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Shall never hurt your quiet ; but, once known, Gives way to every appetite alike :
uproar; Alic. Dost thou, in scorn,
Each motion of the heart rises to fury, Preach patience to my rage, and bid me tamely And love, in their weak bosoms, is a rage Sit like a poor contented idiot down,
As terrible as hate, and as destructive. Nor dare to think thou'st wronged me? Ruin So the wind roars o'er the wide fenceless ocean, seize thee,
And heaves the billows of the boiling deep, And swift perdition overtake thy treachery! Alike from north, from south, from east, from Have I the least remaining cause to doubt?
west; Hast thou endeavoured once to hide thy false- With equal force the tempest blows, by turns, bood?
From every corner of the seaman's compass. To hide it might have spoke some little tender- But soft ye now-for here comes one, disclaims ness,
Strife and her wrangling train; of equal elementy And shewn thee half unwilling to undo me: Without one jarring atom, was she formed, But thou disdainest the weakness of humanity; And gentleness and joy make up her being, Thy words, and all thy actions, have confessed it; Even now thy eyes avow it, now they speak,
Enter JANE SHORE. And insolently own the glorious villany.
Forgive me, fair one, if officious friendship Hast. Well, then! I own my heart has broke Intrudes on your repose, and comes thus late
To greet you with the tidings of success. Patient I bore the painful bondage long; The princely Gloster has vouchsafed you hear At length my generous love disdains your ty- ing; ranny;
To-morrow he expects you at the court; The bitterness and stings of taunting jealousy, There plead your cause, with never-failing beauty, Vexatious days, and jarring, joyless nights, Speak all your griefs, and find a full redress. Have driven him forth to seek some safer shelter, J. Sh. Thus humbly let your lowly servant bend, Where he may rest his weary wings in peace.
[Kneeling. Alic. You triumph! do! and, with gigantic | Thus let me bow my grateful knee to earth, pride,
And bless your noble nature for this goodness. Defy impending vengeance. Heaven shall wink; Hast. Rise, gentle dame; you wrong my nieanNo more his arm shall roll the dreadful thunder; ing much; Nor send his lightnings forth : no more his jus- Think me not guilty of a thought so vain, tice
To sell my courtesy for thanks like these! Shall visit the presuming sons of men,
J. Sh. 'Tis true, your bounty is beyond my But perjury, like thine, shall dwell in safety.
speaking: Hast. Whate'er my fate decrees for me here- But though my mouth be dumb, my heart shall
after, Be present to me now, my better angel ! And when it melts before the throne of mercy, Preserve me from the storm that threatens now, Mourning and bleeding for my past offences, And if I have beyood atonement sinned, My fervent soul shall breathe one prayer for you, Let any other kind of plague o'ertake me,
prayers of such a wretch are heard on high, So I escape the fury of that tongue.
That Heaven will pay you back, when most you Alic. Thy prayer is heard- I go—but know, need, proud lord,
The grace and goodness vou have shewn to me. Howe'er thou scorn'st the weakness of my sex, Hast. If there be ought of merit in my service, This feeble hand may find the means to reach Impute it there, where inost ’tis due, to love ; thee,
Be kind, my gentle mistress, to my wishes, Howe'er sublime in power and greatness placed, And satisfy my panting heart with beauty. With royal favour guarded round and graced;
J. Sh. Alas! my lordOn eagle's wings my rage shall urge her flight, Hast. Why bend thy eyes to earth? And hurl thee headlong from thy topmost height; Wherefore these looks of heaviness and sorrow? Then, like thy fate, superior will I sit,
Why breathes that sigh, my love? And wherefore And view thee fallen, and grovelling at my feet;
falls See thy last breath with indignation go,
This trickling shower of tears, to stain thy sweetAnd tread thee sinking to the shades below.
(Erit. J. Sh. If pity dwells within your noble breast, Hast. How fierce a fiend is passion! with what (As sure it does) Oh, speak not to me thus! wildness,
Hast. Can I behold thec, and not speak of What tyranny untamed it reigns in woman!
love? Unhappy sex! whose easy yielding temper Even now, thus sadly as thou stand'st before me,
Thus desolate, dejected, and forlorn,
J. Sh. Retire ! I beg you leave me
Hast. Ungrateful woman! Is it thus you pay J. Sh. Cast round your eyes
J. Sh. Abandon me to ruin-
[Pulling her. To fill your arms, and bless your virtuous bed; There if you struggle Nor turn your eyes this way, where sin and J. Sh. Help, oh, gracious Heaven! misery,
Help! Save me! Help!
Enter Dumont, he interposes. Hast. What means this peevish, this fantastic Dum. My lord ! for honour's sakechange?
Hast. Ia! What art thou ? - Begone!
Dum. My duty calls me
At distance wait, and know thy office better. And cast a day of gladness all around thee? Dum. Forego your hold, my lord ! 'tis most J. Sh. Yes, I will own I merit the reproach;
unmanly And for those foolish days of wanton pride, This violenceMy soul is justly bumbled to the dust :
Hast. Avoid the room this moment, Ali tongues, like yours, are licensed to upbraid Or I will tread thy soul out. me,
Dum. No, my lordStill to repeat my guilt, to urge my infamy, The common ties of mankind call me now, And treat me like that abject thing I have been. And bid me thus stand up in the defence Yet let the saints be witness to this truth, Of an oppressed, unhappy, helpless woman. That now, though late, I look with horror back, Hast. And dost thou know me, slave? That I detest my wretched self, and curse Dum. Yes, thou proud lord! My past polluted life. All-judging Heaven, I know thee well; know thee with each advantage Who knows my crimes, has seen my sorrow for which wealth, or power, or noble birth can give them.
thee. Hast. No more of this dull stuff. Tis time I know thee, too, for one who stains those hoenough
nours, To whine and mortify thyself with penance,
And blots a long illustrious line of ancestry, When the decaying sense is palled with pleasure, By poorly daring thus to wrong a woman. And weary nature tires in her last stage;
Hast. 'Tis wonderous well ! I see, my saint-like Then weep and tell thy beads, when altering dame, rheums
You stand provided of your braves and rutlians, Haye stained the lustre of thy starry eves, To man your cause, and bluster in vour brothel. And failing palsies shake thy withered hand. Dum. Take back the foul reproach, unmauerThe present moment claims more generous use;
ed railer ! Thy beauty, night, and solitude, reproach me, Nor urge my rage too far, lest thou should'st For having talked thus long-come let me press thee,
(Laying hold of her. I have as daring spirits in my blood Pant on thy bosom, sink into thy arms,
As thou or any of thy race e'er boasted; And lose myself in the luxurious food!
And though no gaudy titles graced my birth, J. Sh. Never! by those chaste lights above, I Titles, the servile courtier's lean reward, swear,
sometimes the pay of virtue, but more oft My soul shall never know pollution more ; The hire which greatness gives to slaves and Forhear, my lord -here let me rather die:
[Kneeling. Yet Heaven, that made me honest, made me more Let quick destruction overtake me here,
Than ever king did, when he made a lord. And end my sorrows and my shame for ever. Hast. Insolent villain ! henceforth let this Hast. l way with this perverseness !—'tis too teach thee [Draws and strikes hun. touch,
The distance 'twixt a peasant and a prince! Nay, if you strive—'tis monstrous affectation! Dum. Nav, then, my lord, [druwing] learn
[Struggling by this, how well
An arm resolved can guard its master's life. J. Sh. Where should I Ay, thus helpless and
[They fight. forlorn, J. Sh. Oh my distracting fears ! hold, fo of friends, and all the means of life bereft?
sweet Heaven. [Runs off distractedly. Dum. Belmour, whose friendly care still wakes (They fight, Dumont disarins Lord Hastings.
to serve you, Hast. Confusion ! baffled by a base-born Ias found you out a little peaceful refuge, hind!
Far froin the court and the tumultuous city. Dum. Now, haughty sir, where is our difference within an ansient forest's ample verge, now?
There stands a lonely but a healthful dwelling, Your life is in my hand, and did not honour, Built for convenience and the use of life: The gentleness of blood, and inborn virtue, Around it fallows, meads, and pastures fair, (Howe'er unworthy I may seem to you)
A little garden, and a limpid brook, Plead in my bosom, I should take the forfeit. By nature's own contrivance seems disposed; But wear your sword again; and know, a lord No neighbours, but a few poor simple clowns, Opposed against a man, is but a man.
Honest and true, with a well meaning priest : Hast. Curse on my failing arm! Your better No faction, or doinestic fury's rage, fortune
Did e'er disturb the quiet of that place, Has given you vantage o'er me; but perhaps When the contending nobles shook the land Your triumph may be bought with dear repent- With York and Lancaster's disputed sway.
[Erit Hastings. Your virtue there may find a safe retreat
From the insulting powers of wicked greatness. Enter JANE SHORE.
J. Sh. Can there be so much happiness in J. Sh. Alas! what have ye done? Know ye store!
A cell like that is all my hopes aspire to. The mightiness, that waits upon this lord ? Haste, then, and thither let ys take our flight, Dum. Fear not, my worthiest mistress; 'tis Ere the clouds gather, and the wintery sky
Descends in storms to intercept our passage. In which Heaven's guards shall wait you. O Dum. Will you then go ! You glad my very pursue,
soul. Pursue the sacred counsels of your soul, Banish your fears, cast all your cares on me; Which urge you on to virtue ; let not danger, Plenty and ease, and peace of mind shall wait Nor the incumbering world, make faint your pur
And make your latter days of life most happy. Assisting angels shall conduct your steps, Oh, lady! but I must not, cannot tell you, Bring you to bliss, and crown your days with How anxious I have been for all your dangers, peace.
And how my heart rejoices at your safety. J. Sh. Oh, that my head were laid, my sad eyes So when the spring renews the flowery field, closed,
And warns the pregnant nightingale to build, And my cold corse wound in my shroud to rest! She seeks the safest shelter of the wood, My painful heart will never cease to beat, Where she may trust her little tuneful brood; Will never know a moment's peace till then. Where no rude swains her shady cell may know, Dum. Would you be happy, leave this fatal No serpents climb, nor blasting winds may place;
blow; Fly from the court's pernicious neighbourhood ; Fond of the chosen place, she views it o'er, Where innocence is shamed, and blushing mo- Sits there, and wanders through the grove no desty
more; Is made the scorner's jest ; where hate, deceit, Warbling she charms it cach returning night, And deadly ruin, wear the masques of beauty, And loves it with a mother's dear delight. And draw deluded fools with shews of pleasure.
SCENE 1.-The court.
My faithless Hastings adverse to his hopes,
And much devoted to the orphan king;
On that I build : this paper meets his doubts, Alic. This paper to the great protector's And marks my hated rival as the cause hand,
Of Hastings' zcal for his dead master's sons. With care and secrecy, must be conveyed; Oh, jealousy! thou bane of pleasing friendship, His bold ambition now avows its aim,
Thou worst invader of our tender bosoms, To pluck the crown from Edward's infant brow, How does thy rancour poison all our softness, And fix it on his own. I know he holds And turn our gentle natures into bitterness?
See where she comes! once my heart's dearest | To feed her wants, and save her life from perblessing;
ishing Now my changed eyes are blasted with her Glost. Arise, fair dame, and dry your watery beauty,
eyes. Loathe that known face, and sicken to behold her. (Receiving the paper, and raising her.
Beshrew me, but 'twere pity of his heart
That could refuse a boon to such a suitress.
A worthy and right gentle lord he is, Will stay my falling steps, support my ruins, And to his trust most true. This present now, And heal my wounded mind with balmy comfort? Some matters of the state detain our leisure ; Oh, my Alicia!
Those once dispatched, we'll call for you anon, Alic. What new grief is this?
And give your griefs redress. Go to! be comWhat unforeseen misfortune has surprised thee,
forted. That racks thy tender heart thus?
J. Sh. Good Heavens repay your highness for J. Sh. Oh, Dumont!
this pity, Alic. Say what of him?
down blessings on your princely head. J. Sh. That friendly, honest man,
Come, my Alicia, reach thy friendly arm,
[Exeunt J. Sh. and Alic. Forced from my house, and borne away to prison. Glost. Now, by my bolidame ! Alic. To prison, said you ! Can you guess the Heavy of heart she seems, and sore afflicted. cause?
Bat thus it is when rude calamity J. Sh. Too well, I fear. His bold defence of Lays its strong gripe upon these mincing minions
The dainty gew-gaw forms dissolve at once, Has drawn the vengeance of Lord Hastings on And shiver at the shock. What says her pahim.
Seeming to read. Alic. Lord Hastings ! Ha!
Ha! what is this? Come nearer, Ratcliffe ! J. Sh. Some fitter time must tell thee
Catesby! The tale of my hard hap. Upon the present Mark the contents, and then divine the meaning, Hang all my poor, my last remaining hopes.
[He reads. Within this paper is my suit contained;
Wonder not, princely Gloster, at the notice Here, as the princely Gloster passes forth, * This paper brings you from a friend unknown; I wait to give it on my humble knees,
* Lord Hastings is inclined to call you master, And move him for redress.
And kneel to Richard, as to England's king; [She gives the paper to Alicia, who opens. But Shore's bewitching wife misleads his heart, and seems to read it.
' And draws his service to king Edward's sons : Alic. (Aside.] Now for a wile,
' Drive her away, you break the charm that holds To sting my thoughtless rival to the heart;
Cat. The means by which it came
Yet stranger too!
[Pulling out the other paper. Rat. She could not know the purport.
She knows it not, it levels at her life; Attended by a train of waiting courtiers. Should she presume to prate of such high matGive me the
ters, Alic. [Aside. For love and vengeance ! The meddling harlot! dear she should abide it. [She gives her the other paper.
Cat. What hand soe'er it comes from, be as
sured, Enter the Duke of GLOSTER, Sir RICHARD It means your highness wellRATCLIFFE, CATESBY, Courtiers, and other
Glosc. Upon the instant, Attendants.
Lord Hastings will be here; this morn I mean J. Sh. (Kneeling.] Oh, noble Gloster, turn thy To prove him to the quick, then if he flinch, gracious eye,
No more but this away with him at once! Incline thy pitying ear to my complaint! He must be mine or nothing But he comes ! A poor, undone, forsaken, helpless woman, Draw nearer this way, and observe me well. Intreats a little bread for charity,
Enter LORD HASTINGS.
Glost. The council (much I'm bound to thank
them fort!) Hast. This foolish woman hangs about my Have placed a pageant sceptre in my hand, heart,
Barren of power, and subject to controul ; Lingers and wanders in my fancy still ;
Scorned by my foes, and useless to niy friends. This coyness is put on; 'tis art and cunning; Oh, worthy lord! were mine the rule indeed, And worn to urge desire- -I must possess her. I think I should not suffer rank offence, The groom, who lift bis saucy hand against me, At large, to lord it in the common-weal; Ere this, is humbled, and repents his daring, Nor would the realm be rent by discord thus, Perhaps, even she may profit by the example, Thus fear and doubt, betwixt disputed titles. And teach her beauty not to scorn my power.
Hast. Of this I am to learn; as not supposing Glost. This do, and wait me e'er the council | A doubt like this, sits. [Ereunt Rat. and Cat.
Glost. Ay marry, but there is My lord, you are well encountered; here has And that of much concern. Have you not heard been
How, on a late occasion, doctor Shaw A fair petitioner this morning with us;. Has moved the people much about the lawfulBelieve me, she has won me much to pity her : Alas! her gentle nature was not made
Of Edward's issue? By right grave authority, To buffet with adversity. I told her
Of learning and religion, plainly proving, How worthily her cause you had befriended; A bastard scion never should be grafted How much for your good sake we mean to do, Upon a royal stock; from thence, at full That you had spoke, and all things should be Discoursing on my brother's former contract well.
To lady Elizabeth Lucy, long before Hast. Your highness binds me ever to your His jolly match with this same buxom widow, service.
The queen he left behind himGlost. You know your friendship is most po- Hast. Ill befal tent with us,
Such meddling priests, who kindle up confusion, And shares our power. But of this enough, And vex the quiet world with their vain scruples! For we have other matters for your ear. By Heaven 'tis done in perfect spite to peace. The state is out of tune: distracting fears,
Did not the king,
With his estates assembled, well determine
henceforward ? And public trust 'twixt man and man, are broke. When shall the deadly hate of faction cease, The golden streams of coinmerce are withheld, When shall our long-divided land have rest, Which fed the wants of needy hinds and artizans, If every peevish, moody malecontent Who therefore curse the great, and threat re- Shall set the senseless rabble in an uproar, bellion.
Fright them with dangers, and perplex their Hast. The resty knaves are over-run with ease, brain, As plenty ever is the nurse of faction;
Each day with some fantastic giddy change? If, in good days, like these, the headstrong herd Glost. What if some patriot, for the public Grow madly wanton and repine; it is
good, Because the reins of power are held too slack, Should vary from your scheme, new-mould the And reverend authority, of late,
state? Has worn a face of mercy more than justice. Hast. Curse on the innovating hand attempts Glost. Beshrew my heart! but you have well
Remember him, the villain, righteous Heaven, The source of these disorders. Who can wonder, In thy great day of vengeance ! Blast the traitor If riot and misrule o'erturn the realm,
And his pernicious counsels, who, for wealth, When the crown sits upon a baby brow? For power, the pride of greatness, or revenge, Plainly to speak; hence comes the general cry, Would plunge his native land in civil wars ! And sum of all complaint; 'twill ne'er be well Glost. You go too far, my lord. With England (thus they talk) while children go Hast. Your highness' pardon
Have we so soon forgot those days of ruin, Hast. 'Tis true, the king is young; but what of When York and Lancaster drew forth the battles; that?
When, like a matron butchered by her sons, We feel no want of Edward's riper years, And cast beside some common way, a spectacle While Gloster's valour, and most princely wis- of horror and affright to passers by, dom,
Our groaning country bled at every vein ; So well supply our infant sovereign's place, When murders, rapes, and massacres prevailed His youth's support, and guardian to his throne. When churches, palaces, and cities blazed ;