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Chand. There my voice Shall join ye, lords; to force them from their home
Al such a juncture, will be doubly glorious ! . Or should they venture battle, their discomfit Will render our retreat to Bourdeaux safe, And end our labours with a noble triumph. Prince. Then be it so: for Poictiers we'll prepare.
[Rising. Give instant orders, good my lords, for marching : To-morrow's sun shall see us face our foes. “ There, if they wait our coming, we once more « Will dress contention in her gorgon horrors : " Drive fear and slaughter thro' their shudd'ring
“ Stalk o'er their mangled heaps, and, bath'd in blood, " Seize with red hands the wreath of victory !" Here break we off; go each where duty calls.
[Exeunt Lords. Now for an office is most grateful to me. Who waits :- Let Arnold know that I expect him.
[A Gentleman appears, and retires again, How poor the pomps and trophies of the field, The blaze of splendor, or that bubble, praise, Compar'd with what the sympathizing heart Feels from a gen'rous action!
I ne'er behold thy face, but pleasure springs
From the remembrance of those sprightly days,
Which led thro' early youth our happy friendship.
Thou wert my brother then ; familiar ease
Season'd our sports, and doubled each delight.
Thither my soul, from ceremonious pomp,
" And all the heavy toils of high command,"
Oft backward looks, with wishes to renew
Those lively transports, unallay'd by care,
Our boundless happiness, our bursts of joy!
Arn. So honour'd, gracious prince, as I have been,
From humble fortune rais'd to envy'd greatness,
And still with ev'ry grace each gift made precious.
Oh, what are words in payment of such blessings!
What ev'n my life, were life itself laid down
In gratitude for such transcendent goodness!
Prince. If there's a transport tow'ring to divine; If, in atonement for its load of cares, One vast enjoyment is the gift of greatness, ?Tis that we can bestow where merit claims, “ And with our favours cheer or charm the soul." Thine is the vacant military post, By Mountford's death reverted to my gift; And keep thy office in my houshold still; I must not lose the servant in the soldier. Be henceforth both, and what is more, my friend.
Arn. How shall I praise
Prince. Arnold, I merit none.
If thou hast kindness done thee, I have pleasure.
There is no joy a gen'rous mind can know,
Like that of giving virtue its reward :
Nor ought such payment be esteem'd a bounty;
For to deserve and give is equal favour.
But let me ask thee of thy beauteous charge :
How has the noble Mariana borne
Captive calamity ?
Arn. With resignation
Worthy her birth and dignity of spirit:
Forgetting her misfortunes, all her talk
Turns on the topic of your kind protestion.
· Prince. Let it extend to all that can relieve
The mind from harsh reflections on her state.
We're now preparing for the fields of Poictiers :
Accommodate her on the wearying way
With thy best care. Remember I request it. [Exit.
Arn. Rely, my royal master, on my duty. Needless injunction ! Mariana's charms Have giv'n her here such absolute command, My very soul, my ev'ry pow'r, is her’s. But the cold maid, whene'er I plead my passion, Chills me with sighs, and stifles all my flame Of love with streaming tears. Benignant Heav'n! Bless'd as I am with royal Edward's favour, And Mariana's charms—and all beyond, Let mad ambition grapple for, and gain. [Exit.
Changes to the French Camp. Enter CHARNEY and the
Archbishop of Sens. Char. My lord of Sens, I gladly give your Grace
A joyful welcome to the plains of Poictiers.
You come the happy harbinger of comfort,
Returning to old Charney's woe-worn mind.
The king's approach revives my drooping spirits,
It feeds the dying lamp of life with hope
That I shall live to riot in revenge.
Those English locusts, who devour our wealth,
Who spoil and slaughter with so wild a fury,
Grant, ye good Pow’rs, these eyes may see destroy'd,
And I shall die contented!
Sens. Ev'ry tongue
Joins that petition. Your misfortunes, lord,
Most nearly touch the king.
Char. Oh, they are great !
The pride of ancient lineage treasur'd up,
Trophies of war and ornaments of pomp,
These won by valour, those with honour worn,
Favours of monarchs, and the gifts of Heav'n,
The relics of a glorious ancestry,
Are, with the mansion of my great forefathers,
A heap of ashes now! A wide-spread ruin.
My age's blessing too, an only daughter,
Torn from her home to hard captivity,
The prey, the victim of a fell revenge!
Oh, matchless misery!- Oh, Mariana !
Sens. Your sorrows have been wept by ev'ry eye ; And all have wonder'd what should mark you out For such peculiar vengeance.
Char. Nothing but
The service done our master, when I brib'd
Their governor to give up Calais to us;
Who, like a villain, broke his plighted faith,
And sacrific'd the gallant troops I led
To Edward's fury: slaughter'd all, or taken,
I was amongst the train who grac'd his triumphy
There the proud king insulted me with taunts;
He call'd our undertaking vile and base ;
With low'ring brow and bitterness of speech,
Adding, he hop'd the fortune of his arms
Would give him to reward my treachery.
The father's wishes hath the son accomplish'd ;
For which, may all the rage of ev'ry curse,
Flames, famines, pestilences, slaughters, join
To root from nature the detested race !
Sens. Grant it, good Heav'nl-But see, the Duke
Char. Lord Constable, most welcome to my arms.
Ath. I thank you, noble Charney.
Char. Are the train
Of royal warriors, sir, arriv'd ?
Ath. They are.
Char. Oh, joyful tidings! Sir, another hour .
Shall speak at large my pleasure to behold you :
The present claims my duty to the king. [Exit.
Ath. My lord of Sens, these secret marches made
From different parts by our divided host,
May steal us on our unprepared foes,
And give our arms, at length, an ample vengeance.