Edward II/Act IV

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Edward II by Christopher Marlowe
Act IV

ACT THE FOURTH[edit]

Act the Fourth, Scene I. Near the Tower of London[edit]

[Enter KENT]

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

Fair blows the wind for France; blow gentle gale,
Till Edmund be arriv’d for England’s good!
Nature, yield to my country’s cause in this.
A brother? No, a butcher of thy friends! 4
Proud Edward, dost thou banish me thy presence?
But I’ll to France, and cheer the wronged queen,
And certify what Edward’s looseness is.
Unnatural king! to slaughter noblemen 8
And cherish flatterers! Mortimer, I stay
Thy sweet escape: stand gracious, gloomy night,
To his device.

[Enter Young MORTIMER, disguised]

YOUNG MORTIMER

Holla! who walketh there? 12
Is’t you, my lord?

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

Mortimer, ’tis I;
But hath thy potion wrought so happily?

YOUNG MORTIMER

It hath, my Lord; the warders all asleep, 16
I thank them, gave me leave to pass in peace.
But hath your grace got shipping unto France?

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

Fear it not.

[Exeunt.]


Act the Fourth, Scene II. Paris[edit]

[Enter QUEEN ISABELLA and PRINCE EDWARD]

QUEEN ISABELLA

Ah, boy! our friends do fail us all in France.
The lords are cruel, and the king unkind;
What shall we do?

PRINCE EDWARD

Madam, return to England, 4
And please my father well, and then a fig
For all my uncle’s friendship here in France.
I warrant you, I’ll win his highness quickly;
’A loves me better than a thousand Spencers. 8

QUEEN ISABELLA

Ah, boy, thou art deceiv’d, at least in this,
To think that we can yet be tun’d together;
No, no, we jar too far. Unkind Valois!
Unhappy Isabel! when France rejects, 12
Whither, oh! whither dost thou bend thy steps?

[Enter SIR JOHN OF HAINAULT]

SIR JOHN OF HAINAULT

Madam, what cheer?

QUEEN ISABELLA

Ah! good Sir John of Hainault,
Never so cheerless, nor so far distrest. 16

SIR JOHN OF HAINAULT

I hear, sweet lady, of the king’s unkindness;
But droop not, madam; noble minds contemn
Despair. Will your grace with me to Hainault,
And there stay time’s advantage with your son? 20
How say you, my lord, will you go with your friends,
And shake off all our fortunes equally?

PRINCE EDWARD

So pleaseth the queen, my mother, me it likes.
The King of England, nor the court of France, 24
Shall have me from my gracious mother’s side,
Till I be strong enough to break a staff;
And then have at the proudest Spencer’s head.

SIR JOHN OF HAINAULT

Well said, my lord. 28

QUEEN ISABELLA

O, my sweet heart, how do I moan thy wrongs,
Yet triumph in the hope of thee, my joy!
Ah, sweet Sir John! even to the utmost verge
Of Europe, or the shore of Tanais, 32
Will we with thee to Hainault—so we will:—
The marquis is a noble gentleman;
His grace, I dare presume, will welcome me.
But who are these? 36

[Enter KENT and Young MORTIMER]

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

Madam, long may you live,
Much happier than your friends in England do!

QUEEN ISABELLA

Lord Edmund and Lord Mortimer alive!
Welcome to France! The news was here, my lord, 40
That you were dead, or very near your death.

YOUNG MORTIMER

Lady, the last was truest of the twain;
But Mortimer, reserv’d for better hap,
Hath shaken off the thraldom of the Tower, 44
And lives t’ advance your standard, good my lord.

PRINCE EDWARD

How mean you? An 1 the king, my father, lives?
No, my Lord Mortimer, not I, I trow.

QUEEN ISABELLA

Not, son! why not? I would it were no worse. 48
But, gentle lords, friendless we are in France.

YOUNG MORTIMER

Monsieur le Grand, a noble friend of yours,
Told us, at our arrival, all the news:
How hard the nobles, how unkind the king 52
Hath show’d himself; but, madam, right makes room
Where weapons want; and, though a many friends
Are made away, as Warwick, Lancaster,
And others of our party and faction; 56
Yet have we friends, assure your grace, in England
Would cast up caps, and clap their hands for joy,
To see us there, appointed for our foes.

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

Would all were well, and Edward well reclaim’d, 60
For England’s honour, peace, and quietness.

YOUNG MORTIMER

But by the sword, my lord, ’t must be deserv’d; 3
The king will ne’er forsake his flatterers.

SIR JOHN OF HAINAULT

My lord of England, sith th’ ungentle king 64
Of France refuseth to give aid of arms
To this distressed queen his sister here,
Go you with her to Hainault. Doubt ye not,
We will find comfort, money, men, and friends 68
Ere long, to bid the English king a base. 4
How say, young prince? What think you of the match?

PRINCE EDWARD

I think King Edward will outrun us all.

QUEEN ISABELLA

Nay, son, not so; and you must not discourage 72
Your friends, that are so forward in your aid.

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

Sir John of Hainault, pardon us, I pray;
These comforts that you give our woful queen
Bind us in kindness all at your command. 76

QUEEN ISABELLA

Yea, gentle brother; and the God of heaven
Prosper your happy motion, good Sir John.

YOUNG MORTIMER

This noble gentleman, forward in arms,
Was born, I see, to be our anchor-hold. 80
Sir John of Hainault, be it thy renown,
That England’s queen and nobles in distress,
Have been by thee restor’d and comforted.

SIR JOHN OF HAINAULT

Madam, along, and you my lords, with me, 84
That England’s peers may Hainault’s welcome see.

[Exeunt.]


Act the Fourth, Scene III[edit]

[Enter KING EDWARD, ARUNDEL, the Elder and Younger SPENCER, and others]

KING EDWARD

Thus after many threats of wrathful war,
Triumpheth England’s Edward with his friends;
And triumph, Edward, with his friends uncontroll’d!
My lord of Gloucester, do you hear the news? 4

YOUNG SPENCER

What news, my lord?

KING EDWARD

Why, man, they say there is great execution
Done through the realm; my lord of Arundel,
You have the note, have you not? 8

EARL OF ARUNDEL

From the Lieutenant of the Tower, my lord.

KING EDWARD

I pray let us see it.

[Takes the note.]

What have we there?
Read it, Spencer.

[Hands the note to Young SPENCER, who reads the names.]

Why, so; they bark’d apace a month ago: 12
Now, on my life, they’ll neither bark nor bite.
Now, sirs, the news from France? Gloucester, I trow
The lords of France love England’s gold so well
As Isabella gets no aid from thence. 16
What now remains? Have you proclaim’d, my lord,
Reward for them can bring in Mortimer?

YOUNG SPENCER

My lord, we have; and if he be in England,
’A will be had ere long, I doubt it not. 20

KING EDWARD

If, dost thou say? Spencer, as true as death,
He is in England’s ground; our portmasters
Are not so careless of their king’s command.

[Enter a Messenger]

How now, what news with thee? From whence come these? 24

MESSENGER

Letters, my lord, and tidings forth of France;—
To you, my lord of Gloucester, from Levune.

[Gives letters to Young SPENCER.]

KING EDWARD

Read.

YOUNG SPENCER(reads).

“My duty to your honour premised, &c., I have, according to instructions :in that behalf, dealt with the King of France his lords, and effected that the queen, all discontented and discomforted, is gone: whither, if your ask, with Sir John of Hainault, brother to the marquis, into Flanders. With them are gone Lord Edmund, and the Lord Mortimer, having in their company divers of your nation, and others; and, as constant report goeth, they intend to give King Edward battle in England, sooner than he can look for them. This is all the news of import.

Your honour’s in all service, LEVUNE.” 28

KING EDWARD

Ah, villains! hath that Mortimer escap’d
With him is Edmund gone associate?
And will Sir John of Hainault lead the round?
Welcome, a God’s name, madam, and your son; 32
England shall welcome you and all your rout.
Gallop apace, bright Phœbus, through the sky,
And dusky night, in rusty iron car,
Between you both shorten the time, I pray, 36
That I may see that most desired day
When we may meet these traitors in the field.
Ah, nothing grieves me, but my little boy
Is thus misled to countenance their ills. 40
Come, friends, to Bristow, 1 there to make us strong;
And, winds, as equal be to bring them in,
As you injurious were to bear them forth!

[Exeunt.]


Act the Fourth, Scene IV. Near Harwich[edit]

[Enter QUEEN ISABELLA, PRINCE EDWARD, KENT, Young MORTIMER, and SIR JOHN OF HAINAULT]

QUEEN ISABELLA

Now, lords, our loving friends and countrymen,
Welcome to England all, with prosperous winds!
Our kindest friends in Belgia have we left,
To cope with friends at home; a heavy case 4
When force to force is knit, and sword and glaive
In civil broils make kin and countrymen
Slaughter themselves in others, and their sides
With their own weapons gore! But what’s the help? 8
Misgoverned kings are cause of all this wrack;
And, Edward, thou art one among them all,
Whose looseness hath betray’d thy land to spoil,
Who made the channels overflow with blood. 12
Of thine own people patron shouldst thou be,
But thou——

YOUNG MORTIMER

Nay, madam, if you be a warrior,
You must not grow so passionate in speeches. 16
Lords,
Sith that we are by sufferance of Heaven
Arriv’d, and armed in this prince’s right,
Here for our country’s cause swear we to him 20
All homage, fealty, and forwardness;
And for the open wrongs and injuries
Edward hath done to us; his queen and land,
We come in arms to wreak it with the sword; 24
That England’s queen in peace may repossess
Her dignities and honours; and withal
We may remove these flatterers from the king,
That havoc England’s wealth and treasury. 28

SIR JOHN OF HAINAULT

Sound trumpets, my lord, and forward let us march.
Edward will think we come to flatter him.

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

I would he never had been flattered more!

[Exeunt.]


Act the Fourth, Scene V. Near Bristol[edit]

[Enter KING EDWARD, BALDOCK, and Young SPENCER, flying about the stage]

YOUNG SPENCER

Fly, fly, my lord! the queen is over-strong;
Her friends do multiply, and yours do fail.
Shape we our course to Ireland, there to breathe.

KING EDWARD

What! was I born to fly and run away, 4
And leave the Mortimers conquerors behind?
Give me my horse, and let’s reinforce our troops:
And in this bed of honour die with fame.

BALDOCK

O no, my lord, this princely resolution 8
Fits not the time; away! we are pursued.

[Exeunt.]

[Enter KENT, with sword and target]

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

This way he fled, but I am come too late
Edward, alas! my heart relents for thee.
Proud traitor, Mortimer, why dost thou chase 12
Thy lawful king, thy sovereign, with thy sword?
Vile wretch! and why hast thou, of all unkind,
Borne arms against thy brother and thy king?
Rain showers of vengeance on my cursed head, 16
Thou God, to whom in justice it belongs
To punish this unnatural revolt!
Edward, this Mortimer aims at thy life!
O fly him, then! But, Edmund, calm this rage, 20
Dissemble, or thou diest; for Mortimer
And Isabel do kiss, while they conspire;
And yet she bears a face of love forsooth.
Fie on that love that hatcheth death and hate! 24
Edmund, away! Bristow to Longshanks’ blood
Is false. Be not found single for suspect:
Proud Mortimer pries near unto thy walks.

[Enter QUEEN ISABELLA, PRINCE EDWARD, Young MORTIMER, and SIR JOHN OF HAINAULT]

QUEEN ISABELLA

Successful battle gives the God of kings 28
To them that fight in right and fear his wrath.
Since then successfully we have prevailed,
Thanked be Heaven’s great architect, and you.
Ere farther we proceed, my noble lords, 32
We here create our well-beloved son,
Of love and care unto his royal person,
Lord Warden of the realm, and sith the fates
Have made his father so infortunate, 36
Deal you, my lords, in this, my loving lords,
As to your wisdoms fittest seems in all.

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

Madam, without offence, if I may ask,
How will you deal with Edward in his fall? 40

PRINCE EDWARD

Tell me, good uncle, what Edward do you mean?

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

Nephew, your father; I dare not call him king.

YOUNG MORTIMER

My lord of Kent, what needs these questions?
’Tis not in her controlment, nor in ours, 44
But as the realm and parliament shall please,
So shall your brother be disposed of.—
I like not this relenting mood in Edmund.
Madam, ’tis good to look to him betimes. [Aside to the QUEEN.] 48

QUEEN ISABELLA

My lord, the Mayor of Bristow knows our mind.

YOUNG MORTIMER

Yea, madam, and they scape not easily
That fled the field.

QUEEN ISABELLA

Baldock is with the king. 52
A goodly chancellor, is he not, my lord?

SIR JOHN OF HAINAULT

So are Spencers, the father and the son.

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

This Edward is the ruin of the realm.

[Enter RICE AP HOWELL and the Mayor of Bristow, with the Elder SPENCER (Prisoner, and Attendants)]

RICE AP HOWELL

God save Queen Isabel, and her princely son! 56
Madam, the mayor and citizens of Bristow,
In sign of love and duty to this presence,
Present by me this traitor to the state,
Spencer, the father to that wanton Spencer, 60
That, like the lawless Catiline of Rome,
Revelled in England’s wealth and treasury.

QUEEN ISABELLA

We thank you all.

YOUNG MORTIMER

Your loving care in this 64
Deserveth princely favours and rewards.
But where’s the king and the other Spencer fled?

RICE AP HOWELL

Spencer the son, created Earl of Gloucester,
Is with that smooth-tongu’d scholar Baldock gone 68
And shipped but late for Ireland with the king.

YOUNG MORTIMER

Some whirlwind fetch them back or sink them all!— [Aside.]
They shall be started thence, I doubt it not.

PRINCE EDWARD

Shall I not see the king my father yet? 72

EDMUND, EARL of KENT

Unhappy’s Edward, chas’d from England’s bounds. [Aside.]

SIR JOHN OF HAINAULT

Madam, what resteth, why stand you in a muse?

QUEEN ISABELLA

I rue my lord’s ill-fortune; but alas!
Care of my country call’d me to this war. 76

YOUNG MORTIMER

Madam, have done with care and sad complaint;
Your king hath wrong’d your country and himself,
And we must seek to right it as we may.
Meanwhile, have hence this rebel to the block. 80
Your lordship cannot privilege your head.

ELDER SPENCER

Rebel is he that fights against his prince;
So fought not they that fought in Edward’s right.

YOUNG MORTIMER

Take him away, he prates; 84

[Exeunt Attendants with the Elder SPENCER.)

You, Rice ap Howell,
Shall do good service to her majesty,
Being of countenance in your country here,
To follow these rebellious runagates. 88
We in meanwhile, madam, must take advice,
How Baldock, Spencer, and their complices,
May in their fall be followed to their end.

[Exeunt.]


Act the Fourth, Scene VI. The scene is in the abbey of Neath[edit]

[Enter the Abbot, Monks, KING EDWARD, Young SPENCER, and BALDOCK (the three latter disguised)]

ABBOT

Have you no doubt, my lord; have you no fear;
As silent and as careful we will be,
To keep your royal person safe with us,
Free from suspect and fell invasion 4
Of such as have your majesty in chase,
Yourself, and those your chosen company,
As danger of this stormy time requires.

KING EDWARD

Father, thy face should harbour no deceit. 8
O! hadst thou ever been a king, thy heart,
Pierced deeply with sense of my distress,
Could not but take compassion of my state.
Stately and proud, in riches and in train, 12
Whilom I was, powerful, and full of pomp:
But what is he whom rule and empery
Have not in life or death made miserable?
Come, Spencer; come, Baldock, come, sit down by me; 16
Make trial now of that philosophy,
That in our famous nurseries of arts
Thou suck’dst from Plato and from Aristotle.
Father, this life contemplative is Heaven. 20
O that I might this life in quiet lead!
But we, alas! are chas’d; and you, my friends,
Your lives and my dishonour they pursue.
Yet, gentle monks, for treasure, gold, nor fee, 24
Do you betray us and our company.

MONK

Your grace may sit secure, if none but we
Do wot of your abode.

YOUNG SPENCER

Not one alive; but shrewdly I suspect 28
A gloomy fellow in a mead below.
’A gave a long look after us, my lord;
And all the land I know is up in arms,
Arms that pursue our lives with deadly hate. 32

BALDOCK

We were embark’d for Ireland, wretched we!
With awkward winds and [with] sore tempests driven
To fall on shore, and here to pine in fear
Of Mortimer and his confederates. 36

KING EDWARD

Mortimer! who talks of Mortimer?
Who wounds me with the name of Mortimer,
That bloody man? Good father, on thy lap
Lay I this head, laden with mickle care. 40
O might I never open these eyes again!
Never again lift up this drooping head!
O never more lift up this dying heart!

YOUNG SPENCER

Look up, my lord.—Baldock, this drowsiness 44
Betides no good; here even we are betray’d.

[Enter, with Welsh hooks, RICE AP HOWELL, a Mower, and LEICESTER]

MOWER

Upon my life, these be the men ye seek.

RICE AP HOWELL

Fellow, enough.—My lord, I pray be short,
A fair commission warrants what we do. 48

LEICESTER

The queen’s commission, urged by Mortimer;
What cannot gallant Mortimer with the queen?
Alas! see where he sits, and hopes unseen
To escape their hands that seek to reave his life. 52
Too true it is, Quem dies vidit veniens superbum,
Hunc dies vidit fugiens jacentem. 1
But, Leicester, leave to grow so passionate.
Spencer and Baldock, by no other names, 56
I do arrest you of high treason here.
Stand not on titles, but obey the arrest;
’Tis in the name of Isabel the queen.
My lord, why droop you thus? 60

KING EDWARD

O day, the last of all my bliss on earth!
Centre of all misfortune! O my stars,
Why do you lour unkindly on a king?
Comes Leicester, then, in Isabella’s name 64
To take my life, my company from me?
Here, man, rip up this panting breast of mine,
And take my heart in rescue of my friends!

RICE AP HOWELL

Away with them! 68

YOUNG SPENCER

It may become thee yet
To let us take our farewell of his grace.

ABBOT

My heart with pity earns to see this sight,—
A king to bear these words and proud commands. [Aside.] 72

KING EDWARD

Spencer, ah, sweet Spencer, thus then must we part?

YOUNG SPENCER

We must, my lord, so will the angry Heavens.

KING EDWARD

Nay, so will hell and cruel Mortimer;
The gentle Heavens have not to do in this. 76

BALDOCK

My lord, it is in vain to grieve or storm.
Here humbly of your grace we take our leaves;
Our lots are cast; I fear me, so is thine.

KING EDWARD

In Heaven we may, in earth ne’er shall we meet: 80
And, Leicester, say, what shall become of us?

LEICESTER

Your majesty must go to Killingworth. 3

KING EDWARD

Must! it is somewhat hard, when kings must go.

LEICESTER

Here is a litter ready for your grace, 84
That waits your pleasure, and the day grows old.

RICE AP HOWELL

As good be gone, as stay and be benighted.

KING EDWARD

A litter hast thou? Lay me in a hearse,
And to the gates of hell convey me hence; 88
Let Pluto’s bells ring out my fatal knell,
And hags howl for my death at Charon’s shore,
For friends hath Edward none but these,
And these must die under a tyrant’s sword. 92

RICE AP HOWELL

My lord, be going; care not for these,
For we shall see them shorter by the heads.

KING EDWARD

Well, that shall be, shall be: part we must!
Sweet Spencer, gentle Baldock, part we must! 96
Hence feigned weeds! unfeigned are my woes; [Throws off his disguise.]
Father, farewell! Leicester, thou stay’st for me,
And go I must. Life, farewell, with my friends.

[Exeunt KING EDWARD and LEICESTER.]

YOUNG SPENCER

O! is he gone? Is noble Edward gone? 100
Parted from hence, never to see us more?
Rend, sphere of Heaven! and, fire, forsake thy orb!
Earth, melt to air! gone is my sovereign,
Gone, gone, alas! never to make return. 104

BALDOCK

Spencer, I see our souls are fleeted hence;
We are depriv’d the sunshine of our life:
Make for a new life, man; throw up thy eyes,
And heart, and hands to Heaven’s immortal throne; 108
Pay nature’s debt with cheerful countenance;
Reduce we all our lessons unto this:
To die, sweet Spencer, therefore live we all;
Spencer, all live to die, and rise to fall. 112

RICE AP HOWELL

Come, come, keep these preachments till you come to the place appointed. You, and such as you are, have made wise work in England. Will your lordships away?

Mow. Your lordship, I trust, will remember me? RICE AP HOWELL

Remember thee, fellow! what else? Follow me to the town.

[Exeunt.]