« السابقةمتابعة »
" And the light lasting of a woman's will; “ As if the lord of nature should delight “ To hang this pond'rous globe upon a hair, “ And bid it dance before a breath of wind." She must be here, and lodg'd in Guilford's arms, Ere Edward dies, or all we've done is marr'd. Ha! Pembroke! that's a bar which thwarts my way? His fiery temper brooks not opposition, And must be met with soft and supple arts, “ With crouching courtesy, and honey'd words," Such as assuage the fierce, and bend the strong.
Enter the Earl of PEMBROKE. Good-morrow,
noble Pembroke: we have staid The meeting of the council for your presence. Pem. For mine, my
lord! you mock
your servant sure, Το say
that I am wanted, where yourself, The great Alcides of our state, is present. Whatever dangers menace prince or people, Our great Northumberland is arm’d to meet 'em : The ablest head, and firmest heart you bear, Nor need a second in the glorious task; Equal yourself to all the toils of empire.
North. No; as I honour virtue, I have try'd, And know my strength too well! nor can the voice Of friendly flattery, like yours, deceive me. I know my temper liable to passions, And all the frailties common to our nature; “ Blind to events, too easy of persuasion,
« And often, too, too often, have I err'd :"
Much therefore have I need of some good man,
Some wise and honest heart, whose friendly aid
Might guide my treading thro' our present dangers;
And, by the honour of my name I swear,
I know not one of all our English peers,
Whom I wou'd choose for that best friend, like Pem-
Pem. “ What shall I answer to a trust so noble,
" This prodigality of praise and honour?"
Were not your grace too generous of soul,
To speak a language differing from your heart,
How might I think you could not mean this goodness
To one whom his ill-fortune has ordain'd
The rival of your son.
North. No more; I scorn a thought
So much below the dignity of virtue.
'Tis true, I look on Guilford like a father,
Lean to his side, and see but half his failings :
But on a point like this, when equal merit
Stands forth to make its bold appeal to honour,
And calls to have the balance held in justice ;
Away with all the fondnesses of nature !
I judge of Pembroke and my son alike.
Pem. I ask no more to bind me to your service.
North. The realm is now at hazard, and bold fac-
Threaten change, tumult, and disastrous days.
These fears drive out the gentler thoughts of joy,
Of courtship, and of love. Grant, Heav'n, the state
To fix in peace and safety once again;
Then speak your passion to the princely maid,
And fair success attend you. For myself,
My voice shall go as far for you my lord,
As for my son, and beauty be the umpire.
But now a heavier matter calls upon us;
The king with life just lab'ring; and I fear,
The council grow impatient at our stay.
Pem. One moment's pause, and I attend your
[Exit. North. Old Winchester cries to me oft, Beware Of proud Northumberland. The testy prelate, Froward with age, with disappointed hopes, And zealous for old Rome, rails on the duke, Suspecting him to favour the new teachers; Yet ev'n in that, if I judge right, he errs. But were it so, what are these monkish quarrels, These wordy wars of proud ill-manner'd school-men, To us and our lay interest ? Let 'em rail And worry one another at their pleasure. This duke, of late, by many worthy offices, Has sought my friendship. And yet more, The noblest youth our England has to boast of, Has made me long the partner of his breast. “ Nay, when he found, in spite of the resistance “ My struggling heart had made, to do him justice, “ That I was grown his rival; he strove hard, “ And would not turn me forth from out his bosom, " But call'd me still his friend." And see! He
Enter Lord GUILFORD.
Oh, Guilford ! just as thou wert ent'ring here,
My thought was running all thy virtues over,
And wond'ring how thy soul could choose a partner
So much unlike itself.
Guil. How cou'd my tongue
Take pleasure and be lavish in thy praise !
How could I speak thy nobleness of nature,
Thy open manly heart, thy courage, constancy,
And in-born truth unknowing to dissemble !
Thou art the man in whom my soul delights,
In whom, next heav'n, I trust.
Pem. Oh, generous youth ;
What can a heart, stubborn and fierce, like mine,
Return to all thy sweetness ? -Yet I wou'd,
I wou'd be grateful. -Oh,
1, my cruel fortune ! Wou'd I had never seen her, never cast Mine eyes on Suffolk's daughter!
Guil. So wou'd I!
Since 'twas my fate to see and love her first.
Pem. Oh! Why should she, that universal good-
Like light, a common blessing to the world,
Rise like a comet fatal to our friendship,
And threaten it with ruin?
Guil. Heaven forbid !
But tell me, Pembroke, Is it not in virtue
To arm against this proud imperious passion?
" Does holy friendship dwell so near to envy,
« She cou'd not bear to see another happy,"
If blind mistaken chance, and partial beauty
Should join to favour Guilford ?
Pem. Name it not;
My fiery spirits kindle at the thought,
And hurry me to rage.
Guil. And yet I think
I shou'd not murmur, were thy lot to prosper,
And mine to be refus'd. Though sure, the loss
Wou'd wound me to the heart.
Pem. Ha! Couldst thou bear it?
And yet perhaps thou mightst; thy gentle temper
Is form’d with passions mix'd with due proportion,
Where no one overbears nor plays the tyrant,
“ But join in nature's business, and thy happiness :"
While mine disdaining reason and her laws,
Like all thou canst imagine wild and furious,
Now drive me headlong on, now whirl me back,
And hurt my unstable flitting soul
To ev'ry mad extreme.
Then pity me, And let my weakness stand
Enter Sir John GATES,
Sir 7. G. The lords of council
Wait with impatience.
Pem. I attend their pleasure.
This only, and no more then. Whatsoever
Fortune decrees, still let us call to mind
Our friendship and our honour. And since love
Condemns us to be rivals for one prize,