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Has given to-day a blessing in our children,
Suff, In that I trust. Good angels be our guard, And make my fears prove vain. But see! My
wife! With her, your son, the generous Guilford comes; She has inform'd him of our present purpose.
Enter the Duchess Of Suffolk and Lord GuilFord.
Lord G. How shall I speak the fulness of my heart? What shall I say to bless you for this goodness? Oh, gracious princess ! But my life is yours, And all the business of my years to come, Is, to attend with humblest duty on you, And pay my vow'd obedience at your feet.
Duchess S. Yes, noble youth, 1 share in all thy joys, In all the joys, which this sad day can give. The dear delight I have to call thee son, Comes like a cordial to my drooping spirits; It broods with gentle warmth upon my bosom, And melts that frost of death which hung about me. But haste! Inform my daughter of our pleasure: Let thy tongue put on all her pleasing eloquence. Instruct thy love to speak of comfort to her, To sooth her griefs, and cheer the mourning maid.
North. All desolate and drown'd in flowing tears, By Edward's bed the pious princess sits; Fast from her lifted eyes the pearly drops Fall tiickling o'er her cheek, while holy ardour And fervent zeal pour forth her lab'ring soul; And ev'ry sigh is wing'd with pray'rs so potent, As strive with Heav'n to save her dying lord.
Duchess S. From the first early days of infant life,
A gentle band of friendship grew betwixt them;
North. A wondrous sympathy of souls conspir'd
Enter Lady Jane Grey, weeping.
Lady J. G. Wilt thou not break, my heart!
Stiff. Alas! What mean'st thou?
Guil. Oh! speak!
Duchess S. How fares the king?
North. Say, Is he dead?
Lady J. G. The saints and angels have him.
Duchess S. When I left him, He seem'd a little cheer'd, just as you enter'd
Lady J. G. As I approach'd to kneel and pay my duty, He rais'd his feeble eyes, and faintly smiling, Are you then come? he cry'd: I only liv'd, To bid farewell to thee, my gentle cousin; To speak a few short words to thee, and die. With that he press'd my hand, and oh !—he said, When I am gone, do thou be good to England, Keep to that faith in which we both were bred,
And to the end be constant. More I would,
Earnest he pray'd; Merciful, great Defender!
Preserve thy holy altars undefil'd,
Gnil. Crowns of glory,
North. Our grief be on his grave. Our present duty
[To the Duchess Of Suffolk. Your princely daughter of our resolution; Our common interest in that happy tie, Demands our swiftest care to see it finish'd.
Duchess S. My lord, you have determined well. Lord Guilford, Be it your task to speak at large our purpose. Daughter, receive this lord as one whom I, Your father, and his own, ordain your husband: What more concerns our will, and your obedience, We leave you to receive from him at leisure.
[Exeunt Duke and Duchess Of Suffolk, and Duke Of Northumberland.
Guil. Wilt thou not spare a moment from thy sorrows, And bid these bubbling streams forbear to flow?
Wilt thou not give one interval to joy;
One little pause, while humbly I unfold
The happiest tale my tongue was ever blest with?
Lady J. G. My heart is dead within me, every sense
Guil. If 1 offend thee,
Lady J. G. How! Guilford! on this night?
Guil. This happy night: Yet if thou art resolv'd to cross my fate, If this my utmost wish shall give thee pain, Now rather let the stroke of death fall on me, And stretch me out a lifeless corpse before thee: Let me be swept away with things forgotten, Be huddled up in some obscure blind grave, Ere thou shouldst say my love has made thee
wretched, Or drop one single tear for Guilford's sake.
Lady J. G. Alas! I have too much of death already, And want not thine to furnish out new horror. Oh! dreadful thought, if thou wert dead indeed, What hope were left me then? Yes, I will own, Spite of the blush that burns my maiden cheek, My heart has fondly lean'd towards thee long: Thy sweetness, virtue, and unblemish'd youth, Have won a place for thee within my bosom:
And if my eyes look coldly on thee now,
Guil. I ask no more;
Lady J. G. Here then I take thee to my heart for ever. [Giving her Hand.
The dear companion of my future days:
Guil. Thou wondrous goodness!
Lady J. G. Yes, Guilford, I will study to forget All that the royal Edward has been to me, How we have lov'd, even from our very cradles. My private loss no longer will I mourn, But ev'ry tender thought to thee shall turn: With patience I'll submit to Heav'n's decree, And what I lost in Edward find in thee. But, oh! when I revolve what ruins wait Our sinking altars and the falling state: When I ronsidor what my native land Expected from her pious sov'reign's hand;