1 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.
2 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

3 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.

4 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?

5 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* 6 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?

7 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.

8 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,9 1(5)r 9 versation, 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 10 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.

11 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.

12 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.

13 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 14 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.

15 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.

16 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* 17 2(3)r 17 lightful 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 18 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.

19 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.

20 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’sparlour. 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 21 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.

22 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?

23 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 24 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.

25 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 26 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 27 3(2)r 27 sure 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.

28 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

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, 29 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* 30 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 31 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 32 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?

33 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.

34 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?

35 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.

36 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 37 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 38 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, 39 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.

40 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?

41 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* 42 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.

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 43 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 44 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, 45 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. 46 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.

47 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.

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.

48 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.