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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

For entertainment of the duke.

Kath. “ The duke"
Must then be entertain'd, the king obeyd;
It is our duty.

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
Condemn'd him, sir; which were as clear and mani.

As foul and dangerous: besides, the guilt
Of his conspiracy press'd him so nearly,
That it drew from him free confession,
Without an importunity.

K. Hen. Oh, lord bishop,
This argued shame and sorrow for his folly,
And must not stand in evidence against

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;
The rigour and extremity of law
Is sometimes too, too bitter; but we carry
A chancery of pity in our bosom.
I hope we may reprieve him from the sentence
Of death; I hope we may.

Dur. You may, you may ;
And so persuade your subjects that the title
Of York is better, nay, more just and lawful,

Than yours of Lancaster! so Stanley holds:
Which, if it be not treason in the highest,
Then we are traitors all, perjured and false,
Who have took oath to Henry, and the justice
Of Henry's title; Oxford, Surrey, Dawbeney,
With all your other peers of state and church,
Forsworn, and Stanley true alone to Heaven
And England's lawful heir!

Oxf. By Vere's old honours,
I'll cut his throat dares speak it.

Sur. "Tis a quarrel
To engage a soul in.

K. Hen. What a coil is here
To keep my gratitude sincere and perfect !
Stanley was once my friend,' and came in time
To save my life; yet, to say truth, my lords,
The man staid long enough' t' endanger it:-
But I could see no more into his heart,
Than what his outward actions did present;
And for them have rewarded him so fully,
As that there wanted nothing in our gift
To gratify his merit, as I thought,

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,
And give him half; though now I well perceive
"T would scarce have serv'd his turn, without the

But I am charitable, lords ; let justice
Proceed in execution, while I mourn
The loss of one whom I esteem'd a friend.

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

Stan. May I not speak with Clifford, ere I shake
This piece of frailty off?

Daw. You shall; he's sent for.
Stan. I must not see the king ?

Dur. From him, Sir William,
These lords and I am sent; he bade us say
That he commends his mercy to your thoughts ;
Wishing the laws of England could remit
The forfeit of your life, as willingly
As he would, in the sweetness of his nature,
Forget your trespass: but howe'er your body
Fall into dust, he vows, the king himself
Doth vow, to keep a requiem for your soul,
As for a friend, close treasured in his bosom.

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,
Next to my soul, shall be the nearest subject
Of my last prayers. My grave lord of Durham,
My lords of Oxford, Surrey, Dawbeney, all,
Accept from a poor dying man a farewell.
I was, as you are, once great, and stood hopeful
Of many flourishing years; but fate and time
Have wheel'd about, to turn me into nothing. !

Daw. Sir Robert Clifford comes, the man, Sir

You so desire to speak with.

Dur. Mark their meeting.
Clif. Sir William Stanley, I am glad your con-

Before your end, hath emptied every burden
Which charg'd it, as that you can clearly witness,
How far I have proceeded in a duty
That both concern’d my truth, and the state's safety.

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.

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