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Forgive me, fair one, if officious friendship
Intrudes on your repose, and comes thus late,
To greet you with the tidings of success.
The princely Gloster has vouchsaf’d your hearing,
To-morrow he expects you at the court;
There plead your cause, with never-failing beauty,
Speak all your griefs, and find a full redress.
J. Shore. Thus humbly let your lowly servant
bend ;

Thus let me bow my grateful knee to earth,
And bless


noble nature for this goodness.
Hast. Rise, gentle dame; you wrong my meaning

Think me not guilty of a thought so vain,
To sell my courtesy for thanks like these.
J. Shore. 'Tis true, your bounty is beyond my

But tho' my mouth be dumb, my heart shall thank

And when it melts before the throne of mercy,
Mourning and bleeding for my past offences,
My fervent soul shall breathe one pray’r for you,
If pray’rs of such a wretch are heard on high,
That Heav'n will pay you back, when most you need,
The grace and goodness you have shown to me.

Hast. If there be ought of merit in my service,
Impute it there, where most 'tis due, to love:
Be kind, my gentle mistress, to my wishes,
And satisfy my panting heart with beauty.

J. Shore. Alas! my lord

Hast. Why bend thy eyes to earth?
Wherefore these looks of heaviness and sorrow?
Why breathes that sigh, my love ? And wherefore falls
This trickling show'r of tears, to stain thy sweetness ?

J. Shore. If pity dwells within your noble breast, (As sure it does) oh, speak not to me thus.

Till my

Hast. Can I behold thee, and not speak of love? Ev’n now, thus sadly as thou stand'st before me, Thus desolate, dejected, and forlorn, Thy softness steals upon my yielding senses,

soul faints, and sickens with desire ; How can’st thou give this motion to my heart, And bid my tongue be still?

J. Shore. Cast round your eyes Upon the high-born beauties of the court; Behold, like opening roses, where they bloom, Sweet to the sense, unsully'd all, and spotless; There chuse some worthy partner of your heart, To fill your arms, and bless your virtuous bed; Nor turn your eyes this way, where sin and misery, Like loathsome weeds, have over-run the soil, And the destroyer, Shame, has laid all waste. Hast. What means this peevish, this fantastic

Where is thy wonted pleasantness of face,
Thy wonted graces, and thy dimpled smiles ?
Where hast thou lost thy wit, and sportive mirth?
That cheerful heart, which us’d to dance for ever,
And cast a day of gladness all around thee?

J. Shore. Yes, I will own I merit the reproach ;
And for those foolish days of wanton pride,
My soul is justly humbled to the dust;

like yours, are licens’d to upbraid me, Sull to repeat my guilt, to urge my infamy, And treat me like that abject thing I have been.

Hast. No more of this dull stuff. 'Tis time enough To wbine and mortify thyself with penance ; The present moments claim more gen'rous use; Thy beauty, night, and solitude, reproach me, For having talk'd thus long-come, let me press thee,

[Laying hold on her Pant on thy bosom, sink into thy arms, And lose myself in the luxurious flood. ,

J, Shore. Never! by those chaste lights above I

swear, My soul shall never know pollution more; Forbear, my lord !-here let me rather die:

[Kneeling. Let quick destruction overtake me here, And end my sorrows and my

shame for ever. Hast. Away with this perverseness, —'tis too much. Nay, if you strive—'tis monstrous affectation!

Striving. J. Shore. Retire! I beg you leave me

Hast. Thus to coy it!
With one who knows you too.-

J. Shore. For mercy's sake

Hast. Ungrateful woman! Is it thus you pay My services?

J. Shore. Abandon me to ruinRather than urge me

Hast. This way to your chamber; [Pulling her. There if you struggle

J. Shore. Help, oh, gracious Heaven! Help! Save me! Help!


Dum. My lord ! for honour's sake-
Hast. Hah! What art thou ?-Be gone!

Dum. My duty calls me

my attendance on my mistress here.
Hast. Avaunt! base groom-
At distance wait, and know thy office better.

Dum. No, my lord-
The common ties of manhood call me now,
And bid me thus stand up in the defence
Of an oppress’d, unhappy, helpless woman.

Hast. And dost thou know me, slave?
Dum. Yes, thou proud lord !

I know thee well; know thee with each advantage,
Which wealth, or power, or noble birth, can give thee.
I know thee, too, for one who stains those honours,
And blots a long illustrious line of ancestry,
By poorly daring thus to wrong a woman.
Hast. "Tis wond'rous well! I see, my saint-like

You stand provided of your braves and ruffians,
To man your cause, and bluster in your brothel.
Dum. Take back the foul reproach, unmanner'd

railer! Nor urge my rage too far, lest thou should find I have as daring spirits in my

blood As thou, or any of thy race e'er boasted ; And tho' no gaudy titles grac'd my birth, Yet Heav'n, that made me honest, made me more Than ever king did, when he made a lord. Hast. Insolent villain! henceforth let this teach thee

[Draws, and strikes him. The distance 'twixt a peasant and a prince. Dum, Nay, then, my lord, [Drawing.] learn you

by this, how well An arm resolv'd can guard its master's life. J. Shore. O my distracting fears !-hold, for sweet

[They fight; Dumont disarms Lord HASTINGS.
Hast. Confusion ! baffled by a base-born hind!
Dum. Now, haughty sir, where is our difference

Your life is in my hand, and did not honour,
The gentleness of blood, and inborn virtue,
(Howe'er unworthy I may seem to you)
Plead in my bosom, I should take the forfeit.
But wear your sword again; and know, a lord,
Oppos'd against a man, is but a man.
Hast. Curse on my failing hand! Your better for-

tune Has given you 'vantage o'er me; but perhaps


Your triumph may be bought with dear repentance.

[Exit HASTINGS. J. Shore. Alas! what have you done? Know ye

the pow'r, The mightiness, that waits upon this lord ?

Dum. Fear not, my worthiest mistress ; 'tis a cause In which Heaven's guards shall wait you. O, pursue, Pursue the sacred counsels of your soul, Which urge you on to virtue ; let not danger, Nor the encumb’ring world, make faint your purpose. Assisting angels shall conduct your steps, Bring you to bliss, and crown your days with peace. J. Shore. O, that my head were laid, my sad

eyes clos'd, And my cold corse wound in my shroud to rest ! My painful heart will never cease to beat, Will never know a moment's peace till then.

Dum. Would you be happy, leave this fatal place; Fly from the court's pernicious neighbourhood; Where innocence is sham'd, and blushing modesty Is made the scorner's jest. J. Shore. Where should I fly, thus helpless and

forlorn, Of friends, and all the means of life bereft? Dum. Belmour, whose friendly care still wakes to

serve you,
Has found you out a little peaceful refuge,
Far from the court and the tumultuous city.
Within an ancient forest's ample verge,
There stands a lonely, but a healthful, dwelling,
Built for convenience and the use of life:
Around it fallows, meads, and pastures fair,
A little garden, and a limpid brook,
By nature's own contrivance seem'd dispos’d.
Your virtue there may find a safe retreat
From the insulting pow'rs of wicked greatness.

J. Shore. Can there be so much happiness in store! A cell like that is all my hopes aspire to.

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