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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 pratlle like a busy-body,
Give your advice, and teach the lords o’lhe 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 thoughts,
Forget themselves, and what concerns their peace,
To search, with prying eyes, for faults abroad,
If all, like me, consider'd their own hearts,
And wept their sorrows which they found at home.
Glos. Go to; I know your pow'r; and though I trust
To ev'ry breath of fame, I'm not to learn (not
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 hand
Become an instrument of good to any?
Instruct your lowly slave, and let me fly
To yield obedience to your dread command.
Glos. Why, that's well saidThus then-Obserse me
The state, for many high and potent toasons,
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 peevishiness and spleen,
Does stubbornly oppose.
Jane S. Does be? Does Hastings?
Glos. Ay, Hastings.
Jane S. Reward hiin for the noble deed, just heav'ns:
For this one action, guard him and distinguish bim
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 harınless hands in vain,
Or cry to heaven for help, and not be heard?
Inpossible! O gallant, generous Haslings,
Go on, pursue, assert the sacred cause:
Stand forth, thoa proxy of all-ruling Providence,
And save the friendless infants from oppression.
Saints sball assist thee with prevailing prayers,
And warring angels combat on thy side.
Glos. You're passing richin this same heav'nly speech,
And spend it at your pleasure. Nay, but mark me!
My favour is not bought with words like these.
Go tom-you'll teach your longue another tale.
June 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 flaine;
And can IMO my heart abhors the thought!
Stand by, and see his children robbid of right?
Glos. Dare pot, ev’n for thy soul, to thwart me further!
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, bang wanton on his neck,
And play your monkey gambols o'er to him.
You kuow my purpose, look that you parsue it,
And make him yield obedience to my will.
Do ilmor woe upon the harlot's head.
Jane S. Oh that my tongue had every grace of speech,
Great and commanding, as the breath of kings;
That I had art and eloquence divine,
To pay my duty to my master's asbes,
And plead, till
death, the cause of injur'd innocence. Glos. Ha! Dost thou brave ine, minion! Dost thou
know How vile, how very a wretch, my pow'r can make thee?
That I can place thee in such abject state,
As help shall never find thee; where, repining,
Thou sbalt sit down, and gnaw the earth for anguish;
Groan to the pililess 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
Upon the barren wild and desolate waste,
Feed on my sighs, and drink my falling tears,
E’er I consent to teach my lips injustice,
Or wrong tóe orphan, who has none to save him.
Glos. 'Tis well-we'll try the temper of your heart.
Whal, hoa! Who waits without?
Enter RATCLIFFE, CATESBY, and Attendants.
Glos. Go, some of you, and turn this strumpet forth?
Spurn her into the street; there let her perish,
And rot upon a dunghill. Through the city
See it proclaim'd, that none, on pain of death,
Presume to give her comfort, food, or barbour;
Who ministers the smallest confort, 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
Hainbly behold, I how myself to thee,
And own 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 any past crimes my forfeit life receive;
No pity for my sofferings here I crave,
And only hope forgiveness in the grave.
[Exit Jane ore, guarded by Catesby and others.
Glos. So much for this. Your project's at an end.
[To Sir Richard.
This idle toy, this hilding scorns my power,
And sets us all at nought. See that a guard
Be ready at my call-
Sir R. The council waits
Upon your bighness' leisure.
Glos. I'll attend them,
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY WIDENER LDRAR
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 asseinbled here,
To point the day, and fix the solemo pomp
For placing England's crown, with all due rites,
Upon our sovereiga Edward's youthful brow.
Lord H. Some busy, meddling knaves, 'tis said, there
As such will still be prating, who presuine Lare,
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 daty to the king,
And stay the babbling of such vain gainsayers,
Der. We all attend to know your highness' pleasure.
Glos. My lords, a set of worthy men you are,
Prudent and jast, and careful for the state;
Therefore, to your most grave determination
1 yield myself in all things; and demand
What punishment your wisdom shall think meet
T inflict upon those damnable contrivers,
Who shall with potions, charms, and witching drugs,
Practise against our person and our life!
Lord H. So mucb' I hold the king your highness'
So precious are you to the commonweal,
That I presume, not ooly for myself,
But in behalf of these my noble brothers,
To say, whoe'er they be, they merit death,
Glos. Then judge yourselves, convince your eyes of
Behold my arm, thus blasted, dry, and wither'd,
(Pulling up his Sleeves.
Shrunk like a foul abortion, and decay'd,
Like some untimely product of the seasons,
Robb’d of its properties of strength and office.
This is the sorcery of Edward's wife,
Who, in conjunction with that harlot Shore,
And other like confed'raté midnight hags,
By force of potent spells, of bloody characters,
And conjurations horrible to hear,
Call fiends and spectres from the yawning deep,
And set the ministers of hell at work,
To torture and despoil me of my life.
Lord H. If they have done this deed
Glos. If they bave done it!
Talk'st thou to me of ifs, audacions traitor!
Thou art that strumpet witch's chief abettor,
The patron and complotter of her mischiefs,
And join'd in this contrivance for my death.
Nay start not, Jords—What ho! a guard there, sirs!
Lord Hastings, I arrest thee of high treason.
Seize him, and bear him instantly away.
He sha'not live an hour. By holy Paul,
I will not dine before his head be brought me.
Ratcliffe, stay you, and see that it be done :
The rest that love me, rise and follow me.
[Exeunt Gloster, and Lords following. Manet LORD HASTINGS, SIR RICHARD RATCLIFFE,
Lord H. What! and no more but this-How! to the
O gentle Ratcliffe ! tell me, do I hold thee?
Or if I dream, what shall l'do to wake,
To break, to struggle through this dread confusion?