Edward II – Monologue (Gaveston)

A monologue from the play by Christopher Marlowe


(Reading from a letter): ‘My father is deceas’d! Come, Gaveston,
And share the kingdom with thy dearest friend.’
Ah! Words that make me surfeit with delight!
What greater bliss can hap to Gaveston
Than live and be the favourite of a king!
Sweet prince, I come; these, these thy amorous lines
Might have enforc’d me to have swum from France,
And, like Leander, gasp’d upon the sand,
So thou would’st smile, and take me in thine arms.
The sight of London to my exil’d eyes
Is as Elysium to a new-come soul.
Not that I love the city, or the men,
But that it harbours him I hold so dear –
The king, upon whose bosom let me die
And with the world be still at enmity.
What need the Arctic people love starlight,
To whom the sun shines by both day and night?
Farewell base stooping to the lordly peers!
My knee shall bow to none but to the king.
As for the multitude, that are but sparks,
Rak’d up in the embers of their poverty;
Tanti, I’ll fawn first on the wind
That glanceth at my lips, and flieth away.

Read the play here

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