Page images
PDF
EPUB

my he aid to me, you have done some good in your profession, more perhaps than many a clergyman who preached la meday. I had for nine or ten years, at my benefit, a note sealed up with ten guineas, and these words, "a tribest gratitude from one who is highly obliged, and saved from ruin, by seeing Mr. Ross's performance of BarnWhat will the virulent decriers of stage-plays say to this?

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Thorow. Nay, 'twas a needless caution; I have no cause to doubt your prudence.

Save L-A Room in THOROWGOOD's House:
Enter THOROWGOOD and TRUEMAN.
True. SIR, the packet from Genoa is arrived.
[Gives Letters. tion.

Maria. Sir, I find myself unfit for conversation. I should but increase the number of the company, without adding to their satisfacThorow. Heaven be praised! the storm that Thorow. Nay, my child, this melancholy threatened our royal mistress, pure religion, must not be indulged.

liberty, and laws, is for a time diverted. By Maria. Company will but increase it. I this means, time is gained to make such pre- wish you would dispense with my presence. paration on our part, as may, heaven concur- Solitude best suits my present temper. ring, prevent his malice, or turn the meditated mischief on himself.

True. He must be insensible indeed, who is not affected when the safety of his country is concerned. Sir, may I know by what means? -If I am not too bold

Thorow. You are not insensible, that it is chiefly on your account these noble lords do me the honour so frequently to grace my board. Should you be absent, the disappointment may make them repent of their condescension, and think their labour lost.

Thorow. Your curiosity is laudable; and I Maria. He that shall think his time or hogratify it with the greater pleasure, because nour lost in visiting you, can set no real value from thence you may learn how honest mer- on your daughter's company, whose only merit chants, as such, may sometimes contribute to is that she is yours. The man of quality who the safety of their country, as they do at all chooses to converse with a gentleman and times to its happiness; that if hereafter you merchant of your worth and character, may should be tempted to any action that has the confer honour by so doing, but he loses none. appearance of vice or meanness in it, upon Thorow. Come, come, Maria, I need not reflecting on the dignity of our profession, tell you, that a young gentleman may prefer You may with honest scorn reject whatever is your conversation to mine, and yet intend me unworthy of it. no disrespect at all; for though he may lose True. Should Barnwell, or I, who have the no honour in my company, 'tis very natural befit of your example, by our ill conduct for him to expect more pleasure in yours. I ng any imputation on that honourable name, remember the time when the company of the we must be left without excuse. greatest and wisest man in the kingdom, would Thorow. You compliment, young man. have been insipid and tiresome to me, if it Trueman bows respectfully] Nay, I'm not had deprived me of an opportunity of enjoyFaded. As the name of merchant never de- ing your mother's.

rades the gentleman, so by no means does Maria. Yours, no doubt, was as agreeable dude him; only take heed not to pur- to her: for generous minds know no pleasure dase the character of complaisant at the ex-in society but where 'tis mutual.

ase of your sincerity. Thorow. Thou knowest I have no heir, no True. Sir, have you any commands for me child, but thee; the fruits of many years sucthis time? cessful industry must all be thine. Now it Thorow. Only look carefully over the files, would give me pleasure, great as my love, to see whether there are any tradesmen's bills see on whom you will bestow it. I am daily d; if there are, send and discharge 'em. solicited by men of the greatest rank and merit We must not let artificers lose their time, so for leave to address you; but I have hitherto ard to the public and their families, in un- declined it, in hopes that, by observation, I sary attendance. [Exit Trueman. should learn which way your inclination tends; for, as I know love to be essential to happiness in the marriage state, I had rather my approbation should confirm your choice than direct it.

Enter MARIA.

Well, Maria, have you given orders for the tainment? I would have it in some mea- Maria. What can I say? How shall I anworthy the guests. Let there be plenty, swer as I ought this tenderness, so uncommon of the best, that the courtiers may at least even in the best of parents? But you are withand our hospitality. out example; yet, had you been less indulMaria. Sir, I bave endeavoured not to wrong gent, I had been most wretched. That I look well-known generosity by an ill-timed on the crowd of courtiers that visit here, with mirnooy. equal esteem, but equal indifference, you have

observed, and I must needs confess; yet, had is capable of any action, though ever so vile; you asserted your authority, and insisted on and yet what pains will they not take, what a parent's right to be obeyed, I had submitted, arts not use, to seduce us from our innocence, and to my duty sacrificed my peace. and make us contemptible and wicked, even

Thorow. From your perfect obedience in in their own opinion? Then is it not just, the every other instance, I feared as much; and villains, to their cost, should find us so? But therefore would leave you without a bias in guilt makes them uspicious, and keeps them an affair wherein your happiness is so imme- on their guard; therefore we can take advandiately concerned. tage only of the young and innocent part of the sex, who never having injured women, apprehend no danger from them.

Maria. Whether from a want of that just ambition that would become your daughter, or from some other cause, I know not; but I find high birth and titles don't recommend the man who owns them to my affections.

Lucy. Ay, they must be young indeed! Mill. Such a one I think I have found. As I have passed through the city, I have often Thorow. I would not that they should, un- observed him receiving and paying considerless his merit recommends him more. A no-able sums of money; from thence I conclude ble birth and fortune, though they make not he is employed in affairs of consequence. a bad man good, yet they are a real advantage to a worthy one, and place his virtues in the fairest light.

Maria. I cannot answer for my inclinations; but they shall ever be submitted to your wisdom and authority. And as you will not compel me to marry where I cannot love, love shall never make me act contrary to my duty. Sir, have I your permission to retire? Thorow. I'll see you to your chamber.

[Exeunt. SCENE II.—A Room in MILLWOOD's House.

Lucy. Is he handsome?

Mill. Ay, ay, the stripling is well made, and has a good face.

Lucy. About-
Mill. Eighteen.

Lucy. Innocent, handsome, and about eighteen! You'll be vastly happy. Why, if you manage well, you may keep him to yourself these two or three years.

Mill. If I manage well, I shall have done with him much sooner. Having long had a design on him, and meeting him yesterday, made a full stop, and gazing wishfully on hi Enter MILLWOOD and Lucy. face, asked his name. He blushed, and, bow. Mill. How do I look to-day, Lucy? ing very low, answered George Barnwell. Lucy. O, killingly, madam! A little more begged his pardon for the freedom I ha red, and you'll be irresistible!-But why this taken, and told him that he was the person more than ordinary care of your dress and had long wished to see, and to whom I ha complexion? What new conquest are you an affair of importance to communicate at aiming at? proper time and place. He named a tavern Mill. A conquest would be new indeed! talked of honour and reputation, and in Lucy. Not to you, who make 'em every vited him to my house. He swallowed th day-but to me— e-Well, 'tis what I'm never to bait, promised to come, and this is the time expect-unfortunate as I am-But your wit expect him. [Knocking at the Door] Some and beautybody knocks. D'ye hear, I'm at home Mill. First made me a wretch, and still con- nobody to-day but him. [Exit Lucy] Le tinue me so. Men, however generous and affairs must give way to those of more con sincere to one another, are all selfish hypo- sequence; and I am strangely mistaken if th crites in their affairs with us; we are no does not prove of great importance to m otherwise esteemed or regarded by them, but and him too, before I have done with hi as we contribute to their satisfaction. Now, after what manner shall I receive hin

Lucy. You are certainly, madam, on the Let me consider-What manner of person a wrong side of this argument. Is not the ex-I to receive? He is young, innocent, and bas pense all theirs? And I am sure it is our own ful; therefore I must take care not to put hi fault if we han't our share of the pleasure. out of countenance at first.

Mill. We are but slaves to men. Lucy. Nay, 'tis they that are slaves most certainly, for we lay them under contribution. Mill. Slaves have no property; no, not even in themselves: all is the victor's.

Lucy. You are strangely arbitrary in your principles, madam.

Enter BARNWELL, bowing very low. Le

at a Distance.

Mill. Sir, the surprise and joy!
Barn. Madam!

Mill. This is such a favour

[Advanci

Barn. Pardon me, madam! Mill. I would have my conquest complete, Mill. So unhoped for! [Still advan like those of the Spaniards in the new world; Barnwell salutes her, and retires in c who first plundered the natives of all the fusion.] To see you here - Excuse the c wealth they had, and then comdemned the fusionwretches to the mines for life, to work for Barn. I fear I am too bold. Mill. Alas, sir, I may justly apprehend Lucy. Well, I shall never approve of your think me So. Please, sir, to sit. scheme of government; I should think it much much at a loss how to receive this honou more politic, as well as just, to find my sub-I ought, as I am surprised at your good jects an easier employment. in conferring it.

more.

I an

Mill. It is a general maxim among the know- Barn. I thought you had expected m ing part of mankind, that a woman without promised to come. virtue, like a man without honour or honesty,

Mill. That is the more surprising: few

1

are such religious observers of their word. forgive me, I should never forgive myself. Barn. All who are honest are. Mill. Am I refused by the first man, the Mill. To one another; but we simple wo-second favour I ever stooped to ask? Go then, men are seldom thought of consequence enough thou proud hard-hearted youth; but know, to gain a place in their remembrance. you are the only man that could be found, [Laying her Hand on his, as by ac- who would let me sue twice for greater fa

cident.

Barn. Her disorder is so great, she don't perceive she has laid her hand on mine. Heavens! how she trembles! mean?

vours.

Barn. What shall I do? How shall I go or

stay

What can this Mill. Yet do not, do not leave me. I with [Aside. my sex' pride would meet your scorn; but Mill. The interest I have in all that relates when I look upon you, when I behold those to you (the reason of which you shall know eyes-Oh! spare my tongue, and let my hereafter) excites my curiosity; and were I blushes-this flood of tears too, that will force sure you would pardon my presumption, I its way, declare-what woman's modesty should should desire to know your real sentiments hide. on a very particular subject. Barn. Oh, heavens! she loves me, worthless Barn. Madam, you may command my poor as I am. Her looks, her words, her flowing thoughts on any subject. I have none that I tears confess it. And can I leave her then? Oh, never, never! Madam, dry up your tears; you shall command me always. I will stay here for ever, if you would have me.

would conceal.

Mill. You'll think me bold.

Barn. No, indeed.

Mill What then are your thoughts of love? Lucy. So, she has wheedled him out of his Barn. If you mean the love of women, I virtue of obedience already, and will strip have not thought of it at all. My youth and him of all the rest, one after another, till she circumstances make such thoughts improper has left him as few as her ladyship, or myin me yet. But if you mean the general love self.

[Aside. we owe to mankind, I think no one has more Mill. Now you are kind indeed; but mean of it in his temper than myself. I don't know not to detain you always; I would have you that person in the world, whose happiness I shake off all slavish obedience to your master; don't wish, and wouldn't promote, were it in but you may serve him still. my power. In an especial manner, I love Lucy. Serve him still! Ay, or he'll have no my uncle and my master; but above all, my opportunity of fingering his cash; and then he'll not serve your end, I'll be sworn.

friend.

Mill. You have a friend then, whom you love?

Barn. As he does me, sincerely.

Mall. He is, no doubt, often bless'd with Your company and conversation.

Barn. We live in one house, and both serve the same worthy merchant. Ml Happy, happy youth! Whoe'er thou I envy thee; and so must all who see and this youth. What have I lost by being red a woman! I hate my sex, myself. Had seen a man, I might perhaps have been as apy in your friendship, as he who now enit is; but as it is-Oh!

*

Barn. I never observed woman before; or is is, sure, the most beautiful of her sex. side] You seem disordered, madam;-may Low the cause?

Enter BLUNT.

[Aside.

Blunt. Madam, supper's on the table.
Mill. Come, sir, you'll excuse all defects.
My thoughts were too much employed on my
guest to observe the entertainment.

[Exeunt Barnwell and Millwood. Blunt. What, is all this preparation, this elegant supper, variety of wines, and music, for the entertainment of that young fellow? Lucy. So it seems.

Blunt. How! is our mistress turned fool at last? She's in love with him, I suppose.

Lucy. I suppose not. But she designs to make him in love with her, if she can.

Blunt. What will she get by that? He seems under age, and can't be supposed to have much money.

Lucy. But his master bas, and that's the same thing, as she'll manage it.

Mill. Do not ask me-I can never speak it, lever is the cause. I wish for things imddle. I would be a servant, bound to the Blunt. I don't like this fooling with a handne master, to live in one house with you. some young fellow; while she's endeavouring Barn. How strange, and yet how kind her to ensnare him she may be caught herself. rds and actions are! and the effect they Lucy. Nay, were she like me, that would e on me is as strange. I feel desires I certainly be the consequence; for, I confess, er knew before; I must be gone, while there is something in youth and innocence ve power to go. [Aside] Madam, I humbly that moves me mightily. my leave.

Mill You will not, sure, leave me so soon!
Barn. Indeed I must.

Blunt. Yes, so does the smoothness and plumpness of a partridge move a mighty desire in the hawk to be the destruction of it.

Mill. You cannot be so cruel! I have pre- Lucy. Why, birds are their prey, and men and a poor supper, at which I promised ours: though, as you observed, we are somef your company, times caught ourselves. But that, I dare say, Karn. I am sorry I must refuse the honour will never be the case with our mistress. designed me; but my duty to my master Blunt. I wish it may prove so; for you me hence. I never yet neglected his ser-know we all depend upon her. Should she He is so gentle, and so good a master, trifle away her time with a young fellow that should I wrong him, though he might there's nothing to be got by, we must all starve.

Lucy. There's no danger of that; for I am alone; you have no interest in them, nor ought sure she has no view in this affair but interest. your concern for me to give you a moment's Blunt. Well, and what hopes are there of pain. success in that?

True. You speak as if you knew of friendLucy. The most promising that can be. 'Tis ship nothing but the name. Before I saw true, the youth has his scruples; but she'll your grief I felt it. E'en now, though ignosoon teach him to answer them, by stifling rant of the cause, your sorrow wounds me to his conscience. Oh, the lad is in a hopeful the heart. way, depend upon it. [Exeunt. Barn. Twill not be always thus. Friendship and all engagements cease as circumstances and occasions vary; and since you

ACT II.

SCENE 1.-A Room in THOROWGOOD's House. once may hate me, perhaps it might be better for us both that now you loved me less. True. Sure I but dream! Without a cause

Enter BARNWELL.

Barn. How strange are all things round would Barnwell use me thus? Ungenerous me! Like some thief who treads forbidden and ungrateful youth, farewell; I shall enground, and fain would lurk unseen, fearful deavour to follow your advice. [Going] Yet, enter each apartment of this well-known stay; perhaps I am too rash and angry, when house. To guilty love, as if that were too the cause demands compassion. Some unforelittle, already have I added breach of trust. seen calamity may have befallen him, too great A thief! Can I know myself that wretched to bear.

thing, and look my honest friend and injured Barn. What part am I reduced to act? master in the face? Though hypocrisy may 'Tis vile and base to move his temper thus, awhile conceal my guilt, at length it will be the best of friends and men. [Aside. known, and public shame and ruin must ensue. True. I am to blame; pr'ythee forgive me, In the mean time, what must be my life? Ever Barnwell. Try to compose your ruffled mind; to speak a language foreign to my heart; to and let me know the cause that thus transhourly add to the number of my crimes, in order ports you from yourself; my friendly counsel to conceal 'em. Sure such was the condition may restore your peace. of the grand apostate, when first he lost his Barn. All that is possible for man to do purity. Like me, disconsolate he wandered; for man your generous friendship may effect; and while yet in heaven, bore all his future but here, even that's in vain. hell about him.

Enter TRUEMAN.

True. Barnwell, oh how I rejoice to see you safe! So will our master, and his gentle daughter; who, during your absence, often inquired after you.

True. Something dreadful is labouring in your breast; oh, give it vent, and let me share your grief; 'twill ease your pain, should it admit no cure, and make it lighter by the part I bear.

Barn. Vain supposition! My woes increase by being observed: should the cause be known Barn. Would he were gone! His officious they would exceed all bounds. love will pry into the secrets of my soul.

[Aside.

True. So well I know thy honest heart guilt cannot harbour there.

True. Unless you knew the pain the whole Barn. Oh, torture insupportable! [Aside family has felt on your account, you can't True. Then why am I excluded? Have I conceive how much you are beloved. But thought I would conceal from you? why thus cold and silent?—When my heart is full of joy for your return, why do you turn away-why thus avoid me? What have I done? How am I altered since you saw me last? Or rather, what have you done-and why are you thus changed? for I am still the

same.

Barn. If still you urge me on this hate subject, I'll never enter more beneath this roo nor see your face again.

True. 'Tis strange-but I have done - sa but you hate me not.

Burn. Hate you! I am not that monster ye True. Shall our friendship still continue? Barn. It's a blessing I never was worth of, yet now must stand on terms; and b upon conditions can confirm it.

True. What are they?

Barn. What have I done, indeed! [Aside. True. Not speak!-nor look upon me!Barn. By my face he will discover all I would conceal. Methinks already I begin to hate him. [Aside. True. I cannot bear this usage from a friend; one whom till now I ever found so loving; whom yet I love; though his unkindness strikes at the root of friendship, and might destroy I must be your friend. it in any breast but mine.

Barn. I am not well. [Turning to him] Sleep has been a stranger to these eyes since you beheld 'em last.

Barn. Never hereafter, though you shou wonder at my conduct, desire to know mo than I am willing to reveal.

True. 'Tis hard; but upon any conditio

Barn. Then, as much as one lost to hims can be another's, I am yours. [Embraci

True. Be ever so; and may heaven resto your peace! But business requires our atte dance: business, the youth's best preservat from ill, as idleness his worst of snares. W you go with me?

True. Heavy they look, indeed, and swol with tears; now they overflow. Rightly did my sympathizing heart forebode last night, when thou wast absent, something fatal to our Barn. I'll take a little time to reflect what has passed, and follow you. [Exit Tr man] I might have trusted Trueman, and gaged him to apply to my uncle to repair

peace.

Barn. Your friendship engages you too far. My troubles, whate'er they are, are mine

wrong

House.

I have done my master:-but what of SCENE II.-Another Room in THOROWGOOD'S Millwood? Yet shall I leave her, for ever leave her, and not let her know the cause? she who loves me with such a boundless passion! Can cruelty be duty? I judge of what she then must feel, by what I now endure. The love of life, and fear of shame, opposed by inclination strong as death or shame, like wind and tide in raging conflict met, when neither can prevail, keep me in doubt. How then can I determine?

Enter MILLWOOD, LUCY, and a Footman. Foot. Ladies, he'll wait upon you immediately.

Enter THOROWGOOD,

Mill. 'Tis very well-I thank you.

[Exit Footman.

Enter BARNWELL.

Barn. Confusion! Millwood!

Mill. That angry look tells me, that here I am an unwelcome guest: I feared as much: the unhappy are so every where.

Thorca. Without a cause assigned or notice given, to absent yourself last night was a fault, young man, and I came to chide you for it, but hope I am prevented. That modest blush, the confusion so visible in your face, speak grief and shame. When we have offended heaven, it requires no more: and to visit and deliver a message to you, we were with much respect conducted here. received by the family without suspicion, and

Barn. Will nothing but my utter ruin content you?

happiness is now my only care.
Mill. Unkind and cruel. Lost myself, your

shall man, who needs himself to be forgiven, be harder to appease? If my pardon, or love, be of moment to your peace, look up secure

of both.

Barn. How did you gain admission?
Mill. Saying we were desired by your uncle

I'm

Such is the

Barn. Why did you come at all? Mill. I never shall trouble you more. Barn. This goodness has o'ercome me. [4- malice of my fate! I go hopeless, despairing come to take my leave for ever. side] Oh, sir, you know not the nature and extent of my offence; and I should abuse ever to return. This hour is all I have left; mistaken bounty to receive it. Though I had one short hour is all I have to bestow on love rather die than speak my shame, though racks and you, for whom I thought the longest life could not have forced the guilty secret from my breast, your kindness has.

your

Thorow. Enough, enough; whate'er it be, this concern shows you're convinced, and am satisfied. How painful is the sense of guilt to an ingenuous mind: Some youthful folly which it were prudent not to inquire into. Barn. It will be known, and you'll recall your pardon, and abhor me. Thorow. I never will. Yet be upon your guard in this gay, thoughtless season of your Lfe: when vice becomes habitual, the very power of leaving it is lost.

Barn. Hear me, on my knees, confess— Thorow. Not a syllable more upon this subject: it were not mercy, but cruelty, to Sear what must give you such torment to re

Teal.

me!

too short.

Barn. Then we are met to part ever.

Mill. It must be so. Yet think not that time

or absence shall ever put a period to my grief,
leave you, yet condemn me not.
or make me love you less. Though I must

Barn. Condemn you! No, I approve your resolution, and rejoice to hear it; 'tis just, 'tis necessary;-I have well weighed, and found

it so.

Lucy. I am afraid the young man has more sense than she thought he had. [Aside. Barn. Before you came, I had determined never to see you more. Mill. Confusion!

[Aside.

Lucy. Ay, we are all out; this is a turn so unexpected, that I shall make nothing of my part; they must e'en play the scene betwixt themselves. Barn. This generosity amazes and distracts [Aside. Mill. It was some relief to think, though Thorow. This remorse makes thee dearer absent, you would love me still; but to find to me, than if thou hadst never offended. this, as I never could expect, I have not learn'd Whatever is your fault, of this I am certain, to bear. was harder for you to offend, than me to pardon. [Exit. Barn. Villain! villain! villain! basely to wrong so excellent a man. Should I again return to folly?-Detested thought!-But what of Millwood then? Why I renounce her

gra

give her up-The struggle's over, and virtue Es prevailed. Reason may convince, but tade compels. This unlooked-for generosity [Going

as saved me from destruction.

Barn. I am sorry to hear you blame me in a resolution that so well becomes us both. Mill. I have reason for what I do, but you have none.

Barn. Can we want a reason for parting, who have so many to wish we had never met?

Mill. Look on me, Barnwell. Am I deformed or old, that satiety so soon succeeds whom yesterday you thought the fairest and enjoyment? Nay, look again; am I not she the kindest of her sex; whose hand, trembling with ecstasy, you pressed and moulded thus, while on my eyes you gazed with such deFoot. Sir, two ladies from your uncle in light, as if desire increased by being fed?

[blocks in formation]
« EelmineJätka »