i a1r

Earl Goodwin,

An
Historical Play.


By
Ann Yearsley,
Milk-Woman, of Clifton, Near Bristol.

Performed with general applause at the Theatre-Royal, Bristol.

When firſt the dove forſook the Patriarch’s hand, She ventur’d far to find some friendly land; Like her, from frozen regions quickly hurl’d, My neſt ſhall be—the boſom of the world.

London:
Printed for G. G. J. and J. Robinson, Pater-Noster-Row.
1791M.DCC.XCI.

ii a1v iii a2r

To the Right Honourable and Right Reverend Frederick, Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry, &c; &c;

My Lord,

Superstitious Zeal having been clad in the external Lovelineſs of Truth, I have dared to diſrobe the furious, yet enchanting Hypocrite, whoſe Votaries are blind, and whoſe Joy is Perſecution: If I have failed, my Lord, pardon my erring Judgement, and approve a Wiſh that exists not but in the Endeavor to diffuſe an Idea of active Virtue! Your Example gives Force to my Thought; your exalted Sentiments claim my Imitation.

With endless Gratitude, I am,

My Lord,

Your Lordſhip’s Obliged and Obedient Servant,

Ann Yearsley.

iv a2v v a3r

Preface.

Goodwin has been ſupported the moſt brilliant Audiences, yet it is inſinuated that I have departed from verity of character. Where is the proof? We are aſſured the characters of individuals have been blackened, nor thoſe alone, but even the conduct of Kings, by the infernal ſpirit of Party. In more early ages, the chain of Superſtition fell heavy on the people of England; learning was confined within the cloiſter, among the frozen, yet ambitious Monks; and the man who dared truſt his reaſon or his faith beyond prieſtly rule, was pronounced an alien to God and Society. The vulgar drank of the cup of Calumny from the hand of the furious Bigot, and gave the burning draught to their generations. Such are the ſtreams which have too copiouſly flowed down to us. I will not ſand reproved for endeavouring to withdraw a character from the malignant ſhade of ancient Malice! a character againſt which vi a3v which no proof exiſts, except the legendary tales of Monks, whose artful power Goodwin juſtly ſcorned. For his contempt of abſurd auſterities and unholy ſlavery, has the memory of this noble Earl been branded, himſelf accuſed, and the ruſtic champion of his virtues illiberally attacked. Such feeble efforts ſhall never arreſt the generous current of my thought, when I would defend an injured Reputation.

To the impartial Reader, I am an obliged and obedient Servant,

Ann Yearsley.

vii a4r

Prologue To the Historical Play of Earl Goodwin.

This night, from nature’s wildeſt ſcene, appears

A Muſe abaſh’d, and trembling with her fears:

No pow’r ſhe brings to break your critic laws,

No witleſs patron thunders in her cauſe;

Yet truth and nature on their pinions wait,

To guide your judgment, and decide her fate.

’Mid yon deep vale Lactilla rov’d unknown,

With fancy’d joy and real woe her own;

There linger’d oft in the rough path of care,

While torpid anguiſh bade her ſoul deſpair.

Sudden the light’ning of bright fancy came;

The hills, the hoary deſarts, ſeem’d to flame;

The rocks, the vales, old Avon’s reſtleſs ſtream,

Illumin’d, caught the heav’n-directed beam.

But ah! in ſilence muſt thoſe raptures die?

Muſt nature’s child in ſhades of darkneſs lie?

No kindred mind to nurſe the ſpark that glows,

Unfed by art, unquench’d by wint’ry ſnows?

—Periſh the thought! Here manly ſenſe ſhall ſtand,

Here beauty’s tear obey the heart’s command;

Here public candour, lifting genius high,

Shall prove that Briſtol is her friendly ſky.

The ſcenes of Goodwin op’ning on your ſight,

Prove active virtue only can be right.

Complainings viii a4v

Complainings breathe the fearful wretch’s woe,

But godlike ſpirits in exertion glow.

—And now, ye judges of the tuneful lyre,

Whose ſmile or frown can joy or fear inſpire,

Protect the Muſe, who flies the gloomy grove,

To ſeek the boſom warm’d by ſocial love.

—Hark! on the winds I hear the distant ſound—

Go on, Lactilla! tread the etherial round,

Where Shakeſpeare holds, from his unmeaſur’d height,

The taliſman of fancy to thy ſight.

Ah! ’tis the voice of gentle friendship lures;

That voice, ye patrons of the Muſe, is yours:

But if e’en there her airy viſions fail,

Her laſt beſt refuge is her—milking pail.

ix br

Exordium.

For the few incidents (except imaginary ones) which compoſe the whole of this piece, the Reader muſt advert to the year 10421042 of Engliſh hiſtory, at which period Edward the Confeſſor was crowned. This king was blindly zealous, and, if we judge from externals, the dupe of deſigning men. The fiery ordeal was enforced in his reign, and queen Emma, his mother, made the firſt example.—I cannot find any other woman recorded for this miraculous proof of virtue; and allow the event to be as unlikely, vague, and indefinite, as if I had passed the burning ploughſhares myſelf. But as our good men were as eaſily convinced in that age as they are in this, I thought myſelf privileged in repreſenting the incident to the immortal glory of Emma. In brief, there are many ſtrokes of designed irony in the piece. Goodwin is ſeriously what I wiſh every man to be: but the whole is meant to influence the judgement, ſhield it from credulity, and teach the mind to act more from reaſon than ſuperſtitious romance.

And now, Ladies, here is a play without Love. I have neglected the god, and repented of it. In my next production I will give you a heroine, who, while ſhe yields to love, is exalted by honour.

b Dramatis x bv xi b2r

Dramatis Personæ.

King Edward.

Robert, Archbiſhop of Canterbury.

Lodowicke.

Goodwin, Earl of Kent.

Harold,

Tostie,

Girth, Sons to Goodwin.

Swaine,

Leofwine,

Leofricke. General to the King.

Siward.

Alwine, Biſop of Wincheſter.

Emma, Mother to the King.

Editha, his Wife.

Guards, Officers, &c; &c;

Scene, London and its Environs.
xii b2v 1 Br

Earl Goodwin,

An Historical Play.

Act I.

Scene, The Court. Time, Night. Suppoſed to be the Cloſe of Queen Emma’s Trial, by the Peers of England. Enter Goodwin, Harold, Tostie, Swaine, and Girth.

Goodwin.

The day is ſpent, and England’s records hold Its circumſtance unparalle’d, when Kings, Truſt e’en a Mother’s virtue to report, Throwing its eſſence on the caſual act Of blind purgation: where ſhall dow’rleſs maids, Unjoyful widows, or the faithful wife, B Find 2 Bv 2 Find ſhelter from detraction?—Furious zeal! —Harold, heard’ſt thou ſad Emma’s trial?

Harold.

No: The Peers were chiefly Normans, and my ſoul Burns with ſtrong fury when I ſee them wreſt The nation’s ſtatutes with o’er-weening pride, Daring our hopeleſs Saxons.

Girth.

I beheld The dauntleſs Emma, when ſhe was arraign’d For guilt with Alwine, Wincheſter’s good Biſhop; Indignant ſcorn that labour’d but in ſilence, Struck from her eyes on Canterbury’s Lord; Yet did her looks own a perſuaſive force That melted ev’ry heart, but his, to pity; One murm’ring ſigh was heard around, the Queen Alone was bleſs’d with fortitude of ſoul Which ſeem’d to check each impious tongue; when ſummon’d To anſwer to the court, ſhe gently ſmil’d, And said, bid Edward anſwer who hath made Virtue ſubſervient to external proof; Emma, deſpiſes an appeal!—Her words, Utter’d with ſweet tranquillity, amaz’d Th’attentive Lords; while looks of ſoften’d awe Purſu’d her, as ſhe bow’d and ſlow retired.

Goodwin.

How bore the worthy Alwine ſuch a ſcene?

Girth.

Alwine, came next; his manly viſage fluſh’d With roſy hue, as he approach’d the court; Yet when he gaz’d on Canterbury, words Can never paint the language of his eyes! Contempt, and rage, like two oppoſing pow’rs That 3 B2r 3 That ſtrive for maſt’ry, ſeem’d to ſhare his ſoul; The former kept its influence: and he ſtood Looking in ſhameleſs Canterbury’s face, While that bold prelate gave his accuſation. Then Alwine, with a ſteady piercing eye, (As he would ſearch the vile Archbiſhop’s ſoul) Aſk’d him, if he had acted for his God: In fine, King Edward’s mother was condemn’d To prove the ordeal-fire: with look compos’d, Her ſon confirm’d her ſhame!

Goodwin.

Well,—’twere a fault In Edward to oppoſe the Monks—

Harold

interrupting.

A fault!

Goodwin.

—Their vow is chaſtity— Their practice—

Goodwin.

Hush! Nor whiſper forth their frailties,—they are men

Harold.

And muſt our England, ſtill be made their prey? No, leave King Edward to their bait; but ſave! Oh, Father, ſave thy country!

Goodwin.

Raving boy! What hope have I? Reflect what fate awaits Thy gentle ſiſter, ſhould we wage a war Againſt her huſband.

Harold.

Her deep wrongs alone Would nerve my arm; replete with blooming youth She mourns an exile from King Edward’s arms; B2 Because 4 B2v 4 Becauſe, forſooth, his confeſſor avows That love, (tho’ ſanctified) diſſolves the ſoul, And drags her views from heav’n!

Tostie.

Oh, paſſive dupe! So blind a bigot ſhall not reign!—To pray Is not to rule, or to provide for England. Awake, my Lord! nor periſh ’mid the herd Of ſickly ſlaves who ſhake the chain and ſmile!

Goodwin.

Periſh the tongue that dares to threat a father! Did’ſt thou e’er find me ſlumb’ring when the voice Of injur’d juſtice pierc’d the ear of honour?

Tostie

aſide to Harold.

Harold. Do thou addreſs him.

Harold

aſide.

Fear me not— My Lord, your daughter’s bleſt—

Goodwin.

Good Harold, no! Ah, no! I dare not ſay it—

Harold.

Make her ſo—

Goodwin.

How?

Harold.

Why—no more than this:—unking her huſband.

Goodwin.

My ſon, we muſt not yield to private woe. True, my Editha’s gentleneſs of ſoul Has blunted oft the edge of pointed grief, And I had hop’d to ſpend life’s ſilent eve Amid the sweets of dear domeſtic bliſs!— The ſoft perſpective’s vaniſh’d; but her wrongs, No 5 B3r 5 Nor mine, or thine, ſhall ever raiſe my arm To plunge a guiltleſs nation deep in blood. Already do the groans of lab’ring hinds Make the winds heavy, while their troubles roll Like billows to the foot of Edward’s throne. And daſhing there, are loſt in wide diſperſion.

Harold.

How then will noble Goodwin quit himſelf, While loſt in torpid apathy he ſees His country ſtruggling with her woes? Oh, think! That pow’r like thine thrown out in action, wreſts The iron ſceptre from a tyrant’s hand; And while it humbles him, preſerves a kingdom.

Goodwin.

Only the evening rays of life are mine.

Harold.

Be thy laſt ray, equal to thy meridian!— Can inactivity in thee be virtue?

Goodwin.

I know not that, nor can we oft determine On what is virtue: yet freely I own That when the poor Plebeans late were tax’d, And out of means, nearly too scant for nature, Were forc’d to clothe our troops, my fruitleſs tear Dropp’d on the threſhold of the wretched cot, As their pale infants met me.

Harold.

Dare the worſt: Brave Toſtie’s fleet is now below the Nore, Under the colours of rich merchants ; troops Are at this hour in Somerton, diſguis’d; While Mercia, ſecretly wears arms, the time Excites ambition, and inſpires the ſoul With more than martial ardour! Can my father Be 6 B3v 6 Be deaf to gath’ring thunders?—his fond eye Diſcerns Editha wretched—

Goodwin.

Painful thought! What innocence and beauty did I give To Edward’s boſom, tho’ he lightly wears it!

Girth.

This morn I ſaw her, ere the ſun was ris’n, In yon brown grove that ſtands behind the palace; When, willing to be unobſerv’d, I ſtoop’d Beneath a thick-ſet holly.—There I heard Her ſoft complaint, ſhe wrung her hands and wept Succeſsleſs love, then loudly pray’d to heav’n, That Edward’s breaſt might own a mutual flame, To make them ever bleſt.—

Harold.

I will not brook it! Manhood, ambition, juſtice, glory, all The brave dare own, conſpire to warn us hence: I’ll to the Weſt. Girth, ſtride thy ſwifteſt horſe, And hie the unto Coventry’s ſtrong Earl. Toſtie, thy fleet awaits thee. Swaine, no more We’ll meet, till at thy faction’s head I ſee Thy beaver rais’d.

Tostie.

Agreed,—upon thy ſword Swear not to fail; my ſtrong impetuous ſoul Eagerly waits revenge. Riſe gloomy ſhades Of heroes fall’n beneath our Saxon banners! Here ſhall dread horror ſate you! Come my brothers, Swear ne’er to lag, or grown, or form excuſe Of pale untowardly humanity.

Harold.

Be calm my brother—valour is not prov’d By 7 B4r 7 By ſound, we need not ſwear, but thou may’ſt truſt Thy faith with us; mean while reſtrain thy paſſion.

Tostie.

So cool!

Harold.

E’en ſo—

Girth.

Hiſt,—yonder comes Editha; Her widow’d bed is lonely, nor invites To early ſlumber: reſtleſs, ſee ſhe roves, While the poor peaſant ſinks in gentle ſleep.—- Stand by a while, and mark her.

Goodwin

sighs.

Ah, my child! They retire. Enter Editha, reading.

Editha.

Who finds content, tho’ all are on purſuit? Alas! I know not one : The ſplendid great, With awful pomp, glide o’er the checquer’d ſcene, Folding their arms athwart a wounded breaſt, Still ſtudious to conceal their pangs—Oh pride! Theſe are thy characters. The lab’ring clown Neſtles in ſweet domeſtic joy; yet want Oft breaks his downy ſlumber, ere the dawn Hath rouz’d the world to gen’ral bus’neſs.—-Ha! My father and my brothers up ſo late In private conf’rence,—ceaſe my buſy fears! Goodwin, &c; come forward.

Goodwin.

My lov’d Editha, why at this dark hour So lonely wand’ring? Is it meet for Queens To tread the court in joyleſs mood, while night sits 8 B4v 8 Sits on the world, with brooding wing, to nurſe The wretches of the day?—I fear me much You are not happy.

Editha.

Baniſh ev’ry fear, My tender father, that may cauſe you pain. Is it for you to mourn a cureleſs ill, Whoſe tongue was ever wont to plead the rule Of ſtubborn fortitude? my infant soul You early taught to regulate her wiſhes, And if ſhe muſt forego them,—yield with calmneſs. Alas! I have no ſtoic virtue left, But deeply mourn my bleſſings as they fly—

Harold.

Grieve not, my ſiſter!

Editha.

Brother, ſure my ſtate Is not leſs ſad than Emma’s.

Goodwin.

Grant it worſe,— King Edward is the cauſe!

Harold.

And Harold wears A ſword——

Editha.

Ha! to whose breaſt would’ſt thou direct it? Beware! nor wound a guiltleſs man, miſled By information; ’tis his pious zeal, His love of virtue, that has urg’d him on Thus, to arraign thy ſiſter’s fame.

Goodwin.

Thy fame!— Who hath miſled him? What bold ſlave ſhall breathe The air with me, who dares polute it thus 9 Cr 9 With his hot ſlander?—Anſwer me Editha, And if thou lov’ſt thy huſband, or thine honour, Avow thy vile accuſer?

Editha.

Wherefore ſtart With look of wild ſurprize? Have ye not heard That Canterb’ry, in private, to the King, Impeach’d my faith, when Emma was condemn’d? My Edward is a foe to vicious deeds, Treats me like what I ſeem in his pure eye, And has forbade me his kind look forever!

Goodwin.

O, Nature, I would now be deaf!—and yet, Shall I bear this?——

Tostie.

No,—for you bear it hardly.— If you can bite your lip, draw in your wrongs Upon the ſuffrage of a patient mind, I am not for you;—but if my good Lord Will join his faithful ſons, we may yet ſcourge This cold, this pious huſband.

Editha.

Ah, my brother! Talk not of vengeance. I may yet convince My Edward of his error.—Wait the morn And I will ſee him:—but I fear the Monks, By whom he is ſurrounded; they command His cool indiff’rence to Editha.

Goodwin.

Haſte, My child, to thy repoſe.—To-morrow brings The dreadful puniſhment of Emma.

Harold.

Girth! Let us away!—This is the pauſe of Juſtice. C Girth 10 Cv 10

Girth.

Toſtie!——

Tostie.

Let ruin hold the revel high! On! on! I’ll follow.—Cheer thee, gentle ſiſter, Or bid me wear thy tears upon my ſword, Till it diſſolve in read deſtruction.

Editha.

Wild, And furious are thy looks! Hear Toſtie——

Tostie

to his Brothers.

Hence!— Accept my love Editha.—You, my Lord, We leave to pallid caution, and the groans Of poor expiring freedom! Exit the Sons.

Goodwin.

In my breaſt What anarchy and dark miſrule prevail! True,—we are ſlaves:—but liberty’s ſtrong act Would preſs out myriads of defenceleſs ſouls!. He pauſes.

Editha.

Why go they from you, my lov’d father?

Goodwin.

News Of great importance ſummon them.

Editha.

Alas! A moſt unuſual heavineſs is on me: Would I had paſs’d to-morrow!

Goodwin.

Why that wiſh? Editha 11 C2r 11

Editha.

It will be dreadful.

Goodwin.

Right:—but doſt thou fear The burning ploughſhares?

Editha.

No,—I only grieve For Emma.—Ah, my Lord, ſhe deeply feels! The mind of woman is moſt finely wrought, Pure, modeſt, ſelf-denying; e’en when love Demands a chaſte return, unthinking man Ne’er comprehend us.—Rudely urg’d are Queens When vulgar voices may aloud pronounce, They’re virtuous or diſhonour’d.

Goodwin.

Do not mourn! If Edward was Religion’s honeſt child, Know filial piety would have reſtrain’d him, Nor Emma e’er a guiltleſs victim proved To public ſhame.

Editha.

He errs but from a ſenſe Of more than common virtue.

Goodwin

smiles.

Hah!—my child, I wiſh thee to retire.

Editha.

Adieu, my Lord. Soon as the Sun ſhall gild the eaſtern hills, I will attend you. Exit Editha.

Goodwin.

But thou’lt find me not. I muſt away to Kent, where Toſtie owns C2 A pow’r- 12 C2v 12 A pow’rful party.—-I could rail at Heav’n That hath prolong’d my ſorrows till my head Would willing kiſs the earth!—yet—ſhall I prove A pale apoſtate to my country’s cauſe? No, virtuous glory I will ſtill adore!

Exit. Scene changes to the Arch-biſhop of Canterbury’s Palace, diſcovers the Arch- biſhop at a Table peruſing a Paper.

Canterbury.

Thus far his Holineſs the Pope’s deceived, Who bade me act with juſtice; in this Bull The name of royal Emma meets a blot. To recommend our ſanctity, the King With furious zeal applauds, and thus exalts The Church’s ſov’reign pow’r.—His grants are large; His faith moſt wondrous; which our buſy Monks Convert to proper uſe. He is our tool, And, with him, on his Holineſs the Pope We mean to work for benefit.—’Tis morn; Why comes not Father Lodowicke? I ſent A mournful ſcroll, pleading for Alwine’s life, To him, conjuring all the Prieſts to ſign. Edward denies them nothing: I would gain The Biſhop’s pardon, leſt my act ſhould wear A tint too ſanguine for the eye of Mercy. Enter Lodowicke. Welcome my friend! Well—quickly ſay, how ſped Thy mild petition?

Lodowicke.

O—as we could wiſh. King Edward paus’d, then, turning to the Prieſts, Demanded if with Juſtice he might ſpare The life of Alwine? With a piteous groan They rais’d their eyes to Heav’n, then croſs’d themſelves, And faintly ſounded No. Canterbury 13 C3r 13

Canterbury.

Horror! was this My wiſh?—Ye blinding hypocrites, away! You’ve all conſpir’d againſt me, while I hop’d To raiſe your pow’r o’er royalty itſelf. But I will to the king, confeſs myſelf Miſlead by you, whoſe craft would foil the devil. And in return a miracle I’ll teach, More than ye dare, ye knaves! and that is Truth. Begone!

Lodowicke.

I will, when I have told my errand; As yet, I’ve liſten’d to thy rage.

Canterbury.

What hope Can’ſt thou afford?—Your voices did confirm The Biſhop’s death.

Lodowicke.

When Edward had pronounced The name of Juſtice, could a Prieſt deny it? That were imprudent honeſty. Each ſmil’d In ſecret on the other; waved the claim Of Juſtice, and convinc’d the godly King He could not ſave, but by the rule of Mercy.

Canterbury.

Convenient ſhift!—thou haſt revived me.—Well, He did forgive him:—ſpeak——

Lodowicke.

He did: but pauſed; While o’er his cheek a bluſh ſtole gently—prove, Said he, that Mercy may acquit a man: May it not alſo ſave a weaker woman?

Canterbury.

To that— Lodowicke. 14 C3v 14

Lodowicke.

We anſwer’d no: bade him reflect Thro’ every age it had been our chief care To rule the thought of Woman: keep her chaſte. To that ſole end, gave her no other merit; But held the threat of Heav’n, the flame of hell, And the world’s contempt, up to her frighted ſenſe, If once ſhe dar’d Man’s free example. More In policy we ſpake—that kingly leagues, Order of government, and ſocial ties, Depend on woman’s faith.—Thus we harangued: Concluding, that one fair apoſtate fall’n, If publicly reprov’d, might ſave a million.

Canterbury.

If Emma to your monaſtry be ſent, With all her treaſures, it will be enrich’d With vaſt endowments, and your order meet Moſt ſuperſtitious rev’rence from the people. Editha too, perhaps, may be your gueſt: For Edward is ſo sc*rupulouſly pious, That he forſakes her, and in conſtant pray’r Spends the long eve.—Some hints I’ve lately giv’n him, Which have alarm’d his fears. Thou muſt begone, Summon thy ſolemn order, and attend On Emma’s trial.

Lodowicke.

Where’s the Saxon Earl?

Canterbury.

Goodwin——I know not: we are both at odds. He checks my glory, and I hate him.—Time Forbids our further conf’rence.

Lodowicke.

Thro’ the vale That lies this side our monaſt’ry, this morn I ſaw 15 C4r 15 I ſaw young Harold poſting toward the Court, His horſe did champ the bit with wearied jaw, Nor ſeem’d to ſpeed with Harold’s wiſh.

Canterbury.

The King Hath ſent to Goodwin; he, with all his ſons, Muſt ſoon attend us:

Lodowicke.

By the hour of twelve, All may be ready.

Canterbury.

Be thou ſtrictly warn’d, If near the King, to move with ſolemn pace; Say little, keep thy hand upon thy breaſt, Thine eye bent to the earth; and ſhould he ſpeak, Preach thou of purity, of ſelf-denial, Of patience founded on ſtrong faith, that keeps Religion’s votaries humble.

Lodowicke.

Fear me not, Untainted minds thro’ Truth’s fair medium gaze, Nor aught diſcern, but lovelineſs in Nature: Craft wearing holy ſemblance muſt deceive. Exit Lodowicke.

Canterbury.

Now will I ſting the ſoul of Goodwin! tear His lov’d Editha from his fond affection! That he is proud, inſulting, and e’en honeſt, Yields to me much convenience. To what purport Should Foxes ply their cunning with each other? No:—trail the Lion, faſten on his firmneſs, Straighten his toils, till wearied he give o’er, And e’en in dying, ſcorns his wily foe!

Exit.
16 C4v I6
Scene the Court. Enter Goodwin and Servant.

Goodwin.

Be ev’ry horſe prepar’d within the hour; I go in haſte to Kent.

Servant.

They ſhall my lord. Exit Servant.

Goodwin.

Edward, thou art ſecure; but I will chaſe Sleep from thy pillow, till thou doſt confeſs How highly thou haſt wrong’d this mourning land; Extortion leaves each ſubject half a meal, Shrieking o’er ev’ry roof: the ſhiv’ring hind, Pinch’d doubly by the winds and pallid want, Reluctant feeds the lazy prieſt. O Heav’n! Are theſe man’s righteous dealing? And may kings Bring thus a boaſted off’ring at the coſt Of poor defenceleſs miſery? Enter Harold. Why my ſon Art thou return’d?

Harold.

To guard thee to thy friends: Swaine brings on Oxford, Somerſet, and Berkſhire, The men of Gloſter, and of Hereford; My pow’rs are rais’d in Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, In Huntington, and Berkſhire; nothing waits But noble Goodwin.

Goodwin.

Where is Toſtie?

Harold.

Safe On board our fleet. Goodwin.17Dr17

Goodwin.

His temper’s fierce, my ſon: Look well to his wild fury, leſt he force The rage of war too far: my fellow-ſubjects Muſt be preſerv’d, not made our victims.

Harold.

Heav’n! Deal thou my father’s ſpirit to my brother, And he ſhall never err. My gen’rous ſire, I’ve pleaſing news—Young Leofwine, thy ſon, From Briſtol comes, to claſp thee in his arms.

Goodwin.

My blooming boy! his hardihood ſhall make An old man brave: now youthful fire is mine— And ardour, be it ne’er ſo tranſient deem’d In ſouls like Goodwin’s, yet illumes the path Which ſoon muſt end.

Harold.

Ah! pauſe, my much-lov’d father! Far be that hour!—thy ſpeech to Harold’s ear Is mingled fame and death——

Goodwin.

So I would have it; For he who dares divide them, nought deſerves But Proteus-like opinion, when the wind Of praiſe ſits fair for fools. Then know, my Harold, The plaudit of the croud I scorn!—my ſoul Shall find content in ſelf-applauſe. Enter Messenger.

Messenger.

My lord, The king deſires your preſence. D Goodwin. 18 Dv 18

Goodwin.

Where is the king?

Messenger.

Preparing to attend queen Emma’s trial— Fix’d on the pavement near the abbey.

Goodwin.

No; Thy meſſage cannot be for me.

Messenger.

Yourſelf, With all your noble ſons, are ſummon’d.

Harold.

Hence, And ſay my ſpurs are dull.

Goodwin.

Or mildly ſay, Goodwin is buſy playing with his hawk.— We will not come.

Messenger.

My lords, I may not bear An anſwer ſo irreverent.

Goodwin.

What ſoft tale May we place on thy ſervile lip?—Away! Our ſtate admits no parley—We will come As time and humour ſuit us. Exit Meſſenger.

Harold.

This will work. We muſt away—our challenge ſoon will ſink Deep in the ear of Edward.

Goodwin.

By yon ſun, I will 19 D2r 19 I will not ſleep till Edward turn his ear To the complaint of England. Private woe Spreads not a gen’ral malady; and we Muſt see Editha pine, through lengthen’d hours, In grief we may not notice; but the wrongs Of this much-injur’d land ſhall have redreſs, Batt’ring the ſoul of Edward till her pow’rs Diſſolve ’mis hideous ruin. On my boy! Thy youth ſhall ſee a fair meridian—yet May Goodwin teach thee how to bravely die.

End of Act I.

D2 20 D2v 20

Act II.

Scene, a ſmall Diſtance from the Abbey. Enter King Edward, Archbiſhop of Canterbury, Monks, &c; &c;

Edward.

My Lord Archbiſhop, I approve your zeal, Yet muſt lament the error of a queen. The whole of this ſpeech has a ſarcaſtic, not a ſerious meaning. Edward’s conceptions of female excellence are narrow and reſulting from ignorance; the language is accordingly adapted to his blind belief, that deſpotic rule over woman is infallible. How far the Prince is right, the cunning Prelate ſeems a proper judge. O feeble woman! loſt when unreſtrain’d, And virtuous but from terror, how may man Believe you innocent? your ’witching ſmile We will ſuſpect, your cheerfulness condemn, Your friendſhips taint with calumny, and plead The friend you dare approve is meant for vice: Thus ſhall you live ſuſpected, ev’ry joy, Tho’ guiltleſs, be arraign’d by the hot fiend, Inhuman Jealouſy! your ſex’s freedom Be loſt, and tyranny alone ſecure you.

Canterbury

ſmiling.

Aſide. The worſt ſecurity a man may chooſe.

Edward.

Should this ſad puniſhment now fail our purpoſe, How ſhall we henceforth judge of woman’s faith? 21 D3r 21

Canterbury.

That queſtion kings or biſhops ne’er can ſolve; For virtue, the divinity within, Cloath’d in her ſelf-created radiance, ſmiles Unſeen on human judgement: yet, my liege, Think woman needs example. Woman falls If ſhe but doubt our rules are not divine; Then where’s her baſis, if we once permit Her curious mind to ſtretch beyond our bound? It muſt not be! cuſtom and law are ours; And when frail woman errs, we muſt enforce them.

Edward.

The work be thine—I’ll ſhun the dreadful ſcene.

Canterbury.

’Twill ill become you to be abſent: vice Will ſhrink abaſh’d and glow with treble ſhame: Your ſubjects will applaud a mind ſo pure, So prone to juſtice; while religion ſhines With double ſplendour, nouriſh’d by a king. —Ye holy prieſts, whoſe piety can charm, In ſcenes like this, the ſoul to reſignation! Haſte to the joyleſs Emma, guide her on, And ſooth the riotous croud.

Ist Priest.

Where may we meet?

Canterbury.

In the outward court, on the wide pavement, there Lay the red ploughſhares. Let the gates be thrown Back on their hinges, leſt the public eye Meet with obſtruction. Exit Prieſts.

Edward.

O thou awful pow’r! That know’ſt the ſecret workings of my ſoul, If 22 D3v 22 If this hard chaſtiſement to thee be gracious, The praiſe be thine— but, if I err, forgive me.

Canterbury

aſide, smiling.

How prudently man bargains for his faults! Bell tolls.

Edward

ſtarting.

Why ſounds that doleful bell?

Canterbury.

The church muſt aid The ſad ſolemnity—at once ſhe blames And mourns her erring daughter.

Edward.

Lead the way. Exeunt.Enter Alwine.

Alwine.

Be calm, my injur’d ſoul! no guilt is thine: Then firmly ſtand the ſhame of public clamour Immoveable as fate hath fix’d its laws. Ages roll on of man ſo independent, That not one hour, ſtrange circumſtance, delight, Nor even ill, he dare pronounce his own. One ſuffers for another’s act: again He wins upon a brother’s woe. The cauſe Of this now-ſeeming diſcord is not known; Yet from theſe jarring atoms riſe a whole Of harmony complete.——O righteous heav’n! Strike! ſtrike betwixt vile Canterb’ry and me, To mock the jear of time; ſtun loud reproach, Falſe wit, and laughing inſult; or I turn Bewilder’d from thy juſtice——Impious thought! Could man’s weak arm arreſt event, and turn Time from progreſſion, what disjointed rage Would beat the world’s fair bosom!—No, my ſoul Shall 23 D4r 23 Shall guiltleſs bear this trying hour, nor blot A life well ſpent, by nouriſhing revenge.

Exit Alwine.
Scene draws, diſcovers the King, Canterbury, Alwine, Monks, Officers, &c; &c; Guards ranged on each side.

Edward.

To what a point of horror I am led! Here nature ſhivers, and abjures thy rule, Unfeeling prelate!

Canterbury.

Puniſhment refines The groſſer particles of nature, leaves The ſpirit juſtified; ſo ſhould this act, That ſcourges foul corruption, give thee peace. Bell tolls. Hark! this is the dread moment!—ſilence all! From the back part of the ſtage, through an arch, enter Queen Emma veiled; a Guide attending. The Queen, unconſcious of having paſſed the burning ploughſhares, walks ſolemnly on.

Emma.

Thou guard of innocence, be near me now, And point my dang’rous ſteps!—treat me, juſt heav’n! As I deſerve, in this imputed guilt. To her Guide. —Why dost thou pause? I do not aſk thy pity; Then quickly lead me to the fatal irons.

Guide.

They’re paſt, great queen. Emma faints. Edward ſupports her.

Edward.

Auſpicious, awful moment! Live, virtuous queen! and be thy name enroll’d Amid 24 D4v 24 Amid the richeſt annals of the age.

Emma

reviving.

Unjuſt thy ſtatutes, Edward.

Edward.

Truth like thine Shall ſoar beyond the fetters of the law. Dear art thou to my conſcience, dearer ſtill To my exulting heart. Now who shall dare, Ye rigid prieſts, to violate the name Of Edward’s mother?

Canterbury.

None.

Alwine

to Canterbury.

But I would dare To prove thee a moſt reverend traitor.

Emma.

Where Shall I retire?—Oh, lead me where the gloom Of night may wrap me in her thickeſt ſhade! Shame ſits upon the wind, makes the ſun red, And burſts the voice of echo. Honour, fame, Are now no more, but as they reſt on chance, That makes or marrs them.—Edward, henceforth cloſe Thy lips, nor dare to breathe a mother’s name, Thou parricide of virtue!

Edward.

Hear me yet, And I will make thee happy.

Emma.

No, fond boy, The time is paſt, and thou can’ſt ne’er recal it. Go, bring thy ploughſhares, hold them to my eyes Till the dim balls forget thee; bring thy whips, Thy daggers, poiſons fraught with bliſt’ring death, And 25 Er 25 And I’ll accept of either from thy hand, Becauſe, thou art——my ſon!

Edward

aside.

Her words ſtrike deep.

Emma.

Yet let me tell thee, Edward, I defy Thy keeneſt torture when oppos’d to virtue, And ſcorn thy tutor’d judgement!

Edward.

Pow’r divine! Acquit my ſoul, as I deſign’d it well; Forget the paſt, and think thy fame will ſhine Thro’ dark futurity—Thy former wealth, Honour, eſtates, I here reſtore thee.

Canterbury

aſide.

So— This ſhakes my pow’r; but I’ll have full return.

Emma.

Where is the man with whom I was accus’d? To Canterbury. Have thy deceitful practices enſnar’d him?

Alwine.

Behold him here!

Emma.

Good Alwine, cheer thy thought, Nor let the malice of thy foes ſubdue thee. I judge thy mind’s confuſion.

Alwine.

Alwine feels No anguiſh for himſelf; the guiltleſs cauſe He ſtands of Emma’s ſuff’rings. I deplore The future pangs thy gentle mind may feel, When mem’ry paints this ſad diſgraceful ſcene. E Emma. 26 Ev 26

Emma.

How weak the woman who diſſolves in tears At undeſerv’d diſgrace! Inſult, well borne, Affords a ſtubborn energy of ſoul, When on the wing of purity ſhe ſoars Above man’s feeble thought. Beware, good Biſhop; Bluſh not at falſe opinion, nor confound Thy theory. Haſt thou not ſtrongly taught The attentive croud to fix on good alone, Heedleſs alike of cenſure or applauſe, Each being indeterminate?—Now prove Virtue is but dependent on itſelf.

Alwine.

I feel it is; yet ſhame oft dyes the cheek Of the ſuſpected innocent: its pow’r O’erwhelms too ſoon the female mind.

Emma.

Not ſo! When woman dares perfection, on her breaſt She wears an ægis, which no poiſon’d dart Of calumny can pierce.

Alwine.

I ſtand reprov’d.

Emma.

Should’ſt thou be ſtagger’d by appearance, where Shall dawning Virtue fix her timid eye, Or claim example?

Alwine.

Doubly bleſt by thine, Thy ſex, undaunted queen, ſhall bear the wrongs Inflicted by too haughty man, and ſmile With ſecret ſcorn on each officious fool, Who, like poor Canterb’ry, ſhall toil in vain. Canterbury. 27 E2r 27

Canterbury.

No more! thou may’ſt repent thy jeer, proud biſhop. I could have ta’en thy life.

Alwine.

Home! home! and bathe Thy guilt in tears of penitence; thy groan Of deep contrition yet may ſound in heav’n. But O preſume not on its tardy vengeance! Trifle no more! but leave the horrid path In which thou’ſt enter’d, ere thy wand’ring ſoul For ever loſe her point, and ſink beneath The heavy, heavy cloud of curſt deſpair! Exit Alwine.

Emma.

Slander, more dire than poets ever feign’d The gloomy Cerberus, may ope her jaws Upon my fame; no lulling potion’s mine, Nor will I ſooth the tripple-headed fiend, But proudly dare opinion. Here I ſtand Defam’d with Alwine. Fiery trials hold No proof, though my weak Edward reſts upon them. But as my ſoul ſhall fix by her own law, Nor riſe or fall by others, I bequeath Nine goodly manners unto Wincheſter. Its biſhop make my confeſſor: no thought Shall rankle in my breaſt, of guilty hue; But he ſhall help me to controul. Now learn, Thou good archbiſhop, and thou pious king, To play your ſuperſtitious arts on thoſe Who dare not think like Emma. Exit Emma.

Edward.

With what pow’rs E2Is28E2v28 Is Emma form’d! what ſtubbornness upholds Her dauntleſs ſpirit! am I not too weak? That ſhe is chaſte, I now could wage my crown. —O Canterbury! I would yet do right, Tho’ doubts and wild perplexities aſſil My yielding mind.

Canterbury.

Have faith, my gracious ſire; Life is a troublous journey; as a king, Much thou muſt bear, and much wilt ſure obtain.

Edward.

Be it e’en ſo.

Canterbury.

Earl Goodwin boldy proves How eaſily a ſubject may oppoſe—— Aſide. The ſtorm ſhall yet break on his head.

Edward.

Peace! Peace! We may condemn, not knowing what retards him. Suſpicion makes us cautious; but the breaſt Is ne’er at eaſe in which it dwells. This day Spend at my palace—much I need thy counſel. Exit Canterbury. Enter Meſſenger.

Edward.

What anſwer now from Goodwin and his sons?

Messenger.

My liege, they all refus’d obedience. Exit Meſſenger.

Edward.

Ha! Is diſcontent grown buſy? Enter 29 E3r 29 Enter Leofricke.

Leofricke.

Arm, my king! Earl Godwin is a rebel, and his fleets Fall upward with the Thames, guided in chief By furious Toſtie: Harold, Swaine, and Girth, Arrange their troops upon the banks.

Edward.

Their rage Is vain; crowns are not mortals’ diſpenſations: Hath e’er the ſun or moon’s unwearied light Left me but in a ſanctity of thought? Who better claims a crown? What pow’rs are thine?

Leofricke.

Five thouſand vet’rans unto theſe are join’d, The ſtrength of Siward of Northumberland, With valiant Rodulph.

Edward.

Fix thy ſtrongeſt guard Around our palace—Are the rebel troops On Lambeth ſide?

Leofricke.

They are, my liege.

Edward.

Be ſwift, And cloſe each entrance to the town—proclaim Goodwin a traitor.

Leofricke.

Where may we bestow The queen Editha, trembling with her fears, Rais’d by the tumult, ſhe awaits?

Edward.

Away! I will30E3v30 I will not ſee her—ſhe is is vile—her father May prove her beſt protector.

Leofricke.

On my knee I beg my gracious king will yet accept Her ſoft affections! in her father’s crime She bears no part—ſweet innocence and beauty Are hers: then deign to ſee her.

Edward.

Conſcious honour Forbids that to my boſom I ſhould take A woman fraught with guilt, whoſe craft conceals The deep deſigns of Goodwin, and her brothers: Much more I’ve cauſe to doubt; not ſhall the ſun Sink to the welcome boſom of the weſt, E’er frail Editha mourn her ſhame.——Retire! Charge Canterbury, with ſome rev’rend monks, To uſher in the queen. Exit Leofricke. The time ill suits To hear a woman’s plea; in ſome lone cell She ſhall abide till we recal her: Vice Poiſons my private peace, and to the winds Treaſon ſpreads wide his banners. Goodwin brings A most puiſſant pow’r to seize my crown. Forgetful of the pledge I hold, it ſeems As he would dare my weakneſs; but I ſcorn To bend, or own the ſnares of love. Enter Editha, Canterbury, Alwine, and Monks.

Editha

taking the hand of Edward.

My lord! This awful day hangs on the wing of time, Heavy 31 E4r 31 Heavy with anguiſh: truſt me I have ſhar’d Each ſigh that ’ſcap’d your heart, when Nature’s voice Oppos’d the iron rod of Law.

Edward.

What law Of Edward’s dare Editha deem ſo hard?

Editha.

A mother’s ſuff’rings muſt affect my Edward. Alas! why ſternly thus withdraw your hand From your Editha? why that frown? my heart Already beats too heavily—your ſcorn Will quickly bid its motion ceaſe for ever! —Have I deſerv’d your hate?

Edward.

ſternly

Haſt thou a ſoul In which ſincerity or conſcience lives? If ſo, throw by diſſimulation, charge Each practis’d poor aſſiſtant of thy ſex To ſleep awhile; and anſwer me—how came That Saxon minion, Nervi, in thy chamber, Whence, flying thro’ a ſecret door, he brav’d Conviction?

Editha.

Where is he that dares avow it? I fear, my Edward, thou hast much more cauſe To ſummon truth and candour to thy aid, Than thy much-injur’d wife!

Canterbury

aſide.

Now for a cheek, Of hue unchangeable as death!

Edward

to Editha.

Thou wear’ſt A neceſſary front of ſteady guilt: But 32 E4v 32 But, to confound thee, know this righteous man Stands thy accuſer.

Editha.

Good Archbishop, ſay It is not ſo.

Canterbury.

I dare not—nor do I Accuſe directly: but that I did ſee The Saxon Nervi ſtealing from your chamber, I muſt avow.

Editha.

Where are thy light’nings, Heav’n! That this too-impious wretch ſo boldly braves them? —Oh Edward! ſhake ſuſpicion from thy ſoul, That gnaws the root of happineſs. Revenge Chills not my boſom’s tenderneſs—I look With eyes of pity on thee, feel the ſtorm That ravages thy inward peace:—yet hear The voice of truth, of innocence and love In thy Editha; ſuffer me to heal The pangs this holy hypocrite hath caus’d.

Edward

enraged.

Preſumptuous woman, hence! ſtubborn in guilt, Thou willingly would’ſt throw thy load of ſhame On this moſt worthy prelate. Edward’s arm Protects him; nor ſhall thy rebellious brothers, Or traitor Goodwin, with infernal rage, Inſult his holy ſpirit.——Fathers! bear The queen to Waltham Abbey—bid her faſt, Turn penitent, and pray till paſſion loſe Its burning empire in her breaſt—Away! Edward going, Editha holds him, kneeling. Editha. 33 Fr 33

Editha.

Nay, go not yet! ah! hear, my much-lov’d lord— My huſband—king—by ev’ry name that’s dear To my fond hear! forego this horrid thought! Give me not up to theſe unfeeling prieſts, Who laugh at woe like mine! I know no crime! Yet love—

Edward.

She owns it—

Editha.

Can it be a crime To love my Edward! I will weep and pray For thy repoſe; and, when the cares of ſtate Weigh down thy gentle ſpirit, I will cheer The lonely hour——Oh! take me with thee!

Edward.

No; Thy craft, thy father’s treaſon, and my ſcorn, Plead loud againſt thy pray’r. Unhand me!—Prieſts, Obey my order.

Canterbury

aſide.

Thus far all goes right. Edward breaks from Editha, exit with Canterbury. Edith, fainting, is ſupported by Alwine.

Alwine.

Thou injur’d, innocent, ill-fated queen! This vile injurious wretch, cas’d thick in guilt, Bears much too pow’rful on thy ſoul and mine—— She lives!—Fathers, to you I muſt reſign her; Be tender of her, if your hearts are human. My tears forbid my ſtay. Exit Alwine.

Editha

Where is my Edward? FPriest.34Fv34

Priest.

To Waltham Abbey we muſt quickly guard Your ſacred perſon.

Editha.

Turn my ling’ring ſoul From life’s vaſt ſcene! farewel, my tender father! In whoſe warm boſom I was nouriſh’d long, Fearleſs of future ill, till fell ambition, That bane of ſoft tranquility, beguil’d Thy love, and thou didſt give thy child to Edward. O fatal change! O diff’rence moſt accurſt Betwixt a father’s and a huſband’s love! —Too happy maid, who ’mid the rural throng May’ſt chuſe the object of his guiltleſs heart, Each loving and belov’d; while queens like me Gaze thro’ the horrid grate, with wiſhing eye, To catch the beams of day—Tremendous gloom, Where ſouls impatient mourn, but never loſe The image they adore—How shall I hail thee? How waſt that ſigh to heav’n which Edward claims? Yet—lead me on, ye ſcourges of the world, Who teach ſecluſion benefits the ſoul, I muſt obey, tho’ reaſon ſcorn your pow’r. Exeunt.

End of Act II.

35 F2r 35

Act III.

Scene near Lambeth, London. Enter Goodwin, Harold, Girth, Toſtie, Swaine, Leofwine, and Soldiers; Drums, &c;

Goodwin.

Strike up the ſounds of war, till they awake The drowſy ſpirit of the land! Ariſe, Great genius of our iſle! breathe thy fierce fires Strongly into our boſoms!—Warm’d by thee, My ſons and fellow-ſoldiers shall deſpiſe Each hour of vulgar circumſtance, their hearts Pant quick for action, only dar’d by thoſe Who ſtretch the thought thro’ endleſs time. Deſpair Bends down our ſons of induſtry, pale want Robs the young cheek of ruddy hue; while craft, In venerable trimming, chains our king To tyrant ſuperſtition. Then befriend, Thou great unknown, our arms, if juſt; if rage, Or private grief, malice, or cruel pride, Be our incentives to this war, O wreſt Each ſword from its faſt hold, or turn the point On ev’ry guilty breaſt. F2 Harold. 36 F2v 36

Harold.

Hear, gracious Heav’n, And aid our gen’rous cauſe. What is the word?

Goodwin.

Redreſs for England—Trumpets ſound! ſtrike loud, Ye ſoul-reviving drums! till Edward feels His frozen pow’rs diſſolve, and boldy meets Our army like a king. Drums beat, Soldiers ſhout, Redreſs for England! As they prepare to march, Trumpets are heard at a diſtance.]

Goodwin.

Hark! Edward’s pow’r is near—Now, now, my ſons, May glory lift your ſouls beyond the ſtars, Till you forget mortality! may life Be deem’d no more than a rich ſpark, that glows With brightneſs and muſt out. I’ll lead you on Amid their thickeſt troops: but—if I drop, O do not pauſe, or pay the filial tear, Till you have time to weep!—Fall on, and ſtrike For England’s wrongs—for Emma! Think not then On Goodwin’s loſt Editha.

Harold.

We’ll forget, At that great moment, nature’s ſoft’ning plea, Nor liſt to aught but juſtice. All going, enter an Officer from the King’s Army.

Officer.

I am ſent As th’ ambaſſador of peace.

Tostie.

Thy errand Is now ill tim’d——On!—on— 37 F3r 37

Officer.

Our gen’ral claims A parley with Earl Goodwin.

Goodwin.

Be it ſo.

Tostie.

Nay, let it not be ſo, my noble Lord—— Lead on to vengeance. Goodwin confers with the Officer apart.

Harold.

Toſtie, thou art fierce As the untutor’d Arab—Shall we tear The father from his child, the blooming youth From his lamenting mother, forcing them To bear their boſoms to our ſwords, if peace May be obtain’d with honour?

Tostie.

Coward!—

Harold.

How! Dar’ſt thou defend that word? if ſo—but hold— The hour may come, when thou wilt not condemn A father thou should’ſt much revere.

Tostie.

By heav’n! I will condemn a father if he ſhake. But for a daſtard brother, who can ſit On the warm lap of time, mouthing event With poor grimace, then ſhrink, and mercy beg. Why, Harold, know, ſuch tremblers aſk me nothing, Such fathers, ſuch loud brothers, throw away Toſtie’s affections for his laſting ſcorn.

Harold

enraged.

Arrogant vaunter! try—— 38 F3v 38

Goodwin

coming up to them.

What answer, Harold, To Leofricke?

Harold

aſide to Goodwin.

How my heart ſwells!—We’ll hear him—— Our troops may here be cautiouſly arrang’d O’er Lambeth fields, our choiceſt men drawn out; Meanwhile the fleet of Toſtie ſhall not move.

Tostie

aſide.

Am I thus curb’d?—ſhall I obey the rein, Like a reluctant ſteed that beats the duſt, While kept but in the view of enterpriſe?

Goodwin

to the Officer.

Thus much to your right valiant gen’ral ſay, That hoſtages on either ſide be given, And we will meet him with our force in part Near Weſtminſter; conditions ſhall be ſigned By England’s king, or he muſt meet the war.

Officer.

My lord, this meſſage ſhall in full be given. Exit Officer.

Goodwin.

This ſlumb’ring monarch is ſo dead to glory, So chill’d by pennance and abſtemious rule, That his weak ſpirit dares not look abroad, Or ſoar thro’ wide creation. Could he burſt Beyond thoſe uſeleſs forms, ſhake off the chain With which theſe crafty prieſts have bound his ſoul, Like us he’d fear but one immediate cauſe, Nor deem a pope more welcome than himſelf To bright Omnipotence;—but Edward bends A people’s bleſſings to his private good, Scorning the heav’nly attribute of mercy.

Exeunt.
Scene 39 F4r 39
Scene The Palace. Enter King Edward and Archbiſhop of Canterbury.

Edward.

Goodwin’s bold daring does not much ſurprize me; For he’s of ſullen and ungodly ſpirit: But that my people in ſuch num’rous throngs Should join the rebel, grieves me. I have reigned By thy ſtrict rule—my wealth I do not hold But to the glory of the church—her wants I have ſupply’d with willing hand—her ſons I do eſteem my brethren: then will Heav’n Leave me to my licentious foes?

Canterbury.

Rely On Heav’n with ſtrongeſt faith, and murmur not; For diſcontent is oft times reprobation. Enter Leofricke.

Leofricke.

My gracious liege, I muſt attend you where The Saxon duke with all his daring ſons Await your preſence: hoſtages are given, Tend’ring your ſafety.

Edward.

What are their conditions?

Leofricke.

We know not yet.

Edward.

Are all thy pow’rs compleat?

Leofricke.

They are, great Sire—but all your Nobles wiſh To ſpare th’effuſion of your ſubjects blood. 40 F4v 40

Edward.

I yield to Heav’n! and now if horrid war Sweep off whole millions, I ſhould think it meant But as a chaſtiſement for our great ſins. The body of my people is too proud, Voluptuous to exceſs; nor e’er content With neceſſary comfort.

Canterbury.

No—they call Loudly for liberty: their threats have reach’d Our pious King; and monarchy now reels.

Leofricke.

May I conduct your Majeſty.

Edward.

Lead on.

Exeunt.
Scene, Weſtminſter. Goodwin, Harold, Toſtie, Swaine, Girth, and Leofwine, with Soldiers, on one Side; Siward, Rodulfe, with the King’s Party, on the other.

Goodwin.

Why ſtays the King leaving us time to doubt? —The hour’s expir’d.

Siward.

Not ſo, brave Earl—for me, I’d rather join the ring with village maids, And ſkip to the wild muſic of a reed, Than aid this war:—I would not kill thee, Goodwin, So much I love thy virtues: but ſhould rage Bid thee oppoſe thy ſword to Siward’s heart; Why then, would Nature, in her ſaving mood, Rouze Siward’s ſpirit to that furious charge Which fools term honour, wiſe men folly. Goodwin. 41 Gr 41

Goodwin

ſmiling.

I’ll ſhun thee in the combat.

Siward.

Then I’ll ſay, Goodwin doth from a coward run away.

Goodwin.

Thou art not ſo, I’ve ſeen thee fight.

Siward.

I’ve ſeen Prodigious and old-faſhion’d things: a King So good his people bleſs’d him; women wiſe; A fop at pray’r; and once I did obſerve A courtier ceas’d to fawn; an aged ſtateſman, With head of ſilver foliage, ſpurn’d the block, Yea threw the ax on his good Prince’s toes; —Then ſmil’d at legal murder: Such ſtrange things Have no accompt, like Siward’s valour.

Harold.

Hold!—— Enter Edward and Canterbury, with Leofricke.

Edward.

Now daring Saxons, why are you aggriev’d? Speak loud your injuries, if ſuch you feel, But weigh your clamours againſt truth.

Goodwin.

I dare, And truth ſhall ſound my clamours with a voice That ſhall apall thee! England ſpeaks by me, Pleading her public funds are deeply drain’d To ſwell the prieſtly revenue. Her ſons Oppreſs’d, till they forſake the glebe untill’d, And ſtand like ſtatues ſtiffen’d by deſpair.

Edward.

And whither tends thy bold harrangue? GGoodwin.42Gv42

Goodwin.

Yet hear,—— Relieve thy people’s burthen.—Why affright The ſimple mind from honeſt toil, or charge The clown with ghoſtly cumbrance? If thy prieſts Act for the Deity, ah, bid them ſpare, Like him, a pow’rleſs race!

Edward.

Thou’rt bold and raſh.— But on,—one remedy may ſerve for all.

Goodwin.

Thy mother, by the influence of thy monks, And wily Canterbury, was to ſhame A public ſacrifice.

Edward.

Why wilt thou err? —It cleared her from imputed guilt.

Goodwin.

Not so, The black ſuſpicion ſtill remains! What law, What vulgar ſcourge, or burning iron clears The tainted thought o’ the people?

Edward.

Should a woman, Once nam’d unchaſte, oppoſe our prieſt’s example? That were to give the reign to vice.

Goodwin.

When prieſts Can fright a King from her he ought to love, Their precepts muſt be holy! Hear me yet, —The ſum of all our troubles ſhall be brief: Firſt, thou the heavy tribute ſhall remit Of forty thouſand pounds, now yearly paid Under 43 G2r 43 Under the term of Dane-gelt, by thy clauſe The clergy being exempt. Thou next ſhalt own Thy wife Editha as a Queen, and take The guiltleſs mourner to thy arms; then curb The monkiſh pow’r; vile Canterbury baniſh; And we will claim no more.

Edward.

He ſhall not go! I will not banish him.——

Goodwin.

Strike up the drum!

Siward.

Stay, noble Goodwin!—be not raſh.

Goodwin.

Return Our hoſtages, and take your own!

Leofricke.

My Leige, Why do you pauſe? The horrors of a war Are dreadful: join with him, his claims are good; —He may yet benefit your land.

Edward.

Shall I Yield to a ſubject?

Leofricke.

Pow’r ſo great as his, May ſcarcely own ſubjection.

Canterbury.

Send him hence! His troops ſhall ſcatter, with affrighted thought, When pure religion o’er the million rears Her aweful ſtandard. Subjects long inured, Long check’d by conſcience, dare not aid his cauſe; My pow’r ſhall weaken the proud Traytor! G2 Goodwin. 44 G2v 44

Goodwin

enraged.

Fly! Thy vulture, feeding ’mid a nation’s woe! Let me not ſhed the venom of thy heart On th’ innocent boſom of the earth. My ſons, Here is no hope—we muſt away.

Tostie.

O ſhame On wordy combat!—hence!—aſide tauntingly Now, gentle Harold, May th’ untutor’d Toſtie fight?

Goodwin.

Farewel, Unthinking Edward! Ghaſtly viſag’d war Shall ſoon o’erwhelm thy land, and teach thee juſtice.

Edward

ſcornfully.

Go, vaunting Saxon! When didſt thou ſubdue A Britiſh King by threats?

Goodwin.

Threats I deſpiſe: Nor would I kindle fury or revenge Within thy boſom.—Let me then perſuade I am thy ſubject, love thee as a man; In gen’ral prize my fellow creature’s lives, And would increaſe their earthly joys, nor lead Their minds from truth. Yet when a num’rous throng Of wretches groan beneath the ſcourge of craft, I dare oppoſe thy rule, and bid them live.

Edward

Aſide.]

Where are my reſolutions!

Goodwin.

Own, my ſon, The godlike pow’r of bleſſing; millions truſt To thee, and thy award deſpotic ſtands, Tho’ 45 G3r 45 Tho’ thouſands in a long ſucceſſion fall From thy dread laws effect: ſoft peace is thine And on her lap thy pooreſt ſlave may reſt. Plenty is thine; nor ſhould her fruitful ſtore Be thus divided by a Sovereign’s hand Among the lazy few. Oh, Edward, think A King is of dire import to the world When he unjustly, or unwiſely acts. Enter the Pope’s Legate, with pomp. Edward, confuſed, bows abjectly.

Legate.

Why do the cries of mis’ry break the air, Sounding moſt loudly from the lowly cell Where lank obſcurity would freeze the heart? The laws of England cool the peaſant’s hearth, Whilſt in the cradle his weak offſpring dies! What may we call thee, Edward? dar’ſt thou ſtand ’Gainſt pow’r infallible, and ſhake the charm Of holy vaſſalage from thy weak ſoul? Know, King, within that charm lies hidden ſtrength. How comes it then, his Holineſs demands, That his moſt juſt obſervances are ſtrain’d To general torture? When he bade thee uſe The ordeal fire, he meant not that the heat Should reach a Queen.

Goodwin.

Beware, moſt rev’rend Legate.—

Edward.

The oath of Canterbury ſolv’d my doubt, Nor did he teach the diff’rence. Goodwin. 46 G3v 46

Goodwin.

He was right. Dare Queen’s plead a prerogative to ſin? Or Princes give their precedent to break Statutes they have (howe’er unwiſely) form’d? The ordeal law ſwells with contagion,—ills, Minute as particles of poiſon, grow To inſtantaneous magnitude within it: But if enforced by Edward’s ſov’reign hand, Let Queen and Cottager yield to the plague.

Legate.

Be calm, good Earl, my errand is to thee, And England’s King.—Our Bulls have been miſuſed To ſanctify falſe deeds: deeply profan’d Are our indulgences and abſolutions: While to this Prelate, ripe in dark miſdoing, We truſt the guidance of this pious Monarch. Therefore his Holineſs by me preſents, Unwillingly, this liſt of many errors Committed by weak Canterbury. Preſents a paper. King reads.

Edward.

Shame Await the haughty Monarch who ſhall turn From ſounds of Truth? Conviction ſtruggles here And long-eſtablish’d confidence is fled. O Canterbury! had’ſt thou ever borne The weight of empire, thou had’ſt ne’er aſpir’d Beyond the ſweet ſerenity that dwells Within the cloyſter. Contemplation there Bears the kind ſpirit o’er a toiling world, While from the ſpeculative draught ſhe throws Benevolence and pity on the wretched. But 47 G4r 47 But me!—thou haſt deceiv’d! Me, thou haſt led From pale affliction’s plaintive voice! Oh pomp! What haſt thou in exchange for one man’s truth? —How shall I act?—

Goodwin.

Reflect one moment, Edward! Avow ſtrong virtue thine. Open thine arms, And take thy honeſt ſubjects to thy heart.

Legate.

Firſt take this man that pleads not for himſelf.

Edward

embracing Goodwin.

It muſt, it ſhall be ſo, O father! friend! Trembling confuſion crubs my tongue; yet take My ſoul in ſilent tranſport! Henceforth prove The guide of Edward; to thy prudent hand I truſt the wide direction of my realm.

Canterbury

aſide.

My ſun of glory ruſhes from his ſphere Nor takes a ſlow decline:—why what a gloom Doth nature in one moment ſeem to wear!

Goodwin.

Bleſt hour that ſeals mine and my country’s peace, Cruſhing fell diſcord, e’er her venomn’d ſting Could ſtrike our hardy Britons! Harold, haſte With Toſtie, and our party thro’ the gates: Without the town I’ll meet you, firſt this peace We’ll ratify by oath.—For You Arch-Biſhop, No more we’ll meet within this ſea-girt iſle; Thou art a deep-diſeaſe, a growing-evil, Which muſt be cut from out the heart o’ the King, Who elſe might periſh with thee.

Canterbury.

Haughty Duke! Tempt not my vengeance! here I ſtand the mark 48 G4v 48 Of laughing-inſult: ſo diſgrac’d and fall’n, That the loud-many hooting as I paſs, Shall cauſe more pennance to my wounded ſoul Than might obtain a heav’n! yet do I ſcorn Thy ſettled malice.

Edward.

Then hear my command: Which is, that ſingly thou doſt leave this town. If thou’rt diſguis’d thy perſon may be ſafe. This paper holds a liſt of thy extortions From the poor peaſantry, throughout my realm, And many clamours from my people riſe Reſpecting thy miſdeeds. If true religion Be thine, it may ſupport thee:—man’s ſhort life Is but a ſojourn, change of place enſues, And no one ſpot without its ſorrows. Thought Hangs back upon the paſt, bringing the ſhades Of thoſe lov’d objects we muſt claſp no more; Awhile they rend the ſoul, but lenient-time Steals gently o’er the ravages they make, Till ev’ry ſtorm is lull’d to calm content.

Canterbury.

Miſtake me not, good King, firm, undiſmay’d I leave thy kingdom: Canterbury’s ſoul Can ne’er, by man, be humbled; diſtance, time, Heav’n’s promiſed bliſs or threaten’d pangs of hell, Shall never make me aught but Goodwin’s foe. Exit Canterbury.

Edward.

What pride ſupports him!—Leofricke, our troops May haſte unto their ſev’ral homes, and taſte Soft comfort lately left: my rev’rend friend, With this good Earl, his ſons and valiant Siward, Some few hours hence will at our palace meet. Goodwin. 49 Hr 49

Goodwin.

Harold and Toſtie, join our troops; while Girth Brings on the rearward; near the cloſe of eve I will attend you. Exit all but Harold and Toſtie. As Harold is following the Party.

Tostie.

Harold!

Harold.

Speak thy wiſh.—

Tostie.

I wiſh thee inſtantly to prove thy right Of acting proud dictator; checking me, And jeering my opinion. Were my troops With vaſt expence brough thither for thy mirth? —This ſuits not Toſtie.—

Harold.

Did it ſuit thee well, When I but calmly ſpake, to term me coward?

Tostie.

I nam’d thee juſtly:—go—bring on our army To ſeal a vile inglorious peace: no tongue But thine, whoſe ſoul is chill’d by ſudden fear, Would dare to move upon ſo vile a ſubject.

Harold.

Farewel, thou valiant but ferocious Saxon!

Tostie.

Nay ſtay! tho’ Toſtie’s rage ſhould from his cheek Throw one deep bluſh on ocean’s gen’ral boſom, He could not change the colour of thy lip. Snow-drops look whiter as the welkin rears Unnotic’d; while the ſpirits of the air Imbrown with freezing blaſt the infant ſpring. H O thou 50 Hv 50 O thou art cold as winter, pale as light, And daſtardly as woman!

Harold.

Muſt I act Beneath humanity, tho’ thou art mad? Toſtie, thou art of fierce and cruel nature, And pleas’d with horror: in thy youthful hours I’ve ſeen thee pluck the feathers of a dove, While ſhe was rich with life. Ah, Toſtie, learn Barbarity is cowardice!

Tostie

draws.

Then dare it.

Harold.

Thou art my brother!

Tostie.

No, thy mother wrong’d me. Thou canſt not be the ſon of noble Goodwin!

Harold

draws.

Irrev’rend traytor! Mother ſtretch thine eye Down from thy ſeat of bliſs; while, for thy ſake, I do chaſtiſe thy wild degen’rate boy.

Tostie.

Perdition ſeize thee, lazy trifler! Fly! Or guard thyſelf.

Harold.

Moſt willingly to guard A mother’s fame, and Goodwin. They fight, Toſtie is diſarm’d by Harold

Tostie.

Curſed chance!

Harold.

I will not take thy life, but for thy ſword I’ll keep it till thou haſt more cauſe to pierce A brother’s breaſt. Exit Harold. 51 H2v 51

Tostie.

Riſe dæmons of deſpair! Ye, who are wont to ſting the ſuff’ring ſoul! Chiding fair patience till her heav’nly breath Cools not the burning agony.—Oh ſhame, Surround me with thy blueſt ſulphur!—Life! What are thy charms weigh’d now with endleſs ſleep? I will not hold thee in! Do I not blaze In hotteſt infamy? Periſh ye ties Of nature: father! brother! I renounce All pleas but thoſe of firm and laſting rage. Toſtie ſhall with an hideous ruin fall!

Exeunt.
Scene the Outſide of the Archbiſhop of Canterburys Palace. Enter Canterbury diſguised as a Monk.

Canterbury.

An exile!—baniſh’d! my aſtonish’d ſoul Dwells on the ſound, as if it held a depth Of horror ſtill unknown! Baniſh’d! it ſtrikes Moſt forcibly.—O Goodwin, thou haſt laſh’d Thy ſteeds of glory, till thou haſt o’er-reach’d me; And now I fall more helpleſs than the babe. Revenge, where art thou? on the pow’rful arm Thou own’ſt ſucceſs, while I am driv’n forth Thro’ woods and dreary deſerts to lament My fate without thee! Could my dagger’s point But meet the throat of Goodwin ere I go, My ſoul would ſtill retain her pride. O Heav’n! Add a few hours unto my bounded time Of tarrying here, and welcome may’ſt thou cut Double the number off my brittle life, And this world’s reck’ning! Time thou art the ſteed H2 52 H2v 52 On which fools ever ſleep laden with ſchemes, Dull fears, and lazy wiſhes.—To the wiſe, Thou art the light’ning of o’ertaken-thought, Embodying and throwing into act The mind’s more cool and latent meaning.—I Have giv’n a looſe far on, yet might I hold One chance; upon it would I darkly force Such circumſtance as would avenge my wrongs. Enter Lodowicke paſſing haſtily. Hoa! Lodowicke!

Lodowicke.

That voice I ſure have heard. What would’ſt thou ſtranger?

Canterbury.

Quarrel with diſguiſe That hides loſt Canterbury from thy view. But time ſuits not, I muſt be brief: thou’rt come To take a long farewel.

Lodowicke.

Of whom, my lord?

Canterbury.

Of me: thou haſt not fail’d in ſecret furth’rance. But we’ve a foe.

Lodowicke.

What foe?

Canterbury.

Earl Goodwin.

Lodowicke.

There We’ve ever felt a curb: but why diſguis’d?

Canterbury.

Goodwin’s opinions flaſh on Edward’s mind. Teach him to doubt; while doubting, lead him on To ſeek the grand original of things. Rome’s 53 H3v 53 Rome’s powerful legate ſeals my deep diſgrace, While for eternal banishment I yield To this proud Earl my honours.

Lodowicke.

Baniſhment! Thou doſt confound my ſenſe—How may I prove My friendſhip for thee?

Canterbury.

Friendſhip knows no law, No bound in nature; ’tis the soul’s fierce flame, That in itſelf abſorbs a deed, and turns, By its diſſolvent principle, the eſſence Of vice to mildeſt virtue.

Lodowicke.

Why ſo cool? Haſt thou a doubt?

Canterbury.

I have.—Granting I had not, What would’ſt thou do to prove thy boaſted friendſhip?

Lodowicke.

Occaſion is a loit’rer to my will, Nor can my knowledge ſerve: inſtruct me—

Canterbury.

Swear!

Lodowicke.

Ye pow’rs of juſtice! if——

Canterbury

haſtily interrupting.

Hah! ſaving clauſe Of mungrel villany! What ſimple wretch Would meekly bear pride’s wounding inſult, if He dar’d avenge himſelf? What lovely maid Would virtue fix on ſelf-denial, if She dar’d be leſs ſevere? What hungry knave Would thriveleſs ſpread the ſnare of cunning, if 54 H3v 54 He boldly dar’d to give a maſter-ſtroke, And foil by craft, rogues richer than himſelf? —Go, thou art timid to a fault.

Lodowicke.

Thou’rt wrong; I yet would ſerve thee.

Canterbury.

Swear thou wilt obey My deep inſtruction, ſhould’ſt thou be abſolv’d From guilt.

Lodowicke.

What may I ſwear by?

Canterbury.

By that pow’r Thou haſt most cauſe to fear.

Lodowicke.

By that sole cauſe Who ſits deciſive as the judge of man.

Canterbury.

Goodwin muſt die!

Lodowicke.

Hah! murder?

Canterbury.

Wilt thou ſtart At one convenient act?—Remember, Monk, The blooming Arthur, rich in ev’ry claim Of interceding youth, did’ſt thou not wreſt His ſpirit from her manſion? Did’ſt thou not (I privy to the guilt) accuſe this Earl, And poiſon his fair character, full charg’d With the young prince’s murder? Why did we Dare thus the troubled ſea of damning pride, If not reſolv’d to reach the glitt’ring ſhore? What’s life without pre-eminence? What ſlave, 55 H4r 55 Doom’d to throw pebbles at the changeful moon (For ſuch is man’s great farce) would ceaſeleſs drudge, Could he lure fool-created Edward on, And ſcourge him to the office? I am hurl’d From heights on which my firmeſt virtues broke: But with me thou ſhalt periſh——Farewel prieſt. Exit Canterbury.

Lodowicke.

O guilt! till now I never felt thy ſnares. Retreat is death—He’s gone!—Where may we pauſe, When once launch’d forth in evil? Should the king Have knowledge of our crimes, his doom is ſeal’d, Mine yet to come with full expoſure. Shame! Thou limping ſubſtitute of the ſoul’s worth, Thou com’ſt not but in ſecret to our aid, Nor aid’ſt us till we’re loſt!—I muſt obey. Exit after Canterbury. Enter Alwine and Attendants.

Alwine.

Here ſtands the unhappy Canterbury’s palace, Within whoſe walls ſat purple-veſted Guile, Planning her perſecutions. All is ſtill: No more the doors turn ſwiftly to receive The might miniſter of England’s ruin; No more ſhall Wiſdom’s unſupported ſon Here ſeek preferment with an honeſt bluſh, That ſpake his ſoul invaluable, and ſham’d The haughty donor. See, my friends, how ſoon Fade life’s external beauties.

Attendant.

We are late: I fear, my lord, the roads to Wincheſter Are filled with riotous troops. Alwine.56H4v56

Alwine.

Lead thro’ the woods; Confuſion roars but round the city. Bleſt Is the poor villager, now toiling far In the deep boſom of ſome flow’ry vale; His brow wears ſweet content, his guileleſs heart Beats true to nature’s tranſport; while his hearth Surrounded by his happy offſpring, ſhines More enviable than Edward’s throne. Haſte on, For I am out of humour with the day, That yields no vict’ry but to horrid guilt.

Exeunt.
Scene, at a trifling Diſtance from the Palace of Canterbury. Lodowicke and Canterbury.

Lodowicke.

I would ’twere done! it lies oppreſſive here, Laying his hand on his boſom. Tho’ wrapp’d in thin deſign. How are we form’d, That, while we ſtart, e’en at the horrid purpoſe, We do the deed accurſt?

Canterbury.

Mere fancy all: Men are machines, nor act by nice preciſion; Neceſſity of circumſtances bind The will upon the act, or we ſhould ſleep Diſpirited life away—Unruly paſſions, Diſſolving wiſhes, appetites, and wants, Are ſprings that move ſtupendous order.

Lodowicke

holding a paper.

Go! And leave me to fulfil this dreadful oath.

Canterbury.

Give me that paper—my revengeful ſoul Shall 57 Ir 57 Shall feed on its contents: this oath will ſooth My unappeaſed ſpirit as I move Inſulted thro’ the world. Retire with me, And I’ll abſolve thee from the ſin, but leave Thee pow’r to execute. O ſell deſpair! When innocence is loſt, we fly to thee.

Exeunt.

End of Act III.

58 I2r 58

Act IV.

Scene, The Palace, Throne, Chair of State, &c; Enter King Edward and Queen Emma.

Emma.

Thy zeal, my son, is as a guideless flame, Whose infant spark was only meant for comfort. False are the shades of sickly fancy, ting’d With hot enthusiasm. Thou oft dost mew Thyself within thy closet; while thy people Complain aloud of public ill, thine ear Is never tun’d to their complaint: the Monks Confine thee to themselves, nor give thee time For even moral action.

Edward.

Can’st thou place An isthmus in the soul, divide her joys, Reduce her highest hope to poor convenience, And teach the spirit’s extacy to move Mechanically to the times?—O no! External good is nought, for Edward scorns The transient joys of life; beyond the grave His views dare reach; there is his lasting good. I2 59 I2r 59

Emma.

Like ſome rapt viſionary, thou doſt plead, Who hopes to gain a diſtant ſcene of bliſs, Forgetful of the means. What haſt thou done, With means ſo amply given? What mourner, rais’d From mis’ry’s flinty bed? What ſon of woe, Led from the dreary priſon, and wip’d off Its damps from his pale forehead? Thou can’ſt pray, And pray moſt loudly; but an act like this Shall blazon in the eye of Heav’n, whilſt thou Shalt whine unnoticed.

Edward.

Doſt thou ſcorn devotion!

Emma.

No, but I ſcorn the form without the eſſence. Serve, love thy people; bid thy Monks kneel down To pray for thee: then, ſhould their voices fail, Remember the lone widow’s bleſſing—ſmiles Of grateful orphans and of trembling age Shall plead for Edward. Enter Lodowicke, with a Paper.

Edward

reads.

Thou art commended here, as one of worth, To be my ghoſtly confeſſor: be it ſo, Now Canterbury’s gone, who ſeem’d to me The ſpirit of faith. Did I not weep and kneel Obſervant to his rule, till this frail fleſh Seem’d loſt to all its purpoſes? Bright viſions To my ſtrong fancy ſtood reveal’d; while ſcenes More bright than Mahomet hath form’d his bow’rs, Struck on my raviſh’d ſenſe.

Lodowicke.

Ha! this works well. Aside.My60I2v60 My liege, this righteous man muſt yield; his foes Strike hard for this world’s ’vantage; let them take it, He waits a better ſtate—Ah! how unlike The ſtubborn Alwine!

Emma.

Holy raven, peace! Thou that can’ſt croak and flutter round the church, Scaring the vulgar with they direful ſound, Till their thick fancies dreſs the midnight ſhade In images of horror, death, and woe. The ſoul of Alwine ſits upon his tongue, And his pure practice holds a mirror, where The ſemblance of his virtues ſhine too bright For eyes like thine to fix on.—So the ſun In his meridian glory dares mankind, Who cloſe the lid on his effulgence. Weak And falſe is thy corrupted judgment. Errors, Unnumber’d as the atoms which compoſe thee, Riſe to obſtruct thy mental optics: theſe Thou doſt miſtake for blemiſhes and ſpots, Fix’d ’mid expreſsleſs glory. Clear thy ſoul From miſts of pois’nous quality, or turn Thine eye from Alwine. Exit Emma.

Edward

to Lodowicke.

Grieve not, gentle prieſt; Queen Emma may be raſh, yet is her mind Endu’d with ſtrength more firm than manly wiſdom. Retire! this is the hour when dove-ey’d peace Shall ſpread her ſhining pinions o’er the land. Exit Lodowicke. Enter Siward with a Paper—He preſents it to the King, who ſits. Edward. 61 I3r 61

Edward.

Theſe are our terms of peace—Where is the Earl?

Siward.

Adjuſting his white locks, my liege. He ſwears The world was never honeſt till this hour. No knave, he ſays, can taſte our Engliſh air; But, like a frog in Ireland, he expires. No huſband murmurs at a wife that’s old, No miniſter loves pelf.

Edward.

His anxious heart, By thy deſcription, is releas’d from care. Enter Goodwin, Swaine, Leofwine, and Leofricke. Edward gives the Paper to Goodwin.

Edward.

May this our league for ever laſt! nor grief Corroſive prey upon my people. Say, Earl Goodwin, if yet any act remains, Whereby King Edward may relieve his ſubjects.

Goodwin.

Where is Queen Emma, and my dear Editha? Goodwin, without their preſence, is unjoyful. My child, I think, is tardy.

Edward.

If thy daughter Receive thee not, the fault is hers.

Goodwin.

By heav’n, She ne’er was guilty of a fault like this! And if ſhe now aſſume a ſtubborn ſpirit, It cannot be her own; for ſhe is mild As 62 I3v 62 As Zephyr, when he dances on the leaf With ſcarce diſcerned motion. Much I fear Thou doſt miſtake Editha.

Edward.

She was ſent This morn to Waltham Abbey.

Swaine.

Wherefore, King?

Leofwine.

My ſiſter’s wrong’d! King Edward, prove my fears Are falſe, or our conditions may not ſtand.

Goodwin

to Leofwine.

Whom would’ſt thou teach? Be calm!—Thy ſiſter’s wrongs, If wrong’d ſhe be, ſhall claim as good a ſword As thine, tho’ paſſion ne’er directs its point. Hence, boys, to Waltham Abbey; bring her to me, That I may hold her to my boſom——Why Was ſhe ſent thither?

Edward.

Goodwin, ſearch no more The wounds my fond credulity hath made. Young Leofwine and Swaine, conduct her hither, And gay feſtivity ſhall crown the night. Exit Swaine and Leofwine.

Goodwin.

Now, chearful Siward, am I proud to meet thee Where the hoarſe growl of diſcontent is lull’d, And peace and ſocial friendſhip warm the heart. Had war’s impetuous fury rais’d our ſwords Againſt each other’s breaſt, one muſt have fallen.

Siward.

And that odd one been luckleſs Siward. Enter 63 I4r 63 Enter Harold haſtily.

Harold.

War!

Goodwin.

How? War! Who leads it at this ill-tim’d hour, When ev’ry wound is healing?

Harold.

Toſtie.

Goodwin.

No! Thou art affrighted, Harold.

Harold.

He hath ſlain My ſervants, and hath ſent the gory head Of my old faithful ſteward, with this meſſage, That Harold’s head ſhall fit his ſteward’s ſhoulders.

Goodwin.

What cauſe hath he?

Harold.

Wild with reproachful rage, He ſwears himſelf diſhonour’d by our peace.

Edward.

Ungen’rous youth! Where are his forces, Harold? In ſingle combat will I meet his ſhock, And ſave my people. Goodwin, if I ſtand The mark of treaſon, and thou think’ſt my death Will prove a bleſſing to the realm, ſtrike here; But lure me not with proſtituted friendſhip.

Siward.

Goodwin is no aſſaſſin, I’ll be ſworn. Nature, when blind and drowſy, made him honeſt; Nor can he do the drudgery of treaſon—— O! he is idle in vile matters. Harold. 64 I4v 64

Harold.

Girth Bars Toſtie’s paſſage towards the palace——

Goodwin.

Hence! Fly, Leofricke, to arms! Strangely ſevere Seems Juſtice, when ſhe bids a father throw The gauntlet to his child.—Ah, weary age! —Come on, brave Siward.

Siward.

Truſt me, I’ll not fly Till heav’n ſhall deem my ſpirit worth acceptance.

Goodwin

to Edward.

Then follow me——Riſk not thy valu’d life, But truſt this guideleſs tumult to thy friends; Once quell’d, the charm of confidence ſhall bind The ardent ſoul of Goodwin to his King.

Exeunt.
Scene changes to a Wood. Enter Canterbury.

Canterbury.

Thro’ theſe lone woods I ſingly take my way; Nor dare I at yon diſtant village reſt— So much I fear the fierce plebeian throng: Their threats have pierc’d my ear—But gaudy pow’r Secur’d me long from vengeance; that I’ve loſt— All pow’r diſowns me now, ſave what this arm, And this poor dagger can afford. May war, Loud uproar, and wild anarchy, conſpire With ev’ry dreadful engine to deſtroy The peace of Goodwin.—Who comes here?—His face, Who 65 Kr 65 Who comes in furious ſort, I’ve ſomewhere ſeen. I’ll hide me in the covert of this wood. Enter Toſtie and Soldiers.

Tostie.

Curſe on your daſtard ſouls! you want my wrongs To nerve your arms. Did I not ſee you ſhrink From furious Harold?—Sound a ſwift retreat, And with your terrors aid the blaſt. My troops, Placed on the ſummit of yon hill, remain Unbroken. Bid them quickly fill my ſhips, Whoſe helms are turn’d for France——Away! Exit Soldiers. This land Shall on her breaſt feel iron-footed war, Till with the horrid preſſure she atone For Toſtie’s injuries. Triumphant Harold, Moſt bitter art thou to my ſoul. Revenge For my inſulted honour ſhall bring back Thy foe to England; if I conquer, then My only meed ſhall be the crown of Edward.

Exit. Toſtie goes off near the Place of Canterbury’s Concealment.
Scene changes to a farther Part. Enter Alwine and Attendants, on their way to Wincheſter.

Alwine.

How chearfully the birds from ev’ry bough Chaunt down the ſober evening in her courſe. Theſe ſcenes ſeem hallow’d to fair contemplation; For here the ſoul may ſit upon her wing, And, like the dauntleſs gazer of the f*un, K Behold 66 Kv 66 Behold the tumults of a world below. Yet we have ſtray’d too far into this wood: More to the left lies our true path. A Groan is heard behind. Good Heav’n, Defend us!—Whence that deathful groan? Attendants go to the Entrance of the Wood.

Attendant.

My lord, Return!—Here bleeds a man.—Take either path— We may be murder’d here.

Alwine.

Quick bring me to him: Thou mercileſs and cold as poor ſelf-love Can make a human heart. Canterbury led on mortally wounded, a Shepherd ſupporting him: he ſinks down.

Canterbury.

Here let me reſt. Life flutters in my veins. My frighted soul Seems buſy, like a prodigal, too late.—— Faints.

Alwine.

Quick raise him up.—Ah, life declines too faſt!— What, wretched Canterbury! Where could Heav’n Strike with more dreadful juſtice? Yet its law We muſt not queſtion. Partial is vain man; Too blind to judge event.——He breathes!—Revive, Thou helpleſs ſuff’rer! and we’ll bear thee on To ſome near cottage.

Canterbury.

Agony like this KIs67K2r67 Is truly dying. Then what’s death? What ſleep Shall heavily hold down the ſpirit?—Death, Art thou but laſting ſlumber, and no more? If ſo, I long to be at reſt. Good friends, Ye do o’erſtrain the knotty thread of life, Adding to ling’ring woe.

Alwine.

Be of good cheer; Thy wounds may not be mortal. Lay thy head Againſt my boſom. We’ll convey thee hence, O Canterbury!

Canterbury.

Ha! who names him?

Alwine.

One That fain would bid thee live, eaſe all thy care, And crown thy age with comfort, could’ſt thou own it.

Canterbury.

Weep not for me—I am not worth thy tear. Yet let me view thee.—Take me, Death! thy ſting Can never wound like Alwine.—’Tis my ſoul He tortures!—Hence! and let me die in peace.

Alwine.

Be calm, nor heed the paſt. Thy wounds bleed freſh From theſe fierce conflicts of the mind.

Canterbury.

Ceaſe! ceaſe! I cannot live!—Thy ſight is painful.—Hence! Mem’ry is yet too ſtrong——Oh Alwine! fly, Save Goodwin’s life, nor ſwell my load of guilt! By Toſtie’s hand I die!—Save, ſave his father, Whoſe life is in the pow’r of———Oh!—— Dies. Alwine. 68 K2v 68

Alwine.

He’s gone, Severely conquer’d by triumphant Death— Dread proof of human glory!—Viewing thee, Thou pale archbiſhop, on thy bed of turf, What heart would not be ſoften’d? Gaudy pomp Would here reſign her col’ring, while thy cheek Diſputed laſting victory. Thou art fled. May Alwine’s friendly pray’r aſſiſt thy ſoul, When ſhe would plead for bliſs. Had’ſt thou not rov’d Too far from rectitude, thy mind’s bright pow’rs Might have illum’d the ignorant, nor ſunk Thus terribly in woe.—Say, honeſt friend, To the Shepherd. Wert thou a witneſs to this dreadful ſcene?

Shepherd.

Only the cares of rural life are mine, Nor till this hour have my ſad eyes beheld A fellow-creature’s murder. Thro’ theſe woods This rev’rend father ſighing won his way, And, whilſt to heav’n he caſt a joyleſs look, My heart to him grew pitiful—in vain; For ſuddenly a youthful warrior came, Gaz’d on his face, ſtarted, and term’d him villain! His aged ſpirit blaz’d, boldly he drew A dagger from his boſom, with intent To ſtab the furious ſoldier—effort weak! The ſoldier bid him think of wrong’d Editha, Goodwin, and Emma—wrench’d the dagger from him, And in his boſom hid the ſanguine ſteel.

Alwine.

Take up the body. A few paces hence A venerable convent ſtands. Fear not; I will 69 K3r 69 I will direct you in your pious deed. This done, I haſte to London. On my ear Yet hangs the eager accent broke by death, Save Goodwin’s life! I ſhudder! for to me The pow’r of ſaving him is yet unknown. May Heav’n direct us thro’ its wond’rous path, Open a ſcene of rapture to our view, And ſave him whom a dying foe could pity.

Exeunt.
Scene London, after the Flight of Toſtie. Enter Goodwin and Harold.

Goodwin.

Harold, thy brother’s treachery deeply ſtrikes My wounded heart, chilling its ſtrongeſt force. Unnatural boy! how haſt thou ſoil’d my fame, My age of hard-earn’d virtue! but for thee, Had Goodwin’s name to after ages borne Sweet muſic to the ear.

Harold.

Forget his fault; Toſtie may yet ſubdue himſelf, and bleſs The evening of thy life with peace.

Goodwin.

O Harold! I am not uſed to mourn o’er ſudden ills, Or give a looſe to private ſorrow. Tears, When unavailing, ſame the eye.—Yet think How we have ſtruggl’d, triumph’d, ſav’d our country, Pluck’d off the galling chain of proud oppreſſion, And bade the bending wretch look up to freedom; While glory, sitting in the neareſt heav’n, Smil’d 70 K3v 70 Smil’d on our labours. Now our foes will hold The fault of Toſtie to the eye of Fame, When ſhe would wreſt our actions from oblivion.

Harold.

’Twill keep our foes from idleneſs, my lord. Things grow by oppoſites. If future ages, Thro’ narrow ignorance, zeal, or party rage, Convert the glorious deed to ſhame, while truth Scorns the black record, ſhall we tremble now, And ſhrink from virtue’s ſtandard? I confeſs We do not hold th’ advantage. Our good ſwords Were never meant, like monkiſh pens, to cut Deep channels for a lie.

Goodwin.

It must be ſo, Within our boſoms muſt we find reward, Nor dream of future commendation. Prieſts Will damn Earl Goodwin, while they ſaint, King Edward; And the weak million yield their reaſon.

Harold.

Where Can be th’ essential odds my lord?—In title? Why let them ſaint King Edward, swear he sprang, Like Romulus, in a light mood, to heav’n; No matter, we may take a better road.

Goodwin.

Thy wit is lively; but we’ll to the king. My heavy heart forebodes some unknown ill: I’ll not indulge it; ’tis the spirit’s doubt, Oft too creative when her bliss or woe Suspended lingers for the future hour.

Exeunt.
Scene, 71 K4r 71
Scene, The Palace. Enter King Edward, Emma, and Lodowicke.

Edward.

Good father, let Te Deum ſound in the morn Thro’ all our churches: my internal peace Is wrought to ſtrong perfection. We muſt wait The coming of our friends; well do they claim Our grateful ſalutation. But be near, Soon to retire with me. Thy fervent pray’r Shall give new vigour to my humble thanks.

Lodowicke

deſigningly.

My king ſhall be attended. I have heard Our holy prieſts complain with gentle ſighs, As tardily they walk’d, of fees unpaid, Of this world’s lux’ry, tythes too low in Kent, Of Goodwin’s wide poſſeſſions, which the earl Would never yield to our church ſtrictures: true, We ever were a moſt abſtemious tribe.

Edward.

Be’t thine to ſilence their complaints.

Emma.

Beware How thou doſt charge thy people.

Lodowicke.

Gracious queen, The people are voluptuous, high in ſpirit, No rule ſubdues their paſſions, they do loathe The day ſet by for faſting.

Emma.

We judge From thy freſh countenance, officious prieſt, Thou doſt chooſe wiſely more ſubſtantial bleſſings. Enter 72 Lr 72 Enter Editha, Swaine and Leofwine. Welcome, Editha! Love and laſting joy Shall bleſs each time-born hour; thy tears no more Waſh the cold pavement of a cloister. Truth Plants bright conviction in thy Edward’s heart, Bidding the chain of ſuperſtition fall.

Editha.

In Edward’s love centers my ev’ry wiſh; But he contemns my tender loſt affections. Edward, thy looks congeal me. Goodwin’s eye Will ſhine with fondneſs on his lov’d Editha. Brothers, away! my dignity of ſoul Shall ne’er be loſt. I willingly exchange Edward for ſuch a father.

Edward.

Talk not thus; I do confeſs me late the prey of art, And ſudden dark ſuſpicion. We’ll forget it, Our days to love and piety devote; Nor will I leave thee but when duty bends My knee with Lodowicke.

Leofwine.

Where is my father? Troops of warm ſoldiers paſſing on, was heard Diſcourſing loudly of my brother Toſtie.

Edward.

Brave Goodwin, and his ſons, Harold and Girth, Will ſoon be here: Toſtie is fled to France, Having aſſaulted Harold, and condemned Thy father’s league with us.

Swaine.

His reſtleſs spirit L 73 Lr 73 My father never could ſubdue or ſooth To manly pity.

Editha

Youth has many pleas To kind indulgence in a brother’s heart. I muſt deplore Toſtie’s ungovern’d temper. Yet do I hope it is not ſo debas’d, As to grow hard and ſtubborn with his years.

Swaine.

I am not his accuſer.

Edward.

Toſtie’s warmth Luxurious France may ſoften. Mirth this night Shall here take boundleſs pleaſure, bright-ey’d joy Snatch of the reign of care, and lull the ſoul With nature’s trueſt melody.

Editha.

My mind Seems loſt in an unuſual tranſport. Heaven, Thy wiſe decrees mortals ſhould never ſcan, Since thy rich compenſations truly prove, Each woe a bleſſing, born of endleſs love.

Exeunt.

End of Act IV.

74 Lv 74

Act V.

Scene, The Palace. Enter King Edward and Lodowicke.

Edward.

Think’st thou the men of Kent will raiſe their tythe?

Lodowicke.

My gentle liege, your ſubjects are enrag’d, Profaning all our laws, ſwearing ’tis craft To level tribute with a holy leer Upon the ſweating huſbandman.

Edward.

There’s wealth Sufficient yet in Kent; ten thouſand marks We need. This country, own’d by Goodwin, thrives With affluence, weigh’d with royalty itſelf. What’er his friendſhip, he may not refuſe His native county ſhould obey our laws.

Lodowicke.

That he’ll refuſe, I’ll fearleſs wage my head. But there are means to make him ſilent.

Edward.

How? LLodowicke.75L2r75

Lodowicke.

Suppoſe we excommunicate him?

Edward.

That He ever laugh’d at.

Lodowicke.

Then ſuppoſe him dead: May there not be in Goodwin’s death, effects So liberally extenſive in their courſe, That they may throw into the world’s great ſcale Such quantity of matter, that the good To man may more than balance with the ill, Which is but partial unto him?—I ſpeak Purely on ſuppoſition.

Edward.

Yet thy words Steal with a force moſt ſubtle to the thought, Raiſing conjecture of a motley hue. What man e’er dy’d by a king’s wiſh?

Lodowicke.

A few Have thus obey’d?

Edward.

aside.

What means this prieſt?

Lodowicke.

When kings Muſt dread a ſubject, why the choice remains Which of the two may die.

Edward.

I am convinc’d Aſide. Abate thy zeal for me. Earl Goodwin’s truth I ever will revere. What! tho’ we jarr In nice opinion, he deſpiſing form, And I moſt ſtrenuouſly adhering to it, Yet 76 L2v 76 Yet would I wage my ſoul in dreadful lay Againſt the heav’n I hope for, that he’d ſcorn To take the life of Edward.

Lodowicke.

So would I, And yet for different reaſons Aſide. But forgive My love too ill advis’d; I meant not aught Seriouſly ſtriking at the life of Goodwin. Alas, my king! how could thy juſtice quit Thy ſervant Lodowicke, when join’d in pray’r With thoſe who ſigh for mercy—he being full Of guile and cruelty?

Edward.

I ſhould abhor thee. Enter Goodwin and Harold. Welcome, my friends! again we meet in peace; No doubt ſhall henceforth riſe, but Edward’s act Find aid from Goodwin’s counſel, and the cares Of royalty be eas’d by gentle friendſhip.

Goodwin.

Toſtie’s wild conduct wounds me: yet my ſword Shall ſtill be thine—Goodwin will ne’er indulge Affection at the coſt of virtue. Harold, I charge thee, when death ſeals my weary eyes, To love thy king; his ſpirit is too mild For rough exertion. In the field protect him; Lead on his armies; chaſe the inſect train; Who ſting while they are buzzing in the ear Of unſuſpecting royalty. Be juſt, Sincere, and candid in thy friendſhip to him, Nor trifle with his real good.

Harold.

May Heav’n Renounce me if I ſwerve from truth! Edward. 77 L3r 77

Edward.

Enough! My brother Harold ever ſhall be near My heart; his confidence I will deſerve, By taking it in pure exchange for mine.

Goodwin.

Where is Editha?

Edward.

Waiting thy return With fond impatience.

Goodwin.

Bring me to her ſtraight. Enter Editha, Swaine, and Leofwine.

Editha.

My father!

Goodwin.

Do I hold thee?—Oh, Editha!

Lodowicke.

Curſe on this ſoft’ning ſcene! they drag my ſoul Back from the horrid act I muſt perform. Exit Lodowicke.

Goodwin.

From this bleſt æra thou ſhalt date thy bliſs, And in thy Edward’s love be happy. Time Will but improve his gentleneſs to thee Be ever, ever blest. Enter Emma.

Emma.

Are ye not ſlow, My noble lords? the banquet waits; our friends, The valiant Leofricke, Siward, and Girth, With Rodulfe, have too long expected you: The 78 L3v 78 The witty Siward rallies Lodowicke, Swearing with very faſting he looks pale.

Edward.

Siward is of moſt light and chearful nature; Sorrow ne’er low’ring ſits on his ſmooth brow. Good mother, we’ll attend you. Come, my love.

Goodwin.

Go on, my ſons, I’ll follow.—Stay, Editha. Exit all but Goodwin and Editha. I feel a ſtrange oppreſſion here; my heart Would ſhare thoſe ſorrows it can ne’er throw off With thee. I know not why, yet buſy thought Brings on thy mother’s image: ſweetneſs, truth, Thy ev’ry charm was her’s. Fain would I chaſe The beauteous ſhadow from my penſive mind, That vainly follows me thro’ this poor world. Soon, very ſoon, if ſpirits may exiſt, I ſure ſhall meet her.

Editha.

Ceaſe! I pray you, ceaſe! Why dwell on ſcenes that never can return, Checking the preſent hour’s beſt joy? Could man Be wiſely cautious how he rang’d the paſt, Would he not ſhun the path mark’d out by woe, Nor drag the ſpectre from the ſhades of time?

Goodwin.

Thy voice like melody prevails, and charms The mind to ſweet forgetfulneſs.—Yet hear, I’m ſwiftly leaving the ſtrong heights of fate, And in the deep deſcent, e’en you, Editha, Are leſſ’ning to my view. It muſt be ſo! When I am gone, be ſure thou keep thy hold Of ſacred virtue; let not inſult, ſcorn, Slighted affection, or, what’s worſe, the ſting Of 79 L4r 79 Of black ingratitude from thoſe thou lov’ſt, Rob thee of ſelf-applauſe. Repentance comes A late and painful comforter. ’Tis brave To give our wiſhes up when they are ſnares; But we are ſlaves when error claims atonement.

Editha.

Your precepts and example ſhall inſpire me. Only this night be happy; crown the joy Of thoſe who love you.

Goodwin.

Mem’ry’s outſtretch’d wing Spreads o’er my life, takes in my infant hours Youth’s ardent ſcene, ripe manhood’s fearleſs ſtage, So ſoon ran o’er, and all is viſion.

Editha.

Mirth, Friendſhip, and filial love, ſhall cheer your mind, When you behold your children bleſt. To you We’ll turn amid our higheſt joy; on you We’ll gaze, while grateful tears in ſilence ſpeak How much we love you; and your gen’rous heart Shall ſhare the tranſport you beſtow.

Goodwin.

Thy hand, My lov’d Editha; lead me to the king. Exeunt. Enter Lodowicke with a Phial.

Lodowicke.

Not yet! not yet! O pity! fly my ſoul, Nor ſhriek at my reſolve!—Once done, I’ll hear thee. In this ſmall phial lies eternal ſleep For him who taſtes;—for me it holds ambition. 80 L4v 80 Wealth, world-ſubduing ſway, and ſov’reign rule. Goodwin remov’d, the bigot Edward yields To my conducting.——Why this doubtful pauſe? This ſtrong reluctance?—Ye who dare deny The ſpirit’s working in this ſolid fleſh, Aſſiſt me!—Come, ye ſophiſts who are wont To plead that neither good or ill can reſt On mortal act, and laugh me to the work! I need internal ſtrength—What pow’r ſhall give it? Who gives it is the cauſe, and I’m approv’d.

Exit.
Scene changes—Draws and diſcovers King Edward, Emma, Editha, Goodwin, Harold, Swaine, Girth, Leofwine, Rodulfe, Leofricke, Lodowicke, and Siward, at a Banquet.

Emma

to Goodwin.

Do you not like our wine, my lord?

Goodwin.

Fair queen, It is too harſh, and my full ſpirits ſoar Already in ſtrange extacy. The wine I drank with pious Lodowicke, awhile Was nectar to my taſte. The rigid prieſt Gave out, he would not pay the roſy God Fit adoration; and, my thirſt allayed, I left it, hoping here to find as good.

Emma.

We’ll ſend for what remains.

Harold

to an Attendant.

My father’s cup Stands on the marble of the antichamber. Go fetch it to him. Exit Attendant. Goodwin. 81 Mr 81

Goodwin.

I have drank enough. Praiſe to our gracious Emma, who regales Her friends luxuriouſly. To the Attendant, who returns with the Cup. Nay, ſet it down; I’ll not be free to wide exceſs. Attendant ſets down the cup at a Diſtance.

Emma.

Brave Siward, Your wit is out.

Siward.

Great lady, by the maſs, My wit is in, and I do lack a ſtroke Moſt maſterly to fetch it out.

Edward.

What mark Stands beſt for narrow-pointed wit? Be free, Good Siward; we diſpenſe with form, and ſpeech Shall have full licenc*e for this night: Then ſay, What mark ſuits wit?

Siward.

True merit.

Edward.

O! how keen, How deeply poiſon’d, is the dart that wounds it!

Siward.

Wit needs nice prey, my liege, and ever turns From full-ſiz’d ignorance; envy is its nurſe; Contumely feeds it; pride from her ſoul ſtring Shoots the hot arrow of inſulting wit. O, wit is the rank ſcorpion of the world, Batt’ning on its ſweet kernel, leaving man M The 82 Mv 82 The part which merit loathes. Thus merit ſtarves, My liege, in theſe our days.—Lords, dare ye own her? No, merit ne’er appears i’ the court.

Goodwin.

If wit Be her ſole enemy, here were much room; E’en Siward muſt give way.

Siward.

When Goodwin gives His merit to corruption, I ſhall loſe My object and turn fool.

Goodwin.

Now ſhould’ſt thou ſwear Flatt’ry is merit, if thou dar’ſt avow Thou haſt her in poſſeſſion.

Siward.

Hail me, lords! As I wear truth and honeſty at court, To prove myſelf a miracle. Lords drink.

All.

Hail, Siward!

Siward.

Hail, our moſt gracious king! hail, every friend, That dare ſupport him and his country’s freedom! But we are dull; here’s muſic in the palace, And I’ve ſome lines for Lodowicke.

Lodowicke.

For me! I’ll not be charg’d with them.

Siward.

I’ll charge thee not With any thing that’s good. Why what is life, But83M2r83 But an odd ſcene of many colour’d hours; Wherein the good, the ill, the ſad, the chearful, Are blended with promiſcuous throw ſo fully, That each man chooſes what he may. How vain Is then thy cold auſterity?

Goodwin

to Lodowicke.

Thy looks Are full of anguiſh, Lodowicke; thou art ill. Why doſt thou tremble? Thy inconſtant cheek Wears now the lily, and anon the roſe. Such tokens ſpeak an agitated ſoul.

Lodowicke

confuſed.

I do not tremble, earl; I do not wear The changeable hue of guilt.

Goodwin.

Nay, more and more Thou doſt yield to ſome ſecret ſhock of health. Retire, good Lodowicke; thou art not well.

Lodowicke.

I——I——ſhall ſoon be well.

Siward.

Shall ſoon be well! A prieſt is never well but while he ſleeps.

Edward.

Siward, thy lines.

Siward.

Great king, my ſenſes reel Already o’er the world: but was I ſunk To the antipodes, I would ſtand up, And thro’ each cranny of this earthly globe My voice ſhall ſound, live Edward!—Come, ſtrike loud, Ye ſons of harmony! ſtrain high your strings, Left Siward’s ſong o’ermatch ye in your doing.

M2 Song. 84 M2v 84

Song.

A Monk he took his lanthorn up,

And bade his King trudge on;

His Majeſty ne’er ſtay’d to ſup,

But follow’d godly John.

John having faſted long, kneel’d down,

To feed beſide a brook;

But round his lanthorn wrap’d his gown,

The King his path miſtook.

Into the brook, from th’ other ſide,

His Majeſty did fall:

I ſurely ſhall be drown’d, he cry’d,

And loud for John did bawl.

Have faith, cry’d John; then thro’ the wood

Ran ſwift thro’ thick and thin,

Leaving the King faſt in the mud,

To get out as he got in. This ſong was left out after the firſt repreſentation. The objection was, that it departed from the dignity of Tragedy. I have never ſtudied mode or dignity; they are ſciences I ſhall never attain: but if any critic, who is a lover of nature, will give me his criterion dignity, I will promiſe to be actuated by that criterion as far as my dignified ideas can riſe.—Why do Death and Jollity ſhake hands so often through Shakeſpeare’s productions? becauſe they often meet in the great drama of the universe.

Goodwin.

Give me thy hand, for thou haſt boldly chid The blinding ſpirit of deluſive craft. Had John but reach’d his king a friendly hand, We would have bleſs’d him.

Edward

ſmiling.

Much my promiſe ſerves The gallant Siward. Goodwin leans upon his Hand, ſilently putting his Handkerchief to his Face. Siward. 85 M3r 85

Siward.

Lodowicke!

Lodowicke.

My lord?

Siward.

Thou ſhall be king, I will be pope, and Goodwin Shall be—ſhall be—a ſober, lifeleſs——Lodowicke, Can’ſt thou tell fortunes?

Lodowicke.

No.

Siward.

Then thou’rt no prieſt.

Goodwin.

looking up calmly, after having endeavoured to conceal an apparent Emotion. Tremendous pow’r! is this the awful moment, When time ſhall with my weary’d ſoul be o’er? If ſo, O mitigate theſe inward pangs! And give me fortitude to throw off life With manly ſeeming! Goodwin again reſumes his ſilent Attitude. Lords all riſe.

Editha.

Why that ſigh?—Ah! ſpeak, My much-lov’d lord!

Goodwin.

Be ſeated——O my daughter! Give me thy hand; for thee I yet would live, Thou treaſure of my ſoul! My veins are ſcorch’d. Ah! whence these dreadful burnings?

Editha

kneeling.

Power ſupreme! If thou haſt but one ſingle joy in ſtore For poor Editha, that one joy withhold From her, and grant it to her tender father! 86 M3v 86 Give me a life of wretchedneſs and pain, So thou but bleſs his hours of drooping age With mercy’s gentle ray! Hear, righteous Heav’n! Let him ſink down with leſs than mortal anguiſh, Whoſe life was worth thy care! Spare, ſpare him yet! Or bid Editha follow!

Goodwin.

Lay me down, Editha——Hark! thy mother calls.——I come, Thou long-departed ſpirit! long forgot ’Mid life’s too active ſcene. Now we ſhall meet; Now floating thro’ the paths of light, enjoy The hour eternal. Editha faints.

Edward.

Bear Editha off. Queen Emma, leave this dreadful ſcene.

Emma.

I go With heart moſt heavy. This good duke is wrong’d. Ah, Edward! where wilt thou find tears to waſh The ’graven tablets of thy mem’ry?—Time Shall deeper cut this monument of woe, Recording with one buſy hand the acts Of faithful Goodwin; while the other points To the black volume, fill’d but with his murder. Goodwin endeavours to hold Editha—is too weak. She is borne off. Exit Emma.

Goodwin.

Soft I would ſtay her but a few ſhort moments; For all will ſoon be ſtill.——O freezing death! Thou wilt be victor. Feeble arm, thy ſword Were uſeleſs now.—They bear her from me!—Hold, Ungentle 87 M4r 87 Ungentle maid!—She’s gone! for ever gone!— Then farewel life! thy ev’ry charm is fled. Lodowicke having ſtood for ſome time unnoticed, ruſhes forward.

Lodowicke.

Away! away!—He ſhall not die!——Oh, Goodwin! Live! live a few ſhort moments to forgive me! I ſoon muſt follow—ſoon ſhall meet thy ſhade Beyond the vale of periſhable being.

Goodwin.

What would’ſt thou?

Lodowicke.

I have poiſon’d thee!

Goodwin.

What cauſe Thou had’ſt I know not. We’ve but little time For reconcilement.—On thy wretched boſom Permit a dying friend to breath his laſt. Goodwin lays his Head on the Boſom of Lodowicke.

Lodowicke.

Oh agony!—Could I recal thy life!— But we ſhall meet—— Enter Alwine. Where is earl Goodwin?—Ha! I am too late. Read that, my king. Alwine gives a Paper to Edward, who reads.

Edward.

O Harold! Read here—and drag that villain from my ſight; He hath o’erwhelm’d my ſoul!—Farewel, my father! For thee thy king ſhall ever ever mourn, Tho’ Goodwin’s injur’d ſpirit ſtrike my thought With everlaſting horror. Exit Edward wildly. Lodowicke. 88 M4v 88

Lodowicke.

Kings have loſt Their pow’r o’er me—I wiſh for death.

Goodwin.

Adieu, My children! Weep not, friends!—Thou pitying judge, In whoſe fix’d eye each particle of life Holds equal eſtimation, unto thee My ſpirit comes. Forgive my murd’rer! Take My humble ſoul, free as thy will hath made her, And bleſs—Oh bleſs Editha! Dies.

Harold.

In that ſigh Flew a pure ſpirit from a treach’rous world. Ah Lodowicke! what haſt thou done? This oath Seals up thy dread account. Reads aloud By heav’n I ſwear, To end the life of Goodwin!—Safe and quick Is poison, and moſt ſecret. Signed Lodowicke. Good Alwine, whence this dreadful proof of guilt?

Alwine.

Hast’ning to Wincheſter, within a wood We found the wretched Canterbury, ſtabb’d By Toſtie. There he died; and to the village That neareſt lay the body was conveyed. From his cold boſom dropp’d that fatal paper. We came too late.

Lodowicke.

What would ye more? Behold A man ſo wretched that he ſcorns your rage. One act remains of dark unfiniſh’d horror, 89 Nr 89 More vile than Goodwin’s murder. Life I hate; And to avoid your flames juſtly deſerv’d, This dagger would befriend me. Draws a Dagger from his Boſom. But to fly, From man’s weak wrath as an affrighted coward, Yet dare my God as a vindictive bravo, Is e’en too much for Lodowicke. How poor, How inconſiſtent, and how meanly proud, Is the ſelf-murd’er! Throws away the Dagger.

Harold.

In his final pray’r My father begg’d forgiveneſs for thee. Live! Live, and repent!

Alwine.

Harold, he does repent: No keener torment man ſhould wiſh for man, Than that the ſoul be ſtung by her own guilt. Here may fell Guilt her hideous portrait view, Start from her colouring, and bright Truth purſue. Truth, lovely fugitive, awhile may fly, Raiſe ev’ry pow’r, and all our ardour try; ’Mid life’s dark windings ſometimes leave our ſight, And ſeem to leſſen in her diſtant flight: But he that loves her will her footſteps trace, Nor yield the prize, tho’ panting in the chace; Thro’ all her ſecret haunts will boldly dare, And, claſping Truth, poſſeſs the Good and Fair.

End of the Play.

N I know 90 Nv 90

I know not whether I am right or wrong in ſaving the life of Lodowicke. I own that such are my feelings towards my fellow creatures, that I think remorſe worſe than death: it is to the criminal a torture all his own, while it leaves no blemiſh on society. Mankind depend on mercy:—were we emulous in gaining its firſt gradation, would 72,000 ſouls have been executed in the reign of Henry VIII.? or would twenty men be ſuſpended of a morning, on a ſpot of ſome few yards wide, in London, and under the cognizance of our Moſt Gracious Sovereign George III.?

91 N2r [91]

Epilogue

To the Historical Play of Earl Goodwin.

Written by Mr. Meyler.—spoken by Mrs. Smith.

Priestcraft, avaunt! avaunt, rebellion, too!

We’ve done, thank Heav’n, at present, Sirs, with you;

And, by permiſſion of the good folk here,

Thalia’s ſmile ſhall chaſe her ſiſter’s tear.

What a weak head this pious Edward had!

A monarch, made by prieſts and friars mad.

What! let an aged mother ſhoeleſs trot,

To try her virtues over ploughſhares hot!

Hoodwink’d, no friendly hand to lead the way,

Expos’d to crowds amidſt the buz of day!

Ladies! I’m ſure, were we poor modern wives

To prove our chaſtity o’er burning knives,

’Tis ten to one but many a dame diſcreet

Would have moſt woeful bliſters on her feet.

But, thank my ſtars, that Superſtition’s train

O’er all the globe is in a rapid wane.

Lo! the poor Frenchman, long our nation’s jeſt,

Feels a new paſſion throbbing in his breast;

From ſlavish, tyrant, prieſtly fetters free,

For Vive Le Roi, cries Vive La Liberte!

And, daring now to act, as well as feel,

Cruſhes the convent and the dread Baſtile! Theſe ſix lines were omitted by command of the Lord Chamberlain.

But from the play awhile we turn our eyes,

To where the humble, trembling author lies.

Ye wits! whoſe beſt diverſion is to tear

Writers or actors when they firſt appear,

Shall I anticipate the cruel ſport,

Which you’ll enjoy this ev’ning o’er your port?

“I’ve 92 N2v [92]

I’ve been, ſays Jack, to Orchard-ſtreet to-night,

To ſee what play this Milky Dame could write.

Well, and how was it?—Oh! but ſo ſo ſtuff,

Yet for a Milk-Maid, ’faith ’twas good enough.

Her tragic cows, cries old Sir Peevish Pest,

Give milk that curdles vilely in the breaſt;

Whilſt Biely Simper calls the play—a Quoz!

And ſwears ’tis merely milk and water-poz!

Then Cantab, with Stentorian effort, roars,

How he hiſtoric tragedy adores!

That for her play ſhe choſe a glorious theme;

Had ſkimm’d the milk, but thrown away the cream.

To you, ye worthy friends, whoſe noble minds

No rigour ſways, no prepoſſeſſion blinds;

And gave the frequent tribute of your praiſe;

Her thanks are due; your candour ſhe implor’d,

As ſhe no learning deep had early ſtor’d,

No rule ſhe knew by Grecian critic taught,

Nor ſkill could boaſt, but was from nature caught;

Doom’d, while ſhe wrote, to rear an infant brood,

Attend their cries, and labour for their food;

Thro’ toilſome day no leiſure she poſſeſt,

The Muſes ſnatched the moments ſtolen from reſt;

She fear’d this aim had prov’d above her flight,

But your applauſe turns tremor to delight;

Secure of that, no frowns can now avail,

Nor wanton critic overturn her pail.

Finis.

93 [93]