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Till my soul faints, and sickens with desire;
How canst thou give this motion to my heart,
And bid my tongue be still
J. Sh. Cast round your eyes
Upon the high-born beauties of the court;
Behold, like opening roses, where they bloom,
Sweet to the sense, unsully'd all, and spotless;
There choose some worthy partner of your heart,
To fill your arms, and bless your virtuous bed;
Nor turn your eyes this way, “where sin and misery,
“Like loathsome weeds, have over-run the soil,
“And the destroyer, Shame, has laid all waste.”
Hast. What means this peevish, this fantastic
Where is thy wonted pleasantness of face,
Thy wonted graces, and thy dimpled smiles
Where hast thou lost thy wit, and sportive mirth
That chearful heart, which us’d to dance for ever,
And cast a day of gladness all around thee
J. Sh. Yes, I will own I merit the reproach;
And for those foolish days of wanton pride,
My soul is justly humbled to the dust:
All tongues, like yours, are licens'd to upbraid me,
Still to repeat my guilt, to urge my infamy,
And treat me like that abječt thing I have been.
“Yet let the saints be witness to this truth,
“That now, tho' late, I look with horror back,
“That I detest my wretched self, and curse
“My past polluted life. All-judging Heav'n,
“Who knows my crimes, has seen my sorrow for
Hast. No more of this dull stuff. 'Tis time enough
To whine and mortify thyself with penance,
“When the decaying sense is pall'd with pleasure,
“And weary nature tires in her last stage;
“Then weep and tell thy beads, when alt'ring rheums
“Have stain'd the lustre of thy starry eyes,
“And failing palsies shake thy wither'd hand.”
The present moment claims more gen'rous use;
Thy beauty, night and solitude, reproach me,
For having talk'd thus long—come let me press thee,
[Laying hold of her.
Pant on thy bosom, sink into thy arms,
And lose myself in the luxurious flood.
“J. Sh. Never! by those chaste lights above, I
“My soul shall never know pollution more;”
Forbear, my lord l—here let me rather die:
“Let quick destruction overtake me here,”
And end my sorrows and my shame for ever.
Hast. Away with this perverseness, ’tis too much.
Nay, if you strive—'tis monstrous affectation!
J. Sh. Retire | I beg you leave me—
Hast. Thus to coy it l—
With one who knows you too.—
j, Sh. For mercy’s sake—
Hast. Ungrateful woman I Is it thus you pay My services J. Sh. Abandon me to ruin Rather than urge me Hast. This way to your chamber; [Pulling her. There if you struggle— 7. Sh. Help, oh, gracious Heaven! Help! Save me I Help! [Exit.
Enter DUMon r, he interposes.
Dum. My lord 1 for honour's sake Hast. Hah! What art thou?—Begone I Dum. My duty calls me To my attendance on my mistress here. “ 7. Sh. For pity, let me go” Hast. Avaunt base groom— At distance wait, and know thy office better. Dum. “Forgo your hold, my lord l’’’tis most unmanly This violence— Hast. Avoid the room this moment, “Or I will tread thy soul out.” Dum. No, my lord The common ties of manhood call me now, And bid me thus stand up in the defence Of an oppress'd, unhappy, helpless woman. Hast. And dost thou know me, slave Dum. Yes, thou proud lord I know thee well; know thee with each advantage Which wealth, or power, or noble birth can give thee.
I know thee, too, for one who stains those honours,
And blots a long illustrious line of ancestry,
By poorly daring thus to wrong a woman.
Hast. 'Tis wond’rous well I see, my saint-like dame,
You stand provided of your braves and ruffians,
To man your cause, and bluster in your brothel.
Dum. Take back the foul reproach, unmanner'd
Nor urge my rage too far, 'est thou should'st find
I have as daring spirits in my blood
As thou or any of thy race e'er boasted;
And tho’ no gaudy titles grac'd my birth,
“Titles, the servile courtier's lean reward,
“Sometimes the pay of virtue, but more oft
“The hire which greatness gives to slaves and syco-
Yet Heav'n that made me honest, made me more
Than ever king did, when he made a lord.
Hast. Insolent villain! henceforth let this teach
thee [Draws and strikes him.
The distance 'twixt a peasant and a prince.
Dum. Nay, then, my lord, [drawing] learn you by
this, how well
An arm resolv’d can guard its master's life.
“ 7. Sh. Oh my distraćting fears 1 hold, for sweet
[They fight, Dumont disarms Lord Hastings.
Hast. Confusion 1 baffled by a base-born hind 1
Dam. Now, haughty sir, where is our difference now?
Your life is in my hand, and did not honour,
The gentleness of blood, and inborn virtue
(Howe'er unworthy I may seem to you)
Plead in my bosom, I should take the forfeit. -
But wear your sword again; and know, a lord
Oppos'd against a man, is but a man.
Hast. Curse on my failing arm Your better for-
Has given you vantage o'er me; but perhaps
Your triumph may be bought with dear repentance.
j, Sh. Alas! what have ye done Know ye the
The mightiness, that waits upon this lord
Dum. Fear not, my worthiest mistress; 'tis a cause
In which Heaven's guards shall wait you. O pursue,
Pursue the sacred counsels of your soul,
Which urge you on to virtue; let not danger,
Nor the incumb'ring world, make faint your purpose.
Assisting angels shall conduct your steps,
Bring you to bliss, and crown your days with peace.
j. Sh. Oh, that my head were laid, my sad eyes
And my cold corse wound in my shroud to rest
My painful heart will never cease to beat,
Will never know a moment's peace till then.
Dum. Would you be happy, leave this fatal place ;
Fly from the court's pernicious neighbourhood;