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friend; and, between you and me-[Boatswain's ,
Whistle.)—But hark, we are called-Come along.
Enter BelpieLD JUNIOR, and FRANCIS. Belf. jun. That ever fortune should cast us upon this coast, Francis !
Belf. jun. Have the people landed those chests we brought off with us in the boat?
Francis. They have, sir; an old fisherman, whom we met, has shown us here to a cavern, in the cliff, where we have stowed them all in safety. Belf. jun. That's well.- Where's
uncle? Francis. On board; no persuasions can prevail on him to quit the ship, which, he swears, will lift with the tide; his old crony, the master, is with him, and they ply the casks so briskly, that it seems a moot point, wbich fills the fastest, they, or the wreck.
Belf. jun. Strange insensibility! but you must bring him off by force then, if there is no other way of saving him : I think, o'my conscience, he is as indifferent to danger as the plank he treads on; we are now thrown upon my unnatural brother's estate ; that house, Francis, which you see to the left, is his ; and what may be the consequence if he and my uncle should meet, I know not; for such has been Captain Ironside's resentment on my account, that he has declared war against the very name of Belfield ; and, in one of his whimsical passions, you know, insisted on my laying it aside for ever; so that, hitherto, I have been known on board by no other name than that of Lewson.
Francis. 'Tis true, sir; and I think 'twill be advisable to continue the disguise as long as you can.As for the old captain, from the life he always leads on shore, and his impatience to get on board again, I
think 'tis very possible an interview between him and your brother may be prevented.
Belf. jun. I think so, too. Go then, Francis, and conduct the old gentleman hither; I see Violetta coming. [Exit FRANCIS.] Sure, there is something in that woman's story uncommonly mysterious.—of
-Of English parents-born in Lisbon-her family and fortune buried in the earthquake;-o much she freely tells; but more, I am convinced, remains untold, and of a melancholy sort : she has once or twice, as I thought, seemed disposed to unbosom herself to me; but it is so painful to be told of sorrows one has not power to relieve, that I have hitherto avoided the discourse.
Enter VIOLETTA, Well, madam, melancholy still? still that face of sorrow and despair? twice shipwrecked, and twice rescued from the jaws of death, do you regret your preservation ? and have I incurred your displeasure by prolonging your existence?
Vio. Not so, Mr. Lewson ; such ingratitude be far from me: can I forget, when the vessel, in which I had sailed from Portugal, foundered by your side, with what noble, what benevolent ardour, you flew to my assistance ? Regardful only of my safety, your own seemed no part of your care.
Belf. jun. Oh! no more of this; the preservation of a fellow creature is as natural as self defence : you now, for the first time in your life, breathe the air of England—a rough reception it has given you; but be not, therefore, discouraged ; our hearts, Vio letta, are more accessible than our shores; nor can you find inhospitality in Britain, save only in our climate.
Vio. These characteristics of the English may be just ; I take my estimate from a less favourable example.
Belf. jun. Villany, madam, is the growth of every soil; nor can I, while yonder habitation is in my view, forget, that England has given birth to monsters, that disgrace humanity ; but this I will say for my countrymen, that, where you can point out one rascal with a heart to wrong you, I will produce fifty honest fellows ready and resolute to redress you.
Vio. Ah !-But on what part of the English coast is it that we are now landed?
Belf. jun. On the coast of Cornwall.
Vio. Of Cornwall is it? You seem to know the owner of that house: are you well acquainted with the country bereabouts ?
Belf. jun. Intimately; it has been the cradle of my infancy, and, with little interruption, my residence
Vio. You are amongst your friends, then, no doubt; how fortunate is it, that you will have their consolation and assistance in your distress !
Belf. jun. Madam!
Vio. Every moment will bring them down to the very shores; this brave, humane, this hospitable people, will flock, in crowds, to your relief; your friends, Mr. Lewson
Belf. jun. My friends, Violetta ! must I confess it to you, I have no friends !
-Those rocks, that have thus scattered my treasures--those waves, that have devoured them to me are not so fatal, as hạth been that man, whom Nature meant to be my nearest friend.
Vio. What, and are you a fellow sufferer, then? Is this the way you reconcile me to your nation? Are these the friends of human kind? Why don't we fly from this ungenerous, this ingrateful country?
Belf. jun. Hold, madam! one villain, however base, can no more involve a whole nation in his crimes, than one example, however dignified, can in
spire it with his virtues.-Thank Heaven, the worthless owner of that mansion is yet without a rival.
Vio. You have twice directed my attention to that house ; 'tis a lovely spot; what pity, that so delicious a retirement should be made the residence of so undeserving a being !
Belf. jun. It is, indeed, a charming place; and was once ihe seat of hospitality and honour; but its present possessor, Andrew Belfield_Madam! for Heaven's sake, what ails you ?-You seem suddenly disordered. Have I said
Vio. No, 'tis nothing ; don't regard me, Mr. Lewson; I am weak, and subject to these surprises; I shall be glad, however, to retire.
Belf. jun. A little repose, I hope, will relieve you; within this but some accommodation may be found : lean on my arm.
(Leads her to the Door of the Cabin.
Enter OLD GOODWIN. 0. Good. Heaven defend me! do my eyes deceive me? 'tis wondrous like his shape, his air, his look
Belf. jun. What is your astonishment, friend? Do you know me? If it was not for that habit, I should say, your name is Goodwin. 0. Good. 'Tis he! he is alive! my dear
young master, Mr. Belfield! Yes, Sir, my name is Goodwin : however changed my appearance, my heart is still the same, and overflows with joy at this unexpected meeting.
Belf. jun. Give me thy hand, my old, my honest friend : and is this sorry hole thy habitation?
0. Good. It is.
Belf. jun. The world, I see, has frowned on thee since we parted.
0. Good. Yes, sir : but what are my misfortunes ? You must have undergone innumerable hardships ; and now, at last, shipwrecked on your own coast !
Well, but your vessel is not totally lost ; and we will work night and day in saving your effects.
Belf. jun. Oh ! as for that, the sea gave all, let it take back a part: I have enough on shore not to. envy my brother his fortune. But there is one blessing, Master Goodwin, I own I should grudge him the possession of-There was a young lady
0. Good. What, sir, haven't you forgot Miss Sophia?
Belf. jun. Forgot her! my heart trembles while I ask you, if she is, indeed, as you call her, Miss Sophia?
0, Good. She is yet unmarried, though every day we expect
Belf. jun. 'Tis enough! Fortune, I acquit thee! Happy be the winds that threw me on this coast, and blest the rocks that received me! Let
vessel pieces ; she has done her part in bearing me hither; while I can cast myself at the feet of my Sophia, recount to her my unabating passion, and have one fair struggle for her heart.
[Ereunt. Enter VIOLETTA. Vio. Once more I am alone.-How my heart sunk when Lewson pronounced the name of Belfield! it must be he! it must be my false, cruel, yet (spite of all my wrongs) beloved, husband ! Yes, there he lives -each circumstance confirms it:-Cornwall the county; here the sea coast, and these white craggy cliffs; there the disposition of his seat-the grove, lake, lawn; every feature of the landscape tallies with the descriptions, he has given me of it. What shall I do, and to whom shall I complain? When Lewson spoke of him, it was with a bitterness that shocked me; I will not disclose myself to him ; by what fell from him, I suspect he is related to Mr. Belfield.-- But, hush! L.talk to these rocks, and forget that they have ears !