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Dear cause of all my pain,
On the wide stormy main,
Thou wast preserved in vain,
Though still adored.
Hadst thou died there unseen,
My wounded eyes had been
Saved from the direst scene

Maid e'er deplored.
[Charlotte finds a letter.

Char. What's this?-A letter superscribed to me!

None could convey it here, but you, Maria.
Ungen' rous, cruel maid! to use me thus!

To join with flatt'ring men, to break my peace,

And persecute me to the last retreat!

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Agnes. Few else would think it so:
Those, who would once have thought them-
selves much honor'd

By the least favour, though 'twere but a look,
I could have shown them, now refuse to see
'Tis misery enough to be reduced [ine.
To the low level of the common herd,
Who, born to beggary, envy all above them :

Mar. Why should it break your peace, to But 'tis the curse of curses to endure
hear the sighs

Of honourable love? This letter is

Char. No matter whence: return it back unopen'd:

[mot,

I have no love, no charms, but for my WilNor would have any.

Mar. Alas! Wilmot's dead;

Or, living, dead to you.

[rish hope;
Char. I'll not despair: Patience shall che-
Nor wrong his honour by unjust suspicion.
I know his truth, and will preserve my own.
But, to prevent all future importunity,
Know, thou incessant foe to my repose,
Whether he sleeps secure from mortal cares,
In the deep bosom of the boist'rous main,
Or, toss'd with tempest, still endures its rage;
No second choice shall violate my vows:
High Heaven, which heard them, and abhors
the perjured,

Can witness, they were made without reserve :
Never to be retracted, ne'er dissolved
By accident or absence, time or death.
Mar. And did your vows oblige you to
support

His haughty parents, to your utter ruin?-----
Well may you weep, to think on what you've
done.
[more
Char. I weep to think that I can do no
For their support. What will become of

them?

The hoary, helpless, miserable pair! Mar. What I can't praise, you force me to admire,

And mourn for you, as you lament for them. Your patience, constancy, and resignation, Merit a better fate.

Char. So pride would tell me,

And vain self-love, but I believe them not:
And if by wanting pleasure, I have gain'd
Humility, I'm richer for my loss.

Mar. You have the heavenly art still to improve [one, Your mind by all events-But here comes Whose pride seems to increase with her misfortunes.

Her faded dress, unfashionably fine,
As ill conceals her poverty, as that
Stein'd complaisance, her haughty, swelling

heart.

The insolent contempt of those we scorn.

Char. By scorning, we provoke them to
contempt,

And thus offend, and suffer in our turns:
We must have patience.

Agnes. No, 1 scorn them yet;

But there's no end of suff'ring: Who can say Their sorrows are complete? My wretched

husband,

Tired with our woes, and hopeless of relief,
Grows sick of life,

And, urged by indignation and despair,
Would plunge into eternity at once,
By foul self-murder.

Char. Gracious Heaven support him!
Agnes. His fixed love for me,

Whom he would fain persuade to share his fate,
And take the same uncertain, dreadful course,
Alone withholds his hand.

Char. And may it ever! [tremes of life, Agnes. I've known with him, the two ex The highest happiness, and deepest woe, With all the sharp and bitter aggravations

Of such a vast transition-Such a fall
In the decline of life!-I have as quick,
As exquisite a sense of pain, as he,
And would do any thing, but die, to end it;
But there my courage fails. Death is the worst
That fate can bring, and cuts off ev'ry hope.

Char. We must not chuse but strive to bear
our lot

Without reproach or guilt, By one rash act Of desperation, we may overthrow

The merit we've been raising all our days, And lose our own reward. And now, methinks,

Now, more than ever, we have cause to fear,
And be upon our guard. The hand of Heaven
Spreads clouds on clouds o'er our benighted
heads,

And, wrapp'd in darkness, doubles our distress.
I had, the night last past, repeated twice,
A strange and awful dream: I would not yield
To fearful superstition, nor despise
The admonition of a friendly power,
That wish'd my good.

Agnes. I have certain plagues enough, Without the help of dreams, to make me

wretched.

Char. I would not stake my happiness or On their uncertain credit, nor on aught [duty. But reason, and the known decrees of Heaven. Yet dreams have sometimes shown events to come,

And may excite to vigilance and care.
My vision may be such, and sent to warn us,
(Now we are tried by multiplied afflictions)
To mark each motion of our swelling hearts,
Lest we attempt to extricate ourselves,
And seek deliv'rance by forbidden ways—
To keep our hopes and innocence entire,
Till we 're dismiss'd to join the happy dead,
Or Heaven relieves us here.

Agnes. Well, to your dream.

[night, Char. Methought, I sat, in a dark winter's On the wide summit of a barren mountain; The sharp, bleak winds, pierced through my shiv'ring frame,

And storms of hail, and sleet, and driving rains,
Beat with impetuous fury on my head,
Drench'd my chill'd limbs, and pour'd a de-
Juge round me

On one hand, ever-gentle Patience sat,
On whose calm bosom I reclined my head;
And on the other, silent Contemplation.
At length, to my unclosed and watchful eyes,
That long had roll'd in darkness, dawn ap-
peared;

And I beheld a man, an utter stranger,
But of a graceful and exalted mien, [me.
Who press'd with eager transport to embrace
I shunn'd his arms: but at some words he spoke,
Which I have now forgot, I turn'd again;
But he was gone-And oh, transporting sight!
Your son, my dearest Wilmot, fill'd his place!
Agnes. If I regarded dreams, I should expect
Some fair event from yours.

Char. But what's to come,
Though more obscure, is terrible indeed.
Methought we parted soon, and when I sought
him,

You and his father-(yes, you both were there) Strove to conceal him from me. I pursued you [earth Both with my cries, and call'd on heaven and To judge my wrongs, and force you to reveal Where you had hid my love, my life, my Wil[the rest. Agnes. Unless you mean to offend me, spare 'Tis just as likely Wilmot should return, As we become your foes.

mot!

Char. Far be such thought [you name From Charlotte's breast: but when I heard Self-murder, it revived the frightful image Of such a dreadful scene!

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The least appearance of advice or caution,
Sets her impatient temper in a flame.
When grief, that well might humble, swells
our pride,

And pride, increasing, aggravates our grief,
The tempest must prevail till we are lost.
Heaven grant a fairer issue to her sorrows! [Erit.

SCENE III.-The Town and Port of Penryn. Enter Young Wilmot and Eustace, in Indian Habits.

Y. Wilm. Welcome, my friend, to Penryn! Here we're safe. [the sea, Eust. Then we're deliver'd twice: first from And then from men, who, more remorseless, prey [murder On shipwreck'd wretches, and who spoil, and Those, whom fell tempests, and devouring waves, In all their fury, spared.

Y. Wilmot. It is a scandal, (Though malice must acquit the better sort,) The rude, unpolish'd people here, in Cornwall, Have long lain under, and with too much justice:

For 'tis an evil, grown almost invet'rate,
And asks a bold and skilful hand to cure.

Eust. Your treasure's safe, I hope.
Y. Wilm. 'Tis here, thank Heaven!
Being in jewels, when I saw our danger,
I hid it in my bosom.

Eust. I observed you,
[thoughts,
And wonder how you could command your
In such a time of terror and confusion.

Y. Wilm. My thoughts were then at home. O England! England!

Thou seat of plenty, liberty, and health, With transport I behold thy verdant fields, Thy lofty mountains rich with useful ore, Thy num'rous herds, thy flocks, and winding

streams.

After a long and tedious absence, Eustace,
With what delight we breathe our native air,
And tread the genial soil that bore us first!
'Tis said, the world is ev'ry wise man's country;
Yet, after having view'd'its various nations,
I'm weak enough, still to prefer my own
To all I've seen beside-You smile, my friend!
And think, perhaps, 'tis instinct more than

reason.

Why, be it so instinct preceded reason
E'en in the wisest men, and may sometimes
Be much the better guide. But, be it either,
I must confess, that even death itself
Appear'd to me with twice its native horrors,
When apprehended in a foreign land.
Death is, no doubt, in ev'ry place the same;
Yet nature casts a look towards home, and most
Who have it in their power, chuse to expire
Where they first drew their breath.

Eust. Believe me, Wilmot, fat; Your grave reflections were not what I smiled I own the truth. That we're returned to England,

Affords me all the pleasure you can feel.
Yet I must think a warmer passion moves you;
Thinking of that, I smiled.

Y. Wilm. O Eustace! Eustace! Thou know'st, for I've confess'd to thee, I love; But having never seen the charming maid, Thou canst not know the fierceness of my flame. My hopes and fears, like the tempestuous seas That we have pass'd, now mount me to the skies, Now hurl me down from that stupendous height,

And drive me to the centre. Did you know How much depends on this important hour, You would not be surprised to see me thus. The sinking fortune of our ancient house Compell'd me, young, to leave my native country,

My weeping parents, and my lovely Charlotte, Who ruled, and must for ever rule, my fate. O, should my Charlotte, doubtful of my truth, Or in despair ever to see me more,

Have given herself to some more happy lover!— Distraction's in the thought!-Or, should my parents,

Griev'd for my absence, and oppress'd with

want,

Have sunk beneath their burden, and expired,
While I, too late, was flying to relieve them;
The end of all my long and weary travels,
The hope that made success itself a blessing,
Being defeated, and for ever lost;
What were the riches of the world to me?

Eust. The wretch who fears all that is possible,

Must suffer more than he who feels the worst
A man can feel, yet lives exempt from fear.
A woman may be false, and friends are mortal;
And yet your aged parents may be living,
And your fair mistress constant.

friend!

Y. Wilm. True, they may; I doubt, but I despair not. No, my My hopes are strong, and lively as my fears; They tell me, Charlotte is as true as fair; That we shall meet, never to part again; That I shall see my parents, kiss the tears From their pale hollow cheeks, cheer their sad hearts,

And drive that gaping phantom, meagre want, For ever from their board; their days to come Crown all with peace, with pleasure, and abundance;

Receive their fond embraces and their blessings, And be a blessing to them.

Eust. Tis our weakness: Blind to events, we reason in the dark, And fondly apprehend, what none e'er found Or ever shall, pleasure and pain unmix'd; And flatter and torment ourselves by turns, With what shall never be.

Y. Wilm. I'll go this instant

To seek my Charlotte, and explore my fate.
Eust. What, in that foreign habit?
Y. Wilm. That's a trifle,

Not worth my thoughts.

Eust. The hardships you've endured, And your long stay beneath the burning zone, Where one eternal sultry summer reigns, Have marr'd the native hue of your compexion: Methinks you look more like a sun-burnt InThan a Briton.

[dian,

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Char. Can I forget a man I never knew? Y. Wilm. My fears are true; some other has her heart:

She's lost my fatal absence has undone me!

[Aside. O! could thy Wilmot have forgot thee, Char[words import?

lotte!

Char. Ha! Wilmot! say, what do your O, gentle stranger, case my swelling heart! What dost thou know of Wilmot?

Y. Wilm. This I know

[spire When all the winds of heaven seem'd to conAgainst the stormy main, and dreadful peals Of rattling thunder deafen'd ev'ry car, And drown'd the affrighten'd mariners' loud cries; [flames When livid lightning spread its sulphurous Through all the dark horizon, and disclosed The raging seas incensed to his destruction; When the good ship, in which he was embark'd, [surge, Broke, and, o'erwhelm'd by the impetuous Sunk to the oozy bottom of the deep, And left him struggling with the warring waves; In that dread moment, in the jaws of death, When his strength fail'd, and ev'ry hope forsook him, fbling lips,

And his last breath press'd towards his tremThe neighbouring rocks that echo'd to his

moan,

Return'd no sound articulate but—Charlotte.

Char. The fatal tempest, whose description strikes

The hearer with astonishment, is ceased;

And Wilmot is at rest. The fiercer storm
Of swelling passions, that o'erwhelms the soul,
And rages worse than the mad foaming seas
In which he perish'd, ne'er shall vex him more.
Y. Wilm. Thou seem'st to think he's dead;
enjoy that thought;

Persuade yourself, that what you wish is true,
And triumph in your falsehood. Yes, he's
dead,-

You were his fate. The cruel winds and waves,
That cast him pale and breathless on the shore,
Spared him for greater woes-to know his
Charlotte,

Forgetting all her vows to him and Heaven,
Had cast him from her thoughts.-Then,
then he died;

But never can have rest. E'en now he wanders,
A sad, repining, discontented ghost-
The unsubstantial shadow of himself;
And pours his plaintive groans in thy deaf
And stalks, unseen, before thee.

Char. 'Tis enough:

[ears,

Detested falsehood now has done its worst.
And art thou dead? And wouldst thou die,
my Wilmot,

For one thou thought'st unjust? Thou soul of
truth!
[press
What must be done? Which way shall I ex-
Unutterable woe? Or how convince
Thy dear departed spirit, of the love,
Th'eternal love, and never-failing faith
Of thy much-injured, lost, despairing Char-
lotte!
[hope not too soon!
Y. Wilm. Be still, my flutt'ring heart;
Perhaps I dream, and this is all illusion.

[Aside.

Char. If, as some teach, the spirit after death,
Free from the bounds and ties of sordid earth,
Can trace us to our most conceal'd retreat,
See all we act, and read our very thoughts;
To thee, O Wilmot! kneeling, I appeal,—
If e'er I swerved in action, word, or thought,
Or ever wish'd to taste a joy on earth
That center'd not in thee, since last we parted-
May we ne'er meet again; but thy loud wrongs
So close the ear of mercy to my cries,
That I may never see those bright abodes
Where truth and virtue only have admission,
And thou inhabit'st now!

Y. Wilm. Assist me, Heaven!
Preserve my reason, memory, and sense!
O moderate my fierce tumultuous joys,
Or their excess will drive me to distraction.
O, Charlotte! Charlotte! lovely, virtuous maid!
Can thy firm mind, in spite of time and ab-

sence,

Remain unshaken, and support its truth;
And yet thy frailer memory retain
No image, no idea of thy lover?

Why dost thou gaze so wildly? Look on me;
Turn thy dear eyes this way; observe me well.
Have scorching climes, time, and this strange
habit,

So changed and so disguised thy faithful Wilmot,
That nothing in my voice, my face, or mien,
Remains to tell my Charlotte I am he?

[After viewing him some time, she

approaches weeping, and gives him her hand; and then, turning towards him, sinks upon his bosom. Why dost thou weep? Why dost thou tremble thus ?

Why doth thy panting heart, and cautious
touch,
[thy fears?
Speak thee but half convinced? Whence are
Why art thou silent? Canst thou doubt me
still?

Char. No, Wilmot! no; I'm blind with
too much light:

O'ercome with wonder, and oppress'd with joy.
This vast profusion of extreme delight,
Rising at once, and bursting from despair,
Defies the aid of words, and mocks description.
But, for one sorrow, one sad scene of anguish,
That checks the swelling torrent of my joys,
I could not bear the transport.

Y. Wilm. Let me know it:
Give me my portion of thy sorrow, Charlotte!
Let me partake thy grief, or bear it for thee.
Char. Alas, my Wilmot! these sad tears are
thine;

They flow for thy misfortunes. I am pierced
With all the agonies of strong compassion.
With all the bitter anguish you must feel,
When you shall hear your parents-

Y. Wilm. Are no more.

Char. You apprehend me wrong.
Y. Wilm. Perhaps I do,

Perhaps you mean to say, the greedy grave
Was satisfied with one, and one is left
To bless my longing eyes. But which, my
Charlotte?

Char. Afflict yourself no more with ground-
less fears:

Your parents both are living. Their distress
The poverty to which they are reduced,
In spite of my weak aid, was what I mourn'd:
That poverty, in age, to them whose youth
Was crown'd with full prosperity, I fear,
Is worse, much worse, than death.

Y. Wilm. My joy's complete!
My parents living, and possess'd of thee !-
From this blest hour, the happiest of my life,
I'll date my rest. My anxious hopes and fears,
My weary travels, and my dangers past,
Are now rewarded all: now I rejoice
In my success, and count my riches gain.
For know, my soul's best treasure! I have
wealth

Enough to glut e'en avarice itself:

No more shall cruel want, or proud contempt,
Oppress the sinking spirits, or insult
The hoary heads of those who gave me being.
Char. 'Tis now, O riches, I conceive your

worth:

You are not base, nor can you be superfluous,
But when misplaced in base and sordid hands.
Fly, fly, my Wilmot! leave thy happy Char-
Thy filial piety, the sighs and tears [lotte!
Of thy lamenting parents, call thee hence.

Y. Wilm. I have a friend, the partner of

my voyage, Who, in the storm last night, was shipwreck'd with ine.

Char. Shipwreck'd last night!—O, you immortal powers!

[ed? What have you suffer'd! How were you preservY. Wilm. Let that, and all my other strange escapes,

And perilous adventures, be the theme
Of many a happy winter-night to come.
My present purpose was t'entreat my angel,
To know this friend, this other better Wilmot,
And come with him this evening to my fa-
ther's:

I'll send him to thee.

Char. I consent with pleasure.

Y. Wilm. Heavens! what a sight! How shall I bear my joy!

My parents, yours, my friends, all will be mine.
If such the early hopes, the vernal bloom,
The distant prospect of my future bliss,
Then what the ruddy autumn? What the fruit,
The full possession of thy heavenly charms?
[Exeunt severally.

SCENE. II-A Street in Penryn.

Enter Randal.

Rand. Poor! poor! and friendless! whither shall I wander?

And to what point direct my views and hopes?
A menial servant!-No-What, shall I live
Here in this land of freedom, live distinguish'd,
And mark'd the willing slave of some proud
subject!

To swell his useless train for broken fragments,
The cold remains of his superfluous board?—
I would aspire to something more and better.
Turn thy eyes then to the prolific ocean,
Whose spacious bosom opens to thy view:
There deathless honour, and unenvied wealth,
Have often crown'd the brave adventurer's toils.
This is the native uncontested right,
The fair inheritance of ev'ry Briton,
That dares put in his claím.-My choice is
made:

A long farewell to Cornwall, and to England!
If I return-But stay, what stranger's this,
Who, as he views me, seems to mend his pace?
Enter Young Wilmot.

Y. Wilm, Randal! the dear companion of my youth!

Sure, lavish fortune means to give me all
I could desire, or ask, for this blest day,
And leave me nothing to expect hereafter!
Rand. Your pardon, sir! I know but one
on earth

Could properly salute me by the title
You're pleased to give me; and I would not

think

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Rand. O, Wilmot !-O, my master! you return'd?

Are

Y. Wilm. I have not yet embraced My parents-I shall see you at my father's. Rand. No, I am discharged from thenceO, sir, such ruin——

Y. Wilm. I've heard it all, and hasten to relieve them ;

Sure, Heaven hath bless'd me to that very end:
I've wealth enough-nor shalt thou want a part.
Rand. I have a part already-I am blest
In your success, and share in all your joys.
Y. Wilm. I doubt it not.-But tell me, dost
thou think,

My parents not suspecting my return,
That I may visit them, and not be known?
Rand. "Tis hard for me to judge.-You are,
already,

Grown so familiar to me, that I wonder
I knew you not at first: yet it may be;
For you're much alter'd, and they think you
dead.

Y. Wilm. This is certain; Charlotte beheld me long,

And heard my loud reproaches and complaints,
Without rememb'ring she had ever seen me.
My mind, at ease, grows wanton: I would fain
Refine on happiness. Why may I not
Indulge my curiosity, and try
If it be possible, by seeing first
My parents as a stranger, to improve
Their pleasure by surprise?

Rand. It may, indeed,

Enhance your own, to see from what despair Your timely coming, and unhoped success, Have given you power to raise them.

Y. Wilm. I remember, E'er since we learn'd together, you excell'd In writing fairly, and could imitate Whatever hand you saw, with great exactness. I therefore beg you'll write, in Charlotte's name And character, a letter to my father; And recommend me, as a friend of hers, To his acquaintance.

Rand. Sir, if you desire itAnd yet-

Y. Wilm. Nay, no objections! "Twill save time, [tion, Most precious with me now. For the decepIf doing what my Charlotte will approve, 'Cause done for me, and with a good intent, Deserves the name, I'll answer it myself. If this succeeds, I purpose to defer Discov'ring who I am till Charlotte comes, And thou, and all who love me. Ev'ry friend Who witnesses my happiness to-night, Will, by partaking, multiply my joys.

Rand. You grow luxurious in imagination. Could deny you aught, I would not write This letter. To say true, I ever thought Your boundless curiosity a weakness.

Y. Wilm. What canst thou blame in this? Rand. Your pardon, sir! Perhaps I spoke too freely; I'm ready to obey your orders.

Y. Wilm. I am much thy debtor,

But I shall find a time to quit thy kindness.

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