Page images

Amb. Oh God! could I survive it?

Fred. Worl. I have gone,
I fear, to far—will you forgive me?

Amb. Torture !
Young man, you've rent my feeling in a tender part;
And every nerve beats sympathy! But I
Forgive you !

[exeuns severally

SCENE 111.---An apartment in the prisonA num.

ber of miscreant-prisoners seated round a large table; some playing cards, and one throwing dice with HARRY COURLAND.

First Pris. (after having thrown) The watch is

mine-what have you next to stake? Harry Courl. Vengeance and sury, sir, what have I?

First Pris. What?
Your hat.

Harry Courl. Its value then.
First Pris. Three dollars.

Harry Courl. Three !
It cost me nine -But-quick-how many throws ?

First Pris. Two, if you like.
Harry Courl. Agreed (they throw twice alter-

nately) Misfortune !--Well,
My coat -how much against my coat ?

First Pris. Five dollars.
Harry Courl. The tailor's bill was twenty--but

no matter (they again throw)Perdition to the game! Here (giving up his hat and

coat) they are yours. First Pris. (putting on Harry's coat, &'c., and of:

fering in return an old tattered jacket and torn

hat) And this coatee and hat pray, sir, receive In evidence of my regard----See there, They suit you well : one would at least makc oath You'd worn them all your life-Resume your seat. Harry Courl. I have resoly'd to play no more.

First Pris. Once more : Three dollars-cash-against your whip and spurs. Harry Courl. How ? -make them four ; and it

shall be a bargain. First Pris. Agreed. (they resume their seats and


Enter unperceived LUCRETIA PRIMEVAL and RO


Robert. And zo, ma’am, your father's name is Primeval, and he takes this for Mr. Courland's house.

Luc. Prim. Yes, but where is the card-room ? I bade you lead me to it.

Robert. (putting his hand over her mouth) Softly, ma'am, this is the card-room.

Second Pris. Tom, that is a misdeal.

Third Pris. You lie, you rascal, (both continuing to altercate in dumb show.)

Luc. Prim. Oh lard, I hope there's to be a duel.

Robert. No, ma'am, there won't be any : these gentlemen

Luc. Prim. They are no gentlemen if they don't fight, if they don't hear the cries of Honour.

Robert, Oh, I dare say they hear her, miss that is, if she's a woman -but they don't heed her. Luc. Prim. Then they are a set of vile barbarians.

Robert. May be so -But how do you know that Honour is a woman?

Luc. Prim. How? Doesn't she force many a poor wretch to an untimely grave?

Robert. Very true.

Luc. Prim. Was she ever satisfied with one admirer at a time?

Robert. No, nor with two either, unless she could set them both together by the ears.

Luc. Prim. Has she not all the tenderness of the sex?

Robert. Yes, I am told she is mortally afflicted if one

happens only to tread on her toe, and that she will die with the vapours

Luc. Prim. Unless the person at hand be a gentle.. man, and willing

Robert. To be run through the body or shot through the head : now, what a savage, unconscionable hussy this Mrs. Honour must be, to think that our blood was intended to heal her wounds; which is to suppose the human body her salve-box-Dom her, she disgraces the worthy family into whose name she has wheedled herself: she ought to be hooted out of all civilized company.

Luc. Prim. (loudly) I tell you she ought not (the prisoners look round with surprise, and while she is speaking disperse.)—But who is it I am talking to? Who are you? nothing but an argument would make me so far forget myself. This is no drawing-room, it is the servants' apartment, puppy! You shall suffer for this-Paur, papa, paur!

[exit Robert. Wheu ! there she goes, an empty blast of wind_(seeing Harry) Who is here? One of the tatterdemalion-gentry, it zeems -I


mister, are you a loser ?

Harry Courl. Are you a scoundrel ?

Robert. (rubbing his eyes) Harry! Is, is that you, Harry ?

Harry Courl. Yes, and were it not For Hebe I would beat you to a powder.

Robert. In the mean time, Harry, I might dust your jacket. But, pshaw, you are not in earnest: zome freak of yours, Harry, isn't it, hey? (handling his torn jacket.)

Harry Couri. Fellow, hands off.

Robert. Fellow, hands off! why you talk, Harry, as if you had a new beaver-hat and a coat of the last cut.

Harry Courl. As if, sir, you would say,
I spent my words upon a rascal.

Robert. Harry!
Harry Courl. Robert,
How came my father here?

[ocr errors]

Robert. Ask him ; and if he like he'll tell you.

Harry Courl. 'Twas through your means. 'Tis in his cause I have been thus reduc'd! Why did you not, sir, treat him like a man?

Robert. Because he first forgot the duties of humanity, and did not treat me like a fellow-creature.

Harry Courl. Explain.

Robert. No, Harry, I would not pain you with remorse I would not tear an excrescence from a favourite plant to leave a bleeding wound.

Harry Courl. All evasion, and I now contemn you.
Robert. What, Harry ?
Harry Courl. You utterly have forfeited my friend-

ship. Robert. Why then you have been playing friendship! the heart that is so wofully combustible as to flash away in a minute's anger, has never stood the warmth of fifteen years' affection.

Enter HEBE unperceived,

Harry Courl. The love I bear your sister must pro

tect you.

Hebe. (coming between them). And Robert
Oh speak, would you harm any one that loves me?

Robert. I didn't expect you would return so soon.
Hebe. You could forget then that I was your sister.

(turns away in tears) Harry Courl. No matter, Hebe, I at least do love

you. Robert. (to Hebe) You are not angry? Hebe. Not angry, but distress'd at your indifference.

Robert. (taking her hand). I am zorry, indeed I amI was out of humour when you came. Hebe. Ah me! with whom ? -you do not answer,

Why, Harry, Robert

says -can I believe him ? He has been out of humour.

-pray, with whom?

You neither will reply-(with a smile) then you have

both Forgotten have you not?

Robert. No, not entirely.

Hebe. Do not say so If you regard my peace-come, you must both Embrace me Yes, and him that does it first I will Esteem the kinder of the two. (At these words Harry and Robert both advance to embrace her, when she suddenly draws back ; and the two friends fall, as if accidentally, into each other's arms.)

Harry, Robert !
Robert. Hirry!

Hebe. There, all is now made up.
Are you not friends again?

Robert. I be-believe we are, if Harry thinks so.

Harry Courl My friend, your pardon-
L's. I have been too hasty But my father?

Robert. Well, if it must be so He wished me to become a villain.

Harry Couri. Robert !

Robert. And because I had the honesty to refuse, he treated me as if I had been one.

Harry Courl. How?

Robert. I was indebted to you both : I owed you friendship, but I owed him gold; and he, to bę zure, offered a discharge if I would agreedom it.

Harry Courl. Well,

Robert. If I would agree to forbid your visits to Hebe, and break her heart with a false tale that you were a seducer. Harry Courl. (with stern anxiety) Are you sure,

very sure ? Robert. As zure as that when he found I treated his offer with contempt he threw me into prison ; and that I owe my deliverance to the kindness of a neighbour,

Hebe. You chen are liberated?
Robert. (kissing her) Yes, Hebe.

« PreviousContinue »