Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

a

ance.

An arın resolved can guard its master's life. J. Sh. Where should I'fly, thus helpless and

{They fight forlorn, J. Sk. Oh my distracting fears ! hoid.fo Oi friends, and all the means of life berest?

Sweet Heaven. [Runs off idistractedli. Dum. Belmour, whose friendly care still wakes (They fight, Dumont disarms Lord Hastings.

to serve you, Hast. Confusion ! batiled by a base-bora Has found you out a little peaceful refuge, bind!

far from the court and the tumultuous city. Dum. Now, haughty sir, where is our difference Within an ancient 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 domestic 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 Jaxe 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 us take our flight, Dum. Fear not, my worthiest mistress; 'tis a Ere the clouds gather, and the wintery sky

Descends in storins 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- you, pose.

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 low 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 n'er, Where innocence is shamed, and blushing mo- its there, and wanders through the grove no

desty Is made the scorner's jest; where hate, deceit, Warbling she charms it each 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.

[Ereunt.

the power,

cause

inore,

ACT III.

SCENE I.-The court.

My faithless Hastings adverse to his hopes,

And much devoted to the orphan king;
Enter Alicia, with a paper.

On that I build: this paper meets his doubts, Alic. Tais paper to the grcat protectors And marks my hated rival as the cause hand,

Of Hastings' zeal for his dead master's sons. With care and secrecy, must be conveyed; Oh, jealousy! thou bane of pleasing friendship, His bold anbition now avows its aim,

Thou worst invader of our tender bosoms, To pluck the crown from Edward's infant brow, low does thy rancour poison all our softness, And fix it on his own. I know he holds And turn our gentie natures into bitterness?,

this pity,

me

See where she comes ! once my heart's dearest | To feed her wants, and save her life from pere blessing;

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
Enter JANE SHORE,

That could refuse a boon to such a suitress,
J. Sh. Now whither shall I Ay to find relief? You have got a noble friend to be your advocate ;
What charitable hand will aid me now?

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 ! Alic. Say what of him?

And shower down blessings on your princely head, J. Sh. That friendly, honest man,

Come, my Alicia, reach thy friendly arm,
Whom Belmour brought of late to my assistance, And help me to support this feeble frame,
On whose kind care, whose diligence and faith, That nodding totters with oppressive woe,
My surest trust was built, this very morn And sinks beneath its load.
Was seized on by the cruel hand of power,

[Ereunt J. Sh. and Alic, Forced from my house, and borne away to prison. Glost. Now, by my holidame! Alic. To prison, said you ! Can you guess the Heavy of heart she seems, and sore afflicted. cause?

But thus it is when rude calaunity J. Sh. Too well, I fear. His bold defence of Lays its strong gripe upon these mincing minions

The dainty gew-yaw forms dissolve at once, Has drawn the vengeance of Lord Hastings on And shiver at the shock. What says her par him.

per?

[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.

[Ile 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;

him, To blast her fatal beauties, and divide her • And he, and all his powers, attend you.' For ever from my perjured Hastings' eyes!

Rat. 'Tis wonderful ! The wanderer may then look back to me,

Cat. The means by which it came And turn to his forsaken home again.

Yet stranger too! Their fashions are the same, it cannot fail.

Glost. You saw it given, but now, [Pulling out the other paper.

Rat. She could not know the purport. J. Sh. But see, the great protector comes this

Glost. No, 'tis plainway,

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 paper, friend.

ters, Alic. (Aside. For love and vengeance ! The meddling harlot! dear she should abide it. [She gives her the other paper.

Cat. What hand soc'er it comes from, be as

sured,
Enter the Duke of GLOSTER, Sir RICHARP | It means your highness well-

RATCLIFFE, CATESBY, Courtiers, and other Glosc. Upon the instant,
Attendants.

Lord Isastings 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,

[They whisper.

[ocr errors]

ness

Enter LORD HASTINGS.

Glost. The council (much I'm bound to thank

them for't!) 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 my 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 his 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 thissits.

[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? right grave au

brity, 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 forner 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, And jealous doubts, jar in our public counsels; Our royal master, Edward, in concurrence Amidst the wealthy city, murmurs rise,

With his estates assembled, well determine Lewd railings, and reproach on those that rule, What course the sovereign rule should take With open scorn of government; hence credit

,

henceforward? And public trust 'twixt man and man, are broke. When shall the deadly hate of faction cease, The golden streams of commerce are withheld, When shall our long-divided land have rest, Which fed the wants of needy hinds and artizans, If every pecvish, 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 it! divined

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 realın,

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 Iis youth's support, and guardian to his throne. When churches, palaces, and cities blazed;

vern.

should pay.

When insolence and barbarism triumphed, To think me yours, and rank me with your friends.
And swept away distinctions; peasants trod Hast. Accept what thanks a grateful heart
Upon the necks of nobles : low were laid
The reverend crosier, and the holy mitre, Oh, princely Gloster! judge me not ungentle,
And desolation covered all the land;

Of manners rude, and insolent of speech,
Who can remember this, and not, like me, If, when the public safety is in question,
Here vow to sheath a dagger in his heart, My zeal flows warm and eager from my tongue.
Whose damned ambition would renew those hor- Glost. Enough of this : to deal in wordy com-
rors,

pliment And set once more that scene of blood before us! much against the plainness of my nature: Glost. How now! so hot!

I jndge you by myself, a clear true spirit, Hast. So brave, and so resolved.

And, as such, once more join you to my bosom. Glost. Is then our friendship of so little mo- Farewell, and be my friend. [Exit Closi. ment,

Hast. I am not read, That you could arm your hand against my life? Nor skilled and practised in the arts of greatHast. I hope your highness does not think I ness, mean it;

To kindle thus, and give a scope to passion. No; Heaven forefend that e'er your princely per- The duke is surely noble; but he touched me

Even on the tenderest point; the master-string, Should come within the scope of my resentment. That makes most harmony or discord to me. Glost. Oh, noble Hastings ! Nay, I must em- I own the glorious subject fires my breast,

[Embraces him. And my soul's darling passion stands confessed. By holy Paal, y'are a right honest man ! Beyond or love's or friendship's sacred band, The time is full of danger and distrust,

Beyond myself, I prize my native land : And warns us to be wary. Hold me not

On this foundation would'I build my fame, Too apt for jealousy and light surmise,

And emulate the Greek and Roman name; If, when I meant to lodge you near my heart, Think England's peace bought cheaply with my I put your truth to trial. Keep your loyalty,

blood, And live your king and country's best support: And die with pleasure for my country's good. For me, I ask no more than hononr gives,

[Erit.

son

brace you;

:

ACT V.

:

SCENE I.-Continues.

This puling, whining harlot rules his reason,

And prompts his zeal for Edward's bastard brood. Enter Duke of GLOSTER, Ratcliffe, and

Cat. If she have such dominion o'er his heart, CATESBY.

And turn it at her will, you rule her fate ; Glost. Tuis was the sum of all: that he would And should, by inference and apt deduction, brook

Be arbiter of his. Is not her bread, No alteration in the present state.

The very means immediate to her being, Marry, at last, the testy gentleman

The bounty of your hand? Why does she live, Was almost moved to bid us bold defiance; If not to yield obedience to your pleasure, But there I dropt the argument, and changing To speak, to act, to think as you command? The first design and purport of my speech, Rat. Let her instruct her tongue to bear your I praised his good affection to young Edward,

message ; And left him to believe my thoughts like his. Teach every grace to smile in your behalf, Proceed we then in this forementioned matter, And her deluding eyes to gloat for you; As nothing bound, or trusting to his friendship. His ductile reason will be wound about, Rat. Ill does it thus befall. I could have Be led and turned again, say and unsay, wished

Receive the yoke, and yield exact obedience. This lord had stood with us. His friends are Glost. Your counsel likes me well, it shall be wealthy;

followed.
Thereto, his own possessions large and mighty; She waits without, attending on her suit.
The vassals and dependants on his power Go, call her in, and leave us here alone.
Firm in adherence, ready, bold, and many;

[Ereunt Ratcliffe and Catesby. His name had been of vantage to your highness, How poor a thing is he, how worthy scorn, And stood our present purpose much in stead. Who leaves the guidance of imperial manhood Glost. This wayward and perverse declining To such a paltry piece of stuff as this is ! from us,

A moppet made of prettiness and pride; Has warranted at full the friendly notice, That oftener does her giddy fancies change, Which we this morn received. I hold it certain, Than glittering dew-drops in the sun do colours

a

Now, shame upon it! was our reason given But give the realm much worthy cause to thank For such a use! To be thus puffed about

you. Like a dry leaf, an idle straw, a feather,

J. Sk. Oh! where or how-Can my unworthy The sport of every whiffling blast that blows?

hand Beshrew my heart, but it is wondrous strange;. Become an instrument of good to any? Sure there is something more than witchcraft in Instruct your lowly slave, and let me fly them,

To yield obedience to your dread cominand. That masters even the wisest of us all.

Glost. Why, that's well said— Thus then-Ob

serve me well; Enter JANE SHORE.

The state, for many high and potent reasons, Oh! you are come most fitly. We have ponder- Deeming my brother Edward's sons unfit ed

For the imperial weight of England's crownOn this your grievance: and though some there J. Sh. Alas! for pity. are,

Glost. Therefore have resolved Nay, and those great ones too, who would enforce To set aside their unavailing infancy, The rigour of our power to afflict you,

And vest the sovereign rule in abler hands. And bear a heavy hand; yet fear not you: This, though of great importance to the public, We're ta'en you to our favour; our protection Hastings, for very peevishness and spleen, Shall stand between, and shield you from mis- Does stubbornly oppose. hap.

J. Sh. Does he? Does Hastings ? J. Sh. The blessings of a heart with anguish Glost. Ay, Hastings. broken,

J. Sh. Reward him for the noble deed, just And rescued from despair, attend your highness. Heavens ! Alas! my gracious lord, what have I done For this one action, guard him, and distinguish To kindle such relentless wrath against me?

him If in the days of all my past otiences,

With signal mercies, and with great deliverance ! When most my heart was lifted with delight, Save him from wrong, adversity, and shame! If I withheld my morsel from the hungry, Let never-fading honours flourish round him, Forgot the widow's want, and orphan's cry; And consecrate his name, even to time's end ! If I have known a good I have not shared, Let him know nothing else but good on earth, Nor called the poor to take his portion with me, And everlasting blessedness hereafter ! Let my worst enemies stand forth, and now Glost. Ilow now ! Deny the succour, which I gave not then.

J. Sh. The poor, forsaken, royal little ones! Glost. Marry there are, though I believe them Shall they be left a prey to savage power? not,

Can they lift up their harmless hands in vain, Who say you meddle in affairs of state :

cry to Ileaven for help, and not be heard? That you presume to prattle, like a busy body, Impossible! Oh, gallant, generous Hastings, Give your advice, and teach the lords o'th' coun- Go on, pursue ! assert the sacred cause : cil

Stand forth, thou proxy of all-ruling Providence, What fits the order of the common-weal. And save the friendless infants from oppression!

J. Sh. Oh, that the busy world, at least in this, Saints shall assist thee with prevailing prayers, Would take example from a wretch like me! And warring angels combat on thy side. None then would waste their hours in foreign Glost. You are passing rich in this same heathoughts,

venly speech, Forget themselves, and what concerns their peace, And spend it at your pleasure. Nay, but mark To tread the mazes of fantastic falsehood, To haunt their idie sounds and flying tales, My favour is not bought with words like these. Through all the giddy, noisy courts of rumour; Go to--you'll teach your tongue another tale. Malicious slander never would have leisure

J. Sh. No, though the royal Edward has unTo search, with prving eves, for faults abroad, If all, like me, considered their own hearts, He was my king, my gracious master still; And wept the sorrows which they found at home. He loved me too, though 'twas a guilty flame, Glost. Go to! I know your power; and though And fatal to my peace, yet still he loved me; I trust not

With fondness, and with tenderness he doated, To every breath of fame, I am not to learn Dwelt in my eyes, and lived but in my smiles : That Hastings is professed your loving vassal. And can 1-o my heart abhors the thought! But fair betal your beauty: use it wisely, Stand by, and see his children robbed of right? And it may stand your fortunes much in stead, Glost. Dare not, even for thy soul, to thwart Give back your forfeit land with large increase,

me further! And place vou high in safety and in honour. None of your arts, your feigning and your foolNav, I could point a way, the which pursuing,

ery; You shall not only bring yourself advantage, Your dainty squeamish coying it to me;

Or

me!

done me,

« FöregåendeFortsätt »