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our lot

And take the same, uncertain, dreadful course, You and his father--(yes, you both were there)
Alone withholds his hand.

Strove to conceal him from me: I pursued you
Char. And may it ever!

Both with my cries, and call'd on heaven and earth Agn. I've known with him the two extremes To judge my wrongs, and force you to reveal of life,

Where you had hid my love, my life, my Wil The highest happiness, and deepest woe,

mot ! With all the sharp and bitter aggravations Agn. Unless you mean t'affront me, spare the Of such a vast transition. Such a fall

rest. In the decline of life! I have as quick,

'Tis just as likely Wilmot should return, As exquisite, a sense of pain as he,

As we become your foes.
And would do any thing, but die, to end it; Char. Far be such rudeness
But there my courage fails. Death is the worst From Charlotte's thoughts; but when I heard you
l'hat fate can bring, and cuts off ev'ry hope.
Char. We must not chause but strive to bear Self-murder, it reviv'd the frightful image

Of such a dreadful scene.
Without reproach or guilt: but by one act Agn. You will persist -
Of desperation we may overthrow

Char. Excuse me; I have done. Being a
The merit we've been raising all our days;

Aud lose our whole reward. And now, incthinks, I thought, indeed, it could not give offence
Now more than ever, we have cause to fear, Agn. You could not think so, had you thought
And be upon our guard. The hand of heaven

at all:
Spreads clouds on clouds o'er vur benighted heads, But I take nothing ill from thee. Adieu ;
And, wrapp'd in darkness, doubles our distress. I've tarried longer than I first intended,
I had, the night last past, repeated twice, And my poor husband mourns the while alone.
A strange and awful dream: I would not yield

(Esik To fearful superstition, nor despise

Char. She's gone abruptly, and I fear displeas'd. The admonition of a friendly power

The least appearance of advice or caution That wish'd my good.

Sets her impatient temper in a flame. Agn. I've certain plagues enough,

When grief, that well might humble, swells our Without the help of dreams to make me wretched.

pride, Char. I would not stake my happiness or duty And pride increasing, aggravates our grief, On their uncertain credit, nor on aught

The tempest must prevail 'till we are lost. But reason, and the known decrees of heaven.

Heaven grant a fairer issue to her sorrows! Yet dreams have sometimes shown events to

(Esit. come, And may excite to vigilance and care ;

SCENE III.- The Town and Port of Penryn My vision may be such and sent to warn us, (Now we are tried by multiplied afflictions,)

Enter YOUNG Wilmot and Eustace, in Indian

habits. To mark each motion of our swelling hearts, Lest we attempt to extricate ourselves,

Wil. Welcome, my friend! to Penryn: here And seek deliverance by forbidden ways;

we're safe. To keep our hope and innocence entire,

Eust. Then we're deliver'd twice; first from "Till we're dismiss'd to join the happy dead, Or heaven relieves us here.

And then from savage men, who, more remorseAgn. Well to your dream.

less, Char. Methought I sat, in a dark winter's Prey on shipwrecked wretches, and spoil and night,

murder those
On the wide summit of a barren mountain; Whom fatal tempests and devouring waves,
The sharp bleak winds pierc'd through my In all their fury, spar'd.
shiv'ring frame,

Wil. It is a scandal,
And storms of hail, and sleet, and driving rains, Though malice must acquit the better sort,
Beat with impetuous fury on my head,

the sea,

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The rude unpolish'd people here in Cornwall Drenched my chill'd limbs, and poured a deluge Have long lain under, and with too much justics : round me.

For 'tis an evil, grown almost invet' rate, On one hand ever gentle Patience sate,

And asks a bold and skilful hand to cure. On whose calm bosom I reclin'd my head;

Eust. Your treasure's safe, I hope.
And on the other silent Contemplation.

Wil. 'Tis here, thank heaven!
At length to my unclos'd and watchful eyes, Being in jewels, when I saw our danger,
That long had roll'd in darkness, dawn appear'd; I hid it in my bosom.
And I beheld a man, an utter stranger,

Eust. I observed you;
But of a graceful and exalted mien,

And wonder how you could command your Who press'd with eager transport to embrace me.

thoughts, I shunn'd his arms. But at some words he spoke, In such a time of terror and confusion. Which I have now forgot, I turn'd again,

Wil. My thoughts were then at home-O EnBut he was gone. And oh! transporting sight!

gland ! England ! Your son, my dearest Wilmot, fill'd his place. Thou seat of plenty, liberty, and health,

Agn. If I regarded dreams, I should expect With transport I behold thy verdant fields, Some fair event from yours.

Thy lofty mountains rich with useful ore, Char. But what's to come,

Thy numerous herus, thy fucks, and winding Though more obscure, is terrible indeed

streams! Methought, we parted soon, and when a sought After a long and tecious absence, Eustace, him,

With what delight we breathe our native air,


And tread the genial soil that bore us first ! And fondly apprehend what none e'er found,
Tis said, the world is ev'ry wise man's country; Or ever shall, pleasure and pain unmix’d;
Yet, after having view'd its various nations, And flatter and torment ourselves by turns,
I'm weak enough, still to prefer my own,

With what shall never be.
To all I've seen beside.-You smile, my friend, Wil. I'll go this instant
And think, perhaps, 'tis instinct more than reason. To seek my Charlotte, and explore my fate.
Why, be it so. Instinct preceded reason, Eust. What ! in that foreign habit?
E'en in the wisest men, and may sometimes Wil. That's a trifle,
Be much the better guide. But, be it either, Not worth my thoughts.
I must confess, that even death itself

Eust. The hardships you've endur'd, Appear'd to me with twice its native horrors, And your long stay beneath the burning zone, When apprehended in a foreign land.

Where one eternal sultry summer reigns, Death is, no doubt, in ev'ry place the same: Have marr'd the native hue of your complexion; Yet nature cast a look towards home, and most, Methinks, you look more like a sun-burnt Indian Who have it in their power, choose to expire Than a Briton. Where they first drew their breath.

Wil. Well, 'tis no matter, Eustace !
Eust. Believe me, Wilmot,

I hope my mind's not altered for the worse;
Your grave reflections were not what I smiled at; And for my outside-But inform me, friend,
I own the truth. That we're returned to Eng. When I may hope to see you.

Eust. When you please :
Affords me all the pleasure you can feel.

You'll find me at the inn. Yet I must think a warmer passion moves you; Wil. When I have learn'd my doom, expect me Thinking of that, I smild.

there. Wil. Ő Eustace ! Eustace !

'Till then farewell!
Thou know'st, for I've confess'd to thee, I love ; Eust. Farewell ! success attend you! (Exeunt.
But, having never seen the charming maid,
Thou canst not know the fierceness of my flame.

My hopes and fears, like the tempestuous seas
That we have past, now mount me to the skies, SCENE I.-CHARLOTTE's House.
Now hurl me down from that stupendous height,
And drive me to the centre. Did you know

CHARLOTTE enters, in thought; and, soon aftor, How much depends on this important hour,

You would not be surprised to see me thus.
The sinking fortune of our ancient house

Serv. Madam, a stranger in a foreign habit

Desires to see you.
Compellid me, young, to leave my native country,
My weeping parents, and my lovely Charlotte;

Char. In a foreign habit-
Who ruid, and must for ever rule my fate.

'Tis strange and unexpected—But admit him. O! should my Charlotte, doubtful of my truth,

[Exit SERVANT Or in despair ever to see me more,

Who can this stranger be? I know no foreigner. Have given herself to some more happy lover !

WILMOT enters. Distraction's in the thought !-Or should my parents,


any man like this. Griev'd for my absence and oppressed with want, Wil. Ten thousand joys! Have sunk beneath their burden, and expir'd,

(Going to embrace her. While 1, too late, was flying to relieve them; Char. Sir, you are too boldforbear and let The end of all my long and weary travels,

me know The hope that made success itself a blessing, What bus'ness brought you here; or leare the Being defeated, and for ever lost,

place. What were the riches of the world to me?

Wil. Perfidious maid! am I forgot or scorn'd? Fust. The wretch who fears all that is pos Char. Can I forget a man I never knew ? sible,

Wil. My fears are true : some other has her Must suffer more than he who feels the worst

heart: A man can feel, who lives exempt from fear. She's lost—My fatal absence has undone me. A woman may be false, and friends are mortal;

[Aside. And yet your aged parents may be living, O! could thy Wilmot have forgot thee, Charlotte' And your fair mistress constant.

Char. Ha! Wilmot ! say! what do your words wil. True, they may;

I doubt, but I despair not-No, my friend! gentle stranger ! ease my swelling heart:
My hopes are strong, and lively as my fears; What dost thou know of Wilmot ?
They tell me, Charlotte is as true as fair,

Wil. This I know.
That we shall meet, never to part again ;

When all the winds of heaven seem'd to conspire That I shall see my parents, kiss the tears Against the stormy main, and dreadful peals From their pale hollow cheeks, cheer their sad of rattling thunder deafened ev'ry ear, hearts,

And drown'd th'affrighten'd mariners' loud cries; And drive that gaping phantom, meagre want, When livid lightning spread its sulphurous flames For ever from their board ; crown all their days Through all the dark horizon, and disclos'd To come, with peace, with pleasure and abun- The raging seas incens'd to his destruction ; dance;

When the good ship in which he was embark'd Receive their fond embraces and their blessings, Broke, and, o'erwhelm'd by the impetuous surge. And be a blessing to them.

Sunk to the oozy bottom of the deep, Eust. 'Tis our weakness :

And left him struggling with the warring wavori Blind to events, we reason in the dark,

In that dread moment, in the jaws of death. Vol. I. ....B

When his strength faild, and every hope forsook | Remains, to tell my Charlotte I am he ?

him, And his last breath press'd towards his trembling

(After viewing him sometime, she approaches

weeping, and gives him her hand; and lips, The neighbouring rocks, that echo'd to his moan,

then, turning towards him, sinks upon

his bosom. Return'd no sound articulate, but-Charlotte. Char. T'he fatal tempest, whose description Why dost thou weep? why dost thou tremble strikes

thus? The hearer with astonishment, is ceas'd; Why doth thy panting heart and cautious touch And Wilmot is at rest. The fiercer storm Speak thee but half convinc'd ? whence are thy Of swelling passion that o'erwhelms the soul,

fears? And rages worse than the mad foaming seas Why art thou silent ? canst thou doubt me still ? In which he perish'd, ne'er shall vex him more. Char. No, Wilmot! no; I'm blind with too Wil. Thou seem'st to think he's dead; enjoy

much light: that thought;

O'ercome with wonder, and oppress'd with joy ; Persuade yourself, that what you wish is true; This vast profusion of extreme delight, And triumph in your falsehood.--Yes, he's dead; Rising at once, and bursting from despair, You were his fate. The cruel winds and waves, Defies the aid of words, and mocks description; That cast him pale and breathless on the shore, But for one sorrow, one sad scene of anguish, Spar'd him for greater woes—To know his Char- That checks the swelling torrent of my joys, lotte,

I could not bear the transport. Forgetting all her vows to him and heaven, Wil. Let me know it : Had cast him from her thoughts--then, then he Give me my portion of thy sorrow, Charlotte ! died;

Let me partake thy grief, or bear it for thee. But never must have rest. E'en now he wanders, Char. Alas! my Wilmot! the sad tears are A sad, repining, discontented ghost,

thine ; The unsubstantial shadow of himself


They flow for thy misfortunes. I am pierc'd And pours his plaintive groans in thy deaf ears, With all the agonies of strong compassion, And stalks, unseen, before thee.

With all the hitter anguish you must feel, Char. 'Tis enough

When you shall hear your parentsDetested falsehood now has done its worst.

Wil. Are no more. And art thou dead ?— And would'st thou die, Char. You apprehend me wrong. my Wilmot !

Wil. Perhaps I do. For one thou thought'st unjust ?—thou soul of Perhaps you mean to say, the greedy grave truth:

Was satisfied with one, and one is left What must be done ?—Which way shall I ex- To bless my longing eyes.-But which, my press

Charlotte ? Unutterable woe? or how convince

Char. Afflict yourself no more with groundThy dear departed spirit of the love,

less fears : Th' eternal love, and never failing faith, Your parents both are living. Their distress, of thy much injur'd, lost, despairing Charlotte ? The poverty to which they are reduc'd, Wil. Be still, my flutt'ring heart; hope not too In spite of my weak aid, was what I mourn'd;

And that in helpless age, to them whose youth Perhaps I dreum, and this is all illusion. Was crowned with full prosperity, I fear,

Char. If, as some teach, the spirit after death, Is worse, much worse, than death. Free from the bonds and ties of sordid earth, Wil. My joy's complete ! Can trace us to our most conceal'a retreat, My parents living, and possessed of thee !See all we act, and read our very thoughts; From this bless'd hour, the happiest of my life, To thee, O Wilmot ! kneeling, I appeal :- I'll date my rest. My anxious hopes and feans, If e'er l'swerv'd in action, word, or thought, My weary travels, and my dangers past, Or ever wished to taste a joy on earth

Are now rewarded all : now I rejoice That centred not in thee since last we parted, - In my success, and count my riches gain. May we ne'er meet again, but thy loud wrongs For know, my soul's best treasure! I have So close the ear of mercy to my cries,

wealth That I may never see those bright abodes Enough to glut e'en avarice itself: Where truth and virtue only have admission, No more shall cruel want, or proud contempt, And thou inhabit'st now!

Oppress the sinking spirits, or insult Wil. Assist me, Heaven!

The hoary heads of those, who gave me being. Preserve my reason, memory, and sense!

Char. 'Tis now, O riches, 1 conceive your O moderate my fierce tumultuous joys,

worth ; Or their excess will drive me to distraction. You are not base, nor can you be superfluous, O Charlotte ! Charlotte ! lovely virtuous maid ! But when misplaced in base and sordid hands. Can thy firm mind, in spite of time and absence, Fly, Ay, my Wilmot ! leave thy happy Charlotte ! Remain unshaken, and support its truth; Thy filial piety, the sighs and tears And yet thy frailer memory retain

Of thy lamenting parents, call thee hence. No image, no idea, or thy lover ?

Wil. I have a friend, the partner of my voyage, Why dos: thou gaze so wildly? look on me : Who in the storm last night, was shipwreck'd Turn thy dear eyes this way; observe me well.

with me. Hlave scorching climates, time, and this strange Char. Shipwreck'd last night! O you immorhabit,

tal powers! So chang'd and so disguis'd thy faithful Wilmot, What have you suffered? How were you preThat nothing in my voice, my face, or mien,

served ?


And yet

Wil. Let that, and all my other strange escapes Ran. 'Tis hard for me to judge. You are And perilous adventures, be the theme

already Of many a happy winter night to come.

Grown so familiar to me, that I wonder My present purpose was t'intreat my angel, I knew you not at first; yet it may be; To know this friend, this other better Wilmot; For you're much alter'd, and they think you dead. And come with him this evening to my father's: Wil. This is certain ; Charlotte beheld me long, I'll send him to thee.

And heard my loud reproaches and complaints, Char. I consent with pleasure.

Without remembering she had ever seen me. Wil. Heavens! what a night! How shall I My mind at ease grows wanton: I would sain bear my joy ?

Refine on happiness. Why may I not
My parents, yours, my friends, all will be mine. Indulge my curiosity, and try
If such the early hopes, the vernal bloom, If it be possible, by seeing first
The distant prospect of my future bliss,

My parents as a stranger, to improve
Then what the ruddy autumn ?-What the fruit, Their pleasure by surprise ?
The full possession of thy heavenly charms ? Ran. It may indeed

(Exeunt. Enhance your own, to see from what despair SCENE II.-A Street in Penryn.

Your timely coming and unhoud success

Have given you power to raise them.

Wil. I remember,
Ran. Poor! poor! and friendless! whither E'er since we learned together, you excell'd
shall I wander,

In writing fairly, and could imitate And to what point direct my views and hopes ?

Whatever hand you saw, with great exactness. A menial servant !-No-What! shall I live, I therefore beg you'll write, in Charlotte's name Here in this land of freedom, live distinguish',

And character, a letter to my father, And mark'd the willing slave of some proud and recommend me as a friend of hers subject,

To his acquaintance. 'To swell his useless train for broken fragments;

Ran. Sir, if you desire it-
The cold remains of his superfluous board ;
I would aspire to something more and hetter.

Wil. Nay, no objections "Twill save time, Turn thy eyes then to the prolific ocean,

Most precious with me now. For the deception, Whose spacious bosom opens to thy view:

If doing what my Charlotte will approve, There deathless honour, and unenvied wealth,

'Cause done for me, and with a good intent, Have often crown'd the brave adventurer's toils.

Deserves the name, I'll answer it myself. This is the native uncontested right,

If this succeeds, I purpose to defer The fair inheritance of ev'ry Briton

Discov'ring who lam 'till Charlotte comes. That dares put in his claim. My choice is made: And thou, and all who love me. Ev'ry friend A long farewell to Cornwall, and to England.

Who witnesses my happiness to night, If I return-But stay, what stranger 's this,

Will, by partaking, multiply my joys. Who, as he views me, seems to mend his pace ?

Ran. You grow luxurious in imagination.

Could I deny you aught, I would not write

This letter. To say tru?, 1 ever thought Wil. Randal! The dear companion of my Your boundless curiosity a weakness. youth!

Wil. What canst thou blame in this?
Sure lavish fortune means to give me all

Ran. Your pardon, Sir!
I could desire or ask for, this bless'd day, Perhaps I spoke too freely;
And leave me nothing to expect hereafter. I'm ready to obey your orders.

Ran. Your pardon, Sir! I know but one on Wil. I am much thy debtor;
Could properly salute me by the title (earth But I shall find a time to quit thy kindness.
You're pleased to give me, and I would not think Randal! but imaging to thyself
That you are he-That you are Wilmot The floods of transport, the sincere delight
Wil. Why?

That all my friends will feel, when I disclose Ran. Because I could not bear the disappoint. To my astonisher parents, my return;

And then confess that I have well contriv'd Should I be deceiv'd.

By giving others joy, to exalt my own. Wil. I am pleased to hear it:

(Etcunt. Thy friendly fears better express thy thoughts Than words could do.

SCENE III.-A Room in Old Wilmor's Ran. O! Wilmot ! O! my master !

Are you returned ?
Wil. I have not embrar'd

My parents,I shall see you at, my father's. 0. Wil. Here, take this Seneca, this haughty
Ran. No; I'm discharged from thence—0 pedant
Sir! such ruin.

Whơ, governing the master of mankind, Wil. I've heard it all, and hasten to relieve 'em, And awing power imperial, prates of-patience; Sure heaven hath blessed me to that very end : And praises poverty-possess'd of millions ; I've wealth enough: nor shalt thou want a part. Sell him, and buy us bread. The scantiest meal

Ran. I have a part already. I am bless'd The vilest copy of his book e'er purchas'd, In your success, and share in all your joys. Will give us more relief in this distress, Wil. I doubt it not. But, tell me, dost thou Than all his boasted precepts. Nay, no tears; think,

Keep them to move compassion when you beg. My parents not suspecting my return,

Agn. My heart may break, but never stoop to That I may visit them, and not be known?



0. Wil. Nor would I live to see it-But, | The darkest hours precede the rising sun; despatch.

(Exit Agnes. And mercy may appear when least expected Where must I charge this length of misery, 0. Wil. This I have heard a thousand times That gathers force each moment as it rolls,

repeated, And must at last o'erwhelm me, but on hope : And have, believing, been as oft deceiv'd. Vain, flattering, delusive, groundless hope, Wil. Behold in me an instance of its truth. That has for years deceivd? Had I thought At sea twice shipwreck’d, and as oft the prey As I do now, as wise men ever think,

Of lawless pirates ; by the Arabs thrice
When first this hell of poverty o'ertook me, Surpris'd and robb'd on shore ; and once reduc'd
That power to die implies a right to do it, To worse than these, the sum of all distress
And should be used when life becomes a pain, That the most wretched feel on this side hell,
What plagues had I prevented! True, my wife E'en slavery itself: yet here I stand,
Is still a slave to prejudice and fear.

Except one trouble that will quickly end,
I would not leave my better part, the dear ( Weeps. The happiest of mankind.
Faithful companion of my happier days,

0. Wil. A rare example
To bear the weight of age and want alone.- Of fortune's changes ; apter to surprise
I'll try once more.

Or entertain, than comfort or instruct.

If you would reason from events, be just, Enter Agnes, and after her YOUNG WILMOT. And count, when you escap'd, how many perish'ds

And draw your inference thence. 0. Wil. Return'd, my life! so soon ?

Agn. Alas ! who knows, Agn. The unexpected coming of this stranger But we were render'd childless by some storm, Prevents my going yet.

In which you, though preserv'd, might beara part ? Wil. You're, I presume,

Wil. How has my curiosity betray'd me The gentleman to whom this is directed.

Into superfluous pain! I faint with fondness;

[Gives a letter. And shall, if I stay longer, rush upon them, What wild neglect, the token of despair,

Proclaim myself their son, kiss and embraco What indigence, what misery, appears

them; In this once happy house! What discontent,

Till their souls, transported with the excess What anguish and confusion fill the faces

Of pleasure and surprise, quit their frail mansions, Of its dejected owners!

(Aside. And leave them breathless in my longing arms. 0. Wil. Sir, such welcome

By circumstances then, and slow degrees, As this poor house affords, you may command. They must be let into a happiness Our ever friendly neighbour-once we hoped Too great for them to bear at once, and live: T' have called fair Charlotte by a dearer name That Charlotte will perform: I need not feign But we have done with hope-- I pray excuse This incoherence-We had once a son. [Weeps. The favour to retire, where, for a while,

To ask an hour for rest. [Aside.) Sir, I entreat Agn. That you are come from the dear vir- I may repose myself. You will excuse tuous maid,

This freedom, and the trouble that I give you: Revives in us the mem'ry of a loss,

'Tis long since I have slept, and nature calls. Which though long since, we have not learned to

0. Wil. I pray, no more ; believe we're only bear.

troubled, Wil. The joy to see them, and the bitter pain that you should think any excuse were needful, It is to see them thus, touches my soul


. The weight of this is some incumbrance; With tenderness and grief, that will o'erflow.

[Takes a casket out of his bosom, and give They know me not,--and yet, I fear, I shall

it to his mother. Defeat my purpose, and betray myself. [Aside. And its contents of value : if you please 0. Wil. The lady calls you, here, her valued To take the charge of it, 'till I awake, friend;

I shall not rest the worse. If I should sleep Enough, though nothing more should be implied, "Till I am ask'd for, as perhaps I may, To recommend you to our best esteem

I beg that you would wake me. A worthless acquisition—May she find

Agn. Doubt it not : Some means that better may express her kind- Distracted as I am with various woes. ness!

I shall remember that. [Erit, with O. Win But she, perhaps, hath purpos'd to enrich

Wil. Merciless grief!
You with herself, and end her fruitless sorrow
For one whom death alone can justify

What ravage has it made ! how has it chang'd

Her lovely form and mind ! I feel her anguish, For leaving her so long. If it be so,

And dread, I know not what, from her despair. May you repair his loss, and be to Charlotte

My father too grant them patience, A second, happier Wilmot ! Partial nature,

Heaven !
Who only favours youth, as feeble age
Were not her offspring, or below her care,

A little longer, a few short hours more,

And all their cares, and mine, shall end for ever. Has sealed our doom; no second hope shall spring

(Erit. To dry our tears, and dissipate despair. Agn. The last and most abandoned of our


. kind!

SCENE I.The same.
By heaven and earth neglected, or despised !
The loathsome grave that robb'd us of our son, AGNES enters alone, with the casket in her hand.
And all our joys in him, must be our refuge. Agn. Who should this stranger be! And then

Wi. Let ghosts unpardon'd, or devoted fiends this casket-
Fear without hope, and wail in such sad strains; He says it is of value, and yet trusts it,
But grace defend the living from despair. As is a trifle to a stranger's hand-

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