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sweet words, I pressed for marriage, you gave other. Keep what you know a secret; and a voluntary promise that you would live for me. when we meet to-morrow, more may be Char. You think me changed then? [Exit. [Angrily. Char. My poor, poor sister! how would Lew. I did not say so. Time and a near this wound her! But I'll conceal it, and speak acquaintance with my faults may have brought comfort to her. change-if it be so; or for a moment, if you bare wished this promise were unmade, here I acquit you of it-This is my question then; and with such plainness as I ask it, I shall entreal an answer. Have you repented of this promise?

Char. Why am I doubted?


SCENE III.-A Room in a Gaming-house.

Bev. Whither would you lead me?

[Angrily. Stuke. Where we may vent our curses. Bev. Ay, on yourself, and those damned Lew. My doubts are of myself. I have my counsels that have destroyed me. A thousand faults, and you have observation. If, from my fiends were in that bosom, and all let loose to temper, my words, or actions, you have con- tempt me-I had resisted else.


cered a thought against me, or even a wish Stuke. Go on, sir-I have deserved this for separation, all that has passed is nothing. from you. Char. Why now I'll answer you. doubts are prophecies-I am really changed. Lew. Indeed!

Char. I could torment you now, as you have

Beo. And curses everlasting-Time is too scanty for them

Stuke. What have I done?

Beo. What the arch-devil of old did

me; but it is not in my nature.-That I am soothed with false hopes for certain ruin. changed, I own: for what at first was incli

Stuke. Myself unhurt; nay, pleased at your nation is now grown reason in me; and from destruction-So your words mean. Why, tell that reason, had I the world, nay, were it to the world. I am too poor to find a poorer than the poorest, and you too want-friend in't. ing bread-I would be yours, and happy. Beo. A friend! What's he? I had a friend. Lew. My kindest Charlotte! [Taking her Stuke. And have one still. Hand] Thanks are too poor for this-and Bec. Ay; I'll tell you of this friend. He words too weak! But if we loved so, why found me happiest of the happy. Fortune and should our union be delayed? honour crowned me; and love and peace lived in my heart. One spark of folly lurked there; that too he found; and by deceitful breath blew it into flames, that have consumed me. This friend were you to me.

Char. For happier times. The present are 100 wretched.

Lea, I may have reasons that press it now.
Char. What reasons?

Lew. The strongest reasons; unanswerable


Char. Be quick and name them.

Lew. First promise, that to-morrow, or the next day, you will be mine for ever.

Char. I do-though misery should succeed. Lea. Thus then I seize you! And with you every joy on this side heaven!

Char. Now, sir, your secret.
Lew. Your fortune's lost.

Char. My fortune lost!-I'll study to be

Stuke. A little more, perhaps-The friend, who gave his all to save you; and not succeeding, chose ruin with you. But no matter, I have undone you, and am a villain.

Beo. No; I think not-The villains are within.

Stuke. What villains?

Bev. Dawson and the rest-We have been dupes to sharpers.

Stuke. How know you this? I have had doubts as well as you; yet still as fortune mble then. But was my promise claimed changed I blushed at my own thoughts.—But this? How nobly generous! Where learned you have proofs, perhaps? * this sad news?

Lew. From Bates, Stukeley's prime agent. I Save obliged him, and he's grateful-He told me in friendship, to warn me from my Carlotte.

Char. Twas honest in him, and I'll esteem & for it.

Beo. Ay, damned ones. Repeated lossesNight after night, and no reverse-Chance has no hand in this.

Stuke. I think more charitably; yet I am peevish in my nature, and apt to doubt-The world speaks fairly of this Dawson; so it does of the rest. We have watched them closely Lew. He knows much more than he has told. too. But 'tis a right usurped by losers, to Char. For me it is enough. And for your think the winners knaves-We'll have more merous love, I thank you from my soul. If manhood in us.

ad oblige me more, give me a little time. Beo. I know not what to think—This night Lew. Why time? It robs us of our happiness. has stung me to the quick-Blasted my repChar. I have a task to learn first, The little utation too-I have bound my honour to these de this fortune gave me must be subdued. vipers; played meanly upon credit, till I tired *** we were equal; but now 'tis otherwise; them; and now they shun, me, to rifle one for a life of obligations, I have not learned another. What's to be done?

Gear it.

Stuke. Nothing. My counsels have been

Lew. Mine is that life. You are too noble. fatal.
Char. Leave me to think on't.

Bec. By heaven I'll not survive this shame

La To-morrow then you'll fix my hap--Traitor! 'tis you have brought it on me.

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Char. All that I can I will.

[Taking hold of him]. Show me the means to save me, or I'll cominit a murder here, and

Les. It must be so; we live but for each next upon myself.

Stuke. Why, do it then, and rid me of in-| Mrs. B. No, my kind girl; I was not born gratitude. for it-But why do I distress thee? Thy symBev. Pr'ythee forgive this language-I speak pathizing heart bleeds for the ills of othersI know not what-Rage and despair are in What pity that thy mistress can't reward my heart, and hurry me to madpess. My thee! But there's a power above, that sees home is horror to me-I'll not return to it. and will remember all. [Knocking] Hark! Speak quickly; tell me, if, in this wreck of there's some one entering. fortune, one hope remains? Name it, and be Lucy. Perhaps 'tis my master, madam. my_oracle.

[Exit. Stuke. To vent your curses on-You have Mrs. B. Let him be well too, and I am bestowed them liberally. Take your own satisfied. [Goes to the Door and listens] No, counsel; and should a desperate hope present 'tis another's voice. itself, 'twill suit your desperate fortune. I'll not advise you.

Beo. What hope? By heaven I'll catch at it, however desperate. I am so sunk in misery it cannot lay me lower.

Stuke. You have an uncle.
Beo. Ay; what of him?

Stuke. Old men live long by temperance; while their heirs starve on expectation.

Bev. What mean you?

Re-enter LUCY, with STUKELY. Lucy. Mr. Stukely, madam. [Exit. Stuke. To meet you thus alone, madamı, was what I wished. Unseasonable visits, when friendship warrants them, need no excusetherefore I make none.

Mrs. B. What mean you, sir? And where is your friend?

Stuke. Men may have secrets, madam, which their best friends are not admitted to. We parted in the morning, not soon to meet again,

Stuke. That the reversion of his estate is yours; and will bring money to pay debts with-Nay more, it may retrieve what's past. Mrs. B. You mean to leave us then-to Beo. Or leave my child a beggar. leave your country too? I am no stranger to Stuke. And what's his father? A dishonour-your reasons, and pity your misfortunes. able one; engaged for sums he cannot payThat should be thought of

Beo. It is my shame-The poison that inflames me. Where shall we go? To whom? I'm impatient till all's lost.

Stuke. All may be yours again-Your man is Bates-He has large funds at his command, and will deal justly by you,

Bev. I am resolved-Tell them within we'll meet them presently; and with full purses, too-Come, follow me.

Stuke. No; I'll have no hand in this; nor do I counsel it-Use your discretion, and act from that. You'll find me at my lodgings. Beo. Succeed what will, this night I'll dare the worst;

'Tis loss of fear to be completely curst.

Stuke. Your pity has undone you. Could Beverley do this? That letter was a false one; a mean contrivance to rob you of your jewels I wrote it not.

Mrs. B. Impossible! Whence came it then? Stuke. Wronged as I am, madam, I must speak plainly.

Mrs. B. Do so, and ease me.--Your hints have troubled me. Reports, you say, are stirring-Reports of whom? You wished me not to credit them.-What, sir, are these reports?

Stuke. I thought them slander, madam; and cautioned in friendship, lest from officious tongues the tale had reached you with double aggravation.

Mrs. B. Proceed, sir.

Stuke. It is a debt due to my fame; due to [Exit. an injured wife to.-We are both injured. Mrs. B. How injured? And who has in

Stuke. My friend-your husband.

Stuke. Why, lose it then for ever-Fear is the mind's worst evil: and 'tis a friendly of-jured us? fice to drive it from the bosom-Thus far has fortune crowned me-Yet Beverley is rich; Mrs. B. You would resent for both then rich in his wife's best treasure, her honour but know, sir, my injuries are my own, an and affections. I would supplant him there do not need a champion.

I com

too. Charlotte is sometimes absent. The seeds Stuke. Be not too hasty, madam. of jealousy are sown' already. If I mistake not in resentment, but for acquittance. Yo not, they have taken root too. Now is the thought me poor; and to the feigned distress time to ripen them, and reap the harvest. The of a friend gave up your jewels.

softest of her sex, if wronged in love, or thinking that she's wronged, becomes a tigress in revenge-I'll instantly to Beverley's-No matter for the danger-When beauty leads us on, 'tis indiscretion to reflect, and cowardice to doubt.


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Mrs. B. gave them to a husband,
Stuke. Who gave them to a-

Mrs. B. What? whom did he give them t
Stuke. A mistress.

Mrs. B. No; on my life he did not. Stuke. Himself confessed it, with curses her avarice.

Mrs. B. I'll not believe it-He has no mistr or, if he has, why is it told to me?

Stuke. To guard you against insults. told me, that, to move you to compliance, forged that letter, pretending I was ruis ruined by him too. The fraud succeeded; what a trusting wife bestowed in pity, lavished on a wanton.

Mrs. B. Then I am lost indeed! His to I have borne without upbraiding, and saw

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 I.-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 famenting 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

Stake. To be resolved is to secure it. The marriage vow once violated, is, in the sight the room. of heaven, dissolved-Start not, but hear me. Stuke. Why, this was madness. Tis now the summer of your youth: time Bates. The madness of despair. 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. [4 knocking at the Door] ase your beauty wisely, and, freed by injuries, Hark! that knocking may be his-Go that way fly from the cruellest of men, for shelter with down. [Exit Bates] Who's there?

the kindest.

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.


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.


Mrs. B. Would that these eyes had heaven's Lew. Guilt has no place of sanctuary; whercwn lightning, that, with a look, thus I might ever found, 'tis virtue's lawful game. blast thee! Am I then fallen so low? Has fox's hold, and tiger's den, are no security poverty so humbled me, that I should listen against the hunter. to a bellish 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


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 bart 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 weighBerley 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 her honour to a wretch? But he shall you for what you are a little, paltry villain! xit, and vengeance shall be his.

Stake. Why, send him for defiance thenTet him I love his wife; but that a worthless - and forbids our union. I'll make a widow et vou, and court you honourably.

Mrs. B. Oh, coward, coward! thy soul will k at him: Yet, in the thought of what may app, I feel a woman's fears.-Keep thy own t, and be gone. [Rings a Bell.

Enter LUCY. absence, sir, would please me. Stuke. I'll not offend you, madam. [Exit with Lucy. Mr. B. Why opens not the earth, to low such a monster? Be conscience then

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.-VVhy, what a wretch! [Flings him from him] The vilest insect in creation will turn when trampled on; yet has this thing undone a man!-by cunning 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.

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!
Bates. Good night, then.

[Going. 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 man 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, fly 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.
Lew. And, as a brother to poor Beverley,
I will pursue the robber that has stripped him,
and snatch him from his gripe.

merit it.

Bates. What's the reward?

Stuke. Equal division of our gains. I sweat it, and will be just.

Bates. Think of the means then. Stuke. He's gone to Beverley's-Wait for him in the street-"Tis a dark night, and fi for mischief-A dagger would be useful. Bates. He sleeps no more.

Stuke. Then know, imprudent man, he is within my gripe; and should my friendship for him be slandered once again, the hand that has supplied him shall fall and crush him. Lew. Why, now there's a spirit in thee! Stuke. Consider the reward. When th This is, indeed, to be a villain! But I shall deed's done I have other business with you reach thee yet-Fly where thou wilt, my ven- Send Dawson to me. geance shall pursue thee-And Beverley shall Bates. Think it already done-and so, fart yet be saved-be saved from thee, thou mon- well. Exi ster! nor owe his rescue to his wife's dis- Stuke. Why farewell, Lewson, then; an honour. [Exit. farewell to my fears. This night secures 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 mischief must be done to hide the past-Look to yourself, officious Lewson - there may be danger stirring-How now, Bates?

[Ex SCENE II.-The Street-Stage darkened, Enter BEVERLEY.

Beo. How like an outcast do I wande Loaded with every curse that drives the so to desperation! The midnight robber, as walks his rounds, sees, by the glimmerit lamp, my frantic looks, and dreads to me me. Whither am I going? My home li Bates. What is the matter? Twas Lewson, there; all that is dear on earth it holds to

Enter BATES.

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. Enter BATES and JARVIS.


Lew. Beverley! well met. I have been busy

in your affairs.

Bev. 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.

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.

[Exit. Bev. 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? bigh 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

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Lew. Nor shall it be for violence.-Imprudent man! who in revenge for fancied injuries, ould pierce the heart that loves him! But Lonest friendship acts from itself, unmoved by

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.

Bev. 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.

Beo. And now thou hast found me, leave me,-My thoughts are wild, and will not be disturbed.

Jar. Such thoughts are best disturbed.
Bev. Who sent thee hither?

Jar. My weeping mistress.-Alas, sir, forget ander or ingratitude: the life you thirst for your griefs, and let me lead you to her! The all be employed to serve you.-You know streets are dangerous.



Bev. Be wise, and leave me then. The Bee. Yes; for the slanderer of my fame-night's black horrors are suited to my thoughts under show of friendship, arraigns me These stones shall be my resting-place. injustice; buzzing in every ear foul breach [Throws himself on the Ground] Here shall 4 trust, and family dishonour. my soul brood o'er its miseries; till, with the Lew. Have I done this? Who told you so? fiends of hell and guilty of the earth, I start Be. The world-'Tis talked of every where. and tremble at the morning's light. pleased you to add threats too-You were Jar. Let patience, not despair, possess you cad me to account-Why, do it now then;-Rise, I beseech you-There's not a moment Ishould be proud of such an arbiter. of your absence that my poor mistress does

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ness can relieve!

Les. Put up your sword, and know me not mourn for. etter. I never injured you. The base sugBeo. Have I undone her, and is she still so son comes from Stukely: I see him and kind? [Starting up] It is too much-My brain can't hold it.-Oh, Jarvis, how desperate is Lev. What aims? I'll not conceal it-'twas that wretch's state, which only death or madhairly that accused you. Lew. To rid him of an enemy-Perhaps of Jar. Appease his mind, good heaven, and He fears discovery, and frames a tale of give him resignation! Alas, sir, could beings thood, to ground revenge and murder on. in the other world perceive the events of this, B. I must have proof of this. Lex. Wait till to-morrow then. Bev. I will.

how would your parents' blessed spirits grieve for you, even in heaven!-Let me conjure you, by their honoured memòries-by the sweet inLex. Good night-I go to serve you-Forget nocence of your yet helpless child, and by past, as do; and cheer your family the ceaseless sorrows of my poor mistress, to smiles-To-morrow may confirm them, rouse your manhood and struggle with these at make all happy..

[Exit. griefs!

[Pausing How vile and how absurd Bev. Thou virtuous, good, old man! Thy His boasted honour is but another tears and thy entreaties have reached my heart, for pride, which easier bears the con- through all its miseries.

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