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approach of poverty without a tear-My af- his punisher, till heaven, in mercy, gives him fections, my strong affections, supported me penitence, or dooms him in his justice. [Exit. through every trial.
Stuke. Be patient, madam.
Mrs. B. Patient! the barbarous, ungrateful| man! And does he think that the tenderness of my heart is his best security for wounding it? But he shall find that injuries such as these can arm my weakness for vengeance and redress. Stuke. Ha! then I may succeed. [Aside] Redress is in your power.
Mrs. B. What redress?
SCENE L-STUKELY's Lodgings. Enter STUKELY and BATES, meeting. Bates. Where have you been?
Stuke. Fooling my time away-playing my tricks, like a tame monkey, to entertain a woman.-No matter where-I have been vexed and disappointed.-Tell me of Beverley: how bore he his last shock?
Stuke. Forgive me, madam, if, in my zeal to serve you, I hazard your displeasure. Think Bates. Like one (so Dawson says) whose of your wretched state. Already want sur senses had been numbed with misery. When rounds you-Is it in patience to bear that? all was lost, he fixed his eyes upon the ground, To see your helpless little one robbed of his and stood some time, with folded arms, stupid birthright? A sister too, with unavailing tears, and motionless; then snatching his sword, that lamenting her lost fortune? No comfort left hung against the wainscot, he sat him down, you, but ineffectual pity from the few, out- and with a look of fixed attention, drew fiweighed by insults from the many. gures on the floor. At last he started up,
Mrs. B. Am I so lost a creature?-Well, looked wild, and trembled; and, like a woman sir, my redress? seized with her sex' fits, laughed out aloud, while the tears trickled down his face-so left the_room.
Stuke. Why, this was madness.
Stuke. To be resolved is to secure it. The marriage vow once violated, is, in the sight of heaven, dissolved-Start not, but hear me. Tis now the summer of your youth: time has not cropped the roses from your cheek, Stuke. We must confine him then-A prison though sorrow long has washed them. Then would do well. [A knocking at the Door] your beauty wisely, and, freed by injuries, Hark! that knocking may be bis-Go that way ly from the cruellest of men, for shelter with down. [Exit Bates] Who's there?
Mrs. B. And who is he?
Stuke. A friend to the unfortunate; a bold one too, who, while the storm is bursting on your brow, and lightning flashing from your eyes, dares tell you that he loves you.
Mrs. B. 'Would that these eyes had heaven's own lightning, that, with a look, thus I might blast thee! Am I then fallen so low? Has poverty so humbled me, that I should listen to a hellish offer, and sell my soul for bread? -Oh, villain! villain!-But now I know thee, and thank thee for that knowledge.
Stuke. If you are wise, you shall have cause to thank me.
Mrs. B. An injured husband too shall thank thee.
Lew. An enemy-an open, and avowed one. Stuke. Why am I thus broke in upon? This house is mine, sir, and should protect me from insult and ill manners.
Lew. Guilt has no place of sanctuary; wher ever found, 'tis virtue's lawful game. The fox's hold, and tiger's den, are no security against the hunter.
Stuke. Your business, sir?
Lew. To tell you that I know you.-Why this confusion? That look of guilt and terror? Is Beverley awake, or has his wife told tales? The man that dares like you, should have a soul to justify his deeds, and courage to confront accusers: not, with a coward's fear, to shrink beneath reproof.
Stuke. Who waits there?
Stuke. Yet know, proud woman, I have a heart as stubborn as your own! as haughty and imperious: and as it loves, so can it hate. [Aloud, and in confusion. Mrs. B. Mean, despicable villain! I scorn Lew. By heaven he dies that interrupts us! thee, and thy threats. Was it for this that [Shutting the Door] You should have weighBeverley was false?-that his too credulous ed your strength, sir; and then, instead of wife should, in despair and vengeance, give climbing to high fortune, the world had marked up her honour to a wretch? But he shall you for what you are-a little, paltry villain! know it, and vengeance shall be his.
Stuke. Why, send him for defiance thenTell him I love his wife; but that a worthless husband forbids our union. I'll make a widow you, and court you honourably.
Stuke. You think I fear you.
Lew. I know you fear me-This is to prove it.-[Pulls him by the Sleeve] You wanted privacy-A lady's presence took up your attention.-Now we are alone, sir.—Why, what Mrs. B. Oh, coward, coward! thy soul will a wretch! [Flings him from him] The vilest shrink at him: Yet, in the thought of what may insect in creation will turn when trampled on; happen, I feel a woman's fears.-Keep thy own yet has this thing undone a man!-by cunning secret, and be gone. [Rings a Bell. and mean arts undone him!-But we have found you, sir; traced you through all your labyrinths. If you would save yourself, fall to confession, no mercy will be shown else.
[Exit with Lucy. Mrs. B. Why opens not the earth, to swallow such a monster? Be conscience then
Stuke. First prove me what you think me; till then your threatenings are in vain-And for this insult, vengeance may yet be mine.
Lew. Infamous coward! why, take it now
then-Draws, and Stukely retires] Alas, I and not Beverley, that left you-I heard him pity thee! Yet, that a wretch like this should loud-You seem alarmed too. overcome a Beverley! It fills me with aston- Stuke. Ay, and with reason-We are disishment!--A wretch, so mean of soul, that covered.
even desperation cannot animate him to look Bates. I feared as much, and therefore cauupon an enemy. You should not have thus tioned you; but you were peremptory. soared, sir, unless, like others of your black Stuke. Thus fools talk ever; spending their profession, you had a sword to keep the fools idle breath on what is past, and trembling at in awe your villany has ruined. the future. We must be active; Beverley, at
Stuke. Villany! Twere best to curb this worst, is but suspicious; but Lewson's genius, license of your tongue-for know, sir, while and his hate to me, will lay all open. Means there are laws, this outrage on my reputation must be found to stop him.
will not be borne with.
Bates. What means?
Lew. Laws! Dar'st thou seek shelter from Stuke. Dispatch him—Nay, start not-Desthe laws those laws which thou and thy in-perate occasions call for desperate deeds—We fernal crew live in the constant violation of? live but by his death.
Talk'st thou of reputation too, when, under friendship's sacred name, thou hast betrayed, robbed, and destroyed?
Bates. You cannot mean it?
Stuke. I do, by heaven!
Stuke. Ay, rail at gaming-'tis a rich topic, Stuke. Stay-I must be heard, then answerand affords noble declamation.-Go preach ed.-Perhaps the motion was too sudden; and against it in the city-you'll find a congrega- human weakness starts at murder, though tion in every tavern. If they should laugh at strong necessity compels it. I have thought you, fly to my lord, and sermonize it there: long of this, and my first feelings were like he'll thank you, and reform. yours; a foolish conscience awed me, which Lew. And will example sanctify a vice? No, soon I conquered. The man that would undo wretch; the custom of my lord, or of the cit me, nature cries out, undo. Brutes know their that apes him, cannot excuse a breach of law, foes by instinct; and, where superior force is or make the gamester's calling reputable. given, they use it for destruction. Shall mean
Stuke. Rail on, I say-But is this zeal for do less? Lewson pursues us to our ruin! and beggared Beverley? Is it for him that I am shall we, with the means to crush him, fy treated thus? No; he and his wife might both from our hunter, or turn and tear him? "Tis have groaned in prison, had but the sister's folly even to hesitate.
fortune escaped the wreck, to have rewarded Bates. He has obliged me, and I dare not, the disinterested love of honest Mr. Lewson. Stuke. Why, live to shame then-to beggary Lew. How I detest thee for the thought! and punishment. You would be privy to the But thou art lost to every human feeling. Yet, deed, yet want the soul to act it.-Nay more, let me tell thee, and may it wring thy heart, had my designs been levelled at his fortune, that, though my friend is ruined by thy you had stepped in the foremost-And what is snares, thou hast, unknowingly, been kind to life without its comforts?-Those you would rob him of, and by a lingering death add Stuke. Have I? It was, indeed, unknowingly. cruelty to murder. Henceforth, adieu to halfLew. Thou hast assisted me in love-given made villains-There's danger in them. What me the merit that I wanted; since, but for you have got is yours-keep it, and hide with thee, my Charlotte had not known 'twas her it-I'll deal my future bounty to those that dear self I sighed for, and not her fortune.
Stuke. Thank me, and take her then.
Bates. What's the reward?
Stuke. Equal division of our gains. I swear it, and will be just.
Bates. Think of the means then. Stuke. Then know, imprudent man, he is Stuke. He's gone to Beverley's-Wait for within my gripe; and should my friendship him in the street-Tis a dark night, and fit for him be slandered once again, the hand for mischief-A dagger would be useful. that has supplied him shall fall and crush him. Bates. He sleeps no more. Lew. Why, now there's a spirit in thee! Stuke. Consider the reward. When the This is, indeed, to be a villain! But I shalt deed's done I have other business with you reach thee yet-Fly where thou wilt, my ven- Send Dawson to me. geance shall thee-And Beverley shall farepursue Bates. Think it already done-and So, yet be saved-be saved from thee, thou mon- well. [Exil ster! nor owe his rescue to his wife's dis- Stuke. Why farewell, Lewson, then; and honour. [Exit. farewell to my fears. This night secures me Stuke. [Pausing] Then ruin has enclosed-I'll wait the event within. me!-Curse on my coward heart! I would be bravely villainous; but 'tis my nature to shrink at danger, and he has found me. Yet fear brings caution, and that security-More Bev. How like an outcast do I wander! mischief must be done to hide the past-Look Loaded with every curse that drives the soul to yourself, officious Lewson-there may be to desperation! The midnight robber, as he danger stirring-How now, Bates?
SCENE II.-The Street-Stage darkened.
walks his rounds, sees, by the glimmering lamp, my frantic looks, and dreads to meet Whither am I going? My home lies Bates. What is the matter? Twas Lewson, there; all that is dear on earth it holds too
yet are the gates of death more welcome to sciousness of guilt, than the world's just reme-I'll enter it no more-Who passes there? proofs! But 'tis the fashion of the times; and Tis Lewson-He meets me in a gloomy hour; in defence of falsehood and false honour, men and memory tells me he has been meddling die martyrs. I knew not that my nature was with my fame. so bad. [Stands musing.
Lew. Beverley! well met. I have been busy in your affairs.
Beo. So I have heard, sir: and now I must thank you as I ought.
'Lew. To-morrow I may deserve your thanks. -Late as it is I go to Bates.-Discoveries are making that an arch villain trembles at.
Enter BATES and JARVIS.
Jar. This way the noise was; and yonder's my poor master.
Bates. I heard him at high words, with Lewson.
Jar. I heard him too. Misfortunes vex him. Bates. Go to him, and lead him home.I'll not be seen by him.
Beo. Discoveries are made, sir, that you shall Bev. [Starting] What fellow's that? Seetremble at. Where is this boasted spirit, this ing Jarvis] Art thou a murderer, friend? high demeanour, that was to call me to ac- Come, lead the way-I have a hand as miscount? You say I have wronged my sister-chievous as thine; a heart as desperate too-Now say as much. But, first be ready for Jarvis! to bed, old man- the cold will chill defence, as I am for resentment. [Draws. thee.
Lew. What mean you? I understand you Jar. Why are you wandering at this late hour? Your sword drawn too? For heaven's sake sheath it, sir-the sight distracts me. Beo. Whose voice was that? [Wildly. Jar. 'Twas mine, sir: Let me entreat you to give the sword to me.
Beo. The coward's stale acquittance! who, when he spreads foul calumny abroad, and dreads just vengeance on him, cries out, "What mean you? I understand you not.” Lew. Coward and calumny? Whence are those words? But I forgive and pity you. Bee. Your pity had been kinder to my fame: But you have traduced it-told a vile story to the public ear, that I have wronged my sister. Lew. 'Tis false! Show me the man that dares
Beg. I thought you brave, and of a soul superior to low malice; but I have found you, and will have vengeance. This is no place for argument.
Beo. Ay, take it-quickly take it-Perhaps I am not so cursed, but heaven may have sent thee at this moment to snatch me from perdition.
Jar. Then I am blessed.
Beo. Continue so, and leave me my sorrows are contagious. No one is bless'd that's near me.
Jar. I came to seek you, sir.
Bev. And now thou hast found me,. leave me,-My thoughts are wild, and will not be disturbed.
Jar. Such thoughts are best disturbed.
Lew. Nor shall it be for violence.-Imprudent man! who in revenge for fancied injuries, would pierce the heart that loves him! But honest friendship acts from itself, unmoved by Jar. My weeping mistress.-Alas, sir, forget slander or ingratitude: the life you thirst for your griefs, and let me lead you to her! The shall be employed to serve you. You know streets are dangerous.
Beo. Be wise, and leave me then. The Bev. Yes; for the slanderer of my fame-night's black horrors are suited to my thoughts who, under show of friendship, arraigns me These stones shall be my resting-place. of injustice; buzzing in every ear foul breach [Throws himself on the Ground] Here shall of trust, and family dishonour. my soul brood o'er its miseries; till, with the fiends of hell and guilty of the earth, I start and tremble at the morning's light.
Lew. Have I done this? Who told you so? Bev. The world-"Tis talked of every where. -It pleased you to add threats too-You were Jar. Let patience, not despair, possess you to call me to account-Why, do it now then;-Rise, I beseech you-There's not a moment I should be proud of such an arbiter. of your absence that my poor mistress does
Lew. Put up your sword, and know me not mourn for. better. I never injured you. The base sugBev. Have I undone her, and is she still so gestion comes from Stukely: I see him and kind? [Starting up] It is too much-My brain his aims. can't hold it.-Oh, Jarvis, how desperate is Bev. What aims? I'll not conceal it-'twas that wretch's state, which only death or madStukely that accused you." ness can relieve! Lew. To rid him of an enemy-Perhaps of Jar. Appease his mind, good heaven, and two-He fears discovery, and frames a tale of give him resignation! Alas, sir, could beings falsehood, to ground revenge and murder on. in the other world perceive the events of this, Bev. I must have proof of this. Lew. Wait till to-morrow then. Beo. I will.
how would your parents' blessed spirits grieve for you, even in heaven!-Let me conjure you, by their honoured memories-by the sweet in
Lew. Good night-I go to serve you-Forget nocence of your yet helpless child, and by what's past, as I do; and cheer your family the ceaseless sorrows of my poor mistress, to with smiles-To-morrow may confirm them, rouse your manhood and struggle with these and make all bappy. [Exit. griefs!"
Bec. [Pausing] How vile and how absurd Bev. Thou virtuous, good, old man! Thy is man! His, boasted honour is but another tears and thy entreaties have reached my heart, name for pride, which easier bears the con- through all its miseries.
Jar. Be but resigned, sir, and happiness enough last night. The thought of him is hormay yet be yours. Hark! I hear voices rible to me.
Come this way: we may reach home unnoticed. Stuke. In the street did you say? and no Bev. Unnoticed didst thou say? Alas! I dread one near him.
no looks but of those wretches I have made Bates. By his own door; he was leading at home. Oh, had I listened to thy honest me to his house. I pretended business with warnings, no earthly blessing had been want-him, and stabbed him to the heart, while he ing to me; but I have warred against the power was reaching at the bell. that blest me, and now am sentenced to the Stuke. And did he fall so suddenly? Bates. The repetition pleases you, I seeI told you he fell without a groan. Stuke. What heard you of him this morning? Bates. That the watch found him in their
hell I merit.
SCENE III-STUKELY's Lodgings.
Enter STUKELY and DAWSON.
Stuke. Come hither, Dawson; my limbs are rounds, and alarmed the servants. I mingled on the rack, and my soul shivers in me, till with the crowd just now, and saw him dead this night's business be complete.-Tell me thy in his own house. The sight terrified me. thoughts; is Bates determined, or does he waver? Stuke. Away with terrors, till his ghost rise Daw. At first he seemed irresolute!-wished and accuse us. We have no living enemy to the employment had been mine; and muttered fear unless 'tis Beverley; and him we have curses on his coward hand, th, trembled at lodged safe in prison.
Stuke. And did he leave you so?
Bates. Must he be murdered too?
Stuke. No; I have a scheme to make the
Daw. No; we walked together, and, shel-law his murderer. At what hour did Lewson fall? tered by the darkness, saw Beverley and Lew- Bates. The clock struck twelve as I turned son in warm debate; but soon they cooled, to leave him-'Twas a melancholy bell, I thought, and then I left them to hasten hither; but not ringing for his death. till 'twas resolved Lewson should die.
Stuke. Thy words have given me life. That quarrel too was fortunate; for, if my hopes deceive me not, it promises a grave to Beverley. Daw. You misconceive me-Lewson and he were friends.
Stuke. The time was lucky for us-Beverley was arrested at one, you say? [To Dawson. Daw. Exactly.
Stuke. Good. We'll talk of this presently. The women were with him, I think?
Daw. And old Jarvis. I would have told Stuke. But my prolific brain shall make them you of them last night, but your thoughts were enemies. If Lewson falls he falls by Beverley too busy.-Tis well you have a heart of stone; -Ask me no question, but do as I direct. the tale would melt it else. This writ [Takes out a Pocket-book] for some Stuke. Out with it then. days past I have treasured here, till a convenient time called for its use-' That time is come; take it, and give it to an officer-It must be served this instant. [Gives a Paper.
Daw. On Beverley?
Daw. Must he to prison then?
Stuke. I ask obedience, not replies. This night a gaol must be his lodging. 'Tis probable he's not gone home yet.-Wait at his door, and see it executed.
Daw. I traced him to his lodgings; and pretending pity for his misfortunes, kept the door open while the officers seized him. Twas a damned deed!-but no matter-1 followed my instructions.
Stuke. And what said he?
Daw. He upbraided me with treachery, called you a villain, acknowledged the sums you had lent him, and submitted to his fortune. Stuke. And the women
Daw. For a few minutes astonishment kept them silent. They looked wildly at one anDaw. Upon a beggar!-He has no means other, while the tears streamed down their of payment. cheeks. But rage and fury soon gave them Stuke. Dull and insensible!-If Lewson dies, words; and then, in the very bitterness of who was it killed him? Why, he that was despair, they cursed me, and the monster that seen quarrelling with him; and I, that knew had employed me. of Beverley's intents, arrested him in friendship -A little late, perhaps; but 'twas a virtuous act, and men will thank me for it. Now, sir, you understand me?
Daw. Most perfectly; and will about it. Stuke. Haste, then; and when 'tis done, come back and tell me.
Stuke. And you bore it with philosophy? Daw. Till the scene changed, and then I melted. I ordered the officers to take away their prisoner. The women shrieked, and would have followed him; but we forbade them. 'Twas then they fell upon their knees, the wife fainted, the sister raving, and both, with all the [Exit. eloquence of misery, endeavouring to soften Stuke. Now tell thy tale, fond wife! And, us. I never felt compassion till that moment; Lewson, if again thou canst insult me! and, had the officers been moved like me, we Not avarice now, but vengeance, fires my had left the business undone, and fled with curses on ourselves. But their hearts were
Daw. Till then, farewell.
And one short hour must make me curs'd steeled by custom. The sighs of beauty, and
SCENE 1.-STUKELY's Lodgings.
[Exit. the pangs of affection, were beneath their pity; They tore him from their arms, and lodged him in prison, with only Jarvis to comfort him. Stuke. There let him lie, till we have further business with him-But how to proceed will Bates. Poor Lewson! But I told you require time and thought.--Come along with
Enter STUKELY, BATES, and DAWSON.
SCENE II-BEVERLEY'S Lodgings.
me; the room within is fitted for privacy-deliberately, and the result is death! How the But no compassion, sir. [To Dawson]-We self-murderer's account may stand I know not. want leisure for't-This way. [Exeunt. But this I know-the load of hateful life oppresses me too much-The horrors of my soul are more than I can bear-[Offers to kneel.] Father of mercy!-I cannot pray-Despair has laid his iron hand upon me, and sealed me Char. None. He went out early, and knows for perdition Conscience! conscience! thy not what has happened. clamours are too loud!-Here's that shall siMrs. B. The clock strikes eight-I'll wait no lence thee. [Takes a Phial out of his Pocket, longer. Oh, what a night was last night! I and looks at it] Thou art most friendly to would not pass another such to purchase worlds the miserable. Come then, thou cordial for by it-My poor, Beverley too! What must he sick minds-Come to my heart. [Drinks] Oh, % have felt? The very thought distracts me!-that the grave would bury memory as well as To have him torn at midnight from me! A body! For if the soul sees and feels the sufloathsome prison his habitation! A cold, damp ferings of those dear ones it leaves behind, room his lodging! The bleak winds, perhaps, the Everlasting has no vengeance to torment blowing upon his pillow! No fond wife to full it deeper-I'll think no more on't-Reflection him to his rest! and no reflections but to comes too late-Once there was a time for't wound and tear him!-'Tis too horrible!--but now 'tis past.-Who's there? wanted love for him, or they had not forced
him from me.-They should have parted soul and body first-I was too tame.
Jar. One that hoped to see you with better Char. You must not talk so. All that we looks-Why do you turn so from me? I have could we did; and Jarvis did the rest-The brought comfort with me. And see who comes faithful creature will give him comfort. See to give it welcome! where he comes! His looks are cheerful too! Enter JARVIS.
Mrs. B. What is it, Jarvis? Jar. Your uncle, madam, died yesterday. Mrs. B. My uncle!-Oh, heavens! Char. How heard you of his death? Jar. His steward came express, madam-I met him in the street, inquiring for your lodgings-I should not rejoice, perhaps but he was old, and my poor master a prisoner-Now he shall live again-Ob, 'tis a brave fortune! and twas death to me to see him a prisoner.
Char. How did he pass the night, Jarvis? Jar. Like a man dreaming of death and horrors-When they led him to his cell, he flung himself upon a wretched bed, and lay speechless till day-break. I spoke to him, but he would not hear me; and when I persisted, he raised his hand at me, and knit his brow 50-I thought he would have struck me. bid him be of comfort-Be gone, old wretch, says he-My wife! my child! my sister! I have undone them all, and will know no comfort! Then, falling upon his knees, he imprecated curses upon himself.
Beo. My wife and sister! Why 'tis but one pang more then, and farewell, world! [Aside.
Enter MRS. BEVERLEY and CHARLOTTE.
Mrs. B. Where is he? [Runs and embraces him] Oh, I have him! I have him! And now they shall never part us morehave news, love, to make you happy for ever -Alas, he hears us not!-Speak to me, love. have no heart to see you thus. Bev. This is a sad place!
Mrs. B. We come to take you from itto tell you the world goes well again— that Providence has seen our sorrows, and sent the means to help them--Your uncle died yesterday. Beo. My uncle!-No, do not say so!-Oh, I am sick at heart!
Mrs. B. Indeed!-I meant to bring you comfort.
Bev. Tell me he lives then-If you would bring me comfort, tell me he lives!
Mrs. B. And if I did-I have no power to raise the dead-He died yesterday.
Bev. And I am heir to him? Jar. To his whole estate, sir-But bear it patiently-pray bear it patiently.
Beo. Well, well-[Pausing] Why fame says I am rich then?
Mrs. B. And truly so-Why do you look so wildly ?
Bev. Do I? The news was unexpected. But has he left me all?
Jar. All, all, sir- He could not leave it from you.
Beo. I am sorry for it.
Mrs. B. Why are you disturbed so?
Mrs. B. Not an old man's death. Yet, if it troubles you, I wish him living.
Mrs. B. This is too horrible! But we have Beo. And I, with all my heart. For I have staid too long. Let us haste to comfort him, a tale to tell that shall turn you into stone; or, if the power of speech remain, you shall kneel down and curse me.
or die with him.
SCENE III-A Prison.
Mrs. B. Alas! and why are we to curse you?-Tll bless you for ever.
Bev. No; I have deserved no blessings. The