Page images
PDF

Re-enter BISHOP OF ELY. Ely. Where is my lord the duke of Gloster? I have sent for these strawberries.

Hast. His grace looks cheerfuily and smooth this morning; There's some conceit or other likes him well, When that he bids good morrow with such spirit. I think there's ne'er a man in Christendom Can lesser hide his love or hate than he; For by his face straight shall you know his heart.

Stan. What of his heart perceive you in his face, By any livelihood' he show'd to-day?

Hast. Marry, that with no man here he is offended;
For were he, he had shown it in his looks.

Re-enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM.
Glo. I pray you all, tell me wbat they deserve
That do conspire my death with devilish plots
Of damned witchcraft; and that have prevail'd
Upon my body with their hellish charms?

Hast. The tender love I bear your grace, my lord, .
Makes me most forward in this princely presence
To doom the offenders, whosoe'er they be:
I say, my lord, they have deserved death.

Glo. Then be your eyes the witness of their evil!
Look how I am bewitch'd; behold mine arm
Is, like a blasted sapling, wither'd up:
And this is Edward's wife, that monstrous witch,
Consorted with that harlot, strumpet Shore,
That by their witchcraft thus have marked me.

Hast. If they have done this deed, my noble lord,

Glo. If? thou protector of this damned strumpet,
Talk'st thou to me of ifs Thou art a traitor :-
Off with his head :—now by saint Paul I swear,
I will not dine until I see the same!
Lovel and Ratcliff, look that it be done;
The rest that love me, rise and follow me.

[Exeunt Council, with GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM.
Hast. Woe, woe for England ! not a whit for me;
For I, too fond,? might have prevented this :
Stanley did dream the boar did raise his helm;
And I did scorn it, and disdain'd to fly.
Three times to-day my foot-cloth3 horse did stumble,
And started, when he look'd upon the Tower,

(1) Livelihood. Cheerfulness, liveliness. The common reading is likelihood, meaning semblance, appearance.

(2) Too fond, i. e. foolish, silly, doating,
(3) Foot-cloth. The foot-cloth of a horse was the housings.

As loth to bear me to the slaughter-house.
0, now I need the priest that spake to me:
I now repent I told the pursuivant,
As too triumphing, how mine enemies
To-day at Pomfret bloodily were butcher'd,
And I myself secure in grace and favour.
0, Margaret, Margaret! now thy heavy curse
Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head.

Rat. Come, come, despatch, the duke would be at dinner; Make a short shrift, he longs to see your head.

Hast. O momentary grace of mortal men,
Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
Who builds his hope in air of your good looks,
Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast;
Ready, with every nod, to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep.

Lov. Come, come, despatch ; 'tis bootless to exclaim.
Hast. O, bloody Richard !- miserable England !
I prophesy the fearfull'st time to thee
That ever wretched age hath look'd upon.
Come, lead me to the block, bear him my head:
They smile at me who shortly shall be dead.

[Exeunt.

SCENE V.-The same. The Tower Walls. Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, in rusty armour, marvellous

ill-favoured.
Glo. Come, cousin, canst thou quake and change thy colour,
Murther thy breath in middle of a word,
And then again begin, and stop again,;
As if thou wert distraught and mad with terror?

Buck. Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
Speak, and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
Intending2 deep suspicion : ghastly looks
Are at my service, like enforced smiles;
And both are ready in their offices,
At any time to grace my stratagems.
But what, is Catesby gone?
Glo. He is; and, see, he brings the mayor along.

Enter the Lord Mayor and CATESBY.
Buck. Lord mayor,
Glo. Look to the drawbridge there.
Buck. Hark! a drum.

(1) In air of your good looks, i. e. in your fair looks, changeable as the air. (2) Intending, i. e. feigning, pretending.

Glo. Catesby, o'erlook the walls.
Buck. Lord mayor, the reason we have sent-
Glo. Look back, defend thee, bere are enemies.
Buck. God and our innocency defend and guard us!

Enter LOVEL and RATCLIFF, with HASTINGS's head. Glo. Be patient, they are friends; Ratcliff and Lovel.

Lov. Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,
The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.

Glo. So dear I lov'd the man, that I must weep.
I took him for the plainest harmless creature
That breath'd upon the earth a christian;
Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts :
So smooth he daub'd his vice with show of virtue,
That, his apparent open guilt omitted,
I mean, his conversation with Shore's wife,
He liv'd from all attainder of suspects.

Buck. Well, well, he was the covert'st shelter'd traitor
That ever liv'd.
Would you imagine, or almost believe,
(Were't not that, by great preservation,
We live to tell it you,) the subtle traitor
Tbis day had plotted, in the council-house,
To murther me, and my good lord of Gloster ?
May. Had he done so?

Glo. What! think you we are Turks or infidels ?
Or that we would, against the form of law,
Proceed thus rashly in the villain's death,
But that the extreme peril of the case,
The peace of England, and our person's safety.
Enforc'd us to this execution ?

May. Now, fair befal you! he deserv'd his death ;
And your good graces both have well proceeded,
To warn false traitors from the like attempts.
I never look'd for better at his hands,
After he once fell in with mistress Shore.

Glo. Yet had we not determin'd he should die,
Until your lordship came to see his end;
Which now the loving haste of these our friends,
Something against our meaning, hath prevented :
Because, my lord, we would have had you heard
The traitor speak, and timorously confess
The manner and the purpose of his treasons;
That you might well have signified the same

(1) From all attainder of suspects. Free from all suspicion.

Unto the citizens, who, haply, may
Misconstrue in him, and wail his death.

May. But, my good lord, your grace's word shall serve
As well as I had seen and heard him speak :
And do not doubt, right noble princes both,
But I'll acquaint our duteous citizens
With all your just proceedings in this case.

Glo. And to that end we wish'd your lordship here,
To avoid the censures of the carping world.

Buck. But since you came too late of our intent,
Yet witness what you hear we did intend:
And so, my good lord mayor, we bid farewell.

[Exit Lord Mayor.
Glo. Go after, after, cousin Buckingham.
The mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post:
There, at your meetest vantage of the time,
Infer the bastardy of Edward's children:
Tell them, how Edward put to death a citizen,
Only for saying he would make his son
Heir to the crown; meaning, indeed, his house,
Which by the sign thereof was termed so.
Moreover, urge his hateful luxury,
And bestial appetite in change of lust;
Which stretch'd unto their servants, daughters, wives,
Even where his raging eye, or savage heart,
Without control lusted to make a prey.
Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:
Tell them, when that my mother went with child
Of that insatiate Edward, noble York,
My princely father, then had wars in France;
And, by true computation of the time,
Found that the issue was not his begot;
Which well appeared in his lineaments,
Being nothing like the noble duke my father:
Yet touch this sparingly, as 'twere far off;
Because, my lord, you know my mother lives.

Buck. Doubt not, my lord : I'll play the orator,
As if the golden fee for which I plead
Were for myself: and so, my lord, adieu.

Glo. If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard's castle;'
Where you sball find me well accompanied
With reverend fathers, and well-learned bishops.

Buck. I go : and towards three or four o'clock,
Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.

[Exit BUCKINGHAM.

(1) Baynard's castle. A castle in Thames-street, which had belonged to Richard duke of York, and at this time belonged to his grandson Edward V.

Glo. Go, Lovel, with all speed to doctor Shaw.! Ġo thou (to Care.) to friar Penker ;-bid them both Meet me, within this hour, at Baynard's castle.

Í Ereunt LOVEL and CATESBY. Now will I go, to take some privy order To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight; And to give order, that no manner of person, Have, any time, recourse unto the princes.

[Exit. SCENE VI.- A Street.

Enter a Scrivener.
Scriv. Here is the indictment of the good lord Hastings;
Which in a set hand fairly is engross'd,
That it may be to-day read o'er in Paul's.
And mark how well the sequel hangs together :
Eleven hours I have spent to write it over,
For yesternight by Catesby was it sent me;
The precedent was full as long a doing :
And yet within these five hours Hastings liy'd,
Untainted, unexamin'd, free, at liberty.
Here's a good world the wbile! Who is so gross
That cannot see this palpable device ?2
Yet who so bold but says he sees it not?
Bad is the world; and all will come to nought,
When such ill dealing must be seen in thought.3 [Exit.
SCENE VII.The same. Court of Baynard's Castle.

Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, meeting.
Glo. How now, how now? what say the citizens ?
Buck. The citizens are mum, say not a word.
Glo. Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?

Buck. I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy,
And his contract by deputy in France:
The insatiate greediness of his desire,
And his enforcement of the city wives;
His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,
As being got, your father then in France;
And his resemblance being not like the duke.
Withal, I did infer your lineaments,
Being the right idea of your father,

(1) Doctor Shaw. A preacher at Paul's Cross, who endeavoured to raise a tumult in favour of Richard. He was brother to the lord mayor.

(2) This palpable device? The indictment of Hastings was so manifestly a preconceived and “got up” thing, that, observing how fairly it was penned, a London merchant remarked that it was certainly drawn by the spirit of prophecy.

(3) Seen in thought, i. e. seen in silence without being noticed.

« PreviousContinue »