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my means were equal. The poor followed me with blessings, love scattered roses on my pillow, and morning waked me to delight-Oh, bitter thought, that leads to what I was, by what I am! I would forget both-Who's there?
Enter a WAITER.
Bev. Well, show him in. [Exit WAITER.) A messenger from Stukely then; from him that has undone me! yet all in friendship—And now he lends me his little, to bring back fortune to me.
Enter JARVIS. Jarvis Why this intrusion ?-Your absence had been kinder.
Jar. I came in duty, sir. If it be troublesomeBev. It is--I would be private-hid even from mya self. Who sent you hither?
Jar. One that would persuade you home again. My mistress is not well—her tears told me so.
Bev. Go with thy duty there then I have no business for thee.
Jar. Yes, sir; to lead you from this place. I am your servant still. Your prosperous fortune blessed my
old age: If that has left you, I must not leave you.
Bev. Not leave me! Recall past time, then; or, through this sea of storms and darkness, show me a star to guide me. But what canst thou ?
Jar. The little that I can I will. You have been generous to me -I would not offend you, sirbut
Bev. No. Think'st thou I'd ruin thee too? I have enough of shame already-My wife! my wife ! Wouldst thou believe it, Jarvis ? I have not seen
me, Jarvis ?
her all this long night
I, who have loved her so, that every
hour of absence seemed as a gap in life! Bat other bonds have held me-Oh, I have played the boy! dropping my counters in the stream, and reaching to redeem them, lost myself!
Jar. For pity's sake, sir!~I have no heart to see this change.
Bev. Nor I to bear it-How speaks the world of
Jar. As of a good man dead Of one who, walking in a dream, fell down a precipice. The world is sorry
you. Bed. Ay, and pities me-Says it not so? But I was born to infamy. I'll tell thee what it says; it calls me villain, a treacherous husband, a cruel father, a false brother, one lost to nature and her charities; or, to say all in one short word, it calls mem-gamester. Go to thy mistress--I'll see her presently.
Jar. And why not now? Rude people press upon her; loud, bawling creditors; wretches who know no pity--I met one at the door he would have seen my mistress: I wanted means of present payment, so promised it to-morrow : But others
may be pressing, and she has grief enough already.--Your absence hangs too heavy on her.
Bev. Tell her I'll come thep. But what hast thou to do with my distresses ? Thy honesty has left thee poor. Keep what thou hast; lest, between thee and the grave, misery steal in. I have a friend shall counsel memThis is that friend,
Enter STUKELY. Stuke. How fares it, Beverley? Honest Mr Jarvis, well met. That viper, Williams! Was it not he that troubled you this morning?
Jar. My mistress heard him then? I am sorry that she heard him.
Bev. And Jarvis promised payment. Stuke. That must not be." Tell him I'll satisfy him.
Jar. Will you, sir ? Heaven will reward you for it.
Bev. Generous Stukely! Friendship like yours, had it ability like will, would more than balance the wrongs of fortune.
Stuke. You think too kindly of me-Make haste to Williams; his clamours may be rude else.
[TO JARVIS, Jar. And my master will go home again-Alas! sir, we know of hearts there breaking for his absence.
(Exit. Bev. 'Would I were dead !
Stuke. Pr’ythee, be a man, and leave dying to disease and old
Fortune may be ours again; at least we'll try for't.
Bev. No; it has fooled us on too far.
Stuke. Ay, ruined us; and therefore we'll sit down contented. These are the despondings of men without money; but let the shining ore chink in the pocket, and folly turns to wisdom. We are Fortune's children-True, she's a fickle mother ; but shall we droop because she's peevish? -No; she has smiles in store, and these her frowns are meant to brighten them.
Bev. Is this a time for levity? But you are single in the ruin, and, therefore, may talk lightly of it :with me 'tis complicated misery.
Stuke. You censure me unjustly; I but assumed these spirits to cheer my friend. Heaven knows, he wants a comforter.
Bev. What new misfortune ?
Stuke. I would have brought you money, but lenders want securities. What's to be done ? All that was mine is yours already.
Bev. And there's the double weight that sinks me. I have undone my friend too; one who, to save a
drowning wretch, reached out his hand, and perished with him.
Stuke. Have better thoughts.
Ber. Whence are they to proceed? I have nothing left.
Stuke. [Sighing.] Then we're indeed undone What! nothing No moveables, nor useless trinkets! -Baubles locked up in caskets, to starve their own. ers? I have ventured deeply for you.
Bev. Therefore this heart-ache; for I am lost beyond all hope.
Stuke. No; means may be found to save us.—Jare vis is rich Who made him so ? This is no time for ceremony.
Bev. And is it for dishonesty? The good old man!
Say it was I that tempted you-Tell Lewson so, and tell him, I have wronged you-He has suspicions of me, and will thank you.
Bev. No; we have been companions in a rash voyage, and the same storm has wrecked us both: Mipe shall be self-upbraidings.
Stuke. And will they feed us? You deal unkindly by me. I have sold and borrowed for
while land or credit lasted; and now, when fortune should be tried, and my heart whispers me success, I am deserted. turned loose to beggary, while you have. hoards.
Bev. What hoards ? Name them, and take them!
Bev. And shall this thriftless hand seize them too? My poor, poor wife ! Must she lose all? I would not wound her se.
Stuke. Nor I, but from necessity. One effort more, and fortune may grow kind. I have unusual hopes.
Bev. Think of some other means then.
Stuke. Ay, and your friend a poor one-But I have done: And for these trinkets of a woman, why, let her keep them, to deck out pride with, and show a laughing world that she has finery to starve in.
Bev. No; she shall yield up all-My friend demands it. But need we have talked lightly of her? The jewels that she values are truth and innocenceThose will adorn her ever; and, for the rest, she wore them for a husband's pride, and to his wants will give them. Alas! you know her not.-Where shall we meet?
Stuke. No matter; I have changed my mindLeave me to a prison ; 'tis the reward of friendship.
Bev. Perish mankind first !-Leave you to a prison ! No! fallen as you see me, I'm not that wretch : Nor would I change this heart, o'ercharged as 'tis with folly and misfortune, for one most prudent and most happy, if callous to a friend's distresses. Stuke. You are too warm.
Bev. In such a 'cause, not to be warm is to be frozen. Farewell I'll meet you at your lodgings.
Stuke. Reflect a little.—The jewels may be lost-
time --I have no leisure for’t-Within an hour expect me.
[Exit. Stuke. The thoughtless, shallow prodigal! We shall have sport at night, then--but hold-The jewels are not ours yet—The lady may refuse them— The husband may
relent too-Tis more than probable—I'll write a note to Beverley, and the contents shall spur him to demand them --But am I grown this rogue through avarice? No; I have warmer motives, love