網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

She has lavished all the diamonds of the Guise,
To set her off, and sell her to the king.

Mar. O heavens! did ever virgin yet attempt
An enterprise like mine? I, that resolved
Never to leave those dear delightful shades,
But act the little part that nature gave me,
On the green carpets of some guiltless grove,
And having finished it, forsake the world;
Unless sometimes my heart might entertain
Some small remembrance of the taking Guise:
But that far, far from any darkening thought,
To cloud my honour, or eclipse my virtue.

Gril. Thou liest! and if thou hadst not glanced aside, And spied me coming, I had had it all.

Mar. By heaven! by all that's good

Gril. Thou hast lost thy honour. Give me this hand, this hand by which I caught thee

From the bold ruffian in the massacre,
That would have stained thy almost infant honour,
With lust, and blood ;—dost thou remember it?Mar. I do, and bless the godlike arm, that sa-
ved me. Gril. Tis false! thou hast forgot my generous
action;And now thou laugh'st, to think how thou hast
cheated, For all his kindness, this old grisled fool. Mar. Forbid it heaven!Gril. But oh, that thou hadst died
Ten thousand deaths, ere blasted Grillon's glory;
Grillon, that saved thee from a barbarous world,
Where thou hadst starved, or sold thyself for bread;
Took thee into his bosom, fostered thee
As his own soul, and laid thee in his heart-strings;
And now, for all my cares, to serve me thus!
O 'tis too much, ye powers! double confusion

On all my wars; and oh,—out, shame upon thee!
It wrings the tears from Grillon's iron heart,
And melts me to a babe.

Mar. Sir! father! hear me!
I come to court, to save the life of Guise.

Gril. And prostitute thy honour to the king.

Mar. I have looked, perhaps, too nicely for my sex, Into the dark affairs of fatal state; And, to advance this dangerous inquisition, I listened to the love of daring Guise.

Gril. By arms, by honesty, I swear thou lovest him!

Mar. By heaven, that gave those arms success, I swear

I do not, as you think! but take it all. I have heard the Guise, not with an angel's temper, Something beyond the tenderness of pity, And yet, not love.

Now, by the powers that framed me, this is all! Nor should the world have wrought this close confession, But to rebate your jealousy of honour.

Gril. I know not what to say, nor what to think; There's heaven still in thy voice, but that's a sign Virtue's departing; for thy better angel Still makes the woman's tongue his rising ground, Wags there a while, and takes his flight for ever.

Mar. You must not go.

Gril. Though I have reason, plain As day, to judge thee false, I think thee true: By heaven, methinks I see a glory round thee! There's something says, thou wilt not lose thy honour:—

Death and the devil! that's my own honesty;My foolish open nature, that would have All like myself;—but off; I'll hence and curse thee!

Mar. O, stay!

GriL I will not.

Mar. Hark! the king's coming.
Let me conjure you, for your own soul's quiet,
And for the everlasting rest of mine,
Stir not, till you have heard my heart's design.

Gril. Angel, or devil, I will.—Nay, at this rate,
She'll make me shortly hring him to her bed.—
Bawd for him? no, he shall make me run my head
Into a cannon, when 'tis iiring, first;
That's honourable sport. But I'll retire,
And if she plays me false, here's that shall mend her.
[Touching his Dagger, exit. Marmoutiere
sits. Song and Dance.

Enter the King.

King. After the breathing of a love-sick heart Upon your hand, once more,—nay twice,—forgive me.

Mar. I discompose you, sir.

King. Thou dost, by heaven;
But with such charming pleasure,
I love, and tremble, as at angels' view.

Mar. Love me, my lord?

King. Who should be loved, but you?
So loved, that even my crown, and self are vile,
While you are by. Try me upon despair;
My kingdom at the stake, ambition starved,
Revenge forgot, and all great appetites
That whet uncommon spirits to aspire, So once a day I may have leave Nay, madam, then you fear me.

Mar. Fear you, sir! what is there dreadful in you?
You've all the graces that can crown mankind;
Yet wear them so, as if you did not know them;
So stainless, fearless, free in all your actions,
As if heaven lent you to the world to pattern.

King. Madam, I find you are no petitioner; My people would not treat me in this sort, Though 'twere to gain a part of their design;

But to the Guise they deal their faithless praise
As fast, as you your flattery to me;
Though for what end I cannot guess, except
You come, like them, to mock at my misfortunes.

Mar. Forgive you, heaven, that thought! No,
mighty monarch,
The love of all the good, and wonder of the great;
I swear, by heaven, my heart adores, and loves you.

King. O madam, rise.

Mar. Nay, were you, sir, unthroned By this seditious rout that dare despise you, Blast all my days, ye powers! torment my nights; Nay, let the misery invade my sex, That could not for the royal cause, like me, Throw all their luxury before your feet, And follow you, like pilgrims, through the world.

Gril. Sound wind and limb ! 'fore God, a gallant girl! {Aside.

King. What shall I answer to thee, O thou balm To heal a broken, yet a kingly heart! For, so I swear I will be to my last. Come to my arms, and be thy Harry's angel, Shine through my cares, and make my crown sit easy.

Mar. O never, sir.

King. What said you, Marmoutiere?
Why dost thou turn thy beauties into frowns?

Mar. You know, sir, 'tis impossible; no more.

King. No more?—and with that stern resolved behaviour?By heaven! were I a dying, and the priest Should urge my last confession, I'd cry out, Oh Marmoutiere! and yet thou say'st,—No more!

Mar. Tis well, sir; 1 have lost my aim, farewell.

King. Come back! O stay, my life flows after you.

Mar. No, sir, I find I am a trouble to you; You will not hear my suit.

King. You cannot go,

You shall not.—O your suit, I kneel to grant it; I beg you take whatever you demand.

Mar. Then, sir, thus low, or prostrate if you please, Let me intreat for Guise.

King. Ha, madam, what! For Guise; for Guise! that stubborn arrogant rebel, That laughs at proffered mercy, slights his pardon, Mocks royal grace, and plots upon my life? Ha! and do you protect him? then the world Is sworn to Henry's death: Does beauty too, And innocence itself conspire against me? Then let me tamely yield my glories up, Which once I vowed with my drawn sword to wear To my last drop of blood.—Come Guise, come cardinal, All you loved traitors, come—I strip to meet you; Sheathe all your daggers in curst Henry's heart.

Mar. This I expected ; but when you have heard How far I would intreat your majesty, Perhaps you'll be more calm.

King. See, I am hushed; Speak then; how far, madam, would you command?

Mar. Not to proceed to last extremities, Before the wound is desperate. Think alone, For no man judges like your majesty: Take your own methods; all the heads of France Cannot so well advise you, as yourself. Therefore resume, my lord, your god-like temper, Yet do not bear more than a monarch should; Believe it, sir, the more your majesty Draws back your arm, the more of fate it carries.

King. Thou geniusof my state, thou perfect model Of heaven itself, and abstract of the angels, Forgive the late disturbance of my soul! I'm clear by nature, as a rockless stream; But they dig through the gravel of my heart, And raise the mud of passions up to cloud me; Therefore let me conjure you, do not go;

« 上一頁繼續 »