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Alic. Sure, something more than fortune join'd

your loves :

Nor could his greatness, and his gracious form,
Be elsewhere match'd so well, as to the sweetness
And beauty of my friend.

7. Sh. Name him no more :
He was the bane and ruin of my peace.
This anguish and these tears, these are the legacies
His fatal love has left me.

Thou wilt see me,
Believe me, my Alicia, thou wilt see me,
E’er yet a few short days pass o'er my head,
Abandon’d to the very utmost wretchedness.
The hand of pow'r has seiz'd almost the whole
Of what was left for needy life's support;
Shortly thou wilt behold me poor, and kneeling
Before thy charitable door for bread.

Alic. Joy of my life, my dearest Shore, forbear
To wound my heart with thy foreboding sorrows;
Raise thy sad soul to better hopes than these,
Lift up thy eyes, and let them shine once more,
Bright as the morning sun above the mist.
Exert thy charms, seek out the stern Protector,
And soothe his savage temper with thy beauty:
Spite of his deadly, unrelenting nature,
He shall be mov'd to pity, and redress thee

7. Sh. My form, alas! has long forgot to please ; The scene of beauty and delight is chang'd ; No roses bloom upon my fading cheek, Nor laughing graces wanton in my eyes ; But haggard grief, lean-looking sallow care,

And pining discontent, a rueful train,
Dwell on my brow, all hideous and forlorn.
One only shadow of a hope is left me ;
The noble-minded Hastings, of his goodness,
Has kindly underta'en to be my advocate,
And move my humble suit to angry Gloster,

Alic. Does Hastings undertake to plead your cause?
But wherefore should he not? Hastings has eyes ;
The gentle lord has a right tender heart,
Melting and easy, yielding to impression,
And catching the soft flame from each new beauty ;
But yours

shall charm him long. 7. Sh. Away, you Aatterer! Nor charge his gen'rous meaning with a weakness, Which his great soul and virtue must disdain. Too much of love thy hapless friend has provid, Too many giddy foolish hours are gone, And in fantastic



away : May the remaining few know only friendship. So thou, my dearest, truest, best Alicia, Vouchsafe to lodge me in thy gentle heart, A partner there; I will give up mankind, Forget the transports of increasing passion, And all the pangs we feel for its decay. Alic. Live! live and reign for ever in my bosom ;

[Embracing Safe and unrivall’d there possess thy own; And

you, the brightest of the stars above, Ye saints that once were women here below, Be witness of the truth, the holy friendship,

Which here to this my other self I vow.
If I not hold her nearer to my soul,
Than every other joy the world can give;
Let poverty, deformity, and shame,
Distraction and despair seize me on earth,
Let not my faithless ghost have peace hereafter,
Nor taste the bliss of your celestial fellowship.

7. Sh. Yes, thou art true, and only thou art true; Therefore these jewels, once the lavish bounty Of royal Edward's love, I trust to thee;

[Giving a casket. Receive this, all that I can call my own, And let it rest unknown), and safe with thee: That if the state's injustice should oppress me, Strip me of all, and turn me out a wanderer, My wretchedness may find relief from thee, And shelter from the storm.

Alic. My all is thine ; One common hazard shall attend us both, And both be fortunate, or both be wretched. But let thy fearful doubting heart be still; The saints and angels have thee in their charge, And all things shall be well. Think not, the good, The gentle deeds of mercy thou hast done, Shall die forgotten all; “ the poor, the pris'ner, “ The fatherless, the friendless, and the widow, “ Who daily own the bounty of thy hand, “ Shall cry to Heav'n and pull a blessing on thee;" Ev'n man, the merciless insulter man, Man, who rejoices in our sex's weakness,

Shall pity thee, and with unwonted goodness
Forget thy failings, and record thy praise.

7. Sh. Why should I think that man will do for me,
What yet he never did for wretches like me?
Mark by what partial justice we are judg'd :
Such is the fate unhappy women find,
And such the curse entail'd upon our kind,
That man, the lawless libertine, may rove,
Free and unquestion's through the wilds of love;
While woman, sense and nature's easy fool,
If poor weak woman swerve from virtue's rule,
If, strongly charm’d, she leave the thorny way,
And in the softer paths of pleasure stray,
Ruin ensues, reproach and endless shame,
And one false step entirely damns her fame :
la vain with tears the loss she may deplore,
In vain look back on what she was before ;
She sets, like stars that fall, to rise no more, [Exeunt.


Continues. Enter Alicia, speaking to JANE SHORE as


Alicia. No farther, gentle friend; good angels guard you, And spread their gracious wings about your slumbers. The drowsy night grows on the world, and now The busy craftsmen and o'er-labour'd hind

Forget the travail of the day in sleep :
Care only wakes, and moping pensiveness;
With meagre discontented looks they sit,
And watch the wasting of the midnight taper.
Such vigils must I keep, so wakes my soul,
Restless and self-tormented! Oh, false Hastings !
Thou hast destroy'd my peace.

[Knocking without
What noise is that?
What visitor is this, who with bold freedom,
Breaks in upon the peaceful night and rest,
With such a rude approach ?

Enter a Servant. Ser. One from the court, Lord Hastings (as I think) demands my lady. Alic. Hastings! Be still, my heart, and try to meet

him With his own arts: with falshood_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.

Alic. 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 chears the melancholy house of care.

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