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DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. JOHN HAMPDEN. OLIVER CROMWELL. Јону РҮМ. . SIR HARRY VANE. CHARLES I. KING OF ENGLAND. PRINCE RUPERT. WILLIAM LAUD, Archbishop of Canterbury. THOMAS WENTWORTH, Earl of Strafford. EARLS OF ESSEX, SUNDERLAND, AND LINDSAY. LORDS BROOK, SAY, AND FALKLAND. SIR BEVILL GRENVILLE, SIR JOHN SUCKLING, SIR John Eliot, Sir RICHARD KNIGHTLEY; SIR ANTHONY VANDYKE, SIR GEORGE
CROKE, SIR EDWARD HERBERT, SIR EDMUND VERNEY. SIR WILLIAM BALFOUR, Lieutenant of the Tower. JAMES MAXWELL, Usher of the Black Rod. EDWARD HYDE, OLIVER ST. JOHN, NATHANIEL FIENNES. WILLIAM LENTHALL, Speaker of the House of Commons. COLONEL LUNSFORD. RICHARD GRAINGER, RICHARD GRAINGER THE YOUNGER, AND GEORGE
Roscoe, Farmers. WILLIAM HAMPDEN, Son to John HAMPDEN. THOMAS HATFIELD, Servant to HAMPDEN; PHIL KENDALL, Servant to
GRAINGER. DR. GILES, DR. SPURSTOW, ROBERT BAILLIE, ALEXANDER HENDERSON,
ROBERT BLAIR, AND GEORGE GILLESPIE, Clergymen. WILL CORITON, Friend to HAMPDEN ; Archy, the King's fool. GAINFORD, COULSTON, SATTERTHWAITE, HODGSON, AND HALLIDAY,
HENRIETTA MARIA, Queen of England.
COUNTESS OF CARLISLE, COUNTESS OF LEICESTER, LADY GRENVILLE,
ELIZABETH HAMPDEN, - Wife to JOHN HAMPDEN; ELIZABETH CROM-
WELL, Wife to OLIVER CROMWELL. ALICE RENFORTH, Betrothed to HATFIELD. CICELY, JOAN, BESS, AND KATE, Servants to GRAINGER. CITIZENS, GENTLEMEN, SOLDIERS, FARM-SERVANTS, Waits, AT
SCENE 1.-A Room at Great Hampden.
HAMPDEN and ELIZABETH HAMPDEN.
What spell is this, my husband, which to-night
Has held thee charmed with music of sweet thought,
And stolen thee from me? Thou art not wont
To sit possessed with silence, as if borne
Out of thyself, and all surrounding things,
To watch as from afar some mighty vision
the future with its robes of light,
While dark oblivion's curtain covers all
The present and the past. Thine eyes have glowed
As though the fervour of thy glowing heart
Flowed out into them; tell me what resolve
Thy thoughts have bred and ripened.
Ah! my wife,
The witchcraft that can charm me 's in thy smile;
Thou winn'st me back to self, and calm'st the tumult
Of my thought-wearied spirit ; sweet soul-searcher !
Didst thou divine the current of my thoughts
When fifteen years ago I met thee first
At Mrs. Storie's ?
John, I cannot tell.
My eyes were dim with joy, I scarce could think
For the quick beating of my heart, and dizzy rush
Of blood, but yet I read enough to hope
That which I dared not utter to myself.
The low, rich music of thy voice, the deep, intense
Yet soft light in thine eyes; the parting clasp,
I felt thy heart throb in it: these were language
Fuller than spoken words, and out of them
My spirit drank the sweet, wild tale of love.
Was the tale true, Bess? Has it ever held
Shadows of doubt, or moments of
regret? Eliz. Hampden.
Oft has my heart regretted that my youth
Had wasted out so far before I knew thee;
I envy Time the theft of all those years,
And as they were so long unblesse with love
My heart cares not to count them. But thy love
Has never cost a tear, save those of joy,
And never left a doubt, or a regret,
Save that my soul were worthier of thine.
Love's constant accusation, my dear wife;
The true heart ever doth mistrust itself,
And its own power, when weighed with what it loves;
There's no true love but hath its touch of fear,
For out of very lowliness and sacrifice,
Its rendering up of all that gladdens self
To make another happy, it still dreads
Lest it be insufficient; quiet thy heart,
Thy love is one of those most precious things
Which Providence enriches life with; thou art lovelier
In thy maternal beauty, than thou wert
When I first called thee wife; thy deep affection,
Thy woman's wisdom, and delightfulness,
Mellowed by time, is sweeter, richer, holier,
Dearer than ever. True 'tis I had strong thoughts,
Thoughts whose great moment gripped me by the heart,
And bent my soul with passion ; when you spoke
I had half-formed a very strange resolve,
Which haunts me still.
My husband, let me know it! Hampden.
My soul is worn and fevered with the wrong
Which grinds this land : I long to live in peace,
But not peace gained by base and vile submission
To prelate or to king. I will not buy it
Either by loss of mine or others' right,
By giving up the good man to the scourge,
The poor to robb’ry, the oppressed to pride,
Nor let the hard-won honour of this land
Be trodden down by greedy peer and priest,
Or tyrant king. I am an Englishman,
Born in the lap of honour, taught to love
Justice and freedom better than my life,
Taught to love England's glory as my own;
I yearn with sorrow that her name is stained
With cowardice and falsehood ; that reproach
Is cast on her by nations we have crushed
In better days than these by land and sea.
Our exiled friends have founded o'er the main
Another England, after their own hearts,
Where they can dwell in peace, and worship God