Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

And yet to win her,—all the world to nothing!
Ha!

Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I some three months since,
Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,-
Fram'd in the prodigality of nature,

Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal,—
The spacious world cannot again afford:

And will she yet abase her eyes on me,

That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince,
And made her widow to a woful bed?
On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety?
On me, that halt, and am misshapen thus?
My dukedom to a beggarly denier,
I do mistake my person all this while:
Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
I'll be at charges for a looking-glass;
And entertain a score or two of tailors,
To study fashions to adorn my body:
Since I am crept in favour with myself,
I will maintain it with some little cost.
But, first, I'll turn yon' fellow in his grave;
And then return lamenting to my love.-
Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
That I may see my shadow as I pass.

[Exit.

6

a beggarly denier,] A denier is the twelfth part of a French sous, and appears to have been the usual request of a beggar.

SCENE III.

The same.

A Room in the Palace.

Enter Queen ELIZABETH, Lord RIVERS, and Lord GREY.

Riv. Have patience, madam; there's no doubt, his majesty

Will soon recover his accustom'd health.

Grey. In that you brook it ill, it makes him worse: Therefore, for God's sake, entertain good comfort, And cheer his grace with quick and merry words.

Q. Eliz. If he were dead, what would betide of me
Grey. No other harm, but loss of such a lord.
Q. Eliz. The loss of such a lord includes all harms.
Grey. The heavens have bless'd you with a goodly
son,

To be your comforter, when he is gone.

Q. Eliz. Ah, he is young; and his minority
Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloster,
A man that loves not me, nor none of you.

Riv. Is it concluded, he shall be protector?
Q. Eliz. It is determin'd, not concluded yet:
But so it must be, if the king miscarry.

Enter BUCKINGHAM and STANLEY.

Grey. Here come the lords of Buckingham and
Stanley.

Buck. Good time of day unto your royal grace!
Stan. God make your majesty joyful as you have
been!

Q. Eliz. The countess Richmond, good my lord
of Stanley,

To your good prayer will scarcely say-amen.
Yet, Stanley, notwithstanding she's your wife,

VOL. VII.

And loves not me, be you, good lord, assur'd,
I hate not you for her proud arrogance.

Stan. I do beseech you, either not believe
The envious slanders of her false accusers;
Or, if she be accus'd on true report,
Bear with her weakness, which, I think, proceeds
From wayward sickness, and no grounded malice.

Q. Eliz. Saw you the king to-day, my lord of
Stanley?

Stan. But now, the duke of Buckingham, and I, Are come from visiting his majesty.

Q. Eliz. What likelihood of his amendment, lords? Buck. Madam, good hope; his grace speaks cheerfully.

Q. Eliz. God grant him health! did you confer with him?

Buck. Ay, madam: he desires to make atonement Between the duke of Gloster and your brothers, And between them and my lord chamberlain; And sent to warn them to his royal presence.

Q. Eliz. 'Would all were well!-But that will never be ;I fear, our happiness is at the height.

Enter GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and DORSET.

Glo. They do me wrong, and I will not endure it:

Who are they, that complain unto the king,
That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not?
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly,
That fill his ears with such dissentious rumours.
Because I cannot flatter, and speak fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,
Duck with French nods and apish courtesy, 8

7 to warn them -] i. e. to summon.

I must be held a rancorous enemy.

Cannot a plain man live, and think no harm,
But thus his simple truth must be abus'd
By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks?
Grey. To whom in all this presence speaks your
grace?

Glo. To thee, that hast nor honesty, nor grace.
When have I injur'd thee? when done thee wrong?-
Or thee?—or thee?-or any of faction?
your
A plague upon you all! His royal grace,—
Whom God preserve better than you would wish!-
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while,
But you must trouble him with lewd complaints."
Q. Eliz. Brother of Gloster, you mistake the

matter:

The king, of his own royal disposition,
And not provok'd by any suitor else;
Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred,
That in your outward action shows itself,
Against my children, brothers, and myself,
Makes him to send; that thereby he may gather
The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it.

Glo. I cannot tell;-The world is grown so bad, That wrens may prey where eagles dare not perch: Since every Jack became a gentleman,'

There's many a gentle person made a Jack.

8

speak fair, Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive, and cog,

Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,] An importation of artificial manners seems to have afforded our ancient poets a never failing topick of invective.

9

with lewd complaints.] Lewd, in the present instance, signifies rude, ignorant; from the Anglo-Saxon Laewede, a Laick. Chaucer often uses the word lewd, both for a laick and an ignorant person.

1 Since every Jack became a gentleman,] This proverbial expression at once demonstrates the origin of the term Jack so often used by Shakspeare. It means one of the very lowest class of people, among whom this name is of the most common and familiar kind.

Q. Eliz. Come, come, we know your meaning, brother Gloster;

You envy my advancement, and my friends;
God grant, we never may have need of you!
Glo. Meantime, God grants that we have need of
you:

Our brother is imprison'd by your means,
Myself disgrac'd, and the nobility

Held in contempt; while great promotions
Are daily given, to ennoble those

That scarce, some two days since, were worth a noble. Q. Eliz. By Him, that rais'd me to this careful height

From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,
I never did incense his majesty
Against the duke of Clarence, but have been
An earnest advocate to plead for him.
My lord, you do me shameful injury,
Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.

Glo. You may deny that you were not the cause
Of my lord Hastings' late imprisonment.
Riv. She may, my lord; for

Glo. She may, lord Rivers?-why, who knows not so?

She
may do
more, sir, than denying that:
She may help you to many fair preferments;
And then deny her aiding hand therein,
And lay those honours on your high desert.

What may she not? She may,-ay, marry, may she,-
Riv. What, marry, may she?

Glo. What, marry, may she? marry with a king, A bachelor, a handsome stripling too: I wis, your grandam had a worser match.

Q. Eliz. My lord of Gloster, I have too long borne Your blunt upbraidings, and your bitter scoffs: By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty, Of those gross taunts I often have endur'd.

[ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »