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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."
O did Maria bless me with her smiles,
There is a power in love, subdues to itself
Whom with inquiring eyes some stranger views,
I have a soul above the unnatural tie,
Turn not your eyes towards earth to view this
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,
That pierced my ears, and cried, ‘Alicia, hold!'
And form such sounds? If these heart-racking thoughts
Precede the horrid act, what must ensue?
[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!
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
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
I came prepared to murder. Curst Alicia!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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,
Green. Well, Arden is at last dispatched?
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.
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,
The pigmy-hearted wretch, though long ago
Green. I wonder at his absence, as he knew Of this attempt, and promised to be here.
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
Green. Think on your love, your interest.
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
[Exeunt Mich. Master, thy constant love and daily bounty
Deserve more grateful offices from Michael. [Exit weeping.
A room in ARDEN's house.
Alic. When vice has spread her poison through the soul,
How lifeless, slow, confused, and insincere
In me, 'twas foolish guilt and disobedience;
Mos. And dost thou glory in thy perjuries?
Till thy first falsehood; call it not obedience! Thy marriage with this Arden made me desperate;
Think on the transports of our love renewed,
Alic. Hide the rest, lest listening winds should hear,
And publish to the world our shameful tale!
Mos. Shall our loves wither in their early bloom?
Alic. Their harvest else will be to both our
Hast thou not made a monster of me, Mosby?
When unperceived I stole on Arden's sleep,
What wonder, then, Heaven should refuse its And chilly sweats stood shivering on his brow.
To thoughts that only blossom for a time, Look blooming to the eye, but yield no fruit?
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
Thy breath hath kindled here, till it consume us.
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-
I had no right to make, or you to ask?
Relentless murder, at a sight so sad,
Mos. She's lost,
Lay Arden gently in a peaceful grave,
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
Alic. Then why this struggle?
Not loved! O had my love been justly placed,
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
My promised faith!
Mos. First, let the world dissolve.
Alic. There is no joy, nor peace for you, or
All our engagements cannot but be fatal.
Mos. The time may come, when you'll have
Till then, farewell.-[Aside.] Now, fortune, do
I should have banished him my sight for ever.
And each hour bends him lower towards his grave.
Ard. I know thy friendship, and perceive its
I'll bear my wrongs, for sure I have been wronged.
Frank. To cast away, and on suspicion only,
The clock has strucken ten.
Frank. I thought it not so much.
Ard. Why, thus it is:
Our happy hours are few, and fly so swift,
Frank. Come, let us to rest. Impartial as the
Ard. True, for time brings death,
Is it life chequered with the sleep of death?
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
[Gives Franklin a candle.
[Exit Franklin. Michael attends his master
And guard his life with hazard of my own,
I've left the doors unbarred. Hark! 'twas the latch, 3 P
Ard. To bed,
Enter ARDEN and FRANKLIN, undressed at se- And, as you prize my favour, be more careful.
[Exit Michael. Frank. 'Tis very cold. Once more, my friendArd. Good night.
SCENE IV.-Changes to the street before Arden's
Enter BLACK WILL, and SHAKEBAG.
Ard. I'll go and see myself.
Frank. You made a fearful noise.
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!
That Arden rose, and shut the doors himself,
Yet, but for Green, these bloody rogues had kill
We must desist-Franklin and sweet Maria
Have promised, at Alicia's own request,
Mos. Such ever be the employ
Of him I hate!
Mich. The mourning fair, all changed,
Green. How strange a providence attends this
'Tis vain to strive with Heaven.-Let's give it
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.
Hath reconciled her duty and affection,
You will approve her resolution
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,
That may be easy under friendship's mask,
Mos. You know him not.
You, with your ruffians, in the street shall seek
I follow at some distance. They begin