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Mark me, be sure, with some slight wound; then Mar. We leave that hateful office to the fiends. fly,
Frank. If you e'er loved, you'll not refuse to And leave the rest to me.
see her : Mich. I know his temper.
You promised that. This seeming benefit will cancel all
Ard. Did I? His former doubts, and gain his easy
Frank. Indeed you did. Green. Perhaps so-yet
Ard. Well, then, some other time. Mos. Further debates are needless. (Ereunt. Frank. No; see her now.
Ard. Franklin, I know my heart, and dare not SCENE II.-A room in Arden's house.
I have a husband's honour to maintain,
I fear the lover's weakness may betray.
, in what temper did you find Let me not do what honour must condemn, Alicia?
And friendship blush to hear. Mar. Never was anguish, never grief, like hers: Frank. That Arden never will. She eats, nor sleeps. Her lovely downcast eyes, Mar. Did you but know her grief That used to gladden each beholder's heart, Ard. Am I the cause? Now wash the flinty bosom of the earth. Have I, just Heaven! have I e'er injured her? Her troubled breast heaves with incessant sighs, Yet I'm the coward. O preposterous fear! Which drink the purple streams of life, and blast See where she comes! Armed with my numerHer bloom, as storms the blossoms of the spring. ous wrongs, But sure her prayers must quickly reach high I'll meet, with honourable confidence, Heaven,
The offending wife, and look the honest husband. Relenting Arden kindly soothe her sorrows, Frank. Maria, we'll withdraw: even friendAnd her lost peace restore.
ship here Frank. Their mutual peace, Maria!
Would seem impertinence. For his can ne'er be found but in Alicia.
[Esteunt Franklin and Maria. Ashamed to view the face of man or day,
Ard. Be still, my heart !
Alicia enters, not seeing Arden.
Arden would die to see Alicia scorned.
He's here ! earth open! hide me from his sight! Ard. No, Franklin, no; your friendly cares are Ard. Guilt chains her tongue ! Lo! silent, vain :
self-condemned, Were I but certain she had wronged my bed, With tearful eyes, and trembling limbs, she stands. I then might hate her, and shake off my woes; Alic. Fain would I kiss his footsteps; but that But thus perplexed, can never taste of comfort ! look,
Frank. o Jealousy ! thou bane of social joys! Where indignation seems to strive with grief, Oh! she's a monster, made of contradietions! Forbids me to approach him. Let truth, in all her native charms, appear, Ard. Who would think, And, with the voice of harmony itself,
That anguish were not real ? Plead the just cause of innocence traduced; Alic. I'm rooted here ! Deaf as the adder, blind as upstart greatness,
Ard. Those tears, methinks, even if her guilt She sees nor hears! And yet let Slander whisper, were certain, Or evil-eyed Suspicion look oblique,
Might wash away her pains. Rumour 'has fewer tongues than she has ears; Alic. Support me, Heaven! And Argus's hundred eyes are dim and slow, Ard. Curse on the abject thought! I shall relapse To piercing Jealousy's
To simple dotage. She steals on my heart, Ard. No more, no more:
conquers with her eyes. If I but hear her I know its plagues ; but where's the remedy?
voice, Mar. In your Alicia.
Nor earth, nor Heaven, can save me from her Frank. She shall heal these wounds.
snares ! Ard. She's my disease, and can she be my cure? O! let me fly—if ļ have yet the power. My friends should rather teach me to abhor her, Alic. O Arden! do not, do not leave me thus! To tear her image from my bleeding heart !
[Kneels, and holds him.
Ard. I pray thee, loose thy hold!
Thou treasure of more worth than mines of gold ! Alic. O never, never !
I will not doubt my happiness. Thou art, Ard. Why should I stay to tell thee of my Thou wilt be mine, ever, and only mine. wrongs,
Alic. I am, I will. I ne'er knew joy till now. To aggravate thy guilt, and wound thy soul? Ard. This is our truest, happiest, nuptial day. Thyself, if all these agonizing struggles,
To-night, thou know est, according to my custom, Of tears, of sighs, of groans, of speechless sorrow, Our yearly fair returning with Si Valentine, Be but sincere-thyself will do it better. I treat my friends. I go to countenance One thing I'll tell thee--for perhaps 'twill please Their honest mirth, and cheer them with my thee;
bounty. Thou'st broke my heart, Alicia.
'Till happy night, farewell! My best Alicia, Alic. Oh!
(She falls to the ground. How will our friends rejoice, our foes repine, Ard. And canst thou,
To see us thus !
[Erit. Can woman pity, whom she hath undone? Alic. Thus ever may they see us ! Why dost thou grasp my knees? what wouldst | The wandering fires, that have so long misled me, thou say,
Are now extinguished, and my heart is Arden's. If thou couldst find thy speech?
The flowery path of innocence and peace Alic. O! mercy, mercy !
Shines bright before, and I shall stray no longer. Ard. Thon hast had none on me; let go my Whence then these sighs, and why these floods of hand!
tears? Why dost thou press it to thy throbbing heart, Sighs are the language of a broken heart, That beats-but not for me?
And tears the tribute each enlightened eye Alic. Then may it ne'er beat more!
Pays, and must pay, for vice and folly past. Ard. At least, I'm sure it did not always sn. And yet the painfullest virtue hath its pleasure: Alic. For that my soul is pierced with deep Though dangers rise, yet, peace restored within, remorse,
My soul collected shall undaunted meet them. For that I bow me to the dust before thee, Though trouble, grief, and death, the lot of all, And die to be forgiven! O Arden! Arden! On good and bad without distinction fall, Ard. Presumptuous fool! what business hast | The soul, which conscious innocence sustains, thou here?
Supports with ease these temporary pains; Did I not know my weakness, and her power ! But stung with guilt, and loaded with despair, Rise, rise, Alicia.
Becomes itself a burden none can bear. "(Exit. Alic. No; here let me lie, On the bare bosom of this conscious earth, SCENE III.—The street. People at a distance, Till Arden speak the words of peace and com
as at a fair. fort, Or my heart break before him!
Enter Arden on one side, and Black WILL Ard. O Alicia,
and SHAKEBAG on the other, Green directing Thou inconsistent spring of grief and joy,
them. Whence bitter streams, and sweet, alternate flow, B. Will. Shakebag, you'll second me-S'blood, Come to my arms, and in this too fond bosom give the way.
[Jost les Arden. Disburden all the fulness of thy soul !
Shakebag. May we not pass the streets? Alic. Let me approach, with awe, that sacred Ard. I saw you not. temple,
B. Will. Your sight perhaps is bad; your feelResume my seat, and dwell for ever there ! ing may be better.
[Strikes him. Ard. There ever reign, as on thy native throne, Ard. Insolent villain !
Draus. Thou lovely wanderer!
B. Will. Come, we'll teach you manners. Alic. Am I at last,
Ard. Both at once! barbarous cowards! In error's fatal mazes long bewildered, Permitted here to find my peace and safety !
Enter Mosby. Ard. Dry up thy tears ; and tell me, truly tell Mos. O bloody dogs! attempt a life so preme:
cious! Has my long-suffering love at length prevailed, B. Will, This is a fury, George. And art thou mine indeed?
[Black Hill and Shakebag beaten off Alic. Heaven is my witness,
Shake. I've pinked him thoughI love thee, Arden; and esteem thy love
Ard. Villains, come back, and finish your des Above all earthly good. Thy kind forgiveness
sign! Speaks to my soul that peaceful çalm confirmed, Mos. Shall I pursue them, sir? Which reason and reflection had begun.
Ard. Not for the world Ard. Thou'rt cheaply purchased with unnum- Mosby! amazing generosity! bered sighs,
Mos. I hope you are not hurt. With many a bitter tear, and years of patience, Ard. Pierced to the heart
Mos. Forbid it, heaven! quick, let me fly Ard. Speak—But what? Let's have no riddles for help.
here. Ard. With sharp reflection: Mosby, I can't bear Can she be innocent, and Mosby guilty? To be so far obliged to one I've wronged.
Frank. To speak my thoughts, this new offiMos. Who would not venture life to save a
cious fondness friend?
Makes me suspect : I like hiin worse than ever. Ard. From you I've not deserved that tender Ard. Because I like him better? What a
churl! Mos. No more of that--would I were worthy Frank. You are credulous, and treat
ous doubts Ard. I own my heart, by boiling passions torn, With too much levity. You vex me, Arden. [Erit. Forgets its gentleness—yet is ever open
Ard. Believe me, friend, you'll laugh at this To melting gratitude. O say what price
hereafter. [Erit the other way. Can buy your friendship? Mos. Only think me yours.
Mosby, having watched FRANKLIN out, re-enters
with GREEN. Ard. Easy, indeed. I am too much obliged. Why recked not your good sword its justice on me, NIos. The surly friend has left him-As I When, mad with jealous rage, in my own house, wished I urged you to my ruin?
You see how eagerly the foolish fowl Mos. I loved you then
Flies headlong to our snare : now to inclose him. With the same warmth as now.
At eight the guests are bidden to his banquet, Ard. What's here! you bleed.
And only Michael, of his numerous train, Let me bind up your wound.
Keeps home with his Alicia. lle'll secure Mos. A trifle, sir
The keys of all the doors, and let you in Ard. Your friendship makes it so. See, Frank- With my two trusty bloodhounds. Alicia seems lin, see
Averse at present.
Green. She'll not dare betray us.
Mos. Not when the deed is done. We know
too much. The man I treated as a coward, bleeding, She'll be our prisoner, and shall be observed. Wretch that I am ! for his defence of me. Towards evening, then, upon a slight pretence Look to your wound. And, Mosby, let us hope To pass an hour at draughts, (a game he loves) You'll sup with me. There will be honest Brad- I'll draw this husband home. You'll be prepared shaw,
In the inner room, (Michael will shew it you) And Franklin here, and
lill, at a signal given, you ail rush forth, Mos. Sir, I will not fail.
And strangle him. Frank. I shall not come.
Green. Good—'tis a death, that leaves Ard. Nay, Franklin, that's unkind.
No bloody character to mark the place. Prithee
Mos. However, come all provided with your Frank. Nay, urge me not. I have my reasons. daggers.
Mos. Avoids my company! So much the better. Do you seek Michael, I'll instruct the rest, His may not be so proper. [Aside.] An hour Green. What shall the signal be? hence,
Mos. These words in the game, If you are not engaged, we'll meet at Fowl's.
I take you now. Ard. I will be there.
Green. Arden! thou'rt taken now indeed. Mos. 'Till then I take my leave. [Erit Mosby, Mos. His body, thrown behind the abbey-wall, Ard. How have I been mistaken in this man? Shall be descried by the early passenger, Frank. How are you sure, you're not mistaken Returning from the fair. My friend, thy hand; now?
Shakes it? Be firm, and our united strength Ard. No doubt he loves me; and I blush to With ease shall cast dead Arden to the earth. think
Green. Thanks to his foolish tenderness of soul! How I've suspected him, and wronged Alicia. Mos. True; he, who trusts an old inveterate foe,
Frank. May you be ever happy in your wife: Bares his own breast, and courts the fatal blow. But
SCENE I.--Arden's House.
The appointed signal to his neighbour's wife !
. Which is the place, where we're to ALICIA alone.
be concealed? What have I heard | Is this the house of Arden! Green. This inner room. 0! that the power, which has so often saved him, B. Will. 'Tis well. The word is, Now I take Would send his guardian angel to him now, you.
[Knocking louder than before. To whisper in his ear his present danger!
Green. Ay, there's authority. That speaks the Fly, Arden, fly! avoid this fatal roof, Where murder lurks, and certain death awaits He seems in haste: 'Twere pity he should wait, thee !
Now we're so well prepared for his reception. Wander- no matter where Turn but from
[Green, Black Will, and Shakebag, go hence,
into the inner room. Thou canst not miss thy way—The house is Alic. Now, whither are they gone? The door's theirs.
unbarred. I am suspected— Michael guards the door- I hear the sound of feet. Should it be Arden, And even Maria's absent. Bloody Mosby, And Mosby with him—I can't bear the doubt, These are the fruits of thy detested lust. Nor would I be resolved. Be hushed, my fears ! But hark! the fiends approach. Green had hu- | 'Tis Mosby, and alone. (Enter Mosby.] Sir, hear manity.
Mos. Madam, is this a time?
Alic. I will be heard,
And mark me, when I swear, never hereafter, Could I prevail on him ! O sir
By look, word, act[Talks apart with Green. Mos. Be damned—your husbandB. Will. What a fair house! rich furniture ! Alic. Ha!
(She screams. what piles of massy plate! And then yon iron chest! Good plunder, comrade.
Enter Arden and MICHAEL. Shake. And madam Arden there—A prize worth them all to me.
Ard. Am I a monster, that I fright thee thus? B. Will. And shall that fawning, white-livered
(To Michael. coward, Mosby, enjoy all these?
Say, what has happened since I left the house? Shake. No doubt he would, were we the fools Thou look'st, Alicia, as if wild amazement he thinks us.
Had changed thee to the image of herself. Green. Had he as many lives as drops of Alic. Is Franklin with you? blood,
Ard. No. I'd have them all.
[To Alicia. Alic. Nor Fowl, nor Bradshaw? Alic. But for one single night
Ard. Neither, but both expected. Green. I'd not defer his fate a single hour, Alic. Merciful Heaven! Though I were sure myself to die the next. Ard. I meant to dedicate this happy night So, peace, irresolute woman—and be thankful To mirth and joy, and thy returning love. For thy own life.
[She sighs. Alic. O mercy, mercy !
Make me not sad, Alicia : For my sake Green. Yes,
Let discontent be banished from your brow, Such mercy as the nursing lioness,
And welcome Arden's friends with laughing eyes. When drained of moisture by her eager young, Amongst the first let Mosby be enrolled — Shews to the prey that first encounters her. Alic. The villain !
B. Will. Who talks of mercy, when I am here? Ard. Nay, I am too well convinced Green. She would prevent us; but our steady Of Mosby's friendship, and Alicia's love, courage
Ever to wrong them more by weak suspicions. Laughs at her coward arts.
I've been indeed to blame, but I will make thee [Knocking gently at the gate. A large amends, Alicia. Look upon him, Why, Michael !
As on the man, that gave your husband life. Mich. Sir!
Alic. Would take my husband's life !—I'll tell Green. Thou bloodless coward, what dost
him all, tremble at ?
And cast this load of horror from my soul : Dost thou not hear a knocking at the gate ? Yet, 'tis a dreadful hazard. Both must die.
[Erit Michael. A fearful thought! Franklin may come, or BradMosby, no doubt. How like a sly adulterer,
shawa Who steals at midnight, and with caution gives O let me not precipitate his fate ! Aside.
Mos. I see my presence is offensive there. Who-who are these? But I forgive you all.
[Going. Thy hand, Alicia. Ard. Alicia! No-she has no will but mine. Alic. I'll not give it thee. Mos. It is not fit she should : and yet-per- Ard. O wretched woman! have they killed haps-
thee, too Twere better, sir-Permit me to retire.
A deadly paleness, agony, and horror, Ard. Nomore-Our friendship, publicly avowed, On thy sad visage sit. My soul hangs on thee, Will clear her injured virtue to the world. And, though departing-just departing-loves Mos. Something there is in that
thee: Ard. It is a debt
Is loth to leave, unreconciled to thee,
Mos. For her sake, then; not for my own. Dismiss her pleased, and say thou’rt innocent.
Alic. All hell contains not such a guilty wretch. Ard. Come, take your seat; this shall not save Ard. Then welcome death! though in the your money.
shape of murder. Bring us the tables, Michael. (They sit and play. How have I doated to idolatry ! Alic. (Aside.) O just Heaven!
Vain, foolish wretch, and thoughtless of hereafter, Wilt thou not interpose!-How dread this pause! Nor hoped, nor wished a heaven beyond her love. When thousand terrors crowd the narrow space. Now, unprepared, I perish by her hate. Ard. Your thoughts are absent, Mosby.
Alic. Though blacker, and more guilty, than B. Will. Blood! why don't Mosby give the
the fiends, word?
[Aside. My soul is white from this accursed deed. Mich. Give back, the game's against him. 0 Arden! hear me Alic. Fly, Franklin! Ay, to save thy Arden's
Ard. Full of doubts, I come, life.
O thou Supreme, to seek thy awful presence. Murder herself, that chases him in view, My soul is on the wing. I own thy justice. Beholding me, starts back, and, for a moment, Prevent me with thy mercy.
[Dies. Suspends her thirst of blood.
[Aside. Alic. Turn not from me : Ard. Come, give it up; I told you I should Behold me, pity me, survey my sorrows! win.
(Rises. I, who despised the duty of a wife, Mos. No, I see an advantage; move again.
Will be thy slave. Spit on me, spurn me, sir, Ard. There.
I'll love thee still. O couldst thou court my Mos. Now I take you. [Black Will throws a scarf over Arden's And now abhor me, when I love thee more,
head, in order to strangle him; but Ar- If possible, than e'er thou lovedst Alicia !
(Snatches a dugger, and strikes at Mosby. Alic. O Power omnipotent! make strong his
A knocking at the gate. arm!
Mos. Damnation ! Give him to conquer! Ha! my prayers are curses,
B. Will. 'Sdeath! we shall leave our work unAnd draw down vengeance where they meant a finished, and be betrayed at last. Let us hide blessing.
the body. Ard. Inhospitable villain!
Mos. Force her away. Alic. O! he dies !
Alic. Inhuman bloody villains ! Ard. O hold your bloody-Mosby too! Nay, [She swoons, as she is forced from the body. then,
[Falling I yield me to my fate. Is this, Alicia,
My sliding feet, as they move trembling forwards, Therefore beyond my hopes.
Are drenched in blood. O may I only fancy Ard. O Mosby, Michael, Green!
That Arden there lies murderedWhy have you drawn my blood upon your souls? Mos. How fares Alicia? Mos. Behold her there, to whom I was be- Alic. As the howling damned: and thou my trothed,
hellAnd ask no further.
Mar. Unhappy brother! Green. Think on thy' abbey-lands
If thou hast done this deed, hope not to escape : From injured Green.
Mercy herself, who only seeks for crimes, Ard. You now are your own judges,
That she inay pardon and reforın the guilty, But we shall meet again, where right and truth-Would change her nature at a sight like this.