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Thy service, Spencer, shall be thought upon.
Y. Spen. I humbly thank your ladyship.
Niece. Come, lead the way; I long till I am there.
[Excunt. SCENE II. - TYNEMOUTH Enter KING EDWARD, QUEEN ISABELLA, KENT, LANCASTER, Young
MORTIMER, WARWICK, PEMBROKE, and Attendants.
K. Edw. The wind is good, I wonder why he stays;
I fear me he is wrecked upon the sea.
Q. Isab. Look, Lancaster, how passionate he is,
And still his mind runs on his minion !
Lan. My lord, -
K. Edw. How now! what news? is Gaveston arrived ?
Y. Mor. Nothing but Gaveston ! what means your grace?
You have matters of more weight to think upon;
The King of France sets foot in Normandy.
K. Edw. A trifle ! we'll expel him when we please.
But tell me, Mortimer, what's thy device
Against the stately triumph we decreed?
Y. Mor. A homely one, my lord, not worth the telling.
K. Edw. Pray thee let me know it.
Y. Mor. But, seeing you are so desirous, thus it is :
A lofty cedar-tree, fair flourishing,
On whose top-branches kingly eagles perch,
And by the bark a canker creeps me up,
And gets into the highest bough of all:
The motto, Æque tandem.
K. Edw. And what is yours, my lord of Lancaster?
Lan. My lord, mine's more obscure than Mortimer's.
Pliny reports there is a flying fish
Which all the other fishes deadly hate,
And therefore, being pursued, it takes the air :
No sooner is it up, but there's a fowl
That seizeth it; this fish, my lord, I bear,
The motto this : Undique mors est.
Kent. Proud Mortimer ! ungentle Lancaster !
Is this the love you bear your sovereign?
Is this the fruit your reconcilement bears?
Can you in words make show of amity,
And in your shields display your rancorous minds !
What call you this but private libelling
Against the Earl of Cornwall and my brother?
Q. Isab. Sweet husband, be content, they all love you.
K. Edw. They love me not that hate my
I am that cedar, shake me not too much ;
And you the eagles; soar ye ne'er so high,
I have the jesses that will pull you down;
And Æque tandem shall that canker cry
Unto the proudest peer of Britainy.
Though thou compar'st him to a flying fish,
And threatenest death whether he rise or fall,
'Tis not the hugest monster of the sea,
Nor foulest harpy that shall swallow him.
Y. Mor. If in his absence thus he favours him,
What will he do whenas he shall be present?
Lan. That shall we see; look where his lordship comes.
K. Edw. My Gaveston !
Welcome to Tynemouth! welcome to thy friend !
Thy absence made me droop and pine away;
For, as the lovers of fair Danae,
When she was locked up in a brazen tower
Desired her more, and waxed outrageous,
So did it fare with me: and now thy sight
Is sweeter far than was thy parting hence
Bitter and irksome to my sobbing heart.
Gav. Sweet lord and king, your speech preventeth mine,
Yet have I words left to express my joy :
The shepherd nipt with biting winter's rage
Frolics not more to see the painted spring,
Than I do to behold your majesty.
K. Edw. Will none of you salute
Lan. Salute him? yes; welcome, Lord Chamberlain !
Y. Mor. Welcome is the good Earl of Cornwall !
War. Welcome, Lord Governor of the Isle of Man !
Pem. Welcome, Master Secretary !
Kent. Brother, do you hear them?
K. Edw. Still will these earls and barons use me thus.
Gav. My lord, I can not brook these injuries.
Q. Isab. Ay me, poor soul, when these begin to jar. [Aside.
K. Edw. Return it to their throats, I'll be thy warrant.
Gav. Base, leaden earls, that glory in your birth, Go sit at home and eat your tenants' beef; : The straps round a hawk's legs, with rings attached, to which the falconer's leash was fastened.
And come not here to scoff at Gaveston,
Whose mounting thoughts did never creep so low
As to bestow a look on such as you.
Lan. Yet I disdain not to do this for you.
[Draws his sword and offers to stab GAVESTON.
K. Edw. Treason ! treason! Where's the traitor?
Pem. Here! here !
K. Edw. Convey hence Gaveston; they'll murder him.
Gav. The life of thee shall salve this foul disgrace.
Y. Mor. Villain ! thy life, unless I miss mine aim.
[Wounds GAVESTON. Q. Isab. Ah! furious Mortimer, what hast thou done? Y. Mor. No more than I would answer, were he slain.
[Exit GAVESTON with Attendants.
K. Edw. Yes, more than thou canst answer, though he live;
Dear shall you both abide this riotous deed.
Out of my presence ! come not near the court.
Y. Mor. I'll not be barred the court for Gaveston.
Lan. We'll hale him by the ears unto the block.
K. Edw. Look to your own heads; his is sure enough.
War. Look to your own crown, if you back him thus.
Kent. Warwick, these words do ill beseem thy years.
K. Edw. Nay, all of them conspire to cross me thus ;
But if I live, I'll tread upon their heads
That think with high looks thus to tread me down.
Come, Edmund, let's away and levy men,
'Tis war that must abate these barons' pride.
[Exeunt KING EDWARD, QUEEN ISABELLA, and KENT. War. Let's to our castles, for the king is moved. Y. Mor. Moved may he be, and perish in his wrath !
Lan. Cousin, it is no dealing with him now,
He means to make us stoop by force of arms;
And therefore let us jointly here protest,
To persecute that Gaveston to the death.
Y. Mor. By heaven, the abject villain shall not live !
War. I'll have his blood, or die in seeking it.
Pem. The like oath Pembroke takes.
Lan. And so doth Lancaster,
Now send our heralds to defy the king ;
And make the people swear to put him down.
Enter a Messenger.
Y. Mor. Letters ! from whence?
Mess. From Scotland, my lord.
[Giving letters to MORTIMER.
Lan. Why, how now, cousin, how fares all our friends?
Y. Mor. My uncle's taken prisoner by the Scots.
Lan. We'll have him ransomed, man; be of good cheer.
Y. Mor. They rate his ransom at five thousand pound.
Who should defray the money but the king,
Seeing he is taken prisoner in his wars?
I'll to the king.
Lan. Do, cousin, and I'll bear thee company.
War. Meantime, my lord of Pembroke and myself
Will to Newcastle here, and gather head.
Y. Mor. About it then, and we will follow you.
Lan. Be resolute and full of secrecy.
War. I warrant you.
[Exit with PEMBROKE.
Y. Mor. Cousin, and if he will not ransom him,
I'll thunder such a peal into his ears,
As never subject did unto his king.
Lan. Content, I'll bear my part — Holla! who's there?
Y. Mor. Ay, marry, such a guard as this doth well.
Lan. Lead on the way.
Guard. Whither will your lordships?
Y. Mor. Whither else but to the king.
Guard. His highness is disposed to be alone.
Lan. Why, so he may, but we will speak to him.
Guard. You may not in, my lord.
Y. Mor. May we not ?
Enter KING EDWARD and KENT.
K. Edw. How now !
What noise is this? who have we there, is't you? [Going.
Y. Mor. Nay, stay, my lord, I come to bring you news;
Mine uncle's taken prisoner by the Scots.
K. Edw. Then ransom him.
Lan. 'Twas in your wars; you should ransom him.
Y. Mor. And you shall ransom him, or else
Kent. What! Mortimer, you will not threaten him?
K. Edw. Quiet yourself, you shall have the broad seal,
To gather for him throughout the realm.
Lan. Your minion Gaveston hath taught you this.
Y. Mor. My lord, the family of the Mortimers
Are not so poor but, would they sell their land,
'Twould levy men enough to anger you.
We never beg, but use such prayers as these.
K. Edw, Shall I still be haunted thus ?
Y. Mor. Nay, now you're here alone, I'll speak my mind.
Lan. And so will I, and then, my lord, farewell.
Y. Mor. The idle triumphs, masks, lascivious shows,
And prodigal gifts bestowed on Gaveston,
Have drawn thy treasury dry, and made thee weak;
The murmuring commons, overstretched, break.
Lan. Look for rebellion, look to be deposed;
Thy garrisons are beaten out of France,
And, lame and poor, lie groaning at the gates.
The wild Oneyl, with swarms of Irish kerns,'
Lives uncontrolled within the English pale.
Unto the walls of York the Scots make road,
And unresisted drive away rich spoils.
Y. Mor. The haughty Dane commands the narrow seas,
While in the harbour ride thy ships unrigged.
Lan. What foreign prince sends thee ambassadors ?
Y. Mor. Who loves thee, but a sort of flatterers?
Lan. Thy gentle queen, sole sister to Valois,
Complains that thou hast left her all forlorn.
Y. Mor. Thy court is naked, being bereft of those
That make a king seem glorious to the world ;
I mean the peers, whom thou should'st dearly love :
Libels are cast again thee in the street :
Ballads and rhymes made of thy overthrow.
Lan. The Northern borderers, seeing their houses burnt,
Their wives and children slain, run up and down,
Cursing the name of thee and Gaveston.
Y. Mor. When wert thou in the field with banner spread,
But once? and then thy soldiers marched like players,
With garish robes, not armour; and thyself,
Bedaubed with gold, rode laughing at the rest,
Nodding and shaking of thy spangled crest,
Where women's favours hung like labels down.
Lan. And therefore came it, that the fleering 3 Scots,
To England's high disgrace, have made this jig † ;
“Maids of England, sore may you mourn,
For your lemans 5
have lost at Bannocksbourn, -
With a heave and a ho!
What weeneth the King of England,
So soon to have won Scotland ?
With a rombelow !"
1 Foot soldiers.
3 Jeering. 4 This jig or ballad is taken, with slight variations, from Fabyan's Chronicle. At the time the scene refers to, the battle of Bannockburn had not been fought.