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

SCENE IV.—Landscape view.

Enter CRIBBS, L.


Cribbs.

  So far the scheme works admirably. I know his nature well. He has tasted, and will not stop now short of madness or oblivion. I mostly fear his wife, she will have great influence over him. Ah, who's this, Bill Dowton? Where then is Middleton? [Retires, L.

Enter WILLIAM DOWTON, L.


William.

  Well, I don't know but he's right; poor fellow, if he were to appear before his wife, without her being warned, it might frighten her to death, poor thing, and as he says, the walk alone may do him good, and sober him a bit. The old woman takes on most cruel, too, and she is so very, very ill. Here he comes. I guess he'll follow me. I'll hasten on, for if he sees me, he'll be angry, and swear I'm watching him. That old sarpent Cribbs, he'd better keep out of my track. I'd think no more of wringing his old neck, than I would twisting a tough Thanksgiving turkey. [Exit, threatening, R.


Cribbs.

  [Advancing cautiously.] I'm much obliged to you, most valiant Billy Dowton. I shall hold myself non est inventus, I promise you; here comes Edward. Caution, caution. [Retires, L.

Enter EDWARD, L.


Edward.

  Is this to be the issue of my life? Oh, must I ever yield to the fell tempter, and bending like a weak bulrush to the blast, still bow my manhood lower than


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the brute? Why, surely I have eyes to see, hands to work with, feet to walk, and brain to think, yet the best gifts of Heaven I abuse, lay aside her bounties, and with my own hand, willingly put out the light of reason. I recollect my mother said, my dear, dying mother, they were the last words I ever heard her utter—"whoever lifts his fallen brother is greater far, than the conqueror of the world." Oh how my poor brain burns! my hand trembles! my knees shake beneath me! I cannot, will not appear before them thus; a little, a very little will revive and strengthen me. No one sees; William must be there ere this. Now, for my hiding place. Oh! the arch cunning of the drunkard! [Goes to tree R., and from the hollow draws forth a bottle; looks round and drinks. Cribbs behind exulting.] So, so! it relieves! it strengthens! oh, glorious liquor! Why did I rail against thee? Ha, ha! [Drinks and draws bottle.] All gone! all! [Throws the bottle away.] Of what use the casket when the jewels gone? Ha, ha! I can face them, now. [Turns and meets Cribbs.] He here! Confusion.


Cribbs.

  (L.) Why, Middleton! Edward, my dear friend, what means this?


Edward.

  (R.) Tempter! begone! Pretend not ignorance! Were you not there when that vile fray occurred? Did you not desert me?


Cribbs.

  As I am a living man, I know not what you mean. Business called me out. I left you jovial and merry, with your friends.


Edward.

  Friends! Ha! ha! the drunkard's friends! Well, well, you may speak truth;—my brain wanders;—I'll go home!—Oh, misery! Would I were dead.


Cribbs.

  Come, come; a young man like you should not think of dying. I am old enough to be your father, and I don't dream of such a thing.


Edward.

  You are a single man, Cribbs. You don't know what it is to see your little patrimony wasted away;—to feel that you are the cause of sufferings you would die to alleviate.


Cribbs.

  Pooh, pooh! Suffering—your cottage is worth full five hundred dollars. It was but yesterday Farmer Anson was inquiring how much it could be bought for.


Edward.

  Bought for! Cribbs—


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Cribbs.

  Well, Edward, well.


Edward.

  You see yon smoke curling up among the trees?


Cribbs.

  Yes, Edward. It rises from your own cottage.


Edward.

  You know who built that cottage, Cribbs?


Cribbs.

  Your father built it. I recollect the day. It was—


Edward.

  It was the very day I was born that yon cottage was first inhabited. You know who lives there now?


Cribbs.

  Yes. You do.


Edward.

  No one else, Cribbs?


Cribbs.

  Your family, to be sure—


Edward.

  And you counsel me to sell it!—to take the warm nest from that mourning bird and her young, to strip them of all that remains of hope or comfort, to make them wanderers in the wide world, and for what? To put a little pelf into my leprous hands, and then squander it for rum. [Crosses, R.


Cribbs.

  You don't understand me, Edward. I am your sincere friend; believe me, come—


Edward.

  Leave me, leave me—


Cribbs.

  Why, where would you go thus, Edward?


Edward.

  Home! Home!—to my sorrowing wife—her dying mother, and my poor, poor child. [Crosses, L.


Cribbs.

  But not thus, Edward, not thus. Come to my house, my people are all out. We'll go in the back way,—no one will see you. Wash your face, and I'll give you a little—something to refresh you. I'll take care it shall not hurt you. Come, now, come.


Edward.

  Ought I—dare I? Oh, this deadly sickness. Is it indeed best?


Cribbs.

  To be sure it is. If the neighbors see you thus—I'll take good care of you. Come, come, a little brandy,—good—good brandy.


Edward.

  Well, I—I—


Cribbs.

  That's right—come. [Aside.] He's lost. Come, my dear friend, come. [Exeunt, L.