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Some fancied right. Michael, the trencher fav'ri'e; SCENE I.-The Street before Arden's door.

A bastard, bred of Arden's charity;

He has been privy to our secret joys,
MOSBY discovered.

And, on that trust presuming, loves my sister;
Mos. The morning's dark and borrid as my pur- Maria is his price. I've plac'd her here,

Winks at adultery, and may at murder. pose. Thrice have my snares been laid for Arden's life,

Companion of my sweet Alicia's hours, And thrice hath he escap'd. I am not safe :

To spread her charms for ever in his eye : The living may revenge. Oh, could I win

To her are all my visits. But Alicia

She must, she shall comply : when to my arms Alicia to conspire her husband's fall,

Her honour she resign'd, her fond reluctance Then might I say, security, thou'rt mine; And laugh at all to come. For other instruments,

whisper'd There's Green: he bears him hard about his suit

She could deny me nothing. This to try. For th' abbey-lands, to which the hot youth pleads

(Exit into Arden's house. No. 12.-TAE BRITISH DRAMA,

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SCENE II.-A Chamber.

Plead not the ruin you have made; but say

Why have you driven me to these extremes ?
ARDEN in his night-gown.

Why sacrificed my peace, and your own fame,
Ard. Unhappy
Arden, whither canst thou By corresponding with a menial slave ?

Ali. Thou canst not think that I have wrong'd wander To lay thy heavy load of sorrows down?

thy bed?

Ard. Would I could not!
Will change of place relieve th' afflicted mind,
Or does all nature yield a balm to cure

Ali. By heaven!

Ard. No perjuries.
The paugs of slighted love and broken faith?
Ungrateful, faise Alicia! false with Mosby,

But now, as you lay slumb'ring by my side,
The vile dependant of my foe profess'd;

I still awake, anxious and full of thought, Lord Clifford's full-fod flatt'rer! Oh, damn'd-

(For thou hast banish'd sleep from these sad Come, Franklin, come: Arden, thy friend, invites With gentle accents thrilling with desire,

eyes) thee; And let me pour my griefs into thy bosom,

You callid on Mosby; love made me doubt my

ears, And find in friendship what I've lost in love.

And question if the dark and silent night

Conspir'd not with my fancy to deceive me: Ali. Why, Arden, do you leave your bed thus But soon I lost the painful, pleasing hope; early?

Again you call'd upon your minion, Mosby.

Confirm'd, I strove to fly your tainted bed,
Have cold and darkness greater charms than I?
There was a time when winter nights were short,

But, wanting strength, sunk lifeless on my pillow.

You threw your eager arms about my neck, And Arden chid the morn that call'd him from

You press'd my bloodless cheeks with your warm me. Ard. This deep dissembling, this hypocrisy,

lips, (The last worst state of a degenerate mind)

Which glow'd, adult'ress, with infernal heat!

And cali'd a third time on the villain Mosby. Speaks her in vice determin'd and mature.

Ali. A dream, indeed, if e'er I call'd on him. (Aside.)

Ard. Thy guilty dreams betray thy waking Ali. What maid, that knows man's variable

thoughts. nature,

Ali. I know I'm simple, thoughtless, and unWould sell her free estate for marriage bonds?

guarded Fcom vows and oaths, and every servile tie,

And what is carelessness, you construe gailt, The tyrant man at pleasure is set free:

Yet were I weak as those fantastic visions, The holy nuptial bond leaves him at large;

Sure, I could ne'er have condemn'd yon, Arden, Yet vests him with a power that makes us slaves. On circumstances and an idle dream. 'Tis heavenly this

Ard. But such a dream ! Ard. To stop my just reproach,

Ali. Yet were it but a dream, Art thou the first to tax the marriage state ? Which, tho' I not remember, I abhor; Ali. Are you not jealous? Do you not give And mourn with tears, because it gives you pain. ear

Arden, you do not wish me innocent, To vain surmises and malicious tongues,

Or on suspicions could you doom me guilty? That hourly wound my yet untainted fame?

Ard. Not wish theo innocent! Do sinking Ard. And would'st thou make me author of the

mariners, shame

When struggling with thə raging seas for life, Thy guilt has brought on us? I'll bear no longer. Wish the assistance of some friendly plank? The traitor, Mosby, curs'd, detested Mosby,

'Tis that, and that alone, can bring me comfort, Shall render an account for both your crimes.

Ali. Oh, jealousy, thou fierce, remorseless fiend, Ali. What do I hear?

(Aside.) Degen'rate, most unnatural child of love; Ard. That base, mechanic slave

How shall I chase thee from my Arden's bosom? Shall answer with his blood.

Ard. There is a way, an easy way, Alicia.
Ali. Oh, hear me speak.

Ali. Oh, name it-speak.
Ard. No, I am deaf; as thou hast ever been Ard. What's past may be forgotten.
To fame, to virtuo, and my just complaints.

Your future conduct-
Ali. Thus, on my knees-

Ali. You distract me, Arden. Ard. Adult'ress, dost thou kneel

Say, how shall I convince you of my truth? And weep, and pray, and bend thy stubborn heart Ard. I ask but this : never see Mosby more. (Stubborn to me) to sue for him? Away!

By heaven, she's durnb!

(He starts.) Away this instant, lest I kill thee, too.

Ali. Oh, how shall I conceal

(Recovering himself.) | My own confusion, and elude his rage? No: not the hell thou'st kindled in this bosom

(Aside.) Shall make me shed thy blood.

Ard. Thou'rt lost, Alicia! lost to me and heav'n. Ali. I do not hope it.

Ali. Indeed I'm lost, if you unkindly doubt me. Ard. For me be as immortal as thy shame.

Ard. Wilt thou, then, ne'er converse with diosby Ali. I see your cruel purpose: I must live,

more. To see your hand and honour: tain'd with blood; Ali. If e'er I do, may heav'n and you forsake Your ample fortune seiz'd on by the state;

me! Your life a forfeit to the cruel laws.

Ard. You'll keep your word, Alicia? Priythee, Oh, Arden, blend compassion with your rage,

say. And kindly kill me first.

Ali. You'll break my heart.
Ard. Not for my sako

Ard. I'd rather break my own.
Are all thy tears; then had you felt them sooner: Then thou art innocent, and lov'et me still.

Ali. And ever will.

Mos. Madam, it was my sister I expectedArd. Give me thy hand-thy heart,

Ali. Am I forgotten, then? Ungrateful man! Oh, give me that.

This only could have added to my woes. Ali. That always was your own.

Did you but know what I have borne for you, Ard. Thou flatterer! then whence this cruel | You would not thus, unmov'd, behold my tears. strifo?

Mos. Madam, you make me vain.
Still art thou cold: nor warm as thy embraces, Ali. Insult not, Mosby.
Nor sparkle in thine eyes the fires of love :

You were the first dear object of my love,
Cold, cold, and comfortless.

And could my heart have made a second choice, Ali. Indeed you fright me

I had not been the object of your scorn: Ard. 'Tis possible

But duty, gratitude, the love of fame, Ali. What?

And pride of virtue, were too weak t' eraso Ard. That thou may'st yet deceive mo.

The deep impression of your early vows. Ali. Oh, I am wretched.

Mos. Therefore, you kindly chose to wed anArd. Both, perhaps, are so.

other. But if thou ever lov'd, thou'lt not despise me,

Ali. Reproach me not with what I deem'1 my And wilt forgive me, if, indeed, I've wrong'd

duty. thee,

Oh! had I thought I could assume the name, As I've forgiven thee. Pity, I'm sure, I need. And never know th' affection of a wife,


I would have died ere giv'n my hand to Arden.

Mos. You gave him all. Ali. Thou hast it, Arden, e'en from her that Ali. No, no; I gave him nothing: wrongs thee.

Words without truth; a hand without a heart. All, all shall pity thee, and curse Alicia.

But he has found the fraud ; the slumb'ring lion, Can I feel this, and further tempt the stream At length, hath rous'd himselfOf guilty love? Oh, whither am I fallen?

Mos. And I must fall

The victim
Enter MARIA.

Ali. No, he knows not yet his wrongs.

Mos. But quickly will. Mar. A happy day, Alicia ; and may each

Ali. That, that's my greatest fear. morn

Nos. Then, branded with a strumpet's hated Of coming life be usher'd with like joy. Franklin, from court return'd has brought the The cause abhorrd of shame, of blood, and ruin,

nanie, grant

Thou'lt be expos d and hooted thro' the world. Of the abbey-lands, confirm'd by the young king,

Ali. Oh! hide the dreadful image from my view To Arden for his life: nor will deliver

Chaste matrons, modest maids, and virtuous But to himself the deed.

wives, Ali. A worthy friend!

Scorning a weakness, which they never knew, The grant is not more welcome to my husband, Than Franklin's company.

Shall blush with indignation at my name.

Mos. My death-but that, tho' certain
Mar. He's flown to meet him.

Ali. Labour not
Enter a Servant.

To drive me to despair. Tain would I hope-
Mos. You may-and be deceiv'd. For me,

I Serv. (To Maria.) Madam, your brother Mosby

know Ali. Where is Mosby?

My fate's resolv'd: and thee the instrument; Serv. He waits below.

The willing instrument of Mosby's ruin.
Ali. Oh! haste, and lead me to him.

Inconstant, false Alicia !
Serv. Madam, he but desires to see his sister. Ali. False indeed;
Ali. His sister! What, did he not ask for me? Eut not to thee, cruel, injurious Mosby.
Mar. Perhaps -

Mos. Injurious! false one, might not all these Ali. Pray, give me leave-looks he in health?

dangers Serv. He seems in health.

That threaten to involve us both in ruin, Ali. Here, and not ask for me!

Ere this have been prevented ? Seems he or angry, then, or melancholy?

dli. Ha! Say on. Answer me, stock, stone!

Mos. And not preventing, art not thou the cause ? Serv. Truly, I can't say.

Ali. Ah! whither, Mosby, whither would'st thou Ali. Thou canst say nothing. Get thee from my

drive me? sight.

Mos. Nay, didst thou love, or would'st secure thy Yet, stay-no matter. I'll myself go seek him.

[Exeunt Alicia and Serv. Preserve my life, and bind me yours for over,

'Tis yet within your power. Mar. Where reason is, can passion thus prevail?

Ali. By Arden's death! [E.xit. Mean'st thou not so? speak out, and be a devil.

Jos. Yes, 'tis for thee I am so. But your looks SCENE III.- A Parlour in Arden's House.

Declare, my death would please you better, madam.

Ali. Exaggerating fiend! be dumb for ever.
Enter ALICIA meeting MOSBY.

His death! I must not cast a glance that way.

Mos. Is there another way? Oh! think, Alicia. Ali. Mosby, that brow befits our wayward fate. Ali. I will, for that will make me mad: and The evil hour, long feard, is fallin upon us,

madness And we shall sink beneath it. Do not frown; Were some excuse. Come, kind distraction ! If you're unkind, to whom shall I complain ?


And Arden dies : my husband dies for Mosby. Mos. What I endure to save a lady's honour! (Shri-ks and runs to Asosby.)

(To Franklin.

Frank. Your longer stay will but incense bim Enter ARDEN and FRANKLIN.

more: He's here! Oh, save me! tell me, did he hear?

Pray, quit the house.

Mos. Sir, I shall take your counsel. (Erit. Ard. (Starting.) Franklin, support your friend.

Ard. He hath escap'd me, then. But, for my I shake with horror.

wife Frank. What moves you thus?

Frank. What has she done? Ard. See, Mosby with my wife! Mos. But, madám, I shall spare your farther Away, begone ; lest, from my prey withheld,

Ard. Done! Must I tell my shame? trouble:

I turn, and tear th' officious hand that holds me. In happy timo behold ny neighbour here.

Soft! art thou Franklin ? Pardon me, Sweet (As taking leare of Alicia.)


My spirits fail-I shake-I must retire. Ali. Mischief and wild confusion have begun.

Frank. To your Alicia ? And desolation waits to close the scene. [Erit. Vos. Sir, I would gladly know, whether your) For I must learn to live without her, Franklin.

Ard. To my lonely couch; grant

Frank. Pray heaven forbid ! Of the rich abbey-lands of Feversham

Ard. To hate her, to forget her, if I can: Be yet confirm'd or not?

No easy task for one who doats like me. Ar. What, if I tear

From what a height I'm fallen! Once smiling Her faithless heart, ev'n in the traitor's sight,

love Who taught it falsehood?

(Aside.) of all its horrors robb'd the blackest night, Frank. He is lost in thought.

And gilt with gladness er'ry ray of light,
But I can answer that: it is conorm d.
I brought the deed, with the great seal annex'd,

Now tyrant-like his conquest he maintains,

And o'er his groaning slave with rods of iron reigos Sign'd by our pious Edward and his council.

(Ereunt. Mos. I'm satisfied.

Ard. So am not I. By hell,
There's justice in the thought. I'm strangely


(Aside.) Mos. My friend seems rapt in thought: I came

SCENE I. - The Street,
to advise him,
That Green, by virtue of a former grant

Enter GREEN and MOSBY.
His father long enjoy'd--
Ard. For my estate,

Green. You pity me, and know not my estate The law and this good seal is my security;

I'm ruin'd, Mosby, thoughtless and ill-advis d; To them I leave Green and his groundless claim. My riotous youth will leave my age a beggar. But my just right to false Alicia's heart,

These abbey-lands wore all the hopes I'd left: (So dearly purchas'd with a husband's name, My whole support. And sacred honour of a gentleman)

Mos. Base and ungen'rous Arden! I shall assert myself, and thus secure

To force a man, born equal to himself, From further violation.

(Draus.) To beg or starve. Mos. Her known virtue

Green. By heaven! I will do neither: Renders the injury your fancy forms,

I'll let the proud oppressor knowA thing of air.

Mos. How blind is rage ! Frank. Impossible to thought.

Who threats his enemy, lends him a sword Whence, Arden, comes this sudden maddess on To guard himself. thee,

Green, Robb'd of the means of life, That your Alicia, ever dear esteem'd,

What's life itself? an useless load, a curse; And deeply lov'd

Which yet I'll dearly sell to my revenge.
Ard, Out on the vile adult'ress!

Mos. You mean to kill him, then?
But thou demure, insinuating slave, (To Mosby.) Green. I do, by heaven!
Shalt taste my vengeance first. Defend thyself. Mos. Suppose you fail.

Mos. I scorn to take advantage of your ruge. Green. I can but lose my life.
Ard. A coward, too. Oh! my consummate Mos. Then where is your revenge, when he, se-

cure, Mos. This I can bear from you.

Riots unbounded in his ill-got wealth ? Ard. Or any man.

Green. What can I do? Why haugs that useless weapon by your side, Mos. 'Tis plain you wish him dead. Thou shame to manhood? Draw. Will nothing Green. Each moment of his life is to my soul move thee?

(Strikes Mosby.) A tedious age of pain; for while he lives, Frank. Hold! Wbither would your mad revenge | Contempt, and all the ills a lazar knows transport you?

Must be my wretched lot, and lengthen out Ard. Shall shameful cowardice protect a villain! The miserable hours. What grovelling wretch Mos. You choose a proper place to shew your Would wish to hold his life on such conditions ? courage.

Mos. But change the scene: suppose but Arden Ard. Go on. I'll follow to the ocean's brink,

dead, Or to the edge of some dread precipice,

Your land restor'd, and fortune in your pow'r; Where terror and despair shall stop thy flight, Honour, respect, and all the dear delights And force thy trembling hand to guard thy life. That wait on wealth, shall wing the joyful hours,

And life contracted seem one happy day.

Brad. Go, mend thy own. I hate this Arden, and have stronger motives

B. Will. Thou wert always a speaking fellow, Than any you can urge to wish his death;

Bradshaw, and could'st never swear, nor get drunk. He has accus'd, insulted, struck me;

Come, shall I and my comrade Shakebag laste your
Nay, his fair, virtuous wife, on my account ale ?
Grcen. If fame speaks true, you're to be envied Brad. My house entertains no such guests. Fare-

well, gentlemen.
Mos. The world will talk-But be that as it may, Mosby. Along with Bradshaw,
I want not cause, nor will, nor means, nor friends. And leave the management of these to me.
Green. Nor opportunity shall long be wanting.

(Aside to Green.) Mos. Enough: his fate is fix'd. See, Bradshaw's here.

Green. It shall be done. Bradshaw, a word with

thee. Enter BRADSHAW.

Brad. Your pardon, gentlemen.

[Exeunt Green and Brau. Brad. Save, save you, gentlemen. Mos. We thank you, neighbour.

B. Will. He was a cadet in the last French war. But whither in such haste?

like other soldiers, then; but now he has got a nest Brad. To the isle of Sheppey,

and feathered it a little, he pretends to reputation. To wait on good Lord Cheyney. As he holds 'Sblood! had this been a fit place, he had not esIn high esteem our worthy townsman, Arden, cap'd me so. You have surveyed us well. (TO I shall first call on him. "Tis well I met you, Mosby.) How do you like us? For yonder two were but bad road-companions, Mosby. Methinks I read truth, prudence, seGreen. They seem of desp'rate fortunes.

crecy, Mos. Have they names ?

And courage writ upon your manly brows. Brod. One I know not; but judge him from his B. Will. What hellish villany has this fellow in comrade.

hand, that makes him fawn upon us? (Aside.) The foremost of the two I knew at Boulogne,

Mosby. I fear the world's a stranger to your Where, in the late king's reign, I serv'd inyself


merit. He was a corporal then, but such a villain !

If this may recommend me to your friendshipBeneath a soldier's name: a common cut-throat,

(Gires a pause.) That preys on all mankind, and knows po party. Mos. A horrid character you give him, Brad.

B. Will. Of what damn'd deed is this to be the shaw.

wages? Brad. No worse than he deserves.

Shake. Hast ever an elder brother's throat to

cut? Mos. (Aside.) An useful hint: He shall not want employment. What's his

B. Will. Ur an old peevish father to be buried ?

Mosby. Neither of these. name? Brad. Black Will. His family-name I never

Shake. A rival then, mayhap. heard.

Mosby. There your come nearer to me. Nos. (To Green.) A word-write you a letter to

Sake. Then speak out.

We're honest, sir.
Disguise your hand. This honest fool may bear

B. Will. Trusty, and very poor.

Mosby. Metal too fit for me. (Aside.) Then, hear Hint at these men. In case her courage fail, She will be glad to shift the deed on them.

But you must both, ero I disclose my purpose, Green. I am instructed.

Promise, and bind that promise by your oaths,

Never--(They both laugh.) - Why this unseasonable Enter BLACK WILL and SHAKEBAG.


B. Will. You'd have us swear ? B. Will. What, comrade Bradshaw. How fare Mosby. Else why did I propose it? you, man?

'Sblood! dost not remember honest B. Will. There's the jest. Are men who act in Black Will. Why, thou'rt grown purse-proud, despite of all law, honour, and conscience; who sure.

live by blood; (as it is plain you think we do;) are Brad. Why, you are not easily forgotten, Will. we free-thinkers, like silly wenches and canting But, pr'ythee, what brings thee to Feversham ? priests, to be confined by oaths ?

B. Will. A soldier, you know, is at home where- Shake. Would you bind us, let the price equal ever he comes. Omne solum forti patri. There's the purchase, and we'll go to hell for you with Latin. Give's a tester.

pleasure. Brad. In time of peace we should apply to some Mosby. Horrid! they shock ev'n me who would honest, creditable business, and not turn the name

employ 'em.

(Aside.) of soldier into vagabond.

I apprehend: the business, then, is this: B. Will. Yes, as you have done. I'm told, you In Feversham, there lives a man, call'd Arden, keep a goldsmith's shop here in Feversham; and, in general esteem, and ample means; like a mechanical rogue, live by cheating. I have and ha a wife the very pride of nature. more honour.

I have been happy long in her affections ; Brad. Would thou badet honesty!

And, he once dead, might with her share his forB. Will. Where do our honesties differ? I tako

tunes. a purse bebind a hedge, and you behind a coun- He's jealous, too, of late, and threatens me. ter.

Love, int'rest, self-defence, all ask his death. Brad. Insolent slave!

B. Will. This man you'd have despatch'd? B. Will. You cent. per cent. rascal! I may ind Mos. I would. a time to teach you better manners.

B. Will. Rich, you say?

me, sir.

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