Sivut kuvina

Enter the Duchess of GLOSTER, in a white sheet, with papers pinn'd upon her back, her feet bare, and a taper burning in her hand; Sir John Stanley, a Sheriff, and Officers.

Serv. So please your grace, we'll take her from the sheriff.

'Glo. No, stir not, for your lives; let her pass by. Duch. Come you, my lord, to see my open shame? Now thou dost penance too. Look, how they gaze! 'See, how the giddy multitude do point,

And nod their heads, and throw their eyes on thee!. 'Ah, Gloster, hide thee from their hateful looks; And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame,


And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine.

Glo. Be patient, gentle Nell; forget this grief. Duch. Ah, Gloster, teach me to forget myself: For, whilst I think I am thy married wife, And thou a prince, protector of this land, 'Methinks, I should not thus be led along, Mail'd up in shame,' with papers on my back; * And follow'd with a rabble, that rejoice *To see my tears, and hear my deep-fet groans. The ruthless flint doth cut my tender feet; And, when I start, the envious people laugh, And bid me be advised how I tread.

Ah, Humphrey, can I bear this shameful yoke? * Trow'st thou, that e'er I'll look upon the world; * Or count them happy, that enjoy the sun? *No; dark shall be my light, and night my day; * To think upon my pomp, shall be my hell. Sometime I'll say, I am duke Humphrey's wife; And he a prince, and ruler of the land :

Mail'd up in shame,] Wrapped up, bundled up in disgrace; alluding to the sheet of penance.

2 deep-fet] i. e. deep-fetched,

Yet so he rul❜d, and such a prince he was,
As he stood by, whilst I, his forlorn duchess,
Was made a wonder, and a pointing stock,
To every idle rascal follower.

But be thou mild, and blush not at my shame;
Nor stir at nothing, till the axe of death
Hang over thee, as, sure, it shortly will.
For Suffolk, he that can do all in all

With her, that hateth thee, and hates us all,-And York, and impious Beaufort, that false priest, Have all lim❜d bushes to betray thy wings,

And, fly thou how thou canst, they'll tangle thee: * But fear not thou, until thy foot be snar'd, * Nor never seek prevention of thy foes.

* Glo. Ah, Nell, forbear; thou aimest all awry ; * I must offend, before I be attainted:

* And had I twenty times so many foes, *And each of them had twenty times their power, *All these could not procure me any scathe,3

* So long as I am loyal, true, and crimeless. 'Would'st have me rescue thee from this reproach? Why, yet thy scandal were not wip'd away,

[ocr errors]

'But I in danger for the breach of law.

[ocr errors]

Thy greatest help is quiet, gentle Nell:

I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience;
These few days' wonder will be quickly worn.

Enter a Herald.

Her. I summon your grace to his majesty's parliament, holden at Bury the first of this next month. Glo. And my consent ne'er ask'd herein before!

any scathe,] Scathe, is harm, or mischief.

* Thy greatest help is quiet,] The poet has not endeavoured to raise much compassion for the Duchess, who indeed suffers but what she had deserved. JOHNSON.

This is close dealing.-Well, I will be there. [Exit Herald, My Nell, I take my leave:-and, master sheriff, Let not her penance exceed the king's commission. Sher. An't please your grace, here my commission stays:

And sir John Stanley is appointed now

To take her with him to the isle of Man, 'Glo. Must you, sir John, protect my lady here? Stan. So am I given in charge, may't please

your grace.

Glo. Entreat her not the worse, in that I pray You use her well: the world may laugh again: And I may live to do you kindness, if

You do it her. And so, sir John, farewell.

[ocr errors]

Duch. What gone, my lord; and bid me not farewell?

"Glo. Witness my tears, I cannot stay to speak. [Exeunt GLOSTER and Servants, Duch. Art thou gone too? * All comfort go with thee!

* For none abides with me: my joy is-death; * Death, at whose name I oft have been afeard, * Because I wish'd this world's eternity.

Stanley, I pr'ythee, go, and take me hence;

'I care not whither, for I beg no favour,

[ocr errors]

Only convey me where thou art commanded.

* Stan. Why, madam, that is to the isle of Man;

* There to be used according to your state.

* Duch. That's bad enough, for I am but reproach: * And shall I then be us'd reproachfully?


* Stan. Like to a duchess, and duke Humphrey's lady,

According to that state you shall be used.

the world may laugh again;] That is, the world Jook again favourably upon me. JOHNSON.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

'Duch. Sheriff, farewell, and better than I fare Although thou hast been conduct of my shame!" Sher. It is my office; and, madam, pardon me. Duch. Ay, ay, farewell; thy office is discharg'dCome, Stanley, shall we go?

Stan. Madam, your penance done, throw off this sheet,

And go we to attire you for our journey.

Duch. My shame will not be shifted with my sheet:

* No, it will hang upon my richest robes, * And show itself, attire me how I can.

* Go, lead the way; I long to see my prison."



SCENE I. The Abbey at Bury.

Enter to the Parliament, King HENRY, Queen MARGARET, Cardinal BEAUFORT, Suffolk, York, BUCKINGHAM, and Others.


'K. Hen. I muse, my lord of Gloster is not come : < "Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man, "Whate'er occasion keeps him from us now. 'Q. Mar. Can you not see? or will you not observe The strangeness of his alter'd countenance? With what a majesty he bears himself;

• How insolent of late he is become,


· conduct of my shame!] i. e. conductor.

[ocr errors]

I long to see my prison.] This impatience of a high spirit is very natural. It is not so dreadful to be imprisoned, as it is desirable in a state of disgrace to be sheltered from the scorn of gazers. JOHNSON.

I muse,] i. e. wonder.

How proud, peremptory, and unlike himself? "We know the time, since he was mild and affable; And, if we did but glance a far-off look, Immediately he was upon his knee,

That all the court admir'd him for submission; 'But meet him now, and, be it in the morn, "When every one will give the time of day, 'He knits his brow, and shows an angry eye, And passeth by with stiff unbowed knee,

[ocr errors]

Disdaining duty that to us belongs.

Small curs are not regarded, when they grin 'But great men tremble, when the lion roars; • And Humphrey is no little man in England. First, note, that he is near you in descent; And should you fall, he is the next will mount. Me seemeth then, it is no policy,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Respecting what a rancorous mind he bears, And his advantage following your decease,*That he should come about your royal person, Or be admitted to your highness' council. "By flattery hath he won the commons' hearts; And, when he please to make commotion,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

'Tis to be fear'd, they all will follow him.

Now 'tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted; Suffer them now, and they'll o'ergrow the garden, And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.

'The reverent care, I bear unto my lord,

• Made me collect' these dangers in the duke. 'If it be fond,2 call it a woman's fear;

Which fear if better reasons can supplant,

'I will subscribe and say-I wrong'd the duke. My lork of Suffolk,-Buckingham,—and York,

[ocr errors]

9. Me seemeth-] That is, it seemeth to me, a word more grammatical than methinks, which has, I know not how, intruded into its place. JOHNSON.

[ocr errors]

collect] i. e. assemble by observation. 2 If it be fond,] i. e. weak, foolish.

« EdellinenJatka »