« НазадПродовжити »
If, strongly charm'd, she leave the thorny way,
ACT THE SECOND.
An Apartment in JANE SHore's House.
Enter Alicia, speaking to JANE SHORE as entering. Alicia. No farther, gentle friend; good angels
discontented looks they sit,
[Knocking without. What noise is that?
What visitor is this, who with bold freedom,
Enter a SERVANT.
meet him With his own arts ; with falsehood-But he comes. Enter LORD HASTINGS; speaks to a SERVANT as
entering. Hast. Dismiss my train, and wait alone without. Alicia here! Unfortunate encounter ! But be it as it may.
Alicia. When humbly, thus, The great descend to visit the afflicted, When thus, unmindful of their rest, they come, To sooth the sorrows of the midnight mourner, Comfort comes with them; like the golden sun Dispels the sullen shades with her sweet influence, And cheers the melancholy house of care.
Hast. 'Tis true, I would not over-rate a courtesy,
Alicia. My friend, my lord !
Alicia. I want the words,
Hast. "Tis well, madam.
Hast. Are you wise?
you the use of reason? Do you wake? What means this raving, this transporting passion? Alicia. Oh, thou cool traitor! thou insulting ty
rant! Dost thou behold my poor distracted heart, Thus rent with agonizing love and rage, And ask me what it means ? Art thou not false? Am I not scorn'd, forsaken, and abandon'd, Left, like a common wretch, to shame and infamy, Giv’n up to be the sport of villains' tongues, Of laughing parasites, and lewd buffoons ; And all because my soul has doted on thee With love, with truth, and tenderness unutterable !
Hast. Are these the proofs of tenderness and love ? These endless quarrels, discontents, and jealousies, These never-ceasing wailings and complainings, These furious starts, these whirlwinds of the soul, Which every other moment rise to madness ?
Alicia. What proof, alas! have I not giv'n of love? What ha I not abandon’d to thy arms ? Have I not set at nought my noble birth, A spotless fame, and an unblemished race, The peace of innocence, and pride of virtue? My prodigality has giv’n thee all; And, now I've nothing left me to bestow, You hate the wretched bankrupt you have made.
Hast. Why am I thus pursu'd from place to place, Kept in the view, and cross’d at ev'ry turn? In vain I fly, and, like a hunted deer,
Scud o'er the lawns, and hasten to the covert;
Alicia. Hither you fly, and here you seek repose;
Alicia. Dost thou in scorn,
Have driven him forth to seek some safer shelter,
Hast. Whate'er my fate decrees for me hereafter, Be present to me now, my better angel ! Preserve me from the storm that threatens now, And if I have beyond atonement sinn'd, Let any
other kind of plague o’ertake me, So I escape the fury of that tongue. Alicia. Thy pray’r is heard—I go—but know,
proud lord, Howe'er thou scorn'st the weakness of my sex, This feeble hand may find the means to reach thee, Howe'er sublime in pow'r and greatness plac'd, With royal favour guarded round and grac'd; On eagle's wings my rage shall urge her flight, And hurl thee headlong from thy topmost height; Then, like thy fate, superior will I sit, And view thee fall'n, and grov'ling at my feet; See thy last breath with indignation go, And tread thee sinking to the shades below. [Exit. Hast. How fierce a fiend is passion! With what
wildness, What tyranny, untam'd it reigns in woman! Unhappy sex! whose easy yielding temper Gives way to ev'ry appetite alike; And love in their weak bosoms is a rage As terrible as hate, and as destructive. But soft ye now—for here comes one, disclaims Strife and her wrangling train; of equal elements, Without one jarring atom was she form’d, And gentleness and joy make up her being.