Lust’s Dominion – Act One, Scene One

Return to Dramatis Personæ

Enter ZARACK and BALTAZAR, two Moors, taking tobacco; music sounding within; enter QUEEN MOTHER OF SPAIN with two Pages; ELEAZAR, sitting on a chair, suddenly draws the curtain.

On me, does music spend this sound on me
That hate all unity?  Hah!  Zarack!  Baltazar!

My gracious lord—

Are you there with your beagles?  Hark you slaves,
Did I not bind you on your lives to watch
That none disturb’d us?

Gentle Eleazar—

There, off.  Is’t you that deafs me with this noise?


Why is my love’s aspect so grim and horrid?
Look smoothly on me.
Chime out your softest strains of harmony,
And on delicious music’s silken wings
Send ravishing delight to my love’s ears,
That he may be enamoured of your tunes.
Come, let’s kiss.

Away, away.

No, no, says I, and twice away says stay.
Come, come, I’ll have a kiss, but if you strive
For one denial you shall forfeit five.

Nay, prithee, good queen, leave me.
I am now sick, heavy, and dull as lead.

I’ll make thee lighter by taking something from thee.

Do.  Take from me
This ague, and these fits that, hanging on me,
Shake me in pieces and set all my blood
A boiling with the fire of rage.  Away, away.
Thou believ’st I jest,
An laugh’st to see my wrath wear antic shapes.
Be gone, be gone.

What means my love?
Burst all those wires, burn all those instruments,
For they displease the Moor.  Art thou now pleas’d
Or wert thou now disturb’d?  I’ll wage all Spain
To one sweet kiss, this is some new device
To make me fond and long.  Oh, you men
Have tricks to make poor women die for you.

What, die for me!  Away.

Away?  What way?  I prithee, speak more kindly.
Why dost thou frown?  At whom?

At thee.

At me?
Oh, why at me?  For each contracted frown
A crooked wrinkle interlines my brow.
Spend but one hour in frowns and I shall look
Like to a beldam of one hundred years.
I prithee, speak to me and chide me not;
I prithee chide if I have done amiss,
But let my punishment be this, and this.
I prithee smile on me, if but awhile,
Then frown on me, I’ll die; I prithee smile;
Smile on me, and these two wanton boys,
These pretty lads that do attend on me,
Shall call thee Jove, shall wait upon thy cup
And fill thee nectar; their enticing eyes
Shall serve as crystal wherein thou mayst see
To dress thyself, if thou wilt smile on me.
Smile on me, and with coronets of pearl,
And bells of gold, circling their pretty arms,
In a round ivory fount these two shall swim
And dive to make thee sport.
Bestow one smile, one little little smile,
And in a net of twisted silk and gold
In my all-naked arms, thyself shall lie.

Why, what to do?  Lust’s arms do stretch so wide,
That none can fill them!  I’ll lay there?  Away!

Where has thou learn’d this language that can say
No more but two rude words, “Away, away?”
Am I grown ugly now?

Ugly as hell.

Thou lov’dst me once.

That can thy bastards tell.

What is my sin?  I will amend the same.

Hence, strumpet!  Use of sin makes thee past shame.


Ay, strumpet.

Too true,’tis. Woe is me.
I am a strumpet, but made so by thee.

By me?
No, no, by these young bawds.  Fetch thee a glass
And thou shalt see the balls of both thine eyes
Burning in fire of lust.  By me?  There’s here
Within this hollow cistern of thy breast
A spring of hot blood.  Have not I to cool it
Made an extraction of the quintessence
Even of my soul; melted all my spirits,
Ravish’d my youth, deflower’d my lovely cheeks,
And dried this, this to an anatomy
Only to feed your lust?  These boys have ears.
Yet wouldst thou murder me.

I murder thee!

I cannot ride through the Castilian streets
But thousand eyes through windows and through doors
Throw killing looks at me, and every slave
At Eleazar darts a finger out,
And every hissing tongue cries, “There’s the Moor,
That’s he that makes a cuckold of our king.
There goes the minion of the Spanish queen.
That’s the black prince of devils, there goes he
That on smooth boys, on masks and revellings
Spends the revenues of the king of Spain.”
Who arms this many-headed beast but you?
Murder and lust are twins, and both are thine.
Being weary of me thou wouldst worry me,
Because some new love makes thee loath thine old.


Harlot!  I’ll not hear thee speak.

I’ll kill myself unless thou hear’st me speak.
My husband king upon his deathbed lies,
Yet have I stol’n from him to look on thee.
A queen hath made herself thy concubine,
Yet dost thou now abhor me.  Hear me speak!
Else shall my sons plague thy adult’rous wrongs,
And tread upon thy heart for murd’ring me.
This tongue hath murder’d me.  Cry murder, boys.

Murder!  The queen’s murder’d!

Love! Slaves, peace!

Murder!  The queen’s murder’d!

Stop your throats!
Hark, hush you squalls.  Dear love, look up.
Our chamber window stares into the court,
And every wide mouth’d cur, hearing this news
Will give alarm to the cuckold king.
I did dissemble when I chid my love,
And that dissembling was to try my love.

Thou call’dst me strumpet.

I’ll tear out my tongue
From this black temple for blaspheming thee.

And when I woo’d thee but to smile on me,
Thou criedst, “Away, away” and frown’st upon me.

Come now, I’ll kiss thee; now I’ll smile upon thee.
Call to thy ashy cheeks their wonted red.
Come, frown not, pout not, smile, smile but upon me,
And with my poniard will I stab my flesh,
And quaff carouses to thee of my blood,
Whilst in moist nectar kisses thou dost pledge me.                                  [Knock.


How now, what star’st thou thus?

The king is dead.

Ha!  Dead?
You hear this, is’t true, is’t true?  The king dead!
Who dares knock thus?

It is the cardinal,
Making inquiry if the queen were here.

See?  She’s here, tell him!  And yet, Zarack, stay.



Don Roderigo’s come to seek the queen.

Why should Roderigo seek her here?

The king hath swounded thrice, and being recovered
Sends up and down the court to seek her grace.

The king was dead with you.  Run!  And with a voice
Erected high as mine, say thus, thus threaten
To Roderigo and the cardinal.
Seek no queens here; I’ll broach them if they do,
Upon my falchion’s point.  [Knock again.] Again more knocking!

Your father is at hand, my gracious lord.

Lock all the chambers, bat him out, you apes.
Hither, a vengeance.  Stir, Eugenia,
You know your old walk under ground, away!
So, down, hie to the king, quick, quick, you squalls,
Crawl with your dam i’th’dark.  Dear love, farewell.
One day I hope to shut you up in hell.                                          [Shuts them in.


Son, Eleazar, saw you not the queen?


Was not the queen here with you?

Queen with me!
Because, my lord, I’m married to your daughter,
You, like your daughter, will grow jealous.
The queen with me!  With me, a Moor, a devil,
A slave of Barbary, a dog!  For so
Your silken courtiers christen me.  But, father,
Although my flesh be tawny, in my veins
Runs blood as red and royal as the best
And proud’st in Spain; there does, old man.
My father, who with him empire, lost his life,
And left me captive to a Spanish tyrant.  Oh!
Go tell him!  Spanish tyrant!  Tell him, do!
He that can lose a kingdom but not rave,
He’s a tame jade; I am not, tell old Philip
I call him tyrant.  Here’s a sword and arms,
A heart, a head, and so push, ‘tis but death.
Old fellow, she’s not here.  But ere I die,
Sword, I’ll bequeath thee a rich legacy.

Watch fitter hours to think on wrongs than now,
Deaths frozen hand hold royal Philip’s heart.
Half of his body lies within a grave.
Then do not now by quarrels shake that state,
Which is already too much ruinate.
Come and take leave of him before he die.                                                    [Exit.

I’ll follow you.  Now purple villainy,
Sit like a robe imperial on my back,
That under thee I closelier may contrive
My vengeance.  Foul deeds hid do sweetly thrive;
Mischief erect thy throne and sit in state
Here, here upon this head; let fools fear fate,
Thus I defy my stars.  I care not, I
How low I tumble down, so I mount high
Old time I’ll wait bare-headed at thy heels,
And be a footboy to thy winged hours.
They shall not tell one minute out in sands,
But I’ll set down the number; I’ll still wake
And waste these balls of sight by tossing them
In busy observations upon thee.
Sweet opportunity!  I’ll bind myself
To thee in base apprenticehood so long,
Till on thy naked scalp grow hair so thick
As mine, and all hands shall lay hold on thee,
If thou wilt lend me but thy rusty scythe
To cut down all that stand within my wrongs
And my revenge.  Love dance in twenty forms
Upon my beauty, that this Spanish dame
May be bewitch’d and dote; her amorous flames
Shall blow up the old king, consume his son,
And make all Spain a bonfire.
This tragedy being acted, hers does begin
To shed a harlot’s blood can be no sin.                                                       [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene


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