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Glos. I guess the man at whom your words Lord H. Thus it is, gracious Sir, that certain would point;
Using the warrant of your mighty name, Cates. The same.
With insolence unjust, and lawless power, Glos. He bears me great good will.
Have seiz'd upon the lands which late she held Cates. 'Tis true, to you, as to the lord protector, By grant, from her great master Edward's bounty, And Gloster's duke, he bows with lowly service; Glos. Somewhat of this, but slightly have I But were he bid to cry, God save king Richard,
heard; Then tell me in what terms he would reply: And though some counsellors of forward zeal, Believe me, I have prov'd the man, and found him: Some of most ceremonious sanctity I know he bears a most religious reverence And bearded wisdom, often have provok'd To his dead master Edward's royal memory, The hand of justice to fall heavy on her; And whither that may lead him, is most plain. Yet still, in kind compassion of her weakness, Yet more-One of that stubborn sort he is, And tender memory of Edward's love, Who, if they once grow fond of an opinion, I have withheld the merciless stern law They call it honour, honesty, and faith, From doing outrage on her helpless beauty. And sooner part with life than let it go.
Lord H. Good heaven, who renders mercy back Glos. And yet this tough, impracticable heart,
for mercy, Is govern'd by a dainty.tinger'd girl ;
With open-handed bounty shall repay you: Such flaws are found in the most worthy natures ; This gentle deed shall fairly be set foremost, A laughing, toying, wheedling, whimpering she, Toscreen the wild escapes of lawless passion, Shall make him amble on a gossip's message, And the long train of frailties flesh is heir to. And take the distaff with a hand as patient Glos. Thus far the voice of pity pleaded only: As e'er did Hercules.
Our further and more full extent of grace Sir R. The fair Alicia,
Is given to your request. Let her attend, Of noble birth and exquisite of feature,
And to ourself deliver up her griefs. Has held him long a vassal to her beauty. She shall be heard with patience, and each wrong
Cates. I fear, he fails in his allegiance there; At full redress’d. But I have other news, Or my intelligence is false, or else
Which much import us both; for still my fortunes The dame has been too lavish of her feast, Go hand in hand with yours: our common foes, And fed him till he loathes.
The queen's relations, our new-fangled gentry, Glos. No more, he comes.
Have fall’n their haughty crests—that for your Enter LORD Hastings.
(Exeunt. Lord H. Health, and the happiness of many SCENE II.-An apartment in JANE SHORE's days,
House. Attend upon your grace.
Enter BELMOUR and DUMONT. Glos. My good lord chamberlain, We're much behulden to your gentle friendship. Bel. How she has liv'd you have heard my tale Lord H. My lord, I come an humble suitor to you.
already; Glos. In right good time. Speak out your plea- The rest your own attendance in her family, sure freely.
Where I have found the means this day to place Lord H. I am to move your highness in behalf
you, Of Shore's unhappy wife.
And nearer observation, best will tell you. Glos. Say you, of Shore ?
See with what sad and sober cheer she comes. Lord H. Once a bright star, that held her
Enter JANE SHORE. place on high: The first and fairest of our English dames, Sure, or I read her visage much amiss, While royal Edward held the sov’reign rule. Or grief besets her hard. Save you, fair lady, Now, sunk in grief and pining with despair, The blessings of the cheerful morn be on you, Her waning form no longer shall incite And greet your beauty with its opening sweets. Envy in woman, or desire in man.
Jane S. My gentle neighbour, your good wishes She never sees the sun, but through her tears,
still And wakes to sigh the live-long night away; Pursue my hapless fortunes ! ah, good Belmour ! Glos. Marry! the times are badly chang'd with How few, like thee, inquire the wretched out, her,
And court the offices of soft humanity. From Edward's days to these. Then all was jollity, Like thee, reserve their raiment for the naked, Feasting and mirth,light wantonness and laughter, Reach out their bread to feed the crying orphan, Piping and playing, minstrelsy and masking, Or mix their pitying tears with those that weep "Till life fled from us like an idle dream,
Thy praise deserves a better tongue than mine, A show of mummery without a meaning. To speak and bliss thy name. Is this the gentleman, My brother, rest and pardon to his soul,
Whose friendly service you commended to me? Is gone to his account; for this his minion, Bel. Madam, it is. The revel-rout is done- But you were speaking, Jane S. A venerable aspect! [Aside Concerning her--I have been told, that you Age sits with decent grace upon his visage, Are frequent in your visitation to her.
And worthily becomes his silver locks; Lord H. No further, my good lord, than friendly He wears the marks of many years well spent, pity
Of virtue, truth well tried, and wise experience; And tender-hearted charity allow.
A friend like this would suit my sorrows well. Glos. Go to: I did not mean to chide you for it. Fortune, I fear me, Sir, has meant you ill, For, sooth to say, I hold it noble in you
(To DUMONT To cherish the distressed. —On with your tale. Who pays your merit with that scanty pittance,
Which my poor hand and humble roof can give. Jane S. 'Tis true, the royal Edward was a Bnt to supply those golden vantages,
wonder, Which elsewhere you might find, expect to meet The goodly pride of all our English youth; A just regard and value for your worth, He was the very joy of all that
saw him, The welcome of a friend, and the free partnership Form’d to delight, to love, and to persuade. Of all that little good the world allows me. But what had I to do with kings and courts ? Dum. You over-rate me much; and all my an- My humble lot had cast me far beneath him; swer
And that he was the first of all mankind, Must be my future truth; let that speak for me, The bravest, and most lovely, was my curse. And make up my deserving.
Alic. Sure something more than fortune join'd Jane S. Are you of England ?
your loves : Dum. No, gracious lady, Flanders claims my Nor could his greatness, and his gracious form, birth;
Be elsewhere match'd so well, as to the sweetness At Antwerp has my constant biding been, And beauty of my friend. Where sometimes I have known more plenteous Jane S. Name him no more: days
He was the bane and ruin of my peace. Than these which now my failing age affords. This anguish, and these tears, these are the legacies Jane S. Alas! at Antwerp! O, forgive my tears! His fatal love has left me. Thou wilt see me,
(Weeping. Believe me, my Alicia, thou wilt see me, They fall for my offences and must fall Ere yet a few short days pass o'er my head, Long, long, ere they shall wash my stains away. Abandon'd to the very utmost wretchedness. You knew perhaps—O, grief! Ó, shame !-iny The hand of power has seiz'd almost the whole husband.
Of what was left for needy life's support; Dum. I knew him well; but stay this flood of Shortly thou wilt behold me poor, and kneeling anguish.
Before thy charitable door for bread. The senseless grave feels not your pious sorrows: Alic. Joy of my life, my dearest Shore, forbear Three years and more are past, since I was bid, To wound my heart with thy forboding sorrows; With many of our common friends, to wait him Raise thy sad soul to better hopes than these, To his last peaceful mansion. I attended, Lift up thy eyes, and let them shine once more, Sprinkled his clay-cold corse with holy drops, Bright as the morning sun above the mist. According to our church's rev'rend rite,
Exert thy charms, seek out the stern protector, And saw
him laid, in hallow'd ground, to rest. And sooth his savage temper with thy beauty; Jane S. Oh, that my soul had known no joy but Spite of his deadly, unrelenting, nature, him!
He shall be mov'd to pity, and redress thee.
Nor laughing graces wanton in my eyes;
But haggard grief, lean-looking, sallow care,
And pining discontent, a rueful' train, Sert. The lady Alicia
Dwell on my brow, all hideous and forlorn. Attends your leisure.
One only shadow of a hope is left me; Jane Š. Say, I wish to see her.
The noble-minded Hastings, of his goodness,
[Erit SERVANT. Has kindly underta'en to be my advocate, Please, gentle Sir, one moment to retire, And move my humble suit to angry Gloster. I'll wait you on the instant, and inform you Alic. Does' Hastings undertake to plead your Of each unhappy circumstance, in which
cause ? Your friendly aid and counsel much may stead me. But wherefore should he not? Hastings has eycs:
(Ereunt Belmour and Dumont. The gentle lord has a right tender heart,
Melting and easy, yielding to impression,
And catching the soft flame from each new beauty; Alic. Still, my fair friend, still shall I find you But yours shall charm him long. thus ?
Jane & Away, you flatterer! Still shall these sighs heave after one another, Nor charge his geu'rous meaning with a weakness These trickling drops chase one another still, Which his great soul and virtue must disdain. As if the posting messengers of grief
Too much of love thy hapless friend has prov'd. Could overtake the hours fled far away,
Too many giddy, foolish, hours are gone, And make old time come back ?
And in fantastic measures danc'd away: Jane S. No, my Alicia,
May the remaining few know only friendship Heaven and his saints be witness to my thoughts, So thou, my dearest, truest, best, Alicia, There is no hour of all my life o'er-past,
Vouchsafe to lodge me in thy gentle heart, That I could wish should take its turn again. A partner there, I will give up mankind, Alic. And yet some of those days my friend has Forget the transports of increasing passion, known,
And all the pangs we feel for its decay. Some of those years might pass for golden ones, Alic. Live! live and reign for ever in my bosom; At least if womankind can judge of happiness.
[Embracing. What could we wish, we who delight in empire, Safe and unrivalld there, possess thy own; Whose beauty is our sov’reign good, and gives us And you, the brightest of the stars above, Our reasons to rebel, and power to reign ; Ye saints, that once were women here below, What could we more than to be hold a monarch, Be witness of the truth, the holy friendship, Lovely, renown'd, a conqueror, and young, Which here to this my other self I vow Bound in our chains, and sighing at our feet ? If I not hold her nearer to my soul,
Than every other joy the world can give, What visitor is this, who, with bold freedom,
Breaks in upon the peaceful night and rest,
Enter a SERVANT.
Lord Hastings (as I think) demands my lady. Therefore, these jewels, once the lavish bounty Alic. Hastings! Be still, my heart, and try to Of royal Edward's love, I trust to thee;
meet him (Giving a Casket. With his own arts! with falsehood.-But he comes Receive this, all that I can call my own, And let it rest unknown, and safe with thee: Enter LORD Hastings, speaking to a Serrant That, if the state's injustice should oppress me,
as entering Strip me of all, and turn me out a wanderer,
Lord H. Dismiss my train, and wait alone My wretchedness may find relief from thee,
without. And shelter from the storm.
Alicia here! Unfortunate encounter! Alic. My all is thine;
But be it as it may. One common hazard shall attend us both,
Alic. When humbly, thus, And both be fortunate, or both be wretched.
The great descend to visit the afflicted, But let thy fearful, doubting, heart be still; When thus, unmindful of their rest, they come The saints and angels have thee in their charge, To sooth the sorrows of the midnight mourner, And all things shall be well. Think not, the good, Comfort comes with them; like the golden sur., The gentle, deeds of mercy thou hast done,
Dispels the sullen shades with her sweet influence. Shall die forgotten all; the poor, the pris'ner, And cheers the melancholy house of care. The fatherless, the friendless, and the widow, Lord H. 'Tis true, I would not over-rate a Who daily own the bounty of thy hand,
courtesy, Shall cry to heaven, and pull a blessing on thee. Nor let the coldness of delay hang on it, Even man, the merciless insulter, man,
To nip and blast its favour, like a frost ; Man, who rejoices in our sex's weakness,
But rather chose, at this late hour, to come, Shall pity thee, and with unwonted goodness
That your fair friend may know I have prevail'd; Forget thy failings, and record thy praise. Jane s Why should I think that man will do And means to show her grace.
The lord protector has receiv'd her suit,
Alic. My friend ! my lord. What yet he never did for wretches like me?
Lord Mark by what partial justice we are judg’d;
Yes, lady, yours; none has a righ:
more ample Such is the fate unhappy women find,
To tax my power than you. And such the curse entail'd upon our kind,
Alic. I want the words That man, the lawless libertine, may rove, To pay you back a compliment so courtly; Free and unquestion'd through the wilds of love; But my heart guesses at the friendly meaning, While woman,-sense and nature's easy fool, And wo' not die your debtor. If poor weak woman swerve from virtue's rule;
Lord H. 'Tis well, Madam: If, strongly charm’d, she leave the thorny way,
But I would see your friend.
Alic. Oh, thou false lord !
Stifle this rising rage, and learn from thee In vain, with tears the loss she may deplore, To dress my face in easy, dull, indiff'rence; In vain, look back on what she was before ;
But 'two' not be; my wrongs will tear their way, She sets, like stars that fall, to rise no more. And rush at once upon thee.
Lord H. Are you wise?
Have you the use of reason? Do you wake? ACT II.
What means this raving, this transporting passion?
Alic. O thou cool traitor! thou insulting tyrant ! SCENE 1.–An Apartment in Jane Shore's Dost thou behold my poor, distracted heart, House.
Thus rent with agonizing love and rage,
And ask me what it means? Art thou not false ? Enter Alicia, speaking to JANE SHORE as
Am I not scorn'd, forsaken, and abandon’d; entering
Left, like a common wretch, to shame and infamy, Alic. No further, gentle friend; good angels Given up to be the sport of villain's tongues, guard you,
Of laughing parasites, and lewd buffoons ? And spread their gracious wings about your slum- And all because my soul has doated on thee bers.
With love, with truth, and tenderness unutterable! The drowsy night grows on the world, and now Lord H. Are these the proofs of tenderness and The busy craftsman, and the o'er-labour'd hind
love? Forget the travail of the day in sleep:
These endless quarrels, discontents and jealousies, Care only wakes, and moping pensiveness ; These never-ceasing wailings and complainings, With meagre discontented looks they sit, These furious starts, these whirlwinds of the soul, And watch the wasting of the midnight taper. Which every other moment rise to madness? Such vigils must I keep, so wakes my soul, Alic. What proof, alas ! have I not given of love ? Restless and self-tormented ! O, false Hastings! What have I not abandon'd to thy arms ? Thou hast destroyed my peace.
Have I not set at nought my noble birth,
[Knocking without. A spotless fame, and an unblemish'd race, What noise is that?
The peace of innocence, and pride of virtue ?
My prodigality has given thee all;
See thy last breath with indignation go, And now, I've nothing left me to bestow, And tread thee sinking to the shades below. You hate the wretched bankrupt you have made.
(Erit. Lord H. Why am I thus pursued from place Lord H. How fierce a fiend is passion! With to place,
what wildness, Kept in the view, and cross'd at every turn? What tyranny untam'd, it reigns in woman! In vain I fly, and, like a hunted deer,
Unhappy sex! whose easy yielding temper Scud o'er the lawns, and hasten to the covert; Gives way to every appetite alike : Ere I can reach my safety, you o'ertake me And love in their weak bosoms is a rage With the swift malice of some keen reproach, As terrible as hate, and as destructive. And drive the winged shaft deep in my heart. But soft ye now-for here comes one, disclaims'
Alic. Hither you fly, and here you seek repose ; | Strife and her wrangling train; of equal elements, Spite of the poor deceit, your arts are known, Without one jarring atom, was she formid, Your pious, charitable, midnight visits.
And gentleness and joy make up her being. Lord H. If you are wise, and prize your peace of mind,
Enter JANE SHORE. Yet take the friendly counsel of my love; Forgive me, fair one, if officious friendship Believe me true, nor listen to your jealousy. Intrudes on your repose, and comes thus late Let not that devil, which undoes your sex, To greet you with the tidings of success. That cursed curiosity, seduce you
The princely Gloster has vouchsaf'd your hearing, To hunt for needless secrets, which, neglected, To-morrow he expects you at the court; Shall never hurt your quiet; but, once known, There plead your cause, with never failing beauty, Shall sit upon your heart, pinch it with pain, Speak all your griefs, and find a full redress. And banish the sweet sleep for ever from you. Jane S. Thus humbly let your lowly servant Go to-be yet advis'd.
(Kneeling Alic. Dost thou in scorn
Thus let me bow my grateful knee to earth, Preach patience to my rage, and bid me tamely And bless your noble nature for this goodness. Sit, like a poor contented idiot, down,
Lord H. Rise, gentle dame, you wrong my Nor dare to think thou'st wrong’d me? Ruin seize meaning much, thee,
Think me not guilty of a thought so vain, And swift perdition overtake thy treachery! To sell my courtesy for thanks like these. Have I the least remaining cause to doubt ? Jane S. 'Tis true, your bounty is beyond my Hast thou endeavour'd once to hide thy falsehood ?
speaking: To hide it might have spoke some little tenderness, But, though my mouth be dumb, my heart shall And shown thee half unwilling to undo me: But thou disdain'st the weakness of humanity; And when it melts before the throne of mercy, Thy words, and all thy actions, have confessed it; Mourning and bleeding for my past offences, Even now thy eyes avow it, now they speak, My fervent soul shall breathe one prayer for you, And insolently own the glorious villany. That heaven will pay you back, when most you Lord H. Well then, I own my heart has broke
need, your chains.
The grace and goodness you have shown to me. Patient, I bore the painful bondage long,
Lord H. If there be aught of merit in my serAt length my gen'rous love disdains your tyranny;
vice, The bitterness and stings of taunting jealousy, Impute it there, where most 'tis due, to love; Vexatious days, and jarring, joyless nights, Be kind, my gentle mistress, to my wishes, Have driven him forth to seek some safer shelter, And satisfy my panting heart with beauty. Where he may rest his weary wings in peace. Jane S. Alas! my lordAlic. You triumph !-do! and with gigantic Lord H. Why bend thy eyes to earth? pride
Wherefore these looks of heaviness and sorrow? Defy impending vengeance. Heaven shall wink; Why breathes that sigh, my love ? And whereNo more his arm shall roll the dreadful thunder,
fore falls Nor send his lightnings forth : no more his justice This trickling shower of tears, to stain thy sweetShall visit the presuming sons of men,
ness? But perjury, like thine, shall dwell in safety. Jane S. If pity dwells within your noble breast, Lord H. Whate'er my fate decrees for me here- |(As sure it does,, oh, speak not to me thus. after,
Lord H. Can I behold thee, and not speak of Be present to me now, my better angel!
love? Preserve me from the storm that threatens now, Even now, thus sadly as thou stand'st before me, And, if I have beyond atonement sinn'd, Thus desolate, dejected, and forlorn, Let any other kind of plague o'ertake me, Thy softness steals upon my yielding senses, So I escape the fury of that tongue.
Till my soul faints, and sickens with desire; Alic. Thy prayer is heard-1 go-but know, How canst thou give this motion to my heart, proud lord,
And bid my tongue be still ?
Behold, like opening roses, where they bloom,
Lord H. What means this peevish, this fantasAnd riew thee fallen, and grov'ling at my feet;
tic change? VOL, !....L
Where is thy wonted pleasantness of face, Than ever king did, when he made a lord.
(Draws and strikes him. That cheerful heart, which us’d to dance for ever, The distance 'twixt a peasant and a prince., And cast a ray of gladness all around thee? Dum. Nay then, my lord, [Drawing.) learn Jane S. Yes, I will own I merit the reproach;
you by this, how well And for those foolish days of wanton pride, An arm resolv'd can guard its master's life My soul is justly humbled to the dust :
[They fight; DUMONT disarms LORU All tongues, like yours, are licens'd to upbraid me,
HASTINGS. Still to repeat my guilt, and urge my infamy, Lord H. Confusion! baffled by a base-born hind! And treat me like that abject thing I have been. Dum. Now, haughty Sir, where is our differLord H. No more of this dull stuff. 'Tis time
ence now? enough
Your life is in my hand, and did not honour, To whine and mortify thyself with penance, The gentleness of blood, and inborn virtue, The present moment claims more gen'rous use; (Howe'er unworthy I may seem to you) Thy beauty, night, and solitude, reproach me, Plead in my bosom, I should take the forfeit. For having talk'd thus long-come, let me press But wear your sword again ; and know, a lord, thee,
(Laying hold of her. Oppos'd against a man, is but a man. Pant on thy bosom, sink into thy arms,
Lord H. Curse on my failing hand! your betAnd lose myself in the luxurious flood.
ter fortune Jane S. Forbear, my lord !-here let me rather Has given you ’vantage o'er me ; but perhaps die,
(Kneeling. Your triumph may be bought with dear repentAnd end my sorrows and my shame for ever.
[Erit. Lord H. Away with this perverseness'tis too much.
Re-enter JANE SAORE. Nay, if you strive—'tis monstrous affectation !
(Striving. Jane S. Alas! what have you done ? Know Jane S. Retire! I beg you, leave me
ye the power, Lord H. Thus to coy it!
The mightiness, that waits upon this lord ? With one who knows you too.
Dum. Fear not, my worthiest mistress; 'tis a Jane S. For mercy's sakeLori H. Ungratefil woman! Is it thus you pay In which heaven's guards shall wait you. O pursue, My services ?
Pursue, the sacred counsels of your soul, Jane S. Abandon me to ruin
Which urge you on to virtue; Rather than urge me
Assisting angels shall conduct your steps, Lord H. This way to your chamber;
Bring you to bliss, and crown your days with peace.
[Pulling her. Jane S. O that my head were laid, my sad There if you struggle
eyes clos'd, Jane S. Help, gracious heaven!
And my cold corse wound in my shroud to rest! Help! Save me! Help!
[Erit. My painful heart will never cease to beat,
Will never know a moment's peace, till then. Enter Dumont; he interposes.
Dum. Would you be happy, leave this fatal
place; Dum. My lord ! for honour's sake
Fly from the court's pernicious neighbourhood; Lord H. Hah! What art thou ?—Be gone ! Where innocence is sham’d, and blushing modesty Dum. My duty calls me
Is made the scorner's jest ; where hate, deceit, To my attendance on my mistress here.
And deadly ruin, wear the masks of beauty, Lord H. Avaunt ! base groom
And draw deluded fools with shows of pleasure. At distance wait, and know thy office better. Jane S. Where should I fly, thus helpless and Dum. No, my lord
forlorn, The common ties of manhood call me now, Of friends and all the means of life bereft? And bid me thus stand up in the defence
Dum. Belmour, whose friendly care still wakes Of an oppress'd, unhappy, helpless, woman.
to serve you, Lord H. And dost thou know me, slave ? Has found you out a little peaceful refuge, Dum. Yes, thou proud lord!
Far from the court and the tumultuous city. I know thee well; know thee with each advantage, Within an ancient forest's ample verge, Which wealth, or power, or noble birth, can give There stands a lonely but a healthful dwelling, thee.
Built for convenience and the use of life: I know thee too for one who stains those honours, Around it, fallows, meads, and pastures fair, And blots a long illustrious line of ancestry, A little garden, and a limpid brook, By poorly daring thus to wrong a woman. By nature's own contrivance seem'd dispos'd; Lord H. 'Tis wondrous well! I see, my saint- No neighbours, but a few poor simple clowns, like dame,
Honest and true, with a well-meaning priest: You stand provided of your braves and ruffians, No faction, or domestic fury's rage, To man your cause, and bluster in your brothel. Did e'er disturb the quiet of that place, Dum. Take back the foul reproach, unman- When the contending nobles shook the land ner'd railer!
With York and Lancaster's disputed sway. Nor urge my rage too far, lest thou should'st find Your virtue there may find a safe retreat I have as daring spirits in my blood
From the insulting powers of wicked greatness. As thou or any of thy race e'er boasted;
Jane S. Can there be so much happiness in And though no gaudy titles grac'd my birth,
store? Yet heaven, that made me honest, made me more A cell like that is all my hopes aspire to.