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SCENE I.-The Street.
Bel. And have you thought upon the conseEnter BELMOUR and DUMONT.
Dum. What is there I should fear? Dum. You saw her, then?
Bel. Have you examined Bel. I met her, as returning,
Into your inmost heart, and tried at leisure In solemn penance, from the public cross. The several secret springs that move the passions? Before her, certain rascal officers,
Has mercy fixed her empire there so sure, Slaves in authority, the knaves of justice, That wrath and vengeance never may return? Proclaimed the tyrant Gloster's cruel orders. Can you resume a husband's name, and bid On either side her marched an ill-looked priest, That wakeful dragon, fierce resentment, sleep? Who, with severe, with horrid haggard eyes, Dum. Why dost thou search so deep, and urge Did, ever and anon, by turns, upbraid her,
my memory And thunder, in her trembling ear, damnation. To conjure up my wrongs to life again? Around her, numberless, the rabble flowed, I have long laboured to forget myself, Shouldering each other, crowding for a view, To think on all time backward, like a space Gaping and gazing, taunting and reviling. Idle and void, where nothing e'er had being; Some pitying-But those, alas! how few! But thou hast peopled it again : Revenge The most such iron hearts we are, and such And jealousy renew their borrid forins, The base barbarity of human kind
Shoot all their fires, and drive me to distraction. With insolence, and lewd reproach, pursued her, Bel. Far be the thought from me! My care Hooting and railing, and, with villanous hands
was only Gathering the filth from out the common ways, To arm you for the meeting : better were it To hurl upon her head.
Never to see her, than to let that name Dum. Inhuman dogs!
Recall forgotten rage, and make the husband How did she bear it?
Destroy the generous pity of Dumont. Bel. With the gentlest patience;
Dum. () thou hast set iny busy brain at work, Submissive, sad, and lowly, was hier look; And now she musters up a train of images, A burning taper in her hand she bore,
Which, to preserve my peace, I had cast aside, And on her shoulders, carelessly confused, And sunk in deep oblivion-Oh, that form! With loose neglect, her lovely tresses hung; That angel face on which my dotage hung ! Upon her cheek a faintish flush was spread; How have I gazed upon her, till my soul Feeble she seemed, and sorely smit with pain, With very eagerness went forth towards her, While barefoot as she trod the flinty pavement, And issued at my eyes-Was there a gem Her footsteps all along were marked with blood. Which the sun ripens in the Indian mine, Yet, silent still she passed, and unrepining;
Or the rich bosoin of the ocean yields; Her streaming eyes bent ever on the earth, What was there art could make, or wealth could Except, when in some bitter pang of sorrow,
buy, To Heaven she seemed, in fervent zeal, to raise, Which I have left unsought to deck her beauty? And beg that mercy man denied her here. What could her king do more?- And yet she fled. Dum. When was this piteous sight?
Bel. Away with that sad fancy-Bel. These last two days.
Dum. Oh, that day ! You know my care was wholly bent on you, The thought of it must live for ever with me. To find the happy means of your deliverance. I met her, Belmour, when the royal spoiler Which, but for Hastings' death, I had not gained. Bore her in triumph froin my widowed home! During that time, although I have not seen her, Within his chariot, by his side she sat, Yet divers trusty messengers I have sent, And listened to his talk with downward looks, To wait about, and watch a fit convenience Till sudden, as she chanced aside to glance, To give her some relief; but all in vain; Her eyes encountered mine-Oh! then, my friend! A churlish guard attend upon her steps, Oh! who can paint my grief and her amazeWho menace those with death that bring her ment! comfort,
As at the stroke of death, twice turned she pale, And drive all succour from her.
And twice a burning crimson blushed all o'er her; Dum. Let them threaten;
Then, with a shriek, heart-wounding, loud she Let proud oppression prove its fiercest malice;
cried, So Heaven befriend my soul, as here I vow While down her chceks two gushing torrents ran, To give her help, and share one fortune with her. Fast falling on her hands, which thus she wrungBel. Mean you to see her, thus, in your own Moved at her grief, the tyrant ravisher, form?
With courteous action, wooed her oft to turn; Dum. I do.
Earnest he seemed to plead, but all in vain;
Even to the last she bent her sight towards me, Or bid his dreadful rod of vengeance stay? And followed meill I had lost myself. Wait then with patience, till the circling hours
Bel. Alas! for pity! Oh! those speaking tears! Shall bring the time of thy appointed rest, Could they be false? Did she not sutfer with And lay thee down in death. The hireling, thus, you?
With labour drudges out the painful day, For though the king by force possessed her per- And often looks with long expecting eyes son,
To see the shadows rise, and be dismissed. Her unconsenting heart dwelt still with
you; And hark, methinks the roar, that late pursued It all her former woes were not enough,
me; Look on her now; behold her where she wan- Sinks like the murmurs of a falling wind, ders,
And softens into silence. Does revenge Ilunted to death, distressed on every side, And malice then grow weary, and forsake me ? With no one hand to help; and tell me then, My guard, too, that observed me still so close, If ever misery were known like hers?
Tire in the task of their inhuman office, Dum. And can she bear it? Can that delicate And loiter far behind. Alas! I faint, frame
My spirits fail at once—This is the door
[She knocks at the door. For whom the merchant spread his silken stores, Can she
Enter a Servant. Entreat for bread, and want the needful raiment, Is your lady,
wrap her shivering bosom from the weather? My gentle friend, at home? Oh! bring me to her! When she was mine, no cate came ever nigh her;
[Going in. I thought the gentlest breeze, that wakes the Ser. Hold, mistress, whither would you? spring,
(Pushing her back. Too rough to breathe upon her; chearfulness J. Sh. Do you not know me? Danced all the day before her, and at night Ser. I know you well, and know my orders, Soft slumbers waited on her downy pillow Now sad and shelterless, perhaps, she lies, You must not enter here Where piercing winds blow sharp, and the chill J. Sh. Tell my Alicia, rain
'Tis I would see her. Drops from some pent-house on her wretched Ser. She is ill at ease, head,
And will admit no visitor.
Wait at the door and beg-
Bel. Somewhere about this quarter of the town, Go hence, and howl to those that will regard you. I hear the poor abandoned creature lingers :
[Shuts the door, and exit. ller guard, though set with strictest watch to J. Sh. It was not always thus; the time has keep
been, All food and friendship from her, yet permit her when this unfriendly door, that bars my passage, To wander in the streets, there choose her bed, Flew wide, and almost leaped from off its hinges, And rest her head on what cold stone she pleases. To give me entrance here; when this good house Dum. Here let us then divide; each in his Has poured forth all its dwellers to receive me : round
When my approaches made a little holiday, To search her sorrows out; whose hap it is And every face was dressed in smiles to meet me: First to behold her, this way let him lead But now'tis otherwise; and those, who blessed me, Iler fainting steps, and meet we here together. Now curse me to my face. Why should I wan
Stray further on, for I can die even here! Enter JANE SHIORE, her hair hanging loose on
pun at the or, her shoulders, and bare-footed. J. Sh. Yet, yet endure, nor murinur, oh, my
Enter Alicia in disorder, tuo Servants followsoul!
ing Do they not cover thee like rising floods,
Alic. What wretch art thou, whose misery and And press thee like a weight of waters down?
baseness Does not the hand of righteousness affiict thee? Hang on my door; whose hateful whine of woc And who shall plead against it? Who shall say Breaks in upon my sorrows, and distracts To power almightyy' thou hast done enough;'* My jarring senses with thy beggar's cry?
J. Sh. A very beggar, and a wretch, indeed; And see, the nodding ruin falls to crush me! One driven by strong calamity to seek
'Tis fallen, 'tis here! I felt it on my brain ! For succours here; one perishing for want, 1 Ser. This sight disorders herWhose hunger has not tasted food these three 2 Ser. Retire, dear lady— days;
And leave this womanAnd humbly asks, for charity's dear sake,
Alic. Let her take my counsel : A draught of water and a little bread.
Why shouldst thou be a wretch ! Stab, tear thy Alic. And dost thou come to me, to me for heart, bread?
And rid thyself of this detested being ! I know thee not-Go-hunt for it abroad, I will not linger long behind thee here. Where wanton hands upon the earth have scat- A waving flood of bluish fire swells o'er metered it,
And now 'tis out, and I am drowned in blood. Or cast it on the waters—Mark the eagle, Ha! what art thou? thou horrid headless trunkAnd hungry vulture, when they wind the prey; It is my Hastings ! see, he wafts me on! Watch where the ravens of the valley feed, Away! I go, I Hy! I follow thee ! And seek thy food with them—I know thee not. But come not thou, with mischief-making beauty, J. Sk. And yet there was a time, when my To interpose between us! look not on him ! Alicia
Give thy fond arts and thy delusions o'er, IIas thouglat unhappy Shore her dearest blessing, For thou shalt never, never part us more. And mourned the live-long day she passed with
[She runs off, her servants following. out me;
J. Sk. Alas! she raves; her brain, I fear, is When, paired like turtles, we were still together; turned. When often, as we prattled arm in arm,
upon her, gracious Heaven, Inclining fondly to me she has sworn,
Nor visit her for any wrong to me. She loved ine more than all the world besides. Sure I am near upon my journey's end; Alic. Ha! say'st thou! Let ine look upon thee My head runs round, my eyes begin to fail
And dancing shadows swim before my sight. 'Tis true—I know thee now-A mischief on thee! I can no more. [Lies down] Receive me, thou Thou art that fatal fair, that cursed she,
cold earth, That set my brain a madding. Thou hast robbed Thou common parent, take me to thy bosom, me;
And let me rest with thee.
afflicted one! thou niourner, J. Sh. Alas! I never wronged you
Whom none has comforted! Where are thy Oh! then be good to me; have pity on me;
friends, Thou never knewest the bitterness of want, The dear companions of thy joyful days, And may'st thou never know it. Oh! bestow Whose hearts thy warın prosperity made glad, Some poor remain, the voiding of thy table, Whose arms were taught to grow like ivy round A morsel to support my famished soul.
thee, Alic. Avaunt! and come not near me
And bind thee to their bosoms? Thus with thee, J. Sh. To thy hand
Thus let us live, and let us die, they said, I trusted all; gave my whole store to thee, For sure thou art the sister of our loves, Nor do I ask it back; allow me but
And nothing shall divide us. Now where are The smallest pittance! give me but to eat,
they? Lest I fall down, and perish here before thee. J. Sh. Ah, Belmour! where indeed? They Alic. Nay! tell not me! Where is thy king, stand aloof, thy Edward,
And view my desolation from afar! And all the siniling cringing train of courtiers, When they pass by, they shake their heads in That bent the knee before thee?
scorn, J. Sh. Oh! for mercy!
And cry, behold the harlot and her end ! Alic. Mercy! I know it not-for I am miser- And yet thy goodness turns aside to pity me. able.
Alas! there may be danger; get thee gone! I'll give thee misery, for here she dwells; Let me not pull a ruin on thy head. This is her house, where the sun never dawns; Leave me to die alone, for I'am fallen The bird of night sits screaming o'er the roof, Never to rise, and all relief is vain. Grim spectres sweep along the horrid gloom, Bel. Yet raise thy drooping head; for I am And nought is heard but wailings and lainentings. Hark! something cracks above! it shakes, it To chase away despair. Behold! where yonder totters!
That honest inan, ibat faithful, brave Dumont,
Is hasting to thy aid
The minister of Heaven's inquiring justice. J. Sh. Dumont! ha! where!
Array thyself all terrible for judgment, (Raising herself, and looking aghast. Wrath in thy eyes, and thunder in thy voice; Then Heaven has heard my prayer; his very Pronounce my sentence, and if yet there be
A woe I have not felt, inflict it on me. Renews the springs of life, and cheers my soul. Sh. The measure of thy sorrows is compleat! Has he then escaped the snare?
And I am come to snatch thee from injustice. Bel. He has; but see
The hand of power no more shall crush thy He comes unlike to that Dumont you knew;
weakness, For now he wears your better angel's form, Nor proud oppression grind thy humble soul. And comes to visit you'with peace and pardon. J. Sh. Art thou not risen by miracle from
death? Enter Shore.
Thy shroud is fallen from off thee, and the grave J. Sh. Speak, tell me! Which is he? And ha! Was bid to give thee up, that thou mightst come what would
The messenger of grace and goodness to me, This dreadful vision ! see it comes upon mem To seal my peace, and bless me e'er I go. It is iny husband Ah! [She swoons. Oh! let me then fall down beneath thy feet, Sh. She faints ! support her!
And weep my gratitude for ever there; Sustain her head, while I infuse this cordial Give me your drops, ye soft descending rains, Into her dying lips—from spicy drugs,
Give me your streams, ye never ceasing springs, Rich herbs and Aowers, the potent juice is drawn; That my sad eyes may still supply my duty, With wondrous force it strikes the lazy spirits, And feed an everlasting flood of sorrow. Drives them around, and wakens life anew. Sh. Waste not thy feeble spirits—I have long Bel. Her weakness could not bear the strong Beheld, unknown, thy mourning and repentance; surprize.
Therefore my heart has set aside the past, But see, she stirs ! And the returning blood And holds thee white, as unoffending innocence: Faintly begins to blush again, and kindle Therefore in spite of cruel Gloster's rage, Upon her ashy cheek
Soon as my friend had broke my prison doors, Sh. So-gently raise her- [Raising her up. I flew to thy assistance. Let us haste, J. Sh. Ha! What art thou? Belmour ! Now while occasion seems to sinile upon us, Bel. How fare you, lady?
Forsake this place of shame, and find a shelter. J. Sh. My heart is thrilled with horror- J. Sh. What shall I say to you? But I obeyBel. Be of courage
Sh. Lean on my arinYour husband lives ! 'tis he, my worthiest friend- J. Sh. Alas! I'm wondrous faint: J. Sh. Still art thou there! Still dost thou ho- But that's not strange; I have not eat these three ver round me!
days. Oh, save me, Belmour, from his angry shade! Sh. Oh, merciless! Look here, my love, I've Bel. 'Tis he himself'! he lives ! look up
brought thee J. Sh. I dare not!
Some rich conserves-
Sh. Am I so hateful, then, so deadly to thee, But you were ever thus. I well remember
sures, J. Sh. Oh! thou most injured—dost thou live, Preventing every wish; have you forgot indeed!
The costly string of pearl you brought me home, Fall then, ye mountains, on my guilty head; And tied about my neck?-- How could I leave Hide me, ye rocks, within your secret caverns;
you? Cast thy black veil upon my shame, 0 night! Sh. Taste some of this, or thisAnd shield me with thy salle wings for ever. J. Sh. You are strangely altered Sh. Why dost thou turn away? Why tremble Say, gentle Belmour, is he not? How pale thus?
Your visage is become? Your eyes are hollow; Why thus indulge thy fears? and in despair, Nay, you are wrinkled too Alas, the day! Abandon thy distracted soul to horror?
My wretchedness has cost you many a tear, Cast every black and guilty thought behind thee, And many a bitter pang, since last we parted. And let them never vex thy quiet more.
Sh. No more of that- - Thou talkest, but My arms, my heart, are open to receive thee,
dost not eat. To bring thee back to thy forsaken home,
J. Sh. My feeble jaws forget their common With tender joy, with fond forgiving love,
office, And all the longings of my first desires.
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. appear
Oh! I am sick at heart!
Sh. Thou murderous sorrow !
Sh. Oh, my love! Wilt thou still drink her blood, pursue her Why have I lived to see this bitter moment, still!
This grief, by far surpassing all my former? Must she then die! Oh, my poor penitent! Why dost thou fix thy dying eyes upon me, Speak peace to thy sad heart: she hears me not; With such an earnest, such a piteous look, Grief masters every sense-help me to hold her! As if thy heart were full of some sad meaning
Thou could'st not speak ?-
J. Sh. Forgive me!
-but forgive me ! Cat. Seize on them both, as traitors to the Sh. Be witness for me, ye celestial host, state!
Such mercy and such pardon as my soul Bel. What means this violence ?
Accords to thee, and begs of Heaven to shew [Guards lay hold on Shore and Belmour. thee, Cat. Have we not found you,
May such befall me at my latest hour, In scorn of the protector's strict command, And make my portion blest or cursed for ever! Assisting this base woman, and abetting
J. Sh. Then all is well, and I shall sleep in Her infamy?
peaceSh. Infamy on thy head !
'Tis very dark, and I have lost you now Thou tool of power, thou pandar to authority! Was there not something I would have bequeathI tell thee, knave, thou knowest of none so vir
ed you? tuous,
But I have nothing left me to bestow, And she that bore thee was an Æthiop to her. Nothing but one sad sigh. Oh! mercy, Heaven! Cat. You'll answer this at full-Away with
Bel. There fled the soul, Sh. Is charity grown treason to your court? And left her load of misery behind. What honest man would live beneath such rulers! Sh. Oh, my heart's treasure ! Is this pale sad I am content that we should die together
visage Cat. Convey the men to prison; but for her, All that remains of thee? Are these dead eyes Leave her to hunt her fortune as she may. The light that cheered my soul? Oh, heavy hour! J. Sh. I will not part with him—for me!- But I will fix my trembling lips to thine, for me!
'Till I am cold and senseless quite, as thou art. Oh! must he die for me !
What, must we part, then?
—will youFollowing him as he is carried off-She falls.
[To the guards taking him away. Sh. Inhuman villains !
Fare thee well
(Kissing her. [Breaking from the guards. Now execute your tyrant's will, and lead me Stand off! The agonies of death are on her- To bonds, or death, 'tis equally indifferent. She pulls, she gripes me hard with her cold hand. Bel. Let those, who view this sad example, J. Sh. Was this blow wanting to compleat my know, ruin?
What fate attends the broken marriage vow; Oh ! let him go, ye ministers of terror,
And teach their children, in succeeding times, He shall offend no more, for I will die,
No common vengeance waits upon these crimes, And yield obedience to your cruel master. When such severe repentance could not save Tarry a little, but a little longer,
From want, from shame, and an untimely grave. And take my last breath with you.