Char. I heard not that; but visits such as these, we must expect often. Why so distressed, sister? This is no new affliction.
Mrs. Bev. No, Charlotte; but I am faint with watching;
quite sunk and spiritless. Will you excuse me, Sir? I’ll to my chamber, and try to rest a little.
Stu. Good thoughts go with you, madam.
[Exit Mrs. Beverley.
My bait is taken then. (Aside.) Poor Mrs. Beverley! How my heart grieves to see her thus!
Char. Cure her, and be a friend then.
Stu. How cure her, madam?
Char. Reclaim my brother.
Stu. Ay; give him a new creation; or breathe another soul into him. I’ll think on’t, madam. Advice, I see, is thankless.
Char. Useless I am sure it is, if through mistaken friendship, or other motives, you feed his passion with your purse, and sooth it by example. Physicians, to cure fevers, keep from the patient’s thirsty lip the cup that would inflame him; You give it to his hands. (A knocking.) Hark, Sir! These are my brother’s desperate symptoms. Another creditor.
Stu. One not so easily got rid of—What, Lewson!
Lew. Madam, your servant. Yours, Sir. I was enquiring for you at your lodgings.
Stu. This morning? You had business then?
Lew. You’ll call it by another name, perhaps. Where’s Mr. Beverley, madam?
Char. We have sent to enquire for him.
Lew. Is he abroad then? He did not use to go out so early.
Char. No; nor to stay out so late.
Lew. Is that the case? I am sorry for it. But Mr. Stukely, perhaps, may direct you to him.
Stu. I have already, Sir. But what was your business with Me?
Lew. To congratulate you upon your late successes at play. Poor Beverley! But You are his friend; and there’s a comfort in having successful friends.
Stu. And what am I to understand by this?
Lew. That Beverley’s a poor man, with a rich friend; that’s all.
Stu. Your words would mean something, I suppose. Another time, Sir, I shall desire an explanation.
Lew. And why not now? I am no dealer in long sentences. A minute or two will do for me.
Stu. But not for Me, Sir. I am slow of apprehension, and must have time and privacy. A lady’s presence engages my attention. Another morning I may be found at home.
Lew. Another morning then, I’ll wait upon you.
Stu. I shall expect you, Sir. Madam, your
Char. What mean you by this?
Lew. To hint to him that I know him.