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Read The Works of Christopher Marlowe Volume II Part 31

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_Bea._ It shall be done, my gracious lord.

_Edw._ Lord Mortimer, we leave you to your charge.

Now let us in, and feast it royally.

Against our friend the Earl of Cornwall comes, We’ll have a general tilt and tournament; And then his marriage shall be solemnised.

For wot you not that I have made him sure[209]

Unto our cousin, the earl of Gloucester’s heir?

_Lan._ Such news we hear, my lord. 380

_Edw._ That day, if not for him, yet for my sake, Who in the triumph will be challenger, Spare for no cost; we will requite your love.

_War._ In this, or aught your highness shall command us.

_Edw_. Thanks, gentle Warwick: come, let’s in and revel.

[_Exeunt. Manent the_ MORTIMERS.

_E. Mor._ Nephew, I must to Scotland; thou stayest here.

Leave now t’oppose thyself against the king.

Thou seest by nature he is mild and calm, And, seeing his mind so doats on Gaveston, Let him without controulment have his will. 390 The mightiest kings have had their minions: Great Alexander loved Hephestion; The conquering Hercules[210] for his Hylas wept; And for Patroclus stern Achilles drooped.

And not kings only, but the wisest men: The Roman Tully loved Octavius; Grave Socrates wild Alcibiades.

Then let his grace, whose youth is flexible, And promiseth as much as we can wish, Freely enjoy that vain, light-headed earl; 400 For riper years will wean him from such toys.

_Y. Mor._ Uncle, his wanton humour grieves not me; But this I scorn, that one so basely born Should by his sovereign’s favour grow so pert, And riot it with the treasure of the realm.

While soldiers mutiny for want of pay, He wears a lord’s revenue on his back,[211]

And Midas-like, he jets it in the court, With base outlandish cullions[212] at his heels, Whose proud fantastic liveries make such show, 410 As if that Proteus, G.o.d of shapes, appeared.

I have not seen a dapper Jack so brisk; He wears a short Italian hooded cloak, Larded with pearl, and, in his Tuscan cap, A jewel of more value than the crown.

While other[213] walk below, the king and he From out a window laugh at such as we, And flout our train, and jest at our attire.

Uncle, ’tis this makes me impatient. 419

_E. Mor._ But, nephew, now you see the king is changed.

_Y. Mor._ Then so am I, and live to do him service: But whilst I have a sword, a hand, a heart, I will not yield to any such upstart.

You know my mind; come, uncle, let’s away.

[_Exeunt._

ACT THE SECOND.

SCENE I.

_Enter_[214] YOUNG SPENCER _and_ BALDOCK.

_Bald._ Spencer, Seeing that our lord the Earl of Gloucester’s dead, Which of the n.o.bles dost thou mean to serve?

_Y. Spen._ Not Mortimer, nor any of his side; Because the king and he are enemies.

Baldock, learn this of me, a factious lord Shall hardly do himself good, much less us; But he that hath the favour of a king, May with one word advance us while we live: The liberal Earl of Cornwall is the man 10 On whose good fortune Spencer’s hope depends.

_Bald._ What, mean you then to be his follower?

_Y. Spen._ No, his companion; for he loves me well, And would have once preferred me to the king.

_Bald._ But he is banished; there’s small hope of him.

_Y. Spen._ I, for a while; but, Baldock, mark the end.

A friend of mine told me in secresy That he’s repealed, and sent for back again; And even now a post came from the court With letters to our lady from the king; 20 And as she read she smiled, which makes me think It is about her lover Gaveston.

_Bald._ ‘Tis like enough; for since he was exiled She neither walks abroad, nor comes in sight.

But I had thought the match had been broke off, And that his banishment had changed her mind.

_Y. Spen._ Our lady’s first love is not wavering; My life for thine she will have Gaveston.

_Bald._ Then hope I by her means to be preferred, Having read unto her since she was a child. 30

_Y. Spen._ Then, Baldock, you must cast the scholar off, And learn to court it like a gentleman.

‘Tis not a black coat and a little band, A velvet caped cloak, faced before with serge, And smelling to a nosegay all the day, Or holding of a napkin in your hand, Or saying a long grace at a table’s end, Or making low legs to a n.o.bleman, Or looking downward with your eyelids close, And saying, “Truly, an’t may please your honour,” 40 Can get you any favour with great men; You must be proud, bold, pleasant, resolute, And now and then stab, as occasion serves.

_Bald._ Spencer, thou know’st I hate such formal toys, And use them but of mere hypocrisy.

Mine old lord while he lived was so precise, That he would take exceptions at my b.u.t.tons, And being like pins’ heads, blame me for the bigness; Which made me curate-like in mine attire, Though inwardly licentious enough, 50 And apt for any kind of villainy.

I am none of these common pedants, I, That cannot speak without _propterea quod_.

_Y. Spen._ But one of those that saith, _quandoquidem_, And hath a special gift to form a verb.

_Bald._ Leave off this jesting, here my lady comes.

_Enter the_ Lady.

_Lady._ The grief for his exile was not so much, As is the joy of his returning home.

This letter came from my sweet Gaveston: What need’st thou, love, thus to excuse thyself? 60 I know thou could’st not come and visit me: _I will not long be from thee, though I die._ [_Reads._ This argues the entire love of my lord; _When I forsake thee, death seize on my heart:_ [_Reads._ But stay[215] thee here where Gaveston shall sleep.

Now to the letter of my lord the king.– He wills me to repair unto the court, And meet my Gaveston? why do I stay, Seeing that he talks thus of my marriage-day?

Who’s there? Baldock! 70 See that my coach be ready, I must hence.

_Bald._ It shall be done, madam. [_Exit._

_Lady._ And meet me at the park-pale presently.

Spencer, stay you and bear me company, For I have joyful news to tell thee of; My lord of Cornwall is a coming over, And will be at the court as soon as we.

_Spen._ I knew the king would have him home again.

_Lady._ If all things sort out, as I hope they will, Thy service, Spencer, shall be thought upon. 80

_Spen._ I humbly thank your ladyship.

_Lady._ Come, lead the way; I long till I am there.

[_Exeunt._

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