Lust’s Dominion – Act Three, Scene Two

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Enter FERNANDO with his rapier drawn in one hand, leading MARIA seeming affrighted by th’other.

MARIA
Oh, kill me ere you stain my chastity!

FERNANDO
My hand hold death, but love sits in mine eye.
Exclaim not, dear Maria, do but hear me.
Though thus in dead of night as I do now
The lustful Tarquin stole to the chaste bed
Of Collatine’s fair wife, yet shalt thou be
No Lucrece, nor thy king a Roman slave,
To make rude villainy thine honour’s grave.

MARIA
Why from my bed have you thus frighted me?

FERNANDO
To let thee view a bloody horrid tragedy.

MARIA
Begin it then.  I’ll gladly lose my life,
Rather than be an emperor’s concubine.

FERNANDO
By my high birth I swear thou shalt be none.
The tragedy that I write with my own hand,
A king shall act in it, and a king shall die.
Except, sweet mercies beam shine from thine eye.
If this affright thee it shall sleep forever;
If still thou hate me, thus this noble blade,
This royal purple temple shall invade.

MARIA
My husband is from hence.  For his sake spare me.

FERNANDO
Thy husband is no Spaniard, thou art one;
So is Fernando; then for country’s sake
Let me not spare thee.  On thy husband’s face
Eternal night is gloomy shades doth dwell;
But I’ll look on thee like the gilded sun
When to the west his fiery horses run.

MARIA
True, true, you look on me with sunset eyes,
For by behondling you my glory dies.

FERNANDO
Call me thy morning the, for like the morn,
In pride Maria shall through Spain be borne.         [Music plays within.
This music I prepar’d to please thine ears,
Love me and thou shalt hear no other sounds.
Lo, here’s a banquet set with mine own hands.    [A banquet brought in.
Love me, and thus I’ll feast thee like a queen.
I might command thee being thy sovereign,
But love me and I’ll kneel and sue to thee,
And circle this white forehead with the crown
Of Castile, Portugal and Arragon,
And all those petty kingdoms which do bow
Their tributary knees to Philip’s heir.

MARIA
I cannot love you whilst my husband lives.

FERNANDO
I’ll send him to the wars, and in the front
Of some main army shall he nobly die.

MARIA
I cannot love you if you murder him.

FERNANDO
For thy sake then, I’ll call a Parliament
And banish by a law all Moors from Spain.

MARIA
I’ll wander with him into banishment.

FERNANDO
It shall be death for any negro’s hand,
To touch the beauty of a Spanish dame.
Come, come, what needs such cavils with a king?
Night blinds all jealous eyes, and we may play,
Carouse that bowl to me, I’ll pledge all this;
Being down, we’ll make it more sweet with a kiss.
Begin.  I’ll lock all doors. Begin, Spain’s queen,             [Locks the door.
Love’s banquet is most sweet when ‘tis least seen.

MARIA
[Aside.] Oh, thou conserver of my honour’s life!
Instead of poisoning him, drown him in sleep.
Because I’ll quench the flames of wild desire,
I’ll drink this off, let fire conquer love’s fire.

FERNANDO
Were love himself in real substance here,
Thus would I drink him down; let your sweet strings
Speak louder, pleasure is but a salve to kings,
In which love swims. Maria, kiss thy king.
Circle me in this ring if ivory.
Oh! I grow dull, and the cold hand of sleep
Hath thrust his icy fingers in my breast,
And made a frost within.  Sweet, one kiss
To thaw this deadness that congeals my soul.

MARIA
Your majesty hath overwatch’d yourself.
He sleeps already, not the sleep of death,
But a sweet slumber which the powerful drug
Instill’d through all his spirits.  Oh, bright day!
Bring home my dear lord, ere his king awake,
Else of his unstain’d bed he’ll shipwrack make.                  [Offers to go.

Enter OBERON, and Fairies dancing before him, and music with them.

MARIA
Oh me!  What shapes are these?

OBERON
Stay, stay, Maria.

MARIA
My sovereign lord awake.  Save poor Maria.

OBERON
He cannot save thee, save that pain;
Before he wake thou shalt be slain.
His mother’s hand shall stop thy breath,
Thinking her own son is done to death.
And she that takes away thy life,
Does it to be thy husband’s wife.
Adieu, Maria; we must hence.
Embrace thine end with patience.
Elves and Fairies, make no stand,
Till you come in Fairy Land.                    [Exeunt dancing and singing.

MARIA
Fairies or devils, whatsoe’re you be,
Thus will I hide me from your company.                     [Offers to be gone.

To her enter QUEEN MOTHER suddenly, with ALVERO, RODERIGO, VERDUGO, and CHRISTOPHERO with rapiers.

QUEEN MOTHER
Lay hold that strumpet.  Where’s the king?
Fernando, son!  Ah me, your king is dead!
Lay hand upon the murd’ress!

MARIA
Imperious queen,
I am as free from murder as thyself,
Which I will prove if you will hear me speak.
The king is living.

RODERIGO
If he liv’d, his breath
Would beat within his breast.

QUEEN MOTHER
The life he leads,
Maria, thou shalt soon participate.

MARIA
Oh, father, save me!

ALVERO
Thou’rt no child of mine.
Hadst thou been owner of Alvero’s spirit,
Thy heart would not have entertain’d a thought
That had convers’d with murder; yet mine eyes,
Howe’er my tongue want words, brim full with tears,
Entreat her further trial.

VERDUGO
To what end?
Here lies her trial.  From this royal breast
Hath she stolen all comfort; all the life
Of every bosom in the realm of Spain.

RODERIGO
She’s both a traitor and a murd’ress.

QUEEN MOTHER
I’ll have her forthwith strangled.

ALVERO
Hear her speak.

QUEEN MOTHER
To heaven let her complain if she have wrong.              [Stabs MARIA.
I murder but the murd’ress of my son.

ALL
We murder but the murd’ress of out king.

ALVERO
Ah me!  My child, oh!  Oh, cease your torturing!

MARIA
Heaven ope the windows, that my spotless soul,
Riding upon the wings of innocence,
May enter Paridise.  Fairies, farewell.
Fernando’s death in mine you did foretell.   [She dies. FERNANDO wakes.

FERNANDO
Who calls Fernando?  Love, Maria, speak.
Oh, whither art thou fled?  Whence flow these waters
That fall like winter storms from thy drown’d eyes.

ALVERO
From my Maria’s death!

FERNANDO
My Maria dead?
Damn’d by the soul to hell that stopp’d her breath!
Maria, oh me, who durst murder her?

QUEEN MOTHER
I thought, my dear Fernando had been dead,
And in my indignation murder’d her.

FERNANDO
I was not dead until you murder’d me
By killing fair Maria.

QUEEN MOTHER
Gentle son—

FERNANDO
Ungentle mother, you a deed have done
Of so much ruth that no succeeding age
Can ever clear you of.  Oh, my dear love,
Yet heaven’s can witness thou wert never mine.
Spain’s wonder was Maria.

QUEEN MOTHER
Sweet, have done.

FERNANDO
Have done!  For what?  For shedding zealous tears
Over the tomb of virtuous chastity.
You cry, “have done,” when you were shedding blood.
Have you done, mother?  Yes, yes, you have done,
That which will undo your unhappy son.

RODERIGO
These words become you not, my gracious son.

FERNANDO
These words become not me; no more it did
Become you lords to be mute standers by
When lustful fury ravish’d chastity.
It ill becomes me to lament her death,
But it became you well to stop her breath.
Had she been fair and not so virtuous,
This deed had not been half so impious.

ALVERO
But she was fair in virtue, virtuous fair!
Oh me!

FERNANDO
Oh me!  She was true honour’s heir.
Hence, beldame, from my presence; all fly hence.
You are all murderers.  Come, poor innocence,
Clasp thy cold hand in mine, for here I’ll lie;
And since I liv’d, for her I’ll die.

Enter ELEAZAR with a torch and rapier drawn.

ELEAZAR
Bar up my castle gates!  Fire and confusion
Shall girt these Spanish curs.  Was I for this,
Sent to raise power against a fugitive,
To have my wife deflower’d?  Zounds, where’s my wife?
My slaves cry out, she’s dallying with the king!
Stand by.  Where is your king?  Eleazar’s bed
Shall scorn to be an emperor’s brothelrie.

QUEEN MOTHER
Be patient, Eleazar.  Here’s the king.

ELEAZAR
Patience and I are foes.  Where’s my Maria?

ALVERO
Here is her hapless corse that was Maria.

FERNANDO
Here lies Maria’s body, here her grave.
Her dead heart in my breast a tomb shall have.

ELEAZAR
Now by the proud complexion of my cheeks,
Ta’en from the kisses of the amorous sun,
Were he ten thousand kings that slew my love,
Thus should my hand, plum’d with revenge’s wings,
Requite mine own dishonour and her death!          [Stabs FERNANDO.

QUEEN MOTHER
Ah me! My son!

ALL
The king is murdered!
Lay hold on the damn’d traitor.

ELEAZAR
In his breast
That dares but dart a finger at the Moor,
I’ll bury this sharp steel yet reeking warm
With the unchaste blood of that lecher king
That threw my wife in an untimely grave.

ALVERO
She was my daughter, and her timeless grave
Did swallow down my joys as deep as yours.
But thus—

ELEAZAR
But what?  Bear injuries that can,
I’ll wear no fork’d crest.

RODERIGO
Damn this black fiend.
Cry “treason” through the court. The king is murder’d.

ELEAZAR
He that first ope’s his lips, I’ll drive his words
Down his wide throat upon my rapier’s point.
The king is murder’d, and I’ll answer it.
I am dishonour’d and I will revenge it.
Bend not your dangerous weapons at my breast.
Thing where you are; this castle is the Moor’s;
You are environ’d with a wall of flint.
The gates are lock’d, portcullises let down.
If Eleazar spend one drop of blood

Enter ZARACK and BALTAZAR above with calivers.

On those high turret tops my slaves stand arm’d,
And shall confound your souls with murd’ring shot.
Or, if you murder me, yet under ground
A villain that for me will dig to hell,
Stands with a burning linstock in his fist,
Who firing gunpowder, up in the air
Shall fling your torn and mangled carcasses.

QUEEN MOTHER
Oh, sheath your weapons; though my son be slain,
Yet save yourselves; choose a new sovereign.

ALL
Prince Philip is our sovereign; choose him king.

ELEAZAR
Prince Philip shall not be my sovereign.
Philip’s a bastard, and Fernando’s dead.
Mendoza sweats to wear Spain’s diadem.
Philip hath sworn confusion to this realm;
They both are up in arms; war’s flames do shine
Like lightning in the air.  Wherefore, my lords,
Look well on Eleazar.  Value me
Not by my sunburnt cheek, but by my birth;
Nor by my birth, but by my loss of blood,
Which I have sacrificed in Spain’s defence.
Then look on Philip and the Cardinal.
Look on those gaping curs whose wide throats
Stand stretch’d wide open like the gates of death
To swallow you, your country, children, wives.
Philip cries fire and blood; the Cardinal
Cries likewise fire and blood; I’ll quench those flames.
The Moor cries blood and fire, and that shall burn
Till Castile like proud Troy to cinders turn.

RODERIGO
Lay by these ambages.  What seeks the Moor?

ELEAZAR
A kingdom; Castile’s crown.

ALVERO
Peace, devil.  For shame!

QUEEN MOTHER
Peace doting lord, for shame!  Oh, misery,
When Indian slaves thirst after empery!
Princes and peers of Spain, we are beset,
With horror on each side.  You deny him,
Death stands at all our backs, we cannot fly him.
Crown Philip king, the crown upon his head,
Will prove a fiery meteor, war and vengeance
And desolation will invade our land
Besides Prince Philip is a bastard born.
Oh, give me leave to blush at mine own shame.
But I for love to you, love to fair Spain,
Choose rather to rip up a queen’s disgrace,
Then by concealing it to set the crown
Upon a bastard’s head.  Wherefore, my lords,
By my consent crown that proud blackamore?
Since Spain’s bright glory must so soon grow dim,
Since it must end, let it end all in him.

ALL
Eleazar shall be king!

ALVERO
Oh, treachery!
Have you so soon raz’d out Fernando’s,
So soon forgot the duty of true peers,
So soon, so soon buried a mother’s name,
That you will crown him king that slew your king?

ELEAZAR
Will you hear him or me?  Who shall be king?

ALL
Eleazar shall be Castile’s sovereign!

ALVERO
Do, do; make haste to crown him!  Lords, adieu.
Here hell must be when the devil governs you.                                 [Exit.

ELEAZAR
By heaven’s great star, which Indians to adore,
But that I hate to hear the giddy world
Shame that I waded to a crown through blood,
I’d not digest his pills.  But since, my lords,
You have chosen Eleazar for you king,
Invest me with a general applause.

ALL
Live Eleazar, Castile’s royal king!

RODERIGO
[Aside.] A villain and a base-born fugitive.

CHRISTOFERO
[Aside.] A bloody tyrant, an usurping slave.

ELEAZAR
Thanks to you all.  ‘Tis not the Spanish crown
That Eleazar strives for, but Spain’s peace.
Amongst you I’ll divide her empery:
Christofero shall wear Granado’s crown;
To Roderigo I’ll give Aragon;
Naples, Navarre, and fair Jerusalem,
I’ll give to other three, and then our viceroys
Shall shine about our bright Castilian crown,
As stars about the sun.  Cry all, arm, arm.
Prince Philip and the Cardinal do ride.
Like Jove in thunder, in a storm we’ll meet them.
Go levy powers; if any man must fall,
My death shall first begin the funeral.                                        [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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