Bates. What’s the reward?
Stu. Equal division of our gains. I swear it, and will be just.
Bates. Think of the means then.
Stu. He’s gone to Beverley’s— Wait for him in the street—’tis a dark night, and fit for mischief. A dagger would be useful.
Bates. He sleeps no more.
Stu. Consider the reward! When the deed’s done, I have farther business with you. Send Dawson to me.
Bates. Think it already done—and
Stu. Why, farewel Lewson then; and farewel
to my fears. This night secures me. I’ll
wait the event within.
SCENE VI. changes to the street. Stage darkened.
Bev. How like an out-cast do I wander! Loaded with every curse, that drives the soul to desperation! The midnight robber, as he walks his rounds, sees by the glimmering lamp my frantic looks, and dreads to meet me. Whither am I going? My home lies there; all that is dear on earth it holds too; yet are the gates of death more welcome to me. I’ll enter it no more—Who passes there? Tis Lewson. He meets me in a gloomy hour; and memory tells me, he has been meddling with my fame.
Lew. Beverley! Well met. I have been busy in your affairs.
Bev. So I have heard, Sir; and now must thank you for’t.
Lew. To-morrow I may deserve your thanks. Late as it is, I go to Bates. Discoveries are making that an arch villain trembles at.
Bev. Discoveries are made, Sir, that You shall
tremble at. Where is this boasted spirit? this
high demeanour, that was to call me to account?
You say I have wronged my sister—Now say
as much. But first be ready for defence, as I
am for resentment.
Lew. What mean you? I understand you not.
Bev. The coward’s stale acquittance. Who, when he spreads foul calumny abroad, and dreads just vengeance on him, cries out, what mean you, I understand you not.
Lew. Coward, and calumny! Whence are these words? But I forgive, and pity you.
Bev. Your pity had been kinder to my fame. But you have traduced it; told a vile story to the public ear, that I have wronged my sister.
Lew. ’Tis false. Shew me the man that dares accuse me.
Bev. I thought you brave, and of a soul superior to low malice; but I have found you, and will have vengeance. This is no place for argument.
Lew. Nor shall it be for violence. Imprudent man! who in revenge for fancied injuries, would pierce the heart that loves him! But honest friendship acts from itself, unmoved by slander, or ingratitude. The life you thirst for, shall be employed to serve you.