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For surely death itself is not so painful
As is this sudden horror and surprise. [absolute.
Sir R. You heard the duke's commands to me were
Therefore, my lord, address you to your sbrift,
With all good speed you may. Summon your courage,
And be yourself; for you must die this instant.
Lord H. Yes, Ratcliffe, I will take thy friendly counsel,
And die as a man should; 'tis somewhat hard,
To call my scatter'd spirits home at once :
But since what must be, must be let necessity
Supply the place of time and preparation,
And arm me for the blow. Tis but to die,
'Tis but to venture on the common hazard,
Which many a time in battle I bave run;
'Tis but to close my eyes and shut out day-light,
To view no more the wicked ways of men,
No longer lo behold the tyrant Gloster,
And be a weeping witness of the woes,
The desolation, slaughter, and calamities,
Which he shall bring on this unhappy land
Alic. Stand off, and let me pass--I will, I must
Catch him once more in these despairing arms,
And hold him to my heart-
m0 Hastings! Hastings! Lord H. Alas! why com’st thou at this dreadful
To fill me with new terrors, new distractions ;
To turn me wild with thy distemper'd rage,
And shock the peace of my departing soul?
Away; I prythee, leave me!
Alic. Stop a minuten
Till my full griefs find passage-
O the tyrant!
Perdition fall on Gloster's head and mine.
Lord H. What means thy frantic grief?
Alic. I cannot speak-
But I have murder'd thee-Oh, I could tell thee!
Lord H. Speak, and give ease to thy conflictiog pas-
Be quick, nor keep me longer in suspense, [sion!
Time presses, aud a thousand crowding thoughts
Break in at once! this way and that they snatch;
They tear my hurry'd soul: All claim attention,
And yet not one is heard. Oh! speak, and leave me,
For i have business would employ an age,
Aud but a minute's time to get it done in.
Alic. That, that's my grief-'tis I that urge thee on,
Thus haunt thee to the toil, sweep thee from earth,
And drive thee down this precipice of fate.
Lord H. Thy reason is grown wild. Could thy weak
Bring on this mighty ruin? If it could, [hand
What have I done so grievous to thy soul,
So deadly, so beyond the reach of pardon,
That nothing but my life can make atonement?
Alic. Thy cruel scora hath stung me to the heart,
And set my burning bosom all in flames:
Raving and mad I flew to my revenge,
And writ I know not what told the protector,
That Shore's detested wife, by wiles, had won thee
To plot against bis greatness---He believ'd it,
(Oh, dire event of my pernicions counsel!),
And, while meant destruction on her head,
H' has turn'd it all on thine.
Lord H. O thou inhuman! Turn thy eyes away,
And blast me not with their desiructive beams :
Why should I curse thee with my dying breath?
Be gone! and let ine die in peace.
Alic. Canst thou-0 cruel Hastings, leave me thus?
Hear me, I bey theel conjure thee, hear me!
While with an agonizing heart, I swear,
By all the pangs I feel, by all the sorrows,
The terrors and despair thy-loss shall give me,
My hale was ou my rival bent alone.
ou! had I once divin'd, false as thou art,
A danger to thy life, I would have died,
I would have inet it for thee.
Lord H. Now mark! and Tremble at heaven's just
While thy insatiate wrath and fell revenge,
Pursu'd the innocence which never wrongd thee,
Behold, the miscbief falls on thee and me:
Remorse and heaviness of heart shall wait thee,
And everlasting anguish be thy portion:
For me, the shares of death are wound about me,
And now, in one poor moment, 1 am gone.
Oh! if thou hast one tender thought remaining,
Fly to thy closet, fall upon thy knees,
And recommend my parting soul to mercy.
Alic. Oh! yet, before I go for ever from thee,
Turn thee in gentleness and pity to me, [Kneeling.
And, in compassion of my strong affliction,
Say, is it possible you can forgive
The fatal rashness of ungovern'd love?
For, oh! 'tis certain, if I had not loy'd thee
Beyond my peace, my reason, fame, and life,
This day of horror never would have known us.
Lord H. Ob, rise, and let me hush thy stormy sorrows,
Assuage thy tears, for I will chide po inore,
No more upbraid thee, thou unhappy fair one.
I see the hand of heavku is arm'd against me;
And, in mysterious providence, decrees
To punish me by thy mistaken hand.
Most righteous doom! for, oh, while I behold thee,
Thy wrongs rise
in terrible array,
And charge thy ruin on me; thy fair fame,
Thy spotless beauly, innocence, and youth,
Dishonour'd, blasted, and betray'd by me.
Alic. And does thy heart relent for my undoing?
Oh, that inhuman Gloster could be mord,
But half so easily as I can pardon!
Lord H. Here, then, exchange we mutual forgiveness :
So may the guilt of all my broken vows,
My perjuries to thee, be all forgotten,
As bere 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, dispatch; the duke has sent to chide
For loitering in my duty
Lord H. I obey.
Alic. Insatiate, savage monster! Is a moinent
So tedious to thy walice? Ob, repay him,
Thou great avenger! Give him blood for blood :
Guilt haunt him! fiends pursue him! lightnings blast
That he may know how terrible it is
[him! To want that moment he denies thee now.
Lord H. 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 me
Thy agonies are added to my own,
And make the burden more than I can bear.
Farewell-Good angels visit thy afflictions,
And bring thee peace and comfort from above. [Exit.
Alic. Oh! slab me to the heart, some pitying hand,
Now strike me dead-
Re-enter LORD HASTINGS.
Lord H. One thing I had forgot
I charge thee, by our present common miseries ;
By our past loves, if they have yet a naine;
By all thy hopes of peace here and hereafter,
Let not the rancour of thy hate pursue
The innocence of thy unhappy friend;
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! Ob, for ever!
Oh, who can bear to be a wretch for ever!
My rival, too! His last thougıls 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 lier, 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, will cries distracted, till the air,
Tear her poor bosom, rend her frantic hair,
And prove the torments of the last despair. [Exit.
ARD COLLEGE LIBRARY WDENER VERARS
SCENE I. A Street.
Enter BELMOUR and DUMONT.
Dum. You saw her, then?
Bel. I met ber, as returning,
In solemn penance from the public cross.
Before her, certain rascal officers,
Slaves in authority, the kwaves 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 bumankind,
With insolence and lewd reproach pursu'd her,
Hooting and railing, and with villanous hands
Gath'ring the filth from out the common ways,
To hurl upon her head.
Dum. Inhuman dogs!
How did she bear it?