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And feels, ev’n now, his trait'rous deeds with pity?
But hence with pity, and the woman's pangs: ,
Resentment governs, and the queen shall punish.

Enter Bu RLEIGH.

Bur. Illustrious queen ! the traitors all are seiz’d. Their black debates Were held at ‘Drury House. The dine result Was this : that Essex should alarm the citizens To open mutiny and bold rebellion.

Their purpose w,as to seize your royal palace,

And sacred person; but your faithful people,

As by one mind inform _d, one _zea_l inspir d,

Rose up atonce, and with their virtue quell’d them.

Qu. ElZ1liz.tT'hanks to their honest, to their loyal

ear s . But say,_were any persons else concern'd, Of high distinction, or of noted rank?

Bur. Yes, madam, many more;

’Mong whom, the bold Southampton foremost stands. They're now our pris’ners, and are safe secur'd ;

But Essex, with Southampton, and the rest

Of greater note, I would not dare dispose of
Without your royal mandate; and they now

Attend without, to know your final pleasure.

Qu. Eliz. is this thejuat return of all my care? My anxious toilsome days, and watchful nights? Have I sent forth a wish, that went not freighted \(?)Vitlh allkmyfpieopltgs gopjdi O2, haylel lifp‘, ?

r engt 0 ays esir , ut or t err sa e The public good is all my private care !

Then couldI think this grateful isle
Contain'd one traitor's heart? But, least of ali,
That Essex’ breast should lodge it? Call the mon-
ster,
And let me meet this rebel face to face.
Do you withdraw and wait within our call.
[Exiunt BunLnioit and NOTTINGHAM.

I

Enter Essex.

You see, we dare abide your dang’rous presence,
Though treason sits within your heart enthron'd,
And on that brow rebellion lours, where once
Such boasted loyalty was said to flourish.

How low the traitor can degrade the soldier !-
Guilt glares in conscious dye upon thy cheek,
And inward horror trembles in thine eye.

How mean is fraud !—How base ingratitude !

Essex. Forbear reproach, thou injur'd majesty, Nor wound, with piercing loo_ks,a heart already -Wiih anguish torn, and bleeding with remorse. Your awful looks, alone, are arm’d with death, And _]\1SUC€ gives them terror. Qu. Eliz. Hapless man! What caiuse could prompt, what fiend could urge t ee on

To this detested deed 2 Could I from thee

Expect to meet this base return? from thee,

To whom I ought to fly with all the confidence
That giving bounty ever could inspire,

Or seeming gratitude and worth could promise ?_

Essex. Alas! I own my crimes, and feel my treasons ' ' They press the down beneath the reach of pity. Despair alone can shield me from myself. Qu. Eliz. My pride forbids me to reproach thee more;

My pity, rather, would relieve thy sorrow.

The eople's clamours, and my special safety,

Call oud foi‘J\iS[iC€, and demand your life.

But if forgiveness- from an iiijur'd queen

Can make the few short hours you live more easv,
I give it freely, from my pitying heart ; '
And wish my willing power could grant thee more.

Essex. Oh, let me prostrate thus before you fall,

My better angel, and my guardian gemus!

Permit me, royal mistress, to announce

My faithful sentiments, my soul's true dictates;
Vouchsafe your Essex but this one request,
This only boon—he'll thank you with his last,
His dying breath, and bless you in his passage.

Qu. Eliz. Rise, my lord!

If aught you have to offer, can allay

Your woes, and reconcile you to your fate,
Proceed ;—and I with patient ear will listen.

Essex. My real errors, and my seeming crimes,

Would weary mercy, and make goodness poor:
And yet the source of all my greatest faults

Was loyalty misled, and duty in extreme. ' .

So jealous was my sanguine heart, so warm
Afl‘ection's zeal, I could not bear the least
Suspicion of my duty to my queen.

This drove me from my high command in Ireland;
This,too, impell'd me to that rude behaviour,
Which justly urg'd the shameful blowl felt;

And this, O fatal rashness! made me think

My queen had given her Essex up, a victim

To statesmen's schemes, and wicked policy,

Stung by that piercing thought, my madness flew Beyond all bounds, and now, alas ! has brought me To this most shameful fall; and, what's still worse, My own reproaches, and my queen's displeasure.

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touch’d, And pity pleads thy cause within my breast. Essex. Say, but, my gracious sovereign, ere I go

For ever from your presence, that you think me

Guilbless of all attempts against your throne,

And sacred life. Your faithful Essex, ne'er

Could harbour in his breast so foul a thought.

Believe it not, my queen. By Heav’n, I swear,

When in my highest pitch of glory rais’d,—

The splendid noon of Fortune's brightest sunshine,—~ Not ages of reno\'vn,—could yield me half

The joy, nor make my life so greatly blest,

As saving yours, though for a single hour.

Qu. Elilz. My lord, I would convince you, that I sti l

Regard your life, and labour to preserve it ;

But cannot screen you from a public trial.

With prudence make your best defence: but should Severity her iron jurisdiction , '

Extend too far, and give thee up condemn'd

To angry laws, thy queen will not forget thee.

Yet, lest you then should want a faithful friend,

(For friends will fly you in the time of need)

Here, from my finger, take this ring, a pledge

Of mercy; having this, you ne'er shall need

An advocate with me; for whens'oe'er

You give, or send it back, by Heav’n, I swear,

As I do hope for mercy on my soul,

Thatl will grant whatever boon you ask.

Essex. Oh, grace surprising! most amazing goodness .

Words cannot paint the transports of my soul !

Let me receive it/on my grateful knees,

At once to thank, and bless the hand that gives it.

Qu. Eliz. Depend, my lord, on this—’twixt you _ and me, This ring shall be a private mark of faith [Gives the Ring.

Inviolate. Be confident; cheer up;

Dispeleach melancholy fear, and trust

Your soven.-ign's promise—she will ne'er forsake you.

Essex. Let Providence dispose my lot as ’twill,

May watchful angels ever guard my queen;

May healing wisdom in her counci s reign,

And firm fidelity surround her throne;

May victory her dreaded banners hear,

And joyful conquests crown her soldiers’ brow ;

Let every bliss be mingled in her cup,
And Heaven, at last, become her great reward.

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Qu. Eliz. ’Tis done;

And yet foreboding tremors shake my heart.
Something sits heavy here, and presses down

My spirits with its weight. What can it mean ?
Suppose he is condemn'd! my royal word

Is plighted for his life; his enemies,

No doubt, will censure much.—No matter; let them; I know him honest, and despise their malice.

Enter CoUnrass or Rurmmn.

Rut. Where is the queen? l'll fall before her feet Prostrate; implore, besiege her royal heart, And force her to forgive.

Qu. Eliz. What means this phrensy ? ,

Rut. Oh, gracious queen! if ever pity touch’d Your generous breast, let not the cruel axe Destroy his precious life; preserve my Essex, My life, my hope, my joy, my all, my husband! ‘

Qu. El-iz. Husband !—What sudden, deadly ‘blow

is this !

Hold up, my soul, nor sink beneath this wound.
You beg a traitor's life!

Rut. Oh, gracious queen !
He ever lov’d—was ever faithful—brave!
If nature dwells about your heart, oh, spurn

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Rut. I cannot let you go. . Hold off your hands !—-Here on this spot I'll fix— Here lose all sense. Still let me stretch these arms, Inexorable queen!—He yet may live. Oh, give him to my poor, atfiicted heart! One pitying look, to save me from distraction.

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