Jar. I came in duty, Sir. If it be troublesome—
Bev. It is. I would be private; hid even from myself. Who sent you hither?
Jar. One that would persuade you home again. My mistress is not well; her tears told me so.
Bev. Go with thy duty there then. But does she weep? I am to blame to let her weep. Prithee begone; I have no business for thee.
Jar. Yes, Sir; to lead you from this place. I am your servant still. Your prosperous fortune blessed my old age. If That has left you, I must not leave you.
Bev. Not leave me! Recall past time then; or through this sea of storms and darkness, shew me a star to guide me. But what can’st Thou?
Jar. The little that I can, I will. You have been generous to me. I would not offend you, Sir—but—
Bev. No. Think’st thou I’d ruin Thee too? I have enough of shame already. My wife! my wife! Would’st thou believe it, Jarvis? I have not seen her all this long night; I, who have loved her so, that every hour of abscence seemed as a gap in life. But other bonds have held me. O! I have played the boy; dropping my counters in the stream, and reaching to redeem them, have lost Myself. Why wilt Thou follow misery? Or if thou wilt, go to thy mistress—She has no guilt to sting her, and therefore may be comforted.
Jar. For pity’s sake, Sir! I have no heart to see this change.
Bev. Nor I to bear it. How speaks the world of me, Jarvis?
Jar. As of a good man dead. Of one, who walking in a dream, fell down a precipice. The world is sorry for you.
Bev. Ay, and pities me. Says it not so? But I was born to infamy. I’ll tell thee what it says. It calls me villain; a treacherous husband; a cruel father; a false brother; one lost to nature and her charities—Or to say all in one short word, it calls me—Gamester. Go to thy mistress; I’ll see her presently.
Jar. And why not now? Rude people press upon her; loud, bawling creditors; wretches, who know no pity. I met one at the door; he would have seen my mistress—I wanted means of present payment, so promised it to-morrow. But others may be pressing; and she has grief enough already. Your absence hangs too heavy on her.
Bev. Tell her I’ll come then. I have a moment’s business. But what hast Thou to do with My distresses? Thy honesty has left thee poor; and age wants comfort. Keep what thou hast for cordials; left between thee and the grave, misery steal in. I have a friend shall counsel me—This is that friend.
Stu. How fares it, Beverley? Honest Mr. Jarvis, well met; I hoped to find you here. That viper Williams! Was it not He that troubled you this morning?
Jar. My mistress heard him then? I am sorry that she heard him.