Lust’s Dominion – Act Four, Scene Four

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Enter CARDINAL at one door, PHILIP half arm’d, and two Soldiers following him with the rest of the armour; the CARDINAL, seeing him, turns back again.

PHILIP
Sirrah, you Cardinal, coward, run away!
So ho ho, what, Cardinal!

CARDINAL
I am not for your lure.                                                                               [Exit.

PHILIP
For that then, oh!  That it had nail’d thy heart
Up to the pommel to the earth.  Come, arm me,
Ha!  S’foot!
When all our swords were royally gilt with blood,
When with red sweat that trickled from our wounds,
We had dearly earn’d a victory!  When hell
Had from their hinges heav’d off her iron gates
To bid the damn’d Moor and the devils enter;
Then to lose all, then to sound base retreat!
Why, soldiers, hah!

FIRST SOLDIER
I am glad of it, my lord.

PHILIP
Hah!  Glad?  Art glad I am dishonoured?
That thou and he dishonoured?

FIRST SOLDIER
Why?  My lord,
I am glad that you so cleanly did come off.

PHILIP
Thou hast a lean face, and a carrion heart.
A plague on him and thee too.  Then s’heart, then,
To crack the very heart-strings of our army,
To quarter it in pieces, I could tear my hair,
And in cursing spend my soul.
Cardinal!  What Judas!  Come, we’ll fight,
Till there be left but one, if I be he,
I’ll die a glorious death.

FIRST SOLDIER
So will I, I hope in my bed.

SECOND SOLDIER
Till there be but one left, my lord, why that’s now; for all our fellows are crawl’d home; some with one leg, some with ne’er an arm, some with their brains beaten out, and glad they scap’d so.

PHILIP
But, my dear countrymen, you’ll stick to me.

FIRST SOLDIER
Stick!  Ay, my lord, stick like bandogs till we be pull’d off.

PHILIP
That’s nobly said.  I’ll lead you but to death,
Where I’ll have greatest share; we shall win fame
For life, and that doth crown a soldier’s name.

FIRST SOLDIER
How!  To death, my lord!  Not I, by gadsled!  I have a poor wife and children at home, and if I die they beg; and do you think I’ll her go up and down the wide universal world?

PHILIP
For every drop of blood which thou shalt lose,
Coward, I’ll give thy wife a wedge of gold.

SECOND SOLDIER
Hang him, meacock!  My lord, arm yourself.  I’ll fight for you till I have not an eye to see the fire in my touch-hole.

PHILIP
By thou a king’s companion.  Thou and I
Will dare the Cardinal and the Moor to fight
In single combat, shall we?  Hah!

SECOND SOLDIER
Agreed.

PHILIP
We’ll beat ‘em to hell-gate, shall we?  Hah!

SECOND SOLDIER
Hell’s gate’s somewhat too hot, somewhat too hot.  The porter’s a knave.  I’d be loath to be damn’d for my conscience.  I’ll knock anybody’s custard, so I knock not there, my lord.  Hell gates!

PHILIP
A pox upon such slaves!

FIRST SOLDIER
Hang him, a peasant, my lord.  You see I am but a scrag, my lord.  My legs are not of the biggest, nor the least, nor the best that e’er were stood upon, nor the worst, but they are of God’s making.  And for your sake, if ever we put our enemies to flight again, by Gad’s lid if I run not after them like a tiger, hough me.

PHILIP
But wilt thou stand to’t e’er they fly?  Ha?  Wilt thou?

FIRST SOLDIER
Will I, quoth-a?  By this hand and the honour of a soldier.

PHILIP
And by a soldier’s honour I will load thee
With Spanish pistolets.  To have this head,
Thy face, and all thy body, stuck with scars,
Why ‘tis a sight more glorious than to see
A lady hung with diamonds.  If thou lose
A hand, I’ll send this after; if an arm,
I’ll lend thee one of mine.  Come then, let’s fight.
A mangled lame true soldier is a gem
Worth Cæsar’s empire, though fools spurn at them.

FIRST SOLDIER
Yet, my lord, I ha seen lame soldiers, not worth the crutches they leant upon.  Hand and arms, quoth-a?  Zounds, not I!  I’ll double my files or stand sentry, or so.  But I’ll be hang’d and quartered before I’ll have my members cut off.

SECOND SOLDIER
And I too, hold thee there.

PHILIP
Hold you both there.  Away, you rogues, you dirt!                 [Beats them both in.
Thus do I tread upon you.  Out; begone!
One valiant is an host.  Fight then alone.

Enter CARDINAL, ALVERO, CHRISTOFERO, and Soldiers.

CARDINAL
Prince Philip.

PHILIP
For the crown of Spain, come all.

CARDINAL
We come in love and peace.

PHILIP
But come in war;
Bring naked swords, not laurel boughs. In peace?
Plague on your rank peace!  Will you fight and cry
“Down with the Moor?”  And then I’m yours. I’ll die.
I have a heart, two arms, a soul, a head,
I’ll lay that down, I’ll venture all.  S’foot, all.
Come tread upon me so that Moor may fall.

CARDINAL
By heaven that Moor shall fall.

PHILIP
Thy hand, and thine.                                                  [Flings down his weapons.
Give me but half your hearts, you have all mine.
By heaven, shall he fall?

CARDINAL
Yes, upon thee,
Like to the ruins of a tower, to grind
Thy body into dust.  Traitor and bastard,
I do arrest thee of high treason.

PHILIP
Hah!
Traitor and bastard!  And by thee!  My weapons!

CARDINAL
Lay hands upon him.

PHILIP
Ay, you’re best do so.

CARDINAL
Alvero, there’s the warrant; to your hands
The prisoner is committed.  Lords, let’s part.
Look to him on your life.

[Exeunt CARDINAL, CHRISTOFERO and Soldiers.  Manent PHILIP and ALVERO.

PHILIP
Heart, heart, heart, heart!                                                         [Tears the warrant.
The devil and his dam, the Moor and my mother!
Their warrant!  I will not obey.  Old grey beard,
Thou shalt not be my gaoler.  There’s no prison,
No dungeon deep enough, no grates so strong,
That can keep in a man so mad with wrong.
What, dost thou weep?

ALVERO
I would fain shed a tear,
But from mine eyes so many showers are gone.
Grief drinks my tears so fast that here’s not one.
You must to prison.

PHILIP
Dost thou speak to me?

ALVERO
You must to prison.

PHILIP
And from thence to death.
I thought I should have had a tomb hung round
With tottered colours, broken spears.  I thought
My body should have fallen down full of wounds.
But one can kill and emperor, fool, then why
Wouldst thou have many?  Curse, be mad, and die.                        [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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