« PreviousContinue »
And set thy purple pomp to view before me;
[To the officer.
Guil. Oh, Pembroke! But I have not time to talk, For danger presses, danger unforeseen, And secret as the shaft that flies by night,* Is aiming at thy life. Captain, a word! I take your pris'ner to my proper charge; Draw off your guard, and leave his sword with me. [The Officer delivers the sword to Lord Guilford, and goes out with his Guard.
[Lord Guilford offering the sword to Pembroke. Receive this gift, ev'n from a rival's hand; And, if thy rage will suffer thee to hear The counsel of a man once call'd thy friend, Fly from this fatal place, and seek thy safety.
Pemb. How now! what shew what mockery is this?
Guil. Oh! take thy sword; and let thy valiant hand Be ready arm'd to guard thy noble life: The time, the danger, and thy wild impatience, Forbid me all to enter into speech with thee, Or I could tell thee
Pemb. No, it needs not, traitor!
"Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day." Psalm xc1. 5.
Guil. Ungrateful and unjust! Hast thou then known So little, to accuse my heart of fear? Hast thou forgotten Musselborough's field?* Did I then fear, when by thy side I fought. And dy'd my maiden sword in Scottish blood! But this is madness all.
Pemb. Give me my sword. [Taking his sword. Perhaps, indeed, I wrong thee. Thou hast thought; And conscious of the injury thou hast done me, Art come to proffer me a soldier's justice, And meet my arm in single opposition. Lead, then, and let me follow to the field.
Guil. Still vengeance! Thou must write thy bloody Upon my bosom!-But I've answer'd thee: [purpose And will again. Time wears. By our past friendship, In honour's name, by ev'ry sacred tie, I beg thee ask no more, but haste from hence.
Pemb. What mystic meaning lurks beneath thy words? What fear is this which thou would'st awe my soul with? Is there a danger Pembroke dares not meet?
Guil Oh, spare my tongue a tale of guilt and horror, Trust me this once: believe me when I tell thee, Thy safety and thy life is all I seek.
Pemb. I wo'not stir a step.'
Begone this shuffling, dark, ambiguous phrase.
Guil. Thou dost distress me, Pembroke. But, I trust,
* Commonly called the battle of Pinkey, fought Sept. 10, 1547. See Hume, Vol. IV. ch. XXXIV. and Burnet, Vol. 11. p. 34. But, as Ld. G. D. was under 17 years of age when he married Lady J. G. in May 1553, he could not have been then 11 years old, and consequently it is very unlikely that he fought side by side with the Earl of Pembroke.
Read there the fatal purpose of thy foe, [Giving a paper.
Pemb. I know it well; the hand of proud NorthumDirected to his minions, Gates and Palmer. [berland, What's this? [Reads. "Remember, with your closest care, to observe those "whom I named to you at parting; especially keep your 66 eye upon the Earl of Pembroke; as his power and "interest are most considerable, so his opposition will "be most fatal to us. Remember the resolution was "taken, if you should find him inclined to our enemies. "The forms of justice are tedious, and delays are dan<< gerous. If he falters, lose not the sight of him till 66 your daggers have reached his heart."
My heart! Oh, murd'rous villain!
Guil. Since we parted,
Thy ways have all been watch'd, thy steps been mark'd; Thy secret treaties with the malecontents
That harbour in the city, thy conferring
With Gard'ner here in the Tower; all is known;
Pemb. 'Tis so--'tis truth-I see his honest heart-
Pemb. What is Northumberland? and what art thou? Guil. Waste not the time. Away!
Pemb. Here let me fix,
And gaze with an unwearied wonder on thee.
Guil. Think me true;
And tho' some cross events have hurt our friendship— Pemb. Bury th' events!- And think!-I know
Guil. For ever I could hear thee-but thy life, Oh, Pembroke! linger not
Pemb. And can I leave thee,
Ere I have clasp'd thee in my eager arms,
It wander'd forth, but found no resting-place,
Guil. What is there that my soul can more desire,
Pemb. Let me stay and die;
For, if I go, I go to work thy ruin.
Thou know'st not what a foe thou send'st me forth,
Guil. I know 'tis given.
But go the stronger thy engagements there,
Who sits above the stars; in him I trust: All that I have, his bounteous hand bestow'd: And he that gave it, can preserve it to me. If his o'er-ruling will ordains my death, What is there more but to fall down before him, And humbly yield obedience!'-Fly! begone! Pemb. Yes, I will go for see! Behold who comes ! Oh, Guilford! hide me, shield me from her sight; Ev'ry mad passion kindles up again, Love, rage, despair-and yet I will be masterI will remember thee Oh, my torn heart! I have a thousand thousand things to say, But cannot, dare not stay to look on her. [Exeunt Guilford and Pembroke
Enter Lady JANE GRAY, reading.
L. J. Gray. 'Tis false! The thinking soul is some-
Than symmetry of atoms well-dispos'd,
Guil. What read'st thou there, my queen ?
Mean in itself, and only to be worn
Guil. Shall thy soul
Still scorn the world, still fly the joys that court
L. J. Gray. The faithless counsellors
Are fled from hence to join the princess Mary.