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EDWARD THE SECOND.
ACT THE FIRST.
SCENE I. Enter GAVESTON, reading a letter from the king.
Gav. 'My father is deceas'd! Come, Gaveston, And share the kingdom with thy dearest friend.' Ah! words that make me surfeit with delight! What greater bliss can hap to Gaveston, Than live and be the favourite of a king ! Sweet prince, I come; these, these thy amorous
lines Might have enforc'd me to have swam from France, And like Leander, gasp'd upon the sand, So thou wouldst smile, and take me in thine arms. The sight of London to my exil'd eyes Is as Elysium to a new-come soul; Not that I love the city, or the men, But that it harbours him I hold so dearThe king, upon whose bosom let me lie, And with the world be still at enmity. What need the arctick people love star-light, To whom the sun shines both by day and night? Farewell base stooping to the lordly peers; My knee shall bow to none but to the king. *
As for the multitude, they are but sparks,
Enter three poor Men.
Gav, Let me see-thou wouldst do well
time; And as I like your discoursing, I'll have you. And what art thou ? 3 Man. A soldier, that hath serv'd against the
Scot. Gav. Why there are hospitals for such as you; I have no war, and therefore, sir, be gone.
3 Man. Farewell, and perish by a soldier's hand, That would'st reward them with an hospital.
Gav. Aye, aye, these words of his move me as much As if a goose would play the porcupine, And dart her plumes, thinking to pierce my breast. But yet it is no pain to speak men fair; I'll flatter these, and make them live in hope. Aside. You know that I came lately out of France, And yet I have not view'd my lord the king; If I speed well, I'll entertain you all.
OMNEs. We thank your worship.
• In the old editions of this play we read, My lord here comes, &c. This reading is evidently incorrect, and we have, therefore, ventured on the above emendation.
From the parliament. I'll stand aside.
MORTIMER, junior, EDMUND EARL of Kent,
E. Mor. If you love us, my lord, hate Gaveston. Gay. 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