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South. Yes, Oh yes, My bosom's better half, I can. With thee I'll gladly seek the coast unknown, and leave The lessening mark of irksome life behind. With thee, my friend, 'tis joy to die! 'tis glory; For who would wait the tardy stroke of time, Or cling, like reptiles, to the verge of being, When we can bravely leap from life at once, And spring triumphant in a friend's embrace! (Enter Raleigh.)
Raleigh. To you, my lord Southampton, from the queen A pardon comes : your life her mercy spares. (Exit.)
Essex. For ever blessed be that indulgent power
Which saves my friend. This weight taken off, my soul
Shall upward spring and mingle with the blessed.
South. All-ruling heavens, can this, can this be just ?
Support me; hold, ye straining heart-strings, hold,
And keep my sinking frame from dissolution.
Oh 'tis too much mortal strength to bear,
Or thought to suffer! No, I'll die with thee.
They shall not part us, Essex.
Essex. Live, Oh live,
Thou noblest, bravest, best of men and friends,
Whilst life is worth thy wish, till time and thou
Agree to part, and nature send thee to me;
Thou generous soul, farewell ;-live and be happy;
And oh! may life make largely up to thee
Whatever blessings fate has thus cut off
From thy departing friend.
Lieut. My lord, my warrant
Strictly forbids to grant a moment's time.
South. Oh, must we part for ever ?—Cruel fortune !
Wilt thou then tear him hence ?-Severe divorce!
Let me cling round thy sacred person still,
Still clasp thee to my bosom close, and keep
Stern fate at distance.
Essex. Oh, my friend, we'll meet
Again where virtue finds a just reward,
Where factious malice never more can reach us.
all thy reason, thyself once more.-
I fear it not :- This hideous monster, death,
When seen at distance, shocks sweet nature's eye;
But reason, as it draws more near, defies it-
I thank thy sorrows, but could spare
I need not bid thee guard my fame from wrongs;
And oh! a dearer treasure to thy care
I trust, than either life or fame—my wife.
Her bitter sorrows pierce my soul; for her
My heart drops blood !-Oh, she will want a friend.
Then take her to thy care ; do thou pour balm
On her deep-wounded spirit, and let her find
My tender helps in thee.-I must be gone,
My ever faithful, and my gallant friend.
thee leave this woman's work-farewell Take this last dear embrace.-Farewell for ever!
South. My bursting breast! I fain would speak, but words Are poor—Farewell ! But we shall meet again, embrace in one Eternal band which never shall be loosed.
Drusus. Your pleasure, Caius?
C. Gracchus. Pleasure !-Livius Drusus,
Look not so sweet upon me!-I am no child
Not to know bitter, for that it is smeared
With honey! Let me rather see thee scowl
A little ; and when thou dost speak, remind me
Of the rough trumpet more than the soft lute.
By Jove, I can applaud the honest caitiff
Bespeaks his craft!
Drusus. The caitiff!
C. Gracc. Ah! ho! Now
You are Livius Drusus! You were only then
The man men took him for—the easy man,
That, so the world went right, cared not who got
The praise. Who ever thought, in such
A plain and homely piece of stuff, to see
The mighty senate's tool !
Drusus. The senate's tool!
C. Gracc. Now what a deal of pains for little profit!
If you could play the juggler with me, Livius-
To such perfection practice seeming, as
To pass it on me for reality-
Make niy own senses witness against myself,
That things I know impossible to be,
I see as palpable as if they were
"Twas worth the acting; but, when I am master
Of all your mystery, and know, as well
As you do, that the prodigy's a lie,
What wanton waste of labor !-Livius Drusus,
I know you are a tool !
Drusus. Well, let me be so!
I will not quarrel with you, worthy Caius !
Call me whate'er you please.
C. Gracc. What barefaced shifting!
What real fierceness could grow tame so soon!
You turn upon me like a tiger, and
When open-mouthed I brave you, straight you play
The crouching spaniel! You'll not quarrel with me!
I want you not to quarrel, Livius Drusus,
But only to be honest to the people.
C. Gracc. Ay, honest!-Why do you repeat
My words, as if you feared to trust your own!
Do I play echo? Question me, and see
If I so fear to be myself. I act
The wall, which speaks not but with others' tongues.
I say you are not honest to the people.-
I say you are the senate's tool-their bait-
Their juggler-their trick-merchant.-If I wrong you,
Burst out at once in full retort upon me-
Tell me I lie, and smite me to the earth!
I'll rise but to embrace you!
Drusus. My good Caius,
Restrain your ardent temper; it doth hurry you
C. Gracc. Give me but an answer, and
I'll be content. Are you not leagued with the senate ?
Drusus. Your senses leave
C. Gracc. Will you answer me?
Drusus. Throw off this humor!
C. Gracc. Give me an answer, Drusus !
Drusus. Madman !
C. Gracc. Are you the creature of the senate ?
Drusus. Good Caius!
C. Gracc. Do you juggle with the people ? Let me but know you, man, from your own lips : "Tis all I want to know you are a traitor.
Drusus. A traitor!
C. Gracc. Ay!
Drusus. To whom?
C. Gracc. To the poor people!
The houseless citizens that sleep at nights
Before the portals, and that starve by day
Under the noses of the senators!
Thou art their magistrate, their friend, their father.
Dost thou betray them? Hast thou sold them? Wilt thou
Juggle them out of the few friends they have left?
Drusus. If 'twill content you, Caius, I am one
Who loves alike the senate and the people.
I am the friend of both.
C. Gracc. The friend of neither-
The senate's tool !-a traitor to the people!
A man that seems to side with neither party ;
Will now bend this way, and then make it up,
By leaning a little to the other side;
With one eye, glance his pity on the crowd,
And with the other, crouch to the nobility;
Such men are the best instruments of tyranny.
The simple slave is easily avoided
By his external badge; your order wears
The infamy within !
Drusus. I'll leave you, Caius,
And hope your breast will harbor better counsels.
the senate's kindness to the people ? 'Tis well—whoe'er serves them shows love to me! (Exit.) C. Gracc. Go! I have tilled a waste ; and, with
my sweat, Brought hope of fruitage forth—the superficial And heartless soil cannot sustain the shoot: The first harsh wind that sweeps it, leaves it bare ! Fool that I was to till it! Let them go! I loved them and I served them !Let them go!
Rienzi. Why, this
Is well, my lords, this full assemblage. Now
The chief of Rome stands fitly girt with names
Strong as their towers around him. Fall not off,
And we shall be impregnable. (Advancing up the room.)
I should have asked thy blessing. I have sent
Our missions to the pontiff. Count Savelli-
My lord embassador. I crave your pardon.
What news from Venice, the sea-queen? Savelli,
I have a little maiden who must know
Thy fairest daughter. Angelo, Colonna,
A double welcome! Rome lacked half her state
Wanting her princely columns.
Colonna. Sir, I come
A suitor to thee. Martin Ursini-
Rie. When last his name was on thy lips
Thy suit, thy suit! If pardon take at once
Angelo. Yet, mercy
Waste not thy plea ngs on a desperate caus
And a resolved spirit. She awaits thee.
Haste to that fairer court.
(Exit Angelo.) My lord Colonna, This is a needful justice.
Col. Noble Tribune,
It is a crime which custom
Rie. Ay, the law
Of the strong against the weak-your law, the law
Of the sword and spear. But, gentles, ye lie now
Under the good estate. (Crossing to the centre.)
Savelli. He is a noble.
A thousand times he dies. Ye are noble, sirs,
And need a warning.
Col. Sick, almost to death.
Rie. Ye have less cause to grieve.
Frangipani. New wedded.
Madonna Laura is a blooming dame,
And will become her weeds.
Cafarello. Remember Tribune,
He hath two uncles, cardinals.
The sacred college ?
Rie. The lord cardinals,
Meek, pious, lowly men, and loving virtue,
Will render thanks to him who wipes a blot
So flagrant from their name.