Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

And form such sounds? If these heart-racking Enter MICHAEL.

thoughts Why dost thou break upon me unawares? Precede the horrid act, what must ensue? What of your master?

Worse plague I cannot fear from Arden's death; Mich. He's scarce sunk to rest,

But from his life the death of him I love. But full of meditated rage against Mosby." Perish the hated husband! Wherefore hated? Alic. He'll sleep in peace ere long.

Is he not all, that my vain sex could wish? Mich. Think not on that.

My eyes, while they survey his graceful form, O did Maria bless me with her smiles,

Condemn my heart, and wonder how it strayed. As you do Mosby, had I twenty lives,

He sighs; he starts; he groans. His body sleeps, I'd risk them all to win her to my arms.

But restless grief denies his mind repose. Alic. I prithee leave me, Michael. (Exit Perhaps he dreams of me; perhaps he sees me, Michael.] What is nature !

Thus like a fury, broke from deepest hell, There is a power in love, subdues to itself Lust in my heart, and murder in my handAll other passions in the human mind.

[Alicia drops the dagger. ARDEN starts up. This wretch, more fearful than the lonely mur- Ard. Her dagger, Michael-seize it, and I'm derer,

safe. Whom with inquiring eyes some stranger views, How strong she is ! Oh! What a fearful dream! Would meet the king of terrors undisınayed, Before me still! speak, vision-art thou Alicia, For her he loves, and dare him to the combat. Or but the coinage of my troubled brain? And shall not I preserve my Mosby's life?

Alic. O Arden-husband-lordAnd shall not I-A husband !What's a hus- Ard. Art thou

my

wife? band?

Thou'rt substance- -I am wrapped in wonderI have a soul above the unnatural tie,

hence That tells me, I'm his right, and only his, Hast lost all sense of fear, as well as shame, Who won my virgin heart. Ye tender parents, That thou dar'st haunt me thus, asleep and waWhose cruel kindness made your child thus king, wretched,

Thou idol, and thou torment of my soul ? Turn not your eyes towards earth to view this Alic. My bleeding heart ! scene;

Ard. Away! begone and leave me ! 'Twill make you sad in Heaven ! [Erit. Lest, in the transports of unbounded rage,

I rush upon thee, and deface these charms, SCENE IV.- Another Room. ARDEN sleeping That first enslaved my soul; mangle that face, on a couch.

Where, spite of falsehood, beauty triumphs still;

Mar that fair frame, and crush thee into atoms. Enter Alicia, with a dagger in her hand.

Avoid me, and be safe-Nay now you drive me Alic. See! Jealousy, o'erwatched, is sunk to hence. [ Alicia kneels, he turns aady. rest,

Cruel and false as thou hast been to me, While fearful guilt knows no security,

I cannot see thee wring thy suppliant hands, But in repeated crimes. My weary eyes, And weep, and kncel ju vain. [Erit Arden. Each moment apprehensive of his vengeance, Alic. This, this is he Must seek for rest in vain till his are closed. I came prepared to murder. Curst Alicia! Then for our mutual peace, and Mosby's love.

[Takes up the dagger, [ Approaching to stab him, starts. In thy own bosom plunge the fatal steel, lle wakes-Defend me from his just revenge ! Or his, who robbed thee of thy fame aud virtue. And yet he sees me not, nor moves a finger, It will not be Fear holds my dastard hand : To save his threatened life. Then whence that Those chaster powers, that guard the nuptial bed voice

From foul pollution, and the hapd from blood, That pierced my ears, and cried, ' Alicia, hold ! Hlave left their charge, and I am lost for ever. Can mimic fancy cheat the outward sense,

[Exit.

ACT III.

.

SCENE I.-A road or highway near Feversham. I it but naked in your hand, he would have stab

bed himself as he walked. Black WiLL and SHAKEBAG.

B. Hill. I had not power to do it: a sudden Shake. Damnation ! posted as you were, to damp came over me; I never felt so in my life. let him escape!

A kind of palsy seized me. B. Will. I pray thee, peace.

Shake. Palsy! when you're upon your duty! Shake. Green and I beheld him pass carelessly Go, go and sleep, or drink away your fears by within reach of your dagger. If you had held You tremble still

us all.

you let him

B. Will. I tremble! my courage was never L. Chey. Arden, well met. You're to the isle of yet called in question, villain. When I fought Shippey at Boulogne under the late king, both armies Grown quite a stranger. Shall we see you there? knew, and feared me.

Ard. I purposed soon to have waited on your Shake. That might be, because they did not lordship know you. Dog, I'll shake you off to your old L. Chey. Well, will you sup with me to night trade of filching in a throng-Murder's too at Shorlow? genteel a business for your capacity.—Sirrah, I Ard. Franklin, my lord, who is my guest at have taken more gold at noon-day, than ever you present, filched copper by candle-light.

Expects me at my house. B. Will. Cowardly slave, you lye.

L. Chey. Then will you dine with me to morShake. A coward! S'blood ! 'that shall be row? proved. Come on.

Ard. I'll not fail your lordship. B. Will. To thy heart's blood.

L. Chey. Believe me, worthy friend, I'm glad Shake. To thine.

[They fight.

to see you. Enter GREEN.

Walk you towards Feversham?

Ard. So please your lordship. Green. What are you mad! For shame! put

(Exeunt Lord Cheyney, and Arden. up your swords,

B. Will. Just as I'd taken aiin too !—S'blood, Shake. Not till I've had his life.

I could kill myself for vexation,
B. Will. Fool, guard thy own.
Green. Pray hear me, gentlemen!

Enter Green.
B. Will. Stand farther off!

Green. Well, Arden is at last dispatched ? Shake. Away!

Shuke. Yes, safe to Feversham. Green. This broil will ruin all.

Green. Safe, say you! his good fortune mocks Shake. He begun it. B. Will. Av, and will end it too.

These strange escapes have almost staggered me; Green. Arden, you know, returns, and will But thinking of my wrongs, I'm more confirmed.

B. Will. Well said, my man of resolution ! A Escape a second time?

gentleman commits a murder with double the Shake. Who did the first?

satisfaction for such a heart.-We must lay our Green. No matter, that may be repaired.

snares more cunning for the future. B. Will. Brand me with cowardice!

Green. We should consult with Michael, Green. Come, come, you're both to blame.

Arden's man; Speak, will you lay aside this senseless broil?

The pigmy-hearted wretch, though long ago B. Will. Nay, let him speak.

He swore his master dead, acts with reluctance. Shake. Why, rather than lose this opportunity- Shake. The cowardinust be spurred. He

[Puts up his sword. does it, or he dies. B. Will. Ay-We'll defer it, 'till Arilen’s dead.

Green. I wonder at his absence, as he knew I'm for doing business first, and then for play.

Of this attempt, and proinised to be here.
Shake. Challenge me, when thou darest.
Green. The night draws on. Are resolved?

Enter MICHAEL.
Shake. We are.

Mich. I saw my master and lord Cheyney pass. Green. Enough.-See where he comes. I

And my heart leaped for joy.

[A part must withdraw;

B. Will. What says the villain? But when you've done the deed, and sent his soul

Mich. Would I were gone. (Aside.] Sir, if I No matter where I'll come to you again.

give offence

[Going [Erit Green.

Green. Michael, come back; you must not B. Will. Something rises in my throat-I can leave us so. scarce breathe---I'd rather poison half a dozen Mich. What is your pleasure ? cardinals, than kill this honest man, but I'll

Green. Why, we understand do't, for my reputation.

You are in love with Mosby's beauteous sister. Shake. He conies. Retire a little. Let him

Mich. Suppose I am? advance, then bury your dagger in his heart. If B. Will. You deal too mildly with the peasant. you fail, I'll second you. B. Will. Stand further off, I shall not need honest man of your word, and do it then, white

You swore to kill your master, villain. Be an

liver ! Shake. Now strike

Msich. Sir, I repented. Enter Arden first, and then Lord CHEYNEY B. Will. Repented ! what's that? Dog, know attended

your rank, and act as we command, or your B. Will. Again prevented ! Ten thousand heart's bloodderils take them all!

Mich. What must I do?

[Frighted.

you

your aid.

strikes ten,

rest not.

B. WHl. Do! you must shew us the house, | In me, 'twas foolish guilt and disobedience; appoint the time and place, and lure your mas- In you, 'twas avarice, insolence, and pride. ter thither-We'll take care of him, without your Mos. 'Twas love in me, and gratitude in you. trouble.

Alic. 'Twas insolence in you, meanness in me, Green. So shall you purchase noble Mosby's And madness in us both. My careful parents, friendship,

In scorn of your presumption and my weakness, And, by his friendship, gain his sister's love. Gave me in marriage to a worthy gentleman, Msich. They'll murder me too, should I not of birth and fortune equal to my own. comply

[Aside. Three years I lived with him without reproach, Green. Think on your love, your interest. And made him in that time the happy father B. Will. Or

your
death.

Of two most lovely children. I too was happy; Mich. To-night, soon as the abbey-clock At least I lived in hopes I might be so:

[Trembling. For time, and gratitude, and Arden's love, Come to his house : I'll leave the doors unbar. I hoped might quench my guilty flane for you, red :

And make my heart a present worthy him. The left hand stairs lead to my master's cham- Mos. And dost thou glory in thy perjuries? ber;

In love, inconstancy alone is a crime. There take him, and dispose him as you please. Think on the ardour of our youthful passion; Green. This cannot fail.

Think how we played with love; nor thought it Shake. Unless this love-sick coward thinks to guilt, deceive us.

Till thy first falsehood; call it not obedience! Mich. I will not, by Heaven!

Thy marriage with this Arden made me despeB. Will. I believe thee; for by hell thou da

rate;

[Exeunt. Think on the transports of our love renewed, Mich. Master, thy constant love and daily Andbounty

Alic. Hide the rest, lest listening winds should Deserve more grateful offices from Michael.

hear,
(E.xit weeping. And publish to the world our shameful tale!

Here let remembrance of our follies die.
SCENE II.

Mos. Shall our loves wither in their early

bloom? A room in ARDEN's house.

Alic. Their harvest else will be to both our

shames. ALICIA alone.

Hast thou not made a monster of me, Mosby? Alic. When vice has spread her poison through You should abhor me, I abhor myself

. the soul,

When unperceived I stole on Arden's sleep, How lifeless, slow, confused, and insincere (Ilell steeled my heart, and death was in my hand) Are our resolves in the pursuit of virtue! Pale anguish brooded on his ashy cheek, What wonder, then, Heaven should refuse its And chilly sweats stood shivering on his brow.

Relentless murder, at a sight so sad, To thoughts that only blossom for a time,

Gave place to pity; and as he waked, I stood Look blooming to the eye, but yield no fruit? Irresolute, and drowned in tears.

Mos. She's lost,
Enter Mosby.

And I in vain have stained my soul with blood. Mos. I come, Alicia, to partake thy griefs;

[ Aside. For fire divided burns with lesser force.

Alic. Give o'er in time : in vain are your alAlic. I know thee: thou art come to fan the

tempts fame

Upon my Arden's life; for Heaven, that wrested Thy breath hath kindled here, till it consume us. The fatal weapon from my trembling hand, But tears and sighs shall stifle in my heart Still has hin in its charge. The guilty passion

Mos. Little she thinks,

Aside. Mos. -Is heroic love,

That Arden's dead eré now.-It must be so; That formed the bright examples of thy sex, I've but that game to play, ere it be known. Made their lives glorious, and their fame immor- Alic. I know our dangerous state; I hesitate ; tal,

I tremble for your life; I dread reproach; A crime in thee? Art thou not mine by oaths, But we've offended, and must learn to suffer. By mutual sufferings, by contract mine?

Mos. Then Arden lives, in his Alicia blest, Alic. Why do you urge a rash, a fatal pro- And Mosby wretched ! Yet should chance or na

mise, I had no right to make, or you to ask?

Lay Arden gently in a peaceful grave, Why did you practise on my easy heart? Might I presume to hope? Alicia, speak. Why did I ever Listen to your vows?

Alic. Ilow shall I look into my secret thoughts,

aid

ture

[ocr errors]

And answer what I fear to ask myself?

And each hour bends him lower towards his [A long pause.

grave. Mos. Silence speaks best for me. His death Ard. I know thy friendship, and perceive its once known,

drift. I must forswear the fact, and give these tools I'll bear my wrongs, for sure I have been wronged. To public justice, and not live in fear. [Aside. Do I but think so then! What fools are men, Ti heart is mine. I ask but for my own.

Whom love and hatred, anger, hope, and fear, [To her.

And all the various passions, rule by turns, Truth, gratitude, and honour bind you to me, And in their several turns alike deceive? Or else you never loved.

Frank. To cast away, and on suspicion only, Alic. Then why this struggle?

A jewel, like Alicia, were to her Not loved ! O had my love been justly placed, Unjust, and cruel to yourself. [Clock strikes ten.] As sure it was exalted and sincere,

Good night, I should have gloried in it, and been happy.

The clock has strucken ten. But I'll no longer live the abject slave

Ard. I thought it more. Of loose desire; I disclaiin the thought.

Frank. I thought it not so much. Mos. I'll ask no more what honour should Ard. Why, thus it is : deny;

Our happy hours are few, and fly so swift, By Heaven, I never will.

That they are past ere we begin to count them : Alic. Well then remember,

But, when with pain and misery opprest,
On that condition only, I renew

Anticipating Time's unvarying pace,
My vows. If time and the event of things We think each heavy moment is an age.

[Giving her hand. Frank. Come, let us to rest. Impartial as the Should ever make it lawful, I'll be yours.

grave, Mos. Oh my full joys !

Sleep robs the cruel tyrant of his power, Alic. Suppress thy frantic transports ! Gives rest and freedom to the o'erwrought slave, My heart recoils; I am betrayed ! O give me And steals the wretched beggar from his wants. back

Droop not, my friend; sleep will suspend thy My promised faith!

cares, Mos. First, let the world dissolve.

And time will end them. Alic. There is no joy, nor peace for you, or

Ard. True, for time brings death,

The only certain end of human woes. All our engagements cannot but be fatal. Sleep interrupts, but, waking, we're restored Mos. The time may come, when you'll have to all our griefs again. Watching and rest, other thoughts;

Alternately succeeding one another, Till then, farewell.—[ Aside.] Now, fortune, do Are all the idle business of dull life. thy worst.

[Exit. What shall we call this undetermined state, Alic. Mosby, return- --He's gone, and I am This narrow isthmus 'twixt two boundless oceans, wretched.

That, whence we came, and that, to which we I should have banished him my sight for ever.

tend? You happy fair ones, whose untainted fame Is it life chequered with the sleep of death? Has never yet been blasted with reproach, Or death enlivened by our waking dreams? Fly from the appearance of dishonour far. But we'll to bed. Here, Michael, bring the lights! Virtue is arbitrary, nor admits debate : To doubt is treason in her rigid court;

Enter Michael with lights. But, if ye parley with the foe, you're lost. (Exit. Heaven send you good repose.

[Gives Franklin a candle. SCENE III.--Another room in Arden's house.

Frank. The like to you.
Mich. Shall I attend

you,

sir ? ARDEN and FRANKLIN sitting together on a Frank. No, no, I choose to be alone. Good couch : Arden thoughtful.

vight. Frank. Nay, wonder not. Though every cir- [Erit Franklin. Michael attends his master cumstance

with the other light, and returns.] Thus strangely met to prove the lady false,

Mich. I, who should take my weapon in my And justify the husband's horrid vengeance,

hand, Yet it appears to every honest eye,

And guard his life with hazard of my own, Too late for the poor lady, she was wronged. With fraudful sıniles have led hin, unsuspecting, Ard. Is it possible?

Quite to the jaws of death. But I've an oath. Frank. Ay very possible :

Mosby has bound me with an horrid vow, He lives, that proves it so. Concealed from jus- Which if I break, these dogs have sworn my tice,

death. He pines with ceaseless sorrow for his guilt, I've left the doors unbarred. Hark! 'twas the latch. Vol. I.

3P

me:

They come-I hear their oaths, and see their Mich. Did I?daggers

Ard. [within.] Why, Michael ! Insulting o'er my master's mangled body,

Frank. You tremble still.—Has any one been While he for mercy pleads.—Good master, live!

here? I'll bar the doors again. But should I meet Mich. No, I hope not. My master will be them

angry. What's that ?-I heard them cry, "Where is this coward ?

Enter ARDEN. Arden once dead, they'll murder me for sport. Ard. This negligence not half contents me, sir: Help-call the neighbours Master-Franklin, The doors were all left open. help!

Mich. Sir

Ard. To bed, Enter Arden and Franklin, undressed at se- And, as you prize my favour, be more careful. veral doors.

[Erit Michael. Ard. What dismal outcry is this?

Frank. 'Tis very cold. Once more, my friend Frank. What frights thee, Michael ?

Ard. Good night.

[Erit Arden. Mich. My master - Franklin ! Ard. Why dost thou tremble so?

SCENEIV-Changes to the street before Arden's Mich. I dreamed the house was full of thieves

door ; the door shut. and murderers.

[Trembling. Ard. Dreamed! what, awake! Åre all the

Enter Black Will, and SHAKEBAG. doors made fast?

B. Will. Zounds! Michael has betrayed us; Mich. I think they are.

The doors are fast. Away, away-Disperse. Ard. I'll go and see myself. [Erit Arden.

(Ereunt. Frank. You made a fearful noise.

ACT IV.

SCENE I.-An Inn, the Flower-de-Luce. Bid opportunity and fortune wait;

And all to be forsaken for a husband !
Mosby and MICHAEL.

By Heaven, I am glad he has so oft escaped, Mich. Though I with oaths appealed to con- That I may have him murdered in her sight! scious Heaven,

Enter Green. That Arden rose, and shut the doors himself, Yet, but for Green, these bloody rogues had kill- Green. How strange a providence attends this ed me.

man ! We must desist-Franklin and sweet Maria 'Tis vain to strive with Heaven.- Let's give it Have promised, at Alicia's own request,

o'er. To interfere.

Mos. No; when I do, may I be curst for ever, Mos. Such ever be the employ

Hopeless to love, and hate without revenge! Of him I hate!

May I ne'er know an end of disappointment, Mich. The mourning fair, all changed, But, prest with hard necessity, like thee, By me conjures you (and with tears she spake it), Live the contempt of my insulting foe! Not to involve yourself, and her, in ruin,

Green. I scorn the abject thought. Had he a By seeking to renew a correspondence,

life She has renounced for ever.

Hung on each hair, he dies ! -If we succeed, Mos. How! confusion !

[To Michael. Mich. And hopes, as Heaven, in answer to her This very night Maria shall be thine. prayers,

Mich. I am a man again. Hath reconciled her duty and affection,

Mos. I've thought a way, You will approve her resolution

That may be easy under friendship's mask,
Mos. Doubtless !

Which to a foe suspected may be hard.
Mich. And learn, by her example, to subdue Green. Friendship ! impossible.
Your guilty passion.

Mos. You know him not.
Mos. Ha, ha, ha! exquisite woman! You, with your ruffians, in the street shall seek
So! rather than not change, she'll love her hus- him.
band!

I follow at some distance. They begin But she will not persevere.

(No matter how) a quarrel, and at once Mich. Yes, sure she will.

Assault him with their swords.—Straight I apMos. Have I, then, slighted her whole sighing pear, sex,

Forget all wrongs, and draw in his defence;

« ZurückWeiter »