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If any sound from me disturb thy quiet.
What is my peace or happiness to thine?
No; though our noble parents had decreed,
And urged high reasons, which import the state,
This night to give thee to my faithful arms,
My fairest bride, my only earthly bliss-
L. J. Gray. How! Guilford! on this night?
Guil. This happy night;
Yet, if thou art resolved to cross my fate,
If this, my utmost, wish, shall give thee pain,
Now rather let the stroke of death fall on me,
And stretch me out a lifeless corpse before thee!
Let me be swept away, with things forgotten,
Be huddled up in some obscure blind grave,
Ere thou shouldst say my love has made thee
Or drop one single tear for Guilford's sake.
L. J. Gray. Alas! I have too much of death
And want not thine to furnish out new horror.
Oh! dreadful thought, if thou wert dead indeed!
What hope were left me then? Yes, I will own,
Spite of the blush that burns my maiden cheek,
My heart has fondly leaned towards thee long:
Thy sweetness, virtue, and unblemished youth,
Have won a place for thee within my bosom:
And if my eyes look coldly on thee now,
And shun thy love on this disastrous day,
It is because I would not deal so hardly,
To give thee sighs for all thy faithful vows,
And pay thy tenderness with nought but tears.
As yet, 'tis all I have.
Let me but call thee mine, confirm that hope,
To charm the doubts which vex my anxious soul;
For all the rest, do thou allot it for me,
And, at thy pleasure, portion out my blessings.
My eyes shall learn to smile or weep from thine,
Nor will I think of joy while thou art sad.
Nay, couldst thou be so cruel to command it,
I will forego a bridegroom's sacred right,
And sleep far from thee, on the unwholesome
Where damps arise, and whistling winds blow loud;
Then, when the day returns, come drooping to thee,
My locks still drizzling with the dews of night, And cheer my heart with thee, as with the morning.
L. J. Gray. Say, wilt thou consecrate this night to sorrow,
And give up every sense to solemn sadness?
Wilt thou, in watching, waste the tedious hours,
Sit silently, and careful, by my side,
List to the tolling clocks, the cricket's cry,
And every melancholy midnight noise?
Say, wilt thou banish pleasure and delight?
Wilt thou forget that ever we have loved,
And only now and then let fall a tear,
To mourn for Edward's loss, and England's fate?
Guil. Unwearied still, I will attend thy woes,
And be a very faithful partner to thee.
Near thee I will complain in sighs, as number-
As murmurs breathing in the leafy grove:
My eyes shall mix their falling drops with thine,
Constant, as never-ceasing waters roll,
That purl and gurgle o'er their sands for ever.
The sun shall see my grief through all his course;
And, when night comes, sad Philomel, who 'plains
From starry vesper to the rosy dawn,
Shall cease to tune her lamentable song,
Ere I give o'er to weep and mourn with thee.
L. J. Gray. Here, then, I take thee to my
heart for ever, [Giving her hand.
The dear companion of my future days:
Whatever Providence allots for each,
Be that the common portion of us both:
Share all the griefs of thy unhappy Jane;
But if good Heaven has any joys in store,
Let them be all thy own.
Guil. Thou wondrous goodness!
Heaven gives too much at once in giving thee;
And, by the common course of things below,
Where each delight is tempered with affliction,
Some evil, terrible and unforeseen,
Must sure ensue, and poise the scale against
This vast profusion of exceeding pleasure.
But be it so! let it be death and ruin!
On any terms I take thee.
L. J. Gray. Trust our fate
To him, whose gracious wisdom guides our ways,
And makes what we think evil turn to good.
Permit me now to leave thee and retire;
I'll summon all my reason and my duty,
To soothe this storm within, and frame my heart
To yield obedience to my noble parents..
Guil. Good angels minister their comforts to
And, oh! if, as my fond belief would hope,
If any word of mine be gracious to thee,
I beg thee, I conjure thee, drive away
Those murderous thoughts of grief, that kill thy
Restore thy gentle bosom's native peace,
Lift up the light of gladness in thy eyes,
And cheer thy heaviness with one dear smile!
L.J. Gray. Yes, Guilford, I will study to forget
All that the royal Edward has been to me;
How we have loved, even from our very cradles
My private loss no longer will I mourn,
But every tender thought to thee shall turn:
With patience I'll submit to Heaven's decree,
And what I lost in Edward find in thee.
But, oh! when I revolve what ruins wait
Our sinking altars and the falling state;
When I consider what my native land
Expected from her pious sovereign's hand;
How formed he was to save her from distress,
A king to govern, and a saint to bless :
New sorrow to my labouring breast succeeds,
And my whole heart for wretched England
[Exit Lady Jane Gray.
Guil. My heart sinks in me, at her soft com-
And every moving accent, that she breathes,
Resolves my courage, slackens my tough nerves,
And melts me down to infancy and tears.
My fancy palls, and takes distaste at pleasure:
My soul grows out of tune, it loathes the world,
Sickens at all the noise and folly of it;
And I could sit me down in some dull shade,
Where lonely Contemplation keeps her cave,
And dwells with hoary hermits; there forget my-
There fix my stupid eyes upon the earth,
And muse away an age in deepest melancholy.
To reach a hand, and save thee from adversity.
Guil. And wilt thou be a friend to me indeed?
And, while I lay my bosom bare before thee,
Wilt thou deal tenderly, and let thy hand
Pass gently over every painful part?
Wilt thou with patience hear, and judge with
And if, perchance, thou meet with something
Somewhat to rouse thy rage, and grate thy soul,
Wilt thou be master of thyself and bear it?
Pem. Away with all this needless preparation!
Thou knowest thou art so dear, so sacred to me,
That I can never think thee an offender.
If it were so, that I indeed must judge thee,
I should take part with thee against myself,
Pem. Edward is dead; so said the great Nor And call thy fault a virtue.
[Speaking to him.
Pem. Wherefore dost thou start?
Why sits that wild disorder on thy visage,
Somewhat, that looks like passions strange to
The paleness of surprize and ghastly fear?
Since I have known thee first, and called thee
I never saw thee so unlike thyself,
So changed upon a sudden.
Guil. How! so changed!
Pem. So to my eye thou seemest.
Guil. The king is dead.
Pem. I learned it from thy father,
Just as I entered here. But say, could that,
A fate which every moment we expected,
Distract thy thought, or shock thy temper, thus?
Guil. Oh, Pembroke! 'tis in vain to hide from
For thou hast looked into my artless bosom,
And seen at once the hurry of my soul.
'Tis true, thy coming struck me with surprize.
I have a thought-but wherefore said I one?
I have a thousand thoughts all up in arms,
Like populous towns disturbed at dead of night,
That, mixed in darkness, bustle to and fro,
As if their business were to make confusion.
Pem. Then sure our better angels called me
For this is friendship's hour, and friendship's of-
To come, when counsel and when help is want-
To share the pain of every gnawing care,
To speak of comfort in the time of trouble,
The thought were somewhat that concerned our
Pem. No more; thou knowest we spoke of
And on what terms we left it. 'Tis a subject,
Of which, if possible, I would not think;
I beg that we may mention it no more.
Guil, Can we not speak of it with temper?
Thou knowest I cannot. Therefore, prithee
Guil. Oh! could the secret I would tell thee
And the world never know it, my fond tongue
Should cease from speaking, ere I would unfold
Lest I forget that ever we were friends!
Lest, in the rage of disappointed love,
I rush at once and tear thee for thy falsehood!
Guil. Thou warnest me well; and I were rash,
as thou art,
To trust the secret sum of all my happiness
With one not master of himself.
Pem. Ha! art thou going? Think not thus to
Nor leave me on the rack of this uncertainty.
Guil. What wouldst thou further?
Pem. Tell it to me all;
Unsheath thy weapon. If the sword be drawn,
If once we meet on terms like those, farewell
To every thought of friendship; one must fall.
Pem. Curse on thy friendship! I would break
Guil. That as you please-Beside, this place
And will not be profaned with brawls and out
You know I dare be found on any summons.,
Pem. 'Tis well. My vengeance shall not loiter
Henceforward let the thoughts of our past lives
Be turned to deadly and remorseless hate!
Here I give up the empty name of friend,
Renounce all gentleness, all commerce with thee;
To death defy thee as my mortal foe;
And, when we meet again, may swift destruction
Say thou art married, say thou hast possessed Rid me of thee, or rid me of myself!
And rioted in vast excess of bliss,
That I may curse myself, and thee, and her!
Come, tell me how thou didst supplant thy friend!
How didst thou look with that betraying face,
And, smiling, plot my
Guil. Give me way.
When thou art better tempered, I may tell thee,
And vindicate at full my love and friendship.
Pem. And dost thou hope to shun me then,
No, I will have it now, this moment from thee,
Or drag the secret out from thy false heart.
Guil. Away, thou madınan! I would talk to
And reason with the rude tempestuous surge,
Sooner than hold discourse with rage like thine.
Pem. Tell it, or, by my injured love, I swear,
[Laying his hand upon his sword.
I'll stab the lurking treason in thy heart.
Guil. Ha! stay thee there; nor let thy frantic
Guil. The fate, I ever feared, is fallen upon me;
And long ago my boding heart divined
A breach like this from his ungoverned rage.
Oh, Pembroke! thou hast done me much injus-
For I have borne thee true unfeigned affection;
'Tis past, and thou art lost to me for ever.
Love is, or ought to be, our greatest bliss;
Since every other joy, how dear soever,
Gives way to that, and we leave all for love.
At the imperious tyrant's lordly call,
In spite of reason or restraint we come,
Leave kindred, parents, and our native home.
The trembling maid, with all her fears, he
And pulls her from her weeping mother's arms:
He laughs at all her leagues, and, in proud scorn,
Commands the bands of friendship to be torn;
Disdains a partner should partake his throne,
But reigns unbounded, lawless, and alone.
Enter PEMBROKE and GARDINER.
Gar. NAY, by the rood, my lord, you were to
To let a hair-brained passion be your guide,
And hurry you into such mad extremes.
Marry, you might have made much worthy pro-
By patient hearing; the unthinking lord
Had brought forth every secret of his soul;
Then when you were the master of his bosom,
That was the time to use him with contempt,
And turn his friendship back upon his hands.
Pem. Thou talkest as if a madman could be
Oh, Winchester! thy hoary frozen age
Can never guess my pain; can never know
The burning transports of untamed desire.
I tell thee, reverend lord, to that one bliss,
To the enjoyment of that lovely maid,
As to their centre, I had drawn each hope,
And every wish my furious soul could form;
Still with regard to that my brain forethought,
And fashioned every action of my life.
Then, to be robbed at once, and, unsuspecting,
Be dashed in all the height of expectation!
It was not to be borne.
Gar. Have you not heard of what has happen-
Pem. I have not had a minute's peace of mind, A moment's pause, to rest from rage, or think,
Gar. Learn it from me then: But ere I speak,
I warn you to be master of yourself.
Though, as you know, they have confined me
Gramercy to their goodness, prisoner here;
Yet as I am allowed to walk at large
Within the Tower, and hold free speech with any,
I have not dreamt away my thoughtless hours,
Without good heed to these our righteous rulers.
To prove this true, this morn a trusty spy
Has brought me word, that yester evening late,
In spite of all the grief for Edward's death,
Your friends were married.
Pem. Married! who?-Damnation!
Bid me lie boud upon a rack, and wait
For distant joys, whole ages yet behind?
Can love attend on politicians' schemes,
Expect the slow events of cautious counsels,
Cold unresolving heads, and creeping time?
Gar. To-day, or I am ill informed, Northum-
With easy Suffolk, Guilford, and the rest,
Meet here in council, on some deep design,
Some traiterous contrivance, to protect
Their upstart faith from near approaching ruin.
But there are punishments-halters and axes
Gar. Lord Guilford Dudley, and the lady For traitors, and consuming flames for heretics : Jane.
More than the female world can give me back.
I had beheld even her whole sex, unmoved,
Looked o'er them like a bed of gaudy flowers,
That lift their painted heads, and live a day,
Then shed their trifling glories unregarded:
My heart disdained their beauties, till she came,
With every grace that Nature's hand could give,
And with a mind so great, it spoke its essence
Immortal and divine.
Gar. She was a wonder;
Detraction must allow that.
Pem. The virtues came,
Sorted in gentle fellowship, to crown her,
As if they meant to mend each other's work.
Candour with goodness, fortitude with sweetness,
Strict piety, and love of truth, with learning,
More than the schools of Athens ever knew,
Or her own Plato taught. A wonder, Winches-
Thou know'st not what she was, nor can I speak
More than to say, she was that only blessing
My soul was set upon-and I have lost her.
Gar. Your state is not so bad as you would
Nor need you thus abandon every hope.
Pem. Ha! wilt thou save me, snatch me from
And bid me live again?
Gar. She may be yours. Suppose her husband die.
Pem. O vain, vain hope!
Gar. Marry, I do not hold that hope so vain.
These gospellers have had their golden days,
And lorded it at will; with proud despite
Have trodden down our holy Roman faith,
The happy bridegroom may be yet cut short,
Even in his highest hope-But go not you,
Howe'er the fawning sire, old Dudley, court you;
No, by the holy rood, I charge you, mix not
With their pernicious counsels.-Mischief waits
Sure, certain, unavoidable destruction.
Pem. Ha! join with them! the cursed Dudley's race!
Who, while they held me in their arms, betrayed
Ha! by the mass, the bride and bridegroom too! Retire with me, my lord; we must not meet them.
Pem. 'Tis they themselves, the cursed happy
Haste, Winchester, haste! let us fly for ever,
And drive her from my very thoughts, if possible.
Oh! love, what have I lost! Oh! reverend lord!
Ransacked our shrines, and driven her saints to Pity this fond, this foolish weakness in me!
But if my divination fail me not,
Their haughty hearts shall be abased ere long,
And feel the vengeance of our Mary's reign.
Methinks, I go like our first wretched father,
When from his blissful garden he was driven:
Like me he went despairing, and like me,
Thus at the gate stopt short for one last view !
Then with the cheerless partner of his woe,
He turned him to the world that lay below:
There, for his Eden's happy plains, beheld
A barren, wild, uncomfortable field;
He saw 'twas vain his ruin to deplore,
He tried to give the sad remembrance o'er;
The sad remembrance still returned again,
And his lost paradise renewed his pain.
[Exeunt Pembroke and Gardiner.
Enter Lord GUILFORD and Lady JANE. Guil. What shall I say to thee! What power divine
Will teach my tongue to tell thee what I feel?
To pour the transports of my bosom forth,
And make thee partner of the joy dwells there?
For thou art comfortless, full of affliction,
Heavy of heart as the forsaken widow,
And desolate as orphans. Oh! my fair one!
Thy Edward shines amongst the brightest stars,
And yet thy sorrows seek him in the grave.
L.J. Gray. Alas, my dearest lord! a thousand
Beset my anxious heart: and yet, as if
The burthen were too little, I have added
The weight of all thy cares; and, like the miser,
Increase of wealth has made me but more wretch-
The morning light seems not to rise as usual,
It dawns not to me, like my virgin days,
But brings new thoughts and other fears upon
I tremble, and my anxious heart is pained,
Lest aught but good should happen to my Guil-
Guil. Nothing but good can happen to thy
While thou art by his side, his better angel,
His blessing and his guard.
L. J. Gray. Why came we hither?
Why was I drawn to this unlucky place,
This Tower, so often stained with royal blood?
Here the fourth Edward's helpless sons were mur-
And pious Henry fell by ruthless Gloster:
Is this the place allotted for rejoicing?
The bower adorned to keep our nuptial feast in?
Methinks Suspicion and Distrust dwell here,
Staring, with meagre forms, through grated win-
Death lurks within, and unrelenting Punishment:
Without, grim Danger, Fear, and fiercest Power,
Sit on the rude old towers, and Gothic battle-
While Horror overlooks the dreadful wall,
And frowns on all around.
The lords of the council have this morn decreed
To meet, and, with united care, support
The feeble tottering state. To thee, my princess,
Whose royal veins are rich in Henry's blood,
With one consent the noblest heads are bowed:
From thee they ask a sanction to their counsels,
And from thy healing hand expect a cure,
For England's loss in Edward."
L. J. Gray. How! from me!
Alas! my lord-But surethou meanst to mock me?
Guil. No; by the love my faithful heart is full of!
But see, thy mother, gracious Suffolk, comes
To intercept my story: she shall tell thee;
For in her look I read the labouring thought,
What vast event thy fate is now disclosing.
Enter the Duchess of SUFFOLK.
Duch. Suff. No more complain; indulge thy
Thy pious grief has given the grave its due:
Let thy heart kindle with the highest hopes;
Expand thy bosom; let thy soul, enlarged,
Make room to entertain the coming glory!
For majesty and purple greatness court thee;
Homage, and low subjection, wait; a crown,
That makes the princes of the earth like gods;
A crown, my daughter, England's crown attends,
To bind thy brows with its imperial wreath.
L. J. Gray. Amazement chills my veins !-
What says my mother?
Duch. Suff. 'Tis Heaven's decree; for our ex-
When now, just struggling to his native skies,
Even on the verge of heaven, in sight of angels,
That hovered round, to waft him to the stars,
Even then declared my Jane for his successor.
L. J. Gray. Could Edward do this? could the
Bequeath his crown to me? Oh, fatal bounty!
To me! But 'tis impossible! We dream.
A thousand and a thousand bars oppose me,
Rise in my way, and intercept my passage.
Even you, my gracious mother, what must you be,
Ere I can be a queen?
Duch. Suff. That, and that only,
Thy mother; fonder of that tender name,
Than all the proud additions power can give.
Yes, I will give up all my share of greatness,
And live in low obscurity for ever,
To see thee raised, thou darling of my heart,
And fixed upon a throne. But see; thy father,
Northumberland, with all the council, come
To pay their vowed allegiance at thy feet,
To kneel, and call thee queen.
L. J. Gray. Support me, Guilford;
Give me thy aid; stay thou my fainting soul,
And help me to repress this growing danger.
Enter SUFFOLK, NORTHUMBERLAND, Lords and
others of the Privy Council.
North Hail, sacred princess! sprung from an-
Our England's dearest hope, undoubted offspring
Of York and Lancaster's united line;
By whose bright zeal, by whose victorious faith,