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Omnes. We thank your worship.
Gav. I have some business. Leave me to myself.
OMNEs. We will wait here about the court.
Gav. Do; these are not men for me;
I must have wanton poets, pleasant wits,
Musicians, that with touching of a string
May draw the pliant king which way I please.
Music and poetry are his delight;
Therefore I'll have Italian masks by night,
Sweet speeches, comedies, and pleasing shows;
And in the day, when he shall walk abroad,
Like sylvan nymphs my pages shall be clad;
My men, like satyrs grazing on the lawns,
Shall with their goat-feet dance the antic hay.
Sometimes a lovely boy in Dian's shape,
With hair that gilds the water as it glides,
Crownets of pearl about his naked arms,
And in his sportful hands an olive-tree,
To hide those parts which 'men delight to see,
Shall bathe him in a spring; and there hard by,
One like Acteon peeping through the grove,
Shall by the angry goddess be transform’d,
And running in the likeness of an hart,
By yelping hounds pull'd down, shall seem to die ;-
Such things as these best please his majesty.
By’r lord ! here comes the king, and the nobles,*
* In the old editions of this play we read, My lord here comes, 8c. This reading is evidently incorrect, and we have, therefore, ventured on the above emendation.
From the parliament. I'll stand aside.
Enter the King, LANCASTER, MORTIMER, senior,
MORTIMER, junior, EDMUND EARL of KENT,
Guy Eakl of WARWICK, &c.
Edw. Lancaster !
Lan. My lord.
Gav. That earl of Lancaster do I abhor. [ Aside.
Edw. Will you not grant me this? In spite of
I'll have my will; and these two Mortimers,
That cross me thus, shall know I am displeas'd.
E. Mor: If you love us, my lord, hate Gaveston. Gav. That villain Mortimer, I'll be his death !
(Aside. Y. Mor. Mine uncle here, this earl, and I myself, Were sworn unto your father at his death, That he should ne'er return into the realm : And know, my lord, e'er I will break my oath, This sword of mine, that should offend your foes, Shall sleep within the scabbard at thy need, And underneath thy banners march who will, For Mortimer will hang his armour up. Gav, Mort dieu !
(Aside. Edw. Well, Mortimer, I'll make thee rue these
Beseems thee to contradict thy king ?
Frown'st thou thereat, aspiring Lancaster ?
The sword shall plane the furrows of thy brows,
And hew these knees that now are grown so stiff.
I will have Gaveston; and
What danger 'tis to stand against your king.
GAV. Well done, Ned!
Lan. My lord, why do you thus incense your peers,
That naturally would love and honour you
But for that base and obscure Gaveston?
Four earldoms have I, besides Lancaster-
Derby, Salisbury, Lincoln, Leicester,
These will I sell, to give my soldiers pay,
Ere Gaveston shall stay within the realm;
Therefore, if he be come, expel him straight.
Edw. Barons and earls, your pride hath made me
mute ; But now I'll speak, and to the proof, I hope. I do remember, in my father's days, Lord Piercy of the North, being highly mov'd, Brav'd Mowbery in presence of the king; For which, had not his highness lov'd him well, He should have lost his head; but with his look Th’undaunted spirit of Piercy was appeas'd, And Mowbery and he were reconcil'd. Yet dare you brave the king unto his face; Brother, revenge it, and let these their heads, Preach upon poles, for trespass of their tongues. WAR. Oh, our heads! Edw. Aye, yours; aud therefore I would wish you
grant.WAR. Bridle thy anger, gentle Mortimer.
Y. MOR. I cannot, nor I will not ; I must speak. Cousin, our hands I hope shall fence our heads, And strike off his that makes you threaten us.
Come, uncle, let us leave the brainsick king,
And henceforth parley with our naked swords.
E. Mor. Wiltshire hath men enough to save our
WAR. All Warwickshire will love him for
sake. Lan. And northward Lancaster* hath many friends. Adieu, my lord and either change your mind, Or look to see the throne, where
should sit, To float in blood ; and at thy wanton head, The glozing head of thy base minion thrown.
[Exeunt Nobles. cannot brook these haughty menaces : Am I a king, and must be over-ruld? Brother, display my ensigns in the fields ; I'll bandy with the barons and the earls, And either die or live with Gaveston.
Gav. I can no longer keep me from
Edw. What, Gaveston! welcome-Kiss not my
Embrace me, Gaveston, as I do thee.
Why shouldst thou kneel?
Know'st thou not who I am?
Thy friend, thyself, another Gaveston !
Not Hilas was more mourn'd of Hercules,
Than thou hast been of me since thy exile.
Gav. And since I went from hence, nosoul in hell
Hath felt more torment than poor Gaveston.
Edw. I know it-Brother, welcome home my
* Gaveston, in the old editions.
Now let the treach'rous Mortimers conspire,
And that high-minded earl of Lancaster:
I have my wish, in that I 'joy thy sight;
And sooner shall the sea o'erwhelm my land,
Than bear the ship that shall transport thee hence.
I here create thee lord high-chamberlain,
Chief secretary to the state and
me, Earl of Cornwall, king and lord of Man. Gav. My lord, these titles far exceed my worth.
Kent. Brother, the least of these may well suffice For one of greater birth than Gaveston. Edw. Cease, brother; for I cannot brook these
Thy worth, sweet friend, is far above my gifts,
Therefore, to equal it, receive my heart;
If for these dignities thou be envied,
I'll give thee more; for, but to honour thee,
Is Edward pleas'd with kingly regiment.
Fear’st thou thy person ? thou shalt have a guard.
Want'st thou gold ? go to my treasury.
Wouldst thou be lov'd and fear'd? receive my seal,
Save or condemn, and in our name command
What so thy mind affects, or fancy likes.
Gar. It shall suffice me to enjoy your love,
Which whiles I have, I think myself as great
As Cæsar riding in the Roman street,
With captive kings at his triumphant car.
Enter the BISHOP of Coventry.
Edw. Whither goes my lord of Coventry so fast?
Bish. To celebrate your father's exequies.