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For, sooth to say, I hold it noble in you
To cherish the distress'd On with your tale.
Hast. Thus it is, gracious sir, that certain officers,
Using the warrant of your mighty name,
With insolence unjust, and lawless power,
Have seiz'd upon the lands which late she held
By grant, from her great master Edward's bounty.
Glosť. Somewhat of this, but slightly, have I heard;
And tho' some counsellors of forward zeal,
Some of most ceremonious sanctity,
And bearded wisdom, often have provok'd
The hand of justice to fall heavy on her;
Yet still, in kind compassion of her weakness,
And tender memory of Edward's love,
I have withhield the merciless stern law
From doing outrage on her helpless beauty.
Hast. Good Heav'n, who renders mercy back for
With open-handed bounty shall repay you :
This gentle deed shall fairly be set foremost,
To screen the wild escapes of lawless passion,
And the long train of frailties flesh is heir to.
Glost. Thus far, the voice of pity pleaded only:
Our farther and more full extent of grace
Is given to your request. Let her attend,
And to ourself deliver up her griefs.
She shall be heard with patience, and each wrong
At full redress'd. But I have other news,
Which much import us both; for still my fortunes
Go hand in hand with yours: our common foes,
The queen's relations, our new-fangled gentry, Have fall'n their haughty crests—That for your privacy.
An Apartment in JANE SHore's House. Enter Bel
MOUR and DUMONT. Bel. How she has liv'd you have heard my tale al
ready, The rest your own attendance in her family, Where I have found the means this day to place you, And nearer observation, best will tell you. See, with what sad and sober cheer she comes.
Enter JANE SHORE.
Sure, or I read her visage much amiss,
Or grief besets her hard. Save you, fair lady,
The blessings of the cheerful morn be on you,
And greet your beauty with its opening sweets.
7. Sh. My gentle neighbour, your good wishes still
Pursue my hapless fortunes! Ah, good Belmour !
How few, like thee, inquire the wretched out,
And court the offices of soft humanity?
Like thee reserve their raiment for the naked,
Reach out their bread to feed the crying orphan,
Or mix their pitying tears with those that weep?
Thy praise deserves a better tongue than mine,
To speak and bless thy name. Is this the gentleman,
Whose friendly service you commended to me?
Bel. Madam, it is.
7. Sh. A venerable aspect.
Age sits with decent grace upon his visage,
And worthily becomes his silver locks;
He wears the marks of many years well spent,
Of virtue, truth well try'd, and wise experience;
A fri like this would suit my sorrows well.
Fortune, I fear me, sir, has meant you ill, [To Dum.
Who pays your merit with that scanty pittance
Which my poor hand and humble roof can give.
But to supply these golden vantages,
Which elsewhere you might find, expect to meet
A just regard and value for your worth,
The welcome of a friend, and the free partnership
Of all that little good the world allows me.
Dum. You over-rate me much; and all my answer Must be my future truth; let them speak for me, And make up my deserving.
7. Sh. Are you of England ?
Dum. No, gracious lady, Flanders claims my birth; At Antwerp has my constant biding been, Where sometimes I have known more plenteous days Than these which now my failing age affords. 7. Sh. Alas! at Antwerp, ! -Oh, forgive my tears!
[Weeping They fall for my offences--and must fall Long, long ere they shall wash my stains away. You knew perhaps-Oh grief! oh shame!--my husband.
Dum. I knew him well--but stay this food of an
The senseless grave feels not your pious sorrows:
years and more are past, since I was bid,
With many of our common friends, to wait him
To his last peaceful mansion. I attended,
Sprinkled his elay.cold corse with holy drops,
According to our church's rey'rend rite,
And saw him laid in hallow'd ground, tu rest.
7. Sh. Oh, that my soul had known no joy but him!
That I had liv'd within his guiltless arms,
And dying slept in innocence beside him!
But now his dust abhors the fellowship,
And scorns to mix with mine.
Enter a Servant.
Ser. The lady Alicia
leisure, 7. Sh. Say I wish to see her. [Exit Servant. Please, gentle sir, one moment to retire, I'll wait you on the instant, and inform you Of each unhappy circumstance, in which Your friendly aid and counsel much may stead me.
[Exeunt Belmour and Dumont.
Alic. Still, my fair friend, still shall I find you
Still shall these sighs heave after one another,
These trickling drops chase one another still,
As if the posting messengers of grief
Could overtake the hours fled far away,
And make old Time come back ?
7. Sh. No, my Alicia,
Heaven and his saints be witness to my thoughts,
There is no hour of all my life o'er past,
That I could wish to take its turn again.
Alic. And yet some of those days my friend has
Some of those years might pass for golden ones,
At least if womankind can judge of happiness.
What could we wish, we who delight in empire,
Whose beauty is our sov’reign good, and gives us
Our reasons to rebel, and pow'r to reign,
What could we more than to behold a monarch,
Lovely, renown'd, a conqueror,
young, Bound in our chains, and sighing at our feet?
7. Sh. 'Tis true, the royal Edward was a wonder, The goodly pride of all our English youth; He was the very joy of all that saw him. Form’d to delight, to love and to persuade.
Impassive spirits and angelic natures “ Might have been charm’d, like yielding human
weakness, “ Stoop'd from their Heav'n, and listen'd to his talk.
But what had I to do with kings and courts?
My humble lot had cast me far beneath him;
And that he was the first of all mankind,
The bravest, and most lovely, was my curse.