Page images

Guil. The changeling villains!
That pray for slavery, fight for their bonds,
And shun the blessing, liberty, like ruin.

What art thou, human nature, to do thus?
Does fear or folly make thee, like the Indian,
Fall down before this dreadful devil, Tyranny,
And worship the destroyer?'
But wherefore do I loiter tamely here?
Give me my arms: I will preserve my country,
Ev'n in her own despite. Some friends I have,
Who will or die or conquer in thy cause,
Thine and Religion's, thine and England's cause.

[guard t

L. J. Gray. Art thou not all my treasure, all my And wo't thou take from me the only joy, The last defence is left me here below? Think not thy arm can stem the driving torrent, Or save a people, who with blinded rage Urge their own fate, and strive to be undone. Northumberland, thy father, is in arms; And, if it be in valour to defend us,

His sword, that long has known the way to conquest, Shall be our surest safety.

Enter the Duke of SUFFOLK.

Suff. Oh, my children!

L. J. Gray. Alas! what means my father?
Suff. Oh, my son!

Thy father, great Northumberland, on whom
Our dearest hopes were built-

Guil. Ha! What of him?
Suff. Is lost! betray'd!

His army, onward as he march'd, shrunk from him,
Moulder'd away, and melted by his side:
'Like falling hail thick strewn upon the ground

Which, ere we can essay to count, is vanish'd.'
With some few followers he arriv'd at Cambridge;
But there ev'n they forsook him, and himself
Was forc'd, with heavy heart, and wat'ry eye,
To cast his cap up, with dissembled cheer,
And cry, God save Queen Mary. But, alas!

Little avail'd the semblance of that loyalty:
For soon thereafter, by the Earl of Arundel,
With treason he was charg'd, and there arrested;
And now he brings him pris'ner up to London.*
L. J. Gray. Then there's an end of greatness: the
vain dream

Of empire and the crown, that danc'd before me,
With all those unsubstantial empty forms,
"Waiting in idle mockery around us;

The gaudy masque, tedious, and nothing meaning,
Is vanish'd all at once- -Why, fare it well.

Guil. And canst thou bear this sudden turn of fate, With such unshaken temper?

L. J. Gray. For myself,

If I could form a wish for Heav'n to grant,

It should have been to rid me of this crown.

And thou, o'er-ruling, great, all-knowing Power!
Thou, who discern'st our thoughts, who see'st them rising
And forming in the soul, Ob judge me, Thou!
If e'er ambition's guilty fires have warm'd me,
If e'er my heart inclin'd to pride, to power,
Or join'd in being a queen. I took the sceptre
To save this land, thy people, and thy altars:
And now, behold, I bend my grateful knee, [Kneeling.
In humble adoration of that mercy,

Which quits me of the vast unequal task.

Enter the Duchess of SUFFOLK.

Duch. Suff. Nay, keep that posture still; and let us Fix all our knees by thine, lift up our hands, [join, And seek for help and pity from above, For earth and faithless man will give us none.

L. J. Gray. What is the worst that now we're threaten'd with?


Duch. Suff. My counsels have been fatal, 'twas my That pleaded for thy ruin, and persuaded Thy guiltless feet to tread the paths of greatness! My child! -I have undone thee!

* See Burnet, p. 239.

L. J. Gray. Oh, my mother!

Should I not bear a portion in your sorrows?

Duch. Suff. Alas, thou hast thy own, a double portion. Mary is come, and the revolting Londoners, Who beat the heav'ns with thy applauded name, Now crowd to meet, and hail her as their queen. Sussex is enter'd here, commands the Tower, Has plac'd his guards around; and this sad place, So late thy palace, is become our prison. I saw him bend his knee to cruel Gardiner, Who, freed from his confinement, ran to meet him, Embrac'd and bless'd him with a hand of blood, Each hast'ning moment I expect them here, To seize, and pass the doom of death upon us.


Guil. Ha! seiz'd! shalt thou be seiz'd? and shall I And tamely see thee borne away to death? Then branded be my coward name for ever. No, I will set myself to guard this spot, To which our narrow empire now is shrunk. Here will I grow the bulwark of my queen; Nor shall the hand of violence profane thee, Until my breast has born a thousand wounds, Till this torn mangled body sink at once A heap of purple ruin at thy feet.

L. J. Gray. And could thy rash distracted rage do Draw thy vain sword against an armed multitude, [thus? Only to have my poor heart split with horror,

To see thee stabb'd and butcher'd here before me?' Oh, call thy better nobler courage to thee, And let us meet this adverse fate with patience! • Greet our insulting foes with equal tempers,

With even brows, and souls secure of death; 'Here stand unmov'd; as once the Roman senate Receiv'd fierce Brennus,* and the conquering Gauls,

* Brennus was general of the Galli Senones, who went into Italy with a powerful army about 391 before Christ, defeated the Romaus at the river Attia, and entered their city without opposition, The Romans fled into the capitol, where they stood out, till Camillus, who was in banishment, marched to the relief of his country, and so totally defeated the Gauls, that not one remained to carry back the news of their destruction.

Till ev'n the rude Barbarians stood amaz'd
At such superior virtue.' Be thyself,
For see the trial comes !

Enter the Earl of SUSSEX, GARDiner, Officers, and SOLDIERS.

Suss. Guards, execute your orders; seize the traitors: Here commission ends. To you, my lord,


[To Gardiner

So our great mistress, royal Mary, bids,
I leave the full disposal of these pris'ners;
To your wise care the pious Queen commends
Her sacred self, her crown, and what's yet more,
The holy Roman church; for whose dear safety,
She wills your utmost diligence be shewn,
To bring rebellion to the bar of justice.
Yet farther, to proclaim how much she trusts
In Winchester's deep thought, and well-tried faith,
The seal attends to grace those rev'rend hands;
And when I next salute you, I must call you
Chief minister and chancellor of England.

Gard. Unnumber'd blessings fall upon her head,
My ever-gracious lady! to remember
With such full bounty her old humble beadsman!
For these, her foes, leave me to deal with them.

Suss. The Queen is on her ent'rance, and expects me: My Lord, farewel.

Gard. Farewel, right-noble Sussex:
Commend me to the Queen's grace; say her bidding
Shall be observ'd by her most lowly creature.

[Exit Sussex. Lieutenant of the Tower, take hence your pris'ners : Be it your care to see them kept apart, That they may hold no commerce with each other. L. J. Gray. That stroke was unexpected. Guil. Wilt thou part us?

Gard. I hold no speech with heretics and traitors. Lieutenant, see my orders are obeyed. [Exit Gar.

Guil. Inhuman, monstrous, unexampl'd cruelty! Oh, tyrant! but the task becomes thee well;

Thy savage temper joys to do death's office;
To tear the sacred bands of love asunder,
And part those hands which Heav'n itself hath join'd.
Duch. Suff. To let us waste the little rest of life
Together, had been merciful.

Suff. Then it had not

Been done like Winchester.

Guil. Thou stand'st unmov'd;

Calm temper sits upon thy beauteous brow;
Thy eyes, that flow'd so fast for Edward's loss,
Gaze unconcern'd upon the ruin round thee;
As if thou hadst resolv'd to brave thy fate,
And triumph in the midst of desolation.

Ha! see, it swells; the liquid crystal rises,
It starts in spite of thee,but I will catch it;
Nor let the earth be wet with dew so rich.'


L. J. Gray. And dost thou think, my Guilford, I can
My father, mother, and ev'n thee, my husband,
Torn from my side without a pang of sorrow?
How art thou thus unknowing in my heart!
Words cannot tell thee what I feel. There is
An agonizing softness busy here,

That tugs the strings, that struggles to get loose,.
And pour my soul in wailings out before thee.

Guil. Give way, and let the gushing torrent come; Behold the tears we bring to swell the deluge, Till the flood rise upon the guilty world, And make the ruin common. *

L. J. Gray. Guilford! no:

The time for tender thoughts and soft endearments
Is fled away and gone: joy has forsaken us;
Our hearts have now another part to play;
They must be steel'd with some uncommon fortitude,
That, fearless, we may tread the paths of horror;
And in despite of all our foes' dread pow'r,
Ev'n in the hour of death, be more than conqu'rors.t

*See p. 161, and Note +.

+"In all these things we are more than conquerors through him

"that loved us.”

Rom. vIII. 37.

« PreviousContinue »