Bates. What answer did you make him?
Stu. A short one. That I would see him soon, for farther explanation.
Bates. We must take care of him. But what have we to do with Beverley? Dawson and the rest are wondering at you.
Stu. Why let them wonder. I have designs above Their narrow reach. They see me lend him money; and they stare at me. But they are fools. I want him to believe me beggared by him.
Bates. And what then?
Stu. Ay, there’s the question; but no matter. At night you may know more. He waits for me at Wilson’s. I told the women where to find him.
Bates. To what purpose?
Stu. To save suspicion. It looked friendly; and they thanked me. Old Jarvis was dispatched to him.
Bates. And may intreat him home.
Stu. No; he experts money from me: but I’ll have none. His wife’s jewels must go. Women are easy creatures, and refuse nothing where they love. Follow me to Wilson’s; but besure he sees you not. You are a man of character, you know; of prudence and discretion. Wait for me in an outer room; I shall have business for you presently. Come, Sir.
Let drudging fools by honesty grow great;
The shorter road to riches is deceit.
SCENE a gaming house, with a table, box, dice, &c.
BEVERLEY is discovered sitting.
Beverley. Why, what a world is this! The slave that digs for gold, receives his daily pittance, and sleeps contented; while those, for whom he labours, convert their good to mischief; making abundance the means of want. O shame! shame! Had fortune given me but a little, that little had been still my own. But plenty leads to waste; and shallow streams maintain their currents, while swelling rivers beat down their banks, and leave their channels empty. What had I to do with play? I wanted nothing. My wishes and my means were equal. The poor followed me with blessings; love scattered roses on my pillow, and morning waked me to delight.—O, bitter thought! that leads to what I was, by what I am! I would forget both—Who’s there?
Enter a WAITER.
Wait. A gentleman, Sir, enquires for you.
Bev. He might have used less ceremony. Stukely I suppose?
Wait. No, Sir; a stranger.
Bev. Well, shew him in. (Exit Waiter.) A messenger from Stukely then. From Him that has undone me! Yet all in friendship; and now he lends me from his little, to bring back fortune to me.
Jarvis! Why this intrusion?—Your absence had been kinder.