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this life in trust, on other conditions, and with
Myrt. Mr. Bevil, I must tell you, this coolness, this moralizing, shall not cheat me of my love. You may wish to preserve your life, that Irritating you may possess Lucinda. And I have reason to be indifferent about it, if I am to lose all that, from which I expected any joy in life. But I shall first try one means toward recovering her, I mean, by shewing her what a dauntless hero she has chosen for her protector.
Bev. Shew me but the least glimpse of argument that I am authorized to contend with you at the peril of the life of one of us, and I am ready upon your own terms. If this will not satisfy you, and you will make a lawless assault upon me, I will defend myself as against a ruffian. There is no such terror, Mr. Myrtle, in the anger of those, who are quickly hot, and quickly cold again, they know not how, or why. I defy you to shew wherein I have wrong'd you.
Myrt. Mr. Bevil, it is easy for you to talk Irritating. coolly on this occasion. You, who know not, I suppose, what it is to love, and from your large fortune and your specious outward carriage, have it in your power to come, without much trouble or anxiety, to the possession of a woman of honour; you know nothing of what it is to be alarmed, distracted with the terror of losing what is dearer than life. You are happy. Your marriage goes on like common business, and, in the interim, you have for your soft moments of dalliance, your rambling captive, your Indian princess, your convenient, your ready Indiana.
Bev. You have touched me beyond the patience of a man: and the defence of spotless innocence, will, I hope, excuse my accepting your challenge, or at least my obliging you to retract your infamous aspersions. I will not, if I can avoid it shed your blood, nor shall you mine. But Authority. Indiana's purity, I will defend. Who waits? Serv. Did you call, Sir?
Bev. Yes, go call a coach.
Serv. Sir, Mr. Myrtle-Gentlemen-You are friends-I am but a Servant-ButBev. *Call a coach.
Recollect. A long pause; they walk sullenly about the room.]
[Aside.] Shall I (though provoked beyond sufferance) recover myself at the entrance of a third person, and that my servant too; and shall I not have a due respect for the dictates of my own conscience; (1) for what I owe to the best of fathers, and to the defenceless innocence of my lovely Indiana, whose very life depends on mine? [To Mr. Myrtle.] I have, thank heaven, had time to recollect myself, and have determined to convince you, by means I would willingly have avoided, but which yet are preferable to murderous duelling, that I am more innocent of nothing, than of rivalling you in the affections of Remonftr. Lucinda. Read this letter; and consider, what effect it would have had upon you to have found it about the man you had murdered. Sullennefs. [Myrtle reads.]" I hope it is consistent with the laws a woman ought to impose upon herself to acknowledge, that your manner of declining what has been proposed of a treaty of marriage in our family, and desiring, that the refusal might come from me, is more engaging than the Smithfield courtship of him, whose arms I am in danger of being thrown into, unless your friend exerts
(1) To be spoken with the right hand on the breast.
himself for our comon safety and happiness. (1)
-O, I want no more, to clear your innocence, my injured worthy friend-I see her dear name at the bottom. I see that you have been far enough from designing any obstacle to my happiness, while I have been treating my benefactor as my betrayer-O Bevil, with what words Remorse. shall I
Bev. There is no need of words. To convince is more than to conquer. If you are but satisfied that I meant you no wrong, all is as it
should be. Myrt.
But can you forgive such mad
Bev. Have not I myself offended? I had Benevoalmost been as guilty as you, though I had the lence and advantage of you, by knowing what did not you
Myrt. That I should be such a precipitate Remory. wretch?
Bev. Prithee no more. Myrt. How many friends have died by the Self conhand of friends, merely for want of temper! with HorWhat do I not owe to your superiority of under- ror. standing! What a precipice have I escaped! O Intreating, my friend ;-Can you ever forgive-Can you ever again look upon me-with an eye of fa
Bev. Why should I not? Any man may Benevo mistake. Any man may be violent, where his lence. love is concerned. I was myself.
Myrt. O Bevil! You are capable of all that Admiration is great, all that is heroic.
[Enters a servent to Bevil,' and gives a letter.]
(1) In reading the letter, the countenance of Myrtle ought to quit, by degrees, the look of anger, and to pass to those marked on the margin.
From Mr. Pope's MORAL ESSAYS. (Epift. III.)`
Narration. WHERE London's column, pointing to the
Like a tall bully, lifts its head, and lies,
A plain, good man, and Balaam was his name;
His word would pass for more than he was
One solid dish his week-day meal affords ;
His givings rare, save farthings to the poor. Vexation. The Devil was piqu'd such saintship to behold, And long'd to tempt him, like good Job of old; Narration. But Satan now is wiser than of yore,
And tempts by making rich; not making poor.
Sir Balaam, now! He lives like other folks;
An honest factor stole a gem away;
And pledged it to our knight. Our knight had wit,
In one abundant show'r of cent per cent ;
Things change their titles, as our manners turn; Narration.
But duly sent his family and wife,
There (so the Devil ordain'd) one Christmas tide
He marries; bows at court; and grows polite :
In Britain's senate he a seat obtains
Cato fitting in a thoughtful posture. In his hand Plato's book on the immortality of the foul. A drawn fword on the table by him. After a pause, he lays down the book, aud speaks.
T must be so-Plato thou reason'st well
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond de- templation. sire; (1)
This fond defire," may be spoken with the right hand laid
on the breast.