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Enter MICHAEL.

Why dost thou break upon me unawares? What of your master?

Mich. He's scarce sunk to rest,

But full of meditated rage against Mosby."
Alic. He'll sleep in peace ere long.-
Mich. Think not on that.

O did Maria bless me with her smiles,
As you do Mosby, had I twenty lives,
I'd risk them all to win her to my arms.
Alic. I prithee leave me, Michael.
Michael.] What is nature!

[Exit

There is a power in love, subdues to itself
All other passions in the human mind.
This wretch, more fearful than the lonely mur-
derer,

Whom with inquiring eyes some stranger views,
Would meet the king of terrors undismayed,
For her he loves, and dare him to the combat.
And shall not I preserve my Mosby's life?
And shall not I-A husband!-What's a hus-
band?

I have a soul above the unnatural tie,
That tells me, I'm his right, and only his,
Who won my virgin heart. Ye tender parents,
Whose cruel kindness made your child thus
wretched,

Turn not your eyes towards earth to view this

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SCENE IV. Another Room. ARDEN sleeping on a couch.

Enter ALICIA, with a dagger in her hand. Alic. See! Jealousy, o'erwatched, is sunk to rest,

While fearful guilt knows no security,
But in repeated crimes. My weary eyes,
Each moment apprehensive of his vengeance,
Must seek for rest in vain till his are closed.
Then for our mutual peace, and Mosby's love.
[Approaching to stab him, starts.
He wakes-Defend me from his just revenge!
And yet he sees me not, nor moves a finger,
To save his threatened life. Then whence that
voice

That pierced my ears, and cried, ‘Alicia, hold!'
Can mimic fancy cheat the outward sense,

And form such sounds? If these heart-racking thoughts

Precede the horrid act, what must ensue?
Worse plague I cannot fear from Arden's death;
But from his life-the death of him I love.
Perish the hated husband! Wherefore hated?
Is he not all, that my vain sex could wish?
My eyes, while they survey his graceful form,
Condemn my heart, and wonder how it strayed.
He sighs; he starts; he groans. His body sleeps,
But restless grief denies his mind repose.
Perhaps he dreams of me; perhaps he sees me,
Thus like a fury, broke from deepest hell,
Lust in my heart, and murder in my hand-

[Alicia drops the dagger. ARDEN starts up. Ard. Her dagger, Michael-seize it, and I'm safe.

How strong she is! Oh! What a fearful dream!
Before me still! speak, vision-art thou Alicia,
Or but the coinage of my troubled brain?
Alic. O Arden-husband-lord-
Ard. Art thou my wife?

Thou'rt substance-I am wrapped in wonderhence

Hast lost all sense of fear, as well as shame, That thou dar'st haunt me thus, asleep and wa

king,

Thou idol, and thou torment of my soul?

Alic. My bleeding heart!

Ard. Away! begone and leave me ! Lest, in the transports of unbounded rage, I rush upon thee, and deface these charms, That first enslaved my soul; mangle that face, Where, spite of falsehood, beauty triumphs still; Mar that fair frame, and crush thee into atoms. Avoid me, and be safe-Nay now you drive me

hence. [Alicia kneels, he turns away. Cruel and false as thou hast been to me, I cannot see thee wring thy suppliant hands, And weep, and kncel in vain.

Alic. This, this is he

[Exit Arden.

I came prepared to murder. Curst Alicia!
[Takes up the dagger,
In thy own bosom plunge the fatal steel,
Or his, who robbed thee of thy fame and virtue.
It will not be-Fear holds my dastard hand :
Those chaster powers, that guard the nuptial bed
From foul pollution, and the hand from blood,
Have left their charge, and I am lost for ever.

[Esit.

ACT III.

SCENE I.-A road or highway near Feversham. | it but naked in your hand, he would have stab

BLACK WILL and SHAKEBAG.

bed himself as he walked,

B. Will. I had not power to do it: a sudden Shake. Damnation! posted as you were, to damp came over me; I never felt so in my life.

let him escape!

B. Will. I pray thee, peace.

Shake. Green and I beheld him pass carelessly by within reach of your dagger. If you had held

A kind of palsy seized me.

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Shake. Palsy when you're upon your duty! Go, go and sleep, or drink away your fears. You tremble still

B. Will. I tremble! my courage was never yet called in question, villain. When I fought at Boulogne under the late king, both armies knew, and feared me.

Shake. That might be, because they did not know you. Dog, I'll shake you off to your old trade of filching in a throng-Murder's too genteel a business for your capacity.-Sirrah, I have taken more gold at noon-day, than ever you filched copper by candle-light.

B. Will. Cowardly slave, you lye.

Shake. A coward! S'blood! that shall be proved. Come on.

B. Will. To thy heart's blood.
Shake. To thine.

Enter GREEN.

[They fight.

Green. What are you mad! For shame! put

up your swords,

Shake. Not till I've had his life. B. Will. Fool, guard thy own. Green. Pray hear me, gentlemen! B. Will. Stand farther off!

Shake. Away!

Green. This broil will ruin all.

Shake. He begun it.

B. Will. Ay, and will end it too.

L. Chey. Arden, well met. You're to the isle of Shippey

Grown quite a stranger. Shall we see you there? Ard. I purposed soon to have waited on your lordship.

L. Chey. Well, will you sup with me to night at Shorlow?

Ard. Franklin, my lord, who is my guest at present,

Expects me at my house.

L. Chey. Then will you dine with me to morrow?

Ard. I'll not fail your lordship.

L. Chey. Believe me, worthy friend, I'm glad to see you.

Walk

you

towards Feversham?

Ard. So please your lordship.

[Exeunt Lord Cheyney, and Arden. B. Will. Just as I'd taken aim too!-S'blood, I could kill myself for vexation,

Enter GREEN.

Green. Well, Arden is at last dispatched?
Shake. Yes, safe to Feversham.

Green. Safe, say you! his good fortune mocks

us all. These strange escapes have almost staggered me;

Green. Arden, you know, returns, and will But thinking of my wrongs, I'm more confirmed.

you let him

Escape a second time?

Shake. Who did the first?

Green. No matter, that may be repaired. B. Will. Brand me with cowardice! Green. Come, come, you're both to blame. Speak, will you lay aside this senseless broil? B. Will. Nay, let him speak. Shake. Why, rather than lose this opportunity[Puts up his sword. B. Will. Ay-We'll defer it, 'till Arden's dead. I'm for doing business first, and then for play. Shake. Challenge me, when thou darest. Green. The night draws on. Are you resolved? Shake. We are.

Green. Enough.-See where he comes.

must withdraw;

I

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B. Will. Well said, my man of resolution! A gentleman commits a murder with double the satisfaction for such a heart.-We must lay our snares more cunning for the future..

Green. We should consult with Michael,
Arden's man;

The pigmy-hearted wretch, though long ago
He swore his master dead, acts with reluctance.
Shake. The coward must be spurred.-He
does it, or he dies.

Green. I wonder at his absence, as he knew Of this attempt, and promised to be here.

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B. Will. Do! you must shew us the house, appoint the time and place, and lure your master thither-We'll take care of him, without your trouble.

Green. So shall you purchase noble Mosby's friendship,

And, by his friendship, gain his sister's love. Mich. They'll murder me too, should I not comply

[Aside.

Green. Think on your love, your interest.
B. Will. Or your death.

Mich. To-night, soon as the abbey-clock strikes ten, [Trembling. Come to his house: I'll leave the doors unbarred:

The left hand stairs lead to my master's chamber;

There take him, and dispose him as you please. Green. This cannot fail.

Shake. Unless this love-sick coward thinks to deceive us.

Mich. I will not, by Heaven!

B. Will. I believe thee; for by hell thou da

rest not.

[Exeunt Mich. Master, thy constant love and daily bounty

Deserve more grateful offices from Michael. [Exit weeping.

SCENE II.

A room in ARDEN's house.

ALICIA alone.

Alic. When vice has spread her poison through the soul,

How lifeless, slow, confused, and insincere
Are our resolves in the pursuit of virtue!

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In me, 'twas foolish guilt and disobedience;
In you, 'twas avarice, insolence, and pride.
Mos. 'Twas love in me, and gratitude in you.
Alic. 'Twas insolence in you, meanness in me,
And madness in us both. My careful parents,
In scorn of your presumption and my weakness,
Gave me in marriage to a worthy gentleman,
Of birth and fortune equal to my own.
Three years I lived with him without reproach,
And made him in that time the happy father
Of two most lovely children. I too was happy;
At least I lived in hopes I might be so :
For time, and gratitude, and Arden's love,
I hoped might quench my guilty flame for you,
And make my heart a present worthy him.

Mos. And dost thou glory in thy perjuries?
In love, inconstancy alone is a crime.
Think on the ardour of our youthful passion;
Think how we played with love; nor thought it
guilt,

Till thy first falsehood; call it not obedience! Thy marriage with this Arden made me desperate;

Think on the transports of our love renewed,
And-

Alic. Hide the rest, lest listening winds should hear,

And publish to the world our shameful tale!
Here let remembrance of our follies die.

Mos. Shall our loves wither in their early bloom?

Alic. Their harvest else will be to both our

shames.

Hast thou not made a monster of me, Mosby?
You should abhor me, I abhor myself.

When unperceived I stole on Arden's sleep,
(Hell steeled my heart, and death was in my hand,)
Pale anguish brooded on his ashy cheek,

What wonder, then, Heaven should refuse its And chilly sweats stood shivering on his brow.

aid

To thoughts that only blossom for a time, Look blooming to the eye, but yield no fruit?

Enter MOSBY.

Mos. I come, Alicia, to partake thy griefs; For fire divided burns with lesser force.

Alic. I know thee: thou art come to fan the
flame

Thy breath hath kindled here, till it consume us.
But tears and sighs shall stifle in my heart
The guilty passion-

Mos. -Is heroic love,

That formed the bright examples of thy sex, Made their lives glorious, and their fame immortal,

A crime in thee? Art thou not mine by oaths, By mutual sufferings, by contract mine?

Alic. Why do you urge a rash, a fatal pro-
mişe,

I had no right to make, or you to ask?
Why did you practise on my easy heart?
Why did I ever listen to your vows?

Relentless murder, at a sight so sad,
Gave place to pity; and as he waked, I stood
Irresolute, and drowned in tears.

Mos. She's lost,

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Lay Arden gently in a peaceful grave,
Might I presume to hope? Alicia, speak.

Alic. How shall I look into my secret thoughts,

And answer what I fear to ask myself?

[A long pause. Mos. Silence speaks best for me. His death once known,

I must forswear the fact, and give these tools
To public justice, and not live in fear. [Aside.
Thy heart is mine. I ask but for my own.

[To her.
Truth, gratitude, and honour bind you to me,
Or else you never loved.

Alic. Then why this struggle?

Not loved! O had my love been justly placed,
As sure it was exalted and sincere,

I should have gloried in it, and been happy.

But I'll no longer live the abject slave

Of loose desire; I disclaim the thought.

Mos. I'll ask no more what honour should

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My promised faith!

Mos. First, let the world dissolve.

Alic. There is no joy, nor peace for you, or

me:

All our engagements cannot but be fatal.

Mos. The time may come, when you'll have
other thoughts;

Till then, farewell.-[Aside.] Now, fortune, do
thy worst.
[Exit.
Alic. Mosby, return- -He's gone, and I am

wretched.

I should have banished him my sight for ever.
You happy fair ones, whose untainted fame
Has never yet been blasted with reproach,
Fly from the appearance of dishonour far.
Virtue is arbitrary, nor admits debate :
To doubt is treason in her rigid court;

And each hour bends him lower towards his grave.

Ard. I know thy friendship, and perceive its
drift.

I'll bear my wrongs, for sure I have been wronged.
Do I but think so then! What fools are men,
Whom love and hatred, anger, hope, and fear,
And all the various passions, rule by turns,
And in their several turns alike deceive?

Frank. To cast away, and on suspicion only,
A jewel, like Alicia, were to her
Unjust, and cruel to yourself. [Clock strikes ten.]
Good night,

The clock has strucken ten.
Ard. I thought it more.

Frank. I thought it not so much.

Ard. Why, thus it is:

Our happy hours are few, and fly so swift,
That they are past ere we begin to count them:
But, when with pain and misery opprest,
Anticipating Time's unvarying pace,
We think each heavy moment is an age.

Frank. Come, let us to rest. Impartial as the

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Ard. True, for time brings death,
The only certain end of human woes.
Sleep interrupts, but, waking, we're restored
To all our griefs again. Watching and rest,
Alternately succeeding one another,
Are all the idle business of dull life.
What shall we call this undetermined state,
This narrow isthmus 'twixt two boundless oceans,
That, whence we came, and that, to which we
tend?

Is it life chequered with the sleep of death?
Or death enlivened by our waking dreams?
But we'll to bed. Here, Michael, bring the lights!
Enter MICHAEL with lights.

But, if ye parley with the foe, you're lost. [Erit. Heaven send you good repose.

SCENE III.-Another room in Arden's house. ARDEN and FRANKLIN sitting together on a couch: ARDEN thoughtful.

Frank. Nay, wonder not. Though every cir

cumstance

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[Gives Franklin a candle.
Frank. The like to you.
Mich. Shall I attend you, sir?
Frank. No, no, I choose to be alone. Good
night.

[Exit Franklin. Michael attends his master
with the other light, and returns.]
Mich. I, who should take my weapon in my
hand,

And guard his life with hazard of my own,
With fraudful smiles have led him, unsuspecting,
Quite to the jaws of death. But I've an oath.
Mosby has bound me with an horrid vow,
Which if I break, these dogs have sworn my

death.

I've left the doors unbarred. Hark! 'twas the latch, 3 P

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Ard. To bed,

Enter ARDEN and FRANKLIN, undressed at se- And, as you prize my favour, be more careful.

veral doors.

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[Exit Michael. Frank. 'Tis very cold. Once more, my friendArd. Good night.

[Exit Arden.

SCENE IV.-Changes to the street before Arden's
door; the door shut.

Enter BLACK WILL, and SHAKEBAG.
B. Will. Zounds! Michael has betrayed us;
The doors are fast. Away, away-Disperse.

Ard. I'll go and see myself.

[Exit Arden.

Frank. You made a fearful noise.

ACT IV.

[Exeunt.

SCENE I.—An Inn, the Flower-de-Luce.

MOSBY and MICHAEL.

Bid opportunity and fortune wait;

And all to be forsaken for a husband!

By Heaven, I am glad he has so oft escaped,

Mich. Though I with oaths appealed to con- That I may have him murdered in her sight!

scious Heaven,

That Arden rose, and shut the doors himself,

Yet, but for Green, these bloody rogues had kill

ed me.

We must desist-Franklin and sweet Maria

Have promised, at Alicia's own request,

To interfere.

Mos. Such ever be the employ

Of him I hate!

Mich. The mourning fair, all changed,

Enter GREEN.

Green. How strange a providence attends this

man!

'Tis vain to strive with Heaven.-Let's give it

o'er.

Mos. No; when I do, may I be curst for ever, Hopeless to love, and hate without revenge! May I ne'er know an end of disappointment, But, prest with hard necessity, like thee,

By me conjures you (and with tears she spake it), Live the contempt of my insulting foe!

Not to involve yourself, and her, in ruin,

By seeking to renew a correspondence,

She has renounced for ever.

Mos. How! confusion!

Green. I scorn the abject thought. Had he a life

Hung on each hair, he dies!-If we succeed,

Mich. And hopes, as Heaven, in answer to her This very night Maria shall be thine.

prayers,

Hath reconciled her duty and affection,

You will approve her resolution

Mos. Doubtless!

Mich. And learn, by her example, to subdue Your guilty passion.

Mos. Ha, ha, ha! exquisite woman !

So! rather than not change, she'll love her husband!

But she will not persevere.

Mich. Yes, sure she will.

Mos. Have I, then, slighted her whole sighing sex,

Mich. I am a man again.

Mos. I've thought a way,

[To Michael.

That may be easy under friendship's mask,
Which to a foe suspected may be hard.
Green. Friendship! impossible.

Mos. You know him not.

You, with your ruffians, in the street shall seek
him.

I follow at some distance. They begin
(No matter how) a quarrel, and at once
Assault him with their swords.-Straight I ap-

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