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2 Pren. Be merry, Peter, and fear not thy master; fight for credit of the prentices.
Peter. I thank you all: * drink, and pray for me, * I pray you; for, I think, I have taken my last * draught in this world.*_Here, Robin, an if I die, I give thee my apron; and, Will, thou shalt have my hammer:-and here, Tom, take all the money that I have.-0 Lord, bless me, I pray God! for I am never able to deal with my master, he hath learnt so much fence already
Sal. Come, leave your drinking, and fall to blows. -Sirrah, what's thy name?
Peter. Peter, forsooth.
Hor. Masters, I am come hither, as it were, upon my man's instigation, to prove him a knave, and myself an honest man: * and touching the duke of * York,—will take my death, I never meant him any ill, nor the king, nor the queen: *And therefore, Peter, have at thee with a downright blow, as Bevis of Southampton, fell upon Ascapart. * York. Despatch:—this knave's tongue begins to
double. * Sound trumpets, alarum to the combatants.
[Alarum. They fight, and Peter strikes down T his Master.
Hor. Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess treason.
[ Dies. * York. Take away his weapon:-Fellow, thank * God, and the good wine in thy master's way.
• Peter. O God! have I overcome mine enemies in this presence? O Peter, thou hast prevailed in ‘right! K. Hen. Go, take hence that traitor from our
For, by his death, we do perceive his guilt:?
: The same. A Street. Enter Gloster and Servants, in mourning Cloaks. * Glo. Thus, sometimes, hath the brightest day
a cloud; * And after summer, evermore succeeds! * Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold: * So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet. Sirs, what's o'clock? Serv.
Ten, my lord. · Glo. Ten is the hour that was appointed me, * To watch the coming of my punish'd duchess: • Uneath® may she endure the Ainty streets, * To tread them with her tender-feeling feet. Sweet Nell, ill can thy noble mind abrook The abject people, gazing on thy face, With envious' looks still laughing at thy shame; That erst did follow thy proud chariot wheels, When thou didst ride in triumph through the streets. * But, soft! I think, she comes; and I'll prepare * My tear-stain'd eyes to see her miseries.
· For, by his death, we do perceire his guilt:] According to the ancient usage of the duel, the vanquished person not only lost his life but his reputation, and his death was always regarded as a certain evidence of his guilt.
8 Uneath -] i. e. Scarcely, or not easily. 9 envious ] i. e. malicious.
ter 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:
· Maild up in shame,] Wrapped up, bundled up in disgrace; alluding to the sheet of penance.
i deep-fet-] i. e. deep-fetched.
Yet so he rul'd, and such a prince he was,
Was made a wonder, and a pointing stock,
* 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, * 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, • But I in danger for the breach of law. * 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 com
mission 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:s And I may live to do you kindness, if You do it her. And so, sir John, farewell. 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 afеard, * 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, • Only convey me where thou art commanded.
* Štan. 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.
s- the world may laugh again;] That is, the world may look again favourably upon me. Johnson.