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The greatest bliss my mind yet e'er enjoy'd,
To grant particular mercy to your person;
South. O my unguarded soul! Sure never was
Ess. Then I am loose to steer my wand'ring voyage; Like a bad vessel that has long been crost,
And bound by adverse winds, at last gets liberty,
To reach its wish'd for port-Angels protect
Again, Southampton, let me hold thee fast,
South. O be less kind, my friend, or move less pity,
Lest it should cost a tear, nor e'er offend her.
South. O stay my Lord, let me have one word more ;
One last farewel, before the greedy axe
Shall part my friend, my only friend from me,
And Essex from himself I know not what
Ess. Why that's well said-Farewell to thee
-if there's a throne in heaven
For the most brave of men and best of friends,
I will bespeak it for Southampton.
South. And I,while I have life, will hoard thy memory: When I am dead, we then shall meet again.
Ess. Till then, Farewell.
EARL OF ESSEX.
JAFFIER AND PIERRE,
Jaff. BY Heav'n, you stir not,
I must be heard, I must have leave to speak :
Yet look upon me with an eye of mercy;
Listen with mildness to my supplications.
Pier. What whining monk art thou? what holy cheat,
That would'st incroach upon my credulous ears,
And cant'st thus vilely? hence! I know thee not.
Pier. No, know thee not; what art thou?
Jaff. Jaffier, thy friend, thy once lov'd, valu'd friend! Tho' now deserv'dly scorn'd and us'd most hardly.
Pier. Thou Jaffier! thou my once lov'd, valu'd friend! By heav'ns thou ly'st; the man.so call'd, my friend, Was generous, honest, faithful, just, and valiant, Noble in mind, and in his person lovely,
Dear to my eyes, and tender to my heart:
But thou a wretched, base, false, worthless coward,
Look back and see my sad, sincere submission!
That once lov'd valu'd friend of mine,
And swear thou hast not wrong'd me? Whence these chains ?
Whence the vile death, which I may meet this moment? Whence this dishcnour, but from thee, thou false one? Jaff. All's true; yet grant one thing; and I've done asking.
Pier. What's that?
Jaff. To take thy life on such conditions
The council have propos'd; thou and thy friend
Pier. Life ask my life! confess! record myself
And carry up and down this cursed city
To lose it, may be at last, in a lew'd quarrel
For some new friend, treacherous and false as thou art? No, this vile world and I have long been jangling,
And cannot part on better terms than now,
When only men like thee are fit to live in't.
Jaff. By all that's just
Pier. Swear by some other powers,
For thou hast broken that sacred cath too lately.
However thy resentment deal with me.
Pier. Not leave me!
Jaff. No; thou shalt not force me from thee;
Pier. A traitor?
Fier. A villain?
Pier. A coward, a most scandalous coward, Spiritless, void of honour, one who has sold
Thy everlasting fame for shameless life?
Jaff. All, all, and more, much more: my faults are numberless.
Pier. And would'st thou have me live on terms like
Base as thou'rt false
Jaff. No; 'tis to me that's granted : The safety of thy life was all I aim'd at, in recompense for faith and trust so broken.
Pier. I scorn it more, because preserv'd by thee:
Were unregarded oaths, and this, this dagger,
Swearing by all those powers which thou hast violated,
Take itFarewell, for now I owe thee nothing.
Pier. For my life dispose of it
Just as thou wilt, because 'tis what I'm tir'd with.
Pier. No more.
Jaff. My eyes won't lose the sight of thee,
But languish after thine, and ache with gazing.
Pier. Leave me-Nay, then thus, thus I throw thee
And curses great as is thy falsehood, catch thee.