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· Enter Maria. Mar. “How falsely do they judge, who censure or applaud, as we are afflicted or rewarded here. I know "I am unhappy; yet cannot charge myself with any
crime, more than the common frailties of our kind, that should provoke just Heaven to mark me out for
sufferings so uncommon and severe. Perhaps by that ( we are kept from moral evils, much worse than penal, - or more improv'd in virtue. Or may not the lesser ills " that we sustain, he made the means of greater good to
others? Might all the joyless days and sleepless nights " that I have passed, but purchase peace for thee,
Thou dear, dear cause of all my grief and pain; 6 Small were the loss, and infinite the gain,
Though to the grave in secret love I pine, .
Enter T'RU EMAN.
True. None; I have sought him with the greatest diligence, but all in vain.
Mar. Does my father yet suspect the cause of his absence?
True. All appear'd so just and fair to him, it is not possible he ever should. But his absence will no longer be conceal'd. Your father is wise; and though he seems to hearken to the friendly excuses I would make for Barnwell, yet I am afraid he regards them only as such, without suffering them to influence his judgment.
6 Mar. How does the unhappy youth defeat all our • designs to serve him ? yet I can never repent what we I have done. Should he return, it will make his reO conciliation with my father easier, and preserve him 6 from the future reproach of a malicious unforgiving world.
Enter THROW GOOD and Lucy.
('bating some circumstances,) too probable an account of Barnwell's defection.
Lucy. I am sorry, sir, that my frank confession of my former unhappy course of life, should cause you to suspect my truth on this occasion.
Thor. It is not that: your confession has in it all the appearance of truth. Among many other particulars, she informs me, that Barnwell has been influenc'd to break his trust, and wrong me, at several times, of considerable sums of money. Now, as I know this to be false, I would fain doubt the whole of her relation, too dreadful to be willingly believ'd.
Mar. Sir, your pardon; I find myself on a sudden so indispos'd, that I must retire. All attempts to save him appear fruitless. Poor ruin'd Barnwell! Wretched, lost Maria!
[ Aside, and Exit. Thor. How am I distress!d on every side! Pity for that unhappy youth, fear for the life of a much valu'd friend---and then my child-the joy and hope of my declining life!-Her melancholy increases hourly, and gives me painful apprehensions of her loss — Oh, Trueman, this person informs me that your friend, at the instigation of an impious woman, is gone to rob and murder his venerable uncle!
True. Oh, execrable deed! I am blasted with the horror of the thought.
Lucy. This delay may ruin all.
Thor. What to do or think, I know not. That he ever wrong'd me, I know is false; the rest may be so too; there is all my hope.
True. Trust not to that; rather suppose all true, than lose a moment's time. Even now the horrid deed may be doing-dreadful imagination or it may be done, and we vainly debating on the means to prevent what is already past.
Thor. This earnestness convinces me that he knows more than he has yet discover'd. [ Aside.] What, hoa ! without there? who waits?
Enter a SERVANT. Order the groom to saddle the swiftest horse, and pre
pare to set out with speed; an affair of life and death demands his diligence. [Exit Servant.] For you, whose behaviour on this occasion I have no time to commend as it deserves, I must engage your farther assistance. Return, and observe this Millwood till I come. I have your direction, and will follow as soon as possible. (Exit Lucy.] Trueman, you, I am sure, will not be idle on this occasion.
'[Exit Thor. True. He only who is a friend can judge of my distress.
(Exito SCENE II. Millwood's House.
Enter MillwOOD. Mil. I wish I knew the event of his design. The ato tempt without success would ruin him.* Well; what have I to apprehend from that? I fear too much. The mischief being only intended, his friends, through pity of his youth, turn all their rage on me. I should have thought of that before. Suppose the deed done; then, and then only I shall be secure. Or what if he returns without attempting it at all !
.. . Enter BARNWELL, bloody. But, he is here, and I have done him wrong. His. bloody hands shew he has done the deed, but shew he wants the prudence to conceal it.
Barn. Where shall I hide me? Whither shall I fly to avoid the swift unerring hand of justice?
Mil. Dismiss your fears: though thousands had pursued you to the door, yet being enter'd here, you are as safe as innocence. I have a cavern, by art so cunningly contriv'd, that the piercing eyes of jealousy and revenge may search in vain, nor find the entrance to the safe retreat. There will I hide you, if any danger's near.
Barn. O, hide me from myself, if it be possible; for while I bear my conscience in my bosom, though I were hid where man's eye never saw, nor light e’er
the attempt, and not the deed,
MACBETH, A. II, S. II.
dawn'd, 'twere all in vain. Forg. oh, that inmate, that impartial judge, will try, convict, and sentence me for murder, and execute me with never-ending torments. Behold' these hands, all crimson'd o'er with my dear uncle's blood. Here is a sight to make a statue start with horror, or turn a living man into a statue!
Mil. Ridiculous! then it seems you are afraid of your own shadow, or, what's less than a shadow, your conscience.
Barn. Though to man unknown I did the accursed act, what can we hide from Ileaven's all-seeing eye?
Mil. No more of this. What advantage have you made of his death? or what advantage may yet be made of it? Did you secure the keys of his treasure, which, no doubt, were about him? What gold, what jewels, or what else of value have you brought mre?:
Barn. Think you that after such a murder my mind was in a state to pilfer from his persen, or to ransack his house?-Oh, bad you seen him as his life flow'd from him in a crimson flood, and heard him praying for me by the double name of nephew and of murderer(alas, alas, he knew not then, that his nephew was his murderer!) how would you have wish'd, as I did, though you had a thousand years of life to come, to have given them all to have lengthen'd his one hour! But, being dead, I fied the sight of what my hands had done; nor could I, to have gain'd the empire of the world, have violated, by theft, his sacred corpse.
Mil. Whining, preposterous, canting villain! to mur. der your uncle, rob him of life, nature's first, last, dear prerogative, after which there is no injury, then fear to take what he no longer wanted, and bring to me your penury and guilt. Do you think I'll hazard my reputation, nay, my life, to entertain you?
Barn. Oh, Millwood this from thee! But I have done. If you'hate, if you wish me dead, then are you happy; for, oh, 'tis sure my grief will quickly end me.
Mil. In his madness he will discover all, and involve me in his ruin. We are on a precipice, from whence
there's no retreat for both-_-Then to preserve myself - Pauses.]—There is no other way.-- Tis dreadful, but reflection comes too late when danger's pressing, and there's no room for choice. It must be done. [ Aside. Rings a bell, enter Servant.] Fetch me an oflicer, and seize this villain. He has confess’d himself a murderer. Should I let him escape, I might justly be thought as badas he.
[Exit Servant. Barn. Oh, Millwood! sure you do not, you cannot mean it. Stop the messenger; upon my knees, I beg you'll call him back. "Tis fit s die indeed, but not by you. I will this instant deliver myself into the hands of justice, indeed I will; for death is all I wish. But thy ingratitude so tears my wounded soul, 'tis worse terr thousand times than death with torture.
Mil. Call it what you will; I am willing to live, and live secure, which nothing but your death can warrant.
Barn. If there be a pitch of wickedness that sets the author beyond the reach of vengeance, you must be secure. · But what remains for me, but a dismal dungeon, hard galling fetters, an awful trial, and an ignominious death, justly to fall uppitied and abhorr’d; 6 After
death, to be suspended between heaven and earth, a • dreadful spectacle, the warning and horror of a gaping “ crowd. This I could bear, nay, wish not to avoid had it but come from any hand but thine.
Enter Blunt, Officer and Attendants.. Mil. Heaven defend me! Conceal a murderer! Here, sir, take this youth into your custody. I accuse him of murder, and will appear to make good my charge.
They seize hint. Barn. To whom, of what, or how shall I complain ? I'll not accuse her. The hand of Heaven is in it, and this the punishment of lust and parricide. “Yet Heaven,
that justly cuts me off, still suffers her to live; per-haps to punish others. Tremendous mercy! not to be envied ! Be warn'd; ye youths, who see my sad despairg. Avoid lowd women, false as they are fuir.