Page images

Lend me assistance, that I may partake
Th' infliction of this penance. My life's dearest,
Forgive me; I have staid too long from tend'ring
Attendance on reproach, yet bid me welcome.

War. Great miracle of constancy! my miseries
Were never bankrupt of their confidence
In worst afflictions, till this-now, I feel them.
Report, and thy deserts, thou best of creatures,
Might to eternity have stood a pattern
For every virtuous wife, without this conquest.
Thou hast outdone belief; yet may their ruin
In after marriages, be never pitied,
To whom thy story shall appear a fable !
Why would'st thou prove so much unkind to

greatness, To glorify thy vows by such a servitude ? I cannot weep; but trust me, dear, my heart Is liberal of passion : Harry Richmond, A woman's faith hath robb’d thy fame of tri

umph! Oxf. Sirrab, leave off your juggling, and tie up The devil that ranges in your tongue.

. Urs. Thus witches, Possess'd, even [to] their deaths deluded, say,

Thus witches, Possess’d, even to their deaths deluded, &c.] The old copy is imperfect here ; it reads,

Possess'd, even their deaths deluded, &c. Perhaps it may be set right by a change still more slight than that of the text, by reading e'en in, for even. Of the fact itself, the age of our poet afforded unfortunately too many instances.


They have been wolves and dogs, and sail'd in

Over the sea, and rid on fiery dragons;
Pass'd in the air more than a thousand miles,
All in a night :—the enemy of mankind
Is powerful, but false; and falsehood's confident.
Oxf. Remember, lady, who you are; come

That impudent impostor!

Kath. You abuse us :
For when the holy churchman join'd our hands,
Our vows were real then; the ceremony
Was not in apparition, but in act.
Be what these people term thee, I am certain
Thou art my husband, no divorce in heaven
Has been sued out between us; 'tis injustice
For any earthly power to divide us.
Or we will live, or let us die together.
There is a cruel mercy.

War. Spite of tyranny
We reign in our affections, blessed woman!
Read in my destiny the wreck of honour;
Point out, in my contempt of death, to memory,
Some miserable happiness; since, herein,
Even when I fell, I stood enthroned a monarch
Of one chaste wife's troth, pure, and uncorrupted.
Fair angel of perfection, immortality
Shall raise thy name up to an adoration;
Court every rich opinion of true merit,
And saint it in the Calendar of virtue,

When I am turn'd into the self-same dust
Of which I was first form’d.

Oxf. The lord ambassador,
Huntley, your father, madam, should he look on
Your strange subjection, in a gaze so public,
Would blush on your behalf, and wish his country
Unleft, for entertainment to such sorrow.

Kath. Why art thou angry, Oxford? I must be
More peremptory in my duty. Sir,
Impute it not unto immodesty,
That I presume to press you to a legacy,
Before we part for ever!

War. Let it be then
My heart, the rich remains of all


fortunes. Kath. Confirm it with a kiss, pray!

War. Oh! with that I wish to breathe my last; upon thy lips, Those equal twins of comeliness, I seal The testament of honourable vows: [Kisses her. Whoever be that man that shall unkiss This sacred print next, may he prove more thrifty In this world's just applause, not more desertful! Kath. By this sweet pledge of both our souls, I

swear To die a faithful widow to thy bed ; Not to be forced or won : oh, never, never!


s The better genius of Ford, which had so admirably served him hitherto, appears to have left his side, at this moment; he would not else have permitted Katherine to injure herself by a speech for which there was not the slightest occasion. She should have had nothing in common with the Player Queen, no, not even an oath.

[merged small][ocr errors]


Daw. Free the condemned person; quickly free

What has he yet confess'd ?

[WARBECK is taken out of the stocks.
Urs. Nothing to purpose;
But still he will be king.

Sur. Prepare your journey
To a new kingdom then,—unhappy madman,“
Wilfully foolish!—See, my lord ambassador,
Your lady daughter will not leave the counterfeit
In this disgrace of fate.

Hunt. I never pointed
Thy marriage, girl; but yet, being married,
Enjoy thy duty to a husband freely:
The griefs are mine. I glory in thy constancy;
And must not say, I wish that I had miss'd
Some partage in these trials of a patience.

Kath. You will forgive me, noble sir.

Hunt. Yes, yes ;
In every duty of a wife and daughter,
I dare not disavow thee.—To your husband,
(For such you are, sir,) I impart a farewell
Of manly pity; what your life has past through,
The dangers of your end will make apparent;
And I can add, for comfort to your sufferance,

[ocr errors]


unhappy madman, Wilfully foolish!] The 4to, by an unlucky transposition, reads " madam."

No cordial, but the wonder of your frailty, Which keeps so firm a station.—We are parted.

War. We are. A crown of peace renew thy age, Most honourable Huntley! Worthy Crawford ! We may embrace; I never thought thee injury.

Craw. Nor was I ever guilty of neglect Which might procure such thought; I take my

leave, sir. War. To you, lord Dalyell,—what? accept a

sigh, 'Tis hearty and in earnest.

Dal. I want utterance; My silence is my farewell. .

Kath. Oh!-oh!

Jane. Sweet madam,
What do you mean?-my lord, your hand.

[To Dal. Dal. Dear lady, Be pleased that I may wait you to your lodgings.

[Exeunt Dalyell and Jane, supporting


Enter Sheriff and Officers with Sketon, AsTLEY,

HERON, and John A-WATER, with Halters about
their necks.
Oxf. Look


your followers, appointed To wait on you in death!

War. Why, peers of England, We'll lead them on courageously; I read A triumph over tyranny upon Their several foreheads. Faint not in the moment

« PreviousContinue »