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“Here is the paper, which, alas! was found
“Under the quilt, beneath poor Norfolk’s bed,
“Plac'd there on purpose, as suppos'd by all,
“By Hickford, a domestic of the duke's.
“Who, apprehended, has accus’d his master.”
Read here a list of several lords, his friends,
As Arundel, Southampton, and some others,
All order'd to be taken.
Cec. Cruel chance 1
What temper holds the queen in this extreme
Dav. Fiery, and cool, and melting in a breath,
At one she sighs, and pities the fall’n man,
And the same moment rages and upbraids him.
Cec. Oh, she must worse be stung before to-morrow!
“How will she bear herself, when she shall know
“The foul conspiracy of Babington ’’
Place Gifford ready as the queen comes forth; 40
*Tis dangerous to conceal it any longer.
Methinks I pity less the fate of Mary,
Now it has cost the ruin of the Duke—
See where he comes I Would Cecil had no eyes;
Yet he bears manly up, rears his stout head
Like a bold vessel in a storm, and scatters
Bright beams of majesty through all his clouds.
Enter Duke and guards. Room for the duke Nor. Room for the duke 1 Room for no duke, no substance now ; The emblem of dissembling greatness rather.
Man is the truest dial of his fate;
His prince's favour, like the sun at noon,
Shews not a thing so beautiful and gay;
But as the planet sets, too soon he spies
His growing shadow painted on the ground;
Oh, Cecill thou and Leicester have undone me;
Brought by thy cruel caution to my ruin,
And by the traitor Morton thus betray’d.
Cec. These tears be witnesses, I never meant it.
Nor. I must believe you, yet you are 60
Toogood a statesman, and too nice a friend.
Cec. By all that’s just, you wrong the love I bear
Behold the queen—I’ll gain your life, brave duke,
Or hazard now my own. -
Enter Queen ELIZABETH, MoRT on, gentlemen, guards,
Most merciful, most royal, and belov'd
Behold your Cecil bends, who ne'er yet su'd
To you in vain—Oh, spare the gallant duke,
Who in this ačt of adoration, vows
Henceforth to prove the faithfull'st of your vassals,
And from this hour to abjure the queen of Scotland.
Nor. Hold, Burleigh, hold; proceed not for the
If the least word that I’ll abjure the queen
'Scapes from thy mouth, by my bright hopes, ’tis false.
Thus I'll ask pardon, though I never wrong'd you.
'Tis but a word, and I’ll do it again :
For kings are like divinities on earth,
Whom none can serve, but must sometimes offend.
But to deny my love, and to disclaim her
Oh, ye bright powers abjure my Albion Queen!
First let me grovel in some loathsome dungeon, 8o
And feed on damps and vapours like a toad.
“What, to save my lifel a hated skull!”
Had I as many heads as I have hairs,
Reap'd from this body like a field of corn;
Yet after all, not one should be so base.
Qu. El. You'll find, bold duke, this one has said
“And done more than a thousand heads can answer.
Go, send him to the Tower:
I’ll have him try’d to-morrow; and, if guilty,
Beheaded straight; send his ambitious head
To travel for that airy crown it wish'd for;
And tell me, when 'tis off, if then it talks,
Or calls out for his Albion Queen to help him.
“Oh, where, my soul, is there a friend that’s just
“Or, after him, a man that I can trust? [Aside.
Nor. You need not doubt it;
That dying martyr who invokes her name,
Calls for more aid than all the queens on earth;
“She is herself thy genius; but for her,
“This isle had been like flaming Ætna found, 100
Or, as the world was, in a deluge drown'd.
Qu. El. She's false, and thou a most ungrateful traitor |
Here's Morton, Cecil, all the world can tell, Thou did'st aspire to marry her, and get my crown. Nor. By my immortal hopes, I am betray'd, And she’s abus’d by traitors No, Cecil won’t, no honest subject dares; But Morton, as the worst of furies, may. “Oh, she's so good, so innocent and mild, “That, Scotland, wert thou curs'd to that degree, “Should all thy scatter'd seeds yield nought but poisons, “And pregnant women bring forth none but Mortons, “Thou hast aton'd for all those plagues in giving her. , Qu. El. Away with him; “and let me never see “That head again, but on a pinnacle.” Nor. Be witness, all ye powers, I bear it mildly; And for my fate, I kneel again, and bless you: May you live ever; and for Norfolk's death, No dire remorse disturb your balmy rest; But may your soft eternity glide on, In dreams of paradise, and golden slumbers. But for the injur’d queen, inspir'd I rise, And tho’ a threaten’d prophet, yet dare speak: Whene'er she falls, may her accusers all The stings of conscience feel within their breast, And never know the transport of the blest: “Prometheus' vultures in their bowels feel, “And with their king of traitors roar in torments. “But thou, a queen, that judg’d this royal martyr, “Loud cherubins to earth your guilt shall sound, “Which worse than the last trumpet shall rebound;
“Wake or asleep, her image shall appear,
“And always hollow Mary in your ear.”[Exit guarded.
Cec. Now, Davison's the time.
Dav. May't please your majesty—
What shall be done with the offending queen
Qu. El. Nothing, bold saucy penman, Isay, nothing—
Send Norfolk to the Tower; but, on your lives,
I charge you, use no violence on her. 139
Make not such haste; too soon you'll break this heart.
Then glut yourselves with slaughter of my subječts.
Cec. Then so much for the duke—Call Gifford in.
If you are steep'd as in a lethargy
Of love, and o'er-grown mercy to the queen,
And will not let your eyes behold your danger,
Then we, who are your watchful servants, must.
Behold and hear; for 'tis so loud and plain,
That 'twill astonish ev'ry sense about you.
This man, this honest man, whose statue ought
To be set up in gold in all our streets,
Inspir'd from above, discovers that himself
With five bold ruffians more, were all set on
By Mary queen of Scots, to murder you.
Qu. El. To murder me !
Dav. With sacrament they bound it,
More horrid than e'er Catiline invented,
Who, t'enslave Rome, ty’d it with human blood.
First view the monsters pićtur'd to the life,
Each with their several instruments of fate