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Buck. Who knows the lord protector's mind
Who is most inward with the noble duke?
Ely. Your grace, we think, should soonest
know his mind.
Buck, we know each other's faces: for our
He knows no more of wine, than I of your's;
Nor I, of his, my lord, than you of mine :-
Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love.
Hast. I thank his grace, I know he loves
But, for his purpose in the coronation,
I have not sounded him, nor he deliver'd
His gracious pleasure any way therein :
But you, my noble lord, may name the time;
And in the duke's behalf I'll give my voice,
Which, I presume, he'll take in gentle part.
Ely. In happy time, here comes the duke
Glo. My noble lords and cousins, all, good
I have been long a sleeper; but, I trust,
My absence doth neglect no great design,
Of damned witchcraft: and that have prevail'd
Upon my body with their hellish charms?
Hast. The tender love 1 bear your grace, my
Makes me most forward in this noble 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
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
Consorted with that harlot, strumpet Shore,
That by their witchcraft thus have marked
Off with his head;-now, by Saint Paul, I
I will not dine until I see the same.-
Lovel and Catesby, look that it be done;
Which by my presence might have been con- The rest that love me, rise, and follow me.
Buck. Had you not come up on your cue, my lord,
William lord Hastings had pronounc'd your part,-
I mean, your voice,-for crowning of the king. Glo. Than my lord Hastings, no man might be bolder;
His lordship knows me well, and loves me well.
[Exeunt Council, with GLOSTER and BUCK
Hast. Woe, woe, for England! not a whit for
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.
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did
And startled, when he look'd upon the Tower,
As loath to bear me to the slaughter-house.
Oh! 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
Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our busi-Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head.
My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn,
I saw good strawberries in your garden there;
I do beseech you send for some of them.
Ely. Marry, and will, my lord, with all my
Glo. Cousin of Buckingham, a word with
[Takes him aside.
And finds the testy gentleman so hot,
That he will lose his head, ere give consent,
His master's child, as worshipfully he terms
Shall lose the royalty of England's throne.
Buck. Withdraw yourself awhile, I'll go with
[Exeunt GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM. Stan. We have not yet set down this day of triumph.
To-morrow, in my judgment, is too sudden;
For I myself am not so well provided,
As else i would be, were the day prolong'd.
Re-enter Bishop of ELY.
Ely. Where is my lord protector? I have
sent for these strawberries.
Hast. His grace looks cheerfully and smooth
There's some conceit or other likes him well,
When he doth bid good morrow with such spi-
I think there's ne'er a man in Christendom,
Can lesser hide his love, or hate, than be;
For by his face straight shall ye know his heart.
Stan. What of his heart perceive you in bis
Cate. Despatch, my lord, the duke would be
Make a short shift, he longs to see your head.
Hast. O momentary grace of mortal men,
Which we more hunt for than the grace of
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
Hast. O bloody Richard!-miserable Eng-
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
They smile at me, who shortly shall be dead.
SCENE V.-The same.-The Tower-walls.
Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, in rusty
armour, marvellous ill-favour'd.
Glo. Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and
change thy colour?
Murder thy breath in middle of a word,And then again begin, and stop again, Hast. Marry, that with no man here he is As if thou wert distraught, and mad with
By any likelihood he show'd to-day?
And both are ready in their offices,
At any time, to grace my stratagems.
But what, is Catesby gone?
The mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post :
There, at your meetest vantage of the time,
Glo. He is; and, see, he brings the mayor Infer the bastardy of Edward's children: along.
Enter the LORD MAYOR and CATESBY. Buck. Let me alone to entertain him.-Lord
Glo. Look to the draw-bridge there.
Buck. Hark, bark! a drum.
Glo. Catesby, o'erlook the walls
Buck. Lord mayor, the reason we have sent for you,-
Tell them, how Edward put to death a citi
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 bis hateful luxury,
And bestial appetite in change of lust;
Which stretch'd unto their servants, daughters,
Even where his raging eye, or savage heart
Glo. Look back, defend thee, here are ene-Without control, listed to make his prey.
Buck. God and our innocence defend and guard us!
Enter Lov&L and RATCLIFF, with HASTINGS' 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,
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?
Glo. What! think you we are Turks, or
Nay, for a need, thus far come near my per
Tell them, when that my mother went with
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
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 Bay-
Where you shall find me well accompanied,
With reverend fathers, and well-learned bishops.
Buck. I go; and towards three or four
Look for the news that the Guild-hall affords.
Glo. Go, Lovel, with all speed to doctor
Go thou [To CATE.] to friar Penker :-bid them
Meet me, within this hour, at Baynard's castle. [Exeunt LOVEL and CATESBY. in-Now will I in, to take some privy order To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight; And to give notice, that no manuer of person Have, any time, recourse unto the princes.
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 bis 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.
Buck. Yet had we not determin'd he should
Until your lordship came to see his end;
Which now the loving haste of these our friends,
Somewhat against our meaning, bath 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
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
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.
[Erit LORD MAYOR
Glo. Go after, after, consin Buckingham.
Scriv. Here is the indictment of the good lord
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 toge-
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 liv'd,
Untainted, unexamined, free, at liberty.
Here's a good world the while !-Who is so
That cannot see this palpable device?
Yet who so bold, but says-he sees it not?
Bad is the world; and all will come to naught,
When such bad dealing must be seen in thought.
SCENE VII.-The same.-Court of Baynard's
Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, meeting. Glo. How now, how now? what say the citi
Glo. Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?
Buck. I did; with his contract with Lady
And his contract by deputy in France :
The insatiate greediness of his desires,
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,
Both in your form and nobleness of mind:
Laid open all your victories in Scotland,
Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace,
Your bounty, virtue, fair humility;
Indeed, left nothing, fitting for your purpose,
Untouch'd, or slightly handled, in discourse.
And, when my oratory grew to an end,
I bade them, that did love their country's good, Cry-God save Richard, England's royal king!
Glo. And did they so?
Buck. No, so God help me, they spake not a word;
But, like dumb statues, or breathless stones,
Star'd on each other, and look'd deadly pale.
Which when I saw, I reprehended them;
And ask'd the mayor, what meant this wilful silence:
His answer was,-the people were not us'd
To be spoke to, but by the recorder.
Then he was urg'd to tell my tale again:
Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke in-
But nothing spoke in warrant from himself. When he had done, some followers of mine own,
At lower end o'the hall, hurl'd up their caps, And some ten voices cried, God save king Richard!
And thus I took the vantage of the few,Thanks, gentle citizens and friends, quoth I; This general applause, and cheerful shout, Argues your wisdom, and your love to Richard:
And even here broke off and came away.
For on that ground I'll make a holy descant:
And be not easily won to our requests;
Play the maid's part, still answer nay, and
Glo. I go; And if you plead as well for them,
As I can say nay to thee for myself,
No doubt we'll bring it to a happy issue.
Buck. Go, go, up to the leads; the lord mayor
Enter the LORD MAYOR, Aldermen, and
Welcome, my lord; I dance attendance here;
I think, the duke will not be spoke withal.—
Enter, from the Castle, CATESBY.
Now, Catesby! what says your lord to my re-
Cate. He doth entreat your grace, my noble lord,
To visit him to-morrow, or next day:
He is within, with two right reverend fathers,
Divinely bent to meditation;
And in no worldly suit would he be mov'd,
To draw him from his holy exercise.
Buck. Return, good Catesby, to the gracious duke;
Tell him, myself, the mayor, and aldermen,
In deep designs, in matter of great moment,
No less importing than the general good,
Are come to have some conference with his
Cate. I'll signify so much unto him straight.
Buck. Ah! ha! my lord, this prince is not an
He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed, ·
But on his knees at meditation;
Not dallying with a brace of courtezans,
But meditating with two deep divines;
Not sleeping, to engross his idle body,
But praying, to enrich his watchful soul:
Happy were Englaud, would this
Take on himself the sovereignty thereof :
But, sure, I fear, we shall ne'er win him to it.
May. Marry, God defend, his grace should say
Buck. I fear, he will: Here Catesby comes again;
Now, Catesby, what says his grace?
Cate. He wonders to what end you have as-
Such troops of citizens to come to him,
His grace not being warn'd thereof before,
He fears, my lord, you mean no good to him.
Buck. Sorry I am, my noble cousin should
Suspect me, that I mean no good to him:
By heaven, we come to him in perfect love;
And so once more return and tell his grace.
When holy and devout religious men
Are at their beads, 'tis hard to draw them
So sweet is zealous contemplation.
Enter GLOSTER, in a Gallery above, between
two Bishops. CATESBY returns. May. See, where his grace stands 'tween two clergymen !
Buck. Two props of virtue for a Christian prince,
To stay him from the fall of vanity:
And, see, a book of prayer in his hand;
True ornaments to know a holy man.
Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince,
Lend favourable ear to our requests;
And pardon us the interruption
Of thy devotion, and right-Christian zeal.
Glo. My lord, there needs no such apology;
I rather do beseech you pardon me,
Who, earnest in the service of my God,
Neglect the visitation of my friends,
But, leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure?
Buck. Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God
And all good men of this ungovern'd isle.
Glo. I do suspect I have done some offence, That seems disgracious in the city's eye; And that you come to reprehend my ignorance. Buck. You have, my lord; Would it might
On our entreaties to amend your fault! Glo. Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?
Buck. Know, then, it is your fault, that you resign
The supreme seat, the throne majestical,
The sceptred office of your ancestors,
Your state of fortune, and your due of birth,
The lineal glory of your royal house,
To the corruption of a blemish'd stock :
Whilst, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts
(Which here we waken to our country's good,)
The noble isle doth want her proper limbs ;
Her face defac'd with scars of infamy,
Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants,
And almost shoulder'd in the swallowing gulf
Of dark forgetfulness and deep oblivion.
Which to recure, we heartily solicit
Your gracious self to take on you the charge
And kingly goverument of this your land:
Not as protector, steward, substitute,
Or lowly factor for another's gain:
But as successively from blood to blood,
Your right of birth, your empery, your own.
For this, consorted with the citizens,
Your very worshipful and loving friends,
And by their vehement instigation,
In this just suit come I to move your grace.
Glo. I cannot tell, if to depart in silence,
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof,
Best fitteth my degree, or your condition :
If not to answer,-you might haply think,
Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded
To bear the golden yoke of sovereignty,
Which fondly you would here impose on me;
If to reprove you for this suit of your's,
So season'd with your faithful love to me,
Then, on the other side, I check'd my friends.
Therefore, to speak, and to avoid the
And, then in speaking, not to incur the last,-
Definitively thus I answer you.
Your love deserves my thanks; but my desert
Unmeritable, shuns your high request.
First, if all obstacles were cut away,
And that my path were even to the crown,
As the ripe revenue and due of birth;
Yet so much is my poverty of spirit,
So mighty and so many my defects,
Loath to depose the child, your brother's son;
As well we know your tenderness of heart,
And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse,
Which we have noted in you to your kindred,
And equally, indeed, to all estates,-
Yet know, whe'r you accept our suit or no,
Your brother's son shall never reign our king;
But we will plant some other in your throne,
To the disgrace and downfal of your house.
And, in this resolution, bere we leave you;
Come, citizens, we will entreat no more.
[Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and Citizens. Cate. Call them again, sweet prince, accept their suit;
If you deny them, all the land will rue it.
Glo. Will you enforce me to a world of
Well, call them again; I am not made of stone, But penetrable to your kind entreaties,
[Exit CATESBY. Albeit against my conscience and my soul.
Re-enter BUCKINGHAM and the rest. Cousin of Buckingham, and sage, grave men,
That I would rather hide me from my great- Since you will buckle fortune on my back,
Being a bark to brook no mighty sea,-
Than in my greatness covet to be hid,
And in the vapour of my glory smother'd,
But, God be thank'd, there is no need of me;
(And much I need to help you, if need were ;)
The royal tree hath left us royal fruit,
Which, mellow'd by the stealing hours of time,
Will well become the seat of majesty,
And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
On hin I lay what you would lay on me,
The right and fortune of his happy stars,-
Which God defend, that I should wring from
Buck. My lord, this argues conscience in
But the respects thereof are nice || and trivial,
All circumstances well considered.
You say, that Edward is your brother's son;
So say we too, but not by Edward's wife :
For first he was contract to lady Lucy,
Your mother lives a witness to his vow:
And afterwards by substitute betroth'd
To Bona, sister to the king of France.
These both put by, a poor petitioner,
A care-craz'd mother to a many sons,
A beauty-waning and distressed widow,
Even in the afternoon of her best days,
Made prize and purchase of bis wanton eye,
Seduc'd the pitch and height of all his thoughts
To base declension and loath'd bigamy:
By her, in his unlawful bed, he got
This Edward, whom our manners call-the
More bitterly could I expostulate,
Save that, for reverence to some alive,
I give a sparing limit to my tongue.
Then, good my lord, take to your royal self
This proffer'd benefit of dignity:
If not to bless us and the land withal,
Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry
From the corruption of abusing time,
Unto a lineal true-derived course.
To bear her burden, whe'r I will or no,
I must have patience to endure the load:
But if black scandal, or foul-fac'd reproach,
Attend the sequel of your imposition,
Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me
From all the impure blots and stains thereof;
For God he knows, and you may partly see,
How far I am from the desire of this.
May. God bless your grace! we see it, and
SCENE 1.-Before the Tower.
Enter on one side, Queen ELIZABETH, Duchess of YORK, and Marquis of DORSET; on the other, ANNE, Duchess of GLOSTER, leading Lady MARGARET PLANTAGENET, CLARENCE'S young Daughter.
Duch. Who meets us here ?-my niece Plantagenet
Led in the band of her kind aunt of Gloster ?
May. Do, good my lord; your citizens en- Now, for my life, she's wand'ring to the Tower,
On pure heart's love, to greet the tender
Anne. God give your graces both A happy and a joyful time of day!
Anne. And I with all unwillingness will go.
Q. Eliz. As much to you, good sister! Whi-Oh! would to God, that the inclusive verge
Of golden metal, that must roand my brow,
Anointed let me be with deadly venom;
Anne. No further than the Tower; and, as I Were red-hot steel, to sear + me to the brain!
Upon the like devotion as yourselves,
To gratulate the gentle princes there.
Q. Eliz. Kind sister, thanks; we'll enter all together:
I am bound by oath, and therefore pardon me.
Stan. Let me but meet you, ladies, one hour
And I'll salute your grace of York as mother,
And reverend looker-on of two fair queens.-
Come, madam, you must straight to Westmins-
And die, ere men can say-God save the queen! Q. Eliz. Go, go, poor soul, I envy not thy glory;
To feed my humour, wish thyself no harm.
Anne. No! why ?-When he, that is my hus-
Came to me, as I follow'd Henry's corse;
When scarce the blood was well wash'd from
Which issu'd from my other angel husband,
And that dead saint which then I weeping fol-
Oh! when, I say, I look'd on Richard's face,
This was my wish,-Be thou, quoth I, aceurs'd,
For making me, so young, so old a widow!
And, when thou wed'st, let sorrow haunt thy
And be thy wife, (if any be so mad)
More miserable by the life of thee,
Than thou hast made me by my dear lord's
Lo, ere I can repeat this curse agaip,
Even in so short a space, my woman's heart
Grossly grew captive to his honey words,
And prov'd the subject of mine own soul's
Which ever since hath held mine eyes from
For never yet one hour in his bed
Did I enjoy the golden dew of sleep,
But with his timorous dreams was still awak'd.
Besides, he hates me for my father Warwick;
And will, no doubt, shortly be rid of me.
ter. [To the Duchess of GLOSTER.
There to be crowned Richard's royal queen.
Q. Eliz. Ah! cut my lace asunder,
That my pent heart may have some scope to Go
Or else I swoon with this dead-killing news.
Dor. Be of good cheer :-Mother, how fares
Q. Eliz. O Dorset, speak not to me, get thee
Death and destruction dog thee at the heels ;
Thy mother's name is ominous to children:
If thou wilt outstrip death, go cross the seas,
And live with Richmond, from the reach
Go, bie thee, hie thee, from this slaughter-
Lest thou increase the number of the dead;
And make me die the thrall of Margaret's
Nor mother, wife, nor England's
Stan. Full of wise care is this your counsel,
Q. Eliz. Poor heart, adieu; I pity thy complaining.
Anne. No more than with my soul I mourn for your's.
Dor. Farewell, thou woeful welcomer of glory!
Anne. Adieu, poor soul, that tak'st thy leave of it!
Duch. Go thon to Richmond, and good fortune guide thee !- [To DORSET. thou to Richard, and good angels tend thee![To ANNE. Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess [To Q. ELIZABETH. I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with
Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen,
And each hour's joy wreck'd with a week of
Q. Eliz. Stay yet; look back, with me, unto
Pity, you ancient stones, those tender babes,
Whom envy hath immur'd within your walls!
Rough cradle for such little pretty ones!
Rude ragged nurse! old sullen play-fellow
For tender princes, use my babies well!
So foolish sorrow bids your stones farewell.
SCENE II.-A Room of State in the