ACT III
Scene 5.
 

London. The Tower-walls

Enter GLOUCESTER and BUCKINGHAM in rotten armour, marvellous
ill-favoured

GLOUCESTER
Come, cousin, canst thou quake and change
thy colour,
Murder thy breath in middle of a word,
And then again begin, and stop again,
As if thou were distraught and mad with terror?

BUCKINGHAM
Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
Speak and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
Intending deep suspicion. Ghastly looks
Are at my service, like enforced smiles;
And both are ready in their offices
At any time to grace my stratagems.
But what, is Catesby gone?

GLOUCESTER
He is; and, see, he brings the mayor along.

Enter the LORD MAYOR and CATESBY

BUCKINGHAM
Lord Mayor-

GLOUCESTER
Look to the drawbridge there!

BUCKINGHAM
Hark! a drum.

GLOUCESTER
Catesby, o'erlook the walls.

BUCKINGHAM
Lord Mayor, the reason we have sent-

GLOUCESTER
Look back, defend thee; here are enemies.

BUCKINGHAM
God and our innocence defend and guard us!

Enter LOVEL and RATCLIFF, with HASTINGS' head

GLOUCESTER
Be patient; they are friends-Ratcliff and Lovel.

LOVEL
Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,
The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.

GLOUCESTER
So dear I lov'd the man that I must weep.
I took him for the plainest harmless creature
That breath'd upon the earth a Christian;
Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts.
So smooth he daub'd his vice with show of virtue
That, his apparent open guilt omitted,
I mean his conversation with Shore's wife-
He liv'd from all attainder of suspects.

BUCKINGHAM
Well, well, he was the covert'st shelt'red
traitor
That ever liv'd.
Would you imagine, or almost believe-
Were't not that by great preservation
We live to tell it-that the subtle traitor
This day had plotted, in the council-house,
To murder me and my good Lord of Gloucester.

MAYOR
Had he done so?

GLOUCESTER
What! think you we are Turks or Infidels?
Or that we would, against the form of law,
Proceed thus rashly in the villain's death
But that the extreme peril of the case,
The peace of England and our persons' safety,
Enforc'd us to this execution?

MAYOR
Now, fair befall you! He deserv'd his death;
And your good Graces both have well proceeded
To warn false traitors from the like attempts.
I never look'd for better at his hands
After he once fell in with Mistress Shore.

BUCKINGHAM
Yet had we not determin'd he should die
Until your lordship came to see his end-
Which now the loving haste of these our friends,
Something against our meanings, have prevented-
Because, my lord, I would have had you heard
The traitor speak, and timorously confess
The manner and the purpose of his treasons:
That you might well have signified the same
Unto the citizens, who haply may
Misconster us in him and wail his death.

MAYOR
But, my good lord, your Grace's words shall serve
As well as I had seen and heard him speak;
And do not doubt, right noble Princes both,
But I'll acquaint our duteous citizens
With all your just proceedings in this cause.

GLOUCESTER
And to that end we wish'd your lordship here,
T' avoid the the the censures of the carping world.

BUCKINGHAM
Which since you come too late of our intent,
Yet witness what you hear we did intend.
And so, my good Lord Mayor, we bid farewell.

Exit LORD MAYOR

GLOUCESTER
Go, after, after, cousin Buckingham.
The Mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post.
There, at your meet'st advantage of the time,
Infer the bastardy of Edward's children.
Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen
Only for saying he would make his son
Heir to the crown-meaning indeed his house,
Which by the sign thereof was termed so.
Moreover, urge his hateful luxury
And bestial appetite in change of lust,
Which stretch'd unto their servants, daughters, wives,
Even where his raging eye or savage heart
Without control lusted to make a prey.
Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:
Tell them, when that my mother went with child
Of that insatiate Edward, noble York
My princely father then had wars in France
And, by true computation of the time,
Found that the issue was not his begot;
Which well appeared in his lineaments,
Being nothing like the noble Duke my father.
Yet touch this sparingly, as 'twere far off;
Because, my lord, you know my mother lives.

BUCKINGHAM
Doubt not, my lord, I'll play the orator
As if the golden fee for which I plead
Were for myself; and so, my lord, adieu.

GLOUCESTER
If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard's
Castle;
Where you shall find me well accompanied
With reverend fathers and well learned bishops.

BUCKINGHAM
I go; and towards three or four o'clock
Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.

Exit

GLOUCESTER
Go, Lovel, with all speed to Doctor Shaw.
[To CATESBY] Go thou to Friar Penker. Bid them both
Meet me within this hour at Baynard's Castle.

Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER

Now will I go to take some privy order
To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight,
And to give order that no manner person
Have any time recourse unto the Princes.

Exit