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Let faction load him with her labouring hand,
Enter Essnx and SouTHamroir,
Essex. Forgive, thou injur'd majesty, thou best Of queens, this seeming disobedience. See, I bend submissive in your royal presence, With soul as penitent, as if before Th’ all-searching eye of Hcav’n. But, oh, that
My queen's resentment wounds -my inmost spirit, Strikes me like death, and pierces through my heart.
Qu. Eliz. You have obey'd, my lord! you've serv’d
me well !
My deadly foes are quell’d ! and you come home
Essex. I came to clear my injur'd name from guilt,
Qu. Eliz. It is the godlike attribute of kings,
To raise the virtuous, and protect the brave.
I was the guardian of your reputation ;
What malice, or what faction, then, could reach you? My honour was expos’d, engag'd for yours :
But you fodnd reason to dislike my care,
And to yourself assum'd the wrested office.
_Fssex. If aught disloyal in this bosom dwells,
If aught of treason lodges in this heart,
May I to guilt and lasting shame be wedded,
Qu. Eliz._'I’his ardent language, and this glow of
Were nobly; graceful in a better cause;
Where virtue warrants, and where truth inspires:
F rowns stern reproof upon the false assertion,
From me you have appeal’d, ungrateful man!
Go, stand the test severe, abide the trial,
And mourn, too late, the bounty you abus'd.
[Exeunt Qur.au ELIZABETH, SOUTHAMPTON’, LS'c|
My patriot toils, and oft encounter'd perils,
South. Alas, my lord! the queen's displeasure kin
With warmth increasing; whilst Lord Burleigh labours
T'inflame her wrath, and make it still burn fiercer.
Essex. lseorn the blaze of courts, the pomp of
I give them to the winds, and lighter vanity;
Too long they've robb’d me of substantial bliss,
Ofsolid happiness, and true enjoyments.
But lead me to my mourning love; alas!
She sinks beneath oppressing ills; she fades,
She dies for my afflicting pangs, and seeks
Me, sorrowing, in the walks of woe.—Distraction !
‘ Oh, lead me to her, to my soul's desire. South. Let caution guide you in this dangerous
Consider well, my lord, the consequence—
For should the queen (forbid it, Heaven !) discover,
Your private loves, your plighted hands, no power
On earth could step between you and destruction.
Bur. My lord of Essex, ’tis the queen's command, That you forthwith resign your staff of ofiice ; And further, she confines you to your palace.
Essex. Welcome, my fate! Let fortune do her ut
I know the worst, and will confront her malice,
Bur. The queen, my lord, demands your quick
Essex. Go, then, thou gladsome messenger of ill,
Lies prostrate now beneath thy savage feet;
But still th’ exalted spirit moves above thec.
Go, tell the queen thy own detested story:
Pull in her sight disclose the snaky labyrihths,
And lurking snares, you plant in virtue'S path,
To catch integrity's unguarded step.
Bur. Your country has impeach’d, your queen accus’d you;
To these address your best defence, and clear
Your question'd conduct from disloyal guilt.
What answer to the queen shall 1 return?
Essex. My staff of office I from her receiv’d, And will to her, and her alone, resign it. Bur. This bold refusal will incense the queen. This arrogance will make your guilt the stronger. Exit. South. Sustain, my noble friend, thy wonted greatness ;
Collect thy fortitude, summon all
Thy soul, to bear with strength this crushing weight, Which falls severe upon thee; whilst my friendship Shall lend a helping hand, and share the burden.
l'll hence with speed, and to the queen repair,
And all the power of warmest words employ,
To gain you yet one audience more, and bring
Her majesty to milder thoughts. Farewell. [E.rit.
Essex. As newly wak'd from all my dreams of glory,
Those gilded visions of deceitful joys,
I stand confounded at the unlook’d-for change,
And scarcely feel this thunderbolt of fate.
The painted clouds, which bore my hopes aloft,
Alas, are now vanish’d to yielding air,
And I am fall'n indeed!
The high-hung banner, and recording gold,
Enter LADY RUTLAND.
Rztt. Oh, let me fly,‘
Essex. Transporting bliss! my richest, dearest trea
My mourning turtle, my long absent peace,
Rut. Oh, shall I credit, then, each ravish’d sense?
Essex. With thee, my sweetest comfort, I'll retire From splendid palaces, and glitlfring throngs,
' To live embosom’d in the shades of joy,
Where sweet content extends herfriendly arms,
And gives increasing love a lasting welcome.
With thee, I'll timely fly from proud oppression,
Rut. Oh! let us hence, beyond thereach of power;
Where fortune's hand shall never part us more,
In this calm state of innocence and joy,
l'll press thee to my -throbbing bosom close. Ambition's voice shall call in vain; the world,
The thankless world, shall never claim thee more, And all thy business shall be love and me. '
Essex. The queen, incens’d at my return, abandons me ' To Cecil's malice, and the rage of faction.