Original Text

Modern Text

Enter a SCRIVENER, with paper


This is the indictment of the good Lord Hastings,
Which in a set hand fairly is engrossed,
That it may be today read o'er in Paul’s.
And mark how well the sequel hangs together:
5Eleven hours I have spent to write it over,
For yesternight by Catesby was it sent me;
The precedent was full as long a-doing,
And yet within these five hours Hastings lived,
Untainted, unexamined, free, at liberty.
10Here’s a good world the while. Who is so gross
That cannot see this palpable device?
Yet who so bold but says he sees it not?
Bad is the world, and all will come to naught
When such ill dealing must be seen in thought.


Here’s the indictment of the good Lord Hastings, which has been written out in a clear hand, like any legal document, so it can be read aloud in public outside St. Paul’s Cathedral. And look how well this sequence of events holds together: after Catesby brought the indictment to me last night, I spent eleven hours copying it. The original took just as long to write out. So that’s twenty-two hours. And yet five hours ago, Lord Hastings was alive, untouched, free, at liberty. What a backward world we live in! Why, who’s so stupid that he can’t see through this fraud? But who’s so blind to the consequences of speaking out that he’ll admit what he knows? The world is a bad place, where you can’t speak what you know.
He exits.