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Than fits a prince so young as I to bear,
And fear not, lord and father, Heaven's great beams
On Atlas' shoulder shall not lie more safe,
Than shall your charge committed to my trust.
Q. Isab. Ah, boy! this towardness makes thy mother fear Thou art not marked to many days on earth.
K. Edw. Madam, we will that you with speed be shipped, And this our son; Levune shall follow you With all the haste we can despatch him hence. Choose of our lords to bear you company : And go in peace, leave us in wars at home.
Q. Isab. Unnatural wars, where subjects brave their king; God end them once ! My lord, I take my leave, To make my preparation for France.
[Exit with PRINCE EDWARD.
K. Edw. What, Lord Arundel, dost thou come alone?
Arun. Yea, my good lord, for Gaveston is dead.
K. Edw. Ah, traitors ! have they put my friend to death?
Tell me, Arundel, died he ere thou cam'st,
Or didst thou see my friend to take his death?
Arun. Neither, my lord; for as he was surprised,
Begirt with weapons and with enemies round,
I did your highness' message to them all ;
Demanding him of them, entreating rather,
And said, upon the honour of my name,
That I would undertake to carry him
Unto your highness, and to bring him back.
K. Edw. And tell me, would the rebels deny me that?
Y. Spen. Proud recreants !
K. Edw. Yea, Spencer, traitors all.
Arun. I found them at the first inexorable ;
The Earl of Warwick would not bide the hearing,
Mortimer hardly; Pembroke and Lancaster
Spake least: and when they flatly had denied,
Refusing to receive me pledge for him,
The Earl of Pembroke mildly thus bespake :
“My lords, because our sovereign sends for him,
And promiseth he shall be safe returned,
I will this undertake, to have him hence,
And see him re-delivered to your hands."
K. Edw. Well, and how fortunes it that he came not?
Y. Spen. Some treason, or some villany, was the cause.
Arun. The Earl of Warwick seized him on his
For being delivered unto Pembroke's men,
Their lord rode home thinking his prisoner safe;
But ere he came, Warwick in ambush lay,
And bare him to his death; and in a trench
Strake off his head, and marched unto the camp.
Y. Spen. A bloody part, flatly 'gainst law of arms !
K. Edw. O shall I speak, or shall I sigh and die !
Y. Spen. My lord, refer your vengeance to the sword
Upon these barons; hearten up your men;
Let them not unrevenged murder your friends!
Advance your standard, Edward, in the field,
And march to fire them from their starting holes.
K. Edw. [kneeling]. By earth, the common mother of us all,
By Heaven, and all the moving orbs thereof,
By this right hand, and by my father's sword,
And all the honours 'longing to my crown,
I will have heads, and lives for him, as many
As I have manors, castles, towns and towers !
Treacherous Warwick ! traitorous Mortimer !
If I be England's king, in lakes of gore
Your headless trunks, your bodies will I trail,
That you may drink your fill, and quaff in blood,
And stain my royal standard with the same,
That so my bloody colours may suggest
Remembrance of revenge immortally
accursèd traitorous progeny,
You villains, that have slain my Gaveston !
And in this place of honour and of trust,
Spencer, sweet Spencer, I adopt thee here:
And merely of our love we do create thee
Earl of Gloucester, and Lord Chamberlain,
Despite of times, despite of enemies.
Y. Spen. My lord, here's a messenger from the barons
Desires access unto your majesty.
K. Edw. Admit him near.
Enter the Herald, with his coat of arms.
Her. Long live King Edward, England's lawful lord !
K. Edw. So wish not they, I wis, that sent thee hither.
Thou com'st from Mortimer and his 'complices,
A ranker rout of rebels never was.
Well, say thy message.
Her. The barons up in arms, by me salute
Your highness with long life and happiness;
And bid me say, as plainer to your grace,
That if without effusion of blood
You will this grief have ease and remedy,
That from your princely person you remove
This Spencer, as a putrifying branch,
That deads the royal vine, whose golden leaves
Empale your princely head, your diadem,
Whose brightness such pernicious upstarts dim,
Say they; and lovingly advise your grace,
To cherish virtue and nobility,
And have old servitors in high esteem,
And shake off smooth dissembling flatterers :
This granted, they, their honours, and their lives,
Are to your highness vowed and consecrate.
Y. Spen. Ah, traitors ! will they still display their pride?
K. Edw. Away, tarry no answer, but be gone !
Rebels, will they appoint their sovereign
His sports, his pleasures, and his company?
Yet, ere thou go, see how I do divorce [Embraces SPENCER.
Spencer from me. Now get thee to thy lords,
And tell them I will come to chastise them
For murdering Gaveston; hie thee, get thee gone !
Edward with fire and sword follows at thy heels. [Exit Herald.
My lords, perceive you how these rebels swell?
Soldiers, good hearts, defend your sovereign's right,
For now, even now, we march to make them stoop.
Away! [Exeunt. Alarums, excursions, a great fight, and a
retreat sounded, within. Re-enter KING EDWARD, the Elder SPENCER, Young SPENCER, and
Noblemen of the King's side.
K. Edw. Why do we sound retreat? upon them, lords !
This day I shall pour vengeance with my sword
On those proud rebels that are up in arms,
And do confront and countermand their king.
Y. Spen. I doubt it not, my lord, right will prevail.
E. Spen. 'Tis not amiss, my liege, for either part
To breathe awhile ; our men, with sweat and dust
All choked well near, begin to faint for heat;
And this retire refresheth horse and man.
Y. Spen. Here come the rebels.
Enter Young MORTIMER, LANCASTER, WARWICK, PEMBROKE, and
Y. Mor. Look, Lancaster, yonder is Edward
Among his flatterers,
Lan. And there let him be
Till he pay dearly for their company.
War. And shall, or Warwick's sword shall smite in vain.
K. Edw. What, rebels, do you shrink and sound retreat?
Y. Mor. No, Edward, no, thy flatterers faint and fly.
Lan. They'd best betimes forsake thee, and their trains,'
For they'll betray thee, traitors as they are.
Y. Spen. Traitor on thy face, rebellious Lancaster!
Pem. Away, base upstart, bravest thou nobles thus ?
E. Spen. A noble attempt, and honourable deed,
It is not, trow ye, to assemble aid,
And levy arms against your lawful king !
K. Edw. For which ere long their heads shall satisfy,
To appease the wrath of their offended king.
Y. Mor. Then, Edward, thou wilt fight it to the last,
And rather bathe thy sword in subjects' blood,
Than banish that pernicious company?
K. Edw. Ay, traitors all, rather than thus be braved,
Make England's civil towns huge heaps of stones,
And ploughs to go about our palace-gates.
War. A desperate and unnatural resolution !
Alarum ! — to the fight !
Saint George for England, and the barons' right.
K. Edw. Saint George for England, and King Edward's
right. [Alarums. Exeunt the two parties severally.
SCENE III. - ANOTHER PART OF THE FIELD
Enter KING EDWARD and his followers, with the Barons and KENT,
K. Edw. Now, lusty lords, now, not by chance of war,
But justice of the quarrel and the cause,
Vailed • is your pride; methinks you hang the heads,
But we'll advance them, traitors; now 'tis time
To be avenged on you for all your braves,
And for the murder of my dearest friend,
To whom right well you knew our soul was knit,
Good Pierce of Gaveston, my sweet favourite.
Ah, rebels ! recreants ! you made him away.
Kent. Brother, in regard of thee, and of thy land,
Did they remove that fatterer from thy throne.
K. Edw. So, sir, you have spoke ; away, avoid our presence !
Accursed wretches, was't in regard of us,
When we had sent our messenger to request
He might be spared to come to speak with us,
And Pembroke undertook for his return,
That thou, proud Warwick, watched the prisoner,
Poor Pierce, and headed him 'gainst law of arms?
For which thy head shall overlook the rest,
As much as thou in rage outwent'st the rest.
War. Tyrant, I scorn thy threats and menaces;
It is but temporal that thou canst inflict.
Lan. The worst is death, and better die to live
Than live in infamy under such a king.
K. Edw. Away with them, my lord of Winchester!
These lusty leaders, Warwick and Lancaster,
I charge you roundly — off with both their heads !
War. Farewell, vain world !
Lan. Sweet Mortimer, farewell.
Y. Mor. England, unkind to thy nobility,
Groan for this grief, behold how thou art maimed !
K. Edw. Go, take that haughty Mortimer to the Tower,
There see him safe bestowed; and for the rest,
Do speedy execution on them all.
Y. Mor. What, Mortimer! can ragged stony walls
Immure thy virtue that aspires to Heaven?
No Edward, England's scourge, it may not be ;
Mortimer's hope surmounts his fortune far.
[The captive Barons are led off. K. Edw. Sound drums and trumpets! March with me, my
friends, Edward this day hath crowned him king anew.
[Exeunt all except Young SPENCER, LEVUNE, and BALDOCK.
Y. Spen. Levune, the trust that we repose in thee,
Begets the quiet of King Edward's land.
Therefore begone in haste, and with advice
Bestow that treasure on the lords of France,
That, therewith all enchanted, like the guard
That sụffered Jove to pass in showers of gold
To Danae, all aid may be denied
To Isabel, the queen, that now in France
Makes friends, to cross the seas with her young son,
And step into his father's regiment.'
Levune. That's it these barons and the subtle queen
Long levelled at.