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Gav. He shall to prison, and there die in bolts.
K. Edw. Ay, to the Tower, the Fleet, or where thou wilt.
B. of Cov. For this offence, be thou accurst of God!
K. Edw. Who's there? Convey this priest to the Tower.
B. of Cov. True, true.
K. Edw. But in the meantime, Gaveston, away,
And take possession of his house and goods.
Come, follow me, and thou shalt have my guard
To see it done, and bring thee safe again.
Gav. What should a priest do with so fair a house?
A prison may best beseem his holiness.
Enter on one side the two MORTIMERS; on the other,
WARWICK and LANCASTER.
War. 'Tis true, the bishop is in the Tower,
And goods and body given to Gaveston.
Lan. What! will they tyrannise upon the church?
Ah, wicked king! accursèd Gaveston !
This ground, which is corrupted with their steps,
Shall be their timeless' sepulchre or mine.
Y. Mor. Well, let that peevish Frenchman guard him sure;
Unless his breast be sword-proof he shall die.
E. Mor. How now! why droops the Earl of Lancaster?
Y. Mor. Wherefore is Guy of Warwick discontent?
Lan. That villain Gaveston is made an earl.
E. Mor. An earl !
War. Ay, and besides Lord Chamberlain of the realm,
And Secretary too, and Lord of Man.
E. Mor. We may not, nor we will not suffer this.
Y. Mor. Why post we not from hence to levy men?
Lan. “My Lord of Cornwall,” now at every word !
And happy is the man whom he vouchsafes,
For vailing of his bonnet,' one good look.
Thus, arm in arm, the king and he doth march :
Nay more, the guard upon his lordship waits;
And all the court begins to flatter him.
War. Thus leaning on the shoulder of the king,
He nods and scorns and smiles at those that pass.
E. Mor. Doth no man take exceptions at the slave?
Lan. All stomach 3 him, but none dare speak a word.
Y. Mor. Ah, that bewrays their baseness, Lancaster! 1 Untimely. 2 Removing it as a mark of respect. 32.c. Feel resentment.
Were all the earls and barons of my mind,
We'd hale him from the bosom of the king,
And at the court-gate hang the peasant up,
Who, swoln with venom of ambitious pride,
Will be the ruin of the realm and us.
War. Here comes my lord of Canterbury's grace.
Lan. His countenance bewrays he is displeased.
Enter the ARCHBISHOP of CANTERBURY and an
A. of Cant. First were his sacred garments rent and torn,
Then laid they violent hands upon him; next
Himself imprisoned, and his goods asseized :
This certify the Pope; - away, take horse. [Exit Attend.
Lan. My lord, will you take arms against the king?
A. of Cant. What need I? God himself is up
arms, When violence is offered to the church.
Y. Mor. Then will you join with us, that be his peers, To banish or behead that Gaveston?
A. of Cant. What else, my lords ? for it concerns me near; The bishopric of Coventry is his.
Enter QUEEN ISABELLA.
Y. Mor. Madam, whither walks your majesty so fast?
Q. Isab. Unto the forest, gentle Mortimer,
To live in grief and baleful discontent;
For now, my lord, the king regards me not,
But doats upon the love of Gaveston.
He claps his cheeks, and hangs about his neck,
Smiles in his face, and whispers in his ears;
And when I come he frowns, as who should say,
“Go whither thou wilt, seeing I have Gaveston.”
E. Mor. Is it not strange that he is thus bewitched ?
Y. Mor. Madam, return unto the court again :
That sly inveigling Frenchman we'll exile,
Or lose our lives; and yet, ere that day come,
The king shall lose his crown; for we have power,
And courage too, to be revenged at full.
Q. Isab. But yet lift not your swords against the king.
Lan. No; but we will lift Gaveston from hence.
War. And war must be the means, or he'll stay still.
Q. Isab. Then let him stay; for rather than my lord
Shall be oppressed with civil mutinies,
I will endure a melancholy life,
And let him frolic with his minion.
A. of Cant. My lords, to ease all this, but hear me speak :-
We and the rest, that are his counsellors,
Will meet, and with a general consent
Confirm his banishment with our hands and seals.
Lan. What we confirm the king will frustrate.
Y. Mor. Then may we lawfully revolt from him.
War. But say, my lord, where shall this meeting be?
A. of Cant. At the New Temple.
Y. Mor. Content.
A. of Cant. And, in the meantime, I'll entreat you all
To cross to Lambeth, and there stay with me.
Lan. Come then, let's away.
Y. Mor. Madam, farewell !
Q. Isab. Farewell, sweet Mortimer; and, for my sake,
Forbear to levy arms against the king.
Y. Mor. Ay, if words will serve; if not, I must. [Exeunt
Gav. Edmund, the mighty Prince of Lancaster,
That hath more earldoms than an ass can bear,
And both the Mortimers, two goodly men,
With Guy of Warwick, that redoubted knight,
Are gone toward Lambeth
Kent. There let them remain.
SCENE IV. — (THE SCENE IS MORE PROBABLY THE KING'S PALACE AT WEST
MINSTER THAN THE NEW TEMPLE, AS PROPOSED BY THE ARCHBISHOP.) Enter LANCASTER, WARWICK, PEMBROKE, the Elder MORTIMER, Young
MORTIMER the ARCHBISHOP of CANTERBURY and Attendants.
Lan. Here is the form of Gaveston's exile :
May it please your lordship to subscribe your name.
A. of Cant. Give me the paper.
[He subscribes, as do the others after him.
Lan. Quick, quick, my lord ; I long to write my name.
War. But I long more to see him banished hence.
Y. Mor. The name of Mortimer shall fright the king,
Unless he be declined from that base peasant.
Enter King EDWARD, GAVESTON, and KENT,
K. Edw. What, are you moved that Gaveston sits here?
It is our pleasure ; we will have it so.
Lan. Your grace doth well to place him by your side,
For nowhere else the new earl is so safe.
E. Mor. What man of noble birth can brook this sight?
Quam male conveniunt !
See what a scornful look the peasant casts !
Pem. Can kingly lions fawn on creeping ants?
War. Ignoble vassal, that like Phaeton Aspir'st unto the guidance of the sun!
Y. Mor. Their downfall is at hand, their forces down :
We will not thus be faced and over-peered.
K. Edw. Lay hands on that traitor Mortimer!
E. Mor. Lay hands on that traitor Gaveston !
Kent. Is this the duty that you owe your king?
War. We know our duties — let him know his peers.
K. Edw. Whither will you bear him? Stay, or ye shall die.
E. Mor. We are no traitors; therefore threaten not.
Gav. No, threaten not, my lord, but pay them home!
Were I a king-
Y. Mor. Thou villain, wherefore talk'st thou of a king, That hardly art a gentleman by birth?
K. Edw. Were he a peasant, being my minion,
I'll make the proudest of you stoop to him.
Lan. My lord, you may not thus disparage us. -
Away, I say, with hateful Gaveston !
E. Mor. And with the Earl of Kent that favours him.
[Attendants remove KENT and GAVESTON.
K. Edw. Nay, then, lay violent hands upon your king,
Here, Mortimer, sit thou in Edward's throne :
Warwick and Lancaster, wear you my crown :
Was ever king thus overruled as I?
Lan. Learn then to rule us better, and the realm.
Y. Mor. What we have done, our heart-blood shall maintain.
War. Think you that we can brook this upstart's pride?
K. Edw. Anger and wrathful fury stops my speech.
A. of Cant. Why are you moved ? be patient, my lord
And see what we your counsellors have done.
Y. Mor. My lords, now let us all be resolute,
And either have our wills, or lose our lives.
K. Edw. Meet you for this, proud overbearing peers ?
Ere my sweet Gaveston shall part from me,
This isle shall fleet' upon the ocean,
And wander to the unfrequented Inde.
A. of Cant. You know that I am legate to the Pope ;
On your allegiance to the see of Rome,
Subscribe, as we have done, to his exile.
Y. Mor. Curse him, if he refuse; and then may we
Depose him and elect another king.
K. Edw. Ay, there it goes! but yet I will not yield : Curse me, depose me, do the worst you can.
Lan. Then linger not, my lord, but do it straight.
A. of Cant. Remember how the bishop was abused !
Either banish him that was the cause thereof,
Or I will presently discharge these lords
Of duty and allegiance due to thee.
K. Edw. It boots me not to threat - I must speak fair :
The legate of the Pope will be obeyed.
My lord, you shall be Chancellor of the realm;
Thou, Lancaster, High Admiral of our fleet;
Young Mortimer and his uncle shall be earls;
And you, Lord Warwick, President of the North ;
And thou of Wales. If this content you not,
Make several kingdoms of this monarchy,
And share it equally amongst you all,
So I may have some nook or corner left,
To frolic with my dearest Gaveston.
A. of Cant. Nothing shall alter us we are resolved.
Lan. Come, come, subscribe.
Y. Mor. Why should you love him whom the world hates so?
K. Edw. Because he loves me more than all the world.
Ah, none but rude and savage-minded men
Would seek the ruin of my Gaveston;
You that be noble-born should pity him.
War. You that are princely-born should shake him off :
For shame, subscribe, and let the lown depart.
E. Mor. Urge him, my lord.
A. of Cant. Are you content to banish him the realm?
K. Edw. I see I must, and therefore am content:
Instead of ink I'll write it with my tears.
[Subscribes. Y. Mor. The king is love-sick for his minion. K. Edw. 'Tis done — and now, accursèd hand, fall off ! Lan. Give it me - I'll have it published in the streets. Y. Mor. I'll see him presently despatched away. A. of Cant. Now is my heart at ease. War. And so is mine. Pem. This will be good news to the common sort. E. Mor. Be it or no, he shall not linger here.
[Exeunt all except KING EDWARD. K. Edw. How fast they run to banish him I love !