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Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable;
He's all the mother's, from the top to toe.
Buck. Well, let them rest.—
Come hither, gentle Catesby; thou art sworn
As deeply to effect what we intend,
As closely to conceal what we impart :
Thou know'st our reasons urg'd upon the way;—
What think'st thou? is it not an easy matter
To make William lord Hastings of our mind,
For the instalment of this noble duke
In the seat royal of this famous isle?

Cate. He for his father's sake so loves the prince, That he will not be won to aught against him. Buck. What think'st thou then of Stanley? will not he?

Cate. He will do all in all as Hastings doth.
Buck. Well then, no more but this: Go,
gentle Catesby,

And, as it were far off, sound thou lord Hastings,
How he doth stand affected to our purpose;
And summon him to-morrow to the Tower,
To sit about the coronation.

If thou dost find him tractable to us,
Encourage him, and tell him all our reasons:
If he be leaden, icy, cold, unwilling,
Be thou so too; and so break off the talk,
And give us notice of his inclination :
For we to-morrow hold divided councils,
Wherein thyself shalt highly be employ'd.
Glo. Commend me to lord William: tell him,
Catesby,

His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries
To-morrow are let blood at Pomfret-castle;
And bid my friend, for joy of this good news,
Give mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.
Buck. Good Catesby, go, effect this business
soundly.

Cate. My good lords both, with all the heed I can. Glo. Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?

Cate. You shall, my lord.

Glo. At Crosby-place, there shall you find us both. [Exit Catesby. Buck. Now, my lord, what shall we do, if we perceive

Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots? Glo. Chop off his head, man ;-somewhat we will do:

And, look, when I am king, claim thou of me The earldom of Hereford, and all the moveables Whereof the king my brother was possess'd. Buck. I'll claim that promise at your grace's hand.

Glo. And look to have it yielded with all kind

ness.

Come, let us sup betimes; that afterwards We may digest our complots in some form.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.-Before Lord Hastings' house. Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My lord, my lord,—

Hast. Within.] Who knocks?
Mess. One from lord Stanley.
Hast. [Within.] What is't o'clock?
Mess. Upon the stroke of four.

Enter HASTINGS.

Hast. Cannot thy master sleep the tedious nights?

Mess. So it should seem by that I have to say. First, he commends him to your noble lordship. Hast. And then,

Mess. And then he sends you word, he dreamt To-night the boar had rased off his helm: Besides, he says, there are two councils held; And that may be determin'd at the one, Which may make you and him to rue at th' other. Therefore he sends to know your lordship's pleasure,

If presently you will take horse with him, And with all speed post with him toward the north,

To shun the danger that his soul divines.

Hast. Go, fellow, go, return unto thy lord; Bid him not fear the separated councils: His honour, and myself, are at the one; And, at the other, is my good friend Catesby; Where nothing can proceed, that toucheth us, Whereof I shall not have intelligence. Tell him, his fears are shallow, wanting instance: And for his dreams-I wonder, he's so fond To trust the mockery of unquiet slumbers: To fly the boar, before the boar pursues, Were to incense the boar to follow us, And make pursuit, where he did mean no chase. Go, bid thy master rise and come to me; And we will both together to the Tower, Where, he shall see, the boar will use us kindly. Mess. I'll go, my lord, and tell him what you say.

Enter CATESBY.

[Exit.

Cate. Many good morrows to my noble lord!
Hast. Good morrow, Catesby; you are early
stirring:

What news, what news, in this our tottering state?
Cate. It is a reeling world, indeed, my lord;
And, I believe, will never stand upright,
Till Richard wear the garland of the realm.
Hast. How? wear the garland? dost thou
mean the crown?
Cate. Ay, my good lord.

Hast. I'll have this crown of mine cut from
my shoulders,

Before I'll see the crown so foul misplac'd.
But canst thou guess, that he doth aim at it?

Cate. Ay, on my life; and hopes to find you
forward

Upon his party, for the gain thereof :
And, thereupon, he sends you this good news,-
That, this same very day, your enemies,

The kindred of the queen, must die at Pomfret, Hast. Indeed, I am no mourner for that news, Knocking. Because they have been still my adversaries;

But, that I'll give my voice on Richard's side,
To bar my master's heirs in true descent,
God knows, I will not do it, to the death.
Cate. God keep your lordship in that gracious
mind!

Hast. But I shall laugh at this a twelvemonth hence,

That they, who brought me in my master's hate, I live to look upon their tragedy.

Well, Catesby, ere a fortnight make me older,
I'll send some packing, that yet think not on't.
Cate. 'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
When men are unprepar'd, and look not for it.
Hast. O monstrous, monstrous! and so falls
it out

With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey: and so 'twill do
With some men else, who think themselves as safe
As thou, and I; who, as thou know'st, are dear
To princely Richard, and to Buckingham.
Cate. The princes both make high account of

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Come on, come on, where is your boar-spear, man?
Fear you the boar, and go so unprovided?
Stan. My lord, good morrow; and good mor-
row, Catesby:-

You may jest on, but, by the holy rood,
I do not like these several councils, I.

Hast. My lord, I hold my life as dear as yours;
And never, in my life, I do protest,
Was it more precious to me than 'tis now:
Think you, but that I know our state secure,
I would be so triumphant as I am?

Stan. The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from London,

Were jocund, and suppos'd their states were sure,
And they, indeed, had no cause to mistrust;
But yet, you see, how soon the day o'er-cast.
This sudden stab of rancour I misdoubt;
Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward!
What, shall we toward the Tower? the day is
spent.

Hast. Come, come, have with you.-Wot you what, my lord?

To-day, the lords you talk of are beheaded. Stan. They, for their truth, might better wear their heads,

Than some, that have accus'd them, wear their hats.

But come, my lord, let's away.

Enter a Pursuivant.

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Pr. Well met, my lord; I am glad to see your honour.

Hast. I thank thee, good sir John, with all my heart.

I am in your debt for your last exercise ;
Come the next Sabbath, and I will content you.
Enter BUCKINGHAM.

Buck. What, talking with a priest, lord chamberlain ?

Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest; Your honour hath no shriving work in hand.

Hast. 'Good faith, and when I met this holy

man,

The men you talk of came into my mind.
What, go you toward the Tower?

Buck. I do, my lord; but long I cannot stay there :

I shall return before your lordship thence. Hast. Nay, like enough, for I stay dinner there. Buck. And supper too, although thou know'st it not. [Aside, Come, will you go?

Hast. I'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.-Pomfret. Before the Castle. Enter RATCLIFF, with a Guard, conducting R1VERS, GREY, and VAUGHAN, to execution. Rat. Come, bring forth the prisoners. Riv. Sir Richard Ratcliff, let me tell thee this,— To-day, shalt thou behold a subject die, For truth, for duty, and for loyalty.

Grey. God keep the prince from all the pack of you!

A knot you are of damned blood-suckers. Vaugh. You live, that shall cry woe for this hereafter.

Rat. Despatch; the limit of your lives is out." Riv. O Pomfret, Pomfret! O thou bloody prison, Fatal and ominous to noble peers! Within the guilty closure of thy walls Richard the second here was hack'd to death: And, for more slander to thy dismal seat, We give thee up our guiltless blood to drink. Grey. Now Margaret's curse is fallen upon our heads,

When she exclaim'd on Hastings, you, and I,
For standing by when Richard stabb'd her son.
Riv. Then curs'd she Hastings, then curs'd
she Buckingham,

Then curs'd she Richard :-O, remember, God,
To hear her prayers for them, as now for us!
And for my sister, and her princely sons,-
Be satisfied, dear God, with our true bloods,
Which, as thou know'st, unjustly must be spilt!
Rat. Make haste, the hour of death is expiate.
Riv. Come, Grey,-come, Vaughan,-let us
here embrace :

Farewell, until we meet again in heaven.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV.-London. A room in the Tower. BUCKINGHAM, STANLEY, HASTINGS, the Bishop of ELY, CATESBY, LOVEL, and Others, sitting at a table: Officers of the Council attending. Hast. Now, noble peers, the cause why we are męt

Is to determine of the coronation :
In God's name, speak, when is the royal day?
Buck. Are all things ready for that royal time?
Stan. They are; and wants but nomination.
Ely. To-morrow then I judge a happy day.
Buck. Who knows the lord protector's mind
herein ?

Who is most inward with the noble duke?
Ely. Your grace, we think, should soonest
know his mind.

Buck. We know each other's faces for our hearts,

He knows no more of mine, than I of yours;
Nor I, of his, my lord, than you of mine :-
Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love.
Hast. I thank his grace, I know he loves me
well;

But, for his purpose in the coronation,
I have not sounded him, nor he deliver'd
His gracious pleasure any way therein:
But you, my noble lord, may name the time;
And in the duke's behalf I'll give my voice,
Which, I presume, he'll take in gentle part.

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I saw good strawberries in your garden there;
I do beseech you, send for some of them.
Ely. Marry, and will, my lord, with all my
heart.
[Exit Ely.
Glo. Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you.
[Takes him aside.
Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business;
And finds the testy gentleman so hot,
That he will lose his head, ere give consent
His master's child, as worshipfully he terms it,
Shall lose the royalty of England's throne.
Buck. Withdraw yourself awhile, I'll go with

you. [Exeunt Gloster and Buckingham. Stan. We have not yet set down this day of triumph.

To-morrow, in my judgment, is too sudden;
For I myself am not so well provided,
As else I would be, were the day prolong'd.

Re-enter Bishop of ELY.

Ely. Where is my lord protector? I have sent For these strawberries.

Hast. His grace looks cheerfully and smooth this morning;

There's some conceit or other likes him well,
When he doth bid good-morrow with such spirit.
I think, there's ne'er a man in Christendom,
Can lesser hide his love, or hate, than he;
For by his face straight shall you know his heart.
Stan. What of his heart perceive you in his face,
By any likelihood he show'd to-day?

Hast. Marry, that with no man here he is offended;

For, were he, he had shown it in his looks.

Re-enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM.

Glo. I pray you all, tell me what they deserve, That do conspire my death with devilish plots Of damned witchcraft; and that have prevail'd Upon my body with their hellish charms?

Hast. The tender love I bear your grace, my

lord,

Makes me most forward in this noble presence
To doom the offenders: Whosoe'er they be,
I say, my lord, they have deserved death.

Glo. Then be your eyes the witness of their evil,
Look how I am bewitch'd; behold mine arm
Is, like a blasted sapling, wither'd up:
And this is Edward's wife, that monstrous witch,
Consorted with that harlot, strumpet Shore,
That by their witchcraft thus have marked me.
Hast. If they have done this deed, my noble

lord,

Glo. If! thou protector of this damned strumpet, Talk'st thou to me of ifs ?-Thou art a traitor:Off with his head :-now, by Saint Paul I swear, I will not dine until I see the same.Lovel, and Catesby, look, that it be done; The rest, that love me, rise, and follow me. [Exeunt Council, with Gloster and Buckingham. Hast. Woe, woe, for England! not a whit for me;

For I, too fond, might have prevented this:
Stanley did dream, the boar did rase his helm;
But I disdain'd it, and did scorn to fly.
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did
stumble,

And startled, when he look'd upon the Tower,
As loath to bear me to the slaughter-house.
0, 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.
0, Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse
Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head.
Cate. 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, 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 prophesy the fearful'st time to thee,
That ever wretched age hath look'd upon.-
Come, lead me to the block, bear him my head;
They smile at me, who shortly shall be dead.
[Exeunt.

SCENE V.-The same. The Tower walls.
Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, in rusty
armour, marvellous ill-favoured.
Glo. Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and
change thy colour?

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,
Intending deep suspicion: 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 mayor,

Glo. Look to the draw-bridge there.
Buck. 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, with 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, That breath'd upon the earth a Christian; 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 shel-
ter'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 weare 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 well have signified 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,

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, Yet witness what you hear we did intend: And so, my good lord mayor, we bid farewell. [Exit Lord Mayor. Glo. Go, after, after, cousin Buckingham. The mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post:

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There, at the meetest vantage of the time,
Infer the bastardy of Edward's children:
Tell them, how Edward put to death a citizen,
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, 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,
Found, that the issue was not his begot ;
Which well appeared in his lineaments,
Being nothing like the noble duke my father :
Yet touch this sparingly, as 'twere far off;
Because, my lord, you know, my mother lives.
Buck. Doubt not, my lord; I'll play the ora-
tor,

As if the golden fee, for which I plead,
Were for myself: and so, my lord, adieu.
Glo. If you thrive well, bring them to Bay-
nard's castle;

Where you shall find me well accompanied,
With reverend fathers, and well-learned bishops.
Buck. I go; and, towards three or four o'clock,
Look for the news that the Guild-hall affords.
[Exit Buckingham.
Glo. Go, Lovel, with all speed to doctor Shaw,—
Go thou To Cat.] to friar Penker ;-bid them
both

Meet me, within this hour, at Baynard's castle.
[Exeunt Lovel and Catesby.
Now will I in, to take some privy order
To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight;
And to give notice, that no manner of person
Have, any time, recourse unto the princes. [Exit.

SCENE VI.-A Street.

Enter a Scrivener.

SCENE VII.-The same. Court of Baynard's Castle.

Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, meeting. Glo. How now, how now? what say the citizens?

Buck. Now by the holy mother of our Lord, The citizens are mum, say not a word.

Glo. Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?

Buck. I did; with his contract with lady
Lucy,

And his contract by deputy in France:
The insatiate greediness of his desires,
And his enforcement of the city wives;
His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,-
As being got, your father then in France;
And his resemblance, being not like the duke.
Withal, I did infer your lineaments,-
Being the right idea of your father,
Both in your form and nobleness of mind:
Laid open all your victories in Scotland,
Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace,
Your bounty, virtue, fair humility;
Indeed, left nothing, fitting for your purpose,
Untouch'd, or slightly handled, in discourse.
And, when my oratory grew to an end,

I bade them, that did love their country's good,
Cry-God save Richard, England's royal king!
Glo. And did they so?

Buck. No, so God help me, they spake not a

word;

But, like dumb statues, or breathless stones,
Star'd on each other, and look'd deadly pale.
Which when I saw, I reprehended them;
And ask'd the mayor, what meant this wilful
silence;

His answer was, the people were not us'd
To be spoke to, but by the recorder.
Then he was urg'd to tell my tale again ;-
Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke inferr'd;
But nothing spoke in warrant from himself.
When he had done, some followers of mine own,
At lower end o'the hall, hurl'd up their caps,
And some ten voices cried, God saveking Richard!

Scriv. Here is the indictment of the good lord And thus I took the vantage of those few,

Hastings;

Which in a set hand fairly is engross'd,
That it may be to-day read o'er in Paul's.
And mark how well the sequel hangs together:-
Eleven hours I have spent to write it over,
For yester night by Catesby was it sent me ;
The precedent was full as long a doing:
And yet within these five hours Hastings liv'd,
Untainted, unexamin'd, free, at liberty.
Here's a good world the while!-Who is so gross,
That cannot see this palpable device?
Yet who so bold, but says-he sees it not?
Bad is the world; and all will come to nought,
When such bad dealing must be seen in thought.
[Exit.

Thanks, gentle citizens, and friends, quoth I;
This general applause, and cheerful shout,
Argues your wisdom, and your love to Richard:
And even here brake off, and came away.

Glo. What tongueless blocks were they! Would they not speak?

Will not the mayor then, and his brethren, come? Buck. The mayor is here at hand; intend

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