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Light. You're overwatched, my lord; lie down and


Edw. But that grief keeps me waking, I should sleep, 90 For not these ten days have these eyes' lids 1 closed. Now as I speak they fall, and yet with fear Open again. O wherefore sitt'st thou here?

Light. If you mistrust me, I'll begone, my lord. Edw. No, no, for if thou mean'st to murder me, Thou wilt return again, and therefore stay.

Light. He sleeps.


Edw. [awakes]. O let me not die yet; 2 stay, O stay a


Light. How now, my lord?

Edw. Something still buzzeth in mine ears,
And tells me if I sleep I never wake;
This fear is that which makes me tremble thus.
And therefore tell me, wherefore art thou come.
Light. To rid thee of thy life; Matrevis, come.


Edw. I am too weak and feeble to resist : Assist me, sweet God, and receive my soul. Light. Run for the table.

Edw. O spare me, or despatch me in a trice.

1 So eds. 1598, 1612, ("eies-lids").—Ed. 1622 "eye lids."


2 Eds. 1598, 1612, "O let me not die, yet stay, O stay a while." Ed. 1622 "O let me not die yet! O stay a while" (and so Dyce). Mr. Fleay prints :


Let me not die yet; stay, oh stay a while."

Light. So, lay the table down, and stamp on it, But not too hard, lest that you bruise his body.


[KING EDWARD is murdered.

Mat. I fear me that this cry will raise the town,
And therefore, let us take horse and away.

Light. Tell me, sirs, was it not bravely done?
Gur. Excellent well: take this for thy reward.


Come, let us cast the body in the moat,
And bear the king's to Mortimer our lord:


[Exeunt with the bodies.

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Y. Mor. Is't done, Matrevis, and the murderer dead? Mat. I, my good lord; I would it were undone. Y. Mor. Matrevis, if thou now 2 growest penitent I'll be thy ghostly father; therefore chuse, Whether thou wilt be secret in this,

Or else die by the hand of Mortimer.

Mat. Gurney, my lord, is fled, and will, I fear, Betray us both, therefore let me fly.

Y. Mor. Fly to the savages.

Mat. I humbly thank your honour.

Y. Mor. As for myself, I stand as Jove's huge tree; And others are but shrubs compared to me.

1 Scene: the royal palace, London.

2 So ed. 1598.-Omitted in eds. 1612, 1622.


All tremble at my name, and I fear none;

Let's see who dare impeach me for his death.

Enter the QUEEN.

Queen. Ah, Mortimer, the king my son hath news His father's dead, and we have murdered him.

Y. Mor. What if he have? the king is yet a child. Queen. I, but he tears his hair, and wrings his hands, And vows to be revenged upon us both.

Into the council-chamber he is gone,

To crave the aid and succour of his


Aye me see where he comes, and they with him;
Now, Mortimer, begins our tragedy.

Enter the KING, with the Lords.


First Lord. Fear not, my lord, know that you are a king.

King. Villain!

Y. Mor. Ho,3 now, my lord!

King. Think not that I am frighted with thy words! My father's murdered through thy treachery;

And thou shalt die, and on his mournful hearse

Thy hateful and accursed head shall lie,

To witness to the world, that by thy means
His kingly body was too soon interred.

Queen. Weep not, sweet son!

King. Forbid me not to weep, he was my father;

1 The old eds. repeat "I."

2 The prefix in the old eds. is "Lords."

3 So ed. 1598.-Eds. 1612, 1622,

perhaps the right reading).


How now, my Lord?" (which is

And, had you loved him half so well as I,

You could not bear his death thus patiently.
But you, I fear, conspired with Mortimer.

First1 Lord. Why speak you not unto my lord the king? Y. Mor. Because I think scorn to be accused. Who is the man dares say I murdered him?

King. Traitor in me my loving father speaks, And plainly saith, 'twas thou that murder'dst him.


Y. Mor. But has your grace no other proof than this? King. Yes, if this be the hand of Mortimer.

Y. Mor. False Gurney hath betrayed me and himself.


Queen. I feared as much; murder cannot be hid.


Y. Mor. It is my hand; what gather you by this?
King. That thither thou didst send a murderer.
Y. Mor. What murderer? Bring forth the man I sent.
King, I, Mortimer, thou knowest that he is slain;
And so shalt thou be too. Why stays he here?

Bring him unto a hurdle, drag him forth,
Hang him, I say, and set his quarters up,
But bring his head back presently to me.

Queen. For my sake, sweet son, pity Mortimer.
Y. Mor. Madam, entreat not, I will rather die,
Than sue for life unto a paltry boy.

King. Hence with the traitor! with the murderer ! Y. Mor. Base Fortune, now I see, that in thy wheel There is a point, to which when men aspire,

1 Old eds. "Lords."


They tumble headlong down: that point I touched, 60
And, seeing there was no place to mount up higher,
Why should I grieve at my declining fall?
Farewell, fair queen; weep not for Mortimer,
That scorns the world, and, as a traveller,
Goes to discover countries yet unknown.

King. What! suffer you the traitor to delay?

[MORTIMER is taken away.

Queen. As thou receivedst thy life from me, Spill not the blood of gentle Mortimer.

King. This argues that you spilt my father's blood, Else would you not entreat for Mortimer.

Queen. I spill his blood? no.1

King. I, madam, you; for so the rumour runs.
Queen. That rumour is untrue; for loving thee,

Is this report raised on poor Isabel.

King. I do not think her so unnatural.


Second Lord. My lord, I fear me it will prove too true. King. Mother, you are suspected for his death,

And therefore we commit you to the Tower

Till farther trial may be made thereof;
If you be guilty, though I be your son,
Think not to find me slack or pitiful.

Queen. Nay, to my death, for too long have I lived, Whenas my son thinks to abridge my days.

King. Away with her, her words enforce these tears, And I shall pity her if she speak again.

1 Omitted in eds. 1612, 1622.

2 Old eds. "Lords."


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