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With his estates assembled, well determine
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!
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,
Glost. How now | so hot!
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.
Continues. Enter Duke of GLOSTER, RATCLIFFE
Marry, at last, the testy gentleman
Rat. Ill does it thus befall. I could have wish'd
Glost. This wayward and perverse declining from us
Cat. If she have such dominion o'er his heart,
Teach every grace to smile in your behalf,
[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 :