some time ago, his wife dying, he fell violently in love with his charge, and would fain have married 135 her. Now, the man is neither old nor ugly, but a good, personable sort of a man; but I don't know how it was, she could never endure him. In short, her ill usage so provoked him, that he brought in an account of his executorship, wherein he makes her 140 debtor to him.
MILL. A trifle in itself, but more than enough to ruin me, whom, by his unjust account, he had stripped of all before.
LUCY. Now, she having neither money nor 145 friend, except me, who am as unfortunate as herself, he compelled her to pass his account, and give bond for the sum he demanded, but still provided handsomely for her and continued his courtship till, being informed by his spies (truly I suspect 150 some in her own family) that you were entertained at her house and stayed with her all night, he came this morning raving and storming like a madman; talks no more of marriage -- so there's no hopes of making up matters that way -- but vows her 155 ruin unless she'll allow him the same favor that he supposes she granted you.
BARN. Must she be mined or find her refuge in another's arms?
MILL. He gave me but an hour to resolve in. 160 That's happily spent with you -- and now I go.
BARN. To be exposed to all the rigors of the various seasons, the summer's parching heat, and winter's cold; unhoused to wander friendless through the unhospitable world, in misery and want, 165 attended with fear and danger, and pursued by malice and revenge -- wouldst thou endure all this for me, and can I do nothing, nothing to prevent it?
LUCY. 'Tis really a pity there can be no way found out. 170
BARN. [aside]. Oh, where are all my resolutions now? Like early vapors, or the morning dew, chased by the sun's warm beams, they're vanished and lost, as though they had never been.
LUCY. Now, I advised her, sir, to comply 175 with the gentleman; that would not only put an end to her troubles, but make her fortune at once.
BARN. Tormenting fiend, away! I had rather perish, nay, see her perish, than have her saved by him; I will myself prevent her ruin, though with 180 my own. A moment's patience; I'll return immediately. Exit BARNWELL.
LUCY. 'Twas well you came, or by what I can perceive you had lost him.
MILL. That, I must confess, was a danger I 185 did not foresee. I was only afraid he should have come without money. You know a house of entertainment like mine is not kept without expense.
LUCY. That's very true. But then, you should be reasonable in your demands; 'tis pity to dis 190 courage a young man.
MILL. Leave that to me.
Re-enter BARNWELL with a bag of money.
BARN. What am I about to do? Now you, who boast your reason all-sufficient, suppose yourselves in my condition, and determine for me whether 195 it's right to let her suffer for my faults, or, by this small addition to my guilt, prevent the ill effects of what is past.
Lucy (aside). These young sinners think everything in the ways of wickedness so strange. 200 But I could tell him that this is nothing but what's very common; for one vice as naturally begets another, as a father a son. But he'll find out that himself, if he lives long enough.
BARN. Here, take this, and with it purchase 205 your deliverance; return to your house, and live in peace and safety.
MILL. So I may hope to see you there again.
BARN. Answer me not, but fly -- lest, in the agonies of my remorse, I take again what is not 210 mine to give, and abandon thee to want and misery!
MILL. Say but you'll come!
BARN. You are my fate, my heaven, or my hell. Only leave me now; dispose of me hereafter as you please. Exeunt MILLWOODand LUCY. 215 What have I done! Were my resolutions founded on reason and sincerely made, why then has heaven suffered me to fall? I sought not the occasion; and if my heart deceives me not, compassion and generosity were my motives. Is virtue inconsistent 220 with itself, or are vice and virtue only empty names? Or do they depend on accidents, beyond our power to produce or to prevent -- wherein we have no part, and yet must be determined by the event? But why should I attempt to reason? All is confu 225 sion, horror, and remorse. I find I am lost, cast down from all my late erected hopes, and plunged again in guilt, yet scarce know how or why:
Such undistinguished horrors make my brain,
Like hell, the seat of darkness and of pain. 230
A room in THOROWGOOD'S, house.
Enter THOROWGOOD and TRUEMAN.
THOR. Methinks I would not have you only learn the method of merchandise and practise it hereafter,____________________