Page images
PDF
EPUB

Thou stand'st between a father and a suitor,
Both striving for an interest in thy heart :
He courts thee for affection, I for duty;
He as a servant pleads, but by the privilege
Of nature, tho' I might command, my care
Shall only counsel what it shall not force.
Thou canst but make one choice; the ties of mar-

riage
Are tenures, not at will, but during life.
Consider whose thou art, and who; a princess,
A princess of the royal blood of Scotland,
In the full spring of youth, and fresh in beauty.
The king that sits upon the throne is young,
And yet unmarried, forward in attempts
On any least occasion, to endanger
His person; wherefore, Kate, as I am confident
Thou dar'st not wrong thy birth and education
By yielding to a common servile rage
Of female wantonness, so I am confident
Thou wilt proportion all thy thoughts to side'
Thy equals, if not equal thy superiors.
My lord of Dalyell, young in years, is old
In honours, but nor eminent in titles
Or in estate, that may support or add to
The expectation of thy fortunes. Settle
Thy will and reason by a strength of judgment :
For, in a word, I give thee freedom; take it.
If equal fates have not ordain’d to pitch
Thy hopes above my height, let not thy passion
Lead thee to shrink mine honour in oblivion :
Thou art thine own; I have done.
Dal.

Oh! you're all oracle, The living stock and root of truth and wisdom.

* To side thy equals ;] To match with thy equals. This is a singular use of the verb to side, which was originally a technical term at card-playing.

like peace,

Kath. My worthiest lord and father, the indulgence

[Kneels. Of your sweet composition, thus commands The lowest of obedience : you have granted A liberty so large, that I want skill To choose without direction of example: From which I daily learn, by how much more You take off from the roughness of a father, By so much more I am engagʻd to tender The duty of a daughter. For respects Of birth, degrees of title, and advancement, I nor admire nor slight them; all my studies Shall ever aim at this perfection only, To live and die so, that you may not blush In any course of mine to own me yours.

Hunt. Kate, Kate, thou grow'st upon my heart, Creating every other hour a jubilee.

Kath. To you my lord of Dalyell, I address
Some few remaining words : The general fame
That speaks your merit, even in vulgar tongues,
Proclaims it clear, but in the best, a president.

Hunt. Good wench, good girl, i' faith.
Kath.

For my part (trust me),
I value mine own worth at higher rate,
'Cause you are pleas'd to prize it; if the stream
Of your protested service (as you term it)
Run in a constancy, more than a compliment,
It shall be my delight, that worthy love
Leads you to worthy actions; and these guide you
Richly to wed an honourable name:
So every virtuous praise, in after ages,
Shall be your heir, and I, in your brave mention,
Be chronicled the mother of that issue,
That glorious issue.
Hunt.

Oh, that I were young again

10

She'd make me court proud danger, and suck spirit From reputation.

Kath. To the present motion, Here's all that I dare answer : when a ripeness Of more experience, and some use of time, Resolves to treat the freedom of my youth Upon exchange of troths', I shall desire No surer credit, of a match with virtue, Than such as lives in you ; mean time, my hopes

are

Preserv'd secure, in having you a friend.

Dal, You are a blessed lady, and instruct Ambition not to soar a farther flight, Than in the perfum'd air of your soft voice.My noble lord of Huntley, you have lent A full extent of bounty to this parley ; And for it shall command your humblest servant. Hunt. Enough: we are still friends, and will

continue A hearty love.-Oh! Kate, thou art mine own.No more: my lord of Crawford.

Enter CRAWFORD.
Craw.

From the king
I come, my lord of Huntley, who in counsel
Requires your present aid.
Hunt.

Some weighty business?
Craw. A secretary from the duke of York,
The second son to the late English Edward,

Resolves to treat the freedom of my youth,

Upon exchange of troths.] The phraseology here is ex. tremely involved. The meaning seems to be," when experience and time give me a resolution to treat for an exchange of the freedom of my youth for mutual truth or betrothing, I shall desire," &c.; or, in plainer words, “ when experience and time shall incline me to give up the freedom of my youth, and give up my truth and faith to another in exchange for his faith," &

Conceal'd, I know not where, these fourteen years,
Craves audience from our master; and 'tis said
The duke himself is following to the court.
Hunt. Duke upon duke; 'tis well, 'tis well :-

here's bustling
For majesty ; my lord, I will along with

you. Craw. My service, noble lady. Kath.

Please

you walk, sir? Dal. Times have their changes ; sorrow makes

men wise ; The sun itself must set as well as rise ; Then, why not I. Fair madam, I wait on you.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.-Night.--The Tower.Lights brought

in.

Enter DURHAM, Sir Robert CLIFFORD, and

URSWICK.Lights. Dur. You find, Sir Robert Clifford, how securely King Henry, our great master, doth commit His person to your loyalty; you taste His bounty and his mercy even in this; That at a time of night so late, a place So private as his closet, he is pleas'd To admit you to his favour; do not falter In your discovery, but as you covet A liberal grace, and pardon for your follies, So labour to deserve it, by laying open All plots, all persons, that contrive against it.

Urs. Remember not the witchcraft, or the magic, The charms and incantations, which the sorceress Of Burgundy hath cast upon your reason : Sir Robert, be your own friend now, discharge Your conscience freely; all of such as love you, Stand sureties for your bonesty and truth.

Take heed you do not dally with the king,
He is wise as he is gentle.
Clif.

I am miserable
If Henry be not merciful.
Urs.

The king comes.

Enter King HENRY. K. Hen. Clifford ! Clif. (Kneels.) Let my weak knees rot to the earth, If I appear as lep'rous in my treacheries, , Before your royal eyes, as to my own I seem a monster, by my breach of truth. K. Hen. Clifford, stand up: for instance of thy

safety I offer thee my hand.

Clif. A sovereign balm For my

bruis'd soul, I kiss it with a greediness. Sir, you are a just master, but I

K. Hen.
Is every circumstance thou hast set down
With thine own hand, within this paper, true ?
Is it a sure intelligence of all
The
progress

of our enemies' intents Without corruption ?

Clif. True, as I wish heaven; Or my infected honour white again. K. Hen. We know all, Clifford, fully, since this

meteor This airy apparition first discradled From Tournay into Portugal ; and thence Advanc'd his fiery blaze for adoration To th' superstitious Irish; since the beard Of this wild comet, conjur'd into France, Sparkled in antick flames in Charles his court; But shrunk again from thence, and, hid in dark

ness, Stole into Flanders, flourishing the rags

Tell me,

« PreviousContinue »