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(where she'till then had held him with well-dissembled love, and false endearments,) call'd her cruel monster, devil, and told her she would be his destruction. She thought it not for her purpose to meet his rage with her rage, but affected a most passionate fit of grief, rail'd at her fate, and curs'd her wayward stars, that still her wants should force her to press him to act such deeds, as she must needs abhor as well as he. She told him necessity had no law, and love no bounds; that, therefore, he never truly lov'd, but meant, in her necessity, to forsake her. Then she kneel'd, and swore, that sivce by his refusal, he had given her cause to doubt his love, she never would see him more, unless, to prove it true, he robb’d his uncle to supply her wants, and murder'd him to keep it from discovery.
Blunt. I am astonish'd. What said he?"
* Lucy. Speechless he stood; but in his face you might + have read that various passions tore his very soul. Oft he in anguish threw his eyes towards heaven, and then
often bent their beams on her; then wept and groan'd, and beat his troubled breast : at length, with “ horror not to be express'd, he cried :— Thou cursed
fair, have I not given proofs of my love for thee? • What drew me from my youthful innocence, and
stain'd my then unspotted soul, but this love? What caus'd me to rob my worthy, gentle master, but this
detested love? What makes me now a fugitive from * his service, loathed by myself, and scorn'd by all the
world, but this very love? What fills my eyes with
tears, my soul with tortures never felt on this side • death before? Must I indeed call it love, love, love!
And why, above all, do I resolve (for, tearing his hair, he cried, I do resolve,) to kill my uncle?'
6 Blunt. Was she not moved? It makes me weep to ( hear the sad relation. "Lucy. Yes--with joy, that she had gain'd her point.
gave kim no time to cool, but urg'd him to attempt it instantly. He's now gone. If he performs it, and escapes, there's more money for her; if not, he'll never return, and then she's fairly rid of him.
6 Blunt. 'Tis time the world were rid of such a monster.
Lucy. If we don't use our endeavours to prevent the murder, we are as bad-as she. 6 Blunt. I am afraid it is too late. • Lucy. Perhaps not. Her barbarity to Barnwell makes me hate her. We have run too great a length • with her already. I did not think her or myself so wicked, as I find upon reflection we are.
Blunt. 'Tis true, we have been all too much so.' But there is something so horrid in murder, that all other crimes seem nothing when compared to that: I would not be involved in the guilt of it for all the world.
Lucy. Nor I, Heaven knows. Therefore let us clear ourselves, by doing all that is in our power to prevent it. I have just thought of a way that to me seems probable. Will not you join with me to detect this horrid design?
Blunt. With all my heart. He who knows of a murder intended to be committed, and does not discover it, in the eye of God and of the law, is a murderer.
Lucy. Let us lose no time; I'll acquaint you with the particulars as we go.
[Exeunt. SCENE IV. A Walk at some distance from a Country Seat.*
Enter BARNWELL. Barn. A dismal gloom obscures the face of day. Either the sun has slipped behind a cloud, or journeys down the west of heaven with more than common speed, to avoid the sight of what I am about to act. Since I set
* Dr. Lettsom, in his description of his very beautiful Villa of Grove Hillat Camberroell, places this Scene at that place. “ The “ village of Camberwell is three miles froin Loudon, on the south “ side of the Thames:' the gradual ascent from it to the summit of " Grove Hill, is nearly'a mile ; through a lofty and shady avenue of " trees, from which originated the name of this beautiful hill, and " which was long since celebrated in tragedy; as it was in this " Grove that George Barnwe!! is said to have murdered his uncle, " an incident which gave rise to Lillo's tragedy of George Barnwell,
or the London Merchant.” (p. 5. See also Mr. Maurice's Poem of Grove Hill, p. 5, and Note, p. 37,-where there is a view in the TOL. I.
forth on this accurs'd design, where'er I tread, methinks the solid earth trembles beneath my
feet. Murder uncle !-Yonder limpid stream, whose hoary fall 6 has made a natural cascade,' as I passed by, in doleful accents seem'd to murmur- Murder! The earth, the air, and water seem'd concern'd. My father's only brother, who, since his death, has been to me a father; who took me up an infant and an orphan, rear'd me with tenderest care, and still indulged me with most parental fondness! Yet here I stand to become his mur. derer stiffen with horror at my own impiety'Tis yet unperform’d-What if I quit my bloody purpose, and fly the place? [Going, then stops.] But whither, oh whither shall I fly? My master's once friendly doors are ever shut against me; and without money Millwood will never see me more; and she has got such firm possession of my heart, and governs there with such despotic sway, that life is not to be endur'd without her. Ay, there's the cause of all my sin and sorrow: 'tis more than love; it is the fever of the soul, and madness of desire. In vain does nature, reason, conscience, all oppose it; the impetuous passion bears down all before it, and drives me on to lust, to theft, and murder.
-Ha! in yonder shady walk I see my uncle-He's alone Now for my disguise-Plucks out a vizor.]—This is his hour of private meditation. Thus daily he prepares his soul for heaven : while IHa! no struggles, conscience
Hence, hence remorse, and every thought that's good; The storm that lust began, must end in blood.
[Puts on the vizor, draws a pistol, and exit. Grove beautifully engraved on wond by Anderson.) It is to be observed, that in the Old Ballad of George Barnwell, which professedJy gave rise to the play, the Uncle lived near Ludloro, in Shropshire; bui Lillo has made his Scene at London, and an adjacent village.
In The Globe newspaper for Saturday, Nov, 17, 1810; "it was, stated, tbat - The Scene of the Tragedy of George Barowell has & lately been discovered in Shropshire, a sbort mile from Ludlow, 66 where there is a plot of land called Barowell's Green, so named s from his having waited there to rob bis Uncle as he returned from
Leominster Fair. This, it appears, corresponds with the story in 66 the Old Ballad from which the Tragedy was taken."
This is from a memorandum given me by a Friend.
SCENE V.* A close walk in a Wood.
Enter Old BARNWELL. Old Barn. What I have been reading leads me to me. ditate on death.-I will indulge the thought. The wise man prepares himself for death, by making it familiar to his mind. When strong reflections hold the mirror near, and the living in the dead behold their future selves, how does each inordinate passion and desire cease, or sicken at the view! The mind scarce moves; the blood, curdling and chill'd, creeps slowly through the veins: fix'd, still, and motionless we stand, so like the solemn object *of our thoughts, we are almost' at present what we must be hereafter; till curiosity awakes the soul, and sets it on enquiry.
Enter GEORGE BÁRNWELI at a distance. Oh, death! thou strange, mysterious power, seen every day, yet never understood but by the incommunicative dead, what art thou? The extensive mind of man, that with a thought circles the earth’s vast globe, sinks to the centre, or ascends above the stars ---that worlds exotic finds, or thinks it finds,-thy thick clouds attempts to pass in vain; lost and bewilder'd in the horrid gloom, defeated, she returns more doubtful than before, of nothing certain but of labour lost. All that is needful for man to know, has, no doubt, been reveal'd to him. To discover more particularly the nature of that state from which he is never to return, is perhaps beyond the powers of his mind. [During this speech, G. Barnwell sometimes pre
sents the pistol, and draws it back again. G. Barn. Oh! 'tis impossible!
[Throwing down the pistol. [Old B. starts, attempts to draw his sword.
* The Editor was for some time of opinion that this scene should Dot be exhibited on the stage; but on seeiog the play performed last year, (see p. 197, Note.) he thought he saw reason to alter his opinion. The stage being darkened throws the whole business very much into obscurity, and the subsequent remorse of G. B. and his "untimely end form an antidote to tbe otherwise evil exhibition.
Old B. A man so near me! arm'd and mask'd
[Plucks a poniard from his bosom, and stabs him. Old B. Oh! I am slain. All-gracious Heaven, regard
of thy dying servant; bless with thy choicest blessings my dearest nephew; forgive my murderer, * and take my fleeting soul to endless mercy. [G. Barnzeell throws off his mask, runs to him, and
kneeling by him, ruises and chafes him. G. Burn. Expiring saint! Oh, murder'd, martyr'd uncle! lift up your dying eyes, and view your nephew in
-Oh, do not look so tenderly upon me!-Let indignation lighten from your eyes, and blast me ere you die.
- Heaven! he weeps, in pity for my woes. Tears, tears, for blood !The murder'd, in the agonies of death, weeps for his murderer. Oh, speak your pious purpose; pronounce my pardon then, and take me with you He would, but cannot- --Oh, why, with such fond affection do you press my murdering hand?
What, will you kiss me? [Kisses him.' Old B. sighs and dies.]-Life, that hover'd on his lips but till he had seal'd my pardon, in that sigh expir’d.—He's gone for ever; 6 and, oh! 'I followupon his uncle's dead body.]'Do I still breathe, and taint with my infectious breath the wholesome air? Let Heaven from his high throne, in justice or in mercy now look down on that dear murder'd saint, and me the murderer, and if his vengeance spares, let pity strike and end my wretched being.“ -Murder! the worst of crimes, and parricide the worst of murders, and this the worst of parricides.
Oh, may it ever stand alone accurst,
* Shakespeare makes King Henry the VIth.(Pt. III. A. V. S.VL.) die with the same christian prayer for his murderer,
O God! forgive my sins, and pardon thee!