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Haste, then, and thither let us take our flight,
ACT THE THIRD.
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,
Enter Jane SHORE.
Alicia. What new grief is this?
J. Shore. O, Dumont !
J. Shore. That friendly, honest man,
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,
And move him for redress.
[She gives the Paper to ALICIA, who opens and
seems to read it.
[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
CLIFF, CATESBY, COURTIERS, and other AT-
[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.
Glo. Now, by my holidame !
[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
Glo. You saw it given, but now.
Glo. No, 'tis plain-
Cat. What hand soe'er it comes from, be assurd, It means your highness well
Glo. Upon the instant,
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 !
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:
Hast. Your highness binds me ever to your service.
Hast. The resty knaves are over-run with ease,