The Welsh Embassador – Act Three, Scene One

Return to Previous Scene

Enter ARMANTE and Clown.

ARMANTE
What is’t thou so art scribbling?  Art making ballads?

CLOWN
Ballads?  No, madam.  My muse drinks neither four shilling nor six shilling beer.  The liquor I take in is from the French Hippocrenian hogshead.   I lap out of Minerva’s milk-bowl.

ARMANTE
<What,> a poet?

CLOWN
<  > a hobberde hoy of helicon, and madam, I fear I must be <soon> carried away with a fury from you, for I am ravish’d.  <I have g>ot with child a horse that I keep at rack and manger, call’d Pegasus, and upon him am I galloping to the horseshoe foot mountain of Parnassus.

ARMANTE
Th’art mad, sure.

CLOWN
I am mad with keeping you company.  The Nine Muses are all women, and nine women are able to make nine score men mad.

ARMANTE
Come, leave the fooleries.  I am cold this morning.  Let’s toss.

CLOWN
And tumble too, lady, if you please, but before I say “B” to this baddledore, I’ll tell your ladyship what I am turn’d into.

ARMANTE
If into no terrible monster, I’ll look upon it.

CLOWN
No loggerhead elephant, I’ll assure you, for a penny-loaf serves me two days when I eat least.

ARMANTE
Well, sir, what are you turn’d into?

CLOWN
Oh, madam, my head is a mere bagpudding.

ARMANTE
Good meat.

CLOWN
My brains the flower that makes it, my sweet concipts the plums.  When I sweat in my invention, that’s the suet, jests the salt, my wit the gross pepper.

ARMANTE
A wise pudding.  Has it no eggs?

CLOWN
Yes.  My eagerness is writing are the eggs I put into it and my skull is the iron pot in which I seethe this pudding.

ARMANTE
And when comes it to’th’table?

CLOWN
When you see my piping hot then look for a lick at me.  My pudding is wholly at your service.

ARMANTE
To put you into a heat then, play.

CLOWN
My cock is up longer than yours for a shilling.

ARMANTE
Done, sir, you are down before me.

CLOWN
I think so.  A man in nothing in a woman’s hands.

ARMANTE
I ha lost the king quite for I ne’er was merry
When my thoughts lighten on him.  I’ll toss from me
As I do this.  Trust me, this shuttlecock’s
Are pretty fine invention.

CLOWN
Oh, very fine.  They’ll put colour into your honourable cheeks, make your legs supple, your arms soluble, quickens the eye, sharpens the stomach—I could eat oats like a horse now—and it the only sword and buckler fight against the green sickness, which I’m sure you feel not.

Enter the PRINCE.

PRINCE
Mother, my grandsire and a heap of lords
Are rush’d into your lodgings.

Enter COLCHESTER, WINCHESTER, and KENT.

COLCHESTER
All strangers leave the room.

CLOWN
No English men stir a foot.

WINCHESTER
Hence with this trivial fellow.

KENT
What makes he here?

CLOWN
I am this young gentleman’s tutor for battledoring and shittlecockery.

WINCHESTER
Away, fool.  Be packing.

CLOWN
Take heed you never fall under the dreary dint of my goosequill.  I will pack and peck if you do.                                                                                                                  [Exit.

ARMANTE
Whence shoots this thunder?

COLCHESTER
The king takes Penda’s widow to his queen.

ARMANTE
When?

WINCHESTER
Instantly, and there’s a murmur flies
Your son the prince, like to a branch lopp’d off,
Must be snatch’d from you, if you refuse to send him,
For fetch’d he will be.

KENT
Whilst you from court retir’d
Must give o’er housekeeping.

ARMANTE
Any more arrows?

COLCHESTER
Are not these three enow?  Does not the first—
The marriage most unlawful—cleave the heart?
Dost not the second wound this child to death,
Else why should he be sent for?  He that hates
The mother seldom smiles upon the son.
Thou hast a north star yet to steer thy course by.
There’s but one shore of safety, thousands of ruin.

ARMANTE
And which that one to safety?

WINCHESTER
For you, dear lady,
To shut yourself up ‘mongst some cloister’d nuns.
Danger dares there not look in; and for the prince
To keep him from the king.

ARMANTE
The king?

PRINCE
My father?
What braver wings can o’er an eaglet spread
Then the old eagles?  I do not think my father
Would hurt me were I with him.

ARMANTE
I will not tread
That path you beat of safety.  Should a destiny
Bring me a lea of brass graven with the deaths
Of me and my poor boy, as the king’s act,
I’d spit i’th’face of fate, and swear she lies.
No king makes his own son a sacrifice.

COLCHESTER
Be wilful then, and rue it.

Enter VOLTIMAR.

 WINCHESTER
Here’s the king’s earwig.

VOLTIMAR
Health to your lordships.  If it were still water before I came, I am sorry the wind of my mouth must raise a storm.  I come from the king, and though I am no thief, yet I must see your house broken up, sweet lady, and your gates, after the noble men’s way, to stand shut; your number of chimneys are to cozen the beggars and make ‘em fall a-cursing, to see no smoke in ‘em.  Madam, I am to discharge all your followers.

PRINCE
All, and me too.  I am one, sir.

VOLTIMAR
Yes, and you too.  I am the king’s lamb taker, and this must with me.

PRINCE
Save me, good grandsire!  Save me, mother!  My lords, this man has a dog’s look.

COLCHESTER
Touch but his nail, thou better wert to draw—

VOLTIMAR
What?

COLCHESTER
A lion’s tooth out.

VOLTIMAR
Dare you draw upon me?

COLCHESTER
Yes, and will draw thy heart out!  Kill the villain.

VOLTIMAR
Come.  Have I been a butt-full of arrows to fear your weak bows?  Whom I paw, I tear.  Death in a white beard is no bugbear to fright me.  Your dudgeon’s this for ‘em, my doublet has had oylet-holes in’t with sharper bodkins.  Will you fight, I challenge you at all these weapons, but if you’ll talk like justices of the peace, look you.  I am a quiet man, only hear this:  ‘tis the king’s hand puts him into mine, my lords.

COLCHESTER
And ours takes him out of the king’s and thine.
So tell him.  Say ‘tis Colchester that speaks it.

[Exeunt COLCHESTER and KENT with PRINCE.

ARMANTE
My lord of Winchester, pray stop their madness.
The king and I made up a stock of love,
A royal stock, and putting it to use,
My child must be sent home for interest.
Shall he not have his own?                                                            [Exit WINCHESTER.

VOLTIMAR
Let ‘em go, lady.  When the whirligigs of their brains have done spinning they’ll stand still.  Do you hold me honest?

ARMANTE
I find thee full weight yet.

VOLTIMAR
When any other music sounds me, split my pipe.  The king will marry.

ARMANTE
Let him.

VOLTIMAR
No, I will not let him nor shall you.  A Welsh embassador is come to court.  The king means to put you upon him, him upon you—fine hot-cockles—‘tis my plot, my grinding.

ARMANTE
Upon me put his Welshman?

VOLTIMAR
Pshew!  There’s a dial for your hours to go by.  He will court you in Welsh and broken English; he speaks both.  The devil understands all languages.  I’ll, to do you good, be one of this scholars.  Why not?  Scrubbing fencers teach fine men to play, and greasy cooks dress lords’ dinners.  I am your scullion.  How like you that gamoth?

ARMANTE
Well, very wondrous well.

VOLTIMAR
Get that little king’s fisher, your son, out of the lords’ net.  Be but rul’d and you shall be merry.

ARMANTE
I’ll tread this maze.  ‘Tis walking still the round,
Or if I fall lower, ‘tis but to the ground.                                                                [Exuent.

Proceed to the Next Scene

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: