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Enter AGNES. Char. This visit's kind.

Agnes. Few else would think it so :
Those who would once have thought themselves

much honour'd
By the least favour, though 'twere but a look,
I could have shown them, now refuse to see me.
'Tis misery enough to be reduc'd
To the low level of the common herd,
Who, born to beggary, envy all above them :
But 'tis the curse of curses, to endure
The insolent contempt of those we scorn.

Char. By scorning, we provoke them to contempt, And thus offend, and suffer in our turns : - We must have patience.

Agnes. No, I scorn them yet;
But there's no end of suff'ring : Who can say
Their sorrows are complete ? My wretched husband,
Tir'd with our woes, and hopeless of relief,
Grows sick of life.
And, urg'd by indignation and despair,
Would plunge into eternity at once,
By foul self murder.

Char. Gracious Heaven support him !
Agnes. His fixed love for me,
Whom he would fain persuade to share his fate,
And take the same uncertain, dreadful course,
Alone withholds his hand.

Char. And may it ever!
Agnes. I've known with him the two extremes of

life,
The highest happiness, and deepest woe,
With all the sharp and bitter aggravations
Of such a vast transition-Such a fall
In the decline of life !--I have as quick,

As exquisite a sense of pain, as he, And would do any thing, but die, to end it; But there my courage fails. Death is the worst That fate can bring, and cuts off ev'ry hope.* Char. We must not chuse, but strive to bear our lot Without reproach or guilt. By one rash act Of desperation, we may overthrow The merit we've been raising all our days, And lose our whole reward. And now, methinks, Now, more than ever, we have cause to fear, And be upon our guard. The hand of Heaven Spreads clouds on clouds o'er our benighted heads, And wrapp'd in darkness, doubles our distress. I had, the night last past, repeated twice, A strange and awful dream: I would not yield To fearful superstition, nor despise The admonition of a friendly power, That wish'd my good. Agnes. I have certain plagues enough, Without the help of dreams, to make me wretched. Char. I would not stake my happiness or duty, On their uncertain credit, nor on aught But reason, and the known decrees of Heaven. Yet dreams have sometimes shown events to come, And may excite to vigilance and care. My vision may be such, and sent to warn us, (Now we are tried by multiply'd afflictions) To mark each motion of our swelling hearts, Lest we attempt to extricate ourselves, And seek deliv'rance by forbidden ways— To keep our hopes and innocence entire, Till we're dismiss'd to join the happy dead, Or Heaven relieves us here. Agnes. Well, to your dream. Char. Methought, I sat, in a dark winter's night, On the wide summit of a barren mountain;

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The sharp, bleak winds, pierc'd through my shiv'ring

frame, And storms of hail, and sleet, and driving rains, Beat with impetuous fury on my head, Drench’d my chill'd limbs, and pour'd' a deluge

round me. On one hand, ever-gentle Patience sat, On whose calm bosom I reclin'd my head; And on the other, silent Contemplation. At length, to my unclos'd, and watchful eyes, That long had roll'd in darkness, dawn appear'd; And I beheld a man, an utter stranger, But of graceful and exalted mien, Who press'd with eager transport to embrace me. I shunn'd his arms : But at some words he spoke, Which I have now forgot, I turn'd again ; But he was gone—And oh, transporting sight! Your son, my dearest Wilmot, fill’d his place!

Agnes. If I regarded dreams, I should expect Some fair event from yours.

Char. But what's to come, Though more obscure, is terrible indeed. Methought we'parted soon, and when I sought him You and his father-(Yes, you both were there,) Strove to conceal him from me. I pursu'd you Both with my cries, and call’d on Heaven and earth To judge my wrongs, and force you to reveal Where you had hid my love, my life, my Wilmot! Agnes. Unless you mean t'offend me, spare the

rest. 'Tis just as likely Wilmot should return As we become

your

foes. Char. Far be such thought From Charlotte's breast: But when I heard

you name Self murder, it reviv'd the frightful image Of such a dreadful scene !

Agnes. You will persist !

Char. Excuse me: I have done. Being a dream,
I thought, at least, it could not give offence.
Agnes. You could not think so, had you thought

at all.
But I take nothing ill from thee.--Adieu !
I've tarried longer than I first intended,
And my poor husband mourns the while alone.

[Exit AGNES.
Char. She's gone abruptly, and, I fear, displeas'd.
The least appearance of advice or caution,..
Sets her impatient temper in a flame.
When grief, that well might humble, swells our pride,
And pride, increasing, aggravates our grief,
The tempest must prevail till we are lost.
Heaven grant a fairer issue to her sorrows ! [Exit.

SCENE III.

The Town and Port of Penryn.

Enter Young Wilmot and EUSTACE, in Indian

Habits.
Y. Wilm. Welcome, my friend, to Penryn! Here

we're safe.
Eust. Then we're deliver'd twice : first from the

sea, And then from men, who, more remorseless, prey, On shipwreck'd wretches, and who spoil and murder Those, whom fell tempests, and devouring waves, In all their fury, spar'd.

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Y. Wilm. It is a scandal,
(Though malice must acquit the better sort),
The rude unpolish'd people here, in Cornwall,
Have long lain under, and with too much justice:
For 'tis an evil, grown almost invet'rate,
And asks a bold and skilful hand to cure.

Eust. Your treasure's safe, I hope ?

Y. Wilm. 'Tis here, thank Heaven ! Being in jewels, when I saw our danger, I hid it in my bosom.

Eust. I observed you, And wonder how you could command your thoughts In such a time of terror and confusion. Y. Wilm. My thoughts were then at home. O

England ! England ! Thou seat of plenty, liberty, and health, With transport I behold thy verdant fields, Thy lofty mountains rich with useful ore, Thy num'rous herds, thy flocks, and winding streams. After a long and tedious absence, Eustace, With what delight we breathe our native air, And tread the genial soil that bore us first ! 'Tis said, the world is ev'ry wise man's country; Yet, after having view'd its various nations, I'm weak enough still to prefer my own To all I've seen beside-You smile, my friend! And think, perhaps, 'tis instinct more than reason. Why, be it so: Instinct preceded reason Ev'n in the wisest men, and may sometimes Be much the better guide. But, be it either, I must confess, that even death itself Appear'd to me with twice its native horrors, When apprehended in a foreign land. Death is, no doubt, in ev'ry place the same; Yet nature casts a look towards home, and most Who have it in their power, choose to expire Where they first drew their breath.

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