Page images



Edw. LET me have no intruders ; above all;
Keep Warwick from my sight-

War. Behold him here;
No welcome guest, it seems, unless I ask
My lord of Suffolk's leave there was a time
When Warwick wanted not his aid to gain
Admission here.

Edw. There was a time, perhaps,
When Warwick more desir'd, and more-deserv'd ito

War. Never; I've been a foolish faithful slave;
All my best years, the morning of my life,
Hath been devoted to your service : what
Are now the fruits ? Disgrace and infamy;
My spotless name, which never yet the breath
Of calumny had tainted, made mock
For foreign fools to carp at: but 'tis fit
Who trust in princes, should be thus rewarded.

Edw. I thought, my lord, I had full well repay'd
Your services with honours, wealth, and pow'r
Unlimited : thy all-directing hand
Guided in secret ev'ry latent wheel
Of government, and mov'd the whole machine:
Warwick was all in all, and pow'rless Edward
Stood like a Cypher in the great account.

War. Who gave that cypher worth, and seated thee
On England's throne ? Thy undistinguis:d name
Had rotted in the dust from whence it sprang,
And moulder'd in oblivion, bad not Warwick
Dug from its sordid mine the useless ore,
And stamp'd it with a diadem. Thou know'st
This wretched country, doom'd, perhaps, like Rome,
To fall by its own self-destroying hand,


[ocr errors]

Tost for so many years in the rough sea
Of civil discord, but for me had perish'd.
In that distressful hour I seiz'd the helm,
Bade the rough waves subside in peace, and steerd
Your shatter'd vessel safe into the harbour.

You may despise, perhaps, that useless aid
Which you no longer want; but know, proud youth,
He who forgets a friend, deserves a foe.

Edw. Know too, reproach for benefits receiv'd
Pays ev'ry debt, and cancels obligation,

War. Why, that i'ndeed is frugal honesty,
A thrifty saving knowledge : when the debt,
Grows burdensome, and cannot be discharg'd,
A sponge will wipe out all, and cost you nothing

Edw. When you have counted o'er the numerous train
Of mighty gifts your bounty lavish'd on me,
You may remember next the injuries
Which I have done you ; let me know them all,
And I will make you ample satisfaction.

War. Thou canst not: thou hast robb’d me of a jewel
It is not in my power to restore :
I was the first, shall future annals say,
That broke the sacred bond of public trust
And mutual confidence; ambassadors,
In after times, mere instruments, perhaps,
Of venal statesmen, shall recall my name
To witness, that they want not an example,
And plead my guilt, to sanctify their own.
Amidst the herd of mercenary slaves
That haunt your court, cou'd none be found but Warwick,
To be the shameless herald of a lic?

Edw. And wouldst thou turn the vile reproach on me?
If I have broke my faith, and stain'd the name
Of England, thank thy own pernicious counsels
That urg'd me to it, and extorted from me
A cold consent to what my heart abhorr’d.

Ilar. I have been abusd, insulted, and betray'd ;


My injur'd honour cries aloud for vengeance,
Her wounds will never close!

Edw. These gusts of passion,
Will but inflame thém ; if I have been right

Inform'd, my lord besides these dang'rous scars
Of bleeding honour, you have other wounds
As deep, tho' not so fatal ; such perhaps
As none but fair Elizabeth can cure.

War. Elizabeth !

Ediy. Nay, start not; I have cause
To wonder most : [ little thought indeed
When Warwick told me I might learn to love.
He was himself so able to instruct me:
But I've discover'd all--

War. And so have I;
Too well I know thy breach of friendship there,
Thy fruitless base endeavours to supplant me.

Edw. I scorn it, Sir, Elizabeth hath charms,
And I have equal right with you to admire them:
Nor see I ought so god-like in the form,
So all-commanding in the name of Warwick,
That he alone should revel in the charms
or beauty, and monopolize perfection.
I knew not of


War. By Heav'n 'tis false !
You knew it all, and meanly took occasion,
Whilst I was busy'd in the noble office
Your grace thought fit to honour me withal,
To tamper with a weak unguarded woman,
To bribe her passions high, and basely steal
A treasure which your kingdom could not purchase.

Edw. How know you that? But be it as it may,
I had a right, nor will I tamely yield
My claim to happiness, the privilege
To choose the partner of my throne and bed ;
It is a branch of my prerogative,

War. Prerogative! whar's that ? the boast of tyrants;


A borrow'd jewel, glitt'ring in the crown
With specious lustre, lent but to betray:
You have it, Sir, and hold it from the people.

Edw. And therefore do I prize it; I wou'd guard
Their liberties, and they shall strengthen mine;
But when proud faction, and her rebel crew,
Insult their sov'reign, trample on his laws,
And bid defiance to his pow'r, the people,
In justice to themselves, will then defend
His cause, and vindicate the rights they gave.

War. Go to your darling people, then; for soon, If I mistake not, 'twill be needful : try Their boasted zeal, and see if one of them Will dare to lift his arm up in your cause, If I forbid them.

Edw. Is it so, my lord ;
Then mark my words : I've been your slare too long,
And you have rulld me with a rod of iron;
But henceforth know, proud peer, I am thy master,
And will be so : the king, who delegates
His pow'r to others hands, but ill deserves
The crown he wears.

War. Look well then to your own ;
It sits but loosely on your head ; for know,
The man who injur'd Warwick, never pass'd
Unpunish'd yet.

Edw. Nor he who threaten'd Edward
You may repent it, Sir,-my guards there-seize
This traitor, and convey him to the Tow'r;
There let him learn obedience.





Orla. WHO'S there ?

Adam. What my young master? Oh my gentle master,
Oh, my sweet master, O you memory
Of old Sir Rowland ! Why, what makes you here, ?
Why are you virtuous ? Why do people love you ?
And wherefore are you gentle, strong, and valiant ?
Why would you be so fond to overcome
The bony priser of the humorous Duke ?
Your praise is come too swiftly home before you,
Know you not, master, to some kind of men

graces serve them but as enemies ?
No more do you'rs: your virtues, gentle master," :
Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.
Oh, what a world is this, when what is comely:
Envenoms him that bears it !

Orla. Why what's the matter?

Adam. O unhappy youth,
Come not within these doors; within this roof
The enemy of all your graces lives :
Your brother-(110 ; no brother; yet the son
Yet not the son ; I will not call him son
Of him I was about to call his father)
Hath heard your praises, and this night he means
To burn the lodging where you use to lie,
And you within it ; if he fails of that,
He will have other means to cut you off;
Loverheard him, and his practices,
This is no palace, this house is but a butchery;
Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.

Orla. Why; whether, Adam, woudst thou have me go ?
Adam. No matter whither, so you come not here.

« PreviousContinue »