Lust’s Dominion – Act Two, Scene Three

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Enter COLE and CRAB in trousers; the CARDINAL in one of their weeds, and PHILIP, putting on the other.

Put on, my lord, and fly, or else you die.

I will not.  I will die first. Cardinal,
Prithee, good Cardinal, pluck off. Friars, slave,
Murder us too.  He shall not, by this sword.

My lord, you will endanger both our lives.

I care not.  I’ll kill some before I die.
Away, s’heart, take your rags.  Moor, devil, come.

My lord, put on or else.

God’s foot, come help.

Ambitious villain.  Philip, let us fly
In to the chamber of the mother queen.

Thunder, beat down the lodgings.

Else let’s break
In to the chamber of the king.

A pox upon those lousy gabardines!
Agreed.  I am for you, Moor.  Stand side by side.
Come, hands off, leave your ducking.  Hell cannot fright
Their spirits that do desperately fight.

You are too rash, you are too hot.
Wild desperateness doth valour blot.
The lodging of the king beset,
With staring faces black as jet,
And hearts of iron.  Your deaths are vowed
If you fly that way, therefore shroud
Your body in Friar Cole’s gray weed,
For is’t not madness man to bleed,
When you may scape untouch’d away.
Here’s hell, here’s heaven; here if you stay
You’re gone, you’re gone.  Friar Crab and I
Will here dance friskin whilst you fly.
Gag us, bind us, come put on.
The gag’s too wide.  So, gone, gone, gone.

Oh, well, I’ll come again.  Lord Cardinal,
Take you your castle.  I’ll to Portugal.
I vow I’ll come again, and if I do—

Nay, good my lord!

Black devil, I’ll conjure you.                       [Exeunt PHILIP and CARDINAL.

To the Friars, gagg’d and bound, enter ELEAZAR, ZARACK, BALTAZAR and other Moors, all with their swords drawn.

Guard all the passages.  Zarack, stand there;
There Baltazar; there you.  The friars.
Where have you plac’d the friars?

My lord, a noise.

The friars are gagg’d and bound.

‘Tis Philip and the Cardinal.  Shoot!  Hay, stay!
Unbind them.  Where’s Mendoza and the prince?

Sancta Maria, who can tell?
By Peter’s keys, they bound us well,
And having crack’d our shaven crowns,
They have escap’d you in our gowns.

Escap’d!  Escap’d away?  [Aside.] I am glad, it’s good.
I would their arms may turn to eagles’ wings,
To fly as swift as time. Sweet air, give way;
Winds, leave your two and thirty palaces,
And meeting all in one, join all you might,
To give them speedy and a prosperous flight.
[Aloud.] Escap’d, friars?  Which way?

This way.

Alas, what sin is’t to shed innocent blood;
For look you, holy men, it is the king,
The king, the king!  See, friars, suphury wrath,
Having once entered into royal breasts,
Mark how it burns.  The queen, Philippo’s mother,
Oh, most unnatural, will have you two
Divulge abroad that he’s a bastard.  Oh!
Will you do’t?

What says my brother friar?

A prince’s love is balm, their wrath a fire.

‘Tis true, but yet I’ll publish no such thing;
What fool would lose his soul to please a king?

Keep there, good there, yet for it wounds my soul,
To see the miserablest wretch to bleed,
I counsel you, in care unto your lives,
T’obey the mother Queen, for by my life,
I think she has been prick’d.  Her conscience,
Oh, it has stung her; for some fact mis-done,
She would not else disgrace herself and son.
Do’t therefore.  Hark, she’ll word your deaths else.  Hate,
Bred in a woman is insatiate.
Do’t, friars.

Brother Cole?  Zeal sets me in a flame.
I’ll do’t.

And I.  His baseness we’ll proclaim.                                        [Exeunt Friars.

Do, and be damn’d.  Zarack and Baltazar,
Dog them at th’heels, and when their poisonous breath
Hath scattered this infection, on the hearts
Of credulous Spaniards, here reward them thus;
Slaves too much trusted do grow dangerous.
Why, this shall feed
And fat suspicion, and my policy.
I’ll ring through all the court this loud alarum:
That they contriv’d the murder of the king,
The queen, and me, and being undermin’d,
To scape the blowing up, they fled.  Oh, good!
There, there, thou there, cry treason.  Each one take
A several door; your cries my music make.

Where’s the king?  Treason pursues him.

Enter ALVERO in his shirt, his sword drawn.

Where’s the sleepy queen?
Rise, rise, and arm against the hand of treason.

Whence comes this sound of treason?

Enter FERNANDO in his shirt, his sword drawn.

Who frights our quiet slumbers with this heavy noise?

Enter QUEEN MOTHER, in her night attire.

Was it a dream?  Or did the sound
Of monster treason call me from my rest?

Who rais’d this rumour, Eleazar.  You?

I did, my liege, and still continue it,
Both for your safety, and mine own discharge.

Whence comes the ground then?

From the Cardinal
And the young prince, who bearing in his mind
The true idea of his late disgrace,
Is putting him from the protectorship,
And envying the advancement of the Moor,
Determined this night to murder you;
And for your highness lodg’d within my castle,
They would have laid the murder on my head.

The Cardinal and my brother, bring them forth.
Their lives shall answer this ambitious practice.

Alas, my lord, it is impossible,
For when they saw I had discovered them,
They train’d two harmless friars to their lodgings,
Disrob’d them, gagg’d them, bound ‘em to two posts,
And in their habits did escape the castle.

That Cardinal is all ambition,
And from him doth our brother gather heart.

Th’ambition of the one infects the other,
And in a word they both are dangerous.
But might your mother’s counsel stand in force,
I would advise you sent the trusty Moor
To fetch them back before they had seduc’d
The squint ey’d multitude from true allegiance,
And drawn them to their dangerous faction.

It shall be so, therefore my state’s best prop,
Within whose bosom I durst trust my life,
Both for my safety and thine own discharge,
Fetch back those traitors, and till your return
Ourself will keep your castle.

My liege, the tongue of true obedience
Must not gainsay his sovereign’s impose.
By heaven, I will not kisss the cheek of sleep,
Till I have fetch’d those traitors to the court.

[Aside.] Why, this sort right.  He gone, his beauteous wife
Shall sail into the naked arms of love.

[Aside.] Why, this is as it should be.  He once gone,
Hi wife that keeps me from his marriage bed,
Shall by this hand of mine be murdered.

This storm is well night past; the swelling clouds
That hang so full of treason, by the wind
In awful majesty are scattered.
Then each man to his rest.  [Aside.] Good night, sweet friend.
Whilst thou pursu’st the traitors that are fled,
Fernando means to warm thy marriage bed.    [Exeunt.  Manet ELEAZAR.

Many good nights consume and damn your souls.
I know he means to cuckold me this night;
Yet do I know no means to hinder it.
Besides, who knows whether the lustful king,
Having my wife and castle at command
Will ever make surrender back again?
But if he do not, with my falchion’s point
I’ll lance those swelling veins in which hot lust
Does keep his revels, and with that warm blood
Where Venus’ bastard cool’d his sweltering spleen,
Wash the disgrace from Eleazar’s blood.

Enter MARIA.

Dear Eleazar—

If they lock the gates,
I’ll toss a ball of wildfire o’er the walls.

Husband, sweet husband—

Or else swim o’er the moat,
And make a breach through the flinty sides
Of the rebellious walls—

Hear me, dear heart.

Or undermine the chamber where they lie.
And by the violent strength of gunpowder,
Blow up the castle, and th’incestuous couch
In which lust wallows; but my labouring thoughts,
Wading too deep in bottomless extremes,
Do drown themselves in their own stratagems.

Sweet husband, dwell not upon circumstance,
When weeping sorrow, like an advocate,
Importunes you for aid.  Look in mine eyes;
There you shall see dim grief swimming in tears,
Invocating succour.  Oh, succour!

Succour!  Zounds, for what?

To shield me from Fernando’s unchaste love,
Who with uncessant prayers importun’d me.

To lie with you. I know’t.

Then seek some means
How to prevent it.

‘Tis impossible,
For to the end that his unbridled lust
Might have more free access unto thy bed,
This night he hath enjoined me
To fetch back Philip and the Cardinal.

Then this ensuing night shall give an end
To all my sorrows, for before foul lust
Shall soil the fair complexion of mine honour,
This hand shall rob Maria of her life.

Not so, dear soul, for in extremities,
Choose out the least, and ere the hand of death
Should suck this ivory palace of thy life,
Embrace my counsel, and receive this poison,
Which in the instant he attempts thy love,
Then give it him.  Do, do,
Do. Poison him. [Aside.] He gone, Thou’rt next.
[Aloud.] Be sound in resolution, and farewell.
[Aside.] By one and one, I’ll ship you all to hell.
Spain, I will drown thee with thine own proud blood,
Then make an ark of carcasses. Farewell.
Revenge and I will sail in blood to hell.                                              [Exit.

Poison the king! Alas, my trembling hand
Would let the poison fall, and through my cheeks
Fear, suited in a bloodless livery,
Would make the world acquainted with my guilt.
But thanks, prevention, I have found a means
Both to preserve my royal sovereign’s life,
And keep myself a true and loyal wife.                                                  [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene


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