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SCENE III.

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.

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

met
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:

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.

row:

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.

Enter GLOSTER.
Ely. In happy time, here comes the duke himself.

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

my

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

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 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
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 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,

3

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· 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.

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