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My injured honor cries aloud for vengeance,
Her wounds will never close!
K. Edw. These gusts of passion
Will but inflame them; if I have been right
Informed, my lord, besides the dangerous fears
Of bleeding honor, you have other wounds
As deep, though not so fatal : such, perhaps,
As none but fair Elizabeth can cure.
K. Edw. Nay, start not, I have cause
To wonder most; I little thought, indeed,
When Warwick told me I might learn to love,
He was himself so able to instruct me.
But I've discovered all.
War. And so have I:
Too well I know thy breach of friendship there,
Thy fruitless, base endeavors to supplant me.
K. Edw. I scorn it, sir; Elizabeth hath charms,
And I have equal right with you to admire them :
Nor see I ought so godlike in the form,
So all-commanding in the name of Warwick,
That he alone should revel in the charms
Of beauty, and monopolize perfection.
I knew not of
War. By heaven, 'tis false !
You knew it all, and meanly took occasion,
Whilst I was busied in the noble office,
Your grace thought fit to honor me withal,
To tamper with a weak unguarded woman,-
To bribe her passions high, and basely steal
A treasure which your kingdom could not purchase.
K. Edw. How know you that? but be it as it may,
I had a right, nor will I tamely yield
My claim to happiness, the privilege,
To choose the partner of my throne and bed :
It is a branch of my prerogative.
War. Prerogative! what's that? the boast of tyrants:
A borrowed jewel, glittering in the crown
With specious lustre, lent but to betray:
You had it, sir, and hold it from the people.
K. Edw. And therefore do I prize it; I would guard Their liberties, and they shall strengthen mine ; But when proud faction and her rebel crew Insult their sovereign, trample on his laws, And bid defiance to his power, the people,
In justice to themselves, will then defend
and vindicate the rights they gave.
War. Go to your darling people then; for soon,
If I mistake not, 'twill be needful; try
Their boasted zeal, and see if one of them
Will dare to lift his arm up in your cause,
If I forbid him.
K. Edw. Is it so, my
Then mark my words : I've been your slave too long,
have ruled me with a rod of iron.
But henceforth know, proud peer, I am thy master,
And will be so: the king who delegates
His power to other's hands, but ill deserves
The crown he wears.
War. Look well then to your own;
It sits but loosely on your head; for, know,
The man who injured Warwick never passed
K. Edw. Nor he who threatened Edward
You may repent it, sir—my guards there! seize
This traitor, and convey him to the tower;
There let him learn obedience.
(Enter guards, who seize Warwick.)
War. Slaves, stand off:
If I must yield my sword, I'll give it him
Whom it so long has served : there's not a part
In this old faithful steel, that is not stained
With English blood in grateful Edward's cause.
Give me my chains, they are the bands of friendship,
Of a king's friendship; for his sake, awhile
I'll wear them.
K. Edw. Hence : away with him.
War. 'Tis well:
Exert your power, it may not last you long;
For know, though Edward may forget his friend,
That England will not. Now, sir, I attend you.
Mador. My lord, the prisoner. (Exit Mador.)
(Fitz-Edward is brought in guarded.) Caswallon. Let me look on himHis friendly visit shall have fitting welcome.
Good sooth-a gallant presence! it should speak
The embassador methinks, and not the spy.
Thou comest with message from our mighty masters:
Doubtless 'tis so:-in sending thee they deemed
That lofty carriage could not but suffice
At once to fright us into good behavior.
Fair youth-thy noble pleasure ?
Fitz-Edward. Scornful man-
I reck not of thy taunts,—who merits not
May well despise them; but before I tell
The purport of my presence here, resolve me
Art thou the chief of this insurgent troop,
Or whom do I address ?
Cas. Ask of thy country :
Ask at whose uttered name in times of yore
The stoutest of her warriors shook with dread;
Whom even yet perhaps she chiefly fears.
Ask who it is that still hath stood erect
E'en in the midst of kneeling Cambria :
Who still hath scorned her conqueror—disowned-
Despised-spurned-baffled him,-and I am he!
Fitz-Ed. Is't possible ?—Caswallon!
Cas. Ay, Caswallon. What! doth it shake thee?-Is the gulf that gapes. Beneath thy tottering feet, at length revealed ? Thou art Caswallon's captive.
Fitz-Ed. Haughty lord ! Think not that I stoop to deprecate your wrath. My life is in your hands :-) am unarmed. Use your advantage as you may-I reck not, Yet—though the assertion now, I blush to think it, May somewhat show like the device of fear,Yet truth demands my utterance to declare I did not seek your hills with hostile aimI am not what
Cas. No! and yet
Thou art a Saxon ?-and thy coming hither
Doubtless it was-
Fitz-Ed. To serve ye-yes, to save.
For think not that your rising is unknown:
Or that the Argus hate of Mortimer
Is slumbering 'mid your councils. Wretched men!
'Twas pity for your past, your present woes
That brought me hither. Oh! it is most true
Ye have had wrongs.-
Fitz-Ed. And heaven's my witness
That I have felt them to my inmost soul.
That I have ne'er forgot the ties that bind me
my dear-my native land, nor yet
Cas. Thy land!
Thine !—did I hear aright ?—and thou art then-
Fitz-Ed. E'en like thyself, a Cambrian.
Cas. He avows it!
Hear him he heralds forth his own deep shame!
Pranked in the trappings of his guilt, he comes
To beard us with the boast—the very boast
Of his apostate baseness !
Fitz-Ed. Spare to chide
Till thou hast heard my story. I have fought
Abroad beneath the banner, it is true,
Of English Edward : true, to him I owe
My name—my knighthood-all that I possess.
Since from my earliest years, while yet an infant,
Found after Deva's fight, I still have lived-
Cas. That fight oh name it not! (Covering his face, and
then regarding Fitz-Edward with softened looks.)
Art thou a sufferer too from that same fight?
Yet do not tell me. Oh, thou hast recalled
Days of despair and images of horror
A murdered wife and son. No more no more.
And thou wert ravished from thy parents, youth ?
So ran thy tale.
Fitz-Ed. 'Tis all I have to tell.
'Tis all I know, that in the sanctuary
Of a deserted convent, chance revealed me
Beside a dying mother.
Cas. Heavenly powers !
But this is strange--and stranger thoughts provokes.
A convent !—'Twas to such a place—The time too
Exactly suiting.–A deserted convent!
The name ;-the name?
Fitz-Ed. What can this mean?
Cas. (With impatient eagerness.) The name?
Fitz-Ed. I have been told-
Cas. Was it St. Cybi's ?
You then have heard
Cas. It was! and I am wild
With hope new risen as from the vanquished tomb!
(Re-Enter Mador.) Mad. My lord, the assembled bands
Cas. I know.—Come hither,
Dost thou observe that youth ?-his shape_his mien-
Nay-look upon him: for by all my hopes
Here and hereafter, I do think that youth
To be the child of my Guideria,
My long-lost living son.
Mad. That Saxon knight,
Fitz-Ed. (Aside.) Amazement mocks my every sense!
Why should he eye me with such altered looks ?-
Haply he knew my parents.—Ha!-dread chief-
If aught, as thy demeanor doth denote,
Aught of my birth thou knowest, I do beseech thee
Declare it. Have 1-oh! I fear to ask-
Have I a father?—thou art silent. Speak.
Restore to me a father ;-or if fate
Hath envious snatched him from these filial arms,
Restore to me a name, and I will bless thee!
Cas. Yet, yet, my heart, thou art too small to hold
A tide of bliss so copious ! One word more.-
Thou namedst an expiring mother.
By a chance arrow, as I since have heard,
While flying with myself, her infant charge,
From the victorious foe-to earth she fell :
And from her arms, that could no longer hold,
Unwilling gave me up—gave me to him
Who led that day. the assailant host, and now
With sorrowing heart stood o'er her as she died.
Cas. Go on-she spoke to him.
Fitz-Ed. She fain had spoken,
But could not-could not thank him for his oath
That nought should harm me, but with trembling lips
Just breathed the name of Armyn, and expired.
Cas. The name of Armyn! I can doubt no longer.
Off!let me hold him to my bursting heart:
My own—my living son!
Fitz-Ed. Mysterious heaven!
Art thou my father!—thou art—thy looks-
These clasping hands—all-all proclaim the truth.
Oh! let me kneel