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Enter Shenkin.

Shenkin. How you to do, Mr. Post Obit?

Post Obit {not regarding him, but undrawing curtains). "Why, what's here? bars? What does he do with bars?

Surely he has no children! no infernal little heirs at

law {coming down the stage, and meeting Shenkin) nor

is he mad, nor Zounds! 'tis very odd! Taffy, do

you know Mr. Tick?

Shenkin. Iss, sure—I do know he did save my poor mother from prison, and so I did come here to (hew my gratitude! but, plessings on you! you were beforehand with me—I do find you are answerable for all the debts and detainers—And, therefore, well may you peep thro* the iron bars. Tear! tear! having let the bird out of the cage, what joy must you feel to fee it hop away in. health and liberty!

Post Obit.- Cage! {looking round at the window.)

Shenkin. Iss, cage or spunging-house 'lis one and

the fame thing, you de know {here Post Obit is in great agitation.) And how do I envy you these ecstacies ?— Oh! what I would give to have taken the weight off his shoulders! ■

Post Obit. Damn his shoulders, and you, and—yes, yes, 1 fee it now—the lodgings,—the confinement, the apothecary !—Well—well—but, perhaps—yes-' this distress may be only temporary—and his property in the north. Hark ye, Sir,—you know he's owner of a castle (shaking Shenkin). , .

Shenkin. Owner of a castle !—Oh! I do recollect now —Iss, sure—and by the price he do get for his Leicestershire pigs, I do think it be an inn of some consequence*

Post Obit. An inn! the castle an inn!

Shenkin. Ay—it be no castle in the air, I assure you.

[Post Obit going* Capias without to Dame Shenkin.

Capias. Here's the person you inquired after {enters with Dame Shenkin, who takes Shenkiri aside). And now, if you please, Mr. Poll Obit, you may as well

pay pay what you are answerable for.—The plaintiffs debts, you fee, (Jhewing account) is two hundred pounds, and the detainers already four hundred—and then there's the! costs and the fees. (Post Obit rushes out behind him). What! an escape! Oh, ho! stop the prisoner there! stop the prisoner! [Exit as ter bint.

Shenkin (coming forward with Dame Shenkin). Tear I tear! what fad doings? But, perhaps you did not hear .right, mother—perhaps you do mistake.

Dame {weeping). Oh, that I did! for I have lived too long—yes, I have lived too long.

Shenkin. Pless my foul! Mr. Leonard dying! Dame. Yes, I tell you—his wounds have proved fatal.——And Mr. Malcour, in whose house he is now breathing his last, not only won't let any of his family come near him, but actually threatens to lay a charge against Sir Herbert for wilfully destroying him*

Shenkin. Mr. Leonard given over—and Sir Herbert

accused and lord! lord! at such a moment we

mus'n'c forsake my old master, mother.

Dame. Forsake him! No We'll go directly, and

find out the real culprit for I am sure Sir Herbert's

innocent.

Shenkin. Sure! I'll take my oath of it—Come this moment—and, as his other friends have forsaken him, you shall be his nurse, Alcibiades his physician, and Caractacus again his servant—Yes, mother, this hand shall work for him—and since rough misfortune has beat my old master down, it shall be found strong and willing to lift him up again. [Exeunt,

SCENE III.—An Apartment at Malcour's—-folding Doors in back Scene.

Enter Sir Herbert end a Servant,

Sir Herbert. Let me pass—let me once more enfold within my arms, the wrong'd, the dying Leonard.

Servant.

Servant. Sir,'tis toolare; my master just now told us the fatal hour was approaching, and therefore his assasfin shou'd be seized.

Sir Herbert. Look at me—I am his father. Have_ you the heart, at such a moment, to separate son and parent?

Servant. His father!

Sir Herbert. Ay, that culprit Mr. Malcouo is in search

of that hapless wretch, 'gainst whom the proofs are

most demonstrative and strong; for I've no evidence of iunocence, but here—but my boy! Let him not curse me with his parting breath—and, then, conduct me where you please—I will surrender to my fate. .

Servant. Indeed, I know my master will condemn me—but for my life I cannot .now resist a father's claim. You may go in, Sir,—yonder is the chamber.

Sir Herb. Thanks! thanks! (stops and trembles. )— "There—did you fay there—heavens! was ever guilt so bold? But let me implore his pardon and his pity—and then, most welcome my accuser.—Death has to me no ferrors—No? existence is the villain's punishment!

[Exit at door in back scene.

Enter Malcour.

Malcour. How, Sir-*-why don't you attend the door? Go, shew up Lady Melmoth! [Exit Servant.] Oh, this is beyond my hopes! the humbled fair already in my bouse to sue for mercy! already !—but she comes!

Enter Lady Melmoth.

Lady M. Oh, spare him, Mr. Malcour Not for

poor Leonard 1 implore you * 1 know too well you can't avert his fate, but spare my husband!

Malcour. Nay, Madam, when 1 was suitor, did you shew me mercy ?—Or am I so indebted to Sir Herbert, as to connive to serve him?

Lady M. Ah! think of two tender ones who never

wrong'd you—I am unfit to guard so dear a charge, and

^ now now you'd rob them of their father. For their sake, accuse him not. I see them now, with supplicating hands, entreating me to save their only hope—and you consent! —they are made happy;—and I, inspired by returning virtue, may be to him a wise,—to them a mother.

Malcour. And what avail these promised joys to me? I (hare not in them—therefore observe,—one only way: can save him.

Lady M. Name it.

Malcour (taking her band). You well remember, that, by every base and treacherous art, he tore this hand from him who fairly won it. Then restore it—give it to met its rightful owner, and I'll withdraw the accusation—• Why—what alarms you ?—Do you not understand me?

Lady M. 1 do—you'd have him purchase life at the expence of a weak woman's honour.

Malcour. No—I would have him give me restitution.

Lady M. 'Tis well—I have deserved this treatment. But think you this sacrifice will save Sir Herbert?— Think you he will survive the loss of honour ?—No.—« Virtue is the foul that animates his frame, and, that destroy'd, he'll perish with it I And fee the difference

'twixt his love and yours. He'd welcome death, ere I stiou'd forfeit that, which, if I do not forfeit, you will betray the father of your friend!—Oh, shame! shame! fallen as I am—sure, when the heart is breaking, 'tis time to pity, not insult me (weeping.)

Malcour. Have a care!——think of the awful proofs against him—the previous quarrel—the estate so needful to repair his fortune—the instrument of death mark'd with his name—Remember, there is no other hope.

Lady M. There is, thank Heaven! Before it dawn'd, and, now, it glares upon me. Who urg'd the unhappy Leonard to dispose.of this estate? Who drove him from a doating father's arms? Who' caused the quarrel that produced the fatal blow? Arid who will now most publicly acquit Sir Herbert'bf the charge? Acknowledge all the crime—and' in the presence of surrounding witnesses, make Leonard, with his dying breath, confess the true, the only culprit?—I?LHen Melmath!—I, that

~J ■ •'. guilty guilty wife, who, 'midst unnumbered crimes, has still the pride to scorn a base seducer's arts, and die to save a dear-lov'd husband's life (going towards a chamber.)

Malcour (storing her). Hold—you will not be so rash?

Lady M. Sir, I will be so just—and if his future days pass on in peace, an ignominious death will yield that joy a splendid life ne'er gave me! (Malcourstill holds her.) Oppose me not—Awhile ago I was as cowardly as fear could make me—but conscious virtue once more warms my veins, and I've a giant's strength.

Malcour. Nay, then—suppose this boasted courage it in vain—What if I tell you Leonard is no more!

Lady M. You cannot—will not

Malcour. I would avoid the melancholy theme, but —(holding down his head.)

Lady M. Oh, speak it not! 1 see—I read it in your looks! Great heaven! hide me from myself! (falls on the ground).

Enter Sir Herbert from the Chamber', leading on Leonard with his arm in a black sting.

Sir Herbert. He lives—we have witness'd his returning health—we know the ball, which lodged but in hi* arm, was instantly extracted, and the exaggerated story of his dangerous state was propagated by that artful fiend, to shake the virtue of a matchless wife—But you are baffled, Sir—He has heard all, and comes to punish perfidy, and to reward the exalted Ellen's truth.

Lady M. Can you forgive me, Leonard?

Leonard. Forgive you !—Oh! if my sufferings deserve a recompence, let me receive it here—from one, who, while she sought applause from folly and from pomp, forgot she had a heart that might have won e'en heaven's own praise,—And now, Sir, (taking Sir Herbert's hand,) this is the happy hour I predicted—Connubial blessings wait you !—And 1 may exclaim, with joy and exultation,

"Take the estate," the whole is yours—and, thank

heaven, I have preserved it for my father! Mr. Malcour, we cjuit your house, never to meet again.

Torn

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