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Till warming up, by slow degrees, resentment

Began to swell his restless, haughty mind ;

And proud disdain provok'd him to exclaim

Aloud, against the partial power of fortune,

And faction's rage. I begg’d him to consider

His sad condition; nor repulse, with scorn,

The only hand that could preserve him.

Qu. Eliz. Ha! What !—-Said be nothing of a private import? No circumstance—no pledge—no ring? Not. None, madam! But, with contemptuous front, disclaim'd at once Your proffer'd grace; and scorn'd, he said, a life Upon such terms bestow’d. Qu. Eliz. Impossible! Could Essex treat me thus ?—-You basely wrong im, And wrest his meaning from the purpos'd point. Recall betimes the horrid words you've utter'd: Confess, and own the whole you've said, was false. Not. Madam, by truth, and duty, both compcll’d,

Against the pleadings of my pitying soul,

I must declare, (Heaven knows with what reluctance) That never pride insulted mercy more.

He ran ofer all the dangers he had past;

His mighty deeds; his service to the state;

Accus'd your majesty of partial leaning

To_ favourite lords, to whom he falls a sacrifice;
Appeals to justice, and to future times,

How much he feels from proud oppression's arm:
Nay, something too he darkly hinted at,

O1" jealous disappointment, and revenge. '

Qu. Eliz. Eternal silence seal thy venom’d lips !

What hast thou utter'd, wretch, to rouse at once

A whirlwind in my soul, which roots up pityK

And destroys my peace ?

Let him this instant to the block be led.

[Exit NOT'I1NGH.\M.

Upbraid me with my fatal fondness for him!
Ungrateful, barbarous ruffian ! 0, Elizabeth !
Remember now thy long established fame,

Thy envy'd glory, and thy father's spirit.

Accuse me of injustice too, and cruelty!

Yes, I'll this instant to‘ the Tower, forget

My regal state, and to his face confront him : Confound th’ audacious villain with my presence, And add new terrors to th’ uplifted axe. [Ez:it.

SCENE III.

The Tower.

Enter Essex and SouuIAmrron.

Essex. Oh, name it not ! my friend shall live—he shall! I know her royal mercy, and her goodness, Will give you back to life, to length of days, And me to honour, loyalty, and truth. Death is still distant far. South. ln life's first spring,

' Our green affections grew apace and prosper'd;

The genial summer swell’d our joyful hearts,

To meet and mix each growing fruitful wish.
We're now embark'd upon that stormy flood,
Where all the wise and brave are gone before us,’
E'er since the birth of time, to meet eternity.

And what is death, did we consider right?

Shall we, who sought him in the paths of terror,
And fac’d him in the dreadful walks of war,

Shall we astonish’d shrink, like frighted infants,
And start at scaffolds, and their gloomy trappings E

Essex. Yet, still I trust long years remain of friendship.

Let smiling hope drive doubt and fear away,

And death be banish'd far; where creeping age,
Disease and care, invite him to their dwelling.

I feel assurance rise within my breast,

That all will yet be well.

South. Count not on hope

We never can take leave, my friend, of life,

On nobler terms. Life ! what is life? A shadow! lts date is but th’ immediate breath we draw ;

Nor have we surety for a second gale;

Ten thousand accidents in ambush lie

For the embody'd dream.

A frail and fickle tenement it is,

Which, like the brittle glass, that measures time,
Is often broke, ere half its sands are run.

Essex. Such cold philosophy the heart disdains,

And friendship shudders at the moral tale.

My friend, the fearful precipice is past,

And danger dare not meet us more; Fly swift,
Ye better angels, waft the welcome tidings

Of pardon to my friend—-of life and joy!

Enter LIEUTENANT.

Lieut. I grieve to be the messenger of woe, But must, my lords, entreat you to prepare For instant death. Here is the royal mandate, That orders your immediate execution. Essex. Immediate execution! what, so sudden ?-No message from the queen, or Nottingham? - Lieut. None, sir. Essex. Deluded hopes ! Oh, worse than death ! Perfidious queen! to make a mock of life! My friend—my friend destroy'd! Why could not mine—- '

My life atone for both—my blood appease?
Can you, my friend, forgive me?
South. Yes, Oh yes,

My bosom's better half, I can,—With thee,

I'll gladly seek the coast unknown, and leave
The lessening mark ofirksome life behind. '
With thee, my friend, ’tisjoy to die!--'tis glory!
For who would wait the tardy stroke of time?
Or cling, like reptiles, to the verge of being,
When we can bravely leap from life at once,
And spring, triumphant, in a friend's embrace P

Enter RALEIGH.

Ral. To you, my Lord Southampton, from the queen, A pardon comes : your life, her mercy spares. Essex. For ever blest, be that indulgent power Which saves my friend! This weight ta'en off, my soul Shall upward spring, and mingle with the bless’d. South. All-ruling Heavens! can this—can this be just ? Support me ! hold, ye straining heart-strings, hold, And keep my sinking frame from dissolution! Oh, ’tis too much for mortal strength to bear, Or thought to suffer!—No, l'll die with thee! They shall not part us, Essex! Essex. Live, oh, live ! Thou noblest, bravest, best of men and friends! Whilst life is worth thy wish—till time and thou Agree to part, and nature send thee to me ! Thou generous soul, farewell! Live, and be happy ! _ And, oh ! may life make largely up to thee Whatever blessing fate has thus cut off, From thy departing friend !

[graphic]

Lieut. My lord, my warrant I Strictly forbids to grant a moment's time. South. Oh, must we part for ever? Cruel fortune! Wilt thou then tear him hence ?—Severe divorce ! Let me cling round thy Isacred person still,2:11l clrastp tllegtrta my bosom close, and keep em <0, e a 15 ance. Essex. Oh, my friend ! we'll meet Again, where virtue finds a just reward !-;— Wherefactious malice never more can reach us! I need not bid thee guard my fame from wrongs ; And, oh! a dearer treasure to thy care I trust, than either life or fame—my wife ! Oh, she will want a friend ! Then take her to thy care—do thou pour bahn On her deep-wounded spirit, and let her find My tender helps in thee !—-I must be gone, My ever faithful, and my gallant friend! I pr'ythee, leave this woman's work.—-Farewell ! Take this last, dear embrace—Farewell for ever !South. My bursting breast! I fain would speak, but words . Are poor—Farewell !— But we shall meet again—embra‘cein one Eternal band, which never shall be loos’d. [E.rit. Essex. To death's concluding stroke, lead on, Li_eu~ tenant. My wife !—Now reason,fortitude, support me ! For now, indeed, comes on my sorest trial.

Enter Couivrnss or RurLAnn.

Oh, thou last, dear, reserve of fortune's malice!
For fate can add no more.—--

Oh, com'st thou now to arrest my parting soul,
And force it back to life?

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