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that she values are truth and innocence—Those will adora, her ever; and for the rest, she wore them for a husband's pride, and to his wants will give them. Alas! you know her not. Where shall we meet?
Stu. No matter. I have chang'd my mind. Leave me to a prison: 'tis the reward of friendship.
Bev. Leave you to a prison! No! fallen as you see me, I am not that wretch. Nor would I change this heart o'ercharg'd as 'tis with folly and misfortune, for one most prudent and most happy, if callous to a friend's distresses.
Stu. You are too warm.
Bev. In such a cause, not to be warm is to be frozen. Farewell. I'll meet you at your lodgings.
Stu. Reflect a little. The jewels may be lost. Better not hazard them-I was too pressing.
Bev. And I ungrateful. Reflection takes up time. I have no leisure for't. Within an hour expect me.
[Exit. Stu. The thoughtless, shallow prodigal! We shall have sport at night, then-But hold— The jewels are not ours yet-The lady may refuse them— The husband may relent, toom 'Tis more than probable-I'll write a note to Beverley, and the contents shall spur him to demand them—But am I grown this rogue thro' avarice? No; I have warmer motives, love and revenge-Ruin the husband, and the wife's virtue may be bid for.
Enter BATES. Look to your men, Bates; there's money stirring. We meet to-night upon this spot. Hasten and tell them so. Beverley calls upon me at my lodgings, and we return together. Hasten, I say, the rogues will scatter else.
Bates. Not till their leader bids them.
Stu. Come on, then. Give them the word, and follow me; I must advise with you- -This is a day of business.
[Exeunt. SCENE II. Beverley's Lodgings.
Enter BEVERLEY and CHARLOTTE. Char. Your looks are chang'd, too; there's wildness
in them. My wretched sister! How will it grieve her to see you
thus! Bev. No, no- a little rest will ease me. And for your Lewson's kindness to her, it has my thanks; I have no more to give him.
Char. Yes; a sister and her fortune. I trifle with him, and he complains-My looks, he says, are cold upon him. He thinks tooBev. That I have lost
fortune -He dares not think so.
Char. Nor does he- You are too quick at guessing. He cares not if you had. That care is mine-I lent it you to husband, and now I claim it.
Beo. You have suspicions, then?
Bev. Ay, would and cannot. Leave it to time, then; 'twill satisfy all doubts.
Char. Mine are already satisfied.
Bev. 'Tis well. And when the subject is renew'd, speak to me like a sister, and I will answer like a brother.
Char. To tell me I'm a beggar.- Why, tell it now. I that can bear the ruin of those dearer to me, the ruin of a sister and her infant, can bear that too.
Bev. No more of this—you wring my heart.
Char. Would that the misery were all your own? But innocence must suffer-Unthinking rioter! whose home was a paradise! There dwelt he with a virtuous and fond partner, with a boy who was their delight: and these crown'd his days with blessings-He has quitted them. And for what? To associate with the abandon'd, to live in the midst of enemies.
Bev. Forbear, I say; reproaches come too late; they search, but cure not: and for the fortune you demand, we'll talk morrow on't; our tempers may be milder.
Char. Or, if 'tis gone, why farewell all. I claim'd
it for a sister. She holds my heart in her's; and every pang she feels tears it in pieces.'—But I'll upbraid
What Heaven permits, perhaps, it may ordain.. Yet that the husband! father! brother! should be its instrument of vengeance !-Such a thought were grievous indeed.
Bev. If you're my sister, spare me the thought-it wounds too deeply. To-morrow shall clear all; and when the worst is known, it may be better than your fears. Comfort my wife; and for the pains of absence, I'll make reparation. The world may yet go well with
Char. See where she comes! Look cheerfully upon her- -Affections such as her's are prying, and lend those eyes that read the soul.
Enter Mrs. BEVERLEY and LEWSON. Mrs. Bev. My life!
Bev. My love! how fares it? I ha been a truant husband.
Mrs. Bev. But we meet now, and that heals allDoubts and alarms I have had; but in this dear embrace I bury and forget them- My friend here (pointing to Lewson) has been indeed a friend. Charlotte, 'tis you must thank him: your brother's thanks and mine are of too little value.
Bev. Yet what we have we'll pay. I thank you, sir, and am oblig'd. I would say more, . but that your goodness to the wife upbraids the husband's follies. Had I been wise, she had not trespass’d on your bounty.
Lew. Nor has she trespass’d. The little I have done, acceptance overpays.
Char. So friendship thinks
Mrs. Bev. And doubles obligations by striving to conceal them- -We'll talk another time on't. You are too thoughtful, love.
Bev. No, I have reason for these thoughts.
had that, too!
Beo. I have - The cause was avarice.
Bev. A ruin'd friend ruin'd by too much kindness.
Lew. Ay, worse than ruin'd; stabb'd in his fame, mortally stabb’d-Riches can't cure him.
Bev. Or if they could, those I have drain'd him of. Something of this he hinted in the morning-That Lewson had suspicions of him—Why these suspicions? [Angrily.
Lew. At school we knew this Stukely. A cunning plodding boy he was, sordid and cruel, slow at his task, but quick at shifts and tricking. He schem'd out mischief, that others might be punishd; and would tell his tale with so much art, that, for the lash he merited, rewards and praise were given him. * That such a boy must prove a worthless man, is too harsh a conclusion, and, I trust, a false one. But as for Stukely, I'll prove him, and lay him open to you-Till then be warn'd
-I know him, and therefore shun him. Bev. As I would those that wrong him
-You are too busy, sir. Mrs. Bev. No, not too busy-Mistaken, perhaps
- That had been milder. Lew. No matter, madam. I can bear this, and praise the heart that prompts it-Pity such friendship should be so plac'd!
Bev. Again, sir! but I'll bear, tooYou wrong him, Lewson, and will be sorry for't.
Char. Ay, when 'tis prov'd he wrongs him. The world is full of hypocrites.
Bev. And Stukely one—so you'd infer, I think. -I'll hear no more of this--my heart aches for him
-I have undone him. Lew. The world says otherwise. Ber. The world is false, then-I have business with
* This passage in the original stands thus : “ Shew me a boy with " such a 'mind, and time, that ripens manhood in him, shall ripen "í vice too."
On this a friend to whom these plays have been submitted remarks,“ Within my small experience, some bad boys have
turned out well; and some ill whom I thought particularly good. " Lewson's general assertion appears to me of rather bad tendency; “ If adopted in life, it may cause suspicions not well founded, and
may discourage tbe due endeavours to reform bad boys.”
you, love; [to Mrs. Bev.] we'll leave them to their
[Going Char. No. We shall find room within for't-Come this way, sir.
[To Lewson. Lew. Another time my friend will thank me; that time is hastening too.
[Ex. Lew and Char. Bev. They hurt me beyond bearing Is Stukely false? then honesty has left us !
Mrs. Bev. I never doubted him.
Bev No; you are charity. Meekness and everduring patience live in that heart, and love that knows no change Why did I ruin you?
Mrs. Bev. You have not ruin'd me. I have no wants when you are present, nor wishes in your absence, but to be blest with your return. But be resign’d to what has happen'd, and I am rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
Bev. My generous girl!-But memory will be busy; still crowding on my thoughts, to sour the present by the past. I have another pang, too.
Mrs. Bev. Tell it, and let me cure it.
Ber. That friend—that generous friend, whose fame they have traduc'd
I have undone him too. While he had means he lent me largely; and now a prison must be his portion.
Mrs. Bev. No; I hope otherwise.
Bev. To hope must be to act. The charitable wish feeds not the hungry -Something must be done.
Mrs. Bev. What?
Bev. In bitterness of heart he told me, just now he told me,
I had undone him. Could I hear that, and think of happiness? no; I have disclaim'd it, while he is miserable.
Mrs. Bed. The world may mend with us, and then we may be grateful. There's comfort in that hope.
Bev. Ay; 'tis the sick man's cordial, his promis'd cure; while in preparing it the patient dies.
Enter Lucy. Lucy. A letter, sir.
[Delivers it and Ex.