Fiction > Harvard Classics > Christopher Marlowe > Edward the Second
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Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593).  Edward the Second.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Act the Fourth
 
Scene VI
 
 
[The scene is in the abbey of Neath]
Enter the Abbot, Monks, KING EDWARD, Young SPENCER, and BALDOCK (the three latter disguised)

  Abbot.  Have you no doubt, my lord; have you no fear;
As silent and as careful we will be,
To keep your royal person safe with us,
Free from suspect and fell invasion        4
Of such as have your majesty in chase,
Yourself, and those your chosen company,
As danger of this stormy time requires.
  K. Edw.  Father, thy face should harbour no deceit.        8
O! hadst thou ever been a king, thy heart,
Pierced deeply with sense of my distress,
Could not but take compassion of my state.
Stately and proud, in riches and in train,        12
Whilom I was, powerful, and full of pomp:
But what is he whom rule and empery
Have not in life or death made miserable?
Come, Spencer; come, Baldock, come, sit down by me;        16
Make trial now of that philosophy,
That in our famous nurseries of arts
Thou suck’dst from Plato and from Aristotle.
Father, this life contemplative is Heaven.        20
O that I might this life in quiet lead!
But we, alas! are chas’d; and you, my friends,
Your lives and my dishonour they pursue.
Yet, gentle monks, for treasure, gold, nor fee,        24
Do you betray us and our company.
  Monk.  Your grace may sit secure, if none but we
Do wot of your abode.
  Y. Spen.  Not one alive; but shrewdly I suspect        28
A gloomy fellow in a mead below.
’A gave a long look after us, my lord;
And all the land I know is up in arms,
Arms that pursue our lives with deadly hate.        32
  Bald.  We were embark’d for Ireland, wretched we!
With awkward winds and [with] sore tempests driven
To fall on shore, and here to pine in fear
Of Mortimer and his confederates.        36
  K. Edw.  Mortimer! who talks of Mortimer?
Who wounds me with the name of Mortimer,
That bloody man? Good father, on thy lap
Lay I this head, laden with mickle care.        40
O might I never open these eyes again!
Never again lift up this drooping head!
O never more lift up this dying heart!
  Y. Spen.  Look up, my lord.—Baldock, this drowsiness        44
Betides no good; here even we are betray’d.
 
Enter, with Welsh hooks, RICE AP HOWELL, a Mower, and LEICESTER

  Mow.  Upon my life, these be the men ye seek.
  Rice.  Fellow, enough.—My lord, I pray be short,
A fair commission warrants what we do.        48
  Leices.  The queen’s commission, urged by Mortimer;
What cannot gallant Mortimer with the queen?
Alas! see where he sits, and hopes unseen
To escape their hands that seek to reave his life.        52
Too true it is, Quem dies vidit veniens superbum,
Hunc dies vidit fugiens jacentem. 1
But, Leicester, leave to grow so passionate.
Spencer and Baldock, by no other names,        56
I do arrest you of high treason here.
Stand not on titles, but obey the arrest;
’Tis in the name of Isabel the queen.
My lord, why droop you thus?        60
  K. Edw.  O day, the last of all my bliss on earth!
Centre of all misfortune! O my stars,
Why do you lour unkindly on a king?
Comes Leicester, then, in Isabella’s name        64
To take my life, my company from me?
Here, man, rip up this panting breast of mine,
And take my heart in rescue of my friends!
  Rice.  Away with them!        68
  Y. Spen.        It may become thee yet
To let us take our farewell of his grace.
  Abbot.  My heart with pity earns 2 to see this sight,—
A king to bear these words and proud commands.  [Aside.]        72
  K. Edw.  Spencer, ah, sweet Spencer, thus then must we part?
  Y. Spen.  We must, my lord, so will the angry Heavens.
  K. Edw.  Nay, so will hell and cruel Mortimer;
The gentle Heavens have not to do in this.        76
  Bald.  My lord, it is in vain to grieve or storm.
Here humbly of your grace we take our leaves;
Our lots are cast; I fear me, so is thine.
  K. Edw.  In Heaven we may, in earth ne’er shall we meet:        80
And, Leicester, say, what shall become of us?
  Leices.  Your majesty must go to Killingworth. 3
  K. Edw.  Must! it is somewhat hard, when kings must go.
  Leices.  Here is a litter ready for your grace,        84
That waits your pleasure, and the day grows old.
  Rice.  As good be gone, as stay and be benighted.
  K. Edw.  A litter hast thou? Lay me in a hearse,
And to the gates of hell convey me hence;        88
Let Pluto’s bells ring out my fatal knell,
And hags howl for my death at Charon’s shore,
For friends hath Edward none but these,
And these must die under a tyrant’s sword.        92
  Rice.  My lord, be going; care not for these,
For we shall see them shorter by the heads.
  K. Edw.  Well, that shall be, shall be: part we must!
Sweet Spencer, gentle Baldock, part we must!        96
Hence feigned weeds! unfeigned are my woes;  [Throws off his disguise.]
Father, farewell! Leicester, thou stay’st for me,
And go I must. Life, farewell, with my friends.  [Exeunt KING EDWARD and LEICESTER.]
  Y. Spen.  O! is he gone? Is noble Edward gone?        100
Parted from hence, never to see us more?
Rend, sphere of Heaven! and, fire, forsake thy orb!
Earth, melt to air! gone is my sovereign,
Gone, gone, alas! never to make return.        104
  Bald.  Spencer, I see our souls are fleeted hence;
We are depriv’d the sunshine of our life:
Make for a new life, man; throw up thy eyes,
And heart, and hands to Heaven’s immortal throne;        108
Pay nature’s debt with cheerful countenance;
Reduce we all our lessons unto this:
To die, sweet Spencer, therefore live we all;
Spencer, all live to die, and rise to fall.        112
  Rice.  Come, come, keep these preachments till you come to the place appointed. You, and such as you are, have made wise work in England. Will your lordships away?
Mow.  Your lordship, I trust, will remember me?
  Rice.  Remember thee, fellow! what else? Follow me to the town.  [Exeunt.]
 
Note 1. Whom the dawn sees proud, evening sees prostrate. Seneca, Thyestes, 613. [back]
Note 2. Yearns. [back]
Note 3. Kenilworth. [back]
 

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