Lust’s Dominion – Act Four, Scene Three

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Enter CARDINAL, QUEEN MOTHER, Soldiers, drums and colours.

QUEEN MOTHER
By all those sighs which thou, like passionate turns,
Hast often to my dull ears offered;
By all thy hopes to enjoy my royal bed;
By all those mourning lines which thou hast sent,
Weeping in black to tell thy languishment;
By love’s best richest treasure, which I swear
I will bestow, and which none else shall wear,
As the most praised jewel, but thyself;
By that bright fire which flaming through thine eyes,
From thy love scorched bosom does arise,
I do conjure thee, let no churlish sound,
With war’s lewd horror my desires confound.
Dear, dear, Mendoza, thus do I entreat,
That still thou wouldst continue this retreat.
I’ll hang upon thee till I hear thee say,
Woman, prevail, or chiding cry’st away.

CARDINAL
Is there no trick in this forg’d by the Moor?

QUEEN MOTHER
I would the Moor’s damnation were the ransom
Of all that innocent blood that has been shed
In this black day.  I care not for the Moor.
Love to my kingdom’s peace makes me put on
This habit of a suppliant.  Shall I speed?

CARDINAL
You shall, were it to have my bosom bleed.
I have no power to spare the negro’s head,
When I behold the wounds which his black hand
Has given mine honour; but when I look on you
I have no power to hate him, since your breath
Dissolves my frozen heart, being spend for him.
In you my life must drown itself or swim.
You have prevail’d.  Drum, swiftly hence!  Call back
Our fierce pursuing troops that run to catch
The laurel wreath of conquest.  Let it stand
A while untouch’d by any soldier’s hand.                                      [Exit Drum.
Away!  Stay you and guard us.  Where’s the Moor?
I’ll lose what I have got, a victor’s prize,
Yielding myself a prisoner in your eyes.

QUEEN MOTHER
Mine eyes shall quickly grant you liberty.
The Moor stays my return.  I’ll put on wings,
And fetch him, to make peace belongs to kings.

As she goes out, enter ELEAZAR, ZARACK, BALTAZAR, and Soldiers well arm’d; at sight of each other all draw.

CARDINAL
Soldiers, call back the drum.  We are betray’d!

ELEAZAR
Moors, stand upon your guard.  Avoid, look back.

QUEEN MOTHER
What means this jealousy?  Mendoza, Moor,
Lay by your weapons and embrace.  The sight
Of this, and this, begets suspicion.
Eleazar, by my birth, he comes in peace.
Mendoza, my mine honour, so comes he.

CARDINAL
Discharge these soldiers then.

ELEAZAR
And these.

CARDINAL
Away.

ELEAZAR
Go.                                                                                       [Soldiers stand aloof.

QUEEN MOTHER
Soul, rejoice to see this glorious day!  [She joins them together. They embrace.

CARDINAL
Your virtues work this wonder.  I have met
At her most dear command.  What’s your desires?

ELEAZAR
Peace and your honour’d arms.  How loathingly
I sounded the alarums, witness heaven.
‘Twas not to strike your breast, but to let out
The rank blood of ambition.  That Philippo
Makes you his ladder, and being climb’d so high
As he may reach a diadem, there you lie.
He’s base begotten, that’s his mother’s sin.

QUEEN MOTHER
God pardon it!

ELEAZAR
Ay, amen.  But he’s a bastard,
And rather than I’ll kneel to him, I’ll saw
My legs off by the thighs, because I’ll stand
In spite of reverence.  He’s a bastard, he’s,
And to beat down his usurpation,
I have thrown about this thunder; but Mendoza,
The people hate him for his birth.
He only leans on you, you are his pillar.
You gone, he walks on crutches, or else falls.
Then shrink from under him.  Are they not fools
That bearing others up themselves seem low,
Because they above sit high?  Why, you do so.

CARDINAL
‘Tis true.

QUEEN MOTHER
Behold, this error will fix eyes.

CARDINAL
‘Tis true, well.

ELEAZAR
Oh, have you found it?  Have you smelt
The train of powder that must blow you up,
Up into air?  What air?  Why this, a breath.
Look you, in this time may a king meet death.
An eye to’t; check it, check it.

CARDINAL
How?

ELEAZAR
How! Thus:
Steal from the heat of that incestuous blood,
Where ravish’d honour, and Philippo lies.
Leave him, divide this huge and monstrous body
Of armed Spaniards into limbs thus big.
Part man from man, send every soldier home.
I’ll do the like.  Peace with an olive branch
Shall fly with dove-like wings about all Spain.
The crown which I as a good husband keep,
I will lay down upon the empty chair.
Marry you the queen and fill it for my part
These knees are yours, sir.

CARDINAL
Is this sound?

ELEAZAR
From my heart.

CARDINAL
If you prove false—

ELEAZAR
If I do, let fire fall.

CARDINAL
Amen.

ELEAZAR
[Aside.] Upon thy head, and so it shall.

CARDINAL
All of myself is yours. Soldiers, be gone.

ELEAZAR
And that way, you.

CARDINAL
The rest I will divide.
The lords shall be convented.

ELEAZAR
Good.

CARDINAL
Let’s meet.

QUEEN MOTHER
Where?

ELEAZAR
Here, anon. [Aside.] This is thy winding sheet.

[Exit CARDINAL.  The Moor walks up and down musing.

QUEEN MOTHER
What shape will this prodigious womb bring forth,
Which groans with such strange labour?

ELEAZAR
Excellent.

QUEEN MOTHER
Why, Eleazar, art thou wrap’d with joys,
Or does thy sinking policy make to shore?

ELEAZAR
Ha!

QUEEN MOTHER
Eleazar, mad man!  Hear’st thou, Moor.

ELEAZAR
Well, so.  You turn my brains, you mar the face
Of my attempts i’th’making; for this chaos
This lump of projects, ere it be lick’d over,
‘Tis like a bear’s conception; strategems
Being but begot, and not got out, are like
Charg’d cannons not discharg’d; they do no harm,
Nor good; true policy breeding in the brain
Is like a bar of iron, whose ribs being broken,
And softened in the fire, you then may forge it
Into a sword to kill, or to a helmet,
To defend life.  ‘Tis therefore wit to try
All fashions ere you apparel villainy.
But, but I ha’ suited him, fit, fit, oh, fit.

QUEEN MOTHER
How?  Prithee how?

ELEAZAR
Why thus:  yet, no, let’s hence.
My heart is nearest of my council, yet
Yet I scarce dare trust my heart with’t; what I do,
It shall look old, the hour wherein ‘tis born,
Wonders twice seen are garments over-worn.                              [Exeunt.

Proceed to the next scene

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