Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

Where innocence is sham'd, and blushing modesty
Is made the scorner's jest ; where hate, deceit,
And deadly ruin, wear the masques of beauty,
And draw deluded fools with shews of pleasure.
7. Sh. Where should I fly, thus helpless and for.

lorn, Of friends, and all the means of life bereft? Dum. Belmour, whose friendly care still wakes to

serve you,
Has found you out a little peaceful refuge,
Far from the court and the tumultuous city.
Within an ancient forest's ample verge,
There stands a lonely but a healthful dwelling,
Built for convenience and the use of life :
Around it fallows, meads, and pastures fair,
A little garden, and a limpid brook,
By nature's own contrivance seem'd dispos'd;
No neighbours, but a few poor simple clowns,
Honest and true, with a well meaning priest :
No faction, or domestic fury's rage,
Did e'er disturb the quiet of that place,
When the contending nobles shook the land
With York and Lancaster's disputed sway.
Your virtue there may find a safe retreat
From the insulting pow'rs of wicked greatness.

7. Sh. Can there be so much happiness in store !
A cell like that is all my hopes aspire to.
Haste, then, and thither let us take our flight,
E'er the clouds gather, and the wint'ry sky
Descends in storms to intercept our passage.

Dum. Will you then go! You glad my very soul. Banish your fears, cast all your cares on me; Plenty and ease, and peace of mind shall wait you, And make your latter days of life most happy. Oh, lady! but I must not, cannot tell you, How anxious I have been for all your dangers, And how my heart rejoices at your safety. So when the spring renews the flow'ry field, And warns the pregnant nightingale to build, She seeks the safest shelter of the wood, Where she may trust her little tunetul brood; Where no rude swains her shady cell may know, No serpents climb, nor blasting winds may blow; Fond of the chosen place, she views it o'er, Sits there, and wanders thro' the grove no more; Warbling she charms it each returning night, And loves it with a mother's dear delight. [Exeunt:

ACT III. SCENE 1.

The Court.

Enter ALICIA, with a paper.

Alicia,
This paper to the great protector's hand,
With care and secrecy, must be convey'd ;
His bold ambition now avows its aim,
To pluck the crown from Edward's infant brow,

And fix it on his own. I know he holds
My faithless Hastings adverse to his hopes,
And much devoted to the orphan king;
On that I build : this paper meets his doubts,
And marks my hated rival as the cause
Of Hasting's zeal for his dead master's sons.
Oh, jealousy! thou bane of pleasing friendship,
“ Thou worst invader of our tender bosoms,"
How does thy rancour poison all our softness,
And turn our gentle natures into bitterness ?
See where she comes! once my heart's dearest bless-

ing, Now my chang'd eyes are blasted with her beauty, Loath that known face, and sicken to behold her,

Enter JANE SHORE. 7. Sh. Now whither shall I fly to find relief? " What charitable hand will aid me now ? “ Will stay my falling steps, support my ruins, “ And heal my wounded mind with balmy comforti" Oh, my Alicial

Alic. What new grief is this di
What unforeseen misfortune has surpriz'd thee,
That racks thy tender heart thus ?

7. Sh. Oh, Dumont!
Alic. Say what of him?

7. Sh. That friendly, honest man, Whom Belmour brought of late to my assistance, On whose kind care, whose diligence and faith,

My surest trust was built, this very morn
Was seiz'd on by the cruel hand of power,
Forc'd from my house, and born away to prison.

Alic. To prison, said you! Can you guess the cause

7. Sh. Too well, I fear. His bold defence of me Has drawn the vengeance of Lord Hastings on him.

Alic. Lord Hastings! Ha!

7. Sh. Some fitter time must tell thee
The tale of my hard hap. Upon the present
Hang all my poor, my last remaining hopes.
Within this paper is my suit contain:d ;
Here as the princely Gloster passes forth,
I wait to give it on my humble knees,
And move him for redress.

[She gives the paper to Alicia, who opens and

seems to read it. Alic. [ Aside.] Now for a wile, To sting my thoughtless rival to the heart; To blast her fatal beauties, and divide her For ever from my perjur'd Hastings' eyes : " The wanderer may then look back to me, “ And turn to his forsaken home again;" Their fashions are the same, it cannot fail.

[Pulling out the other paper. 7. Sh. But see the great protector comes this way, " Attended by a train of waiting courtiers." Give me the paper, friend. Alic. [ Aside.] For love and vengeance!

[She gives her the other paper. Enter the Duke of Gloster, Sir RICHARD RAT. CLIFFe, Catesby, Courtiers, and other attendants. 3. Sh. [Kneeling.] Oh, noble Gloster, turn thy gra

cious eye, Incline thy pitying ear to my complaint, A poor, undone, forsaken, helpless woman, Intreats a little bread for charity, To feed her wants, and save her life from perishing. Glost. Arise, fair dame, and dry your wat'ry eyes.

[Receiving the paper, and raising her. Beshrew me, but 'twere pity of his heart . That could refuse a boon to such a suitress. Y’have got a noble friend to be your advocate; A worthy and right gentle lord he is, And to his trust most true. This present Now Some matters of the state detain our leisure ; Those once dispatch'd, we'll call for you anon, And give your griefs redress. Go to! be comforted. 7. Sh. Good Heav'ns repay your highness for this

pity, And show'r down blessings on your princely head. Come, my Alicia, reach thy friendly arm, And help me to support this feeble frame, That nodding totters with oppressive woe, And sinks beneath its load. [Exeunt J. Sh. and Alic,

Glost. Now by my holidame! Heavy of heart she seems, and sore afflicted. But thus it is when rude calamity Lays its strong gripe upon these mincing minions;

« ZurückWeiter »