Page images

Mill. Where is the danger, since we are to part?

Mill. Ay, ay, the barbarous man is rich enough; but what are riches when compared

Barn. The thought of that already is too to love! painful.

Mill. If it be painful to part, then I may hope, at least, you do not hate me.'

Barn. No-No-I never said I did-Oh, my heart!

Mill. Perhaps you pity me?

Barn. I do-I do- Indeed I do.

Mill. You'll think upon me!

Lucy. For awhile he performed the office of a faithful guardian, settled her in a house, hired her servants-But you have seen in what manner she has lived, so I need say no more of that.

Mill. How I shall live hereafter, heaven knows!

Lucy. All things went on as one could Barn. Doubt it not, while I can think at all. wish, till some time ago, his wife dying, he Mill. You may judge an embrace at part-fell violently in love with his charge, and ing too great a favour, though it would be would fain have married her. Now the man the last. [Barnwell draws back] A look shall is neither old nor ugly, but a good, personable then suffice-farewell-for ever. sort of man; but I don't know how it was, she could never endure him. In short, her ill usage so provoked him, that he brought in an account of his executorship, wherein he makes her debtor to him

[Exeunt Millwood and Lucy. Barn. If to resolve to suffer be to conquer -I have conquered-Painful victory!

Re-enter MILLWOOD and Lucy.

Mill. A trifle in itself, but more than enough Mill. One thing I had forgot-I never must to ruin me, whom, by this unjust account, he return to my own house again. This I thought had stripped of all before. proper to let you know, lest your mind should Lucy, Now, she having neither money nor change, and you should seek in vain to find friend, except me, who am as unfortunate as me there. Forgive me this second intrusion; herself, he compelled her to pass his account, I only came to give you this caution, and that and give bond for the sum he demanded; but perhaps was needless. still provided handsomely for her, and continued his courtship, till being informed by his spies (truly, I suspect some in her own faMill. My friend, your arm. [To Lucy] mily) that you were entertained in her house, Now, I am gone for ever. [Going and staid with her all night, he came this mornthere's no ing, raving and storming like a madman; talks If you no more of marriage (so there's no hope of making up matters that way), but vows her [Weeping. ruin, unless she'll allow him the same favour that he supposes she granted you.

Barn. I hope it was; yet it is kind, and I must thank your for it.

Barn. One thing more-sure danger in knowing where you go? think otherwise

Mill. Alas!

Lucy. We are right, I find; that's my cue. [Aside] Ah, dear sir, she's going she knows not whither; but go she must.

Barn. Humanity obliges me to wish you well; why will you thus expose yourself to

needless troubles?

Barn. Must she be ruined, or find a refuge in another's arms?

Mill. He gave me but an hour to resolve in: that's happily spent with you—And now I go

Lucy. Nay, there's no help for it; she must Barn. To be exposed to all the rigours of quit the town immediately, and the kingdom the various seasons; the summer's parching as soon as possible. It was no small matter, heat, and winter's cold; unhoused, to wander you may be sure, that could make her resolve friendless through the unhospitable world, in to leave you. misery and want; attended with fear and Mill. No more, my friend; since he for danger, and pursued by malice and revenge. whose dear sake alone I suffer, and am con- Wouldst thou endure all this for me, and can tent to suffer, is kind and pities me; where'er I do nothing, nothing to prevent it? I wander, through wilds and deserts benight- Lucy. 'Tis really a pity there can be at ed and forlorn, that thought shall give me way found out.


[blocks in formation]

Mill. To know it will but increase your troubles.

Barn. My troubles can't be greater than they are.

Lucy. Well, well, sir, if she won't satisfy you, I will.

Barn. I am bound to you beyond expression. Mill. Remember, sir, that I desired you not to hear it.

Barn. Oh, where are all my resolution


Lucy. Now, I advised her, sir, to compl with the gentleman.

Barn. Tormenting fiend, away! I had rathe perish, nay, see her perish, than have he saved by him. I will myself prevent her ruit though with my own. A moment's patience I'll return immediately.


Lucy. Twas well you came, or, by what can perceive, you had lost him. Mill. Hush! he's here.

Barn. Begin, and ease my expectation. Re-enter BARNWELL, with a Bag of Mone Lucy. Why you must know my lady here Barn. What am I about to do?-Now yo was an only child, and her parents dying who boast your reason all-sufficient, suppo while she was young, left her and her for-yourselves in my condition, and determine f tune (no inconsiderable one I assure you) to me; whether 'tis right to let her suffer for the care of a gentleman who has a good estate faults, or, by this small addition to my gu of his own. prevent the ill effects of what is past.-Ile

take this, and with it purchase your deliverance; return to your house, and live in peace and safety.

Mill. So, I may hope to see you there again?

Barn. Answer me not, but fly-lest, in the agonies of my remorse, I again take what is not mine to give, and abandon thee to want

True. I cannot speak it.

See there.

[Gives a Letter. Maria. [Reads] I know my absence will surprise my honoured master and yourself; and the more, when you shall understand, that the reason of my withdrawing is, my having embezzled part of the cash with which I was entrusted. After this, 'tis needless to inform you, that I intend never to Mill. Say but you'll come. return again. Though this might have been Barn. You are my fate-my heaven, or my known by examining my accounts, yet to hell; only leave me now-dispose of me here- prevent that unnecessary trouble, and to after as you please. [Exeunt Millwood and cut off all fruitless expectations of my reLury] What have I done? Were my reso- turn, I have left this from the lost lutions founded on reason, and sincerely made?

and misery.


Why then has heaven suffered me to fall?! True. Lost indeed! Yet how he should be I sought not the occasion; and, if my heart guilty of what he here charges himself withal, deceives me not, compassion and generosity raises my wonder equal to my grief. Never were my motives.-But why should I attempt had youth a higher sense of virtue. Justly to reason? All is confusion, horror, and re- he thought, and as he thought he practised; morse. I find I am lost, cast down from all never was life more regular than his. An unmy late-erected hope, and plunged again in derstanding uncommon at his years; an open, guilt, yet scarce know how or whygenerous, manliness of temper; his manners easy, unaffected, and engaging.

Such undistinguish'd horrors make my brain,
Like hell, the seat of darkness and of pain.


Maria. This and much more you might [Exit. have said with truth. He was the delight of every eye, and joy of every heart that knew him.

SCENE L-A Room in THOROWGOOD'S House. THOROWGOOD and TRUEMAN discovered, with Account-books, sitting at a Table. Thorsw. Well, I have examined your counts; they are not only just, as I have Maria. Trueman, do you think a soul so always found them, but regularly kept, and delicate as his, so sensible of shame, can e'er fairly entered. I commend your diligence. submit to live a slave to vice?

True. Since such he was, and was my friend, can I support his loss? See, the fairest, happiest maid this wealthy city boasts, kindly condescends to weep for thy unhappy fate, ac-poor, ruined Barnwell!

Method in business is the surest guide. Are True. Never, never: so well I know him, Barnwell's accounts ready for my inspection? I'm sure this act of his, so contrary to his naHe does not use to be the last on those oc- ture, must have been caused by some una voidable necessity.


True. Upon receiving your orders he retired, Maria. Is there no means yet to preserve I thought in some confusion. If you please,

I go and basten him.



True. Oh, that there were! But few men Thorow. I'm now going to the Exchange: recover their reputation lost, a merchant never. et him know, at my return I expect to find Nor would he, I fear, though I should find im ready. him, ever he brought to look his injured master in the face. Enter MARIA, with a Book. Sits and reads. Maria. "How forcible is truth! The weakest wind, inspired with love of that, fixed and elected in itself, with indifference beholds the aded force of earth and hell opposing. Such True. 'Tis considerable. I've marked it here, w's are raised above the sense of pain, or to show it, with the letter, to your father, at supported that they regard it not. The his return.

Maria. I fear as much, and therefore would never have my father know it. True. That's impossible.

Maria. What's the sum?

Marty cheaply purchases his heaven; small Maria. If I should supply the money, could re bis sufferings, great is his reward. Not so you so dispose of that and the account, as to he wretch who combats love with duty; conceal this unhappy mismanagement from my whose mind, weakened and dissolved by the father?

passion, feeble and hopeless, opposes his True. Nothing more easy.

But can you

a desires.-What is an hour, a day, a intend it? Will you save a helpless wretch ear of pain, to a whole life of tortures such from ruin? Oh, 'twere an act worthy such



True. Oh, Barnwell! Oh, my friend! how

ou fallen!

Maria, Ha! Barnwell! What of him? Speak,

, what of Barnwell?

exalted virtue as Maria's! Sure heaven, in mercy to my friend, inspired the generous thought.

Maria. Doubt not but I would purchase so great a happiness at a much dearer price. But how shall he be found?

True. Trust to my diligence for that. In True. Tis not to be concealed: I've news the mean time I'll conceal his absence from tead of him that will afflict your generous your father, or find such excuses for it, that

, yourself, and all who know him. Maria. Defend us, heaven!

the real cause shall never be suspected. Maria. In attempting to save from shame

one whom we hope may yet return to virtue, when compared to that; I would not be into heaven, and you, the only witnesses of this volved in the guilt of it for all the world! action, I appeal whether I do any thing un- Lucy. Nor I, heaven knows. Therefore let' becoming my sex and character. us clear ourselves, by doing all that's in our True. Earth must approve the deed, and power to prevent it. I have just thought of heaven, I doubt not, will reward it. a way that to me seems probable. Will you Maria. If heaven succeeds it, I am well re-join with me to detect this cursed design? warded. A virgin's fame is sullied by sus- Blunt. With all my heart. He who knows picion's lightest breath; and, therefore, as this of a murder intended to be committed, and must be a secret from my father and the world, does not discover it, in the eye of the law for Barnwell's sake, for mine, let it be so to and reason, is a murderer. [Exeunt. Lucy. Let us lose no time. I'll acquaint SCENE II.—A Room in MILLWOOD's House. You with the particulars as we go. [Exeunt,


Enter Lucy and BLUNT.

SCENE III-A Walk some distance from a



Lucy. Well, what do you think of Millwood's conduct now? Her artifice in making him rob his master at first, and the various Barn. A dismal gloom obscures the face of stratagems by which she has obliged him to the day. Either the sun has slipped behind a continue that course, astonish even me, who cloud, or journeys down the west of heaven know her so well. Being called by his master with more than common speed, to avoid the to make up his accounts, he was forced to sight of what I am doomed to act. Since I quit his house and service, and wisely flies to set forth on this accursed design, where'er I Millwood for relief and entertainment. tread, methinks the solid earth trembles beBlunt. How did she receive him? neath my feet. Murder my uncle! my father's Lucy. As you would expect. She wondered only brother, and since his death, has been to what he meant, was astonished at his impu- me a father; that took me up an infant and dence, and, with an air of modesty peculiar an orphan, reared me with tenderest care, and to herself, swore so heartily that she never still indulged me with most paternal fondness! saw him before, that she put me out of coun-Yet here I stand his destined murderer.-I


Blunt. That's much, indeed! But how did Barnwell behave?

ever shut

stiffen with horror at my own impiety-Tis yet unperformed-What if I quit my bloody purpose and fly the place? [Going, then stops Lucy. He grieved; and, at length, enraged But whither, oh, whither shall I fly? My at this barbarous treatment, was preparing to Master's once friendly doors are be gone; and making towards the door, showed against me; and without money, Millwood a sum of money, which he had brought from will never see me more; and she has got such his master's, the last he is ever likely to have firm possession of my heart, and governs there from thence. with such despotic sway, that life is not to be Blunt. But then, Millwoodendured without her. Ay, there's the cause Lucy. Ay, she, with her usual address, re- of all my sin and sorrow: 'tis more than love; turned to her old arts of lying, swearing, and it is the fever of the soul, and madness of dedissembling; hung on his neck, wept, and sire. In vain does nature, reason, conscience swore 'twas meant in jest. The amorous youth all oppose it; the impetuous passion bear melted into tears, threw the money into her down all before it, and drives me on to lust lap, and swore he had rather die than think to theft, and murder. Oh, conscience, feebli her false. guide to virtue, thou only showest us whe Blunt. Strange infatuation! we go astray, but wantest power to stop u Lucy. But what ensued was stranger still. in our course! Ha! in yonder shady walk Just then, when every passion with lawless see my uncle-He's alone-Now for my dis anarchy prevailed, and reason was in the rag-guise. [Plucks out a Vizor]—This is his hou ing tempest lost, the cruel, artful Millwood, of private meditation. Thus daily he prevailed upon the wretched youth to promise his soul for heaven, while I-But what hav -what I tremble but to think on. I to do with heaven?-Ha! no struggles, cor science

Blunt. I am amazed! What can it be? Lucy. You will be more so to hear-it is to attempt the life of his nearest relation, and best benefactor.

Blunt. His uncle! whom we have often heard him speak of, as a gentleman of a large estate, and fair character, in the country where he lives.


Hence, hence remorse, and ev'ry thoug that's good;

The storm that lust began, must end blood.

[Puts on the Vizor, draws
Pistol, and exit.

SCENE IV. A close Walk in a Wood.
Enter UNCLE.

Lucy. The same. She was no sooner possessed of the last dear purchase of his ruin, but her avarice, insatiate as the grave, de- Uncle. If I were superstitious, I should fe manded this horrid sacrifice. Barnwell's near some danger lurked unseen, or death we relation, whose blood must seal the dreadful nigh. A heavy melancholy clouds my spin secret, and prevent the terrors of her guilty My imagination is filled with ghastly for fears. of dreary graves, and bodies changed by dea Blunt. 'Tis time the world were rid of such when the pale, lengthen'd visage attracts ea a monster. But there is something so horrid weeping eye, and fills the musing soul at or in murder, that all other crimes seem nothing, with grief and horror, pity and aversion.

will indulge the thought. The wise man pre


pares himself for death by making it familiar SCENE I.-A Room in THOROWGOOD's House.
to his mind. When strong reflections hold
the mirror near, and the living in the dead
bebold their future self, how does each inor-
dinate passion and desire cease, or sicken at
the view! The mind scarce moves! the blood,
curdling and chilled, creeps slowly through
the veins; fixed, still, and motionless we stand, of his absence?
so like the solemn objects of our thoughts, we True. All appeared so just and fair to him,
are almost at present what we must be here- it is not possible he ever should. But his
after; till curiosity awake the soul, and sets absence will no longer be concealed. Your
it on inquiry.

Enter MARIA, meeting TRUEMAN.
Maria. What news of Barnwell?
True. None; I have sought him with the
greatest diligence, but all in vain.

Maria. Does my father yet suspect the cause

father is wise; and though he seems to hearken to the friendly excuses I would make for Barnwell, yet I am afraid he regards 'em only as such, without suffering them to influence his judgment.

Enter THOROWGOOD and Lucy.

Enter GEORGE BARNWELL, at a Distance. Oh, death! thou strange, mysterious power, seen every day, yet never understood but by the incommunicative dead, what art thou? The extensive mind of man, that with a thought circles the earth's vast globe, sinks to the centre, Thorow. This woman here has given me a or ascends above the stars; that worlds exotic sad, and bating some circumstances, too probfinds, or thinks it finds, thy thick clouds at-able an account of Barnwell's defection. tempts to pass in vain; lost and bewildered in Lucy. I am sorry, sir, that my frank conthe borrid gloom, defeated, she returns more fession of my former unhappy course of life di ubtful than before, of nothing certain but should cause you to suspect my truth on this of Labour lost. occasion.

[During this Speech, Barnwell sometimes presents the Pistol, and draws it back again.

Barn. Oh, 'tis impossible!

Throws down the Pistol. Uncle starts, and attempts to draw his Sword. Undie. A man SO near me! armed and


Barn. Nay, then there's no retreat.
[Plucks a Poignard from his Breast,
and stabs him.

Thorow. It is not that; your confession has in it all the appearance of truth. Among many other particulars, she informs me that Barnwell has been influenced to break his trust, and wrong me, at several times, of considerable sums of money. Now, as I know this to be false, I would fain doubt the whole of her relation, too dreadful to be willingly believed.

Maria. Sir, your pardon; I find myself on a sudden so indisposed that I must retire. Poor, ruined Barnwell! Wretched, lost Maria? [Aside. Exit.

Uncle. Oh, I am slain! All gracious heaven, regard the prayer of thy dying servant; bless, th the choicest blessings, my dearest nephew; Thorow. How am I distressed on every orgive my murderer; and take my fleeting side! Pity for that unhappy youth, fear for the scal to endless mercy! life of a much valued friend - and then my [Barnwell throws off his Mask, runs child-the only joy and hope of my declining to him, and kneeling by him, raises life! Her melancholy increases hourly, and gives me painful apprehensions of her lossBarn. Expiring saint! Oh, murdered, mar- Oh, Trueman, this person informs me that tyred uncle! lift up your dying eyes, and view your friend, at the instigation of an impious Fur nephew in your murderer.-Oh, do not woman, is gone to rob and murder his venerso tenderly upon me-Let indignation able uncle.

[ocr errors]


en from your eyes, and blast me ere you True. Oh, execrable deed! I'm blasted with --By heaven, he weeps, in pity of my horror at the thought! -Tears, tears for blood.-The murdered,

Lucy. This delay may ruin all.

the agonies of death, weeps for his mur- Thorow. What to do or think I know not. er-Oh, speak your pious purpose; pro- That he ever wronged me I know is false; Ere your pardon then, and take me with the rest may be so too; there's all my hope. -Ile would, but cannot.— -Oh, why with True. Trust not to that; rather suppose all fond affection do you press my murder-true, than lose a moment's time. Even now zond?—[Uncle sighs, and dies] Life, the horrid deed may be doing-dreadful imahovered on his lips but till he had sealed gination!-or it may be done, and we be vain- pardon, in that sigh expired! He's gone ly debating on the means to prevent what is ever-and ob! I follow-[Swoons away already past.

the dead Body] Do I still breathe, and Thorow. This earnestness convinces me that
with my infectious breath the wholesome he knows more than he has yet discovered.
Let heaven from its high throne, in jus- What, ho! without there, who waits?
or in mercy, now look down on that
murdered saint, and me the murderer,

Enter a Servant.

4 his vengeance spares, let pity strike, Order the groom to saddle the swiftest horse, end my wretched being.- Murder the and prepare to set out with speed; an affair of crimes, and parricide the worst of of life and death demands his diligence. [Exit , and this the worst of parricides. Servant] For you, whose behaviour on this may it ever stand alone accurst, occasion I have no time to commend as it

I last of murders, as it is the worst. [Exit. deserves, I must engage your further assist


Return, and observe this Millwood till to murder your uncle, rob him of life, naI come. I have your directions, and will fol- ture's first, last, dear prerogative, after which low you as soon as possible [Exit Lucy] there's no injury, then fear to take what he Trueman, you I am sure will not be idle on no longer wanted, and bring to me your pethis occasion. [Exit. nury and guilt. Do you think I'll hazard my


True. He only who is a friend, can judge reputation, nay my life, to entertain you? my distress. [Exit. Barn. Oh, Millwood!-this from thee?But I have done-If hate you me, if wish me dead, then are you happy; for, oh, 'tis sure my grief will quickly end me.




Mill. In this madness he will discover all,

Mill. I wish I knew the event of his design. The attempt without success would ruin him. and involve me in his ruin. We are on a —Well, what have I to apprehend from that?|precipice, from whence there's no retreat for I fear too much. The mischief being only both. Then to preserve myself-[Pauses]intended, his friends, through pity of his youth, There is no other way. 'Tis dreadful; but turn all their rage on me. I should have reflection comes too late when danger's pressthought of that before. Suppose the deed done; ing, and there's no room for choice. It must then and then only I shall be secure-Or what be done. if he returns without attempting it at all—

Enter BARNWELL, bloody.

[Aside. Rings a Bell.

Enter a Servant.

Fetch me an officer, and seize this villain. But he is here, and I have done him wrong. He has confess'd himself a murderer. Should His bloody hands show he has done the deed, I let him escape, I might justly be thought as but show he wants the prudence to conceal it. bad as he. [Exit Servant. Barn. Where shall I hide me? Whither Barn. Oh, Millwood! sure you do not, you shall I fly to avoid the swift unerring hand of cannot mean it. Stop the messenger; upon justice? my knees, I beg you'd call him back. Tis fit Mill. Dismiss your fears; though thousands I die, indeed, but not by you. I will this inhad pursued you to the door, yet being en-stant throw myself into the hands of justice, tered here, you are as safe as innocence. indeed I will; for death is all I wish. But have a cavern by art so cunningly contrived, thy ingratitude so tears my wounded soul, 'tis that the piercing eyes of jealousy and revenge worse ten thousand times than death with may search in vain, nor find the entrance to torture. the safe retreat. There will I hide you, if Mill. Call it what you will; I am willing any danger's near. to live, and live secure, which nothing but your death can warrant.

Barn. Oh, hide me-from myself, if it be possible; for while I bear my conscience in Barn. If there be a pitch of wickedness that my bosom, though I were hid where man's sets the author beyond the reach of vengeance, eye never saw, nor light ere dawned, 'twere you must be secure. But what remains for

all in vain. For, oh, that innate, that impar-me, but a dismal dungeon, hard galling fetters tial judge, will try, convict, and sentence me an awful trial, and an ignominious death, justly for murder, and execute me with never-end-to fall, unpitied and abhorred? This I coul ing torments. Behold these hands all crim- bear, nay wish not to avoid, had it but com soned o'er with my dear uncle's blood. Here's from any hand but thine. a sight to make a statue start with horror, or turn a living man into a statue!

Mill. Ridiculous! Then it seems you are afraid of your own shadow, or what is less than a shadow, your conscience.

Barn. Though to man unknown I did the accursed act, what can hide me from heaven's all-seeing eye?

Enter BLUNT, Officer, and Attendants. Mill. Heaven defend me! Conceal a mur derer! Here, sir, take this youth into you custody, I accuse him of murder, and will ap pear to make good my charge.

Be warn'd, ye youths, who see my sa


[They seize hin Barn. To whom, of what, or how shall Mill. No more of this stuff! What advan- complain? I'll not accuse her. The band tage have you made by his death: or what heaven is in it, and this the punishment i advantage may yet be made of it? Did you lust and parricide. secure the keys of his treasure, which no doubt were about him? What gold, what jewels, or what else of value have you brought me? Barn. Think you I added sacrilege to murder! Oh, had you seen him as his life flowed from him in a crimson flood, and heard him praying for me by the double name of nephew and of murderer; (alas, alas, he knew not then that his nephew was his murderer!) how would you have wished, as I did, though you had a thousand years of life to come, to have given them all to have lengthened his one hour. But at such a time?

Avoid lewd women, false as they are fair
By my example learn to shun my fate,
(How wretched is the man who's wise to

Ere innocence, and fame, and life be lost
Here purchase wisdom cheaply at my cos
[Exeunt Barnwell, Officer, as

Mill. Where's Lucy? Why is she abse

being dead, I fled the sight of what my hands Blunt. Would I had been so too! Lu had done; nor could I, to have gained the will soon be here; and I hope to thy confi empire of the world, have violated by theft sion, thou devil! his sacred corpse.

Mill. Whining, preposterous, canting villain!]

Mill. Insolent!

This to me!

Blunt. The worst that we know of t

« EelmineJätka »