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* I pray you; for, I think, I have taken my last
draught in this world 9.* —Here, Robin, an if I die, I give thee my apron; and, Will, thou shalt have my hammer:—and here, Tom, take all the money that I have.-0 Lord, bless me, I
God! for I am never able to deal with my master, he hath learnt so much fence already.
Sal. Come, leave your drinking, and fall to blows.
Hor. Masters, I am come hither, as it were, upon my man's instigation, to prove him a knave, and myself an honest man: * and touching the duke of * York,—will take my death, I never meant him any ill, nor the king, nor the queen: * And, there
fore, Peter, have at thee with a downright blow, as Bevis of Southampton fell upon Ascapart 10. * York. Despatch :-this knave's tongue begins
to double 11. * Sound trumpets, alarum to the combatants.
[Alarum. They fight, and Peter strikes
down his Master.
9 Gay has borrowed this idea in bis What d'ye call it, where Peascod says:
• Stay, let me pledge—'tis my last earthly liquor.' Peascod's subsequent bequest is likewise copied from Peter's division of his moveables.
10 Warburton added this allusion to Bevis and Ascapart from the old quarto. The story of this knight and giant were familiar to our ancestors; their effigies are still preserved on the gates of Southampton.
11 This is from Holinshed, whose narrative Shakspeare has deserted in making the armourer confess treason:— His neighbours gave him wine and strong drinke in such excessive sort, that he was therewith distempered, and reeled as he went, and so was slaine without guilt. As for the false servant, he lived
Hor. Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess treason.
[Dies. * York. Take away
weapon ;-Fellow, * Thank God, and the good wine in thy master's way.
• Peter. O God! have I overcome mine enemies in this presence? O Peter, thou hast prevailed in right?
K. Hen. Go, take hence that traitor from our sight; For, by his death, we do perceive his guilt 12 : And God, in justice, hath reveald to us The truth and innocence of this
poor Which he had thought to have murder'd wrong
fully.-Come, fellow, follow us for thy reward. [Exeunt. not long unpunished; for being convict of felonie in court of assise, he was judged to be hanged, and so was at Tiburne.' Fo. 626. 12 The rea
name of the combatants were John Daveys and William Catour. The names of the sheriffs were Godfrey Bologne and Robert Horne, the latter, which occurs in the page
of Fabian's Chronicle, may have suggested the name of Horner. The precept to the sheriffs, commanding them to prepare the barriers in Smithfield, with the account of expenses incurred, is among the records of the excheqaer, and has been printed in Mr. Nicholls's Illustrations of the Manners and Expenses of Antient Times in England, quarto, 1797. It appears that the erection of the barriers, the combat itself, and the subsequent execution of the armourer, occupied the space of six or seven days; that a large quantity of sand and gravel was consumed on the occasion, and that the place of battle was strewed with rushes. Mr. Steevens inferred that the armourer was not killed by his opponent, but worsted, and immediately afterwards hanged. This, however, is in direct contradiction to all the historians, who state that he was slain. Hall's words are, 'whose body was drawen to Tyborn, and there hanged and beheaded.' The law made no distinction, the dead body of the vanquished was equally adjudged to the punishment of a convicted traitor, in order that his posterity might participate in his infamy. Indeed the record seems decisive; for it states that the dead man was watched after the battle was done, and this most probably means before it was conveyed to Tyburn for execution and decapitation. The death of the vanquished person was always regarded as certain evidence of his guilt.
SCENE IV. The same. A Street. Enter GLOSTER and Servants, in mourning Cloaks. * Glo. Thus, sometimes hath the brightest day a
cloud; * And, after summer, evermore succeeds * Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold: * So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet 1. Sirs, what's o'clock ? Serv.
Ten, my lord. • Glo. Ten is the hour that was appointed me, • To watch the coming of my punish'd duchess : « Uneath 2
she endure the flinty streets, • To tread them with her tender-feeling feet. Sweet Nell, ill can thy noble mind abrook The abject people, gazing on thy face, With envious 3 looks, still laughing at thy shame; That erst did follow thy proud chariot wheels, When thou didst ride in triumph through the streets. * But, soft! I think, she comes; and I'll prepare
My tear-stain’d eyes to see her miseries.
papers pinned upon her back, her feet bare, and a
Duch. Come you, my lord, to see my open shame? Now thou dost penance too. Look, how they gaze! • See, how the giddy multitude do point, " And nod their heads, and throw their thee! • Ab, Gloster, hide thee from their hateful looks; 1 i. e. pass or fleet away.
2 Not easily.
• And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame, And ban * thine enemies, both mine and thine.
Glo. Be patient, gentle Nell; forget this grief.
Duch. Ah, Gloster, teach me to forget myself:
Methinks, I should not thus be led along.
papers on my back;
idle rascal follower.
4 Curse. 5 Wrapped or bundled up in disgrace; alluding to the sheet of penance. Mailed, from a mail or male, a little budget. 6 Deep-fetched.
7 i, e. careful, circumspect.
* But fear not thou, until thy foot be snar’d, * Nor never seek prevention of thy foes.
* Glo. Ah, Nell, forbear; thou aimest all awry; * I must offend before I be attainted: * And had I twenty times so many foes, * And each of them had twenty times their power, * All these could not procure me any scathe', * So long as I am loyal, true, and crimeless. • Would'st have me rescue thee from this reproach? • Why, yet thy scandal were not wip'd away, • But I in danger for the breach of law.
Thy greatest help is quiet', gentle Nell: · I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience; · These few days' wonder will be quickly worn.
Enter a Herald. Her. I summon your grace to his majesty's parliament, holden at Bury the first of this next month.
G'lo. And my consént ne'er ask'd herein before ! This is close dealing.--Well, I will be there.
[Exit Herald. My Nell, I take my leave:-and, master sheriff, Let not her penance exceed the king's commission. • Sher. An't please your grace,
my commission stays: · And Sir John Stanley is appointed now " To take her with him to the Isle of Man.
• Glo. Must you, Sir John, protect my lady here? • Stan. So am I given in charge, may't please
your grace. Glo. Entreat her not the worse,
in that I
pray You use her well: the world may laugh again 10;
8 Scathe is harm, mischief, used by all our ancient writers. The word is still in use in Scotland.
9 The poet has not endeavoured to raise much compassion for the duchess, who indeed suffers but what she had deserved.JOHNSON.
10 i. e. the world may again favourably on me.