Act the Fifth - Scene VI
Enter the younger MORTIMER and MATREVIS.
Y. Mor. Is't done, Matrevis, and the murderer dead?
Mat. Ay, my good lord: I would it were undone!
Y. Mor. Matrevis, if thou now grow'st penitent,
I'll be thy ghostly father; therefore choose,
Whether thou wilt be secret in this,
Or else die by the hand of Mortimer.
Mat. Gurney, my lord, is fled, and will, I fear,
Betray us both; therefore let me fly.
Y. Mor. Fly to the savages!
Mat. I humbly thank your honour. [Exit.
Y. Mor. As for myself, I stand as Jove's huge tree,
And others are but shrubs compar'd to me:
All tremble at my name, and I fear none:
Let's see who dare impeach me for his death!
Enter QUEEN ISABELLA.
Q. Isab. Ah, Mortimer, the king my son hath news,
His father's dead, and we have murder'd him!
Y. Mor. What if he have? the king is yet a child.
Q. Isab. Ay, but he tears his hair, and wrings his hands,
And vows to be reveng'd 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 KING EDWARD THE THIRD, Lords, and Attendants.
First Lord. Fear not, my lord; know that you are a king.
K. Edw. Third. Villain!—
Y. Mor. Ho, now, my lord!
K. Edw. Third. Think not that I am frighted with thy words: My father's murder'd through thy treachery; And thou shalt die, and on his mournful hearse Thy hateful and accursed head shall lie, To witness to the world that by thy means His kingly body was too soon interr'd.
Q. Isab. Weep not, sweet son.
K. Edw. Third. Forbid not me to weep; he was my father; And had you lov'd him half so well as I, You could not bear his death thus patiently: But you, I fear, conspir'd with Mortimer.
First Lord. Why speak you not unto my lord the king?
Y. Mor. Because I think scorn to be accus'd. Who is the man dares say I murder'd him?
K. Edw. Third. Traitor, in me my loving father speaks, And plainly saith, 'twas thou that murder'dst him.
Y. Mor. But hath your grace no other proof than this?
K. Edw. Third. Yes, if this be the hand of Mortimer. [Showing letter.
Y. Mor. False Gurney hath betray'd me and himself. [Aside to Queen Isabella.
Q. Isab. I fear'd as much: murder can not be hid.
Y. Mor. It is my hand; what gather you by this?
K. Edw. Third. That thither thou didst send a murderer.
Y. Mor. What murderer? bring forth the man I sent.
K. Edw. Third. Ah, Mortimer, thou know'st 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: And bring his head back presently to me.
Q. Isab. For my sake, sweet son, pity Mortimer!
Y. Mor. Madam, entreat not: I will rather die Than sue for life unto a paltry boy.
K. Edw. Third. Hence with the traitor, with the murderer!
Y. Mor. 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 touch'd, 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.
K. Edw. Third. What, suffer you the traitor to delay? [Exit the younger Mortimer with First Lord and some of the Attendants.
Q. Isab. As thou receivest thy life from me, Spill not the blood of gentle Mortimer!
K. Edw. Third. This argues that you spilt my father's blood, Else would you not entreat for Mortimer.
Q. Isab. I spill his blood! no.
K. Edw. Third. Ay, madam, you; for so the rumour runs.
Q. Isab. That rumour is untrue: for loving thee, Is this report rais'd on poor Isabel.
K. Edw. Third. I do not think her so unnatural.
Sec. Lord. My lord, I fear me it will prove too true.
K. Edw. Third. Mother, you are suspected for his death And therefore we commit you to the Tower, Till further trial may be made thereof. If you be guilty, though I be your son, Think not to find me slack or pitiful.
Q. Isab. Nay, to my death; for too long have I liv'd, Whenas my son thinks to abridge my days.
K. Edw. Third. Away with her! her words enforce these tears, And I shall pity her, if she speak again.
Q. Isab. Shall I not mourn for my beloved lord? And with the rest accompany him to his grave.
Sec. Lord. Thus, madam, 'tis the king's will you shall hence.
Q. Isab. He hath forgotten me: stay; I am his mother.
Sec. Lord. That boots not; therefore, gentle madam, go.
Q. Isab. Then come, sweet death, and rid me of this grief! [Exit with Second Lord and some of the Attendants.
Re-enter First Lord, with the head of the younger MORTIMER.
First Lord. My lord, here is the head of Mortimer.
K. Edw. Third. Go fetch my father's hearse, where it shall lie; And bring my funeral robes. [Exeunt Attendants.
Could I have rul'd thee then, as I do now,
Thou hadst not hatch'd this monstrous treachery!—
Here comes the hearse: help me to mourn, my lords.
Re-enter Attendants, with the hearse and funeral robes.
Sweet father, here unto thy murder'd ghost
I offer up the wicked traitor's head;
And let these tears, distilling from mine eyes,
Be witness of my grief and innocency. [Exeunt.