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At thy request, who, since her last defeat, Death is his triumph, which a captive life
Blind with despair and disappointed fury, Had forfeited to Rome, with all the praise
Fled to her tent; expiring, there, I found her, Now from the virtuous to his ashes due.
With one ill-fated daughter, both by poison; Flam. Then art thou fallen at last, thou migh-
Nor had the friendly Emmeline escaped,

ty tower, But by the swift prevention of my hand. And more than Roman edifice of glory? Dost thou not thank me, whose suggestion See, too, Venusia, pale in death's embrace, prompted

Presents her faded beauties. Lovely ruin ! Our quick return to seize the secret pass ? Of every grace and virtue once the seat ! Thou gav'st me freedom: love and fame repay The last kind office from my hand receive, thee.

Which shall unite thee to thy husband's side, Flam. If thou could'st add, that Dumnorix And to one grave your mingling reliques trust. survived

There soon a hallowed monument shall rise; Enob. (Looking into the tent.] Thou seest Insculptured laurel with the myrtle twined,

the gods have otherwise decreed. The well-wrought stone adorning, shall proclain Forbear to mingle vain regret with conquest. His generous valour, and thy faithful love. He hath done nobly. Fair befall his urn!

(Ereunt omnes.

EPILOGUE.

SPOKEN BY FLAMINIUS.

sue

Now we have shewn the fatal fruits of strife, Nor from their thoughts, while pensive they pur.
A hero bleeding with a virtuous wife,
A field of war, embrued with nations'

gore,

This maze of sorrow, snatch the moral clue. Which to the dust the hopes of Albion bore: If yet to him those pow'rs of sacred song, If weak description, and the languid flow To melt the heart and raise the mind, belong, Of strains unequal to this theme of woe, Dar'd he to hope this sketch of early youth Have failed to move the sympathising breast, Might stand th' award of nature and of truth ; And no soft eyes their melting sense express'd, Encouraged thus, hereafter might he soar Not all the wit this after-scene might share, With double strength, and loftier scenes exCan give success where you refus'd a tear.

plore, Much less, if haply still the poet's art

And, following Fortune through her various wiles, Hath stol'n persuasive to the feeling heart, Shew struggling Virtue dress'd in tears or smiles ; Will he, with Fancy's wanton hand, efface Perhaps his grateful labours would requite From gen'rous minds, compassion's pleasing trace; | With frequent offerings one propitious night.

THE

EARL OF ESSEX

BY

JONES.

PROLOGUE.

OUR desp’rate bard a bold excursion tries, Perhaps improve the plan, add fire and grace,
Though danger damp'd his wings, he dares to rise: And strike the impassion'd soul through all the
From hope, high rais’d, all glorious actions face.
spring;

How far our author has secur'd a claim
'Tis hence that heroes conquer, poets sing. To this exalted palm, this wish'd-for fame,
Even he may feel the soul-exalting fire,

Your gen'rous sentiments will soon declare : Fame prompts the humblest bosom to aspire. Humanity is ever prone to spare.

Without a guide this rash attempt he made, 'Twere baseness then your candour to distrust;
Without a clue from art, or learning's aid. A British audience will at least be just.
He takes a theme where tend'rest passions glow, A flattering truth he fearful must confess,
A theme your grandsires felt with pleasing woe. His sanguine friends made promise of success ;
Essex' sad tale he strives to clothe anew, But that he fears, their ardent wishes wrought,
And hopes to place it in a stronger view. Since partial favour seldom sees a fault.
Poets, like painters, may, by equal law,

Then hear, like patient friends, this first essay, The labour'd piece from different masters draw; 1 His next shall thank you in a nobler way.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MEN.
Earl of Essex.
SOUTHAMPTON.
BURLEIGH.
RALEIGH,
Lieutenant,

WOMEN.
Queen ELIZABETH.
RUTLAND.
NOTTINGHAM

SCENE,-London.

ACT I.

Bur. Let him rave on, and rage. - The lion, in SCENE I.-An Antechamber in the Palace. The toils entangled, wastes his strength, and roars

In vain; his efforts but amuse me now.
Enter BURLEIGH and RALEIGH.
Bur. The bill, at length, has pass'd opposing

Enter Gentleman.
numbers,

Gent. My lord, the lady Nottingham desires, Whilst crowds, seditious, clamour'd round the With much impatience, to attend your lordship. senate,

Bur. What may the purport of her business be? And headlong faction urg'd its force within. Her tender wishes are to Essex tied Ral. It has, my lord ! --The wish’d-for day is In love's soft fetters, and endearing bands : come,

Conduct her in.

[Erit Gentleman. When this proud idol of the people's hearts And you, my Raleigh, watch Southampton's steps; Shall now no more be worshipp'd.—Essex falls. With care observe each movement of his friends; My lord, the minute's near, that shall unravel That no advantage on that side be lost. The mystic schemes of this aspiring man.

[Exit RALEIGH
Now Fortune, with officious hand, invites us Southampton's Essex' second self ;
To her, and opens wide the gates of greatness, His daring heart, and bold ungovern'd tongue,
The way to power. My heart exults; I see, Are both enlisted in the rash designs
I see, my lord, our utmost wish accomplish’d! Of this proud lord, nor knows a will but his :
I see great Cecil shine without a rival,

A limb so fix'd, must with the body fall.
And England bless him, as her guardian saint.
Such potent instruments I have prepar’d,

Enter Lady NOTTINGHAM.
As shall, with speed, o'erturn this hated man, Not. Thrice hail to rescu'd England's guiding
And dash him down, by proof invincible.

genius! Bur. His day of glory now is set in night ; His country's guardian, and his queen's defence. And all my anxious hopes, at last, are crown’d. Great Burleigh, thou whose patriot bosom beats Those proofs against him, Raleigh

With Albion's glory, and Eliza's fame; Ral. All arrived.

Who shield'st her person, and support'st her Bur. Arrived ! how? when ?

throne; Ral. This very hour, my lord :

For thee, what fervent thanks, what offer'd vows, Nay more, a person comes, of high distinction, Do prostrate millions pay! To prove some secret treaties made by Essex, Bur. Briglit excellence, With Scotland's monarch and the proud Tyrone. This fair applause too highly overrates, Bur. How say'st? to prove them?

Too much extols, the low deserts of Cecil. Ral. Ay, my lord, and back'd

Not. What praises are too high for patriot With circumstances of a stronger nature.

worth; It now appears, his secretary, Cuff,

Or what applause exceeds the price of virtue? With Blunt and Lee, were deep concern'd in My lord, conviction has at last subdu'd me, this

And I am honour's proselyte :- Too long Destructive scheme, contriv’d to raise this lord, My erring heart pursu'd the ways of faction; And ruin Cecil. Oh, it is a subtle,

I own myself t have been your bitt'rest foe, A deep-laid mischief, by the earl contriv'd

And join'd with Essex in each foul attempt In hour malignant, to o'erturn the state, To blast your honour, and traduce your fame. And, horror to conceive! dethrone the queen! Bur. Though ne'er my wishing heart could Bur. These gladsome tidings fly beyond my call you friend, hopes !

Yet honour and esteem I always bore you; The queen will listen now, will now believe, And never meant, but with respect to serve you. And trust the counsel of her faithful Burleigh. Not. It is enough, my lord, I know it well, Dispose them well, till kind occasion calls And feel rekindling virtue warm my brenst; Their office forth; lest prying craft meanwhile Honour and gratitude their force resume May tamper with their thoughts, and change their Within my heart, and every wish is yours. minds :

O Cecil, Čecil, what a foe hast thou? Let them, like batteries conceald, appear A deadly foe, whilst hated Essex lives! At once, both to surprise and to destroy.

Bur. I know it well—but can assign no cause. Rul, His headstrong friend, the bold South- Not. Ambition's restless hand has wound his ampton, too,

thoughts Now finds his rash endeavours all defeated; Too high for England's welfare ; nay, the queen And storms at thee, and the impeaching commons. Scarce sits in safety on her throne, while be,

me.

the queen.

TH' audacious Essex, freely treads at large, Come, vengeance, come ! assist me now to And breathes the common air. Ambition is

breathe The only god he serves; to whom he'd sacrifice Thy venom'd spirit in the royal ear! (Erit. His honour, country, friends, and every tie

Bur. There spoke the very genius of the sex! Of truth, and bond of nature; nay, his love. A disappointed woman sets no bounds

Bur. The man, that in his public duty fails, To her revenge.---Her temper's form’d to serve On private virtue will disdainful tread; And mighty love, who rules all nature else, Must follow here, in proud ambition's train.

Enter RALEIGII. Not. Pronounce it not ! my soul abhors the Ral. The lord Southampton, with ugovern'd sound

rage, Like death.0, Cecil, will you kindly lend Resents aloud his disappointed measures. Some pity to a wretch like me ?

I met hiin in the outward court; he seeks, Bur. Command,

In haste, your lordship; and, forgetting forms, Madam; my power and will are yours.

Pursues me hither, and demands to see you. Not. Will Cecil's friendly car vouchsafe to Bur. Raleigh, 'tis well! Withdraw--attend

bend Its great attention to a woman's wrongs ; Leave me to deal with this o'erbearing man. Whose pride and shame, resentment and despair,

[Erit RALBIGN. Rise up in raging anarchy at once,

Enter SOUTHAMPTON.
To tear, with ceaseless pangs, my tortur'd soul?
Words are unequal to the woes I feel ;

South. Where is the man, whom virtue calls And language lessens what my heart endures.

her friend ? Bur. Madam, your wrongs, I must confess, are I give you joy, my lord !---Your quenchless fury great ;

Až length prevails, and now your malice triYet still, I fear, you know not half his falsehood. umphs. Who, that had eyes to look on beauty ;

You've hunted honour to the toil of faction, Who, but the false, perfidious Essex could And view his struggles with malicious joy. Prefer to Nottingham a Rutland's charms ? Bur. What means my lord? Start not !-By Heaven, I tell you naught but South. O fraud ! shall valiant Essex truth,

Be made a sacrifice to your ambition ! What I can prove, past doubt ; that he receiv'd | Oh, it smells foul, indeed, of rankest malice, The lady Rutland's hand, in sacred wedlock, And the vile statesman's craft. You dare not, The very night before his setting out

sure, For Ireland.

Thus bid defianee to each show of worth, Not. Oh! may quick destruction seize them! Each claim of honour: dare not injure thus May furies blast, and hell destroy their peace! Your suffering country, in her bravest son! May all their nights

Bur. But why should stern reproach her angry Bur. I pray, have patience, madam!

brow . Pestrain a while your rage; curses are vain, Let fall on me? Am I alone the cause But there's a surer method to destroy him; That gives this working humour strength? Do I And, if you'll join with me, 'tis done he falls. Instruct the public voice to warp.

his actions ? Not. Ha ! say'st thou, Burleigh ! Speak, my Justice, untaught, shall poise th' impartial scales, genius, speak!

And every curious eye may mark the beam. Be quick as vengeance' self to tell me how ! South. The specious shield, which private maBur. You must have heard, the commons have

lice bears, impeach'd him,

Is ever blazon'd with some public good; And we have proofs sufficient for his ruin. Behind that artful fence, skulk low, conceald, But the queen-you know how fair he stands

The bloody purpose, and the poison’d shaft; In her esteem; and Rutland, too, his wife, Ambition there, and envy, nestle close ; Hath full possession of the royal ear.

From whence they take their fatal aim unseen; Here then, my Nottingham, begins thy task : And honest merit is their destin'd mark. Try ev'ry art 7 incense the queen against him, Bur. My country's welfare, and my queen's Then step between her and the lady Rutland :

command, Observe Southampton, too, with jealous eye; Have ever been my guiding stars through life, Prevent, as much as possible, his suit;

My sure direction still,--To these I now For, well I know, he will not fail to try

Appeal ;--from these, no doubt, this lord's misHis eloquence on the behalf of Essex.

conduct Not. It shall be done ; his doom is fix'd: he Hath wildly stray'd ; and reason, not reviling, dies.

Must now befriend his cause. Oh, 'twas a precious thought! I never knew South. How ill had Providence Such heartfelt satisfaction.---Essex dies ! Dispos'd the suffering world's oppress'd affairs, And Rulland, in her turn, shall learn to weep. Had sacred right's eternal rule been left The time is precious; I'll about it strait. To crafty politicians' partial sway!

mons

Then power and pride would stretch th' enor- Ral. Dread sovereiga, your ever faithful com

mous grasp,
And call their arbitrary portion, justice: - Have, in their gratitude and love for you,
Ambition's arm, by av'rice urg'd, would pluck Preferred this salutary bill against him.
The core of honesty from Virtue's heart,
And plant deceit and rancour in its stead:

Enter BURLEIGH. Falsehood would trample then on Truth and Ho- Qu. Eliz. You, my Lord Burleigh, must have nour,

known of this. And Envy poison sweet Benevolence.

The commons here impeach the earl of Esser Oh, 'tis a goodly group of attributes,

Of practising against the state and me. And well befits some statesman's righteous rule! Methinks I might be trusted with the secret. Out, out upon such bloody doings !

Speak, for I know it well, 'twas thy contrivance. The term of being is not worth the sin;

Ha! was it not ? You dare not say it was not. No human bosom can endure its dart.

Bur. I own my judgment did concur with Then put this cruel purpose from thee far,

theirs. Nor let the blood of Essex whelm thy soul. His crimes, I fear, will justify the charge, Bur. 'Tis well, my lord! your words no com- And vindicate their loyalty and mine. ment need ;

Qu. Eliz. Ha! tell not me your smooth deNo doubt, they've well explain'd your honest ceitful story! meaning;

I know your projects, and your close cabals. 'Tis clear and full. To parts, like yours, discre- You'd turn my favour into party feuds, tion

And use my sceptre as the rod of faction: Would be a clog, and caution but incumbrance. But Henry's daughter claims a nobler soul. Yet mark me well, my lord, the clinging ivy I'll nurse no party, but will reign o'er all, With th' oak may rise, but with it too must fall. And my sole rule shall be to bless my people : South. Thy empty threats, ambitious man, Who serves them best, has still my highest favour: hurt not

This Essex ever did. The breast of truth. Fair innocence, and faith,

Enter SOUTHAMPTON. Those strangers to thy practis'd heart, shall shield

Behold, Southampton, My honour, and preserve my friend. In vain, What a base portrait's here! The faithful Esses Thy malice, with unequal arm, shall strive Here drawn at large, associating with rebels, To tear the applauded wreath from Essex' brow; | To spoil his country, and dethrone his queen! His honest laurel, held aloft by fame,

South. It is not like.—By Heav'n, the hand of Above thy blasting reach, shall safely flourish,

Envy And bloom immortal to the latest times ; Drew these false lines, distorted far from truth Whilst thou, amidst thy tangling snares involv'd, And honour, and unlike my noble friend Shalt sink confounded, and unpitied fall

. As light to shade, or hell to highest heav'n. Bur. Rail on, proud lord, and give thy choler Then suffer not, thou best of queens, this lord,

This valiant lord, to fall a sacrifice It wastes itself in vain; the queen shall judge To treachery and base designs; who now Between us in this warm debate. To her Engages death in all his horrid shapes, I now repair : and, in her royal presence, Amidst a hardy race, inur'd to danger ; You may approve your innocence and faith. But let him, face to face, this charge encounter, Perhaps you'll meet me there.-Till then, fare- And every falsehood, like his foes, shall fly. well.

[Erit. Qu. Eliz. To me you seem to recommend strict South. Confusion wait thy steps, thou cruel Justice, monster!

In all her pomp of power. But are you sure My noble and illustrious friend betray'd No subtle vice conceal'd assumes her garb? By crafty faction, and tyrannic power,

Take heed, that Malice does not wear the mask, His sinking trophies, and his falling fame, Nor Envy deck her in the borrow'd guise. Oppress my very soul. I'll to the queen, Rancour has often darken'd Reason's eye, Lay all their envy open to her view,

And Judgement winks, when Passion holds the Confront their malice, and preserve my friend.

scale.
(Erit. Impeach the very man to whom I owe

My brighest rays of glory! Look to it, lords;
SCENE II.-Presence Chamber. Take care, be cautious on what ground you tread;

Let honest means alone secure your footing. The Queen discovered, sitting on her Throne.

Raleigh and you withdraw, and wait our leisure. RALEIGH, Lords, and Attendants.

(Exeunt RALEIGII und SOUTHAMPTON. Qu. Eliz. Without consulting me! presumptu- Lord Burleigh, stay ; we must with you have laro ous man !

ther Who governs here ?-What ! am not I your Conf'rence.— I see this base contrivance plain. queen?

Your jealousy and pride, your envy of You dar'd not, were he present, take this stcp. His shining merit, brought this bill to light.

vent:

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