The Weakest Goeth to the Wall – Scene 5

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Enter HERNANDO DE MEDINA and DON UGO DE CORDOVA with their Soldiers.

 HERNANDO
It seems that the nobility of France
Are all asleep, that unresisted, thus
We dive into the entrails of their land.
Is there no haughty chevalier, no spirit
Heroic, dare so much as once demand
Wherefore we come, or offer us the fight?
Why then, proceed we as we have begun
To take possession, not to conquer here.
What city call you this?

DON UGO
Shamount, my lord.

HERNANDO
Mount?  Whither does it mount?  I’ll make it lie
As level as her other fellwos do,
And though her lofty turrets touch the clouds,
Yet will I teach her like an humble handmaid,
To make a lowly curtsey to the ground.
Shamount shall stoop; Medina says the word.

Enter several Citizens.

But who are these?  Don Ugo, question them.

DON UGO
Of whence are you?  Speak quickly, lest my sword
Prevent your tongues by searching of your hearts.

FIRST CITIZEN
Great prince of Spain, we are th’inhabitants
Of this distressed city of Shamount.

HERNANDO
Yet more of mount?  Shall I be haunted still
With echo of Shamount?  How dare you slaves
Have any such proud title in your mouths?
Shall stoop, I say, be that your city’s name,
For I will make it stoop before I pass.

SECOND CITIZEN
Then, dread commander of the Spanish force,
If not for out humility and prayers,
Yet for these presents which we bring to thee,
A cup of gold, and in the same contain’d
Five thousand marks, respect out naked walls.
Draw not thy sword against out yielding souls,
But passing by in peace, let this alone,
This harmless city mongst all other ruins,
Stand as a trophy of thy clemency.

HERNANDO
Would you corrupt out valour with your coin,
Or do you think the Spaniard is so poor
A little gold can make him sell his honour?
No, were your streets through ston’d with diamonds,
And you should dig them up to bring them hither,
Or were your houses, in the stead of slate,
Cover’d with silver, and yourselves prepar’d
To tear it off and give it us,
Nay, were your walls of purest chrysolyte,
And pull’d beside their bounds for out own use;
Yet would we scorn all this and ten times more,
For we count honour sweetness of dominion;
‘Tis lordship that we come for, and to rule,
More worth then millions, stoop and kiss our feet,
Bring forth your daughters and your fairest wives
To be our concubines; wait you yourselves
Upon our trenchers, and like stable grooms,
Rub out horse heels, and then perhaps we’ll yield
That you shall live, or so, but otherwise,
Look for no pity at Medina’s hand.
And for an instance, thus and thus I seal                            [He kills them.
The covenant of my great controlling spirit.
[To DON UGO] And now amain give onset to the town.

Enter MERCURY and his men.

 MERCURY
First, insolent Medina, here is one
Will try how thou canst but end a man
Before thou lay thy force unto a wall.

HERNANDO
Now by mine honour, welcome to the field!
Live there a Frenchman then dare try with us?
I thought you had been Pygmies all till now,
And durst not look a Spaniard in the face.
But now I see you are of taller shapes,
However hearted, that is yet unknown.

MERCURY
So hearted, Spaniard, as we are resolv’d
To plague thee for thy damned cruelty.

HERNANDO
Talk then no longer.  Show your chivalry.

[Alarum.  They fight.  MERCURY is wounded and put to flight.

 HERNANDO
Was this the worthy champion so resolv’d
To plague us as he said?  Was this the man
France had pick’d out to take her quarrel up?
Now, sure a trusty wight; when hands serve not,
Be knows the way to take him to his heels.
Yet it is good that we did meet with him,
Be it but for this, to keep our hands in ure
And breathe our pursy bodies, which I fear
Would have grown stiff for want of exercise.
But now no more.  Enter the city-gates,
And therein boldly everyone devise
How he can lord it in the Frenchman’s eyes.                                [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene.

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