Imágenes de páginas


A Chamber.

LADY ANNE discovered, sitting on a Couch.

Lady A. When-when shall I have rest? Was marriage made

To be the scourge of our offences here?

Oh, no! 'twas meant a blessing to the virtuous;
It once was so to me, though now my curse.
The fruit of Edward's love was sweet and pleasing;
But, oh! untimely cropp'd by cruel Gloster ;
Let me have music, to compose my thoughts.

[Soft Music. It will not be; naught but the grave can close my

But see,


He comes-the rude disturber of my pillow.


Glost. Ha! still in tears? let them flow on; theyre signs

Of a substantial grief.-Why don't she die?

She must; my interest will not let her live,
The fair Elizabeth hath caught my eye;
My heart's vacant, and she shall fill her place.
They say, that women have but tender hearts :
'Tis a mistake, I doubt-I've found them tough;
They'll bend, indeed, but he must strain, that cracks


All I can hope's to throw her into sickness,
That I may send her a physician's help.

So, madam, what! you still take care, I see,
To let the world believe I love you not.
This outward mourning now has malice in't,
So have these sullen disobedient tears;

I'll have you tell the world I dote upon you.

Lady A. I wish I could-but 'twill not be believ'd. Have I deserv'd this usage?

Glost. You have-you do not please me, as at first. Lady A. What have I done? What horrid crime committed?

Glost. To me the worst of crimes; outliv'd my liking.

Lady A. If that be criminal, just Hea'vn be kind, And take me while my penitence is warm; Oh, sir, forgive and kill me.

Glost. Umph! no-the meddling world will call
that murder,

And I would have them think me pitiful:
Now, wert thou not afraid of self destruction,
Thou hast a fair excuse for't.

Lady A. How fain would I be friends with death!
Oh, name it.

Glost. Thy husband's hate: nor do I hate thee, only

From the dull'd edge of sated appetite,

But from the eager love I bear another.

Some call me hypocrite-what think'st, thou now? Do I dissemble?

Lady A. Thy vows of love to me were all dissembled.

Glost. Not one-for when I told thee so, I lov'd: Thou art the only soul I never yet deceiv'd;

And 'tis my honesty that tells thee now,

With all my heart I hate thee.

If this have no effect, she is immortal!


Lady A. Forgive me, Heav'n, that I forgave this


Oh may my story, told in after ages,

sex's ears;

Give warning to our easy

May it unveil the hearts of men, and strike
Them deaf to their dissimulated love!


Glost. Now, Catesby

Catesby. My lord, his Grace of Buckingham attends your highness' pleasure.

Glost. Wait on him-I'll expect him here.



Your absence, madam, will be necessary.
Lady A. 'Would my death were so !
Glost. It may be, shortly.

[CATESBY passes over the back of the Stage,


My cousin, what say the citizens ?

Buck. Now, by our hopes, my lord, they are senseless stones:

Their hesitating fear has struck them dumb!

Glost. Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?

Buck. I did, with his contract to lady Lucy;
Nay, his own bastardy, and tyranny for trifles,
Laid open all your victories in Scotland,
Your discipline in war, wisdom in peace;
Your bounty, justice, fair humility;

Indeed left nothing that might gild our cause,
Untouch'd, or slightly handled in my talk:
And when my oration drew towards an end,
I urg'd of them that lov'd their country's good,
To do you right, and cry, Long live King Richard!
Glost. And did they so?

Buck. Not one, by Heav'n-but each like statues

Speechless and pale, star'd in his fellow's face:
Which, when I saw, I reprehended them,

And ask'd the Mayor what meant this wilful silence?

His answer was, the people were not us'd
To be spoken to, but by the recorder:
Who then took on him to repeat my words;
Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke inferr'd;
But nothing urg'd in warrant from himself.
When he had done, some followers of my own,
At th' lower end of th' hall, hurl'd up their caps,
And some ten voices cry'd, God save King Richard!
At which I took the 'vantage of those few,
And cry'd, Thanks, gentle citizens, and friends,
This general applause, and cheerful shout,
Argues your wisdom, and your love to Richard;
And even here broke off, and came away.

Glost. Oh tongueless blocks! would they not speak? Will not the Mayor then, and his brethren, come? Buck. The Mayor is here at hand-feign you some fear,

And be not spoken with, but by mighty suit.
A prayer-book in your hand, my lord, were well,
Standing between two churchmen of repute:
For on that ground I'll make an holy descant:
Yet be not easily won to our requests?
Seem, like the virgin, fearful of your

Glost. My other self-my counsel's consistory!
My oracle! my prophet! my dear cousin!

I, as a child, will go by thy direction.

Buck. Hark! the Lord Mayor's at hand-away, my


No doubt, but yet we reach our point propos'd.
Glost. We cannot fail, my lord, while you are pilot!
A little flattery sometimes does well.



Buck. Welcome, my lord: I dance attendance here, I am afraid the duke will not be spoke withal.


Now, Catesby, what says your lord to my request?

Catesby. My lord, he humbly does entreat your


To visit him to-morrow, or the next day:

He's now retir'd with two right reverend fathers,
Divinely bent to meditation;

And in no worldly suits would he be mov❜d,

To interrupt his holy exercise.

Buck. Return, good Catesby, to the gracious duke: Tell him, myself, the Mayor and Citizens, In deep designs, in matters of great moment, No less importing than our general good,

Are come to have some conference with his grace. Catesby. My lord, I'll instantly inform his high


Buck. Ah, my lord! this prince is not an Edward: He is not lolling on a lewd love-bed,

But on his knees at meditation;

Not dallying with a brace of courtezans;

But with two deep divines in sacred praying:
Happy were England, would this virtuous prince
Take on himself the toil of sov'reignty.

Lord M. Happy indeed, my lord.

He will not, sure, refuse our proffer'd love?

Buck. Alas, my lord! you know him not: his


Above this world-he's for a crown immortal.

Look there, his door opens; now where's our hope? Lord. M. See where his grace stands, 'tween two clergymen !

Buck. Ay, ay, 'tis there he's caught-there's his ambition.

Lord M. How low he bows, to thank them for their care!

And see! a prayer-book in his hand!

Buck. 'Would he were king, we'd give him leave to

Methinks I wish it, for the love he bears the city.
How have I heard him vow,
he thought it hard

« AnteriorContinuar »