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Has. Here, then, exchange we mutual forgiveSo may the guilt of all my broken vows, My perjuries to thee, be all forgotten, As here my soul acquits thee of my death, As here I part without one angry thought, As here I leave thee with the softest tenderness, Mourning the chance of our disastrous loves, And begging heav'n to bless and to support thee. Sir R. My lord, despatch; the duke has sent to For loitering in my duty[chide me,

Has. I obey.

Alic. Insatiate, savage monster! Is a moment So tedious to thy malice? Oh, repay him, Thou great Avenger! Give him blood for blood: Guilt haunt him! fiends pursue him! lightnings That he may know how terrible it is [blast him!! To want that moment he denies thee now.

Has. This rage is all in vain, that tears thy bosom: Retire, I beg thee;


To see thee thus, thou know'st not how it wounds
Thy agonies are added to my own,
And make the burden more than 1 can bear.
Farewell:-good angels visit thy afflictions,
And bring thee peace and comfort from above.

Alic. Oh! stab me to the heart, some pitying Now strike me dead.

[Exit. [hand,

Has. One thing I had forgot;-

I charge thee, by our present common miseries;
By our past loves, if they have yet a name;
By all thy hopes of peace here and hereafter,
Let not the rancour of thy hate pursue
The innocence of thy unhappy friend; [wrong her,
Thou know'st who 'tis I mean: Oh! shouldst thou
Just heav'n shall double all thy woes upon thee,
And make 'em know no end;-remember this,
As the last warning of a dying man.`
Farewell, for ever! (The Guards carry Hastings off.)
Alic. For ever! Oh, for ever!

Oh, who can bear to be a wretch for ever?
My rival, too! His last thoughts hung on her,
And, as he parted, left a blessing for her?
Shall she be blest, and I be curst, for ever?
No; since her fatal beauty was the cause
Of all my suff'rings, let her share my pains;
Let her, like me, of ev'ry joy forlorn,
Devote the hour when such a wretch was born;
Cast ev'ry good, and ev'ry hope behind:
Detest the works of nature, loathe mankind:
Like me, with cries distracted, fill the air,
Tear her poor bosom, rend her frantic hair,
And prove the torment of the last despair.


SCENE I-A Street.



Dum. You saw her, then?

Bel. I met her, as returning,

In solemn penance from the public cross.
Before her, certain rascal officers,
Slaves in authority, the knaves of justice,
Proclaim'd the tyrant Gloster's cruel orders.
Around her, numberless, the rabble flow'd,
Should'ring each other, crowding for a view,
Gaping and gazing, taunting and reviling;
Some pitying,-but those, alas! how few!
The most, such iron hearts we are, and such
The base barbarity of human kind,
With insolence and lewd reproach pursu'd her,
Hooting and railing, and with villainous hands
Gath'ring the filth from out the common ways,
To hurl upon her head.

Dum. Inhuman dogs! How did she bear it ?.

Bel. With the gentlest patience; Submissive, sad, and lowly was her look; A burning taper in her hand she bore, And on her shoulders, carelessly confus'd, With loose neglect, her lovely tresses hung; Upon her cheek a faintish blush was spread; Feeble she seem'd, and sorely smit with pain; While barefoot as she trod the flinty pavement, Her footsteps all along were mark'd with blood. Yet, silent still she pass'd, and unrepining; Her streaming eyes bent ever on the earth, Except when in some bitter pang of sorrow, To heav'n she seem'd in fervent zeal to raise, And beg that mercy man deny'd her here. Dum. When was this piteous sight? Bel. These last two days,

You know my care was wholly bent on you,
To find the happy means of your deliverance;
Which, but for Hastings' death, I had not gain'd.
During that time, although I have not seen her,
Yet divers trusty messengers I've sent,
To wait about, and watch a fit convenience
To give her some relief, but all in vain;
A churlish guard attends upon her steps,
Who menace those with death, that bring her com-
And drive all succour from her.
Dum. Let 'em threaten;


Let proud oppression prove its fiercest malice
So heav'n befriend my soul, as here I vow
To give her help, and share one fortune with her.
Bel. Mean you to see her thus, in your own form?
Dum. I do.

Bel. And have you thought upon the consequence? Dum. What is there I should fear?

Bel. Have you examin'd

Into your inmost heart, and try'd at leisure
The sev'ral secret springs that move the passions?
Has mercy fix'd her empire there so sure,
That wrath and vengeance never may return?
Can you resume a husband's name, and bid
That wakeful dragon, fierce resentment, sleep?

Dum. O thou hast set my busy brain at work,
And now she musters up a train of images,
Which, to preserve my peace, I had cast aside,
And sunk in deep oblivion.-Oh, that form!
That angel face on which my dotage hung!
How I have gaz'd upon her, till my soul
With very eagerness went forth towards her,
And issu'd at my eyes.-Was there a gem
Which the sun ripens in the Indian mine,
Or the rich bosom of the ocean yields? [buy,
What was there art could make, or wealth could
Which I have left unsought to deck her beauty?
What could her king do more?-And yet she fled.
Bel. Away with that sad fancy.

Dum. Oh, that day!

The thought of it must live for ever with me.
I met her, Belmour, when the royal spoiler
Bore her in triumph from my widow'd home!
Within his chariot, by his side she sat,
And listen'd to his talk with downward looks,
'Till sudden as she chane'd aside to glahge,
Her eyes encounter'd mine:-Oh! then, my friend!
Oh! who can paint my grief, and her amazeinent?
As at the stroke of death, twice turn'd she pale;
And twice a burning crimson blush'd all o'er her;
Then, with a shriek heart-wounding, loud she cry'd,
While down her cheeks two gushing torrents ran,
Fast falling on her hands, which thus she wrung:-
Mov'd at her grief, the tyrant ravisher,

With courteous action woo'd her oft to turn;
Earnest he seem'd to plead, but all in vain;
Ev'n to the last she bent her sight towards me,
And follow'd me,-till I had lost myself.

Bel. Alas, for pity! Oh, those speaking tears!
Could they be false? Did she not suffer with you?
For though the king by force possess'd her person,
Her unconsenting heart dwelt still with you.
If all her former woes were not enough,
Look on her now; behold her where she wanders,
Hunted to death, distress'd on every side,
With no one hand to help; and tell me then,
If ever misery were known like hers?


Dum. And can she bear it? Can that delicate
Endure the beating of a storm so rude?
Can she, for whom the various seasons chang'd
To court her appetite and crown her board,
For whom the foreign vintages were press'd,
For whom the merchant spread his silken stores,
Can she-

Entreat for bread, and want the needful raiment
To wrap her shiv'ring bosom from the weather?
When she was mine, no care came ever nigh her;
I thought the gentlest breeze that wakes the spring,
Too rough to breathe upon her; cheerfulness
Danc'd all the day before her, and at night
Soft slumbers waited on her downy pillow:-
Now, sad and shelterless, perhaps she lies,
Where piercing winds blow sharp, and the chill
Drops from some pent-house on her wretched head,
Drenches her locks, and kills her with the cold.
It is too much:-hence with her past offences,
They are aton'd at full.-Why stay we, then?
Oh! let us haste, my friend, and find her out.


Bel. Somewhere about this quarter of the town,
I hear the poor abandon'd creature lingers:
Her guard, though set with strictest watch to keep
All food and friendship from her, yet permit her
To wander in the streets, there choose her bed,
And rest her head on what cold stone she pleases.
Dum. Here then let us divide; each in his round
To search her sorrows out; whose hap it is
First to behold her, this way let him lead
Her fainting steps, and meet we here together.

SCENE II-A Street. Enter JANE SHORE, her hair hanging loose on her shoulders, and bare-footed.

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'Tis I, her friend, the partner of her heart,
Wait at the door and beg-
Serv. 'Tis all in vain :-

Go hence, and howl to those that will regard you.
(Shuts the door.)
Jane S. It was not always thus: the time has
When this unfriendly door, that bars my passage,
Flew wide, and almost leap'd from off its hinges,
To give me entrance here: when this good house
Has pour'd forth all its dwellers to receive me;
When my approaches made a little holiday,
And every face was dress'd in smiles to meet me;
But now 'tis otherwise; and those who bless'd me,
Now curse me to my face. Why should I wander,
Stray further on, for I can die ev'n here?

(She sits down.)
Enter ALICIA, in disorder.
Alic. What wretch art thou, whose misery and

Hangs on my door: whose hateful whine of woe
Breaks in upon my sorrows, and distracts
My jarring senses with thy beggar's cry?

Jane S. A very beggar, and a wretch, indeed;
One driv'n by strong calamity to seek
For succours here: one perishing for want,
Whose hunger has not tasted food these three
And humbly asks, for charity's dear sake, [days;
A draught of water and a little bread.


Alic. And dost thou come to me, to me for bread?
I know thee not.-Go; hunt for it abroad,
Where wanton hands upon the earth have scatter'd
Or cast it on the waters.-Mark the eagle,
And hungry vulture, where they wind the prey;
Watch where the ravens of the valley feed,
And seek thy food with them:-I know thee not.
Jane S. (Rises.) And yet, there was a time, when
my Alicia

Jane S. Yet, yet endure, nor murmur, O my soul!
For are not thy transgressions great and number-
Do they not cover thee like rising floods, [less?
And press thee like a weight of waters down?
Wait then with patience, till the circling hours
Shall bring the time of thy appointed rest,
And lay thee down in death.

Jane S. To thy hand

And hark! methinks the roar that late pursu'd me, I trusted all; gave my whole store to thee:
Sinks like the murmurs of a falling wind,
Nor do I ask it back; allow me but
And softens into silence. Does revenge
And malice then grow weary, and forsake me?
My guard, too, that observ'd me still so close,
Tire in the task of their inhuman office,
And loiter far behind. Alas! I faint,

Jane S. Tell my Alicia, 'tis I would see her.
Serr. She is ill at ease, and will admit no visitor.
Jane S. But tell her

Has thought unhappy Shore her dearest blessing,
And mourn'd the live-long day she pass'd without
Inclining fondly to me she has sworn,
She lov'd me more than all the world besides.
Alic. Ha! say'st thou?-Let me look upon thee

'Tis true;-I know thee now;-a mischief on thee!
Thou art that fatal fair, that cursed she, [me;
That set my brain a madd'ning. Thou hast robb'd
Thou hast undone me.-Murder! O, my Hastings!
See his pale bloody head shoots glaring by me!
Avaunt! and come not near me.-

The smallest pittance, give me but to eat,
Lest I fall down and perish here before thee.
Alic. Nay, tell not me! Where is thy king, thy
And all the cringing train of courtiers,
That bent the knee before thee?


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And now 'tis out, and I am drown'd in blood.
Ha! what art thou! thou horrid headless trunk?
It is my Hastings! see, he wafts me on!
Away! I go! Ifly! I follow thee. (Rushes off.)
Jane S. Alas! she raves! her brain I fear is turn'd.
In mercy look upon her, gracious heav'n,
Nor visit her for any wrong to me!
Sure I am near upon my journey's end:
My head runs round, my eyes begin to fail,
And dancing shadows swim before my sight.
I can no more; (lies down,) receive me, thou cold

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Cast thy black veil upon my shame, O night!
And shield me with thy sable wing for ever.

Jane S. Oh! thou most injur'd-dost thou live, inFall then, ye mountains, on my guilty head: [deed? Hide me, ye rocks, within your secret caverns;

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(Breaks from the Guards.) Stand off the agonies of death are on her! She pulls, she gripes me hard with her cold hand. [prise. Jane S. Was this blow wanting to complete my sur-Oh! let me go, ye ministers of terror, He shall offend no more, for I will die, And yield obedience to your cruel master Tarry a little, but a little longer, And take my last breath with you.


Shore. Oh, my love!

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(Following him as he is carried off-she falls.) Shore. Inhuman villains!

Why dost thou fix thy dying eyes upon me,
With such an earnest, such a piteous look,
As if thy heart were full of some sad meaning
Thou couldst not speak?-

Jane S. Forgive me!-but forgive me!
Shore. Be witness for me, ye celestial host,
Such mercy and such pardon as my soul
Accords to thee, and begs of heav'n to show thee,
May such befall me at my latest hour,
And make my portion blest or curst for ever.

Jane S. Then all is well, and I shall sleep in

'Tis very dark, and I have lost you now :-
Was there not something I would have bequeath'd
But I have nothing left me to bestow,
Nothing but one sad sigh. Oh! mercy, heav'n:


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ACT I.-SCENE I--A Library.

Nanny. Why, so the housekeeper thinks, too.
Enter BETTY and SAM.

Betty. Nay, I know the father, the man that Betty. The postman is at the gate, Sam ; pray step ruined her. and take in the letters.

(Betty. Nanny. The deuse you do! Sam. John the gardener is gone for them, Mrs. Betty. As sure as you are alive, Nanny; or I

Betty. Bid John bring them to me, Sam: tell him am greatly deceived; and yet, I can't be deceived I am here in the library.

neither. Was not that the cook that came gallopSam. I'll send him to your ladyship in a crack. ing so hard over the common just now?

[Exit. Nanny. The same: how very hard he galloped! Enter NANNY.

he has been but three quarters of an hour, he says, Nanny. Miss Constantia desires to speak to you, coming from Hyde-park Corner. Mrs. Betty.

Betty. And what time will the family be down? Betty. How is she now?-any better, Nanny? Nanny. He has orders to have dinner ready by

Nanny. Something; but very low-spirited still. five; there are to be lawyers, and a great deal of I verily believe it is as you say.

company here: he fancies there is to be a private Betty. O! I would take my book oath of it. I wedding to-night, between our young, Master cannot be deceived in that point, Nanny.--Ay, ay, Charles, and Lord Lumbercourt's daughter, the her business is done: she is certainly breeding, Scotch lady; who, he says, is just come post from depend upon it.

Bath, in order to be married to him.

Betty. Ay, Ay, Lady Rodolpha. Nay, like enough, for I know it has been talked of a good while: well, go tell Miss Constantia that I will be with her immediately.

Nanny. I shall, Mrs. Betty. [Exit. Betty. So!-I find they all believe the impertinent creature is breeding-that's pure! it will soon reach my lady's ears, I warrant. Enter JOHN. Well, John, ever a letter for me? John. No, Mrs. Betty; but here is one for Miss Constantia.

Betty. Give it me.-Hum! my lady's hand. John. And here is one, which the postman says is for my young master; but it's a strange direction. (Reads) To Charles Egerton, Esq.

me-loves to hear me talk, too; and I verily be-
lieve-he, he, he! that he has a sneaking kindness
for me; and this story will make him have a good
opinion of my honesty, and that, I am sure, will be
one step towards-O! bless me, here he comes, and
my young master with him. I'll watch an op-
portunity to speak to him as soon as he is alone;
for I will blow her up, I am resolved, as great a
favourite, and as cunning as she is.
Sid. Nay, dear Charles, but why are you so im-
petuous? Why do you break from me abruptly?
Eger. (With great warmth.) I have done, sir:
you have refused. I have nothing more to say
upon the subject. I am satisfied.


Betty. O! yes, yes; this is for Master Charles,
John; for he has dropped his father's name of
Macsycophant, and has taken up that of Egerton
the parliament has ordered it.

John. The parliament!-pr'ythee, why so, Mrs.

Betly. Why, you must know, John, that my lady, his mother, was an Egerton, by her father; she stole a match with our old master, for which all her family, on both sides, have hated Sir Pertinax, and the whole crew of the Macsycophants, ever since; and so, John, my lady's uncle, Sir Stanley Egerton, dying an old bachelor, and, as I said before, mortally hating our old master, and all the crew of the Mascycophants, left his whole estate to Master Charles, who was his god-son; but on condition that he should drop his father's name of Mascycophant, and take up that of Egerton; and that is the reason, John, why the parliament has made him change his name.

Sid. (With a glow of tender friendship.) Come, come, correct this warmth; it is the only weak ingredient in your nature, and you ought to watch it carefully. Because I will not abet an unwarrantable passion by an abuse of my sacred character, in marrying you beneath your rank, and in direct opposition to your father's hopes and happiness, you blame me, you angrily break from me, and call me unkind.

John. I am glad that Master Charles has got the estate, however; for he is a sweet-tempered gentle



Eger. (With tenderness and conviction.) Sidney, for my warmth I stand condemned; but, for my marriage with Constantia, I think I can justify it upon every principle of filial duty, honour, and worldly prudence.

Sid. Only make that appear, Charles, and you know you may command me.

Eger. (With great filial regret I am sensible how unseemly it appears in a son to descant on the unamiable passions of a parent; but, as we are alone, and friends, I cannot help observing in my own defence, that when a father will not allow the use of reason to any of his family; when his pursuit of greatness makes him a slave abroad, only to be a tyrant at home; when a narrow partiality to Scotland, on every trivial occasion, provokes him to enmity even with his wife and children, only because they give a national preference where they think it most justly due; and when, merely to gratify his own ambition, he' would marry his son into a family he detests; (great warmth) sure, Betty. In the housekeeper's-noom, settling the Sidney, a son thus circumstanced, (from the dignity dessert. Give me Mr. Egerton's letter, and I'll of human reason, and the feelings of a loving heart) leave it on the table in his dressing-room: I see it has a right, not only to protest against the blindis from his brother Sandy-So; now go and de-ness of a parent, but to pursue those measures that liver your letter to your sweetheart, John. virtue and happiness point out.

Betty. As ever lived. But come, John; as I know you love Miss Constantia, and are fond of being where she is, I will make you happy; you shall carry this letter to her.

John. Shall I, Mrs. Betty? I am very much obliged to you. Where is she?

Sid. The violent temper of Sir Pertinax, I own, cannot be defended on many occasions; but stillyour intended alliance with Lord Lumbercourt

John. That I will; and I am much beholden to you for the favour of letting me carry it to her; for though she should never have me, yet I shall always love her, and wish to be near her, she is so sweet a creature. Your servant, Mrs, Betty. [Erit. Betty. Your servant, John. Ha, ha, ha! poor fellow, he perfectly doats on her; and daily follows her about with nosegays and fruit, and the first of every thing in the season.-Ay, and my young master, Charles, too, is in as bad a way as the gardener:-in short, everybody loves her, and that's one reason why I hate her. For my part, I wonder what the deuse the meu see in her-a creature that was taken in for charity; I'm sure she's not so handsome. I wish she was out of the family once; if she was, I might then stand a chance of being my lady's favourite myself; ay, and perhaps of getting one of my young masters for a sweetheart, or at least the chaplain; but as to him there would be no such great catch if I should get him. I will try for him, however; and my first step shall be to tell the doctor all I have discovered about Constantia's intrigues with her spark at Hadley.Yes, that will do; for the doctor loves to talk with

Eger. (With great impatience.) O contemp tible!-a trifling, quaint, haughty, voluptuous, ser vile tool! the mere lacquey of party and corruption; who, for the prostitution of nearly thirty years, and the ruin of a noble fortune, has had the despicable satisfaction, and the infamous honour, of being kicked up and kicked down, kicked in and kicked out, just as the insolence, compassion, or convenience of leaders predominated: and now, being forsaken by all parties, his whole political consequence amounts to the power of franking a letter, and the right honourable privilege of not paying a tradesman's bill.

Sid. Well, but dear Charles, you are not to wed my lord, but his daughter.

Eger. Who is as disagreeable to me for a companion, as her father for a friend or an ally.

Sid. What, her Scotch accent, I suppose, offends you.

Eger. No, upon my honour, not in the least; I think it entertaining in her: but, were it other

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