Imatges de pÓgina
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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.

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Lovel, and Catesby, 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 rase his helm; But I disdain'd it, and did scorn to fly.

3

Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble, 3
And startled, when he look'd upon the Tower,
As loath to bear me to the slaughter-house.
O, now I want 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.
O, Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse
Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head.

Cates. Despatch, my lord, the duke would be at

dinner;

Make a short shrift, he longs to see your head.

3 Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble,] To stumble was anciently esteemed a bad omen. The housings of a horse, and sometimes a horse himself, were anciently denominated a foot-cloth.

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 fair 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 fearful'st time to thee,

That ever wretched hath look'd upon.

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Come, lead me to the block, bear him my head;
They smile at me, who shortly shall be dead. [Exeunt.

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Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, in rusty Armour, marvellous ill-favoured.

Glo. Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and change thy colour?

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Murder 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,
Intending 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.

Intending deep suspicion :] i. e. pretending.

Enter the Lord Mayor and CATESBY.

Buck. Let me alone to entertain him. Lord

mayor,

Glo. Look to the draw-bridge there.

Buck.

Hark! hark! a drum.

Glo. Catesby, o'erlook the walls.

Buck. Lord mayor, the reason we have sent for

you,

Glo. Look back, defend thee, here are enemies. Buck. God and our innocence 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't + 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,

5

I mean, his conversation with Shore's wife,

He liv'd from all attainder of suspect.

Buck. Well, well, he was the covert'st shelter'd traitor That ever liv'd. Look you, my lord mayor,

Would you imagine, or almost believe,
(Were't not, that by great preservation
We live to tell it you,) the subtle traitor
This day had plotted, in the council-house,
To murder me, and my good lord of Gloster?
May. What! had he so?

+"harmless"- MALONE.

5

his conversation —] i.e. familiar intercourse. The phrase

— criminal conversation, is yet in daily use.

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 persons' safety,
Enforc'd us to this execution?

May. Now, fair befall 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.

heard

Buck. 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,
Somewhat against our meaning, hath prevented:
Because, my lord, we would have had you
The traitor speak, and timorously confess
The manner and the purpose of his treasons;
That you might well have signified the same
Unto the citizens, who, haply, may

Misconstrue us 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 towards Guildhall hies him in all post:·
mayor
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

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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, listed to make his 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 just 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 ; 6

Where you shall 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 Guild-hall affords.

[Exit BUCKINGHAM. Glo. Go, Lovel, with all speed to doctor Shaw.7

+ "lustful eye," - Malone.

6

to Baynard's castle ;] It was originally built by Baynard, a nobleman, who (according to Stowe's account) came in with the conqueror. This, edifice, which stood in Thames-street, has long been pulled down, though parts of its strong foundation are still visible at low water. The site of it is now a timber-yard.

7

to doctor Shaw. -] Shaw and Penker were two popular preachers. Instead of a pamphlet being published by the secretary

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