1(1)r

Sarah Maria Cornell,

or the
Fall River Murder.

A Domestic Drama,

In Three Acts

Let not a cloud obscure the murderer’s crime,

But hunt him hence from clime to clime.

By Mrs. M. Clarke,
Authoress of The Fair Americans, Benevolent
Lawyers
, &c.

New York:
Published and sold, wholesale and retail, at
No.5 Chatham Square.
18331833

copyright secured.
1(1)v

Dramatis Personæ.

Mr. Averio,

Mr. Muffitt,

Brother Jenks,

1st. Elder,

2d. Elder,

Methodists.

Mr. Thornhill, a Magistrate.

Mr. Houseman, a Farmer.

Jonathan,

Hozey,

his Sons.

Mr. Allen.

Mr. Geffard.

Coroner.

Mr. Durfre.

Country Men, Officers, Judge, &c

Women.

Sarah M. Cornell.

Mrs. Houseman.

Mary, her Daughter.

Tabby, her NeiceNiece.

Mrs. Patton

Phebe, her Daughter.

Else

Factory Girls

1(2)r

Sarah M. Cornell;

or
The Fall River Murder.

Act I.—Scene I.

An extensive Manufactory—time, sunrise. Several
girls enter, and after saluting each other, commence
working.

1st Girl.

—I wonder where Sarah stays this morning;
she is not usually so late.

2d Girl.

—Oh, here she comes.

Enter Sarah M. Cornellspeaks as she enters.

Sarah.

—Good morning sisters. I have been a
lazy girl; you have got a-head of me.

1st Girl.

—What detained you Sarah? you are
not usually behind us at work.

Sarah.

—I have had such a dreadful dream, that,
were I inclined to superstition, I should fancy I was
to be murdered!

Girls.

frightened—Horrid!—come, tell your
dream.—they gather round her

1st Girl.

—Did you see old Satan, Sarah?

2d Girl.

—Pshaw! he only visits bad folks. Sarah
we know is good, virtuous and industrious.

1(2)v 54

Sarah

sadly Yet I know I am human, therefore
prone to evil, and if I err, may I receive the
punishment I merit.

2d Girl.

—But do tell your dream. O, I do so
love to hear Sarah talk.

1st Girl.

Come now, tell us, that’s a dear good
creature.

Sarah.

No, no—you will all hate and despise
me if I tell you.

3d Girl.

What! hate you for a dream? impossible!
Why Sarah, I could not hate you if I would.
Don’t you remember last winter, when I was sick a
whole week, how you did my work and your own
too—kept my place for me, and brought my wages
to mother every Saturday night.

1st Girl.

Yes, and you know, Sarah, it was you
that learn’d me to work; so I am sure I could never
be so ungrateful as to despise you; pray now do
not say so.

2d Girl.

Sarah, you lent my mother money to
buy her wood this winter; so how can I be so wicked
as ever to hate you?

Sarah

cheerfully Well, there’s dear good girls,
you all love me now; but if I was a naughty girl,
what then?

Girls.

We will never forsake you.

Sarah

in tears Thank you all, and now I
will tell you: I dream’d that I was at camp-meeting,
and that the Bristol minister killed me for saying
that he was the father of my child.

Girls

laughing.What nonsense; Mr. Averio
is a married man, has a handsome wife, and
two fine children.

Sarah.

What sort of a looking man is he?

1(3)r 5

2d Girl.

A tall, dark complexioned man, of an
austere countenance, with great black eyes that almost
pierces into your very heart. I don’t like him.

Sarah.

The very person I fancied shot me, and
then carried me on his shoulders all over the world
after I was dead and buried.

3d Girl.

Pshaw, nonsense! it was only a dream,
that can’t hurt you. But, Sarah, I would not go
to a camp-meeting if I was you.

Sarah

I won’t; nor don’t you, Jane.

2d Girl.

Po, nonsense! what, because you
dreamed what can never come true, must I deprive
myself of a pleasure? No, no, nor you shan’t neither.
Bell rings.

3d Girl.

Oh dear, there’s the breakfast bell—I
am glad, for I am so hungry.

1st Girl.

So am I.Exit all but Sarah

Sarah

solus. Would that I could shake off
this distressing feeling and be myself again. But
in vain. Superstitious apprehension of impending
evil hangs on my spirits and damps all energy. The
blues have got complete possession of my mind,
and unless I can expel them by singing, I shall be
miserable all day. But I will try the powers of
song.—sings any song she pleases, and exits.

Scene changes to a farm-house—view of an extensive
hill of rocks—men discovered on the rocks at a distance
at work blowing rocks—in the side scene a
garden—further on a large haystack—Fall river
at a great distance.
Enter Mary and Tabathy with milk pails. They
set them down.

Tab.

Oh, Mary, I had a horrid dream last night

1* 1(3)v 6

Mary.

A dream, Tabby? Oh, do tell.

Tab.

Why, I dreamt that a girl was killed on our
haystack.

Mary.

Oh, horrid, I will never go near it again.

Tab.

Nor I, depend upon it. But come, Mary,
let’s go and milk the cows, for here comes Jonathan
and Hozey. Exeunt Girls.

Enter Jonathan and Hozey.

Jon.

I say, Hozey, hadn’t we best get all
the stones off the ground before we goes to ploughing
this fall?

Hozey.

Yes, Don’ty, I thinks as how we had.
But I guess we shall have a tough job on’t.

Jon.

Why, you tarnal lazy fellow, you don’t
mind work, do you?

Hozey.

I don’t see as how a body needs to kill
themselves to keep themselves, not I; but I am as
ready to job as another if I can get any thing by it.

Jon.

Get, what do you want to get? han’t you
enough to eat?

Hozey.

Yes.

Jon

And to drink?

Hozey

Yes, plenty of water.

Jon.

Well, father you know is a temperance
man, so he won’t keep any thing but milk and water
in the house, and switchel in the field; an’t that
good enough?

Hozey.

No, I likes cider; and I tell you more,
darn me if I an’t in love.

Jon.

running away from him. No! sure now;
how did you get so? do tell.

Hozey.

I don’t know.

Jon.

When was it?

1(4)r 7

Hozey.

At camp-meeting. There I saw the
loveliest little girl eyes ever beheld, and I kept
thinking and looking at her till she looked at me;
then souse I fell over head and ears in love.

Jon.

Poor Hozey; what will you do now?

Hozey.

Marry her.

Jon.

Who is she?

Hozey.

I knows; you don’t. Runs off laughing.

Jonathan

solus. In love; that’s darn’d funny.
Every body says in love; how can that be?
the love must be in them, not they in the love. What
is love? It must be a darn’d droll notion. I hope
I shall not catch it into me, for I shall be tarnal mad
if I does; yet there’s a rotten pretty gall a the factory,
ten miles off. I seed her at meeting, and
liked the looks of her, though I am not in love—no,
nor don’t mean to be such a fool as to do that, yet
I should like tarnal well to get alongside of her at
camp-meeting, and sing in her ear, Oh, dear, how I likes you. But the preachers take nation good care not to let a
young fellow get a squint at the galls, they hugs
them so close themselves. But if I can, I will sing, Of all the girls in the land,There’s none like pretty Sally,She is the darling of my heart,And lives in Factory Alley.
Yes, Sally Cornell’s the gal for my money, and I
mean to marry her, darn me if I don’t.Exit.

1(4)v 8
Scene changes to a wood. Enter Mr. Averio,
Muffit
, brother Jenks, and several other Methodists.

Mr Muff.

Well, brothers, what do you think of
the situation?

Mr. Av.

Beautiful! the moonbeams sporting
through these branches, and the hum of the insects
as they flit round will allure the soul to harmony
and impel each heart to the love of God.

Mr. Muff.

To the worship of God, brother, and
the love of his creatures.

1st Elder.

Fye, brother; no love but spiritual
ought to proceed from lips sanctified by the divine
spirit of holy grace.

2nd Elder

Thy servant Grace’s lips were no
doubt sanctified when you kissed her so closely last
night in meeting. Take care, brother; evil eyes
are abroad, others as well I may have seen you.

Broth. Jenks.

Be careful dear brothers, nor let
the devil’s children view the secret acts of our society;
for then would all our private enjoyments
be cut off, as wise and prudent parents would not
permit their daughters to attend our meetings.

Mr. Muff.

Then what would be the pleasure of
love-feasts and prayer meetings, or what happiness
could we have in our converts if secrecy did not
enhance the bliss, and secure our reputations?

Averio.

Aye, that’s the main object of our camp-
meetings. Here on our ground alone the dear
little creatures’ hearts will melt at our preaching—
the singing soothes even pride, and at the lonely
midnight hour, when only the silver moon and
twinkling stars are witnesses of our spiritual conversation, 1(5)r 9
we mould them to our will, and are divinely
bless’d. This is my mode of conversion.

Mr. Muff.

And mine—the mantle of religion in
which we envelope our secret transactions completely
deceives the world at large, and we enjoy
all the luxuries of life without care of to-day, or
thought for to-morrow

Broth. Jenks.

Be prudent, and we are rich, happy,
and respected. The wealthy trust us with their
money to bestow in charity. Ha! ha! ha!—charity
begins at home. What say you, brothers?

All.

Certainly.

Mr. Muff.

My wants are manifold, and must be
supplied.

Averio.

My emoluments from my flock are
great; but I have numerous private resources. My
worthy sisters are liberal in the extreme to their
pious pastor.

Mr. Muff.

Particularly the ancient maiden sisters
—ha! ha! ha!

All

laugh. Ha! ha! ha!

Broth. Jenks

This is likely to be a profitable
meeting; the ground is spacious and romantic;
charming shrubbery, plenty of bushes, and I hope
for a variety of fine girls to admire them with us.

Mr. Muff.

We shall nett by this speculation at
least two hundred dollars each in cash, besides all
the valuable jewelery our gay converts will place on
the altar. Pleasure and profit are charming combinations.

1st Elder

When I am a preacher, brother, I hope
to have my share of the profit. All I get now is the
pleasure.

2d Elder

Aye, of that you take care to have a 1(5)v 10
good share. But be careful; the young fellows are,
as they say, wide awake for our poaching; they are
twigging our movements pretty sharply.

Averio.

At our last camp-meeting, I saw the
prettiest little dark eyed brunette I ever beheld.

Jenks.

Who was she?

Averio.

I do not know; but I imagine she belongs
to one of the manufactories not far from
hence. I long to see her again.

Muff.

Did you convert her?—ha, ha, ha!

Averio.

No, but I intend to do that this meeting.

1st Eld.

Was she alone?

2d Eld.

Was she well dress’d? had she a watch?
rings, and fine buckles? ha, ha, ha! You convert
the girl, and I will gather the spoil.

Averio.

I care not who takes the temporals, so
that I get the person. Oh, she is a delicious girl!
such eyes! such teeth! such lovely pouting lips!—
they were only made for kissing.

Muff.

Is she tall?

Averio.

No, of middle size—a fine full figure
richly dressed, easy in her manners, and I fancy
chaste in her person. There was a modest dignity
in her air that awed even me into distance.

Jenks.

I’ll bet a dollar it was Sarah Cornell.
She is the boast of the country; well-born and
properly educated; very smart, intelligent, and industrious.
She will not be an easy conquest.

Averio.

The greater the difficulty the sweeter
the conquest. I hate the ripe unblushing girls we
generally meet with who are ready to pop into your
arms without asking.

Jenks.

Those are the sort for me. I hate trouble
with a girl.

1(6)r 11

Muff.

I detest all girls; give me the married
women. We get substantial comforts from them;
a good home when we please; bed and board free,
and a bed-fellow too, if we choose.

1st Eld.

Aye, only sing that solemn hymn, “Oh, my loving sister,Will you go to heaven with me.” Throw your arms round their necks, hug them
eloselyclosely, and they are yours as long as you please.
Yes, give me the married sisters; they can and
must keep secrets. No danger of tell-tale children
—the husband, good man, must father them all.

2d Eld.

aside—I wonder if I father any of his.
Come, brother, as we have surveyed the ground, we
had better make our arrangements.

Averio.

I will send the workmen; get handbills
put out, and advertise in our paper.

Muff.

I will ride round the country and call at
the factory where your charmer works, and invite
the whole of the people to attend our meeting for
their soul’s good and our profit.

Jenks.

Do so; the more the better—every tent
pays two hundered per cent interest—let’s have
them all full.Exeunt.

End of the first act.

1(6)v 12

Act II.—SceneI.

The factory girls at work at different machines—
Sarah very busily employed, and singing,

And as the wind blows,

So the mill goes—

Say who are so happy,

So happy, as we.

Enter Mr. Thornhill.

Mr.T.

What, my pretty Sally, ever gay and
industrious.

Sarah.

Ah, sir, it is industry makes me gay.
When I have no work I am so sad and low-spirited.
Oh, dear me, what would we poor girls do if
it was not for the institution of manufactories?—
how could we live? Indeed, sir, you must be the
happiest man on earth.

Mr. T.

How so, Sarah?

Sarah.

Why to be able to give all of us steady
employment, and pay us our wages so regularly.

Thorn.

Thank the American system of domestic
industry for that, as it is that alone which enables
me to give employment to my working people,
whose services are as essential to me as my employment
is to them.

Sarah.

How kind of you, sir, to say so. Now
we look up to you for our means of subsistance
while you depend on on every one to purchase our
work.

Thorn.

Even so, my good girl; you have only
one care on your mind. your daily task performed,
your toil ends. But my mind knows no relaxation
from care.

Sarah.

How is that, sir?—you are very rich.

2(1)r 13

Thorn.

True; but my wealth is tangible, and
business variable. If I cannot get cotton, your work
would cease. This is a great care on my mind,
and if I can’t dispose of my goods, I should be compelled
to shut the factory.

Sarah.

For what reason?

Thorn

Want of money to pay my working people.
Thus your see, Sarah, I am in a sense dependent
on the world as you are on me.

Sarah.

I never thought so deep before.

Thorn.

Society, Sarah, is a vast chain; one link
depends on the other, and an injury to one of them
may be felt by the whole. But there is a supreme
power that governs all, and to him alone we ought
to look for comfort, support, and happiness.

Enter Mr. Muffit and First Elder They are very serious and speak in a deep solemn
voice.

Mr. Muff.

Peace be here: brother, in the spirit,
how is it with your soul?

Mr. Thornhill.

aside—Rather a strange question.
Why, Mr. Muffit, I hope I am at peace with,
the world.

Muff.

Poh! what has the peace of the world to
do with regeneration? the second birth. That
should be your only object. What are all the good
works of this life, if you are not regenerated and
born again of the Holy Ghost?—You will be
damn’d, sir; sent down to the bottomless pit, to
abide with the devil and his angels. Hell’s flames
will be your bed, and blue blazes for your blankets.

2 2(1)v 14

Sarah

innocently—How do you know that,
sir? Was you ever there to see?

Thorn.

laughing.—Rather a hard question,
Mr. Muffit. How will you answer it?

Muff.

With the holy bible and a set of tracts.
Here girl, take that and read it, and all these tracts;
they will purify your soul from its natural sin—
“wean your heart from the world, and the things
of the world,”
and make it an offering worthy the
Methodist church.

Sarah.

taking the books.—Thank you, sir; I
have a large bible, but I will give these to one of
the other girls——curtseys.

Muff.

So now pay me three dollars.

Sarah.

For what, sir?

Muff.

The books I gave you.

Sarah.

Gave me? True, you did give them to
me to read, and “wean my heart from the things of
the world.”
Why then am I to pay for a free gift.

Muff.

No, no; I sold them to you.

Sarah.

But I won’t buy them.

Muff.

You have them, and you must pay for them.

Sarah.

I can get them for less money at a bookstore;
so I won’t give you any such price for
them.

Muff.

Then hand them back.

Sarah.

It is rude to return a present, and I
would not be ill-mannered enough to return to so
pious a gentleman any thing that I considered a gift;
so I will keep the books.

Thorn.

I thought, Mr. Muffitt, you were a member
of the Bible Society.

Muff.

So I am, sir; a humble disposer of the
divine word.

2(2)r 15

Thorn.

Don’t they give away the bibles they
print gratis?

Muff.

No, sir, we sell them.

Thorn.

Then why do you solicit money to print
them if they are for sale; and what use to you turn
your stock to?

Muff.

We print large editions of our books, sir
for exportation.

Thorn.

Which you sell?

Muff.

Yes, sir.

Thorn.

Enough, sir. I penetrate into the bible
society’s secrets. They collected a large captial to
commence business with; monopolize the sale of a
very profitable branch of trade to the injury of the
booksellers as a body; sell the bible said to be printed
for free distribution, and call this a religious
charitable institution. Avaunt, thou hypocrite!—
Quit my house.

1st Elder.

We came here, brother Thornhill, to
announce to this good company that we shall hold
a camp-meeting at ――,the ensuing week, at
which we hope to receive a visit from all these industrious
sisters, who can surely spare a few hours
to hear the word of the Lord expounded to them.

Muff.

Certainly Mr. Thornhill will permit the
visit; for what doth it profit a man or woman if
they gain the whole world and lose their own souls.

Sarah.

Will selling bibles and tracts at an extravagant
price to poor girls, and cheat them into
the purchase, fill your pockets or save your soul
best.

Thorn.

Let that pass, Sarah; I will pay for
the books; I am a subscriber to the Bible Society,
and will seek further information on that subject.

2(2)v 16

Elder.

You will visit our meeting, brother in
the flesh.

Thorn.

Perhaps I may, as a magistrate. My
presence may be requisite to keep the peace.

Muff.

We shall be pleased to see you and these
maidens.

Sarah.

I won’t go, you may be sure, after the
trick you played me with the books. I believe you
all to be hypocrites and imposters.

Elder.

Nay, fair sister, condemn not all our society
because one hath deceived you. Charity, fair
sister, is the offspring of a generous nnature. Yours
is not the age in which suspicion stamps its signet
on the heart; therefore say, sweet sister, that thou
wilt come and seek thy soul’s salvation.

1st Girl.

Will Mr. Averio be there?

1st Elder.

Yea, verily will that holy and pious
man use his powerful voice to enforce the repentance
on the sinner’s heart, and call him to the flock of
the righteous. Oh! parson Averio is a saint on
earth.

2d Girl.

Sarah, remember your dream. Beware
of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Sarah.

I will, Phebe.

Thorn.

Why Sarah, have you turned dreamer,
or has your guardian angel condescended to point
out danger from an unknown hand by a vision?

Elder

Folly and fancy all. What are dreams
but the offsprings of an oppressed stomach after a
heavy supper. If all the world were to adopt the
Graham system of living, they would not be troubled
with frightful dreams.

Muff.

Thou sayest true, brother. Oh! the delightful2* 2(3)r 17
slumber a working man would enjoy after
a supper of dry bread, and a cup of cold water.

Sarah.

Is that your customary supper, sir?

Muff.

looking confused—Why not altogether.
My habits were formed before that Saint had commenced
his labour of love and reformation, and creature
comforts are now necessary to my existence.
But I support his principles.

Thorn.

It must be by theory, then, as bread and
water would not swell that body to its immense
size. But, gentlemen, I am in haste, and will wait
on you both to the door. It is contrary to rule to
admit visiters.

Muff.

We missionaries are privileged to go
where we please.

Thorun.

By whom?

Muff.

Our master.

Thorn.

Who is he?

EtderElder.

The church, sir.

Thorn.

I know not any such authority for persons
to intrude upon my premises and disturb my
people from pursuing their avocations, So depart
in peace.—Shows them out.

Scene changes to a farm yard— Enter Mrs. Houseman,
Mary,
and Tabby. They [commence cleaning
their milking utensils, and singing to the tune
of Yankee Doodle,

Father and I went down to camp

Along with eldest brother,

Eleven more was left at home,

For to take care of Mother.

Mrs. H.

Hush with your profane singing, galls 2(3)v 18
here Tab, hang these pails on yonder haystack—
there is hooks on purpose for them.

Tab.

hesitating—I, I, I can’t aunt—I dare
not go there.

Mrs. H.

Why not?

Tab.

For Mary’s dream.

Mrs. H.

Mary’s dream is a profane song about
a spirit at sea. What has that to do with our haystack?

Mary.

No, no mother—I dreamed a gall was
killed by parson Averio on our haystack.

Mrs.H.

God protect us, gall. Why did you
dream that?

Mary.

I don’t know, mother.

Tab.

I would not go there for a penny; for it
might be one of us, Mary. So let us keep away
from it.

Mrs. H

Parson Averio is a great and shining
light in the church; so don’t for to tell such
trash about him, or I will be very angry.

Mary.

Then I won’t, mother, say nothing to
nobody about him.

Tab.

Nor I won’t either aunt—no, not even
to uncle.

Enter Mr. Houseman with a small bill in his hand,
rather angry.

Mr. H.

I wish these plaguy methodists would
not thus disturb the peace of families with their vile
camp-meetings. Now we shall have every woman
for twenty miles round crazy to go to camp-meeting,
while all the horses are wanted for ploughing
before the frost sets into the ground. My wife
hasn’t go, that’s poz.

2(4)r 19

Mrs. H.

What is that, hubby, you have in your
hand?

Mr. H

A play bill from Bristol—that’s all.

Mrs. H.

Why do you bring it here?—the playhouse
is the devil’s tabernacle, where all who visit
get into the high road to destruction. Thank Providence
none of my children ever go there.

Mary.

Because we can’t go, mother; my will is
good enough, but I have no money, and father won’t
take me.

Mrs. H.

No; nor shall he never let you go.

Mr. H.

Would you be willing that they should
go to a Camp Meeting?

Mrs. H.

Certainly: I intend going to the next
one.

Mr.H.

Do you so, wife?

Mrs. H.

Yes, that I do, and it won’t be long till
there is one. Then, girls, you shall both go with
me.

Tabby.

I don’t want to go—no, not I—it is a
tarnal bad place—the men and women all lying
higglety-pigglety on straw in tents.

Mary.

And when it rains, oh how delightful to
be awakened by the rain dropping in your eye or
beating on your head. Don’t you remember mother,
at the last camp-meeting we went to, how Mr.
Muffit
squeezed you one night till you were almost
dead.

Mr. H.

aside—The devil he did—

Tabby.

Yes, and parson Averio said I was a
sweet blooming girl, and would make a fine woman
when I was old enough, and he went to buss me;
but I bit him. Fegs, he won’t want to buss me
again.

2(4)v 20

Mr.H.

That’s good, girls—ha, ha, ha! So, wife
the parson hugged you as the devil did the witch,
almost to death. Did you scream? I wish I had
been there to see how the parson did.

Mrs. H.

angrily—Why, hubby, you are a fool;
it was holy zeal for the welfare of my soul.

Mr. H.

Ha, ha, ha!—Well, wife, you shall not
excite his holy zeal any more, for I don’t want to
wear horns.Exit laughing heartily.

Mrs. H.

What did you tell that stuff for, you
great fool?

Mary.

I don’t know, mother.Exit.

Tabby.

Don’t look so mad, aunt. Exit.

Enter Jonathan

Jon.

Oh, mother, there’s going to be a great
camp-meeting at ――, won’t you go?

Mrs.H.

To be sure I will, Donty; but you must
not let your father know of our going.

Jon.

Yes, for he won’t let us have the horses
and waggon.

Mrs. H.

Donty, we can gear up the horses when
he is out, and I will take all the blame. Come in, I
will give you money to buy what we want. Exeunt.

Scene changes to Mrs. Patton’s parlour. Sarah, Phebe and Mrs. Patton at work.

Sarah

sighing—Heigho!

Mrs. P.

Why do you sigh, Sally?

Sarah.

I don’t know, madam?..

Phebe.

She wants to go to camp-meeting, mother,
and is afraid since that frightful dream.

Mrs. P.

Dreams are not always to be attended 2(5)r 21
to, and hers is nonsense. What, to suppose the
pious Mr. Averio would hurt her—impossible!—
Sarah, if you wish to go, do not balk a good intention.
Perhaps you may get religion from his
preaching, and be a shining light hereafter in the
world.

Phebe.

Let us all go, Sarah. Father will take
us in his waggon. Come, cheer up your spirits,
and all will yet be well. Think dreams go contrary;
besides, Mr. Averio may not be the man you
dreamt about, and you are frightened without any
reason.

Sarah.

Well come what will, I am resolved to
go. So let’s get ready as fast as we can.

Phebe.

Agreed on. I am so glad.

Mrs.P.

So am I.Exeunt.

Scene changes to Mr. Houseman’s barn yard. Enter
Jonathan and Mrs.H.

Mrs. H.

Make haste, Donty, or your father will
be here. Come, girls.

Enter Mary and Tabby.

Tab.

I only go for the ride and a holiday.

Mary.

Lord, mother, what will father say? Exeunt all.

Enter Hozey, calling Mother, Mary, Tab—where are all you gone to.—Runs about the stage, calling,
Mother, Mary, Tab, Donty, Father.
Enter Mr. H.

Mr. H.

Why, boy, what’s the matter with you?

Hozey

looking out—There they go father, as
fast as the horses can run—I be corn dipt if they
an’t off to camp-meeting.

2(5)v 22

Mr. H

Who, boy?

Hozey.

Why, mother, Donty, and the gal’s;—
Tab and all are off as hard as they can split, to
camp-meeting; and there the tarnal methodists will
hug and squeeze them till it will be a shame to see
them afterwards.

Mr. H.

Hozey, saddle the other horses, let’s after them.

Scene changes to camp-meeting, tents in rows; a
fine wood scene; moonlight
Enter Mr. Averio and Brother Jenks

Mr. A.

Brother Jenks, that maiden Sarah Cornell
hath found favour in my sight, and verily my
heart doth yearn towards the maiden with holy
love; I must possess her.

Jenks.

She is a very virago, and that will be a hard
colt to break; she out talked Brother Muffet, he
says at the factory; verily, the wench hath a
shrewd wit, and words to show it.

Mr. A

Her beauty pleaseth me, and her wit I
fear not.

Jenks.

Take your own way, I say nothing.

Sarah and Phebe crosses the stage towards the wood.

Mr. A

There she goes, let us follow her, do
you engage her companion, while I lead her into
the woods. Exeunt after the girls.

Enter Jonathan.

Jon.

That was the pretty girl I came after, there
she goes, and parson Averio in full chase of her;
darn the sanctified rascal, how dare he follow a
girl? But I will watch them!

Enter Dr. Neverflinch

Dr.

Why Donty, what brought you here?

2(6)r 23

Jon.

Petticoats, I com’d with mother’s sister
and Tab; but I had a petticoat of my own in
my eye you know, pretty Sally of Thornhill’s factory.

Dr.

Yes, she is the finest girl in the county.

Jon.

I bees in love with her; but parson Averio
has cut me out.

Dr.

Why he is a married man.

Jon.

A darned sly poacher, he has just gone to
the wood to meet her, “by moonlight alone.”

Dr.

Follow them, Donty, “don’t give up the
ship.”
She is worth trying for. Such girls as Sally
Cornell
is not to be met with every day.

Jon.

Come with me, Dr. you are a professional
man like himself, and can talk to him in his own
lingo. I am only a country lad, and he would outgab
me by ten miles.

Dr.

Come on Donty my boy, you mean the
girl fair, so I will stick to you. Exeunt into the woods.

Scene changes to another part of the wood very wild. Enter Mr. Averio and Sarah Cornell who holds
his arm.

Mr.A

Sarah, as an orphan, you have a powerful
claim on my sympathy. I am an orphan, educated
by the school-law, and placed in my present
situation by the influence of power. My wife—I
married from interested motives, not the influence
of the heart’s best feelings—these, dear Sarah,
are yours. I have long loved you—long sighed
for you; but I was poor. You left the neighborhood
where I resided, and was lost to me. I married
through despair, and now I meet once more
the dear object of my first and only love. Matured 2(6)v 24
in person and mind, a beautiful sensible woman,
who I cannot legally make my own. Ah! Sarah,
pity me, I love you to distraction, and must call
you mine, or die at your feet. Kneels.

Sarah.

Ah! Mr. Averio, how can you thus tempt
a simple girl like me to sin?

Mr. A

No, Sarah. Love is not sin, and I love
you, Sarah, more than life. Was I single I would
make you my wife—as I am, you alone possess
my heart. Come then, dear girl, make me blest
and all I possess or can command is yours.

Sarah.

Unhand me, sir—what dare you use
force, forbear.Calls help! help! He carries her
off.

Enter Jonathan and Doctor N.

Jon.

This way the sounds was; but all here is
silent.

Dr.

Let’s on, the wood is intricate; but our
cause is good.Exeunt.

Enter Brother Jenks, pulling Phebe along.

B. Jenks

That is a good girl, here we are safe.
Come and sit down, I am tired.

Phebe.

I won’t sit down, I am not tired, and I
will go to my mother.

Jenks

Never mind your old mother. I am a
lively young man, and will do more for you than
she can.

Phebe

Now don’t lie; you know you want to
deceive me; but you are mistaken in the stuff—
half silk—you ugly old fool—ha, ha, ha!— a very
pretty young man to make love to a fine gay, sprightly
girl like me— ha, ha, ha!—young indeedturns
him round
let me look at my young lover.

3(1)r 25

Jenks.

Yes, fair maid, I am your lover.

Phebe.

Will you marry me?

Jenks.

When my wife dies.

Phebe.

Then I won’t wait for old shoes. So good-bye
old man.

Sings:

An old man would be wooing,

A handsome young maiden pursuing,

But she had an eye,

That his greey hairs could espy,

And laugh at all his whimsical cooing.

Attempts to run off. He seizes her in his arms
She throws him down in the struggle; puts her foot
on him, laughing.

Phebe.

Well, Brother Jenks, how do you do?
Nay, lay still, or I will put my scissars into your
heart. What does an old goat like you fancy, that
a true born New England girl has not courage to
defend her honor?—Ha, ha ha!—poor old man,
how do you feel now? Shall I let you get on your
feet?

Jenks.

For mercy’s sake let me go to the camp,
and I will ever be your friend.

Phebe.

Contemptiously You my friend! foul
fiend, sooner would I take corruption to my bosom
and call it brother, than own you for an acquaintance.
Away, thou fool, you are beneath contempt.

Going, meets the Docteor and Jonathan.

Dr.

Noble girl, we seen and heard all that past
between you and that monster. Oh! why will
woman desert herself. Was every girl to use common
sense as you did, there would be no seducer
nor unfortunate females.

Jon.

Brother Jenks you lay very comfortable 3 3(1)v 26
there, so we will take the gall, and bid you good
bye. Come Phebe, tuck yourself under my arm
and let us trudge home. I have had enouugh of
camp-meetings and methodist hypocrisy.

Exeunt Doctor, Phebe, and Jonathan.

Jenks

rises.

Well, I am not the first a girl has
made a fool of—but won’t she expose me? No;
her modesty will prevent her, and I am safe there,
I wonder how Brother Averio succeeds with Sarah?

Exit. Enter Averio and Sarah

A.

Where can Brother Jenks be. We must not
be seen together. He and your friend are engaged
somewhere hereabouts, if we find them, you girls
can return together, if not I will protect you to the
Camp.

Sarah.

Protect me, from what? who can injure
me more than you have already done?

A.

I, Sarah, loved you and would have married you
had we met earlier. Now, I will support
you without toiling.

Sarah.

And do you think, sir, Sarah Maria
Cornell
will live for your pleasure, or a dependent
on your bounty? No, no Averio, we part to meet
no more.—Farewell.Exit.

Averio,

Solus.
There goes another of my mistresses. I have
her secure, and will place her in Bristol for my
own use until I am tired of her; then send her off to
New-York—it is rich ground for the frail sisterhood
as the Magdalen Society reports. What a happy
fellow I am—blest in love—rich in worldly wealth
and prized by my congregation. I may sctact censure 3(2)r 27
at defiance, and glory in my happiness. Sarah,
the lovely Sarah, my own—a worthy wife,
and fair character; who so blest as I?—But hold,
may not Sarah expose me to the world—what
then?—who will credit her assertions? a poor and
unknown girl, in opposition to a wealthy popular
man, will stand a small chance to injure me—and I
can easily ruin her character. So she is my slave.Exit.

Enter Mr. Houseman and Hozey.

H.

A very pretty parson that. I wonder who
his poor slave is; I wish I knew.

Hozey.

We can soon learn, father.Exit.

Act Third.—Scene First.

A view of a large meeting at sunrise. The trumpet
blows; persons enter promiscuously among
them. Sarah, Phebe, Mrs. Patteon, Mrs. Houseman,
M.H. Hozey, and the girls
Enter Averio, Jenks, Muffet, and Elder, then Mr.
Thornhill
and Officers.

Muff.

Brethern and sisters, one and all, precious
souls, you are all born to salvation if you seek it,
so says the Holy Bible, of which I have a number
to sell at tent No. 10, with a great variety of tracts,
all for ready cash only. So now let us proceed to
the worship of the day. Brother Jenks, commence
with singing a hymn; after which Brother Averio
will proceed to preach.

3(2)v 28

Song

Tune.—The Dog and Gun.

When morning’s gay smiles awaken the day,

I spring from my couch, and its summons obey.

With what pleasure then I haste in search of

truth and fun,

As I range o’er the hills with my dog and my gun.

Full choraus. At the end of which Averino ascends
the pulpit.

Sermon

Mr. Averio,[Speaker label not present in original source]

Bretheren! Bretheren! Bretheren! The word brethren
proceeds from the tabernacle, because we all
breathe therein. If you are drowsy I will rouse
you. I will beat a tattoo on the parchment cases of
your consciences. I will send a volley of small
shot at your outward man, to compel you to throw
off the garments of sin, in which you are now
clothed, and to induce you all to put on the
robes of repentance; clothe yourselves in sackcloth;
put ashes on your heads, and fall prostrate
in the dust, there remain until repentance shall
cause your eyes to rain tears, and you wallow like
the swine in the filth of your own unrighteousness.
Lay there ye vile sinners, for your hearts are sinks
of corruption. Look at that maiden, is she not
fair to the eye, but ah, her soul is tainted by the
vanities of the world, and her inside is in a state
of putrefaction. Was she to wed, she would be
rotteness to the bones of her husband; for she
hath not yet found religion. Cast off, fair sisters,
these trappings of the world; throw them from you, 3(3)r 29
as you would all save your souls from the fangs of
Satan and the tortures of eternal fire and brimstone,
there to be burned forever. Ah, how will
you cry for one drop of water to cool the
flame on your tongues; and there will be neither
firemen nor engines to quench your flame, or extinguish
the blue blazes that will envelope you.
Ah! what a pitiable state you people of the world
will be thus tormented, while we, the saints, will
look down from the realms of bliss, with pitying
eyes; but then our pity will avail you nothing;
for crime on crime will have rendered your state
past hope or forgiveness. So come now to our
altar; lay your vain toys at the feet of the minister
of God; even as the children of Israel offered their
fatted cattle to the sons of Levi,to attone for sins
committed in the flesh.

Girls cry; men shout; all is a scene of confusion.
Mrs. Houseman lays her watch on the table; the
girls take off their ear-rings, &c. and lays them
on the table—the elders gather them up. Mr.
Houseman
goes to the table, seizes the elder,
and calls theives, theives; help. Methodists
seize him; his sons take his part. Mr. Thornhill
and constable rescues Mr. H. from them.

Mr. H.

Mr. Thornhill, I am very happy to see
you here, these babling fanatics have taken from
my wife and daughter, property worth above fifty
dollars, which I demand from them instantly.

Thorn.

How do you prove that? produce your
witnesses.

Jon.

I seed them lay the jim-cracks dow ere
and old elder what dye-call-um, has them now.

3* 3(3)v 30

2d. Elder

Will you take your oath of that? young
man.

Jon.

Yes, I will; for I saw you pocket them.
Mother’s gold watch cost thirty dollars and you
has it.

2d. Elder

Swear this man, Mr. Thornhill, to that.

M.T.

No, sir, we will search you first.

They
search him. )First Elder tries to escape.

Officer

Stop Mr. You have the articles.
Takes the jewelry from the Elder’s pocket.
I seen your brother saint there, hand them to
you when Jonathan Houseman offered to sweah eswear he
had them, intending to trap him into a perjury.

Mr.T

A precious set of saints you all are.
But by the virtue of the laws, I dismiss this assemblage
of persons. Men, take your wives and
daughters from this scene of fanaticism, and hypocrisy.
Come, Sarah, you are from my manufactory
therefore entitled to my protection.

Sarah.

Ah, sir, I cannot go with you from hence.

Mr. T

Pho, why do you suffer such nonsense as
you heard here, depress your spirits. Come along
with your friends

Sarah looks at Averio, he signs
to her to go. Mr. T. observes them.
Averio, Jenks, Muffet, and Elders, alone, in the
Camp.

Averio.

A bad morning’s work, Brothers: what
shall we do?

Muff.

Pack up, and go directly.

Jenks.

Who will pay for the ground, removing
the tents, cartage, the groceries, liquors, beds, and
all the expense? Three hundred dollars will not
pay the bills, and I have not one hundred yet!

Muff.

Come, Brother Jenks, no goaging; all the 3(4)r 31
tents are rented and paid for, amounting to three
hundred and fifty dollars. Supper last night, and
beds was one hundred and fifty dollars more. The
stock we have on hand will do for the next campmeeting.
The goods were purchased by a committee,
who cannot be compelled to pay for them
by law; and if we use our own wagons to carry
them away by night; we can lay the blame on Mr.
Thornhill
for breaking up the meeting and causing
our loss, as we can assert the store tent was robbed
in our absence. After the disturbance, then we
may compromise with the creditors—pay part of
the money—pocket the remainder, and be thought
honourable men.

Averio.

Good! Pretend instantly to leave the
camp ground; go to the store tent, and hide all day:
—if any one attempts to enter, a few groans will
strike terror to them; and at night we can drive
the wagons off silently.

Elders.

An excellent plan.

2d. Elder.

Brother Averio, thou art a wise man,
aye, and a successful one too. I was in the wood
last night—hem!

Jenks.

So was I, but I had a vixen to deal with,
and encountered a disappointment.

Muff.

This has been a rather unpropitious campaign.
Brother Averio alone has succeeded in his
pleasure. We must be content with profit; but
when money is gained, we won’t complain as that
is the grand object of our lives.

Exeunt.
Scene changes to Mrs. Patton’s parlour.

Mrs. Patton

solus. What can be the matter with
poor Sarah Cornell? she has been so low spirited
and poorly ever since she went to the last campmeeting;
all her fine rosy colour is gone; she looks 3(4)v 32
pale, cannot eat—and I do not know what to make
of her. Then here is that nice young farmer Jonathan
Houseman
, comes a courting after her, and she
won’t look at him, not hear a word about him. If the
girls talk of her being married, she says yes, to my
grave soon; I don’t like things as they are; and
then she talks of turning methodist, and joining parson
Averio’s church and has written to him about it.

Enter Post Boy.

Post Boy.

A letter for Miss Cornell.

Mrs. P.

From where?

Post Boy.

Bristol;—rather a stylish colour for a
letter; pink paper is a new fashion.

Mrs. Patton
Ppays the post boy. He exits.

Phebe.

What have you there, mother?

Mrs.P.

A letter for Sarah.

Phebe.

Oh, dear, she will be so pleased. I wonder
where this letter comes from! why, it is the Bristol
postmark! What friends has she there? No matter
I will carry it to her.

Exit, gaily.

Mrs. Patton,

solus.

Mr. Averio lives in Bristol
Sarah has been talking of joining his congregation.
If this letter should confirm her intention, she will
change her residence; and Mr. Thornhill will lose
the best hand in his factory, my daughter her friend
and we an agreeable boarder. What will she gain
by the removal; he is a married man, and may bring
her to shame. I will apprise Mr. Thornhill of my
suspicions.

Enter Dr. Neverflinch.

Dr. N.

Mrs. Patton, from whom did Sarah Cornell
receive a letter to-day?

Mrs. Patton.

I do not know, Sir;—why do you
enquire?

3(5)r 33

Dr.

Mere curiosity. When will she be at home!?
Ah, here she comes. Pray leave us alone a few minutes.

Exit, Mrs. Patton. Enter Sarah, sorrowfully.

Dr.

Sarah, did you send a receipt to my shop a
short time ago?

Sar.

I did, Sir.

Dr.

From whom did you receive it?

Sarah.

From a friend at a distance, to whom I
have disclosed the delicate weak state I am in.

Dr.

Who is that friend, Sarah?

Sar.

Mr. Averio

She bursts into tears.

Dr.

aside. The base hypocrite! Well, Sarah, the
draught will answer his purpose, but you will be a
murderess. Either you or the child will be killed, if
you take any of his prescriptions. Write this to him,
and say you do it by my direction.

Exit.

Sar.

solus, weeping. Oh what a miserable wretch
have I made myself! Now I know what ails me; a
mother—an unmarried mother—whither can I fly to
conceal my guilty head, and to whom look for redress?
Every door will close against me, and the finger
of scorn will be pointed at me eve-ry where.

She weeps. Enter Mrs. Patteon. She takes her in her arms and
soothes her. Sarah weeps on her bosom.

Mrs. P.

My poor girl, do not thus distract your
mind with distressing fancies; you are not the first
of your sex, by numbers, who has been deceived, nor
you won’t be the last: so cheer up; my door will
never close on you for this error; continue at your
work; trust in that power never deceived, and
all will be well.

3(5)v 34

Sarah,

fervently. May heaven bless you for your
goodness to a friendless orphan and a betrayed
girl. The villain would have poisoned me had not
Dr. Neverflinch have saved me. Ah, horrid man!
But, Mrs. Patton, Jonathan Houseman must visit
here no more. I will deceive no man by a semblance
of virtue, since I am lost to that.

Mrs. P.

That is a good girl; go to your chamber;
I will dismiss him when he comes.

Exeunt.
Scene changes to a street.
Enter Averio and Muff.

Averio.

Cursed folly! My intercourse with Sarah
will be detected—my name stigmatised—my
place lost—my ministry be suspended, and all for
what? a paltry girl, who will, if she dies, be out of
misery. Who could have supposed that she would
have told the Doctor from whence the prescription
came. She must be an ideot thus to betray such a
secret.

Muff.

Aye, you are in a very bad predicament;
and if you escape other ways, the Conference will
arraign you for adultery.

Averio.

They dare not; there I am secure. My
physical studies has saved too many of them from
detection not to ensure me of their protection.
and though all the world would condemn me, the
Conference must protect me, or I will blast them.
It is society at large I fear, and my wife’s temper in
private. Women rarely submit peaceably to such
conduct in a husband.

Muff.

Now, to send him to lie in the gallows, I marry
the rich widow, as my rib cannot live long; ahem,
Brother Averio, can’t you send her on a hasty call
to heaven! eh, do you take?

3(6)r 35

Averio.

O yes; I understand you; but how can
I effect the matter now she is put on her guard: I
can send no potion that she will take.

Muff.

Yes, you can write to her to meet you in a
lonely place, then send her home.—Take care no
one sees you, and you are secure from even suspicion.
We will employ emissaries to declare she
was deranged and a vile girl; so no one will credit
her tale about the dose you prescribed for her.

Enter Brother Jenks.

Jenks.

Good morning, friends. Ha, Mr. Averio,
how goes your affair, with the pretty Sarah; fame
give you a rival in her love.

Averio.

pleased. Perhaps she never loved me,
nor I her;—it was lust on my part, and weakness
on hers: my passions were too powerful for her
strength, so I conquered; once mine, I commanded
as I pleased: poor girl, I wish she would marry.

Muff.

Try to persuade her to it.

Averio.

I will ride there to night, and do my
best to induce her to take a husband; then all will
be secure.

Exit.

Jenks.

What is the matter with Brother Averio?

Muff.

Pho! a mere trifle; the girl is in the family
way, and says he is the father: we must conceal
the fact, or our camp-meetings will be broken up.

Jenks.

She must die, Brother, or she will swear
the brat to him, and we shall be done up.

Muff.

Nonsense! people don’t condemn a
whole body for one bad member.

Jenks.

Yes, but he is the most persuasive
preacher we have, and highly useful tato the whole
Conference; why don’t he give her a dose.

3(6)v 36

Muff.

She won’t take any thing from him, and
has betrayed the secret to Dr. Neverflinch, one of
our greatest opposers.

Jenks.

Then she dies, by Pluto; no power
shall save her.

Muff.

Just as you say, but who will endanger
their lives to take hers?

Jenks.

He shall: what must all our reputations
lay at the mercy of a silly girl? No; the world can
spare her; she will be better off, and our society
secure

Exeunt.
Scene changes to a view of a river.—Enter Averio.
musing.

Averio.

I cannot murder her: my soul recoils
mfrom the act; yet if she rejects the offer I shall
make her, she must die;—but how? I dare not stab
her, lest my trembling hand should not inflict a
deadly wound, then she might linger, and proclaim
me as her destroyer. I cannot drown her; yet
that might be done by inducing her to meet me
near the water, My mind is a chaos――something
must be effected. She will write, and I fancy
her letters are opened ere they reach my hand.
My wife’s property is all in her own power, she
seems cool. Brother Muffet is a great favorite
with her, and “thereby may hang a tale.” I will
not live in fear of the world’s power, and at the
phantom futurity I smile in inward scorn: give me
the enjoyment of this world’s, and them that
please may take the others. Sarah is a good innocent
girl. If she quits this for a better life, what
harm is done to her? None: and on the solitary
wilds of Fall River banks she dies, or the brat will 4(1)r 37
be exterminated. I will write, and desire her to
meet me there on Thursday evening at sunset; then
shall doubt be reduced to certainty.

Exits, musing.
Scene changes to the factory. Mr. Thornhill at a
desk, writing. Enter Post Boy—Gives a letter.
Exits.

Mr. T.

Ha! for Sarah Cornell! the Bristol
post-mark! What correspondent can she have
there? Calls Sarah Cornell: she comes forward
to the desk.
Sarah, a letter from B――l for you.
She trembles. Why this agitation, child? One
might fancy there was some dire mystery attached
to your correspondent; who is it from?

Sarah.

Mr. Averio, sir, and on a matter of
great importance.

Mr. T.

To your soul or body, Sarah?

Sarah.

Both, perhaps, Weeps. Excuse me,
Sir. I am very low spirited this morning, and
wish to finish my day’s work early.

Retires up the stage, reading the letter.—Exit
Mr. T
She comes down again.

Sar.

What can this mean? —wants to see me at
six o’ clock on Thursday evening at Fall River;
shall I go? No, I won’t; I know he is a villain, and
shall I trust my life to his mercy? Yet what is life,
when peace and reputation are lost! I can but die.
Will he kill me? No, no, he cannot be so cruel.
Perhaps he has secured me a private asylum for a
time, and wants to conduct me thence; he said he
loved me, therefore he cannot mean me ill. Yes;
I will go secretly, as he desires, but I will leave a
line to detect him, if he means me wrong.

4 4(1)v 38 Phebe comes down the stage to her.

Phebe

What ails you, Sarah? You tremble,
and seem distressed.

Sarah.

You only fancy so, Phebe. I am very
happy, and intend going to the consecration. Will
you go?

Phebe

I cannot spare the time, nor you neither.
poor girls like us, that depend on our labour for
subsistence, ought not to run about the world as
fancy suggests; these flights suit men best.

Sarah.

Maybe so; come let us go to work.

Exeunt.
Scene changes to Mr. Housemans’s.
Enter Mr. and Mrs. Houseman.

Mrs. H.

Husband, I wish you would not leave
home to day.

Mr. H.

Nonsense, wife, poultry is scarce and
dear, therefore I will take our whole stock to market,
The boys shall go with me; and I will bring
you and the girls new dresses for Christmas.

Mrs. H.

I feel as if something dreadful was going
to happen.

Mr. H.

Fancy, wife—more Camp-meeting nonsense!
what, do you expect old Satan will fly away
with you when I am gone? ha, ha! if he does, and
you set your tongue going, he’ll soon bring you
back.

Mrs. H.

angrily. Well, go along with you;
and if the house is burnt in your absence, don’t
blame me.

Mr. H.

That I won’t wife, if you are in the
middle of it: ha! ha! ha! Calls. Mary, Tab, 4(2)r 39
Donty, Hozey, holloo, there! come stir all hands
for market, load up the wagon, heap on the turkeys,
geese, fowls, ducks, pigs, pork, and pumpkins.

Mr. H.

All is ready; good bye, old woman.

Kisses her and exit. Enter Mary and Tabby, frightened.

Mary

Ah, mother, I wish father had not gone
with the boys; I feel so queer, as if something
was going to happen.

Mrs. H.

So do I: let us go into the house and
fasten all the doors; it is almost night; where is
Tabby?

Tab.

Oh! aunt, I have seen a great tall frightful
looking man walking about our fields, and he
looks so queer; I really think it was Parson
Averio
, only he had spectacles on.

Mrs. H.

In girls, and fasten all the doors and
windows; it is a cold dreary time for any person
to be walking alone here, and they come for no
good that is certain.

Exeunt into the house.
Scene changes to a view of Fall River.
Enter Averio, musing.

Av.

Will she come? I hope not: pride and
the prejudices of the world bid me destroy her;
but there is a monitor here forbids me to injure her;
I hope she will not come. Ha! what form approaches?
’tis Sarah, and I am lost for ever.

Enter Sarah M. Cornell in a cloak and calash.

Av.

Sarah, is that you?

Sar.

faintly. Yes, Sir. I came at your request,
but I am so feeble, I can hardly support myself.

A..

tenderly. Lean on me, love; I will supsupportport
yonu.

4(2)v 40

Sar.

Ah, Sir, how can you protect me? shame
and remorse presses me to the earth; would that I
were in my grave.

Av.

Do you, Sarah? if so, why did you not take
the medicine I prescribed for you?

Sar.

Because I could not; the innocent should
not suffer for the guilty.

Av.

You would not be guilty; on me the sin
would fall. Sarah, I am a condemned man in the
sight of God and you; but why should you blast
my reputation in the eyes of the world?

Sar.

I did not: I will not; I will fly to the desert
to save you from censure; you are the father
of my child, and if I cannot love, I will not injure
you; you have a wife and children—are a minister
of the gospel; I am a poor friendless girl, for whom
no one cares; then why do I thus meet you alone,
at this solemn hour? my better judgment impels
me to fly from you, yet here I lean on you in love
and confidence.

Falls on his bosom, weeping.

Av.

Oh! this is too much; I cannot murder her.

Sar.

starting. Murder me, said you? was it
for that purpose you sent for me?

Av.

It was, Syren. You shall die.

Seizes her
by the throat, strangles her, and carries her off. She
screams murder! help! murder!
Scene changes to a stack-yard. Averio is seen going
away from it very fast. Night gets darker.
He runs off.
Scene changes to a ferry-house. Enter Averio, who
knocks at the door.

Voice within.

Who’s there at this late hour?

4(3)r 41

Av.

I want to cross the ferry in haste.

Voice.

You can’t, nor shan’t cross to-night; it is
past ferry-hour. What have you been about till
this hour of night? or, who are you?

Av.

No matter who I am; can’t I cross?

Voice.

No; I tell you once for all, you must stay
here to-night. So come in.

Exit into the house.
Scene changes to the farm-yard. Time, sunrise.
All seems dark and dreary.
Enter Mary, Mrs. H., and Tabby.

Mary.

Mother, I heard horrid screams last night.

Tab.

So did I.

Goes to the stack-yard—shrieks
murder; runs back trembling—faints—they carry
her in.
Enter two men from the stack-yard.

1st Man.

Hallo, neighbour Houseman, here’s a dead woman hanging on your hay-stack.

2d. Man.

How is this neighbour Houseman? Come down directly. Where are you all?

Enter Mary, trembling.

Mary.

Ah, neighbor Durfere, what is the matter?

Dur.

Matter enough to hang us all. Who is that
women hanging on your haystack? Where is your
father and the boys.

Mary.

Father and both my brothers went off to
Bristol Market two days ago, as you all know.

Mr. Allen

Yes, I met him on the road, and promised
to take care of the girls till they came back.
But this is too horrible—here is a murder committed
by some person

Mary.

Maybe she hung herself.

4* 4(3)v 42

Mr. D.

Haste, Allen, summon the neighborhood.

Exit Mr. A. Enter persons running terrified.

1st Man.

What has poor Mrs. Houseman hung
himself for?

2d. Man.

No, no, its a strange woman they have
refused lodging to, who had killed herself.

Enter Mrs. Borden.

Mrs. B.

Mary, where is your mother and Tabby?

Mary.

Tab is frightened half to death. She has
seen the dead woman, and fainted away.

Mrs. B.

Let us see who she is, and what she has
on.

Goes off. Enter several Men.

Mr. D.

Coroner, we want your help here.

Cor.

I am ready. Call a jury.

The men go off
behind the haystack. Women go into the house.
Enter people, among them Mr. Gifford

Giff.

Is she a short girl, with a cloak on and a
calash. let me see her

1st Woman.

Very droll. How can it be? Where
Donty, Hosey,and Mr. HMr, Housemaan? Why
should Mrs. H. kill her only daughter, poor Mary?
She was the best girl in the place.

Mary.

Thank you, Else, for speaking good of
me when I am aabsent.

Else embraces Mary.

Else [Speaker label not present in original source]

Ah,
I thought you were hanged.

Mary.

You see me here, don’t you?

Enter Mrs. Honuseman and Mr. Borden

Mrs. H.

The girls said they heard dreadful 4(4)r 43
screams last night, just before bed-time; but as we
were alone, I thought it was only fancy. Poor Tab. is
quite wild with fright; who can it be? are any of
the women of the neighborhood missing

Giff.

She no more tied that clove hitch around her
own neck, than I tied it around mine!

Else.

Lawk! I seed a short lady, and a very tall
gentleman walking together, just at dark last night;
so I did!

1st Man.

I sed a tall parson looking man dodging
here abouts, at dark last night.

Giff.

I has it! I has it! the very man that slept
at my house last night; he is a methodist parson,
said he had been at the coal mines. I thought it was
a droll time of night to be at the coal mines: but
he is gone away.

Wm.

Yes, I rowed him over, he was very proud,
said he had been about his own business; and a bad
business it is.

Cor.

But who is the girl? No person seems to
know her.

Enter Mr. Thornhill and Dr. Neverflinch, hastily.

Mr. T.

Let me see the body, it is as I suspected. Goes out, then returns. Sarah M. Cornell one of
the most industrious girls in my factory.

Dr. N.

Haste! pursue the dark fiend, Averio, seize
him if he is in the pulpit; he alone has done the
deed.

Mr. T

Neighbours, the laws have been complied
with, leave the body to the care of those kind sisters,
whilst we pursue, and if possible bring the asassin
to justice, though I fear there is not testimony 4(4)v 44
sufficient to prove his guilt, yet we can unmask a
hypocrite by placing him before a tribunal of ciittitzens,
they alone can clear or condemn him in this
world;—but that omnipotent power, whose eye sees
all deeds, will not spare him.

Dr. N.

Come on friends and neighbours, let us
throw the stigma he has attempted to put on our village,
back on the head of the villain.

Exeunt men.

Mrs. H.

Poor Sarah! my husband intended you
should have been his daughter-in-law,weeps, I am
sorry for your untimely and dreadful death—from
my house, as a daughter, she shall be buried.

Enter two men carrying the body on a bier, the women
form and follow it, weeping, into the hourase
Scene changes to a street. Enter Muffitt and Jenks.

Muff.

Brother Averio was from home all night,
and Sister Averio was so ill I remained with her
to comfort her till a late hour.

Jenks.

A brotherly duty, which no doubt you
fulfilled with much pleasure!

Winks—they laugh. Enter Averio, meeting them.

Av.

Good morning, Brothers: how fares it with
you? I have been absent at a prayer-meeting
near Fall River, and was detained at Brother
Cook’s
.

Muff.

slily. Aye, Sister Cooke is a nice woman,
and very friendly.

Jenks.

aside, to Muffett. Leave us alone, will
you? I long to hear if all is safe.

Muff.

Brethren, I must leave you for the present,
but we shall meet, God willing, this evening, 4(5)r 45
at Sister Gladdens: till then, peace be with you.

Exits.

Jenks.

Well, how have you succeeded? is all
things as they should be?

Av.

All is at rest. Silence deep and profound
reigned. No eye was witness to the act, and we
are safe.

Jenks.

That is wel l: She was a silly babbling
chit, that could not keep her own secret.

A noise, as if a hum of voices at a distance. Averio
starts.

Av.

Hark! What sounds are those that float
upon the gale?

Jenks.

It is only a steam-boat letting off the
steam? Let us proceed to your house: your wife
is better.

Exeunt. Enter Mr. Thornhill, Dr. Neverflinch, and Officers.

Off.

Sir, it is impossible: there is not a more
religious man in B―― than the person you accuse.

Dr.

Was he at home last night.

Mr. T.

Did he not return from Fall River early
this morning?

Off.

I know not; but doubtlesdoubtless he will satisfy
our inquiries. Oh! there comes his servant.

Enter Betsy Hills.

Off.

Betsy, was Mr. Averio at home last night,
as usual?

Betsy.

No, indeed; the poor man was forced
to stay at Brother Cook’s all night, at Fall River.

Exit B.

Dr.

Are you satisfied now, sir.

Off.

I am astonished, but not convinced. 4(5)v 46
man so pious in his heart—so mild in his manners,
and gentle as a dove, to all persons, cannot have
perpetrated the horrid crime.

Dr.

Yes, gentle as the serpent, when he lures
the bird to his mouth to satisfy his appetite. Ah!
I know the hypocrite. Under the cloak of religion
there are many more and darker crimes perpetrated than,
by the daring villains that fill our prisons

Mr. T.

At last Camp Meeting he seduced her.
Now she cannot confront her betrayer; she and her
infant are gone together; but the law shall investigate
the case; and if that cannot bring the prepetrator
to his merits, the judgment of a nation’s voice
shall rest on him.

Off.

I am at your service, sir; he is nothing to
me; I am not of his profession.

Dr.

Come on, or he may escape.

Exeunt.
Scene changes to Averio’s house; he and Jenks are
seated at a table, reading; a noise; —Averio starts.

Av.

Hark! What is that noise?

Betsey runs in,
crying

Betsey.

Oh, sir, run for your life, or you will be
(taken to jail.

Averio starts up, attempts to run out of the house;
meets officer; tries to jump out of the window; is
seized by Mr. Thornhill

Av.

What means this outrage on a minister of
the gospel, and in his own house?

Off.

The Court, sir, requires your attendance on
a charge I do not choose to mention;—I want to
conduct you by virtue of this authority.

Av.

Brother Jenks, what shall I do in this case?

Jenks.

Keep silent; they have no proof.

4(6)r 47

Av.

Good. I attend you to the office.

Exeunt.
Scene changes to the court room; a crowd; the
judges seated. Enter Officer, Averio, and Dr. N.

Judge.

Gentlemen, state your charge against the
reverend divine.

Dr. N.

I accuse him of the murder of Sarah M.
Cornell
, at Fall River, on the 20th of December, by
first bruising, and then hanging her to a hay stack,
where she was found dead on the 21st of the said
month.

Judge.

Produce your witnesses

Mr. T.

He wrote her, a letter of appointment to
meet her on that evening at the very place where
her body was found.

Judge.

Produce the letter

Dr. MN. gives it.

Judge.

Who can substantiate this as Mr. Averio’s
hand writing looks round? can you swear to it either
of you gentlemen?

Dr.

I can.

Judge.

You are the accuser; your testimony is
not proof.

Profound silence.

Judge[Speaker label not present in original source]

Can no man swear to the crime? who saw him
strangle her?

Dr.

No eye but God’s. Who would have looked
on and seen the crime perpetrated? No one; he
chose the time and place with judgment.

Judge.

So you say; but until I have more substantial
testimony of his guilt I must hold him innocent,
and dismiss the case.

Mr. T.

I feared as much; but Heaven will, in
its own time, avenge the murder; till then may the
execration of ten times ten thousand virtuous hearts
pursue the assassin of poor Sarah Maria Cornell.

4(6)v 48

Dr. N.

If proof can be obtained, even a chain of
presumptive evidence, the villain shall not thus
brave and elude the law of God and man with impunity.

Av.

Do your worst, Doctor, I am secure, thanks
to the law, not you.

Exeunt.
Changes to the second scene—persons around Mr.
Houseman
’s door, others enter promiscuously among
them, Dr. Neverflinch and Mr. Thornhill.

Mr. H.

solemnly. Welcome neighbours, we are
met on a melancholy occasion, but though a stranger
to me, the ill-fated victim of seduction and barbarity,
shall receve every testimony of pity and
respect we can show her.—See! the poor remains
of an admired beauty comes.

Solemn dirge.—The body of Sarah M. Cornel l
is bourne on the stage, followed by Mrs. Patten,
Phebe, Mrs. Houseman, Mary, Tabby, and Else, in
couples; then a train of the factory girls, in black.
After them the men follow, they proceed around
the stage, then go off in procession.

End of the play.