Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

SCENE IV.

London. A Room in the Tower.

BUCKINGHAN, 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 :
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 morrow:
I 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. Buck. Withdraw yourself awhile, I'll go with you.

[E.reunt Glo, and Buck. Stan. We have not yet set down this day of

triumph.
To-morrow, in my judgement, 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 sappling, 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 Glost, and Buck. Hast. Woe, woe, for England ! not a whit for

me ; For I, too fond, might have prevented this : Stanley did dream, the boar did raise 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'd, 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, 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 ex

claim. Hast. O, bloody Richard !-miserable England ! I prophecy 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.

[Ereunt.

[blocks in formation]

Enter Gloster and BUCKINGHAM, in rusty armour,

marvellous ill-favour'd. 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 ;

« ÎnapoiContinuați »