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[Exit Keeper. Barn. Must you leave me? Death would soon have parted us for ever.
True. Oh, my Barnwell! there is yet another task behind. Again your heart must bleed for others' woes.
Barn. To meet and part with you I thought was all I had to do on earth. What is there more for me to do or suffer?
True. I dread to tell thee, yet it must be known! Maria
Barn. Our master's fair and virtuous daughter?
Barn. No misfortune, I hope, has reach'd that maid! Preserve her, Heaven, from every ill, to shew mankind that goodness is thy care.
True. Thy, thy misfortunes, my unhappy friend, have reached her. Whatever you and I have felt, and more, if possible, she feels for you.
Barn. I know he doth abhor a lie, and would not trifle with his dying friend. This is indeed the bitterness of death.
[Aside. True. You must remember (for we all observ'd it) for sometime past, a heavy melancholy weigh'd her down. Disconsolate she seem'd, and pind and languish'd from a cause unknown; till hearing of your dreadful fate, the long-stifled flame blaz'd out; she wept, and wrung her hands, and tore her hair,' and in the transport of her grief discovered her own lost state, while she lamented yours.
Barn. • Will all the pain I feel restore thy ease; lovely unhappy maid! [Weeping.'] Why did you not let me die, and never know it?
True. It was impossible. She makes no secret of her passion for you; she is determin’d to see you ere you die, and waits for me to introduce her. Exit Trueman.
Barn. Vain, busy thoughts, be still! What avails it to think on what I might have been! I now am---what I bare made myself..
Enter TRUEMAN and MANIA. True. Madam, reluctant I lead you to this dismal
This is the seat of misery and guilt. Here awful justice reserves her public victims. This is the entrance to a shameful death.
Mur. To this sad place then, no improper guest, the disconsolate Maria brings her sorrows, and sees the subject and the cause of all this world of woe. Silent and motionless he stands, as if his soul had quitted her abode, and the lifeless form was alone left behind, yet that so perfect, that beauty and death, ever at enmity, now seem united there.'
Barn " I groan, but murmur not.' Just Heaven! I am thy own, do with me what is best.
Mar. Why are your streaming eyes still fix'd below, as though thou'dst give the greedy earth thy sorrows, and rob me of my due? Were happiness within your power, you should bestow it where you pleased; but in your misery I must and will partake.
Barn. Oh, say not so, but fly, abhor, and leave me to my
fate! Consider what you are, - fortune, and how bright your fame. Have pity on your youth, your beauty, and your virtue; for which so many
peers have sighed in vain.' Bless with your charms some honourable lord,
beauty, and by your example improve the English
court, that justly claims such merit:' so shall I quickly be to you—as though I had never been.
Mar. When I forget you, I must be so indeed. Let women like Millwood, if there be more such women, smile in prosperity, and in adversity forsake. It is the part of virtue to repair, or to partake, the ruin such have made.
True. Lovely, ill-fated maid! “ Was there ever such generous distress before? How must this pierce his grateful heart, and aggravate his woes!'
Barn. Ere I knew guilt or shame, when fortune smiled, and when my youthful hopes were at the highest; if then to have rais'd my thoughts to you, had been presumption in me never to have been pardon'd, think how much beneath yourself you condescend to regard me now!
6 how vast your
( adorn with your
Mar. Let her blush, who proffering love, invades the freedom of your sex's choice, and meanly sues in + hopes of a return. Your inevitable fate hath rendered
hope impossible as vain. Then why should I fear to avow a passion so just, and so disinterested?
True. If any should take occasion from Millwood's O crimes to libel the best and fairest part of the creation, • here let them see their error. The most distant hopes 6 of such a tender passion from so bright a maid, might 6 add to the happiness of the most happy, and make the
greatest proud: yet here 'tis lavish'd in vain. Though by the rich present the generous donor is undone, he on whom it is bestowed receives no benefit.
Barn. So the aromatic spices of the east, which all the living covet and esteem, are with unavailing kindness wasted on the dead.'
Mar. Yes, fruitless is my love, and unavailing all my sighs and tears. Can they save thee from approaching death?-from such a death ?- -Oh, sorrow insupportable !His dreadful catastrophe virtue herself abhors. 6. To give a holiday to suburb slaves, and passing enter6 tain
the savage herd, who elbowing each other for a sight, pursue and press upon him like his own con6 demnation ! -Can I endure this?
True. Grief has much impaired her spirits.' Barn. Preserve her, Heaven, and restore her peace, nor let her death be added to my crimes. [Bell tolls. I am summoned to my end.
Enter KEEPER. Keep. Sir, the officers attend you. Millwood is al. Teady summon'd.
Barn. Tell them I am ready. And now, my friend, farewell. [Embracing] Support and comfort, the best you can, this mourning fair.-No more Forget not to pray for me. [Turning to Maria] Would you, bright excellence, permit me the honour of a chaste embrace, the last happiness this world could give were mine. [She inclines towards him, they embrace.] Exalted goodness! Oh, turn your eyes from earth and me te Heaven, where virtue, like yours, is ever heard! Pray for the peace of my departing soul. Early my race of wickedness began, and soon I reach'd tite summit.
Ere nature had finished her work, and stamped me
man, just at the time when others begin to stray, my 6 course is finish’d. Though short my span of life, and • few my days: yet count my crimes for years, and I
have lived whole ages. Thus justice, in compassion to mankind, cuts off a wretch like me, by one such example to secure thousands from future ruin.
6 Justice and mercy are in Heaven the same: its utmost severity is mercy to the whole: thereby to cure man's folly and presumption, which else would render even infinite mercy vain and ineffectual. If any youth like you in future times Shall mourn my fate, tho' he abhors my crimes; Or tender maid, like you, my tale shall hear, And to my sorrows give a pitying tear; To each such melting eye and throbbing heart, Would gracious Heaven this benefit impart, Never to know my guilt, nor feel my pain, Then you must own you ought not to complain, Since you nor weep, nor shall I die in vain.
[Exeunt Barnwell and Officers one way, Maria
and Trueman another.
( SCENE III. * The place of Execution. The Gallows and Ladder
at the farther end of the stage. A crowd of specta6 tors. Blunt and Lucy. * Lucy. Heavens! what a throng! « Blunt. How terrible is death when thus prepar'd!
Lucy. Support them, Heaven! Thou only canst support them! all other help.is vain.
Offi. [Within] Make way there; make way, and give the prisoners room.
Lucy. They are here: observe them well. How • humble and compos'd young Barnwell seems! but
Millwood looks wild, ruffled with passion, confounded 6 and amaz'd.
· Enter BARXWELL, MILLwood, Oficers and
6 Executioners. • Barn. See, Millwood, see, our journey's at an end!
Life, like a tale that's told,* is passed away. That 6 short, but dark and unknown passage, death, is all the space between us and endless joys, or woes eternal. 6 Mil. Is this the end of all my flattering hopes? Were youth and beauty given me for a curse, and wisdom only to ensure my ruin? • Barn. Yet ere we pass the dreadful gulph of death, yet ere you're plung'd in everlasting woe --Oh, bend your stubborn knees, and harder heart, humbly to • deprecate the wrath divine! Who knows, but Heaven, (in your dying moments, may bestow that grace and mercy which your life despis'd?
Mil. Why name you mercy to a wretch like me? Mercy is beyond my hope, almost beyond my wish. I cann't repent, nor ask to be forgiven.
Barn. Oh, think what 'tis to be for ever, ever miserable, nor with vain pride oppose a power that is able to destroy you! 6 Mil. That will destroy me; I feel it will. A deluge of wrath is pouring on my soul. Chains, darkness, wheels, racks, sharp-sting'd scorpions, molten lead, and seas of sulphur, are light to what I feel. “ Barn. Oh, add not to your vast account despair; a sin more injurious to Heaven, than all you ’ve yet 6 committed.
+6 Mil. Oh, I have sinn'd beyond the reach of mercy! • Barn. Oh, say not so; 'tis blasphemy to think it. As yon bright roof is higher than the earth, so, and 6 much more, does Heaven's goodness pass our appre
hension. Oh, what created being shall presume to 6 circumscribe the mercy from on high.
*“ For when thou art angry, all our days are gone: we bring our years to an end as it were a tale that is cold." Psalm xc. 9.
6. Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
Macbeth. A. V. S. ¥.