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Cec. Rest, and refer this matter to your council : Something may be in this, but more design. Mor. If all's not true, I'll give my body up To torments, to be rack'd, and die a villain : Or stand the test with any he that dares. 3co Nor. Quick, let me take him at his word Oh, that I had thee in some desert wild, As far from man as thou art from humanity, “Where none could save thee but thy fellow-monsters! “I’d crush the treason from thy venom'd throat, “As I would do its poison from a toad. o “Mor. My lord— “Qu. El. My lord of Norfolk, you are to blame. “Nor.” I beg your Majesty to grant the combat; And I, as champion for that injur’d saint, I, Thomas Norfolk, with this arm, will prove That Mary, queen of Scotland, is abus'd, “That she is innocent, and all is forg’d, “Nay, 'till I have made him own to all the world, “That he's not born of noble blood, but that “Some ruffian stept into his father's place, “And more than half begot him.

“Mor. Gracious queen 3 *
Qu. El. If Norfolk can so suddenly forbear
That noble temper was so long admir’d, 320

And trample o'er so rudely, in my presence,
The dignity of crowns and law of nations;
I can as soon recall the lavish bounties,
That made this mad-man equal with myself;
Nay, were you duke of all your fancy'd world,

Your head as high as your aspiring thoughts—
Confess 'tis frenzy, so go home and rest;
But take this caution, sir, along with you—
Beware what pillow ’tis you rest upon.
or. If to proclaim the innocence of her
Who has no liberty to do’t herself,
Be such a crime, take then this life and honours,
They're more your majesty's than his that wears them;
But while I live, “I’ll shout it to the skies,”
I will aloud proclaim,
“Whilst echo answers from this ball of earth,”
Queen Mary’s wrong’d, queen Mary’s innocent.
Qu. El. And must I endure all this
Hence from my sight, be gone, be banish'd ever.
Nor. I will obey your anger; but, alas! 342
You'll hear my message first from the sad princess.
Qu. El. What said she
Nor. Here is a letter from that guilty fair one ;
She bid me thus present it on my knees.
Qu. El. Before I read it, you may speak, my lord.
“Nor. Mark but the superscription—is’t not to
“Her dearest sister, queen Elizabeth
“Qu. El. It is.”
Nor. But had you seen her write it, with what love,
How with a sigh she perfum'd every word,
Fragrant as eastern winds, or garden breezes,
That steal the sweets of roses in their flights:
On every syllable she rain'd down pearls,
And said, instead of gems, she sent you blessings;
For other princely treasure she had none.

Qu. El. Alas, what mean'st thou, Norfolk Nor. Then she sigh'd, and said, Go to the queen, perhaps upon her throne; Tell her, mine is an humble floor, my palace An old dark tower, that threat’ning dares the sky, 360 And seems at war with heaven to keep day out : For eighteen years of winter, I ne'er saw The grass embroider'd o'er with icy spangles, Nor trees majestic in their snowy robes; Nor yet in summer, how the fields were clad, And how soft nature gently shifts the scene, From heavy vestment to delightful green. Qu. El. Oh, duke, enough, thy language stabs my soul. Nor. No feather'd choristers of chearful note, Salute my dusky gate to bring the morn, But birds of frightful omen. “Screech owls, bats, “And ravens, such as haunt old ruin’d castles, “ Make no distinčtion here 'twixt sun and moon, “But join their clattering wings with their loud creaks,” That sing hoarse midnight dirges all the hours. Qu. El. Oh, horror! Cecil, stop thy ears and mine. Now, cruel Morton, is she guilty now She cannot be ambitious of my crown; For though it be a glorious thing to sight, Yet, like a glittering, gaudy snake, it sits, 38o Wreathing about a prince's tortur’d brow : And, oh, it has a thousand stings as fatal. Thou hast no more to say *

Nor. I found this mourning excellence alone. “She was asleep, not on a purple bed, “A gorgeous palate, but upon the floor, “Which a mean carpet clad, whereon she sat, “And on a homely couch did lean her head: “Two winking tapers, at a distance stood; “For other light ne'er bless'd that dismal place, “Which made the room look like some sacred urn, “And she, the sad effigies of herself.

“Qu. El. No more; alas! I cannot hear thee out—” Pray, rise my lord.

Nor. Oh, ne'er till you have pity.

“Her face and breast I might discover bare;
“And looking nearer, I beheld how tears
“Slid from the fountains of her scarce clos'd eyes,
“And every breath she fetch'd turn'd to a sigh.

“Qu. El. Oh, I am drown'd I’m melted all to

pity. 400 “Nor. Quickly she wak'd, for grief ne'er rested long,

“And starting at my sight, she blush'd and said,
“You find me full of woe; but know, my lord,
“'Tis not for liberty nor crowns I weep,
“But that your queen thinks me her enemy.”

Qu. El. “My breast, like a full prophet, is o'er

charg’d, “A sea of pity rages to get out, “And must have way.”—Rise, Norfolk, run, haste all, Fly, with the wings of darting meteors, fly “Swift as the merciful decree; above 2

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“Are glided down the battlements of bliss:
“Quick, take your queen's own chariot; take my
“Dear as a sister's, nay, a lover's heart,”
And bring this mourning goddess to me straight;
“Fetch me this warbling nightingale, who long
“In vain has sung, and flutter'd in her cage;
“And lay the panting charmer in my breast;”
This heart shall be her gaoler, and these arms her
prison, -
And thou, kind Norfolk, see my will obey’d.
Nor. I fly to execute. [Exit.
“Oh, run, and execute the queen's commands, 421
“Prepare her golden coach, and snow white steads,
“The pattern of that innocence they carry.
[Exit second Gent.
“And fly more swift than Venus drawn by doves.
“Should all the clouds pour down at once upon you,
“Make your quick passage through the falling ocean :
“Not the dread thunder, let it stop, nor lightning stay
Mor. Madam
Qu. El. No more, you shall have justice, sir,
The accuser, and the accus’d, shall both have justice.
Why was I born to empire, to a crown,
Now when the world is such a monster grown'
When summer freezes, and when winter springs,
When nature fades, and loyalty to kings!
Nor. When first the fox beheld the awful lion,
“He trembl’d, couch'd, and saw his lord, with fear;

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