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J. Sh. A very beggar, and a wretch, indeed;
One driven by strong calamity to seek
For succours here; one perishing for want,
Whose hunger has not tasted food these three
And humbly asks, for charity's dear sake,
A draught of water and a little bread.
Alic. And dost thou come to me, to me for
I know thee not-Go-hunt for it abroad, Where wanton hands upon the earth have scattered it,
Or cast it on the waters-Mark the eagle,
And hungry vulture, when they wind the prey;
Watch where the ravens of the valley feed,
And seek thy food with them-I know thee not.
J. Sk. And yet there was a time, when my
Has thought unhappy Shore her dearest blessing,
And mourned the live-long day she passed with-
See his pale bloody head shoots glaring by me! Give me him back again, thou soft deluder, Thou beauteous witch!
J. Sh. Alas! I never wronged you-
Oh! then be good to me; have pity on me;
Thou never knewest the bitterness of want,
And may'st thou never know it. Oh! bestow
Some poor remain, the voiding of thy table,
A morsel to support my famished soul.
Alic. Avaunt! and come not near me-
J. Sh. To thy hand
I trusted all; gave my whole store to thee,
Nor do I ask it back; allow me but
The smallest pittance! give me but to eat,
Lest I fall down, and perish here before thee.
Alic. Nay! tell not me! Where is thy king,
And all the smiling cringing train of courtiers,
That bent the knee before thee?
J. Sh. Oh! for mercy!
Alic. Mercy! I know it not-for I am miser-
I'll give thee misery, for here she dwells;
This is her house, where the sun never dawns;
The bird of night sits screaming o'er the roof,
Grim spectres sweep along the horrid gloom,
And nought is heard but wailings and lamentings.
Hark! something cracks above! it shakes, it
And see, the nodding ruin falls to crush me! 'Tis fallen, 'tis here! I felt it on my brain! 1 Ser. This sight disorders her2 Ser. Retire, dear ladyAnd leave this woman
Alic. Let her take my counsel: Why shouldst thou be a wretch! Stab, tear thy heart,
And rid thyself of this detested being!
I will not finger long behind thee here.
A waving flood of bluish fire swells o'er me→→
And now 'tis out, and I am drowned in blood.
Ha! what art thou? thou horrid headless trunk-
It is my Hastings! see, he wafts me on!
Away! I go, I fly! I follow thee !
But come not thou, with mischief-making beauty,
To interpose between us! look not on him!
Give thy fond arts and thy delusions o'er,
For thou shalt never, never part us more.
[She runs off, her servants following. J. Sh. Alas! she raves; her brain, I fear, is turned.
In mercy look upon her, gracious Heaven,
Nor visit her for any wrong to me.
Sure I am near upon my journey's end;
My head runs round, my eyes begin to fail,
And dancing shadows swim before my sight.
I can no more. [Lies down] Receive me, thou
Thou common parent, take me to thy bosom,
And let me rest with thee.
Is hasting to thy aid
J. Sh. Dumont! ha! where!
[Raising herself, and looking aghast. Then Heaven has heard my prayer; his very
Renews the springs of life, and cheers my
Has he then escaped the snare?
Bel. He has; but see
He comes unlike to that Dumont you knew;
For now he wears your better angel's form,
And comes to visit you'with peace and pardon.
J. Sh. Speak, tell me! Which is he? And ha!
This dreadful vision! see it comes upon me-
It is my husband-Ah!
Sh. She faints! support her!
Sustain her head, while I infuse this cordial
Into her dying lips-from spicy drugs,
Rich herbs and flowers, the potent juice is drawn;
With wondrous force it strikes the lazy spirits,
Drives them around, and wakens life anew.
Bel. Her weakness could not bear the strong
The minister of Heaven's inquiring justice.
Array thyself all terrible for judgment,
Wrath in thy eyes, and thunder in thy voice;
Pronounce my sentence, and if yet there be
A woe I have not felt, inflict it on me.
Sh. The measure of thy sorrows is compleat!
And I am come to snatch thee from injustice.
The hand of power no more shall crush thy
Nor proud oppression grind thy humble soul.
J. Sh. Art thou not risen by miracle from
Thy shroud is fallen from off thee, and the grave
Was bid to give thee up, that thou mightst come
The messenger of grace and goodness to me,
To seal my peace, and bless me e'er I go.
Oh! let me then fall down beneath thy feet,
And weep my gratitude for ever there;
Give me your drops, ye soft descending rains,
Give me your streams, ye never ceasing springs,
That my sad eyes may still supply my duty,
And feed an everlasting flood of sorrow.
Sh. Waste not thy feeble spirits-I have long
Beheld, unknown, thy mourning and repentance;
Therefore my heart has set aside the past,
And holds thee white, as unoffending innocence:
Therefore in spite of cruel Gloster's rage,
Soon as my friend had broke my prison doors,
[Raising her up. I flew to thy assistance. Let us haste,
But see, she stirs! And the returning blood
Faintly begins to blush again, and kindle
Upon her ashy cheek-
Sh. So-gently raise her
J. Sh. Ha! What art thou? Belmour!
Bel. How fare you, lady?
J. Sh. My heart is thrilled with horror
Your husband lives! 'tis he, my worthiest friend-
J. Sh. Still art thou there! Still dost thou ho-
ver round me!
Oh, save me, Belmour, from his angry shade!
Bel. 'Tis he himself! he lives! look up-
J. Sh. I dare not!
Oh! that my eyes could shut him out for ever
Sh. Am I so hateful, then, so deadly to thee,
To blast thy eyes with horror? Since I'm grown
A burthen to the world, myself, and thee,
Would I had ne'er survived to see thee more!
J. Sh. Oh! thou most injured-dost thou live,
Fall then, ye mountains, on my guilty head;
Hide me, ye rocks, within your secret caverns;
Cast thy black veil upon my shame, O night!
And shield me with thy sable wings for ever.
Sh. Why dost thou turn away? Why tremble
Why thus indulge thy fears? and in despair,
Abandon thy distracted soul to horror?
Cast every black and guilty thought behind thee,
And let them never vex thy quiet more.
My arms, my heart, are open to receive thee,
To bring thee back to thy forsaken home,
With tender joy, with fond forgiving love,
And all the longings of my first desires.
Now while occasion seems to smile upon us,
Forsake this place of shame, and find a shelter.
J. Sh. What shall I say to you? But I obey-
Sh. Lean on my arm-
J. Sh. Alas! I'm wondrous faint:
But that's not strange; I have not eat these three days.
Sh. Oh, merciless! Look here, my love, I've brought thee
J. Sh. How can you be so good?
But you were ever thus. I well remember
With what fond care, what diligence of love,
You lavished out your wealth to buy me plea-
Preventing every wish; have you forgot
The costly string of pearl you brought me home,
And tied about my neck?How could I leave
Sh. Taste some of this, or this-
J. Sh. You are strangely altered-
Say, gentle Belmour, is he not? How pale
Your visage is become? Your eyes are hollow;
Nay, you are wrinkled too—Alas, the day!
My wretchedness has cost you many a tear,
And many a bitter pang, since last we parted.
Sh. No more of that-Thou talkest, but
dost not eat.
J. Sh. My feeble jaws forget their common
My tasteless tongue cleaves to the clammy roof, J. Sh. No, arm thy brow with vengeance, and And now a general loathing grows upon me.
Sh. Thou murderous sorrow! Wilt thou still drink her blood, pursue her still!
Must she then die! Oh, my poor penitent! Speak peace to thy sad heart: she hears me not; Grief masters every sense-help me to hold her! Enter CATESBY, with a guard.
Cat. Seize on them both, as traitors to the state!
Bel. What means this violence?—
[Guards lay hold on Shore and Belmour. Cat. Have we not found you,
In scorn of the protector's strict command,
Assisting this base woman, and abetting
Sh. Infamy on thy head!
Thou tool of power, thou pandar to authority! I tell thee, knave, thou knowest of none so virtuous,
And she that bore thee was an Æthiop to her. Cat. You'll answer this at full-Away with them.
Sh. Is charity grown treason to your court? What honest man would live beneath such rulers! I am content that we should die together
Cat. Convey the men to prison; but for her, Leave her to hunt her fortune as she may. J. Sh. I will not part with him-for me! for me!
Oh! must he die for me!
[Following him as he is carried off-She falls. Sh. Inhuman villains!
[Breaking from the guards. Stand off! The agonies of death are on herShe pulls, she gripes me hard with her cold hand. J. Sh. Was this blow wanting to compleat my ruin ?
Oh! let him go, ye ministers of terror,
He shall offend no more, for I will die,
And yield obedience to your cruel master.
Tarry a little, but a little longer,
And take my last breath with you.
Why have I lived to see this bitter moment,
This grief, by far surpassing all my former ?
Why dost thou fix thy dying eyes upon me,
With such an earnest, such a piteous look,
As if thy heart were full of some sad meaning
Thou could'st not speak?-
J. Sh. Forgive me!- -but forgive me!
Sh. Be witness for me, ye celestial host,
Such mercy and such pardon as my soul
Accords to thee, and begs of Heaven to shew
May such befall me at my latest hour,
And make my portion blest or cursed for ever!
J. Sh. Then all is well, and I shall sleep in
'Tis very dark, and I have lost you nowWas there not something I would have bequeathed you?
But I have nothing left me to bestow, Nothing but one sad sigh. Oh! mercy, Heaven! [Dies.
Bel. There fled the soul,
And left her load of misery behind.
Sh. Oh, my heart's treasure! Is this pale sad visage
All that remains of thee? Are these dead eyes The light that cheered my soul? Oh, heavy hour! But I will fix my trembling lips to thine, 'Till I am cold and senseless quite, as thou art. What, must we part, then?-will you [To the guards taking him away. Fare thee well[Kissing her. Now execute your tyrant's will, and lead me To bonds, or death, 'tis equally indifferent.
Bel. Let those, who view this sad example,
What fate attends the broken marriage vow; And teach their children, in succeeding times, No common vengeance waits upon these crimes, When such severe repentance could not save From want, from shame, and an untimely grave. [Exeunt omnes.
Enter the Duke of NORTHUMBERLAND, Duke of SUFFOLK, and Sir JOHN GATES.
North. 'Tis all in vain; Heaven has required its pledge,
And he must die.
Suff. Is there an honest heart,
That loves our England, does not mourn for Edward?
The genius of our isle is shook with sorrow;
He bows his venerable head with pain,
And labours with the sickness of his lord.
Religion melts in every holy eye;
All comfortless, afflicted, and forlorn,
She sits on earth, and weeps upon her cross,
Weary of man, and his detested ways:
Even now she seems to meditate her flight,
And waft her angels to the thrones above.
North. Ay, there, my lord, you touch our hea-
With him our holy faith is doomed to suffer;
With him our church shall veil her sacred front,
That late from heaps of Gothic ruins rose,
In her first native simple majesty;
The toil of saints, and price of martyrs' blood,
Shall fail with Edward, and again old Rome
Shall spread her banners; and her monkish host,
Pride, ignorance, and rapine, shall return;
Blind bloody zeal, and cruel priestly power,
Shall scourge the land for ten dark ages more.
Gates. Is there no help in all the healing art,
No potent juice or drug to save a life
So precious, and prevent a nation's fate?
North. What has been left untried, that art
The hoary wrinkled leech has watched and toiled, Tried every health-restoring herb and gum, And wearied out his painful skill in vain. Close, like a dragon folded in his den, Some secret venom preys upon his heart; A stubborn and unconquerable flame Creeps in his veins, and drinks the streams of life; | His youthful sinews are unstrung; cold sweats And deadly paleness sit upon his visage; And every gasp we look shall be his last.
Gates. Doubt not, your graces, but the Popish faction
Will at this juncture urge their utmost force.
All on the princess Mary turn their eyes,
Well hoping she shall build again their altars,
And bring their idol-worship back in triumph.
North. Good Heaven, ordain some better fate
Suff. What better can we hope, if she should reign?
I know her well; a blinded zealot is she;
A gloomy nature, sullen and severe;
Nurtured by proud presuming Romish priests,
Taught to believe they only cannot err,
Because they cannot err; bred up in scorn
Of reason, and the whole lay world; instructed
To hate whoe'er dissent from what they teach;
To purge the world from heresy by blood;
To massacre a nation, and believe it
An act well pleasing to the Lord of Mercy:
These are thy gods, oh, Rome, and this thy faith!
North. And shall we tamely yield ourselves to
Bow down before these holy purple tyrants,
And bid them tread upon our slavish necks?
No; let this faithful free-born English hand
First dig my grave in liberty and honour;
And though I found but one more thus resolved,
That honest man and I would die together.
Suff. Doubt not, there are ten thousand and
To own a cause so just.
Gates. The list I gave
Into your grace's hand last night, declares My power and friends at full.
North. Be it your care,
Good Sir John Gates, to see your friends appointed,
And ready for the occasion.
Lose not a moment's time.
Gates. I go, my lord.
North. Your grace's princely daughter, lady
Is she yet come to court?
Suff. Not yet arrived,
But with the soonest I expect her here.
I know her duty to the dying king,
Joined with my strict commands to hasten hither, Will bring her on the wing.
North. Beseech your grace,
To speed another messenger to press her;
For on her happy presence all our counsels
Depend, and take their fate.
Suff. Upon the instant
Your grace shall be obeyed. I go to summon her. [Exit Suffolk. North. What trivial influences hold dominion O'er wise men's counsels, and the fate of empire!
The greatest schemes that human wit can forge,
Or bold ambition dares to put in practice,
Depend upon our husbanding a moment,
And the light lasting of a woman's will;
As if the lord of nature should delight
To hang this ponderous globe upon a hair,
And bid it dance before a breath of wind.
She must be here, and lodged in Guilford's arms,
Ere Edward dies, or all we have done is marred.
Ha! Pembroke! that's a bar which thwarts my
His fiery temper brooks not opposition,
And must be met with soft and supple arts,
With crouching courtesy, and honeyed words,
Such as assuage the fierce, and bend the strong.
Enter the Earl of PEMBROKE.
Good morrow, noble Pembroke: we have staid The meeting of the council for your presence.
Pem. For mine, my lord! you mock your
Το say that I am wanted, where yourself,
The great Alcides of our state, is present.
Whatever dangers menace prince or people,
Our great Northumberland is armed to meet
The ablest hand, and firmest heart you bear,
Nor need a second in the glorious task;
Equal yourself to all the toils of empire.
North. No; as I honour virtue, I have tried, And know my strength too well; nor can the voice
Of friendly flattery, like yours, deceive me.
I know my temper liable to passions,
And all the frailties common to our nature;
Blind to events, too easy of persuasion,
And often, too, too often, have I erred:
Much therefore have I need of some good man,
Some wise and honest heart, whose friendly aid
Might guide my treading through our present
And, by the honour of my name I swear,
I know not one of all our English peers,
Whom I would chuse for that best friend, like
Pem. What shall I answer to a trust so noble,
This prodigality of praise and honour?
Were not your grace too generous of soul,
To speak a language differing from your heart,
How might I think you could not mean this
Το one, whom his ill-fortune has ordained
The rival of your son.
North. No more; I scorn a thought
So much below the dignity of virtue.
'Tis true, I look on Guilford like a father,
Lean to his side, and see but half his failings:
But, on a point like this, when equal merit
Stands forth to make its bold appeal to honour,
And calls to have the balance held in justice;
Away with all the fondnesses of nature!
I judge of Pembroke and my son alike.
Pem. I ask no more to bind me to your ser vice.
North. The realm is now at hazard, and bold factions
Threaten change, tumult, and disastrous days.