The Welsh Embassador – Act Two, Scene Three

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Enter CORNWALL and CARINTHA veil’d in black.

 

CORNWALL
The king in person comes to dry your tears
And will, I think, pull you to his royal bed.
If he does, fasten him; though your former husband,
Penda my son, was dear to me as life,
He cannot be call’d back; yet for his sake
I shall be glad to see your fortunes rais’d.
A queen is a brave name; be wise and catch
Time’s lock of it be given you.  See, he comes.

Enter KING and CHESTER.

KING
A pious deed, my lord, comfort the sick.
She’s sick at soul, poor heart.  Pray, dare you trust
The widow and me together?

CHESTER
And wish that you, sir,
May have the skill to make those clouds clear up
Which darken so her beauty.

KING
Chester, I’ll try it.

CHESTER
A lucky hand may you have.              [Exeunt CORNWALL and CHESTER.

KING
Dost mourn in sadness?

CARINTHA
Do any mourn in jest?

KING
Shone like thyself and drive away these mists
In which I cannot see thee.

CARINTHA
‘Tis for your sake,
I counterfeit this sorrow that the court—
Especially old Cornwall, Penda’s father—
Might not reprove me for a careless lady
To lose so brave a husband and not weep
Mine eyes out for him.

KING
But I hope thou dost not.

CARINTHA
Never wet thus much of a hankercher.

KING
I got my contract from yon scolding creature
And that thine eyes may witness, I speak truth.
Do with it what thyself wilt.

CARINTHA
I’ll red it o’er, and tear it then to pieces.

KING
Please thyself in it.
‘Tis to the lords thy noble friends made known
That I wish  you my queen.  They are proud of it.

CARINTHA
They are?

KING
And give consent.  Come, prithee no longer
Lock thyself up thus in a tragic room.

CARINTHA
I am now so us’d to’t, I could be content
To live and die here.

KING
Out upon’t!  What pleasure
Can dwell between two melancholy walls?
What objects hast thou here to feed the eye?

CARINTHA
Yes, rare ones.

KING
Rare ones?

CARINTHA
See else.

Shows PENDA, above, with a leading staff; VOLTIMAR at his back, his sword in him.

 

 KING
Ha!  What’s this?

CARINTHA
By Penda’s picture I a workman hir’d
To carve that statue for me.  Oh, sir, I pleas’d
His father highly in it.

KING
But what’s he
That stands behind him in that dangerous posture?

CARINTHA
I know not what he is.

KING
No?  ‘Tis the shape
Of a most honest soldier, his name Voltimar.

CARINTHA
I now remember.  When I had desire
To figure out that devil which slew my Penda,
By chance a fellow fashioned just like this
Past by, my workman eyed him, and cut this.
A more ill-favoured slave I ne’er beheld,
And such a one methought was that ro<gue, sur>e,
That kill’d my lord, and so this stand fo<or him.>

KING
Alter it, prithee.  He whom it resembles
Is a most honest man.

CARINTHA
Is he?  I am sorry,
I’ll then show him—no, I ha funeral masques too
Of fire drakes, ghosts, and witches, and oft times
At midnight dance they round about the room
To nuzzle me in melancholy, and so please you
I’ll call in one of those masques.                                            [Close scene above.

KING
Oh, by no means.
I have enough of this.  One night to live thus
Would turn me mad.  Forsake the charnel-house
And change it to a court; the name of widow
Into a wife and queen.

CARINTHA
I shall be haunted with your old sweet heart.

KING
For her head she dares not.

CARINTHA
I am at your disposure.

KING
In that word thou dost include thy coronation.
My lords you may come in now.  We ha done.

Enter CHESTER, CORNWALL, and VOLTIMAR.

 CHESTER
Are the fates gentle to you,
To spin you golden threads of happiness
By marriage with this lady?  Have you brought her
To handle Cupid’s bow?

KING
And to shoot, Chester,
His arrows too; so you upon her lay
No black aspiration of neglect or lightness
For her so sudden casting of her sorrow
For a most noble husband.  She is content
To fill my court with gladness by her presence.

CORNWALL
It is a day I wish for.

CHESTER
So do we all.
End here all rites then of this funeral.

KING
And for them Hymen shall by his pure fires
Purge th’air, and add new flames to our desires.
Accompany the lady.  Voltimar.

[Exeunt omnes; Manent KING and VOLTIMAR.

VOLTIMAR
There’s a Welsh embassador, sir, a-coming.

KING
I care not who is coming.  How dost find her?

VOLTIMAR
Full of mischief, her spittle poison, breath a whirlwind, words thunder, and voice lightning.

KING
The furies at my wedding of this lady then
Will dance about our court.

VOLTIMAR
Furies?  Alas, poor dove, she has no gall; loves you too well to hear you ill-nam’d; she sees you slight her, and she cares not for you.  Though she be not full weight, in my conscience you might put her away in game.  Some young rake would snap at her.

KING
Oh, Voltimar, our gamesters are too subtle.
No man of note that knows our court and her,
Will throw at such false coin, and her great heart
Scorns to be pass’d away to a base groom.

VOLTIMAR
The sound of this Welsh embassador makes, methinks, such a singing in my head, if you could fasten this fish upon that hook.

KING
Ha?

VOLTIMAR
Make ready you your angel.  At the line hang lordships, shires, half your exchequer, to make him bite for her, to make her nibble.  Let me alone to play the fire.

KING
My Voltimar, do this and thou shalt be
A sharer in my kingdom.

VOLTIMAR
Half a share shall serve me.                                                                                  [Exeunt.

Proceed to the Next Scene

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