Enter GAVESTON, pursued

GAV. Yet, lusty lords, I have escap’d your hands,

Your threats, your ’larums, and your hot pursuits;

And though divorced from King Edward’s eyes,

Yet liveth Pierce of Gaveston unsurpris’d,〖Uncaptured.〗

Breathing, in hope (malgrado〖Ital. in spite of.〗 all your beards,

That muster rebels thus against your king),

To see his royal sovereign once again.

Enter [WARWICK, LANCASTER, PEMBROKE, Young MORTIMER, Soldiers, JAMES, and other Attendants of PEMBROKE]

WAR. Upon him, soldiers, take away his weapons.

Y. MOR. Thou proud disturber of thy country’s peace,

Corrupter of thy king, cause of these broils,

Base flatterer, yield! and were it not for shame,

Shame and dishonour to a soldier’s name,

Upon my weapon’s point here should’st thou fall,

And welter in thy gore.

LAN.Monster of men!

That, like the Greekish strumpet,〖Helen of Troy.〗 train’d〖Drew.〗 to arms

And bloody wars so many valiant knights;

Look for no other fortune, wretch, than death!

King Edward is not here to buckler thee.

WAR. Lancaster, why talk’st thou to the slave?

Go, soldiers, take him hence, for, by my sword,

His head shall off. Gaveston, short warning

Shall serve thy turn; it is our country’s cause

That here severely we will execute

Upon thy person. Hang him at a bough.

GAV. My lord!—

WAR. Soldiers, have him away;—

But for thou wert the favourite of a king,

Thou shalt have so much honour at our hands—

GAV. I thank you all, my lords: then I perceive,

That heading is one, and hanging is the other,

And death is all.

Enter Earl of ARUNDEL

LAN. How now, my lord of Arundel?

ARUN. My lords, King Edward greets you all by me.

WAR. Arundel, say your message.

ARUN. His majesty,

Hearing that you had taken Gaveston,

Entreateth you by me, yet but he may

See him before he dies; for why, he says,

And sends you word, he knows that die he shall;

And if you gratify his grace so far,

He will be mindful of the courtesy.

WAR. How now?

GAV. Renownèd Edward, how thy name

Revives poor Gaveston!

WAR. No, it needeth not;

Arundel, we will gratify the king

In other matters; he must pardon us in this.

Soldiers, away with him!

GAV. Why, my lord of Warwick,

Will not these delays beget my hopes?

I know it, lords, it is this life you aim at,

Yet grant King Edward this.

Y. MOR. Shalt thou appoint

What we shall grant? Soldiers, away with him!

Thus we’ll gratify the king:

We’ll send his head by thee; let him bestow

His tears on that, for that is all he gets

Of Gaveston, or else his senseless trunk.

LAN. Not so, my lords, lest he bestow more cost

In burying him than he hath ever earn’d.

ARUN. My lords, it is his majesty’s request,

And in the honour of a king he swears,

He will but talk with him, and send him back.

WAR. When? can you tell? Arundel, no; we wot

He that the care of his realm remits,

And drives his nobles to these exigents〖Extremities.〗

For Gaveston, will, if he sees〖Cunningham’s emendation for Q. zease.〗 him once,

Violate any promises to possess him.

ARUN. Then if you will not trust his grace in keep,

My lords, I will be pledge for his return.

Y. MOR. ’Tis honourable in thee to offer this;

But for we know thou art a noble gentleman,

We will not wrong thee so, to make away

A true man for a thief.

GAV. How mean’st thou, Mortimer? That is over-base.

Y. MOR. Away, base groom, robber of king’s renown!

Question with thy companions and thy mates.

PEM. My Lord Mortimer, and you, my lords, each one,

To gratify the king’s request therein,

Touching the sending of this Gaveston,

Because his majesty so earnestly

Desires to see the man before his death,

I will upon mine honour undertake

To carry him, and bring him back again;

Provided this, that you my lord of Arundel

Will join with me.

WAR. Pembroke, what wilt thou do?

Cause yet more bloodshed? Is it not enough

That we have taken him, but must we now

Leave him on “had I wist,”〖“Had I known—the exclamation of those who repent of what they have rashly done.” Dyce.〗 and let him go?

PEM. My lords, I will not over-woo your honours,

But if you dare trust Pembroke with the prisoner,

Upon mine oath, I will return him back.

ARUN. My lord of Lancaster, what say you in this?

LAN. Why, say, let him go on Pembroke’s word.

PEM. And you, Lord Mortimer?

Y. MOR. How say you, my lord of Warwick?

WAR. Nay, do your pleasures, I know how ’twill prove.

PEM. Then give him me.

GAV. Sweet sovereign, yet I come

To see thee ere I die.

WAR. Yet not perhaps,

If Warwick’s wit and policy prevail. [Aside.]

Y. MOR. My lord of Pembroke, we deliver him you;

Return him on your honour. Sound, away!


[JAMES,] and other Attendants of PEMBROKE.

PEM. [My lord of Arundel,] you shall go with me.

My house is not far hence; out of the way

A little, but our men shall go along.

We that have pretty wenches to our wives,

Sir, must not come so near and baulk their lips.

ARUN. ’Tis very kindly spoke, my lord of Pembroke;

Your honour hath an adamant of power

To draw a prince.

PEM. So, my lord.   Come hither, James:

I do commit this Gaveston to thee,

Be thou this night his keeper; in the morning

We will discharge thee of thy charge. Be gone.

GAV. Unhappy Gaveston, whither goest thou now?

Exit with JAMES and the other Attendants.

Horse-boy. My lord, we’ll quickly be at Cobham.


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