Mrs. Bev. What news? Speak quickly.
Jar. Men are not what they seem. I fear me, Mr. Stukely is dishonest.
Char. We know it, Jarvis. But what’s your news?
Jar. That there’s an action against my master, at his friend’s suit.
Mrs. Bev. O, villain! villain! ’twas
this he threatened then. Run to that den of robbers,
Wilson’s—Your master may be there.
Entreat him home, good Jarvis. Say I have business
with him—But tell him not of Stukely—It
may provoke him to revenge—Haste! haste!
Char. This minister of hell! O, I could tear him piece-meal!
Mrs. Bev. I am sick of such a world. Yet
heaven is just; and in its own good time, will hurl
destruction on such monsters.
SCENE III. changes to STUKELY’S_ lodgings._
Enter STUKELY, and BATES, meeting.
Bates. Where have you been?
Stu. Fooling my time away: playing my tricks, like a tame monkey, to entertain a woman—No matter where— I have been vext and disappointed. Tell me of Beverley. How bore he his last shock?
Bates. Like one (so Dawson says) whose senses had been numbed by misery. When all was lost, he fixed his eyes upon the ground, and stood some time, with folded arms, stupid and motionless. Then snatching his sword, that hung against the wainscot, he sat him down; and with a look of fixt attention, drew figures on the floor. At last he started up, looked wild, and trembled; and like a woman, seized with her sex’s fits, laughed out aloud, while the tears trickled down his face—so left the room.
Stu. Why, this was madness.
Bates. The madness of despair.
Stu. We must confine him then. A prison would do well. (A knocking at the door.) Hark! that knocking may be his. Go that way down. (Exit Bates.) Who’s there?
Lew. An enemy. An open and avowed one.
Stu. Why am I thus broke in upon? This house is mine, Sir; and should protect me from insult and ill-manners.
Lew. Guilt has no place of sanctuary; wherever found, ’tis virtue’s lawful game. The fox’s hold, and tyger’s den, are no security against the hunter.
Stu. Your business, Sir?
Lew. To tell you that I know you—Why this confusion? That look of guilt and terror? Is Beverley awake? Or has his wife told tales? The man that dares like You, should have a soul to justify his deeds, and courage to confront accusers. Not with a coward’s fear to shrink beneath reproof.
Stu. Who waits there?
[Aloud, and in confusion.
Lew. By heaven, he dies that interrupts us. (Shutting the door.) You should have weighed your strength, Sir; and then, instead of climbing to high fortune, the world had marked you for what you are, a little paultry villain.