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/. Shore. Never! by those chaste lights above I swear, My soul shall never know pollution more; Forbear, my lord !—here let me /ather die:
[Kneeling. Let quick destruction overtake me here, And end my sorrows and my shame for ever.
Hast. Away with this perverseness,—'tis too much. Nay, if you strive—'tis monstrous affectation!
J. Shore. Retire! I beg you leave me—
Hast. Thus to coy it!
With one who knows you too.
J. Shore. For mercy's sake
Hast. Ungrateful woman! Is it thus you pay My services?
/. Shore. Abandon me to ruin
Rather than urge me
Hast. This way to your chamber; [Pulling her. There if you struggle
/. Shore. Help, oh, gracious Heaven! Help! Save me! Help!
Hum. My lord! for honour's sake •
Hast. Hah! What art thou?—Begone!
Hum. My duty calls me
Hast. Avaunt! base groom
At distance wait, and know thy office better.
Hum. No, my lord
The common ties of manhood call me now,
Hast. And dost thou know me, slave?
Durn. Yes, thou proud lord!
I know thee well; know thee with each advantage,
Hast. Tis wond'rous well! I see, my saint-like
Hast. Insolent villain! henceforth let this teach thee [Draws, and strikes him.
The distance 'twixt a peasant and a prince.
Durn. Nay, then, my lord, [Drawing.] learn you by this, how well An arm resolv'd can guard its master's life.
J. Shore. O my distracting fears !—hold, for sweet Heaven. [They fight; Dumout disarms Lord Hastings. Hast. Confusion! baffled by a base-born hind! Durn. Now, haughty sir, where is our difference now? Your life is in my hand, and did not honour, The gentleness of blood, and inborn virtue, (Howe'er unworthy I may seem to you) Plead in my bosom, I should take the forfeit. But wear your sword again; and know, a lord, Oppos'd against a man, is but a man. Hast. Curse on my failing hand! Your better fortune Has given you 'vantage o'er me; but perhaps
Your triumph may be bought with dear repentance.
J. Shore. Alas! what have you done? Know ye the pow'r, The mightiness, that waits upon this lord?
Dum. Fear not,my worthiest mistress; 'tis a cause In which Heaven's guards shall wait you. O, pursue, Pursue the sacred counsels of your soul, Which urge you on to virtue; let not danger, Nor the encumb'ring world, make faint your purpose Assisting angels shall conduct your steps, Bring you to bliss, and crown your days with peace.
J. Shore. O, that my head were laid, my sad eyes clos'd, And my cold corse wound in my shroud to rest! My painful heart will never cease to beat, Will never know a moment's peace till then.
Dum. Would you be happy, leave this fatal place; Fly from the court's pernicious neighbourhood; Where innocence is sham'd, and blushing modesty Is made the scorner's jest.
J. Shore. Where should I fly, thus helpless and forlorn, Of friends, and all the means of life bereft?
Dum. Belmour, whose friendly care still wakes to serve you, Has found you out a little peaceful refuge, Far from the court and the tumultuous city. Within an ancient forest's ample verge, There stands a lonely, but a healthful, dwelling, Built for convenience and the use of life: . Around it fallows, meads, and pastures fair, A little garden, and a limpid brook, By nature's own contrivance seem'd dispos'd. Your virtue there may find a safe retreat From the insulting pow'rs of wicked greatness.
J. Shore. Can there be so much happiness in store!
A cell like that is all my hopes aspire to.
Haste, then, and thither let us take our flight,
Durn. Will you then go! You glad my very soul.
ACT THE THIRD.
Enter Alicia, with a Paper.
Alicia. This paper to the great Protector's hand, With care and secrecy, must be convey'd; His bold ambition now avows its aim,
To pluck the crown from Edward's infant brow,
And fix it on his own. I know he holds
My faithless Hastings adverse to his hopes,
And much devoted to the orphan king;
On that I build: this paper meets his doubts,
And marks my hated rival as the cause
Of Hastings' zeal for his dead master's sons.
Oh, jealousy! thou bane of pleasing friendship,
How does thy rancour poison all our softness,
And turn our gentle natures into bitterness!
See where she comes! once my heart's dearest blessing,
Now my.chang'd eyes are blasted with her beauty,
Loath that known face, and sicken to behold her.
Enter Jane Shore.
J. Shore. O, my Alicia!
Alicia. What new grief is this?
/. Shore. O, Dumont!
Alicia. Say, what of him?
J. Shore. That friendly, honest man,
Alicia. To prison, said you! Can you guess the cause?
J. Shore. Too well, I fear. His bold defence of me Has drawn the vengeance of Lord Hastings on him.
Alicia. Lord Hastings! Ha!
J. Shore. Some fitter time must tell thee