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Which he had thought to have murder'dwrongfully. Come, fellow, follow us for thy reward.
[Sound a flourish. Exeunt.
Ten, my lord.
may she endure the finty 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, laughing at thy shame, That erst did follow thy proud chariot-wheels Whenthou didst ride in triumph through the streets. But, soft! I think she comes; and I'll prepare My tear-stain's eyes to see her miseries. Enter the DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER in a white sheet,
and a taper burning in her hand; with Sir JOHN STANLEY, the Sheriff, and Officers. Serv. So please your grace, we'll take her from
Glov. No, stir not, for your lives; let her
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, Gloucester, hide thee from their hateful looks, And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame, And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine!
Glou. Be patient, gentle Nell; forget this grief.
Duch. Ah, Gloucester, 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 : Yet so he ruled 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,
Glou. Ah, Nell, forbear! thou aimest all awry;
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.
Glou. And my consent ne'er asked herein before! 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 commis
sion stays, And Sir John Stanley is appointed now To take her with him to the Isle of Man.
Glou. Must you, Sir John, protect my lady. here? Stan. So am I given in charge, may't please
your grace. Glou. 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! Duch. What, gone, my lord, and bid me not
farewell ! Glou. Witness my tears, I cannot stay to speak.
[Exeunt GLOUCESTER and Serving-men. Duch. Art thou gone too? allcomfort go with thee! For none abides with me: my joy is death; Death, at whose name I oft have been afear'd, Because I wish'd this world's eternity. Stanley, I prithee, go, and take me hence; I care not whither, for I beg no favour, 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 used reproachfully ? Stan. Like to a duchess, and Duke Humphrey's
lady ; According to that state you shall be used.
Duch. Sheriff, farewell, and better than I fare,
Although thou hast been conduct of
shame. Sher. It is my office; and, madam, pardon me.
Duch. Ay, ay, farewell; thy office is discharged. Come, Stanley, shall we go? Stan. Madam, your penance done, throw off this
sheet, And go we to attire you for our journey.
Duch. Myshame will not beshifted with mysheet: 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. [Exeunt.
ACT THE THIRD.
The Abbey at Bury St. Edmund's. Sound a sennet. Enter the King, the QUEEN, CAR
DINAL BEAUFORT, SUFFOLK, YORK, BUCKINGHAM, SALISBURY and WARWICK to the Parliament.
KING. I muse my Lord of Gloucester is not come: 'Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man, Whate'er occasion keeps him from us now.
QUEEN. Can you not see? or will ye not observe The strangeness of his alter'd countenance ? With what a majesty he bears himself, How insolent of late he is become, How proud, how peremptory, and unlike himself? We know the time since he was mild and affable,