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Stu. If you are wise, you shall have cause to thank me.
Mrs. Beo. An injur'd husband, too, shall thank thee.
Str. Yet know, proud woman, I have a heart as stubborn as your own; as haughty and imperious; and as it loves, so can it hate.
Mrs. Bev. Mean, despicable villain! I scorn thee and thy threats. Was it for this that Beverley was false? that his too-credulous wife should in despair and vengeance give up her honour to a wretch? But he shall know it.
Stu. Why, send him for defiance then. Tell him I love his wife; but that a worthless husband forbids our union. I'll make a widow of you, and court you honourably.
Mrs. Bev. Wretch! most justly were the forfeit of thy life due to thy crime. But private vengeance is forbidden. Keep thy own secret, and begone. Who's there?
Enter Lucy. Your absence, Sir, will please me...
Stu. I'll not offend you, madam. [Exit with Lucy. · Mrs. Bev. Be conscience, then, his punisher, till Heaven in mercy gives him penitence, or dooms him in its justice.
Re-enter Lucy. Come to my chamber, Lucy; I have a tale to tell thee, shall make thee weep for thy poor mistress.
Yet Heaven the guiltless sufferer regards,
ACT IV. SCENE I. Beverley's Lodgings. Enter Mrs. BEVERLEY, CHARLOTTE, and Lawson. Char. The smooth-tongu'd hypocrite!
Lew. But we have found him, and will secure himBe cheerful, madam; [To Mrs. Bev.] the insults of this ruffian shall meet their desert.
Mrs. Bev. But not by violence-Remember you have promis'd; I had been silent else.
Lew. You need not doubt me; I shall be cool as patience. Mrs. Bev. See him to-morrow, then.
Lew. And why not now? Yet for my promise, I'll deal gently with him-I mean to watch his looksFrom those, and from his answers to my charge, much may be learnt. Next I'll to Bates, and sift him to the bottom. If I fail there, the gang is numerous, and, for a bribe, will each betray the other-Good night; I'll lose no time.
[Ex. Lewson. Mrs. Bev. Come, Charlotte, we'll to our usual watch. The night grows late.
Char. I am fearful of events; yet pleas'd- Tomorrow may relieve us.
[Going. Enter JARVIS. Char. How now, good Jarvis? Jur. I have heard ill news, madam. Mrs. Bov. What news! speak quickly.
Jur. Men are not what they seem. I fear me Mr. Stukely is dishonest.
Char. We know it, Jarvis. But what's your news?
Jar. That there's an action against my master, at his friend's suit.
Mrs. Bev. O villain! villain! 'twas this he threaten'd then. Run to that den of robbers, Wilson's Your master may be there. Entreat him home, good Jarvis. Say I have business with him-But tell him not of Stukely-It may provoke him to revenge- Haste! haste! good Jarvis.
[Exit Jurvis. Chur. This prodigy of wickedness!
Mrs. Deo. I am sick of such a world-Yet Heaven is just; and in its own good time will hurl destruction on such monsters.
[Excunt. SCENE II. Stukely's Lodgings.
Enter STUKELY and Bates meeting.
like a tame monkey, to entertain a woman No matter where-- I have been vext and disappointed. Tell me of Beverley-llow bore he his last shock?
Bat. Like one (so Dawson says) whose senses had been pumb’d with misery. When all was lost, he fixt his eyes upon the ground, and stood some time, with folded arms, stupid and motionless. Then snatching his sword that hung against the wainscot, he sat him down; and with a look of fixt attention, drew figures on the floor - --At last he started up, look'd wild, and trernbl'd; and laugh'd out aloud, while the tears trickld down his face--so left the room.
Stu. Why this was madness.
Stu. We must confine him, then. A prison would do well. [4 knocking at the door.] Hark! that knocking may be his. Go that way down. [Exit Bates.] Who's there?
Enter LEW SON.
Stu. Why am I thus broke in upon? This house is mine, sir; and should protect me from insult and ill manners.
Lew. Guilt has no place of sanctuary; wherever found, 'tis virtue's lawful game. The fox's hold, and tyger's den, are no security against the hunter.
Str. Your business, sir?
Lew. To tell you that I know you. Why this confusion? that look of guilt and terror? Is Beverley awake? Or has his wife told tales? The man that dares like you, should have a soul to justify his deeds, and courage to confront accusersnot with a coward's fear to shrink beneath reproof.
Stu. Who waits there? [Aloud, and in confusion. Lew. We'll not be interrupted. [Shutting the door. Stu. You think I fear you.
Lew. I know you fear me. Contemptible though you be you have undone a man, by cunning and mean arts undone him. But we have found you, sir; trac'd you thro' all your labyrinths. Fall to confession.
Stu. First prove me what you think memand for this insult, vengeance may yet be mine.
Lew. Shall villany talk of vengeance for insult?
Stu. Villany! 'Twere best to curb this licence of your tongue; for, know, sir, while there are laws, this outrage on my reputation will not be borne with.
Lew. Laws! dar’st thou seek shelter from the laws? those laws, which thou and thy infernal crew live in the constant violation of? Talk'st thou of reputation, too? when, under friendship's sacred name, thou hast betray'd, robb’d, and destroy'd?
Stu. Ay, rail at gaming; 'tis a rich topic, and affords noble declamation- Go, preach against it in the city: You'll find a congregation in every tavern. If they should laugh at you, fly to my lord, and sermonize it there. He'll thank you, and reform.
Lew. And will example sanctify a vice? No, wretch! the custom of my lord, or of the cit that apes him, cannot excuse a breach of law, or make the Gamester's calling reputable.
Stu. Rail on, I say--but is this zeal for beggar'd Beverley? Is it for him that I am treated thus? No! he and his wife might both have groan'd in prison, had but the sister's fortune escap'd the wreck, to have rewarded the disinterested love of honest Mr. Lewson.
Lew. How I detest thee for the thought! but thou art lost to every human feeling. Yet let me tell thee, and may it wring thy heart! that tho' my friend is ruin'd by thy snares, thou hast unknowingly been kind to me.
Stu. Have I? It was indeed unknowingly.
Lew. Thou hast assisted me in love; given me the merit that I wanted; since, but for thee, my Charlotte had not known it was her dear self I sigh'd forg, and not her fortune.
Stu. Thank me, and take her then.
Lew. And, as a brother to poor Beverley, I will pursue the robber that has stript hiin, and snatch him from his gripe.
Stu. Then know, imprudent man, he is within my gripe; and should my friendship for him be slandera
once again, the hand that has supplied him, shall fall and crush him.
Lew. This is indeed to be a villain! But I shall reach thee yet-Fly where thou wilt, I shall pursue thee-And Beverley shall yet be sav'd, be sav'd from thee, thou monster! nor owe his rescue to his wife's dishonour.
[Erit. Stú. [Pausing.] Then ruin has inclos'd me. Yet fear brings caution, and that security~more mischief must be done to hide the past-look to yourself, officious Lewson-there may be danger stirring-Ilow now, Bates ?
Enter Bates. Bat. What is the matter? 'Twas Lewson and not Beverley that left you-I heard him loud-You seem alarm'd too.
Stu. Ay, and with reason, we are discover'd. Bat. I fear'd as much, and therefore caution'd you --but you were peremptory. Stu. Thus fools talk ever; spending their idle breath on what is past, and trembling at the future. We must be active.' Beverley, at worst, is but suspicious; but Lewson's genius, and his hate to me, will lay all open. Means must be found to stop him.
But. What means?
Stu. Dispatch him nay, start not desperate occasions call for desperate deeds we live but by his death.
Bat. You cannot mean it?
[Going Stu. Stay. I must be heard, then answer'd. Perhaps the motion was too sudden; and human weakness starts at murder, tho'strong necessity compels it. I have thought long of this; and my first feelings were like yours; a foolish conscience aw'd me, which soon I conquer'd. The man that would undo me, nature cries out, undo. Brutes know, their foes by instinct; and where superior force is given, they use it for destruction. Shall man do less? Lewson pursues us to our ruin; and