The Welsh Embassador – Act One, Scene Three

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Enter WINCHESTER and ARMANTE.

 ARMANTE
Did the king speak this?

WINCHESTER
Did both speak and swear it.
<Int>en<ds in> person present<ly to beg>
<Forgiveness for his acts of heaven and you.>

ARMANTE
Heaven pardon him.  I do not.

WINCHESTER
Let not wild rage
Bear you beyond yourself.

ARMANTE
I thank your counsel.

WINCHESTER
Be not o’er-flown with gall.

ARMANTE
No, I’ll take nothing.

Enter Clown.

WINCHESTER
Fellow, avoid the room!

CLOWN
The room?  Wear it quarter day, I take you to be none of my landlord.  Avoid without warning?

WINCHESTER
I ha’ business for the king here.

CLOWN
And I ha’ business for the king here too; that is to have a care to this lady my mistress, who is the king’s game.

ARMANTE
Game?

CLOWN
Yes, game.  I’m sure his hawk with the long wing has flown at you.  [To WINCHESTER.] I have as much to do here as you, and therefore avoid you the room.

ARMANTE
My lord, the fellow is silly.

CLOWN
For aught I know, he’s as silly as I am.

ARMANTE
Set not your wit to his.

CLOWN
I do not mean he shall.  If he would give me a benefice to boot, I’ll not change my wit for his.  My lord the Duke of Colchester—under whom I have an office about oysters—bids me a have an eye to his daughter.  Now, sir, will I have two eyes.

WINCHESTER
A good servant.

CLOWN
Nay more:  if I fetch my suspective glass—in which, standing at Queen Hive Dock, I can tell to a kernel how far Dover Pier is—I will then cast three eyes at her.

WINCHESTER
Ay, do so, do so.

CLOWN
Nay more, when I’m at age to wear woeful spectacles, my four eyes shall not have an eye to see, but I’ll look to her water.

WINCHESTER
Thou art too careful.  Prithee, leave us now.
Stay, what’s thy name?

CLOWN
My name is Lapland.  My mother was a witch, my father a broker, mine aunt cried ends of gold and silver, my grandsire went up and down with an ape.  My lord of Landosses fine ape.  Here a jolly kindred.

WINCHESTER
Born in London?

CLOWN
Yes, In the backside of Billingsgate.  There are of my name i’th’city young gentlemen know the Laplands.  There’s a cousin, a scrivener that can look through an inch-board his eyes are so sharp—has lap’d more lands in sheep-skin then all our backs can carry.

Enter KING.

WINCHESTER
Peace.  Here’s the king.

KING
Leave us.

CLOWN
Avoid the room.

KING
Oh, my Armante.

ARMANTE
This is strange that I,
Who have so long been nipp’d even dead with could,
Should now have sunbeams warm me.  Oh, sir, my wrongs—

KING
Come, dream not of them.  I will fan them off
As if they ne’er had been; for here, Armante,
I vow tomorrow ere the god of day
Has put a golden ring about bright noon,
Thou shalt be mine, as fast in nuptial band
As I am thine by contract, and thy son,
With full consent of state freely proclim’d,
Mine and my kingdom’s heir, which to effect,
That contract which thou hast shall be enlarg’d.

ARMANTE
‘Tis well enough already.

KING
But now it shall be made past all dissolving.
<The> bishop did not see the contract, did he?

<ARMANTE>
<Nor he,> nor any shall.

<KING>
<I must.>

<ARMANTE>
<You shall not.>

KING
Keep it and marry that then.  Lie with that.
Call that your husband.  If that paper king
Can get young paper princes of you, let him.
Come I with all my drossy scales fil’d off,
Polish’d and smooth’d, and do you use me still
As if I wear base metal?  Rail no more at me.
Remember thus I came to you, thus leave you.

ARMANTE
Royal sir, the contract’s here.

KING
I will not touch it,
Not see it.  Let me go, pray.

ARMANTE
‘Las, being before
I’th’falcon’s grip, I would be pinch’d no more.

KING
The falcon would fly from you.

ARMANTE
He shall not, see, sir,
Here as the dearest jewel of my fame,
Lock’d I this parchment from all covetous eyes.
This your indenture holds alone the life
Of my sick wasted honour, yet behold,
Into your hands I redeliver it.

KING
So, it is i’th’lion’s paw and who dares snatch it?

ARMANTE
Ha, you do but counterfeit to mock my joys.

KING
Away, bold strumpet!                                                                                 [Exit.

Enter Clown.

 ARMANTE
Are there eyes in heaven to see this?

CLOWN
Mad maudlin, are you going to bedlam?

ARMANTE
Yes, let me have fresh straw.  I am mad.

CLOWN
So am I.  Let go your cat’s nails, or I’ll fall upon you, as I’m a man.

ARMANTE
Is the king gone, thou slave?

CLOWN
He’s gone, but not so far gone as you.

ARMANTE
Rocks leap out of the sea to fall upon me
And grind me into powder.

CLOWN
What powder?  Come, what powder?  When did you see any woman grinded into powder?  I’m sure some of you powder men, and pepper ‘em too.

ARMANTE
Away.  I’ll be a ghost and haunt the king
Till want of sleep bids him run mad and die
For making oaths bawds to his perjury.                                                                     [Exit.

Enter COLCHESTER.

 COLCHESTER
How now, where’s my daughter?

CLOWN
Troth, my lord, I know not.  The king was here.  Out they fell about a writing, which he got from her.  Through a crevice I saw all.

COLCHESTER
A writing?

CLOWN
Yes, sir, and her nails in her rage were currycombs in my hair, for she looks as wild as a gentleman frighted by a sergeant.

COLCHESTER
A writing?  I divine the mischief.                                                                      [Is going.

CLOWN
My lord, I would fain five up my cloak; this livery of waiting on my lady your daughter.  I have some learning and am loath to grub my pen wholly in a woman’s business.  There’s a goose-quill sticks in my stomach.  I have a mighty desire to be bound to a chronicler, or some such lying trade.

COLCHESTER
Leave her not yet, I prithee.  One storm blown o’er,
Take thine own course.

CLOWN
And then my muse will roar.                                                                              [Exeunt.

Proceed to the Next Scene

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