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The Drunkard; or, the Fallen Saved
Adapted by W.H. Smith
New York: WM. Taylor and Co.1850

SCENE I.—Interior of a pretty rural cottage.—Flowers, paintings, &c.Everything exhibits refined taste, and elegant simplicity.—Table, with bible and arm chair, R. MARY seated by table,L.


Mrs. W.

  It was in that corner, Mary, where your poor father breathed his last—this chair is indeed dear to me, for it was in this he sat the very day before he died. Oh, how he loved this calm retreat, and often in his last illness he rejoiced that the companion of his youth would close his eyes in these rural shades, and be laid in yon little nook beside him; but now—


Mary.

  Dear mother. It is true, this sweet cottage is most dear to us. But we are not the proprietors. Old Mr. Middleton never troubled us much. But as our late worthy landlord is no more, it is generally believed that our dear cottage will be sold. We cannot censure his son for that.


Mrs. W.

  No; the young must be provided for, and willingly would I bow with resignation to that great power that loveth while it chasteneth; but when I think that you, my beloved child, will be left exposed to the thousand temptations of life a penniless orphan. [A knock


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C.D.] Hark! who knocks! Dry your tears, my darling. Come in.

Enter LAWYER CRIBBS C.D.comes down C.

Good morning, sir. Mary, my child, a chair.


Cribbs.

  [Sitting, L. C.] Good morning, Mrs. Wilson; good morning, my dear young lady. A sad calamity has befallen the neighborhood, my good Mrs. Wilson.


Mrs. W.

  Many a poor person, I fear, will have reason to think so, sir.


Cribbs.

  Yes, yes. You are right. Ah! he was a good man, that Mr. Middleton. I knew him well. He placed great confidence in my advice.


Mary.

  Was he not very rich once, Mr. Cribbs?


Cribbs.

  Yes, yes; when the times were good, but bad speculations, unlucky investments, false friends—alas! alas! we have all our ups and downs, my dear madam!


Mrs. W.

  Ah! Mr. Cribbs, I perceive you are a man, who—


Cribbs.

  Has a heart to feel for the unfortunate. True, madam, it is the character I have attained, though I am not the man to boast. Have you any prospect of—that is—have you provided—


Mary.

  It is true then, too true, the cottage and garden will be sold?


Cribbs.

  Why, what can the young man do, my dear? A gay young man like him. Fond of the world, given somewhat to excess, no doubt. But pardon me, my dear Miss Mary; I would not call up a blush on the cheek of modesty. But you know, the extravagance, that is, the folly—


Mrs. W.

  All, sir. I understand you—very much unlike his father I would say.


Cribbs.

  I place great confidence in your prudence, Mrs. Wilson. I wish the young man well, with all my heart. Heaven knows I have cause to do so for his honored father's sake. [Puts a handkerchief to his eyes.


Mrs. W.

  Come, come, Mr. Cribbs, he is better off. It is impiety to mourn a good man's death. His end was that of a Christian.


Cribbs.

  Judge, then, of the interest which I take in the


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last remaining scion of that honored stock. But, madam, Edward Middleton. He is yet young, and—


Mrs. W.

  I think he is not more than twenty. I recollect him when a lad, a bright, blue-eyed boy, with flaxen hair, tall of his age.


Cribbs.

  Twenty-three last July, madam; that is his age precisely—he is giddy, wild, and reckless. As the good man says, "when I was a child, I thought as a child." [A pause.—Cribbs looks round the room.] Well, madam, business is business. I am a plain man, Mrs. Wilson, and sometimes called too blunt—and—and—


Mary.

  You mean to say that we must leave the cottage, sir.


Cribbs.

  [Pretending feeling.] No, not yet, my dear young lady—I would say it is best to be prepared, and as Edward is sudden in all his movements, and as my entreaties would never change him—why, if you could find a place before he moves in the matter, it might save you from much inconvenience, that's all.


Mrs. W.

  You impose on us a severe task, my dear sir.


Cribbs.

  Bear up, my dear madam, bear up. If I may be so officious, I would try Boston—at the Intelligence Offices there, any healthy young woman, like your daughter, can obtain a profitable situation—think of it, think of it, my good madam. I will see you again soon, and now, heaven bless you.

[Exit, C.D., and off L.Mrs. Wilson and Mary look for a moment at each other, and then embrace.


Mrs. W.

  Well, comfort, my daughter, comfort. It is a good thing to have a friend in the hour of trouble. This Mr. Cribbs appears to be a very feeling man; but before taking his advice, we would do well to make our proposed trial of this young man, Edward Middleton. You have the money in your purse?


Mary.

  It is all here, mother. Thirty dollars—the sum we have saved to purchase fuel for the winter.


Mrs. W.

  That will partially pay the rent score. When this young man finds we are disposed to deal fairly with him, he may relent. You turn pale, Mary; what ails my child?


Mary.

  Dear mother, it is nothing; it will soon be


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over—it must be done. I fear this young man. He has been described so wild, so reckless. I feel a sad foreboding—


Mrs. W.

  Fear not, Mary; call him to the door. Refuse to enter the house—give him the money, and tell him your sad story. He must, from family and association at least, have the manners of a gentleman—and however wild a youth may be, when abroad among his associates, no gentleman ever insulted a friendless and unprotected woman.


Mary.

  You give me courage, dear mother. I should indeed by an unnatural child, if—[Aside.]—yet I am agitated. Oh, why do I tremble thus? [Puts on a village bonnet, &c.


Mrs. W.

  [Kisses her.] Go forth, my child—go as the dove flew from the ark of old, and if thou shouldst fail in finding the olive branch of peace, return, and seek comfort where thou shalt surely find it—in the bosom of thy fond and widowed mother. [Exit R.D., and Mary, C.D.