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For I am arm'd so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me; was that done like Cassius?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous,
Cas. I denied you not.
Bru. You did.
Cas. I did not-he was but a fool
That bro't my answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart;
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
Bru. I do not like your faults.
Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults.
Cas. Come, Antony and young Octavius, come!
Hated by one he loves; braved by his brother;
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dst him better
Bru. Sheath your dagger;
angry when you will, it shall have scope;
Cas. Hath Cassius lived
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus-
Cas. O Brutus !
Bru. What's the matter?
Cas. Have you not love enough to bear with me, When that rash humor which my mother gave me, Makes me forgetful?
Bru. Yes, Cassius, and from henceforth,
When you are over earnest with your Brutus,
BEVIL AND MYRTLE.
IR, I am extremely obliged to you for this honor. Bev. Myr. The time, the place, our long acquaintance, and many other circumstances, which affect me on this occasion, oblige me, without ceremony or conference, to desire that you will comply with the request in my letter, of which you have already acknowledged the receipt.
Bev. Sir, I have received a letter from you in a very unusual style. But as I am conscious of the integrity of my behavior with respect to you, and intend that every thing in this matter shall be your own seeking, I shall understand nothing but what you are pleased to confirm face to face.— You are therefore to take it for granted, that I have forget the contents of your epistle.
Myr. Your cool behavior, Mr. Bevil, 's agreeable to the unworthy use you have made of my simplicity and frankness to you. And I see your moderation tends to your own advantage, not mine; to your own safety, not to justice for the wrongs you have done your friend.
Bev. My own safety! Mr. Myrtie.
Myr. Your own safety, Mr. Bevil.
Bev. Mr. Myrtie, there is no disguising any longer that
I understand what you would force me to. You know my principle upon that point; and you have often heard me express my disapprobation of the savage manner of deciding quarrels, which tyrannical custom has introduced, to the breach of all laws, both divine and human.
Myr. Mr. Bevil, Mr. Bevil! It would be a good first principle in those who have so tender a conscience that way, to have as much abhorrence at doing injuries, as[Turns away abruptly.] Bev. As what?.
Myr. As fear of answering them.
Bev. Mr. Myrtle, I have no fear of answering any injury I have done you; because I have meant you none; for the truth of which I am ready to appeal to any indifferent person, even of your own choosing. But I own I am afraid of doing a wicked action; I mean of shedding your blood, or giving you an opportunity of shedding mine. I am not afraid of you, Mr. Myrtle. But I own I am afraid of him who gave me this life in trust, on other conditions and with other designs, than that I should hazard, or throw it away, because a rash, inconsiderate man is pleased to be offended, without knowing whether he is injured or not. No, I will not for you or any man's humor commit a known crime; a crime which I cannot repair, or which may in the very act, cut me off from all possibility of repentance.
Myr. 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 you may possess Lucinda. And I have reason to be indifferent about it, if I am to lose all that from which I expect any joy in life. But I shall first try one means towards recovering her, I mean by shewing her what a dauntless hero she has chosen for her protector.
Bev. Show me but the least glimpse of argument, that I am authorised 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. Myrtie, in the anger of those who are quickly hot, and quickly cold again, they know not how or why. I defy you to show wherein I have wronged you.
Myr. Mr. Bevil, it is easy for you to talk coolly on this occasion. You 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 any trouble or anxiety, to the possession of a woman of honor; 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 your soft moments of dailiance, 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 obliging you to retract your infamous aspersions. I will not if I can avoid it, shed your blood, nor shall you mine. But Indiana's purity I will defend. Who waits?
Serv. Did you call, Sir?
Bev. Yes, go cail a coach.
Serv. Sir Mr. Myrtle-gentlemen-you are friends-I am but a servant-but
Bev. Call a coach.
[Exit servant.] [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; 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. Myrile] 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 Lucinda. Read this letter, and consider what effect it would have had upon you, to have found it about the man you had murdered.
[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 himself for our common safety and happiness. 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 Beyil, with what words 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.
Myr. But can you-forgive-such madness?
Bev. Have not I myself offended? I had almost been as guilty as you, though I had the advantage of you, by knowing what you did not know.
Myr. That I should be such a precipitate wretch!
Bev. Prithee no more.
Myr. How many friends have died by the hands of friends, merely for want of temper! what do I not owe to your superiority of understanding! what a precipice have I escaped! O my friend! can you ever-forgive-can you ever again look upon me—with an eye of favor?
B. v. Why should I not? Any man may mistake.-Any man may be violent where his love is concerned. I was myself.
Mur. O Bevil! You are capable of all that is great, all that is heroic.
S when some peasant who to treat his lord,
The WORLD compared to a STAGE.
LL the world's a stage;
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;