Look to your men, Bates; there’s money stirring. We meet to-night upon this spot. Hasten and tell them so. Beverley calls upon me at my lodgings, and we return together. Hasten, I say; the rogues will scatter else.
Bates. Not till their leader bids them.
Stu. Come on then. Give them the word,
and follow me; I must advise with you. This is
a day of business.
SCENE VI. changes to BEVERLEY’S_ lodgings_.
Enter BEVERLEY, and CHARLOTTE.
Char. Your looks are changed too; there’s wildness in them. My wretched sister! how will it grieve her to see you thus!
Bev. No, no; a little rest will ease me. And for your Lewson’s kindness to her, it has my thanks: I have no more to give him.
Char. Yes; a sister and her fortune. I trifle with him; and he complains. My looks, he says, are cold upon him. He thinks too—
Bev. That I have lost your fortune—He dares not think so.
Char. Nor does he—You are too quick at guessing. He cares not if you had. That care is mine. I lent it you to husband; and now I claim it.
Bev. You have suspicions then?
Char. Cure them, and give it me.
Bev. To stop a sister’s chiding.
Char. To vindicate her brother.
Bev. How if he needs it not?
Char. I would fain hope so.
Bev. Ay, would and cannot. Leave it to time then; ’twill satisfy all doubts.
Char. Mine are already satisfied.
Bev. ’Tis well. And when the subject is renewed, speak to me like a sister, and I will answer like a brother.
Char. To tell me I’m a beggar. Why, tell it now. I that can bear the ruin of those dearer to me, the ruin of a sister and her infant, can bear that too.
Bev. No more of this—You wring my heart.
Char. Would that the misery were all your own! But innocence must suffer. Unthinking rioter! whose home was heaven to him: an angel dwelt there, and a little cherub, that crowned his days with blessings—How has he lost this heaven, to league with devils!
Bev. Forbear, I say; reproaches come too late; they search, but cure not. And for the fortune you demand, we’ll talk to-morrow on’t; our tempers may be milder.
Char. Or if ’tis gone, why, farewel all. I claimed it for a sister. She holds my heart in hers; and every pang She feels, tears it in pieces—But I’ll upbraid no more. What heaven permits, it may ordain; and sorrow then is sinful. Yet that the husband! father! brother! should be its instrument of vengeance!—’Tis grievous to know that.
Bev. If you’re my sister, spare the remembrance—It wounds too deeply. To-morrow shall clear all; and when the worst is known, it may be better than your fears. Comfort my wife; and for the pains of absence, I’ll make atonement. The world may yet go well with us.