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Pomfret. Before the Castle. Enter Ratcliff, with a Guard, conducting Rivers,
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:-0, 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.
the hour of death is expiate.) Perhaps, fully completed, and ended.
Riv. Come, Grey,—come, Vaughan,-let us here
embrace: Farewell, until we meet again in heaven. [Exeunt.
London. A Room in the Tower.
BUCKINGHAM, STANLEY, Hastings, the Bishop of
Ely, Catesby, Lovel, and Others, sitting at a
Buck. Are all things ready for that royal time?
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:
and wants but nomination.) i. e. the only thing wanting, is appointment of a particular day for the ceremony.
inward —j i. e. intimate, confidential.
But you, my noble lord, may name the time;
Glo. My noble lords and cousins, all, good morI have been long a sleeper ; but, I trust, My absence doth neglect no great design, Which by my presence might have been concluded.
Buck. Had you not come upon your cue,' my lord, William lord Hastings had pronounc'd your part,-I mean, your voice, for crowning of the king. Glo. Than
lord Hastings, no man might be
bolder; His lordship knows me well, and loves me well.My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn, 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.
9 Had you not come upon your cue,] This expression is borrowed from the theatre. The cue, queue, or tail of a speech, consists of the last words, which are the token for an entrance or answer. To come on the cue, therefore, is to come at the proper time.
' I saw good strawberries - ] The reason why the Bishop was despatched on this errand, is not clearer in Holinshed, from whom Shakspeare adopted the circumstances, than in this scene, where it is introduced.
Buck. Withdraw yourself awhile, I'll go with you.
Exeunt GLOSTER, and BUCKINGHAM. Stan. We have not yet set down this day of
Re-enter Bishop of Ely.
morning; There's some conceit or otherlikes 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 of
fended; 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,
* There's some conceit or other -] i. e. pleasant idea or fancy.
Look how I am bewitch'd; behold mine arm
[Exeunt Council, with GLOSTER and Buck
INGHAM. 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. 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's, And I'myself secure in grace and favour. O, 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,
· Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble.] stumble was anciently esteem'd a bad omen. The housings of a horse, and sometimes a horse himself, were anciently denoininated a foot-cloth.