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« 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.
Continues. Enter GARDINER, as Lord Chancellor, and
the Lieutenant of the Tower. Servants with lights before
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 your pris'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
Lieut. My lord, they met the summons with a temper
That shew'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 concurr'd: each begg'd
To die before the other,
Gar. That dispose
Lieut. The lord Guilford only
Implor'd another boon, and urg'd it warmly:
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
You know 'twas order'd that the lady Jane
Shou'd suffer here within the Tow'r. Take care
No crowds may be let in, no maudlin gazers
To wet their handkerchiefs, and make report
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 lodged at present here,
Take care that no disturbance reach her highness.
And so good-morning, good master lieutenant.
[Exit 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 v And strong necessity breaks on your slumbers, And rears your youthful head from off your pillow At this unwholsome hour; « while yet the night “ Lasts in her latter course, and with her raw " And rheumy damps infest the dusky air ?"
Pem. Oh, rev'rend Winchester! my beating heart Exults and labours with the joy it bears : The news I bring shall bless the breaking morn. " This coming day the sun shall rise more glorious " Than when his maiden beams first gilded o'er " The rich immortal greens, the flow'ry plains, “ And fragrant bow'rs of paradise new-born."
Gar. What happiness is this !
Pem. 'Tis mercy, mercy,
" The mark of Heav'n impressid on human kind;
“ Mercy, that glads the world, deals joy around;
" Mercy, that smooths the dreadful brow of power,
16 And makes dominion light; mercy, that saves,
“ Binds up the broken heart, and heals despair.'
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 ? Pardon !
But sure you cannot mean it; cou'd 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 wo’not see her gracious disposition
Draw to destroy herself.
Pem. Thy narrow soul
Knows not the godlike glory of forgiving :
Nor can thy cold, thy ruthless heart conceive,
How large the power, how fix'd the empire is,
Which benefits confer on generous minds :
“ Goodness prevails upon the stubborn foes,
" And conquer more then even Cæsar's sword did.”
Gar. These are romantic, light, vain-glorious
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 traitress, 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 'em 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 constrain’d, th' unwilling lords
Pronounc'd the fatal sentence on her life;
A peal of groans ran through the crowded court,
As every heart was broken, and the doom,
Like that which waits the world, were universal. ✓
Pem. 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.
Pem. 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
To break her promise with the men of Suffolk,
To violate, what in a prince should be
Sacred above the rest, her royal word.
Gar. Yes, and I dare avow it : I advis'd her
To break through all engagements made with heretics,
And keep no faith with such a miscreant crew.