THE London Merchant: OR, THE HISTORY OF GEORGE BARNWELL. As it is Acted at the THEATRE-ROYAL IN DRURY-LANE. By HIS MAJESTY's Servants.

By Mr. LILLO.

Learn to be wise from others Harm,
And you shall do full well.
Old Ballad of the Lady's Fall.

LONDON: Printed for J. GRAY, at the Cross-Keys in the Poultry; and sold by J. ROBERTS, in Warwick-Lane. MDCCXXXI. [Price One-Shilling and Six-pence.]

TO Sir John Eyles, Bar. Member of Parliament for, and Alderman of the City of London, and Sub-Governor of the South-Sea Company.

SIR,

IF Tragick Poetry be, as Mr. Dryden has some where said, the most excellent and most useful Kind of Writing, the more extensively useful the Moral of any Tragedy is, the more excellent that Piece must be of its Kind.

[Page iv]I hope I shall not be thought to in­sinuate that this, to which I have pre­sumed to prefix your Name, is such; that depends on its Fitness to answer the End of Tragedy, the exciting of the Passions, in order to the correcting such of them as are criminal, either in their Nature, or through their Excess. Whether the following Scenes do this in any tolerable Degree, is, with the Deference, that becomes one who wou'd not be thought vain, sub­mitted to your candid and impartial Judgment.

What I wou'd infer is this, I think, evident Truth; that Tragedy is so far from losing its Dignity, by being ac­commodated to the Circumstances of the Generality of Mankind, that it is more truly august in Proportion to the Ex­tent of its Influence, and the Numbers that are properly affected by it. As it is more truly great to be the Instru­ment of Good to many, who stand in need of our Assistance, than to a very small Part of that Number.

[Page v]If Princes, &c. were alone liable to Misfortunes, arising from Vice, or Weakness in themselves, or others, there wou'd be good Reason for confining the Characters in Tragedy to those of superior Rank; but, since the contrary is evident, nothing can be more rea­sonable than to proportion the Remedy to the Disease.

I am far from denying that Trage­dies, founded on any instructive and extraordinary Events in History, or a well-invented Fable, where the Persons introduced are of the highest Rank, are without their Use, even to the Bulk of the Audience. The strong Contrast between a Tamerlane and a Bajazet, may have its Weight with an unsteady People, and contribute to the fixing of them in the Interest of a Prince of the Character of the former, when, thro' their own Levity, or the Arts of design­ing Men, they are render'd factious and uneasy, tho' they have the highest Reason to be satisfied. The Sentiments and Example of a Cato, may inspire his Spectators with a just Sense of the Value [Page vi] of Liberty, when they see that honest Patriot prefer Death to an Obligation from a Tyrant, who wou'd sacrifice the Constitution of his Country, and the Liberties of Mankind, to his Ambition or Revenge. I have attempted, indeed, to enlarge the Province of the graver Kind of Poetry, and should be glad to see it carried on by some abler Hand. Plays, founded on moral Tales in pri­vate Life, may be of admirable Use, by carrying Conviction to the Mind, with such irresistable Force, as to en­gage all the Faculties and Powers of the Soul in the Cause of Virtue, by stifling Vice in its first Principles. They who imagine this to be too much to be attributed to Tragedy, must be Stran­gers to the Energy of that noble Spe­cies of Poetry. Shakespear, who has given such amazing Proofs of his Ge­nius, in that as well as in Comedy, in his Hamlet, has the following Lines.

[Page vii]
Had he the Motive and the Cause for Passion
That I have; he wou'd drown the Stage with Tears
And cleave the general Ear with horrid Speech;
Make mad the Guilty, and appale the Free,
Confound the Ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very Faculty of Eyes and Ears.

And farther, in the same Speech,

I've heard that guilty Creatures at a Play,
Have, by the very cunning of the Scene,
Been so struck to the Soul, that presently
They have proclaim'd their Malefactions.

Prodigious! yet strictly just. But I shan't take up your valuable Time with my Remarks; only give me Leave just to observe, that he seems so firmly per­swaded of the Power of a well wrote Piece to produce the Effect here ascri­bed to it, as to make Hamlet venture his Soul on the Event, and rather trust that, than a Messenger from the other World, tho' it assumed, as he expresses it, his noble Father's Form, and as­sured him, that it was his Spirit. I'll have, says Hamlet, Grounds more relative.

[Page viii]
—The Play's the Thing,
Wherein I'll catch the Conscience of the King.

Such Plays are the best Answers to them who deny the Lawfulness of the Stage.

Considering the Novelty of this At­tempt, I thought it would be expected from me to say something in its Ex­cuse; and I was unwilling to lose the Opportunity of saying something of the Usefulness of Tragedy in general, and what may be reasonably expected from the farther Improvement of this excellent Kind of Poetry.

Sir, I hope you will not think I have said too much of an Art, a mean Specimen of which I am ambitious enough to recommend to your Favour and Protection. A Mind, conscious of superior Worth, as much despises Flat­tery, as it is above it. Had I found in my self an Inclination to so contemptible a Vice, I should not have chose Sir JOHN EYLES for my Patron. And indeed the best writ Panegyrick, tho' [Page ix] strictly true, must place you in a Light, much inferior to that in which you have long been fix'd, by the Love and Esteem of your Fellow Citizens; whose Choice of you for one of their Representatives in Parliament, has sufficiently declared their Sense of your Merit. Nor hath the Knowledge of your Worth been con­fined to the City. The Proprietors in the South-Sea Company, in which are included Numbers of Persons; as considerable for their Rank, Fortune, and Understanding, as any in the Kingdom, gave the greatest Proof of their Confidence, in your Capacity and Probity, when they chose you Sub-Governor of their Company, at a Time when their Affairs were in the utmost Confusion, and their Properties in the greatest Danger. Nor is the Court insensible of your Importance. I shall not therefore attempt your Character, nor pretend to add any Thing to a Reputation so well esta­blished.

[Page x]Whatever others may think of a Dedication, wherein there is so much said of other Things, and so little of the Person to whom it is address'd, I have Reason to believe that you will the more easily pardon it on that very Account.

I am, SIR, Your most obedient humble Servant, GEORGE LILLO.

PROLOGUE.

THE Tragick Muse, sublime, delights to show
Princes distrest, and Scenes of Royal Woe;
In awful Pomp, Majestick, to relate
The Fall of Nations, or some Heroe's Fate:
That Scepter'd Chiefs may by Example know
The strange Vicissitude of Things below:
What Dangers on Security attend;
How Pride and Cruelty in Ruin end:
Hence Providence Supream to know; and own
Humanity adds Glory to a Throne.
In ev'ry former Age, and Foreign Tongue,
With Native Grandure thus the Goddess sung.
Upon our Stage indeed, with wish'd Success,
You've sometimes seen her in a humbler Dress;
Great only in Distress. When she complains
In Southern's, Rowe's, or Otway's moving Strains,
The Brillant Drops, that fall from each bright Eye,
The absent Pomp, with brighter Jems, supply.
Forgive us then, if we attempt to show,
In artless Strains, a Tale of private Woe.
A London Prentice ruin'd is our Theme,
Drawn from the fam'd old Song, that bears his Name.
We hope your Taste is not so high to scorn
A moral Tale, esteem'd e'er you were born;
Which for a Century of rolling Years,
Has fill'd a thousand-thousand Eyes with Tears.
If thoughtless Youth to warn, and shame the Age
From Vice destructive, well becomes the Stage;
If this Example Innocence secure,
Prevent our Guilt, or by Reflection cure;
If Millwood's dreadful Guilt, and sad Despair,
Commend the Virtue of the Good and Fair,
Tho' Art be wanting, and our Numbers fail,
Indulge th' Attempt in Justice to the Tale.

Dramatis Personae.

MEN.
Thorowgood,
Mr. Bridgwater.
Barnwell, Uncle to George
Mr. Roberts.
George Barnwell,
Mr. Cibber, Jun.
Trueman,
Mr. W. Mills.
Blunt,
Mr. R. Wetherilt.
WOMEN.
Maria,
Mrs. Cibber.
Millwood,
Mrs. Butler.
Lucy,
Mrs. Charke.
  • Officers with their Attendants, Keeper, and Footmen.
SCENE London, and an adjacent Village.

[Page]THE London Merchant: OR, THE HISTORY OF GEORGE BARNWELL.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

A Room in Thorowgood's House.
Thorowgood and Trueman.
Tr.

SIR, the Packet from Genoa is ar­riv'd.

[Gives Letters.
Thor.

Heav'n be praised, the Storm that threaten'd our Royal Mistress, pure Religion, Liberty, and Laws, is for a Time diverted; the haughty and revengeful Spaniard, disappointed of the Loan on which he depended from Genoa, must now attend the slow return of Wealth from his new World, to supply his empty Coffers, e'er he can execute his pur­pos'd Invasion of our happy Island; by which means Time is gain'd to make such Preparations on our Part, as may, Heav'n concurring, prevent his Ma­lice, or turn the meditated Mischief on himself.

Tr.

He must be insensible indeed, who is not af­fected when the Safety of his Country is concern'd.—Sir, may I know by what means—if I am too bold—

Thor.
[Page 2]

Your Curiosity is laudable; and I gratify it with the greater Pleasure, because from thence you may learn, how honest Merchants, as such, may sometimes contribute to the Safety of their Country, as they do at all times to its Happiness; that if hereafter you should be tempted to any Action that has the Appearance of Vice or Mean­ness in it, upon reflecting on the Dignity of our Profession, you may with honest Scorn reject what­ever is unworthy of it.

Tr.

Shou'd Barnwell, or I, who have the Benefit of your Example, by our ill Conduct bring any Im­putation on that honourable Name, we must be left without excuse.

Thor.

You complement, young Man.—

[Trueman bows respectfully.

Nay, I'm not offended. As the Name of Mer­chant never degrades the Gentleman, so by no means does it exclude him; only take heed not to purchase the Character of Complai [...]ant at the Ex­pence of your Sincerity.—But to answer your Question,—The Bank of Genoa had agreed, at ex­cessive Interest and on good Security, to advance the King of Spain a Sum of Money sufficient to equip his vast Armado,—of which our peerless Elizabeth (more than in Name the Mother of her People) being well informed, sent Walsingham, her wise and faithful Secretary, to consult the Mer­chants of this loyal City, who all agreed to direct their several Agents to influence, if possible, the Genoese to break their Contract with the Spanish Court. 'Tis done, the State and Bank of Genoa, having maturely weigh'd and rightly judged of their true Interest, prefer the Friendship of the Mer­chants of London, to that of a Monarch, who proudly stiles himself King of both Indies.

Tr.

Happy Success of prudent Councils. What an Expence of Blood and Treasure is here saved?—Excellent Queen! O how unlike to former [Page 3] Princes, who made the Danger of foreign Enemies a Pretence to oppress their Subjects, by Taxes great and grievous to be born.

Thor.

Not so our gracious Queen, whose richest Exchequer is her Peoples Love, as their Happiness her greatest Glory.

Tr.

On these Terms to defend us, is to make our Protection a Benefit worthy her who confers it, and well worth our Acceptance.

Tr.

Sir, have you any Commands for me at this Time?

Thor.

Only to look carefully over the Files to see whether there are any Trades-mens Bills unpaid; and if there are, to send and discharge 'em. We must not let Artificers lose their Time, so useful to the Publick and their Families, in unnecessary At­tendance.

SCENE II.

Thorowgood and Maria.
Th.

Well, Maria, have you given Orders for the En­tertainment? I would have it in some measure worthy the Guests. Let there be plenty, and of the best; that the Courtiers, tho' they should deny us Citizens Politeness, may at least commend our Hospitality.

Ma.

Sir, I have endeavoured not to wrong your well-known Generosity by an ill-tim'd Parsimony.

Thor.

Nay, 'twas a needless Caution, I have no cause to doubt your Prudence.

Ma.

Sir! I find my self unfit for Conversation at present, I should but increase the Number of the Company, without adding to their Satisfaction.

Thor.

Nay, my Child, this Melancholy must not be indulged.

Ma.

Company will but increase it. I wish you would dispense with my Absence; Solitude best suits my present Temper.

Thor.
[Page 4]

You are not insensible that it is chiefly on your Account these noble Lords do me the Honour so frequently to grace my Board; shou'd you be ab­sent, the Disappointment may make them repent their Condescension, and think their Labour lost.

Ma.

He that shall think his Time or Honour lost in visiting you, can set no real Value on your Daughter's Company, whose only Merit is that she is yours. The Man of Quality, who chuses to converse with a Gentleman and Merchant of your Worth and Character, may confer Honour by so doing, but he loses none.

Thor.

Come, come, Maria, I need not tell you that a young Gentleman may prefer your Conver­sation to mine, yet intend me no Disrespect at all; for tho' he may lose no Honour in my Company, 'tis very natural for him to expect more Pleasure in yours. I remember the Time, when the Company of the greatest and wisest Man in the Kingdom would have been insipid and tiresome to me, if it had deprived me of an Opportunity of enjoying your Mother's.

Ma.

Your's no doubt was as agreeable to her; for generous Minds know no Pleasure in Society but where 'tis mutual.

Thor.

Thou know'st I have no Heir, no Child but thee; the Fruits of many Years successful Industry must all be thine, now it would give me Pleasure great as my Love, to see on whom you would bestow it. I am daily solicited by Men of the greatest Rank and Merit for leave to address you, but I have hitherto declin'd it, in hopes that by Observation I shou'd learn which way your Inclination tends; for as I know Love to be essential to Happiness in the Marriage State, I had rather my Approbation should confirm your Choice, than direct it.

Ma.

What can I say? How shall I answer, as I ought, this Tenderness, so uncommon, even in the best of Parents: But you are without Example; [Page 5] yet had you been less indulgent, I had been most wretched. That I look on the Croud of Courtiers, that visit here, with equal Esteem, but equal Indif­ference, you have observed, and I must needs con­fess; yet had you asserted your Authority, and in­sisted on a Parent's Right to be obey'd, I had sub­mitted, and to my Duty sacrificed my Peace.

Thor.

From your perfect Obedience in every other Instance, I fear'd as much; and therefore wou'd leave you without a Byass in an Affair wherein your Happiness is so immediately concern'd.

Ma.

Whether from a Want of that just Ambition that wou'd become your Daughter, or from some other Cause I know not; but, I find high Birth and Titles don't recommend the Man, who owns them, to my Affections.

Thor.

I wou'd not that they shou'd, unless his Merit recommends him more. A noble Birth and Fortune, tho' they make not a bad Man good, yet they are a real Advantage to a worthy one, and place his Virtues in the fairest Light.

Ma.

I cannot answer for my Inclinations, but they shall ever be submitted to your Wisdom and Authority; and as you will not compel me to marry where I cannot love, so Love shall never make me act contrary to my Duty. Sir, have I your Per­mission to retire.

Thor.

I'll see you to your Chamber.

SCENE III.

A Room in Millwood's House.
Millwood. Lucy Waiting.
Mill.

How do I look to Day, Lucy?

Lucy.

O, killingly, Madam!—A little more Red, and you'll be irresistible!—But why this more than ordinary Care of your Dress and Complexion? What new Conquest are you aiming at?

Mill.

A Conquest, wou'd be new indeed!

Lucy.
[Page 6]

Not to you, who make 'em every Day,—but to me.—Well! 'tis what I'm never to expect,—unfortunate as I am:—But your Wit and Beauty—

Mill.

First made me a Wretch, and still continue me so.—Men, however generous or sincere to one another, are all selfish Hypocrites in their Affairs with us. We are no otherwise esteemed or regarded by them, but as we contribute to their Satisfaction.

Lucy.

You are certainly, Madam, on the wrong Side in this Argument: Is not the Expence all theirs? And I am sure it is our own Fault if we hav'n't our Share of the Pleasure.

Mill.

We are but Slaves to Men.

Lucy.

Nay, 'tis they that are Slaves most cer­tainly; for we lay them under Contribution.

Mill.

Slaves have no Property; no, not even in themselves.—All is the Victors.

Lucy.

You are strangely arbitrary in your Prin­ciples, Madam.

Mill.

I would have my Conquests compleat, like those of the Spaniards in the New World; who first plunder'd the Natives of all the Wealth they had, and then condemn'd the Wretches to the Mines for Life, to work for more.

Lucy.

Well, I shall never approve of your Scheme of Government: I should think it much more poli­tick, as well as just, to find my Subjects an easier Imployment.

Mill.

It's a general Maxim among the knowing Part of Mankind, that a Woman without Virtue, like a Man without Honour or Honesty, is capable of any Action, tho' never so vile: And yet what Pains will they not take, what Arts not use, to seduce us from our Innocence, and make us contemptible and wicked, even in their own Opinions? Then is it not just, the Villains, to their Cost, should find us so.—But Guilt makes them suspicious, and keeps them on their Guard; therefore we can take Advan­tage [Page 7] only of the young and innocent Part of the Sex, who having never injured Women, apprehend no Injury from them.

Lucy.

Ay, they must be young indeed.

Mill.

Such a one, I think, I have found.—As I've passed thro' the City, I have often observ'd him receiving and paying considerable Sums of Money; from thence I conclude he is employ'd in Affairs of Consequence.

Lucy.

Is he handsome?

Mill.

Ay, ay, the Stripling is well made.

Lucy.

About—

Mill.

Eighteen—

Lucy.

Innocent, Handsome, and about Eighteen.—You'll be vastly happy.—Why, if you manage well, you may keep him to your self these two or three Years.

Mill.

If I manage well, I shall have done with him much sooner, having long had a Design on him; and meeting him Yesterday, I made a full Stop, and gazing wishfully on his Face, ask'd him his Name: He blush'd, and bowing very low, answer'd, George Barnwell. I beg'd his Pardon for the Freedom I had taken, and told him, that he was the Person I had long wish'd to see, and to whom I had an Affair of Importance to communicate, at a proper Time and Place. He named a Tavern; I talk'd of Ho­nour and Reputation, and invited him to my House: He swallow'd the Bait, promis'd to come, and this is the Time I expect him,

[knocking at the Door.]

Some Body knocks,—d'ye hear; I am at Home to no Body to Day, but him.—

SCENE IV.

Millwood.
Mill.

Less Affairs must give Way to those of more Consequence; and I am strangely mistaken if [Page 8] this does not prove of great Importance to me and him too, before I have done with him.—Now, after what Manner shall I receive him? Let me consider—what manner of Person am I to receive?—He is young, innocent, and bashful; therefore I must take Care not to shock him at first.—But then, if I have any Skill in Phisiognomy, he is amo­rous, and, with a little Assistance, will soon get the better of his Modesty,—I'll trust to Nature, who does Wonders in these Matters.—If to seem what one is not, in order to be the better liked for what one really is; if to speak one thing, and mean the direct contrary, be Art in a Woman, I know nothing of Nature.

SCENE V.

To her, Barnwell bowing very low, Lucy at a Distance.
Mill.

Sir! the Surprize and Joy!—

Barn.

Madam.—

Mill.

This is such a Favour,—

[advancing.
Barn.

Pardon me, Madam,—

Mill.

So unhop'd for,—

[still advances.
[Barnwell salutes her, and retires in Confusion.
Mill.

To see you here.—Excuse the Con­fusion.—

Barn.

I fear I am too bold.—

Mill.

Alas, Sir! All my Apprehensions proceed from my Fears of your thinking me so.—Please, Sir, to sit.—I am as much at a Loss how to receive this Honour as I ought, as I am surpriz'd at your Goodness in confering it.

Barn.

I thought you had expected me—I pro­mis'd to come.

Mill.

That is the more surprizing; few Men are such religious Observers of their Word.

Barn.

All, who are honest, are.

Mill.
[Page 9]

To one another:—But we silly Women are seldom thought of Consequence enough to gain a Place in your Remembrance.

[Laying her Hand on his, as by Accident.
Barn.

Her Disorder is so great, she don't per­ceive she has laid her Hand on mine.—Heaven! how she trembles!—What can this mean!

[Aside.
Mill.

The Interest I have in all that relates to you, (the Reason of which you shall know hereafter) excites my Curiosity; and, were I sure you would pardon my Presumption, I should desire to know your real Sentiments on a very particular Affair.

Barn.

Madam, you may command my poor Thoughts on any Subject;—I have none that I would conceal.

Mill.

You'll think me bold.

Barn.

No, indeed.

Mill.

What then are your Thoughts of Love?

Barn.

If you mean the Love of Women, I have not thought of it all.—My Youth and Circum­stances make such Thoughts improper in me yet: But if you mean the general Love we owe to Man­kind, I think no one has more of it in his Temper than my self.—I don't know that Person in the World whose Happiness I don't wish, and wou'd n't promote, were it in my Power.—In an especial manner I love my Uncle, and my Master, but, above all, my Friend.

Mill.

You have a Friend then, whom you love?

Barn.

As he does me, sincerely.

Mill.

He is, no doubt, often bless'd with your Company and Conversation.—

Barn.

We live in one House together, and both serve the same worthy Merchant.

Mill.

Happy, happy Youth!—who e'er thou art, I envy thee, and so must all, who see and know this Youth.—What have I lost, by being form'd a Woman!—I hate my Sex, my self.—Had I been a Man, I might, perhaps, have been as happy [Page 10] in your Friendship, as he who now enjoys it:—But as it is,—Oh!—

Barn.

I never observ'd Women before, or this is sure the most beautiful of her Sex,

[Aside.]

You seem disorder'd, Madam! May I know the Cause?

Mill.

Do not ask me,—I can never speak it, whatever is the Cause;—I wish for Things im­possible:—I wou'd be a Servant, bound to the same Master as you are, to live in one House with you.

Barn.

How strange, and yet how kind, her Words and Actions are?—And the Effect they have on me is as strange.—I feel Desires I never knew before;—I must be gone, while I have Power to go,

[Aside.]

Madam, I humbly take my Leave.—

Mill.

You will not sure leave me so soon!

Barn.

Indeed I must.

Mill.

You cannot be so cruel!—I have pre­par'd a poor Supper, at which I promis'd my self your Company.

Barn.

I am sorry I must refuse the Honour that you design'd me;—But my Duty to my Master calls me hence.—I never yet neglected his Service: He is so gentle, and so good a Master, that should I wrong him, tho' he might forgive me, I never should forgive my self.

Mill.

Am I refus'd, by the first Man, the second Favour I ever stoop'd to ask?—Go then thou proud hard-hearted Youth.—But know, you are the only Man that cou'd be found, who would let me sue twice for greater Favours.

Barn.

What shall I do!—How shall I go or stay!

Mill.

Yet do not, do not, leave me.—I wish my Sex's Pride wou'd meet your Scorn:—But when I look upon you,—When I behold those Eyes,—Oh! spare my Tongue, and let my Blushes speak.—This Flood of Tears to that will force their way, [Page 11] and declare—what Woman's Modesty should hide.

Barn.

Oh, Heavens! she loves me, worthless as I am; her Looks, her Words, her flowing Tears confess it:—And can I leave her then?—Oh, never,—never.—Madam, dry up those Tears.—You shall command me always;—I will stay here for ever, if you'd have me.

Lucy.

So! she has wheedled him out of his Virtue of Obedience already, and will strip him of all the rest, one after another, 'till she has left him as few as her Ladyship, or my self.

[Aside.
Mill.

Now you are kind, indeed; but I mean not to detain you always: I would have you shake off all slavish Obedience to your Master;—but you may serve him still.

Lucy.

Serve him still!—Aye, or he'll have no Opportunity of fingering his Cash, and then he'll not serve your End, I'll be sworn.

[Aside.

SCENE VI.

(To them.) Blunt.
Blunt.

Madam, Supper's on the Table.

Mill.

Come, Sir, You'll excuse all Defects.—My Thoughts were too much employ'd on my Guest to observe the Entertainment.

SCENE VII.

Lucy and Blunt.
Blunt.

What is all this Preparation, this elegant Supper, Variety of Wines, and Musick, for the Entertainment of that young Fellow!

Lucy.

So it seems.

Blunt.

What is our Mistress turn'd Fool at last! She's in Love with him, I suppose.

Lucy.
[Page 12]

I suppose not,—but she designs to make him in Love with her, if she can.

Blunt.

What will she get by that? He seems un­der Age, and can't be suppos'd to have much Money.

Lucy.

But his Master has; and that's the same thing, as she'll manage it.

Blunt.

I don't like this fooling with a handsome young Fellow; while she's endeavouring to ensnare him, she may be caught her self.

Lucy.

Nay, were she like me, that would cer­tainly be the Consequence;—for, I confess, there is something in Youth and Innocence that moves me mightily.

Blunt.

Yes, so does the Smoothness and Plump­ness of a Patridge move a mighty Desire in the Hawk to be the Destruction of it.

Lucy.

Why, Birds are their Prey, as Men are ours; though, as you observ'd, we are sometimes caught our selves:—But that I dare say will never be the Case with our Mistress.

Blunt.

I wish it may prove so; for you know we all depend upon her: Should she trifle away her Time with a young Fellow, that there's nothing to be got by, we must all starve.

Lucy.

There's no Danger of that, for I am sure she has no View in this Affair, but Interest.

Blunt.

Well, and what Hopes are there of Suc­cess in that?

Lucy.

The most promising that can be.—'Tis true, the Youth has his Scruples; but she'll soon teach him to answer them, by stifling his Conscience.—O, the Lad is in a hopeful Way, depend upon't.

SCENE VIII.

Barnwell and Millwood at an Entertainment.
Barn.

What can I answer!—All that I know is, that you are fair, and I am miserable.

Mill.
[Page 13]

We are both so, and yet the Fault is in our selves.

Barn.

To ease our present Anguish, by plunging into Guilt, is to buy a Moment's Pleasure with an Age of Pain.

Mill.

I should have thought the Joys of Love as lasting as they are great: If ours prove otherwise, 'tis your Inconstancy must make them so.

Barn.

The Law of Heaven will not be revers'd; and that requires us to govern our Passions.

Mill.

To give us Sense of Beauty and Desires, and yet forbid us to taste and be happy, is Cruelty to Nature.—Have we Passions only to torment us!

Barn.

To hear you talk,—tho' in the Cause of Vice,—to gaze, upon your Beauty,—press your Hand,—and see your Snow-white Bosom heave and fall,—enflames my Wishes;—my Pulse beats high,—my Senses all are in a Hurry, and I am on the Rack of wild Desire;—yet for a Moment's guilty Pleasure, shall I lose my Innocence, my Peace of Mind, and Hopes of solid Happiness?

Mill.

Chimeras all,—

—Come on with me and prove,
No Joy's like Woman kind, nor Heav'n like Love.
Barn.

I wou'd not,—yet I must on.—

Reluctant thus, the Merchant quits his Ease,
And trusts to Rocks, and Sands, and stormy Seas;
In Hopes some unknown golden Coast to find,
Commits himself, tho' doubtful, to the Wind,
Longs much for Joys to come, yet mourns those left behind.
The End of the First Act.

ACT II.

SCENE I.

A Room in Thorowgood's House.
Barnwell.
Barn.

HOW strange are all Things round me? Like some Thief, who treads forbidden Ground, fearful I enter each Apartment of this well known House. To guilty Love, as if that was too little, already have I added Breach of Trust.—A Thief!—Can I know my self that wretched Thing, and look my honest Friend and injured Ma­ster in the Face?—Tho' Hypocrisy may a while conceal my Guilt, at length it will be known, and publick Shame and Ruin must ensue. In the mean time, what must be my Life? ever to speak a Lan­guage foreign to my Heart; hourly to add to the Number of my Crimes in order to conceal 'em.—Sure such was the Condition of the grand Apostate, when first he lost his Purity; like me disconsolate he wander'd, and while yet in Heaven, bore all his future Hell about him.

SCENE II.

Barnwell and Trueman.
Tr.

Barnwell! O how I rejoice to see you safe! so will our Master and his gentle Daughter, who du­ring your Absence often inquir'd after you.

Barn.

Wou'd he were gone, his officious Love will pry into the Secrets of my Soul.

[Aside.
Tr.
[Page 15]

Unless you knew the Pain the whole Family has felt on your Account, you can't conceive how much you are belov'd; but why thus cold and silent? when my Heart is full of Joy for your Return, why do you turn away? why thus avoid me? what have I done? how am I alter'd since you saw me last? Or rather what have you done? and why are you thus changed? for I am still the same.

Barn.

What have I done indeed?

[Aside.
Tr.

Not speak nor look upon me.

Barn.

By my Face he will discover all I wou'd con­ceal; methinks already I begin to hate him.

[Aside.
Tr.

I cannot bear this Usage from a Friend, one whom till now I ever found so loving, whom yet I love, tho' this Unkindness strikes at the Root of Friendship, and might destroy it in any Breast but mine.

Bar.

I am not well,

[Turning to him.

Sleep has been a Stranger to these Eyes since you beheld them last.

Tr.

Heavy they look indeed, and swoln with Tears;—now they o'erflow;—rightly did my sympathizing Heart forebode last Night when thou wast absent, something fatal to our Peace.

Barn.

Your Friendship ingages you too far. My Troubles, whate'er they are, are mine alone, you have no Interest in them, nor ought your Concern for me give you a Moment's Pain.

Tr.

You speak as if you knew of Friendship no­thing but the Name. Before I saw your Grief I felt it. Since we parted last I have slept no more than you, but pensive in my Chamber sat alone, and spent the tedious Night in Wishes for your Safe­ty and Return; e'en now, tho' ignorant of the Cause, your Sorrow wounds me to the Heart.

Barn.

'Twill nor be always thus, Friendship and all Engagements cease, as Circumstances and Occa­sions vary; and since you once may hate me, per­haps it might be better for us both that now you lov'd me less.

Tr.
[Page 16]

Sure I but dream! without a Cause would Barnwell use me thus, ungenerous and ungrateful Youth farewell,—I shall endeavour to follow your Advice,—

[Going.]

Yet stay, perhaps I am too rash, and angry when the Cause demands Compassion. Some unforeseen Calamity may have befaln him too great to bear.

Barn.

What Part am I reduc'd to act;—'tis vile and base to move his Temper thus, the best of Friends and Men.

Tr.

I am to blame, prithee forgive me Barnwell.—Try to compose your ruffled Mind, and let me know the Cause that thus transports you from your Self; my friendly Counsel may restore your Peace.

Barn.

All that is possible for Man to do for Man, your generous Friendship may effect; but here even that's in Vain.

Tr.

Something dreadful is labouring in your Breast, O give it vent and let me share your Grief, 'twill ease your Pain shou'd it admit no cure; and make it lighter by the Part I bear.

Barn.

Vain Supposition! my Woes increase by being observ'd, shou'd the Cause be known they wou'd exceed all Bounds.

Tr.

So well I know thy honest Heart, Guilt can­not harbour there.

Barn.

O Torture insupportable!

[Aside.
Tr.

Then why am I excluded, have I a Thought I would conceal from you.

Barn.

If still you urge me on this hated Subject, I'll never enter more beneath this Roof, nor see your Face again.

Tr.

'Tis strange,—but I have done, say but you hate me not.

Barn.

Hate you!—I am not that Monster yet.

Tr.

Shall our Friendship still continue.

Barn.

It's a Blessing I never was worthy of, yet now must stand on Terms; and but upon Conditions can confirm it.

Tr.
[Page 17]

What are they?

Barn.

Never hereafter, tho' you shou'd wonder at my Conduct, desire to know more than I am willing to reveal.

Tr.

'Tis hard, but upon any Conditions I must be your Friend.

Barn.

Then, as much as one lost to himself can be another's, I am yours.

[Embracing.
Tr.

Be ever so, and may Heav'n restore your Peace.

Bar.

Will Yesterday return.—We have heard the glorious Sun, that till then incessant roll'd, once stopp'd his rapid Course, and once went back: The Dead have risen; and parched Rocks pour'd forth a liquid Stream to quench a Peoples Thirst: The Sea divided, and form'd Walls of Water, while a whole Nation pass'd in safety thro' its sandy Bosom: Hungry Lions have refus'd their Prey: And Men unhurt have walk'd amidst consuming Flames; but never yet did Time once past, re­turn.

Tr.

Tho' the continued Chain of Time has never once been broke, nor ever will, but uninterrupted must keep on its Course, till lost in Eternity it ends there where it first begun; yet as Heav'n can re­pair whatever Evils Time can bring upon us, he who trusts Heaven ought never to despair. But Business requires our Attendance; Business the Youth's best Preservative from ill, as Idleness his worst of Snares. Will you go with me?

Barn.

I'll take a little Time to reflect on what has past, and follow you.

SCENE III.

Barnwell.

I might have trusted Trueman to have applied to my Uncle to have repaired the Wrong I have done [Page 18] my Master; but what of Millwood? must I expose her too? ungenerous and base! then Heav'n requires it not.—But Heaven requires that I forsake her. What! never see her more! Does Heaven require that,—I hope I may see her, and Heav'n not be offended. Presumptuous Hope,—dearly already have I prov'd my Frailty; should I once more tempt Heav'n, I may be left to fall never to rise again. Yet shall I leave her, for ever leave her, and not let her know the Cause? She who loves me with such a boundless Passion; can Cruelty be Duty? I judge of what she then must feel, by what I now indure. The love of Life and fear of Shame, op­pos'd by Inclination strong as Death or Shame, like Wind and Tide in raging Conflict met, when neither can prevail, keep me in doubt.—How then can I determines.

SCENE IV.

Thorowgood and Barnwell.
Thor.

Without a Cause assign'd, or Notice given, to absent your self last Night was a Fault, young Man, and I came to chide you for it, but hope I am prevented; that modest Blush, the Confusion so visible in your Face, speak Grief and Shame: When we have offended Heaven, it requires no more; and shall Man, who needs himself to be forgiven, be harder to appease: If my Pardon or Love be of moment to your Peace, look up secure of both.

Barn.

This Goodness has o'er come me.

[Aside.]

O Sir! you know not the Nature and Extent of my Offence; and I shou'd abuse your mistaken Bounty to receive 'em. Tho' I had rather die than speak my Shame; tho' Racks could not have forced the guilty Secret from my Breast, your Kindness has.

Thor.

Enough, enough, whate'er it be, this Con­cern shews you're convinc'd, and I am satisfied. [Page 19] How painful is the Sense of Guilt to an ingenuous Mind;—some youthful Folly, which it were pru­dent not to enquire into.—When we consider the frail Condition of Humanity, it may raise our Pity, not our Wonder, that Youth should go astray; when Reason, weak at the best when oppos'd to Inclina­tion, scarce form'd, and wholly unassisted by Expe­rience, faintly contends, or willingly becomes the Slave of Sense. The State of Youth is much to be deplored; and the more so because they see it not; they being then to danger most expos'd, when they are least prepar'd for their Defence.

Barn.

It will be known, and you recall your Pardon and abhor me.

Thor.

I never will; so Heav'n confirm to me the Pardon of my Offences. Yet be upon your Guard in this gay thoughtless Season of your Life; now, when the Sense of Pleasure's quick, and Passion high, the voluptuous Appetites raging and fierce demand the strongest Curb; take heed of a Relapse: When Vice becomes habitual, the very Power of leaving it is lost.

Barn.

Hear me then on my Knees confess.

Thor.

I will not hear a Syllable more upon this Sub­ject; it were not Mercy, but Cruelty, to hear what must give you such Torment to reveal.

Barn.

This Generosity amazes and distracts me.

Thor.

This Remorse makes thee dearer to me than if thou hadst never offended; whatever is your Fault, of this I'm certain, 'twas harder for you to offend than me to pardon.

SCENE V.

Barnwell.
Barn.

Villain, Villain, Villain! basely to wrong so excellent a Man: Shou'd I again return to Folly—detested Thought;—but what of [Page 20] Millwood then?—Why, I renounce her;—I give her up;—the Struggle's over, and Virtue has prevail'd. Reason may convince, but Gratitude compels. This unlook'd for Generosity has sav'd me from Destruction.

[Going.

SCENE VI.

To him a Footman.
Foot.

Sir, two Ladies, from your Uncle in the Country, desire to see you.

Barn.

Who shou'd they be?

[Aside.]

Tell them I'll wait upon 'em.

SCENE VII.

Barnwell.
Barn.

Methinks I dread to see 'em.—Guilt, what a Coward hast thou made me?—Now every Thing alarms me.

SCENE VIII.

Another Room in Thorowgood's House.
Millwood and Lucy, and to them a Footman.
Foot.

Ladies, he'll wait upon you immediately.

Mill.

'Tis very well.—I thank you.

SCENE IX.

Barnwell, Millwood, and Lucy.
Barn.

Confusion! Millwood.

Mill.

That angry Look tells me that here I'm an unwelcome Guest; I fear'd as much,—the Un­happy are so every where.

Barn.
[Page 21]

Will nothing but my utter Ruin content you?

Mill.

Unkind and cruel! lost my self, your Hap­piness is now my only Care.

Barn.

How did you gain Admission?

Mill.

Saying we were desir'd by your Uncle to visit and deliver a Message to you, we were re­ceiv'd by the Family without suspicion, and with much respect directed here.

Barn.

Why did you come at all?

Mill.

I never shall trouble you more, I'm come to take my Leave for ever. Such is the Malice of my Fate. I go hopeless, despairing ever to return. This Hour is all I have left me. One short Hour is all I have to bestow on Love and you, for whom I thought the longest Life too short.

Barn.

Then we are met to part for ever?

Mill.

It must be so;—yet think not that Time or Absence ever shall put a Period to my Grief, or make me love you less; tho' I must leave you, yet condemn me not.

Barn.

Condemn you? No, I approve your Re­solution, and rejoice to hear it; 'tis just,—'tis necessary,—I have well weigh'd, and found it so.

Lucy.

I'm afraid the young Man has more Sense than she thought he had.

[Aside.
Barn.

Before you came I had determin'd never to see you more.

Mill.

Confusion!

[Aside.
Lucy.

Ay! we are all out; this is a Turn so unex­pected, that I shall make nothing of my Part, they must e'en play the Scene betwixt themselves.

[Aside.
Mill.

'Twas some relief to think, tho' absent, you would love me still; but to find, tho' For­tune had been kind, that you, more cruel and in­constant, had resolv'd to cast me off.—This, as I never cou'd expect, I have not learnt to bear.

Barn.

I am sorry to hear you blame in me, a Reso­lution that so well becomes us both.

Mill.

I have Reason for what I do, but you have none.

Barn.
[Page 22]

Can we want a Reason for parting, who have so many to wish we never had met.

Mill.

Look on me Barnwell, am I deform'd or old, that Satiety so soon succeeds Enjoyment? nay, look again, am I not she whom Yesterday you thought the fairest and the kindest of her Sex? whose Hand, trembling with Extacy, you prest and moulded thus, while on my Eyes you gazed with such delight, as if Desire increas'd by being fed.

Barn.

No more, let me repent my former Follies, if possible, without remembring what they were.

Mill.

Why?

Barn.

Such is my Frailty that 'tis dangerous.

Mill.

Where is the Danger, since we are to part?

Barn.

The Thought of that already is too pain­ful.

Mill.

If it be painful to part, then I may hope at least you do not hate me?

Barn.

No,—no,—I never said I did,—O my Heart!—

Mill.

Perhaps you pity me?

Barn.

I do,—I do,—indeed, I do.

Mill.

You'll think upon me?

Barn.

Doubt it not while I can think at all.

Mill.

You may judge an Embrace at parting too great a Favour, though it would be the last?

[He draws back.]

A Look shall then suffice,—farewell for ever.

SCENE X.

Barnwell.
Barn.

If to resolve to suffer be to conquer, I have conquer'd. Painful Victory!

SCENE XI.

Barnwell, Millwood and Lucy.
Mill.

One thing I had forgot,—I never must return to my own House again. This I thought proper to let you know, lest your Mind should change, and you shou'd seek in vain to find me there. Forgive me this second Intrusion; I only came to give you this Caution, and that perhaps was needless.

Barn.

I hope it was, yet it is kind, and I must thank you for it.

Mill.

My Friend, your Arm.

[To Lucy.]

Now I am gone for ever.

[Going.
Barn.

One thing more;—sure there's no dan­ger in my knowing where you go? If you think otherwise?—

Mill.

Alas!

[Weeping.
Lucy.

We are right I find, that's my Cue.

[Aside.

Ah; dear Sir, she's going she knows not whether; but go she must.

Barn.

Humanity obliges me to wish you well; why will you thus expose your self to needless Trou­bles?

Lucy.

Nay, there's no help for it: She must quit the Town immediately, and the Kingdom as soon as possible; it was no small Matter you may be sure, that could make her resolve to leave you.

Mill.

No more, my Friend; since he for whose dear Sake alone I suffer, and am content to suffer, is kind and pities me. Wheree'er I wander through Wiles and Desarts, benighted and forlorn, that Thought shall give me comfort.

Barn.

For my Sake! O tell me how; which way am I so curs'd as to bring such Ruin on thee?

Mill.

No matter, I am contented with my Lot.

Barn.

Leave me not in this Incertainty.

Mill.

I have said too much.

Barn.
[Page 24]

How, how am I the Cause of your Undoing?

Mill.

'Twill but increase your Troubles.

Barn.

My Troubles can't be greater than they are.

Lucy.

Well, well, Sir, if she won't satisfy you, I will.

Barn.

I am bound to you beyond Expression.

Mill.

Remember, Sir, that I desir'd you not to hear it.

Barn.

Begin, and ease my racking Expectation.

Lucy.

Why you must know, my Lady here was an only Child; but her Parents dying while she was young, left her and her Fortune, (no incon­siderable one, I assure you) to the Care of a Gen­tleman, who has a good Estate of his own.

Mill.

Ay, ay, the barbarous Man is rich enough;—but what are Riches when compared to Love?

Lucy.

For a while he perform'd the Office of a faithful Guardian, settled her in a House, hir'd her Servants;—but you have seen in what manner she liv'd, so I need say no more of that.

Mill.

How I shall live hereafter, Heaven knows.

Lucy.

All Things went on as one cou'd wish, till, some Time ago, his Wife dying, he fell violent­ly in love with his Charge, and wou'd fain have marry'd her: Now the Man is neither old nor ugly, but a good personable sort of a Man, but I don't know how it was she cou'd never endure him; in short, her ill Usage so provok'd him, that he brought in an Account of his Executorship, wherein he makes her Debtor to him.—

Mill.

A Trifle in it self, but more than enough to ruin me, whom, by this unjust Account, he had stripp'd of all before.

Lucy.

Now she having neither Money, nor Friend, except me, who am as unfortunate as her self, he compell'd her to pass his Account, and give Bond for the Sum he demanded; but still provided hand­somely for her, and continued his Courtship, till being inform'd by his Spies (truly I suspect some [Page 25] in her own Family) that you were entertain'd at her House, and stay'd with her all Night, he came this Morning raving, and storming like a Mad­man, talks no more of Marriage; so there's no Hopes of making up Matters that Way, but vows her Ruin, unless she'll allow him the same Favour that he supposes she granted you.

Barn.

Must she be ruin'd, or find her Refuge in another's Arms?

Mill.

He gave me but an Hour to resolve in, that's happily spent with you;—and now I go.—

Barn.

To be expos'd to all the Rigours of the various Seasons; the Summer's parching Heat, and Winter's Cold, unhous'd to wander Friendless thro' the unhospitable World, in Misery and Want; at­tended with Fear and Danger, and pursu'd by Malice and Revenge, woud'st thou endure all this for me, and can I do nothing, nothing to prevent it?

Lucy.

'Tis really a Pity, there can be no Way found out.

Barn.

O where are all my Resolutions now; like early Vapours, or the Morning Dew, chas'd by the Sun's warm Beams they're vanish'd and lost, as tho' they had never been.

Lucy.

Now I advis'd her, Sir, to comply with the Gentleman, that wou'd not only put an End to her Troubles, but make her Fortune at once.

Barn.

Tormenting Fiend, away.—I had ra­ther perish, nay, see her perish, than have her sav'd by him; I will my self prevent her Ruin, tho' with my own. A Moment's Patience, I'll return imme­diately.—

SCENE. XII.

Millwood and Lucy.
Lucy.

'Twas well you came, or, by what I can perceive, you had lost him.

Mill.
[Page 26]

That, I must confess, was a Danger I did not foresee; I was only afraid he should have come without Money. You know a House of En­tertainment, like mine, is not kept with no­thing.

Lucy.

That's very true; but then you shou'd be reasonable in your Demands; 'tis pity to discourage a young Man.

SCENE XIII.

Barnwell, Millwood, and Lucy.
Barn.

What am I about to do!—Now you, who boast your Reason all-sufficient, suppose your selves in my Condition, and determine for me; whether it's right to let her suffer for my Faults, or, by this small Addition to my Guilt, prevent the ill Effects of what is past.

Lucy.

These young Sinners think every Thing in the Ways of Wickedness so strange,—but I cou'd tell him that this is nothing but what's very com­mon; for one Vice as naturally begets another, as a Father a Son:—But he'll find out that himself, if he lives long enough.

Barn.

Here take this, and with it purchase your Deliverance; return to your House, and live in Peace and Safety.

Mill.

So I may hope to see you there a­gain.

Barn.

Answer me not,—but fly,—least, in the Agonies of my Remorse, I take again what is not mine to give, and abandon thee to Want and Misery.

Mill.

Say but you'll come.—

Barn.

You are my Fate, my Heaven, or my Hell; only leave me now, dispose of me hereafter as you please.

SCENE XIV.

Barnwell.

What have I done.—Were my Resolu­tions founded on Reason, and sincerely made,—why then has Heaven suffer'd me to fall? I sought not the Occasion; and, if my Heart deceives me not, Compassion and Generosity were my Motives.—Is Virtue inconsistent with it self, or are Vice and Virtue only empty Names? Or do they de­pend on Accidents, beyond our Power to produce, or to prevent,—wherein we have no Part, and yet must be determin'd by the Event?—But why should I attempt to reason? All is Confusion, Horror, and Remorse;—I find I am lost, cast down from all my late erected Hopes, and plung'd again in Guilt, yet scarce know how or why—

Such undistinguish'd Horrors make my Brain,
Like Hell, the Seat of Darkness, and of Pain.
The End of the Second Act.

ACT III.

SCENE I.

Thorowgood and Trueman.
Thor.

MEthinks I wou'd not have you only learn the Method of Merchandize, and pra­ctise it hereafter, merely as a Means of getting Wealth.—'Twill be well worth your Pains to study it as a Science.—See how it is founded in Reason, and the Nature of Things.—How it has promoted Humanity, as it has opened and yet keeps up an Intercourse between Nations, far remote from one another in Situation, Customs and Religion; pro­moting Arts, Industry, Peace and Plenty; by mu­tual Benefits diffusing mutual Love from Pole to Pole.

Tr.

Something of this I have consider'd, and hope, by your Assistance, to extend my Thoughts much farther.—I have observ'd those Countries, where Trade is promoted and encouraged, do not make Discoveries to destroy, but to improve Man­kind,—by Love and Friendship, to tame the fierce, and polish the most savage,—to teach them the Advantages of honest Traffick,—by taking from them, with their own Consent, their useless Super­fluities, and giving them, in Return, what, from their Ignorance in manual Arts, their Situation, or some other Accident they stand in need of.

Thor.

'Tis justly observ'd:—The populous East, luxuriant, abounds with glittering Gems, bright Pearls, aromatick Spices, and Health-resto­ring Drugs: The late found Western World glows with unnumber'd Veins of Gold and Silver Ore.—On every Climate, and on every Country, Heaven [Page 29] has bestowed some good peculiar to it self.—It is the industrious Merchant's Business to collect the various Blessings of each Soil and Climate, and, with the Product of the whole, to enrich his native Country.—Well! I have examin'd your Accounts: They are not only just, as I have always found them, but regularly kept, and fairly enter'd.—I commend your Diligence. Method in Business is the surest Guide. He, who neglects it, fre­quently stumbles, and always wanders perplex'd, uncertain, and in Danger. Are Barnwell's Accounts ready for my Inspection; he does not use to be the last on these Occasions.

Tr.

Upon receiving your Orders he retir'd, I thought in some Confusion.—If you please, I'll go and hasten him.—I hope he has n't been guilty of any Neglect.

Thor.

I'm now going to the Exchange; let him know, at my Return, I expect to find him ready.

SCENE II.

Maria with a Book sits and reads.
Ma.

How forcible is Truth? The weakest Mind, inspir'd with Love of that,—fix'd and collected in it self,—with Indifference beholds—the united Force of Earth and Hell opposing: Such Souls are rais'd above the Sense of Pain, or so supported, that they regard it not. The Martyr cheaply purchases his Heaven.—Small are his Sufferings, great is his Reward;—not so the Wretch, who combats Love with Duty; when the Mind, weaken'd and dissolved by the soft Passion, feeble and hopeless opposes its own Desires.—What is an Hour, a Day, a Year of Pain, to a whole Life of Tortures, such as these?

SCENE III.

Trueman and Maria.
Tr.

O, Barnwell!—O, my Friend, how art thou fallen?

Ma.

Ha! Barnwell! What of him? Speak, say what of Barnwell.

Tr.

'Tis not to be conceal'd.—Iv'e News to tell of him that will afflict your generous Father, your self, and all who knew him.

Ma.

Defend us Heaven!

Tr.

I cannot speak it.—See there.

[Gives a Letter, Maria reads.
Trueman,

I Know my Absence will surprize my honour'd Master, and your self; and the more, when you shall un­derstand that the Reason of my withdrawing, is my ha­ving embezzled part of the Cash with which I was en­trusted. After this, 'tis needless to inform you that I in­tend never to return again: Though this might have been known, by examining my Accounts; yet, to prevent that unnecessary Trouble, and to cut off all fruitless Expectations of my Return, I have left this from the lost

George Barnwell.
Tr.

Lost indeed! Yet how he shou'd be guilty of what he there charges himself withal, raises my Wonder equal to my Grief.—Never had Youth a higher Sense of Virtue—Justly he thought, and as he thought he practised; never was Life more regular than his; an Understanding uncommon at his Years; an open, generous, manliness of Tem­per; his Manners easy, unaffected and engaging.

Ma.

This and much more you might have said with Truth.—He was the delight of every Eye, and Joy of every Heart that knew him.

Tr.
[Page 31]

Since such he was, and was my Friend, can I support his Loss?—See the fairest and hap­piest Maid this wealthy City boasts, kindly conde­scends to weep for thy unhappy Fate, poor ruin'd Barnwell!

Ma.

Trueman, Do you think a Soul so delicate as his, so sensible of Shame, can e'er submit to live a Slave to Vice?

Tr.

Never, never. So well I know him, I'm sure this Act of his, so contrary to his Nature, must have been caused by some unavoidable Necessity.

Ma.

Is there no Means yet to preserve him?

Tr.

O! that there were.—But few Men re­cover Reputation lost.—A Merchant never.—Nor wou'd he, I fear, though I shou'd find him, ever be brought to look his injur'd Master in the Face.

Ma.

I fear as much,—and therefore wou'd never have my Father know it.

Tr.

That's impossible.

Ma.

What's the Sum?

Tr.

'Tis considerable.—I've mark'd it here, to show it, with the Letter, to your Father, at his Return.

Ma.

If I shou'd supply the Money, cou'd you so dispose of that, and the Account, as to conceal this unhappy Mismanagement from my Father.

Tr.

Nothing more easy:—But can you intend it? Will you save a helpless Wretch from Ruin? Oh! 'twere an Act worthy such exalted Virtue, as Maria's.—Sure Heaven, in Mercy to my Friend, inspired the generous Thought.

Ma.

Doubt not but I wou'd purchase so great a Happiness at a much dearer Price.—But how shall he be found?

Tr.

Trust to my Diligence for that.—In the mean time, I'll conceal his Absence from your Father, or find such Excuses for it, that the real Cause shall never be suspected.

Ma.
[Page 32]

In attempting to save from Shame, one whom we hope may yet return to Virtue, to Heaven, and you, the Judges of this Action, I appeal, whe­ther I have done any thing misbecoming my Sex and Character.

Tr.

Earth must approve the Deed, and Heaven, I doubt not, will reward it.

Ma.

If Heaven succeed it, I am well rewarded. A Virgin's Fame is sullied by Suspicion's slightest Breath; and therefore as this must be a Secret from my Father, and the World, for Barnwell's sake, for mine let it be so to him.

SCENE IV.

Milwood's House.
Lucy and Blunt.
Lucy.

Well! what do you think of Millwood's Conduct now!

Blunt.

I own it is surprizing:—I don't know which to admire most, her feign'd, or his real Passion; tho' I have sometimes been afraid that her Avarice wou'd discover her:—But his Youth and want of Experience make it the easier to impose on him.

Lucy.

No, it is his Love. To do him Justice, notwithstanding his Youth, he don't want Under­standing; but you Men are much easier imposed on, in these Affairs, than your Vanity will allow you to believe.—Let me see the wisest of you all, as much in Love with me, as Barnwell is with Millwood, and I'll engage to make as great a Fool of him.

Blunt.

And all Circumstances consider'd, to make as much Money of him too.

Lucy.

I can't answer for that. Her Artifice in making him rob his Master at first, and the various Stratagems, by which she has obliged him to continue in that Course, astonish even me, who know her so well.—

Blunt.
[Page 33]

But then you are to consider that the Money was his Master's.

Lucy.

There was the Difficulty of it.—Had it been his own, it had been nothing.—Were the World his, she might have it for a Smile:—But those golden Days are done;—he's ruin'd, and Millwood's Hopes of farther Profits there, are at an End.

Blunt.

That's no more than we all expected.

Lucy.

Being call'd, by his Master, to make up his Accounts, he was forc'd to quit his House and Service, and wisely flies to Millwood for Relief and Entertainment.

Blunt.

I have not heard of this before! How did she receive him?

Lucy.

As you wou'd expect.—She wonder'd what he meant, was astonish'd at his Impudence,—and, with an Air of Modesty peculiar to her self, swore so heartily, that she never saw him before,—that she put me out of Countenance.

Blunt.

That's much indeed! But how did Barn­well behave?

Lucy.

He griev'd, and, at length, enrag'd at this barbarous Treatment, was preparing to be gone; and, making toward the Door, show'd a Bag of Money, which he had stol'n from his Master,—the last he's ever like to have from thence.

Blunt.

But then Millwood?

Lucy.

Aye, she, with her usual Address, return'd to her old Arts of lying, swearing, and dissembling.—Hung on his Neck, and wept, and swore 'twas meant in Jest; till this easy Fool, melted into Tears, threw the Money into her Lap, and swore he had rather die, than think her false.

Blunt.

Strange Infatuation!

Lucy.

But what follow'd was stranger still. As Doubts and Fears, follow'd by Reconcilement, ever increase Love, where the Passion is sincere; so in him it caus'd so wild a Transport of excessive [Page 34] Fondness, such Joy, such Grief, such Pleasure, and such Anguish, that Nature in him seem'd sinking with the Weight, and the charm'd Soul dispos'd to quit his Breast for hers,—just then, when every Passion with lawless Anarchy prevail'd,—and Rea­son was in the raging Tempest lost;—the cruel artful Millwood prevail'd upon the wretched Youth to promise what I tremble but to think on.

Blunt.

I am amaz'd! what can it be?

Lucy.

You will be more so, to hear it is to at­tempt the Life of his nearest Relation, and best Benefactor.—

Blunt.

His Uncle, whom we have often heard him speak of, as a Gentleman of a large Estate and fair Character in the Country, where he lives.

Lucy.

The same.—She was no sooner possess'd of the last dear Purchase of his Ruin, but her Avarice, insatiate as the Grave, demands this hor­rid Sacrifice,—Barnwell's near Relation, and unsuspected Virtue must give too easy Means to seize the good Man's Treasure; whose Blood must seal the dreadful Secret, and prevent the Terrors of her guilty Fears.

Blunt.

Is it possible she cou'd perswade him to do an Act like that! He is, by Nature, honest, grate­ful, compassionate, and generous: And though his Love, and her artful Perswasions, have wrought him to practise what he most abhors; yet we all can witness for him, with what Reluctance he has still comply'd! So many Tears he shed o'er each Offence, as might, if possible, sanctify Theft, and make a Merit of a Crime.

Lucy.

'Tis true, at the naming the Murder of his Uncle, he started into Rage; and, breaking from her Arms, where she till then had held him, with well dissembled Love and false Endearments, call'd her, cruel Monster, Devil, and told her she was born for his Destruction.—She thought it not for her Purpose to meet his Rage with Rage, [Page 35] but affected a most passionate Fit of Grief;—rail'd at her Fate, and curs'd her wayward Stars,—that still her Wants shou'd force her to press him to act such Deeds, as she must needs abhor, as well as he; but told him Necessity had no Law, and Love no Bounds; that therefore he never truly lov'd, but meant, in her Necessity, to forsake her;—then kneel'd and swore, that since, by his Refusal, he had given her Cause to doubt his Love, she never wou'd see him more; unless, to prove it true, he robb'd his Uncle to supply her Wants, and murder'd him, to keep it from Discovery.

Blunt.

I am astonish'd! What said he?

Lucy.

Speechless he stood; but in his Face you might have read, that various Passions tore his very Soul. Oft he, in Anguish, threw his Eyes towards Heaven, and then as often bent their Beams on her; then wept and groan'd, and beat his Breast; at length, with Horror, not to be express'd, he cry'd, Thou cursed Fair! have I not given dreadful Proofs of Love! What drew me from my youthful Innocence, to stain my then un­spotted Soul, but Love? What caus'd me to rob my gentle Master, but cursed Love? What makes me now a Fugitive from his Service, loath'd by my self, and scorn'd by all the World, but Love? What fills my Eyes with Tears, my Soul with Tor­ture, never felt on this side Death before? Why Love, Love, Love. And why, above all, do I re­solve, (for, tearing his Hair, he cry'd I do resolve) to kill my Uncle.

Blunt.

Was she not mov'd? It makes me weep to hear the sad Relation.

Lucy.

Yes, with Joy, that she had gain'd her Point.—She gave him no Time to cool, but urg'd him to attempt it instantly. He's now gone; if he performs it, and escapes, there's more Money for her; if not, he'll ne'er return, and then she's fairly rid of him.

Blunt.
[Page 36]

'Tis time the World was rid of such a Monster.—

Lucy.

If we don't do our Endeavours to prevent this Murder, we are as bad as she.

Blunt.

I'm afraid it is too late.

Lucy.

Perhaps not.—Her Barbarity to Barnwell makes me hate her.—We've run too great a Length with her already.—I did not think her or my self so wicked, as I find, upon Reflection, we are.

Blunt.

'Tis true, we have all been too much so.—But there is something so horrid in Murder,—that all other Crimes seem nothing when compared to that.—I wou'd not be involv'd in the Guilt of that for all the World.

Lucy.

Nor I, Heaven knows;—therefore let us clear our selves, by doing all that is in our Power to prevent it. I have just thought of a Way, that, to me, seems probable.—Will you join with me to detect this curs'd Design?

Blunt.

With all my Heart.—How else shall I clear my self? He who knows of a Murder intended to be committed, and does not discover it, in the Eye of the Law, and Reason, is a Murderer.

Lucy.

Let us lose no Time;—I'll acquaint you with the Particulars as we go.

SCENE V.

A Walk at some Distance from a Country Seat.
Barnwell.

A dismal Gloom obscures the Face of Day; ei­ther the Sun has slip'd behind a Cloud, or jour­neys down the West of Heaven, with more than common Speed, to avoid the Sight of what I'm doom'd to act. Since I set forth on this accursed Design, where'er I tread, methinks, the solid Earth trembles beneath my Feet.—Yonder lim­pid [Page 37] Stream, whose hoary Fall has made a na­tural Cascade, as I pass'd by, in doleful Accents seem'd to murmur, Murder. The Earth, the Air, and Water, seem concern'd; but that's not strange, the World is punish'd, and Nature feels the Shock, when Providence permits a good Man's Fall!—Just Heaven! Then what shou'd I be! for him that was my Father's only Brother, and since his Death has been to me a Father, who took me up an Infant, and an Orphan; rear'd me with ten­derest Care, and still indulged me with most pater­nal Fondness;—yet here I stand avow'd his de­stin'd Murderer:—I stiffen with Horror at my own Impiety;—'tis yet unperform'd.—What if I quit my bloody Purpose, and fly the Place!

[Going, then stops.]

—But whether, O whether, shall I fly!—My Master's once friendly Doors are ever shut against me; and without Money Millwood will never see me more, and Life is not to be endu­red without her:—She's got such firm Possession of my Heart, and governs there with such despotick Sway;—Aye, there's the Cause of all my Sin and Sorrow:—'Tis more than Love; 'tis the Fever of the Soul, and Madness of Desire.—In vain does Nature, Reason, Conscience, all oppose it; the impetuous Passion bears down all before it, and drives me on to Lust, to Theft, and Murder.—Oh Conscience! feeble Guide to Virtue, who only shows us when we go astray, but wants the Power to stop us in our Course.—Ha! in yonder shady Walk I see my Uncle.—He's alone.—Now for my Disguise.—

[Plucks out a Vizor.]

This is his Hour of private Meditation. Thus daily he prepares his Soul for Heaven,—whilst I—But what have I to do with Heaven!—Ha! No Struggles, Conscience.—

Hence! Hence Remorse, and ev'ry Thought that's good;
The Storm that Lust began, must end in Blood.
[Puts on the Vizor, and draws a Pistol.

SCENE VI.

A close Walk in a Wood.
Uncle.

If I was superstitious, I shou'd fear some Danger lurk'd unseen, or Death were nigh:—A heavy Melancholy clouds my Spirits; my Ima­gination is fill'd with gashly Forms of dreary Graves, and Bodies chang'd by Death,—when the pale lengthen'd Visage attracks each weeping Eye,—and fills the musing Soul, at once, with Grief and Horror, Pity and Aversion.—I will indulge the Thought. The wise Man prepares himself for Death, by making it familiar to his Mind.—When strong Reflections hold the Mirror near,—and the Living in the Dead be­hold their future selves, how does each inordinate Passion and Desire cease or sicken at the View?—The Mind scarce moves;—The Blood, curd­ling, and chill'd, creeps slowly thro' the Veins,—fix'd, still, and motionless, like the solemn Object of our Thoughts.—We are almost at present—what we must be hereafter, 'till Curiosity awakes the Soul, and sets it on Inquiry.—

SCENE VII.

Uncle, George Barnwell at a Distance.
Uncle.

O Death, thou strange mysterious Power,—seen every Day, yet never understood—but by the incommunicative Dead, What art thou?—The extensive Mind of Man, that with a Thought circles the Earth's vast Globe,—sinks to the Centre, or ascends above the Stars; that World's exotick finds, or thinks it finds,—thy [Page 39] thick Clouds attempts to pass in vain, lost and be­wilder'd in the horrid Gloom,—defeated she returns more doubtful than before; of nothing certain, but of Labour lost.

[During this Speech, Barnwell sometimes presents the Pistol, and draws it back again; at last he drops it,—at which his Uncle starts, and draws his Sword.
Barn.

Oh, 'tis impossible!

Uncle.

A Man so near me, arm'd and masqu'd!

Barn.

Nay, then there's no Retreat.

[Plucks a Poniard from his Bosom, and stabs him.
Uncle.

Oh! I am slain! All gracious Heaven re­gard the Prayer of thy dying Servant. Bless, with thy choicest Blessings, my dearest Nephew; forgive my Murderer, and take my fleeting Soul to endless Mercy.

[Barnwell throws off his Mask, runs to him, and, kneeling by him, raises and chafes him.
Barn.

Expiring Saint! Oh, murder'd, martyr'd Uncle! Lift up your dying Eyes, and view your Nephew in your Murderer.—O do not look so tenderly upon me.—Let Indignation lighten from your Eyes, and blast me e're you die.—By Heaven, he weeps in Pity of my Woes.—Tears,—Tears, for Blood.—The Murder'd, in the Agonies of Death, weeps for his Murderer.—O, speak your pious Purpose,—pronounce my Pardon then,—and take me with you.—He wou'd, but cannot.—O why, with such fond Affection do you press my murdering Hand!—What! will you kiss me!

[Kisses him.
Uncle.
Groans and dies.
Barn.

He's gone for ever,—and oh! I follow.—

[Swoons away upon his Uncle's dead Body.]

Do I still live to press the suffering Bosom of the Earth?—Do I still breath, and taint with my infectious Breath the wholesome Air!—Let Heaven, from its high Throne, in Justice or in Mercy, now look down on [Page 40] that dear murder'd Saint, and me the Murderer.—And, if his Vengeance spares,—let Pity strike and end my wretched Being.—Murder the worst of Crimes, and Parricide the worst of Murders, and this the worst of Parricides. Cain, who stands on Record from the Birth of Time, and must to its last final Period, as accurs'd, [...]lew a Brother, favour'd above him.—Detested Nero, by another's Hand, dispatch'd a Mother, that he fear'd and hated.—But I, with my own Hand, have mur­der'd a Brother, Mother, Father, and a Friend; most loving and belov'd.—This execrable Act of mine's without a Parallel.—O may it ever stand alone,—the last of Murders, as it is the worst.—

The rich Man thus, in Torment and Despair,
Prefer'd his vain, but charitable Prayer.
The Fool, his own Soul lost, wou'd fain be wise
For others Good; but Heaven his Suit denies.
By Laws and Means well known we stand or fall,
And one eternal Rule remains for all.
The End of the Third Act.

ACT IV.

SCENE I.

Maria.
Ma.

HOW falsly do they judge who censure or applaud, as we're afflicted or rewarded here. I know I am unhappy, yet cannot charge my self with any Crime, more than the common Frailties of our Kind, that shou'd provoke just Heaven to mark me out for Sufferings so uncommon and severe. Falsly to accuse our selves, Heaven must abhor, then it is just and right that Innocence should suffer; for Heaven must be just in all its Ways.—Perhaps by that they are kept from moral Evils, much worse than penal, or more im­prov'd in Virtue: Or may not the lesser Ills that they sustain, be the Means of greater Good to others? Might all the joyless Days and sleepless Nights that I have past, but purchase Peace for thee—

Thou dear, dear Cause of all my Grief and Pain,
Small were the Loss, and infinite the Gain:
Tho' to the Grave in secret Love I pine,
So Life, and Fame, and Happiness were thine.

SCENE II.

Trueman and Maria.
Ma.

What News of Barnwell?

Tr.

None.—I have sought him with the greatest Diligence, but all in vain.

Ma.
[Page 42]

Doth my Father yet suspect the Cause of his absenting himself?

Tr.

All appear'd so just and fair to him, it is not possible he ever shou'd; but his Absence will no lon­ger be conceal'd. Your Father's wise; and though he seems to hearken to the friendly Excuses, I wou'd make for Barnwell; yet, I am afraid, he regards 'em only as such, without suffering them to influence his Judgment.

Ma.

How does the unhappy Youth defeat all our Designs to serve him, yet I can never repent what we have done. Shou'd he return, 'twill make his Reconciliation with my Father easier, and pre­serve him from future Reproach from a malicious unforgiving World.

SCENE III.

(To them.) Thorowgood and Lucy.
Thor.

This Woman here has given me a sad, (and bating some Circumstances) too probable Ac­count of Barnwell's Defection.

Lucy.

I am sorry, Sir, that my frank Confession of my former unhappy Course of Life shou'd cause you to suspect my Truth on this Occasion.

Thor.

It is not that; your Confession has in it all the Appearance of Truth,

[To them.]

Among many other Particulars, she informs me that Barnwell has been influenc'd to break his Trust, and wrong me, at several Times, of considerable Sums of Money; now, as I know this to be false, I wou'd fain doubt the whole of her Relation,—too dreadful—to be willingly believ'd.

Ma.

Sir, your Pardon; I find my self on a sud­den so indispos'd, that I must retire.—Providence opposes all Attempts to save him.—Poor ruin'd Barnwell!—Wretched lost Maria!

[Aside.

SCENE IV.

Thorowgood, Trueman and Lucy.
Thor.

How am I distress'd on every Side? Pity for that unhappy Youth, fear for the Life of a much valued Friend—and then my Child—the only Joy and Hope of my declining Life. Her Melancholy in­creases hourly, and gives me painful Apprehensions of her Loss.—O Trueman! this Person informs me, that your Friend, at the Instigation of an im­pious Woman, is gone to rob and murder his vene­rable Uncle.

Tr.

O execrable Deed, I am blasted with the Horror of the Thought.

Lucy.

This Delay may ruin all.

Thor.

What to do or think I know not; that he ever wrong'd me, I know is false,—the rest may be so too, there's all my Hope.

Tr.

Trust not to that, rather suppose all true than lose a Moment's Time; even now the horrid Deed may be a doing;—dreadful Imagination;—or it may be done, and we are vainly debating on the Means to prevent what is already past.

Thor.

This Earnestness convinces me that he knows more than he has yet discover'd. What ho! without there! who waits?

SCENE V.

(To them.) A Servant.
Thor.

Order the Groom to saddle the swiftest Horse, and prepare himself to set out with Speed.—An Affair of Life and Death demands his Di­ligence.

SCENE VI.

Thorowgood, Trueman and Lucy.
Thor.

For you, whose Behaviour on this Occasion I have no Time to commend as it deserves, I most in­gage your farther Assistance.—Return and observe this Millwood till I come. I have your Directions, and will follow you as soon as possible.

SCENE VII.

Thorowgood and Trueman.
Thor.

Trueman, you I am sure wou'd not be idle on this Occasion.

SCENE VIII.

Trueman.

He only who is a Friend can judge of my Di­stress.

SCENE IX.

Millwood's House.
Millwood.

I wish I knew the Event of his Design;—the Attempt without Success would ruin him.—Well! what have I to apprehend from that? I fear too much. The Mischief being only intended, his Friends, in pity of his Youth, turn all their Rage on me. I should have thought of that before.—Suppose the Deed done, then, and then only I shall be secure; or what if he returns without attempt­ing it at all?

SCENE X.

Millwood, and Barnwell bloody.
Mill.

But he is here, and I have done him wrong; his bloody Hands show he has done the Deed, but show he wants the Prudence to con­ceal it.

Barn.

Where shall I hide me? whether shall I fly to avoid the swift unerring Hand of Justice?

Mill.

Dismiss those Fears; tho' Thousands had pursu'd you to the Door, yet being enter'd here you are safe as Innocence; I have such a Cavern, by Art so cunningly contriv'd, that the piercing Eyes of Jealousy and Revenge may search in vain, nor find the Entrance to the safe Retreat, there will I hide you if any Danger's near.

Barn.

O hide me from my self if it be possible; for while I bear my Conscience in my Bosom, tho' I were hid where Man's Eye never saw, nor Light e'er dawn'd, 'twere all in vain. For that inmate,—that impartial Judge, will try, convict, and sen­tence me for Murder; and execute me with never ending Torments. Behold these Hands all crim­son'd o'er with my dear Uncle's Blood! Here's a Sight to make a Statue start with Horror, or turn a living Man into a Statue.

Mill.

Ridiculous! Then it seems you are afraid of your own Shadow; or what's less than a Shadow, your Conscience.

Barn.

Tho' to Man unknown I did the accursed Act, what can we hide from Heav'ns omniscient Eye?

Mill.

No more of this Stuff;—what advantage have you made of his Death? or what advantage may yet be made of it?—did you secure the Keys of his Treasure,—those no doubt were [Page 46] about him?—what Gold, what Jewels, or what else of Value have you brought me?

Barn.

Think you I added Sacrilege to Murder? Oh! had you seen him as his Life flowed from him in a Crimson Flood, and heard him praying for me by the double Name of Nephew and of Murderer; alas, alas! he knew not then that his Nephew was his Murderer; how wou'd you have wish'd as I did, tho' you had a thousand Years of Life to come, to have given them all to have lengthen'd his one Hour. But being dead, I fled the Sight of what my Hands had done, nor cou'd I to have gain'd the Empire of the World, have violated by Theft his sacred Corps.

Mill.

Whining preposterous canting Villain, to murder your Uncle, rob him of Life, Natures first, last, dear Prerogative, after which there's no Injury, then fear to take what he no longer wanted; and bring to me your Penury and Guilt. Do you think I'll hazard my Reputation; nay my Life to enter­tain you?

Barn.

Oh!—Millwood!—this from thee;—but I have done,—if you hate me, if you wish me dead; then are you happy,—for Oh! 'tis sure my Grief will quickly end me.

Mill.

In his Madness he will discover all, and in­volve me in his Ruin;—we are on a Precipice from whence there's no Retreat for both,—then to pre­serve my self.—

[Pauses.]

There is no other Way,—'tis dreadful,—but Reflection comes too late when Danger's pressing,—and there's no room for Choice.—It must be done.

[Stamps.

SCENE XI.

(To them) A Servant.
Mill.

Fetch me an Officer and seize this Villain, he has confess'd himself a Murderer, shou'd I let him escape, I justly might be thought as bad as he.

SCENE XII.

Millwood and Barnwell.
Barn.

O Millwood! sure thou dost not, cannot mean it. Stop the Messenger, upon my Knees I beg you, call him back. 'Tis fit I die indeed, but not by you. I will this Instant deliver my self into the Hands of Justice, indeed I will, for Death is all I wish. But thy Ingratitude so tears my wounded Soul, 'tis worse ten thousand times than Death with Torture.

Mill.

Call it what you will, I am willing to live; and live secure; which nothing but your Death can warrant.

Barn.

If there be a Pitch of Wickedness that seats the Author beyond the reach of Vengeance, you must be secure. But what remains for me, but a dismal Dungeon, hard-galling Fetters, an awful Tryal, and ignominious Death, justly to fall unpi­tied and abhorr'd?—After Death to be suspended between Heaven and Earth, a dreadful Spectacle, the warning and horror of a gaping Croud. This I cou'd bear, nay wish not to avoid, had it but come from any Hand but thine.—

SCENE XIII.

Millwood, Barnwell, Blunt, Officer and Attendants.
Mill.

Heaven defend me! Conceal a Murderer! here, Sir, take this Youth into your Custody, I accuse [Page 48] him of Murder; and will appear to make good my Charge.

[They seize him.
Barn.

To whom, of what, or how shall I com­plain; I'll not accuse her, the Hand of Heav'n is in it, and this the Punishment of Lust and Parricide; yet Heav'n that justly cuts me off, still suffers her to live, perhaps to punish others; tremendous Mercy! so Fiends are curs'd with Immortality, to be the Ex­ecutioners of Heaven.—

Be warn'd ye Youths, who see my sad Despair,
Avoid lewd Women, False as they are Fair,
By Reason guided, honest Joys pursue,
The Fair to Honour, and to Virtue true,
Just to her self, will ne'er be false to you.
By my Example learn to shun my Fate,
(How wretched is the Man who's wise too late?)
E'er Innocence, and Fame, and Life be lost,
Here purchase Wisdom, cheaply, at my Cost.

SCENE XIV.

Millwood and Blunt.
Mill.

Where's Lucy, why is she absent at such a Time?

Blunt.

Wou'd I had been so too, thou Devil!

Mill.

Insolent! this to me?

Blunt.

The worst that we know of the Devil is, that he first seduces to Sin, and then betrays to Pu­nishment.

SCENE XV.

Millwood.

They disapprove of my Conduct,—and mean to take this Opportunity to set up for themselves.—My Ruin is resolv'd,—I see my Danger, [Page 49] but scorn both it and them.—I was not born to fall by such weak Instruments.—

[Going.

SCENE XVI.

Thorowgood and Millwood.
Thor.

Where is this Scandal of her own Sex, and Curse of ours?

Mill.

What means this Insolence? Who do you seek?

Thor.

Millwood:

Mill.

Well, you have found her then.—I am Millwood.

Thor.

Then you are the most impious Wretch that e'er the Sun beheld.

Mill.

From your Appearance I shou'd have ex­pected Wisdom and Moderation, but your Manners bely your Aspect.—What is your Business here? I know you not.

Thor.

Hereafter you may know me better; I am Barnwell's Master.

Mill.

Then you are Master to a Villain; which, I think, is not much to your Credit.

Thor.

Had he been as much above thy Arts, as my Credit is superior to thy Malice, I need not blush to own him.

Mill.

My Arts;—I don't understand you, Sir! If he has done amiss, what's that to me? Was he my Servant, or yours?—You shou'd have taught him better.

Thor.

Why shou'd I wonder to find such uncom­mon Impudence in one arriv'd to such a Height of Wickedness.—When Innocence is banish'd, Mo­desty soon follows. Know, Sorceress, I'm not ig­norant of any of your Arts, by which you first de­ceiv'd the unwary Youth: I know how, Step by Step, you've led him on, (reluctant and unwilling) from Crime to Crime, to this last horrid Act, which [Page 50] you contriv'd, and, by your curs'd Wiles, even forced him to commit, and then betray'd him.

Mill.

Ha! Lucy has got the Advantage of me, and accused me first, unless I can turn the Accusation, and fix it upon her and Blunt, I am lost.

[Aside.
Thor.

Had I known your cruel Design sooner, it had been prevented. To see you punish'd as the Law directs, is all that now remains.—Poor Satis­faction,—for he, innocent as he is, compared to you, must suffer too. But Heaven, who knows our Frame, and graciously distinguishes between Frailty and Presumption, will make a Difference, tho' Man cannot, who sees not the Heart, but only judges by the outward Action.—

Mill.

I find, Sir, we are both unhappy in our Servants. I was surpriz'd at such ill Treatment, from a Gentleman of your Appearance, without Cause, and therefore too hastily return'd it; for which I ask your Pardon. I now perceive you have been so far impos'd on, as to think me engaged in a former Correspondence with your Servant, and, some Way or other, accessary to his Undoing.

Thor.

I charge you as the Cause, the sole Cause of all his Guilt, and all his Suffering, of all he now endures, and must endure, till a violent and shame­ful Death shall put a dreadful Period to his Life and Miseries together.

Mill.

'Tis very strange; but who's secure from Scandal and Detraction?—So far from contribu­ting to his Ruin, I never spoke to him till since that fatal Accident, which I lament as much as you: 'Tis true, I have a Servant, on whose Account he has of late frequented my House; if she has abus'd my good Opinion of her, am I to blame? Has n't Barn­well done the same by you?

Thor.

I hear you; pray go on.

Mill.

I have been inform'd he had a violent Pas­sion for her, and she for him; but I always thought it innocent; I know her poor, and given to expensive [Page 51] Pleasures. Now who can tell but she may have in­fluenced the amorous Youth to commit this Murder, to supply her Extravagancies, it must be so.—I now recollect a thousand Circumstances that con­firm it: I'll have her and a Man Servant, that I suspect as an Accomplice, secured immediately. I hope, Sir, you will lay aside your ill-grounded Suspicions of me, and join to punish the real Con­trivers of this bloody Deed.

[Offers to go.
Thor.

Madam, you pass not this Way: I see your Design, but shall protect them from your Malice.

Mill.

I hope you will not use your Influence, and the Credit of your Name, to skreen such guilty Wretches. Consider, Sir! the Wickedness of per­swading a thoughtless Youth to such a Crime.

Thor.

I do,—and of betraying him when it was done.

Mill.

That which you call betraying him, may convince, you of my Innocence. She who loves him, tho' she contriv'd the Murder, would never have deliver'd him into the Hands of Justice, as I (struck with the Horror of his Crimes) have done.—

Thor.

How shou'd an unexperienc'd Youth escape her Snares; the powerful Magick of her Wit and Form, might betray the wisest to simple Dotage, and fire the Blood that Age had froze long since. Even I, that with just Prejudice came prepared, had, by her artful Story, been deceiv'd, but that my strong Conviction of her Guilt makes even a Doubt impossible. Those whom subtilly you wou'd accuse, you know are your Accusers; and what proves unanswerably, their Innocence, and your Guilt; they accus'd you before the Deed was done, and did all that was in their Power to have prevented it.

Mill.

Sir, you are very hard to be convinc'd; but I have such a Proof, which, when produced, will silence all Objections.

SCENE XVII.

Thorowgood, Lucy, Trueman, Blunt, Officers, &c.
Lucy.

Gentlemen, pray place your selves, some on one Side of that Door, and some on the other; watch her Entrance, and act as your Prudence shall direct you.—This Way—

[to Thorowgood]

and note her Behaviour; I have observ'd her, she's dri­ven to the last Extremity, and is forming some de­sperate Resolution.—I guess at her Design.—

SCENE XVIII.

To them, Millwood with a Pistol,—Trueman secures her.
Tr.

Here thy Power of doing Mischief ends; de­ceitful, cruel, bloody Woman!

Mill.

Fool, Hypocrite, Villain.—Man! thou can'st not call me that.

Tr.

To call thee Woman, were to wrong the Sex, thou Devil!

Mill.

That imaginary Being is an Emblem of thy cursed Sex collected. A Mirrour, wherein each particular Man may see his own Likeness, and that of all Mankind.

Tr.

Think not by aggravating the Fault of others to extenuate thy own, of which the Abuse of such uncommon Perfections of Mind and Body is not the least.

Mill.

If such I had, well may I curse your bar­barous Sex, who robb'd me of 'em, e'er I knew their Worth, then left me, too late, to count their Value by their Loss. Another and another Spoiler came, and all my Gain was Poverty and Reproach. My Soul disdain'd, and yet disdains Dependance and Contempt. Riches, no Matter by what Means [Page 53] obtain'd, I saw secur'd the worst of Men from both; I found it therefore necessary to be rich; and, to that End, I summon'd all my Arts. You call 'em wicked, be it so, they were such as my Conversation with your Sex had furnish'd me withal.

Thor.

Sure none but the worst of Men convers'd with thee.

Mill.

Men of all Degrees and all Professions I have known, yet found no Difference, but in their several Capacities; all were alike wicked to the ut­most of their Power. In Pride, Contention, Ava­rice, Cruelty, and Revenge, the Reverend Priest­hood were my unering Guides. From Suburb-Ma­gistrates, who live by ruin'd Reputations, as the unhospitable Natives of Cornwall do by Ship-wrecks, I learn'd, that to charge my innocent Neighbours with my Crimes, was to merit their Protection; for to skreen the Guilty, is the less scandalous, when many are suspected, and Detraction, like Darkness and Death, blackens all Objects, and levels all Di­stinction. Such are your venal Magistrates, who fa­vour none but such as, by their Office, they are sworn to punish: With them not to be guilty, is the worst of Crimes; and large Fees privately paid, is every needful Virtue.

Thor.

Your Practice has sufficiently discover'd your Contempt of Laws, both human and divine; no wonder then that you shou'd hate the Officers of both.

Mill.

I hate you all, I know you, and expect no Mercy; nay, I ask for none; I have done nothing that I am sorry for; I follow'd my Inclinations, and that the best of you does every Day. All Actions are alike natural and indifferent to Man and Beast, who devour, or are devour'd, as they meet with others weaker or stronger than themselves.

Thor.

What Pity it is, a Mind so comprehensive, daring and inquisitive, shou'd be a Stranger to Re­ligion's sweet, but powerful Charms.

Mill.
[Page 54]

I am not Fool enough to be an Atheist, tho' I have known enough of Mens Hypocrisy to make a thousand simple Women so. Whatever Re­ligion is in it self, as practis'd by Mankind, it has caus'd the Evils, you say, it was design'd to cure. War, Plague, and Famine, has not destroy'd so many of the human Race, as this pretended Piety has done; and with such barbarous Cruelty, as if the only Way to honour Heaven, were to turn the present World into Hell.

Thor.

Truth is Truth, tho' from an Enemy, and spoke in Malice. You bloody, blind, and supersti­tious Bigots, how will you answer this?

Mill.

What are your Laws, of which you make your Boast, but the Fool's Wisdom, and the Coward's Valour; the Instrument and Skreen of all your Vil­lanies, by which you punish in others what you act your selves, or wou'd have acted, had you been in their Circumstances. The Judge who condemns the poor Man for being a Thief, had been a Thief him­self had he been poor. Thus you go on deceiving, and being deceiv'd, harrassing, plaguing, and de­stroying one another; but Women are your univer­sal Prey.

Women, by whom you are, the Source of Joy,
With cruel Arts you labour to destroy:
A thousand Ways our Ruin you pursue,
Yet blame in us those Arts, first taught by you.
O may, from hence, each violated Maid,
By flatt'ring, faithless, barb'rous Man betray'd;
When robb'd of Innocence, and Virgin Fame,
From your Destruction raise a nobler Name;
To right their Sex's Wrongs devote their Mind,
And future Millwoods prove to plague Mankind.
The End of the Fourth Act.

ACT V.

SCENE I.

A Room in a Prison.
Thorowgood, Blunt and Lucy.
Thor.

I Have recommended to Barnwell a Reve­rend Divine, whose Judgment and Inte­grity I am well acquainted with; nor has Millwood been neglected, but she, unhappy Woman, still ob­stinate, refuses his Assistance.

Lucy.

This pious Charity to the Afflicted well becomes your Character; yet pardon me, Sir, if I wonder you were not at their Trial.

Thor.

I knew it was impossible to save him, and I and my Family bear so great a Part in his Distress, that to have been present wou'd have aggravated our Sorrows without relieving his.

Blunt.

It was mournful indeed. Barnwell's Youth and modest Deportment, as he past, drew Tears from every Eye: When placed at the Bar, and ar­raigned before the Reverend Judges, with many Tears and interrupting Sobs he confess'd and ag­gravated his Offences, without accusing, or once re­flecting on Millwood, the shameless Author of his Ruin; who dauntless and unconcern'd stood by his Side, viewing with visible Pride and Contempt the vast Assembly, who all with sympathizing Sorrow wept for the wretched Youth. Millwood when call­ed upon to answer, loudly insisted upon her Inno­cence, and made an artful and a bold Defence; but finding all in vain, the impartial Jury and the learn­ed Bench concurring to find her guilty, how did she curse her self, poor Barnwell, us, her Judges, all [Page 56] Mankind; but what cou'd that avail? she was con­demn'd, and is this Day to suffer with him.

Thor.

The Time draws on, I am going to visit Barnwell, as you are Millwood.

Lucy.

We have not wrong'd her, yet I dread this Interview. She's proud, impatient, wrathful, and unforgiving. To be the branded Instruments of Vengeance, to suffer in her Shame, and sympathize with her in all she suffers, is the Tribute we must pay for our former ill spent Lives, and long confe­deracy with her in Wickedness.

Thor.

Happy for you it ended when it did. What you have done against Millwood I know proceeded from a just Abhorrence of her Crimes, free from Interest, Malice, or Revenge. Proselytes to Vir­tue shou'd be encourag'd. Pursue your proposed Reformation, and know me hereafter for your Friend.

Lucy.

This is a Blessing as unhop'd for as unme­rited, but Heaven that snatched us from impending Ruin, sure intends you as its Instrument to secure us from Apostacy.

Thor.

With Gratitude to impute your Deliverance to Heaven is just. Many, less virtuously dispos'd than Barnwell was, have never fallen in the Manner he has done,—may not such owe their Safety ra­ther to Providence than to themselves. With Pity and Compassion let us judge him. Great were his Faults, but strong was the Temptation. Let his Ruin learn us Diffidence, Humanity and Circum­spection;—for we,—who wonder at his Fate,—perhaps had we like him, been tryed,—like him, we had fallen too.

SCENE II.

A Dungeon, a Table and Lamp.
Thorowgood, Barnwell reading.
Thor.

See there the bitter Fruits of Passion's de­tested Reign, and sensual Appetite indulg'd. Se­vere Reflections, Penitence and Tears.

Barn.

My honoured injured Master, whose Good­ness has covered me a thousand times with Shame, forgive this last unwilling Disrespect,—indeed I saw you not.

Thor.

'Tis well, I hope you were better im­ploy'd in viewing of your self;—your Journey's long, your Time for preparation almost spent.—I sent a Reverend Divine to teach you to improve it, and shou'd be glad to hear of his Success.

Barn.

The Word of Truth, which he recom­mended for my constant Companion in this my sad Retirement, has at length remov'd the Doubts I la­bour'd under. From thence I've learn'd the infinite Extent of heavenly Mercy; that my Offences, tho' great, are not unpardonable; and that 'tis not my Interest only, but my Duty to believe and to rejoice in that Hope,—So shall Heaven receive the Glo­ry, and future Penitents the Profit of my Example.

Thor.

Go on.—How happy am I who live to see this?

Barn.

'Tis wonderful,—that Words shou'd charm Despair, speak Peace and Pardon to a Mur­derer's Conscience;—but Truth and Mercy flow in every Sentence, attended with Force and Energy divine. How shall I describe my present State of Mind? I hope in doubt,—and trembling I re­joice.—I feel my Grief increase, even as my Fears [Page 58] give way.—Joy and Gratitude now supply more Tears, than the Horror and Anguish of Despair before.

Thor.

These are the genuine Signs of true Re­pentance, the only Preparatory, certain Way to everlasting Peace.—O the Joy it gives to see a Soul form'd and prepar'd for Heaven!—For this the faithful Minister devotes himself to Meditation, Abstinence and Prayer, shuning the vain Delights of sensual Joys, and daily dies that others may live for ever.—For this he turns the sacred Volumes o'er, and spends his Life in painful Search of Truth.—The Love of Riches and the Lust of Power, he looks on with just Contempt and Detestation; who only counts for Wealth the Souls he wins; and whose highest Ambition is to serve Mankind.—If the Reward of all his Pains be to preserve one Soul from wandering, or turn one from the Error of his Ways, how does he then rejoice, and own his little Labours over paid.

Barn.

What do I owe for all your generous Kindness? but tho' I cannot, Heaven can and will reward you.

Thor.

To see thee thus, is Joy too great for Words. Farewell,—Heaven strengthen thee.—Farewell.

Barn.

O! Sir, there's something I cou'd say, if my sad swelling Heart would give me leave.

Thor.

Give it vent a while, and try.

Barn.

I had a Friend,—'tis true I am unworthy, yet methinks your generous Example might per­swade;—cou'd I not see him once before I go from whence there's no return.

Thor.

He's coming,—and as much thy Friend as ever;—but I'll not anticipate his Sorrow,—too soon he'll see the sad Effect of his contagious Ruin. This Torrent of Domestick Misery bears too hard upon me,—I must retire to indulge a Weakness [Page 59] I find impossible to overcome.

[Aside.]

—Much lov'd—and much lamented Youth—Farewell—Heaven strengthen thee—Eternally Farewell.

Barn.

The best of Masters and of Men—Fare­well—while I live let me not want your Pray­ers.

Thor.

Thou shalt not;—thy Peace being made with Heaven, Death's already vanquish'd;—bear a little longer the Pains that attend this transitory Life, and cease from Pain for ever.

SCENE III.

Barnwell.

I find a Power within that bears my Soul above the Fears of Death, and, spight of conscious Shame and Guilt, gives me a Taste of Pleasure more than Mortal.

SCENE IV.

(To him.) Trueman and Keeper.
Keep.

Sir, there's the Prisoner.

SCENE V.

Barnwell and Trueman.
Barn.

Trueman,—My Friend, whom I so wisht to see, yet now he's here I dare not look upon him.

[Weeps.
Tr.

O Barnwell! Barnwell!

Barn.
[Page 60]

Mercy! Mercy! gracious Heaven! for Death, but not for this, was I prepared.

Tr.

What have I suffer'd since I saw you last?—what Pain has Absence given me?—But oh! to see thee thus!

Barn.

I know it is dreadful! I feel the Anguish of thy generous Soul,—but I was born to mur­der all who love me.

[Both weep.
Tr.

I came not to reproach you;—I thought to bring you Comfort,—but I'm deceiv'd, for I have none to give;—I came to share thy Sorrow, but cannot bear my own.

Barn.

My Sense of Guilt indeed you cannot know,—'tis what the Good and Innocent, like you, can ne'er conceive;—but other Griefs at present I have none, but what I feel for you.—In your Sorrow I read you love me still,—but yet methinks 'tis strange—when I consider what I am.

Tr.

No more of that,—I can remember nothing but thy Virtues,—thy honest, tender Friendship, our former happy State and present Misery.—O had you trusted me when first the Fair Seducer tempted you, all might have been prevented.

Barn.

Alas, thou know'st not what a Wretch I've been! Breach of Friendship was my first and least Offence.—So far was I lost to Goodness,—so devoted to the Author of my Ruin,—that had she insisted on my murdering thee,—I think,—I shou'd have done it.

Tr.

Prithee aggravate thy Faults no more.

Barn.

I think I shou'd!—thus Good and Gene­rous as you are, I shou'd have murder'd you!

Tr.

We have not yet embrac'd, and may be in­terrupted. Come to my Arms.

Barn.

Never, never will I taste such Joys on Earth; never will I so sooth my just Remorse. Are those honest Arms, and faithful Bosom, fit to embrace [Page 61] and to support a Murderer.—These Iron Fetters only shall clasp, and flinty Pavement bear me,—

[Throwing himself on the Ground,]

even these too good for such a bloody Monster.

Tr.

Shall Fortune sever those whom Friendship join'd!—Thy Miseries cannot lay thee so low, but Love will find thee,

[Lies down by him.]

Upon this rugged Couch then let us lie, for well it suits our most deplorable Condition.—Here will we offer to stern Calamity,—this Earth the Altar, and our selves the Sacrifice.—Our mutual Groans shall eccho to each other thro' the dreary Vault.—Our Sighs shall number the Moments as they pass,—and mingling Tears communicate such An­guish, as Words were never made to express.

Barn.

Then be it so.—Since you propose an Intercourse of Woe, pour all your Griefs into my Breast,—and in exchange take mine,

[Embracing.]

Where's now the Anguish that you promis'd?—You've taken mine, and make me no Return.—Sure Peace and Comfort dwell within these Arms, and Sorrow can't approach me while I'm here!—This too is the Work of Heaven, who, having be­fore spoke Peace and Pardon to me, now sends thee to confirm it.—O take, take some of the Joy that overflows my Breast!

Tr.

I do, I do. Almighty Power, how have you made us capable to bear, at once, the Extreams of Pleasure and of Pain?

SCENE VI.

To them, Keeper.
Keeper.

Sir.

Tr.

I come.

SCENE VII.

Barnwell and Trueman.
Barn.

Must you leave me!—Death would soon have parted us for ever.

Tr.

O, my Barnwell, there's yet another Task behind:—Again your Heart must bleed for others Woes.

Barn.

To meet and part with you, I thought was all I had to do on Earth! What is there more for me to do or suffer?

Tr.

I dread to tell thee, yet it must be known.—Maria.

Barn.

Our Master's fair and virtuous Daughter!

Tr.

The same.

Barn.

No Misfortune, I hope, has reach'd that lovely Maid! Preserve her, Heaven, from every Ill, to show Mankind that Goodness is your Care.

Tr.

Thy, thy Misfortunes, my unhappy Friend, have reach'd her. Whatever you and I have felt, and more, if more be possible, she feels for you.

Barn.

I know he doth abhor a Lie, and would not trifle with his dying Friend.—This is, indeed, the Bitterness of Death!

[Aside.
Tr.

You must remember, for we all observ'd it, for some Time past, a heavy Melancholy weigh'd her down.—Disconsolate she seem'd, and pin'd and languish'd from a Cause unknown;—till hearing of your dreadful Fate,—the long stifled Flame blaz'd out.—She wept, she wrung her Hands, and tore her Hair, and, in the Transport of her Grief, discover'd her own lost State, whilst she lamented yours.

Barn.

Will all the Pain I feel restore thy Ease, lovely unhappy Maid?

[Weeping]

Why did n't you let me die and never know it?

Tr.
[Page 63]

It was impossible;—she makes no Secret of her Passion for you, and is determin'd to see you e'er you die;—she waits for me to introduce her.—

SCENE VIII.

Barnwell.
Barn.

Vain busy Thoughts be still!—What avails it to think on what I might have been,—I now am,—What I've made my self.

SCENE IX.

To him, Trueman and Maria.
Tr.

Madam, reluctant I lead you to this dismal Scene: This is the Seat of Misery and Guilt.—Here awful Justice reserves her publick Victims.—This is the Entrance to shameful Death.—

Ma.

To this sad Place, then no improper Guest, the abandon'd lost Maria brings Despair, and see the Subject and the Cause of all this World of Woe.—Silent and motionless he stands, as if his Soul had quitted her Abode,—and the life­less Form alone was left behind;—yet that so perfect, that Beauty and Death,—ever at Enmity,—now seem united there.

Barn.

I groan, but murmur not.—Just Hea­ven, I am your own; do with me what you please.

Ma.

Why are your streaming Eyes still fix'd be­low?—as tho' thoud'st give the greedy Earth thy Sorrows, and rob me of my Due.—Were Happiness within your Power, you should bestow it where you pleas'd;—but in your Misery I must and will partake.

Barn.
[Page 64]

Oh! say not so, but fly, abhor, and leave me to my Fate.—Consider what you are:—How vast your Fortune, and how bright your Fame:—Have Pity on your Youth, your Beau­ty, and unequalled Virtue,—for which so many noble Peers have sigh'd in vain. Bless with your Charms some honourable Lord.—Adorn with your Beauty; and, by your Example, improve the English Court, that justly claims such Merit; so shall I quickly be to you as though I had never been.—

Ma.

When I forget you, I must be so indeed.—Reason, Choice, Virtue, all forbid it.—Let Women, like Millwood, if there be more such Wo­men, smile in Prosperity, and in Adversity forsake. Be it the Pride of Virtue to repair, or to partake, the Ruin such have made.

Tr.

Lovely, ill-fated Maid!—Was there ever such generous Distress before?—How must this peirce his grateful Heart, and aggravate his Woes?

Barn.

E'er I knew Guilt or Shame, when For­tune smil'd, and when my youthful Hopes were at the highest; if then to have rais'd my Thoughts to you, had been Presumption in me, never to have been pardon'd,—think how much beneath your self you condescend to regard me now.

Ma.

Let her blush who, professing Love, invades the Freedom of your Sex's Choice, and meanly sues in Hopes of a Return.—Your inevitable Fate hath render'd Hope impossible as vain.—Then why shou'd I fear to avow a Passion so just and so disinterested?

Tr.

If any shou'd take Occasion, from Millwood's Crimes, to libel the best and fairest Part of the Creation, here let them see their Error.—The most distant Hopes of such a tender Passion, from so bright a Maid, might add to the Happiness [Page 65] of the most happy, and make the greatest proud.—Yet here 'tis lavish'd in vain:—Tho' by the rich Present, the generous Donor is undone,—he, on whom it is bestow'd, receives no Benefit.

Barn.

So the Aromatick Spices of the East, which all the Living covet and esteem, are, with unavail­ing Kindness, wasted on the Dead.

Ma.

Yes, fruitless is my Love, and unavailing all my Sighs and Tears.—Can they save thee from approaching Death?—from such a Death?—O terrible Idea!—What is her Misery and Distress, who sees the first last Object of her Love, for whom alone she'd live,—for whom she'd die a thousand, thousand Deaths, if it were possible,—expiring in her Arms?—Yet she is happy, when compar'd to me.—Were Millions of Worlds mine, I'd gladly give them in exchange for her Condition.—The most consummate Woe is light to mine. The last of Curses to other miserable Maids, is all I ask; and that's deny'd me.

Tr.

Time and Reflection cure all Ills.

Ma.

All but this;—his dreadful Catastrophe Virtue her self abhors.—To give a Holiday to suburb Slaves, and passing entertain the savage Herd, who, elbowing each other for a Sight, pursue and press upon him like his Fate.—A Mind with Piety and Resolution arm'd, may smile on Death.—But publick Ignominy,—everlasting Shame,—Shame the Death of Souls,—to die a thousand Times, and yet survive even Death it self, in never dying Infamy, is this to be endured?—Can I, who live in him, and must, each Hour of my devoted Life, feel all these Woes renew'd,—can I endure this!—

Tr.

Grief has impair'd her Spirits; she pants, as in the Agonies of Death.—

Barn.

Preserve her, Heaven, and restore her Peace,—nor let her Death be added to my Crimes,—

[Bell tolls.]

I am summon'd to my Fate.

SCENE X.

(To them.) Keeper.
Keep.

The Officers attend you, Sir.—Mrs. Millwood is already summon'd.

Barn.

Tell 'em I'm ready.—And now, my Friend, farewell,

[Embracing.]

Support and com­fort the best you can this Mourning Fair.—No more.—Forget not to pray, for me,—

[Turning to Maria]

would you, bright Excellence, permit me the Honour of a chaste Embrace,—the last Happi­ness this World cou'd give were mine,

[She enclines towards him; they embrace.]

Exalted Goodness!—O turn your Eyes from Earth, and me, to Heaven,—where Virtue, like yours, is ever heard.—Pray for this Peace of my departing Soul.—Early my Race of Wickedness began, and soon has reach'd the Summet:—E'er Nature has finish'd her Work, and stamp'd me Man,—just at the Time that others begin to stray,—my Course is finish'd; tho' short my Span of Life, and few my Days; yet count my Crimes for Years, and I have liv'd whole Ages.—Justice and Mercy are in Heaven the same: Its utmost Severity is Mercy to the whole,—thereby to cure Man's Folly and Presumption, which else wou'd render even infinite Mercy vain and ineffectual.—Thus Justice, in Compassion to Mankind, cuts off a Wretch like me, by one such Example to secure Thousands from future Ruin.

If any Youth, like you,—in future Times,
Shall mourn my Fate,—tho' he abhor my Crimes;
Or tender Maid, like you,—my Tale shall hear,
And to my Sorrows give a pitying Tear:
To each such melting Eye, and throbbing Heart,
Would gracious Heaven this Benefit impart,
Never to know my Guilt,—nor feel my Pain,
Then must you own, you ought not to complain;
Since you nor weep,—nor shall I die in vain.

SCENE XI.

Trueman, Blunt, and Lucy.
Lucy.

Heart-breaking Sight.—O wretched, wretched Millwood.

Tr.

You came from her then:—How is she dis­posed to meet her Fate?

Blunt.

Who can describe unalterable Woe?

Lucy.

She goes to Death encompassed with Horror, loathing Life, and yet afraid to die; no Tongue can tell her Anguish and Despair.

Tr.

Heaven be better to her than her Fears; may she prove a Warning to others, a Monument of Mercy in her self.

Lucy.

O Sorrow, insupportable! break, break my Heart.

Tr.

In vain.

With bleeding Hearts, and weeping Eyes we show
A human gen'rous Sense of others Woe;
Unless we mark what drew their Ruin on,
And by avoiding that, prevent our own.
FINIS.

EPILOGUE.

SINCE Fate has robb'd me of the hapless Youth,
For whom my Heart had hoarded up its Truth;
By all the Laws of Love and Honour, now,
I'm free again to chuse,—and one of you.
But soft,—With Caution first I'll round me peep;
Maids, in my Case, shou'd look, before they leap:
Here's Choice enough, of various Sorts, and Hue,
The Cit, the Wit, the Rake cock'd up in Cue,
The fair spruce Mercer, and the tawney Jew.
Suppose I search the sober Gallery;—No,
There's none but Prentices,—and Cuckolds all a Row;
And these, I doubt, are those that make 'em so.
[Pointing to the Boxes.
'Tis very well, enjoy the Jest:—But you,
Fine powder'd Sparks;—nay, I'm told 'tis true,
Your happy Spouses—can make Cuckolds too.
'Twixt you and them, the Diff'rence this perhaps,
The Cit's asham'd whene'er his Duck he traps;
But you, when Madam's tripping, let her fall,
Cock up your Hats, and take no Shame at all.
What if some favour'd Poet I cou'd meet?
Whose Love wou'd lay his Lawrels at my Feet.
No,—Painted Passion real Love abhors,—
His Flame wou'd prove the Suit of Creditors.
Not to detain you then with longer Pause,
In short, my Heart to this Conclusion draws,
A yield it to the Hand, that's loudest in Applause.

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