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His grateful mind still glows with pure affection;
The earl possess’d of many splendid virtues.
What pity ’tis, he should afford his foes
Such frequent, sad, occasions to undo him!
Rut. What human heart can, unafflicted, bear
Such manly merit in distress, beset
By cruel foes, and faction's savage cry ?
My good, my gracious mistress, stretch, betimes, Your saving arm, and snatch him from destruction, From deadly malice, treachery, and Cecil.
Oh, let him live, to clear his conduct up !
My gracious queen, he'll nobly earn your bounty,
Qu. Eliz. Her words betray a warm, unusual, fer-
I never doubted but the earl was brave;
His life and valiant actions all declare it:
I think him honest too, but rash and headstrong.
I gladly would preserve him from his foes,
And therefore am resolv’d once more to see him.
Rut. Oh, ’tis a godlike thought, and Heav’n itself
Inspires it. Sure some angel moves your heart,
This gracious deed shall shine in future story,
And deck your annals with the brightest virtue;
' Posterity shall praise the princely act,
And ages yet to come record your goodness. Qu. Eliz. I'll hear no more—Must I then learn from you To know my province, and be taught to move, As each designing mind directs ?—-Leave me. But. Her frowns are dreadful, and her eye looks .t0rr0t'.
Bu-r. The Earl of Essex waits your royal will. Qu. Eliz. Let him approach—And now once more support Thy dignity, my soul; not yield thy greatness To strong usurping passion—But he comes.
Enter Essex and SOUTHAMPTON.
Essezr. Permitted thus to bend, with prostrate heart,
[Kneels. Before your sacred majesty; I come,
With every grateful sense of royal favour
To hands unworthy. No, my gi‘3.CiouS queen,
I meant to_ lay them at your royal feet;
Where life itselfa willing victim falls,
If you command. - ' \ Qu. Eliz. High swelling words, my lord, but ill
The place of deeds, and duty's just demand.
In danger's onset, and the day of trial,
Conviction still on acting worth attends;
Whilst mere professions are by doubts encumber'd. Essex. My deeds have oft declai-'d in danger': front
How far my duty and my velour lead me.
Allegiance still my thirst of glory fir'd,
Andall my bravely gather'd, envy'd, laurcls
Were purchas’d- only to adorn my queen.
Qu. Eliz. Your guilty scorn of my intrustedpower, When with my mortal foes you tamely dally'd, By hardy rebels brav’d, you poorly sought A servile pause, and begg’d a shameful truce. Should Essex thus, so meanly compromise,
And lose the harvest of a plenteous glory,
In idle treaties, and suspicious parly?
Essex. 0, deadly stroke! My life's the destin'd mark.
The poison'd shaft has drank my spirits deep.
ls’t come to this? Conspire with rebels! Ha !
Where famine fac'd me with her meagre mien,
From you; the time and circumstance did call
For that I stand aguarded felon here.—A traitor,
Qu. Eliz. Shall added insolence, with crest audacious,
Her front uplift against the face of power?
Such arrogance uncheck’d, or unchastis’d.
No public trust becomes the man, who treads,
Essex. Away with dignities and hated trust, .
Let villains thrive, and outcast virtue perish;
Let slaves be rais’d-, and cowards have command.
My royal mistress, casts me off; nay,joins
’ Beyond thy wretched purpose stands secure.
Go, learn at leisure what your deeds deserve,
Hot indignation burns within my soul.
I'll do some dreadful thing !—-I know not what;
Shall startle nature, and alarm the world.
Then hence, like lightning, let me furious fly,
To hurl destruction at my toes on high;
Pull down oppression from its tyrant seat,
Redeem my glory, or embrace my fate. [E.2'eu.nt‘.
Qu. Eliz. Not taken yet? Not. No, madam: for the Earl Of Essex, leagu'd with desperate friends, made strong And obstinateresistancc; till, at length, \ 0'erpower'd by numbers, and increasing force, He fled for shelter to a small retreat, A summer house, upon the Thames; resolv’d To perish, rather than submit to power. Qu. Eliz. Oh, where shall majesty bestow its favours, Since Essex has a traitor prov’d to me, Whose arm hath rais’d him up to power and greatness ; Whose heart has shar'd in all his splendid triumphs,