Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

He calls it slavery to be preferr'd ;
A place of credit, a base servitude.
What shall become of me, and my poor children,
Two here, and one at nurse? my pretty beggars !
I see how ruin with a palsy hand
Begins to shake the ancient seat to dust :
The heavy weight of sorrow draws my lids
Over my dankish eyes : I can scarce see;
Thus grief will last ;—it wakes and sleeps with me.

[Erit.

SCENE IV.-Another Apartment in the same.

Enter HUSBAND and the MASTER of a College.
Hus. Please you draw near, sir; you 're exceeding welcome.
Mast. That's my doubt! I fear I come not to be welcome.
Hus. Yes, howsoever.

Mast. 'T is not my fashion, sir, to dwell in long circumstance, but to be plain and effectual; therefore to the purpose. The cause of my setting forth was piteous and lamentable. That hopeful young gentleman, your brother, whose virtues we all love dearly, through your default and unnatural negligence lies in bond executed for your debt, -a prisoner; all his studies amazed, his hope struck dead, and the pride of his youth muffled in these dark clouds of oppression.

Hus. Umph, umph, umph!

Mast. O you have killed the towardest hope of all our university : wherefore, without repentance and amends, expect ponderous and sudden judgments to fall grievously upon you. Your brother, a man who profited in his divine employments, and might have made ten thousand souls fit for heaven, is now by your careless courses cast into prison, which you must answer for; and assure your spirit it will come home at length.

Hus. O God! oh!

Mast. Wise men think ill of you; others speak ill of you ; no man loves you: nay, even those whom honesty condemns, condemn you: And take this from the virtuous affection I bear your brother; never look for prosperous hour, good thoughts, quiet sleep, contented walks, nor anything that makes man perfect, till you redeem him. What is your answer? How will you bestow him? Upon desperate misery, or better hopes ?-I suffer till I hear your answer. Hus. Sir, you have much wrought with me; I feel you

in
my

soul : you are your art's master. I never had sense till now; your syllables have cleft me. Both for your words and pains I thank you. I cannot but acknowledge grievous wrongs done to my brother ; mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty wrongs.

Within there!

Enter a Servant. Hus. Fill me a bowl of wine. [Exit Servant.] Alas, poor brother, bruis'd with an execution for my sake!

Mast. A bruise indeed makes many a mortal sore,
Till the grave cure them.

Re-enter Servant, with wine.
Hus. Sir, I begin to you; you ’ve chid your welcome.

Mast. I could have wish'd it better for your sake.
I pledge you, sir :—To the kind man in prison.

Hus. Let it be so. Now, sir, if you please to spend but a few minutes in a walk about my grounds below, my man here shall attend you. I doubt not but by that time to be furnished of a sufficient answer, and therein my brother fully satisfied.

Mast. Good sir, in that the angels would be pleas'd, And the world's murmurs calm d; and I should say, I set forth then upon a lucky day. [Ereunt MASTER and Servant.

Hus. O thou confused man! Thy pleasant sins have undone thee; thy damnation has beggared thee. That heaven should say we must not sin, and yet made women! give our senses way to find pleasure, which, being found, confounds us! Why should we know those things so much misuse us ? O, would virtue had been forbidden! We should then have proved all virtuous; for 't is our blood to love what we are forbidden. Had not drunkenness been forbidden, what man would have been fool to a beast, and zany to a swine,—to show tricks in the mire? What is there in three dice, to make a man draw thrice three thousand acres into the compass of a little round table, and with the gentleman's palsy in the hand shake out his posterity thieves or beggars ? 'T is done ; I have done it, i' faith : terrible, horrible misery ! ---How well was I left! Very well, very well. My lands showed like a full moon about me; but now the moon is in the last quarter,—waning, waning; and I am mad to think that moon was mine; mine, and my father's, and my forefathers'; generations, generations. — Down goes the house of us; down, down it sinks. Now is the name a beggar; begs in me. That name which hundreds of years has made this shire famous, in me and my posterity runs out. In my seed five are made miserable besides myself: my riot is now my brother's gaoler, my wife's sighing, my three boys' penury, and mine own confusion. Why sit my hairs upon my cursed head ?

[Tears his hair. Will not this poison scatter them? O, my brother is In execution among devils that Stretch him and make him give; and I in want, Not able for to live, nor to redeem him ! Divines and dying men may talk of hell, But in my heart her several torments dwell; Slavery and misery. Who, in this case, Would not take up money upon his soul ? Pawn his salvation, live at interest ? I, that did ever in abundance dwell, For me to want, exceeds the throes of hell.

• The game called passage, or pass-dice, was played with three dice.

Enter a little Boy with a Top and Scourge. Son. What ail you, father? Are you not well? I cannot scourge my top as long as you stand so. You take up all the room with your wide legs. Puh! you cannot make me afraid with this; I fear no vizards, nor bugbears. [He takes up the Child by the skirts of his long coat with one hand,

and draws his dagger with the other.
Hus. Up, sir, for here thou hast no inheritance left.
Son. O, what will you do, father? I am your white boy.
Hus. Thou shalt be my red boy ; take that.

[Strikes him. Son. O, you hurt me,

father.
Hus. My eldest beggar,
Thou shalt not live to ask an usurer bread;
To cry at a great man's gate; or follow,
“ Good your honour," by a coach; no, nor your brother:
”T is charity to brain you.

Son. How shall I learn, now my head 's broke?
Hus. Bleed, bleed,

[Stabs him.
Rather than beg. Be not thy name's disgrace:
Spurn thou thy fortunes first; if they be base,
Come view thy second brother's. Fates! My children's blood
Shall spin into your faces; you shall see,
How confidently we scorn beggary !

[Exit with his Son.

SCENE V.

A Maid discovered with a Child in her arms; the Mother on a couch by

her, asleep
Maid. Sleep, sweet babe ; sorrow makes thy mother sleep:
It bodes small good when heaviness falls so deep.
Hush, pretty boy; thy hopes might have been better.
'T is lost at dice, what ancient honour won:
Hard, when the father plays away the son !
Nothing but Misery serves in this house;
Ruin and Desolation. Oh!

Enter HUSBAND, with his Son bleeding.
Hus. Whore, give me that boy. [Strives with her for the Child.
Maid. O help, help! Out, alas ! murther, murther!

Hus. Are you gossiping, you prating, sturdy quean ? I'll break your clamour with your neck. Down stairs; Tumble, tumble, headlong. So :

[He throws her down, and stabs the Child. The surest way to charm a woman's tongue, Is-break her neck : a politician did it. Son. Mother, mother ; I am kill'd, mother!

(WIFE awakes. Wife. Ha, who's that cried ? O me! my children! Both, both, bloody, bloody!

[Catches up the youngest Child. VOL. XII.

2 B

Hus. Strumpet, let go the boy; let go the beggar.
Wife. O my sweet husband !
Hus. Filth, harlot !
Wife. O, what will you do, dear husband ?
Hus. Give me the bastard !
Wife. Your own sweet boy -
Hus. There are too many beggars.
Wife. Good my husband-
Hus. Dost thou prevent me still ?
Wife. O God!
Hus. Have at his heart.

[Stabs at the Child in her arms.
Wife. O, my dear boy!
Hus. Brat, thou shalt not live to shame thy house-
Wife. Oh heaven!

[She is hurt, and sinks down. Hus. And perish !-Now be gone: There's whores enough, and want would make thee one.

Enter a Servant.
Ser. O sir, what deeds are these?

Hus. Base slave, my vassal!
Com'st thou between my fury to question me?

Ser. Were you the devil, I would hold you, sir.
Hus. Hold me? Presumption! I'll undo thee for it.
Ser. 'Sblood, you have undone us all, sir.
Hus. Tug at thy master?
Ser. Tug at a monster.
Hus. Have I no power? Shall my slave fetter me?
Ser. Nay, then the devil wrestles: I am thrown.

Hus. () villain ! now I'll tug thee, now I 'll tear thee;
Set quick spurs to my vassal; bruise him, trample him.
So; I think thou wilt not follow me in haste.
My horse stands ready saddled. Away, away ;
Now to my brat at nurse, my sucking beggar:
Fates, I 'll not leave you one to trample on!

[Erit.

SCENE VJ.-Court before the House.

Enter HUSBAND; to him the MASTER of the College.
Mast. How is it with you, sir?
Methinks you

look of a distracted colour.
Hus. Who, I, sir ? 'T is but your fancy.
Please you walk in, sir, and I'll soon resolve you :
I want one small part to make up the sum,
And then my brother shall rest satisfied.

Mast. I shall be glad to see it : Sir, I 'll attend you.

Ereunt.

SCENE VII.-A Room in the House.

The WIFE, Servant, and Children discovered.
Ser. Oh, I am scarce able to heave up myself,
He has so bruis’d me with his devilish weight,
And torn my flesh with his blood-hasty spur:
A man before of easy constitution,
Till now hell power supplied, to his soul's wrong:
O how damnation can make weak men strong!

Enter the MASTER of the College and two Servants.
Ser. O the most piteous deed, sir, since you came !

Mast. A deadly greeting! Hath he summ'd up these
To satisfy his brother ? Here's another;
And by the bleeding infants, the dead mother.

Wife. Oh! oh!

Mast. Surgeons ! surgeons ! she recovers life :-One of his men all faint and bloodied !

1 Ser. Follow; our murtherous master has took horse To kill his child at nurse. O, follow quickly.

Mast. I am the readiest; it shall be my charge To raise the town upon him.

1 Ser. Good sir, do follow him. [Exeunt Master and two Servants.
Wife. O my children!
1 Ser. How is it with my most afflicted mistress ?

Wife. Why do I now recover? Why half live,
To see my children bleed before mine eyes ?
A sight able to kill a mother's breast, without
An executioner.—What, art thou mangled too ?

1 Ser. I, thinking to prevent what his quick mischiefs
Had so soon acted, came and rush'd upon him.
We struggled; but a fouler strength than his
O’erthrew me with his arms: then did he bruise me,
And rent my flesh, and robb’d me of my hair;
Like a man mad in execution,
Made me unfit to rise and follow him.

Wife. What is it has beguild him of all grace,
And stole away humanity from his breast ?
To slay his children, purpose to kill his wife,
And spoil his servants-

Enter a Servant.
Ser. Please you to leave this most accursed place :
A surgeon waits within.

Wife. Willing to leave it ?
”T is guilty of sweet blood, innocent blood :
Murther has took this chamber with full hands,
And will ne'er out as long as the house stands.

[Exeunt.

« VorigeDoorgaan »