Jar. Then I am blest.
Bev. Continue so, and leave me. My sorrows are contagious. No one is blest that’s near me.
Jar. I came to seek you, Sir.
Bev. And now thou hast found me, leave me. My thoughts are wild, and will not be disturbed.
Jar. Such thoughts are best disturbed.
Bev. I tell thee that they will not. Who sent thee hither?
Jar. My weeping mistress.
Bev. Am I so meek a husband then? that a commanding wife prescribes my hours, and sends to chide me for my absence?
Tell her, I’ll not return.
Jar. Those words would kill her.
Bev. Kill her! Would they not be kind then? But she shall live to curse me—I have deserved it of her. Does she not hate me, Jarvis?
Jar. Alas, Sir! Forget your griefs, and let me lead you to her. The streets are dangerous.
Bev. Be wise, and leave me then. The night’s black horrors are suited to my thoughts. These stones shall be my resting-place. (Lies down.) Here shall my soul brood o’er its miseries; till with the fiends of hell, and guilty of the earth, I start and tremble at the morning’s light.
Jar. For pity’s sake, Sir!—Upon my knees I beg you to quit this place, and these sad thoughts. Let patience, not despair, possess you. Rise, I beseech you. There’s not a moment of your absence, that my poor mistress does not groan for.
Bev. Have I undone her, and is she still so kind? (Starting up) It is too much—My brain can’t hold it—O, Jarvis! Jarvis! how desperate is that wretch’s state, which only death or madness can relieve!
Jar. Appease his mind, good heaven! and give him resignation! Alas, Sir, could beings in the other world perceive the events of this, how would your parents’ blessed spirits grieve for you, even in heaven! Let me conjure you by Their honoured memories; by the sweet innocence of your yet helpless child, and by the ceaseless sorrows of my poor mistress, to rouze your manhood, and struggle with these griefs.
Bev. Thou virtuous, good old man! thy tears and thy entreaties have reached my heart, through all its miseries. O! had I listened to Thy honest warnings, no earthly blessing had been wanting to me! I was so happy, that even a wish for more than I possessed, was arrogant presumption. But I have warred against the power that blest me, and now am sentenced to the hell I merit.
Jar. Be but resigned, Sir, and happiness may yet be yours.
Bev. Prithee be honest, and do not flatter misery.
Jar. I do not, Sir—Hark! I hear voices—Come this way; we may reach home un-noticed.
Bev. Well, lead me then—Un-noticed
did’st thou say? Alas! I dread no
looks, but of those wretches I have made at home.