Page images
PDF
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

morrow, Catesby:— You may jest on, but, by the holy rood', I do not like these several councils, I. Hast. My lord, I hold my life as dear as you do yours; And never, in my days, s do protest, Was it more precious to methan’tis now : Think you, but that I know our state secure, I would be so triumphant as I am [London, Stanl.The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from Were jocund, and suppos'd their states were sure, And they, indeed, had no cause to mistrust; But yet, you see, how soon the day o'ercast. This sudden stab of rancour I misdoubt; Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward' What, shallwetoward the Tower; the day isspent. Hast. Come, come, have with you”.-Wot you what, my lord? To-day the lords you talk of are beheaded. Stanl. They, for their truth", might better wear their heads, Than some, that have accus’d them, wear their But come, my lord, let's away. [hats. - Enter a Pursuitant. Hast. Goon before, I’lltalkwith this good fellow.

[ocr errors]

Sirrah, how now? how goes the world with thee?
Purs.The better, that your lordship please to ask.
Hast. I tell thee, man, 'tis better with me now,
Thanwhenthou met'st melast where now we meet:
Then I was going prisoner to the Tower,
By the suggestion of the queen's allies;
But now, I tell thee, (keep it to thyself)
This day those enemies are put to death,
And I in better state than ere I was. [tent!
Purs. God hold ‘it, to your honour's good con-
Hast. Gramercy, fellow: There, drink that for
ine. [Throws him his purse.
Purs. I thank your honour. [Erit Pursuivant.
- Enter a Priest.

Priest. Well met, my lord; I am glad to see 4

your honour. [heart. Hast. I thank thee, good Sir John, with all my I am in your debt for your last exercise; Come the next sabbath, and I will content you. - Enter Buckingham. Buck. What, talking with a priest, lord chamberlain : Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest; Your honour hath no shriving work" in hand. Hast. Good faith, and when I met this holy man, The men you talk of came into my mind. What, go you toward the Tower? [there: Buck. I do, my lord; but long I shall not stay I shall return before your lordship thence.

|For truth, for duty, and for loyalty.

Hast. Nay, like enough, for I stay dinner there.[0

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

S C E N E III. Before Pomfret-castle. Enter Sir Richard Ratcliff, conducting Lord Rivers, Lord Richard Grey, and Sir Thomas Paughan to execution. Rat. Come, bring forth the prisoners. Ric. Sir Richard Ratcliff, let me tell thee this, To-day shalt thou behold a subject die, [you! Grey. God keep the prince from all the pack of A knot you are of damn'd blood-suckers. [after. Paugh. You live, that shall cry woe for this hereRat. Dispatch: the limit of your lives is out. Riv.OPomfret, Pomfret! O thou bloody prison, Fatal and ominous to noble peers! Within the guilty closure of thy walls, Richard the second here was hack'd to death: And, for more slander to thy dismal seat, We give thee o our guiltlessbloodtodrink.[heads. Grey. Now Margaret's curse is fallen upon our When she exclaim'd on Hastings, you, and I, For standing by when Richard stabb'd her son. Riv. Then curs'd she Hastings, curs'd she Buckingham, Then curs'd she Richard:—O, remember, God, To hear her prayer for them, as now for us! As for my sister, and her princely sons,— Be satisfied; dear God, with our true bloods, Which, as thou know'st, unjustly must be spilt Rat. Make haste, the hour of death is now expir'd. [embrace: Riv.Come, Grey, come, Vaughan,—letus here Farewell, until we meet again in heaven. [Excunt.

S C E N E IV. - The Tower. Buckingham, Stanley, Hastings, Bishop of Ely, * Catesby, Lovel, with others at a table. Hast. Now, noble peers, the cause why we are [s—to determine of the coronation: [met In God's name, speak, when is the royal day? . Buck. Are all things ready for that royal time? Stanl. They are, and wants but nomination. Ely. To-morrow then I judge a happy day. Buck. Who knowsthe lordprotector'smindhereWho is most inward with the noble duke? [in 2 Ely. Your grace, we think, should soonest know his mind. [hearts, Buck. We know each other's faces: for our

[ocr errors][merged small]

* A familiar phrase in parting, as much as,
p parting - - -
: i.e. performance of divine service.

I have not sounded him, nor he deliver'd

I have something to say to you; : Shriving work

His

[blocks in formation]

Glo. Than my lord Hastings, no man might bel

bolder;

His lordship knows me well, and loves me well.—
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 heart.

- [Erit Ely.

Glo. Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you. Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business; And finds the testy gentleman so hot, That he will lose his head, ere give consent, His master's child, as oil. he terms it, Shall lose the royalty of England's throne.

Buck.Withdraw yourselfawhile, I'llgow ithyou.

[ocr errors]

Stanl. We have not yet set down this day of triumph. To-morrow, in my judgement, is too sudden; For I myself am not so well provided, As else } would be, were the day prolong’d. - Re-enter the Bishop of Ely. Ely. Where is my lord protector? I have sent For these strawberries. [morning; Hast. His grace looks chearfully and smooth this There's some conceit or other likes him well, When he doth bid 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. Stanl. What of his heart perceive you in his face, By any likelihood’ he shew'd to-day; . .[ed; Hast. Marry, that with noman here he is offendFor, were he, he had shewn it in his looks. Re-enter Gloster and Buckingham. Glo. I pray you all, tell me what 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 tenderlove I bear your grace, my lord, Makes me most forward in this noble presence To doom the offenders: Whosoe'er ". 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

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

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 withcraft thus have mark'd me.
Hast. If they have done this deed, my noble
lord, spet,
Glo. If thou protector of this damned strum-
Talk'st thou to me of its?—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 Catesby, look, that it be done;—
The rest, that love me, rise, and follow me.
[Eait Council, with Richard 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. [ble, Three timesto-day my foot-cloth horse did stumAnd started, when he look'd upon the Tower, As loth to bear me to the slaughter-house. O, 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. 9, Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse Is lighted on poor i. wretched head. Cates. Dispatch, my lord, 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 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, dispatch; ’tis bootless to exclaim. [gland 1 Hast. Oh, bloody Richard —miserable En[ o the fearful'st time to thee, That ever wretched age hath look’d upon.— Çome, lead me to the block, bear him my head; They smile at me, who shortly shall be dead. [Excunt.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

* This expression is borrowed from the theatre. The cue, queue, or tail of a speech, consists of the last words, which are the token for an entrance or answer. To come on the cue, therefore, is to come

at the proper time. “ i.e. appearance. sclf, were anciently denominated a foot-cloth,

*The housings of a horse, and sometimes a horse him

Are

Areat 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. Heis; and, see, he brings the mayor along.
Enter the Lord Mayor, and Catesby.
Buck. Let me alone to entertain him.—Lord
mayor
Glo. Look to the draw-bridge there.
Buck. Ilark' a drum.
Glo. Catesby, o'erlook the walls. [you, -
Buck. Lord mayor, the reason we have sent for
Glo. Look back, defend thee, here are enemies.
Buck. Godandour innocency defend and guard
us!
Enter Lovel, and Ratcliff, with Hastings' head.
Glo. Be patient, they are friends; Ratcliff, and
Lovel.
lor. Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,
e dangerous and ..".
Glo. So dear I lov'd the man, that I must weep.
Itook 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:
Sosmooth he daub'd his vice with shew of virtue,
That, his apparent open guilt onlitted,—
mean, his conversation with Shore's wife,
He liv'd from all attainder of suspect. [traitor
Buck. Well, well, he was the covert'st shelter'd
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,
o murder me, and my good lord of Gloster?
Mayor. What! had he so?
Glo. What! think you weareTurks,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 i. and our persons' safety,
Enforc'd us to this execution? [death;
Mayor. Now, fair befall you! he deserv'd his
ind your good graces both have well proceeded,
To warn false traitors from the like attempts.
Inever 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 lovinghaste of these our friends,
Somewhat against our meaning, hath prevented:
ecause, my lord, we would have ...' rou heard
The traitor speak, and timorously confess
e manner and the purpose of i. treasons;
tyou might well have signify'd the same
Unto the citizens, who, haply, may
Misconstrue usin him, and wail his death.
Mayor. 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,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

But I'll acquaint our duteous citizens
With all your just proceedings in this case. [here,
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.
[Exit 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; [wives,
Which stretch’d unto their servants, daughters,
Even where his ranging eye, or savage heart,
Without controul, listed to make his prey.
Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:
Tesl 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 oif;
Because, my lord, you know, my mother lives.
Buck. Dóubt not, my lord; I’l . 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 Bay-
nard's castle; -
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 Guildhall affords.
[Exit Buckingham.
Glo, Go, Lovel, with all speed to doctor Shaw,
Go thou to friar Penker;-bid them both

[ocr errors]

[Ereunt Lovel and Catesby, Now will I in, to take some privy order To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight; And to give notice, that no manner of person . Have, any time, recourse unto the princes. [Cait.

S C E N E 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 i. well the sequel hangs together:
Eleven hours I’ve 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,

* This person was one halker, a substantial citizen and grocer at the Crown in Cheapside.

Untainted,

Intainted, unexamin'd, free, at liberty.
Here's a good world the while!—Who is so gross,
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 nought,
When such bad dealing must be seen in thought'.
[Exit.
S C E N E VII.

Baynard's Castle. Enter Gloster, and Buckingham, at several doors. Glo. How now, how now what say the citi- - zens? Buck. Now by the holy mother of our Lord, The citizens are mum, say not a word. [dren? Glo.Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's chilBuck. I did; with his contract with lady Lucy, 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 toward end, I bade them, that did love their country's good, Cry—“God save Richard,England's royal king!” Glo. And did they so? [word: Buck. No, so God help me, they spake not a But, like dumb statues, or unbreathing 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 inferr'd; 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 cry’d,Godsareking Richard! d thus I took the vantage of those few, hanks, gentle citizens, and friends, quoth I; This general applause, and chearful shout, Argues your wisdom, and your love to Richard: And even here brake off, and came away. Glo. What tongueless blocks were they ; would they not speak? Will not the mayor then, and his brethren, come? Ruck. The mayor is here at hand; intend ‘some fear; Be not you spoke with, but by mighty suit: ,

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And look you get a prayer-book in your hand,

pamper.

And stand between two churchmen, good my lord; For on that ground I'll make a holy descant: And be not easily won to our requests;

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

knocks. [Erit Gloster. Enter the Lord Mayor, and Citizens.

Welcome, my lord: I dance attendance here; I think, the duke will not be spoke withal.—

Enter Catesby. Now, Catesby, what says your lord to my request? Cates. * doth entreat your grace, iny 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, o draw him from his holy exercise. [duke; Buck. Return, good Catesby, to the gracious Tell him, myself, the mayor and aldermen,

5|In deep designs, in matter of great moment,

No less importing than our general good,
Are come to have some conference with his grace.
Cates. I'll signify so much unto him straight.
Erit.
Buck. Ah, ha, my lord, this prince is not an
Edward!
He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed,
But on his knees at meditation;
Not dall ing 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 England, would this virtuous prince
Take on himself the sovereignty thereof:
But, sure, I fear, we shall ne'er win him to it.
Mayor. Marry, God defend his grace should
say us may ! [again:—
Buck. I fear, he will: here Catesby comes
Re-enter Catesby.
Catesby, what says your lord? ... [sembled
Cates. 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.
[Erit Catesby.
When holy and devout religious men
Are at their beads, ’tis hard to draw them thence:
So sweet is zealous contemplation.
EnterGloster above, between two Bishops. Catesby
- - returns.
Mayor. See, where his grace stands 'tween

[ocr errors]

* i.e. seen in silence, without notice or detection. ... i. e. pretend. * i.e. to fatten; to : i. e. immersed up to the shoulders.

Buck.

Play the maid's part, still answer may, and take it. 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; Irather do beseech you pardon me, Who, earnest in the service of my God, Deferr'd the visitation of my friends. But, leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure? Buck. Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God above, And all good men of this ungovern'd isle. Glo. #. 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 please your grace, On our entreaties, to amend your fault! Glo. Elsewherefore breathé I in a christian land? Buck. Know, then, it is your fault, that you reThe supreme seat, the throne majestical, [sign The scepter'd 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 gulph Qf dark forgetfulness and deep oblivion. Which to recure *, we heartily solicit Your gracious self to take on you the charge And kingly government of this your land: Not as protector, steward, substitute, Qr lowly factor for another's gain; tas 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, Qr bitterly to speak in your reproof, Best fitteth my degree, or your condition: For, not to answer, you might haply think, Tongue-ty'd 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 yours, 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 first; And then, in speaking, not to incur the last,-Definitively thus I answer you. our love deserves my thanks; but my desert Unmeritable, shuns your high request. First, if all obstacles were cut away,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

20

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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, y,
So mighty, and so many, my defects,
That I would ratherhide me from my greatness,
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 §. seat of majesty,
And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
Qn him. I lay what you ... lay on me,
The right and fortune of his happy stars,
Which God defend that I ...'wring from him."
Buck. My lord, this argues conscience in your

2.

grace; 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 was he 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, Eyen in the afternoon of her best days, Made prize and purchase of his 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 o Edward, whom our manners call—the prince. 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. [youMayor. Do, good my lord; your citizens entreat Buck. Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer'd love. [suit. Cates. O, make them joyful, grant their lawful Glo. Alas, why would you heap these cares on I am unfit for state and majesty:- Ume? I do beseech you, take it not amiss; I cannot, nor I will not, yield to you. Buck. If you refuse it, as in love and zeal, Loth 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 the throne,

To the disgrace and downfall of your house.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »