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Whate'er resistance I may seem to make,
I am betrayed within: My will's seduced,

Enter AGNES, with Young WILMOT's dagger. And my whole soul infected. The desire Agn. The stranger sleeps at present; but so Of life returns, and brings with it a train

restless Of appetites, that rage to be supplied ! His skumbers seem, they can't continue long. Whoever stands to parley with temptation,

Here, I've secured his dagger. Parleys to be o'ercome.

Q. Witin. O Agnes ! Agnes ! if there be a Agn. Then nought remains

hell, But the swift execution of a deed,

'Tis just we should expect it. That is not to be thought on, or delayed

[Goes to take the dugger, but lets it fall. 0. Wilm. Generons, unhappy man ! O! what Agn. Shake off this panic, and be more yourcould move thee

self! To put thy life and fortune in the hands

Q. Wilm. What's to be done ? On what had Of wretches mad with anguish!

we determined ? dyn. By what means

Agn. You're quite dismayed. Shall we effect his death ?

[Takes up the dayger. Q. Wilm. Why, what a fiend!

0. Wilm. Give me the fatal steel. How cruel, how remorseless and impatient 'Tis but a single murder, Have pride and poverty made thee!

Neoessity, impatience, and despair, Agn. Barbarous man!

The three wide mouths of that true Cerberus, Whose wasteful riots riged our estate,

Grim poverty, demand : they shall be stopped. And drove our son, ere the first down kad spread Anabition, persecution, and revenge, His rosy cheeks, spite of my sad presages, Devour tlxeir millions daily: And shall I. Earnest intreaties, agonies, and tears,

But follow me, and see how little cause To seek his bread mamongst strangers, and to You had to think, there was the least reinain perish

Of manhood, pity, merty, or remorse, In some remote, inaospitable land;

Left in this savage breast. The loveliest youth, in person and in mind,

[Going the wrong way. That ever crowned a groaning mother's pains ! Agn. Where elo you go? Where was thy pity, where thy patience then? The street is that way. Thou cruel husband! thou unnatural father! 0. Wilm. True ; I had forgot. Thou most remorseless, most ungrateful man! Agn. Quite, quite confounded! To waste my fortune, rab me of my son,

0. Wilm. Well, I recover. I shall find the To drive me to despair, and then reproach me .

way.

[Erit. For being what thou hast made me!

Agn. O softly! softly! The least noise un0. Wilm. Dry thy tears :

does US. I ought not to reproach thee. I confess What are we doing? Misery and want That thou hast suffered much: So have we both. Are lighter ills than this ! I cannot bear it! But chide no more; I am wrought up to thy pur- Stop, hold thy hand !-Inconstant, wretched wo

pose. The poor, ill-fated, unsuspecting victim,

What! doth my heart recoil - O Wilmot ! Ere he reclined him on the fatal couch,

Wilmot! From which he's ne'er to rise, took off the sash, What power shall I invoke to aid thee, Wilmot! And costly dagger that thou saw'st him wear,

[Erit. And thus, unthinking, furnished us with arms Against himself. Steal to the door,

Enter CHARLOTTE, EUSTACE, and RANDAL. And bring me word, if he be still asleep.

Char. What strange neglect ! The doors are (Exit AGNES.

all unbarred, Or I'm deceived, or he pronounced himself And not a living creature to be seen! The happiest of mankind. Deluded wretch !

Enter Old WILMOT and AGNES. Thy thoughts are perishing, thy youthful joys, Touched by the icy hand of grisly Death, Char. Sir, we are come to give and to receive Are withering in their bloom-But, thought ex- A thousand greetings—Ha! what can this mean tinguished,

Why do

you

look with such amazement on us? He'll never know the loss,

Are these your transports for your son's return ?
Nor feel the bitter pangs of disappointment, Where is my Wilmot ?-Has he not been here?
Then I was wrong in counting hiin a wretch : Would he defer your happiness so long,
To die well pleased,

Or could a habit so disguise your son,
Is all the happiest of mankind can hope for. That you refused to own him?
To be a wretch, is to survive the loss

Agn. Heard you that ?-
Of every joy, and even hope itself,

What prodigy of horror is disclosing,
As I have done Why do I mourn him then? To render murder venial !
For, by the anguish of my tortured soul,

0. Wilm. Prithee, peace! He's to be envied, if compared with me.

The miserable damned suspend their lowling,

man!

13

would'st usurp

to gaze

And the swift orbs are fixed in deep attention. Are these the fruits of all thy anxious cares Rand. What mean these dreadful words, and For thy ungrateful parents ? -Cruel fiends! frantic air?

0. Wilm. What whining fool art thou, who That is the dagger my young master wore. Eust. My mind misgives me. Do not stand My sovereign right of grief _Was he thy son ?

Say, canst thou shew thy hands reeking with On these dumb phantoms of despair and horror ! blood, Let us search further; Randal, shew the way. That flowed, through purer channels, from thy

(Ereunt.

loins? Agn. Let life forsake the earth, and light the Compute the sands that bound the spacious ocean, sun,

And swell their number with a single grain ; And death and darkness bury in oblivion Increase the noise of thunder with thy voice; Mankind and all their deeds, that no posterity Or, when the raging wind lays nature waste, May ever rise to hear our horrid tale,

Assist the tempest with thy feeble breath ; Or view the grave of such detested parricides ! But name not thy faint sorrow, with the anguish

0. Wilm. Čurses and deprecations are in vain : Of a curst wretch, who only hopes from this The sun will shine, and all things have their

(Stabbing himself. course,

To change the scene, but not relieve his pain ! When we, the curse and burden of the earth, Rand. A dreadful instance of the last remorse! Shall be absorbed, and mingled with its dust. May all your woes end here ! Our guilt and desolation must be told,

0. Wilm. O would they end From age to age, to teach desponding mortals, A thousand ages hence, I then should suffer How far beyond the reach of human thought Much less than I deserve. Yet let me say, Heaven, when incensed, can punish—Die thou You'll do but justice to inform the world, first.

(Stabs AGNES. This horrid deed, that punishes itself, I durst not trust thy weakness.

Was not intended, thinking him our son; Agn. Ever kind,

For that we knew not till it was too late. But most in this !

Proud, and impatient under our afflictions,
0. Wilm. I will not long survive thee. While Heaven was labouring to make us happy,
Agn. Do not accuse thy erring mother, Wilmot, We brought this dreadful ruin on ourselves.
With too much rigour, when we meet above! Mankind may learn-but-oh- (Dies.
To give thee life for life, and blood for blood, Rand. Heaven grant they may !
Is not enough. Had I ten thousand lives, And may thy penitence atone thy crime ! -
I'd give them all to speak my penitence, Tend well the hapless Charlotte, and hear hence
Deep, and sincere, and equal to my crime. These bleeding victims of despair and pride;
Oh Wilmot! oh my son ! my son! (Dies. Toll the death-bell ! and follow to the grave

The wretched parents and ill-fated son.
Enter RANDAL and EUSTACE.

[Ereunt omnes. Eust. O Wilmot ! Wilmot!

[blocks in formation]

ACT I.

For the abbey-lands, to which the hot youth SCENE I.— The Street before ARDEN's Door. pleads

Some fancied right. Michael, the trencher faEnter Mosby.

vourite, Mos. The morning's dark, and horrid as my A bastard, bred of Arden's charity, purpose.

He has been privy to our secret joys, Thrice have my snares been laid for Arden's life, And, on that trust presuming, loves my sister And thrice bath he escaped. I am not safe : Winks at adultery, and may at murder. The living may revenge. Oh! could I win Maria is his price. I've placed her here, Alicia to conspire her husband's fall,

Companion of my sweet Alicia's hours, Then might I say, security, thou'rt mine, To spread her charms forever in his eye : And laugh at all to come. For other

instruments, To her are all my visits. But Alicia There's Green : he bears him hard about this suit She must, she shall comply: when to my arms

thy bed?

thee;

me.

Her honour she resigned, her fond reluctance Shall make me shed thy blood. whispered,

Alic. I do not hope it. She could deny me nothing. This to try. Ard. For me, be as immortal as thy shame. [Exit into ARDEN's house. Alic. I see your cruel purpose: I must live,

To see your hand and honour stained with blood, SCENE II.-A Chamber.

Your ample fortune seized on by the state,

Your life a forfeit to the cruel laws. Enter ARDEN in his Night-gown. O Arden, blend compassion with your rage, Ard. Unhappy Arden, whither canst thou wan- And kindly kill me first! der

Ard. Not for my sake To lay thy heavy load of sorrows down ! Are all thy tears ; then had you felt them sooner Will change of place relieve the afflicted mind, Plead not the ruin you have made; but say, Or does all nature yield a balın to cure

Why have you driven me to these extremes ? The pangs of slighted love and broken faith? Why sacrificed my peace, and your owu fame, Ungrateful false Alicia! false with Mosby, By corresponding with a menial slave? The vile dependent of my foe professed,

Alic. Thou canst not think, that I have wronged Lord Clifford's full-fed flatterer ! O damned ! Come, Franklin, come: Arden, thy friend, invites Ard. Would I could not !

Alic. By Heaven,
And let me pour my griefs into thy bosom, Ard. No perjuries.
And find in friendship what I've lost in love. But now, as you lay slumbering by my side,

I still awake, anxious and full of thought,
Enter ALICIA.

(For thou hast banished sleep from these sad eyes Alic. Why, Arden, do you leave your bed thus With gentle accents, thrilling with desire, early?

You called on Mosby. Love made me doubt my Have cold and darkness greater charms than I?

ears, There was a time when winter nights were short, And question, if the dark and silent night And Arden chid the morn, that called him from Conspired not with my fancy to deceive me :

But soon I lost the painful pleasing hope; Ard. This deep dissembling, this hypocrisy, Again you called upon your minion Mosby. (The last, worst state of a degenerate mind) Confirmed, I strove to fly your tainted bed, Speaks her in vice determined and mature. But, wanting strength, sunk lifeless on my pillow

[Aside. You threw your eager arms about my neck, Alic. What maid, that knows mar's variable You pressed my bloodless cheeks with your warn nature,

lips, Would sell her free estate for marriage bonds ? Which glowed, adultress! with infernal heat; From vows and oaths, and every servile tye, And called, a third time, on the villain Mosby. The tyrant man at pleasure is set free;

Alic. A dream indeed, if I e'er called on him. The holy nuptial bond leaves him at large ; Ard. Thy guilty dreams betray thy waking Yet vests him with a power, that makes us slaves. thoughts. 'Tis heavenly this

Alic. I know I'm simple, thoughtless, and uc: Ard. To stop my just reproach,

guarded; Art thou the first to tax the marriage state? And what is carelessness you construe guilt.

Alic. Are you not jealous ? do you not give ear Yet were I weak as those fantastic visions, To vain surmises and malicious tongues,

Sure I could never have condemned you, Arden, That hourly wound my yet untainted fame? On circumstances and an idle dream. Ard. And wouldst thou make me author of the Ard. But such a dream ! shame,

Alic. Yet was it but a dream, Thy guilt has brought on us !—I'll bear no longer. Which, though I not remember, I abhor, The traitor Mosby, cursed, detested Mosby, And mourn with tears, because it gives you pain. Shall render an account for both your crimes. Arden, you do not wish me innocent, Alic. What do I hear !

[Aside. Or on suspicions could you doom me guilty? Ard. The base mechanic slave

Ard. Not wish thee innocent? do sinking maShall answer with his blood.

riners, Abic. O hear me speak!

When struggling with the raging seas for life, Ard. No, I am deaf: As thou hast ever been Wish the assistance of some friendly plank? To fame, to virtue, and my just complaints. 'Tis that, and that alone, can bring me comfort. Alic. Thus on my knees

Alic. O jealousy ! thou fierce remorseless fiend, Ard. Adultress! dost thou kneel

Degenerate, most unnatural child of love! And weep, and pray, and bend thy stubborn heart How shall I chase thee from my Arden's bosom? (Stubborn to me) to sue for him? Away!

Ard. There is a way, an easy way, Alicia. Away this instant, lest I kill thee too.

Alic. O name it-speak.

(Recovering himself. Ard. What's past may be forgotten. No-not the hell, thou hast kindled in this bo- Your future conduct som,

Alie. You distract me, Arden.

say

Say, how shall I convince you of my truth? Alic. Pray, give me leave-looks he in health? Ard. I ask but this : never see Mosby more ! Sero. He seems in health.

(He starts. Alic. Here, and not ask for me! By Heaven, she's dumb!

Seems he or angry then, or melancholy? Alic. O how shall I conceal

Answer me, stock, stone. My own confusion, and elude his rage? [Aside. Sero. Truly I can't say. Ard. Thou’rt lost, Alicia !- lost to me and Alic. Thou canst say nothing-Get thee from Heaven.

my sight! Alic. Indeed I'm lost, if you unkindly doubt me. Yet stay—no matter. I'll myself go seek him. Ard. Wilt thou, then, ne'er converse with

(Ereunt ALIC. and Serv. Mosby more?

Mar. Where reason is, can passion thus preAlic. If I e'er do, may Heaven, and you, for- vail ?

[Exit Mar, sake me! Ard. You'll keep your word, Alicia ! Prithee, SCENE III.-A Parlour in ARDEN's House. Alic. You'll break my heart.

Enter ALICIA, meeting Mosby, Ard. I'd rather break my own.

Alic. Mosby, that brow befits our wayward Then thou art innocent and lov'st me still ?

fate. Alic. And ever will.

The evil hour, long feared, is fallen upon us, Ard. Give me thy hand—thy heart !

And we shall sink beneath it. Do not frownO give me that!

If you're unkind, to whom shall I complain? Alic. That always was your own.

Mos. Madam, it was my sister I expected. Ard. Thou flatterer-then whence this cruel Alic. Am I forgotten then? Ungrateful man ! strife?

This only could have added to my woes. Still art thou cold; nor warm are thy embraces, Did you but know what I have borne for you, Nor sparkle in thine eyes the fires of love: You would not thus unmoved behold my tears. Cold, cold, and comfortless.

Mos. Madam, you make me vain. Alic. Indeed you fright me.

Alic. Insult not, Mosby: Ard. 'Tis possible

You were the first dear object of my love; Alic. What?

And could my heart have made a second choice, Ard. That thou may’st yet deceive me. I had not been the object of your scorn: Alic, 0! I am wretched !

But duty, gratitude, the love of fame, Ard. Both perhaps are so.

And pride of virtue, were too weak to erase But, if thou ever loved’st, thou'lt not despise me, The deep impression of our early vows. And wilt forgive me, if indeed I've wronged thee, Mos. Therefore you kindly chose to wed anoAs I've forgiven thee-Pity, I'm sure, I need.

ther.

(Erit Ard. Alic. Reproach me not with what I deemed Alic. Thou hast it, Arden, even from her, that

my duty.

Oh! had I thought I could assume the name, All

, all shall pity thee, and curse Alicia. And never know the affection of a wife, Can I feel this, and further tempt the stream I would have died ere given my hand to Arden. Of guilty love! O whither am I fallen!

Mos. You gave him all

Alic. No, no, I gave him nothing:
Enter MARIA.

Words without truth-an hand without a heart! Mar. An happy day, Alicia ; and may each But he has found the fraud; the slumbering lion morn

At length hath roused himself. Of coming life be ushered with like joy.

Mos. And I must fall Franklin, from court returned, has brought the The victim grant

Alic. No; he knows not yet his wrongs. Of the abbey-lands, confirmed by the young king, Mos. But quickly will. To Arden for his life; nor will deliver,

Alic. That, that's my greatest fear. But to himself, the deed.

Mos. Then, branded with a strumpet's hated Alic. A worthy friend!

name, The grant is not more welcome to my husband, The cause abhorred of shame, of blood, and ruin, Than Franklin's company.

Thou’lt be exposed, and hooted through the world. Mar. He's flown to meet him.

Alic. O hide the dreadful image from my view!

Chaste matrons, modest maids, and virtuous Enter a Servant.

wives, Sero. Madam, your brother Mosby Scorning a weakness which they never knew, Alic. Where is Mosby?

Shall blush, with indignation, at my name! Sert. He waits below.

Mos. My death—but that, though certain-Alic. O haste, and lead me to him !

Alic. Labour not Sero. Madain, he but desires to see his sister. To drive me to despair. Fain would I hope Alic. His sister! what ! did he not ask for me? Mos. You may, and be deceived. For me, I Mar. Perhaps

know

wrongs thee.

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