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Haste, then, and thither let us take our flight,
Ere the clouds gather, and the wintry sky
Descends in storms to intercept our passage.
Dum. Will

then go! You glad my very

Banish your fears, cast all your cares on me;
Plenty and ease, and peace of mind shall wait you,
And make your latter days of life most happy.
O, lady! but I must not, cannot tell you,
How anxious I have been for all your dangers,
And how my heart rejoices at your safety.
So when the spring renews the Aow’ry field,
And warns the pregnant nightingale to build,
She seeks the safest shelter of the wood,
Where she may trust her little tuneful brood;
Where no rude swains her shady cell may know,
No serpents climb, nor blasting winds may blow;
Fond of the chosen place, she views it o'er,
Sits there, and wanders thro' the grove no more;
Warbling she charms it each returning night,
And loves it with a mother's dear delight. (Exeunt.



The Court.

Enter Alicia, with a Paper. Alicia. This paper to the great Protector's hand, With care and secrecy, must be convey'd ; His bold ambition now avows its aim,

To pluck the crown from Edward's infant brow,
And fix it on his own. I know he holds
My faithless Hastings adverse to his hopes,
And much devoted to the orphan king;
On that I build: this paper meets his doubts,
And marks my hated rival as the cause
Of Hastings zeal for his dead master's sons.
Oh, jealousy! thou bane of pleasing friendship,
How does thy rancour poison all our softness,
And turn our gentle natures into bitterness !
See where she comes! once my heart's dearest blessing,
Now my_chang'd eyes are blasted with her beauty,
Loath that known face, and sicken to behold her.

Enter Jane SHORE.
J. Shore. O, my Alicia!

Alicia. What new grief is this?
What unforeseen misfortune has surpris'd thee,
That racks thy tender heart thus?

J. Shore. O, Dumont !
Alicia. Say, what of him?

J. Shore. That friendly, honest man,
Whom Belmour brought of late to my assistance,
On whose kind care, whose diligence and faith,
My surest trust was built, this very morn
Was seiz'd on by the cruel hand of power,
Forc'd from my house, and borne away to prison.
Alicii. To prison, said you! Can you guess the

cause? J. Shore. Too well, I fear. His bold defence of me Has drawn the vengeance of Lord Hastings on him.

Alicia. Lord Hastings! Ha!

J. Shore. Some fitter time must tell thee The tale of my hard hap. Upon the present Hang all my poor, my last remaining hopes. Within this

suit contain'd; Here as the princely Gloster passes forth, I wait to give it on my humble knees,


is my

And move him for redress.

[She gives the Paper to ALICIA, who opens and

seems to read it.
Alicia. [Aside.] Now for a wile,
To sting my thoughtless rival to the heart;
To blast her fatal beauties, and divide her
For ever from my perjur'd Hastings' eyes :
Their fashions are same; cannot fail.

[Pulling out the other Paper. J. Shore. But see, the great Protector comes this

way; Give me the paper, friend. Alicia. [Aside.] For love and vengeance!

[She gives her the other Paper. Enter the DUKE OF GLOSTER, Sir RICHARD Rat

J. Shore. [Kneeling.] Oh, noble Gloster, turn thy

gracious eye,
Incline thy pitying ear to my complaint,
A poor, undone, forsaken, helpless woman,
Intreats a little bread for charity,
To feed her wants, and save her life from perishing.
Glo. Arise, fair dame, and dry your wat'ry eyes.

[Receiving the Paper, and raising her. Beshrew me, but 'were pity of his heart, That could refuse a boon to such a suitress. Ye've got a noble friend to be your

advocate; A worthy and right gentle lord he is, And to his trust most true. This present now Some matters of the state detain our leisure; Those once despatch’d, we'll call for you anon, And give your griefs redress. Go to be comforted. J. Shore. Good Heavens repay your highness for

this pity, And show'r down blessings on your princely head.

[Txeunt Jane SHORE and Alicia.

the paper?

Glo. Now, by my holidame !
Heavy of heart she seems, and sore afflicted.
But this it is, when rude calamity
Lays its strong gripe upon these mincing minions ;
The dainty gew-gaw forms dissolve at once,
And shiver at the shock. What


[Seeming to read. Ha ! What is this? Come nearer, Ratcliff! Catesby! Mark the contents, and then divine the meaning.

[He reads. Wonder not, princely Gloster, at the notice This paper brings you from a friend unknown ; Lord Hastings is inclin’d to call you master, And kneel to Richard, as to England's King; But Shore's bewitching wife misleads his heart, And draws his service to king Edward's sons : Drive her away, you break the charm that holds him, And he, and all powers, attend on you.

Rat. 'Tis wonderful !

Cat. The means by which it came
Yet stranger too!

Glo. You saw it given, but now.
Rat. She could not know the purport.

Glo. No, 'tis plain-
She knows it not, it levels at her life;
Should she presume to prate of such high matters,
The meddling harlot, dear should she abide it.

Cat. What hand soe'er it comes from, be assurd, It means your highness well

Glo. Upon the instant,
Lord Hastings will be here; this morn I mean

prove him to the quick; then if he flinch, No more but this--away with him at once, He must be mine or nothing

-But he comes !
Draw nearer this

and observe me well.

[They whisper.

Enter LORD HASTINGS. Hast. This foolish woman hangs about my heart, Lingers and wanders in my fancy still ; This coyness is put on, 'tis art and cunning, And worn to urge desire - I must possess her. The groom, who lifts his saucy hand against me, Ere this, is humbled, and repents his daring, Perhaps, ev’n she may profit by th' example, And teach her beauty not to scorn my pow'r. Glo. This do, and wait me ere the council sits,

[Exeunt Ratcliff and CATESBY. My lord, you're well encountered ; here has been A fair petitioner this morning with us; Believe

me, she has won me much to pity her:
Alas! her gentle nature was not made
To buffet with adversity. I told her
How worthily her cause you had befriended ;
How much for your good sake we meant to do,
That you had spoke, and all things should be well.

Hast. Your highness binds me ever to your service.
Glo. You know your friendship is most potent with

And shares our power. But of this enough,
For we have other matters for your ear;
The state is out of tune; distracting fears,
And jealous doubts, jar in our public councils;
Amidst the wealthy city, murmurs rise,
Loud railings, and reproach on those that rule,
With open scorn of government; hence credit,
And public trust 'twixt man and man, are broke,
The golden streams of commerce are withheld:
Which fed the wants of needy hinds and artizans,
Who therefore curse the great, and threat rebellion,

Hast. The resty knaves are over-run with ease,
As plenty ever is the nurse of faction;
If in good days, like these, the headstrong herd
Grow madly wanton and repine, it is

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