Act the Fifth - Scene III

Enter MATREVIS, GURNEY, and Soldiers, with KING EDWARD.

     Mat. My lord, be not pensive; we are your friends:
Men are ordain'd to live in misery;
Therefore, come; dalliance dangereth our lives.
     K. Edw. Friends, whither must unhappy Edward go?
Will hateful Mortimer appoint no rest?
Must I be vexed like the nightly bird,
Whose sight is loathsome to all winged 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:
It is the chiefest mark they level at.
     Gur. Not so, my liege: the queen hath given this charge,
To keep your grace in safety:
Your passions make your dolours to increase.
     K. Edw. This usage makes my misery increase.
But can my air of life continue long,
When all my senses are annoy'd with stench?
Within a dungeon England's king is kept,
Where I am starv'd for want of sustenance;
My daily diet is heart-breaking sobs,
That almost rent the closet of my heart:
Thus lives old Edward not reliev'd by any,
And so must die, though pitied by many.
O, water, gentle friends, to cool my thirst,
And clear my body from foul excrements!
     Mat. Here's channel-water, as our charge is given:
Sit down, for we'll be barbers to your grace.
     K. Edw. Traitors, away! what, will you murder me,
Of choke your sovereign with puddle-water?
     Gur. No, but wash your face, and shave away your beard,
Lest you be known, and so be rescued.
     Mat. Why strive you thus? your labour is in vain.
     K. Edw. 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 know the painful cares
That wait upon my poor distressed soul,
O, level all your looks upon these daring men
That wrong their liege and sovereign, England's king!
O Gaveston, it is for thee that I am wrong'd!
For me both thou and both the Spensers died;
And for your sakes a thousand wrongs I'll take.
The Spensers' ghosts, wherever they remain,
Wish well to mine; then, tush, for them I'll die.
     Mat. '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?

Enter KENT.

     Mat. Guard the king sure: it is the Earl of Kent. 
     K. Edw. O gentle brother, help to rescue me! 
     Mat. Keep them asunder; thrust in the king.
     Kent. Soldiers, let me but talk to him one word. 
     Gur. Lay hands upon the earl for his assault. 
     Kent. Lay down your weapons, traitors! yield the king! 
     Mat. Edmund, yield thou thyself, or thou shalt die. 
     Kent. Base villains, wherefore do you gripe me thus? 
     Gur. Bind him, and so convey him to the court. 
     Kent. Where is the court but here? here is the king And I will visit him: why stay you me? 
     Mat. The court is where Lord Mortimer remains: Thither shall your honour go; and so, farewell. [Exeunt Matrevis and Gurney with King Edward. 
     Kent. O, miserable is that common-weal, Where lords keep courts, and kings are lock'd in prison! 
     First Sold. Wherefore stay we? on, sirs, to the court! 
     Kent. Ay, lead me whither you will, even to my death, Seeing that my brother cannot be releas'd. [Exeunt.