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And will avouch his saying with the sword,
I am the champion that will combat him.

Y. Mor. None comes, sound trumpets.
King. Champion, here's to thee.
Queen. Lord Mortimer, now take him to your

charge. Enter SOLDIERS with the EARL of Kext, prisoner. Y. Mor. What traitor have we there with blades

and bills? Sol. Edmund, the earl of Kent. King. What hath he done?

Sol. He would have taken the king away perforce, As we were bringing him to Killingworth. Y. Mor. Did you attempt his rescue, Edmund ?

Kent. Mortimer, I did; he is our king,
And thou compellist this prince to wear the crown.
Y, Mor. Strike off his head, he shall have martial

Kent. Strike off my head ! base traitor, I defy thee.
King. My lord, he is my uncle, and shall live.
Y. Mor. My lord, he is your enemy, and shall die.
Kent, Stay, villains !

King. Sweet mother, if I cannot pardon him,
Entreat my lord protector for his life.
Queen. Son, be content; I dare not speak a

word. King. Nor I, and yet methinks I should com

mand; But seeing I cannot, I'll intreat for him

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My lord, if you will let my uncle live,
I will requite it when I come to age.
Y. Mor. 'Tis for your highness' good, and for the

How often shall I bid you bear him hence?

Kent. Art thou king? must I die at thy command?
Y. Mor. At our command ! once more, away with

Kent. Let me but stay and speak; I will not go.
Either my brother or his son is king,
And neither of them thirst for Edmund's blood.
And therefore, soldiers, whither will you hale me?

[They hale Kent away, and carry him to be

beheaded. King. What safety may I look for at his hands, If that my uncle shall be murdered thus ? Queen. Fear not, sweet boy, I'll guard thee from

thy foes; Had Edmund liv'd, he would have sought thy death. Come, son, we'll ride a hunting in the park.

King. And shall my uncle Edmund ride with us?
Queen. He is a traitor, think not on him; come.

[Exeunt omnes.

Enter Matrevis and Gurney.
Mat. Gurney, I wonder the king dies not,
Being in a vault up to the knees in water,
To which the channels of the castle run,
From whence a damp continually ariseth,

That were enough to poison any man,
Much more a king, brought up so tenderly.

Gur. And so do I, Matrevis: yesternight
I open'd but the door to throw him meat,
And I was almost stifled with the savour,

Mat. He hath a body able to endure
More than we can inflict : and therefore now
Let us assail his mind another while.
GUR. Send for him out thence, and I will anger

Mat. But stay, who's this?

Light. My lord protector greets you.
GUR. What's here? I know not how to construe it.

Mat. Gurney, it was left unpointed for the nonce ;
Edwardum occidere nolite timere,
That's his meaning.
Light. Know ye this token? I must have the

king Mar. Ay, stay awhile, thou shalt have answer

straight. This villain's sent to make away the king.

Gur. I thought as much.

Mat. And when the murder's done.
See how he must be handled for his labour.
Pereat iste : let him have the king.
What else? here is the keys, this is the lake,
Do as you are commanded by my lord.

Light. I know what I must do, get you away.
Yet be not far off, I shall need your help;

See that in the next room I have a fire,
And get me a spit, and let it be red hot.

Mat. Very well.
Gur. Need you any thing besides ?
Light. A table and a feather-bed..
GUR, That's all ?
Light. Aye, aye; so, when I call you, bring it in.
Mat. Fear not thou that.
Gur. Here's a light; go into the dungeon.
Light. So now must I about this geer, ne'er was

there any

So finely handled as this king shall be.
Foh, here's a place indeed, with all my heart !
Edw. Who's there? what light is that? wherefore

com'st thou ? Light. To comfort you, and bring you joyful news. Edw. Small comfort finds poor Edward in thy

looks. Villain, I know thou com'st to murder me.

Light. To murder you, my most gracious lord ! Far is it from my heart to do you harm. The queen sent me to see how you were us’d, For she relents at this your misery : And what eyes can refrain from shedding tears, To see a king in this most piteous state ?

Edw. Weep'st thou already? list awhile to me, And then thy heart, were it as Gurney's is, Or as Matrevis', hewn from the Caucasus, Yet will it melt, ere I have done my tale. This dungeon where they keep me, is the sink,

Wherein the filth of all the castle falls.

Light. O villains !

Edw. And there, in mire and puddle have I stood This ten day' space; and, lest that I should sleep, One plays continually upon a drum. They give me bread and water, being a king; So that, for want of sleep and sustenance, My mind's distemper’d, and my body's numb'd, And whether I have limbs or no I know not. O, would my blood drop out fiom every vein, As doth this water from my tatter'd robes. Tell Isabel, the queen, I look'd not thus, When for her sake I ran at tilt in France, And there unhors'd the duke of Cleremont.

Light. O speak no more, my lord! this breaks

my heart.

Lie on this bed, and rest yourself awhile.
Edw. These looks of thine can harbour nought

but death:
I see my tragedy written in thy brows.
Yet stay a while, forbear thy bloody hand,
And let me see the stroke before it comes,
That even then when I shall lose


life, My mind may be more steadfast God. Light. What means your highness to mistrust me

thus? Edw. What mean'st thou to dissemble with me

thus? Light. These hands were never stain'd with in

nocent blood,

on my

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