Lust’s Dominion, Act Two, Scene Two

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Enter QUEEN MOTHER and ELEAZAR.

ELEAZAR
Madam, a word now.  Have you wit or spirit?

QUEEN MOTHER
Both.

ELEAZAR
Set them both to a most gainful task.
Our enemies are in my castle-work.

QUEEN MOTHER
Ay, but the king’s there too.  It’s dangerous pride
To strike at those that couch by a lion’s side.

ELEAZAR
Remove them.

QUEEN MOTHER
How?

ELEAZAR
How?  A thousand ways;
By poison, or by this. [Shows a dagger.] But every groom
Has skill in such base traffic.  No, our policies
Must look more strange, must fly with loftier wings.
Vengeance the higher it falls, more horror brings.
But you are cold, you dare not do.

QUEEN MOTHER
I dare.

ELEAZAR
You have a woman’s heart.  Look you this hand.
Oh, ‘tis too little to strike home.

QUEEN MOTHER
At whom?

ELEAZAR
Your son.

QUEEN MOTHER
Which son. The king?

ELEAZAR
Angels of heaven,
Stand like his guard about him.  How?  The king?
Not for so many worlds as here be stars,
Sticking th’embroidered firmament.
The king?  He loves my wife and should he die,
I know none else would love her. Let him live.
[Aside.] In heaven.  [Aloud.] Good. Lord Philip—

QUEEN MOTHER
He shall die.

ELEAZAR
How? Good, good.

QUEEN MOTHER
By this hand.

ELEAZAR
When, good, good, when?

QUEEN MOTHER
This night, if Eleazar give consent.

ELEAZAR
Why then, this night.  Philippo shall not live
To see you kill him.  Is he not your son?
A mother be the murd’rer of a brat
That liv’d within her, ha?

QUEEN MOTHER
‘Tis for thy sake.

ELEAZAR
Puh!  What excuses cannot damn’d sin make
To save itself?  I know you love him well,
But that he has an eye, an eye, an eye.
To others our two hearts seem to be lock’d
Up in a case of steel; upon our love
Others dare not look, or if the dare, they cast
Squint purblind glances.  Who care though all see all,
So long as none dare speak?  But Philippo
Knows that the iron ribs of our villainies
Are thin?  He laughs to see them like this hand,
With chinks, and crevices.  How!  A villainous eye,
A stabbing desperate tongue, the boy dare speak,
A mouth, a villainous mouth, let’s muzzle him.

QUEEN MOTHER
How?

ELEAZAR
Thus.  Go you, and with a face well set,
Do in good sad colours, such as point out
The cheek of that fool penitence, and with a tongue
Made clean and glib; cull from their lazy swarm,
Some honest friars, whom that damnation gold,
Can tempt to lay their souls to’th’stake.
Seek, seek.  They are rank and thick.

QUEEN MOTHER
What then?  I know such.  What’s the use?

ELEAZAR
This is excellent.
Hire these to write books, preach and proclaim abroad
That you son Philip is a bastard.

QUEEN MOTHER
How?

ELEAZAR
A bastard.  Do you know a bastard?  Do’t.
Say conscience spake with you and cried out.  Do’t.
By this means shall you thrust him from all hopes
Of wearing Castile’s diadem, and that spur
Galling his sides, he will fly out, and fling
And grind the Cardinal’s heart to a new edge
Of discontent, from discontent grows treason,
And on the stalk of treason, death.  He’s dead
By this blow, and by you.  Yet no blood shed.
Do’t then.  By this trick, he’s gone!
We stand more sure in climbing high;
Care not who fall, ‘tis real policy.
Are you arm’d to do this, ha?

QUEEN MOTHER
Sweet Moor, it’s done.

ELEAZAR
Away then. Work with boldness and with speed.
On greatest actions greatest dangers feed.              [Exit QUEEN MOTHER.
Ha, ha, I thank the provident creation,
That seeing in mounding me thou didst intend
I should prove villain, thanks to thee and nature
That skilful workman. Thanks for my face,
Thanks that I have not wit to blush. What Zarack?
Ho, Baltazar?

Enter ZARACK and BALTAZAR.

BOTH
My lord?

ELEAZAR
Nearer, so, silence.
Hang both your greedy years upon my lips.
Let them devour my speech, suck in my breath.
And in who lets it break prison, here’s his death.
This night the Card’nal shall be murd’red.

BOTH
Where?

ELEAZAR
And to fill up a grave, Philippo dies.

BOTH
Where?

ELEAZAR
Here.

BOTH
By whom?

ELEAZAR
By thee, and slave by thee.
Have you hearts and hands to execute?

BOTH
Here’s both.

ZARACK
He dies were he my father.

ELEAZAR
Ho, away!
Stay, go, go, stay, see me no more till night.
Your cheeks are black, let not your souls look white.

BOTH
Till night.

ELEAZAR
Till night, a word, the mother queen
Is trying if she can with fire of gold
Warp the green conscience of two covetous friars
To preach abroad Philippo’s bastardy.

ZARACK
His bastardy?  Who was his father?

ELEAZAR
Who?
Search for these friars; hire them to work with you.
Their holy callings will approve the fact
Most good and meritorious.  Sin shines clear
When her black face religions masque doth wear.

[Exeunt ZARACK and BALTAZAR.

Here comes the queen. Good. And the friars.

Enter two Friars, CRAB and COLE, and QUEEN MOTHER.

COLE
Your son a bastard?  Say we do,
But how then shall we deal with you?
I tell you as I said before;
His being a bastard, you are so poor
In honour and in name, that time
Can never take away the crime.

QUEEN MOTHER
I grant that, friar, yet rather I’ll endure
The wound of infamy to kill my name,
Then to see Spain bleeding with civil swords.
The boy is proud, ambitious; he woos greatness;
He takes up Spanish hearts on trust, to pay them
When he shall finger Castile’s crown.  Oh then
Were it not better my disgrace were known,
Then such a base aspirer fill the throne?

COLE
Ha, brother Crab, what think you?

CRAB
As you, dear brother Cole.

COLE
Then we agree.
Cole’s judgement is as Crab’s, you see.
Lady, we swear to speak and write
What you please, so all go right.

QUEEN MOTHER
Then as we gave directions, spread abroad,
In Cadiz, Madrid, Granado, and Medina;
And all the ryall cities of the realm.
Th’ambitious hopes of that proud bastard Philip,
And sometimes as you see occasion,
Tickle the years of the rude multitude,
With Eleazar’s praises.  Guild his virtues,
Naples recovery and his victories
Achieved against the Turkish Ottoman.
Will you do this for us?

ELEAZAR
[Comes forward.] Say, will you?

BOTH FRIARS
Ay.

ELEAZAR
Why start you back and stare? Ha? Are you afraid?

COLE
Oh, no, sir, no, but truth to tell,
Seeing your face, we thought of hell.

ELEAZAR
Hell is a dream.

COLE
But none do dream in hell.

ELEAZAR
Friars, stand to her, and me, and by your sin
I’ll shoulder our Mendoza from his seat;
And of two friars create you two cardinals.
Oh, how would cardinal’s hats on these heads sit?

COLE
This face would look most goodly under it.
Friars Crab and Cole do swear,
In those circles still to appear.
In which she, or you, do charge us rise,
For you, our lives we’ll sacrifice.
Valete, Gaudete;
Si pereamus flete;
Orate pro nobis,
Oramus pro vobis.
Cole will be burnt, and Crab be press’d,
Ere they prove knaves. Thus are you cross’d and bless’d.     [Exeunt Friars.

ELEAZAR
Away. You know now, madam, none shall throw
Their leaden envy in an opposite scale
To weigh down our rue golden happiness.

QUEEN MOTHER
Yes, there is one.

ELEAZAR
One? Who? Give me his name
And I will turn it to a magic spell,
To bind him here, here. Who?

QUEEN MOTHER
Your wife, Maria.

ELEAZAR
Ha? My Maria?

QUEEN MOTHER
She’s th’Hellespont divides my love and me.
She being cut off—

ELEAZAR
Stay, stay, cut off. Let’s think upon’t.  My wife?
Humh! Kill her too!

QUEEN MOTHER
Does her love make thee cold?

ELEAZAR
Had a I thousand wives, down go they all.
She dies. I’ll cut her off.

Enter BALTAZAR.

Now, Baltazar.

BALTAZAR
Madam, the king entreats your company.

QUEEN MOTHER
His pleasure be obey’d.  Dear love, farewell.
Remember your Maria.

ELEAZAR
Here, adieu.                                                                        [Exit QUEEN MOTHER.
With this I’ll guide her, whilst it stabs at you.

BALTAZAR
My lord, the friars are won to join with us.

ELEAZAR
Be prosperous.  About it, Baltazar.

BALTAZAR
The watch word.

ELEAZAR
Oh, the word.  Let it be “treason.”
When we cry, “Treason,” break ope chamber doors.

BALTAZAR
I fly.                                                                                                                [Exit.

ELEAZAR
Murder, now ride in triumph.  Darkness, horror,
Thus I invoke your aid. Your act begin.
Night is a glorious robe for th’ugliest sin.                                                     [Exit.

Proceed to the next scene

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