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Gomto your lord, your paramour, begone! And only hope forgiveness in the grave.
(Erit Shore, guarded by Catesby and others. And play your monkey gambols over to him. Glost. So much for this. Your project's at an You know my purpose, look that you pursue it,
[To Ratcliffe. And make him yield obedience to my will. This idle toy, this hilding scorns my power, Do it—or woe upon thy harlot's head!
And sets us all at naught. See that a guard J. Sh. Oh, that my tongue had every grace of Be ready at my call. speech,
Rat. The council waits
Enter the Duke of BuckINGHAM, Earl of DerTo pay my duty to my master's ashes,
BY, Bishop of Ely, Lord Hastings, and others, And plead, till death, the cause of injured inno
as to the council. The Duke of GLOSTER takes cence!
his place at the upper end, then the rest sit. Glost. Ha! Dost thou brave me, minion ! Derb. In happy times we are assembled here, Dost thou know
To point the day, and fix the solemn pomp How vile, how very a wretch, my power can For placing England's crown, with all due rites, make thee?
Upon our sovereign Edward's youthful brow. That I can let loose fear, distress, and famine, Hast. Some busy meddling knaves, 'tis said, To hunt thy heels, like hell-hounds, through the world;
As such will still be prating, who presume That I can place thee in such abject state, Το
and cavil at his royal right; As help shall never find thee; where, repining, Therefore, I hold it fitting, with the soonest, Thou shalt sit down and gnaw the earth for an- To appoint the order of the coronation. guish;
So to approve our duty to the king, Groan to the pitiless winds without return; And stay the babbling of such vain gainsayers. Howl like the midnight wolf amidst the desert, Derb. We all attend to know your highness' And curse thy life, in bitterness and misery!
[To Gloster. J. Sh. Let me be branded for the public scorn, Glost. My lords, a set of worthy men you are, Turned forth and driven to wander like a vaga- Prudent and just, and careful for the state ; bond,
Therefore, to your most grave determination, Be friendless and forsaken, seek my bread I yield myselt in all things; and demand Upon the barren wild, and desolate waste, What punishment your wisdom shall think mect Feed on my sighs, and drink my falling tears, To inflict upon those damnable contrivers, E'er I consent to teach my lips injustice, Who shall, with potions, charms, and witching Or wrong the orphan who has none to save him! drugs, Glost. 'Tis well-we'll try the temper of your Practise against our person and our life? heart.
Hast. So much I hold the king your highness' What hoa! who waits without?
So precious are you to the common weal, Enter RATCLIFFE, CATESBY, and Attendants.
That I presume, not only for myself, Rat. Your highness' pleasure
But in behalf of these my noble brothers, Glost. Go, some of you, and turn this strum-To say, whoe'er they be, they merit death.
Glost. Then judge yourselves, convince your Spurn her into the street; there, let her perish,
eyes of truth: And rot upon a dung-hill. Through the city Behold my arm, thus blasted, dry, and, withered, See it proclaimed, that none, on pain of death,
[Pulling up his sleeve. Presume to give her comfort, food, or harbour; Shrunk like a foul abortion, and decayed, Who ministers the smallest comfort, dies. Like some untimely product of the seasons, Her house, her costly furniture and wealth, Robbed of its properties of strength and office. The purchase of her loose luxurious life,
This is the sorcery of Edward's wife, We seize on, for the profit of the state.
Who, in conjunction with that harlot Shore, Away! Begone!
And other like confederate midnight hags, J. Sh. Oh, thou most righteous judge By force of potent spells, of bloody characters, Humbly behold, I bow myself to thee,
And conjurations horrible to hear, And own thy justice in this hard decree: Call fiends and spectres from the yawning deep, No longer, then, my ripe offences spare,
And set the ministers of hell at work, But what I merit, let me learn to bear.
To torture and despoil me of my life. Yet, since 'tis all my wretchedness can give, Hast. If they have done this deedFor my past crimes my forfeit life receive; Glost. If they have done it! No pity for my sufferings here I crave, Talk'st thou to me of If's, audacious traitor!
Thou art that strumpet witch's chief ahettor, Perdition fall on Gloster's head and mine!
Hast. Speak and give ease to thy conflicting
passion; Lord Hastings, I arrest thee of high treason. Be quick, nor keep me longer in suspense; Seize him, and bear him instantly away. Time presses, and a thousand crowding thoughts He shall not live an hour. By holy Paul, Break in at once! this way and that they snatch, I will not dine before his head be brought me. They tear my hurried soul: All claim attention, Ratcliffe, stay you, and see that it be done : And yet not one is heard. Oh! speak, and The rest, that love me, rise and follow ine.
leave me; [E.reunt Gloster and the lords following. For I have business would employ an age, Manent Lord Hastings, RATCLIFFE, and
And but a minute's time to get it done in.
Alic. That, that's my grief—'tis. I that urge Guards. Hast. What! and no more but this—How! That haunt thee to the toil, sweep thee from to the scaffold ?
carth, Oh, gentle Ratcliffe ! tell me, do I hold thee? And drive thee down this precipice of fate. Or if I dream, what shall I do to wake,
Hast. Thy reason is grown wild. Could thy To break, to struggle through this dread confu
weak hand sion?
Bring on this mighty ruin? If it could, For surely death itself is not so painful
What have I dove so grievous to thy soul, As is this sudden horror and surprise.
So deadly, so beyond the reach of pardon, Rut. You heard, the duke's commands to me That nothing but my life can make atonement ? were absolute.
Alic. Thy cruel scorn hath stung ine to the Therefore, my lord, address you to your shrift,
heart, With all good speed you may. Suminon your And set my burning bosom all in flames: courage,
Raving and inad I flew to my revenge, And be yourself; for you must die this instant. And writ I know not what-told the protector, Hast. Yes, Ratcliffe, I will take thy friendly That Shore's detested wife, by wiles, had won counsel,
thee And die as a man should; 'tis somewhat hard To plot against his greatness-Ile believed it, To call my scattered spirits home at once: (Oh, dire event of my pernicious counsel !) But since what must be, must be-let necessity And, while I meant destruction on her head, Supply the place of time and preparation, He has turned it all on thine. And arm me for the blow. 'Tis but to die, Hast. Accursed jealousy! 'Tis but to venture on that coinmon hazard, Oh, merciless, wild, and unforgiving fiend! Which many a time in battle I have run; Blindfold it runs tó undistinguished mischief, 'Tis but to do, what at that very inoment, And murders all it meets. Cursed be its rage, In many nations of the peopled earth,
For there is none so deadly; doubly cursed A thousand and a thousand shall do with me; Be all those easy fools who give it harbour; Tiş but to close my eyes and shut out day-light, Who turn a monster loose among mankind, To view no more the wicked ways of men, Fiercer than famine, war, or spotted pestilence; No longer to behold the tyrant Gloster,
Baneful as death, and horrible as hell! And be a weeping witness of the woes,
Alic. If thou wilt curse, curse rather thine own The desolation, slaughter, and calamities,
falsehood; Which he shall bring on this unhappy land. Curse the lewd maxims of thy perjured sex,
Which taught thee first to laugh at faith and jus Enter Alicia.
tice, Alic. Stand off, and let me pass- I will, I must To scorn the solcmn sanctity of oaths, Catch him once more in these despairing arms, And make a jest of a poor woman's ruin: And hold him to my heartQ Hastings! Has- Curse thy proud heart, and thy insulting tongue, tings !
That raised this fatal fury in my soul, Hast. Alas! why comest thou at this dreadful And urged my vengeance to undo us both. moment,
Hust. Oh, thou inhuman! Turn thy eyes aTo fill me with new terrors, new distractions ;
way, To turn me wild with thy distempered rage, And blast me not with their destructive beams : And shock the peace of my departing soul?' Why should I curse thee with my dying breath? Away! I'prithee leave me!
Begone! and let me die in peace. Alic. Stop a minute
Alic. Can'st thou, Oh, cruel Hastings, Icare Till ny full griefs find passage-Oh, the tyrant!
me thus ! Vol. I.
Hear me, I beg thee-I conjure thee, hear me ! Rat. My lord, dispatch; the duke has sent to
Alic. Insatiate, savage monster! Is a moment
Thou great avenger! Give him blood for blood : I would have met it for thee, and made bare Guilt haunt him! fiends pursue him ! lightnings My ready faithful breast, to save thee from it.
blast hiin! Hast. Now mark ! and tremble at Heaven's Some horrid, cursed kind of death o'ertake him, just award :
Sudden, and in the fulness of his sins ! While thy insatiate wrath, and fell revenge, That he may know how terrible it is, Pursued the innocence which never wronged thee, To want that moment he denies thee now. Behold the mischief falls on thee and me:
Hast. This rage is all in vain, that tears thy Remorse and heaviness of heart shall wait on bosom; thee,
Like a poor bird, that flutters in its cage, And everlasting anguish be thy portion: Thou beatest thyself to death. Retire, I beg For me, the snares of death are wound about me, thee; And now, in one poor moment, I am gone. To see thee thus, thou knowest not how it Oh! if thou hast one tender thought remaining,
wounds me; Fly to thy closet, fall upon thy knees,
Thy agonies are added to my own, And recommend my parting soul to mercy. And make the burthen more than I can bear.
Alic. Oh! yet before I go for ever from thee, Farewell Good angels visit thy afflictions, Turn thee, in gentleness and pity, to me, And bring thee peace and comfort from above!
[Kneeling. Alic. Oh! stab me to the heart, some pitying And, in compassion of my strong affliction,
hand ! Say, is it possible you can forgive
Now strike me dead !The fatal rashness of ungoverned love?
Hast. One thing I had forgot For, oh! 'tis certain, if I had not loved thee I charge thee, by our present common miseries; Beyond my peace, my reasoni, fame, and life, By our past loves, if yet they have a name; Desired to death, and doated to destraction, By all thy hopes of peace here and hereafter, This day of horror never should have known us. Let not the rancour of thy hate pursue Hast. Oh, rise, and let me hush thy stormy The innocence of thy unhappy friend; sorrows !
(Raising her. Thou knowest who 'tis I mean; Oh! should'st Assuage thy tears, for I will chide no more,
thou wrong her, No morc upbraid thee, thou unhappy fair one. Just Heaven shall double all thy woes upon thee, I see the hand of Heaven is armed against me; And make them know no end-Remember this, And, in mysterious Providence, decrees
As the last warning of a dying man. To punish me by thy mistaken hand.
Farewell, for ever! Most righteous doom! for, oh, while I behold
(The guards carry Hastings of thee,
Alic. For ever! Oh, for ever !
Oh, who can bear to be a wretch for ever!
Of all my sufferings, let her share my pains; Oh, that inhuman Gloster could be moved, Let her, like me, of every joy forlorn, But half so easily as I can pardon!
Devote the hour when such a wretch was born; Hast. Here, then, exchange we mutually for- Like me, to deserts and to darkness run, giveness :
Abhor the day, and curse the golden sun; So may the guilt of all my broken yows, Cast every good, and every hope behind; My perjuries to thee, be all forgotten,
Detest the works of nature, loath mankind : As here my soul acquits thee of my death, Like me, with cries distracted, fill the air, As here I leave thee with the softest tenderness, Tear her poor bosom, rend her frantic hair; Mourning the chance of our disastrous loves, And prove the forments of the last despair! And begging Heaven to bless and to support thee.
SCENE I.-The Street.
Bel. And have you thought upon the conse Enter BELMOUR and DUMONT.
Dum. What is there I should fear? Dum. You saw her, then?
Bel. Have you examined Bel. I met her, as returning,
your inmost heart, and tried at leisure In solemn penance, from the public cross. The several secret springs that move the passions? Before her, certain rascal officers,
Has mercy fixed her empire there so sure, Slaves in authority, the knaves of justice, That wrath and vengeance never may return? Proclaimed the tyrant Gloster's cruel orders. Can you resume a husband's name, and bid On either side her marched an ill-looked priest, That wakeful dragon, fierce resentment, sleep? Who, with severe, with horrid haggard eyes, Dum. Why dost thou search so deep, and urge Did, ever and anon, by turns, upbraid her,
my memory And thunder, in her trembling ear, damnation. To conjure up my wrongs to life again? Around her, numberless, the rabble flowed, I have long laboured to forget myself, Shouldering each other, crowding for a view, To think on all time backward, like a space Gaping and gazing, taunting and reviling. Idle and void, where nothing e'er had being; Some pitying—But those, alas! how few! But thou hast peopled it again: Revenge The most-such iron hearts we are, and such And jealousy renew their horrid forins, The base barbarity of human kind
Shoot all their fires, and drive me to distraction. With insolence, and lewd reproach, pursued her, Bel. Far be the thought from me! My care Hooting and railing, and, with villanous hands
was only Gathering the filth from out the common ways, To arm you for the meeting : better were it To lurl upon her head.
Never to see her, than to let that name Dum. Inhuman dogs!
Recall forgotten rage, and make the husband How did she bear it?
Destroy the generous pity of Dumont. Bel. With the gentlest patience;
Dum. O thou hast set my busy brain at work, Submissive, sad, and lowly, was her look; And now she musters up a train of images, A burning taper in her hand she bore,
Which, to preserve my peace, I had cast aside, And on her shoulders, carelessly confused, And sunk in deep oblivion-Oh, that form! With loose neglect, her lovely tresses hung; That angel face on which my dotage hung ! Upon her cheek a faintish flush was spread; How have I gazed upon her, till my soul Feeble she seemed, and sorely smit with pain, With
very eagerness went forth towards her, While barefoot as she trod the flinty pavement, And issued at my eyes-Was there a gem Her footsteps all along were marked with blood. Which the sun ripens in the Indian mine, Yet, silent still she passed, and unrepining;
Or the rich bosom of the ocean yields; Her streaming eyes bent ever on the earth, What was there art could make, or wealth could Except, when in some bitter pang of sorrow,
buy, To Heaven she seemed, in fervent zeal, to raise, Which I have left unsought to deck her beauty? And beg that mercy man denied her here. What could her king do more?-And yet she fled. Dum. When was this piteous sight?
Bel. Away with that sad fancyBel. These last two days.
Dum. Oh, that day! You know my care was wholly bent on you, The thought of it must live for ever with me. To find the happy means of your
deliverance. I met her, Belmour, when the royal spoiler Which, but for Hastings' death, I had not gained. Bore her in triumph froin my widowed home! During that time, although I have not seen her, Within his chariot, by his side she sat, Yet divers trusty messengers I have sent, And listened to his talk with downward looks, To wait about, and watch a fit convenience Till sudden, as she chanced aside to glance, To give her some relief; but all in vain; Her eyes encountered mine-Oh! then, my friend! A churlish guard attend upon her steps, Oh! who can paint my grief and her amazeWho menace those with death that bring her ment! comfort,
As at the stroke of death, twice turned she pale, And drive all succour from her.
And twice a burning crimson blushed all o'er her; Dum. Let them threaten;
Then, with a shriek, heart-wounding, loud she Let proud oppression prove its fiercest malice;
cried, So Heaven befriend my soul, as here I vow
While down her cheeks two gushing torrents ran, To give her help, and share one fortune with her. Fast falling on her hands, which thus she wrungBel. Mean you to see her, thus, in your own Moved at her grief, the tyrant ravisher, form?
With courteous action, wooed her oft to turn; Dum. I do.
Earnest he seemed to plead, but all in vain ;
Even to the last she bent her sight towards me, Or bid his dreadful rod of vengeance stay? And followed me—till I had lost myself. Wait then with patience, till the circling hours
Bel. Alas! for pity! Oh! those speaking tears! Shall bring the time of thy appointed rest, Could they be false ? Did she not sutfer with And lay thee down in death. The hireling, thus, you?
With labour drudges out the painful day, For though the king by force possessed her per
And often looks with long expecting eyes
To see the shadows rise, and be dismissed. Her unconsenting heart dwelt still with
you; And hark, methinks the roar, that late pursued It all her former woes were not enough,
me; Look on her now; behold her where she wan- Sinks like the murmurs of a falling wind, ders,
And softens into silence. Does revenge IIunted to death, distressed on every side, And malice then grow weary, and forsake me? With no one hand to help; and tell me then, My guard, too, that observed me still so close, If ever misery were known like hers?
Tire in the task of their inhuman office, Dum. And can she bear it? Can that delicate And loiter far behind. Alas! I faint, frame
My spirits fail at once This is the door
of my Alicia---Blessed opportunity!
[She knocks at the door. For whom the merchant spread his silken stores, Can she
Enter a Servant. Entreat for bread, and want the needful raiment, Is your lady, To wrap her shivering bosom from the weather?' My gentle friend, at home? Oh! bring me to her! When she was miue, no care came ever nigh her;
(Going in. I thought the gentlest breeze, that wakes the Ser. Hold, mistress, whither would you? spring,
(Pushing her back. Too rough to breathe upon her; chearfulness J. Sh. Do you not know me? Danced all the day before her, and at night Ser. I know you well, and know my orders, Soft slumbers waited on her downy pillow
too : Now sad and shelterless, perhaps, she lies, You must not enter here Where piercing winds blow sharp, and the chill
J. Sh. Tell my Alicia, rain
'Tis I would see her. Drops from some pent-house on her wretched Ser. She is ill at ease, head,
And will admit no visitor.
Wait at the door and beg-
Bel. Somewhere about this quarter of the town, Go hence, and howl to those that will regard you. I hear the poor abandoned creature lingers :
[Shuts the door, and exit. Iler guard, though set with strictest watch to J. Sh. It was not always thus; the time has keep
been, All food and friendship from her, yet permit her When this unfriendly door, that bars my passage, To wander in the streets, there choose her bed, Flew wide, and almost leaped from off its hinges, And rest her head on what cold stone she pleases. To give me entrance here; when this good house Dum. Ilere let us then divide; each in his Has poured forth all its dwellers to receive me: round
When my approaches made a little holiday, To search her sorrows out; whose hap it is And every face was dressed in smiles to meet me : First to behold her, this way let him lead But now'tis otherwise; and those, who blessed me, Her fainting steps, and meet we here together. Now curse me to my face. Why should I wan
Stray further on, for I can die even here ! Enter JANE SHORE, her hair hanging loose on
[She sits down at the door. her shoulders, and bare-footed. J. Sh. Yet, yet endure, nor murmur, oh, my
Enter Alicia in disorder, two Servants followsoul!
ing Do they not cover thee like rising floods,
Alic. What wretch art thou, whose misery and And press thee like a weight of waters down?
baseness Does not the hand of righteousness afflict thee? Hang on my door; whose hateful whine of woc And who shall plead against it? Who shall say Breaks in upon my sorrows, and distracts To power almighty,' thou hast done enough;' My jarring senses with thy beggar's cry?