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Frank. Well, in what temper did you find

Mar. Never was anguish, never grief, like hers:
She eats, nor sleeps. Her lovely downcast eyes,
That used to gladden each beholder's heart,
Now wash the flinty bosom of the earth.
Her troubled breast heaves with incessant sighs,
Which drink the purple streams of life, and blast
Her bloom, as storms the blossoms of the spring.
But sure her prayers must quickly reach high

Relenting Arden kindly soothe her sorrows,
And her lost peace restore.

Frank. Their mutual peace, Maria!
For his can ne'er be found but in Alicia.
Ashamed to view the face of man or day,
As Mosby's name was written on his brow,
He cheerless wanders; seeks the darkest gloom,
To hide his drooping head, and grieves alone.
With a full heart, swoln eyes, and faltering tongue,
He sometimes, seeking to beguile his grief,
Begins a mournful tale: But straight a thought
Of his imagined wrongs, crossing his memory,
Ends his sad story, ere the half be told.
O may our pains, with wished success, be crowned!
Enter ARDEN.

Ard. No, Franklin, no; your friendly cares are vain :

Were I but certain she had wronged my bed,
I then might hate her, and shake off my woes;
But thus perplexed, can never taste of comfort!
Frank. O Jealousy! thou bane of social joys!
Oh! she's a monster, made of contradictions!
Let truth, in all her native charms, appear,
And, with the voice of harmony itself,
Plead the just cause of innocence traduced;
Deaf as the adder, blind as upstart greatness,
She sees nor hears! And yet let Slander whisper,
Or evil-eyed Suspicion look oblique,

Rumour has fewer tongues than she has ears;
And Argus's hundred eyes are dim and slow,
To piercing Jealousy's!

Ard. No more, no more:

I know its plagues; but where's the remedy?
Mar. In your Alicia.

Frank. She shall heal these wounds.

Ard. She's my disease, and can she be my cure? My friends should rather teach me to abhor her, To tear her image from my bleeding heart!

Mar. We leave that hateful office to the fiends. Frank. If you e'er loved, you'll not refuse to see her:

You promised that.

Ard. Did I?

Frank. Indeed you did.

Ard. Well, then, some other time.
Frank. No; see her now.

Ard. Franklin, I know my heart, and dare not see her.

I have a husband's honour to maintain,
I fear the lover's weakness may betray.
Let me not do what honour must condemn,
And friendship blush to hear.

Frank. That Arden never will.

Mar. Did you but know her grief———
Ard. Am I the cause?

Have I, just Heaven! have I e'er injured her?
Yet I'm the coward. O preposterous fear!
See where she comes! Armed with my numer-

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ALICIA enters, not seeing ARDEN. Alic. How shall I bear my Arden's just reproaches!

Or can a reconcilement long continue,
That's founded on deceit? Can I avow
My secret guilt!-No; at so mean a thought
Abandoned infamy herself would blush.
Nay, could I live with public loss of honour,
Arden would die to see Alicia scorned.
He's here! earth open! hide me from his sight!
Ard. Guilt chains her tongue! Lo! silent,

With tearful eyes, and trembling limbs, she stands.
Alic. Fain would I kiss his footsteps; but that


Where indignation seems to strive with grief,
Forbids me to approach him.

Ard. Who would think,
That anguish were not real?
Alic. I'm rooted here!

Ard. Those tears, methinks, even if her guilt were certain,

Might wash away her pains.

Alic. Support me, Heaven!

Ard. Curse on the abject thought! I shall relapse To simple dotage. She steals on my heart, She conquers with her eyes. If I but hear her voice,

Nor earth, nor Heaven, can save me from her snares!

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O! let me fly-if I have yet the power. Alic. O Arden! do not, do not leave me thus! [Kneels, and holds him.

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Thou treasure of more worth than mines of gold!
I will not doubt my happiness. Thou art,
Thou wilt be mine, ever, and only mine.

Alic. I am, I will. I ne'er knew joy till now.
Ard. This is our truest, happiest, nuptial day.
To-night, thou knowest, according to my custom,
Our yearly fair returning with St Valentine,
I treat my friends. I go to countenance
Their honest mirth, and cheer them with my

'Till happy night, farewell! My best Alicia,
How will our friends rejoice, our foes repine,
To see us thus!

Alic. Thus ever may they see us!
The wandering fires, that have so long misled me,
Are now extinguished, and my heart is Arden's.
The flowery path of innocence and peace
Shines bright before, and I shall stray no longer.
Whence then these sighs, and why these floods of

Sighs are the language of a broken heart,
And tears the tribute each enlightened eye
Pays, and must pay, for vice and folly past.
And yet the painfullest virtue hath its pleasure:
Though dangers rise, yet, peace restored within,
My soul collected shall undaunted meet them.
Though trouble, grief, and death, the lot of all,
On good and bad without distinction fall,
The soul, which conscious innocence sustains,
Supports with ease these temporary pains;
But stung with guilt, and loaded with despair,
Becomes itself a burden none can bear.


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Mos. Forbid it, heaven! quick, let me fly for help.

Ard. With sharp reflection: Mosby, I can't bear To be so far obliged to one I've wronged.

Mos. Who would not venture life to save a friend?

Ard. From you I've not deserved that tender


Mos. No more of that-would I were worthy

of it!

Ard. I own my heart, by boiling passions torn, Forgets its gentleness-yet is ever open To melting gratitude. O say what price Can buy your friendship?

Mos. Only think me yours.

Ard. Easy, indeed. I am too much obliged. Why recked not your good sword its justice on me, When, mad with jealous rage, in my own house, I urged you to my ruin?

Mos. I loved you then
With the same warmth as now.

Ard. What's here! you bleed.

Let me bind up your wound.

Mos. A trifle, sir

Ard. Your friendship makes it so. See, Franklin, see


The man I treated as a coward, bleeding,
Wretch that I am! for his defence of me.
Look to your wound. And, Mosby, let us hope
You'll sup with me. There will be honest Brad-
And Franklin here, and—

Mos. Sir, I will not fail.
Frank. I shall not come.

Ard. Nay, Franklin, that's unkind.

Frank. Nay, urge me not. I have my reasons. Mos. Avoids my company! So much the better. His may not be so proper. [Aside.] An hour hence,

If you are not engaged, we'll meet at Fowl's.

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MOSBY, having watched FRANKLIN out, re-enters with GREEN.

Mos. The surly friend has left him-As I wished

You see how eagerly the foolish fowl
Flies headlong to our snare: now to inclose him.
At eight the guests are bidden to his banquet,
And only Michael, of his numerous train,
Keeps home with his Alicia. He'll secure
The keys of all the doors, and let you in
With my two trusty bloodhounds. Alicia seems
Averse at present.

Green. She'll not dare betray us.

Mos. Not when the deed is done. We know

too much.

She'll be our prisoner, and shall be observed.
Towards evening, then, upon a slight pretence
To pass an hour at draughts, (a game he loves)
I'll draw this husband home. You'll be prepared
In the inner room, (Michael will shew it you)
'Till, at a signal given, you all rush forth,
And strangle him.

Green. Good-'tis a death, that leaves
No bloody character to mark the place.

Mos. However, come all provided with your daggers.

Do you seek Michael, I'll instruct the rest.
Green. What shall the signal be?
Mos. These words in the game,

I take you now.

Green. Arden! thou'rt taken now indeed. Mos. His body, thrown behind the abbey-wall, Shall be descried by the early passenger, Returning from the fair. My friend, thy hand; Shakes it? Be firm, and our united strength With ease shall cast dead Arden to the earth.

Green. Thanks to his foolish tenderness of soul! Mos. True; he, who trusts an old inveterate foe, Bares his own breast, and courts the fatal blow.



SCENE I.-Arden's House.

ALICIA alone.

What have I heard! Is this the house of Arden!
O! that the power, which has so often saved him,
Would send his guardian angel to him now,
To whisper in his ear his present danger!
Fly, Arden, fly! avoid this fatal roof,
Where murder lurks, and certain death awaits

Wander no matter where-Turn but from

Thou canst not miss thy way-The house is

I am suspected-Michael guards the door-
And even Maria's absent. Bloody Mosby,
These are the fruits of thy detested lust.

The appointed signal to his neighbour's wife!
B. Will. Which is the place, where we're to
be concealed?

Green. This inner room.

B. Will. 'Tis well. The word is, Now I take you. [Knocking louder than before. Green. Ay, there's authority. That speaks the


He seems in haste: Twere pity he should wait,
Now we're so well prepared for his reception.
[Green, Black Will, and Shakebag, go
into the inner room.

Alic. Now, whither are they gone? The door's

I hear the sound of feet. Should it be Arden,
And Mosby with him—I can't bear the doubt,
Nor would I be resolved. Be hushed, my fears!

But hark! the fiends approach. Green had hu- 'Tis Mosby, and alone. [Enter Mosby.] Šir, hear manity.



Could I prevail on him! O sir

[Talks apart with Green. B. Will. What a fair house! rich furniture! what piles of massy plate! And then yon iron chest! Good plunder, comrade.

Shake. And madam Arden there-A prize worth them all to me.

B. Will. And shall that fawning, white-livered coward, Mosby, enjoy all these?

Shake. No doubt he would, were we the fools he thinks us.

Green. Had he as many lives as drops of blood, I'd have them all.

Alic. But for one single night

[To Alicia.

Green. I'd not defer his fate a single hour,
Though I were sure myself to die the next.
So, peace, irresolute woman-and be thankful
For thy own life.

Alic. O mercy, mercy!

Green. Yes,

Such mercy as the nursing lioness,

When drained of moisture by her eager young,
Shews to the prey that first encounters her.

B. Will. Who talks of mercy, when I am here?
Green. She would prevent us; but our steady


me, Mosby.

Mos. Madam, is this a time?

Alic. I will be heard,

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[She sighs.

Make me not sad, Alicia: For my sake
Let discontent be banished from your brow,
And welcome Arden's friends with laughing eyes.
Amongst the first let Mosby be enrolled-
Alic. The villain!

Ard. Nay, I am too well convinced
Of Mosby's friendship, and Alicia's love,
Ever to wrong them more by weak suspicions.
I've been indeed to blame, but I will make thee
[Knocking gently at the gate. A large amends, Alicia. Look upon him,
As on the man, that gave your husband life.

Laughs at her coward arts.

Why, Michael!

Mich. Sir!

Green. Thou bloodless coward, what dost
tremble at ?

Dost thou not hear a knocking at the gate?
[Exit Michael.
Mosby, no doubt. How like a sly adulterer,
Who steals at midnight, and with caution gives

Alic. Would take my husband's life !—I'll tell
him all,

And cast this load of horror from my soul:
Yet, 'tis a dreadful hazard. Both must die.
A fearful thought! Franklin may come, or Brad-
O let me not precipitate his fate! [Aside.

Mos. I see my presence is offensive there.

[Going. Ard. Alicia! No-she has no will but mine. Mos. It is not fit she should: and yet-perhaps

Twere better, sir-Permit me to retire.

Ard. No more Our friendship,publicly avowed, Will clear her injured virtue to the world. Mos. Something there is in that-

Ard. It is a debt

I owe to both your fames, and pay it freely.
Mos. For her sake, then; not for my own.
Alic. [Aside.] O damned dissembler!

Ard. Come, take your seat; this shall not save

your money.

Bring us the tables, Michael. [They sit and play. Alic. [Aside.] O just Heaven!

Wilt thou not interpose?-How dread this pause!
When thousand terrors crowd the narrow space.
Ard. Your thoughts are absent, Mosby.
B. Will. Blood! why don't Mosby give the

Mich. Give back, the game's against him.
Alic. Fly, Franklin! fly, to save thy Arden's

Murder herself, that chases him in view,
Beholding me, starts back, and, for a moment,
Suspends her thirst of blood.

Ard. Come, give it up; I told you I should




Mos. No, I see an advantage; move again.
Ard. There.

Mos. Now I take you.

[Black Will throws a scarf over Arden's head, in order to strangle him; but Arden disengages himself, wrests a dagger from Shakebag, and stands on his defence, till Mosby getting behind, and seizing his arm, the rest assassinate him.]

Alic. O Power omnipotent! make strong his arm!

Give him to conquer! Ha! my prayers are curses, And draw down vengeance where they meant a blessing.

Ard. Inhospitable villain!
Alic. O! he dies!

Ard. O hold your bloody-Mosby too! Nay, then,


I yield me to my fate. Is this, Alicia,
This the return for my unequalled love?
Alic. Or death, or madness, would be mercies

Therefore beyond my hopes.

Ard. O Mosby, Michael, Green! Why have you drawn my blood upon your souls? Mos. Behold her there, to whom I was betrothed,

And ask no further.

Green. Think on thy abbey-lands

From injured Green.

Ard. You now are your own judges,

But we shall meet again, where right and truth

Who who are these? But I forgive you all. Thy hand, Alicia.

Alic. I'll not give it thee.

Ard. O wretched woman! have they killed thee, too?

A deadly paleness, agony, and horror,
On thy sad visage sit. My soul hangs on thee,
And, though departing-just departing-loves

Is loth to leave, unreconciled to thee,
This useless mangled tenement of clay.
Dismiss her pleased, and say thou'rt innocent.
Alic. All hell contains not such a guilty wretch.
Ard. Then welcome death! though in the
shape of murder.

How have I doated to idolatry!
Vain, foolish wretch, and thoughtless of hereafter,
Nor hoped, nor wished a heaven beyond her love.
Now, unprepared, I perish by her hate.

Alic. Though blacker, and more guilty, than the fiends,

My soul is white from this accursed deed.
O Arden! hear me-

Ard. Full of doubts, I come,

O thou Supreme, to seek thy awful presence.
My soul is on the wing. I own thy justice.
Prevent me with thy mercy.


Alic. Turn not from me: Behold me, pity me, survey my sorrows! I, who despised the duty of a wife, Will be thy slave. Spit on me, spurn me, sir, I'll love thee still. O couldst thou court my

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