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Both thou and thine are ours, and we will guard you. Lead on!
[Exeunt all but the ladies. Countess. I have not seen a gentleman Of a more brave aspect, or goodlier carriage; His fortunes move not him.—Madam, you are pas
sionate. Kath. Beshrew me, but his words have touched
me home, As if his cause concern’d me; I should pity him, If he should prove another than he seems.
Enter CRAWFORD. Craw. Ladies, the king commands your presence
Kath. “ The duke"
Countess. We will all wait on him. [Exeunt.
London.—The Tower. 4 Flourish.—Enter King Henry, OXFORD, DURHAM,
and SURREY. K. Hen. Have ye condemn'd my chamberlain ?
Dur. His treasons
K. Hen. Oh, lord bishop,
I Mædam, you are passionate,) i.e. distressed, deeply affected: the Countess had observed Katherine weeping.-GIFFORD,
Our mercy, and the softness of our nature;
Dur. You may, you may ;
Than yours of Lancaster! so Stanley holds:
Oxf. By Vere's old honours,
Sur. "Tis a quarrel
K. Hen. What a coil is here
1 Stanley was once my friend, &c.] Much of this is from the noble historian. The king certainly holds a very different language from that which we had in a former page ; but it is characteristic of his close, cold, and selfish nature. "As a little leaven," Bacon says, "of new distaste doth commonly sour the whole lump of former merit, the king's wit began now to suggest unto his passion that Stanley at Bosworth-field, though he came in time to save his life, yet he staid long enough to endanger it.” After all, the writer hints, as broadiy as he dared, that Stanley's main guilt lay in his vast accumulations, which Henry viewed with too greedy an eye.-GIFTORD.
Unless I should divide my crown with him,
Dur. Sir, he is coming this way.
K. Hen. If he speak to me, I could deny him nothing; to prevent it, I must withdraw. Pray, lords, commend my favours To his last peace, which, with him, I will pray for: That done, it doth concern us to consult of other following troubles.
[Exit. Oxf. I am glad He's gone; upon my life he would have pardon'd The traitor, had he seen him.
Sur. "Tis a king Composed of gentleness.
Dur. Rare and unheard of: But every man is nearest to himself, And that the king observes; 't is fit he should. Enter STANLEY, Executioner, Confessor, URSWICK, and
Daw. You shall; he's sent for.
Dur. From him, Sir William,
Oxf. Without remembrance of your errors past, I come to take my leave, and wish you heaven.
Sur. And I: good angels guard you!
Stan. Oh, the king,
Dur. Mark their meeting.
Stun. Mercy, how dear is life to such as hug it ! Come hither-by this token think on me!
(Makes a cross on CLIFFORD's face with his
finger. Clif. This token? What! am I abus'd ?
Stan. You are not. I wet upon your cheeks a holy sign, The cross, the Christian's badge, the traitor's infamy; Wear, Clifford, to thy grave this painted emblem : Water shall never wash it off; all eyes That gaze upon thy face, shall read there written A state-informer's character; more ugly, Stamp'd on a noble name, than on a base. The heavens forgive thee !--pray, my lords, no
change Of words; this man and I have used too many.
Clif. Shall I be disgraced Without reply?
Dur. Give losers leave to talk; His loss is irrecoverable.
Stan. Once more, To all a long farewell! The best of greatness Preserve the king! my next suit is, my lords, To be remember'd to my noble brother, Derby, my much-griev'd brother: Oh, persuade
him, That I shall stand no blemish to his house, In chronicles writ in another age. My heart doth bleed for him and for his sighs : Tell him, he must not think the style of Derby, Nor being husband to King Henry's mother, The league with peers, the smiles of fortune, can Secure his peace above the state of man. I take my leave to travel to my dust; Subjects deserve their deaths whose kings are just. Come, confessor! . On with thy axe, friend, on.
[He is led off to execution. Clif. Was I call'd hither by a traitor's breath To be upbraided ? Lords, the king shall know it.
Re-enter King Henry with a white staff. K. Hen. The king doth know it, sir; the king hath
heard What he or you could say. We have given credit To every point of Clifford's information, The only evidence 'gainst Stanley's head: He dies for it: are you pleased ?
Clif. I pleased, my lord ?
K. Hen. No echoes: for your service, we dismiss Your more attendance on the court; take ease, And live at home; but, as you love your life, Stir not from London without leave from us. We 'll think on your reward; away!
1 See p. 239. Lord Stanley had been raised to the dignity of an Earl in October, 1485, a few weeks after the battle of Bosworth. ---GIFFORD.