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heart guesses

Hast. 'Tis true, I would not over-rate a courtesy,
Nor let the coldness of delay hang on it,
To nip and blast its favour, like a frost;
But rather chose, at this late hour, to come,
That your fair friend may know I have prevailid;
The lord protector has receiv'd her suit,
And means to shew her grace.

Alic. My friend ! my lord.
Hast. Yes, lady, yours: none has a right more

To task my pow'r than you.

Alic. I want the 'words,
To pay you back a compliment so courtly ;

at the friendly meaning, And wo' not die


debtor. Hast. 'Tis well, madam. But I would see your friend.

Alic. Oh, thou false lord !
I would be mistress of my heaving heart,
Stife this rising rage, and learn from thee
To dress my face in easy

dull indiff'rence :
But 'two' not be; my wrongs will tear their way,
And rush at once upon thee.

Hast. Are you wise ? Have you the use of reason? Do you wake? What means this raving, this transporting passion ?

Alic. Oh, thou cool traitor! thou insulting tyrant. Dost thou behold my poor distracted heart, Thus rent with agonizing love and rage, And ask me what it means? Art thou not false

Am I not scorn'd, forsaken, and abandon'd,
Left, like a common wréteh; to shame and infamy,
Giv’n up to be the sport of villains' tongues,
Of laughing parasites, and lewd buffoons ;
And all because my soul has doated on thee
With love, with truth, and tenderness unutterable?

Hast. Are these the proofs of tenderness and love ? These endless quarrels, discontents, and jealousies, These never-ceasing wailings and complainings, These furious starts, these whirlwinds of the soul, Which every other moment rise to madness?

Alic. What proof, alas ! have I not giv'n of love?
What have I not abandon'd to thy arms
Have I not set at nought my noble birth,
A spotless fame, and an unblemish'd race,

peace of innocence, and pride of virtue?
My prodigality has giv'n thee all ;
And now, I've nothing left me to bestow,
You hate the wretched bankrupt you have made.

Hast. Why am I thus pursu'd from place to place,
Kept in the view, and cross'd at every turn?
In vain I fly, and, like a hunted deer,
Scud o'er the lawns, and hasten to the covert;
E’er I can reach my safety, you o'ertake me
With the swift malice of some keen reproach,
And drive the winged shaft deep in my

Alic. Hither you Ay, and here you
Spite of the poor deceit, your arts are known,
Your pious, charitable midnight visits.

Hast. If you are wise, and prize your peace of mind,

seek repose;

Yet take the friendly counsel of my love;
Believe me true, nor listen to your jealousy.
Let not that devil, which undoes your sex,
That cursed curiosity seduce you,
To hunt for needless secrets, which, neglected,
Shall never hurt your quiet; but once known,
Shall sit upon your heart, pinch it with pain,
And banish the sweet sleep for ever from you.
Go to-be yet advis'd-

Alic. Dost thou in scorn,
Preach patience to my rage, and bid me tamely
Sit like a poor contented idiot down,
Nor dare to think thou'st wrong'd me? Ruin seize

thee, And swift perdition overtake thy treachery. Have I the least remaining cause to doubt? Hast thou endeavour'd once to hide thy falsehood ? To hide it might have spoke some little tenderness, And shewn thee half unwilling to undo me: But thou disdain'st the weakness of humanity, Thy words, and all thy actions, have confess'd it; Ev'n now thy eyes avow it, now they speak, And insolently own the glorious villany. Hast. Well, then, I own my heart has broke your

chains. Patient I bore the painful bondage long, At length my gen'rous love disdains your tyranny; The bitterness and stings of taunting jealousy, Vexatious days, and jarring, joyless nights,


Have driv'n him forth to seek some safer shelter,
Where he may rest his weary wings in peace.

Alic. You triumph! do! and with gigantic pride
Defy impending vengeance. Heav'n shall wink;
No more his arm shall roll the dreadful thunder,
Nor send his lightnings forth: no more his justice
Shall visit the presuming sons of men,
But perjury, like thine, shall dwell in safety.

Hast. Whate'er my fate decrees for me hereafter, Be present to me now, my better angel! Preserve me from the storm that threatens now, And if I have beyond attonement sinn'd, Let any other kind of plague o'ertake me, So I escape the fury of that tongue. Alic. Thy pray’r is heard—I go—but know, proud

lord, Howe'er thou scorn'st the weakness of ny sex, This feeble hand may find the means to reach thee, Howe'er sublime in pow'r and greatness plac’d, With royal favour guarded round and grac'd; On eagle's wings my rage shall urge her flight, And hurl thee headlong from thy topmost height; Then, like thy fate, superior will I sit, And view thee fall’n, and grov'ling at my feet; See thy last breath with indignation go, And tread thee sinking to the shades below. [Exit. Hast. How fierce a fiend is passion! With what

wildness, What tyranny untam'd it reigns in woman! Unhappy sex! whose easy yielding temper

Gives way to ev'ry appetite alike: “ Each gust of inclination, uncontrol'd, « Sweeps thro' their souls and sets them in an uproar; “ Each motion of the heart rises to fury," And love in their weak bosoms is a rage As terrible as hate, and as destructive. “ So the wind roars o'er the wide fenceless ocean, “ And heaves the billows of the boiling deep, “ Alike from north, from south, from east, from

west; “ With equal force the tempest blows by turns “ From every corner of the seaman's compass. But soft ye now-for here comes one, disclaims Strife and her wrangling train; of equal elements, Without one jarring atom was she form’d, And gentleness and joy make up her being.

Enter Jane Shore. 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. 7. Sh. Thus humbly let your lowly servant bend.

[Kneeling Thus let me bow my grateful knee to earth, And bless your noble nature for this goodness.

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