Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

What must we lose for that? Since then my fate For Plato, and his academic grove;
Has forced this hard exchange upon my will, All that I ask, is, though my fortune frown,
Let gracious Heaven allow me one request: And bury me beneath this fatal crown;
For that blest peace in which I once did dwell, Let that one good be added to my doom,
For books, retirement, and my studious cell, To save this land from tyranny and Rome.
For all those joys my happier days did prove,

| Ereunt.

ACT IV.

SCENE I.- Continues.

To win the wary council to our side.

Say thou, whose head is grown thus silver-white, Enter PEMBROKE and GARDINER.

In arts of government, and turns of state, Gar. In an unlucky and accursed hour How we may blast our enemies with ruin, Set forth that traitor duke, that proud Northum- And sink the cursed Northumberland to hell ! berland,

Gar. In happy time be your whole wish acTo draw his sword upon the side of heresy,

complished. And war against our Mary's holy right: Since the proud duke set out, I have had conIll fortune fly before, and pave his way

ference, With disappointments, nischief, and defeat ! As fit occasion served, with divers of them, Do thou, 0 holy Becket, the protector,

The earl of Arundel, Mason, and Cheyney, The champion, aod the martyr of our church, And find them all disposed as we could ask, Appear, and once more own the cause of Rome: By holy Mary, if I count aright, Beat down his lance, break thou his sword in To-day the better part shall leave this place, battle,

And ineet at Baynard's castle in the city; And cover foul rebellion with confusion ! There own our sovereign's title, and defy

Pem. I saw him marching at his army's head; Jane and her gospel crew. But, hie you hence ! I marked him issuing through the city-gate, This place is still within our foe's command; lo harness all appointed, as he passed;

Their puppet-queen reigns here.
And (for he wore his beaver up) could read
Upon his visage, horror and dismay.

Enter an Officer with a Guard.
No voice of cheerful salutation cheered him, Offi. Seize on them both.
None wished his arms might thrive, or bade God

[Guards seize Pembroke and Gardiner, speed him,

My lord, you are a prisoner to the state,
But, through a staring ghastly-looking crowd, Pem. Pa! by whose order?
Unbailed, unblessed, with heavy heart he went; Offi

. By the queen's command, As it his traitor father's haggard ghost,

Signed and delivered by lord Guilford Dudley. And Somerset, fresh bleeding from the axe, Pem. Curse on his traitor's heart ! On either hand had ushered him to ruin.

Gar. Rest you contented : Gar. Vor shall the holy vengeance loiter long. You have loitered here too long; but use your At Farmingham, in Suffolk, lies the queen,

patience; Mary, our pious mistress : where each day These bonds shall not be lasting. The nobles of the land, and swarming populace, Offi. As for you, sir, [To Gardiner. Gather, and list beneath her roval ensigns. 'Tis the queen's pleasure you be close confined : The fleet, commanded by Sir Thomas Jerning- You have used that fair permission was allowed ham,

you, Set out in warlike manner to oppose her, To walk at large within the Tower, unworthily. With one consent have joined to own her cause : You are noted for an over-busy meddler, The valiant Sussex, and Sir Edward Hastings, A secret practiser against the state ; With many more of note, are up in arms, For which, henceforth, your limits shall be straiter. And all declare for her.

Hence, to your chamber! Pem. The citizens,

Gar. Farewell, gentle Pembroke; Who held the noble Somerset right dear, I trust that we shall meet on blither terms : Flate this aspiring Dudley and his race, Till then, amongst my beads I will remember you, And would upon the instant join to oppose him; And give you to the keeping of the saints. Could we but draw some of the lords of the [Eveunt part of the guards with Gardiner. council

Pem. Now, whither must I go? To appear among them, own the same design, Offi. This way, my lord.

[Going off And bring the reverend sanction of authority To lead them into action. For that purpose,

Enter GUILFORD. To thee, as to an oracle, I come,

Guil. Hold, Captain! ere you go, I have a To learn what fit expedient may be found,

word or two

me?

my

a

For this your noble prisoner.

Guil. Oh, take thy sword, and let thy valiant Offi. At your pleasure;

hand I know my duty, and attend your lordship. Be ready armed to guard thy noble life.

[The Officer and Guards retire to the far- The time, the danger, and thy wild impatience, thest part of the stage.

Forbid me all to enter into speech with thee, Guil. Is all the gentleness, that was betwixt us, Or I could tell theeSo lost, so swept away from thy remembrance, Pem. No, it needs not, traitor ! Thou canst not look upon

For all thy poor, thy little arts are known. Pem. Ha! not look!

Thou fearest my vengeance, and art come to What terrors are there in the Dudley's race,

fawn, That Pembroke dares not look upon and scorn? To make a merit of that proffered freedom, And yet, 'tis true, I would not look upon thee : Which, in despite of thee, a day shall give me. Our eyes avoid to look on what we hate, Nor can my fate depend on thee, false Guilford; As well as what we fear.

For know, to thy confusion, ere the sun Guil. You hate me, then !

Twice gild the east, our royal Mary comes Pem. I do: and wish perdition may o'ertake To end thy pageant reign, and set me free. Thy father, thy false self, and thy whole name. Guil. Ungrateful and unjust! Hast thou then Guil. And yet, as sure as rage disturbs thy

known me reason,

So little, to accuse my heart of fear? And masters all the noble nature in thee, Hast thou forgotten Musselborough's field? As sure as thou hast wronged me, I am come, Did I then fear, when by thy side I fought, In tenderness of friendship, to preserve thee; And dyed my maiden sword in Scottish blood ? To plant even all the power I have before thee, But this is madness all. And fence thee from destruction with

life.

Pem. Give me my sword. [Taking his sword. Pem. Friendship from thee! But my just soul Perhaps, indeed, I wrong thee. Thou hast thought; disdains thee.

And, conscious of the injury thou hast done me, Hence! take the prostituted bauble back! Art come to proffer me a soldier's justice, Hang it to grace some slavering idiot's neck, And meet my arm in single opposition. For none but fools will praise the tinsel toy. Lead, then, and let me follow to the field, But thou art come, perhaps, to vaunt thy great

Guil. Yes, Pembroke, thou shalt satisfy thy ness,

vengeance, And set thy purple pomp to view before me; And write thy bloody purpose on my bosom, To let me know that Guilford is a king, But let death wait to-day, By our past friendThat he can speak the word, and give me free- ship, dom.

In honour's name, by every sacred tie, Oh, short-lived pageant! Hadst thou all the I beg thee ask no more, but haste froin hence. power

Pem. What mystiç meaning lurks beneath thy Which thy vain soul would grasp at, I would

words? die,

What fear is this, which thou wouldst awe my Rot in a dungeon, ere receive a grace,

soul with? The least, the meanest courtesy from thee. Is there a danger Pembroke dares not meet? Guil. Oh, Pembroke! but I have not time to Guil. Oh, spare my tongue a tale of guilt and talk,

horror! For danger presses; danger unforeseen,

Trust me this once : believe me when I tell thee, And secret as the shaft that flies by night, Thy safety and thy life is all I seek. Is aiming at thy life. Captain, a word !

Away.

[To the Officer Pem. By Heaven, I will not stir a step! I take your prisoner to my proper charge ; Curse on this shuffling, dark, ambiguous phrase ! Draw off your guard, and leave his sword with If thou wouldst have me think thou mean'st me

fairly, [The Officer delivers the sword to Lord Speak with that plainness honesty delights in,

Guilford, und goes out with his guard. And let thy double tongue for once be true, [Lord Guilford offering the sword to Guil, Forgive me, filial piety and nature, Pembroke.

If, thus compelled, 1 break your sacred laws, Receive this gift, even from a rival's hand; Reveal my father's crime, and blot with infamy And, if thy rage will suffer thee to hear

The hoary head of him who gave me being, The counsel of a man, once called thy friend, To save the man, whom my soul loves, from death! Fly from this fatal place, and seek thy safety!

[Giving a paper. Pem. How now! what shew! what mockery Read there the fatal purpose of thy foe, is this?

A thought which wounds my soul with shame and Is it in sport you use me thus ? What means

horror! This swift fantastic changing of the scene? Somewhat that darkness should have hid for ever,

a

me.

[ocr errors]

But that thy life-Say, hast thou seen that cha- | The danger comes- -If you stay longer here, racter?

You die, my Pembroke,
Pem. I know it well; the hand of proud Pem. Let me stay and die;
Northumberland,

For if I go, I go to work thy ruin.
Directed to his minions, Gates and Palmer. Thou know'st not wbat a foe thou send'st me
What's this?

[Reads.

forth; Remember, with your closest care, to observe That I have sworn destruction to the queen, those whom I named to you at parting; espe- And pledged my faith to Mary and her cause: cially keep your eye upon the earl of Pembroke; My honour is at stake. as his power and interest are most considerable, Guil. I know 'tis given. 6 so his opposition will be most fatal to us. Re- But go--the stronger thy engagements there, 'member the resolution was taken, if you should The more's thy danger here. There is a power « find him inclined to our enemies. The forms of Who sits, above the stars; in him I trust : * justice are tedious, and delays are dangerous. All that I have, his bounteous hand bestowed; • If he falters, lose not the sight of him till your And he, that gave it, can preserve it to me. daggers have reached his heart.'

If his o'er-ruling will ordains my ruin, My heart! Oh, murderous villain!

What is there more, but to fall down before him, Guil. Since we parted,

And humbly yield obedience? Fly ! begone ! Thy ways have all been watched, thy steps been Pem. Yes, I will go—for, see! Behold who comes! marked;

Oh, Guilford ! bide me, shield me from her sight; Thy secret treaties with the malecontents, Every mad passion kindles up again, That barbour in the city, thy conferring

Love, rage, despair--and yet I will be master-
With Gardiner here in the Tower; all is known: I will remember thee-Oh, my torn heart!
And, in pursuance of that bloody mandate, I have a thousand things to say,
A set of chosen ruffians wait to end thee: But cannot, dare not, stay to look on her.
There was but one way left me to preserve thee; Thus gloomy ghosts, where'er the breaking mom
I took it; and this morning sent my warrant

Gives notice of the cheerful sun's return,
To seize thy person
-But begone!

Fade at the light, with horror stand oppressed, Pem. 'Tis so—'tis truth see his honest And shrink before the purple dawning east; heart

Swift with the fleeting shades they wing their way, Guil. I have a friend of well-tried faith and And dread the brightness of the rising day. courage,

[Exeunt Guilford and Pembroke. Who, with a fit disguise, and arms concealed, Attends without, to guide thee hence with safety.

SCENE II. Pem. What is Northumberland? And what art thou?

Enter Lady Jane, reading. Guil. Waste not the time, Away!

L. J. Gray. 'Tis false! The thinking soul is Pem. Here let me fix,

somewhat more And gaze with everlasting wonder on thee. Than symmetry of atoms well disposed, What is there good or excellent in man,

The harmony of matter. Farewell else That is not found in thee? Thy virtues fash, The hope of all hereafter, that new life, They break at once on my astonished soul; That separate intellect, wbich must survive, As if the curtains of the dark were drawn, When this fine frame is mouldered into dust. To let in day at midnight. Guil. Think me true;

Enter GUILFORD. And though ill fortune crossed upon our friend- Guil. What read'st thou there, my queen? ship

L. J. Gruy. 'Tis Plato's Phædon; Pem. Curse on our fortune !-Think I know Where dying Socrates takes leave of life, thee honest.

With such an easy, careless, calm indifference, Guil. For ever I could hear thee—but thy life, As if the trifle were of no account; Oh, Pembroke ! linger not

Mean in itself, and only to be worn Pem. And can I leave thee,

In honour of the giver. Ere I have clasped thee in my eager arms, Guil. Shall thy soul And given thee back my sad repenting heart? Still scorn the world, still fly the joys that court Believe me, Guilford, like the patriarch's dove, Thy blooming beauty, and thy tender youth?

(Embracing. Still shall she soar on contemplation's wing, It wandered forth, but found no resting place,

And mix with nothing meaner than the stars; Till it came home again to lodge with thee. As heaven and immortality alone Guil. What is there that my soul can more de-Were objects worthy to employ ber faculties? sire,

L. J. Gray. Bate but thy truth, what is there Than these dear marks of thy returning friend- here below ship?

Deserves the least regard? Is it not time

a

my guard?

To bid our souls look out, explore hereafter, And now he brings hin prisoner up to London. And seek some better sure abiding place;

L. J. Gray. Then there's an end of greatness; When all around our gathering foes come on,

the vain dream To drive, to sweep us troin this world at once? Of empire, and a crown, that danced before me, Guil. Does any danger new

With all those unsubstantial empty forms : L. J. Gray. The faithless counsellors

The gaudy mask, tedious, and nothing meaning, Are fled from hence to join the princess Mary.

Is vanished all at once- Why, fare it well. The servile herd of courtiers, who so late

Guil. And canst thou bear this sudden turn of In low obedience bent the knee before me;

fate, They, who with zealous tongues, and hands up with such unshaken temper? lifted,

L. J. Gruy. For myselt, Besought me to defend their laws and faith; If I could form a wish for Heaven to grant, Vent their lewd execrations on my name,

It should have been, to rid me of this crown. Proclaim me traitress now, and to the scaffold And thou, o'er-ruling, great, all-knowing Power! Doom my devoted head.

Thou who discern'st our thoughts, who see'st them Guil. The changeling villains !

rising That pray for slavery, fight for their bonds, And forming in the soul! Oh, judge me, thou, And shun the blessing, liberty, like ruin. If e'er ambition's guilty fires have warmed me, What art thou, hunan nature, to do thus ? If e'er my heart inclined to pride, to power, Does fear of folly make thee, like the Indian, Or joined in being a queen. I took the sceptre Fall down before this dreadful devil, tyranny, To save this laud, tlry people, and thy altars : And worship the destroyer?

And now, behold, I bend my grateful knee, But wherefore do I loiter tamely here?

(Kneeling. Give me my arms: I will preserve my country,

In bumble adoration of that mercy,
Even in her own despite. Some friends I have, Which quits me of the vast unequal task.
Who will or die or conquer in the cause,
Thine and religion's, thine and England's cause.

Enter the Duchess of SUFFOLK.
L. J. Gray. Art thou not all my treasure, all

Duch. Suff. Nay, keep that posture still, and

let us join, And wilt thou take from me the only joy, Fix all our knees by thine, lift up our hands, The last defence is left me here below?

And seek for help and pity from above ; Think not thy arm can stein the driving torrent, For earth and faithless man will give us none ! Or save a people, who with blinded rage

L. J. Gray. What is the worst our cruel fate Urge their own fate, and strive to be undone.

ordains us? Northumberland, thy father, is in arms;

Duch. Suff: Cursed be my fatal counsels, cursed And if it be in valour to defend us,

my tongue, His sword, that long has known the way to con

That pleaded for thy ruin, and persuaded quest,

Thy guiltless feet to tread the paths of greatness! Shall be our surest safety.

My child I have undone thee !

L. J. Gray. Oh, my mother! Enter the Duke of SUFFOLK. Should I not bear a portion in thy sorrows? Suff . Oh, my children !

Duch. Suff. Alas, thou hast thy own, a double L. J. Gray. Alas! what means my father?

portion. Suff. Oh, my son,

Mary is come, and the revolting Londoners, Thy father, great Northuinberland, on whom Who beat the heavens with thy applauding name, Our dearest hopes were built

Now crowd to meet, and hail her as their queen. Guil. Ha! What of him?

Sussex is entered here, commands the Tower, Suff. Is lost! betrayed !

Has placed his guards around, and this sad place, His army, onward as he marched, shrunk from So late thy palace, is become our prison. hin,

I saw him bend his knee to cruel Gardiner, Mouldered away, and melted by his side ; Who, freed from his contineinent, ran to meet Like falling hail thick strewn upon the ground,

him, Which, ere we can essay to count, is vanished. Embraced and blest him with a hand of blood; With some few followers he arrived at Cam- Each hastening moment I expect them here, bridge;

To seize and pass the doom of death upon us. But there even they forsook him, and himself Guil. Ja! seized ! Shalt thou be seized ? and Was forced, with heavy heart and watery eye,

shall I stand, To cast his cap up, with dissembled cheer, And tamely see thee borne away to death? And cry, God save queen Mary! But, alas! Then blasted be my coward name for ever! Little availed the seinblance of that loyalty: No, I will set myself to guard this spot, For soon thereafter, by the earl of Arundel To which our narrow empire now is shrunk : With treason he was charged, and there arrested; Here I will grow, the bulwark of my queen;

rage do thus ?

Nor shall the hand of violence profane thee, Oh, tyrant! but the task becomes thee well; Until my breast have borne a thousand wounds, Thy savage temper joys to do death's office; Till this torn mangled body sink at once,

To tear the sacred bands of love asunder, A heap of purple ruin, at thy feet.

And part those hands which heaven itself hath L. J. Gray. And could thy rash distracted joined.

Duch. Suff. To let us waste the little rest of Draw thy vain sword against an armed multitude,

life Only to have my poor heart split with horror, Together, had been merciful. To see thee stabbed and butchered here before me? Suff. Then it had not Oh, call thy better nobler courage to thee, Been done like Winchester. And let us meet this adverse fate with patience ! Guil. Thou stand'st unmoved; Greet our insulting foes with equal tempers, Calm temper sits upon thy beauteous brow; With even brows, and souls secure of death; Thy eyes, that flowed so fast for Edward's loss, Here stand unmoved; as once the Roman senate Gaze unconcerned upon the ruin round thee; Received fierce Brennus, and the conquering As if thou hadst resolved to brave thy fate, Gauls,

And triumph in the midst of desolation. Till even the rude barbarians stood amazed Ha! see, it swells; the liquid crystal rises, At such superior virtue. Be thyself,

It starts, in spite of thee, but I will catch it; For see, the trial comes !

N let the earth be wet with dew so rich.

L. J. Gray. And dost thou think, my Guilford, Enter Sussex, GARDINER, Officers and Soldiers. I can see Suss. Guards, execute your orders; seize the My father, mother, and even thee my husband, traitors:

Torn from my side without a pang of sorrow? Here my commission ends. To you, my lord, How art thou thus unknowing in my heart !

[To Gar. Words cannot tell thee what I feel. There is So our great mistress, royal Mary, bids,

An agonizing softness busy here, I leave the full disposal of these prisoners. That tugs the string, that struggles to get loose, To your wise care the pious queen commends And pour my soul in wailings out before thee. Her sacred self, her crown, and, what's yet more, Guil. Give way, and let the gushing torrent The holy Roman church; for whose dear safety,

come; She wills your utmost diligence be shewn, Behold the tears we bring to swell the deluge, To bring rebellion to the bar of justice.

Till the flood rise upon the guilty world,
Yet farther, to proclaim how much she trusts And make the ruin common.
In Winchester's deep thought, and well tried L. J. Gray. Guilford ! No!
faith,

The time for tender thoughts and soft endear.
The seal attends to grace those reverend hands;
And when I next salute you, I must call you Is fled away and gone : joy has forsaken us;
Chief minister and chancellor of England. Our hearts have now another part to play;

Gar. Unnumbered blessings fall upon her head, | They must be steeled with some uncommon forMy ever-gracious lady! to remember

titude, With such full bounty her old humble beadsman! That, fearless, we may tread the paths of horror; For these, her foes, leave me to deal with them. And, in despite of fortune and our foes, Suss. The queen is on her entrance, and ex- Even in the hour of death, be more than conpects me :

querors. My lord, farewell.

Guil. Oh, teach me! say, what Gar. Farewell, right noble Sussex :

Inspires thy softer sex, and tender years, Commend me to the queen's grace; say her bid With such unshaken courage! ding

L. J. Gray. Truth and ingocence; Shall be observed by her most lowly creature.' A conscious knowledge rooted in my heart,

[Erit Susser. That to have saved my country was my duty. Lieutenant of the Tower, take hence your pri- Yes, England, yes, my country, I would save Be it your care to see them kept apart,

But heaven forbids, heaven disallows my weakThat they may hold no commerce with each other.

ness; L. J. Gray. That stroke was unexpected. And to some dear selected hero's hand Guil. Wilt thou part us?

Reserves the glory of thy great deliverance. Gar. I hold no speech with heretics and trai- Lieut. My lord, my orders

Guil. See! we must-must part. Lieutenant, see my orders are obeyed.

L. J. Gray. Yet surely we shall meet again.

[Erit Gar. Guil. Oh! Where? Guil. Inhuman, monstrous, unexampled cru

L. J. Gray. If not on earth, among yon golelty !

ments

energy divine

soners:

thee;

tors.

den stars,

« ZurückWeiter »