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Our liege, our sovereign lady, and our queen.
Lady J.G. Oh, rise, My father, rise!
[TO SUFF. And you, my father, too!
[TO NORTH Rise, all, nor cover me with this confusion. [They rise. What means this mock, this masquing show of great
Lady J. G. Are crowns and empire,
North. Forgive me, princely lady, if my wonder Seizes each sense, each faculty of mind, To see the utmost wish the great can form, A crown, thus coldly met: A crown, which slighted, And left in scorn by you, shall soon be sought, And find a joyful wearer; one, perhaps, Of blood unkindred to your royal house, And fix its glories in another line. Lady J. G. Where art thou now, thou partner of my cares?
[Turning to GUILFORD. Come to my aid, and help to bear this burden : Oh! save me from this sorrow, this misfortune, Which in the shape of gorgeous greatness comes To crown, and make a wretch of me for ever.
Guil. Thou weep'st, my queen, and hang'st thy
North. Oh! stay this inauspicious stream of tears,
shun it. Turn those sacred eyes On the bright prospect empire spreads before you. Methinks I see you seated on the throne ; Beneath your feet, the kingdom's great degrees In bright confusion shine, mitres and coronets, The various ermine, and the glowing purple; Assembled senates wait with awful dread, To 'firm your high commands, and make them fate. Lady J. G. You turn to view the painted side of
royalty, And cover all the cares that lurk beneath. Is it, to be a queen, to sit aloft, In solemn, dull, uncomfortable state, The flatter'd idol of a servile court ? Is it to draw a pompous train along, A pageant, for the wond'ring crowd to gaze at? Is it, in wantonness of power to reign, And make the world subservient to my pleasure. Is it not rather, to be greatly wretched, To watch, to toil, to take a sacred charge, To bend each day before high Heav'n, and own, This people hast thou trusted to my hand, And at my hand, I know, thou shalt require them? Alas, Northumberland !—My father !—Is it not To live a life of care, and when I die, Have more to answer for before my Judge,
Than any of my subjects?
Duke S. Ev'ry state, Allotted to the race of man below, Is, in proportion, doom'd to taste some sorrow, Nor is the golden wreath on a king's brow Exempt from care; and yet, who would not bear it? Think on the monarchs of our royal race, They liv'd not for themselves : how many blessings, How many lifted hands shall pay thy toil, If for thy people's good thou happ'ly borrow Some portions from the hours of rest, and wake To give the world repose !
Suff. Behold, we stand upon the brink of ruin, And only thou canst save us. Persecution, That fiend of Rome and hell, prepares her tortures ; See where she comes in Mary's priestly train ! Still wilt thou doubt; till thou behold her stalk, Red with the blood of martyrs, and wide wasting O'er England's bosom? All the mourning year Our towns shall glow with unextinguish'd fires ; Our youth on racks shall stretch their crackling
bones; Our babes shall sprawl on consecrated spears; Matrons and husbands, with their new-born infants, Shall burn promiscuous; a continu'd peal Of lamentations, groans, and shrieks, shall sound, Through all our purple ways.
Guil. Amidst that ruin, Think thou behold'st thy Guilford's head laid low, Bloody and pale
Lady J. G. Oh! spare the dreadful image! Guil. Oh! would the misery be bounded there, My life were little; but the rage of Rome Demands whole hecatombs, a land of victims. With superstition comes that other fiend, That bane of peace, of arts and virtue, tyranny; That foe of justice, scorner of all law; That beast, which thinks mankind were bora for one,
And made by Heav'n to be a monster's prey;
Lady J.G. Avert that judgment, Heav'n!
Guil. Oh, my queen!
freedom, Be manacled in base unworthy bonds : Be tamely yielded up, the spoil, the slaves Of hair-brain'd zeal, and cruel coward priests ! Lady J. G. Yes, my lov'd lord, my soul is mor'd
like thine, At ev'ry danger which invades our England; My cold heart kindles at the great occasion, And could be more than man in her defence. But where is my commission to redress ? Or whence my pow'r to save? Can Edward's will, Or twenty met in council, make a queen? Can you, my lords, give me the power to canvas A doubtful title with king Henry's daughters ? Where are the rev’rend sages of the law, To guide me with their wisdoms, and point out The paths which right and justice bid me tread?
North. The judges all attend, and will at leisure Resolve you ev'ry scruple.
Lady J. G. They expound;
But where are those, my lord, that make the law?
North. Nor shall that long
Guil. Our foes, already High in their hopes, devote us all to death : The dronish monks, the scorn and shame of manhood, Rouse and prepare once more to take possession, To nestle in their ancient hives again : Again they furbish up their holy trumpery, Relicks and wooden wonder-working saints Whole loads of lumber and religious rubbish, In high procession mean to bring them back, And place the puppets in their shrines again: While those of keener malice, savage Bonner, And deep-designing Gard'ner, dream of vengeance ; Deyour the blood of innocents, in hope; Like vultures, snoff the slaughter in the wind, And speed their flight to havoc and the prey. Haste then, and save us, while 'tis given to save Your country, your religion. North. Save