Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Assisting this base woman, and abetting
Her infamy?

Sh. Infamy on thy head!
Thou tool of power, thou pander to authority!
I tell thee, knave, thou know'st of none so virtuous,
And she that bore thee was an Æthiop to her.

Cat. You'll answer this at full-Away with 'em.

Sh. Is charity grown treason to your court? What honest man would live beneath such rulers ? I am content that we should die together

Cat. Convey the men to prison; but for her, Leave her to hunt her fortune as she may. 7. Sh. I will not part with him for me!

for me! Oh! must he die for me!

(Following him as he is carried off-She falls. Sh. Inhuman villains ! [Breaks from the guards. Stand off! The agonies of death are on her She pulls, she gripes me hard with her cold hand. 7. Sh. Was this blow wanting to compleat my

ruin?
Oh ! let him go, ye ministers of terror.
He shall offend no more, for I will die,
And yield obedience to your Cruel master.
Tarry a little, but a little longer,
And take my last breath with you.

Sh. Oh, my love!
“ Why have I liv'd to see this bitter moment,
“ This grief by far surpassing all my former ?".

Why dost thou fix thy dying eyes upon me,
With such an earnest, such a piteous look,
As if thy heart were full of some sad meaning
Thou could'st not speak :-

J. Sh. Forgive me!--but forgive me !

Sh. Be witness for me, ye celestial host, Such mercy and such pardon as my

soul Accords to thee, and begs of Heav'n to shew thee; May such befall me at my latest hour, And make my portion blest or curs'd for ever.

7. Sh. Then all is well, and I shall sleep in peace 'Tis very dark, and I have lost you now Was there not something I would have bequeath'd

you?

But I have nothing left me to bestow,
Nothing but one sad sigh. Oh! mercy, Heav'n!

[Dies.
Bel. There fied the soul,
And left her load of misery behind.
Sh. Oh, my heart's treasure! Is this pale sad vi.

sage All that remains of thee? “ Are these dead eyes “ The light that cheer'd my soul?" Oh, heavy hour! But I will fix my trembling lips to thine, 'Till I am cold and senseless quite, as thou art. What, must we part, then will you

[To the guards taking him away. Fare thee well

[Kissing her. Now execute your tyrant's will, and lead me To bonds, or death, 'tis equally indifferent,

Bel. Let those, who view this sad example, know, What fate attends the broken marriage vow; And teach their children, in succeeding times, No common vengeance waits upon these crimes, When such severe repentance could not save From want, from shame, and an untimely grave.

[Exeunt omnes.

EPILOGUE,

YE modest matrons all, ye virtuous wives,
Who lead with horrid husbands, decent lives;
You, who, for all you are in such a taking,
To see your spouses drinking, gaming, raking,
Yet make a conscience still of cuckold-making ;
What can we say your pardon to obtain ?
This matter here was prov'd against poor Jane :
She never once deny'd it; but, in short,
Whimper'd-and cry'd—Sweet Sir, I'm sorry for't."
'Twas well he met a kind, good-naturid soul,
We are not all so easy to control:
1 fancy one might find in this good town,
Some wou'd ha' told the gentleman his own ;
Have answer'd smart-" To what do you pretend,
« Blockhead ?--As if I must not see a friend:
Tell me of hackney coachesFaunts to th' city
Where should I buy my china ?-Faith, I'll fit ye"-
Our wife was of a milder, meeker spirit;
You!-lords and masters !- was not that some merit?
Don't you allow it to be virtuous bearing,
When we submit thus to your domineering ?
Well, peace be with her, she did wrong most surely ;
But so do many more who look demurely.
Nor shou'd our mourning madam weep alone,
There are more ways of wickedness than one.

If the reforming stage should fall to shaming
Ill-nature, pride, hypocrisy, and gaming ;
The poets frequently might move compassion,
and with she-tragedies o'er-run the nation.
Then judge the fair offender with good-nature,
And let your fellow-feeling curb your satire.
What, if our neighbours have some little failing,
Must we needs fall to damning and to railing ?
For her excuse too, be it understood,
That if the woman was not quite so good,
Her lover was a king, she flesh and blood.
And since sh' has dearly paid the sinful score,
Be kind at last, and pity poor Jane Shore.

THE END.

« ZurückWeiter »