Act the First - Scene II
Enter, on one side, the elder MORTIMER, and the younger
MORTIMER; on the other, WARWICK, and LANCASTER.
War. 'Tis true, the bishop is in the Tower,
And goods and body given to Gaveston.
Lan. What, will they tyrannise upon the church?
Ah, wicked King! accursed Gaveston!
This ground, which is corrupted with their steps,
Shall be their timeless sepulchre or mine.
Y. Mor. Well, let that peevish Frenchman guard him sure;
Unless his breast be sword-proof, he shall die.
E. Mor. How now! why droops the Earl of Lancaster?
Y. Mor. Wherefore is Guy of Warwick discontent?
Lan. That villain Gaveston is made an earl.
E. Mor. An earl!
War. Ay, and besides Lord-chamberlain of the realm,
And Secretary too, and Lord of Man.
E. Mor. We may not nor we will not suffer this.
Y. Mor. Why post we not from hence to levy men?
Lan. "My Lord of Cornwall" now at every word;
And happy is the man whom he vouchsafes,
For vailing of his bonnet, one good look.
Thus, arm in arm, the king and he doth march:
Nay, more, the guard upon his lordship waits,
And all the court begins to flatter him.
War. Thus leaning on the shoulder of the king,
He nods, and scorns, and smiles at those that pass.
E. Mor. Doth no man take exceptions at the slave?
Lan. All stomach him, but none dare speak a word.
Y. Mor. Ah, that bewrays their baseness, Lancaster!
Were all the earls and barons of my mind,
We'll hale him from the bosom of the king,
And at the court-gate hang the peasant up,
Who, swoln with venom of ambitious pride,
Will be the ruin of the realm and us.
War. Here comes my Lord of Canterbury's grace.
Lan. His countenance bewrays he is displeas'd.
Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, and an
Archb. of Cant. First, were his sacred garments rent and torn;
Then laid they violent hands upon him; next,
Himself imprison'd, and his goods asseiz'd:
This certify the Pope: away, take horse. [Exit Attendant.
Lan. My lord, will you take arms against the king?
Archb. of Cant. What need I? God himself is up in arms
When violence is offer'd to the church.
Y. Mor. Then will you join with us, that be his peers,
To banish or behead that Gaveston?
Archb. of Cant. What else, my lords? for it concerns me near;
The bishoprick of Coventry is his.
Enter QUEEN ISABELLA.
Y. Mor. Madam, whither walks your majesty so fast?
Q. Isab. Unto the forest, gentle Mortimer,
To live in grief and baleful discontent;
For now my lord the king regards me not,
But dotes upon the love of Gaveston:
He claps his cheeks, and hangs about his neck,
Smiles in his face, and whispers in his ears;
And, when I come, he frowns, as who should say,
"Go whither thou wilt, seeing I have Gaveston."
E. Mor. Is it not strange that he is thus bewitch'd?
Y. Mor. Madam, return unto the court again:
That sly inveigling Frenchman we'll exile,
Or lose our lives; and yet, ere that day come,
The king shall lose his crown; for we have power,
And courage too, to be reveng'd at full.
Q. Isab. But yet lift not your swords against the king.
Lan. No; but we will lift Gaveston from hence.
War. And war must be the means, or he'll stay still.
Q. Isab. Then let him stay; for, rather than my lord
Shall be oppress'd with civil mutinies,
I will endure a melancholy life,
And let him frolic with his minion.
Archb. of Cant. My lords, to ease all this, but hear me speak:
We and the rest, that are his counsellors,
Will meet, and with a general consent
Confirm his banishment with our hands and seals.
Lan. What we confirm the king will frustrate.
Y. Mor. Then may we lawfully revolt from him.
War. But say, my lord, where shall this meeting be?
Archb. of Cant. At the New Temple.
Y. Mor. Content.
Archb. of Cant. And, in the meantime, I'll entreat you all
To cross to Lambeth, and there stay with me.
Lan. Come, then, let's away.
Y. Mor. Madam, farewell.
Q. Isab. Farewell, sweet Mortimer, and, for my sake,
Forbear to levy arms against the king.
Y. Mor. Ay, if words will serve; if not, I must. [Exeunt.