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They fall for my offences; and must fall
Long, long ere they shall wash my stains away.
You knew, perhaps-O grief! O shame! my hus
Dum. I knew him well; but stay this flood of
The senseless grave feels not your pious sorrows:
Three years and more are past, since I was bid,
With many of our common friends, to wait him
To his last peaceful mansion. I attended,
Sprinkled his clay-cold corse with holy drops,
According to our church's rev'rend rite,
And saw him laid, in hallow'd ground, to rest.
Jane S. Oh, that my soul had known no joy but
That I had liv'd within his guiltless arms,
And dying slept in innocence beside him!
But now his honest dust abhors the fellowship,
And scorns to mix with mine.
Ser. The lady Alicia
Attends your leisure.
Jane S. Say I wish to see her.
Please, gentle sir, one moment to retire ;
I'll wait you on the instant, and inform you
Of each unhappy circumstance, in which
Your friendly aid and counsel much may stead me.
[Exeunt Bel. and Dum.
Alic. Still, my fair friend, still shall I find you thus?
Still shall these sighs heave after one another,
These trickling drops chase one another still,
As if the posting messengers of grief
Could overtake the hours fled far away,
And make old time come back?
Heaven and his saints be witness to my thoughts,
There is no hour of all my life o'erpast,
That I could wish should take its turn again.
Alic. And yet some of those days my friend has known,
Some of those years, might pass for golden ones,
At least if womankind can judge of happiness.
What could we wish, we who delight in empire, ́·
Whose beauty is our sov'reign good, and gives us
Our reasons to rebel, and pow'r to reign,-
What could we more than to behold a monarch,
Lovely, renown'd a conqueror, and young,
Bound in our chains, and sighing at our feet?
Jane S. "Tis true, the royal Edward was a wonder,
The goodly pride of all our English youth;
He was the very joy of all that saw him,
Form'd to delight, to love, and to persuade.
But what had I to do with kings and courts?
My humble lot had cast me far beneath him;
And that he was the first of all mankind,
The bravest and most lovely, was my curse,
Alic. Suré something more than fortune join'd
Nor could his greatness, and his gracious form,
Be elsewhere match'd so well, as to the sweetness
And beauty of my friend.
Jane S. Name him no more:
He was the bane and ruin of my peace.
This anguish, and these tears, these are the legacies
His fatal love has left me. Thou wilt see me,
Believe me, my Alicia, thou wilt see me,-
Ere yet a few short days pass o'er my head,
Abandon'd to the very utmost wretchedness.
The hand of pow'r has seiz'd almost the whole
Of what was left for needy life's support;
Shortly thou wilt behold me poor, and kneeling
Before thy charitable door for bread.
Alic. Joy of my life, my dearest Shore, forbear
To wound my heart with thy forboding sorrows:
Raise thy sad soul to better hopes than these,
Lift up thy eyes, and let them shine once more,
Bright as the morning sun above the mist.
Exert thy charms, seek out the stern protector,
And sooth his savage temper with thy beauty;
Spite of his deadly unrelenting nature,
He shall be mov'd to pity, and redress thee.
Jane S. My form, alas! has long forgot to please!
The scene of beauty and delight is chang'd;
No roses bloom upon my fading cheek,
Nor laughing graces wanton in my eyes;
But haggard grief, lean-looking, sallow care,
And pining discontent, a rueful train,
Dwell on my brow, all hideous and forlorn;
One only shadow of a hope is left me;
The noble-minded Hastings, of his goodness,
Has kinkly underta'en to be my advocate,
And move my humble suit to angry Gloster.
Alic. Does Hastings undertake to plead your
But wherefore should he not? Hastings has eyes;
The gentle lord has a right tender heart,
Melting and easy, yielding to impression,
And catching the soft flame from each new beauty:
But yours shall charm him long.
Jane S. Away, you flatterer!
Nor charge his gen'rous meaning with a weakness,
Which his great soul and virtue must disdain.
Too much of love thy hapless friend has prov'd,
Too many giddy foolish hours are gone,
And in fantastic measures danc'd away:
May the remaining few know only friendship,
So thou, my dearest, truest, best Alicia,
Vouchsafe to lodge me in thy gentle heart,
A partner there; I will give up mankind,
Forget the transport of increasing passion,
And all the pangs we feel for its decay.
Alic. Live! live and reign for ever in my bosom;
Safe and unrivall'd there possess thy own;
And, you, the brightest of the stars above,
Ye saints that once were women here below,
Be witness of the truth, the holy friendship,
Which here to this my other self I vow.
If I not hold her nearer to my soul,
Than every other joy the world can give,
Let poverty, deformity, and shame,
Distraction and despair seize me on earth;
Let not my faithless ghost have peace hereafter,
Nor taste the bliss of your celestial fellowship.
Jane S. Yes, thou art true, and only thou art
One common hazard shall attend us both,
And both be fortunate, or both be wretched.
But let thy fearful doubting heart be still;
The saints and angels have thee in their charge,
And all things shall be well. Think not, the good,
The gentle deeds of mercy thou hast done,
Shall die forgotten all; the poor, the pris'ner,
The fatherless, the friendless, and the widow,
Who daily own the bounty of thy hand,
Shall cry to heav'n, and pull a blessing on thee.
Ev'n man, the merciless insulter, man;
Man, who rejoices in our sex's weakness,
Shall pity thee, and with unwonted goodness,
Forget thy failings, and record thy praise.
Jane S. Why should I think that man will do for
What yet he never did for wretches like me?
Mark, by what partial justice we are judg'd;
Such is the fate unhappy women find,
And such the curse entail'd upon our kind,
That man, the lawless libertine, may rove,
Free and unquestion'd through the wilds of love;
While woman, sense and nature's easy fool,
If poor, weak woman swerve from virtue's rule,
If, strongly charm'd, she leave the thorny way,
And in the softer paths of pleasure stray,
Ruin ensues, reproach and endless shame,
And one false step entirely damns her fame:
In vain with tears the loss she may deplore,
In vain look back on what she was before;
She sets, like stars that fall, to rise no more.
SCENE L-An Apartment in Jane Shore's house.
Alic. The drowsy night grows on the world, and
The busy craftsman and the o'er-labour'd hind
Forget the travail of the day in sleep:
Care only wakes, and moping Pensiveness;
With meagre discontented looks they sit,
And watch the wasting of the midnight taper.
Such vigils must I keep, so wakes my soul,
Restless and self-tormented! O false Hastings!
Thou hast destroy'd my peace. (Knocking without.)
What noise is that?
What visitor is this, who, with bold freedom,
Breaks in upon the peaceful night and rest,
With such a rude approach?
But be it as it may.
Alic. When humbly, thus,
The great descend to visit the afflicted;
When thus, unmindful of their rest, they come
To soothe the sorrows of the midnight mourner,
Comfort comes with them; like the golden sun,
Dispels the sullen shades with her sweet influence,
And cheers the melancholy house of care.
Has. "Tis true I would not over-rate a courtesy,
Nor let the coldness of delay hang on it,
To nip and blast its favour, like a frost;
But rather chose, at this late hour, to come,
That your fair friend may know I have prevail'd;
The lord protector has receiv'd her suit,
And means to shew her grace.
Alic. My friend, my lord.
Has. Yes, lady, yours; none has a right more To task my pow'r than you.
Alic. I want the words,
To pay you back a compliment so courtly;
But my heart guesses at the friendly meaning, And wouldn't die your debtor.
Has. "Tis well, madam:
But I would see your friend.
Alic. O thou false lord!
I would be mistress of my heaving heart,
Stifle this rising rage, and learn from thee
To dress my face in easy, dull indiff'rence;
But 'twouldn't be; my wrongs will tear their way,
And rush at once upon thee.
Have you the use of reason? Do you wake?
What means this raving, this transporting passion?
Alic. O, thou cool traitor! thou insulting tyrant!
Dost thou behold my poor, distracted heart,
Thus rent with agonizing love and rage,
And ask me what it means? Art thou not false?
Am I not scorn'd, forsaken, and abandon'd;
Left, like a common wretch, to shame and infamy;
Giv'n up to be the sport of villain's tongues,
Of laughing parasites, and lewd buffoons?
And all because my soul has doated on thee
With love, with truth and tenderness unutterable!
Has. Are these the proofs of tenderness and love?
These endless quarrels, discontents, and jealousies,
These never-ceasing wailings and complainings,
These furious starts, these whirlwinds of the soul,
Which every other moment rise to madness?
Alic. What proof, alas! have I not giv'n of love?
What have I not abandon'd to thy arms?
Have I not set at nought my noble birth,
A spotless fame, and an unblemish'd race,
The peace of innocence, and pride of virtue?
My prodigality has giv'n thee all;
And now, I've nothing left me to bestow,
You hate the wretched bankrupt you have made.
Has. Why am I thus pursu'd from place to place,
Kept in the view, and cross'd at ev'ry turn?
In vain I fly, and, like a hunted deer,
Scud o'er the lawns, and hasten to the covert;
Ere I can reach my safety, you o'ertake me
With the swift malice of some keen reproach,
And drive the winged shaft deep in my heart.
Alic. Hither you fly, and here you seek repose.
Spite of the poor deceit, your arts are known,
Your pious, charitable, midnight visits.
Has. If you are wise, and prize your peace of
Yet take the friendly counsel of my love;
Believe me true, nor listen to your jealousy.
Let not that devil, which undoes your sex,
That cursed curiosity, seduce you,
To hunt for needless secrets, which, neglected,
Shall never hurt your quiet; but once known,
Shall sit upon your heart, pinch it with pain,
And banish the sweet sleep for ever from you.
Go to-be yet advis'd-
Alic. Dost thou in scorn
Preach patience to my rage, and bid me tamely
Sit, like a poor, contented idiot, down,
Nor dare to think thou'st wrong'd me? Ruin
And swift perdition overtake thy treachery.
Have I the least remaining cause to doubt?
Hast thou endeavour'd once to hide thy falsehood?
To hide it might have spoke some little tenderness,
And shown thee half unwilling to undo me:
But thou disdain'st the weakness of humanity,
Thy words, and all thy actions, have confess'd it;
Ev'n now thy eyes avow, it, now they speak,
And insolently own the glorious villany.
Has. Well then, I own my heart has broke your Patient I bore the painful bondage long,
At length my gen'rous love disdains your tyranny;
The bitterness and stings of taunting jealousy,
Vexatious days, and jarring, joyless nights,
Have driv'n him fourth to seek some safer shelter,
Where he may rest his weary wings in peace.
Alic. You triumph! do; and with gigantic pride Defy impending vengeance. Heav'n shall wink;
No more his arm shall roll the dreadful thunder,
Nor send his lightnings forth: no more his justice
Shall visit the presuming sons of men,
But perjury, like thine, shall dwell in safety.
Has. Whate'er my fate decrees for me hereafter,
Be present to me now my better angel!
Preserve me from the storm that threatens now,
And if I have beyond atonement sinn'd,
Let any other kind of plague o'ertake me,
So I escape the fury of that tongue.
Alic. Thy prayer is heard-I go; but know proud lord,
Howe'er thou scorn'st the weakness of my sex,
This feeble hand may find the means to reach thee,
Howe'er sublime in pow'r and greatness plac'd,
With royal favour guarded round and grac'd:
On eagle's wings my rage shall urge her flight,
And hurl thee headlong from thy topmost height;
Then, like thy fate, superior will I sit,
And view thee fall'n, and grov'lling at my feet;
See thy last breath with indignation go,
And tread thee sinking to the shades below.
[Exit. Has. How flerce a fiend is passion! With what wildness,
What tyranny untam'd, it reigns in women!
Unhappy sex! whose easy, yielding temper,
Gives way to ev'ry appetite alike:
And love in their weak bosoms is a rage
As terrible as hate, and as destructive.
But soft ye now-for here comes one, disclaims
Strife and her wrangling train: of equal elements,
Without one jarring atom, was she form'd;
And gentleness and joy make up her being.
Enter JANE SHORE.
Forgive me, fair one, if officious friendship
Intrudes on your repose and comes thus late
To greet you with the tidings of success.
The princely Gloster has youchsaf'd your hearing:
To-morrow he expects you at the court;
There plead your cause, with never-failing beauty,
Speak all your griefs, and find a full redress.
Jane S. Thus humbly let your lowly servant
Thus let me bow my grateful knee to earth,
And bless your noble nature for this goodness.
Has. Rise, gentle dame, you wrong my meaning
Think me not guilty of a thought so vain,
To sell my courtesy for thanks like these.
Jane S. 'Tis true your bounty is beyond my
But though my mouth be dumb, my heart shall thank
And when it melts before the throne of mercy,
Mourning and bleeding for my past offences,
My fervent soul shall breathe one pray'r for you,
That heav'n will pay you back, when most you
The grace and goodness you have shown to me,
Has. If there be aught of merit in my service,
Impute it there, where most 'tis due-to love;
Be kind, my gentle mistress, to my wishes,
And satisfy my panting heart with beauty.
Jane S. Alas! my lord-
Has. Why bend thy eyes to earth?
Wherefore these looks of heaviness and sorrow?
Why breathes that sigh, my love? and wherefore
[ness? This trickling show'r of tears, to stain thy sweetJane S. If pity dwells within your noble breast (As sure it does), oh, speak not to me thus.
Has. Can I behold thee, and not speak of love? Ev'n now, thus sadly as thou stand'st before me, Thus desolate, dejected, and forlorn, Thy softness steals upon my yielding senses,
Till my soul faints, and sickens with desire. How canst thou give this motion to my heart, And bid my tongue be still?
Jane S. Čast round your eyes
Upon the high-born beauties of the court;
Behold, like opening roses where they bloom,
Sweet to the sense, unsullied all, and spotless;
There choose some worthy partner of your heart,
To fill your arms, and bless your virtuous bed;
Nor turn your eyes this way.
Has. What means this peevish, this fantastic
Where is thy wonted pleasantness of face,
Thy wonted graces, and thy dimpled smiles?
Where hast thou lost thy wit and sportive mirth?
That cheerful heart, which us'd to dance for ever,
And cast a day of gladness all around thee?
Jane S. Yes, I will own I merit the reproach;
And for those foolish days of wanton pride.
My soul is justly humbled to the dust:
All tongues, like yours, are licens'd to upbraid me,
Still to repeat my guilt, to urge my infamy,
And treat me like that abject thing I have been.
Has. No more of this dull stuff. 'Tis time enough To whine and mortify thyself with penance; The present moment claims more gen'rous use: Thy beauty, night and solitude reproach me, For having talk'd thus long:-come, let me press thee, (Laying hold on her.) (die,
Jane S. Forbear, my lord!-here let me rather And end my sorrows and my shame for ever.
Has. Away with this perverseness; 'tis too much. Nay, if you strive,'tis monstrous affectation! Jane S. Retire! I beg you leave me- (Striving.) Has. Thus to coy it!-
With one who knows you too.
Jane S. For mercy's sake-
Has. Ungrateful woman!
Jane S. Abandon me to ruin,Rather than urge me
Has. This way to your chamber; There, if you struggle
Jane S. Help, O gracious heaven! Help! Save me! Help!
Enter DUMONT; he interposes. Dum. My lord! for honour's sakeHas. Ha! What art thou?-Begone! Dum. My duty calls me
To my attendance on my mistress here. Has. Avaunt! base groom :
At distance wait, and know thy office better
Dum. No, my lord-
The common ties of manhood call me now,
And bid me thus stand up in the defence
Of an oppress'd, unhappy, helpless woman.
Has. And dost thou know me, slave?
Dum. Yes, thou proud lord!
I know thee well; know thee with each advantage
Which wealth, or pow'r, or noble birth can give
I know thee too for one who stains those honours,
And blots a long illustrious line of ancestry,
By poorly daring thus to wrong a woman. [dame,
Has. "Tis wondrous well; I see my saint-like
You stand provided of your braves and ruffians,
To man your cause, and bluster in your brothel.
Dum. Take back the foul reproach, unmanner'd
Nor urge my rage too far, lest thou shouldst find
I have as daring spirits in my blood,
As thou or any of thy race e'er boasted;
And though no gaudy titles grac'd my birth,
Yet heav'n, that made me honest, made me more
Than ever king did, when he made a lord,
If every peevish, moody malcontent,
Shall set the senseless rabble in an uproar?
Fright them with dangers, and perplex their brains,
Each day with some fantastic giddy change?
Glos. What if some patriot for the public good,
Should vary from your scheme, new-mould the
Has. Curse on the innovating hand attempts it!
Remember him, the villain, righteous heaven,
In thy great day of vengeance! blast the traitor
And his pernicious counsels; who, for wealth,
For pow'r, the pride of greatness, or revenge,
Would plunge his native land in civil wars!
Glos. You go too far, my lord.
Has. Your highness' pardon.-
Have we so soon forgot those days of ruin,
When York and Lancaster drew forth their battles;
When, like a matron butcher'd by her sons,
Our groaning country bled at every vein:
When murders, rapes, and massacres prevail'd;
When churches, palaces, and cities blaz'd;
When insolence and barbarism triumph'd,
And swept away distinction: peasants trod
Upon the necks of nobles: low were laid
The reverend crosier and the holy mitre,
And desolation covered all the land?
Who can remember this, and not, like me,
Here vow to sheath a dagger in his heart,
Whose damn'd ambition would renew those horrors,
And set once more that scene of blood before us?
Glos. How now? so hot!
Has. So brave, and so resolv'd.
Glos. Is then our friendship of so little moment, That you could arm your hand against my life? Has. I hope your highness does not think I mean it;
No, heaven forfend that e'er your princely person
Should come within the scope of my resentment.
Glos. O noble Hastings! Nay, I must embrace
By holy Paul, you're a right honest man!
The time is full of danger and distrust,
And warns us to be wary. Hold me not,
Too apt for jealousy, and light surmise,
If, when I meant to lodge you next my heart,
I put your truth to trial. Keep your loyalty,
And live your king and country's best support:
For me, I ask no more than honour gives, [friends.
To think me yours, and rank me with your
Has. I am not read,
Nor skill'd and practis'd in the arts of greatness,
To kindle thus, and give a scope to passion.
The duke is surely noble; but he touch'd me
Ev'n on the tend'rest point; the master-string
That makes most harmony or discord to me,
I own the glorious subject fires my breast,
And my soul's darling passion stands confess'd;
Beyond or love's or friendship's sacred band,
Beyond myself, I prize my native land:
On this foundation would I build my fame,
And emulate the Greek and Roman name; [blood,
Think England's peace bought cheaply with my
And die with pleasure for my country's good.
ACT IV. SCENE L-The sume. Enter DUKE of GLOSTER, RATCLIFFE, and CATESBY.
The first design and purport of my speech,
I prais'd his good affection to young Edward,
And left him to believe my thoughts like his.
Proceed we then in this fore-mentioned matter,
As nothing bound or trusting to his friendship.
Sir R. Ill does it thus befall. I could have wish'd
This lord had stood with us.
His name had been of 'vantage to your highness,
And stood our present purpose much in stead.
Glos. This wayward and perverse declining from
Has warranted at full the friendly notice, [us,
Which we this morn receiv'd. I hold it certain,
This puling, whining harlot rules his reason,
And prompts his zeal for Edward's bastard brood.
Cates. If she have such dominion o'er his heart,
And turn it at her will, you rule her fate;
And should, by inference and apt deduction,
Be arbiter of his. Is not her bread,
The very means immediate to her being,
The bounty of your hand? Why does she live,
If not to yield obedience to your pleasure,
To speak, to act, to think as you command?
Sir R. Let her instruct her tongue to bear your
Teach every grace to smile in your behalf,
And her deluded eyes to gloat for you;
His ductile reason will be wound about,
Be led and turn'd again, say and unsay,
Receive the yoke, and yield exact obedience.
Glos. Your counsel likes me well; it shall be
She waits without, attending on her suit:
Go, call her in, and leave us here alone.
[Exeunt Ratcliffe and Catesby.
How poor a thing is he, how worthy scorn,
Who leaves the guidance of imperial manhood
To such a paltry piece of stuff as this is!
A moppet made of prettiness and pride;
That oftener does her giddy fancies change,
Than glittering dew-drops in the sun do colours.
Now, shame upon it! was our reason given
For such a use? To be thus puff'd about.
Sure there is something more than witchcraft in
That masters e'en the wisest of us all.
Enter JANE SHORE.
And rescu'd from despair, attend your highness.
Alas! my gracious lord, what have I done
To kindle such relentless wrath against me?
Glos. Marry, there are, though I believe them not,
Who say you meddle in affairs of state:
That you presume to prattle like a busy-body,
Give your advice, and teach the lords o' the council
What fits the order of the commonweal.
Jane S. Oh, that the busy world, at least in this,
Would take example from a wretch like me!
None then would waste their hours in foreign
Forget themselves, and what concerns their peace,
To search, with prying eyes, for faults abroad,
If all, like me, consider' their own hearts,
And wept their sorrows which they found at home.
Glos. Go to; I know your pow'r; and though I
To ev-ry breath of fame, I'm not to learn
That Hastings is profess'd your loving vassal.
But fair befall your beauty: use it wisely,
And it may stand your fortunes much in stead,
Give back your forfeit land with large increase,
And place you high in safety and in honour.
Nay, I could point a way, the which pursuing,
You shall not only bring yourself advantage,
But give the realm much worthy cause to thank you.
Jane S. Oh! where or how can my unworthy
Become an instrument of good to any? [hand
Instruct your lowly slave; and let me fly
To yield obedience to your dread command.
Glos. Why, that's well said:-Thus then,-ob-
serve me well.
The state, for many high and potent reasons,
Deeming my brother Edward's sons unfit
For the imperial weight of England's crown-
Jane S. Alas, for pity!
Glos. Therefore have resolv'd
To set aside their unavailing infancy,
And vest the sov'reign rule in abler hands.
This, though of great importance to the public,
Hastings, for very peevishness and spleen,
Does stubbornly oppose.
Jane S. Does he? Does Hastings?
Glos. Ay, Hastings.
Jane S. Reward him for the noble deed, just For this one action guard him and distinguish him With signal mercies, and with great deliverance; Save him from wrong, adversity, and shame, Let never fading honours flourish round him, And consecrate his name, ev'n to time's end. Glos. How now!
Jane S. The poor, forsaken, royal little ones! Shall they be left a prey to savage power? Can they lift up their harmless hands in vain, Or cry to heaven for help, and not be heard? Impossible: O gallant, generous Hastings, Go on, pursue, assert the sacred cause! Stand forth, thou proxy of all-ruling Providence, And save the friendless infants from oppression. Saints shall assist thee with prevailing prayers, And warring angels combat on thy side.
Glos. You're passing rich in this same heav'nly
And spend it at your pleasure. Nay, but mark me!
My favour is not bought with words like these.
Go to:-You'll teach my tongue another tale. [me,
Jane S. No, though the royal Edward has undone
He was my king, my gracious master still;
He lov'd me too, though 'twas a guilty flame;
And can I-(O my heart abhors the thought!)
Stand by and see his children robb'd of right?
Glos. Dare not, e'ven for thy soul, to thwart me
None of your arts, your feigning, and your foolery;
Your dainty squeamish coying it to me;
Go-to your lord, your paramour, be gone!
Lisp in his ear, hang wanton on his neck,
And play your monkey gambols o'er to him.
You know my purpose, look that you pursue it,
And make him yield obedience to my will,
Do it or woe upon the harlot's head.
[speech, Jane S. Oh that my tongue had every grace of Great and commanding, as the breath of kings; That I had heart and eloquence divine, To pay my duty to my master's ashes, [cence. And plead, till death, the cause of injur'd innoGlos. Ha! Dost thou brave me, minion? Dost thou know [thee? How vile, how very a wretch, my pow'r can make That I can place thee in such abject state, As help shall never find thee; where repining, Thou shalt sit down and gnaw the earth for anguish;
Groan to the pitiless winds without return: Howl, like the midnight wolf amidst the desert, And curse thy life, in bitterness and misery!
Jane S. Let me be branded for the public scorn,
Turn'd forth and driv'n to wander like a vagabond,
Be friendless and forsaken, seek my bread
Feed on my sighs, and drink my falling tears,
Upon the barren wild and desolate waste,
Ere I consent to teach my lips injustice,
Or wrong the orphan who has none to save him.
Glos. 'Tis well:-we'll try the temper of your
What, hoa! Who waits without?
Enter RATCLIFFE, CATESBY, and Attendants.
Glos. Go, some of you, and turn this strumpet
Spurn her into the street; there let her perish,
And rot upon a dughill. Through the city
See it proclaim'd, that none, on pain of death,
Presume to give her comfort, food, or harbour;
Who ministers the smallest comfort, dies.
Her house, her costly furniture and wealth,
We seize on, for the profit of the state.
Away! Be gone!
Jane S. Oh, thou most righteous Judge-
Humbly behold, I bow myself to thee, (kneels)
And on thy justice in this hard decree:
No longer, then, my ripe offences spare,
But what I merit let me learn to bear.
Yet, since 'tis all my wretchedness can give,
For my past crimes my forfeit life receive;
No pity for my sufferings here I crave,
And only hope forgiveness in the grave.
[Exit Jane Shore, guarded by Catesby. Glos. So much for this. Your project's at an eng (To Sir Richard scorns my power, See that a guard
This idle toy, this hilding,
And sets us all at nought.
Be ready at my call.
Sir R. The council waits
Upon your highness' leisure.
Glos. I'll attend them.
SCENE II.-The Council Chamber. The DUKE of BUCKINGHAM, EARL of DERBY, BISHOP of ELY, LORD HASTINGS, and others discovered in Council. The DUKE of GLOSTER enters, and takes his place at the upper end. Der. In happy times we are assembled here, T'appoint the day, and fix the solemn pomp For placing England's crown, with all due rites, Upon our sovereign Edward's youthful brow. Lord H. Some busy, meddling knaves, 'tis said there are,
As such will still be prating, who presume
To carp and cavil at his royal right;
Therefore, I hold it fitting, with the soonest,
T'appoint the order of the coronation:
So to approve our duty to the king,
And stay the babbling of such vain gainsayers.
Der. We all attend to know your highness'
Glos. My lords, a set of worthy men you are,
Prudent and just, and careful for the state;
Therefore, to your most grave determination
I yield myself in all things; and demand
What punishment your wisdom shall think meet
T' inflict upon those damnable contrivers, [drugs,
Who shall with potions, charms, and witching
Practise against our person and our life! [debtor,
Has. So much I hold the king your highness'
So precious are you to the commonweal,
That I presume, not only for myself,
But in behalf of these my noble brothers,
To say, whoe'er they be, they merit death.