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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!

Enter Dumont.

Hum. My lord! for honour's sake •

Hast. Hah! What art thou?—Begone!

Hum. My duty calls me
To my attendance on my mistress here.

Hast. Avaunt! base groom

At distance wait, and know thy office better.

Hum. No, my lord

The common ties of manhood call me now,
And bid me thus stand up in the defence
Of an oppiess'd, unhappy, helpless woman.

Hast. And dost thou know me, slave?

Durn. Yes, thou proud lord!

I know thee well; know thee with each advantage,
Which wealth, or power, or noble birth, can give thee.
I know thee, too, for one who stains those honours,
And blots a long illustrious line of ancestry,
By poorly daring thus to wrong a woman.

Hast. Tis wond'rous well! I see, my saint-like
You stand provided of your braves and ruffians,
To man your cause, and bluster in your brothel.
Durn. Take back the foul reproach, unmannerM
Nor urge my rage too far, lest thou should find
1 have as daring spirits in my blood
As thou, or any of thy race e'er boasted;
And tho' no gaudy titles grac'd ray birth.
Yet Heav'n, that made me honest, made me more
Than ever king did, when he made a-lord.

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.

[Exit Hastings.

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,
Ere the clouds gather, and the wint'ry sky
Descends in storms to intercept our passage.

Durn. Will you then go! You glad my very soul.
Banish your fears, cast all your cares on me;
Plenty and ease, and peace of mind shall wait you,
And make your latter days of life most happy.
O, lady! but I must not, cannot tell you,
How anxious I have been for all your dangers,
And how my heart rejoices at your safety.
So when the spring renews the flow'ry field,
And warns the pregnant nightingale to build,
She seeks the safest shelter of the wood,
Where she may trust her little tuneful brood;
Where no rude swains her shady cell may know,
No serpents climb, nor blasting winds may blow;
Fond of the chosen place, she views it o'er,
Sits there, and wanders thro' the grove no more;
Warbling she charms it each returning night,
And loves it with a mother's dear delight. [Exeunt.



The Court.

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?
What unforeseen misfortune has surpris'd thee,
That racks thy tender heart thus?

/. Shore. O, Dumont!

Alicia. Say, what of him?

J. Shore. That friendly, honest man,
Whom Belmour brought of late to my assistance,
On whose kind care, whose diligence and faith,
My surest trust was built, this very morn
Was seiz'd on by the cruel hand of power,
Forc'd from my house, and borne away to prison.

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
The tale of my hard hap. Upon the present
Hang all my poor, my last remaining hopes.
Within this paper is my suit contain'd;
Here as the princely Gloster passes forth,
I wait to give it on my humble knees,

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