Page images

Prince. Is it upon record? or else reported Successively from age to age he built it?

Buck. Upon record, my gracious lord. Prince. But say, my lord, it were not register'd; Methinks, the truth should live from age to age, As 'twere retail'd to all posterity, Even to the general all-ending day.

Glo. So wise so young, they say, do ne'er live long. (Aside.)

Prince. What say you, uncle? Glo. I say, without charácters, fame lives long. Thus, like the formal vice, Iniquity, I moralize two meanings in one word.


Prince. That Julius Cæsar was a famous man; With what his valour did enrich his wit, His wit set down to make his valour live: Death makes no conquest of this conqueror; For now he lives in fame, though not in life.I'll tell you what, my cousin Buckingham. Buck. What, my gracious lord?

Prince. An if I live until I be a man, I'll win our ancient right in France again, Or die a soldier, as I liv'd a king.

Glo. Short summers lightly have a forward spring. (Aside.)

Enter YORK, HASTINGS, and the CARDINAL. Buck. Now, in good time, here comes the duke of York. [brother? Prince. Richard of York! how fares our loving York. Well, my dread lord; so must I call you


Prince. Ay, brother; to our grief, as it is yours: Too late he died, that might have kept that title, Which by his death hath lost much majesty.

Glo. How fares our cousin, noble lord of York? York. I thank you, gentle uncle. O, my lord, You said, that idle weeds are fast in growth: The prince my brother hath outgrown me far. Glo. He hath, my lord. York. And therefore is he idle? Glo. O, my fair cousin, I must not say so. York. Then is he more beholden to you, than I. Glo. He may command me, as my sovereign; But you have power in me, as in a kinsman.

York.I pray you, uncle, then, give me this dagger. Glo. My dagger, little cousin? with all my heart. Prince. A beggar, brother?

York. Of my kind uncle, that I know will give; And, being but a toy, which is no grief to give. Glo. A greater gift than that I'll give my cousin. York. A greater gift! O, that's the sword to it? Glo. Ay, gentle cousin, were it light enough. York. O then, I see, you'll part but with light gifts; In weightier things you'll say a beggar, nay.

Glo. It is too weighty for your grace to wear. York. I weigh it lightly, were it heavier. Glo. What, would you have my weapon, little lord? [call me. York. I would, that I might thank you as you Glo. How? York. Little. [talk ;Prince. My lord of York will still be cross in Uncle, your grace knows how to bear with him. York. You mean, to bear me, not to bear with


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Uncle, my brother mocks both you and me;
Because that I am little, like an ape, [ders.
He thinks that you should bear me on your shoul-
Buck. With what a sharp-provided wit he reasons!
To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle,
He prettily and aptly taunts himself:

So cunning, and so young, is wonderful.

Glo. My gracious lord, will't please you pass along?

Myself, and my good cousin Buckingham,
Will to your mother; to entreat of her,
To meet you at the Tower, and welcome you.
York. What, will you go unto the Tower, my lord? |

Prince. My lord protector needs will have it so. York. I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower. Glo. Why, sir, what should you fear?

York. Marry, my uncle Clarence' angry ghost; My grandam told me, he was murder'd there. Prince. I fear no uncles dead.

Glo. Nor none that live, I hope.

Prince. An if they live, I hope, I need not fear. But come, my lord, and, with a heavy heart, Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower.

[Exeunt Prince, York, Hastings, Cardinal, and Attendants.

Buck. Think you, my lord, this little prating York Was not incensed by his subtle mother, To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously? Glo. No doubt, no doubt: 0, 'tis a parlous boy; Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable; He's all the mother's, from the top to toe.

Buck. Well, let them rest

Come hither, gentle Catesby; thou art sworn
As deeply to effect what we intend,
As closely to conceal what we impart:
Thou know'st our reasons urg'd upon the way ;-
What think'st thou? is it not an easy matter
To make William lord Hastings of our mind,
For the instalment of this noble duke
In the seat royal of this famous isle?

Cate. He for his father's sake so loves the prince,
That he will not be won to aught against him.
Buck. What think'st thou then of Stanley? will
not be?

Cate. He will do all in all as Hastings doth.
Buck. Well then, no more but this: Go, gentle

And, as it were far off, sound thou lord Hastings,
How he doth stand affected to our purpose;
And summon him to-morrow to the Tower,
To sit about the coronation.

If thou dost find him tractable to us,
Encourage him, and tell him all our reasons:
If he be leaden, icy, cold, unwilling,
Be thou so too; and so break off the talk,
And give us notice of his inclination:
For we to-morrow hold divided councils,
Wherein thyself shalt highly be employed.

Glo. Commend me to lord William: tell him,

His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries
To-morrow are let blood at Pomfret-castle;
And bid my friend, for joy of this good news,
Give mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.

Buck. Good Catesby, go, effect this business soundly.

Cate. My good lords both, with all the heed I can. Glo. Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep? Cate. You shall, my lord.

Glo. At Crosby-place, there shall you find us both. [Exit Catesby. Buck. Now, my lord, what shall we do, if we perceive

Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots? Glo. Chop off his head, man ;-somewhat we will do:

And, look, when I am king, claim thou of me The earldom of Hereford, and all the moveables Whereof the king my brother was possess'd.

Buck. I'll claim that promise at your grace's hand. Glo. And look to have it yielded with all kindness. Come, let us sup betimes; that afterwards We may digest our complots in some form. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.-Before Lord Hastings' House. Enter a Messenger.


Mess. My lord, my lord,-
Hast. (Within.)

Who knocks?
One from Lord Stanley.
Hast. (Within.) What is't o'clock?
Mess. Upon the stroke of four.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

If presently, you will take horse with him,
And with all speed post with him toward the north,
To shun the danger that his soul divines.

Hast. Go, fellow, go, return unto thy lord; Bid him not fear the separated councils : His honour, and myself, are at the one; And, at the other, is my good friend Catesby; Where nothing can proceed, that toucheth us, Whereof I shall not have intelligence. Tell him, his fears are shallow, wanting instance: And for his dreams-I wonder, he's so fond To trust the mockery of unquiet slumbers: To fly the boar, before the boar pursues, Were to incense the boar to follow us, And make pursuit, where he did mean no chase. Go, bid thy master rise and come to me; And we will both together to the Tower, Where, he shall see, the boar will use us kindly. Mess. I'll go, my lord, and tell him what you say. [Exit.

[blocks in formation]

Stan. My lord, good morrow; and good morrow, You may jest on, but, by the holy rood, Catesby:I do not like these several councils, I.

Hast. My lord, I hold my life as dear as yours; And never, in my life, I do protest, Was it more precious to me than 'tis now: Think you, but that I know our state secure, I would be so triumphant as I am?

Upon his party, for the gain thereof:

And, thereupon, he sends you this good news,-
That, this same very day, your enemies,
The kindred of the queen, must die at Pomfret.

Hast. Indeed, I am no mourner for that news,
Because they have been still my adversaries:
But, that I'll give my voice on Richard's side,
To bar my master's heirs in true descent,
God knows, I will not do it, to the death.

Cate. God keep your lordship in that gracious
Hast. But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month
That they, who brought me in my master's hate,
I live to look upon their tragedy.
Well, Catesby, ere a fortnight make me older,
I'll send some packing, that yet think not on't.

Cate. 'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord, When men are unprepar'd, and look not for it.

Hast. O monstrous, monstrous! and so falls it out With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey: and so 'twill do With some men else, who think themselves as safe As thou, and I; who, as thou know'st, are dear To princely Richard, and to Buckingham. Cale.The princes both make high account of you,For they account his head upon the bridge. (Aside.) Hast. I know, they do; and I have well deserv'dit.


Come on, come on, where is your boar-spear, man? Fear you the boar, and go so unprovided?

Stan. The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from London,

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'er-cast.
This sudden stab of rancour I misdoubt;
Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward!
What, shall we toward the Tower? the day is spent.
Hast. Come, come, have with you.-Wot you
what, my lord?

To-day, the lords you talk of are beheaded. Stan. They, for their truth, might better wear their heads,

Than some, that have accus'd them, wear their hats. But come, my lord, let's away.

Cate. Ay, my good lord.


Pr. Well met, my lord; I am glad to see your

Hast. I'll have this crown of mine cut from my
Before I'll see the crown so foul misplac'd.
.But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?

Hast. I thank thee, good sir John, with all my
I am in your debt for your last exercise;

Cate. Ay, on my life; and hopes to find you Come the next Sabbath, and I will content you.



Enter a Pursuivant.


Hust. Go on before, I'll talk with this good [Exeunt Stan. and Catesby. How now, sirrah? how goes the world with thee? Purs. The better, that your lordship please to ask. Than when thou met'st me last where now we meet: Hast. I tell thee, man, 'tis better with me now, Then was I 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.

Purs. God hold it, to your honour's good content! Hast. Gramercy, fellow: There, drink that for (Throwing him his purse.) Purs. I thank your honour. [Exit Pursuivant. Enter a Priest.


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?


Buck. I do, my lord; but long I cannot stay I shall return before your lordship thence. Hast. Nay, like enough, for I stay dinner there. Buck. And supper too, although thou know'st it (Aside.)

not. Come, will you go? Hast.

[ocr errors]

I'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt. SCENE III.-Pomfret. Before the Castle. Enter RATCLIFF, with a guard, conducting RIVERS, GREY, and VAUGHAN, to execution. Rat. Come, bring forth the prisoners. Riv. Sir Richard Ratcliff, let me tell thee this,— To-day, shalt thou behold a subject die, For truth, for duty, and for loyalty.

Grey. God keep the prince from all the pack of you! A knot you are of damned blood-suckers. Vaugh. You live, that shall cry woe for this hereafter.

Rat. Despatch; the limit of your lives is out. Riv. O Pomfret, 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 up our guiltless blood to drink.
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, then curs'd she

Then curs'd she Richard :-O, remember, God,
To hear her prayers for them, as now for us!
And 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 expiate.
Riv. Come, Grey,-come, Vaughan,-let us here

Farewell, until we meet again in heaven. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV.-London. A Room in the Tower. BUCKINGHAM, STANLEY, HASTINGS, the Bishop of ELY, CATESBY, LOVEL, and others, sitting at a table: officers of the council attending.

Hast. Now, noble peers, the cause why we are met
Is to determine of the coronation:
In God's name, speak, when is the royal day?

Buck. Are all things ready for that royal time?
Stan. They are; and wants but nomination.
Ely. To-morrow then I judge a happy day.
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. [hearts, Buck. We know each other's faces: for our He knows no more of mine, than I of yours; 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 me well; 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.

Enter GLOSTer.

Ely. In happy time, here comes the duke himself. Glo. My noble lords and cousins, all, good


I have been long a sleeper; but, I trust,
My absence doth neglect no great design,
Which by my presence might have been concluded.
Buck. Had you not come upon your cue, my
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

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.
[Exit Ely.
Glo. Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you.
(Takes him aside.)
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 worshipfully he terms it,
Shall lose the royalty of England's throne.
Buck. Withdraw yourself awhile, I'll go with you.
[Exeunt Gloster and Buckingham.
Stan. We have not yet set down this day of
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, [morning; Hast. His grace looks cheerfully 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. Stan. What of his heart perceive you in his face, By any likelihood he shew'd to-day?

Hast. Marry, that with no man here he is offended;

For, were he, he had shewn it in his looks.


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 tender love I bear your grace, my lord, 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 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 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. Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble, 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.

Cate. Despatch, 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, despatch; 'tis bootless to exclaim.

Hast. O, bloody Richard!-miserable England! I prophecy the fearful'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, caust thou quake, and change thy colour?

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

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. Enter the Lord Mayor and CATESBY. Buck. Let me alone to entertain him.-Lord


Glo. Look to the draw-bridge there.
Hark, hark! 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. God and our innocence defend and guard


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 shew 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 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 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 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.

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 heard 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


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. [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 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, Even where his raging eye, or savage heart, Without controul, 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;

[wives, ughters,

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 Cat.) to friar Penker;-bid them both Meet me, within this hour, at Baynard's castle. [Exeunt 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. [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 liv'd, Untainted, 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. SCENE VII.-The same. Court of Baynard's Castle. Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, meeting. Glo. How now, ,how now? what say the citizens? Buck. Now by the holy mother of our Lord, The citizens are mum, say not a word.

Glo. Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?

[blocks in formation]

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
But, like dumb statuas, 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 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 cried, God save king Richard!
And thus I took the vantage of those 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 brake off, and came away.

Glo. What tongueless blocks were they; Would
they not speak?

Will not the mayor then, and his brethren, come!
Buck. The mayor is here at hand; intend some
Be not you spoke with, but by mighty suit:
And look you get a prayer-book in your hand,
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;
Play the maid's part, still answer nay, and take it.
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
[Exit Gloster.
Enter the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens.
Welcome, my lord: I dance attendance here;
I think, the duke will not be spoke withal.-

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.
[Exit Catesby.

Enter, from the castle, CATESBY.

Now, Catesby! what says your lord to my request?
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;

When holy and devout religious men
Are at their beads, 'tis hard to draw them thence;
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.-
Famons 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
please your grace,

On our entreaties to amend your fault!
Glo. Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian


And in no worldly suit would he be mov'd,
To draw him from his holy exercise.
Buck. Return, good Catesby, to the gracious
Tell him, myself, the mayor and aldermen,
In deep designs, in matter of great moment,
No less importing than our general good,
Are come to have some conference with his grace.
Cate. I'll signify so much unto him straight.

Buck. Know, then, it is your fault, that you re-
The supreme seat, the throne majestical,
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 gulf
Of 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,
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 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.


Buck. Ah, ha, my lord, this prince is not an Ed-
He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed,
But on his knees at meditation;
Not dallying with a brace of courtesans,
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.
May. Marry, God defend, his grace should say
us nay!
Buck. I fear, he will: Here Catesby comes
Re-enter CATESBY.
Now, Catesby, what says his grace?

[again ;

Your love deserves my thanks; but my desert

Cate. He wonders to what end you have assembled | Unmeritable, shuns your high request.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »