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Ay, misery !-beggary !-what you will ! 1
-am a ruined man !
I pray you, by remembrance of young days,
Lester! thou knowest the wandering life I've led;
What riddle's this?
PERCY (occasionally walking the stage).
LESTER (advancing to Percy, and taking him by
the hand). Speak-speak!
Oh, deem me not what I have seemed to be!
What horrid deed is that which thou hast done?
PERCY (advancing to Lester). Lester! that Grimes does hold a bond from me Of twice two thousand pounds! This very day
(Lester starts.) 'Tis due, and I have not the means to meet it.
And is that all which makes my friend so sad ?
(Percy buries his face in his hands.)
PERCY (in a most impassioned tone). Worse—worse than that: for in an evil hour I launched myself upon those seas of sin, Whose depths are choking with the sunken wrecks Of millions on the millions of gay barks (violently) Which once swam gaily down their smiling waves !
(Mournfully.) The gambling table’s brought me to this pass !
Hast mortgaged thy estates ?
Oh, that were light, indeed, to th' heavy weight
Why hast concealed this sickening news from me?
Look on this world, and tell me what thou seest:
Or golden clouds, that shade the blue of heaven,
LESTER (in a most impassioned tone).
(Takes out a note-book.)
PERCY (buries his face in his hands).
LESTER (looking over bills, and selecting).
These shall be drawn by Master Grimes :
SCENE II.-An old-fashioned apartment in Grimes's house ; a table in flat, with account-books, pens, and ink. Grimes seated, in an attitude of
thought. A lighted lamp on the table.
GRIMES (reading a note).
( Throwing note on table.)
( Takes watch out.) Why, this is well. That Percy Manley, too, Who spends his gold with such a lavish hand, Must forfeit his mad bond. He's beggared, past a doubt; or I have sadly missed My aim. Hark!
(Knocking-goes to the door.) What! Percy Manley! and at this late hour !
PERCY (outside). Better so late, than later, to be ruined; My friend, good Master Grimes.
Comes he on business?
His business is with me!
We want no witnesses nor intruders here-
for time and room.
PERCY (crossing to R.).
GRIMES (sits down in his chair).
Pray, Master Grimes, what is your private charge
Five thousand pounds to you !
Dost let thy rooms ?
Yes! but not to beggars.
My purse was once well filled, good Master Grimes :