The Noble Spanish Soldier – Act 4, Scene 2

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Enter CORNEGO and BALTAZAR.

 CORNEGO
The Lady Onæla dresseth the stead of her commendations in the most courtly attire that words cannot be cloth’d with, from herself to you, by me.

 BALTAZAR
So sir; and what disease troubles her now?

 CORNEGO
The king’s evil; and here she hath sent something to you wrapp’d up in a white sheet.  You need not fear to open it; ‘tis no coarse.

 BALTAZAR
What’s here?  A letter minc’d into five morsels?
What was she doing when thou camst from her?

 CORNEGO
At her prick-song.

 BALTAZAR
So me, thanks, for here’s nothing but sol, re, me, fa, mi.
What crotchet fills her head now, canst tell?

 CORNEGO
No crotchets.  ‘Tis only the cliff has made her mad.

 BALTAZAR
What instrument play’d she upon?

 CORNEGO
A wind instrument; she did nothing but sigh.

 BALTAZAR
Sol, re, me, fa, mi.

 CORNEGO
My wit has always had a singing head.  I have found out her note, captain.

 BALTAZAR
The tune?  Come.

 CORNEGO
Sol, my soul; re, all is rent and torn like a ragamuffin; me, mend it, good captain; fa, fa, what’s “fa,” captain?

 BALTAZAR
Fa?  Why, farewell and be hang’d.

 CORNEGO
Mi, captain, with all my heart.  Have I tickled my lady’s fiddle well?

 BALTAZAR
Oh, but your stick wants rosen to make the strings sound clearly; no, this double virginal, heing cunningly touch’d, another manner of Jack leaps up then is now in mine eye.  Sol, re, me, fa, mi, I have it now:  Solus rex me facit miseram.  Alas, poor lady, tell her no ‘pothecary in Spain has any of that assa fetida she writes for.

 CORNEGO
Assa fetida?  What’s that?

 BALTAZAR
A thing to be taken in a glister-pipe.

 CORNEGO
Why, what ails my lady?

 BALTAZAR
What ails she?  Why, when she cries out, “solus rex me facit miseram,” she says in the hypercronicall language, that she is so miserably tormented with the wind-colic that it racks her very soul.

 CORNEGO
I said somewhat cut her soul in pieces.

 BALTAZAR
But go to her, and say the oven is heating.

 CORNEGO
And what shall be bak’d in’t?

 BALTAZAR
Carp pies; and besides, tell her the hole in her coat shall be mended; and tell her if the dial of good days go true, why then bounce buckram.

 CORNEGO
The devil lies sick of the mulligrubs.

 BALTAZAR
Or the cony is dubb’d, and three sheepskins—

 CORNEGO
With the wrong side outwad—

 BALTAZAR
Shall make the fox a night-cap.

 CORNEGO
So the goose talks French to the buzzard.

 BALTAZAR
But, sir, if evil days justle our prognostication to the wall, then say there’s a fire in a whoremaster’s codpiece.

 CORNEGO
And a poison’d bag-pudding in Tom Thumb’s belly.

 BALTAZAR
The first cut be thine.  Farewell.

 CORNEGO
Is this all?

 BALTAZAR
Would not trust an almanac?

 CORNEGO
Nor a coranta neither, though it were seal’d with butter; and yet I know where they both lie passing well.

Enter LOPEZ.

 LOPEZ
[To BALTAZAR] The king sends round about the court to seek you.

 BALTAZAR
Away, otterhound.

 CORNEGO
Dancing bear, I am gone.                                                                                      [Exit.

Enter KING, attended.

 KING
A private room.                                                                                      [Exeunt omnes.
Is’t done?  Hast drawn thy two-edg’d sword out yet?

 BALTAZAR
No; I was striking at the two iron bars that hinder your passage, and see, sir.

 KING
What mean’st thou?

 BALTAZAR
The edge abated; feel.

 KING
No, no, I see it.

 BALTAZAR
As blunt as ignorance.

 KING
How?  Put up!  So, how?

 BALTAZAR
I saw by chance hanging in Cardinal Alvarez’ gallery a picture of hell.

 KING
So, what of that?

 BALTAZAR
There lay upon burnt straw ten thousand fellows all stark naked, some leaning upon crowns, some on mitres, some on bags of gold; glory in another corner lay like a feather beaten in the rain; beauty was turn’d into a watching candle, that went out stinking; ambition went upon a huge high pair of stilts, but horribly rotten; some  in another nook were killing kings, and some  having their elbows shov’d forward by kings to murder others.  I was, methought, half in hell myself whilst I stood to view this piece.

 KING
Was this all?

 BALTAZAR
Was’t not enough to see that a man is more healthful that eats dirty puddings than he that feeds on a corrupted conscience?

 KING
Conscience!  What’s that?  A conjuring book ne’er open’d
Without the reader’s danger;  ‘tis indeed
A scarecrow set i’th’world to fright weak fools.
Hast thou seen fields pav’d o’er with carcasses,
Now to be tender-footed, not to tread
On a boy’s mangled quarters, and a woman’s?

 BALTAZAR
Nay, sir, I have search’d the records of the low countries, and find that by your pardon, I need not care a pin for goblins, and therefore I will do’t, sir.  I did but recoil because I was double charg’d.

 KING
No more; here comes a satyr with sharp horns.

Enter  CARDINAL and MEDINA like a French doctor.

 CARDINAL
Sir, here’s a Frenchman charg’d with some strange business,
Which to your close ear only he’ll deliver,
Or else to none.

 KING
A Frenchman?

 MEDINA
Oui, Monsieur.

 KING
Cannot he speak the Spanish?

 MEDINA
Si, Signior, un Poco.  Monsieur Acontez in de corner, me come for offer to your bon grace mi trezhumbla service, by gar, no John fidleco shall put into your near braver melody dan dis un petite pipe shall play upon to your great bon grace.

 KING
What is the tune you strike up; touch the string.

 MEDINA
Dis:  me ha run up and down mane country and learn many fine ting, and mush knavery, now more and all dis, me know you ha jumbla de fine vench and fill her belly wid a garçon.  Her name is Madame—

 KING
Onælia

 MEDINA
She, by gar.  Now, Monsieur, dis madam send for me to help her malady, being very naught of her corpse, her body, me know you no point love-a dis vench; but royal monsieur don moye ten towsand Frensh Croowns she shall kick up her tail, by gar, and beshide lie dead as dog in de shannel.

 KING
Speak low.

 MEDINA
As de bag-pipe when de wind is puff, gar beigh.

 KING
Thou nam’st ten thousand crowns; I’ll treble them
Rid me but of this leprosy.  Thy name?

 MEDINA
Monsieur Doctor Devil.

 KING
Shall I a second wheel add to this mischief
To set it faster going?  If one break
Th’other may keep his motion.

 MEDINA
Esselent fort boon.

 KING
Baltazar,
To give thy sword an edge again, this Frenchman
Shall whet thee on, that if thy pistol fail,
Or poniard, this can send the poison home.

 BALTAZAR
Brother Cain, we’ll shake hands.

 MEDINA
In de bowl of de bloody busher; ‘tis very fine whomesome.

 KING
And more to arm your resolution,
I’ll tune this churchman so, that he shall chime
In sounds harmonious; merit to that man

 BALTAZAR
That music were worth hearing.

 KING
Holy father,
You must give pardon to me in unlocking.
A cave stuff’d full with serpents, which my state
Threaten to poison, and it lies in your
To break their bed with thunder of your voice.

 CARDINAL
How, princely son?

 KING
Suppose an universal
Hot pestilence beat her mortiferous wings
O’er all my kingdom; am not I bound in soul
To empty all our academe’s of doctors
And Æsculapian spirits to charm this plague?

 CARDINAL
You are.

 KING
Or had the cannon made a breach
Into our rich Escurial, down to beat it
About our ears, should I stop this breach
Spare even out richest ornaments, nay, out crown,
Could it keep bullets off?

 CARDINAL
No, sir, you should not.

 KING
This linstock gives you fire; shall then the strumpet
And bastard breath quick vengeance in my face;
Making my kingdom reel, my subjects stagger
In their obedience and yet live?

 CARDINAL
How?  Live?
Shed not their bloods to fain a kingdom greater
Then ten times this.

 MEDINA
Pish, not matter-a how red-cap and his wit run.

 KING
As I am Catholic king, I’ll have their hearts
Panting in these two hands.

 CARDINAL
Dare you turn hangman?
Is this religion Catholic to kill
What even bruit beasts abhor to do; your own?
To cut in sunder wedlocks sacred know
Tied by heaven’s fingers!  To make Spain a bonfire
To quench which must a second deluge rain
In showers of blood, no water; if you do this,
There is an arm armipotent that can fling you
Into a base grave, and your palaces
With lightning strike, and of their ruins make
A tomb for you, unpitied, and abhor’d,
Bear witness all you lamps celestial;
I wash my hands of this.                                                                                [Kneeling.

 KING
Rise, my good angel,
Whose holy tunes beat from me that evil spirit
Which jogs mine elbow, hence thou dog of hell!

 MEDINA
Baw wawghe!

 KING
Bark out no more, thou mastiff, get you all gone,
And let my soul sleep.  [Aside to BALTAZAR] There’s gold, peace, see it done.

[Exit.

 BALTAZAR
Sirrah, you salsa-perilla rascal, toad’s-guts, you whoreson pocky French spawn of a bursten-bellied spider; do you hear, Monsieur?

 MEDINA
Why do you bark and snap at my Narcissus, as if I were de Frensh dog?

 BALTAZAR
You cur of Cerberus’ litter, [Strikes him] you’ll poison the honest lady?  Do but once toot into her chamber-pot, and I’ll make thee look worse than a witch does upon a close-stool!

 CARDINAL
You shall not dare to touch him, stood he here single before thee.

 BALTAZAR
I’ll cut the rat into anchovies!

 CARDINAL
I’ll make thee kiss his hand, embrace him, love him, and call him—

[MEDINA discovers.

 BALTAZAR
The perfection of all Spaniards, Mars in little, the best book of the art of war printed in these times; as a French doctor I would have given you pellets for pills, but as m noblest lord, rip my heart out in your service.

  MEDINA
Thou art the truest clock
That e’er to time paid’st tribute, honest soldier.
I lost mine own shape, and put on a French,
Only to try thy truth, and the king’s falsehood;
Both which I find.  Now this great Spanish volume
Is open’d to me; I read him o’er and o’er.
Oh, what black characters are printed on him.

 CARDINAL
Nothing but certain ruin threats your niece,
Without prevention; well this plot was laid
In such disguise to sound him; they that know
How to meet dangers, are the less afraid;
Yet let me counsel you not to text down
These wrongs in red lines.

 MEDINA
No, I will not, father;
Now that I have anatomiz’d his thoughts,
I’ll read a lecture on ‘em that shall save
Many men’s lives, and to the kingdom minister
Most wholesome surgery.  Here’s our aphorism.
These letters from us in our niece’s name,
You know treat of a marriage.

 CARDINAL
There’s the strong anchor
To stay all in this tempest.

 MEDINA
Holy sir,
With these work you the king, and so prevail
That all these mischiefs hull with flagging sail.

 CARDINAL
My best in this I’ll do.

 MEDINA
Soldier, thy best
I must lock better things in.

 BALTAZAR
‘Tis your chest,
With three good keys to keep it from opening an honest heart, a daring hand, and a pocket which scorns money.                              [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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