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The Conductors of this Work print no Plays but those which they have seen acted. The Stage Directions are given from their own personal observations, during the most recent performances.
The instant a Character appears upon the Stage, the point of Entrance, as well as every subsequent change of Position, till its Exit, is noted, with a fidelity which may in all cases be relied on; the object being, to establish this Work as a Standard Guide to the Stage business, as now conducted on the London boards.
EXITS and ENTRANCES.
R. means Right; L. Left; R. D. Right Door; L. D. Left Door; S. E. Second Entrance; U. E. Upper Entrance; M.D. Middle Door. RELATIVE POSITIONS.
R. means Right; L. Left; C. Centre: R. C. Right of Centre; L. C. Left of Centre. The following view of the Stage with Five Performers in front, will, it is presumed, fully demonstrate the Relative Positions.
The Reader is supposed to be on the Stage, facing the Audience.
SCENE I.-An Apartment in the Tower.
Glos. (c.) Thus far success attends upon our councils,
Sir R. (R. c.) Then take 'em to you,
And wear them long and worthily: you are
(For Edward's boys, the state esteems not of 'em,)
The commonweal does her dependence make,
And leans upon your highness' able hand.
Cates. (L. c.) And yet to-morrow does the council
To fix a day for Edward's coronation.
Who can expound this riddle?
Glos. That can I.
Those lords are each one my approv'd good friends,
Of special trust and nearness to my bosom:
And howsoever busy they may seem,
And diligent to bustle in the state,
Their zeal goes on no further than we lead,
Cates. Yet there is one,
And he amongst the foremost in his power
Of whom I wish your highness were assur'd.
I own I doubt of his inclining much.
Glos. I guess the man at whom your words would point:
Cates. The same.
Glos. He bears me great good will.
Cates. "Tis true, to you, as to the lord protector,
Glos. And yet this tough, impracticable heart,
Such flaws are found in the most worthy natures;
Sir R. The fair Alicia,
Of noble birth and exquisite of feature,
Has held him long a vassal to her beauty.
Cates. I fear he fails in his allegiance there;
Or my intelligence is false, or else
The dame has been too lavish of her feast,
Glos. No more, he comes.
[SIR R. and CATES. retire back and confer.
Enter LORD HASTINGS, L.
Has. (L. c.) Health, and the happiness of many days, Attend upon your grace.
Glos. (c.) My good Lord Chamberlain,
We're much beholden to your gentle friendship.
Has. My lord, I come an humble suitor to you.
Glos. In right good time. Speak out your pleasure freely.
Has. I am to move your highness in behalf
Of Shore's unhappy wife.
Glos. Say you, of Shore?
Has. Once a bright star, that held her place on high:
She never sees the sun, but through her tears,
Glos. Marry! the times are badly chang'd with her,
Has. No further, my good lord, than friendly pity, And tender-hearted charity allow.
Glos. Go to: I did not mean to chide you for it.
For, sooth to say, I hold it noble in you
To cherish the distress'd-On with your tale.
Has. Thus it is, gracious sir, that certain officers, Using the warrant of your mighty name,
With insolence unjust, and lawless power,
Have seiz'd upon the lands, which late she held
By grant, from her great master Edward's bounty.
Glos. Somewhat of this, but slightly, have I heard;
And though some counsellors of forward zeal,
Some of most ceremonious sanctity,
And bearded wisdom, often have provok'd
Yet still, in kind compassion of her weakness,
I have withheld the merciless stern law
From doing outrage on her helpless beauty.
Has. Good heav'n, who renders mercy back for mercy," With open-handed bounty shall repay you :
This gentle deed shall fairly be set foremost,
She shall be heard with patience, and each wrong
SCENE II.-An Apartment in Jane Shore's House. Enter BELMOUR and Dumont, L.
Bel. (c.) How she has lived you have heard my tale already;
The rest your own attendance in her family,
Where I have found the means this day to place you, And nearer observation, best will tell you.
See with what sad and sober cheer she comes.
Enter JANE SHORE, R. DUM. retires back on L.C. Sure, or I read her visage much amiss,
Or grief besets her hard. Save you, fair lady,
Jane S. (R. C.) My gentle neighbour! your good wishes still
Pursue my hapless fortunes; ah! good Belmour!
Jane S. A venerable aspect!
Age sits with decent grace upon his visage,