Mrs. Bev. You droop, and tremble, love—Your eyes are fixt too—Yet You are innocent. If Lewson’s dead, You killed him not.
Stu. Who sent for Dawson?
Bates. ’Twas I. We have a witness too, you little think of. Without there!
Stu. What witness?
Bates. A right one. Look at him.
Re-enter CHARLOTTE, with LEWSON.
Stu. Lewson! O—villains! villains!
[To Bates and Dawson.
Mrs. Bev. Risen from the dead! Why, this is unexpected happiness!
Char. Or is’t his ghost? (To Stukely) That sight would please you, Sir.
Jar. What riddle’s this?
Bev. Be quick and tell it—My minutes are but few.
Mrs. Bev. Alas! why so? You shall live long and happily.
Lew. While shame and punishment shall rack that viper. (Pointing to Stukely) The tale is short. I was too busy in his secrets, and therefore doomed to die. Bates, to prevent the murder, undertook it. I kept aloof to give it credit—
Char. And gave Me pangs unutterable.
Lew. I felt them all, and would have told you; but vengeance wanted ripening. The villain’s scheme was but half executed. The arrest by Dawson followed the supposed murder: and now, depending on his once wicked associates, he comes to fix the guilt on Beverley.
Mrs. Bev. O! execrable wretch!
Bates. Dawson and I are witnesses of this.
Lew. And of a thousand frauds. His friend undone by sharpers and false dice; and Stukely sole contriver, and possessor of all.
Daw. Had he but stopt on this side murder, we had been villains still.
Mrs. Bev. Thus heaven turns evil into good; and by permitting sin, warns men to virtue.
Lew. Yet punishes the instrument. So shall
our laws; though not with death. But death were
mercy. Shame, beggary, and imprisonment, unpitied
misery, the stings of conscience, and the curses of
mankind shall make life hateful to him—till
at last, his own hand end him. How does my friend?
Bev. Why, well. Who’s he that asks me?
Mrs. Bev. Tis Lewson, love. Why do you look so at him?
Bev. They told me he was murdered.
Mrs. Bev. Ay; but he lives to save us.
Bev. Lend me your hand—The room turns round.
Mrs. Bev. O heaven!
Lew. This villain here, disturbs him. Remove him from his sight: and for your lives, see that you guard him. (Stukely is taken off by Dawson and Bates) How is it, Sir?