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And ftartled, when he look'd upon the Tower,
CATE. Despatch, my lord, the duke would be at
Make a fhort fhrift, he longs to fee your head.
HAST. O momentary grace of mortal men, Which we more hunt for than the grace of God! Who builds his hope in air of your fair looks, Lives like a drunken failor on a maft; Ready, with every nod, to tumble down Into the fatal bowels of the deep.
nor fhall I need to try
"Whether my well-greas'd tumbling foot-cloth nag
Stanley did dream, the boar did rafe his helm ;
Three times to-day my foot-cloth horfe did ftumble,] So Holinthed, after Sir Thomas More: "A marvellous cafe it is to heare, either the warnings of that he should have voided, or the tokens of that he could not voide, for the felfe night next before his death the L. Stanley fent a truftie secret meffenger unto him at midnight, in all the hafte, &c. [See p. 384, n. 9.]-Certain it is alfo, that in riding towards the Tower the fame morning in which he [Haftings] was beheaded, his horse twife or thrife ftumbled with him, almoft to the falling: which thing, albeit each man wot well daily happeneth to them to whome no fuch mifchance is toward: yet hath it beene of an old rite and custome obferved as a token oftentimes notablie foregoing fome great misfortune." MALONE.
Lov. Come, come, despatch; 'tis bootless to exclaim.
HAST. O, bloody Richard !—miserable England! I prophecy the fearful'st time to thee,
That ever wretched age hath look'd upon.-
The fame. The Tower Walls.
Enter GLOSTER and BUCKINGHAM, in rufty armour, marvellous ill-favoured.
GLO. Come, coufin, canft thou quake, and change thy colour?
Murder thy breath in middle of a word,―
Come, lead me to the block,] William Lord Haftings was beheaded on the 13th of June, 1483. His eldest fon by Catharine Neville, daughter of Richard Neville Earl of Salisbury, and widow of William Lord Bonville, was restored to his honours and estate by King Henry VII. in the first year of his reign.The daughter of Lady Haftings by her first husband was married to the Marquis of Dorfet, who appears in the present play.
8 They fmile at me, who fhortly shall be dead.] i. e. those who now smile at me, fhall be shortly dead themselves. MALONE.
9 in rufty armour, &c.] Thus Holinfhed: "The protector immediately after dinner, intending to fet fome colour upon the matter, fent in all hafte for many substantial men out of the citie into the Tower; and at their coming, himselfe with the duke of Buckingham, ftood harneffed in old ill-faring briganders, fuch as no man should weene that they would vouchsafe to have put upon their backes, except that fome fudden neceffitie had conftreined them." STEEVENS.
And then again begin, and ftop again,
As if thou wert diftraught, and mad with terror?
GLO. He is; and, fee, he brings the mayor along.
Enter the Lord Mayor and CATESBY.
BUCK. Let me alone to entertain him.-Lord
GLO. Look to the draw-bridge there.
Hark, hark! a drum.2
GLO. Catefby, o'erlook the walls.
BUCK. Lord mayor, the reason we have fent for
GLO. Look back, defend thee, here are enemies. BUCK. God and our innocence defend and guard
Intending deep fufpicion :] i. e. pretending. So, in Much Ado about Nothing:
"Intend a kind of zeal both to the Prince and Claudio.” STEEVENS.
See Vol. IX. p. 136, n. 6. MALONE.
Hark, hark! a drum.] I have repeated the interjection→→ hark, for the fake of metre. STEEVENS.
Enter LovEL and RATCLIFF,3 with HASTINGS'S
GLO. Be patient, they are friends; Ratcliff, and Lovel.
Lov. Here is the head of that ignoble traitor, The dangerous and unfufpected Haftings.
GLO. So dear I lov'd the man, that I muft weep. I took him for the plainest harmless't creature,+ That breath'd upon the earth a Christian;5 Made him my book, wherein my foul recorded The hiftory of all her fecret thoughts:
So fmooth he daub'd his vice with fhow of virtue, That, his apparent open guilt omitted,
I mean, his converfation with Shore's wife,
3 Enter Lovel and Ratcliff,] The quarto has-" Enter Catesby, with Haftings' head," and Glofter, on his entry, fays—“ O, Ŏ, be quiet, it is Catefby." For this abfurd alteration, by which Ratcliff is represented at Pomfret and in London at the fame time, I have no doubt that the player-editors are answerable. MALONE.
4 harmless't creature,] The old copies read harmless; but grammar requires harmlefs't, (i. e. harmleffeft,) a common contraction, as I am affured, both in Leicestershire and Warwickfhire. So afterwards, p. 406, we have covert'ft for coverteft. STEEVENS.
the earth a Chriftian ;] Here the quarto adds : Look you, my
This hemiftich I have inferted in the following speech of Buckingham, to which I believe it originally belonged; as without it we meet with an imperfect verse :
"Well, well he was the covert'ft fhelter'd traitor
"Would you imagine," &c.
I have fince obferved, that Mr. Capell has the fame tranfpofition.
his converfation] i. e. familiar intercourfe. The phrafe-criminal converfation, is yet in daily use. MALONE.
He liv'd from all attainder of fufpect.
BUCK. Well, well, he was the covert'ft fhelter'd
That ever liv'd.-Look you, my lord mayor,
GLO. What! think you we are Turks, or infidels ?
MAY. Now, fair befal you! he deferv'd his death; And your good graces both have well proceeded, To warn falle traitors from the like attempts.
I never look'd for better at his hands,
BUCK. Yet had we not determin'd he should die,
MAY. But, my good lord, your grace's word shall ferve,
As well as I had feen, and heard him speak: