Home  »  Edward the Second  »  25. Act the Second

John Dryden (1631–1700). All for Love.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Scene V Act the Second

25. Act the Second

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,Breathing, in hope (malgrado 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, train’d to armsAnd 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 warningShall serve thy turn; it is our country’s causeThat here severely we will executeUpon 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.

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 maySee 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 nameRevives poor Gaveston!War.No, it needeth not;Arundel, we will gratify the kingIn 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 appointWhat we shall grant? Soldiers, away with him!Thus we’ll gratify the king:We’ll send his head by thee; let him bestowHis tears on that, for that is all he getsOf Gaveston, or else his senseless trunk.Lan.Not so, my lords, lest he bestow more costIn 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 wotHe that the care of his realm remits,And drives his nobles to these exigentsFor Gaveston, will, if he sees 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 awayA 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 earnestlyDesires to see the man before his death,I will upon mine honour undertakeTo carry him, and bring him back again;Provided this, that you my lord of ArundelWill join with me.War.Pembroke, what wilt thou do?Cause yet more bloodshed? Is it not enoughThat we have taken him, but must we nowLeave him on “had I wist,” 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 comeTo 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!Exeunt all except PEMBROKE, ARUNDEL, GAVESTON, [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 wayA 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 powerTo 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 morningWe 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.Exeunt.