Page images
PDF
EPUB

Crown,

49

Sol. Edmund, the earl of Kent.

Much more a king, brought up so tenderlý. King. What hath he done?

Gur. And so do I, Matrevis: yesternight Sol. He would have taken the king away per I opened but the door to throw him meat, force,

And I was almost stified with the savour. As we were bringing him to Killingworth.

Mat. He hath a body able to endure Mor. jun. Did you attempt his rescue, Ed. More than we can inflict: and therefore now, mund ? Speak.

Let us assail his mind another while. Edm. Mortimer, I did; he is our king,

Gur, Send for him out thence, and I will anAnd thou compell'st this prince to wear the

ger

him.

Mat. But stay, who's this? Mor. jun. Strike off his head, he shall have

Enter LIGHTBORN. martial law. Edm. Strike off my head! base traitor, I defy Light. My lord protector greets you. thee.

[Giving a paper. King. My lord, he is my uncle, and shall live. Gur. What's here? I know not how to conMor. jun. My lord, he is your enemy, and shall

strúe it. die.

Mat. Gurney, it was left unpointed for the Edm. Stay, villains!

nonce ; King. Sweet mother, if I cannot pardon him, Edwardium occidere nolite timere, Intreat my lord protector for his life.

That's his meaning: Queen. Son, be content; I dare not speak a Light. Know ye this token? I must have the king. word.

Mat. Ay, stay a while, thou shalt have answer King. Nor I, and yet methinks I should com

straightmand;

This villain's sent to make away the king. But seeing I cannot, I'll intreat for him

Gur. I thought as much. My lord, if you will let my uncle live,

Mat. And when the murder's done, I will requite it when I come to age.

See how he must be handled for his labour. Mor. jun. 'Tis for your highness' good, and for Pereat iste :- let him have the king : the realms'.

What else? bere is the keys, this is the lake, How often shall I bid you bear him hence? Do as you are commanded by my lord. Edm. Art thou king? must I die at thy com- Light. I know what I must do, get you away. mand?

Yet be not far off, I shall need your help; Mor. jun. At our command! Once more away See that in the next room I have a fire, with him.

And get me a spit, and let it be red hot.
Edm. Let me but stay and speak; I will not go. Mat. Very well.
Either my brother or his son is king,

Gur. Need you any thing besides ?
And neither of them thirst for Edmund's blood ; Light. A table and a feather bed.
And therefore, soldiers, whither will you bale me? Gur. That's all ?

[They hale EDMUND away, and carry him to Light. Ay, ay; so when I call you, bring it in. be beheaded.

Mat. Fear not thou that. King. What safety may I look for at his hands, Gur. Here's a light to go into the dungeon. If that my uncle shall be murdered thus?

[Exeunt GURNEY and MATREVIS. Queen. Fear not, sweet boy, I'll guard thee Light. So now must I about this geer; ne'er from thy foes;

was there any Had Edmund lived, he would have sought thy So finely handled as this king shall be. death.

Foh, here's a place indeed, with all my heart ! Come, son, we'll ride a hunting in the park. Edw. Who's there? what light is that? whereKing. And shall my uncle Edmund ride with us?

fore com'st thou ? Queen. He is a traitor, think not on him; come. Light. To comfort you, and bring you joyful

(Eseunt omnes. Enter MATREVIS and GURNEY.

Edw. Small comfort finds poor Edward in thy

looks! Mat. Gurney, I wonder the king dies not, Villain, I know thou com'st to murder me. Being in a vault up to the knees in water,

Light. To murder you, my most gracious lord! To which the channels of the castle run; Far is it from my heart to do you harm. from whence a damp continually ariseth, The queen sent me to see how you were used, That were enough to poison any man:

For she relents at this your misery :

news.

Nonce--See Note to Alexander and Campaspe.

And what eyes can refrain from shedding tears, Edw. But that grief keeps me waking, I should To see a king in this most piteous state?

sleep; Edw. Weep'st thou already? list a while to me, For not these ten days have these eye-lids closed. And then thy heart, were it as Gurney's is, Now, as I spcak, they fall, and yet with fear Or as Matrevis, hewn from the Caucasus, Open again. O wherefore sit'st thou here? Yet will it melt, ere I have done my tale.

Light. If you mistrust me, I'll begone, my lord. This dungeon where they keep me, is the sink Edw. No, no; for if thou mean'st to murder me, Whereis the filth of all the castle falls.

Thou wilt return again ; and therefore, stay. Light. O villains !

Light. He sleeps. Eda. And there, in mire and puddle have I Edw. O let me not die; yet stay, stay a while. stood

Light. How now, my lord ? This ten days space; and least that I should sleep, Edw. Something still buzzeth in mine ears, One plays continually upon a drum.

And tells me, if I sleep, I never wake;
They give me bread and water, being a king; This fear is that which makes me tremble thus.
So that, for want of sleep and sustenance, And therefore tell me, wherefore art thou come!
My mind's distempered, and my body's numbed; Light. To rid thee of thy life; Matrevis, come.
And whether I have limbs or no, I know not..

Enter GURNEY and MATREVIS.
O, would my blood drop out from every vein,
As doth this water from my 50 tottered robes !

Edw. I am too weak and feeble to resist: Tel: Isabel, the queen, I looked not thus,

Assist me, sweet God, and receive my soul. When for her sake I ran at tilt in France,

Light. Run for the table. And there unhorsed the Duke of Clereinont.

Edw. O spare me, or dispatch me in a trice. Light. O speak no more, my lord ! this breaks But not too hard, lest that you bruise his body.

Light. So, lay the table down, and stamp on it. my

heart. Lie on this bed, and rest yourself awhile.

[They murder hin. Edw. These looks of thine can harbour nought and therefore let us take horse and away.

Mat. I fear me that this cry will raise the town, but death : I see my tragedy written in thy brows.

Light. Tell me, sirs, was it not bravely done?

Gur. Excellent well; take this for thy reward. Yet stay a while, forbear thy bloody hand, And let me see the stroke before it comes,

(GURNEY stabs LIGHTBORY. That even then, when I shall lose my life,

Comc, let us cast the body in the moat,

And bear the king's to Mortimer our lord : away. My mind may be more stedfast on my God.

[Ereunt. Light. What means your highness to mistrust me thus?

Enter MORTIMER and MATREVIS. Edw. What mean'st thou to dissemble with Mor. jun. Is't done, Matreris, and the murme thus?

derer dead? Light. These hards were never stained with Mat. Ay, my good lord; I would it were undone, innocent blood,

Mor. jun. Matrevis, if thou now growest peniNor shall they now be tainted with a king's.

tent, Edw. Forgive my thought, for having such a I'll be thy ghostly father; therefore chuse, thought.

Whether thou wilt be secret in this, One jewel have I left, receive thou this.

Or else die by the hand of Mortimer. Still fear I, and I know not what's the cause, Mat. Gurney, my lord, is fled, and will, I fear, But every joint shakes as I give it thee.

Betray us both; therefore let me fly. 0! if thou barbour'st murder in thy heart,

Mor. jun. Fly to the savages. Let this gift change thy mind, and save thy soul ! Mat. I humbly thank your honour. [Erit. Know, that I am a king : Oh! at that name Mor. jun. As for myself, I stand as Jove's huge I feel a hell of grief; where is my crown?

tree; Gone, gone! and do I remain ?

And others are but shrubs compared to me. Light. You're overwatched, my lord ; lie down All tremble at my naine, and I fear none; and rest,

Let's see who dare impeach me for his death.

50 Tottered Robes i. e, taltered, as we now pronounce it. In most writers of this period the word was spelt as above written, and perhaps, as Mr Steevens observes, the present broad pronunciation, almost particular to the Scots, was, at that time, common to both nations. (See Note 6 on King John.) To the several instances there produced may be added the following: Dekker's Bel-man of London, Sig. 1). 4:

_" The tarn spits (who were poore tottered greasie fellows) looking like so many hee divells.” Bel-man's Night walkes

, Sig. M. $;_" By none but the Souldiers of these tottered bands, it is familiarly or usually spoken.”

runs.

true.

ther;

Enter the Queen.

Than sue for life unto a paltry boy.

King. Hence with the traitor! with the murQueen. Ah, Mortimer, the king my son hath

derer! Dews,

Mor. jun. Base fortune, now I see, that in thy His father's dead, and we have murdered him!

wheel Mor. jun. What if he have? the king is yet a There is a point, to which when men aspire,

child. Queen. Ay, ay, but he tears his hair, and wrings And seeing there was no place to mount up higher,

They tumble headlong down : that point I touched, his hands,

Why should I grieve at my declining fall?
And vows to be revenged upon us both.
Into the council-chamber he is gone,

Farewell, fair Queen, weep not for Mortimer,

That scorns the world, and, as a traveller,
To crave the aid and succour of his peers.

Goes to discover countries yet unknown.
Ah me! see where he comes, and they with him;
Now, Mortimer, begins our tragedy.

King. What! suffer you the traitor to delay?

Queen. As thou received'st thy life from me,

Spill not the blood of gentle Mortimer.
Enter the King, with the Lords.

King. This argues, that you spilt my father's Lords. Fear not, my lord, know that you are a blood, king.

Else would you not entreat for Mortimer. King. Villain !

[Mortimer borne off. Mor. jun. How now, my lord ?

Queen. I spill his blood ! no. King. Think not that I am frighted with thy King. Ay, madam, you; for so the rumour

words! My father's murdered through thy treachery, Queen. That rumour is untrue; for loving thee! And thou shalt die; and on his mournful hearse Is this report raised on poor Isabel. Thy hateful and accursed head shall lie,

King. I do not think her so unnatural. To witness to the world, that by thy means Lords. My lord, I fear me it will prove too His kingly body was so soon interred. Queen. Weep not, sweet son.

King. Mother, you are suspected for his death, king. Forbid not me to weep, he was my fa- And therefore we commit you to the Tower,

Till farther trial may be made thereof; And had you loved him half so well as I, If you be guilty, though I be your son, You could not bear his death thus patiently. Think not to find me slack or pitiful. But you, I fear, conspired with Mortimer.

Queen. Nay, to my death; for too long have I Lords. Why speak you not unto my lord the lived, king?

When as my son thinks to abridge my days. Mor. jun. Because I think scorn to be so accused. King. Away with her! her words enforce these Who is the man dares say I murdered him?

tears, King. Traitor! in me my loving father speaks, And I shall pity her, if she speak again. And plainly saith, 'twas thou that murdered him. Queen. Shall I not mourn for my beloved lord! Mor. jun. But hath your grace no other proof And with the rest accompany him to his grave! than this?

Lords. Thus, madam, 'tis the king's will you King. Yes, if this be the hand of Mortimer.

shall hence. Mor. jun. False Gurney hath betrayed me and Queen. He hath forgotten me; stay! I am his hiinself,

mother. Queen. I feared as much; murder cannot be Lords. That boots not; therefore, gentle ma

hid. Mor. jun. 'Tis my hand; what gather you by Queen. Then come, sweet death, and rid me of this?

this grief.

[Ereunt Queen and Lords. King. That thither thou did'st send a murderer. Lords. My lord, here is the head of Mortimer. Mor. jun. What murderer? Bring forth the King. Go fetch my father's hearse, where it man I sent.

shall lie; King. Ay, Mortimer, thou know'st that he is And bring my funeral robes.-Accursed head! slain;

Could I have ruled thee then, as I do now, And so shalt thou be too. Why stays he here? Thou badst not hatched this monstrous treachery. Bring him unto a hurdle, drag him forth; Here comes the hearse; help me to mourn, my Hang him I say, and set his quarters up!

lords. But bring his head back presently to me. Sweet father, here unto thy murdered ghost,

Queen. For my sake, sweet son, pity Mortimer. I offer up this wicked traitor's head; Mor. jun. Madam, entreat not, I will rather And let these tears, distilling from mine eyes, die,

Be witness of my grief and innocence.

[Ereunt.

dam, go.

EDITIONS.

(1.) The troublesome Raigne and lamentable Death of Edward the Second, King of England : with the tragical fall of proud Mortimer. And also, the Life and Death of Peirs Gaveston, the great Earle af Cornewall

, and mighty favorite of King Edward the Second. As it was publiquely acted by the right honorable the Earl of Pembroke his servauntes. Written by Chri. Marlow, Gent. Imprinted at London by Richard Bradocke, for William Jones, dwelling neere Holbourne Conduit, at the signe of the Gunne, 1598, 4to.

(2.) The troublesome Raigne and lamentable Death of Edward the Second, King of England: with the tragical fall of proud Mortimer. And also the Life and Death of Peirs Gaveston, the great Earle of Cornewall, and mighty favorite of King Edward the Second. As it was publiquely acted by the right honourable the Earl of Pembroke his servants. Written by Christopher Marlow, Gent. Printed at London for Roger Barnes, and are to be sould at his shop in Chauncerie Lane, over-against the Rolles, 1612, 4to.

(3.) The troublesome Raigne and lamentable Death of Edward the Second, King of England : with the tragicall fall of proud Mortimer. And also, the Life and Death of Peirs Gaveston, the greate Earle of Cornewall, and mighty favorite of King Edward the Second. As it was publikely acted by the late Queenes Majesties Servants, at the Red Bull in S. Johns-streete. Written by Christopher Marlow, Gent. London printed for Henry Bell, and are to be sold at his shop at the Lame Hospital Gate neere Smithfield, 1622, 4to.

THE HEIR.

BY

THOMAS MAY.

He was

Thomas May, was the son of Sir Thomas May, of Mayfield, in the county of Susser, knight ; a gentleman of an ancient and honourable family, which had resided there many generations. born in the year 1595, and received his early education in the neighbourhood of his birth-place; from thence he was removed to Sidney-Susser College in Cambridge, and took the degree of B. A. in 1612. On the 6th of August, 1615, he was admitted into the society of Gray's-Inn, and soon after became celebrated for his poetical performances.

Lord Clarendon, * with whom he was intimately acquainted, says, That his father spent the fortune which he was born to, so that he had only an annuity left him not proportionable to a liberal education; yet, since his fortune could not raise his mind, he brought his mind down to his fortune, by a great modesty and humility in his nature, which was not affected, but very well became an imperfection in his speech, which was a great mortification to him, and kept him from entering upon any discourse but in the company of his very friends. His parts of nature and art were very good, as

appears by his translation of Lucan,,( none of the easiest work of that kind,) and more by his Supplement to Lucan, which, being entirely his own, for the learning, the wit, and the language, may be well looked upon as one of the best epic poems in the English language. He wril some other commendable pieces of the reign of some of our kings. He was cherished by many persons of honour, and very acceptable in all places ; yet (to shew that pride and enoy have their influences upon the narrowest minds, and which have the greatest semblance of humility) though he had received much countenance, and a very considerable donutive from the king ; upon his majesty's refusing to give him a small pension, t which he had designed und promised 10 another very ingenious person, whose qualilies he thought inferior to his own ; he fell from his duty, and all his former friends, and prostituted himself to the vile office t of celebrating the infamous acts of those u ho were in rebellion against the king ; which he did so meanly, thut he seemed to all men to have lost his wits when he left his honesty; and shortly after died miserable and neglected, and deserves to be forgotten.

He died suddenly on the night of the 13th of November, 1650, after having drank his cheerful bottle as usual. The cause of his death is said to have arisen from the tying of his night-cap too close under his chin, which occasioned a suffocation when he turned himself about.

He was buried, by appointment of the Parliament, in a splendid munner, in the south aisle of Westminster Abbey, where a monument to his memory was erected, with a Latin inscription thereon, come posed by Marchemont Needham; which remained there until the Restoration, when it was destroyed, and his body dug up, and buried in a large pit, belonging to St Margaret's church, with many others, who had been interred in the Abbey during the inter-regnum. He was the author of the following

dramatic pieces : 1. The Tragedy of Antigone, the Theban princesse. 800. 1631. 2. The Heire, a Comedy; acted by the company of the Revels, 1620. 4to. 1633. 3. The Tragedy of Julia Agrippina, Empress of Rome, 12mo. 1639. 12mo. 1654.

+ Life, 8vo. edition 1759, p. 35.

+ Some writers suppose he was disgusted that Sir William Davenant was appointed to sucoeed Bes Jonson as poet laureat, in the year 1637. # He was appointed to the post of Historiographer by the Parliament. VOL. I.

2 B

« PreviousContinue »