صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

The wrongs, and insolence of tyranny !

10 Cowardly race l.. that not a husband's sword Smote that adulterous King! that not a wife Revenged her own pollution ; in his blood Wash'd herself pure, and for the sin compellid Atoned by righteous murder !.. O my God ! 15 Of what beast-matter has thou moulded them To bear with wrongs like these? There was a time When if the Bard had feign'd you such a tale, Your eyes had throbb'd with



In honest instinct would have graspt the sword. 20
O miserable men, who have disgraced
Your fathers, whom your sons must blush to name!

Ay,.. ye can threaten me! ye can be brave In anger to a woman! one whose virtue

24 Upbraids your coward vice; whose name will live Honour'd and praised in song, when not a hand Shall root from your forgotten monuments The cankering moss. Fools! fools! to think that death Is not a thing familiar to my mind; As if I knew not what must consummate

30 My glory! as if aught that earth can give Could tempt me to endure the load of life l... Scotchmen ! ye saw when Fergus to the altar Led me, his maiden Queen. Ye blest me then,.. 34 I heard you bless me,.. and I thought that Heaven Had heard you also, and that I was blest; For I loved Fergus. Bear me witness, God ! With what a heart and soul sincerity My lips pronounced the unrecallable vow 39 That made me his, him mine ; bear witness, Thou !

Before whose throne I this day must appear
Stain'd with his blood and mine! My heart was his,..
His in the strength of all its first affections.
In all obedience, in all love, I kept
Holy my marriage-vow. Behold me, Thanes! 45
Time hath not changed the face on which his eye
So often dwelt, when with assiduous care
He sought my love, with seeming truth, for one,
Sincere herself, impossible to doubt.

Time hath not changed that face ... I speak not now
With pride of beauties that will feed the worm
To-morrow; but with honest pride I say,
That if the truest and the purest love
Deserved requital, such was ever mine.
How often reeking from the adulterous bed 55
Have I received him ! and with no complaint.
Neglect and insult, cruelty and scorn,
Long, long did I endure, and long curb down
The indignant nature.

Tell your countrymen, Scotchmen, what I have spoken! Say to them 60 Ye saw the Queen of Scotland lift the dagger Red from her husband's heart; that in her own She plunged it.

Stabs herself Tell them also, that she felt No guilty fear in death.

Westbury, 1798.


Scene, The House of Collatine.


Welcome, my father! good Valerius,
Welcomel and thou too, Brutus ! ye were both
My wedding guests, and fitly ye are come.
My husband.. Collatine.. alas / no more
Lucretia's husband, for thou shalt not clasp 5
Pollution to thy bosom, ... hear me on!
For I must tell thee all.

I sat at eve
Spinning amid my maidens as I wont,
When from the camp at Ardea Sextus came.
Curb down thy swelling feelings, Collatine!
I little liked the man ! yet, for he came
From Ardea, for he brought me news of thee,
I gladly gave him welcome ; gladly listen'd, ..
Thou canst not tell how gladly,.. to his tales
Of battles, and the long and perilous siege ; 15
And when I laid me down at night to sleep,
’T was with a lighten'd heart,.. I knew thee safe,
My visions were of thee.

Nay, hear me out! And be thou wise in vengeance, so thy wife Not vainly shall have suffer'd. I have wrought 20 My soul up to the business of this hour, That it may stir your noble spirits, and prompt Such glorious deeds that ages yet unborn

Shall bless my fate. At midnight I awoke,
The Tarquin was beside me! O my husband, 25
Where wert thou then! gone was my rebel strength,..

power of utterance gone! astonish’d, stunn'd,
I saw the coward ruffian, heard him urge
His wicked suit, and bid me tamely yield,..
Yield to dishonour. When he proffer'd death,.. 30
Oh, I had leapt to meet the merciful sword !
But that with most accursed vows he vow'd,
That he would lay a dead slave by my side,
Murdering my spotless honour... Collatine,
From what an anguish have I rescued thee ! 35
And thou, my father, wretched as thou art,
Thou miserable, childless, poor


man,... Think, father, what that agony had been ! Now thou may’st sorrow for me, thou may'st bless The memory of thy poor, polluted child. 40

Look if it have not kindled Brutus'

Mysterious man! at last I know thee now,
I see thy dawning glories ... to the grave
Not unrevenged Lucretia shall descend;
Not always shall her wretched country wear
The Tarquin's yoke ! Ye will deliver Rome,
And I have comfort in this dreadful hour.


Thinkest thou, my husband, that I dreaded death ? O Collatine ! the weapon that had gored My bosom had been ease, been happiness,.. 50 Elysium, to the hell of his hot grasp. Judge if Lucretia could have fear'd to die !

Stabs herself Bristol, 1799.


This monodrama was written several years before the author had

any intention of treating at greater length the portion of Spanish history to which it relates. It is founded upon the following passage in the Historia Verdadera del Rey Don Rodrigo, which Miguel de Luna translated from the Arabic.

Aviendose despedido en la Ciudad de Cordoba el Conde Don Julian de aquellos Generales, recogiò toda su gente, deudos y criados; y porque sus tierras estavan tan perdidas y maltratadas, se fue á un lugar pequeño, que está fabricado en la ribera del mar Mediterraneo, en la provincia que llaman Vandalucia, á la qual nombraron los Christianos en su lengua Villaviciosa. Y aviendo llegado á ella, dió orden de embiar por su muger, y hija, que estavan detenidas en aquellas partes de Africa, en una Ciudad que está en la ribera del mar, la qual se llama Tanjer, para desde alli aguardar el sucesso de la conquista de España en que avia de parar : las quales llegadas en aquella Villa, el Conde D. Julian las recibió con mucho contento, porque tenia bien sentida su larga ausencia. Y aviendo descansado, desde ulli el Conde dava orden con mucha diligencia para poblar y restaurar sus tierras, para ir á vivir á ellas. Su hija estava muy triste y afligida ; y por mucho que su padre y madre la regalavan, nunca la podian contentar, ni alegrar. Imaginava la grande perdida de España, y la grande destruicion de los Christianos, con tantas muertes, y cautiverios, robadas sus haziendas, y que ella huviesse sido causu principal, cabeza, y ocasion de aquella perdicion ; y sobre todo ello le crecian mas sus pesadumbres en verse deshonrada,

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