« PreviousContinue »
after another, 'till she has left him as few as her ladyship or myself.
[Aside. Mil. Now you are kind, indeed: but I mean not to detain you always: I would have you shake off all slavish obedience to your master; but you may serve him still. Lucy. Serve him still!
Aye, or he'll have no opportunity of fingering his cash; and then he'll not serve
My thoughts were too much employed on my guest to observe the entertainment. [Exeunt Barn. and Mil.
Blunt. What! is all this preparation, this elegant supper, variety of wines, and music, for the entertainment of this
young fellow? Lucy. So it seems.
Blunt. How! is our mistress turn'd fool at last? She's in love with him, I suppose.
Lucy. I suppose not. But she designs to make him in love with her, if she can.
Blunt. What will she get by that? He seems under age, and can't be supposed to have much money.
Lucy. But his master has, and that's the same thing, as she'll manage it.
Blunt. I don't like this fooling with a handsome young fellow; while she's endeavouring to ensnare him, she may be caught herself.
Lucy. Nay, were she like me, that would certainly be the consequence: for, I confess, there is something in youth and innocence that moves me mightily.
Blunt. Yes; so do they move our mistress too: but it is to their destruction, and to gather plunder for herself.
Lucy. Yet, as you observed, we are sometimes caught ourselves, But that, I dare say, will never be the case with our mistress. Blunt. I wish it may prove so;
know we all depend upon her. Should she trifle away her time with a young fellow that there's nothing to be got by, we must all starve.
Lucy. There's no danger of that; for I am sure she has no view in this affair but interest.
Blunt. Well, and what hopes are there of success in that?
Lucy. The most promising that can be. 'Tis true the youth has his scruples; but she'll soon teach him to answer them, by stifling his conscience. Oh, the lad is in a hopeful way, depend upon it.
SCENE III.* Drazos and discovers BARNWELL and MILLWOOD at
supper. Entertainment of music and singing. After which they come forward.
Barn. What can I answer? All that I know is, that you are fair, and I am miserable.
Mil. We are both so, and yet the fault is in our
Burn. To ease our present anguish by plunging into guilt, is to buy a moment's pleasure with an age of pain. . Mil. I should have thought the joys of love as lasting as they are great: if ours prove otherwise, 'tis your inconstancy must make them so.
• Barn. The law of Heaven will not be reversed, and. • that requires us to govern our passions.
Mil. To give us sense of beauty and desires, and yet 6 forbid us to taste and be happy, is a cruelty to nature. • Have we passions only to torment us?
" Barn. To hear you talk, though in the cause of vice, to gaze upon your beauty, press your hand,
* I am decidedly of opinion that this scene is not fit for representation on the stage; and I was pleased to find, when this play was performed here by the Norwich Company, October the sib. 1810, that it was omitted ; but, when G. Barnwell went off with Milwood in the former ene, he repeated the lines at the end of this, I would • not-yet must 01-" &c. The scene, however, does not appear to me improper to be retained for perusal.
Yet, for a moment's guilty pleasure, shall I lose my innocence, my peace of mind, and hopes of solid happiness?
Mil. Chimeras all! ( Barn. I would not- -yet must on
Reluctant thus the merchant quits his ease, • And trusts to rocks and sands, and stormy seas; * In hopes some unknown golden coast to find, Commits himself, though doubtful, to the wind, Longs much for joys to come -yet mourns those
left behind. • Mil. Along with me, and prove No joys like woman-kind, no joys like love.
Enter BARNWELL. Barn. How strange are all things around me! Like some thief who treads forbidden ground, and fain would lurk
unseen, fearful I enter each apartment of this wellknown house. To guilty love, as if that were too little, already have I added breach of trust- A thief! Can I know myself that wretched thing, and look my honest friend and injur'd master in the face! Though hypocrisy may awhile conceal my guilt, at length it will be known, and public shame and ruin must ensue. In the mean time, what must be my
life? Ever to speak a language foreign to my heart; hourly to add to the pumber of my crimes, in order to conceal them. Sure such was the condition of the grand apostate, when first he lost his purity. Like me, disconsolate, he wander'd; and, while yet in heaven, bore all his future hell about him.
Enter TRUEMAN. True. Barnwell, oh, how I rejoice to see you safe! So will our master and his gentle daughter, who, during your absence, often enquir'd after you.
Barn. Would he were gone! his officious love will pry into the secrets of my soul.
[ Aside. True. Unless you knew the pain the whole family has felt on your account, you can't conceive how much you are belov’d. But why thus cold and silent? When my heart is full of joy for your return, why do you turn away? Why thus avoid me? What have I done? How am I alter'd since you saw me last? Or rather, what have
you done? and why are you thus chang'd? for I am still the same. Barn. What have I done, indeed?
Aside. True. Not speak!
-nor look upon me! Barn. By my face he will discover all I would condeal; methinks I already begin to hate him. [ Aside.
True. I cannot bear this usage from a friend; one whom till now I ever found so loving; whom yet I love, though this unkindness strikes at the root of friendship, and might destroy it in any breast but mine.
Barn. I am not well. [Turning to him] Sleep has been a stranger to these eyes since you beheld them last.
True. Heavy they look, indeed, and swoln with tears; - now they overflow. Rightly did my sympathising heart forebode last night, when thou wast absent, something fatal to our peace.
Barn. Your friendship engages you too far. My troubles, whate'er they are, are mine alone: you
have no interest in them, nor ought your concern for me give you a moment's pain.
True. You speak as if you knew of friendship nothing but the name. Before I saw your grief, I felt it. Since
we parted last I have slept no more than you, but 6 pensive in my chamber sat alone, and spent the tedious
night in wishes for your safety and return :' e'en now, though ignorant of the cause, your sorrow wounds me to the heart.
Barn. 'Twill not be always thus. Friendship and all engagements cease, as circumstances and occasions vary: and since you once may hate me, perhaps it might be better for us both that now you loy'd' me less.
True. Sure I but dream! Without a cause would
Barnwell use me thus? Ungenerous and ungrateful youth, farewell: I shall endeavour to follow your advice. [Going] Yet stay, perhaps I am too rash and angry, when the cause demands compassion. Some unforeseen calamity may have befallen him, too great to bear.
Burn. What part am I reduced to act! 'Tis vile and base to move his temper thus, the best of friends and
Aside. True. I am to blame; priythee, forgive me, Barnwell, Try to compose your ruffled mind; and let me know the cause that thus transports you from yourself; my friendly counsels may restore your peace.
Barn. All that is possible for man to do for man, your generous friendship may effect; but here even that's in vain.
True. Something dreadful is labouring in your breast. Oh! give it vent, and let me share your griefs; 'twill ease your pain, should it admit no cure, and make it lighter by the part I bear.*
Burn. Vain supposition! my woes increase by being observed; should the cause be known, they would exceed all bounds.
True. So well I know thy honest heart, guilt cannot harbour there.
* The following passages so very beautifully illustrate this sentiment, that I introduce them with the contidence that they will not be thought too numerous.
“ It is not the tears of our own eyes only, but of our friends also, " that do exhaust the current of our sorrows; which falling into
many streams, runs inore peaceably, and is contented with a par.
rower channel. It is an act within the power of charity, to " translate a passion out of one breast into another, and to divide a
sorrow almost out of itself; for an afilicuon, like a dimension, may " he so divided, as if not indivisible, at least to become insensible: “ Now with my friend I desire not to share or participare, but to " engross his sorrows, that by making them my own, I may the
more easily discuss them; for in mine own reason, and within mya self, I can command that, which I cannot intreat without myself, • and within the circle of another."
Sir Thomas Browne's RELIGIO MEDICI, Part 11. Sect. 5. " I think there is no man but would willingly uufold his griefs if " either shame of the cause, or distrust of his friend did not deter • kiin froin declaring them."
Owen Felltham's Resolves, Edo. by Cumming, p. 80.