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has shewn his care of me, in placing my little I would have endeavoured to have been so too; affairs in such honourable hands.
but you say you like me, and therefore I have Stan. He gave me a particular charge of you, ventured to discover the truth. madam, very particular; so particular, that you Stan. Like you! I like you so well, that I'm will be surprised when I tell you.
afraid you won't think marriage a proof on't: Char. What, pray, sir?
Shall I give you any other?
you, promised that before I saw you; and now I have and that shall convince me. At more leisure seen you, you must give me leave to offer you I'll satisfy you how I came to be in man's
clothes; for no ill I assure you, though I have Lucy. Nay, cousin, never be coy upon the happened to play the rogue in them: they have matter: to my knowledge, my brother always assisted me in marrying my sister, and have gone designed you for this gentleman.
a great way in befriending your cousin Jack with Stan. You hear, madam, he has given me his the widow. Can you forgive me for pimping for interest, and 'tis the favour I would have begg’d your family? of him. Lord! you are so like himChar. That you are obliged to say, you like
Enter JACK STANMORE. me for his sake.
Stan. So, Jack, what news with you? Stan. I should be glad to love you for your own. J. Stan. I am the fore part of the widow, you Char. If I should consent to the fine things know; she's coming after with the body of the you can say to me, how would you look at last, family, the young squire in her hand, my son-into find them thrown away upon an old acquaint-law that is to be, with the help of Mr Welldon. ance?
Char. Say you so, sir? Stun. An old acquaintance !
'[Clapping JACK upon the back. Char. Lord, how easily are you men to be imposed upon! I am no cousin newly arrived Enter Widow LACKITT, with her son DANIEL. from England, not I; but the very Welldon you Wid. So, Mrs Lucy, I have brought him about wot of.
again; I have chastised him, I have made him as Stan. Welldon!
supple as a glove for your wearing, to pull on, Char. Not murdered, nor made away, as my or to throw off, at your pleasure. Will you ever sister would ha
you believe, but am in very rebel again? Will you, sirrah? but come, come, good health; your old friend in breeches that down on your marrow-bones, and ask her forwas, and now your humble servant in petticoats. giveness. (DANIEL kneels.] Say after me, Pray
Stan. I'm glad we have you again. "But what forsooth, wife. service can you do me in petticoats, pray? Dan. Pray forsooth, wife. Char. Can't you tell what?
Lucy. Well, well, this is a day of good-nature, Stan. Not I, by my troth: I have found my and so I take you into favour: but first take the friend, and lost my mistress, it seems, which I oath of allegiance. (He kisses her hund, and rises.] did not expect from your petticoats.
If ever you do so againChar. Come, come, you have had a friend of
Dan. Nay, marry, if I do, I shall have the Tour mistress long enough, 'tis bigh time now to worst on't. have a mistress of your friend
Lucy. Here's a stranger, forsooth, would be Stan. What do you say?
glad to be known to you, a sister of mine, pray Char. I am a woman, sir.
(Starts at CHARLOTTE. Stan, A woman!
Wid. Your sister, Mrs Lucy! what do you Char. As arrant a woman as you would have mean? This is your brother, Mr Welldon ; do had me but now, I assure you.
you think I do not know Mr. Welldon? Stan. And at my service?
Lucy. Have a care what you say: this gentle Char. If you have any for me in petticoats. man's about marrying her: you may spoil all. Stan. Yes, yes, I shall find you employment. Wid. Fiddle faddle! what, you would put a Char. You wonder at my proceeding, I believe. trick upon me? Stan. 'Tis a little extraordinary, indeed. Char. No faith, widow, the trick is over, it
Char. I have taken some pains to come into has taken sufficiently; and now I will teach you your favour.
the trick, to prevent your being cheated another Stun. You might have had it cheaper a great time. deal.
Wid. How! cheated, Mr Welldon ! Char. I might have married you in the person Char. Why, ay, you will always take things by of my English cousin, but could not consent to the wrong handle; I see you will have me Me cheat
you, even in the thing I had a mind to. Welldon: I grant you, I was Mr Welldon a little Stan. 'Twas done as you do every thing. while, to please you, or so: but Mr Stanmore Char. I need not tell you, I made that little here has persuaded me into a woman again. plot, and carried it on only for this opportunity. Wid. Å woman! pray let me speak with you. I was resolved to see whether you liked me as a [Drawing her aside. You are not in eamest, I woman, or not. If I had found you indifferent, hope! A womna!
I thank you.
Char. Really a woman.
SCENE II. every thing: I know a man from a woman at
Enter Governor with BLANDFORD, and these years, or the devil's in't. Pray, did not
Planters. you marry me? Char. You would have it so.
Blan. Have you no reverence of future fame! Wid. And did not I give you a thousand No awe upon your actions, from the tongues, pounds this morning?
The censuring tongues of men, that will be free? Char. Yes indeed, 'twas more than I de- If you confess humanity, believe served; but you had your pennyworth for your There is a God, or devil, to reward penny, I suppose : you seemed to be pleased Our doings here: do not provoke your fate. with your bargain.
The hand of Heav'n is arm'd against these crimes, Wid. A rare bargain I have made on't, truly! With botter thunder-bolts, prepared to shoot, I have laid out my money to fine purpose upon And nail you to the earth, a sad example; a woman.
A monument of faithless infamy. Char. You would have a husband, and I provided for you as well as I could.
Enter STANMORF, J. STANMORE, CHARLOTTE, Wid. Yes, yes, you have provided for me.
Lucy, Widow, and DANIEL. Char. And you have paid me very well for't; So, Stanmore, you, I know, the women too,
Will join with me: 'Tis Oroonoko's cause, Wid. 'Tis very well; I may be with child too, A lover's cause, a wretched woman's cause, for aught I know, and may go look for the fa- That will become your intercession. ther.
[To the Women. Char. Nay, if you think so, 'tis time to look i Plan. Never mind 'em, governor; he ought about you indeed. Even make up the matter as to be made an example for the good of the planwell as you can, I advise you as a friend, and tation. let us live neighbourly and lovingly together. 2 Plan. Ay, ay, 'twill frighten the negroes
Wid. I have nothing else for it, that I know from attempting the like again. now.
1 Plan. What, rise against their lords and Char. For my part, Mrs Lackitt, your thou- masters! at this rate no man is safe from his sand pounds will engage me not to laugh at you. own slaves. Then my sister is married to your son, he is to 2 Plun. No, no more he is. Therefore one have half your estate, I know, and indeed they and all, governor, we declare for hanging. may live upon it, very comfortably to them- Om. Plan. Ay, ay, hang bim, hang him. selves, and very creditably to you.
Wid. What! hang him! O! forbid it, goverWid. Nay, I can blame nobody but myself.
Char. You have enough for a husband still, Cha. Lucy. We all petition for him. and that you may bestow upon honest Jack J. Stan. They are for a holiday; guilty or not Stanmore.
is not the business, hanging is their sport. Wid. Is he the man then ?
Blan. We are not, sure, so wretched, to have Char. He is the man you are obliged to.
these, J. Stan. Yes, faith, widow, I am the man. I The rabble, judge for us: the changing crowd; have done fairly by you, you find, you know what The arbitrary guard of fortune's power, you have to trust to before-hand.
Who wait to catch the sentence of her frowns, Wid. Well, well, I see you will have me; ev'n | And hurry all to ruin she condemns? marry me, and make an end of the business. Stan. So far from farther wrong, that 'tis a Stan. Why, that's well said, now we are all
shame agreed, and all provided for.
He should be where he is : good governor,
Order his liberty: he yielded up
Himself, his all, at your discretion. Sero. Sir, Mr Blandford desires you to come Blan. Discretion ! no, he yielded on your to him, and bring as many of your friends as you
word; can with you.
And I am made the cautionary pledge, Stan. I come to him. You'll all go along The gage, and hostage of your keeping it. with me.-Come, young gentleman, marriage is Remember, sir, he yielded on your word; the fashion, you see you must like it now. Your word! which honest men will think should
Dan. If I don't, how shall I help myself?
Lucy. Nay, you may hang yourself in the noose, The last resort of truth, and trust on earth: if you please, but you'll never get out on't with There's no appeal beyond it, but to Heav'n: struggling
An oath is a recognisance to Heav'n, Dan. Come then, let's ev'n jog on in the old Binding us over, in the courts above, road.
To plead to the indictment of our crimes, Cuckold, or worse, I must be now contented : That those who 'scape this world should sufer I'm not the first has married, and repented.
(Where the dread majesty is not invok’d, To thank, and bless you, there is yet a way His honour not immediately concern'd, To tie me ever to your honest love: Not made a party in our interests)
Bring my Imoinda to me; give me her, Our word is all to be relied upon.
To charm my sorrows, and, if possible, Wid. Come, come, you'll be as good as your I'll sit down with my wrongs; never to rise word, we know.
Against my fate, or think of vengeance more. 1. Stan. He's out of all power of doing any harm Blan. Be satisfied, you may end upon us; bow, if he were disposed to it.
We'll bring her safe to you, and suddenly. Char. But he is not disposed to it.
Char. We will not leave you in so good a worko Blan. To keep him where he is, will make Wid. No, no, we'll go with you. him soon
Blan. In the mean time,
(Exeunt. Char. Pray try him by gentle means: we'll all be sureties for him.
OROONOKO alone. Om. All, all.
Oro. Forget! forgive ! I must indeed forget, Lucy. We will all answer for him now. When I forgive: But while I am a man, Gov. Well, you will have it so; do what you In flesh, that bears the living marks of shame, please, just what you will with him, I give you The print of his dishonourable chains, leave.
[Erit. My memory still rousing up my wrongs, Blan. We thank you, sir; this way, pray come I never can forgive this governor,
[Éreunt. This villain; the disgrace of trust and place,
And just contempt of delegated power. The Scene drawn, shews OROONOKO upon his What shall I do? If I declare myself, back, his legs and arms stretched out, and I know him, he will sneak behind his guara chained to the ground.
Of followers, and brave me in his fears.
Else, lion-like, with my devouring rage, Enter BLANDFORD, STANMORE, &c. I would rush on him, fasten on his throat, Blan. O miserable sight! help every one,
Tear a wide passage to his treacherous heart, Assist me all to free him from his chains. And that way lay him open to the world. (They help him up, and bring him forward,
[Pausing looking down.
If I should turn his Christian arts on him, Most injur'd prince! how shall we clear ourselves? Promise him, speak him fair, flatter, and creep, We cannot hope you will vouchsafe to hear, With fawning steps, to get within his faith, Or credit, what we say in the defence
I could betray him then, as he has me. And cause of our suspected innocence.
But am I sure by that to right myself? Stan. We are not guilty of your injuries, Lying's a certain mark of cowardice : No way consenting to 'em; but abhor,
And when the tongue forgets its honesty, Abominate, and loathe this cruelty.
The heart and hand may drop their functions too, Blan. It is our curse, but make it not our crime; And nothing worthy be resolved, or done. A heavy curse upon us, that we must
The man must go together, bad, or good : Share any thing in common, ev’n the light, In one part frail, he soon grows weak in all. The elements and seasons, with such men,
Honour should be concern'd in honour's cause, Whose principles, like the fam’d dragon's teeth, That is not to be cured by contraries, Scatter'd, and sown, would shoot a harvest up As bodies are, whose health is often drawn Of fighting mischiefs, to confound themselves, From rankest poisons. Let me but find out And ruin all about 'em.
An honest remedy,- I have the hand, Stan. Profligates !
A ministring hand, that will apply it home! Whose bold Titanian impiety
Gor. I would not have her tell me, she conTo offer a redress of your base wrongs.
sents; Which way shall we employ 'em ?
In favour of the sex's modesty, Stun. Tell us, sir,
That still should be presumed, because there is If there is any thing that can atone;
A greater impudence in owning it, But nothing can; that may be some amends Than in allowing all that we can do.
Oro. If you would have me think you are not all This truth I know, and yet against myself, Confederates, all accessary to
(So unaccountable are lovers' ways) The base injustice of your governor;
I talk, and lose the opportunities, If you would have me live, as you appear Which love, and she, expect I should employ: Concern'd for me ; if you would have me live Ev'n she expects : For when a man has said
All that is fit, to save the decency,
Not to go farther. Curse on my delay! The women know the rest is to be done. But yet she is, and shall be in my power. I will not disappoint her.
(Going. Blan. Nay then it is the war of honesty;
I know you, and will save you from yourself. Enter to him BLANDFORD, the STANMORES, Goo. All come along with me.
(Eseunt DANIEL, Mrs LACKITT, CHARLOTTE, and LUCY.
SCENE- The Last. Wid. O governor! I'm glad we have lit upon
Enter OROONOKO. you. Goo. Why! what's the matter ?
Oro. To honour bound! and yet a slave to lose! Char. Nay, nothing extraordinary. But one I am distracted by their rival powers, good action draws on another. You have given And both will be obey'd. O great revenge! the prince his freedom : now we come a begging Thou raiser and restorer of fail'n fame ! for his wife : you won't refuse us ?
Let me not be unworthy of thy aid, Gov. Refuse you? No, no, what have I to do For stopping in thy course: I still am thine; to refuse you?
But can't forget I am Imoinda's too. Wid. You won't refuse to send her to him, She calls me from my wrongs, to rescue her. she means.
No man condemn me, who has never felt Gov. I send her to him!
A woman's power, or tried the force of love: Wid. We have promised him to bring her. All tempers yield, and soften in those fires :
Goo. You do very well; 'tis kindly done of Our honours, interests, resolving down, you: ev'n carry her to him, with all my heart. Run in the gentle current of our joys; Lucy. You must tell us where she is.
But not to sink, and drown our memory; Goo. I tell you! why, don't
We mount again to action, like the sun, Blan. Your servants say she's in the house. That rises from the bosom of the sea,
Goo. No, no, I brought her home at first in- To run his glorious race of light anew, deed; but I thought it would not look well to And carry on the world. Love, love will be keep her here: I removed her in the hurry, on- My first ambition, and my fame the next. ly to take care of her. What! she belongs to
Enter ABOAN, bloody. you: I have nothing to do with her. Char. But where is she now, sir?
My eyes are turn'd against me, and combine Gov. Why, faith, I can't say certainly: you'll with my sworn enemies, to represent hear of her at Parham House, I suppose: there, This spectacle of horror. Aboan! or thereabouts : I think I sent her there.
My ever faithful friend! Blan. I'll have an eye on him. (Aside.
Abo. I have no name, Exeunt all but the Governor. That can distinguish me from the vile earth, Goo. I have lied myself into a little time, To which I'm going: A poor abject worm, And must employ it: they'll be here again ; That crawlid a while upon a bustling world, But I must be before 'em.
And now am trampled to my dust again. (Going out, he meets IMOINDA, and seizes her. Oro. I see thee gash'd and mangled. Are you come?
Abo. Spare my shame, I'll court no longer for a happiness
To tell how they have used me: But believe That is in mine own keeping: you may still The hangman's hand would have been merciful. Refuse to grant, so I have power to take. Do not yet scorn me, sir, to think I can The man that asks deserves to be denied. Intend to live under this infamy, [She disengages one hand, and druws his sword I do not come for pity, to complain.
from his side upon him. Governor starts and I've spent an honourable life with you, retires, BLANDFORD enters behind him. The earliest servant of your rising fame, Imo. He does indeed, that asks unworthily. And would attend it with my latest care: Blan. You hear her, sir, that asks unworthily. My life was yours, and so shall be my death. Gov. You are no judge.
You must not live. Blan. I am of my own slave.
Bending and sinking, I have dragg'd my steps Gov. Be gone, and leave us.
Thus far, to tell you that you cannot live: Blan. When you let her go.
To warn you of those ignominious wrongs, Gov. To fasten upon you.
Whips, rods, and all the instruments of death, Blan. I must defend myself.
Which I have felt, and are prepared for you. Imo. Help, murder, help!
This was the duty that I had to pay; [IMOINDA retreats towards the door, favoured by 'Tis done, and now I beg to be discharged.
BLANDFORD; when they are closed, she throws Oro. What shall I do for thee?
A sword, a dagger, yet would rescue me. Gov. She shall not 'scape me so. I've gone I have not strength to go to find out death, too far,
You must direct him to me.
Oro. Here he is, (Gides him a dagger. | And for his sake, I'll think it possible The only present I can make thee now; A Christian may be yet an honest man. And next the honourable means of life,
Imo. O! did you know what I have struggled = I would bestow the honest means of death.
through, Abo. I cannot stay to thank you. If there is To save me yours, sure you would promise me · A being after this, I shall be yours
Never to see me forc'd from you again. In the next world, your faithful slave again. Oro. To promise thee! O! do I need to proThis is to try. (Stabs himself:] I had a living
But there is now no farther use of words. Of all your royal favours, but this last
Death is security for all our fears. Strikes through my heart. I will not say
(Shews ABOAN's body on the floor, well,
I cannot trust him. : For you must follow me.
[Dies. Imo. Aboan ! Oro. In life and death,
Oro. Mangled and torn, resolved to give me The guardian of my honour! Follow thee!
time E. I should have gone before thee: then perhaps To fit myself for what I must expect, Thy fate had been prevented. Al his care Groan’d
out a warning to me, and expired. Was to preserve me from the barbarous rage Imo. For what you must expect ! That worried him, only for being mine.
Oro. Would that were all. Why, why, you gods! why am I so accurst,
Imo. What! to be butcher'd thusThat it must be a reason of your wrath,
Oro. Just as thou seest. A guilt, a crime sufficient to the fate
Imo. By barbarous hands, to fall at last their Of any one, but to belong to me? My friend has found it, and my wife will soon : Oro. I have run the race with honour; shall My wife! the very fear's too much for life;
I now support it. Where? Imoinda! Oh! Lag, and be overtaken at the goal ? (Going out, she meets him, running into his Imo. No.
Oro. I must look back to thee. (Tenderly. Thou bosom softness ! down of all my cares ! Imo. You shall not need; I could recline my thoughts upon this breast I'm always present to your purpose. Say, To a forgetfulness of all my griefs,
Which way would you dispose me?
Oro. Have a care,
Whither that question leads thee. O! too soon What is it thou would'st tell me?
Thou dost enquire what the assembled gods
Have not determined, and will latest doom.
Yet this I know of fate, this is most certain,
I cannot, as I would, dispose of thee;
Imo. Alas! that sigh! why do you tremble so?
Oro. My heart runs over; if my gushing eyes He had thee in his power.
Betray a weakness which they never knew,
Believe, thou, only thou could'st cause these
tears: Imo. That I was in his power.
The gods themselves conspire with faithless men,
To our destruction.
Imo. Heaven and earth our foes !
Oro. It is not always granted to the great,
To be most happy: if the angry powers
The hopes of empire, which they gave my youth, No punishment for such unheard-of crime. By making me a prince, I here resign.
Imo. This monster, cunning in his flatteries, Let them quench in me all those glorious fires, When he had wearied all his useless arts,
Which kindled at their beams : that lust of Leap'd out, fierce as a beast of prey, to seize me.
fame, I trembled, feared.
That fever of ambition, restless still,
And burning with the sacred thirst of
sway, What could preserve thee? What deliver thee? Which they inspired, to qualify my fate, Imo. That worthy man, you used to call your And make me fit to govern under them, friend
Let them extinguish. I submit myself
To their high pleasure, and devoted bow