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Lbiiox Library 



1 




1' 



'I 



li 



THE 




COMPLETE 



POETICAL WORKS 



OF 



JOANNA BAILLIE. 



FIRST AMERICAN EDITION. 



ONE VOLUME. 



PHILADELPHIA : CAREY ^ LEA. 



1832. 



( 



BOSTON: 

FKINTED BY KANE It Co. 
127 Wubm|;(oo Street 




NOTE TO THE AUERICAN EDITION. 



Thi« if die oolj edition of Miit Baillie'i works, whidi contdjn all her poetica] writinfi. The Author herself 
has beeo consslted, through the kindness of a Friend, and considerable pains have been taken to render this 
compilation uniforni and complete.' It includes the foUovring articles not found in any previous collection of her 
poems:— < The Martjr, A Braau,*— * The Bride, A Drama,*— ' A November Night's Traveller,'— * Sir Maurice, A 
Ballad,*—* Address to a Steam VcMel,*- 'To Mrs. Siddons,*— 'A Volunteer Song,*— * To a Child.'— An alteration 
of the tragedj of * Rajner,' now first published from the manuscript of the Author, is likewise contained in this 
volume. 

The FuUishen are gratified, in being thus enabled to furnish a full collection of the various poetical writings, of 
an Aathor, so long known hy her brilliant talents, and so highly esleemed for her moral purity and domestic 
wofth. 

The utmost care has been taken to follow the Author's orthography, throughout this volume. 



*' the notei thai rung 

From the wild harp, which ailent hung 
By silver Avon'i holy ihore, 
Till twice an hundred yean rolled o'er ; 
When ihe, the bold enchantren, came, 
With fearleas hand, and heart on flame ! 
From the pale willow matched the treasure, 
And swept it with a kindred measure. 
Till Avon's swans, while rung the grove 
With Monfort's hate and Basil's love, 
Awakening at the inspired strain. 
Deemed their own Shakspeare lived again." 

Sir Walter Scott. 



INDEX. 



Introductory Discourse -- - ^^ 

PLAYS. 

Basil, A Tragedy 27 

The Tryal, A Comedy 58 

De Monfort, A Tragedy 85 

The Election, A Comedy 113 

Ethwald, A Tragedy 141 

The Second Marriage, A Comedy - 207 

Advertisement to the Second Edition 237 

To the Reader 239 

Rayner, A Tragedy 243 

Alterations in the Tragedy of Rayner 271 

The Country Inn, A Comedy 273 

Constantine Paleologus, A Tragedy 290 

Orra, A Tragedy 342 

The Dream, A Tragedy 367 

^ The Siege, A Comedy 384 

The Beacon, A Serious Musical Drama 407 

The Bride, A Drama 421 

Preface to the Martyr 439 

The Martyr, A Drama 443 

Note 459 

To the Reader ■ - " - ^^ 

Family Legend ..-.--- 402 

«' " Epilogue. By Henry Mackenzie E.*!q. - - - 499 



INDEX. 

METRICAL LEGENDS. 

Preface to WiUiam Wallace 493 

William WaUace 499 

Notes 511 

Christopher Columbus ........ 522 

Notes 531 

Lady Griseld Baillie 537 

Notes - - • - - 543 

Appendix ..--.--..- 547 

FUGITIVE PIECES. 

Lord John of the East 557 

Malcom'sHeir 558 

Note 500 

The Elden Tree 561 

The Ghost of Fadon 563 

Note 564 

A November Night's Traveller 567 

Sir Maurice, A Ballad 569 

Address to a Steam-Vessel - * 571 

To Mrs. Siddons 573 

A Volunteer Song 573 

To A Child 574 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



It is natural for a writer, who is about to 
•abmit his works to the Public, to feel a 
stroni^ inclination, by some Preliminary Ad- 
dress, to conciliate the favor of his reader, and 
4lispose him, if possible, to peruse them with 
a fav<Huble eye. I am well aware, however, 
that his endeavors are generally fruitless : in 
his situation our hearts revolt from all appear- 
ance of confidence, and we consider his diffi- 
dence as hypocrisy. Our own word is ire- 
i|iiently taken for what we say of ourselves, 
bat very rarely for what we say of our works. 
Were the three plays which this small volume 
contains, detached pieces only, and unconnect- 
ed with others that do not yet appear, I should 
have suppressed this inclination altogether ; 
and have allowed my reader to begin what is 
before him and to form wliat opinion of it his 
taste or his humor might direct, without any 
Bievious trespass upon nia time or his patience. 
But they are part of an extensive design : of 
one which, as far as m^ information goes, 
has nothing exactly similar to it in any lan- 
guage : of one which a whole life's time will 
be limited enough to accomplish ; and which 
has, therefore, a considerable chance of being 
cut short by that hand which nothing can 
resist 

Before I explain the plan of this work, I 
must make a demand upon the patience of my 
reader, whilst I endeavour to communicate to 
him those ideas regarding human nature, as 
they in some degree idTect almost every 
species of moral writings, but particularly the 
Dramatic, that induced me to attempt it; 
and, as far as my judgment enabled me to 
apply them, has directed me in the execution 
of it. 

From that strong sympathy which most 
creatures, but the human above all, feel for 
others of their kind, nothing has become so 
much an object of man's curiosity as man 
himself. We are all conscious of this within 
ourselves, and so constantly do we meet with 
it in others, that, like every circumstance of 
continually repeated occurrence, it thereby 
escapes observation. Every person who is 
not deficient in intellect, is more or less occu- 
pied in tracing amount the individuals he 
converses with, the varieties of understanding 
and temper which constitute the characters 
of men ; and receives great pleasure from 
every stroke of nature that points out to him 
those varieties. This is, much more than we 
are aware of, the occupation of children, and 
of grown people also, whose penetration is but 
lightly esteemed; and tliat conversation 
iraiich degenerates with tliera into trivial and 
mischievous tattling, takes its rise not unfire- 

1 



auently from the same source that supplies 
the rich vein of the satirist and the wit. That 
eagerness so universally shown for the con- 
versation of the latter, plainly enough indi- 
cates how many people have been occupied 
in the same way with themselves. Let any 
one, in a large company, do or say what is 
strongly expressive of his peculiar character, 
or of some passion or humor of the moment, 
and it will be detected by almost every person 
present. How oflen may we see a very 
stupid countenance animated with a smile, 
when the learned and the wise have betrayed 
some native feature of their own minds ! and 
how often will this be the case when they 
have supposed it to be concealed under a very 
sufficient disguise ! From this constant em- 
ployment of^ their minds, most people, I 
behcve, without being conscious of it, have 
stored up in idea the greater part of those 
strong marked varieties of human character, 
which may be said to divide it into classes ; 
and in one of those classes they involuntarily 
place every new person they become ac- 
quainted with. 

I will readily allow that the dress and 
the manners of men, rather than their charac* 
ters and dispositions, are the subjects of our 
common conversation, and seem chiefly tG 
occupy the multitude. But let it be remem- 
bered that it is much easier to express our 
observations upon these. It is easier to 
communicate to another how a man wears his 
wig and cane, what kind of house he inhabits, 
and what kind of table he keeps, than from 
what slight traits in his words and actions we 
have been led to conceive certain imprenions 
of his character: traits that will often escape 
the memory, when the opinions that were 
founded upon tliem remain. Besides, in 
communicating our ideas of tlie characters o£ 
others, we are often called upon to support 
them with more expence of reasoning tnan 
we can well afford ; but our observations on 
the dress and appearance of men seldom 
involve us in such difficulties. For these, 
and otlier reasons too tedious to mention, the 
jrenerolity of people appear to us more trifling 
than they are : and 1 may venture to say, 
that, but for this sjmipathetic curiosity to- 
wards others of our kina which is so strongly 
implanted within us, the attention we pay to 
tlie dress and manners of men would dwindle 
into an employment as insipid, as exa m ini n g 
the varieties of plants and minerals, is to one 
who understands not natural history. 

In our ordinary intercourse with society, 
tliis Bympathetic propensity of our minds is 
exercised upon men under the common oe- 



10 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



currencesof life, in which we have oflen 
observed them. Here, vanity and weakness 
put themselves forward to view, more con- 
spicuously than the virtues ; here, men en- 
counter those smaller trials, from which they 
are not apt to come off victorious ; and here, 
consequently, tliat which is marked with the 
whimsical and ludicrous will strike us most 
forcibly, and make the strongest impression 
on our memory. To this sympathetic pro- 
pensity of our minds, so exercised, the genuine 
and pure comic of every composition, wheth- 
er drama, fable, story, or satire, is addressed. 
If man is an object of so much attention to 
man, engaged in the ordinary occurrences of 
life, how much more does he excite his 
ouriosity and interest when placed in extraor- 
dinary situations of difficulty and distress ? It 
cannot be any pleasure we receive from the 
flufferings of a fellow-creature which attracts 
such multitudes of people to a public ex- 
«n;ution, though it is the horror we conceive 
for Bttch a spectacle that keeps no many more 
away. To see a human being bearing him- 
self up under such circumstances, or strug- 
gling with the terrible apprehensions which 
such a situation impresses, must be the 
powerful incentive, that makes us press 
forward to behold what we shrink from, and 
wait with tremblin? expectation for what we 
dread.* For thou^ few at such a spectacle 
can get near enough to distinguish the ex- 
pression of face, or the minuter parts of a 
criminal's behaviour, yet from a considerable 
distance will they eagerly mark whether he 
ftcps firmly; wnether the motions of his 
booy denote agitation or calmness ; and if the 
wind does but ruffle his garment, tliey will, 
even from that change upon the outline of his 
distant figure, read some eXfH^ssion conncK;ted 
with his dreaidfiil situation. Though tliere is 
a greater proportion of people in whom this 
strong curiosity will be overcome by other 
dispositions and motives; though there are 
many more who will stay away from such a 
sight than will go to it ; yet there are very 
lew who will not be eager to converse with a 
person who has beheld It; and to learn, verv 
minutely, every circumstance connected vridi 
it, except the very act itself of inflicting 
death. To lifV up the roof of his dungeon, 
like the Diahle BoitevXy and look upon a 
criminal the ni^ht before he suffers, in his 
still hours of pnvaey, when all that disguise 
is removed which is imposed by respect for 
the opinion of others, the strong motive by 



* In confinnation of this opinion I may Teature 
to ff\v, that of the great numbers who go to see a 
public execution, there are but vcn' few who 
would not run away from, and avoirs it, if they 
happened to meet with it unexpectedly. We 
find people stopping to look at a procession, or 
any other uncommon sijrht, they may have fillen 
In with accidentally, but almost ncTor an execu- 
tion. No one goes there who has not made up 
bis mind for the occasion; which would not be 
the case, if an»- natural Ioto of cruelty were the 
ctute of such assemhhos. 



which even the lowest and wickedest of men 
still continue to be actuated, would present 
an object to the mind of every person, not 
withheld from it by great timidity of character^ 
more powerfully attractive than almost any 
other. 

Revenge, no doubt, first began amongst the 
savages of America that dreadful custom of 
sacrificing their prisoners of war. But the 
perpetration of such hideous cruelty could 
never have become a permanent national 
custom, but for this universal desire in the 
human mind to behold man in every situation, 
putting forth his strength against the cuxrcnt 
of adversity, scorning all bodily aneuish, or 
struggUn^ with tbo«e feelings of^ nature, 
which, like a beating stream, will oft time* 
hurst through tlie artificial barriers of pride. 
Before they begin those terrible rites they 
treat their prisoners kindly ; ^nd it cannot be 
supposed tnat men, alternately enemies and 
friends to so many neighboring tribesi, in 
manners and appearance like themaelve^ 
should so strongly be actuated by a spirit of^ 
pubUc reven^. This custom, therefore, 
must be considered as a grand and terrible 
game, which every tribe plays against anoth- 
er ; where they try not the strength of the 
arm, the swiilness of the feet, nor the 
acuteness of the eye, but tlie fortitude of th» 
soul. Considered in this light, the excess of 
cruelty exercised upon their miserable victim, 
in which every hand is described as ready to 
inflict its portion of pain, and every head 
ingenious in the contrivance of it, is no longer 
to be wondered at. To put into his measure 
of misery one agonv less, would be, in some 
degree, betraying the honor of their nation, 
would be doing a species of injustice to every 
hero of their own tribe who had already sus* 
tained it, and to tliose who might be called 
upon to do so ; amongst whom each of these 
savage tormentors has his chance of being 
one, and has prepared liimself for it from his 
childhood. Nay, it would be a species c^ 
injustice to tlie haughty victim himself, who 
would scorn to purchase his place amongst 
the heroes of his nation, at an easier price 
than his undaunted predecessors. 

Amongst the many trials to wliich the 
human mind is subjected, that of holding 
intercourse, real or imaginary, with the world 
of spirits; of finding itself alone witli a being 
terrific and awful, whose nature and power 
are unknown, has been justly considered as 
one of the most severe. The workings of 
nature in this situation, we all know, have 
ever been the object of our most eager 
inquiry. No man wishes to see the Ghost 
himself, which would certainly procure him 
the best information on the subject, but every 
man wishes to see one who believes that lie 
sees it, in all the agitation and wildness of 
that species of terror. To ffratify tliis ctiriosi- 
ty how many people have dressed up hideous 
apparitions to frighten tlie timid and super- 
stitious! and have done it at the risk of 
destroying their happiness or understanding 
far ever. For the instances of intellect bcin^ 



INTRODUClORY DISCOURSE. 



11 



destroyed bj this kind of trial are more 
numerous, perhaps, in proportion to the few 
who have undergone it, than by any other. 

How sensible are we of this strong propen- 
sity within us, when wc behold any person 
«mder the pressure of great and uncommon 
calamity ! Delicacy and respect for the af- 
flicted will, indeed, make us turn ourselves 
aside from observing him, and cast down our 
eyes in his presence ; but the first glance we 
direct to him will involuntarily be one of the 
keenest observation, how hastily soever it 
may be checked ; and ofleii will a reluming 
look af inquiry mix itself by stealth with our 
vfmpathy and reserve. 

But it is not in situations of difficulty and 
distress alone, that man becomes the object of 
this sympathetic curiosity : he is no less so 
when the e?il he contends with arises in his 
own breast, and no outward circumstance 
connected with hira either awakens our atten- 
tion or our pity. What human creature is 
there, who can behold a being Uke himself 
tinder the violent agitation of those passions 
which all have, in some degree, experienced, 
without feelinff himself most powerfully ex- 
cited by the si^ht.' I say, all have experi- 
enced : for the bravest man on earth knows 
what fear is as well as the coward ; and will 
not refuse to be interested for one under the 
dominion of this passion, provided there be 
nothing in the circumstances attending it to 
create contempt. Anoer is a passion that at- 
tracts less sympathy than any other, yet the 
nnpleasing and distorted features of an angry 
man will be more eagerly gazed upon, by 
those who are no wise concerned with his fu- 
ry or the objects of it, than the most amiable 
pUcid countenance in the world. Every eye 
is directed to him ; every voice hushed to si- 
lence in his presence : even children will leave 
off their gambols as he passes, and gaze after 
him more eagerly than the gaudiest equipage. 
The wild tossings of despair : the gnashms of 
hatred and revenge ; the yearnings of aOec- 
tion, and the sofl^ned mien of love ; all the 
language of the a^tated soul, which every 
age and nation understand, is never addressed 
to the dull or inattentive. 

It is not merely under the violent agita- 
tions of passion, tnat man so rouses and in- 
terests us ; even the smallest indications of an 
unquiet mind, the restless eye, the muttering 
lip, the half-checked exclamation, and tlie 
hasty start, will set our attention as anxiously 
upon the watch, as the first distant flashes oil* 
a gathering storm. When some great explo- 
sion of passion bursts forth, and some conse- 
quent catastrophe happens, if we are at all 
acquamted with the unhappy perpetrator, how 
minutely shall we endeavour to remember ev- 
ery circumstance of his past behaviour i and 
with what avidity shall wc seize upon eve- 
ry recollected word or gesture, that is in 
toe smallest dej^ree indicative of the supposed 
state of his nund, at the time when they 
took place. If we are not acquainted with 
him, now eagerly shall we listen to similar 
jecoUections from another ! Let us under- 



stand, from observation or report, that any 
person harbours in his breast, concealed from 
the world's eye, some powerfVil rankling pas^ 
sion of what kind soever it may be, wc shall 
observe every word, every motion, every 
look, even tne distant gait of such a man, 
with a constancy and attention bestowed upon 
no other. Nay, should we meet him unex- 
pectedly on our way, a feeling will pass 
across our minds as though we found our- 
selves in the neighborhood of some secret and 
fearful thing. It invisible, would we not fol- 
low him into his lonely haunts, into his closet, 
into tlie midnight silence of his chamber.' 
There is, perhaps, no employment which tlie 
human mind will with so much avidity pur 
sue, as the discovery of concealed passion, as 
the tracing the varieties and progress of a jier- 
turbed soul. 

It is to this sympathetic curiosity of our 
nature, exercised upon mankind in great and 
trying occasions, and under the infmence of 
the stronger passions, when the grand, the 
generous, and the terrible attract our atten- 
tion far more than the base and depraved, that 
tlie high and powerfully tragic, ot every com- 
position, is addressed. 

This propensity is universal. Children 
begin to show it very early ; it enters into 
many of their amusements, and that part of 
them too, for which they show the keenest 
relish. It oftentimes tempts them, as well qm 
the mature in years, to be guilty of tricks, 
vexations and cruelty ; yet God Almighty 
has implanted it within us, as well as all our 
other propensities and passions, for wise and 
good purposes. It is our best and most pow- 
erful instructor. From it we are taught the 
proprieties and decencies of ordinary life, and 
are prepared for distressing and difncult situ- 
ations. In examining others we know our- 
selves. With limbs untorn, with head un- 
smitten, with senses unimpaired by despair, 
we know what we ourselves might have been 
on the rack, on the scaffold, and in the most 
afflicting circumstances of distress. Unless 
when accompanied with passions of the dark 
and malevolent kind, we cannot well exercise 
this disposition without becoming more just, 
more merciful, more compassionate ; and as 
the dark and malevolent passions are not the 

Eredominant inmates of the human breast, it 
ath produced more deeds — O many more ! of 
kindness than of cruelty. It holds up for 
our example a standard of excellence, wnich, 
without its assistance, our inward conscious- 
ness of what is right and becoming might 
never have dictated. It teaches us, also, to 
respect ourselves, and our kind ; for it is a 
poor mind, indeed, that from this employment 
of its faculties, learns not to dwell upon the 
noble view of human nature rather than the 
mean. 

Universal, however, as this disposition un- 
doubtedly is, with the generality of mankind 
it occupies itself in a passing and superficial 
way. Though a native trait of character or 
of passion is obvious to them as well as to the 
«Lge, yet to their minds it is but the visitor of 



It 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



a moment; they look upon it singly and un- 
connected: and though this disposition, even 
flo exercised, brings instruction as well as 
amusement, it is cmefly b^ storing up in their 
minds those ideas to which the instructions 
of others refer, that it can be eminently use- 
ful. Those who reflect and reason upon 
what human nature holds out to their obser- 
Tation, are comparatively but few. No stroke 
of nature wmch engages their attention 
stands insulated and alone. Each presents 
itself to them with many varied connections; 
and they comprehend not merely the imme- 
diate feeling which gave rise to it, but the re- 
lation of that feeUng to others which are con- 
cealed. We wonder at the changes and ca- 
prices of men ; they see in them nothing but 
what is natural and accountable. We stare 
upon some dark catastrophe of passion, as the 
Indians did upon an ecUpse of the moon; 
the^, conceiving the track of ideas through 
which the impassioned mind has passed, re- 
gard it like the philosopher who foretold the 
phenomenon. Knowing what situation of 
life he is about to be thrown into, they per- 
ceive in the man, who, like Hazael, says, *'ls 
th^ servant a dog, that he should do this 
thing.'" the foul and ferocious murderer. A 
man of this contemplative character partakes, 
in some degree, of^the entertainment of the 
Gods, who were supposed to look down upon 
this world and the inhabitants of it, as we do 
upon a theatrical exhibition; and if he is of 




tacle. But though this eagerness to observe 
their fellow-creatures in every situation, 
leads not the generaUty of mankind to reason 
ind reflect; and those strokes of nature 
which they are so ready to remark, stand sin- 
gle and unconnected in their minds, yet they 
may be easily induced to do both ; and there 
it no mode of instruction which they will so 
eagerly pursue, as that which lays open be- 
fore taem, in a more enlarged and connected 
yiew than their individu^ observations are 
capable of supplying — the varieties of the hu- 
man mind. Above all, to be well exercised 
in this study will fit a man more particularly 
for the most important situations of Ufe. He 
will prove for it the better Judge, the better 
Magistrate, the better Advocate; and as a 
ruler or conductor of other men, under every 
occurring circumstance, he will find liimself 
the better enabled to fulfil his duty, and ac- 
complish his designs. He will perceive the 
natural efiect of every order that he issues 
upon the minds of his soldiers, his subjects, or 
his followers: and he will deal to others 
judgment tempered with mercy; that is to 
say, truly just; for justice appears to us se- 
yere only when it b imperfect 

In proportion as moral writers of every 
class nave exercised within themselves this 
sympathetic propensity of our nature, and 
miye attended to it in otliers, their works 
baye been interesting and instructive. They 
bays struck the imagination more forcibly, 



convinced the understanding more clearly, 
and more lastingly impressed the memory. 
If unseasoned witn any reference to this, the 
fairy bowers of the poet, with all his gay im- 
ages of delight, will be admired and for|rot- 
ten ; the important relations of the historian, 
and even the reasonings of the philosopher, 
will make a less permanent impression. 

The historian points back to the men of 
other ages, and n-om the gradually clearing 
mist in which tliey are fiiit discovered, like 
the mountains of a fiir distant land, the gen- 
erations of the world are displayed to our 
mind's eye in grand and regular procession. 
But the transactions of men become interest- 
ing to us only as we are made acquainted 
with men themselves. Great and bloody 
battles are to us battles fought in the moon, 
if it is not impressed upon our minds, by 
some circumstances attending them, that 
men subject to like weaknesses and psMions 
with ourselves, were the combatants.* The 
establishments of poUcy make little impres- 
sion upon us, if we are lefl ignorant of the 
beings whom they afiected. Even a very 
masterly drawn character will but slightly 
imprint upon our memory the great man it 
beloiLra to, if, in the account we receive of 
his Uk, those lesser circumstances are entire- 
ly neglected, which do best of all point out to 
us the dispositions and tempers of men. 
Some slight circumstance characteristic of 
the particular turn of a man's mind, which 
at first sight seems but Uttle connected with 
the great events of his life, will ofien explain 

* Let two great battles be described to os with 
all the force and clearness of the most able pen. 
In the first let the most admirable exertions of 
military skill in the General, and the most on- 
shaken courage in the soldiers, gain over an equal 
or superior number of brave opponents a cost- 
plete and glorious victonr. In the second let the 
General b« less scientinc, and the soldiers less 
dauntless. Let them go into the field for a cause 
that is dear to them, and fight with the ardor 
which such a motive inspires , till discouraged 
with the many deaths around them, and the ren- 
ovated pressure of the foe, some unlooked-for 
circumstance, trifling in itself, strikes their imag- 
ination at once: they are visited with the ter- 
ors of nature : their national pride, the honor 
of soldiership is forgotten ; they fly like a fearfhl 
flock. Let some beloved chief then step forth, 
and call upon them b^ the love of their country, 
by the memory of their valiant fathers, by every 
thing that kindles in the bosom of man the hign 
and generous passions : the^ gathered round him : 
and goaded by shame and indiffnation, returning 
again to the charge, with the fury of wild beasts 
rather than the courage of soldiers, bear down 
every thing before them. Which of these two 
battles will interest us the most ? and which of 
them shall we remember the longest T The one 
will stand forth in the imagination of the reader 
like a rock of the desert, which points out to the 
far-removed traveller the countiy through which 
he has passed, when iu lesser obfecU are ob- 
scured m the distance ; whilst the other leaves 
no traces behind it, but in the mindi of the seien* 
tific in war. 



INTHODUCffOIlY DISCOURSE. 



15 



mme of those eTents more clearlj to our un- 
dentan.'Uig, tlian the niinute details of osten- 
aible policy. A judicious selection of those 
eiicaniatances which characterize the spirit 
of an associated mob, paltry and ludicrous as 
Mine, of them may appear, will oftentimes 
GonTey to our minds a clearer idea why cer- 
tain laws and privileges were demanded and 
ajpreed to, than a metliodical explanation of 
their causes. An historian who has examin- 
ed human nature liimself, and hkewise at- 
tends to the pleasure which developing and 
tracing it does ever convey to others, will 
employ our understanding as well as our 
memory with his pages ; and if this is not 
done, he will impose upon the latter a very 
difficult taak, in retaining what she is con- 
eemed with alone. 

In argumentative and philosophical wri- 
tings, the effect which the author's reasoning 
produces on our minds depends not entirely 
oo the justness of it. The images and exam- 
^es that he calls to his aid to explain and il- 
lustrate his meaning, will very much affect 
the attention we are able to bestow upon it, 
•nd consequently the Quickness with which 
we shall i^yprehend, and tlie force with which 
it will impress us. These arc selected from 
•nimated and unanimated nature, from the 
habits, manners, and characters of men ; and 
though that image or example, whatever it 
may De in itself, wliich brings out his mean- 
ing most clearly, ought to be preferred before 
every other, yet of two equal in tliis respect, 
that which is drawn from the most interesting 
source will please us the most at tlie time, 
and most lastingly take hold of our minds. 
An argument supported witli vivid and inter- 
esting illustration will long be remembered 
when many eoually important and clear are 
forgotten ; and a work where many such oc- 
cur, will be held in higher estimation by the 
generality of men, tlian one, its superior, 
perhaps, in acuteness, perspicuity, ana good 



Our desire to know what men are in the 
closet as well as in the field, by the blazing 
hearth and at the social board, as well as in 
the council and the throne, is very imperfect- 
ly gratified by real history ; romance writers, 
therefore, stepped boldly forth to supply the 
deficiency ; and tale writers and novel writers, 
of many descriptions, followed afler. If they 
have not been very skilful in tlieir delinea- 
tions of nature ; if they have represented men 
and women speaking and acting as men and 
women never did speak or act; if they have 
caricatured both our virtues and our vices; 
if they have given us such pure and unmix- 
ed, or such heterogeneous combinations of 
character as real life never presented, and yet 
have pleased and interested us, let it not be 
imputed to the dulness of man in discerning 
what is genuinely natural in himself There 
are many inclinations belonging to us, besides 
this ^reat master-propensity of which I am 
treatmg. Our love or the ffrand, the beauti- 
ful, the novel, and above ul of the marvel- 
kiii, is veiy strong; and if we are nchly fed 



with what we have a good relish for, we map 
be weaned to forget oar native and favourite- 
aliment. Yet we can never so fiur forget it, 
but that we shall cling to, and acknowledge^ 
it again, whenever it is presented before us.. 
In a work abounding with the marvellous 
and unnatural, if the author has any how 
stumbled upon an unsophisticated genuine 
stroke of nature> we shall immediately per- 
ceive and be delighted with it, though we are 
foolish enough to adiuu^, at the same time, 
all the nonsense witli which it is surrounded. 
Afler all tlie wonderful incidents, dark mys- 
teries, and secrets revealed, which eventful 
novel so Uberally presents to us; afler the 
beautiful fairy ground, and even the grand 
and sublime scenes of nature with which de- 
scriptive novel so oflen enchants us; those* 
works which most strongly characterize hu- 
man nature in the middling and lower classes • 
of society, where it is to be discovered by 
stronger and more unequivocal marks, will, 
ever be the most popular. For though great 
pains have been taken in our higher 8enti> 
mental novels to interest us in the delicacies, 
embarrassments, and artificial distresses of 
the more refined part of society, they have 
never been able to cope in the public opin- 
ion with tliese. The one is a dressed and 
beautiful pleasure ground, in which we are 
cnclianted for a while, amongst tlic delicate 
and unknown plants of artful cultivation.;, 
the other is a rough forest of our native liand;- 
tlie oak, the elm, tlie hazel, and the bramble- 
are there; and amidst tiie endless varieties 
of its paths we can wander forever. Into, 
whatever scenes the novelist may conduct 
us, what objects soever he may present to 
our view, still is our atttMition most sensibly 
awake to every touch faitliful to nature ; stiu 
are we upon the watch for everything that 
speaks to us of ourselves. 

The fair field of wliat is properly called 
poetry, is enriched with so many beauties, 
that in it we are oflen tempted to fbr^t what 
we really are. and what kind of beings wo 
belong to. Who in the enclianted regions of 
simile, metaphor, allegory, and description^ 
can remember the plain order of things in 
this every-day world? From heroes, whose 
majestic forms rise hke a lofly tower, whose 
eyes are lightning, whose arms are irresistible, 
whose course is like the storms of heaven^ 
bold and exalted sentiments we shall readily 
receive; and shall not examine them very 
accurately by that rule of nature which our 
own breast prescribes to us. A shepherd, 
whose sheep, with fleeces of purest snow, 
browze the nowery herbage of the most beau- 
tiful vallies; whose flute is ever melodious, 
and whose shepherdess is ever crowned with 
roses; whose every care is love, will not be 
called very strictly to account for the lofti- 
ness and refinement of his thoughts. The 
fair Nymph who sighs out her sorrows to the 
conscious and compassionate wilds; whose 
eyes gleam like the bright drops of heaven ; 
whose loose tresses stream to the breeze, mar 
say what she pleases with unponity. I will 



u 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE* 



Tentore, however, to say, that amidst all this 
decoration and ornament, all this loftiness 
and refinement, let one simple trait of the hu- 
man heart, one expression of passion genuine 
and true to nature, be introduced, and it will 
stand forth alone in the boldness of reality, 
whilst the false and unnatural around it, fade 
away upon every side, like the risinjjr exhala- 
tions ot the morning. With admiration, and 
often with enthusiasm, we proceed on our 
way through the grand and the beautiful im- 
ages, raised to our imagination by tlie loily 
epic muse : but what, even here, are those 
things that strike upon the heart > that we 
feel and remember ? Neither the descriptions 
of war, the sound of the trumpet, the clang- 
ing of arms, the combat of heroes, nor the 
death c^the mighty, will interest our minds 
like the fall of me feeble stran^r, who sim- 
ply expresses the anguish of his soul, at the 
thoughts of that far^istant home which he 
must never return to again, and closes his 
eves amongst the ignoble and forgotten ; like 
tne timid stripling goaded by the shame of 
reproach, who urges his trembUng steps to 
the fiffht, and falls like a tender nower be- 
fore the first blast of winter. How often will 
some simple pictures of this kind be all that 
remains upon our minds of the terrific and 
magnificent battle, whose description we have 
read with admiration ? How comes it that 
we relish so much the episodes of an heroic 
poem? It cannot merely be that we are 
pleased with a resting place where we enjoy 
the variety of contrast ; for were the poem 
of the simple and familiar kind, and an epi- 
sode after the heroic style introduced into it, 
ninety readers out of a hundred would pass 
over it altogether. It is not that we meet 
•uch a story, so situated, with a kind of sym- 
pathetic ^)od will, as in passing through a 
country oi castles and of palaces, we should 
pop unawares upon some humble cottage, 
resembling the dwelUngrs of our own native 
land, and gaze upon it with affection. The 
highest pleasures we receive from poetry, as 
well as irom the real objects which surround 
oa in the world, are denved from the sympa- 
thetic interest we all take in beings like 
ourselves : and I will even venture to say, 
that were the grandest scenes which can en- 
ter into the imagination of man, presented to 
our view, and aU reference to man completely 
shut out from our thoughts, the objects that 
composed it would convey to our minds little 
better than dry ideas of magnitude, color, and 
form ; and the remembrance of them would 
rest upon our minds like the measurement 
and distances of the planets. 

If the study of human nature then, is so 
useful to the poet, the novelist, the historian, 
and the philosopher, of how much greater im- 
portance must It be to the dramatic writer ? 
To them it is a powerful auxiliary, to him it 
is the centre and strength of the battle. If 
characteristic views of numan nature enliven 
not their pages, there are many excellencies 
with which they can, in some degree, make 
np for the deficiency : it u what we receive 



from then) with pleasure rather than demand. 
But in his works, no richness of invention, 
harmony^ of language, nor grandeur of senti- 
ment will suppfy the place of faithfully delin- 
eated nature. The poet and the novelist may 
represent to you tlieir great characters from 
the cradle to the tomb. They may represent 
them in any mood or temper, and under the 
influence of any passion which they see propn 
er, without being obhged to put words into 
their mouths, tliose great betrayers of the 
feigned and adopted. They may relate every 
circumstance, however trifling and minute, 
that serves to devclope their tempers and dis« 
positions. They tell us what kind of people 
they intend their men and women to be, and 
as such we receive them. If they are to 
move us with any scene of distress, every 
circumstance regarding the parties concerned 
in it, how they looked, how they moved, how 
they sighed, how the tears gushed from tlieir 
eyes, how the very hght andshadow fell upon 
them, is carefully described ; and the few 
things that are given them to say along with 
all this assistance, must be very unnatvmd in- 
deed if we refuse to sympathize with them. 
But the characters of the drama must speak 
directly for themselves. Under the influence 
of every passion, humor, and impression ; 
in the artificial veilin^rs of hypocrisy and cer- 
emony, in tlie opentH'ss of freedom and con- 
fidence, and in the lonely hour of meditation 
they speak. He who made us hatli placed 
within our breasts a judge that judges instan- 
taneously of every miiig they say. We ex- 
pect to find them creatures like ourselves ; 
and if they are untrue to nature, we feel that 
we are imposed upon. 

As in other works deficiency in character- 
istic truth may be compensated hy excellen- 
cies of a different kind, in the drama, charac- 
teristic truth will compensate every other 
defect. Nay, it will do what appears a con- 
tradiction ; one strong genuine stroke of na> 
ture will cover a multitude of sins, even 
against nature hersolf When we meet in 
some scene of a good play a very fine stroke 
of this kind, we are apt to become so intoxi- 
cated with it, and so perfectly convinced of 
the author's great knowledge of the human 
heart, that we are unwilling to suppose tiie 
whole of it has not been suggested by the 
same penetrating spirit. Many well-meaning 
enthusiastic critics have given themselves 
a great deal of trouble in tliis way ; and have 
shut their eyes most ingeniously against the 
fair liffht of nature for the very love of it. 
They nave converted, in their great zeal, sen- 
timents palpably false, both in regard to the 
character and situation of tlie persons who ut- 
ter them, sentiments which a child or a clown 
would detect, into the most skilful depict- 
ments of the heart. I can think of no strong- 
er instance to show how powerfully this love 
of nature dwells within us.* 

* It appears to me a very strong testimony of 
the excellence of our great national Dramatist, 
that so many people have been employed in find- 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



Id 



Formed as we are with these sympathetic 
propensities in regard to our own species, it is 
not at all wondertul that theatrical exhibition 
has become the grand and favourite amuse- 
ment of every nation into which it has been 
introduced. Savages will, in the wild con- 
tortions of a dance, shape out some rude story 
expressive of character or pasfion, and such 
a dance will give more delight to their com- 
jNinions than the most artful exertions of agil- 
ity. Children in their gambols will make out 
a mimic representation of tlie manners, char- 
Bcters, and passions of grown men and women; 
and such a pastime will animate and delight 
them much more than a treat of the daintiest 
tweetmeats, or tlie handling of the gaudiest 
toys. Eagerly as it it enioved by tbe rude 
and the young, to the polished and the ripe 
in years it is still the moist interesting amuse- 
ment Our taste for it is durable as it is 
oniversal. Independently of those circum- 
stances which first introduced it, the world 
would not have long been without it. The 
progress of society would soon have brought 
it forth ; and men, in the whimsical decora- 
tions of fancy, would have displayed the cha- 
ncters and actions of their heroes, the folly 
and absurdity of their fellow-citizens, had no 
Priests of Bacchus ever existed.* 

ing oat obscure and refined beauties, in what ap- 
pear to ordinary observation his very defects. 
Men, it may be said, do so merely to snow their 
own superior penetration and ingenuity. But 
franting this ; what could make other men listen 
to them, and listen so greedily too, if it were not 
that they have received from the works of Shak- 
jpeire, pleasure fir beyond what the most perfect 
poetical compositions of a different character can 
afford r 

* Though the progress of society would have 
given us the Drama, independently of the partic- 
ular cause of its first commonceraent, the pecu- 
liar circumstances connected with its origin have 
had considerable infiucnce upon its character and 
Rtyle, in the ages through which it has passed 
cvea to our day, and still will continue to afiect 
it. Iloincr ha^ long preceded tlie dramatic poets 
ofGrcrce j poetry was ia a liiirh state of cultiva- 
tion when they began to write j and their style, 
the construction of their pieces, and the charac- 
ters of their heroes weredifTereiit from what they 
vould have been, had theatrical exhibitions been 
the invention of an earlier age or a ruder people. 
Their works were reprercited to an audience, 
alrpidy accuptoraed to near long poems rehearsed 
at their public i;ames, and the lieasts of their gods. 
A play, with the principal characters of which 
Ihoy were previously acquainted; in which their 
great mcfi and heroes, in the most beautiful lan- 
gu:igr, complained of iheir rigorous fate, but 
piously submitted to the will of the gods ; in 
Nviiich sympathy was chiefly excited by tender 
and afiecting Bcntiments ; ia which strong bursts 
of pi!>«io!» were few ; and in which whole scenes 
frequently pjBsed, without giving the actors any 
thing to do but to speak, was not too insipid for 
thciu. Had the drama been the invention of a 
less cultivated nation, niorr* of action ar.d of pas- 
sion would have been introduced into it. It 
would have been more Irregular, more imperfect, 



In wliatever age or country the Drama 
might have taken its rise, Tragedy would 
have been the first-born of its chndren. For 
every nation has its great men, and its great 
events upon record ; and to represent their 
own foretathers struagUng with those difficul- 
ties, and braving those dangers, of wliicli 
they have heard with admiration, and the ef- 
fects of which they still, perhaps, experience, 
would certainly have been the most ammat- 
ing subject for the poet, and the most inter- 
esting for his audience, even independently 
of the natural inclination we all so universal- 
ly show for scenes of horror and distress, of 
Eassion and heroic exertion. Tragedy would 
ave been the first child of the Drama, for 
the same reasons that have made heroic bal- 
lad, with all its battles, murders, and disas- 
ters, the earliest poetical compositions of eve- 
ry country. 

We behold heroes and great men at a dis- 
tance, unmasked by those small but distin- 
guishing features of the mind, which give • 
certain mdividuality to such an iixfinite vari- 
ety of similar beings, in the near and familiar 
intercourse of life. They appear to «s from 
this view hkc distant mountains, whose dark 
outlines we trace in the clear horizon, but the 
varieties of whose roughened sides, shaded 
with heath and brushwood, and seamed witk 
many a cleft, we perceive not. When acci- 
dental anecdote reveals to us any weaknew 
or peculiarity belonging to them, we start 
upon it like a discovery. They are made 
known to us in history only, by the great 
events tlicy arc connected with, and tlie part 
tliey have taken in extraordinary or impor- 
tant transactions. Even in poetry and ro- 
mance, with the exception of some love story 
interwoven witli tlie main events of their lives, 
tliey arc seldom more intimately made known 
to us. To Tragedy it belongs to lead thenx 

more varied, more interesting. From poor be-- 
ginnings it would have advanced in a progressiva 
state : and succeeding poets, not havini those 
polished and admired originals to look bacK upon,, 
would have presented their respective contempo- 
raries with the produce of a free and unbridled 
imagination. A different class of poets would 
most likely have been called into existence. The- 
latent powers of men are called forth by con- 
templating those works in which they find any 
thin^ congeniol to their own peculiar talents ^ 
and if the field, wherein they could have worked, 
is already enriched with a produce unsuited ta 
their cultivation, they think not of enterins it at 
all. Men, therefore, whose natural turn oimind 
led them to labor, to reason, to refine and exalt, 
have caught their animation from the beauties of 
the Grecian Drama ; and they who, perhaps, 
ought only to have been our Critics have become 
our Poets. I mean not, however, in any degree 
to depreciate the works of the ancients ; a great 
deal we have gained by those beautiful composi- 
tions; and wliat we have lost by them it is 
impossible to compute. Very strong genius will 
sometimes break through every disadvantage of 
circumstances : Shakspeare has arisen in tlii« 
countn', and we ought not to complain. 



16 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



ibrward to our nearer regard, in all the diftin- 
guiahing varieties which nearer inspection 
•discoTers ; witli the passions, the humors, the 
-weaknesses, the prejudices of men. It is for 
.her to present to us the great and magnani- 
mous hero, who appears to our distant view 
4W a superior being, as a god, soAened down 
with those smaller frailties and imperfections 
which enable us to glor^ in, and claim kin- 
dred to his virtues. It is for her to exliibit to 
us the daring and ambitious man planning his 
•dark designs, and executing his bloody pur- 
poses, marked with those appropriate charac- 
teristics, which distinguish him as an individ- 
ual of that class ; and agitated with those va- 
ried passions, which disturb the mind of man 
when he is engaged in the commission of 
such deeds. It is for her to point out to us 
the brave and impetuous warrior struck with 
those visitations of nature, which, in certain 
/situations, will unnerve the strongest arm, 
;and make the boldest heart tremble. It is for 
her to show the tender, gentle, and unassum- 
ing mind animated with tliat fire which, by 
the provocation of circumstances, will give to 
the kindest heart the ferocity and keenness 
of a tiger. It is for her to present to us the 
great and striking characters that are to be 
found amongst men, in a way which the po- 
ety the novelist, and the historian can but im- 
perfectly attempt. But above all, to her, and 
to her only it belongs to unveil to us the hu- 
man mind under tlie dominion of those strong 
and fixed passions, which, seemingly unpro- 
voked by outward circumstances, will from 
•mall beginnings brood within tlie breast, till 
All the better dispositions, all the fair gills of 
nature are borne down before them ; those 
passions which conceal themselves from the 
observation of men ; wliich cannot unbosom 
themst»lves even to the dearest friend ; and 
-can, oftentimes, only give their fulness vent 
in the lonely desert, or in the darkness of 
midnight. For who hath followed the great 
man into his secret closet, or stood by the side 
of his nightly couch, and heard thotc excla- 
mations of the soul which heaven alone may 
hear, tliat tlie liistorian should be able to in- 
form us.' and what form of story, what mode 
of rehearsed speech will communicate to us 
those feelings, whose irregular bursts, abrupt 
transitions, sudden pauses, and half-uttered 
suggestions, scorn all harmony of measured 
verse, all method and order of relation .»* 

On the first part of this task her Bards have 
eagerly exerted their abilities : and some 
amongst them, tauj^ht by stronr original ge- 
nius to deal immediately with human natun» 
and their own hearts, have labored in it suc- 
cessfully. But in presenting to us tliose 
views of jjreat characters, and of the human 
mind in difficult and trying situations which 
peculiarly belong to Tragedy, the far gn*ater 
proportion, even of those who may be consid- 
ered as respectable dramatic poets, have very 
much failed. From the beauty of those orig- 
inal dramas to which they have ever looked 
back with admiration, they have been tempt- 
ed to prefer the embellishments of poetry to 



faithfully delineated luiturc. Thej have been 
more occupied in considering the works of 
the great dramatists who have gone before 
them, and the effects produced by their writ- 
ings, tlian the varieties of human character 
which first furnished materials for thoss 
works, or those principles in the mind of man 
by means of which such effects were produc- 
ed. Neglecting the boundless variety of na- 
ture, certain strong outhnes of character, cer- 
tain bold features of passion, certain grand 
vicissitudes, and striking dramatic sitoatioDS, 
have been repeated from one generation to 
another ; whilst a pompous and solemn gravi- 
tv, which tliey have supposed to be necessanr 
for the dignity of tragedy, has excluded al- 
most entirely from their works those smaller 
touches of nature, which so well develope the 
mind ; and by showing men in their hours of 
state and exertion only, they have consequent- 
ly shown them imperfectly. Thus, great and 
magnanimous heroes, who bear with majestie 
equanimity every vicissitude of fortune ; who 
in every temptation and trial stand forth in 
unshaken virtue like a rock buffeted by the 
waves ; who, encompassed with the most ter- 
rible evils, in calm possession of their souls, 
reason upon the difficulties of their state; 
and, even upon the brink of destruction, pro- 
nounce long eulogiums on virtue, in the most 
eloquent and beautiful language, have been 
held forth to our view as objects of imitation 
and interest, as though they had entirely 
forgotten that it is only for creatures like our- 
selves that we feel, and therefore, only firom 
creatures like ourselves that we receive the 
instruction of example.* Thus passionate 
and impetuous warriors, who are proud, irri- 
table, and vindictive, but generous, daring, 
and disinterested ; setting their Uves at apin s 
fee for the good of others, but incapable of 
curbing their own humour of a moment to gain 
the whole world for themselves ; who will 
pluck the orbs of heaven firom their places, 
and crush the whole universe in one grasp, 
are called forth to kindle in our souls the gen- 
erous contempt ofeverytliing abject and base; 
but with an effect proportionably feeble, as 
the hero is made to exceed in courage and 

'^ To a being perfectly free frcnn all human 
infirmity our sympathy refuses to extend. Our 
Saviour himself, whose character is so beautiful, 
and so harmoniously consistent ; in whom, with 
outward proofs of his mission less strong than 
thof« that are offered to us, I should still be 
compelled to believe, from being utterly unable 
to conceive how the idea of such a cnaracter 
could enter into the imagination of man, never 
touches the heart more nearly than when he says, 
" Father, !et this cup pam from me." Had he 
been represented to us in all the unshaken 
stren^h of thsee tragic heroes, his disciples 
would have made fewer converts, and his pre- 
cepts would have been listened to coldly. Plays 
in which heroes of this kind are held forth, and 
whose aim is, indeed, honorable and praise- 
worthy, have been admired by the cultivated and 
refined, but the tears of the simple, the applauses 
of the young and untaught have been wanting. 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



17 



fire what the standird of humanity will agree 
to* Thus, tender and pathetic loTen, full 
of the most gentle afiections, the moat amia- 
ble dispoeitiona, and the most exquisite feel- 
ings; who present their defenceless bosoms 
to the storms of this rude world in all the 
gracefVil weakness of lensibility, are made to 
siffh out their sorrows in one unvaried strain 
of studied pathos, whilst this constant demand 
upon our feelings makes us absolutely incapa- 
ble of answering it.t Thus, also, tyrants are 
represented as monsters of cruelty, unmixed 
with any feelings of humanity ; and villains 
as delighting in all manner oi treachery and 
deceit, and acting upon many occasions, for 
the very love ot^villany itself; though the 
perfectly wicked are as ill fitted for the pur- 
poses or warning, as the perfectly virtuous 

* In all barlesoue imitations of tragedy, those 
plaji in which tnis hero is pre-eminent, are al- 
wirs exposed to bear the great brunt of the ridi- 
cale. which proves how popular they hare been, 
ind now many poets, and good ones too, have 
been employed upon them. That they have been 
•0 popular, however, is not owing to the intrin- 
nc merit of the characters they represent, bat 
their opposition to those mean and contemptible 
qualities belonging to human nature, of which 
we are most ashamed. Besides, there is some- 
thing in the human mind, independently of its 
love of applause, which inclines it to boast. 
This is ever the attendant of that elasticity of 
•ool, which makes us bound up from the touch 
of oppression ; and if there is nothing in the ae- 
companying circumstances to create disgust, or 
nvgest suspicions of their sincerity, (as in real 
lire is commonl}r the case,) we are veiy apt to be 
carried along with the boasting of others. Let 
OS in ^^ood earnest believe that a man is capable 
of achievinff all that human coura^ can achieve, 
and we shall suffer him to talk of impossibilities. 
Amidst all their pomp of words, therefore, our 
admiration of such heroes is readilv excited, (for 
the understanding is more easily aeccived than 
the heart >) but how stands our sympathy afiect- 
ed ? As no caution nor foresight, on their own 
account, is ever suffered to occupy the thoughts 
of such bold disinterested beings, we are the 
more inclined to care for them, and to take an 
interest in their fortune through the course of 
the play : yet, as their souls are unappalled by 
any thing ; as pain and death are not at all re- 
garded by them ; and as we have seen them very 
ready to plunge their own swords into their own 
bosoms, on no very weighty occasion, perhaps, 
their death distresses us out little, and they com- 
monly fall unwept. 

I Were it not, that in tragedies where these 
heroes preside, the same soft tones of sorrow are 
■0 often repeated in our ears, till we are perfect- 
ly tired of it, thev are more fitted to interest us 
than any other ; ooth because in seeing them, we 
own the ties of kindred between ourselves and 
the frail mortals we lament ; and sympathize with 
the weakness of mortality unmixed with any thing 
to degrade or disgust ; and also, because the mis- 
fortunes, which form the story of the play, are 
frequently of the more familiar and domestic kind. 
A king driven from his throne, will not move our 
lympathy so stroMly , as a private man torn from 
the bosom of his family. 

2 



are for those of example .t This spirit of imi- 
tation, and attention to efifect. has likewise 
confined them very much in their choice of 
situations and events 16 bring their great char- 
acters into action: rebellions, conspiracies, 
contentions forempire, and rivalships in love, 
have alone been thought worthy of trying 
those heroes ; and palaces and dungeons the 
only places magnificent or solemn enough for 
them to appear in. 

They have, indeed, from this regard to the 
works of preceding authors, and great atten- 
tion to the beauties of composition, and to dig- 
nity of desi^, enriched their plays with much 
striking and sometimes sublime imagery, lof- 
ty thoughts, and virtuous sentiments ; but in 
strivinff BO eagerly to excel in those things 
that belong to tragedy in common with many 
other compositions, they have very much neg- 
lected those that are peculiarly her own. As 
far as they have been led aside from the first 
labors of a tragic poet by a desire to commu- 
nicate more perfect moral instruction, their 
motive has been respectable, and they merit 
our esteem. But this praiseworthy end has 
been injured instead of promoted by their 
mode or pursuing it. Every species of moral 
writing has its own way of conveying instruc- 
tion, which it can never, but with disadvan- 
tage, exchange for any other. The Drama 
improves us by the knowledge we acquire of 
our own mincfs, from the natural desire we 
have to look into the thoughts, and observe 
the behaviour of others. Tragedy brings to 
our view, men placed in those elevated situa^ 
tions, f xposed to those great trials, and en- 
ga^d in those extraordinary transactions, in 
which few of us are called upon to act. As 
examples applicable to ourselves, therefore, 
they can but feebly affect us ; it is only firom 
the enlargement of our ideas in regard to hu- 
man nature, from that admiration of virtue 
and abhorrence of vice which they excite, that 
we can expect to be improved by them. But 
if they are not represented to us as real and 
natural characters, the lessons we are taught 
from their conduct and their sentiments will 
be no more to us, than those which we receive 
firom the pages of the poet or the moralist. 

X I have said nothing here in regard to female 
character, though in many tragedies it is brought 
forward as the principal one of the piece, because 
what I have said of the above characters is like- 
wise applicable to it. I believe there is no 
man that ever lived, who has behaved in a cer- 
tain manner on a certain occasion, who has not 
had amongst women some corresponding spirit, 
who, on the like occasion, and every way simi- 
larly circumstanced, would have behaved in the 
like manner. With some degree of softening 
and refinement, each class of the tragic heroes 
I have mentioned has its corresponding one 
amongst the heroines. The tender and pathetic 
no doubt has the most numerous, but the great 
and magnanimous is not without it^ and the pas- 
sionate and impetuous boasts or one by no 
means inconsiderable in numbers, and drawn 
sometimes to the full aa passionate and impetu- 
ous as itself. 



18 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



But the last part of the task which I have 
mentioned as peculiarly belonging to trafe- 
djf unveiling the human minaunder the do- 
minion of those strong and fixed passions, 
which, seemingly unprovoked by outward 
circumstances, will from small beginnings 
brood within the breast, till all the better dis- 
positions, all the fair gills of nature are borne 
down before them, her poets in general have 
entirely neglected, and even her first and 
flnreatest have but imperfectly attempted. 
They have made use of the passions to mark 
their several characters, and animate their 
scenes, rather than to open to our view the 
nature and portraitures of those great disturb- 
ers of the human breast, with whom we are 
all, more or less, called upon to contend. 
With their strong and obvious features, there- 
fore, they have &en presented to us, stripped 
almost entirely of those less obstrusive, but 
not letjs discriminating traits, which mark 
them in their actual operation. To trace 
them in their rise and proereas in the heart, 
■eemj but rarely to have been the object of 
any dramatist. ^Ye commonly find the charac- 
ters of a tragedy affected by the passions in a 
transient, loose, unconnected manner ; or if 
they are represented as under the permanent 
inmience of the more powerful ones^ they 
are generally introduced to our notice m the 
very height of their fiiry , when all that timid- 
ity, irresolution, distrust, and a thousand del- 
icate traits, which make the infancv of every 
^rreat passion more interesting, perhaps, than 
Its full-blown stren^, are fled. The im- 
passioned character is generally brought into 
view under those irresistible attacks of their 
power, which it is impossible to repel ; whibt 
those ^^radual steps that lead him into this 
state, m some of which a stand might have 
been made against the foe, are lefl entirely 
in the shade. Those passions that may be 
suddenly excited, and are of short duration, 
as an^r, fear, and oflentimes jealousy, may 
in this manner be fully represented; but 
those great masters of the soul, ambition, 
hatred, love, every passion that is permanent 
in its nature, and varied in progress, if rep- 
resented to us but in one stage of its course, 
is represented imperfectly. It is a charac- 
teristic of the more powerful passions, that 
they will increase and nourish tnemselves on 
very slender aliment; it is from witliin that they 
are chiefly supplied with what thej feed on ; 
and it is in contending with opposite passions 
and aflections of the mind that we best dis- 
cover their strength, not with events. But 
in tra^dy it is events more frequently than 
opposite affections which are opposed to 
them; and those oilen of such force and 
magnitude, that the passions themselves are 
almost obscured by tne splendor and impor- 
tance of the transactions to which thev are 
attached. Besides being thus confined and 
mutilated, the passions have been, in the 
greater part of our tragedies, deprived of the 
very power of making themselves known. 
Bold and figurative language belongs pecu- 
liarly to them. Poets, admiring those bold 



expressions which a mind, laboring with 
ideas too strong to be conveyed in i£e ordi- 
nary forms of speech, wildly throws out, 
taking earth, sea, and sky, every thing great 
and terrible in nature, to image forth the 
violence of its feelings, borrowed them gladly, 
to adorn the calm sentiments of their premed- 
itated song. It has therefore been thought 
that the less animated parts of tragedy mi^ht 
be so embellished and enriched. In domg 
this, however, the passions have been rob- 
bed of their native prerogative ; and in adorn- 
ing with their strong hgures and lofty ex- 
pressions the calm speeches of the unruffled, 
it is found that, when they are called upon 
to raise their voice, the power of distinguish- 
ing themselves has been taken away. This 
is an injury by no means compensated, but 
very greatly aggravated, by embellishing, in 
return, the speeches of passion with the 
ingenious conceits, and complete similes of 
premeditated thought.* There are manv 
other things regardmg the manner in which 
dramatic poets have generally brought forward 
the passions in tragedy, to the greatest pre- 
judice of that efiect they are naturally fitted 
to produce upon the mmd, which I forbear 
to mention, lest they should too much in- 
crease the length of this discourse ; and leave 
an impression on the mind of my reader, that 
I write more in the spirit of criticism than 
becomes one, who is about to bring before 
the public a work, with, doubtless, many 
faults and imperfections on its head. 

From this general view, which I have en- 
deavoured to communicate to my reader of 
tragedy, and those principles in the human 
mind upon which tne success of her eflbrts 
depends, I have been led to believe, that an 
attempt to write a series of tragedies, of sim- 
pler construction, less embellished with poeti- 
cal decorations, less constrained by that lofty 
seriousness which has so generally been 
considered as necessary for the support of 
tragic dignity, and in which the chief^ object 
should be to delineate the promss of the 
higher passions in the human breast, each 
play exhibiting a particular passion, might 
not be unacceptable to the public. Ana I 
have been the more readily mduced to act 
upon this idea, because I am confident, that 
tragedy, written upon this plan, is fitted to 
prcxiuce stronger moral efiect than upon any 
other. I have said that tragedy, in represent- 
ing to us great characters strugghng with 
dimculties, and placed in situations of emi- 
nence and danger, in which few of us have 
any chance of being called upon to act, con- 
veys its moral efiicacy to our minds by the 



* This, perhaps, more than any thing else has 
injured the hiffner scenes of tragedy. For hav- 
ing made such free nse of bold nyperbohcal 
language in the inferior parts, the poet, when 
he arrives at the hiehly impissioned, sinks into 
total inability : or ifhe will force himself to rise 
still higher on the wing, he flies beyond natviv 
ahogetber, into the regions of bombast and non- 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



1^ 



enlarged vie wb which it giyes to os of human 
nature, by the Bdmiration of virtue and ex- 
eontion of vice which it excites, and not bj 
the examples it holds up for our immediate 
application. But in opening to us the heart 
of man under the influence of those passions 
to which all are liable, this is not the case. 
Those strong passions that, with small aa- 
sistanoe from outward circumstances, work 
their way in the heart till they become the 
tyrannical masters of it, carry on a similar 
opeFation in the breast of the Monarch, and 
the man of low degree. It exhibits to us the 
mind of man in that state when we are most 
curious to look into it, and is equally interest- 
ing to all. Discrimination of character is a 
lam of mind, though more oommon than we 
are aware of, which every body does not 
poasess ; but to the expressions of passion, 
particularly strong passion, the dullest mind 
» awake ; and its true unsophisticated Ian- 
gua^ the dullest understanding will not 
mismterpret. To hold up for our example 
those peculiarities in disposition and modes 
of thinking which nature has fixed upon us, 
or which long and early habit has incorporated 
with our original selves, is almost desiring 
OS to remove the everlasting mountains, to 
take away the native land-marks of the soul ; 
bat representing the passions, brings before 
OS the operation of a tempest that rages out 
its time and passes away. We cannot, it is 
true, amidst its wild uproar, listen to the 
Toice of reason, and save ourselves from de- 
•truction *, but we can foresee its coming, we 
can mark ita rising signs, we can know the 
lituations that wiU most expose us to its rage, 
and we can shelter our heads from the com- 
ing blaaU To change a certain disposition 
of mind which makes us view objects in a 
particular light, and thereby, oftentimes, un- 
known to ourselves, influences our conduct 
and manners, is almost impossible; but in 
checking and subduing those visitations of 
the soul, whose causes and efiects we are 
aware of, every one may make considerable 
progreas, if he proves not entirely successful. 
Above all, lookmg back to the first rise, and 
tracing the progress of passion, points out to 
tis those stages m the approach of the enemy, 
when he might have been combated most 
toccesafully ; and where the su&ring him 
to pass may be considered as occasioning all 
the misery that ensues. 

Comedy presents to us men, as we find 
them in the ordinary intercourse of the 
world, with all the weaknesses, follies, ca- 
price, prejudices, and absurdities which a 
near and mmiliar view of them discovers. It 
is her task to exhibit them engaged in the 
busy turmoil of ordinary lifb, harauing and 
perplexing themselves with the endless pur- 
Boits of avarice, vanity, and pleasu^ ; and 
engaged with those sxnaller trials of the 
min^ by which men are most apt to be over- 
come, and from which he, who could have 
fenpported with honor the attack of great oc- 
casions, will oftentimes come off most shame- 
fally foiled. It belongs to her to show the 



varied fashions and manners of the n/orld, 
as, from the spirit of vanitv, caprice, and im* 
itation they go on in swin ana endless suc- 
cession ; and those disagreeable or absurd pe- 
culiarities attached to particular classes and 
conditions in society. It is for her also to 
represent men undfer the influence of the 
stronger passions ; and to trace the rise and 
progress of them in the heart, in such situa> 
tions, and attended with such circumstances, 
as take off their sublimity, and the interest 
we naturally take in a perturbed mind. It is 
hers to exhmit those terrible tyrants of the 
soul, whose ungovernable rage has struck us 
so often with dismay, like wud beasts tied to 
a post, who growl and paw before us, for 
our derision and sport. In pourtraving th^ 
characters of men she has this advantage 
over tragedy, that the smallest traits of na« 
ture, with the smallest circumstances which 
serve to bring them forth, may by her be 
displayed, however ludicrous and trivial in 
themselves, without any ceremony. And in 
developing the passions she enjoys a similar 
advantage ; for they often more strongly be- 
tray themselves when touched by those small 
and familiar occurrences which cannot, con- 
sistently with the effect it is intended to pro- 
duce, be admitted into tragedy. 

As tragedy has been very much cramped in 
her endeavors to exalt and improve the mind, 
by that "spirit of imitation ana confinement in 
her successive writers, which the beauty of 
her earliest poets first gave rise to, so comedy 
has been led aside from her best purposes by 
a different temptation. Those endless chan- 
ges in fashions and in manners, which ofier 
such obvious and ever-new subjects of ridi- 
cule; that infinite variety of tricks and mancBU- 
vres by which the ludicr6usmay be produced, 
and curiosity and laughter excited ; the admi- 
ration we so generalQr bestow upon satirical 
remark, pointed repartee, and whimsical com- 
binations of ideas, have too often led her to 
forget the warmer interest we feel, and the 
more profitable lessons we receive, from genu- 
ine representations of nature. The most in- 
teresting and instructive class of comedy, 
therefore, the real characteristic, has been 
very much neglected, whilst satirical, witty, 
sentimental, and, above all, busy or circum- 
stantial comedy, have usurped the exertions 
of the far greater proportion of Dramatic Wri- 
ters. 

In Satirical Comedy, sarcastic and severe 
reflections on the actions and manners of men, 
introduced with neatness, force, and poignan- 
cy of expression, into a lively and well-sup- 
ported dialogue, of whose gay surface they 
are the embcwsed ornaments, make the most 
important and studied part of the work: char- 
acter is a thing talked of rather than shown. 
The persons of the drama are indebted for 
the discovery of their peculiarities to what is 
said of them, rather than to any thing thev 
are made to say or do for themselves. Mucn 
incident being unfavourable for studied and 
elegant dialogue, the plot is commonly sim- 
ple, and the tew events that compose it nei- 



so 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



ther inierestinff nor striking. It only affords 
us that kind of moral instruction which an 
essay or a poem could as well have conveyed, 
and, thouffh amusingin the closet, is but fee- 
bly attractive in the Theatre.* 

In what I have termed Witty Comedy, ev- 
ery thing is light, playful, and easy. Strong, 
decided condenmation of vice is too weighty 
and material to dance upon the surface ofth^ 
stream, whose shallow currents sparkle in 
perpetual sunbeams, and cast up their bub- 
oles to the light. Two or three persons of 
quick thought, and whimsical fancy, who per- 
ceive instantaneously the various connections 
of every passing idea, and the significations, 
natural or artificial, which single expressions, 
or particular forms of speech can possiblv con- 
vey, take the lead through the whole, and seem 
to communicate their own peculiar talent to 
every creature in the play. The plot is most 
commonly feeble rather than simple, the inci- 
dents being numerous enough, but seldom 
striking or varied. To amuse, and only to 
amuse, is its aim ; it pretends not to interest 
nor instruct. It pleases when we read, more 
than when we see it represented ; and pleases 
still more when we take it up by accident, and 
read but a scene at a time. 

Sentimental Comedy treats of those embar- 
rassments, difficulties, and scruples, which, 
though sufficiently distressing to the delicate 
inin£ who entertain them, are not powerfiil 
enough to gratify the sympathetic desire we 
all feel to look into the heart of man in diffi- 
cult and tr3ring situations, which is the sound 
basis of trafeoy, and are destitute of that sea- 
soning of the hvely and ludicrous, which pre- 
vents the ordinary transactions of comedy 
from becoming insipid. In real life, those 
who, from the peculiar firame of their minds, 
feel most of this refined distress, are not gen- 
erally communicative upon the subject ; and 
those who do feel and talk about it at the 
same time, if any such there be, seldom find 
their friends much inclined to listen to them. 
It is not to be supposed, then, long conversa- 
tions upon the stage about small sentimental 
niceties, can be ^nerally interesting. I am 
afiraid plays of this kind, as well as works of 
a similar nature, in other departments of liter- 
ature, have only tended to increase amongst 
us a set of sentimental hypocrites ; who are 
the same persons of this a^e that would have 
been the religious ones of another ; and are 
daily doing morality the same kind of injury, 
bv substituting the particular excellence which 
tnev pretend to possess, for plain simple up- 
rightness and rectitude. 

In Busy or Circumstantial Comedy, all those 
ingenious contrivances of lovers, guardians. 



• These phtys are ffenerally the work of men, 
whose iudgment and acute observation enable 
them admirably well to ffcneralize, and apply lo 
classes of men the remarks they have made upon 
individuals ; yet know not bow to dress up, with 
any natural congruity, an imaginary individual 
in the attributes they have assigned to those 
classes. 



fovemantes, and chambermaids; that am- 
ushed bush-fighting amongst closets, screens, 
chests, easv-chairs, and toilet-tables, form a 
gay, varied game of dexterity and invention : 
which, to those who have played at hide and 
seek, who have crouched down, with beating 
heart, in a dark comer, whilst the enemy 
groped near the spot ; who have joined their 
busy school-mates in many a deep-laid plan 
to deceive, perplex, and torment the unhappy 
mortals deputed to have the charge of them, 
cannot be seen with indifference. Xike an old 
hunter, who pricks up his ears at the sound 
of the chase, and starts away fitmi the path 
of his journey, so, leaving all wisdom and 
criticism behind us, we follow the varied chan- 
ges of the plot, and stop not for reflection. 
The studious man who wants a cessation from 
thought, the indolent man who dislikes it, and 
all those who, from habit or circumstances, 
live in a state of divorce from their own minds, 
are pleased with an amusement, in which they 
have nothing to do but to open their eyes and 
behold. Tl^ moral tendency of it, however, 
is very faulty. That mockery of age and do- 
mestic authority, so constantly held forth, has 
a very bad effect upon the younger part of an 
audience; and that continual lying and deceit 
in the first characters of the piece, which is 
necesnry for conducting the plot, has a most 
pernicious one. 

But Characteristic Comedy, which repre- 
sents to us this motley world of men and wo- 
men in which we live, under those circum- 
stances of ordinary and familiar life most fa- 
vourable to the discovery of the human heart, 
offers to us a wide field of instruction adaptea 
to general application. We &id in its varied 
scenes an exercise of the mind analogous to 
that which we all, less or more, find out for 
ourselves, amidst the mixed groups of people 
whom we meet with in society ; and wnicn I 
have already mentioned as an exercise uni- 
versalljp^ pleasing to man. As the distinctions 
which it is its nighest aim to discriminate, 
are those of nature and not situation, they are 
judged of by all ranks of men ; for a peasant 
willverv clearly perceive in the character of 
a peer those native peculiarities which belong 
to him as a man, though he is entirely at a 
loss in all that regards his manners and ad- 
dress as a nobleman. It illustrates to us the 
general remsrks we have made upon men ; 
and in it we behold, spread before us, plans 
of those original ground-works, upon which 
the general ideas we have been taught to con- 
ceive of mankind, are founded. It stands but 
little in need of busy plot, extraordinary in- 
cidents, witty repartee, or studied sentiments. 
It naturally produces for itself all that it re- 
quires. Characters, who are to speak for them- 
selves, who are to be known by their own 
words knd actions, not by the accounts 
that are given of them by others, cannot 
well be developed without considerable va- 
riety of judicious incident : a smile that is 
raised by some trait of undisguised nature, 
and a laugh that is provoked by some ludi- 
crous effect of passion, or clashing of opposite 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



t\ 



characters, will be more pleasing to the gen- 
erality of men, than either the one or the oth- 
er when occasioned by a play upon words, or 
a whimsical combination of ideas; and to be- 
hold the operation and effects of Uie difieient 
propensities and weaknesses of men, will natu- 
rally call up in the mind of the spectator mor- 
al reflections more applicable, and more im- 
pressiye than all the high-sounding senti- 
ments with which the graver scenes of Satir- 
ical and Sentimental Comedy are so frequently 
interlarded, it is much to be regretted, how- 
ever, that the eternal introduction of love as 
the grand business of the Drama, and the 
consequent necessity for making the chief 
persons in it, such, m legard to age, appear- 
ance, manners, dispositions, and endowments, 
as are proper for interesting lovers, has occa- 
iioned so much insipid sinmarity in the high- 
er characters. It is chiefly, therefore, on the 
leoond and inferior characters, that the efforts, 
even of our best poets, have been exhaust- 
ed : and thus we are called upon to be inter- 
ested in the fortune of one man, whilst our 
chief attention is directed to the character of 
another, which produces a disunion of ideas 
in the mind, iniurious to the general efiect of 
the whole. From this cause, also, those 
eharacterifitic varieties have been very much 
neglected, which men present to us in the 
middle stages of life ; wnen they are too old 
for lovers or the confidents of lovers, and too 
young to be the fathers, uncles, and guardi- 
ans, who are contrasted with them ; but when 
they are still in full vigour of mind, eagerly 
engaged with the world, joining the activity 
of youth to the providence of age, and offer 
to our attention objects sufficiently interesting 
and instructive. It is to be regretted that 
itrong contrasts of character are too often at- 
tempted, instead of those harmonious shades 
of it, which nature so beautifuUy varies, and 
which we so greatly delight in, whenever we 
clearly distinguish them. It is to be regret- 
ted that in place of those characters, wnich 
present themselves to the imagination of a 
writer firom his general observations upon 
mankind, inferior poets have so oflen pour- 
trayed with senseless minuteness the charac- 
ters of particular individuals. We are pleased 
with the eccentricities of individuals in real 
hfe. and also in history or biography, but in 
fictitious writings we regard them with sus- 
picion ; and no representation of nature, that 
corresponds not with some of our general 
ideas in regard to it, will either instruct or in- 
form us. When the original of such char- 
acters are known and remembered, the plays 
in which they are introduced are oftentimes 
popular ; and their temporary success has in- 
duced a still inferior class of poets to believe, 
that, by TP«lging men strange, and unlike the 
rest ofme world, they have made great dis- 
coveries, and mi^htuy enlarged the boun- 
daries of dramatic character. They will, 
therefore, distinguish one man from another 
hy some strange whim or imagination, which 
ia ever uppermost in his thoughts, and influ- 
cnoei evtery action of his life ; by some singu- 



lar opinioii, perhaps, about politics, fashions, 
or the position of the stars ; by some strong 
unaccountable love for one thing, or aversion 
from another ; entirely forgetting that, such 
singularities, if they are to be found in na- 
ture, can no where be sought for, with such 
probability of success, as in Bedlam. Above 
all it is to be regretted that those adventitious 
distinctions amongst men, of age, fortune, 
rank, profession, and country, are so often 
brought forward in preference to the great 
original distinctions of nature , and our scenes 
so often filled with courtiers, lawyers, citi- 
zens, Frenchmen, &c. &c. with all the char- 
acteristics of their respective conditions, 
such as they have been represented from time 
immemorial. This has mtroduced a great 
sameness into many of our plays, which all 
the changes of new fiuihions burlesqued, and 
new customs turned into ridicule, cannot 
conceal. 

In comedy, the stronger passions, love ex- 
cepted, are seldom introduced but in a pass- 
ing way. We have short bursts of anger, 
fits of jealousy and impatience ', violent pas- 
sion of any continuance we seldom find. 
When this is attempted, however, forgetting 
that mode of exposing the weakness of the 
human mind, which peculiarly belongs to her, 
it is too firequently done in the serious spirit 
of tragedy; and this has produced so many 
of those serious comic plays, which so much 
divide and distract our attention.* Yet we 

* Such plays, however excellent the parts may 
be of which they are composed, can never pro- 
duce the same strength and unity of effect upon 
our minds which we receive from plays of a 
simpler undivided construction. If the 'serious 
and distressing scenes make a deep impression, 
we do not find ourselves in a humour for the 
comic ones that succeed 3 and if the comic 
scenes enliven us greatly, we feel tardy and 
analert in bringing back our minds to a proper 
tone for the serious. As in tragedy we smile at 
those native traits of character, or that occasion- 
al sprightliness of dialogue, which are sometimes 
introduced to animate ner less interesting parts, 
so may we be moved by comedy j but our tears 
should be called forth by those gentle strokes of 
nature, which come at once with kindred kind- 
ness on the heart, and are quickly succeeded by 
smiles. Like a small sununer-cloud. whose rain- 
drops sparkle in the sun, and which swiftly 
passes away, is the genuine pathetic of comedy j 
the gathering foreseen storm, tipt darkens tne 
whole face of the sky, belongs to tragedy alone. 
It is often observed, I confess, that we are more 
apt to be affected by those scenes of distress 
which we meet with in comedy, than the high- 
wrought woes of tragedy } and I believe it is 
true. But this arises from the woes of tragedy 
being so often appropriated to hish and mighty 
personages, and strained beyond the modesty of 
nature, in order to suit their great dignity ; or. 
from the softened CTiefs of more gentle and 
familiar characters being rendered feeble and 
tiresome with too much repetition and whining. 
It arises from the greater facility with which we 
enter into the distresses of people, more upon a 
level with ourselves; and whose sorrows are 
expressed in leas studied and unnatural language. 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



all know from our own experience in real 
life, that, in certain situations , and under cer- 
tain circumstances, the stronger passions are 
fitted to produce scenes more exquisitely 
comic than any other : and one well- wrought 
scene of this kind will have a more powerful 
effect in repressing similar intemperance in 
the mind oi a spectator, than many moral cau- 
tions, or even, perhaps, than the terrific ex- 
amples of tragedy. There are to be found, no 
doubt, in the works of our best dramatic writ- 
ers, comic scenes descriptive of the stronger 
passions, but it is generally the inferior char- 
acters of the piece who are made the subjects 
of them, very rarely those in whom we are 
much interested ; and consequently the use- 
ful effect of such scenes upon the mind is very 
much weakened. This general appropriation 
of them has tempted our less skilful Dramat- 
ists to exaggerate, and step, in further quest 
of the ludicrous, so much beyond the bounds 
of nature, that the very efBect they are so anx- 
ious to produce is thereby destroyed, and all 
useful application of it entirely cutoff; for we 
never apply to ourselves a false representation 
of nature. 

But a complete exhibition of passion, with 
its varieties and progress inthe breast of man, 
has, I believe, Bcarcely ever been attempted 
in comedy. Even love, though the cnief 
subject of almost every play, has been pour- 
trayed in a loose, scattered, and imperfect 
manner. Tlie story of the lovers is acted over 
before us^ whilst the characteristics of that 
pa^ion by which they are actuated, and 
which is the great master-spring of the whole, 
are faintly to be discovered. We are gene- 
rally introduced to a lover afler he has long 
been acquainted with his mistress, and wants 
but the consent of some stubborn relation, re- 
lief from some embarrassment of situation, or 
the clearing up some mistake or love auarrel 
occasioned by malice or accident, to make him 
completely happy. To overcome these difficul- 
ties, he is engaged in a busy train of contri- 
vance and exertion, in which the spirit, activi- 
ty, and inj^nuitv of the man is held forth to 
view, whilst the lover,comparatively speaking, 
is kept out of si^ht. But even when this is 
not tne case ; when the lover is not so busied 
and involved, this stage of the passion is ex- 
actly the one that is least interesting, and least 
instructive : not to mention, as I liave done 
already, that one stage of any passion must 
show it imperfectly. 

From this view of the Comic Drama, I have 
been induced to believe, that, as companions 
to tlie forementioned tragedies, a series of 
comedies on a similar plan, in which bustle 
of plot, brilliancy of dialogue, and even the 
bold and striking in character, should, to the 
best of the author's judgment, be kept in due 
subordination to nature, might likewise be ac- 
ceptable to the public. I am confident that 
comedy upon tnis plan is capable of being 
made as interesting, as entertaming, and su- 
perior in moral tendency to any other. For 
even in ordinary life, with very slight cause 
to excite them, strong passions will foster 



themselves within the breast; and what are 
all the evils which vanity, folly, prejudice, or 
peculiarity of temper lead to, compared with 
those which such unquiet inmates produce .' 
Were they confined to the exalted and the 
mighty, to those engaged in the gre&t events 
ofuie world, to the inhabitants orpalaces and 
camps, how happy, comparatively, would this 
world be ! But many a miserable being, 
whom firm principle, timidity of character, or 
the fear of shame keeps back firom the actual 
commission of crimes, is tormented in obscu- 
rity, under the dominion of those passions 
which place the seducer in ambush, rouse the 
bold spoiler to wrong, and strengthen the arm 
of the murderer. Though to those with whom 
such dangerous enemies have long found shel- 
ter, exposing them in an absurd and ridicti- 
lous light, may be shooting a finely-pointed 
arrow against the hardenedrock ; yet to those 
with whom they are but new, and less assur- 
ed guests, this may prove a more successful 
mode of attack than any other. 

It was the saying of a sagacious Scotchman, 
'' Let who will m^e the mws of a nation, if I 
have the writing of its ballads.'* Something 
similar to this may be said in regard to the 
Drama. Its lessons reach not, indeed, to the 
lowest classes of the labouring people, who are 
the broad foundation of society, which can 
never be generally moved without endanger- 
ing every thing that is constructed upon it, 
and who are our potent and formidable cMdlad- 
readers; but they reach to the classes next in 
order to them, and who will always have over 
them no inconsiderable influence. The im- 
pressions made by it are communicated, at the 
same instant of time, to a greater number of 
individuals than those ina£ by any other spe- 
cies of writing ; and they are strengthened in 
every spectator, by observing their effects up* 
on tnose who surround him. From thi« ob- 
servation, the mind of my reader will suggest 
of itself what it would be unnecessary, and, 
perhaps, improper in me here to enlarge upon 
The tneatre b a school in which much good 
or evil may be learned. At the beginning of 
its career, the Drama was employed to mis- 
lead and excite ; and, were I not onwiUing 
to refer to transactions of the present times,! 
might abundantly confirm what I have said 
by recent examples. The author, therefore, 
who aims in any degree to improve the mode 
of its instruction, and point to more useful 
lessons than it is generally employed to dis- 
pense, is certainly praiseworthy, though want 
of abilities may unhappily prevent him ftom 
being successful in his eftbrts. 

This idea has prompted me to begin a work 
in which I am aware of many difficulties. In 
plays of this nature the passions must be de- 
picted not only with their bold and prominent 
features, but luso with those minute and del- 
icate traits which distinguish them in an in- 
fknt, growing and repressed state; which 
are the most diffictUt of all to counterfeit, 
and one of which, fklsely imagined, will de- 
stroy the eflect of a whole scene. The char- 
acters over whom they are made to nsurp 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



23 



domimon must be powerftil and interesting, 
exercifling them with their full roeasoze of 
oppoution and strufgle ; for the chief antag- 
oDifts they contencTwith muit be the other 
puiionB and propensities of the heart, not 
outward circumstances and events. Though 
belonffing to such characters, they must stiU 
be held to view in the most baleful and un- 
seductiTe light; and those qualities in the 
impassioned which are necessary to interest 
OS m their fate, must not be allowed, by any 
lustre borrowed from them, to diminish our 
abhorrence of guilt. The second, and even 
the inferior persons of each play, as they 
must be kept perfectly distinct from the 
great impassioned one, should ffenerolly be 
represented in a calm unagitated state, and 
therefore more pains are necessary than in 
other dramatic works to mark them by ap- 
|iropriate distinctions of character, lest they 
should appear altogether insipid and insigm- 
ficant As the great object here is to trace 
ptssion through all its varieties, and in every 
itage, many of which are marked by shades 
•0 delicate, that in much bustle of events 
they would be little attended to, or entirely 
overlooked, simplicity of plot is more neces- 
UTj than in those plays where only occasional 
bursts of passion are introduced, to distinguish 
t character, or animate a scene. But where 
nmplicity of plot is necessary, there is very 
great danger of making a piece appear bare 
and unvaried, and nothing but great force 
tnd truth in the delineations of nature will 
prevent it from being tiresome.* Soliloquy, 
or those overflowings of the perturbed soul, 
in which it unburthens itself of those thoughts 
which it cannot communicate to others, and 
which in certain situations is the only mode 
that a Dramatist can employ to open to us 
the mind he would display, must necessarily 
be often, and to considerable length, intro- 
duced. Here, indeed, as it naturally belongs 

* To make up for this simplicity of plot, the 
■how and decorations of the theatre ought to be 
tllowed to plays written upon this plan, in their 
full extent. How fastidious soever some poets 
may be in regard to these matters, it is much 
better to relieve our tired-out attention with a 
battle, a banquet, or a procession, than an 
accumulation of incidents. In the latter case 
the mind is harassed and confused with those 
doubts, conjectures, and disappointments which 
multiplied events occasion, and in a great mea- 
sure unfitted for attending to the worthier ports 
of Uie piece : but in the former it enjoys a rest, 
a pleasui^ pause in its more serious occupation, 
from which it can return again, without any 
incumbrance of foreign intruding ideas. The 
show of a splendid procettion will afford to a 
person of the best understanding, a pleasure in 
Kind, though not in degree, with that which a 
child would receive ftom it ; but when it is post 
he thinks no more of it; whereas some confusion 
of circnmstances, some half-explained mistake, 
which gives him no pleasure at all when it takes 
place, may take his attention afterwards fi-om 
the refined beaaties of a natural and character- 
istic diak^gue. 



to passion, it will not be so offensive as it 
generally is in other plays, when a calm un- 
agitated person tells over to himself all that 
has befallen him, and all his future schemes 
of intrigue or advancement; yet to make 
speeches of this kind sufficiently natural and 
impressive to excite no degree of weariness 
nor distaste, will be found to be no easy task. 
There are, besides these, many other difficul- 
ties belonging peculiarly to this undertaking, 
too minute and tedious to mention. If, ful^ 
aware of them, I have not shrunk back from 
the attempt, it is not from any idea that my 
own powers or discernment will at all times 
enable me to overcome them ; but I am em- 
boldened by the confidence I feel in that 
candour and indulgence, with which the good 
and enlightened do ever regard the experi- 
mental efforts of those who wish in any de- 
gree to enlarge the sources of pleasure and 
mstruction amongst men. 

It will now be proper to say something of 
the particular plays which compose this vol- 
ume. But in tlie first place, I must observe, 
that as I pretond not to have overcome the 
difficulties attached to this design ; so neither 
from the errors and defects, which, in these 
pages, I have thought it necessary to point 
jut in the works ot others, do I at all pretend 
to be blameless. To conceive the great 
moral object and outline of the story ; to peo- 

Sle it with various characters, under the in- 
uence of various passions ; and to strike out 
circumstances and situations calculated to 
call them into action, is a very different em- 
ployment of the mind from c^mly consider- 
mg those propensities of our nature, to 
which dramatic writings arc most powerfully 
addressed, and taking a general view upon 
those principles of the works of preceding 
authors. They arc employments which can- 
not well occupy it at the same time ; and ex- 
perience has taught us, that critics do not 
unfirequently write in contradiction to tlieir 
own rules. If I should, therefore, sometimes 
appear, in the foregoing remarks, to have pro- 
viaed a stick wherewith to break my own pate, 
I entreat that my reader will believe I am 
neither confident nor boastful, and use it 
with gentleness. 

In me first two plays, where love is the 
passion under review, their relation to the 
general plan may not be very obvious. Love 
is the chief ground-work of almost all our 
tragedies and comedies, and so far they are 
not distinguished from others. But I have 
endeavored in both to ^ive an unbroken 
view of the passion from its beginning, and 
to mark it as I went along, with tliose pecu- 
liar traits which distinguisli its different stages 
of progression. I have in botli these pieces 
grafled this passion, not on those open, com- 
municative, impetuous characters, who have 
so long occupied tlie dramatic station of 
lovers,l)Ut on men of a finn, thoughtful, re- 
served turn of mind, with whom it commonly 
makes the longest stay, and maintains tiic 
hardest strugglo. I should be extremely 
sorry if, from any thing at tlie conclusion of 



u 



INTRODUCTORY DISCOURSE. 



the tragedy, it should be Buppoeed that I 
mean to countenance suicide, or condemn 
those customs whose object is the discour- 
a^ment of it, by withholding from the body 
of the self-slain those sacred rites and marks 
of respect commonly shown to the dead. Let 
it be considered, that whatever 1 have in- 
serted there, which can at all raise any suspi- 
cion of this kind, is put into the mouths of rude 
uncultivated soldiers, who are roused with 
the loss of a beloved leader, and indignant at 
any idea of disgrace being attached to him. 
If it should seem inconsistent with the nature 
of this work, that in it» companion, the come- 
dy, I have made strong moral principle 
triumph over love, let it be remembered, 
that, without this, the whole moral tendency 
of a play, which must end happily, wouM 
liave been destroyed ; and that it is not my 
intention to encourage the indulgence of this 
passion, amiable as it is, but to restrain it 
The last pW, the subject of which is hatzed, 
Mrill more clearly discover the nature and in- 
tention of my design. The rise and progress 
of this passion I have been obliged to give 
in retrospect, instead of representinff it all 
along in its actual operation, as 1 could have 
wished to have done. But hatred is a passion 
of slow oTowth; and to have exhibited it 
from its lx*OTnning8 would have included a 
longer period, than even those who are least 
scrupulous about the limitation of dramatic 
time would have thought allowable. 1 could 
not have introduced my chief characten upon 
the stage as boys, and then as men. For this 
passion must be kept distinct from that dis- 
like which we conceive for another when he 
has greatly offended us, and which w almost 
the constant companion of anger ; and also 
from thatea^ desire to crush, and inflict 
sufiering onliim who has injured us, which 
constitutes revenge. This passion, as I have 
conceived it, is tlmt rooted and settled aver- 
sion, which from opposition of character, aided 
by circumstances or httle importance, ^rows 
at last into such antipathy and personu dis- 
gust as makes him wno entertuns it, feel, in 
the presence of him who is the object of it, 
a degree of torment and restlessness which 
is insufierable. It is a passion, I believe, 
less frequent than any otner of the stronger 
passions, but in the breast where it does ex- 
ist, it creates, perhaps, more misery than any 
other. To endeavor to interest the mind for 
a man under the dominion of a passion so 
baleful, so unamiable, may seem, perhaps, re- 
prehensible?. I therefore beg it may be con- 
sidered, that it is the passion and not the man 
which is held up to our execration ; and that 
this and every other bad passion does more 
strongly evince its pernicious and dangerous 
nature, when we see it thus counteracting 
and destroying the good gifts of Heaven, than 
when it is represented as the suitable associ- 
ate, in the breast of inmates as dark as itself. 
This remark will likewise be applicable to 
many of the other plays belongmg to my 
work, that are intended to follow. A deci- 
^ly wicked character can never be interest- 



ing; and to employ such for the display of 
any stronff passion would very much injure, 
instead of improving, the moral efiect. In 
the breast of a bad man passion has compant- 
tively little to combat; bow then can it show 
its strength.' I shall say no more upon this 
subject, Dut submit myself to the judgment 
of my reader. 

It may, perhaps, be supposed, firom my 
publishing these plajrs, that I have written 
them for uie closet nOher than the stage. If, 
upon perusing them with attention, the reader 
is disposed to think they are better calculated 
for the first than the last, let him impute it to 
want of skill in the author, and not to any 
previous design. A play but of small poetical 
merit, that is suited to strike and interest the 
spectator, to catch the attention of him who 
will not, and of him who cannot read, is a 
more valuable and useful production than one 
whose elegant ana harmonious pages are ad- 
mired in the libraries of the tastefm and refin- 
ed. To have received approbation from an 
audience of my countrymen, would have been 
more pleasing to me than any other praise. 
A few tean from the simple and voang would 
have been, in my eyes, pearls ol great price; 
and the spontaneous, untutored plaudits of 
the rude and uncultivated would have corns 
to mv heart as offerings of no mean value. I 
should, therefore, have been better pleased to 
have introduced them to the world firom ths 
stage than from the press. I possess, howev- 
er, no likely channel to the former mode of 
public introduction: and, upon further reflec- 
tion, it appeared to me, tnat by publishiiur 
them in this way, I have an opportunitv a? 
forded me of explaining the desi^ or my 
work, and enabling the public to judge, not 
only of each play oy itself, but as making a 
part likewise of the whole; an advantage 
which, perhaps, does more than overbalance 
the splendor and effect of theatrical represen- 
tation. 

It may be thought, that with this extensive 
plan beK>re me, I should not have been in a 
nurry to publish, but have waited to give a 
larger portion of it to the public, which would 
have enabled them to make a truer estimate 
ofits merit. To bring forth only three plays 
of the whole, and the laai without its intended 
companion, may seem like the haste of those 
vain people, who, as soon as they have writ- 
ten a few pages of a discourse, or a few coup- 
lets of a poem, cannot be easy till every boay 
has seen them. I do protest, in honest sim- 
phcity ! it is distrust and not confidence, that 
has led me, at this early stage of the under- 
taking, to bring it before the public. To la- 
bour in uncertainty is at all times unpleasant: 
but to proceed in a long and difficult work 
with any impression upon your mind that 
your labour may be in vain; that the opinioo 
you have conceived of your ability to perform 
it may be a delusion, a false suggestion of 
self-love, the fantasy of an aspiring temper, 
is most discouraging and cheerless. I have 
not proceeded so far, indeed, merely upon the 
strength of my own judgment; but the 



UTTBOWJCroM 0I9OOURSf£. 



fiiendi to whom I have shown my manQ- 
•cripts are partial to me, and their approba- 
tion, which in the case of any indifferent per- 
ion, wotthl be in my mind completely deci- 
DTe, eoes bat a little way in relievmg me 
from Uieae apprehensions. To step beyond 
the circle or my own immediate mends in 
quest of opinion, from the particular temper 
of my mind, I feel an uncommon repugnance ; 
I can with leas pain to myself bring mem be* 
fbre the public at once, and submit to its de- 
cision.* It is to my countrymen at large I 
call for assistance. If this work is fortunate 
enough to attract their attentiont let their stric- 
tures as well ss their praise come to my aid : 
the one will encouraffe me in a long and ar- 
duous ondertakinsr, ue other will teach me 
to improve it as 1 advance. For there are 
many errours that may be detected, and im- 
provements that may be suggested in the 
prosecution of this work^ which, from the 
observations of a great vanety of readers, are 
more likely to be pointed out to me, than 
from thote of a small number of persons, even 
of the best judgment. I am not possessed of 
that confidence in mine own powers, which 
enables the concealed genius, under the pres- 
sure of present discoura^gement, to oursue his 
labors in security, looking firmly forward to 
other more enlighted times for hia. reward. 
If my own countrymen with whom I live 
tad converse, who look upon the same race 
of men, the same state or society, the same 
jMfising events with myself, receive not my 
offering, I presume not to look to posterity. 
Before I close this discourse, let me crave 
the forbearance of my reader, if he has dis- 
eovered in the course of it any unacknow- 
ledged use of the thoughts of other authors, 
which he thinks ought to have been noticed ; 
•nd let me beg the same favour, if in reading 
the following plays, any similar neglect seems 
to occur. There are few writers who have 
sufficient originality of thought to strike out 
for themselves new ideas upon every occa- 
sion. When a thought presents itself to me, 
u suited to the purpose I am aiming at, I 
would neither be thought proud enough to 
leject it, on finding that another has used it 
before me, nor mean enough to make use of 
it without acknowledging the obligation, 
when I can at all guess to whom such ac- 
knowledgments are due. But I am situated 
where Ihave no library to consult ; mv read- 
ing through the whole of my life has been of 
abose, scattered, unmethodical kind, with no 
determined direction, and I have not been 
blessed by nature with the advantages of a 
retentive or accurate memory. Do not, how- 



* The first of these pfays, indeed, has been 
shr ra to two or three Gentlemen whom I have 
not the honor of reckoning amongst my friends. 
One of them, who is a man of distinj^ished tol- 
mts, has honored it with very flattering approba 
tioB ; andy at his samestion, one or two sligh- 
thsntiom in it haveMnmade. 
3 



ever, imagine' from this, I at all wish to in^ 
sinuate that I ought to be acquitted of every 
obligation to . preceding authors ; and that 
when a palpable similarity of thought and ex- 
pression is observable between us, it is a 
similarity produced by accident alone, and 
with penect unconsciousness on my part. I 
am firequently sensible, from the manner in 
which an idea arises to my imagination, and 
the readiness with which words, also, present 
themselves to clothe it in, that I am only 
making use of some dormant part of that 
hoard of ideas which the most indifierent 
memories lay up, and not the native sugges- 
tions of mine own mind. Whenever I nave 
suspected myself of doing so, in the course 
of wis wo^, I have felt a strong inclination 
to mark that suspicion in a note. But, be- 
sides that it might have appeared like an b£* 
fectation of scrupulousness which I would 
avoid, there being likewise, most assuredly, 
many other places in it where I have done 
the same thing without being conscious of it, 
a suspicion of wishing to slur them over, and 
claim all the rest as unreservedly my own, 
would unavoidably have attached to me. If 
this volume should appear, to any candid and 
liberal critic, to merit that he should take the 
trouble of pointing out to me in what parts 
of it I seem to have made that use of other 
authors' writings, which, according to the 
fiiir laws of literature, ought to have been 
acknowledged, I shall thiii& my^lf obliged 
to him. I shall examine the sources he 
points out as having supplied my own lack 
of ideas ', and if this book should have the 

food fortune to go through a second edition, 
shall not fail to own my obligations to him, 
and the authors from whom I may have bor- 
rowed. 

How little credit soever, upon perusing 
these plays, the reader may think me entitled 
to in regard to the execution of the work, he 
will not, I flatter myself, deny me some credit 
in regard to the plan. I know of no series 
of plays, in any language, expressly descrip- 
tive of the different passions ; and I believe 
there are few plays existing, in which the 
display of one strong passion is the chief 
business of the drama, so written that they 
could properly make part of such a series. 
I do not think that we should, from the works 
of various authors, be able to make a collec- 
tion which would give us any thing exactly 
of the nature of that which is here proposeo. 
If the reader, in perusing it, perceives that 
the abilities of the author are not proportioned 
to the task which is imposed upon them, he 
will wish, in the spirit of kindness rather than 
of censure, as I most sincerely do, that they 
had been more adequate to it. However, if I 
perform it ill, 1 am still confident that this 
(pardon me if I call it so) noble design will 
not be suffered to fall to the grouna: some 
one will arise afler me who will do it justice; 
and there is no poet, possessing gemus for 
flooh a work, who will not at tM same time 



f6 



INTRODUCTORt DISCOURSE. 



posteflfl th&t epirit of justice and of candour, 
which will lead him to remember me with 
respect 

1 have now only to thank my reader, who- 
ever he may be, who has followed me through 
the* pa^es of tluB discourse, for having lud 
the patience to do so. May he, in 



gomg 



NoU. — Shakspeare, more than an^ of oar poets, 
givei peculiar and appropriate distinction to the 
character of his traffsdieft. The remarks I have 
made, in r<^rd to tne little variety of character 
to be met with in tragedy, apply not to him. 
Neither has he, as otmr Dramatists generally 
do, bestowed pains on the chief persona of his 
drama only, leaving the second and inferiour 
ones insignificant and qnritless. He never 
wears oat our capacity to feel, by eternally 
upon it. His tragedies are sgreeably 



through what follows (a wish the sincerity 
of which he cannot doubt,) find more to re- 
ward his trouble than I dare venture to prom- 
ise him: and for the pains lie has already tak| 
en, and those which he intends to take for 
me, I request that he Will accept of my grate- 
ful acknowledgements. 

checquered with variety of scenes^ enriched 
with good sense, nature, and vivacity, which 
relieve our minds from the fati^e (^ continued 
distress. If he sometimes carries this so far as 
to break in upon that serious tone of mind, which 
disposes us to listen with efl^t to the higher 
scenes of tragedy, he has done so chiefly in his 
historical plays, where the distresses set forth 
are commonly of that public kind, which does 
not, at any rate, make much impression upon 
the feelings. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

The plays contained in this volume were all laid by for, at least, one year, before thej 
were copied out to prepare them for the press ; I have therefore had the advantage of read- 
ing them over, when they were in some measure effaced from my memory, and judging of 
them in some degree like an indifierent person. The Introduction has not had the same ad- 
vantage ; it viras copied out for the press immediately after I had finished it, and I have not 
bad courage to open the book, or read any part of it, till it was put into my hands to be cor- 
rected for the third edition. Upon reading it over again, it appears to me that a tone of cen- 
sure and decision is too often discoverable in it, which I have certainly no title to assume. 
It viras, perhaps, difficult to avoid this fault, and at the same time completely to give the view 
I desired of my motives and plan in this work ; but I sincerely wish that I had been skilful 
enough to have accomplished it without falling into this errour. Though I have escaped, as 
&r as I know, all censure on this account, yet I wish the Publick to be asswed, that I aili 
both sensible of, and grateful for, their forbearance. 



BASIL: A TRAGEDY- 



P£B30NS OF THE DRABCA, 

MEN. 

CouiTT Basil, C a General in the Empt- 

-{rour's sennet. . 
Count Rosinberg, Aif Friend, 
Duke op Maittpa. 



Gauriceio, 
ValtomeHj 
Frederick, 

GEorrRTy 

MlEAEDO, 



his Minister. 
< Tieo Officers of Basil*! 
( Troops. 

an old Soldier very 

much maimed m the 

VMrs. 

S'a UtUe Boyffawmriieto 
Victori&. 

WOMEN. 



Victoria, 

COCITTESS or AXBIKI, 
ISAJELLA, 



Daughter to the 
Duke of Mantua. 
Friena and Chv- 
emessto Victoria. 
a Lady attending 
^ upon Victoria. 
Officen, Soldiers, and Attendants, Masks, 
Dancers, fye, 

,% The Scene is in Mantua, and its emoi- 
fens. lime supposed to he the SixUenih Cen- 
tery, when Charles the F^ drfeaied Frar- 
cis the First, at the battle of Pavia. 



ACT I. 

ICIVE I.— -Air OPBir 8TRBBT, CROWDED 
WITH PBOPLB WHO SEEM TO BE 
WAITIHQ IH EXPECTATION OP SOME 
SHOW. 

Enter a Citizkk. 

First Man. Well, fHend, what tidings of the 

grand procession ? * 

Cit. 1 left it passing by the northern ffate. 
Suond Man. Vve waited long, I'm glad it 

comes at last. 
FoMi^ Man. And does the Princess look so 
wondrous fair 
As fame reports ? 

at. She Is the fairest lady of the train,— 
Tet all the fairest b^iuties of the court 
Are in her train. 
(Hd Man. Bears she such offerings to Saint 
Francis' shrine. 
So rich, so marvelloos rich, as rumour says f 
— 'Twill drain the treasury ! 
Cii. Since she, in all wis splendid jK>mp, 
retunis V 



Her publick thanks to the good patron Saint, 
Who from his sick bed hath restored her fiither, 
Thou wouldst not h9,ve her go with empty 

hands.' 
She loves magnificence — 
(Discovering amongst the crowd Old Geofiry .. 
Ha ! art thou here, old remnant of the wars f 
Thou art i)ot come to see this courtly show, 
Which sets the young agape ? 

Geqf. I come not for tne show; and yet 
methinks. 
It were a better iest upon me still. 
If thou didst truly know mine errand here. 
Cit. I pri'thee say. 

Geqf. What, must I tell it thee ? 

As o'er my evening fire I musing sat. 
Some few days since, my mind^ eye back- 
ward tum'd 
Upon the various changes I have pass'd — 
How in my youth, with gay attire allur'd. 
And all the grand accoutrements of war, 
I left my peaceful home : Then my first battles. 
When clashing arms, and signts of blooa 

were new : 
Then all the afler chances of the war : 
Ay, and that field, a well-fought field it was, 
When with an arm (I speak not of it oft) 
Which now (pointing to his empty deeve) thou 

seest is no arm of mine, 
In a straight pass I stopp'd a thousand foes. 
And turn d my flying comrades to the charge ; 
For which good servne, in his tented court, 
My prince bestow'd a mark of favour on me ; 
Whilst his fair consort, seated by his side, 
The fairest lady e' er mine eyes beheld, 
Gave me what more than all besides I priz*d — 
Methinks I see her still — a gracious smile — 
'T was a heartrkindling smile, — a smile of 

praise — 
Well, musing thus on all my fortunes past, 
A neighbour drew the latchet of^my door, 
And mil of news from town, in many words 
Big with rich names, told of this grand pro- 
cession; 
E'en as he spoke a fancy seiz'd my soul 
To see the princess pass, if in her looks 
ly et might trace some semblance ofher mother, 
lliis u the simple truth; laugh as thou wilt. 
I came not for the show. 

Enter an Officer. 

Officer to Geof. Make w>^y that the proees- 
sion may have room : 
Stand you aside, and let this man have place. 
{Pushing Geof. and endeavouring to put an^ 

other in his place.) 
Geof. But that thou art the prince's officer, 
I'd give thee bock thy push witn better blows. 



BASIL: ATRAQEDT. 



O/utr, WhaXy wilt thou not giTe place? the 
prince is near : 
1 will complain to him, and have thee capped. 
Qeof. \esy do complain, I pray; and when 
thoa dost, 
Say that the private of the tenth brigade, 
IVno sav'd his army on the Danube's bank, 
And since that time a private hath remained, 
Dares, as a citizen, his riiirht maintain 
Against thy insolence. Go tell him this, 
And ask hmi then what dungeon of his tower 
He'll have me thmst into. 

CU, to Ogicer, This is old Geoffiy of the 

tenth brigade. 
Qgi, I knew him not : you should have told 
me sooner, [exit, looking notch ashamed. 

Martial Musiek heard at a distance, 
at. Hark, this i» musiek of a warlike kind. 

Enter Second Citizbv. 

To See. Cit. What sounds are these, good 

firiend, which this way bear? 
See. Cit. The brave Count Basil is upon 
his march, 
To join the Emp*ror with some chosen troops. 
And as an allv doth through Mantua pass. 
Geof. V ve beard a good report of this young 

soldier. 
Sec. at. 'Tls said he disciplines his men 
severely. 
And over-much the old conmiander b, 
Which seems ungracious in so young a man. 
Geof. I know he loves not ease and revelry ; 
He miakes them soldiers at no dearer rate 
Than he himself hath paid. What, dost thou 

think, 
That e'en the very meanest simple craft. 
Cannot without due diligence be leara'd, 
And yet the noble art of soldiership 
May be attain'd by loit'ring in the sun ? 
Some men are bom to feast, and not to fight ; 
Whose sluggish minds, e'en in fair honour's 

fidd, 
Still on their dinner turn — 
Let such pot-boiling varlets stay at home, 
And wield a flesh-hook rather than a sword. 
Li times of easy service, true it is. 
An easy careless chief all soldiers love ; 
But O! how gUdly in the day of battle 
Would they Uieir jolly bottle-chief desert, 
And follow such a leader as Count Basil ? 
So gath'ring herds, at pressing danger's call, 
Confess the master deer. 
(Musiek is heard avain, and nearer. Geoffiy 
walks vp and dtnon with a military 

triumphant step, 
at. What moves thee thus? 
Geqf. I've march'd to tins same tune in 
fflorious days. 
My very limbs catoh motion from the sound, 
As they were young again. 
See. at. But here they come. 

Eator Count Basil. Officers aad Soldiers in Pro- 
cession, with Colours flying, and martial ma- 
sick. When thev have marched half-way over 
^heStage^ an OflScw oitim Dnkt's «ataii fitn 



the opposite side, and'[speaks to BA8n.,iipon 
which ne gives a ngn with his hand, and the 
nurtial musiek ceases : toft monck is heard at 
a little distance and Victoria, with a long 
processidn of Ladies,' enters from the qiposite 
side. General, See. pay obeisance to her, as 
she passes ^ she stopi to return it, and then 
goes ofl" with her train. After which the 
military proceision moves on, and ExeunL 

at. to Geqf. What think'st thou of the 

princeai? 
Geqf. She is &ir, 

But not BO fair aa her good mother was. 

[EXXUHT. 

SCKKB II.— A PUBLIC WALK OH THK &Alf« 
PA&T8 OP THK TOWN. 

Enter Couvt Rosihbkro, Valtqmxk, and 

Frsderick.^Valtom £R enters by the oppo* 

site side of the Stage, and meets them. 

Volt. O what a joUy town for way-worn 
soldiers! 
Rich steamin£ pota, and smell of dainty &ie, 
From every house salutes you as you pass : 
Light feata and juggler's tricks attract the eye ; 
Musiek and merriment in ev'ry street ; 
Whilst pretty damsels, in their best attire, 
Trip on in wanton groups, then look behmd, 
To spy the fools a-gazinf after them. 

Fred. But short will be the season of our 
ease, 
For Basil is of flinty matter made, 
And cannot be allur'd — 
'Faith, Roeinberg, I would thon didst eom* 

mand us. 
Thou art his kinsman, of a rank as noble, 
Some jenn his elder too— How has it been 
That he should be preferr'd ? I see not why. 

Ros. Ah ! but I see it, and allow it well ; 
He is too much my pride to wake my envy. 

Fred. Nay, Count, it is thy foolish admira- 
tion 
Which raises him to such superiour height; 
And truly thou hast so infected us. 
That I at times have felt me aw'd before him, 
I knew not why. 'T is cursed folly this. 
Thou art as brave, of as good parts as he. 

Ros. Our talents of a mff'rent nature are ; 
Mine for the daily intercourse of life. 
And his for higher things. 

Fred. Well, praise hum as thou wih ; I mt 
it not ; 
I'm sore I am as brave a man as he. 

Ros, Yes, brave thou art, but 'tis subaltern 
brav'ry, 
And doth respect thyself. Thon'lt bleed as 

well, 
Give and receive as deep a wound as he. 
When Basil fighte he wields a thouMnd 

swords; 
For 'tis their trust in his unshaken mind, 
O'erwatehing all the changes of the field. 
Calm and inventive 'midst (he battle's storm, 
Whieh makes his soldiers bold. — 
There have been those,in early manhood slain. 
Whose great heroick souls have yet inspir'd 
With (Rich a noble itaJ their gen roan tioops, 



BASIL: A.TRAO£DT. 



«9 



That to their lateft day of bearing amia, 
Their grey-hair'd Boldien have all daiigera 

bra.7'd 
Of desp*rate jervice, claim'd with boastful 

pride, 
. Aa thoae who fought beneath them in their 

joath. 
.Such men have been; of whom it maybe aai^ 
Their apirita conquered when their clay was 
cold. 
Fmli. Yes, I have seen in the eventful field, 
When new occasion mock'd all rules of art. 
E'en old commanders hold experience cheap, 
And look to Baail ere his chin was dark. 

Ros, One fault he has ; I know but only one ; 
His too great love of military fame 
Absorbs liis thoughts, and makes him.ofl ap- 
pear 
Unsocial and severe. 
Fnd, Well, feel I not undannted in the 
field? 
Aa much enthusiastic love of glory? 
Why am I not as food a man as lie? 
iZoa. He's form'd for great occaaiona, thou 

(or small. 
Volt. But small occasions in the path of life 
Lie thickly sown, while great are rarely 
scatter'd. 
Sot. By which you would infer that men 
like Frederick 
Should on the whole a better figure make, 
Than men of higher parts. It is not so; 
For some shew well, and fair applauses gain, 
Where want of skill in other men is graceful. 
Pray do not firown, food Fred'rick, no offince : 
Thou canst not mue a great man of thyself } 
Tet wisely deiffn to use thy native pow rs. 
And prove an nonor'd courtly gentleman. 
But hush! no more of this; here Basil comes. 

Eater Basil, who returns their salute without 

speaking. 

Bos. What think'st thou, Vbltomer, of 

Mantua's princess? 
Fait, Fame prais'd her much, but hath not 
prais'd her more 
Than on a better proof the eye consents to. 
With all that mce and nobleness of mien, 
She might do nonorto an emp'rour's throne ; 
She is too noble for a petty court. 
.Is it not so, my Lord? — (To Basil, who only 

bowt assent.) 
Ifay , she demeans herself with so much grace, 
Such easy state, such gay magnificence, 
.Bhe ahomd be queen en revelry and show. 
Frid. She's charming as the goddess of 

delight. 
Volt. But ailer her, she most attracted me 
Who wore the yellow scarf and walk'd the 

last; 
Tor tho' Victoria is ft lovely woman — 

Fred. Nay, it is treason but to call her 
woman; 
She's a divinity, and shoidd be worahipp'd. 
Baton my liK,si]ioe now we talk of wor- 
ship, 



She worshipp'd Francis with right noble 

gifts! 
They sparkled so with gold and precious 

gems— 
Their value must be great; some thousand 

crowns. 
Rot. 1 would not jate them at a prioe so 

mean; 
The cup alone, with piecious stones beset, 
Would fetch a sum as great. That (drve- 

branch< 
The princess bore henelf, of fretted gold, 
Was exquisitely wrought I mark'd it 



more 



JBecauae she held it in so white a hand. 
Bos, (in a quick voice.) Mark'd you her 
hand ? I did not see her hand. 
fAnd yet she wav'd it twice. 

Ros. It is a fair one, tho' you mark'd it not. 
VaU. 1 wish some painter's eye had view'd 
the group, 
As she and aU her lovely damsel9 pass'd; 
He would have found wherewith t'enrich 
his art. 
Ros. 1 wish so too; for oft their fancied 
beauties 
Have so much coid perfection in their parts. 
*Tis plain they ne'«r belong'd to flesh and 

blood. 
This is not truth, and doth not please so weU 
As the varieties of lib'ral nature, 
Where ev'ry kind of beauty charms the eye} 
Large and small featur'd, flat and prominent. 
Ay , oy the mass ! and snub-nos'd beauties too. 
'Faith, ev'ry woman hath some witching 

charm. 
If that she be not proud, or captious. 

VaU. Demure, or over-wise, or giv'n to 

fivaks. 
Ros. Or giv'n to freaks! hold, hotd, good 
Valtomer! 
Thou'lt leave no woman handsome under 
heav'n. 
VaU. But I must leave you for an hour 
or so; 
I mean to view the town. 
Fred. I'll go with thee. 
Ros. And so will J. 

[ExKDiTT VaU. Fred, and Rot. 

Re<«nter Rosinbkrg. 

RoSf I have repented me, I will not go; 
They will be too louff absent. — (Pauses, and 

looks at Basu, who remaisu stUl mur 

sing without seeing him.) 
What miffhty thoughts engage my pensive 

wiend? 
Bos. O it is admirable ! 
Ros. How runs thy fancy? what is admi- 
rable? 
Bos. Her form, her face, her motion, ev'ry 

thing? 
Ros. The princess; yes, have we not 

prais'd her much? 
Bos. I Know you prais'd her, aad her ofT- 

rings too! 
tts might have giv'n the tieasuies of the east, 



BASIL: ATRAQEDT. 



Ere I had known it 

O ! didst thou mark her when she firat ap- 
pear 'd? 

Still distant, slowly moving with her train ; 

Her robe and ticMca . floating on the wind. 

Like some light figure in a morning cloud ? 

Then, as she onwud to the eye became 

The more distinct, how lovelier still she grew! 

That graceful bearii^ of her slender form ; 

Her roundiy-spreadmg breast, her tow'ring 
neck, 

Her &ce ting'd sweeny with the bloom of 
youth — 

But when approaching near, she towards us 
tum'd, 

Kind mercy ! what a countenance was there ! 

And when to our salute she gently bow'd. 

Didst mark that smile rise firom her parting 
lips? 

Soft swell'd her glowing cheek, her eyes 
smil*d too : 

how they smil'd ! 'twas like the beams of 

heav'n ! 

1 felt my roused soul within me start, 
Like something wak'd from sleep. 

Ros. The beams of heay 'n do many alum- 

b'rers wake 
To care and misery !. 
Bos. There's something grave and solemn 

in your voice 
As you pronounce these words. What dost 

thou mean ? 
Thou wouldst not sound my knell ? 
Ros. No, not for all beneath the vaulted 

aky! 
But to be plain, thus warmly from your lips, 
Her praise displeases me. To men like you. 
If love should come, he proves no easy guest. 
Bos. What, dost thou think I am beside 

myaelf, 
And cannot view the fairness of perfection 
With that delight which lovelv beauty ^ves. 
Without tormenting n|e with fruitless wishes^ 
Like the poor child who sees its brightened 

face. 
And whimpers for the moon ? Thou art not 

serious. 
From early youth, war has my mistress been. 
And though a rugged one. Til constant prove. 
And not forsake her now. There may be 

joys 
Which, to the strange o'erwhelming of the 

soul, 
Visit the lover's breast beyond all others ; 
E'en now, how dearly do I feel there may ! 
But what of them ? they are not made for me — 
The hasty flashes of contending steel 
Must serve instead of glances from my love, 
And for soft breathing sighs the cannop's 

roar. 
Xos. (taking his hand.) Now I am ntiafied. 

Forgive me, Basil. 
Bos, I'm glad thou art; we'll talk of her 

no more ; 
Why should I ve^ my friend ? 
Ros. Thou hast not issued orders for the 

marclu 



Bos. Ill do it soon ; thoa need'at not b» 

afraid. 
To-morrow's sun shall bear ns&r from hencei 
Never perhaps to pass these gates acain. 
Ros. With last ni^t's close, did you not 

curse this town 
That would one single day your troops retard ? 
And now, methinks, vou talk of leaving it, 
As though it were tne place thai gave you 

birth; 
As though yon had around these strangers* 

indls 
Your infant gambols play'd. 
Bos. The sight of what majr be but little 

priz'd. 
Doth cause a solemn sadness in the mind, 
When view'd as that we ne'er shaH see again. 
Ros. No, not a whit to wand'ring men like 

us. 
No, not a whit! What custom hath endear'd 
We part with sadly, though we prin it not : 
But what is new some powerful charm must 

own, 
Thus to afiect the mind. 
Bos. (kastUy.) We'U let it pass— It hath 

no consequence : 
Thou art impatieqt 

Ros. I 'm not impatient 'Faith, I onlv wish 
Some other rout our desti»'d.march had been, 
That still thou mightst thy glorious course 

pursue 
With an untroubled mind. 
Bos. O! wish it, wiah it not! bkai'd be 

that rout I 
What we have seen to-day, I mustremember — 
I should be brutish if I could forget it 
Oft in the watchful post, ox weary march, 
Oft in the nightly silence of my tent, 
My fixed mind shall gaze upon it still ; 
But it will para before my tancy 's eye. 
Like some delightful vision of the sou^ 
To soothe, not trouble it 
Ros. What! 'midst the dangers of eventful 

war. 
Still let thy mind be haunted by a woman.' 
Who would, perhaps, hear of thy fall in bat- 
tle, 
Aa Dutchmen read of earthquakes in Cala^ 

biia. 
And never stop to cry *■ alack-arday ! ' 
For me there is but one of all the sex. 
Who still shall hold her station in my breatt^ 
'Midst all the chxmges of inconstant fortune ; 
Because I'm passing sure she loves me well, 
And for my sake a sleepless pillow finds 
When rumour tells bad tkUncs of the war ; 
Because I know her love wm never change. 
Nor make me prove uneasy jealousy. 
Bao. Happy art thou! who is this won- 
drous woman ? 
Ros. It is mine own good mother, faith and 

truth! 
Bos. (smiUng.) Give me thy hand ; I love 

her dearly too. 
Rivals we are not, though our love is one. 

Ros. And yet I might be jealous of her love» 
For she bestows too much of it oo thee, 



BASIL: A TRAGEDY. 



51 



iVho hut no claim but to a nephew's share. 
'B<^' (g^^) I'^ meet thee some time 

hence. I must to C<mrt. 
'Ros. A private conTrente will not stay thee 
lon^. 
J'n wait thj coming near the palace gate. 
Bos. "Hs to the public court I meiin To go. 
Bos. I thought you had determin'd other- 



J3Sa#. Tes, but on farther thought it did ap- 
pear 
As though it would be failing in respect 
At such a time — That look doth wrong me, 

Rosinberg ! 
For on my life, I had determin'd thus. 
Ere I beheld — before we enter'd Mantua. 
But wilt thou chanjg^e that soldier's dusty garb. 
And go with me thyself? 

Bot. Tes, I will ao. 

(Jsthetf are fomg Ros. sUrps^ and lows at 

Bos. Why dost thou stop.' 
Bos. ' iTin fot my wonted caution, 

Which first thou ga?*st me — I shall ne'er 

forget it ! 
Twaa at Vienna, on a public day ; 
Thou but a youth, I then a man f^U form'd ; 
Hiy stripling's brow grac'd with \\k ^st 

cockade, . 
Tliy mighty bosom sweU'd with mighty 

thoughts. 
*Thou*rt for the court, dear Rosinberg," 

quoth thou! 
" Now pray theo be not caught with some 

gay tiame. 
To htogh and ogle, and befool thyself: 
It is onensive in the public eye, 
And suits not with a man of thy endowments." 
So said your serious lordship to me then. 
And have on like occasions, often since. 
In other terms repeated. — 
But I must go to-day Without my caution. 

Bos. Nay , Rosinberg, 1 am impatient now : 
Did I not say we'd talk of her no more ^ 
Bos. Well, my good friend, God grant we 

keep our word ! 

[Exeunt. 

End of the First Act. 



NoU. — My first idea when I wrote this play, 
was to represent Basil as having seen Victoria 
fer the first time in the procession, that I muht 
skew more perfectly the passion fhnb its mt 
bc^gianing, and also its sodden power over the 
mind ; but I was induced fit>m the criticism of 
one, whose judgment I very much respect, to 
alter it> and reoresent him aa having formerly 
seen and loved ner. The first Review that took 
notice of this work objected to Basil's having 
seen her before as a defect j and, as we ar6 all 
easily detarmined to follow our own opinioni I 
have, upon after-consideration, ^iven the play in 
this edition [Ifttrd], as far as this is concerned. 
axacUy in its original state. Strong internal 
tvidenc« of this wul be discovered by any one, 
who will take the troable of reading attentively 



the second scenes of the first and second acts in 
the present and former editions of this book. 
Had Basil seen and loved Victoria before, his 
first speech, in which lie describes her to Rosin- 
beig as walking in the procession, would not be 
natnralj and there are, I think, other little 
things besides, which will shew that the circum- 
stance of his former meeting with her is an 
interpolation. 

The blame of this, however, I take entirely 
upon myself : the Critick, whose opinion I have 
mentioned, judsed of the piece entirely as an 
Unconnected play, and knew nothing of the 
ffeneral plan of this work, which ouffht to have 
been tombiUnicated to him. Had it been, 
indeed, an unconnected play, and had I put this 
additional circumstance to it with proper judff- 
n>ent and skill, I am inclined to think it weuSi 
have been an improvement. 



ACT II. 

8CKHE I. — ^A ROOM OF STATE, 

The Duke of Mantua, Basil, Rosinberg, 
and a number of Courtiers, Attendants, 6cc, 
The DuxE and Basil appear talking together 
on the firont of the Stage. 

Didce. But our opinions differ widely there ; 
From the position of the rival armies, 
I tannot thitik they'll join in battle soon. 

Bas. I am indeed beholden to your highness. 
But tho' unwillingly, we must depart. 
The foes are near, tne time is critical ; 
A soldier's reputation is too fine 
To be ezpos'd e en to the smallest cloud. 
Duke. An lintried soldier's is ; but yours, 
my lord, 
Nurs'd with the bloody showers of many a 

field, 
And brightest sunshine of successf^il fortune, 
A plant of such a hardy stem hath ^own, 
E'en Envy's sharpest blasts assail it not. 
Yet ailer aH, by the bless'd holy Cross ! 
I feel too warm an interest in tne cause 
To stay your progress here a single hour. 
Did 1 not know your soldiers are fatigu'd, 
And two days' rest would much recruit their 
strength. 
Bas. Tour highnesi will be pleaa'd to par- 
don me ; 
My troops are not o'ermarch'd, and one day's 

rest 
If all our needs require. 

Duke. Ah ! hadst thou come 

Unfetter'd with the duties of command, 
I then had well retain^d thee for my guest. 
With claims too strong, too sacred for denial. 
Thy noble sire my fellow-soldier was ; 
Together many a rough campai^ we senr'd ; 
1 lov'd him well, and much it pleases me 
A ion of his beneath my roof to see. 

Bas. Were I indeed free master of myself, 
Strong inclination would detain mc here ; 
No pther tie were wanting. 
These gracious tokens of your princely favour 
I'll treasure with my best remembrances ; 
For he who shows them for my father's sake, 



BASIL: ATRAGEDT. 



AM 



Doe* tomethinff sacred in his kindness bear, 
As tho' be shed a blessing on my head. 
Duke. Well, bear my greetings to the brave 

Piscaro, 
And say how warmly I embrace the canse. 
Tour third day's march will to his presence 

bring 
Tour yaliant troops : said you not so, my lord ? 

Enter VieroRiA, the Covimss of Auiiri, 
Isabella, and Lsdys. 

Bos, (who changes ca m U a umee vp<m seamg 
them.) 
Yes, I believe — I think — I know not Well — 
Tesi please your grace, we march by break 
of day. 
Duke. Nay, that I know. I asked yon, 
noble Count, 
When you expect th' Imperial force to join. 
Bat. When it shall please your gfttce — I 
crave your paraon — 
I somewhat have mistaken of your woids. 

Duke. Ton are not well ; your color changes, 
What is the matter .' 
Bos. A dizzy mist that swims before my 
sight — 
A ringing m my ears — 'tis stranee enough — 
Tis sught — 'tis nothing worth— -^tis gone al- 
ready. 
Duke. I'm glad it is. Look to your friend, 
Count Rosinberfl^ 
It may return again. — (To Roeinberg, who 
standsata little distance f looking eamesUy at 
Basil. — Duke leaves them, ami joins Vic- 
toria's party.) 
Ros. Good heavens, Basil, ia it thus with 
thee! 
Thy hand shakes too: (taking his hamd.) 
Would we were far from hence ! 
Bos. I'm well again, thou need'st not be 
afiaid. 
Tis like enough my frame i» indispos'd 
With some slight weakness from our weaiy 

march. 
Nay, look not on me thus^ it is unkindly— 
I cannot bear thine eyes. 

The DuKz, with Victoria sod her Ladies, 
advance to the front of the Stage to Basil. 

Duke. Victoria, welcome here the brave 
Count Basil. 
His kinsman too, the ^aUant Roaiiiberg. 
May you, and these fair ladies so prevail, 
Such gentle suitors cannot plead in vain, 
To muce them grace my court another day. 
I shall not be oSended when I see 
Your power surpasses mine. 

Vict. Our feeble efforts will presumpCaoas 

seem 

Attempting that in which your highness fiuls. 

Duke. There's honour in th' attempt ; snc- 

oeas attend ye. — (Dake retires and 

mixes with the Cotatiers at the bottom sftkt 

Stage.) 
Viet. I fear we incommode you, my Lord, 
With the slowtediociilengtliof our prooessioB. 



E'en as t pass'd, againM my heart it went 
To stop so long upon their Weary way 
Your tired troops. — 

Bos. Ah! Madam, all too short! 

'Hme never bears such moments on his wing^ 
But when he flies too swiftly to be mark'd. 

Vict. Ah ! surely then yotf make too good*- 

By marking now his afler-progress weD. 
IxMiay must seem a weary length to him 
Who i» so eager to be gone to-morrow. 
Ros, They must not linger who would quit' 
these walls ; 
For if they do, a thousand masked foes ; 
Some under show of rich luxurious feasts, 
Gay, sprightly pastime, and high sested> 

game;— 
Nay, some, my gentle ladies, true it is, 
The very worst and fellest of the crew, 
In fiur alluring'shape of beauteous dames, 
Do such a hairier form t' oppose their way^ 
As few men may o'ercome. 
Itab. From this last wicked foe should we' 
infer 
Yourself have sufier'd much.' 
Albin. No, Isabella, these are commflft 
words. 
To please you with false notions of your pow'r^ 
So all men talk of ladies and of love. 

Vict. 'Tis even so. If love a tyrant be, 
How dare his humble chained vbtaries 
To tell such rude and wicked tales of him. ^ 
Bas. Because they most of lover's ills com-' 
plain. 
Who but affect it as a courtly grace, 
Whilst he who feels ia silent 
Ros. But there you wrong me ; I have felt 
it oft 
Ofl has it made me sigh at lakes' feet. 
Soft ditties sing, and dismal sonnets scrawl. 
Jllbin. In all its strange effects, most wor- 
thy Rosinberg, 
Has it e'er made thee in a comer sit. 
Sad, lonely, moping sit, and hold thy tongue T 
Ros. No, 'faitn, it never has. 
Min. Ha, ha, ha, ha ! then thou hast nev- 
er lov'd. 
Ros. Nay, but I have, and felt love's bon- 
dage too. 
Vict. Fye ! it is pedantry to call it bondage! 
Love-marring wisaom, reason full of ban. 
Deserve, meuinks, that appellation more. 
Is it not so, my Lord .^—C To Basil, j 

Bas. O surely, Madam ! 

That b not bondage which the soiU enthrall'd 
;So gladly bears, and quits not but with an- 
guish. 
Stem honour's laws, the fair report of men, 
These are the fetters that enchain the mind, 
But such as must not, cannot be unloos'd. 
Vict. No, not unloos'd, but yet one day re- 
laz'j, 
To grant a lady's suit, unused to sue. 
Ros. Your highness deals severely with us 
now. 
And proves indeed our freedom is but amallr 
Who are ooiiftrain'd when wieh m hdj watOf 



BASIL I A TRAGEDY. 



^Ai 



To say, It cannot be. 

Vict. It cannot be ! Count Basil aaya not 

ao. 
Bos. For Uiat I am kia friend, to save him 
pain 
I take th' im^raciooa office on myself. 
Vict. How ill thy fkce is suited to thine of- 
fice! 
Ras. (gmiling.) Would I could suit mine 
office to my fkce, 
If that would please your highness. 

Vict. No, you are obstinate and perverse all, 
And would not grant it if you had the pow'r. 
Albini, I'll retire ) come, Isabella. 
Bos. (aside to Ros.) Ah, Roainberg ! thou 
hast too far presumed ; 
She is offended with us. 

i2o». No, she is not — 

What dost thou f^ar ? Be firm, and let us go. 
VicL (pointing to a door leading to outer 
apartments f by which she is ready to go out.) 

These are apartments strangers love to see : 
Borne famous paintings do their walls adorn : 
They lead you also to the palace court 
As quickly as the wav by which you came. 
(EiiT Vict, ied out by Ros. tmd followed by 

IsAB. 
Bos. (aside^ looking after them.) O ! what 
a fool am I ! where ded my thoughts ? 
I might as well as he, now, by her side, 
Haye held her precious hand enclos'd in mine ; 
As well as he, who cares not for it neither. 
but be does!' that were impossible ! 
Mbin. You stay behind, my lord. 
Bas» Tour pardon^ Madam $ honour rat so 
fiur— 

[ExKUKT handing out Albini. 

BCEKB ll.^-^A OALLSRT HUNO WITH 

PICTURJBS. 
Victoria discovered in conversatioti with Ro- 

siJiBERO, Basii., Axrim, and Isabella. 

Via. (to Ros.) It is indeed a work of won- 
drous art. 
(To Isab.) Yoil Called Francisco here > 
Isab. He comes even now. 

Enter ATTEiri>AMT» 

Viet, (to Ros.) He will conduct yoQ to the 
northern gaU'rv ; 
Its striking shades wilt call upon the eye, 
To point its place there needs no other guide. 
[£x£ONT Ros, and Attendant 
(To Bas.) Loves tiot Count Basil too this 
charming art ? 
It ii in ancient painting much admir'd. 
Bas. Ah ! do not bamsh me these few short 
mcwients : 
Too soon they will be gone I for ever gone ! 
Viet. If they are preoiouH to you, say not 
so, 
But add to them another precious day. 
A Lady asks it. 
Bos. Ah, Madam ! ask the life-blood from 
my heart ! 
Ask aU but what a soldier may not give4 



Vict. *Tis ever thus when &vours are danied^ 
All had been granted but the thing we beg ; 
And still some great Unlikely substitute, 
Your liffe, your soul, your all of earthly good) 
Is proffer'd in the room of one small boon. 
So keep your Ufe-blood, gen'rous, Valiaht lordj 
And may it long your noble heart enrich, 
Until t wish it shed. (Bas. attempts to Speak.) 

Nay, frame no new excuse | 
I will not hear it. 

(She puts out her hand as if she would 
shut his mouthy but at a distance from 
it; Bas. runs eagerly up to her, and 
presses it to his lips.) 

Bas. Let this sweet hand indeed its threat 
perform. 
And make it heav'n to be for ever dumb ! 
rVict. looks stately and offended.'-Btiml kneels.) 

pardon me ! I know not what I do. 
Frown not, reduce me not to wretchedness; 
But only grant — 

Vict. What should I erant to him, 

Who has so oft my earnest suit denied ? 
Bas. By heaven 111 grant it ! TU do any- 
thing: 
Say but thou art no more offeuded with me. 
Vict, (raising him.) Well, Basil, this good 
promise is thy pardon. 

1 will not wait your noble friend's return^ 
Since we shall meet again. — 

You will perform your word ? 
Bas. I will perform it. 
Vict. Farewell, my lord. 

[Exit, with ker LadUi. 

Bas. (oJUme.) " Farewell, my lord." O ! 

what delightful sweetness ! 
The music of that voice dwells ob the mnx ! 
'< Farewell, my lord ! "-^Ay, and then look'd 

she so— 
The slightest glance of her bewitching eyis, 
Those dark blue eyes, commands the inmost 

soul. 
Well, there is yet one day of liffe before me, 
And, whatsoe'er betide, 1 will enjoy it. 
Though but a partial sunshine in my lot, 
I will converse with her, gaze on her still, 
If all behind were pain and misery. 
Pain ! Were it not the easing of all pAin, 
E'en in the dismal gloom of afler years, 
Such dear remembrance on the mind to wear 
Like silv'ry moon-beams on the 'nighted deep. 
When heav'n's bleat sun is gone .' 
Kind mercy ! how my heart within me beat 
When she so sweetly pled the Cause of love ! 
Can she have lov'd ? why shrink 1 at the 

thought? 
Why should she not ! no, no, it Cannot be — 
No man on earth is worthy of her love. 
Ah ! if she cotild, how blest a man were he ! 
Where rove my giddy thoughts .' it must not 

be. 
Yet might she well some gentle kindness bear> 
Think of him ofl. his absent fate inquire, 
And, should he fall in battle, mourn his &^. 
Yes, she would mourn — sctcn love might mi 
bestow \ 



94 



BASIL t A TRAGEDY. 



And poor of bouI the man who would ex- 
change it 
For warmest love of the most loving dame ! 
Bot here comes Rosinberg — ^have I oone well ? 
He will not saj I have. 

Enter Rosikberg. 

Bm. Where is the princess ? 
Vm sorry I retnm'd not ere she went. 
Bos. You'll see her still. 
Xos. What, comes she forth again ? 

Bos. She does to-morrow. 
Ros. Thou hast yielded then. 

Bos. Come, Rosinberg, I'll tell thee as we 

It was mipoasible I should not yield. 
Ro8. O Basil ! thou art weaker than a child. 
Bos. Tes, yes, my friend, but 'tis a noble 
weakness ; 
A weakness which hath greater things achiey 'd 
Than all the firm determin'd strei^rth of rea- 
son. 
By beav'n ! I feel a new-bom pow'r within 

me, 
Shall make me twenty-fold the man I've been 
Before this fated day. 

/Zof . Fated indeed ! but an ill-fated day. 
That makes thee other than thy former self. 
Tet let it work its will ; it cannot change thee 
To aught I shall not loye. 

Bos. Thanks, Rosinberg ! thou art a noble 
heart! 
I would not be the man thou couldst not love 
For an Imperial Crown. [Ezeuht. 

SCBITB III. — £ SMALL APARTMKKT IK 
THB PALACS. 

Enter Dukk and Gauriccio. 

Duke. The point is gained ; my daughter is 
successful ; 
And Basil is detain'd another day. 

Gaur. But does the princess know your 

secret aim .' 
Duke. No, that had marr'd the whole ; she 
is a woman ; 
Her mind, as suits the sex, too weak and 

narrow 
To relish deep-laid schemes of policy. 
Besides, so far unlike a child or mine. 
She holds its subtle arts in lugh derision. 
And will not serve us but with bandagM eyes. 
Gauriecio, could I trusty servants find 
Experieno'd, crafty, close, and unrestrain'd 
By silly superstitious child-learnt fears. 
What might I not effect ? 

Gaur. O anything ! 

The deep and piercing genius of your highness. 
So ably serv'd, might e en achieve the empire. 
Duke. No, no, my friend, thou dost over- 
prize my parts ; 
Tet mighty things might be^^ieep subtle wits 
In truth, are master spirits in the world. 
The brave man's courage, and the student's 

lore. 
Are but aa tools his fecret ends to work, 



Who hath the skill to use them. 

This brave Count Basil, dost thou know him 

well.' 
Much have we gain'd, but for a single day, 
At such a time, to hold his troops detain'd ; 
When, by that secret messa^ of our spj, 
The rival pow'rs are on the brink of action : 
But might we more effect P Know'st thoa 

thisBasU.' 
Might he be tamper'd with ? 

Gaur. 'That were most dang'rous.— 

He is a man, whose sense of right and wrong 
To such a high romantic pitch is wound. 
And all so hot and fiery is his nature, 
The slightest hint, as Uio' ^ou did suppose 
Baseness and treach'ry in him, so he'll deem it, 
Would be to rouse a name that might destroy. 
Duke. Butint'rest, int'rest, man s all-ruling 

pow'r, 
Will tame the hottest spirit to your service. 
And skilfully applied, mean service too ; 
E'en as there is an element in nature 
Which, when subdu'd will on your hearth 

fulfil 
The lowest uses of domestic wantff. 

Gaur. Earth-kindled fire, which from a litr 

tie spark. 
On hidden fuel feeds his growing strength. 
THll o'er the lofly fabrick it aspires 
And rages out its pow'r, may be subdn'd, 
And in your base domestic service bound ; 
But who would madly in its wild career 
The fire of heav'n arrest to boil his pot.' 
No, Basil will not serve your secret schemes, 
Tho' you had all to give ambition strives for. 
We must beware of him. 
Duke. His father was my firiend, — I wish'd 

to gain him: 
But since fimtastic fancies bind him thus. 
The sin be on his head ; I stand acquitted, 
And must deceive him, even to his ruin. 
Gaur. I have prepared Bernardo for your 

service; 
To night he will depart for th' Austrian caii^>, 
And snould he find them on the eve of battle, 
I've bid him wait the issue of the field. 
If that our secret friends victorious prove. 
With th' arrow's speed he will return again ; 
But should fair Fortune crown Piscaro's 

arms, 
Then shall your soothing message greet his 

ears; 
For till our friends some sound advantage fl|un, 
Our actions still must wear an Austrian nee. 
Duke. Well hast thou school'd him. Didst 

thou add withal. 
That ^tis my will he garnish well his speech, 
With honied words of the most dear regard. 
And friendly love I bear him .' This is need- 
ful; 
And lest my slowness in the promis'd aid 
Awake suspicion, bid him e'en rehearse 
The many nvours on my house bestow'd 
By his Imperial master, as a theme 
On which my gratitude delights to dwell. 
Gaur. I have, an' please your highness. 
Duke. Then 'tis well. 



BASIL : A TRAGEDY. 



S6 



Gaur. But for the jielding up that little fort 
There could be no suspicion. 
DultA, My GoTernor I have severely pun- 

As a most darin^^ traitor to my orders. 

He cannot fromliis darksome dungeon tell; 

Why then should they suspect ? 

Gaur. He must not live should Charles 

prove victorious. 
Duke. He's done me service : say not so, 

Gauriecio. 
Gttur. A traitor's name he will not calmly 
bear; 
He'll tell his tale aloud — he must not live. 
Duke. WeU, if it must— we'U talk of this 

afain. 
Gaur. cut while with anxious care and 
crafty wiles, 
You would enlarge the limits of your state , 
Your highness must beware lest inward broils 
Bring cumber near at hand : your northern 

subjects 
E'en now are discontented and unquiet. 
Duke. What, dare the ungrateful miscreants 
thus return 
The many favours of my princely grace ? 
'TIS ever thus indulgence spoils the base ; 
Raising up pride, and lawless turbulence, 
Like noxious vapours flrom the fulsome marsh 
When morning shines upon it. — 
Did I not lately with parental care^ 
When dire invaders their destruction threat- 

en'd, 
Provide them all with means of their defence .' 
Did I not. as a mark of gracious trust, 
A body or their vagrant youth select 
To ffuard my sacred person ? till that day 
An honour never yet allow'd their race. 
Did I not suffer them, upon their suit, 
T' establish manufactures in their towna.^ 
And after all some chosen soldiers spare 
To guard the blessings ofinterior peace P 
(ntar. Nay, please your highness, they do 
well allow. 
That when your enemies in fell revenge 
Your former inroads threaten'd to repay, 
Their ancient arms you did to them restore. 
With kind permission to defend themselves : 
That so far nave they felt your princely grace, 
In drafting from their fields their go^liest 

youth 
To be your servants: That you did vouch- 
safe, 
On pajring of a large and heavy fine, 
Leave to apply the labour of their hands 
As best mignt profit to the country's weal : 
And to encourage well their infant trade, 
Quarter'd your troops upon tbem.-^Please 

your grace, 
All this they do most readily allow. 
Duk£. They do allow it then ungrateful 
varlets ! 
What would they have P what would they 
have, Gauriecio! 
Guar. Some mitigation of their grievous 
burdens, 
Which, like an iron weightaround their necks, 



Do bend their care-worn faces to the earth. 
Like creatures fbrm'd upon its soil to creep, 
Not stand erect, and view the sun of heav'n. 

Duke. But they beyond their proper sphere 
would rise; 
Let them their lot fulfil as we do ours. 
Society of various parts is form'd ; 
They are its grounds, its mud, its sediment, 
And we the mantling top which crowns the 

whole. 
Calm, steady labour is their greatest bliss ; 
To aim at higher things beseems them not. 
To let them work in peace my care shall be ; 
To slacken labour is to nourish pride. 
Methinks thou art a pleader for these fools : 
What may this mean, Gauriecio ? 

Gaur. They were resolv'd to lay their cause 
before you. 
And would have found some other advocate 
Less pleasing to your Grace had I refus'd. 

Duke. Well, let them know, some more 
convenient season 
I'll think of this, and do for them as much 
As suits the honour of my princely state. 
Their prince's honour should be ever dear 
To worthy subjects as their precious hves. 

Gaur. I fear, unless you give some special 
promise. 
They will be violent still — 

Duke. Then do it, if the wretches are so 
bold: 
We can retract it when the tim6s allow ; 
'Tis of small consequence. Go see Bernardo, 
And come to me again. [Exit. 

Gaur. (soltu) O happy people ! whose in- 
aulgent lord 
From ev'ry care, with which increasing 

wealth. 
With all its hopes and fears, doth ever move 
The human breast, most graciously would 

free. 
And kindly leave you nought to do but toil ! 
This creature now, with all his reptile cunning, 
Writhing and turning through a maze of wiles. 
Believes his genius form'd to rule mankind ; 
And calls his sordid wish for territory 
That noblest passion of the soul, ambition. 
Born had he been to follow some low trade, 
A petty tradesman still he had remain'd, 
And us'd the art with which he rules a state 
To circumvent his brothers of the craft, 
Or cheat the buyers of his paltry ware. 
And yet he tliinks, — ha, ha, ha, ha! — he 

thinks 
I am the tool and servant of his will. 
Well, let it be ; thro* all the maze of trouble 
His plots and base op ression must create, 
I'll shape myself a way to higher things : 
And who will say 'tis wrong r 
A sordid being, who expects no faith 
But as self-interest binds; who would not 

trust 
The strongest ties of nature on the soul. 
Deserves no faithful service. Perverse fate ! 
Were I like him, I would despise this dealing ; 
But being as I am, born low in fortune, 
Yet with a mind aspiring to be great, 



BASIL : A TRAQ£DY. 



I must not ecom the gteps which lead to it : 
And if they are not ri^ht, no saint am I ; 
I follow nature's passion in my breast^ 
Which urgea me to rise in spite of fortune. 

[Exit. 

ScENB IV.-— An a?artmeht jv the 

PALACE. 

YiCTOHiA and Isabslul are discovered playing 
at Chess j the Countess Albihi sitting by tnem 
reading to herself. 

Vict Away with it, I will not play again. 
May men no more be foolish in my presence 
If thou art not a cheat, an arrant cheat ! 
Isab. To swear that I am false by such an 
oath, 
Should prove me honest, since its forfeiture 
Would bring your highness gain. 

Vict. Thou*rt wrong, my Isabella, simple 
maid; 
For in the ycty forfeit of this oath. 
There's death to all the dearest pride of 

women. 
May man no more be foolish in mjr presence ! 
Isab. And does your grace, hail d by ap- 
plauding crowds^ 
In all the graceful eloquence address'd 
Of most accomplished, noble, courtly youths, 
Prais'd in the songs of heav'n-inspired bards, 
Those awkward proofs of admiration priae, 
Which rustic swains their village fair ones 



pay! 
t. 0, 1 



Vict. O, love will master all the power of 
art! 
Ay, all ! and she who never has beheld 
The poUsh'd courtier, or the tuneful sage, 
Before the glances of her conqu'ring eye 
A very native simple swain become, 
Has only vulgar cnarms. 
To make the cunning artless, tame the rude, 
Subdue the haughty, shake the undaunted 

soul; 
Tea, put a bridle in the lion's mouth. 
And lead him forth as a domestic cur, 
These are the triumphs of all-powerful beauty ! 
Did nought but flatt'ring words and tuneful 

praise. 
Sighs, tender glances, and obsequious service. 
Attend her presence, it were nothing worth : 
rd put a white coif o'er my braided locks. 
And be a plain, £ood, simple, fire-side dame. 

^Ib. (raising her head from her book.) And 
is, indeed, a plain domestic dame, 
Who fills the duties of an useful state, 
A being of less dignity than she, 
Who vainly on her transient beauty builds 
A little poor ideal tyranny ? 

Isab. Ideal too ! 

^Ib. Yes, most unreal pow'r ; 

For she who only finds her self-esteem 
In others' admiration, begs an alms ; 
Depends on others for her daily food, 
And IB the very servant of her slaves ; 
Tho' odentimes, in a fantastic hour, 
O'er men she may a childish pow'r exert, 



Which not ennobles, but de^^ades her stale. 
Vict. Tou are severe, Albini, most severe ! 
Were human psMions plao'd within the breast 
But to be curb d^subdu d, pluck'd by the roots * 
All heaven's gifts to some good end were 
riv'n. 
AUf. xeSf for a noble, for a generous end. 
Vict, Am I ungen'rous then ? 
^Ib. Yes, most ungen'rous : 

Who, fbr the pleasure of a little pow'r. 
Would ^ve most unavailing pain to those 
Whose fove you ne'er ean recompense again* 
E'en now, to-day, O ! was it not ungen rou« 
To fetter Basil with a foolish tie, 
A wnst his will, perhaps against his duty * 
Vict. What, dost thou think against his will^ 

my friend ? 
^Ih. Full sure I am amnst his reason's wilL. 
Viet. Ah ! but indeed thou must excuse me 
here ; 
For duller than a shelled crab were she, 
Who could suspect her pow'r in such a mind^ 
And calmly leave it doubtibl and unprov'd. 
But wherefore dost thou look so gravely on 

me? 
Ah ! well I read those looks ! methinks they 

say, 
** Your mother did not so." 
Alb. Your highness reads them true, sh» 
did not so. 
If foolish vanity e'er soil'd her thoughts, 
She kept it low, withheld its aliment ; 
Not pamper'd it with ev'ry motley food, 
Fcpm the fond tribute of a noble heart 
To the hsp'd flattery of a cunning child. 
Vict. Nay, speak not thus, — AJbini, speak 
not thus 
Of little blue-ey'd, sweet, fair-hair'd Miraado« 
He is the orphan of a hapless pair ; 
A loving, b^utiful, but napless pair. 
Whose story is so f>leasing, and so sad. 
The swains have tum'd it to a plaintive lay, 
And sing it as they tend their mountain sheep« 
Besides, (to Isab.) I am the guardian of his 

choice. 
When first I saw hko — dost thou not remem* 
her.' 
Isab. Twas in the publick garden. 
Vict. Even so; 

Perch'd in his nurse's arms, a rou^hsome 

quean, 
111 suited to the lovely charge she bore. 
How steadfastly he fixed his looks upon me. 
His dark eyes shining thro' forgotten tears. 
Then stretch'd his Uttk arms and call'd ms 

mother ! 
What could I do.' I took the bantling home — 
I could not tell the imp he had no mother. 
Alb. Ah ! there, my child^ thou hast indeed 

no blame. 
Viet. Now this is kindly said : thanks, 
sweet Albini ! 
Still call me child, and chide me as thou wilt 
O ! would that I were such as thou couldst 

love! 
Couldst dearly love, as thou didst love my 
mother ! 



BASIL: A TRAGEDY. 



n 



M. (yrtMsing her to her hretut.) And do I 
not? ail perfect as ehe was, 
I know not that soe went so near my heart 
Af thou with all thj faults. 

Viet. And say'st thou so? would I had 
sooner known ! 
I bad done anything to give thee pleasure. 
Alb. Then do so now, and put thy fiuilts 

away. 
Viet. No, say not faults; the freaks of 

thoughtless youth. 
Mb. Nay, yery faults they must indeed be 

call'd. 
Via. O! say but foibles!! youthful foibles 

onlyt 
M. Faults, faults, real faults you must 

confess they are. 
Viet. In truth 1 cannot do your sense the 
wrong 
To think so poorly of the one you love. 
Atb. I must be gone : thou hast o'ercome 
me now: 
Another time I wUl not ^eld it so. [Exit. 
Uuh. The Countess is severe, she s too 
severe : 
She once was yonng tho' now advanc'd in 
years. 
Viet. No, I deserve it all*, she is most wor- 
thy. 
Unlike those faded beauties of the court, 
But now the wither'd stems of former flowers 
With all their blossoms shed, her nobler mind 
Procures to her the privilege ^f man. 
Ne'er to be old till nature's strength decays. 
Some few years hence, if I should live so 

lonf, 
I'd be Albim rather than myself. 
Ittib. Here comes your little fav'rite. 
Viet. I am not in the humour for him now. 

Eater Miranpo, running up to Victoria, and 
taking bold of her gown, whibt she takes no 
notice of hiniy as he holds up his mouth to be 



Uab. (to Mir.) Thou seest the prinoew can't 

be troubled with thee, 
Jlftr. O but she will! I'll scramble up her 
robe, 
Ai naughty boys do when they climb for ap- 
ples, 
las^. dome here, sweet child; I'll kiss thee 

in her stead. 
Mir. Nay, but I will not have a kiss of 
thee. 
Would I were tall! O were I but so tall! 
bah. And how tall wouldst thou be? 
JMtr. Thou dost not know ? 

^Just tall enough to reach Victoria's lips. 
Viet, {emhracing him.) O! I most oend to 
this, thou little urchin. 
Who taught thee all this wit, tlus childish 

wH? 
Whom does Mirando love? (embraees him 
&gain.) 
Mir. He loves Victoria. 

Viet. And wherefore loves be her? 



Mir. Because she's pretty. 

Jtah. Hast thou no little prate to-day, Mi- 
rando? 
No tale to earn a sugar-plum withal ? 
Mir. Ay, that I mive : I know who loves 

her grace. 
Viet. Who IS it, pray ? thou shalthave com* 

fits for it. 
Mir. Qooking dyly at her.^ It is — it is— it is 

the Count of Maloo. 
Vict. Away, thou little chit! that tale is 

oM, 
And was not worth a sugar-plum when new. 
Mir. Well then, I know who loves her 

highness well. 
Viet. Who is it then? 

Isab Who is it, naun^hty boy? 

Mir. It is the handsome marquis of Carlatzi. 
Viet. No, no, Mirando, thou art naughty 

stiU: 
Twice have I paid thee for that tale already. 
Mir. Well then, indeed — I know who loves 

Victoria. 
Vict. And who is he ? 
Mir. It is Mirando's self. 

Vict. Thou little imp ! this story is not new. 
But thou shalt have thy hire. Come, let us 

Go, nm before us, Boy. 
Mir. Nay, but I'll shew you how Count 
Wolvarlook'd, 
When he conducted Isabel from Court. 
Viet. How did he look ? 
Mir. Give me your hand : he held his 
body thus ; 
(muting himself in a ridieulous botemff posture.) 
And then he whisper'dsofUy; thenlook'd so; 
(ogltng with hu eyes affectedly. ) 
Then she look 'd so, and smil'd to him again. 
{throwing down his eyes affectedly.) 
Isab. Thou art a Uttle knave, and must be 

whipn'd. 
[ExsuNT. Mirando leading out Victoria <|f- 
fectedly. 

ACT III. 

SCEKB I. — AV OPEN 8T&BBT, OB 0^UABB. 

Enter Rosinbero and Frederick, by opposite 
sides of the Stage. 

Fred. So Basil, from the pressing calls of 
war. 
Another day to rest and pastime gives. 
How is it now ? methinks thou art not pleas'd. 

Rofi. It matters little if I am or not. 

Fred. Now pray thee do confess thou art 
asham'd : 
Thou, who art wisely wont to set at nought 
The noble fire of individual ooura^, 
And call calm prudence the supenour virtue, 
What siy'st thou now, my candid Rosinberg, 
When thy great captain, m a time like this. 
Denies his weary troops one day of rest 
Before th' exertions or approaching battle, 
Tet grants it to a pretty lady's suit ? 



BASIL : A TRAGEDY. 



Ro9. Who told thee this ? it was no friend- 
ly tale; 
And no one else, besides a trusty friend, 
Could know his motives. Then thou wiongs't 

me too; 
For I admire, as much as thou dost, Fred'rick, 
The fire of valour, e'en lash heedless valour, 
But not like thee do I depreciate 
That far superiour, yea, that godlike talent. 
Which doth direct that fire, because indeed 
It is a talent nature has denied me. 

Fred. Well, well, and greatly he may boost 

his virtue. 
Who rie^ perhaps th' Imperial army's fate. 
To please a lady's freaks — 

Ros. Gro, go, thou'rt prejudiced : 

A passion, which I do not chuse to name, 
Has warn'd thy judgement. 

Fred. No, by heav n thou wsong'st me ! 
I do, with most enthusiaatick warmth. 
True valour love : wherever he is found, 
I love the hero too ; but hate to see 
The praises due to him so cheaply eam'd. 
Rom. Then mayst thou now mese gen'rous 

feelings prove. 
Behold that man, whose short and grizzly 

hair 
In clust'ring locks his dark . brown face o'er* 

shades ; 
Where now the scars of former sabre wounds. 
In hon'rable companionship are seen 
With the deep lines of age ; whose piercing 

eye 
Beneath its. shading eyebrow keenly darts 
its yet unquenched beams, as tho' m age 
Its youthful fire had been again renew d. 
To he the guardian of its darkened mate: 
See with wnat vig'rous steps his upright form 
He onward bears; nay, e'en toat vacant 

sleeve. 
Which droops so sadly by his better side, 
Suits not ungracefully tlie vet'ran'smien. 
This is the man, whose glorious acts in battle 
We heard to-day related o'er our wine. 
I go to tell the gen'ral he is come : 
Enjoy the gen'rous feelings of thy breast. 
And make an old man happy. [Exit. 

Enter GaorraT. 

Fred. Brave soldier, let me profit by the 
chance 
That led mc here ; I've heard of thy exploits. 
Gevf. Ah ! then you have but heard an an- 
cient tale. 
Which has been lon^ forgotten. 
Fred. But true it is, and should not be for- 
gotten; 
Tho' gen rals jealous of their soldiers' fame. 
May dash it with neglect. 

Ueof. There are, perhaps, who may be so 

ungen'rous. 
Fred. Perhaps, say'st thou ? in very truth 
there arc. 
How art thou else rewarded with neglect. 
Whilst many a paltry fellow in thy corps 
Has been promoted? it is ever thus. 
Serv'd not Mardini in your company ? 



He was, tho' honour'd with a valiant name. 
To those who knew him well, a paltry soldier. 
Gfsqf. Tour pardon. Sir: we did esteem 
him much, 
Altho' inferiour to his gallant fiiend, 
The brave Sebastian. 

Fred. The brave Sebastian 1 

He was, as 1 am told, a learned coxcomb, 
And lov'd a goose-auill better than a sword. 
What, dost thou call him brave ? 
Thou, who dost bear about that war-worn 

trunk, 
Like an old target, hack'd and rough with 

wounds, 
Whilst, afler all his mighty battles, he 
Was with a smooth skin in his coffin laid, 
Unblemish'd with a scar ? 

Geof. His duty call'd not to such desp -rate 
service; 
For I have sought where few alive remain'd^ 
And none unrcatlL'd ; where but a few re- 

main'd. 

Thus marr'd and mangled; (showing his 

wounds.) as belike you've seen, 

O' summer nights, around the evening lamp. 

Some wretched moths, wingless, and hau 

consum'd. 
Just feebly crawling o'er their heaps of dead. — 
In Savoy, on a small, tho' desp'rate post. 
Of full tnree hundred goodly chosen men. 
But twelve were lefl, and nght dear j&iends 

were we 
For ever afler. They are all dead now : 
I'm old and lon^y. — We were valiant hearts — 
Fred'rick Dewalter would have stopp'd a 

breach 
Against the devil himself. I'm lonely now ! 
Fred^ I'm sorry for thee. Hang ungrate- 
ful chiefs ! 
Why wert thou not promoted ? 

Geqf. Afler that battle, where my happy 
fate 
Had led me to fulfil a glorious part, 
Chafd with the gibing insults of a slave, 
The worthless fav'rite of a great man's favo- 
rite, 
I rashly did affront ; our cautious prince. 
With narrow pohcy dependant made, 
Dar'd not, as i am told, promote me then. 
And now he is asham'd or has forgot it 

Fred. Fye, iye, upon it ! let him be asham'd: 
Here is a trifle for tnee — (offering him numey.) 

Geof. No, good sir ; 

I have enough to live as poor Men do. 
When I'm in want I'll thankfully receive. 
Because I'm poor, but not because I'm brave, 
Fred. You're proud, old soldier. 
Geof. No, I am nqt proud ; 

For if'^I were, methinks I'd be morose. 
And willing to depreciate other men. 

Enter Rosiitbero. 

Ros. (clapping Geof . on theshotJder.) How 
goes it wiUi thee now, my good Field- 
marshal ? 

Geof. The better that I see your honour well» 
And in the humour to be merry with me. 



BASIL: A TRAGEDY. 



ae 



#2o#. 'Faith, by my sword, I've rightly 
nam'd tliee too ; 
What is a good Field-marshal, but a man, 
Whose gen'rous courage and undaunted mind 
Doth marshal others on in glory's way? 
Thou art not one by princely favour dubb'd, 
But one of nature's making. 

Gtof. You sliew, my lord, such pleasant 
courtesy, 
I know not how — 

Ros. But see, the gen'ral comes. 

Enter Basil. 

Hos. (patnting to Oe^.) Behold the worthy 

vet'ran. 
Bos. (taking himrhy 'the kamd.) Brave hon- 
ourable man, your worth I know, 
And greet it with a brother soldier's love. 

Gtof. (taking away hia-kand in cairfusion.) 

My gen'ral, this is too much, too much honour. 

Bos. (taking his hand again.) No, valiant 

soldier, I must have it so. 
Geof. My humble state agrees not with such 

honour. 
Bat. Think not ofit, thy state is not thyself. 
Let mean souls, highly nmk'd, look down on 

thee, 
Aj the poor dwarf, ^rch'd on a nedestal, 
O'erlooks the giant : 'tis not worth a thought. 
Art thou not Geoffiry of the tenth brigade. 
Whose warlike feats, child, maid, ana matron 

knowf 
And oil, cross-elbow^d, o'er his nightly bowl, 
The jolly toper to his comrade tells f 
Whose glorious feats of war, by cottage door, 
The ancient soldier, tracing in the sand 
The many movements of the^varied field, 
In warlike terms to llst'ning swains telates ; 
Whose bosoms glovmig at Uie wondrous tale 
First learn to scorn the hind's inglorious life ; 
Shame seize me, if I would not rather be 
The man thou art, than court^reated chief, 
Known only by the dates of his promotion ! 
Geof. Ah ! would I were, would I were 
young again. 
To fieht beneath vour standard, noble gen'ral ', 
Metmnks what Ihave done were but a jest. 
Ay, but a jest to what I now should do, 
Were I again the man that I have been. 
O! I could fight! 
Bos. And wouldst thou fight for me ? 

Geof. Ay, to the death ! 
Bas. Then come, brave man, and be my 
champion still : 
The sight of thee will fire my scfldiers' breasts ; 
jCome, noble vet'ran, thou shalt fi^ht for me. 

[Exit with QeofBrj. 
Fred. What does he mean to do ? 
Ros. WeTl know ere long. 

Fred. Our gen'ral bears it with a careless 
face. 
For one so wise. 
Ros. A careless fkce ^ on what ? 

Fred. Now feign not ignorance, we know 
it all. 
29ew0 which have spread in whispers firom 
the court, 



Since last night's messenger arrived fixim 
Milan. 
Ros. As I'm an honert man, I know it not j 
Fred 'Tis said the rival armies are so ne^r 
A battle must imnlediately ensue. 

Ros. It«annotbe. Our gen'ral knows it not. 
The Duke is of our side a sworn ally. 
And had such messenger to Mantua come, 
He would have been appriz'd upon the instant. 
It cannot be, it is some idle tale. 
Fred. So may it prove till wc have join'd 
them too- 
Then heaven grant they jnav be nearer still ! 
For O ! my soul for war ana danger pants, 
As doth the noble lion for his prey. 
My soul delights in battle. 

Ros. Upon mv simple word, I'd rather see 
A score of firiendl v feUows shaking hands, 
Than all the world in arms. Hast thou no 
fear.' 
Fred. What dost thou mean ? 
Ros. Hast thou no fear of death f 

Fred. Fear is a name for something in the 
mind. 
But what, from inward sense, I cannot tell. 
I -could as little anxious march to battle, 
As when a boy to childish games I ran. 
Ros. Then as much virtue hast thou in thy 
valour, 
As when a child thoi^hadst in childish play. 
The brave man is not he who feels no fear, 
FcHT that were stupid and irrational ', 
But he, whose noble soul its fear subdues, 
And 'bravely dares the danger nature shrinks 

from. 
As for your youth, whom blood and blows de- 

light, 
Away with them ! there is not in the crew 
One valiant spirit. — Ha ! what sound is this .' 

{shouting is heard without.) 
Frsd. The soldiers shout; I'll run and learn 

the cause. 
Ros. But tell me first, how didst thou like 

the v«t'ran ? 
Fred. He is too proud ; he was displeas'd 
with me. 
Because I ofier'd him a little sum. 
Ros. What, money ! O ! most gen'rous no* 
ble spirit ! 
Noble rewarder of superiour worth ! 
A halfpenny for Belisarius ! 
But hark ! they shout again — ^here comes 
Valtomer. 

(Shouting heard without.) 

Enter Valtomer. 

What does this shouting mean ? 

Volt. O ! I have seen a sight, a glorious 
sight! 
Thou wouldst have smil'd to see it. 
Ros. How smile ? methinks thine eyes are 
wet with tears. 
Valt. {passing the back of his hands across his 
, evc».) 

Taith so thev are ; well, well, but I smil'd too. 
You heard the shouting. 
Ros. and Fred. Yes. 



40 



BASIL I A TRAGEDY. 



Vtdt. O hftd joa seen it ! 

Drawn oat in goodly ranks, there stood our 

troops; 
Here, in the ffracefnl state of manly yonth, 
His dark face orighten'd with agen'rons smile, 
Which to his eyes such flashing lostre gave, 
As tho' his soul, like an unsheathed sword, 
Had thro' them gleam'd, our noble gen'ral 

stood; 
And to his soldiers, with heart-moving words 
The vet'ran showing, his brave deeds renears'd; 
Who by his side stood like a storm-soath'd oak, 
Beneam the shelter of some noble tree, 
In the green honours of its youthful prime. 
Ro3. How look'd the veteran ? 
Volt. I eannot teR thee ! 

At first he bore it up with cheerful looks, 
As one who fain would wear his honors bravely 
And greet the soldiers with a comrade's fifce : 
But when Count Basil, in such moving speech. 
Told o'er his actions past, and bade his troops 
Great deeds to emulate, his oount'nance 

chang'd ; 
High-heav'd his manly breast, as it had been 
By inward strong emotion half coovuls'd ; 
Trembled his neUier lip ; he shed some tears : 
The gen'ral paus'd, the soldiers shouted loud ; 
Then hastily be brush'd the droptf ftway. 
And wav'd his hand, and elear'd his tear- 

chok'd voice, • 
As tho' he Wotdd some grateful answer make ; 
When back with double force the whelming 

tide 
Of passion came ; high o>r his hoary head 
His arm he toss'd, and heedless of respect, 
In Basil's bosom hid his aged face. 
Bobbing aloud. Prom the admiring ranks 
A cry arose ; still louder shouts resound. 
I felt a sudden tightness grasp my throat 
As it would strangle me ; such as I felt, 
I knew it Well, some twenty years ago. 
When my good father shed ms blessing on me : 
I hate to Weep, and so I came away. 

Rm. {giving Valt. his hand.) And there, 

take thou my blessing for the tale. 
Hark how they shout again ! 'tis nearer now. 
This way they march. 

Martial Miuick heard. Enter Soldiers march* 
*'ig in order, bearing Geoffry in triumph on 
their shoulders. Aner them enter Basil: the 
whole preceded by a band of mnsick. 'Thej 
cross over the stage, are joinad by Ro8# iui, 
and Es£i75T. 

SCEKE. If. 

£nter Gauriecio and aGEffTLEiCAK,ta]kiag ai 

they enter. 

Gawr. So slight a tie as this we cannot 
trust: 
One day her influence may detain him here, 
But love a feeble agent may be found 
With the ambitious. 

QaU. And so you think this boyish odd 
conceit 
Of bearing home in triumph with his troops 



Ttaat aged soldier, will yomr purpose serve ? 
GottT. Yes, I will make it serve ; for tho' 
my prutt^ 
Is little scrupulous of right and wrong, 
I have po sscs s'd his mind, as tho' it were 
A flagrant insult on his princely state, 
To honour thus the man he has neglcMDted, 
Which makes him relish, with a keener taste^ 
My purposed scheme. Come let us fall to 

work. 
With all their warm heroick feelings loiis'd. 
We'll spirit up his troops to mutiny. 
Which must retard, perhaps undo him quite. 
Thanks to his childisin love, which has so well 
Procur'd us time to tamper with the fools. 
GeiU. Ah ! bat those feelings he has wak'd 
within them^ 
Are gen'rous feelings, and endear himself. 
OSur. It matters not; tho' gen'rous in their 
nature, 
They yet may serve a most ungen'roua end ; 
And he who teaches men to think, tho' 

nobly. 
Doth raise withid their minds a busy judge 
To scan his actions. Send thine agents forth^ 
And souml it in their ears how mucJi Count 

BasU 
Afieeta all difficult and deap'rate aervice, 
To raiae hia fortunes by aome darinsr atroke; 
Havinc onto the £mp roar pledg'dma word^ 
To nuke his troops all dreadml hasards brave f 
For which intent he fills their simple minds 
With idle talea of glory and renown ; 
Using their warm attachment to himaelf 
For moat unworthy ends. 
This is the busy time : go forth, my fiiend ; 
Mix with the soldiers, now iniolly groups 
Around their ev'ning cups. There, qiare ao 

coat, {giteg hint a purse.) 
Obaerve their worda, aee how the poiaan 

takea, 
And then return again. 

Gene. I Will, my lord. 

(ExKURT severaUff* 

SCEHE llf. A StriTC or ORAHD APART* 

ME1CT8, With their wide doors 

THROWIC OFElC, LIGHTED UP WiTtf 
LAMPS, AND PILLED WITH COMPAKT I* 
MASKS. 

Enter several Masks, and pass throafl(h the first 
sputment to the other rooms. Then enter 
Basil in the disguise of a wounded soldier. 

Bos. (alone.) Now am I in the region of 

delight ! 
Within the blessed compass of these Walls 
She is: the gay light of those blazing lampa 
Doth skine upon her, and this painted floor 
Is with her footsteps presa'd. E'en noWf 

perhaps. 
Amidst that motley rout she plays her oart: 
There will Ijgo j sue cannot be couceal'a ; 
For but the flowing of her graceful robe 
Will soon betray the lovely form that wears it^ 



BASIL : A TRAGEDY* 



41 



Tho' in a thousand masks. Ye homelj 
weeds, — {looking at his habit.) 

Which half conceal, and naif declare my state, 
Beneath your kind disguise , O ! let me prosper, 
And boldly take the priyilege ye g\ye : 
Follow her nia2y steps, crowd by ner side ; 
Thus, near her face my listening ear incline 
And reel her soft breath fan my glowing cheek, 
Her fair hand seize, yea, press it closely too ! 
May it not be e'en so? by heav'n it shall ! 
This once, O ! serve me well, and ever after 
Ye thall be treasur'd like a monarch's robes ; 
Lodg'd in my chamber, near my pillow kept ; 
And oft with midnight lamp I'll visit ye. 
And gazing wistfully, this night recall, 
With all its past delights. — But yonder moves 
A slender form, dress'd in an azure robe ; 
It moves not like the rest — it must be she ! 
[Goes hastUy into anotker aparimaUy and mix- 
es with the masks.^ 

Enter Rosiitberg, fantastically dressed, with a 
willow upon his bead, and scraps of sonnets, 
tod torn letters fluttering round his neck ; 
pursued by a group of masks from one of the 
mner apartments, who hoot at him, and push 
him about as he enters. 

lit Mask. Away, thou art a saucy jeering 
knave, 
And fain wouldst make a jest of all true love. 

Kds. Nay, gentle ladies, do not buffet me : 
I am a right true servant of the fair ; 
And as this woeful chaplet on my brow. 
And these tear-blotted sonnets would denote, 
A poor abandon'd lover, out of place ; 
With any lover readj to engage. 
Who will enlist me m her loving service. 
Of a convenient kind my talents are, 
And to all various humours may be shap'd. 

'U Mask. What canst thou do ? 

3<2 Mask. Ay, what besides offending .' 

Eos. O ! I con sigh so deeply, look so saB, 
Pule out a piteous talc on bended knee ; 
Groan like a ghost ; so very wretched be. 
As would delight a tender lady's heart 
But to behold. 

\st Mask. Poo, poo, insipid fool ! 

Ros. But should my lady brisker mettle 
own, 
And tire of all those gentle dear delights. 
Such pretty little quarrels I'd invent — 
As whether such a fair one (some dear friend^ 
Whose squirrel's tail was pinch'd, or the soft 

maid, 
With fav'rite lap-dog of a surfeit sick. 
Have greatest cause of delicate distress ; 
Or whether — 

\st Mask. Go, too bad thou art indeed ! 
{aside.) How could he know I quarell'd with 
the Count ? 

2d Mask. Wilt thou do nothing for thy 
lady's fame ? 

Ros. Yes, lovely shepherdess, on cv'ry tree 
111 carve her name, with true-love garlands 

bound : 
Write madrigals upon her roseate eheeks ; 
Odes to her eye ; 'faith er'iT wart and mole 
5 



That spots her snowy skin, shall have its 

sonnet ! 
I'll make love posies for her thimble's edge, 
Rather than please her not. 
3d Mask. But for her sake what dangers 

wilt thou brave .' 
Ros. In truth, fair Nun, I stomach dangers 
less 
Than other service, and were something loth 
To storm a convent's walls for one dear g^ce; 
But if she'll wisely manage this alone. 
As maids have done come o'er the wall herself, 
And meet me fairly on the open plain, 
I will engage her tender steps to aid 
In all annoyance of rude brier or stone, 
Or crossing rill, some half-foot wide, or so, 
Which that fair lady should unaided pass. 
Ye gracious pow'rs forbid ! I w^ill defend 
Against each hideous fly, whose dreadful 
buz — 
Ath Mask. Such paltry service suits thee 
best indeed. 
What nuud of spirit would not spurn thee 
from her ^ 
Ros. Yes, to recall me soon, sublime Sul- 
tana! 
For I can stand the burst of female passion. 
Each change of humour and affected storm ; 
Be scolded, fix>wn'd upon, to exile sent, 
Recall'd, caress'd chid, and disgrac'd again; 
And say what miiid of spirit would forego 
The bliss of one to exercise it thus ? 
O ! I can bear ill treatment like a lamb ! 
Ath Mask, {beatinff him.) Well, bear it then, 

thou hast deserv'd it well. 
Ros. 'Zounds, lady ! do not grive such 
heavy blows ; 
I'm net your husband, as belike you guess. 
5^ Mask. Come, lover, I enlist Siee for 
my swain ; 
Therefore, good lady, do forbear your blows, 
Nor thus assume my rights. 
Ros. Agreed. Wilt thou a gracious mistress 

prove ? 
5th Mask. Such as thou wouldst, such as 
thy genius suits ; 
For since of universal scope it is. 
All women's humour shalt tl^ou find in me. 
I'll gently soothe thee with such winning 

smiles — 
To nothing sink thee with a scornful frown : 
Tease thee with peevish and affected freaks ; 
Caress thee, love thee, hate thee, break thy 

pate; 
But still between the whiles I'll careful be. 
In feigned admiration of thy parts. 
Thy shape, thy manners, or thy graceful mien. 
To bind thy giddy soul with natt'ry's charm; 
For well thou know'st that flatt'ry ever is 
The tickling spice, the pungent seasoning 
Which makes this motley aish of monstrous 

scraps 
So pleasing to the dainty lover's taste. 
Thon canst not leave, tho' violent in extreme, 
And most vexatious in her teasing moods. 
Thou canst not leave the fond admiring soul, 
Who did declaze, when calmer reason nil'd 



4S 



BASIL i A TRAGEDY. 



Thoa hadst a pretty leg. 
Ros. Marry, thou hast the better of me there. 
Sth Mask. And more; Til pledge to thee 
my honest word, 
That when your noble swainship shall bestow 
More fiuthful homage on the simple maid, 
Who loyes you with sincerity and truth, 
Than on the changeful and capricious tyrant. 
Who mocking leaas you like a trammell d ass, 
My studied woman's wiles I'll lay aside, 
And such a one become. 
Rom. Well spoke, brave lady ; I will follow 
thee. 
(foUoios her to the comer of the stage.) 
Now on my life, these ears of mine I'd give, 
To have but one look of that little face. 
Where such a biting tongue doth hold its court 
To keep the fools in awe . Nay , nay , unmask : 
Tm sure thou hast a pair of wicked eyes, 
A short and saucy nose : now pri'thee do. 

(unmasking.) 
AJh. (unmasking.) Well, hast thou guess'd 

me right? 
Ros. (bowing low.) Wild freedom, chang'd 
to most profound respect, 
Doth make an awkward booby of me now. 
Mb, I've join'd your frolick with a good 
intent, 
For much I wish'd to gain your private ear. 
The time is precious, and I must be short. 
Ros. On me your slightest word more pow'r 
will hiave. 
Most honour 'd lady, than a conn'd oration. 
Thou art the only one of all thy sex. 
Who wear'st thy years with such a winning 

(Trace, 
Thou art the more admir'd the more thoufad'st. 
JUb. I thank your lordship for these courte- 
ous words ; 
But to mv purpose — Tou are Basil's friend : 
Be friendly to him then, and warn him well 
This court to leave, nor be allur'd to stay ; 
For if he does, there's mischief waits him here 
May prove the bane of all his future days. 
Remember this, I must no longer stay. 
God bless your friend and you ; I love you 
both. Exit. 

Ros. (alone.^ What may this warning mean ? 
I haa my fears. 
There's something hatching which I know 

not of. 
I've lost all spirit for tliis masking now. 

(throwing atoay his papers and his willows.) 
Away, ve scraps ! I nave no need of you. 
I would I knew what garment Basil wears : 
I watch 'd him, yet he did escape my sight; 
But I must search again and find him out. 

[Exit. 

Enter Basil mac hagitated, with his mask in 

his hand. 

Bos. In vain I've sought her, follow'd ev'ry 

form 
Where aught appear'd of digrnity or grace : 
I've listen d to tne tone of ev'rr voice ; 
I've watch'd the entrance of each female 

mask; 



My flutt'ring heart rous'd like a startled hare, 
With the imagin'd rustling of her robes. 
At ev'ry dame's approach. DeceitAil nicfatj 
How art thou spent ! where are tiiy promia'd 

joys.^ 
How much of thee is go/oe ! O spiteful fiile ! 
Tet within the compass of these walls 
Somewhere she is, altho', tome she is not 
Some other eye doth gaze upon her form, 
Some other ear doth fisten to her voice ; 
Some happv fitv'rite doth enjoy the bliss 
My spiteful stars deny. 
Disturber of my soul ! what veil conceals thee? 
What dev'lish spell is o'er this cursed hour.' 

heav'ns and earth ! where art thou .' 

Enttr a Mask in the dress of a female oo^jiirer. 

Mask. Methinks thou art impatient, valiant 
soldier : 
Thy wound doth gall thee sorely ; is it so ? 
Bas. Away, away, I cannot fool with thee. 
Mask. I have some potent drugs may ease 
thy smarl 
Where is thy wound ? is't here ? 

(pointing to the bandage on his arm.) 

Bas. Poo, poo, beeone ! 

Thou canst do nought — 'tis in my head, my 

heart — 
"Us ev'ry where, where medicine cannot cure. 
Mask. If wounded in the heart, it is a 
wound 
Which some ungrateful fair one hath inflic- 
ted, 
And I may conjure something for thy good. 
Bas. An ! if thou couldst ! what, must I 

fool with thee ? 
Mask. Thou must awhile, and be examin'd 
too. 
What kind of woman did the wicked deed ? 
Bas. I cannot tell thee. In her presence 
still 
My mind in such a wild delight hath been, 

1 could not pause, to picture out her beauty, 
Tet naught of woman e'er was form'd so nir. 

Mask. Art thou a soldier, and no weapon 
bear'st 
To send her wound for wound ? 

Bas. Alas ! she shoots from such a hopeless 
height, 
No dart of mine hath plume to mount so ftr. 
None but a prince may dare. 
Mask. But, if thou nast no hope, thou hast 

no love 
Bas. 1 love, and yet in truth I had no hope, 
But that she might at least with some good 

wiU, 
Some gentle pure regard, some secret kind- 
ness. 
Within her dear remembrance ^ive me place. 
This was my all of hope, but it is flown: 
For she regards me not; despises, scorns me : 
Scorns, I must say it too, a noble heart, 
That would have bled for her. 

(Masky discovering hersdf to be Victoria bjf 
sneaking in her trtf voice.) O ! no, 
•oe does not 



BASIL I ATRAGEmr. 



4S 



[Exit hattHy m em^ution. 
Bat, {wtandt fa/r a moment riveUed to the 
spoly then holds vp both kis hands m 
an eestaey). 
It is herself! it is ner blessed self! 
O ! what a fool am I, that had no power 
To fbllow her, and urge th' adyantage on. 
Begone, unmanly fears ! I most be bold. 

Exit t^fter her. 

A Dance of Masks. 

Enter Dvke and Gauriecio, unmasked. 

Duke. This revelry, methinks, goes gaily 

on. 
The hour is late, and yet your friend returns 

not. 
Gaur. He will return ere long — ^nay, there 

he conies. 

Enter Gentlemaw . 

Duke. Does all go well? (going dose up to 

him.) 
Gent, All as your grace could wish. 

Tat now the poison works, and the stung sol- 
diers 

Bage o'er their cups, and, with fire-kindled 
eyes, 

Swear vengeance on the chief who would be- 
tray them. 

That Frederick too, the discontented man 

Of whom your highness was so lately told. 

Swallows the bait, and does his part most 
bravely. 

Ganriecio counsel'd well to keep him blind, 

Nor with a bribe attempt him. On my soul ! 

He is 80 fiery he had spum'd us else. 

And ruined all the plot. 
Duke. Speak softly, friend— I'll hear it all 
in private. 

A gay and careless face we now assume. 

Ih7EX,GAUR. and Ge5T. retire into the inner 
apartment, appearing to laugh and talk gaily to 
toe different masks as thej puss them. 

Reenter Victoria followed by Basil. 

Viet. Forbear, my lord; these words of- 
fend mine ear. 
Bos. Tet let me but this once, this once 
offend, 
Nor thus with thy displeasure punish me ; 
And if my words against all prudence sin, 
1 hear them, as the good of heart do list 
To the wild ravings of a soul distraught. 

Viet. If I indeed should listen to thy words. 
They must not talk of love. 
Bos. To be with thee, to speak, to hear thee 
speak, 
To claim tne soft attention of thine eye, 
rd be content to talk of any thing. 
If it were possible to be with thee, 
And think of aught but love. 
Ftct. I fear, my lord, you have too much 
presumd 
On those unguarded words, which were in 

truth 
Utter'd at unawares, with little heed. 
And urge their meaning fiur beyond the right 



Bas. I thought, indeed, that they were 
kindly meant. 
As tho' thy gentle breast did kindly feel 
Some secret pity for my hopeless pain. 
And would not pierce with scorn, ungen'rous 

scorn, 
A heart so deeply stricken. 

Vict. So far thou'st read it well. 
Bas. Ha ! have I well ? 

Thou dost not hate me then P 

Vict. My father comes ; 

He were displeas'd if he should see thee thus. 
Bas. Thou dost not hate me, then ? 
Vid. Away ! he'll be displeased — I cannot 

say — 
Bas. Well, let him come : it is thyself I 
fear; 
For did destruction thunder o'er my head, 
By the dread pow'r of heav'n I would not stir, 
Till thou hadst answer'd my impatient soul ! 
Thou dost not hate me ? 

Vict. Nay, nay, let go thy hold — I cannot 
bate thee. 

{breaks from him and exit.) 
Bas. (Alone.) Thou canst not hate me ! no, 
thou canst not hate me ! 
For I love thee so well, so passing well. 
With such o'erflowing heart, so very dearly, 
That it were sinful not to pay me back 
Some small, some kind return. 

Enter MiRAHDO dressed like Cupid. 

Mir. Bless thee, brave Eoldier. 
^ Bas. What say st thou, pretty child ! what 

playful fair 
Has deck'd thee out in this fantastick guise .' 
Mir. It was Victoria's self; it was the 

princess. 
Bas. "Hiou art her fav'rite, then ? 
Mir. They say I am r 

And now, between ourselves, I'll tell thee, 

soldier, 
I think in very truth she loves me well. 
Such merry lilUc songs she teaches me — 
Sly riddles too, and when I'm laid to rest, 
Oittimes on tip-toe near my couch she steals, 
And lifls the cov'ring so, to look upon me. 
And oftentimes I fein as the' I slept ; 
For then her warm lips to my cheek she lays, 
And pats me softly with her fair white hands ; 
And then I lau^h. and thro' mine eyelids peep, 
And then she tickles me, and calls me cheat; 
And then we so do laugh, ha, ha, ha, ha ! 
Bas. What ! does she even so, thou happi* 
est child ? 
And have those rosy cheeks been press'd so 

dearly ? 
Delicious urchin ! I will kiss thee too. 
(takes him eagerly up in his arms, and kisses 
him.) 
Mir. No, let me down, thy kisses are so 
rough. 
So furious rough — she doth not kiss me sa 
Bas. Sweet boy, where is thy chamber ? by 

Victoria s ? 
Mir. Hard by her own. 



44 



BASIL : A TRAGEDY. 



Bos. Then will I come beneath thj window 

soon : 
And, if I could; §ome pretty song I'd sing, 
To lull thee to thy rest. 
Mir. O no, thou must not ! 'tis a firightful 

place ; 
It is the church-yard of the neichb'ring dome. 
The princess loves it for the l(3ly trees, 
Whose spreading branches shade her chamber 

walls: 
So do not 1 ; for when 'tis dark o'nights, 
Goblins howl there, and ghosts rise thro' the 

ground. 
I hear them many a time when I'm a bed, 
And hide benetUh the clothes my cow'ring 

head. 
O ! is it not a frightful thing, my lord, 
To sleep alone i' the dark ? 
Bos, Poor harmless child! thy prate is 

wondrous sweet. 

Enter a group of Masks. 

1st Mask. What dost thou here, thou little 
truant boy f 
Come play thy part with us. 

Blasks place Mirando in the middle, and range 
themseWes round him. 

SONG. — A GLEE. 

Child, with many a childish wile, 
Timid look, and blushing smile,' 
Downy wings to steal thy way. 
Gilded bow, and quiver gay. 
Who in thy simple mien would trace 
The tyrant of the human race ? 

Who is he whose flinty heart 

Hath not felt the flying dart ? 

Who is be that from the wound 

Hath not pain and pleasure found 7 

Who is he that hatn not shed 

Curse and blessings on thy head ? 

Ah Love ! our wcud, our woe, our bliss, our bane, 

A restless life have they who wear thy chain ! 

Ah Love ! our weal, our woe, our bliss, our bane, 

More hapless still are they who never felt thy pain ! 

AU the masks dance round Cupid. T%en enter 
a band of satyrs^ who frighten away Love and 
his votaries; and conclude the scene, daauing 
in a grotesque manner. 



ACT IV. 

SCEKK I. — THE STREET BEVORE BASIL'S 
LODGINGS. 

Enter Rosin bero and two Officers. 

Bos. {speaking as he enters.) Unless we find 

mm quickly, all is lost 
Ist Of. His very guards, methinks, have 
left their post 
To join the mutiny. 
Kos. (knocking very loud.) Holla! who's 
there within ? confound this door! 
It will not yield. O for a giant's strength ! 
Holla, holla, within ! will no one hear? 

Enter a Porter firom the house. 

Bos. (eagerly to the Porter.) Is he retnm'd ? 
M he retum'd not yet ! 



Thy ftce doth tell me so. 

Port. Not yet, my Lord. 

Bos. Then let him ne'er return ! 

Tumult, disgrace, and ruin have their way ! 
I'll search for him no more. 

Port. He hath been absent all the night, my 
lord. 

Bos. I know he hath. 

2d Ojf. And yet 'tis possible 

He may have enter'd by the secret door ; 
And now perhaps, in deepest sleep entranc'd, 
Is dead to ev'ry sound. 
(Roe. without speakingf rushes into the houH 

and the rest follow &m.) 

Enter Basil. 

Bas. The blue air of the morning pinches 
keenly. 
Beneath her window all the chilly night, 
I felt it not. Ah ! niffht has been my day ; 
And the pale lamp wnich firom her chamber 

gleam'd 
Has to the breeze a warmer temper lent 
Than the red burning east. 

Re-enter RosiKBERe, dtc. from the house. 
Bos. Himself! himself! He's here! he's 
here ! O Basil ! 
What fiiend at such a time could lead thee 
forth.? 
Bas. What is the matter which disturbs you 

thus.' 
Bos. Matter that would a wiser man disturb. 
Treason's abroad: thy men have^mutinied. 

Bas. It is not so ; thy wits have mutinied, 
And left their sober station in thy brain. 
Ist Of. Indeed, my lord, he speaks in sober 
earnest. 
Some secret enemies have been employ'd 
To fill your troops with stran^ imaginations. 
As tho' their gen'ral would, for selfish gain. 
Their gen'rous valour urge to des'praie deeds. 
All to a man assembled on the ramparts, 
Now threaten vengeance, and refuse to march. 
Bas. What! ^injUL they vilely of me.? threaten 
too! 
O ! most ungen'rous, most unmanly thought ! 
Didst thou attempt {to Bos.) to reason with 

their folly ? 
Folly it is ; baseness it cannot be. 
Bos. Tes, truly, I did reasoA with a storm, 

And bid it cease to rage. 

Their eyes look fire on him who questions 

them: 
The hollow murmurs of their mutter'd wrath 
Sound dreadful thro' the dark extended ranks, 
Like subterraneous grumblings of an earth- 
quake. 

^The vengeful hurricane 

Does not with such fkntastick writhings toss. 
The wood's green boughs, as does convulsive 

rage 
Their forms with fVantic gestures agitate. 
Around the chief of hell such legions throng'd 
To bring back curse and discord on creation. 
Bas. Nay, they are men, altho' impassion'4 
ones. 
I'll go to thenh-r 



BASIL: A TRAGEDY. 



46 



Roi. And we will stind by thee. 

My tword is thine againat ten thousand strong, 
If it should come to this. 

Bos. No, never, never ! 

There is no mean : I with my soldiers must 
'Or their commander or their victim prove. 
3ut are my officers all staunch and faithful ? 

Rm. All but that devil, Frederick 

He, disappointed^ left his former corps, 
Where he, in truth, had. been too long neg- 
lected, 
Thinking he should all on the sudden rise, 
From Bull's well-knownJove of valiant men ; 
And now, because it still must be deferr'd. 
He thinks you seek from envy to depress him , 
And bums to be reveng^. 

Bos. Well, well -This grieves me too— 

Bat let us go. 

SCIHE II. — THE RAMPARTS OP THE TOWN. 

The Soldiers are discovered, drawn up in a dia- 
orderlj manner,, hollaing and ipeaking big, and 
(Clashing their arms tumultuously. 

1st Sol. No, comrade, no; hell gape and swal- 
low me. 
If I do budee for such most dev'lish orders ! 
2d Sol. Huzza ! brave comrads ! Who says 

otherwise ? 
M Sol. No one, huzza! confound all treach'- 
rous leaders ! 
{The soldiers huzza and dash their arms.) 
Uh Sol. Heav'n dart its fiery lightning on 
his head ! 
We're men, we are not cattle to be slaugh- 
terd ! 
3d Sol. They who do long to caper high in 
air, 
Into a thousand bloody fragments blown, 
May follow our brave gen ral. 

1st Sol. Curse his name ! 

I've fouffht for him till my strain'd nerves 
liave crack 'd ! 
2d Sol. We will command ourselves: for 

Milan, comrades. 
5th Sol. Ay, ay, for Milan, valiant hearts, 
huzza. 
{JIU the Soldiers east up their caps in the air 
and huzza.) 

2d Sol. Yes, comrades, tempting booty waits 
lis there, 
And easy service : keep good hearts, my 

soldiers ! 
The gen'ral comes, good hearts ! no flinching, 

boys! 
Look bold and fiercely: we're the masters now. 
(They all dash their arms and put on a fierce 
threatening aspect to receive their general^ 
,whonmo enters^ followed by Rosinburg and 
Oficers. Basil toalks dose along the front 
ranks of the Soldiers, looking at them very 
sttadfaMy; then retires a few paces hack, 
mad raising his arm^ speaks with a veryfuU 
.loud voice.) 

Bos. How is it, soldiers, that I see you thus, 
Aisembled here unsummon'd by command? 
(<A confused murmur is heard amongst the Sol- 
dUrs; some of them call anU.) 



But we ourselves command : .we wait no or- 
ders. 
(A confused junse of voices is heard, and one 

louder than the rest calls out) 
Must we be butcher'd for that we are brave .' 
{A loud clamour and clashing of arms, then 

several voices call out.) 
Damn hidden treach'ry! we defy thy orders. 

Fred'rick shall lead us now ^.— ^— 

(Others call out) 
We'll nuurch where'er we list, for Milan march. 
Bos. (waving his hand, and beckoning them 
to be silent, speaks with.a very loud voice.) 
Tes, march where'er ye list: for Milan 
march. 
Sol. Hear him, hear him ! 

C77i« murmur ceases — a short pause.) 
Bas. Yes, march where'er ye list; for Milan 
march: 
But as banditti, not as soldiers go; 
For on this spot of earth I will disband, 
And take from you the rank and name of 

soldiers. 
(A great damour amongst the ranks — some 

call out) 
What wear we arms for .' 

(Others call out) 
No, he dares not do it. 
(Oiu voice very hud) 
Disband us at thy peril, treach'rous Basil ! 
(Several of the Soldiers brandish their arms, 
and threaten to attack him; the Officers gather 
round Basil, and draw their swords to de- 
fend Mm.) 

Bas. Put up your swords, my friends, it 
must not be. 
I thank your zeal, I'll deal with them alone. 
Eos. What, shall we calmly stand and see 

thee butchered ? 
Bas. (very earnestly.) Put up, my friends. 
(Officers still persist.) What ! ore you 
rebels too.' 
Will no one here his general's voice obev ^ 
I do command you to put up your sworos. 
Retire, and at a distance wait th' event. 
Obey, or henceforth be no friends of mine. 
(Officers retire, very unwillingly. Basil waves 
them of with his hand till they are all gone, 
then walks up to the front of his Soldiers, 
who still hold themselves m a threatening 
posture.) 
Soldiers ! we've fought together in the field. 
And bravely fought: i' the face of horria 

death. 
At honour's call, I've led you dauntless on; 
Nor do I know the man of all your bands. 
That ever poorly from the trial shrunk. 
Or yielded to the foe contended space. 
Am I the meanest then of all my troops. 
That thus ye think, with base unmanly 

threatB, 
To move me now .' Put up those paltry 

weapons ; 
They edgeless are to him who fears them not ; 
Rocks have been shaken from the solid base ; 
But what shall move a firm and dauntlesa 
mind? 



BASIL: ATRAOEDT. 



Pat up your ewordi, or dare the threaten'd 
deed — 

Obey, or murder me. 

(w4 confused murmur — somt ofthesoUUers call 

out) 
March us to Milan, and we will obey thee. 

(Others call out) 
Ay, march us there, and be our leader still. 

Bos. Nay, if I am your leader, I'll command 
ye; 
And where I do command, there shall you go, 
But not to Milan. No, nor shall you deviate 
E'en half a furlong from your destin'd way, 
To seize the golden booty of the east 
Think not to gain, or temporise with me ; 
For should I mis day's mutiny survive, 
Much as I've lov'd you, soldiers, ye shall find 

me 
Still more relentless in pursuit of vengeance ; 
Tremendous, cruel, military vengeance. 
There is no mean — a desperate game ye play ; 
Therefore, I say, obey, or murder me. 
Do as ye will, but do it manfully. 
He is a coward who doth threaten me : 
The man who slays me, but an an^ry soldier ; 
Acting in passion, like the frantick son. 
Who struck his sire and wept. 

(Soldiers call out) It was thyself who sought 
to murder us. 

1st Sol. Tou have unto the Emp'rour 
pledg'd your faith, 
To lead us foremost in all desp'rate service : 
Tou have agreed to sell your soldiers' blood. 
And we have shed our dearest blood for you. 

Bos. Hear me, my soldiers 

2d Sol. No, hear mm not, he means to coz- 
en yod. 
Fred'rick will do you right 

(EiuUavouring to stir up a noise and eo^fu' 
sion amongst them.) 

Bos. What cursed fiend art thou, cast out 
from hell 
To spirit up rebellion .' damned villain ! 
(Seizes upon 2nd soldier, drags him out from 

the ranks, and torests his arms from him ; 

then takes a pistol from his side^ and holds 

it to his he€id?) 
Stand there, damn'd meddling villain, and be 

silent ; 
For if thou utt'rest but a single word, 
A cough or hem, to cross me in my speech, 
I'll send thy cursed spirit from the earth. 
To bellow with the damn'd ! 

(lite soldiers keep a dead siUneo-Hifter a 
pause, Basil resumes his speech.) 

Listen to me, my soldiers. 

Tou say that I am to the emp'rour pledg'd 

To lead you foremost in all desp'rate service. 

For now you call it not the path of glory ; 

And if in this I have offended you, 

I do indeed repent me of the crime. 

But new from battles, where my native troops 

So bravely foufht, I felt me proud at heart. 

And boasted of you, boasted foolishly. 

I said, fair glory's ]Milm ye would not yield 

To e'er the bravest legion train'd to arms. 

I swore the meanest man of all mj troops 



Would never shrink before an armed hoft, 
If honour bade him stand. My royal master 
Smil'd at the ardour of my heedless words, 
And promis'd, when occasion claim'd our 

arms. 
To put them to the proof. 
But ye do peace, and ease, and booty love, 
Safe and ignoble service— -be it so— 
Forgive me that I did mistake jrou thus, 
But do not earn with savage mutiny. 
Tour own destruction. We'll for Pavia 

march. 
To join the royal army near its walls ; 
And there with blushing forehead will I plead, 
That ye are men with warlike service worn. 
Requiring ease and rest. Some other chief. 
Whose cold blood boils not at the trumpet's 

sound, 
Will in your rearward station head you then, 
And so, my friends, we'll part Ais for my> 

self, 
A volunteer, unheeded in the ranks, 
I'll rather fight, with brave men for mj fel- 
lows, 
Than be the leader of a sordid band. 

(Ji great murmur rises amongst the rtmkg^ 
soldiers call out) 
We will not part ! no, no, we will not part! 

(M call out togethm) 
We will not part ! be thou our gen'ral stilL 

Bas. How can I be your gen ral .' ye obey 
As caprice moves you ; I must be obey'd 
As honest men against themselves perform 
A sacred oath. — 

Some other chief will more indulgent prove— 
Tou're weary grown — I've been too hard a 
master — 
Soldiers. Thyself, and only thee, win we 

obey. 
Bas. But if you follow me, yourselves ye 
pledge 
Unto no easy service : — hardships, toils, 
The hottest dangers of most drendful fight 
Will be ydur portion ; and when all is o'er, 
Each, like his gen'ral, must contented be 
Home to return again, a poor brave soldier. 
How say ye now ? I ^uread no tempting lure— 
A better nte than this, I promise none. 
Soldiers, We'll follow BasU. 
Bas. What token of obedience will ye give? 

(A deep jnmjs.) 
Soldiers, lay down your arms ! 

(Vity ail lay down their arms.) 
If any here are weary of the service. 
Now let them quit toe ranks, and they shall 

have 
A free discharge, and passport to their homes; 
And firom my scanty fortune I'll make good 
The well-eam'd pay their royal master owes 

them. 
Let those who follow roe their arms resume. 

(Theu aU resume their arms.) 
(BasU holding up his nands.) High heaven be 

prais'd! 
I had been griev'd to part with you, my sol- 
diers, 
Here is a letter from my gneioiis master, 



BASIL: A TRACffiDY. 



47 



With offers of Dreftmient in the north^ 
Moit high prererment, which I did refuse, 
For that I would not leave my gallant troops. 
{Takes out a letter, and throws it amongst 
them.) 
A great emnrnotumamtmgst the soldiers; many 
qf them gnit their ranks f and crowd about him f 
eaUing out) 
Our gtUant gen'ral! 

(Others call out) 
We'll spend our hearts' blood for thee, noble 
BasU! 
JBas. And so you thought me false? this 
bites to the quica ! 
BAt soldiers thou||rht me false ! 
(lacy all auit their ranks, and crowd et^erly 
around him, BtMi, waving them off with his 
hands.) 
Away, away, you have dis^^usted me/ 

(Soldiers retire to their ranks.) 
lis well — ^retire, and hold yourselves pre- 

par'd 
To march upon command , nor meet again 
im you are summon'd by the beat of £Tun. 
Some secret enemy has tampered with you, 
For yet I will not think that in these ranks 
There moves a man who wears a traitor's heart. 
(71^ soldiers hegin to march of, and mittsiek 

strikes up.) 
Bas. (holding up his hand,) Cease, cease, 
triumphant sounds, 
Which our brave ftthers, men without re- 
proach, 
Rais'd in the hour of triumph i but this hour 
To us no glory brings — 
Then silent be your march— ere that again 
Our steps to glorious strains like these shall 

move, 
A day of battle o'er our heads must pass. 
And blood be shed to wash out this days' 
stain. 
[EiEUifT soldiers, silent and dejected 

Ester Frkdrick. who starts back on seeing 
Basil alone. 

Bas. Advance, lieutenant ; wherefore shrink 
ye back ? 

Vre even seen you bear your head erect. 

And front your man tho arm'd with frowning 
death. 

Have you done aught the valiant should not 
^ do.' 

I fear you have. (^^^. ^^ caucused,) 

With secret art, and false insinuation, 

llie simple untaught soldiers to seduce 

From their sworn duty, might become the 
base. 

Become the coward well ) but O ! what vil- 
lain 

Had the dark pow'r t' engage thy valiant worth 

In such a work as this ! 
Fred, Is Basil, then, so lavish of his praise 

On a neglected pitiful subaltern ? 

It were a libel on his royal master; 

A foul reproach upon fiur fortune cast, 

To can me valiant : 

And surely he has been loo much their debtor 



To mean them this rebuke. 

Bas. Is nature then so sparing of her gifts, 
That it is wonderful when they are found 
Where fortune smiles not .' 
Thou art by nature brave, and so am I ; 
But in those distant ranks moves there not 
one (Pointing off the stage. 

Of high ennobled soul, by nature form'd 
A hero and conmiander, who will yet 
In his untrophied grave forgotten lie 
With meaner men } I dare be sworn there 
does. 
Fred. What need of words ' I crave of thee 
no favour, 
I have offended 'gainst arm'd law, ofiended. 
And shrink not from my doom. 
Bas. I know thee well, I know thou fear'st 
not death ; 
On scaffold or in field with dauntless breast 
Thou wilt engage him : and, if thy proud soul. 
In sullen obstinacy, scorns all grace, 
E'en be it so. But if with manly gratitude 
Thou truly canst receive a brave man's par- 
don. 
Thou ^t it freely. 
Fred. It must not be. I've been thine ene- 
my— 
I've been unjust to thee — 

Bas. I know thou hast ; 

But thou art brave, and I forgive thee all. 
Fred. My lord ! my gen'ral! Oh I cannot 
speak ! 
I cannot live and be the wretch I am. 
Bas. But thou canst live and be an honest 
man 
From crrour turn'd, — canst live and be my 
friend. 

(Raising Fred, from, the ground.) 
Forbear, forbear! see where our friends ad- 
vance: 
They must not think thee suing for a pardon ; 
That would disgrace us both. Yet, ere they 

come, 
Tell me, if til at thou mayst with honour tell, 
What did seduce thee from thy loyal faith .' 
Fred. No cunning traitor did my faith at 
tempt, 
For then I had withstood him: but of late, 
I know not how — a bad and restless spirit 
Has work'd within my breast, and made me 

wretched. 
I've lent mine ear to foolish idle tales. 
Of very lealous, tho' but recent friends. 
Bas. SofUy, our friends approach — of this 
agam. [Exeunt. 

Scene III. — an apartment in basil's 

LODGINGS. 

Enter Basil and Rosinberg. 

Bos. Thank heaven I am now alone with 

thee. 
Last night I sought thee with an anxious 

mind, 
And curs'd thine ill-tim'd absence. — 
There 's treason in this most deceitful court, 



BASIL: A TRAGEDY. 



Against thee plotting, asd this morning's tu- 
mult 
Hath been its damn'd effect 

Bas. NajT) nay, mj friend ! 

The nature of man's mind too well thou 

know'st, 
To judge as vulgar hoodwink'd statesmen do; 
WhO) ever with their ownr poor wiles misled, 
Believe each popular tumult or commotion 
Must be the work of deep-laid policy. 
Poor, mean, mechanick souls, who little know 
A few short words of energetick force, 
Some powerful' passion on the sudden roos'd. 
The animating si^ht of something noble. 
Some fond trait of the mem'ry finel;|r wak'd, 
A sound, a simple song without design. 
In revolutions^ tumults, wars, rebellions. 
All grand events, have oft effected more 
Than deepest cunning of their pal^ art. 
Some drunken soldier, eloquent witn wine, 
Who loves not fighting, hath harangued his 

mates, 
For they in troth some hardships have en- 

dur'd : 
Wherefore in this should we suspect the court' 
Ros: Ah ! there is* something, friend, in 
Mantua's court. 
Will make the blackest trait of barefiic'd trea- 



son. 
Seem fair and guiltless to tliy partial eye. 
Bas. Nay, 'tis a weakness in thee, nosin- 

berg, 
Which makes thy mind so jealous and dis- 
trustful. 
Why should the duke be false .' 

Ros. Because he is a double; crafty prince— 
Because I've heard it rumour'd secretlv. 
That he in some dark treaty is engag a. 
E'en with our master's enemy the Frank. 
Bas. And so thou think 'st — 
Ros. Nay, hear me to the end. 

Last nifht that ^rood and honourable- dame, 
Noble Albini, with most friendly art. 
From the gav clam'rous throng my steps be- 

ffuild, 
Unmask 'a before me, and with earnest gvsce 
Entreated me, if I were Basil's friend, 
To tell him hidden danger waits him here. 
And warn him earnestly this court to leave. 
She said she lov'd thee much *, and hadstthou 

seen 
How anxiously she urg'd — 

Bas. {irUcrrupting him.) By heav'n and 

earth. 
There is a ray of light breaks thro' thy tale, 
And 1 could leap like madmen in their freaks. 
So blessed* is the gleam ! Ah! no, no, no ! 
It cannot be ! alas, it cannot be ! 
Tet didst thou say she urg'd it earnestly ? 
She is a woman, who avoids all share 
In secret politicks ; one only charge 
Her int'rest claims, Victoria's guardian 

friend — 
And she would have me hence — ^it must be so. 
O ! would it were ! how saidst thou, gentle 

Rosinberg .' 
She org'd it cvnestly — how did she urge it .' 



Nay, pri'thee do not stare upon me thus, 
But tell me all her words ! What said shef^ 

Ros. O Basil ! I could lauffh to see thy foUy^ 
But that thy weakness doth provoke me so. 
Most admirable, brave, determin'd man ! 
So well, so lately tried, what art thou now ? 
A vain deceitful thought transports thee thus. 
Thinkst thou— 

Bas. I will not tell thee what I? think. 

Ros. But I can guess it well, and it deceives 
thee. 
Leave this detested place, this fatal' court. 
Where dark deceitful cunning plots thy ruin. 
A soldier's duty calls thee loudly hence. 
The time is critical. How wilt thou feel 
When they shall tell these tidings in thine ear. 
That brave Piscaro, and his royal troops, 
Our valiant fellows, have the en'my fought. 
Whilst we, so near at hand, lay loit'ring &Te ? 

Bas^. Thou dost disturb thy brain with fim- 
cied fears. 
Our fortunes rest not on a point so nice. 
That one short dky shoidd be of all tins- mo- 
ment; 
And yet this one short day will be to me 
Wortn=years of other time. 

Ros. Nay, rather say, 

A dav to- darken aU thy days beside. 
Confound the fatal beauty of that woman, 
Whichhath'bewitch'd thee so ! 

Bas. "Hs most ungen'rous 

To push me thus with rough unsparing hand, 
Where but the slightest touch is felt so dearly. 
It is unfriendly. 

Ros. God knows my heart! I would not 
give thee pain ; 
But it disturbs me, Basil, vexes me. 
To see thee so enthralled by a women. 
If she is fair, others are fair as she. 
Some other face will like emotions raise, 
When thou canst better play a lover's part : 
But for the present, — ^fye upon it, Basil ! 

Bas. What, is it possible thou hast beheld, 
Hast tarried by her too, her converse shar'd, 
Tet talk'st as tho' she were a common fair one, 
Such as a man may fancy and for^t ? 
Thou art not, sure, so dull and brutish grown: 
It is not so ; thou dost belie thy thoughts. 
And vainly try'st to gain me with the cheat 

Ros. So thinks each lover of the maid he 
loves, 
Tet, in their lives, some many maidens love. 
Fye on it ! leave this town, and be a soldier ! 

Bas. Have done, have done ! why dost thou 
bate me thus .' 
Thy words become disgusting to me, Rosin- 
berg. 
What claim iiast thou my actions to controul'? 
I'll Mantua leave when it is fit I should. 
Ros. Then, 'faith I 'tis fitting thou shouldst 
leave it now ; 
Ay, on the instant. Is't not desperation 
To stay, and hazard ruin on thy fame, 
Tho'yet unchecr'd e'en by that tempting lure, 
No lover breathes without ? tliou hast no hope. 
Bas. What, dost thou mean — curse o^ ' ; 
paltry thought! 



fiASIL : A TRAGEDY. 



49 



nng 



l*hat I should count and bargain with mj 

heart, 
Upon the chances of unstinted favour, 
As little souls their base-bred fancies feed ? 
O ! were I conscious that within her breast 
I held some portion of her dear regard, 
Tho' pent for life within a prison's walls, 
Where thro' my grate I yet might sometimes 

see 
£ en but her shadow sporting in the sun ; 
Tho' plac'd by fate where some obstructing 

bound, 
Some deep impassable between us roIFd, 
And I might yet from some liigh tow'ri 

cKff 

Perceive her distant mansion from afar, 
Or mark its blue smoke risingr eve and mom ; 
Nay, tho* within the circle of the moon 
Some spell did fix her, never to return, 
And I might wander in the hours of night, 
And upward turn ray ever-gazing eye, 
Fondly to mark upon its varied disk 
Some little spot that might her dwelling be ; 
My fond, my fixed heart would still adore, 
And own no other love. Away, away ! 
How canst thou say to one who loves like me, 
Thou hast no hope ? 
Ros. Bdt with such hope, my friend, how 

stand thy fears? 
Are they so well refin'd ? how wilt thou bear 
Ere long to hear, that some high-favour 'd 

prince 
Has won ner heart, her hand, has married her? 
Tho' now unshackled, will it always be ? 
Bos. By heav'n thou dost contrive but to 

tonne nt, 
And hast a pleasure in the pain thou giv'st ! 
There is malignity in what thou say'st. 

Ros. No, not malignity, but kindness, Basil, 
That fain would save thee from the yawning 

To which blind passion gmdes thy heedless 
steps. 
Bov. Go, rather save thyself 
From the weak passion which has seiz'd thy 

breast, 
T* a««ume authority with sage-like brow, 
And shape my actions by thine own caprice. 
I can diiect myself. 

Ros. Yes, do thyself. 

And let no artful woman do it for thee. 
Bos. I scorn thy thought : it is beneath my 
scorn : 
It is of meanness sprung— an artfiil woman ! 
! she has all the loveuness of heav'n 
And all its goodness to ! 

Ros. I mean not to impute dishotiest arts, 

I mean not to impute — 

Bas. No Taith thou canst not. 

Ros. What, can I not ? their arts all women 

have. 

Bat now of this no more ; it moves thee 

greatly. 
Yet once again, as a most loving friend. 
Let me conjure thee, if thou prizest honour, 
A soldier's fair repute, a hero's fame. 
What noble spirits love, and well I know 
6 



Full dearly dost thou prize them, leave this 

place. 
And give thy soldiers orders for the march. 
Bas. Nay, since thou must assume it o*er 

me thus. 
Be general, and command my soldiers too. 
Ros. What, hath this passion in so short a 

space, 
O ! curses on it ! so far chang'd thee, Basil, 
That thou dost take with such ungentle 

warmth. 
The kindly freedom of thine ancient friend ? 
Methinks the beauty of a thousand maids 
Would not have mov'd me thus to treat my 

friend. 
My best, mine earliest friend ! 
Bas. Say kinsman rather ; chance has link'd 

us so : 
Our blood is near, our hearts are sever 'd fiir ; 
No act of choice did e'er unite our souls. 
Men most unlike we are ; our thoughts un- 
like ; 
My breast disowns thee — thou'rt no friend of 

mine. 
Ros. Ah ! have I then so long, so dearly 

lov'd thee ; 
So often, with an elder brother's care. 
Thy childish rambles tended, shar'd thy sports; 
Fill'd up by stealth thy weary school-boy's 

task; 
Taught thy young arms thine earliest feats of 

strength ; 
With boastful pride thine early rise beheld 
In glory's paths, contented th( a to fill 
A second place, so I might serve with thee ; 
And say'st thou now, I am no friend of thine ? 
Well, be it so ; I am thy kinsman then, 
And by that title will I save thy name. 
From danger of disgrace. Indulge thy wiU. 
I'll lay me down and feign that I am sick : 
And yet I shall not feign — I shall not feign ; 
For thy unkindne^s makes me so indeed. 
It will be said that Basil tarried here 
To save his friend, for so they'll call me still ; 
Nor will dishonour fall upon thy name 
For such a kindly deed. — 

fBasil waiks up and doimn in great agiiationt 
then stops y covers htJtface wiui his hands jand 
seems to be overcome. Rosinberg looks at 
him earnestly.) 

O blessed heav'n he weeps ! 
(Runs up to himj and catches him in his arms.) 

Basil ! I have been too hard upon thee. 
And is it possible I've mov'd thee thus ? 

Bas. (in a convulsed broken voice.) 1 will 
renounce — I'll leave — 

Ros. What says my Basil ? 

Bas. I'll Mantua leave — I'll leave this seat 
of bliss — 
This lovely woman — tear my heart in twain--> 
Cast off at once my little span of joy — 
Be wretched — miserable — whate'er thou wilt — 
Dost thou forgive me ? 

Ros. O my friend ! my friend ! 

1 love thee now more than I ever lov'd thee. 
I must be cruel to thee to be kind : 



iX) 



BASIL I A TRAGEDY. 



Each pang I see thee feel strikes thro' my 

I^art; 
Then spare us both, call up thy noble spirit, 
And meet the blow at once. Thj troops are 

ready — 
Let us depart, nor lose another hour. 
(Basil brinks from his arms, and looks at him 
with somewhat of an upbraiding, at the same 
time a sorrowfid look.) 
Bos, Nay, put me not to death upon the 
instant; 
I'll see her once again, and then depart. 
Ros. See her but once again, and thou art 
ruin'd! 
It must not be — if thou regardest me — 
Bos. Well then, it shall not be. Thou hast 

no mercy ! 
Ros. Ah ! thou wilt bless me all thine after- 
life 
For what now seems to thee so merciless. 
Bos. (sitting down very dejectedly.) Mine 
after-life ! what is mine after-life ? 
My day is clos'd ! the gloom of night is oome ! 
A nopeless darkness settles o'er my fate. 
I've seen the last look of her heavenly eyes ; 
I've heard the last sounds of her blessed 

voice; 
I've seen her fair form from my sight depart : 
My doom is clos'd ! 
Bos. (hanging over him with pity and affec- 
tion.) Alas ! n^ friend ! 
Bos. In all her lovely grace she disappear'd. 
Ah ! little thought I never to return 1 
Bos. Why so desponding .' think of warlike 
glory. 
The fields of fiur renown are still before thee ; 
Who would not bum such noble fame to earn ? 
Bos. What now are arms, or fair renown to 
me ? 
Strive for it those who will — and yet, a while, 
Welcome rough war ; with all thy scenes of 
blood ; (starting from his seat.) 

Thy roaring thunders, and thy clashing steel ! 
Welcome once more ! what nave I now to do 
But play the brave man o'er again, and die .' 

Elnter Isabella. 

hah. (to Baa.) My princess bids me greet 

you, noble Count : — 
Bos. (starting^ What dost thou say ? 
Ros. X>amn this untimely message ! 

Isab. The princess bids me greet you, no- 
ble Count: 
In the cool grove, hard by the southern gate, 
She with her train — 

Bos. What, she indeed, herself.' 

Isab. Herself, my lord, and she requests to 

see vou. 
Bos. Thank heav'n for this ! I will be there 

anon. 
Ros. (taking hold of him.) Stay, stay, and 

do not be a madman still. 
Bos. Let go thy hold : what, must I be a 
brute, 
A very brute to please thee ? no, by heav'n ! 
(Breaks from him, and Exit.) 



Ros. (striking his forehead.) AH lost again ! 
ill fortune u^ht upon her ! 

(Turning eagerly to Isab.) 
And so thy virtuous mistress sends thee here 
To make appointments, honourable dame ? 
Isab. Not so, my lord, you must not caU it 
so : 
The court will hunt to-morrow, and Victoria 
Would have your noble gen'ral of her train, 
Ros. Confound these women, and their art* 
ful snares. 
Since men will be such fools ! 
Isab. Yes, grumble at our empire as yon 

will — 
Ros. What, boast ye of it ? empire do ye 

It is your shame ! a short-liv'd tyranny, 
That ends at last in hatred and contempt. 
Isah. Nay, but some women do so wisely 
rule, 
Their subjects never ftom the yoke escape. 
Ros. Some women do, but they are rarely 
found. 
There is not one in all your paltry court 
Hath wit enough for the ungen'rous task. 
'Faith ! of you all, not one, out brave Albini, 
And she disdains it — Good be with yoii, lady 1 

(Gotji^.) 
Isab. O would I could but touch that stub- 
bom heart ! 
How dearly should he pay for this hour's 
acorn ! [Exeunt severally. 

Scene IV. a summer apartment ih 
the country, the windows of 
which look to a forest. 

Egter Victoria in a hunting dress^ followed hf 
Albihi and Isabella, speaking as they 
enter. 

Vict, (to Alb.) And so you will not share 

our sport to-day ? 
^Ib. My days of froUck should ere this be 
o'er, 
But thou, my charge, has kept me youthful 

still. 
I should most gladly go ; but, since the dawn, 
A heavy sickness hangs upon my heart ; 
I cannot hunt to-day. 

Viet. I'll stay at home and nurse thee, dear 

Albini. 
^Ib. No, no, thou shalt not stay. 
Vict. Nay,butIwiU. 

I cannot follow to the cheerful bora 
Whilst thou art sick at home. 

■^'*- Not veiy sick. 

Rather than thou shouldst stay, my gentle 

child, 
I'll mount my horse, and go e'en as I am. 
Vict. Nay, then I'll go, and soon return 
again. 
Meanwhile, do thou be careful of thyself 
Isab. Hark, Hark ! the shrill horns call us 
to the field : 
Your highness hears it ? (musick without.) 
Vict. Ycs,myIsabeUa; 



BASIL I ATRAGEDY* 



51 



I he&r it, and methinks e'en at the sound 
I vault already on my leathern seat, 
And feel the nery steed beneath me shake 
His mantled sides, and paw the fretted earth ; 
Whilst I aloft, with gay equestrian g^race, 
The low salute of ffaUant lords return. 
Who waiting rouna with eager watchnil eye. 
And reined steeds, the happy moments seize. 

! didst thou never hear, my Isabell, 
How nobly Basil in the field becomes 
His fiery courser's back ? 

Isab. They say most gracefully. 

Jilb. What, is the valiant Count not yet de- 
parted.^ 
Viet. You would not have our gallant Bap 
ail go 
When I have bid him stay ? not so, Albini. 
^Ih. Fye ! reigns that spirit still so strongly 
in thee, 
Which vainly covets all men's admiration, 
And is to others cause of cruel pain ? 
! would thou couldst subdue it ! 
Vict. My gentle friend, thoushouldst not be 
severe : 
For now in truth I love not admiration 
As I was wont to do ; in truth I do not. 
Bat yet, this once my woman's heart excuse. 
For there is something strange in this man's 
love, 

1 never met before, and I must prove it. 
Jilb. Well, prove it then, be stricken too 

thyself. 
And bid sweet peace of mind a sad farewell. 
Viet. O no ! that will not be ! 'twill peace 

restore : 
For after this, all folly of the kind 
Will quite insipid ana disgusting seem ; 
And so I shall become a prudent maid. 
And passing wise at last. 

(musick heard without.) 
Hark, hark ! again ! 
All good be with you ! I'll return ere long. 
[Exeunt Victoria and Isabella. 
JBb. (soia.) Ay, go, and ev'ry blessing with 

thee go. 
My most tormenting, and most pleasing 

charge! 
like vapour, fiom the mountain stream art 

thou. 
Which lightly rises on the morning air. 
And shifts its fleeting form with ev ry breeze. 
For ever varying, and for ever graceful. 
Endearing, genius, bountiful and kind ; 
Vain, fanciful, and fond of worthless praise ; 
Courteous and gentle, proud and magnificent : 
And yet these adverse qualities in wee. 
No dissonance, nor striking contrast make ; 
For still thy good and amiable grifls 
The sober dignity of virtue wear not. 
And such a witching mien thy follies shew, 
They make a very i£ot of reproof, 
And smile it to dis^rrace. — 
What shall I do with thee ? — It grieves me 

much 
To hear Count Basil is not yet departed. 
When from the chace he comet, I'll watch 

his steps, 



And speak to him myself.^ 

! I could hate her for that poor ambition 
Which silly adoration only claims. 

But that I well remember, in my youth 

1 felt the like — I did not feel it long : 

I tore it soon, indignant from my breast, 
As that which did degrade a noble mind. 

[Exit. 

Scene V. — a vert beautiful grove 

IK THE FOREST. 

Musick and horns heard afar off, whilst hunts, 
men and dogs appear passing over the stage, at 
agrcatdistance. Enter Victoria and Basil, 
as if just aliffhted from their horses. 
Vict. {spMudng to attendants without.) Lead 
on our norses to the further grove, 

And wait us there. — 

(to Bas.) This spot so pleasing, and so fragrant 

'Twere sacrilege with horses' hoofs to wear 
Its velvet turf7where little elfins dance. 
And fairies sport beneath the summer's moon; 
I love to tread upon it. 

Bas. O ! I would quit the chariot of a god 
For such delightful footing ! 

Viet. I love this spot. 

Bas. It is a spot where one would live and 

die. 
Vict. See, thro' the twisted boughs of those 
high elms. 
The sun-beams on the bright'ning foliage play, 
And tinge the scaled bark with ruddy orown. 
Is it not beautiful .' 

Bas. As tho' an angel, in his upward flight, 
Had left his mantle floating in mid air. 
Vict. Still most unlike a garment; small 
and scver'd : 
(Turning round f and perceiving that he is gaz- 
ing at her.) 
But thou regard'st them not. 
Bas. AhF what should I regard, where 
should I gaze ? 
For in that far-shot glance, so keenl}r wak'd. 
That sweetly rising smile of admiration. 
Far better do I learn how fair heav'n is, 
Than if I gaz'd upon the blue serene. 

Vict. Remember you have promis'd, gentle 
Count, 
No more to vex me with such foolish words. 
Bas. Ah! wherefore should my tongue 
alone be mute? 
When every look and every motion tell, 
So plainly tell, and will not be forbid. 
That I adore thee, love thee, worship thee ! 

(T^ictoria looks haitghty and displeased.) 
Ah! pardon me, I know not what I say. 
Ah! frown nottJius! I cannot see thee frown. 
I'll do whate'er thou wilt, I will be silent : 
But O ! a reined ton^e, and bursting heart, 
Are hard at once to hear. — Wilt thou forgive 
me.' 
Vict. We'll think no more of it ; we'll quit 
this spot ; 
I do repent me that I led thee here. 
But 'twas the fav'rite path of a dear ^end : 
Here many a time we wander'd, arm in arm : 



tf 



BASIL : A TEAGEDT. 



We lov'd this grove, and now that he is absents 

I love to haunt it still. ^Basil gtarts. 

Bos. His fav'rile path — a friena — here ann 

in arm — 

{Clasping his hands ^ and raising them to his 

head.) 
Then there is such a one ! 
(Drooping his heady and looking distractedly 
upon the ground.) 

I dream'd not of it. 
Vict, (pretending not to see him.) That Uttle 
lane, with woodbine all o'ergrown, 
He lov'd so well ! it is a fragrant path. 
Is it not, Count ? 

Bas. It is a gloomy one ! 

Vict. I have, my lord, been wont to think it 

cheerful. 
Bas. I thought your highness meant to 

leave this spot ? 
Vict. I do, and by this lane we'll take our 
way; 
For here he oflen walk'd with sauntering pace. 
And listened to- the woodlark's evening song. 
Bas. What, must I on his very footsteps go ? 
Accursed be the ground oq which he trod ! 
Vict. And is Count Basil so uncourtly 
grown. 
That he would curse my brother to my face .' 
Bas. Tour brother ! gracious God, is it your 
brother } 
That dear, that loving firiend of whom you 

spoke, 
Is he indeed your brother ? 

Vict. He is indeed, my lord. 

Bas. Then heaven bless him ! all good an> 
gels bless him ! 
I could weep o'er him now, shed blood for him! 
I could — O what a foolish heart have I ! 
Walks up and dmon with ahurried step, tossing 
about his arms in transport ; then iips short 
and runs up to Victoria.) 
Is it indeed your brother ? 

Vict. It is indeed : what thoughts disturb'd 

tljee 80 ? 
Bas. I will not tell thee ; foolish thoughts 
they were. 
Heav'n bless your brother ! 

Vict. Ay, heav'n bless him too ! 

I have but him; would I had two brave 

brothers. 
And thou wert one of them ! 
Bas. I would fly irom thee to earth's ut- 
most bounds, 
Were I thy brother — 
And yet methinks, I would I had a sister. 
Vict. And wherefore would ye so ? 
Bas. To place her near thee. 

The soft companion of thy hours to prove, 
And, when far distant, sometimes talk of me. 
Thou couldst not chide a gentle sister's cares. 
Perhaps, when rumour from the distant war, 
Uncertain tales of dreadful slaughter bore, 
Thou'dst see the tear hang on her pale wan 

cheek. 
And kindly say, How does it fare with Basil ? 
Vict. No more of this — ^indeed there must no 
more, 



A friend's remembrance I will ever bear thee. 
But see where Isabella this way comes : 
I liad a wish to speak with her alone ; 
Attend* us here, lor soon will we return. 
And then take horse a^n. [Exit. 

Bas. {looking after her for some time.) See 
with what graceful steps she moves along, 
Her lovely form, in evW action lovely ! 
If but the wind her ru^d garment raise, 
It twists it into some light pretty fold. 
Which adds new grace. Or should some 

small mishap. 
Some tangled branch, her fair attire derange, 
What would in others strange, or awkwud 

seem. 
But lends to her some wild bewitching charm. 
See, voqder does she raise her lovely arm 
To pluck the dangling hedge-flow r as she 

goes; 
And now she turns her head as tho* she view'd 
The distant landscape; now methinks she 

walks 
With doubtful hng'ring steps — wiU she look 

back .' 
Ah no ! yon thicket hides her from my sight, 
Bless'd are the eyes that may behold her still, 
Nor dread that ev'ry look shall be the last ! 
And vet she said she would remember me. 
I will believe it : Ah ! I must believe it. 
Or be the saddest soul that sees the hght ! 
But lo, a messenger, and from the army ! 
He brings me tidings; grant they may be 

food ! 
never fear'd what man might utter ; 
I dread his tale, Grod grant it may be good ! 

Enter Messenoeii. 

From the army .' 
Mess. Tes, my lord. 

Bas. What tidings brings't thou .' 

Mess. Th' Imperial army, under brave Pis- 
caro. 
Have beat the enemy near Pavia's walls. 
Bas. Ha! have they fought.^ and is the 

battle o'er ? 
Mess. Yes, conquer 'd ta'en the French king 
prisoner. 
Who. like a noble, gallant ^ntleman, 
Fought to the last, nor yielded up his sword 
Till, being one amidst surrounding foes, 
His arm could do no more. 
Bas. What dost thou say .' who is made 
pris'ner .' 
What king did fight so well .' 
Mess. The kin^ of France. 

Bas. Thou saidst — ^thy words do ring so in 
mine ears, 
I cannot catch their sense — the battle's o'er .' 
Mess. It is my lord. Piscaro staid your 
coming. 
But could no longer stay. His troops were 

bold. 
Occasion press'd him, and they bravely 

fought — 
They bravely fought, my lord ! 

Bas. I hear, I hear thee. 

Accun'd am I, that it should wring my hearf 



BASIL X A TRAGEDY. 



6S 



,To hear thev bravely fought ! — 

They bravely fought, whibt we lay ling'ring 

here. 
! what a fated blow to -strike me thus ! 
Perdition ! shame ! disgrace ! a damned blow! 
Mess. Ten thousand of the enemy are slain ; 
We too have lost full many a gallant soul. 
I view'd the closing armies from afar ; 
Their close pik'd nmks in goodly order spread, 
Which seem'd, alas ! when that the fight was 

o'er, 
Like the wild marshes' crop of stately reeds, 
lAid with the passing storm. But woe is me J 
When to the field I came, what dismal sights ! 
What waste of life ! what heaps of bleeding 
slain ! 
Bom. Would I were laid a red, disfigur'd 
corse, 
Amid those heaps ! they fought, and we were 
absent ! 
( Walks about distractedly j then stops short.) 
Who sent thee here ? 

Mess. Piscaro sent me to inform Count Ba^il, 

He needs not now his aid, and grives him leave 

To march his tardy troops to distant quarters. 

Bos. He says so, does he P well, it shall be so. 

{Tossing his arms distractedly.) 

I will to quarters, narrow quarters go. 

Where voice of war shall rouse me fortli no 

more. [Exit. 

Mess, ril follow afler him ; he is distracted : 

And yet he looks so wild I dare not do it. 

Enter Victoria as if frightened, followed by 

Isabella. 

Vict, (to Isab.) Didst thou not mark him as 

he pass'd thee too .' 
bah. I saw him pass, but with such hasty 

steps I had no time. 
Vict. I met him with a wild disordered air, 
In furious haste ; he stopp'd distractedly. 
And gaz'd upon me with a mournful look, 
But pass'^d away, and spoke not. Who art 
thou ? (To the Messenger.) 

1 iear thou art a bearer of bad tiding. 
Mess. No, rather good as I should deem it, 
madam, 
Altho' unwelcome tidings to Count Basil. 
Our army hath a glorious battle won ; 
Ten thousand French are slain, their mon- 
arch captive. 
Via. (to Mess.) Ah, there it is ! he was not 
in the fight. 
Run afler him I pray — nav, do not so- 
Run to his kinsman, j^ood Count Rosinberg, 
And bid him follow hun — I pray thee run ! 
Mess. Nay, lady, by your leave, you seem 
not well : 
I will conduct you hence, and then Til go. 
Vict. No, no, I'm well enough; I'm very 
well : 
Go, hie thee hence, and do thine errand swiftly. 

[EiiT Messenger. 
O what a wretch am I ? I am to blame ! 
I only am to blame .' 

Isab. Nay, wherefore say so ? 

What have jou done that others would not do .' | 



Viet. What have I done ? I've fool'd a noble 
heart — 
I've wreck'd a brave man's honour ! 

[Exit leaning upon Isabella. 



ACT V. 



Scene I. — a dark night; no moon, but 

A FEW STARS OLIMMERllfa; THESTAOE 
REPRESENTS (aS MUcH AS CAN BE 
DISCOVERED FOR THE DARKNESS) A 
CHURCH-YARD WITH PART OF A CHAP- 
EL, AND A WINO OF THE DUCAL PAL- 
ACE ADJOINING TO IT. 

Enter Basil with his hat off, his hair and his 
dress in disorder, stepping slowly, and stopping 
sevEend times to listen, as if he was afVaid of 
meeting any one. 

Bos. No sound is here : man is at rest, and I 
May near his habitations venture forth. 
Like some unblessed creature of the night. 
Who .dares not meet his face. — Her window's 

dark; 
No streaming light doth from her chamber 

beam, 
That I once more may on her dwelling gaze, 
And bless her still. All now is dark lor me ! 
(Pauses for some Ume, and looks upon the 

graves.) 
How happv are the dead, who quietly rest 
Beneath these stones ! each by his kindred 

laid. 
Still in a haliow'd neighbourship with those, 
Who when alive his social converse shar'd : 
And now perhaps some dear surviving friend 
Doth here at times the grateful visit pay, 
Read with sad eyes his short memorial o'er, 
And bless his mem'ry still !^ 
But J, like a vile outcast of my kind^ 
In some lone spot must lay m' unburied corse, 
To jrot above tne earth ; where, if perchance 
The steps of human wand'rer e'er approach, 
He'll stand aghast, and flee the horrid place, 
With dark imaginations frightful made 
The haunt of damned sprites. O cursed 

wretch! 
r the fair and honour'd field shouldst thou 

have died. 
Where brave friends, proudly smiling thro* 

their tears. 
Had pointed out the spot where Basil lay ! 

(A light seen in Victoria** window.) 
But ha ! the wonted, welcome light appears. 
How bright within I see her chamber wall ! 
Athwart it too, a dark'ning shadow moves, 
A slender woman's form : it is herself ! 
What means that motion of its clasped hands P 
That drooping head P alas ! is she in sorrow ? 
Alas ! thou sweet enchantress of the mind. 
Whose voica was gladness, and whose pres- 
ence bliss. 
Art thou unhappy too .' I've brought the« 

woe ; 
It is for me thou weep'st Ah ! were it so, 



M 



BASILi A TRAGEDY. 



Fall'n as I am, I yet could life endure, 

In some dark den from human si^ht concealed, 

So, that I sometimes from my liaunt might 

steal, 
To see and love thee still. No, no, poor 

wretch! 
She weeps thy shame, she weeps, and acorns 

thee too. 
She moves a^n ; e'en daiUy imag'd thus, 
How lovely is that form ! 

{rausesy still looking at the window.) 
To be so near thee, and for ever parted ! 
For ever loit ! what art thou now to me ? 
Shall the departed gaze on thee a^ain ? 
Shall I glide past thee in the midm^ht hour, 
Whilst thou perceiv'st it not, and think'st 

perhaps 
'Tis but tne moumfiil breese that passes by ? 
(Pauses a^ain, and gazes at tkt window y 
till tne light disappears.) 
'Tls gone, 'tis gone ! these eyes have seen their 

last: 
The last impression of her heavenly form : 
The last sight of those walls wherein she lives: 
The last blest ray of light from human dwell- 
ing. 
I am no more a being of this world. 
Farewell ! farewell ! all now is dark for me ! 
Come fated deed ! come horrour and despair ! 
Here lies my dreadful way. 

Enter Geoffrt from behind a tomb. 

Geof. O ! stay, my gen'ral ! 
Bos. Art thou from the grave ? 

Geof. O my brave gen'ral ! do you know 
me not ? 
I am old GeoffrV) the old maimed soldier, 
Ton did so nobly honour. 

Bos. Then go thy way, for thou art honour- 
able : 
Thou hast no shame, thou need'st not seek 

the dark 
Like fallen, fameless men. I pray thee go ! 
Geof. Nay, speak not thus, my noble gene- 

Ah ! speak not thus ! thou'rt brave, thon'rt 

honour'd still. 
Thy soldier's fame is far too surely rais'd 
To be o'erthrown with one unhappy chance. 
I've heard of thy brave deeds witn swelling 

heart, 
And yet shall live to cast my cap in air 
At glorious tales of thee. — 
Bos. Forbear, forbear ! thy words but wring 

my soul. 
Geof. O ! pardon me ! I am old maimed 
GeofiVy. 
O ! do not ^o ! I've but one hand to hold thee. 
(Laying hold of Basil as he attempts to go 
away. Basil stops^ and looks around upon 
him with softness.) 

Bos. Two would not hold so well, old hon- 
our'd vet'ran ! 
What wouldst thou have me do ? 

Geof. Return, my lord ; for love of bleMed 
heaven, 



Seek not such desperate ways ! where wonUt 
you go ? 
Bos. Does Geofiy ask where should a sol- 
dier go 
To hide disgrace ? there is no place but one. 

(Struggling to get fret.} 



Let go thy foolish hold, and force me not 
To £> some violence to thy -hoary head — 
What, wilt thou not.' na^,then it must be so. 
(Breaks vioUntluJrom him, and £xrr.> 
Gtqf. Curs'd feeble hand ! he's gone to seek 
perdition ! 
I cannot run. Where is that stupid hind ? 
He should have met me here. Holla, Femaa- 
do! 

Enter FkEiuvDO. 

WeVe lost him, he is gone, he's broke from 

me ! 
Did I not bid thee meet me early here. 
For that he has been known to haunt this 
place ? 
Per. Which way has he gone ? 
Geof. Towards the forest, if I guess aright. 
But do thou run with speed to Rosinberg, 
And he will follow him; run swifUy, man! 

[Exxuirr. 

Scene II. — a wood, wild ahd savage; 

Air EKTRT TO A CAVE, VERT MUCH 
TANGLED WITH BRUSHWOOD, IS 8EBV 
IN THE BACKGROUND. THE TIME 
REPRESENTS THE DAWN OF MORNING. 
BASIL IS DISCOVERED STANDING NEAR 
THE FROl^T or THE STAGE, IN A 
THOUGHTFUL POSTURE, WITH A COU- 
PLE OP PISTOLS LAID BT HIM ON A 
PIECE OF PROJECTING ROCK; HE 
PAUSES FOR SOME TIME. 

Bos. {alone.) What shall I be some few 
short moments hence ? 
Why ask I now ? who fix>m the dead will rise 
To tell me of that awful state unknown .' 
But be it what it may, or bliss, or torment. 
Annihilation, dark and endless rest, 
Or some dread thing, man's wildest range o 

thought 
Hath never yet conoeiv'd, that changejl'll dare 
Which makes me anything but what I am. 
I can bear scorpions* stings,tread fields of fire, 
In frozen gulfs of cold eternal lie. 
Be toss'd uofl through tracks of endless void, 
But cannot live in shame — (Pauses.) O im- 
pious thought ! 
Will the great Gwi of mercy, mercy have 
On all but those who are most miserable ? 
Will he not punish with a pitving hand 
The poor, fall'n, froward child ? (Pauses.) 
And shall I then against his will offend. 
Because he is most good and merciful .' 
O ! horrid baseness ! what, what shall I do? 
I'll think no more — it turns my dizzy brain- 
It is too late to think — what must be, must 

be— 
I cannot live, therefore I needs most die. 



BASIL : A TRAGEDY. 



U 



{Takes up the vistoUf and walks up and dowUf | 
looking toUaly around htm, then discovering 
the cave's mmttk.) 
Here is an entrj to some darksome cave, 
Where an uncoffin'd corse may rest in peace, 
And hide its foul corruption from the earth. 
The threshold is unmark'd by mortal foot. 
I'U do it here. 

{Enters the cave and Exit ; a deep silence ; 
then the report ^ a pistol is heard from the 
tave, and soon after, Enter Rosinberg, Val- 
tomer, two Officers and Boldiers, almost at 
the same moment by different sides of the stage. 
Ros, This way the sound did come. 
VaJU, How came ye, soldiers? heard ye 

that report ? 
\Mt Sol. We heard it, and it seem'd to come 
firom hence. 
Which made us this way hie. 
Ros. A horrid fancy darts across my mind. 
(^ groan heard.from the cave.) 
<7b Valt^ Ha! heard'st thou that .' 

VaU. Methinks it is the ^roan of one in 
pain. {d second groan.) 

Ros. Ha ! there again ! 
Volt. From this cave's mo^th, so dark and 
choak'd with weeds, 
It seems to come. 
Ros. I'll enter first. 

1st Off. My Lord, the way is tsAgled o'er 
with briers : 
Htrd bj, a few short paces to the left, 
There is another mouth of easier access ; 
I pass'd it even now. 
Ros. Then shew the way. [Exxurt. 

SCKKB III.«— THE INSIDE OF TBS CAYS. 

Baul discovered lying on the ground, with his 
bead raised a little upon a few stones and 
earth, the pistols lying beside bim, and blood 
upon his breast. Enter Rosiiibero, Valto- 
HER, and Ofvicers. Rosinberg, upon seeing 
Basil, stops short with horronr, and remains 
motionless for some time. 

Volt. Great God of heaven ! what It sight is 
this I 
(Rosinberg runs to Basil, and stoops down by 
his side.^ 
Ros, O Basil ! O my friend ! what hast 

thou done ? 
Bas, (Covering his face with his hand.) 
Why art thou come ? I thought to die 
inpeace. 
Ros. Thou kmow'st me not — I am thy Ros- 
inberg, 
Thy dearest, truest ^end, thy loving kins- 
man ! 
Thou dost not say to me, Whv art thou come .' 
Bas. Shame knows no kindred : I am fall'n, 
dis^rrac'd; 
My fame is gone, I cannot look upon thee. 

Ros. My Basil, noble spirit ! talk not thus ! 
The greatest mind untoward fate may prove : 
Thou art our gen'rous, valiant leader still, 
Fall'n as thou art — and yet thou art not fall'n ; 
Who says thou art, mu^t put his harness on, 



And prove his words in blood. 

Bas. Ah Rosinberg ! this is no time to boast ! 
I once had hopes a glorious name to gain -, 
Too proud of heart, 1 did too much aspire ; 
The hour of trial came, and found me wanting! 
Talk not of me, but let me be forgotten. — 
And O ! my friend ! something upbraids me 
here, (faying his hand on his breast.) 
For that I now remember how ofl- times 
I have usurp'd it o'er thy better worth, 
Most vainly teaching where I should have 

learnt; 
But thou wilt pardon me. — 
Ros. (taking Basil's hand, and pressing it to 
his breast.) Rend not my heart in 
twain ! O talk not thus ! 
I knew thou wert superiour to myself. 
And to all men beside : thou wert my pride ; 
I paid thee def rence with a willing heart. 
Bas. It was delusion, all delusion, Rosin- 
berg! 
I feel my weakness now^ I own my pride. 
Give me thy hand, my time is near the close : 
Do this for me : thouKnow'st my love, Vic- 
toria — 
Ros. O curse that woman ! she it is alone — 
She has undone us all ! 

Bas. It doubles unto me the stroke of death 
To hear thee name her thus. O curse her not ! 
The fault is mine; she's gentle, good and 

blameless. — 
Thou wilt not then my dying wish fulfil ? 
Ros. I will ! I will ! what wouldst thou have 

me do ? 
Bas. See her when I am gone ; be gentle 
with her ; 
And tell her that I bless'd her in my death ; 
E'en in my agonies I lov'dand bless'd her. 
Wilt thou do this .' 
Ros. I'll do what thou desir'st. 

Bas. I thank thee, Rosinberg; my time 
draws near. 
(Raising his head a UtUe, and perceiving Offi- 
cers.) 
Is there not some one here ? are we alone ? 

Ros. (making a signfor the Officers to retire.) 
'Tis but a sentry, to prevent intrusion. 
Bas. Thou know st this desp'rate deed 
from sacred rites 
Hath shut me out: I am unblcFs'd of men, 
And what I am in sight of th' awful God, 
I dare not tliink ; when I am gone, my friend, 
O ! let a^ood man's prayers to heaven ascend 
For an offending spirit ! — Pray for me. 
What thinkest thou.' although an outcast 

here. 
May not some heavenly mercy still be found •* 
Ros. Thou wilt find mercy — my beloved 
Basil- 
It cannot be that thou shouldst be rejected. 
I will with bended knee — I will implore — 
It choaks mine utterance — I will pray for 
thee — 
Bas. This comforts me — ^thou art a loving 
friend. (^ noise without^ 

Ros. (toOff.tDithout.) What noise is that.' 

Enter Valtombr. 



K 



BASIL: ATtlAGElOY. 



Volt, (to Ros.) My lord, the Boldiera all in- 
sist to enter. 
What shall I do ? they will not be denied : 
Thej say that they will see their noble gen'- 
ral. 
Bos: Ah my brave fellows ! do thej call me 

so? 
Rb3. Then let them come! 

Enter Soldiers, who gather round Basil, and 
look mour7\fuUy upon him ; he hold* out hig 
hand to them with a faint smile. 

Bos. My gen'rous soldiers, this is kindly 
meant. 
I'm low i' the dust ; God bless you all, brave 
hearts ! 
1st Sol. And God bless you, my noble, noble 
gen'ral ! 
We'll never follow snch a leader more. 
2d Sol. Ah ! had yon staid with us, my no- 
ble gen'ral, 
We would have died for you. 
(3d Soldier endeavours next to speak, hut canr 
not; and kneeling; down by Fasil, covers his 
face with his c&ak. Rosinberg twms his 
face to the tvall and weeps.) 
Bos. (in a very faint broken voice.) Where 
art thou .' do not leave me, Rosinberg — 
Come near to me — these fellows make me 

weep: 
I have no power to weep— give me thy hand — 
I love to feel thy grasp — my heart beat« 

strangely — 
it beats as tho it« breathings would be few — 
Remember — 
Ros. Is there aught thou, wouldst desire f 
Bos. Nought but a little earth to cover me. 
And lay the smooth sod even with the ground- 
Let no stone mark the spot — give no offence. 
I fain would say — what can I say to thee ? 
{A deep pause ; after a feeble struggle, Basil 
expires.) 
1st Sol. That motion was his last. 
2d Sol. His spirit's fled. 

1st Sol. God grant it peace ! it was a noble 

spirit ! 
Ath Sol. The trumpet's sound did never rouse 

a braver. 
1^ Sol. Alas ! no trumpet e'er shall rouse 
him more, 
Until the dreadful blast that wakes the dead. 
2d Sol. And when that sounds it will not 

wake a braver. 
dd Sol. How pleasantlv he shar'd our hard- 
est toil ! 
Our coarsest food the daintiest fare he made. 
4th Sol. Aj, many a time, i' the coid damp 
plain has he 
With cheerful count'nance cried, " Good rest, 

ray hearts !" 
Then wrapp'd him in his cloak, and laid him 

down 
E'en like the meanest soldier in the field. 
(Hosinberff all this time continues hanging 
over the body, and gazing upon it. Valto- 
mer now endeavours to draw him away.) 
VaU. This is too sad, my Lord. 



Ros. There, seestthou how he hes .' sofiz'd', 
so paJe .' 
Ah ! what an end b this ! thus lost ! thus 

falTn! 
To be thus taken in his middle course. 
Where he so nobly strove ; till cursed passion 
Came like a sun-stroke on his midday toil. 
And cut the strong man down. O Basil! 
Basil! 
VaU. Forbear, my friend, we must not sor- 
row here. 
Ros. He was the younger brother of my 

soul. 
VaU. Indeed, my lord, it is too sad a sight 
Time calls us, let the body be remov'd. 
Ros. He was— O ! he was like no other 

roan r 
VaU. (still endeavouring to draw hint away.) 
Nay, now forbear. 
60s. I lov'd him from His birth ! 

Volt. Time presses, let the body be remov'd. 
Ros. What sav'st thou .' 
VaU. Shall we not remove him hence ? 
Ros. He has forbid it, and has charg'd me 
well 
To leave his nave unknown; for that the 

church 
All sacred rites to the self-slain denies. 
He would not give offence. 
1st Sol. What, shall our gen'ral, like a veiy 
wretch. 
Be laid unhonour'd in the common ground P 
No last salute to bid his soul farewell ? 
No warlike honours paid ? it shall not be. 
2d Sol. Laid thus .' no, by the blessed light 
of heav'n ! 
In the most holy spot in Mantua's walls 
He shall be laid : in face of day be laid ; 
And tho' black priests should curse us in the 

teeth, 
We will fire o'er hiin> whilst our hands have 

power 
To grasp a muskets 

Several Soldiers. Let those who dare for- 
bid it ! 
Ros. My brave companions, be it as you wiU. 
(Spreading out his arms as if he would em- 
braeethe Soldiers: — They prepare to remove 
the bodu.) 

VaU. J^jf stop a while, we will not move 
it now. 
For see a mournful visitor appears. 
And must not be denied. 

Enter Victoria and Isabella. 

Viet. I thought to find him here, where has 

he fled ? 

(Rosinberg points to the body without speaking, 

Victoria shrieks out and falls into the arms 

of Isabella. 

Jsao. Alas I my gentle mistress, this will kill 

thee. 
Vict, (recovering.) Unloose thy hold, and 
let me look upon him. 
O ! horrid, horrid sight I my ruin'd Basil ! 
Is this the sad reward of all thy love ? 
O ! I have murder'd thee ! 



BASIL : A TRAGEDY. 



57 



(Kneels dovm hy the body and bend* over U.) 
These wasted streams of life ! this bloodj 
wound ! (Laying her hand upon his heart.) 
Is there no breatning here ? all still ! all cold ! 
Open thine eyes, speak, be thyself a^ain, 
And I will love thee, serve thee, fol£w thee, 
In spite of all reproach. Alas ! alas ! 
A lifeless corse art thou forever laid, 
And dost not hear my call. — 
Ros. No, madam ; now your pity comes too 

late. 
Viet. Doet thou upbraid me .^ O ! I have 

deserved it ! 
Ros. No, madam, no, I will not now upbraid : 
But woman's ffrief is like a summer storm. 
Short as it violent is ; in gayer scenes. 
Where soon thou shalt in giddy circles blaze. 
And play the airy goddess of the day, 
Thine eye, percnuice, amidst th' observing 

crowd. 
Shall mark th' indignant face of Basil's friend. 
And then it will upbraid. 

Vict. No, never, never ! thus it shall not be. 
To the dark, shaded cloister wilt thou my, 
Where sad and lonely, thro' the dismal grate 
Thou'lt spy my wasted form, and then up- 
braid me. 
Ros. Forgive me, heed me not ; I'm griev'd 
atneart; 
I'm fretted, gall'd, all things are hateful to me. 
If thou didst love my fiiend, I will forgive 

thee ; 
I must forgive thee : with his dying breath 
He bade me tell thee, that his latest thoughts 
Were love to thee; in death he lov'd and 

bless'd thee. 
(Victoria goes to throw herself vpon the body 
but is ffrevented by Valtomer and Isabella 
who support her in their arms and endeavour 
to drawner away from it.) 
Viet. O ! force me not away ! by his cold 
corse. 
Let me lie down and weep. O ! Basil, Basil ! 
The gallant and the brave ! how hast thou 

loved me ! 
If there is any holy kindness in you, 

(To Isab. and Valt.) 
Tear me not hence. 
For he lov'd me in thoughtless folly lost, 



With all my faults, most worthless of his love ; 
And him I'll love in the low bed of death, 
In horrour and decav. — 
Near his lone tomb 1*11 spend my wretched days 
In humble pray'r for his departed spirit : 
Cold as his grave shall be my earthy bed, 
As dark my cheerless cell. Force me not 

hence. 
I will not go, for grief hath made me strong. 

(Struggling to get loose.) 

Ros. Do not withhold her, leave her sorrow 
free. 
(They let her go^ and she throws herself upon 

the body in an agony of griefs 
It doth subdue the sternness of^my grief 
To see her mourn him thus. — let I mwt 

curse.- 
Heav'n's curses light upon her damned ftther. 
Whose crooked poucy has wrought this wreck I 

Jsah. If he has done it, you are well reveng'd. 
For all his hidden plots delected are. 
Gauriceio, for some int'rest of his own, 
His master's secret dealings with the foe 
Has to Lanov betray *d ; who straight hath sent, 
On the behalf of his imperial lord, 
A message full of dreadful threats to Mantua. 
His discontented subjects aid him not : 
He must submit to the degrading terms 
A haughty conq'ring power will now impoM. 

Ros. And art thou sure of this .' 

Jmb. I am, my lord. 

Ros. Give me thy hand, I'm glad on't, O ! 
I'm glad on't ! 
It should be so .' how like a hateful ape 
Detected, grinning, 'midst his pilfer'd hoard, 
A cunning man appears, whose secret frauds 
Are open d to tne day ! scom'd, hooted, 

mock'd ! 
Scom'd by the very fools who most admir'd 
His worthless art. But when a great mind 

falls, 
The noble nature of man's een'rous heart 
Doth bear him up against the shame of ruin ; 
With gentle censure using but its faults 
As modest means to introduce his praise ; 
For pity like a dewy twilight comes 
To close th' oppressive splendour of his day, 
And they who but admir d him in his height, 
His alter'd state lament, and love him fafl'n. 

[EXXURT. 



THE TRYAL: A COMEDY. 



PERSONS OF THE DRAMA. 

MEN. 

Mr. Withringtor. 

Mr. Harwood. 

Colonel Hardt. 

Sir Loftus Prxtttmak. 

Mr. Opal. 

Mr. Rotstok. 

Humphry. 

Jonathan. 

Thomas. 

Sertahts, &c. 

WOMEN. 



AONES, 
MaRIANX) 

Miss Eston. 

Mrs. Bettt, Maid to Agnes. 



> Meees to WithringtoQ. 






• • 



- Scene in Bath, and in Mr. Withrino- 
TON s house m the environs of Bath. 



ACT I. 
SCKVK I. — ^Mr. WiTHRIVGTOir'S HOUSK. 

Enter Withrinoton and his two Nieces hanor. 
ing opon bis arms, coaxing him in a playful 
manner as they advance towards the front of 
the Stage. 

With. Poo, poo, get along, young gipsies, 
and don't tease me any more. 

^g. So we will, my good Sir, when you 
have granted our suit. 

Mar. Do, dear uncle, it will be so pleasant! 

With. Get along, get along. Don't think 
to wheedle me into it. It would be very 
pleasant, truly, to see an old fellow, with a 
wig upon his bald pate, making one in a holy- 
day mummery with a couple of madcaps. 

^g. Nay, don't lay the fault upon tne wig, 
good Sir, for it is as youthful, and as sly, and 
as saucy looking as the best head of hair in 
the county. As for your old wig, indeed, 
there was so much curmud^on-like austerity 
about it, that young people fled from before it, 
as, I dare say, the omls do at present; for I 
am sure it is stuck up in some cherry-orchard 
by this time, to frighten away the sparrows. 

With You are mistaken, young mistress, it 
IS up stairs in my wig-box. 

^g. Well, I am glad it is any where but 
npon your pate^ uncle. (Ttarning kis face 



towards Mariane.) Look at hinif pray ! is he 
not ten years younger since he wpre it.^ Is 
there one bit of an old grumbler to be seen 
about him now ? 

Mar. He is no more like the man he was 
than I am like my godmother. (Clapping /us 
shoulder.) Ton must even do as we have bid 
you, sir, for this excuse will never bring you 
off. 

With. Poo, poo, it is a foolish ^I's whim- 
sy : I'll have nothing to do with it. 

^g. It b a reasonable woman's desire, gen- 
tle guardian, and you must consent to it For 
if I am to marry at all, I am resolved to have 
a respectable man, and a man who is attached 
to me ; and to find out such a one, in my pres- 
ent situation, is impossible. I am provoked 
beyond all patience with your old greedy 
lords, and match-making aunts, introducing 
their poor noodle heirs-apparent to me. Your 
ambitious esquires, and proud obsequious bar- 
onets are intolerable, and your rakish younger 
brothers are nauseous: such creatures only 
surround me, whilst men of sense stand at a 
distance, and think me as foolish as the com- 
pany I keep. One would swear 1 was made 
of amber, to attract all the dust and chaff of 
the community. 

With. There is some truth in this, 'faith. 
Ag. You see how it is with me, so my 
dear, loving, good uncle, (coaxing him.) do let 
Mariane take my place .for a little while. We 
are newly come to Bath ; nobody knows us : 
we have been but at one ball, and as Mariane 
looks so much better than me, she has already 
been mistaken for the heiress, and I for her 
portionless cousin : I have told you how we 
shall manage it; do lend us your assistance! 
With. So in the disguise of a portionless 
spinster, you are to captivate some man of 
sense, I suppose? 
jig. I would fain have it so. 
With. Go, go, thou art a fool, Agnes! who 
will fall in love with a little ordinary girl like 
thee ? why, there is not one feature in thy 
face that a man would give a farthing for. 
.Mar. You are very saucv, uncle. 
^g. 1 should despair of my beautv to be 
sure, since I am reckoned so much like yon, 
my dear Sir; vet old nurse told me that a rich 
lady, a great I&dv, and the prettiest lady that 
ever wore silk, fell in love, once on a time, 
with Mr. Anthony, and would have followed 
him to the world's end too, if it had not been 
for an old hunks of a fiither, who deserved to 
be drubbed for his pains. Don't you think hm 
did, sir .' 



THE TRYAL : A COMEDHT. 



d9 



WUh. (ende awmi r ng to look angry.") Old 
nurse is a fool, and you are an impucwninussy. 
I'll hear no more of this nonsense. (Breaks 
from thent and goes towards the door: they run 
after him, and draw kim back again.) 

Jig. Naj, good Sir, we have not quite done 
with you yet : grant our request, and then 
■camper on as you please. 

Mar. I'll hold both your arms till you grant 
it. 

ffith. (to Mar.) And what makes you so 
eager about it, young lady .' you expect, I sup- 
pose, to get a nusband by me trick. O fyy 
iy ! the poorest girl in England would blush 
at such a thought, who calG herself an honest 
one. 

Ag. And Mariane would reject the richest 
man in England who would narbour such a 
suspicion. But give yourself no uneasiness 
about this, Sir ; sh^ need not go a husband- 
hunting, for she is already engSjged. — ^Mari- 
me looks frightenedy and makes signs to Agnes 
eto" her wme's shoulder j which she anstoers 
with a smile of encouragement.) 

With. Engaged ! she is veiy good, truly, to 
manage all Uiis matter herself, Ming afraid to 
give me any trouble, I suppose. And pray 
what fool haa she picked out from the herd, to 
enter into this precious engagement with ? 

Ag. A fooHsh enough fellow to be sure, your 
favourite nephew, cousin Edward. 

With. Hang the sill^ booby ! how could he 
be such an idiot ! but it can t be, it shan't be ! 
— it is folly to put myself into a passion about 
it (To Mariane, wm puts her hand on his 
shoulder to soothe him.) Hold off your hands, 
Ma'am ! This is news indeed to amuse me 
with of a morning. 

^ig. Yes, uncle, and I can tell you more 
news ; for they are not only engaged but as soon 
u he returns from abroad they are to be 
married. 

Wkh. Well, well, let them marry in the 
devil's name, and go a-begging if they please. 

Ag. No, gentle guardian, they need not go 
a-begging ; they will have a good fortune to 
support wem. 

With. Yes, yes, they will get a prize in the 
lottery, or find out the philosopher's stone, 
and coin their old shoes into guineas. 

Ag. No, Sir, it is not that way the fortune 
is to come. 

With. No; he has been following some 
knight-errant, then, I suppose, and will have 
an isUnd in the South Sea for his pains. 

Ag. No,you have not guessed it yet. (Stro- 
king his hand gently.) Did you never hear of 
a good, kind, rich uncle of theirs, the gene- 
rous Mr. Withrington ? he is to settle a hand- 
some provision upon them as soon as they 
are married, and leave them his fortune at 
last. 

With, (lifting up his hands) Well, I mu3t 
say thou art the sauciest little jade in the king- 
dom ! But did you never hear that this wor- 
thy uncle of theirs, having got a new wig, 
which makes him ten years younger than he 



was, is resolyed to embrace the opportunity 
and seek out a wife for himself? 

Ag. O ! that is nothing to the purpose; for 
what I have said about tne fortune must hap- 

Jien, though he should seek out a score of wives 
or himself. 

With. Must happen ! but I say it shall not 
happen. Whether should yotf or 1 know best .' 

Ag. Why me, to be sure. 

WUh. Ha, ha, ha ! how so, baggage .' 

Ag. (resting her arm on his shmiiderj looking 
archly in hisjace.) You don't know, perhaps, 
that when I went to Scotland last summer, I 
travelled far, and far, as the tale says, and far- 
ther than I can tell, till I came to the Isle of 
Sky, where every body has the second sight, 
and has nothing to do but tear a little hole in 
a tartan-plaidy, and peering through it, in this 
manner, sees every ming past, present, and to 
come. Now, you must Know, I gave an old 
woman half-a-crown and a roll of tobacco for 
a peep or two through her plaid, and what do 
you tnink I saw, uncle ? 

With. The devil dancing a hornpipe,! sup- 
pose. 

Ag. There was somebody dancing to be 
sure, but it was not the devil though. Who do 
you think it was now ? 

With. Poo, poo ! 

Ag. It was uncle himself, at Mariane's wed- 
ding, leading down the first dance, with the 
brioe. I saw a sheet of parchment in a comer, 
too, signed with his own blessed hand, and a 
very handsome settlement it was. So he led 
down the first dance himself, and we all fo}^ 
lowed after him, as merry as so many hay- 
makers. 

With. Thou hast had a sharp sight, 'faith ! 

Ag. And I took a second peep through the 
plaidy , and what do you think I saw then. Sir P 

WUh. Nay, prate on as thou wilt. 

Ag. A genteel family-house, where Edward 
and Manane dwelt, and several little brats 
running up and down in it. Some of them so 
tall, and so tall, and some of them no taller 
than this. And there came good uncleamongst 
them, and they all flocked about him so mer- 
rily ; every body was so glad to see him, th0 
very scullions from the kitchen were glad ; 
ana methought he looked as well pleased him<> 
self as any of them. Don't you tJiink he did. 
Sir? 

With. Have done with thy prating. 

Ag. I have not done yet, good bir ; for I 
took another peep still, and tlien I saw a most 
dismal changed family indeed. There was a 
melancholy sick bed set out, in the best cham- 
ber ; every face was sad, and all the children 
were weeping. There was one dark-eyed rogue 
amongst them, called little Anthony, and he 
threw away his bread and butter, and roared 
like a young bull, for woe's me ! old uncle 
was dying. (Oherving Withrington affected.) 
But old uncle recovered tliougn, and looked 
as stout as a veteran again. So I gave the old 
woman her plaidy, and would not look through 
any more. 



flO 



THETRYAL: A COMEDF. 



ffitk. Thou art the wildest little witch in 
the world, and wilt never be at rest till thou 
hast got every thing thine own way, I believe. 

Ag. I thank you, I thank you, dear uncle ! 
(Uajmur round nis necky) it shall be even so, 
and I snail have my own little boon into the 
bargain. 

With. I did not saj^ so. 

Ag. But I know it will be so, and many 
thamu to you, my dear good uncle ! TMan- 
ane ventures to come from behind f — Witnring- 
ton looks gentiy to her, she holds out her hand, 
he hesitates, and Agnes joins thdr hands to- 
gether, giving them a hearty shake.) 

Widk. Come, come, let me get away from 
you now : you are a couple of insinuating 
gipsies. Exit, hastily. 

Mar. (embracing Agnes.) Well, heaven 
bless thee, my sweet Agnes ! thou hast done 
marvels for me. Tou gave me a fright 
though ; I thought we were ruined. 

^. O ! I knew I should oet the better of 
him some way or other. \^at a food wor- 
thy heart he has ! you don't know now dear- 
ly I love this old uncle of ours. 

Mar. I wonder how it is. I used to think 
him severe and unreasonable, with hb fiddle 
fiuidle fancies about delicacy and decorum; 
bat since you came amongst us, Agnes, you 
have so coaxed him, and laughed at mm, and 
played with him, that he has become almost 
•• m>licksome as ourselves. 

Jig. Let us set about our project immedi- 
ately. Nobody knows us here but lady Fade 
mnd Miss Eston : we must let them both into 
the secret : lady Fade is confined with bad 
health, and though Miss Eston, I believe, 
would rather tell a secret than hold her tongue, 
jet as long as there are streets and carriages, 
mnd balls and ribands, and feathers and fashions 
to talk of, there can be no great danger from 
her. 

Mar, O ! we shall do very well. How I 
long to frolick it away, in all the rich trap- 
ings of heir-ship, amongst those sneaking 
wretches the fortune-hunters ! They have ne- 

Slected me as a poor girl, but I will play the 
euce amongst tnem as a rich one. 
Jig. You will acquit yourself very hand- 
somely, I dare say, and find no lack of ad- 
mirers. 

Mar. I have two or three in my eye just 
now, but of all men living I have set my 
heart upon humbling Sir Loflus. He insult- 
ed a friend of mine last winter, to ingratiate 
himself with an envious woman of quality, 
but I will be revenged upon him ; O ! how 
I will scorn him, and toss up my nose at 
him! 

Ag. That is not the way to be revenged 
upon him, silly girl ! He is haughty and re- 
served in his manners ; and though not al- 
together without understanding, has never 
mmered a higher idea to ^t footing in his 
noddle than mat of appearmg a man of con- 
sequence ^d fashion ; and though he has no 
bappinest but in being admired as a fine gen- 



tleman, and no existence but at an aasembljjr, 
he appears there with all the haughty gravi- 
ty, and careless indifference of a person su- 
periour to such paltry amusements. Such a 
man as this must be Utughed at, not scorned ; 
contempt must be his portion. 

Mar. He shall have it then, And as far 
his admirer and imitator, Jack Opal, who has 
for these ten years past so successfully per- 
formed every kincl of fine gentlemansnip, 
that every new fool brought into fashion, any 
kind of iMid treatment, I suppose, that hap- 
pen to come into my head will oe good enough 
for him. 

Ag. Quite good enough. You have set him 
down for one of your admirers too ? 

Mar. Yes, truly, and a great many more 
besides. 

^. Did you observe in the ball-room last 
night, a genteel j^oung man, with dark grey 
eyes, and a sensible countenance, but with 
so little of the foppery of the fashion about 
him, that one took nim ata distance for a much 
older man .*' 

Mar. Wore he not a plain brownish coat .' 
and stood he not very near us great part of the 
evening ? 

Ag. Yes, the ver^ same. Pray endeavow 
to attract him, Manane. 

Mar. If you are very desirous to see him 
in my train, I will. 

Ag. No, not desirous, neither. 

Mar. Then wherefore should I try .^ 

^. Because I would have you try every 
art to win him, and I would not have him to 
be won. 

Mar. O! I comprehend it now! This is 
the sensible man we are in quest of. 

Ag. I shall not be sorry if it proves so. I 
have enquired who he is, as I shall tell yon 
by and by, and what I have learnt of him I 
like. Is not his appearance prepossessing ? 

Mar. I don't know, he is too grave and 
dignified for such a gii\ as thou art ; I fear 
we shall waste our li£our upon him. 

,^g. But he does not look always so. He 
kept very near me, if it did not look vain, I 
should say followed me all the evening, and 
many a varied expression his countenance 
assumed. But when I went away arm in 
arm with my uncle, in our usual good-hu- 
moured way, I shall never forget the look 
of pleasant approbation with wnich he fol- 
lowed me. I had learnt but a little while 
before the mistake which the company made 
in regard to us, and at that moment tne idea 
of this project came across my mind like c 
flash of lightning. 

Mar. Very well, gentle cousin ; the task 
you assign me is pleasing to my humour, 
and the idea of promoting jour happiness at 
the same time will make it delightful. Let 
me see, how many lovers shall I have — one, 
two, three. {Counting on her fingers.) 

Ag. I can tell you of one lover more than 
you wot of. 

Mar. Pray who is he .' 



THE TRTAL t A COMEDY. 



6i 



w^. Our distant couoiii the great 'squite, 

and man of business, from shire : he 

whtea to my uncle that he will be in Bath 
toHlay upon business of the greatest import- 
ance, which he explains to him in three pages 
of close- written paper; but whether he is to 
court me for himself, or for his son, or to so- 
licit a great man, who is here, for a place, 
no mortal on earth can discover. 

Mar. Well, let him come, I shall manage 
them all. O ! if mjr Edward were here just 
now, how he would laugh at us ! 

Enter Sbbvant. 

Ssr. Miss Eaton. 

Mar. Let us run out of her way, and say 
we are not fat home. She will sit and talk 
these two hours. 

Ag, But jou forget you have something to 
sajr to her. {To the, servant.) Shew her up 
stairs to my dressing room. [Exit servant. 

Mar. Pray let us run up stairs before her, 
or she will arrest us here with her chat. 

[ExauMT. 

Miss Estan (vfithout.) And it is a yeiy bad 
thinsr for all that ; I could never abide it. I 
wonder your master don't stop (enters toaUt' 
istg straight across the stage still speaking) up 
those nasty chinks ; there is such a wind in 
the hall, 'tis enough to crive one a hoarseness. 
By the bye, Mrs. Mumb^cake is sadly to-day; 
has your lady sent to inquire for her, Wil- 
liam ^ I wonder if her [Exit, stilX talking tnth- 
oat) old coachman luu left her ? I saw a new 
Ace on the, &c. &c. 

ScKirS II. THE riELDS BEFORE MR. 

withrinotom's house. 

Eater Aoites, Maria he, and Miss EsToir, who 
seem still busy talking, from the house, and 
nssinff over the stage, ami in arm, Exeunt. 
Enter oy the same side by which they went 
oat, Sir Loftus Pr£Ttym an , and Har wood, 
who stands looking behind him, as if be follow- 
ed something with his eyes very eagerly. 

Sir Loft. {A«U>aneing to tkefroTU of the stage 
vnd sptmkmg to himself,) How cursedly un- 
lucky this is now ! if she had come out but 
t few moments s6oner, I should have passed 
ker waikins.arm in arm with a Brittish peer. 
How provokingly these thinn always happen 
with me ! ((Serving Harwood.) What ! is he 
staring after her too ? {aloud) What are you 
looking at, Harwood ? does she walk well ? 

Har, I can't tell how she walks, but I could 
stand and gase ^Stet W till the sun went 
down upon me. 

Sir Loft. She is a fine woman, I grant you. 

Har. (va^y pleased.) I knew uic would 
l^ease, it is impossible she should not ! There 
IS something so delightful in the play of her 
countenance, it would even make a plain wo- 
man beautiful. 

Sir Loft. She is a fine woman, and that is 
no despicable praise from one who is aocus- 



tomed to the elegance of fashionable beauty. 

Har. I would not compare her to any thing 
so trifling and insipid. 

Sir Loft. She nas one advantage which 
fashionable beauty seldom possesses. 

Har. What do you mean ! 

Sir Loft. A large fortune. 

Har. (looking disappointed.) It is not the 
heiress I mean. 

Sir Loft. Is it t'other girl you are raving 
about? She is showy at a distance, I admit, 
but as awkward as a dairy -maid when near 
you ; and her tongue goes as fast as if she 
were repeating a pater noster. 

Har. What, do you think I am silly enough 
to be caught with that magpie ? 

Sir Loft. Who is it then, Harwood.^ I see 
nobody with Miss Withrington but Miss Eston 
and the poor httle creature her cousin. 

Har. Good god ! what a contemptable per- 
version of taste do interest and fashion create ! 
But it is all affectation. {Looking eontemptu- 
ouslu at him.) 

Sir Loft, (smiling contemptuotisly in return.) 
Ha, ha, ha ! I see how it is with you, Har- 
wood, and I beg pardon too. The lady is 
very charming, I dare say ; upon honour I 
never once looked in her mce. She is a de- 
pendent relation of Miss Withrin^n's, i be- 
lieve : now I never take notice ot such girls, 
for if you do it once they expect you to do it 

r'n. I am sparing oi my attentions, that 
on whom I really bestow them may have 
the more reason to boast. 

Har. You are right, Prettyman : she who 
boasts of your attentions should receive them 
all herseli, that nobody else may know their 
real worth. 

Sir Loft, You arc severe this morning, Mr. 
HarwGKxi, but you do not altogether compre- 
hend me, T beheve. I know perhaps more of 
the world than a studious Templar can be sup- 
posed to do, and I assure you, men of fashion 
upon this principle, are spanng of their words, 
too, that tney may be listened to more atten- 
tively when they do speak. 

Har. You are very right still, Sir Loflus ; 
for if they spoke much, I'll be hang'd if they 
would get any body to listen to them at all. 

Sir Loft, (mughtily.^ There is ano^ier rea- 
son why men of fashion are not profuse of 
their words : inferior people ore apt to forget 
themselves, and despise what is too famil- 
iar. 

Har. Don't take so much pains to make me 
comprehend that the more fools speak the 
more people will despise them ; I never had a 
clearer conviction of it in my life. 

iSir Loft, (haughtily.) Good morning, Sir ; 
I see Lord Saunter in the other walk, and I 
must own I prefer the company of one who 
knows, at least, the common rules of polite- 
ness. Exit. 

Har. {alowe.\ What a centemptible creature 
it is! He would prefer the most affected idiot, 
who boasts a little fashion or consequence as 
he calls it, to the most beautiful native char- 



&t 



THE TRYAL: A OOBfEDT. 



acter in the world. Here comes another fool, 
who ha« been gazing too, but I will not once 
mention her before nim. 

Enter. Otal. 

Op. Good morning, Harwood : I have been 
fortunate just now; I have met sonpe fine 
girls, 'faith ! 

Har. I am fflad jou have met with any 
thing so agreeable ; they are aH equally charm- 
ing to you, I suppose. 

Op. Nay, Harwood, I know how to distin- 
guish. There is a little animated creature 
amongst them, all life and spirit ; on my soul 
I couki ahnost be in love with her. 

Har. Thou hast more discernment than I 
reckoned upon. If that goose , Sir Loflus, did 
not spoil thee. Jack, thou wouldst be a very 
good fellow, ailer all. Why I must tell you, 
my good Opal, that lady whom you admire, is 
the sweetest httle gipsey in England. 

Op. Is she indeed ? I wish I had taken a 
better look of her face then ; but she wears 
such a cursed piume of blue feathers nodding 
oyer her nose, there is scarcely one half o5 it 
to be seen. 

Har. (staring at him with astomishmaU.) 
As I breathe ! he has fallen in love with the 
magpie ! 

Op. And what is- so surprising in this, pray ? 
Does not all the world allow Afiss Withhng- 
ton the heiress to be a fine woman? 

Har. That is not the heiress. Jack, (painting 
off the stage) tlic tall lady in the middle is 
her. But if your Dulcinea could coin her 
words into farthings, she would be one of the 
best matches in tlie kingdom. 

Op. Pest take it ! she was pointed out to 
me as Miss Withrington. Pest take my stu- 
pidity ! the girl is well enough, but she is 
not altogether— (Mumbling t9 himself.) 

Har. So you bestowed all your attention 
on this blue-feathered lady, and let the other 
two pass by unnoticed. 

Op. No, not unnoticed neither : Miss With- 
rington is too fine a figure to be overlooked any 
where ; and for the other poor little creature, 
who hung upon her arm so familiarly, I coula 
not help observing her too, because I won- 
dered Mias Withrington allowed such a dow- 
dy looking thing to walk with ImiCq publick. 
Faitli ! I sent a vulgar-Uioking d^vil out of 
the way on a fool's erraiM the other morning, 
who insisted upon goin;r with Prettyman and 
1, to the pump-room: men of fasnion, you 
Know, are always plagued with paitry fellows 
dandling afler them 

Hot. Hang your men of fnslrion'! mere 
paltry fellows are too good company for them. 

Op. Damn it, Harwood! speak more re- 
spectfully of that class of men U» whom I have 
toe honour to belong. 

Hot. You mistake me. Opal, it was onlv 
the men of fashion I abused ; I am too wCil 
bred to speak uncivilly, in your presence, of 
the other clans you mentioned. 

Op. I scorn yoar iasinoatioD, Sir; hot 



whatever class of men I belong to, I praise 
heaven I have nothing of the sour pleading 
book- worm about me. 

Hot. You do well to praise heaven for the 
endowments it has bestowed upon you. Opal; 
if all men were as thankful as you for this 
blessed gift of ignorance, we could not be 
said to live in an ungrateiul generation. 

Op. Talk away, laugh at your own wit as 
much as you please, T don't mind it. I don't 
trouble my head to find out bona mots of a 
momingf. ' 

Hot. You ars very right. Jack, for it would 
be to no purpose if you did. 

Op. I speak whatever comes readiest to 
me; I don't study speaches for company, 
Harwood. 

Har. I hope so. Opal ; you would have a 
laborious life of it, i^fleedf, if you could not 
speak nonsense extempore. 

Op. (drawing himself up and walking 
haughtUytotheother side of the stage.) 1 had no 
busmess to be so familiar with him. Sir Lof- 
tus b right ; a reserved manner keeps imper- 
tinent people at a distance, (aside — Turns 
about makes m very stiff bow to Harwood, and 

[Exit.). 

Har. (alom.) I am glad he is gone. What 
do I see ? (here Mariane, Agnes, and Miss 
Eston walk over tke bottom of the stage atten- 
ded by Sir Loftus and Opal, and Exeunt bu 
the opposite side. Har. lookiitg after them^ 
Alas, now ! that such impudent fellows should 
be successful, whilst I stand gazing at a dis- 
tance ! How lightly she trips ! does she not 
look about to me ? by heaven I'll run to her ! 
(Runs to the bottom of the stage, and stopf 
short.) Oh no ! I cannot do it ! but see, her 
uncle comes this way. He looked so kindly 
at her, I could not help loving him ; be 
must be a good man ; I'll make up to him, 
and he perhaps will join the ladies after- 
wards. [Exit. 



ACT II. 



SCEITB I. — A LODGIVO-HOUSE. 

Enter Rotstoit and Humphrt followed hf 
Jovatuah, carrying a portmanteau. 

Roy. What a world of. business I have got 
uponmy hands! I muit set about it immediate- 
ly. Com^ here, Jonathan: I shall send you 
out in the first place. 

Jon. Well, Sir. 

Roy. Take the black trunk, that is left in 
the hall, upon your shoulder, Jonathan, and 
be sure you don't run against any body with 
it, for that might bring us into trouble. And 
perhap.t as you go alonff, you may chance to 
meet with some of the Duke of Begall's ser- 
vants, or with somebody who can tell you 
where his Grace lodges m this town, and yov 
may enquire of them, without saying I desir- 
ed yot>; you understand me, Jonathan ? 

Jim. O yes, your honour ! 



THE TRY AL: A OOMEDT. 



$$ 



Rou. But first of all, however, if you tee 
any oecent "hair-dresser's shop in your way, 
desire them to send somebody here for my 
wig ; and like enough they maj^ tell you, at 
the same time, where there is an honest 
Town-crier to be had ; I'll have Phcebe's 



black whelp cried directly : and hark ve, 
Jonathan, you may say as though the aoff 
were your own, you understand, they wifi 



expect such a devil of a reward else ; and 
pn'thee, man ! step into the corn-market, if 
thou canst find out the way, and enquire the 
price of oats. 

Jon. Yes, please your honour, but am I to 
go trudging about to all these places with that 
great heavy trunk upon my shoulder ? 

Roy. No, numskull ! did I not bid you car- 
ry it to the Inn where the London stage puts 
up ? by the bye, you had better take it to tlie 
wagfiTon — ^but first ask the coachman, what 
he cnarges for the carriage ; you can take it 
to the waggon ^aflcrwarJs. I will suffer no 
man to impose upon me. You will remember 
til this distinctly now, as I have told it you 
Jonathan ? 

Jon. {cotaUing to himself upon his^ngers.) 
yes, your honour ! Til manage it all I war- 
rant * [Exit. 

Roy. What a world of business liiave upon 
my hands, Humphry ! I am as busy as a 
mmister of state. 

Re-enter Jonathait, scratching his head. 

Jon. La your honour ! I have forgot all about 
his Grace, and the black whelp. 

Roy. Damn your muddle pate! did not I 
bid you enquire where his Grace lives, and 
if you happen to see — 

JoA, Odis bodickins ! 1 remember it every 
word now ! and the whelp is to be called by 
the Town -crier, juat as one would call any- 
thing that is lost. 

Pioy. Yes, yes, go about it speedily. {Exit 
Jon.) Now in the first place, my good 
Humphry, I must see after the heiress I told 
you of; and it is a business which requires a 
great deal of management too ; for— 

Re-enter Jovathak, scratching his head. 

Damn that dunder-headed fool! here he is 
again. 

Jon. Your honour won't be angry now, but 
hang me, if I can tell whether lam to take 
that there trunk to the coach, or the waggon. 

Roy. Take it to the coach — no, no, to the 
waggon — ^yes, yes, I should have said — ^pest 
take it ! carry it where thou wilt, fool, and 
plague mc no more about it. {ExU Jon.^ One 
mi^t as well give directions to a horse-block. 
Now, as I was saying, Humphrey, this re- 
<iaires a great deal of management ; for if the 
lady don t like me, she may happen to like 
my son : so I must feel my way a Uttle, be- 
fore I speak directly to the purpose. 

Humph. Ay, your honour is always feeling 
your way. 

Boy. And aB for the Duke, I will ply him 



as close as I can with soUcitations in the mean 
time, without altogether stating mv requent : 
for if I get the lady, George shall have the 
office, and if he gets the lady, I shall have 
the office. So we shall have two chances in 
our favour both ways, jnjr good Humphry. 

Humph. Belike, Sir, it we were to take 
but one business in hand at a time, we might 
come better off at the long run. 

Roy. O ! thou hast no head for business, 
Humphry : thou hast no genius for business, 
my good Humphry, (smiling concaUdiy.) 

Humph. Why, for certain, your honour has 
a marvellous deal of wit, but I don't know 
how it is, nothing that we take in hand ever 
comes to any .good .; and what provokes me 
more than all ue rest, is, that the more pains 
we take about it, the worse it always succeeds. 

Moy, Humph ! we can't guasd against ev- 
ery cross accident. 

Humph. To be sure Sir, cross accidents 
will happen to every body, but certes ! we 
have more than our own share of them. 

Roy. Well, don't trouble yourself about it : 
I have head enough to mana^ my own af* 
fairs, and more than my own too. Whv, my 
lord Slumber can't even grant a new lease, 
nor imprison a vagabond tor poaching, with- 
out my advice and direction : did I not man- 
age all Mr. Harebraiu's election for himi 
and, but for one of these cursed accidents or 
two, had biought him infer his Borough, as 
neatly as jny glove. Nay, if his Grace and I 
get.into good understanding together, there is 
no knowing, but I may have affairs of the 
nation upon my hands. Ha, ha, ha ! poor 
Humphry, thou hast no comprehension of all 
this : thou think'st me a very wonderful man, 
doet thou not.' 

Humph. I must own I do sometimes marvel 
at your honour. 

Enter Mr. Withrikoton. 

Roy. Ha ! how do you do, my dear cousin.' 
I hope I have the happiness of seeing you in 
good health : I am heartily rejoiced to see 
you, my very good Sir. (Shaking him hear- 
tily by the hand.) 

fVtth. I thank you, Sir, you are welcome to 
Bath ; I did not expect the pleasure of see- 
ing you here. 

Roy. Why, my dear worthy Sir, I am a man 
of BO much business, so toss d about, so har- 
ass'd with a multiplicity of affairs, that, I 
protest, I can't tell myself one day what part 
of the world i shall be in the next. 

With. You give yourself a great deal of 
trouble, Mr. R^yston. 

Roy. O ! hang it ! I never spare myself: I 
must work to make others work, cousin With- 
rington. I have got a world of new altera- 
tions going on at Koyston-hall ; if you would 
take a trip down to see them — 

With. 1 am no great traveller, Sir. 

Roy. I have ploughed up the bowling green, 
and cut down tne elm-trees ; I have built new 
■tables, and fiU'd up the horse-pond , I have 



M 



THE TRTAL : A COMEXPt. 



dug up the orchard, and pull'd down the old 
fruit-wall, where that odd little temple used 
to stand. 

IVith. And is the little temple pulled down 
too ? pray, what has become of your Vicar's 
sister, Mrs. Mary ? we drunk tea with her 
there, I remember ; is she married yet.' she 
was a very modest-looking gentlewoman. 

Roy. So you remember her too ? Well, I 
have puird down every foot of it, and built a 
new cart-house with tne bricks. — Good com- 
modious stalls for thirty horses, cousin With- 
rin^ton ; they beat Sir John Houndly's all to 
noming * it is as clever, a well-constructed 
building as any in the country. 

With. Has Sir John built a new house in 
the country .' 

Roy. No, no, the stables I say. 

With. O ! you are talking of the stables 
again. 

Roy. But when I get the new addition to 
the mansion-house finished, that will be the 
grand improvement : the best carpenters* 
work in the country, my dear Sir, all well- 
season 'd timber from Norway. 

Humph. It is part of a disputed wreck, Sir, 
and if the law-suit about the right to it turns 
out in m V master's favour, as it should do, it 
will be the cheapest built house in the conn- 
try. Oh ! let his honour alone for making a 
bargain. 

With. So you have got a law-suit on your 
hands, Mr. Royston P I hope you are not 
much addicted to this kind of'^ amusement, 
you will find it a very expensive one. 

Roy. Bless you, my good Sir, I am the most 
peaceable creature in the world, but I will 
suffer no man to impose upon me. 

With, (smiling.) But you suffer the women 
sometimes to do so, do you not .' 

Humph. No, nor the women neither. Sir: 
for it was but th' other day that he prosecuted 
widow Gibson, for letting her chickens feed 
amongst his com, and it was given in his 
honour's favour as in right it should have 
been. 

With, (archly.) And who was adjudged to 
pay the expenses of court, Mr. Humphry ! 

Humph. Ay, to be sure, his honour was 
obliged to pay that. 

frith, (archly.) But the widow paid swing- 
ingly for it, 1 suppose .' 

Humph. Nay faith, afler all, they but fined 
her in a sixpence ; yet that always shew d, 
you know, that she was in the wrong. 

With. To be sure, Mr. Humphry ; and the 
sixpence would indemnify your master for the 
costs of suit. 

Humph. Nay, as a body may say, he might 
as well have let her alone, for any great mat- 
ter he made of it that way ; but it was very 
wrong in her, you know, Sir, to let her hens 
go amongst his honour's com, when she knew 
very well she was too poor to make up the 
loss to his honour. 

With. Say no more about it, my good Hum- 
phry; you have vindicated your master most 



ably, and I have no doubts at all in regard to 
the propriety of his conduct. 

Humph, (very well pleased.) Ay, thank 
God, I do sometimes make shin, in my poor 
way, to edge in a word for his honour. 

Roy. (not so well pleased.) Thou art strance- 
ly given to prating this morning, (to Humpn.) 
By the bye, cousin Withrii^rton, I must 
Consult you about my apphcation to his 
Grace. 

Humph, (aside to Kojtftm, milUmg him hy 
thedeme.) You forget to ask for the lady, 
Sir. 

WHk. (turning round.) What did yoa say 
of his Grace ? 

Roy. No, no, I should — I meant— did I not 
say tne gracious young lady your niece ? I 
hope she is well. 

With. (smiUng.) She is very well ; you slidl 
go home with me and visit her. 

Roy. I am infinitely obliged to yon. my 
worthy good Sir: I shall attend you witntlie 
greatest pleasure. Some ladies have no di»- 
hke to a good-looking gentleman-like man, 
although he may be past the bloom of his 
youth, cousin ; however, young men do oflen- 
er carry the day, I believe : my son George 
is a good likely fellow ; I expect him in Bra 
every hour. I shall have the honour of fol- 
lowing you, my dear Sir. Remember my or- 
ders, Humphry. [ExEOirr. 

Enter Ha r wood hastily, looking round as if ho 
sought some one, and were disappointed. 

Hot. (aUme.'S He is gone, I have mis8*dthe 
good uncle of Agnes — what is the matter with 
me now, that the sound of sn old man's voice 
should agitate me thus ? did I not feel it was 
the sound of something which belonged to 
her ? in faith ! I believe, if her kitten was to 
mew, 1 should hasten to hold some intercourse 
with it. I can stay in this cursed house no 
longer, and when I do ^o out. there is but 
one way these legs of mme will carry me — 
the alley which leads to her dwelling — Well, 
well, I nave been but six times there to-day 
already ; I may have a chance of seeing ha 
at last — m ron afler the old gentleman now — 
what a delightful witch it is ! [Exit hastibf. 

Scene II. — ^withrinotov's house. 

AosEs and Mariake discovered; BIariahe 
reading a letter, and Agnes looking earnestly 
and gladly in her face. 

^g. My friend Edward is well, I see; pimy 
what does the tnveller say for himself? 

Mar. (putting up the letter.) Ton shall reed 
it all by and by — every thing that is pletsant 
and kind. 

Ag. Heaven prosper yon both ! yoa tie 
happier than I am with all my fortune, Msr 
riane ; yon have a sincere lover. 

Mar. And so have you, Agnes : Harwood 
will bear the trial : I have watch'd him closely, 
and I will venture my word unon him. 

Ag. (taking her in her arms.) Wow if thou 



THE TRYAL t A COMEDY. 



65 



art not deceW^d, thoa art the dearest sweet 
oonsin on earth ! {Pouting and looking seri- 
muiy ) Ah no \ it cannot be ! I am but an or- 
dinary-looking flirlf as my uncle says. (fVOh 
vinaeUy.) I would it were so ! . 

Enter S/.rvant. 

Ser. Sir Loftus Prettyman and Mr. Opal. 

Mar. T am at home. {Exit Servant.^ I 
can't attend to these fools till I have put up 
my letter : do you receive them \ I will soon 
return. [Exit. 

Enter Sir Loitus and Opal, dressed pretty 
D^uch alike. Sir I/Oftus makes a haughty 
distant bow to Aovxs, and Opal makes anoth- 
er very like it. 

Ag. Have the goodness to be seated , Sir 
(to Sir Loftus). Pray, Sir {to Opal, making a 
courteous motion as \f she tnsh'd them to sit 
iownj) Miss Withrington will be here imme- 
diately. ^Sir Loflus makes a slight bow with.- 
ma speakmg; Opal does the same, and both 
saunter about with their hats m their hands.) 

Ag. I hope you had a pleasant walk after 
we left you, Sir Loftus .' 

Sir haft, (looking affectedly ^ as if he did not 
wnderstand her.) I beg pardon — O ! you were 
along with Miss Withrington. (Mumbling 
something which is not Aeara.) 

Ag. (to Op.) You are fond of that wslk, 
Mr. Opal ; I think I have seen you there fre- 
quently. 

Op. Ma*am, you are very — {mumbling som&- 
Aing which is not Iteard^ in the same manner 
with Sir Loftus, but still more absurd.) I do 
sometimes walk — (mumbling again.) 

Ag. (to Sir Loft.) The country is delight- 
ful round Bath. 

Sir L^. Ma'am ! 

Ag. Don't you think so, Mr. Opal ^ 

G^. 'Pon honour I never attended to it. (A 
long ^ause ; Sir Loftus and Opal strut about 
eoncetiedly. Enter Mariane, and both of them 
run up to her at once, with great pleasure and 
slacrUy.) 

Sir Loft. I hope I see Miss Withrington 
entirely recovered from the fatigues of the 
morning ? 

Mar. Pretty well, after the fatigue of dress- 
ing too, whicn is a great deal worse, Sir Lof- 
tus. (carelessly.) 

Op. For the ball, I presume ? 

Str Loft. I am delighted — 

Mar. (addressing herself to Agnes, without 
attending to him.) Do you know what a pro- 
voking mistake my miUiner has made .' 

A^. 1 don't know. 

Sir Loftf 1 hope, Madam — 

Mar. (to Ag.) She has made up my dress 
with the colour of all others I dishke. 

Op. This is very provoking indeed, I 
would — 

Mar. (still speaking to Ag. without attend- 
ing to them.) And she has sent home my pet- 
ti^t all patch'd over with scraps of foil, like 
t Mayday dress for a chinmey-swecper. 
o 



Sir Loft, (thrusting in his face near MKnunef 
and endeavouring to be attended to.) A very 
good comparison, ha, ha ! 

Op. (thrusting in his face at the o^er side of 
her.) Very good indeed, ha, ha, ha ! 

Mar. (stiU speaking to Agnes, who winks 
significantly without attending to them^ ) I'll say 
nothing about it, but never employ her again. 
Sir Loft. (Going round to her outer ear, and 
making another attempt.) I am delighted, Miss 
Withrington — 

Mar. (carelessly.) Are you. Sir Loftus ' 
(7o Agnes,) I have broken my fan, pray put 
it by with your own, my dear Agnes ! (Exit 
Agnes into the adjoimng room, ana Sir Loftus 
gives Opal a significant look upon which he 
retires to the bottom ofthe stage, and, efier saun- 
tering a little there, Exit.) 

Sir Loft, (seeming a little piqued.) If you 
would have done me the honour to hear me, 
Ma'am, I should have said, I am delighted to 
see you dress'd, as I hope I may presume 
from it you intend going to the ball to-night. 
Mar. Indeed I am too capricious to know 
whether I do or not ; do you think it will be 
pleasant .' 

Sir Loft. Very pleasant, if the devotions of 
a thousand admirers can make it so. 

Mar. O ! the devotions of a thousand ad- 
mirers, are like the good will of every body ; 
one steady friendship is worth it all. 

Sir Loft. From which may I infer, that one 
faithful adorer, in your eyes, outvalues all the 
thousand .' (affecting to be tender.) Ah ! so 
would I have Miss Withrington to believe ! 
and if that can be any inducement, she will 
find such a one there, most happy to attend 
her. 

Mar. Will she ? I wonder who this may be : 
what kind of man is he, pray .' 

Sir Loft, (with a conceited simper, at the 
same time in a pompous manner.) Perhaps it 
will not be boasting too much to say, he is a 
man of fashion, and not altogether insignifi- 
cant in the world. 

Mar. Handsome and accomplished too, Sir 
Loftus? 

Sir Loft. I must not presume, Ma'am, to 
boast of my accomplishments. 

Mar. (affecting a look of disappointment.) 
O ! lud ! so it is yourself after all ! I have not 
so much penetration as 1 thought. ( Yawning 
twice very wide.) Bless me ! what makes me 
yawn so ? I forgot to visit my old woman, 
who sells the cakes, this morning, that must 
be it. ( Yauming again.) Do you love ginger- 
bread, Sir Loftus.^ (Sir Lodus bites his lips, 
and struts jftoudly away to tlie other side of the 
stage, whilst Agnes peeps from the closet, and 
mMces signs of encouragement to Mariane. ) 

Mar. Well, afler all, I believe it will be 
pleasant enough to go to the ball with such 
an accomplished attendant. 

Sir Loft, (taking encouragement and smoth- 
ering his pride.) Are you so obliging, Miss 
Wiurington ? will you permit me to have the 
happiness of attendmir you .^ 



66 



THE TRTAL i A COMEDY. 



jtlar. If you'll promise to make it very 
agreeable to me : you are fond of dancing, 1 
suppose ? 

Sir Loft, ril do any thing you desire me ; 
but why throw away time so precious in the 
rough familiar exercise of dancing ? is there 
not something more distinguisbecT, more re- 
fined, in enjoying the conversation of those 
we love ? 

Mar. In the middle of a crowd, Sir Loflus ? 

Sir Loft. What is that crowd to us ? we 
have nothing to do but to despise it : whilst 
they stare upon us with vulgar admiration, we 
shall talk together, smile together, attend only 
to each other, like beings of a different order. 

Mar. O! that will be delightful ! but don't 
you think we may just peep slyly over our 
shoulder now and then, to see them admiring 
us ? CSir Loflus hiUs his lips again, and struts 
to the bottom of the staff t, whilst Agnes veeps 
outfirom the dosety and makes signs to Mari- 
ane.) 

Mar. {carelessly pulling a small case ftrwn 
her pocket.) Are not these handsome brilliants, 
Sir Loflus? 

Sir Loft, (very much struck with the spark* 
ling of the diamonds, but pretending not to look 
at them.) Upon my word, Ma'am, I am no 
judjre of^ trinkets. 

Mar. They are clumsily set ; I shall give 
them to my cousin. 

Sir Loft, {forgetting himself) Why, Ma'am, 
do you seriously mean — ^They are of a most 
incomparable water ! 

Mar. {archly.) I thought you had not at- 
tended to them. 

Sir Loft. { tenderly.) It is impossible, in the 
presence of Miss Withrington, to think of 
any thing but the cruelty with which she im- 
poses silence on a heart that adores her. 

Mar. Nay, yon entirely mistake me, Sir 
Loflus; I am ready to hear you with the 
greatest good nature imaginable. 

Sir Loft. It is a theme, perhaps, oil which 
my tongue would too long dwell. 

Mar. O ! not at all ; I have leisure and a 
great deal of patience too, at present ; I beg 
you would by no means hurry vourself. 

Sir Loft {after a pause, looking foolish 
and embarrassed.) Few words, perhaps, will 
better suit the energy of passion. 

Mar. Just as you please, Sir Loflus ; if you 
chuse to say it in a few words I am very well 
satisfied. 
{Another pause.) Sir Loflus very much embar^ 

rassed.) 

Enter WiTHRiiroToif and Harwood : Sir Lofl- 
us seems much relieved. 

Sir Loft, {aside.) Heaven be praised, they 
are come ! 

Mar. {to With.) I thought you were to have 
brought Mr. Royston with you. 

Wuh. He lefl us at a shop by the way, to 
enquire the price of turnip-seed ; but he will 
be nere by-and-by if a hundred other things 
do not prevent him. {Bows to Sir Loflus ; tAm 



turns to Hartvood, and speaks as if he resum- 
ed a conversation which had just been broken 
off, whilst Sir Loflus and Manane retire to the 
bottom of the stage.) I perfectly agree with you^ 
Mr. Harwood, that the study and preparation 
requisite for your profession is not altogether 
a dry treasuring up of facts in the memory, as 
many of your young students conceive : he 
who pleads the cause of man before fellow- 
men, must know what is in the heart of man 
as well as in the book of records ; and what 
study is there in nature so noble, so interest- 
ingas this ? 

nar. But the most pleasing part of our 
task, my good Sir, is not the least difficult. 
Where application only is wanting I shall not 
be lefl behmd ; for I am not without ambition, 
though the younger son of a family by no 
means affluent ; and I have a widowed moth- 
er, whose hopes of seeing me respectable must 
not be disappointed. I assure you there is 
nothing — {Listening.) 

With. Go on, Mr. Harwood, I nave great 
pleasure in hearing you. 

Har. I thought I heard a door move. 

With. It is Agnes in the next room, I dare 
tny ; she is always making a noise. 

Har. In the next room ! 

With. But yon were going to assure me — 
Have the goodness to proceed. 

Hat, I was going to say — I rather think 1 
said — I am sure — {Listening o^otn.) 

With. Poo ! there is noboay there. 

Har. Well, I said— I think I told you—In 
faith, my good Sir, I will tell yoii honestly, 
I have forgot what I meant to say. 
V With, No matter, you will remember it 
again. Ha, ha, ha ! it puts me in mind of a 
little accident which happened to myself 
when I was in Lincoln's- Inn. Two or tnree 
of us met one evenixig, to be cheerful togeth- 
er, and — ( Whilst Withrington begins his story ^ 
Agnes enters softly from the adjoining doset 
unpetceived ; but Harwood on seeing A^ runs 
eagerly up to her, leaving Withrington astonr 
ished, in the middle of his discourse.) 

Har. {to Ag.) Ha! Afler so many, false 
alarms, you steal upon us at Isjst like a little 
thief 

j9^< And I steal something very good from 
you too, if you lose my uncle's story by this 
mterruption ; for I know by his face he was 
telling one. 

WUh. Raillery is not always well timed, 
Miss Agnes Withrington. 

Ag. Nay, do not oe cross with us. Sir. 
Mr- Harwood knew it was too good to be 
spent upon one pair of ears, so he calls in 
another to partake. 

With, Get along, baggage. 

jig. So I will, uncle ; for I know that only 
means with you, that I should place myseli 
close to your elbow. 

With. Well, two or three of us young fel- 
lows were' met— did I not say — 

Ag. At Lincoln's-Inn. (Withrington hesi- 
totes.) 



THE TRYAL : A COMEDY. 



ffl 



Har. She has named it, Sir. 

With. I know well enough it was there. 
And if I remember well, George Buckner 
wa« one of us. ^Agnes gives a gentle hem to 
suppress a couffhi) 

Har. (eagerly.) You was going to speak, 
Miss Withrin^n ? 

Ag. ^Oy indeed; I was not. 
With. Well, GeorjTe Buckner and two or 
three more of us — We were in a very pleas- 
ant humour that night — (Agnes making a 
slight motion of her hand to fasten some pin in 
har dress.) 

Har. (eagerly.) Do jou not want something.' 
(To Agnes.) 

Ag. No, I thank you, I want nothing. 

With, (halfamvsedy half peevish.) Nay, say 
what you please to one another, for my story 
is ended. 

Har. My dear Sir, we are perfectly atten- 
tive. 

Av. Now, pray, uncle ! 

With, (to Ag.) Now pray hold thy tongue. 
I forgot, I must consult the Court Calendar 
oo FU>ys ton's account. (Goes to a table and 
takes up a red hook which he turns over.) 

Ag. (to Har.) How could you do so to my 
oncfe.' I would not have interrupted him for 
the world. 

Har. Ay, chide me well ; I dearly love to 
be chidden. 

Ag. Do not Invite me to it. I am said to 
have a very good gift that way, and you will 
soon have too much I behevet 

Har. O no ! I would come every hour to 
be chidden ! 

Ag. And take it meekly too .' 

Har. Nay, 1 would have my revenge : I 
should call you scolding Agnes, and little Ag- 
nes, and my little Agnes. 

A£. You forget my dignity, Mr. Harwood. 

Hot. Oh ! you put all dignity out of coun- 
tenance ! The great Mogul mmself would 
fiirget his own in your presence. 

Ag. But they are going to the garden : I 
am resolved to oe one of the party. (As she 
goes to join Sir Loftus and Mariane, who open 
a glass door leading to the garden, Harwood 
goes before, waJMne backwards, and his face 
turned to her.) You will break your pate 
presently, if you walk with that retrograde 
■tep, like a dancing-master iB^ving me a les- 
son. Do you think I shall follow you as if 
you had the fiddle in your hand ? 

Har. Ah, Miss Withrington ! it is you 
who have got the fiddle, and I who must 
fellow. [Exeunt into the garden. 

Reenter Sir Loftus from the Garden, looking 
about for his hat. 

Sir Loft. O ! here it is. 

Enter Opal. 

Cfft. What, here alone ? 
Sir Loft. She is in the garden, I shall join 
her immediately. 
Op. All goes on well I sappow P 



Sir Loft. Why I don't know how it is — 
nobody hears us ? (Looking round.) I don't 
know how it is, but sne does not seem to com- 
prehend perfectly in what light I am regard- 
ed by the world : that b to say, by that part 
of it which deserves to be called so. 

Op. No ! that is strange enoueh. 

Sir Loft. Upon my honour, she treats me 
with as much careless famiharity as if I were 
some plain neighbour's son in the country. 

Op. 'Pon honour this is very strange. 

Sir Loft. I am not without hopes of suc- 
ceeding ; but I will confess to you, I wish 
she would change her manner of behaving to 
me. On the word of a gentleman, it is shock- 
ing ! Suppose you were to five her a hint, 
that she may iust have an ioea of the respect 
which is paid by everv well-bred person — You 
understand me, Opal ? 

Op.O\ perfectl v . I shall give her to know 
that men hke us, my dear friend — 

Sir Loft, (not quite satisfied^ I don't know 
— Suppose you were to leave out all mention 
of yourself— Your own merit could not fail to 
be inferred. 

Op. Well, I shall do so. 

Sir Loft. Let us go to the garden. 

[Exeunt. 

Enter Miss Estok, speaking as she enters. 

I have been all over the town, and here 1 
am at last quit tired to deatli. How do you 
— (Looking round.) O la ! there is nobodv 
here. Mr. Opal is gone too. I'll wait tiu 
they return. (Takes up a book, then looks at 
herself in the glass, then takes up the book again . 
Yawning.) 'Tis all about imagination and 
the understanding, and I don't know what — 
I dare say it is good enough to read of a Sun- 
day. (Yawns and lays it down.) O la ! I 
wish tliey would come ! 

Enter Rotston , and takes Miss EsToir for Miss 
W1THRIN6T05. 

Roy. Madam, I have the honour to be vour 
very numble servant. — I hoped to have been 
here sooner^ but I have been so overwhelmed 
with a multiplicity of affairs ; and you know, 
Madam, when that is the case — 

Est. (taking the word out of his mouth.) 
One is never master of one's time for a mo- 
ment. I'm sure I have been all over the 
town this morning, looking ailer a hundred 
things, till my head has been put into such 
a confusion ! " La, Ma'am ! " said my mil- 
liner, " do take some lavender drops, you look 
so pale." " Why," says I, " 1 aon t much 
like to take them, Mrs. 'Trollop, they an't 
always good." 

Roy. No more they are. Ma'am, you are 
very right : and if a silly fellow I know, had 
taken my advice last year, and bought up 
the crops of lavender, he would have made — 

Est. (taking the word from him again.) A 
very good fortune, I dare say. But people 
never will take advice, which is very foohsh 
in them, to be sure. Now I always take — 



68 



THE TRYAL : A COMEDY. 



Eoy. Be so ffood as to hear me, Ma*am. 

Est. Certainly, Sir; for I always say, if 
they giYe me advice it is for my good, and 
why snould not 1 take it f 

Aoy. {edging in hU word as fast as ke can.) 
And the damned foolish fellow too ! I once 
saved him from being cheated in a hone; 
and — 

Est. La ! there are such cheats ! a friend 
of mine bought a little lap-dog the other day — 

Roy. But the hofse, Ma'am, was — 

Est. Not worth a guinea, I dare say. Why, 
they had the impudence to palm it on my 
friend — 

Both speaking together. 

Est As a pretty little dog which had been 
bred 

Roy. It was a «>od mettled horse, and might 

E. np for a h3y of quality, and when the 
had 

R have passed as a good purchase at the 
money, 

£. just made a cushion for it at the foot of 
her 

R. but on looking his fore feet — (Slops 
short, and lets her go on.) 

E. own bed, she found it was all over man- 
gy. Tm sure I would rather have a plain 
wholesome cat than the prettiest mangy dog 
in the kingdom. 

Roy. Certainly, Ma*am. And I assure you 
the horse — ^for says I to the gf oom — 

Both speaking together. 

Est. O ! I dare say it was — and who would 
Roy. What is the matter with this pastern, 
E. have suspected that a dog bred up on 
R. Thomas .' it looks as if it were rubbed — 
(Stops short again, and looks at her with as- 
tanishment as she goes on talking.) 
E. purpose for a hdy of quahty, should be 
all over so ! Nasty creature ! ft had spots 
upon its back as lar^ as my watch. (Tak- 
ing up her watch.) O la, ! I am half an hour 
after my time. My mantua-maker is wait- 
ing for me. Good morning, Sir ! 

[Exit, hastily. 
Roy. (lookingafter her.) Clack, clacK, 
clack, clack ! What a devil of a tongue she 
has ffot ! 'Faith ! George shall have her, 
and fll e'en ask the place for myself. (Look- 
ing out.) But tliere is company in the gar- 
den : I'll go and join them. 

[Exit to the garden. 



ACT III. 



ScBVeI. — MR. WITHRIirOTOir'S HOUSE. 
A LOUD LAUOHIirO WITHOUT. 

Enter RoTSToir, in a great rage. 

Roy. Ay ay, laugh away, laugh away, Mad- 
am ! you'll weep by-and-by . mayhap. VPauses 
MmdUstens; laughing stiu heard.) What an 



i nfemal noise the jade makes ! I wish she had 
a peck of chaff in her mouth ! I am sure itis 
wide enough to hold it 

Enter Humphrt. 

Humph. I have been seeking your honour 
every where — Lord, Sir! I have something 
to tell you. 

Roy. Confound your tales! don't trouble 
me with a parcel of nonsense. 

Humph, (staring at him and hearing the 
laughing without.) For certain , your honour, 
there's somebody in this house merrier than 
you or I. 

Roy. Damn you, Sir ! how do you know I 
am not merry ? Go home, and do what I or- 
dered you directly. If that fellow Jonathan 
is not m the way, I'll horse-whip him within 
an inch of his life. Begone, I say ; why do 
you stand staring at me like a madman .' 

[EXEUITT. 

Enter Marlake and Aones, by opposite sidas. 

Mar. (holding her sides.) I shan't be able 
to laugh again for a month. 

j^^. You have got rid of one lover, who 
will scarcely attempt you a second time. I 
have met him hurrying through the hall, and 
muttering to himself like a madman. It is 
not your refusal of his son that has so roused 
him. 

Mar. No, no ; he began his courtship in a 
doubtful way, as if he would recommend a 
gay young husband to my choice ; but a sly 
compliment to agreeable men of a middle 
a^, brought him soon to speak plainly for 
himself. 

^g. But how did you provoke him so ? 

Mar. I will tell you another time. It is 
later than I thought. (Looking at her watch.) 

Ag. Don't go yet. How stands it with you 
and a certain gentleman I recommended to 
your notice ? ^ 

Mar. O ! he does not know whether I am 
tall or short, brown or fair, foolish or sensible, 
afler all the pains I have taken with him ; he 
has eyes, ears, and understanding, for nobody 
but you, Agnes, and I will attempt him no 
more. He spoke to roe once with animation 
in his countenance, and I turned round to 
listen to him eagerly, but it was only to re- 
peat to me sometning you had just said, 
which, to deal plainly with you, had not 
much wit in it neither. I don't know how it 
is, he seemed to me at first a pleasanter man 
than he proves to be. 

Ag. Say not so, Mariane ! he proves to be 
most admirable ! 

Mar. Well, be it so, he cannot prove bet- 
ter than I wish him to do, and I can make 
up my list without him. I have a love-letter 
from an Irish baronet in my pocket, and Opal 
will declare himself presently. — I thought 
once he meant only to plead for his friend ; 
but I would not let him off so, for I know he 
is a mercenary creature. I have flattered 
him a little at tne ezpence of Sir Loftos, and 



THE TRTAL i A COMEDY. 



69 



'I hope, ere long, to set him up for a great 
man upon his own bottom. 

Ag. So it wu only to repeat to you Bome- 
thing that I had been saying ? 

Mar. Ha! you are thinking of this still. I 
believe, indeed, he sets down every turn of 
your eye in his memory, and acts it all over 
m secret. 

Ag. Do you think so.' give nle your hand, 
my dear Hflariane; you are a very good cous- 
in' to me — ^Marks every turn of mme eye ! -I 
am not quite such an ordinary girl as my un- 
cle says— My comj^lexion is as good as your 
own, Mariane, if it were notalitSe sun-burnt. 
(Mariane smiles.) Yes, smile at my vanity 
ss you please; for What makes me vain, 
makes me so good-humoured too, that I wHl 
forgive you. But here comes uncle. (8kip' 
fmg as she goes to meet him.) I am light as 
an air-ball! {Enter Mr. Withrington.) My 
dear Sir, how long you have been away from 
OS this morning ! 1 am delighted to see you 
pleased and so nappy. 

With, {with a very sour face.) You are 
mistaken, young lad^ , I am not so pleased as 
you think. 

Ag. O no, sir ! you are very good-humour- 
ed, isn't he, Manane ? 

With. But I say I am in a very bad hu- 
mour. Get along with your foolery ! 

Ag. Is it really so ? lit me look in your 
fice, uncle. To be sure your brows are a 
little knit, and your eyes a little gloomy, but 
that is nothing to be called bad humour ; if I 
could not contrive to look crabbeder than all 
this comes to^ I would never pretend to be 
ill-humoured in my life. (Mariane and Ag- 
nes take him by the hands^ and begin to play 
with him.) 

With. No, no, young ladies, I tun bo£ in a 
mood to be played with. I can't approve of 
every farce you please to play off in my £uni- 
ly; nor to have my relations affironted, and 
viven from my house for your entertainment. 

Mar. Indeed, Sir, I treated Royston better 
than he deserved ; for he would not let me 
have time to give a civil denial, but Tan on 

tlanning setUements and jointures, and a 
ondred things besides: I could just get in 
my word to stop his career with a flat refusal, 
as he was about to provide for our descen- 
dants of the third generation. O ! if you had 
«een his face then, uncle \ 

With. I know very well how you have treat- 
'ed him. 

Ag. Don't be angry. Sir. What does aman 
like Royston care for a refusal.' he is only 
angry that he can't take the law of her for 
laogning at him. 

With. Let this be as it may, I don't chuse 
to have my house in a perpetual bustle from 
morning till night, with your plots and your 
pastimes. There is no more order nor distinc- 
tion kept up in my house, than if it were a 
ealnn in Kamschatka, and common to a whole 
tribe. In every comer of it I find some visi- 
tor, or showman, or milliner's apprentice, loi- 



tering about : m^ best books are cast upon 
footstools and window-seats, and my library 
is littered over with work-bags : dogs, cats, 
and kittens, take possession of every chair, 
and refuse to be disturbed : and the very beg- 

Sir children go hopping before my door wim 
eir half-eaten scraps in their hands, as if it 
were the entry to a workhouse. 

Ag. {dapping his shoulder gently.) Now 
don t be impatient, my dear Sir, and every 
thing shall be put into such excellent order 
as shall delight you to behold. And as for 
the^beggar cnildren, if any of them dare but 
to set tneir noses near the house, I'll — What 
shall I do with them, Sir ? {Pauses and looks 
in his face, which begins to relent.) I believe* 
we must not be very severe vrith them after 
all. {Both take his hands and coax him.) 

With. Come, come, off hands, and let me 
sit down. I am tired of this. 

Ag. Yes, uncle, and here is one seat, you 
see, with no cat upon it. (Withrington sits 
down, and Agnes takes a lUtle stool and sits 
down at hisfiet, curling her nose as she looks 
up to him, and making a good-humoured face.) 

With. Well, it may be pleasant enough, 
girls ; but allow me to say, all this playing, 
and laughing, and hoidening about, is not 
gentlewomanlike ; nay, I might say, is not 
maidenly. A high-bred elegant woman, is a 
creature which man approaches with awe and 
respect; but nobody would think of accosting 
you with such in^pressions, any more than u 
you were a couple of young female tinkers. 

Ag. Don't distress yourself about this, Sir ; 
we shall get the men to bow to us, and trem- 
ble before us too, as well as e'er a hoop petti- 
coat or long ruffles of them all. 

With. Tremble before you ! ha, ha, ha ! 
{To Agnes.) Who would tremble iwfore thee, 
uost thou think 2 

Ag. No deapicable man, perhaps : What 
think you of your favourite, Harwood ? . 

WiA. Poo, poo, poo ! he is pleased with 
thee as an amusing and good-natured crea- 
ture, and thou thiiuest he is in love with thee, 
forsooth. 

Ag. A good-natured creature! he shall think 
me a vixen and be pleased with me. 

With. No, no, not quite so far gone, I be- 
lieve. 

Ag. I'll bet you two hundred pounds that 
it is so. If I win, you shall pay it to Mariane 
for wedding trinkets; and if*^ you win, you 
may build a couple of alms-houses. 

WOh. Well,beit80. We shall see, we shall 



see. 



Mar. Indeed we shall see yon lose your bet, 
uncle. 

With, {to Mar.^ Yes, baggage, I shall havo 
your prayers against me, i know. 

Enter Servaut, and annoances Mr. Opal. 
Enter Opal. 

Op. iio Mar.) I hope I have the pleasure 
of seeing Miss Withrmgton well this morn- 
ing. {Bows distantly to Withrington, ancf still 



TO 



THE TRTALi A COMEDY. 



more so to Agnes, after the manner of Qii Lof- 

tUB.) 

With. Your senrant, Sir. 

Mar. (to Op.) How did yoa like the ball 
last night ? liiere was a gay, genteel-looking 
company. 

Op. (with affected superiority.) Ezceptinj^ 
LfOrd Saunter, and Lora Poorly, and Sir Loi- 
tus, and one or two more of us, I did not know 
a soul in the room. 

With. There were some pretty girls there, 
Mr. Opal. 

Op. I am very g\id to hear it, *pon honour. 
I did not — (Mumming.) 

With, (aside.) Affected puppy ! I can't bear 
to look at him. TExit. 

Mar. (assumii^a gayerairasWiuaingion 
goes out.) You will soon have a new beau to 
enrich your cii^le, Mr. Opal, the handsome 
and accomplished Colonel Beaumont. He is 
just returned from abroad, and is now auite 
the fashion. (To Agpen.) Don't you think 
Mr. Opal resembles him ? 

Ag. O ! very much indeed. 

Op. (bowing very graciously.) Does he not 
resemble Sir Loflus too .** I mean in his air 
and his manner. 

Mar. O ! not at all ! That haughty coldness 
of his is quite old-fashioned now ; so unlike 
the afiable frankness so much admired in the 
Colonel : you have seen him I presume P 

Op. I have never had that honour. 

Mar. Then you will not be displeased at 
the likenesff we have traced when you do. 

Op. (relaxing from his dignity, and highly 

Sleasedi) The greatest pleasure of my life, 
la'am, will be to resemble what pleases you. 
(Mariane gives Agnes the wirtkf and she re- 
tires to the bottom of the stage.) 

Mar. You flatter me infinitely. 

On. Ah ! call it not flattery, charming Miss 
Witnrington ! for now I will have the bold- 
ness to own to you frankly, I have been, 
since the first moment I beheld you, your 
sincere , your most passionate admired. Upon 
hon — (correcting himself.) 'faith I have ! 

Mar. Nothing but my own want of merit 
can make me aoubt of any thing Mr. Opal 
asserts upon his honour or his faiui. ( Turn- 
ing and walking towards the bottom of the 
stage, whilst Opal follows her talking in dumb 
show ; then Agnes joins them, and they all 
come forward to the front.) 

Av. (to Mar.) How much that turn of his 
head puts me in mind of the Colonel ! 

Mar. So it does, my Agnes. (To GhMil.) 
Pray have the goodness to hold it so for a 
moment ! There now, it is just the very thing. 
(Opal holds his head in a con^rained ridicu- 
lous posture, and then makes a conceited bout.) 
His very manner of bowing too ! one would 
swear it was him ! 

Ag. Yes, only the Colonel is more famil- 
liar, more easy in his carriage. 

Op. O ! Ma'am ! 1 assure you I have for- 
merly — It is my natural manner to be remark- 
ably easy-*-But I — (pauses.) 



Mar. Have neyer condescended to assume 
any other than your natural manner, I hope. 

Op. O! not at all, I detest affecUtion; 
there b nothing I detest so much — But upon 
my soul ! I can't tell how it is, I have been 



ver of late. I am, indeed, sometimes 




Mar. O fy upon it ! don't be so any more. 
It is quite old-fashioned and ridiculous now. 
(To Agnes, winking significantly.) Did yoa 
see my gloves any where about the room, 
cousin.' 

Op. I'll find them. ( Goes to look for them 
with great briskness — Servant omumitcetf Miss 
Eston.) 

Op. Pest take her ! I stared at her once in 
a mistake, and she has ogled and followed me 
ever since. 

Enter Miss Estoh, running up to BIarian k and 
' Agnes, and pretending not to see Opal, 

though she cannot help looking askance at htm 

while she speaks. 

Est. O my dear creatures ! you can't think 
how I have longed to see you. Mrs. Thom- 
son kept me so long this morning, and yoa 
know she is an intolerable talker. (Pretend- 
ing to discover Opal.) O ! how do you do, Mr. 
Opal ? I declare I did not observe you ! 

Op. (with a distant haughty bow.) I am 
obliged to you. Ma'am. 

&t. I did see your figure, indeed, but I 
mistook it for Sir Loflus. 

Op. (correcting himself and assuming a 
cheerful frank manner.) O Ma'am ! you are 
very obliging to observe me at all. I believe 
Prettyman and I may be nearly of the same 
height. (Looking at his watekj) I am be- 
yond my appointment, I see. Excuse me ; I 
musl hurry away. [Eiit, hastily. 

Est. (looking after him with marks of disap- 
pointment.) I am very glad he is gone. He 
does so haunt me, and stare at me, I am auite 
tired of it. The first time I ever saw nim, 
you remember how he looked me out of coun- 
tenance. I was resolved before I came not 
to take notice of him. 

Mar. So yon knew you should find him 
here, then. 

Est. O la ! one don't know of a morning 
who one may meet ; as likely him as any 
body else, you know. I really wonder now 
what crotcnet he has taken into his head 
about me. Do you know, last night, before 
twilight, I peeped over the blind, and saw 
him walking with slow pensive steps under 
my window. 

Mar. Well, what happened then ? 

Est. I drew in my head, you maybe sure; 
but a little while after, I peeped out again, 
and, do you know, I saw him coming out of 
the perfumer's shop, just opposite my dress* 
ing-room, where he had been all the while. 

Mar. Very well, and what happened next ? 

Est. La! nothing more. But was it not 
very odd ? What snould he be doing all thai 
time in that little paltry shop? Tne great 



THE TRYALi A COMEDY. 



71 



riiop near the Circus is the place where 
every body buys perfumeiy. 

Ag. No, there is nothing veiy odd in Mr. 
Opal's buying perfumes at a very paltry shop, 
where he migot see and be seen by a veiy 
pretty lady. 

Est. {with turfaee hrightmng up.) Do you 
think so ? O no ! you don't? 

Ag. To be sure I do. But I know what is 
very stranse. 

Est. O fi, dear creature ! What is it f 

Ag. He bought his perfumes there before 
you came, when there was no such induce- 
ment. Is not that very odd ? (Eston pauses j 
sand looks silly.) 

Enter Mr. Withrikotoit, but upon perceiving 
Eston bows and retreats again. 

Est. {recoverittg herseff.) Ha ! how do you 
do, Mr. Withrington ? I have just seen your 
friend, Lady Fade. Poor dear soul! she 
mys— 

With. I am soriT) Ma'am, it is not in my 
power at present — i am in a hurry, I have an 
appointment. Your servant, Ma'am. [Exit. 

Est. WeU , now this is very odd ! Wher- 
ever I go, I find all the men just going out to 
some appointment. O, I forgot to tell you, 
Mrs. Thomaon has put a new border to her 
drawing-room, iuat like the one up stairs. 
Has it not a dark blue ground ? (To Alariane.) 

Mar. I'm sure I cannot tell, let us go up 
itairs and see. [Exeunt. 

SCEHE II.'^BSFORK MR. WITBRIlfOTOlf 'S 
BOUSE. 

Enter Harwood. 

Well, here I am again, yet devil take me 
if I can muster up resolution enough to touch 
the knocker ! what a fool was I to call twice 
this morning ! for with what face can I now 
visit her again ? The old gentleman will look 
strangely at me ; the fine heiress her cousin 
will stare at me ; nay, the very servants begin 
already to smile with impertinent significance, 
u I inquire with conscious foolishness, if the 
ladies are at home. Then Agnes herself will 
look so drolly at me — Ah ! but she will look 
so pleasantly too ! — 'Faith ! Til e'en go. (Goes 
to the door, puts his hand up to the knocker, 
stops shorty and turns from it a^ain. Pauses.) 
What a fool am I, to stand tlunking about it 
here. If I were but fairly in the room with 
her, and the first salutation over, I should not 
care if the devil himself made faces at me. Oh 
no ! every bod^ is good-humoured, every thing 
is happy that is near her ! the kitten who plays 
by her side takes hold of her gown unchiaden. 
How pleasant it is to love what is so blessed ! 
I should hate the fairest woman on earth if 
she were not of a sweet temper. Come, come ; 
every thing favours me here, but my own 
fiioliah fiuicies. (As he goes to the door again, 
it opens, and enters from the house, Betty, cry- 
ii»g, with a husuUe m her hand.) 



Bet. O dear me ! O dear me ! 
Har. What is the matter with you, my good 
girl.^ 

Bet. I'm sure it was not my fiiult, and she 
has abused me worser than a heathen. 
Har. That is hard indeed. 
Bet. Indeed it is, Sir; and all for a little 
nasty essence-bottle, which was little better 
than a genteel kind of a stink at the best ; and 
I am sure I did but take out the stopper to 
smell to it, when it came to pieces in my hand 
like an egg-shell. If bottles will break, how 
can I help it ? but la ! Sir, there is no speak- 
ing reason to my mistress ; she is as furious 
and as ill-tempered as a dragon. 

Har. Don't distress yourself; Miss Agnes 
Withrington will make amends to you for the 
severity of your mistress. 

Bet. She truly ! it is she herself who is my 
mistress, and she has abused me — O dear me ! 
— If it had been Miss Withrington, she would 
not have said a word to me ; but Miss Agnes 
is so cross, and so ill-natured, there is no liv- 
ing in the house with her. 

Har. Girl, you are beside yourself! 
Bet. No, Sir, God be praised ! but she is 
beside herself, I believe. Does she think I 
am going to live in her service to be call'd 
names so, and compared toa blackamoor too.' 
If I had been waiting-maid to the queen, she 
would not have compared me to a blacka- 
moor, and will I take such usage from her ? 
— what do I care for her cast ^owns ? 
Har. Well, but she is liberu to you ? 
Bet. She liberal ! she'll keep every thing 
that is worth keeping to herself, I warrant ; 
and Lord pity those who are bound to live 
with her ! I'll seek out a new place for my- 
self, and let the devil, if he will, wait upon 
her next, in the shape of a blackamoor : they 
will be fit company for one another ; and if he 
gets the better of her at scolding, lie is a bet- 
ter devil than I take him for. And I am sure. 
Sir, if you were to see her — 

Har.' Get olonel get along! you arc too 
passionate yourself, to be credited. 

Bet. I know what I know ; I don't care 
what nobody says, no more I do; I know 
who to complain to. [Exit, grumbling. 

Har. (aUme.) What a malicious toad it is ! 
I dare say now, she has done sometliing very 
provoking. I cannot bear these pert chamber- 
maids ; the very sight of them is ofiensive to 
me. 

Enter Jonatha5. 

Jon. Good evening to your honour; can 

you tell me if Mr. Withrington be at home ? 

for as how, my master has sent me with a 

message to him. 

Har. (impatiently.) Go to the house and 

inquire ; I know nothing about it. (Jonathan 

goes to the house.) 

Har. (alone, after musing some time.) That 
rl has put me out of all heart though, with 
r cursed stories. — No, no, it cannot be — it 

is impossible ? 



K 



71 



THE TRTAL : A OOMEDTi 



Ke*eDter Jonathan from the houae, KnitchiDg 
his head, and looking behind him. 

Jon. 'Faith there is hot work going on 
amongst them ! thank heaven I am oat again. 

Hot. What do yon mean ? 

Jan. 'Faith ! that little lady, in that there 
house, is the best hand at a seold, saving 
Mary.Macmnrrock, my wife's mother^ that 
evef my two blessed eyes looked upon. Lord 
Sir, {going nearer him) her tonfue goes ting, 
tin^, ting, as shrill as the bell o? any pieman ; 
and then, Sir, (going nearer him) her two eyes 
look out of her head, as though they were a 
couple of fflow-worms ! and then. Sir, he, he, 
he ! (laughing and going close up to him,) 
She claps her little hands so, as if— 

Har. Shut your fool's mouth and be damned 
tojrou ! (^KicKs Jonathan of the stage in a vio- 
lent possum ; then leans his back to a tree, and 
seems thoughtful for some time and very muck 
troubled.) 

Enter Agnes from the hoiwe, with a stormy look 
on her face. 

,^g. So you are still loitering here, Har- 
wood P you have been very mucn amused, I 
suppose, with the conversation of those good 
foULs you have talked with. 

Har. No, not much amused. Madam, though 
somewhat astonished, I own ; too much aston- 
ished, indeed, to give it any credit. 

^g. Oh ! it is true though ; I have been 
very cross with the girl, and very cross with 
every body ; and if yon don't clear up that 
dismal face of yours, I shall be cross with you 
too : what could possess yon to stay so long- 
under the chestnut-tree, a little while ago, 
always appearing as if you were coming to 
the house, and always turning back again ? 

Har. (eagerly.) And is it possible, you were 
then looking at me, and observing my motions? 

^g. Indeed I was just goinff to open my 
window and beckon to you, wnen that crea- 
ture broke my phial of sweet essence, and 
put me ouite out of temper. 

Har. Hang the stupid jade ! I could — 

^g. So you are anffry too ? O ! well done ! 
we are fit company tor one another. Come 
alon^ with me, come, come! (impatiently. 
As me turns to go, something catches hold of 
her gown.) What is this ? confounded thing ! 
^Pidls atoay her gown in a passion, and tears 

u.) 

Har. (asidr.) Witch that she is ! she should 
be beaten for her humours. I will not go with 
her. 

Ag. (looking behind.) So you won't go in 
with me ^ good evening to you then : we did 
want a fourth person to make up a pvty with 
us ; but since you don't like it, we shajfl send 
to Sir Loflus, or Opal, or Sir UlockO'Grady, 
or some other good creature ; I dare say Sir 
Loftus will come. 

Har. (half aside.) Cursed coxcomb! If 
ne sets his snout within the door, I'll pistol 
him. 



Ag. (overhearing him.) Ha! well said ! yoa. 
will make the b^ compamr in the world. 
Come along, come alonf ! (He follows her half 
unwillingly.) Why don t you offer your arm 
here ? don t you see how rough it is ? (He 
offers his arm.) Poo, not that arm ! (Offers her 
the other.) Poo, not so neither, on t other side 
of me. 

Har. What a humoursome creature you 
are ! I have oflier'd you two arms, and neither 
of them will do ; do yon think I have a third 
to oflfer you ! 

Ag. You are a simpleton, or yon would, 
have half a dozen at my service. 

[Exeunt into the house. 



ACT IV. 

SCEHS I.t-HARWOOD'B LODOIIIGS. RE 
18 MSCOFERED WALKIHO ABOUT WITH 
IH IRREGULAR DISTURBED STEP, HIS 
HAIR AUD DRESS ALL HEOLECTED AHD 

in disorder; he comes forward to 
THE prout op the stage. 

Har. I have neither had peace nor sleep 
since I beheld her ; O ! that I had never known 
her ! or known her only such as my first fond 
fancy conceived her! — I would my friend 
were come ; I will open my heart to nim ; he 
perhaps will speak comfort to me ; for surely 
that temper must be violent indeed, whicn 
generous afifection cannot subdue; and she 
must be extravagant beyond all bounds of 
nature, who would ruin the fond bosband 
who toils for her. No, no, nature makes not 
such, but when she sets her scowling mark 
upon their forehead to warn us from our ruin. 
(rouses, walks up and down, then comes for" 
word again.) Insipid constitutional good na- 
ture is a tiresome thing : passion sulniued by 
reason is worth a score of it — and passion sub- 
dued by love ? — O ! that were better still ! — 
yesterclay, as I enter 'd her door, I heard her 
name me to her cousin, with so much gentle 
softness in her voice, I blest her as she spoke. 
— Ah ! if this were so, all might still be weU. 
Who would not struf ^le wim the world for 
such a creature as Uus? — Ay, and I must 
struggle ! — O ! that this head of mine would 
give over thinking but for one half hour ! 
(Rings the beU.) 

Enter Thovas. 

What brinffs you here, Thomas P 

Thorn. Your bell rung, Sir. 

Har. Well, well, I diid want something, 
but I have forgot it. Bring me a glass of 
water. [Exit Thomas. Harwood sits down 
by a small writing-table, and rests his head 
upon his hand. Re-enter Thomas with tke 
water.) Yon have made ffood haste, Thomas. 

Thom. I did make good haste. Sir, lest yoa 
should be impatient with me. 

Har. I am sometimes impatient with yoa, 



THE TRTAL : ▲ COMEDY. 



75 



then ? I fear indeed I have been too oflen so 
of late ; but you must not mind it, Thomas, I 
mean you no unkiudness. 

Tlitrm. Lord love you, Sir! I know that 
very well ! A young gentleman who takes 
an old man into his service, because other 
gentlemen do not think him quick enough, 
nor smart enough for them, as your honour 
has taken me, can never mean to show him 
any unkindness : I know it well enough ', I 
am only uneasy because I fear you are not so 
well of late. 

Har. I thank you, Thomas, I am not yery 
well — I am not ill neither ; I shall be better. 
(Pauses.) I think I have heard you say, you 
were a soldier in your youth ? 

Thorn. Yes, Sir. 

Har. And you had a wife too, a woman of 
fiery mettle, to bear about your knapsack .' 

Thont. Yes, Sir, my httle stout spirity Jane ; 
■be had a devil of a temper, to be sure. 

Har. Yet you loved her notwithstanding ? 

Tkom. Yes, to be sure I did, as it were, TOar 
her some kindness. 

Har, I'll be sworn you did! — and you 
would haye been yery sorry to have parted 
with her. 

J%am. Why death parts the best of friends. 
Sir; we liyed but four years toother. 

Uiar. And so your httle spinj^ Jane was 
taken so soon away from you ? Give me thy 
hand, my good Thomas. (Takes his hand and 
presses it.) 

Tfiam. (perceiving tears in his eyes.) Lord, 
Sir ! don't be so distressed about it : she did 
die, to be sure ; but truly, between you and I, 
although I did make a lund of whimpering at 
the first, I was not ill pleased afterwards to 
be rid of her ; for, truly. Sir, a man who has 
got an ill-tempered wife, has but a dog's life 
of it at the best. — Will you have your glass 
of water. Sir ? 

Har. (lookii^ at him with dissatisfaction.) 
No, no, take it away ; I haye told you a hun- 
dred times not to bring roe that clialky water 
fipom the court-yard. (Turns away from 

Enter Colonel Hardy. — Harwooo makes 
signs to Thomas, and he goes out. 

Har. My dear Colonel, this is kind : I am 
very glad to see you. 

Col. It is so seldom that a yoimg fellow 
has any inclination for the company of an old 
man, that I should feel myself vain of the 
summons you have sent me, were I not afraid, 
from this dishabille, my dear Harwood, that 
you are indispised. « 

Har. You are yery food ; I am not indis- 
posed. I have indeed been anxious — 1 rested 
mdifierently last night — I hope I see you 
well. 

Col. Very well, as you may guess from the 
speed I haye made in coming to you. These 
legs do not always carry me so fast. But 
you haye something particular to say to me. 

9 



• Hfir. lam yery sensible of your friendship. 
— Pray, Colonel, be seated. — r7%«y sit down 
— a long pause — Colonel Haray, like one ex- 
pecting to hear sometfiinis ; Har wood, UJ,c i/tie 
who knows not how tu btgin.) — There a/e 
moments in a man's life, Colonel Hardy, 
when the advice of a friend is of the greatest 
value ; particularly one, who has also been 
his father's friend. 

Col. My heart yery warmly claims both 
those relations to you, Harwood ; and I shall 
be happy to advise you as well as 1 am able. 

Har. (after another pause.) I am about to 
commence a laborious profession. — The mind 
is naturally anxious — (Pauses.) 

Col. But you are too capable of exercising 
well th^t profession, to suffer much uneasi- 
ness. 

Har. Many a man with talents superiour 
to mine has sunk beneath the burden. 

Col. And many a man, with talents yastly 
inferiour to yours, has borne it up witli credit. 

Har. Ah ! what avails the head with an 
estranged heart .^ 

Col. You are disgusted then with your 
profession, and haye perhaps, conceived more 
favourably of mine.^ I am sorry for it: I 
hoped to see you make a figure at the bar ; 
and your mother has long set her heart upon it. 

Har. (with energy.) O, no ! she must not — 
she shall not be msappointed ! — Pardon me, 
my expressions have gone somewhat wide of 
my meaning. — I meant to have consulted you 
in rem-d to other difficulties — 

Col. And pardon me likewise for interrupt^ 
ing you ', but it appears to me, that an un- 
learned soldier is not a person to be consulted 
in these matters. 

Har. It was not altogether of these matters 
I meant to speak — But, perhaps, we had 
better put it on for the present. 

Col. No, no ! 

Har. Perhaps we had better walk out a 
little way : we may talk with less restraint as 
we go. 

Col. No, no, there are a thousand imperti- 
nent people about. Sit down again, and let 
me hear every thing you wish to say. 

Har. (pausing y hesitating, and much embar- 
rassed.) There are certain attachments in 
which a man's heart may be so deeply inter- 
ested — I would say so yery — or rather I 
should say so straiqgely engaged, that — (hesi- 
tates and pauses.) 

Col. O, here it is ! I understand it now. 
But pray don't be so foolish about it, Har- 
wood ! You are in love ? 

Har. (appearing relieved.) I thank your 
quickness, my dear Colonel ] I fear it is some- 
what so with me. 

Col. And whence your fear ? Not from the 
lady's cruelty ? 

Har. No, there is another bar in my way, 
which does, perhaps too much depress my 
hopes of happiness. 

Col. You have not been prudent enough to 
fall in loye with an heiress ? 



74 



THE TRYAL: A CX)M£DT. 



Har. No, my dear Sir, I have not. 

Col. That 18 a ^reat migtake, to be sure, 
Harwood ; , yet many a man has not advanc- 
ed the less rapidly in his profession, for hav- 
ing had a portionless wife to begin the world 
with. It IS a spur to industry. 

Har. (looking pleased at him.) Such senti- 
ments are what iezpected from Colonel Har- 
dy ; and, were it not for female failings, there 
would be little risk in following mem — I 
don't know how to express it — I am perhaps 
too delicate in these matters — ^We ought not 
to expect a faultless woman. 

Cti. No, surely ; and, if such a woman 
were to be found, she would be no fit compan- 
ion for us. 

Har. (getting up f and pressing the Colonel's 
hand between his.) My dearest friend ! your 
liberality and candour delight me ! — I do in- 
deed believe that many a man has lived very 
happily with a woman far from being fault- 
less ; and, after all, where is the ^at injury 
he sustains, if she should be a little violent 
and imreasonable ? 

Col. (starting up from his seat.) Na^, 
Heaven defend us from a violent woman ; for 
that is the devil himself! — (Seeing Harwood's 
countenance change.) — What is the matter 
with you, Harwood ? She b not ill-temper'd, 
I hope .' 

Har. (hesitating.) Not — not absolutely so 
— She is of a very quick and lively disposi- 
tion, and is apt to be too hasty and unguard- 
ed in her emotions. — I do not, perhaps, make 
myself completely understood. 

Col. OJ I understand you perfectly. — I 
have known ladies of this lively disposition, 
very hasty and unguarded too in tneir de- 
mands upon a man's pocket as well as his 
patience ; but she may be of a prudent and 
economical turn. Is it so, Harwood .' 

Har. (throwing himself into a chair very 
much distressed.) I do not say it is. Colonel. 

Col. (putting his hand kindly upon his shoul- 
der.) I am sorry to distress you so much, my 
dear friend, yet it must be so. I see how it is 
with you : pardon the freedom of friendship, 
but indeed an expensive and violent tempered 
woman is not to be thought of: he who mar- 
ries such a one forfeits iQl peace and happi- 
ness. Pluck up some noble courage, and re- 
nounce this unfortunate connexion. 

Har. (starting up.) Renounce it, Colonel 
Hardy ? Is it from you I receive so hard, so 
unfeeling a reaue8t,who has suffered so much 
yourself from the remembrance of an early at- 
tachment ? I thought to have been pitied byyou. 

Co2. I was early chagrined with the want 
of promotion, and disappointed in my schemes 
of ambition, which gave my countenance 
something of a melancholy cast, I believe, 
and the ladies have been kind enough to attri- 
bute it to the effects of hopeless love ; but 
how could you be such a ninny, my dear Har- 
wood ? 

Har. 1 am sorry, Sir, we have understood 
one another so imperfectly. 



Col. Nay, nay, my young friend, do not 
carry yourself so distantly with me. Ton 
have sought a love-lorn companion, and you 
have found a plain-spoken fnend. I am sorry 
to give you pain : deal more openly with me : 
when I know who this bewitching creature 
is, I shall, perhaps, judge more fiivourably of 
your passion. 

Har. It is Miss Agnes Withrington. 

Col. Cousin to Miss Withrington the heir- 
ess.' 

Har. Tes, it is she. What have I said to 
amaze you ? 

Col. You amaze me, indeed ! — That little 
— forgive me if I were almost to say, — ^plain^ 
looking girl ! Friendship would sympathize 
in your feelings ; but, pardon me, Harwood, 
you have lost your wits. 

Har. I believe I have. Colonel, which must 
plead my pardon, likewise, for expecting this 
friendship from you. 

Col. You distress me. 

Har. I distress mjrself still more, by suffer* 
ing so long the pain of this conversation. 

Col. Let us end it, then, as soon as you 
please. When you are in a humour to listen 
to reason, I shall be happy to have the hon- 
our of seeing you. 

Har. When I am in that humour, Sir, I 
will not balk it so much as to intrude upon 
your time. 

Col. Let me see you, then, when yon are 
not in that humour, and I shall more frequent- 
ly have the pleasure of your company. (Both 
bow coldly. Exit Colonel Hardy.) 

Har. (alone.) What a fool was I to send for 
this man ! — A little plain-looking girl ! What 
do the people mean ? They will anve me mad 
amongst them. Why does not the little witch 
wear high heels to her shoes, and stick a plume 
of feathers in her cap ? Oh \ they will drive me 
distracted 1 Exit. 

SCEKE II. — MR. WITHRIKOTOK'S HOUSE. 
AGUES DISCOVERED BMBROIDERIHO AT 
A SMALL TABLE, HARWOOD STaNDINA 
BT HER, AND HAHOIlfO PONDLT OVER 
HER AS SHE WORKS. 

Har. How pretty it is ! Now you put a lit- 
tle purple on the side of the flower. 

Jg. Yes, a very little shade. 

Har. And now a little brown upon that 

Jig. Even so. 

Har. And thus you work up and down, 
with that tiny nee<fle of yours, till the whde 
flower is compl^ted. ( Pauses, ^tiU looking at 
her working.) Why, Agnes, you little witch ! 
you're doing that leaf wrong. 

Ag. You may pick it out then, and do it 
better for me. I'am sure you have been idle 
enough all the morning, it is time you were 
employed about sometmng. 

Har. And so I will, (sitting down hy her, 
and taking hold of the work ) 



THETRYAL: A- COMEDY. 



76 



Ag. (covering tkeJUnoer with her hand.) O • 
no, no I 

Har. Take away that little perverse hand, 
and let me begin. (Putting his hand upon 
hers.) 

Ag. What a ^ood for nothing creature joa 
are ! you can oo nothing yourself, and you 
will suffer nobody else to do any thinr. I 
should have had the whole pattern finished 
before now, if you had not loitered oyer my 
chair so long. 

Har. So you can't work when I look over 
you ! Then I have some influence upon you ? 

you sly girl ! you are caught in your own 
words at last. 

Ag. Indeed, Harwood, I wish you would 
go home affain to your law-books and your 
precedent hunting ; you have mispenta great 
deal of time here already. 

Har. Is it not better to be with you in re- 
ality than only in imagination ? An ! Agnes ! 
you little know what my home studies are. — 
Law, said you! how can I think of law, 
when your countenance looks upon me from 
every black lettered page that I turn ? when 
jour figure fills the empty seat by my side, 
and your voice speaks to me in the very mid- 
day stillness of my chamber ? Ah ! my Ag- 
nes ! you will not believe what a foolish fel- 
low I have been, since I first saw you. 

Ag. Nay, Harwood, I am not at all incredu- 
loos of the fact ; it is only the cause of it which 

1 doubt. 

Har. Saucy girl ! I must surely be reveng- 
ed upon you for all this. 

Ag. I am tired of this work. (Getting up.) 

Har. O ! do not give over. — Let me do 
something for you — Let me thread your nee- 
dle for you I can thread one most nobly. 

Ag. There then. (Gives him a needle and 
iiikS 

Har. (pretending to scratch her hand with it.) 
So ought you to oe punished. (Threads it 
awkwardly.) 

Ag. Ay, nobly done, indeed ! but I shall 
work no more to-day. 

Har. You must work up my needleful. 

Ag. I am to work a fooVs cap in the cor- 
ner by-and-by ; I shall keep your needleful 
for tliat. I am going to walk in the garden. 

Har, And so am L 



Ag. You are ? 
Har. 



Yes, I am. Go where you will, Ag- 
nes, to the garden or the field, tne city or the 
desert, by sea or by land, I must e'en go 
too. 1 will never be where you are not, 
but when to be where you are is impossi- 
ble. 

Ag. There will be no getting rid of you at 
this rate, unless some witch will have pity 
upon me, and carry me up in the air upon 
her broomstick. 

Har. There, I will not pretend to follow 
yon ; but as long as you remain upon the 
eartii, Agnes, I cannot find in my heart to 
budge an inch from your side. 

Ag. You are a madman ! 



Har. You are a sorceress ! 

Ag. You are an idler ! 

Har. You are a little mouse ! 

Ag. Come, come, get your hat then, and 
let us go. (Aside J while ne goes to the bottom 
of the stage for his hat.) Bless me ! I have 
rorgot to be ill-humour'd all this time. 

[Exit, hastily, 

Har. (coming forward.) Gone for her cloak, 
I suppose. How delightful she is ! how 
pleasant every change of her countenance ! 
How happy must his life be, spent even in 
cares and toil, whose leisure hours are cheer- 
ed with such a creature as this. 

Ag. (without in an angry voice.) Don't tell 
me so ; I know very well how it is, and you 
shall smart for it too, you laxy, careless, im- 
pudent fellow! And, besides all this, how 
dare you use my kitten so r* 

Har. (who listened with a rueful face.) 
Well, now, but this is humanity : she wiU 
not have a creature ill-used. — ^I wish she 
would speak more gently though. 

Ag. (entering.) Troublesome, provoking, 
careless fellow ! 

Har. It is very provoking in him to use the 
poor kitten ill. 

Ag. So it is ; but it is more provoking still 
to mislay my clogs, as he does. 

Enter Servant with clogs. 

Ser. Here they are. Madam. 

Ag. Bring them here I say ; (looks at them.) 
These are Miss Withrington s clogs, you 
blockhead ! (Throws them to the other side of 
the stage in a passion.) 1 must go without 
them, I find. ( To Harwood.) What are you 
musing about ? If you don't choose to go with 
me, gfK>d morning. 

Har. (sighing deeply.) Ah, Agnes ! you 
know too well uat I cannot stay behind you. 

[ElZOlfT. 

Scene III. — miss withi^inoton's dres- 

SIHG-ROOM. 

Enter Mariank, who turns back again towards 
the door, and calls to Agnes without. 

Mar. Agnes, cousin Agnes ! where are you 
going ? 

Ag. (without.) I am returning to Miss Es- ' 
ton, whom I have left in the parlour, talking 
to the dog. 

Mar. Well, let her talk to the dog a little 
longer, and let me talk to you. 

Enter Aonss. 

I have set Betty to watch at the higher win- 
dows to give notice of Sir Loflus's approach, 
that we may put ourselves in order to receive 
him; for I am resolved to have one bout 
more with him, and discharge him for good : 
I am quite tired of him now. 

Ag. Do you expect him ? 

Mar. I am pretty sure he will come about 
this time, and I must be prepared for him. I 
have a good mind to tell him at once, I des- 



76 



THE TRYAL: A COMEVT. 



pise him, and that will be a plain easy way 
of finishing the business. 

Ag. No, no, my sweet Mariane ! we must 
send him ofl^with eclat. Ton have played 
your part very well hitherto ; keep it up but 
for the last time, and let Miss Eston and 1 go 
into the closet and enjoy it. 

Mar. Weil then, do so : I shall please you 
for this once. 

Enter Betty in haste. 

Bet. {to Mar.) Sir Loftus is just coming 
op the side path, Madam, and he'll be at the 
door immediately. 

Ag. m run and bring Eston directly. 

[Exit. 

Mar. (locking at the door of the doset.) Tes, 
it is Teiy thin : they will hear well, and see 
through the key -hole. 

Re-enter Aohes with Miss Enon, in a great 

hurry. 

Est. La ! I have torn my towu in my haste' 

Jig. Come along, come along ! 

Est. It is not so bad a tear uiough as Mrs. 
Thomson got the — 

Ag. Come, come, we must not stay here. 
(Pushes Eston into the closet, and joUotos. 
Mariane and Betty place a table tnA books 
and a chair, near the front of the stage.) 

Est. (looking from the closet.) La! Mari- 
ane, how 1 long to hear yon and him begin. 
I shall be so delighted ! 

Mar. For heaven's sake shut the door ! he 
will be here immediately. (Shuts the door 
upon her, and continues to put the room in 
order.) 

Est. (looking out again.) La ! Mariane, do 

Ei know how many yards of point Lady 
lat has got round her new — (Agnes from 
nd, claps her hand on Eaton's mouth, and 
draws her into the closet. — Mariane sets her- 
self by the table, pretending to read. Exit 
Betty, and enter Qrrhorrvs , a servant announe- 
ing him.) 

Sir Loft. Tou are yery studious this morn- 
ing. Miss Withrington. 

Mar. (carelessly.) Ha ! how do you do ? 

Sir Loft. Tou have been well amus'd, I 
hope .' 

Mar. So, so. I must put in a mark here, 
and not lose my place. (Looking on the table.) 
There is no paper — O, there is some on the 
other table : pray do fetch it me ! (Pointing 
to a table at tne bottom of the stage.) I am 
yery lazy. (Sits down again indolently.) 

Sir Loft, (fetching the paper , and presenting 
it with a condescending yet self important air.) 
I have the honour to obey you. Ma'am. 

Mar. I thank you ; you are a veiy seirice- 
able creature, I am sure. 

Sir Loft, (drawing himself up nroudly but 
immediately correcting himself) 1 am always 
happy to serve Miss Withnngton. 

Mar. O ! I know yery well the obliging 
turn of your disposition. (Tosses her arm 
upon the tabu amd throws downher book.) lam 



yery stupid this morning. (Sir Loftus puks 
up the book, and pves it to her rather sutkUy; 
and she in receiving it drops an ivory ball im- 
der the table.) Bless me ! what is the mat^ 
ter with all these things ? pray lift it for me, 
good Sir Loftus ! I believe you must creep 
under the table for it, though. (He stoops tm- 
der the table with a very md grace, and she 
slyly gives it a touch toith her foot, which makes 
it run to the other side of me stage.) Nay, 
you must go farther off for it now. I am 
yery troublesome. 

Sir Loft, (goes after it rather umoiUingfy, 
and presenting it to her with still a worse 
grace.) Madam this is more honour than I — 
(murhblit^.) 

Mar. O, no ! Sir Loftus, it is only you that 
are too good. (Lolling cardesslu in htr chair.) 
It is so comfortable to have sucn a good crea- 
ture by one ! your fine fiuhionable men are 
admired to be sure, but I don't know how, I 
feel always restrained in their company. 
With a good obliging creature like you now, 
I can be quite at my ease ; I can just desire 
you to do any thing. 

Sir Loft. Upon my honour. Madam, you 
flatter me yeiy much indeed. Upon my 
honour, 1 must say, I am rather at a loss to 
conceive how I have merited these commen- 
dations. 

Mar. O ! Sir Loftus, you are too humble, 
too difiident of yourself. I know yery well 
the obliging turn of your disposition to every 
body. 

Sir Loft, (aside.) Damn it ! is she an idiot ! 
(aloud.) Tour good opinion. Madam, does me 
a great deal of honour, but I assure you, 
Ma'am, it is more than I deserve. I nave 
great pleasure in serying Miss Withrinffton ; 
— to be at the service of every body is an 
extent of benevolence I by no means pretend 
to. 

Mar. Now why are you so difiident, Sir 
Loftus.' did not old Mrs. Mumblecake tell 
me the other day, how you ran nine times to 
the apothecary's to fetch green salve to rub 
her monkey's tail ? 

Sir Loft. She told you a damned lie then ! 
(Biting his lip, and walking up and down with 
hasty strides) Damn it! this is beyond all 
bearing ! I run nine times to the apothecary's 
to fetch green salve for her monkey's tail ! If 
the cursed hag says so again I'll bury her 
alive ! 

Mar. Nay, don't be angry about it. I'm sure 
I thought it veiy good in you, and I said so 
to every body. 

Sir Loft. You haye been obliging enough to 
tell it to all the world too ? 

Mar. And why should I not have the pleas- 
ure of praising you.' 

Sir Loft. Hell and the devil ! (Turning on 
his hed, and striding up and down, and mut- 
tering as he goes whUst she sits carelessly with 
her arms crossed.) 

Mar. My good Sir Loftus, you will tire 
yourself. Had you not better be seated ? 



THETRtAL: A COMEDY. 



77 



Sir Loft, (endeavouring to compose himsdf.) 
The influence you have over me, Ma'am, 
ffets the belter of every thing. I would not 
nave you mistake my character, however ] if 
love engages me in your service, you ought 
so to receive it. i have been less profuse of 
these attentions to women of the very first 
rank and fashion; I misht therefore have 
hoped that you would lend a more favourable 
ear to my passion. 

Mar. indeed you wrong me. You don*t 
know how lavourably my ear may be dis- 
posed : sit down here and tell me all about it. 
/Sir Loflas revolts again at her familiarity^ 
imt stifles kis pride and sits down by her.) 

Sir Loft. Permit me to say, Madam, tnat it 
is time we should come to an explanation of 
each other's sentiments. 

Mar. Whenever you please. Sir. 

Sir Loft, (bowing.) I hope then, I may be 
allowed to presume, that my particular atten- 
tions to you, pardon me, Ma'am, have not 
been altogether disagreeable to you. 

Mar. O ! not at all. Sir Loftus. 

Sir Loft, {bowing again.) I will presume 
then still fartner, Ma'am, and declare to you, 
that from the very day which gave birth to 
my passion, I have not ceased to think of you 
with the most ardent tenderness. 

Mar. La ! Sir Loftus, was it not of a Wed- 
nesday ? 

Sir Loft. (Jrdted.) Upon my word I am not 
so very accurate : it might be Wednesday, or 
Friday, or any day. 

Mar. Of a Friday, do yon think .' it runs 
strangely in my head that we saw one another 
first of a Wednesday. 

Sltr Loft, {very much ftretted.) I say. Ma'am, 
the day which gave birth to my love — 

Mar. O ! very true ! you might see me first 
of a Wednesday, and yet not S\\ in love with 
me till the Fridaj. (Sir Loftus sUurts up in a 
passion, and strides up and down. — Mariane 
rising from her seat carelessly.) I wonder 
where William has put the nuts I bought for 
Miss Eston's squirrel. I think I hear a mouse 
in the wainscot. {Goes to the bottom of the 
room, and opens a smaU cabinet, whilst Sir 
Loftus comes forward to the front.) 

Sir Loft, {aside.) Damn her freaks ! I wish 
the devil had the wooing of her ! (Pauses.) 
I must not lose her for a trifle though ; but 
when she is once secured, I'll be revenged ! 
m vex her ! I'll drive the spirit out of her ! 
{JUoud Of she comes forward.) My passion for 
you. Miss Withrington, is too generous and 
disinterested to merit this indifferences. 

Mar. I'm glad they have not eat the nuts 
though. 

Sir Loft, (aside.) Curse her and her nuts ! 
Ill tame her ! {aloud.) My sentiments for 
joxL, Ma'am, are of so delicate and tender a 
nature, they do indeed deserve your indul- 
gence. Tell me then, can the most disinter- 
e*ted, the most fervent love, make any im- 
pression on your heart? I can no longer 
^xist in this state of anxiety ! at your feet let 



me implore you — {Seems ahout to kneel, but 
rather unwiUingly, as if he wished to he pre- 
vented.) 

Mar. Pray, Sir Loftus, don't kneel there ! 
.my maid has spilt oil on the floor. 

Sir Loft. Smce you will not permit me to 
have the pleasure of kneeling at — 

Mar. Nay, I will not deprive you of the 
pleasure — There is no oil spilt here. {Point- 
ing to apart of the floor very near thecloset" 
door.) 

Sir Loft. I see it would be disagreeable to 
you. 

Mar. I eee very well you are not inclined 
to condescend so far. 

Sir Loft, (kneeling directly,) Believe me, 
Madam, the pride, the pleasure of my life, is 
to be devoted to the most adorable — (Mari- 
ane gives a significant cough, and Agnes and 
Eston burst from the doset .* the door opening 
on the outside, comes against Sir Loftus as he 
kneels, and lays him sprawting on the floor.) 

A^. Est. and Mar. {speaking together.) 
O Sir Loftus ! poor Sir Loftus ! {All coming 
about him pretending to assist him to get up.) 

Sir Loft. Damn their bawling ! they will 
bring the whole family here ! 

Eater Mr. WtTHRiN«T05 and Opal : Sir Lof- 
tus, mad with rage, makes a desperate effort, 
and gets upon his legs. Opal stanos laughing at 
him without any ceremony, whilst he bites his 
lips, and draws himself up haughtily. 

• 

Mar. (to Sir Loft.) I'm afraid you have 
hurt yourself.? 

Sir Loft, (shortly.) No, Ma'am. 

Ag. Hav'nt you rubbed the skin off your 
shins, Sir Loftus .' 

Sir Loft. No, Ma'am. 

Ag. I am sure he has hurt his nose, but he 
is ashamed to own it. 

Sir Loft' Neither shin nor nose ! Devil 
take it! 

With. Get along, girls, and don't torment 
this poor man any longer. I am afraid. Sir 
Loftus, the young gipsies have been making 
a fool of you. 

Sir Loft. Sir, it is neither in your power 
nor theirs to make a fool of me. 

Op. Ha, ha, ha, ha 1 'Faith Prettyman, you 
must forgive me ! ha, ha, ha, ha ! I never 
thought in my life to have caught you at such 
low prostrations. But don't be so angry, 
though you do make a confounded silly figure, 
it must be confessed. Ha, ha, ha, ha ! 

Sir Loft, {to Op.) Sir, your impertinence 
and yourself are equally contemptible ; and 1 
desire you would no longer take the trouble 
of intruding yourself into my company, nor 
of affronting me, as you have hitherto done, 
with your awkward imitation of my figure 
and address. 

Op. What the devil do you mean .? I imi- 
tate your figure and address ! I scorn to — I 
will not deny that I may have insensibly ac- 
quired a httle of them both, for — for — (Hesi- 
tating.) 



78 



THETRYAL: A COMEDY. 



Ag. For he has obflerved people laughing 
at him of late. 

Sir. Lofi. (turning on his htd.) He is be- 
neath my resentment. 

Mar. oe not so angry, good Sir Loftas ! 
let us end this business for the present ; and 
when 1 am at leisure to hear the remainder 
of your declarations, which have been so un- 
fortunately interrupted, I'll send and let you 
know. 

Sir Lofi. No, Taith Madam! you have 
heard the last words I shall ever say to you 
upon the subject. A large fortune may niake 
amends for an ordinary person. Madam, but 
not for vulgarity and impertinence. Good 
morning ! {Breaks from them^ and Exit, 
leaving them laughing provokingly behind 
him.) 

With, {shaking his head.) This is too bad. 
this is too bad, young 4adies ! I am ashamed 
to have all this rioting and absurdity going 
on in inv house. 

Ag. Come away, uncle, and see him go 
down the back wiuk, from the parlour win- 
dows. I'll warrant you he'll stride it away 
most nobly. ( Withnngton foUUnos shrugging 
up his shoulders.) [Exeuht. 



ACT V. 



Scene I. — mr. wiTiTRiifOTOii's li^a* 

KT^ MR. WlTHRINGTOlf DISCOVERED 
SEATED BT ▲ TABLE. 

With. Who Waits there? (Enter Servant.; 
Tell Miss Agnes Withnngton' I wish to see 
her. [Exit Servant.] What an absurd fellow 
this Harwood is, to bie so completely bewitch- 
ed with such a ffirl as Agnes! Ir she were 
like the women 1 remember, there would in- 
deed be some — f Agnes entering sofilv be- 
hind him, gives him a tap on the sfunuder.) 

Ag. Well, uncle, what are you grumbling 
about.' Have you lost yoor wager.' Har- 
wood has just lefl you, I hear. 

With. I believe you may buy those trink- 
um trankum ornaments for Mariane when- 
eyer you please. 

Ag. Pray look not so ungraciously upon 
the matter! But you can't forgive him, I 
suppose, for being such a ninny as to fall in 
love with a little ordinary girl, eh ? 

With. And so he is a nmny , and a fool, and 
a very silly fellow. 

Ag. Do tell me what he has been saying to 
you. 

With. Why, he confesses thou art ill-tem- 
pered, that thou art freakish, that thou art 
extravagant ; and that of all the friends he 
has spoken with upon the subject, there is 
not one who will allow thee beauty enough 
to make a good-looking dairy-maid. 

Ag. Didlie say so ? 

with. Why, something nearly equivalent 



to it, Agnes. Yet, notwithstanding all this, 
there is something about thee, so unaccouRi* 
ably deli^ht^ to nim, that, poor as thou art. 
he will give up the fair hopes of opulence, and 
the pleasures of freedom, to watch for thee, 
bear with thee, drudge for thee, if thou wilt 
have the condescension, in return, to plagusr 
and torment him for life. 

Ag. Foolish enough indeed! yet Heaven 
bless him for it ! What a fortunate woman 
am I ! I sought a disinterested lover, and I 
have found a most wonderful one. 

With. I dare say you think yourself very 
fortunate, 

Ag, And don't you, likewise, my good Sir? 
bntyou seem displeased at it. 

With. You guess rightly enough : I must 
speak without disguise, Agnes; I am not 
pleased. 

Ag. Ah ! his want of fortune — 

With. Poo ! you know very well I despise 
all mercenary balancing of property. It is 
not that which disturbs me. To be the dis- 
interested choice of a worthy man is what 
every woman^ who means to marry at all 



would be ambitious of; and a point in regard 
to her marriage, which a woman of fortune 
would be unwilling to leave doubtful. But 
there are men whose passions are of such a 
violent overbearing nature, that love in them 
may be consideredas a disease of the mind ; 
and the object of it claims no more perfection 
or pre-eminence amongst women, than chalk, 
lime, or oatmeal do amongst dainties, because 
some diseased stomachs do prefer them to all 
things. Such men as these we sometimes 
see attach themselves even to ugliness and 
infamy, in defiance of honour and decency. 
With such men as these, women of sense and 
refinement can never be happy ; nay, to 
be willingly the object of their love is dis- 
respectable. (Pauses.) But yon don't care 
for all this, I suppose ? It does well enough 
for an old uncle to perplex himself with these 
niceties : it is you yourself the dear man hap- 
pens to love, and none of those naughty wo- 
men I have been talking of, so all is very 
right. (Pauses, and she seems though^ul.) 

Ag. (assuming a grave and more dign^ed 
air.) iNo, Sir, you injure me : prove that his 
love for me is stronger than his love of virtue, 
and I will — 

With. What will you do, Agnes ? 

Ag. I will give him up forever. 

With. Ay, there spoke a brave girl ! yoR 
deserve the best husoand in Christendom for 
this. 

Ag. Nay, if Harwood endures not the test, 
I will indeed renounce him, but no other 
man shall ever fill his place. 

With. Well, well, we shall see, we shall see. 
(Walks up and down. She is thoughtful J You 
are very thoughtful, Agnes ! I fear I have 
distressed you. 

Ag. You have distressed me, yet I thank 
I you for it. I have been too presumptuous, I 
I nave ventured fiirther than I ought. Since it 



THE TRYAL : A CX)Bf£DT. 



79 



ii fo, I will not shrink from the trial. {PauS" 
a.) Don*t you think he will go through it 
honourably ? 

With, (shaking kis head.) Indeed I know 
not — I hope he will. 

Ag. You hope ? I thank you for that word, 
my dear Sir ! I hope he will too. (She re- 
mains thoughtful : he takesa turn or two across 
the stage.) 

With, (dapping her shoulder affectionately.) 
What are you thmking of, niece f 

Ag. How to eet about this business. 

ffith. And how will you do it? 

Ag. I will write a fetter to Lady Fade, 
asking pardon for haying told some malicious 
fidaehoods of her, to a relation on whom she 
is dependent ; begging she will make up the 
matter, and forgiye me, promising at the same 
time, most humbly, if she will not expose me 
for this time, neyer to offend so any more. 
Next time he comes, I will make him direct 
the letter himself, that when it falls into his 
hands again, he may haye no doubt of its au- 
thenticity. Will this do } 

With. Yes, yery well. If he loyes you after 
this, his loye is not worth the haying. 

Ag. Ah, uncfe '. You are yery hard-heart- 
ed ! But you are yery right : I know you are 
fery right. Pray does not Royston lodge in 
the same house with Harwood ? 

Wuh. He does. 

Ag. I wish, by his means, we could con- 
ceal ourselyes somewhere in his apartments, 
where we might see Harwood haye the letter 

rit into his l^ds, and obserye his behayiour. 
don't know any body else who can do this 
for OS : do you think you could put him into 
good humour again ^ 

With. I rather think I can, for he hath still 
a&your to ask of me. 

Ag. We miist ^ye him a part to act ; do 
yon think he can do it ? 

With. He is a yery blundering fellow, but 
he will be so flattered with bein^ let into the 
Mciet, that I know he will do his best. 

Enter Marians. 

Mar. What haye you been about so long 
together ? 

With. Hatching a new plot; and we set 
about it directly too. 

Mar. I am yery sure the plot is of your 
own hatching, then ; for I neyer saw Agnes 
with any thing of this kind in her head, wear 
anch a graye spiritless face upon it before. 

With. You are mistaken, Ma'am, it is of 




got any more poor deyils on your hands to 
torment, do it quickly } for I will haye an end 
put to all this foolery. 

Mar. Very well, uncle ; I haye just been 
foDowing your adyice. I haye discarded Sir 
Ulock O* Grady, and I haye only now poor 
Opal to reward for his senrices. I haye ffot 
a promise of marriage from him, in which ne 



forfeits ten thousand pounds if he draws back. 
I shall torment him with this a little. It was 
an extraordinary thing to be sure for on heir- 
ess to .demand : but I told him it was the fash- 
ion ; and now that he has bound himself so 
securely, he is quite at heart's ease, and thinks 
eyery tning snug and well settled. 

Enter Rotstok, a Servant announcing hinu 

With. Your senrant, Mr. Royston, I am 
yery glad to see you. Don't start at seeing 
the ladies with me ; I know my niece, Mari- 
ano, and you haye had a little misunderstand- 
ing, but ^hen I have explained the matter to 
{rou, you will be friends with her again, and 
au£h at it yourself. 

Roy. (coldly.) I have the honour to wish 
the ladies good morning. 

With. Nay, cousin, you don't understand 
how it is : these girls have been playing tricks 
upon every man they have met with since 
they came here ; and when that wild creature 
(pointing to Mariano,) was only lauehing at 
tne cheat she had passed upon them all, which 
I shall explain to you presently, you thought 
she was laughing at you. Shake hands, and 
be friends with ner, cousin ; nobody minds 
what a foolish girl does. 

Roy. (his face brightejung up.) O ! for that 
matter, I mind these things as little as any 
body, cousin Withrington. I have too many 
affairs of importance on my hands, to attend 
to such little matters as these. I am glad the 
young lady had a hearty laugh with all my 
soul ; and I shall be happy to see her as merry 
again whenever she has a mind to, it. I mind 
it ! no, no, no ! 

Mar. I thank you. Sir ; and I hope we shall 
be merry again, when you shall have your 
own share of the joke. 

Roy. Yes, yes, we shall be yery merry. 
By the bye, Withrington, I came here to tell 
you, that I have got my business with the 
duke put into so good a train, that it can 
hardly misgive. 

With. I am happy to hear it. 

Roy. You must know I have set very art* 
fully about it, cousin ; but I dare say you 
would guess as much, he, he, he ! You knew 
me of old, eh! I have got Mr. Cully fool to 
ask it for me on his own account; I haye 
bribed an old house-keeper, who is to inter- 
est a great lady in my favour ; 1 have called 
eleven times on his grace's half-cousin, till 
she has fairly promised to write to the dutch- 
ess upon the business ; I have written to the 
steward, and promised his son all mv interest 
at next election, if he has any mind to stand 
for our borough, you know ; and I have ap- 
plied by a fnend — no, no, he has applied 
through tlie medium of another friend; or 
rather, I believe, by that friend's wife, or 
aunt, or some way or other, I don't exactly 
remember, but it is a very good channel, I 
know. 

With. O ! I make no doubt of it. 

Roy. Nay, my landlady has engaged her 



80 



THE TRYAL : ▲ OQMEDY. 



apothecary*8 wife to speak to his grace's 
pnysician about it ; and a medical man, yoa 
know, sometimes asks a fiivour with great 
advantage, when a patient believes that his 
life b in his hands. The duke has got a most 
furious fit of the gout, and it has been in his 
stomach too, ha, ha, ha, ha ! — If we can't 
succeed without it. I have a friend who will 
offer a round sum for me, at last; but I hope 
this will not be necessary. Pray, do vou 
know of anjr other good channel to solicit bj ? 

With. 'Faith, Royston ! you have found out 
too many roads to one place already ; I fear 
you'll lose your way amun^st them all. 

Rou. Nay, nay, cousin, 1 won't be put off 
so. I have been told this morning you are 
acquainted with Sucksop, the duke s greatest 
friend and adviser. Come, come ! you must 
use your interest for me. 

frith. Well, then, come in the other room, 
and we shall speak about it. I have a fiivour 
to ask of vou too. 

Roy. My dear Sir, any favour in my power 
you may absolutely command at all times. 
I'll follow you, cousin. (Goes to the door 
with Withrin^n with great alacrity j but rec- 
olUcting that he has forgotten to pay his' com- 
pliments to the ladies J mtrries back again, and, 
after making several very proftntiui bows to 
themfftMows Withrington into another room.) 

Mar. (imitating him.) Ha, ha, ha, ha ! 

yig. softly, Mariane; let ua leave this 
room, if you must laugh, for he wiU overhear 

you. [ElEUNT. 

Scene II. — eotston's lodoiitos. 
Enter Rotston, condncting in Aones, Mari- 

AlfE, and WiTHRIMOTON. 

Roy. Now, pray compose yourselves, young 
ladies, and sit down a Uttle. I'll manage 
every thing: don't give yourself any trou- 
ble; I'll set the whole plot a-going. 

With. We depend entirely upon you, cousin 
Royston. 

Roy. I know you do ; many a one depends 
upon me, cousin Withrington. I'll shew you 
how I'll manage it. Jonathan, come here, 
Jonathan ! (Enter Jonathan.) Brin^ me that 
screen from the other room. (Exit Jonathan.) 
We'll place it here, if you pleaae, cousin, and 
then you and the ladies can stand as snugly 
beii:ii.i it, as kings and queens in a puppet- 
^ show, till your time comes to appear. (Enter 
Jonathan with screen.) Come hither with it, 
Jonathan : place it here. (Pointing.) No, no, 
jolter-head, nearer the wall with it. (Going 
behind it, and coming out again.) It will do 
better a little more this side, for then it will 
be farther from tlie window. 

Ag. O ! it will do very well. Sir ; you take 
too much trouble. 

Roy. Trouble, my dear Ma'am ! If it were 
a hundred times more trouble, I should be 
happy to serve you. I don't mind trouble, 
if I can get the thing done cleverly and com- 
pletely. That's my way of doing things. 



No, it don't stand to pleaae me yet; it is too 
near the door now, and the ladies may catch 
cold, perhaps. 

As^. (very uneasif.) Indeed it stands very 
well! Harwood will be here before we are 
ready. 

Roy. (to Jon.) Blockhead that thou art! 
canst thou not set it up even ? Now, that will 
do. (^Getting behind it.) This will do. 
(Conung out again.) Yes, this will do to a 
nicety. 

Mar. (aside.) Heaven be praised, this grand 
matter is settled at last ! 

Roy. Now he'll think it odd, perhaps, that 
I have a screen in my room ; but I have a 
trick for that, ladies ; I'll tell him I mean to 
purchase lands in Canada, and have been 
looking over the map of America. (Agnes 
looks to Withrington very uneasy.) 

With. Don't do that, Royston, for then he 
will examine the screen. 

Roy. Or, I may say, there is a chink in the* 
wall, and I placed it to keep out the air. 

Ag. No, no, that won't do. For Heaven's 
sake, Sir ! 

Roy. Then I shall just say, I like to have m 
screen in my room^ for I am used to it at 
home. 

Mar, Bless me,. Mr. Royston! can*t yoa 
just leave it alone, andlhe'll take no notice of 
it ' ^ 

Roy. O ! if he takes no notice of it, that is 
a different thing. Miss Withrington: but 
don't be uneasy, I'll manage it all; I'll con- 
duct the whole business. 

Ag. (aside to Withrington.) O ! my good 
Sir ! this fool will ruin every thing. 

With. Be quiet, Agnes, we are in for it now. 

Roy. Let me remember my lesson too. 
Here is the letter for him, with the seal as 
naturally broken, as if the lady had done it 
herself. Harwood will wonder, now, how I 
came to know about all this. 'Faith ! I be- 
lieve, he thinks me a strange, diving, pene- 
tratiiig kind of a genius, aueady, and he is 
not far wrong, perhaps. You know me, cous- 
in Withrin^n : ha, ha, ha, ha ! You know me. 

Ag. O ! 1 wish it were over, and we were 
out of this house again ! 

Roy. Don't be uneasy, Ma*am, I'll manage 
every thing.— Jonathan ! Jonathan, (Enter) 
don't you go and tell Mr. Harwood that 1 
have got company here. 

Jon. No, no, your honour, I knows better 
than that ; for the ladies are to be behind the 
screen. Sir, and he must know nothing of the 
matter, to be sure. I'ficken ! it will be rare 
sport! 

Ag. (starting.) I hear a knock at the door. 

Roy. It is him, I dare say ; run, Jonathan. 

[Exit Jonathan, 
Jig. Come, come, let us hide ourselves. 
(All get behind the screen but Royston.) 

Roy. Ay, ay, it will do very well. (Look- 
ing at the screen.) 

Ag. (behind.) Mariane, don't breathe so 
loud. 



THE TRTALi A GOMEDT. 



81 



Mar. (behind.) I don't breathe load. 

Ag. (behind.) Do, uncle, draw in the edge 
of your coat. 

With, (behind.) Too, nllj girl ! they can't 
■ee a bit of it. 

Enter Colonel Hardt and Harwood. 

Roy. Ha ! your senranL my dear Colonel. 
How goes it, Harwood ? I bade my man tell 
you I was alone, and yeiy much disposed for 
your good company ; but I am doubly fortu- 
nate. (Bincing to the Colonel.) 

Col. Indeed, Royston, I have been pretty 
much with him these two days past, and I 
don't believe he giyes me great thanks for my 
company. I am like an old horse running 
after a colt ; the younff devil never fails to 
tom now and then, ana give him a kick for 
his pains. 

Uar. Nay, my good friend, I must be an 
ass's colt then, i am sure, I mean it not ; but 
I am not happy, and fear I have been peevish 
with you. 

Roy. (attempHtur to look archly.) Peevish, 
and all that ! perhaps the young man is in 
k>Ye, Colonel ? 

Col. No more, if you please, Royston : we 
Mte to speak of this no more. 

Enter Jonathan. 

Jon. Did your honoar call ? 

Roy. No, sirrah. (Jonathan goes,mt if he 
were looking for something, and takes a sly 
fup behind die screen, to see if they are aU 
tktre.) What are you peeping there for ? get 
along, you hound ! Does he want to muie 
people beheve I keep rary-shows behind the 
wainscot i (Eiit Jonathan.) But as I was a 
laying. Colonel, perhaps the young man is in 
k>ye. He, he, he ! 

Col. No, no, let us haye no more of it. 

Roy. But 'fiuth, I know that he is so ! and 
I know the lady too. She is a cousin of my 
own, and I am as well acquainted with her 
as I am with my own doe. — But you don't 
ask me what kind of a girl she is. (To the 
Colonel^ 

Col. (rive over now, Royston ; she is a very 
good girl, I dare say. 

Rotj. Well, you may think so, but — (^¥0^- 
ai£ Significant faces.) But — I should not say 
all I know of ray own cousin, to be sure, but — 

Har. What are all those cursed grimaces 
ibr .' Her faults are plain and open as her 
perfections : these she disdains to conceal, and 
the others it is impossible. 

Roy. Soflly, Harwood ; don't be in a pas- 
iion, unless you would imitate your mistress; 
ibr she has not the gentlest temper in the 
world. 

Har. Well, well, 1 love her the better for 
it I can't bear your insipid passionless wo- 
men ; I would as soon live upon sweet curd 
all my life, as attach myself to one of them. 

Roy. She is very extravagant. 

Har. Heaven bless the good folks ! would 
Uiey have a man to give up the woman of 

10 



his heart, because she likes a bit of lace upon 
her petticoat ^ 

Roy. Well, but she is— 

Cm. Devil take you, Royston ! can't yoa 
hold your tongue atiout her r you see he can't 
bear it. 

Roy. (making signs to the Colonel.) Let 
me alone ; I know when to speak, and when 
to hold my tongue, as well as another. In- 
deed, Harwood, I am your friend -, and though 
the lady is my relation, I must say, I wish 
you haid made a better choice. I haye dis- 
covered something in regard to her this morn- 
ing, which shews her to be a yery improper 
one. I cannot say, however, that I have dis- 
covered any thinff which surprised me; I 
know her too welL 

Har. (vehemently.) Tou are imposed upon 
by some damn'd falsehood. 

Roy. But I have proof of what I say ; the 
lady who is injured by her gave me tnis let- 
ter to shew to Mr. Wiihrington. (Taking out 
the letter.) 

Hot. It is some fiend who wants to under- 
mine her, and has forged that scrawl to serve 
her spiteful purpose. 

Rou. I should be glad it were so, my dear 
fiiend ; but Lady Fade is a woman, whose 
veracity has never been suspected. 

Har. Is it from Lady Fade ? Give it me ' 
(Snatching the letter.) 

Roy. It is Agnes 's hand, is it not ? 

Har. It is, at least, a good imitation of it, 

Roy. Read the contents, pray ! 

Har. *' Madam, what I have said to the 
prejudice of your ladyship's character to your 
relation, Mr. Worthy, 1 am heartily sorry 
for ; and I am ready to beg pardon on my 
knees, if you desire it ; to acknowledge be- 
fore Mr. Worthy himself, that it is a falsehood, 
or make any other reparation, in a private 
way, that you may desire. Let me, then, 
conjure your ladyship not to expose me, and 
I shall ever remain your most penitent and 
grateful A. Withrington." 

Roy. The lady would not be so easily paci- 
fied, though ; for she blackened her charac- 
ter, in order to make her best friend upon 
earth quarrel with her : so she gave me the 
letter to shew to her uncle . Is it forged, think 
you ? 

Har. It is possible — I will venture to say 
— Nay, I am sure it is ! 

Roy. If it is, there is one circumstance 
which may help to discover the author ; it is 
directed by a different hand on the back. 
Look at it. 

Har. (In greiU perturbation.) Is \i} (Turns 
hastily the folds of the letter y but his hand Irem- 
bles so much he can^tfind the back.) 

Col. My dear Harwood ! this is the back of 
the letter, and methinks the writing is some- 
what like your own. (Harwood tooks at it; 
then staggering back, throws himself into a 
chair, which hapvens to be behind him, and 
covers his upper fau with his hand.) 

Col. My dear Harwood ! 



THE TRYAL : A OOBHEDY. 



Roy. See how his lips quiver, and his boaom 
heaves ! Let us unbutton him ; I fear be in go- 
ing into a fit. (Agnes comes from behind the 
screen in a fright, and Withrington pvUs her 
in again.) 

Col. {with great tenderness.) My dear Har- 
wood! 

Har. (with a broken voiced I'll go to my 
own chamber . ( Gets up hastuyfrom his chair, 
and then falls back again in a Joint.) 

Col. He has fainted. 

Roy. Help, help, here ! (Running about.) 
Who has ^ot hartshorn, or lavender, or wa- 
ter? help here ! (They all come from behind 
the screen. Agne« runs to Har wood, and 
sprinkles him over with lavender, rubbing his 
temples, S^. whilst Colonel Hardy stares at them 
all m amazement.) 

Ag. Alas! we have carried this too far! 
Harwood ! my dear Harwood ! 



Col. (to Roy.) What is all this ? 
/.I 



1 



Roy. 1 thought we should amaze you. 
knew I shoula manage it. 

Col. You have managed finely indeed, to 
put Harwood into such a state with your mum- 
mery. 

Ag. Will he not come to himself a^ain } 
Get some water, Mariane — See how piQe he 
is ! (Ht reamers.) O ! he recovers ! Harwood ! 
do you know me, Harwood ? 

Har. (looking upon A|;nes, and shrinking 
back from her.) Ha ! what has brought vou 
here ? leave me ! leave me ! I am wretched 
enough already. 

Ag. I come to bring you relief, my dear 
Harwood. 

Har. No, madam, it is misery you bring. 
We must part forever. 

Ag. O ! uncle ! do you hear that ? He says 
We must part forever. 

ffith. (taking hold of Agnes.) Don't be in 
such a hurry about it. 

Har. (rising up.) How came you here ? 
(to Withrington,) and these ladies? 

Roy. O ! it was all my contrivance. 

IFUh. Pray now, Royston, be quiet a little. 
— Mr. Harwood, I will speak to you serious- 
ly. I see you are attached lo mv niece, and 
1 confess she has many faults; but jou are 
a man of sense, and with you she will make 
a more respectable figure in the world than with 
any other ; I am anxious for her welfare, and 
if you will marry her, I will give her such a 
fortune as will make it no longer an impru- 
dent step to follow your inclinations. 

Har. No, Sir, you shall keep your fortune 
and your too bewitching niece together. For 
her sake I would have renounced all ambi- 
tion ; I would have shared with her poverty 
and neglect ; I would have borne with all her 
faults and weaknesses of nature ; I would 
have toiled, I would have bled for her ; but I 
ean never yoke myself with unworthiness. 

Jig. (wiping her eyes, and giving two skips 
upon the floor.) O! adtnirable! admirable! 
■peak to him uncle ! tell him all, my dear un- 
eh* ! for I can't say a word. 



Col. (aside to Royston.) Isn't she a little 
wrong in the head, Royston ? 

With. Give me your hand, Harwood : you 
are a noble fellow, and you shall marry this 
little girl of mine after all This story of the 
letter and Lady Fade, was only a concerted 
one amongst us, to prove what mettle you 
are made of. Aiffnes, to try your love, afiect- 
ed to be shrewisn and extravagant ; and af- 
terwards, at my suggestion, to try your prin- 
ciples, contrived this little plot, which has 
just now been unravelled : but I do assure 
you, on the word of an honest man, there is 
not a better girl in the kingdom. I must own, 
however, she is a fanciful little toad. (Har- 
wood runs to Agnes, catches her in his armSf 
and runs two or three times round with her, then 
takes Iter hand and kisses it, and then puts his 
hue to the ground.) 

Har. My charming, my delightful Agnes ! 
Oh ! what a fool have I been ! how could I 
suppose it? 

Ag. We took some pains with vou, and it 
wotHd have been hard if we could not have 
deceived you amongst us all. 



Har. A^nd so thou art a good girl, a veiy 

^ ■_ "'n be " 

rf thou hast one fault in the world. 



^ood girl. I know thou art. rfl be hang'd 



With. No, no, Harwood, not quite so per- 
feet. I can prove her still to be an arrant 
cheat : for she pretended to be careless of you 
when she thought of you all the day long ; 
and she pretended to be poor with an hundred 
thousand pounds, independent of any one, in 
her possession. She is Miss Witiuin^ton 
the heiress ; and this lady, (pointing to Ma- 
riane,) has only been her representative, for 
a time, for reasons which I shall explain to 
you by-and-by. (Harwood lets go Agnes's 
hand, and steps back some paces vnth a certain 
gravity and distance in his air.) 

With. What is the matter now, Harwood ? 
does this cast a damp upon you ? 

Boy. It is a weighty distress truly. Ha, hft, 
ha, ha ! 

Col. By heaven this is good. 

'^g- (g<^^ ^P to Harwood, <im2 holding out 
her hand.) Do not look so distantly upon rae, 
Harwood •. you was willing to marry me as a 
poor woman ; if there is any thing in my for- 
tune which offends you, I scatter it to the 
winds. 

Har. My admirable girl ! it is astonishment, 
it is something 1 cannot express, which over- 
comes, I had almost said distresses me, at 
present. (Presenting her to the Colonel.) Col- 
onel Hardy, tliis is the woman I have raved 
about ! this is the woman I have boasted of I 
this is niy Agnes ! and this. Miss Withring- 
ton, is Colonel Hardy, my own, and my n- 
ther's friend. 

Ag. (holding out her hand to the Colonel.) 
He shall be mine too. Every friend of yourt 
shall be my friend, Harwood ; but the mend 
to your father mv most respected one. 

Har. Do you hear that, Colonel ? 

Col. I hear it ; my heart bean it, and blrti 
you both. 



THE TRYAL : A COMEDY. 



83 



Hot. {to With.) Mj dear Sir, what shall I 
By to you for all this groodness P 

Ag. Tell him he is the dearest good uncle 
on earth, and we will love him all our lives 
for it. Yes, indeed, we will, uncle, (taking 
ki$ htmd.) very, very dearly ! 

Boy. Now, good folks, have not I managed 
it cleveri? ? 

Mar. Fray let me come from the hack ground 
a httle : and since I must quit all the splen- 
dour of heiress-ship, I desire, at least, that I 
may have some respect paid me for having 
filled the situation so well, as the old Mayor 
receives the thanks of the corporation, wnen 
the new mayor — Bless me ! here comes Opal ! 
I have not quite done with it yet. 

With. Your servant, Mr. Opal. 

«¥<sr. {to Op.) Are you not surprised to find 
OS all here ? 

Op. Harwood I know is a very lucky fel- 
low, but I knew you were here. It is impos- 
sible, ^ou see, to escape me. But (half aside 
to Mariane.) I wanted to tell you Colonel 
Beaumont is come to Bath. Now 1 should 
like to be introduced to him on his arrival. 
He will be very much the fashion I dare say, 
and 1 should like to have a friendship for him. 
You understand me ? You can procure this for 
me, I know. 

With. Come, Mr. Opal, you must join in 
oor ^ood humour here, for we have just been 
makmg up a match. My niece, Agnes, with 
a large fortune, bestows herself on a worthy 
man, who would have married her without 
one; and Mariane, who for certain reasons 
has assumed her character of heiress since we 
came to Bath, leaves all her borrowed state, 
in hopes that the man who would have mar- 
ried her with a fortune, will not now forsake 
her. 

Op. {stammering.) Wh— Wh— What is all 
this.^ 

Boy. OuUf aside to Opal.) You seem dis- 
turbed, Mr. Opal^ you have not been paying 
your addresses to her, I hope. 

Op. {aside to Royston.) No, not paying my 
addresses ; that is to say, not absolutely. I 
have paid her some attention to be sure. 

Roy. {nodding significantly.) It is well for 
you it is no worse. 

Mar. (turning to Ojtal J who looks very much 
frightened ) V/hat is it you say ! Don't you 
thmk I overheard it .'' Not paid your address- 
es to me ! O ! you fiilse man ! can you deny 
the declarations you have made .' the oatlis 
yon have sworn .' O ! you false man ! 

Op. Upon honour, Madam, we men of the 
world don't expect to be called to an account 
for every foolish thing we say. 

Mar. What you mive written then shall 
witness against you. Will you deny this 
promise ofmarriage in your own hand- writ- 
ing? {Taking out a paper.) 

Rotf. {aside to Op.) What, a promise of 
marriage, Mr. Opal .' The devil himself 
could not have put it into your head to do a 
worse thing than this. 



Op. {very frightened^ but making a great 
exertion.) Don't think. Ma'am, to bull^ me 
into the match. I can prove that promise to 
be given to you under the false character of 
an heiress, therefore your deceit loosens the 
obligation. 

fl^ith. Take care what you say. Sir; (to 
Op.) I will not see my niece wronged. Tne 
law shall do her justice, whatever expence it 
may cost me. 

Mar. Being an heiress, or not, has nothing 
to do in the matter, Mr. Opal ; for you ex- 
pressly say in this promise, that my beauty 
and perfections alone have induced you to 
engage yourself; and I will take all the men 
in court to witness, whether I am not as 
handsome to-day as I was yesterday. 

Op. I protest there is not such a word in 
the paper. 

Mar. {holding out the paper.) O base man ! 
will you deny your own writing.' (Op. 
snatches the paper from her, tears it to pieces.) 

Mar. {gatneringiqt the scattered pieces.) O! 
I can put them together again. (Op. snatch' 
ing up one of the pieces ^ crams it into his mouth 
and mews it.) 

Roy. Chew fast, Opal ! she will snatch it 
out of your mouth else. There is another 
bit for you. {Offering him another piece.) 

Mar. {Bursting into a loud laugh, in which 
all the company join.) Is it very nice, Mr. 
Opal ? You munch it up as expeditiously as 
a bit of plum-cake. 

Op. What the deuce does all this mean ! 

frith. This nauffhty ffirl, Mr. Opal, has 
onl^ been amusing herself with your promise 
which she never meant to make any other 
use of; she is already enraged to a very wor- 
thy young man, who will receive with her a 
fortune by no means contemptible. 

Op. Well, well, much good may it do him : 
what do I care about — {mumbling to himself.) 

Roy. Ha, ha, ha ! how some people do get 
themselves into scrapes ! They have no 
more notion of managing their affairs than so 
many sheep. Ha, ha, ha ! 

Enter Humphry. 

Humph, {to Roy.) I would speak a word 
with your honour. ( Whispers to Royston.) 

Roy. {in a rage.) What! given away the 
place ! It is some wicked machination ! It is 
some damn'd trick ! 

With. Be moderate, Royston : what has 
good Mr. Humphry been telling ^ou ? 

Roy. O ! the devil of a bite ! his Grace ^has 
given away the place to a poor simpleton, 
who had never a soul to speak for him ! 

With. Who told you this, Mr. Humphry .' 

Humph. Truly, Sir, I called upon his 
Grace's gentleman, just to make up a kind 
of acquaintance with him, as his honour de- 
sired me, and he told me it was given away 
this morning. 

Roy. What carsed luck ! 

Humph. " Why," says I, " I thought my 
master was to have had it, Mr. Smoothly. 



84 



THE TRTAL i A OOMEDT. 



** And fo he would," aays he, '< bat one per- 
ion came to the Duke aner another, teasing 
him about Mr. Rojiton, till he grew quite im- 
patient ; for there waa but one of all thoae 
nrienda," sajs he, winking with his eye so, 
« who did speak at last to the purpose ; but 
tiien, upon Mr. Sucksop's taking up your 
master's interest, he shrunk back firom his 
word, which offisnded his Grace yery much." 

Boy. Blundering blockhead ! 

mm^. And so he gave awaj the place di- 
rectly to poor Mr. Drudgewell, who had no 
recommendation at all, but fifteen years hard 
■eryioe in the office. 

i2oy. Well, now ! well, now ! you see how 
the world goes; simpletons and idiots cany 
erery thing before them. 

WUk. Nay, Royston, blame yourself too. 
Did not I tell you, you had found out too 
many roads to one place, and would lose your 
way amongst them f 

ttoy. No, no, it is all that cursed perverse 
fbteofmine! By the Lord, half the trouble 



I have taken for this paltry office, would 
liave procured some people an archbishoprick ! 
There is Harwood, now, fortune presses her- 
jelf upon him, and makes him, at one stroke, 
an idle gentleman for life. 

Har. No, Sir, an idle gentleman I will never 
be : my Agnes shall never be the wife of any 
thing so contemptible. 

Ag. I thank you, Harwood ; I do, indeed, 
look for honourable distinction in being your 
wife. You shall still exert your powers in the 
profession you have chosen : you shall be the 
weak one*8 staj, the poor man's advocate ; 
you shall gain nit feme in recompense, and 
that will he our nobility. 

WUk. Well said, my children ! you have 
more sense than I thought you had amongst 
all these whimsies. Now, let us take our leave 
of plots and story-telling, if you please, and 
all go to my house to supper. Royston shall 
drown his disappointment in a can of warm 
negus, and Mr. Opal shall have something 
more palataUe than his last spare monel. 

[EUBUVT. 



DE MONFORT: A TRAGEDY. 



FERSONS OF THE DRAMA. 
MEN. 

Dz MoiTFORT. 
RxZEIfTELT. 

CouiT Frxbkro, Frieni to De Monfort 4md 

Rezenvelt. 
Maituel, Servant to De Monfbrt 
JiROMs, De Monfort'5 old Landlord. 
Com&D, an artful Ktune. 
BuLHABD, a Monk, 

Moikfl, Gentlemen, Officen, Page, i<* 4^. 

WOMEN. 

Jixi Dk Monfort, SImUt to De Monfort 
C00RTE88 Frxbkro, IVtfe to Freherg. 
Tbussa, Ssrvant to tke Cooatewi. 

AbbeM, Nods, and a Lay Sister, Ladies, ^ 

V &eiMy A Ttfioii tfi Germany. 



ACT I. 

^m I.— OEBOXE'B H0U8B. A LABGB 
0LD-rA8HI0NBD CBIMBBE. 

*^«r. fjjpedUi^ toilAaiit.) This way, good 

^ter Jbromb, bearii^ a light, and followed by 
Hasubl, and semnts canyiiig luggage. 

•1^, Rest your burthens here. 

^'Ui ipscioos room will please the Marquis 

I? ^ ^■*- 

l^e takes me unawares ; but ill prepar'd : 

'^be had sent, e'en tho' a hasty notice, 
^ bad been glad. 

tm^{^^' B® i^ot disturb'd, good Jerome ; 

**^J house is in most admirable order ; 
^J^ they who travel o' cold winter niglits 
«iUnk homeliest quarters good. 

^er. He is not &r behind? 
,.,^fa». A little way. 

^^o tke Servants.) Go you and wait below tXL 
he arrives. 

-^er. {shaking Manuel hy the hand.) Indeed, 
w my meniL I'm glad to see yon hm, 

**t marvel wherefore. 

Man, I marvel wheiefore too, my honest 
|. Jerome : 

^^t here we axe ; nri'thee be kind to us. 
^». Most heartily I wUl. I love your mas- 
ter: 



He is a quiet and a lib'ral man : 

A better inmate never crossed my door. 

Man. Ah ! but he is not now the man he 
was. 
Lib'ral he'll be. God grant he may be quiet. 

Jer. What has befallen him ? 

Man. I cannot tell thee ; 

But faith, there is no living with him now. 

Jer. And yet methinks^if I remember well, 
Tou were about to quit his service, Manuel, 
When last he left this house. You grumbled 
then. 

^oft. I've been upon the eve of leaving him 
These ten long jjrears ; for many times is he 
So difficult, capricious, and distrustful. 
He galls my nature — ^yet, I know not how, 
A secret kindness binds me to him still. 

Jer, Some, who offend from a suspicious 
nature. 
Will aflerward such fair confession make 
As turns e'en the offence ijfto a fiivour. 

Man, Tes, some indeed do so : so will not 
he : 
He'd rather die than such confession make. 

Jer, Ay J thou art right; for now I call to 
mind 
That once he wrong'd me with unjust suspi- 
cion. 
When first he came to lodge beneath my roof; 
And when it so fell out that I was prov'd 
Most guiltless of the fault, I truly thought 
He would have made profession of regret. 
But silent^ haughty, and ungraciously 
He bore lumseff as one offended still. 
Tet shortly afler, when unwittingly 
I did him some slight service, o'ue sudden 
He overpower'd me with his grateful thanks ; 
And would not boTestrain'd Sam pressing on 

me 
A noble recompense. I understood 
His o'erstrain'a gratitude and bounty well, 
And took it as he meant. 

Man, 'Us oflen thus. 

I would have left him many years ago, 
But Uiat with all his fkults tnere sometimes 

come 
Such bursts of natural goodness from his heart, 
As might engage a harder churl than me 
To serve him still.^And then his sister too ; 
A noble dame, who should have been a queen : 
The meanest of her hinds, at her command. 
Had fought like lions for her, and the poor. 
E'en o'er their bread of poverty, had bless'd 

her — 
She would have griev'd if I had left my Lord. 

Jer. Comes she along with him ? 

Man. No, he departed all unknown to her, 



86 



DE MONFORT i A TRAGEDY. 



Meaning to keep conceal 'd his secret route ; 
Bat well I knew it would afflict her much, 
And therefore lefl a little nameless billet, 
Which af\er our departure, as I guess, 
Would fyXi into her hands, and tell her all. 
What could I do ? O 'tis a noble lady ! 

Jer. All this is strange — something disturbs 
his mind — 
Belike he is in love. 

Man. No, Jerome, no. 

Once on a time I served a noble master. 
Whose youth was blasted with untoward Ibve, 
And he wfth hope and fear and jealousy 
Forever toss'd, led an unquiet life : 
Tet, when unruffled by the passing fit, 
His pale wan face sucn gentle sadness wore 
As mov'd a kindly heart to pity him. 
But Monfort, even in his calmest hour. 
Still bears that gloomy sternness in bis eye 
Which powerfully repels aH sympathy. 

no ! ^ood Jerome, no ; it is not love. 

Jer. Hear I not horses- trampling at the 
^ate ? (Listening.) 

He is amv'd — stay thou — I had forgot — 
A plague upon't ! my head is so confiis'd — 

1 will return i* the instant to receive him; 

(Exit hastily.) 
{A ^eat bustle without. Exir Manuel witk 
liffhtSj and returns again, lighting in De 
IVloMFORT, as if just alighted from hisjouT' 
nea.) 

Man, Your ancient host, my Lord, receives 
ynxx gladly. 
And your apartment will be soon prepared. 
Dc Man. Tis well. 

Man. Where shall I place the chest you 
gave in charge ? 
So i^ease you, say my Lord. 
De Man. {throwing himself into a chair.) 

Where'er thou wilt. 
Man. I would not move that lu^giige till 
you came. (Pointing to certain t&ngs.) 
De Mon. Move what thou wilt, and trouble 
me no more. 
(Manuel, with the assistance ofot/ier servants, 
sets about putting the things in order, ana 
De Monfort remains sitting in a thoughtful 
posture.) 

Enter Jerome, bearing wine, &c. on a salver. 
As he approaches De Monfort, Manuel 
palls him by the sleeve. 

Man. (aside to Jerome.) No, do not now; 

he will not be disturb'd. 
Jer. What, not to bid him welcome to my 
house. 
And offer some refreshment ^ 

Man. No, good Jerome. 

So^y a little while : I pri'thee do. 
(Jerome walhs softly on tiptoes, till he gets be- 
hind De Monfort, then peeping on owe side to 
me his face.) 

Jer. (aside to Manuel.^ Ah, Manuel, what 
an alter'd man is here ! 
His eyes are hollow, and his cheeks are , 
He left this house a comely gentfemanr 



De Mon, Who whispers there .' 

Man. 'Us your old landlord, ffir. 

Jer, Ijoyta see you here— I crave your 

pardon — I fear I do intrude. — 
De Mon. No, my kind host, I am oblig'd tc 

thee. 
Jer. How fares it with your honour .^ 
De Mon. Well enoughs 

Jer. Here is a little of the fav'rite wine 
That you were wont to praise. Fray honour 
me. (Pills a glass.) 

De Mon. (<Bfitr drinking.) 1 thank you, Je- 
rome, 'tis delicious. 
Jer. Ay, my dear wife did ever make it so. 
De Mon. And how does she P 
Jer. Alas, my Lord ! she's dead. 

De Mon. Well, then she is at rest. 
Jer. How well, my Lord ?^ 

De Mon. Is she not with the dead, the quiet 
dead. 
Where all is peace .^ Not e*en the impioiis> 

wretch. 
Who tears the coffin from its earthly vault. 
And strews the mould'ring ashes to the wind, 
Can break their rest. 
Jer, Woe's me ! I thought you would have 
grieved for her. 
She was a kindlv soul ! Before she died, 
When pinine sickness bent her cheerless head. 
She set my house in order — 
And but the morning ere she breath *d> her bat. 
Bade me preserve some flaskets of this wine, 
That should the Lord de Monfort come again 
His cup mijrht sparkle still. (De Monfort 
toaOcs across the stagey and wipes kis 

Indeed I tear I have distress'd you, Sir ; 
I surelv thought you would be grieved for her. 
jDe Mon, Uakmg Jerome's hsmd.) I am, my 
friend. How long has she been dead ? 
Jer. Two sad long years. 
jDe Mon. Would she were liviiMr still ! 

I was too troublesome, too heedless ofher. 
Jer. O no ! she lov'd to serve you. 

(Loud knocking idthotU.) 
De Mon. What fool comes here, at sock 
untimely hours. 
To make this cursed noise ? (To Manuel.) Go 
to the gate. [Exit Manuel. 

All sober citizens are gone to bed ; 
It is some drunkards on their nightly rounds, 
Who mean it but in sport. 
Jer. I hear unusual voices — ^here the j come. 

Re-ent«E Manuel^ shewing in Count FKCBiae 
and his Ladt, with a mask in her hand. 

Frdf. (running to embrace De Mon.) My 
dearest Sfonfort! most unlock 'd m 
pleasure ! 
Do I indeed embrace thee here again .' 
I saw thy servant standing by the g&te. 
His face recall'd, and learnt the joytul tidings. 
Welcome, thrice welcome here ! 
DeMon. I thank thee, Freberg, for this 
friendly visit. 
And this fiur Lady too. (Bowing to the Udy.) 
Lady. I frar, my Lord, 



DE MONFORT : A TRAGEDY. 



87 



We>do intrade at an untimely hour : 
But now, returning from' a midnight mask, 
-My husband did insist that we should <enter. 
Fr^. No, say not so ; no hour untimel^r call, 
Which doth together bring long absent friends. 
J>ear Monfort, why hast thou so slyly play 'd. 
To come upon us thus so suddenly ? 

DeM on. O ! many varied thoughts do cross 

our brain. 

Which touch the will, but leave the memory 

trackless; 
And yet a strange compounded motive make, 
Wherefore a man should bend his evening 

walk 
To th' east or west, the forest or the field. 
Ifl it not often so ? 

JFVe6. I ask no more, happy to see you here 
FVom any motive. There is one behind. 
Whose presence would have been a double 

bliss : 
-Ah ! how is she ? The noble Jane De Monfort. 
De Man. (confused.) She is — I have*— I left 

my sister well. 
Lady, (to Freberg.) My Freberg, you are 
heedless of respect : 
Tou surely mean to say the LAdy Jane. 
JVe6. Respect! No, Madam; Princess, 
Empress, Queen, 
Could not denote a creature so exalted 
As this plain appellation doth. 
The noble Jane De Monfort. 

Lady, (turning from him displeased to Mon.) 
Tou are utigued, my Lord ; you want repose ; 
Bay, should we not retire .' 

Fr^. Ha! is it 80 .> 

My friend, your face is pale, have you been 
ill.' 
De Mon. No, Freberg, no ; I think I have 

been well. 
Fre6. (shaking his head.) I fear thou hast 
not, Mombrt — 'Let it pass. 
We^ll re-establish thee : we'll banish pain. 
I will collect some rare, some cheerful friends. 
And we shall spend together glorious hours, 
That ffods might envy. Little time so spent 
Doth far outvalue all our life beside. 
This is indeed our life, our waking life. 
The rest duU breathing sleep. 

De Mon. Thus, it is true, horn the sad 
years of life 
We sometimes do short hours, yea minutes 

strike. 
Keen, blissful, bright, never to be forgotten; 
Which, thro' the dreary gloom of time o'er- 

past. 
Shine like fair sunny spots on a wild waste. 
But few they are, as few the heaven-fir'd soub 
Whose magick power creates them. Bless'd 

art uiou. 
If, in the ample circle of thy friends. 
Thou canst but boast a few. 

Freb. Judge for thyself: in truth I do not 
boast. 
There is amongst my friends, my later friends, 
A most accomplish'a stranger: new to Amberg; 
But just arrived, and will ere long depart 
I met him in Fianconia two years since. 



He is so full of pleasant anecdote, 
So rich, so gay, so poignant is his wit. 
Time vanishes before him as he speaks. 
And ruddy morning thro' the lattice peeps 
Ere night seems well began. 
De Mon. How is he call'd ? 

Freb. I will surprise thee with a welcome 
face : 
I will not tell thee now. 
Lady, (to Mon.) I have, my Lord, a small 
request to make. 
And must not be denied. I too may boast 
Of some good friends, and beauteous country- 
women : 
To-morrow night I open wide my doors 
To all the fair and gay : beneatli my roof 
Musick, and dance, and revelry shall reign ; 
I pray you come and grace it witii yoar pre- 
sence. 
De Mon. You honour me too much to be 

denied. 
Lady. I thank you. Sir ; and in return for 
this. 
We shall withdraw, and leave you to repose. 
Freb. Must it be so .'' Good night — sweet 

sleep to thee ! (To Dc Monfort.) 
De Mon. (to Freb.) Goodnight. (To Lady.) 

Good night, fair Lady. 
Lady. Farewell ! 

[Exeunt Freberg and Lady. 
De Mon. (to Jer.) I thought Count Freberg 

had been now in France. 
Jer. He meant to go, as I have been in- 

form'd. 

De Mon. Well, well, prepare my bed ; 1 will 

to rest. [EiiT Jerome. 

De Mon. (aside.) I know not how it is, my 

heart stands back. 

And meets not this man's love. — Friends ! 

rarest friends ! 
Rather than share his undisceming praise 
With every table wit, and book-form'd sage. 
And paltry poet puling to the moon, 
I'd court trom hiin protx^ription, yea abuse, 
And think it proud distinction. [Exit. 

SCKITE IL — A SMALL APARTMENT IN Je- 

rome's house: a table and break- 
fast SET OUT. 

Enter De Monfort, followed by Manuel, and 
sets himself dowD by tiie table, with a cheerful 
face. 

De Mon. Manael, this morning's sun shines 

pleasantly : 
These old apartments too are liffht and cheer- 

ful 
Our landlord's kindness has revived rne much; 
He serves as though he lov'd me. This pure 

air 

Braces the Ustless nerves, and warms tho 

blood : 
I feel in freedom here. 

(Filling a cup of cqfee, and drinking.) 
^ Man. Ah ! sure, my Lord, 

No air is purer than the air at home. 
De Mon. Here can I wander with assured 
steps, 



D£ BfONFORT : A THAGCDT. 



Nor dread, at every winding of the path, 
Lest an abhorred serpent croea my way. 
To move — (ttapping short.) 

Man. What says your honour ? 
There are no serpents in oar pleasant fields. 

De Man. Thixik'st thou there are no ser- 
pents in the world 
But those who slide along the grassy sod. 
And sting the luckless foot that presses them ? 
There are who in the path of social life 
Do bask their spotted skins in Fortune's sun, 
And sting the soul — Ay, till its healthful frame 
Is chanjr d to secret, &st*ring, sore disease, 
So deaiUy is the wound. 

Man. Heaven ffuard your honour from such 
horrid skathe ! 
They are but rare, I hope ? 

De Man, (shaking his head.) We mark the 
hoUow eye, the wasted frame, 
The ffait disturbed of wealthy honoured men, 
But do not know the cause. 

Man. 'Tis very true. God keep you well, 
my Lord! 

De Mm. I thank thee, Manuel, I am very 
well. 
I shall be gay too, by the setting sun-. 
I go to revel it with sprightly dames, 
And drive the night away. 

{FiiUng another cupj and drinking.) 

Man. I should be glad to see your honour 

De Man. And thou too shalt be gay. There, 
honest Manuel, 
Put these bioad pieces in thy leathern purse, 
And take at night a cheerful jovial glass. 
Here ia one too, for Bremer : he loves wine ; 
And one for Jaques : be joyful all together. 

Enter Servajtt. 

Ser. My Lord, 1 met e*en now, a short way 

off, 
Tour countryman the Marquis Rezenvelt. 
De Mon. {starting from his seat, and letting 

the cup faU from his hand.) Who, 

say'st thou.' 
Ser. Marquis Rezenvelt, an' please jrou. 
De Mon. Thou ly 'st — it is not so— it is im- 
possible ! 
Ser. I saw him with these eyes, plain as 

yourself. 
De Mon. Fool ! 'tis some passing stranger 

thou hast seen. 
And with a hideous likeness been deceived. 
Ser. No other stranger could deceive my 

sight. 
De Mon. (dashing his clendted hand violent- 

hj upon the table, and overturning 

every thing.) Heaven blast thy 

sight ! it lights on nothing good. 
Ser. I surely thought no harm to look upon 

hiui. 
DeMon. What, dost thou still insist .' Him 

must it be ? 
Does it so please thee well ! (Servant endsav- 

ours to speak.) Hold thy damn'd 

tongue! 



By heaven ill kia thee ! (Gmng J 

n^ to him.) 

Man. (in a soothing voice.) Nay ha 

not, my Lord; he speaks th 

I've met his groom,. who toki me cerl 

His Lord is Seie. I should have tok 

But thought, perhaps, it might displei 

honour. 

De Mon. (becoming aU at once ca 

turning stanly to Manuel. 

how dftr'st thou think it wo 

please me .' 

What is't to me who leaves or enters J 

But it displeases me, yea ev'n to frei 

That ev'ry idle fool must hither cook 

To break my leisure with the paltry i 

Of all the cursed things he stares up< 

(Servant attempts to spi 

BAonfort stamps with his foot 

Take thine ill-fiivourea visage from n 

And speak of it no more. Exrr i 

And go thou too ; I choose to be aloi 

[Exit : 
(De Monfori goes to the door by loh 

went out ; opens it and looks.) 
But is he crone indeed ? Yes, he is go 
(Goes to the opposite door, opens it, an 
then gives loose to all the fury of gem 
walks up and down in great agitati* 
It is too much : by heaven it is too n 
He haunts me— stings me — like 

haunts — 
He'll make a raving maniack of me — 
The air wherein thou draw'st thy 

breath 
Is poison to me — Oceans shall (fiv 

(Pauses.) 
But no ; thou think'st I fear thee, cui 

tUe; 
And hast a pleasure in the damned tb 
Though my heart's blood should curd 

sight, 
I'll stay and face thee still. 

(Knocking at the ckambt 

Ha ! who knocb 

/Ve6. (without) It is thy frie 

Monfort. 
De Mon. (opening the door.) Enter 

Enter Freberg. 

Freb. (taking his hand kindly.) I 
thou now ? How hast thou ] 
night? 
Has kindly sleep refi^sh'd thee P 
De Mon. Tes, I have lost an hour 
in sleep. 
And so should be lefresh'd. 

Freb. And art th 

Thy looks speak not of rest. Thou 
turb'd. 
De Mon. No, somewhat ruffled finon 
ish cause, 
Which soon will pass away. 
iVefr. (shaking his head) Ah no, D 
fort ! somethinfin thy face 
Tells me another tale. Then wrong i 



DE MONiX)RT t A TRAGEDY. 



89 



If any ■ecretffrief district tky soul, 
Here Am I ail devoted to thj love : 
Open thy heart to me. What troubles thee ? 
De Man. I have no grief: distress me not, 

my fHend. 
Frdf, Nay, do not call me so. Wert thoa 
my friend, 
Wouldst tlioa not open all thine innnsst soul, 
And bid me share its every consciousness P 
De Man. Freberg, thou know'st not man ; 
not nature's man, 
But only him who, in smooth studied works 
Of polbh'd sages, shines deceitfully 
In all the splendid foppery of virtue. 
That man was never bom whose secret soul. 
With all its motley treasure of dark thoughts. 
Foul &ntasies, vain musings, and wild 

dreams, 
Was ever open'd to another's scan. 
Away, away ! it is delusion all. 
Freb. Well, be reserv'd then ; perhaps I'm 

wrong. 
De Man. How goes the hour ? 
Freb. *Tis early still ; a long day lies be- 
fore us; 
Let us enjoy it. Come along with me ; 
I'll introduce you to my pleasant friend. 
De Man. Your pleasant friend ? 
Frdt. Yes, him of whom I spake. 

{Taking kis ktmd,) 
There is no good I would not share wiUi 

thee; 
And this man's company, to minds like thine. 
Is the best banauet-teast I could bestow. 
But I will speak in mysterv no more ; 
It is thy townsman, noble Rezenvelt. 

( De Mon. piiUs ids hand hastily from 
Freberg, and shrinks back.) Ha! 
what is this ? Art thou pain-strick- 
en, Monfort f 
Nay, on my life, thou rather aeem*st of- 
fended : 
Does it displease thee that I call him friend ? 
De Mon No, all men are thy friends. 
Freb. No, say not all men. But thou art 
ofiended. 
I see it well. I thought to do thee pleasure. 
But if his presence is not welcome here. 
He shall not join our compmy to-day. 

De Mon. What dost tnou mean to say.' 
What is't to me 
Whether I meet with such a thing as Rez- 
envelt 
To-day, to-morrow, every day, or never ? 
■«Fre6. In truth, I thought you had been 
well with him. 
He prais'd vou much. 

De Mon. 1 thank him for his praise — Come, 
let us move : 
This chamber is confin'd and airless grown. 

{Starting.) 
I hear a stranger's voice ! 

Freb. 'Tis Reienvelt. 

Let him be told that we are gone abroad. 
De Mon. {proudly.) No! let him enter 
Who waiU there? Ho! Manuel! 



Enter Mahuel; 

What stranger speaks below ? 

Man. The Marquis Rezenvelt. 

I have not told him that you are within. 
De Mon. {angrily.) And wherefore didst 

thou not ? Let him ascend. 
{A long pause. De Monfort walking up and 
inon with a quick pace.) 



Enter RxzKifvxLT, nnd runs 

Monfort. 



freely ap to De 



Rei. {to De Mon.) My noble Marquis, wel- 
come! 
De Mon. Sir, I thank you. 

Rez. {to Freb.) My gentle friend, well met. 

Abroad so early ? 
Freb. It is indeed an early hour for me. 
How sits Uiy last night's revel on thy spirits.' 
Rez. O, bght as ever. On my way to you. 
E'en now, I learnt De Monfort was arriv'd, 
And tum'd my steps aside ; so here I am. 

{Bowing gaily to De Monfort ) 
De Mon. I thank you, iSir ; you do me too 
much honour. {Proudly.) 

Rex. Nay, say not so; nut too much hon- 
our surely. 
Unless, indeed, 'tis more than pleases you. 
De Mon. {cat^used.) Having no previous 
notice of your coming, 
I look'd not for it. 
Rez. Ay, true indeed; when I approach 
you next, 
I'll send a herald to proclaim my cominff. 
And bow to you by sound of trumpet. Mar- 
quis. 
De Mon. {to Freb. turning haughtily from 
Rezenvelt with affected indifference.) 
How does your cheerful friend, that 

rold man .' 
cheerful friend.' I know not 
wbom you mean. 
De Mon. Count Waterlan. 
Freb. I know not one so nam'd. 
De Mon. {very confused.) O pardon me — ^it 

was at BAle I knew him. 
Freb. You have not yet inquir'd for honest 
Reisdale. 
I met him as I came, and mention'd you. 
He seem'd amaz'd ; and fain he would have 

learnt 
What cause procured us so much happiness. 
He question'd hard, and hardly would believe, 
1 oould not satisfy his strong desire. 
Rez. And know you not what brings De 

Monfort here .' 
FrA. Truly, I do not. 
Rez. O ! 'tis love of me. 

I have but two short days in Ambers been. 
And here with postman's speed he follows me. 
Finding bis home so dull and tiresome grown. 
Freb. {to De Mon.) Is Rezenvelt so sadly 
miss'd with you .' 
Your town so chang'd ? 

De Mon. Not altogether so ; 

Some witlinffs and jest-mongers still remain 
For fools to laugh at. 



11 



90 



DE MONFORT i A TRAGEDY. 



Rez. But he laagh« not, and therefore he is 
wise. 
He ever frowns on them with snilen brow 
Contemptuous ; therefore he is very wise. 
JNay, daily frets his most refined soul 
With their poor follj, to its inmost core ; 
Therefore he is most eminently wise. 

Freb. Fy , Rezenvelt ! you are too early gay. 
Such spirits rise but with the ey'ning glass : 
They suit not placid mom. 
{To De Monfort, whOf after walking impatient- 
ly up and douniy comes close to his ear, and 

tays hold of his arm.) 

What would you, Monfort? 

De Man. Nothing — what is't o'clock ? 
No, no— I had forgot — 'tis early still. 

{Turns away again.) 

Freb. {to Rez.) Waltser informs me that you 
haye agreed 
To read his yerses o'er, and tell the truth. 
It is a dangerous task. 

Rez. Tet V\\ be honest : 

I can but lose his fayor and a feast. 
(Whilst they speak, De Monfort waiks up and 

down imptUientlu and irresolute; at last, 

pulls the bell violently.) 

Enter SERyANT. 

De Mon. {to Ser.) What dost thou want ? 
Ser. I thought your honor rung. 

De Mon. I haye forgot — slay ; are my hor- 
ses saddled ? 
Ser. I thought, my Lord, you would not ride 
to-day, 
Afler so long a journey. 

De Mon. {impatiently.) Well— 'tis good. 
Begone ! — I want thee not. [Exit Seryant. 
Hez. (smiling signifieantly.) I humbly craye 
your pardon, gentle Marquis. 
It grieves me that I cannot stay with you. 
And make my yisit oi a friendly length. 
I trust your goodness will excuse me now ; 
Another time I shall be less unkind. 
(To Freberg.) Will you not go with me.' 
Freb. Excuse me, Monfort, I'll return again. 
[Exeunt Rezenvelt and Freberg. 
De Mon. (alone, tossing his arms distract- 
edly.) 
Hell hath no greater torment for th' accurs'd 
Than this man's presence gives — 
Abhorred fiend ! he hath a pleasure too, 
A damned pleasure in the pain he gives ! 
Oh ! the side glance of that detested eye ! 
That conscious smile ! that full insulting lip ! 
It touches every nerve : it makes me mad. 
What, does it please thee .' Dost thou woo my 

hate.-* 
Hate shall thou have ! determin'd, deadly 

hate. 
Which shall awake no smile. Malignant vil- 
lain ! 
The venom of thy mind is rank and devilish. 
And thin the film that hides it. 
Thy hateful visage ever spoke thy worth : 
I loath'd thee when a boy. 
That men should be besotted with him thos! 
And Freberg likewise so bewitched is. 



That, like a hireling flatt'rer, at his beeb 
He meanly paces, ofiTring brutish praise. 
O ! I could corse him too ! [Exit 



ACT II. 

SCKKE I.— >1 YERT SFLENDID APIBT 
MEITT lir COUITT rREBERO'S HOUSE 
FAirCIFULLT DECORATED. A WIDl 
FOLDINO DOOR OFEITED, SHEWS ANOTB 
ER MAGNIFICEITT ROOM LIGHTED UJ 
TO RECEIVE COMFAKT. 

Enter through the folding ^oors the Covvt sbi 
Court jcss, richly dressed. 

Freb. (looking round.) In truth, I like thoM 
decorations well : 
They suit those lofty walls. And here, mj 

love. 
The gay profusion of a woman's fancy 
Is well dispUy'd. Noble simplicity 
Becomes us less, on such a night as this, 
Than gaudy show. 

Lady. Is it not noble then ? (He shakes hit 
head.) I thought it so ; 
And as I know you love simplicity, 
I did intend it should be simple too. 

Freb. Be satisfy 'd, I pray; we want to-nifhi 
A cheerful banquet-house, and not a temple. 
How runs the hour .' 
Lady. It is not late, but soon we shall be 
rous'd 
With the loud entry of our frolick guests. 

Enter a Page, richly dressed. 

Page. Madam, there is a lady in your hall, 
Who begs to be admitted to your presence. 
Lady. Is it not one of our invited fiiends? 
Page. No, far unlike to them ; it is a stran- 

ST. 
ow looks her countenance ? 
Page. So queenly, so commanding, and so 
noble, 
I shrunk at first in awe ; but when she amil'd, 
For so she did to see me thus abash 'd, 
Methought I could have eompass'd sea and 

land 
To do her bidding. 
Lady. Is she young or old .' 

Page. Neither, if right I guess; but she is 
fkir: 
For time hath laid his hand so gently on her, 
As he too had been aw'd. 

Lady. The foolish stripling! 

She has bewitch'd thee. Is she large is sta^ 
ure.' 
Page. So stately and so graceful in her 
form, 
I thought at first her stature was gigantick ; 
But on a near approach I found, in truth. 
She scarcely does surpass the middle sixe. 
Lady. Wnat is her garb .' 
Pojte. I cannot well describe the fashion tt 
it 
She is not deck'd in any gallant trim. 
But seems to me clad in the usual weeds 



D£ MONFORT i A TRAGEDY. 



91 



Of high habitual state ; for as she moves, 
Wide flows her robe in many a waving fold, 
As I have seen unfurled banuers play 
With the soft breeze. 

Lady. Thine eyes deceive thee, boy ; 
It is an apparition thou hast seen. 

Fr^. (starting from his seaty where he has 
been sitting during the conversation 
between Uu Lady and the Page.) It is 
an apparition he has seen. 
Or it is Jane De Monfort. [Exit, hastily. 
Lady, {displeased.) No; such description 
surely suits not her. 
Did she inquire for me .' 
Page. She ask'd to see the lady of Count 

Freberg. 
Lady. Perhaps it is not she — I fear it is — 
Ha! here they come. He has but guess'd too 
well. 

Enter Prkberg, leading in Jams De Mon- 
fort. 

FrA. (presenting her to Lady.) Here, Mad- 

. am, welcome a most worthy guest. 
Lady. Madam, a thousand welcomes ! Par- 
don me; 
I could not guess who honoured me so far ; 
I ihould not else have waited coldly here. 
Jane. I thank yoik for this welcome, gentle 
Countess ; 
Bat take those kind excuses back again > 
I am a bold intruder on this hour. 
And am entitled to no ceremony. 
I came in quest of a dear truant friend, 
But Freberg has infonn'd me — 
[To Freberg.) And he is well you say ? 
Frdf. Yes, well, but joyless. 

Jane. It is the usual temper of his mind ; 
It opens not, but with the thrilling touch 
Of some strong heart-string o'the sudden 
^ press'd. 

Freb. It may be so, I've known him other- 
wise : 
He is suspicious grown. 
Jane. Not so. Count Freberg, Monfort is 
too noble. 
Say rather, that he is a man in grief, 
Wearing at times a strange and scowlincr eye; 
And thou, less generous than beseems amend, 
Hast thought too hardly of him. 
Freb. (bowing with great respect.) So will I 
say; 
rU own nor word nor will, that can offend you. 
Lady. De Monfort is engag'd to grace our 
feast; 
Ere long you'll see him here. 
Jane. I thank you truly, but this homely 
dress 
Suits not the splendour of such scenes as these. 
Freb. (pointing to her dress.) Such artless 
and majestick elegance. 
So exquisitely just, so nobly simple, 
Will make the gorgeous blush. 
Jane. (smHing.)fiAy, naj^, be more con- 
sistent, courteous kmght, 
And do not praise a plain and simple guise 
With such profusion of onsunple woids. 



I cannot join your company to niffht. 
Lady. Not stay to see your brouier ? 
Jane. Therefore it is I would not, gentle 
hostess. 
Here will he find all that can woo the heart 
To joj^ and sweet forgetfulness of pain ; 
The sight of me would wake his feeling mind 
To other thoughts. I am no doting ^stress ; 
No fond distracted wife, who must forthwith 
Rush to his arms and weep. I am his sister : 
The eldest daughter of his father's house : 
Calm and imwearied is my love for him ; 
And having found him, patiently I'll wait, 
Nor greet him in the hour of social joy. 
To dash his mirth with tears. — 
The night wears on ; permit me to withdraw. 
Freb. Nay, do not, do not injure us so far ! 
Disguise thyself, and join our friendly train. 
Ja7i«. You wear not masks to night. 
Lady. We wear not masks, but you may 
be conceal'd 
Behind the double foldings of a veil. 
Jane, (after pausing to consider.) In truth, 
I feel a little so inclined. 
Methinks unknown, I e'en might speak to him, 
And ffently prove tne temper of his mind ; 
But &r the means I must become your debtor. 

(To Lady.) 
Lady. Who waits.' (Enter her Woman.) 
Attend this lady to my wardrobe. 
And do what she commands you. 

[EiEUNT Jane and Waiting- woman. 
Frdf. (looking after Jane, as she goes out. 
with admiration.) Oh ! what a soul 
she bears ! see how she steps * 
Nought but the native dignity of worth 
E'er taught the moving form such noble grace. 
Lady. Such lofly mien, and high assumed 
gait 
I've seen ere now, and men have call'd it 
pride. 
Freb. No, 'faith ! thou never didst, but ofl 
indeed 
The paltry imitation thou hast seen. * 
(Looking at her.) How hang those trappings 

on thy motley gown ? 
Thev seem like garlands on a May-day queen, 
Which hinds have dress'd in sport. 

(Lady turns away displeased.) 
Freb. Nay, do not frown ; I spoke it but in 
haste : 
For thou art lovely still in ev'ry garb. 
But see, the guests assemble. 

Enter groups of well dressed people, who pay 
their compliments to Freberg and his Ladt ; 
and, followed by her, pass into the inner apart- 
ment, where more company appear assembling, 
as if by another entry. 

Freb. (who remains on the front of the stage 
with a friend or two.) How loud the 
hum of this gay-meeting crowd ! 

'Tis like a bee-swarm in the noondav sun. 

Musick will quell the sound. Who waits 
without ? 

Musick strike up. 

(Musiekf and when it ceases, entar from the 



9i 



DE MONFORT : A TRAGEDY. 



inner apartment Rezenvelt, toitk several gen^ 

tlemeny all richljf dressed.) 

Frdf. {to those just entered.) What, lively 
gallants, quit the field f>o soon ? 
Are there no beauties in that moving crowd 
To fix your fancy ? 

Rez. Ay, marry, are there ! men of ev'ry 
fimcy 
May in that moving crowd some fair one find, 
To suit their taste, tno' whimsical and strange, 
As ever fancy own'd. 
Beauty of every cast and shade is there, 
From the perfection of a faultless form, 
Down to the common, brown unnoted maid, 
Who looks but pretty in her Sunday gown. 

1st Gent. There is, indeed, a gay variety. 

Rez. And if the liberality of nature 
Suffices not, there's store of grafted charms, 
Blending in one the sweets of many plants. 
So obstinately, stran^ly opposite. 
As would have well deiy'd all other art 
But female cultivation. Aged youth. 
With borrow'd locks in rosy chaplets bound, 
Clothes her dim eye, parch d lips, and skinny 

cheek 
In most unlovely softness : 
And youthful age, with fat round trackless 

face, 
The downcast look of contemplation deep 
Most pensively assumes. 
Is it not even so? The native prude, 
With forced laugh, and merriment uncouth, 
Flays off the wild coquet's successful charms 
With most unskilful pains ; and the coquet, 
In temporary crust ot cold reserve, 
Fiz€;B her studied looks upon the ground 
Forbiddingly demure. 

Frdf. Fy ! thou art too severe. 

Rez. Say, rather, gentle. 

r faith ! the very dwarfs attempt to charm 
With lofty airs of puny majesty ; 
Whilst potent damseb of a portly make. 
Totter like nurselingSf and demand the aid 
Of gentle sympathy. 

From all those divers modes of dire assault, 
He owns a heart of hardest adamant. 
Who shall escape to night. 

Freb. {to De Mon. who has entered during 
Rezenvelt's speech, and heard the 
greatest part of it.) Ha, ha, ha, ha ! 
How pleasantly he gives Yub wit the rein, 
Tet guides its wild career ! 

(De Mon. is silent.) 

Rez. {smiling archly.) What, think you, 
Freberg, the same powerful spell 
Of transformation reigns o'er all to-nignt ? 
Or that De Monfort is a woman turn a. 
So widely from his native self to swerve. 
As grace my folly with a smile of his .' 

De Mon. Nay, think not, Rezenvelt, there 
is no smile 
I can bestow on thee. There is a smile, 
A smile of nature too, which I can spare, 
And yet, perhaps, thou wilt not thank me for 
it. {Smiles contemptuously.) 

Rez. Not thank thee ! It wefe surely most 
ungrateful 



No thanks to pay for nobly giving me 
What, well wie see, has cost tfiee so much paii 
For natOfe hath her smiles of birth more paii 

ful 
Than bitterest execrations. 
Frdf. These idle words will lead us to dii 

duiet: 
Forbear, torbear, my friends ! Go, Rezenvel 
Accept the Challenge of those lovely dames, 
Who thro' the portal come with bolder stej 
To claim your notice. 

{Enter a group of Ladies ^/rom the other apar 
mentf who walk slowly across the bottom t 
the stage, and return to it again. Ret 
shrugs up his shoulders, as if unwilling I 
go.) 

1st Gent, {to Rez.) Behold in sable veil 

lady comes. 
Whose noble air doth challenge fimcy *s ski 
To suit it with a countenance as goooly. 
{Pointing to Jane De Mon. who now enters i 
a thick black veil.) 
Rez. Tes, this way lies attraction. (7 

Freb.) With permission, {Going u 

to Jane.) 
Fair lady, tho' within that envious shroud 
Tour beauty deigns not to enlighten us. 
We bid you welcome, and our wauties beic 
Will welcome you the more for such conceal 

ment. 
With the permission of our noble host — 
{Taking her hand, and leading her to the /ran 

3 (the stage^ 
one. (toTreb.) Pardon me this presomp 

tion, courteous Sir : 
I thus appear, (pointing to her veil,) not care 

less of respect 
Unto the generous lady of the feast. 
Beneath this veil no beauty shrouded is. 
That, now, or pain, or pleasure can bestow. 
Within the friendly cover of its shade 
I only wish, unknown, again to see 
One who, alas ! is heedless of my pain. 
De Mon. Yes, it is ever thus. Undo tha 

veil. 
And give thv countenance to the cheerful light 
Men now all soft, and female beauty scorn. 
And mock the gentle cares whicli aim U 

please. 
It b most damnable ! undo thy veil, 
And think of him no more. 
Jane. I know it well, even to a proverl 

grown, 
Is lovers' nith, and I had borne such slight : 
But he, who has, alas ! forsaken me, 
Was the companion of my early days, 
Mv cradle's mate, mine infant play-fellow. 
Within our opening minds, with riper yean. 
The love of praise and gen'rous virtue sprung 
Thro' variea life our pride, our joys wene 

one; 
At the same tale w« wept : he is my brother. 
De Mon. And he forsook thee ? — ^No, I dare 

not corse him : 
My heart upbraids me with a crime like his- 



DE MONFORT: A TRAGEDY. 



95 



Jaiu. Ah ! do not thus distrew a feeling 
heart. 
All sisters are not to the soul entwin'd 
With e^sl banns ; thine has not watch'd for 

thee, 
Wept for thee, cheer'd thee, shar'd thy weal 

and woe. 
As I have done for him. 

De Mon. (eagerly.) Ah ! has she not ? 
Bv heav'n ! the sum of all thy kindly deeds 
Were but as chaff pois'd against massy gold, 
Compared to that which I do owe her love« 
Oh pardon me ! I mean not to offend — 
I am too warm — but she of whom I speak 
Is the dear sister of my earliest love *, 
In noble, rirtuous worth to none a second : 
And tho' behind those sable folds were hid 
As fair a face as ever woman own'd. 
Still would I say she is as fair as thou. 
How oft amidst the beauty-blazing throng, 
Vre proudly to th' inquiring stranffer told 
Her name and lineage ! yet within her house, 
The virgin mother of an orphan race 
Her dying parents left, this noble woman 
Did, like a Roman matron, proudly sit. 
Despising all the blandishments of love ; 
Whilst many a youtli his hopeless love -con- 

ceal'd, 
0, humbly distant, woo'd her like a queen. 
Forpive, 1 pray you ! O foi|riye this boasting ! 
In mith ! I mean you no discourtesy. 
Jane. (Off her guards in a tqfinatural tone 

iffvaiee.) Oh no! nor do me an?. 
De Man. What voice speaks now ? With- 
draw, withdraw this shade ! 
For if thy face bear semblance to thy- voice, 
rU fidl and worship thee. Pray ! pray undo ! 
{Puts forth his hand eagerly to snatch ateay the 
tdl, whilst she shrirucs mck. and Rezenvelt 
st^ between to prevent him.) 
Rez. Stand off: no hand shall lift this sa- 
cred veil. 
De Mon. What, dost thou think De Monfort 
fiiirn so low. 
That there may live a man beneath heav'n's 

roof, 
Who dares to say, he shall not ? 
Rez. He lives who dares to say — 
Jane, {throwing back her veil, much alarm' 
ed, and rushes between them.) For- 
bear, forbear ! 
(Rraenvelt, very much strucky steps back re- 
spectfuUy, -and makes her a low bow. De 
Monfort stands for a while motionless, ga- 
zing upon her, tul she, looking expressively 
to lum, extends her arms, 'and he, rushing 
vUo them, bursts into tears. Freberg ^eenu 
very muck pleased. 7%e company then ad- 
vancing from the inner apartment, gather 
•bout tkem, and the Scene closes.) 

Scene II. — de monfort's apibtments. 

Enter Dk Mohvort, with a disordered air, and 
bis band p ress e d upon his forehesd, followed 
bjr Jai»e. 

Jh Mon. No more, my sister, urge me not 
again: 



My secret troubles cannot be reveal'd. 
From all participation of its thoughts 
My iieart recoils : I pray thee be contented. 
Jane. What, must I, like a distant humble 

friend. 
Observe thy restless eye, and gait disturbed, 
In timid silence, whilst with yearning heart 
I turn aside to weep ? O no ! De Monfort ! 
A nobler task thy nobler mind will ffive; 
Thy true entrusted friend I still shaU be. 
DeMon. Ah, Jane, forbear ! I cannot e'en 

to thee. 
Jane. Then, tj upon «t ! fy upon it, Mon- 
fort! 
There was a time when e*en with murder 

stain'd. 
Had it been possible that such dire deed 
Could e'er have been the crime of one so 

piteous, 
Thou wouldst have told it me. 
De Mon. So would I now — but ask of this 

no more. 
All other trouble but the one J feel 
I had disclos'd to thee. I pray thee spare 

me. 
It is the secret weakness of my nature. 
Jane. Then secret let it be ; I uree no fiur- 

ther. * 

The eldest of our valiant father's hopes. 
So sadly orphan'd, side by side we stood. 
Like two young trees, whose boughs in early 

streng^ 
Screen the weak s^lings of the rising grove, 
And brave the storm together — 
I have so long, as if by nature's right, 
Thy bosom's inmate and adviser been, 
I thought thro* life I should have so remain'd, 
Nor ever known a -change. Forgive me, 

Monfort, 
A humbler station will I take by thee : 
The close attendant of thy wand'ring steps; 
The cheerer of this home, with strangers 

sought ; 
The soother of those griefs I must not know : 
This is mine office now : I ask no more. 
De Mon. Oh Jane ! thou dost constrain me 

with thy love ! 
Would I coukl tell it thee ! 
JoTU. Thou shalt not tell me. Nay I'll 

stop mine ears, 
Nor from the yearnings of affection wring 
What shrinks from utt'rance. Let it pass, 

my brother. 
I'll stay by thee ; I'll cheer thee, •comfort 

thee: 
Pursue with thee the study of some art, 
Or nobler science, that compels the mind 
To steady thought progressive, driving forth 
All floatmg, wiM, unhappy fantasies ; 
Till thou, with brow unclouded, smil'st again ; 
Like one who, from dark visions of the niffht, 
When th' active soul within its lifeless cell 
Holds its own world, with dreadful fancy 

Sress'd 
ire, terrible, or murd'rous deed, 
Wakes to the dawning morn, and blesses 
heaven. 



H 



DE BfONFORT : A TRAGBDT. 



De Man. It will not pus away : 'twill haunt 

me still. 
Jame. Ah ! laj not lo, for I will haontthee 
too; 
And be to it flo clo«e an advenarj, 
That, though I wrestle darkling with the 

fiendy 
I shall overcome it. 

De Man. Thou most gen'rous woman ! 

Why do I treat thee thos ? R shoold not be — 
And yet I cannot — O that cursed villain ! 
He will not let me be the man I would. 
Jane, What say'st thou, Monfort.' Oh! 
what words are these ? 
They have awak'd my soul to dreadful 

thoughts. 
I do beseech uiee, speak ! 
(He shakes his kead,and turns from her; she 

following him.) 
By the affection thou didst erer bear me ; 
By the dear mem'ry of our infant days; 
By kindred living ties, ay, and by those 
Who sleep i'the tomb, and cannot call to thee, 
I do conjure thee speak ! 
{He waves her off with his handy and covers 
his face with the other ^ still turning from 
her.) 

Ha ! wilt thou not ? 
(Assuming dignity.) Then^ if affection, most 

unwearied Iotc, 
Tried early, long, and never wanting found. 
O'er gen'rous man hath more authority, 
More rightful power than crown or sceptre 

give, 
I do command thee. 

(He throws himself into a chair, greatly agi- 
tated.) 
De Monfort, do not thus resist my love. 
Here I entreat thee on my bended knees. 

(Kneeling.) 
Alas ! my brother ! 

(De Momort starts up, and catching her in his 

arms, raises her up, then placing her in the 

chair, kneels at her feet.) 

De Mon. Thus let him kneel who should 

the abased be. 

And at thine honoured feet confession make. 

ril tell thee all-^ut, oh ! thou wilt despise 

me. 
For in my breast a raging passion bums. 
To which thy soul no sympathy will own — 
A passion which hath made my nightly couch 
A place of torment ; and the light of day. 
With the firay intercourse of social man. 
Feel like tn' oppressive airless pestilence. 

Jane ! thou wilt despise me. 

Jane. Say not so : 

1 never can despise thee, gentle brother. 
A lover's jealousy and hopeless pangs 
No kindly heart contemns. 

De Mon. A lover, sayest thou ^ 

No, it is hate ! black, lasting, deadly hate ! 
Which thus hath driven me rorth from kindred 

peace. 
From social pleasure, from my native homey 
To be a sullen wand'rer on thie earth, 
Avoiding all men, cursing and aoeora'd. 



Jane. De Monfbrt, this is fiend-like, fright- 
ful, terrible ! 
What being, by th' Almighty Father fonn*d» 
Of flesh and blood, created even as thou. 
Could in thy breast such horrid tempest wake. 
Who art thyself his fellow ? 
Unknit thy brows, and spread those wrath- 

clench'd hands. 
Some sprite accurs'd within thy bosom malea 
To work thy i^uin. Strive with it, my brother ! 
Strive bravely with it; drive it from thy InvaaC: 
'Tis the degrader of a noble heart : 
Curse it, and bid it part. 

De Mon. It wiU not part (His hand on his 

kreast.) 

I've lodg'd it here too long : 
With my first cares I felt its rankling touch ; 
I loath a him when a boy. 
Jane. Who didst thou say ? 
De Man. Oh ! that detested Reienvelt ; 
E'en in our early sports, like two young whelps 
Of hostile bleed, instinctively reverse. 
Each 'gainst the other pitch'd his ready pledge, 
And firown'd defiance. As we onward pass'd 
From youth to man's estate, his narrow art 
And envious gibing nudice, poorly veil'd 
In the affected carelessness of mirth. 
Still nK>re detestable and odious grew. 
There is no living being on this earth 
Who can conceive the malice of his soul. 
With all his gay and damned merriment, 
To those, by fortune or by merit plac'd 
Above his paltry self. Wnen, low in fortune, 
He look'd upon the state of prosperous men, 
As nightly birds, rous'd frx>m their murky 

holes. 
Do scowl and chatter at the li^t of day, 
I could endure it ; even as we bear 
Th' intpotent bite of some half-trodden worm, 
I could endure it. But when honours caaoe, 
And wealth and new-got titles fed his pride; 
Whilst flatt'ring knaves did trumpet forth his 

praise. 
And grov ling idiots grinn'd applauses on him ; 
Oh ! then I could no longer suffer it ! 
It drove me frantick. — What ! what would 1 

give ! 
What would I give to crush the bloated toad. 
So rankly do I Toathe him ! 
Jane. And would thy hatred crush the veiy 

man 
Who gave to thee that life he might have ta'en? 
That life which thou so rashly didst expose 
To aim at his ? Oh ! this is horrible ! 
De Mon. Ha! thou hast heard it, then? 

From all the world. 
But most of all from thee, I thought it hid. 

Jane. I heard a secret whisper, and resolv'tf 
Upon the instant to retom to thee. 
Didst thou receive my letter ? 
De Mon. 1 did ! I did ! 'twas that which 

drove me hither. 
I could not bear to meet thine eye again. 

Jane. Alas ! that, tempted by a sister's tean, 
I ever left thy house ! These /ew past monthf , 
Theae absent months, have farou^itDaaU thif 

woe. 



D£ MONFORT : A TRAGEDY. 



96 



Had I remained with thee it had not been. 
And yet, methinks, it ahould not moTe you 

thus. 
Ton d«r*d him to the field; both bravely foufht; 
He vaaie adroit dinrm'd you ; courteouBfy 
Retum'd the forfeit Bword^ whieh, so retum'd, 
You did refuse to use agamst him more ; 
And then, as says report, you parted friends. 

De Mon. When he disarm'd this curs'd^ this 
worthless hand 
Of its most worthless weapon, he but spar'd 
From deT'lish pride, which now derives a bliss 
In seeing me thus fetter'd, sham'd, subjected 
With the vile favour of his poor forbearance; 
Whilst he securely sits with gibinjr brow. 
And basely bates me like a muzz^ cur 
Who cannot turn again. — 
Until that day, till Uiat accursed day, 
I knew not half the torment of this hell. 
Which burns within my breast. Heaven's 
lightnings blast him ! 

Jane. O this is horrible ! Forbear, forbear ! 
Lest heaven's vengeance light upon thy head, 
For this most impious wish. 

De Mon. Then let it light. 

Torments more fell than I have felt already 
It cannot send. To be annihilated, 
What all men shrink from ; to be dust, be 

nothing. 
Were bliss to me, compared to what 1 am ! 

Jane. O ! wouldst thou kill me with these 
dreadful words ? 

De Mon. (raising Ms hands to heaven.) Let 
me hut once upon his ruin look, 
Then close mine eyes for ever ! 
(Jane in great distress, staggers back, and 

smwrts herself upon the side scene. De 

Mon. alar9ud,runsup to her with asoftened 

voice.) 
Ha! how is this ? thou'rt ill ; thou'rt very pale. 
What have I done to thee ? Alas, alas ! 
I meant not to distress ihee. — O my sister ! 

Jane, {shaking her head.) I cannot speak 
to thee. 

De Mon. I have kiU'd thee. 

Turn, turn thee not away ! look on me still ! 
Oh ! droop not thus, my life, my pride, my 

sister ; 
Look on me yet again. 

Jane. Thou too, De Monfort, 

In better days, were wont to be my pride. 

De Man. I am a wretch, most wretched in 
myself. 
And still more wretched in the pain I give. 
O curse that villain ! that detested villain ! 
He has spread mis'ry o'er my fated life : 
He will undo us all. 

Jane. I've held my warfare through a 
troubled world, 
And borne with steady mind my share of ill ; 
For then the helpmate of my toil wert thou. 
Bat now the wane of life comes darkly on, 
And hideous passion tears me from my heart. 
Blasting thy worth. — I cannot strive with this. 

DeMon. (affectionately.) What shall I do.^ 

Jane. Call up thy noble spirit ; 

Rouse all the gen'rous energy of virtue ; 



And with the strength of heaven-«ndued 

man. 
Repel the hideous foe. Be great ; be valiant. 
O, if thou couldst ! e'en shrouded as thou art 
In all the sad infirmities of nature. 
What a most noble creature wouldst thou be ! 

De Mon. Ay, if I could : alas ! alas !, I can- 
not. 

Jane. Thou canst, thou majrst, thou wilt. 
We shall not part till I have tum'd thy soul. 

. Enter Manuel. 

De Mon. Ha ! some one enters. Where- 
fore com'st thou here ? 
Man. Count Freberg waits your leisure. 
De Mon. (angrily.) Be gone, be gone !-*■ 
I cannot see him now. 

[Exit Manuel. 
Jane. Come to my closet; free from all in- 
trusion, 
I'll school thee there ; and thou again shalt be 
My willing pupil, and my gen'rous friend. 
The noble Monfort I have lov'd so long. 
And must not, will not lose. 

De Mon. Do as thou wilt ; I will not grieve 
thee more. [Exeunt. 



ACT III. 

SCKNE I*,— COUNTESS FREBERO'S DRE8S- 
INO-ROOM. 

Enter the Coontess dispirited and out of humour, 
and throws herself into a chair : enter, by the 
opposite side, Theresa. 

7%er. Madam, I am afraid you are unwell: 
What is the matter ? does your head ache ? 

Lady (peemshlu.) No, 

'Tis not my head : concern thyself no more 
With what concerns not thee. 

Ther. Go you abroad to-night ? 

Lady. Yes, thinkest thou 111 stay and fret 
at home ? 

Ther. Then please to say what you would 
choose to wear : — 
One of your newest robes ? 

Lady. I hate them all. 

J%er. Surely that purple scarf became you 
well, 
With all those wreaths of richly hanging 

flowers. 
Did I not overhear them say, last night. 
As from the crowded ball-room ladies past. 
How gay and handsome, in her costly dress, 
The Countess Freberg look'd.^ 

Lady. Didst thou o'erhear it ? 

Ther. I did, and more than this. 

Lady. Well, all are not so irreatly prejndic'd; 
All do not think me like a May-day queen, 
Which peasants deck in sport. 

* This scene has been very much altered from 
what it was in the former editions of this play, 
and scene fifth of the last act will be found to be 
almost entirely changed. These alterations, 
though of no great importance, are, I hojpe, upon 
the whole, improvements. 



96 



DE MONFORT : A TRAGEDY. 



Tker. And who said thb ? 

Lady, (nutth^ her handkerchief to her eyes.) 

E'en my good lord, Tnereaa. 
Tker. He said it but in jest. He loTes jou 

well. 
Lady. I know as well aa thou he loves me 
well. 
Bat what of that ! he takes in me no pride : 
Elsewhere his praise fnd admiration go. 
And Jane De Monfbrt is not mortal woman. 
T%er. The wondrous character this ladj 
bears 
For -worth and excellence : from early youth 
The friend and mother of her younffer sisters, 
Now OTeatly married, as I have b^n told, 
From tier most prudent care, may well excuse 
The admiration of so good a man 
As my good master is. And then, dear Mad- 
am, 
I must confess, when I myself did hear 
How she was come thro' the rough winter's 

storm, 
To seek and comfort an unhappy brother, 
My heart beat kindly to her. 

Ladu. Ay, ay, there is a charm in this I find: 
But wnerefore may she not have come as well 
Through wintry storms to seek a lover too .' 
-Tker. No, Madam, no, I could not think of 

this. 
Lady. That would reduce her in your eyes, 
mayhap, 
To woman's level. — Now I see my vengeance! 
ril tell it round that she is hither come, 
Under pretence of finding out De Monfort, 
To meet with Rezenvelt. When Freberg 

hears it, 
'Twill help, I ween, to break this magick 
charm. 
T%er. And say what is not. Madam ? 
Lady. How canst thou know that I shall 
say what is not ? 
'Tis like enough I shall but speak the truth. 
Ther. Ah no ! there is — 
Lady. Well, hold thv foolish tongue. 

(Freberg*s voice it heard toiUwut. Afierhcsi- 

toting.) 
I will not see him now. [Exit. 

{Enter Freberg by the opposite side, passing 

on hastily.) 

Ther* Paxdon, my lerd ; I fear you are in 
haste. 
Tet most 1 crave that you will give to me 
The books my Lady mentioned to you : she 
Has chorg'd me to remind you. 

Freb. Tm in haste, (passing on.) 

Ther. Pray you, my Lord : your Ck>untess 
wants them much ; 
The Lady Jane Dc Monfort ask'd them of her. 

Freb. (returning instantly.) Are they for 
her ? I knew not thia before. 
I will, then, search them out immediately. 
There is nought good or precious in my keep- 

That is not dearly honor 'd by her use. 
Ther. My Lord, what would your gentle 
Countess say 
If she o'erheard her own request neglected. 



Until supported by a name more potent .' 
Freb. Tnink'st thou she is a fool, my good 
Theresa, 
Vainly to please herself with childish thoughts 
Of matching what is matchless — Jane De 

Monlort.^ 
Think'st thou she is a fool, and cannot see, 
That love and admiration often thrive 
Tho'ftri^nrt.' 

(Re-enter Ladt toith great violence^ 
Lady. I am a fool , not to have seen full well , 
That thy best pleasure in o'errating so 
This lofty stranger, is to humble me, 
AjmI cast a dark ning shadow o'er my head. 
Ay, wherefore dost Uk>u stare upon me thus ^ 
Art thou asham'd that I have uias surpris'd 

thee.' 
Well mayst thou be so ! 

Freb^ True ; thou rightly say'st. 

Well may 1 be asham'd : not for the praise 
Which 1 have ever openly bestow 'd 
On Monfort's noble sister ; but that thus, 
Like a poor mean and jealous listener. 
She should be found, who is Count Freberg's 
wifif. 
Lady. Oh I am lost and ruin'd! hated, 
scom'd ! (pretending to faint.) 

Freb. Alas, I've been too rough ! 

(taking her hand and kissing it tenderly.) 
My gentle love ! my own, my only love ! 
See, she revives ag«in. How art thou, love ? 
Support her to her chamber, good Theresa. 
I'll sit and watehby her. I've been too rough. 
[ExKUHT Lady, supported by Freb. and Th^. 

SCKNK n. DE MONrORT DI8COTBBED 

SlTTinO BT A TABLE READING. AFTER 
A LITTLE TIME HE LAT8 DOWK HIS 
BOOK, AlID COITTINUES IN A THOUGHT- 
FUL POSTURE. 

Enter to him Jarx De Monfort. 

Jane. Thanks, gentle brother. — 

(Pointing to the book.) 
Thy willing mind has rightly b^n employ 'd : 
Did not thy heart warm at the fair display 
Of peace and concord and forgiving love ? 
De Man. I know resentment may to love he 

tum'd; 
Tho' keen and lasting, into love as strong : 
And fiercest rivals in th' ensanguin'd field 
Have cast their brandish'd weapons to the 

ground. 
Joining their mailed breasts in close embrace, 
With gen'rous impulse fir'd. I know right 

well 
The darkest, fellest wrongs have been forgiven 
Seventy times o'er from blessed heavenly 

love: 
I've heard of things like these ; I've heard 

and wept. 
But what is this to me .' 

Jane. All, all, my brother! 

It bids thee too that noble precept learn. 
To love thine enemy. 

De Man. Th' upbfted strokf^ that would a 

wretch destroy, 



DE MONFORT : A TRAGEDY. 



97 



Gorg'd with mj richeflt spoil, stain'd with my 

bloody 
I would arrest, and ciy, ** Hold ! hold ! have 

mere J." 
But when the man most adverse to m]^ nature ; 
Who e*en from childhood hath, with rude 

malevolence, 
Withheld the fiur respect all paid beside, 
Tuminff mj very praise into derision ; 
Who sails and presses me where'er I go, 
Would claim the gen'roua feelings of my 

heart. 
Nature herself doth lift her voice aloud, 
And cries, ** It is impossible ! " 
Jane, (shaking her head.) — Ah, Monfort, 

Monfort ! 
De Man. I can forgive th' envenom'd rep- 
tile *s sting. 
But hate his loathsome self. 
Jane. And canst thou do no more for love 

of heaven ^ 
De Man. Alas ! I cannot now so school my 
mind 
As holy men have taught, nor search it truly : 
Bat this, my Jane, rifdo for love of thee; 
And more it is than crowns could win me to. 
Or any power but Ihine. I'll see the man. 
Th* indignant risings of abhorrent nature ; 
The stern contraction of my scowling brows, 
That, like the plant whose closing leaves do 

shrink 
At hostile touch, still knit at his approach ; 
The crooked curving lip, by instinct taught, 
In imitation of disgustful things. 
To pout and swell, I strictlv will repress; 
Ana meet him with a tamed countenance, 
E'en as a townsman, who would live at peace. 
And pay him the respect his station claims. 
I'll crave his pardon too for all offence 
My dark and wayward temper mav have done. 
Nay more, I will confess myself his debtor 
For the forbearance I have curs'd so oft : 
Life spar'd by him, more horrid than the grave 
With all its dark corruption ! This I'll do. 
Will it suffice thee ? More than this I cannot. 
Jane. No more than this do I require of thee 
In outward act, tho' in thy heart, my friend, 
I hop'd a better change, and still will hope. 
I told thee Freberg had propos'd a meeting. 
De Man. I know it well. 
Jane. And Rezenvelt consents. 

He meets you here ; so far he shows respect. 
DeMon. Well, let it be; the sooner past the 

better. 
Jane. I'm glad to hear you say so, for, in 
truth. 
He haa propos'd for it an early hour. 
Tis almost near his time ; I came to tell you. 
De Man. What, comes he here so soon ? 
shame on his speed ! 
It is not decent thus to rush upon me. 
He loves the secret pleasure he will feel 
To see me thus subdu'd. 
Jane. O say not so ! he comes with heart 

sincere. 
De Man. Could we not meet elsewhere ? 
from home — i* the fields, 
12 



Where other men — must I alone receive him ? 
Where is your agent, Freberg, and his friends. 
That I must meet him here ? 
(Walks up and doum very much disturbed.) 
Now didst thou say ? — how goes the hour ? — 

e'en now ! 
I would some other friend were first arriv'd. 
Jane. See, to thy wish come Freberg and 

his dame. 
De Man. His lady too ! why comes he not 

alone ? 
Must all the world stare upon our meeting ? 

Enter Court Fbebxbg and his Countess. 

Freb. A happy morrow to my noble marquis 
And his most noble sister ! 

Jane. Gen'rous Freberg, 

Tour face, methinks, forebodes a happy mom. 

Open and cheerful. What of Rezenvelt ? 

Freb. I left him at his home, prepar'd to 

follow : 

He'll soon appear. (Ta De Monfort.) And 

now^ my worthy friend. 
Give me your hand ; this happy change de- 
lights me. 
(De Monfort gives him his hand cddly^ and 
they walk to the bottom of the stage togethtry 
in earnest discourse^ whilst Jane and the 
Countess remain in the front.) 
Lady. My dearest Madam, will you pardon 
me? 
I know Count Freberg's bus'ness with De 

Monfort, 
And had a strong desire to visit you, 
So much I wish the honour of your friendship ; 
For he retains no secret from mine ear. 
Jane, (archly.) Knowing your prudence — 
You are welcome, Madam ; 
So shall Count Freberg's lady ever be. 
(De Monfort and Freterg, returning towards 
the front of the stage , still engaged in dis- 
course.) 

Freb. He is indeed a man, within whose 
breast 
Firm rectitude and honour hold their seat, 
Tho' unadorned with that dignity 
Which were their fittest garb. Now, on my 

life! 
I know no truer heart than Rezenvelt. 
De Man. Well, Freberg, well, there needs 
not all this pains 
To garnish out his worth : let it suffice ; 
I am resoiv'd I will respect the man, 
As his fair station and repute demand. 
Methinks I see not at your jolly feasts 
The youthful knight, who sung so pleasantly. 
Freb. A pleasant circumstance detains him 
hence ; 
Pleasant to those who love high gen'rous 

deeds 
Above the middle pitch of common minds ; 
And, tho' I have been sworn to secrecy. 
Yet must I tell it thee. 
This knight is near akin to Rezenvelt, 
To whom an old relation, short while dead, 
A good estate bequeatheo, some leagues dis- 
tant. 



98 



DE MONFORT : A TRAGEDY. 



Bui RezenTelt, now rich in fortune's store, 
Disdained the sordid love of further gain, 
And gen'rously the rich beouest resigh'd 
To this young man, blood ot the same degree 
To the deceased, and low in fortune's gilts, 
Who is from hence to take possession of it : 
Was it not noblj done ? 

De Man. 'Twas right and honourable. 

This morning is oppressive, warm, and heavy: 
There hangs a fof^y closeness in the air ; 
Dost thou not feel it ? 

Freb. O no ! to think upon a gen'rous deed 
Expands mj soul, and makes me lightly 
breathe. 

De Man. Who gives the feast to-night? 
His name escapes me. 
Tou say I am invited 

Freb. Old Count Waterlan. 

In honour of your townsman's gen'rous gift. 
He spreads the board. 

De Man. He is too old to revel with the gay. 

Freb. But not too old is he to honour virtue. 
I shall partake of it with open soul ; 
For, on my honest faitli, of living men 
I know not one, for talents, honour, worth, 
That I should rank superiour to Rezenvelt. 

De Man. How virtuous he hath been in 
three short days ! 

Freb. Nay, longer. Marquis ; butmy ftiend- 
ship rests 
Upon the good report of other men, 
And that has told me much. 
(De Monfort asides going some steps hastily 
from Freberg, and rending his cloak with 

agitation as he goes.) 
Would he were come ! by heaven I Would he 

were ! 
This fool besets me so. 
(Suddenly correcting himself, and joining the 

Ladies, who have tetired to the bottom of the 

stfistCy he speaks to Countess Freberg with 

ajfected cheerfulness.) . 
The sprightly dames of Amberg rise by times, 
Untamisn'd with the vigils of the night. 

Lady. Praise us not rashly, 'tis not always 
so. 

De Mon. He does not rashly praise who 
praises you ; 
For he were dull indeed — 

(Stopping short J as tfhe heard something.) 

Lady. How dull indeed ? 

De Jkon. I should have said — It has escap'd 
me now — 

(Listening again f as if he heard something.) 

Jane. (toUe Mon.^ What, hearyou au^ht ? 

De Mon. (hastily.) 'Tis nothing. 

Lady, (to De Mon.j Nay, do not let me 
lose it so, my Lord. 
Some fair one has be w itch 'd your memory. 
And robs me of the half-form'd compliment. 

Jane. Half-utter'd praise is to the curious 
mind 
As to the eye half-veiled beauty is. 
More precious than the whole. Pray pardon 

him. 
Some one approaches. (Listening.) 

Frth, No, no, it is a servant who ascends ; 



He will not come so soon. 
De Mon. (off his guard.) ^Tls Rezenvelt: I 
heard his well-known foot, 
From the first staircase, mounting step by step. 
FrA. How quick an ear thou hast for dis- 
tant sound ! 
I heard him not. 
(De Monfort looks embarrassed^ and is silent.) 

Enter Rezertklt. 

(De Monfort, recovering himself goes up to 
receive Rezenvelt, who meets htm with a 
cheerful countenance.) 
De Man. (to Rei.) I am, rojr Lord, beholden 

to you greatly. 
This ready visit makes me much your debtor. 
Rez. Then may such debts between tis, 

noble Marquis, 
Be oft incurr'd, and often paid a^ain ! 
(To Jane.) Madam, I am devoted to your ser- 
vice. 
And ev'ry wish of yours commands my will. 
(To Countess.) Lady, good morning. (To 

Freb.) Well, my gentle friend, 
Tou see I have not lingered lon^ behind. 
Freb. No, thou art sooner than I look'd 

for thee. 
Rex. A willing heart adds feather to the 

heel. 
And mftkes the clown a winged Mercury. 
De Mon. Then let me say, that, with a 

grateful mind, 
I do receive these tokens of good will ; 
And must regret, that, in my wayward moods, 
I have too ott forgot the due regard 
Your rank and talents claim. 

Rez. No, ilo, De Monfort, 

You have but rightly Curb'd a wanton spirit, 
Which makes me too neglectful of respect. 
Let us be friends, and thmk of this no more. 
Freb. Ay, let it rest with the departed 

shades 
Of things which are no more ; whilst lovely 

concord, 
FoUow'd by friendship sweet,and firm esteem, 
Your future days enrich. O heavenly friend- 
ship ! 
Thou dost exalt the sluggish souls of men. 
By thee conjoined, to great and glorious deeds ', 
As two dark clouds, when mix'd in middle 

air, 
The vivid Iightning*s flash, and roar sublime. 
Talk not of what is past, but future love. 
De Mon. (with dignity.) No, Freberg, no, 

it must not. ( To Rezenvelt. j No, my 

Lord, 
I will not ofi'er you an hand of concord. 
And poorly hide the motives which constrain 

me. 
I would that, not alone, these present friends. 
But ev'ry soul in Amberg were assembled. 
That I, before them all, might here declare 
I owe my spared life to your forbearance. 
(Holding out his hand.) Take tliis firom one 

who boasts no feeling warmth. 
But never will deceive. 
(Jane smiles upon De Monfort with great «p- 



DE MONFORT; A TRAGEDT. 



99 



probation, and Reienvelt runs i^ to him 
vdth open arms.) 

Rez. Away wiUi hands ! I'll have thee to 
my breast. 
Thou art, upon my faith, a noble spirit ! 
De Man. (skrinlcitig hack from him.) Nay, 
if ^ou olease, I am not so prepared — 
My nature is or temp'rature too cold — 
I pray you pardon me. (Jane's countenance 

changes.) 
But take this nand, the token of respect ; 
The token of a will inclin'd to concord ; 
The token of a mind, that bears within 
A sense impressive of the debt it owes you : 
And cursed be its power, unnerv'd its strength, 
If e'er again it shall be lifted up 
To do you any harm. 
Rez. Well, be it so, De Monfbrt, I'm con- 
tented ; 
m take thy hand, since I can have no more. 
{Carelessly.) I take of worthy men whate'er 

they give. 
Their heart I gladly take, if not, their hand ! 
If that too is withheld, a courteous word, 
Or the civility of placid looks : 
And, if e'en these are too great favours deem'd, 
Taith, I can set me down contentedly 
With plain and homely greeting, or ** God 
save ye !" 
De Man. (aside, starting away from him 
some paces.) 
By the good light, he makes a jest of it ! 
(Jane seems greatly distressed, and Freberg 

endeavours to cheer her.) 
Freb, (to Jane.) Cheer up, my noble friend ; 

all will go well ; 
For friendship is no plant of hasty growth. 
Tho' rooted in esteem's deep soil, tne slow 
And gradual culture of kind intercourse 
Must bring it to perfection. 
{To the Countess.) My love, the morning, now, 

is far advanc'd ; 
Our friends elsewhere expect us ; take your 
leave. 
Lady, (to Jane.^ Farewell, dear Madam, till 

the ev'mng hour. 
Freb. (to De Mon.) Grood day, De Monfort. 

{To Jnne.) Most devoutly yours. 
lUz. (to Freb.) Go not too fast, for I will 
follow you. 

[ExEDMT Freherg and his Lady. 
(7b Jane.) the Lady Jane is yet a stranger 

here: 
She might, perhaps, in this your ancient city 
Find somewhat worth her notice. 
Jane. I thank you, Marquis, I am much 
engag'd ', 
I go not out tn-day. 

Rez. Then fare ye well ! I see I cannot now 
Be the proud man who shall escort you forth. 
And show to all the world my proudfest boast, 
The notice and respect of Jane De Monfort. 
De Mon. (aside impatiently.) He says fare- 
well, and ffoes not ! 
Jane, (to Rez.) You do me honour. 
Rez. Madam, adieu! (To Jane.j Grood 
morning, noble Marquis. [Exit. 



(Jane and De Monfort look expressively to one 
another without speaking, and then ExxaKT 
severally. 



ACT IV. 
Scene I.-^a hall or ante-chamber, 

yyiTH THE FOLDING DOORS OF AN IN- 
NER APARTMENT OPEN, WHICH DIS- 
COVERS THE GUESTS RISING FROM A 
BANQUET. 

They enter and pass over the stage and 
Exeuict; and after them enter Rezknvelt 
and Freberg. 

Freb. Alas, my Rezenvelt ! 
I vainly hop'd the hand of j^ntle peace, 
From tnis oay's reconciliation sprung. 
These rude unseemly jarrings had subdu'd ; 
But I have mark'd, e'en at the social board, 
Such looks, such words, such tones, such un- 
told things. 
Too plainly told, 'twixtyou and Monfort pass, 
That I must now despair. 
Yet who could think, two n^inds so much re- 

fin'd. 
So near in excellence, should be remov'd, 
So far remov'd, in gen 'reus sympathy ? 

Rez. Ay, far remov'd indeed ! 

Freb. And yet, methought, he made a noble 
effort, 
And with a manly plainness bravely told 
The gallinjg debt he owes to your forbearance. 

Rez. 'Faith ! so he did, and so did 1 receive 

it; 
Wl^ei), with spread arm8,and heart e'en mov'd 

to tears, 
I frankly proffer'd him a friend's embrace : 
And, I declare, had he as such receiv'd it, 
I from that very moment had forborne 
All opposition, pride-provoking jest. 
Contemning carelessness, and all offence ; 
And had caress'd him as a worthy heart. 
From native weakness such indulgence claim- 
ing. 
But since he proudly thinks that cold respect, 
The formal tokens of his lordly favour. 
So precious are, thst I would sue for them 
As fair distinction in the p\iblick eye, 
For^ttin^ former wrongs, I spurn it all. 
And but Siat I do bear Siat noble woman, 
His worthy, his incomparable sister. 
Such fix'd profound regard, I would expose 

him; 
And as a mighty bull, in senseless rage, 
Rous'd at the baiter's will, with wretched 

rags 
Of ire-provoking scarlet, chafes and bellows, 
rd make him at small cost of paltry wit, 
With all his deep and manly faculties. 
The scorn and laugh of fools. 
Frdf. For heaven's sake, my friend, restrain 
your wrath ! 
For what has Monfort done of wrong to yon. 
Or you to him, bating one foolish quarrel. 



100 



DE MONFMtT : A TRAGEDY. 



Which joa confess from alight occaidon nut, 
Thai in jour breasts such dark resentment 

dwells, 
So fix 'd, so hopeless ? 
Rez. O! from our jouth he has distin- 

guish'd me 
With cv'ry mark of hatred and disgust. 
For e'en in boyish sports I still oppos'd 
His proud pretensions to pre-eminence ; 
Nor would I to his ripen a greatness give 
That fulsome adulation of applause 
A senseless crowd bestow'd. Tho' poor in 

fortune, 
I still would smile at yain-HMuming wealth : 
But when unlook'd-for fiite on me bestow'd 
Riches and splendour equal to his own, 
Tho' I, in truth, despise such poor distinction, 
Feeling inclined to be at peace with him, 
And with all men besides, I curbed my spirit. 
And sought to soothe him. Then, with 

spiteful rage, 
From small offence ne rear'd a quarrel with 

me, 
And dar'd me to the field. The rest you 

know. 
In short, I still have been th' opposing rock, 
O'er which the stream of his o'erflowing 

pride 
Hath foam'd and fretted. See'st thou how 

it is .' 
Freb. Too well I see, and wain thee to be- 
ware. 
Such streams have ofl, by dwelling floods 

Burchar^'d, 
Borne down, with sudden and impetuous 

force. 
The yet unshaken stone of opposition, 
Which had for ages stopp'd their flowing 

course. 
I pray thee, friend, beware. 
Rez. Thou canst not mean — he will not 

murder me.^ 
Freb. What a proud heart, with such dark 

passion toss'd. 
May, in the anguish of^its thoughts, eonceiTe, 
I will not dare to say. 

Rez. Ha, ha ! thou know*st him not. 
Full often have I mark'd it in his ^outh, 
And could have almost lov'd him for the 

weakness : 
He's form'd with such antipathy, by natnre, 
To all infliction of corporeal pain, 
To wounding hfe, e'en to the sight of blood, 
He cannot it be would. 

Freb. Tf^en fy upon thee ! 

It is not gen'rous to provoke him thus. 
But let us part : we'll talk of this affain. 
Something approaches. — We are nere too 

long. 
Rez. Well, then, to-n)orrow I'll attend yoor 

call. 
Here lies my way. Good night. [Exit. 

Eater Conrao. 

Can. Forffive, I pray, my Lord, a stranger's 
boldness. 
I have presum'd to wait your leisure here, 



Thouffh at to late an hoor. 
FrA, But who art thou ? 

dm. My name is Conrad, Sir, 
A humble suitor to your honoor's gt)odnesf. 
Who is the more embolden'd to presume, 
In that De Monfort's brave and noble Biar- 

quis 
Is so much fam'd for good and gen'rooa deeds. 
Freb, You are mistaken^ I am not the man. 
Ckm. Then, pardon me : I thought I could 
not err ; 
That mien so dignified, that piercing eye 
Assur'd me it was he. 
FYeb. My name is not De Moofinrt, eoorte- 
ous stranger ; 
But, if you have a favour to request, 
I may, with him, perhaps, befiiend your suit 
Con. 1 thank your honour, but I have a 
friend 
Who will commend me to De Monfort's fii^ 

vour: 
The Marquis Rezenvelt has known me long, 
Who, says report, will soon become his broth- 
er. 
Freb. If thou wouldst seek thy ruin fixm 
De Monfort, 
The njime of Rezenvelt employ, and prosper; 
But, if aught good, use anv name but hia. 
Con. I&w may this be f 
Freb. 1 cannot qow explain. 

Early to-morrow call upon Count Freberg; 
So am I cali'd, each burgher knows my 

house. 
And there instruct me how to do you service. 
Good-nifirht. [Exrr. 

Con. {alone.) Well, this mistake may be of 
service to me : 
And vet m^ bus'ness I will not unfold 
To this mild, ready, promise-making cour- 
tier; 
I've been by such too ofl deceived already. 
But if such violent enmity exista 
Between De Monfort and this Rezenvelt, 
He'll prove my advocate by opposition. 
For if^De Monfort would reject my suit, 
Being the man whom Rezenvelt esteems. 
Being the man he hates, a cord as atrong, 
Will he not favour me ? I'U think of this. 

[Exit. 

SOBHB II,— -A LOWEK APAKTMBMT IK Jl« 
B0ME*8 H0U8B, WITH A WIDE VOLDIHO 
Ol^ASS DOOR, LOOKIKG INTO A GABDEH, 
WHBBB THE TREES AKD 8HBVB8 ABB 
BROWK AND LEAFLESS. 

Enter Dx Mohfort with a thoughtful frowniif 
aspect, and paces ■lowlv across the stage, 
Jerome following behino him, with a timid 
step. De Monfort hearing him, tarns suddealy 
about. 

De Man. (angrUy.) Who followa me to this 

sequester'a room ? 
Jer, I have presum'd, my Lord. Tix 
what late : 
I am inform 'd you eat at home to-night; 
Here is a list of all the dainty ftn 



D£ BiONFORT : A T&AQEDY. 



101 



My homy wttuch has fowid ; please to peruse 
it. 
De Man, Leave me: begone! Pot hem- 
lock in thy >oup, 
Or deadly night-thade, or rank hellebore, 
And I wiU me« upon iL 

Jer. Heaven forbid ! 

Your honour's life is all too precious, sure — 
De Man. (^ttemly.) Did I not say begone ? 
Jer. Pardon, my Lord, I'm old, and oft for- 
get [Exit. 
/>8 Man. (looking after Am, aetf hie heart 
emote him.) Why will they thus 
mistime their foolish leal, 
That I must be so stem ? 
O, that I were upon some desert coast ! 
Where howhng tempests and the lashing tide 
Would stun me into deep and senseless quiet ', 
As the storm-beaten trav'ller droops his nead, 
In heavy, dull, lethargick weariness, 
And, 'midst the roar of jarring elements. 
Sleeps to awake no more. 
What am I grown ? all things are hateful to 
me* 

Enter Mahukl. 

{Stampinf wUh hie foot.) Who bids thee 

break upon my privacy ? 
Mon. Nay, good my Lord! I heard you 

speak aloud. 
And dreamt not, surely, that you were alone. 
De Man. What, dost thou watch, and pin 

thine ears to holes, 
To catch those exclamations of the soul, 
Which heaven alone should hear? Who 

hir'd thee, prav' 
Whd basely hir'd thee for a task like this ? 
Man. My Lord, I cannot hold. For fifteen 

years, 
Lonff-troubled years, I have your servant been. 
Nor nath the proudest lord m all the realm, 
With firmer, with more honourable faith 
His sov'reiflo lerv'd, than I have served yon ; 
But if my honesty is doubted now. 
Let him who is more fiuthful take my place. 
And serve you better. 
De Man. Well, be it as thou wilt. Away 

with thee! 
Thy Jood-mouth'd boasting is no rule fi>r me 
To judge thy merit by. 

Enter Jkrou x hastily, and pulls Mavdel away. 

Jer. Come, Manuel, come away ; thou art 
not wise. 
The stranger must depart and come arain, 
For now his honour will not be disturb'd. 

[Exit Manuel eulkily. 
De Man. A stranger said'st thou ? 

(Drope hie handkerchief .) 
Jer. I did, good Sir, but he shall go away ; 
Ton shall not be disturb'd. 

^Stooping to lift the handkerchirf.) 

You l^ve dropp'd somewhat. 

De Mem. (preoetUing him.) Nay, do not 

stoop, my friend ! I pray thee not ! 

Thou art too old to stoop. — 

rn much indebted to thee.— Take this rinf— 



I love thee better than I seem to do. 
I pray thee do it — thank me not. — What 
stranger? 
Jer. A man who does most earnestly entreat 
To see vour honour ; but I know him not. 
De Man. Then let him enter. 

[Exit Jerome. 

A pause. Enter Cokrad. 

De Man. You are the stranger who would 

speak with me ? 
Con. I am so far unfortunate, my Lord, 
That, though my fortune on your favour hangs, 
I am to you a stranger. 
De Man. How may this be .' What can I do 

for you ^ 
Con. Since thus your Lordship does so 
frankly ask. 
The tiresome preface of apology 
I will forbear, and tell my tale at once. — 
In plodding drudgery I've spent my youth, 
A careful penman in another's office ; 
And now, my master and employer dead, 
They seek to set a stripling o er my head. 
And leave me on to drudge, e'en to old age, 
Because I have no friend to take my part 
It is an office in your native town, 
For I am come m>m thence, and I am told 
You can procure it for me. Thus, my Lord, 
From the repute of goodness which you bear, 
I have presum'd to beg. 
De Mon. They have befool'd thee with a 

false report. 
Con, Alas ! I see it is in vain to plead. 
Your mind is prepossess'd against a wretch. 
Who has, unfortunately for nis weal, 
Ofiended the reveneeful Rezenvelt. 
De Mon. What dost thou say ? 
Con. What I, perhaps, had better leave \m- 
said. 
Who will believe my wrongs if I complain .' 
I am a straneer, Rezenvelt my foe. 
Who will believe my wrongs ? 

De Mon. {eagerly catching him by the coat.) 

I will believe them ! 
Though they were base as basest, vilest deeds. 
In ancient record told, I would believe them ! 
Let not the smallest atom of un worthiness 
That he has put upon thee be conceal'd. 
Speak boldhr, tell it all ; for, by the light ! 
I'll be thy friend, I'll be thy warmest friend, 
If he has done thee wroncr. 

Con. Nay, pardon me, it were not well ad- 
vis'd. 
If I should speak so freely of the man 
Who will so soon your nearest kinsman be. 
De Mon. What canst thou mean by tliis .' 
Con. That Marquis Rezenvelt 

Has pledg'd his faith unto your noble sister. 
And soon will be the husband of her choice. 
So 1 am told, and so the world believes. 
De Mon. Tis false ! 'tis baselj false ! 
What wretch could drop from his envenom'd 

tongue 
A tale so damn'd .' — It chokes my breath — 
(stamping with hie foot.) What wretch did 
tell it thee .^ 



lot 



D£ MONFORT : A TRAGEDY. 



Can. Nay, eyery one with whom I have 
conyen'd 

Has held the^same discoone. I judge it not 

fiat you, my Lord, who with the lady dwell, 

Tou best can tell what her deportment speaks ; 

Whether her conduct and unguarded words 

BeUe such rumour. 

(De Monfort pauses, staggers backwards, and 
sinks into a chair ; then starting up hastily.) 
De Mon. Where am I now ? 'miost all the 
cursed thoughts, 

That on my soul like stinging scorpions 
prey'd. 

This never came before Oh, if it be ! 

The thought will drive me mad. — ^Was it for 
fliis 

She urg*d her warm request on bended knee.' 

Alas ! I wept, and thought of sister's love, 

No damned love like this. 

Fell devil ! 'tis hell itself has lent thee aid 

To work such sorcery ! (Pauses.) I'U not be- 
lieve it, 

I must have proof clear as the noon-day sun 

For such foul charge as this ! Who waits with- 
out? 
(Paces up and down, furiously agitated.) 
Con. (asids^ What have I done ? I've car- 
ried this too far. 

I've rous'd a fierce ungovernable madman. 

Enter Jerome. 

De Mon. (in a loud angry voice.) Where 
did she go, at such an early hour, 
And with such slight attendance .' 
Jer. Of whom inquires your honour ? 
De Mon. Why, of your lady. Said I not 

my siste; ? 
Jer. The Lady Jane, your sister ? 
De Mon. (in a faltering voice.) Yes, I did 

call her so. 
Jer. In truth, I cannot tell you where she 
went. 
E'en now, from the short beechen walk hard 

by, 
I saw her through the garden-gate return. 
The Marquis Rezenvelt, and Freberg's Count- 
ess, 
Are in her company. This way they come. 
As being nearer to the back apartments ; 
But I shall stop them if it be your will. 
And bid them enter here. 
De Mon. No, stop them not I will remain 
unseen. 
And mark them as they pass. Draw back a 

litUe. 
(Conrad seems alarmed,and steals off unnoticed. 
De Monfort grasps Jerome tightly hy the 
hand, and drawing hack with him two or 
three steps, not to be seen from the garden, 
waits in silence, with his eyes Jixeaon the 

floss door.) 
>e Mon. I hear their footsteps on the grat- 
ing sand : 
How like the croaking of a carrion bird. 
That hateful voice sounds to the distant ear ! 
And now she speaks — her voice sounds cheer- 

ly too— 
Curs'd be their mirth ! — 



Now, now, they come ; keep doier still ! keep 
steady ! 
(Taking hold of Jerome with both hands,) 

Jer. My Lord, you tremble much. 

De Mon. What, do I shake ? 

Jer. You do, in truth, and your teeth chat- 
ter too. 

De Mon. See ! see they come ! he stmttiof 
by her side. 
(Jane, Rezenvelt, and Countew Freberg op* 

pear through the glass door, pursuing their 

way up a short walk leading to the other 

wing of the house,) 
See, his audacious face he turns to hers ; 
Utt'ring with confidence some nauseous iest 
And she endures it too-— Oh ! this looks vitly! 
Ha ! mark that courteous motion of his arm — 
What does he mean ? — he dares not take her 

hand! 
(Pauses and looks eagerly,) By heaven and 

hell he does ! 
(Letting go his hold of Jerome, he throws out 

his Mnds vehemently, and thereby pushes him 

against the scene.) 

Jer, Oh ! I am atunn'd ! my head is crack'd 
in twain : 
Your honour does forget how old I am. 

DeMon. Well, well, the wall is harder than 
I wist. 
Begone, and whine within. 
[Exit Jerome, with a sad rueful eountenanee, 
(De Monfort comes forward to the front of the 

stage, and makes a long pause, expressive ef 

great agony of mxnd.) 
It must be so : each paasing circumstance ; 
Her hasty journey here ; her keen distress 
Whene'er my soul's abhorrence I express'd; 
Ay, and that damned reconciliation. 
With tears extorted from me : Oh, too well ! 
All, all too well bespeak the shameful tale. 
I should have thought of heaven and hell 

conjoin'd. 
The morning star mixed with infernal fire. 
Ere I had thought of this — 
HeU's blackest magick, in the midnij^ht hour. 
With horrid spells and incantation cure, 
Such combination opposite, unseemly. 
Of fair and loathsome, excellent and iMue, 
Did ne'er produce — But every thing is posa- 

ble. 
So as it may mv misery enhance ! 
Oh ! I did love her witn such pride of soul ! 
When other men, in gay pursuit of love. 
Each beauty follow'd, by ner side I stay'd ', 
Far prouder of a brother's station there. 
Than all the favours favour'd lovers boast 
We quarrel'd once, and when I could no moie 
The alter'd coldness of her eye endure, 
1 slipp'd o'tip-toe to her chamber-door ; 
And when sne ask'd who gently knock'd^ 

Oh ! oh ! 
Who could have thought of this .' 
(Throws himse^into a chair j covers his fees 

with his hand, and bursts into tears. After 

some time he starts up from his seat furiously^ 
Hell's direst torment seize the infernal villain! 
Detested of my soul ! I will have vengeaooe! 



DE MONPORT : A TRAGEDY. 



103 



111 crush th^ flweUing pride — I'll etill thj 

▼auntin|P — 
I'll do a deed of blood !--Why shrink I thus ? 
If, by some spell or magick sympathy. 
Pierotuff the ufeleis figure on that wall 
Could pierce his bosom too, would I not cast 

it ? ( Throwing a dagger against the 

wall.) 
Shall groans and blood a^QKght me ? No, I'll 

do it. 
Tho' gasping Ufe beneath my pressure heav'd, 
And my soul shudder'd at tne horrid brink, 
I would not flinch. — Fye, this recoiling nature! 

that his seyer'd Umbs were strew d in air, 
So as I saw it not ! 

Enter Rkzenvelt behind from the glass door. 
Dc MoNFORT turns round, and on seeing him 
starts back, then drawing his sword, rushes 
foriouily upon him. 

Detested robber ! now all forms are oyer ; 
Now open yillany, how op6n hate ! 
Defend thy life! 

JUt, De Monfort, thou art mad. 

De Man. Speak not, but draw. Now for thy 
hated life ! 
(They fight : Rezenyelt parries his thrusts with 

great skUl^ and at lati disarms him.) 
Tlien take my life, black fiend, for hell assists 
thee. 

Rez. No, Monfort, but I'll take away your 
sword. 
Not as a mark of disrespect to yon, 
But for your slifety. By to-morrow's eye 
I'D call on jou myself and giye it back; 
And then, if I am charg'd with any wrong, 
I'll justify myself. Farewell, sttange man ! 

[Exit. 
(De Monfort stands for some time quite mo- 

tionlessy like one stupified. Enters to him a 

Seryant: he starts') 

De Mon. Ha ! who art thou? 

Ser. "Tis I, an' please your honour. 

De Mon. (staring wildly at him.) Who art 
thou.' 

Ser. Tour seryant Jacques. 

De Mon. Indeed I knew thee not. 

Leaye me, and when Rezenyelt is gone. 
Return and let me know. 

Ser. He's gone already. 

De Mom. How ! is he gone so soon ? 

Ser. His seryant told me. 

He was in haste to go ; as night comes on. 
And at the ey'ning hour he purposes 
To visit some old friend, whose lonely man- 
sion 
Stands a short mile beyond the farther wood, 
In which a convent is of holy Nuns 
Who chaunt this night a requiem to the soul 
Of a departed sister. For so well 
He loves such solemn musick, he has order'd 
His horses onward by the usual road, 
Meaning on foot to cross the wood alone. 
So says nis knave . Good may it do him , sooth ! 

1 would not walk thro' those wild dells alone 
For all his wealth. For there, as I have heard. 
Foul murders have been done^ and ravens 

scream; 



And things unearthly, stalking through the 

night. 
Have ^KMir'a the lonely trav'Uer from his wits. 
(De Monfort stands fixed in thought.) 
I've ta'en your mare, an' please you, fiom her 

field. 
And wait your farther orders. 

(De Monfort heeds him not.) 
Her hoofs are sound, and where tlie saddle 

gall'd, 

Begins to mend. What further must be done ? 

(De Monfort stiU heeds him not.) 

His honour heeds me not. Why should I stay ? 

De Mon. {eagerlv, as he is going.) He goes 

alone, saidst thou ? 
Ser. His servant told me so. 
De Mon. And at what hour ? 

Ser. He 'parts from Amberg by the fall of 
eve. 
Save you, my Lord ! how chang'd your count'- 

nance is ! 
Are you not well f 

De Mon. Tes, I am well : begone, 

And wait my orders by the city wall : 
I'll that way bend, and speak to thee again. 

[Exit Servant. 

(De Monfort walks rapidly two or three times 

across the stage ; then seizes his dagger from 

the \call; looks Steadfastly at its pointy and 

Exit hastily.) 

Scene III. — moonlight, a wild path 

IN A WOOD, SHADED WITH TREES. 

Enter Dk Monfort, with a strong expression 
of disquiet, mixed with fear, upon bis face, 
looking behind him, and bending his ear to the 
ground, as if he listened to something. 

De Mon. How hollow groans the earth be- 
neath my tread ! 
Is there an echo here ? Methinks it sounds 
As tho* some heavy footstep follow 'd me. 
1 will advance no farther. 
Deep settled shadows rest across the path. 
And thickly-tangled boughs o'erhang this 

spot. 
O that a tenfold gloom did cover it ! 
That 'midst the murky darkness I might 

strike ; 
As in the wild confusion of a dream, 
Things horrid, bloody, terrible do pass, 
As tho' they pass'd not ; nor impress the mind 
With the fix'd clearness of reality. 

(d^n owl is heard screaming near him.) 
{Starting.) What sound is that.^ 

(Listens f and the owl cries again.) 
It is the screech-owl's cry. 
Foul bird of night ! what spirit guides thee 

here.? 
Art thou instinctive drawn to scenes of hor- 

rour .' 
I've heard of this. (Pauses and listens.) 

How those fall'n leaves so rustle on tlie path, 
With whisp'ringnoi8e,as tho' the earth around 

me 
Did utter secret things ! 
The distant river too, bears to mine ear 
A dismal waiUng. O mysterious night ! 



104 



DE MOMFORT: A TRAGEDY. 



Thou art not silent ; many tongues hast thoa. 
A distant gathering blast sounds thro' the 

woodf 
And dark clouds fleetly hasten o'er the sky : 

! that a storm woula rise, a raging storm; 
Amidst the roar of warring elements 

rd lifl my hand and strike ! but this pale light, 
The calm distinctness of each stilly thing, 
Is terrible. (Starting.) Footsteps are near — 
He comes ! he comes ! I'll watcn him farther 
on — 
I cannot do it here. [Exit. 

Enter Rezeityelt, and continues his way slowly 
from the bottom of the stage : as he adrances 
to the front, the owl screams, be stops sod lis- 
tens, and the owl screams again. 

Rez. Ha ! does the night-bird greet me on 

my way .' 
How much his hooting is in harmony 
With such a scene as mis ! I like it well. 
Oft when a boy, at the still twilight hour, 
I've leant my l>uck against some knotted oak. 
And loudly mimick'd him, till to my call 
He answer would return, and, thro' tne gloom, 
We friendly converse held. 
Between me and the star-bespangled sky. 
Those aged oaks their crossing branctjes wave. 
And thro' them looks the pale and placid 

moon. 
How like a crocodile, or winged snake. 
Ton sailing cloud bears on its dusky length ! 
And now transformed by the passing wind, 
Methinks it seems a flying Pegasus. 
Ay, but a shapeless band of blacker hue 
Come swifUy afler. — 
A hollow murm'ring wind sounds thro' the 

trees; 

1 hear it from afar ; this bodes a storm. 
I must not linger here — 

(<A bell heard at some distance.) 
The convent bell. 
*Tis distant still : it tells their hour of prayer. 
It sends a solemn sound upon the breeze, 
That, to a fearful superstitious mind, 
In such a scene, would like a death-knell 
come. [Exit. 



ACT V. 
Scene I. — the inside or ▲ convent 

CHAPEL, OF OLD GOTHIC ARCHITEC- 
TURE, ALMOST dark: TWO TORCHES 
, ONLY ARE SEEN AT A DISTANCE, 
BURNING OVER A NEWLT-COVERED* 
GRAVE. LIGHTNING IS SEEN FLASHING 
THROUGH THE WINDOWS, AND THUN- 
DER HEARD, WITH THE SOUND OF 
WIND BEATING UPON THE BUILDING. 



* 1 have put above newtv-covered instead of 
new-made grave, as it stands in the former edi- 
tions, because I wish not to give the idea of a 
funeiul procession, bat merely that of a hymn or 
requiem sung over the grave of a person who has 
been recently buried. 



Enter two Monks. 

1st Monk. The storm increases : hark how 
dismally 
It howls along the cloisters. How goes time ? 
2d Monk. It is the hour : I hear them near 
at hand : 
And when the solemn requiem has been song 
For the departed sister, we'll retire. 
Yet, should this tempest still more violent 

grow^ 
We'll beg a finendly shelter till the mom. 
1st Monk. See, the procession enters : let 
us join. 
( J%e organ strikes up a solemn prelude.) 
Enter a procession of Nuns, with the Abbess, 
bttaring torches. Afler compassing the grave 
twice, and remaining there some time, the 
Qigan plays a grand diige, whilst they stand 
round the grave. 

SONG BY THE NUNS. 

Departed soul, whose poor remains 
ThiM hallow'd lowly grave contains ; 
Whose passing storm of life is o'er. 
Whose pains and sorrows are no more $ 
Bless'd be thou with the bless'd above ! 
Where all is joy, and parity, and love. 

Let HIM, in might and mercy dread. 

Lord of the living and the dead ^ 

In whom the stars of heaven rejoice. 

And the ocean lifts its voice ; 

Thy spirit, purified, to glory raise. 

To sing with holy sainU hij everlasting praise I 

Departed soul, who in this earthly scene 
Hast our lowly sister been, 
Swift be thy wav to where the blessed dwell ! 
Until we meet thee there, farewell ! farewell 1 

Enter a voong Pbhsiohkb, with a wild terrified 
look, ner bur and dress all scattered, and 
rashes forward amongst them. 

Abb, Why com'st thou here, with such dis- 
oroer'd looks. 
To break upon our sad solemnity .' 
Pen. Oh! I did hear thro' the receding 
blast. 
Such horrid cries ! they made my blood ran 
chill. 
Abb. 'Tis but the varied voices of the storm, 
Which many times will sound like distant 

screams: 
It has deceiv'd thee. 
Pen. O no, for twice it call'd, so loudly 
call'd. 
With horrid strength, beyond the pitch of na- 
ture; 
And Murder ! murder ! was the dreadful crv. 
A third time it return 'd with feeble strengtB, 
But o'the sudden ceas'd, as tho' the words 
Were smother'd rudely in the grappled throat, 
And all was still again, s^ve Uie wild blast 
Which at a distance growl'd — 
Oh ! it will never from my mind depart ! 
That dreadful cry, all i' the instant still'd : 
For then, so near, some horrid deed "was done, 



DElfQNVQRT: A TRAGUEDY. 



1^5 



And none to reacne. 
Mb. Where didst thoa hear it ? 
Pen. In the higher oella. 

As now a window, open'd bjr the storm, 
I did attempt to close. 
1st Monk. I wish our brother Bernard were 
arriv'd; 
He is upon his way. 
Mb. Be not alann'd -, it still maj be decep- 
tion. 
Tis meet we finish oar solemnity, 
Nor show neglect unto the honoured dead. 
(Gives a sigUj and the organ jflays again : just 
asit ceases aloud knocJangUluardvfithotU.) 
Abb. Ha ! who may this be ? hush ! 

(knocking heard og^un.) 
2d Monk. It is tlie knock of one in furious 
haste. 
Hush! hush! What footsteps come? Ha! 
brother Bernard. 

Enter Baa hard beariog a lantern. 

' 1st Monk, See, what a look he wean of 
stiffen'd fear ! 
Where hast thou been, good brother ? 

Bern. I've seen a horrid sight ! 
{All gathering round him and speaking at ones.) 

What nast thou seen .' 
Bern. As on I hasten'd, bearing thus my 
Ught, 
Across the path, not SSty paces off, 
I saw a murdered corse, stretch'd on his back, 
Smear'd wHh new blood, as tho' but newly 
slain. 
Abb. A man or woman was*t ? 
Bern. A man, a man ! 

Abb. Didst thou examine if within its breast 
There yet were lodged some small remains of 

life? 
Was it quite dead? 

Bern. Nought in the graye is deader. 

I look'd but once, vet life did never lodge 
In any form so laia. — 
A chuly horrour seiz'd me, and I fled. 
1st Monk. And does the face seem all un- 
known to thee ? 
Bern. The &ce ! I would not on the face 
have look'd 
For e'en a kingdom's wealth, for all the world! 

no ! the bloody neck, the bloody neck ! 
(Shaking his head and shuddering vnth hor- 
rour. Loud knocking heard wUmnU.) 

Sist. Good mercy ! who comes next ^ 
Bern. Not &r behind 

1 left our brother Thomas on the road ; 
But then he did repent him as he went. 
And threaten'd to return. 

2d ^^mk. See, here he coimes. 

Eater Brother Thomas, with a wild terrified 

look. 

Ut Monk. How wild he looks ! 

Bern, (jroing up to him eagerly.) What, 

hast Uiou seen it too ? 
Thorn. Tes. yes ! it glar'd upon me as it 

rassd. 
Bern. What ghir*d upon thee ? 

13 



(All gathering round Thomas, and speaking at 
once.) 

O ! what hast thou seen ? 
Thorn. As, striving with the blast, I onwaid 
came. 
Turning my feeble lantern from the wind. 
Its light upon a dreadful visage gleam'd, 
Which paus*d and look'd upon me asit pass'd. 
But Bucn a look, such wildness of despair, 
Such horrour-strain'd features, never yet 
Did earthly visage show. I shrunk and ahud- 

der'd. 
If a damn'd spirit may to earth return, 
I've wen it. 
Bern. Was there any blood upon it? 
Thorn. Nay, as it pass'd, I did not see its 
form; 
Nought but the horrid face. 
Bern. It is the murderer. 
1st Monk. What way went it ? 

ITunn. I durst not look till I had pass'd it 
far. 
Then turning round, upon the rising bank, 
I saw, between me and the paly skv. 
A dusky form, tossing and agitated. 
I stopp d to mark it ; out, in truth, I found 
'Twas but a sapling bending to the wind, 
And so I onward hied, and look'd no more. 
1st Monk. But we must look to't ; we must 
follow it : 
Our duty so commands. (To2<fMonk.) Will 

you go, brother ? 
(To Bernard.) And you, good Bernard ? 
Bern. If I needs must go. 

1st Monk. Come, we must all go. 
Abb. Heaven be with you, then ! 

[EiEUNT Monks. 
Pen. Amen ! amen ! Good heaven be with 
us all ! 

what a dreadful night ! 

Abb. Daughters, retire ; peace to the peace- 
ful dead ! 
Our solemn ceremony now is finished. 

[ExKuirr. 

SCBKK II. — A LAROK ROOM IV THE COK- 
VKKT, ySRy DARK. 

Enter the Abbess, Young Pensioner bearing a 
light, and several Nans ; she sets down the 
light 00 a table at the bottom of the stage, so 
that the room is still very gloomy. 

Abb. They have been longer absent than I 
thought ', 

1 fear he has escap'd them. 

1st JWm. Heaven forbid ! 

Pen. No, no, found out foul murder ever is, 
And the foul murd'rer too. 

2d ffun. The good Saint Francis will di- 
rect their search ; 
The blood so near this holy convent shed 
For threefold vengeance calls. 

Ahb, I hear a noise within the inner coortp— 
They are retum'd ; (listening;) and Bemaid's 

voice I hear : 
They are retum'd. 

Pen. Why do 1 tremUe so? 

It is not I who ought to tremble thiii. 



1061 



DE MONFORT : A TRAGEDY. 



ftd JVWh. I bear them at the door. 
Bern, (without.) Open the door, I praj 
uiee, brother Thomas ; 
I camiot now onhand the priaoner. 
{M speak together ^ shrinking back from the 
door, and staring upon one another.) 
He is with them ! 
(A folding door at the bottom of the stage is 
opened, and enter Bernard, Thomas, and 
the other two Monks, carrying lanterns in 
their hands, and bringing in De Monfbrt. 
Theu are likewise followed by other Monks. 
Jis vkey lead forward De Monfort, the light 
is turned away, so that he is seen obseuray ; 
but when they come to the front of the stage, 
they turn the light side of their lanterns on 
him at once, and his face is seen in all the 
strengthened horrour of despair, with his 
hands and clothes bloody. 
(Abbess and Nuns speak at once, and start 
back.) Holy saints be with as ! 
Bern, (to Abb.) Behold the man of blood ! 
Ahb. Or misery too; I cannot look upon him. 
Bern, (to Jfuns.) Nay, holy sisters, turn 
not thus away. 
Speak to him, if, perchance, he will regard 

you: 
For from his mouth we have no utt'rance 

heard. 
Save one deep groan and smother'd exclama- 
tion, 
When first we seiz*d him. 
Abb. (to De Mon.) Most miserable man, 
how art thou thus ? (Pauses.) 

Thy tongue is silent, but those bloody hands 
Do witness horrid things. What is thy 
name.' 
DeMon. (roused, looks steadfastly at the 
Abbess for some time, then speaking 
in a short hurried voice.) I have no 
name. 
Abb. (to Bern.) Do it thyself; TU speak to 

him no more. 
Pen. O holy saints ! that this should be the 
man 
Who did against his fellow lift the stroke, 
Whilst he so loudly call'd.— 
Still in my ears it rmn : O murder ! murder ! 
De Mon. (starting^ He calls again ! 
Pen. No, he did call, but now nis voice is 
sUU'd. 
Tispast 
DeMon. "Hs past. 

Pen. Yes. it is past ! art thou not he who 
did it > 
(De Monfort utters a deep groan, and is sup- 
ported from falling by the Monks. A noue 
u heard witnout.) 

Abb. What noise is this of heavy lumb'ring 
•tens, 
Like men who with a weighty burden come ? 
Bern. It is the body : 1 have orders given 
That here it should be laid. 
(Enter men, bearing the body of Reten velt, co- 
vered with a white doth, amd set it down in 
the middle rf the room : they then uncover it. 
De Monfort stands fixed and motionless 



with horrour, only that a sudden skivering 
seema to pass over him when they uncover 
the corpse. The Abbess and Nuns shrink 
back and retire to some distance, all the rest 
faang their eyes steadfastly upon De Mon- 
fbrt. A long pause.) 

Bern, (to De Mon.) See*st thou that life- 
less corpse, those bloody Wounds ? 
See how hfe lies, who but so shortly since 
A living creature was, with all the powers 
Of sense, and motion, and humanity ! 
Oh ! what a heart had he who did tnis deed ! 
1st Monk, (looking at the body.) How hard 
those teeUt against the lips aie 
press*d, 
As tho' he struggled still ! 
2d Monk. 'Ae hands, too, clenched: the 
last efforts of nature. 
(De Monfort stiU stands motionless. Broth- 
er Thomas then goes to the body, and raising 
up the head a Uttle, turns it towards De 

Monfort.) 
Thorn. Know*st thou this ghastly ftce .' 
De Mon. (putting his hands before his face 
m violent perturbation.) Oh do not ! 
do not ! Veil it frt>m my sight ! 
Put me to any agony but this ! 

Thom. Ha! dost thou then confess the 
dreadAil deed .' 
Hast thou against the laws of awful heav'n 
Such horrid murder done .' What fiend could 

tempt thee ? 
(Pauses and fooib steatfastly at De Monfort.) 
De Mon. I hear thy words, but do not hear 
their sense — 
Hast thou not covered it ? 
Bern, (to Thom.) Forbear, my brother, for 
thou see*st right well 
He is not in a state to answer thee. 
Let us retire and leave him for a while. 
These windows are with iron grated o*er ; 
He is secur'd, and other duty calls. 
Thom. Then let it be. 

Bern, (to Monks, ^.) Come, let us all de- 
part. 
(ExiUHT Abbess and Hvam, followed by the 
Monks. One Monk lingering a Ut- 
tle behind.) 

De Mon. All gone ! (Perceiving the Monk.) 

O stay thou here I 
Monk. It most not be. 

De Mon. Til give thee gold; I'll make 
thee rich in gold. 
If thou wilt stay e'en but a little while. 
Monk. I must not, must not stay. 
De Mon. I do conjure thee ! 

Monk. I dare not stay with thee. (Going.) 
De Mon. And wilt thou go ? 

(Catching hold of him eageHu.) 
O ! throw thy cloak upon this grizly form! 
The unclos'cl eyes do stare upon me rtill. 
O do not leave me thus ! 

[Monk covers the body, and Exit 

DeMinL (alone,looking at the covered body i 
but at a distance.) Alone with thee! 
but thou art nothing now. 



DE MONFORT : A TRAGEDY. 



107 



Til done, *tb number'd with the things over- 
past; 
Would, would it were to come ! — ] 
What tated end, what darkly gathering eloud 
Will close on all this honour r 

that dire madness would unloose my 

thoughts, 

And fill my nund with wildest fantasies. 

Dark, restless, terrible! aught, auffht but this! 

(Pauses and shudders.) 

How with copmlsiye life he heav'd beneatn 
me. 

E'en with the death's wound gor'd ! O hor- 
rid, horrid ! 

Methinks I feel him still. — What sound is 
that? 

1 heard a smother'd groan.^ — It is impossible ! 

(Lpoking steadfastly at me body.) 
It mores ! it moyes ! the cloth <{otb heave and 

swell. 
It moves again ! I cannot suffer this^- 
Whate'er it be, I will uncover it. 
{Runs to the corpse^ and tears off the doth in 

despair.) 
All still beneath. 

Nought is there here but fiz'd and grisly death. 
How sternly fixed ! Oh ! those glaxed eyes I 
They look upon me still. 

(Shrinks hack with horrour.) 
Come, madness! come unto me senseless 

death! 
I cannot sufifer this ! Here, rocky wall, 
Scatter these brains, or dull them ! 
{Runs furiously yandy dashing his headagainst 
the wail J fails upon the floor.) 

Enter two Monks, hastily. 

1st Monk. See ; wretched man, he hath de- 
stroyed himself. 

2d Monk. He does but fiiint. Let us re- 
move him hence. 

1st Monk. We did not well to leave him 
here alone. 

%iMonk. Come, let us bear him to the open 
air. [ExzuHT, hearing out De Mon- 
fort. 

SCEKK III. — BEFOKE THE GATES OF THE 
OOHyBHT, 

Eater Jank Dk Mo5roRT,FBiBXRo, andiMAK- 
uxL. As they are proceeding towards the 
gate, Jahe stops short and shrinks back. 

Frtk. Ha ! wherefore i has a sudden 11^ 

ness seiz'd thee ? 
Jane. No, no, my fiiend.-«-And yet I'm very 
fiunt — 
I dread to enter here. 

Man. Ay, so I thought : 

For, when between the trees, that abbey 

tower 
First shew'd its top, I saw your count'nance 

change. 
Bat breathe a little here ; I'll go before, 
And make inquiry at the nearest gate. 
JVs6. Do so, good Manuel. 

(Manuel goes and knocks aJt the gate.) 



Courage, dear Madam : all may yet be well. 
Rezenvelt's servant, frighten'd with the 

storm. 
And seeing that his master Join'd him not, 
As by appointment, at the forest's edge. 
Might be alarm'd, and give too ready ear 
To an unfounded rumour. 
He saw it not ; he came not here himself. 
Jane, {looking eagerly to the gate,. where 
Manuel taSts with the Porter.) Ha ! 
see, he talks with some one earnestly. 
And see'st thou not that motion of his hands ? 
He stands like one who hears a horrid tale. 
Almighty God ! 

^Manuel goes into the convent.) 
He comes not back ; he enters. 
Freb. Bear up, my noble firiend. 
Jane. I will, I will ! But this suspense is 
dreadful. 
{A long pause. Manuel re-enters from the 
convent f and comes forward slowly with a 
sad countenance.) 
Is this the face of one who bears good tidings .' 
O God ! his face doth tell the horrid fact; 
There is nought doubtful here. 

Freb. How is it, Manuel f 

Man. I've seen him through a crevice in his 

door: 

It is indeed my master. {Bursting into tears.) 

{Juke faints, and is supported by Freberg. — 

Enter Abess and several Nuns from the convent , 
who gather about her, and apply remedies. She 
recovers. 

1^ Jfun. The life returns again. 
2d JWin. Yes, she revives. 

Abb. {to Freb.) Let me entreat this noble 
lady's leave 
To lead her in. She seems in great distress ! 
We would with holy kindness soothe her woe, 
And do by her the deeds of christian love. 
Freb. Madam, your goodness has nay grate- 
ful thaziks. [Exeunt, 
supporting Jane into die convent. 

SCEKB IV. — DB MOKFORT 18 DISCOVEE- 
ED SITTING IK A THOUGHTFUL POS- 
TURE. HE REMAIK8 80 FOR BOMB 
TIME. HI8 FACE AFTERWARDS BEGINS 
TO APPEAR AGITJlTED, LIKE 0KB WHOSE 
MIKD IS HARROWED WITH THE SEVER- 
EST thoughts; thek, starting 

FROM HIS SEAT, HE CLASPS HIS HANDS 
TOGETHER, AND HOLDS THEM UP TO 
HEAVEN. 

J)e Mon. O that I ne'er had known the light 
of day ! 
That filmy darkness on mine eyes had hung. 
And clos d me out from the £ut face of na- 
ture ! 
O that my mind in mental darkness pent, 
Had no perception, no distinction known. 
Of fair, or foul, perfection, or defect, 
Nor thought conceiv'd of proud pre-eminence! 
O that it had ! O that I had been formd 
An idiot firom the birth ! a senseless change- 

ling; 



106 



DE MONFORT: A TRAGEDY. 



Who eats his glutton's meal with medy haste, 
Nor knows the hand who feeds him. — 

{Pauses ; then, in a calmtr sorrowful voice,) 
What am I now ? how ends the day of life ? 
For end it must ; and terrible this aloom. 
This storm of horrours that sarrouncu its cu»e. 
This little term of nature's a^ny 
Will soon be o'er, and what is past is past : 
But shall I then, on the dark lap of earth 
Lay me to rest, in still unconsciousness, 
Like senseless clod that doth no pressure feel 
From wearini^ foot of daily passenger ; 
Like steeped rock o'er which the breaking 

waves 
Bellow and foam unheard ? O would I could ! 

Enter Maruil, who springs forwaid to bis mu- 
ter, but if checked upon perceiving De Mpn- 
fort draw back and look sternly at him. 

Mmm, My lord, my majrter ! O my dearest 
master ! 
(De Monfort still looks at him tnthout speak- 

Nay, do not thus regard me, good my Lord ! 
Speak to me : am I not your faithiiil Manuel ? 

DeMon. (in a hasty troken voice.) Ait Hum 
alone f 

Man, No, Sir, the Udy Jane is on her way ; 
She is not iu behind. 

DeMon. (tossinfr his arm over his head in dn 
agony.) This is too much \ All I c^o 
bear but this ! 
It must not be. — Run and prevent her coming. 
Say, he who is detain'd a pris'ner here 
Is one to her unknown. 1 now am nothing. 
I aip a man of holy claims bereft ; 
Out of the pale ofsocial kindred cast ; 
Nameless and horrible. — 
Tell her De Monfort &r from hence is gone 
Into a desolate and distant land. 
Ne'er to return again. Fly, tell her this ; 
For we must meet no more. 

Enter Jairz Dc Movport, bunting into the 
chamber, and followed by Frkbero, Abbess, 
and several Noss. 

Jane. We must ! we must ! My brother, O 
my brother ! 

(De "iAoaSari turns awt^ his head and hides his 
face vAik his arm. Jane stops shorty oiuf, 
makistg a great ^ort, hams to Freberg, tmd 
the others who followed her, aatd wUh an air 
qf dignity stretehes out her hand, heehoaing 
them to retire. jSU retire but Freberg, who 
seems to hesitate.) 

And thou too, Freberg : call it not unkind. 

[Exit Freberg, Jane and De Monfort only re- 
main. 
Jane. My hapless Monfort ! 

(De Monfort turns round and looks s orrowfu l - 
ly upon her; she opens her arms to him, and 
he, rushing into them, hides his face upon her 
hreast and weeps.) 
Jane. Ay, give thy sorrow yent ; here may 'at 

tnon weep. 
De Mon. (m hroiten accents.) Oh ! this, my 
sister, makes me feel again 

The kindness of afiectioiL 



My miiid has in a dreadin] storm been tost ; 
Horrid and dark. — I thought to weep no 

more. — 
I've done a deed — But I am human still. 
Jane. I know thy suflTrings : leave thy sor 
row free : 
Thou art with one who never did upbraid ; 
Who mourns, who loves thee stilL 
De Mon. Ah ! say'st thou so .' no, no ; it 
should not be. 
(Shrtnlang from her.) I am a foul and bloody 

murderer. 
For such embrace unmeet : O leave me ! leave 

me ! 
Disgrace and publick shame abide me now ; 
And all, alas ! who do my kindred own, 
The direfrd portion share. — Away, away I 
Shall a disgrac'd and publick criminal 
Degrade thy name, and claim affinity 
To noble worth like thine ? — I have no name— 
I'm nothimr now, not e'en to thee ; depart 
{She takes his hand, and grasping it Jbrndy, 
speaks with a determined votee.) 
Jane. De Monfort, hand in hand we have 
enjoy 'd 
The playful term of inftncy together ; 
And m the roufher path or ripen 'd years 
We've been eacn other's stay. Dark lowers 

our fate. 
And terrible the storm that gathers o*er us ; 
But nothing, till that latest agony 
Which severs thee from nature, shall unloose 
Tliis fix'd and sacred hold. In thy dark pris- 
on-house ; 
In the terriffic face of armed law ; 
Yea, on the scaffold, if it needs most be, 
I never will forsake thee. 

De Mon. {looking at her wUh admiraiion,) 
Heav'n bless thy gen'rous soul, my noble 

Jane! 
I thought to sink beneath this load of ill, 
Depress'd with infimiy and open shame ; 
I thought to sink in abject wretchedness : 
But for thy sake 111 rouse my manhood up. 
And meet it bravely; no unseemly weaknesi, 
I feel my rising strength, shall blot my end, 
To clothe thy cheek with shame. 
Ja$u. Tes, thou art noble still. 
De Mon. With thee I am ; who were aot 
so with thee ? 
But ah ! my sister, short will be the term . 
Death's stroke will come, and in that stats 

beyond. 
Where things unutterable wait the soul. 
New from its earthly tenement discharg'd, 
We shaU be sever'd fiir. 
Far as the spotless purity of virtue 
Is from the murd'rer's gnilt, iu shall we be. 
This is the gulf of dread uncertainty 
From which the soul recoils. 
Jane. The God who made thee is a God of 
mercy; 

Think upon this. 
DeMon. {shaking his head.) No, no! this 

blood! thu blood! 
Jane. Tes, e'en the sin of blood may be ftr 

giVCBy 



DE MONFORT: A TRAGEDY. 



109 



When humble peniteDce hath once «ion'd. 
De Man. (eagerly.) What, after terms of 

lengthen 'd misery , 
Imprison'd anguish of tormented spirits, 
Shall I aeain, a renovated soul, 
Into the blessed fvnily of the good 
Admittance have ? Think'st thou that this 

may be ? 
Speak if thou canst : O speak me comfort here ! 
For dreadful fimcies, like an armed host. 
Have pushed me to despair. It is most hor- 

rible — 

speak of hope ! if any hope there be. 

i( Jane is silent, and loolts sorrowfully upon Mm; 
tken clasping her hands, and turning her 
eve# to heaven, seems to mutter a prayer.) 
UeMon. Ha ! dost thou pray forme ? heav'n 
hear thy prayer ! 
i fiin would kneel. — Alas ! I dare not do it. 
JisiM. Not so ! all by th' Almighty Father 
form'd, 
May in their deepest mis'ry call on him. 
Come kneel with me, my brother. 
(She kneels and prays to herseJf; he kneels by 
her, and clasps his hands fervently, hut speaks 
mat. A noise of chains clanking is heard 
without, and they both rise.) 
De Mon. Hear'st thou that noise ? They 

come to interrupt o& 
Jane, (moving towards a side door.) Then 

let us enter here. 
De Mon, {catching hold of ken with a look of 
horrour.) Not there— not there — the 
corpse— the bloody corpse ! 
Jane. What, lies he there ? — Unhappy Jle- 

zenvelt ? 
De Mon. A sudden thought has come across 
my mind; 
How came it not before ? Unhappy Rezenvelt ! 
Say'st thou but this f 
Jane. What should I say ? he was an hon- 
est man; 

1 still have thought him such, as such lament 

him. 

(De Monfort utters a deep groan.) 
What meuuUii. heavy groan? 
De Mon. It hath a meaning. 

Eater Abbxss and Monks, with two Officers 
of justice carrying fetters in their hands to put 
npon Dr Mokfort. 

Jane, (starting.) What men are these i* 
IM Of. Lady» we are the servants of the 
law, 
And bear with us a power, which doth con- 
strain 
To bind with fetters this our prisoner. 

(Pointing to De Monfort.) 
Jane. A stranger unconaemn'd ? ihis can- 
not be. 
Ui Off. As yet, indeed, he is by law un- 
judg'd, 
But is so far condemn'd by circumstance. 
That law, or custom sacred held as law. 
Doth fully warrant us, and it must be. 
Jams. Nay, say not so; he has no power 
t*eacape : 



Distress hath bound him with a heavy chain; 
There is no need of yours. 

Xst Off. We must perform our office. 
Jane. O ! do not oner this indignity ! 
\st Off, Is it indignity in sacred law 
To binda murderer i (To dtf Officer.) Come, 
do thy work. 
Jam€. Harsh are thy words, and stem thy 
harden'd brow ; 
Dark is thine eye ; but all some pity have 
Unto the last extreme of misery. 
I do beseech thee ! if thou art a man — 

(Kneeling to him.) 
(De Monfort, roused at this, runs up to Jane, 
and raises her hastily from thegrmmd : then 
stretches himself up proudly.) 
De Mon. (to Jane.) Stand tkou erect in na- 
tive dignity ; 
And bend to none on earth the suppliant knee, 
Though cloth'd in power impenal. To my 

heart 
It ffives a feller gripe than many irons. 
(Holding out his hands.) Here, officers of law, 

bind on those shackles ; 
And, if they are too light, bring heavier chains. 
Add iron to iron ; load, crush me to the 

ground: 
Nay, heap ten thousand weight upon my 

breast, 
For that were best of all. 
(A long p^use, whilst they put irons upon him. 
After they are on, Jane woks at him sorrouh 
fully, and lets her head sink on her breast. 
De Monfort stretches out his hand, looks at 
them, and then at Jane ; crosses them over his 
breast, and endeavours to suppress his feel' 
ings.*) 

1st Off. I have it, loo, in charge to move 
you hence, (To De Monfort.) 

Into anouer chamber more secure. 
De Mon. Well, I am ready, Sir. 
(Approaching Jane, whom the Abbess is endea- 
vouring to comfort, but to no purpose.) 
Ah ! wherefore thus ! most honour d and most 

dear.^ 
Shrink not at the accoutrements of ill. 
Daring the thing itself. 

{iStdea/couring to look cheerful.) 
WiH thou permit me with a gyved hand ? 
(She gives her hand, which he raises to hisl^.) 
This was my proudest office. 

[Exeunt, De Monfort leading out Jane. 

ScSNfi v. — AN APARTMENT IK THE CON- 
VENT, OPENINa INTO ANOTHER ROOM, 
WHOSE LOW ARCHED DOOR 18 SEEN IN 
THE BOTTOM OF THE STAGE. IN ONE 
CORNER A MONK IS SEEN KNEELING. 



* Should this play ever again be acted, perhaps 
it would be better that the curtain sboald drop 
here ; since here the story may be considered as 
completed, and what conies after, prolongs the 
caece too mnch when our interest for the fate c^ 
De Monfort is at an end. 



110 



DE MONFORT : A TRAGEDY. 



Eater uiotber Monk, who, on perceiTing him' 
stops till he rises from his knees, and then goes 
eagerly up to him. 

1^ Monk. How is the prisoner P 
2d M<mk. {pointing to the door.) He is 
within, and ue strong hand of death 
Is dealing with him. 

IM M<mk, How is this, good brother ? 

Methought he bray'd it with a manly spirit ; 
And led, with shackled hands, his sister foitls 
Like one resolv'd to bear misfortune bravelj. 
2d Monk. Yes, with heroick courage, for a 
while 
He seem'd inspired; but, soon depressed again. 
Remorse and dark despair o'erwhelm'd his 

soul: * 

And, from the violent working of his mind. 
Some stream of life within his breast has burst; 
For many a time, within a little space, 
The ruddy tide has rush'd into his mouth. 
Grod grant his pains be short! 
1st Monk. How does the lady .' 

2d Monk. She sits and bears his head upon 
her lap, 
Wiping the cold drops from his ghastly fiice 
With such a look of tender wretchedness. 
It wrings the heart to see her. — 
How goes the night ? 
ttt Monk. It wears, methinks, upon the mid- 
night hour. 
It is a dark and fearful night : the moon 
Is wrapp'd in sable clouds : the chill blast 

sounds 
Like dismal lamentations. Ay, who knows 
What voices mix with the dark midnight 

winds? 
Nay, as I passed that yawning cavern's mouth, 
A whisp'ring sound, unearthly, reach'd my 

ear. 
And o*er my head a chilly coldness crept. 
Are there not wicked fiends and damned 

sprites. 
Whom yawning chamels, and th' uniatliom*d 

depths 
Of secret darkness, at this feariul hour. 
Do upwards send^ to watch, unseen, around 
The murderer's death-bed, at his fiital term. 
Ready to hail with dire and horrid welcome, 
Their future mate ^ — I do believe there are. 
2d Monk. Peace, peace ! a God of wisdom 
and of mercy, 
Veils from our sight — Ha ! hear that heavy 
groan. {A groan koardwitkin.) 

\tt Monk. It is the djring man. 

(AnoAer groan.) 
2d Monk. God grant him rest ! 

i^Lutemn^ at the door.) 
I hear him struggling m the gnpe of death. 
O piteous heaven ! (Goesjrom the door.) 

Enter Brother Thohas from the chamber. 

How now, good Brother ? 

Thorn. Retire, my friends. O many abed of 
death 
With all its pangs and borrours I have seen. 
But never aughtlike this ! Retire, my friends ; 
The death-bell will its awfril signal give, 



When he has breathed his last 
I would move hence, but I am weak and (aint : 
Let me a moment on thy shoulder lean. 
Oh, weak and mortal man ! 

(Leans, on second Monk : a pause,y 

Entet Brbharo from the chamber. 

2d Monk, (fo BemO How is your peniteiit^ 
Bern. He is with Hiv who made hun ; Hih, 
who knows 
The soul of man: before whose awful pres- 
ence 
Th' unsceptred tyrant simple, helpless, stands 
Like an unclothed babe. (Bell tolls.) 

The dismal sound ! 
Retire and pray for the blood-stained soul : 
May heav'n have mercy on him ! 

(Bell toUs agaxn.) [Eixnvr. 

SCSHS VI. — ^A HALL OK LAKOB WLOOU 
IK THE COHVEMT. THE BODIES 9T DB 
JfOKFORT AKD REZEKYBLT ARE DI9- 
COYERBD LAID OUT UPOK A LOW TABLE 
OB PLAXrORM, COYBBBD WITH BLACK.. 
FBEBEKG, KEKKARD, ABBESS, JfOKKS, 
AKD KVKS ATTEKDUrO. 

Akb. (to Frcb.) Here must they they lie, 
my Lord, uiMil we know 
Respecting this the order of the law. 
Frdf. And vou have wisely done, ray lev 
'rend mother. 
(Goes to the iahU, and looks at the bodies^ hml 

without uneofDering them.) 
Unhappv men ! ve, Doth in nature rich. 
With talents and with virtues were endued. 
Te should have lov*d, yet deadly rancour 

came, 
And in the prime and manhood of your days 
Te sleep in norrid death. O diiefru hate ! 
What sname and wretchedness his portion is. 
Who, fr>r a secret inmate, harbours thee ! 
And who shall call him blameless, who ex- 
cites. 
Ungenerously excites, with careless scorn, 
Sucn baleful passion in a brother's breast. 
Whom heav'n command* to love ? Low are 

ye laid : 
Still all contention now.-^Low are ye laid : 
I lov'd you both, and mourn your hapless &I1. 
Ahb. They were your friends, my Lord } 
Freb. I lov'd them both. How does the lady 

Jane? 
Aib. She bears misfortune with intrepid 
soul. 
1 never saw in woman bow'd with grief. 
Such moving dignity. 

Freb. Ay, still the same. 

I've known her long : of wozth most excel- 
lent; 
But in the day of woe, she ever rose 
Upon the mind with added majesty. 
As the dark mountain more sublimely tow*n 
Mantled in clouds and storm. 

Enter Mamuxl and Jerohk. 

JtfsR. (pointing.) Here, my good Jetma^* 
nere's a piteous sight 



0£ MONFORT i A TRAGEDY. 



Ill 



Jer. A piteous nght ! yet I will look upon 
nim: 
I'll see his face in death. Alaa, alas ! 
i*Te seen him move a nMe ^ntleman ; 
And when with yexing passion undistorb'd, 
He looked most ^l^ocisiy. 
{lifi' «P in miMake thei£fth from ths body of 

RezenTelt, and starts back with horr our.) 
Oh ! this tras the bloodj #ork ! Oh, oh ! oh, 

oh! 
That human hands e<yuld tlo it ! 

(Drops the doth again.) 
Main, That is the murdered corpse; here 
lies De Monfoit. 

(poing to tauxner the other body.) 
Jar.' {turning away his head.) No, no ! I 

cannot look upon him now. 
^an. Didst thou not come to see him ? 
Jer. Fj! cover him — inter him in the dark — 
Let no one look upon him. 
Bern. {To Jer.) Well dost thou shew the 
abhorrence nature feels 
For deeds of blood, and I commend thee well. 
In the most ruthless heart compassion wakes 
For one. who, from the hand or fellow man, 
Hath felt such cruelty. 

{Uncovering the body of Rezenvelt^ 
This is the murder 'd corse : 

{Uneowring the body of De Monfort.) 

But see, I pray ! 
Here lies the murderer. What think'st thou 

hereP 
Look on those features, thou hast seen them 

of^, 
With the last dreadful conflict of despair. 
So fiz*d in horrid strength. 
See those knit brows ; those hollow sunken 

eyes; 
The sharpen 'd nose, with nostrils all distent; 
That writhed mouth, where yet the teeth ap- 
pear. 
In affony, to gnash the nether lip. 
ThimL'st thou, less painful than the murd'- 

rer*s knife 
Was such a death as this .' 
Ay, and how changed too those matted locks ! 
Jer. Merciful heaven ! his hair is grisly 
grown^ 
Chang*d to white age, that was, but two days 

sittce, 
Black as the raven's plume. How may this 

Bern. Such change, from violent conflict 
of the mind. 
Will sometimes come. 

Jer. Alas, alas ! most wretched ! 

Thou wert too good to do a cruel deed. 
And so it kill'd £ee. Thou hast sufier'd for it 
God rest thy soul ! I needs must touch thy 

hand. 
And bid thee loujg farewell. 

{Lamng his hand on De Monfort.) 
Bern. Drawback, draw back; see where 
the lady comes. 

Enter Jakk Di Monfort. 

Freberg. 10AO has been for some time retired by 
him^ to the bottom 0/ the stfige, now steps 



forward to lead htrin, but cheeks himself on 
seeing the fixed sorrow of her countenance, 
and draws back respectfully. Jane advances 
to the tabUf and looks attentively at the cov- 
ered bodies. Manuel points out the body of 
De Monfort, and she gives a gentle inclina- 
tion of the heady to signify that she under- 
stands him. She then bends tenderly over it, 
without speaking. 
Man. {to Jane, as she raises her head.) Oh, 

madam ! my good lord. 
Jane. Well savs thy love, my good and 
faithful Manuel ; 

But we must mourn in silence. 
Man. Alas ! the times that I have foUow'd 

him ! 
Jane. Forbear, my faithful Manuel. For 
this love 

Thou hast my grateful thanks ; and here's my 
hand: 

Thou hast lov'd him, and I'll remember thee. 

Where'er I am; in whate'er spot of earth 

I linger out the remnant of my days, 

I win remembet thee. 
Man. Nay, by the living God ! where'er 
you are, 

There wul I be. I'll prove a trusty servant : 

I'll follow you, even to the world's end. 

My master s gone ; and I indeed am mean. 

Yet will I show the strength of nobler men, 

Should any dare upon your honoured worth 

To put the slightest wrong. Leave you, dear 
lady! 

Kill me, but say not this ! 

{Throwing himself at her feet.) 
Jane, {raising him.) Well, then ! be thou 
my servant, and my friend. 

Art thou, good Jerome, too, in kindness come ? 

I see thou art. How goes it with thine age ? 
Jer. Ah, Madam ! woe and weakness dwell 
with age : 

Would I could serve you with a young man's 
strength! 

I'd spend my fife for you. 
Jane. Thanks, worthy Jerome. 

O ! who hath said, the wretched have no 
friends ? 
Freb. In every sensible and gen'rous breast 

Affliction finds a friend ; but unto thee, 

Thou most exalted and most honourable, 

The heart in warmest adoration bows, 

And even a worship pays. 
Jane. Nay, Freb«rg, Freberg! grieve me 
not, my friend. 

He to whose ear my praise most welcome was. 

Hears it no more ; and, oh our piteous lot ! 

What tongue will talk of him f Alas, alas ! 

This more than all will bow me to the earth ; 

I feel my misery here. 

The voice of praise was wont to name us both ; 

I had no greater pride. 

{Covers mt face with her hands j and bursts 
into tears. Here they all hang about her : 
Freberg supportiTig her tenderly. Manuel 
embracing her knees, and old Jerome caieK- 
ing hold of her robe affectionately. Bernard, 
Abbess, Monks, ami rfnns, likeinse, gather 



11£ 



DE ilONFQRT t A TRAGfiPT. 



Toumi koTy wUk l&oks cfaympaihy.) 
Enter two OrriczRS of law. 

Iwt Of. Where is the priaoner ? 

Into our hands he straight must be coiisij|rn'd. 

Btm. He is not subject now to humanlawa \ 
The prison that awaits him is the gra^e. 

IH Off. Ha ! say'st thou so ? there is foul 
plaj in this. 

JMafi. (to Off.) Hold thy unrighteous 
tongue, or hie thee hence, 
Nor, in the presence of this honour'd dame, 
Utter the slighlest meaning of reproach. 

\gt Off. I am an officer on duty call'd. 
And have authority to say, " How died he > *' 
(Here Jane shakes off the weakness of grief ^ 

and repressing Manuel, who is about to reply 

to the Officer, steps forward with dignity.) 

Jane. Tell tnem, by whose authonty you 
come. 
He died that death which best becomes a man 
Who is with keenest sense of conscious ill 
And deep remorse assail'd, a wounded spirit: 
A death that kills the noble and the braye, 
And only them. He had no other wound. 

1st Off. And shall I trust to this } 

Jane. Do as thou wilt : 

To one who can suspect my simple word 
I haye no more reply. Fulfil thuie office. 

Yst Off. No, Lady, I belieye your honour'd 
word. 
And will no further search. 

Jane. I thank your cdVirtesy : thanks, thanks 
to all; 
My rey'rend naotfaer, and ye honour'd maids; 



Te holy men, and yon. my fiuthfnl friends ; 
The blessing of the afflicted rest with you ! 
And He, who to the wretched is most piteom, 
Will recompense you. — Freberg, thou art good; 
Remoye the body of the friend you loy'd ; 
'Tis Rezenyelt I mean. Take thou this chargt: 
'Tis meet, that with his noble ancestors 
He lie entomb'd in honourable state. 
And now I haye a sad request to make. 
Nor will these holy sisters scorn my boon : 
That I, within these sacred cloister walls, 
May raise a humble, nameless tomb to him. 
Who, but for one dark naasion, one dire deed,. 
Had claim'd a record or as noble worth 
As e'er enrich'd the sculptured pedestal. 

[EXBUVT. 

N6U.^1hb last three lines of the last neech 
are not intended to give the reader a tme charac- 
ter of Dk Monfort, whom I hare endearoiirad 
to represent Jthrooghout the Play as, notwithstand> 
ing nil other good qualities, prond, suspicions, antf 
susceptible of enry ; but only to express the par- 
tial sentiments ofan affectionate sister, natural- 
ly more inclined to praise him from the 
tune into which he nad fidlen. 



O* The Trasedy of Da MbmroRT has beta 
brought out at Drury-Lane Theatre, adapted to 
the stage by Mr Kemble. I am infinitely obliged 
to that Gentleman for the eicellent powers he* 
has exerted, assisted by the incompanble talents 
of his sister, Mrs. Siddfons,iQ endeaTouringtoc^ 
tain ibr it that pablick favour, which I sancerely 
wishtt had been ibond more worthy of receiviag 



THE ELECTION: A COMEDY. 



PERSONS OP THE DRAMA. 
MEN. 

Baltimore, a country gerUlefnan, and the head 
of an old family fallen into decay. 

Freeman ) a great clothier, who has acquired 
by his own industry a very large fortune. 

Trdebrioge, the friend of Baltimore. 

Charles, an idle young num, cousin to Balti- 
more, and wrought up in his house, 

Bervbt,"' }2W^tor«ey.. 

Bescatti, an Italian master. 
Peter* \ Servants to Baltimore. 

Voters f MoOf Boys, Jailers^ ^. ^. 

WOMEN. 

Mrs. Baltimore. 
Mrs. Freeman. 

Charlotte, daughter to Freeman. 
Governess. 

Margery, an old servant of the Baltimore 
family. 

Servants, Voters, Wives, Mob, ^. 



ACT I. 
Scene I. — the open market»placb of 

A SMALL country TOWN, A CROUD OF 
MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN, SEEN 
ON THE BACK GROUND; MAROERT AND 
COUNTRYMAN SURROUNDED WITH SEV- 
ERAL OTHERS ARE DISCOVERED TALK* 
INO ON THE FRONT OF THE STAGE. 

Mar. Patron ! pot-man an' you will. As 
long as he holds the brown jug to their heads, 
they'll run after him an' he were the devil. 
Oh ! that I should live to see the heir of the 
ancient family of Baltimore set aside in his 
own borough by a nasty, paltry, nobody- 
knows- who of an upstart ! What right has he, 
forsooth ! to set himself up for to oppose a 
boble gentleman? I remember his own aunt 
very well; a poor industrious pains-taking 
woman, with scarcely a pair of shoes to her 
feet. 

Countryman. Well, well, and what does 
that signify. Goody ? He has covered more 
bare feet with new shoes since he came among 
OS, than all the noble families in the country, 
let his aunt wear what shoes she would : ay, 

14 



and his bounty has filled more empty bellies 
too, though his granum might dine on a tur- 
nip, for aught I know or care about the mat- 
ter. 

Mar. Don't tell me about his riches, and 
his bounty, and what not : will all that ever 
make him any thing else than the son of John 
Freeman the weaver ? I wonder to hear you 
talk such nonsense, Arthur Wilkins ; you that 
can read books and understand reason : such 
a fellow as that is not good enough to stand 
cap in hand before Mr. Baltimore. 
{'uie rabble comeforward, huzzaing, and ma-' 

king a great noise, and take different sides 

of we stage.) 

Croud on F. side.) Huzza! huzza! Free- 
man for ever ! 

Mar. Tes, yes, to be sure: Freeman for 
ever! fat Sam the butcher for ever! black 
Dick the tinker for ever ! anv body is good 
enough for you, filthy rabscallions. 

1st Mob on F. side.) Ay, scold away, old 
Margery ! Freeman for ever ! say I. Down 
with vour proud, pennyless gentry ! Free- 
man K>r ever ! 

Mar. Down with your rich would-be-gen* 
try upstarts ! Baltimore for ever ! (to nuS on 
her side.) Why don't you call out, oafe ? 
(7%« mob on her side call out Baltimore, and 

the mob on the other, Freeman ; but the F* 

side gets the better.) 
What, do you give it up so ? you poor, spirit- 
less nincumpoopfl ! I would roar tul I bursted 
first, before I would give it up so to such a 
low-lived, beggarly r^ble. 

2d mob on F. side.) They lack beef and 
porter, Margery. That makes fellows loud 
and hearty, I trow. Coats of arms and old 
pictures wont fill a body's stomach. Come 
over to Freeman-hall, and we'll shew you good 
cheer, woman. Freeman for ever ! 

Mar. Ha' done with your bawling, blac- 
moor ! what care I for your good cheer 7 none 
of vour porter nor your beef for me, truly ! 

^ mob on F. side.) No, Groody ! maynap. 
as you have been amongst the gentry all 
your life, you may prefer a cup of nice sage 
tea, or a little nice rue-water, or a leg of a 
roasted snipe, or a bit of a nice tripe dumplin. 

Mar. Close your fool's mouth, oaf! or I'll 
cram a dumplin into it that you wont like the 
chewing oL Mr. Baltimore's father kept a 
table fike a prince, when your poor beggarly 
candidate's father had scarcely a potatoe in 
his pot. But knaves like you were not ad- 
mitted within his gates to see it, indeed. 
Better men than you. or your master either, 
were not good enough to take away his dirty 



114 



THE ELECTION : A COMEDY. 



trenchers; and the meaneit creature about 
his house was as well dress'd, and in as good 
order, as if it had been the king's court, and 
every day in the year had been a Sunday. 

2d mA on F. side.) So they were, 
Goody ; 1 remember it very well ; the very 
suckinff pi^ ran about hisf y^^dj with fiill 
bottom d wigs on, and the ^reyjroose waddled 
through the dirt with a mie nounced petti- 
coat. 

Mar. Hold your fool's tongue, do ! no up- 
start parliament-men for me ! Baltimore for 
ever ! 

Croud on B. side call out) Baltimore for 
ever! 

1st Mob on B. side.) Sour paste and tan- 
gled bobbins for weavers ! 

Ist Mob on F. side.) Empty purses and tat- 
ter'd lace for gentlemen ! 

Old tcoman on B. side.) We'll have no 
strange new-comers for our member : Balti- 
more for me ! 

Old woman on F. side.) Good broth is better 
than good blood, say I : Freeman for me ! 

IaUU Boy on B. side.) Weaver, weaver, 
flap, flap ! 
Grin o'er your shuttle, and rap, rap ! 

(acting the motion of a weaver.) 

Little Boy on F. side.) Gentleman, gentle- 
man, proud of a word ! 
Stand on your tip-toes, and bow to my lord ! 

(acting a gentleman.) 

Mar. Go, you little devil's imp ! who teach- 
es vou to blaspheme your betters ? 
(she gives the boy a box on the ear: the mob on 

the other side take his part : a great uproar 

and corrosion f and exeunt bom sides fight- 
ing.) 

ScfillE II. — A WALK LEADIHG THROUGH 
A GROVE, AND CLOSE BT IT. 

Enter Mrs. Baltimore, as if just alighted from 
her carriage, followed byher Maid and Prter, 
carrying a box and port-folio and other things. 

Mrs. Bait. But what does all this distant 
noise and huzzaing mean ? the whole town is 
in commotion. 

Pet. It is nothing as I know of, Ma'am, but 
my Master and Mr. Freeman's voters fighting 
with one another at the alehouse doors, to shew 
their good will to the candidates, as all true 
hearty fellows do at an election. 

Mrs. B. Tes; our member b dead sudden- 
ly ; I had forgot. But who are the candidates.' 

Pet. My master^ Madam, and Mr. Freeman. 

Mrs. B. Gentlemen supported by them, you 
mean.' 

Pet. No Ma'am, I mean their own two 
selves, for their own two selves. But I beg 
pardon for naming such a man as Freeman on 
the same day with a gentleman like my Mas- 
ter. 

Mrs. B. Mr. Freeman, if you please, Peter; 
and never let me hear you name him with 
disrespect in my presence. Carry those things 
into the house : (to the maid) and you too. 
Blond ; 1 see Mr. Baltimore. 

(ExEURT servants. 



Enter Baltimore. 

Bait. My dear Isabella, you are welcome 
home, how are you afler your journey ? 

Mrs. B. Perfectly well ; and very gUd, ev- 
en after so short an absence, to find myself at 
home again. But what is going on here? I 
have heard strange news Just now : Peter tells 
me you are a candidate for the Borough, and 
Mr. Freeman is your rival It is some blun- 
der of his own, I suppose? 
Bait. No, it is not. 

Mrs. B. (stepping back in surprise, and hold- 
ing «p her hands.) And are vou actually 
throwing away the last stake or your min'd 
fortune on a contested election. 

Bait. { will sell every acre of land in my 
possession, rather than see that man sit in 
parliament for the borough of Westown. 

Mrs. B. And why should not he as well 
as another .' The declining fortunes of your 
family have long made you give up every 
idea of the kind for yourself: of what conse- 
quence, then, can it pomibly be to you ? I 
know very well, my dear Baltimore, it is not 
a pleasant thing for the representative of an 
old family declmed in fortune, to see a rich 
obscure stranger buy up all the land on every 
side, and set himseif down like a petty prince 
in his neighbourhood. But if he had not done 
it, some other most Ukely would ; and what 
should we have gain'd by the change ? 

Bait. O I any other than himself I could 
have sufi'er'd. 

Mrs. B. you amaze me. He has some dis- 
agreeable follies, I confess, but he is friendly 
and liberal. 

BaU, Yes, yes, he affects patronage and 
publick spirit : he is ostentatious to an absur- 
dity. 

Mrs. B. Well then, don't disturb yourself 
about it If he is BO, people will only laugh 
at him. 

Bolt. O ! hang them, but they wont laugh! 
I have seen the day, when, if a man made 
himself ridiculous, the world would laugh Rt 
him. But now, by heaven, every thing that 
is mean, disgusting, and absurd, pleases them 
but so much the better ! If they would but 
laugh at him, I should be content. 

Mrs. B. My dear Baltimore ! curb this 
strange fancy that has taken such a strong 
hold of your mind, and be reasonable. 

Bait. I can be reasonable enough. I can 
see as well as you do that it is nonsense to 
disturb myself about this man ; and when he 
is absent I can resolve to endure him : bat 
whenever I see him again, there is something 
in his full satisfied face ; in the tones of his 
voice ; ay, in the very gait and shape of his 
legs, that is inmflerable to me. 
Mrs. B. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ! 
Bolt. What makes you laugh. Madam t 
Mrs. B. Indeed I have more cause to cry ! 
yet I could not help laughing when you talk'd 
of his ffait and his legs : for people, you most 
know, nave taken it into their heads that there 
ia a reaembkiice between you and him: I 



THE ELECTION : A (X)lifEDT. 



116 



ba?e, myself, in twilight, sometimes mistaken 
the one for the other. 

Bali. It must have been in midnight, I 
think. People have taken it into their heads! 
blind idiots ! I could kick mj own shins if I 
thought thej had the smallest resemblance to 
his. 

Mrs. B. Ha. ha, ha, ha, ha ! 

Bolt. And this is matter of amusement for 
jou, Ma'am .' I abhor laughing. 

Mrs. B. Pn.yf pray forgive me ! This is 
both Judicrous and distressing. I knew that 
you disliked this man from me first day he 
settled in your neighbourhood, and that, du- 
ring two years acquaintance, your aversion 
has been daily increasing ; but I had no idea 
of the extravagant height to which it has now 
Arrived. 

Bait. Would I had sold every foot of my 
lands, and settled in the lone wilds of Ameri- 
ca, ere this man came, to be the swoln pos- 
sessor of my forefathers lands ; their last re- 
maining son, now cramp'd and elbow'd round, 
in one small corner of their once wide and ex- 
tensive domains ! Oh ! I shall never forget 
what I felt, when, with that familiar and ais- 
fusting affability, he first held out to me his 
damned palm, and hail'd me as a neighbour. 
{striding up and down the stage.) Ay, by my 
ioul, he pretends to be affable ! 

Mrs. B. You feel those things too keenly. 

Bait. A stock or a stone would feel it. He 
has opposed me in every contest, from the 
election of a member of parliament down to 
the choosinff of a parish clerk ; and yet, damn 
him ! he will never give me a fair occasion of 
quaielling with him, for then I should be hap- 
pier, {striding up and down again.) Hang 
it ! it was not worth a pinch of snuff to me, 
whether the high road went on one side of my 
field or the other ; but only that I saw he was 
resolved to oppose me in it, and I would have 
died rather than have yielded to him. 

Mrs. B. Are you sure, Baltimore, that your 
own behaviour has not provoked him to that 
opposition ^ 

jSoU. {striding v^ and down as he speaks.) 
He has extended his insolent liberalities over 
the whole country round. The very bantlings 
lisp his name as they sit on their uttle stools 
in the sun. 

Mrs. B. My dear friend ! 

Bolt. He has built two new towers to his 
house; and it rears up its castled head 
amongst the woods, as it its master were the 
lord and chieflain of the whole surrounding 
country. 

Mrs. B. And has this power to offend you ^ 

Bait. No, no; let him pile up his house to 
the clouds, if he will ! I can bear all this pa- 
tiently : it is his indelicate and nauseous civil- 
ity that drives me mad. He goggles and he 
smiles ; he draws back his full watery lip like 
a toad, {makinga month of disgust.) Then he 
spreads out his nail-bitten fingers as he speaks 
-hah! 



Mrs. B. And what great harm does all this 
do you ? 

Bolt. What harm ? it makes my very flesh 
creep, like the wrigglingrg of a horse-leech or 
a maggot. It is an abommation beyond all en- 
durance ! 

Mrs. B. The strange fimcies you take in re- 
gard to every thing this poor man does, are to 
me astonishing. 

Bait. {Stopping shorty and looking fizedly 
on her.) Are to you astonishing ? I doubt it 
not : I was a fool to expect mat a wife so 
many years younger than myself would have 
anv sympathy with my feebngs. 

Mrs. B. Baltimore! you wrong me, unkindly. 
— But his daughter comes : she will over hear 
us. 

Bait. What brinos that affected fool here .' 
She is always coming here. It is an excres- 
cence firom the toad's back : the sight of her 
is an offence to me. 

Enter Charlotte, with an affected air of great 

delicacy . 

Char. How do you do, my dear Mrs. Balti- 
more ^ I am quite charm'd to see you. {curt- 
seys affectedly to Bait.) 

Mrs. B. I thank you, my dear, you are early 
abroad this morning. 

Char. O ! I am umost kill'd with fatigue ; 
but I saw your carriage at the gate, and I 
could not deny myself the pleasure of inquir- 
ing how you do. The heat overcomes one so 
much in this weather : it is enough to make 
one faint : it is really horrid, {speaking in a 
faint soft voiccy and fanning herself affectedly.) 

Mrs. B. It does not affect me. 

Char. No ! O you are not so robust, I am 
sure. 

Enter a little Courtrt Girl, trailing a great 
piece of muslin after her. 

Girl, {to Char.) Here, Miss ; here is a piece 
of your petticoat that you lefl on the bushes, 
as you scrambled over the hedge to look at 
the bird's nest yonder. 

Char, {in confusion,) O la! the briars will 
catch hold of one so, as one goes along. Give 
it me, mve it me. (takes the muslin and crams 
it hastuv into her pocket.) This weather makes 
one go by the side of ditches, and amongst 
bushes, and anv where for a little shade. 

Bait. Tadpoles love ditches in all weathers. 

[Exit. 

Char, {looking after him strangely for a mo- 
ment or two^ and then skipping lightly up to 
Mrs. B. and taking her kindly hy the hand.) 
Thank heaven he's gone ! I stand more in 
awe of him, than my mother and my govern* 
ess, and all the whole pack of masters that 
ever came about the house. If there was not 
a certain look about him now and then, that 
puts me in mind of my father, I should take 
a downright aversion to him. O ! I beg par- 
don ! I mean I should not like him very well, 
even tho' he is your husband. But was it not 
provoking in that little chit to follow me with 
those rags in her hand ? 



116 



THE ELECTION : A COMEDY. 



Mrs. B. I suppose we shall have a glove or 
a garter coming afler you bye-and-bye. 

Char. O they may bring what they please 
now! — Well, How d'ye do? how dye do? 
how d'ye do? (taking Mrs. B. by the handj and 
skipping round her joyftdly.) 

Mrs. B. Very well, my good little Char- 
lotte. 

Char. I am delighted to see you returned. 
Ah, don't you remember how good you were 
to me, when I was a little urchin at Mrs. 
Highman's school ? and how I used to stand 
by your side when you dress'd, and count 
over the pins in your pincushion ? 

Mrs. B. I remember it very well. 

Char. But how comes it tnat we meet so 
seldom ? you never come to see us now. and 
I dare not come to you so oflen as I wish, for 
Mr. Baltimore looks at me so sternly. Let 
[tapa and him contend with one another as 
they please ; what have we to do with their 
plaguy election ? O if we were but together ! 
we could work and talk to one another all day 
long, and it would be so pleasant ! 

Mrs. B. Indeed, my dear Charlotte, I wish 
I could have you frequently with me ) but I 
hope you have many pleasant employments 
at home. 

Char. Ah, but I have not tho'. I am tired 
to death of music, and drawing, and Italian, 
and German, and geography, and astronomy, 
and washes to make my hands white. {^shaK- 
ins her head piteously.) But what does it sig- 
nify fretting ? I know I must be an accom- 
plished woman *, I know it very well. 

Mrs. B. (smiling.) Don't you like to be oc- 
cupied ? 

Char. O yes : it is not that I am a lazy girl. 
If they would plague me no more with my 
masters, but give me some plain pocket- 
handkerchiefs to hem, I would sit upon the 
footstool all day, and sing Uke a linnet. 

Mrs. B. My dear girl, and so there must be 
things in this mix'd world to keep even thy 
careless breast from being as blithe as a Un- 
net. But you were going home : I'll walk a 
little way with you. 

Char. I thank you (booking off the stage.) 
Is not that Charles at a disUuce ? I dare say, 
now, he hru been a fishing, or looking aiYer 
coveys of partridges, or loit'ring about the 
horse-dealers. 1 hope he did not see me get 
over the hedge tho'. 

Mrs. B. Alas, |>oor Charles .' I wish he had 
more useful occupations. It is a sad thing 
for a young man to be hanging about idle. 

Char. So m}' p:ipa says : and, do you know, 
I believe he had it in liis head to get some 
appointnirnt for him when this election came 
in the way. Shall 1 put him in mind of it? 

,Mrs. B. No, no, my dear Charlotte, that 
must not be. Shall we walk ? 

Char. (Scamptring off.) Stop a little, pray. 

[Exit. 

Mrs. B. Where is she ^one to now ? 

Char, (returning itith something in her lap.) 
Only to fetch my two black kittens. I bought 



them from a boy, bb 1 went along, to mve 
them frt>m drowning. I could not curt«ey to 
Mr. Baltimore, you know, with kittens in my 
lap, so I dropp'd them slyly under the hed^ 
as I enter'd ; for this fellow with the white 
spot on his nose makes a noise like a little 
devil. 
(They go arm in arm to the side qfthe stage to 

go out J when Mrs. B. looking behind her 

stops slwrt.) 

Mrs. B. No, I must not walk farther with 
you just now : I see Mr. Truebridge coming 
this way, and I wish to speak to him. 
Giyod morning, my dear Charlotte. 

[Exit Charlotte. 

Enter Trukbridge. 

Tou are hurrying away very fast; I did not 
know you were here. 

Drue. I have been in the library writing a 
letter, which I ought to have done before I 
Icfl mv own house. I am going from home 
for a ^w days, and I came to see Baltimore 
before I set out. 

Mrs. B. You are always going from home. 
I am verry sorry you are going at this time, 
when your presence here might have been 
so useful. I on mi^ht have persuaded Bal- 
timore, perhaps, to give up this foolish contest 
with so rich a competitor as Freeman. 

True. No, it is better, perhaps, to let them 
fight it out. We should only nave separated 
them, like two game-cocks, who are sure to 
be at it again, beak and spurs, with more fiixy 
than ever. 

Re-enter Baltimorx. 

BdU. (to True.) Tou have forgot your letter. 
A pleasant journey to you ! 

(gives him a letter.) 

True. Farewell for a few days ! I hope to 
learn, on my return, that you have carried on 
this contest with temper and Uberality, since 
you will engage in it. 

Bolt. Why you know, Truebridge, I am 
compell'd to engage in it 

True. O certainly, and by very weighty 
reasons too ! A man may injure in a hunored 
different ways and provoke no hostile return ; 
but, when aidded to some petty offences, he 
varies his voice and gesture, wears his coat 
and doublet, nay, picKs his very teeth in a 
manner that is irksome to us, what mortal is 
there, pagan or beUever, that can refrain from 
setting himself in array against him ? 

Bait. Well, well ! griye yourself no trouble. 
I'll keep my temper; III do every thing 
calmly and reasonably. 

True. Do so ; 1 shan't return, probably, till 
the poll is closed. I have told you my rea- 
sons for taking no part in the business ; and 
let the new member be who he will, I am re- 
solved to shake hands cordially with him. It 
won't do for one who has honours and pen- 
sions in view, to quarrel witli great men. 
Good bye to you ! — Madam, all success to 
your wishes. [Exit. 

Bait. Ask favours of such a creature as 



THE ELECTION : A CX)MEDT. 



117 



Freem&n ! He speaks it but in jest. Tet if 
I did not know him to be one of the most in- 
dependent men in the world, I should be 
tempted to believe that he too had become 
sophisticated. 

Mrs, B. Ah, do not t<H'ment yourself with 
suspicions! I am afiaid it is a disposition 
that has been growing upon you of late. 

BaU. N0| madam ; it is upon you this dis- 
position has been mowing. Whenever I am 
m the company oi that — I will not name him 
— I have of late observed that your eyes are 
bent upon me perpetually. I hate to be look'd 
at when I am in that man's company. 

[EXEXTNT. 



ACT II. 



SCBITE I. — A ROOM IN TREEMAir*8 HOUSE; 
A TABLE WITH DRAWINGS, &C. SCAT- 
TERED UPON IT, IN ONE CORNER, AND 
A WRITING TABIiE NEAR THE FRONT 
OF THE BTAGE. MRS. FREEMAN IS 
DISCOVERED WRITING. 

Enter Charlotte and her Governess. 

Mr8. F. (raising her head.) Come here, Miss 
Freeman : that gown sits with no grace in the 
world (turning Char, round.) No, it is not at 
all what I intended : I shall have it taken to 
pieces a^ain.) (To the Gov.) Was she in the 
stocks this morning? 

Crov. Yes, Madam. 

Mrs. F. From her manner of holding her 
head one would scarcely believe it. (xo to 
jour drawing, and finish it if yoa can before 
Mr. Bescatti comes. 
(Charlotte sits down unwillingly to the dravy 

ing table; the Governess takes her work 

and sits by lur; and Mrs. Freeman sits 

down agfUn to write.) 

Enter Mr. Bxscattl 

Mrs. F. O Bescatti ! you are just the very 
person 1 want. I have put a quotation from 
one of your Italian poets, expressive of the 
charms of friendship, into the letter I am 
writing to my dear, amiable, Mrs. Syllabub ; 
and as I know she shews all the letters she 
receives from her friends, I would not have 
a fault in it for the world. Look at it, pray ! 
Will it do .' 

(giving him the letter with an air of self satis- 
faction.) 

Bes. (shaking his head.) No, Madam; I 
must be free to say, dat it won't do : de two 
first ords are wrong, and de two last ords are 
not right. 

Mrs. F. (colouring and bridling up.) Why 
there are but four words of it altogether, Mr. 
Bescatti. 

Bes. Yes, Madam ; der you be very right; 
der you be under no mistake at all ; der be 
jost four ords in it, neider more nor less. 
Mrs. F. Well, vrell, pray correct it for me ! 



I suppose I was thinking of something else 
when I wrote it. 

Bes. {flfter correcting the letter.) It is done, 
Madam. I hope de young lady will soon fin- 
ish her drawii^, dat I may have de honour 
to propose my uttle instruction. 

Char, (rising from the table.) I can finish 
it to-morrow. 

Mrs. F. Shew Mr. Bescatti your two last 
drawings (Char, shews him her drawings.) 
Everv one from your country is fond of this 
delightfril art. How do vou like this piece ? 

Bes. It be very agreeable. 

Gov. (l^foking over his shoulder.) O beau- 
tiful, charming ! de most pretty of de world ! 

Mrs. F. There is such a fine glow in the 
colouring ! so much spirit in the whole. 

Bes. (tardily.) Yes. 

Mrs. F. And so much boldness in the de- 
sign. 

Bes. (tardily.) Yes. 

Mrs. F. And the cattle in that landscape 
are so spirited and so correct. 

Bes. O dey be de very pretty sheep, indeed. 

Mrs. F. Why, those are cows, Mr. Bescatti 
— those are cows. 

Bes. O, Madam, I make no doubt dat in 
reality dey are cows, alto in appearance dey 
are de sheep. 

Mrs. F (shelving him another jnete.) He 
will understand this better. The subject is 
so prettily imagined ! a bo^ with an apple in 
his hand : such pleasing simplicity ! look at 
those lights and shades : her master himself 
says it is touched with the hand of an artist. 

Bes. Yes, he be a very pretty fellow — and 
a very happy one too : he has got one apple 
in his hand, and anoder in his mout. 

Mrs. F. Another in his mouth ! why that 
is the round swelling of his cheek, Mr. Bes- 
catti. But look at his head (impatiently as 
he looks at the wrong one.) No, no, lliis one. 

Bes. O dat one^-dat has one side of the face 
white and t'oder black ! 

Gov. O beautiful, exoellent ! — all dat der 
is of pretty — all dat der is of— of de most pret- 
ty! 

Mrs. F. There is so much efiect in it ; so 
much force and distinctness. 

Bes. Yes, der be good contrast; nobody 
will mistake de one side of de face for de 
oder. 

Enter Servant. 

Ser. Every thing in the next room is set 
out. Ma'am — Have you any orders ? 

Mrs. F. Don't trouble me about it: I'll 
look at it by and by, if I have nothing belter 
to do. (Exit Serj--Miss Freeman, there is 
no time to lose ; Bescatti and you must be 
busy,ifor I expect Mr. Tweedle this morning, 
with a new song in his pocket. 

Enter a Servant hastily. 

Ser. All the voters are come. Ma'am, and, 
my master says we must open the great room 
immediately. 



118 



THE ELECTION : A COBIEDY. 



{Opens folding-doors at the bottom of the 

stage, and £scovers a large room with a 

long table set out, plentifully covered with 

cold meals, ^. ^. 

Mrs. F, What could possess the creatures 
to come so earlhr ? If I am to have the whole 
mominff of it, I shall be dead before it is over. 
Heigh no ! here they are. 
(Enter a great number of voters toith their 

wives and daughters, and FreemtiDf shewing 

them in himself.) 

Free, with a very affable smiling counte- 
nance.) Come in, ladies and gentlemen; come 
in, my very good neighbours; my wiife will 
be proud to see you. (presents them to Mrs. 
Freeman, who receives mem with affected con- 
descension; whilst Charlotte draws herself 
up by her mother's side, and curtseys to them 
in Vie sanu affected manner.) — ^This is my Tery 
^ood friend Mr. Ginger, fmy dear ; and this 
IS worthy Mr. Fudge. — But where is your 
wife, Mr. Fudge ? we are near neighbours, 
you know, ana I see no reason why your 
good woman and mine should not be better 
acquainted. 

Mr. Fudge. She is standing close by you, 
Sir. 

Free. 0, 1 beg pardon, my dear Madam ! I 
did not know you. (to Mrs. Fudge.) — My dear, 
tliis is Mrs. Fudge, (presenting her to Mrs. F.) 
— But ray good Mr. Hassock, why have not 
you brought your pretty daughter with you ? 

Mr. Hassock. So I have, your honour ; this 
be she. (pointing to his daughter.) 

Free. She must give me her hand : I have 
a girl of my own too, yoasee ; but she does 
not hold up her head so well as this young 
lady. 

More PxoPLK still coming in. 

Ha! welcome, my good friends ! welcome, my 
good neighbour Huskins, and you too, my 

good Mrs. Huskins ! Ha, Mr. Grub ! you 

do me honour. How do the soap-works go 
on ? you will soon be the richest man in tne 
country, though you do spaxe me a morning 
now and then. 

Mr. Grub, (conceitedly.) Aye^ picking up a 
little in my poor way, just to keep the pot 
boiling. (Going up to Mrs. Freeman, and 
wiping his face.) Madam, I make bold, as the 
fashion goes on them there, occasions. 
(Gives her a salute with a good loud smack, 
whilst she shrinks back disconcerted, and 

Bescatti and the Governess shrug up their 

shoulders, and Charlotte skulks behind their 

baius frightened.) 

Mr. Fudge, (spitting out his chew of tobacco 
and wiping his mouth.) As the fashion goes 
round. Madam — 

Free, (preventing him as he is going vp to 
Mrs. F.) No, no, my good neignoours : this 
is too much ceremony amongst friends. Let 
us go into the next room, and see if there is 
any thing to eat : I dare say there is some 
cold meat and cucumber for us. Let me have 
the honour, Mrs. Fudge. (They all go into 



the next room and seat themselves round the 
tabU.) 

Re-«nter Frekm ah in a great bustle. 

More chairs and more covers, here ! Thomas I 
Bamaby! Jenkins! (the servants run tqt and 
down carrying things across the stage. Enter 
more people.) Ha ! welcome — welcome, my 
good niends ! we were just looking for you. 
Go into the next room, and try if you can- 
find any thing you like. 

Voter. O, Sir, never fear but we shall find- 
plenty of good victuals. 

[Exeunt into the next room.. 
Manet Charlotte, who comes forward. 

Char. La, how I should like to be a queen, 
and stand in my robes, and have all the peo- 
ple introduced to me ! for then they would 
kiss no more than my hand, which I should 
hold out so. No, no; it should be so. (stretch- 
' ing out her hand whilst Charles Baltimore , 

entering behind and overhearing her, takes 

and kisses it with a ludicrous bending of the 

knee.) 

Charles. And which should be kissed so ? 

Char, (affectedly.) You are always so silly, 
Mr. Charles Baltimore. 
. Charles. Are you holding court here for all 
those good folks? I thought there was no 
harm in looking in upon you, though I do be- 
long to the other side, (peeping.) raith they 
are busy enough ! meroy on us, what a clat- 
tering of trencners ! How do you like them.' 

Cluir. Oh they are such savages ; I'm sure 
if I had not put lavender on my pocket hand- 
kerohief, like Mama, I should nave fainted 
away. 

Charles. How can you talk of fiunting with 
cheeks like two cabbage roses.' 

Char. Cabbage roses ! 

Charles. No, no — ^pest take it ! — I mean the 
pretty, delicate damask rose. 

Char. La, now you are flattering me ! 

Charles. 1 am not, indeed, Charlotte ! you- 
have the prettiest — (p^^ping ot the other room 
and stopping short.) 

Char, (eagerly.) I have the prettiest what.' 

Charles, fs that a venison pasty they have 
got yonder .' 

Char. Poo, never raind ! — I have the pret- 
tiest what .' 

Charles. Tes, I mean the most beautiful 
(peeping again.) By my faith and so it is a 
venison pasty, and a monstrous good smell it 
has ! [Exit luutily into the eating room. 

Char, (looking after him.) What a nasty 
creature he is ! he has no more sense than one 
of our pointers; he's always running afier a 
good smell. [Exrr. 

Scene II. — an open lane near m 

COUNTRT TOWN. 

Enter Baltimore, who passes half way across- 
the stage, and then stopping suddenly, shrinki 
back. 

Bait. Ha, it is him ! — I'll turn and go anotb> 
er way. (Turns hastily bask again, and tkok 



THE ELECTION : A COBfEDY, 



119 



Jtop» short.) No, no, he sha'n't see me avoid- 
ing him. I'll follow Traebridge's advice, and 
he civil to him. — 



Enter Freemav bowing with stiff civility. 
Good morning, Sir. 

Free. And the same to you, Mr. Baltimore : 
how does your Lady do ? 

Bait. And your amiable lady , Mr. Freeman ? 
•he is a great scholar, I hear. 

Free, (with his face brightened up.) You are 
very good to say so ; she does indeed know 
•ome few things pretty well ; and though we 
are rivals for the present, why shouldn't we 
act liberally and speak handsomely of one 
another at the same time .' Does Mrs. Balti- 
more like pine-apples as well as she used to 
do? 

Bait, (shrinking hack.) No, she dislikes them 
very much. 

Free. Don't sav so now! I beUeve youdon't 
like me to send tnem to you ; but if you would 
jujt send over for Ihem yourself when she 
wants them, I have mountains of them at her 
service. 

Bait, (with a eontemptuous smile.) Shall I 
send a tumbrel for them to-morrow morning ? 
(Free, draws back pioued.) But you are liberal 
to everjr body, Mr. Freeman. I hope you and 
your friends have got over the fatigues of 
your morning feast .? You were at it by times, 
I hear. 

Free. Yes, we have been busy in the eating 
and drinking way, to be sure. X don't make 
nieeches to thfem, and fill their head^ with 
fine oratory; I give them from my plain 
•tores what they like better, Mr. BalUmore. 

Bait. And wtiat you can spare better, Mr. 
Freeman. It is fortunate for both parties^ 
that your stores are more applicable to the 
stomach than the head. 

Free. It is better at least, than flattering 
them up with advertisements in the news- 
papers, about their great dignit;^ and antiquity, 
Ac. I don't spend my money in feeding oth- 
er people's vanity. 

Bait. No, certainly. Sir j charity begins at 
home ; and your own has, thank God ! a very 
good appetite. 

Free. Pamper'd vanity is a better thing, 
perhap«, than starved pnde. (rood morning, 

Bolt, (looking after him.) See how conse- 
quentially he walks now, shaking his long coat 
skirts with that abominable swing ! I should 
detest my own brother if he swung himself 
about after that manner. — Resemblance to hira 
do they say ! I could lock myself up in a cell, 
if I thought so, and belabour my own shoiU- 
den with a cat-o'-nine tails. 

Enter Peter with one of his idle companions, 
and starta back upon seeing Baltimore. 

Pet. {aside to his Com.) Pest take it! a 
body can never be a little comfortable in a sly 
way, but there is always some cross luck hap- 
pens to him. Yonder is my master, and he 
*^n]u I am half a dozen miles off with a let- 



ter that he gave me to *Squire Houndly. 
Stand before me, man; perhaps he'll go past. 
{skulking behind his Com.) 

Bait, (seeing him.) What, you careless ras- 
cal, are you here still, when I told you the 
letter was of consequence to me i* To have 
thia stick broke over your head is less than 
you deserve : where have you been, sirrah ! 
(Uoldingup his stick in a threatening manner.) 

Pet: O Lord ! your honour, if you should 
beat me like stock-fish I must e'en tell you 
the truth : for as I passed by the cat and bag- 
pipes a Kttle while ago, I could not help just 
setting my face in at the door to see what 
they were all about ; and there I found such 
a joHy company of 'Squire Freeman's voters, 
sitting round a bowl of punch, drinking his 
Uquors and laughing at his grandeur, and 
making such a mockery of it, Uiat I could not 
help staying to make a little merry with them 
myself. 

Bait, {lowering his stick.) Art thou sure 
that they laughed at him ?— In his own inn, 
and over his own liquor? 

Pet. Ay, to be «ure,your honour : what do 
they care for that ? When he orders a hogs- 
head of ale for them out of his own cellar, 
they call it a pack of lamb's wool from the 
wool chamber. Don't they, neighbour ? (tip- 
ping the wink to his Companion.) 

Com. To be sure they do. 

Bait. Ha, ha, ha ! ungrateful merry var- 
leta !— Well, well ! ^et thee along, and be 
more -expeditious with my letters another 
time, (to himself as he goes out.) Ha, ha ! a 
good tiame for his ale truly. [Exit. 

Pet. I wonder he did ncrt give me a little 
money now, for such a story as this. How- 
somever, it has saved my head from being 
broke. 

Com. And that, I think is fully as much as 
it is worth. I wonder you an't ashamed to 
behave with so little respect to a gentleman 
and your own master. 

Pet. Fiddle faddle with all that \ do you 
think one gets on the blind side of a man to 
treat him with respect ? When I first came 
to live with Mr. Baltimore, I must say, I was 
woundily afraid of his honour, but I know 
how to manag^ him now well enough. 

Com. I think tfcou dost, indeed. Who 
would have thought it, that had seen what a 
bumkin he took thee from the plough's tail, but 
a twelvemonth ago, because he could not af- 
ford to hire any more fine trained servants to 
wait upon him ? 

Pet. Nay, [ wa'n't such a simpleton as you 

took me for neither. I was once before that 

very intimate, in my fashion, with an old 

'Squire of the North Country, who was in 

o ve with his grand-daughter's dairy-maid . I 



love 

warrant you I know w3l enough how to deal 
with any body that has got any of them 
strange fancies working wimin them ; for as 
great a bumpkin as you may take me to be ; 
and if you don't see me, ere long time goes 
by, make a good penny of it too, I'll give 



uo 



THE ELECTION 



A OQMEDT. 



you leave to call me a noodle. Come awaj 
to the Blue-Posts again, and have another 
glass, man. [Exzurt. 

SCKHE III. — FREBMAir's MBRART FIT- 
TKD FP EXPENSIVELY WITH FINE 
•■OWT B0OC8 AJTD BOOK-GAftES, &C. 

Enter Fkxem ah and Mrs. FRXXKAJff, speaking 
as they enter. 

i^se. They sh'a'nt come airatn, then, since 
it displeases yon ; but they all went away in 
such good humour, it did my heart good to 
see them. 

Mrs. F. Oh the Goths and the Huns ! I 
believe the smell of their nauseous tobacco 
will never leave my nostrils. Tou don't 
know what I have suffered to oblige you. To 
any body of delicacy and refinement, it was 
shocking. I shall be nervous and languid 
for a month. But I don't complain. You 
know i do every thing cheerfully that can 
promote your interest Oh ! I am quite over- 
come. Qits down languidly.) 

Free. Indeed, my dear, I know you never 
compUinr, and I am sony I have imposed 
such a task upon your goodness. But the 
adversary gains ground upon us, and if I do 
not exert myself, the ancient interest of the 
Baltimores^— the old prejudice of family, may 
still carry the day. 

Mrs. F. (starting ftp eagerly and throwing 
aside her assumed languor.) That it sha'nt 
do, if £old and activity can prevent it ! Old 
prejucuce of family * Who has a better right 
than yourself to serve for the borough of "VS^- 
town.^ 

Free. So you say, my dear ; and you are 

rmerally in the right. But I don't know : 
don't ^1 as if I did altogether right in op- 
posing Mr. Baltimore, in his own person, in 
the very spot where his family has so long 
presided. If he did not provoke me — 

Mrs. F. What, have you not got over these 
scruples yet ? Has not all the rancorous op- 
position you have met with from him wound 
you up to a higher pitch than this, Mr. Free- 
man.' It ha9 carried you thro' with many 
petty struggles against his 'proud will alrea- 
dy, and would you let him get the better of 
you now ? 

Fh-ee. {thoughtfully.) I could have wished 
to have lived m peace with him. 

Mrs. F. Tes, if he would have suffered 
you 

Free. Ay, indeed, if he would have suffer- 
ed me. {musing for some time.) Well, it is 
very extraordinary this dislike wnich he seems 
to have taken to me; it is inexplicable! I 
came into his neighbourhood with the strong- 
est dosire to be upon good terms with, nay 
to be upon tbo most friendly and familiar 
footing with him ; yet he very soon opposed 
me in every thing, (walking up and down 
and then stopping short.) I askea him to dine 
with me almost every day, just as one would 
ask their oldest and most intimate acquaint- 



ance ; and he knew very well 1 expected no 
entertainments in return, which would have 
been a foolish expense in his situation, for 1 
took care in the handsomest manner to let him 
understand as much. 

Mrs. F. Well, well, never trouble your 
head about that now, but think how you may 
be revenged upon Mm. 

Free. Tho' his fortune was reduced, and I 
in possession of almost all the estates of the 
Baltimores, of more land, indeed, than they 
ever possessed, I was always at pains to assure 
him that I respected him as much as the 
richest man in the country ; and yet, I can- 
not understand it, the more friendly and fa- 
miliar I was with him, the more visibly his 
aversion to me increased. It is past all com 
prehension ! 

Mrs. F. Don't troRble yourself about that 
now. 

Free. I'm sure I Was ready upon every oc- 
casion to offer him my very best advice, and, 
ailer the large fortune I have acquired, I may 
be well supposed to be no novice in many 
things. 

mS-s. F. O, he has no sense of obligations. 

Fru. Ay, and knowing how narrow hj» 
income is m respect to the style of living he 
has been accustomed to ; when company came 
upon him unexpectedly, have 1 not sent and 
ottered lum every thing in my house, even to 
the best wines in my cellars, which he hae- 
pettishly and absurdly refused ? 

Mrs. F. O, he has no gratitude in him ! 

Free. If I had been distant, and stood upon 
the reserve with him^ there mig^t have been 
some cause. Well, it is altogether inexpli- 
cable ! 

Mrs. F. Vm sure it is not worth while to 
think so much about it. 

Free. Ah, but I can't help thinking ! Have* 
I not made the ground round his bouse, as 
well as my own. Took like a well-weeded gar- 
den ? I have cut down the old gloomy trees ; 
and where he used to see nothing nrom his 
windows but a parcel of old knotted oaks 
shaking themselves in the wind, he now lookv 
upon two hundred rood of the best hot-walls 
in the North of England, besides two new 
summer-houses and a green-house. 

Mrs. F. O, he has no taste ! 

Free. The stream which I found running 
thro' the woods, as shaggy and as wild as if 
it had been in a desert island, and the foot of 
man never marked upon its banks, I have 
straightened, and levelled, and dressed, till 
the sides of it are as nice as a bowling-green. 

Mrs. F. He has no more taste than a sav- 
age ; that's certain. However, you must aUow 
that he wants some advantn^s, which yon 
possess : his wife is a woman ofno refinements 

Free. I don't know what you mean by re- 
finement: She don't sing Italian and play 
upon the harp, I believe ; but she is a very 
civil, obliging, good, reasonable woman. 

Mrs. F. (contemptuously.) Tes, she is s 
very civil, obliging, good, reasonable woman. 
I wonder how some mothers can neglect tlie 



THE ELECTION^ A (X)MEDY. 



121 



education of their children so ! If she had 
been my daughter, I idioold have made a very 
different thing of her, indeed. 

l:\ec, 1 doubt notJiing, my dear, of your 
good instructions and example. But here 
comes Jenkinscn. 

Enter JsKKiifBoir* 

How now, Jenkinson .' things go on pros- 
perouslr, I hope. 

Jen. ^ir, I am concerned — or, indeed, sorry 
—that is to say, I wish I could haTC the sat- 
is&otion to say that they do. 

Frtt, What say you .' sorry and satisfied .* 
Tou a/e a smooth spoken man, Mr. Jenkinson ; 
but tell me the wont at once. I thought I 
had been pretty sure cf it, as the poll stood 
this morning. 

•/en. It would have given me great pleasure, 
Sir, to have confirmed that opinion ; but un- 
fortunately for you, and unpleasantly for my- 
self— 

Frtt. Tut, tut, speak faster, man ! What 
is it.' 

Jen. An old gentleman from Ensford, who 
fennerly received favours from Mrs. Balti- 
more's father, has come many a mile across 
the country, out of pure good will, to vote for 
him, with ten or twelve distant voters at his 
heels ; and this, I am free to confess, is a 
thing that was never taken into our calcola^ 
tion. 

Frtt. That was very wrong^tho' : we should 
have taken every thmg into our calculation. 
Shall I lose it, think you } I would rather lose 
ten thousand pounds. 

Mrs. F. Yes, Mr. Freeman, that is spoken 
like yourself. 

Jen. A smaller sum than that, I am almost 
sure — that is to say, I think I may have the 
boldness to promise, would secure it to you. 

Fru. How so? 

Jen. Mr. Baltimore, you know, has many 
unpleasant claims upon him. 

Free. Debts, you mean]: but what of that P 

Jen. Only that I can yenture to assure you, 
many of his creditors would have the greatest 
pleasure in life in obliging me. And when 
you have bought up their claims, it will be a 
very simple matter just to have him laid fast 
fi>r a little while. The disgrace of that situ- 
ation will effectually prevent the last days 
of the poll from preponderating in his fiivour. 
It is the easiest thing in the world. 

Free, (ekrinkinsr oaek from kim.) Is that 
yeur scheme ? O fie, fie ! the rudest tongued 
(out in the parish would have blushed to pro- 
pose it. 

Mre. F. If there should be no other alter- 
native.' 

Free. Let me lose it then ! To be a mem- 
ber of Parliament, and not an honest man ! 

fie, fie, fie ! 

{walking up and daum^ much duhnrbed.) 
Jen. To be sure — indeed it must be con- 
fessed, gentlemen have different opinions on 
these subjects ; and I am firee to oonfi^ss, that 

1 have irreat pleasure, upon this occasion, in 

* 15 



I submitting to your better judgment. An^ 
now. Sir, as I am sorry to be under the ne- 
cessity of hurrying away from you upon an 
afiiur of some consequence to myself, will you 
have the goodness to indulge me with a few 
moments' attention, just whilst I mention to 
you what I have done in regard to Southorn- 
down church-yard .' 

Free. Well, it is my duty to attend to that. 
Have you ordered a nandsome monument to 
be put up to my father's memory .'' Ay, to the 
memory of John Freeman, the weaver. They 
reproach me with being the son of a mechan- 
ic; but I will shew them that 1 am not 
ashamed of my origin. Ay, every soul of 
them shall read it, if they plea«c, " erected to 
his memory by his dutiful son," &c. 

Jen. Yes, Sir, I have ordered a proper 
stone, with a neat plain tablet of marble. 

Free. A plain tablet of marble I that is not 
what I meant. Dl have it a large and o- 
handscme thing, with angels, and trimipets^ 
and deatlis' iieiult; upon it, and every tiling 
that a good handsome monument ouj^ht to 
halre. Do you think I have made a fortune 
like aprince to have my father's tombstone 
put oflr with a neat plain tablet .' 

Mrs. F. Now, my dear, you must allow 
me to know rather more in matt/»rs of toate 
than yourself; and I assure you a plain tablet 
is the genteclrst aad handsomest thing that 
can be put upon it. 

Free. Is it ? 

Mrs. F. Indeed is it. And as for the in- 
scription about his dutiful son and all tliat, I 
think it would be more respectful to have it 
put into Latin. 

Free. Very well ; if it is but handsome 
enough, I don'tcare; so pray, Jenkinson, write 
again, and desire them to pufajr.rj^^r tablet, 
and to get the Curate to make thrsnscription, 
with as much Latin in it as he can conve- 
niently put together. I should be glad, like- 
wise, if you would write to the Vicar of 
Blackmorton to send me the register of my 
baptism : I shall want it by and by, on ac- 
count of some family affairs. 

Jen. I shall have the greatest pleasure in 
obeying your commands. Good day I [Exit. 

Free. Where is the state of the poll, and 
the list of the out-standing voters? 

Mrs. F. Come to my dressing-room, and 
m shew you exactly how every thing stands. 
You won't surely give up your point for a 
Uttle— 

Free. What do you mean to say ? 

Mrs. F. Nothing— nothing at all. [Exeunt. 

Scene III. — Baltimore's house. 

fainter Baltimork, followed by David, and 
speaking as he enters. 

Bolt. And so the crowd gave three cheers 
when good old Humphries tottered up to the 
hustings to give his vote, as he declared, for 
the grandson of his old benefactor, Mr. Le- 
gender Baltimore ? I should have liked to 
have seen it. 



( 



m 



THE ELECTION : A CX>BfEDT. 



Dav. Oy your honour, they c^ve three such 
hearty cheen ! mod old gCiodj Robton clapped 
her poor withered handa till the tears run 
over her eyea. 

Bait. Didaheso? She shall be remembered 
for this! I saw her little grandson ninning 
about the other day barefo^ed — ^he shall ran 
about barefooted no liniffer. — And so my 
friends begin to wear a bolder face upon it ? 

Don. Tes, Sir, they begin to look main 
pert upon it now. 

Bait. Well, David, and do thou look pert 
upon it too. There's something for thee. 
(iritu him money. A noise of laughing heard 
withaut.) Who is that without.' is it not] 
Peter's voice ? Ho, Peter ! 

Enter Pktxr, followed bj Nat. 

What were you laughiuj^ at there ? 
Pet. (with a broad grin) Only, Sir, at 
Squire Freeman, he, he, he ! who was ridinjg 
up the Backlane, a little while ago, on his 
new crop-eared hunter, as fast as he could 
canter, with aU the skirts of his coat flapping 
about him, for all the world like a clucking 
ben upon a sow's back, he, he, he ! 

Bolt, {with his face brightening) Thou art 
pleasantyPeter ; and what then f 

Pet. When just turning the corner, your 
honour, as it might be so, my mother's brown 
calf, bless its snout ! I shall love it for it as 
long as I live, set its face through the hedge, 
and said " Mow ! " 
Bait, (eagerly.) And he fell, did he.' 
Pet. O Lore, ves, your honour ! into a 
good soft bed of all the rotten garbage of the 
village. 
Bait. And you saw this, did you ? 
Pet. O yes, your honour, as plain as the 
nose on inv face. 

Bait. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ! and you really 
saw it ? 

David, (aside to Nat.) 1 wonder my master 
can demean himself so as to listen to that 
knave's tales : I'm sure he was proud enough 
once. 
Bait, (still laughing.) Tou really saw it ? 
Pet. Ay, your honour, and many more 
than me saw it. Didn't they, Nat ? 

Bait. And there were a number of people 
to look at him too ? 

Pet. Oh ! your honour, all the rag tag of 
the parish were grinning at him. Wa'nt 
they, Nat? 

Bolt. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ! this is excellent ! 
ha, ha, ha! He would shake himself but 
ruefully before them (still laughing violently.) 
Pet. Ay, Sir, he shook the wet straws and 
the withered turnip-tops from his back. It 
would have done your heart good to have 
seen him. 

Dav. Nay, you know well enough, you do, 
that there is nothing but a bank of dry sand 
in that corner, (with some indignation to Fet.) 
BaU. {tmaatientlif to Dww'id^ Poo, silly fel- 
low ! it is tne dirtiest nook in the village.^ — 
And he rose and ahook himself, ha, ha, ha ! 



(laughing stUl violently.) I did not know that 
thou wert such a humourous fellow, Peter. 
Here b money for thee to drink the brown 
calf s health. 

Pet. Ay, your honour, for certain he afaall 
have a noggen. 

Dav. (aside) To think now that he should 
demean nimself so ! 

Enter Bins. Baltimorx. 

Mrs. B. (aside to Bait) Mr. Freeman is at 
the door : should you wish to reoeive him.' I 
hurried to give you notice. Will it be diMp 
greeable to you .' 

Bait. O, not at all. Let him in, by all 
means ! (to the servants) I am at home. 

[ExxuKT servants, 

Mrs. B. Now, this is as it should be, my 
dear Baltimore. I like to see you in this good 
temper of mind. 

£Udt. Say no more about that. TUnfs ||0 
on prosperously with me at present : there is 
a gleam of sunshine thrown acioas ua. 

Enter Frxkm ah and Charlxs Baltuiorb. 

(7b JFVse.) Gkx>d morning. Sir : a very good 
morning to you. 

Free. 1 tliank you, Mr. Baltimore. Too 
see I take, notwithstanding all that is going 
on between us at present, the liberty of a 
neighbour. 

Salt. (smUing.) O, no apology. Sir ! I am 
very glad to see you. This is a fine moniing 
for riding on horseback, Mr. Freeman: I hope 
you have enjoyed it. 

Fru. (aside to Char.) How gracious he is! 
We are certainly come in a lucky moment. 

Char. He is m a monstrous good humour 
certainly ; now b the time to manage him. 
(aside to Free.) 

Free. I am much obhged to you, Sir, for 
thb good nei^hbourl V reception ; and I flatter 
myself you will think I am come on a neigh- 
bourly visit too. 

Bolt. O certainly, Sir^ but let us talk a lit- 
tle more of thb fine morning ; it b really a very 
fine morning for riding on horseback : How 
does your crop-eared hunter do ? 

Free. Eating hb oats, I dare say, very con- 
tentedlv. All my horses are pretty well off: 
I buy uie best oats in the country for tbem, 
and I pay the best price for them too. They 
are not, to be sure, so well lodged as they shall 
be. My architect has just given me m hb 
plan for my new stables : two thousand pounds 
IS the estimate, and T suppose I most aUow 
him to go a little beyond it, to have every 
thing handsome and complete. That b my 
way. Will you look at tne plan ? (taking a 
plan from his pocket.) 

Bolt, (drawing hack with disgust.) I have 
no taste for architecture. 

Free. That b a pity now, for it b really a 
complete thing. By the bye, are you not go- 
ing to do something to the roof of your offiees 
soon ? They'll be (town about your ears piea- 
ently, and the longer you delay that job, tbt 



THE ELECTION : A COMEDY. 



125 



TT nai ao you jocKeys recKon uk oesi 
of managing a nery mettled steed, when 
>wn calf sets his mce through the hedge, 



heavier it will be when it comes, (aside to 
Charles, on seeing Bait Inte his lips and turn 
away from Aim.) What is the matter with 
him now ^ 

Char, (aside.) Only a little twitching at his 
heart : it will soon be off again. 

Mrs. Bait, (aside to BJt) For heaven's 
sake don't let this discompose you ; his absurd- 
ity makes me laujrh. 

Bait, (aside.) Does it .' I did not see you 
laugh, ^¥ell, I am a fool to mind it thus. 
(gotng vp to Free, toith affected good humour.) 
Fam glad to hear your horses are to be lodged 
in a manner suitable to their owner's digmty . 
But you are the best horseman too, as well as 
the best horse-master, in the county, though 
your modesty prevents you from talking of it. 

Free. O dear, Sir ! I am but middling in 
that way. 

BaU. Pray don't let your diffidence wrong 
you. What do you Jockeys reckon the best 
way ' 
a brown 
and says "Mow.^" 

Free. Ha, ha, ha ! faith, you must ask your 
friend Mr. Saunderson that ijuestion. His 
crop-eared horse has thrown him in the lane 
a little while ago, and he has some experience 
in the matter. As for mvself, I have the 
rfaeomatism in my arm, and I have not been 
on horseback for a week. (Bait, looks nunti- 
JUd and disappointed.)^ 

Mrs. B. (to Free.) He is not hurt, I hope ? 

Free. No, Madam ; he mounted again and 
rode on. 

Char. It was no fault of the horse's neither, 
if the goose had but known how to sit on his 
back. He has as good blood in him as any 
horse in — 

JVee. No, no, Charles ! not now if you 
please, (going up frankly to Bait.) And 
now. Sir, Uiat we have had our little laugh 
together, and it is a long time, it must be con- 
fessed, since we have had a joke together— 
ha, ha, ha ! I like a little joke with a firiend as 
well as any man — ha, ha, ha ! 

BaU. (retreating as Free, advances.) Sir. 

Free. But somehow you hav^ been too cer- 
emonioos with me, Mr. Baltimore, and I'm 
sore I have always wished you to consider 
me as a neighbour, that would be willing to do 
TDu a kind office, or lend you or any of your 
nmily a lift at any time. 

(stiU advancing familiarly to Bait.) 

BaU. (still retreating.) Sir, you are very 
gracious. 

Free. So, as I said, since we have had our 
little joke together, I'll make no more preface 
about it, my good nei^bour. (stUl advandng 
as Bait, retreats J tUl he gets him dose to the 
wall, and then, putting out his hand to take hold 
ef him by the buttons, Bait, shrinks to one side 
ind puts up his arm to defend himself) 

Btut. (hastily.) Sir, there is no button here ! 
{feeovering htmself and pointing in a stately 
to a chair.) Do me the honour, Sir, to 



be seated, and then I shall hear what you 
have to say. 

Free, (offended.) No, Sir, I perceive that 
the shorter I make my visit here the more ac- 
ceptable it will be ; I shall therefore say what 
I have to say, upon my legs, (assuming conse- 
ifuence.) Sir, I have by my interest, and some 
small degree of influence which I believe I 
may boast of possessing in the country, pro- 
cured the nomination of a young man to a 
creditable and advantageous appointment in 
the East Indies. If you have no objection. I 
bestow it upon your relation, here, JVfr.Charles 
Baltimore, of whom I have a very good opin- 



ion. 



BaU. Sir, I am at a loss to conceive how 
you should take it into your head to concern 
yourself in the affairs of my family. If Mr. 
Charles Baltimore chooses to consider him* 
self as no longer belonging to it, he may be 
glad of your protection. 

Mrs. JB. My dear Mr. Baltimore, how 
strangely you take up this matter ! Indeed, Mr. 
Freeman, you are very good : and pray don't 
beheve that we are all ungrateful. 

BaU. (angrily to Charles.) And you havo 
chosen a patron, have you f 

Char. I'm sure I did not think — I'm sure 
I should be very glad — I'm sure I don't know 
what to do. 

Free. Good mominff. Madam : I take my 
leave, (slightly to Bait.) Good morning. 

[Eirr. 

Char. I'm sure I don't know what to do. 

Mrs. B. Whatever you do, I hope you will 
have the civility, at least, to see tnat worthy 
man down stairs, and thank him a hundred 
times over for his goodness. 

Char. That I will. [Exit haatUy. 

Mrs. B. Oh, Baltimore! how could you 
treat any body so, that came to you with of- 
fers of kindness .' 

Bait, (striding up and doum.) What would 
you have had me do .' what would you have 
nad me do, Madam ? His abominable fingers 
were within two inches of my nose. 

Mrs. B. Oh, Baltimore, Baltimore ! 

Bolt. Leave me. Madam ! [Exit Mrs. B. 
toith her handkerchief to her eyes. 
(He StiU snides up and doum; then stopping 

suddenly to Usten.) 
He's not gone yet ! I hear his voice still/. 
That fool, with some cursed nonsense or 
other, is detaining him still in the hall ! It is 
past all endurance ! Who waits there ? 

Enter Pkter. 

What, dost thou dare to appear before me with 
that serpent's tongue of tnine, sloughed over 
with lies ? Tou dare to bring your stories to 
me, do you.' (shaking him vwlently by the 
collar.) 

Pet. Oh! mercy, mercy, your honour! I'm 
sure it was no fiiult of mme that it was not 
'Squire Freeman that fell. I'm sure I did all 
I could to make him. 

Bait Do what thou oan'st now, then, to 



124 



THE ELECTION > A COMEDY. 



■avc thy knave's head from the wall. 
(Throwing Peter violejvdy from him^ after 

shaking him wall; and Ein into an inner 

roonif Jlnjfping Ulc door behind him with 

great J or re.) 

Pet. {afccr looking riufu'hj and scratdUng 
his hcddfor some time.) Weil, I see* plainly 
enou;rh that a body who tells lies should look 
two or three ways on every side of him before 
he begins. [Exit very ruefully. 



ACT HI. 



Scene I. — mrs. b.\ltimore's dressing- 
room. SHE IS discovered SITTING 
BT A TABLE, LOOKING OVER PAPERS. 

Mrs, B. Well, I hmve the satisfkction to 
find that my personal expenses, fur this last 
year, have l>een very moderate ; but I am re- 
solved they shall lie still more contracted. 
Though ruin, 1 fear, cannot be averted, yet, 
when it does come, 1 can lift up my unblush- 
ing head, and say, <^ this is no work of mine." 
No foolirth debts of my contracting, Baltimore, 
shall add to the number of those claims that 
already so gallingly press upon your proud 
and irritable mind ; and will, perhaps, m the 
end, drive you from the long and fondly re- 
tained habitation of your forefathers. 
{Leans pensivcLy upon her arm for some Umej 

then continues to look over more papers.) 

Enter Charles, with a slow sauntering step. 

Char. Let me see what o'clock it is now. 
What says my watch to it now ? {looking at 
his tcatch.) Pest take it ! it is but ten minutes 
since I look'd last ; and I could have sworn 
it was as good three quarters, or, at least, half 
an hour, a£ ever clock tick*d, or ever sand- 

5 lass ran. {yawning and stretching himself.) 
kh ! I find it has been but half and hour of 
a weary man's reckoning ; who still sees two 
long long periods, ycleped hours, lying be- 
tween him and his dinner, like a dreary length 
of desert waste before the promised land. 
(yawning and stretching again.) My fishing 
tackle is all broke and destroyed, and 'Squire 
Qaplins has borrowed my pointer. I have 
sat shaking my legs upon the corn-chest, till 
every horse in the stable is rubbed down, and 
the groom, happy dog ! has gone with his 
broom in his hand, to sweep out the yard and 
tiie kennel. O dear ! O dear ! 6 dear ! 
What shall I do ? 

Mrs. B. (rising from the table.) Poor man ! 
I pity you with all my heart ; but I do think 
I could contrive to find employment for yon, 
if you are inclined to it. 

'Char. Yes, yes ! I am inclined to it ! Idle- 
ness is tiresome enough. God wot ! I am in- 
clined to it, he what it will. But what is it 
tho'? Have you any skanes of thread to wind } 

Mrs. B. No, something better than that, 
Charles. 

Char. What, ctrd-boxes to pttste ? 



Mrs. B. Something better than that too. 

Char. Poetry or advertisements to cut out 
of the news-paper .' 

Mrs. B. No, no, something better than all 
these. 

Char, (eagerly.) It is some new employ- 
ment theiL 

Mrs, B, Yes, Charles, a very new one in- 
deed. What would you think of taking up a 
book and reading an hour before dinner .*' 

Char, (disappointed.) Pshaw ! is that your 
fine employment .' I thought I was really to 
have something to do. Til e'en go to the vil- 
lage again, ana hear stories from old Margery, 
about the election and the old family grandeur 
of the Baltimores. 

Mrs. B. Nay, don't put such an affiront up- 
on my recommendation. Do take up this book, 
and try, for once in your life, what kind of a 
thing reading quietly for an hour to one's self 
may be. I assure yon tliere are many good 
stories in it, and you will get some httle 
insight into the affairs of mankind, by the 
bye. 

Char. No, no ; no story read can ever be 
like a story told by a pair of moving lips, and 
their two lively assistants the eyes, looking it 
to you all the while, and supplying every de- 
ficiency of words. 

Mrs, B. But try it, only try it. You can't 
surely be so ungallant as to refuse me. (Gives 
him a book.) 

Char. Well then, since it must be so, shew 
me where to begin. Some people, when they 
open a book, can just pop upon a good thing 
at once, and be diverted with it; but, I don t 
know how it is, whenever I open a book, I 
can light upon nothing but long dry prefaces 
and cUssertations ; beyond which, perhaps, 
there may lie, at last, some pleasant story, like 
a little picture closet at the end of a long stone 
gallery, or like a little kernel buried in a great 
mountain of shells and of husks. I would not 
take the trouble of coming at it fur all that 
one gets. 

Mrs. B. You shall have no trouhle at all. 
There is the place to begin at. Sit down, then, 
and make no more objections, {points out the 
place, and returns to her papers again.) 
(Charles sits down witii liis book : reads a little^ 

with one arm dangling over the back of the 

chair ; then changes his position, and reads 

a little while with tJie other arm over the back 

of the chair; then changes his position again, 

and, after rubbing Jus legs with his book 

hand, continues to read a little more; then 

he stops, and brushes some dust off his breeches 

with his elbow.) 

Mrs. B. (observing him and smiling.) Uow 
does the reading ^o on ? 

Char. Oh, pretty well; I shall finish the 
page presently, (he reads a little longer, still 
fidgeting about, and then starting up from his 
seat.) By the bye, that hound ot a shoemaker 
has forgot to send home my new boots. I 
must go and see aAer them. 

Mrs, B, What could possibly bring your 



THE ELECTION ; A CX)MEDY. 



126 



boots into your mind at this time, I wonder ? 

Char. It is no wonder at all ; for whenever 
i begin to read, and that is not often, I con- 
fess, all the little odd things that hare sli^p'd 
out of my head for a month, are suie to come 
into it tHen. I must see after the boots tho'. 

Mts. B. Not just now. 

Char. This very moment. There is no time 
to be lost. I roust ^ave them to-morrow at 
all events. Good bye to you. (looking to the 
foindoWf as he passes on totoards tiic -door.) 
Ha ! there comes a visiter for you. 

Mrs. B. Who is it .^ 

Char. It is Charlotte Freeman, walking 
irery demurely, because she is witliin sight of 
the windows. 

Mrs. B. I am sorry she is come. ' I have 
desired the servants to say I am from home. 
It is unpleasant to Mr. Baltimore to see any 

|Mut of tuat family, and I have promised 

no, no, I have you must go to inquire after 

your boots, you say. (a gentle tap at the door.) 
Come in. 

Enter Charlotte. 

Chart, {going up c^cctionaldy to Mrs. B.) 
I thought yon would let me in. {pirtscy's 
affectedly to Charles. 

Mrs. B. Did tlie servants 

Chart. 1 saw no servants at all. I stole in 
by the little door of the shrubbery ; for I did 
not like to go in by the great gate, lest I 
should meet Mr. Baltimore ; and he always 
looks so strangely at me — But I beg pardon ; 
I see I hurt you by saying so. 

Mrs. B. tiave you walked far this morning ? 

Chart. Only so far to see you; for you 
seem'd unwell when I saw you last, and I 
could not be happy 'till I inquired afteryou. 

Mrs. B. You are very good, my dear (Char- 
lotte, I am very well. 

Chart, {pbseareing her embarrass'-d.) I fear 
I come unseasonably. 

Char. O, no J we were just wishing for 
some good girl to come to us \ and when you 
go home again, I shall have the honour of at- 
tending you. 

Chart, {affectedly.) No, I thank you, there 
is no occasion ; I know my way vejy well. 

Char. But I can shew you a better way, 
where there are £ne sloes and blackberries 
<m the hedges, if you have a mind to gather 
any. Eating sucu sweet fruit puts people 
into good hmnour and cures them of sinccta^ 
tion. 

Charl. (disdair^uUy.) I don't know what 
Tou mean, Sir, by your sloes and your black- 
berries, but I suppose you want to shew me 
the place where you cropt your black pup- 
py's ears the other day, and had your fingers 
well bit for your pains. I wonder whether 
you or the pupp^ were in the best humour 
upon that occasion. 

Char. Faith, the puppy and I were very 
much the better for a piece of your flounced 
Airbelow, which we found upon the hedge, to 
bind up oar wounds for us. For you luive a 



great sense of justice, Miss Freeman; you 
never take any tiling ofif the bushes, without 
leaving sometning in return. 

Cliarl. And you, too, Mr. Charles, are a 
gentleman of great honesty ; for you would 
not take a bit of the poor dog's ears off, with-> 
out leaving a bit of your own fingers in his 
mouth as an equivalent. 

'Mrs. £. How comes it tliat you two are 
always quarrelling, and yet always coming in 
one another's way ? (to Char.) You forget : 
you must ffo and see <after your boots. * 

Char. O ! I can go to-morrow morning. 

Mrs. B. But there is not a moment to be 
lost : you must have them at all events, you 
know. No, no ; no lingering here : it is aa 
errand of necessity. {pointing to Ute door.) 

[Exit Char. untcilUnghj. 

Charl. I'm glad you have sent him away^ 
he is so forward and so troublesome. Per* 
haps I am a little so myself just now. If 
I am, don't make any ceremony of sending 
me off; for I sec, my dear Mrs. Baltimore, 
your spirits are not so good as they used to 
be. O ! if I could do any thing to cheer them ! 

(Looking wistfully at her.) 

Mrs. B. I tlionk you, my good girl ! you 
are not at all troublesome : you are very pleas- 
ant to me ; and if it depended upon myself, 
I should like that we were often togetiier. 

Charl. (taking her hand iccrmly^ Should 
you? Well, and if it depended upon mc, I 
should be always with you. I should ^o 
wherever you went, and clo whatever you did, 
and wear the same caps and gowns that you 
wear, and look just as like you as I could. 
It is a sad thing that I can get to you so sel- 
dom, with those eternal lessons at home, and 
Mr. Baltimore's stern looks, which almost 
frighten me when I come here. Do you 
know I have often thought of writing to you, 
but then I don't know what to say. It ia 
strange now ! I know ladies, who love one 
anotMr, write such long letters to one another 
every day, and yet 1 don't know what to say, 

Mrs. B. And I have known, my dear Char- 
lotto, ladies who did not love one another, do 
just the same thing. 

Charl. Have you, indeed ? La, that is won- 
derful ! But don't yen very often write long 
letters to the friends you love most ? 

Mrs. B. Indeed I don't write very often^ 
nor very lone letters to any body ; and yet I 
have some friends whom I very dearly love. 

Chart, (taking Mrs. B.' a hand and skipping 
about her.) O ! I am so glad to hear that ! I 
thought all dear friends wrote to one another 
every day, and that every body knew what 
to say but myself. — When I am with Mama, 
I think it will be so difficult to become amia- 
ble and accomplished, as I ought to be, that I 
am quite disoouraged ; but when I am with 
you, it appears so pleasant and so easy, that I 
am put quite into good spirits again. — But. 

, no ! 1 do every thinff so clumsily ! ana 



no 



you do every thing so well ! 
Mrs. B. Don't he so diffident of yourself, 



125 



THE ELECTION : A COMEDY. 



Charlotte : remember yoa are but fifteen, and 
I am four-and-twentv. 

CharL I wonder liow I shall lodt when I 
am foor-and^twenty. I*m sore, notwith- 
standing all the i^aina both Mama and my 
Goyemess take with me, I don't think I look 
yery well at present. 

Mrs. B. Nay, my good Charlotte, you look 
yeiT well always, when you don't attempt to 
look too well. I hope to see yoa turn out a 
yeiy agreeable woman. 

CharL Do you think so .' I am to go to pub> 
lie places with Mama next winter ; and I haye 
oyerheard her and my Goyerness whispering 
together as if I shoufd haye admirers coming 
alMut me then. But I don't think 1 shall. 
Do you think so ? 

Mrs. B. (smiling.) Indeed,'^ can't say : per- 
haps you may, and it is po«ible you may 
not ; but the less you think of them, the more 
you will probably haye. 

Charl. I'm sure I think yery little about 
them. And yet I can't help fkncying to my- 
self sometimes, how I shall behaye to them. 

Mrs. B. Ah ! that is but a poor way of employ- 
ing your fancy. Don't think too much about 
ac&irers : they won't admire you the more 
for that. 

Charl. But I won't let them know that I 
think about them. 

Mrs. B. But they will find it out 

Charl. Ha ! but I will hold myself yery 
high indeed, and not seem to care a farthing 
for one of them. 

Mrs. B. But they will find it out, neyerthe- 
less. 

Charl. I'm sure I haye heard that the young 
men now*a'-days are no great conjurers. 

Mrs. B. That may be yery true ; but they 
are all conjurers enough to find that out, 
though better things should escape their pen- 
etration. {wiUi some alarm.) I hear Mr. Bal- 
timore coming. 

Charl. Tou seem uneasy. Will he be an- 
gry to find me here ? 

Mrs. B. {much embarrassed.) He will be sur- 
prised, perhaps; but he won't come here — he 
IS only passing to the library, I hope. 

Chart. Ha! but he is coming though ! 
{creeping behind Mrs. B.) He is just at the 
door, iwill hide myselfbehind the open door 
of this cabinet, and do you stand before me 
till he goes away. 
(She SKulks behind the door of an open eabinetf 

and Mrs. B. standsup dose by her to conceal 

her eomjdetely.) 

Enter Baltimore. 

Bolt. The tide is running against roe again ; 
and eyen my old seryants, i haye learnt, at 
this moment, are swilling themselyes at the 
Cat and Bagpipes, with Die damn'd ale and 
mast-beef of mine adyersary. I am going to 
my attorney immediately; if any person on 
business should call in my absence, detain 
him till I return. 

Mrs. B. Certainly. I wish yoa a pleasant 
ride. 1 think I shall take a little xvmUe pres- 



ently , but shall leaye your orders with the ser 
yants. 

Bait. No, don't go out just now, I beg it of 
^ou. That little aSTected jade of Freeman's 
IS prowling about ; and I haye already con- 
fessed to you, that it distoibs me to see yo« 
together. 

Mrs. B. Ah! you are prejudiced: yoa talk 
without knowing her. She is a sweet tem- 
pered, kind-hearted girl, and nature meant 
ner for something yery difierent from what 
she appears to be. (Charlotte behindf eaiekea 
hold of Mrs. B'5 handy and kisses it.) 
Bolt. Yes. nature meant her for achonsy — 

Mrs. B. Pray don't delay going to your 
attorney ! 

Bolt. A clumsy hoiden only; and, under 
the tuition of her ridiculous mother, she aa* 
sumes all the delioate airs of a fine ]mAj. 

Mrs. B. Well, well, go toyonratUmiey : it 
is all yery harmless. 

BaU. Well, well, it is all yery harmless, if 
you will ; and I haye laughed at a thoaaand 
little a&cted fools, nearly as abaurd as herself. 
But when I see those broad features of her 
father, stamped so strongly by nature tipon 
her common-place countenance, pretenoing 
to wear the conscious importance of saperior 
refinement, it proyokes me beyond all patience 
that you should be so intimate with her. 

Mrs. B. She is a girl that will yery much 
miproye by any reasonable intimacy, and will 
yery soon become like the people sne is with. 

Bait. Very well, let her be as little with 
you, then, and as much with her own foolish 
absurd mother as possible ; and the more ri- 
diculous they both are, the greater pleasure I 
shall haye in seeing them any where but in 
your company, i assure you, I haye no 
wish to reform them. It is one of the few 
consolations I receiye in my intercourse with 
this man, to see him connected with such a 
couple of fools. 

Mrs. B. O Baltimore ! for heayen's sake 
stay no longer here ! 

BaU. Vtslj what u the meaning of thb? are 
you in your senses ! 

Mrs. B. Scarcely, indeed, while you remain 
here, and talk thus. 

BaU. What, does it afiect you to this pitch 
then P Are you attached to tnat girl .' 

Mrs. B. Indeed I am. (Chart, hekmd^ 
catches Mrs. B'« hand again^ and hisses it very 
grateftdly^ 

Bolt. Well, Madam ; 1 see plainly enough 
the extent of your attachment to me. (woBc- 
ing 10 and down vehemently.) Methinks it 
should haye been oflensiye to you eyen to haye 
stroked the yery ears of his dog. And that 
excrescence, that wart, that tadpole, that wonn 
from the adder's nest, which 1 abhor. 

Mrs. B. For heayen's sake, go away ! yoa 
kill, yon distract me ! 

Bolt. Tes, yes. Madam; I see plainly 
enough I am married to a woman who takes 
no common interest, who owns no sjtnpatby 
with my feelings. 



THE ELECTION i k COMEDY. 



m 



He turns vpon his ked^in awer ts go away, 

whilst Charlotte springs fiom her hiding- 

placCf and dipmng sqfUy after him, makes 

amotion with her foot as \fshe would give 

him a lack in the going out; upon which, 

Bait turns suddenly round and sees her, 

{She ^tops short auite confounded : and he 

glancing a look rf indignation at his wife, 

fxes his eyes stendy upon Charbtte, who, 

recoiling from him step by step, as he stem- 

ly frowns upon her, throws herself at last up- 

on Mrs, B*s neck, and bursts into tears. Bait. 

then tumstmon his heel angrily and'Em.) 

Chart, (sobbing.) I shall never be able to 

look ap again as long aa I live. There never 

was anybody like me; for alvrays when I 

wish to behave best, something or other comes 

across me, and I expo«e myself. I shall be so 

scom'd and laugh'd at ! — I'll never enter this 

house any morf-Oh ! oh ! oh ! Some devil 

Fat it into my head, and I could not help it. 
'11 go home again, and never come a visiting 
any more — Oh ! oh ! oh ! I am so disgraced ! 

Mrs. B. Be comforted, my dear Charlotte ! 
It waa but a girl's freak, and nobody shall 
know any thing of it. But, indeed, you had 
better go home. 

Chart. Yes, 1*11 go home, and never return 
here any more. But, oh, my dear Mrs. Bal- 
timore, don't despise me ! 

Mrs. B, No, my dear girl, I love you as 
much as ever. 

Chart. Do you indeed } And yet I must 
not come to you again. O, I shall wander 
every morning on the side of the little stream 
that divides your grounds from ours ; and if 
I could but see you sometimes on the oppo- 
site side, calling over to me, I should be hap- 
py ! It is so good in you to say that you love 
me ; for I shall never love myself any more. 
[Exeunt Mrs. B. soothing and contorting 

Charl. as they go off. 

Scene II. — a small avti-room iir 
freemah'8 house. 

Eater Mrs. Frxsmav with letters in her hand. 

Mrs. F. (holding out her letters.) Pretty 
well, I think, for one day's post. I should 
write to my dear Mrs. Languish too, if my 
eztnets from Petrarch were ready. 

Enter Governess in great haste. 

Gov. O dear, Madame ! I don*t know what 
ting I shall do wit Miss Freeman. 

Mrs. F. What is the matter ? 

Gqv. She come in, since a very littie time 
from her walk, and I believe she be to see 
Madame Baltimore too, as drooping and as 
much out of spirit as a pair of ruffles wid de 
starch out of aem ; and she sit down so, (imt- 
tsthig her) quite firompish, and won't read 
her tesaon to me, though I speak all de good 
words to her dat I can. 

Mrs. F. Well, go to her again, and I'll 
follow J09 immediately, and apeak to her my- 
Klf. [Exit Govemeaa. 



(Mrs. F. trfter mating up her Utters very 
leisurely, and looking at one or two of tkem, 
goes out.) 

Scene HI.— charlotte is discovered 

SITTING IN A DISCONSOLATE POSTURE, 
ON A LOW STOOL IN THE MIDDLE OF 
THE room; THE GOVERNESS STAND- 



ING RT HER, 



ENDEAVOURING TO 



SOOTHE AND COAX HER, WHILST SHE 
HITCHES AWAT FROM HER FRETFULLY, 
PUSHING HER STOOL TOWARDS THR 
FRONT OF THE STAGE EVERT TIME 
THE GOVERNESS ATTEMPTS TO SOOTHE 
HER. 

Gov. Do be de good young lady, now, and 
read over your lesson. 

Chart. Can't you let me alone for a mo- 
ment .' I'm not m a humour just now. 

Goo. You be in de humours, out in de bad hu» 
mourn, I see. I will put vou in de good hu- 
mours. Look here ! Fal, lal, de laddy , daddy 
(singing fantastically.) Why don't you smile. 
Miss f. Y ou love dat air, don't you ? (Putting 
her hand soothingly on Charlotte's shoulder, 
and grinning in her face.) 

Charl. (Making off her hand impatiently, 
turning her back to her, and sitting on the otk- 
er side of the stooL) I dont like it a bit. 

Gov. O, but you do ! And den de pretty, 
steps I shew'd you : if you would read your 
lesson, now, we should dance dem togeder. 
(singing and dancing some French steps fan- 
tastieauy.) Why don't you look at me r Don't 
it amuse you, Miss ? 

Charl. What amusement is it to me, do 
you think, to see a pair of old fringed shoes 
clattering upon the ix)ards f 

Gov. (shrugging hsr shoulders.) Mon Dien ! 
she has no taste for any of the elegancies. 
(putting her hand upon Charlotte's shoulder 
cooadngly.) But if you don't speak well de 
French, and write well de French, de pretty 
fine gentlemana won't admire you. 

Charl. (shaking off her hand again, and 
turning from her to sit on the other side of the 
stool.) And what do I care for de pretty fine 
gentlemana, or de pretty fine ladies either .' I 
wish there was not such a thing in the world 
aa either of them. 

Gov, (casting uv her eyes.) Mon Dieu ! She 
wish us all out of^de world. 

Charl. I'm sure I should live an easier life 
than I do, if there was not — 

Enter Mrs* Freeman. 

Mrs. F. What freak is this you have taken 
into your head, Miss Freeman, not to read 
with Ma'moiselle. It won't do, I assure you, 
to follow your own whimsies thus. You 
must study regularly and diligentlv, if you 
would ever become an elegant and accom- 
plished woman. 

Charl. I'm sure I shall never become either 
elegant or accomplished. Why need I scrawl 



t«8 



THK ELECTION ; A COMEDY. 



▼ereions eternally, and dram upon the piano- 
forte, and draw frightful figures till my fin- 
gers ache, and make my very hfe irksome to 
me, when I know very well 1 shall never be 
hetter than a poor heedless creature, coMstant- 
ly forgetting and exposing myself, after all ? 
I know very well I shall never be either ele- 
crani or accomplished. 

* Mrs. F. Why should you suppose so ? there 
is no merit in beinor too diffident. 

Gov. You should not tink so poor of your- 
self, Miss. You come en very well. Seve- 
ral lady say dat you are become so like to me 
in all de airs, and de grace, and de manners, 
dat you are quite odder ting dan you were. 
Charl. No wonder then that they laugh at me. 
Got. {casting vv her eyes.) Mon D;cu ! 
She is mad ! shall I shut her up in her cham- 
ber? 

Mrs. F. Stop a little, if yoa please : she 
docs not speak altogether from the purpose 
neither. Come, come. Miss Freeman: rouse 
youraelf up, and have some laudable ambi- 
tion : the distinction of elegant accomplish- 
ments is not to be obtained without industry 
and attention. • 

Charl. I wish I were with some of the wild 
people that run in the woods, and know noth- 
ing- about accomplishments ! I know I shall 
be a blundering creature all my life, getting 
into scrapes that no body else gets mto ; 1 
know I shall. Why need I study my car- 
riage, and pin back my shoulders, and han»- 
per myself all day tong, only to be laughed 
at after all ? 

Mrs. F. I don't know what you may meet 
with when you chuse to visit by yourself. 
Miss Freeman ; but in my company, at least, 
you may be satisfied upon that score. 

Chart. And what satisfaction will it be to 
me that we are ridiculous together ? I would 
rather be laughed at alone than have people 
laughing at us both, as they do. 

Mrs. F. {icitk amazemad.) The creature 
is beside herself in good earnest ! What do 
you mean, child ? Who have you been witk.^ 
Who hds put these things into your head ? If 
Mrs. Balticn-^re can find no better conversa- 
tion fur you than this kind of insolent imperti- 
nence, sne is poorly employed indeed. 

Charl. It was not Mrs. Baltimore that said 
■o. 

Mrs. F. Who said so then? somebody has, 
I find. 

Charl. It was Mr. Baltimore. 
Mrs. F. And jou had the meanness to suf- 
fer such words in your presence ? 

Char!. It was not in my presence neijLlier, 
for he did not sec me. 
Mrs. F. And where was you then ? 
Charl. Just behind the train of Mrs. Balti- 
more's gown, till he sliould go out again. 

Mrs. F. And so you sneaked quietly in 
your hiding-place, and heard all this insolent 
abuse ? Mean creature ! a girl of any spirit 
whould have rushed out upon him with in- 
dignation. 



Chart. And so did I rush out. 

Mrs. F. And what did you say to him ? 

atari. (siUUy.) I did not say any thing. 

Mrs. F. I hope you resented it then. By 
the silbnt dignity of your behaviour. 

Charl. (much embarrassed.) I'm sure I don't 
know — I did but give him a little make-be- 
lieve kick with my slipper, as he went out at 
the door, when' he turned round of a sudden, 
with a pair of terrible eyes staring upon me 
like the Great Mogul. 

Mrs. F. A make-believe kick! what do 
you mean by that ? 

Chirl. La! just a kick on — on— 

Mrs. F. On what, child ? 

Charl. La ! just upon his coat behind as he 
went oat at the door. 

Mrs. F. And did you do that.' Oh! it ir 
enough to make one mad ! You are iust fit 
to live with the Indians, indeed, or the wiltf 
Negroes, orthe Hottentots ! To disgrace your- 
self thus, after all the p:ans I have taken 
with you ! It is enough to drive one mad f 
Go to your room directly, ajid ^t sixteen 
pages of blank verse by rote. But I'm sure 
you are fitter company for the pigs than the 
poets. 

Charl. How was I to know that he had 
eyes in the back of his neck, and could know 
what was doing behind him ? 

Mrs. F. He shall have eyes upon all 
sides of his head, if he escape from my ven- 
geance. It shall cost him Iris election, let it 
cost me what it will, (rings the hcU violentlu.) 
Who waits there ? (enter a servant.) Order 
the chariot to be ^ot ready immediately. 
(Exit servant.) I will go to 'Mr. Jenkinson 
directly. He has already pointed out the 
meantr; and I shall find money, without Mr. 
Freeman's knowing any tiling of the matter, 
to manage it all well enough. 

Charl. La! I'm sure I knew well enough 
I did wrong; but I did not think of all thi» 
uproar about it. 

Mrs. F. Go to your own room, child : I^ 
can't abide the sight of yon. (ExEtJur Mrs.' 
F. on one side of the stage, and CharL attd 
Governess on the other.) 



ACT IV. 
Scene I. — i. summer apartmkkt ik 

KALTIMORA'S HOirSE, WITH A GLASS 
DOOR OPENED TO A LAWN. THE SCENE 
WITHOUT IS SEEN IN THE SOBER LIGHT 
OP A CALM SUMMER EVENINOy WITH 
THE SUN ALREADY SET. 

Enter Baltimore and Mrs. Baltimore form 
an inner room. B a lt i mo r £ speaking as they 
enter. 

Bait. Let us say no more about it, then. 
I forgive the little deceit of concealment 
which my temper, become too hasty of late^ 
may, perhaps, justify. I will confess that the 
irritation excited in my mind by seeing that 



THE ELECTION: A (X)MEDT. 



It9 



^rl so frequently with you is nnieasonable, 
18 capricious. Bat you must bear with me a 
little, my Isabella. It is a part of the infirmi- 
ty that oppresses me : it is the firetted edge 
of a deep and ranklin g ' Come, come, 
come ! we*ll say no more about it. Let us 



forswear this subject. Let us now talk, even 
when we are alone, of light and indifferent 
thinjrs. 

^S-s. B. Indeed, I believe it will be safest 
for us, till this passing storm, it will be but a 
summer storm 1 hope, is past over our heads. 
{agntming ehtetfulness.) And now, to begin 
upon this salutary plan of your's, without ^s 
or time, let me boast to you of the beautiful 
collection of plants I have nursed with my 
own hands, in a sly comer of the garden. 
Tou have never yet been to see them. 

Bali, (eagerly.) Ay, even there too. 

Mrs. i. What do you mean ? 

Bait, (peevishly.) Go to ! you have heard, 
as well as I, of the ridiculous expense he has 
been at in seeds, and rare plants, and flower- 
roots, and nonsense ; and of the learned bot- 
anist he is to pay so liberally for publishing a 
catalogue of them for the use of ue scientific 
world — All that abominable ostentation. Ha, 
ha, ha ! He does not know a nettle fVom a 
crow-foot on his native fields. Ha, ha, ha, 
ha !'Tou don't laugh, I think ? 

Mrs. B. We were to talk, you know, of 
indifierent thin^. But I have forgot to tell 
vou of what reaul^ is not indifferent : I had a 
letter from my sister this morning, and, she 
says, your little godson is quite recovered 
fiom tne remains of his illness, (pauses for an 
answer.) 

Bolt, (nodding his head but noi attending to 
her.) Umph. 

Mrs. B. (coaxingly.) She says he has be- 
come so chattering, and so playfhl, it is de- 
lightful to see him ! And he talks of his god- 
&ther very often ! 

Bolt, (nodding again.) Umph. 

Mrs. B. He wsb always a great favourite 
of yours. 

Bah. (hreaking out vehemently.) If any man 
but himself had l^n guilty of half that ndicu- 
lous vanity, the dullest fool in the county 
would have laughed at him. 

Mrs. B. O dear ! still dwelling upon these 
ideas! 
(He turns from her, and loalks to the bottom of 

the stage ; she sighs deeply y and follows him 

with Mr eyes. 3 long pause,) 

Eater Servxt. 

Serv. (to Balt.j Excuse me, if I intrude, 
8ir. And you too, my good lady, (bowing 
very Uno to Mrs. B.) Here u a letter that 1 
received a few moments ago, and I thought 
it expedient and proper that you should know 
its contents immediately, (gioes the letter to 
Bait.) ^ ^ 

Bolt Let me see. (reads.) '* An unknown 
weU-wisher thinks it right to inform you, that 
your friend'*— 

Serv. He ought to have said patron, Sir, 

16 



I'm sure, I have always been'proud to name 
you as my patron to every body : — the family 
of Baltimore has always been such to me. 

Bait. Well, welL no matter, (reads again.) 
" To ruin your nriend, 'Squire Baltimore. 
His adversary" — 

Serv. Meaning Freeman, Sir. 
Bait. I understand ! (reads again.) ** His 
adversary bein|^ busy in buying up the claims 
of some of his pnncipal creditors. If he 
would walk long' at large, let him walk 
cautiously." 

Serv. Meaning that he will lay you up. Sir. 
Bait. I understand it perfectly. 
Mrs. B. O no, no ! Some malicious person 
has written this. 

Bait. Permit me. Madam, to speak to my 
man of business, without interruption. 

Serv. No wonder, Sir, that Mrs. Baltimore 
should think so. He makes such a good show 
with his actions, that he must set u>out such 
things very cunningly. 

Bait. Yes, Servet, thou hast always had 
some notion of his true character. 

Serv. To think that there should be such 
hypocrisy in the world ! It grieves, it distress- 
es me ! 

Bait. Pooh, man ! never mind how many 
hypocrites there are in the world, if he be but 
found amongst tlie number. 

Serv. Ay, Sir ; but if he get you once into 
prison — 
I Bait. Will be not be detested for it? 

Serv. But if he should take the borough 
from you— r 

Bait. Well ! and if he should take my life 
too, would he not be hanged for it ? 

Serv. To be sure, there would be some 
satisfaction in that, if you could peep through 
your winding-sheet to see it. 

Bait. He will now appear to the world in 
his true colours : I shall now speak boldly of 
a determined and palpable wrong : it relieves 
me from a heavy load. Give me thy hand, 
my firiend Servet; thou hast brought me 
admirable news. 

Serv. Bui, Sir, we must take care of our 
selves ; for he is come of such a low, cun- 
ning, mean set of people — 

nalt. Ha ! ^ou know this, do you ? Tou 
know something of his family ? 

Serv. Yes, I know well enough : and his 
father every body knows was no better than 

a — a — a 

Bait. Than a what .?— Out with it, man ! 
Serv. Than a — than a^-r- 
BaU. (eagerly.) Than a thief.' Is that it.' 
O prove to me, only prove to me, that his 
father was a thief, and I'll give thee all that I 
have in the world. 

Serv. No, not absolutely that — but no bet^ 
ter than a pialtry weaver. 

Bait, (disappointed.) Pooh! I knew that 
before. 

Serv. Yes, every body knows it. to be sure. 

But there is no time to be lost : I am so zeal- 

|ons about it, that 1 can't rest till I have 



lao 



THE ELECTION : A CX)M£DT: 



farther information. Til take horse directly, 
and go in auest of it. 1 know where to in- 
quire, and I shall return to you without loss 
of time. 

Bolt. Do so, my good friend, and don't be 
afraid of bringdng b^k what you will call bad 
news. I shaB not shrink firom it. 

(Exit Servet. 
(turmng to Mrs. B. toho has been listening to 
their conversation unih great marks of dis- 
trust and disapprobation.) 
And so, Madam, vou are diffident of all this .' 
Mrs. B. It will be impossible at this mo- 
ment to make you view it in the same light 
that I do. 

Bolt. Tes, Madam, I knew it would be so 
with you. He has bewitched and thrown a 
veil over the understandings of all men ! I 
have perceived it lon^. Even from the first 
of his settling in tne neighbourhood, my 
friends have l^gun to look on me not as they 
were wont to do. Even my very tenants and 
dependants salute me less cheerily « He has 
thrown a veil over the understandings of all 
men ! He has estranged from me that sympa- 
thy and tenderness, which should have sup- 
ported my head in the day of adversity. 

Mrs. B. Ah, my dear ^timore ! It is you 
who have got a veil, a thick and gloomy veil 
cast over your mind. That sympathy and 
tenderness is still the same {pressing his 
hand.) And, if the dajr of adversity must 
come, you will be convinced of it. But let 
us for a while ^ve up thinking of these 
things : let us waDL out toother, and enjoy the 
soothing calmness of this beautiful twilight. 
The evening-star already looks from his 

Eeaceful sky ; no sound ox busy man is to be 
eard ; the oat, and the beetle, and the nijght- 
fly, are abroad, and the pleasing hum of nap- 
py unseen life is in the air. Come forth, my 
nusband. The shade of your native trees will 
wave over your head ; the turf your infant 
feet first trod will be under your steps. Come 
forth, my friend, and more blessed thoughts 
will visit you. 

BaU. No, no ; my native trees and my na- 
tive lawns are to me more cheerless than the 
dreary desert. I can enjoy nothing. The curs- 
ed neighbourhood of one obnoxious being 
has changed every thing for me. Would he 
were — (aenching his hands and muttering.) 

juirs. B. O ! what are you saying ? 

BaU. (turning aioay from A«r.) lio matter 
what. 

Enter a little Bot from the lawn bj the glass- 
door running wildly, and frightened. 

Bou. He'll be drown'd, if nobody runs to 
save him ! He'll be drown'd ! he'll be drown'd ! 

Mrs. B. Has any bod^ fallen into the pond ? 

Boy. Yes, Madam; mto the deepest part 
of it; and, if nobody don't run \m pull nim 
out, he'll be drowned. 

Bait, (running eagerly towards the glass- 
door.) 
I'll go. Dost thou know who it is, boy ? 



Boy. Tes, to be ^ure. Sir ; it is 'Squire 
Freeman's own self. (Bait, starts^ and stops 
short. Mrs. 3* clasping her hands and holding 

them up to heaven^ remains in anxious sum- 

pense. Bait, after a moment's pause, rushes 

out quickly ) 

Mrs. B. God ! what will this come to ! 
( Throws herself back into a chi^ir, and remains 

stupid and motionless. The boy stands star" 

ing at her.) 

Boy. Are you not weU, Ma'am.' Shall I 
call any body ? (She makes no answer ; he still 
stands staring at her.) She don't speak : she 
don't look at nothing : 1 will call somebody. 
(^oes to the side-scene, and calls.) Who's there, 
ibeseech you ? O, hear me, hear me ! Who's 
there, I say t 

Enter Housemaid and Coachmait. 

Housem. What a bawling you make hercy 
with your dusty feet, you little nasty jackan- 
apes ! How dare you for to ^teal into a clean 
house.' 

Coach. If he be'n't that little devil that pot 
the cracker under my horse's tail, I have no 
eyes in my head. He is always prowling 
about : there is never a dog hanged, nor a 
kitten drowned, in the parish, but he must 
be after it. 

Boy. (pointing.) Look there : what is the 
matter with the lady ? 

Housem. O, mercy on us! my dear good 
lady ! Are you sick, Ma*am ? or swoomng ? 
or beside yourself .' Run, Coachy, stupid ou! 
and fetch us something. 

Coach. I would run to the farthest nook of 
the earth if I only knew what to bring. Will 
burnt feathers, or a little aqua-vite do yoa 
any good .' 

Mis. B. (starting up.) Do you bear any 
noise ? Are they coming yet ? I'll go out my- 
self, (endeavours to go out, but cannot.) House- 
maid and Coachman support her.) 

Enter David hastily fit>m the lawn. 

Dav. He is saved, Madam ! , 

Mrs. B. O, what say you, David .' 

Dav. He has saved Squire Freeman. He 
threw himself into the deep water, and plash- 
ed about his arms lustily, till he caught him 
by the hair of his head, and drew him to the 
bank. One minute more had made a dead 
man of him. 

Mrs. B. Who did that.' Who caught him 
by the hair of the head ? 

Dav. My master, Madam; and a brave 
man he is. 

Mrs. B. (holding up her hands m extaey.) 
Thy master ! ay, ancl my husband ! and (rod 
Almighty's good creature, who has formed 
every thing ^ood ! O, yes ! he has made 
every being with good in it, and will at last 
make it perfectly so, in some way or other, 
known only to his wisdom. Ha! I hear a 
noise on the lawn. 

Boy. (running out.) 1 must not lose a sight 
of the drowned man. For he'll be as drop- 



THE ELECTION : A OOMCDT. 



131 



ping wet as any corpse, I dare say ; for all 
that there is life in him. [Exit. 

Mr9, B. ril go and meet themt I'm strong 
enough now. 

Dav. Let me support you. Madam. 
Housem. (to Coach, as they go out.) La! 
will he be all wet, do you think, and stretch- 
ed upon his baek ? 

(ExEUHT by the glass door into the lawn, Mrs. 
B. supported By David. Ligktfrom a vfin- 
daw IS now thrown across the path wUhoui 
doors t and discovers Baltimore and servants 
carrying Freeman into the house by another 
entry. The scene closes,) 

SCBNB II. — A ROOM IN BALTIMORB'S 
H0U8B. 

Enter SiMXOir and David. 

Dav. Now, my Old Simeon, yoa'II see 
your master as hearty, after his dacking, as 
if he were an otter, and could live either in 
the water or out of it ; though we had some 
trouble to bring him to his senses at first. 

Sim. Ay, do let me go to him quickly. It 
had been a sorrowful day to this grey head, if 
my master had — 

Dav. Yes, and if my master had not, as a 
body may say, put his ufe in his hand to save 
him. 

Sim. Very true, David, I say nothing 
against all that ; I honour your master for it ; 
toof I must sav he has but an ungracious look 
with him. Tnere is not another gentleman 
in the neighbourhood, thof I say it myself, 
that does not stop and say, '' How do you do, 
Old Simeon ^ " when he passes me. 

Dav. I don't know ; I'm sure he used not 
lobe ungracious. All the old folks of the 
parish used to thrust themselves in his way, 
u if it had been good for the ague, or an 
aching in the bones, to say,'* God bless your 
honour.'* 

Sim. That must have been before we came 
amongst you, then. Ha! here comes his 
Honour. 

Enter Frkemait, dressed in a night-gown, with 
Truebrioge and Charles Baltimore. Mrs. 
Baltimore, at the same time, enters by an- 
other door. 

5tiii. {going eagerly to his master, and kiss- 
ing his hand, which Freeman holds out to him.) 
God bless and preserve your worthy Honour ! 
Free. I thank you, Simeon : a good Gk>d has 
preserved me. You have not been much 
alarmed, I hope ? 

Sim. No, Sir ; I heard of your safety before 
I heard of your danger; but some how or 
other it came across my heart, for all that ; and 
I could not but think — I could not — (pauses 
and draws the back of his hand across his eyes.) 
But the blessings of the aged and helpless 
have borne you up : the water could have no 
commission to hurt you. 

True. Well said, good Simeon! the bless- 
ings of the aged, and the helpless are of a 



very buoyant quality. A cork jacket is noth- 
ing to them. 
Free. Do my wife and daughter know of 

Sim. No, please your Honour ; my mistress 
is not returned from her visit yet, and mv 
poor young lady is closed up in her room witn 
MadumseUe, taking on her book-laming, as I 
suppose. 

Free. I'U go home then, before they know 
any thing of it. (to Mrs. B.) My dear Mad- 
am, I return you my warmest acknowledg- 
ments. You flattered me, that I should have 
an opportunity, before I leave the house, of 
thanlung, once more, the brave man who has 
saved my life. 

Mrs. D. He will come to you immediately. 

Char, (to Mrs. B.) Faith ! 1 went to him 
myself, as you desired me, and he won't 
come. 

Mrs. B. (frowning significantly to Char.) 
I have just come from mm, and he will be 
here immediately. 

Char. You went too, did you ? I could'nt — 

(Mrs. B. frowns again, and Char, is silenL) 

True, (to Free.) You had better sit down 
till he come. 

Char. Yes, do sit in this chair in the recess; 
for you don't like the light in your eyes, I 
perceive, (leading Free, kindly to the chair.) 

Free. I thank you. You are very good to 
me, firiend Charles. I think you would have 
lent a helping hand yourself^ if you had been 
in the way, to have saved a poor neighbour 
from drowning. 

Char. I should have been a Pagan else. 
rFree. sits down, and they all gather rmtnd him.) 
Now, my good Sir, it is pleasanter to sit in a 
dry seat like this, with so many friendly faces 
round you, than to s(^uash among the cold 
mud and duck- weed with roaches and eels for 
your comrades. 

Free. Indeed, friend Charles, I sha'n't con- 
tradict you. 

Enter Baltimore, going directly across the 
stage towards the opposite door, by which 
Free, and the others had entered, without 
perceiTing them in the recess. 

Free. He thinks I am still in the bed-room. 
(goes behind Bait, and lays his hand kindly 
upon his shoulder.) 

Bolt. Nay, my dear Isabella ! let me go by 
myself! I would rather encounter him alone, 
tfaAn when jou are all staring upon me. 

Free, (sttll holding him.) Ha, ha, ha ! my 
brave deliverer ! I nave caught you. 
Bolt, (turning hastily about y and shaking him- 
self loose from his hold.) Ha ! is it you ? 

Free, (stepping back disappointed.) It is me, 
Sir; and I flattered myself that the overflow- 
ings of a grrateful heart would not be offen- 
sive. 

Bali. They are not offensive. Sir; you 
mistake me. You are too — There is no oc- 
casion for all these thanks : 1 do not deserve 
them. 

Sim, (vehepiently.) Ab-^ but you do, Sir I 



THE ELECTION : A COMEDY. 



and all the country round will thank yoo too. 
There is not a soul of them all, thof he might 
not care a brass penny for you before, who 
will not fill a bumper to your health now, for 
Mving to them his noble and liberal Honour. 
O, Sir ! the blessings of every body will be 
upon your head now. 

BaU. {turning atoay frowmingly firmn Sim.) 
So, so ! 

Mr». B. Old Simeon says very true : every 
body will bless you. 

Bait, {turning away from her.) Thii m 
pleasant indeed ! 

Char, ril be hanged if every old woman in 
the parish don't ibist you into her next Sun- 
day's prayers, along with the Royal Family. 

Bolt, {turning away from Char.) Must I be 
beleagur'd by every fool ? (goes hattHy to- 
wards the door.) 

Mrs. B. {aside y running after him.) You 
will not zo away so abruptly } 

BaU. {aside to her.) Will there be no end 
to this damned gratitude ? (aboutj to Free.) 
Sir, I am verv hapoy — I— ^1 hope you will 
have a good sleep alter this accident ; and I 
shall be nappy to hear good accounts of you 
to-morrow morning. 

Free. No, Mr. Bialtimoie, we must not part 
thus. My gratitude for what you have done 
is not to be spent in words only : that is not 
my way. I resign to you, and resign to you 
most cheerfully, all my interest in the borough 
of Westown. 

(Bait, pauses.) 

True. That is nobly said, Mr. Freeman, 
and I expected it from you. 

Char, {rubbing his hands and grimunM 
with delight.) I thought soj — 1 thought it 
would come to this : he has such a fiberal 
way with him in every thing. 

BaU. (half aside to Char.) Wilt thou never 

five over that vile habit of grinning like a 
og ^ {going up with a firm step to Free.) No, 
Sir ; we have entered the lists as fair combat- 
ants together, and neither of us, I hope, (sig- 
ni^eanUy) have taken any wnfiiir advanta^ 
of the other. Let the most fortunate gam 
the day. I will never receive reward for a 
common office of humanity. That is not my 
way (mimicking Freeman.) 
Free. Let me entreat you ! 
BaU. Mention it no more : I am deter- 
mined. 
Free. It would make me infinitely happy. 
B aU. Do me the honour to believe that I 
■peak truth, when I say, I am determined. If 
you give up the borough, I give it up also. 

Free. Then I say no more. I leave with 
you the thanks of a grateful heart. I should 
have said, if it had heen permitted me, the 
very grateful afifection of an honest heart, that 
it will never forget what it owes to you but 
in that place wfa^re both affection and animos- 
ity are torgotten. (Exit with enuftionffoUow- 
ei bjf Charles and Simeon.) 

Mrs. B. O Baltimore ! Baltimore ! Will 
jou suflbr him to go thai .' 



BofU. {piing two or three sUps ^Ur hkn^ 
and stopmng short.) He is gone now. 

Mrs. a. No, he is not ; you may easily over- 
take him. Do--for the love of gentleneas and 
charity! 

B^' (g^'^ hastily towards the door,amd 
stoffpimg short again.) No, hang it ! I can't 
do it now. rExiT hastily by the opposite si/fe.) 

Mrs. B. (Mokingher head.) I had great hopes 
from this accident *, but his unhappy avemon 
is, I fear, incurable. 

True. Don't despair yet: I prophecy bet- 
ter things. But do not, my dear Madam, be- 
fore Butimore at least, appear so anxious 
about it. It serves only to irritate him. 

Mrs. B, Is it possible to be otherwise thaa 
anxious .' This unlucky prejudice, gradual- 
ly gaining strength from every little trivial 
circumstance, embitters all the comfort of our 
lives. And Freeman has so many good qual- 
ities — ^he might have been a valuable friend. 

True, Very true ; he is liberal, good-tem- 
pered, and benevolent : but he is vain, unpol- 
ished, and, with the aid of his ridiculous wift 
to encourage him, most provokingly ostenta- 
tions. Tou ought to make some allowance 
for a proud country gentleman, who now sees 
all the former dependants of his family rang- 
ing themselves under the patronage of a new, 
and, what he will falsely call, a mean man. 

Mrs. B. O, I would make ever^ allowance ! 
but I would not encourage him m hb preju- 
dice 

True. The vray to reclaim him, however, 
is not to run directly counter to it. I have 
never found him so ready to acknowledge 
Freeman's good qualities as when I have ap- 
peared, ana have really been half provoked 
myself with his vanity and magnificence. 
When we would help a friend out of the mire, 
we must ofien go a httle way into it ourselves. 

Mrs. B. I beCeve you are right. Ah ! True- 
bridge ! if you had been more amongst us late- 
ly, we should not now, perhaps, have been so 
unhappy. He would have listened more to 
you tnan any other friend. 

Drue. Have good comfort : I don't despair. 

[EXXDITT. 

SCBNB III. — HIOHT. AN OPEN SPACB 
BBPOKB THB BLUB POSTS! THB SCBNB 
DARK, BXCBPT WHBRB THB LIGHT 
OLBAMS PROM THB OPBN DOOR OP THB 
H0U8B. A NOISB OP DRINKING AND 
MBRRIMBNT HBARD WITHIN. 

Enter some of Baltimore's Voters, Slc. fhna 
the house, carrying a table, a bowl of pooch 
and glasses, which they set down in the porch, 
and place themselves round on the benches at 
the door. 

Sailor. Now, messmates, let us set down 
our bowl here. We have been long enou^ 
siow'd in that there close smoky hold, whue 
the fresh air has been playing 6n the decks. 
Let us ait down and be merry ! I amietoni'd 



THE ELECTION : A COMEDY. 



135 



home in a good joUy time, old neighbours ; let 
us enjoy it. 

First Volt. Aj, I remember at our last elec- 
lion, when 'Squire Burton was chosen, we 
drank a heart? bowl in this very porch, and 
neighbour BiuJock, the tanner, sat as it were 
in mat very corner. Rest his soul ! he loved 
his country, and his king, and his cause, and 
his candidate, as well as any heart in Old 
England. 

Second Vote, Ay, and he was always ready 
to knock any body down that was not as 
hearty as himself. That was what I liked in 
him. That was the true spirit. That was the 
true roast beef of Old Eneland. 

First Vote. And he had such a good knack 
at a toast. Come, staad up, Mr. Alderman. 
We have drunk already to the ancient family 
of the Baltimores, give us some other good 
public toast. You nave a good knack at the 
business too. I would five you one myself, 
bat then I doesn't know now to do it for want 
of education. 

Md. {standing up conceitedly.) May all the 
kin?, and the queen, and the royal family, and 
all me rest of the nobihty and members of 
parliament, serving over tnem and under us 
be good ; and may all us, serving under them 
again be— be — be happy and be good too, and 
be — and be — 

Second Vote. Just as we should be. 

First Vote. Ay, just so. Very well and 
very nicely said, Mr. Alderman ! 

Second Vote. But does nobody drink to the 
navy of old England.** 

Md. Yes, man : stop a little, and I'll have 
t touch at that too. 

First Vote. Ay, do so. I stand up for the 
British navy ; that I do. The sea is our only 
true friend, either by land or by water. Come, 

E've us a sailor's son^, Will Weatherall. I 
ive lived upon dry land all my days, and 
never saw better than a little punt^boatshov'd 
across the ferry for a sixpence ; but some how 
or other I have a kindness for every thing 
that pertains to the great salt sea, with all the 
ihips, and the waves roaring, and all that; 
and whenever I sees a good heart of oak seat- 
ed at an alehouse door, with his glass in his 
hand, my heart always turns to him, an there 
should lie a hundred men besides. Give us a 
long, man. 

Sailor. That I will. Han^ me if thou 
does'n't deserve to feed upon biscuit. 

SONG. 

Merry mantlinff social bowl. 
Manv a cheerful kindly soal 

Fills his glass from thee : 
Healths' go round, care is drown'd, 
Every heart with lighter bound 

Gen'rous feels and free. 

Cann and beaker by thy side, 
Mav'st thou oft' in flowing pride 
Thus surrounded be : 



And shame beial the narrow mind, 
That to a messmate p roves unkind , 
^ Who once has filled his glass from thee ! 

Whatever our state, where'er we meet, 
We still with kindly welcome greet 

The mateof former jollity : 
Far distant, in a foreign land. 
We'll give to all a brother's hand 

That e'er have fill'd their glass from thee. 

Enter Marqert, in a great fury. 

Mar. Dash down your bowl, and break all 
your glasses in shivers ! Are you sitting sing- 
ing here, and 'Scjuire Baltimore hurried away 
to prison by his vile rascality creditors.' 
Shame upon your red chops ! Who pays for 
the liquor you are drinking f 

AU. You're wrong in the head, Margery. 

Mar. Ye 're wrong in the heart, and that's 
a worse thing, ungrateful punch swillers! 
You would be all up on end in a moment else ; 
for I saw them lay their detestable paws upon 
him with mine own eyes. Rise up every skin 
of you, or I'll break the bowl about your ears ! 
I'll make the liquor mount to your noddles, I 
warrant you ! 

M. {starting ud.) Which way did they go .' 

Mar. Come, follow me, and I'll shew you. 
Let them but come within reach of my 
clench'd fist, and I'll teach them to lay hands 
upon his honour ! An esquire and a ^ntle- 
mdn bom. [Exeunt, every body following her 

toiik great noise and hMmb.) 



ACT V. 



SCBVB I. — A VAULTED PA8SAOB IN A 
PRISON. 

Enter Keeper with several Turivkevs bear- 
ing pots of^ porter, dtc. for the prisoners. 

Keep, {calling to somebody toithout.) Take 
another pot of porter to the dog-stealer in the 
north ward, and a Welsh rabbit to his com- 
rade, (to another who enters with a covered 
dish.) Where have you been all this time .' 

1st Turn. Waiting on the rich debtor in 
the best chamber ; he has fallen out with his 
stew'd carp, because the sauce of it be'nt 
cook'd to his liking. 

Keep. I'm sorry for that : we must spare 
no pains upon hiin. 

Enter td Tvritxets. 

2d Turn, {holding out a small jug.) Come, 
come, this won't oo. Transportation-Betty 
says, nothing but true neat Hollands for her ; 
and this here gin you have sent her be'nt fit 
for a gentlewoman to drink. 

Ke^. Yes, yes *, travell'd ladies are woundy 
nice . However, we must not quarrel with her 
neither : take it to the poor author in the 
debtor's ward; it will be good enough for 
him. 



134 



THE ELECTION : A CX)M£DT. 



Enter Truebridge. 

True, What part of the prison ia Mr. Balti- 
more in ? 

Keep. I'll shew you, Sir ; follow me. 

True. 1 thought to have found him in jour 
own house. In the common prison ? 

Keep. It is his own fault, Sir ; he would go 
no where else ; and the more miserable erery 
thinff- is about him, the better he likes it. His 
ffooa Udj could scarcely prevail upon him to 
&t us set a couple of chairs in his room. 

True. Has she been long here ? 

Keep. Better than an hour, I should think. 

True. Does he seem much affeeted ? 

Keep. Anan, Sir .' 

True. I mean, much cast down. 

Keep. O, Lud ; no, Sir! I dare say not ; you 
know people are used to such thmgs every 
day. 

True. Very true, Mr. Keeper, I foigot that — 
Show me the way. [Exeuht. 

Scene II. — a prison. Baltimore is 

DISCOVERED SITTING IN A THOUGHT- 
PDL POSTURE, WITH MRS. BALTIMORE 
RESTING HER ARM ON THE BACK OP 
HIS CHAIR, AND OBSERVING HIM AT- 
TENTIVELY. 

Bait, {after starting up with alacrity, and 
walking several times up and daum.) And 
they are calling out, as they go thro' the 
streets, that I am a true Baltimore, and the son 
of their old benefactor ? 

Mrs. B. They are, indeed. The same party 
that assembled to attempt your rescue, are 
still parading about tumultuouslj, and their 
numbers arc continually increasmg. 

Bolt. That's right! The enemy, I hope, has 
heard the sound of it round his doors : they 
have bid him a good morrow cheerily. 

Mrs. B, I don't believe they suspect him 
yet, for it is too bad to imagine. 

Bali. (exuUingly^) But they will all know 
it soon. All the world will know it. Man, 
woman, and child will know it; and even 
clothed in the very coats his ostentatious 
bounty has bestow'd upon them, the grey- 
headed labourers will curse him. Ha, ha, ha, 
ha! How many chaldrons of coals, and hogs^ 
heads of ale, and well fatten'd oxen will, in 
one untoward moment, be forgotten by those 
ungrateful hinds ! Ha, ha, ha ! The very 
children will call to him a» he passes by. 
Methinks I tread lightly on the floor of Uiis 
dungeon, with the step of an injured man 
who riaes'from the grasp of oppression. Raise 
thy drooping head, my Isabella: I am a 
thousand times more happj than I have been : 
all mankind will sympathize with me now. 

Mrs. B. Every honest breast, indeed, must 
detest baseness and bjrpocrisj. 

Bait. Ay, thou speak 'st with some energy 
now. Cbme to my heart ! there will be 
sympathy between us. Now, thou art the 
wife of Baltimore! But oh! my Isabella! a 
poor man's wife has many duties to fulfil. 



Mrs. B. None that I will not most cheer-r 
fully fulfil. 

Bait. Ah ! thou art a fiiir flower planted oa 
an ungracious soil, and I have niirsed thee 
rudely. 

Mrs. B. O, no ! you were most kind and 
gentle once. 

BaU. And I will be so again, Isabella : for 
this viper gnaw'd at my heart, and I could Be 
gentle to nothing ; not even to thee. But my 
heart f^ls lighter now : I will be rough to thee 
no more. 

Enter Truebridge. 

Ha! my friend! good morning to you! 
Nay, nay : (taking his hand frankly.) don't be 
afraid to look at me : I wear no desponding 
face upon it. ( pointing to the bare walls qfhu 
vrison.) You see whiat a happ^ thing it is to 
nave a liberal, generous, magnificent rival to 
contend with. Have you seen any of my 
good noisy friends in your way .' 

True. X es, crowds of them ; and I reaDy 
believe this arrest will gain ^oa your election. 
There is something in man tiiat always in- 
clines him to the side of the oppressed. 

Bait. Ay, by God ! and the savage feels it 
more strongly than the philosopher. 

Thte. He was always a ridiculous ostenta- 
tious fellow ; but if freeman has thought to 
ruin your cause by the unworthy means you 
hint at, he is the greatest fool as well as the 
greatest knave in the community. 

BaU. {ironieaUu.) Don't be too severe 
upon him ! he has oeen bred to turn his money 
to good account, you know : a purchased debt 
is his property as well as a bale of broadcloth ; 
and he has a great many charitable deeds and 
bountiful donations to put into the balance 
against one little underhand act of unmanly 
baseness. 

True. Hang all his bountiful donations ! If 
he has done this, I will curse him by the 
hour-glass with any good fellow that will 
keep me company. 

BaJU. Nay, nay, nay ! you are warm, True- 
bridge. Tou are of an irritable disposition. 
Ton have no charitable allowances to make 
for the failings of good people. Ha, ha, ha ! 

Enter Turnkxt. 

7\ini. Mr. Freeman begs to be admitted U> 
see Mr. Baltimore. 

BaU. (stretching out his arm vehsmcsUly.y 
Does he, by my conscience ! (to True.) What 
think you of this ? 

True. If things are as we suspect, it does, 
indeed, exceed ^ ordinary calculations of 
efl&ontery. 

BaU. (to Turn.) Let him be admitted. 
(Exit Turn.) Now we shall see the smooth- 
ness of his snake's skin ; but the switch, not 
the sword, shall scotch it. (walks hastly t^ 
and down.) 

Enter Frxxmaw. 
BaU, (stopping short t^pon his entrcmce, and 



THE ELECTION : A COMEDY i 



135 



assuming an ironical resned.) Good morning, 
worthy Sir. Tou &re me only man in Eng- 
land, I may flaj in Europe, nay, I will say in 
the whole habitable gIol>e, for you love mag- 
liificence, Mr. Freeman, whoae dauntless con- 
fidence could haye been wound up to the 
steady intrepidity of such a visit. 

Free, (simjdy.) O, no, my friend; don't 
praise me more than I deserve. In courage 
to run to the assistance of a friend, you your- 
self have set me the example ; and piy charac- 
ter, I hope, will never be found deficient in 
any thing that becomes a good neighbour, 
and an honest man. 

Bolt, (smiling sarcastically.) Certainly , sir ; 
be at all pains to preserve, in the public opin- 
ion, your invaluable character. I would 
Beally advise you to have a certificate of all 
your eminent virtues drawn up, and sini'd 
oy every housekeeper in the parish. Your 
wondernil liberalities in worsted hose and 
Unsey-woolsey petticoats ; your princely sub- 
scriptions for bndj^ and market-places ; and 
£our noble donations to lying-in hospitals, 
ave raised your reputation over the whole 
country : and if the baseness of treacherously 
entrapping a fair and open rival, whom you 
profess'd to respect, can throw any shade 
upon your sublime virtues, you have only to 
]i>uild a tower to the parish church, or a new 
alms-house,, and that will set every thing to 
rights again, (aside to True.) Look how he 
draws in his detestable mouth, and stares 
opon me like a cat ! 

Fret. I now perceive, Sir, the point of 
your discourse, and I forgive every tmng that 
it insinuates. I might say many things, but 
there is just one simple answer I will return 
to it. All my fortune is at this moment at 
your disposal. You shall now be a free un- 
encumbered man, owin^ no man any thing. 
For how can you be said to be indebted to 
one who owes even his own life to you. To 
tell you this, was my errand here. 

Bali, (shrinking back and then reeoveriw 
himself with proud disdain.) And I, noble 
Sir, have one simple answer to return to you : 
I will rather remain in this prison till the 
band of death unbolt my door, than owe my 
enlargement to yon. Your treachery and 
jour ostentatious generosity are e^jually con- 
temptible. 

Free. On the word of an honest man, I 
have had no knowledge of this shameful 
arrest. 

Bait. And on the word of a gentleman, I 
believe you not. 

Free. Will you put this afiront upon me ? 

BaU. (smiling malidonsly.) Only if you 
are obliging enough to bear it. Do entirely 
tt you please, (aside to True, turning away 
toniemptuously from Free.) See how like a 
■neaking timid reptile he looks. (toaUts up 
9nd dawn proudly.) 

Mrs. B. much alarmed (to Free.) O leave 
him ! leave him ! You must not speak to him 
now : he knows not what he says. 



True, (aside to Free.j Go away for the 
present, Mr. Freeman, and I will call upon 
you by and bye. If you are an honest man, 
you are a noble one. 

Free, (impressively.) In simple truth {then, 
I am an honest man ; and shall be glad to 
have some discourse with you, whenever you 
are at leisure. [Exit. 

Bait, (stopping short in his walk and look- 
ing round.) Is he gone ? (to True.) what did 
you think of that.^ Was it not admirable.** 
(endeavouring to laugh, but cannot.) The devil 
himself will now appear a novice in hypocrisy. 

True. Faith ! Baltimore, I cannot think 
him guilty : he wears not the face of a guilty 
man. 
(Baltimore's countenance falls : he turns away 

abruptly from Truebridge, and walks up 

and down in disorder.) 

Mrs. B. (perceiving Freeman's hat on the 
ground, which he had dropt in his confusion.) 
Mr. Freeman has left his hat behind him. 
(As she stoops to lift it, Bait, runs furiously up 
to her and prevents her.) 

Bolt. Touch, not the damned thing, or I 
will loath thee ! Who waits without .'' hollo ! 
Turnkey ! 

Enter ToRHKEY ; and he, giving the hat a kick 
with hit foot, tosses it across the stage. 

Take away that abomination, do ! 

[Exit hastilu into an inner apartment. 
True. Don't lose hopes of fair weather, my 
dear Madam, tho' we are now in the midst 
of the storm. Follow and soothe him, if it 
be possible, and I'll go in the mean time to 
Freeman. [Exeunt, severally. 

Scene III.-^AN OPEN scattered street 

IN A COUNTRT TOWN. 

EitkttT Jenkiitson and-SsRVST by opposite sides; 
and are going to pass without oMerving one 
another* 

Serv. (calling to Jenk.) Not so fast, Mr. 
Jenkinson ; I was just goin^ to your house. 

Jenk. And I was just going to do myself 
the pleasure to call at your's. 

Serv. And you was fflad to go quickly 
along, I believe. It would neither be pleas- 
ant nor safe for you, perhaps, to meet the 
new member in his chair, with all his friends 
round him. '* Baltimore for ever!" would 
not sound so very pleasantly in your cars. 
Ay, Mr. Jenkinson ! You have made a fine 
hand of this business for a man of your pre- 
tensions in the profession. 

Jenk. 1 believe, Mr. Servet, I may be per- 
mitted to assume to myself, without the im- 
putation of vanity, as much prWessional dex- 
terity in this afifair as the most able of my 
contemporaries could have brought into the 
service. Every thing has been done that the 
very nicest manceuvres of the law would ad- 
mit of. Who could have thought of a rich 
friend, from nobody knows where, paying 
Baltimore's debts for him ? Who could nave 



156 



THE ELSCnON : A COMEDY: 



thoaght of those fools taking him up so wann- 
\y apon his imprisomnent, in manifest con- 
tradiction to the old proverb, tiiat ** rats and 
yennin leave a falling honse ? '* Who conld 
have thought so nuuij of Mr. Freeman's 
friends would have staj'd from the poll, too, 
after solemnly promising their votes ? I am 
sure jou are too polite not to do me the jus- 
tice to confess that these thinn were not to 
be counted upon. A pinch of your snuff, if 
you please : you keep the best rappee of any 
gentleman i n the county. 

Serv. But what can you say for yourself in 
the present business, Mr. Jenkinson? I'm 
sure, my client, Mr. Baltimore, has given 
you advanta^s enough, if you had known 
now to use them. Since his quarrel with Mr. 
Freeman in the prison, have not you and I 
gone between them with at least half-a-dozen 
of messages, unknown to their friends ? and 
nothing but a paltnr meeting with pistols to 
come of it atler all ! It is a disgrace to the 
profession. 

Jenk. What could I have done, Mr. Ser- 
vet.^ 

Serv. What could you have done ! Has not 
my client by my mouth, told your cUent in 
pretty plain terms, in return to all his amica- 
ole advances, that he is a liar, and a hypocrite, 
and a knave, and a coward; and with but very 
httle difficulty on your part a kick or a cudg- 
el miff ht have been added : and do you ask 
me what was to be done with all this? A 
meeting with pistols, indeed ! It is a disgrace 
to the profession. I once procured for a smug- 
ftced client of mine a ffood douse o'the chops, 
which put a couple of hundred pounds into 
his pocket ; enabled him thereby to run off 
with a rich heiress, and make his fortune, as 
you may well say, by a stroke. As for my- 
self, I put, of course, double the sum into my 
own. 

Jenk. Do me the favour to believe, my 
worthy Sir, that I have always looked up* to 
your superiour abiUties with the profoundest 
respect. But have a httle patience : and do 
me the honour to suppose I am not alto- 
gether a novice. We may have a duel first 
and a law-suit afterwards. I suppose we shall 
have the pleasure of meeting at the place 
and hour appointed .' 

Serv. Never doubt that. But I hear the 
crowd coming this way. (some of the crowd 
begin to enter , and a great noise is heard at a 
distance.) Let us avoid them, and talk fur- 
ther of this matter as we go. [Exeyht Jenk. 
and Serv. 

Enter more of the Crowd. 

First Mob. Well, I can't say but it was a- 
rare speech. 

Second Mob. And very nicely delivered. 

First Mob. Ay, he is a nice man. 

First Woman. And such a sweet-faced gen- 
tleman. He'll stand by his king and coun- 
try, I warrant ye. 

First Mob, (to third Mob.) Bat you lost it 



all, neighbour Brown, you was so long of 
coming. '' Gentlemen ! " said he, and he 
bowea his bead so, *^ the honour you hare 
this day preferred me to " — 

Second Mt^. No, no, man ; ^ that yon hav^ 
conferred upon me." 

First Mob. Well, well, where*s the differ- 
ence.' " I shall ever consider upon." 

Second Mob. Reflect upon. 

First Mob. Did not I say " reflect upon > 
With— with great joy;" no " great "—I don't 
know very well ; but he meant, as one should 
say, as how he would think upon us with 
good-will. And then, quoth he — but first of 
all you know, he said, stretching out his 
hand so, that " the confidence imputed to 
him." 

Second Mob. Tut, man ! reposed upon him. 

First Mob. Did not I say so Aa plain as> a 
man could speak? — Was a trust that, with the 
greatest scrupulousness of regard — ^That is to 
say, you know, that he won't sell his vote for 
a pension : nor give away our poor little earn- 
ings to feed a parcel ot lazy placemen and 
courtiers. Lord help us ! And that he won't 
do. 

Third Mob. No, no! I'll answer for him. 
Why, I have heel-pieced his shoes for him 
when he was no bigger than a quart-pot. 

First Mob. But what pleased me most of 
all was, when he waved his hands in this 
fashion, and said, " Gentlemen, it has always 
been the pride and boasting 

Second Mob. Pride and boast. 

First Mob. No, indeed; I say pride and 
boasting, Thomas Truepenny ; have not I a 
pair of ears in my head as well as you ? 

Second Mob. Well, well, boasting be it 
then! 

First Mob. Yes, ** boasting of this honour- 
able borough to support its own dignity and 
independency against all corruptful encroach- 
ments." And then he went on to tell us, 
you know, all about the glory and bravene^ 
of our ancestors — O! let lum alone for a 
speech ! I'll warrant ye, when he stands up 
among the great men in that there house of 
parliament, ne '11 set his words together in as 
good a fashion as the best of them. 

Second Mob. Tes, to be sure, if he does it 
in the fiishion that you have been a-shewing 
us. 

Second Woman. O la ! there he comes, and 
the pretty chair and all the pretty ribbons fly- 
ing about ! Do come and let us run after him. 

(Enter R great crowd, and Baltimore carriad 
in a chair ornamented with boughs and rib- 
bons, 6lc, on the back ground, and crossing 
over the bottom of the stase Exeunt with accla- 
mations : the first crowd joining them.) 

Scene IV. — ah open space in a pok* 
est surrounded with thicketi 

MJfO PERN, &C. 

Enter Baltimore and Servst, looking out 
sevcnl ways as they enter. 



THE ELECTION : A OOJiSEDY. 



197 



Serv. Now I do see them a-coming ! 

Bait. You have discovered them half-a-doz- 
en of times already since we entered the for- 
est : Are they at hand ? 

Serv. (still looking out thro* some bushes.) 
They an t far off, but I don't know how it is, 
they keep always a-moving, and always a- 
moving, and yet they never come nearer. 

Bolt. He stops to take heart, perhaps. (snU- 
litig vfith maliaaus satirfaction.) 

Serv. Tes, poor man, ha, ha, ha ! his mind 
is disturb'd enough, no doubt But you, Sir, 
are so composed ! Tou have the true strong 
nerves of a gentleman. Good blood always 
shows itself upon these occasions, (looking 
out again.) Yonder now, I could tell you, 
even at this distance, by that very manner of 
waving his pocket hamdULerchief, that he is in 
a deviUsh quandary. 

Bolt. Indeed! dost thou already discover' in 
him the disturbed gait of a frigntened man ? 
This is excellent ! — Let me look ! let me look ! 
(looking thro* the bushes with great satisfaction 
and eagerness.) Where, Servet ? 

Serv. Look just between the birch-tree and 
the little gate. 

iaU. (neevishly.) Pooh, nonsense ! It is a 
eolt feeding among the bushes, and lashing 
off the flies with his tail. 

As they are looking, enter Frkemait and Jxir- 
KIH80N behind them. 

Free. Good morning, gentlemen: I hope 
we have not kept you waiting. 
Bolt. I am here, Sir, at your request, to 

E've you the satisfaction you require, and I 
Lve waited your time witnout impatience. 

Free. Ah, Mr. Baltimore ! it is a cruel ne- 
cessity that has compelled me to require such 
a meeting as this from a man to whom I owe 
my life. But life, with contempt and degra- 
dation in the eye of the world annexed to it, 
is no benefit : you have cruelly compelled me— 

Bali. Make no apology, Sir, for the invita- 
tion you have given me to this place : it is the 
only one in my life that 1 have received fVom 
you withpleasure, and obey'd with alacrity. 

Free. \o\i will regret, perhaps, when it is 
too late, that some explanation, on your part, 
4id not prevent 

Jenk. Yes, Sir, some little explanation of 
yoor words. The most honourable gentle- 
man is always firee to confess that words are 
not always mtended to convey the meaning 
they may obviously seem to express. 

Bfdt. (contemptuously.) I make no doubt, 
8ir, that you can find a great many different 
meanings to the same words. A he may be 
easily tum'd into a slight mistake, or a villain 
into a gentleman of deep and ingenious re- 
source, in your polite dictionary : out I am a 
plain, un polish a man, Mr. Jenkinson, and I 
We but one sense in which I offer what I 
have said by the mouth of my friend here 
{Minting to Serv.^ to Mr. Freeman, and to 
the world, unretractedand unexplained, (aside 
to Serv.) Does he not bqk pue ? 

17 



Serv. O. very pale. 

Free. Then, Mr. Baltimore, you compel a 
man of peace to be what he abhors. 

Bali. I am sorry. Sir, this business is so 
disagreeable to yon : the sooner we despatch 
it, in that case, the better. Take your ground. 
(aside to Serv.) Does he not look very pale ? 

Serv. (aside.) O, as white as a corpse. 

Free. I believe you are right (to Serv. and 
Jenk.) Mark out the distance, gentlemen : 
you kuow what is generally done upon these 
occasions. I am sltogether ignorant. You 
seem to be ready, Mr. Baltimore, and so am I. 

Serv. (aside to Bait) He would bully it out 
now, but he is in a great quandary for all that 

Bolt, (aside toBerv. angrily.) No, hang him, 
he is as firm as a rock ! (aloud to Free.) I am 
perfectly ready also, Sir. Now take your 
fire. 

Free. No ; I cannot call you out, and take 
the first fire myself: this does not appear to 
me reasonable. 

Bait. You are the insulted man. 

Free. Yes, but I am the challenger, and 
must insist on first receiving your 's. 
(They take their groundj and Bali, is about to 
fire, when Truebridge and Charles Baltimore, 

break in upon them through the bushes.) 

True, (seizing Baltimore^ arm.) Hold your 
rash hand, ma&mn, and make not yourself 
accarsed ! 

Bait. What do you mean, Truebridge ? 

True, (pointing to Tree.) That there stands 
before you the unknown n'iend 

Free, (to True, eagerly.) Hold! hold! re- 
member your promise : I have bound you to 
it 

True. But you release me from that prom- 
ise by effecting this meeting unknown to me, 
when I had every claim upon your confidence. 
I will not hold my tongue. 

BaU. For God s sake, then, tell the worst 
thou hast got to say, for I am distracted ! 

True. There stands before you, then, that un- 
known friend ; the great uncle of your wife, 
as 1 suffered you to suspect, who has paid all 
your debts, open'd your prison doors, and 
even kept back his own friends from the poll 
to make you the member of Westown. (Bait. 
staggers back same paces , and the pistol falls 
from his hand.) 

Char, (capering with joy.) O, brave and no- 
ble ! this makes a man's heart jump to his 
mouth ! Come here, Mr. Spitfire, (taking up 
the pistol.) we shall have no more occasion 
for you. 

Bait, (giving Charles an angry push as he 
stoops down dose by him to lift the pistol.) 
Get away, damn'd fool ! Does this make you 
happy ? 

True. Fie, Baltimore ! It is not manly in 
thee to be fhxis overcome. 

BaU. If thou had'st lodged a bullet in my 
brain, I had thank'd thee for it 

True. And is there nothing, then, within 
your breast that is generousW called forth to 
meet the noble gratitude of'^a liberal mind? 



138 



THE ELECTION : A OOMEDT. 



A mind which has strove to acquit itKlf of 
the obligation that it owes to joa, and to make 
you ample reparation for an mjurr which jron 
nave su^rea on his account, tno' entuely 
unknown to him. There is nothing in jour 
breast that comes forth to meet such sentiments 
as these. Injuries and oppression are pleasing 
to your mind; venerosity and gratitude op- 
press it Are these the feelings of a brave 
man .' Ck}me, come ! (taking his arm geHdy.) 

Bali, Hold away ! I am fool'd, «nd de- 
press'd, and degnuted ! (turtu awayfirom him 
akrupUy.) 

True. Welly then, battle out with your own 

r-oud spirit the best way you can. Freeman, 
must agree to it, is a maniificent, boasting, 
ostentatious fellow ; and oievil take me ifl 
could bear to have any reciprocity in good 
offices with him myself ! 

Bait. Bv the Lord ! Tniebridge, I'll run you 
thro' the body if you say that again. 

Tme. Ha ! come nearer to me then. I sh^ 
now tell Freeman of an obligation he owes to 
you, Baltimore, and we shall see if he bears it 
more graciously. 

Fret. I owtf my life to his courage. 

Tnu. Tes, but it is not that. Come nearer 
me, Baltimore, (to Free.) Tou were anxious, 
I believe, to erect a monument to the memory 
of your ia liier. 

Pree. Tes, Sir ; and Mr. Jenkinson has writ- 
ten for me to have it accomplish 'd. 

TVtts. And also, at the same time, fo have 
a certificate ofyour baptism ? 

Free. Tes, Sir, some family bdsiness re- 
quired it ; but I have yet received no answer. 

True. No; the clergyman to whom you 
wrote is my particular niend ; he ha4 made 
the inquiries you desired ; and the result is of 
such a natui^ he has thought it necessary to 
be the bearer of it himselr 

Free. What may it be ? 

True. He is at my house, and Will inform 
you of every thin^ minutely ; but, just at this 
moment, I can't help telling you myself, that 
to erect a monument to the memory of your 
fiither is unnecessary, as Mr. Baltimore has 
already moUaly saved you that trouble. 

Free. What do ju>u mean by that .' I am a 
man of peace, but! will tear the heart out of 
any one who dares to insult my fiUfaer's 
memory. 

True. He has done it in sober piety. 

Free. What ! erected a monument for my 
fhtber in the parish church of Sbuthemdown.' 

True. No, in the parish church of Westown. 

Free. My father is not buried there. 

True. Ay, but he is, indeed. One church, 
one grave, one coffin contains both your &th- 
er and his. 

Free. O, God! what is thn? (Bait MtarU 
amdmUM hit hands brfafe his eyes.) 

Ckar. I would give a thousand pounds that 
this were true. 

True, (to Char.) Thou hast lost thy money, 
then. But prithee be quiet, Charles ! (Jenlu- 
waa and Qwfet look ru^uUytqfononeanoiher.) 



Free, ((^fi^ ^ pause.) Was not my mother 
the wife of Freeman ? 

True. Tes; and,I belieVe, his faithfU wift ^ 
but she was your mother fint 

Fret. She was seduced and betray'd .' 

jSrue. We will not, if you please, enter into 
that part of the story at present. My account 
says, that she married, after bringing you into 
th6 wofld, a poot but honest man : that the 
late Mrs. Baltimore discovered her some yean 
afierm^ahb, sjrmpatHised with her misfortune^ 
and fh>m her own pin-money, for the family 
affiurs were eveif then very much involved, 
paid her a yearly sum for the support ana 
education other son, which laid the founda- 
tion of Ms fbrture wealth and prosperity. 

Bolt, {stminf finioard wiik emodan.) Did 
my mothef do this .' 

True. Tes, Baltimore, she [did ; till Mrs. 
Freeman, inform'd of the state of your father's 
affiurs, with an industry that defied all pain 
and weariness, toil'd day and night to support 
the aspiring views of her son, indepenaent 
of a bounty which she would no longer re-( 
ceive, tho* it was often and warmly press'd 
upon her. 

jPVee. {with emtnlum.) And did my mother 
do that? 

True. She did, indeed. 

Free. Then God bless her ! I do not blush 
to call myself her son. 

True, {stretching out his hands to Bait and 
Free.) Now, don't think that I am going to 
whine to you about natural affi^tion, andfiv- 
ternal love, and such weaknesses. X know 
that you have lived in the constant practice 
of all manner of opposition and provocation 
towards one another for some time past : you 
have exercised your tempers thereby, and 
have acquiited habits that are now, perhaps, 
necessary fot you. Far be it from me to brrak 
in upon habits and gratifications ! Only, as 
you are both the sons of one father, who now 
lies quietly in his grave, and of the good wo- 
men, for I Call them both ffood, who bore no 
enmity to oife another, tho placed in a situa- 
tion y^y fkyourable for its growth, do for the 
love of decency take one another by the hand, 
and live peaceably and respectably together ! 
(taking each of them by the hand.) 

Bolt, (shaking of True.) Get aiway, True- 
bridge, kad leave us to ourselves. 
(True, retires to the bottom of the ttagej and 

makes signs for Jeitk. Sery. and Caai. to 

do so too : they aU retire.) 
(Bait and Free, stand looking at one another 

for some time without speaktng. BaH. the^ 

drawing nearer to Free, dears his ToieSf 

and puts on the action of one toko is going 

to sneak emphatitially ; but his energy tssui- 

demy dropt, and ke turns away without 

tweaking. He draws near him a second 

tinUf dears his voice agaxn^ and speaks m 

broken accents.) 

Bait. I have been to you, Mr. Freeman, 
most unreasonable and unjust. I luLve — ^I 
have— my behaviour has been stem and un- 



THE ELECTION : A COBCEDT. 



M 



nacioiu— Bat — bat my heart — O ! it has of- 
fended beyond — beyond even the forgiveneis 
of ar— of tt » 

Free, (eagerly.) Of a what, Mr. Baltimore ? 

J?^. Of a brother. 

Free. Qod bleu yon for that word ! Are yon 
the firat to pronoance it ? Tea, I will be a 
brother, and a &ther, and a ^end, and 
ma every thinff to you, as long as there is 
bi«ath ip my body. And tho' we do not em- 
brace aa brothers 

Bali, (rushing into his arms.) Ah ! but we 
do ! we ao ! most heartily ! But I have some- 
thing to say. Let me lean against this tree 
iof a little, (leans his back against a tree.) 

Free. What would you sav ? 

Bolt, (in a hroken voteeJ) I am — I am 
where J ought not to be. Your generosity 
imposed upon you — ^the borough otWestown 
is vacant. 

Free. No; it is filled with the man for 
whom I vnll henceforth canvass thro' thick 
and thin every shire, town, and village in the 
kingdom, if need be : the borough of Wes- 
iown is not vacant. 

Bolt, (endeavouring to open hi^ waistcoat 
collar.) My buttons are tight over my 
breast : I can't get this tbinff from my throat. 
(Free, attempts to assist himj 

TVue. (running forward Jrom the bottom of 
the stage.) Let me assist you, Baltimore. 

Bali. No, uOf hold away : be will do it for 
me. I feel the touch of a brother's buid 
near my breast, and it does me good. 

T)rue. (exulting.) Ha! is it thus with you .^ 
Then we have triumphed! conquest and 
victory ! 

Char, (tossing up his hat in the air.) Con- 
Aoest and triumph and victory ! O it is all 
nght now ! 

True. Yes^ Charles, thou may'st now be as 
boisterous as thou wilt. 

Jenk. (aside to Serv.) We have made but 
a bad business of it here. 
Ser. (aside to Jenk.) it was all your fault. 

(C&ey quarrel in a comer, whilst Free, and 

True, are occupied with Bait.; and Charles 

runs exuUingly about, tossing his hat in the 

air.) 

^ter nearly at the same time, fay opposite sides, 
Mas. Baltimore and Mrs, FRxaMAir, with 
Charlotte. 

Mrs. B. (alarmed.) O, you are wounded, 
Baltimore. 

True. No, no ! there are 90 wounds here : 
we are Tictorious. 

Mrs. B. Over whom f 

True. Over a whole legion of derils ! or, at 
least, over ooe great black one, who was as 
strong and M stubborn as a whole legion. 

Mrs. B. (jeyfuUy.) Ma ! and is he over- 
come at last ? Let 'me rejoice with you, my 
Utimore ! We have found our loet happiness 
again. 

Bali. We have found something more, my 
dear Isabella: we have found a brother. 
{fruenOng Free, to Mrs. B.) 



Mrs. B. Yes, I knew you woold find in 
this worthy man a friend and a brother. 

Bali. Nay, nay ! you don't catch my mean- 
ing: be is the son of my father. 

Mrs. F. What does he sav ? 

Char. The son of his &ther ! JCj ears are 



!r5. B. (after apause qf surprise.) In sober 
earnest trutn .' (clasping her hands together.) 
O thank heaven for it! (holding out lur hand 
to Free,) My friend and my brothejr. 

Bali, (to Free.) Yes, she has always been 
your friend. 

Free, (kissing her hand with emotion.) I 
know she has, and I have not been ungrate- 
ful, (presenting Mrs. Free, to Mrs. J^ and 
Bait.) And here is one who has not been so 
much i^our friend as she will be. Her too 
warm interest in a husband's success misled 
her into an error which she sincerely repents. 

Mrs. F. (affectedly.) Mrs. Baltimore has 
too much sensibility herself not to pardon the 
errors it occasions m others. 

Mrs. B. (taking her hand.) Be assured, my 
dear madam, I can remember nothing witn 
resentment that is connected with our present 
happiness. 

Skrv. (aside to Jenk.) And Mrs. Freeman 
is shaking hands with them too ! O ! there 
will be a stagnation to all activity I there will 
not be a lawsuit in the parish for a century 
to come ! 

Jenk. (aside.) Well, how could I help it ? 
Walk thiiB way, for God's sake, or they will 
hear us. 
(Jenk. and Ser. retire to the bottom of the 

stage quarrelling.) 

Mrs. B. (looking round.) But there is some- 
thing wanUng for me still : My dear Char- 
lotte— 

Charl. (coming forward and jumping into 
Mrs. Ws arms.) Yes, 1 was just waiting for 
this. O ! 1 shall love you, and live with you, 
and hang about you continually ! My sister, 
my aunty, my cousin ! how many names 
may I call you f 

Mrs. B. As many as you please. But 
there is another name that vou must learn to 
say : (leading her up to Bait) do you think 
you can look gravely in this gentleman's 
face and call him uncle .' Nay, don't be 
frightened at him. (to Bait) Poor girl, she 
haa stood in awe of you intolerably. 

Bolt, (embracing her.) She shall stand in 
awe of me no more ; and, if ever I look sternly 
upon her again, I will cheerfully submit to 
whatever correction she may think proper to 
inflict upon me. (smiling significantlu.) 

Char, (holding out hts luind to Charlotte 
And is there no such thmg as cousins to he 
made out of all this store of relationship .' 

Charl. O yes ! there is a laay, idle, good- 
for-nothing thing called a cousin, that we 
must all have some little kindness for, as in 
duty bound, notwithstanding. 

Free. Don't mind her, my friend Charles : 
yoa shall be lazy and idle no longer. Pil find 



146 



THE ELECTION: A OOlfEDY. 



emplojrnieiil for jou : I'll rouse yon up and 
make a man of you. There ia not a peer of 
the realm haa it in hia power to do more 
for hia relations than I have. And by heaven 
X will do it too. 

TVmc. (laying his hand on Freeman's dumU 
dtr,) GenUy now, my good Sir ! we know 
all that perfectly well. 

BaU, (atidetoTrue.) O, let him boast now, 
he is entitled to it. 

Tnu. (aside to Bait, gvring a nod of satig- 
faction.) Ay, all ia well, I see. (aloud.) Now, 
my happy friends, if I have been of any use 
amon^t you, shew me your mtitude hv 
■pending the rest of the day at my liouse, with 
my good triend the Vicar of Blackmorton ; j 
who has many things to tell you. 

Mrs. Free, (aside to True.) As 1 am the ' 
elder brother's wife, the foolish ceremony of I 



my taking precedence of Mrs. Baltimore will 
be settled accordingly ', and I'm sure it will 
distress me extremely. 

True, (asidetoher.) Don't distress yourself. 
Madam ; there is a bar to that, which you 
shall have the satisfaction of being acquainted 
with presently. Pray don't let your amiaMe 
dehcacY distress you. (aloud.) Now let us 
leave tnis happy nook But I am resolved to 
have a little oower erected in this very spot, 
where we will all sometimes retire, whenever 
we find any bad dispositions stirring within us, 
with that book in our hands, which says '' If 
thy brother offend thee seven times in a day " — 
No, no, no ! I must not repeat sacred words 
with an unlicensed ton^rae : but I will bless 
€k>d in silence for restonng a rational creature 
to the kindly feelings of humanity . [Exxunt. 



ETHWALD: A TRAGEDY. 



PART FIRST 



PERSONS OF THE DRAMA. 

MEN. 

OswAZf kin^ of Merda. 

Edward, fus rupkew, and ethUng or heir to 
the croum, 

S^AOvnTUf father to Edward. 

Ethwald. 

Ethslbert, a noUe Thaiu. 

SiLRED, elder brother to Ethwald. 

MoLLo, /oMer to Ethwald, a Ikam of small 
cansideratian. 

HxxDLP, a bigoted bishop. 

AhWYf an artful adventurer, 

WoGGARwoLFE, a rude marauding Thanu. 

On OAR, a creature of Alwy's. 

Mystics and Mystic Sisters ysu^posed to be suc- 
cessors of the Druidical Dimners; Soldiers^ 
Attendants^ 4^. 

WOMEN. 

Elburoa, daughter to king Oswal. 

Bertha, attached to Ethwald. 

SiocRTBA, mother to Bertha, and nUu to 

Mollo, Umng in his castle with her dough' 

ter, as part of his family. 
DwiNA, attendant on Elburga. 
Ladies, Attendants, and female Druids. 

The Scene is supposed to be in England, tn the 
kingdom ofjS/ieTeiti, and the time near the 
end of the Heptarchy. 



ACT I. 



HJB COVET or A SAXOV CAf- 



SOBHS I. 
TLB. 

Ethwald if diicoTeied lying npon the grcmnd as 
if half aaleepu The ■ouml of a horn ia heard 
without, at which he raises his head a little, 
and Ujrs it down again. The gate of the castle 
opens at the bottom of the stage, and enter Sel- 
red,Etbelbert. and attendants, as ifretom- 
tag firom hontinff. Skl. and Eth. walk forward 
to the front, and the others retire by different 
odes of the stage. 

SeL This morning's sport hath bravely paid 
oar toil. 
Hare not my doss done credit to their breed ? 

Eth. I grant Uiey have. 

Sel. Mark'd you that tawny hound, 
With stretched nostrils snuffinc to the gioond, 
Who ftill befbre, with animating yell, 



Like the brave leader of a warlike band. 
Thro' many a mazy track his comrades led 
In the right tainted path ? 
I would not for the weirgelt of a Thane 
That noble creature barter. 
£th. I do not mean to tempt thee with the 



sum. 



See'st thou where Ethwald, like a cottage cur 
On dunghill stretch*d,half8leeping,half awake. 
Doth buk his lazy carcass in the sun ? 
Ho ! lagger there ! (to Ethw. who just rai- 

ses his head and lays it down again. 

Eth. going up dose to him. 
When slowly from the plains and nether 

woods 
With all their winding streams and hamlets 

brown, 
Updrawn. the mominff vapour lifts its veil. 
And thro its fleecy folds, with soflen'd rays, 
Like a still'd inftnt smiling in his tears. 
Looks thro' the early sun : — when from a&r 
The ffleaming lake betrays its wide expanse, 
And, lightly curling on the dewj air. 
The cottage amoke doth wind its path to 

heaven: 
When larks sing shrill, and village cocks do' 

crow. 
And lows the hei&r looeen'd from her stall : 
When heaven's soft breath plays on the wood- 
man's brow. 
And ev'ry hair bell and wild tangled flower 
Smells sweetly from its cage of checker'd 

dew: 
Ay,and when huntsmen wind the merry horn. 
And from its covert starts the fearful prey ; 
Who, warm'd with youth's blood in his swel- 
ling veins, 
Would, like a lifeless clod, outstretch'd lie, 
Shut up from aU the fiiir creation ofien ? 
(Eth. yawns and heeds him not.) He heeds 

me not. 
Sd. I will assail him now. (m a louder 

voice.) 
Ho ! foxes heads our huntsman's bell adom, 
Who have, thro' tangled woods and ferny 

moors, 
With many wiles shaped out their mazy flight ; 
Have swam deep floods, and firom we rockj 

brows 
Of frightful precipices boldly leap'd 
Into the gulph below. 

Nay, e'en our lesser game hath nobly done : 
Across his shoulders nang four furred feet, 
That hath full twenty miks before us run 
In little space. O. it was glorious ! 
j Ethw. (raising his head cardessly,) 
I Well, well, I know that hares will swUU^ rosEi 



14f 



£THWAU> : A TRAQEDT, 



■■« ■ ■■ 



Wlien dogs pnnoe them. {ftr€U}uB hxmMdf 
and goes to rest agatn.) 
Eth. Le&ve him to rest, he is not to be 

rous'd. 
8d. Well, be it so. Bj heaven, ipy fretted 
soul 
Did something of this easy stnpor lack, 
When near t& easy limits of oar chaoe 
I pass'd the frowning tower of Ruthergeld ! 
He hanes a helmet o'er his battlements, 
As tho'l^e were the chief protecting Thaoe 
Of all the country round. 
I'll teach th' ennobled Coerl, within these 

bounds, 
None may pretend in noble birth to Tie 
With Mollo's hononr'd line ! 

Eih. (jmnuUy.) Hast thou for^t P 

Or did'st thou never hear whose blood it u 
That fills these swelling veins ? 

Sel. I cry you mercy. Thane : I little doubt 
Some brave nun^ was the founder of your 
house. 
Eth. Yes; such an one, at mention of 
whose name 
The braVe descendants of two hundred years 
Have stately rose with more majestic step. 
And proudly smiled. 
Ed. Who was this lordly chieftain ? 

Eth. A Swabian shepherd's son, who, in 
dark times. 
When ruin dire menaced his native land. 
With all his native lordship in his grasp, 
A simple maple spear and osier shield, 
Makinf of keen and deep sagacity. 
With &rinff courage and exalted thoughts, 
A plain and native warrant of command. 
Around him gathered all the valiant youth ; 
And, after many a gallant enterprize, 
Repell'd the foe, and gave his country peace. 
His grateftil country bless'd him for the gift. 
And offer'd to his worth the regal crown. 
Sel. (bowing respeetfvUif.) I yield me to thy 
claim. 
(Ethwald, wka has raised himself im by de- 
grees tqfon hearing the story, ami listened 
eagerly, now starts up, impatient qf the 
pause, and catches Eth. by the arm.) 
Ethw, And did they crown him thep .' 
Eth. No; with a mind above all selfish 
wrong, 
He generously the splendid gift reftised : 
And drawing from his distm low retreat 
The only lemnant of the royal race. 
Did fix him firmly on his father's seat; 
Proving until his very latest breath 
A true and lojral subject. 
£th¥rald's countenance changes, then turning 
from Eth. he slowly retires to the bottom of 
the stage and Exit. l^ih. follows him atten- 
tively with his eye as he retires. 
Eth. Mark'd you the changes of the strip- 
ling's eye ? 
Tou do complain that he of late has grown 
A musing sluggard. 8elred, mark me well : 
Brooding in secret, grows within his breast 
That which no kindred owns to sloth or ease. 
And is your father fix'd to keep him pent 



Still here at home ? Doth the eld wiard's 

prophecy. 
That the deatruetion of hip noble line 
Should from the valour of his youngest ton, 
In royal warfiue, spring, still hunt hi« 

mind ? 
This close confinement makes the pining 

yonth 
More eager to be free. 
Sel. Nay, rather say, the lore he had fttm 

thee 
Hath o'er him cast this sullen gloom. Eie 

this. 
Where was the fiercest courser of our stalls 
That did not shortly under him become 
As gentle as the lamb ? What bow so stiff 
But lie would urge and strain his yoothfol 

strength. 
Till ev'ry sinew o*er his body rose. 
Like to the sooty forger's sweUing arm, 
Until it bent to him. ^ What fio<3 so deep 
That on its foaming wayea l^e would not 

throw 
His naked breast, and beat each curling 

surge. 
Until he gain'd the far opposing shore ? 
But since ne learnt from uiee that lettered art, 
Which only sacred priests wer^ pieant to 

know, 
See how it is, I pray ! His &ther's house 
Has unto him become a cheerless den. 
His pleasant tales and sprightly playful talk. 
Which still our social meals were wont to 

cheer. 
Now visit us but like a hasty beam 
Between the showery cbuds. Nay, e*en tl|* 

maid, 
My careful father destines for his bride. 
That he may still retain him here at home. 
Fair as she is, receives, when she appears. 
His cold and cheerless smile. 
Surely thy penanced pilgrimage to Rome, 
And the displeasure of our holy saint. 
Might well have taught thi^ that such sacred 

art 
Was good for priests alone. Thou'st spoilt the 

youtii. 
Eth. l\e spoilt the yonth ! What think'st 

thou then of me ? 
Sel. I'll not believe that thoo at dead of 

night 
Unto dark spirits say*st unholy rhymes ; 
Nor that the torch^ on holy altars Dumt, 
Sinks into smoth'nng smoke at thy approach ; 
Nor that foul fiends about thy castle yell. 
What time the darken'd eartli if rock'd with 

storms; 
Tho* many do such firightful credence hold, 
And sign tbemselyes when thou dent crost 

their way. 

1 do not believe 

Eth. By the bless'd light of heaven r- 

Sel. 1 cannot think 

Eth By this well-proved sword \ 

SeL Patience, good Thane ! I meant to 

speak Ihy praise. 
Eth. My praise, say'st thou ? 



EtHWALD: A tkAOtot. 



148 



8d. Thy praiie. I would have nid, 

** That he who in the field ao oft hath fought. 
80 bravely fought, and itill in the honour*a 

eauie, 
Should hold uxihallow'd league with damned 

sprites^ 
1 never will believe.'* Tet much I griete 
That thou, with bold intrusive fon^^iutlneM, 
Hast enter'd into that which holy men 
Hold mcred for themselves ; 
And that thou hast, with little inrudend) too, 
Entrapp'd my brother with this wicked lore, 
Altho methinks thou did'st not mean him 

harm. 
Etk. I thank thee, Seh^d; listkn now to 

me, 
And thou shalt hear a plain and simple tale. 
As true as it is artless. 
These cunning priests full loudly blast my 

ftune, 
Because that I with diligence and cost. 
Have got myself instructed how to read 
Our sacred scriptures, which, they would 

maintain. 
No eye profane may daie to violate. 
If I am wronff, they have themselves to blame. 
It was their hard extortions first impell'd me 
To search that precious book, firom wnich they 

draw 
Their right, as they pretend, to lord it thus. 
But what think'st tnou, my Selred, read I 

there .J* 
Of one sent do#n firom faeav'n in sovereign 

pomp, 
To ^ve into the hands of leagued priests 
All po#et to hdld th' immortal soul of man 
In everlasting thraldom ? O far otherwise ! 

(taking Selred's hand with great earn- 

tttness.) 
Of one who health restored unto the sick. 
Who made the lame to walk, the blind to see. 
Who fed the hungry, and who rab'd the 

dead, 
Tet had no place wherein to lay his head. 
Of one from ev'ry spot of tainting sin 
Holy and pure ; And yet so lenient. 
That he with soft and unnpbraiding love 
Did woo the wand'rinff sinner from his ways. 
As doth the elder brother of a house 
The atimf^ stripling guide. Of ofle, my 

ftnudf 
Wiser by far than all the sons of men, 
Tet teaching ignorance in simple speech. 
As thdil Woulast take an infant on thy lip 
And lesson him with his own artless tale; 
Of one so mighty 

That he did say unto the raging sea 
" Be thou at peace," and it obey'd his voice ; 
Tet bow'd himself unto the painful death 
That we might live. — ^They say that I am 

proud — 
! had tney like their gentle toaster been(! 
I would, with suppliult knee bent to Uie 

ground, 
Have kiss'd their vert feet. 
Bat, had thev been like him,^they would have 

pardon'd me 



Ere yet my bending knee hath touch'd the 

earth. 
Sd, Forbear, nor tempt me with thy moving 

words ! 
I'm a plain soldier, and unfit to judge 
Of mysteries which but concern the leam'd. 
£tk. I know thou art, nor do I mean to 

tempt thee; 
But in thy younger brother I had mark'd 
A searchmff mind of freer exercise, 
Untrammell'd with the thoughts of other men ; 
And like to one, who^ in a gloomy night, 
Watching alone amidst a skepingr host. 
Sees suddenly along the darken d sky 
Some beauteous meteor plfty^ tod with hit 

hand 
Wakens a kindred sleeper by his side 
To see the glorious sight, e'en so did I. 
With pains and cost I divers books procured, 
Telling of wars, and arms, and famous men ; 
Thinking it would his young attention rouse ; 
Would combat best a learner's difficulty. 
And pave the way at length for better things. 
But here his seized soul has wrapp'd itself; 
And from the means is heedless of the end. 
If wrong I've done, I do repent me of it. 
And now, good Selred, as thou'st i^een mb 

fight 
Like a brave chief, and still in th' hohour'd 

cause. 
By that good token kindly think of me, 
As of a man, who long has suffer'd wroflg, 
Rather than one deserving bo to suflier. 
8el. I do, brave £thelbert. 
JBth, I thank thee, friend. 

And now we'll go]and wash us frovfi this dust : 
We are not fit at ffoodly boiLrds to sit. 
Is not your feast hour near ? 
Sd. I think it is. [Exeunt. 

SCBNB II. — ^A SMALL APARTMENT IN 
MOLLG^S CASTLt. 

Enter Ethwald very thoughtful, who leans 
agaiort a pillar for some time withoat speaking. 

Ethw. (coming fanoard.) Is it delusion 

thid? 
Or wears the mind of man within itself 
A (Conscious feeling of its destination ? 
What say these suddenly imposed thoughts, 
Whieh mark such deepen'd traces oli the 

brain 
Of vivid real persuasion, as do make 
My nerved foot tread firmer on the earth. 
And my dilating form tower on its Wdy ? 
That I am born, within these narrow walls, 
The younger brother of a petty chief. 
To live my term in dark obscurity, 
Until some foul disease or bloody gtoh. 
In low marauditig strife, shall lay me low .' 
My spirit sickens at the hateful thought ! 
It hanffs upon it with such thick oppression. 
As doUi the heavy, dense, sulphureous Air 
Upon the breath it stifles, (pulling vp the 

sleeve of his garment, and Niring his 

right arm from, the shoulder.) 
A firmer strung, a stronger arm than this 



144 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



Own'd ever valiant chief of ancient stoiy ? 
And lacks my soul within, what should impel 

it? 
Ah ! but occasion, like th' unveiliiif moon 
Which calls the adyent'rer forth, did thine on 

them ! 
1 sit i'the shade ! no star-beam &lls on me!! 
(Bursts into tearSy and -throws himself back 
against the tfiUar. A pause : he them starts 
foTtoard full of animation^ and tosses his 
arms high as he speaks,) 
No; storms are hush*d within their silent 

cave, 
And nnflesh'd lions slumber in the den. 
But there doth come a time ! 

Enter Bkbtha, stealing softly upon him before 

he is aware. 

What, Bertha, is it thou who steal'st upon 
me? 
Ber. I heard thee loud : 
Conversest thou with spirits in the air ? 
JEthw. With thoee wboee answ'ring voice 

thou can'st not hear. 
Ber. Thou hast of late the friend of such 
become, 
And only they. Thou art indeed so strange 
Thy very dogs have ceased to follow thee, 
For thou no more their Owning court re- 

Ceiv'st, 
Nor callest to them with a master's voice. 
What art thou grown, since thou hast lov*d 

to pore 
Upon those magic books ? 
£thw. No matter what ! a hermit an' thou 

wUt. 
Ber, Nay, rather, by thy high assumed gait 
And lofty mien, which I have mark'd of late, 
Oft times thou art, within thy mind's own 

world. 
Some king or mighty chief. 
If so it be, tell me thine honour's pitch, 
And I will tuck my re^al mantle on. 
And mate thy dignity, {assuming much state.) 
Ethw. Out on thy foolery ! 
Ber. Dost thou remember 

How on our throne of turf, with birchen 

crowns 
And willow branches waving in our hands, 
We shook our careless feet, and caroll'd out. 
And call'd ourselves the king and queen of 
Kent ? 
Ethw. Tea, children ever in their mimick 
play 
Such fairy state assume. 

Ber. And bearded men 

Do sometimes gild the dull enchanting face 
Of sombre stilly Uie with like conceits. 
Ck}me, an' you will we'll go to play again. 

{tripping gaily round him.) 
Ethw, Who sent tn«»e here to gambol round 

me thus ? 
Ber. Nay, fie upon thee ! for thou know'st 
right well 
It is an errand of my own good will. 
Knowest thou not the wand ring clown is here 
Who doth the osier wands ana rushes weave 



Into all shapes : who chants gay stories too ; 

And who wa^ wont to tell thee, when a boy. 

Of all the bloody wars of furious Penda7 

E'en now he is at work before the gate. 

With heaps of pliant rushes round him 
strew'd; 

In which birds, dogB, and children roll and 
nestle^ 

Whilst, crouchmg by his side, with watchftil 
- eye 

The playful kitten marks each trembling rush 

As he entwists his many circling bands. 

Nay, men and matrons, too, around him flock, 

And Ethelbert, low seated on a stone. 

With arms thus cross'd, o'erlooks his curiouf 
craft. 

Wilt thou not come ? 
Ethw. Away, I care not lor it ! 

Ber, Nay, do not shake thy head, for thou 
must come. 

This maeic girdle will compel thy step*. 
{throws a ^rdle round him playfiUlyf 
and pulls tt tiUit breaks. 
Ethw. {smiling coldly.) Thou see'st it can- 
not hold me. (Bertha's /ice ehsm^ 
ges immediately : she bursts into tears ^ 
and turns away to conceal it.) 
Etkw, (soothing her.) My gentle Bertha ! 
httle foolish maid ! 

Why &11 thoee tears? Wilt thou not look oo 
me? 

Dost thou not knovr I am a« wayward man, 

Sullen by fits, but meaning no unkindness ? 
Ber, u thou were wont to make the hall 
rejoice ; 

And cheer the gloomy face of dark Decem- 
ber! 
Ethw, And will, perhaps, again. Cheer 
up, my love ! (assuming a cheerful 
voice,) 

And plies the wand'ring clown his pleasing 
craft. 

Whilst dogs and men and children round 
him flock ? 

Come, let us ioin them too. (holding out his 
hand to her, whiUt she snuLes thro' 
her tears.) 

How coulte those glancing drops adown thy 
cheeks. 

Like to a whimp'ring child .' fie on thee, Ber- 
tha I (wives off her tears f and leads 
her out affectionalely.) [Exxuirr. 

Scene III.— a narrow stone oallbrt 

OR PASSAGE. 

( Voice without.) Haste, lazy comrade, there ! 

Enter two SERVANTs'by opposite sides, one of 
them carrying mats of msnes in his arms. 

First Serv. Set'st thou thy feet thus softly 
to the ground, — 
As if thou had st been paid to count thy 

steps? 
What msde thee stay so long ? 
Second Serv. Heard you the news ? 
First Serv. Tho ncw.s ^ 



BTHWALD: ATRAQ£DT. 



m 



' Seamd Sen, Ajr, bj the oahm ! ihirp 

news indeed. 
Aad muk me "well; beforehand I hare laid 

it; 
BtmMb of thoee tpean now hanging in the hall 
Will wag i' the field ere long. 
FirstServ. Thou hast a marv'Uona gift of 

prophecy. 
I know it well ; but let us hear thy newi. 
Second Sen. Marry ! the firitona and their 

rMtleta prince, 
Join'd with West AngUa'i king, a goodly 

boat, 
Arc now in Mercia, threatTiing all with ruin. 
And oTer and beaidea, God save us all ! 
They are but five leagues off. 
Tb true. And over and beades again, 
Our king is on his way to giye them battle. 
Ay, and moreoyer all, if the late floods 
Haye broken down the bridge, as it is fear'd. 
He must perforce pass by our castle walls. 
And then thou ahalt behold a goodly shew ! 
F^rMServ, Who brought the tidings ? 
Second Serv. A soldier sent on horseback 

all express : 
£*en now I heard him tell itto the Thane, 
Who cautioned me to tell it unto none. 
That EthwaJd might not hear it. 
First Serv. Ana thou in sooth obey*st his 

caution well. 
Row hear thou this from me : thou*art a lout ; 
And oyer and besides a babbling fool ; 
Ay, and moreoyer all, I'll break thy head 
If ttion dost tell again, in any wise, 
^The smallest tittle of it. 
Second Serv. Marry ! I can be as secret as 

thyself! 
I tell not those who blab. 
FirMt Serv. Yes, yes, thy caution hi most 

scrupulous ; 
Thoult whisper it in Ethwald's hither ear, 
And bid the ruther not to know of it 
Giye me thoee trusses. 
Seamd Sen. Tes, this is made for my old 

master's seat. 
And this, so soil, for gentle lady Bertha, (giv- 

tke nuUs.) 
And this, and this, and this for Ethelbert. 



But see thou put a iprig of mountain-ash 
^enath it snugly. Dost thou unders' 
Firgt SenTyfhtt is thy meaning ? 



Semmd Sen. It hath power to croas all 
wicked spells ; 
So thai a man may sit next stool to th* deyil. 
If he can hiy but slyly such a twig 
Beneath his seat, nor suffer any harm. 
Firai Sen. I wish there were some herb of 
secret power 
To saye from daily skaith of blund*ring fools : 
I know beneath whose stool it should be 

press'd. 
Get thee akmg ! the ibast smokea in the hall. 

[Exeunt. 

BCENB IV. A SAXON HALL WITH THB 
WALLS HUNG mOUHD WITH AEMOUR. 
1MLLO, STHBLBKHTy SSLBSD, XTB- 

18 



WALD, MBTHA, SIOUBTHA, AlTD OTH- 
ERS, ARE DISCOyERED SITTING ROUND 
A TABLE 09 WHICH STAND GOBLBTS 
AND FLAG00N8, &C. AFTER A FEAST. 

Eik. Nay, gentle Bertha, if thou fblleweit 

lum. 
Sheer of those loyel^ t w ss es ftom thy head. 
And with a frowmng hehnet shade those 

eyes: 
E'en with thy prowess added to his own, 
Methinks he will not be surcharff'd of means 
To earn his brilliant fortune in the field. 
Ber. Nay, rather will I fill a little scrip 
With sick-men's drugs and salyes for fest rii|g 

wounds, 
And journey by his side, a tray'lling leech. 
Set. That wul, indeed, no unmeet comrade 

be 
For one whose fortune must be eam'd with 

blows 
Borne by no substitutes. 

Ethw. Well jested, Thanes '. 

But some, ere now, with fortune earn'd by 

blows 
Borne by no substitutes, haye placed their 

mates 
Aboye thie gorgeous dames of castled lords. 
Cheer up, sweet Bertha ! 
For ey'ry drag ta'en from thy little scrip 

I'llpay thee back with 

lilA. Sticks the word i' his throat. 

iS^. It is too great for utterance. 

lUk. Here's to your growing honours, fh- 

ture chief; 
And here is to the lofty dame who shall be — 
(thev ali drink ironieaUv to Ethw. and Berth.) 
MoUo. (serumdy.) Here is a father's wish 

for thee, my son, fto Ethw.) 
Better than all the glare of fleetinj^ greatness. 
Be thou at home the firm domestic prop 
Of thine old father's house, in this as honour 'd 
As he who bears far hence adyent'rous arms ! 
Nor think thee thus debarred from warlike 

deeds: 
Our neighb'ring chiefs are not too peaceable, 
And much adyenture breed in litHe space. 
Ethw. What ! shall 1 in their low destruo- 

tiye strife 
Put forth my strength, and earn with yaliant 

deeds 
The fair renown of mighty Wogffarwolffe, 
The flower of all those heroes T Hateful ruf- 
fian! 
He drinks men's blood and human flesh de- 

yours! 
For scarce a heifer on his pasture feeds 
Which hath not cost a gallant warrior's lifb. 
I cry you mercy, fiither ! you are kind. 
But I do lack the grace to thank you for it. 
(MoUo leans on the table and looks sad.) 
SigKT. (to Mol.) Good uncle, you are sad ! 

Our gen'rous Ethwald 
Contemns not his domestic station here, 
Tho' little willing to enrich your walls 
With spoils of petty war. 



146 



ETHWALD.A TRAGEDY. 



Etkw, (teemf kufiUker md, amd asntming 

chetrpdiuu.) 
Nay J father, if your heart is set on spoil, 
Let it be Woggarwolfe's that you shall coyet, 
And small persuasion may suffice to tempt me. 
To plunder him will be no common gua^ 
We feasters love the flesh of well-run game : 
And, &ith ! the meanest beeve of all his herds 
Has hoofd it o'er as many weary miles, 
With goading pike-men hollowing at his heels. 
As e'er the bravest antler of the woods. 
His very muttons, too, are noble beasts. 
For which contending warriors have fought; 
And thrifty dames wOl find their fleece en- 

nch'd 
With the productions of fiill many a soil. 
Bar. How so, my Ethwald ? 
Ethw. Countest thou for nouffht 

Furze from the upland moors, and bearaed 

down, 
Tom from the thistles of the sandy plain ? 
The sharp-tooth'd bramble of the shaggy 

woods 
And tufied seeds from the dark marsh ? Good 

sooth ; 
She well may triumph in no yulgar skill 
Who spins a coat from it. 
And then his wardrobe, too, of costiy ffoer. 
Which from the wallets of a hundred Aieres, 
Has been transferring for a score of years, 
In endless change, it will be noble spoil ! 
{jS trumnet is heard vntlunU, and Ethw. Mtmrts 

from nis seat.) 
Ha ! 'tis the trumpet's roice ! 
What royal leader this way shapes his route ? 

(a silent patise,) 
Te answer not, and yet ye seem to know. 

Enter S^liTAifTs in haste. 

Good fellows, what say ye ? 
First Sen. The king ! the king ! and with 

five thousand men ! 
Second Serv. I saw his banners from the 
battlements 
Waving between the woods. 

Tkird Serv. And so did I. 

His spear-men onward move in dusky lines, 
Like the brown reeds that skirt the winter 

|K)Ol. 

8d. Well, well, there needs not all this 
wond'ring din : 
He passes on, and we shall do our part 
Ftrst Serv. The foe is three leagues ofil 
Set. Hold thy fool's tongue ! I want no in- 
formation. 
(Ethwald remains for a while thaughtfulf 
then, running eagerly to the end of toe haU^ 
elinihs vp and snatches from the walls a 
sword and shield, with which he is ahaut to 
run out.) 

MoUo. {tattering from his seat.) 
O go not forth, my rash impetuous son ! 
Stay yet a term beneath th^ father's roof. 
And, were it at the cost ofnalf my lands, 
ril send thee out accoutred like a Thane. 
Ethw. No, rer'rend sire, these be my patri- 
mony! 



I ask of thee no more, 
Ber. And wilt thou leave us ? 
MoUa. Aj. he'll break thj heut, 

And lay me in the dust! (trumpet sowsds 
ftg«tii, and Ethw. twnung hmeHbf 
Jrom themf tuns out.) 
Ber. Oh ! he is gone for ever ! 
Eth. Patience, sweet Bertha! 
Sd. The easths gates are shut by my com- 
mand. 
He cannot now escape. Holla, good friends ! 

{to Uiose witkaml^ 

Enter Followers. 

All quickly arm yourselves, and be prepaie^ 
To follow me berore the fidl of eve. 
Eih, Send out my scout to climb tlie ftr^ 
therhiU, 
And spy if that my bands are yet in sight 

fExEUST FeiUawert. 
Now let OS try to tame this lion's whelp. 

Enter Sbrvavt in haste. 

Sel. What tidings man.' Is Ethwald at the 

gate.' 
Ser. No, good my Lord, nor yet within the 

Sd. What, have they open'd to him ? 

Ser. No, m^ Lord, 

Loudly he call*d, but when it was refns'd. 
With glaring eyes, like an enchafed wolf. 
He hied him were the lowest southern wafl 
Rises but little o'er the rugged rock ; 
There, aided by a half projecting stone. 
He scal'd its height, and holdmg o*er his 

head 
His sword and shield, grasp'd in his bettef 

hand, 
Swam the full moat 

Eth. (to Sel.) O, noble youth ! 
Did I not say, you might as well arrest 
The (ire of Heay*n wiuiin its pitchj cloud 
As keep him here ? (Bertha /atnrs away.) 
Alas, poor maid ! 

(Whilst SiGURTBA and Eth. &c. attend to 
Bertha, enter followers and retainers, and 
begin to take down the annoorfrom the walls. 
Enter Woooarwolfb.) 

Wog. (to Sel.) They would have shut yont 

gate upon me now. 
But I, commission'd on the king's affairs. 
Commanded entrance. Oswal greets you, 

chiefs, 
And gives you orders, with your foUowers, 
To jom him speedily, (seeing Bertha.) 
What, swoomng women here ? 

Sd. Ethwald IS gone in spite of all onr care, 
And she, thou know'st, my father's neice's 

child. 
Brought up with him from early iniancyi 
Is therein much aflected. 

Wog. (smiling,) O, it is ever thus ; I know 

it well. 
When striplings are concerned ! Once on a 

time, 
Ayouthfril chief I seised in his own hall, 
When, CO the instant, was the floor aroiuid 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



147 



With fidnting maidi and ibrieking matrona 

str«w*d, 
As tho' the end of all thinga had been link'd 
Unto my fatal map. 

8d. ((Mgerlf) Thou didat not ahiy him? 
Wog, {wmilmg eonUmfhumdy.) Aak Selred 

if I alew mine enem^ ? 
8d. Then, by heay'na light, it waa a ruffian'a 

deed ! 
Wog, 1 crj thee grace ! wear'at thou m virgin 
sword ? 
Maidens torn pale when they do look on bl6od, 
And men there be who sicken at the sight, 
If men they may be call'd. 

Sd. Ajf men there be, 

Who sicken at the sight of crimson butchery, 
Tet in the battle's heat will far out-dare 
A thousand shedders of unkindled blood. 
Etk. {coming forward.) Peace, Thanea ! thia 
ia no tmie for angry worda. 
(Bertha giving a duntigk, Eth. and Sel. go 
to her and leave Wo^. y>ho heeds her notj 
Imi looks at the nun taking the arms from tke 
umJUs. — Observing one hmo hesitates between 
the swords.) 

Wog. Fool, chose the other blade ! 
That weight of ateel will noble gaahea make ! 
Nay, riffhtly guided in a hand like thine, 
Might cleaye a man down to the nether ribs. 

Sig. {to Bertha, as she is recovering.) 
My gentle child, how art thou P 
Ber. And no kind liand to hold him ! 
Etk. Be not cast down, sweet maid ; he'll 
soon retqrn ; 
All are not lost who join in chancefhl war. 
Ber. I know right well, good Thane, all are 
not lost. 
The natiye children of rude Jarring war. 
Full oft returning from the neld, become 
Beneath their shading helmeta aged men : 
But ah, the kind, the playful, and the gay ; 
They who haye gladden'd their domestic 

board. 
And cheer *d the winter fire, do they return ? 
(shakinr her head sorrowfully.) 
I grieye you all : I wul no more complain. 
Uear mother, tead me hence, (to Sig.) 
{ Ts Sel.) I thank you, gentle Selred, thia 
suffices. 
[Exeunt Bertha, supported hf Sigurtha. 
Sd. {to Mollo who has sat for some time with 
Us face covered.) What, so o'ercome, my 
father f 
Moil. I am overcome, my son *, lend me thine 
arm. [Ezxukt. 



ACT II, 



SciHB I. — A rORKST : THE VIEW OF AN 
ABBEY WITH ITS IPIBBt IH THB BACK 
OEOUHD, 

Enter the Kiiro, attended by Seaourtu and 
•eTeral Thares and followers, some of them 
wounded, and their wounds bound np, as after 
a battle. A llouriah of trumpets : the King 



stretches out his arm in the action of command } 
the trumpets cease, and they all halt. 

King. Companions of this rough and 

bloody day. 
Beneath the kmdly shelter of this wood 
A while repose, until our eager youth. 
Shall, from the widely spreao pursuit re- 
turned. 
Rejoin our standards. 
Braye Seneschal « thou'rt weak with the loaa 

of blood; 
Forbear attendance. Ay, and thou, good 

Baldrick : 
And thou, {to another) and all of you. 

Sen. No, gracious king ; 

The sight of you, unhurt, ooth make the 

blood 
That in our veins remaina po kindly glow, 
We cannot faint. 
King. Thanks, noble chiefs ! dear ia the gain 

I earn. 
Purchased with blood so precious. Who are 

those 
Who thitherward in long procession moye ? 
Sen. It is the pious bretnren, as I guess, 
Come forth to meet you from yon neighb'ring 

abbey, 
And at their head the holy Hexulf cornea. 

Enter Heiulf and Monks. 

Hex. Accept our humble greetings, royal 

sire! 
Victorious be jonr arma ! and in the dust 
Low be your toes, as in thia glorious day ! 
Fayour'd of heay'n, and of St. Alban, hail ! 
King. I thank your kindly zeal, my rey'rend 

father; 
And from these holy brethren do accept 
With thanka this token of good will, not 

doubting 
That much I am oeholden to your prayers. 
Hex. In truth, most gracious king, your 

armed host 
Haa not more surely in jour cause preyail'd 
Than hath our joint petition, offer'd up 
With holy fenrour, most importunate. 
Soon as the heay'n-rais'd yoices sweetly 

reach 'd 
The echoing archea of yon sacred roofs, 
Saint Alban heard, and to your fayour*d aide 
Courage and strength, the soul of battle, sent ; 
Fear and distraction to th* opposing foe. 
King. Ahy then, good fatner, and ye pious 

monks! 
Would that ye had begun your prayera the 

sooner ! 
For long in doubtful scales the battle hung ; 
And of ue men who, with this morning's sun, 
Buckled there harness on to follow me. 
Full nmny a yaliant warriour, on his back 
Lies stiflrning to the wind. 

Hex. The wicked sprite in ey'ry armed host 
Will find his friends ; who doubtless for a time 
May counterpoise the prayers of Holy men. 
There are among your troops, I question not, 
Many who do our sacred rites contemn : 
Many who haye blaaphem*d — Ay, good my 

Lord; 



148 



ETHWALD: i^TRiVGEDT. 



And many holding balefnl heresies. 
Fought Ethelbert, of Sexford, in vova host ? 
iSng, He did, my rey*rend fiither, brayelj 

fooght : 
To him and valiant Selred, Mono*8 son. 
Belong the second honoon of the day. 

(Hexolf 2ooAc# abask'df and is silent.) 



Enter Edward attended, who, alter making his 
obeisance to the Kino, runs up eagerly to 
Skaourth. 

Edw. Ton are not wounded, father ? 
Sea. No, my boy. 

Edw. Thanks to preserring goooness! 

Noble Thanes, 
ftcrieyes me much to see those swathed limbs. 
IVar wears a horrid, yet alluring ftce. 
{To King.) Tour mends, my Lord, haye 

done me great despite. 
Hod they not long detain'd me on the way, 
I should haTe been with you before the baUle. 
King. Complain not, youth ; they had, in 

this, commands 
Too high to be disputed. And 'tis well, 
For wo haTe had a rough and bloody day. 
Edw. Ha! is it so.' But you have been 

yictorious. 
How went the field .' 
Sea. Loud rose oor battle's sound, and for 

a while 
The Mercians brayely fought ; when, all at 

once. 
From some unlook'd-for cause, as yet un- 
known, 
A powerful panic seiz'd our better wing, 
Which, \kuck recoiling, tum'd and basely fled. 
Touch'd quickly with a seeming sympathy, 
Our centre-force began, in lazed strength, 
To yield contended snace. — So stood the field ; 
When on a sudden, like those warriour spirits, 
Whose scatter'd locks the streamy light'- 

ning is. 
Whose spear the bolt of heayen; such as 

the seer 
In 'tranced gaie beholds midst hurtling storms, 
Rush'd forth a youth unknown, and in a pass. 
Narrow and steep, took his determined stand. 
His beck'ning hand and loud commanding 

yoice 
Constrain'd our fljing soldiers from behind, 
And the sharp pomt of his opposing spear 
Met the pale rout before. 
The dark returning battle thicken'd round him. 
Deeds of amaiement wrought his mighty aim ; 
Rapid, resistless, terrible. 
High rose each warlike bosom at the sight. 
Ami Meroia, like a broad increasing waye, 
Up swell'd into a hugely billow'd height, 
O erwhelming in its might all lesser uiingB, 
Upon the foe retum'd. Selred and Etbeloert 
Fell on their weakened flank. Confusion, then, 
And rout and horrid slaughter fill'd the field : 
Wide spread the keen pursuit ; the day is ours; 
Tet many a noble Mercian strews tlie plain. 
Edw, {eageHy.) But the young hero fell 

not? 
Sea. No, my son. 



Edw> llien bless'd be Ha«r'n ! theiebMli 

no noble heart 
Wfaooh shall not henceforth loye him aaa 

brother. 
Would he were oome unhurt from the puzsoit ! 

that I had beheld him in his might, 
When the dark battle tum'd ! 

Sea. Tour wish is soon fulfill'd, my eager 

boy; 
For here, m truth, the youthful wamoor 

comes. 
And, oaptiye by his side, the British Prinoe. 

Enter Ethwald with the British pRivca pri»> 
oner, accompanied *bjr Selred and Ethel- 
BERT, and presents his prisoner to the Kino. 

King, (to Prince.^ Prince of the Britons, 

clear thy cloudy brow ; 
The yaried fate of war toe brayest prove. 
And tho' I might complain that thy aggressions 
Haye burnt my towns, and fiU'd my land 

with blood. 
Thy state forbids it. Here, good Seneeehal, 
Reoeiye your charge, and let him know no 

change 
Unsnited to a prince. {To Ethwald.) 
And thou, braye warriour, whoseyoutiiiul|um 
Has brought unto thy king so hi|^h a gift. 
Say, what proud man may lift hia hMioiir'd 

headj 
And boast he is thy &ther. 
Etkw, A Thane, my Lord, forgotten and 

retired: 

1 am the youngest son of aged MoUo, 
And Ethwald is my name. 

King. Youngest in yean, tho' not in hoib 

our, youth. 
E'en tho' the yaliant Selred is tl^ fawthea 

{tnrning to Selred.) 
And now be tlum the first and noble tool. 
From which a noble race shall take its giowik^ 
Wearing thy honoure proudly ! 
Of Mamieth'a earldom be thou the Lord [ 
For well I know the council of the slatoa 
Will not refuse to ratify my grant 
And thou, braye Ethelbert, and Selred, too» 
Te well haye eam'd a noble recompense. 
And shall not be forgot. Come Intheri 

Edward; 
Take thou this hero's hand; and, noUe Etlb 

wald, 
Thus let the kingdom*s ethling join with ■» 
In honouring thy worth. 
(Edward, who hiugaud at mme diatanee npon 

Ethwald, ejningtng fonoard eagerly.) 
Giye him my hand, my Lord ! luiye you not 

saio 
That I should fold him to my burning heart.' 
(Emhraees Ethw.) Most yaliant Ethwald, 
Fain would I speak the thoughts I bear to 

thee. 
But they do choke and flutter in my throat, 
And make me like a child, (paumg He 

hand across his eves.) 
Ethw. {kissing Edward's hand.) I am re- 
paid beyond a kingdom's worth. 



A JfbkOESint. 



149 



Eii^ fto Sda. homMig joyfylly.) Father> 
naye yoa embrMed mm ? 
Ethwttld. my nther w a raliant man. 
(Sea. embrmeet Ethw. ta nae m ea£erh at 

IKh^. (to Ethwi) Brave Toatli, witk yeo, 
and with your noble ftiendS) 
I shall, ere long, have fhrther oondference. 
(reftref to tk» bottom of the stage with 
HezulfJ 
(Edward, t^ter ^axmg with adminUum i^en 
Bthw. pmtB hts h«md tgnm his head, as tf 
to nMMMre hit height; tiun vpon both his 
shoulders, at tf m were considering the 
. breadth of hit chest ; then stops some paces 
back, and gates on him again^ 
Edw. How tall and strong thoa art ! broad 
is thy chest : 
Stretch forth, I pray, that arm of mighty 

deeds. 
(EAw. smiUs and stretches out his arm; Edw. 

looks at it, and then at his own.) 
Would I were nerv'd like thee ! 
(taking Ethw's sword.) It is of weight to 

suit no ynlgar arm. 
(iledcniti^ it.) There, hero; graoefttl is the 
>ra of 



swoi 



war 



In its bold master's grasp. 
Ethw. Nay, good my Lord, if you will hon- 
our me. 
It does too well yonr noble hand become 
To be retnm'dto mine. 
Edw. Ha ! say 'st thon so ? Tes, I will keep 
thy pledge. 
Perhaps my arm — Ah, no ! it will not be ! 
But woat returning token can I give ? 
I have briffht spears and shields, and shining 

blades, 
Bat nought ennobled by the owner's use. 
(Takes a bracelet fir^m 9ns arm, andfa^ens it 
ronnd Ethwalcf's.) 

ITtii^. (^doandng from the bottom of the 
stage.) 
Wj worthy onieiii and Thanes, the night 

wears on : 
The rer'rend bishop, and these pioua men, 
Beneath their fane give hospitahty, 
And woo us to accept it for the night. 
Sea. I thougrht, my Lord, you meant to pass 
themght 
With your braye soldiers in the open field : 
Alreaay they haye learnt the pleasing tale. 
Shall I unsay it.' 

King. Nay, that were unfit 

I pray yon pardon me, my rey'rend father ! 
I cannot house with you, it were unfit. 
Hex. Should not your greatness spend the 
nij^ht with those 
To whom, m truth, you owe the yictory ? 
We chant at midnight to St. Alban's praise : 
Surely my Lord regards those sacred things. 

(Whispers the King.) 
IBng. Braye Seagurth, there are reasona of 
good wei^t 
Why I should lay aside my first intent. 
Let aU these wounded chiefiainB follow me : 
The rest who list may keep the open field. 



(to Edw.) Nephew, thou must not proye a 

soldier's hardships, 
Ere thon hast eam'd a soldier's name. Nay, 

nay. 
It must be so. 

[EzBVNy Kinff, wounded Chufs, Hezulf amd 
Monks, fdlowed by Edward very unwU- 
Ungly. 

Sea. Who loyes a soldier's pillow, follow 
me. [Exeunt. 

SCKHE II. — THB OUTSIDE OF MOLLO'S 
CAITJuE. BE1(THA, 8IGURTHA, AND 
OTHERS DISCOyBRED ON THE WALLS, 
AND SEyERAL SERyANTS AND RETAIN- 
ERS STANDING BT THE GATE BELOW. 

Berth, O, will they ne'er appear.' I'll look 
no more ; 
Mine eager gazing but retards their coming. 
(Retires, and imnudiately returns again.) 
Holla, good Murdoch ! (to a Servant below.) 
Tliou putt'st thy hand above thy sunned eyes : 
Dost tnou descry them .' 

First Ser. Mercy, gentle Lady, 
If you descry them not from that hif h pereh, 
How should I from my level station nere ? 

Sig. (to Berth.) €ro in, my child, thou art 
worn out with watching. 
(Berth, retires, and 2d Servant goes at soma 

distancefrom the walls, and toolcs out anoth^ 

er iMy-) 

Sec. Ser, Here comes the noble Selred. 
(M call out.) Noble Selred ! 

Berth, (returning vpon the wall.) What^ 

Ethwald, say ye ? 
6ii^. No, it is Selred. 

Enter Sxlrxd with followers, and looks np to 
the walls, where Siourtha waves her haiid. 

Sig. Welcome, brave Selred ! welcome all 
thy band ! 
How far are they behind for whom we watch ? 

Sel, Two little miles or less. Methinks ere 
this 
Their van should be in sight. 
My messenger infbrm'd you f 

S^. Oh, he did ! 

Sd. Where is mj father ? 

Sig. He rests within, spent with a fearful 

And silent tears steal down his furrow'd 
cheeks. 
Sel. 1 must confer with him. The king in- 
tends 
To stop and do him honour on his march. 
But enters not our walls. 

[ExxuiTT into the castle. 

Scene III.— -a chamber in the cas« 

TLB. 

Elnter Siourtha and Berth a, speaking as they 

enter. 

Berth. Nay, Mother, say not so : was he not 
wont. 
If but returning from the daily chace, 
To send an upward glance unto that tower ? 



!M 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



There well he knew, or late or cold the hour, 
Mis eye should find me. 

Sifr. Mjr gentle Bertha, be not thiu dittnrb'd. 
Sach busy scenet, loch new unlook'd for 

tnings 
Raffle the flowing itreank 5ȣhabit; men 
Will then forgetral teem, tho* not unkind. 

Berth. Think'st thou? (shakUur her head.) 
I saw him by hia soy'reifn itana. 
And O, how graceful ! eyery eye to him 
Waa tum'd, and eyery face smu'd honours on 

him; 
Tet his proud station ouicUy did he leaye, 
To greet his humbler fficads who stood aloof. 
The meanest follower of these walls, already , 
Some iQark of kij^d acknowledgment hath 

had— 
He look'd not up— I am alone forgotten ! 
Sig. Be patient, child: he will not long 

delay 
To seek thee in thy modest priyacy ; 
Approyinff more to see thee nere retired 
Than, boldly to the army's eye exposed. 
Greeting his first approach. I, the mean 

while, 
Intrusted am with orders firom the Thane, 
Which must not be neglected. [Exit. 

Berth, (after toalldHg up and downy agitated 
and frequently stopping to Ueten^ 
Ah no ! deceiy'd again ! I need not listen ! 
No bounding steps approach. 

(She sUs down despondingly.) 

Enter Ethwald behind, and steals softly op 

to her. 

Ethw. Bertha! 

Berth, (starting iqt.) My Ethwald ! (he holds 
out his arms to ker joyfully, and she 
kursts into tears.) 
Ethw, Thou dost not grieye that I am safe 

return'd ? 
Berth. Q no ! I dp npt grieye, yet I must 
weep. 
Hast thou, in truth, been kitad .' I will not 

chide : 
I cannot do it now. 
Ethw. O, fie upon thee ! like a wayward 
chUd 
To look upon me thus ! cheer up. my loye. 
(He smiles upon her joyfully j ana her counte- 
nance brightenf. She then puts her hand 
upon his army and, stepping back a little 
spaccy surveys him with diUght.) 
Berth. Thou man of mighty deeds ! 
Thou, whom the braye shaS loye, and princes 

honour ! 
Dost thou, in truth, return to me again, 
Mine own, my yery Ethwald ? 
Ethw. No, that were paltry: I return to 
thee 
A thousand fold the Ipyer thou hast known 

me. 
I haye, of late, been careless of thee. Bertha. 
The hopeless oalm of dull obscurity, 
Like the thick yapours of a stagnant pool, 
Oppress'd my heart, and smothered kind 
affections; 



Bat now th' enliy'ning breeie of fortune 

wakes 
My torpid soul— When did I eyer'fold thee 
To such a warm and boundin£r heart as this?. 

^Embraces her.) 
The kin|^ has giyen meMaimieth's earldon^ — 
Nay, smile my Bertha ! 

Berth. So I do, my Ethwald. 

Ethw. The noble ethling greatly honour* 
me 
With precious tokens : nay, the yery soldieni 
D.0 cock their pointed weapons as I pasa ; 
As tho' iiwere to say, " there goes tne man 
That we woiUd cheerly follow. 
Unto what end these &ir beginnings point 
I know not — ^but of this I am assured. 
There is a course of honour lies before me, 
Be it with dangers, toil, or pain beset. 
Which I will boldly treui. Smiles not my 
loye ? 

Bmik, I should, in truth : but how is this ? 
metbinks 
Thou eyer look*st upon the things to come, 
I on the past. A great and honoured man 
I know thou'lt be : but O, bethink thee, then ! 
How. once Vhou wert, within these happy walk 
A little cheerful boy, with curly pate, 
Who led the infant Bertha by the hand, 
Storing her lap with ey'ry gaudy flower ; 
With speckled eggs storn from the hedge- 
ling's nest. 
And berries from the tree : ay, think on this^ 
And then I knpw thoo'U loye me ! 
(Trumpet sounds. Catching hold of Am 

etfgerlv^ 
Hear'st thou that sound .' The blessed sainti 

preserye thee ! 
Must thou depart so soon ? 

Ethw. Tes, of necessity : reasons of weight 
Constrain the king, and I, new in his seryice. 
Must seem to follow him with willing steps. 
But go thou with me to the castle gate. 
We will not part until the latest moment 

Berth, Tet stop, I pray, thou must receiye 
my pledge. 
See'st thou this woyen band of many dyea, 
Like to a mottled snake ? its shiny woof 
Was whiten'd in the pearly dew of eye. 
Beneath the silyer moon : its yaried warp 
Was dyed with potent herbs, at midnight 

cuU'd. 
It hath a wondrous charm : the breast that 

wears it 
No change of soft afiection eyer knows. 

Ethw. Treeeiving it with a smile,) I'll weac 
It, Bertha. (Trumpet soumds.y 

Hark ! U calls me hence. 

Berth. O go not yet ! here ia another gift, 
This ring enrich'd with stone of basUiak, 
Wheneyer press'd b^ the kind wearer's hand. 
Presents the giyer's image to his mind. 
Wilt thoo not wear it ? 

Ethw, (receiving it.) Yes, and press it too. 

Berth. And in this purse — (taking out a 
purse.) 

Ethw. What ! still another charm ? ((ot^A- 
ing.) 



EtftWALD : A TRAGEDlr. 



161 



Thou simple maid ! 
I>o0t thou believe that witched geer like this 
Hath power a lover faithful to^ retain, 
More than thj ^ntle self? 
Berth. Nay, laugh, but wear them. 
Ethw. I Willy mj lore, since thou wilt have 
it so. 
{Putting them in his breast.) Here are they 

lodged, and cursed be the haad 
That plucks them forth ! And now receive 

my pledge. 
It is a jewel of no vulgar yfrottk : {ties it on 

her arm.) 
Wear it, and think of fife. But yet, belike. 
It must be steeped into some witard's pot. 
Or have some mystic rhyming mutterea o'et it, 
Ere it 'Will serVethe turn. 

Berth, (nressing thejetoel on her arm.) 
O no ! rignt well i feel there is no need. 
Ethw, i]k>me, let us go : we do not part, 
thou know*st, 
But at the castle gate. Cheer up, my Ber- 
tha ! 
VU soon retom, and oft return again. 

[EiBuirr. 

SCXNK IV. — AK APAETmHT IK A EOTAL 
CASTLE. 

Enter Ethwald and Alwt, speaking as they 

enter. 

Ethw. What peace! peace, say'st thou, 
with these glorious arms. 
In conquest red, occasion bright'ning towad 

us. 
And smiling victory, with beok'ning hand, 
Pointing to future fields of nobler strife. 
With ncher honours crown'd.' What, on 

the face 
Of such fair prospects draw the veil of peace ! 
Cold blasting peace ! The blackest fiend of 

heir 

Hath not a thouffht more dev'lish ! 

Mwy. It is indeed, a flat unpleasant tale 
For a young warrior's ear: but well hast 

thou 
Improved the little term of bold occasion ; 
Short while thou wert but MoUo's younger 

' son. 
Now art thou Maimieth s lord. 
Ethw, And what is Maimieth's lordship ! 

I will own 
That, to my distant view, such state appear'd 
A point of fair and noble eminence ; 
But now — what is it now ? O ! it Is sunk 
Into a petty knoll ! I am as one 
Who doth attempt some lofty mountain's 

height. 
And having gained what to the upcast eye 
The summit's point appeared, astonish'd sees 
It's cloudy top, majestic and enlarged, 
towering aloft, as distant as before. 
.^^t0jf. Patience, brave Ethwald; ere thy 

locks are grey. 
Thy hehned head shall yet in battle tower. 



And ftir occasidn shape thee fkir reward. 

Ethw, Ere that my locks are grey ! the 
world ere now 
Hath crouch'd beneath a beardless youth. 

ButI— 
I am as one who mounts to th' azure sky 
On the rude billow's back, soon sunk affain : 
Like the loud thunder of th' upbreaking cloud, 
The terror of a moment. Fate perverse ! 
'TiH now, war's firowning spirit wont, when 

roas'd, 
To urge with whirling lash his sabte steeds, 
Nor iuick his ftirious speed till the wide land 
From bound to bound beneath his axle shook : 
But soon as in my hand the virgin spear 
Had flesh'd its ruddy point, then is he turn'd 
Like a tired braggard to his caves of rioth. 

(stamping on the ground.) 
Peace ! cursed peace ! Who will again un- 
chain 
The griclv dog of war ? 

Alwy. Mean'st thou the British prince .'' 

Ethw. {eagerly.) What say'«t thou^ Alwy ? 

Alwy. I said not aught. 

Ethw. Nay, marry ! but thou didst! 
And it has rais'd a thought within my mind. 
The British prince teleas'd, would he not 

frove 
war, whose yell would soon be 
' foUow'd? 
Alwy. They do indeed full hard advantage 
take 
Of his captivity, and put upon him 
Conditions suited to his hapless stale, 
IMore than his princely wiD. 
Ethio, "Us bufely done : would that some 
fiiendly hand 
His prison would unbar, and free the thrall ! 
But no, no, no ! I to the king resign'd him ; 
Twere an unwohhy deed. , 

Alwy. It weite most difficult \ 
For now they keep him in a closer hold. 
And bind his hands with iron. 
Ethw. Have they done tnis? I'm glad 
on't! O I'm glad on't! 
They promised nought unworthy of a prince 
To put upon him — ^Now my hands are free ! 
And, were it made of livinpr adamant, 
I will unbar his door. Difficult, say'st thou ! 
No, this hath made it easy. « 

Alwy, Well, sofUy then ) we may devise a 
way 
By which the Seneschal himself will seem 
lue secret culprit in this act. 

Ethw. No, no ! 

I like it not : tho' I must work i' the dark, 
rU not in cunningly devised light 
Put on my neighTOur's cloak to work his ruin. 
But let's to work a-paoe ! the storm shall rise ! 
My sound shall yet be heard ! 
Ahoy. Fear not, thou shalt ere long be 
heard again, 
A darkening storm which shall not soon be 
lay'd. 
Ethw. An, thou hast touch'd where my 
life's life is cell'd ! 
Is there a voice of prophecy within thee .' 



ETHWALD: A TBM3EW. 



(eaiehimg MM of hit wm mgedif*) 
I will beliere there ia ! my stirring loiu 
Leapt at thy words. Sacn things ere now 

have been : 
Men oft ha^e spoke, unweeting of themseWes; 
Tea, the wild winds of night have otter'd 

words, 
iThat have unto the listening ear of h<^ 
His fatnre greatness told, ere yet his thon^ts 
On any certain point had fix'd their hold. 
Alwy, ThoQ may'st believe it: I myself, 
methinks, 
tteX secret earnest of thj fhtare fortune ; 
And please myself to thmk my fiiendly hand 
May hombly serve, perhaps, to boild thy 
greatness. 
EtkiD. Come to my heart, my firiend ! tho' 
new in friendship, 
ThoQ, and thou only, bear'st tme sjrmpathy 
With mine aspiring soul. I can with thee 
Unbar my mmd — Methinks thou ahiv'rett, 
Alwy. 
JUtty. 'Tis very cold. 
Eihw. Is it.' I feel it not: 
But in my chamber bums the crsekling oik ; 
There let us go. 

Alwy. If you are so inclin'd. 
{At they are going Ethw. tUrpt shorty amd 
emtehes koid of Aiw^ eagtrltf.) 
Ethto. A sudden &ncy strikes me : Wog- 
carwolfe, 
That resUess ruffian, might with little art 
Be rous'd on Wessex to commit aggression : 
Its royal chief, now leaguing with our king. 
Will take the field again. 
Ahoy. We might attempt him instantly: 
but move. 
In &ith I'm cold ! [Ezsvmr. 

SCBNB V. — ^A DAEK APARTMXHT IH 
THE 8AMK CAITLB. WOOOABWOLFB 
If DIfCOVBRBD AfLEBP UPOH A COUCH 
or RVSHBIi AHD COVERED WITH A MAT. 

Enter Alwt and a Follower, with a lad bear- 
ing a torch before tbem. Alwt si^as with 
his hand, and the torch-bearer retires to a 
distance. 

Alwy. Softly, ere we proceed; a sudden 
thought, 
Now croanng o>r my mind, disturbs me much. 
He who to niffht commands the farther watch, 
Canst thou depend upon him ? 
Fol. Moot perfectly ; and, fi«e of hostile 
bounds, 
The British prince ere this pursues his way. 
Alwy. Vm satisfied : now to our present 
purpose. 
(Am they adtonte towards the emteh^ Wog- 

garwolfe is heard speaking in his deep.) 
Ha! speaks he in his sleep? some dream 

disturbs him : 
His quivering limbs beneath the oov'ring 

move. 
He speaks acain. 

Wog. (in his deep.'S Swift, in your package 
stow those oead men's geer, 



And l<^ose their noble coursers from the stall. 
Alwy. Ay, plund'ring in his sleep. 
Wog. Wipe thou that Uade : 
Those bloochr throats have dreneh'd it to tbe 
hilt 
^tsy. O, hear the night-thoqghts of that 
bloody hound ! 
I most awake him. Ho, bFav« WoggirwoUb ! 
W^g. Hear how those women seream! well 

still them shortly. 
Alwy. Ho, Woggarwoue ! 
Wog. Who caUs me now? cannot yoaaai- 
ter it .' 
(Ahry Jaweks mm thegrmmd wUk his sCidb) 
What, batt'ring on it sSu.' WiU U not yield? 
Then fire the gate. 
Alwy. {shaJang Am.) Ho, W^^ggarwoUe, I 

say ! 
Wag. (starting mp haif awaka.) Is not thv 

castle taken ? 
Ahoy. Yes. it is tsken. 
Wog. (rvbUng his eyes.) Posh! it isUil R 

dream. 
Ahoy. But dreams ftiU oft aie foonid of retl 
events 
The forms and shadows. 
There is in very4eed a castle tikan, 
In which your Wessex foes have left behind 
Nor stuff, nor store, nor mark of living thing. 
Bind on thy sword, and call thy men to arms I 
2^ boiling blood will bubble m thy veins, 
When thou hast heard it is the tower of 
Boroth. 
Wog. My place of strength? 
Fw. Yes, chief; I spoke with ooosewfrsMi 
the West, 
Who saw the ruinous broil. 

Wog. By the black fiends of hell! thefeiR 
is stored 
The chiefi?st of my wealth. Upon its walls 
The armour of a hundred fidlen chiefii 
Did rattfe to the wind. 
Alwy. Now will it sound elsewhere. 

Wog. (m despair.) My noble steeds, and aU 
my stalled kine ! 
O, the fell nounds ! no maik of living thing? 
Fol. No mark of living thing. 
Wog. Ah ! and my Httie 8rrow-bearin|f boy ! 
He w%om I spared amidst a slaafffater'ahe^y 
Smiling, all weetless of th' uplifted stroke 
Hung o'er his harmless head ! 
like a tamed cub I rear'd him at my Ibet » 
He could tell biting jests, bold ditties sing. 
And quaff his foammg bumper at the boud| 
With all the mock'ry of a httle man. 
By heav'n, I'll leave alive within their wiHs, 
Nor maid, nor youth, nor infimt atthebresst. 
If they have slain that child ! blood-thirsty 
ruffians! 
Alwy. Ay, vengeance! vengetaoe! roan 
thee like a man ! 
Occasion tempts ; the foe, not yet retom'd, 
Have left then* castle careless of defisnoe. 
Call all thy followers secretly to arms : 
Set out upon the instant 

Wog. By holy saints, I will ! reneh me, I 
pray ! ( potnlui^ to his arms iyimg ai 



ETHWALD: A TRAGEDY. 



163 



a little distancefrom him.) 
Alwy. Cgiving them.) There, be thoa speedy. 
Wog. (putting on his armour.) Curse on 
those looseii'd springs, theywill not 
catch! 
Oh, all the goodly armour I have lost! 
Light curies on my head ! if I do leare them. 
Or spear, or shield, or robe, or household 

stuffy 
Or steed withm their stalls, or horn or hoof 
Upon their grassy hills! (looking dbotU\) 

What want I now ? 
fifine armour-man hath ta'en away my helm — 
Faith, and my target too ! hell blast the buz- 
zard! 

J [Exit furiously. 
^ „ , d, we have ful- 

filled thy bidding well. 
With Uttle cost of craft ! But let us follow. 
And keep him to the bent. [Exxunt. 



ACT III. 
Scene I. a small close geoye, with 

A STEEP EOCKT BANK AT ONE END OF 
IT. SEYEEAL PEASANTS ARE DISCOV- 
ERED STANDING UPON THE BANK, AS 
IP LOOKING AT SOME DISTANT SIGHT. 

1st. Pea. Good lack a day ! how many liv- 
ing souls. 
In wide, confused, eddying motion mix'd, 
like cross set currents on the restless face 
Of winter floods ! 
2d Pea. Where fight the Northern Mer- 
cians.^ 
1st Pea. On the right. 

The gentle Ethling, as I am inform'd. 
Fights likewise on the right : Heav'n spare his 

head! 
Tis his first battle. 
3d Pea. Hear, hear! still louder swells that 

horrid sound. 
1st Pea. Ay, many voices join in that loud 
din. 
Which soon shall shout n^ more. 

3d Pea. Ay, good neighbour. 

Full gloriously now looks that cover 'd field, 
With all those moving ranks and glitt'ring 

arms; 
But he who shall return by setting sun. 
Will see a sorry sight. 

(A loud distant noise.) 
1st Pea. Heav*n save us all ! it is the war- 
like yell 
Of those dainn'd Britons that increaseth so. 
By all the holy saints, our men are worsted ! 
(an increasing noise heard without.) 
Look! yonder look! they turn their backs 
and fly. 
3d Pea. O blasting shame ! where fights 
brave Ethwiud now ? 
He is, I fear, fiu* in the distant wing. 
liOt us be gone ! we are too near them here : 

19 



The flight comes this way : hear that horrid 

sound! 
The saints preserve us ! 
(7%e soutid tfthe battle increases, and is heard 

nearer. The Peasants come hastily down 

from the hank, and Exeunt. 

Enter Edward with several followers disor- 
dered and panic-struck. 

1st Fol. (looking round.) They cease to fol- 
low us : this thickest grove 
Has stopp'd the fell pursuit : nere may we 

rest. 
(Edward throws himself down at the root of a 
tree, and covers his face with his hands.) 
2d Fol. (filling his helmet with water from 
a stream, and presenting it to Edw.) 
My prince, this cooling water will refresh you. 
Ed. (keeping his face still covered with one 

hand, and waving him off with the other.) 
Away, away ! and do not speak to me ! 
(j9 die^ pause, the noise of the battle is again 
heard coming nearer.) 
1st Fol. We must not tarry here, (to Edw.) 
My Lord, the farther thickets of this wood 
Will prove a sure concealment : shall we 
move ? 
jEJdto. (stUl covering his face.) Let the earth 
gape and hide me. (another deep pause.) 
3d Fol. to 1st. The sin of all this rout falls 
on thy head. 
Thou cursed Thane ! thou, and thy hireling 

knaves. 
First tum'd your backs and fled. 
1st Fol. to 3d. Thou liest, foul tongue ! it 
was thy kinsman, there. 
Who first did turn j for I, was borne away, 

(pointing to 4th Fol.) 
Unwillingly away, by the rude stream 
Of his fear-stricken bands. When, till this 

hour. 
Did ever armed Briton see my back ? 
4th Fol. Arm'd Britons dost thou call them ? 
devils they are ! 
Thou know'st right well they deal with wick 

ed sprites. 
Those horrid yells were not the cries of men ; 
And fiends of hell look'd thro' their flashing 

eyes. 
I fear to face the power of simple man 
As little as thyself. 

Enter more FodixivEs. 

1st Fol. (to Ed.) Up, my good Lord ! Hence 
let us quickly move ; 

We must not stay. 
Ed. Then thrust me thro' and leave me. ■ 

I'll flee no more, (looking up wildly, then fix- 
ing his eyes unstfully upon 3d Follower, and 
hmding one knee to the ground.) 

Ebbert, Uiy sword is keen, thy arm is strong : 

O, quickly do't ! and I shall be with those 

Who feel nor shame nor panic. 
3d Fol. and several others turn their faces 
away and weep.) 



m 



ETHWAtD : A TBAWIIY. 



' Enter more Fuoititbs. 

Ut Fol. What, is all lost? 
1st Fug. Tes, yes ! our wing is beaten. 
Seagorth alone, with a few desperate men, 
Stm sets his aged breast against the storm; 
But thick the aimed weapons round him fly, 
Like huntsmen's arrows round the toiled boar, 
And he will sooq be nothing. 
Edw. (starting up.^ O, God! O, living 
God ! my noole fiilher ! 
He has no son ! Off, je debasing fears ! 
Ill tear thee forth, base heart, if thou doii let 

me. 
(oaming forward and stretddng mil his arms.) 
Companions, noble Mercians — Ah, false word! 
I may not call you noble. Tet, perhaps, 
One gen'rous spark within your bosom glows. 
Sunk in disgrace still lower than ye all, 
I may not urge — Who lists will follow me ! 
M with one voice. We will all follow tiiee ! 
Ed. Will ye, in truth ? then we'll be braye 
men still, {hrandiaking kisswordas 
he goes off.) 
Mj noble father ! 

[EzBuivT, dashing their arms eagerly. 

Scene II. 

A confased noise of a battle is heard. Tbe scene 
draws up, and discovers the British and 
MsRCiAir armies engaged. Near the front of 
the stage thev are seen in close fiffht, and the 
ground strew'd with sereral wounded and dead 
soldien, as if they had been fitting for some 
time. Farther go, missile weapons and show- 
ers.of arrows darken the air, and the view of 
the more distant battle is concealed in thick 
clouds of dost. The Merciahs gain f^oad 
upon the Britons ; and loqd cries are raised by 
tnem to encourage one another. An active 
MxRCiAir falls, and their progress is st<^)pe4 
whilst they endeavour to bear him offi 

Fallen Mercian. Vm slaiiK I'm slain ! tread 
o'er me and push forward. 

Mer. Chirf. O stop not thqs ! to it agUBy 
braye Mercums ! 

(7%e Mercians push em, encouraging one 
another with cries and clashing of 
arms : one of their bravest soldiers ts 
wounded on the front cfthe stage,amd 
staggers backwards.) 

Wounded Mer. Ay, this is death : O that 
my life had held 
To see the end of this most noble game ! (falls 

downy but 'oeing the Mercians about tojmsh 

the Britons off the stage, raises himsdfhaif 

from the ground, and claps his hands exmU- 



ingly.) 



push back the Mercians, wha yidd ground 
and become spiritless and relaxed as their 
enemy becomes bolder. J%e Britons at last 
seize the Mercian standard, and raise 
another terribUyeUftehilst the nereisaut give 
way on every side,) 
UtfaUing Mer. Horror and death! ikm 

hand of wrath is o'er us ! 
2d falling Mer. A feU and feaifol end! a 

bloody lair! 
Tb^ trampling foe to tread out braye men*s 

breaUi ! 
(T%4 Britons yell ofom, and the Mamum 
are nearly beat offthe dagtt) 
{Voice wuthout.)E^hwe\S\ the yaliant Eth- 

wald ! succour, Mercians ! 
(Voiu tmihin.) Hear ye, braye comrades ! 

Ethwald is at liand. 

Enter Ethwald, with bis sword drawn. 

Eihw. What, soldiers ! yield ye thus, while 
yict'ry smiles 
And bids us on to th' bent? Tour northern 

comrades 
Mock at their sayage howls, and driye before 

them 
These chafed beasts of prey. Come ! to it 

bravely ! 
To it. and let their mountain matrons howl, 
For tnese will soon be silent. 
Give me the standard. 
Voice. They have taken it. • 
Etkw. Taken ! no, by the spirits of tbe 
braye ! 
Standard of ours on Snowdon winds to float ! 
No! this shall fetch it back ! {faking off his 
hdmet and throwing it into tke nudst of dke 
enemy, then rushing upon them bare-headed 
and sword in hand. The Mercians dash 
their arms and raise a great shout: t4s 
Britons are driven off the stage; whUst 
many of the dying Mercians dap their hands 
and ratse a feeble shout after their eowtradeSf 
The scene iLfses.) 



Well fought, braye Mercian ! On, my |noble 

Mercians ! {sinks down again.) 

1 am in darkness now ! a clod o' the earth < 

{dies.) 
Britons {without.) ' Fresh succour, Britons ! 

courage ! yictory ! 
Carwallen and fiesh succour ! They wait/as I am told, the Ethling's coming, 

fIVj Bntons jwie mas « ismWsyett ami I Who is fiiiUtvdy. SoWy, theyoome toh? 



Scene III. — ^an open space befoks a 

ROTAL tent; the CURTAINS OP 
WHICH ARE TUCKED UP» AND SHEW A 
COMPANY OP WARRIORS AND DAMES 
WITHIN IT. ON EITHER SIDE OP THE 
OPEN STAGE SOLDIERS ARE DRAWN 
UP IN ORDER. 

Entsr two petty Thases on the front of tbe 

\gt Thaae. Here let us stand and see the 
ceremony. 
Without the tent^ 'tis said the king will crown 
The gallant Ethhng with a wreatn of^ honour, 
As tM chief agent in this yictory 
O'er stem Carwallen and his Bnions gain'd. 
%d Thame. Thou sayest well. Wi&in tbe 
royal tent 



ETHWALOi A TRAGEDY. 



116 



* How like a thip, with all her ffoodly laili 
Spread to the ■an, the hai^fnty prinoeM 
moves ! {ji JUmnth qftrmmptU. 

Enter from the tent the Kiiie,with ETHXLBimT . 
Edrick, Thanes and Attbhdahts) via 
£LBVROA,with DwiNAand Ladibs. They 
adTsnce towards the front of the stage. 

Kit^. Naj, tweet Elburga, clear thy frown- 
ing brow; 
He who is absent will not long delay 
His pleasing dnty here. 
Elh. On sach a day, my Lord, the brave I 
honour, 
As those who have yoor royal arms maintain 'd 
In war's iron field, sneh honour meriting. 
What individual chiefs, or here or absent, 
Are therein lapt, by me unheeded is ; 
I deign not to regard it. 
King. Thou art offended, daughter, but 
unwisely. 
Plumed with the fairest honours of the field. 
Such pious grief for a brave father's death. 
Bespeaks a heart such as a gentle maid 
In her faith-plighted Lord should joy to find. 
Eib. Who best the royal honours of a prince 
Maintains, best suits a royal maiden's love. 
King. Elburga, thou forgret'st that gentleness 
Which suits thy gentle kmd. 
£26. (withnmcktutum*dstatelmei8.) IhopCy 
my Lord, 
I do meantime that dimity remember, 
Which doth beseem the daughter of a king ! 
King. Fie! clear thy clouoy brow! it is my 
will 
Thou honour graciously his modest worth. 
(Elb. Snot, but smiles disdaifffidly.) 
By a well feigned flight, he was the first 
Who broke the stubborn foe, op'ning the road 
To victory. Here, with some pubhc mark 
Of roval mvour, by thy hand received, 
I will to honour lum ; for, since the battle, 
A gloomy melancholy o'er him broods, 
E'en far exceeding what a father's death 
Should east upon a youthful victor's triumph. 
Ah ; here he comes ! look on that joyless face ! 
Elb. (aside to Dwina, looking scon^nlly to 
Edward, as he approaches.) 
Look, with what slow and piteous gait he 

comes! 
Like younger brother of a petty Thane, 
Timing his footsteps to his father's dirge. 
Dwma. (aside.) Nay, to my fancy seems it 

wond'rous graceful. 
Elk. (contemptuously.) A youth, indeed, 
who might with humble grace 
Beneath thy window tell his piteous tale. 

Enter Edward, followed by Ethws and At* 

TSVPAHTS. 

King. Approach, my son: so will I call 
thee now. 

* Probably I have reoeiTed this Idea fhan 
SsBBBon Agimistesy where Dalila is compared to 
t stately ship of Tarsus " with all her bnverv on. 
and tackle trim/' Slc. 



Heie it a fkce whose smiles should gild thy 

honoura, 
If thou art yet awake to beauty's power. 

£dtD. (kissing Elburga's hand respectfully.) 
Honour'd I am, mdeed ; most dearly nonour^ 
I feel it here, (his hand on his hea/rt) and should 

be joyful too, 
If aught could gild my gloom. 
(sighs very deeply, then suddenly reeoUoctmg 

Elburga, thou wert ever fond of glory, 
And ever quick to honour valiant worth : 
Ethwald, my friend'^-hast thou forgotten Etb- 
wald? 

^XprestnJting Ethw. to her.) 
£26. Could I forget the warlike Thane of 
Maimieth, 
I must have barr'd mine ears against all sound; 
For ev'ry voice is powerful in his praise, 
And ev'ry Mercian tongue repeats his name. 
(smUing graciously upon Ethw.) 
King, (impatiently.) Where go we now ? 
we wander from our purpose. 
Edward, thy youthfVil ardour, seaaon'd well 
With warliae craft, has crown'd my age with 

glory: 
Here be thy valour crown'd, it is my will. 
With honour's wreath, from a fair hand re- 
ceiv'd. 

(giving the wreath to Elburga.) 
Edw. (earnestly.) I do beseech you, uncle ! 
pray receive 
My grateful thanks ! the mournful cypress 

best 
Becomes my brow : this honour must not be. 
King. Nay, lay aside unseemly diffidence ; 
It must be so. 
£dio. (impressively.) My heart is much de- 
press'd : 

do not add 

The burden of an undeserved honour, 

To bend me to the earth I 
King, these warlike chieftains say it is de- 
serv'd, 

And nobly eam'd. It is with their concur- 
rence. 

That now I ofier thee this warrior's wreath : 

Yes, Ethling. and command thee to receive it. 

(Hciding up kis hand.) There, let the trumpet 
sound. (trumpets sound.) 

Edw. (hMing up his hands distractedly.) 

Peace, peace ! nor put me to this agony ! 
(trumpets cease.) 

And am I then push'd to this very point ? 

Well, then, away deceit ! too long hast thou, 

Like the incumbent monster of a dream 

On the stretch 'd sleeper's breast, depreas'd 
my soul : 

1 shake thee.offj foul mate ! O royal sire. 
And you. ye valiant Mercians, hear the truth ! 
Te have oeliev'd, that by a Mgned flight, 

I gained the fint advantage o'er the foe. 
And broke their battle's strength : O, would 

Ihad! 
That flight, alas ! was real : the sudden im. 

pulse 
Of a week mind, unprov'd and strongly struck 



IK 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



With new and horrid things, until that hour 

Unknown and onimagin'd. 

Nor was it honour's voice that called me 

back: 
The call of nature saved me. Noble Sea- 

gurthl 
Had I been son of any sire but thee, 
I had in dark and endless shame been lost, 
Nor e'er a^ain before these valiant men 
Stood in this royal presence. 
In all mj fortune, blest I am alone. 
That my brave father, rescued by these arms, 
Look'd on me, smiling thro' the shades of 

death. 
And knew his son. He wte a noble man ! 
He never tum'd from daa^r — ^but his son — 
(Many voices at once.) His son is worthy of 

him! 
{Repeated again with more voices.) His son is 
worthy of him ! 

Etk. {loith enthusiasm.) His son is wor- 
thy of the noblest sire that ever 
wielded sword ! 
{Voices.) Crown him, fair princess '. Crown 

the noble Edward ! 
(lEUburga offers him the. vfreath, which he puts 
aside vehemently.) 

Edw. Forbear ! a band of scorpions round 
my brow 
Would not torment me like this laurel wreath. 
(Elb. turns from him contemptuously, and 
gives the wreath to the King.) 
Edw, {to King.) What, soidd my Lord ! is 
there not present nere 
A Mercian brow deserving of that wreath? 
Shall he, who did with an uncover 'd head 
Your battle fight, still wear his brows un- 

bouna ? 
Do us not this disgrace ! 
King' {fretfully.) Thou dost forget the roy- 
al dignity: 
Take it away. {g^'oing it to an Officer. ^ 

iA ctn^used murmuring amongst the soldiers.) 
Aside to the Seneschal, alarmed.)W\iaX, noise 
is that? 
Sen. {aside to King J Your troops, my sire, 
are much dissatisfied. 
For that their fav'rite chief by you is deem'd 
Unworthy of the wreath. 
King, {aside. ) What, is it so ? call back 
mine oilicer. {taking the wreath again, 
and giving it to Elb.) 
This wreath was meant for one of royal line. 
But ev'ry noble Mercian, great in arms, 
Is equal to a prince. 
Crown the most valiant Ethwald. 
Elh. {crowning Ethw. with great assumed 
majesty.) 
Long may thy laureb flourish on thy brow, 
MoA noble chief! 

(Ethw. takes the unreath and presses it to his 
lips, bowing to Elb. then to the Kin^.^ 
Ethw. They, who beneath the royal oanner 



fight, 
i foi 



Unto the fortunes of their royal chief 
Their success owe. Honoured indeed, am I, 
That the brave Ethling hath so favoured me, 



And that I may, most humbly at your feet, 
My royid sire, this martial garland lay. 
(He, kneeling, lays the wrMth at the King's 
feet ; the King raises him up and emhraces 
him; the SoMiers clash thetr arms and eaU 
out.) 

Sold. Long live the King ! tod long Kve 
noble Ethwald f 
This is several times repeated. Exxunt King, 
Edward, Elburga, 4^. 4^. Elburga looking 
graciously to Ethwald as she goes of. Ma^ 
ment Ethwald and Ethelbert.) 
Eth. {repeatingindignantly as they go of.) 
Long live the King^ and long live noble . 

Ethwald! 
Fie on the stupid clowns, that did not join 
The gen'rousEdward's name ! {to Eth. whois 
stanmng looking earnestly after the Princess.) 
What dost thou gaze on ? 
Ethw. The princess look'd behind her ts 

she went. 
Eth. And what is that to thee ? 
( vfalks silently across the stage once or twice f 
gloomy and dissatis^, tJun turning short 
upon Ethw.) 
When wert thou last to see the lovely Bertha. 
Ethw. (hesitating.) I cannot reckon it unto 
the day — 
Some moons ago. 
Eth. Some moons ! the moon in her wide 
course, shines not 
Upon a maid more lovely. 
Ethw. 1 know it well. 
Eth. Thou dost. 

Ethw. (after a pause looking attentively to 
Etn. who stands muttenng to himseff.^ 
Methinks thou boldest converse with thyself. 
Eth. (speaking aloud, as if he continued to 
talk to himself.) 
She steps upon the flowerv bosom'd earth. 
As tho' it were a foot-clotn, fitly spread 
Beneath the tread of her majestic toe ; 
And looks upon the human countenance, 
Whereon her Maker hath the signs impre»'d 
Of all that he within the soul hath stored 
Of great and noble, generous and benign, 
As on a molten plate, made to reflect 
Her grandeur and perfections. 
Ethw. Of whom speak'st thou f 
Eth. Not of the gentle Bertha. [Eiit. 
Ethw. What mav he mean? He maik'd^ 
with much displeasure. 
The soldiers shout my name, and now my 

favour 
With Mercians princess frets him. What of 

this? 
Ha ! hath his active mind outrun mine own 
In shaping future consequences ? Yes, 
It must be so ; a cloudy curtain draws, 
And to mine eye a goodly prospect shews. 

Extending No, I must not look upon it. 

[EuT hastUy. 

Scene IV. — an open space with ARMSy 

GARMENTS, AND OTHER SPOILS OP 
THE BRITONS HEAPED UP ON RYERt 
SIDE or THE STAGE. 



E^mWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



107 



fenter Soldien and nnge themielvet in order, 
then enter Ethelbert uid a Soldier, talking aa 
thej enter. 

Eih. Ethwald, amongst his soldiers, dost 
thoa sajT) 
Divides his spoil ? 

Sol, He does, most bountifully; 
Nor to himself more than a^soldier's share 
Retains, he is so gen'rous and so noble. 
Etk. I thank thee, friend. (Soldier re^e«.) 
(Eth. after a pause.) 
I like not this : behind those heaps I'll stand. 
And mark the manner of this distribution. 
{reHre*.) 

Enter Ai.wt and a petty Thahx. 

Alwy. Brave warriours ! ye are come at his 
desire, 
Who, for each humble'soldier, bold in arms, 
That has beneath his orders fought, still 

bears 
A brother's heart. Tou see these goodly 

spoils: 
He gives tbem not unto the cloister'd priests: 
His soldiers pray for him. (Soldiers thtnU.) 
Thane, (to Alwy.) What is thy meaning ? 
Alloy. Know'st thou not the king has now 
bestow'd 
The chiefest portion of his British spoil 
On Alban's abbey ? 

Enter Ethwald. 

{Sddiers shouting very loud.) Long live 
brave 
Ethwald ! health to noble Ethwald ! 
Eihw, Thanks for these kindly greetings, 
valiant hearts ! 

(Soldiers shout again very loud.) 
In truth, I stand before you brave companions, 
Somewhat asham'd; for with my wishes 

match'd, 
These hands are poor and empty, (loud ac' 

elamations.) 
I thank you all again *, for well I see 
Tou have respect unto the dear ffood will 
That must enrich these heaps of nomely stuff. 
Soldiers. Long live our gen'rous leader ! 
Ethw. (giving a Soldier ahelmet filled with 

Here, take the lots, and deal them fairly round. 
Heaven send to all of you, mv valiant friends, 
A portion to your liking, lliis rough heap 

(pointing to the arms.) 
Will ffive at least to each some warlike trophy, 
Whicn henceforth, hung u|An his humble 

walls. 
Shall tell his sons and grandsons yet to come 
In what proud fields, and with what gallant 

mates. 
Their fiUher fought And, methinks, well 

pleas'd. 
Resting, as heretofore I ofl have done, 
My wand'ring steps beneath your friendly 

roofs, 
Shall^ looking up, the friendly token spy. 
And m my host a fellow solmer hail. 



Soldiers, (with loud acclamations.) 
€rod bless you, noble chief! unto the death 
We'll hold to you, brave leader ! 

Ethw, And, if to you I hold not, Valiant 
■ Mercians, 
No noble chief am I. 

This motley geer, (poitUing to the spoils.) 
Would it were all composed of precious 

things! 
That to his gentle wife or favour 'd maid, 
Each soldier might have borne some goodly 

S'fl; 
em, British matrons cross the woof 
With coarser hands than theirs. 
1st Sol. Saint Alban bless his noble counte- 
nance ! 
'Twas fashion'd for bestowing. 
2d Sol. Heav'n store his huls with wealth ! 
Ethw. (going familiarly amongst the sol* 
diers as the lots are dratnng.) 
Well, Ogar, hast thou drawn ? good luck to 

thee. 
And thou, good Baldwin too ^ Yet, fie upon it ! 
The heaviest weapon of the British host 
Lacks weight of metal for thy sinewy arm. — 
Ha ! health to thee, mine old and honest host ! 
I'm glad to see thee with thine arm unbound. 
And, ruddy too ! thy dame should give me 

thanks: 
I send thee home to her a younger man 
Than I receiv'd thee, {to the Soldier with the 

lots who is passing him.) 
Nay, stay thee, friend, I pray, nor pass me o'er. 
We all must share alike : hold out thy cap. 

(smiling as he draws.) 
The knave would leave me out. 
(Loud aeelamationSj the Soldiers surrounding 
him and clashing Uieir arms.) 

Enter Selred and Followers. 

Set. (to Sol.) Ha ! whence comes all this 

uproar ? 
Sol. Know you not ? 
Your noble brother 'midst his soldiers shares 
His British spoils. 
Sd, The grateful knaves ! is all their joy 
for this ? 

(to his Followers.) 
Well, go and add to it my portion also ; 
'Twill make them roar the louder. Do it 
quickly. [Exit. 

Soldiers (looking after Sel.) Heaven bless 
him too, plain, honest, careless soul ! 
He gives as tho' he gave not. (loud acclama- 
tions. 
Long live brave Ethwald, and the noble Selred. 
JSShw. (aside to Alwy displeased.) How 

came he here ? 
Alloy. I cannot tell. 

Ethw. (to Sol.) We are confined within 
this narrow space : 
Go range yourselves at large on yon green 

sward. 
And there we'll spread the lots. 
(Exeunt the Soldiers, arranging themselves 
as they go.) 
1 



v» 



ETHWALD : A OTUGEDT. 



SCBHE. V—- AM APARTMBHT IH ▲ 
ROTAL C18TLB. 

Enter Ethjilbkrt, and leant hit back upon a 
pillar near the front of the stage, u if deeplj 
engaged in sloomy thoughts : afurwaids, enters 
Ethwald oy the opposite side, at the bottom 
ofthe stage, and approaches Eth. slowly, ob- 
semng hun attentively as he adTances. 

Ethw. Thou art disturbed, Ethelbert 

Eth. I am. 

Ethw. Thine eyes roll stnmgelj, as the' 
thou beheld'st 
Some dreadful thing : 
On what look'st thou ? 

Eih, Upon my country's ruin. 

The land is full of blood : her savage birds 
O'er human carcasses do scream and batten : 
The silent hamlet smokes not ; in the field 
The age4 grandsire turns the joyless soil : 
Dark spirits are abroad, and ffentle worth 
Within the narrow house of death is laid, 
An early tenant. 

Ethto. Thou'rf beside thyself! 

Think'st thou that I, with these good arms, 

will stand 
And snfier all this wreck ? 

Eth. Ha ! say'st thou so ? Aha, it is thyself 

Who rul*8t tne tempest ! (shaking his head 
solemjdy.^ 

Ethw. If that 1 bear the spirit of a man. 
Thou falsely see'st ! ThinTst thou I am a 

beast; 
A fanged wolf, refl of all kindly sense. 
That I should do such deeds .' 
1 am a man aspiring to be great, 
But loathing cruelty : who wears a sword 
That will protect and not destroy the feeble. 
(putting his hand vehemently upon his stoord.) 

Eth. Ha ! art thou roused ! blessings on thy 
wrath! 
Ill trust thee still. But see, the Ethling 

comes, 
And on his face he wean a smile of joy. 

Enter Edward, advancing gaily to Ethwaldi 

Ed. A boon, a boon, great Maimieth's 

Thane I crave. 
Eth. Tou come not with a suppliant's fiuse, 

my Lord. 
Ed. Not much caat down, for lack of confi- 
dence, 
My suit to gain. That envious brafgard there, 
The chief of Bonrnoth, sajs, no Mercian arm. 
Of man now living, can his grandwre's sword 
In warlike combat wield : and, in good sooth ! 
I forfeit forty of my fattest kine 
If Ethwald's arm does not the feat achieve. 
(to Ethw.) What say'st thou, firiend ^ Me- 

thinks thou'rt grave and silent : 
Hast thou so soon thy noble trade forgot ? 
Have at it then ! I'll rouse thy spirit up : 
I'll soldier thee again, (drawing his sword 
playfuUy mn Ethwald, who defends 
himsdf inWumamuT. 
Fie on*t ! that waa a wicked northern push : 
It smells of thine old sports in MoUo's walls. 

iptiues and fights again.) 



To it acain ! How listless thou art grown ! 
Where Is thy manhood gone ? 
Ethw, Fear not, my Lord, enough remain* 
behind 
To vrin your forty kine. 
Ed. ril take thy word for't now : in ftith, 
I'm tired! 
I've been too eager in the morning's chace, 
To fight your noonday battles, (putting tM 
wrint qf his sword to the gromnd^ amd 
leaning famiUaHy upon Ethwald.) 
My arm, I fear, would make but little nin 
With Boumoth's sword. By arms andoraye 

men's love ! 
1 could not brook to see that wordy braffgard 
Perching his paltry sire aboye thy pitcE : 
It rais'd my fiend within. When lam great/ 
I'll build a tower upon the verjr spot 
Where thou did'st nrst the British army stay | 
And shame the grandsires of those mighty 
» Thanes 

Six Mjgen deep. Lean I too hard upon thee ? 
Ethw. No, nothing hard : most pleasant 
and most kindly. 
Ttke your full rest, my Lord. 
Ed. In truth, I do : methinks it does nm 
good 
To rest upon thy brave and yaliant breast 
Eth, stuping brfore themwith great ohmm* 
turn.) 
Well said, most noble Edward ! 
The bosom of the brave is that on which 
Rests many a head ; but most of all, I trow, 
Th' exposed head of princely youth thereon 
Rests gracefully, (steps back some paees and 
looks at them with delight.) 
Ed, Ton look npon us. Thane, with eager 
eyes, 
And looks of meaning. 

Eth. Pardon me, I pra^ ! 
My fimcy, oflentimes, will wildly play, 
And strong conceits poss co s me. 
Indulge my passing neak : I am a man 
Upon whose grizzled head the work of time 
Hath been by care performed, and, with the 

young. 
Claiming the priv'lege of a man in years. 
(taking 3ke hands qftd. and Eth. and joining 

them together.) 
This is a lovely aighi ! indulge my ftncy ; 
And on this sword, it is a brave man's sword, 
Swear that you wUl unto each other prove, 
As prince and subject, true. 
Ed, No, no, good Thane ! 
As friends, true friends ! that doth the whole 

include. 
I kiss the honor'd blade, (kissing the sword 
hdd out hy Eth.) 
Eth, (presenting the sward to Ethw.^ Aad 

what says noble Ethwald ? 
Ethw. All that the brave shoold say. (Uss- 

injgitalso.) 
Eth, (tnumphandy.) Now,Mereia,thoiiirt 
■trong ! give me your hands; 
Faith, I must Uy them both upon my breast ! 
(pressing both their hmds to his hreasi.) 
This is a lovely eight ! 



KmWMS> : A TRAGEDY. 



109 



Etkw, (MfftmutL) You weep, food Ethel- 

Dert. 
Eih. knuhing of hit tears with Aif kamd,) 
Yes, yes ! each tears as doth the warm 

shower'd earth 
Shew to the kindly sun. 

Ed. (toEthw,geiUlyelAppingkiBslumlder.) 
I love ibis well : thou like a woman weep'st, 
And fightest like a man. Bat look, I pray ! 
There comes my arm*s-man with the braf- 

gard's sword *. 
hdi us assay it yonder. [Exsurr. 



ACT IV. 



SOBmB I. — AN APAETMBirT IN ▲ ROTAL 
CASTLE. 

£thwald is diacoTered ritUnff in deep meditation 
b^ the side of a couch, with a lamp bumiiig bj 

I Imn on a high stand : the rest of the stsge en- 
tirely dark. 

Ethw. Why am I haunted with these 
thoughts ? What booto it, 
That from their weak and priest-beridden king 
The soldiers turn distasteful, and on me 
In mutter'd wishes call ? What booto all this ? 
Occasion fairly smiles, but I am shackled. 
Elsewhere I needs must turn my climbing 

thoughto; 
But where .' The youthful see arovnd them 

spcead 
A boundless field of undetermin'd things, 
Towerinf in tennpting greatness : 
Bat, to tne closer scan of men matured, 
These fade away, and in the actual state 
Of times and circumstances, each perceives 
A path which doth to his advancement lead. 
And only one ; as to the daszled eye 
Of the night rev'ller, o'er his emptied bowl. 
The multiplied and many whirling lighto 




my steps 
Amongst the mighty great, the earth's high 

lords. 
There is no place for me ! I must lie down 
In the dark tomb with those, whose passing 

brightness 
Shines for a while, but leaves no ray behind. 
(throws himself half upon the couch, and groans 
heavily.) 

Enter Boy. 

Boy, My Lord, my Lord ! (Ethw. lifts up 
hisheadf and looks sternly at him.) 
Are you unwell, my Lord ? 
Etkw. What dost thou want? 
Boy. I could not sleep; and as I list'ning lay 
To tne drear wind that whistles thro' ^lese 

towers, 
Methought I heard you groan like one in pain. 
Ethw. Away, and go to sleep : I want thee 
not: 
I ny, begone, (sternly.) [Exit Boy. 

{he pauses a while j then sighs very deeply.) 
He nangs upon me like a dead man^ grasp 



On the wreck'd swimmer's neck — his boyish 

love 
Was not my seeking ; it was fasten'd on me, 
And now it hath become an iron band ~ 
To fetter down my powers. O that I were 
Amidst the warlike and ungentle cast 
To strive uncumber'd ! What have I to do 
With soft affection.' (softened.) Yet it needs 

must be! 
His gen'rouslove : his brave ungrudging love: 
His manly gentle love — O that he had 
Mine ejqual friend been bom, who in my rise 
Had fair advancement found, and by my side 
The next in honour stood ! 
He drags me to the earth ! I needs must lay 
My he£l i' the dust. — Dull hopeless privacy! 
From it my soul recoils : unto my nature 
It is the death of death, horrid and hateful. 
(Starting up eagerly.^ No, in the tossed bark. 
Commander ot a ruoe tumultuous crew, 
On the wild ocean would I rather live ; 
Or, in the mined caverns of the earth 
Untamed bands of lawless men controul. 
By crime and dire necessity enleagued : 
Yea, in the dread turmoil of midnight storms. 
If sueh there be, lead on the sable nosto 
Of restless sprites, than say to mortal man 
'' Thou art my master." 

Enter Boy. 

What, here, again ? 

Boy. O pardon me, mv Lord ! 1 am in fear ; 
Strange sounds do howl and hurtle round my 

bed; 
I cannot rest. 

Ethw. Be gone, thou wakeful pest ! I say, 

begone I [Exit Boy. 

(Ethw. walks several times across the stage and 

then pauses.) 
Yet in my mind one ever present thought 
Rises omnipotent o'er all Uie rest. 
And says, ** thou shalt be great.*' 
What may this mean ? before me is no wav. 
What deep endued seer will draw this veil 
Of dark futurity ? Of such I *ve heard. 
But when the troubled seek for them, they are 
not. ' 

Re-enter Boy. 

(stamping with his foot.) What ! here a third 
time f 
Boy. (falling at his feet.) O, my noble 
master! 
If you should slay me, I must come to you ; 
For in my chamber fearful things there be. 
That sound i' the dark ; O do not chide me 
back! 
Ethw. Strange sound within thy chamber, 

foolish wight ! 
Bou. (startaig.) Good mercv, list ! ^ 
Ettw. It is some night-bird screaming on 

the tower. 
Boy. Ay, so belike it seemeth, but I know — 
Ethw. What dost thou know ? 
Boy. It is no bird, my Lord. 
Etkw. What would'st thou sav P 
Boy. (clasping his hands together, and star^ 
tag earnestly in Ethw's face.) 



166 



ETHWALD: A TRAGEDY. 



At dead of night, from the dark Druid's cave 
Up rise unhallow'd sprites, and o'er the earth, 
' Hold for the term their wicked rule. Aloft, 
Some mounted on the heavy sailinfir cloud. 
Oft pour down noisome streams or biting hail 
On me benighted hind, and from his home. 
With wavward eddying blasts, still beat hun 

back. 
Some on the waters shriek like drowning men, 
And, when the pitying passenger springs 

forth 
To lend his aid, the dark flood swallows him. 
Some, on lone marshes shine like moving 

lights ; 
And some on towers and castle turrets perch'd. 
Do scream like nightly birds, to scaie the 

good. 
Or rouse the murd'rer to his bloodv work. 
Ethw. The Druid's cave, say 'st thou ? What 

cave is that ? 
Where is it ? Who hath seen it ? What scar'd 

fool 
Hath fill'd thine ears with all these horrid 

things? 
Boy. It is a cavern vast and terrible. 
Under the mund full deep: perhi^, my 

Lord, 
Beneath our very feet, here as we stand ; 
For few do know the spot and centre of it, 
Tho' many mouths it has and entries dark. 
Some are like hollow pits bor'd thro* the earth. 
O'er which, the Ust'mng herdsman bends his 

ear. 
And hears afar their lakes of molten fire 
Swelt'ring and boiling like a mighty pot. 
Some like straight passes thro' the rifled 

rocks, 
From which oft issue shrieks, and M^iistling 

gusts. 
And waiUngs dismal. Nay , some , as they say, 
Deep hoUow'd underneath the river's bed, 
Which shew their narrow op'nings thro' the 

fern 
And tangling briers, like dank and noisome 

holes 
Wherein foul adders breed . But not far hence 
' The chiefest mouth of all, 'midst beetling rocks 
And groves of blasted oaks, gapes terrible. 
Ethw. So near ? But who are they who 

dwell within ? 
Boy. The female high ai^ch Druid therein 

holds,* 
With many Druidstending on her will. 



* It is natural to suppose that the Diviners or 
Fortune-tellers of this period should, in their su- 
perstitions and pretensions, very much resemble 
the ancient Dniidesses who were vo much re- 
vered amongst the Britons as oracles and proph- 
etesses, and that they should, amongst the vulgar, 
still retain the name of their great predecessors. 
In Henry's History of BriUin, voL i. p. 181, it 
will be round that the superstitious practices of 
the Druids continued Ions after their religion 
was abolished, and resisted for a long time the 
li|[ht of Christianity; and that even so late as the 
rei^ofCanute, it was necessary to make laws 
agamst it. 



(Old, as they say, some hundred years or 

more) 
Her court, where horrid spells bind to ber role 
Spirits of earth and air. 

Ethw. Ay, so they tell thee ; 
But who is be that has held converse vrith her? 
Bay. Crannock, the bloody prince, did visit 
her. 
And she did shew to him the bloody end 
Whereto he toon should come ; for all she 

knows 
That is, or has been, or shall come to pass. 
Ethw. Tes, in times past such intereoone 
might be. 
But who has seeu them now ? 
Boy. Thane Ethelbert. 
EAv). (starting.) What, said'st thou Ethel- 
bert i» 
Boy. Tes, truly ; oft he eoes to yisit them 
What time the moon ri£s in her middle 
course. 
Ethw. Art thou assured of this ? 
Boy. A youth, who saw him issue from the 
cave, 
Twas him who told it me. 

Ethw. Mysterious man ! 
(after a pause.) Where sleeps the Thane ? 

Boy. It walls and doors may hold him. 
He sleeps, not ^stant,in the Southern Tower. , 
Ethw, TtLke thou that lamp, and go before 

me, then^ 
Boy. Where ^ 
Ethw. To the Southend ^Tower. Art thou 

afraid.' 
Boy* No, my good Lord, but keep yon close 
behind. 
[ExsuiTT Boy, hearing the Un^, and looking 
often behind to see that Ethw. is near him. 

ScBUE II. — A SMALL 6ALLB&T OR PAS- 

SAGE WITH A DOOR IN FROUT, WHICH 

IS OPBlf'D, AND 

Enter Ethwald and Ethklbkrt with a lamp 

in his hand. 

Eth. Then, by the morrow's midnight moon 
we meet 
At the arch Sister's cave : till then, farewell ! 

Ethw. Farewell ! I will be punctual. [Exit. 

Eth. {lookingt^fter him ftfr some time orfore 
hespSiks.) 
It ever is the mark d propensity 
Of restless and aspiring minds to look 
Into the stretch of dark futurity. 
But be it so : it now may turn to good. 
[Exit, returning back again ' into the same 

ehamberfirom which he came.) 

SCBIIB III. — ^A WIDE ARCHED CAVE, 
RUDE BUT GRAND, SEEN BT A SOMBRE 
light; a SMALL FURNACE BURNING 
NEAR the front OF THE STAGE. 

Enter Ethwald and Ethklbkrt, who panse 
and look round for some time without speak- 
ing. 

Ethw. Gloomy, and void, and silent ! 
Eth. Hush ! 



ST^WALQ: 4TRAQEDY. 



1^1 



Ethw. What heaiest thou ? 
Etk. Their hollow sounding steps. Lo! 
see'st thou not ? 

Pointing to the further end of the staae, where 
from an obscure recesi enter three AItstics 
robed in white, and, ranged on one side of the 
stsge, point to Ethwald: whilst from another 
obscure recess, enter three Mystic Sisters, 
and, ranged on the opposite side, point toETH: 
then from s mid recess enters ^ne Arch Sis- 
ter, robed also in white, but more majestick 
than the others, and a train of Mtstics and 
MrsTic Sisters behind her. She adyances 
half way up the stage, then stops short, and 
points slso to Ethwald. 

(M the Mystics, fye. speaking at once.) 
Who art thou ? 
Arch Sut. I know thee who thou art ; the 
hand of Mercia : 
The hand that lifts itself above the head. 
I know thee who thou art. 

EAto. Then haplj ye do know mj errand 

too. 
Jlrch Sist. I do ; but turn thee back upon 
thy steps, 
And tempt thy fate no farther. 
Ethw. From the chafd shore turn back the 
swelling tide ! 
I came to know my fate, and I will know it 
1st Mystic. Must we call up from the deep 
centre's womb 
The spirits of the night and their dread Lord ? 
Ut Myst. S. Must we do that which makes 
the entombed dead 
From coffins start ? 
Ethw. Raise the whole host of darkness an' 
ye will, 
But I must be obey 'd. 

{The Arch Sister shrieks^ and^ throwing her 
mantle over her face, turns to go away.) 
JEthw. If there is power in mortal arm to 
hold you, 
Te stir not hence until I am obey'd. 
1st Myst. And how compell'st thou ? 
Ethw, With this good sword. 
1st Myst. Swords here are children's wands, 
of no avail : 
There, warriour, is thy weapon. 
Ethw. Where, Mystic ? say. 
ist Mystic. {poirUine to the furnace.) Behold 
within that nre 
A bar of burning iron ! pluck it forth. 

Ethw. (resolutely.) I will. 
(goes to the furnace, and putting in his hand 
jndls out what seems a red hot bar of iron.) 
Arch Sist. {throwing off her mande.) 
Thou hast subllued me ; thou shalt be obey'd. 

Ethw. {casting away the bar.) 
Away, thou paltry terrour ! 
Arch Sist. {to Ethw.) We now begin our 
rites : be firm, be silent. 

She stretches forth her hand with a command- 
ing air, and the Mystics and Mtstic Sis- 
ters begin their incantations at the bottcmi 
of the stage, moTing round in several masy 
circles one within another. Fire is at last 
seen flashing fhun the midst of the inner cir- 

90 



cle, and immediately they all b^n a hollow 
muttering sound, wnich becomes louder and 
louder, tul at length it is accompanied with 
dismal sounds from without, and distant mosick, 
solemn and wild. 

Ethw. (grasping Ethelbert's hand.) Whi^ 
dismiu sounds are these ? 
'Tis like a wild responsive harmony, 
Tun'd to the answ'ring yells of damned souls. 
What follows this ? Some horrid thing ! Tho|i 

smil'st : 
Nay, press thy hand, I priw thee, on my breast; 
There wilt thou find no fear. 
Eth. Hush ! hear that distant noise. 
Ethw. 'Tis thunder in the bowels of the 
earth. 
Heard from anr. 

A subterraneous noise like thunder is heard at a 
distance, becoming louder as it approaches. 
Upon hearing this, the Mtstics suddenly leave 
on their rites : the music ceases, ana they, 
openinff their circles, range themselves on ei- 
tnersi^ of the stage, leaving the Arch Sis- 
ter alone in the nuddle. 

Arch Sist. (holdinfF us her hand.) MystiQi 
and Mystic Maias,and leagued bands ! 
The master spirit comes : prepare. 
{All reoeat tfier her.) Prepare. 

\Mt Mystic. Hark ! thro' the darkened zealms 
below, 
Thro' the fiery region's glow ; 
Thro' the massy mountain's core, 
Thro' the mines of living ore ; 
Thro' the yawning caverns wide, 
Thro' the solid and the void ; 
Thro' the dank and thro' the dry. 
Thro' th' unseen of mortal eye ) 
Upon the earthouake's secret course, afar 
I near the sounding of thy car : 
Sulphureous vapours loaa the rising gale ; 
We know thy coming ; mighty master, hail ! 

iThey all repeat.) Mighty master, hail ! 
The stage darkens by degrees y aiid a thick va- 
pour begins to ascend at the bottom of the 
stage.) 

2d Mystic. Hark, hark ! what murmurs fill 
the dome ! 

Who are the^ who with thee come ? 

Those who, m their upward flight, 

Rouse the tempests or the nlf ht : 

Those who ride in flood and fire ; 

Those who rock the tumbling spire : 

Those who, on the bloody plain. 

Shriek with the voices of tne slain : 

Those who thro' the darkness glare, 

And the sleepless murd'rer scare : 

Those who take their surly rest 

On the troubled dreamer's breast : 

Those who make their nightly den 

In the guilty haunts of men. 

Thro' the heavy air I hear 

Their hollow trooping onward bear : 

The torches* shrinking flame is dim and pale ; 

I know thy coming ; mighty master, hail ! 
(AU reptfol again.) Miffhty master, hail ! 

{The stage becomes stiU aarkery and a thicker 
vapour ascends.) 



test 



ETHWALD:A TRAGEDY. 



Zi MjftiU. Lo ! the myitic voliiiiies riie ! 
Wherein are lapt from mortal ejee 
Horrid deeds •• yetvonthonght, 
Bloodj betUee vet unfooffht : 
The eiidden &lf and deedlj wound 
Of the tyrant yet nncrown'd ; 
And his line of many dyes 
Who yet within the cradle lies. 
Moying forms, whose stilly bed 
Long hath been amonf the dead ; 
Movmg forms, whose Uving mom 
Breaks with the nations yet unborn. 
In mystic Tision walk the horrid pale : 
We own thy presence ; mighty master, hail ! 

(AU.) Mighty master, hafl ! 

Eater from the frrther end of the stage crowds 
of terrible spectres, dimly seen tlmmgh the 
Tapoar, which sow sprMids itself orer the 
whole stage. All the Mystics and Mystic 
SiBTSRs w>w tbemselTes very low, and the 
Asm SisTKii. standing alone in the middle, 
bows to all the different sides of the csts. 

£eftts. ifo Ut Mystic.) To every side the 
mystic mistress bows. 
What meaneth this .' mine eye no form per- 
ceives: 
Where is joat mighty chief.' 

Tjt Myitic. Above, around you, and beneath. 

Etho. Has he no form to vision sensible ? 

Ijt MtfitU. In the night's noon, in the 
winter's noon, in the lostre s noon : 
Of times twice ten within the oentuij's round 
Is he befbre our leagued bands couKss'd 
In dread appearance : 
But in what form or in what circumstance 
May not be told ; he dies who utters it 
'Btnw. akfinka al tkiSf and seems somewhat 

amaUed. Tke Arch Sister, ^ter tossing 

mbaut her arms and writhing her hody im a 

moUnt agiUUionf Joes her eyes, lite one 

waked fnm a dream, sUdfasdy upon Ethw. 

than going suddenly iw to him, gratps him hy 

the hand with energy^ 

Artk Sist. Thou who would'st pierce the 
deep and awful shade 
Of dark futurity, to know the state 
Of after greatness waiting on thy will. 
For in thy power acceptance or rejection 
Is freely put, lift up thine eyes anid say. 
What see St thou vender. 
(pointing to a dark arched opening in the roof 

tfAe eaoe, where an iUum ina te d crown and 

seeutre appears.) 

EUtw. (starting.) Ha! e'en the inward vis- 
ion of my soul 
In actual form pourtrav'd ! {his eyes hri^*' 

nin^ wonderfully.) 
8ay*st thou it shall be mine .' 

j§rch Sist. Am thou shalt choose. 

^hw. I ask of thee no more. 
(stands gaxing i^on the appearance, tiU it 

fades awau.) 
80 soon extinguish d ? Hath this too a mean- 
ing.' 
It says, pernaps, my greatness shall be short 

Ardk Sist. Ispeak to thee no farther than 
I may, 



Therefore be satisfied. 
Ethw, And I am satisfied. Dread mystie 
maid, 
Receive my thanks. 
Arch aist. Nay, Ethwald, our 
ends not. here: 
Stay and behold what foUows. 
(the 9ta£e heeomes suddenly dark, and 

l am e n ta t ions, are hoard from ike farther end 

ofthecaae.) 

Etkw. What horrid sounds are these ? 

Ardk Sist. The varied voice of woe, of 
Merda's woe : 
Of those who shall, beneath thine iron hand. 
The cup of mis'ry drink. There, dost thou 

hear 
The dungeon'd captives' sighs, the shrilly 

snrieks 
Of childless mothers and distracted maids, 
Mix'd with the heavy groans of dying men ? 
The widow's wailiiig8,too; and inmnt's cri e s 

(Ethw. stops his ears tn horrour.) 
Ay, stop thine ears ; it is a horrid sound. 

Ethw. Forfend that e'er again I hear the 
like! 
What didst thou say .' O, thou didst foully 

say! 
Do I not know my nature .' heav'n and earth 
As soon shall change— 

(A voice abooe.) Swear not! 

(A voice beneath.) Swear not ! 
(A voice on the same level, but distant.) Swear 
not! 

Arch Sist. Now, once again, and our com- 
mission ends. 
Look yonder, and behold that shadowy form. 
(pointaig to an arched recess, across which 

bursts a strong Ugkt,and discovers a crownr 

ed phantom, covered with wounds,andrepre- 

seiUingbu its gestures one ia agony. Etnw. 

looks and dunnks back.) 
What dost thou aee ? 

Ethw. A miserable man: his breast is 
pierced 
With many wounds, and yet his gestures seem 
The agony of a distracted mind 
More than of pain. 

Arch aist. But wears he not a crown .' 

Ethw. Why does it k>ok so fix'dly on me 
thus? 
What are its woes to me ? 

Arch Sist. They are thy own. 
Know'at thou no traces of that alter'd form. 
Nor aee'st that crown'd phantom is thyself.' 

Ethw. (shudders theni^fier a^pause.) 
I may be doom'd to meet a tyrant's end 
But not to be a tyrant 
Did all the powers of hell attest the doom, 
I would belie it Know I not my nature ? 
By every dreaded power and hallow 'd thing— 

! Voice over the stage,) Swear not ! 
Voice under the stage.) Swear not ! 
(Distant voice of the stage) Swear not! 
(A thundering noise is heard under ground.^ 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



I6S 



Myiticfl mud Spirito, ifc. ditappear, Ethw. 
mmd Eth. remaimmg alone,) 
Etk, {flfUr a paitse.) How art thou? 
Eikw, Is it tbj voiee!' O, let me feel thj 
grasp! 
Miiie etn ring itmigelj, and mj bead doth 

feel 
Ai tho' I were bereaved of mj wits. 
Are tbej all gone ? Where u thj band, I 

pray? 
We've had a fearful bout ! 
Eik, Thy toooh ia cold as death: let oa 
aacend 
And breathe the upper air.* [Exxuht. 

SCBHK IV. — A yOEEBT. 

Enter Ethwald with a bow in bit band, and a boy 
carrying bit arrows. 

Eihw. (looking of the otmge.) Ha ! Alwy, 
soon retum'd, and with him comes 
Myftithful Ongar. 

Enter Alwt and Ohsar with bows also, as if 
in qoest of sport, by tbe oppo site side. 

Hiou comest, Alwy, with a busy face. 

(to Boy.) 

Gk>, Boy ', I ahot mine arrow o'er those elms, 

Thou'lt find it fer beyond. [Exit Boy. 

Now, fiiend, what timngs ? 
Jilm. Within the tufted centre of the wood 

Tbe fnendly chiefii are met, thus, like our- 
selves 

As careless ramblen guised, all to a man 

Fiz'd in your cause. Their followen too are 
firm; 

For, much disgusted with the monkish fece 

Their feeble monareh wean, a|warlike leader. 

Fur, fer inferior to the noble Ethwald, 

Bfay move them as he lists. 
Ethw. That time and cireumstances on me 
call 

Imperiously, I am well assured. 

Gtwd Ongar, what say'st thou .' how thrives 
uy part 

Of this imoortant taak ? 

Ong. Well as your heart could wiah. At 
the next council, 



Held in the royal chamber, my good ki 
Commands the guard, and will not bar our 
way. 
^kw. May I depend on thui ? 
'^ #. Tou may, my Lord. 
no. Thanks to tnee, Ongar ! this is no- 
ble service. 
And shall be nobly thank'd. There is, good 
Alwy, 




* I will not take opon me to say tbat, if I bad 
nsTer read Shakspeare's Macbeth, I shoold bave 
^bought of brinj^ Ethwald into a cayem onder 
groond to inanire bis destiny, though I believe 
tb isderi re to look into fbtnri^ (partTcularly in a 
npentitioQS age) is a very constant attendant on 
ambition ; bat I hope tbe reader will not ibd in 
tbe above scene any oflbnsive ose made of the 
works of tbat great master: 



Another point; hast thou unto the chiefiy 
Tet touch'd upon it ? 
Moy, Yes J And they all agree 'tie most ez- 

rlient 
Elburga's hand, aince weaker 
minds 
Are blindly wedded to the royal line, 
Tour right be strengthen'd. 
Ethw, And this Uiey deem expedient ? 
Alwy, Tou sigh, my lord ; she is, indeed, 

less gentle 

Eihw. Reffard it not, it is a passing thought, 
And it will have its sigh, and pass away. 
(twmng away for a ume^tpaeeyond then com- 

ingjorwara ogam.) 
What means hast thou devised, that for a 

term 
Selred and Ethelbert may be remov'd ? 
For feithfal to the royal line Uiey are, 
And will not iwerve : their presence here 

were dang'rous : 
We must employ uem in some distant strife. 
Jihoy, I have devis'd a plan, but fer the 
means 
Brave Ongar here stands pledged. Wog- 

garwoUe, 
Who once before unweetingly has served us, 
Will do the same again, 
Ethw. How so ? tis said that since his last 
afiray 
With the keen torment of his wounds subdu'd, 
On sick bed laid by the transforming pow'n 
Of artful monks, he has become most saintly. 
Alwy, Well, but we trust his saintship 
ne'ertheless 
May still be lur'd to do a sinner's work. 
To Dum the castle of a hateful heretic 
Will make amends for all his bloody deeds : 
Tou catch the plan : Nay, Hexalf and his 

priest 
Will be our help-mates here. Smile not ; 

good Ongar 
Haa pledged his word for this. 
EAw. And I will trust to it This will, 
indeed. 
Draw ofiT the Ijianes in haste. But who is 

near? 
Sculking behind yon thicket stands a man : 
See'st thou ? (pointing of tike stage.) 

Alwu. Go to him, Ongar, scan nim weQ, 
And if his face betrays a list'ner's guilt — 
Thou hast thy dagger there ? 
Ov* Tea, trust me well. 
Ethw. Nay, Ongar, be not raah in ahedding 

Let not one drop be spilt that may be spar'd. 
Secure him if he wear a list'ner's hce : 
We are too strong for stem and ruthleas cau- 
tion. [Exit Ongar. 
I'm glad he ia vrithdrawn a little space. 
Ere we proceed to join the leagued chiefe. 
Hast thou agreed with Cuthbert ? Is he sure ? 
Alwy. Sure. 'Tis agreed when next the 
Ethling hunts. 
To lead him in the feigned quest of game 
From his attendants ; uere, m ambiuh laid. 



164 



ETHWALI^t A 'rtlAGEDT. 



Cuthbert and his adherents snze npon him, 
And will conduct him with the eT*ning*8 

close 
To Arricl^'s ragged tower. All is prepared. 
JEthw. Bat hast thoa charged him well that 
this be done 
With all becoming care and gentleness, 
That nothing may his noble nature gall 
More than the hard necessity compels ? 
Alwy. Do not mistrust us so ! jour brow is 
dark: 
At Edward's name your changing counte- 
nance 
Is ever clouded. (Ethw. turns from Mm ag- 
itated.) 
You are disturbed, my Lord. 
Ethw. I am distarb'd. (turning round and 
grasping Alwy by the htmd.) 
1*11 tell thee, Alwy — yes — I am distarb'd — 
No gleam of ^lory thro' my prospect breaks, 
But still his unage, 'thwart the brightness 

cast, 
flfaades it to niffht. 

Alwy. It will be always so : but wherefore 
should it.' 
Glory is ever bought by those who earn it 
With loss of many lives most dear and pre- 
cious. 
So is it destin'd. Let that be unto him 
Which in the crowded beach or busy field 
All meet reg^ardless from a foe-man's hand. 
Doth the still chamber, and the muffled 

tread, 
And th' unseen stroke that doth the infliction 

deal. 
Alter its nature ? 

Ethw. (pushing Alwy away from him t>e- 
hementlyy and putting up both his 
hands to his head.) 
Forbear ! forbear ! I shut mine eyes, mine 

ears; 
All entrance bar that may into my mind 
Th' abhorred thing convey. Have I not said. 
Thou shalt not dare in word, in look, in ges- 
ture. 
In slightest indication of a thought, 
Hold with my mind such base communication.' 
By my sword's strength! did I not surely think 
From this bold seizure of the sovcrei^ power, 
A pow'r for which 1 must full dearfy pay. 
So saj^ the destinv that o'er me hangs, 
To shield his weaaness and restore again 
In room of Mercia's crown a nobler sway. 

Won by my sword, I would as lief )Vor- 

thumberland 
Invites mv arms, and soon will be subdu'd ; 
Of this full sure, a good amends may be 
To noble Edward made. 
Alwy. (who during the last part of Ethw's 
speech has been smiting iehind his 
bach maUgnanJily.) 
O yes, fbll surely : 

And wand'ring harpers shall in hall and bower 
Sing of the marv'Uous deed. 
jSthw. (turning short tqnm him and perceiv- 
ing his smile.) 
Thoa tmilest, methinks. 



Full well I read the meaning of that look : 
'Tis a fiend's smile, and it will prove a fidse 

one. 
(turning away angrily, whilst Alwy walks to 

the bottom of the stage.) 
(Aside, looking suaneiously afier him.) H»fe 

I offended him .' he is an agent 

Most needful to me. (aUmd, advancing to him.) 

Crood Alwy, anxious minds will often chide^ 

(Aside, stopping short.) He hears me not, or is 

it but a feint.' 

Alwy. (looking of the stag$.) Tour arrow-boy 

returns. 
Ethw. (aside, nodding (o himseff.) No, 'tis a 
nee and unonended voice ; 
I'm wrong. This is abird wbooe fleshed beak 
The prey too strongly scents to fl y a way : 
I'll spare my courtesies (aUntd.) What say*st 
thou, Alwy.' 
Alwy. (pointing.) Tour arrow4x)y. 
Ethw. I'm glad ne is retum'd. 

Re-enter BoTt 

Boy. No where, my Lord, can I te arrow 

find. 
Ethw. Well, boy, it matters not; let iia 

move on. [Exkurt. 

Scene V. — ^a narrow oallbrt in an 
abbet or cloister, with sevrrai. 
doors opening into it* 

Enter Hexulf and Ohoar and Two Monks. 

Hez. Fear not, brave Ongar, we, apoa thy 
hint, 
Will quickly act ; for here our eager wishes 
Are with the Church's good most closely 
join'd. 
First Monk. This is the time when he alioiild 
walk abroad. 
(listemnf.) I hear him at hip door. 
Hez. Leave us, good Onw. 
Onjf. To your good skill I do commit it then; 
Having but only yon, most rev'rend father, 
To take mv part against this wizard Thane. 
First Monk. (Ml listening.) Begone, he 
issues forth. [Exit Ongar. 

(one of the doors opens slowly, and enters 
Woggarwolfe, wrtqrped in a cloak and kit 
heaabound.) 

Hex. Good-morrow, valiant Thane, whose 
pious gifts 
Have won heav*n's grace to renovate thy 

strength. 
And grant thee longer life,how goes thy health.' 
Wog. 1 thank you, rev'rena father, greatly 

mended. 
First Monk. The prayers of holy men have 
power to save. 
E'en on tne very borders of the tomb, 
The humbled soul who doth with giAs enrich 
The holy church. 
Second Monk. Didst thou not feel within 
thee 




trtlWALb i A lHAOfifiY. 



Ml 



I haTe thoQgfat indeed — 
Perhaps you meant it so— that since that time 
The devu has not scar'd me in my dreams 
80 oft as he was wont, when sore with wounds 
I first was laid upon my bed of pain. 

Hex. Ajf that is much ; but, noble Wog- 
gaxwolfe, 
Thinkest thou not the church doth merit well 
Some stable gift, some fiz'd inheritance ? 
Thou hast those lands that are so nearly join'd 
Unto St. Alban's abbey. 

Wog. (much surprised.) My lands ! give up 
my lands ? 

Firsi Mcrnk. What are thr lands 
Compar'd to that which they will purchase 
for thee? 

See. Monk. To lay thy coffin'd body in the 
ground. 
Rob'd in the garb of holy men, and bless'd? 

First Monk. To hare thy tomb beneath the 
shading arch 
Of sact^d roof, where nought profane may 

enter; 
Whilst midnight spirits stand and yell without, 
But o'er the sacred threshold dare not trespass. 

Wog. {with a rueful counUnance.) 
What, do you thixik I shall be dead so soon .' 

Hex. Life is uncertain ; but how glorious. 
Thane, 
To look beyond this wicked world of strife. 
And for thyself a lofty seat provide 
With saints and holy men, and angel bands! 

Wog. Nay, father, I am not so highly bent; 
Do but secure me from the horrid rangs 
Of the terrific fiend : I am not proud ; 
That will suffice me. 

Hex. Nay, herein thy humiKty we praise 
not, 
And much I fear, at such a humble pitch, 
He who so lately scar'd thee in thy dreams 
May reach thee still. 

Pirst Monk. O think of this ! 

Hex. Dreadful it is, thou know'st. 
To see him in thy dreams ; but when awake. 
Naked, and ail uncloth'd of flesh and blood, 
Ais i!iou at last must be ; how wilt thou bear 
To see him yellinfir o'er thee as his prey f 
Bearing aloft his dark and hideous form ; 
Grinding his horrid jaws, and darting on thee 
Hii eyes of vivid fire .' ( The Monks sign them- 

sdies toith great marks of fear, and Wog- 

garwolfe looks terrified.) 
Ah I think'st thou, lliane. 
That many ffifU, ay, half of all thou'rt worth. 
Would dearly purchase safety from such ter- 
rours ? 

^og. (m a qmek perturbed voice.) 
I have the plunder of two neighb'nng ohie&. 
Whom I surprised within their towers and 

slew; 
ril five you dl — if that suffices not, 
I'll nil upon a third, ay, tho* it were 
My next of kiiK nor spare of all his eoods 
One firafment for mjrself. O holy fathers ! 
I humbly crave saintly protection of you. 

Hex. Na;^, Woggarwolfe , on shrines of holy 
saints 



No jpft ere works with efficacious power 
By force and violence gain'd ; unless, indeed, 
It be the spoil oiihiae unsaintly Thane, 
Borne faitmess wizard or foul heretic. 
Thou hast a neighbour, impious Ethelbert ; 
His towers to bum and consecrate his spoils, 
O'er all thy sins would cast a sacred robe. 
On which nor fiend nor devil durst fix a fuur. 
But now thou lackest strength for sucha work, 
And may 'st be dead ere thou hast time to do it : 
Therefore I counsel thee, give up thy lands. 
Wog. O, no ! I'm strong enough : my men 
axe strong. 
Give us your rey'rendblessings o'er our heads, 
And well set out forthwith. 
Hex. Then nothing doubt that on your 
worthy zeal 
Will fidl the bleBsin|r. Let us onward move. 
Where are thy foflowers? [Exeuht Hex. 
taUoMg busily to Wog. and the Monks smil- 
ing to one another as they go out) 

Scene YL— the eotal apartmeut : 
the kie& is discovered with hex- 
ulf, the seneschal, and several 
friends or counsellors, seated 
round a council table. 

King, (as tf eontinmng to speak.) 
It may be so : youth finds no obstacle; 
But 1 am old. 

Full many a storm on this ^y head has beat ; 
And now, on my high station do I stand. 
Like the tired watchman in his air-rock'd 

tower, 
Who looketh for the hour of his release. 
I'm sick of worldly broils, and fain would rest 
With those who war no more. One gleam of 

l^ht 
Did sweetfy cheer the ev'ningr of my day : 
Edward, my son ! he was the Kindliest prop 
That affe did ever rest on — he is gone. 
What should I fight for now ? 

Sen. For thine own honour ; for the weal of 

Mercia, 
With weapons in our hands, and strong in 

men. 
Who to the royal standard soon will flock, 
If summon'd by thy firm and general orders, 
Shall these men be our masters.' Heaven 

forfend ! 
Five thousand warriors might disperse the foe, 
Even with that devil Ethwald at their head ; 
And shall we think of granting to those rebels 
Their insolent demands ? 
King. Good Seneschal, if that you think 

our strength 
Permits us still in open fields to strive 
With hope of good, 1 am not yet so old 
But I can brace these stifien'd Hmbs in iron, 
And do a soldier's service, (to fid Coun.) 

Thane of Mordath, 
Thy visage light'neth not upon these hopes ; 
Wnat are thy thoughts ? 
See. Coun. E*en that these hopes will bring 

us to a state 
'Reft of all hope. 



IM 



ETHWALD: A TRAGEDY. 



The rebel chiefii bat leek their own enrich- 
ment, 
Not Ethwald's exaltation, good mj Lord ; 
Bribe them, and treat for peace. Lack yon 

the means; 
The choreh, for whose enrichin|r yon haire 

raia'd 
This storm, can well siqiply it ', and most 

sorely 
Will do it cheerfully, (twmmg to Hexnlf.) 
Htx, No, by the noly mass ! that were to 

brine 
The corse of neaT*n upon oar impioas heads. 
To spoil the holy choich is sacrilege : 
And to ad?ise sach spoil in anywise 
Is sacrilenous and abominable. 
First Coun. I am as fiuthfal to the holy 

oharch 
As thoa art, •nrry priest I do defy thee — 
Sen, What, EaTe ye no reelect onto the 

king? 
1 do command yoa, peace. Whonowintrodes? 

Enter a Sxrvaitt in great terrsnr. 

Snv. The rebel force ! the castle is surprised ! 

They are at hand--they have o'erpower'd the 

guard. 

See. Catm. Pray God thou liest ! I think it 

cannot be. (they all rise vp alarmud.) 

Sen. It is as true as I do tread this spot 

Enter a Soldier woimded. 

Kmg. (to Sol.) Ha! what say'st thou? 
thoa bearest for thy words 
A rueful witness. 
Sol. Take arms, and save the king,if it be pos- 
sible. 
The rebel chieftains hsTO the gates surprised. 
And gain'd, below, the entrance of this tower. 
They struggled for the pass ; sharp was the 

broil ; 
This speaks for me,that I have borne my part 

(falle down exkauated.) 
Hex. (to King.^ Retire, my Lord, into the 
higher cnamber. 
Tour arm can ^ve but small assistance here. 
Until this homd visit be u'erpsst, 
Tou may conceal yourself. 
Kmg. No, father, never shall the king of 
Mercia 
Be, from his hiding-place, like a mean man 
Pull*d forth. Bat, noble friends, it seems not 



That this necessity should reach to you. 
These rebels seek my life, and with that tife 
They will be satisfied. In my defence, 
Thus taken as we are, all stand were useless; 
Therefore if now vou will obey your king, 
His last command, retire and save your Cves 
For some more useful end. Finding me here. 
They will no farther search : retire, my 
friends. 
See, Cotm. What,leaveour king to face his 

foes alone ? 
King. No, not alone ; my friend the Senes- 
chal 
Will stay with me. We have been young 
together, 



Andthesamestondsin our roach day of lift 
Have beat upon us : be it now God's .will, 
We will lay down our aged heads together 
In the still rest, and bid good night to striib. 
Have I said well, my friend ? 

(hoUtimfotUMelumd totke Seneschal.) 

Vv^VW ■^SB^^PW^^B|^r ^^^^^^ ^V^^^S^^r 9^0 ^^W^F ^K 9 Bf ^^^P^^^»* w 

O my lov'd master ! many a bounteous favoor 
Has shower'd i^na me fimm your roval hand. 
But ne'er before was I so proudly nonour'd. 
(risM^ Mf wUk msMMtmedgrmee. 
Retire, young men, for now Imustbe nroud > 
Retire, your master will coofroiit the loe 
As may become a king. 
{ML eaUing outai emu.) No, no ! we will not 

leave him. 
(they aU range themedoeM, drawing their 

ewards^ramndtheKmfff and the eld Senev- 

chaljtemls, hyfre- em tnemee,eloeetohiefnmO' 

ter*e side.) 

See, Ceem, Here is a wall through which 
they first must force 
A bk»ody wajr, ere on his royal head 
One silver hiur be scath*d. 

Enter Etbwald, Alwt, and the CovsrimA- 

TORS. 

Ahoff. Now vengeance for injustiee and op- 
pression! 
See. Comn. On your own heads, then, be it, 
miscreant chiefii ! 
(the^Jtght round theKing: hie party drfend 
ham braveUff tUl mamy more Conspiraton 
enter, and U is owerjfowered.) 
Ethw. (aside, angrily, to Alw^, enstiU oee^ 
veg the Kinff standing tn the midst, 
unhwrt, ana, with greet dignity, the 
SeiMeocDslbfihisside,andnoone^er' 
ing to attaek him.) 
Hast thou forgot? Where are thy chosen 

men? 
Is there no hand to do the needful work ? 
This is but children's play, (to some ef his 

party.) 
Come, let us search, that in the neighlnng 

chamber. 
No lurking foe escape. [Ezrr with some Fol- 
lowers. 
JUwy. (giving a sign to his Followers mnd 
going np i nso le nt ly to the King.) 
Oswal, resign thy sword. 
58n.;First take thou mine, thou base, igno- 
ble traitor. 
(Oioing Alwy a Uow with his sword, ntpom 
whiai Alwy and his Tolloiwenfallupon Ute 
King and the Seneschal, and, surround ing 
them on every side, IdU them, with w mny 
wounds,the crowd gathering eo deee romm 
them, that their fall cannot he seen.) 
(Re-enter Ethwald, and thearowd opening am 



each eide, ehowe the dead 

and the Seneschal.) 

Ethw. (dfeeting surprise.) What sight is 

Ah! ye have gone too far. Who did this 
deed? 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



167 



MiBy\ Bfy foUowen, mach ennged at ilight 
oronoe, 
Did fkU upon him. 
Eihw. All hftTe their end decreed, and this, 
alafl{ 
Has been his ftted hour. 
Come, chiefi and yaliant friends, why stand 

we here 
Lookinif on tiiat which cannot be repaired ? 
All honour shall be paid unto the dead. 
And, were this deea of any single hand 
The willing crime, he should hsTe Tcngeanoe 

too. 
But let us now our nightly task fidfil ; 
Much hsTe we still to do ere morning dawn. 
[Exxurr Ethw. tmd Fdiowen, ani tM scene 
cloisef. 

SCKHB VII. — A ROTAL APAETMBIIT: 

Enter Elbuboa, with her hair scattered upon 
her shoulders, and with the action of one in 
violent grief, followed by Dwiha, who seems 
to be soothing faer. 



EH. Cease, cease! thy foolish 

soothes me not : 
My mominff is overcast ; my glory sunk : 
Leave me &ne to.wring my luinds and weep. 
Dtei. O, no, my princely mistress ! grieve 

not thus! 
Over our heads the blackest donds do pass. 
And brighter follow them. 
Elfr. No, no! my Ay is night! I was a 

princess. 
Almost a queen > in gorgeous pomp beheld. 
The public saze was ever turn d on me : 
Proud was the highest Thane or haughtiest 

dame 
To do my bidding: ev'ry count*nance waich'd 
Each changeful glance of my commanding 

eye, 
To read its meaning : now my state is cfaang'd; 
Bcoffinff and insult and degrading nity 
Abide ue daughter of a murder^ sing. 
Heaven's vengeance li^t upon them all! 

Begone ! 
I hate the very light for looking on me ! 
Becone, and soothe me not! 
Am. Forgive me, princess ; do not thus de- 
spair; 
KingOswal'sdaughter many friends will find. 
JQ». Friends ! hold thy peace !--Oh it doth 

rend my heart ! 
I have been wont to talk of subjects, vassals. 
Dependants, servants, slaves, but not of 

friends. 
Where shall I hide my head .' 
Dim. Surely, dear mistress, with Saint 

Cuthbert*8 nuns. 
Whose convent by your nither*s gifts is rich, 
Tou will protection find. There quiet rest. 
And holy convene of those pious maids. 
After a while will pour into your mind 
Soft consola^on. (piittnur her hand on Elbur- 

ga*s 9oUhtHgiy^ 
Elk, {jmshmg her away.) 
Out upon thee, fool ! Go, speak thy comforts 
To spirits tame and abject as thyself: 



They make me mad ; they make me thus to 

tear 
My scattered locks and strew them to the 
winds, (faiaring her hmr dittratUily,) 

Enter a Servaht. 

What brings thee here ? {to Ser.) 

. Ser, Ethwald, the king, is at the gate, and 

asks 
To be admitted to your presence, princess. 

EXb. (heeaming suddenly ealm.) 
What, Ethwald, say 'st thou f say'st thou tru- 
ly so? 
Ser. Tes, truly, princess. 
Elh. Ethwald, that Thane whom thou dost 

call the king.' 
Ser. Tes, he whom all the states and chiefii 
of Mercia 
Do call the king. 

Elb. He enten not. Tell him I am unwell. 
And will not be disturbed. [Exit Ser. 

What seeks he here .' Fie, poorly fainting soul ! 
Rouse ! rouse thee up ! To all the worldheside 
Subdued and humbled would I rather be 
Than in the eyes of this proud man. 

Re-enter Ser. 

What say*st thou ? 
Is he departed ? 

Ser. No, he will not depart, but bids me say 
The entrance he has beggd he now com- 
mands. 
I hear his steps behind me. 

Enter Ethwald. 

(Elburga funis away from him proudly.') 
Ethw. Elburga, turn and look upon a mend. 
I3b. {turning round haughtily, and looking 

on him with an assumed ejpression of 

anger and scon^fvl contempt.) 
Usurping reoel, who hast slain thy master ; 
Take thou a look that well beseems thy worth. 
And hie thee hence, false traitor ! 
Ethw. Yes, I will hie me hence, and with 

me lead 
A foir and beauteous subject to my will ; 
That will which may not be gainsaid. For now 
High Heaven, that hath decreed thy fiither's 
^ faU, 

Hath also me appointed kingof Meroia^ 
With right as fair as his ; wmch 111 mamtain. 
And by the proudest in this lordly realm 
Will be obey'd, even by thy lofty self. 
IXb. Put shackles on my nmbs, and o'er my 

head 
Let your barr'd dungeons low'r ; then may *rt 

thou say, 
*' Walk not abroad," and so it needs must be : 
But think*st thou to subdue, bold as thou art, 
The lofty spirit of king Oswal's daughter ? 
Go, bina the wild winds in thy hollow shield. 
And bid them rage no more : they will obey 

thee. 
Ethw. Tes, proud Elburga, I will shackle 

thee. 
But on the throne of Meroia shalt thou sit. 
Not in the dungeon's gloom. 



168 



ETiIWAU>: A T%AQSJ>Y. 



Ay, and, albeit the wild winds do lefnae 
To be subjected to my royal will, 
Tlie lofty spirit of king Oswal's daughter 
I mU. sobdae. {taking her hand.) 

EUt. (throwing him oWfrom her vehemently.) 
Off with those bloo<^ hands that slew my 

fiither! 
Thy touch is horrid to me ! 'tis a fiend's grasp: 
Out from my presence! bloody Thane of 

Maimeath! 
Ethw. Ay, frown on me, Elburga > proudly 

frown : 
I knew thy haughty spirit, and I lov'd it. 
Even when I saw tnee first in gorgeous state ; 
When, bearing high thy stately form, thou 

stoo<Ct 
Like a proud queen, and on the gazing crowd, 
Somewnat offended with a late neglect. 
Darted thy looks of anger and dis£un. 
High Thanes and Dames shrunk from thine 

eye, whilst 1, 
Like one who fix>m the mountain's summit 



Beneath him &r the harmless lightning play, 
With smiling admiration mark'a thee well, 
And own'd a kindred soul. Each angry flash. 
Of thy dark eye was loveliness to me. 
But know, proud maid, my spirit outmasters 

tnine. 
And heedeth not the anger nor the power 
Of liyin^ thing. 
Elb, Sold and amaTing man ! 
Ethw. And bold shomd be the man who 

weds Elburga. 
£26. Away ! it cannot be, it shall not be ! 
My soul dotn rise against thee, bloody chief. 
And bids thy power defiance. 
Ethto. Then art thou mine in truth, for 
never yet 
Did hostile thing confix>nt me unsubdued: 
Defy me and thou'rt conc^uer'd. 
£lb. Thou most audacious chief! it shall 

not be. 
Ethw. It shall, it must be, maiden, I have 
sworn it ; 
And here repeat it on that beauteous hand 
Which to no power but with my life I'll yield. 
{graemng her hand firmly which she etruggUs 

tofree!) 
Frown not, Elburga ! 'tis in vain to strive ; 
My spirit outmasters thine. 
Elh. Say'st thou to me thou didst not slay 
my father i 
Say'st thou those hands are guiltless of his 
death ? 
EJhw. Think'st thou I'll plead, and say I 
have not slain 
A weak old man, whose inoffensive mind. 
And strong desire to quit the warring world 
For ^uiet religious rest, could be, in truth, 
No hmdrance to my greatness .' were this fit- 

ting 
In Mercia'slung, and proud Elburga's lord ^ 

Elb. (turning a>mw*} 
Elburga's lord! Tnou art presumptuous^ 

prince : 
Go hence, and brave me not 



Ethw. I will go hence forthwith; and, by 
my side. 
The fiiir selected partner of my throne, 
I'll lead where the assembled chiefii of Mercia 
Wait to receive firom me their future queen. 

Elh. Distract me not ! 

Ethw, Resistance is distraction. 
Who ever yet my fixed purpose cross'd ? 
Did Ethw^d ever yield? Come, queen of 

Mercia ! 
This firm grasp shall conduct thee to a throne : 
(taking her hand, which she feebly reeieta.) 
Come forth, the frowning, haughty bride of 
Ethwald. 

mb. Wonderful man ! 
If hell or fortune fight for thee I know not, 
Nothing withstands thy power. 
fExKUHT Ethw. leading of Elb. in triumph, 

and Dwina following with her hands and 

eyes raiud to heaven m astonishment.) 



ACT V. 

SCEHB I. — AN ARCHED PAS8A6B FROM 
A 6ATBWAT IH THE ROTAL CASTLE. 
THE SOUHD OF WARLIKE MUSIC WITH- 
OUT. 

Elnter Ethelbset and Selred with thsir 
Followers, as if jost come -from a long 
march : Enter, by toe <np08ite side, Alwt, 
opon which they halt, the fotemost of the 
i>oLLowER8 but just appearing under the 
gateway. 

Mwy. Welcome, most valiant chieftains! 
Fame reports 
That crown'd with frill success ye are retom'd. 
£c4.;Qood sooth we boast but little of oar 
arms! 
Tho' Woffgarwolfe, our base ignoble spoiler, 
WoundecTand sorely shent, we've left behind, 
Again in cloister'd walls with ghostly men, 
Winding his soul, with many a heavy groan. 
Into a saintly firame ; God speed the work ! 
We are but just in time to save our halls. 

Sd. It is a shame that such a ruffian thief 
Should thus employ the arms of warlike 
Thanes. 
Mwy. In truth it is, but now there reign* 
in Mercia 
A warlike king, who better knows to deal 
With valiant men. The messenger infomi'd 
you.^ 
8d. He did ; yet, be it own'd, to call him 
kin£ 
Sounds strangely in our ears. How died king 
Oswal? 
Eih. (to 8el.) Patience, my friend ! good 
time will shew thee all. 
Yet pray inform us, Alwy, ere we part. 
Where is young Edward ? In these late oom- 

motions 
What part had he ? 
Mwy. Would to the holy saints I could 
inform you ! 
Reports there are, incongruous and absurd — 



' ETHWALD: A THAGEDY. 



Some say, in hunting fiom his followers 

Btrajr'di 
Passing at dusk of eve a high-swoln stream, 
Therein he perish'd ;. others do maintain 
That, loathing greatness, he conceals himself 
In some lone cave : Bat, as I bear a heart 
True to king Ethwald and the public weal, 
I know oflum no more. 

Sd. Thou Uest ! 

Eik. (jndUng back Selred.) Peace, art thou 
madP 

Mwy, (pretending not to hear.) What said 
braye Selred ? 

Eth. A hasty exclamation of no meaning. 

Alwy. I must awaj and bear the welcome 
tidings 
Of your arrivad to the royal ear. 

Jath. But stop, before thou go'st I fain 
would know 
How ftr'd Elburga in the passing storm ? 
Where has she refuge found ? 

JUmy, Within these walls ; sheisthequeen 
of Mercia. 

Eth. I am indebted to thee. (Exit Alwy. 

SeL {staring with surprise upon Ethelbert) 
What dost thou think of this ? Did we hear 

truly.? 
To the usurper of her fitther's crown. 
And if our rears be true, his murd'rer too ! 
To him ! O most unnatural ! 

Eth. Ay, so it is. As one who yentuies 
forth 
After an earthquake's awful yisitation. 
The country round in strange unwonted guise 
Beholds; liere swelling teights and herby 

knolls. 
Where smok'd the cottage and the white 

flocks browz'd, 
Sunk into turbid pools ; there rifled rocks, 
With all their shaggy woods upon their sides. 
In the low bosom or the flowery yale 
Resting uncouthly— eyen so does he, 
Who looks abroad after the storms of state, 
Strange changes see ', unnatural and strange. 

Set. It makes my spirit boil — the gentle 
Edward! 
Soffently braye ! 

&k. Yes, there is cause of grief 
And indignation too : but Ethwald reigns, 
Howe'er he gain'd his height, and he possesses 
The qualities that suit his lofty station. 
With them I fear^ has his passions also. 
Hostile to public good : be it our part 
To use the influence we still retam 
O'er his ambitious mind for Mercia's weal ! 
This is our duty now. 

8el. ril take thy counsel, (to (As Soldiers.) 
Follow, weary comrades. 
[ExsuiiT Eth. and Sel. and their Followers, 

marching across the stage. 

ScEHV II.- — ^A ROTAL APARTMENT. 

Elburoa. as QvKKN. discovered sitting on a 
chair or state, with Dwina, Ladiks, and 
OrricERS of State attending. 

Elh. We>e waited long: how goes the 
dty? know'stthou? 

21 



(to Tint Officer.) 
First. Ofi. As comes the light across this 
arched roof 
From those high windows, it should wear, 

methinks. 
Upon noon day. 

Elb. and the procession to the royal chapel 
Should at this nour begin. The king, per- 
chance. 
Is with affiurs detain'd : go thou and see. 

[Exit First Qffiper. 
I am impatient now. (voice heard withotU.) 
What yoice is that ? 

First SONG vfithout. 

Hark \ the cock crows, and the wind blows, 

Away, my lore, away ! 
Quick, d'on thy weeds and tell thy beads. 

For soon it will be day. 

First. Lad. 'Tis sadly wild. 
Dwin. 'Tis sad but wond'rous sweet. 
Who may it be .' List, list ! she sings again. 

Second SONG without. 

Where lay'it thou thy carelesa head T 
On the cold heath is my bed. 
Where the moor-cock shuts his wing, 
And the brown snake weaves his ring. 
Safe and fearlesa will I be, 
1*110 coiled adder stings not me. 

£26. (njiji^ displeased from her seat.) 
Call those who wait without. What may this 
mean.' 

Enter an Attendant. 

Whose yoice is that which in a day of joy 

Such plaintive music makes.' 
^tten. Pardon, my royal dame! be not 
ofiended ! 

"Hs a poor maid bereaved of her mind. 

Rent are her robes, her scatter'd locks un- 
bound. 

Like one who lopg thro' rugged ways hath 
stray'd. 

Beat with the surly blast ; but never yet, 

Tho' all so sorely shent, did I behold 

A fairer maid. She aims at no despite : 

She's wild, but gentle. 
Dwi. O hark again ! 

Third SONG without, 

* Once npon my cheek 
He said the roses grew, 

But now they're wasn'd away 
With the cold ev'ning dew. 

For I wander thro' the night, 

When all bat me take rest, 
And the moon's voft beams fkll piteoosly 

Upon my troabled bresst. 
(g pause.) 

* For this third Song, which is the only litera- 
ry assistance either in verse or prose that I have 
everreoeiyed, I am indebted to the pen of a 
friend. 



ETiXWAW : A TBJkOBPT. 



Fburth SONG. 

Ah, maiden ! bear the biting nnart. 

Nor thuB thy loss deplore j; 
The Thane's oaoghter has his heart. 
He will return no more. 

Firsi Lad. 'Tie strangely melancholy. 
Dwi. Tb like the mouinfal sounds which 

oftentimes 
The midnight watcher, in bis lonely tower, 
Hean, witn the wailing blast most sweetly 

mingled. 
Elb. (to Attendant.) Go tboa and lead her 

hither. 
Men. I will, great queen. — But here she 

comes unbidden. 

Enter Bkrtha with a wild unsettled air, and 
her hair scattered upon her shoulders. The 
Ladiks gather about her with curiosity; 

First Lad. How iair she is ! 
Sec. Lad. Her eyes of lovely blue. 
Gentle but restless. Dost thou see that 
fiance ? (to Sec. Lad.) 

I fear to look upon her. 
Dwi. Fie, fie, upon it ! press not near her 
thus: 
She seems offended : I will speak to her. 
(to Berth.) Sweet Lady, art thou sad ? 
(Bertha looks stedfastly at her, then drops her 
head uoon her breast and makes no answer.) 
We would be kind to thee. 
(Berth, then looks more gently on her, hut is 
stiU silent.) 
First Lad. Dost thou not speak, thou who 

canst sinff so well ? 
Dwi. Who taught thee those sweet notes ? 
Berth. The night was dark : I met spirits 
on my way : 
'Riey sung me sweet songs, but they were^sor- 
rowful. 
Dwi. Ah, woe is me ! and dost thou wan- 
der, then. 
In the dark night alone, no one to tend thee.' 
Berth. When the moon's dark, I follow the 
night-bird's cry. 
And it doth guide my way. — But he'll return. 
So do they tell me, when sweet violets blow 
And summer comes afain. 
Dwi. And who is he ? 
Berth. List, and the winds will tell thee as 
they pass : 
The stilly air will whisper it. But softly, 
Tell it to none a^ain. They must not know 
How stem he is, for he was gentle once. 
DwL A cruel heart had he who could for- 
sake thee ! 
Ber. (putting her hand eagerly on Dwina's 
mouth.) 
Hush, hush! we'll not ofiend him. He is 

great. 
And must not be offended. 
Etb. {coming near her.) What, say'st thou 
he is great ? 
Rent are thy weeds and thin thy ruffled robe : 
Why didst thou leave thy home thus unpro- 
tected.' 



Berik. (turning hastily upm hsr.) 
I saw his banner streanung in the air, 
And I did follow it 
Elh. His banner in the air ! What is thy 

/ love ? 
Bartk. (looking Jieredy at her,) 
Thev aay ne is a king. 

£b. (smiUng.) Poor maid ! 'tis ever tJhsa 
with such as she ; 
They still believe themselves of some high 

state. 
And mimiek greatness. 
Berth. Thou art a fair dame and a gay — 
but go; 
Take off thine eyes from me ; I love thee not 
(Shrinks from £lburga, wtdking backwards 
and looking frowmingly at her ; iken beekanr 
ing to Dwma, j&c speaks in her ear.') 
They say a royal dame has won his fiuth, 
Stately and proud. But in a gloomy dream 
I heard it first, confused and terrible : 
And oft-times, since, the fiend of night re- 
peats it, 
As on my pressed breast he sits and groana. 
I'll not neheve it. 
Dwi. What is thy name, sweet Lady .' 
Berth, (rubbittg her hand across her fore- 
head as if trying to reeoUeet.) 
1 had a name that kiml friends call'd me by ; 
And with a blessing did the holy man 
Bestow it on me. But I've wander'd far 
Thro' wood and wilds, and strangely on my 

head 
The 'numbing winds have beat, and I have 
lost It 

Be not offended with me^ 

For, Lady, thou art gentle, and I fear thee. 
(bowing submissioely to Dwina.) 

Enter Ethelbbrt. 

Eth. (to Dwina, after looking at Bertha.) 
What maid is that so hagg^utl and so wild f 
Dwi. A wand'ring maniac, but so fair and 
gentle 
Thou ne^s must speak to her. 
Eth. (going up to Berth.) Fair Lady, wilt 
thou suffer — gracious heaven ! 
What see I here ! the sweet and gentle Ber- 
tha ! 
Ah, has it come to this ? alas, alas ! 
Sweet maiden, dost thou know me .' 

Berth, (after looking eamestjv at Am.) 
I know mee well enough. They call thee 

mad; 
Thy wild and raving words oft made the ears 
Of holy men to tingle. 
Etk. She somewhat glances at the truth. 
Alas! 
I've seen her gay and blooming as the rose. 
And cheerful, too, as song of euiy krk. 
I've seen her prattle on l^r nurse's lap. 
Innocent bud! and now I see her thus, (weeps.) 
Bertk. Ah ! dost thou weep f are they un- 
kind to thee ? (^kaian^ her head.) 
Yes, yes ! from out the herd, like a mark'd 
deer, 



eniWKkLB : k TRAGEDY. 



m 



They drive tbe poor dnrtnoght The sloniui 

of heaTcn 
fioAt ott him : gvfing hinds stare at his woe ; 
And no one wtajfm to bid faeav'n speed his way. 
Eih. (JUnaisk of trumpeU.) Sweet maidy 

retire. 
Berth, Nay, nay ! I will not go : there be 
Witiioot 
Those who will frown upon me. 

Etk. (endeavouring to lead her off.) 
Ipraj thee be entreated ! 
(Dwma takes hold of her aUo to lead her eff^ 
but she breaks firom thsmjwiously.) 
Berth. Te shall not force me! Wist ye, 
who I am ? 
Hie wfairiwind in its strength oontends with 

me, 
And I o'ermaster it. 
Eth. Stand round her then, I pray ydn, 
gentle ladies ! 
The king must not behold her. 
(cAe Ladies gather round "BeTtbe, and caneeal 
her.) 

Enter Ethwald, followed by Thahis and 
Attendaitts. 



Etkio. ((^ter returning the obeisance of the 
assemUy.) 
This gay and fair attendanee on oar person 
And on otur qoeen, most hononr'd lords and 

dames, 
We ttiilch regard ; and could my hesrt ez- 

(Betihe, hearing his voice dirieks out.) 
What cry is that .^ 
Dwi. Regard it not: it is a wand'ring 
maid, 
Distracted in her mind, who is in search. 
As she conceits it, of some faithless lover. 
She sings sweet songs of wildest harmony. 
And at the queen's command we led her in. 
Ethw. Seeking her love ! distracted in her 
mind! 
Have any of my followers wrong'd her? 

Speak! 
if so it be, by righteous heaven I swear ! 
The man, whoe er he be, shall dearly me it. 
(3ertha shrieks s^«m, and breaking through 
the crowd runs up to Ethwald. He starts 
baekf and covere his eves with one hand, 
Whilst ^j catching hold of the other,presses 
. it to her breast.) 
Berth. I've fomid thee now, and let the 
black fiend ffrowl, 
I will not part with thee. I've followed thee 
Thro' crag and moor and wild. I ' ve heard thy 

voice 
Bound from the dark hill's side, and folio w'd 

thee. 
I've seen thee on the gathering twilight 

clouds, 
Ride with the stately spirits of the storm. 
But thou look'dst sternly on me. 
O be not angry ! I will kneel to thee ; 
For thou art glorious now, as I am told, 
And must have worship, f kneeling andbow- 
ing her head meekly to the ground.) 



EAw. {Utrmng away^ O God ! O God ! 
Where art thou, Ethelbert? 
ThoU might'st have saved me this. 
{JLoeihrng round and seeing that Ethelbert 
weeps, he also becomes sofUned and turns to 
Bertha with great emotion.) 
Berth. They say she's &ir and glorious : woe 
is me ! 
I am but form'd as simple maidens are. 
But scorn me not : 1 have a powerful spell, 
A Druid gave it me, which on miiie arm 
When once enclasp'd, will make me fair as 

she; 
So thou wilt turn to me. 

Ethw. O Ethelbert ! I pray thee pity me ! 
This sight doth move me, e'en to agony. 
Remove her hence ; but O deal gently with 

her! 
(Ethelbert, endeavours again to lead her off, 
and the Ladies crowd about her. She is 
then carried out,and is heard to scream as 
they are carrying her.) 
Ethw. {in great aisoraer.) Come, come a- 
way ! we do but linger here. 
(Elbur^, who, since Ethwald s entering, has 
remained in the back ground, but agitated 
withpassions, now advances angrily to him.) 
EXb. So thou hast known this maid P 
Ethw. Fie ! speak not to me now. 
£26. Away, away ! 
Thou hast lodged softer passions in thy breast 
Than I have reckon'd on. 
Ethw. (shaking her off.) Fie ! turn thy face 
aside, and shade thine eyes ! , 
That no soft passion in thy bosom lives. 
Is thy opprobrium, woman, and thy sname. 
£ft. There are wi^n my breast such 
thoughts, I trust. 
As suit my lofty state. 
Ethw. (aside to Elb.) Go, heartless page- 
ant, go! 
Lead on thy senseless show, and move me 

not 
To do thee some despite. 
(aloud to the Ladies.) Move on, fair dames. 

(to Elb. who seems unwiUingto go.) 
The king commands it. fExEunv rllburga 
and Ladies. 
First Offt. (to Ethw. who stands with his ' 
eyes fixed on the ground.) 
Please you, my Lord, but if you move not 

also, 
The ceremony will, in sooth, appear 
As marr'd and cut in twain. 
Ethw. What say'st thou, marshal ? 
First Ofi. Please you, my Lord, to move ? 
Ethw. Ay, thou say'st well : in the soul's 

A meaner man mi^ht turn aside and weep. 

(ElEVMT Ethw. With part of his train, the 
others ranging themselves in order to follow 
him. A great confusion and noise is then 
heard wmout, and a voice calling out** the 
king is wounded." The crowd press back 
again in disorder, and presently re-enter 
Ethw. supported.) 
First Qgi. My Lord, how is it with you ? 



m 



ETHWALD : A TRAOED7. 



Etkw. 1 fear bat ill, mj friend. Where is 

the man 
That gave me this fell stroke ^ 
FirH OJL I cannot tell : thej have aor- 

rounded him. 

Enter Skoond OrnOKB. . 

See. Ofi. He is secored. 
Eihw. Is it a Mercian hand ? 
9te. Ofi. It is, mj Lord, but of no high 
decree. 
It is the fri^tic stroke of a poor groom, 
Who did hui late Lord lore; and, for that crime. 
Last night, with wife and chUdren weeping 

round him, 
Was by your soldiers tum*d into the cold. 
Houseless .and bare. 

Etkw. Curse on their ruffian zeal ! 
Torment him not, but let him die in peace. 
Would I might say — . I'm very famt, my 

friends: 
Support me hence, I pray you ! 

[ExBUHT Ethw. supported. 

SCBITE in.— rA BOTAL APABTMENT: AB 
0#BB DOOB IK FBOBT, 8HEWIBO AB IN- 
BEB CHAMBEB, IB WHICH IS DI8C0V- 
EBED ETHWALD LTIBO UPOB A COUCH, 
ABD 8UBB0UBDED WITH THE THABE8 
ABD 0FFICEB8 OF HI8 COUBT, 8ELBED 

' ABD ETHELBEBT 8TABDIBO OB EACH 

' BIDE OF HIM. 

Sel. {i^Ut Ethw. has said somdkingto him 
tm a low voice.) 
He is too much inclosed, and longs for air : 
He'll breathe more freely in the outer cham- 
ber; 
Let us remove him. 

(7%«y l^ him in his couch, and bring him 
forward to the front of the stage.) 
First Ofi. How are you now, my Lord ? 
Ethw. Somewhat exhausted; and albeit, 
good Thanes, 
I greatly am indebted to your love, 
For a daort space I fidn would be alone. 
First Ofi. Farewell \ God send your high- 
ness rest ! meantime 
We'll pray for your recovery. 
See. Ofi. Ana heaven will hearour prayers. 
(Omnes^ Amen, amen ! 
Ethw. rray heaven to order all things for 
the weal 
Of my good realm, and I shall be well pleased 
To hve or die. Adieu ! FExkuht all but 
Ethw. Sebred, and Ethelbert. After 
a pause, in which Ethw. seems agi- 
tated and uneasy. 
My dearest Selred, think it not unkind. 
But go thou too. ' [Exit Selred. 

{Raising himself on the couth, and taking both 
the hands of Ethelbert, which he presses in 
his, looking up in his face tacprtsstody for 
some timebdore he speaks.) 
I am oppress'd. To them, even in this state, 
I still must be a king : to you, my friend, 
Let roe put off all seeming and constraint, 



And be a poor weak man. (a panse,) Thofa 

speakest not. 
Thy ftee is sad aikd solemn. Well I see 
Thou look'st upon me as a dying wretch-^ 
There is no hope. 

Eth. Much will it profit thee 
To be prepar'd as tho there were no hope ; 
For if thou liv'st thou'lt live a better man, 
And if thou diest, may heaven accept it of 

thee! 
Ethw. O that it would ! But, my gbod 

Ethelbert, 
To be thus seized in my high career. 
With all my views of glory op'ning roond 



The Western state ev'n now invites miote 

arms. 
And half Northumberland, in little time, 
Had been to Mercia join'd. 

Eth. Nay, think not now, I pray thee, of 
these matters ! 
They mix unoouthly with the pious thoogfats 
That do become your state. 

Ethw. I know it well ; 
But they do p^ss so closely on my heaH — '- 

I did think to be reroember'd long ! 
Like those grand visitations of the earth. 
That on its alter'd hce for aces leave 
The traces of their might. Alas, alas ! 

1 am a powerful, but a passing storm. 
That soon shall be forgotten ! 

Eth. 1 do beseech thee think of better 

things! 
EAw. Thou see'st I weep.— Before thee i 
may weep, (dropping his head tipon 
his breast and groaning deeply.) 
Long have I toil'd and stain'd my hands in 

blood ^ 

To gain pre-eminence ; and now, alas ! 
Newly arrived at this towering bei^t, 
With all my schemes of glory rip'nmg round 

me, 
I close mine eyes in darkness , and am nothing. 
Eth. What, nothing say'st thou ? 
Ethw. O no, Ethelbert ! 
I look beyond this world, and look with dread 
Where afi for me is fearful and unknown. 
Death I have daily Ivaved in fields of fight, 
And, when a boy, oft on the air-hung bough 
I've fearless trode, beneath me roaring for 
The deep swoln floods, with ev'ryemng step 
Instant destruction. Had I periah'd then — 
Would that I had, since it has come to this ! 
(raisingup his hands vehemently to heaven.) 
EthrBe not so vehement : this will endan^ 
ger 
The little chance thou still may'st have for 

life. 
The God we fear is merciful. 

Ethw. Ay, he ismercifril ; but may it reach" 
O listen to me ! — Oswal I have murder 'd, 
And Edward, brave and gentle — Ay, this bites 
With a feU tooth ! I vifely have enthraU'd; 
Of all his rights deprived. The loving Bertha: 
Too well thou know'st what I have been to 

her — 
Ah ! thinkest thou a thooaand robed priests 



ETHWAU): A TRAGEDY. 



lis 



Can pimy down meicj on a loal &o foul ? 

Eik, The inward fighfl of humble penitence 
Raw to the ear of heay^n When nealed hjmnB 
Ale ■catter'd with the sounds or common air ; 
If I indeed may speak unto a king 
Of low humility. 
Etkw, Thj words bite keenly, friend. O 

king me not ! 
Grant me but longer life, and thou shalt see 
What brave amends I'll make for past offences. 
Thofi thinkest hardly of me ; ne ertheless, 
Rough as my warrior's life has been, good 

thoughts 
Haye sometimes harbour'd here. 

(tnUUng kit hand on kif heart.) 
If I had lived, 

It was my full intent that, in my power, 
My people should have found prosperity : 
1 would have proved to them a gen'rous 

Lord. 
If I had Uved Ah ! think'st thou, Ethel- 

bert, 
There is indeed no hope ? 
Eth. I may not flatter you. 
Ethw. (holding up his clasped hands.) 
Then heav'n have mercy on a guilty soul I 
Good Ethelbert, full well thou know'st that I 
No coward am : from power of mortal thing 
I never shrunk. O might I still contend 
With spear and helm, and shield and bran- 

dish'd blade ! 
But I must go where spear and helm and 

shield 
Avail not : 
Where the skillM warriour cas'd in iron, 

stands 
Defenceless as the poor uncrusted worm. 
Sbme do conceit that disembodied spirits 
Have in them more capacity of woe 
Than flesh and blood maintain. I feel ap- 

pall'd : 
Tes, Thane of Sexford, I do say appall'd. 
For, ah ! thou know'st not in how short a 

space 
^e soul of man within him may be changed. 
Eth. I know it all too well. But be more 

calm; 
Thou hast a task to do, and short perhaps 
May be the time allowed thee. True repent- 
ance 
With reparatioii of offences past 
Is ever yok'd. Declare it as thy will 
That Edward do succeed unto nis rights : 
And for poor JSertha, she shall be my charge ; 
111 tend and cheer her in my quiet nome. 
lUhw. Thou dost prevent my boon: heaven 

bless thee for it ! 
I give thee power to do whate'er thou think'st 
I, living, should have done. *Tis all I can. 
And gracious heaven accept it at my hands ! 
Eth. Amen, my friend ! I'U faithfully fUlfil 
Th' important trust — Ha! how thy visage 

changes! 
Thy mind's exertion' has outrun thy stren^h. 
He faints away. Help ! who attends with- 
out.' 



(Enter jSelrxd with Attendants. 

Support the king : whether a sudden faint 
Or death be now upon him, trow I not, 
But quickly call the queen. 

Set. Alas, my brother! (assisting Eth. to 
raise £thw.'s head.) 

Eth. Raise him gently, Selred. 
For, if that life witnin nun still remain, 
It ma^ revive him. 

Set. Ah ! see how changed he is ! Alas, my 
brother! 
Pride of my frither's house, is this thy end .' 

Enter Elburga, Nobles, &c . 

EUk Let me approach unto my royal Lord. 
Grood Ethelbert, thou long hast known thy 

LookM he e'er thus before? (looking on Ethw.) 
Eth. No, royal dame ; and yet 'tis but a 
faint; 
See, he revives again. 
Ethw. (opening his eyes.) Who are about 

me now ? 
Eth. The queen and nobles. 
8el. And Selred, too, is here, my dearest 

Ethwald ! 
EthiD. (holding out his hand to Se\.) 
Ay, noble brother, thou wert ever kind. 
Faintness returns again; stand round, my 

' friends, 
And hear my dying words. It is my will 
That Ethelbert shall, afler my decease. 
With the concurrence of the nation's council, 
The kingdom settle as may best appear 
To his experienced wisdom, and retain. 
Until that settlement, the kingly power. 
Faintness returns again ; I say no more. 
Art thou displeas'd, my Selred f 

Sel. (kneJing and kissing his hand.) 
No, brother, let your dying will bereave me 
Ev'n of my father's lands, and with my sword 
I will maintain it. 
Ethw. Thou art a gen'rous brother; £ue 

thee well ! 
Elh. What, is the queen, indeed, so poor a 
thing 
In Mercia's state, that she o'er-passed is, 
UnhonoUt'd and unmcntion'd .' 
Ethw. (to Elb. waving his hand faintly.) 

Be at peace ! 
Thou shalt have all things that become thy 

state. 
(To Attendants.) Lower my head, I pray you. 
First OM. He faints again. 
Sec. Q^. He will not hold it long : 
The kingdom will be torn with dire conten- 
tions, 
And the Northumbrian soon will raise his 
head. 
Ethw. (raising himself eagerly with great 
vehemence.) 
Northumberland ! Oh I did purpose soon, 
With thrice five thousand oi my chosen men, 
To've compass'd his proud towers. 
Death, death! thou art at hand, and all is 

ended ! 
(groans and falls baekupon the couch.) 



m 



ETHWALD : A TRAGSDT. 



First (Mi Thii ii a fiunt from which I fear, 
mveTbanes, 
He will awake no mofe. 
Sec. Ofi. Saj'st thou ? Go nearer and ob- 

senre the &ce. 
First OM. If that mine eyes did ever death 
behold, 
This ia a dead man's visage. 
See. Ofi. Let us retiie. My good Loid 
Ethelbert, 
Ton khall not find me backward in your ser- 
Tioe. 
First Ofi. Nor me. 
Omnes. Nor any of us. 
Eth. I thank yon, Thanes ! Tn fit you 
should retire ; 
But Selred andfmyself, and, of your number, 
Two chosen by yourselves, will watch the 

body. 
(to Dwina, idb sttoparts Elburga, and seems 
soothing kir.) 



Ay, sentle Dwina, iootbe your royal miatfeai,^ 
And lead her hence. (i^W looking stMuffasl- 

Ufotitko body.) 
Think ye,^indeed, that death hath dealt fais 

blow? 
First Ofi. Ah, yes, my Lord ! that eoonta- 

nance is death. 
(Selred lauds hytkebody, and kidss his head.) 

Eth. Then peace be to his s|nrit ! 
A brave and oarinff eovl is ^ooe to rest. 
Thus powerful deau th' ambitiaus man anests. 
In midst of all his great and towering* hopes. 
With heart high swoln ; as the omnipotent 

firoet 
Seixes the rough enchafed northern deep, 
And all its mighty billows, heav'd aloft, 
Boldlv conmiixing with the clouds of heaven,- 
Are nz'd to rage no move. 

(The Cmiaim drops.y 



• > I 



ETHWALD: A TRAGEDY. 

PART SECOND. 



PERSOKS OF THE DRAMA. 

MEN; 

Ethwald. 
Ethslbebt. 



WOMEN: 

EllDROA. 
DwiNA. 

Ladui, AmNDAMTi, &«. &e. 
ACT I. 

SCIHB I. A flLOOMT AFABTMENT in 

AN OLD lAXOK CABTLI, WITH SHALL 
OKAIBD WIHDOns TIKI' BIOH nOH 
IBB OBODHD. KDWABD » DIIGOT- 
EKKD ■ITTIDA BI A TABLE, AtTD 
IBACIBS VIQDKBS WITH CHALK UFON 
IT, WHICH HE FBB^DBiraLT aDB« OCT 
IBAIK; AV LAIT, THROWIHG AW AT 
THE CHALS, HE FIXES Htl ETES OF- 
OB THE SBODIIll, AKD COBTIKDEB 
FOR SOME TIME IN A MBLAIfCHOLT 
POiZITKB. 

Catan ta him the KiErxK, cvrriog lomeUiiiig 

The time of bod : taj prison honn ue wont 
To fl; oiore heirilr. 
Micp. It IB Dot food : 1 bring wlwrawiih, 
my Lord, 
To itop A rent in thue old viJb, tbU oft 
Huh gne*'d me, when I'v« tbonght of you 

Thro' it the cold wind viiiti yon, 

£d. And let it enter • it Bhall not be itopp'd. 
Who Tiaiti nie beaidei the wind* of heaven f 
Who monnu with me but the md ■i^hing 

Who bringeth to mine ear the mimick'd tone* 



Who&nithe prisoner's lean and ferer'd cheek 
Aa kindly as the monarch'a vieatbed browa 
But the free piteous wind? 
I will not have it atopp'd. 
BTaep, My Lord, toe winter now creepa on 



Hon that this] 



irshelter'd fields 



nonuns.oE 

gliJi^to 
---■ --werl 

Dp-risen sun ! Ay, such 



Lav thick, and glanced to the op-ns 
Which acaiee had power to melt it. 
£d. Glanced to th'np 

lieD ev'ry bush doth put ita glory on, 
Like to a gemmed bride '. vonr rustics, now, 
And early uinds, will set ueir clouted feet 
Thro' silwr webs, ao bright and finely wioagbl 
As royal dames ne'er fluhion'd, yet plod on 
Their eaicleaa way, unheeding. 
Alas, ho^v many plorioua thinm there he 
To look npon ! 

Yea, g< 

year advance's; 

Therefore, 1 pnj yon, let me clo« that wall. 

£d. I tell thee no, man ; if the north air 

bites, 

Bring me a cloak, — Where is thv dog to-day f 

ICSp. Indeed, [ woodei that be came not 

Aa be is wonL 

Ed. Bring him, I piay thee, when thou 

his tail and looks up to 

assured kindlineaa of 01 

Who hat not injur'd me. How goei your 

Keep. Soblj, my Lord ) and much it plea- 

o lee youi mind again so aooth'd and oaln. 
Ed. I thank thee : know'at thou not that 

For varied states ) to lop the throne of power, 
bote squat, ahut irom the light f 
He can bear all things ; yet, if thou naat 

for once into the open air, 
the woods, and fidds, and country 

In the &ir light of heaven. 
Kctp. I must not do it i I am sworn to this ; 

But all indulgence, anited to thii slate 

Of close cooBoement, gladly will I gnnt. 
Ed. A faithful servant to a wicked lord, 
'hoe'er he be, artthon. li Oawal dead? 

Or does some powerful Thane his power 
oaorp ? (» pavtt.) 

Thou wilt not answer me. {a iont htard 
teitluM.) 



1% 



ETHWALD : A TRAOEDT. 



Keep. Hft ! who is at the gate that aoiinda 
BO boldly ? 
I'll moimt this tower and see. ^Exir koMtUyy 
and Edw«rd takes kit seat again as 
before.) 
Keep, (wUhoutf eaUing damn from tke Tauh 
er.) 
it is a company of anned men. 
Bearing a royu ensign. 
Ed, {starting from his seat.) Then let me 
rise and brace my spirits up ! 
They bring me death or ueedom ! 

Re-eater Kekper from the Tower. 

(eagerly to him.) What think'st thou of it ? 
Keep. I'll to the gate, and meet them in- 
stantly. 

(Exitf crossing over the stage hastUy.) 
Ed, (alone.) An it be death, they'U do it 
speedily, 
And there s the end of alL Ah, liberty ! 
An it be thoa, enlarger of man's self! — 
My heart doth strangely beat as tho' it were. 
I hear their steps already : they come quickly : 
Ah ( how step they who joyful tiding bear ! 
Keep, (ealhng withaut to Edw. b^ore they 
enter. 
My Lord, my Lord ! you're a firee man again ! 
Ed. Am I ? great Uod of heaTen, how good 
thou art! 

Enter two Thasu. conducted by the Keeper. 

Ed. {accosting them.) Brave men, ye come 
upon a blessed errand. 
And let me bless you. 

First Tk. With loyuntoourselTes we bring, 
my Lorci, 
Your full enlargement from the highest power 
That Mercia now obeys. 

Ed. Not from King Oswal ? 

Sec. Th. No, most noble Ethling : 
From the Lord Regent Ethelbert we come. 

Ed. Mine uncle, then, is dead. 

Sec. Th. E'en so, my Lord. 

Ed. Ah ! eood and gentle, and to me most 
kincT! {weeps, hiding his face.) 
Died he peacefully ? 

First 1%. He is at peace. 

Ed. Te are resenr'd with me. 
But ye are wise, perhaps ; time will declare it 
Give me your hands; ye are mv loving friends. 
And vou, my good guardian or this castle, too. 
You nave not oeen to me a surly keeper. 
{taking the Thanes warmly by the hand, and 

afterwards the Keeper.) 

{A second ham sounds without very loud.) 

First Th. Ha! at our heels another mes- 
senger 
So quicUv sent. Exrr Keep. 

8u. Tn. What may this mean ? 

Ed. Nay. wait not for him here. 
Let us go forth from these inclosing walls. 
And meet him in the light and open day. 

First Th. 'Tis one, I hope, sent to confirm 
our errand: 
How came he on so quickly .' 



• £tf. Thou hopest. Thane? Ohithenthoa 
doubie»rttoo. (pauses and looks earn', 
estly in their faces.) 

Enter Ohgar conducted 17 the Kkkpkr. 

FkrH Tk.Uo Ongar.; Thine errand ? 
Ongar. Tnat thou shalt know, and the 

authority 
Which warrants it You here are come, 

grave Thanes, 
Upon the word of a scarce-named regent, 
To set this pris'ner free ; but 1 am come 
With the sifn'd wiU of Ethwald to forbid it ; 
And here 1 do retain him. (laying hold qf 

Edw.) 
First Th. Loose thy unhallowed grtsp, 

thou base deceiver ! 
Nor fiuse us out with a most wicked tale. 
We left the kin^ at his extremity. 
And long ere this he must have breathed his 



Ongar. Art thou in a league with death to 
know so well 
When he perforce must come to sick men's 

beds.' 
King Ethwald lives, and will live longer too 
Than traitors wish for. Look upon these 

orders: 
Knowest thou not his sign? (shewing kis 
warrant.) 
(Both Thanes after reading it.) Tis 

wonderful ! 
Ongar. Is it so wonderful 
A wounded man, fainting with loss of blood 
And rack'd with pain, should seem so near 

his end. 
And yet recover ? 

Su. T%. Ethwald then lives ? 
Ongar. Ay, and long live the king ! 
Ed. What words are these ? 
I am as one who, in a misty dream, 
Listens to things wild and fantastical, 
Wlych no congruity nor kindred bear 
To preconceiv d impressions. 
Kin^ Ethwalct said ye ? and is Ethwald king ? 
Ftrst T%. He did succeed your uncle. 
Ed. And by his orders am I here detain'd .^ 
First Th. Even so, my Lord. 
Ed. It cannot be. (turning to Sec. Th.) 

Thou say'st not so, good Thane ? 
See. T%. 1 do believe it 
Ed, Nay, nay ; ve are deceiv'd. (turning 
to Ongar.) 
What says't thou ? 

Was I by Ethwald's orders here unprisoa'd ? 
Ongar. Yes, yes ; who else had power or 

will to do it? 
Ed. {holdittghis€lasp*dkands.) Thenhope, 
fkrewell! 
My gleam u dark ; my rest is in the dost ! 

tl»t an enemy had done this wrong ! 

But Ethwald, thou who to my heart wert 

press'd 
As dearest brother never was by him 
Who shar'd his mother's breast! Thou is 

whose fame 

1 gloried — I who spoke not of my own ! — 



ETHWAI«Q: ▲ TRAGEDY. 



m 



Wjien 



_ crowds proclaim'd tjiijr hoii* 
ovr'iiliaiDe, 
I ever join'd with an aii|rriidgiiig heart : 
Tea, luch true kindred feeling bore I to him^ 
£'en at his praiae I wept I pray joo^ airB I 
{bursting inio tears.) thia hath overcome me. 
Ongw. {to Thanat.) Why do you tarry 
here ? Toa've seen my warrant. 
I>epart with me, and leave the priioner. 
Firdt Tk. What, shall we leave himin this 
niteous state, 
hawd and uncomibrted ? 

Ongar. It must be so ; there is no time to 
lose. 
Come, follow me ; my men are at the ffate. 
{As tksjf srs oU oboui te dtfortf E^wart^steii- 
imgJwriimdyforvHwd to the dooTfJUas vpom 
Ongar, ondseixes him by the throoL 
Ed, What I leave me liere, fiend ! Am I 
not a man. 
Created free to breathe the circling air 
And raxige the boundless earth as thy base 

self, 
Or thy more treach'roos lord ? thou tyrant's 
slave! 



(dfls As struggles unth Aim, Ongar calls loudly, 
and immSiately the apartmaU isJUlsd wUh 
armed men, loAo separate thern^ 
Ongar. (to his Followers.) Remove that 
madman to the inner chamber. 
Keeper, attend your duty, (to the Thanea) 
Follow me. 
[ExKVNT Ongar and Thanes, Ac. 
£si|p. {to Edw. MS soma r e ma ini ng armed 
men are leading him affbytkeopnosUeside.) 
Alai ! alas ! my Lord, to see you tnus, 
In closer bondage ! Pray 1 good soldiers, pray ! 
Let him in this apartment still remain : 
He'll be secure \ I'll pledge my life— ^ 

Kd, No, no ! 
Itfet them enchain me in a pitchy gulpb ! 
*Twere better than this den of weariness 
Which my soul loathes. What care I now 
for ease ? 

[ExEDHT Ed. ledoffbythe men, 

SCBNK 11. — AJr APABTIUBNT 121 THK ROY- 
AL CA8TJCS. 

Enter Etbxlbxrt meeting with Sklrkd, who 
entera at the same time from a door at the 
bottom of the stage. 

Eth, How did'st thou leave the king ? 
Sd. Recovering strength with ev'ry passing 
hour. 
His spirits too, that were so weak and gloomy, 
From frequent faintinff and the loss (3" blood, 
Now buoyant rise, and much assist |he curt 
Which all regard as wonderful. 
Eth. It has deceived us, yet I've heard of 

such^ 
8d. Thou lookest sadly on it : how is this P 
With little cost of thought I could explain 
In any man but thee that cloudy brow ; 
Bstwell I know thou didst not prise the 

power 
With which thou wert invested. 

22 



Eth. Selred, this hasty gloom will prove 
too short 
To work in Ethwald's mind the change we 

look'd for. 
And vet he promb'd well. 

8el, Av, and will well perform ; mistrust 
mm not. 
I must confess, nature has form'd his mind 
Too restless and aspiring ; and of late, 
Having such mighty objects in his grausp, 
He has too reckless been of others' rights. 
But. now that all is eain'd, mistrust lum not : 
He'll prove a noble king ; a good cue too. 
Eth. Thou art his brother. 
8el. And thou his friend. 
Eth.'l stand reprov'd before thee. 
A friend, indeed, should genUcr thought^ 

maintain, 
And so I will endeavour. 

Set. Give me thy valiant hand j full well I 
know 
The heart which it pertains to. 
E^A. I hear him, now, within his chamber 

stir. 
8el, Thou'lt move him best alone. God 
speed thy zeal ! 
ril stand by the6 the while aild mark his ey^. 
(Eth. remains on the front ofUit stage whilst 
Ethwald enters behind him from the door at 
the boUom of the stage, leaning upon an at- 
tendant. 

Ethw. {to Sel. as he goes up to Eth.) 
HoWy Ethelbert, our friend, so debp in 

thought ? 
{"Fothe Attendant.) Leave me awhik, me* 

thinks a brother's arm 
Will be a kindlier staff. (Exit Attendant, and 

he leans upon Sel.) 
How, Ethelbert, my friend ! 
What vision from tne nether world of sprite^ 
Now rises to thine eyes, thus on the ground 
So fix'd and sternly bent ? 
Eth. Pardon, my Lord ! my mind should 
now be tum'd 
Tooheerftil thoughts, seeing you thus restor'd. 
How fares it wim you .' 
Ethw. E'en as with one, on a rude moun- 
tain's side. 
Who suddenly in seeming gloom inclosed 
Of drizly ni^ht, athwart the wearing mist 
Sees the veil'd sun break forth in heaven's 

wide arch, 
And shewing still a lengthen'd day before 

him. 
As with a trav'Uer in a gloomy path, 
Whose close o'er-shaded end did ycare Ins 

fancy 
With forms of hidden ill ; who, wending on 
With fearful steps, before his eyes beholds 
r th sudden burst a fair and wide expanse 
Of open country, rich in promis'd good. 
As one o'er whelmed in the battle's shock, . 
Who, all oppress'd and number'd with the 

slain, 
Smother'd and lost, with sudden impulse 
strengthen'd, 



178 



ETriWALP: A TRAGEDY. 



Shakes the foal load of dead men from his 

back, 
And finds himself again standing erect, 
Unmaim'd and vigorous. As one who stood — 
But it may tire thee, with such ample scope 
To tell indeed how it doth fare with me. 
Eth. You tnily are from a dark gloom re- 
stor'd 
To cheerful day ; and, if the passing shade 
Has well impi^ss'd your mina, there lies he- 
fore vou 
A prospect fa& indeed. Ay» fairer far 
Than mat the gloom obscured. 
Ethw. How sayest thou .' 
Eth. Did not that seeming cloud of death 
obscure 
To your keen forecast eye tumultuous scenes 
Of war and strife, and conquest yet to come, 
Bought with your people s blood .' but now, 

my Ethwald, 
Your chasten'd mind, so rich in good resolves. 
Hath stretch'd before it. future prospect fair. 
Such as a Grod might please. 
Ethw. How so, good Ethelbert .' 
Eth. And dost thou not perceive .' O see be- 
fore t|iee 
Thy iiative land, freed from the ills of war 
And hard oppressive power, a land of peace ! 
Where yellow fields unspoil'd, and pastures 

green. 
Mottled with herds and flocks, who crop se- 
cure 
Their native herbage, nor have ever known 
A stranger*s stall, smile gladly. 
See, thro' its tufled alleys to heaven's roof 
The curling smoke of quiet dwellings rise ; 
Whose humble masters, with forgotten spear 
Hung on the webbed wall, and cheerful face 
In harvest fields embrown'd, do gaily talk 
Over their ev'ning meal, and bless king Eth- 
wald, 
The valiant yet the peacei\il, whose wise rule, 
IfHrm and re ver'd, has brought them better days 
Than e'er their fathers knew. 

Ethw. A scene, indeed, fair and desirable ; 
But ah, how much confined ! Were it not work, 
A (rod befitting, with exerted strength, 
Bf one great effort to enlar^ its bounds. 
And spread the blessing wide .' 
F^h. {starting hack from him.) 
Ha ! there it is ! that serpent bites thee still ! 
O spurn it, strangle it ! let it rise no more ! 
Sd. (laying his hand affectitmatdy on Eth- 
wald's Ifreast.) 
My dearest brother, let not such wild thoughts 
Again possess your mind ! 
Ethw. Go to ! go to ! (to Sel.) But, Ethel- 
bert, thou'rt mad. (turning angrily 
toEth.) 
Eth. Not maa, mv royal friend, but some- 
thing griev d 
To see your recess mind still bent on that 
Which will to you no real glory bring, 
And to your hapless people many woes. 
Ethw. Thou jgpreatly errest from my mean- 
ing, friend. 
As truly as thyself I do regard 



My people's weal, and will employ the pow^ 
Heaven trusts me with, for that important 

end. 
But were it not ignoble to confine 
In naxtow bounds the blessed power of blese- 

Lest, fbr a little space, the face of war 
Should frown uoon us ? He who wiH not give 
Some portion or his ease, his blood, his weutb , 
For others' good, is a poor frozen churl. 

Eth. Well, then agam a simple warriourbe, 
And thine own ease, and blood, and treasure 

give: 
But whilst thou art a king, and would'st be- 
stow 
On people not thine own the blessed giA 
Of genUe rule, eam'd by the public force 
Of thine own subjects, thou dost give away 
That o'er the which thou hast no right. 

Frown not : 
I will assert it, crown 'd and royal Lord, 
Tho' to your ears full rude the sound may be. 
Ethw. Chafd Thane, be more restrain'd. 
Thou knowest well. 
That, as a warlike chieflain, never vet 
The meanest of my soldiers grasp'd' his spear 
To follow me constrain'd ; and as a King, 
Think'st thou I'll be less noble ? 
Sd. Indeed, good Ethelbert, thoQ art too 

warm^ 
Thou dealest hardly with him. 
Eth. I know, tho* peace dilates the heart of 

man. 
And makes his stores increase; his coont'- 

nance smile. 
He is by nature form d, like savage beasts^ 
To take delight in war. 
'Tis a strong passion in his bosom lodged, 
For ends most wise, cuib'd and restnun'd to 

be ; 
And they who for their own designs do take 
Advantage of his nature, act, in truth. 
Like cruel hinds who spirit the poor cook 
To rend and tear his fellow. 
O thou ! whom I so often in my arms, 
A bold and gen'rous boy have fondly press'd, 
And now do proudly call my so v 'reign lord, 
Be not a cruel master ! O be gentle ! 
Spare Mercian blood ! Goodness and powf r 

do make 
Most meet companions. The great Lord of 

Before whose awfiil presence, short- while 
since. 

Thou dids't expect to stand, almighty is. 

Also most merciful : 

And the bless'd Being he to earth did send 

To teach our soflen'd hearts to call him Fa- 
ther, 

Most meekly did confide his heavenly power 

Unto the task assign'd him. Think of tnis. 

O ! dost thou listen to me .' 
Ethw. (moved and softened.) 

Yes, good Ethelbert. 

Be thou more calm : we will consider of it. 

We should desire our people's good, and peace 

Makes them to flourisn. We confeiBS all tiiis ; 



ETHWALD: A TRAGEDY. 



179 



But cunoamftaDce oft takes away the power 
Of acting on it. Still oar Western neighbours 
Are turbulent and bold; and, for the time, 
Tho' somewhat humbled, thej again may rise 
And force us to the field. 

Sel, No, fear it not ! they are inclined to 
peace, 
Tidings iVe learnt, sent by a trusty mes- 
senger. 
Who from Caemarron is with wond'roup 

speed 
But just arriv'd: their valiant prince is dead. 
A sudden death has snatch'd hun in his prime ', 
And a. weak infant, under tutorage 
Of three contending chiefs of little weight, 
Now rules the state, whom, thou may'st well 

perceive, 
Can gire thee no disturbance. 
B&w. (eagerly, with his eyes Ughtemng tip, 
and kis lohole frame agitated.) 
A trusty messenger hi|s told thee this ? 

send him to me quickly ! still fair fortune 
Oflfers her fiivours neely. Send him quickly ! 
Ere yet aware of my returning health, 

Five thousand men mi^ht without risk be led 
£'en to their castle wa!Us. 

Eth. What, mean'st thou this ? 
Uptous'd again unto this dev'lish pitch f 
Oh, it is horrid ! 
JStkw, (ingreat heat,) Be restrained, Thane. 
Eth. Be thou restrained, king. See how thou 
art, 
Thus iiiebly tott'ring on those wasted limbs ! 
And wouliTst thou spoil the weak ? (observing 
Etbw. who staggers from being agt- 
toted beyond hts strength.) 
Ethw, (vushing atoay Selred who supports 
him.) 

1 do not want thine aid : Tm well and vigorous: 
My heart beats strongly ,and my blood is wa^n; 
Tho* there are those who spy my weakness 

out 
To shackle me withal. Ho, thou without ! 

Enter his Attehdakt, and Ethw. taking hold 
of him walks across the stage; then turning 
aboDt to Sel. and Eth. 

Brother, send quickly for your trusty mes- 
senger J 

And so good day. Good morning, Thane of 
Sexford. {looking sternty to Ethel- 
bert.) ^ 

Eth. Grood morning, Mercians king. 

[JlxEuax by opposite sides fjrowningly. 

Scene III. — a graitd apartment with 

A CHAIR OF STATE. 

Enter 9kxulf and ALWT,engaged in close eon- 

yersation. 
Altoy. (conHmting to speak,) Distrust it 
not; 
The very honours and high exaltation 
Of Ethelbert, that did your zealous ire 
So much provoke, are now the very tools 
"With which we'll work his ruin. 

Hez. But still proceed with caution ; gain 
the queen ; 



For she, from ev'ry hue of circumstance. 
Must be his enemy. 

Mtoy. I have done that already. 
By counterfeiting Ethwald's signature 
Whilst in that stul and deathlike state he lay, 
To hinder Ethelbert's rash treacherous haste 
From setting Edward free, I have done that 
For which, tho' Ethwald thanks me, I must 

needs 
On bended knee, for courtly pardon sue. 
The queen I have addresa'd with humble suit 
My cause to plead with her great Lord, and 

she 
Her most magnificent and high protection 
Be of our party, e'en if on her mind 
No other motive press *d. 
Hex. I doubt it not, and yet I fear her 

spirit. 
Proud and aspiring, will desire to rule 
More than befits our purpose. 

Mwy. Fear it not. 
It is the shew and worship of high state 
That she delights in more than real power : 
She has more joy in stretching forth her hand 
And saying, ^'1 conmiand," than, in good 



truth. 
Seeing her will obeyed. 

Enter Qusxir with Dwika and Attxitdaivts. 

Hex. Saint Alban bless you, high and royal 

dame! 
We are not her^ in an intruding spirit. 
Before your royal presence. 

Q^. I thank you, good lord bishop, with 

your friend, 
And nothing doubt of your respect and duty. 
Alwy. Thanks, gracious queen ! This good 

and holy man 
Thus far supports me in your royal favour. 
Which is the only rock tnat I would cling to, 
Willingto give me friendly countenance. 
Q^. lou nave done well, good Alwy, and 

have need 
Of tl^anks more than of pardon ; nevertheless, 
If ai^y trouble light on thee for this, 
A royal hand shall be stretch'd forth to save 

you, 
Whom none in Mercia, whosoe'er they be. 
Will venture to oppose. I will protect thee. 
And have already much inclin'd the king 
To favour thee. 

Mwy. {kneeling and kissing her hand.) 
Receive my humble thanks, most honour'd 

c^ueen ! 
My conscience tells me I have merited. 
Or you and of the king, no stem rebuxe ; 
But that dark cunning Thane has many wiles 
To warp men's minds e'en fin>m their proper 

good. 
He has attempted, or report speaks falsely, 
To lure king Ethwald to resign his crown. 
What may he not attempt T it makes me 

shrink ! 
He trusts his treasons to no mortal men : 
Fiends meet him in his hall at dead of night. 
And are his counsellors. 

Queen, (holding up her hands.) 



m 



ETHWALDi A tfLMSKin. 



Protect us, heaven ! 
Hex. Samt Alban will protect yon, graidotiB 

queen. 

Trostme, his love fbr pious Oswal's daxighter 

Will £uard you in the hour of danger. luxk ? 

The king approaches. (JUmrisk of trumpets.) 

Qu. Yes, at this hour be will receive in 

state 
The bold address of those seditiomi Thaxies, 
ClamVing for peace, when lUr occaBloan 

smiles, 
And beckons hiin to arm and follow ber. 
Hex. We know it well ; of whom Thane 

Ethelbert, 
In secret is the chief, although youn^^Heieidf 
By him is tutor 'd in the spokesman J office. 

Enter Ethwald, attended by nsqjTHARXS, 
and Oiilcen of the Govt, 6lc, 

Q^. (presenting Alwy to Ethw.) My Liord, 
a humble culprit at your feet, 
Supported by my favour, craves for^veness. 
(Alwy kneelsy dud Ethw. raises nim gra- 
ciously.) 
Bthuj. I grant his suit, suppoited by tiie 
favour 
Of that warm sense I wear within my breast 
Of his well meaning zeal, (lookisig emsUmfi' 
uously at the Queen, who tttms haughtily 
away.) 
But wherefore, Alwy, 
Didst thou not boldly come lome at first 
And tell thy fault? Might not thy former 

serviced 
Out-balance well a greater crime than this ? 
Alwy. I so, indeed, had done, but a shrewd 
Thane, 
Of mind revengeful and most penetrating, 
Teaches us caution in whate'er regards 
His dealings with the state. I fear the man. 
Ethw. And wherefore dost thon fear Inm f 
Alwy. (mysteriously.) He has a cloudy brew, 
a stubborn gait ; 
His dark soul is shut up from mortal man, 
And^ deeply broods upon its own conceits 
Of right and wrong. 

Hex. He has a soul black withfbul atheism 
And heresies abominable. Nay, 
He has a tongue of such persuasive art 
That all men listen to him. 

Qv. (eagerly.) More than men : 
Dark spirits meet him at the midnight hour. 
And horrid converse hold. 
Ethw. No more, I pray yon ! Ethelbert I 

know. 
Qu. Indeed, indeed, my Lord, yon know 

him not ! 
Ethw, Be silent, wife, (ttaming to Hex. and 

My tried and faithf\il Alwy, . 
And pious Hexulf, in my private closet 
We further will discourse on things of mo- 
ment. 
At more convenient time. 
The leaded Thanes advance. Retire, SI- 
l)urga : 



Thon hut mr ieaye. I gttw 

mand 

Tojoin % ptesenee t^t^ gtem to k mt O tf, 
Soft female gnoe ftdorts the ftilifelnll, 
And sheds a brighter Instil en high days 
Of pageant itate ; bnt in an h«w&e this, 
Destin'4 for gravest andience, lli vnmeet. 
^ What, it the qnem Ml ^mpty liiiiMe> 
then, 
TojpM thyttile ultM? 
Jakw, The queens of A|ei«ia,int oTMer- 
eiaa dunes. 
Still hsf examnle give ofinetli c » e #wie e 
To their good LotSb. This is their privitog*. 
(semmg tkM she ddmys to go.) 
ItismywiU. A good dajf to y^nnr higlmess. 
Qk. (asido as she goes of.) Be silent, wife ! 
This Mollo's son doth say 
Unto the royal oibpring of a king. (Exit 
Queen, yVe tawii y angrily y mndfiUowedhy 
Dwinaoiui Attendants.) 
(The Thanes, who eniteredwiik Ethwald, mtd 
darmg hiseoHoersatum with Alwy, dbe. had 
retirMto ffcefci tt s i of the stage, mmtame 
Jorwdrn^) 

Ethw. Now wait we ibr those gitvi snd 
slngffish chiefs. 
Who would this kingdom, fam*d fbr wiflike 

Thanes, 
Change into mere pirovision-kiid to feed 
A dnU anwarlike race. 

Mwy. Ay, and our castles, 
Whose loftjr wills are darkened with the 

spoils 
Ofglorioos war, to bnns and pfimtng folds. 
Where our brave hands. Inst ea d of sf^>rd and 



yon, in soeh base toUs 



The pruning knife and shepherd's staff mnst 

grasp. 
Hex. Troe;sii 

nnskill'd. 

Beneath the wiser carl. This is their wish. 
But heaven and onr good saint will bring to 

nought 
Their wicked machinations. 



EvTKR an Officer of the OeMa. 

Th' assembled Thanes, my Lofd, at- 
tend without. 
Elkw. Wefl, let them entef . [Exit Of. 
Our stool beneath as will not shake, I trost. 
Being so fenced round, (taisn^ his seat and 
howimg eotcrteamsiy wUh a spaling 
emuUmance to the Ghiefs, ^-e. who 
range themseboes wear him.) 

Enter several Thames with HmaxoLF at their 
head, and presently after followed by Ethxl- 



Her. (stretching out his hand with respee^fid 
Sgnity.) Onr kingand sire, in tme and 
humble duty 
We come before yon, earnestly entreating 
Yonr rojTftl ear to onr nnited voice. 

Ethw. Mine ear is ever open tothe votoe 
Of fiuthful dnty. 
Her. We sxemll men who, in th' embattled 
field, 



fiTHWALD^ k njMsefinr. 



m 



WM* 



Wtfe bf jrofBT side the ftont of danger bmf- 

ed, 
'^th greater teek of plwIeiMe than of dai^ 

And have opposed our roofh and aearred 

breasts 
To the fell posh of war, with Ktenlity 
Not yielding to tlw hravest of jour Tbiiies, 
The sons of warlike siies. ' But we are men 
Who, in onr cheerful halls, have also been 
Lords of the daily feast; where, round eur 

boards. 
The hoary headed warriour, from the toil 
Of arms releas'd, with the eheer'd stmttger 

smiled: 
tfho in the humble dweUhi^sof our hinds, ^ 
Have seen a numerous and hardy J^ce, 
Eating the bread of labour cheentdly, 
Dealt to them with no hard nor churlish 

hand. 
We, therefore, stand with graoefiil boldness 

forth, 
The advocates of those who wish for peaee. 
Worn with onr rude and long continued 

wars, 
Our native land wears now the altered face 
Of an uneulturM wild. To her fair fields. 
With weeds and thriftless docks now shag- 
ged o'er. 
The a^dgrsndsire, bent and past his toil. 
Who m the sunny nook had piac'd his seat 
And thought to toil no more, leads joyless 

forth 
His widow'd daughters and their orphan 

(rain, 
The master of a silent, cheerless band. 
The half-^wn stripling, urged before his 

time 
To manhood's labour, steps, with feeble limbs 
And tallow cheek, around his unroord eot 
The mother on her last remaining son 
With fearful bodings looks. The cheerful 

sound 
Of whistling ploughmen, and the reaper's 

song, 
Aad (he flairs lusty stroke is heard no more. 
The youth and manhood of our land are laid 
in the cold eardi, and shall we think of war .' 
O valiant Ethwald ! listen to the calls 
Of gentle pity, in the brave most graceful, 
Nor, for the fust of more extended swa^, 
£hed the last blood of Mereia. War is hon- 
ourable 
In those who do their native rights maintain ; 
In those whose swM'ds an iron barrier are 
Between the lawlen spoiler and the weak : 
But is in these who dnw th* offensive blade 
For added power or gain, sordid and despica- 
ble 
As meanest office of the worldly churi. 
Ethw. Chiefii and assembled Thanes, I 
much commend 
The love you bear unto your native land. 
Bhame to the son nurs'd on her gen*rous 

breast 
Who loves her not ! and be assur'd that I, 
Her reared child, her soldier and her king, 



In tme and warm affectkm jrield to none 
Of all who have upon her turfy lap 
This tAfisat gambol held. To you her wetl 
is^ainand pleasmn ; igkty 'tis to me. 
To you her misery is ]o«s and sanow ; 
To me disgrace and shame. Of this be sat- 
isfied ; 
I feel her sacred claims, which these high 

ensixms 
Have fbstenea on me, and t will fhffil them : 
But for the course and manner of perfbrm- 



Be that unto the royal wisdom left, 
Stxengtben'd by tliose appointed by the litale 
To ud and counsel it. Ye have onr leave. 
With all respect and ftvow to retire. 
Her. We will retire, king Ethwald, as be^ 
comes 
Free, independent Thanes, who do of right 
Approach or quit at will the royal presence, 
And laekinff no permission. 
Alwy. What, all so valiant in this princely 
hall, 
Te who would shrink from the fair field of 

war, 
Wheie soldiers should be bold ? 

Her. (laying kU haad on, his sword.) 
Thou ly'fit, mean boastful hireling of thy 

Lord, 
And shalt be punish'd for it. 

First Th. (o/ Ethwald's ju2e.) 
And dar'stthou threaten, mouth of bold sedi- 
tion? 
We will maintain his words. (Draws his 
sword, and all the Thanes on the 
King's side do the same. Hereulf ani2 
tAs Thanes of his side also draw 
their suHfrds.) 
TirstTh. (of Hereuirs side.) 
Come on, base trockers of yonr country's 
blood. 
First Th. (of Ethwald's ^ide.) 
Have at ye, rebel cowards ! 
Ethw. (rising from his seat, and standing 
oetween the two parties in a commana-^ 
ing posture.) 
I do command you : peace and silence, chiefs ! 
He who with word or threat'ning gesture 

darefs 
The presence of his king again outrsrre, 
I put without the covert of^the law, 
And on the instant punish, (they all put up 
their swords, and Ethwald, after look' 
ing round lam for some moments with 
commanding sternness, walks off 
wuijesticaU^ffolhwed by his Thanes.) 
Ethdbert. (casting up his eves to heaven as 
he turns to fellow Hereulf and his 
party.) 
Ah, Mereia, Mereia ! on red fields of carnage 
Bleed thy remaining sons, and carrion biros 
Tear the cold limbs that should have tum'd 
thy soil. [Exeunt the two different parties 
by opposite sides. 



181 



ETHWALD: A TRAGEDY. 






ACT IL 

SCKirX I. A SMALL CAVKRN IM WHICH 
IS DI8C0VKRED A WIZARD, SITTING BT 
A FIBE OF EMBERS, BARIHO HIS 8CAK- 

' TT MEAL OF PARCHED CORN, AND 
COUNTING OUT SOME MONET, FROM A 
BAO; A BOOK AND OTHER THINGS BE- 
LONGING TO HIS ART ARE STREWED 
NEAR HIM ON THE GROUND. 

iViz. (alcTU.) Thanks to the lestlen fool 
of MoUo's son ! 
Well thrives my trade. Here, the last hoard- 
ed com 
Of the spare widow, trembling for the late 
Of her remaining son, and the gny jewel 
Of fearful maid, who steals by tall of eve, 
With muffled face, to learn her warriour's 

doom, 
Lie in strange fellowship; sodothmisfbrtiine 
Make strange acquaintance meet. 

Ehter a Scout. 

Brother, thou com'st in haste ; what news, I 
pray? 
Scout, rut up thy book, and bag, and wiz- 
ard's wand, 
This is no time for witchery and wiles. 
Thy cave, I trow, will soon be filled with 

those, 
Who are by present ills too roughly shent 
To look thro' visionM spells on ujose to come. 
fViz. What thou would'st tell me, tell in 

plainer words. 
Sca^L Well, plainly then, Ethwald, who 
> thought full surely 
Th#^ritish in their weak divided state. 
To the first onset of his arms would yield 
Their ill defended towers, has found them 

strengthened 
With aid from Wessez, and unwillingly 
Led back with cautious skill the Mercian 

troops; 
Meaning to tempt the foe, as it is thought. 
To follow him into our open plains. 
Where they must needs with least advantage 
fight. 
mz. Who told thee tliis > 
Scout, Mine eyes have seen them. Scarcely 
three miles ofiT, 
The armies, at this moment, are engaged 
In bloody battle. On my wav I met 
A crowd of helpless women, from their homes 
Who fly with terror, each upon her back 
Bearing some helpless babe or valued piece 
Of household gooas, snatch'd up in haste. I 

hear 
Their crowding steps e*en now within your 

cave: 
They follow close behind. 

(Enters crowdof Wo men, young and old, some 
leading children and carrying infanta on thsir 
backs or in their arms, others carrying bun- 
dles and pieces of household stuff.) 

Wiz. Whp are ye, wretched women, 
Who, all ^ 'pale and haggard bear along 



Those hapless infimta, and those aeemiiif 

vrrecks, 
From desolation saved ? What do yon want ? 
First Worn. Nought but the friendly shelter 
of your cave, 
For now our house, or home, or blazing 

hearth, 
Good Wizard, we have Rone. 
Wiz* And are the armies then so Dear your 

dwellings? 
First Worn. Ay. roond them, in them the 
loud battle clangs. 
Within our very walls fime spearmao posh, 
And weapon'd warriors cross their clashing 
blades. 
See, Worn- Ah woe is me ! our wann and 
cheerful hearths, 
And rushed 4oors whereon our children 

play'd. 
Are now the bloody lair of dying men. 
Old Worn. Ah woe is me ! those yellow 
thatch'd roofs, 
Which I have seen these aizty years and ten. 
Smoking so sweety *midst our tuiied thorns, 
And the turf d graves wherein our fathers 
sleep! 
Young Worn. Ah woe is me ! my little help- 
less babes! 
Now must some mossy rock or shading tree 
Be joor cold home and the wild haws yovr 

food. 
No cheerful blazing fire and seething pot 
Shall now, returning from his dail^ toil, 
Tour fiither cheer! if that, if that indeed 
Te have a father still. {Inarsting uUo tears.^ 
Third Worn. Alack, akck ! of all mjF good* 
Iv stuff 
I've saved but only this ! my winter's webs 
And all the stores that I so detrly saved ! 
I thought to have them to my dying day ! 

Enter a YouKO BIan leading in an Idiot. 

Young Worn, (running up to him.) 
Ah, my dear Swithick ! art thou sate indeed? 
Whv didst thou leave me ? 

xoung Man. To save our idiot brother, 
see'st thou here ? 
I could not leave him in that pityless broil. 

Young Worn. Well hast thou done I poor 
helpless Balderkin ! 
We've fed thee long, unweeting of our care. 
And in our little dwelling still Uiou'st held 
The warmest nook ; and, wberesoe'er we be, 
So shalt thou still, albeit thou know'st it not. 

Enter Man carrying an Old Man on his back. 

Young Man. And see here, too, our neigh- 
bour Edwin oomea. 
Bearing his bed-rid fiuher on his back. 
Come m, good man. How dost thou, aged 

' neighbour ? 
Cheer up again ! thou shalt be sheltered still ; 
The wizard has received us. 

Wiz. True, good folks ; 
I wish my means were better for vour sakes. 
But we are crowded here ; that wmding pas- 
sage 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



188 



Leads us into an inner eave fhll wide, 
Where we may take our room and freely 

breathe ; 
Come let us enter there. 
[Exxuvf , all following the Wizard into the 
inner cove. 

Scene II. a field of battle strewed 

WITH 8LAIN, AMD SOME PEOPLE SEEN 
9P0N THE BACK GEOUND SEAECHING 
AMONGST THE DEAD BODIES. 

f Enter Heexulf and EtbElbxet. 

Her. (stopping ehort and holding up his 

hatias.) 
Good mercy ! uee what a bloody price 
"Ethwald this doobtAil victory has purchased, 
That in the lofty height to which he climbs 
A little step will be of small advantage. 
£th. (not aUending to him, and after gazing 

for some time on the field,) 
So thus ye lie, who, with the morning sun, 
Rose cheerily and ^rt your armour on 
With all the vigour, and capacity, 
And comeliness of strong and youthful men. 
le also, taken in your manhood's wane. 
With grizzled pates, from mates, whose 

withered hands 
For some good thirty years had smoothed your 

couch : 
Alas ! and ye whose fair and early growth 
Did give you the similitude of men 
Exe your fond mothers ceas'd to tend you 

still. 
As nurselings of their care, ye lie together ! 
Alas ! alas ! and many now there be. 
Smiling and crowing on their mother's breast, 
Twining with all their little infant ways, 
Around her hopeful heart, who shall, like 

these 
Be laid i' the dust. 
Her. Ay, so it needs must be, since Mollo*s 

son 
Thinks Mercia all too strait for his proud 

sway. 
Bat here comes those who search amongst 

the dead 
For their lost friends ; retire, and let us mark 

them. {they withdraw to one side.) 

Enter Two Cairls. meeting a Third, who 
enters by tne opposite side. 

First Cairl. (to Third.) Thou hast been 

o'er the field ? 
Third Cairl. I have, good friend. 
' See. Cairl. Thou hast seen a rueful sight. 
Third Cairl. Tes, I have seen that which 
no other sight 
Can from my fancy wear. Oh ! there be some 
Whose writhed features, fiz'd in all the 

strength 
Of grappling agony, do stare upon you, 

Wim tneir desB eyes half open d. 

And there be some, stuck thro' with bristhng 

darts. 
Whose clench'd hands have torn the pebbles 
up; 



Whose gnashing teeth have ground the very 

sand. 
Nay, some I've seen among those bloody 

heaps. 
Defaced and 'refl e'en of the form of men, 
Who in convulsive motion yet retain 
Some shreds of life more horrible than death : 
I've heard their groans, oh, oh ! 
(^ voice from theffround.) Bald wick ! 

Third Cairl. YfRit voice is that ? It comes 

from some one near. 
First Cairl. See, yon stretch 'd body moves 
its bloody hand : 
it most be him. 
((^oice again.) Baldwiek ! 

Third Cairl. (going up to the body from 
whence we voice came.) 
Who art thou, wretched man'.' I know thee 
not. 
Voice. Ah, but thou dost ! 1 have sat by thy 
fire, 
And heard thy merry tales, and shar'd thy 
meal. 
T%ird Cairl, Good holy saints ! and art 
thou Athelbald? 
Woe ! woe is me to see ^ee in such case ! 
What shall I do for thee f* 

Voice. If thou liast any love or merey in 
thee. 
Turn toe upon my face that I may die ; 
For lying tnus, see'st thou this flooded jrash .' 
The glutting blood so bolsters up my lire 
I cannot die. 

Third CaiH. I will, good Athelbald. Alack 
the day! 
That I should dfo for thee so sad a service ! 

(turns the soldier on his face.) 

Voice. I thank thee, friend, farewell ! (dies.) 

Third CairL Farewell ! farewell ! a merry 

soul thou wert, 

And sweet thy ploughman's whistle in our 

fields. 

Sec. Coir, (starting with horrour.) Good 

heaven forefend ! it moves ! 
First Cairl. What dost thou see .' 
Sec, Cairl. Look on that bloody corse, su 
sinear'd and mangled; 
That it has lost all form oi what it was ; 
It moves ! it moves ! there is life in it still. 
First Cairl. Methought it spoke, but faint 

and low the sound. 
Third Cairl. Ha ! didst thou hear a voice P 
we'll go to it. 
Who art thou .' Oh ! who art thou } (to a 
^ fallen loarrioury who makes signs to 

him to pull somtthing from his vreast.) 
Tes, from thy breast ; I unc&rstaiid the sign. 
(pulling out a band or * kerchief from his breast^) 
it is some maiden's pledge. 
Fallen Warriour. (vwking signs.) UpoSi 
mine arm, 
I pray thee, on mine arm. 

Third Cairl I'll do it, but thy wounds are 

past all binding. 
JVarriouT. She who will search for me doth 
know this sign. 



10* 



WmWALDiA. TaAlQBPy. 



mrd CaiH. A^Mck, whiDki he thiaki of 

some sad maid ! 
A xnefal aigiit she'll see ! He moves igMii : 
Heaven grant him peace ! I'd give a goodlj 

sum 
To see thee dead, poor wretch ! 

Enter a Won Air wailing and wronging her hands. 

See. Cairl, Ha ! who comes wailing here ? 

Third CmH, Some wzetehed mothisr who 
has lost her son : 
I met her searching 'midst the fiurther del^l, 
And heard her piteoos moan. 

Mother. Irear'dhimlikealittlepUy&lkid, 
And ever by my side, where'er 1 went, 
He blithely trotted. And foil soon, I ween, 
His little arms d2d stnin their growing 

strength 
To bear my burden. Ay, and long before 
He had unto a striidiiiij^^ height attained, 
He ever would my widow's cause maintain 
With all the steaay boldness of a man. 
I was no widow then. 

Sac. Cairl. Be comforted, good mother. 

Mother. What say'st thoa to toe f kiiow*8t 
thou where he lies ? 
If thou hast kindness in thee, tell me truly ; 
For dead or living still he is mine all, 
And let me have him. 

Third Cairl. (tuids Ce Seeond.) Lead hn 

away, good firiend ; I know hernow. 

Her boy is hring with the fiuther dead, 

Like a fell'd sapling; lead her from the field. 

[ExKUHT Mother and Sec Cfurl. 

First Cairl. But who comes now, with such 
distracted gait. 
Tossing her snowy arms unto the wind. 
And gazing wildly o'er each mangled cone ? 

Enter a Young Woman, searching dirtractedly 
amongst tne dead. 

Young Worn. No, no ! thou art not here ! 

thou art not here ! 
Yet, ifthou be like these, I shall not know thee. 
Oh ! if they have so gash'd thee o'er with 

wounds. 
And marr'd thy comely form ! J'll not believe 

it. 
Until these very eyes have seen thee dead. 
These very hands have piess'd on thy cold 

lieart, 
I'll not believe it. 

Third Cairl. Ah, gentle maiden ! many a 

maiden's love. 
And many a goodly man lies on this field. 
Young Worn. I know, too true it is, but 

none like him. 
Liest thou, indeed, amongst those grisly heaps.^ 
O thou, who ever wert of all most fair ! 
if heaven hath sufier'd this, amen, amen ! 
Whilst I have strength to crawl upon the 

earth, 
I'll search thee out, and be, where'er thou art. 
Thy mated love, e'en with the grisly dead. 
(Searching again among the deadf she per- 
ceives the band round the arm qf the fallen 
Warrionr, and utteringa laud shriek fails 



senseless upam the pmmd. The Cairls rum. 
to her assi stance f wUh Ethelbert aad Herenlf. 
who come forwardfrom ths place they had 
withdrason to ; Hereolf clenehing his hamd 
and wisittering asarses igxmMollo'ssoii, asha 
crosses the stage. The scens doses.) 

8ei»Km III. A CAtxLK HOT fail VMIP 

VHS VUX»9 or BAVTLE* 

Enter E^thwacd and A&wr, talLing as tfiey 

•ntar. 



EAm* {esUHmg mngnkf tosame ems off the 

stage.) 
And sec they ao not linger on the road. 
With laggard steps; I will brook no delay. 
(to MiBf.) Why, even my very messengers, 

of late, 
Slothfgl and sleepy footed have become : 
Tliey too must cross my will, (throws JUni^ 

seffupon a seat, and sits for some time 

silent and gloomy.) 
Alwy. Tour highness seems disturb*d. 
What tho' your arms, amidst those Britich 

hifls. 
Have not, as they were wont, victoriooe 

prov'd. 
And home retreating, even on your own sou/ 
Yoa'ye fought a doubtful battle : Incklew 

turns 
Will often cross the lot of greatest kings : 
Let it not so overcome your noble spirit 
Etkw. Thinkest thou it o'ercomes me ^ 
(rising vp proudly.) 
Thorn jndgest poorly. 1 am form'a to yieM 
To BO opposeo pressure, nor my purpose 
With crossing chance or circumstance X/r 

change. 
I, in my marcn to thb attained height. 
Have moved still with an advancing step 
Direct and onward. 
Bat now the mountain's side more rugged 

grows. 
And he, who would the cloudy summit gWr 
Must oft into its cragged rents descend. 
The higher but to mount 
Alwy. Or rather say, my Lord, that having: 

gaind 
Its cloudy summit, there vou must contend 
With the rude tempests tnat do beat upon it 

£tAi0. {smiling eomtematuously.) 
Is this thy &ncy P are tny thoughts of Eth- 

wald 
So poorly limited, that thou dost think 
He has already gain'd his grandeur's height ? 
Know that the lofly point which ofl appears. 
To him who stanos beneath the mountain's 

Is, to the daring climber who hath reach 'd it, 
Only a breathing place, from whence he sees 
Its real summitThright and heaven illum'd. 
Towering majestic, grand, above him far 
As is the lofty spot on which he stands 
To the diJl plain below. 
The Briti^ once subdued, Northumberhind, 
Thoa seest well, could not withstand o«r 
arms. 



ETHWALDi A TRAGEDY. 



185 



ft too mnst fall ; and with such added strength, 
What might not be achiev'd? Ay, by this 

arm! 
All that the mind saggesta, even England's 

crown, 
United and entire. Thou gazest on me. 
I know fall well the state is much exhausted 
Of men and means: and those cursed Mer- 
cian women 
To cross my purposes, with hag-like spite, 
Do nought but wmales bear. But I will on- 
ward. 
Still conscious of its lofty destination. 
My spirit swells, and will not be subdued. 
Mtoy. 1, chidden, bow, and yield with ad- 
miration 
tJnto the noble grandeur of your thoughts. 
3ut lowering clouds arise ; events are ad- 
verse; 
Subdue your secret enemies at home, 
And reign securely o'er the ample realm 
You have so bravely won. 
Ethw. What ! have I thro' the iron fields 
of war 
Proudly before th' admiring gaze of men, 
Unto this point with giant steps held on, 
Now to become a dwuf ? Have I this crown 
In bloody battles won, mocking at death, 
To wear it now as those to whom it comes 
By doll and leaden-paced inheritance ? 
As the dead shepherd's scrip and knotted 

crook 
Go to his milk-fed son ? Like those dull ima- 
ges, 
On whose calm, tamed brows the faint im- 
pression 
Of far preceding heroes faintly rests. 
As the weak colours of a fiiding rainbow 
On a spent cloud P 
I'd rather in the centre of the eartii 
Inclosed be, to dig my upward way 
To the far distantlight, than stay me thus. 
And, looking round upon my bounded state, 
Sav, this is aU. No ; lower it as it may, 
I'll to the bold aspirings of mv mind 
Still steady prove, whilst that around my 

standard 
Harness doth clatter, or a fiilchion gleam. 
Alloy. What boot the bold aspinngs of the 
great. 
When secret foes beneath his footsteps work 
Their treach'rous mine ? 
F-thw. Ay, thou before hast hinted of such 

foes. 
Ahoy, Fear for your safety, king, may make 
me err : 
But these combined chiefs, it is full plain, 
Under the mask of zeal for public goiod, 
Do court with many wiles your people's 

hearts ; 
Breathing into their ears the praise of peace. 
Yea, and of peaceftil kings. The thrallea 

Edward, 
Whose prison-tower stands distant horn this 
castle 

But scarce a league 

Ethw. (starting.) Is it so near us P 

23 



Alwy. It is, my Lord. 
Nor is he so forgotten in the land, 
But that he still serves their dark purpose well. 
An easy gentle prince — so brave, yet peace- 

Wit;h such impressions clogg'd, your soldiers 

fight, 
And therefore *tis that with a feeble foe 
Ethwald fights doubtful battles. 
Ethw. TnovL art convinc'd of this ? 
Alwy. Most perfectly. 
Ethw. I too nave had such tiioughts, and 

have repress'd them. 
Alwy. Did not those base petitioners for 
peace 
Withhold their gather'd forces, till beset 
On ev'ry aide they saw your little army, 
Already much diminish'd.^ Uien came tney, 
Like heaven conmiission'd savioursyto your aid, 
And drew unto themselves the praise of all. 
This plainly speaks, your glory with disgrace 
They fain would dash to set their idol up ; 
For well they think, beneath the gentle Ed- 
ward 
To lord it proudly, and his gen'rous nature 
Has won their love and pity. Ethelbert, 
Now that such fair occasion offers to them, 
The prisoner's escape may well eficct : 
He lacks not means. 

Ethw. {after a thoughtful pause.) 
Didst thou not say, that castle's fosgy air. 
And walls with dampness coated, to young 

blood 
Are hostiie and .Creative of disease .'* 
In close confinement he has been full long ; 
Is there no change upon him ? 
Alwy. Some Mrdy natures will resbt all 
change. 
{A long pause J in which Ethwald seems 
thougn^pd and disturbed.) 
Ethw. (abruptly.) 
Once in the roving fantasies of night 
Methought I slew him. 
Alwy. Dreams, as some think, oft shew us 
things to come. 
(Another long pause j in which Ethwald seems 
greatly disturbed^ and stands ft^td to one 
spot, till catching Alwy's eye fastened sted- 
fastly upon his, he turns from him abruptly, 
and walks to the bottom qfthestage with has- 
ty strides. Going afterwards to the door, 
he turns suddenly rovmd to Alwy just as he 
is about to go out.) 

Ethw. What Thane was he, who, in a cav- 
em'd vault. 
His next of kin so long imprison'd kept, 
Whilst on his lands he Uved ? 
Alwy. Yes, Ruthal's Thane he was; but 
dearly he 
The dark contrivance rued ; fortune at last 
The weary thrall reliev'd, and ruin'd him. 
Ethw. (agitated.) Go where thy duty calls 
thee : I will in : 
My head feels strangely ; I have need of rest. 

[Exit. 
Alwy. (looking after him with a malicious 
satisfaction.) 



186 



ETHWALD c A TRAOED?. 



Aj, dark perturbed thonghts will be thy xest. 
I see the busy workings of thy mind. 
The gentle £dward has not lonff to moom 
His earthly thraldom. I have done my task. 
And soon shall be secure ; for whilst he lives, 
And Ethelbert, who hates my artful rise. 
I live in jeopardy. [Exit. 

SCBNB iy»-rA SMALL DARK PASSAGK, 

Enter Ethwald with a lamp in his hand : en- 
ter at the same time, by the opposite side, a 
domestic Qfficxr : thtey both start back on 
seeing one another. 

Eikw. Who art thou ? 
Ofi. Baldwin, my Lord. But mercy on 
my sight ! 
Your face is strangely alter'd. At this hour 
iVwake, and wand ring thus. — Have yon seen 
aught? 
Ethw. No. nothing. Knows't thou which 
is Alwy's chamber ? 
I would not wake my grooms. 
Ofi. It is that iartner door ', I'll lead yon 

to it. (pointing of the stage.) 

Ethw. No, friend, I'll go myself. Good 
rest to thee. [Exeunt. 

SCBRK v.— A SMALL DARK CQAMBBR, 
WITH A LOW COUCH KEAR TBB FRONT 
or THE STIOE^ pN WHICH ALWT IS 
DISCOYRRED ASLEEP. 

Enter Ethwald with a haggard ccmntenance. 
bearing a lamp. 

Ethw. He sleeps — I hear him breathe — be 

soundly sleeps. 
Beems not this circumstance to check iqy 

purpose, 
And bid me still to pause ? (sttting dawn the 

lamp.) 
But wherefore pause ? 
This deed must be, for, like a scared thief 
Who starts and trembles o'er his grasped store 
At ev'ry breezy whisper of the night, 
I now must wear this crown, which I have 

bought 
With brave n^n's blood, in fields of battle 

shed. 
Ah ! would that all it cost had there been 

shed! 
This deed must be ; for. like a hagi^ard ghost 
His imaee haunts me wheresoe'er T move, 
And will not let me rest 
His love hath been to me my bosom's sting ; 
His gen'rous trust hath gnaw'd me like a 

worm. 
Oh ! would a sweltring snake bad wieath'd my 

neck 
When first his arms embrac'd me ! 
He is by fortune made my bane, my carwb^ 
And, were he gentle as the breast of love, 
\ needs must crush him. 
Prison'd or free, where'er he breathes, lives 

one 
Whom Ethwald lean. Alas ! this thing must 

be, ^ 



From th' imaged form of which I still havp 

shrunk, 
And started back as from my fancy's fiend. 
The dark and silent e<^ of night is o'er us. 
When vision 'd ho^urs, thro' perturbed 

sleep, 
Harden to deeds of blood the dreamer's breast; 
When firom the nether world fell demons rise 
To guide with lurid flames the murd'rer's 

wa^ : 
ril wake bun now ; should morning dawn 

upon me. 
My soul agaiii might ftom its purpose swerve. 

(m a loud energetic voice.) 
Alwy, awake ! Skjepest thou i sleepest thou, 

Alwy.^ 
(Alwy wakeg.) Nay, rouse thyself, and be 

thou fully waking. 
What I would say must have thy mind's full 

bent; 
Must not be spoken to a drowinr ear. 
Alwy. (rising mdckly.) I fully am awako ; 

I hear, t see. 
As in the noon of dav. 
Eihw. Nay, but thou dost not 



Thy garish eye looks wildly on the fight, 

Lake a strange visitor. 
Mwy. So do the eves of one pent in tip 
dark,. 

When sudden light breaks on them, tho' he 
slept n<H. 

But why, my Lord, at this untimely hour 

Are yon awake, and come to seek me here? 
£Uhw. Alwy, I cannot sleep : my mind is 
toss'd 

With many vrarring thoughts. I am push'4 
on 

To do the very act from which my soul 

Has still held back : fate doth compel me to it 
Alwy. Being yoiix fiite, who may its pow- 
er resist ? 
Ethw. E'en eall it so, for it^n troth, most be. 

Know'st thou one who would do a rothless 
deed. 

And do it pitifully ? 
Ahoy. He who will do it surest does it 
best; 

And he who sqisly ftrikes, strikes quickly 
too. 

And therefore pitifully strikes. I know 

A brawny rnman, wliose firm denched giipt 

No struggles can unlock ; whoae lified dag- 
ger* 

True to its aim, gives not a second stroke ! 

Ethw. (eovering his face hastily.) Oh must 
it needs he so f 
(eatehkig AXwj eagerUf by the ann.) Bnt 

hark tnee well ; 
I will have no fool butchery done upon him. 
Alwy. It shall be done, e en to the smallest 
tittle. 
As you yourself shall order. 
£thw. Nay, najr! do thoa contrive the 
fikshion or it, 
I've done enough. 
Alwy. But ffood,my Lord ! cast it not fioni 
yon thus : 



EtHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



ISt 



Mk> 



¥h«e mti.t be wtmnt and antbority 
For BQdh a deed, and ttiong protection too. 
Etkw. Well, well, thoa hast it all; thou 

hast my word. 
Alloy. Ay, but the morder'd corse mtist 
be inspected, 
That no deceit oe fear'd, nor after doubts ; 
Nor bold impostofs rising in the North, 
Protected bj joor treaiui*rous Thanes, and 

pllim'd. 
To scare yon afterwards wiih Edward's 
name. 
Eiho. Have not thine eyes on bloody death 
oft look'd ? 
Do it thyself. 
Alwy, If you, my Lord, wHl pot this trust 
in me, 
Swear tiiat when after-rumours shall arise. 
As like there may, your faith will be unriiak- 
en. 
Eikw, Yes ; I will ttuly trust the«h-(ve- 
hemeiUly, after a tkertpause.) 
No, I win not! 

I'll trust to no mfcn's vision but mine own. 
Is the moon dark to-night? 
Alwy. It is, an please you. 
Eihw. And will be so to-morrow t 
Alwy. Yes, my Lord. 
EOiw. When all is stiU'd in sleep— I hear 

a noise. 
AUey. Regard it not, it is the whisp'ring 
winds 
Alonff those pillar'd walls. 
J»no. It is a strange sound, tho*. Come 
to my chamKr, 
1 will not here remain : come to my cham- 
ber, 
And do not leave me till the monmur break. 
I am a wretched man ! {Ezxurt. 



ACT III. 



SCERB I. A GLOOMY VAULTED APABT* 
MENT IN AN OLD CASTLE, WITH NO 
WINDOWS TO ITj AND A FEEBLE LIG^T 
BUBNING IN ONE COENEE« 

£nter Edward from a dark receu near the bot- 
tom of the stage, with slow pensire tteps, fre- 
quently stopping as he adyanees, and remain- 
ing for tome time in a thooghtftil posture. 

Ed, Doth the bright sun from the high 

arch of heaven, 
In all his beauteous robes of flecker'd clouds. 
And ruddy vapours, and deep glowing 

flames. 
And softly varied shades, look gloriously ? 
Do the green woods dance to Uie wind ? the 

lakes 
Cast up their sparkling waters to the light ? 
Do the sweet hamlets in their bushy dells 
Send winding up to heaven tfafeir curling 

smoke 
On the soft morning air ? 



Do the flocks bleat, and the wild creatures 

bound 
In antic happiness ? and mazy birds 
Wing the mid air in lightly skimming bands ? 
Av, all this is ; all this men do behold ; 
The poorest man. Even in this lonely vault. 
My dark and narrow woHd, oft do I hear 
The crowing of the cock so near my walls, 
And sadly tnink how small a B|>ace divides 

me 
From all this fair creation. 
From the wide spreading bounds of beauteous 

nature 
I am alone shut out; I am forgotten. 
Peace, peace! he who regards the poorest 

worm 
Still Oares for me, albeit he shends me sorely. 
This hath its end. Perhaps, small as thesd 

walls, 
A bound unseen ditddes my dreary state 
From a more beauteous world : that world of 

souls, 
Fear'd and desir'd by all : a veil unseen 
Which soon shall l)e withdrawn. (Outs vp 

his eyes to heaven^ and turnings walks 

silently to the bottinn of the stage, then 

advancing again to the front.) 
Hie air feels chul; methinks it should be 

night. 
I'll lay me down : perchance kind sleep will 

come. 
And open to my view an inward world 
Of gainsh fantasies, from which nor walls. 
Nor bars, nor tyrant's power can shut me 

out. 
{He wraps himself in a doak, and Ues down,) 

Enter a Ruffian, stealing np softiv to him as 
supposing him asleep. Ed w ard, nearing him, 
uncovers his face, and then starts up immedi- 
ately. 

Ed. What ari thou ? 
Or man or sprite ? Thou lookest wond'rous 

stem: 
What dost thou want ? Com'st thou to mur- 
der ms f 
Ruff. Yes, I am come to do mine office on 
thee; 
Thy life is wretched, and my stroke is sure. 
Ed. Thou sayest true ; yet, wretched as it is. 
It is my life, and I will grapple for it. 
Buff. Full vainly wiltuou strive, for think- 
est thou 
We enter walls like these, with changeling 

hearts, 
To leave our work undone .? 

Ed. We, sayest thou ? 
There are more of you then ^ 




And all escape is hopeless. 
Kd. What, thinkest thou I'll cahnly stretch 

my neck 
Until thou butch'rest me ? 
No, by good heaven ! I'll grapple with thee 

still. 



188 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY; 



And die with my blood hot ! (putting Atm- 
sdf in a posture of drfence.) 
Rt^. Well, since thoalt have it lo, then 
aoofi shalt see 
If that mj mates be lovelier than myself. 

[Exit. 

Ed, O that I still in some dark cell could 

rest. 

And wait tne death of nature ! (looking 

wUdly round ypom the roof and walls 

of the vault.) 

Nor stone, nor club, nor beam to serve my 

need ! 
Out from the walls, ye flints, and fill my ^rasp ! 
Nought ! nought ! Is there not yet withm this 

nook 
Some bar or harden'd brand that I may clutch ? 
[Exit hastily into the dark recess ^ and is fol- 
lowed immediately by two Ruffians, who en- 
ter by the opposite side, and cross the stage 
after him. 

Scene II. — xy apartmeht adjoimihg 

TO THE FOEMER, WITH A DOOR LEAD- 
ING TO IT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE 
8TAOE. 

Enter Alwt with a stem anxious face, and list- 
ens at the door ; then enter, by the opposite 
side, Ethwald with a very haggard counte- 
nance. 

Ethw. Dost thou hear aught ? 
Alwy. No, nothing. 
Ethw. But thou dost: 
Is it not done ? 
Alwy. I hope it is, my Lord. 
Ethw. Thou doubtest, then. — It b long past 
the hour 
That should have lapp*d it Hark ! I hear a 
noise. 
{A noise heard within ofpeonle struggling.) 
Alwy. They're dealing with him now. They 

struggle hard. 
Ethw. (turning away with horrour and put- 
ting hts hands upon his ears.) 
Ha ! are we then so near it ? This b horrid ! 

(after a pause.) 
Is it not done yet P Dost thou hear them still .' 
Alloy. I hear them still : they struggle hard- 
er now. 
(T%e noise within heard more distinctly.) 
Ethw. By hell's dark host, thy fiends are 
weak of arm. 
And cannot do their task! He will break 

forth 
With, all the bloody work half done upon him ! 
(running furiously to the door^ and then shud- 

deringj and turning away from it.) 
No, no, I cannot go ! do thou eo in. 
And give thy strength. Let him be still'd i' 
the instant ! 

(A noise heard within of one falling.) 
Alwy. There's no need now. Did you not 
hear him fall ? 
(A groan heard within.) And that groan, too.' 

Lbt, list ! the deed b done. 
(J%eu both retire from the door, and Ethw. 



leaning his back against the waUy looks sted*^ 
fastly towards it, m silent eipeetation,whilsi 
it is seen to open dowly a little way, then 
shut, then open again, without any one ap* 
pegring.) 

Ethw. What may thb mean ? Thb panae 
b horrible : 
Win they or enter quickly, or forbear ! 

Enter First Rufjiar . with hb hands and clothes 
bloody, and all hb hair and dress in disorder, 
like one who has been struggling bard. Enter 

. soon after him Sec. Ruffian in a similar 
plight. 

Alwy. (eagerly.) Ye've done it : b he dead .' 
First Ruff. He is still'd now, but with such 
horrid strength 
He mppled with us ! we have had fell work. 
Alwy. Then let us see the body. 
First Ruf Yes, enter if it please ye. 
Alwy. ae pleas'd, my Lord — (to £thw.) 
Ethw. Pray thee be satisfied : I cannot go. 
Alwy. (to the Rufliana.) Bring ye the body 
hither. [Ezeuht Ruffians. 

(A silent pause. Re-enter Ruffians bearing 
the body, and laying it down btfore Ethw.) 
Look here, my Lord, and be well satisfied : 
It is hb very fiice, tho' somewhat changed 
With long confinement in these sickly £unps, 
And the convubive throes of violent death. 
Ethw. (first shrinking from it with horror, 
then commanding himself, and looking 
uponitfor some time sUdfastly.) 
Yes, changed indeed ! and yet I know it well. 
Ah ! changed indeed ! Much he must needs 

have sufiTer'd 
In hb lone prison-house. Thou bruised flow- 
er 1 
And hast thou struggled all so bravely too 
For thy most wretched life ? Base, bloody 

work ! 
Remove it from my sight, (turning hastU y 
from it.) 
Alwy. What farther orders would you give 

these men f 
Ethw. Away! speak to me not! thou'st 
made me curs'd ! 
Would all the realm of Mercia I had lost, 
Ere it had come to this ! 
Once in the battle's heat I saved his life. 
And he did bless me for it. (beating his 
forehead distractedly.) 
Alwy. *Nay, my good Lord, be not so keen- 
ly moved. 
Where shall we bv the body ? 
Ethw. Thou ana those fiends do with, it as 
ye will: 
It b a damned work ! [Ezrr hastily. 

Alwy. (to First Ruf) Come thou with me. 
(to Sec. Ruf) 
We will return anon ; 

Meanwhile remain thou here and watch the 
corpse. 

(Exeunt Alwy and First Ruffian. 
Sec. Rttf. (alone.) Watch it! I would not 
watch it here alone 
For all my Ruffian's hire, (throws a coarse 
cloth over the body, and exit hastiUf.) 



ETHWALD : A. TRAGEDY. 



189 



ScBirS ni.— A SAXON HALL Ilf THE FOB- 
MEE CASTLE. 

Enter Elb. and Dwiva, talking earneitlj as 
thej enter. 

Elb. Bat didst thou trnlj qiieation ey'ry 

gTOOUlj 

And the stem keeper of that postern gate ? 
Dwi. I have, but no one knew that he is 

absent 
Twas dark niffht when the king went forth, 

and Alwj 
Alone was with him. This is alll know. 
Elb. Thus secretly, at night !— Sexford's 

castle 
Is not £u distant. — ^That distracted maid — 
If this be so, bj the true royal blood 
That fills my veins, ril be reveng'd! What 

mean*Bt thou .^ (seeing Dwina shake 

her head piUouMy. 
Dufi, Alas, you need not fear: fkr distant 

stand 
The towers of Ethelbert; and that poor maid 
With the quiet dead has found at last her 

rest. 
Elb. And is't not well ? Why ^ost thou 

shake thy head. 
As tho' thou told'st sad news P^Tet what 

avails it ? 
L ne'ertheless, must be a hunible mate, 
With scarcely e'en the semblance of a queen, 
And bow my head whilst Mollo's son doth 

« Be silent, wife."— Shall I endure all this? 

Edward ! gentle Ethlinff ! thou who once 
Didst bear|the title«of my future lord, 
Would*8tthou have us'd me thus! Til not 

endure it. 
Dud, Tet be more patient. 
Elb. Be patient, say'st thou ? go to, for I 
hate thee 
When thou so calmly talk*st. Tho* seem- 

1 oft before ms keen commanding eye 
Submissive am, think'st thou I am subdued ? 
No, by my royal race, I'll not endure it : 

I will unto the bishop with mv wrongs ! 
Rever'd and holy men shall do me right 
Ahd here he comes unsent for : this my hope 
Calls a good omen. 

Enter HxkULF. 

Good and holy fiUher, 
I crave your blessing. 
Hex. Thou hast it, royal daughter. Art 
thou well ? 
Thouseem'st disorder'd. 

Elb. Tes, rev 'rend father, I am sorely gall'd 
Beneath a heavy and ignoble yoke ; 
Mv crowned head is in subjection bow'd. 
Like meanest household dame ; and thinkest 

thou 
That it becomes the daughter of a king, 
The chief descendant of your royal race, 
To bear all this, and say that she is well ? 
Hez. My daughter, your great Lord, indeed, 
is form 'd 



Of soul more stem than was the gentle Ed- 
ward, 
On whom your maiden &ncy first was taught 
To dwell with sanguine hope 

Elb. O holy Hezulf ! ^ou hast nam'd a 
name 
Which to my conscience gives such secret 

pangs! 
Oh ! I have done such wrong to that sweet 

youth. 
My he&rt bleeds at the cruel thought. I 

would — 
Tea, there is nothing that I would not do 
In reparation of the wrong I've done him. 
Speak, my good father, if thou aught canst 

. Mj! 
Edward, 'tis, said, has many powerful friends 
In secret still devoted to his cause. 
And not far distant stands his dreary tower. 
O speak to me ! Thou turn'st away thy head 
Disturb'd and firowningly: hast thou no 

counsel, 
For a soul-smitten and distracted woman ? 
{laying her clasped hands earnestly on his 

shoulder y as he turns from her much dis- 
pleased.) 

tiex. Daughter, forbear ! you are, indeed, 
distracted. 
Ethwald, by right of holy bands your lord. 
Is in his seat too firmly nz'd ; and Edward 
Is only by some restless Thanes desired. 
Under the influence of that dark wizard. 
That heretic, who still ensnares the young. 
Be wise then, t beseech you, and, in peace. 
Live in the meek subjection of a wife. 

EUf. (stepping back from him with haughty 

contempt}^ 
And so, meek, holy man, this is your counsel, 
Breath'd from the gentle spirit of your state. 
I've seen the chafiuigs of your saintly ire, 
Restrain'd with less concern for sober duty, 
When aught pertaining to your priestly rights 
Was therein touch'd. 

Dirt. Hush! Ethelbert approaches with 
his friends. 
Thev come, methinks, at an unwonted hour. 

Hex. That artful heretic regards not times. 
His spells still show to him the hour best suits 
His wicked purposes. 

Dwi. Heaven save us all! methinks at his 
approach 
The air grows chill around us, and a hue 
Of strange unnat'ral paleness spreads o'er all. 

Elb. {to Dwi.) Peace, fool! thy fancy still 
o'ertops thy wit 

Enter Selrkd, Ethklbrrt, and Hkrsulf. 

Eik, In your high presence, gracious dome, 
we are 

Thus early visitors, upon our way 

To crave admittance to the royal chamber. 

Is the king stirring yet ? Forgive my bold- 
ness. 
EUf. Good Ethelbert, thou dost me no of- 
fence. 

And you, lord Selred,and brave Hereulf, too; 

I bid good morrow to you all. The kin^ 



190 



ET^WALD: A TRAClEDY. 



Is not within his chamber : nnmttended 
Of all bat Alwy, at the close of night 
He did go forth, and ia not yet retom'd. 
8el. ThoB much amaiea me : the moon waa 

dark, 
And cold and rudely blew the nOTthem blast 
/Hot. (Ustamv.) Hark ! fbotatepe sound 

alonff the secret passage : 
Look to yon door, for something mores the 

bolt 
The king alone that sacred entry treads. 

Enter Ethwald from a nudl iteret door, Ibl- 
lowed by Alwt, and starts back upon seeing 

ETHXLBXaT, «e. 

Eth. (recovering Jram his em^usum.) 
A i^ood and early morrow to yon all ; 
I bttle thought — ^You are astir by times. 
Etk. The same to you, my Lord, with los- 
ing duty. 
8d, And yqu too, royal brother, you ase 

moving 
At an unwonted hour. But yon are pale ; 
Affhastly hollow look is in jrour eyes ; 
What sudden stratagem of nightly war 
Has call'd you forth at such untimely season ? 
Hie night was dark, and cold, the north wind 

blew. 
And, if that I can read that alter*d brow, 
Ton come not back unscath'd. 
Eiku). {eor^used.) No, I am well.— The 

blast has beat against me, 
And tossing boughs my tangled path-way 

cross'd — 
In sooth I've held contention with the night. 
Sd, Tea, in good, sooth, thou lookest, too, 

like one 
Who has contention held with damned sprites. 
Hast thou not cross'd that glen where, as 'tis 

said, 
The restless ghost of a dead murd'rer stalks ! 
Thou shuddTest and art pale : O thou hast 

seen it! 
Thou hast, indeed, the haggard face of one 
Who hast seen fearful tbinjra. 

Ethw. Thou'rt wild and fanciftd : 1 hare 

seen nothing : 
I am forespent and faint : test will restore me. 
Much good be to you all ! (going,) 

Et^ (i*rcventing Am.J Nay, on your roy-' 

al patience, gracious kinff, 
We must a moment s trespass make, to plead 
For one, upon whose brave but gentle soul 
The nig^ of thraldom hangs 

EUno. (^inkmfr back.) 
I know— -I know Uiy meaning — speak it not 
It cannot be — ^There waa a time — 'tis past 

Sd. O say not so : the time for blessea mercy 
Is ever present For the gentle Edward 
We'll pledge our lives, andgive such hostages 
As shall secure your peace. 

Eth. Turn not away; 
We plead for one whose meek and gen'rous 

soul 
Most unaspiring is, and full of truth ; 
For one who loved you, Ethwald; one by 

nature 



Foim'd tat the placid lore of all his kind; 
One who did ever in joui nowing fuat 
'Take most unenvious joy. Duch is our thralL' 
Tea, and the boon' that we do crave for him' 
Is but the finee use of his cramped limbs. 
And leave to breathe, beneath the cope o^ 

heaven. 
The #holesonie air ; to see the cheering suBy 
To be again leckon'd with living men. 
{ kn eel in g and daajring his knees,) 
Etkm. Let go. dark Thane: thoa raek'st 

me witn thy words ! 
They are Vain souiids— the wind haal 

wall'd as thou dost. 
And pled as sadly too. But that must be 
What needs must be. Reckon'd with livings 

men! 
Would that mdeed—O wottld that this conld 

be! 
The term of aEis fiz'd. — Good night to you — 
I — ^1 should say ffood morning, but this light 
Glares ^ strangely on mine eyes. (bretJan^ 

from EUr.) 
8eL (fiUmaing him.) My dearest brother ! 

by a brother's love ! 
JStibs. (putting him oaooy with great agita^ 

UonJ) 
My heart no kindred holds with homanthin^ 

(Tzrr qidcldy m great perturbatianffoUowed 
by ALwy, 

M. and Hereof (looking ennressioely ai- 
each other, and then at Ethelbert) 
Good Ethelbert, what ails thee .' 

Her, Thy fiz'd k>ok has a dreadful mean- 
ing in it 

Eth. Let us begone: 

Se<. No, do not yield it so. I still wiU plead 
The gentle Edward's cause : his frowns I fear 
not 

Eth. Come, come ! there is no cause : 
Edward is free. 

Set. How so? thou speak'stit witha wo' 
fhl voice. 

Eth. Is not the disembodied spirit free f 

Set. Ha! think'st thou that.^ No, no! it 
cannot be ! 

Her. (stamping on tkegromnd, and grasping 
his sword) 

I'll glut my sword with' the feul murd'rer'» 
blood. 
If such foul deed hath been ! 

Eth. Huah, huah! intemp'rate boy! Let 
us be gone. 

[Exxuirr Eth. Sel. and Her. 

EU>. (to Dwi.^ Heard'st thou how they con- 
ceive it ? 

Dm. A V, mercy I and it is a fearful thought 
It glanc'a e'en o'ef my mind before uey 
spoke. 

EXb. Thou'rt silent, rev'rend fether, are thy 
thoughts 
X>f such dark hue? (wiik soitmn earnestness 
to Hex.) 

Hex. Heaven's will be done in all things ! 
erring man 



BTHWALD^. A TRAQEDT. 



191 



^r 



^^- 



Bowl silentlj. Good hetlth attend your 

ffreatmeM. 
Elb. Nay, go not jetfgqod Hezulf ! in my 

cloflet 
il much desire eoAie eonTene with thee. 

Thou, 
Belike, hast misconcei v'd what I have i^tter'd 
In unadvised passion, thinking surely 
^t boie some meaning 'gainst my lord the 

king. 
Hex. No, gracious daughter^ I indeed .v&- 

ceiv'd it 
^ words of passion. Ton are moy'dj I see ; 
But let not tnis dismay you. If the kmg ^ 
Has done the deed suspicion fastens on nim, 
We o'er his mind shall hold the surer sway. 
A restless penitent will docile «proye 
To i>rie8tly counsel : this will be our jeain. 
^utin your closet we'U discourse of this. 
Heaven's will be done in all things ! 

[ExxuHT. 

Scene IV.— the kino's cham3Er. 

jEnter Ethwald with a thooghtful miserable 
look, and stands silentlj muttering to himself, 
when Alwt enters in haste, followed by an 

OFriCBR. 

Mwy. Pardon, my Lord: we bring you 

pressing tioinffs. 
Etkw. ^angrUy.) Shul I ne'er rest in peaee 
m mine own chamber f 
fia! would that peace were there ! Tou bring 

me tidings; 
And from what Quarter come they ^ 
AUoy, From Utfaerbald, who holds your 

western fortress. 
Ethw. He doth not yield, I hope, u^to the 
foe .' It is my strongest hold, and ma^ 
The stien^ or Wessez and of Britain 
jom'd. 
Of. True, king, but fiunine all things will 

subdue. 
Ethw. He has surrendered then-— by heav- 
en and hell 
^'11 have his head for this ! 

Ahoy. No, royal flthwald, 
It is not yet so bad. But this braye man. 
>Commission'd by himself, will tell you all. 
Eihw. Speak, warriour : then he holds the 

fortress still? 
Of. He does, my Lord, hot mach he lives 
in fear 
^e shall not hcdd it long, unless your high- 
ness 
1^11 give your warrant to release the prison- 
ers; 
Those ill designing Mercians whom yoiv 

wisdom 
Under his guard hfs placed. 
He bade me say the step is dangerous; 
But, if it is not done, those idle mouths 
Consuming much, will starve him and his 

men 
Into compliance with the foe's demand. 
What is your sov'reign will .' for on the in- 
stant 
I must return. 



Etkw. Tell him this is no time for foolish 

hazard. 
Let them be put to death. 

Of. {shrinking back.) Must I vetum with 

this? all put to death? 
EthMi, Tea, I have aaid : didst then not 

hear my words ? 
Of. I heard, inimth, but mine ears strange- 
ly rung. 
Good saints there are, my Lord, within our 

walls, 
Close pris'ners kept, of war-bred men alone, 
Of who^, I trow, there scarcely is a man 
Who has not some fair stripling by his side 
Sharing the Other's bonds, threescore and 

ten; 

And must they allr 

Ethw. I understand thee, fool. 
Let them all die ! have I not said it? Go ; 
Linger not here, but bear thy message quick- 
ly. [Exit Officer sorrawfidly. 
{angrily to Alwy.) What! thou look'st on 

me too, as if, forsooth, 
Thou wert amaa'd at this. Perceiv'st thou 

not 
How hardly I'm beset to keep the power 
I have eo dearly bought ? Shall tms impede 

me? 
Let infants shrink ! 1 ha^e seen blood 

enough ; 
And what have I to do with mercy now ? 

(staUang gloomily away^ then returning.) 
Sebed and Ethelbert, and fiery Hereulf, 
Are to their castles sullenly, retired. 
With many other warlike Thanes. The 

storm 
Is gath'ring round me, but we'll brave it no- 

w. 
Jilwy. Tne discontented chiefs, as I'm in- 

form'd 
By faithful spies, are in the halls of Herenlf 
Aasembled, broodingo'er their secret treason. 
Ethw. Are they ? Then let us send a chosen 

band 
And seize them unprepared. A nightly 

march 
Willhring them near his castle. Let us then 
Immediate orders give ; the time is precious. 

[ElEUNT. 



ACT IV. 

An apartment in the rotal castle 

OR CHIEF RESIDENCE OF ETHWALD. 
DWINA AND SEVERAL OF THE LADIES 
SERVING THE ^UEEN ARE DISCOVERED 
AT WORK ; SOME SPINNING, SOME 
WINDING COLOURED TARNS FOR THE 
LOOM, AND SOME EMBROIDERING AF- 
TER A RUDE FASHION. 

Dwi. {looking over the First Lady's work. 
How speeds thy work ? the queen is now im- 
patient ; 
Thou must be diligent. 



192 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



First Lad. Nine wearj monthfl have I, thou 
knowest well, 
0*er this spread garment bent, and yet, thoa 

seest. 
The half ia Bcaicely done. I lack aaaiatance. 
Dwi. And so thoa doat, but yet in the wide 
lealm 
None can be found but luch aa lack the skill 
For such assistance. All those mingled col- 
ours, 
And mazy circles, and strange canred spots. 
Look, in good sooth, aa tho* the stuff were 

strew'd 
With rich and curioua things : tho' much I 

fear 
To tell you what no easy task would prove. 
See. Lad. There lives a dame in Kent, I 
have been told. 
Come firom some foreign land, if that indeed 
She be no cunning fiend in woman's garb. 
Who, with her needle, can most cunmnffly 
The true and perfect semblance of real Bow- 
ers, 
With stalk and leaves, aa fairly fashion out 
As if upon a summer bank they grew. 
First Lad. Ay, av ! no doubt ! thou hear'st 
strange tales, I ween. 
Didst thou not tell us how, in foreign lands 
Full far from this, the nice and lazy dames 
Do set foul worms to spin their silken yarn? 
Ha, ha! (they aU laugh.) 

Sec. Lad. (angrily.) I did not say so. 
First Lad. Nay, nay, but thou didst ! (laugh' 

ing.) 
Sec. Lad. Thou didst mistake me wilfully; 
in spite, 
Malicious as thou art ! 
Dwi. I prav you wrangle not ! when ladies 
work 
They should tell pleasant tales or sweetly sing. 
Not quarrel rudely, thus, like villain's wives. 
Sing m\e, I pray vou now, the song I love. 
Tou know it well : let all your voices join. 
Omnes. We will, good Dwina. 

SONG. 

Wake a while and pleasant be, 
Gentle voice of melody. 

Sav, sweet carol, who are they 

Who cheerl^ greet the rising day T 

Little birds in leafy bower j 

Swallows twitt'rinff on the tower; 

Larks upon the li^nt air borne , 

Hantera roas'd with shrilly horn } 

The woodman whistling on his way ; 

The new-wak'd child at early play, 

Who barefoot prints the dewy green, 

Winking to the sanny sheen : 

And the meek maid who binds her yellow hair, 

And blythly doth her daily task prepare. 



Say, sweet carol, who are they 
Who welcome in the ev'ning grey 7 
The housewife trim and merry lout. 
Who sit the blazing fire about ; 
The sage a conning o'er his book; 
The tired wight, in rushy nook,. 



Who half aaleep, but &intly hears 

The gossip's tale hum in his ears ; 

The loosen'd steed in srassy stall ; 

The Thanes feasting in the hall; 

Bi|t mop!^ ofaU th^ maid of cheerful soul, 

Who fills her peaceful warrioor's flowing bowl. 

Well hast thou said ! and thanks to thee, 

Voice of gentle melody ! 

Dwi. (to Third Lady, who sits tad amd pen- 
sive.) 
What is the matter, Ella ? Thy sweet voice 
Was wont to join the song. 
EUa. Ah, woe ia me ! within these castle 
walls ; 
Under this very tower in which we are, 
There be those, Dwina, who no sounds do 

hear 
But the chill winds that o'er their dungeonp 

howl ; 
Or the still tinkling of the water-drops 
Falling firom their dank roofii, in dim sucoea- 

sion, 
Like the death watch at sick men's beda. 

AUm! 
Whilst you sing cheerly thus, I think of them. 
Dwi. Ay J many a mff'rent lot of joy apd 
grief 
Within a little compaas may be found. 
Under one roof the woeful and the gay 
Do ofl abide ; on the same pillow rrat. 
And vet, if I may rightly judge, the king 
Has but small joy above his wretched tmalls. 
Lastnif ht I listened to his restless steps, 
As ofl he paced his chamber to and fro, 
Right o'er my head ! aind I did hear him utter 
Such heavy groaqa. ! 
First Lady, (t^th all the others gathering 
about Dwina curiou^y.) 
Didst thou t And utter'd he no other sound ? 
I've heard it whisper 'd, at Uie dead of night 
He sees strange things. 
M. (speaking togOher.) O tell us, Dwina ! 

tell ua ! 
Dwi. Out on yoii all ! you hear such fool- 
ish tales ! 
He is himself the ghost that walka the night. 
And cannot rest. 

EUa. Belike he is devising in his mind 
How he shall puniah those poor prisoners, 
Who were in Hereulfs towered haUs ao 

lately 
Surpriz'd, and in these hollow vaults coa- 
fined. 
First Lad. No marvel that it should difturb 
him much. 
When his own brotner ia amongst the guilty, 
There will be bloody doings soon, I trow ! 
Dwi. Into the bands of good and pious 
Hexulf 
The rebels, will be put, so to be punish'd 
As he in holy zeal shall see it meet. 
Ella. Then they will dearly suffer ! 
Dwi. That holy man no tortures will devise 
EUa. Tes. so perchance, no tortures of the 
flesn: 
But there be those that do upon the soul 
The rack and pincer's work. 



ETHWALIX: A TRAGEDY. 



m 



Is he not ffrandsoii to that vengefol chief, 
Who, with the death-axe lifted o'er his head. 
Kept his imprison'd foe a liTe-long night, 
Nor, till the second cock had crow'd the 

mom. 
Dealt him the clemency of death ? Fnll weU 
He is his child I know ! 
Dwi. What aileth thee? art thoa bewitched 
also? 
Lamentest thou that cursed heretics 
Are pat in good men's power ? The sharpest 

punishment 
O'er-reaches not their crime. 
EUa. O Dwina, Dwina ! thou hast watch'd 
by me 
When on a sick-bed laid, and held my hiead. 
And kindly wept to see my wasted cheek, 
And lov'st thoa cruelty ? It cannot be ! 
Jhoi. No, foolish maiden ! mercy to such 

fiends were cruelty. 
Ella. Such fiends ! Alas ! do not they look 
hke men ? 
Do they not to their needful brethren do 
The kindly deeds of men ? Yea, Ethelbert 
Within his halls a houseless Thane maintain 'd, 
Whose substance had been spent in base at- 
tempts 
To work his ruin. 

jpipt. The blackest fiends of all most saintly 
forms 
Oft wear. Go, go ! thoa strangely art de- 
luded. 
I tremble for thee ! ^t thee hence and pray. 
If that the wicked pity of thy heart 
May be forgiven thee. 

Enter a Ladt eagerly. 

Come, damsels, come ! along the gallery, 
In slow procession holy Hexulf walks. 
With saintly Woggarwolfe, a fierce chief 

once, 
But now a cowled priest of marv'llous grace. 
They bear some holy relics to the queen, 
Which, near the royal couch with blessings 

laid. 
Will to the king his wonted rest restore. 
Come, meet them on their way, and get a 
"" blessing. 

Dwi. We will all gladly go. [Exeunt. 

Scene II. — arotal apabtment, light- 
ed OMLT BT THE MOOH THRO' THE 
HIGH ARCHED WINDOWS. 

Enter Eth wald, as if just risen from bed, loose 
and disordered, but bearing a drawn swoid in 
his hand. 

Ethw. Still must this heavy closeness thus 

oppress me ? 
Will no fresh stream of air breathe on my 

brow. 
And rufile for a while this stilly gloom ? 
O night, when good men rest, and infants 

sleep! 
Thou art to me no season of repose, 
But a fear'd time of waking more intense. 
Of life more keen, of misery more palpable. 

24 



My rest must be when the broad sun dotl^ 

glare; 
When armour rincrs and men walk to and fro ; 
Like a tir'd hound stretch'd in the busy hall, 
I needs must lie : night will not cradle me. 

{looking up anxumsly to the imndows.) 
What, looks the moon still thro' that lofty 

arch ? 
Wiirt ne'er be mom ? 
If that again in strength 
I led mine army on the bold career 
So surely shapen in my fancy's eye, 
I might again have jov ; but m these towers. 
Around, teneath me, hateful dungeons yawn, 
In every one of which some being lives 
To curse me. Ethelbert, and Selred too. 
My father's son and mv youth's oracle. 
Ye too are found with those, who raise to 

heaven 
The prisoner's prayer against my hated head. 
I am a lofly tree of growth too great 
For its thm soil, m>m whose wide rooted 

fangs 
The very rocks and earth that foster'd it 
Do rend and fall away. — 1 stand alone ! 
I stand alone ! I thought, alas ! to spread 
My wide protecting lK)ugh8 o'er my youth's 

fnends ; 
But they, like pois'nous brushwood at my root, 
Have chok'd mv stately growth e'en more 
than all. 

(musing for some tima gloomily.) 
How marr'a and stinted hath my greatneiss 

been ! 
What am I now of that which long ere now 
I hop'd to be ? O ! it doth make me mad 
To think of this ! By hell, it shall not be ! 
I would cut off this arm and cast it from me 
For vulture's meat, if it did let or hinder 
Its nobler fellow. 

Yes, they shall die ! I to my fortune's height 
Will rear my lofty head, and stand alone. 
Fearless of storm or tempest. 
{turns round his head upon hearing a noise^ 

and seeing Elburga enter at the bottom of 

the stage tcith a lamp in her hand, like one 

risen from bed^ he starts back and gazes 

wildly upon her.) 
What form is that ? What art thou ? Speak ! 

speak quickly ! 
If thou indeed art aught of living kind. 

Elb. Why didst thou start ? Post thou not 
know me ? 

Ethw. No ; 
Thy shadow seem'd to me a crested youUi. 

Elb. And with that trusty weapon in thy 

Which thou, of late, e'en on thy nightly 

couch 
Hast sheathless kept, fearest thou living 

man? 
Ethw. It was not living man I fear'd. 
Elb. What then ? 
Last night when open burst your chamber 

door 
With the rude blast, which it is wont to do, 
You gaz'd upon it with such fearful looks 



194 



£THWALD:A TIUGSDY. 



-»D. 



Of fiz'd expectancy, as one, in troth. 
Looks for the ent'nng of some dreadfiil 

thing. 
Have you aeen aught ? 
EUuo. Get to thy conch. Think'st thon I 

will be qoeation'd ? 
Elh. (putting her hand uptm kU aktnUder 

tooihingly.) 
Nay, be not thus nnconrtly ! thou ahalt teD 

me. 
Eikw. {skakmg her of iMpadaUly,) 
fie not a fool ! get thee to sleep, I say ! 
What dost thou here ? 
Elh, That which, in troth, degrades my 

royal birth, 
And therefore should be chid ; servilely sooth- 
ing 
The fretful moods of one, who, new to greai- 

nesSj 
Feels its unwieldy robe sit on his shoulders 
Constrain'd and gallingly. 

Eihw. (going up toher gUndy amdgratp- 

ing her Inf the wrist.) 
Thou paltry trappmg of my regal state. 
Which with its other baubles I have snatch'd, 
Dar'st thou to front me thus f Thy foolish 

pride. 
Like the mock loftiness of mimick great- 



Makes us contemned in the public eye. 

And my tight rule more hiUeful. Get thee 
hence ; 

And be with hooded nuns a gorgeous saint ; 

For know, thou lackest meekness for a queen. 

(Elb. seems much alarmedf hut at thesnutime 
walks from him with great assumed haugh- 
tinesSf and Exit.) 

Ethw, (aUme.) This woman racks me to 
tlie yery pitch ! 

Where I should look for gentle tenderness. 

There find I heartless pride. Ah ! there was 
one 

Who would haye sooth*d my troubles ! there 
was one 

Who would haye cheer*d But where- 
fore think I now ^ (pa usin g thought- 

Elburga has or late been to my will 
More pliant, oft assuming gentle looks : 
What may this mean ? under this aller'd 

guise 
What treach'ry lurks .' (pausing again for 

some time.) 
And yet it should not be : 
Her greatness must upon my fortune hang. 
And this she knows full weU. Tye chid her 

roughly. 
Borne haye, from habit and united interest. 
Amidst the wreck of other human ties, 
The sted&st duty of a wife retain'd, 
E'en where no earl^ loye or soft endearments 
The bands haye kmt Tes ; 1 haye been too 

rough, (calling taker of the stage.) 
Elbursa ! dost thou hear me, gentle wife .' 
And tiiou com'st at my bidding: this is 

kindly. 



£Bter Elbuboa hmnbled. 

EA. Ton haye been stem, my Lord. Toa 
think, belike, 
That I haye urged yon in my xeal too &r 
To giye those rebel chieftains up to Hexulf, 
As best agreeing with the former ties 
That bound yon to those base ungrateful meui 
And with the nature of their cmefest crime. 
Foul heresy ; but,if in this I err, 
Zeal for your safety urged me to offend. 

EUkw* I're been too stem with thee, but 
heed it not. 
And in that matter thou hast urged so strong- 

But that 1 much mistrust his cruelty, 
I would resign those miserable men 
To Hezulfs vengeful arm ; for much he does 
Public opinion guide, and e*en to us. 
If now oroyok'a, might prove a dang'rous foe. 
Elb. Mistrust him not; he will by oath en- 

To use no torture. 
Etkm. And yet, methinks, Selxed might 
still be saved. 
A holy man might well devise the means 
To save a brother. 

mb. He wiU think of it 
Much do the soldiers the bold courage priie. 
And sinwle plainness of his honest nund ; 
To slay him might be dangerous. 
Eikw. Ha! is it so? They've prais'd him 

much of late P 
ESk. Tes, he has grown into their fevoor 

greatly. 
EUkw. The changeful fools ! I do remem- 
ber well 
They shouted loudly o'er his paltry ^ifl. 
Because so simply giv'n, when my nch spoib 
Seem'd little prixM. Ihkenotthis. 'Twere 

well 
He were remov'd. We will consider this. 
EXb. Come to jrour chamber then. 
Etkw. No, no ! into that dark oppressive den 
Of horrid thoughts I'll not return. 

£{». Not so ! 
I've trimm'd the smould'ring fire, and by yoof 

couch 
The holy things are laid : return and fear not."* 
feikio. I thuik thy kindness \ I, indeed, 
have need 
Of WAj things, if that a stained soul 
Blay kmdiedttold with such. [Euiuirr. 

SCBHS III. — k VAULTED PRISON. HBB- 
XULF, SBLRED, AMD THBEE THAHES 
Ot T&EI& PARTY, ARE DISCOVERED 
WAI.KIRG GLOOMILY AND IILERTLY 
UP AJTD DOWR. 

Pbrst Tk. (totkt Second, wko groans kmoi- 

Ah ! wherefore, noble partner, art thou thus? 
We all are brothers, equal in misfortune ; 
Let us endure it nobly ! 
See. TV Ay, so I would, but it o'ercometh 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



195 



E'en this nine night, in my far distant home 
Files bUxe upon my towers, to ffuide my steps 
Thro' woody delk which I shall pass no more. 
E'en on this night 1 promia'd to return. 
Firtt Th. Yet bear it up, and do not dash 
OS thos ; 
We have all pleasant homes as well as thou, 
To which 1 fear we shall no more return. 
Sd. (to Third Thane, who advances from the 
bottom of the stage.) 
What didst thou look at yonder ? Where is 
Ethelbert ? 
J%ird Th, Within yon deep recess, upon 
his knees ; 
Just now 1 saw him, and I tum'd aside, 
Knowing the modest nature of his worship. 

Enter Ethxlbbrt ftom the receis, slowly ad- 
▼ancing from the bottom of the stage. 

But see^ he comes, and on his noble front 
A smilmg calmness rests, like one whose 

mind 
Hathhigh communion held with blessed souls. 
Her. {to Eth.) Where hast thou been,braye 
Ethelbert ? Ah ! now 
Full well I see ! thy countenance declares. 
Didst thou remember us ? A good man's pray- 
ers 
Will fix>m the deepest dungeon climb heav- 
en's heigrht, 
And bring a blessmg down. 
Eth. 1^ all are men, who with undaunted 
hearts, 
Most nobly have contended for the right : 
Your recompense is sure ; ye shall be oless'd. 
See. Th. How bless'd ? With what assur- 
ance of the mind 
Hast thoupray'd for us ? Tell us truly, Eth- 

emert ; 
As those about to die, or those who yet 
Shall for a term this earthly state retain ? 
Such strong impress'd ideas oft foreshew 
Th' event to follow. 

Eth. Man, ever eager to foresee his doom, 
With such conceits nis fancy fondly flatters. 
And I too much have given my mind to this ; 
But let us now, like soldiers on the watch, 
Put our soul's armour on, alike prepared 
For all a soldier's warfare brings. In heav'n 
He sits, who on the inward war of souls 
Looks down, as one beholds a well-fought 

field. 
And nobly will reward the brave man's strug- 
gle. 
(raising his clasped hands ferveiUly.) 

let him now l^hold what his weak creatures, 
With many cares and fears of nature weak, 
Firmly relying on his ri^teous rule. 

Will suffer cl^rfully ! ^ ye prepared ! 
Her, We are prepared : what say ye, noble 

colleagues ? 
First Th. If that I here a bloody death 
must meet, 
And in some nook unbless'd, far from the 

tombs 
Of all mine honour'd race, these bones be laid, 

1 do submit me to the will of Heaven. 



Third Th, E'en so do I in deep submission 

bow. 
Second Th. If that na more within my 
op'ning gates 
My children and my wife shall e'er again 
Greet my return, or this chill'd frame again 
E'er feel the kinclly warmth of home, sobe it ! 
His blessed will be done who ruleth all ! 
Her. If these nerv'd arms, full in the 
strength of youth, 
Must rot i' the earth, and all my glorious 

hopes 
To free this land, with which high beat this 

heart. 
Must be cut off i' th' midst, I bow my spirit 
To its Almighty Lord ; I murmur not. 
Yet. O that it had been permitted me 
To have contended in that noble cause ! 
Low must I sleep in an unnoted grave, 
Whilst the oppressor of mv native country 
Riots in brave men's blood ! 
Eth. Peace, noble boy ! he will not riot 
long. 
Thev shall arise, who for that noble cause, 
With better fortune, not with firmer hearts 
Than we to th' work have yoked, will bravely 

strive. 
To future heroes shall our names be known ; 
And in our graves of turf we shall be bless'd. 
Her. WeU then, I'm satisfied : I'll smile in 
death ; 
Yea, proudly will I smile ! it wounds me not. 
lih. How, Selred ? thou alone art silent 
here : 
To Heaven's high will what off ring makest 
thou ? 
Sd, Nothing, good Ethelbert. What can 
a man 
Little enriched with the mind's rare treasure. 
And of th' unrighteous turmoil of this world 
Right weary grown, to his great Maker offer P 
Yet I can <ue as meekly as ye will, 
Albeit of his regard it is unworthy. 
Eth. Give me thine hand, brave man * 
Well hast thou said ! 
In truth thy off ring fiir outpriies all ; 
Rich in humihty . Come, valiant friends ; 
It makes my breast beat high to see you thus 
For fortune s worst prepar'd Mnth quiet minds. 
I'll sit me down awnile : come, gather round 

me. 
And for a little space the time beguile 
With the free use and interehange of thought : 
Of that which no stem tyrant can controul. 
(they all sit aoum on the ground.) 
Her, (to Eth.) Nay, on my folded mantle 

do thou sit. 
Eth. I thank thee, but I feel no cold. My 
children ! 
We do but want, methinks, a blazing fire. 
To make us thus a friendly chosen circle 
For converse met Then we belike would 

talk 
Of sprites, and magic power, and marv'llous 

things. 
That shorten weary hours ; now let us talk 
Of things that do th' inquiring mind of man 



196 



ETHW^LD : A TRAGEDY. 



■4b«B 



Witl^ nobler wonder fill ; that state unaeeny 
With all its varied mansions of delight, 
To which the virtuous go, when like a dream 
Smote by the beams of op'ning day, this life 
With all its shadowy forms, fiides into nothing. 
First Th. Av, Ethelbert, thou'rt full of sar 

cred fore ; 
Talk thou of this, and we will gladly hear thee. 
How think 'st thou we shall £^1, when, like a 

nestling, 
Burst from its shell, we wake to this new day .' 
Eih, Wh^ e'en, methinks, like to the very 

thiniF 
To which, good Thane, thou hast compared us: 
For here we are but nestlings^and I trow. 
Pent up i' the dark we are. When that shall 



open 



Which human eye hath ne'er beheld, nor 

mind 
To human bodv linked, hath e'er conceiv'd, 
Grand, awful, lovely: — O what form of words 
Will body out my thoughts ! — I'll hold my 

peace. 
{covers hu head vrith his lumd, and is silent for 

a moment.) 
Then like a guised bond, that for a while 
Has mimickxl forth a sao and gloomy tale, 
We shall these worthless weeds of flesh cast off 
And be the children of our father's house. 
Her. {eagerly.) But what say'st thou of 

those who doff these weeds 
To clothe themselves in flames of endless 

woe? 
Eth. Peace to thee ! what have we to do 

with this? 
LfCtit be veil'd in night ! 

Her. Nay, nay, gcKxl Ethelbert ! 
I fain would know what foul oppression earns ; 
And please my fancy with tlie ailer doom 
Of tyrants, such as him beneath whose fangs 
Our wretched country bleeds. They shall 

be cursed : 
O say how deeply ! 
EUt. Hereulf, the spirit of him thou call'st 

thy master. 
Who died for guilty men, breathes not in thee. 
Dost thou rejoice that aught of human kind 
Shall be accursed ? 
Her. {starting up) If not within the fiery 

gulph of woe 
His doom be cast, there is no power above ! 
JEth. For shame, young man ! this ill be- 
seems thy state : 
Sit down, and I will tell thee of this Ethwald. 

Set. (rising up greatly agitated. ) 
O no ! I pray thee do not talk of him ! 
The blood of Mollo has been Mercians curse. 
Eth. Sit down ; I crave it of you both , sit 

down. 
And wear within your breast a manlier spirit. 

{pointing to Her. to sit close by liim.) 
Nay, here, my son, and let me take tliy hand. 
Thus by my side, in his fair op'ning youth, 
FuU ofl has Ethwald sat and heard me talk. 
With, as I well believe, a heart inclin'd, 
Tho' somewhat dash'd with shades of darker 

hue, 



To truth and kindly deeds. 

But from this mixed seed of good and ill, 

One baleful plant in dark strength rais'd its 

head, 
O'ertopping all the rest ; which fav'ring cir- 
cumstance 
Did foster up unto a growth so monstrous, 
That underneath its wide and noxious shade 
Died all the native plants of feebler stem. 
O I have wept for hun, as I have lain 
On my stiU midnight couch ! I try'd to save 

him. 
But ev'rv means against its end recoil'd. 
€rood Selred, thou rememb'rest well that night 
When to the Female Druid's awful cave 
I led thy brother. 
8d. I remember well. 
{aU the Thanes speaking at ones, eagsriy,) 
Ay, what of that? We've heard strange tales 
of it? 
Eth. At my request the Arch Sister there 
receiv'd nim; 
And tho' she promis'd me she would nnfiild 
Such things as might a bold ambitious mind 
Scare from its wishes, she,unweetingly. 
Did but the more inflame them. . 

Her. Ha ! what say'st thou ? 
Did she not shew the form of things to come 
By fix'd decrees, unsubject to her will ? 
Eth. She shew'd him things, indeed, most 
wonderful ; 
Whether by human arts to us unknown, 
Or mafic, or the aid of powerful spirits 
Call'd Torth, I wot not. Hark ! I hear a noise. 
First Th. I hear without the tread of 
many feet. 
They pull our dungeon's bars : ha, see 

who come ! 
Wear they not ruflians' brows ? 
Sec. Th. And foUow'd still by more: a 
num'rous crew. 
What is their business here ? 

(Enter a band of armed men, accompanied by 
two Priests^ and carrying with them a block, 
an axe, and a laiige sheet or cart&in, dec.) 

Eth. Do not the axe and block borne by 
those slaves 
Tell thee their errand ? But we'll face them 

bravely. 
They do not come upon us unawares ; 
We are prepar'd. — Let us take hands, my 

friends! 
Let us united stand, a worthy band 
Of girded trav'ilers, ready to depart 
Unto a land unknown but yet undreaded. 
{Tfiey ail take hands, facing about, and wait 
ing tlie approach of the men with a steady 
countenaiue^ 

First Pr. Why look you on us thus with 
lowering brows ? 
Can linked hands the keen-edg'd steel resist ? 
Her. No, Priest, but Unked hearts can bid 
defiance 
To the barb'd lightning, if so arm'd withal 
Thou didst encounter us. Quick do thine 
oflice! 



ETHWALD I A TRAGEDY. 



197 



Here lix brave heads abide thee, who ne'er 

yet 
Have meanly bow'd themflelves to living 
wi^t. 
First Ft. Y ou are too forward, youth : less 
will suffice : 
One of those guilty heads beneath our axe 
Most fidl, the rest shall live. So wills our 

chief. 
Lots shall decide our victim : in this urn 
inclosed are your fates. iStXtxng down an urn 
m (Ae middle of the stage upon a 
small tripod or stamd^ whilst the chiefs 
instantly let go hands, and stand gaz- 
ing upon one another.) 
Ha ! have J then so suddenly unlink'd you ? 

(with a malicious smile.) 
Put forth your hands, brave chiefs : put forth 

your hands ; 
And he who draws the sable lot of death. 
Full speedy be his doom ! 
{Ji long pause ; the chiefs stUl look upon one 
onoUteTf none of them offering to stepforward 
to the urn.) 
What, pause ye thus, indeed .' This hateful 

urn 
Doth but one death contain and many lives, 
And shrink ye from it, brave and valiant 

Thanes.' 
Then lots shall first be cast, who shall the first 
Thrust in his hand into this pot of terrors. 
Eth. (stepping forth.) No, thou rude servant 
of a gentle master. 
Doing disgrace to thy much honor'd ^^b, 
This shall not be : I am the eldest chief. 
And I of right should stand the foremost 
here. 

(putting his hand into the urn.) 
What Heaven appoints me welcome ! 

Sel. (putting in his hand.) 
I am the next: Heaven send me what it lists ! 

First Th. (putting in his hand.) 
Here also let me take. If that the race 
Of noble Cormac shall be sunk in night, 
How small a thing determines ! 
jS^. Th. (putting in his hand.) 
On which snail & my grasp ? (hesitating.) 

or this ? or this ? 
No, cursed thing ! whate'er thou art I'll have 
thee. 
Third Th. (putting out his hand with pertur- 
bation, misses the narrow mouth of 
the wm^ 
I wist not how it is : where is its mouth .' 
First Pr. Direct thy hand more steadily, 
good Thane, 
And fear not thou wilt miss it. (to Hereulf.) 
Now, youthful chief, one lot remains for thee. 
(Hereulf nausesfor a moment, and his coun- 
tenanuoetrays perturbaiionf when Ethelbert 
steps forth again.) 

Eth. No, this young chieftain's lot belongs 
to me*. 
He shall not draw, (putting in his hand quick- 
ly and taking out the last lot.) 
Now, Priest, the lots are finished. 
First. Pr. Well, open then your fates. 



( 7%0y each open their lots, whilst Hereulf stands 
looking eagerly in their faces €ls they open 
them.) 

See. Th. (opening his and then holding up 
his nands in extacy.) 
Wife, children, home ! I am a living man ! 

First J%. (having opened his.) 
I number stUl with those who breathe the air. 
And look upon the light ! blest Heaven so 
wills it 
JTurd Th. (looking at his joyfully.) 
Fate is with me ! the race of Uormac lives ! 
Her. (after looking anxiously first upon 
Ethelbert and then upon Selred.) 
Selred, what is thy lot ? is't not dark ? 
Sel. No, Hereulf. 

Mer. Oh, Ethelbert ! thou smilest on me ! 
alas ! 
It is a dismal smile ! thou art the victim ! 
Thou shalt not die : the lot of right is mine. 
A ehade of human weakness cross'd my soul. 
Such as before, not in the horrid fields 
Of crimson slaughter did I ever feel; 
But it is past ; now I can bravely die. 
And I will have my right. 

Eth. (jmshing him affectionately au)ay.) 
Away, my son ! It is as it shoula be. 

Her. O if thou wilt entreat me as a man, 
Nor slur me with contempt ! I do beseech 

thee 
Upon my bended knee ! (kneeUng.) O if thou 

diest, 
I of all living things most wretched am ! 
Eth. Be temperate, my son ! thou art re- 
serv'd 
For what the fervid strength of active youth 
Can best perform. O tako him from me, 

friends ! 
(The Thanes take HerevAf forcibly from cling- 
ing round Ethelbert, and he then assuming 
a softened solemnity.) 
Now, my brave friends, we have together 

foueht 
A noble warfare ; I am call'd away ! 
Let me in kind and true affection leave you. 
Jhanes. (speaking togetlter.) Alas, thou 
art our father and our friend ! 
Alas, that thou should *st meet this dismal end ! 

Eth. Ay, true, indeed, it is a dismal end 
To mortal feehng ; yet within my breast 
Blest hope ;md love, and heaven-ward confi- 
dence, 
With human frailty so combined are. 
That I do feel a wild and trembling pleasure. 
Even on this awful verge, methinks I go. 
Like a chid infant, from his passing term 
Of short disgrace, back to his father's pres- 
ence. 
(Holding up his hands with a dignified exul- 
tation.) 
I feel an awful Joy ! — Farewell, my friends ! 
Selred, we've fought in many a field together. 
And still as brothers been ; take thou, I pray. 
This token of my love. And tliou, good 

Wolfere, 
I've ever priz'd thy worth : wear thou this 
nng. 



19B 



ETHWALD: A TRAGEDY. 



(To the two aikertkirfs, giving tkem aUo tokeiu.) 
And jou, bniye chien, Fve ever knr'd yoa 

both. 
And now, mj noble Bereolf, 
Of all the yoath to whom my sool e'er knit, 
At with a parent*! love, in ihe good canae, 
Thee have I found moat fervent and moat 

firm; 
Be thine my aword, which in my native hall, 
Hnncr o'er my noble fether'a arma,thoa'lt find, 
Ajidbeitinthyhanda what well thoa know'at 
It would have been in mine. Farewell, my 

fiienda ! 
GodbleMyouall! 
(Tkey all crowd about Am, some kUsing his 

hemdsy some taking holdqf hit dothes, exr 

eept Hereulf, who starttHg away from Am, 

tMTowM himsdf npon the ground in an agony 

of griff* Ethelbert l^ up hit e^fet and 

bthandtatifhewere mnttering a silent 

Uetsingover them.) 

First Pr, Thia may not be ! down with 
those immona nanda ! 
Oar'at thou, foul heretic, befoie the fiice 
Of hallow'd men, thua mutter prayers aocnrst' 

Eth. Doth thia offisnd you .>— O it makea 
me feel 
A apirit for this awful hour unmeet, 
Wl^n I do think on you, ye hypocritea ! 

First Pr. Come, come ! we waate our tinve, 
the heada-man waita. 

(To Eth. Preoaie thee for the block. 

Eth. And will you in tae aight of theae my 
fiiend^t 
Tour bloody task perform ? Let them retire. 

First Pr. Nay, nay, that may not be : our 
pioua Hezmf 
Haa ^ven hia orders. 

Sec. Pr. O be not so cruel ! 
Tho' he haa ordered so, yet, ne'ertfaeieaa, 
We may auajiend thia veil, and from their eyea 
The horrid ajght conceal. 

First Pr. 'Then be itao; I grant it. 
(Ji large doth or atrtain is suspended upon 

the points of two spears, hdd up bu spear" 

IfC.from the Thanes.) 
First Pr. {to the men behind the curtain^ «f- 

ter a pause.) Are ye ready ? 
Voiu behina. Tea, we are ready now. (To 

Eth.) 
And thou? 

Eth. God be my strength ! I'm ready alao. 
(^ <*e Priest w (ea«CM^ Ethelbert beUndthe 
enrtain, he turns aboutto give a but look to 
his friends; and theu^ laying their hands 
devoutly upon their "breasts^ bow to Am 
very low. They then ^ behind the curtain^ 
leaving the Thanes on the front of the stage, 
who sUmdfxed in silent Mid horrid expectn' 
tation; eax«pl Selred, who sits downupon 
the ground with his face hid between his 
knees f and Hexulf, who rising suddentyfrom 
the ground, looks wildly round, and seeing 
Ethelbert ^one, throws himself down again 
in all the dtttraetian of grirf and despair.) 



(^ voice bekind^i^ier some noise and bustle of 

preparation has been heard.) 
Now do'ff his garment, and undo hiajeaty 
Fie on it, there ! aaaiat the prisoner. 
Sec. Voice. Let some one hold hia handa. 
Third Voice. Dove that office, (a pause of 

somelmgih.) 
Voice again. ]£ada-man, let fell thy Uow, 
he givea the aign. 
(IJkeaxe issieen iffUdup above the eurtaim 
andthesoundqf the stroke is heard.) 
Thanes, {shrinking involuntarily, and all 
spe aking at once.) 
Theatroke of death ia given! 
{The spearmen let fall the curtain, and the bodu 
of Ethelbert is discovered upon the ground, 
with a doth over it; whilst his head is hdd 
ty by. the Erecutianer, but seen very indis- 
tmeUy through the spears and pikes of tke 
surrounding Soldiers. Tke Thanea stnrt 
back, and avert their faces.) 
First Pr. {coming forward.^ 
Aebellioua Tnanea, ye aee a deed of juatioe. 
Here rest ye, and another day of life 
Enjov together: at this hour to-morrow 
We'd viait yon, and then, by lot determin'd. 
Another head muai fidl. So wiUa the king, 
First 1%. What words are these .' 
Second Th. Do thine eara catch their aenae ? 
Third Th. I cannot tell thee; mine con- 

fua'dly sound. 
First Pr. {rainng his voice louder.)' 
To-morrow at this nour we'll viait you, 
And hereagain, aelected by the lot. 
Another head must fell; 'Till then, feiewell ! 
Another dky of life enjoy securely : 
Much happmeaa be with you. 
{Jininvoluntaru groan bursts from the Thanea, 
and Hereulf, starting furioudyfrom the 
ground, denching his hands m a menacing 
posture as the Priests and S^tearmen, ^. 
retire. The scene doses.*) 



ACT V. 



Scene L — ah open space on the 
walls of the castle^ 

Enter Alwt and Hezulp, talking as they aster 
with violent gesture. 

Hex. {with angry vehemence.) 
Eaeap'd, aay'at Uum, vrith all the lebel chiefe ? 

* Should this play ever have the honoor of be- 
iag represented oparn any stage, a scene of this 
kind, in which so many iaferior actoiB would be 
pot into satoationa reqoiring the ezpfesnonof 
strong paasion, might be a dMsdvaatm to it ; I 
should, therafere, rerwnmend havingthe fioat of 
the stage on which the Thanes are, dorina the 
last psit of the scene, thrown into deep shade, 
and the light oidy to ooase across the back-grooad 
at the bottom or the ouge : this woold give to 
the whole a greater aolenmity ; and by this mean 
no ezpfessioa of countenance, but only thai of 
gesture, woakl be raipiired of thean. 



ETHWALD: ATRAQEDT. 



IS9 



Herenlf esoap'd ? th' arch fiend hiniMlf hath 

done it, 
If what thon aaj'st be troe.— It ia impoaaible. 
Say 'at thou thej are eacap'd ? 
jilwy. In very truth tbej are. 
Hex. Then damned treachery has aided 

them ! 
Alwy. Nay, rather aay, thy artfUl cruelty 
Arm'd them with that which to the weakly 

frame 
Lends a nerr'd giant*a atiength; despair. 

From out 
The thicc and massy wall, bow somewhat 

loose 
And jagsed grown with time, cemented 

neaps, 
Which scarce two teams of oxen could have 

moy*d, 
They've torn, and found a passage to the moat. 
What did it sifaiiy in what dire form 
Death frown'd upon them, so as they had 

died? 
Hex, Who can foresee events ? As well as 
thou. 
1 would that one swift stroke had slain them 

all 
Rather than this had been. But Ethelbert 
And Selred are secur'd. Was it not Selred 
Who on the second night our victim fell ? 

£lwy. It was. but better had it been for us 
Had they been left alive : had they been still 
In their own castles unmolested left. 
For like a wounded serpent, who, aloft, 
The surgy volumes of his mangled length 
In a^ny the more terrific rears 
Affunst his enemy, this maimed compact 
Will from thy stroke but the more fiercely 



Now fiery Hereulf is their daring leader. 
And what have we to look for ? 
Hex. Dire, bloody vengeance. — O 
damned traitor 
Hath done this work ! it could not else have 
been! 
Jilwff, Well, do thou find him out then, if 
thou canst, 
And let thy vengeance &11 where lies the sin. 
Hex. Doth the king know of this ? 
Jilwy, fie doth not yet. 
Hex, Then must hie be infbrm'd without 

delay. 
Ahoy, As quickly as you please, if that you 
please 
To take tnat office on yourself , «ood &ther ; 
But as for me, I must right plainlv say 
I will not venture to say it ; no faith ! of late 
The firame and temper of king, Ethwald's 

mind 
Is chang'd. He ever was in former times 
Cheerful, collected, sanjg[uine ; for all turns 
Of fate prepared, like a fur ample lake. 
Whose breast receives the axure hue t>f heav- 
en, 
And sparkles gaily in the breecy moon : 
But now, like a swoln flood whose course has 

been 
0*er rude opposing rocks and rugged shelves ; 



Whose turbid waters wear the sullen shade 
Of dark o'erchanging banks, and all enchafd 
Round evW ht& pebble fiercely roars, 
Boiling in roamy -circles, his chaf d spirit 
Can bear th' encounter of no adverse thing 
To his stem will oppos'd. I may not tell 

him. 
Hex, Be not so fearful ! art thou not a 

man 
Us'd to the sudden turns of great men's hu- 
mours.' 
Thou best oan do it, Alwy. (soodUngly.) 

Mwy, Nay, father, better will it suit your 

age 
And rev'rend state. And he has need, I 

ween. 
Of ghostly counsel too : night after night 
He rises from his tossing sleepleBs-couoh. 
Oft wildly staring roundtha vacant chamber, 
As if his fimcv peopled the dark void 
With horrid shapes. The queen hath told me 

this. 
Come, look to it, for something mustbe done. 
Hex, I will accompany your homeward 

steps. 
Whilst we consider of it. [Exxuht. 

Scene II. — ^a rotal apartment, and 

A SERVANT DISCOVERED BU8ILT EM- 
PLOYED IN LIOHTINO IT ITK 

Enter to him another Sir vaht; 

See. 8erv. Wilt thou ne'er finish lighting 

these grim walls P 
Will not those Tamps suffice ? 
JFiret Sen. No, by my faith, we want as 

many more? 
For still, thou see'st that pillar'd <Mxmer*s 

dark, 
(pomting to a gloomy reeees on the other tide 

oftkeetage.) 
Wherein the eye of conscience-scared folks 
Might fearful things espy. I am command- 
ed 
To lighten each apartment of this tower 
To noon-day pitch. 
See, Serv. Ay, Uthbert, these are fearful, 

bloody times ! 
Ethwald, God knows, has on his conscience 

laid 
A weight of cruel deeds : the executioner 
Works for him now in the grim holds of 

death. 
Instead of armed warrioors in the field ; 
And now men steal abroad in twili^t's 

gloom. 
To talk of fearful things, not by the blaze 
Of cheerful fires^ in peacefiil cottage, heap'd 
With sparkling faggots firom the winter store. 
First Serv. Ay, thou say'st well ; it is a 

fearful time; 
No marvel Ethwald should not love the dark. 
In which his fancy shapes all fearful things. 
Set. Serv. What, dost thou think it is hit 

fancy's shapes 
He looks upon ? No, no : believe me, friend, 
Night and the darkness are inhabited 



900 



ETHWALD; A TRAOra>T. 



Bj those who moTe nemr neighboon to the 

liymg; 
Close by their very sides, yet onpeTceiy'd 
By all| bat those whose eyes nnyeiled are 
By heavenly power, in mercy or in wrath. 
Sach prooft of this I've heard. — Last night 

thou know'st 
The royal grooms who near their Afaster 

sleep, 
In the adjoinmg chamber much were scar'd 
With feanol sounds. 
First Sen. I know it not. — Who was it 

told it thee ? 
At midnight was it ? (eagerly.) 

See. Hero. Tes, come with me to Baldwidk, 

he will tell thee ; 
He heard it all : thou wilt return in time 
To finish, here, thy task. We'll have a horn 
Of foamin? de, and thou shalt hear it all. 
Good foammg ale : ay, mercy on us all ! 
We live in fearfud times ! (Ustening.) 

First Serv. {listening also.) What shall I do.' 
1 hear the kin^ a speaking angrily. 
And c<Mning hitherward. What shall I do ? 
Shall I remain and face him ? nay good faith ! 
ril shun the storm : he is cnjnf^ d perchance. 
Too much to notice may unmiish'd task. 

[ExECVT hastily. 

Enter Ethwald talking angrily to a noble 

Thank. 

Etkw. Nay, nay, these are excuses, noble 

Edmar. 
Not reasons ; all our northern troops ere now 
Might well have been in readiness. 'Tis plain 
Such backward sloth from disaffection spnngs. 
Look to it well : — ^if with the waning moon, 
He and his vassals have not join'd our stand- 
ard, 
1*11 hold him as a traitor. 

Thane. My royal Lord, be not so wroth 

with him. 
Nor let your noble mind to dark suspicion 
So quickly yield. This is the season stilL 
When unbraced warriours on the rush^ noor 
Stretch them in pleasing sloth ; list'nmg to 

tales 
Of ancient crones, or merry harpers' lays, 
And batt'ning on the housewife's j^us^ elieer : 
Spring has not yet so temper'd the chill sky 
TDai men will change their warm and ahelt- 

'ring roofs 
For its cold canopy. 

Etkw. O foul be&l their gluttony and sloth ! 
Fie on't ! there is no season to tlie brave 
For war unfit. With this moon*s waning 

light, 
I wiDjWith those who dare their king to follow,- 
My northern march begin. 

Thane. Then fiuth, my Lord, 
I much suspect your army will be small : 
And what advantage may you well expect 
From all this haste .' E'en three weeks later, 

stiU 
Tou will surprise the foe, but ill prepar'd 
To oppose invasion. Do then, gracious king, 
Ldsten to friendly cooosel, and Uie while, 



Within these walls where ev'ry i^easoie 

courts you, 
Like a magnificent and rojral king, 
Tour princely home enjoy. 
Etho. Out on it, man, thou know'st not 
what thou say'st ! 
Home hath he none who once beoomesaking ! 
Behind the pillar'd maiwi<*s of his halls 
The da^ffer d traitor lurks ; his vaulted roofii 
Do nighUy echo to the whiiBper'd vows 
Of those who curse him ; at his costly board 
With gtmning smile the damned pois'ner sits ; 
Tea, e en the void fe o cs s c s of his chamber, 
Void tho' they be unto all eyes but his, 

Arepeopled {slopping short.) 

Tnane. {eagerly.) Good my Lord ! what 

do you mean ? 
Etkw. In tne confusion of tumultuous war, 
'Midst the terrific shouts of closing foes, 
And trampling steeds, and din of hick 'ring 

arms ; 
Where dying warriours groan unheard, and 

things 
Horrid to nature are as tho' they were not, 
Unwail'd, unheeded : 
Where the rough chance of each eontentious 

day 
Blots out all irksome mem'ry of the past. 
All fear of that to follow : where like herds 
Of savage beasts on the bleak mountain's side, 
Drench d with the rain, the weary warriours 

Ke, 
Whilst nightly tempests howling o'er their 

heads 
Lull them to rest ; there is my home, good 
Thane. 
Thane. No marvel, then, my Lord, if to the 
field 
Tou turn your eager thoughts ! I only fear 
Tour royal arms will in Northumberland 
Find no contention worthy of their force ; 
For rumour says, the northern prince is flrone 
With his best troops against the Scottish king. 
Ethw. If this be true, it is unto my fortune 
Most fair occasion ; master of the north 
I soon shall be, on the west again 
Pour like a torrent, big with gather'd strength. 
Who told thee this? it breaks upon me, friend. 
Like brightning sunbeams thwart a low 'ring 
sky. 
Thane. A northern villain bronght to me 
the tale, 
And told with cireumstances of good credit. 
Etkw. Run thou and find him out ; I'll wait 
thee here; 
I must have more assurance of this matter. 
Quickly, my worthy Edmar ! [Exit Thane. 
{alone.) If that this rumour b«us a true re- 
port, 
Th' opposing rocks on which my rising tide 
So long has beat, before me now give way, 
And tlm>' the breach my onward waves shall 

roll 
To the wide limits of their destin'd reach. 
Full day, altho' tempestuous it may prove, 
Now br^ks on me ! now come the glorious 
height. 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



»1 



And the proud front, and the Aill grasp of 
power! 

Vljf gloomy thoughts, and hideous fantasies, 

Back to the sprites that sent you ! England's 
king 

Behind him casts the fears of Mercia's lord. 

The north subdued, then stretching to the 
west 

Mj growing strength (strUching out 

his arms in the vehemence of action, 
he turns himself roundj directly fac- 
ing the gloomy recess on the opposite 
side of Uie stage.) 

Ha ! doth some gloomy void still yawn be- 
fore me, 

In fearful shade ? (turning his eyes away has- 
tily from tt.) 

No ; I saw nothing : shall I thus be moved 

With ev'ry murky nook ? I'll look again. 

(steals a fearful look to the recess, and 
then starting haekf turns away from 
it with horrour.) 

O they*re all there afain ! and ev'ry phantom 

Mark d with its grisly wounds, e'en as before. 

Ho ! who waits there ? Hugon, I say, ho Uu- 
gon! 

Come to me ! quickly come ! 

Enter a Groom of his chamber. 

Oroom. Save you, my royal Lord ! What is 
your pleasure ? 
Are you m pain ? Tour voice did sound, me- 

thought, 
With strange unnat'ral strength. 
Ethw. Brmg me lights here. 
Oroom. A nundred lamps would scarce 
suffice, I ween, 
To liffht this spacious chamber. 

Ethw. Then let a thousand do it ; must I 
still 



In ev'ry shady comer of my house 
See hideous quickly 



ding. 



go, and do my bid- 



Why star'sttnou round thee thus ? dost thou 
see aught ? 
Oroom. No, nothing, (looking round fear- 

Ethw. Thou need'st not look ; 'tis noth- 
ing ; fancy oft 
Deceives the eye with strange and flitting 

things. 
Regard it not, but quickly bring more lamps. 
Groom. Nay, good my Lord, shall I remain 
with you, 
And call my fellow .' 

Ethw. (angrily.) Do as thou art commanded. 

[Exit Groom. 
This man perceives the weakness of my mind. 
Am I, indeed, the warlike king of Mercia ? 

Re-enter two Grooms with lamps, which they 
place in the receis. Ethwalo, not ▼entorinff 
to look on it a^n till the lights are placed, 
now turns round to it, and seems relieved. 

Ye have done well, (after a pause, in which 
he walks several times across the 
stage, stopping short, and seeing the 
Grooms stiU there. ) 

25 



Why do ye linger here } I want ye not. 
Begone. [Exeunt Grooms. 

But that I would not to those fools 
Betray the shameful secret of my mind, 
I fain would call them back. 
What are these horrours .' 
A fearful visitation of a time 
That will o'erpass i O might I so believe it ! 
Edmar, methinks, ere this misrht be retum'd : 
I'll wait for him no more : I'll go myself 
And meet him. (going towards the large arch- 
ed door by which he enlerhd, he starts 
hack from it with horrour.) 
Ha ! they are there again ! 
£*en in tne very door-way do they front me ! 
Still foremost Ethelbert and Selred tower 
With their new-sever'd necks, and fix on me 
Their death-strain'd eye-balls ; and behind 

them frowns 
The murder'd youth, and Oswal's scepter'd 

ghost : 
Whilst seen as if half fiuiing into air. 
The pale distracted maid shews her faint 

form. 
Thrice, in this very form and order seen. 
They have before me stood. What may it 

mean ? 
I've heard that shapes like these will to the 

utterance 
Of human voice give back articulate sound, 
And, having so adjured been, depart. 
(stretching out both his hands, and cUnehing 

them resolutely.^ 
I'll do it, tho' behind them hell should yawn 
With all its unveil'd horrours. (turning ag^ain 
to the door-way with awful solemntty.) 
If aught ye be but flitting fantasies. 
But empty semblance of the form ye wear ; 
If aught ye be that can to human voice 
Real audience ffive, and a real sense receive 
Of that on which your fix'd and hollow eyes 
So stem and fix'dly glare ; I do conjure you 
Depart from me, and come again no more ! 
.From me depart ! Full wefl those ghastly 

wounds 
Have been retum'd into this tortur'd breast : 

drive me not unto the horrid brink 
Of dire distraction ! 

Speak, Ethelbert ! O speak, if voice thou hast ! 
Tell me what sacrifice can soothe your spirits ; 
Can still the unquiet sleepers of the grave : 
For this most horrid visitation is 
Beyond endurance of the boldest mind. 
In flesh and blood enrob'd. — It takes no heed, 
But fix'dly glares upon me as before. 

1 speak to empty air : it can be nothing. 
Is it not some delusion of the eyes P 
(rubbing his eyes very hard, ana rousing him- 
self.) 

Ah ! still the hideous semblance is before me, 

Plain as at first. I cannot sufler this ! 

(runs to the lamps, and taking one in each 
hand, ru^es forward in despair to the door- 
way.) 

They are all gone ! Before the searshin^ 
light 

Resolv'd to nothing ! 



SOS 



ETUWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



Enter Hxzulf and Alwt. 

Etkw. (ttaming hastily tipam hcaringtkem 
eater benindhim.) 
Ha ! is it yoa ? Most happilj yon come ! 
Welcomeyou are, most welcome ! 
Jilwy. Thanks to yoa, good my Lord ! but 
on my life 
This holy bishop and myself are come 
Unwillingly, with most untoward tidings. 
Etkw. Well, use not many words : what 

now befals ? 
Hex. The rebel Hereulf and his thralled 
mates 
Have, with more strength than human hands 
may own, 

For that the holy chmrch 

Ethw. Well, well, what meanest thou ?. 
And what should follow this ? 
.4/ioy. They'Te broke their prison walls, and 

are escaped. 
Ethw. I am glad on't ! be it so ! In &ith 
I am glad ! 
We have shed blood enough. 
JUwy. Nay, but, my Liora, unto their towers 
of strength 
They will return ; where bruiting abroad 
Their piteous tale, as 'nighted trayellers 
To the false plaining of some water fiend, 
All men will turn to them ; nor can your 

troops 
In safety now begin their northern maroh 
With such fell foes behind them. 
Ethw. {roused.) Ay, thou say'st true ; it is 
a damned let ! 
Here falls another rock to bar my way. 
But I will on ! Come, let us instantly 
Set out, and foil them ere they eather strength. 
^wy. This would be well, but that wiuin 
these walls 
Some of their faithful friends are still confin'd. 
Who in our absence might disturbance breed, 
As but a feeble guard can now be spar'd 
To hold the castle. How shall this be settled ? 
Shall we confine them in the stronjper vaults ? 
Ethw. (fiercely.) No, no! VU have no 
more imprisonments ! 
Let them be slain ; yea all : even to a man ! 
This is no time for weak uncertain deeds. 
Saw you not Edmar as you hither came? 
Mwy. We saw him with a stranger much 
'engaged. 
By a faint uunp, near to the eastern tower. 
Etkw. Then follow me, and let us find him 

out. 
Hex. We follow you, my Lord. 
Etkw. {as he is about to go out ftiirmng has- 
tily round to Alwy.) 
Bear thou a li^ht 

My house is l&e a faintly mooned cave. 
And hateful shadows cross each murky aisle. 
[ExxuHT, Alwy bearing a light 



enter to 
gnisedalso, 



, bj aaoCher path, a Thavb, die- 



SOKNE III. — TH£ EyENIIfe: A WOOD WITH 
A VIEW OP ETHWALD'S CASTLE SEEN 

thro' the trees. 
EvTXR Hbaxui,f disguised like a oouotiy hind : 



Her. Welcome^ my friend! art thou the 

first to iom me ? 
This as I guess sliould be th' impointed time : 
Fot o'er ou^ heads haye passed on homeward 

wing 
Dark fli^^hts of rooks, and dawe and floek^ 

ug birds. 
Wheeling dolt with wild disKmant sereams ; 
And from each hollow glen and riyer's bed. 
The white mistsbwly strals in fleecy wmths 
Up the dark wooded banks. And yet. me- 

thinks. 
The deeper shades of ey'ning eome not after, 
As they are wont, but day is lengthen'd out 
Most strangely. 

Ikssu. west thou those paly stzeams of 

shiy'rinff Ught 
So widely spl-eadalong the northern sky .' 
They to the twilight grey thatbrightnees lend 
At which thou wonoerest Look up, I pray 

thee! 
Her. (ficniti^ aad lookimg up.) 
What may it mean ? it is a b^uteoos U^t : 
Thane, In truth, I knownot Many a time 

haye 1 
On hill fund heath beheld the ehangeful fiioe 
Of awful nii|ht : I'ye seen the moying stars 
Shoot rapidly athwart the sombre sky. 
Red fiery meteors in the welkin blaxe, 
And sheeted li^tnings gleam ; but ne'er be- 
fore 
Saw I a sight like this. Itis belike 
Some sign portentous of our coming fiite : 
Had we not better pause and con awnUe 
This daring scene, ere yet it be too late ? 
Hsr. No, by this braye man's swofd ! not 

for an hour 
yrm I tho glorious yengeful deed delay, 
Tho' heayen's hiffh dome were flaming o'er 

myheain 
And earth beneath me shook. If it be anght 
Portentious, it must come firom higher powers; 
For demons ride but on the lower clouds, 
Or raise their whirlwinds in the nether air. 
All blessed spirits still must fiiyour those 
Who war on yirtue's side : therefore, I say, 
Let us march boldly to the glorious work : 
It is a sign foretelling Ethwald's ftlL 
Now for our yaliant friends ; they must be near. 
Ho! holU,ho! 

EvTSB,by difibrent paths in the wood, the oth- 
er Chien, dii|^aisea. and gather roand Hmib- 
ULF, he receiring tnesB Joyfhlly. 

Welcome ! all welcome ! yoa good Thaae, 

and you, 
And ey'ry yaliant soul, together leagued 
In this bold enterprise. Well are we met 
So far we prosper; and my glowing heart 
Tells me our daring shall be nobly crown'd. 
Now moye we cheerly on our way : behold 
Those frowning towers, where, e erthe morn- 
ing wmtch. 
That shall De done, for which, e'en In our 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



SOS 



Fallminy a gen'roiis Mercian, jet unboniy 
Shall bleM oar honoar'd namee. 
Odrfs. (speaking all together.) We follow 

you, brave Heremf. 
FirH dkirf. Aj, with true heart, or good 

or ill betide, 
We'll follow joa. 
Her, Come on ! ere thb, with fifty choetn 

men. 
Our trnity coUeague, near the northern gate, 
Attends oar signal. Come, ye gen'rooa lew ; 
Te who have groan'd in the foal dangeon*8 

gloom, 
Whose ffen'rooB boeonui have indignant heay'd 
To see See men beneath th' oppressor's yoke 
Like base-bom yillains pressed ! Now comes 

the hoar 
Of yirtaoas yengeance : on oar side in secret 
Beats ey'ry Mercian heart : the tyrant now 
Trasts not to men : nightly withm his cham- 
ber 
The watch-doff gaards his couch, the only 

firiena 
He now dare trast, but shall not iraard it long. 
Follow my steps, and do the gen^as deeds 
Of yaliant fireemen : Heayen is on oar side. 

[EZSUHT. 

SCKNS IV,-*-AN OPEN SPACE WITHIIT THE 
WALLS OF THB CASTLE, FRONTING ONE 
OF THE GATES : THE STAOE DARKENED, 
AND THE SET LIGHTED UP WITH THB 
AURORA BOREALIS, yERT BRIGHT, 

Enter fay opposite sides Two Offiobrs of the 

castle. 

Firtt Of. Ha! is it thee, my friend.' 
Thoa'st left thy PO*t, I gaess, as well as I, 
To yiew this awnil sky. Look oyer head. 
Where like a mighty dome, from whose bright 

centre 
Shoot forth those qaiy'ring rays of yiyid light, 
Moying with rapid change on eyery side, 
Swifter than flitting thought, the lieayens ap- 
pear! 
Whilst o^r the west in paler brightness gleam 
Full many a widely unaulating tide 
Of nlyer light; and the dark low'ring east, 
like to a bloody mantle stretched out. 
Seems to conceal behind its awftil shade 
Some dread commotion of the heayenly pow- 
ers. 
Soon to break forth— some grand and un- 
known thing. 
Second Off. It is an awful sight ! what may 
it mean P 
I>oth it not woes and bloody strife foretell .' 
I'ye heard myiather talk of things like this. — 
When the king's passing sickniMs shall be 

gone. 
Which has detain'd him from his purposed 

march 
Against the rebel chiefs, doubt not, my friend. 
We shall haye bloody work. 
FitMl Off. Ay. but ere that, mayhap, the 
man or blood 
May bleed; and Mercia from the tyrant's 



Second Off. Hush, hush ! thou art unwise : 

some list'ning ear 

First Off. And if there should, what dan- 
ger r all men now 
Harbour such secret thoughts ; and those who 

once 
His youthful yalour loy'd ancf warlike feats. 
Now loath his cruelty. I'll tell thee something, 
(drovring nearer Aim musteriouslyS 
Second Off. (Jnghtened.) Hush, hush! I 
will not hear thee ! hold thy tongue ! 
What wiirt ayail, when on the bloody stake 
Thy head is fiz'd, that all men think as thou 

dost; 
And he who fiz'd thy cruel doom to-day 
Shall die to-morrow ? 
First Off. I'm mute, my friend : and now 
1 plainly see 
How he may loru it o'er a prostrate land. 
Who trembles in his iron tower the while. 
With but a surly mastiff for his friend. 
Second Off. May, do not speak so loud. 
What men are these ? 
Who pass the gate just now ? shall we not 
stop t£sm ? 

EsTSR some of the leaffued Chiefs In disguise 
through the gate. 

First Off. No, do not trouble them. They 
are, I guess. 
Some 'niffhted rustics fri^hten'd with the sky. 
Who seek the shelter ofman's habitation. 
In such an awful hour men crowd together. 
As gathering sea-fowl flock before a storm. 
Witn such a welkin blazing o'er our heads. 
Shall men each other yex? e'en let them pass. 

Enter a crowd of frightened Womsn and Chil- 

DB.BK. 

• 

Second Off. See what a crowd of women 
this way come, 
With crying children cUngin^ to their knees. 
And infants in their arms! How now, good 

matrons? 
Where do you run ? 
First Worn. O do not stop us ! to Saint Al- 
ban's shrine 
We run: there will we kneel and lift our hands. 
For that his holy goodness may protect us 
In this most awful hour. 

Su. Worn. On, sistera, on ! 
The fiery welkin rages o'er our heads. 
And we are sinful souls : O quickly moye ! 
[£xxcHT Women and Children, 
See. Off. I also am, alack ! a sinful soul : 
I'll follow them, and pray for mercy too. 
Firsi Off. I'll to the northern wall, from 
whence the heayens 
In full expanse are seen. [Exkunt severoZ^y. 

Scene V« — ethwald's apartment: he 

IS DiaCOyER^ SITTING BT HIS COUCH, 
WITH HIS ELBOWS RESTING UPON HIS 
KNEES, AND SUPPORTING HIS HEAD 
BETWEEN BOTH HIS HANDS ; THE 
^UEEN STANDING BT HIM. 

Qtt. Why sit you thus, my Lord ! it is not 
well: 



fOi 



ETHWALD : A TRAGEDY. 



It wean your Btrength ; I pray yen go to rest. 

(a pause J and he makes no anstoer.) 

These nightly watchings much retard your care 

Be then advis'd ! (a pause, and he sUU takes 

no notice.) 
Why are you thus unwilling ? 
Hie tower is barr'd, and all things are secure. 
EUiw. How goes the hour ? is it the se- 
cond watch ? 
Q!u. No : near the window now, I heard the 

guard 
Exchange the word : the first is but half spent. 
Eihw. And does the fearful night still lie 

before me 
In all its hideous length ? (rising up with emo' 

turn.) 
O ye successive terms of ffloomy quiet ! 
Oyer my mind ye pass, like rolling waves 
Of dense oppression; whilst deep underneath 
Lie all his nobler powers and faculties 
Overwhelmed. If such dark shades must 

henceforth cross 
My checkered life with still returning horrours, 

let me rest in the foul reptile*8 hole, 
And take from me the being of a man ! 

Qu. Too much thou givest way to racking 
thought : 
Take this : it is a draught by cunning skill 
Compounded curiouslvi and strongly charm'd; 
With secret virtue fill'd — ^it sootlies the mind, 
And ffives the body rest, {offering him a cup. 
ElMO. Say'st thou .' then in good sooth 1 
need it much. 

1 thank thee too ; thou art a careful wife. 
{Takes the cup^ and, as he is about toput it to 

his lips, stops short and looks suspiciously 
other.) 
It has, methinks, a strange unkindly smell. 
Taste it thyself: dost thou not take my mean- 
ing? 
Do thou first drink of it. 
Qu. I am in health, my Lord, and need it not. 
iUhw. By the dread powers of darkness, 
thou shalt drink it ! 
Ay, to the very dre^ ! 

Qtt. What, wouldyou cast on me such vile 
suspicions, 
And treat a royal princess like your slave ? 
Ethw. And so tnou art. Thou rear'st thy 
stately neck, 
And whilst I list, thou flarest in men's eyes 

A fforgeous queen ; but unto me thou artr 

I GO demand thee, drink it to the dre^s. 

Qju. (subdued, and lifting the cup to her lips.) 
Then be convinced how wrongful are thy 
thoughts. 
Ethw, (vreventing her.) Forbear, I am too 
slightly mov'd to anger. 
I should have known the being of thy state 
Is all too closely with my fortune link'd. 
Give me the cup. Thou say 'st it soothes the 

mind.' 
If I, indeed, could rest — (tastes if.) It tastes 

not well : 
It is a bitter drug. 

Qu. Then give it me again : I'll hie to 
Dwina, 



And get from her that which shall make it 

sweet. 
(she toalks to the door of an4fther apartment, 
but as she is about to go out, Ethwald hm-- 
ries tifier her, and catches her by the arm.) 
EthtD. Thou shalt not go and Jeave me ' 

thus alone. 
Qtc. I'll soon return again, and all around 
thee 
Is light as noon-day. 

EtAto. Nay, nay, good wife ! it rises now 
before me 
In the full blaze of light. 

Qtt. Ha ! what mean'st thou ? 
Ethw. The faint and shadowy forms, 
That in obscurity were wont to rise 
In sad array, are with the darkness fled. 
But what avails the light.' for now, since 

sickness 
Has press'd upon my soul, in my lone mo> 

ments. 
E'en in the full li^bt of my toreh-clad walls,. 
A horrid spectre rises to my sight. 
Close by my side, and plain and palpable, 
In all good seeming and close cireumstance^ 
As man meets man. 

Qtf. Mercy upon us ! What form does it 

wear.' 
Ethw. My murder'd brother's form. 
He stands close by my side : his ghastly head 
Shakes horridly upon its sever'd neck. 
As if new from the heads-man's stroke ; it 

moves 
Still as I move ; and when I look upon it. 
It looks — No, no ! I can no utterance find 
To tell thee how it looks on me again. 

Qtt. Tet, fear not now : I shall not long be- 
absent; 
And thou may'st hear my footsteps all the 

while. 
It is so short a space. [Exit Queen. 

Ethw. (returning to the middle of the stage.) 
I'll fix my steadfast eyes upon the ground. 
And turn to other things my tutor'd 

thoughts 
Intently, (after pausing for a little while, 
with his clenched hands crossed upon 
his breast, and his eyes fixed upon 
the ground.) 
It may not be : I feel upon my mind 
The horrid sense that preludes still its coming. 
Elburga ! ho, Elburga ! (putting his haand fre- 
fore his eyes, and calling out with a 
strong voice of fear.) 

Enter Qcexn in haste. 

Q!u. Has't come again .' 

Ethw. No; but I felt upon my pausinrsoui 

The sure and horrid sense of its approach. 

Hadst thou not quickly come, it had ere now 

Been firowning by my side. The cup, the 

cup. (drinks eagerly.) 

Qtc. Heaven grant thee peace ! 
Wilt thou not send unto the holy priest, 
To flrive thee ghostly comfort .' 

iMiw. (shaking his head.) Away, away ! to 
thee and to thy priests 



ETHWALD: A TRAGEDY. 



905 



I have, alas ! lent too much heed already. 
Qu. Let not your noble spirit thus be 
shent! 

Still bear good heart ! these charmed drugs 
full soon 

Will make you strong and vig'rous as be- 
fore; 

And in the rough sport of your northern war 

You will forget these dreadful fantasies. 
Ethw. AVf thou speak'st wisely now : me- 
thinks I still 

In the embattled field, 'midst circling hosts. 

Could do the hi^h deeds of a warlike king ; 

And what a glorious field now opens to me ! 

But oh this cursed bar ! this ill-timed sick- 



ness; 



It keeps me back ev'n like a bitted steed. 
But It was ever thus ! What have availed 
My crimes, and cares, and blood, and iron 
toil? 
Qu. What have avail'd ? art thou not king 

of Mercia ? 
Ethw. Ay, ay, Elburga ! 'tis enough for thee 
To tower in senseleis state, and be a queen ; 
But th' expanded and aspiring soul. 
To be but still the thing it long has been. 
Is miserv, e'en tho' enthron'd it were 
Under the scope of high imperial state. 
O, cursed hindrance ! blastmg fiends breathe 

on me. 
Putt'st thou not something in thy damned 

drugs 
That doth retard my cure ? I miffht ere this 
With cased limbs have strode the clanging 

field. 
And been myself again. — Hark ! some one 
comes. (Ustemng with alarm.) 

Qu. Be not disturb a, it is your faithful 
groom. 
Who brings the watch-dog ; all things are se- 
cure. 
Ethw. Nay, but I heard the sound of other 
feet. 
(pmnif^ to the dooTj and pushing in a great 

bar.) 
Say, who art thou without.' 

roiee loithaut. Your ^room, my Lord, who 

brings your laithflil dog. 
Ethw. (to Queen.) Didst thou not hear the 

sound of other feet ? 
Qu. No, only his; your mind is too suspic- 

lious. 
Ethw. in his countenance have mark'd of 
late 
That which I like not : were this dreary night 
But once o'ermaster'd, he shall watch no 

more. 
{opens the door suspidausly, and enters an arm' 
ed man, leading in a great watch-dog : the 
door is shut again hastily ^ and the bar is re- 
placed.) 
(to the dog.) Come, rough and surly firiend ! 
Thou onnr dost remain on whom my mind 
Can surely trust. I'll have more dogs so 
tiain'd. 
(looking steadfastly at the Groom.) 
Thy face is pale ; thou hast a haggard look : 



Where hast thou been? (seizing him by tA^^ 

neck.) 
Answer me quickly ! Say, where hast thou 
been ? 
Gr. Looking upon the broad and fearful sky. 
Qu. What sayst thou ? 
Gr. The heavens are all a flaming o'er our 
heads. 
And fiery spears are shiv'ring thro' the air. 
EUiw. Hast thou seen this ? 
Chr. Ay, but our holy saint ! 
Qu. It is some prodigy, dark and porten- 
tous. 
Gr. A red and bloody mantle seems out- 
stretch'd 

O'er the wide welkin, and 

Ethw. Peace, damned fool ! 
Tell me no more : be to thy post withdrawn. 
[Exit Groom by a small svde-doorf leading 

the dog with him. 
Ethw. (to himself, after musing for some 
time.) 
Heaven warring o'er my head ! there is in 

this 
Some fearful thin? betoken'd. 
If that, in truth, tne awful term'is come, 
The fearful bound 'ry of my mortal reach, 
O'er which I must into those regions pass 
Of honour and despais, to take my place 
With those who do their blood-earn d crowns 

exchange 
For ruddy circles of devouring fire ; 
Where hopeless woe and gnashing a^oiiy 
Writhe in the dens of torment: where things be. 
Yet never imaged in the thoughts of man. 

Dark, horrible, unknown 

I'll mantle o'er my head, and think no more. 
(covers his head with Ids cloak, and sinks down 
upon the couch.) 
Qu. Nay, rather stretch you on the fleecy bed 
Ethw. Kest, if thou canst ; I do not hmder 

thee. 
Qk. Then truly I will lean my head a while. 
I am o'erapent and weary, (leans on the couch.) 

Ethw. (hastily uncovering his face.) 
Thou must not sleep ; watch with me and be 

silent ; 
It is an awful hour ! (a long pause, then Eth- 
wald starting up from the couch with 
alarm.) 
I hear strange sounds ascend the winding 
stairs. 
Qu. 1 hear them too. 
Ethw. Ha ! dost thou also hear it ? 
Then it is real, (listening.) I hear the clash 

of arms. 
Ho, guard ! come forth. 

Re-enter Groom. 

Go rouse ray faithful dog ; 
Dark treason is upon us. 

Gr. (disappears f and then re-entering.) 
He sleeps so sound, my Lord, I cannot rouse 
him. 
Ethw. Then, villain, I'm betray'd ! thou 
hast betray'd mc ! 
But set thy brawny strength against that door. 



ETHWALD I A TRIGEDT. 



And bu Uwmoot: if tbon but n 
Thii aword win thr beut. 
A noin of uned m 



taia putting tbair ftren[tli aln to tlw 

dam utba line without incieuM. Tbedoor 
uatlaat boken open, ud HxBEOt.*, with 
tbe RnnnL Cstsri, bottt is, (wonl in hud. 
Htr. {to Ethwald.) 
Now, thoo fell ntthlew lion, thnt hut mide 
Willi bloodj nge thy oMtivt forest wute 1 
The ipeumeD nre npoD Ihee ! to the itiife 
Tom thyrooghbieMt: thoa oumI do mom 

EAh. t^iilck ti) Uij villiun'B work, lli'iu 
wordy coward, 
WbointhoBickman'ichunbeCBeek'slthcrainL' 
Thoa du'at lint in lb' embattled Geld atUm ! 
I am pieper'd to front lliee and tliy maiea, 
Were ye twice imn^r'd o'er, (»«« Ais badi 
lo a pillar, and jndt hirnaelf inlo n 

Her. l^'." " ■-■ ■ ,;.-r' dir'flt[li..u 

Begrimed m thou art with blood uid crime* 
'GumtnwDconmiitleilihaaiuiiBhtiunmiei 
Thou ut s hideom ud eQTenom d nuke, 
Whose wonnded leoetb, even in hia noiaomt 

hole. 
Hen fiercely hont, for lore of homan kind ; 
And, wert tluD acolch'd to tbe bat lins of 

. life, 
E'en that poor remuut of thy can'dexialence 
Should be trod out i' th' dual. 
£fAw. Come on, thou boaating fool! gm 
thy aword work. 
And ipaie thy cuiwd tcmgoe. 

Her. Ay, aurely will 1 '. 
It ia the aword of noble Ethell 
Ita maater'a blood weigba down ita heavy 

atrokea; 

Hia unaeen hand direcla them. 

(Ikeyfighl: Ethwald default kxwat^fiiriemt- 

ly, bat at latlfaUt, and ikt etmtpixt- 

loTi rauealoKd tkout.) 

Firet d. Bleaa heaven, the work ia done ! 

Sac. Ck. Now Herdaia revenged, and Oee- 

Hay reat ^ir loil'd limba in their peaceful 



Vuri Ck. igomgM 



trOak^O 



Tama hia wrlth'd farm and death-diatocted 

(a aolma jmvm, vUIK Ethwald, ^Ur aem 

amvuUiBt matiau, tzfirti.) 

Htr. Now bath hia loaded aonl {one to it 

AimI ne'er a ntying *<ace &om all hia kind 
Criea, " Ood have mercy on him !" 

Iktrd Ck. I've vow'd to dip my weapon ii 
hiaUood. 



fWaC a. And ao have J. (ttptr^^Atm 
aJBamcingteilk AtirttaorAt lomtri* 
ikt hady, a Touts Han Mm$ firtk, 
miiitnldutMaki»trmlalmf tkmm 

Yaaag ItoM. Hy father in the Briti^ wan 

LBritiihpna'nei, and with all be had 
Jnto a Mercian chief by lot oonaj^'d : 
Mine and grandnre, lowly at hia &et, 
Rent hia ^y hair : Ethwald, a yotllhftil war- 

Reoeiv'd the old man'* pny'r, and aet him 

the laat heifei of hia herda 

Reatoi'd hia wealth. 

For thia good ^ed, do not manlt tha fallen ! 

He waa not ratUeaa once. 

(■nussmiramhtk,mmiTtbr»frtmlUk«ig. 
7kc Qneengialii iw, dariair <H AfK 4^ '^ 
amiiinrf at a dittaitee, agaiutd witi ttmur 
nut aiupmM, novctrmufanaardle Hereolf 
witfc Aamr tf oma wla npfHaUifar mtr- 
«, mmi Dwina, JtOawag dot htbad ktr, 
jaiUtpo»ktr laua, ai^tahutitk Jbntin 
Jataia «f ka Mu(ru>.) 
^. If thou of good kmg Oaml, tUne old 

Anriit of lememb'ranoe haat, 

Her. I do remember ; 
And deeply grieve to tlunk a ehild of hia 
Haa BO beued her mild and gentle alock. 
Nothing haat thou to fear : i" -im- — & iil»»». 



But aa for thina adviaen, that dark villain, 
The artiiil Alwy, and that impiona man 
Who doea diahonour to his aacred gaib, 
Their Crimea have earned for them a latter 

meed^ 
And they ahall have it. 
Sac. tk. Shall we not now the almnb'riiv 

Herciana ronae. 
And tell our coontrymen that they are &ee 
From the oppteaaor a yoke > 
Her. Yea, thon aay'at weD : thro' all the 

vexed land 
Letev'ry heart botind at thejoyfid tidinga ! 
Thoa &om hia frowiung heigat the tyrant 

Like * dark moontain, whoae interior firtia. 
Raging in eaaacleia liimalt, have devour'd 
lla own fbnrtdationa. Sunk in andden rain 
To tlw tremendous golph, in the vi 



lOJl 

Point to the traveller the hallow vale 
Where once it stood, and the now-annned eola. 
Where, new ita baae, they and their little oiwa 
Dwell tninUing in ita deep and fearfiil shade. 



THE SECOND MARRIAGE: 

A COMEDY. 



' ' 



PERSONS OF TH8 t)RAMA. 

MEN: 
Sbabrzort. 
Bbauhort, a worthy eUrgynumjWho is ki$ 

friend and brother'inrlaw. 
Lord Allcrbst. 
Sir Crafty Supplbcoat. 
Plausiblb, a schemer. 
pROWLBR, his knamshfoUower. 
William Bbauhont, son to Beaumont. 
MoRGAHy uncle to Seabright*8JEr«t tutfe. 

ROBBRT. 

GurdneTf Sharpy and Servants, ifC, 

WOMEN: 

Laot Sarah, sister to Lord Allcrett 
Sophia daughter to Seabright 
Mrs. Bbaumoht. 
Prt, Lady Sarah*8 woman. 

Landlady f Servants j SfC. 

Scene : Seabright*8 house tn the country, not 
far from Lmdon, and a small country Jhm 
near it. 



ACT I. 

Scene L — ^a garden: the gardener 
di8c0tered at work amongst 80mb 
shrubs and flowers. 

Enter Robert hastily^ calling to him aa he ea- 
ten. 

IZofr. Stop, stop, Gardener ! What are you 
about there ? M^ mistress's rose-trees rooted 
out chT her favourite nook thus? Get out of 
this spot with your cursed wheel-barrow ! If 
there were one spark of a christian in your 
heart, you would pluck the last hair off your 
bare 10^ rather than root out these shrubs. 

Gar. Softly and civilly, Master Robert ; and 
answer me one question first — If I intend to 
remain gardener in this family, and make my 
pot boil and my family thriYe as I have done, 
whether will it be wiser in me, do you think, 
to obey your orders or my master's ? 

Rob. And did he order you to do this ? 

(war. As sure as I hold this ispade in my 
hand. 

Rob. I should as soon have thought of tear- 
ing the turf from my mother's grave as of do- 
ing this thing. Well, well -, perhaps he has 
forgot that she liked them. 

Sot. Now I rather think he remembered, 
when he gave me the orders, that another lady 



likes them not ; and a dead womau's &aey 
match'd against a living woman's fieak, with 
a middle-aged widower, hear je me. who has 
jUst pull'd the black coat off his back, has but 
a sorry chance, Robert. 

Rob, Ay, and he has pull'd the black coat 
too soon off his back. ButaWay with it ! — I'll 
think no more of what you say — ^it is impos- 
sible. 

Gar. May I never handle a spade again, if 
she did not squint to this direct spot, with her 
horrid-looking grey eyes, the last time she 
walked thro' the garden, saying it was amass 
of confusion that ought to be dear'd away, 
and he gave me the or£rB for doing it the very 
next morning. 

Rob. Who could have believed this ? who 
could have believed this but a few months ago, 
when she rambled thro' these walks, with all 
her white-firoek'd train gamboling round her ? 

Gar. Nay, good Ro£rt. don't be so down 
o' the mouUi i3>out it : the loss of his wife, and 
an unlook'd-for legacy of twenty thousand 
pounds, may set a man's brains a working 
upon new plans. There is nothing very 
wonderful in that, man. He'll get his lady- 
wife and the borough together, with a power 
of high relations, you know, and we shall all 
be fine folks by and bv. — Thou wilt become 
master-butler or gentleman-valet, or some- 
thing of that kind, and I shall be dead gard- 
ener, to be sure, with a man or two to obey 
mv orders : we snan't be the same pains-taking 
folks that we have been, I warrant you, when 
he is a parliament man. 

Rob. Thou'rt always looking after some- 
thing for thine own advantage, and that puts 
all those foolish notions into thy noddle. No, 
no ; he has lived too sweetly in his own quiet 
home, amongst the rustling of his own trees 
and the pratUingof his own infents, to go now 
into the midst of all that shuffling and chang- 
ing and making of speeches, lie 'U never 
become aparliament man. 

Gar. Well,then,lethiminarry Lady Sarah 
for lovcj if he please; I'll neitner make nor 
meddle in the matter. If she keep a good 
house, and give good victuals and diiSk to 
the people in it, I^ never trouble my head 
about it. 

Rob, Out upon thee, man, with thy vict- 
uals and thv drink ! iThou'rt worser than a 
hog. Well should I like, if it were not for 
the sake of better folks than thyself, to see 
thy greedy chaps exercised upon her reeding. 

Uar, what, is she niggaroly then, and so 
fine a lady too ? 



SOS 



SECX>ND MARRIAGE : A COMEDY. 



Rob. Niggardly ! 
hoop, and aU them 



■he'll pull off her wide 
there flounces that people 
ffo to court in, to search over the house for 
3ie value of a candle's end, rather than any 
of the poor devils belon^ing^ to her should 
wrong her of a doit's worth. Thou'lt have rare 
feeding, truly, when she comes amongst us. 

Gar. Heaven forbid it, then ! No wonder 
thou'rt anxious she should not come here. I 
always wonder'd what made thee so concem'd 
about it. 

Rob. And dost thou think, swine that thou 
art, I am concem'd for it upon this account .' 
Thou deservest to be fed on husks and gar- 
bage all thy life for having such a thought. 
I, who was the friend, I may sav the relation, 
of my good mistress (for thou knowest I am 
her roster brother ; and when I look upon her 
poor children playing about, I feel as tho' they 
were my own flesh and blood. It is not that 
I boast of the connection : God knows I am 
as humble as anv body ! 

Gar. Ay, no doubt ; and a rare good thing 
it is, this same humility. I know M^oor ass, 
grazing on the common, not far off, that, to 
my certain knowledge, is foster brother to a 
very mat lord, and yet, I must sa^ that for 
him, I never saw lum prick up his ears or 
even shake his tail one bit the more for it in 
my life. By my certies ! he must be a very 
meek and sober-minded ass ! 

(singing and gathering up his tools, ^.) 

Take this in your hand for me, man ; I'm 
going to another part of the garden, {holding 
out something for Robert to carry.) 

Rob. (pushing atoav his hand angrily.) 
Take caie of it yourself, fool : you would sing 
tho' your father were upon the gallows. 

Gar. I crave your worship's pardon ! I 
should have whined a little, to be sure, to 
have been better company to you. (looking 
of the stage.) But here comes a ^ood man 
who frowns upon nobody ; the woruiy rector 
fo Easterdown : I'll go and bid him welcome, 
for he likes to see a poor fellow hold up his 
head before hira, and speak to him like a man. 

Rob. You bid him welcome, indeed ! stand 
out of the way : I'll bid him welcome myself. 

He is as good as my own No matter what 

He is married to my good mistress's sister ; ay, 
and his own father christen 'd me too. I'm glad 
he is come. You go to him indeed ! 

Enter Mr. Beaumont. 

O Sir ! you're welcome to this sad place. 

Bea. I thank you, honest Robert ; how do 
you do ? 

Rob. So, so ; I'm obliged to you for the fk- 
vour of asking. Woe is me. Sir ! but this be 
a sad place since you came last among us. 

Bea. A sad change, indeed, my good friend, 
and you seem to have felt it too. You look 
thin and alter'd, Robert. 

Rob. I ha'n't been very merry of late, and 

that makes a body look (passing his hand 

across his eyes.) 

Bea. (shaking his head.) Ay, what must 



thy poor master be, then, since it is even so 
with thee .' Poor man. it griev'd me to think 
that I could not be witn him on the first shock 
of his distress; but illness and business of im* 
portance made it impossible for me to leave 
Yorkshire. How does he do ?' I hope you 
look cheerfully before him, and do ul that 
you can to comfort him. 

Rah. Indeed I should have been very glad, 
in my homely way, to have done what I could 
to comfort hun \ but, I don't know how it is, 
he gets on main well without, sir. 

Sea. (surprised.) Does he .' — ^I'm very glad 
to hear it. I love him for that, now : it is a 
noble exertion in him ; he has a great merit 
in it, truly. 

Rob. mimph, humph. (a pause.) 

Bea. What were you going to say, my good 
Robert? 

Rob. Nothing, Sir ; I was only clearing my 
throat. 

Bea. How does he sleep, Robert ^ 

Rob. I can't say. Sir, not being present 
when he's a-bed, you know. 

Bea. How does ne eat, tlien ? little rest and 
little food must, I fear, have brought him very 
low. 

Rob, Nay, as for the matter of his eating, I 
can't say but I find as good a notch made in 
the leg of mutton, when he dines alone, as 
there used to be. 

Bea. Well, that's good. But I fear he is 
too much alone. 

Rob. No, Sir ; he has dined out a pretty 
deal of late. He does, indeed, walk up and 
down the shady walk by the orchard, and talk 
to himself, often enough. 

Bea. (alarmed.) Does he .' that is a sign of 
the deepest sorrow : I must speak to him ; I 
must put books into hu hands. 

Rob. O, Sir, there's no need of that ; he has 
a book in his hand often enough. 

Bea. And what kind of bookB does he read .' 

Rob. Nay, it is always the same one. 

Bea. Well, he can't do better : there is but 
one book in the world that can't be too often 
in a man's hand. 

Rob. Very true'; Sir, but it is not that one 
tho'. — 1 thought as you do myself, and so 1 
slyly look'd over his shoulder one morning to 
be sure of it ; but I saw nothing in it but all 
about the great people at court, and the great 
offices they hold. 

Bea. You astonish me, Robert His heavy 
loss I fear has bewildered his wits. Poor man ! 
poor man ! and all the sweet children too ! 

Rob. Yes, Sir, they— will feel— 

Bea. What would you saj, my firiend ? 

Rob. Nothing, Sir. Tins vile neckcloth 
takes me so tight round the throat, an' a 
plague to it ! 

Gar. (eonUng fonoard with a broad grin.) 
€rod bless you. Sir ! I be glad to see you here. 
How does your good lady and master William 
do ? He is grown a fine young gentleman 
now, I warrant : he, he, he, he/he ! 

Rob. (to Gar. angrily.) Can't you ask a 



SECOND MARRIAGE : A COMEDY. 



1t09 



MnUeman how he does, fbo], without putting 
Uiat damned grin upon your face ? 

Bea. Why, my fiiend Robert, what words 
are. theaeyou miake use of ? 

Rob. TYue. Bltf I ghould not have used 
them : but when a bodj is vexed he'll be an- 
gry, and when a body is angry, good sooth ! 
Ee 11 e'en bolt out with the first word that 
oomes to him, though he were a saint. 

Bea, Too true, Robert ; but lonff before a 
body becomes*a saint, he is very seldom vex- 
ed, and still seldomer angry at any thing. 

Rob. God bless you, Sir ! I know very 
well I a'n't so good as I should be, and I wish 
from my heart! was better. 

Betk Give me vour hand, honest Robert ; 
you will soon be better if you wish to be so, 
and it is a very pleasant progress when once 
it is &irly begun. (Looking of the stagt.) I 
think I see your master at a distance. Good 
day to you ! good day to you. Gardener ! 

[Exeunt severally. 

SCBITE II. — A PARLOUR, WITH A DOOR 
OPBNIHO INTO THE ttAROKH. 8BA- 
BRIOHT AlfO BEAUMONT ARE SEEN 
WALKING TOOBTHER IN THE GARDEN. 
BEA. TALKING TO 8EA« AS THET EN- 
TER. 

Bea. {eomHmdiui to talk.) I must indeed 
confess, my dear Sriend, you had every thing 
that this world can bestow ; a moderate for- 
tune, with health to enjoj it ; the decent, 
modest tranouillity^ of private life, and the 
blessings of domestic harmony. I must, in- 
deed, confess you were a happy man. {pout' 
eg eand looks at Sea. who says nothing.) 
Tour measure of good things was complete ; 
k was impossible to add to it ) there was no 
moce for you to desire on this side of heaven. 

(pauses again.) 

Sea. (answering very tardily.) I hM, in- 
deed, many of the comforts of hfe. 

Bea. Muiy of the comforts of life ! you 
had every thing the heart of man can desire ; 
and, pajdon me, you could afford to lose part 
of vour felicity, dear as that part might be, 
and still retain enough to make life worth the 
cherishing. To watch over your rising fam- 
iljr ; to mark the hopeful progress of their 
minds ; to foster every good disposition and 
discourage every bad one found there : this, 
my fnend, is a noble, an invigorating task, 
most worthy of a man. 

Sea. It is certainly the du^ of every man 
to attend to the education of his children : 
their fortunes in the world depend upon it. 

Bea. (looking displeased at kim.) Poo ! their 
fbrtimes in tluit world from which this will 
i^pear but like a nest of worms, a hole for 
grubs and chrysalises, that world which is 
our high and native home, depend upon it. 
(walhngyp and down disturbed^ and then re- 
tMming to Sea. with a sey-upbraiding look.) 

26 



Forgive me, Seabright ', you know I am 
sometimes thus, but my spark is soon extin- 
guished. I am glad — I ought to be glad to 
see you so composed. It is a noble conquest 
you have gained over your feelings, and what 
must it not have cost you ! Give me your 
hand, and be not thus constrained with me : 
I know the weakness of human nature, and 
dearly do I sympathize with you. 

Sea. Tou are very kind, my friend ; but 
you have travelled far ; you must want re- 
freshment ; let me order something, {going 
to the door and caUing a Servant, to whom he 
gives orders.) 

Bea. (aside.) Well, there is something here 
I don't understand. But I am wronsr, per- 
haps : some people can't bear to have the sub- 
ject of their sorrow touched upon : I'll talk 
to him of other things. — {Alouito Sea. as he 
returns from the door.) Your old acquaint- 
ance, Asby of Gloucestershire, called upon 
me a day or two before I left home, and in- 
quired lundly ailer you. He is a very rich 
man now ; he has purchased the great estate 
of Carriswood, near his native place, and is 
high sheriff of the county. 

Sea. (becoming suddenly animated.) What, 
Asby .' my old school- feUow Asby f that is 
a great rise, by my soul ! The estate of Car- 
riswood, and high sheriff of the co\mty ! 
What interest hu pushed him ? what con- 
nexions has he made f has he speculated 
with his money ? bow has he advanced him- 
self.^ 

Bea. I can't very well tell you : he has 
gone on, like many others, turning, and 
scraping, and begging ; and managing great 
people's matters tor Uiem, till he has tecome 
one of the most considerable men in that 
part of the country. 

Sea. He must be a clever fellow. We used 
to think him stupid at school, but we have 
been dev'lishly deceived. 

Bea. No, you have not, for he is stupid still. 
His brother, the poor curate of Cronon, is a 
clever man. 

Sea, (contemptuously.) The poor curate of 
Crofton ! One of those clever men, I sup- 
pose, who sit with their shoes down o' the 
heel, by their own study fire, brooding o'er 
their own hoard of ideas, without ever being 
able from their parts or their learning to pro- 
duce one atom's worth of good to themselves 
or their families. I have uiown many such : 
but let me see a man, who, from narrow and 
unfavorable beginnings, shapes out his own 
way in this changing world to wealth and dis- 
tinction, and, by my faith ! he will be wise 
enough for me. 

Bea. My friend, you become animated ; 
I am happy to see you so much interested in 
the fortune of others ! it is a blessed disposi- 
tion. I have something also to tell you of 
your old fnend Malton, which I am sure will 
give youpleasure. 

Sea. What, he has got a fortune too, I sup- 
pose, and is standing for the county. 



tio 



SECOND MARRIA6S: A COMEDY. 



Bm. No ; something better than that, my 
firiend. 

Sea. Ha! Well, some people get on amaz- 
ingly. 

Bea. It is amazing, indeed, for it was alto- 

S ether hopeless. You rememoer his only son, 
le poor little boy that was so lame and so 
sickly ? 

Sea. Yes, I'do. 

Bea. Well, from some application, which I 
cannot remember at present, the sinews of 
his leg have recovered their proper tone again, 
and he is growing up as healthy a comely 
looking lau as you can see. 

Sea. O, that is what you meant — I am glad 
to hear it, certainly ', a cripple in a family 
is not eisily provided for. But pray now, 
let me understand this matter more per- 
fectly. 

Bea. I tell you 1 have forgot how they 
treated the le^, but 

Sea. (impalienUy .) No, no, no ! What re- 
lations, what connexions had Asby to push 
him ? A man can't get on without some as- 
sistance : his family, I always understood, 
was low and distress'd. 

Bea. He had two or three ways of fitting 
on, which I would not advise any fhend of 
mine to follow him in ; and the worst of them 
all was making what is called a convenient 
marriage. 

Sea. {affecting to laugh.) Ha, ha, ha ! you 
are severe, Beaumont : many a respectable 
man has suiffered interest to determine even 
his choice of a wife. Riches and honours 
most have their price paid for them. 

Bea. Trash and dirt ! I would not have a 
disagreeable vixen to tyrannise over my fam- 
ily ror the honors of a peerage. 

Sea. Well, well ! people tnink differently 
apon most subjects. 

Bea. They ao indeed ; and it is not every 
one who thinks so delicately, and has so mucn 
reason to do so, upon tms subject, as we 
have, my dear Seabnf ht. Our wives — 

Sea. {interrupting him.) And he comes in 
for th^ county, you say ? 

Bea. No, no, Seabright ! you mistake me : 
high sheriff of the county. I said. How you 
do interest yourself in the fortunes of this 



^S^. And what should surprise you in this .' 
By Heaven, there b nothing so interesting to 
me as to trace the course ota prosperous man 
through this varied world ! First he is seen 
like a little stream, wearing its shallow bed 
through the grass ; circling and winding, and 
ffleanmg up its treasures from every twink- 
Eng rill as it passes : farther on, the brown 
■md fences its margin, the dark rushes thick- 
en on its side : farther on still, the broad flags 
shake their green ranks, the willows bend 
their wide boughs o'er its course : and yonder, 
at last, the fair river appears, spreading its 
bright waves to the light ! 

Sea. (staring ttrangely on himy then turning 
away some paces, and shaking his headrurftl- 



nn< 



Iv,) Poor man! poor man! his intsUeeti aft 
deranged : he is not in his senses. 

Enter a Ssrvavt. 

« Sea. {to Ser.) Very well, (to Bea.) Let us 
o to the breaknst room, Beaumont, and you*U 
nd something prepared for you. {As thsy 
areabout to go out, the children offosar alt « 
distance in the garden,) 

Bea, {looking out.) Ha! yonder are the 
children ! Blessings on them ! I must ma 
and speak to them first [Exit into the gar* 
den to the ehUdren. 

Sea. (to hims^, looking conteaatuoudy of* 
ter Bea.) Ay, go to the children ! Uiou art on- 
ly fit company for them ! To come here with 
his comfort and condolence full eight months 
and a half after her death — he is a mere siii>- 
pleton ! His wonderful delicacy too ^about 
interested marriages — he is worse than a sim- 
pleton ! And my only business now, fi>r- 
sooth, must be to stay at home and bc^^me 
schoolmaster to my own children ! — ^he is an 
absolute fool. {tumsMg round and teeing tha 
Servant still standing at the door.) Have you 
inquired at the village which of^the inns my 
Lord Lubberford stops at on his way to town.^ 

Ser. Yes, Sir ; but they don*t know. 

Sea. But they must know. Go, and make 
farther inauiries, for I must pay my respects 
to his Lordship as he passes. Were the fruit 
and the flowers carried to Lady Sarah this 
morning.' 

Ser. 1 don't know. Sir. 

Sea. Run to the gardener, and put him in 
mind of it [Exsurr. 

SCXITE IIL — ^A LIBRARY. 

Enter Sxabpioht, who walks several Hies 
slowly scrosB the stage as if deeply engaged 
in his own mind j then stops short with a con- 
siderable pause. 

Sea. I am now upon the threshold of dis- 
tinction, and with one step more I cross it 
On this side lies spiritless obscuritv ; on that, 
invigorating honor, {pauses.) Member of 
Parliament I there is magic in the words, and 
of most powerful operation. — Let that man 
find a place elsewhere ; why should I sqneew 
myselr and every body round m^ to make 
room for him ? Sir, he's a Member of Parlia- 
ment — Let that fool hold his tongue there ; 
why do we silently listen to all bis prosing 
stuff.' Sir, he's a Member of Parliament. — 
What ; bells ringing, children huzzaing, cor- 
poration men sweating at this rate, to wel- 
come that poor lurking creature to your town .' 
To be sure ; he's a Alember of Parliaments 
Ay , so it is ! I too have mixed with the igno- 
ble crowd to stare upon men thus honoured. 
I have only now to over step the bounds, and 
be myself the very thing I gazed at. {pausing 
again.) — There is indeed a toll, a price of en- 
trance that must be paid, and my heart stands 
back fit»n it ; but there is no other way than 
this, and what I would wear I must purchase. 



SECOND MARRUGfi : A COMEDY. 



Sll 



O, it if well worth its price ! To be but known 
«nd named as filling such a place in society 
brings pleasure wiu it. And in the eyes of 
our early friends too, — Methinks I can see at 
this moment every curious face in my native 
Tillage gathering about the letter-boy, as he 
•ets out upon his rounds, to look with grin- 
Bing admiration upon my first franks. '' Free, 
Seaoright ;" ha, ha, ha ! {laughing to Atm- 
Js/f, and rMmg hit hands together with great 
eimplaemey.) 

Enter Robert. 

Sea, (turning round shortly, Wee one who is 
eaughL) What brings you here^ sirrah ? 

Rob. Tou desired me to tell you, Sir, when 
Bliss Seabri^rht returned from her walk. 

Sea. {with his countenance changed.) And 
b she so soon returned ? 

Rob, Tes, Sir ; and I have told her you 
wish to jpipeak with her. 

Sea. You have told her — 1 wish — I looked 
not for her so soon — I wish you had not — 

Rob. Sir ! 

Sea. Begone ! begone ! and say I am wait- 
ing for her. {Exit Itob. stealing a look qfob' 
servation at hts master as he goes out.) — Ah ! 
here comes the hard pull ! hefe comes the 
sticking place! I should have prepared her 
for this before, but my heart would not suffer 
me. O that I bad employed some one else 
to tell her ! She Uttle thinks of this ! 1 hear 
her coming (listening, while children's voices 
are heard wiUtout.) What ! she is bringing the 
children with her ! I hear the little one prat- 
ing as she goes. O God ! I cannot — ^I can- 
not! 

[Exit, running out unth much agitation. 

Enter Sophia, carrying a little boy on her back, 
and an elder boy and giri taking hold of her 
gown. 

Soph, {to the little one.) You have had a 
fine ride and a long ride, have you not ? 

Little One. Yesh, Ut. 

Soph. Come down then, boy, for your horse 
is tired. 

LittU One. No, tit. 

Soph. No, tit ! but you must tho.' {setting 
him down.) Stand upon your fat le^ there, 
and tell me what I'm to have for all this troub- 
le of carrying you. "What am 1 to have, ur- 
chin ^ 

Little One. Kish. 

Soph, {after kissing him affectionately) And 
what am I to have for these comfits I have 
saved for you ? 

Little One. Kish. 

Soph, (kissing him again.) And what am I 
to have for the httle dog I bought for you this 
morning.^ 

UttU One. Kish. 

Soph, What ! kish again ? Kish for every 
thing? {Idssing him very tenderly.) O you lit- 
tle rogue ! you mi^ht buy the whole world for 
such money as this, if every body loved you 
as I do. Now, children, papa is not ready to 



see us yet, I find, so in the mean time, I'll di- 
vide the little cake I promised you. (taking a 
little cake from her work-bag ^ and dividing it; 
whilst BxXiert, peeping in at the door and see- 
ing Seabright not there, ventures in, and stands 
for a UttU while looking tenderly upon Soph. 
and the children.) 

Rob. God bless all your sweet faces ! 

Soph. What do you want here, good Rob- 
ert .' 

Rob. Nothing — nothing. — God bless you all, 
my pretty ones ! (listening.) I hear him com- 
ing [Exit, looking piteously upon them, as he 
goes off . 

Soph. I hear papa coming. 

Little Girl. Til run and meet him. 

Eldest Boy. Don't, Emma ; he does not like 
to play with us now ; it is troublesome to hupn. 

Little Girl. When mama was alive he play'd 
with us. 

Soph. Hush ! my good girl. 

Enter Seabriobt. 

We have been waiting for you, papa; Rob- 
ert told us you wanted to see us all together. 

Sea. Did Robert tell you so i* I wanted to 
see you alone, Sophia; but since it is so, the 
others may remain. 1 have got something to 
say to you. 

Soph. You look very grave, my dear Sir : 
have I offended you ? 

Eldest Boy. It was I who broke the china 
vase, BO don t be angry with her for that. 

Sea. My brave boy, it is distress, and not an- 
ger, that makes me grave. 

Soph. And are you distress'd, papa.' O 
don't be distress'd ! we will do every thing 
we can to please you. I know very well we 
can't make you so happy as when mama watf 
alive ; but we'll be sucn good children ! we'll 
obey you, and serve you, and love you so 
much, if you will but play with us, and look 
upon us again as you used to do. 

Sea. (softened.) My dear ffirl, I wish I 
could make you all happy : 1 wish to raise 
your situation in the world above the pitch of 
my present confined abilities : I wish — (stops 
and is much embarrassed.) 

Soph, (kissing his hand.) My dear, dear 
father ! you say that I am your dear girl, and 
I promise you, you shall find me a good one. 
I want no better fortune in the world, than to 
live with you, and be useful to you. I can 
overlook the household matters, and order ev- 
ery thing in the family as you would like to 
have it. I want no better fortune than this : 
I shall be a happy girl and a proud girl, too, if 
you will put confidence in me. 

Sea, (taking her hand tenderly.) My sweet 
child ! this would be a dull ana sombre life 
for a younff girl like you : you ouffht now to 
be dressed and fashioned like other young 

ale, and have the advantage of being in- 
jced to the world by those who— — 
Soph. O no ! I don't care whether my sown 
be made of silk or of linen : and as for being 



tl2 



SECOND MARRIAGE : A COBfEOY. 



doll, never trouble your head about thai; 
we ahall find a way to get the better of it 
Do you knoWj papa, — —but 1 am ahnoat 
ashamed to tell it you. — 

Sea. What is it, mv dear? 

Soph, I have been learning to play at back- 
gammon : for you know viama and you used 
to play at it of a winter evening ; and Til 
play with you. if you'll allow me. 

Sea. O God ! O God ! this is too much ! 
(Turns from them m ^eat agitation, amd run' 
ning to the opposite side of the roonij stands 
leaning his back against the toallf tohilM So- 
phia and the ehiUS-en gather round him.) 

Sooh. Mv dear father ! what is the matter ? 

Eldest Boy. Are you not well, papa? 

Sea. I am well enough ! I am well enough ! 
but I have aomething to tell you, and I can- 
not tell it. 

Soph. For God's sake let me know what it is. 

Sea. Tou must know it: it is necessary 
that you should. I am (pauses.) 

Soph. A bankrupt. 

Sea. No, no, no ! I am going to be mar- 
ried. — (Sophia staggers some paces back, and 
stands like one perfectly stuptjied.) What is 
the matter, Sophia ? are you going to faint ? 

Soph. No, I shan't faint. 

Sea. Be not so overcome with it, mv dear 
child ! it is for the good of my children I 
marry, (pauses and looks at her, but she is si- 
lent.) Tou, and all children in your situation, 
look upon these matters with a prejudiced 
eye. It is my great regard for you that deter- 
mines me to take this step (pauses, but she is 
silent.) Do you hear me ? Will you not apeak 
tome? 

Soph. O my poor mother ! little did I think 
when I kiss d your cold hands, that you 
would so soon be forgotten ! 

Sea. No more of this, my dear ! No more 
of this ! It is improper ; it is painful to me. 
I have not forgotten — I love — I respect — I 
adore her memory : but I am engaged — it is 
necessary — ^vour interest is concerned in it, 
my dear children ; and I know, my good So- 
phia, you will not add to your father's dis- 
tress bv stubborn and undutiful behaviour. 

Soph. O no, my dear Sir ! if you love and 
adore her memory I am saUsfied. Tet, if you 
do, how can you — Oh how can you ! — I will 
say no more : God bless you, and j^iveyou a 
good wife ! (weeping.) But she will never be 
so good as my mouier ; she will never love 
you as my mother did. 

Sea. Forbear, my good girl ! I know it very 
well : and I don't marry now to be beloved. 
But Lady Sarah is a very good woman, and 
will make me as happv as 1 can expect to be ; 
she is sister toLordAllcrest, vou know, and 
is related to the first people of the country. 

Soph. Good heaven. Sir ! you can't mean 
to marry Lady Sarah : all the world knows 
how ill-temper'd she is. 

Eldest Boy. What that lady with the cun- 
Bing4oo]png nose, and the strange staring 



eye-brows ? If she come into this hoase I'D 
cast my top at her. 

Soph. Hold your tongue, Georae ! papa k 
not so hard-heuted as to set sdch a womaD 
over us. Ck>me, come, children! gather 
round, and hold up your little hands to him : 
he will have pitv upon yon. (theehUdrengatk' 
er round, and 8opaia,pMtttii^ the hands of the 
youngest child together, and hcldingtkem up^ 
kneds down before Am.) O Sir ! have pity on 
them ! We have nobody to plead for us, and I 
cannot speak. 

Enter Robert with his &ce all blabbered, and 
throwing himself upon his knees bj the chil- 
dren, holds ap his hands most piteonsly. 

Rtib. 0,Sir! 

Sea. (bursting into a violent rage.) What, 
sirrah ! have you been listening at the door ? 
Go from my presence this moment ! 

Soph. Dear Sir! be not ansry with him ! 

Sea. (putting her away.) No, no! let us 
have no more of this nonsense : I have listen'd 
too long to it already, (breaks fhnn them and 
Exit.) 

Rob. I wish my head had been cut off be- 
fore I had come in with my ill-timed assist- 
ance ! Curse upon mv stupid pate ! I de- 
serve to be han^'d for it. (beating his head 
and grasping his hair.) O my pretty ones f 
I sent you to him that you mignt work on 
his heart, for I knew what he wanted to say 
well enough, and yet I must needs thrust in 
my silly snout amongst vou, to mar all ! For 
a man that can read books and cast accounts, 
and all that, to do such a trick ! I deserve to 
be cudgel'd ! 

Soph. Don't be so angry at yourself, Rob- 
ert : you meant it well, and you have always 
been so good to us ! 

Rob. Good to you ! I lovevou like mj^ own 
flesh and blood, every one ofjrou ; and if any 

body dare to do you wrong, Fll ^no matter 

what (clenching his fist and nodding signjfi' 
candy.) He maj turn me off if l£ please ; 
but I'U not quit the neighbourhood : I'll 
watoh over yon, my pretty ones ; and hang 
me if any one shall hurt a hair of your 
heads ! 

Soph. I thank you, Robert : but don't teU 
any body : that would not be right, you know. 
Come, children } yon shall go with me to my 
own room. 
[Exeunt Sophia and children by one side, and 

Exit Robert by the other, looking t^fUr them 

with tenderness and pity.) 



ACT II. 



SCBNX I. — BXFORX THS FRONT OF 8XA- 
brioht's HOUSX. 

Enter Plausible and Pbowleb. 

Plan. Do you wait for me in that &rther 
walk yonder, till I coM from visiting my 
subject. 



SECOND MARRIAGE : A OOMEDr. 



SIS 



Fr0. Well, God grant he prove a good sab- 
jeet ! we are woonoily in want of one at pres- 
ent. 

Plau. Ddn*t loae courage, man ; there is 
always a certain qoantiW of good and of bad 
luck put into eveiy man s lot, and the more 
of the one that has past oyer his head, the 
more he may expect of the other. Seabright 
has a fortune to speculate with, and some 
tnm, as I hare been told, for speculation: he 
is iust launching into a new course of life, 
and I have a strong presentiment that I shall 
succeed with lum. 

Pro. Now away with your presentiments ! 
for we have never yet had any good luck that 
has not come pop upon our beans like a snow- 
ball, from the very opposite point to our ex- 
pectation : but he has got an unexpected leg- 
acy lately ; and I have observed that a sum 
coming in this way, to a man of a certain dis- 
' position, very often plays the part of a decoj' 
bird to drawaway firom him all the rest uf his 
money ; there I rest my hopes. 

Plau. Why you talk as if I were going to 
ruin him, instead of increasing his fortune by 
my advice. 

Pro. I have seen ruin follow every man 
that has been ftvour'd with your advice, as 
eonstantlv as the hind leas follow the fore 
legsof anorse, and therefore I cannot help 
fhinkiny there must be some connexion be- 
tween uiem. However, I don't pretend to 
reason. Plausible ; it might onlv be some part 
of their bad luck that happen'a just at thoie 
times to be passing over their heads ; and 
they have always, in the mean time, supplied 
you and your huxnble follower with money 
for our immediate wants. 

Plau. Well, hold your tongue, do ! {kmoeks 
ai the door, wkiek is opeiua by Robert.) Is 
your master at home ? 

Bob. Tes. 

Plau. Can he be spoken with ? 

Bob. No, Sir, he can't see you at present. 

Plau. At what hour can 1 see him ? 

Bob. I don't know. Sir. 

Plaui Is he so much engaged? But you 
seem sad, my friend : has any thing hap- 
pened f You nad a funeral in tne house some 
time ago .^ 

Bob. Tes, Sir ; but it is a wedding we have 
got in it at this bout 

Plau. I had the honour of calling on Mr. 
Seabright yesterday morning, but he was not 
at home. 

Bob. Tes, Sir ; he has been at the borough 
of Crockdale to be chair'd, and the parish of 
Upperton to be married ; and he returned last 
ni^t — 

Fro. Bridegroom and Member of Parlia- 
ment! 

Bob. Keep your jokes till they are ask'd 
for. 

Pro. They would be stale jokes indeed, 
then. 

Plau. (Uf Pro.) Hold your tongue, pray, 
(ce Rob.) He is engaged ? 



Bob. Tes, Sir ; he is with the bride and 
the company, in the garden, at breakfast. 

Plau. Well, I Bhaift disturb him at pres- 
ent. — Here is a crown for you : you will rec- 
ollect my &ce again when you Bee it .' I'll 
call again very soon. 

Pro. (aside.) Mercy upon us! the last 
crown we have in the world given away on 
such a chance ! It shan't go tho'. 

Bob. O yes. Sir, I'll recollect you. [Exit 
Plausible. 

Pro. (lingering bekmd.) Don't shut the 
door yet. Hark you, my good Mr. John, for 
I know vour name very well ! 

Bob. My name is Robert. 

Pro. Tes, Robert I said. 

Bob. Did you so, truly ? have not I ean in 
my head ? 

Pro. Assuredly, Sir, and ean, let me tell 
you, that will liear good news soon, if you 
will be counsell'd by me. 

Bob. Anan? 

Pro. Have you never a mind to put out a 
little monev to advantage f a guinea or so, 
now, in such a way as to return to you again 
with fifteen or twenty of his yellow-coated 
brethren at his back? 

Bob. Poo ! with your nonsense ! I have sent 
two or three guineas out upon such fool's er- 
rands already . 

Pro. And did they come back empty-hand- 
ed to you ? 

Bob, No by my faith ; for they never came 
back at all. 

Pro. O lud, lud ! there be such cheats in 
this world, they frighten honest folks from 
trjring their fortune. I have got a crown of 
my own, just now, and with another crown 
put to it by any good-hearted fellow that 
would go halves wiUi me in the profit, I have 
an opportunity of making a good round sum. 
at present, in a very honest way, that would 
almost make a man of me at once : but I'm 
sure I don't advise you to do it ; forpruden<*e 
is a great virtue ; prudence is a vezy great 
virtue. 

(Bell rings, and Robert stands hesitating.) 

Bob. Hang it ! a crown is no great matter 
after all. There it it (giving htm the crown 
whilst the bell Tings again.) How that pla- 
guy bell rings ! When you get the money 
for me, you'll know where to call ? 

Pro. Never foar ! when I get the money 
for you, I'll find my way back again, I war- 
rant yon. [Exeunt. 

SCEHX II. — A GARDEN, WITH A TBMPLB 
•SEBir AT SOME DI8TAHCE, IN WHICH 
ARE DISCOVERED LADY SARAH, SO- 
PHIA, MR. AND MRS. BXAUMONTy AND 
WILLIAM BEAUMONT, AS IF SEATED AF- 
TER BREAKFAST ) WHILST QARDBN- 
ER AND ONE OB TWO OF THE SEB- 
VANTS SKULK NEAR THE FBONT OF 
THE STAGE, BEHIND SOME BUSHES, 
LOOKING AT THEM. 



tl4 



SECXXIfD ICARRUQE : A OOMEDT. 



Gar, Bride indeed! she's u miloTelj a 
looking piece of goods as ever I looked upon. 
See how she stares at every thing about her, 
and cnrhi up her nose like a girkin ! I'll war- 
rant jon she'll be all thro' my kitchen 
grounds by-and>by, to count over my cab- 
bages. 

First Ser. Hold your tongue, man : we're 
too long here : see, they are all breaking up 
now, and some of them will be here m a 
trice. [Exeunt Servants. 

Tke company come out from the temple, amd 

Mr. and Mrs. Beaumont advance to the front 

of the stage, talking together earnestly. 

Bea. (eoiUintang to Uak.) Nay, my dear, 
you are prejudiceid and severe; it did not 
strike me that she behaved to you with so 
much forbidding coldness. She has an un- 

Scious countenance to be sure, but now and 
n when it relaxes, she looks as if she had 
some good in her. 

Mrs. B. Tes, Charles, 70U find always 
some good in every one of Qod'» creatures. 

Bea. And there is some good in every one 
of God's creatures, if you would but look 
for it. 

Mrs. B. I'm sure those who can find it out 
in her, have a ouicker discernment than I can 
pretend to. How unlockv it was that we 
came to the house last nigot, without inquir- 
ing beforehand the state of the fiunily ; I 
thought I should have fainted when they told 
me of the marriage ; and when I saw that 
creature in my sweet sister's place ! 

Bea. I pitied you, my dear Susan, very 
much, indeed I cud ; but it would have look'd 
pettish and unforgiving in us to have gone 
away again at that late hour ; and I tnink 
we must stay with them till to-morrow. For 
the children s sake we must endeavour to be 
on good terms with them. But here come 
WiDiam and Sophia 

Enter William Beadmout and Sophla. talk- 
ing 88 they enter. 

WU. You like tUe ycllow-streak'd carna- 
tions best? 

Soph, Yes, ( think they are the prettiest, 
tho' we have but very few of them. 

H'U. O then \\\ make our gardener sow a 
whole bushel of carnation-seed when I get 
hnme, that we may have a good chance, at 
least, of raising sonte of the kind you admire. 
And what else can I do for you Soplnr? Shall 
1 copy some of mv friend's verses rar vou .' 
or send you some landscapes for your oraw- 
ing book ? or — did not you say jon should 
like to have a rocking-horse for httle Tony ? 

Soph. Indeed you are very good, cousin. 

Wd. No, no ! don't say that : there is no 
goodness at all in doing any thinff for you. 

Soph, (going yp to Mr. B. tMo puts her 
arm ajfeetwnately ronnd her.) My dear aunt ! 

^KT Ah, mother ! see how tall she has 

KDwn since we saw her last, and how dark 
r hair is now. 



Mrs. B. {archly.) Yon like fiur hair best, I 
believe, WilGam. 

WiL lUke&irhair! I can't endure it ! 

Mrs. B. (smiUng.) Well, well, you need 
not be so vehement m ezpressinff your dislike. 

Bea. Here comes Lady Sarah to join us : 
this at least is civil, you will confess. 

Lady 8. {coming forvford to join them.) 
You are fond, lAa'am, I perceive, of the shade, 
from preferring this side of the garden, (/or- 
mally to Mrs. B. who coldly bows assent.) it 
is a very pleasant morning tor travelling, Mr. 
Beaumont. 

Bea. Yes, Madam, it is a very pleasant 
morning for travelling. 

Lady S. I'm sorry, nowever, that you wiO 
have so much dust on your road to town. 

Soph, {to Mrs. B.) Why you don't go to> 
day, aunt ? I thought you were to stay longer. 

Jlirs. B. No, my dear, we go this mornmg. 
(looking significanthi to Beaumont^ 

Lady S. WoiOd not the cool of the evening 
be more agreeable ^ 

Mrs. B. No, Ma'am, the coolness of this 
morning has been quite enough to induce otf 
to set out immediately. 

Enter Servavt. 

Ser. (to Lady S.) Some poor people fh>m 
the village are come to wisn your I^yship 
health and happiness. 

Lady 8. (ungreieioudy.) I am obliged to 
them. — What do they mean ? Ay, ay ! tell 
them I am obliged to them. You need not 
wait ; that is all. 
[Exit Ser. whilst Mrs. B. smOes sign^kanOy 

to her huthand. 

Soph. I wonder if my old fHend, Huskins, 
be amongst them : I'll run and see. (going to 
nm out.) 

Lady S. Perhaps, Miss Seabright inll do 
me the honour to consult me upon what 
friendships are proper for her to cultivate. 

Mrs. B. (seeing Sophia dufressad.) If your 
Ladvship will permit us, she shall retire with 
me for a little while. [Excust Mrs. B. and 
Sophia. 

ffiL (aside to his father, as the^ are ahoui 
to follow them.) What an ugly witch it is ! 
must we leave Sophia with iSer ? [ExxunT 
Beaumont and Wuliam B. Lady Saiah look- 
ing after them suspicumdy. 

Enter Sxabrioht. 

Lady S. (turning to him with affected sptight- 
Uness.) So you have been upon the watcn, I 
suppose, and will not suffer me to stroll thro' 
these shady walks alone : I am positively to 
have no time to myself. 
Sea. You don't call me an mtruder^I hope .' 
Lady S. Indeed if yon become very trouble- 
some, I don't know what I may call ^foia. 
He, he, he ! laughing fooUshly. Seabnght 
putting his hand unto the side ef her hat, shs 
pushes it away with j^etended coyness. How 
can yoo be so chikfaah ? he, he, he ! 



SBCONPfMABBIAQE: AOOMKDY. 



tli 



ffave 
land 



Sea. (gravely.) Won't jou let me pick a 
faterpillar from joui ribband ? 
Lady 8. (faohng foolish and disappoiaUd,) 

! is that it !* I am much obliged to you : 
bat you are always so good, so tenderly at- 
tentive to me ! Indeed this little hand was 
well bestow'd upon you, Seabright : I wish it 
had convey'd to you a better gift when it 

Lve away myself, (tkrusting out a great brown 

md to him. 

Sea. (raising it to his Ups with tweeted ten- 
derness) What could it possibly convey, my 
dear Lady Sarah, more — (stoppine short as he 
is about to kiss it.) Is that a tamily ring upon 
your finger ? 

Lady S. Tes, it was my mother's : why so ? 

Sea. The arms of the tlighcastles are upon 
it : Lord Highcastle then is your relation ? 

Lady i9. I am nearly related to him. 

Sea. (with lus countenance brightening.) I 
did not iLnow this : by my soul, I am glaa of 
it ! He is in credit with the minister : you 
■re on good terms with him, 1 hope. 

Lady S. Tes, I have always taken pains to 
be upon terms with him. 

Sea. I dare say you have ; I dare say you 
have : you have so much prudence, and so 
many good qualities, my dear love ! (Jdssing 
her hand witk ^eat alacrity.) 

Lady S. O it is all your olind partiality ! 
(mating her hand tenderly upon his shoulder.) 
Do yon know, my dear Mr. Seabright, that 
coat becomes you very much : I wish yon 
would always wear that color. 

Sea. ril wear any thing you like, my dear. 
But, by-the-by, my constituents at Crockdale 
have a manufacture of woollen in the town : 

1 must buy two or three hundred yards of 
their stuff from them, I believe, lest I should 
have occasion to be elected again. 

Lady S. {taking her hand eagerUf qf his 
siundder.) Two or three hundred yards of 
stuff from them ! Why, the cheapest kind 
they make is eighteenpence-halfpenny a yard : 
only consider what that will come to. 

Sea. No very great sum ! 

Lady iSf. 1 am surprised to hear you m so. 
Now f should think if you were to send the 
mayor and aldermen a haunch of venison 
now and then when it comes in your wav, 
and the eartiest information of anv neat pub- 
lic events that may occur, it would oe a more 
delicate and pleasing attention. 

Sea. Well, well, my dear Lady Sarah, don't 
let us fall out about it. 

Lady S. I am perfectly good humored, I 
assure you ; but you are so 

Sea. Yonder is your maid coming to speak 
to you : I'll leave you. 

Lady S. Indeed she has nothing to say : I 
won't suffer her to break in upon our tender 
conversation. 

Sea. But I must go to five directions about 
iccommodating Lord AUcrest and his friend. 
They will be here soon. 

Lady S. Nay, there you have no occasion 
to give yourself any trouble : leave every 



thing of that kind to me : you are too pro- 
fuse, and too careless, in every thing. 
Sea. I may at least go to the sti3>les and 

five my groom orders to provide oats for their 
orses. 

Lady S. 1 have a very ffood receipt in my 
receipt-book for feeding horses upon the re- 
fuse of a garden. 

Sea. (shaking his head and breaking away 
from her) No, no ! that won't do. [Exit. 

Enter Prt with a busy face. 

Lady S. What brings vou here. Pry .' Did 
not you see Mr. Seabnght with me ? 

Pry. I protest, m^ I^jT, I have been look- 
ing at so many things this morning, I can't 
teu what is before my eyes. 

Lady S. Ton have look'd over every thing 
then as I desired yon : and I hope you have 
done it as if it were to satisfy your own curi- 
osity. 

Pry. To be sure, my Lady ; and I might 
say so with truth too, for nothing does my 
heart so much ffood as looking thra all them 
there places. And, O dear, my Lady ! the 
chests, and the wardrobes, and the larders, 
and the store-rooms, that I have looked into ! 
but that cunning fellow, Robert, would not 
let me into the wine-cellar tho'. 

Lady S. And you are sure you let them un- 
derstand it was all to please your own curios- 
ity .^ 

Pry. to be sure ; and I was rlad I could 
speak the truth too, for I never does tell a lie 
but when I cannot get a turn served without 
it I remember, my Lady, you told me long 
affo that this was the best rule ; and I have 
always held you up, my Lady, for an ensam- 
ple. Lord have mercy upon their souls, that 
will tell you over a pack of lies for no other 
purpose but to make people laugh ! And there 
IS all your writers of books too, foil of stories 
from one end to the other, what will become 
of them, poor sinners ? 

L4idy S. Never trouble your head about 
them : what have you seen ^ 

Pry. O dear me ! the sheets and the table- 
linen, and the pickles, and the sweetmeats, 
and the hams, and the bacon, that I have seen ! 

Lady S. Indeed, Pry ! 

Pry. But do you know, my Lady, there is 
a curious place in the house. 

Lady S. What is it, pray .' 

Pry. A closet where they keep cordials for 
poor people. 

Lady S. (sourly.) Humph. 

Pry. It was kept for that purpose by the 
late Mrs. Seabright, and this young lady, I 
am told, is as fond of it as her mother was. 

Lady S. Humph— every body has some 
maggot or other. 

Pry. Certainly, my Lady, but this is a very 
strange one tho . For you must know, my 
Lady, 1 thought no harm just to taste one of 
the bottles myself, thinking it might be some 
pennyroyal- water or black&rry-wine,or such 
things as charitable ladies give away ; but 1 



tl6 



SEOQFn> lAARRUGE: A OOMfiDT. 



protest it is as good liquor as any gentlewo- 
man would choooe to keep for her own use. 

Lady S. I believe it has ran in joor head, 
Pry? 

Fry. No, no, my Lady ; whatever I may do 
by myself when I nave a pain in my stomach, 
or such like, for nobody can help afflictions 
when it pleases Heaven to send them, I never 
takes more than is creditable before people. 
And, O my Lady ! the pans of milk, and the 
butter, that I have seen in the dairy ! And 
I assure you, my Lady, the servants make 
ffood use of it : they make spare of nothing* : 
tne very kitchen-maids have cream to their 
tea. 

Lady S. Well, well ; we shall see how long 
this rioting will last. 

Pry. And I have been in the garden and 
in the orchard too^But stop ! I hear a noise 
in the bushes. 

Lady S. (looking around alarmed.) Why 
did you tala so loud, vou goasipping fool ? 
Come with me into the bouse. [£xxo9t La- 
dy Sarah and Pry, looking round aJUamud, 

Enter Garderxr, creeping from amongst the 
bushes, and shaking his fii^ and making laces 
after them. 

Gar. I have been in the garden and the or- 
chard too ! hang*d jade ! we shall see who 
comes off winner at last. [E^t. 

Scene IIL 
Enter Sbabrioht followed by Robert. 

Sea. (speaking as he enters.) And he*ll call 
again you say ? His name is rlausible .' 

RA. Yes, sir ; he is a vezy grave, sensible 
looking man. 

Sea. And has nobody ebe call*d i 

Rob. No, Sir. 

Sea. No letters for me f 

Rob. No, Sir. 

Sea. Nobody applying for finnks .' 

Rob. No, Sir. 

Sea. {aside^ Stupid dolts ! (aloud.) fh much 
the better. Be in the way when I call for 
you. fExiT Robert] Wefl, this is strange 
enough : nobody soliciting; nobody coming 
to pay their court to me ; nobody asking me 
even for a frank : it is very strange! Jafter 
musing some time.) Ha ! but there is a had 
spirit m men, whicn makes them always un- 
willing at first to acknowledge the superiority 
of him who has been more nearly on a level 
with themselves. ^ It is only when they see 
him firmly established, ana advancing in the 
pathof honours, that they are forced to res- 
pect him. (after walking across the stage 
vroudly.) And they shall see me advance. 
I am not a man to stop Abort at such begin- 
nings as these, after the high connexions I 
have made : I feel that I am bom for advanc- 
ing. The embarrassment of public afiairs 
at present offers mv activity a fair field for ex- 
ertion, (a great noise and clamour heard with 
oMt.) What is that ? Who wuts there ? 



Enter Robert. 

What a cursed clamour and noise is this I 
hear? 

Rob, Only my Lady, Sir, who has been all 
over the house with Mrs. Pry, and laying 
down some prudent regulations for the fiun- 
Uy. 

Sea, And what have the Servants to say 
to that? 

Rob. A pretty deal. Sir : they are no wiss 

mealy mouthed about the matter; and they're 

all coming to ^our honour with it in a body. 

(The noise without still coming nearer.) 

Sea. Don't let the angry fools come tome ; 
I'll have nothing to do with it. Go, tell them 
so. 

Rob. Very well. Sir, 111 be sure to tell them, 
he, he, he ! 

Sea. What, sirrah ! is it a joke for you? 

Rob. 1 did'nt laugh. Sir. 

Sea. (very angry.) Bat you did, yoa 
damn'd tool ! 

(Voices without.) Ill tell his honour of it, 
that I will. His honour is a, S<>od master, 
and has always kept his house uke a gentle- 



Sea. Did not I tell yon not to let those an- 
gry idiots come to me ? [Exit by the opposite 
side fromthe noise, ingreat haste tMlst Rob- 
ert pushes back the crowd of servants, who are 
seen pressing in at the door. 

Rob. Get along all of yoa! his honour 
won't be disturb'd. [Exeuht ; a great eUm- 
our heard as they retire. 

Scene IY. — ladt saeah's uEEfsiEO 

ROOM. 

Enter Ladt Sarah, followed by Sophia, car- 
rying a work-basket in her hand, which Am 
sets upon awork-taUe, and sits down to work. 

Lady S. (sitting down bu her.) Now 1 hope, 
Miss Seabright, I may flatter myself with 
having more of your company this morning 
than you generally fovour me with. If Lord 
Allcrest aoes not come at an early hour, we 
shall have time for a food deal of work. 
When a young lady is inllustrious, and is not 
always reading nonsensical books, or running 
up and down after children, or watering two 
or three foolish fiower-pots on her window, 
she can do a great many things for herself^ 
that enable her to appear better dress'd than 
ffiils who are more expensive, (pausing) Yoa 
don't answer me. 

Soph. Indeed, Ma*am, I had better not, for 
I don't know what to say. 

Lady S. Yon are a very prudent young la- 
dy, indeed, to make that a reason for h^din^ 
your tongue. 

Soph, ft is a reason, indeed, which elder 
ladies do not always attend to. 

Lady S. What gown is that you have i>at 
on to<^y ? It makes you loos like a child 
from the nursery. — ^Mr. Supplecoat is to ac- 
company Lord Allcrest, who is a very prom- 



SECX>NB If ARIUAOK : A COMBDY. 



nv 



vung young nuun, of good ezpectatiom, and I 
coold hare wiih*d joa had diess'd to more 
advantage. There is a young friend of mine 
■carcely a year older than yourself, who is 
just going to be married to one of the best 
matches m the conntry ; and it is of great 
importance to have a dau|[hter of a large fam- 
ily well and early settled in life. 

Soph, (looking very muek syrpriud.) O 
how different ! My poor mother used to say, 
that young women ought not to be married 
too early, but wait till they had sense to con- 
dnot themselves at the head of a family. 

Lodif S. Some of them would wait till they 
were pretty well wrinkled then. 

8opk. it must be confessed that some, who 
do wait till they are pretty well wrinkled, are 
fain at last to marry without it. (Voices 
kuurd wUlumt,) 

Lady S. (rising paddy.) It is my broth- 
er's voice : he is eome early. 

Entar Skabrioht, Loid Allcrkst, and Sir 
Crafty Supplecoat. 

Lady S. My dear brother, I am rejoiced to 
•ee you. (holding out her hand to Lortf AU- 
ciest, u)ho salutes her, and then eurtesying 
very graciously to Sir CraAy.) 

Lord A. I am happy to see you look so well, 
sister. 

Sir C. Lady Sarah looks as a bride ought 
to look, fair and cheerful. 

Lady S. And Mr. Supplecoat talks as a 
courtier ought to talk, I need not say how. 

LordJf. I beg pardon; let me have the 
pleasure of introducing Sir Crafty Supplecoat 
to your Ladyship. 

Lady S. Every new honour that Sir Craf- 
ty acquires must give me pleasure. And 
permit me to introduce to your Lordship, 
Mr. Seabright's — I mean my daughter, who 
has many goo^l qualities to make her worthy 
of your esteem, (presenting Sophia to Lord 
AIL and then to Sir Crafty, wno afterwards 
modestly shrinks backf bekmd Lady S.) 

Sett, (aside to Lady S. pulling her by the 
sleeve,) 
What, is he made a baronet ? 

Lady 8. (aside.) Tes. 

Sea. (aside.) A baronet, not a knight ? 

Lady S. (aside.) No, no! a baronet, cer- 
tainly. 

Sea. (aloud.) Permit me ag^ain to say how 
happy I am to see your Lordship in this house: 
I hope you and Sir Crafty will not run away 
from us so soon as your letter gave us reason 
to fear. 

Lord A. You are very obliging, my good 
Sir ; but my time, as you may suppose, is of 
some little miportance at preaent| and not al- 
together at my own command. 

Sir C. His Lordship's time has been so 
long devoted to the pubUc, that he begins to 
believe it has a ri^ht to it. 

Lord A. (affecting kumUity.) Why, I haw 
Itoen plaoed, without any merit of my own, 

37 



in a situation which gives my country some 
claims upon me : ever since the time of Gil- 
bert, third Earl of Allcrest, the chiefs of mv 
family have pursued one uniform line or 
public conduct. 

Sir C. For which they have been reward- 
ed with one uniform stream of ministerial 
approbation. — Changes of men and of meas- 
ures have never been able to interrupt the 
happy and mutual uniformity. 

Lord A. I believe, indeed, without the im- 
putation of vanity, I may boast of it. The 
imputation of pride I am not so anxious to a- 
void : it more naturally attaches itself to that 
dignified stability ; that hifh integri — I mean 

that public virt 1 should say — {^waMng 

indistinctty to himself) which my nmily has 
been conspicuous for. 

Sir C. rride is a fault that great men blush 
not to own — it is the ennobled offspring of 
self-love ; tho', it must be confess 'a, grave 
and pompous vanity, like a fat plebeian in 
a robe ot office, does very often assume its 
name. 

Lord A. Ha, ha, Sir Crafty ! you have a 
pleasant imagination : one can see that you 
sometimes read books. 

Sir C. 1 would rather follow your example, 
my Lord, in the more agreeable study of 
men. No ; I very seldom take a book in my 
hand, unless it be patronised by some great 
name, or have the honour, as has been the 
case with one of our best works lately, to be 
dedicated to your Lordship. 

Lard A. I tLxa obliged to you, Supplecoat ; 
I am sure I am very happy if a name of so 
little importence as mine can be of any use 
to the learned world. We all owe learmng a 
great deal. 

Sir C. I Km sure the patronage of your 
Lordship's name is a ftill recompense to learn- 
ing for all the obligations you owe her. 

Lord A. (bowing fradously^ and then turn' 
ing to Seabright, as tfmodestlv to nUerrupt the 
stream of his own praise.) Mr. Seabright, I 
must have a conversation with you in your 
library, when you can bestow as much lei- 
sure upon me. Most of our elections are al- 
ready decided, and the ensuing parliament 
bids ftir to be as united and as meritorious as 
its predecessor. In those places where I have 
the honour to possess some little influence, 
the constitution, the government, or ministry 
— that is to say the same thing, you know, 
will find hearty and zealous supporters: I 
think I may depend at least on the member 
£m Crockdale. (bowing.) 

Sea. I hope I shall always be found to 
merit the friendship and alliance I have the 
honour of bearing to your Lordship. 

Lord A. (drasnng back eoUUy.) Friend- 
ship is always the strongest tye, Mr Sea- 
bright : indeed the only one that is now held 
in anv consideration, or indeed ever men- 
tioned. 

Sea. (mort^ud and drawing bmtk also) I 
am ready to attend you, [my Coti^ whenever 



tis 



SEGOND MARRIAGE: A COMSDY. 



^oo please ; I shall have the honour of ihew- 
inff jou the waj to my library. 

Lord^, I am infijiitely obliged to yoa. 
Will you go with us too, Sir Crafty ? i oa 
have a list of the votera for Underwall in 
your pocket. The ladies will excuse ns. 
[Exeunt Lord All. Sir Crafty, and Sea. w/ko 
goesatUwUk them and rt-enUra almoft iwimedi 

Sea. (to Lady S.) His Lordship sent me 
back to borrow your spectacles. 

Lady S. Spectacles ! I use no such thing. 

Sea. He says you do. 

Lady S. O yen, there is a particular kind 
which I sometimes look thro' to examine any 
thing very minutely. 
(jf/2er receiving the spectade$ and going to the 

doory he suddenly stops and turns back.) 

Sea. But is it your brother's interest that 
has made Supplecoat a baronet.' 

Lady S. I dare say it is. 

Sea. Yes, yes ! I make no doubt of it. [Ex- 
it, hurrying away. 

Ladu S. (to Soph, angrily.) "What made 
you, child, skulk behind Mcks so, like a aim- 
pleton? — ^Tou can be fluent enough when 
there is no occasion for it, and waen you 
ought to speak you have not a word to say 
fur yourself. Tnis is true nursery breeding. 

Soph. Indeed, Madam, you may thaiUL 
yourself for it ; for after what you said to me, 
before they arrived, about Sir Crafty Supple- 
coat and marrying, I could not bear to look 
at him ; and every time he looked at me, I 
felt strange and mortified, just as if I had been 
set there to be looked at* He is the most 
disagreeable man I ever saw in my life. 

Lady S. Don't be uneasy ; you have little 
chance, I'm afraid, of being molested by him. 
But I forget : I must wnte to my niend, 
Mrs. Cudunore ; her husband is in credit 
now, and I have been too negligent a corres- 
pondent. [Exrr. 
Soph, {sighing deeply.) O dear ! O dear ! 
O dear me ! she sleeps quietly under the 
green sod that I would right gladly lie down 
beside. [Exit sorroufidly. 

SCXNE V. — ^A SMALL ROOM WITH SO- 
PHIA'S BOOKS AND MUSIC, AND FLOW* 
BR-POTS, &C. SBT IN OBDBR. 

Enter Sophia very sorrowfully, leaning upon 

NOBSX. 

Soph. O my dear nurse ! yon are our best 
friend, and so she is going to send you away 
from us. — What will oecome of the poor chil- 
dren now .' What will become of us by-and- 
by ? And my father, too ? even my nther. 
Oh how it ffrieved me to see him courting 
that proud Lord, who seems ashamed to con- 
sider him as a bix>ther-in-law ! To see even 
my father kx^ed down upon — it goes to my 
heart 

Jfurse, Let him take what he gets, an' a 
murrain to him 1 he had no business to bring 
her here to torment us all, after the dear bdy 



we have lost — ^But dry up your tears : we'll 
be revenged upon her : tliere is not a crea« 
tnre in tfis house that has not swore it: we'll 
be revenged upon her. 

Soph, What do you mean, nurse ? 

Nurse, I must not tell jrou, my dear young 
lady ; it is not proper that jea. should know 
anjr thinf of it : but all the servants are join^ 
ed in a |Mot| and they'll damp her oourage, I 
warrant ye , they'll scare her finely. 

Soph, {shipfing and dapping ier hands.) 
O, I shall be so ^ad to have her wellaeaied ! 
And I wish they would steal that nasty dog 
of her's, for she is kind to no living ereataie 
but it 

Jfurse, Nay, to give the devil his due, I be« 
Heve she is growing food of little Tony. 

Soph, lAWe Tony ? 

Jfurse. Tes, indeed. It is strange enooghf 
but the other da^ as she passed thro' the hall, 
we were all loolung sourfy enough upon her, 
no doubt, when, what poss e ss e d the child I 
don't know, but he held out his arms to her, 
and smiled. 

Soph, Nasty little toad*, to hold out his 
arms to her. 

Jfurse. And, would yoa believe it, she took 
him in her arms, kissed him very kindly, and 
has taken to him wonderfully ever since. 

Soph. And do you think she really loves 
himr 

Jfkrse. Upon my honest word. I do. 

Soph. O then, iotCX let them do any harm 
to her : don't let them take any revenge up- 
on her ; if she love Tony, I would not have 
her hurt 

Jfktrse, O, but she loves none of the rest ; 
she is as hard as a millstone to the other two. 
O la ! here comes that fine Sir CrafVjr, as they 
call him : I wonder what can bring him here : 
can he be coining afier you, vRsm Sophy .^ 
{with a sign^uant smile.) 

Soph, Now don't say so, narse, for yoa 
know I can't bear it 

Enter Sir Crapty Svpplxooat, advancinsto 
SoFBiA with a very courteous miliag face, 
whilst ■be shrinks back and keeps close to 

Norsk. 

Soph, (aside.) O don't ffo, nurse. 

Sir C. Lady Sarah has nad the goodness, 
Miss Seabrignt, to send to you a very will- 
ing messenger, who is happy to find any 
pretence in the world to present himself be- 
fore you. 

Aacrse. (asids to Soph.) Itis justasi said. 
((oloud to Sir C.) Meaning yourself. Sir } 

Sir C, Yes ; weU guessed, nurse ! you are 
cunning enough, I see : you have toe true 
sagacity about you that be c ome s jrour occupa- 
tion ; and I doubt not that your young lady 
has profiled by your very instructive society. 
Now that you have found out the messenger, 
perhaps Miss Seabright herself may guess 
what nis enand is. 

(wiih an tfoOsd orniU. 



SECOND MARRIAGE : A COMEDY. 



S19 



JVWrje. {aride to Sophia, toko shrinks hack ttUl 
more.) Ay, it is very like courting, I aMuie voa. 

Sir C' (advancing at the recedes.) Will not 
MiM Seabnght do me the honour to beitow 
one thought upon it ? I cannot doubt of her 
ability to gueaa my errand, if the will haye 
the condeMension. 

Mkr^e {aside to Soph.) Tea, yea ; it ia the 
Teiy thing : I have neard many a conrtahip 
beffin after thia fashion. 

Soph, (to Sir C.J very imccA enharrassed and 
frighiemed.) I — l-^I'm sure I don't know. 

Sir C. (mil advancing towards her as she 
recedes, with a more tntolerable leer on his 
face.) Nay, do have the goodness to g^ve me 
this proof of the skill you have acquired in 
this refined academy ofimprovement, and tell 
me on what errand I am come. 

Soph (becoming angry.) I'm sure I don't 
know, unless it be to make a fool of me, and 
I don't think I need to stay any longer for 
that purpose, (runs out.) 

jArse. (running e^ter her.) Don't run 
away, ^fias Sophy : he is a good looking gen- 
tleman, and very civil spoken, too. [Exit. 

Sir C. (looking after them.) Ha, ha, ha ! 

Enter Sharp at the side by which they have 

gone out. 

Sharp. Toa are merry, Sir : I believe I can 
guess what amuses you. 

Sir C, I dare say thou canst. Sharp ; it is 
eas^ enouffh to see what they have got into 
their foolidi heada. Ha, ha, ha ! does the po- 
litical Lady Sarah think to put off her troub- 
lesome nurseiy girl upon Crafty Supplecoat.' 
But let me encourage the mistake for a little, 
it will strengthen my interest with Lord All- 
erest, which at present is necessary to me. — 
Thou understand'st me, Sharp. 

Sharp. Tes, yes. Sir ; and you'll have litde 
trouble in keeping it up; for the servants, 
thanks to Mrs. Try's gossiping, who is in her 
lady's secrets, have got it so strongly into 
their heads, that if you but pick up t& younff 
lady's glove when she drops it, they think 
you are putting a ring on her finger. 

Sir C. 1 thuik thee, Sharp ; and if thou 
oan'st at any time pick up, in thine own way, 
any infi>rmation that may be useful to me. 
thou shalt not go without thy reward. Ana 
how does the young lady like her step-moth- 
er's scheme ? hast thou heard them talk tbout 
that.^ 

SOUap. Nay. they say she dislikes it very 
much, and is oeueedly shy about it 

Sir C. (smiling conceiiedly,') Poo, poo,