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To turn me wild with thy distemper'd rage,
And shock the peace of my departing soul?
Away! I prithee leave me!

Alic. Stop a minute.-
Till my full griefs find passage.-Oh the tyrant!
Perdition fall on Gloster's head and mine.

Hast. What means thy frantic grief?

Alic. I cannot speak-
But I have murder'd thee-Oh! I could tell thee

Hast. Speak, and give ease to thy conflicting passions!
Be quick, nor keep me longer in suspense.
Time presses, and a thousand crouding thoughts
Break in at once; this way and that they snatch,
They tear my hurry'd soul. All claim attention,
And yet not one is heard. Oh! speak, and leave me,
For I have business would employ an age,
And but a minute's time to get it done in.
Alic. That, that's my grief—'tis I that urge


Thus hunt thee to the toil, sweep thee from earth,
And drive thee down this precipice of death. shand

Hast. Thy reason is grown wild. Could thy weak
Bring on this mighty ruin? If it could,
What have I done so grievous to thy soul,
So deadly, so beyond the reach of pardon,
That nothing but my life can pay the forfeit?

Alic. Thy cruel scorn had stung me to the heart,
And set my burning bosom all in flames:
Raving and mad, I flew to my revenge,
And writ, I know not what- -told the Protector,
That Shore's detested wife, by wiles, had won thee
To plot against his greatness-He believ'd it,
(Oh, dire event of my pernicious counsel!)
And, while I meant destruction on her head,
H' has turn'd it all on thine.

Hast. Destructive jealousy!
“O merciless, wild, and unforgiving fiend!
6 Blindfold it runs to undistinguish'd mischief,
6 And murders all it meets.

Baneful its rage, « None can be found so deadly; unhappy they,

easy fools who give the dæmon harbour:

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« Those

6 Who turn a monster loose among mankind, Fiercer than famine, war, or spotted pestilence.* Alic. If thou wilt curse, curse rather thine owa

• The wanton maxims of thy perjur'd sex,
• Which taught thee first to laugh at faith and justice,
• To scorn the solemn sanctity of oaths,
• And make a jest of a poor woman's ruin:
• Curse thy proud heart, and thy insulting tongue,
• That rais'd this fatal fury in my soul,
And urg'd my vengeance to undo us both.'

Hast. Oh, thou inhuman! turn thy eyes away,
And blast me not with their destructive beams.
I will not curse thee with my dying breath.
Be gone! and let me sigh it out in peace.

Alic. Can'st thou-oh cruel Hastings, leave me thus?
Hear me, I beg thee I conjure thee, hear me!
While, with an agonizing heart, I tell thee,
In all the pangs I feel, and dreading worse
'The terrors and despair thy loss shall give me,
My hate was on my rival bent alone.
Oh! had I once divin'd, false as thou art,
A danger to thy life, I would have died,
I would have met it for thee, and made bare
My ready, faithful breast to save thee from it. [award;

Hast. Now, mark! and tremble at Heav'n's just While thy insatiate wrath and fell revenge Pursu'd the innocence which never wrong'd thee, Behold! the mischief falls on thee and me:t Remorse and heaviness of heart shall wait thee,

* See p. 141. Note + The followiog passages will serve as a Comment upon this and upon each other:

in these cases,

We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague che ioventor: This even-handed justice
Commcods the ingredients of the poison'd chalice
To our owo lips.

Macbeth, A. I. S. VII. “ He made a pit, and digged it, and is falleu into the ditch which “ be made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his “ violent dealing sball come down upon his own pate:”.

PSALM VII, 15, 16. Bible translation, * The quarto reads potion. The following verse, however, from Psalm xi. 7. may, perhaps, support the reading of porrion: “Upon

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And up remitting anguish be thy portion:*
For me, the snares of death are wound about me,+
And now, in one poor moment, I am gone.
Oh! if thou hast one tender thought remaining,
Fly to thy closet, fall upon thy knees,
And recommend my parting soul to mercy.

Alic. Oh! yet, before I go for ever from thee,
Turn thee in gentleness and pity to me, [Kneeling
And, in compassion of my strong affliction,
Say, is it possible you can forgive
The fatal rashness of ungovernd love?
For, oh! 'tis certain, if I had not lov'd thee,
Beyond my peace, my reason, fame and life,
This day of horror never should have known us.
Hast. Oh! rise, and let me hush thy stormy sorrows.

[Raising her.
Assuage thy tears, for I will chide no more,
No more upbraid thee, thou unhappy fair one.
I see the hand of Heav'n is arm'd against me;
And, in mysterious providence, decrees
To punish me by thy mistaking hand.
Most righteous doom! for, Oh! while I bebold thee
Thy wrongs

in terrible array,
And charge thy ruin on me; thy fair fame,
Thy spotless beauty, innocence, and youth,
Dishonor'd, blasted and betray'd by me.

Alic. And does thy heart relent for my undoing?
Oh! that inhuman Gloster could be mov'd
But half so easily as I can pardon!

Hast. Here, then, exchange we mutually forgiveness,
So may the guilt of all my broken vows,
My perjuries to thee be all forgotten,
As here my soul acquits thee of my death,
As here I part without one angry thought,
As here I leave thee with the softest tenderness,


rise up

the uogodly he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, storm and tem“ pest: This shall be their portion to drink."

* The sorrows of death compassed me, and the overflowings of as ungodliness made me afraid. The pains of hell came about me

the snares of death overtook me." PSALM XVIII. 3, 4.

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Mourning our guilty loves, and our deep woes,
And begging Heav'n to bless and to support thee.

[During this speech a Messenger enters and

speaks to Ratcliffe. Ratc. My Lord, dispatch; the Duke has sent to chide For loitering in my duty.

[me Hust. I obey.

Alic. Insatiate, savage monster! Is a moment
So tedious to thy malice? Heav'n will repay him,
The great avenger will have blood for blood:t

Some horrid kind of death will sure o'ertake him,
Sudden, and in the fulness of his sins!'
Then he may know how terrible it is,
To want that moment he denies thee now.

Hast. 'Tis all in vain, 'this rage that tears thy bosom;:
Like ароог
bird that flutters in its

cage, Thou beat'st thyself to death." Retire, I beg thee; To see thee thus, thou know'st not how it wounds me;. Thy agonies are added to my own, And make the burthen more than I can bear. Farewell—Good angels visit thy afflictions, And bring thee peace and comfort from above. [Erit.

Alic. How have I strength, under this parting stroke, To live,-to breathe!

Hast. [Returning.] One thing I had forgot-
I charge thee, by our present common miseries,
By our past loves, if I may dare to name them,
By all thy hopes of peace here and hereafter,
Let not the rancour of thy hate pursue
The innocence of thy unhappy friend:

Thou know'st who'tis I mean; oh! should'st thou wrong
Just Heaven shall double all thy woes upon thee,
And make them know no end-Remember this
As the last warning of a dying man:
Farewel, for ever! [The guards conduct Hastings off.

+ It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood.

Macbeth, A. III: S. IV. " And, surely, your blood of your lives will í require; at the hand of every beast will I require it; and at the hand of man, at

the hand of every man's brother'u ill I require the life of man. " Wboso sheddetta man's blood, by man skuli his blood he shed.”


Alic. For ever? oh! for ever!
And am I, then, to be a wretch for ever!
My rival too! his last thoughts hung on her:
And, as he parted, left a blessing for her.
Shall she be blest, and I be curst, for ever!
Ah! woe is me! of ev'ry joy forlorn,
I rue the hour when such a wretch was born!
With cries distracted now I fill the air;
Tear my poor bosom, rend my frantic hair;

prove the torments of the last despair. *



SCENE I. A Street.
Shore. You saw her, then?

Bel. I met her as returning
In solemn penance from the public cross:
Before her, certain officers of justice
Proclaim'd the tyrant Gloster's cruel orders.
Around her, numberless, the rabble flow'd,
Should'ring each other, crowding for a view,
Gaping and gazing, taunting and reviling;
Some pitying, but those, alas! how few!
The most, such iron hearts we are, and such
The base barbarity of human kind,
With insolence and loud reproach pursu'd her,
Hooting and railing, and with villanous hands
Gath'ring the filth from out the common ways
To hurl upon her head.

Shore. Inhuman dogs! How did she bear it?

* I have altered this speech, thinking that the performer might he unwilling to give up altogether a speech, which, being at the end, of an aci, commonly (to use a theati ica! phrase) telts. But it appears to me that it would have a much better effect, were Alicia to come in, in this scene, with her two female attendants, as in A. v. and, on Hastings being led off by the guards, to utter a shriek, and faint in the arms of ber attendants; it would also very her erit frorna viher eseuese

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