Char. And yet I fear the worst. What is it, brother?
Bev. A deed of horror.
Jar. Ask him no questions, madam. This last misfortune has hurt his brain. A little time will give him patience.
Bev. Why is this villain here?
Stu. To give You liberty and safety. There’s his discharge, madam. (Giving a paper to Mrs. Beverley) Let him begone this moment. The arrest last night was meant in friendship; but came too late.
Char. What mean you, Sir?
Stu. The arrest was too late, I say. I would have kept his hands from blood, but was too late.
Mrs. Bev. His hands from blood! Whose blood?—O, wretch! wretch!
Stu. From Lewson’s blood.
Char. No, villain! Yet what of Lewson? Speak quickly!
Stu. You are ignorant then! I thought I heard the murderer at confession.
Char. What murderer? And who is murdered? Not Lewson? Say he lives, and I’ll kneel down and worship you.
Stu. In pity, so I would; but that the tongues of all cry murder. I came in pity, not in malice; to save the brother, not kill the sister. Your Lewson’s dead.
Char. O horrible! Why, who has killed him?—And yet it cannot be. What crime had He committed that he should die? Villain! he lives! he lives! and shall revenge these pangs.
Mrs. Bev. Patience, sweet Charlotte!
Char. O, ’tis too much for patience!
Mrs. Bev. He comes in pity, he says. O! execrable villain! The friend is killed then, and this the murderer?
Bev. Silence, I charge you. Proceed, Sir.
Stu. No. Justice may stop the tale—and here’s an evidence.
Bates. The news, I see, has reached you. But take comfort, madam. (To Charlotte) There’s one without, enquiring for you. Go to him, and lose no time.
Char. O misery! misery!
Mrs. Bev. Follow her, Jarvis. If it be true that Lewson’s dead, her grief may kill her.
Bates. Jarvis must stay here, madam: I have some questions for him.
Stu. Rather let him fly. His evidence may crush his master.
Bev. Why, ay; this looks like management.
Bates. He found you quarrelling with Lewson
in the street last night.
Mrs. Bev. No; I am sure he did not.
Jar. Or if I did—
Mrs. Bev. ’Tis false, old man—They had no quarrel; there was no cause for quarrel.
Bev. Let him proceed, I say—O!
I am sick! sick! Reach me a chair.
[He sits down.