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Is to discharge thee, Randal, from my hard
service. Rand. Heaven forbid ! Shall I forsake
you in your worst necessity ? Believe me, sir, my honest soul abhors The barb'rous thought !
0. Wilm. What! canst thou feed on air? I have not left wherewith to purchase food For one meal more!
Rand. Rather than leave you thus,
I'll beg my bread, and live on others' bounty
While I serve you.
0. Wilm. Down, down, my swelling heart,
Or burst in silence! 'Tis thy cruel fate
Insults thee by his kindness-He is innocent
Of all the pain it gives thee.Go thy ways:
I will no more suppress thy youthful hopes
Of rising in the world.
Rand. 'Tis true, I'm young,
And never try'd my fortune, or my genius,
Which may, perhaps, find out some happy means,
As yet unthought of, to supply your wants.
. Wilm. Thou tortur'st me: I hate all obligations
Which I can ne'er return: And who art thou,
That I should stoop to take 'em from thy hand?
Care for thyself, but take no thought for me!
I will not want thee-trouble me no more,
Rand. Be not offended, sir, and I will go.
I ne'er repin'd at your commands before;
But Heaven's my witness, I obey you now,
With strong reluctance, and a heavy heart !
Farewell, my worthy master!
0, Wilm. Farewell !-Stay,
As thou art yet a stranger to the world,
Of which, alas, I've had too much experience!
I should, methinks, before we part, bestow
A little counsel on thee.--Dry thy eyes :
If thou weep'st thus, I shall proceed no farther.
Dost thou aspire to greatness, or to wealth ?
Quit books, and the unprofitable search
Of wisdom there, and study humankind :
No science will avail thee without that;
But that obtain'd, thou needst not any other.
This will instruct thee to conceal thy views,
And wear the face of probity and honour,
Till thou hast gain'd thy end : which must be ever
Thy own advantage, at that man's expense
Who shall be weak enough to think thee honest.
Rand. You mock me, sure!
'0. Wilm. I never was more serious.
Rand. Why should you counsel, what you scorn'd
to practise ?
0. Wilm. Because that foolish scorn has been my
I've been an idiot, but would have thee wiser,
And treat inankind, as they would treat thee, Ran-
As they deserve, and I've been treated by them:
Thou'st seen by me, and those who now despise me,
How men of fortune fall, and beggars rise ;
my example ; treasure up my precepts;
The world's before thee-be a knave, and prosper.
What, art thou dumb ?
But pitiful, and generous, to a fault.
Pleasure he lov'd, but honour was his idol.
O fatal change ! O horrid transformation!
So a majestic temple, sunk to ruin,
Becomes the loathsome shelter and abode
Of lurking serpents, toads, and beasts of prey;
And scaly dragons hiss, and lions roar,
Where wisdom taught, and music charm'd before.
Enter CHARLOTTE and MARIA.
Char. What terror and amazement must they feel
Who die by shipwreck!
Mar. 'Tis a dreadful thought!
Char. Ay; is it not, Maria ?-To descend,
Living, and conscious, to the wat’ry tomb!
Alas! had we no sorrows of our own,
The frequent instances of others' woe,
Must give a gen'rous mind a world of pain.
But you forget you promis'd me to sing.
Though cheerfulness and I have long been strangers,
Harmonious sounds are still delightful to me.
There's sure no passion in the human soul,
But finds its food in music. I would hear
The song, compos'd by that unhappy maid,
Whose faithful lover 'scap'd a thousand perils
From rocks and sands, and the devouring deep ;
And after all, being arriv'd at home,
Passing a narrow book, was drowned there,
And perish'd in her sight,
Cease, cease, heart-easing tears,
Adieu, you flattring fears,
Which seven long tedious years
Taught me to bear.
Tears are for lighter woes;
Fear no such danger knows,
As fate remorseless shows,
Endless despair !
Dear cause of all my pain,
On the wide stormy main,
Thou wast preserv’d in vain,
Though still ador'd.
Hadst thou dy'd there unseen,
My wounded eyes had been
Sav'd from the direst scene
Maid e'er deplor'd.
[CHARLOTTE finds a Letter.
Char. What's this ?-A letter superscrib’d to me!
None could convey it here,
Ungen'rous, cruel maid ! to use me thus !
To join with flatt’ring men, to break my peace,
And persecute me to the last retreat?
Mar. Why should it break your peace to hear the
Of honourable love? This letter is-
Char. No matter whence: return it back unopen'd:
I have no love, no charms, but for my Wilmot,
Nor would have any.
Mar. Alas! Wilmot's dead;
Or, living, dead to you.
Char. I'll not despair : Patience shall cherish hope;
Nor wrong his honour by unjust suspicion.
I know his truth, and will preserve my own.
But, to prevent all future importunity;
Know, thou incessant foe to my repose,
Whether he sleeps secure from mortal cares,
In the deep bosom of the boist'rous main,
Or, toss'd with tempest, still endures its rage ;
No second choice shall violate my vows;
High Heaven, which heard them, and abhors the per-
Can witness, they were made without reserve :
Never to be retracted, ne'er dissolv'd
By accident or absence, time or death.
Mar. And did your vows oblige you to support
His haughty parents, to your utter ruin ?
Well may you weep to think on what you've done.
Char. I weep to think that I can do no more
For their support. What will become of them?
The hoary, helpless, miserable pair!
Mar. What I can't praise, you force me to admire,
And mourn for you, as you lament for them,
Your patience, constancy, and resignation,
Merit a better fate.
Char. So pride would tell me,
And vain self-love, but I believe them not :
And if by wanting pleasure I have gain'd
Humility, I'm richer for my loss.
Mar. You have the heavenly art still to improve
Your mind by all events_But here comes one,
Whose pride seems to increase with her misfortunes.
Her faded dress, unfashionably fine,
As ill conceals her poverty, as that
Strain'd complaisance, her haughty, swelling heart.
Though perishing with want, so far from asking,
She ne'er receives a favour uncompell’d,
And, while she ruins, scorns to be oblig'd:
Let me depart, I know she loves me not.