On a street in London, a scrivener (a guy who copies documents for a living) enters, holding the indictment of Lord Hastings that's to be read to the people of London that day (even though Hastings is already dead).
The scrivener points out that Catesby gave him a rough draft of the indictment the night before, well before Hastings was even imprisoned or executed. (Clearly the plan to kill Hastings was afoot long before the man had even done anything wrong.)
The scrivener is disgusted by the obviousness of the devious plot and says that nobody is brave enough to speak out against the government's corruption. He bemoans the state of the world, when men must stand by while evil reigns unchecked.