페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

3

should be tried, and my heart whispers me success, Char. Nor does he. You are too quick at gues I am deserted—turned loose to beggary; while you sing. He cares not if you had: that care is mine. have hoards.

I lent it you to husband; and now I claim ito
Bev. What hoards? Name them, and take them. Bev. You have suspicions, then!
Stuk. Jewels.

Char. Cure them, and give it me. Bev. And shall this thriftless hand seize them Bev. To stop a sister's chiding? too? My poor, poor wife! must she lose all? I Char. To vindicate her brother. would not wound her so.

Bev. How, if he need no vindication? Stuk. Nor I, but from necessity. One effort Char. I fain would hope so. more, and fortune may grow kind. I have unusual Beo. Ay, would, and cannot Leave it to time, hopes.

then; it will satisfy all doubts. Bev, Think of some other means, then.

Char. Mine are already satisfied. Stuk. I have; and you rejected them.

Bev. It is well. And when the subject is reBev. Pr'ythee, let me be a man.

newed, speak to me like a sister, and I will answer Stuk. Ay, and your friend a poor one. But I like a brother. have done. And for these trinkets of a woman, Char. To tell me I am a beggar: why, tell it why, let her keep them to deck out pride with, and now. I that can bear the ruin of those dearer to shew a laughing world she has finery to starve in. me, the ruin of a sister and her infant, can bear

Bev. No; she shall yield up all: my friend de- that too. mands it. But needs he have talked lightly of her ? Bev. No more of this; you wring my heart! The jewels that she values are truth and innocence; Char. 'Would that the misery were all you own! those will adorn her ever: for the rest, she wore But innocence must suffer. Unthinking rioter!them for a husband's pride, and to his wants will whose home was heaven to him: an angel dwelt give them. You know her not. Where shall we there, and a little cherub, that crowned his days meet?

with blessings! how he has lost this heaven to Stuk. No matter. I have changed my mind. league with devils! Leave me to a prison; 'tis the reward of friend- Bev. Forbear, I say: reproaches come too late; ship.

they search, but cure not. And, for the fortune Bev. Perish mankind first! Leave you to a pri- you demand, we'll talk to-morrow on it; our temson? No; fallen as you see me, I am not that pers may be milder. wretch: nor would I change this heart, o'ercharged Char. Or, if 'tis gone, why, farewell all! But I'l as it is with folly and misfortune, for one most upbraid no more. What heaven permits, pero prudent and most happy, if callous to a friend's baps, it may ordain; and sorrow then is sinful. distresses.

Yet that the husband, father, brother, should be Stuh. You are too warm.

its instruments of vengeance! 'tis grievous to know Bev. In such a cause, not to be warm is to be that. frozen. Farewell. I'll meet you at your lodgings. Beo. If you are my sister, spare the remem

Stuk. Reflect a little: the jewels may be lost: brance; it wounds too deeply. To-morrow shall better not hazard them. I was too pressing. clear all; and, when the worst is known, it may be

Bev. And I ungrateful. Reflection takes up time: better than your fears. Comfort my wife; and for I have no leisure for it. Within an hour expect the pains of absence I'll make atonement me.

[Erit.

(A knocking at the door.) Stuk. The thoughtless, shallow prodigal! We shall have sport at night, then. But hold:

the

Char. Hark! she comes! Look cheerfully upon jewels are not ours yet; the lady may refuse them; those eyes, that read the soul.

her. Affections, such as hers, are prying, and lend the husband may relent too; 'tis more than probable. I'll write a note to Beverley, and the con

Enter MRS. BEVERLEY and LEWSON. tents shall spur him to demand them. Bates and Mrs. B. My life! the rest think me this rogue through avarice. No; Bev. My love! How fares it? I have been s I have warmer motives-love and revenge. Ruin truant husband. the husband, and the wife's virtue may be bid for. Mrs. B. But we meet now, and that heals all. Enter BATES.

Doubts and alarms I have had; but, in this dear Look to your men, Bates; there's money stirring embrace, I bury and forget them. My friend here We meet

to-night upon this spot. Hasten, and tell has been, indeed, a friend. Charlotte, 'tis you must them so. Beverley calls upon me at my lodgings, thank him : your brother's thanks and mine are of and we return together. Hasten, I say; the rogues too little value. will scatter else.

Bev. Yet, what we have, we'll pay. I thank you, Bates. Not till their leader bids them.

sir, and am obliged. I would say more, but that Stuk. Give them the word, and follow me; I must your goodness to the wife upbraids the husband's advise with you. This is a day of business.

follies. Had I been wise, she had not trespassed on

[Exeunt. your bounty. SCENE II.-Beverley's Lodgings.-Tables and chairs. Lew. Nor has she trespassed. The little I havo

Enter BEVERLEY and CHARLOTTE. done, acceptance overpays. Char. Your looks are changed too; there's wild- Char. So friendship thinks ness in them. My wretched sister! How will it Mrs. B. And doubles obligations, by striving to grieve her to see you thus!

conceal them. We'll talk another time on't. You Bev. No, no; a little rest will ease me. And are too thoughtful, love. for your Lewson's kindness to her, it has my Bev. No; I have reason for these thoughts. thanks; I have no more to give him.

Char. And hatred for the cause ? Would you Char. Yes; a sister and her fortune. I trifle had that too! with him, and he complains. My looks, he says, Bev. I have: the cause was a varice. are cold upon him. He thinks too

Char. And you the tempter ? Bev. That I have lost your fortune! He dares Bev. A ruined friend

ruined by too much kinde not think so.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ness.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

You wrong

3

Lew. Ay, worse than ruined: stabbed in his Lucy. A letter, sir.

Erit, to fame, mortally stabbed; riches cannot cure him. Bev. The band is Stukely's. (Opens and reads it to

Bev. Or if they could, those I have drained him himself.) of. Something of this he hinted in the morning, Mrs. B. And brings good news; at least, I'll hope that Lewson had. Why these suspicions ?

What says he, love? Lex. At school we knew this Stakely. A cunning, Bev. Why this, too much for patienco: yet ho plodding boy he was, sordid and cruel! Slow at directs me to conceal it from you. * (Reads.) his task, but quick at shifts and tricking. He sehemed out mischief, that others might be punish- esteem for me. I have determined, since we parted, to

Let your haste to see me be the only proof of your ed; and would tell his tale with so much art, that

bid adieu to England, choosing rather to forsake my for the lash he merited, rewards and praise were given him. Shew me a boy with such a mind, and country, than to owe my freedom in it to the means we

talked of. Keep this a secret at home, and hasten to the time, that ripens manhood in him, shall ripen vice

ruined

R. STUKELY." too. I'll prove him, and lay him open to you; till then, be warned; I know him, and therefore shun Ruined by friendship! I must relieve or follow him.

him. Bev. As I would, those that wrong him. You are Mrs. B. Follow him, did you say? Then I am too busy, sir.

lost indeed! Mrs. B. No; not too busy;-mistaken, perhaps; Bev. O, this infernal vice! how has it sunk me! that had been milder.

A vice, whose highest joy was poor to my domestic Lew. No matter, madám; I can bear this, and happiness. Yet, how have I pursued it! turned an praise the heart that prompts it. Pity such friend- my comforts to the bitterest pangs, and all thy Bhip should be so misplaced !

smiles to tears.-D-d! d-d infatuation ! Ber. Again, sir? But I'll bear too.

Mrs. B. Be cool, my life. What are the means him, Lewson, and will be sorry for it.

the letter talks of ? Håre you have I those Char. Ay, when 'tis proved he wrongs him. The means ? Tell me, and ease me. I have no life, world is full of hypocrites.

while you are wretched. Bev. And Stukeley one! so you'd infer, I think; Bev. No, no; It must not be. 'Tis I alone have I'll hear ne more of įthis: my heart aches for him; sinned; 'tis I alone must saffer. You shall reserve I have undone him.

those means to keep my child and his wronged Lew. The world says otherwise.

mother from want and wretchedness Bev. The world is false, then! I have business Mrs. B. What means? with you,

love. We'll leave them to their rancour. Bev. I came to rob you of them, but cannot (Going.)

dare not: those jewels are your sole support: I Char. No; we shall find room enough within for should be more than monster to request them. it. This way, sir.

Mrs. B. My jewels ! Trifles, not worth the speakLew. Another time my friend will thank me:- ing of, if weighed against a husband's peace: but that time is hastening too.

let them purchase that, and the world's wealth is [Exeunt Charlotte and Leuson. of less value. Ber . They hurt me beyond bearing: Is Stukely

Bev. How little do t seem before such virtues ! false? then honesty has loft us.

"T

I'were sinning Mrs. B. No more, my love. I kept them, till against heaven to think so.

occasion called to use them : now is the occasion, Mrs. B. I never doubted him.

and I'll resign them cheerfully. Bev. No; you are charity. Meekness and over- Beo. Why, we'll be rich in love, then. during patience live in that heart, and love, that Mrs. B. Come to my closet. But let him manage knows no change. Why did I ruin you?

wisely : we have no more to give him. Mrs. B. You have not ruined me. I have no Bev. Where learnt my love this excellence?wants when you are present, no wishes in your 'Tis heaven's own teaching: that heaven, which•to absence, but to be blest with your return. Be but an angel's form has given a mind more lovely. I resigned to what has happened, and I am rich be- am unworthy of you, but will deserve you better. yond the dreams of avarice.:

Fenoeforth my follies and neglects shall cease, Beo. My generous girl! But memory will be

And all to come be penitence and peace : busy; still crowding on my thoughts, to sour the

Vice shall no more attract me with her charms, present by the past. I have another pang too. Mrs. B. Tell it, and let me cure it.

Nor pleasure reach me, but in these dear arms.

(Exxunt. Beo. That friend, that generous friend, whose fame they have traduced: 'I have undone him too.

ACT III. While he had means, he lent me largely, and now,

SCENB L-Stukely's Lodgings. & prison must be his portion. Mrs. B. No; I hope otherwise.

Enter STUKELY and BATES. Bev. To hope must be to act; the charitable Stuk. So runs the world, Bates. Fools are the Wish feeds not the hungry. Some thing must be natural prey of knaves; natare designed them so, done.

when she made lambs for wolves. The laws that Mrs. B. What?

fear and policy have framed, náturo disclaims : she Bev, In bitterness of heart he told me, just now knows but two ; and those are force and ounning. he told me I had undone himn Could I hear that, the nobler law is force: bat then there is danger and think of happiness ? No! I have disclaimed in it; while cunning, like a skilful miner, works it, while he is miserable.

safely and unseen. Mrs. B. The world may mend with us, and then Bates. And therefore wisely. Forco must have we may be grateful; there's comfort in that hope. nerves and sinews; cunning wants neither. The

Bev. Ay; 'tis the sick man's cordial, his pro- dwarf that has it shall trip the giant's heels up. mised cure: while, in preparing it, the patient dies. Stuk. And bind him to the ground. Why we Enter LUCY.

will erect a shrine for nature, and be her oracles. Conscience is weakness; fear mado it, and fear

What now?

[ocr errors]

maintains it. The dread of shame, inward re- Stuk. I can forgive him for it: but for my friend, proaches, and fictitious burnings, swell out the I am angry. phantom. Nature knows none of this: her laws Bev. Why says he of me? are freedom,

Stuk. That Charlotte's fortune is embezzled: ho Bates. Sound doctrine, and well delivered. talks of it loudly.

Stuk. We are sincere too, and practise what we Bev. He shall be silenced then. How heard you teach. Let the grave pedant say as much.-But of it? now to business. The jewels are disposed of; and Stuk. From many: he questioned Bates about it: Beverley again worth money. He waits to count you must account with him, he says. his gold out, and then comes hither. If my design Bev. Or he with me; and soon, too. succeed, this night we finish with him. Go to your Stuk. Speak mildly to him. Cautions are best. lodgings, and be busy. You understand convey- Bev. I'll think on't.--But whither go you? ances, and can make ruin sure.

Stuk. From poverty and prisons:-No matter Bates. Better stop here. The sale of this rever- whither. If fortune change, you may hear from sion may be talked of: there is danger in it.

me. Stuk, No, it is the mark I aim at. We will thrive Bev. May these be prosperous, then.-(Offering and laugh. You are the purchaser, and there is the the notes, which Stukely refuses.)— Nay, they are payment-(Giving a pocket-book.)-He thinks you yours:- I have sworn it, and will have nothing:Tich; and so you shall be. Enquire for titles, and take them, and use them. deal hardly: it will look like honesty.

Stuk. Singly, I will not. My cares are for my Bates. How if he suspect us?

friend ; for his lost fortune, and ruined family: all Stuk. Leave it to me: I study hearts, and when separate interests 1 disclaim. Together we have to work upon them. Go to your lodgings; and, if fallen; together we must rise. My heart, niy we come, be busy over papers. Talk of a thought- honour, and affections, all will have it so. less age, of gaming, and extravagance: you have a Bev. I am weary of being fooled. face for it.

Stuk. And so am I.-Here let us part then: these Bates. (Aside.) A feeling too, that would avoid bodings of good fortune shall all be stified ; I'll call it. We pusli too far. -But I have cautioned you: them folly, and forget them. This one embrace, if it end ill, you will think of me: and so, adieu. and then farewell. (Going to embrace Beverley.).

[Exit. Bev. No; stay a moment. I have these bodings Sluk. This fellow sins by halves; his fears are too; but, whether caught from you, or prompted conscience to him: I'll turn these fears to use, by my good or evil genius, I know not: the trial Rogues that dread shame, will still be greater shall determine. And yet, my wife! rogues, to hide their guilt. This shall be thought Stuk. Ay, ay, she will chide. of. Ļewson grows troublesome: we must get rid Bev. No; my chidings are all here. of him: he knows too much. I have a tale for Stuk. I will not persuade you. Beverley; part of it truth too; he shall call Lewson

;
Bev. I am persuaded; by reason,

too,-the to account. If it succced, it is well; if not, we must strongest reason-necessity. O! could I but regain try other means.-(Knocking at the door.)-But here the height I have fallen from, heaven should forhe comes :-I must dissemble.

sake me in my latest hour, if I again mixed in Enter BEVERLEY.

these scenes, or sacrificed the husband's peace, his Look to the door there!-(In a seeming fright.)-My joy and best affections, to avarice and infamy. friend?-I thought of other visitors.

Stuk. I have resolved like you; and, since our Bev. No; these shall guard you from them :- motives are so honest, why should we fear suc. (Offering him notes.)—take them, and use them cess? cautiously. The world deals hardly by us.

Bev. Come on then. Where shall we meet? Stuk. And shall I leave you destitute ? No: your Stuk. At Wilson's. Yet, if it hurt you, leave nie: wants are the greatest. Another climate may treat I have misled you often. me kinder. The shelter of to-night takes me from Bev. We have misled each other. But come! this..

Fortune is fickle, and may be tired with plaguing Bev. Let these be your support then. Yet is us;-there let us rest our hopes. there need of parting? I may again have means; Stuk. Yet think a little. we will share them, and live wisely.

Bev. I cannot; thinking but distracts me. Stuk. No. I should tempt you on. Habit is na- When desperation leads, all thoughts are vain; ture in me; ruin cannot cure it. Even now I Reason would lose, what rashness may obtain. would be gaming: taught by experience as I am, and knowing this poor sum is all that is left us, I

SCENE IL.-Beverley's lodgings. am for venturing still. And say, I am to blame: yet will this little supply our wants ? No, we must

Enter CHARLOTTE and MRS. BEVERLEY. put it out to usury:

Whether it is madness in me, Char. It was all a scheme, a mean one ; unworthy or some resistless impulse of good fortune, I yet am of my brother. ignorant; but

Mrs. B. No, I am sure it was not. Stukely is Bev. Take it, and succeed then: I will try no honest too; I know he is. This madness has un.

done them both. Stuk. It is surely impulse; it pleads so strongly. Char. My brother irrecoverably. You are too But you are cold. We will even part here then. - spiritless å wife: a mournful tale, mixed with & And for this last reserve, keep it for better uses; few kind words, will steal away your soul. The I will have none of it. I thank you though, and world is too subtle for such goodness. Had I been will seek fortune singly. One thing I had forgot-by, he should have asked your life sooner than Bev. What is it?

those jewels. Stuk. Perhaps it were best forgotten. But I am Mrs. B. He should have had it then. I lived but open in my nature, and zealous for the honour of to oblige him. She who can love, and is beloved my friend. Lewson speaks freely of you.

like me, will do as much. Men have done more Bev. Of you, I know he does.

for mistresses, and women for a base deluder

[ocr errors]

[Exeunt.

more.

w

And shall a wife do less? Your chidings hurt me, Lew. I may have reasons that press it now.
Charlotte

Char. What reasons ? Char. And come too late; they might have saved Lew. The strongest reasons; unanswerable oncs. you else. How could he use you so ?

Char. Be quick, and name them. Mrs. B. It was friendship did it. His heart was Lev. First, promise that to-morrow, or the next breaking for a friend.

day, you will be mine for ever. Char. The friend that has betrayed him.

Char. I do, though misery should succeed. Mrs. B. 'Pr'ythee, do not think so.

Lew. Thus, then I seize you! and with you every Char. To-morrow he accounts with me.

joy on this side heaven! Mrs. B. And fairly: I will not doubt it,

Char. Now, sir, your secret? Char, Unless a friend has wanted. I have no Lew. Your fortune is lost. patience. -Sister! sister! we are bound to cúrse Char. My fortune lost!-Where learnt you this this friend.

sad news? Mrs. B. My Beverley speaks nobly of him. Lew. From Bates, Stukely's prime agent: I have

Char. And Lewson truly.-But I displease you obliged him, and he is grateful: he told it me iu with this talk. To-morrow will instruct us.

friendship, to warn me from my Charlotte. Mrs. B. Stay till it comes, then. I would not Char. It was honest in him, and I'll esteem him think so hardly.

for it. Char. Nor I, but from conviction. Yet we have Lew. This is the time I am to meet him again.hope of better days. My uncle is infirm, and of an He knows much more than he has told. age that threatens hourly :-or if he live, you Char. For me it is enough; and, for your genenever have offended him; and for distresses so rous love, I thank you from my soul. unmerited he will have pity

Lew. To-morrow, then, you fix my happiness. Mrs. B. I know it, and am cheerful.

Char. All that I can, I will. Char. My Lewson will be kind, too. While he Lew. It must be so; we live but for each other. and I have life and means, you shall divide with Keep what you know a secret; and, when we meet us.-And see, he is here.

to-morrow, wore may be known.-"Till then, fareEnter LEWSON.

well!

[Exeunt Lewson and Charlotte. Mrs. B. We were just speaking of you. Lew. It is best to interrupt you, then. Few cha

SCENE III.-A Gaming House. racters will bear a scrutiny; and, where the bad Enter STUKELY, BEVERLEY, and siz Gentlemen, outweighs the good, he is safest that is least talked

through door in centre. of. What say yon, madam?

Dev. Whither would you lead me ? Char. That I hate scandal, though a woman; Stuk. Where we may vent our curses. therefore talk seldom of you.

Bev. Ay, on yourself, and those d-d counsels Mrs. B. Or, with more truth, that, though a that have destroyed me. Ten thousand fieuds woman, she loves to praise ; therefore talks always were in that bosom, and all let loose to tempt me, of you.-I'll leave you to decide it.

[Exit. - I had resisted else. Lew. I come, to talk in private with you, of mat- Stuk. Go on, sir:-I have deserved this from you. ters that concern you.

Bev. And curses everlasting :-time is too scanty Char. What matters?

for them. Lew. First, answer me sincerely to what I ask. Stuk. What have I done? Char. Propose your question.

Bev. What the arch fiend of old did,-soothed Lew. It is now a tedious twelve-month, since with with false hopes, for certain ruin. an open and kind heart you said, you loved me: Stuk. Myself unhurt; nay, pleased at your deand when, in consequence of such sweet words, Istruction :-so your words mean. Why, tell it to preseed for marriage, you gave a voluntary pro- the world: I am too poor to find a friend in it. mise that you would live for me.

Bev. A friend! What is he? I had a friend. Char. You think me changed, then ?

Stuk. And have one still. Lew. I did not say so. This is my question; and Bev. Ay; l'll tell you of this friend. He found with such plainness as I ask it, I shall entreat an me happiest of the happy; fortune and honour answer:

-Have you repented of this promise ? crowned me; and love and peace lived in my Char. Why am I doubted ?

heart: one spark of folly lurked there: that too he Lew. My doubts are of myself. I have faults, found; and by deceitful breath blew it to flames and you have observation. If, from my temper, that have consumed me. This friend were you to my words or actions, you have conceived a thought me. against me, or even a wish for separation, all that Stuk. A little more perhaps:—the friend who has passsd is nothing.

gave his all to save you; and not succeeding, chose Char. Why, now I'll answer you; your doubts ruin with you: but no matter.--I have undone you, are prophecies, I am really changed.

and am a villain. Lew. Indeed

Bev. No; I think not:-the villains are within. Char. I could torment you now, as you have me; Stuk. What villains ? but it is not in my nature. That I am changed, I Bev. Dawson, and the rest. We have been dupes own: for what at first was inclination, is now to sharpers. grown reason in me; and from that reason had I Stuk. How know you this? I have had doubts the world—nay, were I poorer than the poorest, as well as you; yet still, as fortune changed, I and you too wanting bread-I would be yours, and blushed at my own thoughts: - but you have happy.

proofs, perhaps. Ler. My kindest Charlotte !-(Takes her hand.)- Bev. Ay, d-d ones; - repeated losses, - night Thanks are too poor for this, and words too weak! after night,-and no reverse :-chance has no hand -But if we love so, why should our union any in this. longer be delayed ?

Stuk. I think more charitably; yet I am peevish Char. For happier times: the present are too in my nature, and apt to doubt.-The world speaks wretched.

fairly of this Dawson; so does it of the rest: we

[ocr errors]

have watched them closely, too. But it is a right Mrs. B. She looked confused, methought; said, usurped by losers, to think the winners knaves.- she had business with her Lewson; which, when i We'll have more manhood in 08.

pressed to know, tears only were her answer. Bev. I know not what to think. This night has Lucy. She seemed in haste too ;-yet her return stung me to the quick:-blasted my reputation too: may bring you comfort. I have bound my honour to these vipers; played Mrs. B. No, my good girl ; I was not born for meanly upon credit, until I tired them; and now it. But why do I distress thee? Thy kind heart they shun me, to rifle one another. What is to be bleeds for the ills of others.-- What pity that thy done?

mistress can't reward thee! But there's & power Stuk. Nothing: my counsels have been fatal. above, that sees, and will remember all.-(Knock Bev. By heaven, I'll not survive this shame.- ing at the door.) -Hark! there's some one entering Traitor! it is you have brought it on me ;-(Seizing Lucy. Perhaps, my master, madam. him.)-Shew me the means to save me; or I'll Mrs. B. Let him be well too, and I am satisfied commit a murder here, and next upon myself. -(Goes to the door, and listens.)-No; 'tis another's Stuk. Why do it, then, and rid me of ingratitude. voice. Bev. 'Pr'ythee forgive this language :-I speak I

Enter LUCY and STUKELY. know not what.-Rage and despair are in my heart, Luicy. Mr. Stukely, madam.

[Erit. and hurry me to madness. My home is horror to Stuk. To meet you thus alone, madam, was what me-I'll not return to it. Speak quickly, tell me I wished. Unseasonable visits, when friendship if in this wreck of fortune one hope remains ? Name warrants them needs no excuse:- therefore I make it, and be my oracle.

none.

[your friend! Stuk. To vent your curses on: you have bestowed Mrs. B. What mean you, sir ? And where's them liberally. Take your own counsel: and, Stuk. Men may have secrets, madam, which should a desperate hope present itself, it will suit their best friends are not admitted to.

We parted your desperate fortune. I'll not advise you.

in the morning, not soon to meet again. Bev. What hope? By heaven, I'll catch at it Mrs. B. You mean to leave us, then to leave however desperate. I am so sunk in misery, it your country too? I am no stranger to your reacannot lay me lower.

sons, and pity your misfortunes. Stuk. You have an uncle.

Stuk. Your pity has undone you. Could Be Bev. Ay, what of him?

verley do this? That letter was a forged one; ! Stuk. Old men live long by temperance; while mean contrivance to rob you of your jewels:-1 their heirs starve on expectation.

wrote it not. Bev. What mean you?

Mrs. B. Impossible!-Whence came it, then ? Stuk. That the reversion of his estate is yours; Stuk. Wronged as I am, madan, I must speak and will bring money to pay debts with :-nay plainly, — more, it may retrieve what is past.

Mrs. B. Do so, ånd ease me. Your hints have Bev. Or leave my child a beggar.

troubled me. Reports, you say, are stirring.-ReStuk. And what is his father? A dishonourable ports of whom? You wished me not to credit them. one; engaged for sums he cannot pay. That What, sir, are these reports ? should be thought of.

Stuk. I thought 'em slander, madam; and catiBev. It is my shame, the poison that inflames tioned you in friendship; lest from officious tongues me. Where shall we go? To whom? I am impa- the tale has reached you with double aggravation. tient, till all's lost.

Mrs. B. Proceed, sir. Stuk. All may be yours again. Your man is Stuk. It is a debt due to my fame, due to an inBates :-he has large funds at his command, and jured wife too: We both are injured. will deal justly by you.

Mrs. B. How injured ! and who has injured us? Bev. I am resolved.--Tell them within, we'll Stuk. My friend, your husband. meet them presently; and with full purses too. Mrs. B. You would resent for both, then ? But Come, follow me.

know, sir, my injuries are my own, and do not need Stuk. No, I'll have no hand in this; por do I a champion. counsel it.-Use your diseretion, and act from that. Stuk. Be not too hasty, madam. I come not in -You'll find me at my lodgings.

(worst: resentment, madam, but for acquittance. You Bev. Succeed what will, this night I'll dare the thought me poor; and to the feigned distresses of 'Tis loss of fear, to be completely curs'd. [Exit. a friend, gave up your jewele.

Stuk. Why, lose it, then, for ever. Fear is the Mrs. B. I gave them to a husband. mind's worst evil; and 'tis a friendly office to drive Stuk. Who gave them to a it from the bosom. Thus far has fortune crowned Mrs. B. What? Whom did he give them to ? me.-Yet Beverley is rich; rich in his wife's best Stuk. A mistress. treasure, her honour and affections: I would sup Mrs. B. No; on my life, he did not. [avarice. plant him there too. A tale of art may do much. Stuk. Himself confessed it, with curses on her Charlotte is sometimes absent. The seeds of jeal Mrs. B. I'll not believe it. He has no mistress; ousy are sown already. If I mistake not, they or, if he has, why is it told to me? have taken root too. Now is the time to ripen Stuk. To guard you against insults. He told me them, and reap the harvest. The softest of her sex, that, to move you to compliance, he forged that if wronged in love, or thinking that she's wronged, letter, pretending I was ruined, ruined by him too. becomes a tigress in revenge.—I'll instantly to The fraud succeeded; and what a trusting wife beBeverley's.- No matter for the danger. When stowed in pity, was lavished on a wanton. beauty leads us on, 'tis indiscretion to reflect, and Mrs. B. Then I am lost indeed, and my afflictions cowardice to doubt.

(Exit. are too powerful for me. His follies I have bordo SCENE IV.-Bererley's Lodgings.

without upbraiding, and saw the approach of po

verty without a tear. My affection, my strong affecEnter MRS. BEVERLEY and LUCY.

tion, supported me through every trial. Mrs. B. Did Charlotte tell you anything?

Stuk. Be patient, madam. Lucy. No, madam.

Mrs. B. Patient! The barbarous, ungrateful man!

« 이전계속 »