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Mor. Direct mine arms, I may embrace his neck, And in his bosom spend my latter gasp : 0, tell me, when my lips do touch his cheeks, That I may kindly give one fainting kiss.And now declare, sweet stem from York's great stock, Why didst thou say-of late thou wert despis’d?
Plan. First, lean thine aged back against mine arm; And, in that ease, I'll tell thee my disease. This day, in argument upon a case, Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me: Among which terms he used his lavish tongue, And did upbraid me with his father's death; Which obloquy set bars before my tongue, Else with the like I had requited him: Therefore, good uncle,- for my father's sake, In honour of a true Plantagenet, And for alliance' sake,-declare the cause My father, earl of Cambridge, lost his head.
Mor. That cause, fair nephew, that imprison’d me, And hath detain’d me, all my flow'ring youth, Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine, Was cursed instrument of his decease.
Plan. Discover more at large what cause that was For I am ignorant, and cannot guess.
Mor. I will; if that my fading breath permit,
And death approach not ere my tale be done.
Henry the fourth, grandfather to this king,
Depos’d his nephew Richard; Edward's son,
The first-begotten, and the lawful heir
Of Edward king, the third of that descent:
During whose reign, the Percies of the north,
Finding his usurpation most unjust,
Endeavour'd my advancement to the throne:
The reason mov’d these warlike lords to this,
Was-for that (young king Richard thus remov’d,
Leaving no heir begotten of his body,)
I was the next by birth and parentage;
For by my mother I derived am
Fron Lionel duke of Clarence, the third son
To king Edward the third, whereas he,
From John of Gaunt doth bring his pedigree,
Being but fourth of that heroick line.
But mark; as, in this haughty great attempt,
They laboured to plant the rightful heir,
I lost my liberty, and they their lives.
Long after this, when Henry the fifth,-
Succeeding his father Bolingbroke,--did reign,
Thy father, earl of Cambridge,—then deriv'd
From famous Edmund Langley, duke of York,
Marrying my sister, that thy mother was,
Again, in pity of my hard distress,
Levied an army; weening to redeem,
And have install'd me in the diadem :
But, as the rest, so fell that noble earl,
And was beheaded. Thus the Mortimers,
In whom the title rested, were suppress'd.
Plan. Of which, my lord, your honour is the last.
Mor. True; and thou seest, that I no issue have; And that my fainting words do warrant death : Thou art my heir; the rest, I wish thee gather: But yet be wary in thy studious care.
Plan. Thy grave admonishments prevail with me: But yet, methinks, my father's execution Was nothing less than bloody tyranny.
Mor. With silence, nephew, be thou politick;
Strong-fixed is the house of Lancaster,
And, like a mountain, not to be remov'd.
But now thy uncle is removing hence;
As princes do their courts, when they are cloy'd
With long continuance in a settled place.
Plan. O, uncle, 'would some part of my young years Might but redeem the passage of your age!
Mor. Thou dost then wrong me; as the slaught'rer doth,
Which giveth many wounds, when one will kill.
Mourn not, except thou sorrow for my good;
Only, give order for my funeral;
And so farewell; and fair be all thy hopes !
And prosperous be thy life, in peace, and war! [Dies.
Plan. And peace, no war, befal thy parting soul!
In prison hast thou spent a pilgrimage,
And like a hermit overpass'd thy days.-
Well, I will lock his counsel in my breast;
And what I do imagine, let that rest.-
Keepers, convey him hence; and I myself
Will see his burial better than his life.
[Exeunt Keepers, bearing out MORTIMER.
Here dies the dusky torch of Mortimer,
Chok'd with ambition of the meaner sort:-
And, for those wrongs, those bitter injuries,
Which Somerset hath offer'd to my house,
I doubt not, but with honour to redress :
And therefore haste I to the parliament;
Either to be restored to my blood,
Or make my ill the advantage of my good. [Erit.
Flourish. Enter King HENRY, EXETER, Gloster,
WARWICK, SOMERSET, and SUFFOLK; the Bishop of WINCHESTER, RICHARD PLANTAGENET, and Others. Gloster offers to put up a Bill; Winchester snatches it, and tear's it.
Win. Com'st thou with deep premeditated lines,
With written pamphlets studiously devis’d,
Humphrey of Gloster ? if thou canst accuse,
Or aught intend'st to lay unto my charge,
Do it without invention suddenly;
As I with sudden and extemporal speech
Purpose to answer what thou canst object.
Glo. Presumptuous priest! this place commands ury
Or thou should'st find thou hast dishonour'd me.
Think not, although in writing I preferr’d
The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes,
That therefore I have forg’d, or am not able
Verbatim to rehearse the method of my pen :
No, prelate; such is thy audacious wickedness,
Thy lewd, pestiferous, and dissentious pranksy
As very infants prattle of thy pride.
Thou art a most pernicious usurer ;
Froward by nature, enemy to peace;
Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems
A man of thy profession, and degree;
And for thy treachery, What's more manifest?
In that thou laid'st a trap to take my life,
As well at London bridge, as at the Tower?
Beside, I fear me, if thy thoughts were sifted,
The king, thy sovereign, is not quite exempt
From envious malice of thy swelling heart.
Win. Gloster, I do defy thee.—Lords, vouchsafe
To give me hearing what I shall reply.
If I were covetous, ambitious, or perverse,
As he will have me, How am I so poor?
Or how haps it, I seek not to advance
Or raise myself, but keep my wonted calling?
And for dissention, Who preferreth peace
More than I do,-except I be provok’d?
No, my good lords, it is not that offends;
It is not that, that hath incens'd the duke:
It is, because no one should sway but he;
No one, but he, should be about the king;
And that engenders thunder in his breast,
And makes him roar these accusations forth.
But he shall know, I am as good
Glo. As good?
Thou bastard of my grandfather !--
Win. Ay, lordly sir; For what are you, I pray, But one imperious in another's throne?
Glo. Am I not the protector, saucy priest?
Win. And am I not a prelate of the church?
Glo. Yes, as an outlaw in a castle keeps,