The Weakest Goeth to the Wall – Scene 18

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Enter LOD’WICK, EMMANUEL, EPERNOUN in his chair, FREDERICK as FERDINAND with the provost and a headsman.

 EMMANUEL
My Lord of Bullen, many things might urge
Your speed of justice for so just a wrong;
As the regard of your own princely state
In case of him that is an equal peer;
The right of princes, which should underprop
An honourable and direct revenge.
I could perhaps say, were it not injustice,
The blood of Brabant should deserve of Bullen.
But I disrobe and strip off all regard,
And lay my wrongs as nakedly before you
As comes an infant born into the world.

LOD’WICK
My Lord of Brabant, what I freely urge
Is not to stop or turn the course of justice,
Which must sway all our actions, and must stand
Steady and fixed in one certain point;
But only by entreaty to your grace,
To supple your proceeding in this case.

EPERNOUN
My Lord of Brabant, may old Epernoun,
By license of my lord, the Duke of Bullen,
Have leave to speak, an old fool that I am,
By your good patience let me say my mind.
Now, by my troth, I cannot speak for tears.
Alas, alas!  There’s something I would say.
Now, God help age, would I were in my grave!
Justice may cut off Ferdinand.  Where is he?
Oh, art thou there, poor man?  Alas, alas!
Justice may cut him off, I’ll not deny;
But turn him with his swrd amongst his foes,
And he that buys his life shall buy it dear.
Alas, poor boy, would I could do thee good!
Oh, to see him lead an army in the field
Would make a man young, were as old as I.
I would thou hadst died where I saw thee last,
Even in the midst of all the Spanish army,
On that condition I had died with thee.
God help, God help, an ill mischance soon falls,
And still the weakest go unto the walls.

EMMANUEL
Defer me not, my lord; let me have justice.

LOD’WICK
My lord, you must have juctice, that you know.
But yet, my Lord of Brabant, might our love
Rebate this sharp edge of your bitter wrath,
With what an easy sweetness should our judgment
Be relished of every gentle heart.

EMMANUEL
My Lord of Bullen, urge me not with pity.
He against whom I am thus pitiless
Robb’d me of pity.  Proceed unto your judgment.

EPERNOUN
God help!  Pity is banish’d from the earth, I see.
Thou pitiest none, nor no man pities thee.

EMMANUEL
Old man, thou dotest.

EPERNOUN
Thou art a naughty lord, I tell thee, Brabant;
The day hath been thou durst not tell me so.

LOD’WICK
Have patience, gentle father.  True noble lord,
He will have death.  Who’s there?
Command the lady presently be brought.

LOD’WICK ascends.  The Lady is brought in.

EMMANUEL
Lod’wick of Bullen, is it not enough
Thou hast delay’d me in the case of justice,
But bringst this hateful whore unto my sight
To vex and grieve my soul?  I ttell thee, Bullen,
Thou wrongst mine honour with indignity.

FERDINAND
Ah, were i any tongue that call’d thee so
But his Odillia, I would make that word
Heretical and full of blasphemy.

EMMANUEL
My Lord of Bullen, I will not abide her.

LOD’WICK
My lord, you must abide her, since for her
You seek the life of this young Ferdinand.
Sift law so strictly, follow the offence,
Take all advantage of your evidence.

EPERNOUN
Now, by my troth, a goodly wench indeed.
Alas, poor earl.  Fair princess, speak thy mind,
And I’ll stand by thy side.  And yet I cannot.
Ah, this whoreson age.  Well, well.                                                 [He weeps.

EMMANUEL
I will not hear her speak.

LOD’WICK
All’s one, my Lord of Brabant.  We will hear her.
Speak freely, princess, and without control.

ODILLIA
Right reverend Lord,if only for my sake,
My father seek the death of Ferdinand,
I here acquit my husband of the fault,
Although I cannot of the punishment.
I was the thief, I was the ravisher,
And I am only guilty of the fact.
How like a robber did I lie in wait
With beauty to entrap his gentle youth?
And like a spirit when he hath walk’d alone,
How was I ever tempting him to love?
How with my favour did I work his breast,
Which at the first was stubborn, iron, cold,
Till I brought his heart to supple temper,
To take the soft impression of affection?
With these allurements would I oft intice him:
‘Though thou be base, my love shall me thee noble;
Though thou be proud, my power shall make thee rich;
Though thou be scorn’d, my state shall make thee reverenc’d.’
Let any of you all think with himself,
Where he so mean, so friendless, and unknown,
Wooed by a virgin princess of my birth,
So young, so great, so rich, as is my self;
Thinks he, he would not do as he hath done?
He’s guiltless of the fault; I was the cause.
Let me endure the rigour of your laws.

FERDINAND
Oh, thou dost wound my love with too much loving!
Thy beauty is too much prized but with death.
that man hath not a soul that would not die,
One hour to enjoy thy blessed company.

EPERNOUN
Nay, I must weep out these poor eyes are left.
I never saw a cause so full of pity.

EMMANUEL
My lord, proceed.  The law adjudges death
To him that steals the heir of any prince
That’s not a prince that doth commit the act.
He is my slave, one that was found by me,
Being a child, but fully two years old,
And as’t should seem, begot in bastardy,
And by the parents to that wicked fruit,
Left in the river’s sedges, there to be drown’d,
What time the ward in Burgundy fell out,
And that my duchess perish’d in the flight,
Not never did I know what was his name,
Being so young, he could not tell the same.
Only upon his muckender and band he had an ‘F,’
By which I did suppose his name was Ferdinand,
And so I nam’d him.

LOD’WICK
[Aside.] Oh, blessed heaven, what sound is this I hear?
My little boy was lost even at that time,
Just of that age, and by that river’s side,
Whose name was christen’d Frederick by my father,
And had an ‘F’ on everthing he wore.
It is my son.  Be silent yet awhile.
[Aloud.] My Lord of Brabant, then I take exception
Both unto your indictment and your plea.

EMMANUEL
As how, my Lord of Bullen?  Do me juctice.

LOD’WICK
He is indicted by the name of Ferdinand,
And I will prove him christen’d Frederick,
And thus is your indictment overthrown.

EMMANUEL
It is a fallacy, my Lord of Bullen;
He hath been ever called by that name.
Bullen, do me justice, or by heaven,
It is not France shall hold thee, impious duke!

LOD’WICK
Nay, if ye be so hot, my Lord of Brabant,
Then to your plea, that doth concern him most.
The law is this:  that he should lose his head
That steals away the heir of any prince,
If not a prince that doth commit the rape.

EMMANUEL
So it my plea.

LOD’WICK
I grant, but void in this:
He is a prince that stole away thy daughter;
This is not Ferdinand, but Frederick,
The heir of Bullen and my only son.
Ah, my sweet boy!  Ah, my dear Frederick!
Here now I stand and here doth stand my boy.
In Christendom let any two that dare
Aver it to the father and the son
That he is not as great a prince as Brabant.

EPERNOUN
Nay, I’ll be one.  Any three, whate’er they be!
And Brabant, be thou one to answer us.
Some honest man, help mt to Frederick.
For joy I shall weep out mine eyes.

EMMANUEL
Bullen, how dost thou know him for thy son?

LOD’WICK
Why, cousin Brabant, you say you found him
Hid in the sedges by the river; even at that instant
And at the very place, the duchess, my dear sister perished,
With whom my little boy was at the time.
The place, the instant, and his certain age,
The letters set to signify his name,
The very manner of your finding him,
When you departed from me with your army
In the pursuit of trait’rous Mercury,
These all affirm that he is only mine.

EMMANUEL
My Lord of Bullen, I embrace your love
In all firm and true brotherly affection.
I make your son my son, my daughter yours,
And do entreat in princely courtesy
Old grief henceforth no more be thought upon.

LOD’WICK
Dear brother Brabant, your true princely kindness
Doth but forestall what i would have requested.
Right noble prince, I give you Frederick,
And I accept your sweet Odillia.
Come, thou art now the Duke of Bullen’s daughter;
Thy husband is the Duke of Brabant’s son;
Thou shalt be now my care; my son, they father’s.
Thus do we make exchange betwixt each other’s;
Thus should it be betwixt two loving brothers.

EPERNOUN
Nay, nay, let me be one, I pray you, lords.
I have no child left to inherit mine
When I shall die, as long I cannot live,
I freely give them all that ere I have.                                      [He weeps.

LOD’WICK
A thousand thanks, true noble Epernoun.
Brother of Brabant, Frederick and fair princess,
Embrace this noble lord and hold him dear.

FERDINAND & ODILLIA
Our father, guide and comfort we you call,
And be you ever honour’d of us all.

Enter VILLIERS, ORIANA and DIANA.

 VILLIERS
Justice, my Lord of Bullen, I beseech you.

LOD’WICK
My friend, what is thy cuase then.  Let us know.
Sit down, good brother Brabant, and the rest.

VILLIERS
My lord, my suit is here against a widow
That I have long time sued in way of marriage.

LOD’WICK
[Aside.] Let me with judgment view this woman well.
Stay, let me see.  It is my Oriana,
And my poor Dian, my dear loved girl!
Alas, poor souls, what woe and misery
Have ye endured since I left you last?
I will forbear my knowledge till I see
To what effect this cause will sort unto.
[Aloud.] Tell on your case:  of whence, and what’s your name?

VILLIERS
I am of Rochele, and my name, Villiers.

LOD’WICK
Of what profession?

VILLIERS
A merchant I, my honourable lord.

ORIANA
[Aside.] But though you be a merchant, I believe
Here is some ware you must not deal with.
[To DIANA.] Thinkst thou, Diana, my dear lord, thy father,
Will know us in this seamster’s poor disguise?

DIANA
[Aside to ORIANA.] Madam, I know not; for much time is passed,
Since he at Newkirk parted with us last.
She must be widow if the merchant’s wife,
But by this match, I think he’ll hardly thrive.

LOD’WICK
Master Villiers, you shall have justice, sir.
Speak in your cause; you have free liberty.

VILLIERS
My Lord of Bullen, thus then stands my case:
This gentlewoman whom my suit concerns,
Being embark’d for England wit her daughter
To seek her husband as she made report,
Twixt Sluice in Flanders, where she went aboard,
And Goodwin’s Sands, by sturdy, adverse winds
Was beaten back upon the coast of France,
And came to Rochelle, where my dwelling is.
I, taking likeing of her, entertain’d her;
Let her a house, convenient, as I thought,
And lent her money to supply her wants;
And afterwards, won by affection,
I did solicit her in way of marriage.
But still she did defer me with delays,
Because she said her husband still did live;
But for my kindness, if her husband died,
She told me then I was the likest to speed.
She, having got some money  by her needle,
Desired me to let her have a lease.
The lease was drawn, to which she put her name,
‘Widow,” which here her own hand testifies;
Which being thus confessed by herself,
I, by her promise, claim her for my wife.

LOD’WICK
The cause is plain.

ORIANA
That he shall go without me.

LOD’WICK
Lady, what way have you to avoid this bond?
Here is your hand set to confirm the deed.

ORIANA
[Aside.] But not my heart, and that I will be sworn.
[Aloud.] Here’s one, I think, that hath had that to long
To leave it now, or else I have more wrong.
Unto the scrivener I referr’d the same,
And he put that word ‘widow’ to my name.
I humbly do entreat your highness’ favour,
For if you knew where I had dwelt before,
I think you would do that for me and more.

LOD’WICK
Speak, gentlewoman, where have you been bred?

ORIANA
I was attending in my younger years,
And this sweet girl, though now thus mean and poor,
Upon the duchess, the duke’s wife of Bullen;
Though I say it, one that she loved once,
Whilst she did flourish in prosperity;
And had not fortune much impair’d her state,
I had not now stood in such need of friends.                             [She weeps.
But when the greatest into danger falls,
The weakest still did go unto the walls.

LOD’WICK
‘Tis very true, that I have tried myself.
Thy tears no longer can conceal my love.
Rise, Oriana, rise my sweet Diana;
Lod’wick’s true wife and his right virtuous.
Embrace thy lost son, Frederick, once more,
Whom we supposed never to have seen.
With him receive a daughter, Brabant’s heir;
He hath been foster father to thy boy,
And both are here to full complete our joy.

ORIANA
My dear Frederick?

DIANA
My beloved brother?

FERDINAND
Oh, happy Frederick, finding such a mother,
And such a sister, father, friends and all;
Never a man did better fortune fall.

LOD’WICK
How say you, master merchant?  Is your suit
Void in law or no?  Is she a widow now?

VILLIERS
No, my good lord, and I rejoice thereat.

LOD’WICK
Thanks,  butwe will requite thy love and kindness
Extended to them in necessity,
And our reward thou shalt have liberally.

Enter a Messenger.

What news with thee, thou comest in such haste?

MESSENGER
His highness from his holy pilgrimage
Is home return’d, and doth require your presence.

LOD’WICK
That’s but our duty.  Welcome is our king.
His highness now shall sentence trait’rous Anjou,
According as his treacheries deserve;
And all our joys shall be disclos’d to him,
That have so happily this day befall’n.
Thus time the saddest heart from sorrow calls,
And helps the weak, long thrust unto the walls.                                        [Exeunt.

F I N I S.

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