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Char. They flow in pity for you.
Mrs. Bev. All may be well yet. When he has nothing to lose, I shall fetter him in these arms again; and then what is it to be poor?
Char. Cure him of but this destructive passion, and my uncle's death may retrieve all yet.
Mrs. Bev. Ay, Charlotte, could we cure him. But the disease of play admits no cure but poverty; and the loss of another fortune would but increase his shame and his affliction. Will Mr. Lewson call this morning?
Char. Ile said so last night. He gave me hints, too, that he had suspicions of our friend Stukely.
Mrs. Bev. Not of treachery to my husband? That he loves play, I know; but surely he's honest.
Char. He would fain be thought so.; therefore I doubt him. Honesty needs no pains to set itself off.
Enter Lucy. Mrs. Bev. What now, Lucy?
Lucy. Your old steward, madam. I had not the heart to deny him admittance, the good old man begg'd so hard for't.
[Exit Lucy Enter JARVIS. Mrs. Bev. Is this well, Jarvis? I desired you to avoid
Jar. Did you, madam? I am an old man, and had forgot. Perhaps, too, you forbad my tears: but I am old, madam, and age will be forgetful. Mrs. Bev. The faithful creature! how he moves me!
[7o Char. Char. Not to have seen him had been cruelty.
Jar. I have forgot these apartments, too. I remember none such in my young master's house; and yet I have lived in it these five-and-twenty years. His good father would not have dismiss'd me. Mrs. Bev. He had no reason,
Jarvis. Jar. I was faithful to himn while he lived, and when he died, he bequeath'd me to his son. I have been faithful to him, too.
Mrs. Bev. I know it, I know it, Jarvis.
Jar. I am an old man, madam, and have not a long time to live. I ask'd but to have died with him, and he dismiss'd me.
Mrs. Bev. Pr’ythee no more of this ! 'twas his poverty that dismiss'd
you. Jar. Is he indeed so poor, then?-Oh! he was the joy of my
old heart But must his creditors have all ? And have they sold his house, too? his father built it when he was but a prating boy. The times that I have carried him in these arms! And Jarvis, says he, when a beggar has asked charity of me, why should people be poor? You shan't be poor, Jarvis; if I was a king, nobody should be poor. Yet he is poor. And then he was so brave!-O he was a brave little boy! and yet so merciful, he'd not have kill'd the gnat that stung him.
Mrs. Bev. Speak to him, Charlotte, for I cannot. 6 Char. When I have wiped iny eyes.'
Jar. I have a little money, madam; it might have been more, but I have lov'd the poor. All that I have is yours. *
* The character of Jarvis, and the circumstance of his offering to Mrs. Beverley the money which he had saved in the service of Beverley and his father for their assistance in their distresses, will perhaps remind the reader of the same affectionate generosity in Adam, in As You Like It, to Orlando. But the addition of Jarvis, “ it might have been inore, but I have lov'd the poor," is an exquisite trait. I shall insert the passage from As You Like It, as being too appropriate and valuable to be omitted.
Adam. But do not so: I have tive hundred crowns,
Mrs. Bev. No, Jarvis, we have enough yet. I thank you, though, and will deserve your goodness.
Jar. But shall I see my master? and will he let me attend him in his distresses? I'll be no expence to him; and 'twill kill me to be refused. Where is he, madam?
Mrs. Bev. Not at home, Jarvis. You shall see him another time.
Char. To-morrow, or the next day- Jarvis! What a change is here!
Jar. A change indeed, madam! my old heart akes at it. And yet, methinks—But here's somebody coming.
Enter Lucy with STUKELY. Lucy. Mr. Stukely, madam.
[Exit. Stu. Good morning to you, ladies. Mr. Jarvis, your servant. Where's my friend, madam? [To Mrs. Bev.
Mrs. Bev. I should have ask'd that question of you. Have not you seen him to-day?
Stu. No, madam.
Orl. O good old man; how well in thee appears
Adam. Master, go on; and I will follow thee,
[ACT II. SCENE III.
Stu. At the beginning of the evening; but not since. Where can he have staid?
Char. You call yourself his friend, sir; why do you encourage him in this madness of gaming?
Stu. You have ask'd me that question before, madam; and I told you my concern was that I could not save him. Mr. Beverley is a man, madam; and if the most friendly entreaties have no effect upon him, I have no other means. My purse has been his, even to the injury of my fortune. If that has been encouragement, I deserve censure; but I meant it to retrieve him.
Mrs. Bev. I don't doubt it, sir; and I thank you. But where did you leave him last night?
Stu. At Wilson's, madam, if I ought to tell; in company I did not like. Possibly he may be there still. Mr. Jarvis knows the house, I believe. Jar. Shall I
madam? Mrs. Bev. No, he may take it ill. Char. Ile may go as from himself.
Stu. And, if he pleases, madam, without naming me. I am faulty myself, and should conceal the errors of a friend. But I can refuse nothing here.
[Bowing to the Ladies. Jur. I would fain see him, methinks.
Mrs. Bev. Do so, then. But take care how you upbraid him. I have never upbraided him. Jar. Would I could bring him comfort.
[Exit Jarvis. Stu. Don't be too much alarm’d, madam. All men have their errors, and their times of seeing them. Perhaps my friend's time is not come yet. But he has an uncle; and old men don't live for ever. You should look forward, madam; we are taught how to value a second fortune by the loss of a first.
(Knocking at the door. Mrs. Bev. Ilark !-No--that knocking was too rude for Mr. Leverley. Pray heaven he be well!
Stu. Never doubt it, madam. You shall be well too Every thing shall be well.
[Knocking again. Mrs. Bev. The knocking is a little too loud tho'- Who waits there? Will none of you answer?- None of you, did I say?--Alas! what was I thinking of! I had forgot myself? Char. I'll go sister- -But don't be alarm'd so.
[Erit. Stu. What extraordinary accident have you to fear, madam?
Mrs. Bev. I beg your pardon; but 'tis ever thus with me in Mr. Beverley's absence. No one knocks at the door, but I fancy it is a messenger of ill-news.
Stu. You are too fearful, madam; 'twas but one night of absence; and if ill thoughts intrude (as love is always doubtful) think of your worth and beauty, and drive them from your breast.
Mrs. Bev. What thoughts? I have no thoughts that wrong my
husband. Stu. Such thoughts, indeed, would wrong him. The world is full of slander; and every wretch that knows himself unjust, charges his neighbour with like passions, and by the general frailty hides his own-If you are wise, and would be happy, turn a deaf ear to such reports.'Tis ruin to believe them.
Mrs. Bev. Ay, worse than ruin. 'Twould be to sin against conviction. Why was it mention’d?
Stu. To guard you against rumour. The sport of half mankind is mischief; and for a single error they make men devils. If their tales reach you, disbelieve them.
Mrs. Bev. What tales? by whom? why told? I have heard nothing—or if I had, with all his errors, my Beverley's firm faith admits no doubt-It is my safety, my seat of rest and joy, while the storm threatens round
I'll not forsake it. [Stukely sighs and looks down.] Why turn you, sir, away? and why that sigh?
Stu. I was attentive, madam; and sighs will come we know not why. Perhaps I have been too busy-If it should seem so, impute my zeal to friendship, that meant to guard you against evil tongues. Your Beverley is wrong'd, slander'd most vilely—My life upon his truth.
Mrs. Bev. And mine too. Who is't that doubts it? But no matter- I am prepar’d, sir-Yet why this