« PreviousContinue »
As Roman priests their pardons? Do they barter, Forgetting ceremony, like two friends
L. J. Gray. No more.
me, Heaven, Which amply speaks her meaning.–You, the In this last peng—and let us meet in bliss ! prisone 3,
[GUILFORD is ied off by the guard. Have heard, at large, its purport, and must in L. J. Gray. Can naiure bear this stroke? stantly
Wom. Alas, sie fiints ! [supporting. Resolve upon the choice of life or death.
L. J. Gray. Wilt thou fail now—The killing Pem. Curse on-But where core do I loiter
st oke is pa t, here?
And all the bilierness of death is o'er. I'll to the queen this moment, and there know Gar. Here let the dreadful hand of vengeance What 'tis this mischief-making pries: intends.
(Exit. Hæve pity on your youth, and blooming beauty; Gar. Your wisdom points you out a proper Cast cotevry the good which Heavea bestows;
Lave many years in store for you, A word with you, Lientenant.
All crowned with fair prosperity. Your husband [Talks with the Lieutenant aside. las perished in pe verseness. Guil. Must we part, then ?
L. J. Gray. Cease, thou raven, What are those hopes that Mattered us but now; Nor violate, with thy profaner malice, Thosejoys,thet, like the spring, with all its flowers, My bleeding Guilford's ghost—'Tis gone, 'tis Poured out wheir pleasures every where around us?
flown: In one poor minute gone; at once they withered, But lingers on the wing, and waits for me. And let their place all desolate behind them.
[The scene druws, and discovers a scafL. J. Gruy. Such is t.iis foolisia world, and
fold huny with black, executioner sich the cert inty
and guards. Of all the boasted blessins it bestows :
And see my journey's end. Then, Guilford, let us have no more to do with it; i Wom. My dearest lady!
(Weeping Think only how to leave it as we ought;
2 Wom. Oh, misery! But trust no more, and be deceived no more. L. J. Gray. Forbear, my gentle maids,
Guil. Yes, I will copy ihy divine example, Nor wound my peace with fruitless lamentations; And tread the paths are pointed out by thee: 1 he good and gracious hand of Providence By thee instructed, to the latal block:
Shall raise you betier friends than I have been. I bend my head with joy, and think it happiness i Wom. Oa, never, never! To give my life a raisom for my faith.
L. J. Gray. Help to disarray, From thee, ihou angel of my heart, I learn And fit me for tie block; do this last service, That greatest, ha dest task, to part with thee. And do it chearsully. Now you will see L. J. Gruy. Oil, gloriously resolved ! Heaven Your poor unhappy mistress sleep in peace, is my witness,
And cease from all her sorrows. These few My heart rejoices in thee more even now,
trifles, Thus constant as thou art, in ceath thus faithful, The pledges of a dying mistress' love, Than when the holy priest first joined our hands, Receive and share among you. Thou, Maria, And knit the sacred knot of bridal love.
[To i Wom, Gar. The day wears fast; Lord Guilford, have Hast been my old, my very faithful servant : you thought
In dear remembrance of thy love, I leave thee Will you lay hold on life?
This book, the law of everlasting truth : Guil. What are the terms ?
Make it thy treasure still; 'twas my support, Gar. Dcati, or the mass, attend you.
When all help else forsook me. Guil. 'Tis determined :
Gar. Will you yet Lead to the scaffold.
Repent, be wise, and save your precious life? Gar. Bear him to his fate.
L. J. Gray. Oh, Winchester! has learning Guil. Oh, let me fold thee once more in my
taught thee that, arinis,
To barter truch for life? Thou dearest treasure of my heart, and print Gur, Mistaken folly! A dying husband's kiss upon thy lip!
You toil and travail for your own perdition, Shall we not live again, even in those forms? And die for damned errors. Shall I not gaze upon thee with these eyes? L. J. Gray. Who judge rightly, L. J. Gruy. Oh, wherefore dost thou soothe And who persists in error, will be known, me with thy softness?
Then, when we meet again. Once more, fareWhy dost thou wind thyself about my heart,
[To her Women. And make this separation painful to us? Goodness be ever with you. When I'm dead, Here break we off at once; and let us now, Entreat they do no rude, dishonest wrong
To my cold, headless corpse; but see it shrouded, That stệuck my Guilford ! Oh, his bleeding And decent laid in earth.
trunk Gar. Wilt thou then die ?
Shall live in these distracted eyes for everThy blood be on thy head.
Curse on thy fatal arts, thy cruel counsels ! L. J. Gray. My blood be where it falls ; let
[To GARDINER the earth hide it;
The queen is deaf, and pitiless as thou art. And may it never rise, or call for vengeance. Gar. The just reward of heresy and treason Oh, that it were the last shall fall a victim
Is fallen upon them both, for their vain obstiTo zeal's inhuman wrath! Thou, gracious Hea
Untimely death, with infamy on earth, Hear and defend at length thy suffering people; And everlasting punishment hereafter. Raise up a monarch of the royal blood,
Pem. And canst thou tell? Who gave thee te Brave, pious, equitable, wise, and good.
explore In thy due season let the hero come,
The secret purposes of Heaven, or taught thee To save thy altars from the rage of Rome: To set a bound to mercy unconfined ? Long let him reign, to bless the rescued land, But know, thou proud, perversely-judging WinAnd deal out justice with a righteous hand.
chester! And when he fails, oh, may he leave a son, Howe'er you hard, imperious censures doom, With equal virtues to adorn his throne;
And portion out our lot in worlds to come, To latest times the blessing to convey,
Those, who, with honest hearts, pursue the right, And guard that faith for which I die to-day! And follow faithfully truth's sacred light,
[Lady JANE goes up to the scaffold. Though suffering here, shall from their sorrows The scene closes.
Rest with the saints, and dwell in endless peace Enter PEMBROKE.
Ereunt. Pem. Horror on horror! Blasted be the hand
The palms of virtue heroes oft have worn; What sense of such a bounty can be shown !
'Tis all she asks, for all she has bestow'd. On whom so many better angels smile!
Such was our great example shewn to-day, For you, kind Heav'n new blessings still supplies, And with such thanks our author's pains repar. Bids other saints, and other guardians rise: If from these scenes, to guard your faith you For you the fairest of her sex is come,
learn; Adopts our Britain, and forgets her home: If for our laws you shew a just concern; For truth and you the heroine declines
If you are taught to dread a popish reign; Austria's proud eagles, and the Indian mines. Our beauteous patriot has not died in vain.
To wake the soul by tender strokes of art, Who sees him act but envies ev'ry deed?
bleed? Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold: Ev'n when proud Cæsar, ʼmidst triumphal cars, For this the tragic muse first trod the stage, The spoils of nations, and the pomp
of wars, Commanding tears to stream through every age; Ignobly vain, and impotently great, Tyrants no more their savage nature kept, Shew'à Rome her Cato's figure drawn in state; And foes to virtue wonder'd how they wept. As her dead father's rev’rend image past, Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move The pomp was darken'd, and the day o'ercast, The hero's glory, or the virgin's love;
The triumph ceas'd-tears gush'd from ev'ry eye, In pitying love we but our weakness shew, The world's great victor past unheeded by: And wild ambition well deserves its woe. Her last good man, dejected Rome ador’d, Here tears shall flow from a more gen'rous cause, and honour'd Cæsar's less than Cato's sword. Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws : Britons, attend : Be worth like this approv'd, He bids your breasts with ancient ardour rise, And shew you have the virtue to be mov'd; And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes. With honest scorn the first fam'd Cato view'd Virtue confess'd in human shape he draws, Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she subWhat Plato thought, and god-like Cato was:
du'd; No common object to your sight displays, Our scenes precariously subsist too long But what with pleasure Heav'n itself surveys; On French translations, and Italian song: A brave man struggling in the storms of fate, Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage; And greatly falling in a falling state!
Be justly warm’d with your own native rage; While Cato gives his little senate laws, Such plays alone should please a British ear, What bosom beats not in his country's cause? As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.
Puzzl'd in mazes, and perplex'd with errors.
Our understanding traces them in vain,
Nor sees with how much art the windings run, And heavily in clouds brings on the day; Nor where the regular confusion ends. The great, the important day, big with the fate Marc. These are suggestions of a mind at Of Cato and of Rome. Our father's death Would fill up all the guilt of civil war,
Oh, Portius, didst thou taste but half the griefs And close the scene of blood. Already Cæsar That wring my soul, thou couldst not talk thus Has ravaged more than half the globe, and sees
Por. Thou seest not that thy brother is thy Among your works!
rival; Marc. Thy steady temper, Portius,
But I must hide it, for I know thy temper, Can look on guilt, rebellion, fraud, and Cæsar,
Aside. In the calm lights of mild philosophy;
Now, Marcus, now thy virtue's on the proof: I'm tortured, even to madness, when I think Put forth thy utmost strength, work every nerve, On the proud victor: every time he's named, And call up all thy father in thy soul : Pharsalia rises to my view!- I see
To quell the tyrant, Love, and guard thy heart The insulting tyrant prancing o'er the field, On this weak side, where most our nature fails, Strewed with Rome's citizens, and drenched in Would be a conquest worthy Cato's son. slaughter,
Marc. Portius, the counsel which I cannot His horse's hoofs wet with patrician blood !
take, Oh, Portius! is there not some chosen curse, Instead of healing, but upbraids my weakness. Some hidden thunder in the stores of Heaven, Bid me for honour plunge into a war Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man, Of thickest foes, and rush on certain death, Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin? Then shalt thou see that Marcus is not slow Por. Believe me, Marcus, 'tis an impious To follow glory, and confess his father. greatness,
Love is not to be reasoned down, or lost And mix', with too much horror to be envied; In high ambition, or a thirst of greatness: How does the lustre of our father's actions, 'Tis second life, it grows into the soul, Through the dark cloud of ills that cover him, Warms every vein, and beats in every pulse; Break out, and burn with more triumphant I feel it here: my resolution meltsbrightness!
Por. Behold young Juba, the Numidian prince, His sufferings shine, and spread a glory round with how much care he forms himself to glory, him;
And breaks the fierceness of his native temper, Greatly unfortunate, he fights the cause To copy out our father's bright example. Of honour, virtue, liberty, and Rome.
He loves our sister Marcia, greatly loves her; His sword ne'er fell, but on the guilty head; His eyes, his looks, his actions, all betray it; Oppression, tyranny, and power usurp’d, But still the smothered fondness burns within Draw all the vengeance of his arm upon them.
him; Marc. Who knows not this? But what can When most it swells, and labours for a vent, Cato do
The sense of honour, and desire of fame, Against a world, a base, degenerate world, Drive the big passion back into his heart. That courts the yoke, and bows the neck to What! shall an African, shall Juba's heir Cæsar?
Reproach great Cato's son, and shew the world Pent up in Utica, he vainly forms
A virtue, wanting in a Roman soul ! A poor epitome of Roman greatness,
Marc. Portius, no more! your words leave And, covered with Numidian guards, directs
stings behind them. A feeble army, and an empty senate,
Whene'er did Juba, or did Portius shew Remnants of mighty battles fought in vain. A virtue that has cast me at a distance, By Heaven, such virtue, joined with such suc And thrown me out in the pursuits of honour? cess,
Por. Marcus, I know thy generous temper Distracts my very soul! our father's fortune Would almost tempt us to renounce his precepts. Fling but the appearance of dishonour on it, For. Remember what our father oft has told It straight takes fire, and mounts into a blaze.
Marc. A brother's sufferings claim a brother's The ways of Heaven are dark and intricate,
Por. Heaven knows I pity thee! Behold my And while the fathers of the senate meet - eyes,
In close debate, to weigh the event of war, Even whilst I speak-do they not swim in tears? l'll animate the soldiers' drooping courage Were but my heart as naked to thy view, With love of freedom, and contempt of life; Marcus would see it bleed in his behalf.
I'll thunder in their ears their country's cause, Marc. Why then dost treat me with rebukes, And try to rouse up all that's Roman in them. instead
'Tis not in mortals to command success, Of kind condoling cares, and friendly sorrow? But we'll do more, Sempronius; we'll deserve it. Por. Oh, Marcus! did I know the
[Erit. way Thy troubled heart, and mitigate thy pains, Sem. Curse on the stripling! how he apes his Marcus, believe me, I could die to do it.
sire! Marc. Thou best of brothers, and thou best | Ambitiously sententious—But I wonder of friends!
Old Syphax comes not; his Numidian genius Pardon a weak distempered soul, that swells Is well disposed to mischief, were he prompt With sudden gusts, and sinks as soon in calms, And eager on it; but he must be spurred, The sport of passions. But Sempronius comes : And every moment quickened to the course. He must not find this softness hanging on me. Cato has used me ill: he has refused
(Erit Marc. His daughter Marcia to my ardent vows.
Besides, his baffled arms, and ruined cause,
Are bars to my ambition. Cæsar's favour,
raise me I like not that cold youth. I must dissemble, To Rome's first honours. If I give up Cato, And speak a language foreign to my heart. I claim, in my reward, his captive daughter.
(Aside. But Syphax comes
Complain aloud of Cato's discipline, Por. My father has this morning called toge- | And wait but the command to change their masther,
ter. To this poor hall, his little Roman senate,
Sem. Believe me, Syphax, there's no time to (The leavings of Pharsalia) to consult
waste; If he can yet oppose the mighty torrent
Even while we speak our conqueror comes on, That bears down Rome, and all her gods before And gathers ground upon us every moment. it,
Alas! thou know'st not Cæsar's active soul, Or must at length give up the world to Cæsar. With what a dreadful course he rushes on
Sem. Not all the pomp and majesty of Rome From war to war. In vain has nature formed Can raise her senate more than Čato's presence. Mountains and oceans to oppose his passage; His virtues render our assembly awful;
He bounds o'er all; victorious in his march, They strike with something like religious fear, The Alps and Pyreneans sink before him: And make even Cæsar tremble, at the head Through winds, and waves, and storms, he Of armies Aushed with conquest. Oh, my Por
works his way, tius!
Impatient for the battle; one day more Could I but call that wondrous man my father, Will see the victor thundering at our gates. Would but thy sister Marcia be propitious But, tell me, hast thou yet drawn o'er young To thy friend's vows, I might be blessed indeed!
Juba? Por. Alas, Sempronius! wouldst thou talk of That still would recommend thee more to Cæsar, love
And challenge better terms. To Marcia, whilst her father's life's in danger? Syph. Alas, he's lost! Thou might'st as well court the pale, trembling He's lost, Sempronius; all his thoughts are full vestal,
Of Cato's virtues—But I'll try once more, When she beholds the holy Aame expiring. (For every instant I expect him here)
Sem. The more I see the wonders of thy race, if yet I can subdue those stubborn principles The more I'm charmed. Thou must take heed, of faith and honour, and I know not what, my Portius;
That have corrupted his Numidian temper, The world has all its eyes ou Cato's son; And struck the infection into all his soul. Thy father's merit sets thee up to view,
Sem. Be sure to press upon him every motive. And shews thee in the fairest point of light, Juba's surrender, since his father's death, To make thy virtues or thy faults conspicuous. Would give up Afric into Cæsar's hands, Por. Well dost thou seem to check my linger- And make him lord of half the burning zone.
Syph. But is it true, Sempronius, that yonr On this important hour-I'll straight away,