Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

But you have squeezed it dry enough, in truth;
And, therefore, have good cause to call me beggar!

GRIMES.

Sir, this is trifling; and I have no time
To waste with triflers. Here is your bond.
I want the money, sir !

PERCY.
But, hast thou not a daughter?
And is she here, or at your house in Town?
They say she's lovely-very like yourself!

GRIMES.

The money, sir !

PERCY.

Now really, Master Grimes, I pray you smile ; For, by the gay gallants which throng your door, ’T is plain some bright-eyed maid does dwell with you !

GRIMES.

The money, sir !

PERCY.

Oh! you grow worse and worse, like the approach
Of an Antarctic winter! Thou ask'st my cash
As if, should I refuse, my life were scarcely safe!

GRIMES.

Sir, art here to heap upon me insult ?
I want the gold
I lent thee, sir; four thousand pounds—hard cash-
With one poor thousand for its twelvemonth's use;
Taking this sheepskin for the heavy risk !
The principal and interest, or this bond is mine !

PERCY (crossing R. and taking out a note-book). Then give thou up the foul-faced bond, For here are bills to free it from thee. (Offering bills.) I'm fearful you 're surprised ?

GRIMES (startled for a little time). Notes on a house in Guernsey ! Drawn too-by whom? One Lester Burton ! Who is he, I pray?

PERCY (energetically).
A man with better blood in one small vein
Than you possess e'en from the head to the foot !

GRIMES (going to the table and offering a pen to Percy). Hem ! I pray you, pass your name across this line.

PERCY (writing).
This shall not save thee from a frightful risk
Of thy most precious life!

GRIMES.

Is there no other plan
But crossing to the island for the gold ?

PERCY (violently).
No, miserable dog! Go! swim it for thy life!
Where is my bond?

GRIMES.

'Tis here.

(Grimes gives the bond to Percy.)

PERCY (taking the bond).
Now, take thy hard-wrung profit from thy board,
And warm thy heart by gazing on it.

(Exit.)

GRIMES.

This is an unexpected blow, and bad
In every way.
Well !

(Takes out his watch.)
What ho! Margaret !
Stanton will come anon, and Iola shall pass
Even in the fulness of his amorous gaze.

(Enter Margaret.) Margaret, bid Mistress Iola bring the case Which on my dressing-table stands. (Exit Margaret, R.) Ha! my private signal. (Goes to door-enter Sir

William Stanton.)

sir willIAM STANTON (advancing L.).
Good Master Grimes, once more I am in England !
I called in the Chepe, and there I heard
That now you never go to Town! How's this?

GRIMES (sitting down). More gold—more gold !

SIR WILLIAM.

Yes, Master Grimes, I come for gold again!
Misfortune dogs my steps on shore and sea;
North, South, East, West, whichever way I turn,
Still there she is hunting me to destruction !

GRIMES.

Can you not hunt her down?

SIR WILLIAM.
For more than fifty years I've known thee, Grimes
And thou hast ever, in thy outward garb,
Assumed a roughness which does ill agree
With the rich clothing of thy generous heart !
Therefore, I freely own, thy plan has failed

The agent whom you sent is ruined quite !
Hazard has wrung my purse—and I am lost,
Unless thou canst again supply my wants !

GRIMES.

What dost thou offer in security?

SIR WILLIAM.

Why, Stanton House and Park-you know it well;
For often in your youth you've chased the deer
Over its wooded glades. It is within
Ten miles of York.

(Enter IOLA, with case, R. She starts when she sees Sir

William ; but eventually approaches Grimes, gives the
case, kisses Grimes, and retires. Sir William appears
to be astonished.)

SIR WILLIAM (starting).
Why, what is this ?--a very star!
Ah ! ah ! found out! What wonder is 't that thou

(Mockingly.)
Canst live secluded in this gloomy house?
Ha! Master Grimes ! hast thou not oft declared
No woman e'er should dwell within thy walls
Save that old Margaret ?—that you hated
All the sex? Fie, Master Grimes! Oh fie!

GRIMES (rising-puts the notes in the case). Hear me, Sir William Stanton ! ( With great energy.) THAT GIRL's an orphan! and her mother died Even as she gave her to this bitter world: The father sought his fortunes on the deep, And left his infant to a stranger's care !

_’T was on a summer's eve, as calm as this, When not a breath of air swept o’er the leaves

Of the cool perfumed grove wherein I mused-
The plaintive moanings of an infant's voice
Rose soft, and low, and sad upon mine ear:
Thence, guided by the piteous cry, I came
Unto a mossy bank; and there I found
A little babe, scarce ten months old;
And by its side a creature all in rags-
Bared to the bone by poverty—and so wan,
It seemed the spectre of some fearful dream.
A piteous tale she told, which touched my heart !
I could not see them die—so took them home.
That was the beauteous child! and for her nurse-
'Tis poor old Margaret !

SIR WILLIAM (agitated).
And her father's name?

GRIMES.

Depeltier. We call her lola.

SIR WILLIAM. How beautiful she is !

GRIMES.

Beautiful indeed; and oh! most innocent—and very young.

SIR WILLIAM.

She is dependent then on you?

GRIMES.

Yes, sir; but if she wed the man I like,
I give her sixty thousand pounds!

SIR WILLIAM.
And keep her buried here, when she should shed
Her light around, even as the stars,

« AnteriorContinuar »