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The King, being deposed, surrenders his crown into the hands of the

Bishop of Winchester and the Earl of Leicester, at Killing worth Custle.*

Lei. Be patient, good my lord, cease to lament;
Imagine Killingworth castle were your court,
And that you lay for pleasure here a space,
Not of compulsion or necessity.

Edw. Leister, if gentle words might comfort me,
Thy speeches long ago had eased my sorrows;
For kind and loving hast thou always been.
The griefs of private men are soon allayed,
But not of kings. The forest deer being struck,
Runs to an herb that closeth up the wounds;
But when the imperial lion's Aesh is gored,
He rends and tears it with his wrathful

And highly scorning that the lowly earth
Should drink his blood, mounts up to th' air.
And so it fares with me, whose dauntless mind
Th' ambitious Mortimer would seek to curb,
And that unnatural queen, false Isabel,
That thus hath pent and mewed me in a prison :
For such outrageous passions claw my soul,
As with the wings of rancour and disdain
Full oft am

soaring up to high heaven,
To 'plain me to the gods against them both.
But when I call to mind I am a king,
Methinks I should revenge me of the wrongs
That Mortimer and Isabel have done.

* A principal manor belonging to the Mortimers.

But what are kings, when regiment is gone,
But perfect shadows in a sunshine day?
My nobles rule, I bear the name of king;
I wear the crown, but am controlled by them,
By Mortimer, and my unconstant queen,
Who spots my nuptial bed with infamy;
Whilst I am lodged within this cave of care,
Where Sorrow at my elbow still attends,
To company my heart with sad laments,
That bleeds within me for this strange exchange.
But tell me, must I now resign my crown,
To make usurping Mortimer a king ?

Bish. Your grace mistakes; it is for England's good, And princely Edward's right, we crave the crown.

Edw. No, ’tis for Mortimer, not Edward's head; For he's a lamb, encompassed by wolves, Which in a moment will abridge his life. But if proud Mortimer do wear this crown, Heavens turn it to a blaze of quenchless fire, Or like the snaky wreath of Tisiphon, Engirt the temples of his hateful head; So shall not England's vines be perished, But Edward's name survive, though Edward dies.

Lei. My lord, why waste you thus the time away? They stay your answer : will you yield your crown?

Edw. Ah, Leister, weigh how hardly I can brook To lose my crown and kingdom without cause ; To give ambitious Mortimer my right, That like a mountain overwhelms my bliss, In which extreme my mind here murthered is. But what the Heavens appoint, I must obey : Here, take my crown; the life of Edward too;

Two kings in England cannot reign at once-
But stay awhile, let me be king till night,
That I may gaze upon this glittering crown;
So shall my eyes receive their last content,
My head the latest honour due to it,
And jointly both yield up their wished right.
Continue ever, thou celestial sun;
Let never silent night possess this clime;
Stand still, you watches of the element;
All times and seasons, rest you at a stay,
That Edward may be still fair England's king.
But day's bright beam doth vanish fast away,
And needs I must resign my wished crown;
Inhuman creatures! nursed with tiger's milk!
Why gape you

for your sovereign's overthrow ?
My diadem I mean, and guiltless life.
See, monsters, see! I'll wear my crown again!
What! fear you not the fury of your king ?-
But, hapless Edward, thou art fondly led :
They pass not for thy frowns as late they did,
But seek to make a new-elected king;
Which fills my mind with strange despairing thoughts,
Which thoughts are martyred with endless torments,
And in this torment comfort find I none,
But that I feel the crown upon my head;
And therefore let me wear it yet awhile.

Enter a Messenger. Mess. My lord, the Parliament must have present news ; And therefore say, will you resign or no ?

Edw. I'll not resign! but whilst I live be king. Traitors, begone, and join with Mortimer:

Elect, conspire, install, do what you will;
Their blood and yours shall seal these treacheries !

Bish. This answer we'll return, and so farewell.

Lei. Call them again, my lord, and speak them fair ;
For if they go, the prince shall lose his right.

Edw. Call thou them back, I have no power to speak.
Lei. My lord, the king is willing to resign.
Bish. If he be not, let him choose.

Edw. O would I might! but heaven and earth conspire
To make me miserable !-Here, receive my crown;
Receive it? no, these innocent hands of mine
Shall not be guilty of so foul a crime.
He of you all that most desires my blood,
And will be called the murtherer of a king,
Take it. What, are you moved ? pity you me?
Then send for unrelenting Mortimer,
And Isabel, whose eyes, being turned to steel,
Will sooner sparkle fire than shed a tear.
Yet stay, for rather than I will look on them,
Here, here !-Now, sweet God of heaven,
Make me despise this transitory pomp,
And sit forever enthronized in heaven!
Come, Death, and with thy fingers close my eyes,
Or, if I live, let me forget myself.

Berkley Castle.The King is left alone with LIGHTBORN, a murderer,

Edw. Who's there? what light is that? wherefore com’st

thou? Light. To comfort you, and bring you joyful news.

Edw, Small comfort finds poor Edward in thy looks. Villain, I know thou com'st to murder me.

Light. To murder you, my most gracious lord !

Far is it from my heart to do you

The queen sent me to see how you were used,
For she relents at this your misery;
And what eyes can refrain from shedding tears,
To see a king in this most piteous state ?

Edw. Weep'st thou already ? list awhile to me,
And then thy heart, were it as Gurney's* is,
Or as Matrevis’, * hewn from the Caucasus,
Yet will it melt, ere I have done my tale.
This dungeon where they keep me is a sink
Wherein the filth of all the castle falls.

Light. O villains !

Edw. And there, in mire and puddle, have I stood This ten days' space; and lest that I should sleep, One plays continually upon a drum. They give me bread and water, being a king; So that, for want of sleep and sustenance, My mind's distempered, and my body's numbed, And whether I have limbs or no, I know not. Oh, would my blood drop out from every vein, As doth this water from my tattered robes ! Tell Isabel the queen, I looked not thus, When for her sake I ran at tilt in France, And there unhorsed the Duke of Cleremont. Light. On, speak no more, my lord !—this breaks my

heart. Lie on this bed, and rest yourself awhile. Edw. These looks of thine can harbour naught but

death! I see my tragedy written in thy brows.

* His keepers.

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