Front Page Titles (by Subject) ACT THE FIFTH. - The Works of Christopher Marlowe, vol. 2
ACT THE FIFTH. - Christopher Marlowe, The Works of Christopher Marlowe, vol. 2 
The Works of Christopher Marlowe, ed. A.H. Bullen (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885). Vol. 2.
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ACT THE FIFTH.
Enter the King,Leicester, the BishopofWinchester, and Trussel.
- Be patient, good my lord, cease to lament,
- Imagine Killingworth Castle were your court,
- And that you lay for pleasure here a space,
- Not of compulsion or necessity.
- Leicester, if gentle words might comfort me,
- Thy speeches long ago had eased my sorrows;
- For kind and loving hast thou always been.
- The griefs of private men are soon allayed,
- But not of kings. The forest deer, being struck,
- Runs to an herb that closeth up the wounds;
- But, when the imperial lion's flesh is gored,
- He rends and tears it with his wrathful paw,
- [And] highly scorning that the lowly earth
- Should drink his blood, mounts up to the air.
- And so it fares with me, whose dauntless mind
- The ambitious Mortimer would seek to curb,
- And that unnatural queen, false Isabel,
- That thus hath pent and mewed me in a prison;
- For such outrageous passions cloy my soul,
- As with the wings of rancour and disdain,
- Full oft[en] am I soaring up to heaven,
- To plain me to the gods against them both.
- But when I call to mind I am a king,
- Methinks I should revenge me of my wrongs,
- That Mortimer and Isabel have done.
- But what are kings, when regiment is gone,
- But perfect shadows in a sunshine day?
- My nobles rule, I bear the name of king;
- I wear the crown, but am controlled by them,
- By Mortimer, and my unconstant queen,
- Who spots my nuptial bed with infamy;
- Whilst I am lodged within this cave of care,
- Where sorrow at my elbow still attends,
- To company my heart with sad laments,
- That bleeds within me for this strange exchange.
- But tell me, must I now resign my crown,
- To make usurping Mortimer a king?
- Your grace mistakes; it is for England's good,
- And princely Edward's right we crave the crown.
- No, 'tis for Mortimer, not Edward's head;
- For he's a lamb, encompassèd by wolves,
- Which in a moment will abridge his life.
- But if proud Mortimer do wear this crown,
- Heavens turn it to a blaze of quenchless fire!
- Or like the snaky wreath of Tisiphon,
- Engirt the temples of his hateful head;
- So shall not England's vine “vines.” be perishèd,
- But Edward's name survives, though Edward dies.
- My lord, why waste you thus the time away?
- They stay your answer; will you yield your crown?
- Ah, Leicester, weigh how hardly I can brook
- To lose my crown and kingdom without cause;
- To give ambitious Mortimer my right,
- That like a mountain overwhelms my bliss,
- In which extreme my mind here murdered is.
- But what the heavens appoint, I must obey!
- Here, take my crown; the life of Edward too;
- [Taking off the crown.
- Two kings in England cannot reign at once.
- But stay awhile, let me be king till night,
- That I may gaze upon this glittering crown;
- So shall my eyes receive their last content,
- My head, the latest honour due to it,
- And jointly both yield up their wishèd right.
- Continue ever thou celestial sun;
- Let never silent night possess this clime:
- Stand still you watches of the element;
- All times and seasons, rest you at a stay,
- That Edward may be still fair England's king!
- But day's bright beam doth vanish fast away,
- And needs I must resign my wishèd crown.
- Inhuman creatures! nursed with tiger's milk!
- Why gape you for your sovereign's overthrow!
- My diadem I mean, and guiltless life.
- See, monsters, see, I'll wear my crown again!
- [He puts on the crown.
- What, fear you not the fury of your king?
- But, hapless Edward, thou art fondly led;
- They pass not for thy frowns as late they did,
- But seek to make a new-elected king;
- Which fills my mind with strange despairing thoughts,
- Which thoughts are martyrèd with endless torments,
- And in this torment comfort find I none,
- But that I feel the crown upon my head;
- And therefore let me wear it yet awhile.
- My lord, the parliament must have present news,
- And therefore say, will you resign or no?
- I'll not resign, but whilst I live [be king].
- Traitors, be gone! and join you with Mortimer!
- Elect, conspire, install, do what you will:—
- Their blood and yours shall seal these treacheries!
- This answer we'll return, and so farewell.
- Call them again, my lord, and speak them fair:
- For if they go, the prince shall lose his right.
- Call thou them back, I have no power to speak.
- My lord, the king is willing to resign.
- If he be not, let him choose.
- O would I might! but heavens and earth conspire
- To make me miserable! Here receive my crown;
- Receive it? no, these innocent hands of mine
- Shall not be guilty of so foul a crime.
- He of you all that most desires my blood,
- And will be called the murderer of a king,
- Take it. What, are you moved? pity you me?
- Then send for unrelenting Mortimer,
- And Isabel, whose eyes, being turned to steel,
- Will sooner sparkle fire than shed a tear.
- Yet stay, for rather than I'll look on them,
- Here, here!
- [He gives them the crown
- Now, sweet God of heaven,
- Make me despise this transitory pomp,
- And sit for aye enthronizèd in heaven!
- Come, death, and with thy fingers close my eyes.
- Or if I live, let me forget myself.
- Call me not lord; away—out of my sight:
- Ah. pardon me: grief makes me lunauc!
- Let not that Mortimer protect my son;
- More safety there is in a tiger's jaws,
- Than his embracements—bear this to the queen,
- Wet with my tears, and dried again with sighs;
- [Gives a handkerchief.
- If with the sight thereof she be not moved,
- Return it back and dip it in my blood.
- Commend me to my son, and bid him rule
- Better than I. Yet how have I trangressed,
- Unless it be with too much clemency?
- And thus most humbly do we take our leave
- Farewell; I know the next news that they bring
- Will be my death; and welcome shall it be;
- To wretched men, death is felicity.
- EnterBerkeley, who gives a paper toLeicester.
- Another post! what news brings he?
- Such news as I expect—come, Berkeley, come,
- And tell thy message to my naked breast.
- My lord, think not a thought so villainous
- Can harbour in a man of noble birth.
- To do your highness service and devoir,
- And save you from your foes, Berkeley would die.
- My lord, the council of the queen commands
- That I resign my charge.
- And who must keep me now? Must you, my lord?
- Ay, my most gracious lord—so 'tis decreed.
- [taking the paper.] By Mortimer, whose name is written here!
- Well may I rent his name that rends my heart!
- [Tears it.
- This poor revenge has something eased my mind.
- So may his limbs be torn, as is this paper!
- Hear me, immortal Jove, and grant it too!
- Your grace must hence with me to Berkeley straight.
- Whither you will, all places are alike,
- And every earth is fit for bunal.
- Favour him, my lord, as much as lieth in you.
- Even so betide my soul as I use him.
- Mine enemy hath pitied my estate,
- And that's the cause that I am now removed.
- And thinks your grace that Berkeley will be cruel?
- I know not; but of this am I assured,
- That death ends all, and I can die but once.
- Leicester, farewell!
- Not yet, my lord; I'll bear you on your way.
- [Exeunt omnes.
- Fair Isabel, now have we our desire;
- The proud corrupters of the light-brained king
- Have done their homage to the lofty gallows,
- And he himself lies in captivity.
- Be ruled by me, and we will rule the realm.
- In any case take heed of childish fear,
- For now we hold an old wolf by the ears,
- That, if he slip, will seize upon us both,
- And gripe the sorer, being grip'd himself.
- Think therefore, madam, that [it] imports us much
- To erect your son with all the speed we may,
- And that I be protector over him;
- For our behoof, 'twill bear the greater sway
- Whenas a king's name shall be under writ.
- Sweet Mortimer, the life of Isabel,
- Be thou persuaded that I love thee well,
- And therefore, so the prince my son be safe,
- Whom I esteem as dear as these mine eyes,
- Conclude against his father what thou wilt,
- And I myself will willingly subscribe.
- First would I hear news he were deposed,
- And then let me alone to handle him.
- Enter Messenger.
- Letters! from whence?
- From Killingworth, my lord.
- How fares my lord the king?
- In health, madam, but full of pensiveness.
- Alas, poor soul, would I could ease his grief!
- EnterWinchesterwith the Crown.
- Thanks, gentle Winchester. [To the Messenger.] Sirrah, be gone.
- [Exit Messenger.
- The king hath willingly resigned his crown.
- O happy news! send for the prince, my son.
- Further, or this letter was sealed, Lord Berkeley came,
- So that he now is gone from Killingworth;
- And we have heard that Edmund laid a plot
- To set his brother free; no more but so.
- The Lord of Berkeley is so [as?] pitiful
- Then let some other be his guardian.
- Let me alone, here is the privy seal.
- Who's there?—call hither Gurney and Matrevis.
- To dash the heavy-headed Edmund's drift,
- Berkeley shall be discharged, the king removed,
- And none but we shall know where he lieth.
- But, Mortimer, as long as he survives,
- What safety rests for us, or for my son?
- Speak, shall he presently be despatched and die?
- I would he were, so 'twere not by my means.
- Matrevis, write a letter presently
- Unto the Lord of Berkeley from ourself
- That he resign the king to thee and Gurney;
- And when 'tis done, we will subscribe our name.
- It shall be done, my lord.
- As thou intend'st to rise by Mortimer,
- Who now makes Fortune's wheel turn as he please,
- Seek all the means thou canst to make him droop,
- And neither give him kind word nor good look.
- And this above the rest: because we hear
- That Edmund casts to work his liberty,
- Remove him still from place to place by night,
- Till at the last he come to Killingworth,
- And then from thence to Berkeley back again;
- And by the way, to make him fret the more,
- Speak curstly to him; and in any case
- Let no man comfort him if he chance to weep,
- But amplify his grief with bitter words.
- Fear not, my lord, we'll do as you command.
- So now away; post thitherwards amain.
- Whither goes this letter? to my lord the king?
- Commend me humbly to his majesty,
- And tell him that I labour all in vain
- To ease his grief, and work his liberty;
- And bear him this as witness of my love. [Gives a ring.
- I will, madam.
- [ExeuntMatrevisandGurney; manentIsabelandMortimer.
- Enter the Young Prince, and theEarlofKenttalking with him.
- Finely dissembled? Do so still, sweet queen
- Here comes the young prince with the Earl of Kent.
- Something he whispers in his childish ears.
- If he have such access unto the prince,
- Our plots and stratagems will soon be dashed.
- Use Edmund friendly as if all were well.
- How fares my honourable lord of Kent?
- In health, sweet Mortimer: how fares your grace?
- Well, if my lord your brother were enlarged.
- I hear of late he hath deposed himself.
- Ah, they do dissemble!
- Sweet son, come hither, I must talk with thee.
- You being his uncle, and the next of blood,
- Do look to be protector o'er the prince.
- Not I, my lord; who should protect the son.
- But she that gave him life? I mean the queen.
- Mother, persuade me not to wear the crown
- Let him be king—I am too young to reign.
- But be content, seeing 'tis his highness' pleasure.
- Let me but see him first, and then I will.
- Brother, you know it is impossible.
- I would those words proceeded from your heart.
- Inconstant Edmund, dost thou favour him,
- That wast a cause of his imprisonment?
- The more cause have I now to make amends
- I tell thee, 'tis not meet that one so false
- Should come about the person of a prince.
- My lord, he hath betrayed the king his brother,
- And therefore trust him not.
- But he repents, and sorrows for it now.
- Come, son, and go with this gentle lord and me
- With you I will, but not with Mortimer.
- Why, youngling, 'sdain'st thou so of Mortimer?
- Then I will carry thee by force away.
- Help, uncle Kent, Mortimer will wrong me.
- Brother Edmund, strive not; we are his friends;
- Isabel is nearer than the Earl of Kent.
- Sister, Edward is my charge, redeem him.
- Edward is my son, and I will keep him.
- Mortimer shall know that he hath wrongèd me!—
- Hence will I haste to Killingworth Castle,
- And rescue aged Edward from his foes,
- To be revenged on Mortimer and thee.
- [Aside. Exeunt omnes
EnterMatrevis and Gurneywith theKing.
- My lord, be not pensive, we are your friends;
- Men are ordained to live in misery,
- Therefore come,—dalliance dangereth our lives.
- Friends, whither must unhappy Edward go?
- Will hateful Mortimer appoint no rest?
- Must I be vexèd like the nightly bird,
- Whose sight is loathsome to all wingèd fowls?
- When will the fury of his mind assuage?
- When will his heart be satisfied with blood?
- If mine will serve, unbowel straight this breast,
- And give my heart to Isabel and him;
- Not so, my liege, the queen hath given this charge
- To keep your grace in safety;
- Your passions make your dolours to increase.
- This usage makes my misery to increase.
- But can my air of life continue long
- When all my senses are annoyed with stench?
- Within a dungeon England's king is kept,
- Where I am starved for want of sustenance.
- My daily diet is heart-breaking sobs,
- That almost rent the closet of my heart;
- Thus lives old Edward not relieved by any,
- And so must die, though pitièd by many.
- O, water, gentle friends, to cool my thirst,
- And clear my body from foul excrements!
- Here's channel water, as your charge is given;
- Sit down, for we'll be barbers to your grace.
- Traitors, away! what, will you murder me,
- Or choke your sovereign with puddle water?
- But wash your face, and shave away your beard,
- Lest you be known and so be rescuèd.
- Why strive you thus? your labour is in vain?
- 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 beard away.
- Immortal powers! that knows the painful cares
- That waits upon my poor distressèd soul!
- O level all your looks upon these daring men,
- That wrongs their liege and sovereign, England's king.
- O Gaveston, 'tis for thee that I am wronged,
- 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.
- 'Twixt theirs and yours shall be no enmity.
- Come, come away; now put the torches out,
- We'll enter in by darkness to Killingworth.
- Gur, How now, who comes there?
- Guard the king sure; it is the Earl of Kent
- Enter Soldiers.
- O gentle brother, help to rescue me!
- Keep them asunder; thrust in the king.
- Soldiers, let me but talk to him one word.
- Lay hands upon the earl for his assault.
- Lay down your weapons, traitors, yield the king.
- Edmund, yield thou thyself, or thou shalt die.
- Base villains, wherefore do you gripe me thus!
- Bind him and so convey him to the court.
- Where is the court but here? here is the king;
- And I will visit him; why stay you me?
- The court is where Lord Mortimer remains;
- Thither shall your honour go; and so farewell.
- [ExeuntMatrevis and Gurney, with the King. Kent and the Soldiers remain.
- O miserable is that commonweal,
- Where lords keeps courts, and kings are locked in prison
- Wherefore stay we? on, sirs, to the court.
- Ay, lead me whither you will, even to my death,
- Seeing that my brother cannot be released
- The king must die, or Mortimer goes down
- 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 timers bonum est
- Fear not to kill the king His good he dte
- 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 caused it to be done.
- Within this room is locked the messenger,
- That shall convey it, and perform the rest;
- And by a secret token that he bears,
- Shall he be murdered when the deed is done.—
- Lightborn, come forth!
- Art-thou so resolute as thou wast?
- What else, my lord? and far more resolute.
- And hast thou cast how to accomplish it?
- Ay, ay, and none shall know which way he died
- But at his looks, Lightborn, thou wilt relent.
- Relent! ha, ha! I use much to relent,
- Well, do it bravely, and be secret.
- You shall not need to give instructions:
- Tis not the first time I have killed a man.
- Iliearned in Naples how to poison flowers;
- To strangle with a lawn thrust through the throat.
- To pierce the windpipe with the needle's point,
- Or whilst one is asleep, to take a quill
- And blow a little powder his ears:
- Or open his mouth and pour quicksilver down.
- And yet I have a braver way than these,
- Nay, you shall pardon me, none shall know my tricks.
- I care not how it is, so it be not spied.
- Deliver this to Gurney and Matrevis.
- At every ten mile end thou hast a horse.
- Take this, away, and never see me more.
- Unless thou bring me news of Edward's death.
- Light That will I quickly do; farewell, my lord.
- The prince I rule, the queen do I command,
- And with a lowly conge to the ground,
- The proudest lords salute me as I pass:
- I seal, I cancel, I do what I will;
- Feared am I more than loved-let me be feared;
- 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 that 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 provinaam 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 rules us.
- Mine enemies will I plague, my friends advance;
- And what I list command who dare control?
- Major sum quam cui possit fortuna nocerc
- And that this be the coronation-day,
- It pleaseth me, and Isabel the queen.
- [Trumpets within.
- The trumpets sound, I must go take my place.
- Enter the YoungKing, Archbishop, Champion, Nobles, Queen.
- Long live King Edward, by the grace of God,
- King of England, and Lord of Ireland'
- If any Christian, Heathen, Turk, or Jew,
- Dare but affirm that Edward's not true king,
- And will avouch his saying with the sword,
- I am the champion that will combat with him.
- None comes, sound trumpets.
- Champion, here's to thee.
- [Gives a purse.
- Lord Mortimer, now take him to your charge.
- Enter Soldiers, with theEarl of Kent prisoner.
- What traitor have we there with blades and bills?
- A would have taken the king away perforce.
- As we were bringing him to Killingworth.
- Did you attempt his rescue, Edmund? speak
- Mortimer, I did; he is our king,
- And thou compell'st this prince to wear the crown.
- Strike off his head, he shall have martial law.
- Strike off my head! base traitor, I defy thee.
- King. My lord, he is my uncle, and shall live.
- My lord, he is your enemy, and shall die.
- Sweet mother, if I cannot pardon him,
- Entreat my Lord Protector for his life.
- Queen, Son, be content; I dare not speak a word.
- Nor I, and yet methinks I should command,
- But, seeing I cannot, I'll entreat for him,—
- My lord, if you will let my uncle live,
- I will requite it when I come to age.
- 'Tis for your highness' good, and for the realm's—
- How often shall I bid you bear him hence?
- Kent Art thou king? must I die at thy command?
- At our command! once more away with him.
- Let me but stay and speak; I will not go.
- Either my brother or his son is king.
- And none of both them thirst for Edmund's blood.
- And therefore, soldiers, whither will you hale me?
- [They hale Kent away, and carry him to be beheaaed.
- What safety may I look for at his hands,
- If that my uncle shall be murdered thus?
- Fear not, sweet boy, I'll guard thee from thy foes;
- Had Edmund lived, he would have sought thy death.
- Come, son, we'll ride a hunting in the park.
- And shall my uncle Edmund ride with us?
- He is a traitor; think not on him; come.
- [Exeunt omnes.
- 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.
- And so do I, Matrevis: yesternight
- I opened but the door to throw him meat,
- He hath a body able to endure
- More than we can inflict: and therefore now
- Let us assail his mind another while.
- Send for him out thence, and I will anger him.
- But stay, who's this?
- My Lord Protector greets you.
- What's here? I know not how to construe it.
- Gurney, it was left unpointed for the nonce;
- Edwardum occidere nolite timere,
- That's his meaning.
- Know ye this token? I must have the king.
- Ay, stay awhile, thou shalt have answer straight.
- This villain's sent to make away the king.
- I thought as much.
- 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.
- 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.
- Need you anything besides?
- What else? A table and a feather-bed.
- Ay, ay; so, when I call you, bring
- It in.
- Here's a light,
- To go into the dungeon.
- [Gives light, and exit withMatrevis.
- So now
- Must I about this gear; ne'er was there any
- So finely handled as this king shall be.
- Foh, here's a place indeed, with all my heart!
- Who's there? what light is that? wherefore com'st thou?
- To comfort you, and bring you joyful news.
- Small comfort finds poor Edward in thy looks.
- Villain, I know thou com'st to murder me.
- 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 used,
- For she relents at this your misery:
- And what eyes can refrain from shedding tears,
- To see a king in this most piteous state?
- 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.
- And there in mire and puddle have I stood
- This ten days' 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 distempered, and my body's numbed,
- And whether I have limbs or no I know not.
- O, would my blood dropped out from every vein,
- As doth this water from my tattered robes.
- Tell Isabel, the queen, I looked not thus,
- When for her sake I ran at tilt in France,
- And there unhorsed the Duke of Cleremont.
- O speak no more, my lord! this breaks my heart.
- Lie on this bed, and rest yourself awhile.
- These looks of thine can harbour nought but death:
- I see my tragedy written in thy brows.
- Yet stay; awhile forbear thy bloody hand,
- And let me see the stroke before it comes,
- That even then when I shall lose my life,
- My mind may be more steadfast on my God.
- What means your highness to mistrust me thus?
- What mean'st thou to dissemble with me thus?
- These hands were never stained with innocent blood,
- Nor shall they now be tainted with a king's.
- Forgive my thought for having such a thought.
- One jewel have I left; receive thou this. [Giving jewel
- Still fear I, and I know not what's the cause,
- But every joint shakes as I give it thee.
- O, if thou harbour'st murder in thy heart,
- Let this gift change thy mind, and save thy soul!
- Know that I am a king: O! at that name
- I feel a hell of grief; where is my crown?
- Gone, gone; and do I remain alive?
- You're overwatched, my lord; lie down and rest.
- But that grief keeps me waking, I should sleep;
- For not these ten days have these eyes' lids closed.
- Now as I speak they fall, and yet with fear
- Open again. O wherefore sitt'st thou here?
- If you mistrust me, I'll begone, my lord.
- No, no, for if thou mean'st to murder me,
- Thou wilt return again, and therefore stay.
- [awakes]. O let me not die yet; stay, O stay a while!
- Something still buzzeth in mine ears,
- And tells me if I sleep I never wake;
- This fear is that which makes me tremble thus.
- To rid thee of thy life.—Matrevis, come!
- I am too weak and feeble to resist:
- Assist me, sweet God, and receive my soul.
- O spare me, or despatch me in a trice.
- So, lay the table down, and stamp on it,
- But not too hard, lest that you bruise his body.
- [King Edwardis murdered.
- I fear me that this cry will raise the town,
- And therefore, let us take horse and away.
- Tell me, sirs, was it not bravely done?
- 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.
- Is't done, Matrevis, and the murderer dead?
- Ay, my good lord; I would it were undone.
- Matrevis, if thou now growest penitent
- I'll be thy ghostly father; therefore choose,
- Whether thou wilt be secret in this,
- Or else die by the hand of Mortimer.
- Gurney, my lord, is fled, and will, I fear,
- Betray us both, therefore let me fly.
- I humbly thank your honour.
- As for myself, I stand as Jove's huge tree;
- And others are but shrubs compared to me.
- All tremble at my name, and I fear none;
- Let's see who dare impeach me for his death.
- Enter theQueen.
- Ah, Mortimer, the king my son hath news
- His father's dead, and we have murdered him.
- What if he have? the king is yet a child.
- Queen. Ay, 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 peers.
- Ay me! see where he comes, and they with him;
- Now, Mortimer, begins our tragedy.
- Enter theKing, with the Lords.
- First Lord. Fear not, my lord, know that you are a 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 accursèd head shall he,
- To witness to the world, that by thy means
- His kingly body was too soon interred.
- Forbid me not to weep, he was my father;
- 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.
- First Lord. Why speak you not unto my lord the king?
- Because I think scorn to be accused.
- Who is the man dares say I murdered him?
- Traitor! in me my loving father speaks,
- And plainly saith, 'twas thou that murder'dst him.
- But has your grace no other proof than this?
- Yes, if this be the hand of Mortimer.
- False Gurney hath betrayed me and himself.
- I feared as much; murder cannot be hid.
- It is my hand; what gather you by this?
- That thither thou didst send a murderer.
- What murderer? Bring forth the man I sent.
- Ah, 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.
- For my sake, sweet son, pity Mortimer.
- Madam, entreat not, I will rather die,
- Than sue for life unto a paltry boy.
- Hence with the traitor! with the murderer!
- Base Fortune, now I see, that in thy wheel
- There is a point, to which when men aspire,
- They tumble headlong down: that point I touched,
- 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.
- What! suffer you the traitor to delay?
- [Mortimeris taken away.
- As thou receivedest thy life from me,
- Spill not the blood of gentle Mortimer.
- This argues that you spilt my father's blood,
- Else would you not entreat for Mortimer.
- Ay, madam, you; for so the rumour runs.
- That rumour is untrue; for loving thee,
- Is this report raised on poor Isabel.
- I do not think her so unnatural.
- Second Lord. My lord, I fear me it will prove too true.
- 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.
- Nay, to my death, for too long have I lived,
- Whenas my son thinks to abridge my days.
- Away with her, her words enforce these tears,
- And I shall pity her if she speak again.
- Shall I not mourn for my belovèd lord,
- And with the rest accompany him to his grave?
- Second Lord. Thus, madam, 'tis the king's will you shall hence.
- He hath forgotten me; stay, I am his mother.
- Second2 Lord. That boots not; therefore, gentle madam, go.
- Then come, sweet death, and rid me of this grief.
- Re-enter a Lord, with the head ofMortimer.
- My lord, here is the head of Mortimer.
- Go fetch my father's hearse, where it shall he
- And bring my funeral robes. Accursèd head,
- Could I have ruled thee then, as I do now,
- Thou had'st not hatched this monstrous treachery.
- Here comes the hearse; help me to mourn, my lords.
- Sweet father, here unto thy murdered ghost
- I offer up this wicked traitor's head;
- And let these tears, distilling from mine eyes,
- Be witness of my grief and innocency.
THE MASSACRE AT PARIS.
OfThe Massacre at Paris there is only one early edition, an un-dated 8vo. (printed circ. 1596?) The title is:—
The Massacre at Paris With the death of the Duke of Guise. As it was plaide by the right honourable the Lord high Admirall his Servants. Written by Christopher Marlowe. At London Printed by E. A. for Edward White, dwelling neere the little North doore of S. Paules Church at the signe of the Gun.
- CharlestheNinth, King of France.
- DukeofAnjou, his Brother, afterwardsKingHenrytheThird.
- PrinceofCondè, his Cousin.
- CardinalofLorraine, Brothers.
- DukeDumaine, Brothers.
- Son to the DukeofGuise, a Boy.
- Loreine, a Preacher.
- English Agent.
- Captain of the Guard, Protestants, Schoolmasters, Soldiers Murderers, Attendants, &c.
- Catherine, the Queen-Mother of France.
- Margaret, her Daughter, wife to thekingofNavarre
- Wife to Seroune.
- Maid to the DuchessofGuise.
THE MASSACRE AT PARIS.
- “Hic Venus, indigno nati concussa dolore,
- Dictamnum genitrix Cretaea carpit ab Ida,
- Puberibus caulem folus et flore comantem
- Purpureo: non illa feris incognita capris
- Gramina cum tergo volucres hausere sagittœ.”
- Elizabethan poets are fond of alluding to the virtues of this herb. Cf. (one of many instances) Peele's Arraignment of Paris, iii. I.—
- “And whither wends yon thriveless swain? like to the stricken deer,
- Seeks he dictamnum for his wound within our forest here?”
- “And where he lieth none but we shall know.”
- A critic in the Athenœum (No. 2977) suggests—
- “And none but we shall know where Edward lies.”
- Let me not die yet; stay, oh stay a while.”