Lust’s Dominion – Act Five, Scene One

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Enter RODERIGO and CRISTOFERO; two bare-headed before them; CARDINAL alone; ZARACK and BALTAZAR bearing the crown on a cushion; ELEAZAR next, QUEEN MOTHER after him; other Lords after her.  ALVERO, sad, meets them.

CARDINAL
Alvero, ‘tis the pleasure of the king,
Of the Queen Mother, and these honoured states
To ease you of Philippo, there’s a warrant
Sent to remove him to a stronger guard.

ALVERO
I thank you.  You shall rid me of much care.

ELEAZAR
Sit down, and take your place.

ALVERO
If I might have
The place I like best, it should be my grave.                                          [Sits down.

The Moors stand aside with the crown; ELEAZAR, rising, takes it.

ELEAZAR
Stand in voice reach, away!

ZARACK & BALTAZAR
We are gone.                                                                                                [Exeunt.

ELEAZAR
Princes of Spain, if in this royal court,
There sit a man that having laid his hold
So fast on such a jewel, and dare wear it,
In the contempt of envy as I dare,
Yet uncompell’d, as freely as poor pilgrims
Bestow their prayers, would give such wealth away;
Let such a man step forth.  What, do none rise?
No, no, for kings indeed are deities.
And who’d not, as the sun, in brightness shine?
To be the greatest is to be divine.
Who among millions would not be the mightiest?
To sit in god-like state, to have all eyes,
Dazzled with admiration, and all tongues
Shouting loud prayers, to rob every heart
Of love, to have the strength of every arm.
A sovereign’s name; why ‘tis a sovereign’s charm.
This glory round about me hath thrown beams.
I have stood upon the top of Fortune’s wheel,
And backward turn’d the iron screw of fate.
The destinies have spun a silken thread
About my life, yet noble Spaniards see?
Hoc tantum tanti.  Thus I cast aside
The shape of majesty and on my knee,
To this imperial state lowly resign
This usurpation, wiping off your fears,
Which stuck so hard upon me; let a hand,
A right and royal hand, take up this wreath
And guard it.  Right is of itself most strong.
No kingdom got by cunning can stand long.

CARDINAL
Proceed to new election of a king.

ALL
Agreed.

ELEAZAR
Stay, peers of Spain.  If young Philippo
Be Philip’s son, then is he Philip’s heir;
Then must his royal name be set in gold.
Philip is then the diamond to that ring.
But if he be a bastard, here’s his seat,
For baseness has no gall till it grow great.
First therefore let him blood, if he must bleed,
Yet in what vein you strike him, best take heed:
The Portugal’s his friend.  You saw he came
At holding up a finger, arm’d.  This peace
Rid hence his dangerous friendship; he’s at home;
But when he hears that Philip is tied up,
Yet hears not why, he’ll catch occasion’s lock,
And on that narrow bridge make shift to lead
A scrabling army through the heart of Spain.
Loot to’t.  Being in, he’ll hardly out again.
Therefore first prove and then proclaim him bastard.

ALVERO
How shall we prove it?

ELEAZAR
He that put him out
To making, I am sure, can tell; if not,
Then she that shap’d him can.  Here’s the queen mother
Being prick’d in conscience and preferring Spain
Before her own respect will name the man.
If he be noble and a Spaniard born,
He’ll hide the apparent scars of their infamies
With the white hand of marriage.  That and time
Will eat the blemish off. Say, shall it?

ALL
No.

CARDINAL
Spaniard or Moor, the saucy slave shall die!

HORTENZO
Death is too easy for such villainy.

ELEAZAR
Spaniard or Moor, the saucy slave shall die!
I would he might.  I know myself am clear
As is the newborn infant. Madam, stand forth.
Be bold to speak, shame in the grave wants sense.
Heaven with sins greatest forfeits can dispense.

QUEEN MOTHER
Would I were covered with the veil of night,
You might not see red shame sit on my cheek;
But being Spain’s common safety stands for truth,
Hiding my weeping eyes, I blush and say,
Philippo’s father sits here.

RODERIGO
Here! Name him!

QUEEN MOTHER
The Lord Mendoza did beget that son.
Oh, let not this dishonour further run!

ALVERO
What, Cardinal Mendoza!

QUEEN MOTHER
Yes, yes, even he.

ELEAZAR
Spaniard or Moor, the saucy slave shall die!

CARDINAL
I Phillip’s father!                                                     [Comes down; the rest talk.

QUEEN MOTHER
[Aside to CARDINAL.] Nay, deny me not!
Now many a kingdom and my love be got.

CARDINAL
[Aside.] Those eyes and tongue bewitch me. Shame lies here.
That love has sweetest taste that is brought dear.

CRISTOFERO
What answers Lord Mendoza to the queen?

CARDINAL
I confess guilty; Philip is my son.
Her majesty hath nam’d the time and place.

ALVERO
To you, but not to us.  Go forward, madam.

QUEEN MOTHER
Within the circle of twice ten years since,
Your deceas’d king made war in Barbary,
Won Tunis, conquered Fesse, and hand to hand
Slew great Abdela, King of Fesse, and father
To that Barbarian prince.

ELEAZAR
I was but young,
But now methinks I see my father’s wounds.
Poor Barbaria!  No more.

QUEEN MOTHER
In absence of my lord, mourning his want,
To me alone, being in my private walk,
I think at Salamanca—ay, ‘twas there—
Enters Mendoza under show of shrift,
Threatens my death if I denied his lust.
In fine by force he won me to his will.
I wept and cried for help, but all in vain.
Mendoza there abus’d the bed of Spain.

ELEAZAR
Spaniard or Moor, that saucy slave shall die!

ALVERO
Why did not you complain of this vile act?

QUEEN MOTHER
Alas, I was alone, young, full of fear,
Bashful, and doubtful of my own defame.
Knowing King Philip rash and jealous,
I hid his sin, thinking to hide my shame.

RODERIGO
What says the Cardinal?

CARDINAL
Such a time there was.
‘Tis past. I’ll make amends with marriage
And satisfy with trentals, dirges, prayers,
The offended spirit of the wronged king.   [QUEEN MOTHER and they talk.

ELEAZAR
[Aside to CARDINAL.] Spaniard or Moor, that saucy slave shall die.
Oh, ‘twould seem best, it should be thus, Mendoza;
She to accuse, I urge, and both conclude
Your marriage like a comic interlude.
Lords, will you hear this hateful sin confess’d,
And not impose upon the ravisher death,
The due punishment?  Oh, it must be so!

ALVERO
What does the queen desire?

QUEEN MOTHER
Justice, revenge,
Oh, vile Mendoza, for my ravishment!
I kiss the cold earth with my humbl’d knees,
From whence I will not rise till some just hand
Cast to the ground the traitor cardinal!

ALL
Stand forth, Mendoza.

ELEAZAR
Swells your heart so high?
Down, lecher, if you will not stand, then lie.

CARDINAL
You have betray’d me by my too much trust.
I never did this deed of rape and lust.

RODERIGO
Your tongue confess’d it.

CARDINAL
True, I was entic’d.

ELEAZAR
Entic’d!  Do you believe that?

QUEEN MOTHER
Justice, lords!
Sentence the Cardinal for his hateful sin.

ALVERO
We will assemble all the states of Spain,
And as they judge, so justice shall be done.

ELEAZAR
A guard!  To prison with the Cardinal!

Enter ZARACK, BALTAZAR, and Others.

CARDINAL
Damn’d slave, my tongue shall go at liberty
To curse thee!  Ban that strumpet!  Dogs, keep off.

ELEAZAR
Hist, hist, on, on.

QUEEN MOTHER
I cannot brook his sight.

ALVERO
You must to prison and be patient.

CARDINAL
Weepst thou, Alvero?  All struck dumb?  My fears
Are that those drops will change to bloody tears.
This woman, and this serpent—

QUEEN MOTHER
Drag him hence!

CARDINAL
Who dares lay hands upon me, lords of Spain,
Let your swords bail me.  This false queen did lie.

ELEAZAR
Spaniard or Moor, the saucy slave shall die!

CARDINAL
I’ll fight with thee, damn’d hell-hound, for my life.

ELEAZAR
Spaniard of Moor, the saucy slave shall die!

CARDINAL
I’ll prove upon thy head!

ELEAZAR
The slave shall die!

CARDINAL
Lords, stop this villain’s throat.

ELEAZAR
Shall die, shall die!

CARDINAL
Hear me but speak!

ELEAZAR
Away!

ALVERO
Words are ill spent
Where wrong sits judge.  You’re arm’d if innocent.

CARDINAL
Well, then, I must to prison.  Moor, no more.
Heavens, thou art just.  Prince Philip I betray’d,
And now myself fall.  Guile with guile is paid.

[Exit with ZARACK, BALTAZAR, and Others.

QUEEN MOTHER
Philip being prov’d a bastard, who shall sit
Upon this empty throne?

ELEAZAR
Strumpet, not you.

QUEEN MOTHER
Strumpet!  And I not sit there!  Who then?

ELEAZAR
Down,
Back; if she touch it she’ll bewitch the chair.
This throne belongs to Isabel the fair.
Bring forth the princess in royal robes,
The true affecter of Alvero’s son,
Virtuous Hortenzo. Lords, behold your queen.

Enter HORTENZO, leading in ISABELLA in royal robes.

QUEEN MOTHER
Thou villain!  What intend’st thou, savage slave?

ELEAZAR
To advance virtue thus, and thus to tread
On lust, on murder, on adultery’s head.
Look, lords, upon your sovereign Isabel.
Though all may doubt the fruit of such a womb,
Is she not like King Philip?  Let her rule.

QUEEN MOTHER
She rule?

ELEAZAR
She rule?  Ay, she.

QUEEN MOTHER
A child to sway
An empire? I am her protectress.
I’ll pour black curses on thy damned head
If thou wrongst me.  Lords, lords!

ELEAZAR
Princes of Spain,
Be deaf, be blind, hear not, behold her not.
She kill’d my virtuous wife.

QUEEN MOTHER
He kill’d your king.

ELEAZAR
‘Twas in my just wrath.

QUEEN MOTHER
‘Twas to get his crown.

ELEAZAR
His crown!  Why here, ‘tis.  Thou slew’st my Maria,
To have access to my unstained bed.

QUEEN MOTHER
Oh, heaven!

ELEAZAR
‘Tis true.  How often I have stopp’d
Thy unchaste songs from passing through mine ears?
How oft when thy luxurious arms have twin’d
About my jetty neck have I cried out,
“Away, those scalding veins burn me!”  ‘Tis true.

QUEEN MOTHER
Devil, ‘tis a lie!

ELEAZAR
Thou slew’st my sweet Maria.
Alvero, ‘twas thy daughter, ‘twas.  Hortenzo,
She was thy sister.  Justice, Isabella!
This serpent poison’d thy dear father’s bed,
Setting large horns on his imperial head.

QUEEN MOTHER
Hear me!

ELEAZAR
Hah!  Why?

ALVERO
Madam, you shall be heard
Before the courts, before the courts of Spain.

ELEAZAR
A guard, a guard!

Enter ZARACK, BALTAZAR and Others.

QUEEN MOTHER
A guard!  For what?  For whom?

HORTENZO
To wait on you.
So many great sins must not wait with few.

QUEEN MOTHER
Keep me in prison!  Dare you, lords?

ALVERO
Oh, no!
Were your cause strong, we would not arm you so.
But honour fainting needest many hands.
Kingdoms stand safe when mischief lied in bands.
You must to prison.

QUEEN MOTHER
Must I?  Must I, slave?
I’ll damn thee ere thou triumph’st o’er my grave!

[Exeunt QUEEN MOTHER guarded.  Manet ELEAZAR.

ELEAZAR
Do, do!  My jocund spleen!
It does, it will, it shall, I have at one throw,
Rifled away the diadem of Spain.
‘Tis gone, and there’s no more to set but this
At all, then at this last cast I’ll sweep up
My former petty losses or lose all,
Like to a desperate gamester.  Hah! How fast?

Enter ZARACK.

ZARACK
Except their bodies turn to airy spirits
And fly through windows, they are fast, my lord.
If they can eat through locks and bars of iron,
They may escape.  If not, then not.

ELEAZAR
Ho, Zarack!
Wit is a thief; there’s a pick-lock policy
To whom all doors fly open.  Therefore go,
In our name charge the keeper to resign
His office; and if he have tricks of cruelty,
Let him bequeath ‘em at his death, for kill him.
Turn all thy body into eyes,
And watch them; let those eyes like fiery comets
Sparkle out nothing but the death of kings.
And—ah! now thus thou know’st I did invent
A torturing iron chain.

ZARACK
Oh, for necks, my lord.

ELEAZAR
Ay, that, that. Away and yoke them.  Stay,

Enter BALTAZAR.

Here’s Baltazar.  Go, both, teach them to preach
Through an iron pillory.  I’ll spread a net
To catch Alvero.  Oh, he is old and wise.
There are unfit to live that have sharp eyes.
Hortenzo, Roderigo, to’t, to’t all.
They have supple knees, sleek’d brows, but hearts of gall.
The bitterness shall be wash’d off with blood.
Tyrants swim safest in a crimson flood.

BALTAZAR
I come to tell your grace that Isabella
Is with Hortenzo arm in arm at hand.
Zarack and I may kill them now with ease.
Is’t done and then ‘tis done.

ZARACK
Murder thou the man,
And I’ll stab her.

ELEAZAR
No, I’ll speed her myself.
Arm in arm, so, so.  Look upon this ring.
Whoever brings this token to your hands
Regard not for what purpose, seize on them
And chain them to the rest.  They come.  Away.
Murder be proud and tragedy laugh on;
I’ll seek a stage for thee to jet upon.      [Exeunt ZARACK and BALTAZAR.

Enter ISABELLA, HORTENZO; seeing the Moor, turn back.

ELEAZAR
My lord!  My lord Hortenzo!

HORTENZO
Hah!  Is’t you?
Trust me, I saw you not.

ELEAZAR
What makes your grace so sad?

HORTENZO
She grieves for the imprisoned queen her mother,
And for Philippo.  In the sandy heap
That wait upon an hour, there are not found
So any little bodies as those sighs
And tears which she hath every minute spent
Since her lov’d brother felt imprisonment.

ELEAZAR
Pity, great pity.  Would it lay in me
To give him liberty.

ISABELLA
It does.

ELEAZAR
In me?
Free him, your mother queen, and Cardinal too.
In me?  Alas!  Not me, no, no, in you.
Yet for I’ll have my conscience white and pure,
Here, madam, take this ring, and if my name
Can break down castle walls and open gates,
Take it, and do’t.  Fetch them all forth.  And yet,
‘Tis unfit you should go.

HORTENZO
That happy office
I’ll execute myself.

ELEAZAR
Will you?  Would I
Stood gracious in their sight.  Well, go,
Do what you will, Hortenzo.  If this charm
Unbinds them, here ‘tis.  Lady, you and I
Aloof will follow him, and when we meet,
Speak for me, for I’ll kiss Philippo’s feet.

HORTENZO
I shall be proud to see all econcile’d.

ELEAZAR
Alas, my lord, why true.  Go, go.

ISABELLA
Make haste, dear love.                                                       [Exit HORTENZO.

ELEAZAR
Hortenzo is a man
Compos’d of sweet proportion.  H’as a foot,
A leg, a hand, a face, an eye, a wit,
The best. Hortenzo in the Spanish court,
Oh, he’s the nonpareil!

ISABELLA
Your tongue has wont
To be more sparing in Hortenzo’s praise.

ELEAZAR
Ay, I may curse his praises, rather ban
Mine own nativity.  Why did this colour
Dart in my flesh so far?  Oh, would my face
Were of Hortenzo’s fashion, else would yours
Were as black as mine.

ISABELLA
Mine like yours!  Why?

ELEAZAR
Hark!
I love you, yes faith, I said this, I love you,
I do.  Leave him.

ISABELLA
Damnation vanish from me!

ELEAZAR
Coy?  Were you as hard as flint, oh, you should yield
Like soften’d wax.  Were you as pure as fire,
I’ll touch you, yes, I’ll taint you, see you this,
I’ll bring you to this lure.

ISABELLA
If I want hands
To kill myself, before thou dost it, do.

ELEAZAR
I’ll cut away your hands.  Well, my desire
Is raging as the sea, and mad as fire.
Will you?

ISABELLA
Torment me not, good devil!

ELEAZAR
Will you?

ISABELLA
I’ll tear mine eyes out if they tempt thy hate.

ELEAZAR
Do.

ISABELLA
Touch me not.  These knives—

ELEAZAR
Ay, ay, kill yourself,
Because I jest with you.  I wrong Hortenzo?
Settle your thoughts; ‘twas but a trick to try
That which few women have, true constancy.

ISABELLA
If then my speeches taste of gall—

ELEAZAR
Nay, faith,
You are not bitter.  No, you should have rail’d,
Have spit upon me, spurn’d me.  You are not bitter.
Why, do you think that I would nurse a thought
To hurt your honour?  If that thought had brains
I’d beat them out, but come, by this, Hortenzo.
Is fast.

ISABELLA
Hah!  Fast?

ELEAZAR
Ay, fast in Philip’s arms.
Wrestling together for the price of love.
By this they’re on the way.  I’ll be your guard.
Come, follow me.  I’ll lead you in the van
Where thou shalt see four chins upon one chain.                     [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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