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Where other suns arise on other earths,
And happier beings rest on happier seats:
Where, with a reach enlarged, our souls shall view
The great Creator's never ceasing hand
Pour forth new worlds to all eternity,
And people the infinity of space.
Guil. Fain would I cheer my heart with hopes like these;
But my sad thoughts turn ever to the grave;
To that last dwelling, whither now we haste;
Where the black shade shall interpose betwixt
And veil thee from these longing eyes for ever. L. J. Gray. 'Tis true, by those dark paths our journey leads,
And through the vale of death we pass to life.
But what is there in death to blast our hopes?
Behold the universal marks of nature,
Where life still springs from death. To us the
Dies every night, and every morn revives :
The flowers, which winter's icy hand destroyed,
Lift their fair heads, and live again in spring.
Mark, with what hopes upon the furrowed plain,
The careful plowman casts the pregnant grain;
There hid, as in a grave, a while it lies,
Till the revolving season bids it rise;
Till nature's genial powers command a birth,
And potent call it from the teeming earth:
Then large increase the buried treasures yield,
And with full harvest crown the plenteous field.
[Exeunt severally with guards.
How like a saint she ended. Some fit number,
And those, too, of our friends, were most conve-
But, above all, see that good guard be kept:
You know the queen is lodged at present here;
Take care that no disturbance reach her highness.
And so good morning, good master lieutenant.
How now! What light comes here?
Ser. So please your lordship,
If I mistake not, 'tis the earl of Pembroke.
Gur. Pembroke! 'Tis he: What calls him
forth thus carly?
Somewhat he seems to bring of high import;
Some flame uncommon kindles up his soul,
And flashes forth impetuous at his eyes.
Enter PEMBROKE; a page with a light before him.
Good morrow, noble Pembroke! What importu
And strong necessity breaks on your slumbers, And rears your youthful head from off your pillow
At this unwholesome hour; while yet the night Lasts in her latter course, and with her raw And rheumy damps infests the dusky air?
Pem. Oh, reverend Winchester! my beating heart
Exults and labours with the joy it bears:
The news I bring shall bless the breaking morn.
This coming day the sun shall rise more glorious
Than when his maiden beams first gilded o'er
The rich immortal greens, the flow'ry plains,
And fragrant bowers of paradise new-born!
Gar. What happiness is this?
Pem. 'Tis mercy, mercy,
The mark of Heaven impressed on human kind;
Mercy, that glads the world, deals joy around;
Mercy, that smooths the dreadful brow of power,
And makes dominion light; mercy, that saves,
Binds up the broken heart, and heals despair.
Mary, our royal, ever-gracious mistress,
Has to my services and humblest prayers
Granted the lives of Guilford and his wife;
Full and free pardon!
Gar. Ha! what said you? Pardon !
But sure you cannot mean it; could not urge
The queen to such a rash and ill-timed grace?
What! save the lives of those who wore her
My lord! 'tis most unweighed, pernicious counsel,
And must not be complied with.
Pem. Not complied with!
And who shall dare to bar her sacred pleasure, And stop the stream of mercy!
Who will not see her gracious disposition Drawn to destroy herself.
Pem. Thy narrow soul
Knows not the god-like glory of forgiving:
Nor can thy cold, thy ruthless heart conceive,
How large the power, how fixed the empire is,
Which benefits confer on generous minds:
Goodness prevails upon the stubborn foe,
And conquers more than even Cæsar's sword did.
Gar. These are romantic, light, vain-glorious
Have you considered well upon the danger?
How dear to the fond many, and how popular
These are whom you would spare? Have you
When at the bar, before the seat of judgment,
This lady Jane, this beauteous traitress, stood,
With what command she charmed the whole as-
With silent grief the mournful audience sat,
Fixed on her face, and listening to her pleading.
Her very judges wrung their hands for pity;
Their old hearts melted in them as she spoke,
And tears ran down upon their silver beards.
Even I myself was moved, and for a moment
Felt wrath suspended in my doubtful breast,
And questioned if the voice I heard was mortal.
But when her tale was done, what loud applause,
Like bursts of thunder, shook the spacious hall!
At last, when, sore constrained, the unwilling lords
Pronounced the fatal sentence on her life,
A peal of groans ran through the crowded court,
As every heart was broken, and the doom,
Like that which waits the world, were universal.
Pem. And can that sacred form, that angel's
Which moved the hearts of a rude ruthless crowd,
Nay, moved even thine, now sue in vain for pity?
Gar. Alas, you look on her with lovers' eyes:
I hear and see through reasonable organs,
Where passion has no part. Come, come, my
You have too little of the statesman in you.
Pem. And you, my lord, too little of the church-
Is not the sacred purpose of our faith
Peace and good-will to man? The hallowed hand,
Ordained to bless, should know no stain of blood.
'Tis true, I am not practised in your politics;
Twas your pernicious counsel led the queen
To break her promise with the men of Suffolk,
To violate, what in a prince should be
Sacred above the rest, her royal word.
Gar. Yes, and I dare avow it: I advised her To break through all engagements made with heretics,
And keep no faith with such a miscreant crew. Pem. Where shall we seek for truth, when
The priestly robe and mitred head, disclaim it?
But thus bad men dishonour the best cause.
I tell thee, Winchester, doctrines like thine
Have stained our holy church with greater in-
Than all your eloquence can wipe away.
Hence 'tis, that those who differ from our faith,
Brand us with breach of oaths, with persecution,
With tyranny o'er conscience, and proclaim
Our scarlet prelates men that thirst for blood,
And Christian Rome more cruel than the Pagan.
Gar. Nay, if you rail, farewell. The queen
For yet, behold she kneels. Before the night
Had reached her middle space, she left her bed,
And with a pleasing, sober cheerfulness,
As for her funeral, arrayed herself
In those sad solemn weeds. Since then her knee
Has known that posture only, and her eye,
Or fixed upon the sacred page before her,
Or lifted, with her rising hopes, to heaven.
Guil. See, with what zeal those holy hands are
Mark her vermilion lip, with fervour trembling; Her spotless bosom swells with sacred ardour,
Pem. Oh, let me fly, bear me, thou swift impatience,
And lodge me in my faithful Guilford's arms!
That I may snatch him from the greedy grave,
That I may warm his gentle heart with joy,
And talk to him of life, of life and pardon.
Guil. What means my dearest Pembroke?
Pem. Oh, my speech
Is choaked with words that crowd to tell my tidings!
But I have saved thee-and-Oh, joy unutterable!
The queen, my gracious, my forgiving mistress,
Has given not only thee to my request,
But she, she too, in whom alone thou liv'st,
The partner of thy heart, thy love is safe. Guil. Millions of blessings wait her!-Has she -tell me,
Oh, has she spared my wife?
Pem. Both, both are pardoned. But haste, and do thou lead me to thy saint, That I may cast myself beneath her feet, And beg her to accept this poor amends For all I've done against her-Thou fair excellence, [ Kneeling. Canst thou forgive the hostile hand, that armed Against thy cause, and robbed thee of a crown? L. J. Gray. Oh, rise, my lord, and let me take
Life and the world are hardly worth my care,
But you have reconciled me to them both;
Then let me pay my gratitude, and for
This free, this noble, unexpected mercy,
Thus low I bow to Heaven, the queen, and you.
Pem. To me! forbid it goodness! if I live,
Somewhat I will do shall deserve your thanks.
All discord and remembrance of offence
Shall be clean blotted out; and for your free-
Myself have underta'en to be your caution.
Hear me, you saints, and aid my pious purpose!
These that deserve so much, this wondrous pair,
Let these be happy: every joy attend them;
A fruitful bed, a chain of love unbroken,
A good old age, to see their children's chil-
A holy death, and everlasting memory;
While I resign to them my share of happiness,
Contented still to want what they enjoy,
And singly to be wretched.
Enter Lieutenant of the Tower.
Lieut. The Lord Chancellor
Is come with orders from the queen,
Enter GARDINER, and Attendant.
Pem. Ha! Winchester!
Gar. The queen, whose days be many,
By me confirms her first accorded grace;
But, as the pious princess means her mercy
Should reach e'en to the soul as well as body,
By me she signifies her royal pleasure,
That thou, lord Guilford, and the lady Jane,
Do instantly renounce, abjure your heresy,
And yield obedience to the see of Rome.
L. J. Gray. What! turn apostate?
Guil. Ha! forego my faith!
Gar. This one condition only seals your pardon:
But if, through pride of heart, and stubborn obstinacy,
With wilful hands you push the blessing from
In one poor minute gone; at once they withered, And left their place all desolate behind them.
L. J. Gray. Such is this foolish world, and such the certainty
Of all the boasted blessings it bestows : Then, Guilford, let us have no more to do with it;
Think only how to leave it as we ought;
But trust no more, and be deceived no more.
Guil, Yes, I will copy thy divine example,
And tread the paths are pointed out by thee;
By thee instructed, to the fatal block
I bend my head with joy, and think it happiness
To give my life a ransom for my faith.
From thee, thou angel of my heart, I learn
That greatest, hardest task, to part with thee.
L. J. Gray. Oh, gloriously resolved! Heaven
is my witness,
My heart rejoices in thee more even now,
Thus constant as thou art, in death thus faithful,
Than when the holy priest first joined our hands,
And knit the sacred knot of bridal love.
Gar. The day wears fast; Lord Guilford, have
Will you lay hold on life?
Guil. What are the terms?
Gur. Death, or the mass, attend you.
Guil. 'Tis determined:
Lead to the scaffold.
Gar. Bear him to his fate.
Guil. Oh, let me fold thee once more in my
Thou dearest treasure of my heart, and print
A dying husband's kiss upon thy lip!
Shall we not live again, even in those forms?
Shall I not gaze upon thee with these eyes?
L. J. Gray. Oh, wherefore dost thou soothe me with thy softness?
Why dost thou wind thyself about my heart,
And make this separation painful to us?
Here break we off at once; and let us now,
Forgetting ceremony, like two friends
That have a little business to be done,
Take a short leave, and haste to meet again.
Guil. Rest on that hope, my soul-my wife-
L. J. Gray. No more.
Guil. My sight hangs on thee Oh, support
In this last pang-and let us meet in bliss!
[Guilford is led off by the guard.
L. J. Gray. Can nature bear this stroke?
Wom. Alas, she faints!
L. J. Gray. Wilt thou fail now-
ing stroke is past,
And all the bitterness of death is o'er.
Gar. Here let the dreadful hand of vengeance
Have pity on your youth, and blooming beauty;
Cast not away the good which Heaven bestows;
Time may have many years in store for you,
All crowned with fair prosperity. Your husband
Has perished in perverseness.
L. J. Gray. Cease, thou raven,
Nor violate, with thy profaner malice,
My bleeding Guilford's ghost-'Tis gone, 'tis
But lingers on the wing, and waits for me.
[The scene draws, and discovers a scaf-
fold hung with black, executioner
And see my journey's end.
1 Wom. My dearest lady!
2 Wom. Oh, misery!
L. J. Gray. Oh, Winchester! has learning To latest times the blessing to convey,
taught thee that,
To barter truth for life?
Gar. Mistaken folly!
You toil and travail for your own perdition,
And die for damned errors.
L. J. Gray. Who judge rightly,
And who persists in error, will be known,
Then, when we meet again.
Once more, farewell! [To her women. Goodness be ever with you. When I'm dead, Entreat they do no rude, dishonest wrong To my cold, headless corpse; but see it shrouded, And decent laid in earth.
Gar. Wilt thou then die? Thy blood be on thy head.
L. J. Gray. My blood be where it falls; let the earth hide it;
And may it never rise, or call for vengeance.
Oh, that it were the last shall fall a victim
To zeal's inhuman wrath! Thou, gracious Hea-
Hear and defend at length thy suffering people;
Raise up a monarch of the royal blood,
Brave, pious, equitable, wise, and good.
In thy due season let the hero come,
To save thy altars from the rage of Rome:
Long let him reign, to bless the rescued land,
And deal out justice with a righteous hand.
And when he fails, oh, may he leave a son,
With equal virtues to adorn his throne;
And guard that faith for which I die to-day! [Lady Jane goes up to the scaffold. The scene closes.
Pem. Horror on horror! Blasted be the hand That struck my Guilford! Oh, his bleeding trunk Shall live in these distracted eyes for ever! Curse on thy fatal arts, thy cruel counsels!
[To Gardiner. The queen is deaf, and pitiless as thou art.
Gar. The just reward of heresy and treason Is fallen upon them both, for their vain obstinacy; Untimely death, with infamy on earth, And everlasting punishment hereafter.
Pem. And canst thou tell? Who gave thee to explore
The secret purposes of Heaven, or taught thee
To set a bound to mercy unconfined?
But know, thou proud, perversely-judging Win-
Howe'er you hard, imperious censures doom,
And portion out our lot in worlds to come,
Those, who, with honest hearts, pursue the right,
And follow faithfully truth's sacred light,
Though suffering here, shall from their sorrows