaild, self-condemn'd,
[stands. And art thou mine, indeed ? With tearful eyes and trembling limbs she Alic, Heaven is my witness, Alic. Fain would I kiss his footsteps—but I love thee, Arden ; and esteem thy love that look,
Above all earthly good. Thy kind forgiveness Where indignation seems to strive with grief, Speaks to my soul that peaceful calm confirm’d, Forbids me to approach him.
Which reason and reflection had begun. Ard. Who would think,
Ard. Thou'rt cheaply purchas'd with unThat anguish were not real ?
(tience, Alic. I'm rooted here.
With many a bitter tear, and years of paArd. Those tears, methinks, even if her guilt Thou treasure of more worth than mines of were certain,
gold. Might wash away her pains.
I will not doubt my happiness. Thou art, Alic. Support me, Heaven!
Thou wilt be mine, ever and only mine. i Ard. Curse on the abject thought. I shall Alic. I am, I will. I ne'er knew joy 'till
relapse To simple dotage. She steals on my heart, Ard. This is our truest, happiest nuptial day. She conquers with her eyes. If I but hear her To-night, thou knowest, according to my cusvoice,
tom, Nor earth nor heaven can save me from her Our yearly fair returning with St. Valentine, 0! let me fly--If I have yet the power. I treat my friends. I go to countenance Alic. O Arden! do not, do not leave me Their honest mirth, and cheer them with my thus. [Kneels, and holds him.
bounty: Ard. I pray thee, loose thy hold.
'Till happy night, farewell. My best Alicia, Alic. O never, never.
How will our friends rejoice, cur foes repine, Ard. Why should I stay to tell thee of my To see us thus? wrongs,
Alic. Thus ever may they see us ! [me, To aggravate thy guilt, and wound thy soul? | The wandering fires, that have so long misled Thyself, if all these agonizing struggles Are now extinguish'd, and my heart is ArOf tears, of sighs, of groans, of speechless
The flowery path of innocence and peace Be but sincere-thyself, will do it better. Shines bright before, and I shall stray no One thing I'll tell thee (for perhaps 'twill
longer. please thee)
Whence then these sighs, and why these Thou'st broke my heart, Alicia.
floods of tears ? Alic. Oh!
(She falls to the ground. Sighs are the language of a broken heart, Ard. And canst thou,
And tears the tribute each enlighten'd eye Can woman pity whom she hath undone ? Pays, and must pay, for vice and folly past. Why dost thou grasp my knees? what wouldst And yet the painful'st virtue hath its pleasure:
Though dangers rise, yet, peace restor'd withIf thou couldst find thy speech ?
in, Alic. ()! mercy, mercy !
My soul collected shall undaunted meet them. Ard. Thou hast had none on me, let go my Though trouble, grief, and death, the lot of hand :
all, Why dost thou press it to thy throbbing heat, On good and bad, without distinction, fall; That beats-but not for me?
The soul which conscious innocence sustains, Alic. Then may it ne'er beat more.
Supports with ease these temporary pains; Ard. At least, I'm sure it did not always so. But, stung with guilt, and loaded by despair, Alic. For that, my soul is pierc'd with deep Becomes itself a burden none can bear. remorse ;
(Exeunt. For that, I bow me to the dust before thee, And die to be forgiven. 0, Arden! Arden!
SCENE III.--The Street, Ard. Presumptuous fool! what business hast thou here?
People at a distance, as at a Fair. Did I not know my weakness, and her power! Enter Arden on one side, and Black Will and
SHAKEBAG on the other, GREEN directing Rise-rise-Alicia.
them. Alic. No: here let me lie On the bare bosom of this conscious earth, B. Will. Shakebag, you'll second me "Till Arden speak the words of peace and S'blood give the way. (Jostles ARDEN. Or my heart break before bim. [comfort, Shake. May we not pass the streets ? Ard. O, Alicia,
Ard. I saw you not.
B. Will. Your sight perhaps is bad, your Frank. May you be ever happy in your wife: feeling may be better.
[Strikes him. ButArd. Insolent villains !
(Draws. Ard. Speak--But what? Let's have no ridB. Will. Come, we'll teach you manners.
dles here. Ard. Both at once! barb'rous cowards! Can she be innocent, and Mosby guilty ?
Frank. To speak my thoughts, this new Enter Mosby.
Makes me suspect :-1 like him worse than Mos. O, bloody dogs! attempt a life so pre- Ard. Because I like him better. What a cious!
churl! B. Will. This is a fury, George.
Frank. You're credulous, and treat my [BLACK Will and SHAKEBAG beaten off.
serious doubts Shake. I've pink'd him though
With too much levity. You vex me, Arden, Ard. Villains, come back; and finish your
Ard. Believe me, friend, you'll laugh at this Mos. Shall I pursue them, Sir?
hereafter. (Exit the other way. Ard. Not for the worldMosby! amazing generosity !
Mosby, having watched FRANKLIN out, re-enters Mos. I hope you are not hurt.
with GREEN. Ard. Pierc'd to the heart
Mos. The surly friend has left him-As I Mos. Forbid it, Heaven! quick, let me fly
wish'd for help. Ard. With sharp reflection :-Mosby, I can't Flies headlong to our snare : now to inclose
You see how eagerly the foolish fowl [him. bear
At eight the guests are bidden to his banquet, To be so far oblig'd to one I've wrong'd. Mos. Who would not venture life, to save a Keeps home with his Alicia. He'll secure
And only Michael, of his numerous train, friend? Ard. From you I've not deserv'd that tender With my two trusty blood-hounds.
The keys of all the doors, and let you in
Alicia name. Averse at present
(seems Mos. No more of that-would I were worthy
Green. She'll not dare betray us. of it!
Mos. Not when the deed is done. We know Ard. I own my heart, by boiling passions
too much; torn,
She'll be our prisoner, and shall be observ'd. Forgets its gentleness-yet is ever open
Towards evening, then upon a slight pretence To melting gratitude. O say, what price
To pass an hour at draughts, (a game he loves,) Can buy your friendship?
I'll draw this husband home. You'll be preMos. Only think me yours. Ard. Easy, indeed. I am too much obligd. In th’inner room, (Michael will show it you,)
par'd Why wreak'd not your good sword its justice 'Till, at a signal given, you all rush forth,
And strangle him. When, mad with jealous rage, in my own
Green. Good—'tis a death that leaves I urg'd you to my ruin ?
No bloody character to mark the place. Mos. I lov'd you then
Mos. Howe'er, come all provided with your With the same warmth as now. Arl. What's here? you bleed!
Do you seek Michael, I'll instruct the rest. Let me bind up your wound.
Green. What shall the signal be?
Mos. These words in the game,
Green. Arden! thou’rt taken now, indeed.
Mos. His body, thrown behind the abbey
wall, The man I treated as a coward, bleeding,
Shall be descried by the early passenger (Wretch that I am!) for his defence of me.
Returning from the Fair. --My friend, thy Look to your wound. And, Mosby, let us
Shakes it ?-Be firm, and our united strength You'll sup with me. There will be honest with ease shall cast dead Arden to the earth. And Franklin here, and
Green. Thanks to his foolish tenderness of Mos. Sir, I will not fail.
soul. Frank. I'shall not come.
Mos. True; he, who trusts an old invet'rate Ard. Nay, Franklin, that's unkind.
Bares his own breast, and courts the fatal Frank, Nay, urge me not. I have my rea
[Excunt. Mos. Avoids my company !-So much the
ACT V. better.
[hence, His may not be so proper. [Aside.)- An hour
SCENE I.-ARDEN'S House. If you are not engag'd, we'll meet at Fowl's.
alone. Ard. I will be there. Mos. 'Till then I take my leave.
What have I heard! Is this the house of [Exit Mosby. Arden?
[him, Ard. How have I been misiaken in this Oh! that the power which has so often sav'd
Would send his guardian angel to him now, Frank. How are you sure, you're not mis- To whisper in his ear his present danger! taken now?
Fly, Arden, fly; avoid this fatal roof, Ard. No doubt he loves me; and I blush to where murder lurks, and certain death awaits think
[hence, How I've suspected him, and wrong'd Alicia. Wander-no matter where-Turn but from