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

ACT V

SCENE I.—Village Landscape, as in Act I.—Side Cottage L. U. E.

Enter FARMER STEVENS, R. and FARMER GATES, L., meeting.


Stevens.

  Good afternoon, Mr. Gates. You've returned from Boston earlier than common to-day. Any news?—anything strange, eh!


Gates.

  Why, ye-es, I guess there is. Just by the Post Office I met William Dowton; how are you, says I, and was driving slowly along, when he hailed me to stop, and—but I forgot to ask you, has Squire Cribbs been here to-day?


Stevens.

  I have not seen the old knave—why do you ask so particular.


Gates.

  Well, William, you know, is as honest as the sun, and he told me there were dreadful suspicions that Cribbs had committed a heavy forgery on the firm of Rencelaw and Co., and as I was already in my waggon, and had a good horse, he wished I would drive out pretty quick, and if old Cribbs were here, manage to detain him 'till Mr. Rencelaw and William arrived with the police officers—that if the sly old fox were guilty, he might be caught before he absquatulated.


Stevens.

  Well, I hope, for the credit of the village, he is not guilty of bad action, though I have long know his heart was blacker than his coat. Witness his conduct to the sweetheart of Will's poor sister, Agnes. Did you tell him the glad news that her senses were restored?


Gates.

  No, our hurry was so great; but his mind will be prepared for it, for good Dr. Wordworth always told him her malady was but temporary.


Gates.

  Well, the poor girl has got some secret, I'm sure, and she'll not tell it to any one but William. [Exit R.


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Gates.

  Hark? that's his voice; yes, here's William, sure enough

Enter WILLIAM, L.

Well, William, every thing is just as you directed, but no signs of the old one yet.


William.

  The rascal's on his way, be sure. Bill Parkins told me he saw him passing through Kings-bridge half an hour before we came through there. I guess he's taken the upper road, to lead all pursuit out of the track. Mr. Rencelaw and the police are at the cross roads, and I rather guess we can take charge of the lower part of the village; so there's no fear of our missing him; mind you're not to say anything to Edward Middleton. Mr. Rencelaw would not have him disturbed till all is secure.


Gates.

  Oh, I understand. How the whole village rejoiced when they saw him and his sweet wife return in peace and joy to the happy dwelling of their parents. Have you seen your sister, William?


William.

  No, farmer, I haven't seen the poor girl yet. Nor do I wish it, till this business is all fixed.


Gates.

  Ay, but she wants to see you; she has got to tell you some secret.


William.

  A secret! some of her wild fantasies, I reckon, poor girl.


Gates.

  William, you are mistaken; you dear sister's mind is quite restored.


William.

  What! how! Don't trifle with me, farmer, I could not stand it.


Gates.

  I tell you, William, she is sane, quite well, as Dr. Woodworth, said she would be.


William.

  What! will she know and call me by my name again? Shall I hear her sweet voice carolling to the sun at early morning—will she take her place among the singers at the old meeting-house again? Shall I once more at evening hear her murmur the prayers our poor old mother taught her? Thank heaven! thank heaven!


Gates.

  Come, William, come, rouse you, she's coming.

AGNES, without, R.

"They called her blue-eyed Mary,
When friends and fortune smiled."

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William.

  Farmer, just stand back for a moment or two; all will be right in a few minutes. [Exit Farmer, R.

Enter AGNES, plainly but neatly dressed R.—Sees her brother.


Agnes.

  William! brother!


William.

  My darling sister! [Embrace.


Agnes.

  I know you, William; I can speak to you, and hear you, dear brother.


William.

  May He be praised for this.


Agnes.

  William, I have much to tell you, and 'tis important that you should know it instantly. I know Edward Middleton is here, and it concerns him most. When I recovered my clear senses, William, when I remembered the meeting-house, and the old homestead, and the little dun cow I used to milk, and poor old Neptune, and could call them by their names—


William.

  Bless you!


Agnes.

  Strange fancies would still keep forming in my poor brain, and remembrances flit among my memory like half-forgotten dreams. But among them, clear and distinct, was that fearful day when old Cribbs would have abused me, and you, dear brother, saved me.


William.

  Darn the old varmint!


Agnes.

  Hush, William, the memory of that precise spot would still intrude upon me, and a vague thought that when insane I had concealed myself, and seen something hidden. Searching around carefully one day, I saw a little raised artificial hillock close beneath the hedge. I went and got a hoe from Farmer Williams' barn, and after digging near a foot below, I found—what think you, William?


William.

  What, girl—what?


Agnes.

  Concealed in an old tin case, the will of Edward's grandfather! confirming to his dear son the full possession of all his property. The other deed under which Cribbs had acted was a forgery—


William.

  Where is it now?


Agnes.

  In the house, safe locked up in mother's bureau till you returned.

Enter RENCELAW, Police Officers and Boy, hastily, L.


Rencelaw.

  Friend William, Cribbs is on the upper road, coming down the hill.


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Enter FARMER GATES and FARMER STEVENS, R.


William.

  Farmer Gates, do you meet him here; answer any questions he may ask with seeming frankness. Sister, he is after that will, even now. Mr. Rencelaw, let us retire into the house and watch the old rascal. [Exeunt into house, L. U. E., all except Gates.


Gates.

  [Alone.] Well, I am to lie now, if he asks any questions? It's a new thing to me, and I'm afeared I can't do it, even in a good cause. Well, if I musn't tell truth exactly, I must do as the papers say the members do in Congress, and dodge the present question.

Enter CRIBBS, L., hurriedly, evidently alarmed.—Starts at seeing Farmer, then, familiarly.


Cribbs.

  Good day, farmer, good day; your folks all well?


Gates.

  All sound and hearty.


Cribbs.

  Any news, eh?


Gates.

  Nothing particular; corn's ris a little; sauce is lower. Potatoes hold their own, and Wilkins' cow's got a calf.


Cribbs.

  Been in New York lately, eh?


Gates.

  Why, yes, I was in the city this morning.


Cribbs.

  Did you see William Dowton there, eh?


Gates.

  No, not in New York. [Aside.] That's dodge number one.


Cribbs.

  Fine afternoon, eh?


Gates.

  Yes, fine day, considering.


Cribbs.

  Likely to rain, eh?


Gates.

  If it does, we shall have a shower, I guess. Come, black-coat didn't make much out of me this time. [Exit into house, L. U. E.


Cribbs.

  He's gone. No one observes me. Now then, for the will, and instant flight! If I take the lower road I shall escape all observation. Haste—haste! [Exit, R.

Enter from house, WILLIAM, RENCELAW, AGNES, Farmers, Police Officers, and Boy


William.

  There he goes by the lower road. Boy, was that the man gave you the paper.


Boy.

  I'm sure of it, sir.


William.

  Mr. Rencelaw, you know enough, sir, from what I have said, perfectly to understand our purpose?


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Rencelaw.

  Perfectly, honest William.


William.

  Now, Farmer Gates, he's gone round by the lower road, evidently to get clear of being seen if possible. Now, if we cut pretty quick across Farmer Williams' pasture we are there before him, and can keep ourselves concealed.


Gates.

  Certainly, William.


William.

  Come along, then. Now, old Cribbs, I calculate you'll find a hornet's nest about your ears pretty almighty quick. [Exeunt, R.



SCENE II.—Front and Cut Wood

Enter WILLIAM, RENCELAW, AGNES, Boy, Farmers, and Police Officers, R.


William.

  All right; we're here first, now for ambuscade. All hide behind the trees. Hush! I hear a foot-step; he's coming round the barn. Close, close. [All retire, L.

Enter CRIBBS cautious and fearful, L.


Cribbs.

  All's safe—I'm certain no one has observed me.


William.

  [Aside.] What would you like to bet?


Cribbs.

  Hark! 'tis nothing. Now for the will; from this fatal evidence I shall at least be secure. [Advances to the mound, R., and starts.] Powers of mischief! the earth is freshly turned. [Searches.] The deed is gone!

Enter AGNES hastily, and down, L.—In a tone of madness.

The will is gone—the bird has flown,
The rightful heir has got his own!—ha! ha!

Cribbs.

  [Parylized and recovering.] Ha! betrayed! ruined! Mad devil, you shall pay for this. [Rushes toward her.

WILLIAM enters, catches his arm, and hold up the will.—Police-officer, who has got to R., seizes other arm, and points pistol to his head.—RENCELAW holds up forged check, and points to it.—Boy, R., pointing to Cribbs.—Farmers, R. C.Picture.—Pause.


William.

  Trapped! All day with you Squire.


Rencelaw.

  Hush! William, do not oppress a poor,


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down-fallen fellow creature. Most unfortunate of men, sincerely do I pity you.


Cribbs.

  [Recovering—bold and obdurate.] Will your pity save me from the punishment of my misdeeds? No! when compassion is required, I'll beg it of the proud philanthropist, Arden Rencelaw.


Rencelaw.

  Unhappy wretch. What motives could you have? This world's goods were plenty with you—what tempted you into these double deeds of guilt?


Cribbs.

  Revenge and avarice, the master passions of my nature. With my heart's deepest, blackest feelings, I hated the father of Edward Middleton. In early life he detected me in an act of vile atrocity, that might have cost me my life. He would not betray, but pardoned, pitied, and despised me. From that hour I hated with a feeling of intensity that has existed even beyond the grave, descending unimpaired to his noble son. By cunning means, which you would call hypocrisy, I wormed myself into the favor of the grandfather, who, in his dying hour, delivered into my hands his papers. I and an accomplice, whom I bribed, forged the false papers; the villain left the country. Fearful he should denounce me, should he return, I dared not destroy the real will; but yesterday the news reached me that he was dead. And now, one blow of evil fortune has destroyed me.


Rencelaw.

  Repentence may yet avail you.


Cribbs.

  Nothing. I have lived a villain—a villain let me die. [Exit with Officers and Farmers.


Rencelaw.

  William, tell Middleton I shall see him in a day or two; I must follow that poor man to New York.


William.

  Oh, Mr. Rencelaw, what blessings can repay you.


Rencelaw.

  The blessings of my own approving conscience. "The heart of the feeling man is like the noble tree, which, wounded itself, yet pours forth precious balm." When the just man quits this transitory world, the dark angel of death enshrouds him with heavenly joy, and bears his smiling spirit to the bright regions of eternal bliss. [Exit Rencelaw, leading boy, R.


William.

  Well, if there's a happier man in all York State than Bill Dowton, I should like to see him. My brother Edward again a man,—you, my dear sister, again


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restored to me—come, we'll go tell all the news; hurrah! hurrah! [Singing.

"We'll dance all night by the bright moonlight,
And go home with the girls in the morning."


LAST SCENE.—Interior of Cottage as in Act 1st, Scene 1st. Everything denoting domestic peace and tranquil happiness.—The sun is setting over the hills at back of landscape.—Edward discovered near music stand, R.—Julia seated on low stool on his L.—Mary sewing at handsome work table, L.—Elegant table, R. S. E., with astral lamp, not lighted.—Bible and other books on it.—Two beautiful flower-stands, with roses, myrtles, &c., under window, L. and R.— Bird-cages on wings, L. and R.—Covers of tables, chairs, &c., all extremely neat, and in keeping.

Edward plays on flute symphony to "Home, sweet Home." Julia sings first verse.—Flute solo accompaniment.—the burthen is then taken up by chorus of villagers behind.—Orchestral accompaniments, &c.—Gradually crescendo, forte.— Villagers enter from C. gradually, grouping L. and C.—Action of recognition and good wishes, repeated quicker, and all retire with the exception of Edward, Mary, Julia, William and Agnes, singing, and becoming gradually dimuendo—Air is repeated slowly.—Julia kneels to Edward, who is at table, R., seated, in prayer.—Edward's hand on Bible, and pointing up.—Mary standing, leaning upon his chair. —William and Agnes, L. C.Music till curtain falls.—Picture.


THE END.