Mrs. Bev. Mean, despicable villain! I scorn thee, and thy threats. Was it for this that Beverley was false? That his too credulous wife should in despair and vengeance give up her honour to a wretch? But he shall know it, and vengeance shall be his.
Stu. Why send him for defiance then. Tell him I love his wife; but that a worthless husband forbids our union. I’ll make a widow of you, and court you honourably.
Mrs. Bev. O, coward! coward! thy soul will shrink at him. Yet in the thought of what may happen, I feel a woman’s fears. Keep thy own secret, and begone. Who’s there?
Your absence, Sir, would please me.
Stu. I’ll not offend you, madam.
[Exit with Lucy.
Mrs. Bev. Why opens not the earth to swallow such a monster? Be conscience then his punisher, till heaven in mercy gives him penitence, or dooms him in its justice.
Come to my chamber, Lucy; I have a tale to tell thee, shall make thee weep for thy poor mistress.
Yet heav’n the guiltless sufferer
And whom it most afflicts, it most rewards.
SCENE, __BEVERLEY’S_ lodgings._
Enter Mrs. BEVERLEY, CHARLOTTE, and LEWSON.
Charlotte. The smooth-tongued hypocrite!
Lew. But we have found him, and will requite him. Be chearful, madam; (To Mrs. Beverley) and for the insults of this ruffian, you shall have ample retribution.
Mrs. Bev. But not by violence—Remember you have sworn it: I had been silent else.
Lew. You need not doubt me; I shall be cool as patience.
Mrs. Bev. See him to-morrow then.
Lew. And why not now? By heaven, the veriest
worm that crawls is made of braver spirit than this
Stukely. Yet for my promise, I’ll deal
gently with him. I mean to watch his looks:
from those, and from his answers to my charge, much
may be learnt. Next I’ll to Bates, and
sift him to the bottom. If I fail there, the gang
is numerous, and for a bribe will each betray the
other. Good night; I’ll lose no time.
Mrs. Bev. These boisterous spirits! how they wound me! But reasoning is in vain. Come, Charlotte; we’ll to our usual watch. The night grows late.
Char. I am fearful of events; yet pleased—To-morrow
may relieve us.
Char. How now, good Jarvis?
Jar. I have heard ill news, madam.