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War. Lancaster, why talk'st thou to the slave?
Go, soldiers, take him hence, for, by my sword,
His head shall off ; Gaveston, short warning
Shall serve thy turn: it is our country's cause,
That here severely we will execute
Upon thy person. Hang him at a bough.
Gav. My lord !
War. Soldiers, have him away;
But for thou wert the favourite of a king,
Thou shalt have so much honour at our hands -
Gav. I thank you all, my lords: then I perceive,
That heading is one, and hanging is the other,
And death is all.
Lan. How now, my lord of Arundel?
Arun. My lords, King Edward greets you all by me.
War. Arundel, say your message.
Arun. His majesty,
Hearing that you had taken Gaveston,
Entreateth you by me, yet but he may
See him before he dies; for why, he says,
And sends you word, he knows that die he shall ;
And if you gratify his grace so far,
He will be mindful of the courtesy.
War. How now !
Gav. Renowned Edward, how thy name
Revives poor Gaveston !
War. No, it needeth not;
Arundel, we will gratify the king
In other matters; he must pardon us in this.
Soldiers, away with him !
Gav. Why, my lord of Warwick,
Will not these delays beget my hopes?
I know it, lords, it is this life
Yet grant King Edward this.
Y. Mor. Shalt thou appoint
What we shall grant? Soldiers, away with him :
Thus we'll gratify the king,
We'll send his head by thee ; let him bestow
His tears on that, for that is all he gets
Of Gaveston, or else his senseless trunk.
Lan. Not so, my lords, lest he bestow more cost 1 Dyce suggests that a line following this, in which Warwick says that Gaveston shall be beheaded, has dropped out.
In burying him than he hath ever earned.
Arun. My lords, it is his majesty's request,
And in the honour of a king he swears,
He will but talk with him, and send him back.
War. When? can you tell? Arundel, no; we wot,
He that the care of his realm remits,
And drives his nobles to these exigents
For Gaveston, will, if he sees him once,
Violate any promise to possess him.
Arun. Then if you will not trust his grace in keep,
My lords, I will be pledge for his return.
Y. Mor. 'Tis honourable in thee to offer this;
But for we know thou art a noble gentleman,
We will not wrong thee so, to make away
A true man for a thief.
Gav. How mean'st thou, Mortimer? that is over-base.
Y. Mor. Away, base groom, robber of king's renown!
Question with thy companions and mates.
Pem. My Lord Mortimer, and you, my lords, each one,
To gratify the king's request therein,
Touching the sending of this Gaveston,
Because his majesty so earnestly
Desires to see the man before his death,
I will upon mine honour undertake
To carry him, and bring him back again;
Provided this, that you my lord of Arundel
Will join with me.
War. Pembroke, what wilt thou do?
Cause yet more bloodshed ? is it not enough
That we have taken him, but must we now
Leave him on “had I wist,”: and let him go?
Pem. My lords, I will not over-woo your honours,
But if you dare trust Pembroke with the prisoner,
Upon mine oath, I will return him back.
Arun. My lord of Lancaster, what say you in this?
Lan. Why, I say, let him go on Pembroke's word.
Pem. And you, Lord Mortimer?
Y. Mor. How say you, my lord of Warwick?
War. Nay, do your pleasures, I know how 'twill prove.
Pem. Then give him me.
Gav. Sweet sovereign, yet I come
To see thee ere I die.
War. Yet not perhaps,
If Warwick's wit and policy prevail.
[Aside. 1 An exclamation implying repentance of a rash deed. — Dyce,
Y. Mor. My lord of Pembroke, we deliver him you;
Return him on your honour. Sound, away!
[Exeunt all except PEMBROKE, ARUNDEL, GAVESTON,
JAMES, and other Attendants of PEMBROKE.) Pem. My lord of Arundel, you
My house is not far hence; out of the way
A little, but our men shall go along.
We that have pretty wenches to our wives,
Sir, must not come so near to baulk their lips.
Arun. 'Tis very kindly spoke, my lord of Pembroke;
Your honour hath an adamant of power
To draw a prince.
Pem. So, my lord. Come hither, James :
I do commit this Gaveston to thee,
Be thou this night his keeper; in the morning
We will discharge thee of thy charge : be gone.
Gav. Unhappy Gaveston, whither goest thou now?
[Exit with JAMES and the other Attendants. Horse-boy. My lord, we'll quickly be at Cobham. [Exeunt.
ANOTHER PART OF THE COUNTRY
Enter GAVESTON mourning, JAMES, and other Attendants of PEM
AV. O treacherous Warwick! thus to wrong thy friend.
James. I see it is your life these arms pursue.
Gav. Weaponless must I fall, and die in bands?
O! must this day be period of my life?
Centre of all my bliss ! An ye
Speed to the king.
Enter WARWICK and Soldiers.
War. My lord of Pembroke's men,
Strive you no longer I will have that Gaveston.
James. Your lordship does dishonour to yourself,
And wrong our lord, your honourable friend.
War. No, James, it is my country's cause I follow.
Go, take the villain ; soldiers, come away.
We'll make quick work. Commend me to your master,
My friend, and tell him that I watched it well.
Come, let thy shadow parley with King Edward.
Gav. Treacherous earl, shall I not see the king ?
War. The king of Heaven perhaps, no other king.
Away! [Exeunt WARWICK and Soldiers with GAVESTON.
James. Come, fellows, it booted not for us to strive,
We will in haste go certify our lord.
SCENE II. — NEAR BOROUGHBRIDGE, YORKSHIRE
Enter KING EDWARD and Young SPENCER, BALDOCK, and Nobles of
the KING's side, and Soldiers with drums and fifes.
K. Edw. I long to hear an answer from the barons
Touching my friend, my dearest Gaveston.
Ah ! Spencer, not the riches of my realm
Can ransom him! ah, he is marked to die !
I know the malice of the younger Mortimer,
Warwick I know is rough, and Lancaster
Inexorable, and I shall never see
My lovely Pierce of Gaveston again !
The barons overbear me with their pride.
Y. Spen. Were I King Edward, England's sovereign,
Son to the lovely Eleanor of Spain,
Great Edward Longshanks' issue, would I bear
These braves, this rage, and suffer uncontrolled
These barons thus to beard me in my land,
In mine own realm? My lord, pardon my speech :
Did you retain your father's magnanimity,
Did you regard the honour of your name,
You would not suffer thus your majesty
Be counterbuft of your nobility.
Strike off their heads, and let them preach on poles !
No doubt, such lessons they will teach the rest,
As by their preachments they will profit much,
And learn obedience to their lawful king.
Y. Edw. Yea, gentle Spencer, we have been too mild,
Too kind to them; but now have drawn our sword,
And if they send me not my Gaveston,
We'll steel it on their crest, and poll their tops.
Bald. This haught resolve becomes your majesty,
Not to be tied to their affection,
As though your highness were a schoolboy still,
And must be awed and governed like a child.
Enter the Elder SPENCER, with his truncheon and Soldiers.
E. Spen. Long live my sovereign, the noble Edward –
In peace triumphant, fortunate in wars !
K. Edw. Welcome, old man, com’st thou in Edward's aid? Then tell thy prince of whence, and what thou art.
E. Spen. Lo, with a band of bowmen and of pikes,
Brown bills and targeteers, four hundred strong,
Sworn to defend King Edward's royal right,
I come in person to your majesty,
Spencer, the father of Hugh Spencer there,
Bound to your highness everlastingly,
For favour done, in him, unto us all.
K. Edw. Thy father, Spencer?
Y. Spen. True, an it like your grace,
That pours, in lieu of all your goodness shown,
His life, my lord, before your princely feet.
K. Edw. Welcome ten thousand times, old man, again.
Spencer, this love, this kindness to thy king,
Argues thy noble mind and disposition.
Spencer, I here create thee Earl of Wiltshire,
And daily will enrich thee with our favour,
That, as the sunshine, shall reflect o'er thee.
Beside, the more to manifest our love,
Because we hear Lord Bruce doth sell his land,
And that the Mortimers are in hand withal,
Thou shalt have crowns of us toutbid the barons :
And, Spencer, spare them not, lay it on.
Soldiers, a largess, and thrice welcome all !
Y. Spen. My lord, here comes the queen.
Enter QUEEN ISABELLA, PRINCE EDWARD, and LEVUNE.
K. Edw. Madam, what news?
Q. Isab. News of dishonour, lord, and discontent.
Our friend Levune, faithful and full of trust,
Informeth us, by letters and by words,
That Lord Valois our brother, King of France,
Because your highness hath been slack in homage,
Hath seized Normandy into his hands.
These be the letters, this the messenger.
K. Edw. Welcome, Levune. Tush, Sib, if this be all,
Valois and I will soon be friends again.
But to my Gaveston; shall I never see,
Never behold thee now? — Madam, in this matter,
We will employ you and your little son;
You shall go parley with the King of France.
Boy, see you bear you bravely to the king,
And do your message with a majesty.
P. Edw. Commit not to my youth things of more weight