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Char. What mean you by this ?
Char. How know him ? Mere doubt and supposition !
Lew. I shall have proof soon.
life to be his punisher?
Lew. My life, madam! Don't be afraid. But let it content you that I know this Stukely-Twould be as easy to make him honest as brave.
Char. And what do you intend to do?
Lew. Nothing, till I have proof.-But, methinks, madam, I am' acting here without authority. Could I have leave to call Mr Beverley brother, bis concerns would be my own. Why will you make my services appear officious ? Char. You know my reasons, and should not press
But I am cold, you say; and cold I will be while a poor sister's destitute.
Misfortunes press too hard upon her; yet, till to-day, she has borne them nobly.
Lew. Where is she?
Char. Gone to her chamber. Her spirits failed her.
Lew. I hear her coming. Let what has passed with Stukely be a secret-She has already too much to trouble her.
Enter MRS BEVERLEY.
Mrs Bev. Good morning, sir ; I heard your voice, and, as I thought, enquiring for me. Where's Mr Stukely, Charlotte ?
Char. This moment gone--You have been in tears, sister; but here's a friend shall comfort you.
Lew. Or, if I add to your distresses, I'll beg your
pardon, madam. The sale of your house and furniture was finished yesterday.
Mrs Beo. I know it, sir ; I know too your generous reasons for putting me in mind of it. But you have obliged me too much already.
Lew. There are trifles, madam, which I know you have set a value on; those I have purchased, and will deliver. I have a friend too, that esteems you-He has bought largely, and will call nothing his, till he has seen you. If a visit to him would not be painful, he has begged it may be this morning.
Mrs Bev. Not painful in the least. My pain is from the kindness of my friends. Why am I to be obliged beyond the power of return?
Lew. You shall repay us at your own time. I have a coach waiting at the door-Shall we have your company, madam?
[T. CHARLOTTE. Char. No; my brother may return soon; I'll stay and receive him.
Mrs Bev. He may want a comforter, perhaps. But don't upbraid him, Charlotte. We sha'n't be absent long. "Come, sir, since I must be so obliged.
Lew. "Tis I that am obliged. An hour, or less, will be sufficient for us. We shall find you at home, ma
Enter STUKELY. Stuke. That Lewson suspects me, 'tis too plain, Yet why should he suspect me!-I appear the friend of Beverley as much as he. But I am rich, it seems; and so I am, thanks to another's folly and my own wisdom. To what use is wisdom, but to take advantage of the weak? This Beverley's my fool; I cheat him, and he calls me friend. But more business must be done yet_His wife's jewels are unsold; so is the reversion of his uncle's estate : I must have these too. And then there's a treasure above all I love his wife -Before she knew this Beverley I loved her; but, like a cringing fool, bowed at a distance, while he stepped in and won hier-Never, never will I forgive him for it. My pride, as well as love, is wounded by this conquest. Those hints this morning were well thrown in-Already they have fastened on her. If jealousy should weaken her affections, want may corrupt her virtue; my heart rejoices in the hope!
-These jewels may do much-He shall demand them of her; which, when mine, shall be converted to special purposes-What now, Bates?
Stuke. At last night's rendezvous, wa ting for me
Bates. Dressed like a nobleman; with money
in his pocket, and a set of dice that shall deceive the devil.
Stuke. That fellow has a head to undo a nation; but for the rest, they are such low-mannered, illlooking dogs, I wonder Beverley has not suspected them. Bates. No matter for manners and looks. Do
you supply them with money, and they are gentlemen by profession—The passion of gaming casts such a mist before the eyes, that the nobleman shall be surrounded with sharpers, and imagine himself in the
Stuke. There's that Williams too. It was he, I suppose, that called at Beverley's with the note this morning. What directions did you give him?
Bates. To knock loud and be clamorous. Did not you see him?
Stuke. No, the fool sneaked off with Jarvis. Had he appeared within doors, as directed, the note had been discharged. I waited there on purpose.
I want the women to think well of me; for Lewson's grown suspicious; he told me so himself. Bates. What did
make him? Stuke. A short one
-That I would see him soon for further explanation.
Bates, We must take care of him. But what have we to do with Beverley ? Dawson and the rest are wondering at you.
Stuke. Why, let them wonder. I have designs above their narrow reach. They see me lend him money, and they stare at me. But they are fools. I want him to believe me beggared by him.
Bates. And what then ?
Stuke. Ay, there's the question; but no matter; at night you may know more. He waits for me at Wilson's. I told the women where to find him.
Bates. To what purpose ?
Stuke. To save suspicion. It looked friendly, and they thanked me.-Old Jarvis was dispatched to him.
Bates. And may entreat him home
Stuke. No, he expects money from me; but I'll have none. His wife's jewels must go-Women are easy creatures, and refuse nothing where they love. Follow to Wilson's, but be sure he sees you not. You are a man of character, you know; of prudence and discretion. Wait for me in an outer room ; I shall have business for you presently.--Come, sir.
Let drudging fools by honesty grow great;
ACT THE SECOND.
A Gaming House, with Table, Box, Dice, &c.
BEVERLEY discovered sitting. Beo. Why, what a world is this! The slave that digs for gold receives his daily pittance, and sleeps contented; while those for whom he labours convert their good to mischief, making abundance the means of want. O shame! shame! Had Fortune given me but little, that little had still been my own. But plenty leads to waste; and shallow streams maintain their currents, while swelling rivers beat down their banks, and leave their channels empty. What had I to do with play? I wanted nothing - My wishes and