Sidor som bilder

Oh! princely Gloster! judge me not ungentle, • Of manners rude, and insolent of speech,

If, when the public safety is in question,
My zeal flows warm and eager froin my tongue.

Glos. Enough of this: To deal in wordy compliment ( Is much against the plainness of my nature;

I judge you by myself, a clear true spirit,
And, as such, once more join you to my bosom.
Farewel, and be my friend.' [Exit Gloster.

Hust. I am not read,
Not skill'd and practis'd in the arts of greatness,
To kindle thus, and give a scope to passion:
The Duke is surely noble; but he touch'd me
E'en on the tenderest point; the master-string
That makes most harmony or discord to me.
I own the glorious subject fires my breast,
And my soul's darling passion stands confest;
Beyond or love's or friendship’s sacred band,
Beyond myself I prize my native land:
On this foundation would I build my fame,
And emulate the Greek and Roman name;
Think England's peace bought cheaply with my blood,
And die with pleasure for my country's good.


[ocr errors]


The SCENE continues.
Enter the Duke of Gloster, Sir Richard RATCLIFFE,

and Sir William CATESBY.
Glos. This was the sum of all; that he would brook
No alteration in the present state.
At last, forsooth! the testy gentleman
'Was almost mov'd to bid us bold defiance:
But there I dropt the argument, and changing
The first design and purport of my speech,
I prais'd his good affection to young Edward,
And left him to believe my thoughts like his.
Proceed we, then, in this fore-mention'd matter,
As nothing bound or trusting to his friendship.

[ocr errors]

Ratc. Ill does it thus befall. I could have wish'd This Lord had stood with us. His friends are wealthy,

Thereto, his own possessions large and mighty;

The vassals and dependants on his power
• Firm in adherence, ready, bold, and many;'
His name had been of 'vantage to your Highness,
And stood our present purpose much in stead.

Glos. This wayward and perverse declining from us,
Has warranted at full the friendly notice
Which we this morn receiv'd. I hold it certain
This puling whining harlot rules his reason,
And prompts his zeal for Edward's bastard' brood.

Cate. If she have such dominion o'er his heart,
And turn it at her will, you rule her fate;
And should by inference and apt deduction,
Be arbiter of his. Is not her bread
The very means immediate to her being,
'The bounty of your hand? Why does she live,
If not to yield obedience to your pleasure,
To speak, to act, to think as you command?

Ratc. Let her instruct her tongue to bear your message, And teach each grace to smile in your

His ductile reason will be wound about,
Be led and turn'd again, say and unsay,
Receive the yoke and yield exact obedience.

Glos. Your counsel likes me well,* it shall be follow'd;
She waits without, attending on her suit.
Go, call her in, and leave us here alone.

[Exeunt Ratcliffe and Catesby. How poor a thing is he, how worthy scorn, Who leaves the guidance of imperial manhood To such a paltry piece of stuff as this is ! A moppet, made of prettiness and pride; That oftner does her giddy fancies change, Than glittering dew-drops in the sun do colours.-

* Pleases me well. So in K. Lear. A. II. S. II. His countenance likes me not. And again There's some conceit or other likes him not.

Ricbard Ill. A. III, S. Iv.

Now, shame upon it! Was our reason given
For such a use! To be thus puff'd about

Like a dry leaf, an idle straw, a feather, • The sport of every whifting blast that blows? < But so it is--and it is wond'rous strange;'+ Sure there is something more than witchcraft in them, That masters e'en the wisest of us all.

Enter Jane SHORE.
Oh! you are come most fitly. We have ponder'd
On this your grievance. And tho' some there are,
Nay, and those great ones too, who would enforce
The rigour of our power to afflict you,
And bear a heavy hand, yet fear not you,
We've ta’en you to our favour; our protection
Shall stand between, and shield you from mishap.

J. Sho. The blessings of a heart with anguish broken,
And rescu'd from despair, attend your Highness.
Alas! my gracious Lord! what have I done
To kindle such relentless wrath against me?
If in the days of all my past offences,
When most my heart was lifted with delight,
If I withheld my morsel from the hungry,

Forgot the widow's want, and orphan's cry; ( If I have known a good I have not shar'd, Nor call'd the poor to take his portion with me,

my worst enemies stand forth, and now Deny the succour which I gave not then.? I Glos. Indeed there are, tho’ I believe them not,

6 Let

+ O day and night, but this is wond'rous strange!

Hamlei, A. 1. S. v. # See before p. 113. Note. Again, If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the

eyes of the widow to fail ; or have eaten my morsel myself alone, " and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof;">" If I have seen any “ perish for want of cloathing, or any poor without covering ;" “ If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my “ help in the gate, ihen let", &c.

Job. XXXI. 16, 17, 19, 21, 22. " Then let mine nemy persecute my soul and take me: yea, let “ him tread my life down in the earth, and lay mine honour in the

Psalm XII, 5.

« dust."

Who say you meddle in affairs of state:
That you presume to prattle, like a busy-body
Give your advice, and teach the Lords o’ th' council
What fits the order of the common-weal.

J. Sho. Oh that the busy world, at least, in this, Would take example from a wretch like me! None, then, would waste their hours in foreign thoughts, Forget themselves, and what concerns their peace, - To tread the mazes of fantastic falshood, " To haunt* her idle sounds, and flying tales, "Thro' all the giddy noisy courts of rumour; • Malicious slander never would have leisure' To search with prying eyes for faults abroad, If all, like me, consider'd their own hearts, And wept the sorrows which they found at home.

Glos. Go to! I know your power, and tho’I trust not To ev'ry breath of fame, I am not to learn That Hastings is profess'd your loving vassal. But, fair befall your beauty: Use it wisely, And it may stand your fortunes much in stead, Give back your forfeit land with large increase, And place you high in safety and in honour: Nay, I could point a way, the which pursuing, You shall not only bring yourself advantage, But give the realm much worthy cause to thank you.

J. Sho. Oh! where, or how?-Can my unworthy hand
Become an instrument of good to any ?
Instruct your lowly slave, and let me fly
To yield obedience to dread command.
Glos. Why, that's well said–Thus, then, --Observe

me well,
The state for many high and potent reasons
Deeming my brother Edward's sons unfit
For the imperial weight of England's crown
J. Sho. Alas! for pity.

[ Aside.
Glos. Therefore have resolv'd
To set aside their unavailing infancy,
And 'vest the sov'reign rule in abler hands.
This, tho' of great importance to the public,


* It is so also in the 4to. but I would read hunla

[ocr errors]

Hastings, for very peevishness and spleen,
Does stubbornly oppose.

J. Sho. Does he! does Hastings!
Glos. Ay, Hastings.

J. Sho. Reward him for the noble deed, just Heaven :
For this good action guard him and distinguish him
With signal mercies; and, with great deliverance,
Save him from wrong, adversity, and shame;
Let never-fading honours flourish round him,
And consecrate his name, e'en to time's end:
(Let him know nothing else but good on earth,
' And everlasting blessedness hereafter.'-

Glos. How now!

J. Sho. The poor, forsaken, royal little ones!
Shall they be left a prey to savage power?
Can they lift up their harmless hands in vain,
Or cry to heaven for help, and not be hşard?
Impossible! O gallant, generous Hastings,
Go on, pursue, assert the sacred cause:
Stand forth, thou proxy of all-ruling Providence,
And save the friendless infants from oppression.
The good will aid thee with prevailing prayers,
And warring angels combat on thy side.

Glos. You're passing rich in this same heav'nly speech,
And spend it at your pleasure.* Nay, but mark me!
My favour is not bought with words like these.
Go to-you'll teach your tongue another tale.

J. Sho. No, tho' the royal Edward has undone me,
He was my King, my gracious master, still;
« He lov'd me too, tho? 'twas a guilty flame,

And fatal to my peace; yet, still, he lov’d me;

With fondness, and with tenderness he doated,
• Dwelt in my eyes, and liv'd but in my smiles.”
And, can 1-oh my heart abhors the thought!
Stand by, and see his children robb’d of right?

Glos. Dare not, e'en for thy life, to thwart me further;
None of your arts, your feigning, and your foolery,

* Spend it at thy will.

Hamlet, A I. S, I.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »