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THE

COUNTESS OF SALISBURY.

BY

HARTSON.

PROLOGUE.

SPOKEN IN THE CHARACTER OF A TEAGUE.

My jewels, I'm come to speak in the behalfHoot, devil burn you all, you makes me laugh; Upon my soul now, I don't take it well in you; Arra, be easy till I'm after telling you.

Smit with the love of glory and of pelf, To-night a bard, from Dublin its own self, Has brought a play here for your approbation; A very pretty thing, by my salvation, If you'll trust Irish evidence, I inean. I can't the story very well explain : But it's about a countess and an earl; The countess is a mighty honest girl. But there's a villain, with a damn'd cramp'd name, Makes such proposalstis a burning shame Another too-a knight-bekeys as whyBut hould you now, you'll see it by and bye; And then 'tis time enough to tell the plot. Oh, but that's true,-I'd like to have forgot The dresses :-'pon my conscience, in my days never saw their peer,-they're all a blaze.

Then there's a child, the sweetest little rogue ! Only excuse a trifling spice of brogue ;He'll make you cry your eyes out, I'll be bound'Tis Ireland is the true poetic ground. The muses-Phoebus-heathenish cant I loath! What's mount Parnassus to the Hill of Howth? Or all the scenes each foolish poet paintsOh, bub-bub boo! give me the isle of Saints.Turn up your noses-cavil now and carp, Musha, I'm sure our emblem is the harp. But stop !-the bell rings.-Fait they'll soon

begin ; 'Tis time for me to be agoing in ; I take my leave, then-but, dear craters, mindPray, to our Irish poetry be kind : 'Tis a new manufacture in effect; And yours, my souls,t'encourage and protect. No critic custom then enacted be, Pass it, like Irish linen, duty free.

DRAMATIS PERSONÁ,

MEN.

Lord WILLIAM, infant Son of Salisbury, Lord SALISBURY, disguised as Alwin.

WOMEN.
RAYMOND, Lover of Lady Salisbury.
GREY, his Creature.

Lady SALISBURY.
MORTON,

ELEANOR, her Attendant.
Sir ARDOLF, Friends to Salisbury.
LEROCHES,

Knights, Peasants, &c.
SCENE,-Salisbury Castle, and the Country about it.

ACT І.

Ray. But now I cast me at the fair one's feeth SCENE I.-An Avenue leading to a Gothic Pleaded my passion with whatever arts Castle.

Might best the gentle purpose aid; but she,

Instead of such return as I might hope,
Enter Grey and first Knight.

Repaid me with an eye of cold contempt. Grey. A MESSENGER dispatched by lady Sa- Of her late gallant lord she spoke; his merts lisbury !

In opposition hateful placed to mine. Knt. And, in the specious guise he wore, had Urged then with recollection of her wrongs, passed

Like the loud torrent, with steep winter rains Unquestioned, had not I, in happy season, O’ercharged, in all the loose, ungoverned sway Approached, even as the unwary centinels Of wrath and indignation, she assailed me. Half op'd the gate. By threats o'erawed in part, Grey. And did my lord, in this unseemly faIn part through hope of favour won, he owned,

shion, At length, by whom employed, whither bent, | Hear all with equal temper? Waked he not And for what purpose.

With such a peal — Grey. Say

Ray. Thou know'st not what it is Knt. Straight to repair

To love like me-Long time (for passion now To Marlborough; where now, as fame reports, Had shed o'er all her charms a brighter glow, Our king resides, with all his peers; and there That like "Jove's daughter most she looked, eTo seek the lord de Warren ; to what end

vere This paper will, as I suppose, inform you. In youthful beauty) long I lay, o'erawed I was about to bear it to lord Raymond.

And silenced, as by some superior being; Grey. That care be mine. Henceforward it | Till, waked by pride, quick from the floor I concerns

sprung; Us near. Our vigilance be doubly firm. [Exit Knt. Warned her how she provoked my power; (Reads.] . The countess of Salisbury, to her illus- | 'Twas great, 'twas now within these walls skitrious friend, the lord de Warren.

preme; I have lost my husband-Me and my lands I long had gently wooed her ; but that love, lord Raymond claims, as by royal grant assigned Though patient, would not always brook disdain. to him. He has banished my train, encompass Grey. ''Twas well : and what ensued ? ed me with his creatures, and holds me a prison Ray. Silence at first, er in my own castle. If the memory of thy noble Then tears ; bright drops, like May-morn dens friend be dear to thee, haste and rescue the

that fall afflicted

Ela.' | From the sweet blossomed thorn. Back in ber How near was Raymond's hope, the beauteous chair hope

She sunk-Oh! had you seen her then, disHe tended with unceasing care ; how near

solved My rising fortunes marred-I like not this: In all the soft, the lovely languishment Mer, and her rich domains, he would possess; Of woe; while at her knee, with countenance Yet in his breast there lives that kind of heart Most piteous, stood her beauteous boy, and looked Withholds him from the path that's nearest. He, As if each tear, which from his mother fell, That would be great, must first be bold.

Would force a passage to his little heartI hate those motleyed characters;

I fled; else had I kneeled, and wept myself
Something, I know not what, 'twixt good and ill, | As well as she.
Yet neither absolute; all good, all ill,

Grey. O shame to manhood! suits
For me—That day, saith he, that happy day, Such weakness with our hopes?
Which sees the countess mine, shall amply pay Ray. She must, she must,
Thy services-a doubtful balance this

Yes, Grey, she must be mine-and yet-set fan Whereon my fortunes hang.--This way he moves; Would I persuade the fair one, not compel. And, by his gait and gesture, ill at ease

Grey. Say to what purpose, then, was seized We must be firm ;

her castle? My hopes demand it, and the time admits When she your suit rejected, then, perforce, No weak, no scrupulous delay

To claim her as the gift of royal favour!

To lord it here so long, and now to falter Enter RAYMOND.

My lord, my lord, the mound is overleapt ; . Ray. To sue,

What now forbids but, without further pause, But ever without grace to sue-Oh Grey! To crop the rich, the golden fruits within?. I am even weary of the vain pursuit.

Ray. Ungracious is the love reluctance gialds, Grey. It is, in truth, my lord, an irksome la- | And cold, cold even as marble, is the mand, bour.

| Who comes unwilling to another's arms.

Grey. In brief, would you partake the lady's | Night after night, when some fleet courier, sent bed?

Before perchance, or letter, fraught with sweet Ray. What means the question ?

Assurance of his safety, might appear; Grey. Look on that, my lord :

Five tedious moons have passed since first were Better reluctant come, than not at all.

told Ray. How came this to your hand ?

The dismal tidings; no fleet courier, sent Grey. By one whose cares

Before, alas! nor letter, with such sweet Of thee demand no trivial recompence.

Assurance, yet appears—he's gone! he's lost! His wakeful eye it was descried the bearer; And I shall never, never see him more. Else had the watch, with all their vigilance,

Ele. Ah! suffer not the leaden hand of cold Proved insufficient.

Despair thus weigh thee down; I yet have hope. Ray. My better angel interposed.

Lady Sal. Away with hope, away! No, no; Grey. Had this its purposed scope attained

full loud, my lord,

As I remember, and outrageous blew Were this but whispered in our Henry's ear The storm, that even the solid fabric shook He gave the royal nod, you say: true, he Of yonder walls; deep-rooted oaks gave way; Perinitted, but thus far; that you should woo Churches and spires were overturned; nor even The lady, and, her choice approving, wed; The peasant's humble roof escaped that hour. No more. By us the public ear is told

The fleet, save only one, one luckless ship, She hath approved : our artifice hath spread Have all returned ; my lord nor hath boen seon, The rumour; and with some it is received, Alas! nor ever heard of since the storm. That she is now your full espoused consort.

Ele. Heaven visit her affliction, and bestow But truth, my lord, long cannot rest concealed; That patience which she needs! It will abroad, of that be sure, in spite

Lady Sal. No, Eleanor; no more shall he Of all our studied wiles.

To these deserted walls return. No more Ray. What's to be done?

Shall trophies, won by many a gallant deed, Grey. 'Tis critical, and must be managed Through the long hall in proud procession move; nicely

No more fair Salisbury's battlements and towers But see, with Eleanor the countess comes; Re-echo to the approaching trumpet's voice. And in her hand the young lord William. Here Never, Ob! never more shall Ela run, Her custom is to walk; retire we now;

With throbbing bosom, at the well-known sound, And thou observe the counsels of a friend. To unlock his helmet, conquest-plumed, to strip

(Exeunt. The cuishes from his manly thigh, or snatch

Quick from his breast the plated armour, wont SCENE II.

To oppose my fond embrace-Sweet times, fare

well! Enter Lady SALISBURY, Lord WILLIAM, and

Lord Wil. Mother, why do you speak so? you ELEANOR.

make me sad. Lady Sal. Talk'st thou of patience? What! Lady Sal. It is too soon, my child, for thee to the very roof,

know That should protect and shelter me, become What sadness is. My prison ? Awed, and threatened, as I am, Lord Wil. Will not my father come home By this intruder ! Cruel destiny !

soon ? Had I not more than common griefs before? Eleanor told me he would: she would not tell a lie. Ele. In evil hour thy hospitable gates

Lady Sal. No, love. Were opened to receive him.

Lord Wil. Then he will come. Lady Sal. Unguarded that I was ! But who Lady Sal. Sweet innocence ! I fear he will not, could then

Lord Wil. I hope he is not sick. Foresee the purpose of his coming ?

Lady Sal. Go, lovely prattler, seek thy toys : Ele. Who

go, go Can think even yet, that, once repulsed, he e'er Lord Wil. I will, good mother ; but don't be Would thus presume?

sad, or I shall be so too.

(Exit. Lady Sal. Is there no succour then?

Lady Sal. Sweet state of childhood! unallayVo generous hand to vindicate my wrongs?

ed with cares; Db Salisbury! Salisbury! Why, if yet thou Serene as spring-tide morn, new welcomed up liv'st

With bleat of lamb, with note of woodlark wild, Fond hope! he lives not, else with speed of With riper years come passions turbulent thought

And rude, a baleful crew, unnumbered as Would be repair to bis afflicted Ela.

The forest leaves, that strew the earth in autumn. Ele. Why dearest lady, will you yield you up When happiness is round thee, when thou art on

prey to purposed sorrow? Tíme is fruitful; The lap of downy case, when thou art cherished And the next hour, perhaps, may bring thee In the fair bosom of unruffled joy, comfort.

Comes a fell hand, dashes thee rudely down, Lady Sal. Day after day I have watched the And leaves thee to despair. joyless hours :

| Ele. Cease,

youth!

Cease, lady, to afflict thee: Raymond may, No former love could ever equal his; . I trust he will, ere long, retire and give

No bosom boast the generous fame wherewith Thee ease again,But hither comes his minion: Lord Raymond glows for thee, admired fair! Much with his lord he can; and, as he lists, Lady Sul. Hear this, ye Heavens! and grant To purposes of good or ill o'er-rules

me patience- Where's His mind: if he accost thee, speak him gently. My people? where the freedom that I late

Was blest with? Wherefore is my palace thronged Enter GREY.

With strangers ? Why, why are my gates shut up Grey. As you are fair above all other women, And fortified against their rightful mistress? So may you lend to that I would implore

Grey. MadamA gracious ear.

Lady Sal. Is this the love he boasts? Lady Sal. Without more preface, briefly speak Is this the fair accomplished, this the gentle

thy suit. Grey. To love, but ne'er to reap of love the Must I recall to mind-Came he not then, sweet

Even while the memory of my dear loved lord Returns, is sure the worst of ills.

Was green, while sorrow yet was in my eyes? Lady Sal. And what of that?

Tears! ye will choke me- Came be not even Grey. Though love depied, yet pity may do then, much

And broke in on my sorrows ? Like a spoiler To sooth the wound that pity gives. In brief, He came, heaped up the measure of my woes, Thou much-revered! my suit is in behalf of Added new anguish to the afflicted heart, Raymond.

And swelled the current of the widow's tears! Lady Sál. Then I will spare us both some cost Grey. Madam, were he that spoiler thou pro Of words : In brief, I love him not, nor pity;

claim'st, So tell thy lord-- I would be private-hence. | He need not now thus humbly sue for that, Grey. Your words are brief indeed; but of His power, long since, unasked, might have es. that kind

torted. I dare not, must not bear my lord.

Lady Sal. Ha! what art thou, that thus preLady Sal. Must not !

sum'st to threaten? Grey. 'Tis cruel towards the man who loves Extorted !-Hence, thou rude one, bolder even so fondly.

Than him who calls thee slave. Lady Sal. Doth he assume the specious dame Grey. Madam, you speak of love?

As though you knew me not. Love is a bright, a generous quality,

Lady Sal. I know thee wellHeaven gave to noble minds ; pure and unmixed | To what concerns lord Raymond I have spoke, With every grosser stuff; a goodly flower, My final purpose fixed : Shoots up and blossoms in great souls alone. For thee, I charge theeshun my presence; hence! Grey. The mind, the exalted soul thou nam'st, And learn the distance that befits thy calling.. is his.

Grey. Not ere I speak more fully to the Lives there a youth more gentle of condition,

causeIn fair accomplishments more graced, admired? Nay, lady, look not on me with so stern If beauty sway thy fond regards, if wealth, An eye, but give me patient hearingI know not in fair England one with him

Lady Sal. No more; I'll hear no more. Can vie.

Grey. Not hear me !-When next we meetLady Sal. Is then the star, the peerless star,

I will be heard. That late was gazed on, quite obscured? What Lady Sal. What meant he, Eleanor ? I will though

be heard ! He may have set, hath he not left a train

Ele. Alas! I know not: but a soul he hath, Of glory in the skies? The illustrious name Prompt and alert to acts of desperate thinking Of Salisbury yet survives. If wealth—but mark Hardly thou art beset; O lady, lend me;

An ear to what thy Eleanor would counsel. Were he of all the wealth possessed from where When next he comes, (for that he hath obtained The East Indian bids the sun good-morrow, to Of Raymond leave to woo thee to his will, where

I know) assume a gentler carriage. Seem The Atlantic, in her wide-extended lap, | As though you may hercafter to his suit Receives him setting; could he in each hand Incline. Be ruled: necessity oft lends A thousand sceptres place, not all should bribe A sanction to deceit. Demand a pause: Me to his bed. * No, Salisbury! thou hast been My lord of Salisbury's fate, yet unconfirmed, The husband of my early love; with thee, Shall add thereto a seeming colour. Chaner, That love was all interred; and when I pluck Meantime, that comes, or soon or late, to all, It forth again, gape wide that earth wherein To thee may come with unexpected succour. Thou liest, quick snatch me from the light of Lady Sab. Şincerity,

Thou, spotless as the snowy-vested hill! And swallow me within her lowest prison ! Forgive me, if, by lawless power constrained,

Grey. For pity's sake yet soften; for, Oh ! sure 'I turn this once from thy long-troddea path;

(Erit.

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It must be so
Oh, Salisbury ! Salisbury ! thou lamented shade!
Descend from those pure mansions, where thou

sit'st

| Exalted! hover o'er me: and, as thou
Wert wont, support me in this hour of trial !

(Exeunt.

ACT II.

Ray. Whence have you come?
SCENE 1.-Within the Castle.

Alw. From France, not many days.
Enter RAYMOND and Grey.

Ray. Say, what occasion may have called you

hither? Grey. Away, my lord, away with every care ! Alw. To aid (Heaven prosper long) my counThe conflict's past, and fortune is our own .

try's weal. Defeated once, again I sought the fair ;

Ray. You are a soldier then ? I sought her, and prevailed.

Alw. I have been such; Ray. By all the joys, the nameless joys, that on And to be such was my most dear inclining: The precious hour of soft compliance wait, Smit with the love, even from my greenest youth, I will requite thee nobly. Say—for much Of honest arms. Some share of fame I too My wonder's moved-how hast thou found AchievedBut ill the soldier it beseems Such grace? How wrought this change, thus sud. To trumpet his own praises. den- thus

Ray. Cease not so. Unhoped, from her late bearing?

Though in the school of war untutored, much Grey. Uncertain is the sex-but that imports It pleaseth me to hear the brave man's labours. not.

Alw. None but have heard bow some time It now remains, that proof, such proof be sought

since was sent Of Salisbury's fate, as, by minute detail

To claim of Lewis certain lands usurped, Of circumstances, shall with the lady gain

A puissant forcePrompt credence. Hear what I have devised, if | Ray. Were you therein employed? you

Alw. Beneath the royal banner I enrolled, Approve

As was my bent, in quest of fame.

Ray. Indeed!
Enter a Knight.

Lord Salisbury then, perchance; of thee was
Knt. My lord, two strangers I have brought, known?
Within the precincts of the castle found.

Alw. I knew him well; our liege's near ally, Ray. Say'st thou two strangers ? of what And second to duke Richard in command. quality?

Fast by his side was my allotted post Knt. With' me they were of speech not over- | Upon the marshalled field : by binn I fought, prompt;

For him had died.
But, by their outward guise, they would seem men Ray. Of him fame loudly speaks,
As with some pious purpose charged. Severe That in those wars he was a gallant man.
The younger seems, but of excelling form ;

Alw. He was not wont, while others brávely And wishes to recruit his wearied limbs

fought, Beneath the friendly covert of this roof.

To look inactive on. Ray. Conduct them to our presence. (Erit. Ler. A foe like him Knight. I were loth

France never knew, of all that warrior host, The weary traveller to dismiss my gates, . Which, like an inundation, England poured Inhospitably rude; yet none I wish,

On her affrighted shoresWhile we are yet suspended at the nod.

Ray. But what Of peevish and uncertain chance, approach Have proved his latter fortumes I should wish These walls.

To learn-Say, courteous stranger, if thou can'st,

Of this renowned lord : a rumour bath
Re-enter Knight, with Strangers.

Long since prevailed, that he on Gallia's coast Whence, and what are you?

Was wrecked with all his crew. 1st Stran. What we are,

Alw. What cause there was These weeds, though we were silent; might un Of such report, alas! these eyes have seen;

How true in part it is, too sure this tongue
Alwin I am called, my fellow-traveller

Can testify.
Leroches. Our way was bent for Canterbury, Ray. I pray you, let us hear.
With purpose of a pious vow: o'ertaken

Alw. O'ercharged with human prey, fell war By weariness from travel, and desire

had ceased Of food, we journeyed hitherward, in hope To walk his wasteful round; well pleased we The lord of these fair turrets, first descried

turn At close of evening, might befriend our toils. Us from the blood-stained field; exulting each

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