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caution? -You are my husband's friend; I think you mine too; the common friend of both. [Pauses.] I had been unconcern'd else. · Stu. Be so still, madam! I meant to guard you against suspicion, not to alarm it.
Mrs. Bev. Nor have you, sir. Who told you of suspicion? I have a heart it cannot reach. : Stu. Then I am happy, I would say more-but am prevented.
Enter CA ARLOTTE. Mrs. Bev. Who was it, Charlotte?
Char. What a heart has that Jarvis ! A creditor, sister. But the good old man has taken him away66 Don't distress his wife! don't distress his sister!" I could hear him say. 66 'Tis cruel to distress the afflicted."
And when he saw me at the door, he begg'd pardon that his friend had knock'd so loud. : Stu. I wish I had known of this. Was it a large demand, madam?
Char: I heard not that; but visits such as these, we must expect often.----Why so distress'd, sister? this is no new affiction.
Mrs. Bev. No, Charlotte, but I am faint with watching-quite sunk and spiritless-Will you excuse me, sir? I'll to my chamber, and try to rest a little. Stu. Good thoughts go with you, madam.
[Exit Mrs. Bev. My bait is taken then. (Aside.) Poor Mrs. Beverley! how my heart grieves to see her thus.
Char. Cure her, and be a friend then.
Stu. Ay, give him a new creation; or breathe another soul into him. I'll think on’t, madam. Advice, I see, is thankless. • Char. Useless I am sure it is, if, thro' mistaken friend. ship, or other motives, you feed his passion with your purse, and soothe it by example. Physicians, to cure fevers, keep from the patient's thirsty lip the cup that would inflame him; you give it to his hands-(a knocking)
Hark, Sir, these are my brother's desperate symptoms
Another creditor. · Stu. One not so easily got rid of (Aside.) - What, Lewson!
Enter Lewson. Lew. Madam, your servant-Your's, sir. I was enquiring for you at your lodgings. .
Stu. This morning ? you had business then?
Leto. You'll call it by another name, perhaps. Where's Mr. Beverley, madam?
Char. We have sent to enquire for him.
Lew. Is he abroad then? he did not use to go out so early. · Char. No; nor to stay out so late.
Lew. Is that the case? I am sorry for it. But Mr. Stukely, perhaps, may direct you to him.
Stu. I have already, sir.But what was your business with me?
Lew. To congratulate you upon your late successes at play. Poor Beverley! but you are his friend, and there's a comfort in having successful friends.
Stu. And what am I to understand by this?
Lew. That Beverley 's a poor man, with a rich friend -That's all.
Stu. Your words would mean something, I suppose. Another time, Sir, I shall desire an explanation.
Lew. And why not now? I am no dealer in long sentences. A minute or two will do for me.
Stu. But not for me, sir. I am slow of apprehension, and must have time and privacy. A lady's presence engages my attention- Another morning I may be found at home.
Lew. Another morning then I'll wait upon you.
[Exit. Char. What mean you by this ? Lew. To hint to him that I know him. Char. How know him? mere doubt and supposition ! Lew. I shall have proof soon. Char. And what then? would you risk your life to be his punisher?
· Lew. My life, madam! don't be afraid. And yet I am happy in your concern for me. But, let it content you that I know this Stukely-Twould be as easy to make him honest as brave.
Char. And what do you intend to do?
Lew. Nothing, till I have proof. Yet my suspicions are well grounded but methinks, madam, I am acting here without authority. Could I have leave to call Mr. Beverley brother, his concerns would be my own. Why will you make my services appear officious ?
'Char. You know my reasons, and should not press me. But I am cold, you say; and cold I will be, while a poor sister's destitute My heart bleeds for her! and till I see her sorrows moderated, love has no joys for me.
Lexo. Can I be less a friend by being a brother? I would not say an unkind thing but the pillar of your house is shaken. Prop it with another, and it shall stand firm again- You must comply.
Char. And will-when I have peace within myself. But let us change the subject-Your business here this morning is with my sister. Misfortunes press too hard upon her: yet till to-day she has borne them nobly.
Lew. Where is she?
Lew. I hear her coming-Let what has pass!d with Stukely be a secret-She has already too much to trouble her.
Enter Mrs. BEVERLEY. Mrs. Bev. Good morning, sir; I heard your voice, and, as I thought, enquiring for me where's Mr. · Stukely, Charlotte?
Char. This moment gone Y ou have been in tears, sister; but here's a friend shall comfort you.
Lew. Or, if I add to your distresses, I'll beg your pardon, madam. The sale of your house and furniture was finish'd yesterday
Mrs. Bev. I know it, sir. I know too your generous reason for putting me in mind of it. But you have oblig'd me too much already.
Lew. There are trifles, madam, which I know you have set a value on; those I have purchas'd, and will deliver. I have a friend too that esteems you-He has bought largely; and will call nothing his, till he has seen you. If a visit to him would not be painful, he has begg'd it may be this morning.
Mrs. Bev. Not painful in the least. My pain is from the kindness of my friends. Why am I to be oblig'd beyond the power of return?
Lew. You shall repay us at your own time. I have a coach waiting at the door-Shall we have your company, madam?
[To Char. Char. No. My brother may return soon; I'll stay and receive him.
Mrs. Bed. He may want a comforter, perhaps. But don't upbraid him, Charlotte. We shan't be absent long -Come, sir, since I must be so oblig'd.
Lew. 'Tis I that am oblig'd. An hour'or less will be sufficient for us. We shall find you at home, madam?
[To Char. and exit with Mrs. Bev. Char. Certainly. I have but little inclination to appear abroad-0! this brother! this brother! to what wretchedness has he reduc'd us!
[Exit. SCENE II. Stukely's Lodgings.
Enter STUKELY. Stu. That Lewson suspects me; 'tis too plain. Yet why should he suspect me?-I appear the friend of. Beverley as much as he.-- But I am rich, it seems—and so I am; thanks to another's folly and my own wisdom. To what use is wisdom, but to take advantage of the weak? This Beverley's my fool; I cheat him, and he calls me friend But more business must be done yet. His wife's jewels are unsold; so is the reversion of his uncle's estate. I must have these too_ And then there's a treasure above all I love his wife-Before she knew this Beverley I lov'd her; but, like a cringing fool, bow'd at a distance, while he stept in and won her. My pride, as well as love, is wounded by this conquest. Those hints, this morning, were well thrown in Already they have fasten'd on her. If jealousy should
weaken her affections, want may corrupt her virtueMy heart rejoices in the hope–These jewels may do much. He shall demand them of her; which, when mine, shall be converted to special purposes-What now, Bates?
Enter BATES. Bates. Is it a wonder, then, to see me? The forces are al in readiness, and only wait for orders. Where's Beverley?
Stu. At last-night's rendezvous, waiting for me. Is Dawson with you?
Butes. Dress'd like a nobleman; with money in his pocket, and a set of dice that shall deceive the most experienc'd.
Stu. That fellow has a head to undo a nation. But for the rest, they are such low-manner'd, ill-looking, dogs, I wonder Beverley has not suspected them.
Bates. No matter for manners and looks. Do you supply them with money, and they are gentlemen by profession-The passion of gaming casts such a mist before the eyes, that the nobleman shall be surrounded with sharpers, and imagine himself in the best of company. *
Síu. There's that Williams, too-It was he, I suppose, that call'd at Beverley's with the note this morning. What directions did you give him?
Bates. To knock loud, and be clamorous. Did not you see him?
Siu. No. The fool sneak'd off with Jarvis. Ilad he appear'd within doors, as directed, the note had been
. * Moore, in his Comedy of Gil Blas, acted two years before the Gamester, appears to have had the subject of gaming and its effects upon persons of rauk in his mind even then. Melchior, the servant of Don Lewis, is giving Gil Blas an account of his being in England with his master. Wheo Gil B. asks him.
But what company did you krep:
Mel. The best, you may be sure. We had a passport to all the people of rank.
Gil B. And what was that?
Mel. Play, my boy- the key to every great man's door in England. Sometimes, indeed, merit, title, or fortune may introduce a siranger to notice-but the surest recoinmendation is play-- Do bilt play deep, and you rank with the best of them,