Abbildungen der Seite


Mich. They mutter'd threats and curses, To apprehend two most notorious ruffians; And seem'd not satisfied with their reward. And, information being made on oath,

(Erit. That they were seen ti enter here to-night, Mos. Let them take all.—Ambition, av'rice, lust, I'm come to search. That drove me on to murder, now forsake me. Green. I'm glad it is no worse. [Aside O Arden! if thy discontented ghost

Mos. And can you think that Arden entertains Still hovers here to see thy blood reveng'd, Villains like those you speak of? were he here, View, view the anguish of this guilty breast, You'd not be thank'd for this officiousness. And be appeas'd.. ;

(Erit. Mayor. I know my duty, Sir, and that resposta

So justly due to our good neighbour's worth -
SCENE III.-A Room in ARDEN'S House. But where is Arden
A table, foc. spread for supper.

Alic. Heavens! where, indeed!
Mar. Alicia, for my sake

Asick. GREEN, BRADSHAW, Adam Fowl, Alicia,

Alic. If I were silent,
Maria, foc.

Each precious drop of murder'd Anden's blood Brad. Madam, be comforted.

Would find a tongue, and cry to Heaven for Fea A. Fonol. Some accident, or business unfore

geance. seen, detains him thus.

Mayor. What says the lady? Brad. I doubt not of his safety.

Mos. Oh! Sir, heed her not:
Alic. I thank you, gentlemen; I know you lov'd Her husband has not been at home to-night,
My Arden well, and kindly speak your wishes. And her misboding sorrow for his absence
Enter MOSBY.

Has almost made her frantic.
Mos. I am asham'd I've made you wait: be Since 1 beheld him enter here with you

Mayor. Scarce an hour,

Mos. The darkness of the night deceir'd you, Green. Madam, first take your place.

Alic. Make me not madTo me all places are alike.


It was a stranger, since departed hence.

Mayor. That''s most surprising. No maa Mos. Come, since we want the master of the

knows him better. house, I'll take his seat for once.

Frank. [Without.) Within there-ho-bar Alic. Dares he do this ?

(Aside. And set a watch Let not a man go by

up your gates with care, Mos. I'm much afflicted that he stays so late ;

[FRANKLIN and others enter, with lights. The times are perilous. Green. And he has enemies,

And every tongue, that gave not its consent

To Arden's death, join mine and cry aloud Tho' no man, sure, did e'er deserve them less.

To Heaven and earth for justice. Honest Arden, Mos. This day he was assaulted in the street. Green. You sav'd him then.

My friend-is murder'd. Mos. Would I were with him now !

Mayor. Murder'd!

Green. How? Mar. She starts, her looks are wild. (Aside.

Mos. By whom? How fare you, Madam ?

Frank. How shall I utter what my eyes have Alic. I'm lost in admiration of your brother.

seen! Mar. I fear her more than ever. (Aside. Horrid with many a gaping wound he lies Madam, be merry. Mos. Michael, some wine. Health and long O vengeance ! vengeance !

Behind the abbey, a sad spectacle ! life to Arden.

Alic. The good you wish, and have procur'd for Passion is reason in a cause like this.

Mayor. Justly art thou mov'd.

Frank. Eternal Providence, to whose bright eye Light on thyself! [Rising, in desperation. Darkness itself is as the noon-day blaze,

Mar, For Heaven's sake! -
Alic. Give me way.

Who brings the midnight murd'rer and his deeds

Comes forward. To light and shame, has in their own security Lot them despatch, and send me to my


Found these. [All rise.

Mayor. Here, seize them all this instant : I've liv'd too long with falsehood and deceit.

[Alicia faire [Knocking at the gate. Look to the lady. This may be but feign'd. A. Fowl. What noise is that? (Exit MICHAEL. Your charge but goes along with my suspicious Brad. Pray Heaven, that all be right.

Brad. And mine.
Mos. Bar all the doors.

A. Fowl. And mine,

Frank. First hear me; and then judge,
Mich. We are discover'd, Sir. [ To Mosby.

Whether on slight presumptions I accuse them. The mayor, with officers and men in arms.

These honest men, (neighbours and townsmen

all) Enter Mayor, foc.

Conducted me, dropping with grief and fear, Mayor. Go you with these, and do as I directed. To where the body lay ;-with them, I took these [Exeunt Officers and others.

notes, I'm sorry that the duty of my office

Not to be trusted to the faithless memory. Demands a visit so unseasonable.

Huge clots of blood and some of Arden's hair Mos. Your worship doubtless were a welcome May still be seen upon the garden wall; guest

Many such rushes, as these floors are strewd with At any hour ; but wherefore thus attended ? Stick to his shoes and garments: and the prints Mayor. I have received a warrant from the Of several feet may in the snow be trac d, council

From the stark body to the very door."

[ocr errors]

These are presumptions he was murder'd here, Mayor. This letter proves, Alicia, from the firet: And that the assassins, having borne his corse Was made acquainted with your black design, Into the fields, hither return'd again.

B. Will. I know nothing of that: but, if she Mos. Are these your proofs ?

was, she repented of it afterwards. So I think, Green. These are but circumstances,

you call that a change of mind. And only prove thy malice.

Mayor. That may avail her at the bar of Frank. And this scarf,

Heaven, Known to be Arden's, in the court was found, But is no plea at ours. (Alicia brought in.) All blood.

Bear them to prison; Mayor. Search 'em.

Load them with irons, make them feel their guilt, Mich. I thought I'd thrown it down the well. And groan away their miserable hours,

(Aside. Till sentence of the law shall call them forth Mayor. (To an Officer.) Enter that room, To public execution. search the lady there;

Alic. I adore We may perhaps discover more.

Th' unerring hand of justice; and with silence (OFFICER goes out, and re-enters ; in the Had yielded to my fate, but for this maid,

mean time another Officer searches Who, as my soul dreads justice on her crimes, Mosby and GREEN.

Knew not, or e'er consented to this deed. Ist Officer. On Arden's wife I found this letter. Mayor. But did she not consent to keep it Ud Officer. And I, this ring on Mosby.

secret? Mayor. Righteous Heaven!

Mos. To save a brother and most wretched Well may'st thou hang thy head, detested villain:

friend. This very day did Arden wear this ring,

Mayor. She has undone herself—Behold how I saw it on his hand.

innocence Mos. I freely yield me to my fate.

May suffer in bad fellowship.-And Bradshaw, Enter another OFFICER.

My honest neighbour Bradshaw too-I read it

With grief and wonder.Officer. We've seiz'd two men behind some Brad. Madam, I appeal stacks of wood.

To you; as you are shortly to appear Mayor. Well, bring 'em in.

Before a Judge that sees our secret thoughts, (BLACK Will and SHAKEBAG brought in. Say, had I knowledge, orThey answer the description :

Alic. You brought the letter; But let them wait 'till I have done with these. But I hope, you knew not the contents. Heavens ! what a scene of villany is here ! Mayor. Hence with them all, 'till time and faz(Having read the letter.

ther light B. Will. Since we're sure to die, though I could Shall clear these mysteries. wish 'twere in vetter company, (for I hate that A. Foul. If I'm condemn'd, fawning rascal, Mosby,) I'll tell the truth for once. My blood be on his head that gives the sentenco. He has been long engaged in an affair with Ar- I'm not accus'd, and only ask for justice. den's wife there; but fearing a discovery, and Frank. You shall have justice all, and rigʻrous hoping to get into tis estate, hired us to hide him. justice. -That's all.

So shall the growth of such enormous crimes, Mayor. And you the horrid deed perform'd? By their dread fate be check'd in future times. Shake. We did, with his assistance, and Green's, of avarice, Mosby a dread instance prove; and Michael's.

And poor Alicia, of unlawful love. (Eseunt.

[blocks in formation]

REMARKS. This piece was originally performed at Drury-lane, and met with astonishing success. The plot is taken from Fielding's “ Tom Jones," at the period when Sophia takes refuge at the house of Lady Bellaston. The portisa of plot borrowed from that work, however, only serves to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Oakly, the jealous wife and her husband. The passions of the lady are certainly worked up to a sufficient height, and Mr. Oakly's Feration and domestic misery, in consequence of her behaviour, very strongly supported; yet, perhaps, the author would have better answered his purpose with respect to exposing the absurdity of the passion, had he made her appear somewhat less of the virago, and Mr. Oakly not so much of the hen-pecked husband. Mrs. Oakly now rather appears a lady, who, from a consciousness of her own power, is desirous of supporting the appearance of jealousy, to procure an undue influence over her husband and family, than one who, feeling the reality of that turba lent yet fluctuating passion, becomes equally absurd in the sudden ness of forming unjust suspicions, and in that hastiness of being satisfied, which love, the only true basis of jealousy, will constantly occasion.

[blocks in formation]


Tell me, I say, this instant, every circumstance

relating to this letter. SCENE I.-A Room in Oakly's House. Oak. How can I tell you, when you will not so

much as let me see it? Noise heard within.

Mrs. O. Look you, Mr. Oakly, this usage is not Mrs. O. (Within.) Don't tell me I know it is to be borne. You take a pleasure in abusing my 80—It 's monstrous, and I will not bear it.

tenderness and soft disposition.—To be perpetual Oak. (Within.) But my dear!

ly running over the whole town, nay, the whole Mrs. 0. Nay, nay, &c. (Squabbling within. kingdom too, in pursuit of your amours - Did not

I discover that you was great with Mademoiselle, Enter Mrs. OAKLY with a letter, followed by my own woman?–Did not you contract a shame OAKLY.

ful familiarity with Mrs. Freeman ? Did not I

detect your intrigue with Lady Wealthy? Was Mrs. 0. Say what you will, Mr. Oakly, you not youshall never persuade me but this is some filthy Oak. Oons! Madam, the grand Turk himself intrigue of yours.

has not half so many mistresses. You throw me Oak. I can assure you, my love

out of all patience. Do I know any body but Mrs. 0. Your love !--Don't I know your-common friends ? Am I visited by any body that

does not visit you? Do I ever go out, unless you Mrs. 0. What, are you confounded with your go with me? And am I not as constantly by guilt? Have I caught you at last ? your side, as if I were tied to your apron-strings? Oak. O that wicked Charles! to decoy a young

Mrs. O. Gu, go, you are a false man; have not lady from her parents in the country! The pro I found you out a thousand times ? and have not figacy of the young fellows of this age is abomiI this moment a letter in my hand, which con- nable.

To himself vinces me of your baseness? Let me know the Mrs. O. (Half aside, and musing.] Charles ! whole affair, or I will

let me see! Charles! no! impossible! This is all Oak. Let you know! let me know what you a trick. would have of me; you stop my letter before it Oak. He has certainly ruined this poor lady: comes to my hands, and then expect that I should

(To himself. know the contents of it!

Mrs. O. Art! art! all art! There's a sudden Mrs. O. Heaven be praised, I stopped it! I turn now! You have ready wit for an intrigue, suspected some of these doings for some time past I find, -But the letter informs me who she is, and I'll Oak. Such an abandoned action! I wish I be revenged on her sufficiently. Oh, you base had never had the care of him. man, you!

Mrs. O. Mighty fine, Mr. Oakly! Go on, Sir, Oak. I beg, my dear, that you would moderate go on! I see what you mean. Your assurance your passion! show me the letter, and I'll con- provokes me beyond your very falsehood itself. vince you of my innocence.

So you imagine, Sir, that this affected concern, Mrs. 0. Innocence! abominable! innocence! this flimsy pretence about Charles, is to bring you but I am not to be made such a fool; I am con- off. Matchless confidence! But I am armed vinced of your perfidy, and very sure that- against every thing; I am prepared for all your

Oak. 'Sdeath and fire! your passion hurries dark schemes: I am aware of all your low stratayou out of your senses. Will you hear me ? gems.

Mrs. O. No, you are a base man: and I will Oak. See there now! Was ever any thing so not hear you.

provoking ? to persevere in your ridiculous, For Oak. Why then, my dear, since you will nei- Heaven's sake, my dear, don't distract me. When ther talk reasonably yourself, nor listen to reason you see my mind thus agitated and uneasy, that from me, I shall take my leave till you are in a a young fellow, whom his dying father, my own better humour. So your servant ! (Going. brother, committed to my care, should be guilty

Mrs. 0. Ay, go, you cruel man! go to your of such enormous wickedness; I say, when you mistresses, and leave your poor wife to her mise are witness of my distress on this occasion, how ries. How unfortunate a woman am I! I could can you be weak enough and cruel enough todie with vexation.

Mrs. O. Prodigiously well, Sir! You do it very (Throwing herself into a chair. well. Nay, keep it up, carry it on; there's nothing Oak. There it is. Now dare not I stir a step like going through with it. O, you artful creafurther. If I offer to go, she is in one of her fits ture! But, Sir, I am not to be so easily satisfied. in an instant. Never sure was woman at once I do not believe a syllable of all this. Give me the of so violent and so delicate a constitution! what letter. (Snatches the letter.) You shall sorely reshall I say to sooth her ? (Aside.) Nay, never pent this vile business, for I am resolved that I make thyself so uneasy, my dear; come, come, will know the bottom of it.

[Erit you know I love you.

Oak. This is beyond all patience. Provoking Mrs. 0. I know you hate me; and that your woman! Her absurd suspicions interpret every unkindness and barbarity will be the death of me. thing the wrong way. But this ungracious boy!

(Whining. In how many troubles will he involve his own and Oak. Do not vex yourself at this rate. I love this lady's family! I never imagined that he was you most passionately, indeed I do. This must of such abandoned principles. be some mistake.

Enter MAJOR OAKLY and CHARLES. Mrs. O. Oh, I am an unhappy woman!


Char. Good morrow, Sir. Oak. Dry up thy tears, my love, and be com- Maj. O. Good morrow, brother, good morrow. forted! You will find that I am not to blame in -What! you have been at the old work, I find. this matter. Come, let me see this letter; nay, I heard you, ding! dong! i'faith! She has rung you shall not deny me. (Takes the letter. a noble peal in your ears. But how now? Why

Mrs. 0. There! take it; you know the hand, I sure you've had a remarkable warm bout on't, am sure.

you seem more ruffled than usual. Oak. (Reads.) To Charles Oakly, Esq.—Hand! Oak. I am, indeed, brother! Thanks to that 'Tis a clerk-like hand, a good round text; and young gentleman there. Have a care, Charles! was certainly never penned by a fair lady. you may be called to a severe account for this. Mrs. 0. Ay, laugh at me, do.

The honour of a family, Sir, is no such light matter. Oak. Forgive me, my love, I did not mean to Char. Sir! laugh at thee. But what says the letter ? [Reads.] Maj. O. Hey-day! What, has a curtain lecture Daughter elopedyou must be privy to it-scan- produced a lecture of morality? What is all this ? dalous-dishonourable-satisfaction-rerenge - Oak. To a profligate mind, perhaps, these um, um, um—injured father.

things may appear agreeable in the beginning.

HENRY Russet. But don't you tremble at the consequences? Mrs. O. (Rising) Well, Sir, you see I have Char. I see, Sir, that you are displeased with detected you. Tell me this instant where she is me; but I am quite at a loss to guess at the occaconcealed.

sion. Oak. So, so, so; this hurts me. I'm shocked. Ouk. Tell me, Sir! where is Miss Harriet

[To himself. | Russet ?

Char. Miss Harriet Russet! Sir, explain. virtue of abigails, milliners, or mantua-makers'

Oak. Have not you decoyed her from her fa- 'prentices. ther?

Maj. 0. So much the better! so much the bet Char. I! Decoyed her-Decoyed my Harriet! ter! women are all alike in the main, brother, I would sooner die than do her the least injury. high or low, married or single, quality or no quaWhat can this mean?

lity. I have found them so, from a duchess down Maj. 0. I believe the young dog has been at to a milk-maid; every woman is a tyrant at the her, after all.

bottom. But they could never make a fool of me. Oak. I was in hopes, Charles, you had better No, no! no woman should ever domineer over me, principles. But there's a letter just come from let her be mistress or wife. her father

Oak. Single men can be no judges in these Char. A letter! What letter? Dear Sir, cases. They must happen in all families. But give it me. Some intelligence of my Harriet, when things are driven to extremities—to see a major! The letter, Sir, the letter this moment, woman in uneasinessa woman one loves ton for Heaven's sake!

one's wife-who can withstand it? You neither Oak. If this warmth, Charles, tends to prove speak nor think like a man that has loved and your innocence

been married, major! Char. Dear Sir, excuse me; I'll prove any Maj. 0. I wish I could hear a married man thing. Let me but see this letter, and I'll — speak my language. I'm a bachelor, it's true;

Oak. Let you see it! I could hardly get a but I am no bad judge of your case for all that. sight of it myself. Mrs. Oakly has it.

know yours and Mrs. Oakly’s disposition to a hair Char. Has she got it? Major, I'll be with you She is all impetuosity and fire; a very magazine again directly.

(Exit hastily. of touchwood and gunpowder. You are hot Maj. O. Hey-dey! The devil's in the boy enough too, upon occasion, but then it's over in What a fiery set of people! By my troth, I think an instant. In comes love and conjugal affection, the whole family is made of nothing but combus- as you call it; that is, mere folly and weakness: tibles.

and you draw off your forces, just when you Oak. I like this emotion; it looks well: it may should pursue the attack, and follow your advanperve too to convince my wife of the folly of her tage. Have at her with spirit, and the day's suspicions. Would to Heaven I could quiet your own, brother. them for ever.

Oak. Why, what would you have me do? Maj. 0. Why pray now, my dear, naughty Maj. 0. Do as you please for one month, whe brother, what heinous offence have you committed ther she likes it or not: and I'll answer for it she this morning ? What new cause of suspicion ? will consent you shall do as you please all her life You have been asking one of the maids to mend after. In short

, do but show yourself a man of your ruffle, I suppose, or have been hanging your spirit, leave off whining about love and tenderhead out at the window, when a pretty young ness, and nonsense, and the business is dore, woman has passed by, or

brother. Oak. How can you trifle with my distresses, Oak. I believe you are in the right, major! 1 major ? Did not I tell you it was about a let- see you are in the right. I'll do it, I'll certainly ter?

do it. But then it hurts me to the soul, to think Maj. 0. A letter! hum. A suspicious circum- what uneasiness I shall give her. The first openstance, to be sure! What, and the seal a true ing of my design will throw her into fits, and the lover's knot now, hey? or a heart transfixed with pursuit of it, perhaps, may be fatal. darts; or possibly the wax bore the industrious Maj. O. Pits! ha, ha, ha! I'll engage to cure impression of a thimble; or perhaps the folds were her of her fits

. Nobody understands hysterical lovingly connected by a wafer, pricked with a pin, cases better than I do; besides, my sister's sympand the direction written in a vile scrawl, and not toms are not very dangerous. Did you ever hear a word spelt as it should be ! ha, ha, ha! of her falling into a fit when you was not by!

Oak. Pooh! brother; whatever it was, the let- Was she ever found in convulsions in her closet! ter, you find, was for Charles, not for me. This No, no, these fits, the more care you take of them, outrageous jealousy is the devil.

the more you will increase the distemper: let Maj. O. Mere matrimonial blessings and do them alone, and they will wear themselves out, I mestic comfort, brother! jealousy is a certain sign warrant you. of love.

Oak. True, very true; you are certainly in the Oak. Love! it is this very love that hath made right-I'll follow your advice. Where do you us both so miserable. Her love for me has con- dine to-day? I'll order the coach, and go with fined me to my house, like a state prisoner, with you. out the liberty of seeing my friends, or the use of Maj. 0. O brave! keep up this spirit, and you pen, ink, and paper; while my love for her has are made for ever. made such a fool of me, that I have never had the Oak. You shall see now, major. Who's there? spirit to contradict her.

Enter SERVANT. Maj. 0. Ay, ay, there you've hit it; Mrs. Oakly would make an excellent wife, if you did Order the coach directly. I shall dine out today. but know how to manage her.

Serv. The coach, Sir —Now, Sir? Oak. You are a rare fellow indeed to talk of Oak. Ay, now, immediately. managing a wife! A debauched bachelor; a Sero. Now, Sir ?-the-the-coach, Sir ?-that rattle-brained, rioting fellow, who has picked up is--my mistressyour common place notions of women in bagnios, Maj. O. Sirrah! do as you are bid. Bid them taverns, and the camp; whose most refined com- put to this instant. merce with the sex has been in order to delude Sero. Yeyes, Sir-yes, Sir. (Erik country girls at your quarters, or to besiege the Oak. Well, where shall we dine ?

« ZurückWeiter »