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We've ta’en you to our favour; our protection
Shall stand between, and shield you from mishap.
7. Sh. 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 againt 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, “ Let my worst enemies stand forth, and now “ Deny the succour, which I gave not then."
Glost. Marry there are, tho' I believe them not, 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.
7. Sh. 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 falsehood, " To haunt their 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.
Glost. Go to! I know your pow'r; and tho' I trust
To ev'ry breath of fame, I'm 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
7. Sh. Oh! where or how-Can my unworthy
Become an instrument of good to any
Instruct your lowly slave, and let me Aly
To yield obedience to your dread command.
Glost. Why, that's well said–Thus then-Observe
The state, for many high and potent reasons,
Deeming my brother Edward's sons unfit
For the imperial weight of England's crown-
7. Sh. Alas! for pity.
Glost. 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,
Hastings, for very peevishness and spleen,
Does stubbornly oppose.
7. Sh. Does he ? Does Hastings?
Glost. Ay, Hastings.
7. Sh. Reward him for the noble deed, just Heav'ns: For this one 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, ev'n to time's end : “ Let him know nothing else but good on earth, “ And everlasting blessedness hereafter."
Glost. How now!
7. Sh. The poor, forsaken, royal little ones!
Shall they be left a prey to savage power 2.
Can they lift up their harmless hands in vain,
Or cry to Heaven for help, and not be heard ?
Impossible! Oh, gallant, generous Hastings,
Go on, pursue l assert the sacred cause :
Stand forth, thou proxy of all-ruling Providence,
And save the friendless infants from oppression,
Saints shall assist thee with prevailing prayers,
And warring angels combat on thy side.
Glost. You're passing rich in this same heav'nly
And spend it at your pleasure. Nay, but mark me!
My favour is not bought with words like these.
Go 10—you'll teach your tongue another tale.
3. Sh. 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 fame,
“ 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 I-O my heart abhors the thought!
Stand by, and see his children robb’d of right?
Glost. Dare not, ev'n for thy soul, to thwart me
None of your arts, your feigning and your foolery ;
Your dainty squeamish coying it to me;
Go-to your lord, your paramour, begone !
Lisp in his ear, hang wanton on his neck,
And play your monkey gambols o'er to him.
You know my purpose, look that you pursue it;
And make him yield obedience to my
Do it—or woe upon thy harlot's head.
7. Sh. Oh, that my tongue had ev'ry grace of speech, Great and commanding as the breath of kings, “ Sweet as the poet's numbers, and prevailing “ As soft persuasion to a love-sick maid;" That I had art and eloquence divine, To pay my duty to my master's ashes, And plead, till death, the cause of injur'd innocence. Glost. Hal Dost thou brave me, minion! Dost
thou know How vile, how very a wretch, my pow'r can make
" That I can let loose fear, distress, and famine,
“ To hunt thy heels, like hell-hounds, thro’ the
That I can place thee in such abject state,
As help shall never find thee; where, repining,
Thou shalt sit down and gnaw the earth for anguish;
Groan to the pitiless winds without return;
Howl like the midnight wolf amidst the desart,
And curse thy life, in bitterness and misery?
7. Sh. Let me be branded for the public scorn,
Turn'd forth and driven to wander like a vagabond,
Be friendless and forsaken, seek my bread
Upon the barren wild, and desolate waste,
Feed on my sighs, and drink my falling tears,
E’er I consent to teach my lips injustice,
Or wrong the orphan who has none to save him.
Glost. 'Tis well-we'll try the temper of your heart,
What hoa! who waits without?
Enter RATCLIFFE, CATESBY, and Attendants.
Rat. Your highness' pleasure-
Glost. Go, some of you, and turn this strumpet forth!
Spurn her into the street; there let her perish,
And rot upon a dunghill. Thro' the city
See it proclaim'd, that none, on pain of death,
Presume to give her comfort, food, or harbour ;
Who ministers the smallest comfort, dies.
Her house, her costly furniture and wealth,
“ The purchase of her loose luxurious life,
We seize on, for the profit of the state.
Away! Be gone!
7. Sh. Oh, thou most righteous judge-
Humbly behold, I bow myself to thee,
And own thy justice in this hard decree :
No longer, then, my ripe offences spare,
But what I merit, let me learn to bear.
Yet since 'tis all my wretchedness can give,