Act 2 - Scene 5
The Tower of London.
Enter MORTIMER, brought in a chair, and Gaolers
Kind keepers of my weak decaying age,
Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.
Even like a man new haled
from the rack,
So fare my limbs with long imprisonment.
And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death,
like aged in an age of care,
Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer.
These eyes, like lamps whose wasting
oil is spent,
Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent;
Weak shoulders, overborne with burthening grief,
pithless arms, like to a wither'd vine
That droops his sapless branches to the ground;
Yet are these feet,
whose strengthless stay is numb,
Unable to support this lump of clay,
Swift-winged with desire to get a
As witting I no other comfort have.
But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?
Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come:
We sent unto the Temple, unto his chamber;
And answer was
return'd that he will come.
Enough: my soul shall then be satisfied.
Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine.
Since Henry Monmouth
first began to reign,
Before whose glory I was great in arms,
This loathsome sequestration have I had:
even since then hath Richard been obscured,
Deprived of honour and inheritance.
But now the arbitrator
Just death, kind umpire of men's miseries,
With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence:
would his troubles likewise were expired,
That so he might recover what was lost.
Enter RICHARD PLANTAGENET
My lord, your loving nephew now is come.
Richard Plantagenet, my friend, is he come?
Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly used,
Your nephew, late despised Richard, comes.
Direct mine arms I may embrace his neck,
And in his bosom spend my latter gasp:
O, 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
Why didst thou say, of late thou wert despised?
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
And did upbraid me with my father's death:
Which obloquy set bars before my tongue,
the like I had requited him.
Therefore, good uncle, for my father's sake,
In honour of a true Plantagenet
for alliance sake, declare the cause
My father, Earl of Cambridge, lost his head.
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