صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

“ Hang it to grace some slavering idiot's neck,
“ For none but fools will praise the tinsel toy."
But thou art come, perhaps, to vaunt thy greatness,
And set thy purple pomp to view before me;
To let me know that Guilford is a king,
That he can speak the word, and give me freedom.
Oh, short-liv'd pageant! had'st thou all the pow'r
Which thy vain soul wou'd grasp at, I wou'd die,
Rot in a dungeon, ere receive a grace,
The least, the meanest courtesy, from thee.

Guil. Oh, Pembroke! but I have not time to talk,
For danger presses, danger unforeseen,
And secret as the shaft that flies by night,
Is aiming at thy life. Captain, a word !

[To the Officer. I take your pris'ner to my proper charge; Draw off your guard, and leave his sword with me.

[The Officer delivers the Sword to Lord Guilford, and goes out with his Guard.

[Lord Guilford offering the Sword to Pembroke. Receive this gift, ev'n from a rival's hand; And if thy rage will suffer thee to hear The counsel of a man once call'd thy friend, Fly from this fatal place, and seek thy safety.

Pem. How now! what shew! what mockery is this? “ Is it in sport you use me thus ? What means • This swift fantastic changing of the scene ?”

Guil. Oh, take thy sword; and let thy valiant hand Be ready arm’d to guard thy noble life: The time, the danger, and the wild impatience,

Forbid me all to enter into speech with thee,
Or I cou'd tell thee

Pem. No, it needs not, traitor!
For all thy poor, thy little arts are known.
Thou fear'st my vengeance, and art come to fawn,
To make a merit of that proffer'd freedom,
Which, in despite of thee, a day shall give me.
Nor can my fate depend on thee, false Guilford ;
For know, to thy confusion, ere the sun
Twice gild the east, our royal Mary comes
To end thy pageant reign, and set me free.
Guil. Ungrateful and unjust! Hast thou then

known me
So little, to accuse my heart of fear?
Hast thou forgotten Musselborough's field ?
Did I then fear, when by thy side I fought,
And dy'd my maiden sword in Scottish blood ?
But this is madness all.

Pem. Give me my sword. [Taking his sword.
Perhaps indeed, I wrong thee. Thou hast thought;
And, conscious of the injury thou hast done me,
Art come to proffer me a soldier's justice,
And meet my arm in single opposition.
Lead then, and let me follow to the field.
Guil. Yes, Pembroke, thou shalt satisfy thy ven-

geance,
And write thy bloody purpose on my bosom.
But let death wait to-day. By our past friendship,
In honour's name, by ev'ry sacred tie,
I beg thee ask no more, but haste from hence.

[ocr errors]

Pem. What mystic meaning lurks beneath thy

words? What fear is this, which thou wou’dst awe my soul

with? Is there a danger Pembroke dares not meet?

Guil. Oh, spare my tongue a tale of guilt and horror; Trust me this once: believe me when I tell thee, Thy safety and thy life is all I seek. Away.

Pem.“ By Heav'n! I wo'not stir a step.” Curse on this shuffling, dark, ambiguous phrase! If thou wou’dst have me think thou mean'st me fairly, Speak with that plainness honesty delights in, And let thy double tongue for once be true.

Guil. Forgive me, filial piety and nature, If thus compellid, I break your sacred laws, Reveal my father's crime, and blot with infamy The hoary head of him who gave me being, To save the man whom my soul loves, from death.

[Giving a paper. Read there the fatal purpose of thy foe, A thought which wounds my soul with shame and

horror! Somewhat that darkness shou'd have hid for ever,

But that thy life--Say, hast thou seen that character? ✓ Pem. I know it well; the hand of proud Northum

berland, Directed to his minions, Gates and Palmer. What's this?

[Reads. “ Remember, with your closest care, to observe

those whom I nam’d to you at parting; especially keep your eye upon the earl of Pembroke; as his power and interest are most considerable, so his opposition will be most fatal to us. Remember the resolution was taken, if you should find him inclined to our enemies. The forms of justice are tedious, and delays are dangerous. If he falters, lose not the sight of him till your daggers have reached his heart." V My heart! Oh, murd'rous villain !

Guil. Since he parted, Thy ways have all been watch'd, thy steps been mark’d; Thy secret treaties with the malecontents That harbour in the city, thy conferring With Gard'ner here in the Tower; all is known : And, in pursuance of that bloody mandate, A set of chosen ruffians wait to end thee : There was but one way left me to preserve thee; I took it; and this morning sent my warrant To seize upon thy personBut begone !

Pem. 'Tis som'tis truth -I see his honest heart

Guil. I have a friend of well-try'd faith and courage, Who, with a fit disguise, and arms conceald, Attends without to guide thee hence with safety. Pem. What is Northumberland ? And what art

thou ?
Guil. Waste not the time. Away!

Pem. Here let me fix,
And gaze with everlasting wonder on thee.
What is there good or excellent in man,
That is not found in thee? Thy virtues flash,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

They break at once on my astonish'd soul;
" As if the curtains of the dark were drawn,
« To let in day at midnight.

" Guil. Think me true;
" And tho' ill fortune cross'd upon our friendship-
(6 Pem. Curse on our fortune!—Think I know thee,

honest."
Guil. For ever I cou'd hear thee-but thy life,
Oh, Pembroke ! linger not-

Pem. And can I leave thee,
Ere I have clasp'd thee in my eager arms,
And giv'n thee back my sad repenting heart?
Believe me, Guilford, like the patriarch's dove,

[Embracing.
It wander'd forth, but found no resting place,
'Till it came home again to lodge with thee.

Guil. What is there that my soul can more desire,
Than these dear marks of thy returning friendship ?
The danger comes -If you stay longer here,
You die, my Pembroke.

Pem. Let me stay and die;
For if I

go,

I go to work thy ruin.
Thou know'st not what a foe thou send'st me forth,
That I have sworn destruction to the queen,
And pledg'd my faith to Mary and her cause :
My honour is at stake.

Guil. I know 'tis given.
But goấthe stronger thy engagements there,
The more's thy danger here.

* There is a Power " Who sits above the stars; in him I trust :

« السابقةمتابعة »