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Marg. That, which alone,
In sorrow's bitt'rest hour, can minister
Sweet comfort to the daughters of affliction,
And bid misfortune smile-the hope of vengeance :
Vengeance, benignant patron of distress,
Thee I have oft invok’d, propitious now
Thou smil'st upon me; if I do not grasp
The glorious opportunity, henceforth
Indignant frown, and leave me to my fate !

Lady C. Unhappy princess! that deceiver, hope,
Hath often flatter'd, and as oft betray'd thee:
What hast thou gain'd by all its promises ?
What's the reward of all thy toils ?

Marg. Edward and Warwick, those detested names, Too well thou know'st, united to destroy me.

Lady C. That was, indeed, a fatal league.

Marg. But mark me;If we could break this adamantine chain, We might again be free: this mighty warrior, This dread of kings, th' unconquerable Warwick, Is plighted to the fair Elizabeth. Lady C. The Lady Gray, you mean, the beauteous

Whose husband fell in arms for Lancaster.

Marg. The same.--Warwick long has lov'd-
Lady C. And means to wed her.

Marg. But if I have art,
Or she ambition, that shall never be.

Lady C. Canst thou prevent it?

Marg. Yes, my Clifford,
I shall provide her with a fitter husband,
A nobler far, and worthier of her charms
Young Edward.

Lady C. Ha ! the king! impossible!
Warwick, ev'n now, commission'd by the state,
To treat with Lewis, offers England's throne
To France's daughter, and ere this, perhaps,
Hath sign’d the solemn contract.

Marg. Solemn trifles !
Mere cobweb ties—Love's a despotic tyrant!
Edward is youthful, gay, and amorous ;
His soul is ever open to the lure
Of beauty, and Elizabeth has charms
Might shake a hermit's virtue.

Lady C. Hath he seen
This peerless fair one?

Marg. Yes—by my contrivance,
When last he hunted in the forest, some,
Whom I had planted there, as if by chance
Alone directed, led him cross the lawn
To Grafton; there--even as my soul had wishid,
Elizabeth surpris'd
His unsuspecting heart

Lady C. What follow'd ?

Marg. 01-
He gaz'd, and wonder'd ; for a while, his pride
Indignant rose, and struggled with his passion;
But love was soon victorious; and, last night,
The Earl of Suffolk, so my trusty spies
Inform me, was despatch’d, on wings of love,
To plead his master's cause, and offer her
The throne of England.

Ludy C. What, if she refuse
The golden bribe ?

Marg. No matter; all I wish Is but to make them foes.- Warwick Is fiery, and impatient of reproof; He will not brook a rival in his love, Though seated on the throne ; besides, thou know'st The haughty earl looks down with scorn on Edward, As the mere work of his all-powerful hand, The baby inonarch of his own creation.

Lady C. Believe me, madam, Edward still reveres And loves him, still, as conscious of the debt, Pays him with trust and confidence ; their souls

Are link'd together in the strictest bonds
Of sacred friendship.

Marg. That but serves my cause :
Where ties are close, and interests united,
The slightest injuries are severely felt;
Offended friendship never can forgive.

Lały C. Now the full prospect opens to my view : I see thy distant aim, and trace the paths Of vengeance : England will soon be a scene Of blood and horror; discord's fatal torch Once lit up, in this devoted land, What pow'r shall e’er extinguish it? Alas! I tremble at the consequence.

Marg. And I
Enjoy it: 0 ! 'will be a noble contest
Of pride 'gainst pride, oppression 'gainst oppression;
Rise but the storm, and let the waves beat high,
The wreck may be our own :--
And see, the king approaches;

he passes from the council-Mark
His downcast eye; he is a stricken deer;
He cannut 'scape;
We'll meet and speak to him.

Lady C. What mean you, madam?

Marg. To ask him what, I know, he will refuse; That gives me fair pretext to break with him, And join the man I hate, vindictive Warwick; But soft-he comes

Enter KING EDWARD and an OFFICER. King E. Is Suffolk yet return'd?

[To the Officer. Offi. No, my good liege. King E. Go, wait and bring him to me, [Exit.

closet. Pardon me, fair lady, I saw you not.

Marg. Perhaps it is beneath

This way

I'll to my

A conqu'ror to look down upon his slave;
But I've a boon to ask.

King E. Whate’er it is,
Within the limits of fair courtesy,
Which honour can bestow, I'll not refuse thee.

Marg. There was a time, when Margaret of Anjou Would not have deign'd to ask of Edward aught; Nor was there aught that Edward dar'd refuse her; But that is past-great Warwick's arm prevaild, And I am now your pris’ner.

King E. Since the hour
When fortune smild propitious on the cause
Of justice, and gave vict'ry to our arms,
You have been treated with all due respect,
Or your condition, or your sex could claim;
Sery'd like a queen, and lodgʻd within our palace,
Is there aught more you can with reason ask,
Or I, in prudence, grant you?

Marg. Give me back
The liberty 1 lost-restore my son,
And I may then, perhaps, be reconcil'd
To an usurper; may withhold my vengeance,
And let thee sit, unpunish’d, on-my throne.

King E. You talk too proudly, madam; but to


show you

I cannot fear, you have your liberty.
Letters this morning I receiv'd from France,
Have offer'd noble ransom for your person ;
Without that ransom (for the soul of Edward
Is far above the sordid lust of gold)
I grant it-from this moment you are free;
But for your son—I cannot part with bim.
Marg: I scorn your bounties-scorn your prof-

fer'd freedom !
What's liberty to me without my

child ? But fate will place us soon above thy reach; Thy short-liv'd tyranny is almost past;

The storm is gath'ring on thee, and will burst
With tenfold vengeance on thy guilty head.

King E. I am not to be talk'd into submission,
Nor dread the menace of a clam'rous woman.
Marg. Thou may'st have cause to dread a woman's

pow'r. The time may come- -mark my prophetic word When wayward beauty shall repay, with scorn, Thy fruitless vows, and vindicate my wrongs: The friend thou lean'st on, like a broken reed, Shall pierce thy side, and fill thy soul with angaish, Keen as the pangs I feel: York's perjur'd house Shall sink to rise no more; and Lancaster, With added lustre, reassume the throne. Hear this, and tremble--give me back my sonOr dread the vengeance of a desp'rate mother. [Exit.

King E. Imperious woman! but the voice of woe
Is ever clam'rous: 'tis the privilege,
The charter of affliction, to complain.-
This tardy Suffolk! how I long to know,
Yet dread to hear, my fate! Elizabeth,
On thee the colour of my future life
Depends ! for thou alone canst make me blessid,
Or curs’d, for ever!-MO! this cruel doubt
Is worse than all my tortures ;-but he comes,
Th' anbassador of love!

What news, my Suffolk ?
Shall I be happy ?-O! I'm on the rack
Of expectation :-Didst thou tell my tale
As if it were thy own-and may I hope--

Suf. My royal liege-

King E. Good Suffolk, lay aside The forms of dull respect; be brief, and tell me Speak, hast thou seen her :-Will she be niy queen ? Quick! tell me ev'ry circumstance-each word,

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