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Faste then, and thither let us take our flight, And move him for redress.
Ere the clouds gather, and the wintry sky

[She gires the paper to Alicia, who Descends in storms to intercept our passage.

opens and seems to read it. Dum. Will you then go ?" You glad my very Alic. Now for a wile, soul.

To sting my thoughtless rival to the heart; Banish your fears, cast all your cares on me: To blast her fatal beauties, and divide her Plenty and ease, and peace of mind, shall wait you, For ever from my perjur’d Hastings' eyes: And make your latter days of life most happy.

Their fashions are the same,

it cannot fail. O lady! but I must not, cannot, tell you,

[Aside : pulling out the other paper. How anxious I have been for all your dangers, Jane S. But see, the great protector comes this And how my heart rejoices at your safety.

So when the spring renews the flowery field, Give me the paper, friend.
And warns the pregnant nightingale to build, Alic. For love and vengeance !
She seeks the safest shelter of the wood,

(Aside: she gires her the other paper.
Where she may trust her little tuneful brood;
Where no rude swains her shady cell may know, Enter the DUKE OF GLOSTER, Sir Richard Rat-
No serpents climb, nor blasting winds may blow; CLIFFE, CatesbY, Courtiers, and other Attend
Fond of the chosen place, she views it o'er,
Sils there, and wanders through the grove no more;
Warbling, she charms it each returning night,

Jane S. (Kneeling.) O noble Gloster, turn And loves it with a mother's dear delight.

thy gracious eye,
[Erevnt. Incline thy pitying ear to my complaint ;

A poor, undone, forsaken, helpless, woman,

Entreats a little bread for charity,

To feed her wants, and save her life from perishing.

Glos. Arise, fair dame, and dry your wat’ry SCENE I.-The Court.

eyes. Enter Alicia, with a paper.

(Receiving the paper, and raising her.

Beshrew me, but 'twere pity of his heart Alic. This paper to the great protector's hand That could refuse a boon to such a suitress. With care and secrecy must be convey'd : You've got a noble friend to be your advocate; His bold ambition now avows its aim,

A worthy and right gentle lord he is, To pluck the crown from Edward's infant brow, And to his trust most true. This present now And fix it on his own. I know he holds Some matters of the state detain our leisure; My faithless Hastings adverse to his hopes, Those once despatch'd, we'll call for you anon, And much devoted to the orphan king;

And give your griefs redress. Go to! be comforted. On that I build: this paper meets his doubts, Jane s. Good heavens repay your highness for And marks my hated rival as the cause

this pity, Of Hastings' zeal for his dead master's sons. And shower down blessings on your princely O jealousy ! thou bane of pleasing friendship,

head. How does thy rancour poison all our softness, Come, my Alicia, reach thy friendly arm, And turn our gentle natures into bitterness! And help me to support this feeble frame, See, where she comes ! once my heart's dearest That, nodding, totters with oppressive wo, blessing,

And sinks beneath its load. Now my chang'd eyes are blasted with her beauty,

[Ereunt JANE S. and Alic. Loath that known face, and sicken to behold her. Glos. Now, by my holidame! Enter JANE SHORE.

Heavy of heart she seems, and sore afflicted.

But thus it is when rude calamity Jane S. O my Alicia !

Lays its strong gripe upon these mincing minions; Alic. What new grief is this?

The dainty gew-gaw forms dissolve at once, What unforeseen misfortune has surpris'd thee, And shiver at the shock. What says her paper ? That racks thy tender heart thus?

[Seeming to read. Jane S. o Dumont!

Ha! What is this? Come nearer, Ratcliffe ! Alic. Say, what of him?

Catesby! Jane S. That friendly, honest, man,

Mark the contents, and then divine the meaning. Whom Belmour brought of late to my assistance,

(He reads. On whose kind care, whose diligence and faith, Wonder not, princely Gloster, at the notice My surest trust was built, this very morn This paper brings you from a friend unknown ; Was seiz'd on by the cruel hand of power, Lord Hastings is inclin'd to call you Master, Fored from my house, and borne away to prison. And kneel to Richard as to England's king ; Alic. To prison, said you ? can you guess the But Shore's bewitching wife misleads his heart, cause ?

And draws his service to king Edward's sons : Jane S. Too well, I fear. His bold defence of me Drive her away, you break the charm that holds Has drawn the vengeance of Lord Hastings on

him, him.

And he, and all his powers attend on you. Alic. Lord Hastings! ha!

Sir R. 'Tis wonderful !
Jane S. Some fitter time must tell thee

Cates. The means by which it came
The tale of my hard hap. Upon the present Yet stranger too!
Hang all my poor, my last remaining, hopes. Glos. You saw it given, but now.
Within this paper is my suit contain'd;

Sir R. She could not know the purport.
Here, as the princely Gloster passes forth, Glos. No, 'tis plain--
I wait to give it on my humble knees,

She knows it not, it levels at her life;

Should she presume to prate of such high matters, Glos. The council (much I'm bound to tbank The meddling harlot, dear she should abide it.

'em for't) Cates. What hand soe'er it comes from, be as- Have plac'd a pageant sceptre in my hand, sur'd,

Barren of power, and subject to control; It means your highness well

Scorn'd by my foes, and useless to my friends, Glos. Úpon the instant,

Oh, worthy lord ! were mine the rule indeed, Lord Hastings will be here; this morn I mean I think I should not suffer rank offence To prove him to the quick; then if he flinch, At large to lord it in the commonweal; No more but this

away with him at once, Nor would the realm be rent by discord thus, He must be mine or nothing. But he comes ! Thus fear and doubt, betwixt disputed titles. Draw nearer this way, and observe me well. Lord H. Of this I am to learn; as not supposing

[ They whisper. A doubt like this

Glos. Ay, marry, but there is,
Enter Lord HASTINGS.

And that of much concern. Have you not heard

How, on a late occasion, Doctor Shaw Lord H. This foolish woman hangs about my Has mov'd the people much about the lawfulness heart,

Of Edward's issue? By right grave authority Lingers and wanders in my fancy still; Of learning and religion, plainly proving, This coyness is put on, 'tis art and cunning, A bastard scion never should be grafted And worn to urge desire - I must possess her.

Upon a royal stock; from thence at full The groom, who lift his saucy hand against me, Discoursing on my brother's former contract Ere this is humbled, and repents his daring. To lady Elizabeth Lucy, long before Perhaps, even she may profit by th' example, His jolly match with that same buxom widow, And teach her beauty not to scorn my power. The queen he left behind him, Glos. This do, and wait me ere the council sits. Lord H. III befall

[Ereunt Ratcliffe and CatEsey. Such meddling priests, who kindle up, confusion, My lord, you're well encounter’d; here has been And vex the quiet world with their vain scruples! A fair petitioner this morning with us;

By heaven, 'tis done in perfect spite of peace. Believe me, she has won me much to pity her: Did not the king, Alas! her gentle nature was not made

Our royal master, Edward, in concurrence To buffet with adversity. I told her

With his estates assembled, well determine How worthily her cause you had befriended;

What course the sov'reign rule should take henceHow much for your good sake we meant to do,

forward ? That you had spoke, and all things should be well. When shall the deadly hate of faction cease, Lord H. Your highness binds me ever to your When shall our long-divided land have rest, service.

If every peevish, moody, malecontent, Glos. You know your friendship is most po- Shall set the senseless rabble in an uproar, tent with us,

Fright them with dangers, and perplex their brains And shares our power. But of this enough, Each day with some fantastic giddy change? For we have other matters for your ear.

Glos. What if some patriot, for the public good, The state is out of tune : distracting fears, Should vary from your scheme, new-mould the And jealous doubts, jar in our public councils.

state? Amidst the wealthy city, murmurs rise,

Lord H. Curse on the innovating hand atLewd railings, and reproach on those that rule,

tempts it! With open scorn of government; hence credit, Remember him, the villain, righteous heaven, And public trust 'twixt man and man are broke. In thy great day of vengeance! Blast the traitor The golden streams of commerce are withheld, And his pernicious counsels; who, for wealth, Which fed the wants of needy hinds and artizans, For power, the pride of greatness, or revenge, Who therefore curse the great, and threat rebellion. Would plunge his native land in civil wars! Lord H. The resty knaves are over-run with Glos. You go too far, my lord. case,

Lord H. Your highness' pardonAs plenty ever is the nurse of faction;

Have we so soon forgot those days of ruin, If, in good days, like these, the headstrong herd When York and Lancaster drew forth their Grow madly wanton and repine, it is

battles; Because the reins of power are held too slack, When, like a matron butcher'd by her sons, And reverend authority of late

Our groaning country bled at every vein ; Has worn a face of mercy more than justice. When murders, rapes, and massacres, prevail'd; Glos. Beshrew my heart! but you have well When churches, palaces, and cities blaz'd; divin'd

When insolence and barbarism triumpb'd,
The source of these disorders. Who can wonder | And swept away distinction : peasants trod
If riot and misrule o'erturn the realm,

Upon the necks of nobles : low were laid
When the crown sits upon a baby brow? The reverend crosier and the holy mitre,
Plainly to speak, hence comes the gen'ral cry, And Jesolation cover'd all the land?
And sum of all complaint: 'twill ne er he well Who can remember this, and not, like me,
With England (thus they talk) while children Here vow to sheath a dagger in his heart,

Whose damn'd ambition would renew those Lord #. 'Tis true, the king is young: but what

horrors, of that?

And set once more that scene of blood before us : We feel no want of Edward's riper years,

Glos. How now! so hot! While Gloster's valour and most princely wisdom Lord H. So brave, and so resolved. So well support our infant sov'reign's place, Glos. Is then our friendship of so little moment, His youth's support, and guardian to his throne. That you could arm your hand against my life?

Lord H. I hope your highness does not think | Teach every grace to smile in your behalf,
I mean it ;

And her deluded eyes to gloat for you;
No, heaven forfend that e'er your princely person His ductile reason will be wound about,
Should come within the scope of my resentment. Be led and turn'd again, say and unsay,
Glos. O noble Hastings ! nay, I'must embrace Receive the yoke, and yield exact obedience.

Glos. Your counsel likes me well, it shall be By holy Paul, you're a right honest man!


(Embraces him. She waits without, attending on her suit. The time is full of danger and distrust,

Go, call her in, and leave us here alone. And warns us to be wary. Hold me not

(Exeunt Ratcliffe and CATESBY. Too apt for jealousy and light surmise, How poor a thing is he, how worthy scorn, If, when I meant to lodge you next my heart, Who leaves the guidance of imperial manhood I put your truth to trial. Keep your loyalty, To such a paltry piece of stuff as this is ! And live your king and country's best support: A moppet made of prettiness and pride; For me, I ask no more than honour gives, That oftener does her giddy fancies change, To think me yours, and rank me with your friends. Than glittering dew-drops in the sun do colours

(Exit. Now, shame upon it! was our reason given Lord H. I am not read,

For such a use; to be thus puff'd about? Nor skill'd and practis'd in the arts of greatness, Sure there is something more than witchcraft in To kindle thus, and give a scope to passion.

them, The duke is surely noble: but he touch'd me That masters even the wisest of us all. Even on the tend'rest point; the master-string

Enter JANE SHORE. That makes most harmony or discord to me. I own the glorious subject fires my breast, Oh! you are come most fitly. We have ponder'a And my soul's darling passion stands confess'd; On this your grievance: and though some there are, Beyond or love's or friendship’s sacred band, Nay, and those great ones too, who would enforce Beyond myself, I prize my native land:

The rigour of our power to afflict you, On this foundation would I build my fame, And bear a heavy hand ; yet fear not you : And emulate the Greek and Roman name; We've ta’en you to our favour : our protection Think England's peace bought cheaply with my Shall stand between, and shield you from mishap. blood,

Jane S. The blessings of a heart with anguish And die with pleasure for my country's good.

[Exit. And rescu'd from despair, attend your highness.

Alas ! my gracious lord, what have I done

To kindle such relentless wrath against me?
SCENE I.-The same.

Glos. Marry, there are, though I believe them


Who say you meddle in affairs of state:


you presume to prattle like a busy-body,

Give your advice, and teach the lords o’ihe council Glos. This was the sum of all; that he would What fits the order of the commonweal. brook

Jane S. Oh, that the busy world, at least in this, No alteration in the present state.

Would take example from a wretch like me? Marry, at last, the testy gentleman

None then would waste their hours in foreign Was almost mov'd to bid us bold defiance :

thoughts, But there I dropp'd the argument, and, changing Forget themselves, and what concerns their peace, The first design and purport of my speech, To search, with prying eyes, for faults abroad, I prais'd his good affection to young Edward, If all, like me, consider'd their own hearts, And left him to believe my thoughts like his. And wept their sorrows which they found at home. Proceed we then in this foremention'd matter, Glos. Go to; I know your power; and though As nothing bound or trusting to his friendship.

I trust not Sir R. În does it thus befall. I could have To every breath of fame, I'm not to learn wish'd

That Hastings is profess’d your loving vassal. This lord had stood with us.

But fair befall your beauty : use it wisely, His name had been of 'vantage to your highness, And it may stand your fortunes much in stead, And stood our present purpose much in stead. Give back your forfeit land with large increase, Glos. This wayward and perverse declining and place you high in safety and in honour. from us,

Nay, 1 could point a way, the which pursuing, Has warranted at full the friendly notice, You shall not only bring yourself advantage, Which we this morn receiv'd. I hold it certain, But give the realm much' worthy cause to thank The puling, whining harlot rules his reason,

you. And prompts his zeal for Edward's bastard brood. Jane S. Oh! where or how can my unwor

Caies. If she have such dominion o'er his heart,
And turn it at her will, you rule her fate; Become an instrument of good to any?
And should, by inference and apt deduction, Instruct your lowly slave, and let me fly
Be arbiter of his. Is not her bread,

To yield obedience to your dread command. The very means immediate to her being,

Glos. Why, that's well said— Thus then-Ob The bounty of your hand? Why does she live,

serve me well. If not to yield obedience to your pleasure, The state, for many high and potent reasons, To speak, to act, to think, as you command ! Deeming my brother Edward's sons unfit Sir R. Let her instruct her tongue to bear your For the imperial weight of England's crownmessage;

Jane S. Alas! for pity.

thy hand

done me,

Glos. Therefore have resolv'd

Glos. 'Tis well-we'll try the temper of your To set aside their unavailing infancy

heart. And vest the sov'reign rule in abler hands. What, hoa ! Who waits without ? This, though of great importance to the public, Hastings, for very peevishness, and spieen, Enter Ratcliffe, CATESBY, and Attendanie. Does stubbornly oppose. Jane S. Does he? Does Hastings ?

Go, some of you, and turn this strumpet forth ! Glos. Ay, Hastings.

Spurn her into the street; there let her perish, Jane S. Reward him for the noble deed, just See it proclaim'd, that none, on pain of death,

And rot upon a dunghill.' Through the city heavens!

Presume to give her comfort, food, or harbour; For this one action, guard him and distinguish him who ministers the smallest comfort, dies. With signal mercies, and with great deliverance; Her house, her costly furniture and wealth, Save him from wrong, adversity, and shame, We seize on, for the profit of the state. Let never-fading honours flourish round him,

Away! Be gone! And consecrate his name, even to time's end.

Jane S. Oh, thou most righteous Judge Glos. How now!

Humbly behold, I bow myself to thee, Jane S. T'he poor, forsaken, royal little ones !

And own thy justice in this hard decree : Shall they be left a prey to savage power ? No longer, then, my ripe offences spare, Can they lift up their harmless hands in vain,

But what I merit, let me learn to bear. Or cry to heaven for help, and not be heard ?

Yet, since 'tis all my wretchedness can give, Impossible! O gallant, generous, Hastings,

For my past crimes my forfeit life receive;
Go on; pursue, assert, the sacred cause :
Stand forth, thou proxy of all-ruling Providence, And only hope forgiveness in the grave.

No pity for my sufferings here I crave,
And save the friendless infants from oppression.
Saints shall assist thee with prevailing prayers,

(Exit JANE SHORE, guarded by CATESBY

and others. And warring angels combat on thy side. Glos. You're passing rich in this same heaven. Glos. So much for this. Your project's at an end.

(To Sir RICHARD ly speech,

This idle toy, this hilding, scorns my power, And spend it at your pleasure. Nay, but mark me! And sets us all at nought. See that a guard My favour is not bought with words like these.

Be ready at my callGo to-you'll teach your tongue another tale.

Sir R. The council waits Jane S. No, though the royal Edward has un- Upon your highness' leisure.

Glos. I'll attend them.

(Ereunt. He was my king, my gracious master, still; He lov'd me too, though 'twas a guilty flame;

SCENE II. - The Council Chamber. And can I-O my heart abhors the thought! Stand by, and see his children robb’d of right? The DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM, Earl op DERBY, Glos. Dare not, even for thy soul, to thwart me Bishop Of Ely, Lord Hastings, and others, further!

discovered in council. The Duke of GLOSTER None of your arts, your feigning, and your foolery; enters, and takes his place at the upper end. Your dainty squeamish coying it to me; Go-to your lord, your paramour, be gone! Der. In happy times we are assembled here, Lisp in his ear, hang wanton on his neck, To point the day, and fix the solemn pomp, And play your monkey gambols o'er to him. For placing England's crown, with all due rites, You know my purpose, look that you pursue it, Upon our sovereign Edward's youthful brow. And make him yield obedience to my will. Lord H. Some busy, meddling knaves, 'tis said, Do it-or wo upon the harlot's head. Jane S. Oh that my tongue had every grace of As such will still be prating, who presume speech,

To carp and cavil at his royal right; Great and commanding, as the breath of kings; Therefore, I hold it fitting, with the soonest, That I had art and eloquence divine,

T'appoint the order of the coronation ; To pay my duty to my master's ashes,

So to approve our duty to the king, And plead, till death, the cause of injur'dinnocence. And stay the babbling of such vain gainsayers. Glos. Ha! Dost thou brave me, minion! Dost

Der. We all attend to know your highness' thou know


[ To GLOSTER. How vile, how very a wretch, my power can make

Glos. My lords, a set of worthy men you are, thee?

Prudent, and just, and careful for the state; That I can place thee in such abject state, Therefore, to your most grave determination As help shall never find thee; where, repining, I yield myself in all things; and demand Thou shalt sit down, and gnaw the earth for an- What punishment your wisdom shall think meet guish;

T'inflíct upon those damnable contrivers, Groan to the pitiless winds without return; Who shall, with potions, charms, and witching Howl, like the midnight wolf amidst the desert,

drugs, And curse thy life, in bitterness and misery! Practise against our person and our life! Jane S. Let me be branded for the public scorn,

Lord H. So much I hold the king your highTurn'd forth and driven to wander like a vaga

ness' debtor,

So precious are you to the commonweal,
Be friendless and forsaken, seek my bread That I presume, not only for myself,
Upon the barren wild and desolate waste, But in behalf of these my noble brothers,
Feed on my sighs, and drink my falling tears, To say, whoe'er they be, they merit death.
Ere I consent to teach my lips injustice,

Glos. Then judge yourselves, convince you Or wrong the orphan, who has none to save him

eyes of truth;

there are,

thee on,

Behold my arm, thus blasted, dry, and wither'd, Alic. Stop a minute

[Pulling up his sleeves. Till my full griefs find passage. O, the tyrant ! Shrunk like a foul abortion, and decay'd, Perdition fall on Gloster's head and mine. Like some untimely product of the seasons, Lord H. What means thy frantic grief? Robb’d of its properties of strength and office. Alic. I cannot speakThis is the sorcery of Edward's wife,

But I have murder'd thee.-Oh, I could tell thee! Who, in conjunction with that harlot Shore, Lord H. Speak, and give ease to thy conflictAnd other like confed’rate, midnight hags,

ing passion! By force of potent spells, of bloody characters, Be quick, nor keep me longer in suspense, And conjurations horrible to hear,


presses, and a thousand crowding thoughts Call fiends and spectres from the yawning deep, Break in at once ! this way and that they snatch, And set the ministers of hell at work,

They tear my hurried soul.--All claim attention, To torture and despoil me of my life.

And yet not one is heard. Oh! speak, and leave Lord H. If they have done this deed

me, Glos. If they have done it!

For I have business would employ an age, Talkest thou to me of ifs, audacious traitor! And but a minute's time to get it done in. Thou art that strumpet witch's chief abettor, Alic. That, that's my grief-'tis I that urge The patron and complotter of her mischiefs, And join'd in this contrivance for my death. Thus hunt thee to the toil, sweep thee from earth, Nay start not, lords—What,ho! a guard Sirs! And drive thee down this precipice of fate. Enter Guards.

Lord H. Thy reason is grown wild. Could thy

weak hand Lord Hastings, I arrest thee of high treason. Bring on this mighty ruin? If it could, Seize him, and bear him instantly away.

What have I done so grievous to thy soul, He shall not live an hour. By holy Paul, So deadly, so beyond the reach of pardon, I will not dine before his head be brought me. That nothing but my life can make atonement? Ratcliffe, stay thou, and see that it be done : Alic. Thy cruel scorn hath stung me to tlu The rest, that love me, rise and follow me.

heart, [Exeunt Gloster and Lords. And set my burning bosom all in flames : LORD Hastings, Sir Richard Ratcliffe, and Raving and mad I flew to my revenge, Guards, remain.

And writ I know not what-told the protector, Lord H. What! and no more but this—How! That Shore's detested wife, by wiles, had won thee to the scaffold!

To plot against his greatness.—He believ'd it, Oh, gentle Ratcliffe ! tell me, do I hold thee? (Oh, dire event of my pernicious counsel !) Or, if I dream, what shall I do to wake,

And, while I meant destruction on her head, To break, to struggle, through this dread confu- He has turn'd it all on thine. sion?

Lord H. O, thou inhuman! Turn thy eyes For surely death itself is not so painful

away, As is this sudden horror and surprise.

And blast me not with their destructive beams : Sir R. You heard the duke's commands to me Why should I curse thee with my dying breath? were absolute.

Be gone! and let me die in peace. Therefore, my lord, address you to your shrift, Alic. Canst thou, O cruel Hastings, leave me With all good speed you may. Summon your

thus? courage,

Hear me, I beg thee-I conjure thee, hear me ! And be yourself; for you must die this instant. While, with an agonizing heart, I swear, Lord H. Yes, Ratcliffe, I will take thy friendly By all the pangs I feel, by all the sorrows, counsel,

The terrors and despair thy loss shall give me, And die as a man should ; 'tis somewhat hard, My hate was on my rival bent alone. To call my scatter'd spirits home at once : Oh! had I once divin'd, false as thou art, But since what must be, must be—let necessity A danger to thy life, I would have died, Supply the place of time and preparation, I would have met it for thee. And arm me for the blow. 'Tis but to die, Lord H. Now mark! and tremble at heaven's "Tis but to venture on the common hazard,

just award : Which many a time in battle I have run;

While thy insatiate wrath and fell revenge 'Tis but to close my eyes and shut out daylight, Pursu'd the innocence which never wrong'u thee, 'To view no more the wicked ways of men, Behold, the mischief falls on thee and me: No longer to behold the tyrant Gloster,

Remorse and heaviness of heart shall wait thee, And be a weeping witness of the woes,

And everlasting angnish be thy portion. The desolation, slaughter, and calamities,

For the snares of death are wound about me, Which he shall bring on this unhappy land. And now, in one poor moment, I am gone.


thou hast one tender thought remaining,

Fly to thy closet, fall upon thy knees, Alic. Stand off, and let me pass- I will, I must, And recommend my parting soul to mercy. Catch him once more in these despairing arms, Alic. Oh! yet, before I go for ever from thee, And hold him to my heart.-0, Hastings ! Hast- Turn thee in gentleness and pity to me, ings!

(Knceling Lord H. Alas! why corn'st thou at this dread. And, in compassion of my strong affliction, ful moment,

Say, is it possible you can forgive To fill me with new terrors, new distractions ; The fatal rashness of ungovern'd love? To turn me wild with thy distemper'd rage, For, oh! 'tis certain, if I had not lov'd thee And shock the peace of my depariing soul ? Beyond my peace, my reason, fame, and life, Away; I pr’ythee, leave me!

This day of horror never wnuld have known us.


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