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Bev. Thou virtuous, good old man! thy tears and thy entreaties have reach'd my heart, thro' all its miseries. O! had I listen’d to thy honest warnings, no earthly blessing had been wanting to me!- I was so happy
that even a wish for more than I possess’d, was arrogant
presumption. But I have warr'd against the Power " that bless'd me, and now I am sentenc'd to his wrath.
Jur. Be but resign'd, Sir, and happiness may yet be yours,
Bev. Py’thee be honest, and do not flatter misery.
Jar. I do not, Sir.'- Hark I hear voices-- Come this way; we may reach home unnotic’d.
Bev.? Well, lead me then.'—Unnotic'd, didst thou say? Alas! I dread no looks but of those wretches have made at home.
[Exeunt. SCENE IV. Stukely's Lodgings..
Enter STUKELY and Dawson. Stu. Come hither, Dawson. My limbs are on the rack, and my soul shivers in me, till this night's business be complete. Tell me thy thoughts: Is Bates determin'd, or does he waver?
Daw. At first he seem'd irresolute;' wish'd the employment had been mine; and mutter'd curses on his coward hand, that trembl'd at the deed.
Stú. And did he leave you so ?
Daw. No. We walk'd together; and shelter'd by the daikness, saw Beverley and Lewson in warm debate. But soon they cool'd; and then I left them to hasten hither; but not till 'twas resolv'd Lewson should die.
Stu. Thy words have given me life—That quarrel, too, was fortunate; for, if my hopes deceive me not, it promises a grave to Beverley.
Daw. You misconceive me. Lewson and he were Bite. friends.
Stu. But my prolific brain shall make them enemies. If Lewson falls, he falls by Beverley. An upright jury shall decree it. Ask me no question, but do as I direct, This writ (takes out a pocket-book,] for some days past, I have treasur'd here, till a convenient time call'd for its you
use. That time is come. Take it, and give it to an officer. It must be serv'd this instant. [Gives a paper. , Daw. On Beverley? Stu. Look at it. 'Tis for the sums that I have lent
Daw. Must he to prison then?
Stu. I ask'd obedience, not replies, This night a jail must be his lodging. 'Tis probable he's not gone home yet. Wait at his door, and see it executed.
Daw. Upon a beggar? He has no means of payment.
Stu. Dull and insensible! If Lewson dies, who was it kill'd him? Why, he that was seen quarrelling with him; and I that knew of Beverley's intents, arrested him in friendship- A little late, perhaps; but 'twas a virtuous act, and men will thank me for it. Now, Sir, you understand me?
Daw. Most perfectly—and will about it.
Stu. Haste, then; and when 'tis done, come back and tell me. Dum. Till then farewel.
[Exit, Stu. Now tell thy tale, fond wife! And Lewson, if again thou canst insult me I'll kneel and own thee for • my master.'
Not avarice now, but vengeance, fires my breast,
SCENE I. Continues. Enter STUKELY, Bates, and Dawson. Bates. Poor Lewson! But I told you enough last night-The thought of him is horrible to me.
Stu. In the street, did you say? And no one near him?
Bat. By his own door; he was leading me to his liouse. I pretended business with him, and stabb'd him to the heart, while he was reaching at the bell.
Slu. And did he fall so suddenly?
Bat. The repetition pleases you, I see. I told you, he fell without a groan.
Stu. What heard you of him this morning?
Bat. That the watch found him in their rounds, and alarm’d the servants. I mingl'd with the crowd just now, and saw him dead in his own house. - The sight terrifi'd me.
Stu. Away with terrors! we have no living enemy to fear-unless 'tis Beverley; and him we have lodg'd safe in prison.
Bat. Must he be murder'd too?
Stu. No; I have a scheme to make the law his mur. derer--At what hour did Lewson fall?
Bat. The clock struck twelve as I turn'd to leave him. 'Twas a melancholy bell, I thought tolling for his death.
Stu. The time was lucky for us-Beverley was arrested at one, you say?
[To Dawson. Daw. Exactly.
Stu. Good! We'll talk of this presently The women were with him, I think?
Daw. And old Jarvis. I would have told you of 'em last night, but your thoughts were too busy. 'Tis well you have a heart of stone, the tale would melt it else.
Stu. Out with it then.
Daw. I trac'd him to his lodgings; and pretending pity for his misfortunes, kept the door open, while the officers seiz'd him. 'Twas a black deed--but no matter
I follow'd my instructions.
Daw. He upbraided me with treachery; call'd you a villain; acknowledg'd the sums you had lent him, and submitted to his fortune.
Stu. And the women?
They lookid wildly at one another, while the tears stream'd down their cheeks. But rage and fury soon gave them words; and ther, in the very bitterness of despair, they vehemently accus'd me and the monster that had employ’d me.
Stu. And you bore it with philosophy?
Daw. Till the scene chang'd, and then I melted. I order'd the officers to take away their prisoner. The women shriek'd, and would have follow'd him; but we forbade 'em. 'Twas then they fell upon their knees, the wife fainting, the sister raving, and both with all the eloquence of misery endeavouring to soften us. I never felt compassion till that moment; and had the officers been mov'd like me, we had left the business undone, and fled with curses on ourselves. But their hearts were steel'd by custom. The tears of beauty and the pangs of affection were beneath their pity. They tore him from their arms, and lodg’d him in prison, with only Jarvis to comfort him.
Stu. There let him lie, till we have farther business with him. And for you, Sir, let me hear no more
of your compassion— A fellow nursid in villany, 6 and employ'd from childhood in the very business of it,
should have no dealings with compassion.
" Daw. Say you so, Sir?-You should have nam'd the "tempter who corrupted me.
Stu. 'Tis false. I found you a villain, and therefore employ'd you— but no more of this we have ( embark'd too far in mischief to recede. Lewson is 6 dead, and we are all principals in his murder. Think
of that—There's time enough for pity when ourselves
are out of danger- Beverley still lives, tho’ in a jail .-His ruin will sit heavy on him; and discoveries may
be made to undo us all. Something must be done, and
speedily- You saw him quarrelling with Lewson in " the street last night.
[To Bates. " Bat. I did; his steward, Jarvis, saw him too.
Stu. And shall attest it. Here's matter to work upon-An unwilling evidence carries weight with him. Something of my design I have hinted to you before
Beverley must be the author of this murder; and ( we the parties to convict him:'- But how to proceed will require time and thought- Come along with me; the room within is fitted for privacy-But no compassion, Sir, [To Dawson) We want leisure fort- This way.
- SCENE II. Beverley's Lodgings.
Enter Mrs. Beverley and CHARLOTTE. Mrs. Bev. No news of Lewson yet?
Char. None. He went out early, and knows not what has happen'd.
[ Clock strikes eight. Mrs. Bev. The clock strikes eight- I'll wait no longer.
Char. Stay but till Jarvis comes. He has sent twice to stop us till we see him.
Mrs. Bev. I have no life in this separation ! what a night was last night! I would not pass another such to purchase worlds by it*—My poor Beverley too! What must he have felt! the very thought distracts me - To have him torn at midnight from me!-A loathsome prison his habitation! a cold damp room his lodging! the bleak winds perhaps blowing upon his pillow! no fond wife to lull him to his rest! and no reflections but to wound and tear him! 'Tis too horrible I wanted love for him, or they had not forced him from me. They should have parted soul and body first-I was too tame.
Char. You must not talk so. All that we could we did; and Jarvis did the rest—The faithful creature will give him comfort. Why does he delay coming?
Mrs. Bev. And there's another fear! His poor master may be claiming the last kind office from him-His heart perhaps is breaking. Char. See where he comes—His looks are cheerful too.
Enter JARVIS. Mrs. Bev. Are tears then cheerful? alas, he weeps! Speak to him, Charlotte I have no tongue to ask him questions.
* This was probably suggested by wbat Clarence says in Richard the Third, Act 1. Scene iv.
0, I have pass’d a miserable night,