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Bev. Ay, most accurs'd- -And now I go to my account. This rest from pain brings death; yet 'tis Heaven's kindness to me. I wish'd for ease, a mo'ment's ease, that cool repentance and contrition might 'soften vengeance.'-Bend me, and let me kneel. [They lift him from his chair, and support him on his knees.] I'll pray for you too. Thou Power that mad'st me, hear me; if for a life of frailty, and this too hasty deed of death, thy justice dooms me, here I acquit the sentence. But if, enthron'd in mercy where thou sit'st, thy pity has beheld me, send me a gleam of hope; that, in these last and bitter moments, my soul may taste of comfort! and for these mourners here, O let their lives be peaceful, and their deaths be happy!-Now raise me. [They lift him to the chair.]
Mrs. Bev. Restore him, Heaven!save him!
-O' save him!`
Bev. Alas! that prayer is fruitless. Already death. has seiz'd me- -Yet Heaven is gracious-and now I die. Mrs. Bev. Not yet!Not yet!Stay but a little, and I shall die too.
Bev. No; live, live long- -We have a little one. Tho' I have left him, you will not leave him.To Lewson's kindness I bequeath him-Is not this Charlotte? We have liv'd in love, tho' I have wrong'd you-Can you forgive me, Charlotte?
Char. Forgive you!-O my poor brother!
Bev. Lend me your hand, love. So-raise me— 'No-'twill not be-My life is finish'd.'-O! for a few short moments! to tell you how my heart bleeds for you -That, even now, thus, dying, as I am, dubious and fearful of hereafter, my bosom pang is for your miseries. Support her, Heaven!- -And now I go-0, mercy! mercy!
Lew. Then all is overMy poor Charlotte, too!
How is it, madam?
"Jar. How does my master, madam? here's help at hand-Am I too late, then? [Seeing Beverley. Char. Tears! tears! why fall you not?
wretched sister!-Speak to her, Lewson'-Her grief is speechless.
Lew. Remove her from this sight-Go to her, Jarvis-Lead and support her.' Sorrow like hers forbids complaint-Words are for lighter griefs-We'll pray to the Power that can assuage them. [ Jar. and
Char. lead her off] And thou, poor breathless corpse, may thy departed soul have found the rest it pray'd for! save but one error, and this last fatal deed, thy life was lovely.* Let frailer minds take warning; and from example learn, that want of prudence is want of virtue.
Follies, if uncontroul'd, of every kind,
*This beautiful phrase was, probably, adopted from the Bible; David, in his Lamentation over Saul and Jonathan, says,
"Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives."
2 Samuel. 1. 23.
THE EDITOR's PREFACE.
ICHOLAS ROWE,* the author of the Tragedies of JANE SHORE and LADY JANE GRAY, was born at Little Berkford, in Bedfordshire, at the house of Jasper Edwards, Esq. his Mother's Father, in the year 1673. His family had for many ages made a handsome figure in the county of Devon, and was known by the name of Rowes of Lambertoun, or Lamerton, who had been distinguished for their valour in the Holy Wars. They lived in the enjoyment of the innocent pleasures of a country life by the frugal management of a private fortune. His father, John Rowe, was the first who quitted his paternal acres to follow a profession. He was entered a student of the Middle Temple, where, after some time, he was called to the Bar, and at length made a Serjeant at Law. He stood fair for the first vacancy on the Bench, when he died the 30th of April,
Nicholas was first sent to a private school at Highgate, end was afterwards removed to Westminster, under the famous Dr. Busby, where he made so great a progress, that about the age of twelve years he was chosen one of the king's scholars. His father designing him for his own profession, entered him a student of the Middle Temple when he was about 16 years of age, where, for some time, he read Statutes and Reports with proficiency proportionate to the force of his mind, which was already such that he endeavoured to comprehend law, not as a series of precedents, or collection of positive precepts,
* These particulars of the Life of Rowe are taken principally from WELWOOD's Account of him prefixed to the_folio edition of his translation of Lucan, published in 1718, and from Dr. JOHNSON'S Life of him in Vol. X. of the edition of his works by Murphy in 1796.