The Welsh Embassador – Act Five, Scene Three

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Flourish.  Enter KING, WINCHESTER, CORNWALL, and CARTHINTA; ARMANTE and VOLTIMAR following.

 KING
My lord of Winchester, thanks for this physic,
But ere you came I had an antidote
T’expel the strongest poison.

WINCHESTER
But, sir, however—

KING
Your love is not the less, and I shall pay you
In better coin than words.

Enter COLCHESTER and KENT.

Oh, my good lord,
For all methinks I am compass’d in with friends,
I sit a-cold without you.

COLCHESTER
From an old man, sir,
There can come little heat, yet what I have
Is ready for your service.

KING
Where are those lords,
Your noble kindred?

COLCHESTER
Oh, busy for the masque, sir.

KING
This night shall here fix artificial stars
To burn out till the morn bring in the sun
To put their fires out by his golden flames,
Whilst they shall fall dim too when the two brides
Shall dazzle with their eyes the kind of day,
Who frets that he so long must keep away
And not behold out pastimes.

ARMANTE
Is he without then?

VOLTIMAR
Yes, madam.

ARMANTE
An odd conceited fellow, once my servant,
Has, as I’m told, writ some strange chronicle
And is to me a suitor to speak for him,
To have your majesty pleas’d to cast away
A few loose minutes but to hear what wonders
His wit brings forth.

KING
With all my heart, sweet lady.

CARINTHA
‘Twill be a foil to the night’s brighter glories
As a blackamore by a Venus.  Pray, sir, let’s have him.

CORNWALL
New chronicler?  Let’s not lose him.

KING
Fetch him in, Voltimar.

VOLTIMAR
I shall, sir.

Enter Clown with a book.

KING
This he?

CLOWN
I am he, sir.

COLCHESTER
Is that your chronicle?  Hast writ such a volume already?

CLOWN
No, my lord, it is not all of mine own writing.  This is a <     > fire fed from time to time with the faggots and some <       >ins of other men’s wit.  I have only pick’d up a bundle <       >dry stick to maintain the blaze.

WINCHESTER
Your chronicle begins with Brut, the son of Silvius, the son of Ascanius, the son of Æneas as other chronicles of England do, dost not?

CLOWN
Brut?  No, my lord.  Think you I will make brute beasts of coun<trymen?>  I were a sweet brute then I <was> here.  Where was Cassius when Brutus was here?

KING
Thou sayst well for that.

CLOWN
To tell you true, my chronicle is not an egg laid as others have been, mine is an ephemerides foretelling telling what shall happen in kings’ reigns to come, for that that’s past we all know.

CORNWALL
This is a harder way; saddle your horse. Pray, let’s see what pace it keep<s>.

VOLTIMAR
Get up and ride.  You must spur, cut, and away.

CLOWN
I name no kings and so bring nameless you know men are blameless.

WINCHESTER
So, so, to your chronicle.

CLOWN
In such a king’s reign, and in the year 1217, in the month of December about Christmas, when every nobleman means to keep open house and good hospitality, such terrible winds will arise that all the fires shall be blown out of their kitchens, all the good cheer out of their halls, all the servingmen out of their coats, and all their poor tenants out of their wits.

COLCHESTER
But, sirrah, when these winds are laid, the spits may be turning again.

CLOWN
They may so, they shall go to the fire and be ready to turn when in shall come a caroach and four Flanders mares, a coachman, and a page, and they shall run away with more meat, then would serve three hundred creatures in blue that stand at livery.

CARINTHA
Here’s a strange chronicle!

ARMANTE
Hast any more such stuff?

CLOWN
In the year 1231 men and women shall to entail themselves up an other, that ladies scarlet petticoats shall make gentleman little gallipot breeches.

KING
So, good charity when they cover one another.

CLOWN
In the year 1354 bread will be so scarce that lords shall be glad to eat pie crust.

CORNWALL
A terrible time.

CLOWN
In the year 1472 on Saint Lawrence day at noon must a woman be burnt in Smithfield and before night five Carmen burnt in Turnball Street, and four gentlemen in Bloomsbury.

COLCHESTER
Hot doings.

CLOWN
In the year 1499 bawdy houses will so increase that to suppress the number of them, women shall fain to keep tobacco shops.

CORNWALL
A good way.

CLOWN
In the year 1561 cap will be so intolerable dear that Powels shall not get on to fit him for any money.

WINCHESTER
Pity the church should stand bare.

CLOWN
In the year 1600 Newgate shall so swarm with thieves that millers shall be fain to grind near Bun-hill and yet a number of tailors shall live bravely in the Strand.

COLCHESTER
There’s no hurt in that.

CLOWN
But now in the reign of this king here in the years 1621, 22, and 23 such a wooden fashion will com eup that he who walks not with a battoon shall be held no gallant.

WINCHESTER
Battoon?  What’s that?

CLOWN
A kind of cudgel no longer than that which a water spaniel carries cross his chops.  You have seen shapperoons and maqueroons and baboons, and laroons, and petoons, and gogs noons, but this lining of Plymouth cloak—called the battoon—is a stuff but new cut out of the loom.

KING
What are battoons good for?

CLOWN
Please your majesty to hear the virtues, my chronicle shall bombast them before you.

KING
Come on then.  First, why is it call’d a battoon?

CLOWN
‘Tis a French word, le baston, that’s as much to <say that if> a professor of the needle rail at a <      > with his battoon pay him something <     >.

KING
Ver<y good.>

CLOWN,
If a gallant promise a rich gown of petticoat to a gentlewoman so she will undertake a business for him, he needs trouble no tailor to take the altitude, longitude or profundity of her body, for his own measure is within reach.

COLCHESTER
What more?

CLOWN
This: if a gentleman be disarm’d by a broker of his weapon, he loses no honour if he stick to his wooden dagger.

CORNWALL
What more?

CLOWN
In cold weather a crew of roaring boys being in a tavern with little emoney may, to save fire, make faggots of their battoons and burn ‘em in one place, and cut battoons out of faggots in another.

CARINTHA
Pretty commodities.

WINCHESTER
But what are now the discommodities?

CLOWN
One only inconvenience, my lord, leans upon it and that is the battoon being a kind of French crutch, many by walking with it may be suspected to have corns on his toes when they are as sound as I am.

VOLTIMAR
The masquers, sir, are ready.

CORNWALL
Hence with the chronicler.

KING
We’ll hear him out at leisure.

CLOWN

At leisure then I shall give my attendance.                                                      [Exit.

Hautboys.  Enter  EDMOND.

 EDMOND
Leave de catterwawling noise, cut of de goose necks of de fiddles and hand dine own eck in de strings.

KING
Why, how now, Teage, what’s the matter that your tongue runs so.

EDMOND
It runs out a mine Irish wits, crees sa me, de masters—da halters eat ‘em—be all together by de ears, der scurvy wodden faces be tore in a towsand pieces.

WINCHESTER
How?  The masquers quarrel?

KING
See, Cornwall, Colchester.  Captain, you too.

[Exeunt COLCHESTER, CORNWALL, and KENT.

EDMOND
A little towsand boy tell two hundred a de self, and a woman dow gots wid child and so anger my master de ambassador, he takes so terrible deal of Welsh pepper up into his nose, ‘tis y’faat’la as read as a hot warden pie.

Enter PENDA and ELDRED.

PENDA
Pud trigs upon a Welseman!  Yes, when can tell?  Does her masesty invite to fine seer of cunny pies, and set your shraps and offals and pones and tog’s meat with awl knawn before her?

KING
The meaning of this fury?

PENDA
Reece tell her furies is mad as horn pull.

ELDRED
Here is awl her furies.  Her laties there, who was to marry into her lord’s consanguinities, is a cow has a great calf run by her sides, has pourn a pastard.

KING
Who dare report this?

PENDA
There are porters enow, see, yet shall fide for her too.

Enter CORNWALL with his sword drawn, after him COLCHESTER and KENT, drawn, the PRINCE like Cupid; VOLTIMAR keeps in the midst; PENDA, EDMOND, and ELDRED draw and guard the KING; WINCHESTER and Ladies step between all.

   CORNWALL
Look to your life, sir, traitorous Colchester
And his false-hearted faction envying the peace
Of your court pastimes, thus with weapons drawn
Set your whole court in uproar.

KING
Masque turn’d to massacre?

COLCHESTER
Not, royal sir, to touch your life.

OMNES
What then?

PRINCE
I’ll tell you what ‘tis.  I begun this broil
And let me end it.  I to this Welsh lord
Swore he should never call me son-in-law
Nor call my mother wife.

PENDA
Wife, yes, when was hang and trawn in her quarters.

PRINCE
I told him that my father was a king
And that my mother should not dwell in Wales
But be a queen in England.

ELDRED
Wales is well rid upon her.

PRINCE
And this brake of the masque I should ha’ been, you see, a Cupid in’t.

<PENDA>
<And I> Master Vulcans an antedated cuckolds to cry ptrooh at.

<KENT>
<To aid th>is prince come we thus arm’d with justice.

<COLCHESTER>
<       > wretched, not a fond silly lady
<       r fo     s      er      w mo      >
For here’s our resolution to proclaim
This prince your heir, and this contracted lady
Your wife, ere any else step to your throne.

KING
Do you threaten?

OMNES
Yes.

KING
Oh, you weak-sighted lords!
King’s thoughts fly from the reach of common eyes.
‘Tis true our first intentions wee poison’d arrows
Shot at the heart of Penda.  I then not car’d—
T’enjoy his wife—so half mankind had fell;
But better spirits me guided Voltimar.
This was my dial, whose going true set all
My mad hours right.

VOLTIMAR
I play’d the honest conjurer; when devils to be rais’d I put ang<gels> into the same circles.

CARINTHA
T’increase your angels number, here are hands
Wrought in this school of magic.

ARMANTE
And was not I a good proficient with you?

PRINCE
My lords, you are gull’d.  I ha’ play’d the little juggler too.

KING
I all this while
Suffer’d this comedy of Welsh disguises
Still to go on, but now, my lord ambassador,
Y’are welcome out of Wales.

PENDA
In English I thank your majesty.                  [PENDA and ELDRED discover.

KING
Nay, I must flea your skins off too, dear Edmond.

EDMOND
I ha’ lost my tongue on a sudden; ‘tis shipp’d for Ireland.             [Discovers.

KING
My princely brothers both, a pair of kingdoms
Shall not buy you two from me.

EDMOND
I had no reason to lacy like an Irish footman thus.

ELDRED
Nor I as a Welse sentleman.

EDMOND
But knowing
By this most honest, most noble soldier
What false dice you put in to cozen Penda
Of all his wealth—his wife—we, sir, turn’d cheaters
To have some sport with you.

KING
If, worthy Penda,
I have won from thee ought of this rich treasure,
I’m a frank gamester.  Take it all again.
This is mine own stake, none shall draw thee from me,
My best Armante, not this princely boy
For a new world.

ARMANTE
I am happy in these trials.

KING
Are you pleas’d now, old grandsire?

COLCHESTER
And on our knees
Crave pardon for our rashness.

KING
You did but justice.
Be any to be blam’d it is these lords
Who to set up their kinswoman a queen
Car’d not to ruin utterly this temple
So basely by me shaken.  Winchester
Has play’d at this great shooting a fair archer.
[To VOLTIMAR.] Soldier, thou shalt not want what thou deservst.

Enter Clown, like Vulcan.

CLOWN
And what I, have I been at cost to smut my face, hire a hammer, buy a polt foot and study a speech in your masque for Vulcan and now must I hobble without it?

KING
My wedding with Armante shall be hasten’d
And till then, keep your speech, then bring your masque in.

CLOWN
Till then I will be speechless.

PRINCE
And so you’ll lay aside your chronicling,
I’ll beg thee of the king to be my jester.

CLOWN
I’d as life you’d beg me for your fool.  If you did, ‘twere no great hurt, for a king’s fool meets better fortune than many <wise men.>

KING
More than a golding ring marries your loves,
A king’s spread arms lets rest after <     >
We have had a royal race, a goal <      >
‘Tis cr<o>wn’d if we t<         >

F I N I S.

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