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Yet Heaven, that made me honest, made me more Is made the scorner's jest; where hate, deceit, Than ever king did, when he made a lord. And deadly ruin, wear the masques of beauty, Hast. Insolent villain ! henceforth let this And draw deluded fools with shews of pleasure.
teach thee (Draws and strikes him. J. Sh. Where should I fly, thus helpless and The distance 'twixt a peasant and a prince !
forlorn, Dum. Nay, then, my lord, (drawing] learn you of friends, and all the means of life bereft? by this, how well
Dum. Belmour, whose friendly care still wakes An arm resolved can guard its master's life.
to serve you,
(They fight. Has found you out a little peaceful refuge, J. Sh. Oh, my distracting fears! hold, for Far from the court and the tumultuous city.
sweet Heaven. į Runs off distractedly. Within an ancient forest's ample verge, [They fight, Dumont disarms Lord HASTINGS. There stands a lonely but a healthful dwelling, Hast. Confusion! baffled by a base-born Built for convenience and the use of life: hind!
Around it fallows, meads, and pastures fair, Dum. Now, haughty sir, where is our difference A little garden, and a limpid brook, now?
By nature's own contrivance seems disposed; Your life is in my hand, and did not honour, No neighbours but a few poor simple clowns, The gentleness of blood, and inborn virtue, Honest and true, with a well-meaning priest: (Howe'er unworthy I may seem to you)
No faction, or domestic fury's rage,
With York and Lancaster's disputed sway. Hast. Curse on my failing arm! Your better Your virtue there may find a safe retreat fortune
From the insulting powers of wicked greatness. Has given you ’vantage o'er me; but perhaps J. Sh. Can there be so much happiness in Your triumph may be bought with dear repent
Haste, then, and thither let us take our flight,
Ere the clouds gather, and the wintry sky J. Sh. Alas ! what have ye done? Know ye Descends in storms to intercept our passage.
Dum. Will you then go! You glad my very The mightiness, that waits upon this lord ?
soul. Dun. Fear not, my worthiest mistress ; 'tis a Banish your fears, cast all your cares on me;
Plenty and ease, and peace of mind shall wait In ,which Heaven's guards shall wait you. O
And make your latter days of life most happy. Pursue the sacred counsels of your soul,
Oh, lady! but I must not, cannot tell you, Which urge you on to virtue ; let not danger, How anxious I have been for all your dangers, Nor the incumbering world, make faint your pur And how my heart rejoices at your safety. pose.
So when the spring renews the flowery field, Assisting angels shall conduct your steps, And warns the pregnant nightingale to build, Bring you to bliss, and crown your days with She seeks the safest shelter of the wood, peace.
Where she may trust her little tuneful brood; J. Sh. Oh, that my head were laid, my sad eyes Where no rude swains her shady cell may know, closed,
No serpents climb, nor blasting winds may blow; And my cold corse wound in my shroud to rest ! Fond of the chosen place, she views it o'er, My painful heart will never cease to beat,
Sits there, and wanders through the grove no Will never know a moment's peace till then.
more; Dum. Would you be happy, leave this fatal Warbling she charms it each returning night, place:
And loves it with a mother's dear delight. Fly from the court's pernicious neighbourhood;
(Ereunt. Where innocence is shamed, and blushing mo
SCENE J.-The Court.
And fix it on his own. I know he holds
My faithless Hastings adverse to his hopes,
And much devoted to the orphan king; Alic. This paper to the great protector's hand, On that I build: this paper meets his doubts, With care and secrecy, must be conveyed; And marks my hated rival as the cause His bold ambition now avows its aim,
Of Hastings' zeal for his dead master's sons. To pluck the crown from Edward's infant brow, ! Oh, jealousy! thou bane of pleasin: friendship,
Thou worst invader of our tender bosoms, To feed her wants, and save her life from perishHow does thy rancour poison all our softness,
ing. And turn our gentle natures into bitterness? Glost. Arise, fair dame, and dry your watery See where she comes ! once my heart's dearest
(Receiving the paper, and raising her. Now my chang d eyes are blasted with her beauty, Beshrew me, but 'twere pity of his heart Loathe that known face, and sicken to behold her. That could refuse a boon to such a suitress,
You have got a noble friend to be your advocate; Enter JANE SHORE.
A worthy and right gentle lord he is, J. Sh. Now whither shall I Ay to find relief? And to his trust most true. This present now, What charitable hand will aid me now?
Some matters of the state detain our leisure ; Will stay my falling steps, support my ruins, Those once dispatched, we'll call for you anon, And heal my wounded mind with balmy comfort? And give your griefs redress. Go to! be comOh, my Alicia!
forted. Alić. What new grief is this?
J. Sh. Good Heavens repay your highness for What unforeseen misfortune has surprised thee, this pity, That racks thy tender heart thus ?
And shower down blessings on your princely head! J. Sh. Oh, Dumont !
Come, my Alicia, reach thy friendly arm, Alic. Say, what of him?
And help me to support this feeble frame,
That nodding totters with oppressive woe,
(Ereunt J. SH. and Alic. My surest trust was built, this very morn
Glost. Now, by my holidame! Was seized on by the cruel hand of power, Heavy of heart she seems, and sore afflicted. Forced from my house, and borne away to But thus it is when rude calamity, prison.
Lays its strong gripe upon these mincing minions, Alic. To prison, said you ! can you guess the The dainty gew-gaw forms dissolve at once, cause?
And shiver at the shock. What says her paper? J. Sh. Too well, I fear. His bold defence of
[Seeming to read.
Ha! what is this? come nearer, Ratcliffe ! Has drawn the vengeance of Lord Hastings on Catesby! him.
Mark the contents, and then divine the meaning. Alic. Lord Hastings ! Ha!
(He reads. J. Sh. Some fitter time must tell thee
Wonder not, princely Gloster, at the notice The tale of my hard hap. Upon the present This paper brings you from a friend unknown; Hang all my poor, my last remaining hopes. * Lord Hastings is inclined to call you master, Within this
* And kneel to Richard, as to England's king; Here, as the princely Gloster passes forth, • But Shore's bewitching wife misleads his heart, I wait to give it on my humble knees,
. And draws his service to king Edward's sons : And move him for redress.
• Drive her away, you break the charm that holds (She gives the paper
to ALICIA, who opens him, and seems to read it.
• And be, and all his powers, attend you.' Alic. (Aside.] Now for a wile,
Rat. 'Tis wonderful !
Rat. She could not know the purport.
Glost. No, 'tis plain-
[Pulling out the other paper. Should she presume to prate of such high matters, J. Sh. But see, the great protector comes this The meddling harlot! dear she should abide it. way,
Cat. What hand soe'er it comes from, be asAttended by a train of waiting courtiers.
sured, Give me the paper, friend.
It means your highness wellAlic. (Aside.] For love and vengeance !
Glost. Upon the instant, [She gives her the other paper. Lord Hastings will be here; this morn I mean
prove Enter the Duke of Gloster, Sir RICHARD No more but this--away with him at once !
him to the quick; then if he flinch, RATCLIFFE, CATESBY, Courtiers, and other He must be mine or nothing—But he comes ! Attendants.
Draw nearer this way, and observe me well. J. Sh. [Kneeling. Oh, noble Gloster, turn
[They whisper. thy gracious eye,
Enter Lord HASTINGS. Incline thy pitying ear to my complaint ! A poor, undone, forsaken, helpless woman, Hast. This foolish woman bangs about my Intreats a little bread for charity,
Lingers and wanders in my fancy still ; At large, to lord it in the common-weal;
[Ereunt Rat, and Cat. Has moved the people much about the lawfulMy lord, you are well encountered; here has ness been
of Edward's issue ? By right grave authority, A fair petitioner this morning with us ;
Of learning and religion, plainly proving, Believe me, she has won me much to pity her; A bastard scion never should be grafted Alas! her gentle nature was not made
Upon a royal stock; from thence, at full To buffet with adversity. I told her
Discoursing on my brother's former contract How worthily her cause you had befriended; To lady Elizabeth Lucy, long before How much for your good sake we mean to do, His joliy match with this same buxom widow, That you had spoke, and all things should be The queen he left behind him well.
Hast. NII befal Hast. Your highness binds me ever to your Such meddling priests, who kindle up confusion, service.
And vex the quiet world with their vain scruples ! Glost. You know your friendship is most po- By Heaven, 'tis done in perfect spite to peace. tent with us,
Did not the king,
With his estates assembled, well determine
When shall the deadly hate of faction cease, Lewd railings, and reproach on those that rule, When shall our long-divided land have rest, With open scorn of government; hence credit, If every peevish, moody malecontent And public trust 'twixt man and man, are broke, Shall set the senseless rabble in an uproar, The golden streams of commerce are withheld, Fright them with dangers, and perplex their Which fed the wants of needy hinds and artizans, brain, Who therefore curse the great, and threat re Each day with some fantastic giddy change? bellion.
Glost. What if some patriot, for the public Hast. The resty knaves are over-run with case, good, As plenty ever is the nurse of faction;
Should vary from your scheme, new-mould the If, in good days, like these, the headstrong herd state? Grow madly wanton and repine, it is
Hast. Curse on the innovating hand attempts Because the reins of power are held too slack,
it! And reverend authority, of late,
Remember him, the villain, righteous Heaven, Has worn a face of mercy more than justice. In thy great day of vengeance! Blast the traitor Glost. Beshrew my heart! but you have well | And his pernicious counsels, who, for wealth, divined
For power, the pride of greatness, or revenge, The source of these disorders. Who can wonder, Would plunge his native land in civil wars ! If riot and misrule o'erturn the realm,
Glost. You go too far, my lord. When the crown sits upon a baby brow?
Hast. Your highness' pardonPlainly to speak; hence comes the general cry, Have we so soon forgot those days of ruin, And sum of all complaint; 'twill ne'er be well When York and Lancaster drew forth the battles; With England (thus they talk) while children when, like a matron butchered by her sons, govern.
And cast beside some common way, a spectacle Hast. 'Tis true, the king is young; but what Of horror and affright to passers-by, of that?
Our groaning country bled at every vein? We feel no want of Edward's riper years, When murders, rapes, and massacres prevailed; While Gloster's valour, and most princely wis-When churches, palaces, and cities blazed; dom,
When insolence and barbarism triumphed, So well supply our infant sovereign's place, And swept away distinctions; peasants trod His youth's support, and guardian to his throne. Upon the necks of nobles ; low were laid Glost. The council (much I'm bound to thank The reverend crosier, and the holy mitre, them for't !)
And desolation covered all the land ;Have placed a pageant sceptre in my hand, Who can remember this, and not, like me, Barren of power, and subject to controul ; Here vow to sheath a dagger in his heart, Scorned by my foes, and useless to my friends. Whose damned ambition would renew those horOh, worthy lord! were mine the rule indeed,
rors, I think I should not suffer rank offence, And set once more that scene of blood before us!
brace you ;
Glost. How now! so hot!
If, when the public safety is in question, Hast. So brave, and so resolved.
My zeal flows warm and eager from my tongue. Glost. Is then our friendship of so little mo Glost. Enough of this: to deal in wordy comment,
pliment That you could arm your hand against my life? Is much against the plainness of my nature: Hust. I hope your highness does not think I I judge you by myself, a clear true spirit, mean it;
And, as such, once more join you to my bosom. No; Heaven forefend that e'er your princely per- Farewell, and be my friend. [Erit Glost.
Hust. I am not read, Should come within the scope of my resentment. Nor skilled and practised in the arts of greatGlost. Oh, noble Hastings ! Nay, I must em
[Embraces him. To kindle thus, and give a scope to passion. By holy Paul, y'are a right honest man ! The duke is surely noble ; but he touched me The time is full of danger and distrust,
Even on the tenderest point; the master-string, And warns us to be wary. Hold me not That makes most harmony or discord to me. Too apt for jealousy and light surmise,
I own the glorious subject fires my breast, If, when I meant to lodge you next my heart, And my soul's darling passion stands confessed. I put your truth to trial. Keep your loyalty, Beyond or love's or friendship’s sacred band, And live your king and country's best support: Beyond myself, I prize my native land: For me, I ask no more than honour gives, On this foundation would I build my fame, To think me yours, and rank you with my friends. And emulate the Greek and Roman name; Hast. Accept what thanks a grateful heart Think England's peace bought cheaply with my
blood, Oh, princely Gloster ! judge me not ungentle, And die with pleasure for my country's good. Of manners rude, and insolent of speech,
The bounty of your hand? Why does she live,
If not to yield obedience to your pleasure, Enter Duke of GLOSTER, RATCLIFFE, and
To speak, to act, to think as you command? CATESBY.
Rat. Let her instruct her tongue to bear your Glost. This was the sum of all: that he would
Teach every grace to smile in your behalf, No alteration in the present state.
And her deluding eyes to gloat for you; Marry, at last, the testy gentleman
His ductile reason will be wound about, Was almost moved to bid us bold defiance; Be led and turned again, say and unsay, But there I dropt the argument, and changing Receive the yoke, and yield exact obedience. The first design and purport of my speech,
Glost. Your counsel likes me well, it shall be I praised his good affection to young Eilward,
(Exeunt RATCLIFFE and CATESBY. Rat. Ill does it thus befal. I could have How poor a thing is he, how worthy scorn, wished
Who leaves the guidance of imperial manhood This lord had stood with us. His friends are To such a paltry piece of stuff as this is !. wealthy;
A moppet made of prettiness and pride; Thereto, his own possessions large and mighty; | That oftener does her giddy fancies change, The vassals and dependants on his power Than glittering dew-drops in the sun do coloursFirm in adherence, ready, bold, and many;
Now, shame upon it! was our reason given His name had been of’vantage to your highness, For such a use? To be thus pufied about And stood our present purpose much in stead. Like a dry leaf, an idle straw, a feather, Glost. This wayward and perverse declining The sport of every whiffling blast that blows ?
Beshrew my heart, but it is wondrous strange; Has warranted at full the friendly notice, Sure there is something more than witchcraft in Which we this morn received. I hold it certain,
them, This puling, whining harlot rules his reason, That masters even the wisest of us all. And prompts his zeal for Edward's bastard brood.
Enter JANE SHORE. Cat. If she have such dominion o'er his heart, And turn it at her will, you rule her fate; Oh! you are come most fitly. We have ponAnd should, by inference and apt deduction,
dered Be arbiter of his. Is not her bread,
On this your grievance: and though some there The very means immediate to her being,
are, vol. I.
Nay, and those great ones, too, who would en- This, though of great importance to the public, force
Hastings, for very peevishness and spleen, The rigour of our power to afflict you,
Does stubbornly oppose. And bear a heavy hand; yet fear not you:
J. Sh. Does he? Does Hastings? We've ta’en you to our favour; our protection Glost. Ay, Hastings. Shall stand between, and shield you from mis J. Sh. Reward him for the noble deed, just hap.
Heavens! J. Sh. The blessings of a heart with anguish For this one action, guard him, and distinguish broken,
him And rescued from despair, attend your highness. With signal mercies, and with great deliverance! Alas! my gracious lord, what have I done Save him from wrong, adversity, and shame! To kindle such relentless wrath against me? Let never-fading honours flourish round him, If in the days of all my past offences,
And consecrate his name, even to time's end! When most my heart was lifted with delight, Let him know nothing else but good on earth, If I withheld my morsel from the hungry, And everlasting blessedness hereafter! Forgot the widow's want, and orphan's cry; Glost. How now! If I have known a good I have not shared, J. Sh. The poor, forsaken, royal little ones! Nor called the poor to take his portion with me, Shall they be left a prey to savage power?. Let my worst enemies stand forth, and now Can they lift up their harmless hands in vain, Deny the succour, which I gave not then. Or cry to Heaven for help, and not be heard? Glost. Marry, there are, though I believe them Impossible! Oh, gallant, generous Hastings ! not,
Go on, pursue ! assert the sacred cause : Who say you meddle in affairs of state; Stand forth, thou proxy of all-ruling Providence, That you presume to prattle, like a busy body, And save the friendless infants from oppression! Give your advice, and teach the lords oth’ Saints shall assist thee with prevailing prayers, council
And warring angels combat on thy side. What fits the order of the common-weal.
Glost. You're passing rich in this same heaJ. Sh. Oh, that the busy world, at least in this,
venly speech, Would take example from a wretch like me! And spend it at your pleasure. Nay, but mark None then would waste their hours in foreign
me ! thoughts,
My favour is not bought with words like these. Forget themselves, and what concerns their peace, Go to-you'll teach your tongue another tale. To tread the mazes of fantastic falsehood,
J. Sh. No, though the royal Edward has unTo haunt their idle sounds and flying tales,
done me, Through all the giddy, noisy courts of rumour ; He was my king, my gracious master still ; Malicious slander never would have leisure He loved me, too, though 'twas a guilty flame, To search, with prying eyes, for faults abroad, And fatal to my peace, yet still he loved me; If all, like me, considered their own hearts, With fondness, and with tenderness, he doated, And wept the sorrows which they found at home. Dwelt in my eyes, and lived but in my smiles : Glost. Go to! I know your power; and though And can I–O my heart abhors the thought! I trust not
Stand by, and see his children robbed of right? To every breath of fame, I am not to learn Glost. Dare not, even for thy soul, to thwart That Hastings is professed your loving vassal.
me further! But fair befal your beauty: use it wisely, None of your arts, your feigning, and your foolery, And it may stand your fortunes much in stead, Your dainty squeamish coying it, to me; Give back your forfeit land with large increase, Go-to your lord, your paramour, begone ! And place you high in safety and in honour. Lisp in his ear, hang wanton on his neck, Nay, I could point a way, the which pursuing, And play your monkey gambols o'er to him. You shall not only bring yourself advantage, You know my purpose, look that you pursue it, But give the realm much worthy cause to thank And make him yield obedience to my will. you.
Do it—or woe upon thy harlot's head ! J. Sh. Oh! where or how-Can my unworthy J. Sh. Oh, that my tongue had every grace of hand
speech, Become an instrument of good to any? Great and commanding as the breath of kings, Instruct your lowly slave, and let me fly Sweet as the poet's numbers, and prevailing To yield obedience to your dread command. As soft persuasion to a love-sick maid; Glost. Why, that's well said–Thus then-Oh- That I had art and eloquence divine, serve me well;
pay my duty to my master's ashes, The state, for many high and potent reasons, And plead, till death, the cause of injured innoDeeming my brother Edward's sons unfit
cence! For the imperial weight of England's crown Glost. Ha! dost thou brave me, minion! J. Sh. Alas! for pity.
Dost thou know Glost. Thercfore have resolved
How vile, how very a wretch, my power can To set aside their unavailing infancy,
make thee? And vest the sovereign rule in abler hands. That I can let loose fear, distress, and famine,