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But I disdain'd it, and did scorn to fly.
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble, 3
And startled, when he look'd upon the Tower,
As loth to bear me to the slaughter-house.
O, now I want the priest that spake to me:
I now repent I told the pursuivant,
As too triumphing, how mine enemies,
To-day at Pomfret bloodily were butcher'd,
And I myself secure in grace and favour.
O, Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse.
Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head.

* Cates. Despatch, my lord, the duke would be at dinner; Make a short shrift, he longs to see your head.

Hast. O momentary grace of mortal men,

3 Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble, &c.] So, in The Legend of Lord Hastings, by M. D. 1563. (Master Dolman.]

* My palfrey, in the playnest paved streete,
“Thryse bow'd his boanes, thryse kneled on the flower,

« Thryse shonnd (as Balams asse) the dreaded tower." To stumble was anciently esteem'd a bad omen. So, in The Honest Lawyer : “ And just at the threshold Master Bromley stumbled. Signs! signs!”

The housings of a horse, and sometimes a horse himself, were anciently denominated a foot-cloth. So, in Ben Jonson's play called The Case is Altered:

"I'll go on my foot-cloth, I 'll turn gentleman.” Again, in A fair Quarrel, by Middleton, 1617:

“ thou shalt have a physician,

“ The best that gold can fetch upon his foot-cloth." Again, in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1610:.

" nor shall I need to try
“ Whether my well-greas'd tumbling foot-cloth nag

“Be able to out-run a well-breath'd catchpole.” Steevens. Stanley did dream, the boar did rase his helm;

Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble,] So Holinshed, after Sir Thomas More: “ A marvellous case it is to heare, either the warnings of that he should have voided, or the tokens of that he could not voide, for the selfe night next before his death the L. Stanley sent a trustie secret messenger unto him at midnight, in all the haste, &c. (See p. 91, n. 7.1-Certain it is also, that in riding towards the 'Tower the same morning in which he [Hastings) was beheaded, his borse twise or thrise stumbled with him, almost to the falling : which thing, albeit eacb man wot well daily happeneth to then to whome no such mischance is toward: vet hath it beene of an old rite and custome observed as a token oftentimes notablie foregoing some great misfortune."


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, 5 bear him my head; They smile at me, who shortly shall be dead.6 [Exeunt.


The same. The Tower-Walls. Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, in rusty armour,?

marvellous ill-favoured. Glo. Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and change thy

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

1 Who builds &c.] So, Horace:

Nescius aura fallacis.Johnson. 5 Come, lead me to the block,] William Lord Hastings was bebeaded on the 13th of June, 1483. His eldest son by Catharine Neville, daughter of Richard Neville Earl of Salisbury, and widow of William Lord Bonville, was restored to his honours and estate by King Henry VII, in the first year of his reign. The daughter of Lady Hastings by her first husband was married to the Marquis of Dorset, who appears in the present play. Malone.

6 They smile at me, who shortly shall be deat.] i. e. those who now smile at me, shall be shortly dead themselves. Malone.

7 in rusty armour, &c.] Thus Holinshed: "The protector immediately after dinner, intending to set some colour upon the matter, sent in all haste for many substantial men out of the ci. tie into the Tower; and at their coming, himselfe with the duke of Buckingham, stood harnessed in old ill-faring briganders, such as no man should weene that they would vouchsafe to have put upon their backes, except that some sudden necessitie had constreined them.Steevens.

Intending deep suspicion : 8 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 may-

Glo. Look to the draw-bridge there.

Hark, hark! a drum.!
Glo. Catesby, o'erlook the walls.
Buck. Lord mayor, the reason we have sent for you,
Glo. Look back, defend thee, here are enemies.

Buck. God and our innocence defend and guard us!
Enter Lovel and RATCLIFF,1 quith 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,2 That breath'd upon the earth a Christian ;3


* Intending deep suspicion:] i. e. pretending. So, in Much Ado about Nothing : Intend a kind of zeal both to the Prince and Claudio.”

Steevens. See Vol. VI, p. 106, n. 8. Malone.

4 Hark, hark! a drum.] I have repeated the interjection-hark, for the sake of metre. Steevens.

1 Enter Lovel and Ratcliff,] The quarto has "Enter Catesby, with Hastings' head," and Gloster, on his entry, says "0, , be quiet, it is Catesby.” For this absurd alteration, by which Ratcliff is represented at Pomfret and in London at the same time, I have no doubt that the player-editors are answerable.

Malone. 2 harınless't creature,] The old copies read harmless, but grammar requires harmless't, (i. e. harmlessest,) a common contraction, as I am assured, both in Leicestershire and Warwick. shire. So afterwards, p. 107, we have covert'st for covertest

Steevens. - the earth a Christian;] Here the quarto adds:

Look you, my lord mayor. This hemistich I have inserted in the following speech of Buck. ingham, to which I believe it originally belonged; as without it we meet with an imperfect verse:

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 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 we!! have signify'd the same
Unto the citizens, who, haply, may
Misconstrue us in him, and wail his death.

May. But, my good lord, your grace's word shall serve,

“Well, well, he was the covert'st shelter'd traitor
“ That ever liv’d.

“Would you imagine,” &c. I have since observed, that Mr. Capell has the same transposition. Steevens.

4_ his conversation -]i.e. familiar intercourse. The phrase --criminal conversation, is yet in daily use. Malon.

As well as I had seen, and heard him speak: '
And do not doubt, right noble princes both,
But I 'll acquaint our duteous citizens
With all your just proceedings in this case.

Glo. And to that end we wish'd your lordship here, To avoid the censures of the carping world.

Buck. But since you came too late of our intent,5
Yet witness what you hear we did intend :
And so, my good lord mayor, we bid farewel.

[Exit Lord May.
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, 6
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, daughters, wives,
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,8 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,

5 But since you came too late of our intent,] Perhaps we should read-_" too late for our intent.M. Mason.

The old reading I suppose to be the true one. We still say “to come short of a thing," and why not “ come late of an intent?”

Steevens. 6 put to death a citizen,] This person was one Walker, a substantial citizen, and grocer at the Crown in Cheapside. Grey. T h is raging eye, listed -] The former is the reading of the folio, the latter of the quarto. The quarto has-lustful eye, and the folio-lusted instead of listed. Modern editors without authority-ranging eye. Steevens.

8 Tell them, &c.] Whatever reason W. Wyrcester might have for being so very particular, he expressly tells us that Edward was conceived in the chamber next to the chapel of the palace of Hatfield. York was regent of France at that time, and had come over, it would seem, to visit his lady. Ritson.

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