Act the Second - Scene V

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, the younger MORTIMER, Soldiers, JAMES and other Attendants of PENBROKE.

     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 shouldst thou fall,
And welter in thy gore.
     Lan. Monster of men,
That, like the Greekish strumpet, train'd to arms
And 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 warning
Shall serve thy turn: it is our country's cause
That here severely we will execute
Upon 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 may
See 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. Renowmed Edward, how thy name
Revives poor Gaveston!
     War. No, it needeth not:
Arundel, we will gratify the king
In other matters; he must pardon us in this.—
Soldiers, away with him!
     Gav. Why, my Lord of Warwick,
Will now these short delays beget my hopes?
I know it, lords, it is life you aim at,
Yet grant King Edward this.
     Y. Mor. Shalt thou appoint
What we shall grant?—Soldiers, away with him!—
Thus we'll gratify the king;
We'll send his head by thee; let him bestow
His tears on that, for that is all he gets
Of Gaveston, or else his senseless trunk.
     Lan. Not so, my lord, lest he bestow more cost
In 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 wot
He that the care of his realm remits,
And drives his nobles to these exigents
For Gaveston, will, if he seize him once,
Violate any promise 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 away a 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 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 earnestly
Desires to see the man before his death,
I will upon mine honour undertake
To carry him, and bring him back again;
Provided this, that you, my Lord of Arundel,
Will join with me.
     War. Pembroke, what wilt thou do?
Cause yet more bloodshed? is it not enough
That we have taken him, but must we now
Leave 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, I 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 come
To 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, you shall go with me:
My house is not far hence; out of the way
A little; but our men shall go along.
We that have pretty wenches to our wives,
Sir, must not come so near to balk their lips.
     Arun. 'Tis very kindly spoke, my Lord of Pembroke:
Your honour hath an adamant of power
To 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 morning
We will discharge thee of thy charge: be gone.
     Gav. Unhappy Gaveston, whither go'st thou now? [Exit with James and other Attendants of Pembroke.
     Horse-boy. My lord, we'll quickly be at Cobham. [Exeunt.