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With his estates assembled, well determine
What course the sov'reign rule should take hence.

When shall the deadly hate of faction cease,
When shall our long-divided land have rest,
If every peevish, moody malecontent
Shall set the senseless rabble in an uproar,
Fright them with dangers, and perplex their brain,
Each day with some fantastic giddy change ?

Glost. What if some patriot, for the public good, Should vary from your scheme, new-mould the state

Hast. Curse on the innovating hand attempts it!
Remember him, the villain, righteous Heaven,
In thy great day of vengeance ! Blast the traitor
And his pernicious counsels; who for wealth,
For pow'r, the pride of greatness, or revenge,
Would plunge his native land in civil wars !

Glost. You go too far, my lord.

Hast. Your highness' pardoni Have we so soon forgot those days of ruin, When York and Lancaster drew forth the battles ; When, like a matron butcher'd by her sons, “ And cast beside some common way, a spectacle “ Of horror and affright to passers by," Our groaning country bled at ev'ry vein ; When murders, rapes, and massacres prevail'd; When churches, palaces, and cities blaz’d; When insolence and barbarism triumph’d, And swept away distinction ; peasants trod Upon the necks of nobles : low were laid

The reverend crosier, and the holy mitre,
And desolation cover'd all the land ;
Who can remember this, and not, like me,
Here vow to sheath a dagger in his heart
Whose damn'd ambition would renew those horrors,
And set once more that scene of blood before us?

Glost. How now | so hot!
Hast. So brave, and so resolv'd.

Glost. Is then our friendship of so little moment, That

you could arm your hand against my life? Hast. I hope your highness does not think I mean it; No, Heav'n forefend that e'er your princely person Should come within the scope of my resentment. Glost. Oh, noble Hastings ! Nay, I must embrace you;

[Embraces him. By holy Paul, y'are a right honest man! The time is full of danger and distrust, And warns us to be wary. Hold me not Too apt for jealousy and light surmise, If when I meant to lodge you next my heart, I put your truth to trial. Keep your loyalty, And live, your king and country's best support: For me, I ask no more than honour gives, To think me yours, and rank me with your

friends Hast. Accept what thanks a grateful heart should

pay, “ 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 from my tongue.

Glost. Enough of this: to deal in wordy com

pliment “ Is much against the plainness of my nature: I judge you by myself, a clear truespirit, “ And, as such, once more join you to my bosom. “ Farewell, and be my friend.” [Exit Glost.

Hast. I am not read, Nor 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 Ev'n on the tend'rest 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 confess’d; 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. [Exit.

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Continues. Enter Duke of GLOSTER, RATCLIFFE


This was the sum of all: that he would brook
No alteration in the present state.

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Marry, at last, 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 foremention'd matter,
As nothing bound or trusting to his friendship.

Rat. Ill does it thus befall. I could have wish'd
This lord had stood with us. " His friends are

“ 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.

Glost. 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.

Cat. 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 ?
Rat. Let her instruct her tongue to bear your mes-


Teach every grace to smile in your behalf,
And her deluded eyes to gloat for you ;
His ductile reason will be wound about,
Be led and turni'd again, say and unsay,
Receive the yoke, and yield exact obedience.
Glost. Your counsel likes me well, it shall be fol.

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 oftener does her giddy fancies change, Than glittering dew-drops in the sun do colours Now, shame upon it I 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 whiffling blast that blows ? “ Beshrew my heart, but it is wond'rous strange;" Şure there is something more than witchcraft in them, That masters ey'n 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 wou'd enforce The rigour of our power to afflict you, And bear a heavy hand; yet fear not you :

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