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Changes to the PRINCE OF WALES's Tent Enter
PRINCE, CHANDOS, and Attendants, meeting AUD-
Prince. Well, Audley, are the soldiers all refresh'd ?
Aud. All: and altho' perchance their last of meals,
It seem'd so cheerful as surpass'd my hope ;
Still joining hands, as off they drain'd the bowl,
Success to England's arms, was all the cry.
At length a hoary vet’ran rais’d his voice,
And thus address'd his fellows : Courage, brothers!
The French have never beat us, nor shall now,
Our great Third Edward's fortune waits our arms;
And his brave son, whose formidable helmet
Nods terror to our foes, directs the fight,
In his black armour, we will soon behold him
Piercing their throng'd battalions—Shall not we,
At humble distance, emulate his ardor,
And gather laurels to adorn his triumph
Then did they smile again, shake hands and shout;
While, quite transported at the pleasing sight,
I wept insensibly with love and joy.
Prince. I too could weep_Oh, Audley, Chandos,
there, There rest I all my hope! My honest soldiers, I know will do their duty.
Gent. Royal sir, ...:
A person, muffled in a close disguise,
Arriv'd this instant from the adverse camp,
As he reports, solicits to receive
An audience of your highness, and alone. .
Prince. Retire, my lords---Conduct him straight.
.. way in.
. [Exit Gent. Chan. Your highness will not trust yourself un
guarded, It may be dangerous. Consider, sir
Prince. Caution is now my slave, and fear I scorn: This is no hour for idle apprehensions.
[Exeunt Lords, &c.
Enter. Arnold in a disguise, which he throws off
Your business, sir, with-Arnold! -Get thee hence.
Arn. Behold a wretch laid prostrate at your feet,
His guilty neck ev'n humbled to the earth;
Tread on it, sir it is most fit you should.
I am unworthy life, nor hope compassion-
But could not die till here I'd stream'd my tears,
In token of contrition, pain and shame.
Prince. Up, and this instant from my sight remove,
Ere indignation urges me to pay
Thy horrid treasons with a traitor's fate.
Arn. Death if I'd fear'd, I had not ventur'd hi-
ther; Conscious I merit all you can inflict :
“ But doom’d to torture as by guilt I am, “ I hop'd some ease in begging here to die, " That I might manifest, where most I ought, “ My own abhorrence of my hated crime." . Thus, on my knees, lay I my life before you, Nor ask remission of the heavy sentence. Your justice must pronounce. Yet, royal sir, One little favour let me humbly hope : (And may the blessings of high Heav'n repay it !) 'Tis when you shall report my crime and suffering, Only to add-He gave himself to death The voluntary victim of remorse.
Prince. I shall disgrace my soldiership, and melt, To wornan's weakness, at a villain's sorrow! Oh, justice, with thy fillet seal my eyes, Shut out at once his tears, and hide my own! [Aside.
Arn. Am I rejected in my low petition For such a boon ?-Nor can I yet complain : Your royal favours follow approbation, And I, of all mankind, have least pretence . To hope the bounty of a word to ease me. Prince. Rise, Arnold, Thou wert long my chosen
servant : An infant-fondness was our early tie; But with our years (companions as we liv'd) Affection rooted, and esteem grew love. “ Nor was my soul a niggard to thy wishes : « There set no sun but saw my bounty flow, “ No hour scarce past unmark'd by favour from me.' “ The prince and master yet I set apart,
“ And singly here arraign thee in the friend."
Was it for thee, in fortune's first assault,
“ Amidst these thousands, all by far less favour'd,"
To be the man, the only to forsake me?
Was it for thee, in whom my heart delighted,
Was it for thee, « for thee to seek my foe,
“ And take thy safety from the means that sunk
« The man of all the world that lov'd thee most?"-
In spite of me my eyes will overflow,
And I must weep the wrongs I should revenge.
Arn. Tears for such guilt as mine! Oh, blasting
Cover me, mountains.hide me and my shame!
A traitor's fate would here be kind relief
From the excessive anguish I endure.
Prince. Having thus fairly stated our account,
How great's the balance that appears against thee!
And what remains ?-I will not more reproach thee.
Love thee I must 'Rot, and 'twere guilt to pity.
All that with honour I can grant is this:
Live-but remove for ever from my sight,
If I escape the dangers that surround me,
I must forget that Arnold e'er had being :
I must forget, in pity to mankind,
(Lest it should freeze affection in my heart)
That e'er such friendship met with such return.
Arn. “ Oh, mercy more afflicting than ev'n rage! “ That I could answer to with tears and pray’rs ; “ But conscious shame, with kindness, strikes me
Great sir, (forgive intrusion on your goodness)
My boon you have mistaken, life I ask'd not;
'Twas but to witness to the deep remorse,
That with a harpy's talons tears my bosom.
“ Love, the pernicious pois'ner of my honour,
" In poor atonement's sacrific'd already;
“ And life, devoted as the all I've left,
“ I'm ready now and resolute to pay.”
But as my miseries have touch'd your soul,
And gain'd remission of a traitor's fate,
Oh, add one favour, and complete my wishes ! :
To the dear country that must scorn my name,
(Tho' I still love it as I honour you)
Permit my sword to lend its little aid,
To pay a dying tribute--Grant but that,
And I will weep my gratitude with blood.'
Prince. Stain’d and polluted as my eyes behold,
. thee, .
Honour no longer can endure thy sight.
If 'tis in valour to accomplish it,
Redeem thy reputation ; but if not,
To fall in fight will be thy happiest hope.
Away, nor more reply.
Arn. Exalted goodness! .
Prince. If passions conquer'd are our noblest boasts,
Misruling Anger, ever mad Revenge,
And thou, too partial biaser, Affection,
Confess I once have acted as I ought. [Trumpets.
Ha! by those trumpets, sure the Nuncio's come. ;
[A Gentleman appears and retires.