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Oh, water, gentle friends, to cool my thirst,
And clear my body from foul excrements!
Mat. Here's channel water, as our charge is
Sit down, for we'll be barbers to your grace.
Edw. Traitors, away! what, will you murder me, Or choke your sovereign with puddle water? GUR. No, but wash your face, and shave away
your beard, Lest
you be known, and so be rescued. Mat. Why strive you thus ? your labour is in
vain? EDW. The wren may strive against the lion's
strength, But all in vain : so vainly do I strive To seek for mercy at a tyrant's hand.
[They wash him with puddle water, and shave his
Immortal powers ! that know the painful cares
That wait upon my poor distressed soul !
O level all your looks upon these daring men,
That wrong their liege and sovereign, England's
O Gaveston, it is for thee that I am wrong'd,
For me, both thou and both the Spencers died !
And for your sakes, a thousand wrongs I'll take.
The Spencers' ghosts, wherever they remain,
Wish well to mine ; then tush, for them I'll die.
Mat. 'Twixt their's and your's shall be no
Come, come, away; now put the torches out,
We'll enter in by darkness to Killingworth.
Gur. How now, who comes there?
Mat. Guard the king sure; it is the earl of Kent.
Edw. O, gentle brother, help to rescue me !
Mat. Keep them asunder; thrust in the king.
Kent. Soldiers, let me but talk to him one word.
Gur. Lay hands upon the earl for his assault.
Kent. Lay down your weapons, traitors, yield the
king Mat. Edmund, yield thou thyself, or thou shalt die. Kent. Base villains, wherefore do you gripe me
thus! Gur. Bind himn and convey him to the court. Kent. Where is the court but here? here is the
king, And I will visit him; why stay you me?
Mat. The court is where lord Mortimer remains; Thither shall your honour go; and so farewell,
[Ereunt Matreris and Gurney, with the King.
Kent and the Soldiers remain. Kent. O miserable is that common-weal, where
lords Keep courts, and kings are lock'd in prison !
Sol. Wherefore stay.we ? on, sirs, to the court. Kent. Aye, lead me whither you will, even to my
Seeing that my brother cannot be releas’d.
Enter Young MORTIMER.
Y. Mor. The king must die, or Mortimer goes
X The commons now begin to pity him.
Yet he that is the cause of Edward's death,
Is sure to pay for it when his son's of age ;
And therefore will I do it cunningly.
This letter, written by a friend of ours,
Contains his death, yet bids them save his life.
Edwardum occidere nolite timere bonum est
Fear not to kill the king, 'tis good he die.
But read it thus, and that's another sense :
Edwardum occidere nolite timere bonum est
Kill not the king, 'tis good to fear the worst.
Unpointed as it is, thus shall it go,
That being dead, if it chance to be found,
Matrevis and the rest may bear the blame,
And we be quit that caus'd it to be done.
Within this room is lock'd the messenger,
That shall convey it, and perform the rest :
And by a secret token that he bears,
Shall he be murder'd when the deed is done:
Lightborn, come forth ; art thou so resolute as thou
Light. What else, my lord ? and far more
Y. MOR. And hast thou cast how to accomplish it?
Light. Aye, aye, and none shall know which way
he died. Y. MOR. But at his looks, Lightborn, thou wilt
relent. Light. Relent! ha, ha, I use much to relent. Y. Mor. Well, do it bravely, and be secret.
Light. You shall not need to give instructions ;
'Tis not the first time I have kill'd a man.
I learn'd in Naples how to poison flowers;
To strangle with a lawn thrust thro' the throat;
To pierce the wind-pipe with a needles' point;
Or whilst one is asleep, to take a quill
And blow a little powder in his ears ;
Or open his mouth, and pour quick silver down.
But yet I have a braver way than these.
Y. Mor. What's that?
Light. Nay, you shall pardon me, none shall
know my tricks.
Y. Mor. I care not how it is, so it be not spy'd.
Deliver this to Gurney and Matrevis.
At every ten mile end thou hast a horse.
Take this, away, and never see me more.
Y. Mor. No; unless thou bring me news of
Light. That will I quickly do; farewell, my lord.
[Exit. Y. MOR. The prince I rule, the queen do I com
mand, And with a lowly congé to the ground,
The proudest lords salute me as I pass :
I seal, I cancel, I do what I will;
Fear'd am I more than lov'd- let me be fear'd;
And when I frown, make all the court look pale.
I view the prince with Aristarchus' eyes,
Whose looks were as a breeching to a boy.
They thrust upon me the protectorship,
And sue to me for that which I desire.
While at the council-table, grave enough,
And not unlike a bashful puritan,
First I complain of imbecility,
Saying it is onus quam gravissimum;
Till being interrupted by my friends,
Suscepi that provinciam as they term it;
And to conclude, I am protector now.
Now is all sure, the queen and Mortimer
Shall rule the realm, the king; and none rule us.
Mine enemies will I plague, my friends advance;
And what I list command ; wbo dare controul ?
Major sum quàm cui possit fortuna nucere.
And that this be the coronation-day,
It pleaseth me, and Isabel the queen.
The trumpets sound, I must go take my place.
Enter the young King, BISHOPS, CHAMPION,
Bishop. Long live king Edward, by the grace of
King of England, and lord of Ireland !
Cham. If any Christian, Heathen, Turk, or Jew, Dare but affirm, that Edward's not true king,