Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

For her sake that I have been9, (for I feel

The last fit of my greatness,) good your graces,
Let me have time, and counsel, for my cause;
Alas! I am woman, friendless, hopeless.

Wol. Madam, you wrong the king's love with these

fears;

Your hopes and friends are infinite.

Q. Kath.
In England,
But little for my profit: Can you think, lords,
That any Englishman dare give me counsel?
Or be a known friend, 'gainst his highness' pleasure,
(Though he be grown so desperate to be honest,)
And live a subject? Nay, forsooth, my friends,
They that must weigh out my afflictions,

They that my trust must grow to, live not here;
They are, as all my other comforts, far hence,
In mine own country, lords.

Cam.

I would, your grace

Would leave your griefs, and take my counsel.

Q. Kath.

How, sir?

Cam. Put your main cause into the king's protection; He's loving, and most gracious; 'twill be much

Both for your honour better, and your cause;

For, if the trial of the law o'ertake you,

You'll part away disgrac❜d.

Wol.

He tells you rightly.

Q. Kath. Ye tell me what ye wish for both, my ruin: Is this your Christian counsel? out upon ye!

Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge,

That no king can corrupt.

Cam.

Your rage mistakes us.

Q. Kath. Th more shame for ye; holy men I

thought ye,

Upon my soul, two reverend cardinal virtues;

9 For her sake that I have been, &c.] For the sake of that royalty which I have heretofore possessed.

But cardinal sins, and hollow hearts, I fear

ye:

Mend them for shame, my lords. Is this your comfort? The cordial that ye bring a wretched lady?

A woman lost among ye, laugh'd at, scorn'd?

I will not wish ye half my miseries,

I have more charity: But say, I warn'd ye;

Take heed, for heaven's sake, take heed, lest at once
The burden of my sorrows fall upon ye.
Wol. Madam, this is a mere distraction;
You turn the good we offer into envy.

Q. Kath. Ye turn me into nothing: Woe upon ye, And all such false professors! Would ye have me (If you have any justice, any pity;

If ye be any thing but churchmen's habits,)
Put my sick cause into his hands that hates me?
Alas! he has banish'd me his bed already;
His love, too long ago: I am old, my lords,
And all the fellowship I hold now with him
Is only my obedience. What can happen
To me, above this wretchedness? all your studies
Make me a curse like this.

Cam.

Your fears are worse.

Q. Kath. Have I liv'd thus long —(let me speak myself, Since virtue finds no friends,) – a wife, a true one ? A woman (I dare say, without vain-glory,)

Never yet branded with suspicion ?

Have I with all my full affections

Still met the king? lov'd him next heaven? obey'd him?
Been, out of fondness, superstitious to him?'
Almost forgot my prayers to content him?
And am I thus rewarded? 'tis not well, lords.
Bring me a constant woman to her husband,
One that ne'er dream'd a joy beyond his pleasure;
And to that woman, when she has done most,
Yet will I add an honour, a great patience.

1

--

superstitious to him?] That is, served him with superstitious attention; done more than was required.

Wol. Madam, you wander from the good we aim at. Q. Kath. My lord, I dare not make myself so guilty, To give up willingly that noble title

Your master wed me to: nothing but death
Shall e'er divorce my dignities.

Wol.

'Pray, hear me.

Q. Kath. 'Would I had never trod this English earth, Or felt the flatteries that grow upon it!

Ye have angels' faces, but heaven knows your hearts.
What will become of me now, wretched lady?

I am the most unhappy woman living.

Alas! poor wenches, where are now your fortunes?
[To her Women.
Shipwreck'd upon a kingdom, where no pity,
No friends, no hope; no kindred weep for me,
Almost, no grave allow'd me :-Like the lily,
That once was mistress of the field, and flourish'd,
I'll hang my head, and perish.

If your grace

Wol.
Could but be brought to know, our ends are honest,
You'd feel more comfort: why should we, good lady,
Upon what cause, wrong you? alas! our places,

The way of our profession is against it;

We are to cure such sorrows, not to sow them.
For goodness' sake, consider what you do;

How you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly

Grow from the king's acquaintance, by this carriage.
The hearts of princes kiss obedience,

So much they love it; but, to stubborn spirits,
They swell, and grow as terrible as storms.
I know, you have a gentle, noble temper,

A soul as even as a calm; Pray, think us

Those we profess, peace-makers, friends, and servants. Cam. Madam, you'll find it so. You wrong your

virtues

With these weak women's fears.

As

was put yours

A noble spirit,

into you, ever casts

Such doubts, as false coin, from it. The king loves you;

[graphic][merged small]

Q.KATH. ALAS! POOR WENCHES. WHERE ARE NOW YOUR FORTUNES
SHIPWRECKD UPON A KINGDOM, WHERE NO PITY.

NO FRIENDS. NO HOPE: NO KINDRED WEEP FOR ME:
ALMOST, NO GRAVE ALLOWD ME

Act M.Sc.1.

London. Published by FC&J Rivington, and Partners. Feb 1823.

« AnteriorContinua »