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me.

Are all benumbed.

Your orders : 'Twas my duty to obey them. Offi. Indeed, I heard it not.

Mor. Where slept thy friendship then? Thou Mor. Away! and leave me to myself.

know'st despair

[Exit Officer. And madness urged me to it—but for theeMethought

Thy callous heart had never felt the pangs, I heard a voice cry-Stop—it is thy brother! i he agonies of disappointed love; We loved each other well; our early years Thou did'st not know Matilda-Cursed obedie Were spent in mutual happiness together :

ence! Matilda was not there-i do remember

How often has thy insolence opposed One day, in sportive mood, I rashly plunged Thy master and thy prince! how often dared Into the rapid flood, which had well nigh To thwart my will, and execute thy own: O'erwhelmed me; when the brave, the gallant But, when I bade thee do a deed of horror, Edwin

And shed a brother's blood—thou could'st obey Rushed in, and saved me.-Shall I, in return, Destroy my kind preserver? Horrid thought! Siw. Away! this is the trick of self-delusion, Forbid 'it, Heaven! (Pauses.] I am myself again. The common cant of hypocrites, who rail All powerful nature ! once more I am thine. At others' guilt, to mitigate their own. He shall not die-Who's there?

I've been the mean, the servile instrument Enter an Officer.

Of thy base vengeance; but thou had'st prepared

Another, a low ruffian, to perform
My Oswald ! Aly,

The bloody office; I detest thee for it,
Fly to the tower this moment, haste and save Despise, ahhor thee.
My brother-Some base ruffian-

Mor. Thou wert once my friend.
Offi. If, my lord,

Siw. Henceforth I am thy foe- Thou hast deYou mean the noble prisoner there, I fear

stroyed It is too late: This moment, as I passed The best of brothers, and the best of men. The citadel, I saw a mangled corse

Mor. Despised by Siward-then my cup of Drawn forth by Siward's order

sorrow Mor. Slave, thou liest !

Is full, indeed—But this shallAway this moment, bring me better news

(Attempts to kill himself, SIWARD urests the On peril of thy life!

(Exit Officer. sword from him.] Who knows, but Heaven,

Ha ! disarmed ! In gracious pity, still may interpose,

But coward guilt is weak as infancy; And save me from the guilt? It is not done; It was not so before I murdered Edwin. It shall not-must not be Alls quiet yet ; Siw. The murderer's punishment should be to I have not heard the signal. (The bell tolls.

live, Hark! he's dead:

And shall be thine; thou know'st not half thy My brother's dead !-Oh ! cover me, ye shades

guilt, of everlasting night! Hide, if ye can,

Nor half thy sorrows: I shall rend thy soul. A murderer from himself. Ha ! see, he comes : Prepare thee for another deeper wound, His wounds are bleeding still! his angry eyes And know that Edwin loved thee! In his band, Glare full upon me! Speak—what wouldst thou Whilst mine was lifted up for his destruction, have?

I found this paper; 'tis the counterpart Matilda shall be thine-He smiles, and leaves Of one he had dispatched to William ; read it,

And tremble at thy complicated guilt. (He pauses, and recovers himself. Mor. [Taking the paper.] What's here? He 'Twas but the error of my troubled soul.

pleads my pardon with the king, Oh! guilt, guilt, guilt! [Throws himself down. Ascribes my frantic zeal, in Eugar's cause, Here will I lay me down,

To ill-advised warmth, and recommends And end my days in bitterness and anguish. His-murderer to mercy! Horrid thought!

I am the vilest, most abandoned slave,
Enter SIWARD.

That e'er disgraced humanity-O Siward! Who's there? Ha! Siward here! (Rises. If thou hast yet, among the dying embers Speak, murderer, speak!

Of our long friendship, one remaining spark Where is my brother? Villain, thou hast snared Of kind compassion for the wretched Morcar, Mysoul; my honour's stained, my fame destroyed, Lend me thy aid, to shake off the sad load And my sweet peace of mind is lost for ever! Of hated life, that presses sore upon me. Siu. Matilda will restore it.

Siu. Though thou’rt no longer worthy of my Mor. Never, never !

friendship, The price of blood ! No: Could Matilda bring Deaf to the cries of nature, and the voice The vanquished world, in dowry with her charnis, Of holy truth, that would have counselled thee I would not wed her. O! could I recall To better deeds, yet hath my foolish heart One hasty moment, one rash, cruel act

Some pity for thee-After crimes, like these, But 'twas thy savage hand that

There is but one way left. Say, wilt th:oa patient Sia. I received

wait

me

all;

Till I return?

Mor. From every care-would I were half so Mor. I will.

blest! Siw. Remember, Morcar,

Mat. What mean you? Ha! th, eyes are fixt You promised me—I have a draught within,

with horror, Of wondrous power, that in a moment lulls Thy looks are wild. What hast thou done? O! The tortured soul to sweet forgetfulness

speak. Of all its woes : I'll haste and bring it thee; Mor. Matilda, if thou com’st for Edwii's life, 'Twill give thee rest and peace. [Exit SIWARD. It is too late-for Edwin is no more. Mor. I hope for ever.

Mut. And is my Edwin slain? But where's the lost Matilda ? who shall com- Mor. Ay: basely murdered. fort

0! 'twas the vilest, most unnatural deed That dear unhappy maid, whom I have robbed

That ever
Of every bliss. O, save me from the sight, Mat. Blasted be the cruel hand,
Ye pitying powers?

That dealt the blow! 0, may his guilty heart

Ne'er taste of balıny peace, or sweet repose ! Enter MATILDA.

Mor. But ever, by the vulture conscience torn, She comes-distraction !

Bleed inward, still unpitied, till ho seek Mat. Oh!

For refuge in the grave. My lord, permit

Mat, Nor find it there. Mor. Away-I know thce not.

Mor. 'Tis well: thy curses are accomplished Mat. Not know me! 'tis the

poor

distressed Matilda,

I feel them here within--for know-'twas I. Who comes to ask forgiveness for the rage I

gave

the fatal order, and my friend, Of frantic love, the madness of despair, My Siward, has too faithfully performed it. That urged me to such wrath and bitterness Mat. Siward ! impossible !' There dwells not Of keen reproach; but pardon- (Kneels.

then Generous Morcar,

In human breast, or truth, or virtue-0! A woman's weakness: Speak, and make me blest. Unnatural brother! but I will be calm. Alas! he hears me not.

Mor. Alas! thy fate is happiness to mine; Mor. Matilda, rise ;

For thou art innocent. I pray thee leave me

[Weeps.

Mat. And soon, I hope Mat. Gracious Heaven! he weeps ;

To be rewarded for it. O! my Edwin, Propitious omen! O, my lord! those tears Matilda soon shall follow thee-thou think'st Are the soft marks of sympathizing woe, I am unarmed, deserted, doomed, like thee, And seem to say, I shall not plead in vain. To hated life; but know, I have a friend, Mor. Ask what thou wilt, for know, so dear IA bosom-friend, and prompt, as thine, to enter hold

On any bloody service I command. Matilda's happiness, that, here I swear,

(Draws a dagger. If all the kingdoms of the peopled earth

Mor. Command it then for justice, for reWere mine to give, I'd lay them at her feet; But, much I fear, they would not make her happy. Behold! my bosom rises to the blow ;.

Mat. Alas! my lord, Matilda's happiness Strike here, and end a wretched murderer Is centered all in one dear precious jewel ;

Mat. No; 'Tis in thy keeping-Edwin

That were a mercy thou hast not deserved; Mor. What of him?

I shall not seek revenge in Morcar's death, Mat. Is innocent.

In mine thou shalt be wretched Mor. I know it.

[Attempts to stab herself; Morcar lays hold Mat. Just and good;

of the dagger. He never meant to injure thee; indeed,

Mor. Stop, MatildaHe did not.

Stop thy rash hand! the weight of Edwin's blood Mor. I believe it, for his nature

Sits heavy on my heart. O! do not pierce it Was ever mild and gentle.

With added guilt. Mat. Good my lord,

Mat. No more! I must be gone You mock me.

To meet my Edwin, who already chides Mor. No, Matilda ; speak, go on,

My lingering steps, and beckons me away. And praise him: I could talk to thee for ever Mor. Yet hear me! 0! if penitence and Of Edwin's virtues

prayer, Mat. Then thou would'st not hurt

If deep contrition, sorrow, and remorse, His precious life, thou would'st not

Could bring him back to thy desiring eyes, Mor. I would give

0! with what rapture would I yield him now A thousand worlds to save him.

To thee, Matilda-bear me witness---Ha! Mat. Would'st thou ? then

(Starts. My prayers are heard, thou hast forgiven all, 'Tis he-Look up, dear injured maid-- he comes And I am happy. Speak, is Edwin free! To claiin my promise.

venge!

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Mat. It is, it is my Edwin!

Mor. Alas! thy blessings cannot reach De.

Guilt Enter SIWARD und Edwin.-Edwin runs and May plead for pardon, but can never boast embraces MATILDA.

A claim to happiness: I only ask Mr. O unexpected bliss ! what gracious hand- A late forgiveness. If a life of sorrow, Siw. Behold the cordial draught I promised And deep remorse, can wash my crimes away, you !

Let them be buried, with me, in oblivion, I knew thy noble nature, when the storm And do not curse the memory of Morcar. Of passion had subsided, would abhor

[Turning to Edwix. A deed so impious-'Tis the only time,

0, Edwin ! say, canst thou forgive the crime That Siward ever did deceive his friend,

Of frantic love, of madness and despair? Canst thou forgive ?

Edw. As in my latest hour from Heaven I hope Mor. Forgive thee! O thou art

Its kind indulgence for my errors past, My guardian angel, sent by gracious Heaven Even so, my brother, from my soul, I pardon To save me from perdition. O, my brother ! And pity thee. I blush to stand before thee-wilt thou take Mor. Then I shall die in peace. From these polluted hands, one precious gift? Edw. Talk not of death, my brother ; thou 'Twill make thee full amends for all thy wrongs.

must live Accept her, and be happy.

To see our happiness complete, to hear (He joins the hands of EDWIN and MATILDA, My sweet Matilda pour forth all her heart then turning to SIWARD,

In rapturous thanks to thee, and to thy friend : That vile slave

And grateful Edwin bless thee for thy bounties. Whom I employed

Mor. It must not be: I know too much alSiw. I guessed his horrid purpose,

ready, Watched every step, and as the villain aimed Of Morcar's weakness, and Matilda's power ; His poniard at the guiltless Edwin's breast, They are not to be trusted. No, my Edwin, Turned sudden round, and plunged it in his own. Morcar shall never interrupt thy joys. The bloody corse was dragged--

Far from the sight, and from the haunts of mea, Mor. I know the rest.

In some deep distant solitude retired, 0, Siward! from what weight of endless woe To pious sorrow will I dedicate Hath thy blest hand preserved me!

My short remains of wretched life, and strive Edw. O, my Matilda ! how shall we repay To make my peace with Heaven and wronged Our noble benefactor? Much I owe

Matilda. To gallant Siward, but to Morcar more: And if, perchance, in after times, some bard, Thou gav'st me life, but my kind, generous bro- Struck with the native horrors of my tale, ther

Should bid the historic muse record it-let him, Enhanced the gift, and blessed me with Matilda. By my example, teach a future age Mut. (To MORCAR.] Words are too poor to The dire effects of loose, unbridled rage; thank thee as I ought ;

Teach thoughtless men their passions to conAccept this tribute of a grateful heart,

troul, These tears of joy; and, o ! may every curse

And curb the sallies of the impetuous soul, My frantic grief for Edwin poured upon thee, Lest they experience worse than Morcar's woe, Be changed to dearest blessings on thy head ! Nor find a Siward-to prevent the blow.

(Exeunt omnes,

THE

COUNTESS OF SALISBURY.

BY

HARTSON.

PROLOGUE.

SPOKEN IN THE CHARACTER OF A TEAGUE.

My jewels, I'm come to speak in the behalf- Then there's a child, the sweetest little rogue !
Hoot, devil burn you all, you makes me laugh ; Only excuse a trifling spice of brogue ;-
Upon my soul now, I don't take it well in you ;- He'll make you cry your eyes out, I'll be bound-
Arra, be easy till I'm after telling you.

'Tis Ireland is the true poetic ground. Smit with the love of glory and of pelf, The muses-Phoebus-heathenish cant I loath ! To-night a bard, from Dublin its own self, What's mount Parnassus to the Hill of Howth? Has brought a play here for your approbation; Or all the scenes each foolish poet paints, A very pretty thing, by my salvation,

Oh, bub-bub boo! give me the isle of Saints.If you'll trust Irish evidence, I mean.

Turn up your noses-cavil now and carp, I can't the story very well explain :

Musha, I'm sure our emblem is the harp. But it's about a countess and an earl ;

But stop !—the bell rings.-Fait they'll soon The countess is a mighty honest girl,

begin ; But there's a villain, with a damn'd cramp'd name, 'Tis time for me to be agoing in; Makes such proposals—'tis a burning shame- I take my leave, then-but, dear craters, mind Another too-a knight-bekeys as why

Pray, to our Irish poetry be kind : But hould you now,—you'll see it by and bye; 'Tis a new manufacture in effect; And then 'tis time enough to tell the plot. - And yours, my souls t'encourage and protect. Oh, but that's true, I'd like to have forgot No critic custom then enacted be, The dresses :—'pon my conscience, in my days Pass it, like Irish linen, duty free. I never saw their peer, -- they're all a blaže.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MEN.

Lord WILLIAM, infant Son of Salisbury. Lord SALISBURY, disguised as Alwin.

WOMEN.
RAYMOND, Lover of Lady Salisbury.
GREY, his Creature.

Lady SALISBURY.
Morton,

ELEANOR, her Attendant.
Sir ARDOLE, Friends to Salisbury.
LEROCHES,

Knights, Peasants, 8.
SCENE,--Salisbury Castle, and the Country about it.

ACT І.

vere

concerns

Rwy. But now I cast me at the fair one's feet? SCENE I.-Ag Avenue leuding to a Gothic Pleaded my passion with whatever arts Castle.

Might best the gentle purpose aid; but she,

Instead of such return as I might hope,
Enter Grey and first Knight.

Repaid me with an eye of cold contempt

. Grey. A MESSENGER dispatched by lady Sa- of her late gallant lord she spoke; his merits lisbury !

In opposition hateful placed to mine. Knt. And, in the specious guise he wore, had Urged then with recollection of her wrongs, passed

Like the loud torrent, with steep winter rains Unquestioned, had not I, in happy season, O’ercharged, in all the loose, ungoverned sway Approached, even as the unwary centinels Of wrath and indignation, she assailed me. Half op'd the gate. By threats o'erawed in part, Grey. And did my lord, in this unseemly faa In part through hope of favour won, he owned, shion, At length, by whom employed, whither bent, Hear all with equal temper? Waked he not And for what purpose.

With such a pealGrey, Say

Ray. Thou know'st not what it is Knt. Straight to repair

To love like me-Long time (for passion now To Marlborough ; where now, as fame reports, Had shed o'er all her charms a brighter glow, Our king resides, with all his peers; and there That like Jove's daughter most she looked, se To seek the lord de Warren; to what end This paper will, as I suppose, inform you. In youthful beauty) long I lay, o'erawed I was about to bear it to lord Raymond.

And silenced, as by some superior being; Grey. That care be mine. Henceforward it Till, waked by pride, quick from the floor I

sprung ; Us near. Our vigilance be doubly firm. (Exit Knt. Warned her how she provoked my power; {Reads.] • The countess of Salisbury, to her illus- | 'Twas great, 'twas now within these walls sutrious friend, the lord de Warren.

preme; • I have lost my husband-Me and my lands I long had gently wooed her ; but that love, lord Raymond claims, as by royal grant assigned Though patient, would not always brook disdain. to him. He has banished my train, encompass- Grey. 'Twas well: and what ensued? ed me with his creatures, and holds me a prison- Ruy. Silence at first, er in my own castle. If the memory of thy noble Then tears ; bright drops, like May-morn dews, friend be dear to thee, haste and rescue the

that fall afflicted

ELA.' From the sweet blossomed thorn. Back in her How near was Raymond's hope, the beauteous chair hope

She sunk-Oh! hạd you seen her then, disHe tended with unceasing care ; how near

solved My rising fortunes marred—I like not this: In all the soft, the lovely languishment Her, and her rich domains, he would possess; Of woe; while at her knee, with countenance Yet in his breast there lives that kind of heart Most piteous, stood her beauteous boy, and looked Withholds him from the path that's nearest. He, As it each tear, which from his mother fell, 'That would be great, must first be bold, Would force a passage to bis little heartI hate those motleyed characters;

I fled ; else had'I kneeled, and wept myself
Something, I know not what, 'twixt good and ill, As well as she.
Yet neither absolute; all good, all ill,

Grey. O shame to manhood ! suits
For me-That day, saith he, that happy day, Such weakness with our hopes ?
Which sees the countess mine, shall amply pay Ray. She must, she must,
Thy services-a doubtful balance this

Yes, Grey, she must be mine-and yet—yet fain Whereon my fortunes hang.-This way he moves; Would I persuade the fair one, not compel. And, by his gait and gesture, ill at ease

Grey, Say to what purpose, then, was seized We must be firm ;

her castle? My hopes demand it, and the time admits When she your suit rejected, then, perforce, No weak, no scrupulous delay

To claim her as the gift of royal favour!

To lord it here so long, and now to falter Enter RAYMOND.

My lord, my lord, the mound is overleapt; Ray. To sue,

What now forbids but, without further pause, But ever without grace to sue-Oh Grey ! To

crop the rich, the golden fruits within ? I am even weary of the vain pursuit.

Ray. Ungracious is the love reluctance yields; Grey. It is, in truth, my lord, an irksome la- And cold, cold even as marble, is the maila bour,

Who comes unwilling to another's arms,

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