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By reason guided, honest joys pursue : • The fair, to honour and to virtue true,
Just to herself, will ne'er be false to you.'
[Exeunt Barnwell, Officer and Attendunts, Nil. Where's Lucy? Why is she absent at such a time?
Blunt. Would I had been so too! Lucy will soon be here, and I hope, thou wretch, to thy confusion.
Mil. Insolent!--this to me:
Blunt. What can we imagine worse in the great enemy of mankind, than first to seduce to sin, and then betray to punishment.
[Exit. Mil. They disapprove of my conduct then, and mean to take this opportunity to set up for themselves."
My ruin is resolvid. -I see my danger, but scorn both it and them. I will not fall by such weak instruments.
[Going Enter THOROW GOOD. Thor. Where is the scandal of her own sex, and curse of ours? Mil. What means this insolence? Whom do you
seek? Thor. Millwood.
Mil. Well, you have found her, then. I am Millwood.
Thor. Then you are the most wicked wretch that e'er
my eyes beheld.
Mil. From your appearance I should have expected wisdom and moderation, but your manners belie your aspect. What is your business here? I know you not.
Thor. Ilereafter you may know me better; I am Barnwell's master.
Mill. Then you are master to a villain, which, I think, is not much to your credit.
Thor. Had he been as much above thy arts, as my credit is superior to thy malice, I need not have blusb'd to own him.
Mil. My arts! I do not understand you, sir; if hé has done amiss, what is that to me? Was he my servant, or yours? You should have taught him better.
Thor. Why should I wonder to find such uncommon impudence in one arriv'd to such a height of wickedness? " When innocence is banished, modesty soon follows.' Know, wretch, I am not ignorant of any of the arts by which you first deceiv'd the unwary youth. I know how, step by step, you've led him on, reluctant and unwilling, from crime to crime, to this last horrid act, which you contriv'd, and by your cursed wiles urg'd him to commit.
Mil. Ha! Lucy has got the advantage, and accus'd me first. Unless I can turn the accusation, and fix it upon her and Blunt, I am lost.
[Aside. Thor. Had I known your cruel design sooner, it had been prevented. To see you punish’d, as the law directs, is all that now remains. Poor satisfaction! for he, innocent as he is, compar'd to you, must suffer too. • But Heaven, who knows our frame, and graciously • distinguishes between greater guilt and less, even ( where the less is great, will make a difference, though
man cannot, who sees not the heart, but only judgesby the outward action.'
Mil. I find, sir, we are both unhappy in our servants. I was surpris'd at such ill treatment without cause from a gentleman of your appearance, and therefore too hastily return'd it; for which I ask your pardon. I now perceive you have been so far impos’d on, as to think mé engag'd in a former correspondence with your servant, and, some way or other, accessary to his undoing.
Thor. I charge you as the cause of all his guilt, and all his suffering, of all, he now endures, and must endure, till a violent and shameful death shall put a dreadful pe-riod to his life and miseries together.
Mil. 'Tis very strange. But who's secure from scandal and detraction ? So far from contributing to his ruin, I never spoke to him till since this fatal accident, which I lament as much as you. 'Tis true, I have a servant, on whose account he hath of late frequented my:
house. If she has abus'd my good' opinion of her, am I to blame? Has not Barnwell done the same by you?
Thor. I hear you; pray go on.
Mil. I have been inform’d he had a violent passion for her, and she for him! but till now I always thought it innocent. . I know her poor, and given to expensive pleasures. Now, who can tell but she may have iufluenc'd the amorous youth to commit this murder to supply her extravagancies ?--It must be so.
I now recollect a thousand circumstances that confirm it. I'll have her and a man-servant whom I suspect as an accomplice, secur'd immediately. I hope, sir, you will lay aside your ill-grounded suspicions of me, and join to punish the real contrivers of the bloody deed.
Offers to go Thor. Madam, you pass not this way: I see your design, but shall protect them from your malice.
Mil. I hope you will not use your influence, and the credit of your name, to sereen such guilty wretches. Consider, sir, the wickedness of persuading a thoughtless youth to such a crime,
Thor. I do--and of betraying him when it was done.
Mil. That which you call betraying him, may convince you of my innocence. She who loves him, though she contri'd the murder, would never have deliver'd him into the hands of justice, as I, struck with horror at his crime, have done.
Tlor. How should an unexperienced youth escape her snares? Even I, that with just prejudice came prepar'd, had by her ariful story been deceiv'd, but that my strong conviction of her guilt makes even a doubt impossible. [Aside.] Those whom subtilly you would accuse, you know are your accusers; and, which proves unanswerably their innocence and your guilt, they accus'd you before the deed was done, and did all that was in their power to prevent it.
Mil. Sir, you are very hard to be convinc'd; but I have a proof, which, when produc'd, will silence all objections.
Enter Lucy, T'RUEMAN, BLUNT, Officers, &c. Lucy. Gentlemen, pray place yourselves, some on one side of that door, and some on the other; watch her entrance, and act as your prudence shall direct you. This way, [To Thorougood), and note her behaviour. I have observ'd her; she's driven to the last extremity, and is forming some desperate resolution. I guess at her design. Re-enter MILLIOOD with a pistol; TRUEMAN
secures her. True. Here thy power of doing mischief ends, deceitful, cruel, bloody woman.
Mil. Fool, hypocrite, villain, man! thou canst not call me that.
True. To call thee woman were to wrong thy sex.
Mil. The worst of beings is an emblem of thy cursed sex collected. . A mirror, wherein each particular man may see his own likeness, and that of all mankind.
Thor. Think not, by aggravating the faults of others to extenuate thy own, of which the abuse of such uncommon perfection of mind and body is not the least.
Mil. If such I had, well may I curse your barbarous sex, who robb’d me of them ere I knew their worth; then left me, too late, to count their value by their loss. Another and another spoiler came, and all my gain was poverty and reproach. My soul disdain'd, and yet disdains, dependence and contempt. Riches, no matter by what means obtain'd, I saw secur'd the worst of men from both. I found it therefore necessary to be rich, and to that end I summond all my arts. You call thema wicked, be it so, they were such as my conversation with your sex had furnish'd me withal.
Thor. Sure none but the worst of men convers'd with thee.
Mil. Men of all degrees, and all professions, I have known, yet found no difference, but in their several capacities; all were alike wicked to the utmost of their power.
Thor. Woman! the worst of each profession only hare you
Mil. I know you, and I hate you all; I expect no mercy, and I ask for none; I followed my inclinations, and that the best of
you do every day. Thor. I say, woman, this is false! But I'll hear thee rail awhile. Yet, think not I allow all that thou sayst, if I take not the trouble to contradict thee.
Mil. What are your laws, of which you make your boast, but the fool's wisdom, and the coward's valour, the instrument and screen of all your villanies? By them you punish in others what you act yourselves, or would have acted, had you been in their circumstances. Thus you go on deceiving and being deceivid, harassing, plaguing, and destroying one another. But women are your universal prey.
Thor. I can no longer bear this insidious mixture of falsehood with truth. Mil. Women, by whom you are, the source of joy,
With cruel arts you labour to destroy:
SCENE I. A Room in a Prison. Enter Thorow GOOD, Biunt and Lucy. Thor. I have recommended to Barnwell a reverend divine, whose judgment and piety I am well acquainted
with. Nor has Millwood been neglected; but she, ' unhappy woman, still obstinate, refuses his assistance.
"Lucy. This pious charity to the afflicted well becomes
* Some days at least must be supposed to have passed between the IV th and Vth Acts, as the trial and condemnation of Millwood and Barnwell, and the usual time allowed between in cases of murder have passed, the Yth Act commencing on the day of the execution. But the imagination, I think, readily allows of this. See another remark on the time which is supposed to pass during the action of this play, p. 204. Note.