When Damon languish’d at my feet,
And I believ’d him true,
The moments of delight how sweet!
But ah! how swift they flew!
The sunny hill, the flow’ry vale,
The garden and the grove,
Have echoed to his ardent tale,
And vows of endless love.
The conquest gain’d, he left his
He left her to complain;
To talk of joy with weeping eyes,
And measure time by pain.
But heav’n will take the mourner’s part,
In pity to despair;
And the last sigh that rends the heart,
Shall waft the spirit there.
Mrs. Bev. I thank thee, Lucy; I thank heaven too my griefs are none of these. Yet Stukely deals in hints—He talks of rumours—I’ll urge him to speak plainly—Hark?—There’s some one entering.
Lucy. Perhaps my master, madam.
Mrs. Bev. Let him be well too, and I am satisfied. (Goes to the door, and listens.) No; ’tis another’s voice; his had been music to me. Who is it, Lucy?
Re-enter LUCY with STUKELY.
Lucy. Mr. Stukely, madam.
Stu. To meet you thus alone, madam, was what I wished. Unseasonable visits, when friendship warrants them, need no excuse; therefore I make none.
Mrs. Bev. What mean you, Sir? And where’s your friend?
Stu. Men may have secrets, madam, which their best friends are not admitted to. We parted in the morning, not soon to meet again.
Mrs. Bev. You mean to leave us then? To leave your country too? I am no stranger to your reasons, and pity your misfortunes.
Stu. Your pity has undone you. Could Beverley do this? That letter was a false one; a mean contrivance, to rob you of your jewels. I wrote it not.
Mrs. Bev. Impossible! Whence came it then?
Stu. Wronged as I am, madam, I must speak plainly—
Mrs. Bev. Do so, and ease me. Your hints have troubled me. Reports, you say, are stirring—Reports of whom? You wished me not to credit them. What, Sir, are these reports?
Stu. I thought them slander, madam; and cautioned you in friendship; left from officious tongues the tale had reached you, with double aggravation.
Mrs. Bev. Proceed, Sir.
Stu. It is a debt due to my fame, due to an injured wife too—We both are injured.
Mrs. Bev. How injured? and who has injured us?
Stu. My friend, your husband.
Mrs. Bev. You would resent for both then? But know, Sir, My injuries are my own, and do not need a champion.
Stu. Be not too hasty, madam. I come not in resentment, but for acquittance. You thought me poor; and to the feigned distresses of a friend gave up your jewels.