« ZurückWeiter »
That tugs the strings, that struggles to get loose;
And pour my soul in waitings out before thee.
Guil. Give way, and let the gushing torrent come;
Behold the tears we bring to swell the deluge,
Till the flood rise upon the guilty world,
And make the ruin common.
Lady J. G. Guilford, no:
The time for tender thoughts and soft endearment*
Is fled away and gone: joy has forsaken us;
Our hearts have now another part to play;
They must be steel'd with some uncommon fortitude*
That, fearless, we may tread the path of horror;
And, in despite of fortune and our foes,
Ev'n in the hour of death, be more than conq'rom.
Guil. Oh, teach me! say, what energy divine
Inspires thy softer sex, and tender years,
With such unshaken courage?
Lady J. G. Truth and innocence;
A conscious knowledge rooted in my heart,
That to have sav'd my country was my duty.
Yes, England, yes, my country, I would save thee;
But Heav'n forbids, Heav'n disallows my weakness.
And to some dear selected hero's hand
Reserves the glory of thy great deliverance.
Lieut. My lords, my orders
Guil. See! we must—must part.
Lady J. G. Yet surely we shall meet again.
Guil. Oh ! Where?
Lady J. G. If not on earth, among yon golden stars, Where other suns arise on other earths, And happier beings rest on happier seats: Where with a reach enlarg'd, our soul shall view The great Creator's never-ceasing hand Pour forth new worlds to all eternity, And people the infinity of space.
Guil. Fain would 1 cheer my heart with hopes like these;
But my sad thoughts turn ever to the grave;
To that last dwelling, whither now we haste;
Where the black shade shall interpose betwixt us,
And veil thee from these longing eyes for ever.
Lady J. G. Tis true, by those dark paths our jour-
And through the veil of death we pass to life.
But what is there in death to blast our hopes?
Behold the universal works of nature,
Where life still springs from death. To us the sun
Dies ev'ry night, and ev'ry morn revives:
The flow'rs, which winter's icy hand destroy'd,
Lift their fair heads, and live again in spring.
Mark, with what hopes upon the furrow'd plain,
The careful plowman casts the pregnant grain;
There hid, as in a grave, a while it lies,
Till the revolving season bids it rise;
Till nature's genial pow'rs command a birth;
And potent call it from the teeming earth:
Then large increase the bury'd treasures yield,
And with full harvest crown the plenteous field.
[Exeunt severally with Guards.
ACT THE FIFTH,
Enter Gardihbr, as Lord Chancellor, and the LieuTenant Of The Tower. Servants with Light* before them.
Lieut. Good morning to your lordship; you rise early.
Gar. Nay, by the rood, there are too many sleepers; Some must stir early, or the state shall suffer. Did you, as yesterday our mandate bade, Inform yourpris'ners, Lady Jane and Guilford, They were to die this day? Lieut. My lord, I did.
Gar. Tis well. But say, how did your message like them?
Lieut. My lord, they met the summons with » temper' That show'd a solemn, serious sense of death, Mix'd with a noble scorn of all its terrors. In short, they heard me with the self-same patience With which they still have borne them in their prison. In one request they both eoncurr'd: each begg'd To die before the other,
Gar. That dispose
As you think fitting.
Lieut. The lord Guilford only
Implor'd another boon, and urg'd it warmly i
That ere he suffer'd he might see his wife,
And take a last farewell.
Gar. That's not much;
That grace may be allow'd him. See you to it,
How goes the morning >
Lieut. Not yet four, my lord.
Gar. By ten they meet their fate, Yet one thing more. You know 'twas order'd that the Lady Jane Should suffer here within the Tow'r. Take care No crowds may be let in, no maudlin gazers To wet their handkerchiefs, and make repprt How like a saint she ended. Some fit number, And those too of our friends, were most convenient: But, above all, see that good guard be kept: You know the queen is lodg'd at present here, Take care that no disturbance reach her highness. And so good morning, good master Lieutenant.
How now! what light comes here?
Ser. So. please your lordship,
If I mistake not, 'tis the earl of Pembroke.
Gar. Pembroke! Tis he: What calls him forth
Somewhat he seems to bring of high import;
Some flame uncommon kindles up his soul,
And flashes forth impetuous at his eyes.
Enter Pembroke; a Page with a Light before him.
Good-morrow, noble Pembroke! what importunate
And strong necessity breaks on your slumbers,
And rears your youthful head from off your pillow,
At this unwholesome hour?
fem. Oh, rev'rend Winchester ! my beating heart Exults and labours with the joy it bears: The news I bring shall bless the breaking morn.
Gar. What happiness is this?
Fem. 'Tis mercy, mercy,
Mary, our royal, ever-gracious, mistress,
Has to my services and humblest prayers
Granted the lives of Guilford and his wife;
Full and free pardon!
Gar. Ha! What said you i Pardon!'
But sure you cannot mean it; could not urge
The queen to such a rash and ill-tim'd grace?
What, save the lives of those who wore her crown?
My lord, 'tis most unweigh'd, pernicious, counsel,
And must not be comply'd with.
Pem. Not comply'd with!
And who shall dare to bar her sacred pleasure,
And stop the stream of mercy?
Gar. That will I;
Who will not see her gracious disposition
Drawn to destroy herself.
Pem. Thy narrow soul
Knows not the godlike glory of forgiving:
Nor can thy cold, thy ruthless heart conceiver
How large the power, how fix'd the empire is,
Which benefits confer on generous minds.
Gar. These are romantic, light, vain-glorious i dreams.
Have you consider'd well upon the danger?
How dear to the fond many, and how popular
These are, whom you would spare? Have you forgot,
When at the bar, before the seat of judgment,
This Lady Jane, this beauteous trait'ress stood,
With what command she charm'd the whole assembly?
With silent grief the mournful audience sat,
Fix'd on her face, and list'ning to her pleading.
Her very judges wrung their hands for pity;
Their old hearts melted in them as she spoke,
And tears ran down upon their silver beards.
Ev'n I myself was mov'd, and, for a moment,
Felt wrath suspended in my doubtful breast,
And question'd if the voice I heard was mortal.
But when her tale was done, what loud applause,
Like bursts of thunder shook the spacious hall!
At last, when sore constraint, th' unwilling lords
Pronounc'd the fatal sentence on her life;
A peal of groans ran through the crowded court,
As ev'ry heart was broken, and the doom,
Like that which waits the world, were universal.
Pern. And can that sacred form, that angel's voice, Which mov'd the hearts of a rude ruthless crowd, Nay, mov'd ev'n thine, now sue in vain for pity?
Gar. Alas, you look on her with lover's eyes: I hear and see through reasonable organs, Where passion has no part. Come, come, my lord, You have too little of the statesman in you.
Pern. And you, my lord, too little of the churchman. Is not the sacred purpose of our faith Peace and good-will to man ? The hallow'd hand, Ordain'd to bless should know no stain of blood. 'Tis true, I am not practis'd in your politics; 'Twas your pernicious counsel led the queen